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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Death of an Atheist

Christopher Hitchens is dead, and the one fact that is included in every obituary is the fact that he was an apostle of atheism. It was a good way for a writer to make money. There is a big market for it.
Gerard VanderLeun:
This is not to say that Hitchens' heavily touted atheism didn't work well for him. It did. Although I don't know the numbers I suspect that -- between the sales of his books and his speaking jobs preaching the "God Is Not Great" gospel -- Hitchens probably made the most money of his life on the "Lets Get Together and Insult God" circuit. Public proclamations and revival tent meetings of atheists have been oddly popular in the last decade. Hitchens surfed that wave well doing his part in stripping the rubes of their spare cash like some latter day Elmer Gantry of the Fundamentalist Atheians.
The atheists who proclaim their faith in nothing are continually impressed with their own intelligence. And Hitchins cashed in on it.
There's always a fresh crop of American rubes impressed with their own "intellect" ready to hear that their "tough minded" denial of God has a lot of ed-u-crated intellect-u-wells just like them nodding in agreement like the drinking bird over the glass. And in his own tough minded, hard drinking way Hitchens was just the sort of messiah "intellectual" American atheists love. He had, first and last, an upper-class British accent. In America such an accent is gold. Here the orotund Oxfordian tones always make whatever anyone is saying sound somehow more authoritative to the "intellectual" American ear. The result of of that accent piled on top of all the tough talking and tough thinking and hard drinking was, for Hitchens, the sweet clink of coin.
I'll admit that I don't understand the compulsion of atheists to shout out their faith like the worst of the holy rollers; to dragoon whoever pauses to listen to them into a corner and beat them about the brain pan with the "obvious truth" of their oddly Godless religion. Perhaps they feel scant of saints and seek to sanctify skepticism for solace.

I suppose that when you believe in Nothing it's hard to stand pat at zero sans signs and symbols. Instead you've got to slap the icon of your proud puffed self up on your smoke-spun altar of Oblivion where the dark stars dissolve.

I have faith that today Hitchens knows his error. If he was right, he’s still dead.

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