Customer Review

399 of 433 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's exactly what it claims to be, 13 May 2009
This review is from: God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (Paperback)
This book is EXTREMELY well written. Witty, informative, and determined.

Many one-star-ers have noted that this book is one of two things:

1. The Atheist Camp claim that this book is not as 'good' as the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins - the arguments are difficult to follow, it's not as scientific or academic as it might be.

Well, Christopher is not a scientist. The book is a fantastic diatribe against the parties of God - it doesn't claim to be anything more. It's a wonderful contribution to atheistic literature. It's funny, clever and well-researched. It's not supposed to be an academic thesis.

2. The God Camp claim that Hitchens succeed in attacking religion, but doesn't manage to prove that God himself does not exist.

While he outlines his reasons for not believing in God, Hitchens does not set out to prove that God does not exist. He sets out to do what it says underneath his main title - to demonstrate how religion poisons everything - and he does a fantastic job.

This book is highly recommended to those who want to laugh and cry at the same time.
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Showing 1-10 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Dec 2009 16:45:21 GMT
Aquinas says:
I think if you reflect on your basic proposition: "religion does poison everything", I think you may begin to realise how visceral and unreasoned it is. Its like reviewing the last 100 years and reflecting on the millions killed by the followers of nazism and the further millions killed by the followers of communism (Russia, Cambodia, North Korea etc) and concluding: "You know, ideas position everything".

If you are anywhere in the western world you cannot even now be immune to the impact of Christianity - do a tour of England and visit the Cathedral towns and tell me if your heart is not moved by the concrete forms to which the spirit of the middle ages reached or do you want to make a caveat such as "Religions posion everything but architecture". Have you noticed the manic way people engage in seeking money for charity - where does this come from? I would say (and check out Islamic cultures to see if they replicate the west and I suspect they do not) that its origin is Christ and the gospel. Do you want to make a caveat such as "Religions posion everything but architecture and charitable giving".

And what is the origin of hospitals, where did they come? Monks caring for the sick.

And, listen to Bach (a Man for whom his Lutheran faith was everything) and let you mind and heart be moved or listen to Gregorian chant at a monastery and then say: religion posions everything or would you like to qualify your statement and say "Religions poison everthing but architecture, charitable giving and music".

Now take a journey to the National Gallery, London and go to the Renaissance rooms in the Sainsibury's wing and look at the beauty of these ethereal images of Christ, his Mother and the saints and unless your a philistine, your heart will respond. Now, perhaps would you like to qualify your statement and say "Religions poison everthing but architecture, charitable giving, music and paintings".

I could go and on but we both would get bored. I think what I am trying to say is that the proposition is fundamentalist one which is also unscientific.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Dec 2009 22:32:38 GMT
Why are you cross-posting your diatribe? You'll just irritate folk, you know.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Dec 2009 11:43:12 GMT
Huck Flynn says:
this is just pedantry - read the book and think about it

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2010 15:33:01 GMT
Ukhuman1st says:
There are so many non sequiturs here. There is great secular architecture, atheists care just as much for the sick as anyone, much religious art is stereotyped and formulaic - it took the humanism of the renaissance and liberation from religion for art and music to really flower. The fact is that religion seldom adds to the human experience - it all too frequently detracts from it.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Apr 2010 00:55:20 BDT
Lizbert says:
Bach's music is great because he was religious? His music was great because he was a genius. In a world with no religion would he have still created inspiring music? Almost certainly

Posted on 9 May 2010 01:48:35 BDT
Goi says:
Helpful review, just wanted to you pick up on something mentioned that happens to be a pet peeve of mine!

"While he outlines his reasons for not believing in God, Hitchens does not set out to prove that God does not exist"

No atheist would claim to do this (at least any atheist with a reasonable understanding of science), the burden of proof is on the believer. In the same way that I can't prove unicorns exist I have no way of PROVING God's lack of existence. The issue is that believers tend to believe that existence and non-existence are equally likely which is clearly false!

Anyway, thanks for the review and please excuse my mini-rant!

In reply to an earlier post on 27 May 2010 21:43:31 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 27 May 2010 21:46:46 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jul 2010 06:23:43 BDT
Jesus Christ comes back to earth and finds himself in Rome. He turns a corner and sees The Vatican for the first time - does he say 'Ah! Great architecture - this is what I had in mind'?

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2010 13:15:08 GMT
SNS says:
As a Christian, who really enoyed reading this book, and felt he made very good points, I have to disagree that Hitchens made a solid arguement that religion is evil.

He makes one pretty obvious and blatent mistake in his book. He shows his bias against religion openly and doesn't even attempt, or at least spends virtually no time at all, showing how not all religious persons are bad.

He mentions at least twice in his book how he encounters both a Christian and a Muslim (the taxi driver who returns his wife's money she left in his cab, and the Christian who was caring for injured persons in the hospital), who through their actions show themselves to be caring, loving, intelligent and honourable people.

People who behaved that way, as he admits himself, because of their religion and God asks them to behave in that caring way.

Yet he only devotes about one paragraph to each of those encountrs. He spends NO time at all explaining how those to people prove his arguement wrong. He then just goes back to an ENTIRE book about how evil religion is.

In my opinion, that shows Hitchens sheer bias and hatred for religion and how he is simply unwilling to admit that he just stereotyping thousands of people and an entire religion based on the actions of a few.

He fails to understand, that the bad stuff caused by religion is bound to outweight and gain more attention then the good. You aren't going to hear about the good Christian Church who go out every weekend to help an inpoverished community because its not news-worthy and wont sell papers. But you will hear about the Priest who abused a child in his care because it will.

This is how the world works, and Hitchens is ONLY mentioning the bad in his book and dedicates NO time at all to mention the good.
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