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A famous atheist passed into eternity just before Christmas.1 Known for a life of contradictions and ironies, Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great, alternated between being caustic and disarmingly polite. (He displayed the latter attitude when he toured Answers in Genesis’s Creation Museum in 2010.)
For instance, this leftist thinker supported America’s 2003 war against Iraq, but his position had less to do with a political conversion than antipathy toward monotheistic religions, especially extremist elements of Islam. He again displayed his unpredictability when, as a secular humanist, he accepted that human life begins at conception.
Hitchens fancied himself an intellectual crusader against ignorance and evil, at least as he saw them. Most often, he brought his acerbic wit to bear on the religious beliefs of others who believed in God. Yet despite his professed antagonism toward religion, he had a few Christian friends, including—after reconciling—his brother Peter, a well-known Christian writer in England.
Despite his passion to fight evil and promote truth, he had no absolute standard for morality or truth other than the high view he placed on his own intellect. Atheists may label actions as good or evil, but a universe without a Creator—and a Creator-given conscience—has no solid foundation for defining morality. There can be no absolute standard without the One who gives such standards.
Sadly, this man of contradictions never acknowledged the inconsistencies in his thinking, as far as is known. Hitchens remained defiant of His Creator and His revealed “word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).