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Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens Quotes

That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.
Christopher Hitchens


The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-believer)


The governor of Texas, who, when asked if the Bible should also be taught in Spanish, replied that 'if English was good enough for Jesus, then it's good enough for me.
Christopher Hitchens


Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.
Christopher Hitchens


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 shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-believer)

Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.
Christopher Hitchens

Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that's where it should stay.
Christopher Hitchens

Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

[Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.
Christopher Hitchens

The governor of Texas, who, when asked if the Bible should also be taught in Spanish, replied that 'if English was good enough for Jesus, then it's good enough for me.
Christopher Hitchens

Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
tags: atheism, atheist, god, noremorse, science

The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

The noble title of dissident must be earned rather than claimed; it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement.
Christopher Hitchens (Letters to a Young Contrarian)


What do you most value in your friends? Their continued existence.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch-22: A Memoir)

One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody-not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms-had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think-though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one-that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

I have met some highly intelligent believers, but history has no record to say that [s]he knew or understood the mind of god. Yet this is precisely the qualification which the godly must claim--so modestly and so humbly--to possess. It is time to withdraw our respect from such fantastic claims, all of them aimed at the exertion of power over other humans in the real and material world.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-believer)

To choose dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid. 
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.
Christopher Hitchens

Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and --since there is no other metaphor--also the soul.
Christopher Hitchens

What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.
Christopher Hitchens

Nothing optional--from homosexuality to adultery--is ever made punishable unless those who do the prohibiting (and exact the fierce punishments) have a repressed desire to participate. As Shakespeare put it in 'King Lear', the policeman who lashes the whore has a hot need to use her for the very offense for which he plies the lash.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

Why do humans exist? A major part of the answer: because Pikaia Gracilens survived the Burgess decimation.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

Organised religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

I suppose that one reason I have always detested religion is its sly tendency to insinuate the idea that the universe is designed with 'you' in mind or, even worse, that there is a divine plan into which one fits whether one knows it or not. This kind of modesty is too arrogant for me.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch-22: A Memoir)

What is it you most dislike? Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch-22: A Memoir)

The struggle for a free intelligence has always been a struggle between the ironic and the literal mind.
Christopher Hitchens

To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?
Christopher Hitchens

...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 shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.
Christopher Hitchens

And here is the point, about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

You should be nicer to him,' a schoolmate had once said to me of some awfully ill-favored boy. 'He has no friends.' This, I realized with a pang of pity that I can still remember, was only true as long as everybody agreed to it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch-22: A Memoir)

I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch-22: A Memoir)

it is interesting to find that people of faith now seek defensively to say that they are no worse than fascists or Nazis or Stalinists
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

We owe a huge debt to Galileo for emancipating us all from the stupid belief in an Earth-centered or man-centered (let alone God-centered) system. He quite literally taught us our place and allowed us to go on to make extraordinary advances in knowledge.
Christopher Hitchens

We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.
Christopher Hitchens

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