Christopher Hitchens
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1969


in 1969

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1979

with
in 1979

Christopher Hitchens, James Fenton, and Martin Amis at Sacré-Coeur

at: (
48.85,2.35
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Other Events



"A faction willing to take the risks of making war on the ossified status quo in the Middle East can be described as many things but not as conservative."


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"A lot of people because of my contempt for the false consolations of religion think of me as a symbolic public opponent of that in extremis. And sometimes that makes me feel a bit alarmed to be the repository of other peoples hope."


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"A good day is one where I can not just read a book but write a review of it. Maybe today Ill be able to do that. I get for some reason somewhat stronger when the sun starts to go down. Dusk is a good time for me. Im crepuscular."


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"If you look at any Muslim society and you make a scale of how developed they are and how successful the economy is its a straight line. It depends on how much they emancipate their women."


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"And when I was young my family was perfectly nice. I write a lot about it as you noticed. But it was rather limited. I think I dont think anyone in my family would really feel Id done them an injustice by saying that. We didnt see many people. There were many books. It was as if I wanted to get away from home."


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"Of course I do everything for money."


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"I dont think the war in Afghanistan was ruthlessly enough waged."


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"In the grip of a neurological disorder I am fast losing control of words even as my relationship with the world has been reduced to them."


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"The advice Ive been giving to people all my life - that you may not be interested in the dialectic but the dialectic is interested in you you cant give up politics it wont give you up - was the advice I should have been taking myself."


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"High moral character is not a precondition for great moral accomplishments."


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"To terrify children with the image of hell... to consider women an inferior creation. Is that good for the world?"


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"When I meet people who say - which they do all of the time - I must just tell you my great aunt had cancer of the elbow and the doctors gave her 10 seconds to live but last I heard she was climbing Mount Everest and so forth I switch off quite early."


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"Ronald Reagan said that he sought a Star Wars defense only in order to share the technology with the tyrants of the U.S.S.R."


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"Its surprising to me how many of my friends send Christmas cards or holiday cards including my atheist and secular friends."


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"I dont think Romney is wacky at all but religion makes intelligent people say and do wacky things believe and affirm crazy things. Left on his own Romney would never have said something like the Garden Of Eden was in Missouri and will be again."


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"Solidarity is an attitude of resistance I suppose or it should be."


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"People until I was 60 would always say they thought I looked younger which I think without flattering myself I did but I think I certainly have as George Orwell says people do after a certain age the face they deserve."


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"I dont think its possible to have a sense of tragedy without having a sense of humor."


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"I dont envy or much respect people who are completely politicised."


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"For most of my life I let women do the driving and was happy to let them."


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"Religion is part of the human make-up. Its also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature the texts our first attempt at cosmology making sense of where we are in the universe our first attempt at health care believing in faith healing our first attempt at philosophy."


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"Well Im in my 60s now. I finally look it I think. People until I was 60 would always say they thought I looked younger which I think without flattering myself I did but I think I certainly have as George Orwell says people do after a certain age the face they deserve."


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"Religion is not going to come up with any new arguments."


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"Im afraid the SSs relationship with the Catholic Church is something the Church still has to deal with and does not deny."


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"Well Ill put it this way: you can certainly say belief in God makes people behave worse. That can be proved beyond a doubt."


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"The term the American Left is as near to being meaningless or nonsensical as any term could really be in politics. It isnt really a force in politics anymore. And it would do well to ask itself why that is."


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"Its impossible I think however much Id become disillusioned politically or evolve into a post-political person I dont think Id ever change my view that socialism is the best political moment humans have ever come up with."


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"The cause of my life has been to oppose superstition. Its a battle you cant hope to win - its a battle thats going to go on forever. Its part of the human condition."


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"When I go to the clinic next and sit with a tube in my arm and watch the poison go in Im in an attitude of abject passivity. It doesnt feel like fighting at all it just feels like submitting."


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"Religion is compulsory in English schools you know."


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"I have more than once in my time woken up feeling like death."


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"Theres been some research in cognitive science Im told that discloses that there have always been perhaps 10 to 15 percent of people who are as Pascal puts it so made that they cannot believe. To us when people talk about faith its white noise."


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"Even if I accepted that Jesus - like almost every other prophet on record - was born of a virgin I cannot think that this proves the divinity of his father or the truth of his teachings. The same would be true if I accepted that he had been resurrected."


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"I love it when Muslims go to war with each other as I do when the Christians do because it shows theres no such thing as the Christian world and the Islamic world. Thats all crap."


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"I dont think consensus-building politics is what Im meant to be doing."


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"Bombing Afghanistan back into the Stone Age was quite a favourite headline for some wobbly liberals. The slogan does all the work. But an instants thought shows that Afghanistan is being if anything bombed out of the Stone Age."


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"Trust is not the same as faith. A friend is someone you trust. Putting faith in anyone is a mistake."


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"I used to wish there was a useful term for those of us who thought American power should be used to remove psychopathic dictators."


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"The great thing about the United States and the historically magnetic effect it has had on a lot of people like me is its generosity to put it simply."


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"Owners of dogs will have noticed that if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection they will think you are God. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that if you provide them with food and water and affection they draw the conclusion that they are God."


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"There are people who cannot forget as neither do I the lesson of the years of the Indochina War. Which was first that the state is capable of being a murderer. A mass murderer and a conspirator and a liar."


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"One of the great questions of philosophy is do we innately have morality or do we get it from celestial dictation? A study of the Ten Commandments is a very good way of getting into and resolving that issue."


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"To choose dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid."


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"Im not particularly a feminist but if you get women off the animal cycle of reproduction and give them some say in how many children theyll have immediately the floor will rise."


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"My favorite time in the cycles of public life is the time when the Pope is dead and they havent elected a new one. Theres no one in the world who is infallible for those weeks. And you know I dont miss it."


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"My children to the extent that they have found religion have found it from me in that I insist on at least a modicum of religious education for them."


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"Well we cant say any more than we can say there is no god there is no afterlife. We can only say there is no persuasive evidence for or argument for it."


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"I think the materialist conception of history is valid."


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"Well to the people who pray for me to not only have an agonising death but then be reborn to have an agonising and horrible eternal life of torture I say Well good on you. See you there."


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"The amazing fact is that America is founded on a document. Its a work in progress. It can be tested by each generation."


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"The penalty for getting mugged in an American city and losing your ID is that you cant fly home."


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"WASP is the only ethnic term that is in fact a term of class apart from redneck which is another word for the same group but who are in the lower social strata so its inexplicably tied up with social standing and culture and history in a way that the other hyphenations just are not."


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