Dylan Popowicz's Reviews > In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic

In Praise of Doubt by Peter L. Berger
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's review
Jul 24, 2011

did not like it

[Printed in The Sacramento Book Review & The San Francisco Book Review: http://sacramentobookreview.com/philo...

"In Praise of Doubt" attempts to lay down an ethical perspective of tolerance and open-mindedness as an antidote to any sense of religious, social, political (etc.) certainty or fanaticism. In a language clear and simple (if often articulated on the intellectual level of a child), Berger and Zijderveld advocate a moderate perspective whilst making a (weak) stand against the tyrannies of the age: Fascism, Fundamentalism, (non-democratic) Socialism, Post-modernism and (extreme) Relativism.

This may all seem noble, but nothing expressed within these pages can be granted as new, fresh, or revolutionary. In-fact, the book's failing point is that its near 200 pages aim only to defend the basic position of the “liberal” West. Naively, the authors seem to think that we have reached the very end of political and moral history: nothing else can be done, there is nothing better than the viewpoint that we should accept the multicultural attitude of the time, whilst acting against fundamental evils. Explicitly: on the surface, one should act as if he accepts and understands all modes of life; but underneath, he will still act upon the unquestioned, unchanged, ideology of the (post)modern age.

This is no exposé. Berger/Zijderveld have simply epitomised the attitude of modern intellectualism: stale and stagnant, it spends its days chasing its own tail in an attempt to gratify its own, now out-dated, ideas.


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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Ardalan You made an interesting point but could you explain your idea a bit more. I mean what's the way then, what's the solution? any better approach? thnx

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