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  • Giving the Devil His Due

  • Reflections of a Scientific Humanist
  • Written by: Michael Shermer
  • Narrated by: Michael Shermer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Giving the Devil His Due

Written by: Michael Shermer
Narrated by: Michael Shermer
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Publisher's Summary

Who is the "Devil"? And what is he due? The devil is anyone who disagrees with you. And what he is due is the right to speak his mind. He must have this for your own safety's sake, because his freedom is inextricably tied to your own. If he can be censored, why shouldn't you be censored? If we put barriers up to silence "unpleasant" ideas, what's to stop the silencing of any discussion? This book is a full-throated defense of free speech and open inquiry in politics, science, and culture by the New York Times best-selling author and skeptic Michael Shermer. The new collection of essays and articles takes the devil by the horns by tackling five key themes: free thought and free speech, politics and society, scientific humanism, religion, and the ideas of controversial intellectuals. For our own sake, we must give the devil his due.

©2020 Michael Shermer (P)2020 Michael Shermer

What the critics say

"Michael Shermer is our most fearless explorer of alternative, crackpot, and dangerous ideas, and at the same time one of our most powerful voices for science, sanity, and humane values. In this engrossing collection, Shermer shows why these missions are consistent: it’s the searchlight of reason that best exposes errors and evil." (Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)

"As always, Michael Shermer is hard-hitting, thought-provoking, and brilliant. The fascinating essays in this wide-ranging book will make you think - and then rethink." (Amy Chua, Yale Law Professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations)

"Michael Shermer is the voice of reason, and this is a book of his best essays - the ones we most need to read to understand the madness of our time and to imagine a more reasonable future. The range of questions Shermer addresses and the breadth of his knowledge make this book a delight to read." (Jonathan Haidt, New York University, author of The Righteous Mind, co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind)

What listeners say about Giving the Devil His Due

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mixed Bag

Generally interesting and thought provoking content but the narration is underwhelming and the editing is unbelievably sloppy. At one point there is a very long pause and then, “Uh... let me try that again.” Shameful.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This book is well recorded!

I held off buying this book due to the many reviews of how poorly this book was recorded. There are short pauses where I assume the throat clearing and coughing used to be, but in my mind the whole book seemed to be edited well, and I really enjoyed having the author read his own material.

Onto that material. The title led me to believe that this would be a book in the vein of God is not Good or the God Delusion but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Devil is just opposing ideas, and that for free speech to truly be free, we must be willing to listen honestly to opposing viewpoints.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Worldly debates = rationality with peers

Great work of non-stop debunking and rationality that can be applied at home or at work in everyday.

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