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Burnsville Book Club - "The Portable Atheist" by Christopher Hitchens - Davannis

This month, the book clubs will be independent, as atheists often are. The Burnsville Book Club, led by Felicia Parsons, will be covering "The Portable Atheist" by Christopher Hitchens. It's an anthology of essays and other writing which address atheism and religion. Of course, you don't have to read the whole work, but read what you will and come prepared to discuss your favorite pieces. It's a great reference to have around if you ever find yourself looking for a clever reference, or you need to make a speech or presentation about atheism.

We are meeting at Davanni's in the Party Room. If you want to eat, we'll be having dinner at 6:30 p.m. It's near the Caribou we met at the first month.

From Publishers Weekly
Hitchens, an avowed atheist and author of the bestseller God Is Not Great, is a formidable intellectual who finds the notion of belief in God to be utter nonsense. The author is clear in his introduction that religion has caused more than its fair share of world problems. "Religion invents a problem where none exists by describing the wicked as also made in the image of god and the sexually nonconformist as existing in a state of incurable mortal sin that can incidentally cause floods and earthquakes." The readings Hitchens chooses to bolster his atheist argument are indeed engaging and important. Hobbes, Spinoza, Mill and Marx are some of the heavyweights representing a philosophical viewpoint. From the world of literature the author assembles excerpts from Shelley, Twain, Conrad, Orwell and Updike. All are enjoyable to read and will make even religious believers envious of the talent gathered for this anthology. What these dynamic writers are railing against often enough, however, is a strawman: an immature, fundamentalist, outdated, and even embarrassing style of religion that many intelligent believers have long since cast off. It could be that Hitchens and his cast of nonbelievers are preaching to the choir and their message is tired and spent. However, this remains a fascinating collection of readings from some of the West’s greatest thinkers.

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  • Eric

    I had a great time discussing the book and other intellectually stimulating exchanges. I look forward to the next meet up.

    May 8, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    The book clubs are going to decide what to do next at the meeting, so that is a good incentive to go.

    May 5, 2009

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