I’m still thinking about the post-apocalyptic world and the Post-Apocalypse Bible I’m going to write. I will come up with a new name for that, but Hitchhiker’s Guide is already taken. But this is no easy task. I am going to need a lot of supporting materials. So where do I start? What books are going to help me?
I’ve had this discussion before, and I’ve been told that On the Origin of Species or The Selfish Gene should be my first priority. But I don’t want to encourage a mistake. It is easy for people to confuse the theory of evolution with a moral construct called Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is misnamed because Darwin didn’t advocate it, and his theory pertains to biology and not to sociology or morality.
The Moral Landscape. Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape, however, is our best attempt at knowing morality. Even if you think morality comes from God, that merely argues that God is a transcendent referent for morality, but The Moral Landscape actually includes a method of knowing. We won’t have access to fMRI scanners, but the principles will still be there. Even moral relativists agree with the gist (but not the detail) of this book; it makes an excellent case for morality being about people’s happiness and sadness.
Mortality. Christopher Hitchens was a great writer, but books like God is not Great are not the message I want. To me, that book reads ‘people are not great, and God shows no sign of wanting to change that’. Mortality is an honest account of facing death. It is a sobering read, but also very uplifting.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. David Hume’s book on understanding is rather brilliant. Hitchens has summarised the book with “that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence” and “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. It also does a reasonable job of outlining the scientific method. That way of thinking should keep Witch Hunts and Homeopathy at bay.
Germs. This is a children’s book by Ross Collins. I think it’s fun. And hygiene is important. Health will definitely get chapter in my Book.
Work! Consume! Die! If I gave you 100 years to name a million people who might make the list of people whose writing I’d want to save, I bet Frankie Boyle still wouldn’t make the list. But Work! Consume! Die! is an excellent criticism of the world we’ll be leaving behind. It conveys the same message as Bill Hicks’ It’s Just a Ride.
And it is Just a Ride, which is why I want to call my book, the Bible 2, I want to call it A Hitchhikers Guide. Not “The”, I am not the authority on this, but “A”.
I would probably keep Cosmic Quandaries, The Grand Design, A Universe from Nothing and Quantum. But only for personal interest, and perhaps to prove that a society capable of understanding that stuff did once exist. But it won’t have any use.
A friend of mine wants to keep all the great literature and best-selling books of all time so that he can write and publish them in his own name.