Very interesting and informative, and this is from someone who believes the odd "weird" thing myself. The author is not at all disrespectful in his toVery interesting and informative, and this is from someone who believes the odd "weird" thing myself. The author is not at all disrespectful in his tone, despite the impression the title may give. Just states the facts as he sees them and gives a good overview of various topics, including critical thinking and logical fallacies, while acknowledging the multiple factors that form our world views, and recognising how difficult it can be to alter these world views once they are formed, even (perhaps especially) in the face of conflicting evidence. ...more
Fascinating but disturbing. I knew next to nothing about the history of Mormonism before reading this, so it was definitely informative. Repetitive afFascinating but disturbing. I knew next to nothing about the history of Mormonism before reading this, so it was definitely informative. Repetitive after awhile though and it was rather grisly reading chapter after chapter of callous murders, assaults, rape, sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Through these examples Krakauer definitely makes his point clear.
Violence obviously isn't unique to this religion, nor is it unique to religion alone, yet you can certainly see how people who have gone off the deep end like the Lafferty brothers, were able to use (or perhaps twist) the words of their revered prophets to justify their actions. The amazing thing is how many apparently sane people around them knew of their plans and didn't take action to stop them. Just in case this really was a revelation from God, they didn't want to stand in the way and displease Him. What can you even say about that?
Just to clarify, the author does clearly state several times over that these Fundamentalists Mormons are not part of the mainstream Church of LDS, and that the two do not share the same beliefs in regards to things like the shedding of blood, polygamy and the oppression and exploitation of women and children, and I think that this is pretty obvious to most people.
I was hesitant to add this book to my shelves here, because I know the title is somewhat inflammatory, and the book itself divisive. However, for me iI was hesitant to add this book to my shelves here, because I know the title is somewhat inflammatory, and the book itself divisive. However, for me it was a really good read, as it does reflect how I have long felt about organised religion (but definitely not about all followers of organised religion). Despite the title though, Hitchens himself did readily acknowledge that there are plenty of people of faith who have done much good in the world, he just didn't think that their goodness could be attributed to religion itself, i.e. they would be the sort of people who would do good in the world even without religion in their lives, whereas the reverse isn't necessarily true; much harm has been done in the name of religion, that may not have occurred without religion so readily available as an excuse for committing such atrocities.
I do find the history/philosophy/psychology of religion fascinating and Hitchens gave a really thorough and interesting overview, (though obviously from a skewed view-point). I also really enjoy learning about how people came to their particular personal belief system, the experiences and thought processes that led them there, and Hitchens was a really interesting person to read about with some amazing experiences. I plan to read his autobiography, Hitch 22 next....more