Introduccion a la redacción

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is NOT

GOD

GR E AT

also by

Christopher Hitchens

BOOKS
Hostage to History: Cyprus from the Ottomans to Kissinger Blood, Class and Nostalgia: Anglo-American Ironies Imperial Spoils: The Curious Case of the Elgin Marbles Why Orwell Matters No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton Letters to a Young Contrarian The Trial of Henry Kissinger ThomasJefferson: Author of America Thomas Paine’s “Rights of Man”: A Biography

PA M P H L E T S
Karl Marx and the Paris Commune The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain’s Favorite Fetish The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq

C O L L E C T E D E S S AY S
Prepared for the Worst: Essays and Minority Reports For the Sake of ArgumentUnacknowledged Legislation: Writers in the Public Sphere Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays

C O L L A B O R AT I O N S
James Callaghan: The Road to Number Ten (with Peter Kellner) Blaming the Victims (edited with Edward Said) When the Borders Bleed: The Struggle of the Kurds (photographs by Ed Kashi) International Territory: The United Nations (photographs by Adam Bartos)

is NOT

GODGR E AT
How Religion Poisons Everything

Christopher Hitchens

First published in Australia and New Zealand by Allen & Unwin in 2007 This edition published by arrangement with Warner Books, Inc., New York, New York, USA. All rights reserved. Copyright © Christopher Hitchens 2007

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. The Australian Copyright Act 1968 (the Act) allows a maximum of one chapter or 10 per cent of this book, whichever is the greater, to be photocopied by any educational institution for its educational purposes provided that theeducational institution (or body that administers it) has given a remuneration notice to Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) under the Act. Allen & Unwin 83 Alexander Street Crows Nest NSW 2065 Australia Phone: (61 2) 8425 0100 Fax: (61 2) 9906 2218 Email: info@allenandunwin.com Web: www.allenandunwin.com National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry: Hitchens, Christopher. God is not great :how religion poisons everything. Includes index. ISBN 978 1 74175 222 9. 1. Irreligion and sociology. 2. Religion and civilization. 3. Religion and culture. I. Title. 201.5 Printed and bound in Australia by Griffin Press 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

For Ian McEwan In serene recollection of La Refulgencia

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Contents

One Two Three

Putting It Mildly ReligionKills A Short Digression on the Pig; or, Why Heaven Hates Ham A Note on Health, to Which Religion Can Be Hazardous The Metaphysical Claims of Religion Are False Arguments from Design Revelation: The Nightmare of the “Old” Testament The “New” Testament Exceeds the Evil of the “Old” One The Koran Is Borrowed from Both Jewish and Christian Myths The Tawdriness of the Miraculous and the Decline of Hell1 15 37 43 63 73 97 109 123 139

Four

Five Six Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

“The Lowly Stamp of Their Origin”: Religion’s Corrupt Beginnings A Coda: How Religions End Does Religion Make People Behave Better? There Is No “Eastern” Solution Religion as an Original Sin Is Religion Child Abuse? An Objection Anticipated: The Last-Ditch “Case” Against Secularism A FinerTradition: The Resistance of the Rational In Conclusion: The Need for a New Enlightenment Acknowledgments References Index

155 169 173 195 205 217 229 253 277 285 287 295

Twelve Thirteen Fourteen Fifteen Sixteen Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

is NOT

GOD

GR E AT

Oh, wearisome condition of humanity, Born under one law, to another bound; Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity, Created...
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