Author Topic: Could Have Seen This Coming  (Read 837 times)

Recusant

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Could Have Seen This Coming
« on: May 21, 2016, 04:22:06 PM »
In an effort to make this board of HAF a bit . . . livelier, I think it could include threads about people who are dead, but not so long dead that they belong completely to history.

There's a new book out by an evangelist who knew Christopher Hitchens. Similar to the spurious claims of Darwin's deathbed conversion, this fellow says that he had private conversations with Hitchens in which he says Hitchens ". . . had doubts … and those doubts led him to seek out Christians and contemplate, among other things, religious conversion." Also, "At the end of his life, Christopher’s searches had brought him willingly, if secretly, to the altar. Precisely what he did there, no one knows."

So he isn't out and out lying, but he's strongly implying that Hitchens was having a "come to Jesus" moment in his life as it drew to a close. Of course his fellow evangelists and other Christians are eating it up with gusto.

Hitchens throughout his life explored the varieties of Christianity, and there was no reason why he would stop, just because he knew he was dying. I don't believe that he was contemplating becoming a Christian, and knowing as I do that evangelical Christians are rather prone to the practice of lying for Jesus, I think there is good reason to doubt that the author of the new book is doing anything but stretching the truth in the service of what he sees as the greater good, while making some money.

"The things that I relate, I think by and large I substantiate. What I am saying is this: If Christopher Hitchens is a lock, the tumblers don’t line up with the atheist key and that upsets a lot of atheists. They want Christopher Hitchens to be defined by his atheism, and he wasn’t."

Perhaps some atheists do want Hitchens to be "defined by his atheism," but personally, I think he's defined by his masterful prose writing and unflinching defense of his positions, even ones that I happen to disagree with.

"Dying Christopher Hitchens considered Christianity, new book claims" | Religion News

Jerry Coyne writes about this: "A vulture spreads the false rumor that Hitchens accepted God at the end"

Quote
There’s no evidence save Taunton’s wishful thinking that Hitchens was even contemplating conversion. And a book about Hitchens’s curiosity about religion certainly wouldn’t have sold at all. Further, if Hitchens didn’t accept God, why did Taunton call his book “The Faith of Christopher Hitchens”? I think he knew exactly what he was doing, and realized full well that his narrative would be taken by Christians as a sign that Hitchens was Seeing the Light. Christians just love stories about deathbed conversions of atheists, and Taunton played into that, all the while saying that he didn’t really intend that. I call duplicity.

Dawkins has also weighed in: "Richard Dawkins: Atheist Christopher Hitchens Considered Converting to Christianity Rumor Is 'Insulting'" | Christian Post << Beware the obnoxious auto-play video on this site.

And last, a BBC video in which the author of the book is interviewed (:picard facepalm:), and Krauss dismisses him as a mere opportunist:

« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 04:40:31 PM by Recusant »
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Bad Penny II

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Re: Could Have Seen This Coming
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 05:10:32 PM »
Oh come on, be a good loosers.  Our Chris found Jesus in the nick of time and saved himself, feel happy for him.
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Re: Could Have Seen This Coming
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 09:45:35 PM »
Well I've been pretty close to death quite recently and I didn't give a thought to religion either way.  There were other things on my mind, such as when will they bring me a cup of tea, and how many more times were they going to stick needles in my arms.  Those are the things which really matter.

The poet Heinrich Heine said Dieu me pardonnera, c'est son métier. - god will forgive me, it's his job.  I didn't think about god at all, not even to dismiss him.

Recusant

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Re: Could Have Seen This Coming
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2016, 05:38:04 AM »
Brian Dalton doesn't seem to be pulling any punches. Definitely NSFW language, unless your workplace doesn't mind liberal use of profanity and scatological exclamations.  ;)

"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


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Re: Could Have Seen This Coming
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2016, 09:06:04 AM »
Did you see/hear that Penn Jillette vs Hitch-with-a-bottle standoff?

That one I found priceless, at least as told by Penn while speaking at the CFI in Canada, I believe it was.
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Velma

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Re: Could Have Seen This Coming
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2016, 12:27:39 PM »
The only thing that surprises me about this claim is that it took this long for some Christian to make it.
Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of the astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.~Carl Sagan