Think a Second Time [NOOK Book]

Overview

What are the two great lies of the 20th century?

Is there a solution to evil?

What matters more, blood or love?

Can a good man go to a striptease show?

Do you think you have the answers? ...Think a second time.

Dennis Prager, theologian and philosopher turned talk-show host, is one of the most brilliant and compelling voices in America ...

See more details below
Think a Second Time

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price

Overview

What are the two great lies of the 20th century?

Is there a solution to evil?

What matters more, blood or love?

Can a good man go to a striptease show?

Do you think you have the answers? ...Think a second time.

Dennis Prager, theologian and philosopher turned talk-show host, is one of the most brilliant and compelling voices in America today. His extraordinarily popular radio show with the signature sign-off, "Think a second time," coupled with his own biweekly newsletter, has firmly established him as a fixture in intellectual communities nationwide. In Think a Second Time, Prager blends a rigorous and scholarly education with utterly original thinking on current events. From the dangers of idealism to the roots of extremism to his thoughts on God and an afterlife, Prager offers challenging answers to up-to-the-minute questions: Should a single woman have a child? Why don't good homes always produce good children? Is America really racist? Why does the Holocaust not negate the existence of God? Now, with an entirely new section on the precedent-setting "Baby Richard" custody case and an exploration of the issue of blood versus love, Prager continues to demonstrate his ability to draw clear moral lines in the sands of our very troubled times.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A self-described ``highly passionate moderate,'' radio and TV commentator Prager offers a series of brief essays on current and eternal topics, grounded in his Jewish sense of ethics that is more accessible than preachy. Prager says a politician's adultery matters little; his or her ``public actions and speech'' count the most. Despite such dissents from the moralistic position, Prager is a strong critic of liberalism, decrying its supporters' attitudes toward church-state separation, abortion, capital punishment and race. He has little sympathy with portraying the Los Angeles rioters of 1992 as victims: ``moral people control their rage, and immoral people don't.'' Yet his call to ban affirmative action while encouraging employers to ``recruit and train blacks'' seems somewhat myopic. Prager recognizes that most people are diverted from moral issues; his solution to evil is ``ethical monotheism'' (a term made popular by the Jewish thinker Leo Baeck), warning against attention to false gods like art or compassion. However, he warns against expecting God to prevent our suffering; leading a religious life, he asserts, is a reward in itself. $100,000 ad/promo. (Nov.)
From Barnes & Noble
Turning conventional wisdom on it head, Prager, a former theologian and philsopher turned talk-show host, takes an incisive look at America's most critical issues & moral dilemmas, focusing on the factors that threaten the very soul of our nation.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062046161
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 204,695
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Dennis Prager writes a syndicated column, hosts a radio show carried by 120 stations, and appears regularly on major Fox venues. He is the author of Happiness Is a Serious Problem and Think a Second Time.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Human Nature

Why the Belief That People Are Basically Good Is Wrong and Dangerous
The belief that people are basically good is one of the most widely held beliefs in contemporary society. Yet it is both untrue and destructive.

Why It Isn't True
The most frequent objection I encounter when I argue that human nature is not basically good is: Aren't babies born good?
The answer is no. Babies are born innocent and they are certainly not born evil, but they aren't born good, either. In fact, babies are the quintessence of selfishness: I want Mommy, I want milk, I want attention, I want to be played with, I want, I want, and if you don't do everything I want, I will ruin your life.
To be sure, this is normal behavior for a baby, but on what grounds can it be characterized as morally good?
As for older children, having been a camp counselor and camp director for ten years, I know that few things come more naturally to many children than meanness, petty cruelty, bullying, and a lack of empathy for less fortunate peers. Visit any bunk of thirteen-year-olds in which one camper is particularly fat, short, clumsy, or emotionally or intellectually disadvantaged, and you are likely to observe cruelty that would shock an adult. The statement, "I have never met a bad kid," like "People are born basically good," is simply wishful thinking.
To believe that human nature is basically good—after Auschwitz, the Gulag, Rwanda, Armenia, and Tibet, just to mention some of the horrors of the twentieth century alone—is a statement of faith, as nonempirical as the most wishful religious belief. Whenever I meet people who persist in believing inthe essential goodness of human nature, I know that I have met people for whom evidence is irrelevant.
How many evils do humans have to commit to shake a person's faith in humanity's essential goodness? How many more innocent people have to be murdered and tortured? How many more women need to be raped?
There is no number. Just as no contrary evidence will shake the faith of many religious believers, so none will shake the faith of many of those, especially the secular, who believe in humanity's goodness. Faith in humanity is the last belief that a secular individual can relinquish before utterly despairing. The less religious a person is, the more he or she needs to believe in humanity. To believe neither in religion nor in humans is to conclude, as does the protagonist in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors, that life is a cesspool.

Why This Belief Is Destructive
If the falseness of the belief that man is basically good does not suffice to move a person to abandon it, perhaps this will: It is a belief that has particularly destructive consequences.
The first of these consequences is the attribution of all evil to causes outside people: Since people are basically good, the bad that they do must be caused by some external force. Depending on who is doing the blaming, that outside force could be the social environment, economic circumstances, parents, schools, television violence, handguns, the devil, or government cutbacks.
As a result, people are often not held responsible for the evil they commit—a notion that has become commonplace in America.
A second consequence is the denial of evil: If good is natural, then bad must be unnatural, or sick. Moral categories have been replaced by psychological ones. There are no longer good and evil, only normal and sick.
Third, parents and teachers who believe that people are basically good will not feel the need to teach children how to be good: Why teach what comes naturally? Only when you truly acknowledge how difficult it is to be a good person do you realize how important it is teach goodness.
Fourth, those who believe that evil comes from outside people work on changing outside forces rather than on changing the evildoers' values. It is the dominant view among academics, policy makers, social workers, and psychotherapists that society must focus on the environment that produces rapists and murderers, not on their values and character development. For example, when irresponsible young men impregnate irresponsible young women, it is not better values that they need, but more sex education and better access to condoms.
Fifth and perhaps most destructive, the belief that people are basically good leads to the conclusion that people need to feel accountable for their behavior only to themselves, not to a God or religious code higher than themselves.
My argument with those who believe that people are innately good can be succinctly summarized. Those who believe in innate human goodness view the battle for a better world as primarily a struggle between the individual and society. I believe that, especially in a free society, the battle is between the individual and his or her nature. There are times, of course, when the battle for a better world must concentrate on evil emanating from outside the individual, as, for example, under a totalitarian regime. But in a free society such as our own, the battle for a moral world is waged primarily through the inner battle that each one of us must wage against our nature, against weakness, addiction, selfishness, ingratitude, laziness, and evil. It is a much more difficult battle to wage than one against social policy.
A society can survive the collapse of its economy, but not of its citizens' morality. An America that emphasized character development in its public and private spheres was able to survive the poverty of the Great Depression. A vastly wealthier America that neglects character development is steadily sinking. And this neglect can be attributed in large part to the widespread belief that people are basically good and the destructive beliefs that accompany it.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Why the Belief That People Are Basically Good Is Wrong and Dangerous 3
2 Don't Judge Motives 7
3 Why Friends Disappoint Us 9
4 The Missing Tile Syndrome 12
5 Legislating Goodness: The Storekeeper Law 14
6 Can a Good Man Go to a Striptease Show? 17
7 Adultery and Politicians 25
8 Men, Women, Thelma and Louise 32
9 When Good Homes Don't Produce Good Children 36
10 Should We Pay Kids for Grades? 43
11 When Adult Children Don't Talk to Their Parents 46
12 Should a Single Woman Have a Child? 50
13 TV and Me: How Having a National Television Show Helped Me Understand What Matters in Life 55
14 The False World of Television News 67
15 Headlines I Would Like to See 74
16 Little Events That Changed My Thinking 77
17 Astrology Isn't Half as Bad as What Many Intellectuals Believe 81
18 The Virtue of Hypocrisy 84
19 What Happened to a Great Ideology? 89
20 Is Liberalism Jewish? 92
21 A Guide to the Liberal Use of Language: How Meanings of Words Have Been Changed by Leading Institutions in the Media and Academia 99
22 Blacks, Liberals, and the Los Angeles Riots 104
23 Thoughts on Calling America Racist 132
24 Psychology and the Denial of Evil 136
25 Capital Punishment: A Rorschach Test 139
26 The Case for School Choice 150
27 The Two Great Lies of the Twentieth Century 156
28 Why People Become Extremists 159
29 Murder in the Name of God 166
30 When Religion Makes People Cruel 174
31 When Anger Overwhelms Love: Reflections on Feminist and Civil Rights Organizations 179
32 First, Take Care of Your Own 184
33 The Immorality of Pacifist Thinking 188
34 Why Aren't People Preoccupied with Good and Evil? 197
35 The Only Solution to Evil: Ethical Monotheism 202
36 How Good and Evil Become Irrelevant: The Other Gods We Worship 214
37 Why Not Loot? An Example of Why Ethical Monotheism Is Necessary 232
38 Is This Life All There Is? 235
39 Can I Believe in God After the Holocaust? 238
40 Is God Lovable? 244
41 Why God Must Be Depicted as a Father and Not as a Mother 247
42 Can We Make Deals with God? 250
43 A Jew's Thoughts on Christmas 254
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)