TTA Book club (god is not Great)
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14-05-2013, 05:52 AM
Re: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
Not too late, the purpose of a thread is to keep it open for a while for discussion.

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14-05-2013, 07:47 AM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
I'm not sure it could be cheaply discarded by saying believers give money to churches since essentially that is giving money to charity (at least ostensibly) and non believers do the same, and non believers give money to repair buildings too so I don't see that as a problem.

But yes, I do like the historical content of this book. I really enjoyed the Mormon section, where he shows how completely ridiculous the origin of the LDS is. I think there are a couple of errors in some of the years cited, such as for the introduction of the Assumption in the Catholic Church, but it makes no difference to the argument, and they may even be deliberate given the amount of talking that was going on at the time regarding things like the Assumption, to show that it was already in the minds or would already be in the minds of people. Meh. Either way, as I said, its a minor thing.

"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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14-05-2013, 08:42 AM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
Am I the only one that bought the audio version of the book? Read by Christopher Hitchens himself, was quite enjoyable regardless but being able to hear the man read his own book, since I love the way he speaks, was quite the treat.

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17-05-2013, 08:09 AM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
Yes, I got the audio and I love it. In the past month I've listened to it quite a bit while driving(job) and it really makes the day go fast. I love his voice and he is very much missed. Heart

The amount of historic details are fantastic and they were things I'd either not thought to wonder about or things I always wanted to know but never looked up. For instance, I had no idea about the history of the Smith guy who cooked up the Mormon religion; dude was a con, straight off an 18 month stretch! Pretty telling that own wife was tired of his shenanigans.

I don't think people really take into full account when someone makes such a profound statement as, "religion poisons everything" but I'm glad he makes this statement and then provides his reasoning. One thing that really bothered me which I am glad he addressed, was the serious physical pain and disease that religion has spread and continues to spread! The horrible shocking case of the Moil in NYC giving genital herpes to infants in 2005! - only a few years ago! The fact that this was somehow "acceptable" because it was a religious practice? WTF?

To me, this and the section about the polio vaccine conspiracy, really spotlights the case for atheist and secular activists to get out there and become a strong and knowledgable voice.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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17-05-2013, 09:25 AM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
(17-05-2013 08:09 AM)kim Wrote:  Yes, I got the audio and I love it. In the past month I've listened to it quite a bit while driving(job) and it really makes the day go fast. I love his voice and he is very much missed. Heart

The amount of historic details are fantastic and they were things I'd either not thought to wonder about or things I always wanted to know but never looked up. For instance, I had no idea about the history of the Smith guy who cooked up the Mormon religion; dude was a con, straight off an 18 month stretch! Pretty telling that own wife was tired of his shenanigans.

I don't think people really take into full account when someone makes such a profound statement as, "religion poisons everything" but I'm glad he makes this statement and then provides his reasoning. One thing that really bothered me which I am glad he addressed, was the serious physical pain and disease that religion has spread and continues to spread! The horrible shocking case of the Moil in NYC giving genital herpes to infants in 2005! - only a few years ago! The fact that this was somehow "acceptable" because it was a religious practice? WTF?

To me, this and the section about the polio vaccine conspiracy, really spotlights the case for atheist and secular activists to get out there and become a strong and knowledgable voice.

There is a debate he had with a rabbi that I don't think he discusses in the book, but it too highlights the obscenity of genital mutilation.

He really kicks his logic right in the teeth.




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17-05-2013, 12:49 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
This is the first book of Hitchens' I've read. I have read him for many, many years through his essays and articles for Esquire, New Yorker, Harper's, etc., even Vogue, believe it or not. I'm used to his pieces being very packed with information so he can get the point across as briefly as possible in short pieces so, it was good that he devoted this much room to such a vast and sweeping subject. I have to say, this was much more spread out and relaxed than his articles which are always tightly focused. Still, there is SO much information, it bears reading a couple of times. If one is at all able, I highly recommend the audio version; Hitch reading his own work is priceless.

*
Hitch's reasoning on the destructiveness of religion is so compelling that it's no wonder he was continually thought of as such an enemy combatant of people involved with religion. I had never thought of him as such, simply because until very recently, I paid no attention to anything to do with religion, either way. Being an atheist all my life, I never saw the reason for religion but at the same time, I never really saw much of a reason to discourage it.

I suppose I knew why I didn't care for religion but I guess I figured others had their own legitimate reasons to found their lifestyle on such convoluted crap. It never occurred to me that doing away with it altogether, might be better for everyone involved. The tremendous degree of reasoning found in this book pretty much hammers the nail in religion's coffin for me and I suspect, for anyone sitting on the fence about secular activism.

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17-05-2013, 05:56 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
I need to reread this, it's been a while.

Quote: Our next book will be another of Hitchens' work titled "Arguably"
It's fucking huge though. I bring that one with me to doctor appointments to read in the waiting room.

Quote:This is the book that I have bought and given away more than any other.
I've given away William Burroughs' Naked Lunch more than this, somehow it's the only Burroughs book anyone is interested in. =\ I need to give away more copies of Hitchens, though.
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22-05-2013, 01:30 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
Another thing I loved was the miracles section. His explanation of David Hume's critique of miracles is clear and concise, and just irrefutable. Well, CS Lewis tried to say miracles weren't transgressions of natural laws, but CS Lewis happens to be full of bullshit. I think if water turns into wine suddenly, it transgresses known scientific laws. I recently read Dawkins' Magic of Reality which was fantastic too and he has a section on Hume and miracles which is really interesting.

Honestly, why can't people just think about these things? Just look at the Bible, and you will see quite clearly how much bullshit is piled into it. Read the Koran, realize it is nonsense. Just look at the beliefs and arguments for religion and they betray themselves...

"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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22-05-2013, 01:35 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
(17-05-2013 05:56 PM)amyb Wrote:  I need to reread this, it's been a while.

Quote: Our next book will be another of Hitchens' work titled "Arguably"
It's fucking huge though. I bring that one with me to doctor appointments to read in the waiting room.

Quote:This is the book that I have bought and given away more than any other.
I've given away William Burroughs' Naked Lunch more than this, somehow it's the only Burroughs book anyone is interested in. =\ I need to give away more copies of Hitchens, though.

I made an error, we do The God Delusion next.

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22-05-2013, 01:36 PM
RE: TTA Book club (god is not Great)
(22-05-2013 01:30 PM)TheAmazingAustralopithecus Wrote:  Another thing I loved was the miracles section. His explanation of David Hume's critique of miracles is clear and concise, and just irrefutable. Well, CS Lewis tried to say miracles weren't transgressions of natural laws, but CS Lewis happens to be full of bullshit. I think if water turns into wine suddenly, it transgresses known scientific laws. I recently read Dawkins' Magic of Reality which was fantastic too and he has a section on Hume and miracles which is really interesting.

Honestly, why can't people just think about these things? Just look at the Bible, and you will see quite clearly how much bullshit is piled into it. Read the Koran, realize it is nonsense. Just look at the beliefs and arguments for religion and they betray themselves...

That is certainly one of my favorite points that Hitchens makes over and over again. And it isn't simply a suspension of the natural order, is is a suspension of the natural order IN YOUR FAVOR.

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