Christopher Hitchens has a brother!? And (wait for it…) they often disagree about things. How they can handle discussing three different opinions (one from Peter and probably two from Christopher), I don’t know.
He gives a little background:
Christopher is an atheist. I am a believer. He once said in public: “The real difference between Peter and myself is the belief in the supernatural.
“I’m a materialist and he attributes his presence here to a divine plan. I can’t stand anyone who believes in God, who invokes the divinity or who is a person of faith.”
I don’t feel the same way. I like atheists and enjoy their company, because they agree with me that religion is important.
I liked and enjoyed this book, and recommend it to anybody who is interested in the subject. Like everything Christopher writes, it is often elegant, frequently witty and never stupid or boring.
I also think it is wrong, mostly in the way that it blames faith for so many bad things and gives it no credit for any of the good it may have done.
I think it misunderstands religious people and their aims and desires. And I think it asserts a number of things as true and obvious that are nothing of the sort.
After that, it quickly becomes apparent which brother has the brains in the family.
It is astonishing, in one so set against the idea of design or authority in the universe, how often he appeals to mysterious intuitions and “innate” knowledge of this kind, and uses religious language such as “awesome” – in awe of whom or what?
Or “mysterious”. What is the mystery, if all is explained by science, the telescope and the microscope? He even refers to “conscience” and makes frequent thunderous denunciations of various evil actions.
Where is his certain knowledge of what is right and wrong supposed to have come from?
Because without God, we’d all just be shooting up the streets and raping everyone we come across. We do have an innate set of morals, and we simply learn them from living within a society.
Two pages later, speaking for atheists in general, he announces: “Our belief is not a belief.”
To which one can only reply: “Really? And that thing in the middle of your face. I suppose that’s not a nose, either?”
And not collecting stamps is a hobby. And bald is a hair color.
Yet Christopher repeatedly asserts that believers “claim to know”, not just to know, but to know everything. This simply is not true. Nor do we take the Bible literally.
Ken Ham. Enough said.
There was one line I did like, though:
Much of his book is devoted to claiming that religious impulse drives Man to do, or excuse, or support wicked and terrible things in the name of goodness.
Is this not a perfect description of the Iraq War, which he backed?
The full article is here.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Hitchens, Daily Mail, God is Not Great, God, Bible, Ken Ham, Iraq War[/tags]