Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist
Given the current political climate, many of us feel that the opposing viewpoint is evil or satanic. This collection of essays, some dating back fourteen years, represents the author’s thoughtful response to the controversies in our society. For Shermer, the best response to an opinion is to give it air. He is a staunch believer that forums should be open for free expression, regardless of how odious that expression is. Secondly, he carefully listens to and questions the opposing opinion. Thirdly, he researches the topic. Only then does he attempt to posit a thoughtful response. He approaches the topics in a scientific and rational manner.
< br>The author is perhaps best known as the publisher of Skeptic magazine. In that vein, his realism often approaches pessimism. For example, he does not believe that gun violence can ever be eradicated, only reduced. His view of guns is also rather patriarchal as he defines them as representing a father’s desire to protect and defend his family. This view is further shown when he decries that a gay black woman would be elected president over an atheist. Whatever his thoughts are, this book is thoughtful and thought provoking.
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