Here, for the first time, in his new book The Rage Against God, Peter Hitchens, brother of prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens, chronicles his personal journey through disbelief into a committed Christian faith.
With unflinching openness and intellectual honesty, Hitchens describes the personal loss and philosophical curiosity that led him to burn his Bible at prep school and embrace atheism in its place. From there, he traces his experience as a journalist in Soviet Moscow and the critical observations that left him with more questions than answers - and more despair than hope for how to live a meaningful life.
With first-hand insight into the blurring of the line between politics and the Church, Hitchens reveals the reasons why an honest assessment of atheism cannot sustain disbelief in God. In the process, he provides hope for all believers who, in the words of T. S. Eliot, may discover "the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
©2010 Peter Hitchens (P)2010 Zondervan
"Thank god I'm an athiest!"
If you were expecting, as I was, a balanced and reasoned discussion to counter the positions put forward by his brother, Christopher Hitchens then you are bound to be disappointed. I bought the book to find balance. Instead I think I stumbled into the worst of sibling rivalry! This Hitchens postulates that athiests have launched a virulent attack on Christianity. I have found instead that they are more usually simply indifferent to old superstitions - certainly, no athiest has ever set out to convert me to their (non) belief! He claims that dictators and governments through the ages have hijacked, exploited or replaced religious beliefs to their own ends. He fails to see the possibility that if, as the other Hitchens contends, religion is man-made and a tool for control then it is no surprise. He says fear was the reason for his rekindling of belief and that morality is impossible without a divine presence. He provides no cogent support for these contentions so, as religion demands - just take his word for it. But most crucially he has also not interrogated why he, in common with the rest of homo sapiens, has the need to 'believe' in the first place. It has, after all, been wired into the structure of widely divergent societies since the development of the neocortex. For that he'd need to read Sex Time and Power by Leonard Schlain (also available as an audio book on this site) and a far, far better investment.
Sadly Peter seems to be so in awe & so left behind by his brother, the only avenue for him seems to be his an opposite stance on nearly everything. Very very poor.
very interesting listen. if you want to listen to a serious person talk about serious issues minus the politically correct non speak then you will enjoy this book.
"Thank god I'm not an atheist!"
Ignore the negative reviews, this is a beautifully written response to his brothers book 'God Is Not Great'.
I agree with Hitchens that there is an attempt by secularists to destroy Christianity (Dawkins has admitted that this is one of his aims). Malcolm says that most atheists are indifferent to christianity. If only this were so. A growing number of atheists are actively hostile to christianity. Indeed Christopher's book is an attempt to ridicule faith and to convert religious readers to atheism just like many of the new atheist books. On a personal level I have met more than a few atheists willing to attempt to convert me whenever the subject arises.
As for Malcolms claim that Peter gives no evidence for his contention that fear helped rekindle his faith, what evidence could he give? It does seem that we'll have to take his word for it. I don't think Peter would claim that morality is impossible without god only absolute morality. If there is no god then morality becomes subjective. The chapter in this book about Peters years living in the Soviet Union is an attempt to show what happens when fanatical atheists (who had many of the core beliefs that the new atheists have today) took control of a society and forced god out of public life. The atheist utopians who siezed control of Russia where anything but indifferent to religion. They attemped to destroy it just like our own atheist utopians are doing today (although in fairness I think its unlikely that Dawkins et al will take to murdering priests and nuns and destroying churchs like their atheist counterparts in the Soviet Union did).
Malcolm states that Peter hasn't looked into the reason that he and the rest of humans (except atheists apparently) have a need to believe. Why should he? Evolutionary explanations of the origins of the religious impulse are notoriously speculative given that they are based on fanciful theories and not evidence.
In short a wonderful book!
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