Friday, April 27, 2007

B&W roundup

Glancing at Butterflies and Wheels in my feedreader, I see the following:

An extract from Christopher Hitchens' new book How God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

A report on the plague of honour killing in Iraq.

A report on honour killings in Jordan.

A report on the opening of cobbled reflexology paths.

√ĀegisLiving co-founder and CEO Dwayne Clark said he began researching the benefits of reflexology about 10 years ago, reaching a point in his life when he began looking for alternative methods to promote health and well-being that supplement and sometimes even replace traditional care such as medications.

"At √ĀegisLiving, we constantly seek out and implement innovative health philosophies and care techniques for our residents and employees," said Clark. "Our positive experiences led me to introduce reflexology to all our communities. I'm a true believer."
Lots of true believers, then. And just the one nasty sceptic.

Praise be.


Anonymous said...

But Hitchens is a true believer, too --- just like Dawkins, and innumerable other militant atheists. The problem isn't exclusively religion. It's that ideologies of all kinds tend to cause carnage: it's a point which has been made endlessly I know, but witness the track record of secular Socialism in our modern age --- National Socialism in Germany and International Socialism in Russia (if memory serves, Hitchens himself was a Trotskyite).

And his shtick's hardly new: in fact it's one of the oldest in the book --- Jesus himself reserved his bitterest bile for the Pharisees and their religion. He said that God loathed this stuff.


Peter Risdon said...

Sort of. Hitchens seems still to think of himself as a Trotskyist, but he's sceptical about religion.

Being credulous in one area doesn't make you credulous about everything.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply, Peter. I think I may have worded my post confusingly: Hitchens isn't so much "sceptical about religion" (which pretty much describes me) as contemptuous of belief. He proudly declares himself a lifelong atheist at every opportunity, evincing a Dawkins-like certainty that his is The One True Faith --- hence my comment about his being a "true believer". I realise now that the aside about his Trotskyism created some ambiguity. My apologies.

...And lest I sound too damning of Hitchens, I should say that I quite like his work. His prose can be a bit syrupy but he picks up on stuff that most journos miss. His brother's a bit like that, too (though seemingly always on the opposite side of the argument).