Wednesday, September 26, 2007
God is not Great -- Christopher Hitchens
Having watched, listened to and enjoyed numerous video clips of Christopher Hitchens on You Tube I decided to buy his book God is not Great (How Religion Poisons Everything) and now, being about a third of the way in, I can make some comparisons between it and the Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion. In essence the two writers have assaulted the same territory and the books are very similar, but they have approached it from different directions. Dawkins is a scientist used to conveying his ideas in an as clear and concise a manner as possible and, having donned some literary garb, is still doing the same thing but in a much more palatable way for the general reader. Hitchens has approached the whole territory from the literary side and is more focused on that angle than the sometimes quite arid and exact scientific viewpoint, which certainly comes out when you hear Dawkins speak. Certainly Hitchens is just as sincere and strong in his opinions as Dawkins, but he’s also more concerned with writerly flourishes and probably the opinion of the literary critics in his circle. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enjoying his book’s pyrotechnics immensely, and recommend it, however, thus far I prefer The God Delusion.