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clifhostetler

Clif's Book World

Adventures from reading books captured within short reviews.

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything - Christopher Hitchens I intended to read this book back-to-back with Richard Dawkins’ God Delusion and Sam Harris’ End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation. But I had to wait about a year for the library audio version of "God Is Not Great" because of a long queue. Thus, my comparison of the books is not as fresh as I had hoped. In general I found Hitchens book full of pithy comments with hints of irony and sarcasm. Dawkins I remembered as being more scientific and restrained in his language. Harris I recall being more direct, strident and philosophic. I think Hitchens spent more time parsing the Hebrew and Christian scriptures than the other two. But Hitchens is obviously a good writer and his book easily keeps the reader's interest.

This book, "God Is Not Great," as with other similar books, attacks the more traditional forms of various religions and disregards the more liberal versions. The atrocious actions of the various religions that are pointed out by the book are products of either less enlightened times or are activities of the most fundamentalistic versions of the religion. More liberal and metaphoric interpretations of scriptures are written off as religionist who have morphed into humanism. That makes the task of attacking religion quiet easy for the book. A more nuanced discussion of the pros and cons of less conservative forms of religion would probably hurt book sales since it's a more complex subject.

The following is a short review of this book from my PageADay Book Lover's Calendar:
WHAT THE ATHEIST SAID
“We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion. And we know for a fact that the corollary holds true—that religion has caused innumerable people not just to conduct themselves no better than others, but to award themselves permission to behave in ways that would make a brothel-keeper or an ethnic cleanser raise an eyebrow.” So Christopher Hitchens writes in his trenchant indictment of religion. Even those on the other side of the debate may want to read this to have a full and clear idea of the points they need to rebut. A sharply and entertainingly written polemic.
GOD IS NOT GREAT: HOW RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING, by Christopher Hitchens (Twelve, 2007)