In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic

In Praise of Doubt How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic Modernity was supposed to usher in a rational secular world where religion was marginalized Some even predicted it would disappear But religion has not only survived it is growing and thriving in the

  • Title: In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic
  • Author: Peter L. Berger Anton Zijderveld
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 490
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Modernity was supposed to usher in a rational secular world where religion was marginalized Some even predicted it would disappear But religion has not only survived it is growing and thriving in the modern world Defying predictions, we live today in a world of plurality where diverse groups live under conditions of civic peace and in social interaction However, this aModernity was supposed to usher in a rational secular world where religion was marginalized Some even predicted it would disappear But religion has not only survived it is growing and thriving in the modern world Defying predictions, we live today in a world of plurality where diverse groups live under conditions of civic peace and in social interaction However, this arrangement is not without tensions How do we handle moral issues, such as abortion or homosexuality, when different groups have strongly held but opposing viewpoints And how does culture maintain its harmony when confronted with the challenge of an aggressive fundamentalism The answer, according to world renowned sociologists Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld, is doubt Not the stupefying doubt of relativism where we become incapable of any decision because we are overwhelmed by options, but a virtuous use of doubt that allows us to move forward boldly with strong moral convictions without caving in to the fanatic s temptation of seeing everyone who disagrees with you as the enemy How we as individuals and as a society can find this ideal balance is the subject of this deceptively simple but revolutionary work In Praise of Doubt takes the reader on an exciting whirlwind tour of the history of modernity, religion, the rise of psychology, Marxism, and the intellectual challenge of relativism, the failure of totalitarianism, fundamentalism as a modern invention, and the startling conclusion explaining why truth, even religious truth, needs doubt to survive and thrive.

    • In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic by Peter L. Berger Anton Zijderveld
      490 Peter L. Berger Anton Zijderveld
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      Posted by:Peter L. Berger Anton Zijderveld
      Published :2019-07-07T07:46:30+00:00

    2 thoughts on “In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic

    1. Peter L Berger is an internationally renowned sociologist, and the founder of Boston University s Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs He was born in Vienna and came to the U.S in his late teens He has a master s degree and a doctorate from the New School for Social Research in New York After two years in the United States Army, he taught at the University of Georgia and the University of North Carolina before going to the Hartford Seminary Foundation as an Assistant Professor in Social Ethics In 1992, Peter Berger was awarded the Manes Sperber Prize, presented by the Austrian government for significant contributions to culture He is the author of many books, among them The Social Construction of Reality, The Homeless Mind, and Questions of Faith.

    2. موضوع کتاب را دوست دارم چون از طرف دو دسته آدم متعصب در زندگی‌ام تحت فشار بوده‌ام:متعصبان مذهبی و چپ‌های متعصب. در نوجوانی سعی کرده بودم تا می‌توانم از این دو فاصله بگیرم و بنابراین بسیاری از اصول را پس می‌زدم. یواش یواش یاد گرفتم راه خودم را بروم و به اصول جهانشمول معتقد باش [...]

    3. کتاب به یکی از مهم ترین مسائلی می پردازد که چندی است لاقل ذهن من رو به خودش مشغول کرده؛ یعنی اینکه در ضمن علم به نسبی بودن فرهنگ های مختلف و مشروع شدن آن با روبرویی با مسائل مهاجرین و ، چگونه می توان برای صیانت از هویت (که شاید مهم ترین مسأله جوامع امروز است) از پایگاهی مطلق سخن ب [...]

    4. كتاب بحث مهمي را پيش برده و دو فصل آخر خوبه، و حتي مصداقهايي را مطرح ميكند و ميكوشد مابين دوقطب تعصب ورزيدن و تساهل تام ورزيدن راهي بيابد، و مصداقها چنان ملموس است كه به وضعيت فعلي ما هم نزديك است

    5. شايد اين سوال خيلى از ما باشه كه چطور می تونیم مسائل اخلاقی مثل سقط جنین، مجازات اعدام یا حقوق اقلیت ها رو مدیریت کنیم وقتی که گروه های مختلف جامعه دربارهٔ اونها نظرها و مواضعی کاملا متضاد دارند و هر کدوم بر مواضع خودشون پافشاری می کنند؟ اين كتاب كه به فارسى با نام "اعتقاد بدون [...]

    6. برای همه ما که در جامعه ای ایدئولوژی زده زندگی میکنیم از نان شب واجبتر است.

    7. The last 2 chapters started to lose my interest dealing with political spheres, but overall I appreciated the discussion on doubt.I resonate with the discussion about fundamentalism and the creation of subcultures -- the move from people 'joining' a group out of conversion to an idea vs. the next generation raised in the subculture. It brings me to that swinging pendulum theory where generations see the astounding characteristics which drew previous generations becomes weakened over time to less [...]

    8. I waivered between a two and a three on this one. The authors present an interesting thought piece that only skims the surface of the problem around which the work is framed. As such, this should be seen as an idea-sparking work that will encourage some readers to seek more robust sources on this topic. One of the main contributing factors to the lack of depth is the lack of empirical - or really any - analysis behind some of the major arguments that frame the discussion. For example, the mid-20 [...]

    9. This book is a thought provoking discussion of the role of doubt in civil society and in a liberal democracy. The authors advocate a politics of moderation dteering between the extremes of relativism and fundamentalism. In the course of their argument, they visit some interesting issues such as the difference between traditionalism and fundamentalism, issues such as bad faith and false consciousness, the role of institutions in providing some level of stability in an uncertain and changing world [...]

    10. The praise of "doubt" means a modest position between Relativism and Fundamentalism in the matters of ideology, religion and general world views. This book provided an academic review of the history and current social history along the line of two extremes, and propose what the author considered the saner position of "doubt".One would question whether "doubt" is a tangible position to hold at all. In contrast, whether one allows an absolute relativism ("I don't judge" or "all is good") or absolu [...]

    11. As political positions seem to become more and more polarized, I feel like people rarely spend time discussing issues with those who feel differently from them. And then, when those conversations do take place, rather than people honestly listening to each other and trying to understand where the other is coming from, it just turns into a shouting match where the loudest voice is apparently the winner. In the end, people walk around more angry than ever, and become more extreme in their position [...]

    12. It's been ages since I last read Peter Berger's The Social Construction of Reality in college as a sociology major. I was glad to find this, his newer book, on the shelf in our public library recently. Surprisingly, it is light reading, yet highly relevant for our time. The main idea of the book: Between the polarity of fundamentalism and relativism, the best position to take is the golden mean, the ethic of moderation. But then again, is it too obvious and simple a view to have been derived fro [...]

    13. This book was fascinating. Peter Berger is a good teacher. He wrote about the move from tribalism to modernity/globalization and how modernism necessarily leads to pluralization and to the end of taken for granted institutions. Instead of everything being laid out for us, we now must choose among many options, we are "condemned to freedom", as Jean-Paul Sartre said.Communication with people who have different view points will result in cognitive contamination and may lead to cognitive dissonance [...]

    14. You’d be surprised the things you’ll find at a Christian bookstore clearance sale –like this book from a pair of sociologists (one of whom also has a PhD in philosophy) who essentially argue in favor of doubt as a necessary quality in religion, politics and culture. The book essentially argues that fundamentalism (religious or secular) and relativism are two sides of the same extremist coin, in which a person/group either claims a monopoly on truth/morality or declares that all truth/moral [...]

    15. This books is on the border between sociology and philosophy, which is understandable as one author is a sociologist and the other a philosopher. The authors provide a clear and logical description of the effects of "plurality" (interacting with people of other cultures, beliefs etc.) and the dangers of this leading to two extremes: fundamentalism and relativism. The book is written in a fairly light hearted style and is an enjoyable read. The logic is generally easy to follow, although I strugg [...]

    16. "Doubt, is a basic uncertainty that isn't prepared to let itself be crushed by belief or unbelief, by knowledge or ignorance. Precisely because it occupies this middle ground, genuine doubt can never end in the many '-isms' that people have invented and propagated. Doubt can't be relativistic because relativism, like all '-isms' stifles doubt. Renaissance scholar Michel de Montaigne struggled with the following paradox: He constantly stressed the relativity of human ideas, ambitions, projects a [...]

    17. Enjoyed the book. The authors contrast fundamentalism and moral relativism and propose instead an ethic of moderation. I found their arguments about the perils of extremism with both fundamentalism and relativism to be convincing, but their application of the ethic of moderation less so. I was intrigued by the book because I saw that both Os Guinness and Dallas Willard were quoted in reviews of the book. I've quoted the Guinness and Willard statements below. “Brilliant yet clear, highly illumi [...]

    18. An okay book. The authors write in a style that is easily readable if at times seeming to be dismissive of arguments before they truly lay them out. There's a bit of a bad debate throughout this book, presented by someone who doesn't really believe that relativism or fundamentalism might be a good thing, instead wholesale describing the evils of it. Not a particularly nuanced view. That being said, I think this book has some merit, and in fact would be better if it discussed science, and the his [...]

    19. This book was valuable reading. It confirmed my notion that doubt is a necessary virtue that leads us on a journey to find the truth wherever it may be found. The authors build a case for being able to uphold strong convictions without caving in to the need to make an insecure world seen secure. The troubles associate with fanaticism in politics and religion are clearly articulated for the readers. Great read for those who are thinkers in a philosophical way.

    20. Peter Berger has been on my list of "to read" for a while. Perhaps this wasn't the best one to read first, or maybe his writing is simply in an academic style that I'm less excited to dive into. While the content was strong and persuasive, it read a bit like a sociology textbook (dry and systematic). That may have been the intent and I simply have to adjust to reading something a bit more scholarly. In any case, as a "doubter" and someone often arguing out of both sides of my mouth, the title dr [...]

    21. "La gente che crede nella vita dopo la morte è più incline […] ad aiutare alcuni vicini di casa a trasferirsi da questo mondo all’altro." (p. 141)

    22. I agree with their description of the problem, but I (humbly) submit a better solution: humility. The first two-thirds of the book are insightful, clear, and thoughtful. Berger and Zijderveld present both religion in relativism in a fair and honest light, exploring the ways in which fanaticism (of the religious and secular variety) has grown in reaction to our pluralistic culture. They present a compelling case that secularization theory has not proved true. As we became more modern and enlighte [...]

    23. A fascinating book, simultaneously brilliant and infuriating. I suppose that is as good a summary of Berger's career as one could get. When I was growing up, Berger was lumped in with those scary liberal postmodernist types who thought everything was relative and reality didn't exist. This just shows the depth of how much the conservative right completely fails to present anything approaching critical thought and simply favors ideological attacks. In this book Berger makes clear that he explicit [...]

    24. [Printed in The Sacramento Book Review & The San Francisco Book Review: sacramentobookreview/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: [...]

    25. Well, I found this book a great instructive one and enjoyed reading it and believe anyone who is a bit ignorant about the subject and hasn't already read enough books on it would benefit it as it is aimed at the layman and explains things in the simplest way possible. It looks at the issue from philosophical, sociological and even political standpoints and in fact doesn't separate them. To show this I wrote down some terms while reading it to bring here. If you never heard about them, this book [...]

    26. A worthwhile read with much to be gained. I disagree somewhat with the classification of post-modernism presented (finding instead that it should be viewed in line with the very process of deferred judgement "for the duration" described elsewhere in the book.) I suppose the authors would say this makes me a fanatic - another point I'd argue against. But in the spirit of doubt and moderation I set this mild irritation aside and was able to enjoy the many valuable points and perspectives presented [...]

    27. It's not a book about religion per se, it's about how personal beliefs, opinions, especially convictions are held, the factors that help shape them or facilitate their rise or fall analyzed from in part psychological perspectives & mainly from sociological perspectives. Because it's about beliefs, opinions & convictions, yes religious beliefs are talked about because they are a part of the make up of the topic, but it goes into much more than just religious beliefs, it's about the type o [...]

    28. A sociological look at tension between moral relativism and fundamentalism in society, and the need for the moderate middle. The authors call for pluralism, which would lead to civic peace and communication. This is the second time I have picked up this book. I hope it gets better.One interesting observation in the introductory chapter is that even after two centuries of Enlightenment's (reason, empiricism, etc) assault on religion, religion is still going strong in many parts of the world, in m [...]

    29. This is a fine book, and the title is In Praise of Doubt, although the content is about both certainty and doubt. (Also, the co-author of the book is Anton Zijderveld, a professor at Erasmus University in Rotterdam). I like how the authors criticize both absolutism and relativism and seeks to forge a position in between those two extremes. On May 1, 2011, I finished reading this book for the second time. While I like many of the things the authors say, this time I thought the book was somewhat u [...]

    30. An interesting read. Lots of little vignettes of thought that never really cohere into a non-obvious meaningful point. Plenty of unsubstantiated statements along the way. But I enjoyed the ride.Really, it reads a lot like getting a sociological theorist drunk and listening to them ramble. Fun, if sociological theory is your idea of party conversation. But not something you worry too much about poking holes in. That's not what it's for.

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