The 20 Best Christopher Hitchens Quotes

Christopher Hitchens has a lot of quote-worthy material, but here are 20 of my personal favorites:

“What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”


The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.

The Portable Atheist


By trying to adjust to the findings that it once tried so viciously to ban and repress, religion has only succeeded in restating the same questions that undermined it in earlier epochs. What kind of designer or creator is so wasteful and capricious and approximate? What kind of designer or creator is so cruel and indifferent? And—most of all—what kind of designer or creator only chooses to “reveal” himself to semi-stupefied peasants in desert regions?

The Portable Atheist


The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.

God Is Not Great


What happens to the faith healer and the shaman when any poor citizen can see the full effect of drugs or surgeries, administered without ceremonies or mystifications? Roughly the same thing as happens to the rainmaker when the climatologist turns up, or to the diviner from the heavens when schoolteachers get hold of elementary telescopes.

God Is Not Great


Religion looks forward to the destruction of the world…. Perhaps half aware that its unsupported arguments are not entirely persuasive, and perhaps uneasy about its own greedy accumulation of temporal power and wealth, religion has never ceased to proclaim the Apocalypse and the day of judgment.

God Is Not Great


Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion.

God Is Not Great


The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.

God Is Not Great


If god really wanted people to be free of [wicked thoughts], he should have taken more care to invent a different species.

God Is Not Great


Is it too modern to notice that there is nothing [in the ten commandments] about the protection of children from cruelty, nothing about rape, nothing about slavery, and nothing about genocide? Or is it too exactingly “in context” to notice that some of these very offenses are about to be positively recommended?

God Is Not Great


Religion has run out of justifications. Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, it no longer offers an explanation of anything important. Where once it used to be able, by its total command of a worldview, to prevent the emergence of rivals, it can now only impede and retard—or try to turn back—the measurable advances that we have made.

Sometimes, true, it will artfully concede them. But this is to offer itself the choice between irrelevance and obstruction, impotence or outright reaction, and, given this choice, it is programmed to select the worse of the two.

Meanwhile, confronted with undreamed-of vistas inside our own evolving cortex, in the farthest reaches of the known universe, and in proteins and acids which constitute our nature, religion offers either annihilation in the name of god, or else the false promise that if we take a knife to our foreskins, or pray in the right direction, or ingest pieces of wafer, we shall be “saved.”

God Is Not Great


Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.

God Is Not Great


Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.

God Is Not Great


Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did.

God Is Not Great


If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.

God Is Not Great


I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves.

Hitch-22


Faith is the surrender of the mind; it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It’s our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.


Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.


Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.


Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.


  • John

    You left out one of favorites: “If they gave Jerry Falwell an enema, they could bury him in a matchbox.”

    • http://andybreeden.com Andy Breeden

      Thanks for reminding me of that quote!

    • Alix Brignol

      Ilmao, wonderful.

    • Sarah

      Could someone give me an explanation of this? I’m not sure I get it, but I would like to.

      • Elemenope

        It’s a roundabout way for him to say that Falwell was full of poo, such that if you were to remove the poo, the remainder would fit in a tiny box.

        Metaphorically speaking, of course.

        • Sarah

          ah I see. heh.

          thank you.

        • http://habitatcaravans.co.nz Russell

          Was that a tiny box or match box?

  • gamba

    Wish i could have another book by Hitch. Hard to see any here in Nigeria, i was lucky to get the ”God Is Not Great” at a Humanist Convention months ago.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tais-Tees/112814582169070?sk=info Tai

      do you listen to audiobooks or read ebooks? less visible, digital files are easier to come by.
      -Taiwo

  • Chris

    “The offer of certainty, the offer of complete security, the offer of an impermeable faith that can’t give way, is an offer of something not worth having; I want to live my life taking the risk all the time that I don’t know anything like enough yet; that I haven’t understood enough; that I can’t know enough; that I’m always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom, I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I’d urge you look at those of you who tell you, those people who tell you, at your age, that you’re dead until you believe as they do—what a terrible thing to be telling to children—and that you can only live by accepting an absolute authority. Don’t think of that as a gift, think of it as a poisoned chalice; push it aside, however tempting it is. Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way. ”
    – Christopher Hitchens, from closing remarks in a debate at Prestonwood Christian Academy , November 2010

    • Cynthia

      Thank You Christopher Hitchens for reminding me how strong my faith is. It’s always been based on my theory of: nothing good or wonderful or perfect can exist without an equal oppisite of bad or awful or worthless, whether seen or unseen. I was looking for faith and found passion in believing when I saw such passion is disbelief.

      • Ty

        “It’s always been based on my theory of: nothing good or wonderful or perfect can exist without an equal oppisite of bad or awful or worthless”

        You do know that’s idiotic, right? What’s the ‘oppisite’ (sic) of a fluffy kitten?

        • Elemenope

          A bald, fat, pissy tomcat with unclipped claws.

          I have experience, you see.

          • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

            LOL! Where can I get me one those? You make it sound so enticing. :)

        • Dave

          If you disagree you need not be crude and sarcastic.

          • AsenaHanIm

            “Thank You Christopher Hitchens for reminding me how strong my faith is.”

            as if this is a virtue.

            this stance calls for sarcasm in the most crude way. faithheads do not respond to reason. this draws their attention.

      • justin

        Wow…..I dare you to make less sense.

      • Dave

        Cynthia, you are fairly unique among the faithful. You have civility.

      • Galen

        Thank YOU oh misguided one! You recieve truth and adhere to blind faith! We live in 2012 and yet so many people still believe in fairy tales! Man is truly an ignorant mammal for the most part!

      • Lisa F

        What is this nonsensical ramble supposed to mean?

      • Jazz

        I’m sure if they gave you an enema they could fit what was left in a matchbox too! What an arsehole

  • Seth

    Gamba, if it is possible and safe for you, please send me an email at sjmyers3142@gmail.com, and I will pay to have shipped to you the Hitchens books I have already read. I would like very much to help you.

    • Rich Wilson

      That’s the best damn thing I’ve read all day.

      • Kenny

        I was going to offer the same thing Seth. I’m glad someone has the same line of thought.

    • Michael

      Should be one in every bloody hotel I reckon

      • Ravi

        Amen to that!

  • Deborah Markus

    Seth’s got a great idea — wouldn’t it be nice if we could set up a foundation to spread great works of skepticism and free thought all over the world? I’d love to be an anti-missionary and balance out the Bible-thumping a bit…

    • Dubravko Jakovljevic

      That’s actually a great idea!

      • Charlie

        Great idea but unfortunately it won’t work. These folks have already had their minds contaminated at an early age and there is no going back for them. Believe me…you are wasting your time.

        This is why I have been blogging (charliesitzesblogspot.com) that contaminating a child’s mind before it has developed critical thinking skills is nearly as bad as sexually abusing their bodies. In both cases the child can (and usually is) affected for life.

        Having said that, I admire you for trying. Let us know how that worked out for you.

        • http://www.bitternotes.com Deborah Markus

          Well…I didn’t grow up in nearly as repressive an atmosphere as you describe…but I *was* reared religiously and did manage to question my way out of it — with the help of some well-placed books along the way. A friend introducing me to the works of James Randi was tremendously important, though initially I fought some of what he had to say. My parents had paid to put me in one of those Silva Mind Control classes; the last thing I wanted to hear was that it had all been a big waste of time, money, and “going to level.”

          I think in terms of fostering genuine skepticism and freethinking, “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)” is one of the best titles out there. That’s one I’d like to work toward getting around the world!

        • http://habitatcaravans.co.nz Russell

          It is never to late for truth.

        • http://www.karcreat.com Kevin Karstens

          “contaminating a child’s mind before it has developed critical thinking skills is nearly as bad as sexually abusing their bodies”
          IT’S WORSE.

          Sexually abused kids can obtain counselling, move on, become healed via their own efforts and will…

          Religious indoctrination KILLS any chance of that ever happening.

    • Nzo

      Where would we find the sheeple to donate %10 of their money to our cause? You’d have to set up a wildly successful poe christian organization just to fun the good word… then what, have the heads of the poe organization say “JOKE’S ON YOU”?

      Actually, I kinda like the idea.

      • http://www.iamanatheist.com/16_things.html Deborah Markus

        Aw, c’mon, Nzo — let’s beat them at their own game. Imagine a freethought literature foundation supported by thinkers, not sheeple.

        Maybe to start we could set up something like what Gamba and Seth were talking about. Get the people who have ready access to (or existing supplies of) freethought lit partnered up with people who need it. It’d be a start…

        • Dubravko Jakovljevic

          I agree. We could at least spread the books we’ve already read – I’m sure we all have at least few of those :D

          • http://www.bitternotes.com Deborah Markus

            My own shelves are groaning with great skeptical works that I’d love to share. And as you say, there must be plenty of us in the same boat. I really think this is an idea worth exploring!

            • Dubravko Jakovljevic

              And it doesn’t have to be only skepticism, but all kind of scientific books. One can be truly skeptic only with the right, educated background.

      • Bryan

        We already have all these things. They’re called “universities.”

      • Poppitsmum

        You could contact the Atheist, free-thinking organizations around the country and see what they could organize. I am sure a ton of money could be raised if it meant waking this world up. Just a thought.

    • S Meyer

      Deborah,
      Is that an offer? I’m an open-minded theist and I’d love to read some Hitchens, Harris, Dennet, Dawkins, et al. If someone wants to send me some of those books, I’d like to interact with the arguments against theism. Thanks.
      S

      • http://habitatcaravans.co.nz Russell

        If you have listened to the debates that Christopher has been in and still wish to argue you have not understood what has been said.

    • Timothy

      Though it’s a good idea, energies and funds would be better spent on the starving across the world first, we lose against missionaries because we find helping people takes priority over spreading the word.

  • http://blogforthelordjesuscurrentevents.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    I loved Hitch even though he didn’t love Christ. If he had known Christ, I am sure he would have loved Him, and stood up for Him. Instead of knowing Christ, he mainly knew Christians – and that discouraged him from knowing Christ.

    Nevertheless, I am comforted by the Bible’s promises that Hitch now resides in heaven – along with all the other human beings who have ever died – and that we shall all one day be there, too. Nonetheless, if we do not repent and live more morally in God’s sight, the experience will not be as good as it otherwise could be.

    • Elemenope

      Nonetheless, if we do not repent and live more morally in God’s sight, the experience will not be as good as it otherwise could be.

      Why?

      • trj

        Good question. I thought heaven was supposed to be perfect, but now we’re told it may be less than perfect?

    • TrickQuestion

      According to the bible’s promises, denying that your god/jesus/casper was the truth puts him square in your version of hell. You’re kind of despicable for coming into a memorial type thread and doing what you just did.

    • John C

      No truth here friend, sorry, it says no such thing. The gospel is not about living ‘moral lives’ but instead, is an exchanged life altogether, His (kind & quality) for ours and freely. Neither does it state (anywhere) that unbelievers and those who mock, reject Him in this life will (immediately, upon their physical/temporal death) ‘be with Him in heaven’ as you state, at least not initially, perhaps at the end of the age/eon if you believe in UR.

      Can you show me where it says that specifically, as you state?

      • TrickQuestion

        LUKE 12:10, “And everyone that says a word against the Son of Man, that will be forgiven; But he that blasphemes against The Holy Spirit will not be forgiven
        .
        MARK 3:29, “Whoever blasphemes against The Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of everlasting sin.”
        MATTHEW 12: 31-32 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come”.

        • JK

          Heheheh, you beat John C at his own game ^^.

          • John C

            No JK, Trick is refuting Mike, not me. The ones Trick is quoting support my response to Mike’ non-biblical assertions.

            • TrickQuestion

              No, i was clearly refuting you John C.

    • Melody

      No offense, Mike, but is it really any of your business? This is an atheist-themed site, and we’re not here to discuss that. Also, last I checked, the commenting rules specifically say “No evangelizing.” So stop it. (If you’re a poe, I retract my comment.)

      • UrsaMinor

        Um, he wasn’t evangelizing. There is no hint anywhere in his post that he is trying to convert anyone to his religion. He was just stating his religious views, which is perfectly acceptable.

        I’ll have to say that his views are decidedly odd for a Christian.

        • Elemenope

          Universalism? Odd, I guess, but not particularly out-there. This is the first time I’ve heard (outside of Italian epic poems) that Heaven will have layers and gradations of awesomeness, though. Who wants to get stuck in the low rent heaven?

          • http://www.bitternotes.com Deborah Markus

            According to Mormon doctrine, we’re all headed for a low-rent heaven. Can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s supposed to be a pleasant place for those who aren’t Mormons but didn’t spend their lives axe-murdering.

            • http://fugodeus.com Nox

              I believe their term for it is “terrestrial realm”.

            • Elemenope

              From Wiki:

              Those who reject the ordinances are still believed to have the opportunity to inherit a kingdom of glory distinct from, and of less glory, than the Celestial Kingdom: either the Terrestrial Kingdom or the Telestial Kingdom[7]. Exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom is the ultimate goal of faithful LDS Church members.

              We only get the Earth and the Stars. Neat-o.

              BTW, I liked your post on solstice celebrations.

            • UrsaMinor

              Yes, I will second Elemenope on that. Very nice post about the solstice, and nice points about the fact that you don’t have to be an idiot to be religious, or be religious to be an idiot. Like atheists and theists, idiots come in all flavors.

            • http://www.bitternotes.com Deborah Markus

              Hey, thanks for the detailed Mormon info and the nice comments! Virtual chocolate right back atcha!

            • UrsaMinor

              Chocolate. The only thing in the universe that I have ever been even vaguely tempted to worship.

            • http://www.bitternotes.com Deborah Markus

              I have a tray full of chocolate-dipped cacao beans cooling next to me as we speak! I think my apartment building just became a church…

        • Melody

          Okay, if you say so. In my mind, however, telling someone to repent is very much a part of evangelizing.

          • Elemenope

            The way the rule is usually applied here, “no evangelizing” might be too terse a statement. The real issue is when someone comes in, makes a splashy entrance, and then does nothing but sling scripture or half-baked apologetics at the responses.

            “Don’t be an ass while evangelizing” might be too loose a statement, since as a rule people don’t hang out here to sift through scriptural copypasta, but in reality it’s probably closer to the mark than the stated rule.

            • GRPetro

              The term terse isn’t accurately used here in that if something is “too terse” it certainly wasn’t terse to begin with. I do think it was a nice attempt to include a word Hitchens himself was fond of and used frequently.

          • UrsaMinor

            I would agree if the statement in question was clearly urging me or some other poster personally to repent, but it was phrased very broadly. I.e., “if we do not repent” in this context sounds a lot like “if people do not repent” or, more archaically, “if one does not repent”. It refers to no one in particular and is a general statement of his philosophy- and if you can’t make a general statement here about your philosophy, what’s the point of allowing anyone to comment?

            • Melody

              Fair enough, I stand corrected. I’m very much a right-brain thinker and tend to see the big picture rather than the details. I see the word “repent” from someone who is vocal about being a Christian, and my knee-jerk reaction is to assume he/she is being judgmental and trying to evangelize, since I’ve seen it so often.

            • Elemenope

              I see the word “repent” from someone who is vocal about being a Christian, and my knee-jerk reaction is to assume he/she is being judgmental and trying to evangelize, since I’ve seen it so often.

              This is going to sound irredeemably geektastic, but every time I hear the word “Repent!” I think of the Batarian street preacher on Omega in Mass Effect 2.

            • Jabster

              @Elem

              Can’t say I remember that bit … still a bit geekish though.

            • Elemenope

              @Jabster

              The Batarian is standing in front of the intersection of the paths to the plagued quarter and the apartments. You have to walk by him maybe twenty times if you do all the Omega side-quests and every time you do, you’ll hear “Repent! The End is nigh.” in a gravelly alien voice, as flavor noise from the street preacher.

            • Noelle

              There must come a point where one reaches the highest level of geek, and no amount of bonus points can push you further. There is no reason to ever apologize for living geektastically after that.

            • Jeremy

              That’s semantics. If someone is engaged in conversation with me and says “If one does not repent, one will burn in hell,” and I am, as my grandmother calls me, an ‘unrepentant sinner’, then that person is talking about me, to me. This is pretty clearly evangelizing. Basically, a person doesn’t have to use the proper second person pronouns to be talking about you directly.

        • Lisa66

          Speaking as an American who is no longer religious but with many years of experience in various American mainline and evangelical churches, I’d say his view not at all unusual. An awful lot of American Christians are universalists or if not universalists they do believe that many people of other faiths or no faith will go to heaven. But you don’t hear much from them because they aren’t as inclined to evangelize or argue like the fundamentalists are. I myself was a universalist for the last several years that I was a Christian (before finally becoming agnostic) and I encountered many like me in the mainline and even evangelical circles I travelled in those days. Here’s a quote from the NYT about a recent Pew Forum survey:

          In June, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life published a controversial survey in which 70 percent of Americans said that they believed religions other than theirs could lead to eternal life. This threw evangelicals into a tizzy. After all, the Bible makes it clear that heaven is a velvet-roped VIP area reserved for Christians. Jesus said so: “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” But the survey suggested that Americans just weren’t buying that. The evangelicals complained that people must not have understood the question. The respondents couldn’t actually believe what they were saying, could they? So in August, Pew asked the question again. Sixty-five percent of respondents said — again — that other religions could lead to eternal life. But this time, to clear up any confusion, Pew asked them to specify which religions. The respondents essentially said all of them. And they didn’t stop there. Nearly half also thought that atheists could go to heaven — dragged there kicking and screaming, no doubt — and most thought that people with no religious faith also could go. — Charles M Blow, The New York Times

          • B.L. Zehbubb

            “Nearly half also thought that atheists could go to heaven — dragged there kicking and screaming, no doubt — and most thought that people with no religious faith also could go.” — Charles M Blow, The New York Times
            Forgive me, but aren’t atheists “people with no religious faith”?
            That’s the way I’ve understood it.

            • Elemenope

              There are people with…I guess you could call it “non-specific theism”, I like to think of it as the dark underbelly of agnosticism. People who believe that there is a conscious ordering to the universe and a will behind it but don’t follow extant religious traditions. Unitarian Universalists, once you get a few drinks into ‘em, usually end up here. They have no “religious faith” but do believe in something best called God.

    • Kenny

      He did know your Christ Mike. That’s why Hitch was an atheist.

    • milo rosenbloom

      “If he had known Christ, I am sure he would have loved Him, and stood up for Him.”….No no No NO no NOT…….stop with your condescending sideways digs……Christopher Hitchens, along with a very healthy majority of rational thinkers know your christ concept better than 95% of jeebus’ fan club.

      This is why we do not subscribe to such an awful belief system. A hateful archaic method of controlling the unwashed and uneducated masses(in the 1400′s). I know jesus and this is why I know that there is no jesus.

    • Mike Manion

      In John 3:13 the Bible dogmatically states that NO ONE, except Jesus Himself, has ever ascended up into heaven? John 3:13. Could anything be clearer?

    • Rob

      What could possibly give you that misguided opinion of the Hitch! He has gone to the same place you will go too when you die, what ever you believe, oblivion!!!!

    • Neil

      If Hitchens is indeed in a heaven that you speak of, then he would be mighty disturbed; The following is Hitchens own words reflected on what religion is actually offering when it promises eternal life:

      It will happen to all of us, that at some point you get tapped on the shoulder and told, not just that the party’s over, but slightly worse: the party’s going on — but you have to leave. And it’s going on without you. That’s the reflection that I think most upsets people about their demise. All right, then, because it might make us feel better, let’s pretend the opposite. Instead, you’ll get tapped on the shoulder and told, Great news: this party’s going on forever – and you can’t leave. You’ve got to stay; the boss says so. And he also insists that you have a good time.

    • http://www.karcreat.com Kevin Karstens

      “I loved Hitch even though he didn’t love Christ. If he had known Christ, I am sure he would have loved Him, and stood up for Him”

      How exactly does one go about ‘knowing’ a fictional character?

  • Eric

    1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment. from the Amplified Bible p.s. Mormonism and other false religions will meet up with Chris in judgment.

    • John C

      ‘Mormonism and other false religions will meet up with Chris in judgment’.

      Do you delight, revel in that friend? What spirit is that? ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and consume them? But He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘you do not know what kind of spirit you are of’ (Luke 9:54&55)

      Haven’t you heard that (in the end) mercy triumphs over judgment/condemnation? (James 2:13).

      • TrickQuestion

        Chris can be very judgmental.
        Yeah, screw that guy.

        • TrickQuestion

          Obviously referring to the Chrisian Chris, and not Hitchins.

    • Custador

      That or Muhammed will butt-rape you for all eternity.

      • http://youtube denis carlin

        mohammed the prophet raped young girls when he was here…and he was supposed to be gods best freind some set up that

        • http://sodahead.com/LogicalAtheist/ Brandon

          And Jesus made his own personal whip and beat people in public for not following him.
          Hey, I can take religious stuff and use it against itself too!

          In other words, all religions have contradictions and travesties, and simply quoting a book we already don’t believe in will not do (pardon my French) shit. I can give you hundreds of examples of why the Christian bible sucks and why it is a poison.

  • http://holloway.co.nz/ Matthew Holloway

    When a Christian claimed that God had given him “throat” cancer to
    punish the “one part of his body he used for blasphemy”, he replied:
    “My so-far uncancerous throat… is not at all the only organ with
    which I have blasphemed.”

  • eric

    all will face judgment, saved christians included, the question is what that judgement will be, so don’t get it twisted friend

    • Jabster

      Serious question Erik … are you choking the chicken when writing these posts?

      • eric

        what a sick puppy

        • Jabster

          Is that a yes Erik?

        • http://fugodeus.com Nox

          Gloating about someone dying of cancer is sick.

          As is your happy little fantasy of seeing someone cast into hell for the sin of saying things you don’t like.

          • Jabster

            “Gloating about someone dying of cancer is sick.”

            … especially if you have a box of tissues to hand!

            • UrsaMinor

              What is that quaint British word again? Ah, yes, “wanker”.

              What I really can’t figure out is why saved Christians would still face judgment. That’s breach of contract.

            • Jabster

              Describing Erik as a wanker would be fair comment …

          • Jeremy

            It is very christian, though.

            • B.L. Zehbubb

              Not very fair to wankers!

        • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

          The question is indelicately phrased, perhaps, but nonetheless valid. Christians often don’t realize how their professions of faith in the existence of hell and who goes there look and sound to outsiders. We’ve also heard it a million times: Oooh, the person I don’t like has died and I’m absolutely awash with glee that he is roasting in hell forever. You didn’t say those exact words, of course, but the implication is clear. Believe in Jesus and your judgement will be positive. Disbelieve(even for positive, well-meaning reasons) and you’ve earned yourself a permanent residence down below.

          It’s a snuff fantasy, and not an original one, either.

          • UrsaMinor

            Personally, I prefer to spend my nights lying awake worrying that I’m going to be reincarnated as a cockroach in my next life. How come Christians never take that threat seriously?

    • Melody

      You sick, twisted, self-righteous SOB., Who do you think you are, passing judgment on something you know absolutely nothing about? You are the only sick puppy around here, and you should be downright ashamed of your pathetic self.

      • Jabster

        Honestly, I wouldn’t let idiots like Erik get to you. He’s either just a troll or really means what he says. Either way it’s not worth worrying about.

        Maybe being older helps … you get to realise that it wasn’t just that people were older, a lot of people really are arseholes!

        • Melody

          I know, you’re right. It just annoys the hell out of me, and I’ve been so stressed lately that I haven’t been responding well to these kinds of comments. Usually when I start feeling like this, I take a break for a few days or weeks until I’m feeling better. Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time.
          But the thing is, blogs like this, John Shore, and JNNPR are my only real outlet, since I don’t want to handle my very conservative, very Christian relatives sending me passive-aggressive messages on Facebook. It’s happened before, and it’s even more stressful dealing with that kind of conflict.

          • Noelle

            “where can I go find a fight?” would make a good forum topic.

        • Melody

          And you’re right about being older. I love my dad dearly, and he’s very intelligent, but even in his age (72), he never learned to be open-minded about a lot of things, and if the topic lands on politics or religion, things get really tense and sometimes heated between us. We’re both very stubborn and opinionated, but I try to be as open-minded as possible, which is not easy to do around right-wingers.

          • Jabster

            “but I try to be as open-minded as possible, which is not easy to do around right-wingers.”

            Left wingers, all though not as prevalent, can be just as bad. Being poor is never your fault, whatever the EU does is correct and disagreeing makes you a racist, Islam is always a force for good and terrorists are just giving people what they deserve … and of course the biggie – if you’re anti-American then you can do no wrong.

            • Melody

              I can tell you, I don’t meet those extremes. Having now been on both sides of the political spectrum, I’ve seen the real damage that obstinacy and extreme ideology can do. But living in the state from which W and Perry emerged makes it hard not to be biased.

            • Melody

              Also, having once been quite conservative, I sometimes project my regrets onto others, and I see my former self in them sometimes (making homophobic and anti-choice remarks, complaining about the “liberal” media and such nonsense). It’s the whole “I see something in that person that I dislike about myself.” I think we all do that to some extent. But what’s important is trying to respect everyone to the best of our abilities. Anyway, I’m rambling and really exhausted. Peace.

            • Custador

              Agreed. The Gaurdian is every bit as bad as the Mail.

            • Brian K

              Sorry…but none of these are “left wing” core beliefs. There are individuals, prominent self-appointed “leaders” who may believe or state these things, but they are certainly not creeds or fundamental truths.

            • http://www.karcreat.com Kevin Karstens

              “Left wingers, all though not as prevalent, can be just as bad. Being poor is never your fault, whatever the EU does is correct and disagreeing makes you a racist, Islam is always a force for good and terrorists are just giving people what they deserve … and of course the biggie – if you’re anti-American then you can do no wrong.”

              Did it hurt much when you pulled all that laughable, 100% inaccurate BULLSHIT from your ass?

              I’ve been a Liberal all my life, and have NEVER ONCE encountered ANYONE who said/believed in that crap you posted…holy shit, what NONSENSE!!!…ROTFLMAO, indeed…

    • fffffaaaark

      Byler?

  • Al Inguist

    There is nothing as annoying as a religious fanatic, but there is something oxymoronic about a fanatic atheist.

    • Brian K

      So are you claiming Mr. Hitchens was a “fanatic”? Why? Because he wrote strong-worded texts? Are strong beliefs always a bad thing, or in your word is tepid accomodationism the only “appropriate” tactic?

    • Peter Vachon

      I might agree that Hitchens’ fanaticism was oxymoronic in way. I think that fanaticism for anyone who tries to “deny myself any illusions or delusions” is indeed oxymoronic. And one can become fanatical about any ideas one holds to be true.
      As I see it, even the most accurate ideas are nothing more than mental models, crude and imperfect representations of miniscule aspects of what appears to be reality. Beliefs then, being ideas assumed to be true, are simply the confusion of ideas with the objects they are intended to represent. I see this as a practically inescapable form of delusion, one in which Hitchens was very much victim to. My point is that even the “truest” statement requires faith to believe that it is true. In this sense, all efforts to affirm one’s conception of truth, however apparent and accurate it is, can only lead a person deeper into delusion.
      Perhaps this a pitfall that even us atheists, who hold accurate perception above all else, often overlook.
      That said, i was to make clear that I mean no offense to Hitchens’ work. I respect and agree with most of his ideas and values.

  • fake Gebus

    Fuck the Bible. Seriously? That’s just one book. One big assanine parable of little more worth than childrens’ books at teaching morals. Quoting it is missing the point, or perhaps it is precisely demonstrating the dogmatism. Quit placing any credence in one stupid book. Reality is not that easy to pin down that you can pinpoint your worldview understanding to one book only. Read. That’s the point. Hitch was exceptionally literary. Read READ READ! And remember that the bible is only one book. One of the several billion that are out there. Religion is antiquated judaic, desert dwelling, ancient, bygone, antiquated bullshit. Stop it already.

    • Edward Murkomen

      You are ignorant, brother. That is not what atheism is all about. Atheist is a person who simply wants evidence… If God created reason, why should he be unreasonable? I’m a Christian, but if God is that big person up there waiting to judge us, then Im an atheist. But If God is love, forgiving those who hurt us, making amends to those we have hurt, doing unto others as I wud have them do unto me, then I am a Christian.

      • D Hunter Sanchez

        Please read the scripture for itself. Refuse human interpretation and you’ll find yourself in a good place.

  • Michael Moore

    I am 72 years of age. Lost my wife of 50 years about 9 months ago. During her illness and suffering, which lasted approximately two years, I tried every option that I knew of to engage the powers of believers, to at least stop her suffering. It didn’t happen. However, as a recent acceptance and understanding of the true meaning of Agnostic, I have found a Supreme to respect and ask favor in my subconcious mind. It is simply Nature, in all its beauty and glory, while possessing the ability to destroy anything, anywhere and at any time. I am at peace with my decicision to accept the fact that I am an Agnostic, who simply remains awed by all the powers within Nature. After a personal loss, I don’t need to ask, “Why me, or why them?” Nature is what life is, and it deserves the respect of every living thing in our world. Nature is the Boss! It is King, it is reliable and unreliable at all times. I simply live with it as best I can, knowing that it is the force that controls all matters of importance in my life. Science is the study of Nature. Scientific study is the “Bible” intwined into our lives. Christians, Jews, Mormans, or Islamics, any religious persuasion have no controls on Nature. I find that easy to believe and to accept.

    • http://www.bitternotes.com Deborah Markus

      That’s lovely, Michael. The chaotic glory of nature really is awe-inspiring.

      I’m glad your wife had a good man to help her as much as possible through her final days. All my best wishes to you.

  • vaughn brakhage

    Good selection except that the second one is not Hitchens. It was written by Ayaan Hisi Ali in her contribution to The Portable Atheist, which Hitchens compiled and edited but not written by him. Just thought I should point that out.

  • David

    What a strange site for one purporting to represent “resonable thoughts.” You claim to be interested in open-mindedness and reason, and then not only dimiss out of hand any input expressing viewpoints you have already decided you don’t like, but judgmentally attack the individual contributor, himself, rather than intelligently attempt to discuss their viewpoint.
    i.e.,
    “Mike, but is it really any of your business? This is an atheist-themed site, and we’re not here to discuss that.” and “You sick, twisted, self-righteous SOB., Who do you think you are, passing judgment on something you know absolutely nothing about? ” (Melody)
    “Chris can be very judgmental.
    Yeah, screw that guy.” (TrickQuestion)
    “Describing Erik as a wanker would be fair comment …” (Jabster)
    So much for “reasonable thought.” You sound just as judgemental , narrow-minded, and hypocritical as you accuss them of being.
    Don’t bother responding to me. With this level of intellectual pursuit and open-minded reason, I won’t be back to notice it.

    • TrickQuestion

      look at the previous post to mine. i am obviously making fun of a spelling error, the omission of a “t” to be precise.

      And, i replied, because i think for myself and won’t be told what to do.
      :P

      • kholdom0790

        Haha TQ

  • Hakeem

    Food for thought.

  • Praveen

    Hitchens is one of the few thinkers who could get a good view of the world without getting distorted. There is a saying in India that the person who is not afraid to tell the truth is a condemned to be a fool.

  • IonCiprian

    God didn’t write any book. Men write the book or books.
    I can write the most compelling book, bible, koran etc…
    What that means: I was inspired by god?…..thank you wine,
    or I am a shrewd charlatan!

  • Maizey

    Sorry, just stumbled upon this website. Had to comment. First thing that comes to mind is:

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

    I understand CH has no love for God. What I don’t understand is his summary dismissal, with utter vitriol, of any proof supporting any but his own humanist worldview. In the documentary film, “Expelled,” he had to admit that SOME other intelligence (ie ~ um – space aliens!) is the only explanation for human existance on earth. So, apparently, it’s a lesser leap of FAITH to believe we are the spawn of nomadic aliens than the CREATION of an INFINITELY SUPERIOR being…? I guess human pride knows no bounds.

    Hubris is both fascinating and vastly frustrating. What we do know about our world only shows us all the more what we do NOT know. How can CH complain about the dogma of religion when it is so obvious he purports to absurdity only his own Darwinist dogma. Religion may fear science and questions, but God INVENTED our curiosity and creativity and provided vast means for the exploration of our universe. I think He can handle our piddly questioning. Can YOU handle MY questions?

    Also, how is it Mr. Hitchins is so highly regarded for his views on God, when he so obviously has NO understanding of the difference between “religion” and what God Himself actually does, says and requires of us? Of the 20 quotes above, it shocks me that even I, a not-so-faithful student of Gid’s Word, can poke large holes in his theses.

    • Custador

      “In the documentary film, “Expelled,” he had to admit that SOME other intelligence (ie ~ um – space aliens!) is the only explanation for human existance on earth.”

      No, he absolutely did not. That’s complete, absolute bullshit. He might have acknowledged that it’s possible, but there is absolutely no way that Christopher Hitchens said that “space aliens” are the only explanation for human existence. Perhaps if you familiarised yourself with the endless number of times Hitchens, Dawkins and others have had that discussion and pointed out that the space aliens would still have to be a product of evolution, you wouldn’t talk such drivel.

      Your God-of-the-Gaps crap is tiresome, and we’re BORED OF ANSWERING IT! Learn to Google, for crying out loud!

    • UrsaMinor

      God INVENTED our curiosity and creativity and provided vast means for the exploration of our universe.

      Evidence needed, unless you’re trying to commit an act of premeditated petitio principii with a straight face.

      • Yoav

        I would guess that anyone quoting Expelled as evidence is probably stupid enough to think he had an actual argument in there.

    • Darwin

      Yes it is a lesser leap of faith. Why? Well, we do have examples of life in the universe, i.e. us. However, we have no evidence, proof or example of an, as you put it, INFINITELY SUPERIOR BEING, having had a part in our existence. And as Custy points out, even that is pointless since Hitchens never said aliens are the explanation for human existence.
      And this is like begging the question to the max.

  • kay camille

    Trying to rationlise to to irrational is like pissing in the wind……….To the more sensible members of the human race,i can only say leave the fairy story believers alone,they can no more help themselves than i can help eating chocolate and haagen daas ice cream when i know it piles on the calories.Unfortunately,the world is being ruined by fools and alas there is no answer ,dont waste time arguing about things that can never change,just enjoy the short life span we have and try to be nice

  • kay camille

    Trying to rationalise to the irrational is like pissing in the wind…………..To the more sensible members of the human race,i suggest you leave the fairy story believers alone…they can no more help themselves than i can stop eating chocolate and haagen daas ice cream when i know it piles on the calories.Dont waste precious time bandying words with with the sheep.Just get on with life as it is and try to make the best of it.The only statement that can be said is we are born ,we live a little and then we die….. and now i have better things to do ,like my housework…………goodbye

    • k.holdom0790

      We would if they would.

    • Custador

      Not sure if spam.

  • Paul G. Chigwidden

    Sorry, why would an atheist say Rest in Peace? Is that what you mean by RIP or is it merely an acknowledgement of the natural process – Christopher Hitchens, Rotting in Pieces…?

    It just seems curious, is all.

    • Yoav

      Because it’s a common phrase in the English language, like saying bless you when someone sneeze. Claiming that using it must mean that we accept that the person we talk about is resting somewhere rather then just gone is only slightly less idiotic then the claim that we acknowledge our trust in god by using cash.

  • Lee

    I will miss Christopher for many reasons, most of all, his command of the language. He had an amazing way of making salient, palpable points in a poetic and prosodic manner that would keep me rapt and awaiting the next syllable. That was power, in my estimation.

    Just reread some of his words. They are picked as a poet picks language; the written word, when spoken aloud, is almost musical. He is, quite simply, sublime.

    • The Top Geezer

      But that because you agree with him.

  • 1984

    A correction needs be in place.

    “The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.” Is from Ayaan Hirsi Ali NOT Hitch..

  • Remo

    Of all the frustrations I suffer most is the notion that I am compelled time and time again to remind those who follow the words of the bible that it is not a divine text. It was not written by god. It is not the sounding board for my reasoning and thus it makes no sense for any opponent of mine to use it as a tool for argument. I might as well introduce a comic book and layer my strategy upon its content and call it my reason for not believing in a god. One could not possibly begin to make a stand for sanity in a world so infested with catacombs of gullibility. As a species of infinitely vain carbon life forms, we do however subscribe to one collective truth. That we are all born into a certain path of expiration. Beyond which we will argue “truths”for which we have no proof and spill blood for which we have no cause. Is it not then uncanny how little stock we put into the venture of living while staring at the bones of those dead now and postulating on their state in the life they no longer have?

  • A. Gabriel

    [Derp derp self-righteous spamvangelism derp derp stroking mah epeen derp]

    • Kodie

      The best hope you think we have is that you tell your imaginary friend?

  • A. Gabriel

    [Derp derp self-righteous spamvangelism derp derp stroking mah epeen derp]

    • Kodie

      You’re an animal with a vivid imagination.

      • UrsaMinor

        Not so vivid. Aside from their innate banality, I find the ‘derps’ to be repetitive.

        • Kodie

          I didn’t really account for moderation. I never do.

          • UrsaMinor

            No one expects the Spanish Moderation!
            (Well, this one was probably Cornish, unless I miss my guess).

            • Custador

              Fear and surprise are our chief weapons.

  • The Top Geezer

    Despite his protestations to the contrary the impression given by Mr Hitchens is that he was unhappy. Am I the only person who has this impression? The more strident atheists all seem to be that way – Hitch, Dawko, etc.

    • Sunny Day

      It’s a common projection, self deception, and defensive issue among theists.

      Someone says something the theist doesn’t agree with and feels insulted by it. Therefore the person who’s just insulted them must be angry or unhappy about something. Now they can just dismiss whatever the atheist said because obviously they were just trying to be hurtful. You can now dismiss whatever they said. The theist is now free to continue twaddling in their makebelieve world.

    • Kodie

      We’re all a little unhappy about the protection automatically assumed for silly fairy-tale believers. You know you can show us the proof any time, if you have any, and why laws should cater to your beliefs, and why you want all the children to be deficient in intelligence and grow up to be adults who don’t make any fucking sense. If you really want to know, it’s the people, it’s not having lack of god-belief, that make any atheist you can name seem sad to you.

      • The Top Geezer

        Well, we are defensive aren’t we? Who said that all atheists are unhappy? I don’t feel in the least insulted by atheists. Try being a little more like the reasoning animals you claim to be. If people of faith are as deluded as you think and only believe fairy tales surely they can’t be any threat to you. There is of course a strong argument for the evolutionist (for example) being the one who believes fairy tales. In the meantime, relax, nobody’s trying to kill you.

        • Kodie

          They vote because their imaginary friend told them to hate gays and restrict women. Christians hate people and yes, kill. If they would keep their fantasies to themselves, it would be harmless, except to their own children, you know, who get kicked out for being gay, their own parents hate them and want them to be brainless. Prove god exists and why that’s all for the best.

          • The Top Geezer

            As I said: Try being a little more like the reasoning animal you claim to be. True (as opposed to nominal, i.e. non-) Christians do not hate gays or people of other faiths and denominations. And they certainly don’t hate women. Such a stance would be completely contrary to the New Testament (the new covenant in Jesus blood) which, evidently, you have never read. This being the case it would surely promote the sort of world I assume you want if Christians were to evangelise rather than keep their views to themselves. Of course no one can prove to another person that God does or does not exist. If you had a genuine desire to know God you would pray for him to reveal himself to you. You would be surprised at the answer.

            • Kodie

              I would be really surprised because prayer doesn’t do anything.

            • UrsaMinor

              If you had a genuine desire to know God you would pray for him to reveal himself to you.

              I could say the same thing for Allah, or Vishnu, or Thor. You seem to be assuming that only the god of the Christian Bible is real. A reasoning animal, to use your own term, would recognize that there might be only one god, or an infinite number of gods, or no gods at all, and investigate accordingly.

            • Custador

              Sorry, but can I just point out that using your GSI email address to sign-in to a site like this and evangelise is a massive breach of the Civil Service Code of Conduct? You might want to, you know, not be that bloody stupid in future. Just saying.

            • The Top Geezer

              You are correct: I believe that only the God of the Christian Bible is real. The idea that people are reasoning animals subject to no higher authority is the atheists position. That is what they wish to assert because if that is the case they are not answerable to anyone but themselves. Take a look at Communist Russia or revolutionary France if you want to see a society where God is denied. Great advertisements for the notion that people can invent their own superior “morality”. The Christians are right in this: people are borne bad, selfish and intent on their own advancement to the detriment of others. It is sometimes called original sin or having a sinful nature. Atheists think they can get rid of God and keep high moral standards but their own nature will prevent any such thing happening.

            • Kodie

              So all you have to do is prove god exists, your god, the one who tells you to tell the rest of us how we have to live. We are able to reason the god of the bible does not exist, although a god or several gods in a committee do exist, but that’s improbable and unproven. People do invent their own morality – it’s just that sometimes they pile in their neuroses and superstitions about human behavior, “ought-to’s” and such, and attribute it to a fairy tale told by an imaginary super-being that has yet to be proved to exist. If you would just admit you believe things because you want them to be true, or prove god actually exists, we’d be onto something here. But instead, you go “people are borne [sic] bad, selfish and intent on their own advancement” – no, they are born into a society that is already that way and they learn to be so. Somehow, it hasn’t killed the species. Christians are often the worst of the offenders, TRUE Christians. You haven’t either answered why you deny the god of other Christians, and why what they have to tell you about how to live your life is horseshit, and beyond that, people who believe in other gods, why you deny that those gods are valid or true, how you can easily dismiss all the other gods but your god. You haven’t asked them into your life, you haven’t prayed to find out – you already know what you want to know, live how you think you’re supposed to live, and attribute your preferences to the god who agrees with you, because you invented him to suit yourself. Or, prove he exists.

            • Kodie

              Correction:

              although a god or several gods in a committee MAY exist, but that’s improbable and unproven.

            • Troutbane

              >>>Take a look at Communist Russia or revolutionary France if you want to see a society where God is denied. Great advertisements for the notion that people can invent their own superior “morality”.>>

              Take a look at the rule of Emperor Theosidius I, the Saxon Wars of Charlemagne, the Spanish Inquisition, the rule of Mary I of England, the Matanzas River massacre, the Salem Witch Trials, the Goa Inquisition in India, Nazi Germany, or Franco’s Spain if you want to see societies where God is approved. Great advertisements for the notion that people can follow Gods superior “morality”.

              See there, fixed it for ya.

        • Custador

          You kind of answered your own question. Evolution is proven, inarguable, observed, recorded and understood FACT. And yet you claim that those of us who accept it believe in a fairy tale (compared to your creation myth, lolwut?!). You claim you’re not trying to kill is, but what people like you ARE trying to do is to create a generation of ignorant, intellectually stunted emotional retards. And the thing is, you see, it’s entirely possible that they will try to kill us. Worst case, admittedly – But best case is that they so completely stunt scientific development that many people die who don’t need to. Fun fact, do you know what traditionally kills progressive, advanced civilisations? People who are enabled by their own civilisations progressiveness and advances to have religious freedom, who then use their religious freedom to decry progressiveness as the route of all evil. Congrats, you are part of the problem.

          • The Top Geezer

            Evolution has never been proven as fact. I challenge you to give a single example of proven evolution. I have heard atheists claim this but never heard an example that could not be argued. Neither do I wish to stunt anyone’s intellectual development. Your last three sentences are plain weird. Civilisations are never brought down by religious permissiveness since all major religions would have a moral code. They are sometimes corrupted by a collapse of morality where the elite become morally corrupt in a variety of ways but that has nothing to do wiith religion. It is more likely they would collapse because of famine caused by crop failure or salinisation of the water supply. No civilisation has ever collapsed by individuals treating their neighbours as themselves.

            • Kodie

              What makes you think atheists don’t behave morally? Moral “codes” don’t do anything. If you deny that evolution is proven, you have been absorbing too much Ken Ham or Ray Comfort, and are someone who is dull of brain and easily convinced by unscientific literature disguised as science.

            • The Top Geezer

              Kodie,
              I have no desire to tell you how you should live. There are a million and one things you can do that I have probably never even heard of. Neither do I deny the God of other Christians. The Christian God has filled me with His Holy Spirit. People are borne bad – it is not society’s fault, it is the choices that people make with their fallen nature that cause the problems. If the idea that we are simply reasoning animals is endorsed then those choices will just get worse. Having said that of course I do not have all truth. Neither can I prove God to you any more than you can prove he doesn’t exist. That is the way he made it. Have a good life.

            • UrsaMinor

              I can’t help but notice that you completely ignored the question of how you know that there is only one god, and that he is the god of the Christian Bible.

            • Kodie

              It’s a story people made up to describe why things are the way they already were. We’re not “fallen,” we’re humans, we’re not sinful, we don’t need salvation any more than a deer or a flea needs salvation. Why do you believe something, you still haven’t proved that it’s true and especially out of all the ways to “follow” Christ, why you have no doubt you’re one of the ones doing it the right way? Just haven’t answered any questions yet at all!

            • Troutbane
            • UrsaMinor

              @troutbane: Not a bad link, but it never addresses for the layman how science defines evolution. Evolution is the change in gene frequencies in a population over time. And that is all. Every creationist I’ve ever debated who rejects evolution has actually been rejecting some other hypothesis of their own devising; a straw man, in other words. They claim that there is no evidence for evolution, and then proceed to disprove something entirely different.

              Anyway, I’ve personally witnessed the change of gene frequencies in a population over time in the laboratory, and there is ample data in the literature available online for anybody who is interested to look up. They may repeat the experiments or observations themselves if they are skeptical. Anyone who is skeptical but not sufficiently motivated to gather his own data has no basis for dismissing other people’s data.

            • Kodie

              But a dog and and and a… llama doesn’t make a chicken! Blah blah blah micro-evolution. Monkeys are covered in hair but I am also covered with hair. I don’t see any resemblance at all!

            • Custador

              I’m out. Denying the governing theory of biology is exactly the same as claiming the Earth is flat, gravity is “Intelligent Falling” and mental illness is really demonic posession. Believing your last post makes you wilfully ignorant. Benefitting from medical science while denying the theory that makes most of it possible makes you a complete prick. Debating you is beneath the dignity of an intelligent, educated person. So I won’t. Bye.

            • UrsaMinor

              Foolish Custador! One of these days, some theist is actually going to address the question of how they know that there is a god, why it happens to be their god in particular, and how they know what it wants. And won’t you be sorry if you miss it!

          • Andrew

            You are misinformed macro evolution has never been observed, it has never been proven and it remains a hypothesis. Furthermore no method has ever been demonstrated that can create matter and energy out of nothing and turn frogs into princes. I will leave you with your fairy tale delusions and material mysticism.

            • Custador

              Oh look! Speciation happening in a lab in testable, repeated, closely observed and recorded conditions! Why, but that means you’re full of shit, doesn’t it?

              1) My biology education is very obviously infinitely superior to yours
              2) You’re completely wrong about evolution and you’re spreading your ignorance with the moronic “micro” vs. “macro” dumbfuckery
              3) You’re confounding physics with biology and you don’t even get why that makes you a retard
              4) If you’re stupid enough to come back and troll again, I’ll cheerfully spank any actual argument you can make
              5) Please do feel free to take your ignorance and credulousness and fuck off

        • Sunny Day

          It’s so cute when silly theists call us animals like it’s supposed to be some kind of insult instead of demonstrating the shallowness of their thoughts.

          • wyclif

            It’s also *adorable* when kiddie atheists use facile “deficient in intelligence” bromides to attempt to denigrate the faith of the very men and women who created Western civilisation—the same culture whose liberties and protections they enjoy, and the one that allows them to lob cute, ineffectual water balloons at religious adherents. What great culture has atheism produced? What body of literature, science, theology, botany, or poetry?

            It would probably be more becoming for you to give up now, because the Christian faith has survived for 2000 years. New atheists can hand-wave as much as they wish, but they have failed in their grand pogrom.

            • Yoav

              1.Why would you separate Botany and Science, last time I checked botany was still a subset of science.

              2. While religious people have historically contributed to science religion as an institution was and still is a hindrance for scientific advances since it would always put dogma ahead of reality, you may have heard of this Galileo dude for example.

              3. Atheism doesn’t create literature and poetry and neither does Christianity,there are atheist writers and poets just as there are religious writers and poets.
              4. Theology is like masturbation only not enjoyable, why the fuck would anyone in their right mind would waste time on it.
              5. Judaism, not to mention Hinduism, have been around a lot longer then Christianity, that doesn’t make them any less bullshit then believing in a magic zombie who sacrificed himself to himself so he could forgive people for falling into the trap he set up for them.
              6. Pointing out your beliefs are not supported by anything remotely resembling evidence and are patently ridiculous is not the same as a mob riding into your town for a murder and rape rampage and is therefore nothing like a pogrom, grand or not.

            • Nox

              Every expansion of liberty in western civilization has been violently opposed by the christian church.

              That’s why when you wanted a word to illustrate what you perceive to be atheists’ attempt to eliminate the religious freedom of christians, you were easily able to find such a word in christian history. Historically, “pogroms” usually refers to the multiple times christian churches have whipped up their congregations into a jew hating frenzy and led their flock to slaughter jewish (sometimes muslim or gypsy, but usually jewish) villages.

              When we eliminate christianity it won’t be with the horrific violence that christianity has always used to eliminate other religions. There will be no pogroms. No crusades. No rack. No grand inquisitor. No priests with red hot pokers. No tying children to a stick and setting them on fire for having the wrong beliefs.

              The fact that christians have always resorted to torture and murder might be coloring your impression of what atheists are trying to do here.

              There is no pogrom being carried out by atheists and none planned for the future. Since our beliefs can be defended by logic we’ll never need to resort to the barbaric methods of belief defense that have been the first resort of christians.

              We are only going to tell your children how much you have lied to them, and provide them a chance to decide for themselves. We’re not going to burn your beliefs out of existence. We’re going to help you make them irrelevant. Giving christians a choice about their beliefs is all that is needed to destroy christianity.

              The christian faith is not nearly as strong as you seem to think. It has survived 2,000 years (although no believer today believes the same version of christianity which was universal for several hundred years), but over 1,600 years of that when it had the benefit of being mandatory belief in most christian nations.

              Kind of hollow bragging about how many people have chosen your faith in a time and place where anyone not choosing your faith would be killed for it.

              Most christians who’ve ever called themselves that were only christian because the church forced them to be. The church is rapidly losing power and will find it harder to force people to submit to their imaginary authority. That is why they currently telling you to be afraid of persecution by atheists (even though the best example you could think to use specifically invokes christians persecuting people for not being christian), and why you think criticism of unwarranted beliefs is a pogrom.

            • kessy_athena

              The faith of the very men and women who created Western civilization? That would not be Christianity. It wasn’t Christians who invented writing. It wasn’t Christians who invented agriculture or discovered fire or invented the wheel. It wasn’t Christians who learned how to work iron and bronze. It wasn’t Christians who made the first paper or wrote the first poem or sang the first song or made the first musical instrument. It wasn’t Christians who built the Seven Wonders of the World. (Although it was Christians who destroyed several of them.) It wasn’t Christians who invented concrete or mastered the arch or linked the known world with paved roads. It wasn’t Christians who invented democracy or set down the first code of laws or founded the first republic or wrote the first constitution.

              There’s a reason that the era when Christianity established its stranglehold on Western society was called the Dark Ages. There’s a reason that Western civilization didn’t begin to advance again and regain the achievements of the Classical world until the power of the christian church began to recede.

  • Matt

    Quoting the Top Geezer:

    “That is what they wish to assert because if that is the case they are not answerable to anyone but themselves.”

    To the contrary, we are all answerable to EACH OTHER to the extent that we live in a rational society. Unless that society descends down the path of religious dogma, when all manner of horrors become not only possible but sanctioned in the name of ‘God’.

  • Nate

    This is actually an Ayaan Hirsi Ali quote (it was just anthologized in The Portable Atheist):

    “The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”

  • Curly

    Talk about much ado about nothing. Socrates tells us that the more we really get to know, the more we realize how little we know. That’s wisdom. Harvard theologian Paul Tillich warned that to argue for the existence of God is no less blasphemous than to argue against. We’re not dealing with a Person but Being itself, of which we’re a constituent part – a mostly unconscious part if ever so slowly rousing. My complaint about Hitch is the same one I have for the tub thumpers: He who knows least about it will speak loudest. Atheists are no less dills than the god botherers, making wild assertions about things they can know nothing about. The only way to come clean is to admit agnosticism, and I think Hitch went that far towards the end.

    • shipsternsbluff

      actually we know more about religion than the relgious….fact

  • Curly

    The assertion somewhere above (by one of the many here who don’t know Hitchins very well) that he didn’t say we were a creation of a higher (alien) is wrong. And his quote is better than the Top-20 listed above.

    “My 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.” – Christopher Hitchins

    It’s by such quips that Hitchins revealed his capacity for deep, penetrating insight.

  • Curly

    The first line of my post above should read thus:
    “The assertion somewhere above (by one of the many here who don’t know Hitchins very well) that he didn’t say we were a creation of a higher (alien) intelligence is wrong. And his quote saying so is better than the Top-20 listed above.”

    I wouldn’t accuse anyone here of sloppy English because of the cantankerous nature of this form of data entry.

  • Doug

    Some of these quotes from ‘The Portable Atheist’ aren’t from Hitchens himself…The second one listed I know for sure is by Ayaan Hirsi Ali from his writing, ‘How (and Why) I Became An Infidel’. It was in the Portable Atheist.

  • Curly

    The great German Shakespeare, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, said roughly the same thing back in 1809. Goethe’s words were: “We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” I’m sure Erich Fromm would have at least thought that if not actually expressed it publicly. As would Christopher Lasch and any number of intelligent, sensitive people. I thought of it
    myself long before I’d read any of these people. My reasoning was simple. The rest of the cosmos can’t possibly be populated with the same sort of beings or it would have gone up in smoke long ago in a second big bang.

  • James tebbutt

    Im totally hitched up to hitchens.

  • http://none.com Scott Free

    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur

    I’m a huge Hitch fan, and I think its fair to say that plagiarism would be something that he would disavow immediately. Your first quote is a common latin phrase used for a few hundred (or more) years. He restated it, but didn’t originate it.

  • slim

    Religious co·ma: state of prolonged unconsciousness, including a lack of response to stimuli from which it is impossible to rouse a person

  • UnderINK

    The cognitive dissonance quote is from his book, but not his quote. He was quoting someone else. That’s misleading.

  • Gregory A. Clark

    Before posting my own comment here, I checked earlier comments and noticed that others have already made the same general point. I’ll post it nonetheless.


    I very much like your collection of Hitchens’ quotes overall.

    However, your second quote (“The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism….) was not written by Hitchens. It was written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It is the concluding paragraph of her chapter, “How (and Why I Became an Infidel,” which appears in Hitchens’ book, “The Portable Atheist.”

    Fittingly, it is also the concluding chapter and paragraph of the book.

  • Ben

    One of my favorite Hitch quotes, that maybe didn’t originate from him, but he used quite often: “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be just as easily dismissed without evidence.” It pretty much puts the Kaibosh on any Theist argument that demands you accept their paradigm before they’ve even made any points.
    As for the Fundamentalists that can’t be “broken” from their faith and claim that Hitchen’s has only strengthened their faith. I understand that 90% of all believers with adult level educations seem to operate purely on “Indignation”, but that is really of no use. It’s just as decent to admit you’ve wasted a lifetime in a fantasy of dread, etc. and move forward. It is unfortunate that ancient Jewish spells are so potent that it is nearly irreversible.

  • Marty

    Didn’t Hitch massively support Bush/Cheney in their destruction of Iraq and the deaths of 1000′s of people? He had something in common with the US religious far right after all.

    • shipsternsbluff

      actually he supported the removal of saddam hussein…..because he was a journalist over there for years, he saw what was really going on….it also had nothing to do with WMD’s

      • wyclif

        Hitchens’ unflagging support of the Iraq War and additional Bush/Cheney neocon warmongering (including WMD’s—come now, that little evasion is easily dismissed, considering his written support of the same) should be cause to discount his ability to discern reality.

  • carlos

    Religious faith is not properly a mental disorder or illness. Most religious people use reason instead of dogmatism most of their lives, but do not accept it. What religious faith produces is some kind of induced irrationality syndrome that is highly contagious at an early age or at marginated groups and it is extremely difficult to eradicate. The indoctrinated ones that are infected with a faith that permits them to believe in fantasies and supernatural stuff, could correctly (although, not conveniently) be classified as rationally retarded. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  • carlos

    Compared to the exercising that the mind experiences with the reasoning on the continuing pursuit of the truth, dogmas and religious certitude offers a very limited option to work and develop the mind. This serves to explain the dysfunctional process of thinking of the people that try to use their faith to resolve any situation in real life. It is not properly a disorder or illness, most religious people use reason most of the time to guide their lives although they won´t accept it. What religious faith produces is some kind of induced irrationality syndrome, highly contagious on early ages and marginal groups that is extremely hard to eradicate. The indoctrinated infected with a faith that permits them to believe in fantasies and supernatural stuff, could easily and correctly (although, not conveniently) be classified as rationally retarded. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  • alex spaulding

    The first quote is not from Hitchens, it is from Ayaan Hirsi Ali, she wrote in her book Infidel. A part of her book was written in The Portable Atheist, which Hitch wrote an introduction for.

  • Glenda

    Wow! So little to say in so many words. I am so glad all of this is not so complicated for me. I will keep my simple faith. Thank you! This thread gives me a headache.

  • ron depalma

    a message to the atheist- what have you contributed to society? you are men most miserable! your selfish ambitions along with your perverted thinking leaves you both without purpose or hope. you speak of things that are pure speculation. professing yourselves to be wise you have become fools. even a child or as you would like to put it, the ignorant void of understanding, can see the comedy and predictability of your “intellect”. where are your great heroes? dead and forgotten. the truth of God can never be erased by any man’s beliefs. As God asked Job, tell me if you can what the measurements of the foundations of the world? You who are weak, vulnerable, fallible, mortal, neither giving yourself life or capable of keeping it are a sorry attempt at erasing God almighty! only the fool says in his heart there is no God- by your own admission you are fools!

    • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.r.cross.9 Kevin R. Cross

      “Speculation” – that what is real, is real? That what we see, feel hear and taste is that which is? Rather than a nebulous, imagination driven fantasy that can not be touched, sensed, considered?
      Our heroes may be dead, but by your own words, they are not forgotten. And Dawkins, Meyers, et al. are still very much alive. And their words live on, and will continue to. Wheras the writers of your Bible are naught but dust on the wind, subsumed into political divisions not of their choice and made to mouth speeches inconsistant with anything they might have known.
      God can be erased, because God was made by man. A great lie designed only to force the will of one upon many.
      In your book it says that the fool says in his heart that there is no god. That is an accidental truth – for the fool, unbound by the stupidity of the masses and the inanity of custom, is sometimes the only one who can see the truth.

      • ron depalma

        funny, you only believe what you can see? every see the wind? I guess that doesn’t exist either. the bible is the most time tested and proven book of all time both historically and prophetically. your so called father’s teachings were not, nor are original to say the least. how ridiculous to quote from a plagarist. perhaps you can prove the bible incorrect?- oh yea i forgot you haven’t read it- and if you have you read it you read it with such a bias as not to see the truth dripping from its pages. you want tangible truth? you want what is real? look at my life. without hope, peace or purpose i gave my life to Jesus and now i lived a life full of peace purpose and hope. i am effectively helping my fellow man by working and serving them- not talking about ideas that lead people into a greater sense of uselessness and depression. how could one man who never traveled more than 200 miles from where he was born infect the world as we know it to day? Jesus has infected the whole world as one man for centuries! go around the world and ask if anyone knows your fathers?- truth be told no one! how many books do they have in circulation? what a joke. your theory wouldn’t pass the first test in the scientific method! with over 1 billion copies in circulation today the bible has proven to be a hoax? even giving people the courage to live and die for such a fairy tale? your fathers have had no such testimony! why don’t you humble yourself and seek the truth with an open mind? perhaps it is not i that is in fear but you. trust God and you will see what is real. you are believing the lie and i am experiencing the truth.

        • Yoav

          every see the wind? I guess that doesn’t exist either.

          Unlike your god we can easily feel, measure and see the effects of the wind.

          look at my life. without hope, peace or purpose i gave my life to Jesus and now i lived a life full of peace purpose and hope.

          Convincing people they’re worthless without it is the worst thing the idea of god inflicted on humanity, even if you ignore the billions who were killed in war fought over who’s imaginary friend is the coolest that by itself would make getting rid of religion worthwhile.

          with over 1 billion copies in circulation today the bible has proven to be a hoax?

          kim Kardashian is also very popular, it doesn’t mean she have anything worth listening to.

          even giving people the courage to live and die for such a fairy tale?

          Do you apply the same “logic” to the 9/11 hijackers as well?

          • ron depalma

            outstanding defense! your wisdom is unparalleled! how do you measure wind? oh yea an instrument- that would be me. the effect you can see and feel- same with me. same evidence is in creation itself- covered with the finger prints of God. science can only attempt to see how what God made is and how it works. beyond impressive, in fact off the charts when it comes to reason, Kim compared to Jesus? What nursery school did you graduate from. in a couple of years no one will ever remember her name. ever hear of steve reeves? what book even competes with the bible? thats right none! every year the #1 best seller of any and all categories combined! take that to the bank!

            • shipsternsbluff

              the church does take it to the bank!….and pays no taxes….this charade needs to stop now ….the bible: sheep herders learning to read and write….and not very well

        • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.r.cross.9 Kevin R. Cross

          I believe what I can sense, or with the tools of man, perceive – to break that into only vision is to miss far too much, and I said as much – pay attention.
          I don’t know who you think my father was. All I will say is that he was a good man, and, unlike myself, at the core a believer, though he had no use for established churches.
          Your book, however, is not at all what you say it is. Historical? In no way at all. It is lie after lie compounded upon by lies – there was no flood, no tower; never were the Jews captive in Egypt, and the Romans did not use that method in their censuses. I don’t need to prove the Bible wrong – history and archaeology have already done a far finer job than I ever could.
          And such arrogance you have! You assume I have never read your book? Four or five times, cover to cover. I have also read the Q’uran, the Bagavad-Gita, the Tao Te Ching – can you say the same? I read with an open mind as a seeker of truth – and found none.
          Your life was without hope, peace or purpose? Then you made it so. I live a happy life, my purpose is my own, and I am at peace – by my choice, and without any worthless gods to get in the way.
          A billion copies? A lie remains a lie even if repeated unto the end of ages. And people find the strength to live or die in a thousand thousand things, most of them wrong, but important to them nonetheless. I don’t doubt your faith – but do understand, faith has no relationship to truth. I hold to no faith, and am the stronger for it.

          • ron depalma

            dead sea scrolls mean anything to you? i too hate organized religion- man has manipulated it for thousands of years. the bible was written over a period of 1500 years by many different men inspired by the Holy Spirit from different walks of life stating the same message- man is born and remains in a total state of depravity without God, his heart is desperately wicked and his conscience seared only to be remedied by the new covenant that God makes with man on an individual basis, every man does what is right in his own eyes but he will stand before God to be judged by him whether he believes it or not, there is sin and every man will pay with it by his own blood or excepting the sacrifice of Jesus- not of works but purely the grace of God, there is a heaven and there is a hell and you and i condemn ourselves by what we say and do- God does not condemn us- we are no man’s judge- that’s Gods job and we have been given nature to see, hear, feel, smell and taste the handy work of God. i am neither mocking nor judging you- i am merely exposing the lie which governs the hearts of those who do not have an intimate relationship with the creator, the lies that once governed my heart.

        • shipsternsbluff

          wow! i hope you get professional help very soon….and i hope you don’t have children….indoctrinating your children with your false beliefs is child abuse….

          • ron depalma

            2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

            2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    • wes334123

      Ron,
      Well said. The nagging void which everyone of these souls is trying to fill is true purpose. The believer is encouraged by God to use not only his mind, but his body and spirit. No one will gain life until they lose it, it is truly sad to watch so many hold onto it with a grip that is having its fingers pulled away by the chaos of the thinking of folks like Hitchens.
      Titus 3:5

    • shipsternsbluff

      i stopped believing in fairytales when i was 9….i see you haven’t….you don’t need god to be good….what have we contributed to society? more than any religious person ever has or will!….we don’t pray for stuff to happen…we take action….what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence…..your opinion is invalid….provide a shred of proof for any god….till then, it doesn’t exist….end of story

  • george aranda

    God did not create man at his image….it was man who create a God at his image…..has you notice black people preach to black figures, Asian preach to Asian figures, and on, and on

  • wyclif

    Sadly, Hitchens was not only a booze-swilling Trotskyite, but completely misguided and utterly wrong on almost every subject he touched. The Iraq War, Bill Clinton, women, Christianity—reason could not be permitted to get in the way of his desire to be the court contrarian of the lickspittle scribes and two-bit secularist charlatans.

    David Bentley Hart’s magnificent “Atheist Delusions” exposed Hitchens’ hypocrisy to the light of day, and better yet, used the same literary flourishes to explode all of his favourite tropes and timeworn schtick.

  • Malechi

    We have no idea what happens after death. When it comes to the afterlife, I am purely agnostic for we have no evidence for or against an afterlife. When it comes to the idea of a god, I am an agnostic atheist, because I do not think there is a god, but I am open minded towards any belief with evidence for it. I think it is very much possible for there to be an afterlife, and I suppose it is still possible that a supreme being created this universe and maybe an endless amount of others. If a supreme being so happened to make this universe, I think he is a scientist. He built our universe on the laws of nature and sciences, so it is possible the being would be a scientist. I think he would love science, and the products of science. I think he would be amazed by any type of intelligent life gaining intelligence. I think the being would be amazed also if that intelligent life, like us, started to figure out how the universe works micro and macro. I would honestly love to be a supreme being like that…


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