The Rage Against God. How atheism led me to faith. Peter Hitchens. In the Argo Catalog
Sometimes in life a person cannot help but be a clichÃ© and this is one of those times in my life. As a person raised Roman Catholic and then a shopper of religions until I got a job that involved working Sundays and thus missing church I have long been told that either having children or approaching death would lead me back to faith. I always scoffed at this, though have thought of myself more of an agnostic than an atheist. One on my brothers is a hard core atheist and we have had many debates about faith. These debates slowly made me more inclined towards at least attending a Church because I am skeptical of is certainty regarding an unknowable. It has taken having a son of my own to give me the motivation I needed. Peter Hitchens is a reporter of some repute, a former atheist, and Trotskyite and he has a famous brother named Christopher. Peter’s new book is about how he returned to faith partly for family reasons, it is also about arguing against atheists. This struck me as a book that was impossibly similar to my own life and so I had to read it.
First off it is worth noting that Hitchens has the gift of the pen and wields it well. This book is thoughtful regarding language, as it must be considering it is carefully dissecting the atheist arguments of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Several of the arguments I have made myself in the past and found it interesting/refreshing to see someone else with my point of view (one example is that I do not believe many of the “religious wars” were about religion at all but rather power and resources and as such should not negatively impact religion today). Hitchens makes the argument well and takes it farther demanding to know the record of Atheist leaders (Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, etc.), the point rather makes itself. At times Hitchens goes further than I would and makes what I think are unfair comparisons between atheists and soviets (though they have similarities I am reluctant to go as far down that road as Hitchens suggests).
This book is an interesting one for those who have faith, or think that choosing to have faith is better than choosing no to. It may prove useful to those who find themselves debating others regarding the role of faith though I suspect that most people fail to convert their acquaintances. I found the book useful on a more personal level, rather than as a tool to debate my brother with. It solidified some ideas I already had, clarified some some thoughts I had only vaguely thought about and generally felt satisfying to read. If you are a person interested in faith, or a raging atheist, you should read this book.