Guys, let's keep this thread as it was intended– a thread about what Hitch meant to people. That doesn't mean that we can't say that some of the things that he said and wrote were wrong in our personal view. But let's keep it free of discussions about where Hitch is, in heaven or in hell, or why indeed an atheist would feel sorrow at the loss of another human being (As well as free of replies to those kinds of posts because they will be removed). Those questions can obviously be hashed out elsewhere in the forum of course!
What Christopher Hitchens meant to me cannot really be described in words. He was such an amazing human being and I cannot believe he is really gone. Over the past few months he had even exchanged emails me with me on a couple of occasions. He was truly a hero.
Christopher Hitchens was a man of courage and honor. Hitch always spoke his mind and took the fight to religious bigotry and was unapologetic about it. In addition, he was not a cultural relativist or an Islamic apologist like is the case with many atheists. He called Islamic ideology for what it truly was: totalitarianism and oppression. In addition, he was a great friend for freedom and democracy and although he was a leftist all his life, he stood and supported the Iraqi people for their quest for freedom - particularly the great Kurdish people. And as an Iranian, he was a great friend of the Iranian people and it is a shame that he was not able to see a free Iran in his lifetime. Most importantly: he was genuine and one of the most insightful and intelligent human beings I have ever heard whom possessed great insight and a realistic foresight of world problems.
I will write more on him later but he was truly a hero of mine and I don't have any other heroes. He was someone that inspired me in ways that cannot be expressed. For the rest of my life, I will try to live with his ideals and inspiration as much as I can. To be honest, right now has become one of the gloomiest and darkest days, and my heart feels empty.
i hate to say this but i never really knew the man seeing as i'm still relatively new at being an atheist. but i have seen videos of him and he was like a master boxer in the ring - always had something to say that resulted in a big ZING! at the very least. plus i wanted to share something from the fellows at cyanide and happiness.
I admired him very much. His prose was, and is, sublimely enthralling. It seems to me that he possessed, at the same time, a magnificent ego and a charming tendency toward self-deprecation. I am grateful that atheism had such a tenacious champion, and that he allowed us the pleasure of reading and hearing his thoughts. I think that what I liked best about him, from my poor vantage point, is that he was the same brilliant, opinionated, fiercely argumentative, unapologetically rational man (with good taste in Scotch) to the end.
I'll have a glass of Mr. Walker's amber restorative for him, to be sure.
How do you put into words the depth of someone as great as Hitchens. He was truly a master of language and wit and the world is a darker place without him. He has left behind and intellectual legacy so profound that it will transcend the ages. With words that will continue to inspire and set free the minds of people lucky enough to pick up his books or watch his many debates. In a sense he has reached a form of immortality, the only immortality anyone can achieve.
In my eyes, Christopher Hitchens was a flawed hero. I cheered him on for having the courage to swim against the tide and call out the iconic Mother Teresa for the Catholic proselytizer she was. On the other hand, I was saddened by his support for war criminal, George Bush, and the inhumane Iraq War. It kind of tarnished his image as a humanist, I thought.
But he was a GREAT rhetorician and a passionate, no-holds-barred atheist, which cements him overall as a hero in my mind. I can only hope (NOT pray) that I will face death as courageously as he did.
What you see as flawed I see as virtue. The great Christopher Hitchens was a great supporter of human rights, freedom, and self-determination; particularly of the great Kurdish people who suffered so long under the brutal tyranny and terror of Saddam Hussein. More importantly, he demonstrated that he uses his own logic and prowess rather than being purely an ideologue of the left or the right. While he was to the left, he decided on issues on their own merits and rationality.
I learned of his death last night just as I was getting ready to go to bed. Then found myself unable to sleep. Although I never met him, I had read much of what he had written and felt, in some small way, that I sort of knew him. His clarity of thought and remarkbale wit helped me immensely in developing and articulating my own views.
In a sense, we atheists possibly mourn death more than others, as we know there is nothing else: the world has lost a great thinker and there is no heaven in which to reap his reward. We are justifiably angered and saddened at his loss, comforted only by the knowledge that, due in great part to his influence, he has left us this legacy: a generation of free thinkers unbound by the shackles of religious dogma committed to continue the fight against theist ignorance and tyranny.
Beautifully put and I agree with you 100%. We do prob. mourn more than believers for the reasons you cited.
"The one word that comes to mind when I think of my brother is ‘courage’. By this I don’t mean the lack of fear which some people have, which enables them to do very dangerous or frightening things because they have no idea what it is to be afraid. I mean a courage which overcomes real fear, while actually experiencing it."- Peter Hitchens..this says it all..there will be no another Hitch!!
...slightly more composed now. spent the morning crying and the afternoon defending Hitch from bigots and ...well you know. Hitch was a one-off like all of us.He was egalitarian.He wasn't afraid to abuse and took abuse as a compliment .He could tell people to fuck off and mean it.Just gonna listen to Dylan's Idiot wind and grieve...