Hitchens is not Great

I’ve just finished Christopher Hitchens’ polemic against god and theism and I have to say that I’m not impressed with anything, save for Hitchens’ almost unparalleled narcissism.  The common theme of this book is this:  sometimes religious people do bad things, therefore religion is bad and god does not exist.  Sometimes he mixes it up a bit by saying something along the lines of this:  I think that religious ideas are stupid, therefore they are man made and god does not exist.  And, of course, because he is so brilliant – or so he thinks – whatever he says is prima facie evidence for whatever he says.  It’s actually a bit ridiculous.

I did have high hopes for one section, however, that started out pretty grandly.  In chapter seventeen he endeavors to take on the argument that atheism has had its own despots and is behind some of the worst attrocities ever inflicted upon mankind.  He promises to give a detailed reply, but falls well short of the mark.  The next 20 pages or so are dedicated to attacking the Catholic Church for aiding the atheists in their evil ventures, which he then uses to declare that atheists were never at fault at all, it was the Catholics all along.  He then talks about Lenin and Stalin, but never gets around to saying anything that resembles any sort of defense for atheism.

In conclusion, this is a rather vapid and ineffectual read.  Hitchens has no proof to offer of anything except his own opinions, which come off as rambling and incoherent in the end.  He resorts to, “Because I say so,” argumentation, all the while belittling his oponents without regard for anything but his own ego.  I’m glad that I got this at the library and didn’t waste any money on it.


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