TTA Book club (god is not Great)
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12-05-2013, 06:48 AM
TTA Book club (god is not Great)
Hola and welcome to the inaugural TTA Book club! Our first offering to all ye godless heathens is Christopher Hitchens' best seller "god is not great." Our next book will be another of Hitchens' work titled "Arguably" and our third will be "The god delusion" by Richard Dawkins. As a reminder, we currently have our schedule as the second Sunday of each month.

So, without further ado, let the discussion begin! I'll start, as you might have guessed, by saying that this was the first book by Hitchens I bought and read, and I was not disappointed. Dawkins makes a great case, as we will see soon, against a god through science but Hitchens dismantles any desire that might persist to worship one if one exists. The best comparison I found Hitchens making was with that of North Korea and the worship of the "dear leader" as compared with the worship of the "dear lord." If there were ever a part of me who thought I might worship the Christian god if proven it exists, that part of me evaporated after reading Hitch.

And Hitchens makes numerous other great points, but I'll bring up only one more before turning it over to you heathens. Hitch's challenge to name a moral action that a believer can do that a nonbeliever cannot. After first hearing his challenge, I've thought long and hard about an answer, to no avail. The moral argument that is an ongoing debate between religious and non-religious, need only consist of that question. One does not need god to be moral, and if a god exists, it is most assuredly a spoiled and egotistical dictator (if it is the god of the great monotheisms of today).

So, what did you think? What questions and points came to your mind?

As this is mother's day, a good deal of you may be like me and largely incapacitated for the day, but the idea of a forum book club is to keep the discussion going for a while. So, enjoy the discussion and thank your mother for creating you!

Evolve
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12-05-2013, 07:56 AM
Thumbs Up RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
Wow! I'm really looking forward to reading some great discussions on this book. I'm fairly new to Atheism and this is the 2nd book I've picked up on this topic. My 1st was Deconverted by Seth Andrews, of course!

I'm currently half way through God is not Great right now and I must admit it's kinda tough for me. I find myself finishing a chapter or two and having to go back and re-read them to be able to soak up the information. I've finally realized I'm definitely going to do a read through again for a second time but I plan on outlining the book just as one would do with a school text book. I figure this would be a great way for me to read the book a second time and a way for me to pull out the information I find most intriguing or important.
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12-05-2013, 08:09 AM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
This is the book that I have bought and given away more than any other.



(btw, Mothering Sunday (as my mother insists on calling it because she doesn't like the Nazi connotations of Mother's Day), in the UK, is not today. But I called her anyway).

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12-05-2013, 08:11 AM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
I read it; it was great. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-05-2013, 08:22 AM
Re: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
That was moving. I've never read such eloquent musings.
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12-05-2013, 09:17 AM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
I first read this book about a year ago, after Hitch's death actually. I'd heard about him before and a friend had recommended the book to me (the same friend who'd recommended the God Delusion; and his comment on God is Not Great was that he'd never expected anything to beat Dawkins' critique) but I'd never found the time, and then on the day he died I saw a news section about him and it got me thinking that I should start reading this guy. So I read it- and wow!

It's filled with brilliant arguments, and yeah a lot of information is packed into what is actually quite a small book as said above.

And I remember his moral challenge that Bearded outlines above and I remember reading a terrible rebuke to it. The rebuke was as follows: "the only difference between a non believer's moral action and a believer's is god/no god, and likewise they can both do as much evil, the only difference is god/no god." Of course, this entirely misses the point that god/no god is unnecessary for being moral, but that it is an observable fact that believing in god has led to the worst and most numerous atrocities. I've read another article which seeks to defame the book by trying to redefine religion and giving a misleading version of Hitch's argument; the article tried to say Hitch called "Martin Luther King a non believer, while calling Stalin religious." Hardly the argument I read, anyway- at the very least, an extreme oversimplification.

So despite these rather lame attempts, among others, to refute the book and the author's arguments, it still stands tall. I think my favourite chapters have to be either the one on the Koran, since for the most part Dawkins avoids historical Islam, as do other authors outside of the dissidents such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or the one on Eastern religions, again a topic avoided by other authors (well, apart from a footnote in the God Delusion). I was glad to see Buddhism demolished; I'm fed up of people standing up for it. Or perhaps the refutation of the old and boring argument about Hitler and Stalin being atheists etc.

And, at the end of the day, even if everything in it was wrong and rubbish, the writing is wonderful enough to read it anyway.

Hitch, I salute you!

"Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."

-Christoper Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian."
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12-05-2013, 09:58 AM
Re: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
You raise several good points. I'm the most pleased with Hitch because he doesn't pull any punches or leave any religions alone. While also putting the secular nature of people like MLK Jr into the spotlight and highlighting the religious nature of Stalin's regime.
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12-05-2013, 10:00 AM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
Due to time issues, I've had a hard time reading the book -- Kids and other issues. But I will say he makes a case for disbelief that's compelling. But He's pretty much preaching to my own choir..yanno? I'm only on chapter 7 and do plan on continuing to read it.

One thing I have mused about, is I didn't read any atheist type books as part of my deconversion, if you will. It really didn't occur to me to read anything. And I wonder tho, if this book might have kept me pushing into the other direction away from atheism...Because for many years, I was only anti religion.

Of course where this book was concerned...It was written long after I became atheist so I'm only speculating.

In any event, I will try to finish the book in the next few days, if discussion is still going on...I'll add more thoughts.

The next book I might have to skip.

Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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12-05-2013, 10:02 AM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
(12-05-2013 06:48 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Hola and welcome to the inaugural TTA Book club! Our first offering to all ye godless heathens is Christopher Hitchens' best seller "god is not great." Our next book will be another of Hitchens' work titled "Arguably" and our third will be "The god delusion" by Richard Dawkins. As a reminder, we currently have our schedule as the second Sunday of each month.

So, without further ado, let the discussion begin! I'll start, as you might have guessed, by saying that this was the first book by Hitchens I bought and read, and I was not disappointed. Dawkins makes a great case, as we will see soon, against a god through science but Hitchens dismantles any desire that might persist to worship one if one exists. The best comparison I found Hitchens making was with that of North Korea and the worship of the "dear leader" as compared with the worship of the "dear lord." If there were ever a part of me who thought I might worship the Christian god if proven it exists, that part of me evaporated after reading Hitch.

And Hitchens makes numerous other great points, but I'll bring up only one more before turning it over to you heathens. Hitch's challenge to name a moral action that a believer can do that a nonbeliever cannot. After first hearing his challenge, I've thought long and hard about an answer, to no avail. The moral argument that is an ongoing debate between religious and non-religious, need only consist of that question. One does not need god to be moral, and if a god exists, it is most assuredly a spoiled and egotistical dictator (if it is the god of the great monotheisms of today).

So, what did you think? What questions and points came to your mind?

As this is mother's day, a good deal of you may be like me and largely incapacitated for the day, but the idea of a forum book club is to keep the discussion going for a while. So, enjoy the discussion and thank your mother for creating you!

Why is Arguably number two? According to the poll, Dawkins should be next...

Just wondering.

Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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12-05-2013, 10:07 AM
Re: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
Did I get that backwards? I'm on my mobile so I can't see all the details.
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