I can certainly understand those who find Hitchen’s aggressive atheism off-putting.
Bringing up the relationship to Marxism is apt. Hitchen’s atheism and Marxism share the same root error (IMHO): They think of the universe, or more particularly, the interactions between humanity and the universe, as entirely materialistic.
I can understand how, during the period of rapid industrial and scientific expansion, that conclusion was reached. But I think (hope, perhaps) we’re seeing the limits of materialism being played out in real time.
When I look around in America (and really, all developed countries), I see a degree of material abundance that would have been inconceivable to my great grandparents. I also see a degree of spiritual emptiness that would have been equally inconceivable.
One might say we’ve spent 200 (or more, really) years trading spiritual wealth for material wealth and come out the worse for the trade.
Provocative article by Max Teernstra on Jonathan Pageau’s “Symbolic World” website: “How The Scientific Revolution Changed Our Worldview“
The spiritual worldview is also flipped inside-out when scientific discoveries produced the heliocentric model of the universe. This model focuses heavily on material placement rather than spiritual significance. This new perspective moved the earth and its humans from their central place in the cosmos to the periphery. And with that shift, purpose and meaning were somewhat lost.
When was the last time you heard anyone even so much as hint that there was something of value in the idea of a geocentric universe?