PDF God is Not Great How Religion Poisons Everything ☆ Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens ñ 1 SUMMARY

God is Not Great How Religion Poisons Everything

By indoctrinating them It is a cause of sexual repression violence and ignorance It is a distortion of our origins and the cosmos In the place of religion Hitchens offers the promise of a new enlightenment through. I read this months ago and never got around to the reviewSimply stated Hitchens puts into words all the reasons I shy away from organized religion The prejudices sexism the overall foolishness At the same time he seems oblivious to the fact that there are religious people out there doing great things feeding the hungry clothing the poor building for the homeless Hey Hitchens I get that you are atheist That s fine but knock that chip off your shoulder already Belief that decent religious people exist does not mean you have to agree with them or believe in their GodMr Hitchens may I suggest a few new titles for your book Try God Can Be Great But Freaks Poison Religion or How Jerks Screw Up Religion

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With his uniue brand of erudition and wit Hitchens describes the ways in which religion is man made God did not make us he says We made God He explains the ways in which religion is immoral We damage our children. Let me begin this review by telling you that I m an atheist In fact I m with Douglas Adams in calling myself a radical atheist just to make sure that everyone gets the point Yes really It s in my profileSo my opinion about this book really has nothing to do with my personal convictions Well not my personal religious convictions of which there are none It has everything to do with my personal convictions as an atheist And as an atheist I m offended by this bookHitchens is not and I uote from the numerous book reviews so helpfully printed on the first few pages of my paperback copywitty impressive entertaining funny challenging or GOD forbid pardon the pun excellentHe is not even polemical since that would reuire some factual discussion He is simply inflammatoryHitchens bashes religion in 341 pages complete with references and an index I guess that way he can pretend that his work has some academic value Now the book is called God is not great How Religion poisons everything What the hell did she expect this to be you will probably askLet me tell youI expected this to be a serious well presented argument of why the world would be better off without religion I expected there to be a theoretical discussion about how a world without religion can not only work but work better than one with religion And I expected there to be a dicussion and dissection of religious beliefs and their influence on human interaction and how these beliefs in a modern society are not necessary any andor are probably even hindering the development of our societyInstead I get 341 pages on the most stupidest things people do in the name of religion like fundamentalist muslims telling poor people not to get polio vaccinations and arguments like jews and muslims hate pigs because pigs are dirty and eat their young if they are trapped in little stables but the muslims completely stole that idea from the jew complete with a really touching page on why pigs are really cute animals and that human babies love little pigs Cause you can never be wrong with the human baby argumentCause not eating pigs is really one of the worst problems caused by religions in modern times Poor pigs they feel all left out Well I don t eat pigs and I certainly don t think that makes me a bad person Just a mostly vegetarian one who can t stomach pig meatBut wait the pig thing is leading somewhere It is leading piggies beware to the oh so representative story of the muslims who because of the ban on pigs try to ban things like Winnie the Pooh or The Three little piglets Because yes that s certainly a REAL problem and you know EVERY muslim thinks that way Plus since America is SO GOOD with its non censorship policies it s always a really good idea for Americans to hold up the STOP CENSORSHIP banner to other nations this was sarcasm in case you couldn t tellI m sorry but almost everyone I know is religious NO ONE I know is a radical muslim christian jew or whatever Maybe that s why I have the nagging feeling that most religious people are really uite normal and do not propose bans on children s books or tell people not to get vaccinated in the name of godAnd I really think pointing out the tiny minority of FREAKS in a religion any religion btw in order to ban the whole thing is kind of ineffective What does Hitches want to say with that That religion is okay as long as they keep in check the radicals As a radical atheist I m confusedArguing with the most extreme examples is certain to get you heard but in my experience it isn t very effective It s too easy to say yes Hitchens you are right but religion isn t really like that The insert religious work of your choice doesn t really say that And then the normal religious people will lean back and stay as happily religious as they areThat there is a reason why people are religious that religions have shaped our societies and our behaviors as humans for as long as we can thinkHitchens doesn t mention itAnd that there is no need for religion in the present we live in that religion has in fact become THE factor that is most likely to hinder the evolution of humans as a race Not a wordOr wait maybe he does mention that somewhere in the 241 pages I chose not to read because I have better things to do with my time But I doubt itI bought this book because I was led to believe that Hitchens is one THE top intellectuals of the USA and one of the important proponents of the so called new atheism whatever that isIf he is I feel sorry for us old atheists And I m calling myself that because I most certainly do not want to be connected to a movement that does itself exactly what it criticizes in religious radicals attack and condemn without reason or explanation That s what Hitchens does in this book Hitchens may think that he is an atheist and he may argue on behalf of atheism But in doing so he turns his atheism into the one thing that I am strongly against a new religionAnd that does not only offend my as an atheist it also harms atheism as such Which is the fundamental difference between me and Hitches we both are convinced that there is no god But where I only want people to take responsibility for their own mistakes and to not blame a superior being where I want them to be human because they are and not because some religion dictates how and why they should be human Hitchens does not seem to think that far He just jumped onto the popular train new atheim Really to point his finger at the most outrageous and stupid examples of radical religious people he could findNewsflash Mr Hitchens there are idiots everywhere but you cannot judge the whole system upon themCase in pointPS Oh and I should probably mention that the book isn t very well written either The language especially the first chapter is pompous The structure of the arguments is at best random Also the author seems to have chosen not to religiously follow the rules of logic Or to you know be logical at allcloses book and throws it on the sale pile

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Science and reason a realm in which hope and wonder can be found through a strand of DNA or a gaze through the Hubble Telescope As Hitchens sees it you needn't get the blues once you discover the heavens are empt. Not long ago I watched a couple of those How The Universe Works shows and it kinda traumatized me In however many billions of years the sun is going to die and slightly before that the Earth will be incinerated and everything that we are were will be and will have built will cease to exist I can comprehend that Earth s only one part of a solar system in a tiny part of one galaxy of hundreds of billions of galaxies that exist in the vastness of the universe See I know that someday thankfully not very soon Earth is a goner But what s hard for me to comprehend is that eventually the rest of the universe will end too That s just mind boggling to me That something so vast and so seemingly infinite can just end well it makes me almost wish that there was something to almost want to have faith that there is some sort of creator who set all of this in place and then breathed life into it and who has a plan and a purpose for what it will eventually become rather than there being nothing but a ticking clock until the end of everything Almost because it s sometimes comforting in the face of the end of all existence But I don t Even if I DID have that faith that would be all I could never be religious because I don t believe in religion And that is the crux of this book for me A little anecdote before I continue A couple weeks ago The Boy s family came to stay with us for a few days to visit They are religiousy grace before dinner heh almost typo d sinner there God has a plan types who give God credit for everything They hit all green lights driving through town God was with them etc I try not to get sucked into conversations about religion with The Boy s grandma because she s a sweet lady who just can t see things being other than how she sees them and she believes that she s only trying to help me find God I know she wouldn t understand my lack of desire to have anything to do with religion so I just avoid the topic altogether whenever possibleThe last day of their visit the inevitable happened and she cornered me while I was making dinnerHer So have you found a church yetMe Umm no OhIhavetocheckthefoodnow mumblemumbleHer Oh well you ll find one you just have to keep trying You know you d really like my church It s the biggest in the area We have to drive 45 minutes to get there but I really like it because it s got gold on the windowsills and they ve got their own TV and radio stations and I zoned out around this point just holding up my end of the conversation by muttering Oh and That s nice every time she stopped for airThen So why don t you go to churchMe DAMMIT Oh well I don t believe in organized religionHer Oh you mean like those Catholics They are always standing and sitting and chanting at just the right times They are really organizedMe Oo Yeahhhhh that s not exactly the kind of organized I meantHitchens point as the sub title indicates is that RELIGION poisons everything Simply put it s a pissing contest winner decided by headcount or body count as the case may be between groups who are each claiming that THEIRS is the Right and One True Religion and thus intolerance and hatred and fear is born Religions tell people that they are going to spend eternity in suffering unless they Follow The Rules when The Rules themselves can cause immense suffering in people from fear of eternal damnation to circumcision both male and female to homophobic violence to genocide just to name a few Seems like a loselose to meOrganized religion seeks and too often succeeds to exert control over people s thoughts and behavior imposing standards of purity that are nearly impossible to attain even in the most pious believer But than that they also insert themselves into politics seeking to impose their particular brand of morality on everyone which inevitably leads to human rights violations and less freedom for people of all beliefs Religion spawns creatures of such vile ugliness and pure evil that I can t even comprehend them And that s just the Westboro Baptist Church Ahh such wholesome joyful hatred I agreed with much of what Hitchens said in this book on the subject of religion because I do think that can be toxic but we actually differ on the faith aspect I felt uncomfortable with some of his attitudes toward people who believe in GodAllahBuddhaKrishnaetc resorting to dismissive name calling several times I realize that this is a fine line for me to walk because religion and faithbelief are tied so closely together But I feel like faithbelief in and of itself is not a bad thing nor does it make the person who holds it stupid or naive or less worthy of respect I have no problem with faith or belief in any God whatever they may be called That is an individual s decision and it s personal to them I make no claims of knowing there is NOT a God so I cannot say anyone who believes in one is wrong My issue is when faith is bound up in religion as an institution that uses it as a method of control and intolerance That is when I feel that a line is crossed and in my opinion the result is far harm than good if viewed in large scale terms


About the Author: Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English born American author journalist and literary critic He was a contributor to Vanity Fair The Atlantic World Affairs The Nation Slate Free Inuiry and a variety of other media outlets Hitchens was also a political observer whose best selling books — the most famous being God Is Not Great — made him a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits He was



10 thoughts on “God is Not Great How Religion Poisons Everything

  1. says:

    Let me begin this review by telling you that I'm an atheist In fact I'm with Douglas Adams in calling myself a radical atheist just to make sure that everyone gets the point Yes really It's in my profileSo my opini

  2. says:

    There's a debate I keep getting into about the difference between atheism and religious belief someone claims that atheism is just

  3. says:

    A wicked witty condemnation of all things religious As a person of faith I find that Hitchens often sounds like a blind man ridiculing the value of Rembrandt and Van Gogh But he is particularly fine on the noxious ways in which religion intersects with the most murderous forms of politics And of course as is a

  4. says:

    Witty fact based amusing rant I laughed out loud many timesI think part of the rage Hitchens encounters derives from the fact that he is funny If he put on a scholarly serious tone and imitated the behaviour of priests in the way he poses his arguments he would not be hated in the way he is But the ridicule makes him a target I happen to like entertaining arguments than tedious nonsensical discussions on evidence for made up asse

  5. says:

    I read this months ago and never got around to the reviewSimply stated Hitchens puts into words all the reasons I shy away from organized religion The prejudices sexism the overall foolishness At the same time he seems oblivious to the fact that there are religious people out there doing great things; feeding the hungry clothing the poor building for the homeless Hey Hitchens I get that you are atheist That's fine but kn

  6. says:

    As a fellow Atheist Mr Hitchens is preaching to choir so to speak in this informative captivating work in which Hitchens judiciously provides historically documented and personal examples of what he sees as an ever increasing war being waged by a variety of religious fundamental organizations In our very own country we have troops of well funded born again fanatics preaching hatred of anyone who doesn’t fal

  7. says:

    Not long ago I watched a couple of those How The Universe Works shows and it kinda traumatized me In however many billions of years the sun is going to die and slightly before that the Earth will be incinerated and everyt

  8. says:

    I'm probably going to court some hateful comments by trying to write a review of this book but I think Hitch would be proud that I am making the attemptI have been reading Hitch's work for years including his essays on mortality and atheism so I knew the gist of his arguments against religion but it was enlightening going through this entire book He synthesizes a tremendous amount of research from history philosophy sci

  9. says:

    Having read the book some time before the author died and having written a review but not on this site I'm at a loss to comprehend now what went wrong with this book I had a lenient rating system at the time I read this book Now I'd have given this book a 25 which I just have There is too much focus on current terrorist acts and while in theory it's not a bad idea I did found such parts muddling and boring Resp

  10. says:

    Since I can't say anything with out being labelled as a 'heretic' or a 'heathen' I will just say this;Not everything but it does poison a lot of things And its first victims are Reason and Common sense

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