It’s been a while since a review has come through, film or book, so I am overdue!
Chris Hedges’ book came to me through a colleague, who has written for the blog on a previous occasion. We’re alums of the same University and pretty bonded. This was an excellent gift from her to me. So fitting and, thus touching. We work on the newsletter together and enjoy the conferences offered. Good times. So I trusted that this book would be right up my alley. So it was.
Hedges asks his readers to think more deeply about their choices and actions. It is good reading for agnostics and atheists, because they’re not exempt from the behavioral issue of being human: wanting to be right. No, needing to be right; holding what can only be described as Fundamental ideas about the world and how society is supposed to function, to the point of enacting sanctions and even violence against those who disagree. Those readers who reviewed the work with one star appear, by their vitriolic replies, either incapable of the rationalism they so dearly love or are bereft of the education required to understand what Hedges writes. Hedges speaks about that extensively in the book. Education is geared toward a certain type of thinking: nationalistic, low critical. That is until you get into higher education, and really not powerfully enough until the graduate level. What they miss, in their hasty bid to accuse him of bias is that Hedges is for neither side; and, as so many can see quite easily, he states that fundamentalism of any kind (secular or religious–because it is NOT a term owned by churches or synagogues or temples) is bad for humanity. Sadly, it is historically inescapable, soundly illustrated in the cognitive dissonance echo chamber of every 1-star review of this book. Belief, that knotty emotion we have based on information we allow ourselves to accept and reject, trumps reason. Despite what many agnostics and atheist say, they fundamentally believe that humanity must shuck the cloak of religion to progress, but that is a flawed belief in that historically shucking anything has never proved to progress human behavior and thinking beyond where it stands. The reason is that we humans get pretty entrenched into our beliefs about things. The truths without evidence being the worst (lack of proof is not proof, and science would suffer dearly if we were to move forward accepting that premise, friends).
Hedges asks his readers to think a bit harder about their ‘reasons’ and that appears impossible for the majority of those who entered the reading armed with bias to tear him down before he finished, before they really bothered to do as he asked. –Sigh– Alas, no progress still. I Don’t Believe in Atheists: by Chris Hedges — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists
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