Author: Famed Atheist Christopher Hitchens Was Contemplating Christianity Before His Death

Christopher Hitchens debates the theme "Was Henry the V's invasion of France justified?" at the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, DC.

By Al Perrotta Published on April 19, 2016

The famed atheist writer Christopher Hitchens was contemplating converting to evangelical Christianity before his death, according Christian author and friend Larry Alex Taunton. Taunton details his conversations with sharp-tongued wit in his new book, The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist

As the book’s blurb says, “Taunton traces Hitchens’ spiritual and intellectual development from his decision as a teenager to reject belief in God to his rise to prominence as one of the so-called ‘Four Horsemen’ of the New Atheism.” Most intimately, Taunton shares his own personal relationship with the late columnist.

“At the end of the day, the most powerful apologetic is love.” Larry Alex Taunton

Taunton, founder of the Christian ministry Fixed Point Foundation, became friends with Hitchens in 2008 when the God is Not Great author set out to debate Christians. Hitchens found more than he bargained for, gaining a new appreciation for people of faith. “For the first time in his life, he was engaging evangelical Christians,” Taunton told The Huntsville Times (AL.com)“He found them to be different from the veneer of Christianity in Britain. When he began debating these evangelicals, he began to like them.”

One of the Christian apologists Hitchens debated was Jay Richards, now The Stream’s Executive Editor.

 

Taunton and Hitchens cemented their own friendship during two long road trips, including a journey to Yellowstone National Park, which included Hitchens reading aloud from the Gospel of John.

Along the way, Taunton discovered Hitchens wasn’t defined by his atheism. “Atheism is a negative and you can’t build a philosophy around a negative,” he said. “Christopher was searching for a unifying system of thought.”

Taunton is not saying the search was successful. “It’s not my claim that Christopher converted. It’s that Christopher was contemplating conversion.”

By this point, Hitchens was battling the esophageal cancer that would claim his life. “Christopher was in a difficult place,” Taunton remembers. “He’s a dying man. He asked me why I thought he didn’t convert. I said ‘You’ve created a global reputation as an atheist. Your fortune, your reputation is based on it. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to admit you were wrong. You created a prison for yourself.'”

Whether Hitchens did ultimately escape that prison is unclear. However, as Christianity Today noted upon his death in December 2011, we do know thoughts of converting weighed heavy on his mind. Doug Wilson, another Christian who debated and befriended Hitchens, wrote in his obituary of Hitchens:

In a number of interviews during the course of his cancer treatments, he discussed the prospect of a “death bed” conversion, and it was clear that he was concerned about the prospect. But, he assured interviewers, if anything like that ever happened, we should all be certain that the cancer or the chemo or something had gotten to his brain. If he confessed faith, then he, the Christopher Hitchens that we all knew, should be counted as already dead. In short, he was preparing a narrative for us, just in case.

Only God knows whether there was, in Wilson’s words, “a gracious twist at the end.” Taunton said that he only knows Hitchens’ ears and heart were open.

And it wasn’t just evangelist leaders and apologists who may have influenced Hitchens. More than anything, said Taunton, was the impact of Tauton’s daughter Sasha. Hitchens stayed with the Taunton family before participating in a debate hosted and moderated by Taunton, and was greatly moved by the faith of the adopted HIV-positive girl. “Sasha’s impact on him was huge,” Taunton said. “It’s because of her own innocence. He was powerfully moved by her, an argument he couldn’t refute … At the end of the day, the most powerful apologetic is love.”

 

 

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  • John Davies

    “Did Christopher Hitchens accept Jesus before he died” is a rhetorical question to me and a leading one by those who ask it.

 Some religious people may wishfully think that he could have fallen for Pascal’s dodgy Wager and converted, but then wishful thinking is rather their stock in trade. They will always believe things for which there is no shred of evidence.



    Christopher contemplated Christianity as he did a vast array of other subjects but this in no way suggests that he was considering converting to that faith. If he discussed knitting patterns it wouldn’t suggest that he was thinking of becoming a sheep. The fact that he spent a lot of time with believers is significant in terms of his relationships but not in terms of what he believed or what truths he acknowledged. He was a magnanimous friend-maker. Many who in many ways were distant from him ideologically were close to him personally.

    

In any case deathbed conversions, real or imagined, do not have the significance some place upon them.



    Firstly, some people have ‘deathbed conversions’ in the same way that people under torture give false information to stay their interrogator’s hand. That which is extracted under torture is unreliable.

    

Secondly, there is a recognised condition called IC psychosis in which the illnesses and treatments of patients in critical care cause delusions and paranoia. I can attest to this as my wife suffered it as she was dying of cancer. She was resolute in atheism to the end and none of the hallucinations she shared were of a religious nature, but they could have been, particularly if religion had been a preoccupation of hers.

    If someone in extremis suffered a rag-bag of delusions that happened to include a pseudo-religious one I am sure some unscrupulous Christians would ruthlessly cherry pick and misrepresent this as death bed conversion, but that says more about the intellectual and moral corruption of those Christians than about the dying person whose pitiable confusion they aimed to abuse and exploit.

    

Despite her episodes of IC psychosis, knowing she was soon to die, and in full knowledge that it was completely her end, my wife on her deathbed communicated with wonderful composure and consideration. She was the most magnificent woman and her final hours were her finest hours.

    

No one has any right to expect anyone’s end to be as exemplary, and even if Christopher Hitchens had not been this in no way would have invalidated his exemplary work in previous full faculty, or the validity of his Atheism.

    • James Christopher Desmond

      Couldn’t have said it better, John. This man has simply generated “click bait” to sell books at the expense of Hitch’s legacy.

      Thanks for sharing a painful yet exalting memory, too.

      • Andrea Milioto

        Isn’t it disgusting that they are trying to take away his integrity. He was one of the most intellectually honest people. He never pandered to anybody and was always true to his convictions. I kind of knew this was going to happen that the religious were going to try to take Hitch away from Atheists. He was a beacon for our right’s. I miss his oration and his sharp tongue. They are, indeed, very shameful individuals

      • RPTerror

        And he has to put a true intellect on the cover as a wrapper for the steaming pile of feces within.

  • John Davies

    The subtitle of Christopher Hitchens great book “God Is Not Great” is “How religion poisons everything”. How true this seems in the light of Larry Alex Taunton’s indulgence of wishful thinking. religion certainly seems to have poisoned Christian’s interpretations of their final conversations with a man who had been their friend.

    Hitchens asked Taunton why he thought he didn’t convert. The answer Taunton provided was Taunton’s, not Hitchens. It was also an insult to Hitchens. Taunton does not give Hitchens answer.

    As for Wilson’s comment, the italicisation of the word ‘something’ is intended to suggest that Hitchens seriously considered the possibility of the spirit of god entering his heart, or some such. I am sickened by the implication by both that he may have seriously considered converting or actually converted but not announced it because it would hurt his pride and damage his reputation as an atheist and that fellow atheists would consider him already as good as dead if he converted. They have shown not only that religion has poisoned their objectivity. It also shows that religion has poisoned their loyalty to someone who was a good friend to them.

    Shame on them.

  • Rationalist1

    So I guess this means it’s okay to try to influence Christians when they are sick and vulnerable to recant their beliefs and accept reason over belief. But of course it isn’t and I don’t know of any atheist who would do such a thing. But most non-believers will have that happen to them at those closing moments of their life.

    All I can say is leave us alone and we leave you alone at the juncture. Support our life decision and don’t try to mess with our weakened, drug addled minds. Let us die with the resolve that we lived with. And if that means that your God will torture us forever because of our honest, thoughtful, evidence based decision, then to be honest, we even more would not wanted to worship such a tyrant.

  • Brian Soto

    Hitchens thoroughly debunked this notion in the book he wrote ‘while’ dying (‘Mortality’). It doesn’t get more unequivocal than that. His wife even said he wasn’t even thinking about the subject in his final days. I’d invite everyone to look this up.

  • Andrea Milioto

    Personally, I think it is shameful for these two people to dishonor their friend like this. Christopher Hitchens was a man of strong intellect and convictions in his lack of belief. He destroyed the religious with such passion and eloquence. I remember his wife was interviewed on CNN after his death and she stated that there was no deathbed conversion. I wish they would leave the legacy of this great man alone. His Atheism and his life should be celebrated.

    • Ernestine Summer Bonicelli

      She doesn’t know. Nobody but Chris and God know that.

      • Andrea Milioto

        Do not call him Chris because detested being called Chris. It is Christopher. How do you know his wife did not know. Are you kidding? Besides, what do you know about this marvelous intellectually honest man? Christians are trying to take away something they cannot have which is his integrity. He was an Atheist to his core and was an Atheist to the end. He hated the notion of god. So stop it!

        • RPTerror

          Because Xians are truly ego maniacs where their truth is already a lie built by lies so what does one more lie matter.

          • Andrea Milioto

            Absolutely. I still cannot believe people in 2016 are still swallowing the company kool-aid. There is so much scientific evidence of the Big Bang and Evolution. Where is their evidence to prove a mythical being in the sky. Where is this god when the world is in so much trouble? Nowhere!!!

          • Alex

            I’m sorry, but its laughable to think the theories of the Big Bang and Evolution can explain how life began. You’d have a terrible time conjuring up evidence for how the first cells came to be in all their complexity. Not only do you need coherent strands of molecular information (DNA or RNA), you need countless proteins specifically designed to read the strands and produce even more proteins. There is no evidence, just scientist educated beyond their intelligence making shots in the dark. To believe in that sort of mechanical creative precision in a world that favors entropy…I tell you, that requires more faith than Christianity.

      • RPTerror

        So leave it that way crone. Between Christopher and Odin.

    • Dazy

      The author is not claiming he made a deathbed conversion. Re-read the article.

  • John Harmer

    It really is appalling that Larry Taunton would deliberately misrepresent his friend this way. Christopher Hitchens had impeccable manners, and always acknowledged the literary merits of the St James version of the Bible. To take this as implying he was considering converting is about as low as a human being can go.

    • William J. Walsh

      How so? I don’t understand why anyone should be upset by someone who knew the man–which we did not–saying that he appeared to consider something. Do you find that threatening somehow? Some people have lost their tempers here, which says more about them than anything else. It is like this Taunton fellow has blasphemed.

      • John Harmer

        Well, I do think he has behaved very badly. blasphemy is a religious term so I would avoid it. I agree Taunton knew Hitchens better than I do, but I know him a bit from all the debates I have watched and reading his autobiography Hitch-22. And from those indications I am sure that what Taunton is describing as “considering” is not what theists think atheists do, which is to suddenly get very very afraid of dying, and to miserably abandon principles of a lifetime, and start wondering if it might all be true, and that we fear some unpleasant afterlife because we offended God by not worshiping him as he demands. No what I reckon “considering” would refer to is the open minded acceptance that nothing can be ruled out. He respected science, and science’s great strength is to always be ready to update its model in the light of new discoveries. For Taunton to portray that intellectual openness as if he somehow had some doubts at the end of his life, is something Hitchens explicitly warned would happen. So well done Taunton, you get the prize for crassness, and predictable blurring of the truth we expect from dogmatic believers..

  • Ryan

    The deathbed conversion isn’t new, it happens all the time. I believe the last person anyone who has even thought about the Lord in their dying days, provokes His presence just before they take their last breath. The last conversation takes place in spite of those opposed to God. One of the thieves on the cross next to Jesus said; “Lord, remember me…” That’s all it takes, whether anyone who is opposed to God is present or not, Jesus is always ready to forgive and take a soul with Him rather than let that soul burn for eternity.

    • RPTerror

      Yawn. And then the Easter bunny crapped in your mouth. Despicable Taliban. Yes YOU.

      • Ryan

        The day is coming when you will be on a cross of your own making, then you will only have one good choice, choose wisely. Forever is longer than you can even imagine.

        • RPTerror

          Ewwww I am so scared. Is Zues going to have a vulture eat my liver for eternity. You smug, self absorbed, conceited Taliban clown.

          • Ryan

            Your self righteousness is showing.
            I am a war veteran and you are trying to tell me about the Taliban, too, too, too funny. lol

          • RPTerror

            Then you should know better. I too am a vet and seeing what religious lies do was enough. This story about Hitchens is a flat out lie. Your comments indicate you support lies told in the name of YOUR religion are ok. Taliban look in the mirror.

          • Chris M

            If God does not exist, and deception does exist, then isn’t deception the actual problem? Would getting rid of the lie really address the problem? Lies are only a symptom of the real problem. Atheists and theists agree on this, but only the theist can justify it…..You must appeal to objective right and wrong for someone to justify why deception is wrong. But you get upset anyway and it doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

          • nude0007

            To quote CV above: “Objective morality can exist without a deity, unless you are defining objective morality as something other then morality that is: not just true according to a person’s subjective opinion.” getting rid of the lies ALWAYS helps clarify the problem.

          • Ryan

            Objective morality to an atheist is relative, just like truth. Even the lie is relative, you can believe anything you want as an atheist and still think you are the only one who is right. That’s pretty shallow thinking.

          • nude0007

            wrong again. the truth is not relative. The truth is based on facts. No, atheists only accept truth based on facts as truth. That truth is always right. It is not our opinion or a fallacy based on a book proven to be a fictitious lie. Theism is shallow thinking. That’s why you keep trying to drag us down to your level and it never works

          • Ryan

            What proof do you have that it is a fictitious lie?

          • RPTerror

            If your world requires proof of the negative then you MUST admit that allah zues and krishna are equally a god with your god.

          • nude0007

            everything Mr. Hitchens ever said is all.

          • William J. Walsh

            And the truth is what exactly? Facts? This is not coherent, much less persuasive.

          • nude0007

            how so? Facts are the truth and are verifiable. What do you find incoherent about that? The facts do not try to be persuasive. They just are the only truth we have, whether you find them persuasive or not. What do you find more persuasive? Lies?

          • nude0007

            It is not only coherent, but a FACT. That you find it unpersuasive only reflects on your inability to grasp simple truths.

          • RPTerror

            Bzzzt wrong. A lie is still a lie to an atheist. You are a clueless clown. Your religion is one big lie and you are now lying with the worste of them. Be proud dummy.

          • RPTerror

            Christina. If I announced to the world that you are a pedophile in such a way that I could claim in a court of law that I was not REALLY saying it how would you feel? Ego maniacal christian Taliban.

          • nude0007

            not sure what you are saying. You say getting rid of deception would solve the problem, then you say it isn’t the problem. The lie is the problem, and that’s what religion is. Theists do NOT agree, so I fail to get your comment.
            No, there is no objective right or wrong. Deception is wrong because the truth is always needed to make correctly informed decisions.

          • Dazy

            Where are the lies? The author is clear that he and Hitchens had discussions about it and that he HOPED he’d converted in the end, but had no reason to think he did. The fact that Hitchens may have CONTEMPLATED conversion due to his growing relationship with people of faith does not mean anything other than a man of his intellect would always be reassessing and contemplating on a subject as he gained new information. He had a very cynical attitude toward Christians. However, in the end he DID develop friendships and close ties with quite a few of the Christians he debated. This is no secret since he freely admitted as much. The fact that his gave him a slightly different perspective that may have made him reassess to some extent his previous position would be completely compatible with a person of his intellect and curiosity. The author is claiming nothing else – certainly not that there was a deathbed conversion.

          • nude0007

            the lie is that Hitchens was an ANTI-Theist. There is no way he would even remotely consider falling for something he knows is a lie. It is obviously the theist “interpreting” the conversations the way he would want them to be

          • Ryan

            Do you have proof beyond any shadow of a doubt? Were you there in the moments before death? Do you know exactly what was going on in his mind in those moments before he died?

          • nude0007

            that is exactly MY point. This guy is interpreting what Hitchens may or may not have said according to his own delusion. Hitch was a rabid anti-theist. He’d have rather been eaten by ants than have someone think he even considered he accepted something he KNEW was a lie

          • Dazy

            First of all, it’s YOUR opinion that he would never consider ‘falling for something he knows is a lie”. Hitchens was an intellectual. He was not a person that would close his mind – no person with great intellect is a closed book. The author never claimed he wasn’t anti-theist. Quite the contrary. I agree that the author probably interpreted their conversations in a more hopeful fashion than realistic – but he admits to that as well. Hence, no lie, simply him recalling several conversation between himself and Hitchens and his belief that Hitchens MAY have reconsidered his stance. At no point did he claim he had and he also readily admitted it was his HOPE. You have to actually read the story, not just the headline, to see that though.

          • nude0007

            no, it is what Hitchens himself said his entire life. Far from M opinion. Only someone totally unfamiliar with Hitchens would ever think he would accept the lie of religion, as well informed as he was

          • Andrea Milioto

            No he did not. His wife confirmed that he NEVER considered it nor did he make the conversion. Who should know better Carol Blue (Hitchens’ wife) or a liar named Tauton?

          • Dazy

            The author did not claim he converted. It’s simply his interpretation of their conversation. I think it’s fair to say the author had a bit of wishful thinking, but he admits as much.

          • RPTerror

            Self serving and false interpretations are the skills of the christian Taliban.

          • ppp777

            Again you are wrong , Tauton did not say hitchens converted although he is certainly converted now but it is too late .

          • Ryan

            Good comment.
            I am one who believes in deathbed conversions as I believe anyone who thinks about the Lord in their slow end of life situations, will have their own personal encounter. Like the thief on the cross next to Christ, there is that personal moment before death.

          • RPTerror

            Blah blah blah Taliban clown. Your bible is not even good toilet paper.

          • Ryan

            What religious lies were those?

        • nude0007

          the usual vague, unsupported thretgs that are totally MEANINGLESS to those who KNOW that the religious books are all just myths. Proven by several sciences and scholarly disciplines

          • Ryan

            Look around you in the world today. What you call myths from the Bible are happening as it was written. The so-called sciences and scholarly disciplines you like to believe in are questionable. Even Christians believe in true science.

          • nude0007

            bullshit. The bible fails at prophecy. at best it is around 30%. Sheer chance is far better. Every generation claims that these are the end times. I laugh, because if you actually know what the bible says and its origins, you know that Revelation was just a hate letter to the romans. IT foretold NOTHING. There are no end times.
            no, the science I trust in is not “so-called” it IS science and it is not questionable. At least not by totally uninformed religious propagandists trying to spin truth into lies to fit the lie they have swallowed without thinking. Since you have no idea what my sources are, your comment is laughable. It proves only that you live in denial, even when you don’t know what you are denying. LOL.
            NO ONE believes in real science (or at least that is not a valid way to accept science). Science doesn’t require belief. IT is verified and proven, no belief required.

          • ppp777

            Another atheist has it all back to front .

          • nude0007

            LOL. which, once again, you can’t demonstrate.

          • RPTerror

            You are making too much sense with these lying Taliban.

          • RPTerror

            Bullshit

          • nude0007

            no, actually they are not. Like most so called prophecies, they are so vague you can claim almost any event as fulfillment of the prophecy. Just look at christians of every age, they continually claim we are living in the last days and that current political and social climes fulfill the prophecy of the end times. Some groups have predicted the end dozens of times yet we are still here. If christians would learn their religion, they’d know that Revelation was a hate letter to the Roman Empire and ALL of the events in it happened as it says in the book “wile many who were alive then were still alive”, not some future time thousands of years in the future.

          • ppp777

            It is true only in your head .

          • nude0007

            right, that’s why I mentioned science and scholarly disciplines, because they only exist in my head. lol

          • nude0007

            way tio provide evidence to refute me. go get ’em tiger. meow

    • M_J_Murcott

      But in this case it is a complete fiction made up by yet another person trying to make money out of gullible people who will swallow virtually anything told to them.

    • nude0007

      no, qctually, supposed deathbed confessions of atheists are almost always lies by the christian leaders to try to preserve the lie of their religion. It is sad that so many christians just lap it up instead of seeking a secular, honest source

      • ppp777

        ” Seek a secular , honest source ” , now that is funny .

        • nude0007

          only to those who use dishonest, non-secular sources

        • nude0007

          I am not surprised you don’t recognize the existence of secular, honest sources.

      • William J. Walsh

        How could anyone know? You would appear to say “by trusting a secular, honest source.” This is solipsism.

        • nude0007

          no it is secular. Anything exists that can be proven with evidence. Everyone can know the facts.

  • RPTerror

    Complete BS like the lies about Anton Lavey et al. It is revealing how comfortable you and your fellow sheep with lies. SMFH

  • Boris Badinuff

    Today he still is remembered as a good sincere man. And sorely missed….

  • Jacob Furtado

    One of my favorite pieces from Hitchens’ last book “Mortality”, which was written while he was in the throes of death and published posthumously, was a chapter dedicated to warning people not to believe those who’d inevitably say he wanted to convert while near death.

    I’m just surprised it took this many years for someone to say it.

  • Triventius

    Rubbish ….this is nothing more then an attempt to sell books . The author takes advantage of his friendship with Mr, Hitchens .

  • Mo86

    God was so very gracious to this man! Imagine all the Christians he got to speak with and/or debate! He was able to have many of his objections and questions addressed.

    I have always held out the hope that he finally accepted Christ at the end of his life. We won’t know until Christ’s return. But even if not, this is one man who cannot claim he did not hear or understand the gospel. He heard it repeatedly and his objections were addressed repeatedly.

    How gracious Christ was to him, to give him SO many opportunities!

    • CV

      Also how gracious of your non-existent God to allow Hitchens to debunk and demonstrate how wrong your belief is, by trouncing Christian thinkers repeatedly in debates and in print and showing you why your faith is merely misplaced belief in outdated and immoral superstition.

      • Chris M

        Its ironic you would refer to that belief as immoral superstition. Without objective morality you will have a hard time justifying your opinion of morality. It becomes subjective (beauty is in the eye of the beholder), and anyones opinion is as justified as yours.

        • CV

          That’s not Irony. Even if I only accept subjective and not objective morality, I would still be expected to claim your religion was immoral if it violated my own subjective morality. You need to look up the definition of the word Irony.

          Second merely because objective morality is not established that does not mean we fall into moral relativism.

          Third merely because atheists dismiss your morality, and your claim that a deity is responsible for objective morality does not mean that we reject objective morality.

          Look up evolutionary morality. Morality can be explained as an evolved trait based, which developed as a result of the human emotion of empathy and our being social creatures, which is why sociopaths who lack common empathy often act in a manner we would deem as objectively immoral.

          Now a couple of questions: Objectively we can determine slavery is immoral and bad. We can make this determination based upon moral weighing mechanisms not related and independent to the existence of your deity. Would I want to be held as human chattel, forced to labor for another with out the benefit of my labor? Would I like to be beaten, and held in chains, passed down from father to son? Would I like to be tattooed, and pierced against my will as a sign of my position as the property of another? Because I answer all of these questions as no, and I understand all other humans to have the equal ability to feel the same, I can understand it to be immoral to enslave my fellow man.

          However, the bible legislates and dictates that the ownership of other humans as chattel is moral… Both the old testament and the new testament support this conclusion. Therefore, I can objectively say that the bible propagates and promotes immorality.

          Further, the bible legislates that a woman who is not a virgin on her marriage night should be stoned to death. Again we can determine whether this action is moral or not using a plethora of weighing mechanisms, such as the veil of ignorance, or even the harm principle. Regardless of which we choose, they all determine that objectively it is not a right or proper action to kill a woman, because she is not a virgin on her wedding night.

          Thus, I can determine that your religious text is objectively immoral, because it supports and justifies the continuation of a practice that are harmful to others, and are not based upon objective facts, but upon the beliefs of iron age people.

          How about genocide? Would you say genocide is objectively moral? Because the old testament is pretty clear that your god demanded genocide of other people.

          How about the burning of witches or sorcerers? Is it moral to kill people you believe have supernatural powers, because they don’t claim to get them from your deity?

          I could go on and on, about the so called objective morals of the book that you probably don’t follow, which is itself un-ironic, because it’s exactly what one expects from a theist, picking and choosing which morality they want in spite of what their religious text declare to be moral.

          • Chris M

            I didn’t bring the bible up…… but considering all of your points, morality is still according to the eye of the beholder. I don’t think you want to live your life like that.

          • CV

            Doesn’t matter whether you brought up the bible or not. The original poster did which is why it serves as a good example, that Christianity is objectively an immoral religion.

            Do you believe slavery is moral? Do you believe objective morality comes from a god? Do you believe that god is as the bible claims, Jesus? If yes to the first and no to the last, what god or book do you claim is the source of our knowledge of objective wisdom? Do you have factual proof that the things claimed to be immoral are in fact objectively immoral?

            What you seem to be proposing is not objective morality, but absolute morality. That or you don’t understand what objective means. Also reality doesn’t care what we want or desire, it merely exists. Just because creationism might be more comforting to you than evolution does not mean that it is more true.

            Objective morality can exist without a deity, unless you are defining objective morality as something other then morality that is: not just true according to a person’s subjective opinion.

            I would argue that slavery, or human bondage can be shown to create a demonstrable harm to both the slave owner and the slave. Because I know that it is generally better to not cause harm than cause harm and that regardless of my personal belief on the rightness or wrongness of slavery, that factually said harms occur I can conclude that slavery is objectively immoral or not right behavior, so I don’t engage in slavery.

            In addition to this, there is no objective justification for slavery being right behavior, and the only justifications for slavery as right behavior stem from personal subjective beliefs, such as whether a god approves of it, or whether the group being enslaved is in fact equal to the group doing the slaving, or whether the benefit to me out weighs the harm to myself and others. Since genetics has disproved racism, and there is little in the form of evidence that supports slavery being right behavior, and I have only a subjective quantification of harm v. benefit, it’s hard to conclude that slavery is objectively moral.

          • William J. Walsh

            So slavery is neither moral nor immoral because you have only a subjective quantification of harm v. benefit upon which to judge?

          • You are whether you understand it or not. Morality is self imposed. The universe is amoral.

          • Ryan

            Explain the universe as being amoral.

          • ppp777

            Surely you don’t need that explained to you ?

          • nude0007

            the universe is neither moral nor amoral. It is a thing, not a person

      • Andrea Milioto

        He was the ultimate destroyer of religious nonsense.

      • RPTerror

        Nice!!

    • benanov

      No, this is a lie. His ‘friend’ is doing this in an attempt to sell books.

      • Nick Hill

        No, I think Larry genuinely cared about him as a friend and wanted him to know the Jesus who said: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11:25-26).

        • benanov

          Oh, so he’s lying for Jesus, so that makes it okay.

          That’s funny, I thought there was something in the bible about bearing false witness.

          • Nick Hill

            How is he lying? Have you read the book? I have.

          • fizbanic

            So you agree that woman cannot teach the bible to a man, that it was alright to kill all non-believers, and stoning kids to death because they disobey.

            Yes I have read the bible many times when I was a theist…have you really read the bible!

          • Dazy

            You may have read it, but you clearly no nothing about it. Your selective, out-of-context summary of it’s message is ridiculous.

          • fizbanic

            I don’t see how out of context the command to take your disobedient kids to the village elders and have him stone to death can be…seems simple to me. Oh I know, because a theist leader would interpret that differently so you’d find it acceptable and alright.

            I don’t see how out of context I could be when the bible states “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

            Seem clear cut to me, a woman has to shut up and stay that way. Oh right you don’t have a church leader to interpret it so it is acceptable to you so you will be happy with it.

            I spent 10 years as a theist, I spent 10 years reading the bible and in that I do understand the bible. I also understand the church and how they spoon feed you everything and the things you question you accept their answer as the truth without questioning that.

            You don’t know me, and you are in no position to try to gauge my knowledge of the bible based on something you disagree with, that is a weak argument and stance.

          • Dazy

            If your interpretation of those scriptures are as superficial as your written response, then I am in an excellent position to tell you how little you know about the bible. You clearly have zero understanding and if ten years as a theist didn’t help you, then anything I try to explain on here won’t do any good..

          • Sam

            Christians always whine ‘out of context’ when confronted with the immorality of the Bible.
            Sorry, won’t work, book is still full of sick ideas.

          • Dazy

            What an absurd comment. Any literary work in which a few lines are quoted out of context would make no sense, yet you want to claim Christians are wrong to point out the simple mindedness of such a thing? Wow.

          • Sam

            Are you lying for Jesus? Because it’s neither ‘a few lines’ or ‘out of context’.
            It’s an immoral death cult.

          • benanov

            Hitchens’, Larry’s, or the bible? No, no, yes.

            From another commenter:
            “One of my favorite pieces from Hitchens’ last book “Mortality”, which
            was written while he was in the throes of death and published
            posthumously, was a chapter dedicated to warning people not to believe those who’d inevitably say he wanted to convert while near death.”

            FWIW I’ll believe Hitchens’ words about himself over his Christian “friend” that would be willing to stretch the truth if it means saving a soul.

        • fizbanic

          Don’t start quoting scripture, there is a lot you are not told. You are spoon fed selected versus because it makes religion look good and it ignores the worst parts. Like how a woman cannot teach man about the bible. How about stoning disobedient kids to death by the village elders. How about the part where god states specifically that the old laws still apply and we never changed?

          • Dazy

            You assume all Christians are like you and don’t read or study for themselves. Those ‘assumptions’ fit perfectly with the rest of your character – they speak more about you than those you presume to know anything about.

          • fizbanic

            “You assume all Christians are like you and don’t read or study for themselves.”

            Nope, I don’t assume that at all. I do know that you do read the bible and when most come to a passage that phases them (like stoning disobedient kids to death) they then do what most do and take the question to someone who they feel is qualified to answer that question, that would be a church leader, priest, pastor or someone else who they feel is educated in the bible.

            In regards to that question I have heard that it was taken out of context, it is old testament and not to be listened to or some other nonsense that made it seem not that bad.

            I know this as it was what I did. I read and studied the bible, spent every weekend with my church group going over passages in the bible. However we stuck with the goody parts of the bible, the ones that made it all sugary sweet and loving. This also was what happened at church, the priest, reverend and pastor stuck to the good parts of the bible. Only when they went over the evils did they touch on the bad parts and just for a quick reference. This was not limited to one church but all that I went to and different denominations.

            “Those ‘assumptions’ fit perfectly with the rest of your character – they speak more about you than those you presume to know anything about.”

            Then they say nothing, as I stated and showed I don’t assume anything, I know because 10 years experience. As your whole comment relies on the one part that I was assuming it just shows you know nothing.

            You on the other hand are assuming.

            You assumed I think that all Christians are like me and don’t read or study the bible. I don’t assume that at all. I am an atheist, no christian is like me in regards to religion. I know they read and study the bible…all the good parts. They tend to skip over the worst parts or ignore them/told they should disregard by the church.

        • chuckleberry74

          David Koresh made similar statements. Doesn’t make them true. I could make that statement, but you wouldn’t believe it. But you’ll believe the oral history anecdotes of a runaway Jewish bronze-age cult. Interesting.

          • ppp777

            There is nothing more cultish than evolution .

          • chuckleberry74

            Relevance? Point? You have neither, not to mention how incorrect your statement is. Perhaps seeking out the definition of the word cult would do you some good. Perhaps reading about macro- and micro-evolution would help. AND finally, perhaps starting from a point of open-mindedness would lead you to what you seek and probably already know: evolution is the real deal.

      • Dazy

        I think you’re wrong, but I also think that as a Christian who genuinely liked Hitchens, this may be a bit more hope than conviction. Hitchens was not a simple minded man. It is ignorant to assume he did NOT contemplate conversion to Chistianity (or question his atheism). He clearly gave great thought to all religions. He bonded with this author and other Christians (there are stories from Hitchens himself about their friendships). An intelligent man who discovered not all Christians fit his previous stereotype of Christians is bound to rethink some of his previous conclusions. The author freely admits he is not saying Hitchens converted to Christianity. He admits Hitchens would be loathe to do so even if he had misgivings (all of us would). I’m sure the publisher is promoting the book and taking the most ‘sensational’ parts to draw attention to it, but human nature, and knowing that someone of Hitchens’ intellect and curious mind would never be completely ‘done’ thinking about any matter, this rings true to me. The most intelligent people in the world are never satisfied that they know everything or have all the answers. They’re always seeking. Those who believe they have all the answers are only showing how simple minded they are.

        • nude0007

          no, it is ignorant to think that he would consider converting to ANY religion when he knew they were all so harmful and dangerous.

        • benanov

          “this may be a bit more hope than conviction”

          Okay, I stopped reading right there. I’m talking about the truth and care not about what you hope happened.

          • Dazy

            I said the author expressed more hope than conviction – hence no lie. You clearly ‘stopped right there’ after the headline and didn’t read the article either.The author described a conversation between them that he HOPED meant Hitchens reconsidered his anti-theism – he did not express it as fact – hence no lie.

    • chuckleberry74

      Cute

    • RPTerror

      F your christ you arrogant ego maniac.

  • fizbanic

    Well ya he was contemplating it, he has always contemplated it. When doing that at the end he always came out and stated what lark it is, what BS it is.

  • Mark Moore

    Most atheists are also agnostic and continue to question the whole way. That does not mean they are converted. Hitchens looked a good deal at most of the religions.

    • fizbanic

      You can’t be an atheist and agnostic. One believes there is no god an one believes it is impossible to know about god or how the universe is created. You can be one or the other but not both. The fact that he studied other religions doesn’t mean he converted.

      • benanov

        Yes, yes, you can.

        Agnostic means you don’t know for sure if there is a god or not. Atheist means you don’t believe in / follow any gods.

        An agnostic atheist is not sure there are any gods, and as such chooses not to believe in any. These people would be swayed by evidence, of which there is none to date.

        I suppose I’m technically an agnostic atheist, but lately I’ve veered into gnosticism due to sheer lack of anything resembling evidence. “I don’t know how the universe was created / we got here, but I’m certain it wasn’t the Christian God” is a fine answer for me.

        • fizbanic

          No, you can’t just change a meaning of word to suit your needs. They are not the same.

          How can you be uncertain there is a god or not but then say there is no god. You can’t, well you can try but you come off sounding as a fool (no offence).

          Question is there a god.

          Yes = Theist.
          No = Atheist.
          I don’t know = Agnostic.
          Yes/No but I hate the church and want it destroyed = Anti-theist.

          • benanov

            Let’s try this again, shall we?

            Gnosticism deals with the idea that it is possible to know for sure whether there is a god or not.

            Atheism deals with belief / following that said god.

            A gnostic atheist believes that it’s possible to know for sure that there is a god or not, and that there is none.

            Most Evangelical Christians are gnostic theists. Roman Catholics are, if you go by the teachings of the church, agnostic theists (there’s a lot they go on about the ‘mystery of faith’ etc.)

          • fizbanic

            “Let’s try this again, shall we?”

            No, because you are wrong. No point going over the points again so please refer to my previous comment. And in case you attempt to try again please refer to this comment after you make you next reply.

            Thanks

          • I’m apatheist, it helps with these kinds of “arguments”

            From Wikipedia:
            An apatheist is someone who is not interested in accepting or denying any claims that gods exist or do not exist.

            Same way I feel about unicorns really.

          • fizbanic

            But by replying to this you have shown an interest

          • An interest in diffusing a silly argument, not in encouraging a perspective.

          • benanov

            But hey, I can cite sources, all you can do is rely on your faith that I’m wrong.

            And that’s why you believe and I don’t.

          • fizbanic

            “But hey, I can cite sources, all you can do is rely on your faith that I’m wrong.”

            My source was Websters dictionary and the ability to read, as well Oxfords agrees on the description that Websters stated and I relayed in my point form.

            “And that’s why you believe and I don’t.”

            Believe what that there is a god? I am an atheist, there is no god that is what I believe.

            You claim to be agnostic atheist (which is not a thing) and that means you can’t make up your mind whether you believe there is no god or you just don’t know there is no god or not.

          • nude0007

            that is not the definition of an anti-theist. anti-theism merely knows that religion is harmful and undesirable

          • fizbanic

            “anti-theism merely knows that religion is harmful and undesirable”

            Nope.

            anti-
            1. a prefix meaning “against,” “opposite of,” “antiparticle of,” used in the formation of compound words ( anticline); used freely in combination with elements of any origin ( antibody; antifreeze; antiknock; antilepton).

            theist
            1. the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation

            atheist
            1. a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

            antitheist also anti-theist,

            “one opposed to belief in the existence of a god” 1813; see anti- + theist.

            My source dictionary com. can’t change the definition of a word to simply suit your needs at will, very weak argument if you are doing that.

          • nude0007

            I didn’t. I am an anti-theist. Not the first definition the dictionary sites refuse to update or change. Besides, I said YOUR definition, which is NOT what YOU found, is wrong. That anti-theists hate church and want it destroyed. Anti-theists would be quite happy if churches just got rid of the behavior we deem harmful. We don’t HATE anything. We find the mind control and forced ignorance deplorable, disgusting, and detrimental to the welfare of humans.

          • fizbanic

            Lets see a dictionary or someone anonymous persons opinion on what a word means, who or what would be more credible?

            Sorry for your lose but the dictionary wins. You can make it a mantra if you want but it won’t change the dictionary.

          • nude0007

            as anyone who is educated knows, words change their meaning constantly. Sorry, but just because you cannot accept the truth, doesn’t make it the truth. LOL. I haven’t lost (I assume you meant loss instead of lose.)

          • nude0007

            yep.

          • nude0007

            you can indeed be an agnostic atheist. there are many out there. it is a diagram with two axis. Gnostic/gnostic and theist atheist.

          • fizbanic

            You really aren’t doing much to put any credibility in what you are saying here or the other reply. Based on the meaning of agnostic or atheist they cannot be combined to form another word. If you believe in one then it nullifies the other one.

          • nude0007

            you really are dense. Atheists are often agnostic or gnostic, because the terms are not mutually exclusive.

    • Dazy

      While I disagree that most atheists are also agnostic, I agree with your conclusion about Hitchens. People with curious minds do not form a conclusion and then close the door. They are constantly contemplating new information. While the headline is meant to be click bait, the author expressed pretty clearly that he and Hitchens had very civil conversations and respect and that he HOPED Hitchens may have reconsidered his anti-deism in the end – he certainly did not express it as fact.

  • Nicholas Cascone

    One can only hope that Hitchens’ ghost haunts this exploitative ‘friend’ for the rest of his miserable life. Disgusting and pathetic how believers clutch at straws to soothe their own childish fears of the universe.

    • Dean Bruckner

      Well, at least you believe in the supernatural, and the inadequacy of the materialistic world view. That’s a start.

      • Nicholas Cascone

        Mm. Just a turn of phrase, I’m afraid. You know what they say about “when you assume…”

    • ppp777

      As per usual an atheist has it back to front .

      • Nicholas Cascone

        Yes, I’m the confused one. Silly me, grounding my beliefs in reality and evidence.

        • ppp777

          Again you have it back to front .

          • Nicholas Cascone

            No more persuasive than the first time you chirped that. Bye now, I have a life to live.

  • Only the most venal, intellectually vacant and mendacious form of guttersnipe would print such bent and fabricated slander.

    • Dean Bruckner

      Curiously, how can such judgments be made in an atheist and materialist world view? There is no right and wrong, and we don’t know if our senses our minds are telling us the “truth.”

  • chuckleberry74

    lol…nice try fellas

  • ppp777

    You must get a creationist to debate the likes of hitchens not a compremiser like him .

  • Christopher H

    Such utter tripe.

  • Croquet_Player

    Hitchens, in a video made shortly before his death, predicted there would be religious types claiming he had converted on his deathbed. There always are. He said it wasn’t going to happen. His wife confirms there was no conversion. This is just another shameless scam to make money off a dead man.

  • disqus_KZV54l7H97

    f*#king NONSENSE!

  • Paternoster305

    Upon his death one of two things happened to Hitchens. To wit: If he was wrong he stood in judgment before Almighty God whom he spent the life God gave him denying his existence. When one argues with God the outcome is never a good one. On the other hand if Hitchens atheism is correct then in the nothingness he doesn’t experience he doesn’t have the satisfaction of knowing he was right. In either case it is a sad situation. .

  • Welcome2MidnightSun!

    his contemplation are admirable, but not enough. As a Christian I did (still do) enjoy listening to Hitchens, because there is such a strong sense of integrity in that which he said, to a level that is very rare amongst Christians when they defend their faith. I really…REALLY hope he gave his life to the Lord, and has revived forgiveness and everlasting life in Heaven!

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