Hitchens gone. I may not have agreed with everything he said, but he was so witty and entertaining.
He was a great man. He sought after the truth unrelentingly and courageously. I loved watching him debate. He unmasked the bull crap of his religious opponents with such style and panache. We should all try to be as steadfast as he was in the pursuit of the truth.
dhamnA svena nirastakuhakaM satyaM paraM dhImahi
kuhaka = religion
Last Edit: Dec 18, 2011 12:41:36 GMT -6 by Nitaidas
From the essay: Believers in any one religion can offer no independent criteria for accepting their own revelations, miracles, and religious experiences while rejecting the revelations, miracles, and religious experiences that appear to support contradictory religious claims. I believe that the best explanation for both of these phenomena—that the extraordinary sources of evidence generate grave moral error as well as moral truth and that they offer equal support for contradictory religious claims—undermines the credibility of these extraordinary sources of evidence altogether. First, the best explanation of extraordinary evidence—the only explanation that accounts for its tendency to commend heinous acts as well as good acts—shows it to reflect either our own hopes and feelings, whether these be loving or hateful, just or merciless, or else the stubborn and systematically erroneous cognitive bias of representing all events of consequence to our welfare as intended by some agent who cares about us, for good or for ill. Extraordinary evidence, in other words, is a projection of our own wishes, fears, and fantasies onto an imaginary deity. Second, all religions claim the same sorts of extraordinary evidence on their behalf. The perfect symmetry of this type of evidence for completely contradictory theological systems, and the absence of any independent ordinary evidence that corroborates one system more than another, strongly supports the view that such types of evidence are not credible at all. And once we reject such evidence altogether, there is nothing left that supports theism (or polytheism, either). The moralistic argument, far from threatening atheism, is a critical wedge that should open morally sensitive theists to the evidence against the existence of God.