Sample clip of my debate with an
atheist on the issue of morality.
Find the whole debate at this link
Christopher Hitchens - Night at the Royal Ontario Museum
True Freethinker has posted much on Christopher Hitchens and focused on his theological misconceptions. Now, another piece of the Hitchensian puzzle falls into place as he lectured at the Royal Ontario Museum on the question of the Decalogue – the Ten Commandments. Christopher Hitchens’ is an adherent of the atheism as anti-theism sect of atheist activism. This amounts to 95-99% anti-Christian / anti-Jewish and 1-5% anti-miscellaneous.
During his Royal Ontario Museum lecture on God’s Ten Commandments Christopher Hitchens
…made it clear from the outset of his talk that at an early age he began to question the teachings of the Church of England, the faith he was brought up in.
“I hated thinking of myself as a member of a flock. I didn’t like to think of myself as a sheep, and some shepherds like sheep far too much.”1
Clearly, as is common to many atheists, Christopher Hitchens felt that natural youthful tinge of rebellion and committed the ultimate rebellion, the very same rebellion which the New Atheist Movement is now encouraging in all youth: rebellion against God (sadly, many confuse rightful rebellion against “religion” with rebellion against God).
Consider these given reasons for rejecting God: “I hated thinking of myself as a member of a flock”—this is not a logical, scientific or evidence based reason but merely emotive. “I didn’t like to think of myself as a sheep”—this is not a logical, scientific or evidence based reason but merely emotive. “and some shepherds like sheep far too much”—this is not a logical, scientific or evidence based reason but rightly emotive.
Yet, Christopher Hitchens has fulfilled the sentiments expressed by Bob Dylan when he sang:
…you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You're gonna have to serve somebody, Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you're gonna have to serve somebody
While Christopher Hitchens hated thinking of himself as a member of a flock—God’s flock—and he did not like to think of himself as a sheep—in God’s flock—he has become a member of a flock and a sheep as he is lead about by his various shepherds such as intoxicants his (known) chosen ones being alcohol and nicotine.
Consider his many appearances in various states inebriation and sporting nicotine stained teeth:
In fact, during his Royal Ontario Museum lecture on the Bible’s Ten Commandments he “mumbled through much of his talk.” This, of course, is not to be mocked but rather, lamented. The point being that Christopher Hitchens is a sheep who serves various shepherds (who are not shepherds at all).
The Royal Ontario Museum lectures pertain to the question of the Ten Commandments and considers what three new commandments the lecturers would add to the list of the Ten Commandments. The list of lecturers is as follows (I believe that this is the full list): Christopher Hitchens: atheist, professional expresser of prejudice against straw-men and author of God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Camille Paglia: atheist, pro-abortion, libertarian Democrat. Charles Lewis: journalist and “religion reporter.” A.J. Jacobs: editor at large for Esquire magazine. Here is an interesting chap; he published a book entitled “The Year of Living Biblically.” He is an agnostic who set out to live according to biblical precepts for a year (this included growing a massive beard—my kind'a guy!). Some of the results are very interesting:
His biggest challenges? “That’d be no coveting, no lying, no gossiping. They’re little sins, but they’re killers. My year made me realize just how many of these sins I committed every day. And refraining from them for a year was really hard but completely transforming.” Biggest lesson? “Your behavior shapes your beliefs. If you act like a good person, you eventually become a better person. I wasn’t allowed to gossip, so eventually I started to have fewer petty thoughts to gossip about. I had to help the less fortunate, so I started to become less self-absorbed. I am not Gandhi or Angelina Jolie, but I made some progress.”2
During his lecture portion of the Royal Ontario Museum lectures, Christopher Hitchens stated that the Ten Commandments “emerged from Old Testament books that actually promote slavery, child abuse and the treatment of women as chattel.” Even if we grant his sentiments, which we ought not do, clearly this is a logical fallacy known as the ad hominem or genetic fallacy: he is not, at least at this point, attacking the argument—God’s Ten Commandments—but is attacking the source of the argument. As to the charge of biblical promotion of slavery it is interesting that atheist activists are so anti-Jewish that they do not condemn Egyptian slavery. No, let’s just get back to condemning Jews! Slavery in Egypt and “slavery” Israel are about as similar as Kunta Kinte and Jeeves. Child abuse and women as chattel are simply emotive and baseless charges.
Christopher Hitchens further,
posed two questions for his mainly like-minded audience: Did one God create mankind or did many men create many gods?
This is a false dichotomy since God created mankind AND men create many false gods.
Mr. Hitchens conceded that the prohibitions against murder, theft, stealing and bearing false witness make sense but did not need to be divinely inspired to be innately understood by mankind. He said if that was not the case, the Jews walking through the desert for 40 years, before arriving at Mt. Sinai where Moses received the tablets, would have all wiped each other out because at that point no god had told them not to kill.
This was part of the issue that we dealt with in consider his voluptuous theological misconceptions. Succinctly stated, he is not considering the context which is that the Jews had just been liberated from four centuries of slavery. He is not considering that the Jews had been institutionalized and that now God was literally building up a nation from the ground up. It was not that no one knew that murder was wrong until them (although atheists can only make personal preference based statements about murder) but that as the nation was established, so were its laws. Would we besmirch the new Iraqi government for stating in their new constitution that murder is illegal? Do they not know that? Then why state it?
Lastly, note that Christopher Hitchens stated the following in considering the list of the Ten Commandments:
The tenth commandment is unique; no specific action condemned. Instead we have the first recorded incident of thought crime. You can’t do it and you can’t think of it. It’s totalitarian. Because it convicts you from what’s in your head. It crushes the spirit.
For now let us note that he offers no justification for condemning the thought crime, totalitarianism or crushing of the spirit—this is just to make a point that, as per usual, he merely makes assertions in the form of arguments from outrage and arguments for embarrassment (for elucidation see On the Life of Our Thoughts). The tenth commandment states,
You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
Christopher Hitchens seems to fail to notice that thoughts lead to actions. Thus, the sentiment is that you should not entertain a deleterious thought until it actually becomes a deleterious action. People do not suddenly trip on a crack in the sidewalk and find themselves committing adultery rather, they covet their neighbor’s wife, they conceive of the thought, they entertain the thought, they make plans to carry out the action, etc. until the thought gives birth to an action. What is better: fighting a city fire, putting out the little match that started the whole thing, or no lighting the match in the first place?
Christopher Hitchens is sadly exemplary of many atheists: at a very young age he became naturally rebellious, rebelled against God and accepted one of atheism’s consoling delusions: the delusion of absolute autonomy. On this point, he, his knowledge of theology, and his demeanor have not developed beyond a child’s level.
It may be republished in part or in its entirety on websites, blogs, or any
print media for whatever purpose (in agreement or in order to criticize it) only as
long as the following conditions are met: