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Hitchens' address to American Atheists (self eulogy)
Pharyngula ^ | April 22, 2011 | Christopher Hitchens

Posted on 04/23/2011 4:34:15 AM PDT by Salman

Dear fellow-unbelievers,

Nothing would have kept me from joining you except the loss of my voice (at least my speaking voice) which in turn is due to a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death. Nobody ever wins this argument, though there are some solid points to be made while the discussion goes on. I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before. I hope to help defend and pass on the lessons of this for many years to come, but for now I have found my trust better placed in two things: the skill and principle of advanced medical science, and the comradeship of innumerable friends and family, all of them immune to the false consolations of religion. It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstitition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

(Excerpt) Read more at scienceblogs.com ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Skeptics/Seekers
KEYWORDS: atheist; dying; htichens
Still holding firm in the face of death.
1 posted on 04/23/2011 4:34:23 AM PDT by Salman
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To: Salman

John 10:14
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.


2 posted on 04/23/2011 4:39:25 AM PDT by Bluebird Singing
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To: Salman

He’s in for a bit of a shock I’d say.


3 posted on 04/23/2011 4:46:16 AM PDT by Buckeye Battle Cry (Terrorism is nothing more than Kinetic Islam)
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To: Salman

It’s from a blog. No reason that I know of not to post complete.

Christopher Hitchens was scheduled to appear at the American Atheist convention, but had to cancel because of his illness. He sent this letter instead.

Dear fellow-unbelievers,

Nothing would have kept me from joining you except the loss of my voice (at least my speaking voice) which in turn is due to a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death. Nobody ever wins this argument, though there are some solid points to be made while the discussion goes on. I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before. I hope to help defend and pass on the lessons of this for many years to come, but for now I have found my trust better placed in two things: the skill and principle of advanced medical science, and the comradeship of innumerable friends and family, all of them immune to the false consolations of religion. It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstitition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

That essential sense of decency is outraged every day. Our theocratic enemy is in plain view. Protean in form, it extends from the overt menace of nuclear-armed mullahs to the insidious campaigns to have stultifying pseudo-science taught in American schools. But in the past few years, there have been heartening signs of a genuine and spontaneous resistance to this sinister nonsense: a resistance which repudiates the right of bullies and tyrants to make the absurd claim that they have god on their side. To have had a small part in this resistance has been the greatest honor of my lifetime: the pattern and original of all dictatorship is the surrender of reason to absolutism and the abandonment of critical, objective inquiry. The cheap name for this lethal delusion is religion, and we must learn new ways of combating it in the public sphere, just as we have learned to free ourselves of it in private.

Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need). Perhaps above all, we affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations.

As the heirs of a secular revolution, American atheists have a special responsibility to defend and uphold the Constitution that patrols the boundary between Church and State. This, too, is an honor and a privilege. Believe me when I say that I am present with you, even if not corporeally (and only metaphorically in spirit...) Resolve to build up Mr Jefferson’s wall of separation. And don’t keep the faith.

Sincerely

Christopher Hitchens


4 posted on 04/23/2011 4:50:18 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: Salman
It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstitition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

Wow, he is delusional. God help him.

5 posted on 04/23/2011 4:52:21 AM PDT by HerrBlucher ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." G.K. Chesterton)
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To: don-o

He has every right to be wrong.


6 posted on 04/23/2011 4:53:51 AM PDT by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: Salman; Mrs. Don-o
It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

So Hitch won't believe in God, but he believes in something called "innate solidarity"? Yeah, I see that everywhere I look /s

7 posted on 04/23/2011 4:54:18 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: Salman
I pray for fools like this and his " comradeship of innumerable friends and family, all of them immune to the false consolations of religion" As Christians, these are the people that we have to pray for and witness to, as hard as that may be at times.
8 posted on 04/23/2011 4:54:44 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: Salman
Who is the specter of death?

Wouldn't death just simply be death?

Sounds like a mixed message there.

Have you noticed that while the Left hates anything to do with God, Jesus, Heaven and the like, they are enthralled with the idea of the Devil, daemons and hell?

You can especially see this in regards to movies, TV and music - where the underworld is a big recurring theme but really not so much when it comes to God and Heaven.

So it is no surprise really that with such a man, while God is revolting, the “specter of death” is worthy of having an argument.

9 posted on 04/23/2011 4:57:37 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
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To: HerrBlucher
"Wow, he is delusional. God help him."

I have absolutely no doubt He will. If at the last few seconds of life Mr. Hitchens confesses of his sins with a sincere and contrite heart, and accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, he will be redeemed. I pray that he is afforded those precious last few seconds.
10 posted on 04/23/2011 4:59:29 AM PDT by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: Salman

Well, at least he’s wrestling with the Devil rather than pussyfooting with the Royal Family.


11 posted on 04/23/2011 5:03:02 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (.)
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To: PowderMonkey

As much as we hope for a happy ending to his story, because God gave each of us free will, it may never be.


12 posted on 04/23/2011 5:05:11 AM PDT by freemama
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To: Salman

I thought this quote, on that same page of the “science blog” was ironic:

“There is as much perfumery in petroleum as there is righteousness in orthodoxy...”

You’d think someone highlighted on a science blog would know that petroleum is the source of benzene (”aromatic rings”) in American organic chemistry, no? Each day, as we drive to work, we each burn enough petroleum to make 100,000 Lady Gagas smell nice.

But you wonder why the author picks on orthodoxy, don’t you? Whether Hitler was an atheist, pagan or Christian can be debated; he certainly wasn’t an orthodox Christian.


13 posted on 04/23/2011 5:07:48 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Salman

It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

The faith required to support this idea is greater than the leap taken by any Believer. Any man who has access to history who can believe in “innate solidarity” in human beings has a faith that may be called blind.

Prayers up for “Hitch”


14 posted on 04/23/2011 5:07:51 AM PDT by TalBlack ( Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: don-o; Salman

I am still praying for him. Every day. God wants this one.


15 posted on 04/23/2011 5:10:09 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("To belong to Him, to be called by Him, is to be rooted in life indestructible." Benedict XVI)
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To: Salman

You have to give the man credit... he is a drama queen.


16 posted on 04/23/2011 5:11:00 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Salman
>> Still holding firm in the face of death. << Actually, he's not.
I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before.
He's viewing religion now as pleading for escape from death, and is angered at how pointless it is. Holding firm would be refusing to be baptized or pray, even if he believed it might rescue him. Hitchens writes as if he'd leap desperately if he believed there was the slightest chance it might "work." What is so pitiable is he has the same misunderstanding of religion that Ted Turner has, that it's about asking God for favors, rather than learning how to love the way God does.
17 posted on 04/23/2011 5:20:08 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Salman

His fifteen minutes of fame are about up, but he’s milking them for all they’re worth.


18 posted on 04/23/2011 5:20:30 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: PowderMonkey; Deb
"It is our innate solidarity … essential sense of decency … the courageous pursuit of truth … we affirm life over the cults of death … "

You are right about his redemption. If he would only pursue (using his highly esteemed human reason) the “Origin” of each of these truths (and the gift of human reason), which are literally stamped into our souls by God our Creator, he could participate in God’s mercy in the last few seconds of his earthly life. I pray that he won’t continue to “set limits to his investigation” and being constrained by the “mind-forged manacles” of only an earthly reality.

Happy Easter Christopher. He is risen!

19 posted on 04/23/2011 5:24:38 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free!)
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To: Salman

CHRISTOPHER,

Accept the love of God as the thief did on Good Friday.

Why is it so hard to understand the suffering that Jesus endured so that you may one day be with him? You must accept him and be sorry for your sins.


20 posted on 04/23/2011 5:26:40 AM PDT by ADSUM (Democracy works when citizens get involved and keep government honest.)
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To: PowderMonkey

No, he won’t.

I know his type. He has his mind made up.

He’s going down.


21 posted on 04/23/2011 5:33:18 AM PDT by Scanian
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To: Servant of the Cross; ADSUM

Luke 23:39-43


22 posted on 04/23/2011 5:40:56 AM PDT by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: Salman

Why do they capitalize atheist? Atheism is beginning to look a lot like a religious organization.


23 posted on 04/23/2011 5:55:05 AM PDT by Pinetop
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To: Salman
It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstitition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

On the eve of Easter, hitchins is still spitting into the wind.

These two sentences explain why the large culture wars exist, one side believes that God dictates right from wrong and the other side says, make it up as you go along.

It is that simple and there is no room for compromise.

I accept hitchin's right not to believe, I just want him {and his pals} to respect my right to practice what I believe.

24 posted on 04/23/2011 5:58:59 AM PDT by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages.)
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To: ADSUM

Sometimes I have my own doubts. But the joy through faith I see in those around me, and the accounts of how true believers fell asleep in death with joy and serenity as their handmaidens, give me reassurance that Jesus’ sacrifice was not in vain.

“I’m not smart enough to be an atheist.”

Anyway, we can only pray for Hitchen’s redemption. But that monumental ego of his is not atypical of atheists. Again, why are they so angry and reactive against G-d and His faithful? I thought smug indifference to the divine would suit them more.


25 posted on 04/23/2011 6:00:05 AM PDT by elcid1970 (Deport all Muslims. Nuke Mecca. Death to Islam.)
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To: Salman

The article’s comments appear to suggest that atheists now worship Hitchens.


26 posted on 04/23/2011 6:18:44 AM PDT by yetidog (/*)
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To: PowderMonkey

I have absolutely no doubt He will. If at the last few seconds of life Mr. Hitchens confesses of his sins with a sincere and contrite heart, and accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, he will be redeemed. I pray that he is afforded those precious last few seconds.

______________________________________________

That was beautifully stated. I agree and hold out hope for all those who currently reject Christ. Eternity is a long time to spend with God’s back to you.


27 posted on 04/23/2011 6:23:12 AM PDT by navymom1
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To: Salman
Men can deny God only so long. I fear he hardened his heart against the truth for so long that the Lord has already given him over to his reprobate mind. His wrath of abandonment is a truly horrific state. If that happens you are already a dead man. Mr. Hitchens has done his best to prove he epitomizes Romans 1:22, Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Even at this late hour, however, if God wants to save him, He will be saved and it matters not what Hitchens now believes. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)
28 posted on 04/23/2011 7:30:35 AM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: Pinetop

Atheism is absolutely a religion. Atheist have faith that there is no God.


29 posted on 04/23/2011 8:59:43 AM PDT by Egon (The difference between Theory and Practice: In Theory, there is no difference.)
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To: Salman

The poor guy. I’m still praying for him. Esophageal cancer must be incredibly painful.


30 posted on 04/23/2011 12:03:09 PM PDT by redhead
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To: redhead

My aunt recently died of that.


31 posted on 04/23/2011 4:06:16 PM PDT by TwoSue
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To: Berlin_Freeper
You can especially see this in regards to movies, TV and music - where the underworld is a big recurring theme but really not so much when it comes to God and Heaven.

Well, The Inferno is by far the most interesting part of Dante's Divine Comedy...and for a modern take on it, see Niven & Pournelle's novel, "Inferno" (highly recommended!).


32 posted on 04/24/2011 8:53:59 AM PDT by Abin Sur
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