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“It begins with the day, when as a teenager at my boarding school in Cambridge, England, I set fire to my Bible. My brother [militant atheist Christopher Hitchens] attacking God, Christianity, and religion in general, and there are things that he says that are wrong, and I can say so.

I thought this gesture [burning his Bible] was a way of showing that I had finally rejected all the things that I had been brought up to believe, and I went on to behave for the next 20 years of my life exactly as if I didn’t believe in him [God], and that’s how I discovered in the end that what I had rejected was right.

I tell this story because this is very much how I regard the new atheists: self-satisfied, arrogant, intolerant, completely resistant to any kind of outside argument, and contemptuous of it.”