Hitchens (2008). Chapter Five: The Metaphysical Claims of Religion Are False. (god is not Great: How religion poisons everything.)

Hitchens, C. (2008). Chapter Five: The Metaphysical Claims of Religion Are False. In god is not Great: How religion poisons everything. New York: Twelve.

[Relinquishing reason …]

“‘We sacrifice the intellect to God.’ — Ignatius Loyola” (p 63)

[Condemning reason …]

“‘Reason is the Devil’s harlot, who can do nought but slander and harm whatever God says and does.’ — Martin Luther” (p 63)

[Religion’s origins in ignorance …]

“Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody — not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms — had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion …” (p 64)

[Napoleon and LaPlace …]

“… in his childish and demanding and imperious fashion, he wanted to know why the figure of god did not appear [page break] in Laplace’s mind-expanding calculations. And there came the cool, lofty, and considered response. _’Je n’ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse.’_” (p 66-67)

[Religion becomes optional …]

“… the end of god-worship discloses itself at the moment, which is somewhat more gradually revealed, when it becomes _optional_, or only one among many possible beliefs.” (p 67)

[Religions trivialize their own evils when once they had power …]

“Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.” (p 67)

[Faith required when value or truth are missing …]

“If one must have faith in order to believe something, or believe _in_ something, then the likelihood of that something having any truth or value is considerably diminished.” (p 71)

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