Christopher Hitchens on why religious belief is absurd
“If you want to get good people to do wicked things you need religion.
I do not think that any person looking at a new-born baby would think “how wonderful, what a gift, but now just let’s start sowing at its genitalia with a sharp stone.” Who would give them that idea if not the Godly? And what kind of argument for design is this? Babies are not born beautiful, they’re born ugly, they need to be sown a bit, because the handy work of God is such garbage. Well, honestly.
Tertullian, one of the Church fathers, said that one of the great things about being in Heaven was you’d be able to watch the writings and the tortures of those who’d been sent to Hell.
We see why Hell is unpleasant, why is Heaven such fun? It seems to be rather dutiful – endless praise, endless worship, endless subjection, endless tedium, you’d think that the Lord himself after the first five billion years would have had enough of the songs of praise. No, it’s got to go on, forever.
Oh I think mockery of religion is one of the most essential things, because to demystify a supposedly holy text dictated by God, and show that they are man-made, what you have to show there is their internal inconsistencies and absurdities, and one of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority. It’s an indispensable thing. People can call it blasphemy if they like, but if they call it that they have to assume that there is something to be blasphemed, some divine work. Well, I don’t accept the premise.
I bet you know what the Buddhist says to the hot-dog vendor. You don’t? He says “make me one with everything.” Wait, that’s only part one, because the Buddhist then hands over a fifty-dollar bill and wait while he munches, and nothing happens, and he says to the hot dog vendor, “well what about my change?” And the hot dog vendor says, “change comes only from within.” I myself have never heard anything more profound than that.”
Soundbite from the Atheist Foundation of Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR0GyYaeI-k