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It just came to my attention that a great mind, pen and mouth died today. After a long battle with oesophageal cancer, and even longer battles with the forces of fundamentalist stupidity, our atheist visibility movement has lost one of its brightest lights.
Christopher Hitchens was one of my primary inspirations for becoming an atheist activist, and one of the most stalwart, brutally honest and brilliant champions that rationalists could ever hope to have in their corner.
While I can’t say that I’ve always agreed with every word that came out of Mr. Hitchens’ mouth. I will say that even in times of disagreement, he never failed to be incredibly informed, concise and deliciously scathing at the same time.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have had Christopher Hitchens alive in an era where his speeches and debates can be recorded for all time and that his cutting wit and devastating eloquence will not be lost to future generations of freethinkers and opponents alike.
While I’m certain that thousands of smug and proudly ignorant blogs, articles and church newsletters are currently being typed right now about how Hitch has just gotten what he had coming to him, but I warn these pious sadists to be careful what they wish for.
We atheists can play Pascal’s Wager too. And I would put down good money that if we godless skeptics are wrong about this whole gods and afterlives nonsense, that Hitch has already made Saint Peter cry by now.
We’ll miss you, Hitch.
“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.”