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Quote# 63399

(Review of "God is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens)

Why aren't atheists horrified by the anger and hatred you find in this book? Do they all just not notice it because they are that way themselves?

Christians give more to charity, help others more, commit adultery less, cheat on their taxes less, and, in thousands of other studies, (go ahead and look it up) prove that Christianity has made a difference in their lives. (see books "Makers and Takers" and "Who Cares More"). Surely they make good citizens? Not to Hitchens, lost as he is in spite and hatred for God.

This is not surprising. If there is no God, then life is pointless and happiness momentary. There isn't any right or wrong. Was it wrong for the Aztecs to rip out the still beating heart of a captive? Was it wrong for the cadres of Pol Pot to murder everyone over the age of twenty? Why?

And Hitchens simply ignores the consequences of atheism. There can only be an ultimate right and wrong in this world if there is a God, as Nietzsche so acidly pointed out. Everything else is merely your opinion and experience versus mine. Where do unalienable rights come from without a Creator? Aren't they just the currently agreed upon myths soon to be changed by the next culture? Without God there is no ultimate truth and no purpose to life. Cultures will rise and fall and men will live and die, and it will all be sound and fury and as utterly pointless as whether or not it's windy today.

God found Abraham in a desert land, in a place of horror, in the howling wilderness. And this is Hitches' real problem: that howling wilderness is life without God.

PS. To find God you need to repent first.

y Jeri Nevermind "loves to read", Amazon 73 Comments [6/24/2009 6:24:02 PM]
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Dio Fa

Meanwhile, the US incarcerates more Christians than all other people, religious and non-religious combined.

6/24/2009 9:16:23 PM

Pule Thamex

Blast, I haven't got a howling wilderness. My wilderness is peaceful but, nevertheless, interesting. I'm wondering if y Jeri Nevermind "loves to read"'s wilderness isn't full of clamorous outcry, declamatory bombast, tumultuous din, invocations by a small frightened voice to a loud, slaughtering, authority figure, protestations against happiness and enjoyment, hullabaloo, voices inciting slavish behaviour, stentorian voices angrily shouting and braying enticements to lie etc.

6/24/2009 9:16:40 PM

Vince

you seem to understand many of the philosophical principals here. really.

now all you need to do is get over your self, get over your bible, and accept the truth of these ideas that's staring you in the face.

6/24/2009 9:23:56 PM

EllwyenDarwin

"Christians give more to charity, help others more, commit adultery less, cheat on their taxes less, and, in thousands of other studies, (go ahead and look it up) prove that Christianity has made a difference in their lives. (see books "Makers and Takers" and "Who Cares More")."

Please cite genuine sources.Not some made up statistics by fundamentalists.

6/24/2009 9:29:40 PM

Nihlum

"commit adultery less, cheat on their taxes less"

I lol'ed.

6/24/2009 9:43:12 PM



"Christians...commit adultery less, cheat on their taxes less"

Lol, you don't watch the news much at all do you

6/24/2009 9:48:53 PM

arcturus

I have this book. It's deliciously hateful. Not so much a productive philosophical read like "The God Delusion", as a much deserved outpouring of insults to lying fucks like you.

"PS. To find God you need to repent first. ". Ok, I'll try this. I'm sorry to myself and everyone on this forum and everyone else for all the bad things I've done in my life. I mean that. Ok. um. god? you there?

6/24/2009 9:55:20 PM

Faux intellectual

Inherent good exists without god if you worship reason. See: Immanuel Kant - Perpetual Peace.

6/24/2009 10:23:47 PM

Thundersqueaks

"If there is no God, then life is pointless and happiness momentary."

Only to those who place so much importance on believing in a god. I'm quite happy without the need to pander to a petulant, imaginary friend.

6/25/2009 1:06:09 AM

GodotIsWaiting4U

Except crime rates are higher in religious areas. As are teen pregnancy rates, pornography consumption rates, etc. So the facts are against you.

Also, Bill Gates owns the USA's largest charity, and guess what? ATHEIST!

6/25/2009 1:25:24 AM

LDM

"If there is no God, then life is pointless and happiness momentary."

So why is it that only after I cast religion aside did I become much happier and more at peace with myself?

"There isn't any right or wrong."

You mean all these years I could have been raping and pillaging instead of helping others and living a clean honest life? I feel cheated!

"Was it wrong for the Aztecs to rip out the still beating heart of a captive? Was it wrong for the cadres of Pol Pot to murder everyone over the age of twenty? Why?"

Yes, and yes, and if you need an explanation as to why genocide is wrong, then you're the one who needs to pray for repentance, not me.

"Cultures will rise and fall and men will live and die, and it will all be sound and fury and as utterly pointless as whether or not it's windy today."

It's just sad that you feel that way, but I'm perfectly capable of finding beauty and joy in this world, probably even more so because I don't go through life with my God-goggles on.
I can also find beauty in a Buddhist temple, the dome of a mosque gleaming in the sunlight, and yes, even a country church nestled in a snowbank at Christmas.

6/25/2009 1:26:17 AM

David B.

Actually, I'd agree that Christians do give more to charity, but only because churches have charitable status and they donate exclusively to them.

Which is pretty much the same as finding a prostitute called Charity, paying her for services rendered, then trying to call it a good deed.

6/25/2009 1:30:59 AM

Swedish Pagan

the currently agreed upon myths soon to be changed by the next culture
Sounds like every single religion in history to me.

Cultures will rise and fall and men will live and die
So? It has been like that for like 100 000 years, we can do the same for another 100 000, if our pollution doesn't destroy the Earth before that.

Life is definitely not pointless without a God, you just have to find your own point to life. Most people want to love and be loved, be a productive part of society and do their best to treat others as they want to be treated, for the simple reason that they want to be treated that way. Not because sky-daddy told them to.

Try reading an official statistics book, you'll find that almost all your figures are wrong.
Christianity may well have made a difference in THEIR lives, but to each his own. Each person must decide for him-/herself, which God sounds more plausible, or if no god sounds plausible at all.

6/25/2009 1:46:05 AM

Eden

Christians give more to charity, help others more, commit adultery less, cheat on their taxes less, and, in thousands of other studies, (go ahead and look it up) prove that Christianity has made a difference in their lives. (see books "Makers and Takers" and "Who Cares More").

Do you have any independent scientific studies that prove this? (I assume the books don´t contain such)

This is not surprising. If there is no God, then life is pointless and happiness momentary. There isn't any right or wrong. Was it wrong for the Aztecs to rip out the still beating heart of a captive? Was it wrong for the cadres of Pol Pot to murder everyone over the age of twenty? Why?

Was it wrong for the catholic inquisition to torture people to make them confess that they are possessed by Satan (or are wiches/sorcerors)?
Was it wrong for the christioan people at Salem to buren some of their own at the stake because they believed them to be witches?
Was it wrong for the puritan setlers to america, to kill native indians when they refused to convert to the christian faith?

There can only be an ultimate right and wrong in this world if there is a God, as Nietzsche so acidly pointed out. Everything else is merely your opinion and experience versus mine. Where do unalienable rights come from without a Creator?

Which right and wrong do you mean?
If you compare the abrahamistic religions then there are certain different opinions concerning right and wrong. There are often even different opinions concerning right and wrong between the differen tchristian parishes.
And which unalienable rights?
If you compare the "unalienable rights" for women, as stated in the old testament, I assume we can say for sure, that women in modern western society (european states, USA) have much more rights than they should have according to the old testament. The rigths women have according to the old testament much more resembles the rights given to them in islamist society (with the women more or less being property of their fathers and husbands), than those they have in the western society.
Same goes for the "unalienable rights of slaves".
Nowhere in the bible, slavery is condemned...
in contrast, the old testament gives rules for slave owners and lets it appear that slavery is O.K.
Neven in the new testament slaves are told to obey their masters, there is not a single passage that says slavery is wrong.
So obviously the belief, that every living person has the unalienable right to be free from slavery isn´t supported by the "divine laws" within the bible and, if we wanted to erect a bible believing society, we should include slavery as part of our society as well.

6/25/2009 2:49:43 AM

nutbunny

"If there is no God, then life is pointless and happiness momentary"
The presence of god does not give one's life purpose and meaning if one cannot find it for themselves.

"Was it wrong for the Aztecs to rip out the still beating heart of a captive? Was it wrong for the cadres of Pol Pot to murder everyone over the age of twenty? Why? "
It was wrong because it caused suffering. See a god lurking in my reply? No?

"There can only be an ultimate right and wrong in this world if there is a God"
You are wrong. To hurt and cause unwarranted suffering is in most circumstances regarded as bad and wrong in and of itself. Not because a god said so.

"To find God you need to repent first"
You're stupid, how is something like that supposed to work? Only people who have already "found God" are going to bother repenting for anything.

6/25/2009 4:43:13 AM

EvoPagan

Why aren't Christians horrified by the anger and hatred that their brethren show to anyone different from them?

6/25/2009 4:59:13 AM

Mister Spak

"Why do fundies think there is anger and hatred in this book? Do they all imagine it it because they are that way themselves? "

FIxed.


6/25/2009 5:31:17 AM

Hirsute_Nailbomb

ahhh, fallacy after fallacy. not exactly a philosophical heavyweight are we jeri?

6/25/2009 6:22:07 AM

Orion

"Why aren't atheists horrified by the anger and hatred you find in this book?"

I read God is Not Great after the God Delusion. The case is presented with a harsher tongue which initially turned me off the book, especially after Richard Dawkins' gentler language. But then I actually saw Hitchens speak and after that I returned to the book and enjoyed it since I could put that softer voice behind the words.

Point being: He only sounds angry in writing, if he read this to you it sounds much nicer.

"Do they all just not notice it because they are that way themselves?"

Nah, we just don't start a public furor and book burning every time a book we don't like comes out. Being a little more mellow we tend to put down books that we don't enjoy.

"Christians give more to charity"

Only because all churches are regarded as charity. That's cheating a little dontcha think?

"help others more"

I see little evidence that people are nicer to one another based on religious affiliation or lack thereof. Basically little correlation between choice of belief and being nice.

"commit adultery less"

perhaps in special magic ideal reality land. Once again this behaviour is not correlated with religion.

"cheat on their taxes less"

Patently false, mainly by the sheer majority that are Christians. Also because many criminals are Christian because it lets them feel okay about crimes because "Jesus will forgive me if I repent, so I can do all these bad things and still go to heaven if I'm remorseful".

"prove that Christianity has made a difference in their lives"

Like all that difference you made during the dark ages? Or to those middle eastern fellows over the centuries?

"Surely they make good citizens?"

You would think so with all those things Jesus told them to do.

"Not to Hitchens, lost as he is in spite and hatred for God."

I'm sorry was there some part of "atheism" you didn't understand. He mainly attacks Christians in this book, referring to God as if he were an imaginary friend or fictional character.

"If there is no God, then life is pointless and happiness momentary."

Only if you believed in him before. The primary purpose of life is to live. Such ends are fulfilled by surviving, reproducing and improving. Happiness is momentary, but worth every moment, God says otherwise about most pleasures with his BS about 10 commandments and 7 Deadly Sins.

"There isn't any right or wrong."

Not in absolute terms.

"Was it wrong for the Aztecs to rip out the still beating heart of a captive? Was it wrong for the cadres of Pol Pot to murder everyone over the age of twenty? Why?"

Because such actions are not conducive to life continuing to live or be happy about it.

"And Hitchens simply ignores the consequences of atheism."

That's like saying the biology textbook ignores physics too much, or that the Bible ignores the consequences of Christianity/Judeaism. His book is written to convince the reader of what the title says. It is not a piece on the pros/cons of being an atheist, it is a piece on why God would suck if he were real and why Christians are generally bad for wider society.

"There can only be an ultimate right and wrong in this world if there is a God, as Nietzsche so acidly pointed out."

He was right too. Why do you so desperately need there to be an absolute right and wrong? Are you too stupid to figure out the innumerable shades of gray for yourself without a handbook? That's what we have laws for.

"Everything else is merely your opinion and experience versus mine."

And this is a bad thing because? If humans collaborate their experience they can develop an adaptable and effective moral code (laws). Which is what modern legal systems constantly work on.

"Where do unalienable rights come from without a Creator?"

They come from us. That does not diminish their importance, merely the enforcement.

"Aren't they just the currently agreed upon myths soon to be changed by the next culture?"

Correct. Except they aren't myths, most morals now are substantiated in some factual proof that violation by one ore more members of society would be harmful to human society or its continued existence/happiness. But each society will be different so different things will be harmful or not conducive to survival or happiness.

"Without God there is no ultimate truth and no purpose to life."

Why does there need to be? Why must we be locked in by a purpose? Why must ultimate truth really exist?

"Cultures will rise and fall and men will live and die, and it will all be sound and fury and as utterly pointless as whether or not it's windy today."

And? Oh you big sook! Big ol' crybaby can't handle that? Just because you really want to believe god exists so there is an ultimate truth, a greater purpose, an ironclad moral guide that is never revised and a life after death; WILL STILL NOT MAKE IT TRUE!

Reality is not like the movies: We aren't "the chosen ones", we're not "special". We are insignificant. But that's only a bad thing if you believed that to start with. The only way to change that is to be the best person you can in the hopes that we will still be there, and that we can come to be the eternal species that is significant in a million billion years.

"And this is Hitches' real problem: that howling wilderness is life without God."

No, this is your real problem. You can't accept that life is just a howling wilderness because God isn't real. You prefer illusion to despair, which would be fine if you weren't actively trying to push your illusion onto others who can handle it. Like I said earlier, it's only a bad thing if you believed it before.

"PS. To find God you need to repent first."

Repent and enter the comfortable fantasy where you are special and wanted in the universe.

Illusion over despair.

For us it is reality over delusion.


Oh and if my choice of the why of life wasn't satisfactory, then take this to heart:
"Why do you persist?"
"Because I choose to."

6/25/2009 6:22:45 AM

Headache

Christians give more to charity, help others more, commit adultery less

South Carolina Governor Sandford wants a word with you, so does his wife Jenny and his Argentinian mistress Maria!

6/25/2009 6:33:21 AM

John

If there is no God, then life is pointless and happiness momentary.

Something isn't false simply because you don't like the consequences.

6/25/2009 7:00:57 AM

JohnTheAtheist

Even if what you said is true, which it isn't, none of it is evidence that leads to a conclusion that god exists.

Do you really need god to be sure that murder is immoral? And if not, then your sense of morality is coming from somewhere else. It better not come from the bible.

Also, the Aztecs ripped out the hearts of captives BECAUSE of their god, you dumb ass.

6/25/2009 7:05:47 AM

Zoo

"Christians give more to charity"

I don't have money to give to anyone, but tell me, how much time have you volunteered outside a church? I've racked up nearly 3000 hours over 8 years at the one place. I know at least 5 more people (that I know are not religious) who are closing on 1000 hours, and I know several Jews who've been there 10 to 15 years (2000 to 3000 hours a piece at the minimum requested commitment; these people are retired though so they're giving quite a bit more time). Considering how many similar organizations there are I don't think this is an isolated case.

"Surely they make good citizens?"

Nobody's a good citizen automatically based on simply claiming a religion.

"Not to Hitchens, lost as he is in spite and hatred for God."

I suspect the above was his point, you just didn't understand it.

"If there is no God, then life is pointless and happiness momentary."

Pointless? How does God add a point to life? The only difference is atheists choose something here and now to live for. This is what makes us happy. Living here and now for something important to us. Taking the most vocal Christians (like you) it doesn't seem you're ever happy. You're living for something after death and you're always angry or upset about what other people are doing.

"There isn't any right or wrong. Was it wrong for the Aztecs to rip out the still beating heart of a captive? Was it wrong for the cadres of Pol Pot to murder everyone over the age of twenty? Why?"

Yes, there is right and wrong. Just because -you- need someone to tell you what that is (never mind that his rules are rather arbitrary) doesn't mean the rest of us do. It's simple. I can suffer. Suffering is bad. I can cause suffering. But suffering is bad so I shouldn't do that (on purpose). Tell me, why IS it wrong for the Aztecs to do human sacrifice (not that I think it's right, mind)? They believed that's what their gods wanted them to do. How is that different from you following your God?

"PS. To find God you need to repent first."

So to find God you have to believe he exists and what he says goes? I.e. to find him you have to find him? That makes no sense. Besides that you act like atheists haven't even tried to look for God or other gods. Some haven't to be sure, but those aren't the ones writing books and arguing with people like you.

6/25/2009 7:22:02 AM

Painful

I'm going to go with christians are much less charitable, since they donate to the church and be done with it. (Usually in the US, whatever the maximum tax writeoff is.) The rest of the non-church goers I know actually think about who might need money and give to hospices, the disease fighting program of their choice, and now thanks to my influence - PP.

6/25/2009 8:09:28 AM

Anon-e-moose

"Why aren't atheists horrified by the anger and hatred you find in this book?"

Because he's right in what he says (even though Hitchens' politics are questionable at times).

"Christians give more to charity"

Yes. Their 'tithes'go to building those lovely Megachurches, pay for those cars, houses etc your pastors have, while you struggle to pay the bills in this recession.

"help others more"

Don't see you going to Iraq, Afghanistan, or at least closer to home to help those in REAL need, eh? A few Atheists I know work for the VSO - mainly on projects in the Third World.

"commit adultery less"

Do the names Jimmy Swaggart & Ted Faggard ring any bells?

"cheat on their taxes less"

Two Words: Kent Hovind.

"If there is no God, then life is pointless and happiness momentary. There isn't any right or wrong"

You're born. You live. You rot. In between having the cord cut & rotting, you make your life as interesting as possible. And if you can make a positive impact upon the world, or at least do something positively memorable, so much the better. Treat others the same as you'd want them to treat you. Commit acts of gratuitous kindness. Be good for goodness' sake. Now what right does religion have to intrude upon such a simple philosophy? Remember: religion doesn't have the monopoly on morals.

"Was it wrong for the Aztecs to rip out the still beating heart of a captive? Was it wrong for the cadres of Pol Pot to murder everyone over the age of twenty? Why?"

Was it right for God to kill virtually everyone in the world as a result of that Flood (if it DID happen), or murder all those innocent Egyptian babies during the plagues, or allow (& even order) the Israelites to murder all those people because they were in the way? Why?


The consequences of Atheism is that we'd have an INFINITELY better world, free of religious control. Free from the ultimate tyrant: God.

"Where do unalienable rights come from without a Creator?"

From the US Constitution, for a start. Or Magna Carta. Notice something missing in the former? Yes, that's right: any & all mention of God. Two Words: Treaty of Tripoli.

"Aren't they just the currently agreed upon myths soon to be changed by the next culture?"

The same was said of those who came after the fall of ancient Egypt. The Roman Empire. The same can be said of YOUR myths, soon to be eliminated by the culture of Reason, Logic, and Science. God's days are numbered. Darwinius masillae has proved the biological aspects of Genesis wrong, and soon the LHC will prove wrong the cosmological aspects of Genesis, and thus logically destroy the Bible as a whole.

"Cultures will rise and fall and men will live and die"

See above.

"God found Abraham in a desert land, in a place of horror, in the howling wilderness"

More like a bunch of Bronze Age goatfuckers with ideas above their stations thought up God.

"And this is Hitches' real problem: that howling wilderness is life without God.

More like those crickets chirping in the distance represents how much we care about a 'life without God'.

6/25/2009 8:18:43 AM
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