Sunday, May 06, 2007

God is not Great

I have just finished this excellent book. It is well worth the read, providing many insights from Hitchens not included in Dawkins or Harris. Where reading Dawkins is like having a friendly conversation with a brilliant professor in your living room, and reading Harris is like listening to a perfect symphony with it's stunning precision and clarity, reading Hitchens is like a ceaseless staccatto of interesting facts and notes tied into a tapestry which provides a convincing bird's eye view inundated with one-liners which will make you literally laugh outloud.

I was very interested in seeing that Hitchens dedicated the book to Ian McEwan, who happens to be my favorite novelist. I had no idea there was a connection, and assumed that their views on the Iraq war were opposed (as most people are opposed to Hitchens' insistence that the war was a good thing to start). But on Charlie Rose, Hitchens says that McEwan more or less agrees that the war was a good idea and it is tragic it has failed.

Personally, I believe that if it were possible to inject democracy into the Middle East through war, I would be for it. Everyone agrees that our administration has gone about it foolhardedly. The question is, would *any* administration have succeeded. I personally don't think so. And this makes the idea of war for democracy naive, in my opinion. Everyone with an opinion is more or less just a horse better.

It is sad that the talk radio hosts and pundits have conflated religion, foreign policy, and liberalism into false dichotomous terms to rouse conflict and sell the big fight to make money off commercials. In reality, there are many of us atheists who despise what passes for modern political conservatism yet who are consistently disgusted by the moral relativists who want to give certain people in society their fair say- for instance, not showing the pictures of the Danish cartoons to appease a bunch of superstitious lunatics.

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