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Hitchens, an avowed atheist and author of the bestsellerGod Is Not Great, is a formidable intellectual who finds the notion of belief in God to be utter nonsense. The author is clear in his introduction that religion has caused more than its fair share of world problems. "Religion invents a problem where none exists by describing the wicked as also made in the image of god and the sexually nonconformist as existing in a state of incurable mortal sin that can incidentally cause floods and earthquakes." The readings Hitchens chooses to bolster his atheist argument are indeed engaging and important. Hobbes, Spinoza, Mill and Marx are some of the heavyweights representing a philosophical viewpoint. From the world of literature the author assembles excerpts from Shelley, Twain, Conrad, Orwell and Updike. All are enjoyable to read and will make even religious believers envious of the talent gathered for this anthology. What these dynamic writers are railing against often enough, however, is a strawman: an immature, fundamentalist, outdated, and even embarrassing style of religion that many intelligent believers have long since cast off. It could be that Hitchens and his cast of nonbelievers are preaching to the choir and their message is tired and spent. However, this remains a fascinating collection of readings from some of the West’s greatest thinkers.
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ISBN-10:  0306816083
ISBN-13:  978-0306816086
Author:  Christopher Hitchens
Publisher:  Da Capo Press
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review by . January 06, 2010
Christopher Hitchens' The Portable Atheist contains 47 selections from some very famous and non-famous people on the value of atheism as well as a 14 page fiery introduction by Hitchens. Hitchens prefaces each selection with pertinent information about the author and relevant information about his views.  Some of the writers are Benedict de Spinoza, David Hume, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, George Orwell and John Updike.  Spinoza, for …
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the
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