Still need proof .. Hitchens is NOT a Humanist?
Posted: 03 February 2007 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Here is a writer who clearly shows just what sort of "humanist" Chris Hitchens really is ... and why he ought not be writer for FI (except as a counterpoint)...

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn08252005.html

And here is that same author’s brilliant website!

http://christopherhitchenswatch.blogspot.com

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Barry F. Seidman
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Posted: 05 February 2007 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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And the point is?

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Fighting the evil belief that there is a god(s).

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Posted: 05 February 2007 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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And the point is?

And the point is?

Point is that FI and CSH and CFI need to make clear that their “useage” of Hitchens is as a counter-argument to humanism, or else let him go. 

The latter would make more sense the more I read about the man.  :evil:

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Posted: 08 February 2007 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I consider myself a liberal progressive type, and like most readers of FI am greatly dismayed by Hitchens’ political stances over the last decade or so, and especially his support for the nitwit in chief, which defies all reason and understanding. I remember the Hitchens of the eighties, the stout supporter of Salman Rushdie, going head to head with Pat Buchanan and other wakcy politicos and religious “experts.” There is one thing to keep in mind in all this, though, and that is a need not to descend into ad hominem arguments. Now, I know that Hitchens resorts to attacking the person all the time, and I know that he himself is “prickly” even when trying to be nice. But, one ought to pay close attention to his public pronouncements rather than reports of remarks he may or may not have said in private, and doubtless usually after having a few drinks as he is prone to do. I recently had a letter published in FI in support of one of Hitchens’ editorials, because on that occasion he seemed to me correct. I note here and for the record that an important consideration in writing that letter was simply how unusual it was for me to agree with Hitchens.

I have been giving some thought to why Hitchens supports this war, and why he wants to associate himself with the Bush cause. I have noted two things that keep coming up repeatedly in Hitchens’ comments: Saddam Hussein and Yugoslavia. Hitchens again and again writes about the moral responsibility of the one nation with the military muscle to remove dictators. He approvingly refers to US and UN intervention in the various conflicts that occurred after Yugoslavia fell apart. His concern in both cases is the same - the US is the only country that can stop the crimes of tyranny. For some reason, he zeroed in on Saddam Hussein as the tyrant of tyrants, here matching Tony Blair in zeal of Saddam hatred, mostly for the same reasons as Blair’s. 

There are reasons to doubt the soundness of the Saddam is the reincarnation of Hitler or the devil hypothesis as a basis for justifying war. I certainly do not believe it and never did. However, the motivation, the removal of tyranny, is justifiably a humanist motivation based on humanist values. The sad part is that Hithcens has so committed himself to his line that either he cannot now admit to himself that he was wrong or cannot face the result of publically admitting that he was wrong. The result, it seems to me, is that he finds himself constantly on the defensive, and unable to come up with logical reasons to maintain the line, resorts to the tactic that the best defense is offense, and so sets out to be as offensive as he can be.

Hitchens’ personal attacks, his adherence to known falsehoods (such as the idea that Hussein was courting Al Qaida), and his overall beligerence are not “humanist,” I will admit. But we should remember that Hitchens is also a strong defender of Atheism, and has done some excellent work in favor of humanism, such as his expose of Mother Theresa and his recent book about Jefferson. Every once in a while, he even comes up with an argument that we on the left side of humanism (I know that is the majority by far, but numbers alone do not make a position correct) can agree with. And let us remember that if we are attacking one person for not having humanist values, we should nevertheless maintain our own. To me, that means addressing the arguments, not the person.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think that, if not a humanist, he shows these similarities to them: 1. He thinks that humans can be a force for his version of good, 2. He keeps (unhelpfully) repeating the argument that religion causes loads of wars, and 3. He spends half his time trying to get people to subscribe to his ethics.

As a non-humanist atheist I will give you my perspective on these points.  1. Humans can be a force for good.  Like that’s ever going to happen (if we mean in humans in general).  It’s as ludicrous as saying some beardy bugger on a cloud said be and it was.  I’d say in our totality we’re roughly neutral.  2.  Religion causes loads of wars.  Coming as I do from Northern Ireland, I hate this explanation of the (hopefully now finished) situation there.  I come from the republican/nationalist community and the other lot come from the loyalist/unionist community - politics caused our conflicts.  Supposing, in the old days, I was an Englishman and we declared war on France and someone asked me to come and kill the french with them.  I’d say why?  They might try “because they’re French”.  Assuming I’ve never met any French people, or met nice ones, I going to say I don’t hate the French so I’m not going to join in your war… and Boy! would I ever feel left out.  Up steps religion and says “they’re a bunch of catholics”, and bingo! I feel included again.  What you’re seeing there is something that helps me (as a protestant English gentleman) to go and join in a war with like-minded chaps from my own community; it’s not the same thing as starting a war. And 3. ... get people to subscribe to his ethics.  I went to a catholic school as a kid and to mass every week.  Every week we’d have assemblies at school or sermans at mass that preached to us about one piddling little aspect of being a nice person, and told us to go out and do it.  So we’d be nice one way one week, then we’d say “sod that way of being nice” and move on to another one the next and… you see where this is going.  I don’t need preaching at- I use ethics rather than deontological morals.  Now sure, discuss ethics in a way that says here are the issues to the best of our knowledge, but there is little or no value in preaching, as far as I can see.

[ Edited: 24 June 2007 04:11 PM by narwhol ]
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Posted: 24 June 2007 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I haven’t read anything by Hitchens (yet) to even try to pass judgement.  I would rather not speculate on anyone until I have read at least one thing, if not more by them and heard them talk on various podcasts.

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Mriana
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Posted: 13 July 2007 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’m not impressed by that Cockburn thing - a high school cat fight.

Hitchens is something of a crackpot, but so is Cockburn.  In fact, Counterpunch seems to have many a crackpot writing for it, though what they produce often has some merit - which is about how I’d characterize what Hitchens writes and says: “often has some merit”.

In any case, what he says should be taken according to what it is, and not according to who it’s from, or any weird or objectionable opinions they hold.  You don’t throw out all of Newton because of his theology or alchemy.

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