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117 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Review of the BAD in Religions
Christopher Hitchens died last year and until he died I had never heard of him. I read eulogies from his fellow journalists and then heard no more until last week when, by chance, I came across some video clips of Hitchens speaking about his views on religion and I found them fascinating.

I then found that Hitchens had written a book, God is not Great: how...
Published on 16 April 2012 by Duncan Williamson

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83 of 99 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor God, Hitchens's put you in the closet and I'm feeling so sad
This is the fifth of the recently published books that critically examine religion, faith, and/or God that I have read during the last year or so. The others are:

Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion (2006)
Dennett, Daniel C. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (2006)
Harris, Sam. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of...
Published on 21 April 2008 by Dennis Littrell


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35 of 134 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No credibility, 22 Jun 2007
Hitchens lost all credibility he had when he supported the Iraq war. I'm an atheist myself, and an anti-theist, and I'm on the left, but this book is nonsense. It's a cheap cash in on Richard Dawkins' book. If you want to read about religion and the damage is has done, read Dawkins', not this.

Hitchens, please stop embarrassing yourself.
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2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not at all convincing, 21 Sep 2013
By 
bristoljob96 (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
Couldn't agree more with other 1 star reviewers. Hitchens was no doubt a highly intelligent man with extensive knowledge on a whole variety of topics, however this book does not do the title justice
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING, 29 Aug 2014
Very very poor!! how 'religion' poisons everything does not at all account for religions but instead cherry picks from a few western misconceptions! This is a very very very lame attack at all with faith. Being a scientist myself, i am somewhat appalled that a book can delude so many innocently minded people just as the very books he speaks of! I would not waste my money on this, instead just speak to an uneducated atheist down the pub and he will tell you the same without the flashing lights.
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25 of 118 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather more honest than Dawkins..., 28 Sep 2007
I am writing from the perspective of a committed Christian. I am not religious (New Testament Christianity is not a religion), and therefore a lot of Hitchens' sideswipes against what he terms 'religions', I actually have little problem with. Actually, I quite enjoyed this book. Unlike Dawkins, who in his book 'The God Delusion' likes to flourish his intellectual charms in order to bedazzle and mislead (and distract his readers from the obviously flawed arguments), Hitchens' uses no such subtleties. Nope, within minutes of opening, he is going for the jugular of his perceived opponents, and he continues this approach with as many side-swipes and unfair jibes as he can cram into his invective. You can't call it an argument. In fact, there is little else here other than a sustained outpouring of spleen - but it just keeps coming. You can't fault the guy. When he's on a roll, there is no stopping the relentless dropping of spiteful comments. It doesn't matter how untrue, or unverifiable the assertion, if it lets him get another kick in, then all the better. In fact, there is something faintly endearing about the old curmudgeon.

What is, however, fascinating, is the sheer commitment towards misreading the biblical accounts, when his objective is to present the straw man, ready for another kick in the nads. I sat there shaking my head over the caricatures presented in chapter 7 of the Old Testament narratives, and then was absolutely mesmerised as he plumbed even greater depths when he sought to deal with the New Testament (which descriptions did not even remotely tally with my own 31 years of study). Hitchens trots out for us old schoolboy arguments about chronological inconsistencies which were dealt with - thoroughly - decades ago. He quotes H L Mencken as if he were somehow an authority on such matters; he accords apocryphal books with an elevated status (despite what we now know through the most modern scholarship); he effectively accuses ALL christians of suppressing dissent (ah, the joys of the broad-brush approach!); he trots out puerile arguments about the virgin birth which ignore the etymology - and he appears to rejoice in ripping Christ's teachings so entirely out of context that they lose their original meaning. All this accompanied by a kind of suffocating smugness.

Despite this, the funny thing is that on occasion he manages to be right, almost by accident. He is right that synthetic, man-made religions can't help anyone (the Bible tells us that). He is right that crimes have been committed 'in the name' of religion - but the focus of the book somehow lacks the discernment to show that such crimes are wholly inconsistent with Christian beliefs (although entirely consistent with Islam).

This is another one for the acolytes. It's great for thinking Christians to sharpen their teeth upon, but in reality offers nothing new or convincing - other than conclusive proof that Hitchens' needs what Christ alone has to offer!
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7 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars On twice looking into Hitchens' 'God', 18 Jun 2008
By 
Dr John (LONDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I am not a believer and on a first reading formed a fairly favourable view of this book, but the devil as always is in the detail. Rereading changed my opinion. As a test, read the first two pages of Chapter 9 one sentence at a time and try to make sense of it. Hitchens actually burns three people alive for the sake of his lack of faith. Apart from that, it's slightly less trivial than 'The God Delusion'.

drjohn, London
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5 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens, 4 Nov 2008
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Perhaps a danger with these 'Down with God' books is in assuming that God and Religion are related. It is possible to have a bad experience of religion, which is a man made thing. But if a person denies the very existence of God in the first place. How can a person who denies the existence of something write about something that they consider does not exist? Mmmm

In doing this are they not then giving body to something that they previously considered didn't exist - so that they are now writing about an entity that does exist?

It can only truly be presented that 'God is not Great' from personal experience, not from carrying out an academic study on whether another person considered whether 'God was not Great'. It is then necessary for the writer to relate from personal experience why they consider 'God is not Great'.
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5 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars About as bad as the concepts which it attacks, 26 Sep 2009
The book pins itself on some plethora of empirical evidence which chooses only the bad elements of religion and ignore all of the good elements. In so doing it also ignores the bad elements that had nothing to do with religion and in the end is nothing but an un-educated and un-articulated rant without either logic or philosophy. If Peter the Hermit can cause a public hysteria of hatred, so can Hitchens in his opposite way.
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8 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing., 5 July 2008
By 
Mr. Richard J. Pask (Weymouth, Dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As with Dawkins' 'The God Delusion', I read this book extremely thoroughly to see what all the fuss was about, but was again extremely disappointed inasmuch as all of the arguments are subject to powerful and long standing, well established counter-arguments. For a far more challenging read, which does not, incidentally, set out to destroy anyone's belief in God, but ends up making any thinking believer examine their beliefs very carefully, I recommend Dr Peter Vardy's (a lecturer in Philosophy of Religion) 'The Puzzle Of God.'
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1 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars RIP, 21 Jan 2012
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What a pity Hitchens is dead and cannot answer his critics. But would this book have come to the fore were he not dead?

I was disappointed. I had already worked out that religion poisons everything - this book is nothing but a sledgehammer to ram that single point home.

There are always two sides to any argument. Hitchens ignores the spiritual aspect of our lives that religion first natured. Credit is due. True, the moment has passed and religion is now redundant. This book was a great opportunity for someone who clearly thought more than most to make suggestions for the 21st century. A highly opinionated book is spoiled by this lacking opinion.
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1 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Some religious people do some bad things and some of those things are very bad, 16 Jan 2012
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As other reviewers have pointed out, this is a badly written book, both in writing style and in terms of the points being argued. Hitchens' arguments are not clearly laid out, unlike Dawkins' arguments in The God Delusion. With regard to the actual arguments being put, they can be summed up as "Some religious people do some bad things and some of these things are very bad". I am a Christian and thus was looking for where Hitchens showed that such actions, when done by Christians/people claiming to be Christians, they were consistent with the teachings of Jesus. Either I missed it or Hitchens doesn't show this.
There are also some factual errors, e.g. where he states, "Even the stoutest defenders of the Bible story now admit if Jesus was ever born it wasn't until at least AD 4" (p59). He doesn't seem convinced that Jesus ever existed (I suggest listening to Bart Ehrman taking Infidel Guy apart on this subject at[...] and there are plenty of us who believe that Jesus was born about 5BC (that being the majority view amongst scholars). On p114 Hitchens writes, "The best argument I know for the highly questionable existence of Jesus is this." so clearly thinks Jesus may well not have existed. Thus Hitchens puts himself outside the scholarly consensus on Jesus' existence. Another factual error can be seen in the statement, "Devout men like Wycliff, Coverdale and Tyndale were burned alive for even attempting early translations (of the Bible into English)". In fact, Wycliffe appears to have died of a stroke, Coverdale also died naturally, though Tyndale was indeed executed. An embarrassing gaff can be seen on p117 where Hitchens states that some "frantic early church councils (that) decided which Gospels were 'synoptic' and which were 'apocryphal'". "Synoptic" only means that certain gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) contain many of the same stories, in roughly the same order and often have the same wording. This has never had anything to do with any church councils. It would seem that Hitchens meant "canonical" rather than "synoptic". Even then he would be wrong as this was not covered at any church council. With such obvious factual errors which many people can pick up for themselves, it makes you wonder how much of the other stuff he quotes is wrong.

Oh, and as others have pointed out, Hitchens glosses over the actions of some atheists who have come to power in the 20th century, e.g. Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin. Funny that.

Etc.
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God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens (Paperback - 6 April 2009)
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