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Christopher Hitchens has mellowed, but his idea of Christianity is still grossly distorted

He suspects the scientist who pioneered his cancer treatment is praying for him, and doesn’t mind

By on Monday, 28 March 2011

Dr Francis Collins, who pioneered Hitchens's cancer treatment, is mentioned in the Pope's new book (AP Photo/J Scott Applewhite)

Dr Francis Collins, who pioneered Hitchens's cancer treatment, is mentioned in the Pope's new book (AP Photo/J Scott Applewhite)

If this sounds like a question from the radio programme Round Britain Quiz, I’m sorry. It has just struck me so I will formulate it anyway: what do Pope Benedict, the scientist Francis Collins and Christopher Hitchens have in common? Answer: His Holiness mentions Collins on page 193 of his book Jesus of Nazareth (that’s as far as I’ve got; it’s very dense so I’m having to read it slowly); Collins is the former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute; and it is his research which has pioneered the experimental treatment that Hitchens is receiving for his throat cancer. Interestingly, Hitchens, as well as naturally hoping that this treatment will efficiently target the site of his tumour, has become good friends with Collins and has publicly debated religion with him.

The Holy Father, as is generally known, is a Catholic; Francis Collins is an evangelical Christian, and author of The Language of God: A Scientist presents Evidence for Belief; and Hitchens, in case you didn’t know it, is a devout atheist. “Devout” is probably the wrong word but “keen” or “committed” don’t quite convey his evangelical brand of atheism. Some Christians hope that if the experiment, involving Hitchens’s DNA, is effective and he is cured, he will undergo a change of heart. But conversion doesn’t work so straightforwardly; you have to be open to grace at some level and, judging from his public pronouncements, Hitchens has slammed this particular door shut. Yet who am I to judge him? As Carson McCullers once wrote, the heart is a lonely hunter.

What is obvious, though, is that in Hitchens’s case, it is not a question of Christianity having been tried and found wanting: it has simply never been tried – or understood. In an interview with Mick Brown in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph magazine he says he has never yearned for faith, adding: “There isn’t the evidence and I don’t see why anyone would want it to be true. A permanent, invigilated, regulated dictatorship which you are told is for your own good – I can’t think of anything worse.” If that is not the most grotesque distortion of Christianity in short compass, I don’t know what is.

And why does Pope Benedict mention Francis Collins? Because “in the magnificent mathematics of creation, which today we can read in the human genetic code, we recognise the language of God”. It was this “language” that converted Collins himself (although it has not yet converted the scientist Richard Dawkins). The Pope tells us why: “But unfortunately not the whole language. The functional truth about man has been discovered. But the truth about man himself – who he is, where he comes from, what he should do, what is right, what is wrong – this… cannot be read in the same way. Hand in hand with growing knowledge of functional truth there seems to be an increasing blindness towards ‘truth’ itself – towards the question of our real identity and purpose.”

It hardly needs to be pointed out how this applies to Hitchens’s mindset. Still, he has mellowed. He suspects that Collins is praying for him and doesn’t mind, although he thinks it a waste of time. I have blogged before about Hitchens and prayer. He still needs it.

  • Respect, peace, not hatred.

    Where’s the respect for other human beings in your words, Hitchens fights for what he believes as Jesus did, right or wrong it is his right to be outspoken on matters close to his heart. Marines fight for what they are told to believe like catholics did. if the spirit of god is within us all, can’t we be left to find him without maliciousness towards one another. An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind. Extend these petty fights to the world stage and you should see that all you are doing is spreading hatred and segregation the same as the worst tyrants in existence have done. Just be nice…. Or quiet. It’s not hard.

  • Semper Fidelis

    Peace & love man, right on. It’s sounds like a grovelling Buddhist mantra. Thankfully, my religion, Roman Catholicism, is more robust than that. Our founder was a tough guy. He died on the cross for us. So I’m not going to let a bigot like Hitchens ( even though I pray for his recovery ), & his fellow atheist acolytes, gratuitously offend my religion. No free speech for these bigots. You can lay down & let them offend you if you wish. I’m prepared to get down in the gutter with them ( not a nice place, I agree ) & slog it out. It’s the only language these bully’s understand.

  • Rupert Pelham

    Great point. This did occur to me as I wrote the previous post, thus the use of the term ‘target market’. However, I neglected to include it. I do believe it’s a valid comparison. I’m reminded of the Joe the Camel campaign by R. J. Reynolds which was alleged to influence children in order to convert them to smoking. Obviously, the tobacco companies must at least maintain or increase their following so they can keep their profits in check. The Catholic Church must do likewise in order to keep their current hold on their position in the world. That’s the main impetus, not simply spreading ‘The Word’.

    The tobacco companies will only kill Africans with their efforts. In contrast, the Church has a wonderful opportunity here to put their massive wealth and personnel to use in Africa by bringing increased infrastructure, unbiased education, medical assistance, a higher standard of living for the many who live in squalor, jobs and food distribution (and that’s just naming a few things) to a country in great need. Perhaps this already occurs to some degree, but with their deep pockets and committed followers this could be so greatly increased as to have an enormous impact.

    In mentioning medical assistance, I would have more respect for the Church if they made a reversal on their policy on condom distribution. Some basic research reports that the numbers of people with AIDS in Africa is staggering. AIDS is now the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa. Abstinence, as the Pope claims will help the problem simply won’t work. Here’s a great opportunity to save lives not extinguish them like Big Tobacco.

  • Anonymous

    You need to be careful about what philosophers say, they have been wrong in the past, and no doubt will be wrong again in the future. Kant may or may not be right about being able to know all the answers, but it has no relevance to proving the existence of gods.

    When you try to use philosophy to prove anything about the physical world then you are on dodgy ground. For example, philosophers have tried to prove the existence of a god with the “first cause” argument, but we know from quantum physics that things can happen without cause. Particles can come into existence without cause so why not the universe? it would not violate any physical law. There is so much in physics that seems impossible, such as wave/particle duality, quantum entanglement, the twin paradox in relativity, quantum tunnelling. Even the old Newtonian physics is counter-intuitive – people used to wonder how an arrow could continue to move when nothing was pushing it, and they thought that heavy objects fell faster than light ones. Human intuition is worthless when it comes to understanding the world, so the only way to establish the truth is by the scientific method of testing hypotheses, and until a hypothesis has been tested it is worthless. The god hypothesis does not make any testable predictions; in fact it doesn’t even qualify as a hypothesis because it is so vague, and it doesn’t actually make anything easier to understand, just the opposite, so it actually worse than useless.

  • Ian

    No, Hitchens is accepting a doctor. Whether the doctor is a christian, a trainspotter or a tap dancer is neither here nor there.

  • Ian

    You call Hitchens a bigot? That’s funny!!!

  • Ian

    Nooooo – Hitchens is dependent on a doctor. Whatever myth that doctor happens to believe still makes him a trained doctor.

  • Ian

    You are an absolute idiot. Atheism a thought crime? Are you serious?

    You ought to be sectioned.

  • Ian

    “And if you want to shut up believers in GOD then all you have to do is provide evidence that he doesnt exist.”
    Which one? Shiva, Apollo, Zeus, Odin, Ganesh, Poseidon??????
    I can’t provide evidence that a tap-dancing 3-headed wizard isn’t making cakes on one of Saturn’s moons, but let’s face it, it’s highly unlikely.

  • Ian

    “as opposed to irrational atheist pseudo-science : duh – it’s only a blob ! ; yeah, the universe was created by magic – Paul Daniels started it all – the atheist view of creation ”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA – Stop it!!!!
    I think you’ll find, that’s YOUR view!
    Take your head out of the sand & read the scientific view – not what you THINK the scientific view is.

  • Ian

    No. I am an atheist because I lack a belief in gods. It is not a belief system.

    That’s like saying not smoking is a dirty habit.

  • Ian

    “Oh Pj by the way I’m a christian but I don’t go around “forcing” people to convert or threaten them with death. It is the FREE WILL and FREE CHOICE without duress or violence of the person who converts to christianity. Get the drip. Ignoramus”

    - So you should support the abolition of faith schools too?

  • Ian

    Dawkins has never tried to prove god doesn’t exist.
    What he says is that the likelihood of the existence of ANY of the 10000 gods is highly improbable due to there not being a shred of evidence. Pretty sound logic in my book.
    Perhaps if religion was forced on people in China, then non-believers might be a bit more vocal.
    Religion forces it’s way on everyday life whether we wan’t it or not. We have faith schools, genital mutilation, unelected bishops in the House of Lords etc. Every day there are more stories of religious folk demanding special priveliges over those that are not religious. Schools can discriminate against those who are not religious. Dawkins’ lifes work – factual, testable scientific fact is constantly being highjacked by religious agenda.
    That is why Dawkins is vocal about it. And long may he continue.

  • Ian

    “The role of the Jewish religion and Christianity is to teach that God created the universe and everything in the universe”

    —perhaps they ought to do it without the ritual slaughter of animals & mutilating childrens genitals.

  • Ian

    Hitler was a Roman Catholic & he wrote about his beliefs in Mein Kampf – it’s there, read it. Oh yeah, Nazi belt buckles were inscribed ‘gott mit uns’ (god with us’)
    http://www.tgnobby.com/ballog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Nazi_badge_02.jpeg

  • Ian

    I getnthe feeling you like Paul Daniels. You’ve mentioned him in every post. Every absurd post

  • Ian

    I’ll ask every atheist on this thread, ” Why do you care what somebody else believes ? ”

    -If religion kept itself to itself then i really couldn’t care less. But when religion constantly shoulder-barges it’s way into our daily lives when some of us simply don’t want it – that’s why we care.
    When gay people are persecuted – that’s why we care.
    When children’s genitals are mutilated – what’s why we care
    When children are lied to – that’s why we care
    When religions enjoy tax-exemptions & special privelige – that’s why we care
    When unelected bishops sit in the House of Lords – that’s why we care
    When publically-funded ‘faith’ schools can discriminate against those who are indifferent to religion – that’s why we care
    When religion tries to silence free speech (Salman Rusdie, Philip Pullman etc etc) – that’s why we care
    When religious people interfere with consenting adults’ sex lives – that’s why we care
    When religious people force ritual diet restrictions on kids – that’s why we care

    etc
    etc
    etc

  • Semper Fidelis

    Closed minded bigot, to be more accurate !. God Bless & mind how you go.

  • Semper Fidelis

    Yes knuckle-head. His scientific studies led him inevitably to Christianity. QED.

  • Semper Fidelis

    It matters very much that the doctor is a rational Christian doctor ( whose scientific studies led inevitably to his Christianity ). A trainspotter, tap dancer, or deluded atheist windbag ( Dawkins ; Hawking ; Dennett, etc., ) is of absoluely no use to poor Mr. Hitchens. Unfortunately it takes an incident like this to highlight the absolute uselessness of Irrational atheist mumbo-jumbo. What a waste of space it is. Unfortunately gullible minds will buy into anything.

  • Semper Fidelis

    You absolutely miss the point. Francis Collins’s scientific studies led him inevitably to Christianity. He believes in rational science. Wherever science lets itself be corrupted by atheism, bad science is the inevitable outcome. For example, in the field of assisted reproduction, the more effective/ethical, scientifically pure method, NAPRO, was developed by a Catholic scientist ( Dr. Hilgers ) ; as opposed to the muxch less scientifically linked, & ineffective, IVF. God Bless.

  • Semper Fidelis

    Thank’s Ian, what a coherent/rational post. I can see science is safe in your hands. As usual you dont concern yourself with scientific evidence or facts – alien concepts in the deranged atheist mindset. Try & start thinking for yourself instead of just parrotting the puerile mantras of Dawkins & co. Yeah, the world was created from nothing by no-one. Yup – sounds rational. Makes Red Riding Hood seem positively realistic. The guy’s in the white coats are on their way, Ian.

  • Semper Fidelis

    Talk about the proverbial bad penny !. Given that Paul Daniels is one of the High Priests of atheism ( one of the more rational ones, at any rate ), I assume you would have approved. One usually associates brevity with a degree of wit, alas your posts disprove the proverb !.

  • Semper Fidelis

    How puerile. The last person I would promote as a paragon of atheist virtue is such a crude, ignorant anti-Catholic bigot as Hitchens. Although I sincerely hope he recovers, he does’nt do his cause much good by hitching hisd wagon to atheist mumbo-jumbo. Friedrich Nitzsche ( the atheist to surpass all atheists ) has a lot to answer for ; for setting this nonsense creed in motion. Of course he had a rather ignoble end by deliberately infecting himself with syphillis & being confined to a lunatic asylum. Say’s it all about atheism really !.

  • Ian

    Oh, the irony. The big, fat, f**king irony of your statement.

  • Ian

    You really are stupid.

    If you could reason with a religious mind, there would be no religion. Your indoctrinated cult has fried your brain & lead you to reject reason due to the programming job that your religious elders did on you when you were young.
    All religions are a cancer on humanity.

  • Ian

    You do know that there is no ‘ism’ in atheism don’t you – unless you are stupid? (I can dish out the insults too).
    To be an atheist is to reject the idea of deities based on zero evidence – that’s it; there’s no book, there’s no lies, we don’t indoctrinate kids, we don’t keep people in abject poverty in 3rd world countries, we don’t mutilate kids’ genitals, we don’t dictate how a woman should operate her reproductive organs, we don’t reject factual evidence & we certainly don’t belong to diamond-encrusted Vatican-based cults populated by kiddy-f**king old men & other old men who turn a blind eye to it. Your faith & any other faith is the anathema to rational thinking. It is science that uncovers facts, religion stifles critical thinking.
    If you take 1000 doctors; a few might believe in the tooth fairy, some believe walking under a ladder will bring them bad luck, a few might think the Loch Ness monster is alive & well, some may be believe in gods, some may still hold on to the idea that Santa will show himself, some may not believe in gods – BUT, THEY ARE ALL STILL DOCTORS!!!!!!

  • Semper Fidelis

    What stunning argumentation/logic. Is this the best you can do ?. Thanks for confirming the total irrational vacuity of the atheist mind set. You are reminiccent of the ” useful fools ” that the great atheist psychopath ( now there’s a surprise ! ) Joe Stalin made such use of during his genocidal reign. Atheist apologists would’nt hear a word against him. Atheism prays on irational/empty minds. Your post bears testimony to same. Try & start to think for yourself. Can I suggest the work’s St. Thomas Aquinas as an anti-dote to the mumbo-jumbo you so unquestioningly accept.

  • Semper Fidelis

    Puerile, irrational fundamentalist mumbo-jumbo. This is the Catholic Herald site, a degree of rationality/intelligence is presumed; not the rants of a pimpled adolescent. Atheism is a crutch for closed minds, an ideology for airheads. A poisoned/putrid cult ; a creed without logic/rationality. Atheisms contribution to humanity – gulags ; death camps & killing fields. Atheisms rogues gallery – Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Ceaucescu, & nutty prof. Dawkins. As your posts prove, no one but a credulous fool could subscribe to such a deranged pseudo religion. A word of advise. Keep your rants a bit shorter & slightly less hysterical in future. God bless & keep the Faith !.

  • Ian

    If you can’t even grasp the basics that atheism is SIMPLY a lack of belief in any god then there’s no point.
    By the way, Hitler was religious – read Mein Kampf, look at a Nazi belt buckle – look for facts….ah wait, no, I forgot, you reject facts in favour of absurd wishful thinking.
    As for Stalin, I’m sure he didn’t believe in trolls, hydras, goblins, fairies, unicorns, balrogs, dragons and gods. Are you saying that because he didn’t believe in gods in particular, that he chose to do what he did? I’m guessing you are forgetting the ideology he lusted – it had precisely nothing to do with a lack of beliefs in gods…..same as Hitler even though Adolf was a catholic. I don’t think it was religion that motivated Hitler – again, it was ideology.

    As for your comment saying atheism is a religion…..that’s like saying not smoking is a dirty habit.
    Atheism is not a waste of space – we need more vocal people to speak out against the fascism of religion.

    Whatever. I can’t reason with a lunatic. Laters – I’m out of here.

  • Ian

    “there is a lot of evidence for the Biblical account of creation”

    No, there is not. There simply is not.

    You say you don’t buy into Darwinism (odd that you don’t say evolution – I accept the theory of gravity but i wouldn’t label myself as a ‘Newtonist’) – why do you reject facts? Evolution by natural selection is provable, testable fact. Many experiments have been done, there are no ‘missing links’ because we have hundreds of examples, we have DNA which pieces together the puzzle perfectly. We can inter-breed animals and plants which shows that life is not static. We have many examples of specimens of the changes in humans – from Homo-Erectus to the Australopithecines. We have many, many methods of dating – none of which contradict each other. There is masses of evidence for evolution.
    It genuinely worries me that people are willing to reject fact in favour of what they wish to be true.
    Many creationists do not even understand the layman expanation of how evolution works.

  • Jogi89

    I suspect all atheists writing on the wall here are not scientist in anyway, for that matter neither is Hitchens. Just to let you know the greatest scientific theories as well as the modern scientific method itself was created in the context of the Catholic Church in the 17th century; the big bang theory was hypothesized by a Catholic priest/physicist from Belgium in 1926, who was a colleague of Einstein. Einstein and Georges calculated that the chance for life to exist is very minimal; this is because the universe requires 20 specific constants for life, and if any of these constants slightly variate life can not exist. The probability of life existing anywhere in the universe is 10 raised to the 120 raised to the 10. Now if anyone understands high school math that is an unbelievable large number. Now just to put this in perspective this is like telling a monkey to type up all of Shakespeare’s writings in two weeks. Clearly this is highly improbable. Therefore, I am not telling anyone to believe God, however keep open minded to the possibility, because certainly reason and science itself certainly point towards it. Also if anyone reads Darwin, he himself pointed out that there are gaps in his theories in “Origins of Species”. Also one more thing, not all science is empirical evidence. For something to be empirical evidence it must be happening before ones eyes in real time, and have to be able to reproduced in real time. Therefore theories of our existence and origins ….etc are just that “theories”, and not true in themselves unless reproduced, which so far has proved impossible. Science is great because it better helps understand the “physical” world around us and our relation to it; however like any other philosophy (study of reason, therefore science is a philosophy in itself), it is limited by its boundaries.

    One final thing. Please don’t base your arguments on your own emotions towards something (whether your religious or not), because emotions or feelings are not rational and are not an end in itself, I suggest reason (whether scientific, social, or whatever you fancy).

    God bless everyone!!!

  • Anonymous

    Happy Birthday, Hitch!

  • Ian

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

    You need to understand the difference between “hey, I’ve got an idea” theory & scientific theory.
    If you would bother to look – there is plenty of evidence for evolution. There are plenty experiments for example, where small animals with short life cycles that are only indigenous to one place, were placed in different/alien environments. Within a few generations, these animals have changed to adapt – slight changes to stomachs & jawlines etc. The evidence is there. DNA etc et.c etc

  • Anonymous

    You contradict yourself!

    First you say that there are 20 constants which all have exactly the right value for life to exist, then you say that the probability of life existing in the Universe is virtually zero. You can’t have it both ways!

    In fact, the probability of life existing in the universe is 100% because life definitely exists. If your calculations show otherwise then there is something wrong with your calculations!

  • Memory-of-Forever

    yet Stephen Hawking said the universe could have created itself with the laws of physics!! hmmm…. you really are not agreeing there!! basically Stephen is saying:” the universe created itself with the description of what is already created!!”

  • Memory-of-Forever

    Ian, puh-lease!… Ever heard of Maximilian Kolbe? I wonder what that priest was doing in the concentration camps! where he died instead of a jew btw. Dachau camp had a very nice special place for priests who spoke against the Nazis. Hitler, suspiciously similar to modern Europe, removed crosses from public places! burned down monasteries or destroyed them, and pretty much hated the Christians as much as the Jews….. the only problem for him was that the RC Church was pretty powerful, so he didn’t want to mess with it!

  • Anonymous

    I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say, but what Hawking actually said was ““Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

    The laws of nature are ultimately inevitable, just as it is inevitable that 1+1=2 or that pi – 3.14159…, and not even a god can do anything about that.
    For example, the conservation laws of energy, momentum, angular momentum and electric charge are all a consequence of the fact that there is no special point in space or time, and no special direction. The inverse square law of gravity is a consequence of the fact that there are three dimensions. And the number of dimensions can even be calculated by logical considerations.

    Any universe must obey these basic laws, so a creator god has no choice in the way the universe behaves. The God Of The Gaps has run out of gaps to hide in.

  • Ukasilva

    What we can do as Catholics is to pray for atheists and to live exemplary lives as Christians so that, by His Grace, they may see and believe. Trust me, arguing religion with an atheist is like trying to teach a pig the importance of pearls….it would only trample on them given the opportunity.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ventana54 Bryce Lee

    “Regarding, first cause, Quantum physics tells us that particles can come into existence spontaneously, without cause, so why not the Universe?”

    Quantum particles can (apparently) spontaneously occur where there is energy, time, space, and probably many other conditions unavailable to us. The mechanism whereby something can spontaneously occur absent all of these necessary conditions can not be explained by a scientifically rational hypothesis. Neither can infinite existence of everything. Since both the theistic and atheistic views of reality are clearly illogical and impossible, and since they both require a supernatural event, parsimony suggests choosing the mechanism that at least allows for supernaturalism.

  • Duke of Acquasparta

    Hi Ukasilva, the same can be equally posited by atheists for those who believe in any religion.

    You may or may not find it interesting, but I do find comfort and solace in reading the KJV. I’ll have to look up the pearls and swine reference. In reading the KJV, I read those passages which stir me and reject those which assert metaphysical beliefs, much as Thomas Jefferson did with the New Testament.

    You’re welcome to pray for us, but your prayers will have no effect.

    In any case, all my best to you.

  • Ian

    How insulting of you!! Are you suggesting that unless I believe unsubstantiated superstition & man-made myth, I will not lead a moral life? How dare you! And trying to suggest that all christians lead moral lives is a false generalisation – there are more christians/muslims in prisons than there are professed non-believers.
    I lead a very moral life – i regularly give to charity, i work hard to provide for my family, i have never comitted a crime, i teach my children to treat others as they would wish to be treated….i’m a kind, decent human being. In order for me to do these things, i simply feel that it is the right, human thing to do. I do NOT need to follow bronze age scripture or do it so that i don’t upset a ficticious sky daddy.
    Incredible ignorance.

  • Ian

    I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.

    - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2

    I had so often sung ‘Deutschland über Alles’ and shouted ‘Heil’ at the top of my lungs, that it seemed to me almost a belated act of grace to be allowed to stand as a witness in the divine court of the eternal judge and proclaim the sincerity of this conviction.

    - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 5

    There are many, many more.

    How about this:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/wwii-buckle.jpg

  • Anonymous

    you don’t exactly do subtle, do you? Hitchens is damn intelligent, but a reactionary, and although entertaining – is bullying, angry and one-sided. This is not to say he is always wrong.

    Dawkins too revels in putting religious groups down, for their (implied) delusion, idiocy and belief in nonsense. Rudeness and hate are not prerequisites of a good argument.

    Points should be made on areas of doctrine, not on the perceived lack of intelligence of the believer.
    If you want a more reasonable point of view (that is not simply about rejection of any religious values outside of faith) then I suggest you take a look at Noam Chomsky’s views towards religion. He is an atheist, but manages to make a coherent argument and respects the benefits of religion.

  • Anonymous

    Moral good is the intended outcome, whereas with tobacco companies it is profit

  • Anonymous

    make a point, don’t troll

  • AgingPapist

    but in America there are over 22 million FORMER Catholics. The third largest religious group in the country. With more filing out the door, especially women.

  • AgingPapist

    Trumpeting conversions in or out of any faith has nothing to do with the questions all atheists raise and the RCChurch does not do a very good job in answering by attacking the Enlightenment and Rationalism. Of course, the Protestants are even worse with their incessant “God exists because the bible tells me so” level of childish drivel.

  • Anonymous

    Despite his illness, Hitchens’ writing is as incisive and enjoyable as ever:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/hitchens_address_to_american_a.php

    Mellowed? I don’t think so!

  • http://www.facebook.com/diane.purkiss Diane Purkiss

    Is this a sample of reason? ‘You are stupid’ – this is a premise? A conclusion? What evidence or syllogism in the post supports it? None. Merely more assertions. I think there’s also a troubling circularity. You must be brainwashed, and your brain fried – not washed – same, or different – because you can’t reason. Because you can’t reason, your brain must be fried, due to brainwashing.. round and round.