Christopher Hitchens is Everywhere May 8, 2007

Christopher Hitchens is Everywhere

While promoting his new book, God is Not Great, Chris Hitchens is all over the place. The Daily Show, C-SPAN, New York magazine. The list goes on.

Here are two of the more interesting things he’s done the past couple weeks.

First, there’s the debate with Al Sharpton. The question they’re debating is: “Is God Great?” Which doesn’t make much sense to me for an atheist to answer because the question itself is a moot point. (It’s like when Stephen Colbert asks his liberal guests: “President Bush: Great president?… or Greatest president?”) Here’s one humorous excerpt from the debate:

Mr. Sharpton also aimed a barb at Mr. Hitchens, who has broken with left-wing commentators through his staunch defense of the war in Iraq and President Bush’s policies there.

“At the end what is refreshing is that you are a man of faith,” Mr. Sharpton told Mr. Hitchens, to much laughter, “because any man that at this point has faith that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has more faith than any religious person I know.”

Al Sharpton also made one comment (he made similar ones later) which gets back to the poor question at hand:

Mr. Sharpton was not persuaded. “A lot of what you’re saying is based on dogma that has nothing to do with one’s belief in a supreme being. You’re discussing, again, religions, dogmas, denominations, not the existence or nonexistence of God.”

Well, based on the question, this debate isn’t about the “existence or nonexistence of God”…

The NY Times article closes with the following:

Perhaps the funniest moment in the cordial and profound exchange occurred when Mr. Sharpton endorsed Mr. Hitchens’s book.

“I’d encourage people to buy the book,” Mr. Sharpton said. “I don’t believe what it says, but it’s well written. He’s a very eloquent and well-versed person.”

“That’s extremely handsome of you,” Mr. Hitchens replied.

The second interesting thing Hitchens is doing is an online debate with Theologian Douglas Wilson, reminiscent of Sam Harris’ online debate with Andrew Sullivan.

It’ll be fun to see where this one goes.

[tags]atheist, atheism, God is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens, The Daily Show, C-SPAN, New York magazine, Al Sharpton, debate, Stephen Colbert, George Bush, Iraq, dogma, NY Times, Theologian, Douglas Wilson, Sam Harris, Andrew Sullivan[/tags]

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  • I have to admit, I wasn’t familiar with Hitchens before this past week, and so far what I’ve seen hasn’t left a very good impression. At least on the Daily Show he came across as a bit of a dick. And in the recent article about him in Newsweek he seems to basically justify the Iraq war on the grounds that Saddam was a religious rather than secular dictator. So now we’re using atheism to justify crusades? That’s scary stuff IMHO.

    Sometimes it is appropriate to refer to atheists as “descendants of the apes.” I’m sure all of them are highly honored by that title since they are the ones who claim that apes are their noble ancestors.This explains why atheists have devised the animalistic and heathenistic philosophy of atheism. It is because that is the best philosophy the ape’s descendants can come up with. That is as high as they can rise in their thinking. There has never been an ape during the history of apes that achieved the ability to perceive the existence of God and to worship Him. And so, it is not surprising that descendants of the apes are void of that ability as well.This also explains the awful heathen and abominable fruit descendants of apes produce in the society – why they are so lawless. It must have been a terrible group of apes they descended from, because when you observe apes that exist today, all of them do exactly what apes are suppose to do. But atheists cannot do anything right. Apes today are more civilized than atheists.

    True Christians have a far more noble fountain from whence they descended. We were originally created by the Almighty God – created in His image. We did not have to evolve to a higher state, but from the beginning, were created by God as perfect as humans can be. Even though we fell from our created state of perfection in the first man Adam, our Maker brings us back by His uplifting grace. But atheists, as descendants of the apes, have never and will never reached the level of perfection in which God originally created all mankind.

    If atheists were human, and weren’t descendants of the apes, they might be able to perceive the beauty of the existence of God, and might have a chance at receiving God’s grace. But alas, animals don’t have that ability and God has no intention on saving animals.

  • Bad ape. No bananas for you.

  • Michael:
    Your logic is the same logic the KKK uses when they talk about blacks and Jews not being human. Surly you don’t agree with Christians like that who condone that sort of behavior. Right?

  • Darryl

    I do not share Hitch’s view of the war in Iraq–it was, in my opinion, unnecessary, illegal, and immoral. It has proved an unmitigated disaster. As for his writing and speaking, he is second to none if you like the saucy and witty British style of rhetoric. He is superior as an apologist for his atheism to Dawkins and Harris because he is a great writer, a good debater, and, more importantly, quite funny.

  • Brett

    We win, we’ve got the fossils.


  • Darryl

    I see that Hitch was interviewed by Anderson Cooper and the interview is being broadcast today on CNN. Though brief, as all these things are when they appear on the cable newsmagazines, it was to the point and put both men in a good light.

  • S C Lewis

    Dear Symphonicant

    I have watched CNN, facinated by Anderson Cooper’s recent articles about Christianity. I would like to comment:

    Since CNN aired a very small interview with Christopher Hichtens, I have obtained a copy of his book, God is Not Great, and have read its first chapter. Finally, we are presented with a fresh point of view about religion. I bet this interview with Hitchens scared a lot of people! I understand why the interview was kept to a minimum.

    As people educate themselves more and more, the less we can be superstitious in nature. Science has been stifled too long by the religious powers that be, and it needs to be resuscitated and put in its proper place: as mankind’s main source of information.

    I believe that people forget we are still evolving. The pace and the consequences of our evolution are keeping us from our responsibilities of maintaining planet earth wisely. What is a Christian, mentions a statistic that, at least, 500 million Christian people refuse to accept Global Warming. Is that repsonsible or mature behaviour?

    Now, that scares me!

    Susan C Lewis

  • Dear Spiritually retarded,
    How can something evolve when evolution has never been demonstarted in any lab nor is not happening today.

  • Demonstrated

  • Darryl

    What is refreshing about Hitchens is that his approach is not only to point out the bad that outweighs the good in religion (Harris and others make this argument), but to concede the good that has come from within religious traditions (music, art, architecture), and to make this the point of contention: religion won’t leave us alone; it won’t keep to itself, but wants to foist itself upon us. Hitchens is willing to live and let live so long as religion with quit trying to convert everyone or quit trying to subject them to laws meant to enforce some religion’s doctrines.

  • Michael said:

    Dear Spiritually retarded,


  • Darryl

    Here he is again, and better than ever:

  • S C Lewis

    Dear Michael,

    I cheerfully report to you that I have in my possession, an example of modern day evolution. Take the indoor tabby cat, for instance. Many of these feline creatures are kept indoors throughout their lifetime. Without the need for claws (prey is scarce) the animals may eventually shed their destructive appendments forever. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful result of evolution? Of course, looking at the state of my furniture, I too, might only be engaged in wishful thinking!

  • For a moment there I wasn’t sure if Michael was for real or if he was actually an atheist doing a parody of a Christian fundamentalist. You just don’t know sometimes. Then I had a look at the link he attached. Yup, sure enough, these whackos are out there. The most frightening thing is that he thinks he’s making a rational argument, and that he thinks he occupies an unassailable position. But isn’t that always the case with retrospective justifications of an individual bias and prejudice – be they of the racist, sexist, or in this case religious variety.

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