Wednesday, May 16, 2007

If Christopher Hitchens did not exist, would we have to invent him?

There's been a remarkable spate of books lately about atheism -- and all of them say pretty much the same thing.
  • We don't need religion.
  • Religious people behave badly.
  • And the world would be a much better place if people gve up their belief in God (or gods) and took up golf instead.
In all honesty, those first two points have proved remarkably popular; according to The New Yorker, atheism is now the fourth-largest "religion" in the world.

It's that third point -- the quest to come up with an alternative for religion -- that has been more problematic. Dawkins and Hawker have suggested that Science (with a capital "S") will someday come up with an answer; Hitchens seems to suggest that it's all just a matter of enjoying life, facing our fears, and invading Iraq.

For a remarkable fair-minded discussion in The New Yorker of recent books on this subject, click on the title of this post.

No comments: