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Tomp
12-16-2011, 07:20 AM
I was very reluctant to set up this new thread, but I thought it would be interesting to hear your thoughts around mr Christopher Hitchens.

He is known for being an outspoken journalist on many political and religious subjects. He was probably the most confrontational atheist in the public eye.

For those not familiar with him here is a clip on his idea of how heaven would be.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DufzgOxmzTo&feature=related

and here he is in a political analysis of the tea party just months before he passed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An6CeNRCBvo&feature=related

I think he was a great man. I didn't agree with everything he said.
As Stephen Fry said in his twitter on learning of his passing:
"Goodbye, Christopher Hitchens. You were envied, feared, adored, reviled and loved. Never ignored. Never bested. A great and marvellous man"

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this and please if you disagree try to keep it somewhat clean.

Terez
12-16-2011, 07:22 AM
I liked Hitchens sometimes. Usually depended on how sloshed he was while lecturing. RIP.

Tomp
12-16-2011, 09:58 AM
Just gonna link to this new article in vanity fair where he himself wonder about old sayings around death and about his own situation.

It speaks of someone facing his own death standing on his feet(mentally) and accepting it as a part of life.

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2012/01/hitchens-201201

Res_Ipsa
12-16-2011, 10:02 AM
From your 2nd link, there was a rumor that Obama was Malcolm X's love child? I never heard that one, I think the British press had to have just invented that one up.

Tomp
12-16-2011, 10:10 AM
I think the British press had to have just invented that one up.

Since he resided in the US, was a US citisen since 2007 (not sure on the year) and participated mainly in US media I don't think British press is the source of that one.

But
I may be wrong.

GonzoTheGreat
12-16-2011, 10:10 AM
I'm not sure it was the British press (http://israelinsider.net/profiles/blogs/is-obama-the-secret-son-of). Note: I haven't bothered to actually read that blog. Then again, I'm not sure any of the posters here could manage that feat.

From what little I know about Hitchens, his passing is a loss to this world.

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-16-2011, 10:34 AM
I found him fascinating...the piece they did on 60 minutes a year or so ago was amazing.

I agree that he was over the top, but we need over the top folks sometimes. I disagreed, violently, with many of his thoughts and found him to be abrasive, and yes sometimes he went tooooo far with his rants, but still...something about him drew me in.

Tomp
12-16-2011, 10:36 AM
Here is the 60 minutes piece
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR2xRxJgz60

Mort
12-16-2011, 03:17 PM
Here is the 60 minutes piece
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR2xRxJgz60

I have barely heard of the guy, but he seems interesting and I might pick up one of his books sometime.

I always thought Richard Dawkins was the most infamous atheist around :)

Res_Ipsa
12-16-2011, 05:34 PM
I'm not sure it was the British press (http://israelinsider.net/profiles/blogs/is-obama-the-secret-son-of). Note: I haven't bothered to actually read that blog. Then again, I'm not sure any of the posters here could manage that feat.

From what little I know about Hitchens, his passing is a loss to this world.

Clearly you did not do your research on him :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HECI4QK_mXA

And he recognized the value in addressing the need to fight regimes like Iran and North Korea.

Cor Shan
12-16-2011, 06:00 PM
The story I just read about him in Syria is pretty badass. He defaced a SSNP (Syrian Nazi Party) sign and him and two buddies almost got abducted.

Sukoto
12-16-2011, 06:41 PM
Seems like a very interesting person. Not afraid to call an idiot an idiot, no matter how much "power" they have. Just from the few clips I've seen and articles I've read so far, he seems to have had a strangely intense loyalty to his friend, Salman Rushdie. I can't tell if his loyalty to Rushdie is a product of his social and political views, or if he only threw in his support for the wars because of his loyalty to a friend.

Terez
12-16-2011, 07:32 PM
Hitchens' support of the wars was bound up with his hatred of any kind of religious fanaticism.

Sukoto
12-17-2011, 12:47 AM
Hitchens' support of the wars was bound up with his hatred of any kind of religious fanaticism.
Yes, that is a point he repeated often. But it's mysterious at the same time. I just wonder if his friendship with Salman Rushdie influenced him to publicly support the Bush administration. It doesn't seem like him to support Bush, who also claimed a heavy religious influence in his decision-making. There's an obvious contradiction on principle alone. But when you throw friendship into the mix, it makes a certain amount of sense, in an ironic sort of way.

Res_Ipsa
12-17-2011, 07:35 AM
Yes, that is a point he repeated often. But it's mysterious at the same time. I just wonder if his friendship with Salman Rushdie influenced him to publicly support the Bush administration. It doesn't seem like him to support Bush, who also claimed a heavy religious influence in his decision-making. There's an obvious contradiction on principle alone. But when you throw friendship into the mix, it makes a certain amount of sense, in an ironic sort of way.

You are just pegging the board where you think people out to be. There is an excellent reason for being anti-Iran. The same there was an excellent reason for invading Afghanistan. And then you follow the attenuation of the line and there was Iraq. It is uncontroverted that the man was a brutal dictator but where the split beings is whether you believe that alone is worth trying to build a better one or letting it alone.

There is no contradiction. There is only a contradiction if you believe in 2 options, usually presented as a Morton's Fork that you are either with us or against us. That is why I am an existentialist, bc it emphasis looking at arguments and how multi faceted they can be. When I say I am pro-life and pro- death penalty there is only a contradiction if you cannot take both to their logical end. One is a life who has made no choice and the other has made a choice. Throw in the reality of a need for some form of punishment for actions otherwise there would be anarchy and you might have scratched the surface of the onions outer layer.

GonzoTheGreat
12-17-2011, 09:14 AM
Frankly, I do not see how being strongly against religious influence on government would lead one to applaud putting a bunch of religious extremists in charge of a country that until that time had been ruled by a far more secular dictator.

Of course, there are also various ways in which one can be "anti-Iran". There I do not see why it would make sense for someone who is against religious influence on politics to applaud actions and attitudes that have the fully predictable effect of strengthening religious influence on politics.

Terez
12-17-2011, 09:37 AM
Everyone has blind spots, and I've always felt this was Hitchens' big one. I've heard him lecture on it, but I think his logic fails on this one.

Brita
12-17-2011, 11:06 AM
I thoroughly enjoyed his debate with Blair. He was a force to be reckoned with. When he championed a position I held I cheered, and when he championed a position I disliked I cursed.