Monday, August 27, 2007

Hitchens, God is not great

I've been reading Christopher Hitchens' latest book, God is not great. While the Eggplant, like most vegetables, is a non-believer, I do not find this work wholly useful or convincing.

I am of the school that maintains that although religion is a man-made fiction, it does as a net result make people (or mammals, as Hitchens often calls them in one of his materialistic fits) better or more civilized. And the very subject of our blog, Italy, is a highly interesting indicator in this respect. How could all the sublime art, architecture, music and literature that Christianity has inspired in Italy exist if there were not something to religion other than a pathetic mistake? Just take a look at Piero della Francesca's Resurrection above, which Aldous Huxley called the greatest picture in the world in a 1925 essay. There is obviously something there, something magnificent and unforgettable. It may not be what Christians think it is, but it's there. The fact that Hitchens doesn't perceive it is his own serious shortcoming.