On Christopher Hitchens
I spent some time this morning, probably in common with many other disbelievers, reading various online obituaries for Christopher Hitchens. I also took note of some of the moving comments written by those who had appreciated the man and his works. However as it usually is with online articles, not all the comments were positive. I was struck by what a Barry Dalton* had to say in responding to the Mediaite obituary:
At worst he was an intolerant bigot who pretended to know whether or not there is something beyond our lives and did so in an uncivil and bullying manner.
The reality is that Dalton's comment applies to the religious attitudes that Hitchens was so firmly opposed to and spoke so forcefully against. It is religion that pretends to know whether or not there is something beyond our lives. It is religion that is intolerant. And it is religion that bullies.
Not the late Christopher Hitchens.
* There is no assurance that an online name is a real name.
A selection of obituaries:
Polemicist Who Slashed All, Freely, With Wit (New York Times)
In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011 (Vanity Fair)
Christopher Hitchens obituaries (Richard Dawkins net)
Christopher Hitchens dies aged 62 (The Guardian)
My personal favourite Hitchens work was his skewering of Mother Teresa. Here is a Free Inquiry interview with Christopher Hitchens on his book: The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice.