- Hardcover: 307 pages
- Publisher: Twelve Books, Hachette Book Group; First Edition edition (2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446579807
- ISBN-13: 978-0446579803
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.2 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 103 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything Hardcover – 2007
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“If God intended reasonable men and women to worship Him without embarrassment, why did He create Christopher Hitchens? It was a fatal miscalculation. In God Is Not Great, Hitchens not only demonstrates that religion is man-made — and made badly — he laughs the whole monstrosity to rubble. This is a profoundly clever book, addressing the most pressing social issue of our time, by one of the finest writers in the land.”
—Sam Harris, Author of the New York Times bestsellers The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation
"Noted, often acerbic journalist Hitchens enters the fray. As his subtitle indicates, his premise is simple. Not only does religion poison everything, which he argues by explaining several ways in which religion is immoral, but the world would be better off without religion. … With such chapter titles as "Religion Kills" and "Is Religion Child Abuse?" Hitchens intends to provoke, but he is not mean-spirited and humorless. Indeed, he is effortlessly witty and entertaining as well as utterly rational."
— Booklist ** starred review**
"Do yourself a favor and skip the Dawkins and Harris; they're smug, turgid, and boring, with all the human feeling of a tax return. Read Hitchens instead. Test your faith severely or find a champion for your feelings, but read Hitchens. It's a tendentious delight, a caustic and even brilliant book. And with the title alone, he takes his life in his hands, which right there has got to be some proof of his thesis. And so, thank God for Christopher Hitchens."
"Hitchens, one of our great political pugilists, delivers the best of the recent rash of atheist manifestos. The same contrarian spirit that makes him delightful reading as a political commentator, even (or especially) when he's completely wrong, makes him an entertaining huckster prosecutor once he has God placed in the dock. Hitchens's one-liners bear the marks of considerable sparring practice with believers.… this is salutary reading as a means of culling believers' weaker arguments."
Praise for Christopher Hitchens:
“America’s foremost literary pugilist.”
—The Village Voice --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Chistopher Hitchens is a widely published polemicist and frequent radio and TV commentator. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a visiting professor of liberal studies at the New School in New York. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
I was so relieved to find within it all the intelligently constructed arguments that rang so true with me that I no longer felt any pangs of guilt for not believing in "the Faith of my Fathers". I loved this book. Now I feel I must read all the rest of Hitchen's books. It's all there. The total proof of evolution lies just down the road in the Burgess Shale. Now I have no doubts. There is no god. Man invented him in his own image. I don't need it.
Thank you Christopher Hitchens.
"If I cannot definitely prove that the usefulness of religion is in the past,
 and that its foundational books are transparent fables,
 and that it is a man-made imposition,
 and that it has been an enemy of science and inquiry,
 and that it has subsisted largely on lies and fears,
 and been the accomplice of ignorance and guilt as well as slavery, genocide...and tyranny...
 [and that there is a] connection between religion, racism, and [dictatorship or] totalitarianism [as found, for example, in the Hitler and Stalin regimes],
I can most certainly claim that religion is fully aware of these criticisms.
It is also fully aware of the ever-mounting evidence, concerning the origins of the cosmos and the origin of species, which consign it to marginality if not to irrelevance."
The above is found in this fascinating book by Christopher Hitchens (1949 to 2011). He was a British-American author and journalist whose career spanned more than four decades. Hitchens was named number five an a list of the "Top 100 Public Intellectuals."
He supports his position that "religion poisons everything" with personal stories, documented historical evidence, and analysis of religious texts.
Hitchens is mainly concerned with the Abrahamic religions (the largest being Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) although he touches on other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.
I feel that the best way of conveying what this book has to offer is to list some of its chapter titles:
(1) Religion kills
(2) A note on health to which religion can be hazardous
(3) The metaphysical claims of religion are false
(4) Arguments from design
(5) Revelation: the nightmare of the "Old" Testament
(6) The 'New' Testament exceeds the evil of the "Old" one
(7) Does religion make people behave better?
(8) Is religion child abuse?
(9) A finer tradition: the resistance of the rational
One of my favourite chapters is the one where the author tells us that "there are, indeed, several ways in which religion is not just amoral, but positively immoral." These are:
(1) Presenting a false picture of the world to the innocent and [to those that believe too easily especially with no proof]
(2) The doctrine of blood sacrifice
(3) The doctrine of atonement
(4) The doctrine of eternal reward and/or punishment
(5) The imposition of impossible tasks and rules
Finally, the vocabulary used in this book is, in a word, impeccable. I, personally, appreciated this but some potential readers may have to resort to using a dictionary for some words.
In his book's acknowledgements section, Hitchens states,
"To all those...who live in...worlds where superstition and barbarism are still dominant...I hope this little book may fall [into their hands].
In conclusion, I fully agree with the endorsement on the book's back cover that states:
"an intellectual willing to show his teeth in the cause of righteousness."
Christopher Hitchens may be the best since Bertrand Russell's "Why I am not a Christian" (1927) to laying out essential arguments with both force and precision!!
(first published 2007; 18 chapters; conclusion; main narrative 285 pages; acknowledgements; references; index)
<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>