In a series of acurate readings of the major religious texts, he demonstrates the ways in which religion is man-made, dangerously sexually repressive, and distorts the origins of the cosmos.
With robust clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which Hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix. God Is Not Great marvels at the possibility of society without religion.
©2007 Christopher Hitchens; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
I had meant to listen to this over the next month but finished it in a long weekend. Timing is everything and this weekend my wife and family packed up the house of her recently deceased mother. As the topics were very interesting and seemingly well-researched I couldn't help but churn through the chapters but it was very unsettling and I have not had much sleep.
I have to recommend the book as a comprehensive examination of Christopher Hitchens' views on region and it's flaws. However, I think I'll need to re-read/listen to the entire book again after some time has pasted to be honestly be able to say I fully understood it.
Religion, and its institutions can arguably be blamed for countless atrocities throughout history, such as the molesting of innocent children, the burning of women because they had cats (and possibly other horrendous crimes), the fall of democracies, genocides (yes, plural), plentiful wars, starvation, 9/11, Israel vs. Palestine, AIDS, ... well, you get the idea.
No religion escapes Hitchen's watchful eye and characteristically stingy British tongue. Of Muslim extremists and their motives he notes dryly that "their problem is not so much that they desire virgins as that they are virgins."
Hitchen's book is not only a history of religion, and a criticism of its claim to universal truth, but also an argument that all religion is man-made. Religion was created for man to dominate woman, for the powerful to subdue the masses or for the wealthy to control the poor.
"Religion is opium to the people," is to be understood not as a criticism of religion, but as a statement about power, and how power necessitates the creation of instruments to ensure that those who have it, keep it.
God is an infinitely hypocritical figure, creating things to be desired, only to forbid its devouring. To create us as sexual beings, and make then sex a sin. To make foreskins, labia and clitorises and instruct our clergy to brutally cut them off.
Such is only a few of Hitchen's numerous powerful criticisms of all of the world's religions.
Finally, Hitchen asks the inevitable, what happens to our morale without religion? The short answer is: Since religion is man-made, human morale necessarily precedes religion.
I'd say its one of my favorites and definitely my favorite non-fiction so far.
First, Hitchen's just had a wonderful voice for talking. Listening to him present his case is quite a joy. Second, whether you agree with his positions or not it is very apparent that Mr. Hitchens attacks on religion do not stem from simply being anti-religious but are based upon solid moral ground. In many cases I think even religious folks would have to put aside any indignation they may feel at his attack and acknowledge that he has some important points that need to be addressed.
No, it was not. Bu I don't think that's a bad thing. This is the sort of book I want to listen to some of and then think about before moving on to more. I didn't want to be overwhelmed by an onslaught of different arguments but take each one in turn to be considered carefully before moving on to the next.
This is a very detailed account of why the God of religions is necessarily a manmade figure. To follow this line of thinking the reader has to be open minded enough to be willing to listen to the very valid points being made, and then decide for themselves as what to make of the facts.
While Christopher Hitchens has a brilliant mind and puts its to excellent use in this book he is not a good narrator. His voice gives us an idea about himself as a person. There are other narrators here on Audible that do his fine reasoning more justice.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
Not sure, do you really know what your friend would make of it. Religion is such a touchy subject and I think this book finds you rather than you pass it onto someone who you think it might be good for.
He had a go at Mel Gibson the actor, which I believe is a little harsh compared to the rest of his arguments. Never the less so was Mel Gibson's drunken rant at some police officers a few years back. I don't think it was justified and was rather harsh, however, he was drunk.
If you don't believe in religion, this book will back you up. If you don't believe in god then this book is not a problem. If you are not sure, then this book will help, but read others. I do think this book should not be disreguarded or demonised. It should be studied by religious people of all faiths as much as atheists. I liked the argument, enjoyed the authors performance and generally found it entertaining and interesting.
Hitchens, who came on my radar, sadly, only as a result of his recent passing, is a great narrator of his own work. The writing is thouroughly researched and clearly structured to make its fascinating point. All organized religions are equally scrutinised and deconstrusted to expose their dangerous and progress-stunting effects.
This is a great audiobook to send to that relative who bangs on about faith.
I listened to it over a week of work
Would have enjoyed the book much more if the narration had not been so appalling. Mr Hitchens may be a great investigative writer, but he should definitely not narrate his own book. Sounded most of the time as if he was doing a quick skim read in the hope of finding something interesting, which was a pity because if you can get past the narration, its a great book.
Was a very good listen, I enjoyed the informative analysis and naration. However, at 07H46 into the book, almost the end, a Statement was made that the South African Apartheid Government supported the Nazi's in Word War II....
What a fail!
In Fact, South Africa On September 4, 1939, the United Party caucus refused to accept Hertzog's stance of neutrality in World War II and deposed him in favour of Smuts. Upon becoming Prime Minister, Smuts declared South Africa officially at war with Germany and the Axis.
Would have given a 4 or 5 star Rating if not for the obvious misinformation as stated above.
That It gave me some new reasons to be opponent of religion.
Mr. Hitchens could have been more clear in his reading. He mumbled a bit :-).
Unfortunately for me, I don't speak that well English. So there where some part of the book, that I didn't understand. But I can hardly blame that on Mr. Hitchens :-). After listening to his book, I began viewing a lot of his debates on the internet. I have then become a great fan of him. What a loss, that he just died. But searching on his name, gave me a lot of other persons with the same views. So all is not lost ;-).
This is a brilliant book, very well written. It brings up a lot of great points, and delivers them in a witty, though at times arrogant, way. I would recommend it as a book to read for anyone who questions the validity and "virtue" of blind faith in religion. So much so that, having already paid for this audio version, I will likely buy a copy of the book as well.
However, Christopher Hitchens should definitely have let someone else do the reading for this audio version. His reading is monotonous, his enunciation is inconsistent; it just seems he's not putting in much effort. My biggest peeve here is that he seems to rush through a series of 10-15 words, then pause randomly, often at completely inappropriate points in a sentence, making listening to it far more difficult. At times he even borders on slurring his words which, when the wording is as complex as it is here, is unforgivable.
Christopher Hitchens, why oh why did you do this reading yourself? Your reading doesn't draw us in to your arguments, but instead makes us feel as bored as you clearly were in that sound-booth. You are a brilliant man, and a brilliant writer, PLEASE let someone read your books to us in a way that does justice to your writing; their fee will be worth every penny.
The book itself gets 5 stars from me, but the reading brings that down to 2 for this audio version. Buy the book instead, you'll get a LOT more out of it.
This book is my favourite. I have read it four times now and it gets better each time. The writing is superb, the agrument uncontestable. The quotations of other great minds are brilliantly chosen. My great regret is that I did not meet Mr Hitchens in the flesh. Read this book.
"Anyone with an objective open mind should read"
Even if you regularly attend church you should read this book. It certainly makes you question some of the ' stories ' you have been told since you were a child.
After enjoying Dawkins' book on the same subject I was a bit disappointed by this one. I can't fault the accuracy of the contents, it certainly does what it says on the tin, but it comes across as ranting rather than educational. I appreciate books read by their authors but Hitchens' voice does get tedious after a while (sorry Chris). I found Dawkins book was far more enjoyable to listen to and more persuasive as a result.
"Great read; not such a great listen"
A great listen but ultimately spoiled by a substandard narrator. The book read well off the page but doesn't really work with the author as narrator.
"Sorry but not for me"
I bought this book with an open mind. Unfortunately, I found myself struggling through the first few chapters and then inevitably turning it off. I thought the narration was monotone and made me feel sleepy. Sorry but I really didn't enjoy this.
"Love it or hate it"
You're probably going to find this book incredibly inspiring and inspirational or completely infuriating. Either way you have to admire Mr Hitchen's command of English and his way of building his arguments. I'd love this version no matter who read it but to hear Mr Hitchen's voice as well . . . it's marvellous.
"God is not great, is absolutely fantastic."
God is not great is fantastic, im very happy hitchens is the one reading it out to us, it is amazing what it's about, he smashes all possible arguments for god and grinds the remains, i love his philosophy, he is a true idol of mine and i finally got round to hearing the book, fabulous, highly reccomended!
"Fine Dining for Atheists"
This is becoming a classic exposition of the anti-faith argument. It pre-dates Dawkin's blast by some years and is better researched, written and when read by the late author, presented. It goes on too long and the author sometimes attempts to brow beat the listener with erudition and obscure vocabulary, but nevertheless it presents a coherant and compelling challenge to people who value faith over reason.
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