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Paperback When Atheism Becomes Religion : America's New Fundamentalists Book

ISBN: 1416570780

ISBN13: 9781416570783

When Atheism Becomes Religion : America's New Fundamentalists

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of American Fascists and the NBCC finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning comes this timely and compelling work about new atheists: those who attack religion to advance the worst of global capitalism, intolerance and imperial projects. Chris Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, has long been a courageous voice in a world where there are too few. He observes that there...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Important Book

I don't believe in people who gave this book anything under 3 stars. Are they too intelligent for it or were they simply too offended to judge the book honestly? Do people not believe in what Hedges wrote? All you have to do is look at history and human behavior to see that what he writes is true. Look at the Human condition. If you don't like the book, you're not paying attention to the world around you. Hedges isn't saying we shouldn't try to progress. He's warning against B.S. like the war on terror and the Nazis. Progress, but don't make a bigger mess than before you started trying to progress. The point is that the only true Utopia is one where the people "live and let live". And simply, that's not possible. Humans are flawed and self-interested. The book isn't an attack on Atheism. It's an attack on people who play God. It's an attack on people who believe in Utopias. It's an attack on people who are so blinded by their utopian dreams that they'll exterminate millions in the name of a better world. The war on terror, Hitler, Stalin, and the "new" atheists. You either understand what Hedges is talking about, or you don't. Reviewers giving the book 1 star obviously don't get it.

A book full of faith And reason

It is a conclusion of all writings of Chris Hedges against any cruisades - be them religious or atheist. Anti-fascist Hedges really represents the "Better America"

Thoughtful and Important

Hedges' thesis is that the neo-atheist movement is as susceptible to totalitarian impulses as religious fundamentalism. He is concerned about the human propensity toward externalizing evil, demonizing opponents, and committing violence in the name of utopian progress, whether conceived as bringing on the second coming of Jesus, an Islamic caliphate, or a more broadly secular society. In places, Hedges' rhetoric is excessive. I would not call the neo-atheist impulse fundamentalist--I think that is itself a scare word, and is overused. But I do think it is fair to say that prominant neo-atheists sometimes veer toward being illiberal, and Hedges does not let them off the hook wherever they are (as in the areas of parental control over child-rearing, and saber-rattling toward Muslim nations). Hedges wants to live in a pluralistic global society, not one that increasingly veers toward homogenization (religious or secular). He wants people to grow up, walk in the shoes of others, and not be so cock-sure of their own conclusions. In this sense, alas, Hodges is being a bit Utopian himself. But this is an excellent, life affirming, and complex reflection on the human condition. The title of the book strikes me as mostly a way of grabbing attention so that Hedges can address the (to me more profound) subject of the human propensity toward totalitarianism. In this sense, a good book to accompany this one is Michael Burleigh's "Earthly Powers," a historical study of the clash between religion and politics in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Limits of Reason

For those of us who consider ourselves "enlightened," and who think of Descartes and Locke and Hume vanguards of modernism, it will do us good to read why The Enlightenment is both a blessing and a curse. Most people who believe The Age of Reason was a forward step for mankind should realize that this age of 'modernism' came to an end with the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The belief that science and reason will take us forward to a modern utopia could no longer be argued after the killings of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians thanks to the advances of science. Though Hedges never uses the term "post modernist," he does tell us why faith still has a place in the 21st century. In the process, he shows us how extremists of any kind, be they fundamentalist Muslims, Christians, or Secularists, are dangerous for this world which is ultimately tied to the flawed nature of human beings. Selling a utopia, be it salvation by religion or science, lulls the masses and draws them in - but it never delivers. This book is ultimately a discussion on morality and what guides it. Hedges is a fine writer and ably challenges the reader that a moral universe must rely on more than science and reason. Don't miss this little gem-of-a-book! It's a treasure...
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