Yesterday (Dec. 16, 2011) I read in the news that Christopher Hitchens passed away after a long struggle with cancer. Although I didn’t know the man personally, nor I’m familiar with all his journalistic work, his books, talks and speeches on atheism and against religion illustrated and influenced me a lot on recent years. I admired his courage and aggressiveness when attacking religion and defending reason. Some may criticize him for precisely this, because people don’t like to be confronted in such direct way.
The world will miss Christopher Hitchens because we need someone as aggressive as him, now more than ever, at these times when world leaders are getting more religiously fanatic than before. We have Richard Dawkins who is very sophisticated, logical and well, proffessor-like to teach about the bad things of religion, we have Penn Gillette who’s very charismatic, tolerant and quite intelligent to be non-confrontational when arguing the subject, but with Christopher’s passing, we now lack the passionate aggressive and straight to the point guy, a role very well filled by Hitchens and for that, he will never be forgotten.
I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes from him and a video of the best Hitchslap moments.
- “One day a decent candidate for high office will say that he is not a person of faith, and the sky will not fall.”
- “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”
- “An argument that can be used to prove anything is open to the objection that it proves nothing.”
- “Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did”
- “The bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not boud by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured, human mammals.”
- “…great damage has been done, and continues to be done, by such (religious) people and by such (religious) ideas. You’re better off thinking for yourself and taking all the risks, and I might add all the pleasures that will come from that. The most overrated of the virtues is faith. The metaphysical claims of religion are untrue.”
- “I am absolutely convinced that the main source of hatred in the world is religion and organized religion”
- “religion poisons everything”