Tag Archives: Christopher Hitchens

The damnation of Christopher Hitchens

From GQ, Michael Wolff beats up on the dead Christopher Hitchens:

Writer, orator and highbrow barfly Christopher Hitchens transformed, in his final years, from searing socialist showman into untouchable, saintly sage. But, asks his former media cohort, was this beatification deserved… at all?

For all his faults, I’ve always enjoyed the brilliant snarky writing of Christopher Hitchens.

Susan Jacoby on Atheism

Selling Atheism—from FiveBooks Interviews, beginning with an unfounded assumption:

The main reason for the survival of religion is not a desire to live a better life, but our fear of death, says the atheist author.

 

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Mother Teresa—anything but a saint

From UdeMNouvelles: apparently picking up on Christopher Hitchens,

The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa is dispelled in a paper by Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal’s Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education. The paper will be published in the March issue of the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses and is an analysis of the published writings about Mother Teresa. Like the journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who is amply quoted in their analysis, the researchers conclude that her hallowed image—which does not stand up to analysis of the facts—was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.

Read the whole thing at the link.

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The 10 Best Psychology and Philosophy Books of 2012

From brain pickings:

From Buddhism to the relationship between creativity and dishonesty, by way of storytelling and habit.

And I liked that they picked Mortality, by Christopher Hitchens as a bonus book.

To the dumb question ‘Why me?’ the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?

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Fire in a Crowded Theatre

Christopher Hitchens speaking at Hart House, University of Toronto, November 15th, 2006 (Hat tip: Ann Althouse)

And, of course, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater when there is a fire—when the truth is being told—is not only appropriate, but desired.

 

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20 Famous Writers on Death and Mortality

From Flavorwire, their introductory remarks:

Today marks the publication of Mortality, confrontational journalist Christopher Hitchens’ posthumous work about his experiences with the cancer that killed him. We’ve lost a lot of great minds recently — Nora Ephron, Maurice Sendak, David Rakoff, and Hitch himself — and we think this end-of-life memoir in essays, full of Hitchens’ trademark wit and his clear-eyed dissection of life as he sees it, may just heal us a little bit, as books tend to do. To celebrate the book’s publication, and to help recalibrate our own perspectives on the loss of so many of our intellectual heroes, we’ve put together this selection of passages on death and mortality from a few of our favorite authors. Read through after the jump, and since there are an infinite number of these, add your own favorite to our collection in the comments.

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‘Prick the Bubbles, Pass the Mantle: Hitchens as Orwell’s Successor’

From the Humanist:

The importance of Hitchens’ point cannot be overstated: any subject can reach a state of worship at which criticism and free thought is threatened. (Orwell’s willingness to critique Gandhi on some points while praising him on others was along similar lines.) The general principle occurs more subtly as well, and should be taken further to stress that in all matters we’re capable of duping ourselves.

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The 50 Most Brilliant Atheists of All Time

From Brainz, a list that unfortunately does not include Christopher Hitchens. Their Introduction:

Atheism is generating quite a lot of attention these days. Prominent atheists are getting the word out about their views in increasing numbers and generating lots of public debate on the proper place of religion in governments and societies in the modern world. And now more than ever, atheists have been able to network together and join forces because of the Internet.

Today about 2.3 percent of the world’s population identifies themselves as atheist, and nearly 12 percent more (a number that is quickly growing) describe themselves as nontheist – non-believers in any deity. The ranks of scientists boast probably the largest concentration of atheists, and many of those have been recognized as among the most brilliant of human beings for their work. But there are atheists in all walks of life and throughout history as well.

Here’s a look at 50 of the most prominent atheists of all time who also happen to be recognized as some of the most brilliant members of our species.

As a note of clarification: we’ve ordered this list chronologically and we use the term “brilliant” to mean “brilliant at their craft” – not just pure brainiacs;-)

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How Christopher Hitchens Said Goodbye

From The Daily Beast, an essay by Simon Schama.

Christopher Hitchens confronted death with the same furious bravura that he deployed against purveyors of unreasoned pieties.

And more here.

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10 Quotes From Christopher Hitchens

See all ten at the Christian Science Monitor. Here are number two and number seven:

2. Hitchens on Michael Moore

“Europeans think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on,” Hitchens said of the filmmaker. “And they’ve taken as their own, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities.”

7. Hitchens on writing

“Everybody does have a book in them,” Hitchens said. “But in most cases, that’s where it should stay.”

 

Update: Link fixed now

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