ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome: Being Good Without God

Being Good Without God

Religion's Contribution to Society

By Father John Flynn, LC

ROME, February 01, 2015 (Zenit.org) - In an essay published last December Peter Hitchens, brother of the late Christopher Hitchens, a renowned atheist, reflected on the importance of religion.

In his essay, published December 3 on the Website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Hitchens acknowledged that atheists can arrive at some moral principles, such as the Golden Rule, or doing to others what you would like done to you, but he also maintained that Christianity goes a lot further.

“Christianity requires much more, and above all does not expect to see charity returned. To love thy neighbour as thyself is a far greater and more complicated obligation, requiring a positive effort to seek the good of others, often in secret, sometimes at great cost and always without reward,” he said.

He rejected the affirmation made by his brother that the injunction to love thy neighbor as being too extreme, and pointed to the example given by mothers, doctors and nurses as showing that people are indeed prepared to make big sacrifices for others.

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