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The Four Horsemen [Read] ➫ The Four Horsemen By Christopher Hitchens – At the dawn of the new atheist movement the thinkers who became known as “the four horsemen” the heralds of religion's unraveling—Christopher Hitchens Richard Dawkins Sam Harris and Daniel Denne At the dawn of the new atheist movement the thinkers who became known as “The Four Horsemen” the heralds of religion's unraveling—Christopher Hitchens Richard Dawkins Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett—sat down together over cocktails What followed was a rigorous pathbreaking and enthralling exchange which has been viewed millions The Four PDF/EPUB or of times since it was first posted on YouTube This is intellectual inuiry at its best exhilarating funny and unpredictable sincere and probing reminding us just how varied and colorful the threads of modern atheism are Here is the transcript of that conversation in print for the first time augmented by material from the living participants Dawkins Harris and Dennett These new essays introduced by Stephen Fry mark the evolution of their thinking and highlight particularly resonant aspects of this epic exchange Each man contends with the most fundamental uestions of human existence while challenging the others to articulate their own stance on God and religion cultural criticism spirituality debate with people of faith and the components of a truly ethical life.

  • Kindle Edition
  • 154 pages
  • The Four Horsemen
  • Christopher Hitchens
  • 21 March 2014

About the Author: Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English born American author journalist and literary critic He was a contributor to Vanity Fair The Atlantic World Affairs The Nation Slate Free Inuiry and a variety of other media outlets Hitchens was also a political observer whose best selling books — the The Four PDF/EPUB or most famous being God Is Not Great — made him a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits He was.

10 thoughts on “The Four Horsemen

  1. Jenna Jenna says:

    If you go through the world thinking that it's OK to just believe things because you believe them without evidence then you're missing so much The universe is a grand beautiful wonderful place and it's petty and parochial and cheapening to believe in jinns and supernatural creators and supernatural interferers I'm not sure what I expected from this book but am a little let down The God Delusion God Is Not Great How Religion Poisons Everything Letter to a Christian Nation The End of Faith Religion Terror and the Future of Reason and Breaking the Spell Religion as a Natural Phenomenon are among my all time favourite books I thought this book a conversation amongst the four authors of those books would be incredible However it's just that a conversation It is intelligent and witty and energetic and I enjoyed reading the book but it's not astounding Not incredibly deep Not what I was expecting though again I'm not sure what it was I was expecting There were a few bits I really loved some witty remarks and I do love straight talk about religion and how dangerous it is They discuss the particular dangers of particular beliefs for our modern times and also point out the intellectual and moral courage of atheism I prefer a deeper discussion than what is in this book but it's still worth reading if you're interested in the subject or admire these men as I doYou can watch the conversation here if you prefer to view rather than read it Ignorance to a scientist is an itch that begs to be pleasurably scratched Ignorance if you are a theologian is something to be washed away by shamelessly making something up Richard Dawkins

  2. Marc Marc says:

    Let me immediately say that this booklet angered me Not so much for the content namely the atheist critiue on religion but for the cheap sales trick behind it this transcription of a 2007 debate is presented as the start of an atheist revolution This is absolute bullshit To begin with Richard Dawkins himself states that 5 books published in the years before the debate heralded the real beginnings of what has subseuently been dubbed the “New Atheist Movement” Moreover the term revolution also seems preposterous After all 12 years after date there seems to have been no upheaval at all religions are thriving as well or as bad as before and you can hardly say the atheist movement is flourishingAnother reason to be outraged by this booklet the transcribed conversation did indeed bring together four prominent voices of the new atheism but you can hardly call it a discussion After all you are dealing with four like minded people here united by their visceral aversion to everything that has to do with religion which is their right of course but that's not the point The conseuence is that the participants mainly are preaching to the choir and it does not help that they are four white Anglo Saxon males To be honest in the end Sam Harris seems to initiate some critical remarks about their stance but it is significant that he is systematically gagged by the others especially Hitchens But is is the publisher that gives the death blow by giving this book the pretentious title “the Four Horsemen”Of course there are some interesting elements in this book for example the introduction by Richard Dawkins But the conversation itself remains very superficial and it makes you only a little bit wiser about the content and arguments of the new atheism namely that it focuses almost exclusively on the 'truth uestion' in religion On top of that after 12 years many of the contextual references politics and such in the conversation are dated So I don't understand why it was published now? My advice is to better read the works of the participating authors themselves In fact that is what I'm doing right nowrating 15 stars

  3. Kevin Shepherd Kevin Shepherd says:

    You don't have to boast a PhD or have read Thomas à Kempis the ur'an the Book of Mormon and the teachings of Siddhartha or indeed On the Origin of Species and Principia Mathematica to be able to take part in such wrangling and disputation But boy isn't it wonderful when you can eavesdrop on four who have Stephen FryOh to have the sagacious chops to merit a seat at that table A secular Mt Rush An evolutionary biologist a neuroscientist a philosopher and Hitch sorry I couldn't describe Christopher Hitchens with just one word Historian? Journalist? Contrarian? Sage? Even collectively they fall far short One of my utopian fantasies would be to live in a world where all of us could practice and embrace rational discourse at this level It's a pipe dream that has absolutely no chance but I like to ponder the implausible I have another where I'm spooning with Uma Thurman and she whispers Kevin that was the BEST sex I've ever had

  4. Vivian Vivian says:

    I think they're going to end up by destroying civilization I've long thought so But not without a struggle HitchensMuch chuckling I really do want to watch this Reads like a fun cocktail party DENNET If you really can't defend your view then sorry you can't put it forward Life would be so much pleasant and tolerable if this were trueDAWKINS The universe is a grand beautiful wonderful place and it's petty and parochial and cheapening to believe in jinns and supernatural creators and supernatural interferers I think you could make an aesthetic case that you'd want to get rid of faith Indeed the veer off into fetishizing religion is charming HITCHENS It's a good old Norse booze up And why the hell not? Psst They all had Christmas treesHITCHENS We would for the reasons given by Sophocles in ANTIGONE have a natural resistance to profanity and desecration We leave it to the pious to destroy churches and burn synagogues or blow up each other's mosues And I think that's a point that we ought to we might spend time making Because I do think it is feared of us which was my point to begin with that we wish for a world that's somehow empty of this echo of music and poetry and the numinous and so forth That we would be happy in a Brave New World When I first read Brave New World I was unsure if it was suppose to represent a dystopia or utopia I thought it sounded peaceful They discuss the irrationality and cognitive dissonance people live with and they finally come around to broaching the sociological framework that religion provides in secular states Obviously in theocracies it's a whole different ball of wax Arguments that religion inspired great artwork dances around the issue that for centuries it was the primary source of funding; therefore religious based art They never made the leap into how absolute monarchies also funded extraordinary art of course when you claim your right to rule is given by a deity it muddies the water But there are works from the Russian French Austro Hungarian and Italian states not to mention Mughal Chinese and Japanese empires that also have fantastical artworks It's all about excessive wealth I think Dawkin's parting comment during his introductory statement is spot on As an atheist you have the moral courage to live to the full the only life you're ever going to get to fully inhabit reality rejoice in it and do your best finally to leave it better than you found itThere's nothing new here for me but it was entertaining I can't believe this will be what will get me to watch Youtube

  5. Ben Moore Ben Moore says:

    This is a difficult book to review I am torn between reviewing whether or not it delivers what it claims to deliver or reviewing what I think of the contents In the end in giving it three stars I think I am compromising between the twoCards on the table I am a Christian which obviously tells you something about my own views It would be wrong of me to say ‘I disagree therefore the book is bad’ but I do have some criticisms here I have lots of positive things to say as well but I want to move through the book in orderIt opens with an introduction from Stephen Fry which consists mostly of what I’ve come to think of as the ‘no true strawman’ fallacy He portrays the religious as all being so intellectually bankrupt that the only argument we have to fall back on is the no true Scotsman fallacy It’s really uite silly but I didn’t buy this book to read what Stephen Fry thinks so I’ll excuse this from my ratingThen we have an essay from Dawkins who makes some well formed and utterly valid criticisms of the abhorrent abuses of power and sheer arrogance shown by religious institutions In moments like this I am thankful for people like Dawkins who will call out this kind of behaviour Bizarrely however he then lists a load of scientific facts and says ‘ha None of these discoveries owe anything to theologians’ I’m uite sure this is true but I shouldn’t think they owe anything to bakers gardeners or policemen either When Dawkins talks about science and the scientific process it really is beautiful and compelling When he talks about theology he seems remarkably out of his depthDaniel Dennett offers rather a disappointing essay in which he says ‘some religious people are nice’ then proclaims that no religious people are concerned with proofI’ll confess that I thoroughly dislike Sam Harris and his style of writing so perhaps it’s no surprise that I was unimpressed with his essay He makes the frankly ridiculous claim that suffering is a categorical proof that God does not exist and uses a heartbreaking example of a woman being bitten by a mosuito carrying the Zika virus This causes her twins to be born with microcephaly According to Harris nobody has ever dealt with this problem which I think would come as a great surprise to the hundreds nay thousands of Jewish and Christian speaking only from my own knowledge writers and philosophers who have spilled gallons of ink over thousands of years on this very problem Harris also offers up ‘art literature sport and philosophy’ as what he calls ‘true sources of hope and consolation’ All truly wonderful things but uite how they help the poor woman mentioned above he does not sayHow I wish Hitchens were still here to contribute an essay Few men can write with the biting wit and absolute charm that he couldThen finally we reach the real treat The actual conversation And it really is a joy to read Regardless of your beliefs reading a discussion between such brilliant thinkers ok maybe only two of them are ‘brilliant’ is compelling and intriguing I appreciated that it was presented without any annotation other than the occasional footnote to add context to names discussed It’s also very interesting to read them talking in an unrehearsed and untidy way so to speak It highlights just how witty and intelligent Christopher Hitchens was He is consistently the most interesting insightful and thoughtful of the groupUnfortunately these four horsemen usher in rather a disappointing apocalypse Again they argue very compellingly that religion has caused a great deal of suffering I absolutely agree The rest falls into self congratulatory destructions of straw men Sam Harris claims faith is ‘belief without evidence’ one of them I think Dawkins says Christians don’t take certain bits of the bible literally any because science has beaten them no mention of the wide array of styles and genre in the bible and the need for very simple literary understanding and most amusingly Christopher Hitchens states that all religious arguments are old We offer nothing newDespite my grumbles I did enjoy reading this book However for me it typifies some of the worst excesses and delusions of the so called ‘new atheists’ There is so much wisdom to be taken from these men so much wonderful instruction and education to be drawn from them I have been moved almost to tears on occasion listening to Richard Dawkins talking on biology It’s beautiful Please don’t take that as cynical concession of ground to lend my criticisms weight I really do admire the minds of these menSadly these insights are often lost amidst self adulation we’re all so terribly courageous poor theology and a rather nasty tendency to get very personal with arguments usually immediately followed by saying ‘but we mustn’t mock people We’re humble and above such things As I said despite my misgivings about the content I am giving this three stars because it’s a fascinating read and it delivers on its promises My dissatisfaction with the content prevents me from rating it any higher my love of interesting books prevents me from rating it any lower

  6. Regina Andreassen Regina Andreassen says:

    I am an agnostic and a scientist and I am profoundly disappointed in this book because I expected serious and engaging discussion and analysis of the issue Unfortunately this book does not reflect the level of scientific thinkingwriting expected in the academia I was trying to find redeeming ualities but I couldn’t most of this book was dreadful I bought the hard copy thinking I would love it and instead I am in utter disbelief Had this book being published by four unknown people it would have been immediately discarded for its very low standards The discussion that took place and is narrated in this book is a poor reflection of the way scientific minds analyse various issues uite frankly I expected good logically developed arguments based on peer reviewed articles and rational opinions shared by scholars; instead I felt that I was reading the conversation of four simpletons who had nothing else to do but bitch what I read here wasn’t well articulated criticism about religion; over all four Dawkins Dennett Harris and Hitchens uttered arguments based on well established fallacies If you want to learn about how NOT to make a case then read the arguments they poorly articulate here Make sure you identify the following types of fallacious arguments argumentum ad verecundiam false dichotomy petitio principii hasty generalisation etc I paid for a book that I thought would explore the subject logically and critically; I did not pay to read an emotional rant a conversation that could have been held by four uneducated people having drinks in a pubDawkins Dennett Harris and Hitchens claim to support scientific rigour yet they have no ualms making ridiculous claims that can easily be obliterated by rational minds I will be uoting some their overstatements below Hitchens 201968 ‘no religious person ever’ Hitchens consistently makes overstatements has he spoken to every single religious person who has existed since human life appeared on Earth?Harris 201956 ‘And every religious person makes the same criticism of other religions that we do’ Clearly here Harris makes another bold claim which facts have proven to be incorrect anyway Dawkins 2019118 ‘Anybody who makes that criticism couldn’t possibly have read any of our books’ Oh Dawkins How risible is this A reader can critiue a book he or she reads and identify weaknesses even if the author of that book thinks there aren’t any weaknesses in hisher work How obnoxiously petulant is Dawkins’s statement’ Dennett 201968 ‘And believe me if they grudgingly admit that there is a proof it’s a proof And there’s nothing like that in religion nothing like that’ History has proven you wrong Dennett Your opinions are not facts so deal with it There is strong evidence that supports the notion that many religions have evolved and changed positively even if they are far from flawless Objectively talking several religions have embraced new modern points of view and their members have admitted past misdeeds Dennett’s words suggests that he hasn’t really undertaken serious religious studies from a researcher perspective or undertaken any research on the field; he just makes claims without proper reflection whatsoever; claims that even a serious atheist scholar who studies religions can easily refute Generalisations are a big ‘no no’ in the scientific world we scientists refuse to make them Generalisations cannot be proven generalisations are expected to be uttered by the populace not by respected members of the academic community Ironically these ‘four men’ accuse religious people all of them they refer to believers as arrogant and simple minded yet this book evidences that these four are guilty of these defectsAnother topic of discussion was art and religion These four ‘horsemen’ went as far as to affirm that very little or nothing good comes of religion and even dared to claim that Michelangelo could have built a great ‘ceiling museum of Science’ that was as outstanding as the Sistine Chapel has he being inspired by science Seriously ‘if if if’These four men have niches in which they are considered experts but they are clearly not intellectuals They are unidimensional and cannot move across topics Finally one of the reasons why agnostics like me real agnostics not people who label themselves as agnostics without knowing fully well what being an agnostic means and a great percentage of atheists disapprove of these four anti theists ‘horsemen’s is because these anti theists’ arguments seem to come from a place of hatred rancour and disdain; rather than from logical and analytical thinking; ergo their bias are conspicuous In sciences reflexivity is essential yet Dawkins Dennett Harris and Hitchens don’t seem to be familiar with that the term or with what it entails Moreover the four horsemen’s academic degrees alone cannot make the argument for them Their academic ualifications may help them promote and sell their ideasbooks wellspecially to those who like to refer to the ‘four horsemen’ because of their names but the argument presented in this specific book will not stand scientific scrutiny Certainly as an agnostic person I too want to be free to criticise any religion or ideology I believe is oppressive without being accused of any ‘ism’ but I cannot ignore many of the positive aspectsroles that religious beliefs play in some communities for doing that would be irrational and infantile of me Paradoxically Dennett presentation starts admitting that but when he starts talking to the other three he completely changes his tune did he feel pressure to retract from his original views? Admittedly this conversation took place when Hitchens was still alive Dennett doesn’t seem to be immersed in the anti theism movement any and has distanced himself from both Dawkins and HarrisBy the way I would like to finish this review emphasising that my criticism is a criticism of this book I am not criticising the four horsemen’s general position and neither am I criticising their previous works I give this book two stars because I enjoyed the first and last pages of the book they bestowed it with some balance Having said that in principle I disagree with anti theism because it is not a scientific position Agnosticism on the other hand is the position that is best aligned with scientific enuiry for it is rational not emotional It is fact based It is in harmony with the tenets of science I was going to give Dawkins’s books a go but I will have to reconsider that I have enjoyed Harris’s Free Will and I didn’t hate Hitchens’s God Is Not Great even though I though if it as mediocre I found Hitchens’s Mortality to be really good and it made me tear; so I am not a hater but neither I am sheep I am a critical logical reader and an academic and my review reflects this I shall edit this review later I truly don’t have time to do it now and neither do I have the desires to make changes to my review at this stage

  7. Amine Amine says:

    InterestingI read this book because I wanted an introduction to the four horsemen outside of YouTube My first approach was to read their books but then I found this one book with all four of them and it seemed like a good startI found the introduction I was looking for Whether the judgments I formed are accurate or not is yet to be confirmed but I heard the voice of each of them and saw their lines of reasoning that should be enough for a startIn addition to what I was looking for my horizon on the subject was considerably broadened through this reading My view on religious intolerance for instance has changedPick up 4 great thinkers and put them in a room something fruitful is bound to come upI found the four interesting and I will now proceed to read their distinct works in due time

  8. Tammam Aloudat Tammam Aloudat says:

    This is so utterly disappointingAs a non believer I want to enjoy the conversation of the four famous atheists especially having read much of their work and enjoyed much of itTo start many years ago I read the God Delusion God is Not Great Letter to a Christian Nation The End of Faith Breaking the Spell and others I had some reservations on some but did largely find the propositions resonated with how I thought about religion either a lot Hitchens and Dennett to somewhat Dawikins to not much HarrisThen comes this and I found it on a bookshop shelf and couldn't resist I wish I could Hardcovers are expensive after all This is a conversation that happened among the four a decade ago when Hitch was still alive and it is hyped to be The Conversation It is not It is intellectually shallow in addition to being condescending and at times pure sillyIt is easy to start with to debate with people you entirely agree with no opposition or other opinion except what you are generous enough to mention any of the four would have been interesting debating a believerSecondly one cannot help but feel the privilege of middle aged white men with Western education and entitlement oozing condescension to everyone who doesn't exactly share every detail of their opinion I am on their team and yet I do not share all their convictions and I have no doubt that they would have torn me to pieces if I was present there in their debate They weren't defending the oppressed they were ridiculing them and that made me angryI did finish the book grudgingly and I am a little sad that I did this to myself I used to like them and that should have stayed the case as I read them when I was young and impressionable I believe now I would be much critical if I read their books againOne thing that will keep me from being entirely regretful is that this line of reading got me to reading of Hitchens who writes absolutely beautifully and is worth reading for that if not for anything else May he rest in peace or not since he doesn't believe in it anyway

  9. Jim Jim says:

    An interesting conversation between them with some great uestions I couldn't keep straight who was who as this was an audio book I only recognized Dawkins Fry though Doesn't really matter even though they weren't always in agreement The thought they've given to their secularism is well shown It's short didn't really add much to my knowledge but it did give me another author to read Daniel C Dennett I wasn't aware of him at all but then I haven't really looked for atheistic writings Just sort of stumbled on them I don't need any proof since I attended Episcopal schools most of my life have actually read most of the King James version of the Bible I've never understood why haven't thrown up their hands after reading it This seems to be a common attitude among the 4 they discussed how to best to get people to look at it logically They didn't come to any conclusions but had a few suggestions all very polite even though their detractors generally aren'tAll in all it was good to spend time listening to them Definitely recommended although I think their books expanding on their ideas are probably better God Is Not Great How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens is good Dawkins' The God Delusion is absolutely fantastic I'm looking forward to reading by all of them

  10. Jeff Jeff says:

    The main text of The Four Horsement The Conversation That Sparked an Atheist Revolution is the transcript of a 2007 discussion between four secular heavyweights Dawkins Hitchens Harris and Dennett As I expected it was fantastic to read the ping ponging of unhallowed goodness between the four great minds I will now watch the video of this meeting As an added bonus the book also contains a Forward by the always interesting Stephen Fry and chapters by the three living horsemen Unfortunately for the world Christopher Hitchens died in 2011 I need to read Dennett I've read some Harris and own a few of his books that are on my TBR list I own most if not all the Dawkins there is to read He is my favorite living scientist and it was an absolute thrill to meet him in Dallas last fall I still can't believe it It was wonderful to read a book in which these four great minds skewer all things religion Reality is a beautiful thing Embrace it

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