Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was an Anglo-American author, columnist, essayist, orator, religious and literary critic, social critic, and journalist. Hitchens was the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of over 30 books, including five collections of essays on culture, politics and literature. A staple of public discourse, his confrontational style of debate made him both a lauded intellectual and a controversial public figure. He contributed to New Statesman, The Nation, The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Slate, Free Inquiry and Vanity Fair.Read about Christopher Hitchens in Wikipedia
To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase 'terrible beauty. ' Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it's a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else's body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away.
There are things about quitting the smoking habit for which nobody prepares you. Did I have any idea that I would indulge in long, drooling-nay, dribbling-lascivious dreams in which I was still wreathed in fragrant blue fumes? I would wake with the complete and guilty conviction that I had sinned in word and deed while I was asleep.
The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.
Here is my challenge. Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever. And here is my second challenge. Can any reader think of a wicked statement made, or an evil action performed, precisely because of religious faith? The second question is easy to answer, is it not? The first - I have been asking it for some time - awaits a convincing reply. By what right, then, do the faithful assume this irritating mantle of righteousness? They have as much to apologize for as to explain.
I am not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief is positively harmful. Reviewing the false claims of religion, I do not wish, as some sentimental materialists affect to wish, that they were true. I do not envy believers their faith. I am relieved to think that the whole story is a sinister fairy tale; life would be miserable if what the faithful affirmed was actually the case.
Which natural gift would you most like to possess? The ability to master other languages (which would have hugely enhanced the scope of these answers). How would you like to die? Fully conscious, and either fighting or reciting (or fooling around). What do you most dislike about your appearance? The way in which it makes former admirers search for neutral words.