REVIEW: "Against Religion", Tamas Pataki
- BKAGNRLG.RVW 20090306
"Against Religion", Tamas Pataki, 2007, 1-921215-18-6, U$14.95/C$16.95
%A Tamas Pataki
%C PO Box 523,Carlton North, Victoria, Australia 3054
%I Scribe Publications Pty Ltd
%O U$14.95/C$16.95 info@...
%O Audience n- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 136 p.
%T "Against Religion"
The introduction says that religion, particularly theism, is evil.
There is little structure or thread to this argument, as presented,
and Pataki seems to think that admitting the work is a polemic, with
points chosen arbitrarily and incompletely, justifies saying pretty
much anything. The writing is full of esoteric references but is
neither compelling nor structured.
In chapter one, Pataki says he will not argue, and does not care,
whether a god exists, but also says that most people who believe in
such a being are mostly stupid and irrational. Religion is growing,
Pataki notes in chapter three, and then lists characteristics of
fundamentalism. A psychological assessment is used, in chapter three,
to indicate that monotheism is wish fulfillment. It is important to
note that chapter four is based on psychoanalytic thought. The very
specialized terminology of this field is used, and it is assumed that
the reader understands it. Therefore, the reader without a specific
academic or psychiatric background may fail to understand Pataki's
attempt to explain that religion can be seen as an automatic process
in the development of the growing mind, and not a conscious choice at
all. (What the theory fails to explain is why some people are *not*
religious.) Similar analysis is presented, in chapter five, to
support reports that religious people are violent and warlike, and
feel justified in attacking others because of a god's direction in the
matter. Chapter six uses the same psychoanalytic basis to argue that
religious people are sexually confused (although it is hard to argue
that non-religious people are not so confused). The thesis that
religious people are irrational is asserted in chapter seven. It is
interesting that Pataki at one point rails that the "religiose do not
have beliefs--they *know*." There really is no argument as such in
this chapter. Pataki does not believe religious people cannot think
rationally--he just knows it.
It is extremely difficult to understand what Pataki intends the book
to convey. As he states early on, he advances no reasoning to support
disbelief in God. He proposes that religious people are foolish and
possibly do unpleasant things, but does not demonstrate that non-
religious people are wiser or kinder. He does a fair job of
establishing that many, if not most, religious people believe for
reasons that are intellectually suspect, but huge numbers of the
populace conclude the truest things for the weirdest analyses, and the
author does, reluctantly, admit that some religiose may believe from
valid reasons. Pataki singularly does not illustrate that belief in a
god creates irrationality or cruelty. Nor can we determine whether
religious belief is any definitive indicator of untenable thought
Sorry, but I'm definitely against this book.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2009 BKAGNRLG.RVW 20090306
====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
We want to be creative and different, but we're squeamish about
`standing out', and we also want to fit in and belong--so let's
join a sub-culture and all be eccentric in the same way,
together. - Kate Fox, `Watching the English'