That’s the provocative title of Christopher Hitchens’s new book. The subtitle is “How Religion Poisons Everything.” Here, courtesy of Kevin Stroup, is an excerpt from the book. I reproduce the first paragraph:

There are four irreducible objections to religious faith: that it wholly misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos, that because of this original error it manages to combine the maximum of servility with the maximum of solipsism, that it is both the result and the cause of dangerous sexual repression, and that it is ultimately grounded on wish-thinking.

Hitchens begs all the important questions. Theists would deny that their faith misrepresents anything. They would say that their faith represents the origins of man and the cosmos. They would add that whether servility is appropriate depends on whether God exists, and since they believe that God exists, and have reasons for doing so, they believe that it’s appropriate. They would say that sex is a gift from God, to be used in accordance with God’s purposes. It is not a mere means to express oneself or to gratify one’s urges, although, if self-expression and gratification flow from it, these are to be celebrated rather than regretted. Finally, they would deny that their faith is “ultimately grounded on wish-thinking.” Their faith, they would say, is ultimately grounded in reality. They don’t just assert this, either. They argue for it. Hitchens should grapple with their arguments.

If Hitchens can beg this many questions in just the first paragraph of an excerpt, his book should be a dandy, right up there with Richard Dawkins’s philosophically illiterate book The God Delusion. Both men need a crash course in philosophy—starting with critical thinking.