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

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You 've heard of the " Great ooks "?
These are their evil opposites. From Machiavelli 's The Prince to Karl Marx 's The Communist Manifesto to Alfred Kinsey 's Sexual Behavior in the Human Femal, these " influential " books have led to war, genocide, totalitarian oppression, family breakdown, and disastrous social experiments. And yet these authors' bad ideas are still popular and pervasive -- in fact, they might influence your own thinking without your realizing it. Here with the antidote is Professor Benjamin Wiker. In his scintillating new book, 10 Books That Screwed Up the World ( And 5 Others That Did n't Help), he seizes each of these evil books by its malignant heart and exposes it to the light of ay. In this eloquent, learned, and provocative exposé, you 'll learn:

* Why Machiavelli 's The Prince was the inspiration for a shor list of tyrannies ( Stalin had it on his nightstand)
* How Descartes' Discourse on Method " proved " God 's existence only by making Him a creation of our own ego
* How Hobbes' Leviathan led to the notion that we have a " right " to whatever we want
* Why Marx and Engels 's Communist Manifesto could win the award for the most malicious book ever written
* How Darwin 's The Descent of Man proves he intended " survival of the fittest " to be applied to human ociety
* How Nietzsche 's Beyond Good and Evil issued the call for a world ruled solely by the " will to power "
* How Hitler 's Mein Kampf was a sens of " spiritualized Darwinism " that accounts for his genocidal anti-Semitism
* How the pansexual paradise described in Margaret Mead 's Coming of Age in Samoa turned out to be a creation of her own sexual confusions and aspirations
* Why Alfred Kinsey 's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male was simply autobiography masquerading as science

Witty, poignan, and instructive, 10 Books That Screwed Up the World offers a quick education on the worst deas in human history -- and how we can avoid them in the future.
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Publication Date
Published April 15th 2008 by Regnery Publishing (first published January 1st 2008
Original Title of the Book
Ten Books That Screwed Up the World: And Five Others That Didn't Help
Number of Pages
260

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gave it

Descartes uses a specific sense of method for arriving at knowledge.

Descartes arrives at certainty that he is a thinking substance, that God exists,& that there is an external world of extended substance.

Descartes ’ method is an intellective approach for gaining indubitable knowledge.

Wiker interprets Descartes ’ method as a usefu one, for our daily use.

Wiker gets it wrong.The method of doubt is the means by which one arrives at the indubitability of the claim: I am thinking, therefore I am.

He realizes that even if his sense perceptions deceive him, even if he can ’ t tell his dreaming experiences from his wakeful ones,& even if an evil demon were deceiving him about the credibility of his mental operations, he is still thinking.

But Wiker thinks it “ ridiculous to single out thinking as the act by which I know I am existing. ” He thinks that Descartes ’ cogito formula is: “ While I am doing X, I can ’ t doubt my existence b/c I have to exist to do X. ” He concludes that Descartes ’ cogito “ is not essentially tied to thinking. ” Wiker ’ s position is that Descartes could have been just as certain about his existence if he had claimed: I smell, therefore I am.

Worse, I may think I ’ m having the sensation of smelling a rose, but I could be dreaming it.

In the secon case the reliability of my erceptions are in doubt, but at least I seem to know that I ’ m having experiences of the world.

At least if that were the case, Descartes thinks, I still have knowledge of conceptual notions-whether I ’ m dreaming or not, all triangles have 3 sides.

Yet, Descartes realizes that there is one proposition whose truth is indubitable-I am thinking, therefore I am.

Wiker is wrong.In Descartes ’ ontology, putatively real things such as color, sound, taste, odor do not exist in things.

Everything is known to us by means of the attribute of thought; but we can understand this thinking mind as having various thoughts over time.

A key to Descartes ’ epistemology is the principle of clear& distinct perception.

3) We can only know substance by means of clear& distinct perceptions.

Contrary to Wiker ’ s claim, it was not idiculous for Descartes to single out thinking.

Descartes said the opposite: that thought ca n't “ impose any necessity on things, but the necessity which lies in the thing itself determines me to think in this way. ” Descartes ’ proof for God ’ s existence purports to demonstrate that God ’ s existence is necessary.

This is contra Wiker ’ s assertion that the proof for God ’ s existence makes God ’ s existence depend on our thought of Him. Descartes holds to the opposite view: our idea of God depends on the possibility of God ’ s existence, not the contingency of our own thought.

gave it

Machiavelli – The Prince ( 1513) Descartes – Discourse on Method ( 1637) Hobbs – Leviathan ( 1651) Rousseau – Discourse on Inequality ( 1755) Marx – Communist Manifesto ( 1848) Mill – Utilitarianism ( 1863) Darwin – The Descent of Man ( 1871) Nietzsche – Beyond Good and Evil ( 1886) Lenin – The State and Revolution ( 1917) Sanger – The Pivot of Civilization ( 1922) Hitler – Mein Kampf ( 1925) Freud – Future of an Illusion ( 1927) Mead – Coming of Age in Samoa ( 1928) Kinsey – Sexual Behavior in Human Male ( 1948) Friedan – The Feminine Mystique ( 1963) These ideas can be summarized under ideas about God, an, the state, and good& evil.

All of them assumed there was no god and a few outwardly acknowledged their atheism ( Marx – Communist Manifesto, Nietzsche – Beyond Good and Evil, Lenin – The State and Revolution, and Freud – Future of an Illusion).

All basically see man as an animal ( Darwin – The Descent of Man, Nietzsche, and Hitler – Mein Kampf, Freud, Mead, and Kinsey) The state: The state is unnatural ( Hobbs, Rousseau, reud, and Mead).

Six concentrate on power – “ might makes right ” ( Machiavelli, Hobbs, Marx, Nietzsche, Lenin, and Hitler) and four are really into the point that there are no sexual mores ( Freud, Mead, Kinsey, and Friedan – The Feminine Mystique).

gave it

Unfortunately, this book had no " substance " and was simply an attack on the authors of those classics because they were athiests.

gave it

The progression of ideas advanced in the books critiqued by Dr. Wiker might be viewed as a branching tree.

( Analogy is mine, not Wiker ’ s.) The trunk from which all branches sprout is Machiavelli ’ s The Prince ( 1513).

Wiker sums it up, “ No act is so evil that some necessity or benefit can not mitigate it. ” From this base sprouts several larger branches.

The books Dr. Wiker chose to criticize all express an atheistic worldview and a call for an end to the restraints imposed by Judaic-Christian morality.

gave it

A few pages in and I see that this critique is really just a vehicle for the very conservative author to blast liberal, ATHIEST schools of thought and the world he sees as screwed up is a non-Christian world.

I am a Christ-follower, but not conservative ( but neither am I liberal) and so I am always a little taken aback when I hear a sermon like this decrying worldly thought as inherently bad.

This is what Professor Wiker is preaching, fear of any kind controversy or counter to his theological ideas.

gave it

I felt bamboozled into keeping an open mind only to find myself struck with a final-uppercut-blow of the writer ’ s seething missives and tainted biases.In fairness and in the spirit of constructive criticism, which the book lacked, the author seem to do a goo job of exposing fallacies in the arguments he covers and explaining how dangerous the philosophies can be if applied incorrectly or with hidden personal motives.I was drawn to this nove by its title and intrigued by its criticisms as I read on.

gave it

how can you judge an intellectual work ( he is talking about the discourse on method by Descartes) because it doubts things.

but because Descartes' work is philosophical and mainly speculative, then we are given the right to undermine its significance or even truth?.

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