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God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens
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God is not Great (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Christopher Hitchens

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5,741144739 (3.88)145
Member:Susini
Title:God is not Great
Authors:Christopher Hitchens
Info:Hachette Book Group USA (2008), Edition: International Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Reviewed, Already Read, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Atheism

Work details

God Is Not Great : How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens (2007)

Recently added byLT_Ammar, private library, nickdreamsong, fpappa, pintis, ts3155, thukpa, ehelmke
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Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
I have the audio version of this as well (because Christopher Hitchens lends his own voice to it, and why wouldn't he?), and it's my favorite book of its kind. It delves into specific religions, especially the ones more familiar to Western readers, but also to the idea of religion in and of itself. As always, I learned something from it that I hadn't before. If anything, it helped me understand myself as a person and my own beliefs. ( )
  Michael_Rose | Jan 10, 2016 |
This book feels like it's at odds with itself. Its author seems to have both great respect for religion and yet utter disdain and even disgust for it. I suppose that's part of the trouble of living in a world whose history and culture are so thoroughly saturated with it. On the one hand, people do truly terrible things in the name of religion - any religion - but on the other, it's such a huge part of humankind, for better or worse. If you read this, prepared to be horrified, but also edified, mystified, and even occasionally amused. Definitely worth reading by people of faith, if only to hear a few new arguments from the "other side". I don't think it'll convince anyone either way, but I definitely learned a lot of new things. ( )
  melydia | Oct 23, 2015 |
Mr. Hitchens is both a very bright and very bitter man. He has penned a very intellectual debunking of religion and made a thorough case for atheism. While I didn't disagree with him on many of his points, he seems to take a bit too much joy in his task, which subtracted from my overall enjoyment. That being said, when spending as much time researching the evils of religion as this man has, it would be hard to come away without a modicum of fury. Excellent reading for those looking to read a solid counter-point to the argument for religion and well worth the time. ( )
  liso | Sep 18, 2015 |
Mr. Hitchens is both a very bright and very bitter man. He has penned a very intellectual debunking of religion and made a thorough case for atheism. While I didn't disagree with him on many of his points, he seems to take a bit too much joy in his task, which subtracted from my overall enjoyment. That being said, when spending as much time researching the evils of religion as this man has, it would be hard to come away without a modicum of fury. Excellent reading for those looking to read a solid counter-point to the argument for religion and well worth the time. ( )
  liso | Sep 18, 2015 |
Of all the books availalbe to read on this planet, this one probably would raise the eyebrows highest for the people who know me - if not for the content, then at least for the title.

However, I had to read this book for two reasons:

1) I have to read everything. The deal I made with myself is that if there is a controversial book whose content might effect my philosophical underpinnings adversely, I must also read the best available converse book for balance. I therefore read David Wolpe's "Why Faith Matters" at the same pace and actually finished both books on the same day.

2) I love Hitchens' writing in general. There is simply no one on earth with a better command of the English language than he. And if you can find me one who does (and I challenge you to do so), then at the very least, there is simply no one on earth who combines amazing literary intelligence with masterful insolent wit.

I absorbed all the information and enjoyed running to a dictionary every few seconds (his word choice is so expert, he should give lessons to those who try big words and contextually fail with them). I disagreed vehemently with two points and agreed vehemently with another.

Disagreement # 1: I was quite surprised at his lack of proper research into the finer details of Orthodox Judaism. If you're going to rail against it, know it. He himself says in the closing sentence that to fight one's enemy, you must first understand it. Ergo, he cannot fight Judaism without a better understanding of it.

Disagreement # 2: He addressed the classic argument that atheists are too responsible for scads of historical mass murder. His response is that the regimes responsible were religious in their construction. This argument is invalid, especially in the face of a much simpler argument he can easily counter with: would you assume that if these atheist murderers introduced G-d into the equation of their lives, they would have ceased their activity or increased it?

Agreement: He says with clarity that one needs not to be a moral person to achieve a great moral accomplishment. Often religions cry against this, citing purity of heart as responsible for purity of achievement. Both Hitchens and I believe this to be nonsense. Great, great, moral advances and lofty accomplishments have been achieved by people who hey, like to sleep with scores of women. So what?

Now if you'd like to rebuke me for reading this book, shove it up your poopchute. If you'd like to discuss it with me as a gentleman, please feel free to e-mail me. Let's talk.
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
Observers of the Christopher Hitchens phenomenon have been expecting a book about religion from him around now. But this impressive and enjoyable attack on everything so many people hold dear is not the book we were expecting. . . He has written, with tremendous brio and great wit, but also with an underlying genuine anger, an all-out attack on all aspects of religion.
 
A positive review
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Hitchensprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Vicq, Fearn CutlerDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Witte, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound.
-Fulke Greville, Mustapha
And do you think that unto such as you
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew
God gave a secret, and denied it me?
Well, well - what matters it? Believe that, too!
-The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
(Richard Le Gallienne translation)
Peacefully they will die, peacefully they will expire in your name, and beyond the grave they will find only death. But we will keep the secret, and for their own happiness we will entice them with a heavenly and eternal reward.
-The Grand Inquisitor to his "Savior" in
The Brothers Karamazov
Dedication
For Ian McEwan
In serene recollection of
La Refulgencia
First words
If the intended reader of this book should want to go beyond disagreement with its author and try to identify the sins and deformities that animated him to write it (and I have certainly noticed that those who publicly affirm charity and compassion and forgiveness are often inclined to take this course), then he or she will not just be quarreling with the unknowable and ineffable creator who - presumably - opted to make me this way.
Quotations
The voice of Reason is soft. But it is very persistent.
And here is the point, about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anthing that contradicts science or outrages reason. ("Putting it Mildly")
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446579807, Hardcover)

In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris's recent bestseller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case
against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and
reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry
of the double helix.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"A case against religion and a description of the ways in which religion is man-made"--Provided by the publisher.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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