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Christopher Hitchens – Apostle to the American Atheists. Who Knew?

Wow – I just read an inspiring epistle from Christopher Hitchens, avowed atheist, at:

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/618232-message-to-american-atheists

Now, it’s obvious that this brilliant man is mocking the Apostle Paul in both form and a form of substance, but it was, nonetheless, an inspiring exhortation to his “fellow-unbelievers” at the American Atheists Conference, “via PHARYNGULA.”

Now, because it mocks Paul so brilliantly and so subtly, it’s difficult to tell just how sincere Hitchens is about anything he says. For example, when Hitchens says:

“To have had a small part in this resistance has been the greatest honor of my lifetime: the pattern and original of all dictatorship is the surrender of reason to absolutism and the abandonment of critical, objective inquiry. The cheap name for this lethal delusion is religion, and we must learn new ways of combating it in the public sphere, just as we have learned to free ourselves of it in private.

Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need).”

the mind staggers to comprehend whether Hitchens is actually certain that God could not possibly live, and thus making the same error of closed-minded absolutism he attributes to “believers” alone, or if he is mocking the atheists he is addressing so skillfully that they don’t even know that they’re being mocked for their absolutist beliefs so brilliantly right along with Paul and all believers.

My impression, however, is that Hitchens is actually sincere in his anti-religious beliefs that ALL religious believers (every last one of us!) have no respect for critical, objective inquiry, that we have all totally closed our minds, that we are all credulous and gullible, and that we only believe because we are afraid to face the rational conclusions that anyone as intelligent as Hitchens would reach if they hadn’t blindly accepted the crutch of theistic belief somewhere along the way.

Wow. If I’m even remotely close in restating Hitchen’s core beliefs, what an amazing, staggering example of intellectual arrogance; personally, though, methinks he doth protest too much. He may simply be confused about what he KNOWS and what he DOESN’T yet know.

Just out of curiosity, I visited the site of the American Atheists, and discovered something quite surprising – they are amazingly well-organized, and these “courageous free-thinkers” are banding together, offering each other salvation through association! Athests are no longer alone – in fact, they’re doing a great imitation of proselyting. Watch the video – first we had “I’m a PC;” then “I’m a Mormon;” now we have “I’m an American Atheist!” Who knew that the passion for social proof was so compelling?

All in all, I enjoyed more than a few good laughs at the circular reasoning, intellectual snobbery, and delightful contradictions in such rich and full display in Hitchens article and at the AA web site. I’m sure they have just as much fun finding the holes in the world views of believers, especially us Mormons (I love a good Mormon joke too), so at least we’re even.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Cgdnasymaceirl 5 Sep 2012, 3:53 am

    believe in me even my works and your life will saved. Cry out his me for his name sake alone, but ask your question of him, Jesus the sauvoir our mighty king. Those who do not believe or have faith put him to the right of throne. His throne is the kingdom of heaven and earth, I know because I asked Jesus will you teach me and tell me the truth, and he did a little at a time because you can’t know more than you can understand. Non believers look to scholars and books and throw scriptures at you like stones. It easier just to ask Jesus if he will tell you something about himself, even if you ask Jesus do you have a big nose. It’s sad, everyone wants the answers to the big questions of life, few want to know their true father in heaven. I bow before him because I love him so, not because I have to. The angels of heaven look up to him as we should because he is our father, that’s why he is king. I never knew these things until I asked Jesus, and he answered me, and he will answer all who call up on his name. Step out of the boat like Peter and bid him to ask you to walk with him and to know him and have faith. See you tomorrow on your radio show!

  • Kyanna 6 Sep 2012, 9:40 pm

    That’s an intelligent answer to a difficlut question xxx