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.