Bill Bennett: I hope Hitchens is getting a big surprise today

posted at 10:02 pm on December 16, 2011 by Allahpundit

From this morning’s “Early Show.” Skip to the end, at around 4:10, for the bit on Hitch. I’ve seen a lot of this sentiment from believers online today, including in our own comments, and find it to be sweet, humane, and … confusing. I ask this earnestly, not to troll: If Hitchens is getting a surprise, isn’t it necessarily a nasty surprise according to Christian doctrine? Or is there a wrinkle in the theology that would spare the most celebrated atheist of the age from damnation? When I raised this on Twitter a few hours ago, I got three responses.

1. He’s damned.

2. He might have converted secretly at some point, perhaps even on his deathbed. That answer irritates me, partly because it’s a cop out aimed at dodging the question and partly because it denies Hitchens to some degree the respect due a man of conviction. It’s possible that Rick Warren, say, will lose his faith on his deathbed, but his commitment to it in life grants him the benefit of the doubt in thinking he won’t. Let’s pay the same courtesy to a nonbeliever who devoted himself wholly to his cause and gave no sign in his writing or his public appearances to the bitter end of betraying his beliefs.

3. We can’t know the mind of God so there’s no way to tell Hitchens’s fate. Is that true, though? If you believe the gospels are God’s word, His mind on this subject seems pretty straightforward: Only by accepting Christ as your savior can you find eternal salvation. Barring a deathbed conversion, Hitch never did that. In fact, he denied Christ and then, with great eloquence, tried to convince everyone who’d listen to deny him too. You could, if you wanted to be cute, describe him as an anti-Christ. Either way, he was certainly one of the English-speaking world’s all-time great heretics. If God’s willing to make an exception for him, of all people, what’s left of the gospels?

I find the third group fascinating because it turns on its head the old charge that the atheist conscience can’t be trusted. Supposedly, a guy like me is dubious because there’s no religious foundation keeping me on the moral path. In this case, though, when presented with the apparent fait accompli of a decent, gifted, beloved guy like Hitchens being thrown to the fire, group three gets nervous and tries to carve out a “well, maybe God will cut him a break” exemption. Their religion says he deserves eternal damnation but their conscience tells them that’s unfair, so … they hedge. If conscience is divinely inspired, why hedge? Or, as I asked up top, is there some doctrinal escape clause for Hitchens that I’m missing? The greatest testament to his ability as a writer, and to the fundamental decency of this third group, is that he’ll go down in history as a blasphemer of world-beating vehemence — and yet there are still millions of believers who so love and admire him for his art that, in spite of it all, they’re straining to somehow get him off the hook with God anyway. Now that’s a legacy.

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@skydaddy

The Gospel is no fairy tale. I spent years investigating it with the hope of proving it wrong. I could not.

This is where you went wrong… You don’t prove something wrong, you prove something right.

Once you do THAT, then you believe it.

SauerKraut537 on December 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Incorrect. It is possible to prove something wrong. You’re confusing that with the impossibility of disproving a negative.

Actually, Christianity is the ONLY religion than can in fact be falsified – just produce the body. Everything hinges on the Resurrection, which is an historical event that either did or didn’t happen.

Now, we know that dead people stay dead. So, if it really happened, it would have ot be a miracle. Can miracles happen? Well, we don’t usually experience them in our day-to-day lives. But of the God of the Bible exists, then He could – to prove a point – raise a dead guy back to life.

That’s the line of reasoning I followed in my investigation. I deliberately kept an open mind so as to remain intellectually honest.

I looked for physical explanations of the evidence of the Resurrection, and of all the explanations I could come up with, all required a greater leap of faith than accepting that it did, in fact, really happen.

skydaddy on December 18, 2011 at 10:23 PM

You know what, I dont mean any disrespect to this man. In fact I never really heard of him outside of HA. So I am at a loss as to why he is getting so much press here.

Was his contribution to humanity really that great? just asking.

kg598301 on December 18, 2011 at 10:24 PM

@kg598301

He thought he was making a great contribution to humanity by taking on the forces of religion in the name of reason.

But in the end, he was just another fool.

skydaddy on December 18, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Thanks, just wondered if I was missing something.

kg598301 on December 18, 2011 at 10:39 PM

You know what, I dont mean any disrespect to this man. In fact I never really heard of him outside of HA. So I am at a loss as to why he is getting so much press here.

Was his contribution to humanity really that great? just asking.

kg598301 on December 18, 2011 at 10:24 PM

He was kind of a big cheese in the circles followed by political junkies. In the end, he was just an essayist. He also is possibly one of the greatest examples of politics making strange bedfellows. An avowed communist and athiest that was beloved in conservative circles for his spirited defense of the war on terrorism, and of western civilization against Islamic terrorism (enemy of my enemy).

ghostwriter on December 18, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Quit assuming a soul exists and it begins to make more sense.

SauerKraut537 on December 18, 2011 at 9:54 PM

I assume nothing – I know. It would seem it is you who is making assumptions.

pos4thst on December 18, 2011 at 10:51 PM

I assume nothing – I know. It would seem it is you who is making assumptions.

pos4thst on December 18, 2011 at 10:51 PM

It would help if he was a bit more sincere in his protestations. In addition, it would be helpful if he didn’t mangle the English language while making sophomoric arguments.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 10:57 PM

It would help if he was a bit more sincere in his protestations. In addition, it would be helpful if he didn’t mangle the English language while making sophomoric arguments.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Not quite sure who you’re trashing – Pickled Cabbage or me?

pos4thst on December 18, 2011 at 11:07 PM

listens2glenn on December 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM

ghostwriter on December 18, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Just got back home, sorry I’m late with this.

I should have added a couple extra lines in that previous post of mine.
I agree with you that it is murder, to kill persons in the medical profession who perform abortions, just because they perform abortions.
I wasn’t defending anybody who has perpetrated such an action.
I do believe we have many immature Christian zealots in society. I also believe it be a very easy task for the ‘wrong kind of leader’ to convince these immature zealots that killing medical professionals for the purpose of stopping abortion is “justified in the sight of God.”
I believe anyone who engages in that kind of activity should be arrested and treated like any other murderer.
I’ll just have to assume for now that I could have done a much better job of stating that, earlier.
If you thought I was trying to defend these perpetrators, then I totally understand your response.

listens2glenn on December 18, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Did SK537 leave us for the night?

listens2glenn on December 18, 2011 at 11:12 PM

listens2glenn on December 18, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Thanks for your response. I think that I understood what you meant; I just wanted to make it explicit.

For the record, I’m extremely sympathetic to the pro-life movement. However, zealots like the abortion doctor killers give us all a bad name.

ghostwriter on December 18, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Not quite sure who you’re trashing – Pickled Cabbage or me?

pos4thst on December 18, 2011 at 11:07 PM

The mission poster sauerkraut. I’m not trashing him…he does that all by himself. I’m in agreement with your comments.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 11:20 PM

I assume nothing – I know. It would seem it is you who is making assumptions.

pos4thst on December 18, 2011 at 10:51 PM

And how do you know?

SauerKraut537 on December 18, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Hello, reductio ad absurdo much?

“Killers of abortion doctors” is the red herring of all red herrings.

W/R/T people who take things to extremes, there are far more “snake-handlers” than abortionist-murderers, and far more “King James Only” folks than snake-handlers. (And the count of Genesis 1 literalists outnumbers them all.)

The edges of the bell curve do not define the center.

skydaddy on December 18, 2011 at 11:25 PM

ghostwriter on December 18, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Yeah, they sure do.

Years ago I worked at a company where my coworkers had the Howard Stern Radio Show on in every corner of the work area, and it wasn’t with little transistor radios or “boom boxes”, either.
Large speakers, loud and clear.
I learned during that time that I didn’t disagree with Howard on everything; just most of the material he used in his radio show.
But he hammered on the issue of antiabortion christians killing abortion doctors, practically EVERY DAY.
I just had to take a deep breath, let it out slowly and keep working.

listens2glenn on December 18, 2011 at 11:28 PM

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Call them sophomoric arguments all you like, and I’m not agreeing with your assessment of my arguing skills at all, but that’s all that is needed to defeat the freshman level arguments of apologist tripe.

I used to waste my time going extremely in depth with others talking about dates of documents and archaeology and all the other “facts” that proved the resurrection of christ, etc.

It’s all a waste of time. All you need to do is understand human psychology and history to see that the first religions were primitive by any definition. For reasons of limited population, communication, and plain old geography, they never grew to be anything other than a local concern.

But religions mutate in time and grow in sophistication as each generation of holy men learn what works and what doesn’t. What makes people obedient and what causes rebellion. What ideas people can easily escape and which will haunt them until they have to pray just to stop the nagging fear.

When populations grew due to the slow but steady growth of knowledge, as if confronted by a bumper harvest, the religions went into an arms race with each other.

From gods of wind and thunder and sea, the threats, incentives, and claims of power escalate until every dominant organized religion has a god that is all-powerful, all-loving, all-seeing, and words like “soul”, “infinity” and “eternity” are deployed cheaply while all other words are open to abuse until they mean exactly what the religions want them to mean.

The body of a newborn baby is as old as the cosmos. The form is new and unique, but the materials are 13.7 billion years old, processed by nuclear fusion in stars, fashioned by electromagnetism.

Cold words for some amazing processes.

And that baby was you. IS you. You’re amazing. Not only alive, but with a mind. What fool would exchange this for every winning lottery ticket ever drawn?

When I compare what scientific knowledge has done for me and what religion tried to do to me, I sometimes literally shiver.

Religions tell children they might go to hell and they must believe, while science tells children they came from the stars and presents reasoning they can believe.

SauerKraut537 on December 18, 2011 at 11:32 PM

And how do you know?

SauerKraut537 on December 18, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Ahhhhhh, there you are.

Proving that the ‘human soul’ exists should be as easy as you looking in a mirror and talking to yourself.
On the other hand, you’re already doing a bang-up job of talking to all of us here, with your keyboard, and that should be proof enough.
Unless you define the human soul differently than I do (a distinct possibility), how you can deny it’s existence?

listens2glenn on December 18, 2011 at 11:37 PM

The mission poster sauerkraut. I’m not trashing him…he does that all by himself. I’m in agreement with your comments.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Thanks Tom. The problem with SK is he hasn’t seen or been touched by God. I simply feel sorry for him. If he hasn’t seen it, it can’t be true.

SK – I’m extremely comfortable with my faith. Are you as comfortable with yours?

pos4thst on December 18, 2011 at 11:38 PM

What is a mission poster?

ghostwriter on December 18, 2011 at 11:47 PM

SauerKraut537 on December 18, 2011 at 11:32 PM

That was the most retarded thing I will never read. Guess what krautbaby…My faith(which is informed and undergirded by reason) cannot be shaken by anything some idiot(you) writes on the internet. You should sit the next few plays out.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 11:48 PM

What is a mission poster?

ghostwriter on December 18, 2011 at 11:47 PM

A bit of internet history I reckon… AN individual who has a singular focus and sits in a particular comment thread ad nauseum.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 11:52 PM

Religions tell children they might go to hell and they must believe, while science tells children they came from the stars and presents reasoning they can believe.
SauerKraut537 on December 18, 2011 at 11:32 PM

It takes less faith, and is much easier to believe in an intelligent designer (even if you don’t have an ‘identity’ for him/her), than it is to believe that life on earth evolved from the cosmos into all the various forms of life we now have; each with it’s own individual ‘genome’ containing exponential amounts of genetic information pertinent to that lifeform.
You may as well expect a tornado to pass through a junkyard, and within all the swirling junk, a car miraculously becomes “assembled” fully functionally working.
In fact, the odds of a tornado being able to do that maybe greater than the odds of life evolving the way the Evolutionary Model says it has.

listens2glenn on December 18, 2011 at 11:55 PM

A

bit of internet history I reckon… AN individual who has a singular focus and sits in a particular comment thread ad nauseum.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 11:52 PM

I see. So, I presume that suerkraut has a reputation of only posting on anti-religious topics and trying to hijack threads into endless arguments about religion?

ghostwriter on December 18, 2011 at 11:56 PM

In fact, the odds of a tornado being able to do that maybe greater than the odds of life evolving the way the Evolutionary Model says it has.

listens2glenn on December 18, 2011 at 11:55 PM

Oh but that one lightning strike in the ferrous mudpit! RNA, DNA, proteins, and every other biochemical compound magically brought together in the serendipitous moment of cosmic karma! And it even had the ability to REPLICATE itself!

Time+chance+matter>*

/sarc

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM

In fact, the odds of a tornado being able to do that maybe greater than the odds of life evolving the way the Evolutionary Model says it has.

listens2glenn on December 18, 2011 at 11:55 PM

Well said indeed!

pos4thst on December 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM

ghostwriter on December 18, 2011 at 11:56 PM

Correct sir.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Correct sir.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM

But they’re my favorite kind. : )

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 12:03 AM

Thanks, tom!

ghostwriter on December 19, 2011 at 12:06 AM

“mission poster” = troll, eh?

1. “We are stardust, we are golden…” Sure. And “every breath you take” includes a molecule from Ceasar’s last breath. And every sip of water you drink is recycled dinosaur pee.

These are indisputable facts, not open to argument. And they don’t make a heck of a lot of difference. So the Universe recycles. Meh.

2. Either we are, or are not, alone in the universe.

This is at the moment an open question. Until the aliens show up and either enlighten or eat us, it really doesn’t matter. Again, meh.

3. Either Y’shua ben Yusuf ha’Nazaret either (literally, historically, actually, and factually) rose from the dead, or did not.

If he didn’t, meh yet again. But if he DID, though, well, that changes the water on the beans, dunnit? And since this is a question of HISTORY and not Philosophy or Metaphysics, it can be investigated EMPIRICALLY. Either it happened, or it didn’t.

skydaddy on December 19, 2011 at 12:20 AM

skydaddy on December 19, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Nicely said.

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 12:22 AM

That was the most retarded thing I will never read. Guess what krautbaby…My faith(which is informed and undergirded by reason) cannot be shaken by anything some idiot(you) writes on the internet. You should sit the next few plays out.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2011 at 11:48 PM

A lot of that passage was cribbed from this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6w2M50_Xdk&feature=youtu.be

It’s about 15 minutes of mumbojumbo in which the narrator tries to weave some scientific facts into some kind of ontological argument against religion.

ghostwriter on December 19, 2011 at 12:22 AM

3. Either Y’shua ben Yusuf ha’Nazaret either (literally, historically, actually, and factually) rose from the dead, or did not.

If he didn’t, meh yet again. But if he DID, though, well, that changes the water on the beans, dunnit? And since this is a question of HISTORY and not Philosophy or Metaphysics, it can be investigated EMPIRICALLY. Either it happened, or it didn’t.

skydaddy on December 19, 2011 at 12:20 AM

The question of whether Jesus rose from the dead is not something that can be investigated empirically. It is a matter of faith. I think that it’sa mistake for the faithful to get into the business of trying to prove their faith, because the truth of the matter is that they don’t have to prove it. It is a matter of faith.

This having been said, one of my favorite stories in the NT is the story of Doubting Thomas, because Jesus didn’t condemn or cast out Thomas for questioning the resurrection. On the contrary, He gave Thomas what he needed to believe and to accept the truth.

ghostwriter on December 19, 2011 at 12:33 AM

ghostwriter on December 19, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Along similar lines, I’ll concede that most of what I have said comes from other persons; creation scientists in particular. I do a lot of reading and video watching along this subject line.
As far as I’m concerned, they have the real scientific evidence of what they’re talking about.

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 12:33 AM

Along similar lines, I’ll concede that most of what I have said comes from other persons; creation scientists in particular. I do a lot of reading and video watching along this subject line.
As far as I’m concerned, they have the real scientific evidence of what they’re talking about.

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 12:33 AM

I was just trying to figure out what sauerkraut was talking about.

The way I see things, the supernatural world supercedes the physical world, just as religion supersedes science. However, it is a mistake to make matters of science, i.e., matters with an empirical basis that can be falsified into matters of faith. (e.g., the Church is still smarting from that whole Galileo incident :))

As far as I’m concerned, the earth being four billion years old is perfectly consistent with the story in Genesis. In fact, it’s pretty astonishing that the Genesis creation story seems to have had the order in which things were created line up pretty darn well with what science tells us.

If the atheists hadn’t banned prayer or religious instruction from public schools, we probably wouldn’t have the kind of science versus religion fights that we have.

ghostwriter on December 19, 2011 at 12:42 AM

ghostwriter on December 19, 2011 at 12:33 AM

Very well stated. Every aspect of Jesus’ life and ministry is documented up to his burial.

After that, you either believe ‘The Word’, or you don’t.
Then again, The Word says faith comes from hearing The Word. For some, that’s too nonsensical (is that a word?).
So, it’s up to believers to ‘spoon feed’ The Word to darkened hearts as they’re willing to receive it.
BTW, ‘spoon feed’ does NOT mean ‘force feed’.
Most of the posts from other believers on this thread seem to be pretty well done.

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 12:46 AM

The question of whether Jesus rose from the dead is not something that can be investigated empirically. It is a matter of faith.

Both/and.

The hard cold gimlet-eye evidence takes you right up to the brink, but does not provide proof-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt. Just a preponderance of evidence.

You still have to take the leap.

skydaddy on December 19, 2011 at 12:49 AM

ghostwriter on December 19, 2011 at 12:42 AM

I don’t believe the Bible supercedes science.
Rather, science is in full harmony and agreement with the Biblical record. The most scientific statement in any book on earth is “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.”
But the spiritual world (or spiritual dimension?) absolutely supercedes this natural, physical world that we contact with the five physical senses.
Everything in this world is made and upheld, from and by God’s faith.
You can’t get any more ‘spiritual’ than that.

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 1:00 AM

@ghostwriter

I don’t have a problem with the world being a few billion years old. (Where we came from doesn’t matter so much as where we’re going.)

Science doesn’t have all the answers because it can’t ask all the questions – in particular, WHY?

@listens2glenn

So, it’s up to believers to ‘spoon feed’ The Word to darkened hearts as they’re willing to receive it.
BTW, ‘spoon feed’ does NOT mean ‘force feed’.

Amen. Let those who have ears to hear, hear.

skydaddy on December 19, 2011 at 1:01 AM

It’s about 15 minutes of mumbojumbo in which the narrator tries to weave some scientific facts into some kind of ontological argument against religion.

ghostwriter on December 19, 2011 at 12:22 AM

LMFAO that is all I needed to square that circle…those stupid philhelens videos are ridiculous.

tom daschle concerned on December 19, 2011 at 1:07 AM

skydaddy on December 19, 2011 at 12:49 AM

I’m going to play “Devil’s advocate” for giggles.

Rose from the dead? Everyone with half-a-brain knows that what happened is Jesus’ disciples came in the dark of night, and overpowered the greatest professional soldiers of the day (Roman Centurions), and then rolled that stone away and stole his body.
Then, they immediately began spreading this falsehood around, that he had risen from the dead.
HAH! Take that, Christians.

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 1:12 AM

We believe because of faith (accepting the grace given to believe), and a believer cannot prove his faith to an unbeliever. But the faithful are not simply fools. After taking that leap of faith, the Lord can and often does prove his truth to individual hearts. We know the stakes in believing. The Bible tells us what those are. And the first Christians would have to be liars, willing to be put to death for those lies.

The Word of God through St. Paul:

1 Corinthians 15:13-22:

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised.

And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.

Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised.

For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised,

and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.

Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being.

For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,

Elisa on December 19, 2011 at 1:14 AM

Did ya’ll scare off SauerKraut537?

Been a few minutes since his (her?) last post.

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 1:19 AM

I gotta log off, here. Talk to you all later.

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 1:22 AM

@listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 1:12 AM

Playing along….

So who do we have in the gang? Peter, the ringleader. Yah? Peter = Petros = Rocky = Blockhead = Bricks for Brains. He has, shall we say, poor impulse control. Jumps out of the boat thinking he can walk on water, draws a long knife against a squad of soldiers, denies he knows Y’Shua despite having the same hick accent.. yeah, a REAL sophisticated guy, for a hick-town fisherman.

Then there’s Jimmy and Johnny Z, the Bicker Brothers, who pestered J-C about which one was gonna have the better place at the Big Feast Table. Made their momma proud, they did. Seriously, the only one of the crew with a shred of street-smart-politically-astute-Attwater/Rove cred was Iudas, who offed himself when the balloon went up.

Sorry, I just can’t buy the theory that these guys pulled off the greatest hoax in human history.

skydaddy on December 19, 2011 at 1:39 AM

SauerKraut537 on December 18, 2011 at 5:27 PM

That’s a poor argument, and you can’t excuse the atrocity of one group by pointing to the atrocity of the other.

The old bait and switch.

I really don’t care what you believe or don’t believe it’s your own business.

History has shown what happens when God is removed and man replaces him with “The State”.

Dr Evil on December 19, 2011 at 8:46 AM

“Hello Christopher. Surprise, surprise, surprise!”

; )

insidiator on December 19, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Sorry, I just can’t buy the theory that these guys pulled off the greatest hoax in human history.

skydaddy on December 19, 2011 at 1:39 AM

They didn’t.

I didn’t use sarcasm tags.
I did claim “Devil’s advocate”, though.
Forgiveness for any misunderstanding, please.

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

It pains me to say this because Hitchens was a guy who at least tried to be objective regarding politics but if you believe as I do that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation then yes Mr. Hitchens is damned. My hope is that he had a change of heart before his death but who can know that except he and God? I don’t say this with any degree of schadenfreude. I pray that he isn’t where I think he is right now. May God have mercy on his soul.

neyney on December 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

No worries; I caught the implied sarcasm. Note I said I was “playing along.” ;-)

skydaddy on December 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

The best way to put it: “he’s in God’s hands”

KornKing on December 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM

People who spend days and days filling threads with ranting toward a God they DO NOT BELIEVE in usually have personal reasons for doing so.

An ex-girlfriend jilted him, and she was Christian.

An ex-wife got the house and the kids, and she was Christian.

A Christian pastor took too much money from the church coffers.

The “Christian” was an unrepentant sinner and was warned, then kicked out of the church–then became a bitter atheist.

The “philosophical discussion” that has some filling up ten pages of blathering is nothing but a thin veneer for a personal slight. Which is too bad, considering the staggering cost of speaking blasphemy. But some people will stop at almost nothing in their thirst for restitution. Can’t get at my ex-wife, but by golly, I can get at Christians. If I can deconvert a few, that will make me feel better. Etc. Wash, rinse, repeat.

It’s patently obvious to everyone but the “enlightened freethinking atheists” who infest the internet that this is the case.

(AP, you’re not one of them. There are atheists who are clearheaded. A few, but they’re out there.)

Grace_is_sufficient on December 19, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Don’t worry, old Hitch is toasting right now. I don’t mean with a drink either. Burn baby burn.

rjulio on December 19, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Long time reader, first time poster. Can’t think of a better article to post my first comment in.

For Hitchens, the answers is based on two very important truths when it comes to scripture. The first is that while we are finite and cannot know the mind of God in its entirety, He has given us the capacity to understand the most sublime truths of scripture, namely salvation. The second hinges on the first in that based on one’s understanding of salvation, it’s clear that the Bible teaches that unless one accepts Christ as savior, they are destined for hell.

That being said, it’s shocking how many avowed Christians shy away from being truthful about this.

ImmigrantConservative on December 19, 2011 at 4:08 PM

This is where you went wrong… You don’t prove something wrong, you prove something right.

Once you do THAT, then you believe it.

SauerKraut537 on December 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…” PROVE that is right.

The argument is metaphysical; it can’t be proven by empirical means. So is an argument like “matter is the only reality there is”.

ddrintn on December 19, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Don’t worry, old Hitch is toasting right now. I don’t mean with a drink either. Burn baby burn.

rjulio on December 19, 2011 at 12:15 PM

It’s grotesque to take pleasure at the thought. I hope everyone finds God’s grace.

ddrintn on December 19, 2011 at 5:16 PM

A silly and ill-thought remark (re: Hitchens), but I think Bennett meant well here.
He remains a hypocritical nag, though.

verbaluce on December 19, 2011 at 5:35 PM

skydaddy on December 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Blessings! : )

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Trust the Good Lord’s judgement. CH did nothing to be dammed. Didn’t agree with all his views; but he certainly did not squander the intellect God gave him. He simply did not enjoy the “gift” of faith. God knows him better than any of us. Don’t throw the first stone. God loves Hitch too.

StevC on December 19, 2011 at 7:33 PM

StevC on December 19, 2011 at 7:33 PM

I didn’t know Hitchens well enough to say what he may have done, or not.
I believe the best posts by christian believers on this thread,
point out that it’s not a sin of commission that dooms a person to “the place prepared for Satan and his host of fallen angels.”
Rather it is a sin of omission that constitutes the “sin unto death.”
There are church-goers who will argue to the contrary. Christian believers can have the most vociferous arguments with each other along this subject line. (I used to be one of them)
I can’t say that Christopher Hitchens didn’t know the Lord.
I can say that physical death without the Lord will, by default, land a person in “the place prepared for Satan and his host of fallen angels.”

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Hitchen is in Valhalla now, still dumbstruck…a couple of horns more of mead and he will see the irony.

NORUK on December 19, 2011 at 11:28 PM

HEY SauerKraut537 ! ! ! !

Are you gonna touch this “leftover” from last night, or do I have to catch you on some future thread?

Proving that the ‘human soul’ exists should be as easy as you looking in a mirror and talking to yourself.
On the other hand, you’re already doing a bang-up job of talking to all of us here, with your keyboard, and that should be proof enough.
Unless you define the human soul differently than I do (a distinct possibility), how you can deny it’s existence?

listens2glenn on December 18, 2011 at 11:37 PM

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 11:58 PM

listens2glenn on December 19, 2011 at 11:58 PM

I tire of the argument really but here goes. Looking into the mirror and talking to yourself gets you nothing but a reflection of yourself talking to yourself. Call that smart aleck all you like but that’s the truth of it.

I’m sorry, but talking to yourself in a mirror and calling that a soul is as inane as it comes.

And calling the voice in your head a soul doesn’t make it so.

They’ve done scans of peoples brains while they are reading to see which areas of the brain light up with activity…
They’ve done scans of people’s brains as they talk to themselves and those same areas of the brain light up.

Here’s the kicker…

They’ve done scans of people’s brains as they pray and talk to their god and guess what? The very same areas of the brain light up…

What does this tell us? To me, it indicates that “god” is in our brain and that when we converse with that voice in our heads its nothing more than mistaking it for gods voice or whatever.

Souls?

What the hell are souls?

To me now, the word soul is a “virus” word that creeps into our vocabulary at an early age, and conditions us towards towards religious belief.

It really is as simple as someone way back in time making up the word/concept “soul”, that eventually became an accepted idea and which begged the question of where do souls go and what happens to them after we die…

Eventually, that belief in souls grew into religious belief that supposedly answers these begged questions.

SauerKraut537 on December 20, 2011 at 12:52 AM

Souls?

What the hell are souls?

To me now, the word soul is a “virus” word that creeps into our vocabulary at an early age, and conditions us towards towards religious belief.

It really is as simple as someone way back in time making up the word/concept “soul”, that eventually became an accepted idea and which begged the question of where do souls go and what happens to them after we die…

Eventually, that belief in souls grew into religious belief that supposedly answers these begged questions.

SauerKraut537 on December 20, 2011 at 12:52 AM

I thank you for your reply. I was hoping to catch you earlier, but none of us can schedule our lives around each other, so we catch each other when possible.

The definition of ‘soul’, as I believe the Bible defines it is:

That part of an individual person comprised of their:
1)Intellect or mind.
2)Emotions
3)Will.

We think, reason, contemplate, deliberate, rationalize, etc.
We experience anger, hostility, sadness , grieving, loneliness, dispair, depression, happiness, joy, etc.
We make choices of determination, based on the above.

That’s the soul.
You don’t have to agree with it. But know that I believe it, and I based my preceding post on that belief.

If you had no soul, you couldn’t be interactive with anyone, including yourself.

listens2glenn on December 20, 2011 at 1:51 AM

Dang, I gotta go till sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Catch you later.

listens2glenn on December 20, 2011 at 1:53 AM

If you had no soul mind, you couldn’t be interactive with anyone, including yourself.

listens2glenn on December 20, 2011 at 1:51 AM

FIFY – fixed it for you

It’s as simple as that. If you had no MIND, you couldn’t be interactive with anyone, including yourself.

Occams razor. The simplest explanation is often the most correct one.

Your explanation is nothing but an apologist explanation and all those traits you listed aren’t supernatural traits, they’re natural traits.

SauerKraut537 on December 20, 2011 at 9:18 AM

SauerKraut537 on December 20, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Later than I wanted to be, but thanks for the comeback.

I had listed the mind as part of the soul (number 1, actually), so I don’t quite get your FIFY above.

The ‘soul’ is not suppose to be “supernatural”, but it’s not physical either.
If it’s the supernatural world/dimension that you were debating the existence of with the others, then I got off track on the terminology.
This is another issue that well-meaning christians argue with each other about; the difference between the spirit and soul.
Some believers use the words interchangeably, but they really are not the same thing.
You and I (and all other members of mankind), ARE a spirit. We don’t ‘have’ a spirit, we ARE a spirit. We ‘have’ a soul (definition, preceding post), and currently reside inside a physical body. Our soul ‘interfaces’ with the body through the brain.
The spirit dimension is superior to this natural, physical dimension we currently reside in, as the Creator is “more real/superior” than the created.
I’m not demanding that you accept and believe this (I can’t demand you believe or do anything), but I thank you for the opportunity to present it.
I don’t know how much longer this thread is going to remain convenient (on page 1) for us. I’ll keep watching it, though.

listens2glenn on December 20, 2011 at 3:14 PM

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