God Is Not Great: Reading and Critical Thinking Questions 1. What questions about and criticisms of religion does Hitchens pose to the reader in the first chapter? On YouTube, Hitchens debates Dinesh D’Souza, a social commentator who argues that America needs to reinstate its religious traditions. What are the major issues brought up in these debates, and where are the intersections of disagreement? 2. What does Lucretius mean when he states that religion is both a “mental delusion” and “a great moral evil”? In fact, Hitchens claims that “Religion Kills.” How does he support this claim? Hitchens also has argued that religious fervor stems from a deep anxiety that the believer may not be right or that he or she needs this religious belief as a cover to some behavior that he or she finds deplorable, such as the homosexual behavior of evangelist Ted Haggard, a strong opponent of gay lifestyles. (Of course other reasons exist for extreme religious commitment.) Explain how Hitchens argues this idea. What happens when states are ruled by religion, according to Hitchens? 3. What evidence does Hitchens use to show how Christian religious stories are not unique? Look up this YouTube video “Should This Video Be Banned: You Decide,” and then research the claims the video provides by looking them up in a book of mythology. For example, does the Egyptian myth parallel the Jesus story as the video claims? What
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