Saturday, October 6, 2012

10 Books That Screwed Up the World - And 5 Others That Didn't Help

10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others that Didn't Help By Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D. published by Regnery Publishing, Inc. This book was deeper than my normal tastes and abilities, but after two "intellectual" friends recommended it and I saw the title, I couldn't resist. I have not been a student of ideologies. I had only a cursory knowledge of the authors and works this book addresses, yet I found it to
be interesting and very informative.

The author surveys the major writings of ideologues such as; Machiavelli, Descartes, Rousseau, Marx, Darwin, Nietzche, Sanger, Hitler, Kinsey and others. The book includes the premise behind each work, background on the author and the negative results of their theories on the culture and ideologues to follow. I was surprised to find how much these ideologies have permeated our culture and even my own thinking.

The author starts the book with the concept that ideas have consequences, and in this case negative consequences. That certainly is evident in the pages that follow. It is clear to me how easily we can buy into these ideas; most often because they satisfy our flesh or pride. It was interesting and revealing that all of the ideologues claimed to be atheists. The author's spiritual position is not demonstrative but also not hidden. I found this paragraph in the book especially helpful. "What is ideology?

We live in such an ideological age that it's hard for us to distinguish good thinking from bad. The crucial distinction is that ideology is not philosophy. Philosophy is the love of wisdom, the love of what is real, whether we happen to like it or not. It is the desire for truth, and the continual humility to remold our desires to fit reality. Ideology comes at truth from the opposite direction, molding truth to what we happen to desire....Pseudo-science is thus the handmaid to ideology. Politics is its hammer." The book was a great read and well worth the time.

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