Lovecraft Countdown

Syndicated from Alex Smith’s Re-Imagine Ritual.

As some of you know, I’ve been making sporadic posts about my involvement as the publisher of Against Religion, by HP Lovecraft, edited and introduced by ST Joshi with a foreword by Christopher Hitchens. In order to raise interest in the book, and see that it reaches a proper audience, I will continue to post small pieces of the book I’ve found especially interesting. The following quote reminds me of Dawkins’ argument against indoctrinating children into religion.

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We know today, through psychology, that any belief or emotional bias, no matter how untrue or absurd, can be implanted in the brain and nervous system of a human being with tremendous force and firmness if the victim be inoculated with it in infancy. A person thus subjected to indoctrination with some special idea at an age under seven will always have a deeper instinctive predisposition toward that idea—but this has nothing to do with the truth of the idea. There is no natural leaning toward religion. Originally, it merely attempts to explain the unknown through poetic symbolism and crude personification; today it survives among the less analytical majority merely because they lack scientific information, and because their emotional apparatus has been permanently biassed or crippled by religious propaganda hammered into them in childhood, before their mind and emotions had developed beyond the infantile state of helpless and uncritical receptivity. It is really a crime against a child to attempt to influence his intellectual belief in any way. (p. 25)

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As I read the book I was inspired to see the many points Lovecraft argues that we see today in the atheist cause. Joshi’s book really highlight’s a single man’s struggle to live as an intellectual and an atheist at a time where atheists were not only in the minority, but were not seeing the opportunity for recognition that we’ve seen today for such figures as Dawkins and Dennet. Although a release date for the book remains uncertain, you can check back here for updates, and expect it on shelves before the 2009 holidays.


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