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Famed atheist Christopher Hitchens dead at 62
In a Vanity Fair statement, Christopher Hitchens was described as "a master of the stunning line and the biting quip."
December 16th, 2011
08:20 AM ET

Famed atheist Christopher Hitchens dead at 62

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - British-American author and essayist Christopher Hitchens died Thursday from complications of esophageal cancer. He was 62.

Hitchens was known for his wry monthly columns for Vanity Fair magazine.

"There will never be another like Christopher. A man of ferocious intellect, who was as vibrant on the page as he was at the bar," said Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. "Those who read him felt they knew him, and those who knew him were profoundly fortunate souls."

Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1949 and graduated from Oxford University in 1970.

Hitchens brothers debate if civilization can survive without God

He landed a job with Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in November 1992.

"Christopher was a master of the stunning line and the biting quip, and he had few equals in the sphere of commentary, let alone social life," a Vanity Fair statement said.

Anderson Cooper and Christopher Hitchens talk about cancer, God and atheism.


Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism

soundoff (835 Responses)
  1. Lee

    His skill with the wriiten word enlightened me. His skill with the spoken word amazed me. He will be missed.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  2. RAB

    I do not claim to know with certainty, but the reliable evidence available to me does not support the survival of consciousness (life) after death
    If that is true, when we die we return for eternity to the same place we were for the eternity that preceded our birth - utter and complete nonexistence.
    The greatest irony is that if I am right about that, I will never know.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Here Here.. Not irony, if you consider that we came from this planet, solar system, universe and matter can not be destroyed. The atoms that make you up Will one day make up something else. You have always been here and you will always be here. How's that for a non-theist outlook.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • News Flash

      JQ,
      That may be true during this epoch. But beyond that, atoms will either be "pulled apart" in the "Big Freeze", or "crunched" back together in the Big Crunch. Either way, they do not remain.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Clayton

      News Flash, that sounds rather silly.
      Atoms are not pulled apart by the absence of heat and can only be broken down into components and energy under extreme pressure, yet this great pressure also diverts a certain amount of mass along the axis of a rotating body.
      Where did you get such strange ideas, anyway?
      The physics involved do not automatically support crunches or frozen dispersal.
      If you have an escape velocity from all other mass, then you could posit all atoms dispersing – and that would require an expansion rate billions of times faster than what we see in order to pull atoms apart.
      On the other hand, if they aren't all dispersing, there would have to be a common attraction stronger than the expansion rate to eventually bring all mass and energy in the universe together.
      We can see galaxies flying farther away. The expansion rate does not appear to be anywhere strong enough to overcome the gravitational pull in one direction or give it extra power in the other.
      What is most likely is that matter will get strung out in clumps thinner and thinner with some clumps having a limit to the distance they can make a difference gravity-wise. Imagine a universe trillions or quadrillions of years old. There would still be stars and galaxies, planets and life. All that would be different is the proportions and the distance between clumps.
      Long story short: Due to physics, any perceived increase in the expansion rate is more likely to be caused by errors and ignorance. We do not have a Grand Unified Theory.
      If we did, we could make some very good and very accurate predictions and see them played out everywhere our instruments could see from the very small to the very large. A few observations using EM, which is not completely understood (nor is the "mechanism" of space-time expansion understood), should not be used to form predictive models that clearly leave out crucial steps in the formulae used within the model.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • News Flash

      Clayton,
      You're full of crap. With no gravitational attraction, or a very weak attraction, there is nothing to keep the components together. Atoms break down, and exchange components all the time, and not only under the conditions you describe, and that BS about the "axis of a rotating body" is just that ... BS. Nice try, trying to sound like you know something about physics. Obviously you don't. There is no "escape velocity" necessary for matter that is highly dispersed. Your statement about "attractinon" is also BS. Ever heard of Dark Energy and Dark Matter , Mr. Fake Scientist ? Did you cut and paste that crap from a place you Googled ?

      December 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      All stars exhaust their fuel. Think long term Clay. :twisted:

      December 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Clayton

      News Flash (ironic name for someone who is unschooled), I copied no one's words. Those are my own.
      FYI (or "news flash" to you), all mass and energy "creates" gravity.
      Why would you ever think atoms are just going to go flying apart? Do you think gravity is just going to disappear?
      What have you been smoking?
      As for mass and energy being diverted along towards the axis of a rotating body, let me just direct your attention to any black hole. See those jets shooting out along the axis? That's what I'm getting at.
      Tell me why a black hole is going to be shooting out several solar systems-worth of matter and energy per second when located in the center of a galaxy?
      Check it out and give me your best explanation for it.
      It's not BS.
      We have many pictures of these jets throughout the universe.
      While it might not be the same for a tiny bit of mass, you weren't talking about a grain of sand, were you?
      And the simple definition of "escape velocity" should give you pause.
      Just because there might not be a planet doesn't mean a large cloud of dust doesn't have a center of gravity.
      Stretch that brain! Extrapolate!
      That's all I am doing. Gravity exists. It doesn't just disappear after a supernova or the creation of a black hole.
      The mass is still there warping space-time (gravity). It might be a really flat gradient near or at the center of mass but it is still there.
      At some point the effect it has will either collapse the matter within a certain volume or it won't.
      Otherwise planets and stars would never have formed in the first place. Do you get what I mean now? Let me know if you still don't get it and why. Just making broad accusations doesn't get you any points.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Clayton

      BuckyBall, what about trillions of years worth of dead stars finally getting together? I'm taking a much longer view here.
      "When the last star goes out" might not ever happen under some possible optimum conditions.
      And regardless of all that, the question was about a possible "heat death" that "NewsFlash" somehow equated with the spontaneous loss of all four atomic forces causing atoms to fly apart for no discernable reason I have ever heard about, versus a "big crunch" which requires the expansion rate to be overly weak in terms of all mass in the universe separate from the distance involved. It's just unworkable and nonsensical either way.
      But maybe you'd like to toss something more substantial at me? Like addressing anything I said directly?

      December 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • News Flash

      No Clayton. When the dispersion density is so small, and all "clumps" of matter have fallen apart, there will be no structures left. Your assertion that things will be the same gave you away.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      Wait a minute...why would atoms "fall apart" again?

      December 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Sorry Clay. They're too far apart to "get together". He's right about the density. :twisted:

      December 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Clayton

      BuckyBall – So the four forces will just give out like a cheap lightbulb?
      Can you point to any scientist putting this forward as a real theory?

      December 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Sorry NF. I forgot you're are a "she". 8)

      Sean, as'suming a state of maximum entropy, it's a theory called "Heat Death". It's only one of many theories about the "fate" of the universe. There would be no motion in a state of maximum entropy. I seem to remember Hawking saying all that would be left are photons and leptons, but I might be wrong. Gotta run. :twisted:

      December 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Clayton,
      They're too numerous to list. Take a physics course. :twisted:

      December 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Clayton

      Bucky Ball, it's called "the big rip" and requires an accelerating rate of expansion caused by "dark energy."
      And it's only one of several theories. What I don't understand is why you would defend a single aspect of this theory absent any knowledge of why and how our universe expands in the first place and also while lacking a quantum theory of gravity?
      Come on, Bucky Ball! I know you are not an idiot. Explain your favorite theory of expansion, your favorite theory of quantum gravity, and please don't leave out any details on the multi-dimensional aspects of your theory vis a vis "branes" please.
      Then I might be a believer in the big rip. For that matter, you need proof of real dark energy, not a mathematical error that suggests a force, to give credence to the big rip theory.
      u mad?

      December 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • 2 names for Clayton

      Freeman Dyson, Stephen Hawking. He probably never heard of them.

      December 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Ze Pewp

      Hey Clay,
      Let's see the mathematical error. Type out the equation please.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  3. fred

    Chuckles
    Faith in God (whether God exists or not) trumps all the other “faiths” you mentioned. By faith Able offered God the very best, Abraham left a cushy country where he was top dog to an unknown country etc. Mental hero’s for us such as these men of faith create drive yet even greater drive comes from God when God is your purpose. God is not man or flesh so cannot let you down, is greater than all known things, eternal, you are His child, He is your provider, protector, your hope, your dream. All things equal would you put your money on a man fighting for God or fighting for Mammon?
    Setting war footing aside faith has positive value in hopeless situations. Certainly there are tuff guys out there that chew nails and spit in the face of hopelessness yet, the average Joe is not that way. When facing the unknown faith provides confidence that no matter the outcome God knows all and His core character is perfect love which will always turn out the best for you.

    On the negative side other than bad people using faith or the faithful for bad purpose have given God a bad name. Faith in the days of old also brought great persecution.

    Hitchens had faith but, as far as I know not in God. On the outside we observe a man that appeared to live a good life and died with loving family and friends at his side. When the pope died a great deal of excess ceremony accompanied him and from the outside we observed a man of strong faith. Both appeared to have good heart. Now it is based on our faith where we believe the souls of these men reside. Our faith has no bearing on the reality of what these two now experience as it is always up to God (if there is one).
    Now, to each is given a measure of faith if you believe what the Bible says. Judgment is based on what you did with that measure you were given not what I or anyone else thinks.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Fred

      THere's that pesky "opinion" thing getting in the way again right? I mean, you believe that faith in god trumps everything, because hey, if that's not true then your life has been sort of wasteful hasn't it? We wouldn't want that now would we? You also like to point out that people use their faith in god to face the unknown.....well will you look at that, we agree on something! Then again, just because faith in god provides support for people who are down and out still proves nothing other than the power of the human mind. In many different situations, we can convince ourselves of outlandish things to help ourselves cope. People do it on the battlefield, or during a particularly traumatic experience, this again fred, proves that we don't like to revel in pain and trick ourselves into believing whatever helps us get over that.

      Freddy boy, it comes down to this: You believe that faith is super important, it's what makes god magically exist, it's what helps you move forward when you're in a tough situation, it's the drive for you to be a better person and it's the driving force, according to you, of all the good in the world. You purposefully ignore, misconstrue or twist anything that challenges that faith because what you've built up over the years is a cognitive dissoance that won't allow for overhaul. It must be right, it just has to and that my friend is why I get very sad when I meet someone who is a believer. The mental wards and barriers they've built up in their heads fry their brain, like trying to teach a robot to love the only answer a believer can give when presented with facts contrary to their faith is, "does not compute.....error.......error"

      December 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      Chuckles
      ‘ if that's not true then your life has been sort of wasteful hasn't it?”
      =>wasteful no, I have done some good and other lives were turned around through our programs. We have a feeding center and orphanage spending about 1.5 million per year on those who need help desperately. If it turns out we are but blobs of organic matter at least a few more blobs were feed and had roof.
      “just because faith in god provides support for people who are down and out still proves nothing other than the power of the human mind.”
      =>Hard to put numbers to it but I do not see any other organization that has reached out to more people than the Church of Christ. Sure there were a few bad apples but I doubt the percentage of bad apples is not that far different than society as a whole. Jesus said if you love me feed my sheep, care for my lambs, help the orphans and widows. It is good for man to work hard what difference if that work if for others rather than self.
      “ I get very sad when I meet someone who is a believer. The mental wards and barriers they've built up in their heads fry their brain, like trying to teach a robot to love”
      =>It would appear you do not recognize that you also have allowed deep groves cut into your character that does not allow the belief side of life to show its wonder. I mentioned this before but, I too found the Bible foolish not that long ago then the truth opened up like a flower in all its beauty. I will say that this web site has cast a shadow in my life as I really had no idea how many young people eat up this attack on faith. If there is a God I can understand even Jesus words “woe to those that cause these little ones to stumble”

      December 17, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • Bob

      fred, amazing that you are still trying to sell us on your ass-hole of a god, after you've already admitted that he's an evil jerk.

      So how's today's goat doing on the bonfire? Did you enjoy the sight of the blood when you did your obligatory killing for your nasty sky fairy?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  4. Ungodly Discipline

    I have a dear friend (who was a Christian) who was in a horrible car accident. It was touch and go for a while and at one point, his heart stopped. They brought him back and thank goodness he survived. The ER surgeon spoke to me and the family afterwards and told us that my friend had confided in him that he had a Near Death Experience and saw.....nothing. He told the doctor he was converting to Atheism. God was a no show.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • LinCA

      Sorry, but that doesn't prove anything. (glad your friend made it through, though).

      December 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      @LinCA
      It does prove one thing. You can't recognize a sarastic joke in response to catholic engineer's ridiculous post earlier.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @LinCA

      NOT FAIR! Why does science have to be so unforgiving when it comes to proof and evidence of an afterlife? Can't we just do what a believer does and twist it so it proves only what I believe instead of the truth?

      December 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Ungodly Discipline

      I guess I should have used my "wink" tags.
      <wink>"Sorry, but that doesn't prove anything."</wink>

      @Chuckles
      You said, "NOT FAIR! Why does science have to be so unforgiving when it comes to proof and evidence of an afterlife? Can't we just do what a believer does and twist it so it proves only what I believe instead of the truth?"
      Sorry. Same rules apply to everyone. Even atheists.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Why does God need to show up the a non-event? He didn't die...perhaps next time.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  5. Reality

    That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
    ― Christopher Hitchens

    " Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”

    ― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-believer

    -----------------------------------------–

    December 16, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Reality,
      Your best posting ever, in my opinion.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      hee listen to the cat man "me me me me me"

      December 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Guest

      More of your "cut and paste" drivel.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  6. catholic engineer

    No evidence for an afterlife? I don't know who had the most snap: Hitchens, the ordinary atheist, or A.J. Ayre. Ayre was a famous atheist who had a near death experience. In 2001 Dr. Jeremy George, the attending physician, claimed that Ayer had confided to him: "I saw a Divine Being. I'm afraid I'm going to have to revise all my books and opinions." You can read the rest in Wikipedia and think it over.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      NDE's have been pretty solidly debunked by modern neurological science.

      I know you're intelligent enough to do the research on the issue and see that they're basically the synapses of the brain misfiring due to catastrophic trauma to the brain or the debilitating effects of illness.

      Anything else you'd like to offer up as "proof"?

      December 16, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Chuckles

      An atheist who became religious?! STOP THE PRESSES! To all my atheist brothers and sisters, pack it up and time to go home! An atheist has become a believer and that, in the history of mankind has never happened so it must be a miracle from god! Praise Allah (That's who this guy saw right?)

      @CE
      Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention, I will currently revise everything that has ever been presented to me to include the commentary from a single person who had a near death experience. THANK YOU!

      December 16, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • LinCA

      @Chuckles

      You said, "An atheist who became religious?!"

      He must not have been a true atheist..... Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @warmesTghost and Chuckles
      I only invited you to think it over. I try to keep my comments as bland as possible without attacking anyone personally. For some reason, this approach triggers a lot of sarcasm and anger.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Danny Dubberstein

      How are near death experiences dismissed by science? Interesting how anything that helps supports God is automatically dismissed. Guess you all haven't ever watch the show "beyond and back" on BIO Channel (Discovery maybe, haha i forgot which channel).

      December 16, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      catholic engineer –

      I don't need to think it over. I already know what causes near death experiences (NDEs). If you want to provoke an intellectual debate on the veracity of any "proof" that supports the existence of the supernatural, then I am more than willing to engage you philosophically. The example you've used here simply does not stand up to scrutiny.

      No human, theist or atheist, wants to die (or at least very, very few of us). Death is the ultimate unknown, and humans fear that which they cannot know and do not understand more than they fear anything else. I'm not surprised that some folks have "deathbed conversions". It's the ultimate Pascal's Wager.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Chuckles

      @CE

      Sorry, I did think it over and sarcasm is what clearly popped to mind first. If I were to post about the countless experiences of a religious person becoming disillusioned and an atheist, what would you infer from that post, what do you think the expected response would be?

      December 16, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Nonimus

      @catholic engineer,
      What exactly are we supposed to think over – the hearsay from one attending physician, or his own words and the words of his son?

      December 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Stater

      15 percent of the world population (7billion) is 1.4 billion people.
      That's how many people there are who see the lack of clear proof of your "god's" existence.
      A billion atheists and doubting agnostics!
      Since the world's religions are not growing by a larger rate, that means they are shrinking as a percentage of the total.
      Absent any reason to turn to what is clearly untrue, why would any atheist bother to do so on their deathbed?
      Religions are drying up. Secular followers rise to the top, and atheists are the cream on top, closest to reality.
      Only lazy thinkers and incompetent ignoramuses sink to the bottom away from reality, there to join the rest of the psychotically insane.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  7. Curious

    An interesting man.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  8. DamianKnight

    So sorry to hear this. There's very little worse than losing a loved one. Apparently he had many fans amongst the atheist community. I'm sorry for your loss as well.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  9. abinadi

    As a Christian I spend my life building people up, telling them they are sons and daughters of God with a divine spirit and with unlimited potential. I help them deal with the devastating effects of sin (and if you think the effects of sin are made up, you have your eyes closed) and how to make things right (repentance) and heal. I try to make the world a better, brighter, happier place. As near as I can tell, atheists spend their cynical lives trying to destroy other people and make them miserable like themselves. You spend your lives trying to impress us all with your vast intellect, but you only impress yourselves. We don't even care how vastly intelligent you are. I don't know how Mr. Hitchens died, but I would not be surprised if it was from AIDS or drugs. How smart is that?

    December 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • SeanNJ

      Rage! Rage against the dying of the light!

      December 16, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Abinadi
      He died of cancer – in no way self-inflicted.

      Be wary of conflating skepticism with cynicism.
      Skepticism is a healthy way to approach life.

      I think Robert Heinlein said it best:
      "A religion is sometime a source of happiness, and I would not deprive anyone of happiness. But it is a comfort appropriate for the weak, not for the strong. The great trouble with religion — any religion — is that a religionist, having accepted certain propositions by faith, cannot thereafter judge those propositions by evidence. One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak uncertainty of reason — but one cannot have both."

      December 16, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Bob

      Abinadi, why would you deceive people like that? What else are you selling them?

      From the bible, it is clear that your god would be a racist, torturing, unfair and brutal ass-hole if he existed. Great that he doesn't.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • abinadi

      And, after all, what does it even matter that he died. He accomplished nothing with his life except to impress you atheists whose lives also don't matter. Now he is nothing, but he was nothing before, so, did he even exist?

      December 16, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • abinadi

      Bob, you can dish it out, but you can't take it?

      December 16, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Great representation of American Christianity. Thanks abinadi. If only all humans were as kind, open-minded and full-hearted as you. A true representative of Christ. God bless.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • wayne317

      "As a Christian I spend my life building people up, telling them they are sons and daughters of God with a divine spirit and with unlimited potential. "

      And what evidence to you have to back this up?

      December 16, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @adinadi

      Did he even exist?
      No matter how grandiose a man's accomplishments might be, he is still nothing as compared to the universe.
      Dip your hand in the ocean and pull it out. See the impact you made?

      One of religion's great comforts is that it tells people that they are the predilect object of Creation.
      That an anthropocentric enti/ty made this entire universe just to have us in it is patently absurb on the face of it, but it certainly assuages the ego.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      "As a Christian I spend my life building people up, telling them they are sons and daughters of God with a divine spirit and with unlimited potential. I help them deal with the devastating effects of sin (and if you think the effects of sin are made up, you have your eyes closed) and how to make things right (repentance) and heal. I try to make the world a better, brighter, happier place."

      "And, after all, what does it even matter that he died. He accomplished nothing with his life except to impress you atheists whose lives also don't matter. Now he is nothing, but he was nothing before"

      LOL

      December 16, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • News Flash

      Your post proves the point of the atheists. You FEEL so superior don't you. It's in every word you wrote. If those are the only kind of atheists you know, you need to get out more.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Electric Larry

      "As near as I can tell" Well that just says it all. abinadi proves he is totally ignorant of what atheists are like, and without any experience or knowledge invents the worst possible stereotype. Righteo. Just another hate-filled Christian. Yawn.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • abinadi

      Sorry, Warms, I just get sick and tired of being called a twit by a bunch of twerps.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • derp

      "I don't know how Mr. Hitchens died, but I would not be surprised if it was from AIDS or drugs."

      He died from esophageal cancer. It was noted in the VERY FIRST LINE OF THE ARTICLE. Maybe if you actually read the aritcle you would have known that........

      .....you sactimonious, self righteous, balbbering dic khead.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • LinCA

      @abinadi

      You said, "As a Christian I spend my life building people up,...... I don't know how Mr. Hitchens died, but I would not be surprised if it was from AIDS or drugs. How smart is that?"

      So very christian of you (no sarcasm here). If you ever wonder why christians and their fantasy are so despised, all you need to do is look in the mirror. You represent everything that is so horribly wrong with religion.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      I am not a twerp, sir, and if you do not enjoy being called a twit then I suggest you stop acting like one.

      Maybe, try acting a bit more like Christ. He had some pretty nice ideals. This coming from an atheist.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Doc Vestibule,
      "He died of cancer – in no way self-inflicted."
      It was Esophageal cancer and I think even CH himself admitted that his smoking and drinking may have contributed to the disease. That's not exactly what was implied by "AIDS and [illegal] drugs," but he was not a "health nut" at all.

      @abinadi,
      How does it build people up to tell them that the only good they contain is because of some god? ...that they have no control over their "ulimate salvation"? ...that they can never measure up?

      Doesn't sound very inspiring to me.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  10. catholic engineer

    In Luke 16, a poor man named Lazarus sat at the feet of a rich man and begged. Both men died. Lazarus found himself in paradise, the rich man went to a rather hot place. The rich man begged Abraham for a drop of water and was refused. "Well, then" begged the rich man, "let me go to my brothers and warn them what lies ahead." Abraham replied "Nope. If your brothers didn't believe the prophets they wouldn't believe a man returned from the grave."

    If Hitchens returned from the grave and said " They were right !", the atheists would think they were only hallucinating. Their minds are made up.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      I already replied to your argument further down on the page. Reposting it doesn't invalidate my response. You need to argue your case with logic and reason. Otherwise you're just circlejerking.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • derp

      That is where you are wrong dooshebag. My mother has been dead for 10 years. If she showed up at my doorstep tomorrow and said, "hey there is a god, I've seen him, and I came back from the dead to tell you", I would instantly believe in god.

      But nobody ever in the thousands of years of mankind has ever come back from the dead. There has never ever been a single shred of imperical evidence of god, or a resurrection, or an afterlife.

      Let me ask you, if the sky opened up tomorrow and an alien spcaeship came down and landed. And the occupants got out and showed imperical proof that they in fact had populated the earth, that the earth was billions of years old, that there is no such thing as god or an afterlife, would you stop believing in god?

      December 16, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • ...........

      empirical

      December 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      War, please tell us why the argument can only be accepted if it uses logic and reason... In your reply please do not use logic and reason to defend logic and reason "Otherwise you're just circlejerking."

      Historical evidence is a valid form of knowledge.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Mike from CT –

      Without reason and logic, what are you basing your arguments on, exactly?

      December 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Historical evidence is a valid form of knowledge.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      The discussion is a long one. Where people cry "circular logic" and claim it to be invalid when you believe that the Bible is the standard by which life exist. But then hopefully they will realize when arguing for any type of authority it must end in circular logic for it to be valid.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Mike from CT –

      Read my response at the bottom of the page. That is historical evidence for you.

      You cannot have a valid discussion as a human being without using reason and logic because without them you're basing your arguments on hearsay and subjective opinion. Reason and logic are objective facts, and are therefore the basis of any sane and rational discussion.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Reason and logic are objective facts, and are therefore the basis of any sane and rational discussion.

      Great now prove it beyond a reason of a doubt and then we can continue.... or we can take the above statement on faith and continue, the choice is yours.

      Here is another fun one, people who say "something is not acceptable if it can not be scientifically proven" but then they never go on to scientifically prove their statement to make it acceptable. Isn't funny how faith plays a big role whether you want to or not.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Clayton

      Reason and logic are tools. They are not facts. They are a way of dealing with information, especially facts.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Good call, Clayton, I worded that wrong.

      You are right.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  11. Doc Vestibule

    "There is no conclusive evidence of life after death. But there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know. So why fret about it?"
    – Robert Heinlein

    December 16, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  12. Nonimus

    Christopher Hitchens, you've left a wealth of insight, for which we are grateful.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Danny Dubberstein

      But in the grand scheme of things it was meaningless, in fact all life is meaningless according to the atheist worldview. This earth and the human race will eventually be gone and then what was the point? Nothing at all if you truly think about atheism and its meaning.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Danny –

      atheists cherish this life far more than any religious person. We cherish our friends and our family and our limited time with them and try to spend that time living as ethically and morally as we can, because we know that this life is all that we get and that our only immortality will be the memory we leave in the minds of those we love who we leave behind.

      Further, just because humanity is insignificant when viewed in the terms of the universe at large does not mean that our existence is meaningless. We are incredible animals capable of things that no other creature on this planet has ever been.

      And if more people were atheists we'd be a hell of a lot more focused on science and space travel and the possibility of terraforming and colonizing other planets. Earth's death does not necessitate the death of humanity.

      Of course, you probably look forward to death and the destruction of Earth because you and all your buddy believers get to to "Heaven".

      I understand that a comforting lie is far easier to embrace than the cold truth, but that's just the way it is.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Colin

      Danny, I don’t need to believe I will live happily ever after I die in order to live a full, meaningful life. If your sense of self worth is so predicated upon living for all eternity, you must be a very insecure person.

      Life is great and I sure as hell don’t need artificial sweetener to enjoy it.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • wayne317

      @Nonimus, scarcity is what creates value. The more rare something is the more vauable it becomes. What does life mean if you live forever? 100 trillion years from now when you are still living your after life what did the your >120 years here mean?

      Accepting that we more than likely won't live forever gives greater meaning to life because we only have a short window.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • wayne317

      my previous post was intended for danny not Nonimus.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • News Flash

      What does the word "meaningful" mean ? Why does assigning that a "+" value, "mean" something better than assigning that a "-" value ? The assertion life is "meaningful" only if it lasts forever, is a meaningless statement.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  13. Reality

    Hitchens was a scrub.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Reality

      Not from the original Reality.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  14. GAW

    I neither grieve nor delight in the death of Christopher Hitchens. However I do grieve the fact that his rhetoric and writings have given feed to a new breed of Atheists who think very much like the religious Fundamentalists they so despise.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Danny Dubberstein

      Well said. Just looking at these comments you can see the hypocricy of atheists. Zealots they are indeed.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Clayton

      Unlike zealots we are always open to any evidence you think you can cough up. Could you say the same? No.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  15. Danny Dubberstein

    As a Christian I certainaly disagreed with Hitchen philosophy and beliefs, but nobody ever wants to lose a loved one or rejoices in death. I'll pray for his family and they someday can find the love of Christ if they haven't already.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  16. MEME

    He certainly know what hell is all about today.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  17. John

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_6PxnvaySw&w=640&h=390]

    December 16, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • .....

      TRASH ALERT – don't bother viewing this garbage, click the report abuse link to get rid of this stupid TROLL!

      December 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  18. HotAirAce

    If CH was to return from the dead, I suspect he would have the decency to hang around long enough for the event to be thoroughly investigated, unlike your "hit and run" jesus. I don't think CH would expect anyone to simply take his word as absolute truth. I'd hope he'd drag jesus back into reality and tell him to clean up the mess his silly story has caused.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • George

      Hit and run Jesus? Jesus walked the earth for 40 days after his resurrection.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Alledgedly walked the earth, and has been "missing in action" for 2000+years. Do the math, he was (alledgedly) on the earth for less than 2% of the time believers have been making up stories about him. Seems like "hit and run" is a reasonable description of his behaviour.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  19. George

    Look at that picture of Hitchens, and look at his eyes. It is clear that he had a dead soul long before he physically died.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      I find it rather easy to lie to others, but I've never really been able to lie to myself. I wonder how you Christians do it on such a regular basis.

      Of course, there's always the possibility that you're just a troll trying to make Christians look bad.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • HotAirAce

      So, George can now "see" things in inanimate objects. Won't be long before he is reading the entrails of small animals. Seems his version of christianity is moving towards the occult.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Hey tard boy. It's called cancer. Something that your "all loving" god created in his "perfect" creation.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • George

      You can't honestly tell me that you don't see his general dullness in that photo. That kind of dullness comes only when the sould is dead or seriously ill.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • George

      I doubt he had cancer when that photo was taken.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • HotAirAce

      He looks tired and somber – physical attributes. You are talking about an unproven spiritual attribute in a way that supports your unproven childish beliefs. You are projecting your mental illness onto a picture.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • SeanNJ

      He just looks like he has a hangover to me.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  20. catholic engineer

    In Luke 16 is the parable of the poor man Lazarus and the rich man, who feeds Lazarus only scraps. Both men die, and the rich man finds himself in hell. He begs for a drop of water, but Father Abraham from paradise denies him. The rich man then begs to be allowed go inform his brothers what lies ahead of them. Abraham replies that if the rich man's brothers don't believe the prophets, they wouldn't believe a man returned from the grave.

    If Hitchens returned from the grave to say "the religious folks were right !", the atheists would think they were having an hallucination.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Chuckles

      How's about putting words into our mouths you ask? The answer you'll get is pretty easy. If a dead Hitchens comes back to life and says, "There is a god, he's real" then there will be a lot more converts by the end of the week. You can't exactly fake reanimation.

      My question for you CE. What if Hitchens came back from the dead and started talking about what death was like and either a) said it was nothingness b) it was Val Halla or c) really any other mythological afterlife, would you find it as easy to convert?

      December 16, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Nonimus

      "If Hitchens returned from the grave to say 'the religious folks were right !', the atheists would think they were having an hallucination."
      And they would be right.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      The difference between atheists and theists:

      If you come to an atheist and you present irrefutable scientific proof of the existence of the supernatural and then ask the atheist: well, do you believe now in God?

      Hallelujah! Of course I do!

      If you come to a theist with irrefutable scientific proof that the supernatural is just human superst-ition and that their religious beliefs are flat wrong and ask: well, do you admit you're wrong?

      No! Your science is a lie! Praise (insert deity here)!

      December 16, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Nonimus

      You have to agree, if a dead Christopher Hitchens one day just got up and started walking and talking again and started chatting about the afterlife, you'd have no choice but to believe him, right? I'm not saying just Chris either, I'm talking about any dead person (not someone who had a near death experience, I'm talking dead, in the ground, not being alive for days dead). We're always asking for proof, the least we can do (and show we're the better men/women) is follow through with that request and when we receive it, recognize it for what it is. I find it highly highly highly unlikely that a dead person anywhere after being dead for weeks and buried is going to rise and start walking, but hey if it happens, I'll probably first try to kill it (Zombie Apocolypses are dangerous you know), but if I'm not quick enough and the zombie starts to speak, I'll listen

      December 16, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Absolutely right Chuckles. The difference between a religious person and a skeptic is that a religious person wont change their world view after presented with evidence.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • hippypoet

      ok , i am sry for the outright frankness of this but i am rather depressed today...

      nearly all atheists would if evidence was provided and proven to be fact that god exists would then become instant believers – but we would still lack faith for knowing something is real is not the same as having faith (hope) that it is!

      December 16, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Chuckles,
      Yes, I do agree that if there were solid evidence of true resurrection of the dead, then I would accept it as true.

      However, @catholic engineer, with the use of the phrase, "they were having an hallucination," implied a personal experience as opposed to a well docu.mented and tested actual resurrection. If I see Christopher Hitchens alive and in person at any point from now on I will have to assume that it is an hallucination, until solid evidence shows otherwise.

      That's all I'm saying, but your point is valid, yes.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Nonimus

      Fair enough, at first glance if I saw any dead person walking around it would probably go "Hmm that's strange" –> "Oh sh.it, what was in that drink?" –> "This is the weirdest trip I've ever had.... you see him too?1" –> "ZOMBIE ATTACK, KILL IT KILL IT! HIT IT IN THE BRAIN!" –> "THE BRAIN'S NOT WORKING! DISMEMBER IT! DO SOMETHING!! HOLY SH.IT IT'S TALKING!" –> "A god you say? that's interesting, tell me more" –>" Alright, I believe you Mr. Hitchens, so what do I do next?"

      December 16, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Mike from CT

      War

      If you come to an atheist with reliable historical evidence, they still deny it.

      If you come to an atheist with well off parents, they will most likely go to a fine university and pay people to teach them history.

      Interesting.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Mike from CT –

      There is no historical evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ. No archaeological or historical evidence of his birth, life, ministry or death. No evidence of any carpentry he may have made and no first hand historical accounts of his deeds. Nothing written about him at all till decades after his death by people who never saw him.

      Genesis is wrong. Evolution proves it.

      The Flood never happened. Archaeological and historical records of the time prove there was no world-wide flood.

      The Exodus never happened. There is no archaeological or historical evidence that the ancient Israelites were ever even in Egypt, let alone enslaved there.

      That's historical evidence for you. Would you like some more?

      December 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      ***There is no historical evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ. ***
      Are you discounting the historical evidence of the historical evidence of the witnesses.

      ***No archaeological or historical evidence of his birth, life, ministry or death.***
      Bull, example the pools of Solom.

      ***Nothing written about him at all till decades after his death by people who never saw him.***
      Bull, 1 decade. explain peter and john. let's start there. Question how come you believe Ceaser Tiberus, who did not have things written about him by only about 20 people starting 400 years after his death. But not the 40 that wrote about Jesus within a 60 year period?

      ***Genesis is wrong. Evolution proves it.**
      You need to provide more than this

      ***The Flood never happened. Archaeological and historical records of the time prove there was no world-wide flood.***
      Quite the opposite there is a historical record of the flood and it is record in more than the bible. Have to find my previous post with supporting articles.

      ***The Exodus never happened. There is no archaeological or historical evidence that the ancient Israelites were ever even in Egypt, let alone enslaved there.
      Again just wrong. Pottery has been found in Egypt

      ****That's historical evidence for you. Would you like some more?
      None of that was evidence but conjecture.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      War

      Follow this link down

      religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/07/study-some-atheists-with-children-attend-with-religious-services/comment-page-2/#comment-861295

      December 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Look Mike, you can argue with me all day long or until Hell freezes over, whichever you prefer.

      At the end of the day, I spent many years researching both Judaism and Christianity and I find them both not only false, but evil as well. The evidence is there for you to find, just as I have. Everything I wrote above is true. There is no evidence for your case.

      PS – just because the Bible mentions a place doesn't validate all the rest of the obvious nonsense in it. The Bible is a fable set on Earth. It's not surprising that it occasionally mentions a real place.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      war/chuckles

      *** I spent many years researching both Judaism and Christianity

      Great teach us, help us, tell us what you found.

      Start with this one please

      "The Bible is a fable set on Earth." it doesn't read in the same narrative as other fables. It reads as , in parts, historical narrative.

      ***but evil as well
      See now this is a problem for me because you call Christianity false, but then you go on to agree with the "false" religion that Christians are evil... that confuses me why you call something false and then confirm it.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      From the village church

      So if you’re a bit of a skeptic, then here should be your issue. You should be saying right
      now, “Matt, you’re doing the same thing the monkey prophets did. Because the Bible
      was written by men, Matt. And since the Bible was written by men, how is it different
      from the monkey temple guys who came out and said, ‘Thus sayeth the monkey’? How
      is it any different?” It’s very different on several fronts. Let me cover some of them. Let
      me give you what is indisputable when it comes to the Bible, and then we can get into
      what is disputable. There are 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books
      written in three languages: Hebrew, Greek and a bit of Aramaic. It was written on three
      continents: Africa, Asia and a bit of Europe. It was written over a time period of over a
      thousand years. The authors include kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets,
      statesmen, scholars, etc. Books cover history, sermons, letters, hymns and a love song.
      There are geographical surveys, architectural specifications, travel diaries, family trees
      and numerous legal doc.uments. It covers hundreds of controversial subjects with
      unbelievable unity, from different cultures, across a thousand year period of time, in
      different languages. It is a spectacular book with one theme, one point and one direction.
      A couple of other things. It runs contrary to the desires of most men and women. It
      wants to say, “This is where joy is found,” despite the fact that men and women
      historically, across all cultures have said, “No, I can find joy and life over here.” So if
      you want to build a religion, you usually do that by telling people what they want to hear.
      So at the monkey temple, it’s, “If you give certain offerings to the monkey, then your
      crops won’t fail. If you give certain offerings to the temple, then your pigs won’t die.”
      But the Bible is a lot different than that. If you ask cultures, “Men, what do you think
      about s.ex,” the response is, “Yes please.” But the Bible is going to say, “s.ex is good,
      beautiful and God-created, and here are the confines in which you should participate in
      this gift to you for your greatest joy and God’s greatest glory.” So God begins to outline
      how He created things to work, and it runs contrary to our rebellious nature. So He’s not
      trying to win friends and influence people.
      The second thing that is unbelievable in the Bible is there are only four guys in Scripture
      I would let watch my kids: Jesus and the boys in the fiery furnace. Everyone else is
      questionable. No one else passes the background check. King David would be like, “Ican play my harp and put them to sleep.” Yeah, but you slept with somebody who was
      not your wife and then you killed her husband. Moses, “I led millions of people into the
      Promised Land.” And you murdered a guy with your bare hands. I’m sorry, you can’t
      watch Norah. The Bible is filled with shady characters. And this goes back to the point
      that the book is about the mercy and beauty of God in Christ and not you and me.
      Because almost all the men and women in Scripture are these abject failures who God
      uses mightily. Why? Because the point is Him, not you. So for those of you who like
      the other end of the spectrum where you loathe yourself, that’s just as much idolatry as
      loving yourself. Both are saying, “I have no need of the cross of Christ.” Both are
      wrong.
      So what happens when you get into this dialogue about the Bible is one of two things.
      People tend to try to paint the Bible as some kind of old-school, fundamental, weak,
      1950’s, Leave It to Beaver kind of, out of date, Reebok high tops with Op shorts and a
      fanny pack kind of feel. If you dress like that, let your wife help you. This is what’s
      painted. You’re not with the times. Now there are a couple of issues I have with this. So
      I’m arrogant for saying that I believe the Word of God is the measure of how life should
      function, but you’re not arrogant for believing that you’re own brain is the standard? And
      then on top of that, you have to believe that you think this culture at this time is the apex
      of human existence. Now, let me be straight. My grandparents can embarrass me.
      Specifically around race and things like that, they just embarrass me. We’ve had to have
      some loving confrontations. “Don’t talk like that. . .Don’t say those words around me.”
      It’s a shameful thing that they don’t understand is shameful. And if you don’t think that
      same thing on a different subject is going to happen to us thirty years from now, you’re a
      fool. And so this first bit of it being old-school is, “Oh, so I’m trusting in thousands of
      years of history that have actually yielded some pretty fascinating and phenomenal
      results. I’m such an idiot.”
      Now the second thing that happens more often than not is regurgitation. What I mean by
      that is they will just go, “Well the Bible is just filled with inconsistencies.” Every time I
      hear that, I simply want to go, “Okay, show me.” Nine times out of ten, they can’t show
      me. They’re just regurgitating. But there are semblances of inconsistencies in the
      Scriptures that need to be unpacked. So for the guy or girl who would say, “There are
      inconsistencies, and here is what they are,” it usually can be solved by intro level of
      hermeneutics. Here’s what I mean by that. You don’t read history and poetry the same
      way. You read them differently. They are two different genres of literature. You don’t
      read them the same. So what I have found a lot of the time on the inconsistency front is
      they want to come out of Psalms and talk about the natural order and say, “That’s now
      how the natural order works.” I’m like, “It’s a poem.” Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven is
      terrifying. I never read it by myself. It scares the weirdness out of me. Rap tap tapping
      on my chamber door. That just freaks me out. Now, in that poem, what does the raven
      say? “Nevermore.” Now do you think Poe was really trying to convince everybody that
      an actual raven talked to him? Maybe. He was insane after all. But we don’t read poetry
      like we read history. So you can’t go to the Psalms and say, “Look what it says about the
      sun. Scientifically we know it doesn’t work that way. You see? It’s inconsistent.” No,
      it’s a poem. You read poetry different than you read history, different that you read agenealogy, different than you read architectural specifications. Different genres require
      different interpretation.
      And then here’s the other thing that happens. There is a fundamental posture of heart
      when it comes to the Scriptures that reveals where your heart really is. People either
      come to the Scriptures with a heart that desires for it to be true or they come to the
      Scriptures with a heart that doesn’t want it to be true. And depending on where your
      heart is, you’ll find all the ammunition you need. I’ll give you an example of this from
      the New Testament. The Pharisees and Scribes loved to question Jesus, He always nailed
      them and it never led to their repentance. So they get together and go, “How can we trip
      up Jesus? How can we turn the crowd against Jesus? Let’s ask Him about taxes!” And
      then they come over here and it’s like, “Hey, should we pay taxes to Caesar?” And Jesus
      goes, “Does anybody have a coin? Whose picture is that on the denarius? It’s Caesar’s.
      So why don’t you give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and give unto God that which is
      God’s.” And it’s not like they go, “Oh, He’s right. He’s the Messiah. Praise Your name.
      We’re going to follow You.” No, they’re like, “Dang it. Okay, gather up. What are we
      going to get Him with now? How about resurrection!” And then they run back out and
      go, “Okay, let’s say there was this dude and he had a wife. He died, and his brother
      married his wife. He died and the third brother married his wife. On and on through
      seven brothers. At the resurrection, whose wife is she?” And Jesus goes, “Man, you
      don’t understand the resurrection. In the new heavens, in the new earth, when all things
      have been made new, we won’t be given in marriage like we are here. Marriage is a
      shadow of covenant. Covenant will be fulfilled. Our relationships there will be so vastly
      superior to our relationships here that marriage won’t be an aspect of the new heaven and
      new earth. I’m not saying you won’t know your spouse or you won’t have special
      affections for them. I’m just saying the relationships we have in the new heavens and the
      new earth, when all things have been renewed no longer require shadows because we’ll
      have the true form. Marriage is a shadow of something, and we’ll have the actual true
      form in the new heaven and new earth.” And do they repent? Absolutely not. They
      immediately go back and just do this over and over again until they figure out they can’t
      get him, so they decide to kill Him. “He has grown too powerful. He keeps duping us.
      Let’s kill Him.” And then you get the cross.
      So what I have found is that a lot of people approach texts in the Bible like this. “Let me
      prove it wrong.” So they Google “Bible inaccuracies.” Here’s one from a conversation I
      had with a young man two weeks ago. Matthew 28:5-7 says, “But the angel said to the
      women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified."” Now in
      John 20:11-12, the exact same story is located. Here’s what it says. “But Mary stood
      weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she
      saw two angels in white.” So in the Matthew text, one angel speaks to her, and in the
      John text, there are two angels. Now if the fundamental posture of your heart is, “I do
      not want to believe the Bible, and I do not want to submit to the God of the Bible,” then
      this is a problem. If your fundamental posture is, “I love the Lord. The Holy Spirit has
      awakened me to reality, what do I do with this?” it’s a lot more simple. So if I get home
      here in a little bit, sit down with Lauren and she asks me if I talked to Josh Patterson and
      I say, “Yeah, I talked to Josh, and here’s what we talked about.” And then later on, Joshmay call me and say, “Hey, did you see my folks at church today.” I’ll say, “I did. They
      actually sat where they normally sit.” Now Lauren would not yell from the kitchen, “You
      are a liar!” No, I didn’t lie. I just didn’t go, “I saw Josh, and do you know who else I
      saw? I saw this person, this person, this person. . .” I didn’t do that. Why? Because
      that’s not what she was asking. So Matthew says an angel spoke to her. John is a
      furtherance of the narrative. So we know one angel spoke, but there were two angels
      there now. How do we know that? There is unity in the Scriptures.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Clayton

      If you can't speak for yourself and use your own words, then you are a mindless parrot and should be fed to the nearest cat in small pieces.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Mike

      I'll start with the first post you directed at me and work my way forward. You said, "If you come to an atheist with reliable historical evidence, they still deny it. If you come to an atheist with well off parents, they will most likely go to a fine university and pay people to teach them history." I'm pretty confused here. Reliable piece of historical evidence that we're denying? Please be more specific. Keep in mind however that like Warmsghost stated, showing that the bible is steeped in historical fact does not make it true. It's called historical fiction. As for the second part, what's wrong with going to a university and being taught? isn't that how school works? Or Did you grow up in a shack and have to teach your parents history so you're jealous of all the people who got a real education?

      As for you're book-like post, the first sentence is enough to know that whatever else you write is going to be garbage. You state "So if you’re a bit of a skeptic, then here should be your issue. You should be saying right
      now" - You're really going to tell me what, in my opinion, is my issue and then what I'm going to say? Let's say this together shall we, STRAWMAN!

      The next part about "Indisputable facts" is probably my favorite. Somethings you state are true, general attributes of the bible, though I can see your opinion and bias sneaking in what with, "unbelievable unity" and "So He’s not
      trying to win friends and influence people." – You do know that the first commandment is about there being no other gods BUT him, sounds to me that ALL he wants to do is win friends and influence people, but hey, what do I know?

      Honestly, I tried reading the rest, I really did, I made it all the way to hermaunumatics (or however you spell it) before I couldn't go any further. The haughtiness, the certainity the condecension is just breakthtaking. I mean, atheist pretty much can corner the market on arrogance and condencesion, that's our bread and butter, but sir I have to tip my cap to you in what I can see was the most offending post probably seen on this forum to date, so BRAVO!

      You're strawman argument, you're constant need to set up the arguements you feel are made against the bible so you can deconstruct it only uncover your extreme ignorance in the most astounding way. I would be semi-willing depending on what you bring to the table to discuss the ins and outs of religion and specifically yours and exactly what people mean when they say inconsistencies, when they say it's out dated, when they point out the blood thirsty sava.ge acts that happen in the bible. However it really all comes down to this:

      You make statements that make you sound like you are expert on the human heart, the human mind and the human instinct. You've gained all this knowledge supposedly on from the bible and from limited observation, but Mike, to truely be smart you have to know wisdom comes from knowing nothing. Most atheists here will regurgitate facts and figures, scriptures and quotes, but at the end of the day most of us are more than happy to admit that we know nothing, that all we think we know could be undone tomorrow and that what we don't know could fill a billion libraries. You're bible askes you to be humble and yet here you are, the most arrogant person on this board, Try for some humility Mike, try to understand that your existance has no greater meaning outside of yourself and the words, "I don't know" is not an omission of idiocy or stupidity but of present ignorance and misunderstanding.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      @Clayton,
      That is funny.
      You do know you are just using the same words you were taught in school.
      Of course then there is the article, what good was Hitchens books or any study if we can then not use that study going forward.

      @Chuckles,
      first sorry if I was incorrect, I just though you had multiple handles because you both used the same exact reply to a Luke 16 passage :)

      The Bible, or I should say the books that we now have in our bible are not steeped in historical fact but are recordings of historical fact. Big difference there.

      ***"It's called historical fiction.... " What has lead you to belive this since, for instance, 1&2 Kings are the first record of the historical accounts. If it is the first record it can't be historical fiction as it had no prior historical account to draw from.

      ***As for the second part, what's wrong with going to a university and being taught?
      Nothing. But that is the point. You accept Caeser even though there is 2x-10x more historical accounts for Jesus. So why is the History of Caeser correct but not of Jesus?

      ***, STRAWMAN!- let me state it in my own words (look clayton) then if you are a skeptic it is logical to ask the following questions,
      Your not against logic are you?

      Sorry you didn't make it to the end. I am confused with the "Indisputable facts" that you fail to dispute?

      From Wiki
      A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position, twisting his words or by means of [false] assumptions.[1] To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition

      So my question is which part of the above was a misrepresentation vs. an actual question that has once been ask, especially here.

      I should stop because you stopped reading.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Sorry I have to continue.

      ****You make statements that make you sound like you are expert on the human heart, the human mind and the human instinct.
      If I ever did that, I apologize I am no expert, but I do come here to refute those who claim without a shoadow of a doubt that
      something like "truely be smart you have to know wisdom comes from knowing nothing. " but then don't explain it to us. It is them that use there limited observation over the truths within scripture that perplex me.

      My name is Mike. If wisdom comes from knowing nothing, how does it get passed on?

      If you admit you know nothing, then how can you claim any argument at all. Wouldn't you be agnostic? Atheism is "there is no God (and I hate him)"

      ****"and that what we don't know could fill a billion libraries" Sure, so then can you go on claiming the how the universe was or was not created or that there is or is not a god. Putting aside, any current belief system we have today.

      ***And yet here you are, the most arrogant person on this board, Try for some humility Mike
      This made me sad. More arrogant than Reality? Really me? I though I was humble in asking people to explain there position and giving them the opportunity to defend their faith?
      Please explain why I am arrogant because I believe and share the Bible is the standard for all living. But the person that screams THAT CAN NOT BE TRUE is not?

      "try to understand that your existance has no greater meaning outside of yourself and the words"
      Vs Greater meaning is not in my existence but in the existence of all that is eternal and the one that holds all things together by His words?

      There have been many topics I don't reply to because I do not know, but I see no value in typing "I don't know" on every post, just to say "I don't know". That would put the focus on me and not the discussion which points to Him.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Mike

      First thing you have to know and I as.sume you do, there weren't exactly standards, or fact checks when the books in the bible were being written. To believe that everything written down is 100% true fact is the height of folley. That holds true for accounts of Ceasar, or Alexander, or any other famous historic accounts.

      For your actual question on why I believe what I'm told and I learn about Ceasar vs. Jesus, pretty simple. Ceasar was one of the greatest Emporers of Rome, Romans were some of the best record keepers around. Put those two together and you'll get many many many different accounts of actions, deeds and words that Cesar said and did. Not to mention, no supernatural powers have been attributed to him and there aren't records of Ceasar doing something physically impossible. Jesus on the other hand was part of the second-class israelites in a far out territory of under Roman rule who bucked authority but had bigger issues with the authority within his community and not the republic at large. I can say with a fair amount of confidence that there were probably rabble rousers squirming under Roman rule since the soliders first entered jerusalem till the last soldier left, even with Rome's expert skills at record keeping, it doesn't take a professor to realize that jesus during his time wouldn't be deserving of the same attention that cesear got, unless of course he did many of the miracles he says he did in front of the Romans and they found it remarkable enough to right down, say when a bunch of people rose from the dead.... and yet the accounts we have are only from the POV of jesus's disciples as well as a small, side note from Tactius that makes note of the man claiming to be jesus' crucifixtion. That's hardly a foundation in which to base your certainty on.

      On to the second post. Mike, when I say wisdom comes from knowing nothing, there's a little more subtly to this sentence that is hard to express on this forum. The true wisdom is not to knowingly be ignorant and refuse knowlege, but to pursue knowledge in the face of knowing you will never know everything.

      Atheism's claim is and always has been simply put, a disbelief in God and a rejection of religion. Agnosticism acknowledges that there might be God or a god but you don't really know. The difference is again subtle because god and God are two very different things. I'm fairly confident that God (the one from the bible, the god of abraham) does not exist and that religion is the opiate of the masses used to control and mollify. I am however willing to ackowledge that there could be a creator of the universe who has yet to show itself, but a higher power nonetheless. Atheism, as the name implies, simply means that you are not part of any religion, agnosticism relates specifically to the question of god, or God, or Gods, and so on. Do you see the difference?

      Just because I don't know everything and most likely will never know how the universe was actually created with 100% certainity or why, we have observable evidence from the Hubble Telescope among other things to show us literally milliseconds before the big bang, this is why the big bang is the current accepted theory and the one the fits the best. As for the why, well that's a philisophical question that science can not and should not be expected to answer. You can answer that question with religion, or opinion but it changes for person to person and does not have one distinct answer.

      Lastly, the arrogance that you show in your long post is your unabashed confidence in a) knowing what atheists say b) knowing the "true answers" and c) like I stated before, regardless of if you meant to or not, but your complete confidence on the human mind, heart and desire.

      ""try to understand that your existance has no greater meaning outside of yourself and the words"
      Vs Greater meaning is not in my existence but in the existence of all that is eternal and the one that holds all things together by His words?" – Yes, instead of believing there is some higher power with greater meaning in the universe and that your existance somehow in someway has any effect on anything other than your immediate surroundings has arrogance written all over it, you aren't the only ones though. Everyone has arrogance, I do, you do, atheists do, christians do, it's how we live with our decisions and convince ourselves that we're right. The humility I get when I think of the vast reaches of space, the humongous celstial objects whizzing at impossible speeds through dark nothingness is worth more to me than any feeling I get from being a special person in the eyes of an invisible being that I have no personal interaction with.

      Your last sentence. Admitting you don't know is one of the greatest strengths a person can learn and have. You seem to believe that by admitting your ignorance that it would invalidate your earlier claims, to a degree it would on subjects you clearly do not know anything about, however I have the utmost respect for people like JW and DamianKnight who have no problem saying they do not know the mind and will of god, they try to the best they can with their lot in life and hope that will be enough, that's the kind of faith I can get behind, I can not however understand for the life of me people who stubbornly will never admit to not knowing something but try to cover their ignorance with lies and wrong facts or deflections. When you refuse to answer a question because it will end in a "I don't know" it shows me that a) there's ignorance there and b) you are in more need of being corrected and helped out of that ignorance than anyone else.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Mike from CT,
      "Let me give you what is indisputable when it comes to the Bible... There are 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books..."
      Your first statement is disputable:
      Tanakh(Jewish Bible)(24 books)
      Protestant Old Testament(39 books)
      Catholic Old Testament (46 books)
      Eastern Orthodox Old Testament (51 books)
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_of_the_Bible, not that wiki is a primary source but it can be good place to start.)

      December 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Nomious,
      Great post, glad you were able to reconciel that.
      Again since the speaker is talking about the Christian Bible we can trow out the Tanakh and the Eastern Orthodox Old Testament
      Now the Catholic 46. Since the scribe, St Jerome, of the Vulgate even stated in his work that Jerome described those books or portions of books in the Septuagint that were not found in the Hebrew as being non-canonical: he called them apocrypha.[7] Jerome's views did not, however, prevail;
      So that is why we do not consider them part of the Bible.

      But continuing that is not the statement as you know with the ... the statement is that those books were ...written in three languages: Hebrew, Greek and a bit of Aramaic. It was written on three
      continents: Africa, Asia and a bit of Europe. It was written over a time period of over a
      thousand years. The authors include kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets,
      statesmen, scholars, etc. Books cover history, sermons, letters, hymns and a love song.
      There are geographical surveys, architectural specifications, travel diaries, family trees
      and numerous legal doc.uments

      So read it as given these 66 books the following is indisputable.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Mike

      DISPUTE!! DISPUTE I SAY! " It was written on three
      continents: Africa, Asia and a bit of Europe. It was written over a time period of over a
      thousand years. The authors include kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets,
      statesmen, scholars"

      The authorship of the books in the bible is actually disputed to have been edited and rewritten by only four people.... which sort of wraps up the whole "unbelieveable unity" when you actually realize that only 4 people, (R E J B) were editors with a specific purpose in mind, that "unbelievable unity" actually because quiet believable bias

      December 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Mike from CT,
      I'm sorry, I can't get past the first "indisputable fact." You are rationalizing that the Tanakh, Eastern Orthodox, and Catholic Bible are invalid, but valid or not, I would say that the fact that you need to rationalize it is evidence that it is in dispute.

      For example, Jesus was a Jew, supposedly, so why wouldn't the Tanakh be a valid Old Testament, he quoted it after all, and although you may agree with St. Jerome, apparently the Catholic church doesn't, which indicates not which one is correct, but that it is in "dispute." And finally, who are you to discount the Eastern Orthodox church as non-Christian?

      "The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church [note 1] and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church,[4] is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents[citation needed]..."
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Church)

      December 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      @Chucks I think you are confusing the idea of doc.ument hypothesis with everything else. Doc.ument hypothesis only applies to the first 5 books of the bible. Are you really going to claim the writers on Job and Genesis also wrote Acts and Revelations

      Doc.ument hypothesis has been proven to be invalid. and hopefully you saw the comment why Peter wrote 1& 2 Peter... in the conversation with Reality

      Yelling dispute does not make it disputable.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Nom, let me clarify the Tanakh is not invalid but incomplete, surely you can see that.

      As for St Jerome comments are not in dispute that they exist, they just choose to ignore his comments and press forward. Reminds me of this other group Jesus interacted with.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:48 am |
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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.