Preview: Richard Dawkins interviews Christopher Hitchens

December 13, 2011

"Never be afraid of stridency"
Richard Dawkins: One of my main beefs with religion is the way they label children as a "Catholic child" or a "Muslim child". I've become a bit of a bore about it.
Christopher Hitchens: You must never be afraid of that charge, any more than stridency.

Read more (New Statesman)

18 comments:

5ecular4umanist said...

I subscribe The Staggers news feed but I'm not a regular buyer of the New Statesman. This edition, though, is a _must_have_.

Anonymous said...

By chance, was this caught on video?

Anonymous said...

In the US, where could you get hold of this issue of the New Statesman?

Anonymous said...

"Catholic child" "Muslim child" Hey what's missing here? Did you spot the contradiction? These men cannot say "Jewish child" as one of the categories they want to do away with as too restrictive on the freedom of the mind. Why is that? Because (and here they say they are against totalitarianism) it would force them to assert that one category is okay and the other two aren't. Then they would have to say why that is true. Well, it is because apparently of prejudice, and not freedom-loving at all. If they wanted to abolish the category "Jewish child" they would be no better than centuries of assimilationists. Oh, well, they'd argue, it would be because the child was to be converted to one of the above two naughty categories. But that would force upon them a huge burden of proof. Many of the communist societies suppressed all religions. And isn't that actually a feature of totalitarianism itself?

George Eaton said...

You can buy single copies here (scroll down): http://www.newstatesman.com/subscribe

Francesco said...

^^ I think the reason Catholics and Muslims were used in the example is because they are two "largest" religious groups, wouldn't it be tedious to listen to them list every single religion known. Also, if you're assuming that neither Dawkins nor Hitchens are outspoken about Judaism, you'd be incorrect as they have both criticized it. But I'm not sure if that's what you meant.

Unknown said...

Exactly. There are vastly more Hindus & Buddhists, even Shinto & Taoists than there are Jews. Does not mentioning them also show a bias ?

Anonymous said...

One is born Jewish. It's a matter of parental lineage, not belief.

Wigwam said...

Anonymous: I think you've completely missed the point there!

Chris said...

Anonymous,

You have completely missed the point. They're not saying they want to do away with a specific religion (even if they did, it would be beside the point), they are indeed saying that a child can not choose a belief system. In the same way a child is not to be called a Marxist child. You can be a child of Jewish parents, but never a Jewish child. Richard Dawkins means this for every religion and belief system.

Anonymous said...

One day I hope God has mercy on anyone who feels the need to put their ignorant opinions on others! People wake up and realize NOONE has a clue what's on the other side. You need to except that there is a loving and forgiving God!

Anonymous said...

And YOU need to ACCEPT that there is NO god. And take your own advice and quit forcing your ignorant opinions on others.

Anonymous said...

right on! I forgot who said it - Dawkins or Hitchens - but one of them said something to the effect that we have gone from polytheism, to monolatry, to monotheism, so how long will it be before we go to atheism? My answer: when ignorance is gone. Oh, well. We are stuck in a rot. Que lastima!

Listening to Christopher speaking is always fascinating.

Reading arguments between "anonymous" and "anonymous" about why Christopher chose to say "Catholic child" or a "Muslim child" is a real drag. It makes my brain recoil.

So, I'm back to Hitch to soothe my aching neck.

Anonymous said...

The more powerful a religion, the more dangerous it is. Catholicism and Islam have been by far the most powerful religions. Think how many adherents they have, how tightly they hold on to those, how much they demonize non-adherents, how many heads of state belong to these religions, how many countries have these as their official and privileged religions, how many people they have killed over the centuries, how entitled they feel to oppress and evangelize.

And we should get worked up because Jews, Zoroastrians, Bahai, Scientologists, Unitarians, and Pastafarians failed to be mentioned? Silly.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what about the poor pastafarians? No one represents their interests. Clearly the other anonymouses don't understand the respect due to he of the meatball and noodle.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but we can't give carte blanche to Pastafarians. The mainstream press has failed to raise our consciousness about the religious oppression of the Pastafarian child, straijacketed in spaghetticatechism.

snow way said...

In his interview about his own impending death Hitch said something along the lines of:

"The world is full of discrepant religions all of which claim that to profess a belief in them, and them alone, is the only way to gain the after life."

Never were truer words spoken... it is a fact the world has many discrepant religions.

 
 
 

Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir