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РазноеIn Defense of Atheism

In Defense of Atheism
Название:In Defense of Atheism
Автор:Michel Onfray
Издательство:Penguin Usa
Дата издания:2007
Размер:2.00 MB

This book is beautifully, graciously and thoughtfully written. Conceptually clear and brilliant, Monsieur Onfray advocates philosophers, instead of priests, rabbis or mullahs, be our representatives. Who are these, his philosophers? The laughers, the cynics, the radicals, the atheists, the sensualists and voluptuaries, he writes, though he rarely names names.

I did find three names in the course of the book: Nietszche, Gilles Deleuze, and Jeremny Bentham (particularly Bentham's work, "Deontology").

Monsieur Onfray's analysis of Christian, Judaic, and Islamic faiths, all three united under the point of view of "hatred of life" (in conjunction with suppression of sex and advocacy of violence), is quite readable, fair, and clear. (Onfray does not himself in his book use the term "hatred of life" per se as a philosophical concept(a term I borrow from Schopenhauer), but his philosophic meaning nonetheless is abundantly and perfectly clear.)

He declares unmistakeably that Hilter was a Roman Catholic and the Catholic Church, without question, supported Nazism. Monsieur Onfray's analysis is such that Catholicism appears to be the worst evil suffered in the West thus far. However, in the discussion of the Muslim faith, Monsieur Onfray reveals how frighteningly violent it is, particularly should this faith get a good foothold in the West. (Shades of Sam Harris's point of view about Islam appear with "The End of Faith" as well with a good many other writers, including Mark Steyn's "America Alone.")

Monsieur Michael Onfray, in the book's last pages, speaks of the "final battle" (post-Christian experience), an event, he asserts (sadly but pragmatically), which is "already lost." Monsieur Onfray wants us to live in a de-Christianized society, but it is, for him, as if this idea is really after all just a dream. (Social critic and author Curtis White has an important insight that Monsieur Onfray (and Sam Harris as well as Mark Steyn) might do well to consider: the Manichean conflict between atheism and religion is less significant to the future of the West than are the evils that have been created in the West by state/corporate capitalism, particularly in the United States.)

This book is well worth the purchase price. I have no regrets about the purchase or the read. Michael Onfray is French, and so the reader does find him saying in the end, at least we can dream -- of a better, clearer world, one without the bitterness of religious strife in it. The book is a treasure. It's not the last word, but it's a sanely, beautifully worded respite from the insane, international world scene.

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