Sunday, August 1, 2010

I am not my brothers keeper

Since I am in the USA I got to read a hard copy of today's New York Times. It has a short piece on Peter Hitchens and his new book, The Rage Against God: Why Faith is the Foundation of Civilisation.

The story of Peter's gradual adult conversion from atheism to Christian is fascinating.
He is the younger brother of atheist, Christopher Hitchens, author of the best-seller God is not Great. A generally sympathetic review in The Guardian by Rupert Shortt, states that Peter Hitchens goal is to:
expose what he holds to be three major fallacies underlying God Is Not Great:

that conflict fought in the name of religion is really always about faith;

that "it is ultimately possible to know with confidence what is right and what is wrong without acknowledging the existence of God"; and

that atheist states are not actually atheist.
The review does criticise Peter Hitchens (a social conservative) for glossing over the fact that Jesus is a radical, ending:
Authentic Christianity is as subversive of social convention as of the God-as-celestial-headmaster caricature on which so much atheist polemic is based. A fuller account of the creed would make more of love than of law or judgment, and have plenty more to say about the figure of Christ. Hitchens's picture is lopsided in important ways.

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