We End Up in the Same Spot

Atheists know this already, but it might not be as clear cut for a lot of Christians.

At least David Hayward understands the obvious:

Beyond the grave, though, our ideas diverge. David’s a Christian and he adds:

I know what happens after that is where the guns start firing. And, for the record, I don’t believe in the god that Christopher Hitchens doesn’t believe in either. I do wish him well.

This isn’t surprisingly to anyone, but for me, the road ends right there. For everybody. Anyone who thinks there’s any sort of life after that (besides the legacy and memories you leave behind) is just thinking wishfully.

And about that other line.

I’ve heard variants of it before. I never understand it when Christians say that.

Hitchens doesn’t believe in god, period.

It doesn’t matter how you want to dice that up. He certainly doesn’t believe in a god who answers prayers, who “speaks” to you, who has your life planned out, who brought you and your spouse together, who took a loved one away from you…

It’s nice that some Christians don’t believe in a dickish god. I know a lot of atheists make him out to be evil.

But New Atheists and Old Atheists alike don’t believe in a kind, benevolent god, either. And I don’t see Christians jumping to distance themselves from that guy.

(via nakedpastor)

  • Matto the Hun

    yeah, you’re absolutely right about that second line Hemant. I makes zero sense.

    And, for the record, I don’t believe in the god that Christopher Hitchens doesn’t believe in either.

    I think I get what he’s trying to say. That he doesn’t believe in big-old-meanie-god, but rather cuddly-wuddly-jebus-god… or something like that.

    But his statement as said means he doesn’t believe in any god. Since any god he can think of is a god Hitchens doesn’t believe in, there is no god left for David to believe in.

    That would be funny if he suddenly realized it and said “Oh shit… I don’t believe in god!”

    Well, I’d laugh.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Truth is a Pathless Land
    by J. Krishnamurti

  • Deiloh

    “I don’t believe in the god that Christopher Hitchens doesn’t believe in either.”

    This is a line I used to see between liberal Christian theists and Agnostic theists for proselytizing purposes. It is also used by Michael Dowd as part of his Thank God for Evolution lectures.

    First time I’ve seen it used in reference to an atheist…. I agree, it doesn’t make any sense.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    thanks for showing my cartoon. let me just interject a kind of apology for saying “I don’t believe in the god hitchens doesn’t believe in either”. i shouldn’t have said it that way. what i wanted to communicate was that i am more in agreement with hitchens than not. i am not always in agreement with the way he argues it. but i respect the man.

  • Scott Turner

    David Hayward likely is a heretic under any standard Christian theological analysis, fundamentalist or otherwise. Hayward asserts that he is Christian yet “doesn’t believe in the god that Christopher Hitchens doesn’t believe in either.” Can Hayward articulate an understanding of the Christian god that falls within any mainstream Christian theology, yet outside Hitchens’ broad and general atheism? If so, then I’d like to see it.

  • http://secularshawshank.wordpress.com Andy

    The afterlife—the gold standard of human wish-thinking.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    But New Atheists…

    Didn’t you get the memo? We now wish to be known as the gnu atheists.

  • Annie

    It’s nice that some Christians don’t believe in a dickish god. I know a lot of atheists make him out to be evil.

    I beg your pardon? It is the Old Testament that portrays Jahweh as an evil, vindictive, jealous god. All atheists are doing is pointing this out. Or we are pointing out that only an evil, dickish god could allow the evil to go on here.

    As for the naked pastor, I believe he thinks he’s holier than thou and moi.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    I knew a Baptist pastor who also used that line. It is typically used in reference to the Old Testament God in which it is easy to find fault (unless the stories are treated with a lot of spin). The pastor I knew was of the mind that if only the “good news” of Jesus could be communicated, then people could love and believe in that God.

    I find it actually more hard to believe in the “good news” Jesus-God than the Old Testament God. The Old Testament God just kills you (and maybe your kids, grand-kids, up to a few generations). Then He leaves well enough alone. Jesus, though, will torture you for eternity after you die unless you “accept him”. I can conceive of an Old Testament God much easier than a New Testament God.

    As an analogy, I will kill ants in my kitchen, but I wouldn’t consider torturing them for eternity (even if I could). I can’t conceive of an eternally torturing God. I can only conceive of a killing God. But I believe in neither.

    Of course if Christianity would drop its after-life clause, it would become a lot more conceivable (but still not believable at least for me).

  • http://sixblindmenuniverse.blogspot.com/ vininger (Erin)

    @Jeff P
    I love your Old Testament God vs. New Testament God discussion (and the ant analogy)! I feel the same way, but couldn’t have articulated it so well. :)

  • Ben

    Ummm…if I’m not mistaken, Christopher Hitchens is not so much an atheist but rather an “anti-theist.” He stated in a debate..I don’t remember with who…but said that he couldn’t say there was NOT a God, but that there had never been a convincing argument put forward that there WAS a God; that hadn’t been rebutted by a convincing argument. So, evidence without proof can be easily rejected. He states that he would hate it if it were true that there was a God. What Hitch says seem to be the safest ground to be on. And the position that is easiest to defend and to attack from.

  • Matto the Hun

    i shouldn’t have said it that way. what i wanted to communicate was that i am more in agreement with hitchens than not. i am not always in agreement with the way he argues it. but i respect the man.

    Thanks for piping in with the clarification.
    :)

  • Quester

    If you really want to know David Hayward’s theology, go to his site and search for “z theory #”. http://www.nakedpastor.com/?s=z+theory+%23 will hopefully lead you to it.

    I’d say it still falls within the category of “gods Hitchens does not believe in”, but reading what the Naked Pastor does believe might keep commenters here from having to guess.

  • Aaron

    Ecclesiastes 3:20

    All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.

    It’s not like they don’t know this. They just like to ignore it.

  • changingape

    I knew a Baptist pastor who also used that line. It is typically used in reference to the Old Testament God in which it is easy to find fault (unless the stories are treated with a lot of spin). The pastor I knew was of the mind that if only the “good news” of Jesus could be communicated, then people could love and believe in that God.

    The whole Old Testament vs. New Testament God argument makes absolutely no sense. With the exception of a few, smaller denominations, Jesus and the OT God are considered to be one and the same being. It’s the whole “in the beginning was the word…” thing. It’s also the source of the Trinity conundrum – nearly 2000 years of theologians trying to wrap their head around what is obviously nonsense.

    Among mainstream Christians, the OT’s reliability as a valid theological and historical document is never questioned, only its applicability with regard to Judaic law. One cannot question the OT’s reliability without calling into question the NT’s reliability. After all, the case for the latter is built entirely upon the validity of the former. Call any part of the OT into question and you call all of it into question. The consequence is that the divinity and messiahship of Jesus is immediatly called into question as well.

    To put it bluntly, when God commands his followers to commit what are obviously evil actions, like genocidal warfare and sexual slavery, it is really Jesus doing it. Even if Jesus is God turning over a new leaf, he is still guilty of his past actions. So much for an unchanging and eternally consistent god. So much for the Prince of Peace. Turns out, Jesus has much more in common with Hitler than Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Oops. I dropped the “H” bomb. I’ve done it now.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    And, for the record, I don’t believe in the god that Christopher Hitchens doesn’t believe in either.

    I don’t believe in any gods and neither does Hitchens. If someone also fails to believe in the same gods then they are an atheist.

    I think it is a common misunderstanding among Christians. Many seem incapable of appreciating that many people believe in a wide range of gods and many people don’t believe in any gods. It isn’t that we’ve developed some concept of the Christian deity, labelled it as something like Charlton Heston with a flowing white beard and super powers and then decided to reject that idea as silly. We just don’t believe in gods. The very concept of gods has been rejected and not just a straw man of their god.

  • GSW

    I am looking forward to my next life – I plan to be one of the crew on an intergalactic space ship – and while still in this life I can dream about what I would do if I won the lottery.

    Neither dream is likely to come true, but so what? As long as it does not interfere with getting on with one’s life, it is relatively harmless and pleasant ways to pass the time while crushed on the subway to work.

    But to actually believe that a god, who needs a few thousand people to point out to him that someone needs his help, is actually going to do anything, when he hasn’t before, is just OTT.

    Put your faith in medical science, it produces tangible results.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    I love your Old Testament God vs. New Testament God discussion…

    This whole concept of “the original book is fiction, but the sequel is true” is a bit nutty.

  • muggle

    As for the naked pastor, I believe he thinks he’s holier than thou and moi.

    Thank you, Annie. The more he’s quoted here, the more I get that same impression and I am starting to wonder why we’re continually subject to him. First couple of cartoons were amusing, I’m starting to want to barf on them.

    I’m also nonplussed at his wanting to align his beliefs with Hitchens. Seriously, wtf! It’s strange inside this man’s head. I don’t always find that a bad thing but this is just getting weirder and weirder and more and more out there. I believe in Jebus but I’m like this dude who doesn’t.

    And I think nothing irritates me more than the mean god was the gawd of the OT not the new. As if gawd had a rebirth or something and was born again in Christ. It smacks of anti-Semitism frankly. The God of Christians, cool; The God of Jews, icky.

  • p.s.

    Thank you, Annie. The more he’s quoted here, the more I get that same impression and I am starting to wonder why we’re continually subject to him. First couple of cartoons were amusing, I’m starting to want to barf on them.

    Well, lately there have been quite a few smbc cartoons up as well… It’s not like he’s posting *only* religious cartoons from naked pastor. And I like them! I don’t get the “holier than thou” vibe… he apologized for the awkward wording, and he seems like a reasonable, non-preachy guy.

    I’m also nonplussed at his wanting to align his beliefs with Hitchens. Seriously, wtf! It’s strange inside this man’s head. I don’t always find that a bad thing but this is just getting weirder and weirder and more and more out there. I believe in Jebus but I’m like this dude who doesn’t.

    well… yeah. isn’t that good? shouldn’t we recognize the fact that we’re all people, and can share morals/beliefs/goals outside of religion? Seems like a positive development in christianity to me.
    I don’t get all the bashing of people who yes, are religious, but treat other beliefs with respect and avoid unwanted proselytization.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Roger Ebert is using that drawing in his journal entry about Christopher Hitchens:
    Traveler to the undiscovere’d country
    By Roger Ebert on August 13, 2010 12:45 AM

  • Jeff

    @Jeff P: The Old Testament God just kills you (and maybe your kids, grand-kids, up to a few generations). Then He leaves well enough alone. Jesus, though, will torture you for eternity after you die unless you “accept him”.

    I’ve been saying this for years. The fact that Christians find the NT version of God – God 2.0 – more “loving” is mind-boggling to me. I suppose it shouldn’t be. Just another example of their cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.

    Of course, I don’t see his “loving” nature because I’m too deeply mired in sin.

  • Heidi

    I think he meant:

    i am more in agreement with hitchens than not. i am not always in agreement with the way he argues it. but i respect the man.

    You know, because that’s what he said he meant.

    Not really clear on how that relates to his original comment, but I’m willing to take his word for it.

  • muggle

    I don’t get all the bashing of people who yes, are religious, but treat other beliefs with respect and avoid unwanted proselytization.

    I don’t either. I think religious who are broad-minded deserve respect. Nakedpastor just ain’t striking me as one of those. He seems more of the some-of-my-best-friends-are type. YMMV. Just expressing my opinion and I happened to agree with Annie.

    Frankly, he’s just another one of those new-agedly trying too hard to be hip pastors as opposed to one who truly is. I greatly admire Rev. Lynn and part of his beauty is he isn’t trying to come on like the cool guy. People who try to act cool rarely are, I’ve notice. IMO. YMMV.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X