Geoffrey W. Sutton
Hitchens covers familiar grounds in his attack of religious faith with each chapter a blow x blow progression of what he sees as the evils of religion. Here's my quick reference to his chapters.
four irreducible objections to religious faith:
1. that it wholly misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos, that because of this original
2. error it manages to combine the maximum of servility with the maximum of solipsism,
3. that it is both the result and the cause of dangerous sexual repression, and
4. that is ultimately grounded on with-thinking. (p. 4)
2. Religious groups have behaved violently toward each other in the name of their faith.
3. An essay on the religious views toward pigs
4. Religious groups have a history of anti-health policies
5. A challenge to metaphysical claims
6. A challenge to intelligent design
Next, are three chapters targeting the faiths of Judaism (7), Christianity (8), and Islam (9).
From my published review (Sutton, )
Next, we encounter five essays (chapters 10-The final chapters (17-19) offer readers hope for a better worldview based on reason.
16) on related matters interrupted by an attack
on the failures of Asian faiths (chapter 14).
Among other things, Hitchens minimizes miracles,
harrumphs on hell, and opines on the onerous
doctrines of religion (primarily Christianity).
In a related manner, Hitchens takes aim at beliefs and practices where faith traditions are most vulnerable. So many fundamentalists who insist on living according to their interpretation of literal translations of ancient texts offer a firm basis for rejecting their faith tradition. I suspect this situation will always exist. Fundamentalists are often those who fund religious schools and organizations. Those with more progressive views are muzzled by self-preservation or anxious administrators in need of more and more donations to survive.
Serious religious people can also humbly admit it's true that members of their own religious group often behave in ways reflecting a lack of transformation into people who live virtuous lives worth emulating. Sadly, too few religious adherents demonstrate the classic virtues of humility, wisdom, love, forgiveness, generosity, and so forth. Instead, as Hitchens reminds us, we have too many willing to kill others and force others to submit to their moral and cultural beliefs.
Hitchens also reminds us of the history of opposition to science and good health practices throughout religious history. And of course, such opposition persists as those in my own profession (psychology) have often witnessed. Unfortunately, the manner in which Hitchens preaches is unlikely to evoke reflection. But perhaps that is not his point. Perhaps Hitchens is more about venting his frustration or perhaps bent on evangelizing the youth who would build a utopia on the foundations of reason.
The wave of anti-religious attacks came in the wake of 911. However, then as now, when faced with a threat, people turn to their faith for support. Slowly, religious restrictions have abated throughout the world and those in the West demonstrate more confidence in physicians than priests when it comes to illness and disease.
The God Delusion
The Case for God
Caught in the Pulpit