- Publisher: Larkin Rose (2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 145075063X
- ISBN-13: 978-1450750639
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.7 x 0.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Dangerous Superstition Paperback – 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
A person becomes an adult when he outgrows the need to be given moral commandments from people he thinks of as "authorities," and learns to judge for himself what is right or wrong. This is a book to read to discover just how adult YOU really are. The book as a whole is a litmus test that will show whether the reader is an adult with independent judgment, or still a child, believing every fantasy and superstition that the "authorities" in his life have told him to believe.
You may or may not agree with Rose's conclusions, but you should be prepared to have many of your own cherished beliefs challenged and examined. This is a book to stretch your mind, and that may be uncomfortable, if your mind is out-of-shape. But like any good workout, the results are very rewarding.
The "most dangerous superstition" referred to in the title is the idea of "authority," which includes all belief in "government." No, I'm not providing "spoilers;" this is something Rose lays out on Page 2 of the book. He doesn't deny that all the legislators, police, bureaucrats and soldiers exist -- they clearly do. But the thing that makes "government" something more than a gang of thugs is the respect -- even reverence -- in which it is held by the people it rules. "Government" is commonly believed to have a RIGHT to rule us, and we commonly believe ourselves to have a DUTY to obey their commands (which are called "laws.") Rose unleashes a ferocious array of arguments proving that neither that RIGHT nor that DUTY can logically -- or morally -- exist. If that sounds silly to you, YOU need to read the book.
This is a remarkable book, remarkable for its honesty, its logic, its passion and the profound importance of its conclusions. There is also much to admire in Rose's clear, concise prose. He discusses important ideas without becoming overly-philosophical or boring. It is also a very important book, important the way Atlas Shrugged -- or Tom Paine's Common Sense -- are important. The most dangerous superstition IS dangerous because it enslaves our minds, which leads to the enslavement of our whole lives. This is a book to set us free.
I stumbled on Larken Rose speaking on Youtube and was so startled by his gift for clarity of thought and expression I went to his web site and bought all his books. This book is jaw-dropping, gasp-inducing, astounding, life-changing, with so many quotable aphorisms I underlined every fourth sentence, circled every third paragraph, cluttered the margins with exclamation points, stars, and scribbles. This is a book that forces you to wrestle with it. I was pinned.
No, I've never met Larken. He has no idea who I am. This is not nepotism. He is Thomas Paine without the rhetorical flourishes. If you think government can do "some" good, Larken will walk you through the reasons why this shared delusion is self-contradictory, anti-rational, and ethically deranged. We don't realize how deeply we brainwash each other. We don't just drink the Cool-Aide, we marinate in it. Conservatives and Liberals are both wrong precisely to the extent they agree.
If you read all 210 pages, you cannot help but decide all government must be evil and destructive by its very nature, from its initial foundational axioms to its total net effects, and our world would flourish with no government at all if we just apply the principles we teach our children to adults in government costumes: no hitting, no taking other people's stuff, keep your promises, use your words, and, yes, it matters who "started it."
Larken has cultivated a discipline of integrating his heart and mind, and he speaks to your efforts to do the same. His clarity and concision are truly find-freeing.
"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes
This book is very easy to read and follow the logic, and does require honest reflection of one's beliefs, as it presents ideas, ideas that have the power to change the world. Only a slave would not be willing to always question their beliefs and ideas. From the movie "V for Vendetta": Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.