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Christopher Hitchens dies after cancer battle, aged 62

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  1. The world has lost a great character and writer. He will be missed.

  2. What a brilliant mind, one of the true intellectuals we had in our midst, up there with Richard Dawkins. I was in awe of him. An avid supporter of full equality for gay people, he will be sorely missed. RIP, Christopher.

  3. I enjoyed his books ‘God is not Great’ and ‘How Religion Poisons Everything’.

    Hitchens showed a lot of unncessary respect to religion,

    1. Surely you mean “showed UP a lot of unnecessary respect to reliigon”? There are few people who respected religion less than Christopher…

      1. I know.

        I was joking.

        I won’t pray for Christopher Hitchens.

        I’m sure he would have appreciated that.

  4. Jane Clare Pawling 16 Dec 2011, 2:14pm

    Christopher has left himself to us — a great gift.

  5. well, I used to like him but “liaisons with men who later became Tory politicians” … oh dear

    1. I hope he names the names – as a little gift to us.

      1. Well if he’s not named them previously I very much doubt he will now to be honest.

        And if he can…THAT would make me question my absence of religious faith.

        1. Pastor Rich N. fat 16 Dec 2011, 6:14pm

          Ouija anyone?

      2. Why? Anyone who has a gay fling should relinquish rights to privacy? That will really help won’t it?

  6. i liked him as a writer but lost a lot of respect for him through his unconditonal support of the illegal invasion of Iraq which left hundreds of thousands of innocent people dead.

    That tarnishes his legacy somewhat,

    But when he spoke about religious cults it was like music.

  7. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 3:03pm

    Very sad to hear this news. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

    1. Dave North 16 Dec 2011, 3:40pm

      Except his brother, Peter Hitchens..

  8. Some of my favourite ‘Hitch’ quotes:

    On Faith:

    “Faith is the surrender of the mind; it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It’s our need to believe, and to surrender our scepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.”

    On Politics:

    “The noble title of “dissident” must be earned rather than claimed; it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement.”

    On Life:

    “[O]wners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realise that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”

  9. It’s rare to find such an independent thinker – God’s gift (as it were) to atheists and rational people. He will indeed be missed.

  10. Bill (Scotland) 16 Dec 2011, 3:42pm

    Sad to hear of his passing.

    He wasn’t my favourite person, even latterly, but his superb intellectual skills are not in doubt. I did warm to him though when he left behind his youthful left-wing foolishness – he may have started out on the wrong side of the political divide, but he certainly ended it on the right side (in both senses). His support for the Iraq war to remove an evil tyrant was specially welcome; some of my Iraqi friends are very grateful.

    1. Not the hundreds of thousands of needlessly dead ones presumably?

      1. Bill (Scotland) 16 Dec 2011, 11:06pm

        Well, yes, some of them. Some of my Iraqi friends had relatives who perished under Saddam Hussein’s brutal rule. What’s your point? Do you have the faintest clue what you are writing about? War is never simple, or ‘clean’ – I expect many perfectly innocent Germans were killed in WWII in the necessary action to get rid of their particular tyrant.

        1. Unfortunately the legacy of the Iraq war is 100,000 civilians dead, mass unemployment, millions of refugees displaced both internally and externally, terrorist atrocities gathering pace, gas and electricity available only if you are lucky, huge infrastructural damage. But as you say they did get rid of Sadam Hussein and now that they are leaving Iraq they can start bombing Iran and reduce that country to a pile of rubble. The American army has still to be investigated for the massacre of civilians at Fallujah not to mention those that have been beaten, tortured and locked up without trial.

  11. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 16 Dec 2011, 4:52pm

    I am deeply saddened by the news of Mr Hitchen’s death. He was a great, great man and his intellect and words of beautiful wisdom will be sorely missed by those who find them such great ammunition against the god-suckers and their agenda. His wonderful turn of phrase and arguments brought (and will continue to bring) many moments of pleasure and strength. The king is dead, long live the king.

    My sympathy to his wife and children.

  12. A great loss, I loved the man, he was so entertaining as well as enlightening in debates, unforgettable and totally irreplaceable I fear.

  13. Very sad. I will be raising a Johnnie Walker Black tonight, or as Christopher called it ‘Mr Walker’s amber restorative’

  14. The man was a repulsive neocon cheerleader and a right wing pig. I didn’t realise being unpleasant about Mother Theresa got you a pass on that one.

    1. A simplistic and reductive view, I think. Try to see independence of thought as a good thing.

      1. Who said I didn’t? I’m merely pointing out that keeping the company of people like Paul Wolfowitz renders you an irredeemable scumbag.

        1. Whereas being reverential about Mother Teresa would render you otherwise?

          Like I said – independence.

          1. I was only using that wizened old trout as an example. Nothing I said was remotely reverential about her. The point I was making was that valid though his criticisms of that detestable woman may have been, it doesn’t detract from the fact that he cheerily extolled the brutality of the fascists that he’d cozied up with,

          2. Jock S. Trap 20 Dec 2011, 9:56am

            Wow, bitter much Ewan?

    2. Mr Ripley's Asscrack 17 Dec 2011, 11:58am

      Being unpleasant about Mother Theresa (sic) was such sweet bliss to read and as for Wolfowitz didn’t Hitchen say he knew him slightly…? Hardly damning. As for the neocon cheerleading, to depose a despot all ammunition is required… again, hardly damning.

    3. No right winger would support equality and same-sex marriage as Christopher did nor would one bring a lawsuit against the Pope for crimes against humanity regarding the molestation scandal. Just because he kept company with Wolfowitz doesn’t make him a neocon. Maybe Christopher kept his enemies closer. He excoriated both left and right wingers one of whom was Ronald Reagan, hardly makes him a neocon.

  15. Mary Flying Eagle 17 Dec 2011, 12:06am

    He had a way with words, and courage to speak out on subjects where others fear to tread.(As per Richard Dawkins,” A valiant fighter againest All tyrants including God.” In years to come I feel many will come to know and embrace this line of sane thought. He was a young man, who put his thoughts on view for all to consider. Helps me, in my quest.

  16. I echo the sentiments on here.

    I would argue his best book was ‘Letters to a young contrarian’ from 2001. An absolute gem of a book – essential reading for any campaigner or radical.

    ‘Don’t live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you’ – the Hitchens improvement on the ‘golden rule’ :-)

    Now, where’s my scotch…..

    1. @Jobe — thanks for the link. I have two questions:

      1. Why would the CIA wish to cause cancer in him ?
      2. I see no such claim in the article: have you any reason for believing this ?

      1. Harry, Jobe is also Toby, and Dave, and a host of other name (s)he uses to peddle this paranoid nonsense. The internet was a dream come true for these basket cases.

    2. Jock S. Trap 20 Dec 2011, 9:57am

      Crazy says what now?

  17. A mournful day this is. I will cry 1000 tears of acidic blood! An excellent writer and debator and champion of reason, critic of posionous religion. He is down there with the late great Bill Hicks, ”rocking out and surfing on the lake of fire”.

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