7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: On the Meaning of Life (Thinking in Action) (Paperback)I read this book a while ago after picking it up at random from a friend's shelf. It is beautifully written and argued; it's deceptively easy to read and carries its argument forward so subtly that you really don't know what his conclusion is going to be until you get there. It neither argues for religion in its tradiitonal form nor against it, but leaves it up to you, the reader, to decide; how refreshing after the narrow dogmatism of Richard Dawkins or some religious apologists. Highly recommended.
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Initial post: 9 Nov 2009 17:23:48 GMT
I heard John Cottingham lecture the other week and enjoyed his talk (although in an interview he describes hope as a religious virtue, which I would take issue with).
My problem with your review, however, is the phrase "narrow dogmatism of Richard Dawkins". I've read many of his books, seen his DVDs, and heard him lecture in person and I don't recognize your description at all. Can you back up your opinion or is it a prejudice received from elsewhere?
In reply to an earlier post on 24 May 2010 08:55:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 May 2010 08:56:17 BDT
Mr. Peter T. Hardy says:
The Catholic Church has always held that hope is part of its 'theological' sub-set of virtues but this doesn't mean they think no one has hope or can't value hope without belief in God.
I don't think Maggie's opinion needs backing up because every thinking person who isn't themselves prejudiced against religion has observed Dawkins' complete refusal to: understand that any view other than his own could possibly be right, accept the principle of charitible interpretation (non-misrepresentation), respect the views of other people and the *reasons* why they hold them, follow the arguments where they lead, and to change a view when it has decisively been shown implausible. Many theists, indeed in my experience many more theists than atheists behave in this disgraceful fashion but Maggie's [correct] point was that Cottingham is not one of these.
In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jul 2010 11:29:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jul 2010 11:59:05 BDT
William Shardlow says:
Cottingham's book itself bolsters that prejudice! He attacks Dawkins in a very subtle manner, calling him "brisk, cheerful"(p.14) in an attempt to undermine his seriousness. He also suggests he is more destructive than Nietzsche, while focusing on the most destructive (and unpublished!) thought experiments of Nietzsche.
I bought the book because it has many references to writers like Nietzsche and Dawkins that I admire. But, on reading the book, I found the references were used in a biased attack on them. As I'm quite well read in this area of philosophy, the book came across as quite intriguing - a subtle attack by the UK religio-philosophical establishment attempting to undermine "the new atheists".
Unthinking Christians, or those without much experience of this area of philosophy, might be conned. To get somewhere towards an unbiased view, such readers should read Dawkins "The God Delusion" as well as this book (Dawkins' book isn't really biased - he actually gives sufficient space to the arguments of "the other side", something that Cottingham fails to do.)
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