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God Is Not Great summary

Christopher Hitchens

How Religion Poisons Everything

4 (382 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens is a critical analysis of religion and religious beliefs. It argues that religion is harmful and often used to justify violence and oppression. It challenges the idea of a divine creator and promotes the idea of science and reason.

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    God Is Not Great
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    Religious texts are clearly man-made, as their historical inaccuracies and selective accounts prove.

    In 2006, after having been hidden for years, the Gospel of Judas was published.

    This work was written around the same time as the four gospels of the New Testament and also describes the life of Jesus, but, like many other gospels, it was declared heretical by the Christian church and banned.

    The canonical gospels contained in the Bible were cherry-picked by the Church to reinforce their view of Jesus’s teachings. The Gospel of Judas obviously didn’t fit their narrative.

    Such selective inclusion of certain religious texts clearly demonstrates the Bible’s man-made design. Far from God creating mankind, it is we who in fact created him.

    Further strong evidence for human (rather than divine) creation can be found in the religious texts that do appear in the Bible: they are full of historical inaccuracies and self-contradictions, and are based on faulty source material.

    Originally, religious stories were kept alive in mostly illiterate communities by word of mouth, a notoriously unreliable way to transfer information. The authors who collected and wrote down these oral tales mixed the various stories together, creating a historically inaccurate narrative.

    Consider, for example, the story of the birth of Jesus: it references various historical events as occurring at the time of his birth, but in reality these took place many years apart. Also, the Jews’ flight from Egypt – a major event in the Bible – is not mentioned in any other historical record.

    The original traditions were further corrupted when later religious leaders developed and strengthened their own doctrines. Stories that didn’t fit the desired mold, such as the Gospel of Judas, were discarded.

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    What is God Is Not Great about?

    God is Not Great traces the development of religious belief from the earliest, most primitive ages of humankind through to today. It attempts to explain the dangerous implications of religious thought and the reasons why faith still exists today. It also helps explain why scientific theory and religious belief can never be reconciled.

    God Is Not Great Review

    God Is Not Great (2007) presents a thought-provoking examination of religion's impact on society, arguing for a skeptical and rational approach. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With compelling arguments backed by historical evidence and personal experiences, it challenges the notions of religion, encouraging critical thinking.
    • Engaging and informative, it offers insights into the roots of religious beliefs, their effects on politics, and the influence of religious institutions on ethical and moral standards.
    • The book's analytical approach and Hitchens' intellectual prowess ensure that the content remains engaging, inspiring readers to question long-held beliefs.

    Who should read God Is Not Great?

    • Those who want to know how religions developed
    • Anyone who wants to understand the fight between religious and scientific thinking
    • Those who wish to see the negative aspects of religious belief

    About the Author

    Christopher Hitchens (1949–2011) was an British author, journalist and broadcaster. He wrote for a number of publications including The New StatesmanThe Nation and Vanity Fair and was a regular commentator on various issues.

    He remained a popular but divisive figure on both the left and the right and was never afraid to take a stand on controversial issues.

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    God Is Not Great FAQs 

    What is the main message of God Is Not Great?

    The main message of God Is Not Great is a critical examination of religion and its impact on society.

    How long does it take to read God Is Not Great?

    The reading time for God Is Not Great varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is God Is Not Great a good book? Is it worth reading?

    God Is Not Great is a thought-provoking read that challenges traditional beliefs. It offers a fresh perspective on religion and its role in our lives.

    Who is the author of God Is Not Great?

    The author of God Is Not Great is Christopher Hitchens.

    What to read after God Is Not Great?

    If you're wondering what to read next after God Is Not Great, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
    • Outgrowing God by Richard Dawkins
    • The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
    • Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton
    • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    • Behave by Robert Sapolsky
    • Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
    • The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch
    • Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker
    • The Missionary Position by Christopher Hitchens