Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Christopher Hitchens offers lively defense of his subtitle: ‘How Religion Poisons Everything’




COMMENTARY

The Authors@Google® series is one more in a long line of pleasures from the company that began by offering a better way to search. Christopher Hitchens spoke in August at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California. He set out to defend the subtitle of his book, ‘God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.’ Hitchens employs his characteristic razor-sharp wit and intellect with statements like, “Religion is a distillation of the wish to be a slave.” He posits the theory of a deity watching over you from the moment of birth, and “when you’re dead,” he says, “the real fun begins.”

Hitchens is one of my favorite authors; he is never dull and always makes me think. I may disagree with him about a number of issues, but he always pleases my intellect. He brought up the idea of his ancestors traveling to a holy place, before they believed in God, or at least the God Christians, Jews and Muslims worship. There’s a small bump there because I think mankind has always looked to some deity, if for nothing else as a mean to explain creation or solicit a better harvest. For Hitchens, Science is God (the cap on S is deliberate) and I always find that a wee bit troublesome, because science, from century to century, often contradicts its own manifestos, just as religion has done. Unless we live under a large rock, we know about the Big Bang theory. Science has yet to explain where matter and explosions came from to begin with; some might say religion bears the same burden.

Nevertheless, Hitchens makes excellent points and will surely set the mind on a journey. He will amaze anyone interested in the craft of writing, for in that last regard, no one can top him in my opinion.

2 comments:

Makarios said...

Christopher Hitchens - Atheist Anomaly
She: “So what do you think of Christopher Hitchens?”
He: “It’s odd really. What we have in Hitchens is a profoundly sad and angry atheist alcoholic who loves to voice his unique negative opinion about nearly everything. One so seldom finds those characteristic in combination with each other. No wonder other atheists find Mr. Hitchens so intriguing.”

Kay Day said...

Makarios,

Thanks for commenting.

While I appreciate differing opinions, I'm definitely not an atheist. To assume you have to be an atheist to find Hitchens intriguing is to embrace a complete lack of logic.

And I really didn't judge Hitchens on the latest book, but on the body of his past and present work.

I can't vouch for Hitchens's alcoholism. I never drank with him.

I admire the writing of Ezra Pound as well, and I won't go near his politics or moral center.

best, Kay Day