A must read for anyone who has to deliver a presentation. How we learn impacts what we can teach. Read the book to learn how to use the learner's mind...moreA must read for anyone who has to deliver a presentation. How we learn impacts what we can teach. Read the book to learn how to use the learner's mind to work for you.(less)
The constant refrain in America life is that one should never discuss politics or religion, yet these two social constructions govern how human beings...moreThe constant refrain in America life is that one should never discuss politics or religion, yet these two social constructions govern how human beings organize their lives. In time, Hitchens's book will become required reading for atheists, while most intellectuals of any religious bent will stick in the to-be-read pile, permanently assigning it to a class of books that they should read, but you know how those things are, "so many books, so little time." The underlying premise in God Is Not Great is that religion is a man-made construct that has been used to justify atrocities in some lord's name It’s not a message that most people want to or are willing to hear.
He attacks most religions for not inviting discourse and dissent, falling into tautologies when logic fails, and for corrupting the young -- here he is particularly exercised over the work of mohels, female circumcision done in the name of religion and catholic church's culpability in hiding the sex scandals.
Hitchens deftly exposes many of the contradictions in the bible, both new and old testaments. But here I don't think he is breaking new ground, merely replaying old argument that the good book was written for earthly reasons. Where he is at his best is exposing religions that were created in the past 500 years and examining their creation and rise to modern day cults. Under Hitchens’s light and any objective review, the Mormon Church doesn’t pass the sniff test.
Hitchens hits Islam hard for it many contradicts and inconsistencies, including the practice of granting short-term marriage licenses to a man who wishes to visit a prostitute. Women need not apply. Like many westerners, he worries about Islam trying to end conversations through the use of violence, for example the bombing of bookstores that carried The Satanic Verses, Salam Rushdie’s take on the Koran verses that Islam feels were devil inspired.
According to Hitchens, religions were created to make sense of the world. Today, science fills that role, but religion is not going down without a fight. My example of this is creationism, a hackneyed contrivance by the new Ptolemyists to once again put man at the center of the known universe, science works until it contradicts the will or word of god. So limited are they in fighting this one battle that puts them at odds with known science, that they are willing to risk looking stupid and damning a city, state, region or nation with their lack of foresight. Though it's hard to imagine it now, the church fought for a long time to suppress the now accepted belief that the earth is not the center of the universe, far from it.
Fast forward five hundreds years later, and the devote are once again fighting a losing battle with science, five hundred years from now, everyone will want to know what was the point.
I have gone on far too long about a minor conflict between the facts and religion; in God Is Not Great Hitchens does the same only more eloquently and with immense scholarship. It’s a good book and a great place to start a conversation that needs to be had, but I doubt many religious folks will read the book, they can’t handle the truth.