Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christopher Hitchens

I was saddened to hear of the death of Christopher Hitchens even though it was not unexpected.  He was a man true to his convictions, who didn't tolerate nonsense nor woo woo, who loved life for what it actually was, not tainted by some belief in a mythical sky fairy, who was both intelligent and an intellectual, who was an excellent author, debater and personality and who was and will continue to be an inspiration to myself and many others.

Hitchens died on Thursday 15 December, 2011 of pneumonia, a complication of his oesophageal cancer that was no doubt caused by his love of cigarettes.  It still amazes me that intelligent people can be suckered into smoking and find the addiction too hard to overcome, despite knowing the damage smoking can do to oneself.

I fondly recall the Intelligence Squared debate where Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry opposed the motion that "The Catholic Church Is A Force For Good In The World" sitting opposite Archbishop Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe.  The audience vote before the debate was roughly 32% For, 52% Against and 16% Undecided, yet following thoughtful, fact based and persuasive arguments by both Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens, the end result was 12% For, 86% Against and 2% Undecided.  If you have not seen this debate, then I'd strongly suggest that investing a mere 2 hours to watch all parts of this debate will be well worth it.

I have read some of Christopher Hitchens' works and feel that I know some of his thoughts and beliefs.  I don't necessarily agree with everything he believed in, but I sure do feel that he had a pretty decent grasp on reality - the reality that we all live in, without it being tainted by belief in any of the great number of myths that a great many people still believe in.  I will definitely be reading more of his work.

We have all lost a great man and a great leader in the fight against nonsense.  My condolences to his family and friends - you have lost a great man that you loved.


The Outspoken Wookie

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