Wednesday, August 22, 2007
god is not great
I imagine the provocative title alone will have the effect of not changing many minds on that eternal of all questions: Is there a God? Hitchens, if you're not familiar with him, is a writer, critic, and intellectual in the way of the pugilist. He's not interested in political correctness. The bold chapter titles such as, "Religion Kills", "The Nightmare of the Old Testament", and "....Why Heaven Hates Ham" are intended to provoke. If you've seen him interviewed, he is not one to prevaricate. His opinions are strong and his arguments often stronger.
In his book, he builds his arguments on how religion is a man-made construct, based on ancient myths; often plagiarized; and anathema to human enquiry and reason. He spares none of the mainstream beliefs; equally derisive of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhists.
This book will most certainly be dismissed by the faithful; at best scorned, at worst, a wish for it to be burned. This in itself would be making one of Hitchens' main points: the faithful are (generally) dogmatic, closed to inquiry, and the advancement of humanity. If you were to take up a discussion with Hitchens, you'd better be prepared to have had a close reading of the major religious texts, for he certainly has.
A good read.