Alain de Botton is offiicially enthusiastic, but his book is wistful. Atheists who pick it up may find themselves undergoing a crisis of faithlessness.
Christopher Hitchens was an unrelenting unbeliever to the end. But Ross Douthat claims that everything about Hitchens points to an embrace of life and a refusal to give in to despair.
We are gathered here in a Christian church as participants in a Christian memorial service to honor the life of Richard, a man who said that he did not believe in God. What right have we to do this? It would certainly be an affront to his memory were we, by this service, to deny him the right to have been the man he was. We cannot pretend or even suggest that he really was somehow, despite his insistence to the contrary, a Christian believer. Indeed, it would be a scandal if we who claim to honor Richard’s memory did not allow him, by his unbelief, to call into question our Christian belief.