Christopher Hitchens  (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011)
 was a British-American author, polemicistdebater, and journalist.
The Times Literary Supplement and Vanity Fair. He was the author of twelve books and five collections of essays, and concentrated on a range of subjects, including politics, literature and religion. A staple of talk shows and lecture circuits, his confrontational style of debate made him both a lauded and controversial figure. 
Known for his contrarian stance on a number of issues, he excoriated such public figures as Mother Teresa
hitchens died of cancer in 2011.
“What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”

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.
The Portable Atheist

By trying to adjust to the findings that it once tried so viciously to ban and repress, religion has only succeeded in restating the same questions that undermined it in earlier epochs. What kind of designer or creator is so wasteful and capricious and approximate? What kind of designer or creator is so cruel and indifferent? And—most of all—what kind of designer or creator only chooses to “reveal” himself to semi-stupefied peasants in desert regions?
The Portable Atheist

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.
God Is Not Great

What happens to the faith healer and the shaman when any poor citizen can see the full effect of drugs or surgeries, administered without ceremonies or mystifications? Roughly the same thing as happens to the rainmaker when the climatologist turns up, or to the diviner from the heavens when schoolteachers get hold of elementary telescopes.
God Is Not Great

Religion looks forward to the destruction of the world…. Perhaps half aware that its unsupported arguments are not entirely persuasive, and perhaps uneasy about its own greedy accumulation of temporal power and wealth, religion has never ceased to proclaim the Apocalypse and the day of judgment.
God Is Not Great

If god really wanted people to be free of [wicked thoughts], he should have taken more care to invent a different species.
God Is Not Great

Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.
God Is Not Great
If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.
God Is Not Great

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.

Faith is the surrender of the mind; it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It’s our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.

Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.

Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.

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.

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