Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

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Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby StillSearching » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:28 pm

"The word 'Christianity' is already a misunderstanding - in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross."
Friedrich Nietzsche
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby Keep The Reason » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:36 pm

Just found out-- I didn't agree with everything he wrote (esp the Iraq war) but he was a shining light of atheist letters. A great loss.
To cut some folks off at the pass, I don't advocate for violence, oppression, genocide, war, hatred or intolerance. Instead, I advocate for education, organization, activism, and the democratic process. ~~ KtR
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby Dr Mundo » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:32 am

Hitchens was one of my favorite people to hear speak, its unfortunate that I will not be able to hear any new things from him anymore. I think I will buy one of his books, I hear its a good read.
The question [Do you believe in God?] has a peculiar structure. If I say no, do I mean I'm convinced God doesn't exist, or do I mean I'm not convinced he does exist? Those are two very different questions. [Dr. Arroway]
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby StillSearching » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:45 am

Keep The Reason wrote:I didn't agree with everything he wrote (esp the Iraq war)


Obviously, I don't agree with all of his views either, but I can't help but admire the man's gargantuan intellect and masterful command of language. I'm not familiar with his comments on the war. Do you mind telling me what they were and why you disagree with them?
"The word 'Christianity' is already a misunderstanding - in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross."
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby Brad » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:05 am

Here is the NY Times obit, which mentions his position on the Iraq war.

To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut's opening remark at Isaac Asimov's funeral, "Christopher is up in heaven, now."
Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. - Hunter S. Thompson
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby bebop88 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:11 am

I am a big Hitchens’ fan even when he wrote about things outside of religion. I enjoyed the fact that even when I disagreed with his writing, I always felt entertained by his mastery of words and thought provoking ideas.

As a side note-- I have been surprised by how many negative comments towards Hitchens' death, I have read on blogs, yahoo comments and Facebook. The main theme being that these individuals are sure without a doubt that Hitchens is in hell right now. I find it funny considering how many of my theist friends argue that hell is not a focal part of Christianity and its influence on people.
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby marcuspnw » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:07 am

He was the rarest of public figures in that he was never boring even when intoxicated. Also, I loved that swift spark of irreverence for nearly all things authoritative, pompous or sanctimonious. So with that said, I offer up this epitaph:

Death, you greedy old son of a bitch,
You're no angel at all.
You've silenced our Hitch!
(Granted, it would take an immortal).

Thank you, Mr. Hitchens for your contributions.
I am skeptical of the notion that all of humanity is made in God's image but I do confess that sometimes on this forum participants shape shift into the image of an intoxicated Mel Gibson.
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby Keep The Reason » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:29 am

StillSearching wrote:
Keep The Reason wrote:I didn't agree with everything he wrote (esp the Iraq war)


Obviously, I don't agree with all of his views either, but I can't help but admire the man's gargantuan intellect and masterful command of language. I'm not familiar with his comments on the war. Do you mind telling me what they were and why you disagree with them?


He was very much in favor of invading Iraq, but that's not where our concern lay -- it was in Afghanistan. Sort of off topic though. I too admire his facility with words, his intellect, and his massive, unbelievable courage. Extraordinary, and too short a life.
To cut some folks off at the pass, I don't advocate for violence, oppression, genocide, war, hatred or intolerance. Instead, I advocate for education, organization, activism, and the democratic process. ~~ KtR
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby StillSearching » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:19 pm

Yeah, that one is a head-scratcher.
"The word 'Christianity' is already a misunderstanding - in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross."
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby JustJim » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:23 pm

He had this to say about the war in Iraq:
It is perfectly true that most Americans were somewhat indifferent to the outside world as it was before September 11, and also highly ignorant of it—a point on which the self-blaming faction insists. While attention was elsewhere, a deadly and irreconcilable enemy was laying plans and training recruits. This enemy—unless we are to flatter him by crediting his own propaganda—cares no more for the wretched of the West Bank than did Saddam Hussein when he announced that the road to Palestine and Jerusalem led through Kuwait and Kurdistan. But a lethal and remorseless foe is a troubling thing in more than one way. Not only may he wish you harm; he may force you to think and to act. And these responsibilities—because thinking and acting are responsibilities—may be disconcerting.

"Stranger in a Strange Land"
December 2001
The Atlantic

And this to say on God and Atheism:
Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather then sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.

god Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
Twelve Books
2007


Jim
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby Brad » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:58 am

Great quotes, Jim.

Also, there is this little essay by Ian McEwan today in the NY Times. Hitchens lived his life fully to the very end, which is sort of the point, I think.

Of course, he was maddening in various ways even to that part of the public that loved him. Still he was brilliant and utterly genuine, not unlike that other recently observed shooting star, Steve Jobs.

In my view, it's neither a coincidence nor unsurprisingly that both were non-believers who focused on what they could achieve and experience in this life.
Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. - Hunter S. Thompson
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby StillSearching » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:46 am

:roll:
"The word 'Christianity' is already a misunderstanding - in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross."
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby Brad » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:19 am

StillSearching wrote::roll:


Helpful :?:
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby Keep The Reason » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:37 pm

bebop88 wrote:As a side note-- I have been surprised by how many negative comments towards Hitchens' death, I have read on blogs, yahoo comments and Facebook. The main theme being that these individuals are sure without a doubt that Hitchens is in hell right now. I find it funny considering how many of my theist friends argue that hell is not a focal part of Christianity and its influence on people.


Oh, it's not that much of a surprise, is it?

This is a good laboratory for what we point out is the real problem. So many theists on this board and others argue that the whole Hell thing is just totally misunderstood, or not literal, and blah blah blah, but then in practice an overwhelming number of Christians actively believe it, make no bones about it, and behave as if it's real and people go to it as a just reward. And this spills all over their lives (including driving how they vote. Do the math).

All this ivory-tower argument here on this and other forums? Hasn't really changed a thing. Like medieval peasants, most Christians believe in a literal hell. And really take pleasure in gloating about whom they think deserves it, and goes to it.

As a fringe benefit, look at all these #1 theists! The kind that KNOW, FOR SURE there is a god. As opposed to #6 atheists, who conclude there is none, but don't say they KNOW FOR SURE.

Hitch almost certainly would be quite entertained by this response by Christians, but neither he, nor I, nor millions of atheists around the world, are surprised by it.
To cut some folks off at the pass, I don't advocate for violence, oppression, genocide, war, hatred or intolerance. Instead, I advocate for education, organization, activism, and the democratic process. ~~ KtR
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Re: Rest in peace Mr. Hitchens

Postby StillSearching » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:48 pm

This really nicely sums up my feelings toward Hitchens.
"The word 'Christianity' is already a misunderstanding - in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross."
Friedrich Nietzsche
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