In his engaging book, god Is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens is on a mission to combat, what he views as, the “malignant force of religion.” Hitchens considers religion a scourge of society that is responsible for much of what is wrong in the world. “Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience.” Ultimately, Hitchens makes the case for a secular approach to life and seeks to engage the reader with his central thesis: religion is “manmade” and “poisons everything.” As a well-accomplished writer and journalist, Hitchens displays his plethora …show more content…
Unfortunately, many of these arguments are used as blanket statements that lack proper background evidence. It is, however, important that Christians reading Hitchens’ work seek to understand his arguments and objectively seek truth. Hitchens makes several valid arguments that point, not to the non-existence of God, but to the failings and corruption of the Church at times in history. Hitchens refers to Frederick Douglas, the famed abolitionist who witnessed firsthand the misuse of religion to justify racism and slavery. “Douglas was somewhat ambivalent about religion, noting in his Autiobiograpy that the most devout Christians made the most savage slaveholders. The obvious truth of this was underlined when secession really did come and the Confederacy adopted the Latin motto ‘Deo Vindice’ or, in effect, ‘God on Our Side.” This racist ideology continues into the 19th and 20th centuries. “The southern churches returned to their old ways after Reconstruction and blessed the new institutions of segregation and discrimination…The late Senator Eugene McCarthy told me that he had once urged Senator Pat Robertson---father of the present television prophet---to support some mild civil rights legislation. ‘I’d sure like to help the colored,’ came the response, ‘but the Bible
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Martin uses a functionalistic approach to understand the role religion plays in society, exploring each object with hermeneutical suspicion, believing, for the sake of this study, that any supernatural claims are false. By exploring such concepts as classification, structured society, and habitus, Martin explains how “we, as humans, are a product of society”. He focuses on answering questions such as “what’s going on” and “whose interests are served” by skeptically looking at the way in which people use legitimation, authority, and authenticity to push their own agendas.
Today’s world is all about decisions. Should we get that new television? What about that new iPhone? Maybe the new Apple Watch? Notice how none of those questions had to deal with anything transcendent or in relation to God. Rather these questions focused on the material items that are available practically at the snap of one’s fingers. There is a lack of religious authority in cultural and social organizations in the modern society that we live in. Charles Taylor, in A Secular Age, focuses on showing that God is still present in our secular society, even when it seems as if He is removed. Taylor gives three separate understandings of secularization: separation between state and church with the movement of corporate practices without God, more
American physicist and Nobel Prize recipient Steve Weinberg once claimed that “ for good people to do evil things, it takes religion”. However, the culprit isn’t the mere term and message behind religion, but the institutions that tug the puppet strings of it’s meaning and impact. Secular “religious” institutions have proven time and time again that an idea as controversial as religion can be used for a wide spectrum of uses, and unfortunately, Fordism in Brave New World falls under the corrupt end of the spectrum. In this novel, the author Aldous Huxley uses Fordism and its purpose to mirror the modern day secular institution trend in religious communities to illustrate how lack of religion and spirituality can give way to a sovereignty of
“I’m a woman…Phenomenal woman, that’s me.” This quote from Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” characterizes the common theme between the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, the speech, “Ain’t I a Woman”, by Sojourner Truth, and “Phenomenal Woman”. The common theme between these three different pieces is the idea of a strong, independent woman, which ties into feminism and the concept of being equal to men. Even though these three pieces are each diverse genres, they are all conveying the same general theme in their own way. Throughout any of these texts, it is evident that the authors are pushing the idea that a female is not inferior to any man just because they have a different body structure or a different gender.
At the beginning of the semester, I wrote: “Religion is the institutional manifestation of feeling and believing in something beyond yourself” (Kelley 2016). Twelve weeks later, I consider this definition incomplete and problematic; nevertheless, it reveals how religious thinkers such as James Frazer, Emile Durkheim, William James, Mircea Eliade, Jeffrey Kripal, and Bruce Lincoln infiltrate our quotidian definitions of religion. In this paper, I hope to develop a new conception of religion, recognizing the impact of such historical thinkers on personal conclusions. In other words, I hope to show that we are
Brown, Neil. "The New Atheism and The Existence of God.” Compass, 46, no. 3, 2-5. Kensington, Australia: Compass, Spring 2012.
In 1937, Zora Neale Hurston spent seven weeks in Haiti writing what would become her most well-known and acknowledged piece of work. Their Eyes Were Watching God was born on September 18th, 1937, in New York. The novel told a hopeful tale of a woman finding a secure sense of independence and identity in the 1920s. Janie Mae Crawford is the protagonist of the novel. She knows family only in the form of her grandmother, who she refers to as Nanny. Each relationship that Janie is involved in blooms and withers away like the pear tree that symbolizes Janie's life.
Love is something that everyone hopes to find at some point in their life. On the journey to find true love, we may find that love can come in many different forms. Few people ever find the kind of passionate love that seems to exist mostly in fairytales. The main character in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie, spends most of her life in search of that same genuine, unpretentious fairytale love; a love that she compares to the marriage between bees and the blossoms on pear trees. On her journey to find that kind of love, Janie discovers that there is more than one way to love someone.
This will be based on the chapter 4 Religion as "Truth-Claims", posted on Blackboard. First of all, Dianne L. Oliver makes a preface about her writings saying that religions claim to get the truth, and followers of diverse religions say that their truth is the only one true, and cannot be compare with any other. Also, she remarks that many of those religion followers use violence to uphold their own version of truth. Moreover, she let us know that she is going to consider the "True-Claims" of different religions, and show how those claims can influence the practices, behaviors, and ideas of religion followers. Next to the introduction, she considers that religion is very essential for understanding the fundamental questions in our daily lives.
In the novel Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston indicates the role of gender and how men are represented as superior beings compared to women. Janie represents the female protagonist in the novel and how she is affected by the gender role herself. Throughout the novel, Hurston discusses how the role of labor is represented differently for women in the eyes of men and how women are treated as if they are lower than men; and lastly how black men are treated lower than white men using black women as the source for their empowerment. Janie is categorized in the novel as a woman with very minimal rights
Zora Hurston was an African American proto-feminist author who lived during a time when both African Americans and women were not treated equally. Hurston channeled her thirst for women’s dependence from men into her book Their Eyes Were Watching God. One of the many underlying themes in her book is feminism. Zora Hurston, the author of the book, uses Janie to represent aspects of feminism in her book as well as each relationship Janie had to represent her moving closer towards her independence.
Religion is constructed on faith and belief of an individual even though it is the individual choice to follow it or not. It has stirred a lot of debates for years; those who are trying to prove that God exists throughout history and follow to modern day. While, those who are atheist are trying to prove their point of God does not exist. There are still more and more theories and debate over the subject of religious view. It is a matter of theism versus atheism; new and old philosophers have joined the debate and all with different sides to another philosopher’s theory or view on the matter. In this paper, I will attempt to illustrate the reasons given by Louis Pojman of why religion is good or bad, as well as evaluating Bertrand Russell argument about religion. This can define the meaning of life and the creation of life as we know it. It can change views or switch sides for there is always another explanation to exactly what religion is all about and having a superior ruler that created all.
The Trial of God is a play that was written by Elie Wiesel. The play was first published in 1979. The play was set in a feudal European settlement where three travelling Jewish artistes put God on trial to answer for His quietness during a pogrom. It is a powerful drama with historical and especially post-Shoah concerns surrounding faith. While imprisoned in Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel witnessed a trial. It was not unusual for prisoners to witness trials, this one would be different and very unusual. It was unusual because of the defendant. God was on trial. God was tried for turning his back and ignoring the Jewish people in their ultimate hour of need. God was tried in absentia. I mean how you can put God on the witness stand is a question all in itself. There was one problem, no one was willing to take on the role of God's attorney. God was eventually found guilty. After the verdict was announced, the "court" prayed. How is that for an oxymoron? But this incident, which served as the inspiration for The Trial of God, is part of the long Jewish tradition of arguing with God.
Religion emerges from the human susceptibility for protection and use it as a tool for liberation from the bitter realities and perplexities of the world. “Religious ideas are teachings and pronouncements about facts and states of external (or internal) reality that convey something one has not discovered for oneself and which assert the right to be believed” (Freud 88). We must object to religious claims because there is no proof to substantiate them and merely ideas we follow for generations. Religious ideas are beyond the control of reasoning, as if we don’t validate our beliefs and behave that our beliefs have a substantial basis of support. Religious ideas are teachings, not the thought that
In his book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens dissects and criticizes the various claims of religions and the tragic events that have been caused by various religions. The title of the book sums up the arguments of Hitchens in this book in the fact that he makes many arguments of why “religion poisons everything.” The majority of the chapters in this book discuss why he believes religion to be a manmade notion that has led to more trouble than anything else in the world. Most of his focus is on the three Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism but he does fit in criticism of other religions as well. The topics he chooses to discuss range from the sketchy origins of Mormonism to the