The Rise of Anti-Theism


I must state immediately that I did not hear the Blair/Hitchens debate in its entirety, but rather only sound-bytes.  But for the purpose of this article that is enough because I’m going to take a different angle.  Debates are debates and you win some you loose some.  Debates are good for the brain. One of my favorite debaters is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and I’m not even Jewish nor believe a large part of his position.  I just love his passionate delivery.  But what wins my approval is that he is neither mean spirited nor vindictive.

Even for myself it is known very much even in my own family what a complete pain in the ass I can be when in comes to practically begging for a good friendly conflict.  Several members won’t even talk to me anymore due to my compulsive need to not let sleeping dogs lie.    Once I even berated a Mormon missionary for missing my house!  There’s almost certainly a reason for that, but I’m not going to draw any conclusions about why without a good fight.

Thus it was of no small surprise to me to see that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair of all people was in a debate forum about religion with Christopher Hitchens.  Win or loose, I’m just happy that the actual dialogue is gaining public interest.  Personally I would have preferred a known heavyweight apologist rather than another example of Hitchens choosing only soft targets.

Hitchens to me has always been a man wrapped in logical contradiction.  He emphatically denies any religious truth…or any absolute truth at all for that matter…yet illogically has dedicated his life to a meaningless cause of trying to convince the public of his existentialism.  Let me illustrate.

If God is a delusion, then the physical is all there is.  We live, die, and all amounts to nothing.  Our beliefs are nothing, and our entire existence is meant to propagate the species.  Nothing more.

Thus, if someone…like for example, ME…has a theistic worldview, then what’s the problem?  Why even acknowledge me or my opinions if it’s all pointless to do so?  Why not screw like rabbits and play ping pong for all it matters?

And this is the zinger:  Hitchens is not actually an atheist. He’s an anti-theist.

I actually have very little problem with atheists.  In fact, I love the dialogue that come from rational, cool headed discussions with them.  True, I am a Christian and as such believe that Christ is the only numero-uno honcho.  But if I didn’t believe that then I wouldn’t be one would I?  I’d be something else.  Very rarely does a conversation with a well meaning atheist go south.

Anti-theists however, are a whole different matter.  Try spending 5 minutes on Reddit if you need an example!

To them I’m responsible for every wrong thing in the world from wars to famine and am blamed for every miss-step in their lives.  I can explain that religion by no means has a stranglehold on historical screw-ups, and how has proven to be a force for helping the downtrodden and weak when the humanist principles Hitchens worships would have them culled for the “greater good”.  But it does not matter.  It falls on deaf ears.

See that bus ad above?  Does than mean I can rape, pillage and do anything I want?  No, because they also try and push their brand of morality.  Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways and remain true to your creed.  Morality is something the animal kingdom doesn’t concern itself with when food resources are short and the mother tiger eats its own young.  Logically, Hitchens and crew have a philosophy that leads to nothing short of civil anarchy and personal futility.

Regardless of this, the anti-theists have been getting very restless.  Many polls show that an alarming majority of people still believe in a God, and do not subscribe to Hitchens views at all.  That is why these guys are pumping out books left and right.  They’re desperate to turn public opinion back to them.  Yet while their attempts embolden their own devoted ranks, they seem to do very little to increase their actual numbers.  In fact, many studies are finding that creationism and Christianity in general are much more firmly established than Hitchens and his anti-religion crusade are comfortable with.

All of a sudden, the other side has a valid argument that threatens the “facts”.  The other side that for so long was ridiculed as being not even worth acknowledging.  Guess the game is going to be interesting after all!  And there’s nothing these people hate more than someone beating them at their own game.

Better suck it up and get used to it Princess.

© 2010 – 2015, John Paul Parrot. All rights reserved.

About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

  • Jonathan Allen

    Thank you for your generally well-written comments but toward the end you seem to fall into the classical error that religion is necessary for morality or ethics, or conversely that without faith we would all descend into barbarism. Numerous philosophers have devised systems of ethics that enable us to distinguish right from wrong and provide good reasons to do right without postulating a supernatural cop in the sky to punish our transgressions.

    I, for one, do not believe in any gods yet I do have a sense of morality even though I must admit to occasional lapses. More generally, there have been numerous studies (by theists, atheists, and even "anti-theists") to establish a correlation between good behavior and religion None has yet found one. Religion may make some people feel good, but I am not convinced it makes any of us BE good.

  • Dysfunctional Parrot

    It's not really a "classic error" though because it is a very valid argument. One which Hitchens…an admitted Marxist…has never answered with any seriousness to his opponents.

    Being "good" means nothing outside a moral code. Why is a masturbating monkey on full display at the zoo acceptable but for humans it is not? Unfair I say!! I, uh…mean…

    Think of it in terms of Star Trek/new Battlestar Galactica! Which one best describes what happens to humans when the chips are down…the humanist anti-values of the FEDERATION, or the dog eat dog reality of BG? One worldview assumes man is inherently good, the other bad.

    All I know is this…apart from the judeo-christian values I hold and society for the most part adopts, I'd probably kill anyone who got in my way!! And why not? Should not the strong prevail?

    As for studies, who needs one when we currently are living the experiment? You don't need "clinical studies"…all you need is anthropology and history.

    That all having been said, our civil discussion proves you are at least not an anti-theist. Hitchens would be name calling and blowing smoke in my face right now rather that tackle the issue.

    Coming up in about 2 weeks ( January 24 ) is a podcast I'm doing on this very subject. It's a fun rant that looks at the most probable reason Hitchens is popping a gasket!