Friday, December 16, 2011

The courage of Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens passed away on the 15th of December 2011 and he will be sorely missed.

He was a journalist and polemicist.  His targets were as diverse as Mother Theresa, Michael Moore,  Henry Kissinger, and Chris Hedges.

I did not always agree with what he said and often felt uncomfortable when he debated people who I liked and admired.  Maybe - just maybe - his keen intellect and razor sharp wit would sway me from my opinion.

He was a complicated man.  Capable of great humanism coupled with an almost barbaric approach to the Middle East.  He wept with a family for the death of a soldier he did not know, while actively supporting the war in Iraq..

His humanism shone brightest before his death

Hitchens was a prolific writer with a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of the world around him.  I can't nearly do justice to his work in this blog.

I do want to focus on his death however.

Christopher Hitchens described him self as an anti-theist.  Some atheists wished that there was a afterlife. But Hitchens was an anti-theist because he wished it wasn't true. He thought that the endless worship of an unchanging being would be a type of hell.  Almost like a celestial North Korea.  Better to leave the party early, than to never leave the party at all.

Christopher Hitchens had the courage to face reality as he saw it.  He knew that death would be the end of him.  No heaven.  No hell.  Just oblivion.

There was no deathbed conversion.  Hitchens found the whole idea repulsive.

Like him or loath him, you can't help but admire his courage.  

I hope I will be as strong as Christopher Hitchens when my time comes.

The world has become just a little less interesting and dark.

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