God Is Not Great, By Christopher Hitchens

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The Independent Culture

What a strangely mild and irrelevant title Christopher Hitchens chose for his potent and incisive polemic. And his quarrel is not with God, who doesn't exist, but with organised religion, which is "violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free enquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive towards children" and has "outgrown its usefulness".

Hitchens can't say why we've clung so stubbornly to religion's "transparent fables", which were assembled "by crude, uncultured, human mammals [during] the bawling and fearful infancy of our species"; nor how to bring on the new age of enlightenment he dreams of; nor whether human tribalism can really be expected to vanish, even if religion were to. This is merely an exceedingly cultured, erudite, thorough, impeccably constructed case for the prosecution of organised religion, to which it's impossible to imagine a defence.