Skip to comments.Hitchens' address to American Atheists (self eulogy)
Posted on 04/23/2011 4:34:15 AM PDT by Salman
click here to read article
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
He’s in for a bit of a shock I’d say.
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.
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.
Wow, he is delusional. God help him.
He has every right to be wrong.
So Hitch won't believe in God, but he believes in something called "innate solidarity"? Yeah, I see that everywhere I look /s
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.
Well, at least he’s wrestling with the Devil rather than pussyfooting with the Royal Family.
As much as we hope for a happy ending to his story, because God gave each of us free will, it may never be.
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.
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”
I am still praying for him. Every day. God wants this one.
You have to give the man credit... he is a drama queen.
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.
His fifteen minutes of fame are about up, but he’s milking them for all they’re worth.
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 Gods mercy in the last few seconds of his earthly life. I pray that he wont 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!
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.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.