Insight, Inspiration, Motivation

Atheism of Christopher Hitchens

I watched with interest the debate between Christopher Hitchens and Tony Blair, about whether ‘Religion is a force for good in the world’ on BBC world news the other night. While Mr. Hitchens spoke about the various atrocities committed by man against one another in the name of religion, as his main reason for condemning religion and choosing to become an atheist, Tony Blair used the exact opposite argument that of the various acts of compassion and love, inspired by religion. C. H was the more forceful and persuasive of the two, and won the debate, although T.B. did a very good job of bringing his point across too.

What struck me was that in his closing statement, C. H. said (in better terms) that if you choose religion, you must pay the price – which is your intelligence, and must accept another human being as an interpreter of the divine message. Somehow, I found that this was a wrong impression of religion. Somewhere, I had read an opinion that an atheist has more knowledge of religion than a believer – and had been briefly impressed but I am not so sure, after having had debates with a couple of atheists, and after hearing C. H. speak, I was disappointed!

If he has become an atheist, simply based on what he saw of organized religion, its common practices, ie, the politics and the dogma of it, then he hasn’t given it a fair chance. As far as I know – and I do not claim to know a great deal, by any means – I do not think the sacred texts of any religion says that God wants you to follow his chosen representative who understands him better than you ever can! In fact, most ancient texts say that ‘God’ is within you – now, it is up to each one of us to interpret that to our satisfaction.

Atheists, I find, are very intelligent and sensitive people. Instead of turning away from religion altogether, I wish they would make an effort to study the ancient scriptures, and  interpret their message, as they are totally capable of doing. Then, I wish they would confront  those bad elements that misrepresent God and misinterpret the ancient wisdom,  and educate them with the same forceful conviction and passion – these ‘atheists’ could actually change the world!


January 2, 2011 Posted by | Spirituality and Religion | , , , , | Leave a comment


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