I just finished Christopher Hitchens' book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
. In my opinion, it is an excellent book. It is well researched and well written. I much prefer this book over Sam Harris', The End of Faith
as well as Richard Dawkins', The God Delusion
. If you want to start reading what many scientists as well as some atheists are saying, I would suggest starting with this book. It is also beautifully and poetically reading. It's a pleasure to read. I couldn't put it down for the movement of his thought and even his words. A couple of quotes?:
In reference to Kierkegaard's famous "leap of faith
", he says:
it is a leap that has to go on and on being performed, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary. This effort is actually too much for the human mind, and leads to delusions and manias. Religion understands perfectly well that the 'leap' is subject to sharply diminishing returns, which is why it often doesn't in fact rely on 'faith' at all but instead corrupts faith and insults reason by offering evidence and pointed to confected 'proofs'... (something Hitchens calls "feeble-minded inventions").
Here's another in the same vein:
In much the same way as prophets and seers and great theologians seem to have died out, so the age of miracles seems to lie somewhere in our past. If the religious were wise, or had the confidence of their convictions, they ought to welcome the eclipse of this age of fraud and conjuring. But faith, yet again, discredits itself by proving to be insufficient to satisfy the faithful. Actual events are still required to impress the credulous.
The 'evidence' for faith, then, seems to leave faith looking even weaker than it would if it stood, alone and unsupported, all by itself.
I agree with his statements above. Once faith requires proof or evidence, then it is no longer faith. I've come to believe that the real doubters of our age, the real faithless, are not the agnostic, atheists, questioners, rebels or backsliders, prodigals... whatever... but those who claim to know. If you claim to know, with supporting evidence and even proofs, then you are, in my opinion, really faithless. I personally thank Hitchens for an excellent book that really challenged me.
The intriguing painting is the creation of my friend Tina Newlove