Monday, July 26, 2010

Hitchens in Brisbane

After searching Hitchens on, I found a few videos unavailable on Youtube. One stood out: Hitchens' brief interview with The Brisbane Times (May 24, 2010) in which he promotes his memoir, Hitch-22. Hitch offers a few crumbs about his forthcoming book on the Ten Commandments, with its thesis: "The whole concept of having a commandment needs to be investigated ... moral reasoning and ethical debate are what's required, not orders from on high."

Hitchens insists that morality cannot be naïvely reduced to a Bronze-Aged Kindergarten lesson. How we figure right and wrong is, like Homo sapiens, a slowly evolving merry-go-round of trial and error. I'm particularly hopeful for a panel, November 4, in New York City focusing on the relevance of the Ten Commandments.

Every time a believer finishes crowing about objectively grounding morality through the precious decalogue, I can't help but roll my eyes and ask, "Perhaps, but why would a god design creatures that needed commandments in the first place?" As Hitch likes to quote Fulke Greville, we are created sick and commanded to be well.

I'll leave you with the tastiest of Hitch's revised commandments: Turn off that fucking cell phone. (You can have no idea how unimportant your call is to us.)

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