Auburn, WA, United States | Member Since 2008
tell me how to avoid getting taken advantage of (like the moronic How To Deal With Difficult People) and the worse than useless In Sheep's Clothing), I decided to take a look at the opposite end of the problem--the manipulators themselves: a much better idea, as it turns out. Without Conscience provides a nicely developed portrait of the psychopath, people born without the ability to empathize and register normal human feelings, even though they can imitate them convincingly enough to con and abuse others. (There are an estimated 2 million psychopaths among us in the US, and they are not to be confused with their most extreme representative: the serial killer. Chances are you know or have known a psychopath.) The neurology represented in this book is a bit behind the current wisdom and for better information about the brain's role in psychopathy, one might read The Science Of Evil and The Tell-Tale Brain. Overall, Without Conscience is a very useful book for understanding the serious manipulator and how to deal with him/her.
reminder of the vital need for traditional values in a culture drifting ever closer to moral relativism and suppression of traditional values... This book is about the reestablishment of the traditional family as the central element of American culture, but it is about a lot more than that: namely, the need for movement away from the Orwellean, 1984 reliance upon Big Brother government for the establishment of moral value and the common good. It is a call away from the morally relativistic "individualism" of postmodern America to the rugged individualism that put the burden of the common good and social stability upon "the people" rather than on a governing body that could then impose its own system of self-serving values upon the people. It is a call for a renewed sense of responsibility and a holding to the values that have made for a strong America in the past... And should you think there is not an active suppression of traditional values in this country, consider this: today, my wife was giving a taped interview for her workplace concerned with positive activity she was doing in the public sector. During the interview, she stated that she felt her public service was an expression of her Christian faith. At this point, the interviewer/camera person paused and turned to the person in charge of the project and asked sotto voice (but loud enough for my wife to hear): "can we use that?"--that is, "can she say that?" or, more rightly, "isn't anything having to do with traditional religion out of bounds outside of the musty walls of a church building?" Imagine such a question in regard to race, nationality or sexual orientation--the interviewer would have never worked again. But because religion is the current social kryptonite, he felt compelled to inquire as to whether or not its very mention should be censored. And totally without regard to whether or not my wife would be offended by such effrontery. Read this book while you are still allowed to do so.
to Kant and his line of reason. I have read Kant and can recommend this book as a good introduction to difficult work for someone who is less acquainted with philosophy. Kant is not at all easy, and reading this book first will make one familiar with the basic premises with which he will be dealing.
is contained in this short treatise on absolute rational moral value. Kant is one of the all-time great thinkers in the realm of philosophy and morality, and he should be read by everyone. A warning should go with this recommendation, I suppose. One cannot go in with an E.L. James/Stephanie Myers vocabulary and depth of understanding and expect to come away with much. It takes a familiarity with higher language and higher thought. There is no short-cut to excellence or to understanding it.
of the hidebound, ideologically-driven fundamentalism that has made for the wasteful and unproductive political stand-off in the American two party system over the last forty or so years. The book has flaws. For one, its title is far too apocalyptic, and the book itself acknowledges this tacitly, making suggestions for revitalizing the conservative party; and too, it underestimates the stagnation of the liberal party, which has come about for the same reason that the conservatives have become so steadily ossified, that is, the espousal of a hard party line, conformity over consensus. The book's highlights are its reflections on the political theories of Burke and Disraeli, too brilliant men who should be read by all, but are, alas, probably beyond the uninformed and unintelligent masses which have made for the unthinking, unreflective ideological systems we currently have in place. (I will suggest a modern-day Burke/Disraeli, and study him if you have the heart: the vastly undervalued Peter Hitchens, brother of vastly overvalued Chris Hitchens.)
Peter, of course, not Chris. A marvelously intelligent and personal counter to his brother's screed against the Christian Faith, Peter Hitchen's Rage Against God is perhaps one of the best apologetics for Christianity for our modern age.
Metaxas' fine books on Bonhoeffer (my personal hero) and William Wilberforce, two men who really need to be known by just everyone. This book includes mini-biographies of seven great men, including these two, men who sacrificed personal grandeur and power for the greater good. This book is like an hor dorvers tray which should whet your appetite for more on all of these seven figures in history. Certainly do read Metaxas' books on Bonhoeffer and Wilberforce. If you have not come across them before, you will wonder that you hadn't heard of such forceful figures in the history of the world. (The two or three reviews here that scream about RELIGION! as though it were social kriptonite illustrate the exact reason why our society needs to know about great men like those in this book--sacrificing oneself for a great cause, and forbid! a religious one--is now considered stupid and passe. That is a sad truth about what we have become.)
for someone who has read nothing on the topic. For anyone familiar with work on trust and morality by writers like Pinker, Wright, and Trivers, you are going to find a lot of familiar road: the Prisoner's Dilemma, computer simulations of moral behavior, the Tit for Tat model of moral behavior. With this book, as with those by the neo-Darwinians, one does get a little tired of the "evolutionary" idea that morality is always on shifting sands, depending on the moment, and that people are always subconsciously, or consciously gauging what they can get away with and only acting morally when there is a chance of getting caught--discounting the very idea that someone could have hard-held moral principles outside of the wager on whether or not he would ever be found out.
of Brizendene's book on the female brain. Both books do a great job of exploring how hormones and brain structures tend boys and girls in different directions. These are science books and not just venus-mars pop stuff, but they are written to be understood by the layman. Read them together.
Feminism and Marxism preached that there was no such thing as human nature or difference in the genders outside of what the environment determined. Recent brain science has proven that to be incorrect. Brizendine's book is a thorough and scientific explanation of how hormones and brain structures incline a human to have those wonderful and sometimes confounding traits we call "feminine."
by many to vote down positive reviews of books like this tells the tale: Darwin and his theory are on the way out, disproved by modern biology, but Dawkins and his band of followers are going down only in an ideological shoot out, the truth notwithstanding. Read this along with the works of Michael Behe and Philip Johnson's Darwin On Trial.
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