This is an appeal to be a free and independent thinking person. Many of us got into trouble with religion because we did not do this. We let others do the thinking for us. Many of us learned to externalize authority. We mistrusted ourselves and bought into the dangerous proposition of trusting the “experts.” Since 2005 I have been chronicling my journey of deconstructing my religion, Christianity. Once I started doing my own thinking I was shocked by how many things I was told in virtually all facets of life that didn’t hold weight, and nothing more than a biased opinion by someone who had an agenda or an axe to grind. What we’ve been told by the institutions of religion, government, education, medicine is simply not true, and if you apply due diligence in deconstructing them you will discover this for yourself.
Be a questioner. Start with the most basic and fundamental things you were told to never question, or those things it never occurred to you before to question. Don’t accept anything on the premise that it’s always been that way or because some “expert” says it’s so. It’s important that you don’t stop learning and educating yourself. Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive are two places to access free books.
Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, and make them free to readers. It was founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart and is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The project makes them in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer. As of March 2014, Project Gutenberg claimed over 45,000 items in its collection. The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of “universal access to all knowledge.” It provides permanent storage of and free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books. As of October 2012, its collection topped 10 petabytes. In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating for a free and open Internet. Right now I am reading books by Noam Chomsky, John Dewey, and Friedrich Nietzsche – all of them free from Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive.
Here’s a few books I’ve read that I’ve found useful:
Deconstruction of Christianity (Church history):
Deconstruction of Social Structures:
Pedagogy of the Oppressed (education)
Bad Samaritans (economics)
Silent Spring (environment)