Hitchens on mockery and Helping

Hitchens explained various things to Jeremy Paxman for Newsnight. The best part was where he talked about the virtues of division. He’s been saying this for years, and I’ve been squawking my approval and agreement for years. If you say you’re a uniter not a divider, he noted dryly, you expect and get approval. “I’m a divider.”

Division is inseparable from politics, he went on. If everyone agrees, there is no politics, there’s nothing to say. “Without division there is no progress.”

The alternative is dictatorship, and this is relevant to religion and the rebellion against it.  “The first rebellion against mental slavery comes from saying this is man-made, it’s not divine.”

“To be clear,” Paxman said in prissy shock,  “you’re talking about the Koran and the Bible.” And the Torah, yes, Hitchens said.

“They’re fiction.”

“Yes. All of these are depraved works of man-made fiction.”

“Saying you find the Koran laughable – in what way does that help the spread of reason?”

“Oh well I think mockery of religion is one of the most essential things. One of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at things.”

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