Friday, November 13, 2009


Christopher Hitchens: God is not great: how religion poisons everything.

I was not sure what to think about this book. I went into it as a relatively resisting reader, not expecting to enjoy it at all, but it was a brisk and easy read as it turned out. (I suspect that would not be the case at all for a theistic reader).

But at the end I'm not convinced. It was mostly because of the socio-political history that Hitchens refers to and uses that, well, I know I don't know enough about, but I felt fairly keenly that his biases are showing, and not necessarily just about theism.

I was uncomfortable with his reference material and would be a lot happier had there been the meticulous referencing you might find perhaps in Dawkins' works. Hitchens is an essayist and this was a polemic, but I felt there wasn't really enough substance to this book and that the reader was expected to know where he was coming from and have reached similar conclusions about recent historical/political machinations, and there wasn't a lot of room for diverting views.

What Hitchens and I can agree on is sort of the more we know the more we realise we don't know and that's really exciting and enthralling rather than frightening.

But I'm not entirely convinced he really believes he has much to learn.

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