Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Christopher Hitchens: Godlessness Is Not Great How Atheism Poisons Everything
The New American ^ | Monday, 19 December 2011 | Selwyn Duke

Posted on 12/20/2011 9:15:48 AM PST by Paladins Prayer

In writing this piece, I’m reminded of a little exchange between the late William F. Buckley and friend and fellow National Review writer Florence King. Buckley had just penned some less-than-flattering words about a recently deceased person of prominence whose name escapes me, and King chided him, saying something to the effect that he had broken ground in journalism: the “attack-obit.” Buckley’s response was, “Wait till you see the obituary I have planned for you!”

And in writing this critical article about bon vivant Christopher Hitchens in the wake of his death this past Thursday, I expect some ridicule as well. Yet I don’t think Hitchens would demand to be spared the acidic ink he used to eviscerate others — or that he would have any credibility doing so. Remember that this was the man who, before the gentle Jerry Falwell’s body was even cold, said things such as “If he [Falwell] had been given an enema, he could have been buried in a matchbox” and “I wish there was a Hell for Falwell.”

For my part, I wouldn’t wish eternal damnation on Hitchens; I truly hope he rests in peace. But I can’t say the same for his legacy. And when I see the obligatory exaltation of his life’s work — with secular icons, the deader they get, the better they were — I think that legacy needs a little damnation.

(Excerpt) Read more at thenewamerican.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: atheism; death; gagdadbob; hitchens; onecosmosblog; religion
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 201-210 next last
To: 2banana

Non Sequitur.


41 posted on 12/20/2011 3:05:22 PM PST by Burkean Buckleyite
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: James C. Bennett

We don’t need to invent another religion.
We do need to show God our love, honor and respect
by abiding by His rules.

BTW, in the Bible, He declares that He not only knows our thoughts [even the exact number of hairs on ones head], He knows every thought, action, and mistake we’ll make over the whole course of our lives before living any of it. He, the Creator, knows the beginning from the end and every detail in between. He wrote the DNA codes. He forms the Earth and Universe out of nothing according to His purpose.

Yet, paradoxically, we have free will for our lives in most cases and most of the time [except in infancy, sickness etc]. The prayers are to help us, not God, to build our faith and live our lives from a more blessed, informed, and spiritual perspective.

Good deeds and rewards and all, as described in the Bible, is how we seek and find everything we need to know about God and mankind’s history.

imho & ymmv


42 posted on 12/20/2011 3:44:46 PM PST by BrandtMichaels
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: BrandtMichaels; A_perfect_lady
As I said earlier, a prayer is meaningless and futile when a believer has to accept his or her god is omniscient - such a god already knows your yearnings, your thoughts, your intentions and your wishes. As a believer, you ought to know this capability of your god. Since "both" parties accept the aforementioned truths, prayer becomes nullified in terms of purpose. If it is sentimental attachment and a habitual action, then prayer is nothing more than mere superstition.

That said, religions, if true, have to be capable of addressing every circumstance of human existence. What I mean by that is as follows: Salvation - are stillborn children automatically "saved"? If a human is cloned, just as we know mammals have been (Dolly the Sheep, for example), will this entity have a "soul"? How does your faith address such anomalies? A lapse in addressing exceptional circumstances will be the evidence for the non-universality of the said faith.

People believe many things:

  "Nay, and of hearts which follow other gods
In simple faith, their prayers arise to me,
O Kunti’s Son! though they pray wrongfully:
For I am the Receiver and the Lord
Of every sacrifice, which these know not."
 
- Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: IX, Lines: 92-96.

 

 The Bhagavad-Gita.
 
Chapter XII
 
 
ARJUNA:

LORD! of the men who serve Thee—true in heart—
As God revealed; and of the men who serve,
Worshipping Thee Unrevealed, Unbodied, far,
Which take the better way of faith and life?
 
KRISHNA:

Whoever serve Me—as I show Myself—
        5
Constantly true, in full devotion fixed,
These hold I very holy. But who serve—
Worshipping Me The One, The Invisible,
The Unrevealed, Unnamed, Unthinkable,
Uttermost, All-pervading, Highest, Sure—         10
Who thus adore Me, mastering their sense,
Of one set mind to all, glad in all good,
These blessed souls come unto Me.
        Yet, hard
The travail is for whoso bend their minds         15
To reach th’ Unmanifest. That viewless path
Shall scarce be trod by man bearing his flesh!
But whereso any doeth all his deeds,
Renouncing self in Me, full of Me, fixed
To serve only the Highest, night and day         20
Musing on Me—him will I swiftly lift
Forth from life’s ocean of distress and death
Whose soul clings fast to Me. Cling thou to Me!
Clasp Me with heart and mind! so shalt thou dwell
Surely with Me on high. But if thy thought         25
Droops from such height; if thou be’st weak to set
Body and soul upon Me constantly,
Despair not! give Me lower service! seek
To read Me, worshipping with steadfast will;
And, if thou canst not worship steadfastly,         30
Work for Me, toil in works pleasing to Me!
For he that laboreth right for love of Me
Shall finally attain! But, if in this
Thy faint heart fails, bring Me thy failure! find
Refuge in Me! let fruits of labor go,         35
Renouncing all for Me, with lowliest heart,
So shalt thou come; for, though to know is more
Than diligence, yet worship better is
Than knowing, and renouncing better still
Near to renunciation—very near—         40
Dwelleth Eternal Peace!
        Who hateth nought
Of all which lives, living himself benign,
Compassionate, from arrogance exempt,
Exempt from love of self, unchangeable         45
By good or ill; patient, contented, firm
In faith, mastering himself, true to his word,
Seeking Me, heart and soul; vowed unto Me,—
That man I love! Who troubleth not his kind,
And is not troubled by them; clear of wrath,         50
Living too high for gladness, grief, or fear,
That man I love! 

Who, dwelling quiet-eyed,
Stainless, serene, well-balanced, unperplexed,
Working with Me, yet from all works detached,
That man I love! 

Who, fixed in faith on Me,
        55
Dotes upon none, scorns none; rejoices not,
And grieves not, letting good and evil hap
Light when it will, and when it will depart,
That man I love! 

Who, unto friend and foe
Keeping an equal heart, with equal mind         60
Bears shame and glory, with an equal peace
Takes heat and cold, pleasure and pain; abides
Quit of desires, hears praise or calumny
In passionless restraint, unmoved by each,
Linked by no ties to earth, steadfast in Me,
        65
That man I love! 

But most of all I love
Those happy ones to whom ’tis life to live
In single fervid faith and love unseeing,
Eating the blessèd Amrit of my Being!
 
Here endeth Chapter XII. of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ,
        70
entitled “Bhakityôgô,” or “The Book of
the Religion of Faith”.


“Here shall no end be hindered, no hope marred
No loss be feared: faith—yea, a little faith
Shall save thee from the anguish of thy dread.”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: II, Lines 140-142.
 
ARJUNA:

“And what road goeth he who, having faith,
Fails, Krishna! in the striving; falling back
From holiness, missing the perfect rule?
Is he not lost, straying from Brahma’s light,
Like the vain cloud, which floats ’twixt earth and Heaven
When lightning splits it, and it vanisheth?
Fain would I hear thee answer me herein,
Since, Krishna! none save thou can clear the doubt.”
 
KRISHNA:

“He is not lost, thou Son of Prithâ! No!
Nor earth, nor heaven is forfeit, even for him,
Because no heart that holds one right desire
Treadeth the road of loss! He who should fail,
Desiring righteousness, cometh at death
Unto the Region of the Just.”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: VI, Lines 125-138.
 
  “Of many thousand mortals, one, perchance,
Striveth for Truth; and of those few that strive—
Nay, and rise high—one only—here and there—
Knoweth Me, as I am, the very Truth.”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: VII, Lines 8-11.
 
  “There be those, too, whose knowledge, turned aside
By this desire or that, gives them to serve
Some lower gods, with various rites, constrained
By that which mouldeth them. Unto all such—
Worship what shrine they will, what shapes, in faith—
’Tis I who give them faith! I am content!
The heart thus asking favor from its God,
Darkened but ardent, hath the end it craves,
The lesser blessing—but ’tis I who give!
Yet soon is withered what small fruit they reap
Those men of little minds, who worship so,
Go where they worship, passing with their gods.
But Mine come unto me! Blind are the eyes
Which deem th’ Unmanifested manifest,
Not comprehending Me in my true Self!
Imperishable, viewless, undeclared,
Hidden behind my magic veil of shows,
I am not seen by all; I am not known—
Unborn and changeless—to the idle world.
But I, Arjuna! know all things which were,
And all which are, and all which are to be,
Albeit not one among them knoweth Me!”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: VII, Lines 69-90.
 
  “Nay, and of hearts which follow other gods
In simple faith, their prayers arise to me,
O Kunti’s Son! though they pray wrongfully:
For I am the Receiver and the Lord
Of every sacrifice, which these know not
Rightfully; so they fall to earth again!”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: IX, Lines 92-97.
 
 
“Yet not by the Vedas, nor from sacrifice,
Nor penance, nor gift-giving, nor with prayer
Shall any so behold, as thou hast seen!
Only by fullest service, perfect faith,
And uttermost surrender am I known
And seen, and entered into, Indian Prince!
Who doeth all for Me; who findeth Me
In all; adoreth always; loveth all
Which I have made, and Me, for Love’s sole end,
That man, Arjuna! unto Me doth wend.”
 
-          Bhagavad-Gita, Ch: XI, Lines 332-344.
 


43 posted on 12/20/2011 3:55:17 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: D-fendr
"Transcending logic" is a nonsensical phrase. It means "logic doesn't give me the answer I wanted, so..."

And before you even bother engaging with me, be warned: I don't care what Aquinas said. I don't care what Kant said. I don't care what Pascal said. I don't care what C.S. Lewis said. I don't care what any dead philosopher, saint, poet, or jesuit said. What I see and what I think are IT. You can tell me what you see and what you think but it won't matter to me.

44 posted on 12/20/2011 4:36:32 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: elcid1970
The god that says “kill the infidels” is not the G-d of Creation but a different and dark being not of a divine nature and a false deity the belief in which only leads astray.

But How do you know that?

Give one objective reason why "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger" is wrong.

There has to be some independent moral principle.

And cultures across the planet, worshiping many gods, have independently come up with something close to "Do not do to your neighbour what you would find hateful done to you."

45 posted on 12/20/2011 4:44:01 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (New gets old. Steampunk is always cool)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Oztrich Boy

1 Samuel 15:3, for instance. How is this “moral”?


46 posted on 12/20/2011 4:53:43 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Paladins Prayer
The author makes the point that Hitchens wasn't really an intellectual. He just played one on TV.

Hard to say. I wonder about that myself: was Hitchens much of a thinker or wasn't he?

It's hard to know just how seriously to take the political and book chat he produced.

Maybe Hitchens wasn't an original or real thinker, but he managed to be a little more thoughtful about some things than other opinionizers.

Fortunately, one can call him a "man of letters" and leave it at that.

47 posted on 12/20/2011 4:54:49 PM PST by x
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Burkean Buckleyite; Notary Sojac

I believe Pascal’s logic is a legitimate argument against atheism. My hope is that it would make an atheist reconsider his or her beliefs.

I believe God is aware of those who seek Him and those He wants added to His kingdom will find Him.


48 posted on 12/20/2011 5:01:25 PM PST by killermosquito (Buffalo, Detroit (and eventually France) is what you get when liberalism runs its course.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady
What I see and what I think are IT. You can tell me what you see and what you think but it won't matter to me.

So why not take your logic ball and go home?

49 posted on 12/20/2011 5:06:08 PM PST by jwalsh07
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: jwalsh07

I’m just being honest.


50 posted on 12/20/2011 5:51:43 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady

So am I. What is the point of interacting on this thread given your statement? Other than the logic snark of course.


51 posted on 12/20/2011 5:55:48 PM PST by jwalsh07
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

To: jwalsh07

I came on this thread to have a couple exchanges with other atheists. A believer addressed me and I was polite enough to answer.


52 posted on 12/20/2011 5:58:52 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady
It means "logic doesn't give me the answer I wanted, so..."

Only to a poorly taught logician or philosopher. A properly taught logician knows the limits of logic and what can and cannot be known using the tool.

Even a minimally taught logician knows that the statement: "All that can be known to be true or real can be proven using logic" is a false statement. Because it cannot be proven using logic.

No human being, yourself included, limits what they know or can know to what they know using logic alone. Only computers and droids could possibly do so, but not us lowly humans.

What I see and what I think are IT. You can tell me what you see and what you think but it won't matter to me.

This the statement of a pure subjectivist, relativist. There's no room here for objective truth, logical or otherwise. And, therefore, no common truth possible and therefore no basis for discussion on what is "true." It's not all that different from the position of those religionists which you denigrated earlier.    :)

But I do sincerely appreciate your time in reply.

53 posted on 12/20/2011 6:35:40 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: elcid1970

>> Those who describe themselves as atheists really do seem to believe that atheism grows out of one’s own superior intellectuality.

More like brain rot.


54 posted on 12/20/2011 6:38:13 PM PST by Gene Eric (Save a pretzel for the gas jets.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: James C. Bennett

Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket. Take scriptures out of context and pretend that you are the one who understands all things and pass your own puny little judgements on whatever verses you have not taken any time to understand. I’m sure being that type of a critic will win you many points in your debate with God - not...


55 posted on 12/20/2011 6:38:38 PM PST by BrandtMichaels
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady

>> You can tell me what you see and what you think but it won’t matter to me.

Apparently it does.


56 posted on 12/20/2011 6:41:14 PM PST by Gene Eric (Save a pretzel for the gas jets.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: BrandtMichaels; Notary Sojac

Whatever context is “missing”, feel free to fill in.

Or don’t.

Whatever you want to do to massage your ego, as you did with your other comments.


57 posted on 12/20/2011 7:07:00 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]

To: relictele
No. DNA, physics, chemistry, etc. are mere accidents.

Or we're told (as I saw on one of the Discovery channels a few weeks ago) that if not mere chance, then the naturalistic origin of life can be explained by "mysterious chemical reactions". Funny though, that scientists don't have an explanation for these mysterious chemical reactions.

So we end up with one of two scientific theories; either the 'theory of chance' or the 'theory of we can't explain it'. I guess Mr. Hawking should have included these in his 'theory of everything'.

58 posted on 12/20/2011 7:10:49 PM PST by mtg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Oztrich Boy

“Give one objective reason why “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger” is wrong.”

I’m glad you asked for an objective reason although you would like an independent moral principle as well. Since I’m not an intellectual (thank G-d) I can’t deliver on the latter.

But I do in fact have no other basis to rely upon other than objective reality. And that reality is fourteen centuries of Islamic conquest, slaughter, and oppression in the name of their god Allah. That reality is the Middle East in which even under centuries of Islamic rule there existed substantial Jewish and Christian minorities. Well, the Jews are long gone from anyplace in the ME except Israel, and the Christians are being burned out of their churches, their women raped, their property stolen, and their ancient communities in place long before the rise of Islam are being progressively exterminated. Those are the horrible facts in Egypt, in Iraq (our fault!) and in Pakistan. The vids are there, check them out.

It is the height of Muslim arrogance to demand acceptance of their claim that they worship the same Deity as worshipped by Jews and Christians. This is but another form of hijacking at which Muslim terrorists have proven extremely effective.

Bottom line, Islam kills in the name of Allah and his “messenger”. It kills and kills and kills. That’s objective reality, measured in millions of corpses.

BTW, do you believe in G-d? It matters not to me personally whether you do or not, but it might affect the logical quality of your response.


59 posted on 12/20/2011 7:33:23 PM PST by elcid1970 ("Deport all Muslims. Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: D-fendr

Logic has given me all the answers I require. Religion is for people with unanswered questions. I don’t have any.


60 posted on 12/20/2011 9:26:17 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 53 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 201-210 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson