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Famed atheist Christopher Hitchens dead at 62
In a Vanity Fair statement, Christopher Hitchens was described as "a master of the stunning line and the biting quip."
December 16th, 2011
08:20 AM ET

Famed atheist Christopher Hitchens dead at 62

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - British-American author and essayist Christopher Hitchens died Thursday from complications of esophageal cancer. He was 62.

Hitchens was known for his wry monthly columns for Vanity Fair magazine.

"There will never be another like Christopher. A man of ferocious intellect, who was as vibrant on the page as he was at the bar," said Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. "Those who read him felt they knew him, and those who knew him were profoundly fortunate souls."

Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1949 and graduated from Oxford University in 1970.

Hitchens brothers debate if civilization can survive without God

He landed a job with Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in November 1992.

"Christopher was a master of the stunning line and the biting quip, and he had few equals in the sphere of commentary, let alone social life," a Vanity Fair statement said.

Anderson Cooper and Christopher Hitchens talk about cancer, God and atheism.


Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism

soundoff (835 Responses)
  1. Asheri Mangenp

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    July 9, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  2. Keith

    Hitchens is still in hell burning. Mar 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Huh?

      "Hitchens is still in hell burning."

      Thanks for continuing to prove your god is a MONSTER and a tyrant. If you don't believe and love your god then you will burn, guess where Hitler got the idea...YOUR GOD! We all know Hitler was a monster, now we've shown yours is too. πŸ˜‰

      December 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  3. Muldoon in Ohio

    Many brilliant minds cannot accept the existence of a Creator, and Hitchens was among them. Unfortunately, he used his brilliance to rail against religions, and for this he will be mostly remembered. Of course, if you reject the idea of a creator, then there should be no need for religions. Even if I believed in no God, I think I'd live my life as though one existed, just in case.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Tallulah13

      Not me. I will live my life trying to be the best human I can be. I will treat others as I would wish to be treated. I don't fear supernatural forces for one simple reason; I don't believe in supernatural forces. There is no evidence to indicate that they exist.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Muldoon in Ohio

      You said, "Even if I believed in no God, I think I'd live my life as though one existed, just in case."
      Which one? Zeus, Thor, Ra, or any of the thousands of others? And do you really think that IF there is a god, and IF you by sheer luck picked the right one, this god wouldn't see through your ruse of just hedging your bets?

      Most of the gods invented by men are nasty. They don't look kindly upon people that don't believe in them. Or those that believe in other gods, even if they also believe in them.

      The odds of winning this gamble are astonishingly low.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      I actually agree with you since the post does not believe out of a grateful heart odds are as low as any other non believer that lives a good life.
      Non believers that attack God, Jesus, Christians et al and cause others to stumble in their faith must have slightly lower odds yet.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • fred

      Tallulah13
      Cheers! you now have a tall T in tallulah...........you're not becomming a capitalist are you? As to God it was never about evidence but always a matter of faith. Jesus said to doubting Thomas for you have seen, blessed are those that believe but have not seen.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "Non believers that attack God, Jesus, Christians et al and cause others to stumble in their faith must have slightly lower odds yet."
      Why? The christian god doesn't exist. Can't exist because of the mutually exclusive traits routinely attributed to him. Believing in him gives you exactly 0% chance.

      The only way to have a non-zero chance is if you believe in a god that doesn't care if you only believe to hedge your bets AND non of the other nasty ones exist.

      Muldoon in Ohio didn't specify which god he/she believes in, therefor not reducing the odds to exactly zero.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Tallulah13

      @fred

      The capital means I responding from my iPad. It puts a cap on my name for it's own nefarious reasons...

      Off to work now. Sigh.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      Ya lost me, do you have an example of one or two mutually exclusive traits you are referring to (too ? ).

      December 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "Ya lost me, do you have an example of one or two mutually exclusive traits you are referring to (too ? )."
      The christian god is said to be all-knowing and all-powerful. If he is all-knowing, he will know the future. If he knows the future, he knows what he will do in the future. If he already knows what he will do, he has no choice but to do it. If he has no choice but to do what he must, he isn't all powerful.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      Wrong concept on future. You cannot apply our concept of past and future to an eternal God that exists outside of our time construct. God created time and space as we know it and limited man to a number of years certain (years in our time). Note that Christ on the cross over evil was written about in the Bible book Genesis long before A.D. 33.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "Wrong concept on future. You cannot apply our concept of past and future to an eternal God that exists outside of our time construct. God created time and space as we know it and limited man to a number of years certain (years in our time)."
      Your god is said to have changed his mind. For prayer to work, changing his mind is a requirement. Changing his mind requires time. If he's ever changed his mind, he isn't all knowing.

      You said, "Note that Christ on the cross over evil was written about in the Bible book Genesis long before A.D. 33."
      You should know better by now then to quote your book of fables to those that recognize it to be baloney. There's nothing you can prove with a bible quote, other than that it is a book of fables.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Keith can't provide any evidence that there's a hell, other than the one he created in his home for his children. Can any of you do so?

    December 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Keith

      (sound of crickets)

      December 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, the irony.

      December 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  5. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Keep stalling, Krazy Keith. Anyone who bothers to read these worthless blogs can see what a fraud you are.

    I'd be surprised if CPS didn't have you on a watch list as a potential abuser.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  6. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Gee, I guess Krazy ran out of fingers trying to count how many days he imagines Hitchens has been in a non-existent "hell".

    I can just see Krazy rubbing his hairy palms together, slobbering at the thought that somewhere, someone he hates is roasting on a spit. Must be a dreadful existence, Krazy, when all you can look forward to is the joy you feel at the suffering of souls in your imaginary inferno.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  7. Elizabeth

    @William
    There would be no moral or philisophical question in the athiest's eyes, because one cannot debate about God if one does not believe he exists. And since thee would be two believers then arguing the question, the answers would be skewed due to the belief in God held by both parties.

    Better we should spend our time helping the people of the world who are stricken by the God gene understand we don't need a "supreme being" of any kind to be good, loving people who can care for one another and do right.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Please tackle the nitwit Keith first.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Keith

      I told you before that you shouldn't argue with a Krazy person as someone may be observing and have a difficult time telling which one is Krazy.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Cite the time, date, page, and blog in which you did so.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chop, chop, Krazy. I don't have all night. Move yer ass.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Still waiting for you to provide specifics that prove you said any such thing, Krazy.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Keith does not actually possess a working cortex. This is not a parable. It is a fact. The evidence is quite clear.

      December 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  8. Keith

    Luk 16:19 ΒΆ There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

    Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

    Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

    Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

    Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

    Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

    Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

    Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.

    Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

    Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

    Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

    Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

    Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And this is your idea of "proof" of something? What, exactly?

      December 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How come you can't answer the question I asked you yesterday, Keith? Are you still sore? Mad?

      Maybe you should consult with onehippypoet. You two have lots in common.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Keith

      Many truths. The reality of hell for one. The reality that the rich man wanted someone to go back to warn his 5 brothers so they wouldn't have to go there. Kind of like Hitchens would want to do for you right now if he could-but he can't. You have "Moses and the prophets", too-it is called the Bible. You reject it to your own peril. Those are just a couple of truths.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      It is not clear that Keith has made any clear assertion(s). However, if the assertion being made in this case by Keith is that the bible is true, then his post is in essence multiple instances of the Fallacy of Circular Reasoning

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      December 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Keith

      Until you show me the time, date, and page of your "question", no answer will be forthcoming.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      It is not clear that Keith has made any assertion(s) in the root post. However, if the assertion being made in this case by Keith is that the bible is true, then his post is in essence multiple instances of the Fallacy of Circular Reasoning

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      December 19, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Keith

      v.24 It's hot there. flames tend to do that. and no water to drink. Truth #3.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Eh, no need to cite dates or pages; you'll use some other lame excuse for your inability to answer anyway, Krazy. How's yer kid?

      December 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The "reality of hell". Hmm. So, show a photo of it.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's the hold up, Krazy? Don't you have a photo of hell? Post it. Or admit you have no evidence of any such thing.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Keith

      Reading must be incredibly boring for you. Perhaps you can't find the original question because it doesn't exist. At least not under Tom Tom the Pipers son. Maybe it's under one of the many ficticious names, but not tom. If you can't provide the required information-that would prove you to be the liar that you are. I can't find it anywhere in the 5+ pages of posts. Perhaps I've overlooked it. If I haven't, however, this proves you are a liar, again. Well Tom. Everyone is waiting.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Keith

      not having any visualization must have made for an incredibly boring childhood.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Keith

      v.30 repentence is needed. Truth #4.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • Keith

      v22 You get an angelic escort to heaven. Truth #5.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks for confirming, Krazy. I knew you couldn't answer. Glad to see I was right, again.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Everyone is waiting"?

      Wow. You do know that delusions of grandeur are a sign of mental illness, don't you?

      Maybe you can answer this, Krazy: why would it matter when or where a question was asked? You saw the question yesterday. What difference does it make?

      Never mind. I'm sure anyone who'd bother to read this would know that it doesn't. It's just an excuse for you to avoid, yet again, admitting there IS no proof.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How's yer kid, Krazy? Have you "disciplined" her for playing with "masculine" toys?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hell doesn't exist. Hitchens isn't in it. Hitchens is in the ground, just as Keith will be. There's no hell to "burn" in, and there's no heaven, either.

      If there were, these blogs wouldn't even exist. Keith would be paying attention to his kid and not wasting his time here. My little shadow would have to find another obsession to fill his empty life.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Keith

      Are you Polish?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you stupid?

      December 19, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Keith

      Oooops, I mean a Finlander. Forgot you were Canadian.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Keep stalling, Krazy Keith. Anyone who bothers to read these worthless blogs can see what a fraud you are.

      I'd be surprised if CPS didn't have you on a watch list as a potential abuser. Maybe I'll contact CNN and tell them you might be endangering a minor.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Even if she IS your own daughter.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Keith

      Okay, just kidding. No offense to Poles or Finlanders. I know some of both and they are some of the most intelligent folks I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. But Tommy, you exposed yourself again to be the liar that you are and you in your rage can't even seem to see it. You are dense. The good news is Jesus died for dense people, too, and liars. The bad news is you have to admit your sin and admit your need for Him. I just don't forsee you doing that-at least not anytime soon.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Keith

      I wasn't stalling. I was upstairs praying with my children putting them to bed. You do whatever you feel you have to do you piece of dung. Bring it on.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Keith

      v31. If you don't believe the Bible, then no amount of evidence will persuade you-even if one rose from the dead. Truth #7.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, I will.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So it took you all of six minutes to put your little dears to bed and pray with them, did it?

      Doesn't it hurt your conscience to be such a bald-faced liar, Krazy?

      Probably not. You're most likely a psychopath.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How many minutes did it take you to find out that there was no such place as "Murpheysboro, TN", Krazy?

      Really, dude. You're a buffoon.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Keith

      I'm sure captain america would have something to say about a Canadian bringing a false accusation against an American. Falsely accusing someone is illegal in THIS country and it breaking one of the Ten Commandments.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Keith

      Job 18:5 Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Keith

      Psa 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm sure I'm shaking in my slippers.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Keith

      Psa 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

      December 19, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • Keith

      Truth #8 This was no parable. Jesus did not describe it as such. This was an actual account as he used proper names. Parables did not have this.

      December 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      *zzzzzz* Krazy does not possess a functioning cerebrum. This is not a parable. It's a fact. The evidence is quite clear.

      December 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  9. William

    I like this guy – based on this video. He seems to be true to his ideals. I believe in God, but I still really like a good true athiest. They don't buy into all the hype of religion. They don't buy into the hypocrisy that can be pervasive. It's a good test. It's a good touchstone. It would be an interesting moral and philosophical question I think, about who God would love more. One who claims to be a believer and yet violates His laws, or one who chooses to disbelieve because they cannot accept the contradictory behavior exemplified by those who preach Faith. I think the hypocrites fate is more dangerous. I wish this guy the best in the next world.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
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