Hitchens Wrap-Up
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Author:  DWill [ Tue May 19, 2009 8:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Hitchens Wrap-Up

Thee's still time, I would imagine, for questions to be submitted for Christopher Hitchens. Only a few readers have written any.
This might be the time, too, for any final thoughts on the book. I didn't think the discussion on this really ever got going, don't know why. Is there, to use a bad metaphor, a certain preaching to the choir effect that books like this have at this point? Maybe most readers are already convinced of the conclusions Hitchens makes, have read other books that take an atheist viewpoint, and don't need to go any farther. Or maybe, on the opposite end, the title of the book seemed just too extreme. Taken at face value, the title isn't a reasonable or true statement, as not everything people consider to be religion could have a poisoning effect. For Hitchens (or his publisher) the title is an attention-grabber. Inside the book, Hitchens makes it clear that he excuses those he calls "the thoughtful faithful," or the moderate and liberal religious who are pretty mellow regarding the God of the Bible or even non-believers in that god.

I would guess also, though, that Hitchens is not too concerned about rubbing someone the wrong way by an in-your-face title. There are about a zillion religious titles published every year, after all, so he might need his own drop in the bucket to make as big a splash as possible.

I really enjoyed this book for its passion and its literary quality.
My non-belief is not the same type as his, and reading the book didn't change that for me. But the book did reinforce my conviction that revealed religion and its texts are not necessary in any way for a good and moral life. I especially agree that literature has a big advantage over scripture when it comes to understanding morality.

Author:  Robert Tulip [ Fri May 22, 2009 10:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hitchens Wrap-Up

DWill wrote:
I didn't think the discussion on this really ever got going, don't know why.
There are 388 posts in the threads on God Is Not Great. How people managed to make 388 posts without getting a discussion going is a remarkable effort. Maybe it is worth people trawling the threads and seeing if there are any loose ends, or maybe if people are talking at cross purposes.

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