I’m going to comment on a recent post by Bill Vallicella:
“Hitch has lived his life as if God and the soul are childish fictions. As a result, he has done none of the things that might earn him him immortality and fellowship with God, even assuming he wanted them. This suggests that it is not just strange, but incoherent to pray for Hitch's metanoia. For that would be like praying that he win the lottery without playing, without doing the things necessary to win it.”
From a Christian standpoint, the obvious problem with this objection is his assumption that salvation is something we must earn. That might be good Buddhist theology, but it’s poor Christian theology.
“Hitch does not want salvation of his soul via divine agency, and he has reasons that seem good to him for denying that there is such a thing. And he presumably believes (though I am speculating here) that survival of bodily death and entry into the divine milieu would not be desirable. For one thing, his brilliance would be outshone by a greater Brilliance which would be unbearable for someone with the pride of Lucifer, the pride of the light bearer. It may also be that he believes, as many atheists and mortalists do, that the meaning of life here below, far from requiring a protraction into an afterlife, is positively inconsistent with such an extension. ‘How boring and meaningless eternity would be, especially without booze and cigarettes and (sexual intercourse with) women!’"
This is a stress-point in freewill theism. God is supposed to respect our choices–even when we make the wrong choices.
But from a Calvinistic standpoint, it’s merciful when God disrespects our foolish, self-destructive choices. Hitchens’ basic problem is his failure to act in his best interests. As such, a Calvinistic prayer for his salvation would be coherent with Reformed theism, although it might well be incoherent with freewill theism.