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August 7th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

God and Christopher Hitchens: The plot thickens

Christopher Hitchens (right) with author Mark Danner in 2004.

Author and outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens talked to CNN's Anderson Cooper this week about how his recent cancer diagnosis, which he considers a likely death sentence, has failed to alter his views on religion or God.

Watch the interview here.

And check out these related stories:

Stephen Prothero: Thoughts before I debate Hitchens

Opinion: Why Christians should pray for Hitchens

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Books

soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Nate

    Hitchens likely has cancer because he smokes like a chimney. Not because there actually is a god that's punishing him.

    It's not that complicated, people.

    September 28, 2010 at 7:25 am |
  2. HisOwn

    @NL
    You said:
    Believers can choose to believe what they wish, and use these beliefs to guide their lives, but should they use these beliefs to guide other people's lives? Myth should never replace science as an explanation for the origins of the universe and life. Myth should not dictate what a marriage is. Myth should never guide foreign policy or our environmental plan for the future. Like it or not, the bible has a lot of myth contained within it.

    I will answer as I best can. The first part, where you ask should believers use these beliefs to guide other people lives?
    No. No one should try to "guide" another persons life, at least in my opinion. If one wants tosay what they believe, that is fine, either side of the coin. But the choice to lead your life based on what you believe in as an individual, should always be just that.
    Now, as far as what one's self terms as myths, that is another different matter. Using ourselves as examples, you may see something as a myth (lets use origins of the universe) based on the scientific study you have done. I may see something as scientific which incorporates my belief system, and see it as much of fact as you do yours. I could thoerize (sp?) that you are wrong, because you did not incorporate my belief system into your strictly scientific facts. Thus, both of us see the other as nursing myths. Actually, no matter what diversity would come against us, refuting our beliefs, we are still going to believe what we do.
    Myth should not dictate what a marriage is.....ok, again, same kind of thing. You see what I believe in, as myth. I do not feel that way because I, by faith, believe these things to be true.
    I do respect your beliefs, even though they are different from mine.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  3. HisOwn

    There certainly are some televangelists that are that way. That is why Jesus told us to not to trust all that come in his name.
    He said "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15). That speaks of that kind of person. There are many tv evangelist that do honestly do the work that the Lord has called them to. I guess it is where the old saying comes from, Don't let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch.

    People have to be careful in what they believe, according to the words of mere man. Jesus tells us to use his holy scriptures to KNOW what he says on everything. I believe all people are capable of being misled, if they are not following the word of the one and only true God, Jesus Christ.
    "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths" (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
    Satan does exist, and there is a Hell. To say who will go there and who will not, on behalf of man, is judging.
    But our scripture, written by man and inspired by God, teaches that all who sin and do not turn away from thier sin, by accepting Jesus Christ and repenting, will indeed go there.
    As far as the children being raised to believe a "fairytale" or lies is concerned, I believe you will WANT to raise your child as Christian. For those of us who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, know it is the right way.
    If we do not, then our children are facing that hell we are told of. On the other hand, if we would be wrong, at least they lived good lives and have lost nothing.
    On the other hand, if I did not raise them in the way of the Lord, and find out we were wrong, its too late. There would be no turning back.

    August 15, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  4. Marcus

    It's actually real simple all of you atheists: God will not be mocked! If you want to pull the crap that Hitchens has pulled publicly about God, then He will knock your ass out! We all will bow down to Him someday weather you like it or not. And guess what, you, like Hitchens, can be pissed off all you want. You will have no control over what happens to you. Hitchens has mocked God for years, and just like Sodom and Gomora and those alive during Noah's time, He will knock your ass out if you continue in your mockery and hurting of His children. That is EXACTLY what has happened to Hitchens. So actually study the bible people and you will find Him. You unbelievers have never actually STUDIED the bible, so get off your ass and do it (history, mathematics, scripture, etc.) and you actually may have a relationship still available.

    August 15, 2010 at 3:07 am |
  5. HisOwn

    My God is the only one that Died on the cross for mankinks sins, so they could have eternal life thru Salvation.
    He is the only one that rose from the dead too.
    You are quoting from the Old Testament. Jesus Christ came as the Son of God to reverse the negative stance that men were doomed to Hell.
    My God don't use "magic". He doesn't have to.
    God created us, every one. Otherwise, We would be no different then a swarm of mosquitos, who came, lived and died..what would be makinds pupose then?
    MK:
    I don't need an argument. Someday you will find out that what you term as myths and magic, had nothing whatsoever to do with any of this. I don't understand the reason why Athiest seem to label anything Christian as myth and magic.
    If you don't believe as we do, why belittle it?
    Everyone had a beginning, and will have a end, known as death. Step outside the box for a minute, anf realize that God is outside of time, as we know it.
    The physical body will die someday. However, your spirit will survive. Where its spends eternity, will depend on your free will choice.
    "He that believed, not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."—John 3:36.
    That is talking about your spirit..and where it stands if you do not believe in the Lord.
    You can believe what you choose, and you can deny with all arguments. It will be to late once you die, and have not been a believer. That is according to his holy word, not an opinion on my part.

    August 13, 2010 at 6:58 am |
    • NL

      I saw Criss Angel walk in water once on TV. Televangelists use tricks like this even today, and have no trouble fooling thousands. Explain to me how someone with his skills could not have given the illusion of Jesus' miracles and fooled everyone into believing they were real?

      August 14, 2010 at 12:18 am |
    • Guest

      NL-
      Do you think all televangelists fool everyone? Do you think all are bad that talk about Jesus Christ His Father and the Holy Spirit?

      August 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • NL

      Guest-
      Televangelists don't need to fool everyone. They just need to fool enough, and they do. I can't say that they are all in it for profit, but enough of them are to taint the whole bunch for me.

      August 15, 2010 at 12:44 am |
    • Guest

      NL-

      I don't think all atheists are fools either, just lost souls that are in constant search of the Truth.

      August 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
    • NL

      Guest-
      Agnostics are searching, and I pity their uncertainty, but believers and atheists have made up their minds on the question of God. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I were an agnostic but, as it is, I sleep like the dead. 😉

      It's also difficult to be a lost soul when you don't believe you have one.

      I don't think all atheists are fools either, just lost souls that are in constant search of the Truth.

      August 16, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
    • NL

      HisOwn-
      You said "I don't need an argument. Someday you will find out that what you term as myths and magic, had nothing whatsoever to do with any of this. I don't understand the reason why Athiest seem to label anything Christian as myth and magic.
      If you don't believe as we do, why belittle it?"

      I don't mean to belittle beliefs, but it does serve a purpose to label myths as such. Myths, like poetry and fiction, can illustrate truths, and be valuable for this purpose. Jesus often spoke in parables and it's not difficult for many believers to accept that he was not relating actual events in these stories. People generally learn better when material is related in a narrative; when they are "shown" something and not just told. Most novelists will agree with this, and Jesus' parables do not have to be literally true to be effective teaching aides. They can be as factual then as myths.

      Believers can choose to believe what they wish, and use these beliefs to guide their lives, but should they use these beliefs to guide other people's lives? Myth should never replace science as an explanation for the origins of the universe and life. Myth should not dictate what a marriage is. Myth should never guide foreign policy or our environmental plan for the future. Like it or not, the bible has a lot of myth contained within it.

      August 17, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.