The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out


Leonard Peikoff - 2012
    Leonard Peikoff casts a penetrating new light on the process of human thought, and thereby on Western culture and history. In this far-reaching study, Peikoff identifies the three methods people use to integrate concrete data into a whole, as when connecting diverse experiments by a scientific theory, or separate laws into a Constitution, or single events into a story. The first method, in which data is integrated through rational means, he calls Integration. The second, which employs non-rational means, he calls Misintegration. The third is Disintegration—which is nihilism, the desire to tear things apart. In The DIM Hypothesis Peikoff demonstrates the power of these three methods in shaping the West, by using the categories to examine the culturally representative fields of literature, physics, education, and politics. His analysis illustrates how the historical trends in each field have been dominated by one of these three categories, not only today but during the whole progression of Western culture from its beginning in Ancient Greece. Extrapolating from the historical pattern he identifies, Peikoff concludes by explaining why the lights of the West are going out—and predicts the most likely future for the United States.

The Devil Came to St. Louis


Troy Taylor - 2006
    Louis in 1949, creating a mystery that continues to endure to this day. But what really happened in this enigmatic case? How much of the mysterious story that has been told over the years is truth and how much fiction? Author Troy Taylor, who has examined many cases of ghosts and the unexplained over the years, has spent more than 10 years researching the facts behind this chilling story --- searching through old records, visiting the sites associated with the exorcism and even interviewing the last remaining witnesses to the strange events. This book now reveals the results of his work, unveiling the true facts behind what occurred in St. Louis in 1949 and allowing the reader to judge for himself whether the victim in the case, "Robbie Doe," was really possessed by demons or not. This eye-opening and horrifying book is not for the faint of heart and is liable to have you sleeping with the lights on long after you have closed it pages for the final time!

The Reason Revolution: Atheism, Secular Humanism, and the Collapse of Religion


Dan Dana - 2014
    It focuses squarely on the inherent irrationality of religion, and reveals its utter irreconcilability with science. Offering several "reconciliation theories" to people of faith, it forces every reader to make a choice.Contents The Reason Revolution in historical context Questioning belief Reasons for skepticism Secular humanism as an alternative worldview Political implications of atheism The collapse of religion Hopeful predictions Reconciliation theories Comments by clergyCall to action

An Atheist's History of Belief: Understanding Our Most Extraordinary Invention


Matthew Kneale - 2013
    The gods we created have evolved and mutated with us through a narrative fraught with human sacrifice, political upheaval and bloody wars.Belief was man's most epic labor of invention. It has been our closest companion, and has followed mankind across the continents and through history.

The Cult Files: True Stories from the Extreme Edges of Religious Belief


Chris Mikul - 2008
    Riveting, sometimes amusing, often horrifying stories show the inside workings of these groups, and trace their history - and often their demise. The book includes the Aum Shinrikyo followers, who killed twelve people in a poison gas attack on the Tokyo subway; and the Peoples Temple, in which Jim Jones convinced hundreds of followers to commit suicide en masse. Discover the unbelievable power and wealth held by cult leaders, and the physical and mental authority they wield over their followers. The full story of some of these cults is told for the first time in this book.

I Am the Gate


Osho - 1972
    Osho speaks on the relationship between freedom and consciousness, defines his neo-sannyas, and elaborates on the mysteries of initiation and disciplehood.

Maat the 11 laws of God


Ra Un Nefer Amen - 2003
    By observing them any spiritually mature person will gain access to wisdom and spiritual power, and thus serve as a vehicle for the manifestation of God in the world.

Sincerity: How a Moral Ideal Born Five Hundred Years Ago Inspired Religious Wars, Modern Art, Hipster Chic, and the Curious Notion That We All Have Something to Say (No Matter How Dull)


R. Jay Magill Jr. - 2012
    As sincerity has become suspect, the upright and honest have taken refuge in irony. Yet our struggle for authenticity in back-to-the-woods movements, folksy songwriting, and a craving for plainspoken presidential candidatesbetrays our longing for the holy grail of sincerity.Bringing deep historical perspective and a brilliant contemporary spin to Lionel Trilling's 1972 Sincerity and Authenticity, R. Jay Magill Jr. argues that we can't shake sincerity's deep theological past, emotional resonance, and the sense of conscience it has carved in the Western soul. From Protestant theology to paintings by crazy people, from French satire to the anti-hipster movement, Magill navigates history, religion, art, and politics to create a portrait of an ideal that, despite its abuse, remains a strange magnetic north in our secular moral compass.

Witch: A Tale of Terror


Charles Mackay - 2017
    This was a mass delusion and moral panic, driven by pious superstition and a deadly commitment to religious conformity. In Witch: A Tale of Terror, best-selling author Sam Harris introduces and reads from Charles Mackay's beloved book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

The Secret Life of Puppets


Victoria Nelson - 2003
    In a tour of Western culture that is at once exhilarating and alarming, Nelson shows us the distorted forms in which the spiritual resurfaced in high art but also, strikingly, in the mass culture of puppets, horror-fantasy literature, and cyborgs: from the works of Kleist, Poe, Musil, and Lovecraft to Philip K. Dick and virtual reality simulations. At the end of the millennium, discarding a convention of the demonized grotesque that endured three hundred years, a Demiurgic consciousness shaped in Late Antiquity is emerging anew to re-divinize the human as artists like Lars von Trier and Will Self reinvent Expressionism in forms familiar to our pre-Reformation ancestors. Here as never before, we see how pervasively but unwittingly, consuming art forms of the fantastic, we allow ourselves to believe.

Notebooks


Emil M. Cioran - 1997
    The Notebooks are rich in anecdotes, accounts of meetings, portraits of friends and enemies, descriptions of excursions and sleepless nights. Here are the lists, day after day, of failures, sufferings, anxieties, terrors, rages, and humiliations, curiously at odds with the daytime Cioran, so mocking and tonic, so comical and various. These brief entries constitute a backstage glimpse of a tormented mind, wise in its very torments, solitary in its wisdom.

From Fatwa to Jihad


Kenan Malik - 2009
    It examines how the Rushdie affair transformed the nature of the debate on tolerance and free speech.

Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives


Jane Brox - 2019
    This fascinating history of ideas also explores the influence the monastic cell had on one of society’s darkest experiments in silence: Eastern State Penitentiary. Conceived of by one of the Founding Fathers and built on the outskirts of Philadelphia, the penitentiary’s early promulgators imagined redemption in imposed isolation, but they badly misapprehended silence’s dangers. Finally, Brox’s rich exploration of silence’s complex and competing meanings leads us to imagine how we might navigate our own relationship with silence today, for the transformation it has always promised, in our own lives.  *Time

Deconstructing Jesus


Robert M. Price - 2000
    Over the millennia since the beginning of Christianity various congregations, from fundamentalist to liberal, have tended to produce a Jesus figurehead that functions as a symbolic cloak for their specific theological agendas.Through extensive research and fresh textual insights Robert M. Price paves the way for a new reconstruction of Christian origins. Moving beyond the work of Burton L. Mack and John Dominic Crossan on Jesus movements and Christ cults, which shows how the various Jesus figures may have amalgamated into the patchwork savior of Christian faith, Price takes an innovative approach. He links the work of F.C. Baur, Walter Bauer, Helmut Koester, and James M. Robinson with that of early Christ-myth theorists-two camps of biblical analysis that have never communicated.Arguing that perhaps Jesus never existed as a historical figure, Price maintains an agnostic stance, while putting many puzzles and scholarly debates in a new light.He also incorporates neglected parallels from Islam, the Baha'i Faith, and Buddhism. Deconstructing Jesus provides a valuable bridge between New Testament scholarship and early freethinkers in a refreshing cross-fertilization of perspectives.

Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism


Reginald Horsman - 1981
    Reginald Horsman's book is the first study to examine the origins of racialism in America and to show that the belief in white American superiority was firmly ensconced in the nation's ideology by 1850.The author deftly chronicles the beginnings and growth of an ideology stressing race, basic stock, and attributes in the blood. He traces how this ideology shifted from the more benign views of the Founding Fathers, which embraced ideas of progress and the spread of republican institutions for all. He finds linkages between the new, racialist ideology in America and the rising European ideas of Anglo-Saxon, Teutonic, and scientific ideologies of the early nineteenth century. Most importantly, however, Horsman demonstrates that it was the merging of the Anglo-Saxon rhetoric with the experience of Americans conquering a continent that created a racialist philosophy. Two generations before the "new" immigrants began arriving in the late nineteenth century, Americans, in contact with blacks, Indians, and Mexicans, became vociferous racialists.In sum, even before the Civil War, Americans had decided that peoples of large parts of this continent were incapable of creating or sharing in efficient, prosperous, democratic governments, and that American Anglo-Saxons could achieve unprecedented prosperity and power by the outward thrust of their racialism and commercial penetration of other lands. The comparatively benevolent view of the Founders of the Republic had turned into the quite malevolent ideology that other peoples could not be "regenerated" through the spread of free institutions.