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Customer Review

on February 10, 2004
This book does have some interesting chapters but it is overall quite weak. Pearce's hypothesis is that "...gross economic efficiency, pollution and inhumane working conditions ..." (the result of rampant consumerism and economic expansion) are a direct result of the demise of religion (and the directly related emergence of humanism) since the 19th century. Erroniously, Pearce strongly implies that those who embrace philosophical humanism (which he later freely interchanges with hedonism!) have - by definition - no morality. According to Pearce if you don't believe in God then you must follow the religion of consumerism. Following on from Schumacher's original work (I believe) he writes at length about the seven deadly sins (they're the root of the world's problems) and the Four Cardinal Virtues which we should all aspire to. As religion is so central to his hypothesis it is worth noting that although he begins by refering to the "major world religions" he concentrates solely (except for some fleeting references to Buddhism) on Christianity.
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