So… I decided to take of Bertrand Russell. I got a few of his essays and I loaded them onto my nook and I started to read.
Immediately I saw how brilliant the man was, and how Dawkins and the other three horsemen would have been unworthy to even kiss his posterior. His explanations finally resolved some of the questions of, "How on earth could you really believe that?" and his writings were, to be honest, beautiful, in their way.
Then he made the same mistakes as the "four horsemen". I saw the same types of arguments relying on the same types of evidences which are so bankrupt in his inept intellectual descendants. There were the classic maneuvers which boil down to what I can only assume is a willful ignorance of theology and history.
One example, which Dawkins lifted almost verbatim, was the fact that Christ called his mother "woman".
Normally I prefer to wait at least a couple weeks after reading a book to review it. Giving oneself time for digestion is an important part of the review process to me, and often I find myself drawing conclusions later that I would not have have drawn when the book was just finished. I'd like to think that it also allows for a little more objectivity in my writing. This book, however, I felt the need to review immediately.
Hilaire Belloc once pointed out that it is more common to find mis-statements about the middle ages than it is to find accurate ones. And that these mis-statements say more about the authors than they actually say about the state of affairs in medieval Europe. I wonder what he might think of this book.
Not only does the author get the dominant philosopher of the middle ages wrong (he says that Aristotelian thought was dominant when the Platonic school reigned supreme from the early Church until a 13th century Dominican Monk reconciled the Stagirite with Christian thought), but he also has the audacity (? stupidity) to assert that there were no philosophers after Seneca and before Montaigne.