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Divinity of Doubt: God and Atheism on Trial

Overview

In this controversial New York Times bestseller, Vincent Bugliosi, the fearless attorney who prosecuted Charles Manson, turns his critical eye on both religious believers and the atheists, indicting both camps for the intellectual shortcuts each takes to arrive at their conclusions. He argues lucidly and persuasively why agnosticism-and a healthy skepticism toward certainty of all kinds-is the most responsible position to take with regard to the existence of God.

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Divinity of Doubt: The God Question

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Overview

In this controversial New York Times bestseller, Vincent Bugliosi, the fearless attorney who prosecuted Charles Manson, turns his critical eye on both religious believers and the atheists, indicting both camps for the intellectual shortcuts each takes to arrive at their conclusions. He argues lucidly and persuasively why agnosticism-and a healthy skepticism toward certainty of all kinds-is the most responsible position to take with regard to the existence of God.

Divinity of Doubt sets a new course amid the explosion of bestselling books on religion, urging us to recognize the limits of what we know, and what we cannot know, about the ineffable mysteries of existence.

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Editorial Reviews

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Former prosecutor Vincent Buglioso approaches every question with the vigor of a much younger man. His research on the Kennedy assassination resulted in documentation of more than 2700 pages. His Divinity of Doubt is only a fraction as long (256 pages to be exact), but it does address "the God question" with the same level of commitment. Like his book on the O.J. Simpson case, Buglioso skewers both camps, heaping criticism equally on atheist promoters including Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris and hell-and-brimstone Old Testament fundamentalists. His call for a healthy agnosticism is certain to generate media attention.

Publishers Weekly
The question of the existence of God has captured the imaginations of pundits and pedants around the world. On one side are the theists, the believers. On the other side are the atheists, the ardent unbelievers. Bugliosi finds himself in a third category -- the agnostic, one who admits that he doesn't know if God exists, and may even insist that it isn't possible to know if there is a God. The author is a well-known attorney as well as a writer, whose best-known book, Helter Skelter, documented the horrific Charles Manson murders. He turns his attention here to a broad and often biting study of the proponents, and opponents, of Godism. He addresses some of the oldest questions in Christendom -- the problem of evil, the sometimes contradictory accounts of sacred events, etc. -- and sees no inevitability of a God in any of the answers proposed by even the best scholars. He ends his thoughts with a simple "God should only be a question." Sometimes pedantic but always eloquent, this is a fascinating read. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Distinguished attorney and true crime author Bugliosi (Helter Skelter; Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away with Murder) here takes on the subject of God's existence, making the case for agnosticism. Anyone expecting a gentle and centrist approach may be surprised by the ruthlessness of Bugliosi's scathing attack on both theism and atheism (although he focuses most of his attention on Christianity). Although the book makes quite a number of arguments (e.g., since death is so awful, how can a kind God exist?), they are unfortunately muted by a frequently superficial and sometimes inaccurate understanding of his opponents' views on matters from natural selection to resurrection, all of which significantly dilutes the potency of what could have been a stronger book if better researched. Given the author's background as a seasoned and renowned prosecutor, this major shortcoming is surprising. VERDICT Considering that this book is a systematic attack on the belief or unbelief systems of so many, his readership is unclear. One can only hope for a revised edition that unearths any gems latent within this flawed manuscript.—Brian T. Sullivan, Alfred Univ. Lib., NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593157081
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 570,823
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Vincent Bugliosi received his law degree in 1964. In his career at the L.A. County District Attorney's office, he successfully prosecuted 105 of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder convictions without a single loss. His most famous trial, the Charles Manson case, became the basis of his classic, Helter Skelter, the biggest selling true-crime book in publishing history. And the Sea Will Tell, Outrage, and The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder were also New York Times bestsellers. HBO will produce his Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy as a ten-hour mini-series. He lives in Pasadena, California.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

1 God, Etc. 1

2 God in Court 19

3 The Christian God Cannot Exist 25

4 Atheists: The Nabobs on Non Sequiturs 41

5 Darwin and Evolution 65

6 The Intelligence (or Lack Thereof) of Intelligent Design, and First Cause 87

7 Genesis 105

8 Born-Again Christians and Their Remarkable Beliefs 113

9 Jesus Died for Whom? And for What? 125

10 If Jesus Wasn't the Son of God, Then Who Was He? 141

11 The Many Absurdities of Christianity, and Its Monstrous God 149

12 The Catholic Church: Great, Grand, and Silly 163

13 If God Is All-Good, Why Does He Put All of Us to Death? 195

14 What's So Great Up There in Heaven? 205

15 A Brief Descent into Hell 213

16 Praying to a Tree Trunk 223

17 Between Morality and Religion, Who Needs Whom? 233

18 Hey, Look at Us, We're Just as Silly as They Are 245

19 The Sense and Morality of Agnosticism 265

Bookends 273

Flushing God Out 273

Embarrassing God 278

Notes 285

About the Author 338

Index 339

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