Read Divinity of Doubt: The God Question by Vincent Bugliosi Online

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Vincent Bugliosi, whom many view as the nation’s foremost prosecutor, has successfully taken on, in court or on the pages of his books, the most notorious murderers of the last half century—Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson, and Lee Harvey Oswald. Now, in the most controversial book of his celebrated career, he turns his incomparable prosecutorial eye on the greatest target ofVincent Bugliosi, whom many view as the nation’s foremost prosecutor, has successfully taken on, in court or on the pages of his books, the most notorious murderers of the last half century—Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson, and Lee Harvey Oswald. Now, in the most controversial book of his celebrated career, he turns his incomparable prosecutorial eye on the greatest target of all: God. In making his case for agnosticism, Bugliosi has very arguably written the most powerful indictment ever of God, organized religion, theism, and atheism. Theists will be left reeling by the commanding nature of Bugliosi’s extraordinary arguments against them. And, with his trademark incisive logic and devastating wit, he exposes the intellectual poverty of atheism and skewers its leading popularizers—Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins. Joining a 2,000-year-old conversation which no one has contributed anything significant to for years, Bugliosi, in addition to destroying the all-important Christian argument of intelligent design, remarkably—yes, scarily—shakes the very foundations of Christianity by establishing that Jesus was not born of a virgin, and hence was not the son of God, that scripture in reality supports the notion of no free will, and that the immortality of the soul was a pure invention of Plato that Judaism and Christianity were forced to embrace because without it there is no life after death. Destined to be an all-time classic, Bugliosi’s Divinity of Doubt sets a new course amid the explosion of bestselling books on atheism and theism—the middle path of agnosticism. In recognizing the limits of what we know, Bugliosi demonstrates that agnosticism is  he most intelligent and responsible position to take on the eternal question of God’s existence....

Title : Divinity of Doubt: The God Question
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ISBN : 9781593156299
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
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Divinity of Doubt: The God Question Reviews

  • Mike
    2019-01-03 18:42

    Bugliosi is an agnostic, thinks agnosticism is intellectually and morally superior to both theism and atheism, and tries to argue as much in this book. I had high expectations that this would be an interesting and entertaining read, but it pretty much let me down. The first major flaw is his incredibly horrible lack of any understanding of the theory of evolution. He touches on evolution because he feels that atheists use it as a major point in their belief system, which is often partially true, and goes on to say the theory is full of holes and that makes the atheist argument weak. Well, he doesn't know the first thing about the theory. He actually thinks the theory of evolution says that man evolved from monkeys. He also thinks that if a new species evolves from an older species, the older species has to automatically cease to exist. So, how can I trust that he understands anything else that he talks about in the book? The other thing that turned me off was his style. He is a lawyer, a really good lawyer, but also kind of an asshole. A bad combination in terms of writing style. He is constantly denigrating the people he is arguing against. On its face, I don't have a problem with that. If someone is an idiot and says stupid things I think it is okay to call them a stupid idiot. But you damn well better understand the point they are trying to make first and why that point is wrong. He fails to do that in several of his arguments. Oh well, at least he put Charles Manson and a bunch of other murderers away for good. I'll still give him credit for that.

  • David Mantik
    2019-01-09 19:59

    This is an egocentric book, too often superficial, and way too often wrong or misleading. Like many narrowly-trained experts before him, Bugliosi mistakenly thinks that his brainpower will succeed outside his area of expertise. He is not trained in biology or physics or cosmology or theology or philosophy or, for that matter, in any specialty that makes him required reading on God’s existence. He even blunders in history, especially in the history of the early church. Inevitably, therefore, his recurrent idiosyncratic comments are only characteristic of the rank amateur. For these reasons, I cannot even recommend this as an introductory book—the novice reader would not emerge properly grounded. Nor can I recommend it to a moderately sophisticated reader, except possibly for its entertainment value (sometimes unintentional). Such a reader would learn little that was new or valuable. Instead I would strongly propose Why I Became an Atheist by John W. Loftus (an ex-minister). My adjectives about this book are at polar opposites of those about Bugliosi’s book. As we should now expect, though, Bugliosi does not cite this book either. My full review is located athttp://www.assassinationscience.com/D...David W. Mantik

  • sara frances
    2018-12-24 16:04

    first things first, i had to totally skip the chapter on evolution. i got about five pages in and it was just filled with so much ignorance and general jackassery that i couldn't stand it. i did find the rest of the book enjoyable but i kept these things in mind:firstly, Bugliosi clearly loves the sound of his own voice. some of this book kinda reads like him jacking himself off. if people like that annoy the hell outta you, stay clear!and secondly, he is a lawyer and it shows. he puts a spin on lots of "facts" to strengthen his point and make other people look extra dumb. i wouldn't quote anything he said without doing my own fact checking first. those things aside, he does raise some interesting questions and produced a pretty amusing book. more than anything, it was nice to read something from an agnostic perspective.

  • Rachael Booth
    2018-12-30 18:44

    As an atheist I was interested to see what Mr. Bugliosi had to say about the subject of God. However, I was taken aback by his take on atheists (they want to destroy religion - untrue) and his take on Charles Darwin and evolution. When he wrote in his book the silly anti-evolution diatribe of "if man evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?" I put the book down. I had no further interest in reading anything he had to say on the subject when he so obviously had so little knowledge on the subject. $20 wasted to buy this book. Mr. Bugliosi should stick to legal matters.

  • Leftbanker
    2019-01-01 20:59

    Spoiler Alert! There is no god.Having read and thoroughly enjoyed other books by Vincent Bugliosi, I expected that this book would be a bit interesting. Bugliosi completely embarrasses himself with this book. It turns out that his arguments—especially those directed against atheists—were completely childish and uninteresting. I have heard recently a friend argue from the position that agnosticism is somehow morally and intellectually superior to atheism (although they, too, didn’t seem to have the same ax to grind against believers as they did against atheists). To me, the difference between agnosticism and atheism is a completely meaningless distinction. Bugliosi spends most of his book criticizing Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. His critique of both is completely asinine and illogical. He adds nothing new to the argument about whether intelligent people should or should not believe in a god or follow a religion.I wouldn’t spend a second of my time defending Christopher Hitchens, a man who has held so many opposing viewpoints that he must have been constantly dizzy before he croaked, but be careful when you target Richard Dawkins. Bugliosi calls Richard Dawkins superficial, shallow, and a host of other similar adjectives yet he himself goes on to mouth some of the most incredibly puerile arguments against Dawkins. Bugliosi says on more than one occasion in the book that “there is some evidence for evolution” as if there are but a few hints of this earth-shattering observation by Charles Darwin. He seems to rate evolution only a notch above creationism or intelligent design. Dawkins has already deconstructed every silly argument that Bugliosi presents in this unfortunate book. I wasn’t the least interested in what he had to say about religion and believers. I have come to my own conclusions about religion starting from about age five. His arguments added nothing to my own arsenal of doubt and skepticism I have for anything religious. It’s all too silly for me to even ponder at this stage in my life. To put atheists in the same category as believers is patently absurd. Is Bugliosi also agnostic about the existence of fairies? Why is it any different in the case of religion? Just because some people have devoted their lives to religion doesn’t make it any sillier to me than believing in leprechauns, or unicorns, or the Seattle Mariners winning the World Series. Just because we can’t explain everything about the cosmos doesn’t mean that the void leaves room for some sort of supreme being. I had no interest in reading this entire book.

  • Kate
    2019-01-13 15:02

    This was possibly the most useless book I’ve ever come across. I went into it with high hopes, since the author claimed he was going to examine the “God question” without bias and from a purely rational point of view. He claimed that he is qualified to write such a book because he doesn’t tend to be influenced “by the trappings of reputation, hoopla, conventional wisdom, and so on.” He also leads us to believe that he will present the agnostic point of view—not just that we don’t know enough about the existence of God, but that this question is unanswerable. But then he fills the book with arguments based purely on emotional appeal—for example, apparently theists are not allowed to even propose that God is both benevolent and omnipotent, because Mr. Bugliosi feels that a rational discussion about suffering is just too mean. He also reveals an almost complete ignorance of the arguments on both sides. His claim that there is something shady about the theory of evolution is especially pathetic—apparently his pet cat was very clever, and he can’t possibly imagine how being such a quick learner could ever help the animal to survive, so it must be a gift from its creator. He also spends a chapter butchering the Big Bang theory, and then shamelessly admits that he doesn’t understand any of the explanations he read. Maybe he should have started with that, and said it ten times to himself in the mirror. Then he might not have made a complete fool of himself in print. And the worst part is that while he spends many chapters proving how little he knows about both science and theology, he never even attempts to show that God is unknowable—he just sort of gives up with a whimper in the last chapter. Well I guess he claimed that he’s capable of being rational, but he never stated that he in fact planned to actually use this talent while writing this book, so he gets off with one star on a technicality.

  • Dewayne Stark
    2019-01-15 16:45

    Two stars and I am being nice. Yes he is a yellow pad lawyer that still writes his book long hand and gives his writing to a secretary to type. Yes there are still people that do not use computers and I can't fault him for that. But since he seems to me out of touch with technology his writing can be quite funny at times. Page 68: After eating at George's Italian restaurant for several years and rarely ordering anything besides "spaghetti or mostaccioli" George remembers that Vincent once ate ravioli and enjoyed it. "The best technical minds have developed and refined computers, but no computer remotely comes close to answering a question as fast as George answered my question on ravioli"...At least to me, this is nothing short of mind-boggling." and George did it instantaneously, instantly (not a ten of a second, but instantly) on the screen of his mind.I find this mind-boggling that Bugliosi find George out of the ordinary with his memory. Isn't that what restaurant owners and waiters/waitress do, remember customer's orders?Page 70: "Yet in a nanosecond her name came up on the screen of my mind, something that happens to all of us daily." SAY WHAT ??? Synaptic timing is in the 1 to 4 mil second range. A nanosecond is 1/1,000,000,000 second. I am afraid lawyers are not to savy in the math department except for billing clients.Other weakness I see is his comparison of radio and Television never getting any better. That animals are stuck and unchangeable in evolution.

  • Adam
    2019-01-05 17:02

    How does a book published in 2011 manage to read this out of touch? Bugliosi sets out to firmly carve out a middle path between hardcore theists and atheists, but only attacks one at a time and only with arguments belonging to the other side. Aside from a few statements where Bugliosi lays out the logic of an agnostic stance (which I do agree with) this book seems more like several opposing essays mashed into one binding, one from an atheist, and one from a theist, and neither of them very well researched on the other. He does not particularly tackle single topics from both sides, instead pursuing the low hanging fruit without much connecting organization. My first foray into agnostic literature; I hoped for more. I think I'd do better off reading two books of polarized content.

  • Zach
    2018-12-26 22:52

    "You know, the atheists, who not only believe but know there is no God are just as silly as those who seem to have no doubt that there is." p. 4"One doesn't have to beg a good being to be good, one only has to ask a bad being to be good. No? Since the devil is the bad guy, isn't he the one we should be begging for mercy?" p. 6"If anyone was ever in the corner of a murderer it was God with Simpson." p. 8"If a man partakes of a cup of liuid froma large barrel and it tastes to him like a certain, distinct beverage, can he not with confidence say taht tthe rest of the barrel is teh same beverage? Or should he really believe that deeper in the barrel the flavor might change dramatically? What I am saying is taht what I do oknw has convinced me that by and large the religious beleifs about God are a rich and intoxicating brew of myth, superstition, and nonsense." p. 13"This does not mean that God is not responsible for the harmony and order of the universe. It only means that since there is no past human experience to rely on, Christians are not rationally entitled to assert, with the great confidence they do, that the harmony and design of the universe prove that a supernatural being, God, is behind it all." p. 24. Sounds very Humian. "It turns out that the book is primarily not even about God but, as the subtitle of his book declares, about how Religion Poisons Everything. Hitchens apparently believes that by slaying the dragon of organized religion, an unworthy opponent, he is therefore slaying God, an obvious non sequitur." p. 43......... I might have to reread this book but I'm pretty sure Bugliosi is putting words into Hitch's mouth. He never said there is definitely no god because of all the evil religion has done. All he said was that he is rather an Anti-theist than an atheist anyway. Talking about Sam Harris: " In other words, I've destroyed religion, and therefore I've destroyed God. But does Harris actually believe that there can be no God without religion? Indeed, that there can be no belief in a creator, a supreme being, without one being, concomitantly, a member of some organized religion or religious faith? How can anyone believe this? Yet this, apparently, is what at least Harris and his colleague Hitchens believe." p. 48. OK this is an outright lie, at least for Hitchens' sake who I know a lot more about than Harris. Hitchens absolutely believed one could believe in god without religion, i.e. his favorite president (and mine) Thomas Jefferson was of this ilk. Again, just because other people call him an atheist does not mean Hitchens says there is no god and attacks religion, Hitchens calls himself more of an anti-theist and attacks religion and says he thinks there really is no good reason to believe in god. "When I hear theists and atheist pontificating on how they know God does or does not exist, I can only smile at the irrationality and yes, vanity of the notion." p. 48. I'll give you that I've heard theists say that, and some atheists, but not the ones he is attacking here (Hitchens, Dawkins). Dawkins gave himself a 6.9 on a 0-7 scale where 0 is knowing there is a god and 7 is knowing there is no god. Again, he is presuming that these New-Age atheists are claiming they know god doesn't exist and I'm almost certain (see what I did there?) they have not.On the multiple universe theory as it applies to the anthropomorphic principle in Dawkins' view - "The most acclaimed atheist of today has the effrontery to present a pure fantasy of his (and a virtually impossible one at that, unless one wants to run the zeros of improbability to the end of hundreds of pages) as actual evidence that there's no God, and he does it, I assume, without even blushing." p. 56. OK clearly this guy has never heard of the multi-verse theory, calling it pure fantasy... theoretical physicists have been kicking that idea around for a while now in earnest. "Concomitantly, the struggle for life caused the organisms to mutate, to change, to adapt to their demanding environment, the changes making them more complex." p. 62. As he states earlier, he clearly has no idea how evolution works... the struggle for life does not cause mutations."In other words, his theory has been accepted as fact by most scientists on how man evolved, and they therefore reject the notion that God created man." p. 62. NOT TRUE, they can still say that God overlooked evolution. "I can say that viscerally I find it difficult to conceptualize the notion of bacteria evolving into Mozart, or, for that matter, any human. At a much more elementary level, I find it difficult to conceive of how evolution enables any life form, such as a bacteria, not only to improve life itself and become more capable of surviving, but actually allows it to change into a completely different species, many of such transmutations having had to take place for a bacteria to evolve into a human being." p. 63. READ A BOOK ABOUT EVOLUTION THEN I'm running out of characters for this review so I'll just leave it at that. "[D]oesn't the very word "evolution" by definition, mean that the previous life form no longer exists? That it has evolved or mutated into a new or higher form? If so, since monkeys still exist, does that mean, perforce, that we did not evolve from them?" p. 64. NO SHIT SHERLOCK, again, read a book on evolution, we didn't evolve from monkeys, we have a common ancestor with them. This guy is starting to annoy me. 'What does it say about humanity that the one thing people think is important enough to talk about is not that, aside from Noah and his family, God murdered the entire human race, but "I wonder if they'll ever find Noah's ark?"" p. 144. "To pause for a moment, unless God is part homoseual, which I have yet to hear anyone suggest, since the bible says that "God created man in his own image" (Genesis 1:27), how could it come to pass that there are homosexuals in the world?" p. 146. This is actually really funny."Can you imagine that? Thirty grown men with all types of doctorate degrees, wearing suits and ties and boarding planes with their briefcases to fly to Rome and sit around a conference table and actually conduct a serious discussion about limbo. It's mind-boggling." p. 173"The point I am making goes beyond prayers. When people, saying grace before a bountiful Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, thank God for giving them the wonderful food on their plate, don't they realize they are necessarily saying that God decided not to give millions of starving people around the world no food at all to eat?" p. 212"Indeed, isn't the need for laws throughout the land an implied admission that God and religion are only marginally effective in deterring bad and immoral human conduct?" p. 230"Isn't it comforting for people to know that their very firmly held religious beliefs have nothing to do with the quality and merit of the beliefs, and everything to do with geography?" p.231"If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, faith is the first refuge of an idle or apprehensive mind, and though it may perhaps be mentally and emotionally nutritious, it is not intellectually sustainable." p. 254. Last bit is a really well-made phrase.OVERALL IMPRESSION: As much as he tries to promote agnosticism, he is really an anti-theist. Which is good, because that's what I am too. My cousin bought me this book after seeing I was reading a book by Hitchens called "The Portable Atheist," and, although he actually never said this so I hope I am not misreading his intentions, wanted me to expand my horizons and get out of my little atheist corner. I am perhaps putting this in a much more condescending way than it should be, because that was definitely not his intention at all. As I greatly respect his intelligence, so I figured this thoughtful gift would be well worth my time. It was, but for a different reason than he or I thought it would be. Like I said, this was supposed to be a book that engenders agnosticism, and it kinda does get that accomplished. However, he spends much more time bashing religion than anything else in this book (always a fun thing to do if done right). His arguments against atheism are much less prominent and forceful. He merely attacks 'gnostic' atheists, those who say that there is absolutely no way there is a god. I am not under this flag; in the strictest sense, although most people only see 3 exhaustive options in atheist, theist, and agnostic, I consider myself and 'agnostic atheist,' in that I don't believe there is a god (atheist) but cannot say that there is no god (hence agnostic). So when Bugliosi says: "You know, the atheists, who not only believe but know there is no God are just as silly as those who seem to have no doubt that there is," I agree with him, but I really have not come across too many of these types of atheists who say that there absolutely is no god. To be sure, there are some like this there, but the 'new age' atheists that he attacks, Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris, are not of this stripe. I guess I cannot say this for sure of Harris, as I am only a tiny bit familiar with his position (a few youtube videos here and there, I haven't read anything by him yet). Ironically, as much as he tries to put down Hitchens for his book "God is Not Great." this book actually reminded a lot of GiNG. It was replete with some very interesting and keen attacks on the absurdities and atrocities of organized religion, mostly christianity and especially the catholic church. Very well picked and deserving targets, in my opinion. What is a little different about this book than GiNG is that this focuses more on the absurdities and a little bit about the atrocities, while GiNG focuses more on the atrocities and a little bit about the absurdities, although, needless to say, they go hand-in-hand and reciprocate each other. So, besides the bit about evolution and straw man attacks on virtually non-existent intransigent atheism, this was a pretty informative and entertaining book. Also, this seemed to be a pretty quick 270 pages, which is probably a product of the 2-guys-just-sitting-around-talking-casually writing style and interesting subject matter. I'm only giving it 4 stars, however because of the "If we evolved from monkeys, then why are they still here?" boneheaded fuck up.

  • Stacy Turner
    2018-12-16 23:05

    Someone avoided some very basic definitions and premises to spew a narrative that is on the logic level of a Ken Ham or Ray Apple. Hard to finish as he is trying so hard to change the definitions 1984 newspeak style to make his position easier to defend. As an owner of an Oxford Dictionary, I of course must reject his premise, and point out why it is wrong and why it makes this book difficult to read without going on a seven, perhaps eight state shooting spree. Utilizing the logically false idea misconception that agnosticism is somehow a more “reasonable” stance or a 3rd position while atheism is more “dogmatic,” ultimately indistinguishable from theism except in the details. This is not a frustrating argument because it misrepresents or misunderstands everything involved and is Theology/Philosophy 101 stuff, and he should be embarrassed to attempt this veteran debate with incorrect data.Do you believe in a god/gods? This answers whether you are a theist or atheist.Do you know if a god/gods exist? This will determine if you are gnostic or agnostic. Little g gnostic.Please not these are two entirely different questions.Captain America is an agnostic theist. He has met and works closely with two gods he refuses to classify as gods and believes in a third which he has not met.Hulk has met and beat the shit out of two gods, whom he also works with but does not believe in gods due to their puny nature. Hulk is a gnostic atheist.Iron Man is the employer of two gods, he writes checks to them, and conducts employee reviews on these gods. Yet he is a agnostic atheist. He believes they are just too technologically advanced and most to stupid to grasp the truth and the gods to lazy to have a short defintion to replace the Supernatural god label to explain the source of their seeming divinity/Infernal powers and he also doesnt believe in gods.Deadpool has met has sex with and/or killed many gods. Thus he gives little credence to the title and is by definition a god of sorts having married a incarnation of immortality, Death. His insanity and ability to talk to us in this universe has made it possible to believe in just about anything. Deadpool both believes in gods and knows gods exist. Although I doubt sexual excitement or homicidal offerings to be any sort of worship the gods may be expecting. Deadpool is a gnostic theist (poly).The author therefore engages in a frustrating Equivocation and weasel wording fallacy the entire book where the virtue of his version of agnosticism answers both questions somehow, even though one is about knowing, the other about faith or belief. He is solidly a characatured virtue signaling intellectually dishonest philosopher preaching from upon a very, very tall horse trotting upon the debate fence as the typical confused but vehement stereotype of the "seem reasonable to everyone" guy by avoiding the questions by choosing to use a false premise that their is a third position and avoiding the question of belief or faith. The author answers with confidence two questions he intentionally straw mans into one, which answers neither.You will learn nothing but the limits of your own patience by reading this vehement cluster of a virtue gong.If you ever meet someone who aggressively identifies as a agnostic shouting both sides are wrong, these are the behaviors and false premises you as a theist or atheist will be clobbered with. Along with the bucketful of freshmen philosophy of "you can't really know anything 100%". True enough, but not a useful answer, so I take statistical outcomes and Vegas odds because the fence is an uncomfortable chair from which to teach anything of value. Unless you are teaching about fences, I reckon.

  • George
    2019-01-10 22:44

    CAN I GET AN AMEN.“How can such numbing, staggering stupidity continue without end?”—page 197Vincent Bugliosi’s rant entitled ‘Divinity of Doubt: The God Question,’ is a pretty remarkable book. After reading just the first sixty pages or so, though, that’s nothing at all like what I was thinking. Instead, I felt compelled to draft a rather scathing review, headed: LAWYERLY TWADDLE, ante up a one-star rating, and postulate that, “Were I in the jury box while he made these arguments verbally, mine would be the first face to glaze over in incomprehension.” I should know better than judge too early.After I’d put that draft away, slept on it awhile and continued on (and I’m very glad that I did continue on) the reading just kept getting better and better. Then it dawned on me. During those first sixty pages, or so, it had been my team’s ox that was being gored. Once the horns turned and it was the other team’s ox getting gored, both the writing and logic improved substantially.I’m still biased against agnosticism, as the first refuge of those slackers who want to have their cake and eat it too, but I guess can accept that it might be a valid option as a, less than sterling, second place choice.Recommendation: If there was a Robert G. Ingersoll Award for Excellence in Free Thinking, (and why isn’t there such an award?) Bugliosi’s magnum opus would get my enthusiastic support for first place.“If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.” [Voltaire]—page 202Adobe Digital Edition [ePub] from http://overdrive.colapublib.org/, 326 pages

  • Riccardo
    2018-12-18 16:39

    Vincent Bugliosi, the attorney that prosecuted Charles Manson, details here the major differences between the believers, agnostics, and athiests. He cites all the inconsistencies contained in the bible and dispels the notion that God is a caring and kind God. His ability to hold up to believers, Christians in particular, their hypocricies of what they choose to believe based on their own personal beliefs; another words: they pick and choose passages in the bible in order to suit their own selfish ends. In the end, he admits that he doesn't know if God exsits because there is no evidence. Certainly, he does a fine job explaining that the bible was written by man and as we all know, man is flawed.

  • John Martindale
    2018-12-21 19:03

    I expected the book to be more on agnosticism, but the Divinity of Doubt was mostly a polemic against Christianity, it also contained a brief section where he expressed his doubts concerning evolution which guaranteed his target audience would hate the whole book. It definitely was a mixed bag; sometimes it seems he did his research, so to accurately represent what he would then ridicule; pointing out absurdities and bad logic within mainstream Christian doctrines. Other times, especially when touching on the moral arguments for God, he failed spectacularly in a Richard Dawkinish fashion. Speaking of Dawkins, he parrots Dawkins stipulative definition of faith, which pays absolutely no mind to how religious people use and understand the word; as relational trust that is grounded on evidence. In his look and interpretation of the history of religious violence, verses that in atheistic regimes, and the ill effect of Christianity on culture, it seemed he lost all sense of balance and reasonableness. Sometimes he seemed inconsistent and rather muddle in reasoning, but it was this that gave the book had a personal feel. I almost felt like I was sitting down with him, hearing his rant, expressing what seems so irrational and morally repugnant about Christianity, while also touching upon doubts concerning evolution and certain things which suggest to him that maybe there is a God. Quite often I found myself nodding my head in agreement, as he expressed his exasperation over many Christian beliefs. It was interesting that the majority of doctrines he poured scorn upon, are ones that I, as a Christian have rejected, (and often on biblical grounds); things like eternal conscious torment in hell, penal substitutionary atonement, inheriting Adams guilt, God's exhaustive and fixed knowledge of everything that will happen, the Protestants denigration of good works, simplistic notions of omnipotence, the damnation of people simply because the accident of where and when they were born, and the accuracy of many of the Old Testament's portraits of the divine as a violent and unstable warrior god.I think what touched a nerve, causing another little faith crisis in me, was his writing on the absolute absurdity and lunacy of prayer, it was troubling just how much it resonated with me and voiced what I've thought and felt. Indeed it seems no matter how pious and full of faith are those who pray, no matter how many pray, no matter how fervently they persist, still the likelihood of prying open the clinched fist of the one who acts like the indifferent and unjust judge, is like winning the lottery. I have the wrong personality for it all and marvel those who just keep at it. Truly, because of all the promises in scripture, and the biblical writers raising our expectations to obscene heights, the impotence of prayer has to be among the great evidence against either the existence of God, the goodness and truthfulness of God, or evidence for the biblical authors misrepresenting an aloof and absentee God, who maintains a strict hands off policy. Indeed one of the most problematic things for me to grapple with, is how it sometime seems God does answer prayers, which then makes him seem all the more culpable and arbitrary the 99% of the time that he doesn't. This all intertwines in my mind with the problem of evil, and how if any earthly father acted towards his children with the indifference that the heavenly Father does his towards his own children—allowing every harm and evil to befall though able to prevent it, he'd be locked up and likely despised. So yeah, this book, ended up being the impetus to yet another revaluation, adjusting even further, moving another step away from the orthodox understanding of God. Today I was thinking about how I've hoped God would be a sufficient cause in my life and how in this I've been regularly disappointed,. It does seem for me God is necessary cause though, though not sufficient, indeed part of the equation, there is something about belief in Him that moves me to change my thinking, to try to be more human, instead of letting the animal in me gain complete dominance. I know it is a fact that perspective, and how we think can transform our life. So possibly, indirectly, God, whether he does or does not exist, 0 can continue to be a positive force in my life, motivating me to consider my highest good, not just for my present self, but future self and motivating me to love and be good to others.The other thought was if I can fully embrace the concept of Christ as the head, and we are the body, and thus strip away any expectation of his doing anything overt, like offering supernatural strength, physical healing or intervening in world events, then I might be able to again embrace the belief God's love. This love can simply be that warm welcome, like a hug, a deep acceptance and belonging. It dawned on me, I can feel this from some friends, and I don't expect them to be able to meet certain needs or bring world peace, but this doesn't negate how their smile and welcome is life giving to my soul. Through meditation I have experienced the acceptance and warm embrace of Love from God, which is life giving, brightening my countenance and bring joy to life . I haven't been able to enjoy this for a long time, because of the disappointment that came from misguided expectations. Yes, expectations that are there because of the New Testament. I guess I am forced to differ and disagree with the likes of Peter and Paul, and sometimes even Jesus. Ironically, I must do this so I can stay on board and remain a Christian.

  • Todd McDonough
    2019-01-01 23:01

    REVIEW FROM AN AGNOSTIC: I can't say I've ever written a book review before, but this book without a doubt deserves one. Throughout the course of the book I was teetering between two stars and three stars, but what pulled it over to three stars was it's entertainment value because in that sense it is a fun book.Pros: Entertainment value, a few interesting points to look into: (virgin birth, immortality of the soul, unknown author of the Torah, Jesus suffering from delusions of grandeur, social darwinism, and murphy's law). This list, although not comprehensive, is what I believed the most interesting points he brought up throughout the book and made the book worth reading.Cons: The one thing I greatly disliked about this book was his highly emotional arguments. For most of the book he rambles about how immoral the Christian God, and although he may be correct he came off very unintelligent because instead of presenting facts in a mature manner it sounded like he was just a kid whining on a school playground about how unfair everything is. Another con about the book is you can tell although he knows a few interesting things about religion this is definitely not his area of expertise. Some of the areas that he covered including: The problem of evil, the teological argument, the born-again doctrine, Religiosity/dysfunction comparison, he got blatantky inncorrect. I wish he would have fact checked himself in many areas because I was embarrased for him with some of his arguments. Lastly the worst part was his arrogance, almost like he believed he was 100% correct in everything he said about Christianity and atheism. Sorry Vincent but you were wrong on a lot.Overall though, it was a very fun book and it did gave me a lot to look into. I must mention I am agnostic and although I disagreed with a lot of his arguments I do agree with his conclusion.

  • Riley Haas
    2019-01-15 16:03

    "It's hard to know what to say about this book: I agree - most of the time - with Bugliosi's position on this subject. But, as with his Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, this comes off as an unorganized rant that is made all the worse because he constantly claims other people - in this book, philosophers no less - are incapable of reasoning like he is, and then he makes ridiculous, irrational arguments, sometimes of the exact kind he is criticizing. And this experience is maddening for an agnostic like me so I can't understand what it would be like for a died-in-the-wool Christian or an atheist fundamentalist, the people he is supposedly trying to convert. The more I read of Bugliosi, the more I find he should stick to true crime. This is certainly a vast improvement on the Bush mess, but it's still far from an ideal argument for the agnostic point of view, and that makes me a sad panda.Probably the biggest problem is the way the book is organized: into 19 arbitrarily organized chapters and two "bookends." In chapter 3 - I think - Bugliosi proves, in one of the many ways possible, that the Christian God does not exist. Great. I agree. But then he spends the vast majority of the rest of the book harping on the problems with Christian belief! I mean, why??? He already demonstrated the Christian God does not exist. Either leave out the rest, or move everything around: the 'Christian God does not exist' should be at the end, if he is going to include all the other, unnecessary stuff about absurdities of the Bible and the rites of the religion.And, in addition to the organization problems, there are three chapters that just don't cut the mustard.First, his chapter on atheist fundamentalism just reeks of personal attacks. I am no fan of Dawkins or of Hitchens, but Bugliosi seems to have misinterpreted the purposes of their books. (Maybe he hasn't, I haven't read them.) But that's not really my problem: Bugliosi spends a chapter attacking them and Harris, but mentions Bertrand Russell once. If Bugliosi is going to take on an atheist, maybe he should take on Russell instead, after all Russell has thoroughly discussed the philosophical arguments for the existence of god to an extent than dwarfs the combined discussion by Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens. (In fact, it is my understanding that none of these three "fundamentalists" even discuss those arguments that Russell destroys.) So that's a pretty major cherry picking issue.Second, his chapter on evolution is lazy and frankly pathetic. Bugliosi does this "I'm just a humble trial lawyer" shtick which is infuriating because we know he is a smart man. He claims to have read far more on evolution than I, but then fails to understand it at even the most basic level. He seems to not want to understand it though, as he questions Darwin on evolution, apparently willing to ignore 150 years of evolutionary biology he supposedly read about before he wrote the book. Whatever questions he thinks he has - about the "gaps" in the record, for example - would no doubt be better answered by a modern text - such as Darwin's Ghost - and not by Darwin himself.Here are two really terrible examples of Bugliosi's inductive reasoning run amok:First, Bugliosi cherry picks moments from his life where he remembers people having incredible memories and claims that evolution has no explanation for this - that there must be something more. He of course fails to mention the millions of times in each of our lives where we can't find what we've supposedly lost or remember what we were going to say. (He actually does sort of address this issue, in a completely different section of the book, discussing a different issue, as some kind of attempt at finding god, which makes the cherry picking all the more absurd.) There is no argument here: sometimes people have amazing recall of certain things and sometimes I can't find my glasses that I took off my face 25 seconds ago.Second, Bugliosi claims that human beings have not seen the evolution in pets that we have seen in ourselves during recorded history - that recorded history demonstrates this. But this is beyond ridiculous: humans now live longer lives and dominate the globe like we never have before, because we have focused ourselves on doing so. Is this a natural evolution? Hardly. We can do things that pets cannot in this regard. So I am bigger and healthier than my ancestors but am I fundamentally a different species??? Further, Bugliosi ignores selective breeding, which of course demonstrates how evolution sometimes stops working when human beings involve themselves in it: in many ways its the opposite of what would be caused by nature, because how would purebreds survive without people and modern veterinary care?The third chapter that is hugely problematic is his chapter on the first cause argument. Russell has demonstrated the problems with this argument, and Bugliosi does not take him on. Instead, Bugliosi seems to be saying that it is not fair to claim we do not know what caused the universe unless we call this unknown thing god. At least I think that is what he arguing, as he is very confused about it, attacking atheists for their arguments about the logical problems with the first cause while remaining seemingly completely, willfully ignorant of the science on the matter. On one page Bugliosi literally attacks the scientific perspective for not being sure about what caused the universe and on the next page basically names this unsureness, which he is suddenly defending, "god." (If that's what god is, we have problems: most people are not deists.)The bookends are also highly problematic - based completely on inductive reasoning - but I won't bother with them, as they clearly are meant more as extended footnotes.Fortunately for us readers, Bugliosi's concluding chapter is pretty much faultless and I found that after reading it, I disliked the rest of the book a lot less than I did while reading the above three chapters. So to sum up I would say that this isn't about convince anyone who isn't already an agnostic to be an agnostic, which is unfortunate, but that it does contain excellent discussions of the inherent absurdities of religion, and an excellent argument in favour of morality outside of religion. So those things, I think, outweigh the many, many problems in the early going."

  • Mark Sebert
    2019-01-09 19:48

    What a lack luster book. It was okay for the fact that actually made stronger and more gnostic in my atheism. Shortly after reading this I even dropped the agnostic label completely. No more agnostic atheism for me, just pure atheism. I will even say with boldness that there is no god. That is how effective this book is at making its case. The chapter on evolution I had to skim, he clearly needs to stick to his law stuff. It was dreadful, almost put the book down. Glad I didn't though his chapters on Christianity and the problem of evil were five star in my opinion, they really exposed some good stuff on why a christian god cannot exist. Like I said before, this only aided in my becoming stronger in my atheism not in my agnosticism. Trying to leave a possibility open is one the major flaws of agnosticism. No one in their right mind leaves a possibility open for faeries, giants, dwarfs, unicorns, etc. So why gods? And it focuses on the wrong thing - possibility instead of probability. What is the actual probability of a god, ghost, or unicorn existing? If it is less than one percent than it is pointless to play semantics and maybe games, just say gods don't exist and be on with it. Also, what is a god anyway, by definition they are contradictory and absurd. A timeless being cannot make decisions, and a space-less entity by definition does not exist. I could go on and on, but I find the arguments weak and the book as a whole okay. Two stars for clear concise writing and for helping me become a stronger atheist.

  • Blair Hodgkinson
    2019-01-16 16:40

    Lawyer Bugliosi puts faith and atheism on trial, and moves for conviction on both in favour of agnosticism, an admission that no one really knows if there is a god or not. His attacks both on religious belief and atheism are both enthusiastic, and while his scathing attacks on religion gouge deeply and to the numbering of many pages, his assault on atheism is much less powerful. As Bugliosi himself admits, he's not exactly a physicist or a biologist and his poor grasp of physics and evolution lead him off-track on more than a few occasions. Did he turn me from an atheist to an agnostic? Despite giving me some food for thought... no. Still, this is a good read if mainly to enjoy the directness of his attacks against the credulous followers of religion.

  • Israel Dryer
    2019-01-12 22:57

    The author was so pompous I couldn't bring myself to finish. He tries to come across as an expert in everything, but instead comes across as an ass.

  • Todd Martin
    2018-12-21 20:06

    Divinity of Doubt: The God Question is a laughably bad book. You have to hand it to Vincent Bugliosi (an attorney known for his prosecution of Charles Manson) though, he's not afraid to put his breathtaking ignorance right out there in the open for all to see. Part of the problem seems to stem from his boastful assertions that he doesn’t own or know how to use a computer. It’s a shame; the Google could have saved him from some deeply embarrassing moments. Anyway, let’s jump right in and address the core of his argument, which is that because it’s neither possible to prove nor dis-prove God’s existence, that the only intellectually honest position to take on the question is agnosticism. He purportedly comes to this conclusion through a critical review of the best arguments for theism and atheism, finding each of them lacking in turn.This line of argumentation fails to pass even a cursory examination. A rational mind-set requires one to be open to new evidence (just not so open that one’s brain falls out). Thus no atheist of whom I’m aware (including Richard Dawkins) claims to “know” that God does not exist. Instead, they attribute a probability to his existence that is commensurate with the evidence (a value that is, of course, vanishingly small … in fact we have the same evidence for God as exists for Zeus, garden fairies, bigfoot, Vishnu, Xenu and an extra dimension of the universe that contains socks missing from the clothes dryer). Atheists live their lives as if no God exists, because it’s the only rational conclusion that can be drawn given the complete lack of evidence.Bertrand Russell elucidated this point more than half a century ago:“I ought to call myself an agnostic; but, for all practical purposes, I am an atheist. I do not think the existence of the Christian God any more probable than the existence of the Gods of Olympus or Valhalla. To take another illustration: nobody can prove that there is not between the Earth and Mars a china teapot revolving in an elliptical orbit, but nobody thinks this sufficiently likely to be taken into account in practice. I think the Christian God just as unlikely.”Bugliosi’s arguments are so bad on this point that I doubt he even believes them himself. Though he claims over and over that he’s an extremely rational person who uses evidence and his legal background to inform his world-view, it is, in fact, deeply irrational to adopt a middle position (maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, I just don’t know) for truth claims for which absolute certainty is impossible. Is it reasonable to be agnostic when it comes to a claim that I have an invisible dragon named Clarence living in my garage (who’s also a werewolf, but can’t be killed by silver bullets)? You may also be interested to know that this same dragon also likes to play backgammon on Thursday evenings (except, of course on nights when the moon is full). Since this claim is impossible to refute, Bugiosi must be agnostic as to its veracity (if he intends in any way to be intellectually consistent). If that's the case, I’d be hard pressed to imagine a more irrational mindset. Though not central to his core premise, I’d be remiss if I failed to address his views regarding evolution, which are so mind-numbingly ill-informed it’s mystifying as to why he’d ever choose to commit them to paper. Here are three examples:1. He has a hard time believing in evolution because he can’t imagine how a single celled life form could evolve into a human being (or more generally how evolution leads to complexity). Not only is this an archetypal example of the logical fallacy known as the argument from incredulity, it also provides a glimpse into Bugliosi’s astounding paucity of imagination. A quick search for “origins of biological complexity” will return more than 30 million results in case you want to investigate for your self why it's known to have occurred.2. He asserts that evolution can’t be true because there are no transitional fossils. Really? Hasn’t everyone with a modicum of scientific literacy been made aware of Archaeopteryx or Tiktaalik by now? If that isn’t sufficient there are hundreds of other transitional fossils listed here.3. Finally (as if that weren’t enough) Bugliosi, actually says (and I’m not making this up) “If humans evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?” <> double face palm <> Answer: We didn’t, monkeys and humans evolved from a common ancestor. Also, humans are more closely related to modern apes than to monkeys (he didn't even get that part right).All this is to say that the book is bad … really … it’s just terrible. In fact I didn't finish it for fear I'd be dumber at the end than when I started. I’m not sure what’s worse, the abysmal writing, the poorly researched content or the smug self-satisfied assurance with which the material is presented. Let’s call it a tie.

  • Beverly
    2019-01-09 16:02

    In my opinion Bugliosi ranks as one of the best true crime writers we have, but I cannot say the same about his venture into the genre of religion. Unfortunately I can only recommend this particular book as kindling for your fire. I’m not sure why Bugliosi thought he had something fresh to say in this book that has not been said before. There is nothing new under the sun in this one. Indeed, it shows a good deal of ignorance on Bugliosi’s part in the areas of philosophy, science, history, theology, and scripture. The man really should invest in a computer and get hooked up to the internet so he could do a little research on some of the things he put in this book. Several of his errors are glaringly obvious. For instance he thinks there are 15 more books in the Protestant Old Testament than there are in the Hebrew Old Testament. Actually the Hebrew Old Testament is the same as the Protestant Old Testament, it is just ordered differently. In his discussion on Islam he says Aisha was Muhammad’s first wife. Actually Khadijah was Muhammad’s first wife and she was his only wife as long as she lived. She played a key role in the rise of Islam. Aisha was the child bride of Muhammad, bethrothed to him at the age of 6 and married to him by the age of 9 or 10. She was the daughter of Abu Bakr, a close friend of Muhammad’s. And if Bugliosi is confused on why there is trouble between the Arabs and the Jews, he really doesn’t know much about the history of Islam. This book is mostly an attack on Christianity with a few swipes at atheists and evolutionists thrown in. Bugliosi thinks that the only sane view concerning God is the agnostic view and if you hold anything other than that you are stupid and/or ignorant and could not possibly have reached your conclusion using reason and logic (these are all his words, not mine). He completely misrepresents the Catholic Church which is rich in 2000 years of history and theology. The Catholic worldview is that Christ established a church that is led by the Holy Spirit and preserved by this same Holy Spirit from falling into error in matters of doctrine. That means the Church can have bad Popes (which she has had), but no Pope who will teach doctrinal error (which they haven’t as far as I’ve been able to discern). The Catholic Church is the one who gave us the Bible, the one who determined it was inspired by God. We would have no other way of knowing, in my opinion. The attack on Pope Pius XII has been refuted with many very good factual arguments; many were testimony from Jews who expressed gratitude to Pope Pius XII for all he did during the war. Apparently Bugliosi hasn’t read them. The Chief Rabbi of Rome during the Nazi occupation and persecution of the Jews, Israel Zolli, became a Catholic in 1945. Why would he have done that if Pope Pius XII was a friend of Hitler? Answer: he wouldn’t have since he was in a position to see first hand what was happening. If Pope Pius XII had spoken out, Hitler would have killed even more Jews. There is ample evidence that is what Hitler did when people spoke against him. Bugliosi thinks that the only rule we should live by is the golden rule, treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. He fells to follow that advice in this book. Instead of saying charitably, “Although I don’t hold that belief, I can understand how you might hold it”, he responds instead with “Some people would believe that pigs can fly!” All I can do is repeat a statement made by St. Thomas Aquinas when he was talking about his fellow Dominicans, “I would rather believe that pigs can fly than that Bugliosi could lie”. Skip this book, there is much better stuff out there.

  • Matt
    2019-01-03 17:38

    Bugliosi tackles his most difficult topic yet, sure to face the ire of many, when he argues against the existence of God and all that is Christianity. Taking a highly legalistic and academic approach, he presents strong arguments, providing proofs at every turn, to turn Christianity on its head and dismiss the rational belief in its tenets, as well as the possibility of God's being. Giving credence to the silliness of both theism and atheism, Bugliosi argues that nothing makes sense, even if Christians are spoon-fed a set of beliefs and do not question anything. Using direct biblical passages, Bugliosi shows how the Old and New Testaments are filled with directions and parables that contradict one another. He posits that no rational being could, after stepping back and taking an analytical look at the Christian God and the religion associated with it, uphold any of its pillars. Filled with humourous asides, Bugliosi's book is a must-read for anyone who holds an open mind and can except the possibility of something other than the force-fed drivel Christian churches and the larger religious foundation had brought about for two millennia.Bugliosi uses his books less as soap boxes to inculcate others and more to point out a perspective that has not previously come to light. Bugliosi makes it clear in his introduction that he would not write a book in which he could bring a new and yet to be addressed set of arguments to the discussion. He does not cut down God or Christianity in a scathing or mean-hearted way, but, through academic and legal foundations, pokes holes into the arguments that are laid out in the every day tenets of the religion. Taking time to highlight the downfall of Catholicism and its inherent hypocrisy, Bugliosi ensures the reader sees just how duplicitous the Vatican tends to be as the longest-standing face of Christianity and the one that professes to be the only 'true' message delivery system. A open-minded reader cannot get enough of these arguments, as they serve only to enrich and strengthen the overall argument without tossing mud or stones.Addressing some of the key stumbling blocks that Christianity tries to hide: improper translation of religious texts, uselessness of God and Heaven, inability to present sound arguments for what goes on in the world, and the hypocrisy of organised religion (based on the teachings of Jesus), Bugliosi weaves arguments that connect seamlessly to the repeated stumblings of Christianity. His great discussions create more than a few 'aha' moments and strongly solidifies the agnostic set of beliefs. Numerous times throughout the text, he reiterates that he is not on any sort of bullying tactic, but simply defending against the inculcated wrongs that Christianity passes off and a refusal to address the contradictions. Call the text a refutation of 2000 years of incorrect messaging that needs reassessing.Kudos are not powerful enough, Mr. Bugliosi. I finish each of your books and want more, to open my mind to new and interesting topics. I cannot recommend this book enough, as its entertainment and academic value are second to none.

  • Carl Martinez
    2019-01-04 20:39

    I was surprised I liked this book considering I can't stand Vincent Bugliosi. Bugliosi is a member of the American communist party, reason he garners so much press for the Manson trial he's famous for was the ultra-left panicked when Manson espoused racist views and tattooed a swastika on his forehead and they were afraid the hippie movement was going to turn into a fascistic nazi hate group...and considering most of them were stoned out of their minds that might have happened. So the irony a man who technically never killed anybody is commonly thought of as evil personafide just short of Satan and Hitler. Now I'm not defending Manson nor am I a supporter, the guy was bat bleep insane but there have been far worse murders before and after the Manson family. So out of curiosity I decided to see what some psycho attorney who wants W prosecuted for war crimes had to say about God (before the hate comments/mail come in, I am not nor never been a Republican, and never voted for either Bush or his father...it's five years later...good lord move on)...surprisingly in this book he doesn't come across as a pompous know it all twerp (Helter Skelter) or an annoying paranoid leftie (Persecution of W...), he makes an outstanding sound argument against the idea of the "Judeo-Christian" God, and while I don't necessarily agree with him I admit he presents his case in a way that is hard to debate. But...he is not an atheist and in the same way he deconstructs the idea of the "Chrisitan" God he takes on atheistic and evolutionary theory adherents. Now there were many things I still disagreed and disputed with him to the point I lowered what should be a four star rating to three. I don't remember his wording exactly but at the beginning he mentions speaking with a priest about "why God would let children be murdered" or something like that, to which he claims the priest said "I'll get back to you on that" and never did...how cliche. I asked that and similar questions to my high school teachers in private religious school and they answered it on the spot. As if nobody in the 2,000 years of Christendom has ever been challenged or asked that question? Yeah. He critiques so called Creationists opinion of the world being 6,000 years old...he doesn't mention Christians are not in agreement with the age of the world, some take the Bible too literally while others think much of it is allegory. He does get rather annoying when he goes on his tangents on "W" and Karl Rove, and his comments about someone he knew who was "retarded" for lack of a better word using that which he chose to use I found very offensive, but seems since certain politicians I won't mention the "r" word has become "politically correct", and it wasn't the use of the word that offended me, it was his descriptions and insults of that person. If you're interested in the subject then I would recommend the book but be advised he does get into off topic rants here and there.

  • Dennis Mitton
    2018-12-29 14:53

    In search of good agnostic philosophy I tripped against the bookshelves and Bugliosi’s Divinity of Doubt fell into my basket. I wish I had noticed it before I hit the check-out counter. It’s, well, pretty lousy and I could have saved fifteen bucks.Vincent Bugliosi is a famous, high-profile LA attorney whose success cannot be tied to his ability to make a well-reasoned and cogent argument. And maybe that’s not the purpose of this book. He pokes hard at atheists and theists and hardest by far at Christians. But he never really develops arguments. He brings up facts as he sees them and pronounces judgement. “This just doesn’t sit well with me” or “from my view this doesn’t make sense” are the closest he comes. He hits on the big questions but pontificates without real analysis. If he has sought understanding from the experts he doesn’t tells us. He has views and is more than happy to share them but fails to fully develop the points of either side. Neither high nor low-brow Christian theology impresses me much but he paints such a simple caricature of theology that it’s an easy piñata to whack and spill. Not with a stick or with strong arguments but mostly with strong feelings. These things just don’t sit well with the great lawyer.The chapter on evolution is the worst I’ve ever read by someone who does not claim to be a creationist. He complains throughout that the authors of the books he read are poor writers and worse at explaining their points. In the South we call that ‘The pot calling the kettle black’. I won’t argue that Darwin can be a slog (cf here). But crapomoly – what about Why Evolution is True ? It’s an excellent and well written book. Or Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene? Or even Smith’s The Theory of Evolution? He misunderstands almost every key point of the science and finally wonders – embarrassingly - why we still have monkeys if humans descended from them? Ugh. He concludes the chapter with a common creationist manta – he thinks he can get behind small changes in the same kind of animal (Thanks! Good to know!) but can’t see how something as gloriously special and unique as man came to be through evolution. Oh well.I don’t argue with most of his pontifications. I’m sure we would get along just fine over a nice dinner. But in the end he comes off as a man who is very used to having his say and watching people listen, nod their heads, and agree. I don’t always work that way.A last nit-pinking point - there are numerous spacing errors and typos throughout the book. I get used to them when reading or writing blogs on the fly but they bother me when I shell out money for a book.2 Stars – maybe useful for someone new to these questions

  • Tim
    2019-01-06 14:58

    I could probably give this 4 stars, but perhaps I'm becoming a bit jaded to these religious polemics. It's sad that I waste my time and somehow perversely enjoy seeing an author rip up illogical and irrational belief systems.This book is almost exclusively a shredding of Christianity and a lot less an argument for agnosticism. I was curious to learn how an entire book could be written on agnosticism because it seemed impossible. My impressions may have been correct, as the author spends the bulk of the book dismantling Christianity. The best part of the book was the preface where he set the reader's expectation. Without his caveats, most readers probably would be disappointed - and Bugliosi knew this. He promised fresh arguments, and he delivered; as unimaginable as that might seem since tomes of anti-Christian writings have been written for centuries going back to at least Thomas Paine. Speaking of whom, Bugliosi rips Paine but I wasn't buying it. I read Paine. I've read the Bible. I see no problems and suspect Bugliosi was primarily looking for tiny foibles of Bible skeptics in an effort to really appear objective. My view was that it took some serious lawyer twisting to maintain this facade.Hitchens, Dawkins, et. al are attacked in the book for failing to make a successful argument of "no God" because as Bugliosi correctly points out, attacking religion isn't the same as proving there's no God. That's the bulk of his argument against the atheism.One criticism I have within that section of the book was when citing Dawkin's probability argument. Dawkins takes the argument of "look at how complex everything is, therefore God" and says God would have to be even more complex. Mathematically we can conclude that all that complexity is improbable and God would be even more improbable. Bugliosi failed to recognize that Dawkins' argument was from probability, which is a valid argument under the assumption that God is more complex than the universe. I viewed Bugliosi's argument as a straw man. Along those lines, I would have liked to see more on disproving atheism. He does try, but his inability to grasp biology was difficult to trudge through. I think maybe he should have taken a class or hired a tutor to help him understand some basic principles.He makes some very convincing arguments. My guess is that he's throwing his pearls before swine.

  • David Melbie
    2019-01-14 19:55

    This book was OK. Bugliosi makes a great case for agnosticism, but he makes himself out to be a mere "fence-sitter," while claiming that theists and atheists all got it wrong, or are too extreme in their beliefs. Granted, I can identify with being an agnostic -- claiming that I don't know if God exists or not -- but I try to remain consistent. At one point early on in his book, Bugliosi slips when he mentions the devil and then in parentheses says that he doesn't believe in the existence of the devil. I would think that if one is agnostic about God, one would also have to be agnostic about the devil, but maybe I am being too picky. He uses bible passages a lot and then says that using the bible is not acceptable in debates about proving the existence of God.When in the chapter that deals briefly with other religions, Bugliosi mentions the statistics that show Christianity as the number one religion, Islam as number two, then he places Hinduism at number three. But realistically, non-believers are the third largest group, and that is where I sit. After reading this not-very-well-written jab, it is not clear where Bugliosi sits. At the end he rants a bit about life's little inconveniences, such as always having to go to the higher numbered gates at airports, always getting the same annoying teller at his bank, etc., and wonders if there is some "perverse force at play in the universe." My response is that he should just let it go. . .

  • Colt
    2019-01-05 23:05

    I am a fan of Mr. Bugliosi, I enjoy his writing style. Every book of his that I've read, Outrage, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder and Reclaiming History. That being said I picked this book up with great anticipation. Religion alone is difficult enough topic to take on let alone trying to prove or disprove one's point on it. I can appreciate that Mr. Bugliosi tried to argue that all sides of religion with Agnosticism being the most valid (which I agree). However it seems what could be in a quick two minute description on your thoughts on God or Religion, the author spread it incredibly thin going so far as to point out that he isn't an expert in the field; which is easy to pick up on his tone, anybody that reads Vince Bugliosi books can see the cocksure nature when he describes his history of winning every homicide case, loosing only on criminal case. That tone seems to be silent and shaky in his narrative, almost as if there's doubt. When you think about it that's the irony of the whole situation as even the great Vincent Bugliosi isn't immune from doubt...oh how divine. Just because you can dissect the law of man with the craft of a master surgeon doesn't mean you can do so with the mysteries of the Universe.

  • Dave
    2018-12-20 22:03

    This book is written by an agnostic, so if you are weak spiritually, intellectually or never ponder the philosophical God, this is not a book for you. The author presented his arguments well. The questions are valid; the answers we offer are short on logic and full of contradiction. The author’s problem is he does not distinguish between the self-appointed God brokers and God the deity. There is a significance difference between the deity and methods we use to sell God’s existence. Most arguments for God are a lesson in cognitive dissonance as the brokers repeat the traditional arguments for the existence of God, without consideration of what they are actually saying. In summarizing; the existence of God is a personnel one that only you can answer for yourself. Many of us claim to GOT God………. Few of us actually GET God….Getting God will never be achieved through assigning a proxy. This is a journey you must make yourself.

  • Sylvonna
    2018-12-23 17:05

    My rating for this book is a very weak 3 stars...only because I DO like a lot of what he had to say and found myself agreeing with the author on a lot of different points; there were a few ideas he expressed that were long held beliefs of mine that I had a hard time expressing and I found it exciting to read about them and identify them through this book.Now, that is about the only positive thing I can say. You can tell that this book is written by a lawyer; I appreciate the logic used and it does make the author's point of view entirely clear, but I have to agree with the other reviewers that it comes off as obnoxiously egocentric, often to the point of making me want to disagree with him even though I agree with what he was trying to say.This was not as enjoyable as I thought it would be; I really wanted something more relatable or even eye-opening but just found this very dry.

  • Ryan Fisher
    2018-12-29 14:53

    This was an interesting read as it was a look at faith from an agnostic perspective. I respect that author's conclusions in regards to agnosticism as he admits that the evidence is uncertain and that he is unwilling to consider having 'faith' as an option. That's a tough spot... However, the book was a little weak in that it was largely a biased opinion piece despite the stated authorial intent to be objective. He presented some things in a fair and balanced approach but in other matters of faith was out of his depth in terms of presenting a factual understanding or rationale from the faith perspective. He relied on assumptions rather than gathering data. Finally Bugliosi, who was critical of other authors for skirting difficult subjects, never addressed the resurrection of Christ which he self acknowledged as the crux of Christianity. Overall an interesting read though...

  • Stasy H
    2019-01-06 21:02

    As an almost-agnostic, I think the the author makes a lot of valid points. That being said, you have to search for the good points and arguments through the personal insults (of both religious and atheistic figures) as well as the ridiculous mocking he does of organized religion. If you want to convince someone to come to your point of view, you have to do so in a way that isn't offensive. On a side note, whoever edited this book did a very poor job. There were many typos, misspelled words, grammatically incorrect sentences, and punctuation and capitalization mistakes.I would not recommend this book to anyone. There have to be authors who take a more grown up approach to such a serious thing.