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...
Anyone who says Hitchens is indifferent to religion has obviously never read or listened to any of the plethora of audio and books he has written or been recorded on.
Just 5 minutes of any debate and you realize immediately this 'religious apologist' label is just outright retarded.
Hitchens doesn't need to make sophisticated arguments or philosophical proofs. He just talks common sense and throws logic and philosophy to help his case.
If an 8 year old can read the bible or sit through a sermon and realize it's all utter bullshit , why can't a seriously intelligent man decide it on his own and tell others why it's all utter bullshit as well?
You don't need too much of a brain to decide these matters ... just a small bullshit detector and someone to tell you it's bullshit,. Something Religious people don't hear too often , nor are they allowed to use their bullshit detector when it comes to religious claims.
Oh my; the first thing I click on after joining this site prompts me to comment!
The article was a decent read, though I don’t share the author’s confusion and/or frustration. I think Hitchens’ is often subject to hyper criticism. We humans love our saints, standard bearers and figure heads. Atheists, as a whole, may be less inclined to hero-worship than our believing brothers but we’re certainly not immune to it. The in-built problem with having a living public figure seen (or accepted) as the (or one of the) mouthpieces for a movement (or mindset) is that eventually individualism will rear its head. One can almost not help feelings of disenchantment when the hero espouses opinions that don’t reflect their own, however slight the difference. Those feelings of disenchantment easy lead us to want to tear down, or apart, the spokesman to show the world that they don’t, in fact, speak for all of us.
Also, and probably more importantly, let us not forget Hitchens’ unique areas of experience that set him apart from the likes of Dawkins or Harris, who have a background in the sciences. Hitchens is a knight of language. He wields rhetoric deftly. With each of his statements – especially those that seem contradictory – we must take into consideration intended audience, actual audience, oppositional voice (literal or no) and intended impact…not to mention his particular frame of mind at any given moment. Bombastic and all inclusive language has its merits, persuasiveness not the least of these. But when we get into the details of any subject, we should all know that things are never as simple (black ‘n’ white) as they seem from a distance.
I detest religion but accept that many (if not most) members of our species seem to need it and won’t let go of it for any reason. A good short term goal is to get to a place where religions are not forced upon anyone else. I have grown to admit that, in some cases, religion does serve to “morally program” many who would otherwise make life exceedingly more uncomfortable for the rest of us.
I can't even read the full article; the very premise is sheer nonsense and the non-argument of, "Sometimes human's with sophisticated beliefs/ideas don't respond exactly the same every time!" makes me want to strangle the writer/speaker. He's not doing math, he's reacting to complex social situations and commenting on them.
Having claimed the right to ridicule does not mean he has the obligation to do so in all contexts. He treated a man respectfully because the man was respectful. Is it counter to his usual bent? In a way, yes. Should it really surprise anyone that an intelligent human being is fairly complicated (and may have spoken without thinking it through 100%)? Hell no.
And I think if someone goes back, has him read this and then explain what he meant, he will make more sense. Single sentences make for horribly distorted views. We all put our foot in our mouth at times!