All of us, and not just professional pundits in public debate, have become poorer since Christopher Hitchens went to his hypothetical heavenly reward, or, more likely, to the other place where, had it existed, he would have been given a … warm welcome by the generations of atheists who preceded him. He would have hit it off splendidly with Voltaire and Bertrand Russell, had not he and they long since turned to dust.
Hitch liked to repeat his pitch about a decidedly long delay in the divinity’s decision to communicate with Homo Sapiens. The Big Bang happened nearly 14 billion years ago. Our world’s age is now agreed to be 4.5 billion years. The emergence of intelligent human life has been established as merely 200 to 300 THOUSAND years ago – a couple of hours ago, so to speak. Hitch loved to laugh at the idea that “God” spent practically all those millennia without a word to the men and women whom credulous people believe He created. Then, just four thousand years ago (relatively a few minutes ago), after all those hundreds of thousands of years of divine silence, voyeurism and non-intervention, God, having apparently amused (or distracted) Himself watching mankind worshipping all sorts of false gods, decided to reveal Himself to Abraham as the One, True God – with a capital G.
“Far-fetched” would be an understatement for such a belated Coming-Out and for such a belief. What on earth (or in empty space) was God doing all that time ? Why now, and why this guy, chosen to be the patriarch of His Chosen People ? It is hard to exaggerate the credulity such an act of faith demands. I have never understood the little effect that Hitch had, in spite of his charisma and conviction, in exploiting this outrageous, incredible nonsense, to give the coup-de-grâce to Judean-Christian faith. If that WMD doesn’t work, it’s hard to imagine what would. So we continue to argue with the credulous and the convinced, when we should be exploiting the existing doubts of Believers on the Brink. They, at least, may be ready to allow Hitch’s pitch to penetrate the wall of their reluctance to recognize their blindfaithblindfolly. We should exploit to the hilt Hitchen’s reductio ad absurdum.
P.S. This is post Number 750, a milestone of sorts. It belongs to Hitch, to whom we are all indebted for demonstrating to the world that God is not great and that religion poisons everything. Since post Number 700 (December 8, 2017), we have added no less than 50 posts, roughly three per week. While I cannot guarantee that that pace will perdure, the Blog’s dedication to pertinence and impertinence will.