I do not think that his book works as a philosophy text or a self-help book. Ringer has learned a few things in his life and just as anyone becomes wiser with age some it is good advice. Stay away from toxic, abusive people – okay, seems like common sense. However, most of it is horrible, detrimental advice that should be avoided. As other reviewers have mentioned, Ringer is an egoist: the philosophy which states that it is unethical to consider others before the self. He rants against the “moralists” of the world who want to tell you what to do. He does not believe that ethics is based on scientifically derived facts and well considered logic. He thinks that everyone makes up their own ethics (or “morality” as he calls it.) Nothing could be further from the truth. Ethics is a science, not something that one can just invent for themselves.
Let’s take something that is obviously unethical like eating meat. Ringer would call me a “moralist” for telling someone that eating meat when vegetables are available is wrong because it deprives an animal of it’s life unnecessarily. He would say that since the meat eater is satisfying his own interests, it’s perfectly fine. Ringer does say that one should not harm “others” but fails to define “others” or “harm.” Clearly he does not think that animals deserve any consideration, as neither did his idol Ayn Rand. Both writers clearly failed at logic. I really enjoy Rand’s science fiction novels and her promotion of atheism, however her ethical egoism is illogical. Yes, looking out for number one can, as a side effect, end up being best for everyone in some instances. However, this philosophy can also cause harm. Negative utilitarianism is the only worthwhile philosophical position. Everything else, including egoism, is crap.
Looking out for yourself, or your tribe, or your species is just irrational bigotry. You cannot be an egoist without causing harm. For instance look at Ringer’s own life. As an egomaniac he decided to bring four men into this world, a completely irrational thing to do, as it causes immense amounts of harm. But oh no! I’m a moralist telling an irrational idiot what to do! Shame on me for trying to prevent harm to someone else!
In a ridiculous article Ringer published about his son’s untimely demise he characteristically leaves out all details: how old he was, how he died, etc, and then goes on to stroke his own ego as a “member of the most solemn of all fraternities” when he says “Losing a child is something that cannot be fully comprehended by anyone who has not paid the fraternity’s oppressive membership fee.” This is just one of Ringer’s many lies. So because I have lost a parent and a brother I do not understand grief? I understand that Ringer made his son’s death happen by creating him. He did it to serve his own massive ego and did not care what misfortunes happen to his children. It’s all about HIM. This book is stupid, half-baked nonsense and a waste of paper. Ringer does not have the mind nor the education to be giving advice. He is simply a moron.
* star outta *****