|Ch. 18: A Finer Tradition: The Resistance of the Rational
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|Author:||Chris OConnor [ Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:42 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Ch. 18: A Finer Tradition: The Resistance of the Rational|
God is Not Great
Ch. 18: A Finer Tradition: The Resistance of the Rational
|Author:||Robert Tulip [ Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:21 am ]|
Quotes from this chapter
|Author:||DWill [ Tue May 05, 2009 8:23 am ]|
Although faith of one sort or another has been compulsory for most of history in most places, there have been exceptional people who asserted a rational alternative against it. These are heroes for Hitchens, and he tells us about them in this chapter. Foremost, and first in time, is Socrates, even though we can't be sure that what is recorded about him is historically accurate. Others are Epicurus, Lucretius, Spinoza, Kant, Voltaire, Hume, Paine, Franklin, Darwin, Russell, and Einstein.
Hitchens ends the chapter with an interesting account of an "absolutely tragic day in human history...the occasion that is now commemorated by the vapid and annoying holiday known as 'Hannukah'." The event the holiday rather mindlessly celebrates in order to have a Jewish counterpart to Christmas, was a local victory of Mosaic fundamentalists against cosmopolitan Jews who showed too much attraction to Greek civilization. Eventually, the Romans backed this fanatical sect, which led "to Christianity (another Jewish heresy) and thus ineluctably to the birth of Islam. We could have been spared the whole thing."
One of my favorite statements: "Lucretius anticipated David Hume in saying that the prospect of future annihilation was no worse than the contemplation of the nothingness from whcih one came."
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