Monday, December 19, 2011

OMG THERE REALLY IS AN AFTERLIFE!

Over at Crooked Timber there's a link to some Ross Douthat bullshit all about how something or other God God God:
For Hitchens, those defenses stayed up till the end. His last word on the possibility of conversion was at once characteristically dismissive and characteristically protective of his hard-earned reputation as an Enemy of God: “Suppose I ditch the principles I have held for a lifetime, in the hope of gaining favor at the last minute? I hope and trust that no serious person would be at all impressed by such a hucksterish choice.”
Let us be clear: CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS WOULD NEVER ABANDON PRINCIPLES. Especially if they would buy him a drink.
In his very brave and very public dying, though, one could see again why so many religious people felt a kinship with him. When stripped of Marxist fairy tales and techno-utopian happy talk, rigorous atheism casts a wasting shadow over every human hope and endeavor, and leads ineluctably to the terrible conclusion of Philip Larkin’s poem “Aubade” — that “death is no different whined at than withstood.”

Officially, Hitchens’s creed was one with Larkin’s. But everything else about his life suggests that he intuited that his fellow Englishman was completely wrong to give in to despair.

My hope — for Hitchens, and for all of us, the living and the dead — is that now he finally knows why.
Oh for Christ— I mean oh for fuck's sake give it UP with the superstitious nonsense about the OH HOLY SHIT RUN RUN RUN!

29 comments:

vacuumslayer said...

Has it been 3 days already?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Report From Hell (made by corre-despondent Christopher Hitchens):

It sucks. There's no booze, it's cold as hell, and my roommate Jerry Falwell is always stealing the blanket.
~

wiley said...

Shit. A spiritual life is supremely important to me, but I can not think of anything more blasphemous or profane than worrying about what other people do or don't believe.

Conversion is bullshit. It's either hysteria, or a membership ritual and the easiest thing in the world for a sociopath to feign.

And "speaking for God" is either crazy or extremely manipulative horseshit. What kind of person thinks that they can have a hand in a person's eternal afterlife and that they actually KNOW what that is and what it MEANS? That's some narcissistic shit right there, and the fact that most of their other predictions are WRONG should be a clue; but they think that their rock hard dedication to their delusions is the stuff that "faith" is made of.

I hate to see what would happen to these people if Jesus is really the Savior and the makers of the rules that get you in or keep you out of "heaven". They gonna be mighty shocked at how it all turned out.

J— said...

rigorous atheism casts a wasting shadow over every human hope and endeavor

Phenonemal cosmic powers!

Substance McGravitas said...

Phenonemal cosmic powers!

It's a force that permeates the universe. All you have to do is not believe in it.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

well, with as saturated in alcohol as her brain is, is anybody surprised that Zombie Hitchens is chasing Ann Althouse?

And yes, I speeled her full name so you can anticipate appreciative visits from Meade, Substance.

Substance McGravitas said...

well, with as saturated in alcohol as her brain is, is anybody surprised that Zombie Hitchens is chasing Ann Althouse?

Geez, I should really add that wine glass...

Substance McGravitas said...

Okay, there we go.

Rachel said...

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5

Substance McGravitas said...

It is true that Horatio probably never considered that Hamlet would kill so many people. Mind you his mom was kind of an accident.

wiley said...

Mind you his mom was kind of an accident.

Wasn't it Shakespeare who said, "Shit happens?" He said it purtier, though.

Smut Clyde said...

his fellow Englishman
I really had NO IDEA that Hitchens and Larkin were both from the UK! Thank you, Douthat, for doling out those three hard-earned words to appraise me of that fact!

Smut Clyde said...

In his very brave and very public dying, though, one could see again why so many religious people felt a kinship with him. When stripped of Marxist fairy tales and techno-utopian happy talk, rigorous atheism casts a wasting shadow over every human hope and endeavor

As far as I can unpack this mess, this is what Douthat is saying: When avowed atheists or agnostics like Hitchens (or Hume, or Russell) die with equanimity, confident in the ability of the cosmos to continue without them, their very equanimity means that their atheism was not rigorous, but instead was a kind of faith, so their noble example should be counted on the side of the Faithful. Only embarrassing I-dont-wanna-die people can count as rigorous atheists.

This is such an egregiously bullshit slice of cobaggery as to deserve its own name, like maybe "begging the goalpost".

Also only complete plonkers use the word "ineluctable". Except me, of course, because I use with with irony.

Smut Clyde said...

his fellow Englishman

Thank you Douthat for making room in your terse prose for those three hard-earned words to appraise me of the fact that Hitchens and Larkin were both English! Otherwise I would never have known!

El Manquécito said...

I can't improve on Smut's unpacking of the mess but I MUST disagree about "ineluctable" , a word Faulkner was fond enough of to make good use of. He may have been a plonker though, depending on whether 'plonk' is a big enough generalization to include bourbon.

vacuumslayer said...

Wasn't it Shakespeare who said, "Shit happens?" He said it purtier, though.


He was always showing off.

fish said...

In his very brave and very public dying, though, one could see again why so many religious people felt a kinship with him. When stripped of Marxist fairy tales and techno-utopian happy talk, rigorous atheism casts a wasting shadow over every human hope and endeavor

Hmmm. Let's try this again from a different angle:

In his very brave and very public dying, though, one could see again why so many non-religious people felt a kinship with him. When stripped of Christian fairy tales and heaven/utopian happy talk, rigorous religion casts a wasting shadow over every human hope and endeavor.

Yup, works a little better.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I always thought Douthat's prose was more turgid than terse.

"Crappy" also covers it.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

rigorous atheism casts a wasting shadow over every human hope and endeavor

Of course, women using birth control also casts a wasting shadow over Ross' peener.

Nice try blaming your issues on atheism though, Chunky Bobo.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Mind you his mom was kind of an accident.

More often, the babby is considered to be the accident.

tigris said...

So what IS the difference between the stoic and whiney dead? Is it on the nutrition labels?

fish said...

So what IS the difference between the stoic and whiney dead? Is it on the nutrition labels?

They taste better soaked in wine.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

So is 'afterlife' related in any way to 'afterbar'?

Asking for a....no, I admit it. Asking for me.

tigris said...

But ZOMBIE!! We were hoping you could tell us.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

It strikes me that if afterlife IS related to afterbar, then Hitchens is likely to have done everything he can to survive beyond this vale of tears.

Rachel said...

God exists, in the minds of people who believe in god. There's a long tradition of very well educated doubters struggling with their faith, who call themselves Christian regardless. Perhaps Hitchens is imagined as having possibly "capitulated" at the time of his death because he was well-educated?
Also, a belief in a God can be an excellent tool for sublimating schema of hopes, ideals, morality and their opposites. And depending on the character of the god in question, can inspire better-than-yer-average-human conduct (in addition to the worse-than variety).
Only politically speaking would I say a belief in a god is a stupid red herring.

Rachel said...

AND, the heroes of religions are inspired lunatics... the heroes of secular society are inspired greedy bastards. I'll take the lunatics!

Substance McGravitas said...

I'll stick with The Enlightenment I think. Greedy bastards will be greedy bastards, religion or no, and lunatics will be lunatics. Religion comes to be so important to people that it can't help but intrude into the political, and having policy based on nothing is kind of a problem.

I accept that spirituality is inevitable whatever I think about it - people are weird and interesting! - but I hope the damage it might do is limited, and the vanguard of the damage-limiters is cranky atheists. Though I would rather some others over Hitchens.

mikey said...

The proof that religion is a purely political invention is right there, for all to see, in the endless and endlessly changing things one is required to do to earn god's favor and once again in the list of people god requires his followers to kill, presumably because he's really tired right now and this simply can't wait until he gets a round tuit...