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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Quaint Beliefs, 8 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: The Greatest Lie Ever Told (Paperback)
Although this work purports to be well researched and carefully compiled, don't be deceived. It will not take the discerning and unbiased reader long to discover that, behind the seemingly well studied and clearly presented argument, lies a hidden agenda whereby the author seeks to foist his own Akenaten based religious beliefs on the unsuspecting and/or gullible reader. It soon becomes clear that evidence for his own quaint beliefs are every bit as unprovable as are those he seeks to denigrate.

Some readers will find it strange that little or no mention is made of the great eastern faiths such as Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism. Why should the author's interpretation be any more believable than those contained in these great faiths? As for Akenaten being a monotheist, the facts are that he advocated worship of the aten or sun disc, which made less sense than the traditional form of ancient Egyptian religious beliefs. All that we know about him suggests that he fell well short of being one of the best rulers Egypt ever had. More than that, why should the ancient Egyptians have been any more adept at discerning the truth about our place in the cosmos than, say, the ancient Chinese or Indians?

Although the author writes about how we shall all continue living after death, he fails to explain precisely where this will be and whether or not our beloved dogs, horses, cats, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs and pet tortoises will be living there with us. All too often we read and hear about learned people who believe in an afterlife and how much irrefutable proof there is for this state only to discover that 'irrefutable' is an euphemism for 'don't know'.

This work gives all the appearances of having been based on the painstaking and erudite discoveries and research of genuinely learned men and women, which has then been honed and adapted to support the conclusion the author had already reached when contemplating the writing of the book. Although the general consensus among genuine scholars is that we cannot be sure whether Jesus actually ever existed or not with the balance of probabilities being that there was a man called Jesus hidden somewhere behind all the legends that grew up around him, the author is adamant that Jesus never existed.

This work has all the appearances of being an assembly of cherry-picked information from the painstaking work and research of bona fide historians, archaeologists and researchers, which has then been adapted to suit the author's own beliefs. There's no shame in this; it's being done all the time. We just need to be aware of what actually is going on. This book is well written and shows great promise, which is then utterly ruined by conclusions every bit as ridiculous and devastatingly unprovable as the biblical myths and legends that the author dismisses with so much contempt.

In places the author contradicts himself. For instance, having stated, quite correctly, that only seven of the epistles attributed to Paul are genuine, he then quotes from the Epistle to the Ephesians as if it were a genuine Pauline epistle when it is not held to be so by the majority of leading biblical scholars. The writing style and words used are markedly different from what is found in the genuine Pauline epistles. This is just one example of how one gets the impression that 'cherry picking' has taken place in an effort to find proof for the author's own peculiar beliefs, which I find totally unconvincing and I'm quite sure I'm far from being the only one who will feel like that.

Worse still, scientists come in for a gruelling because they are supposedly too dogmatic. Where are these 'dogmatic' scientists? If scientists don't know they say so; if they are not sure they say so. This happens over and over again. If scientists are so very careful not to be dogmatic, why should any of us believe any religious dogma for which there isn't a trace of evidence? The author seems to believe that we should do just that, which is a great pity. This work is certainly a readable work of love by a dedicated author and is worth five stars for that. Unfortunately I am able to award it no more than one star on account of the totally unproven and ridiculous conclusions it reaches.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Dec 2011 07:48:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Dec 2011 07:53:04 GMT
Lex Allen says:
To each his own, certainly; but I would think your final statement a contradictory summation - "This work is certainly a readable work of love by a dedicated author and is worth five stars for that. Unfortunately I am able to award it no more than one star on account of the totally unproven and ridiculous conclusions it reaches."

I would think that your rating could have given some credit for the "readable work...dedicated author...worth five stars for that."; rather than a bottom mark because the author's conclusions didn't meet your expectations. There are (I'm sure) readers that will agree with Mr. Uffington, if only partially and could be turned off by the one star rating you've assigned.

Why not a three star for the readable, interesting work? While I believe one should give an honest opinion in any and all reviews; the one star is a bit extreme when taking in the whole of your comments.

Posted on 11 Dec 2011 11:29:04 GMT
H. A. Weedon says:
Hello Lex

Thank you for your relevant comment. It's not a question of the 'author's conclusions not meeting my expections.' He's simply just plain wrong. As you will no doubt be aware the world is full of all kinds of harmful religious fantasies and all this book has done is add another piece of nonsense to the plethora of misinformation that already exists. I was simply trying to be fair to the author. Writing in a readable fashion doesn't mean that everything we write is going to be correct. I just don't feel able to encourage anyone to read a work that reaches a so manifestly wrong and ridiculous conclusion. Apart from anyhting else, even from a purely religious point of view, the book completely ignores the contributions to understanding made by Eastern faiths such as Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism.

Worst of all, this work makes claims that are not substantiated by any reliable evidence. We only have to simply stop and think carefully for a few minutes to realise that the kind of afterlife the author purports to prove exiists is a cloud cuckoo land fostered by the imagination. Humans are an evolved life form no more or less important than any other life form. It's all about the inter-dependence of all things. We can only live in this moment. Every moment is precious. Unevidenced specualtion about what happens when we die is a waste of precious time. He says he has evidence. I prefer Beatrix Potter and the Tale of Pigling Bland. It's your privilege to enjoy your pigless paradise along with the author. I'm happy to be left out. With all kind thoughts and best wishes.

Posted on 7 Oct 2012 08:37:12 BDT
Kirk says:
"learned men and women"
What are you? From the middle ages?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Oct 2012 15:39:48 GMT
H. A. Weedon says:
Hello Kirk!
And what are you? From the backwoods?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Oct 2012 16:23:53 GMT
Kirk says:
Hi Weedon,
I find that your strongest criticism of this work sounds like this: "a work that reaches a so manifestly wrong and ridiculous conclusion."
I can also see that the author reaches out (perhaps bravely, perhaps stupidly) into the grey and unknown fields of science. It seems to me that he is presenting a yet unproven hypothesis. Now, the critics have two options - prove him wrong just out of hand with the already available evidence (if such exists), or find this contradicting evidence. This is how science works...
Now which option will you take? You cannot dismiss a work out of hand just because it sounds wrong to you and so far you have given us no specifics.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2012 09:00:19 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Oct 2012 09:41:52 GMT
H. A. Weedon says:
Greetings Mr Kirk!

The author of this work has been proved wrong over and over again by reliable evidence from meticulous research by a host of learned and dedicated scholars. Apart from that, any thoughtful person reading the text will soon realise that the author's hypothesis cannot be right for a whole number of reasons. The author is so dedicated to grinding his own axe that he doesn't give himself time to pause, stand back and contemplate the whole picture. He makes truth what he wants it to be and not what it actually is.

I obviously haven't the space here to go into chapter and verse, quoting a whole list of examples of how the author has erred, but they are all there for the discerning reader to discover. During the 'middle ages', to which you refer, it was believed that the sun revolved round a flat earth, which was the centre of the universe. Although Copernicus and others were able to prove otherwise, even today there are those who are still arguing against proven fact in vain attempts to bolster up there fanciful and erroneus theories. The author of this work goes one step further: he seeks to dismantle one set of erroneus beliefs only to replace them by an equally erroneus set of his own.

By the way, I assume that 'Kirk' is your forename. If it's your surname I would address you as 'Mr Kirk'. 'Weedon' is my surname. It comes from the place name of a village in Northamptonshire and it derives from two Anglo-Saxon names: 'weoh', meaning a temple, and 'dun' meaning a hill. Hence our modern word 'dune' as in 'sand dunes' and also 'downs' as in 'South Downs'. When the Angles reached that part of the world they must either have discovered a temple on a hill or built one of their own there. The author of this work is like my name. He sees things as they appear to him without undertaking the meticulous research necessary for reaching an accurate conclusion in relation to what is behind them. Just because something looks like an elephant doesn't mean that is is an elephant.

Best wishes Anthony Weedon

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2012 10:20:33 GMT
Kirk says:
Well, you could've been Ms Weedon, Lord Weedon etc etc - thank you for clarifying.
As for the work - I haven't read it yet and would've liked done more specific example(s) of what is so "manifestly wrong".
Until then, I cannot accept your vague and general critique for an indication whether the work is worth my bucks.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2012 10:32:03 GMT
H. A. Weedon says:
You haven't read the work yet? Dear, dear! And here's silly me thought you had!

Posted on 20 Nov 2012 13:25:41 GMT
Thanks, nice to find a sane review. One can hardly take seriously an approach that points out the flaws of one religion only to plunge you into another equally ridiculous one. The problem is there just isn't enough data for the kind of grand conclusions that many authors want to extract. This isn't the book I'm looking for. Move along now!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Nov 2012 14:32:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Nov 2012 14:34:29 GMT
H. A. Weedon says:
Many thanks, Queen's Gambit. You have it in a nutshell.
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