Friday, August 20, 2010

"God is not Great" is not Great

Along with The Bishop's Man, I am also reading Christopher Hitchens' God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. After eight chapters and some, I am finding it a bit of a tough slog, a bit like certain chapters in the Old Testament.

There is no question that Hitchens is an excellent writer, an intelligent man, and someone who is passionate about religion - obviously in an anti-religious way. But there are two things that strike me about God is not Great. First, what was the purpose of writing it? Did Hitchens think that by proselytizing his anti-religious views, he would win converts to atheism? Did he hope that Christians or Muslims reading his books would suddenly see the error of their ways and remove the blinkers from their eyes?

The second thing that strikes me about this book is the fact that Hitchens virtually ignores the good that religion has done for people throughout history. Does he really think that an individual intelligent and curious enough to pick up his book and read is not going to quickly notice that it paints an utterly one-sided picture of religion, thereby utterly invalidating everything he says?

I can hardly wait to read Dawkins.

More on this later.

Or maybe not.

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