If God occasionally intervenes in the world to shoot down an atheist—to show who's boss, or simply to vent—it makes sense for Him to target the esophagus.
As organs go, it's long and conveniently placed, stretching from throat to stomach, making a good target for an elderly yet determined deity with possibly shaky hands. Its importance to speech heightens the symbolic force intended. And its connection to swallowing suggests the irony some believers think God enjoys too much: You can't swallow me? You won't swallow anything!What a terrible thing to say! For shame! But never fear, he says this stuff to raise...
...the peculiar issue of parallelism that comes up when curmudgeons, contrarians, and provocateurs find themselves on the ropes, as with all violators of society's norms. Just as we can debate whether it's acceptable to use terrorism or torture against terrorists and torturers—those who don't sign on to the social contract by which everyone else lives—we can ask whether it's OK to be scabrously unsympathetic to a stinging gadfly who is possibly in his ninth inning.Hitchens has said wicked, wicked things about other people. Is turn-around fair play? Yeah, yeah, two wrongs don't make a right. On the other hand, a "stinging gadfly" is in no position to complain. And if he can't complain, how can anyone complain on his behalf? This is what Saul Smilansky calls "the paradox of moral complaint" --for more on that, see here.
To make the puzzle about Hitchens even more puzzling, consider an interview (will provide link when I find it) where he's asked how he would define the good life. He lists several ingredients, but focuses on one in particular, mentioning it twice. What would that be? Laughing at the misfortunes of others.