So I’m having a few niggling little health problems, but all is well and getting better; meanwhile, Christopher Hitchens mentions this:
“Well, I’m dying, since you asked,” Hitchens replied. “So are you, but I’m doing it faster and in more rich and fecund detail.”
And what does he do? He gallops off to Birmingham to debate that supercilious pompous nitwit, David Berlinski. And by all accounts, whips him into slime. I am extremely impressed with Hitchens right now.
I’m not at all impressed with Berlinski, but then I never have been. He dredged up the rotting corpse of Hitler to claim he was under the spell of Darwin!
When Berlinski linked Nazism and Darwinism while connecting atheism with violent government regimes of the 20th Century, Hitchens bristled and went on the attack in his next turn at the podium.
Connecting Nazism with Darwinism “is a filthy slander,” Hitchens said. “Darwinism was derided in Germany.”
Hitchens said Adolf Hitler claimed in “Mein Kampf” that he was doing God’s work with his policies against the Jews and that the first Nazi treaty was with the Vatican.
“To say that there is something fascistic about my beliefs, I won’t hear said, and you shouldn’t believe,” Hitchens said to the audience, almost thundering despite his diminished voice.
Good grief, please. Hitler was a nominal Catholic with an extremist pseudo-scientific philosophy that excluded Darwin and evolution, and found justification in religious dogma. It’s absolutely nuts that people still play this game of blaming Darwin for the Nazis; there’s just no historical reason to do so. Why not settle on that mass murdering tyrant, Stalin, instead? He was no friend of Darwin, either, but at least he was openly atheist, so they’d at least have a tiny pinch of logic (but not much of one) in correlating atheism and tyranny. At least, pointing at one godless anti-Darwinian and blaming all his crimes on godless evolution is marginally more sensible than pointing at a god-walloping anti-Darwinian and blaming all of his sins on godless evolution.
Another bizarre bit from the story is this little anecdote from Taunton, the organizer of the debate:
Taunton said he drove Hitchens to Birmingham this week from the Washington, D.C., area, and had Hitchens read aloud the prologue of the Gospel of John, which they then discussed.
Hitchens referred to that in the debate, saying that if Taunton found out Jesus did not exist, it would ruin his life.
Taunton responded at the end of the debate. “It would ruin my life,” he said. “It would suggest this life is a sham.”
Hitchens shook his head. “Don’t give up so easily,” he said.
Exasperating nonsense. It ruins your life to believe that an old book of fables is all that gives it meaning. What would be a sham is the wasted investment in promoting lies; that isn’t corrected by insisting on continuing to live on falsehoods.