Peter has moved inexorably from his Marxist, atheist youth to his current position as the Mail's 'fulminator-in-chief' and a prominent, communicant member of the Church of England who is totally opposed to the liberalism of the current Archbishop of Canterbury.
By contrast, Christopher remains a 'leftist' polemicist and contrarian; he is clear that he still 'thinks like a Marxist', believes in the dialectic and the materialist conception of history. He is also, as Blair discovered at the Toronto debate last week, a highly erudite and articulate critic of the role of religion in the world.
Christopher Hitchens is suffering from cancer. He is 'probably mortally sick'. So one of the more interesting moments in the interview was when Paxman asked him about Pascal's wager.
This is the French philosopher's argument that one should bet one's life on the existence of God on the basis that if God does exist, you win; if there is no God, then you've lost nothing. Despite the medical prognosis, Hitchens rejects this absolutely. He calls it 'contemptible' and 'necessarily, therefore, to entail a rather contemptible human being'.
But if there is a God?
He would argue that at no time did he try to curry favour. And he would not under any circumstances be 'servile'.
Which, in a nutshell, is why I have admired him and his writings for around forty years. He has never tried to curry favour with anyone, allowing his intellect and principles to take him where they will. Even if it costs him friendships, for he has been as ruthless with the left as the right. There have been occasions - notably his support for the Iraq war - when I have disagreed fundamentally. But always he has forced me to think through my positions in a (more) rigorous manner.
If his prognosis is correct, and he dies in the next year or so, still in his early 60s - we are the same age - it will be a terrible, terrible waste.
The interview with Jeremy Paxman is available on BBC iPlayer, and the full transcript of the debate with Tony Blair can be read here:
Today's listening: Blind Willie Mctell, Atlanta Strut. "Nobody can sing the blues like Blind Willie Mctell."