In spite of some terrible opinions on the Iraq war, Christopher Hitchens will always remain in my heart as one of our time’s greatest journalist, and a man who could speak his mind without caring for the consequences. An atheist who gave power to all of us, and who showed us what could be in a world of reason.
Hitchens died December 15, merely 62 years old, due to complications of his long struggle with cancer, or as he called it, ”a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death”.
His last great address to the world of skeptics and atheists was published in April 2011, when he was scheduled to appear at the American Atheist convention, but was forced not to due to his illness. The entire letter can be found on Pharyngula.
I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before. I hope to help defend and pass on the lessons of this for many years to come, but for now I have found my trust better placed in two things: the skill and principle of advanced medical science, and the comradeship of innumerable friends and family, all of them immune to the false consolations of religion. It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstitition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.