Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chris Hedges is a liar

Yes, Chris Hedges is, in addition to being an idiot and an asshole, also a liar.

PZ Myers delivers the smackdown.

This is why I'm a "militant" atheist. A day doesn't go by when someone, left or right, doesn't malign with outright lies our very simple refusal to adopt ludicrous, hateful fantasies.


  1. If his interview in Salon is any indication, it's not that Hedges doesn't believe in atheists, it's that he's incapable of drawing distinctions.

  2. Hmmm... Hedges really comes across as more sadly deluded than anything. Isn't he trying to get a degree in divinity or some such? And he thinks fundamentalists believe in the perfectibility of human nature? If his professors have any sense they'll flunk him out.

    1. He obtained a Master of Divinity from Harvard Div in his youth.

  3. Hedges is a professional journalist. He has a positive duty to get the facts right and to ensure that his commentary has some connection to the truth. His article fails on both counts.

    By all rights, he would be as discredited for this essay as was Stephen Glass. But he can say anything he pleases about atheists, no matter how far divorced from the truth, without fear of consequences.

  4. Utopia peddlers? Has he ever spoken to an Atheist? I guess arguing that people shouldn't waste their time and money on fantasy = peddling utopia?

    Just Bizarre

  5. "If his interview in Salon is any indication, it's not that Hedges doesn't believe in atheists, it's that he's incapable of drawing distinctions."

    Cross posted at PZ's:

    (I don't believe in) Chris Hedges also did an interview for Read Express.

    » EXPRESS: So, to be clear: Despite the title, you do believe atheists are people who don't believe in God, right?
    » HEDGES: Martin Luther said, "We all have gods, it just depends which one." Or the theologian Paul Tillich said, "Find out somebody's ultimate concern and you've found out their god." I suspect that's a true statement. I think the existence of people who believe in nothing is probably rare to impossible. So, on sort of a deep theological level, I'm not sure that I do.

    Hence the title.

  6. Or the theologian Paul Tillich said, "Find out somebody's ultimate concern and you've found out their god."

    You might as well say that everyone's a Nazi: Find the person they admire most, and that's their Fuhrer. Utter and complete bullshit.

    1. that is so totally biased and below the belt, Barefoot: bring the nazis into it and then attempt to clumsily destroy your opponent's viewpoint. You remind me of the republicans mantra, whenever someone disagrees, they will say stuff like: "you're politicising this issue". Which means nothing, but it makes them sound like they know something we don't. Drop the empty rhetorics and come up with decent arguments, please.

  7. It takes a rare type of hubris to flat out deny the existance of people you don't agree with.

  8. Oh, so not only are we atheists a bunch of wannabe fundamentalists, we don't actually exist? WTF?

    Most of these atheists, like the Christian fundamentalists, support the imperialist projects and preemptive wars of the United States as a necessity.

    OK, now I'm officially really mad. I'm an atheist who doesn't support the US empire project. I have yet to talk with an atheist who does. OK, so Hitchens does.. who gives two shits about what Hitchens is claiming to believe this week?

    Darwinism, which pays homage to the final and complete mastery of our animal natures, never posits that human beings can transcend their natures and create a human paradise. It argues the opposite. The illusion of human progress, in the name of evolutionary biology, is actually anti-Darwinian.

    WTF? How do you even respond to a statement like this? It's nothing but intellectual errors, misreadings of atheism, nonsensical paradoxes, and bullshit, all collapsed into a kind of ultra-dense wrongness matter. Uh, lets try.

    Darwin did no such thing as to 'pay homage to the complete mastery of our animal natures'. He described how species evolve. 'Never posits that humans can ... create a human paradise' is just a big 'ol strawman of atheism. Seems like to Hedges, atheism = communism. Except, I really think that he's using a strawman of communism too, because they aren't idiots either. '..Human progress, in the name of evolutionary biology, is actually anti-Darwinian' so, you have a misunderstanding of Darwin, and a misunderstanding of atheism, and you are pointing out that your own two misunderstandings don't jibe with each other? Fucking brilliant, Hedges.

    'They engage in the same chauvinism and call for the same violent utopianism of the radical Christian Right. They sell this under secular banners, but this does not excuse it.'

    I'm calling for violent revolution? Bullshit!

    Wait, how can you even have secular utopianism? Secularism is the concept of separation between Church & State, & religious freedom? How can you have "chauvanism" when everyone is free to be religious or not religious as they please? WTF?

  9. I think you are only partially right here. When I read Hedges, I don't think he's a liar - I think he's a lying sack of shit.

  10. I don't think he's a liar - I think he's a lying sack of shit.

    I stand corrected!

  11. Most of these atheists, like the Christian fundamentalists, support the imperialist projects and preemptive wars of the United States as a necessity.

    Does Hedges really think that Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris speak for all atheists? Further, how does that fall in line with his "I think Hitchens is amoral and will say whatever gets him attention" line later in his interview?

    George Carlin's been talking up his atheism for decades, for fuck's sake. I dare say he speaks to and for far more atheists than Christopher Hitchens. (Don't get me wrong, I love Hitchens in the way that I love John Derbyshire -- they're batshit crazy, old-style British imperialists.)

    Wait, how can you even have secular utopianism?

    More to the point, how can you have secularism if you believe, as Hedges apparently does, that whatever "concerns you most" is your "god," making the pursuit thereof your "religion?"

  12. I Don't Believe in Atheists is not an attack on atheists so much as it is an attack on the utopian belief systems peddled by most self-proclaimed atheists, belief systems that are shared by the Christian fundamentalists these atheists excoriate.

    Don't try to sweeten it, motherfucker. You think we're a bunch of utopian haters.

  13. It has seemed to me that people, who are strongly tied to a certain point of view, and who communicate mostly with others of that same view, may sometimes come to believe that all people have that same point of view. Christian fundamentalists will sometimes say things like, "Environmentalists worship the environment", for example. This seems like the result of those fundamentalists assuming that environmentalists think the same way they do, but have 'the environment' in place of Jesus.

    I wonder if Hedges is perhaps doing something like that here? Perhaps Hedges has a deep connection to beliefs that give him meaning and hope. Is that perhaps why he was so convincing when describing how "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning"? Does Hedges wrongly assume that atheists think the same way he does, but get their sense of 'meaningfulness' from another source? Instead of what I think we generally really are- people who just don't need as much 'meaningfulness' as others?

    It's kinda hard to tell without spending a lot of time starting to understand Hedges, though. And it might be far simpler- maybe Hedges is just being a 'contrarian', a la Hitchens.

  14. Oh, and can I just add that if I never see or hear about Chris Hitchens ever again in my entire life it will be too fucking soon?

  15. Hedges is a preacher's kid who went to Divinity school (to become a divinity?)and can't stop preaching to relieve his "prophetic ministry" needs.
    Another reason why religion should be ignored whenever possible.

  16. Hedges is indeed a fraud, but saying PZ Myers can deliver any kind of "smackdown" is nearly as bogus.

    Hedges has multiple problems with honesty, and they all involve his arrogant Calvinistic outlook on life. Hedges believes that he is best suited to deliver "journalism" and thus, because predestination put him there, whatever he writes must be deemed true. He spend 25 years apologizing for American military and economic misadventures abroad, and now that he's out of the big media publication game, he's re-imagined himself as a Man of the People, a Pal of the Prole. He goes to Occupy: Wall Street with like-fraud Cornel West, gets "arrested" (theatre, truly) with velvet handcuffs and hot coffee & danish, "sues" the US Government in litigation that will dead-end knowingly, and writes essays in which he pretends that he's one of the little people and he's tired of getting stepped on by the so-called 1%. Irony, eh? He's been a servant of the 1% his whole adult life, and if we expanded the 1% to 10% he'd be a member. Rich, comfortable, and elitist are 3 words which accurately describe him.

    As to Myers? Holy cannoli, what a clown. Man-blaming, Republican-hating ideologue who calls himself a true skeptic. Yeah, like skepticism involves turning a blind eye to Democrat wrongdoing, and also involves blaming men where a woman may have acted imprudently. High comedy.


Please pick a handle or moniker for your comment. It's much easier to address someone by a name or pseudonym than simply "hey you". I have the option of requiring a "hard" identity, but I don't want to turn that on... yet.

With few exceptions, I will not respond or reply to anonymous comments, and I may delete them. I keep a copy of all comments; if you want the text of your comment to repost with something vaguely resembling an identity, email me.

No spam, pr0n, commercial advertising, insanity, lies, repetition or off-topic comments. Creationists, Global Warming deniers, anti-vaxers, Randians, and Libertarians are automatically presumed to be idiots; Christians and Muslims might get the benefit of the doubt, if I'm in a good mood.

See the Debate Flowchart for some basic rules.

Sourced factual corrections are always published and acknowledged.

I will respond or not respond to comments as the mood takes me. See my latest comment policy for details. I am not a pseudonomous-American: my real name is Larry.

Comments may be moderated from time to time. When I do moderate comments, anonymous comments are far more likely to be rejected.

I've already answered some typical comments.

I have jqMath enabled for the blog. If you have a dollar sign (\$) in your comment, put a \\ in front of it: \\\$, unless you want to include a formula in your comment.