Sunday, June 03, 2007

"Am I my brother's reviewer?"

Peter Hitchens reviews his brother Christopher Hitchens' book, God Is Not Great.

HT: Justin Taylor.


  1. Peter seems to be expressing a fairly fideistic view. It was an interesting read.

  2. Good point. Thanks, Rhology.

    BTW, I should note for the record, I agree Peter's theology is quite lacking in several respects, particularly from a Reformed perspective. I don't agree with all of his politics either.

    But one reason I posted it is because he does score a few points against his brother's position.

    Also, it may be psychologically revealing to try and understand how Christopher's own family background -- which apparently includes "fierce West Country nonconformists" and "saintly Anglicans" -- figures into his subsequent tirades against religion.

  3. The difference is that Peter embraced his heritage, while Christopher rejected it. Peter Hitchens is an Anglican of the Anglicans, while Christopher a fierce anti-theist.

    I suspect Christopher's rejection is more tied up with his being the school swot. Someone who knew Dawkins at University told me recently with some feeling that Dawkins' atheism comes from his certainty that nothing can exist that is smarter than he is.

    And there, but for the grace of God, go I.

    On Peter Hitchens' point regarding the 'Child abuse' taunt, I have to say, 'Good for him.' It is time this ridiculous bit of hyperbole was put to bed. If you have ever dealt with abused children, you will know just how sick that statement is, just how belittling of horrendous suffering. It is a debating point that's unworthy. No-one can seriously compare the gross violation of trust that is a father raping his own daughter, or a parent thumping their child because they had a bad day at the office with teaching a child the Bible. If they do, they need to get a sense of proportion.

    As for the suffering caused by state-sponsored religion, I cannot help but wonder how that would differ from the logical outcome of seeking to prevent parents from bringing their children up in their faith.

    Still, it is an interesting article, Peter Hitchens, the believer, defending doubt against the dogmatic certainty of his atheist (I cannot say 'unbelieving') brother.