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Giving the Devil His Due (autographed 1st edition), by Michael Shermer
Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist
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 bestselling 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.
Michael Shermer is Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, USA, the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, and the host of the Science Salon Podcast, and for eighteen years he was a monthly columnist for Scientific American. He is the author of a number of New York Times bestselling books including: Heavens on Earth, The Moral Arc, The Believing Brain, and Why People Believe Weird Things. His two TED talks, viewed over nine million times, were voted into the top 100 out of more than 2,000 TED talks.
Praise for the book
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
…a detailed roadmap for thinking well and clearly about interesting and challenging ideas. This vivid, erudite, broad, and deep collection of essays is marvelously written — so much so that, as you finish one essay, you cannot resist starting the next. And the range — from ancient civilizations to the colonization of Mars, from free speech on campus to gun control in cities — is as astonishing as it is engaging.
—NICHOLAS A. CHRISTAKIS, MD, Ph.D., author of Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society
Michael Shermer is a fearless defender of free speech, open inquiry, and freedom of thought and conscience, including — and especially — for those with whom he disagrees. Giving the Devil His Due is one of the strongest bulwarks against the tyranny of censorship that I have read.
—NADINE STROSSEN, Professor, New York Law School, former President of the ACLU, and author of Hate: Why We Should Resist it with Free Speech, Not Censorship
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, and co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind
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