Thursday, January 24, 2008

The New Atheism

I haven't mentioned her in a while but I have mixed feelings about Jessa Crispin, who founded and runs Bookslut. It's a great blog/magazine, but sometimes Jessa herself seems to be on a high horse or otherwise just hammering away at the same topics (science, feminism, how awesome graphic novels are). It brings a level of specificity to her site, but sometimes it feels tired. At any rate, she wrote this interesting review of a new book "God and the New Atheism," rebutting all the atheist lit that's come out recently (Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens -- isn't there a way to combine those three names into something catchy? Darchens? Hawchens? Boo).

First there was Dawkins’ calling an education in religious faith — even moderate faith — “child abuse.” Sam Harris chided religious moderates for being “in large part, responsible for the religious conflict in our world.” They didn’t simply want an end to fundamentalism or the use of religious doctrine in governmental policy. They treated Christians as if they all believed the Earth was only 6,000 years old, and Muslims as if they were all strapped with explosives. If you pray to Jesus when your world is falling apart, or blame Mercury being in retrograde when your car won’t start, you are part of the problem.

I haven't read any of the books in question except for "The End of Faith," so I don't have a super super strong opinion on Jessa's review. And to be honest, it focuses more on the "new atheist" books than on the book that she purports to review (see what I mean about her pet issues?). Anyone else have any insight?

(It was only just this morning I looked into my bookcase and thought to myself, huh, I should read that Hitchens book. Must be some kind of sign.)

(via, what else, Bookslut)


D said...

you should read the hitchens book. brilliant. funny.
I think the bookslut is missing the point.

D said...

this is from booksluts "review" She IS part of the problem.
For her to say these three have not read theology is moronic.

"It’s obvious no one in this group has bothered to read any theology. Their attacks are as shallow as their research. Harris, Hitchens, and Dawkins are scientists, journalists, and pundits — not philosophers. That’s fine when they’re dealing with religious history, but when they try to stare down the divine they are out of their league."