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Do not swallow your moral code in tablet form.
March 4, 2010 10:08 AM   Subscribe

The New Ten Commandments by Christopher Hitchens The Ten Commandments were set in stone, but it may be time for a re-chisel. With all due humility, the author takes on the job, pruning the ethically dubious, challenging the impossible, and rectifying some serious omissions.

The video at the bottom of the first page provides a nice summary of the article.
posted by fiestapais (79 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, now he's sunk to ripping off old George Carlin routines?
posted by nasreddin at 10:13 AM on March 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Beat me to that one reddin.. I used to admire Hitchens' "Fuck you" attitude a few years ago. Now he strikes me as a whiny old asshole. Carlin's routine is great and deserves a link!
posted by ReeMonster at 10:17 AM on March 4, 2010


The Sorel caricature really captures Hitchens' gin-bloated louche-ness.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:17 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is funny, because if someone asked me if I were down for rewriting the Ten Commandments, my thought process would be pretty much, "Great, as long as Chris Hitchens isn't on the project."
posted by Navelgazer at 10:17 AM on March 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


Sorry, forgot to add text to link. But it's up there.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:17 AM on March 4, 2010


I had Hitchens down as more of an expert on the going rate in messes of pottage for personal integrity.
posted by Abiezer at 10:19 AM on March 4, 2010


Wow. He uses the King James as his basis for criticizing the commandments. That's quite lazy and bordering on intellectually dishonest. For example:

'I am the LORD thy God.… Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' This use of capitalization and upper- and lowercase carries the intriguing implication that there perhaps are some other gods but not equally deserving of respect or awe.

I guess Hitchens couldn't be bothered to go back to the original Hebrew or a scholarly work explaining why the translators rendered the words LORD, God, and gods the way they did. Not to mention that the King James is a pretty poor choice of translation to begin with. I mean, I'm no great fan of religion, but if you're going to criticize the source documents, at least do it right.
posted by jedicus at 10:21 AM on March 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


He comes sooo close to making a point, yet misses the mark by quite a bit.
posted by Vindaloo at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2010


Thanks for the Carlin link, good stuff!
posted by fiestapais at 10:25 AM on March 4, 2010


Carlin's routine is great and deserves a link!

Fucking a, ReeMonster. Do I have to do everything?

(Oh, maybe you tried but I don't see a link ...)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:26 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Self-proclaimed modern person rejects rules of culture that came before him, imposes new rules. Story at 11.
posted by shii at 10:26 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Right off the bat, the first three--pure bullshit."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:26 AM on March 4, 2010


and a transcript

"Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin' pocket."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:29 AM on March 4, 2010


We're doing a rewrite? Fantastic.

1.) Thou Shall Not Kill
2.) Thou Shall Not Steal
3.) Treat Others as You Would be Treated.

Hell, that leave me with seven empty spaces I can put more useful stuff into:

4.) Thou Shall Never Tailgate the Driver in Front of You
5.) Thou Shall Not Talk On the Phone in Theaters
6.) Thou Shall Be Nice
7, 8, 9.) TBD

but I'm really liking:

10.) Thou Shall Scorn Anyone who Violates These Commandments For The Sake Of My Name.
posted by quin at 10:33 AM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


maybe you tried but I don't see a link

It shows up if you have "Display YouTube Video inline" turned on in your preferences.
posted by maqsarian at 10:35 AM on March 4, 2010


That's quite lazy and bordering on intellectually dishonest Hitchens.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:38 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Carlin on the Ten Commandments
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:41 AM on March 4, 2010


HE WAS IN FAVOR OF INVADING IRAQ!
posted by grobstein at 10:44 AM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


*yawns*
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:45 AM on March 4, 2010


Why does Christopher Hitchens look like he just rolled out of bed?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:46 AM on March 4, 2010


With all due humility

Wait, this is Christopher Hitchens, right?
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 10:46 AM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, jeez. A Hitchens link on Metafilter not going well. Strange.
posted by nevercalm at 10:47 AM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


What's my punishment for not finding the article all that offensive?
posted by maxwelton at 10:51 AM on March 4, 2010


What an utter waste of time.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:51 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's quite lazy and bordering on intellectually dishonest Hitchens.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:38 AM on March 4 [1 favorite -] Favorite added! [!]


Oh yes, when I was first newly baptized in the cleansing fire of new athiesm, I would watch him debate the theists... and LOSE!

He was a horrible debater, snide, snarky, often attacking the other person instead of establishing his point. I saw him destroyed by an Engineer turned Evangelical, simply because the Engineer was so well prepared. Hitchens looked visibly drunk and so unprepared, as if the sheer weight of his intellect was enough. If I had been wavering on the edge of disbelief Hitchen' inability to refute basic false logic tenants put forward by the other side would have nudged me in the "wrong" direction. He does as much damage to the cause as he does any service to it.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 10:51 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hitchens posts make me wish for cracked.com posts.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:52 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


NUMBER ELEVENTY: Thou shalt read the motherfucking link before prattling off your rehearsed talking points.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:54 AM on March 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


I guess Hitchens couldn't be bothered to go back to the original Hebrew or a scholarly work explaining why the translators rendered the words LORD, God, and gods the way they did.

Don't have Hebrew myself, but if you could direct me to a good scholarly work on this issue, I'd be much obliged.
posted by IndigoJones at 10:54 AM on March 4, 2010


why the translators rendered the words LORD, God, and gods the way they did.

To paper over the obvious and obviously historical (read: human) transition from polytheism to "monotheism" as described in the original documents (and alluded to in the original post, for that matter)?
posted by joe lisboa at 10:56 AM on March 4, 2010


Wow. I've read many hermeneutic exegeses on the 10 commandments, and that was perhaps the very worst.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:58 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think I can pare this down even further:

COMMANDMENT: DON'T BE A DOUCHEBAG. YOU FUCKING KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
posted by ob at 10:59 AM on March 4, 2010 [15 favorites]


Look, I think Hitchens is a douchebag of the highest order, too, but that doesn't give you a critical thinking pass based on your own sense of smug superiority or whatever. I know he's an easy barrel-fish to shoot for easy favorites or whatever, but while this may have struck, say Lutoslawski, as the very worst bit of hermenutical scriptural exigesis, this thread strikes me as more of the same: sadly predictable MeFi sniping at a collectively approved target. Whatever.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:01 AM on March 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


OR WHATEVER.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:01 AM on March 4, 2010


also: I usually know how to spell "hermeneutical" and "exegesis" but just not today. Fuck off, it's Lent. :)
posted by joe lisboa at 11:02 AM on March 4, 2010


ExitPursuedByBear: you got a link to that?
posted by klanawa at 11:03 AM on March 4, 2010


this is literally the same exact shit i wrote when when i was a freshman in college and not at all funny
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:06 AM on March 4, 2010


Sheesh. Does every writer have to answer for all of his past sins to get by an FPP? 'Cause I don't see anything particularly egregious about this piece other than the byline.
posted by Epenthesis at 11:07 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


this is literally the same exact shit i wrote when when i was a freshman in college and not at all funny

Until your job is to teach college freshmen ethics and they proceed to invoke the concept of "THE TEN COMMANDMENTS" as the foundation of all ethical thinking whatsoever, seriously like for all time, brah!

Butting out, but wanting to note for the record: I agree that Hitchens is a douche. That doesn't excuse douchey behavior on our part(s), though. You know, mote::beam, discuss ...
posted by joe lisboa at 11:08 AM on March 4, 2010


Atheists who consider themselves the voice of authority whom none should criticize or question have take one step forward and two steps back.
posted by orange swan at 11:15 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, mote::beam, discuss ...

Sorry. We've rewritten the sermon on the mount, too. Blessed are the snarky.
posted by weston at 11:18 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


klanawa

Turek Vs. Hitchens

Turek is just a machine in the debate, presenting (albeit incorrect) well (but falsely) argued points. He's organized and answers questions. Hitchens' is just an embarassment, attacking Turek, not able to answer even basic pseudo-philosophical points being brought up by Turek. But of course I think Hitchens' is a bad debater in general.

I swear Turek had a science background before this, but I can only find seminary degrees online.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 11:18 AM on March 4, 2010


I could get behind a religion that has a commandment against tailgating. Especially if it has special hats and shoes and robes.
posted by Babblesort at 11:18 AM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Look, I think Hitchens is a douchebag of the highest order, too, but that doesn't give you a critical thinking pass based on your own sense of smug superiority or whatever.

I have read and seen way more than enough of Hitchens to heap scorn in his direction without bothering to read the details of whatever crap is coming out of his mouth today. He's way, way, way past the stage of "Give him the benefit of the doubt, listen to what he says, he might have a point."

That doesn't make me smug, it means I have good time management skills. Snarking in Metafilter is much more worthwhile than reading a Hitchens article, or -- God forbid -- sitting through a video.
posted by straight at 11:23 AM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


... it means I have good time management skills. Snarking in Metafilter ...

Quoted in equal measure for LOLZ and for truhiness.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:35 AM on March 4, 2010


wha? going outside now.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:36 AM on March 4, 2010


I can't get behind a religion that has a commandment against tailgating. Some of my best weekends in college were spent in a parking lot of a sports stadium, grilling stuff in a battered old grill in the back of an even more battered pickup truck, drinking soda (too young for beer, and I didn't have the taste for it), and I refuse to repudiate that part of my past.

wait, not that kind of tailgating? The one where a jackass follows your car so close you can 't see his headlight?

Sorry, that kind I can get behind.

Of course, I'm a pagan, so I already got behind a pretty good religion, but still.
posted by mephron at 11:36 AM on March 4, 2010


*sigh*

Kids, kids, kids.

1. Be Excellent To Each Other.

2. Party On, Dudes.


The rest is mere extrapolation.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:57 AM on March 4, 2010 [13 favorites]


Don't have Hebrew myself, but if you could direct me to a good scholarly work on this issue, I'd be much obliged.

Wide as the Waters is a good overview of the history of the King James version, which is fairly complicated. Officially the translation took seven years to complete, but its development actually traces back to the work of William Tyndale several decades prior. Tyndale was responsible for many of the most well-known and quoted phrases in the English Bible, and the King James is mostly his work, at least by word count.

As to the particulars of the way the Old Testament is rendered: the word LORD is typically used where the Hebrew has YHWH (i.e. Yahweh, Jehovah, etc). The word God is used to translate the Hebrew elohim (a generic term for deity) when it is used to refer to Yahweh in particular. The word gods is used to translate elohim when it refers to other gods. So the phrase could be rendered (albeit less impressive-soundingly) "My name is Yahweh, and I am your deity. Do not worship any other deities."

Here, Hitchens is making a lot of hay about the use of LORD and God and especially about 'gods,' which he says seems to imply the existence of other gods. Now, some scholars would say that the word 'elohim' (which is plural) does seem to indicate that God is saying that there are, in fact, other gods out there. That is, that there really are other, powerful, supernatural beings that are neither angels nor demons.

Other scholars would say that 'gods' really just means 'entities (real or imagined) that are worshiped as though they were gods.' That is, the verse no more implies the speaker's belief in the existence of other gods than if an atheist said "don't worship gods." Thus the verse could be translated "My name is Yahweh, and I am your deity. Do not worship anything else as though it were a god."

For a religious person, the view taken ultimately depends less on anthropological evidence and more on whether ones religious views accept Yahweh as one god among many (albeit the true one) or whether Yahweh is in fact the only god and all others are merely a product of either mortal imagination or demonic influence.
posted by jedicus at 12:16 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Come on. Yes, Hitchens is a self-aggrandizing asshole, but he is also a skilled literary critic (oh, if only he'd stick to only that) and this article in particular is excellent. If anyone else other than he had written this:
It’s difficult to take oneself with sufficient seriousness to begin any sentence with the words “Thou shalt not.” But who cannot summon the confidence to say: Do not condemn people on the basis of their ethnicity or color. Do not ever use people as private property. Despise those who use violence or the threat of it in sexual relations. Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child. Do not condemn people for their inborn nature—why would God create so many homosexuals only in order to torture and destroy them? Be aware that you too are an animal and dependent on the web of nature, and think and act accordingly. Do not imagine that you can escape judgment if you rob people with a false prospectus rather than with a knife. Turn off that fucking cell phone—you have no idea how unimportant your call is to us. Denounce all jihadists and crusaders for what they are: psychopathic criminals with ugly delusions. Be willing to renounce any god or any religion if any holy commandments should contradict any of the above. In short: Do not swallow your moral code in tablet form.
You can be sure that Mefi would be nodding in sage agreement.
posted by jokeefe at 12:22 PM on March 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


Hey jackass.
posted by Shepherd at 12:22 PM on March 4, 2010


You can be sure that Mefi would be nodding in sage agreement.

We'd still be snarking. But it wouldn't be quite as personal.
posted by AdamCSnider at 12:58 PM on March 4, 2010


It’s difficult to take oneself with sufficient seriousness to begin any sentence with the words “Thou shalt not.”

But of course most of the overbearing seriousness embodied in the phrase 'thou shalt not' comes from the weight given to it because it's almost exclusively associated with scripture nowadays. In fact, one reason it seems silly to say "thou shalt not" is because the speaker seems to be implying that he or she is on par with God. Except God is precisely who's (allegedly) speaking here. Presumably if anybody is entitled to make weighty pronouncement it's God.

Anyway, strip away the archaic phrasing and you get what most modern translations have: "You shall not." Still a little pretentious but considerably improved. Some translations go further and simply use "Do not," which is exactly the phrasing Hitchens uses.

So Hitchens isn't really critiquing the Bible as such or else he'd critique it as originally written. What he's critiquing is a particular translation (NB: one that hasn't been used as a regular text in mainstream Protestantism for decades and has effectively never been used by Catholics or Orthodox). Fair enough to critique the translation, but in multiple parts of the essay he's attacking idiomatic features of the translation as a proxy for the underlying religious strictures. It's practically the definition of a straw man argument.
posted by jedicus at 12:59 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The mefi circular firing squad is in full effect this afternoon!
posted by blucevalo at 1:12 PM on March 4, 2010


11. We shall undo to others as they undo to us.
posted by drogien at 1:44 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Exactly what jedicus says. While I might agree with most or all of what Hitchens says in the paragraph jokeefe quoted and even many of the conclusions to which he comes -- and I think it's fair to say that most MetaFilter readers would as well -- the paragraph are part of an essay in which the relevant points at the end are made in a fairly lazy way.

I don't doubt that Hitchens can be a really smart guy. I just wish he'd show it more often when he's making important points on a public forum.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:49 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


FROM CSPAN BOOK TV the other day:

George Packer and Christopher Hitchens talk about George Orwell and his work. Mr. Packer selected the pieces that appear in two recently published volumes of George Orwell's work: "Facing Unpleasant Facts" and "All Art Is Propaganda." Mr. Hitchens, essayist for The Atlantic Monthly, is the author of "Why Orwell Matters."
posted by Hammond Rye at 2:13 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


While he eventually comes to a fairly obvious point that the 10 Commandments are not universal (even among religions that honor them) or comprehensive, in order to get there you have to wade through far too much snark regarding language that's of the same vintage as Shakespeare. Hitchins as a literary critic should know better than to judge a work by an arbitrarily selected translation.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:20 PM on March 4, 2010


This is really bizarre, first as he's critiquing the language of a translation as a critique on the original intention itself. Secondly, the Commandments are always up for new interpretations, most famously (for Christians at least) by Jesus Christ himself in Matthew 22:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Which is pretty much in the distillation of the Mosiac Law (which was made very literaral by the Sadducees who were obsessed with the legalese of Judaism). In fact, all the Commandments fall into either the relationship between God and Man or the relationship between Man and Man. In Romans, Christ even goes on to say about what his commands mean:
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Therefore, when you read the Commandments (at least in the Christian sense), you're not suppose to go through and say "OOooooh, well this has nothing against writing bad checks or beating up gay people, so that's all gravy!" Instead (like 9th Amendment style), the Commandments are merely pronouncements from God to treat Him well and love him (first three), and to treat your fellow Man well and love him (the rest). While I can observe that Christopher Hitchens might take offense at the first three as he would see no God and there for no reason to love or obey a nonexistent entity, the rest are decidedly working on the ethical framework of the people in question. When the original Commandments are talking about servants and wives and oxen, that's because explicitly talking about the social dynamic of the people that are receiving the commands (which had all of these things). However, in a Christian sense, the 10 Commandments are just one iteration of God's Law and came down to the people in a way that they can be understood. They're a legal permutation of a Divine reality, and therefore not the Divine reality itself.

When Hitchens is attacking the wording and rewritting the commands, there's something dishonest going on here. First, the critiquing of the first commandments is somewhat obligatory, but not commenting on the reality of believers. If there was a God, then the first Commandments make sense, but if there isn't, then they don't. No a-days, many of the traits that we give to God we instead give to Caesar and seem like good ideas: We all must understand our place and obedience to our governments, we all should not conflate the symbol of the Nation with the nation itself, and we must sometimes honor the State and the Nation. Of course, depending on your governmental view, they might not be valid, but they are reasonable as the State exists, and therefore detailing the relationship between the State and Man makes sense. So it is with if God exists, then him detailing the relationship between God and Man makes sense.

The second flaw of what Hitchens does is imagining that the other Commandments need to be rewritten or are obsolete. They've been rewritten plenty of times, Christopher, and throughout thousands of years! This is Theology: to take that which is written, and figure out that which is implied. Jesus did it. Thomas Aquinas did it. I'm sure some Unitarian in the Yukon is pondering the Ten Commandments as we speak and wondering "What do they really mean?" Your commandments would already be included in many of the originals (if they lived within our times) as purely derivative. You're not doing anything new or original or groundbreaking, which is absolutely fine, as long as you know that you're not doing anything new, original, or groundbreaking.

Finally, we already talked about the translation thing. That's just sloppy scholarship. Before you rip something down, make sure you know what you're ripping down.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:27 PM on March 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


XI: THOU SHALT DRINK AT THINE TYPEWRITER
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:51 PM on March 4, 2010


Turn off that fucking cell phone...Be willing to renounce any god or any religion if any holy commandments should contradict any of the above.

Ah, the wisdom of Hitchens. We must renounce any religion that doesn't demonize cell phones. I suppose that we must also reject any religion that claims women have a sense of humor?
posted by straight at 2:58 PM on March 4, 2010


Turn off that fucking cell phone—you have no idea how unimportant your call is to us.

That's the royal "Us," no doubt.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:16 PM on March 4, 2010


XI: THOU SHALT DRINK AT THINE TYPEWRITER

And there it is. In all caps. Congratulations on your powers of subtle discernment.
posted by Wolof at 3:20 PM on March 4, 2010


Thanks!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:21 PM on March 4, 2010


I've always been surprised that Americans are so cool with ten commandments. It's just so metric.
posted by srboisvert at 3:36 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've always been surprised that Americans are so cool with ten commandments. It's just so metric.

Personally, I like my commandments in baker's dozens.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:54 PM on March 4, 2010


Personally, I like my commandments in baker's dozens.

11) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

12) Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matt 22:37-39


13) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife's ass.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:05 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, The Atlantic is really grasping at straws these days.

The piece is OK IMO, but goddamn don't they have a fucking comb in their building?
posted by bardic at 7:20 PM on March 4, 2010


ExitPursuedByBear, I'm sorry... I began to listen to that, wanting to give them both a fair hearing but. I swear to god, that pinhead Turek's argument was so loud and obtuse that I couldn't even get to Hitchens. Maybe later when I have more patience.
posted by klanawa at 7:38 PM on March 4, 2010


This is a straw man attacking a straw man. Did he even try or is attacking the sacred the just new black?

It's interesting that he didn't get the whole God's name in vain thing. This boils down to invoking Gods name for your own gain. Like criticizing the 10 commandants and creating controversy that results increased web traffic.
posted by empty vessel at 8:01 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hate to sound like "my religion is better than yours," but I do like that Buddhism has "commandments" (precepts or vows) phrased in a positive way rather than a negative.

1. As the Buddha refrained from killing until the end of his life, so I too will refrain from killing until the end of my life.
2. As the Buddha refrained from stealing until the end of his life, so I too will refrain from stealing until the end of my life.
3. As the Buddha refrained from sexual misconduct until the end of his life, so I too will refrain from sexual misconduct until the end of my life.
4. As the Buddha refrained from false speech until the end of his life, so I too will refrain from false speech until the end of my life.
5. As the Buddha refrained from alcohol until the end of his life, so I too will refrain from alcohol until the end of my life.
posted by desjardins at 8:27 PM on March 4, 2010


Thanks, Jedicus, much obliged!
posted by IndigoJones at 5:35 AM on March 5, 2010


Bertrand Russell's ten commandments, for comparison.
posted by Brian B. at 6:15 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


desjardins, I read those as negative. They say "... likewise, I shall not allow myself to kill, steal, etc". Anyway, you wouldn't want a positive list of things you should do. You would be limited to only doing those things and be condemned for doing anything else. Maybe you mean that you like having a personal, opt-in kind of thing, an example to follow, rather than a commandment from an absolute authority, and I would agree with that: that's real nice.
posted by wobh at 6:37 AM on March 5, 2010


If we're going to distill all ethics into one, or a small number of rules, I'll take Vonnegut's:

"There's only one rule I know of, babies: God damn it, you've got to be kind."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:56 AM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


If I had been wavering on the edge of disbelief Hitchen' inability to refute basic false logic tenants put forward by the other side would have nudged me in the "wrong" direction.

When I'm landlord, false logic tenants will pay double fucking rent.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:24 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mosus 4:56
YO DOGS, THE SKY-MONSTER GOT SOMETHING TO SAY:

"Listen puny earthers! I give you these ten commandments:
1. No biting
2. I'm writing
3. You ain't
4. I'm making some points
5. Declawing and circumcising your all male cats according to the holy koran and recommended drugs
6. Shoot guns
7. Don't talk about fight club
8. Is commandment number eight
9. RM-RF /
10. That's no moon"

Then all the earth people pull god down from heaven and eat it because it turns out we're the heavy-worlders
heh heh heh
posted by fuq at 1:03 AM on March 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm also considering calling prior art on 'whinging about the word like'... I just found my essay from back in grade 12, it was years ago, where I decried the overuse of the word like in A clockwork orange. (I saw it as being a lead up precursor to the ironic post-clueless-'like' mocking which was worn thin by retread, Hitchens then did thatcomedy'bit' annoyingly last year like 12 years after pop culture had done that joke to the point where the joke had become more painful or grating than the slippage of meaning/usage itself..

But by all means Mr. Hitchens, please, write @us onwards with snide screeds on the evils of religion whilst beside you 40 some million people go uncovered by any kind of assurance that they will receive any care to their health ever. (So is your humanism a joke to you, or what? Because I would equally not want to live in a theocracy, but also not a "humanistocracy" like the type of world I hear Mr. Hitchens so gleefully describe, and co-considering his states on the bush doctrine of wars of choice, and otherwise illegal, but deemed extrajudicial treatment of our prisoners.) But, luckily Mr. Hitchens seems to be back, warning us soberly to Watch out the religion monsters coming Mr. Sir. Hitch... I for one am just glad that he uses his pulpit to preach such enlightened and honest (for measures of honesty using unreal numbers.) opinions, opinions which are just logically weak facepalm statements (and lazy translation>transliteration HEEHAW, capital letters!Stupid!) I am sure that radicals like him are helping win the war on terror. NOT. Like the "not" jokes made popular during the 1990's era. Among other things he used to be given the benefit of the doubt to talk about in claiming to be an expert. Why doesn't he write something about health care next? or Feminism? I bet he'd do that really well.


Canada has five commandments..

1Public administration
2Comprehensiveness
3Universality
4Portability
5Accessibility.
Ensured and managed by this* mechanism.

Transfers to provinces(*), dependent on participation, and meeting of these simple principles.
*See "states", but bigger physically, generally with less people, more widely spaced, less easily served; yet well served, than more populous states, but also a diverse group of entities (provinces smaller, larger, resource rich, resource lacking). Models of a working system.
For the usa I would add a 'uk. corporatist' element whereby elective things could be 'purchased' and this purchase added to the funds pool for monies going as transfer payments to states to meet the requirements.
Talk about redistributing the wealth; the states currently utilize this method of spreading to states of the union which have less income/revenue/gdp etc,. it's a PART of the very union, so I think it makes sense to use this to get health care to the people dying for some level of care.
I'm saying I think Mr. Hitchens uses his various pulpits for purposes which run counter to generating a better society.
posted by infinite intimation at 2:00 AM on March 7, 2010


Wha?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:10 AM on March 8, 2010


I'm saying I think Mr. Hitchens uses his various powerful pulpits for purposes which run counter to generating a better society.

He acts as if these things described above are not also ever taught and spread by any Religious person, as if all religious or faithed people are wholly simplistic automatons, carelessly following solely the words on one particular stone tablet. This is not reality.
He does this whilst intellectually peeing on people who choose to make choices of the heart which are out of lockstep with how he chooses to dedicate his effort.) Decrying people who use 'pulpits' without acknowledging that he is in fact standing on a pulpit (saying things which are really not grounded in sound logic, and are just plain fighty and don't move us towards a better humanism, but rather towards more "My opinions are more ________ than yours"- which they aren't, so he really hasn't said anything. Nor have I, so no more attention to Mr. Hitchens for me. I just wish he would tackle something a little more heavyweight and tangible.

Seriously, ANOTHER "you SUUUPIDZ people say God is real... but "I" know "he" isn't... so there. Now pay me Vanity Fair "(for three pages of that no less)
From Mr. Hitchens..
Blurg. All his obsession with "combating"(read:pushing out their views from "his" society) religion makes me think he is more radical in his self-certainty than any Religious person out there.
(welcome to a liberal society Mr. Hitchens. Ppl have different worldviews... It only gets in the way if you let it.)
posted by infinite intimation at 2:14 PM on March 8, 2010


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