Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Commentary on and links to religion or atheism in the media
Ygern
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Re: Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Post by Ygern » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:42 pm

An interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/05/h ... hy-not-me/

They talk about prayer, reconciling with God and deathbed conversions.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:49 pm

He seems quite sure that he is going to die. There is noone to replace him and I can't imagine anyone ever could. I've never seen anyone debate the way he does. I've never mourned a celebrity in my life but without Hitchens I'll certainly feel like something is missing from the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgCq2T-v-Mo
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
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Re: Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Post by smellyoldgit » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:35 pm

I suspect the ol' geezer won't be around for much longer - but I hope I'm badly wrong - as I usualy am!
No prayers will be said and much scotch will be imbibed in his honour.
We can also be sure that any reports of a deathbed conversion will be a load of bollocks!
Dev
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Re: Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Post by Dev » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:14 pm

He has brought up that switchboard moment in numerous conversations where his mother had a last ditch moment before her suicide to contact him but never got through. He seems so much less confident and more thoughtful in his words when discussing this.

I think this had big impact on his perception of uncertainty. Which is greatly reflected in his world view.

I'm going out for a smoke, I feel fucking awful about it now.
Ygern
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Re: Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Post by Ygern » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:27 am

Things that have struck me the most about him in his most recent interviews and personal essays:

He is not feeling sorry for himself or trying to avoid the fact that his smoking and possibly drinking are the most likely cause of this.
He is remarkably gracious about the many prayers being said on his behalf, noting with a slightly mischievous glint that Sept 20th is Pray for Christopher Hitchens day.
He did remark rather dryly that he won't dissuade anyone from praying, but only if it makes them feel better.
He absolutely refutes that there will be any deathbed conversions, at least not if he is still in control of his own mind.

I'm struck by his quiet dignity in handling what must be a horror for his family and him. I'm also quite amazed at his patience with those unctuously announcing that they are praying for his conversion or at least that his soul is saved.

The comments I've seen from believers in response to his news range from the tediously inane to the grossly insulting; and I can't help but notice that there is an imbalance between what is acceptable or even condoned behaviour from a Christian and what would be regarded as aggressive, badgering and offensive behaviour from an atheist. Imagine an atheist taxing a Christian on hearing that he was dying to renounce Jesus and start imagining that there was no God or afterlife. Or that you hoped he would be giving up on his religion before the end so that he would die a death free from delusion. It wouldn't happen, no-one would be so crude or thoughtless. And yet the converse is not true. Atheists are expected to smile tolerantly and patiently and even be happy to hear Christians falling over themselves to announce prayers for salvation or conversion.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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Dev
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Re: Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Post by Dev » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:34 am

Ygern wrote:Atheists are expected to smile tolerantly and patiently and even be happy to hear Christians falling over themselves to announce prayers for salvation or conversion.
Astute observation, there is an imbalance of petty point scoring to be held against the religious in such times. Atheists are still seen as outliers who've lost their way.

Reminds me of a friend who made an offhand comment on my atheism "I bet you feel silly at funerals".
Ygern
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Re: Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Post by Ygern » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:24 am

It goes beyond their need to score points off someone else's suffering (even the well-intentioned points). It's about the fact that their right to witness/pray/preach seems to trump the other person's right to be given some space at a difficult time.

I actually find a lot of religious prattle aimed at the suffering or bereaved to be invasive and insensitive; and yet they fully expect non-believers to be gratified or at very least respectful about it. I don't think they have ever considered their own response were the position reversed.

"I bet you feel silly at funerals".
Breathtakingly ignorant. Funerals have always been about those left behind and how they deal with losing someone that was important to them. Religious ceremonies have been cobbled onto them in various forms over millennia, but essentially funerals are for the living who need to say goodbye.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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benroe
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Re: Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Post by benroe » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:02 pm

My mothers parents were both card carrying humanists and made arrangements for non religious funerals long before they died, my grandfather promised my grandmother that he would look after her when she became senile , this he did dying 4 days after she did aged 90. He was adamant that his wishes were carried out right to the end, and we made sure they were.
My parents both asked for non-religious funerals, my fathers only fear was that he would die alone, he didn't, my mother and his 6 children were all there, my mothers only fear was she wouldn't get to say goodbye to everyone and i'll never forget the look of joy and relief on her face when i (the last) arrived , she died 2 hours later.
Neither of my parents mentioned religion or god on their death beds, I have never had a moments spirituality in my life and have made provision for my funeral a simple cremation and a tree planting , my children have promised to carry out my wishes.
I simply cant fathom how anybody could believe that I could suddenly become deluded. Hitch is one of us and always will be!
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Ygern
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Re: Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Post by Ygern » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:12 pm

New interview with Charlie Rose http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11168

It's quite a nice one, witty and poignant.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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ctr
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Re: Anybody know what's happened to the Hitch?

Post by ctr » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:07 am

Yes a really nice interview.

Thanks for posting.
Each of us is here on earth for a reason, and each of us has a special mission to carry out - Maria Shriver
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