Thursday, March 04, 2010

More Books (15-16)

Finished the first of these several days back, though it was too painful to even think about until now. I am speaking of

Not since reading "The Accident" (Author unknown) have I come across a book that is so deserving of destruction. The author clearly has never studied any philosophy, logic, or ethics, and dismisses all who do as mere pointless musers or some such nonsense.

Why does he do this? It appears so he can try to pull the wool over the eyes of those who might read the book.

While he claims that the "golden rule" is the only moral guide, and is a perfect one, he fails to actually apply his own rule in any sensible way. Unlike those mere muddlers, those condemned "thinkers" who actually consider whether a claim is true or an approach practical, he ignores all of the counter-examples to his claims, that is to say all of those countless cases where the "golden rule" actually tells us to do either the wrong thing, or something which cannot be moral at all (such as being "obligated" to buy all of the encyclopedias from the traveling salesman who comes to your door, this is required by the "golden rule" but is not in fact morally obligatory).

His entire pop-(non)philosophy book (nearly a pamphlet) assumes that you are going to do the right thing already. If you aren't then the golden rule is worthless, especially as he describes its application. If you are going to do the right thing anyway, then his rule can only lead you astray or offer nothing at all.

The book serves only purpose only: to make the author money at the expense of ethics and knowledge. Avoid this one and go to something of value!

Fortunately the next book was much better.

Voyage From Yesteryear Voyage From Yesteryear
by James P. Hogan

Hogan is one of the most solid sci-fi authors, and as he shows in this book, a truly gifted thinker as well. He crafts a story which involves a few novel approaches to not merely colonization but development of society, along the way also showing how a peaceful people who embrace responsibility and liberty (cannot have one without the other after all) can defend themselves through almost exclusively voluntary non-violent action, reserving a physical response only against the most dire and determined threat to innocents.

This one is a joy to read in this time of economic and political turmoil where daily we see reports on the every growing police state. To be reminded that peaceful existence is not only possible, but practical and in fact necessary to our continued existence, helps us keep going in light of all that is going on around us.

I believe that this makes numbers 15 and 16 of the 50 books effort..

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