Monday, August 29, 2011

"Our belief is not a belief"


I've just started reading the Christopher Hitchens' book, God is Not Great. Hitch is as erudite and acerbic as ever, wonderfully so, but also humorous. I've had the book forever, but there are only so many hours in the day and entirely too many good books to read (a not altogether bad problem to have). I'll do a bigger review later but I couldn't resist putting up this quote from just the first couple of pages:

"And here is the point, about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. We do not hold our convictions dogmatically ... We are not immune to the lure of wonder and mystery and awe: we have music and art and literature, and find that the serious ethical dilemmas are better handled by Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Schiller and Dostoyevsky and George Eliot than in the mythical morality tales of the holy books. Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and—since there is no other metaphor—also the soul." -- Christopher Hitchens in God is Not Great

I couldn't not have put it better myself. Actually, I don't think any living writer could have put it better.


2 comments:

CyberKitten said...

Nice quote. This book has also been in one of my "pile o' books" gathering dust. So many books... so little time....

wunelle said...

Fantastic book (and quote).

I see his due-out-shortly book of essays is claimed by him as being "possibly my very last book." Makes me want to read and re-read the others. He is a singularity.