Friday, May 18, 2007

review on a partially read book...


I started reading Christopher Hitchen's God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. It was a Mother's Day gift from Offspring #2 who happened to see the author on The Daily Show and thought I might find it interesting. (He knows I like books related to the theo topic.)

And indeed I do find the book interesting so far -- I'm around page 80. However, I must admit the author is getting on my nerves. It's not that I have a problem with Hitchens criticizing religion. Stand in line, buddy, there is a lot to criticize! And I do agree with some of his points such as that a person can be moral without being religious. Totally no argument there.

But Hitchens is often way too extreme for my liking. He writes as if religion does almost nothing right and secularism does almost nothing wrong. (Let's face it, both have good points and bad points.) Further, he makes such sweeping generalizations! According to Hitchens, the religious mind is "literal" while the atheistic mind is "inquiring". This leads me to wonder just how many (and what sort of) religious people Hitchens knows! One other thing I find annoying is that the author takes extreme religious positions (which I'll grant are fun to knock), then acts as if they are mainstream. Hmm.... Did Hitchens study the topic fully before pounding on the keyboard?

In any event, I'll keep reading... and I may post final thoughts when I finish the book!

3 comments:

Diane said...

I've been reading about that book. I saw him on the Daily Show too once and he is rather entertaining. I know I should read at least one of the current crop of "all religious peple are stupid and insane" books but I can't choose which one. Maybe at least Hitchens is entertaining. I too think they probably have good arguments, but I do get the impression that they think all religious people are stupid and insane. Keep me posted!

marie said...

Some groups are more fun to knock than others.....I'm still giggling about the "howling/laughing 'til you drop/rolling on the floor" crowd. Oh, dear. My bad.

Serena said...

I'm thinking this is one or those books that I can "read" via your book report. -:)