I have a new article in Tikkun magazine where I point out the inconsistencies in Hitchens' arguments about religion.  In fact the popular atheist writer/blogger Greta Christina calls his thinking a "terrible argument." What do you think?

 

Is Christopher Hitchens a Religious Apologist? http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2011/05/29/is-christopher-hitchen...

Tags: Christina, Christopher, God, Great, Greta, HItchens, Not, atheism, is, religion

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I don't have the patience to read the entire article, but this was at the start - 

Yet, despite his public outcry and comparison of religion to child abuse and labeling it a “menace to society” readers may be surprised to discover that he is actually indifferent to religion as long as it produces good behavior.

I don't think that its shocking. Its Hitchens being a realist. Its not realistic to hope that religion will go away anytime soon, definitely not in our lifetime, so its just making the best out of a bad situation.

Sikhism is a good example of this. In their place of worship - a gurudwara, they prepare food at all hours of the day & anyone who comes can have a meal. Not a bad thing.

I pretty much hate most of religion. I believe that its the biggest hoax in human history, but there is no denying that there is some good that comes out of religion. As long as its not detrimental to society, religion is fine by me. Theists are just like kids who need to believe in their fairy tales. 

Nicely put, Akshay.  I have more or less the same attitude about it.
Yes I have to agree there. In another post I mentioned that religious belief would be largely ignored were it not damaging. If I truly believed in the tooth fairy, but had no doctrine of silly and potentially dangerous commands, and when you came to visit me I seemed as normal as anyone else aside from my offering of free tooth paste, would any of you really care?
I'll join up if you provide free dental with the free toothpaste :P
80% on dental 45 dollar co-pay free preventative care.

Why say that the good comes out of religion , and not other things?  Like the ability and capacity for humans to realize cooking food for any passerby's that might be hungry might just be a nice thing to do?  

Would the Sikh's be ok if a bunch of muslims and Christians just walked in and started eating ?  I am skeptical , but I could be wrong.  But my main point is that it doesn't seem to be religious based.  Any non religious or other religious temple could decide to do this.  

 

My husband grew up Sikh and they do welcome all faiths...there are  4 doorways to teh gurudawa that represent India's major religions (Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Christian) to signify that all have a way in....Sikhism is actually translated to "student" so they believe everyone on earth is a sikh no matter what religion.

Why say that the good comes out of religion , and not other things?

Did I say that good doesn't come out of other things? All I meant was that we should keep an open mind, be realistic & give a fair shake to religion.

Religions aren't all bad, there are some really good things that come out of religion. We cannot deny it. The problem is that a whole lot of BS usually accompanies that good.

Would the Sikh's be ok if a bunch of muslims and Christians just walked in and started eating ?

Yeah. All they ask is that you respect the sanctity of their gurudwara - cover your head while inside & maybe remove your footwear(not sure about that one).

But my main point is that it doesn't seem to be religious based.  Any non religious or other religious temple could decide to do this.

True, but do they?

You didn't get my point. The original topic was whether Hitchens should be criticized for saying that he is actually indifferent to religion as long as it produces good behavior. And if you take my comment in context of this quote then you'll see what I meant,

But the idea that religion produces good behavior , from what I have read of Hitchens , is not believable by him.  I have seen every debate he has took part in.  Every one.  This is more of a facetious stance of him ... to say he doesn't mind if it produces good behavior , but then goes on to suggest no religion could possibly keep this to any degree because as you said , many other things come along with it.  He also , in his book , God is not Great , pretty much dismantles the 'other' religions very quickly , like Buddhism and Hinduism , etc.  

 

Thanks for the information about Sikhism ... but if I were to invite guests over to my house , I would not require that they 'respect my customs' ... I would honor THEM for who THEY are. That is what true hospitality is.  

 

How dare I request a Jew to take off his hat or a Muslim to trim his beard or  Christian to take of their cross before entering in to my house and partake in a meal.  I find it just as repulsive that the Sikh's would require anything of the sort.  

I find it just as repulsive that the Sikh's would require anything of the sort.

Jeez cool down will ya? Its not their house, its their place of worship - there is a difference. Its not like they are asking you to come. Their doors are open, they only ask you to cover your head. Don't see any huge problem with that. Don't go if thats a problem for you.


But the idea that religion produces good behavior , from what I have read of Hitchens , is not believable by him.

Erm, don't think you understood what the writer of the article meant. According to him, Hitchens didn't say religion produces good behavior. He said he'd be indifferent to it as long as it produces good behavior. See the difference? Its basically him saying live & let live. And to be fair, its a realistic approach.

I agree with Akshay....and just for the record I have alot of respect for Sikh's if you study the history they changed the history of India for the good of the nation. That doesn't mean I don't think some of their beliefs are flawed but it is an example of when good does come from religion.

 

Sikhs also don't proselytize and have no beef with any other religion or NON-religion.

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