Saturday, December 17, 2011

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, by his brother Peter

This is a heartfelt tribute to Christopher Hitchens (who died last night) by his brother:

I often disagreed with some of Hitchens' beliefs, especially his defense of the Iraq war. But there were other areas in which I thought he was right.  I'm reading his book right now, God is Not Great: Religion Poisons Everything.  I do agree with him on that statement, although I can also see that, on the plus side, with its rules, regulations and threats based on fear of punishment, religion can "control the jackals," as a wise man once said.  But when all is said and done, I come down more on the side of Hitchens' descriptions of the harm religions have done in the world--in divisive ways, causing wars and terrorism throughout the ages.  It seems to me that Earth religions are indicative of a primitive understanding of "God" -- and the interpretations men have given to the simple wisdom teachings of sages and saints are often confusing and complex.  I think the teachings are more often misunderstood than taken to heart in the way the sages intended.  Just my own opinion...