Peter Hitchens’ ‘The Rage Against God’ a response to ‘God is Not Great’
Peter Hitchens’ recently released book “The Rage Against God” is an antithesis to the secularism and atheism for which his brother Christopher has become a spokesman.
Peter has said that his book was written in response to his brother’s 2007 book, “God is Not Great” which has become an atheist manifesto of sorts, The New York Times said.
In arguing against atheism however, Peter’s book pulls no punches. The beginning of the book is retrospective, with Hitchens telling the reader about his personal spiritual journey– from the time he burned a Bible at 15 and felt fear when he saw Rogier Van Der Weyden’s painting “Last Judgment” at 29 to his gradual turn to theism.
In the rest of “The Rage Against God,” Hitchens uses historical evidence and logic as tools of argument. He speaks of his own rage at how Britons have forgotten their hymns, lost a great body of literature and do not know the heroic legacy of their forebears—all of which he says is directly related to the rise of British secularism.
His column in The Daily Mail, much of which he lifts from his book, makes some interesting points. Here are some gems:
On rage against religion:
“Why is there such a fury against religion now? Because religion is the one reliable force that stands in the way of the power of the strong over the weak. The one reliable force that forms the foundation of the concept of the rule of law.”
‘He (Christopher) often assumes that moral truths are self evident, attributing purpose to the universe and swerving dangerously round the problem of conscience—which surely cannot be conscience if he is right since the idea of conscience depends on it being implanted by God. If there is no God then your moral qualms might just as easily be the result of indigestion.”
Of religion as a cause for conflict:
“Another favorite argument of the irreligious is that conflicts fought in the name of religion are necessarily about religion. By saying this they hope to establish that religion is of itself a cause of conflict.
“This is a crude, factual misunderstanding. The only general lesson that can be drawn is that Man is inclined to make war on Man when he thinks it will gain him power, wealth or land,” The Daily Mail said.
The U.S. edition of “The Rage Against God” was released in May.