Until I hit the age of forty (or was it the other way around?) I avoided Philosophy because I had this mental picture of old bearded Greeks wearing bedsheets asking each other the meaning of meaning.
But, then I stumbled upon a book in the library. I can't really tell you why I picked it up and flipped through it. I think I was in the wrong section looking for something else. But, I ended up in Philosophy with a book in my hand by a guy named Moritmer J. Adler. I vaguely remembered his name from a book I'd read years earlier called HOW TO READ A BOOK. And--yes--I also identified him with the Encyclopedia Britannica series GREAT BOOKS OF THE WESTERN WORLD; he had put together that collection. I had a set of those.
So, for whatever reason I picked up this Adler book titled TEN PHILOSOPHICAL MISTAKES.
I just started in on the first page and before I realized it, I had read the whole damned book. Yeah, no kidding. It was wonderful. It answered questions I'd had all my life. And the guy was so plain spoken. No fancy sentences. No convoluted reasoning. It was like pouring milk in a glass and drinking it. This was something new to me.
Reading this one little book was like taking medicine and getting well. And there was no religion connected to it. That was pretty enticing too. All you needed was your own brain and the ability to go step by step and you could unravel the thread that holds the universe together. What more could I ask?
So, from that one little book I began reading Philosophy. I next went to Adler's ARISTOTLE FOR EVERYBODY. Wow. I had always heard of this guy--but, I had no idea that he was THE AUTHORITY for almost three thousand years. I mean, this little balding greek guy was THE MAN. He was tutor to Alexander the Great; he invented Logic; he was awesome.
Philosophy was the owner's manual for the brain. From Aristotle I proceeded to general books that told me who was who and what was what before I read specific philosophers. I figured out what the mechanism of their approach consisted of and how they worked their brain magic.
Rhetoric, metaphysics, Logic, epistemology, ethics, politics, esthetics---one by one the greatest minds spilled their golden coins into my hands and with the treasures they bestowed I could buy the moon and stars for a song.
Logical fallacies simply MUST be studied if one is to spot the hook being dangled in a specious argument. Hidden presuppositions are the leaven that ferments the whole lump of an otherwise impeccable argument. All the tumblers were falling into place, one by one, and soon I'd be able to open the vast vault of unsullied thinking.
Is a love of knowledge the tool of Satan? From the Watchtower standpoint the answer is YES, because satan means "opposer" and clear thinking invariably leads you away from Brooklyn's fangs and claws.
Watchtower philosophy is alien to humanity. It is founded on the idea that humans are worthless creatures who must be enslaved and made to work very hard lest they fall into mischief. Fill the human with self-loathing and fear and promise them a treat if they bend over and accept the KY gift of Governing Body wisdom.
My reccomendation is to start with Adler. Anything by Adler is wonderful. Why not visit his website and get a taste of what is in store?