Christopher Hitchens dies at 62

Photograph by Gasper Tringale

“The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”

-Christopher Hitchens

13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011


Godless Medley

This is a medley of three songs I’ve written. The first, called “Little Atheist Me,” makes its debut in the medley. The second and third, titled “Songs About Jesus” and “The Fantastic Theory,” were previously recorded and released on my YouTube channel. Altogether, the video is just under ten minutes long. Two, if not all three, songs contain swear words. So put on those headphones.

“Little Atheist Me” is about nothing more than me and my worldview, which just happens to not include any gods. The song describes those things I do believe in, such as “love and hope and family,” as well as those things I’m afraid of, like “falling to my death or being stung by bees.” As the song says in the chorus, I’ve got “no time for Jesus.” I wrote this as a way to tell the religious community that atheists do have plenty of things they believe in or are afraid of; it’s just that none of those things include superstition.

“Songs About Jesus” is really just one song, and it’s only about Jesus insofar as the Christian belief that “Jesus is God” goes. So I suppose, really, it should have been called “A Song About God.” But there you have it. The song is also how a lot of Christians don’t seem very Christ-like, so I guess that’s the part about Jesus.

“The Fantastic Theory” is about Intelligent Design versus evolution, and the battle to censor science and/or teach ID in public schools. Mostly I cover evolution and sing about how life has no apparent design; and if it was created, it wasn’t done so very intelligently.

A few notes unrelated to the song(s)…

  • No, I will not take off that hat. I really like that hat.
  • No, I will not trim my guitar strings. No reason; I just can’t be bothered.
  • The silicone band on my right wrist is zebra-print and I got it at the Dallas Zoo. Incidentally, the Dallas Zoo is where my wife and I had our wedding ceremony.
  • The guitar is a Yamaha. I received it as a gift for my seventeenth birthday.
  • I bought my shirt through

Also on my YouTube channel, you’ll find a few additional songs:

  • “Mary,” which is more or less about marijuana.
  • “Imagine,” which is a cover of John Lennon’s famous song.
  • “Rat-Zinger,” which is about the Catholic Pope and child-molesting priests.
  • “Fabulous,” which is about equal rights, especially for the LGBT community.

What is the best way to stop your child becoming an atheist?

This is an old one, but I thought I’d share it just in case you hadn’t seen it yet. A couple years ago, somebody asked the following question on Yahoo! Answers:

What is the best way to stop your child becoming an athiest[sic]? I don’t want any of my children to be punished by God.

-JT (user no longer exists)

Most of the answers given were about what you may expect, following the “don’t scare them with religion/leave it up to them” route, but one particular answer must have charmed the pants off of everybody else, because it was chosen (by other users; not by the original asker) as the best one of the bunch:

Do not educate them, or expose them to critical thinking, logic or science.

Lie to them constantly about how the world works. Feed them a steady diet of mumbo jumbo dressed up like real knowledge – the jumbo jet in the whirlwind for example – and pretend that it is deep wisdom.

Make them loathe their own natural bodies and functions. Convince them they are small and weak and worthless and need redemption. Tell them everything enjoyable is grievously wrong to even think about, and that their only fun should be in grovelling to an invisible friend.

Ensure that they resent anyone who is not like them in every way – skin color, nationality, political opinion but especially creed. Make such people out to be evil and vile and give them – impotent minorities all – the fictional power to somehow oppress and persecute the vast majority who do think like you.

Teach them to laugh at and dismiss out of hand any faith but their own. Early – early mind you – make sure they are taught the difference between superstitious deadly error – that one raving lunatic in the desert told the truth about a vicious god who killed people, and divine eternal truth – that another raving lunatic in the desert told the truth about a vicious god who killed people.

Instruct them with all severity and import to never question for themselves – to never think for themselves – to never live for themselves – but to seek answers only in one – just one – particular set of semi-literate bronze age folk tales.

Above all – and this cannot be overemphasized – make sure they cannot spell, use correct grammar, or understand basic English words.

That should do the trick.

David M

I think the final sentence about spelling and grammar was a bit unfair. Sure, a lot of theists show a particular lack of finesse in that department, but so do plenty of atheists. But it is what it is; despite that unnecessary jab at the end, I probably would have voted it as the best answer as well. Here’s a link to the original question/answer on Yahoo! Answers, so you may read some of the other answers offered to JT’s question.

An Atheist Meets God

The following video was made by Edward Current. “An Atheist Meets God”

MAN: Dum-de-dum-de-dum, I don’t believe in god. Dum-de-dum-de-dum, everything came from the Big bang. Dum-de-dum, and the Bible was written by mortal men. Dum-de-dum-de-dum, what the- uh oh! …Where am I?

GOD: Where do you think you are?

MAN: Who are you?

GOD: I am the god of the Bible, the creator of the universe. You are here to be judged before me!

MAN: Am I in Heaven?

GOD: For the moment. According to my all-knowing knowledge, you did not believe in me when you were alive. Explain why. I need to know.

MAN: Uh, because there was no evidence that you actually exist?

GOD: No evidence? Did you ever hear of something called the Holy Bible?

MAN: Well, yeah, but-

GOD: Yeah, but nothing! I wrote that book, and if you had read it you’d know that!


GOD: Do you actually admit that you were an atheist?

MAN: Well, yeah.

GOD: As I wrote in the Bible, the only way to salvation is through my son, Jesus Christ.

MAN: But I was a good person; I volunteered at a homeless shelter for like, ten years.

GOD: It doesn’t matter! Did you or did you not worship me, the god of the Bible?

MAN: Uh, no?

GOD: Wrong answer! I created the universe! You should’ve worshipped and praised me! I’m not very happy about this!

MAN: Isn’t that a little petty of you?

GOD: SILENCE! My universe, my rules!

MAN: Okay… how about if I start worshipping and praising you now?

GOD: Too late. You failed your test in life and now you must face eternal consequences.

MAN: But I thought you were supposed to be all-merciful and all-forgiving.

GOD: Only to people who believe that I exist. Once I make someone die, er, and they see me, they can’t change their mind! Exactly how forgiving do you expect me to be?

MAN: Can you make an exception? I mean, I taught my children to be considerate and generous to others.

GOD: NO! What do you think Heaven would be like if I let in every good person?

MAN: Um…

GOD: I only want people who praised me and worshipped me, and thanked me when good things happened to them! Preferably on national television.

MAN: So why do you allow bad things to happen, even to Christians who love you?

GOD: … I don’t have time for this nonsense! Uh, I have prayers to listen to and, and toast to burn images of the Virgin Mary onto! I mean, I could be blessing America right now! You- you can pick up a copy of my frequently asked questions from my assistant Saint Peter on your way out.

MAN: Where am I going?

GOD: Where do you think you’re going? I hate to have to do this, but I am sending you to HELL, to burn in excruciating pain for eternity!

MAN: But- but why? I, ah, I wasn’t a bad person at all!

GOD: You failed to believe what I wrote about myself in my best-selling book. You might as well have been a baby raper! Your fate would have been the same!

MAN: Okay, tell you what. Let me return to earth for a day so I can tell my loved ones that you really exist and that they must worship and praise you, or else.

GOD: NO! They must learn the truth the same way everyone else does: through one of the many questionably translated and edited versions of my two thousand-year-old collection of desert scribblings, uh, and nothing more! Besides, your skull was totally crushed by that bus. Bringing you back to life would be medically impossible, even by miracle standards. There are some things I just cannot fix. Remember that Terri Schiavo chick?


GOD: There’s profound brain damage, amputated limbs, rabies…

MAN: But, I thought you were-

GOD: SILENCE! You had your chance! Hell is what people like you get for being skeptical of me or for being born into a culture with the wrong religion and failing to find the path to Jesus Christ instead!

MAN: Can I speak to someone else, like, whoever made you?

GOD: Goodbye, non-Christian!

MAN: Noooooooooo!

GOD: Let this be a warning to the rest of you. Worship and praise me, the god of the Bible, or else!

Infinite punishments for finite crimes?

Dante and Virgil in Hell

Image via Wikipedia

Naysayers: this is not an argument against the existence of a god. It is an argument against the existence of a benevolent god, and therefore the Christian god. Today’s topic is Infinite Punishments for Finite Crimes.

Let’s agree on one thing: killing somebody is bad. If you kill somebody, you should be punished. Perhaps you should go to jail. Perhaps you should spend the rest of your life in jail. Perhaps, even, that punishment should be sped up a bit and you should be executed. In each one of these cases, the punishment is finite. In other words, it has an end. Even if the end is at the end of the criminal’s life, it still has an end. It is not infinite.

God, on the other hand, punishes criminals infinitely. Kill someone? Eternal punishment in a fiery pit. Maybe you agree that this would be an appropriate punishment for somebody who has killed another person. I must ask you, though – why? The crime is finite. Person A kills Person B, and so Person B is dead. That’s it. It happened once. It’s over. Yes, Person A absolutely should be punished. “An eye for an eye,” they say. So our legal system takes over and (assuming Person A was caught and tried properly) they are sent to prison and [perhaps] even executed. Great. Now we’re even. And that’s it. Right?

Wrong. God, who is allegedly benevolent, is going to punish Person A again. Not just for a while, but for ever. Person A will suffer like he has never suffered before; not for the rest of his life, but forever. This is not “an eye for an eye,” but more like an infinite number of eyes for one eye.

Maybe that’s a bad example. Killing isn’t just bad – it’s really bad. But what about one of those weirder Biblical laws? “Thou shalt not steal.” Almost all of us can probably agree that stealing is bad, and almost all of us can probably agree that thieves deserve some sort of punishment, but also that that punishment should be a bit milder than that reserved for a murderer.

Nope, not in God’s eyes. You broke one of his commandments. You go to Hell. You burn for eternity. Did God catch you wearing polyester along with cotton? You’re going to Hell. Even after a benevolent god who gave you free will (as though that even makes sense) and therefore the ability to doubt, do you doubt it exists? Sorry, what’s in store for you is far worse than a life sentence. God isn’t even going to kill you. He’s just going to torture you – not for life; not for two lives; but for ever. Ever, and ever, and ever. There is no end to the pain you will endure.

If the Christian god exists and what the Bible says about it is true, then it is not benevolent. And yet if what the Bible says is true, then the Christian god is benevolent. These statements cannot both be true. Either the Bible is only correct on one count, or it is correct on neither count.

If it is correct on the first, then I would hardly say a malevolent god is worth worshiping. If it is correct on the second, then I imagine a benevolent god would be perfectly okay with the fact that I don’t worship it.