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.
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.
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Comments about God Is Not Great:
Compelling and thoughtful read about the effects of religion on everything! An unspoken truth that is masterfully presented by the late Christopher Hitchens and as usual, presents an intellectually sound case. A bible of sorts for atheism and a possible eye opener for religious people. A must read for everyone.
Comments about God Is Not Great:
This was a marvelous book. I finished reading the God Delusion earlier this year which was also excellent. I think some people might appreciate Hitchen's work more though because it's from a writers perspective. While I enjoy Biology and understand it, some science in the God Delusion went over my head. Hitchens world experience, skill of writing and wit also gives us a much more overall thorough study of religion. I was actually surprised how unbiased this was, Hitchens gives religion it's due credit when it has earnt it and has genuine appreciation for the art, poetry and literature inspired by theology. He does however remind us that the terrible deeds of religion far exceed the good and that the good actions of people does not prove their divine claims.
Service and delivery comments:
Service is excellent and prompt. I much prefer the new packaging, I found to my disappointment in a few earlier purchases that my books were creased or earmarked. The new tight cardboard packaging while harder to open does ensure my books are in great quality upon arrival.
The New York Times - Michael Kinsley
… Hitchens has outfoxed the Hitchens watchers by writing a serious and deeply felt book, totally consistent with his beliefs of a lifetime. And God should be flattered: unlike most of those clamoring for his attention, Hitchens treats him like an adult.
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. And can he turn a phrase!: "monotheistic religion is a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a hearsay of a hearsay, of an illusion of an illusion, extending all the way back to a fabrication of a few nonevents." Hitchens's one-liners bear the marks of considerable sparring practice with believers. Yet few believers will recognize themselves as Hitchens associates all of them for all time with the worst of history's theocratic and inquisitional moments. All the same, this is salutary reading as a means of culling believers' weaker arguments: that faith offers comfort (false comfort is none at all), or has provided a historical hedge against fascism (it mostly hasn't), or that "Eastern" religions are better (nope). The book's real strength is Hitchens's on-the-ground glimpses of religion's worst face in various war zones and isolated despotic regimes. But its weakness is its almost fanatical insistence that religion poisons "everything," which tips over into barely disguised misanthropy. (May 30)
Philip Bader - Library Journal
In 2002, Hitchens appeared before a Vatican committee in the nonofficial capacity of advocatus diaboli, or "devil's advocate," to argue against the beatification of Mother Teresa. In his latest best-selling book, he adopts a similar role to articulate his case against the relevance and utility of religious belief. Once a budding theologian in short pants, the young Hitchens revolted against all things religious when one of his teachers suggested that God made vegetation green because it was more pleasing to the human eye than any other color. This teacher of firm but obtuse faith, by the author's calculation, set him firmly on the road to atheism. Hitchens takes all religions to task for their willful disregard of scientific fact, common sense, and even basic human decency. He is at his most entertaining and provocative when confronting particular faiths (his depiction of the rise of Mormonism and the canonization of the Muslim scriptures in particular), but his relentless dismantling of the creationist, or intelligent design, movement provides more substantial fare, as does his defense of a wholly secular morality, a theme that informs each chapter of the book. Given the levels of violence, intolerance, and oppression committed by and in the name of religion, Hitchens argues, the claim that religion makes humanity better-and, conversely, that the lack of religious belief destroys any foundation for a functional morality-remains a spurious one. Hitchens also proves to be a more than capable reader; his wit, erudition, and passionate unbelief could not have been conveyed as compellingly by a surrogate, though perhaps his reading of the introductory quotations that head many ofthe book's chapters might have been rendered with a little more enthusiasm. Highly recommended for all general collections.
Put an -ism onto it, and whatever it is, noted polemicist and contrarian Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War, 2005, etc.) is likely to decimate it. So he reveals in this pleasingly intemperate assault on organized religion. Hitchens opens by recalling an epistemological crisis. Why, if God was great, did he need to be praised "so incessantly for doing what came to him naturally"? If Jesus could heal the blind, why didn't he do away with blindness? Such doubts arrive to all proper questioners; sometimes they turn into C.S. Lewis or Malcolm Muggeridge, sometimes they turn into committed atheists. Hitchens, forthrightly in the latter camp, offers "four irreducible objections to religious faith" at the outset, namely that religion misrepresents human origins and those of the universe at large; that owing to this, religion combines "the maximum of servility with the maximum of solipsism"; that religion suppresses sexuality to a dangerous degree; and that religion is a species of wishful-thinking. And the author adds another twist of the knife: Religion makes people crazy, violent and ill-behaved. Just ask Salman Rushdie-or Giordano Bruno. Hitchens, a brave grappler quite obviously unafraid of giving offense, cheerfully takes on all comers, from mullahs to commissars to Mahatma Gandhi-and a noted televangelist who once challenged him with a thought experiment in which, in a foreign land, Hitchens is approached by a large group of men. Wouldn't he feel more comfortable, the televangelist asked, to learn that they had just left a religious service? Citing personal experiences in cities only beginning with B-Belfast, Beirut, Bombay, Belgrade, Bethlehem and Baghdad-Hitchens answers emphatically in thenegative. And all that's before taking on Joseph Smith, and Mohammed, and . . . It's clear from page to page that Hitchens, a columnist for Vanity Fair, is having a grand time twitting the folks in the white collars and purple dresses, in the turbans and beehives. Like-minded readers will enjoy his arguments, too.
"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 thatmakes 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"
"From the Hardcover edition."
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st April 2009
Dimensions (cm): 19.558 x 12.954 x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.272