'This is easily the most impressive of the present crop of atheistic and anti-theistic books: clever, broad, witty and brilliantly argued.' - Sydney Morning Herald .
Christopher Hitchens has been hailed as 'one of the most brilliant journalists of our time' (UK Observer ). Here he makes the ultimate case against organised religion.
In God is Not Great , Hitchen tweezes through the major religious texts with forensic shrewdness. With chapters entitled Religion Kills', and Is Religion Child Abuse?', he fearlessly argues for a secular life based on science and reason, tarring religion as man-made wish-thinking. He documents the ways in which religion is a cause of dangerous sexual repression and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos; in Hitchen's vision, hell is replaced by the Hubble telescope's view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the double helix. Principally, Hitchens argues that the concept of an omniscient God has profoundly damaged humanity, and proposes that the world might be a great deal better off without 'Him'.
'If you are a religious apologist invited to debate with Christopher Hitchens, decline.' - Richard Dawkins.
Hitchens, one of our great political pugilists, delivers the best of the recent rash of atheist manifestos. The same contrarian spirit that makes him delightful reading as a political commentator, even (or especially) when he's completely wrong, makes him an entertaining huckster prosecutor once he has God placed in the dock. And can he turn a phrase!: "monotheistic religion is a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a hearsay of a hearsay, of an illusion of an illusion, extending all the way back to a fabrication of a few nonevents." Hitchens's one-liners bear the marks of considerable sparring practice with believers. Yet few believers will recognize themselves as Hitchens associates all of them for all time with the worst of history's theocratic and inquisitional moments. All the same, this is salutary reading as a means of culling believers' weaker arguments: that faith offers comfort (false comfort is none at all), or has provided a historical hedge against fascism (it mostly hasn't), or that "Eastern" religions are better (nope). The book's real strength is Hitchens's on-the-ground glimpses of religion's worst face in various war zones and isolated despotic regimes. But its weakness is its almost fanatical insistence that religion poisons "everything," which tips over into barely disguised misanthropy.
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What a shame Christopher won’t be writing any more. He was truly witty and completely literate.