The Four Horsemen Review

Genre = Non-Fiction, Philosophy, Religion

Author = Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, Stephen Fry (Introduction)

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This takes the whole conversation of Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens de-tangling religion in all its meaning and perceptions with the additional topic of an ethical life.


My Thoughts:

It is an interesting read brings up many religious arguments that I have had in my brain throughout my life. Ultimately it is just interesting book that makes you contemplate a lot of arguments that you might not have heard or thought of. It is a hard read, that will challenge the way you think philosophically but that shows how well these four men are chosen for discussing the subjects around religion for instance why it becomes something that you can’t live without or in another way becomes part of your purpose in life. How that particular type of involvement can steer your path in many different directions.


They also delve into the argument that religion is never a straight line or it is never interpreted that way by people and over history those interpretations change depending on the point we are at in the society’s development. I think that argument that religion is ever changing is very true and that is something over time people in society tend to ignore because usually it is very subtle changes like words in mass or a new group starting. These are examples of how religion has the ability to adapt to the current society that you can see throughout history.


In terms of Stephen Fry’s introduction with conversation you have about the “creator” at university is so true because for a lot of people who at some point in their life went to study their passion. They found that they had that conversation with themselves or their friends at the time which gave them a new perspective on the way they saw their religion which they have known through either their family or their place of worship or just renewed their faith. I think this is why I picked up this book because as a woman who was brought up in a catholic household and went to catholic schools throughout my education I really have been questioning what faith is throughout my life. I have come to the conclusion that I will believe in bits of my religion that I like and that I do not have to be fully committed as it is my choice as a human being which this book just reiterated for me.


This conversation does bring up some topical parts of where religion has gone to extremes and why it has gone there which I think it has done through a neutral lens. Then these are opinions and theories so don’t feel like you have to agree with them because I felt I didn’t have to agree with anything they said but instead formed my opinions through what they were saying. It is almost as if as a reader you are part of the argument.


I really enjoyed reading not only these conversations but also the introduction which shone a new lens on how think on atheism and religion how they are shown and displayed throughout society. It’s a great read for anyone studying philosophy, religion, politics and history who want to delve into that theory of religion. Also for those who just want a fantastic piece of non-fiction that I think will be an important part of our history.

5 stars


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© 2020 Emily Claire Cannings

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