TTA Book club (god is not Great)
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22-05-2013, 02:51 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
(13-05-2013 09:08 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(13-05-2013 08:59 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I'm actually grateful for this too...since I'm not all the way through book or even half way.

I just haven't had the time and so far...I dunno...I know people love books like this...I'm maybe not a fan because I've never gotten all the way through the god delusion for years now.

Both this book and the God Delusion were books that I read about half of, and then put down for a bit before jumping back into them. Even though god is not great is fairly short, it packs a lot in. It can take a bit to process what you are reading. And on top of that, there are bits I still don't quite want to accept as plausible or true. I wasn't an anti-theist before I read the God Delusion in its entirety, but I couldn't justify being pro-religion after either. And when you fundamentally disagree with the author on such a fundamental point to their book, it can make some sections a bit of a chore, unless you are willing to concede that your opinion may be swayed. And Hitch does a damn good job of swaying opinions.

My current problem is that I always viewed religion as rather annoying at the worst. Now, this book is making me look at religion completely differently. I kinda expected it to be more a trip through religious history, but it also many more timely references that took place post 9-11. This is helping me see and rather dislike religion. Ive kinda gone from semi-respecting it and religious people to feeling sorry for them...now to just disliking them a hole bunch for their continued stupidity. The final part -- actually makes me feel conflicted.

It seems that in some areas, it's as though Hitchens is saying, 'this is what people once believed; this is what they later believed; and now they believe this.' and it's enlightening to read, how things have become so twisted up in many cases.

I actually found that approach to being more helpful when trying to frame religion.

I'm beginning now to read about the Koran. Should be interesting. I'll probably add more thoughts (if that's ok) as I go.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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22-05-2013, 02:56 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
(22-05-2013 02:51 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(13-05-2013 09:08 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Both this book and the God Delusion were books that I read about half of, and then put down for a bit before jumping back into them. Even though god is not great is fairly short, it packs a lot in. It can take a bit to process what you are reading. And on top of that, there are bits I still don't quite want to accept as plausible or true. I wasn't an anti-theist before I read the God Delusion in its entirety, but I couldn't justify being pro-religion after either. And when you fundamentally disagree with the author on such a fundamental point to their book, it can make some sections a bit of a chore, unless you are willing to concede that your opinion may be swayed. And Hitch does a damn good job of swaying opinions.

My current problem is that I always viewed religion as rather annoying at the worst. Now, this book is making me look at religion completely differently. I kinda expected it to be more a trip through religious history, but it also many more timely references that took place post 9-11. This is helping me see and rather dislike religion. Ive kinda gone from semi-respecting it and religious people to feeling sorry for them...now to just disliking them a hole bunch for their continued stupidity. The final part -- actually makes me feel conflicted.

It seems that in some areas, it's as though Hitchens is saying, 'this is what people once believed; this is what they later believed; and now they believe this.' and it's enlightening to read, how things have become so twisted up in many cases.

I actually found that approach to being more helpful when trying to frame religion.

I'm beginning now to read about the Koran. Should be interesting. I'll probably add more thoughts (if that's ok) as I go.

Absolutely!

For me, this was the nail in the coffin for my discontent with religion and those who proselytize their religion. It began with the God Delusion, but I'll save that for a few weeks from now. Hitchens makes it really hard to think religion is benign or neutral for humanity in any way. It is a fragment of the infancy of our species, and it should be left behind.

Is this place still a shithole run by a dumbass calvinist?
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22-05-2013, 03:11 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
(22-05-2013 02:56 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(22-05-2013 02:51 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  My current problem is that I always viewed religion as rather annoying at the worst. Now, this book is making me look at religion completely differently. I kinda expected it to be more a trip through religious history, but it also many more timely references that took place post 9-11. This is helping me see and rather dislike religion. Ive kinda gone from semi-respecting it and religious people to feeling sorry for them...now to just disliking them a hole bunch for their continued stupidity. The final part -- actually makes me feel conflicted.

It seems that in some areas, it's as though Hitchens is saying, 'this is what people once believed; this is what they later believed; and now they believe this.' and it's enlightening to read, how things have become so twisted up in many cases.

I actually found that approach to being more helpful when trying to frame religion.

I'm beginning now to read about the Koran. Should be interesting. I'll probably add more thoughts (if that's ok) as I go.

Absolutely!

For me, this was the nail in the coffin for my discontent with religion and those who proselytize their religion. It began with the God Delusion, but I'll save that for a few weeks from now. Hitchens makes it really hard to think religion is benign or neutral for humanity in any way. It is a fragment of the infancy of our species, and it should be left behind.

Thanks! Oh and congrats on becoming a Mod!


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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22-05-2013, 03:21 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
(22-05-2013 02:56 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  For me, this was the nail in the coffin for my discontent with religion and those who proselytize their religion. It began with the God Delusion, but I'll save that for a few weeks from now. Hitchens makes it really hard to think religion is benign or neutral for humanity in any way. It is a fragment of the infancy of our species, and it should be left behind.

I agree. Hitchens' presents each point very concisely and with quite solid reasoning. Belief as an institution is not benign in any way and highly politicized religions only serve humanity as an actively destructive force.

I always liked Hitchens' essays and reporting and I'm glad I can say I'm now appreciating his greater body of work. I think his style and ideas makes me want to know more and I think I now see it as a springboard for jumping further into deeper waters. I'm glad I read this before any other "atheist related" works.

Heart Hitch will always be my first. Blush

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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04-06-2013, 03:04 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
Whilst looking at Rational Wiki I came across this piece on Hitchens' views and this book:

"Liberal religious commentators on Hitchens have often noted that Hitchens attributes the positive elements of some Christian individuals and organizations to humanism rather than to Christianity. In particular, in God is not Great, Hitchens argues that Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King are not really Christians, noting that King never advocated divine punishment for his opponents and derived much of his thinking on non-violence from Gandhi, a non-Christian source. In a televised debate with his brother, Peter Hitchens, the latter argued this was essentially a no-win scenario for Christianity. Others similarly concluded that Hitchens has too narrow a definition of religion which then enables him to condemn it as universally toxic.[9] So far, none of these critics have accused Hitchens of engaging in the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, but this exact phrase circulates more frequently among rationalists.
Chris Hedges has made similar criticisms, as well as denouncing his support for the Iraq War. Hedges criticisms are heavily focused on the notion that evil does not originate per se mainly in religion, rather religion provides a secondary post hoc rationalization for evil. Hedges and Hitchens debated these issues in Berkeley, CA in 2007.[10] At this debate, when the two quarreled over the motivations of suicide bombers, Hitchens angrily accused Hedges of making excuses for suicide bombers, suggesting that Hedges condoned their actions. Hedges has also accused Hitchens and Sam Harris of the same divisive rhetoric as right-wing religionists.
Hitchens was also criticized for his inconsistency with ethical questions in debates. What standard does he appeal to when he says that Christians aren't good? Most of his arguments would just point out moral hypocrisy. He'd appeal to a type of theistic ethics to make moral criticism of theism, he'd want the moral high ground, so he'd use moral rhetoric to appeal to a larger audience."

This seems like a nice challenge, so, thoughts?

The full article is here, by the way: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Christopher_Hitchens

"Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."

-Christoper Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian."
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04-06-2013, 03:32 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
I don't know. I think Hitch stated that Martin Luther King was a good man and not just because he was a christian or religious but because, he was simply a good man who wanted change. I think he also stated that Martin Luther King in effect knowingly used religion to accomplish the changes he did, even though those changes had little to do with religion.

It's very possible Hitch may be seen as having done much the same thing by appealing to "a type of theistic ethics to make moral criticism of theism, he'd want the moral high ground, so he'd use moral rhetoric to appeal to a larger audience." as that last critic observed. I guess I can see it... but why not, if it accomplishes the desired effect toward understanding and meeting the ethical need?

So basically, the criticism is that Hitch and Sam Harris are hardcore and vehemently atheist activists, who will use the same tactics they fight against? Is that what the criticism is? If so... is that bad? I mean, I tire of tit for tat - but I often assume that's just me. Shy

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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07-06-2013, 09:34 AM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
(04-06-2013 03:32 PM)kim Wrote:  I don't know. I think Hitch stated that Martin Luther King was a good man and not just because he was a christian or religious but because, he was simply a good man who wanted change. I think he also stated that Martin Luther King in effect knowingly used religion to accomplish the changes he did, even though those changes had little to do with religion.

It's very possible Hitch may be seen as having done much the same thing by appealing to "a type of theistic ethics to make moral criticism of theism, he'd want the moral high ground, so he'd use moral rhetoric to appeal to a larger audience." as that last critic observed. I guess I can see it... but why not, if it accomplishes the desired effect toward understanding and meeting the ethical need?

So basically, the criticism is that Hitch and Sam Harris are hardcore and vehemently atheist activists, who will use the same tactics they fight against? Is that what the criticism is? If so... is that bad? I mean, I tire of tit for tat - but I often assume that's just me. Shy

I think it is basically the criticism that they are fundamentalist in their approach to atheism. The preface of our next book (The god Delusion, here in just a few days) discusses the difference between passion for a topic and being passionate and fundamentalist about it.

Is this place still a shithole run by a dumbass calvinist?
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12-02-2014, 10:10 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
NECRO THREAD ALERT!!!, thought the old-timers would get a nostalgic kick out of it.

Just got the Audible version of "GOD IS NOT GREAT" thats narrated by Hitchens.
I have-not read the book previously.
Only $16
http://www.audible.com/pd/Nonfiction/God...B002V8KU2W
[Image: 41zF4EyqKtL._SL300_.jpg]
Its really good (so far), and you see Hitchens In a whole new light if you have found him a little disagreeable in live debates.

I can't believe I put it off for so long, get it already if you have not read/listened to it.
Hitchens Catholic latin motto "No Childs behind left" hahahaha, golden .

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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