Thursday, May 07, 2009

Really smart stupidity

After perusing Total Drek today, I decided to freshen up on my Hitchens, and started listening to the annoyingly named God Is Not Great. It is a good listen - very like having a lively argument with a friend. Hitchens is infuriating, thought-provoking, compelling and polemic in equal parts. And annoying; really annoying. Hitchens bothers me because he is almost there; or perhaps I mean he was there and then ran away with the circus. I understand his reasoning against religion - but much as he claims that humanity's good qualities do not require faith, I will say that their perversity and cruelty will appear without religion. The holocaust did not require religion, only ideology and racism. The Rwandan genocide was based in political motivation. To ascribe all man's failings to religion seems as naive as ascribing all its beauty and compassion to faith.


Anonymous said...

You know me, I'm hardly a huge fan of organized religion. But, one point that is often overlooked in these discussions is how early Catholicism actually helped women during the middle ages -- convents were often places where young women uninterested in the slave trade that was Medieval marriage could find solace and scholarly activities.
And, as you point out, no one needs religion to be crazy. Crazy will always be around.

TDEC said...

That's a great point, Sorcia, I hadn't given that much thought, though Belgium had a strong tradition of religious women, even some which lived in communities of women without becoming nuns. They have interesting stories and a rich heritage which died out only in my lifetime.

And yes, the crazy is part and parcel of the human, alas. At least they make lolcats too.