Anna's Reviews > god is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

god is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
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Feb 13, 2008

it was ok

Christopher Hitchens is like the intellectual version of Michael Moore. I first heard of him by way of Charlie Rose:

http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2002...

I found him to be extreme and slightly outrageous, which was not disproven by my reading of this book.

It's not that I disagree with what he says, because I don't. But I am not impressed with his attempt to attack and dismantle the value of "faith". Religion, maybe, but he is an atheist who finds faith itself to be wholly unreasonable, irrelevant, and infantile.

Hitchens is obviously extremely well-read and I appreciate the scholarly research that went into this endeavor, as well as the natural talent that he obviously has for argument. However, my two main criticisms are these:

One, I don't think it is useful to deprive people of faith. Faith, just like reason, is another human capacity that should be appreciated and admired, whether it leads to good or to bad (usually both, as most human qualities do).

Second, I get the feeling that the whole book is Hitchens' opportunity to rant and rave and make all religious people feel foolish. Which is not nice or constructive. He presents only the negative, so his book does not come off in any way as balanced. And he cannot help himself with a few snide comments here and there in paretheses, which I find only adds bitterness to his arguments.

His point can be found (finally) in the last chapter entitled: The Need for a New Enlightenment. After 280 pages of ranting, he finally says something constructive:

"...in our hands and within our view is a whole universe of discovery and clarification, which is a pleasure to study in itself, gives the average person access to insights that not even Darwin or Einstein possessed, and offers the promise of near-miraculous advances in healing, in energy, and in peaceful exchange between different cultures. Yet millions of people in all societies still prefer the myths of cave and the tribe and the blood sacrifice."

And, despite my harsh criticism of this book, I think he is absolutely right.
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message 1: by Skyler (new)

Skyler I will pray for you.


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