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Internationally enjoyed illustrator and humanist thinker Jeff Stilwell takes us on a journey that begins in ancient history, in the land of Ur, where God making was all the rage. Pursuing that thread through the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the present day, we discover that we don't need to make up gods to explain things anymore. Since we all come accessorized with an expiration date, Stilwell encourages us all to make the most of this life we have to live, here and now.
Starring Stilwell's freethinking alter-ego Thrashin' Jack and his friend Lotus, Here and Now features over one hundred delightful and charming comics illuminating the story.
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"“Here and Now" is a very clever and amusing illustrated tale of how religion emerged. Accomplished illustrator and fellow humanist thinker Jeff Stilwell, takes the reader on a short illustrated journey that is surprisingly thought provoking and enlightening. This entertaining 123-page book includes the following four chapters: 1. The Idea That Worked, 2. The Idea That Worked (A Little Longer), 3. Is The Idea Still Working?, and 4. Here And Now.
1. Lucid, succinct and well thought out illustrated book.
2. A unique way of looking at how the concept of “God” emerged.
3. Clever way to explain the concept of “God” with some help from illustrated friends Thrashin’ Jack and Lotus.
4. Simple but surprisingly deep. It starts in Ur and it takes off from there. “In the beginning it was simple. We needed a God. So we created one.”
5. Stilwell cleverly explains why the “Gods” are useful.
6. The concept of the “One True God” or OTG is introduced.
7. And then there was heaven…the impact of the promise of heaven.
8. The return to Israel. “After two generations of living in Ur, one group of these conquered peoples decided to return to the land from which they had been taken. This land, called Israel, lay right on the coast of the Med(iterranean Sea). These people were called Hebrews. They liked the One True God with his Heaven idea so much that when they traveled back to Israel, they brought the idea with them.”
9. The use of religion to make war. “Interestingly, just as the rowdy Persians had, the Hebrews, the followers of Jesus, and the followers of Mohammed all figured out that the idea of a Heaven to go to after you die made it much easier to make war on others.”
10. Explains why the gods are still and not “useful” today.
11. Thought-provoking quotes, “After all, if One True God was not there for them when they needed help the most, why should One True God be there for us when we need help the most?” Hmmm.
12. So what is the meaning of life? The three ways our focus shifts.
1. Illustrations-heavy book may not be for everyone.
2. It felt more like an appetizer than the main course, still tasty however.
In summary, what a fun and succinct way to think of the concept of gods. A picture or in this case an illustration can be worth a thousand words and Stilwell executes it well. A humanist, illustrator’s approach to one of the big eternal philosophical questions. It may not be for everyone but it provides a unique way to look at the question of “God” and at the end of the day that’s all that “God” is, a question. It’s different and I like it and recommend it."
"When you take away all the supernatural magic that surrounds religion, and explain religion in a clear-eyed, matter-of-fact manner, you get Here and Now.
Jeff Stilwell presents a carefully constructed road map for an intellectual journey towards atheism by describing what religion was, what it is now, how it works, why it fails and finally, addresses all the arguments against atheism.
I enjoyed the history of religion that is also a history of the world.
I liked the tone in this book. Stilwell presents the case for atheism in a gentle and non-confrontational way on a subject matter that usually causes strident "discussions" from both sides.
Jeff's illustrations are humorous and non-threatening. This is a great book for thought starters on how to discuss atheism and why we believe what we do.
Suitable reading for all ages!"