Richard Todd Devens
Outskirts Press, Inc. (2013)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (12/13)
In “Rational Polemics,” Richard Todd Devens takes current social issues that often involve controversy, politics and ethics, and discusses them from a rational point of view. It is refreshing to read a book like this because we live in a world where many people irrationally base their opinions and beliefs upon their emotions rather than reason. The topics covered range from religion to the death penalty to prostitution and even cannibalism. I found it very entertaining to read because while I am not an atheist, like Devens, I actually agreed with many of his arguments and found myself gathering additional ammo for future discussions with those who disagree with me.
I like that each topic is separated and has its own chapter. This makes it easier to follow the discussions and the helpful table of contents provides a quick reference which the reader can refer back to when needed. Many of the topics are also cited with examples of people who achieved fame by being in the media. He also uses his own personal situations to explain why he feels a certain way about a particular subject. Devens clearly discusses his ideas behind his beliefs about a topic and compares it to those with opposing beliefs.
Close-minded people will surely hate this book. If there is a particular close-minded person that you do not like, “Rational Polemics,” by Richard Todd Devens would be the perfect gift for them. For myself, I feel that this book would make a great selection as required reading in critical thinking courses. The controversial opinions stated by the author will definitely lead to some stimulating discussions.