Friday Filosophy v.06.24.2022
Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was an Anglo–American atheist, writer and debater. He wrote for various magazines including The Nation, Free Inquiry, Slate, and others. He was a supporter of the philosophical movement humanism.
Hitchens was educated at Balliol College, Oxford. After graduation in 1970, he became a magazine writer. In 1982, he moved to Washington, D.C. In 1988, he learned from his grandmother that his mother was Jewish, but had kept her religion a secret. Hitchens remained an atheist and did not adopt any religious faith. He did not write about his religious views until his 2007 book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.
Hitchens tried to write from first-hand experience. To write his essays, he braved gunfire in Sarajevo, he was jailed in Czechoslovakia, and in 2008, he was brutally beaten in Beirut, Lebanon. In 2009, Hitchens agreed to be waterboarded. He wrote in Vanity Fair magazine, “If waterboarding does not constitute torture then there is no such thing as torture”.
- Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are God. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are God.
- I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness.
- Religion is part of the human make-up. It’s also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy.
- I’ve had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat.
- One of the great questions of philosophy is, do we innately have morality, or do we get it from celestial dictation?
- A study of the Ten Commandments is a very good way of getting into and resolving that issue.
- My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilization, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can’t prove it, but you can’t disprove it either.
- The amazing fact is that America is founded on a document. It’s a work in progress. It can be tested by each generation.
- Well, I’m in my 60s now. I finally look it, I think. People until I was 60 would always say they thought I looked younger, which I think, without flattering myself, I did, but I think I certainly have, as George Orwell says people do after a certain age, the face they deserve.
- You can be a Polish American, or an Arab American, or a Greek American but you can’t be English American. Why not?
- The fact is: It’s true what they say about the United States. It is a land of opportunity. It is too various to get bored with it.
- When you hear people demanding that the Ten Commandments be displayed in courtrooms and schoolrooms, always be sure to ask which set. It works every time.
- In the brute physical world, and the one encompassed by medicine, there are all too many things that could kill you, don’t kill you, and then leave you considerably weaker.
- I used to wish there was a useful term for those of us who thought American power should be used to remove psychopathic dictators.
- Chemotherapy isn’t good for you. So, when you feel bad, as I am feeling now, you think, ‘Well that is a good thing because it’s supposed to be poison. If it’s making the tumor feel this queasy, then I’m OK with it.
- My favorite time in the cycles of public life is the time when the Pope is dead and they haven’t elected a new one. There’s no one in the world who is infallible for those weeks. And you know, I don’t miss it.
The Time is Now
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