Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Hitchens’

Why the Golden Rule Isn’t So Original

The ‘Golden Rule’ is much older than any monotheism, and…no human society would have been possible or even thinkable without elementary solidarity (which also allows for self-interest) between its members. – Christopher Hitchens, “Is Christianity Good For The World”, Christianity Today, May 8, 2007

The golden rule is something you don’t have to teach a child. There is no need to say, “And if you don’t follow this rule, you’ll burn in hell.” – Christopher Hitchens, “Hitchens, Sharpton and Faith”, The New York Times, May 7, 2007

The first thing to get clear about Christian morality between man and man is that in this department Christ did not come to preach any brand new morality. The Golden Rule of the New Testament (Do as you would be done by) is a summing up of what everyone, at bottom, had always known to be right. Really great moral teachers never do introduce new moralities: it is quacks and cranks who do that…The real job of every moral teacher is to keep on bringing us back, time after time, to the old simple principles which we are all so anxious not to see; like bringing a horse back and back to the fence it has refused to jump or bringing a child back and back to the bit in its lesson that it wants to shirk. – C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Something Is Eternal

[Answering the objection of the infinite regress, “who created the creator?”] Unless there is a known principle excluding the eternality of anything at all, there could be no basis for such an objection. And were we to cook up such a principle, we would find that it excluded, not only God, but the possibility of us having a universe at all. Something is eternal. That something is either God, as we believe, or it is matter — stuff — as Hitchens believes. If infinite regresses are incoherent and any stopping point to head off that regress is always arbitrary by definition, then how’d we get here?” – Douglas Wilson, God Is, p. 31

Foisted on His Own Leotard

Ah, Doug Wilson (no, that’s not him to the left there.) My admiration for him comes and goes like the tide. It is currently rising. Not sure why, but it just is. Must be the moon.

Anyway, Doug has written in response to the rise of the New Atheists and today I came across one of his blog entries in which he responds to Christopher Hitchens’ book God is Not Great. I haven’t read it and don’t plan to but from what Doug has said it sounds like Hitchens is taking a better approach than Dawkins and others. I mean, he’s still wrong, but at least it is a different approach. And so Wilson takes a different approach with him. While Wilson appreciates Hitchens’ literary style, he nails him on a glaring gap in the atheist argument: ethics. I totally agree with Wilson on this, how can the atheist tell me that religion is not just wrong but also a bad thing? What is “bad” based on? Here’s how Wilson sharpens the end of the stick before poking it in Hutchens’ eye:

An incoherent approach would go something like this: There is no God; there is no fixed standard of morality overarching all of us, and so we must all pull together and submit to the resultant fixed standard. I don’t get it either.

Simple and elegant isn’t it. What Wilson asks quite elegantly is So What? He enters into Hitchens’ world and then presses his argument against him. Who is Hitchens, or anyone else for that matter, to tell me that religion is good or bad? Hitchens must first assume that there is a good, an objective good, a good that transcends mere personal whims, a good that he can appeal to in order to determine that religion ain’t it.

But here’s where Wilson’s argument (apparently) won’t hold. Read On…