We lost a good man today

Image of Christopher Hitchens before Chemo

A good man is dead today.

I am so glad that I had a chance to email Mr. Hitchens and tell him that he assisted me in my deconversion.  I was always impressed by his quick mind and verbal talent in debate.  I just started reading his books this year, but I've watched hours of him on Youtube and have always been impressed.

I can't say I agree with his lifestyle, but we are very different people.  I'm not that interested in being a part of a large social circle, and I can take or leave alcohol - I certainly don't need it to have a good time.  Still, I'm glad he mostly got to do as he wished.

I've seen two different stories online where cowardly people have claimed that he turned to God in his last days.  I'm sure everyone of any intelligence knows better than this.  And I know that Christians will gloat over his death and exclaim that he is "no longer an atheist" or some such drivel....  Such people deserve the contempt they will receive.

I've said it before:

We are all living together here in the same pond. Our actions and words make ripples that are felt by, and influence those around us, who in turn cause ripples that are felt by and influence others. People who never know us directly will feel this influence.

It is not that important to make a big ripple, or wave, while we are here. What is important is the joy of splashing around.

Mr. Hitchens did both. He made a pretty big, influential wave. And he did it with an offhanded effortlessness, with a great deal of refined pleasure, quiet joy, and a rapier-sharp quip.

Goodbye sir.  I'll miss you.


Peter Wall said...

In a report I heard on NPR a few minutes ago, his friend Jeffrey Goldberg said:

"One of the things he said to me and other people was, 'If I lose my faculties, defend my reputation as an atheist.' Basically, he said: 'If, God forbid, I say something about believing in God, will you please go out there and say: This is the medication, this is dementia, this is not the Hitchens that we know.' "

Peter Wall said...

Also, it's arguable whether Hitchens was "a good man." He certainly scored a lot of points for the forces of disenchanting, but he had plenty of egregious faults, too.