In fact, his refusal to expand his hatred of stupidity to include even the most glaring and uncontroversial secular examples made his middle-finger assault on religious idiocy seem at times as pandering as the worst sort of prejudice; you either assume that everybody has a right to a different opinion, just as everybody has a right to a different favorite color, or you recognize the ludicrousness of such a charitable notion and you say that nobody’s opinion is any more or less useful to the comprehension of life than anybody else’s and, therefore, everybody is supremely fucked.
At least that’s what I thought before I walked into the men’s room, which was lit dimly, in a Kenny G/Hai Karate sort of way, and found myself surrounded on all sides, ceiling too, by several hundred interlocking 10-inch square mirrors. Allowing the mirror-covered door to close behind me, I shuffled forward holding my hands out in front of me and, miraculously, found a urinal. Unpacking myself and engaging gleefully in what Emerson called “an intelligence served by organs,” I noticed eight-thousand versions of myself doing the same thing all around me, all from a slightly different angle.
It then occurred to me that if I considered all the mirrors surrounding me as having an equally viable perspective of the universe as myself, with each perspective being an incontrovertible statement of fact, the majority of mirrors, I noticed while craning my neck around sufficiently to momentarily corrupt my aim, not containing me at all, I’d never be able to find my way out, nor would I be able to corroborate my existence in the first place.
I recognized, despite having skin as light as a nightgown and a face as anchored to my skull as an omelet is to a nonstick pan, how much integrity there was in assuming something less than omniscience in the?infinitely schizophrenic honesty surrounding us all.
GOD IS NOT GREAT: How Religion Poisons Everything | By CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS | Twelve | 320 pages | $25 hardcover