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¿En que creen los que no creen?: Un diálogo sobre la ética en el fin del milenio
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¿En que creen los que no creen?: Un diálogo sobre la ética en el fin del milenio

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,137 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Una obra sugerente y libre sobre los valores del hombre contemporáneo, los confines de la vida humana, las limitaciones impuestas a las mujeres por la Iglesia y el sentido de la fe.
Published May 1998 by Ediciones Temas De Hoy (first published 1996)
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Start your review of ¿En que creen los que no creen?: Un diálogo sobre la ética en el fin del milenio
In a time when academia and scholarly religion seems terribly at odds with the living Catholic faith, two men open a dialogue which is indeed a confrontation. They confront however, not each other, but the issues of apocalyptic perspective, abortion, women in the Church, violence and much more. These two men recognize these issues not as polemics to be tossed back and forth for endless bantering, but as fundamental to outlining a definition of "humanity." Both men are scholars and people of fait ...more
This one was short, but took a little while longer because I was reading it between breaks at college. I found it a bit basic -though unnecessarily grandiose in vocabulary on the secular participants' behalf, maybe trying to prove themselves they were at the height of a cardinal-. Maybe it's a good intro for people looking for a more "dialogue based" approach to the question of faith and reason, though I am more interested in the Benedict XVI / Habermas exchange than this, as of now. Honestly, t ...more
Branche SJ
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The final topic of discussion is an overall belief in God. This time the roles have reversed and Martini questions Eco on the basic ethical foundation of a layman. He asks what a layman bases his moral behavior on, if not a belief in God. Eco informs him that there are forms of religiosity, even in the absence of faith. There are universal conceptions of constraint and believers with an ethical foundation still sin. One who doesn’t believe in God can still make sense of his own life. However, t ...more
Brittany Burslem
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I fear that much of this book was over my head as I do not have the sort of religious background these men do and perhaps because of that my rating is not fair. However, due to the title "a confrontation" I expected this book to be an actual debate but instead the men focus on finding common ground, so basically they are holding each other's hand telling each other how great they are the entire book instead of actually putting forth any opinions. What is said in 100 pages could have been said in ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Definitely thought provoking. Very pleased with how respectful these gentlemen were towards each others beliefs, especially with the hot topics we are experiencing during this election time.
An interesting and respectful little conversation between Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (a Catholic and scholar) and Umberto Eco (an agnostic who knows more about Catholicism than ... well, practically anyone) about faith and ethics. There were some moments in this little volume when I felt the language was more flowery than it needed to be, while the depth was less than it could have been. And of course the debate is very Catholicism-centered, as you would expect given the debators (other religi ...more
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Proof that discussion around religion (at least in other latitudes) can be elucidating and even cordial. As usual, Eco draws heavily from european (mostly medieval) history, and Aquinas, to make incisive points, not so much about the non-existence of god, a topic which he is too old to really be arguing like a village atheist, but to reveal the subtleties of doctrine and the historical, cultural, and theological issues of topics like the ordination of women and abortion.

Readers looki
Kevin Sexton
A tedious correspondence with no big surprises. The writers spend a quarter of the book with formalities and congratulating each other on rigour. It gets into some interesting territory, like questioning the church's stance on women, but doesn’t begin to feel honest and meaty until the final correspondence. Then the book ends.

It's a reminder that discourse between believers and non-believers can be civil, and that’s about it.
A thought out dialogue on the logic behind being a believer versus a non-believer: Great Idea, The world needs more of it! Two sophisticated and well educated correspondents, one Catholic and the other a former Catholic represent the rest of us. The pitch sounds `brill'. Belief or Nonbelief does not deliver.

The use of a question and answer format seems to limit the freedom of discussion. It does insure that what is printed is measured and thought-out. Every precaution has been made t
Богдан Вълков
I don't really think that Umberto Eco's answer was good. We all agree that religious people do evil and non-religious people do good, but that is not the concept of the question. The quesiton is where does the understanding that good is good and evil is evil come from? If there isn't an Absolute of good then everything is relative. Even Richard Dawkins confessed that if we should consider the theory of evolution as true, we should admit that evil and good do not exist. This is the right answer. ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
It's refreshing to see a religious debate where the competitors are so unfailingly polite and respectful of one another, but one gets the sense that it isn't a true conflict at all, given Eco's self-admitted Catholic upbringing (& obvious interest in Aquinas et al.). Perhaps the biggest disappointment of all is the fact that both participants seem committed to dumbing themselves down for the sake of their newspaper audience. A debate means nothing if it is conducted at the level of the lowes ...more
José Ángel
Unfinished discussion and not a real secular thinking is represented in Eco. Partial vision of what religion is in the world. It just proves that Catholicism is the only religion in the European minds. Eco pretends the reading of the book is too elaborated but it’s not really and the use of the language is unnecessarily complex about the simplicity of the ideas exposed.
Yuni Amir
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best confrontation between a believer and a non-believer on ethics, women in church, abortion and the apocalypse. I need to read more of this type of literature. Any suggestions?
Robert Cardona
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last letter by Eco was really good. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him talk about the idea of a universal morality.
Mar 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book twice. The first time was years ago, and I did not enjoy it at all. "Belief or nonbelief? A confrontation" was the title. Where was the confrontation? Just lots of philosophical concepts, things that could have been expressed in a couple of sentences but were explained in long pages in an effort -I assume- to make them politically correct, or perhaps religiously correct. It was totally over my head, too abstract for my taste. I thought that maybe I didn't have the required matur ...more
Alex Lee
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short book follows the formula of a dialogue between the now secular (once Catholic) Umberto Eco and the Catholic Cardinal Carlo Martini. It it, they ask and answer each other questions dealing with believers and non-believers. The two gentlemen are gentlemen, ever clear, honest and respectful in how they speak to one another and express their views.

One of the greatest flaws people often have in dialogue with others of differing values is that they don't have a framework in whic
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting exchange of letters between Umberto Eco (a secular man) and Carlo Maria Martini (a catholic cardinal), discussing topics that normally divide believers and non-believers.

In most of the book, Eco starts with a question and the cardinal answers it. The conversations are very polite and charged with philosophy and literature. The topics discussed are: the concept of apocalypsis, the beginning of human life, and the roles of men and women in the catholic church. At the end
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Perhaps better titled "Belief or Nonbelief in Catholicism" as while Eco claims to be a non-believer, the focus is squarely on debating the church's views. The brevity of the dialog makes it very accessible but also doesn't allow for much back and forth. The format is of open letters between Eco and Martini published in a newspaper. Eco opens the dialog with questions for the first three sets of letters. In my view Martini's responses were a bit typical. Essentially, 'there are so many mysteries ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
The book is not big but it is full of substance. I am a big fan of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. I try to read everything which he wrote and sit at his feel learning the lessons of the Gospel and try to soak them in. He is one of the best people that impressed me with his dialogue with Atheists and Agnostics. Very respectful. A book like this I can read to just learn the art of dialogue and thinking. Each have their convincing reasons for their arguments and each sounds attractive in his own int ...more
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book. It presents a not unknown question, beliefs. What to people who say don't belief belief in? It makes you think about ethics, good, bad, normal, expected behaviors and ways of thinking. Showing the similarities and differences between catholics and "non-believers" it's a nice reading to look inside ourselves a bit more. To see more than what we believe in, what makes us believe.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enlightening discussion between two cultural heavyweights. As one very familiar with Martini and his viewpoints, and generally sympathetic to them, I especially enjoyed Eco's subtle but at times very thought-provoking explanations of a secularist, realist viewpoint of the world. As many have said, if nothing else, the works is a great testament to the level of civility that is possible for a dialogue between viewpoints that ultimately are not only different but opposed.
Michael Laflamme
I found this book a bit of a disappointment considering the two geniuses that were behind it. The format, a correspondence between the two via the auspices of a newspaper, leaves little room for the the topics to be deeply explored. Each topic by both men is given barely an overview. Points are brought up and then not explored. I would like to see this type of approach in a longer, more thorough format that allows these two great minds to delve into the topics at hand.
Conrado Villaseñor
This books is really a is a epistolary conversation between Eco and Martini who is a cardinal and provides insight into Eco's religion beliefs. It shows Eco and Martini's respect for each other and their great sense of humor, particularly in a topic that becomes easily in a minefield.

Fred Kohn
Honestly, I was disappointed. I expected more from a person with the reputation of Eco. I felt he danced around issues quite a bit. On the other hand, Cardinal Martini was a joy. So, all in all, I'm happy to have read the book. Besides, I learned a great new word: cosmophage; which seems to fit our species perfectly.
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent example of the possibilities of transcendent dialogue, demonstrating that what seems at times an unbridgeable gap between the religious and the secular can indeed be bridged, respectfully and engagingly. Eco and Martini trade questions and observations at a high level. The introduction even provides a possible answer why this sort of thing seems so impossible in America.
Mark G
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jose Alfredo
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is too short for the interesting and relevant issues discussed. Both Eco and the late Cardinal Martini show their impressive intellectual and exegetical skills,although -in my opinion- they're a bit too polite to each other.
the subtitle is 'a confrontation' but really sdve been 'two self-satisfied italians praising the cut of each others suit lapels'
PJ Jumonville
Dec 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taken from a series of editorials between Eco and Cardinal Martini in a Milan paper, this is the best and most respectful discussion of the nature of faith that I've ever read.
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rereading this little gem that I assign to my APEnglish Language students. Delightful discussion.
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Umberto Eco was an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, and children's books. A professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, Eco’s brilliant fiction is known for its playful use of language and symbols, its astonishing array of allusions and references, and clever use of puzzles and narrative inventions. His perceptive essays on modern culture are filled with a delightful sen ...more
“نظرگاه دینی همیشه شیوه های آرمانی زیستن را عرضه می کند، در حالی که فرد غیر مذهبی زندگی آرمانی را در انتخاب آزاد می بیند، مادامی که این انتخاب، انتخاب آزاد دیگران را مخدوش نکند” 6 likes
“امکان دارد انسان غیر مذهبی فکر کند شری که در خفا مرتکب می شود، نادیده می ماند. اما این را نیز به خاطر داشته باشید که اگر انسان غیر مذهبی فکر کند کسی از بالا مواظب او نیست، در عین حال درست به همین دلیل هم می داند کسی او را عفو نخواهد کرد....این شخص به مراتب بیش از دینداران امکان دارد بکوشد با اعتراف در حضور جمع خود را تطهیر کند. این شخص از دیگران طلب عفو خواهد کرد....و به همین دلیل پیشاپیش می داند باید دیگران را ببخشاید” 5 likes
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