Joshua Stein's Reviews > The Religious Case Against Belief

The Religious Case Against Belief by James P. Carse
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's review
Apr 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: philosophy, religion

I usually don't read the reviews other readers on goodreads post because, honestly, I find that they're pretty bad. I don't know what that says about me, as one of the people who posts these long, involved things, but I hope that I can present something better than the eighth grade book-reports that I saw when I read through the first few reviews.

Personally, I picked this up for research on conventional religion and the relationship to affirmative statements about the world ("beliefs" is the term that Carse is using, obviously), which I see as necessarily intertwined. I'm not entirely convinced by Carse that the two can be separated, but he does draw an interesting definition of religion and, towards the very end of the book, he effectively articulates an argument that he spent a (very) long time setting up.

I found the read engaging, but perhaps it was the material. It's hard to find something dry when you love the subject matter, I've found, unless the writing is just unacceptably bad.

I do recommend Carse's read to those who enjoy continental philosophy. It's an interesting and thought provoking approach to the way in which we understand the relationship between religion and the things that religious individuals claim are true about the world. For those who think that subject sounds interesting to them (those like me) it's a phenomenal read.

If you're not interested in that subject, then don't buy the book. It's not worth putting yourself through the tricky analogizing and occasionally suspicious claims that Carse makes.

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Reading Progress

April 11, 2010 – Started Reading
April 11, 2010 – Shelved
April 11, 2010 –
page 47
19.58% "The passage on pages 44-46 is excellent."
April 11, 2010 –
page 107
April 15, 2010 – Finished Reading
August 13, 2010 – Shelved as: philosophy
April 7, 2012 – Shelved as: religion

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