Friday 9 December 2016

Declan Lynch: Drink is cunning, baffling and powerful

Christopher Hitchens' death has sparked a debate over his alleged alcoholic tendencies, says Declan Lynch

Published 25/12/2011 | 05:00

A friend of mine has this intuition that the late Christopher Hitchens had an ulterior motive for writing his atheistic book, God Is Not Great. Hitchens may not have been fully conscious of this ulterior motive, and being a very bright man in many ways, he might have all sorts of other reasons for developing his arguments against God.

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But deep down, according to my friend, Hitchens wrote that entire book essentially to give himself a good enough reason, or an array of reasons, not to go to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Because AA requires a belief in a Higher Power, many atheists stay away from it, or stay away longer than is good for them -- though eventually many of them come to realise that the Higher Power business is perhaps more negotiable than they imagine, and that the sole entry requirement is just a desire to stop drinking.

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