Lost in Translation

February 5, 2011

Free Inquiry, Feb/March 2011
By Christopher Hitchens

"One of the pleasures of trying to keep up with the twists and turns of the religious worldview is noticing the convolutions that this view keeps inflicting upon itself. Last November brought news of two small but significant developments of this kind, both tending to vindicate the essential atheist or materialist contention that religion is man-made."

Read More http://secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=hitchens_lost

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

holy snore.... it'd be only slightly more instructive for the discourse of our times if the atheist camp elaborated its own worldview instead of panning for inconsistencies in religious bullshit like some overzealous walmart manager. you're not going to modify the views of the already committed (which, if this is your express purpose makes you no better than doorbanging jev witnesses).

this sort of poobah grandstanding worn thin is void of any content of the ages. better you dig deeper mr. hitchens, dig deeper...

. said...

to Anonymous who's feeling bored: the time you sacrificed to write your words of wisdom must have meant missing a reality show.

Anonymous said...

nice try, pinhead (you choose your monikers well, don't you?)...

stick to boxing with your fellow featherweights before you start something i will tidily finish.

Anonymous said...

It's not a very difficult worldview to elaborate. Hitchens does it all the time: We are mammalian creatures sprung into existence by forces we only dimly understand. What we do understand about these forces definitively excludes efforts to bring us into existence by some anthropomorphic, yet supernatural and all powerful, "other" who is alleged to have cared very deeply about the conduct of our ancestors in the deserts of Arabia and Mesopotamia. Less definitively, the very existence of this "other" is likewise precluded. The more iroinic among us are content to take that much on faith since even if this preposterous "other" did exist, it could not affect us.

Brendan James said...

It's funny (and encouraging?) that many of the posts on this site see their first comments from Hitchens-haters. At the very least they make sure to throw in, every time.

Anonymous said...

re: anonymous the second, thanks for the coles notes. i think posters around here get the taciturn basics.

re: Brendan, sorry to bust your convenient little theory, but I'm a fan. A fan with benefits. Meaning, I don't swallow everything the author writes unreservedly in some sort of bizarre prep school ritual, nor do I consider him above being called out for publishing a spot of tedium. As Blake said, 'opposition is true friendship.'

A word to the wise. This little atheist/skeptics club would do best to prepare itself to debate not just the religious foot soldier who makes for easy prey, but the much less-easily dispatched conscientious empiricist.

While your best and brightest are still out sandwich-boarding a dualistic rationality that hard core physics deconstructed almost a century ago, the times have moved on to demo to the brave new thinker just how untenable the atheist worldview really is, not least for its arrogant, human-centric tautology given staging in a stadium of inert and entropic garbage.

Meaning, understanding, and intelligence are not brain-events unique to the upright boor. The atheistic rap sheet, canvassing for the existence of nothing but chance and fitness determinism, is just as absurd as literal-lites who posit zoroastrian idols and low-tech patrilineal equity controls.

Dialogue worth having is the kind that's robust enough to consider points au contraire without wingeing after loss of agreement. Or perhaps you really do prefer snorting lines the pish sycophants gleefully massage into text and leave for your dull, confirmatory pleasure.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous above

Wait a minute ... fan with "benefits", but you don't swallow it all. Gobbling the knob is fine. Losing a drop or two is a detail we don't need to know about. However, next time, if want an easier ingestion then all you need to say for example is, "I'm a fan, but as Blake said, "'opposition is true friendship.'"

george said...

Some of us just like readable prose.

Anonymous said...

re: anonymous the second: i will take your editorial under advisement, amused by the obvious relish with which you tugged at a penny to get copper wire and some smut talk out of your system! but then collapsing the richness of metaphor into two-dimensional comic strips is something the materialist mind does well.

re: george: ah... the reader reader's digest was made for. heaven.

Anonymous said...

Roger roger.

Not Impressed said...

@ Anonymous

STFU, you pompous, self-important twit.

iain said...

Yes, of course religion is man made; so is art, science, astronomy, physics, geology, medicine, chemistry, poetry, industry, literature and publishing, fishing, hunting and fine dining! Name one of those which is not prone to changes and development.

The question is, why in every age which history or archeology shows to us, is a religious feeling of some sort, present? Even Darwinian reasoning, which is crudeness taken to the utmost - random, chaotic mutations lead to hugely sophisticated equipment - supports a biological root.

If even Einstein subscribed to a Cosmic intelligence, it shows that from the crude and savage forms to his own, this belief has survived every age in which man has existed, and, in its pure form, has not hindered progressive thought. Some of the most creative and progressive minds in history have been religious, often completely independent of the institutionalised religion of the time.

If it is man made, so what? So is everything which human beings have created, to satisfy their inner selves!

Anonymous said...

re: Not Impressed (NI)

ooooh. a withering evaluation from a knight who says NI! (you dimwits really do make this more than a touch too easy for sport)

as it happens, i completely dig that my erudite self-confidence and uncommon counter-view rankles you. not only does the hatred of the knights who say NI gratify, its great for the complexion...

Anonymous said...

re: iain

thank you for adding to the counter-view! measured, savvy and beautifully put!

iain said...

Thanks. Where would man be without a good argument?

Anonymous said...

Where would man be be without an good arguement? We'd be blogless on the internet. Arguing shows how much we really don't like each other's difference of opinions. We don't even respect each other for having a different point of view.

 
 
 

Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir