Monday, September 24, 2007

God is not Great - How Religion Poisons Everything

Before I begin to review this best-selling book by Christopher Hitchens, I need to first explain to you Occam's Razor. Occam's Razor is a philosophical principle from the 14th century that is often paraphrased as "All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the right one."

There, I've saved you from having to go out and purchase this book by Mr. Hitchens. The author relies so heavily and references so often this 600 year old principle, put to paper by a monk, that his book really should be titled, Occam's Razor: Religion Poisons Everything. Ah, but that book just wouldn't sell now would it. I have to admit myself that the title "God is not Great" really did jump out at me from the shelf at Target.

There are glaring differences between this book and the last book I read, The God Delusion. Richard Dawkins fancies himself a scientist, while Hitchens fancies himself a journalist. Hitchens' book reads more like an editorial in the back of the paper. It is a 300 page rant, sometimes dipping down to a level of pure childishness. I guess it was just a little disappointing after having read Dawkins' book, which was simply a better piece of writing.

If you wanted to read both books, I'd say be my guest, though it might be a bit redundant. But if you were only going to read one, then I would definitely recommend The God Delusion.

I'm still waiting to receive Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris.


SingForHim @ Real Life said...

I heard an hour-long interview with Hitchins on Michael Medved's radio show. When you hear his background, you'll understand why he is so bitter toward any religion. He was once a member of a cult in London. This book is less about a logical thought, than his own deep hurts acted out on believers.

Thanks for the review. I'm here from Live.Awake

Ryan said...

Hitchens actually takes pot shots at Dawkins in this book. I find it amusing that they can't get along.

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