A tendentious treatise that will only appeal to those who already share the author’s beliefs.

AL THAAHIR; THE EVIDENCE, THE OUTER, THE MANIFEST.

MATERIAL EVIDENCE FOR GOD’S PRESENCE.

A brief series of arguments for the existence of God that draw from the Quran and secular sources.

According to debut author Maurice, the findings of modern science are entirely consistent with the teaching of the Muslim holy book; in fact, the latter contains “many lessons that underlie the latest scientific findings and achievements, and whose validity has only been recognized in recent years by science in some cases.” As a result, the author earnestly aims in this work to provide a rational defense of the existence of God that’s independent of any references to the miraculous or “processes contrary to ordinary experience and the laws of nature.” The arguments she furnishes, however, are unconvincing, and they’re advanced with ample support from religious sources. Many of the discussions are historically familiar; for example, she contends that the existence of the universe requires an original act of creation and that its orderliness could never have arisen out of some random process. She also develops these positions very briefly in this short book, without much rigor or nuance. Some arguments are conspicuously weak; one can’t confidently infer the existence of the soul, for instance, from the existence of microbes just because the latter were also once invisible to human detection. Likewise, it’s entirely unclear why the human ability to distinguish one another requires an act of God. As the book goes on, it becomes clear that the author believes that philosophical meticulousness is beside the point if one believes in the authority of holy Scripture: “If Allah speaks on what is invisible to us concerning the ‘hour’, we must believe. We will not be able to assert that it is invisible to us because all the evidence for it is in the universe before us. Such evidence is our guide to faith and not to heathenism.” (This edition also includes the entire work in a German translation.)

A tendentious treatise that will only appeal to those who already share the author’s beliefs.

Pub Date: April 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982281-20-5

Page Count: 130

Publisher: BalboaPressUK

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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