Friday, October 08, 2010

Finished Another Book!

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens - Of all the books availalbe to read on this planet, this one probably would raise the eyebrows highest for the people who know me - if not for the content, then at least for the title.

However, I had to read this book for two reasons:

1) I have to read everything. The deal I made with myself is that if there is a controversial book whose content might effect my philosophical underpinnings adversely, I must also read the best available converse book for balance. I therefore read David Wolpe's "Why Faith Matters" at the same pace and actually finished both books on the same day.

2) I love Hitchens' writing in general. There is simply no one on earth with a better command of the English language than he. And if you can find me one who does (and I challenge you to do so), then at the very least, there is simply no one on earth who combines amazing literary intelligence with masterful insolent wit.

I absorbed all the information and enjoyed running to a dictionary every few seconds (his word choice is so expert, he should give lessons to those who try big words and contextually fail with them). I disagreed vehemently with two points and agreed vehemently with another.

Disagreement # 1: I was quite surprised at his lack of proper research into the finer details of Orthodox Judaism. If you're going to rail against it, know it. He himself says in the closing sentence that to fight one's enemy, you must first understand it. Ergo, he cannot fight Judaism without a better understanding of it.

Disagreement # 2: He addressed the classic argument that atheists are too responsible for scads of historical mass murder. His response is that the regimes responsible were religious in their construction. This argument is invalid, especially in the face of a much simpler argument he can easily counter with: would you assume that if these atheist murderers introduced G-d into the equation of their lives, they would have ceased their activity or increased it?

Agreement: He says with clarity that one needs not to be a moral person to achieve a great moral accomplishment. Often religions cry against this, citing purity of heart as responsible for purity of achievement. Both Hitchens and I believe this to be nonsense. Great, great, moral advances and lofty accomplishments have been achieved by people who hey, like to sleep with scores of women. So what?

Now if you'd like to rebuke me for reading this book, shove it up your poopchute. If you'd like to discuss it with me as a gentleman, please feel free to e-mail me. Let's talk.


At 1:22 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

You're brave.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Me said...

Nah, I won't stand to be censored, is all.


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