• Borgar

    “He courted the label “contrarian”, but if the word is to have any muscle, it surely must imply the expression of dangerous opinions. Hitchens never wrote anything truly discommoding to respectable opinion and if he had he would never have enjoyed so long a billet at Vanity Fair. Attacking God? The big battles on that issue were fought one, two, even five hundred years ago when they burned Giordano Bruno at the stake in the Campo de’ Fiore. A contrarian these days would be someone who staunchly argued for the existence of a Supreme Being.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/16/farewell-to-c-h/

    “There was little room for good-faith disagreement or loyal opposition. His enemies were not just wrong, they were stupid or mean or small-minded or liars or cheats or children or cowards. It was thrilling and gratifying to see that articulate viciousness deployed against the Clinton cartel, or Mother Teresa, or Henry Kissinger—against power and pretense. To see it deployed in favor of war, on behalf of a dullard and scion, against the hysterical mother of a dead son was nauseating.”

    http://gawker.com/5868761/christopher-hitchens-unforgivable-mistake

    “The irony could not be more perfect: the god that the vindictive but witty Mr. Hitchens made a career scoffing at turns out to be…vindictive but witty. But I will leave the last word to a close buddy of Hitchens’ who is himself a true believer. When Saddam Hussein was executed, Tony Blair remarked: “I do not believe in capital punishment, but I think the world is a better place without him.” When I heard that Hitchens was dead, I took a deep breath. The air felt cleaner, as if after a 40-day and 40-night downpour.

    I get no satisfaction from Hitchens’s passing. Although he was the last to know it, every death is a tragedy, if only for the bereft child—or, as in the case of Cindy Sheehan, bereft parent—left behind. But, still, life is full of surprises. No one should be too smug in his certitudes. And if you’ve made a career of pissing on other people’s mostly innocuous beliefs, should it surprise that outside the tiny tent called Vanity Fair, your memory stinks of urine?”

    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/a-brief-comment-on-the-passing-of-christopher-hitchens/

    • Eric_D_Read

      1. Although arguing against religion is not truly a dangerous opinion, that does not mean arguing for it is. In reality it is the equivalent to that of a teenager advocating continuing to wear diapers and drink from a baby bottle and thinking that is a dangerous opinion.

      2-3. No argument here.

    • chubby

      love norman, one of very few intelligent types who know that history is malleable for the powers that be…

  • Anonymous

    “He courted the label “contrarian”, but if the word is to have any muscle, it surely must imply the expression of dangerous opinions. Hitchens never wrote anything truly discommoding to respectable opinion and if he had he would never have enjoyed so long a billet at Vanity Fair. Attacking God? The big battles on that issue were fought one, two, even five hundred years ago when they burned Giordano Bruno at the stake in the Campo de’ Fiore. A contrarian these days would be someone who staunchly argued for the existence of a Supreme Being.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/16/farewell-to-c-h/

    “There was little room for good-faith disagreement or loyal opposition. His enemies were not just wrong, they were stupid or mean or small-minded or liars or cheats or children or cowards. It was thrilling and gratifying to see that articulate viciousness deployed against the Clinton cartel, or Mother Teresa, or Henry Kissinger—against power and pretense. To see it deployed in favor of war, on behalf of a dullard and scion, against the hysterical mother of a dead son was nauseating.”

    http://gawker.com/5868761/christopher-hitchens-unforgivable-mistake

    “The irony could not be more perfect: the god that the vindictive but witty Mr. Hitchens made a career scoffing at turns out to be…vindictive but witty. But I will leave the last word to a close buddy of Hitchens’ who is himself a true believer. When Saddam Hussein was executed, Tony Blair remarked: “I do not believe in capital punishment, but I think the world is a better place without him.” When I heard that Hitchens was dead, I took a deep breath. The air felt cleaner, as if after a 40-day and 40-night downpour.

    I get no satisfaction from Hitchens’s passing. Although he was the last to know it, every death is a tragedy, if only for the bereft child—or, as in the case of Cindy Sheehan, bereft parent—left behind. But, still, life is full of surprises. No one should be too smug in his certitudes. And if you’ve made a career of pissing on other people’s mostly innocuous beliefs, should it surprise that outside the tiny tent called Vanity Fair, your memory stinks of urine?”

    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/a-brief-comment-on-the-passing-of-christopher-hitchens/

  • A Christian

    Sad waste of a life.  Ironic that he spent so much time thinking and discussing something that he believed to be a waste of time.  History will forget Hitchens, but in the mean time he will be remembered as that guy that didn’t like God.  Your answer to the title of this post is…Hitchens lost, but I don’t believe God considers it a victory.

    • BuzzCoastin

      > I don’t believe God considers it a victory

      as a Bible believing Christian you surely understand
      that God predestined Hitchens’ disaffection
      so He would have to consider it a victory
      and happy to consign him to hell

      the whole Bible is the story of election
      God choose some and not others
      and then He had His Son killed
      because only His Son’s shed blood would satisfy His extreme anger
      and save those He choose before the foundation of the world 

      interesting religion

      • A Christian

        As a Bible believing Christian I surely understand that mankind was given freewill and has chosen to defy God with it.  The election comes in the saving of a portion of those.  You insinuate such authority over the Bible!?  You seem to miss the passages that discuss that God takes no pleasure in punishments, or are you perhaps quote mining?  I have two kids and don’t take pleasure in punishing them when they have need of it.  It is not that hard of a concept to grasp if you approach it fairly. 

        • BuzzCoastin

          obviously you’re not of the predestination faction of Christianity
          the Bible can support both positions
          free will and predestination

          Calvinists thinks Hitchens was predestined to hell
          just as God choose the Jews over all other peoples
          Luther on the other hand
          used the same Bible to support his ideas about free will

          in fact, you can use the Bible to support almost any position you’d like
          except maybe homosexuality
          even then its not entirely clear that David and Jonathan weren’t lovers

          • A Christian

            I was specifically referring to the Calvinist belief of predestination, which refers to the elect.  I would recommend reviewing the specific passages they use to arrive at that view, your a smart guy I’m sure you’ll figure it out if you bother to look into it. 

            Thanks for the misguided and fractional attempt at informing me about the subtle nuances of Ecclesiastical history, but I’ll manage. 

            Certainly the variants in the exegesis seem confusing at a glance, but a proper study of the history and examination of motives, politics and influences from contemporary sources throughout Christianity leave very little room for variance except for minor details.  Those details that remain are mostly irreconcilable due to the fact that they are not an issue in which the Bible really cares to give exposition.  Which means we are missing the point to delve into them.  Have a good one. 

          • BuzzCoastin

            John Calvin had Michael Servetus
            burned at the stake for believing like you
            i’m sure you can figure it out too

          • A Christian

            Wrong again, Servetus was actually burned at the stake by the Catholic Church after being delivered by the French inquisition authorities and it was over a matter of his denial of the trinity.  Good try though…hey I DID figure it out.

          • BuzzCoastin

            On his way to Italy, Servetus stopped in Geneva for unknown reasons and attended one of Calvin’s sermons in St Pierre.

            Calvin had him arrested, and Calvin’s secretary Nicholas de la Fontaine composed a list of accusations that was submitted before the court in Geneva.

            On 20 October the replies from Zurich, Basel, Bern, and Schaffhausen were read and the council condemned Servetus as a heretic.
            The following day he was sentenced to burning at the stake, the same sentence as in Vienne.

            Calvin and other ministers asked that he be beheaded instead of burnt.  This plea was refused and on 27 October, Servetus was burnt alive—atop a pyre of his own books—at the Plateau of Champel at the edge of Geneva.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calvin#Michael_Servetus_.281553.29

            Servetus died for your sins

          • Eric_D_Read

            Check and Mate. Well played.

          • A Christian

            You could have just posted the wiki link rather than typing what you just read there.  Before running after that red herring, you agree then (as per wikipedia) that he was killed for his stance on the Trinity, not predestination.  Glad we settled that.

        • Calypso_1

          Not taking pleasure in punishment?  hmmm, I’m begining to see the root of your problem.  How was your relationship with your father?

          • A Christian

            Are you saying that you enjoy punishing your children?  Maybe the relationship with your father is more relevant.

          • Calypso_1

            ‘This hurts me more than it hurts you’ – have you ever uttered those words as your child danced to the impacts of your chosen implement –  Such an amusing little game.  The truth is that pleasure and pain for giver and receiver are not mutually exclusive and that the boundaries of such amongst consenting adults are something that can be explored extensively.  An adult who is unable to admit that there is satisfaction in disciplining a child is out of touch with both the goals and the boundaries guarding the exercising of disciplinary acts.  Without acknowledgement of the full range of emotional dynamics of exerting will and force upon another one can easily become an instrument of anger or self-directed guilt; both of these impair the original intent of the disciplinarian which is to instruct the child or deliver punitive consequence.
            As to corporal punishment for children the vast majority of studies show that it is one of the least effective methods of discipline for children.  I however feel that when applied with wisdom it has its place – especially to instill a visceral reaction to physical harm in a child who is too young to understand the degree of consequence of their actions such as running in front of a car or sticking objects in a power outlet. 
            Yes I derive pleasure from discipline and punishment because it is a craft that exerts itself subtly and artfully in many ways before ever reaching any level of direct conflict.  It requires you to know the other and not the rule.  It is the difference between discipleship and rule of law.  Having taught martial arts for 20 years I feel well acquainted with dealing with challenging youths. Children are very crafty in maneuvering around absolutes, I choose to give them ‘rules’  that are more like equations that expand their awareness and make judgments based on how they apply their level of development.  
             

  • A Christian

    Sad waste of a life.  Ironic that he spent so much time thinking and discussing something that he believed to be a waste of time.  History will forget Hitchens, but in the mean time he will be remembered as that guy that didn’t like God.  Your answer to the title of this post is…Hitchens lost, but I don’t believe God considers it a victory.

  • Kraid
    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      i need to get out my rocket-arm-cannon

  • Kraid
  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    > I don’t believe God considers it a victory
    as a Bible believing Christian you surely understand
    that God predestined Hitchens’ disaffection
    so He would have to consider it a victory
    and happy to consign him to hell

    the whole Bible is the story of election
    God choose some and not others
    and then he had His son killed
    because only His son’s shed blood would satisfy His extreme anger
    and save those He choose before the foundation of the world 

    interesting religion

  • A Christian

    As a Bible believing Christian I surely understand that mankind was given freewill and has chosen to defy God with it.  The election comes in the saving of a portion of those.  You insinuate such authority over the Bible!?  You seem to miss the passages that discuss that God takes no pleasure in punishments, or are you perhaps quote mining?  I have two kids and don’t take pleasure in punishing them when they have need of it.  It is not that hard of a concept to grasp if you approach it fairly. 

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    obviously you’re not of the predestination faction of Christianity
    the Bible can support both positions
    free will and predestination

    Calvinists thinks Hitchens was predestined to hell
    just as God choose the Jews over all other peoples
    Luther on the other hand
    used the same Bible to support his ideas about free will

    in fact, you can use the Bible to support almost any position you’d like
    except maybe homosexuality
    even then its not entirely clear that David and Jonathan weren’t lovers

  • A Christian

    I was specifically referring to the Calvinist belief of predestination, which refers to the elect.  I would recommend reviewing the specific passages they use to arrive at that view, your a smart guy I’m sure you’ll figure it out if you bother to look into it. 

    Thanks for the misguided and fractional attempt at informing me about the subtle nuances of Ecclesiastical history, but I’ll manage. 

    Certainly the variants in the exegesis seem confusing at a glance, but a proper study of the history and examination of motives, politics and influences from contemporary sources throughout Christianity leave very little room for variance except for minor details.  Those details that remain are mostly irreconcilable due to the fact that they are not an issue in which the Bible really cares to give exposition.  Which means we are missing the point to delve into them.  Have a good one. 

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    John Calvin had Michael Servetus
    burned at the stake for believing like you
    i’m sure you can figure it out too

  • A Christian

    Wrong again, Servetus was actually burned at the stake by the Catholic Church after being delivered by the French inquisition authorities and it was over a matter of his denial of the trinity.  Good try though…hey I DID figure it out.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    On his way to Italy, Servetus stopped in Geneva for unknown reasons and attended one of Calvin’s sermons in St Pierre.

    Calvin had him arrested, and Calvin’s secretary Nicholas de la Fontaine composed a list of accusations that was submitted before the court in Geneva.

    On 20 October the replies from Zurich, Basel, Bern, and Schaffhausen were read and the council condemned Servetus as a heretic.
    The following day he was sentenced to burning at the stake, the same sentence as in Vienne.

    Calvin and other ministers asked that he be beheaded instead of burnt.  This plea was refused and on 27 October, Servetus was burnt alive—atop a pyre of his own books—at the Plateau of Champel at the edge of Geneva.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calvin#Michael_Servetus_.281553.29

  • Anonymous

    Not taking pleasure in punishment?  hmmm, I’m begining to see the root of your problem.  How was your relationship with your father?

  • Gregory Wyrdmaven

    Actually whatever *G*O*D* is…that would be an expression of conciousness. 

    Atheists try to deny their own existence since they too are expressions of consciousness.  Atheism is like a fish trying to deny the existence of water.

    Waging war against Yahweh, the Semitic God of Sheep Molestin’, is a waste of time, since 70 AD, his people haven’t been able to worship him anymore and he’s currently emptying the wastebaskets at Allah’s place.

    Gods are ideas.  Enough people had the same idea for this idea to be fixed in the human consciousness.  Atheists who fight against this particular idea, in favor of their ideas…are actually out of ideas.  The only problem with religion is one group thinks their god-ideas are better than another group’s god-ideas. 

    Fiat lux.

    • DeepCough

      Oh, yeah, atheists are COMPLETELY out of ideas, unlike the theists who have been latching onto the exact same ideas since the dawn of civilization.

      • senorchupacabra

        You completely missed Wyrdmaven’s point.

        • DeepCough

          Not in the least–he’s the one who can’t see that Hitchens is an ANTITHEIST as opposed to an ATHEIST.

          • senorchupacabra

            His point wasn’t about meaningless labels that people adhere to to fill special or like they “fit in” somewhere. His point was beyond all the “theist”, “atheist” or, in your case, “antitheist” bullshit.

          • DeepCough

            As a matter of fact, semantics was Maven’s game, claiming that it was the raison d’etre of the atheist to refute god, when, technically, that would be more the gamut of an antitheist or better yet, a maltheist. I find it interesting he defines “god’ as a form of consciousness, because Maven is right on that point and gets kudos for that. But to stereotype atheists the way he does is just as fallacious: I don’t know what makes him think that atheists like Hitchens are refuting consciousness totally when the cut of Hitchens’ jib is going against the consciousness of mainstream Western culture–which is static, rigid, paleoconservative, humorless–and that’s effectively what an atheist, someone who is aloof or stands away from god(s), would do. You can attribute a lot of new and wild ideas to people who were considered “atheistic” in their time, like Thomas Paine and Charles Darwin, for instance.

          • senorchupacabra

            Thanks for the response. I now understand your perspective much better than the previous response. And I think I agree with what you’re saying. The problem remains that atheists or antitheists like those of Hitchens’s ilk don’t exactly go out of their way to clarify these sorts of points. Believe it or not there is such a thing as a rational spirituality. And it is even possible to believe in a type of “God” without resorting to myths, legends and hallucinations. But Hitchens never seems to be open to this idea, regardless of whether he is or isn’t.

          • DeepCough

            Glad we came to a understanding, and I will concede to you that if Hitchens were less vitriolic about religion, he would not have sold as many books.

  • Gregory Wyrdmaven

    Actually whatever *G*O*D* is…that would be an expression of conciousness. 

    Atheists try to deny their own existence since they too are expressions of consciousness.  Atheism is like a fish trying to deny the existence of water.

    Waging war against Yahweh, the Semitic God of Sheep Molestin’, is a waste of time, since 70 AD, his people haven’t been able to worship him anymore and he’s currently emptying the wastebaskets at Allah’s place.

    Gods are ideas.  Enough people had the same idea for this idea to be fixed in the human consciousness.  Atheists who fight against this particular idea, in favor of their ideas…are actually out of ideas.  The only problem with religion is one group thinks their god-ideas are better than another group’s god-ideas. 

    Fiat lux.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I like how he assumes we started out as a barbaric savage group that fight over everything.

    • tooCents

      right, that Hobbes bullshit has been falsified by anthropology.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I like how he assumes we started out as a barbaric savage group that fight over everything.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I like how he assumes we started out as a barbaric savage group that fight over everything.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I like how he assumes we started out as a barbaric savage group that fight over everything.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    i need to get out my rocket-arm-cannon

  • DeepCough

    Oh, yeah, atheists are COMPLETELY out of ideas, unlike the theists who have been latching onto the exact same ideas since the dawn of civilization.

  • Anonymous

    Check and Mate. Well played.

  • Anonymous

    1. Although arguing against religion is not truly a dangerous opinion, that does not mean arguing for it is. In reality it is the equivalent to that of a teenager advocating continuing to wear diapers and drink from a baby bottle and thinking that is a dangerous opinion.

    2-3. No argument here.

  • Anonymous

    1. Although arguing against religion is not truly a dangerous opinion, that does not mean arguing for it is. In reality it is the equivalent to that of a teenager advocating continuing to wear diapers and drink from a baby bottle and thinking that is a dangerous opinion.

    2-3. No argument here.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ELVARQAQTCKOSF4KL736MX4NN4 Joseph

    You completely missed Wyrdmaven’s point.

  • DeepCough

    Not in the least–he’s the one who can’t see that Hitchens is an ANTITHEIST as opposed to an ATHEIST.

  • Anonymous

    right, that Hobbes bullshit has been falsified by anthropology.

  • chubby

    love norman, one of very few intelligent types who know that history is malleable for the powers that be…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ELVARQAQTCKOSF4KL736MX4NN4 Joseph

    His point wasn’t about meaningless labels that people adhere to to fill special or like they “fit in” somewhere. His point was beyond all the “theist”, “atheist” or, in your case, “antitheist” bullshit.

  • DeepCough

    As a matter of fact, semantics was Maven’s game, claiming that it was the raison d’etre of the atheist to refute god, when, technically, that would be more the gamut of an antitheist or better yet, a maltheist. I find it interesting he defines “god’ as a form of consciousness, because Maven is right on that point and gets kudos for that. But to stereotype atheists the way he does is just as fallacious: I don’t know what makes him think that atheists like Hitchens are refuting consciousness totally when the cut of Hitchens’ jib is going against the consciousness of mainstream Western culture–which is static, rigid, paleoconservative, humorless–and that’s effectively what an atheist, someone who is aloof or stands away from god(s), would do. You can attribute a lot of new and wild ideas to people who were considered “atheistic” in their time, like Thomas Paine and Charles Darwin, for instance.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the response. I now understand your perspective much better than the previous response. And I think I agree with what you’re saying. The problem remains that atheists or antitheists like those of Hitchens’s ilk don’t exactly go out of their way to clarify these sorts of points. Believe it or not there is such a thing as a rational spirituality. And it is even possible to believe in a type of “God” without resorting to myths, legends and hallucinations. But Hitchens never seems to be open to this idea, regardless of whether he is or isn’t.

  • DeepCough

    Glad we came to a understanding, and I will concede to you that if Hitchens were less vitriolic about religion, he would not have sold as many books.

  • A Christian

    You could have just posted the wiki link rather than typing what you just read there.  Before running after that red herring, you agree then (as per wikipedia) that he was killed for his stance on the Trinity, not predestination.  Glad we settled that.

  • A Christian

    Are you saying that you enjoy punishing your children?  Maybe the relationship with your father is more relevant.

  • Anonymous

    ‘This hurts me more than it hurts you’ – have you ever uttered those words as your child danced to the impacts of your chosen implement –  Such an amusing little game.  The truth is that pleasure and pain for giver and receiver are not mutually exclusive and that the boundaries of such amongst consenting adults are something that can be explored extensively.  An adult who is unable to admit that there is satisfaction in disciplining a child is out of touch with both the goals and the boundaries guarding the exercising of disciplinary acts.  Without acknowledgement of the full range of emotional dynamics of exerting will and force upon another one can easily become an instrument of anger or self-directed guilt; both of these impair the original intent of the disciplinarian which is to instruct the child or deliver punitive consequence.
    As to corporal punishment for children the vast majority of studies show that it is one of the least effective methods of discipline for children.  I however feel that when applied with wisdom it has its place – especially to instill a visceral reaction to physical harm in a child who is too young to understand the degree of consequence of their actions such as running in front of a car or sticking objects in a power outlet. 
    Yes I derive pleasure from discipline and punishment because it is a craft that exerts itself subtly and artfully in many ways before ever reaching any level of direct conflict.  It requires you to know the other and not the rule.  It is the difference between discipleship and rule of law.  Having taught martial arts for 20 years I feel well acquainted with dealing with challenging youths. Children are very crafty in maneuvering around absolutes, I choose to give them ‘rules’  that are more like equations that expand their awareness and make judgments bases on how they apply their level of development.  
     

  • A Christian

    I’m sure that you got that from some text book that tries to fit the
    human consciousness into neat little categories so they can be
    diagnosed.  Well, the reality is, I often have to force myself to
    discipline my kids because they need to know right from wrong.  There
    are plenty like me out there…no matter what they taught you about in
    your psychology 101 class. Funny how you would actually try to tell me
    how I REALLY feel, such arrogance.

    • Calypso_1

      No textbook was involved, nor was there any inclusion in my statement where I told you how I thought you felt.  I did make some statements about universal theories that have been developed from the collective effort and experience of many dedicated and insightful individuals.  I also offered some of my own opinions and viewpoints which could have been an avenue for discussion. As to what I have been taught, i assure it goes far beyond 101.  Read a 600 level text.  Go through a clinical residency, etc. 
      My initial post was one of humor, and as you are wont to do, you respond with a counter attack.  I then address my own viewpoint and and all you do is become defensive and demeaning.  I never made any statement saying children shouldn’t be taught right from wrong but I do know that children’s understanding of right and wrong varies with their developmental stage and it is immoral and potentially harmfull to expect a child to see the world through the absolutes so readily layed down by adult belief systems.  I treat people on a daily basis whoses lives have been devastated by generally well-meaning but inflexable parentings.  The arrogance I see are the belief systems that ‘know’ the truth but can’t see the human detritus they leave in their wake.

      • A Christian

        I caught your joke as it was obvious, it was very clear that it was a back handed humor.  The kind where it is meant to be funny to all readers except for the one it was directed at.  The common prevailing opinion in America seems to be that one is incapable of being a successful parent without the “all knowing” guidance of professionals.  There are absolutes in many areas of right and wrong, don’t hit your Sister, don’t touch the burner on the stove, don’t lie to your Mother.  A common sense person can see that you teach the right from wrong on issues as they can understand them, and you explain it to them.  You may see plenty of people in your line of work, but by the very nature of it they are the failing cases.  How many people turned out just fine that you will never see?  My guess is that portion is much larger.  People have been successfully raising normal kids with no issues for thousands of years before these professionals came into existence.  We have no real reason to believe society is doing much better now that we have them either, of course that may be because you have all your work ahead of you in a society who has forgotten God.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jai-Ankers/100000395755973 Jai Ankers

    A belief in any deity is unnecessary.

    We know why the sun rises, lightning strikes and droughts occur.
    It’s the 21st century, time to grow up. 

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