Why Can't We Be Good?

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9781585426201: Why Can't We Be Good?

The widely respected social philosopher embarks on his most gripping and broadly appealing work, asking the ultimate question of human nature: Why do we repeatedly violate our most deeply held values and beliefs?

After nearly forty years of weighing humanity's deepest dilemmas-working in settings ranging from university and high school classrooms to corporate offices and hospitals-bestselling author, philosopher, and religious scholar Jacob Needleman presents the most urgent, deeply felt, and widely accessible work of his career.

In Why Can't We Be Good? Needleman identifies the core problem that therapists and social philosophers fail to see. He depicts the individual human as a being who knows what is good, yet who remains mysteriously helpless to innerly adopt the ethical, moral, and religious ideas that are bequeathed to him.

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About the Author:

The acclaimed author of The American Soul, Why Can’t We Be Good? and Money and the Meaning of Life, Jacob Needleman is Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University, and former Director of the Center for the Study of New Religions at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He lives in Oakland, CA.

From Publishers Weekly:

Most people have a intrinsic desire to do good rather than evil, yet all humans fail in perplexing ways to do good. Needleman's titular question has haunted philosophers and religious thinkers since Socrates. Needleman, professor of philosophy at San Francisco State and popular author of Lost Christianity, offers his eloquent and entertaining thoughts about why humans are such flops at goodness. He draws on a wide range of philosophers, religious thinkers and psychologists—from Socrates to Buddha to Rabbi Hillel—and discovers that our inability to be good is simple: humans are creatures of choice, and our freedom allows us to make bad choices as well as good ones. This freedom, however, is also "the freedom to love and act justly toward man." Using exercises from his own classes, Needleman suggests that the practice of attending to the other—listening carefully, repeating what the other person has said to ensure an accurate hearing—moves us a long way toward achieving the good. Though Needleman's answer to this age-old question about goodness is no more satisfying or original than any other, his lively prose, storytelling skills and lucid insights draw us into an animated conversation with a brilliant teacher. (Feb.)
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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The widely respected social philosopher embarks on his most gripping and broadly appealing work, asking the ultimate question of human nature: Why do we repeatedly violate our most deeply held values and beliefs? After nearly forty years of weighing humanity s deepest dilemmas-working in settings ranging from university and high school classrooms to corporate offices and hospitals-bestselling author, philosopher, and religious scholar Jacob Needleman presents the most urgent, deeply felt, and widely accessible work of his career. In Why Can t We Be Good? Needleman identifies the core problem that therapists and social philosophers fail to see. He depicts the individual human as a being who knows what is good, yet who remains mysteriously helpless to innerly adopt the ethical, moral, and religious ideas that are bequeathed to him. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781585426201

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The widely respected social philosopher embarks on his most gripping and broadly appealing work, asking the ultimate question of human nature: Why do we repeatedly violate our most deeply held values and beliefs? After nearly forty years of weighing humanity s deepest dilemmas-working in settings ranging from university and high school classrooms to corporate offices and hospitals-bestselling author, philosopher, and religious scholar Jacob Needleman presents the most urgent, deeply felt, and widely accessible work of his career. In Why Can t We Be Good? Needleman identifies the core problem that therapists and social philosophers fail to see. He depicts the individual human as a being who knows what is good, yet who remains mysteriously helpless to innerly adopt the ethical, moral, and religious ideas that are bequeathed to him. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781585426201

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