Monday, October 26, 2009

God Is Not Great (Hitchens, Christopher)

Rating: 5
Year: 2007
Genre: Religion; Atheism
Read Again? Yes (audiobook)

The only thing better than reading this book is having the author read it to you. Hitchens' calm, measured voice delivers a series of stinging indictments of each of the Big Three monotheist religions, but seems most intent on Catholicism.

He leads us far and wide: Muslims wigging out over some cartoons in 2006; Orthodox Jews wigging out over people doing things on Sabbath day; a Pope's complicity in the torture and murder of millions, then aiding and abetting the escape of known torturers and murderers after WW2; and the making of a star in 1969, soon known to the world as Mother Teresa.

Hitchens further discusses the chief claims of religious apologists "against" atheism--claims I see nearly daily in the alt.atheism newsgroup--such as the "atheistic" regimes of Hitler, Stalin, and other totalitarian regimes. He points out that totalitarianism is fundamentalism, with the state--and, by definition, the leader of that state--taking the position of the object of worship.

Not that anything in this book will de-convert the hard-headed, determined believer who is already possessed of The Truth. This isn't Hitchens' goal; only thinking readers need approach.

I'm looking forward to getting the actual book soon; the audiobook format lends itself to filling in those long, boring stretches of time known as "work," but I couldn't stop to take notes when Hitchens made a point I would have liked to scribble about.

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