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Which books have influenced your thinking the most?

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
Just interested in where people are coming from and also trying to pick up some reading recommendations. If you'd like, please do include a one-sentence description or explanation of why or how the book has influenced your thinking.
post #2 of 73
The books of Erich von Däniken . >link to wikipedia<

He makes some interesting points ans brings up some interesting questions, also, the phenomena which he researches are cool .
post #3 of 73
Over the course of the last couple years, I'd say:

End of Faith - Sam Harris

This is not to start a debate off-limits on Head-Fi, but simply to answer your question. End of Faith is Harris' take on the dangers of religion on reason. Should be read with MacKays Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds in mind. There are a couple wars going on and one of them is between the secular and religious. This is a pretty good handbook for the former.

Marriage: A History - Stephanie Coontz

Along with a chapter in The Accidental Masterpiece, this is my favorite dissection of popular perception of history. While the subject is inherently interesting, it extends out when the idea of "tradition" turns out to be a narrow time period. Also pretty hopeful if notions like direct interpersonal love can conquer other primary notions of property accruement, etc.

Honorable mention to Jon Ronson's Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats.
post #4 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessingx
There are a couple wars going on and one of them is between the secular and religious.
It's true, there are. Which is why you should read Bill O'Reilly's Culture Warrior. It doesn't really deal with secularism and religion that much, but focuses on traditionalists and secular progressives. It's a very interesting read and wakes you up to some of the things that are going on in America tht you most likely never knew about.
post #5 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by duderuud
The books of Erich von Däniken . >link to wikipedia<

He makes some interesting points ans brings up some interesting questions, also, the phenomena which he researches are cool .
Lol, isnt this the guy that believes in extra terrestrials.
post #6 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahwnfras
Lol, isnt this the guy that believes in extra terrestrials.
Yes he is .

But note that he is not saying his theories are facts, just that they are possible, and I have to say, read it and you'll be surprised on "the evidence". And weither you believe it or not, it does make you think, wich was the purpose of this thread, naming the books that made you think different about certain thinks.
post #7 of 73
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Amazon link

"the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms."
post #8 of 73
Z**** is this real?!

I see this thread...immediately Carl Sagan's candle comes to my mind...I google the cover to post it here, without a comment...open the thread...read the post above me and see this:

Quote:
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
This is surreal, wtf...no kidding, it's what just happened!



<3
post #9 of 73
The Cripple and His Talismans - by Anosh Irani - Wonderful fiction, a tale of redemption through the eyes of a madman. Bizarre, yet human. A good book to have you reflect on your own actions.

I'll refrain from adding too much else, as it seems this is mainly a non-fiction thread, but The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail is a fascinating string of conspiracies focused on freemasonry and the Knights Templar (yea yea, Da Vinci code crap, etc... remember this was written in the 70's).
post #10 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokedfish
Z**** is this real?!

I see this thread...immediately Carl Sagan's candle comes to my mind...I google the cover to post it here, without a comment...open the thread...read the post above me and see this:

This is surreal, wtf...no kidding, it's what just happened!
great minds work alike

Its a great book, I always try to be skeptical and logical, and analyze things. This book reinforced my views and made my outlook a lot clearer.
post #11 of 73
Atlas Shrugged here
post #12 of 73
Martin Gardner - The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener
C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity, God in the Dock
Douglas Hofstadter - The Mind's I
Richard Dawkins - Climbing Mount Improbable
The Bible
Mark Helprin - A Soldier of the Great War
Alexandre Dumas - The Count of Monte Cristo
Stephen Ambrose - Citizen Soldiers

To name just a few.
post #13 of 73
i had a very Christian upbringing, so I'll say the Bible too. But for entertainment I couldn't get enough of Watership Down when I was growing up - GO FIVER, GO! He was so much cooler than Hazel and Bigwig, it wasn't even funny
post #14 of 73
1) Plato's Republic
2) Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling
3) Nietzsche: hmm, hard to choose, I'll just say Thus Spoke Zarathustra
4) Dostoyevsky: Brothers Karamazov and Notes From The Underground
5) Camus: The Myth of Sysphus and The Stranger
6) Shakespeare's Hamlet
7) Mikhail Lermontov: A Hero Of Our Times
post #15 of 73
George H. Smith - The Case Against God



just started the ball rolling for me and it's been a great ride ever since

edit: blessingx - that marriage book looks interesting, may have to check it out, seems right up my alley
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