E's Reviews > God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Oct 05, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: politics-history
Read in September, 2007

73 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read God Is Not Great.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Great Review! I too believe that Hitchens has told an excellent if not somewhat sad story of the facts.

message 2: by Cassie (new) - added it

Cassie He also points out that the many great leaders (e.g., MLK, Jr.) who claimed religion as their inspiration were nevertheless choosing to adhere to only a few passages and downright ignoring a great many other violent ones.
I think this is true of so many people. It was definitely true of me for a long time.
Excellent review!

message 3: by Jeffrey (new) - added it

Jeffrey Mcandrew Right on! I agree with many thoughts.

John Mahoney I read this book almost straight through. It's a true polemic and you can almost feel CH's joy in putting it together for us, and for himself as well.

message 5: by Skyler (new)

Skyler I will pray for you.

Yurii Excellent review of a brilliant book

Arthur Edwards Good review

Bassaidai88 Outstanding review E!

message 10: by Fester (new)

Fester McHaggis Skylar, you pray for us and we'll THINK for you.

message 11: by David (new)

David Streever This book is not for fundamentalists; it is merely for people who feel strongly that Hitchens is correct.

Hitchens assembles a common list of social ills, and after asserting that religion is man-made, pretends that the social ills aren't; he blames "religion"; as he has just pointed out, however, religion is also man-made.

The problems he documents exist with and without religion, and are quite simple; there is a basic human desire to hoard goods or take goods if you have none. Monkeys exhibit the same problem. Do they have a religion we can conveniently scapegoat?

This book is really only for people who have a hatred for religion, or a fear of religion. It doesn't answer questions or provide a greater context to understand our world.

The Bible is for anyone who reads. Is it well-written? No. It is dreadful, boring, and repetitive. However, the literary influences are incredibly strong in almost every English work of literature you'll ever read; having read the Bible, you can understand and appreciate non-religious writing better, because the greatest novelists of our language were well-versed in it.

There is no work of classic literature that doesn't have Biblical connections.

The Bible is for anyone who enjoys reading. Hitchen's book is for anyone who agrees with him.

message 12: by David (new)

David Streever @Cassie:
as to MLK Jr "ignoring" the violent ones; absolutely not.

Violence in the Bible has a context that wouldn't be appropriate to MLK's civil rights activism, which is why he didn't use violence.

The Bible does contain violence, but you need to read about the time period and the cultural context around that violence.

There is a huge mistake that *many* Christians (probably 80%) make; they interpret the Bible in a contemporary setting.

This is incredibly foolish. The Old Testament stories take place in a world of incredible and unbelievable violence and brutality. Many of the stories show the poor ends that come to violent people.

Other stories show that the early tribes of Judea were working to be less violent than their neighbors. ("You should of seen the other guy", essentially.)

You can not compare the Old Testament stories to *modern* stories. Rather, spend some time studying the Babylonians, Canaanites, Sumerians, and other tribes of the time, and then look at what the *real* point of the story is.

This is a mistake that Hitchens & fundamentalist Christians both make, which is why many people think that Hitchens brand of atheism is asinine and foolish.

The Atheism Tapes are a much better presentation of Atheism in modern media. Watch the episode with Denys Turner (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1Wyt...) for an example of a *real* atheist having a real conversation about religion and faith.

message 13: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Mccrackin Well said. Great book that I will read again and again. oh, and god bless.

back to top