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This chapter might be Hitchens' hardest hit of all against relgion, because in it he details "several ways in which religion is not just amoral, but positively immoral." There are five "faults and crimes."
--"Presenting a false picture of the world to the innocent and the credulous." When we wallowed in ignorance, this was unavoidable, but it has been centuries now that we have had the knowledge to present a truer picture of the world and of the origin of religious scriptures.
--"The doctrine of blood sacrifice"
--"The doctrine of atonement"
--"The doctrine of eternal reward and punsihment"
--"The imposition of impossible tasks and rules", giving rise to such ingenious ways of indulging in the forbidden while sticking to the letter of the laws.
To the extent that what people practice as religion no longer contains so much of the above, it is a kinder, gentler religion (my comment, not Hitchens'.)
_________________ No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live as we dream--alone.
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