God Is Not Great
Posted: 27 October 2008 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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according to Christopher Hitchens. I do not know why I waited so long to get around to this book but….probably because I prefer science reading but…anyway, I received it in the mail Friday night and have not put it down since. I have listened to Hitch for many years, and he never impressed me much as an orator. However, this book is exquisite reading! What intellectual wit does Hitchins display here! I cannot count how many times so far I have just chuckled and laughed out loud!

If any half educated Christian would sit down for a few days and read this book, I do not see how they could not come away feeling a little belittled and embarrassed about their faith and belief system.

You betcha.

[ Edited: 27 October 2008 09:08 AM by eudemonia]
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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Posted: 27 October 2008 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I read it a couple of months ago and it helped me walk away from my “instilled belief system”.  I have always wondered (silently) about the stories of the bible, the rules and such, but kept on believing, but not practicing.  According to my religion, I would have been thrown out of my congregation for divorcing my physically abusive husband.  They take that “till death do you part” shit pretty serious - so was he in trying to kill me.  I was just resigned to the fact that I was going to burn in hell.  I am a sinner after all, and some of those sins could not be forgiven.  At least that is what I was told.  Sooooo, if I am to burn in hell, then I shall earn it and enjoy the rest of my days. 

Since then I have matured a little (I hope) and have started to question EVERYTHING.  I have been pouring over the works of Mr. Harris, Mr. Dawkins, and Mr. Hitchens so far, and have finally come to the conclusion that there is no god.  Their words have forced me to think - something I have been avoiding (mostly in regards to religion anyway - lol) since my childhood.

I must say that walking away from god has not been easy for me.  It was like a double edged sword.  A comfort at times, but for the most part, a gloomy little threat-promise of my afterlife.  It was pounded into my brain from the beginning of my memories till a few months ago.  I don’t dare share this with my mother, as she was born and raised catholic - went to an all girl catholic school, and has yet, in her 80 years, had a piece of bubble gum because the nuns told her it made the virgin mary cry - she couldn’t handle the guilt.  It would destroy her if she knew that I stopped believing.  I have discussed this with my dad, and was surprised at his thoughts on the whole subject.  He teased me about it stating that he thought he had raised an intelligent child, but that I seemed to be taking after my mother.  He was pleased that I finally arrived to a new dawn, a new day, and that I best appreciate every single one, as there is nothing more when it’s gone.  He also agreed that I shouldn’t break my mother’s heart by sharing this with her.  Let her live her final days in her total delusion - it will be a lot quieter that way LMAO!

I have been reading subjects and posts here for a little while, and I must say that I am intimidated by the education of most of the folks here, and surely I will come off as the true redneck, hillbilly woman I am.  Then again, I have noticed that the really looooooooooooooooong posts by some of the folks, the extensive arguments they get into, the 25 cent words they use (some I have to look up - hey - don’t judge)still adds up to an idiot with great typing skills.  I reckon I will find my spot in here somewhere.

Sorry it took well over 40 years for me to wise up.  I am slow, but sure.

Jeez - went on about everything but the book!  It was one of 4 books that changed my life…..forever, and for the better.

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Posted: 28 December 2008 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I am reading this book right now.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far.  My favorite part is about the Mormons and how they came about.  I had no idea! Truly, I was laughing so hard at the absurdity of it.  My mouth was open in total shock that Joseph Smith got away with conning so many people. Then again, like Hitchens pointed out, look where Smith lived. Anyways, the chapter on “Health” made me sick.  I skipped the chapter on evolution because I’m saving myself for Dawkins smile...lol.  I have the “The Blind Watchmaker” and “The Selfish Gene” - I just haven’t read them yet.

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Posted: 28 December 2008 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Stephanie - 28 December 2008 11:43 PM

I am reading this book right now.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far.  My favorite part is about the Mormons and how they came about.  I had no idea! Truly, I was laughing so hard at the absurdity of it.  My mouth was open in total shock that Joseph Smith got away with conning so many people. Then again, like Hitchens pointed out, look where Smith lived. Anyways, the chapter on “Health” made me sick.  I skipped the chapter on evolution because I’m saving myself for Dawkins smile...lol.  I have the “The Blind Watchmaker” and “The Selfish Gene” - I just haven’t read them yet.

Two great reads…Dawkins is an interesting Atheist, Biologist, and Humanist.

As to Hitchen’s book god is not Great, we Atheist need to pay close attention to Chapter 17.  There is much revisionist history out there…the current movie ‘Valkarie’ (Please do not support such bullshit art) is but one example.  Atheist need to know how to answer the ‘Hitler, Mao, Stalin’ objection and CH gives you some valuable ammunition here.

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Posted: 03 January 2009 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Thanks, I don’t plan on watching the movie.  However, I am now curious about it.  What exactly is misrepresented in the movie?  Thanks.

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Posted: 03 January 2009 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Mizfit

They take that “till death do you part” shit pretty serious - so was he in trying to kill me.  I was just resigned to the fact that I was going to burn in hell.  I am a sinner after all, and some of those sins could not be forgiven.  At least that is what I was told.  Sooooo, if I am to burn in hell, then I shall earn it and enjoy the rest of my days.

There’s nothing easier (from a sadist’s perspective) than keeping a poor dog down. Your church—-and abusive husband must get off on it.

The beauty is in literacy.  It seems you found your way out of religion through books.  Think about all the poor, religiously controlled women in the world who are never even given the chance to be literate. If they could empower themselves through books (like you did) they could change the world.

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Posted: 03 January 2009 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I re-read chapter 17 of Hitchens book yesterday at the recommendation of L and R, and this is indeed very important commentary. Hitch eloquently explains the catholic church’s enabling of the NAZI regime practically from the beginning. This chapter also explains the roles of religion and faith based systems in practically all totalitarian governments throughout history. Some type of ‘faith’ is in fact almost always involved in tyranny. Worldwide.

God is not Great is a vast understatement IMO. One could easily argue that belief in God, and actions then taken because of it… is indeed evil.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Posted: 04 January 2009 06:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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McR, is the belief evil or is it the manipulation and fleecing of the credulous believers that is evil?

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Posted: 04 January 2009 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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‘McR, is the belief evil or is it the manipulation and fleecing of the credulous believers that is evil?’

Thats an excellent question LAR and from what I remember Michael Shermer discusses ‘evil’ in his book ‘The Science of Good and Evil’ pretty thoroughly. Now I must go back and refresh myself on that one as well! You are keeping me re-educating myself. Ha! I think I remember Shermer having the idea that technically there is no such thing as ‘evil’ as in a noun or an abstract ‘thing’ Only as an adjective to describe what is done in it’s name, or something in that regard. And of course Shermer uses Hitler and the Third Reich as his example. I’ll have to reinvestigate that. It is an excellent read by the way if you have not done it.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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