Saturday, November 13, 2010

The End of Reason

Here is a short book review.

Title: The End of Reason : A Response to the New Atheists
Author: Ravi Zacharias

  • Publisher: Zondervan (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310282519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310282518

Ravi Zacharias essentially responds to books by the 'New Atheists', especially Sam Harris (author of The End of Faith). By the new atheists, Zacharias refers to this movement of aggressive atheists like Harris and Dawkins.
The book is essentially a more or less topical deconstruction of Harris' thesis.

Ravi Zacharias is a well-known apologist and I had high expectations. I had never read any of his books before. I was very disappointed.

The structure of the book is not very well done, making it hard to easily organize the arguments for future reference. It leaves an impression of 'oh yeah, he's right', but its harder to be more specific than that.

Overall, I saw very few new things that would help me in the defence of the Gospel. The only significant point I recall is that the 'new atheists' are really a fringe in the atheist community and they are not universally well-received. Some will go as far as stating on the record that they are ashamed to be atheists because of them. That's a 'wow' statement!

In short, give this book to your friend if he read Harris and was shaken by it. If you've never read any apologetics before, that's an easy intro to the topic, so it could serve as a warm-up.


In terms of 'classical Hindi movie', Border would be one of the famous ones.

Border is the story of some unit of the Punjab Regiment that were sent to guard the indo-pakistani border in Rajasthan, west of Jaisalmer (see map). Of course, it is in the anticipation of the 1971 war with Pakistan.

View Larger Map

They are assisted by a few jawans of the BSF and their camels and they are stuck in the desert for a few months, fortifying the outpost and trying to find spies and informants.

In short: the BSF rocks... the main BSF jawan is a Rajput who knows the terrain and the local language and it makes a huge difference for a bunch of Punjabis who never saw the desert before.

And then the war breaks out. They are 120 infantry, with some minimal anti-tank weaponry, and there comes a column of tanks and infantry. HQ tells them to retreat, but gives the commander the last call. They decide to stay.
They call for an air strike, but the planes don't fight at night. So they have to hang in there until morning.
The rest is a mix of courage and insanity, with people leaving their covers to assist a fellow soldier and stuff like that. The craziest is when the BSF Jawan is wounded by a tank shell, goes out of the trench with an anti-tank mine all the way to the enemy commander's tank and manages to put that mine under its tracks and make it blow up. I don't know if that's movie or reality, but that's 100% crazy.

It is a pure patriotic movie that aims at inflating national pride and lauding heroes. I do appreciate the song near the end that calls for an end to war. But I can't help being amazed at the fact that the director managed to squeeze in 2 love stories in the middle of a war movie!

Bottom line: if you like war movies, then you'll like that one.

Strange Rains...

Something weird is happening with the weather this year. We're having rain even in November. The rainy season should be well finished now, and yet we are in a state of uncertainty on whether to bring the umbrella or not...