Hitchens, apparently, is bleeding insane

PZ Myers reports on his experiences at the Freedom From Religion Convention, including a lengthy description of Christopher Hitchens’s talk, where Hitchens apparently goes of the deep end and gives full rein to his revenge fantasies against Muslims.

Great. With Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, we get two prominent and articulate spokespeople for godlessness who responded to 9/11 with bigotry against Muslims. Hell, that’s half the public face of atheism in English-speaking circles, these days. Both seem incapable of distinguishing between fanatics and ordinary boring Muslims, both like to whip up quasi-nationalist panic under the name of Enlightenment values, and both make pronouncements with the invincible confidence born of ignorance of what they so readily demonize.

It’s hard to avoid the thought that Harris and Hitchens endorse the kind of violence implict in a war against Islam. This is, it seems, a war they would really like, though they do their cheerleading under the guise of asking us to wake up to a war that Muslims have already started. I wonder how they get away with this, especially since an important element of their polemic against religion is the charge that faith is irredemeably mixed up with violence.

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About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13562135000111792590 RBH

    It’s hard to avoid the thought that Harris and Hitchens endorse the kind of violence implict in a war against Islam.

    Particularly when, as PZ reports, Hitchens explicitly and enthusiastically endorses it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01010178962574928062 Ian

    Thank you for saying that. That is exactly why I find so much of what Hitchens and Harris say distasteful.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09565179884099473943 Hallq
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07740816003291428890 toomanytribbles

    i haven’t read the other two reports — i will now. but i was surprised at how the comments were keen to criticize without having heard hitchens’ talk first.

    is it anywhere to be found?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    At least part of Hitchens’ talk is on YouTube:


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10099905896896905176 GOP Mammal

    Sadly war may be the only solution, Iran cannot be allowed to have nukes. Hitchens and Harris are saying what needs to be said. If we don’t fight the terrorists, they will not leave us alone. Iran is a terrorist state dedicated to spreading radical Islam, they are already aiding terrorists to kill Coalition soldiers in Iraq.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10212226607537999506 Brent

    While Hitchens goes off the deep end with his war rhetoric, I don’t think Sam Harris goes anywhere near that far. I’ve seen Harris criticize how the Koran can support the ideas of extremists, but I don’t recall him pushing for war/violence against Islam or condemning all Muslims as evil. Hitchens and Harris sound very different to me on this subject. Can Sam’s words be found on the internet somewhere that make him sound more like Hitchens that I’m not aware of?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    The most thoughtful Iran strategy I’ve read recently is from Matt McIntosh, which I summarized here in March of 2006, though I don’t like the nuclear suggestion as the stick.

    I’ve seen some recent reporting suggesting that evidence that Iran is close to nuclear weaponry is exaggerated, and it’s also the case that their nuclear program is distributed across multiple sites that would not be easily taken out with bombing like the Israeli destruction of the Iraqi Osirak reactor in 1981.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    Here’s an interesting take on Israel bombing Syria’s nuclear reactor last month and what the lack of condemnation from other countries (except North Korea and Syria) might mean about Iran.

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