Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mike Potemra is Wrong

Fellow blogger Tom Van Dyke has posted below the viewpoint of Mike Potemra, who concludes that renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens is somehow a believer. Mr. Potemra, though elegant in his prose, is essentially attempting to grab a falling knife. His conclusion is ridiculous. Hitchens (along with most atheists of the past who have had their beliefs altered to show that they are somehow believers) categorically denies the existence of God. In addition, he goes further to suggest that any notion or belief in God is a terrible thing:



While this has little to do with America's founding, I thought it was appropriate in light of Mr. Potemra's ridiculous claim.

12 comments:

Phil Johnson said...

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Heh heh heh
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This guy, Hitchens, is quite the thinker. But, he does come across about as obnoxious as can be.
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I like to watch him just to see how his mind works. He sure has a good one and he is a hard one to trip up.
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I think he works for the Newhouse media empire.

Matt Huisman said...

I don't think the claim is that ridiculous. I agree that Hitchens would have nothing to do with the notion of God, but Potemra may have finally found a way to get Hitchens to lay out the foundation of his fury.

Numinousity? Apparently it is the binding standard for all of mankind. Odd that he never spends much time developing it.

Phil Johnson said...

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So, Matt, what does numinousity mean to you?
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I'm wondering that we might have different understandings of that word.
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Or, maybe your response is the to VanDyke post below?
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???

Matt Huisman said...

Tom provided a Wiki-link for the definition - and its fine with me. But when you're dealing with Hitchens, you notice that he speaks with authority, the basis of which is a little bit of a mystery. Sometimes it is 'innate human solidarity', sometimes it is the 'numinous'.

The question is not what do I believe it means; its what does Hitchens believe. He never seems to get around to dealing with it.

Phil Johnson said...

"The question is not what do I believe it means; its what does Hitchens believe."
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The queston I asked was about what you believed it to be. Your straight out answer would have helped me understand your post. I must have missed Tom's link.
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Doesn't it refer to a spiritual identity?

Tom Van Dyke said...

Oh, Lindsey, perhaps you took Mike Potemra a bit too literally. He was having a little fun unpacking Hitchens' assertions.

I had assumed it was common knowledge that Hitchens vociferously denies God, and so does Potemra. God in the hands of angry sinners. I liked that one. The easiest way to reject God is to make him into a really big jerk.

Potemra refers to what many of us feel, and empiricists dismiss as real, man's "God-shaped hole." Beauty and love also fit in here somewheres, and unlike the caricature of Angry God, the God of David in Psalms is a lover, whom David longs for. Eros, properly understood. Or as one fellow put it [Potemra also assumed the reader's familiarity with St. Augustine]:

"For Thyself Thou hast made us, And restless our hearts until in Thee they find their ease."

Ray Soller said...

Here's an audio clip that was recorded on March 3, 2002 during a rally that took place on the Mall in Washington D.C. in which Michael Newdow says he "prayed" and why he believes that he is a religious person.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Ray, I took this at face value, but as I had a few moments to listen to your audio link, I find you've taken advantage of the good faith I put in you.

You betrayed my trust in you, Ray, that you would take audio or video and relay the contents accurately, as I tend to be unable to listen to them.

Mr. Newdow refers to prayer, but only mockingly.

You've betrayed not only my trust, but of everyone on this blog, Ray. If you were trying to be funny, you weren't.

Tellya what, Ray---find a transcript of this audio or transcribe it yourself and post it on the front page of this blog and let's reveal its smirking and derision.

Honor requires you to do so, if you subscribe to any notion of honor. Perhaps your offense against your own integrity was just a malfunction of your own cleverness, Ray, but if you don't take this chance to set things right, well, people will know.

Of course, you can always pretend you never read this, but...well, we'll see.

Phil Johnson said...

Does anyone ever tell you that you're weird, Tom?
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Or are you trying to be esoteric?
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Tom Van Dyke said...

All of the above.

bpabbott said...

Lindsey, Thanks for the nice correction.

Ray, thank you for the audio. I enjoyed it.

I've been very busy ... nice to see Phil is still holding posters and commenters accountable! ;-)

Brian Tubbs said...

Whatever Potemra says about Christopher Hitchens, I'd love to see the Founders take a crack at him. Clearly, Mr. Hitchens is out of step with the Founding Fathers, as none of them (not even Thomas Paine) denied the existence of God. Atheism is completely and totally incompatible with the values of America's founding.