According to Richard Dawkins, religion is ‘the root of all evil’, and the teaching of religion to children is tantamount to ‘child abuse’. Not to be outdone, Christopher Hitchens declares that ‘religion poisons everything’.
Now, I do not hold a brief to defend either the truth or the goodness of religion generally. We must distinguish between what is good, what is neutral, and what is actually evil in religion.
But we should not assume that the blanket condemnation of all religions by Dawkins et al is condoned by all atheists.…
Noted atheist (anti-theist, really) Christopher Hitchens was once interviewed by Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell.
The following exchange was enlightening:-
Sewell: The religion you cite in your book [God Is Not Great] is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make any distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?
You’ve got to hand it to Christopher Hitchens. Such is his self-confidence, and perhaps his disdain for the ‘opposition’, that he is prepared to take on all-comers when it comes to debating religion. Oh, and it must help his book to sell as well.
In March of this year Hitchens took on not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR Christian apologists at the same time. Of course, he comes out fighting, and if he was feeling a little bruised by the end he is too wily a campaigner to let it show.…