Sunday, February 28, 2016

Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate by Terry Eagleton

I started to read Terry Eagleton’s Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate because the title sounded interesting. 

Some of it was. The book contained some stunningly insightful passages like, “This, one might claim, is the primary masochism known as religion. In context, the good news that we are loved simply for what we are is bound to come as an intolerable affront. It threatens to rob us of the misery which at least proves that we still exist. It also seems to render pointless our laborious efforts at moral self-improvement. We do not want such a light yoke. Instead, we want to hug our chains.”

It also contained passages like this in describing a Father/Daughter purity event reported by the New York Times, “It is scandalous that a once-reputable newspaper like the New York Times should give space to this barely sublimated orgy of incestuous desire.” Ick. 

But worse than that was the trouble I had following his points. He veers widely from a thought with which I could whole-heartedly agree, to preaching the virtues of Marx. He realizes this dichotomy loses him friends because he just makes everyone mad. I don’t find that particularly ennobling. I find it maddening. 

I didn’t finish the book.

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