Interview with Christopher Hitchens – 23rd Jan

Brian Lamb, the C-SPAN founder, recorded an interview with Christopher Hitchens on 23rd January … you will want to watch, but make sure you have enough time, its 54 Mins long.

In fact this is his 20th Interview with him. Its a very frank, open and honest interview in which they talk about his cancer that has now sadly reached Stage 4. (There is no stage 5).

As an alternative to watching, you can instead read the written transcript of the interview here.

Jerry Coyne, highlights one quote from the transcript on his blog here. Its quite thought provoking, so forgive me if I emulate him and also post it here …

And there’s a certain ghoulish element, even about the nice people who’ve been praying for me. Because they are not just praying for my recovery, they’re praying for my reconciliation with religion. And I—I proposed a tradeoff the other day, I said, I tell you what, what if we secularists stop going to hospitals and walking around the wards and asking if people are religious when they are in extremis and in their last days and saying look, you’ve still got a little time, why don’t you live the last few days of it as a free person. You’ll feel much better. All that nonsense they taught you. You know you could still have every chance to give it up. Experience the life of a free thinking autonomous person. Don’t live in fear, don’t believe in mythology.

They – I don’t think they’d welcome it. And of course, we don’t do that. But it seems to be considered the right of almost everybody to do it the other way around. I don’t resent it at all, because I like every opportunity for the argument, but it—a lot of it has been to do with that.

He is truly a champion of the “new atheism” movement and also a practitioner of the philosophical values of the Enlightenment. He has also previously argued that the concept of God or a supreme being is a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom, and that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization. Believers might argue that is all abstract, and far from reality. Yet now at this time, when he faces the reality of his own morality, he still remains true to all he has written.

So I salute this truly wonderful example of a human being who has successfully opened the minds of so many with his words.

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