God’s Debris, by Scott Adams, is a total mind-blow. It is, indeed, one of the most provacative philosophy books I have read in a long time. As Adams says himself, the book is not a reflection of his opinions or necessarily of anything more than nonsense. He just took the simplest answer for the philosophical questions he poses. However modestly he begins the book, it’s clear he hasn’t fooled around. The points he presents in the book on religion, the sexes, and other topics will cause you to seriously think about your beliefs and why things are the way they are on this earth. Especially poingnant is his chapter on Holy Land when we have so many groups fighting each other on account of Holy Land.
I’d like to share my favorite part of the book. A conversation is taking place between a sage old man and a delivery man, who is our main character and speaks in the first peson.
“Has anyone advised you to be yourself?”
I said I’d heard that a lot.
“What does it mean to be yourself?” he asked. “If it means to do what you think you ought to do, then you’re doing that already. If it means to act like you’re exempt from society’s influence, that’s the worst advice in the worl; You’d probably stop bathing and wearing clothes. The advice to ‘be yourself’ is obvious nonsense. But our minds accept this tripe as wisdom becase it is more comfortable to believe we have a strategy for life than to believe we have no idea how to behave.”
Just that one little section caused me to pause reading and contemplate what had just been said. The phrase it used so much it’s a cliche we really don’t even believe too much, but people keep on saying it! What can one be but him or herself? What does it mean to not be yourself? Just because you are acting out of character does not mean that you are not acting as yourself, because then who are yo acting as? You are acting the way that you act in these situations or the way you have chosen to act this time. If you reply that to be yourself is to always act the same way, then you are asking for a false lunacy. Are you saying that I should act the same way irrespective of who the characters are? That whether I’m dealing with an old lady or a sex offender that my response should be the same? The more you think about it, the more the phrase just annoys you because of how nonsensical it is.
The entire book poses similar questions which really require the reader to think about long-held assumptions. I’d recommend it to anyone and it’s a pretty light read. The PDF I read was 144 pages.