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Dawkins or Hitchens?

Just borrowed some books from a friend, trying to decide which one to start. It's between 'The God Delusion' by Dawkins and 'God is not Great' by Hitchens. Have you read either or both? Which would you recommend?

Also, what are you currently reading?

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BeeHappy 9 Mar 7

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9

You must have a very good friend! I would start with the Dawkins, then Hitch, IMHO. Dawkins does social & scientific angles, Hitch more social/political. Both are good. Then move on to Harris!

Reading 2 books currently, "Did God Create The Universe From Nothing: Countering William Lane Craig's Kalam Cosmological Argument" by Jonathan MS Pearce & re-reading "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift.

@phxbillcee another multiple book reader. It's hard to stick to just one at a time when there are so many to read, isn't it?

@Condor5 I'm so bad at this that over the years I've tried to make a rule of no more than 3 at a time. Doesn't always work, but I'm much better now!!!

@phxbillcee and @Condor5, Guys! I'm lucky reading one at a time. If I was to read more than one, I'm afraid the information or stories would be so intertwined that by the time I finished, it would be one big mess. LOL

@WizardBill no, not a failure, everybody is different. I'm on the same page with you about women, however. Except right now it's none at a time.

I read one book at a time, save for studies in college. As mentioned above, I immerse and it's hard for me to keep the story lines 'disentangled' if I do more than one at a time... that said, I have recently started listening to books on long drive and I find that I can listen to one book while reading another... um, not at the same time. I mean that I can basically read two books in the same time frame if one is print and the other audio.

What I like about audio is that some of the readers (and plays!) are amazing! What I dislike about audio is I find that the details are just lost. I retain so very little about them... which means that audio is strictly pleasure for me, and more, strictly the reading equivalent of cotton candy.

4

I have a soft spot for Hitchens. He's the better writer of the two and if I had to choose between the two to talk to someone I cared about who held on to harmful beliefs, it would be him. No. Actually, it would be Penn Jillette or Carl Sagan, bit the options were Hitch and Dawks.

Thank you!

4

I’m currently reading God delusion

4

I must admit, I haven't read God Is Not Great. But the God Delusion is extremely comprehensive and easy to read, with a light sense of humour and incisive wit. All the same, it is more geared towards the sceptically minded who still believe, rather than those who've already made the transition.

Well, that's somewhat true, but books like his also help the non-believer organize his thoughts/arguments & work out questions they may still have or haven't considered.

@phxbillcee Fair point. I only read it about a year ago, and I'd already had considerable exposure to Dawkins on YouTube, along with other prominent atheists, so I didn't actually find any completely new arguments. It was a good read, though, and it definitely helped me refine my pre-prepared barrage of common sense.

Thanks for you comments.

4

Hitchens. Always.

Thanks!

3

I have three books which I am reading right now.
Riddles in Hinduism - B R Ambedkar
Natural History:A selection - Pliny the Elder
Sapiens - Yuval Noah Hariri

One more book is in pipeline which I will start reading post completing these three
The Principal Upanishad - S Radhakrishnan

Thanks for sharing!

3

I'm a huge fan of Hitchens, but I voted for Dawkins book by a slight margin. I loved both though.

Great! Thanks!

3

I find Dawkins comes across as (and may even be) a bit of an arrogant prick who tends to make pronouncements outside his area of expertise. Hitchens can come off arrogant too but has a much more acute wit. Just my $0.02 plus inflation.

I don't agree at all!

Thanks! Every penny counts! 🙂

I get just the opposite vibe. I don't think Dawkins comes across as the least bit arrogant.

@Eazyduzzit I agree. I have seen videos where he has been so patient with absolutely rude idiots & kept his composure throughout! He's a great educator & a great spokesman for rational thought!

3

Dawkins and Hitchens are both very flawed representatives of non-believers. They are islamophobic and almost xenophobic to the point of driving me insane everytime I have read a word they wrote. Not only do I find their commentary to be as small-minded as most contemporary Christians I find them to actually be worse because they know what they are talking about and still proceed to fill page after page with their arid bulshit.

I don't agree at all!

I imagine your opinion extends to Sam Harris who accuses the Koran as a "wellspring of bad ideas". I am sure that much of their ire for Islam stems from the actions of driven individuals. It became a sort of low hanging fruit that drove the conversation of the validity of religion as a whole. The term "islamophobia" is a nonstarter. Makes about as much sense as christophobia, judeophobia or hindophobia.

@phxbillcee do you have that saved on your clipboard to paste? 😛

With regards to religion, I don't agree with all of Hitchens views, when I came across him a couple of years ago he articulated exactly what I felt about religion. I wouldn't consider myself either Islamaphobic nor xenophobic but quite possibly theistophobic. But wouldn't this forum be boring if we all agreed on everything? 🙂

@Hicks66 The koran AND the bible ARE a wellspring of bad ideas! & they have both driven otherwise possibly decent people to horrific acts over the centuries. & in a way I have theo-phobia! I think they are all potentially dangerous!

@EricTrommater So, no, I don't think I'll be posting that, I find that argument spurious & a complete red-herring, as I do with most of the complaints on Dawkins. I have seen many of his video clips & he's been much more soft-spoken & patient than I believe much of the rest of us would be. I think most of his bad rap came from his "Most unpleasant character in all fiction." list & quote from chapt. 2 of "The God Delusion".

@EricTrommater, I just wish you could be more open, tell me how you really feel. We are all friends here (I thought, LOL). Thanks, I do appreciate ALL points of view!

@atheist I shouldn't have to since anyone with Twitter knows Dawkins views, but he has asked why Islamic scholars haven’t produced as many Nobel prizes winners as Jews; he has said that it is immoral not to abort a fetus known to have Down syndrome; he has tried to logically differentiate between rape at knife point and date rape. Remember the way he went after the kid who got confused for a terrorist when he made a clock for his high school project? How about his little stunt with the fake letter presumably from a Muslim woman who had been genitally mutilated to shut down the woman who legitimately complained about guys hitting on her in the elevator at an athiest convention?

@atheist ...and Hitchen's list is twice as long. If you want specifics just Google, well his name, and you'll find 100 on one page.

@phxbillcee Dawkins posted this video just recently....funny as it is, is this how we want to sell the cause?

@pnullifidian Robert Fisk, Mick Hume, Lynn Barber, Steven Weinberg, Daniel Dennett, and Michael Martin to name a few of the adults.

@Hicks66 so you are actually saying that there has NEVER been a wide spread, irrational fear of Jews? Think about what you just said for a moment....I'll wait.

@BeeHappy everyone's a critic lol. I find them both immature name callers and rabble rousers. I read both books and my honest assement was they were full of ideas I outgrew when I was like 14.

@ipdg77 Ayn Rand was an atheist who expressed a lot of the same views as Dawkins and Hitchens and I hardly think I'd get an argument for calling her work vapid. Hitchens's undying support for the war in Iraq is another thing that gets slid under the table. As The Guardian put it in their obituary: "on the most consequential political issue of the last decade of his life, the bullshit got him."

@EricTrommater Gee, they're not perfect! the point about Islamic scholars, if you would have looked further into it, was that Islamic culture was the flower of learning for some time during Europe's "Dark Ages", & even helped them come out of it. In areas of Spain, which the Moors controlled, European scholars came by the droves to learn what they couldn't under the Catholic Church. Now, under this flavor of Islam in control now, no matter the sect, learning beyond the Koran is discouraged, sometimes lethally!

Only wanted the last one!!!

So you outgrew all their ideas by the time you were 14! Really, so did you move on to nihilism? Dazzle me with your mature take on atheism & the state of the world with warring, power-hungry religions that transcends what they have written. Hell, put it in book form, rather than a meme & you may not just have a best-seller but a Nobel Prize!

@EricTrommater I said it didn't make sense, not that it didn't exist.

I think you mean "acrid." There is nothing dry about either of their writing. Anything but.

@Aristopus autocorrect strikes again#

3

Read both and loved both. Pick either one and enjoy, and when you have finished, you have got yourself another fantastic read ahead of yourself

Thanks!

3

Both are very good

3

Third book down on my to read stack is "Fighting God" by Silverman. Our local group had him speak at FIT!

BillF Level 7 Mar 7, 2018

Another good one! Plus, Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation" & his "The End of Faith"; Hitch's "The Portable Atheist" that he edited; Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell"; David Mills' "Atheist Universe";...Looking to pick up some Michael Shermer soon.

Thanks @BillF and @phxbillcee, for all the suggestions.

3

If I had to choose it would be Hitchens for sure, but don't shy away from Dawkins as his material is amazing as well. However, my favorite non fiction author has by far been Sam Harris. If you haven't heard of him, I highly advise checking his work out.

Yes, I have heard of Sam Harris and have seen several video clips. Thanks for the suggestion.

3

I'm very partial to Hitchens.

balou Level 8 Mar 7, 2018

Hitch was undoubtedly one of a kind. Will take a very special person to fill his shoes, if any can. I don't subscribe to all of his views, for instance, I thought he was absolutely wrong on Iraq, but you have to give him a hearing, nonetheless, because he was so often right. & eloquent about it!

@phxbillcee Yes, and Hitch was very outspoken and I can appreciate that.

2

Hitch in live debates. Dawkins in writing. Dawkins gets flustered, live and Hitch maintains his composure better.

2

I prefer audio. Dawkins is great, but personally, Hitchens had a philosophy closer to mine

2
2

I like Deconverted by Seth Andrews
Also his other book Sacred Cows a Lighthearted Look at Belief and Tradition Around the World

The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus

Why I am an Agnostic by Robert Ingersoll

A couple of books with a variety of authors might be to your taste. They're like buffets for the mind.

The Agnostic Reader edited by S.T. Joshi

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

Thank you kindly for all the suggestions. My list is getting really long! LOL

2

Both are beneficial to read.

Thanks!

2

Charles Darwin anyone? Slightly ahead of his time methinks.

2

Gospels of Thomas, and Gospel of Mary Magdelene only for perspective and interest. Very different portayals of what the Prophet Jesus was really about by two of his very close associates. Also lots of stories that the Church doesn't want to be let known.
I am a fan of Hitchens and have seen his debates on You Tube although I haven't gotten into his readings. Bart Erhmans Lost Books of the Bible is also very interesting.

Thanks for the suggestions!

2

Haven't read either. Currently reading Pythagoras' Trousers by Magaret Wertheim, a feminist perspective on the history of the relationship between science and religion.

skado Level 8 Mar 7, 2018

Thanks. Another book to add to the ever growing list. 🙂

2

Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson edited by Anita Thompson. I've already read Hitchens, Hawkins is next on my list.

2

Trying get started on Sense and sensibility keep falling asleep before I get to it.

Watch the movie, it might be easier. LOL

@BeeHappy The original not the sissy version. Made it through Huck Fin wore the dictionary out in the process.

Hahaha!

2

I have just looked at a set of the most awful atheist books on facebook and wouldnt read any of them - Why? Why would I? read a whole book about something that has never ever been real to me. I don't need proof that god doesnt exist as no god exists for me right now ,and I am at the centre of my own universe.

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