Getting Behind The Wheel

This video is by The Thinking Atheist who I quite like. This video is a tribute to Christopher Hitchens. There are many and this is one. It is good. Near the 4:25 mark he says in the video “Thank you, Christopher. We’ll take it from here.”

What a fitting thing to say, but I have something of a problem with this. Organizing atheists can be said to be like herding cats. There is nothing about atheism that guides your world view beyond lack of belief in gods or the supernatural. Being an atheist does not mean anything else except that you don’t believe in gods. Atheists are not a group of socially aligned people with an agenda.

To the problem: if you look at Youtube or the blogosphere you can see that we started taking the reigns long ago. Christopher was not, and admitted as much, a leader of a group of people. He was a trouble maker, a lone wolf, and a predator,  and his machine like destruction of those he disagreed with was both enviable and awesome. That never ever meant he was in charge of anything but the stage he was on or the argument he was participating in. As large as Christopher was, he was not larger than atheism; not larger than the truth. He was a mighty defender of truth, but not better than it. Anyone who picks up the wont to defend truth will not be walking in Christopher’s footsteps… but they are likely to be using some of the tools he wielded with such accuracy and delight.

Do we really need another Christopher? Wouldn’t we be better off with millions of people defending the truth even though they are not as large in life as Christopher was? Don’t mourn him, instead take heart from what he left behind and use it to continue to make the world better. Defend the truth rather than try to continue Christopher’s mission. The truth, and not Christopher’s legacy is worth fighting for. No matter how large a contribution he made, it is the truth that he fought for. I myself imagine that he would want you to fight for that, to defend the truth rather than enshrine him in hallowed revere.

Yes, I’ll miss him too. His death is not the death of truth or the need to fight religion. It’s just a mark on the calendar in that regard. We simply keep on keeping on. Study his legacy, use the tools. If I was him, that would make me proud. Mourning me would not. We know what we know of the world today because we stand on the shoulders of knowledge of all those that came before us. Christopher gave us the knowledge that we need not be afraid of being on the top rung of that ladder. Climb higher, fight harder, achieve more. That, I imagine, is what he would want.

What are you waiting for? Write something, vlog something, start an argument with theism. Lets see the proof or watch them go home.

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