The Course of Reason

Goodbye, Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011

December 16, 2011

All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers. 

-Henry David Thoreau

I remember the first time that I saw Christopher Hitchens. He was on Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, drinking and talking about how Mother Teresa promoted suffering among the people that she was supposed to help. I was new to atheism and skepticism, and I didn’t know much, but I thought Hitchens was awesome.

Christopher Hitchens had the reputation for being harsh, but that’s not really what he was. To me, he was a thoughtful person who could find beauty and meaning in life and literature, but he had no regard for fantasies of the supernatural or things that kept us from experiencing life and gaining knowledge. Sure, the “Hitchslap” became his signature move, and it sounds painful, but it was only painful because he was unafraid of the truth. He was right about so many things, and he had the evidence and the logic. He knew that reality was on his side.

So, I don’t have anything else to add, except to ask that we all take a minute to give thanks for what time we do have with each other to find beauty, to know the world, and to spread reason.

Here are some pieces to showcase the work and life of Christopher Hitchens:

Hitchens vs. Hitchens Debate with CFI Michigan

Fighting the Faith – USA from the Texas Freethought Convention

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011 in Vanity Fair

Dawkins and Hitchens Interview



About the Author: Dren Asselmeier

Dren Asselmeier's photo

Dren Asselmeier does student outreach as a campus organizer at the Center for Inquiry. She got her start as an organizer while interning at Center for Inquiry–Michigan in 2008. She stayed until 2010 as a volunteer campus coordinator, and was CFI–Michigan Freethinker of the Year in 2009, as well as president of Center for Inquiry–Grand Valley State University. Dren has a B.A. in English from Grand Valley State University. She is the president of Buffalo Area Non-Profit Professionals, an event volunteer at Buffalo Subversive Theatre, and a contributor to the Buffalo Storyteller Hour. 




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