“To claim (Christopher) Hitchens posthumously for evangelical Christianity is to defame a man who was a champion of the Enlightenment.”

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One is tempted to read no further than “Alabamian evangelist.”


Christopher Hitchens and the Christian conversion that wasn’t, by Matthew d’Ancona (The Guardian)

 … The religious knew that it was worth claiming the spiritual scalps of the founding father of evolution theory and of Italy’s pre-eminent Marxist. In our own era, a resourceful Alabamian evangelist is exploiting his friendship with Hitchens, who died in 2011, to allege that the author of God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything was, in fact, on a secret spiritual journey and halfway to embracing Jesus …

 … There is so much wrong with this book that one hardly knows where to start. But its fundamental error concerns the nature of intellectual inquiry itself. For Taunton, there is only one such pursuit, and it is unidirectional: if you are interested in morality, you are, axiomatically, interested in religion – which, for a southern evangelical, means the gospels. When Hitchens observes that a child and a piglet are morally different, Taunton says that “this was unambiguous theism, as he well knew”.

Of course, Hitchens knew no such thing. For him, as for any atheist, morality did not need the framework of religion. Philosophy did not depend upon the supernatural, and ethics did not require a godhead to be worth discussing – a discussion that can be traced back at least as far as Socrates in Plato’s Euthyphro.

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