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God Is Not Great

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In his book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens dissects and criticizes the various claims of religions and the tragic events that have been caused by various religions. The title of the book sums up the arguments of Hitchens in this book in the fact that he makes many arguments of why “religion poisons everything.” The majority of the chapters in this book discuss why he believes religion to be a manmade notion that has led to more trouble than anything else in the world. Most of his focus is on the three Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism but he does fit in criticism of other religions as well. The topics he chooses to discuss range from the sketchy origins of Mormonism to the problems with circumcision. Through his various arguments, Hitchens not only claims that religion is manmade, but also that the idea of any type of divine being is absurd.

Hitchens makes the argument that there is no divine being by analyzing the various faults of religion. He begins with his own religious falling out during his grade school years and from their goes on to question religion on a larger scale. He spends a good part of the book his book analyzing the wars and suffering caused by people of faith. He questions the customs and ethics of the God in various religious texts. Hitchens focuses all of the attention of the book on the negative aspects of religion and decides that due to these negative aspects of religion there is no higher power to the universe. His argument goes beyond trying to discredit religion, but he sees a call to put an end to religion. He states, “Above all, we are in need of a renewed Enlightenment, which will base itself on the proposition that the proper study of ...

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...uses does have merit because throughout history religion has had its detrimental effects. What Hitchens has done with these examples is tried to present them in a way to make a person not very well informed in reasoning skills to think that religion has caused only bad. He makes statements that paint those with religious beliefs as fanatics with the main purpose of killing those who don’t believe the way they do. By not fully exploring the way in which religion has had beneficial effect, Hitchens has set up an argument that could easily convince people that religion only has negative effects.

The next stop on this exploration of this book is chapters seven through nine which reviewer Geoffrey Sutton says “seems to be the center point in his book” (372). These three chapters go into in depth analysis of the Old Testament, New Testament, and Koran, respectively.
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