Susan's Reviews > 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help

10 Books That Screwed Up the World by Benjamin Wiker
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Feb 28, 2016

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bookshelves: christian, non-fiction, philosophy, politics, shelfari-christian, shelfari-non-fiction, shelfari-philosophy, shelfari-politics
Read from August 21 to September 11, 2012

Some readers reported disappointment that the author harped on how the books he chose pushed public thought toward godless solutions in public policy and replaced the basis of public ethics in the West with a concern for pragmatic concerns only.

They did not feel he proved that this was a bad idea, just presumed that it was.

I found that he did touch on why he believed this was a bad idea, but only in a limited way, and without discussing other possible alternatives. Now, I agree with his premises and his conclusions, generally speaking, but then I believe in God and I have not seen better policy or better behaved people out of those who do not share the Judeo-Christian worldview. Quite the reverse, lately. Just the same, not addressing this area effectively limits reasonable interest in his work to those who already agree with his worldview. That's a shame, because nonbelievers are perfectly capable of reconsidering the negative effects of many of these philosophical viewpoints if they aren't alienated by its presentation.

His argument is a bit repetitive and presumes acceptance of the idea that ethics based on a good deity who requires people treat each other well (Christian/Judaic God) will be more effective than admonitions based on self-preservation, especially in private settings. I think Chesterton's writings or C.S. Lewis' Abolition of Man both made that point better, and with less presumption that their position was the only 'right' one that any decent person could consider. It was still worth reading, despite its depressive qualities and this significant drawback.
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