Monday, March 24, 2008

Peter Hitchens' hypocrisy and stupidity

Peter Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens' brother) is very worried: "[I]f we reject the idea of absolute unchanging goodness, we will become like that mob [baying or sneering at Golgotha, exactly the same snarling, contorted, heedless faces you find on the drunken streets of our country], and part of it."

What is this standard of absolute, unchanging goodness that the English are rejecting? Hold onto your hat, gentle reader, because it's a doozy: People are gambling on Good Friday. Oh, the humanity!

Hitchens doesn't appear to have anything against gambling per se, it's the fact that English gamblers are not going out of their way to respect his particular literary metaphor for Hitchens' standard of absolute, unchanging goodness du jour.

In his criticism of his brother's book, Peter extols the virtues of doubt, reason and change:
But it is obvious to anyone that vast numbers of believers in every faith are filled with doubt, and open to reason. The Church of England’s greatest martyr, Thomas Cranmer, was burned at the stake for changing his mind once too often.

The noblest thinker of that Church, Richard Hooker, enthroned reason, alongside tradition and scripture, as one of the governing principles of faith, and warned against crude literal use of the Bible to justify or prohibit any action.
You can cut the hypocrisy with a knife. Peter is so enamored of the crude literal meaning of a painting of a description of an allegorical event, and so certain of his moral judgment, that it is the failure to respect this literary metaphor thrice removed (at least!) from his theology that he would damn his entire society with the relentless mockery he criticizes in (and no doubt learned from) his brother.

This is the biggest reason why I'm anti-theism and anti-religion. I've never met a religious person — aside from those whose religion consists of nothing but vacuous, vaguely comforting slogans — who wasn't a complete fucking retard on the subject of his religion. Not just mistaken or confused, but lobotomy-level stupid.

If Christianity is your preferred literary metaphor for your ethics, and you consider gambling on Good Friday to be "obscene" because it's contrary to a painting of a description of that literary metaphor of an allegorical event, then don't fucking gamble on Good Friday. What other people do, those who use different literary metaphors, is no more of Hitchens' business than his choice of metaphor is any of my business.

[h/t to Why Don't You Blog?]

11 comments:

  1. I've heard of The Other Hitchens before, but I've never read anything written by him so far. I have expected him to be one of those Christians who are, while clearly unreasonable, at least quite intelligent. Yet, the guy is truly a complete moron - this reads like a rambling of a self-righteous teenager whose offer to "be saved" has just been refused by her BFF.

    How is it possible that two brothers are so very different when it comes to intelligence? Perhaps there was some evil scientific experiment in the background, like in that movie with Schwarzenegger and DeVito.

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  2. Interesting enough, I don't think the two Hitchens brothers are all that different. Both are pompous, overweaning assholes when they write. I just happen to agree with Christopher more often than I do Peter.

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  3. Sure they're both pompous and arrogant, but only one of them is a retard. Or does it just seem that way because I only agree with the other...? I do have to admit that I have found some not-so-good arguments in God Is Not Great.

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  4. Christopher has had many moments of pure stupidity, notably concerning his support of the Iraq war and his persistent, ludicrous sexism and misogyny.

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  5. That's true. Maybe not all that different after all...

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  6. I see Christopher Hitchens much as I see John Derbyshire: an arrogant old British imperialist with a rhetorical flair that's good for a larf with some frequency.

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  7. Chris Hitchens is like some kind of philosopher's warning incarnated:
    "The perfect uselessness of intellect without character."

    I have no idea what his brother is like and don't want to know.

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  8. Gambling on Good Friday is a rejection of the idea of absolute goodness? Jesus H Christ on a roulette wheel.

    That's the most ridiculous, pathetic and asinine thing I've heard all week. Next year I'll be sure to host a Las Vegas Night on "Good" Friday.

    The whole thing is just fucktarded on so many levels.

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  9. I never heard of his brother before, either. Then I got a postcard in the mail (from a skeptics group) that the two of them (who were apparently estranged?) will be on stage, together, to debate various subjects (in a church) that is about 45 minutes from where I live. I'd be more interested if I didn't think Hitchens (Christopher) wasn't such a douchebag.

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  10. Wow, this theistard is clearly among the ranks of complete fucktarded douchebags like Vox Day and D' Souza.

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  11. Well, he hasn't yet declared his willingness to chop toddlers a la VD, but he's definitely descending the ladder of fucktarded douchebaggery.

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