God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything I just finished this one in audiobook format, and it's really quite good. Granted, there are probably two types of people who will read this book: Those who already believe what the author, Christopher Hitchens, is saying, and those who need to try to disprove him. It's not like any of these atheist tomes are really likely to achieve their goals of rendering religion obsolete. That only happens one person at a time and it's really unlikely that this book or any like it are going to move ranks of believers into the atheist camp. So the atheists (and even the agnostics) can read it and say "Right on!" and the others can read it and think "Well, he's going to Hell."
Of the two groups, of course, I fall into the former. At least mostly. I try not to be an asshole about it as is the current trend with the so-called new-atheists. I can't tolerate Dawkins and Harris. They seem too feverish. They froth and moan with so much conviction they tend to lose the appearance of reason (in my opinion, of course). In my view, proselytizing is proselytizing no matter which direction you're trying to pull.
I hear Hitchens can be prone to the same patronization and name-calling as the others, but his book (at least) is very well reasoned and for the most part, lays out the argument against religious belief (and organized religion, in particular) quite well. As I've indicated, though, I'm not really sure what good it does. It helps me and those like me expand our list of things we don't like about religion, mostly. Good for me, I guess, but I'm not the guy that gets into those arguments with the religious. I don't even enjoy debating the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses that come to my door -- I just send them away. What about those who do get into these confrontations? Well most of the ones I know already had all the ammo they needed.
I suppose this book will be a good study guide to save the next generations some time.