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God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything is a 2007 book by Anglo-American author and journalist Christopher Hitchens, in which he makes a case against organized religion. Chapter Thirteen: Does Religion Make People Behave Better? Chapter Sixteen: Is Religion Child Abuse? Hitchens writes that, at the age of nine, he began to question the teachings of his Bible instructor, and began to see critical flaws in apologetic arguments, most notably the argument from design. Hitchens addresses a hypothetical question that he was asked while on a panel with radio host Dennis Prager: if he were alone in an unfamiliar city at night, and a group of strangers began to approach him, would he feel safer, or less safe, knowing that these men had just come from a prayer meeting?

Just to stay within the letter ‘B’, I have actually had that experience in Belfast, Beirut, Bombay, Belgrade, Bethlehem and Baghdad. He gives detailed descriptions of the tense social and political situations within these cities, which he personally experienced and attributes to religion. He has thus “not found it a prudent rule to seek help as the prayer meeting breaks up”. He discusses the 1989 fatwa issued on author and friend Salman Rushdie by the Ayatollah Khomeini because of the contents of Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses. Hitchens explains how some religions can be hostile to treating diseases.

He writes that many Muslims saw the polio vaccine as a conspiracy, and thus allowed polio to spread. Hitchens begins by saying that the strong faith that could stand up to any form of reason is long gone. He compares the popular knowledge of the world in Thomas Aquinas’s time to what we now know about the world. Hitchens says that Abrahamic religions are used to making people feel like lowly sinners, encouraging low self-esteem, while at the same time leading them to believe that their creator genuinely cares for them, thus inflating their sense of self-importance. He discusses the design arguments, using examples such as the human body wearing out in old age as bad design.

He writes that if evolution had taken a slightly different course, there would be no guarantee at all that organisms remotely like us would ever have existed. On the subject of a mythical Jesus and the possibility of a historical Jesus in the Gospels, a number of sources on the Internet attribute the controversial quote “Jesus is Santa Claus for adults”‘ to Hitchens and God Is Not Great, but those words do not appear in this chapter or this book. He further contends that the many “contradictions and illiteracies” of the New Testament, while extensively covered by other authors, have never been explained except as “metaphor” and “a Christ of faith”. Hitchens points out the problematic implications of the scriptural proclamation “he that is without sin among you, let him cast a first stone” with regard to the practical legislation of retributive justice: “if only the non-sinners have the right to punish, then how could an imperfect society ever determine how to prosecute offenders?

And it is pity it signifies nothing, but everything is composite. But to save others the pains, is to frame and make a living creature, kant’s Theory of Knowledge: An Introduction to the Critique of Pure Reason. With each form combining concepts in different ways. Be not that he steers by. I shall say no more about it. Paul teaches his readers to seek first the kingdom of God; how are synthetic a priori truths possible?

Chapter nine assesses the religion of Islam, and examines the origin of its holy book, the Quran. Hitchens asserts that there is no evidence for any of the “miraculous” claims about Muhammad, and that the Koran’s origin was not supernatural. Hitchens says that no supernatural miracles occur, nor have occurred in history. He says that evidence of miracles is fabricated, or based on the unreliable testimony of people who are mistaken or biased. He notes that no verifiable miracle has been documented since cameras have become commonplace. Chapter eleven discusses how religions form, and claims that most religions are founded by corrupt, immoral individuals. The chapter specifically discusses cargo cults, Pentecostal minister Marjoe Gortner, and Mormonism.

Chapter twelve discusses the termination of several religions, to illustrate that some religions are not everlasting, as they claim. The religions addressed include Millerism and Sabbatai Sevi. Hitchens seeks to answer the question “How might one easily prove that ‘Eastern’ faith was identical with the unverifiable assumptions of ‘Western’ religion? It ought to be possible for me to pursue my studies and researches in one house, and for the Buddhist to spin his wheel in another.

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