Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
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16-12-2011, 08:58 AM
Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
Sad to see about Mr Hitchens' passing today. I'm not familiar with his work and it was suggested to me I jump in and get to know him. I've heard that he was an angry atheist and I'm trying to stay away from that angle. I don't know if it's true and I ask for the input of folks here, who know him and his work, for input.

By angry atheist I mean someone who bashes religion/the religious, holds them up as being stupid, vapid sheeplike followers, and generally speaks harshly and angrily about them and their beliefs. I've struggled myself with these feelings lately, and as it's recently come to my attention (via one Christian friend I've known for 25 years) that I'm coming across as and angry atheist. That's not how I see myself and that's not how I wish to present myself to the world. I've been angry about a lot of things lately, and it's colouring the way I do most everything. It's time for me to get back to center. I want to set myself up with resources that will reinforce that goal, and I don't know if Mr Hitchens' work is among those resources.

What do you folks think?

"The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. ... So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today." -- Lawrence Krauss
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16-12-2011, 09:07 AM
RE: Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
I don't know about angry, but he was a no-bullshit kind of guy. If you said something stupid or deceiving he rarely bothered to sugarcoat his answers and he said it as it is, but I think he was an "angry atheist" just like a surgeon is "a guy who stabs you with a knife".

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it. (Chas)

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16-12-2011, 09:49 AM
RE: Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
I must agree with Malleus. I wouldn't say angry. But he was pretty straightforward and often ruthless in a debate. He is a pleasure to watch and he has plenty of debates on youtube.

A personal favourite of mine is alongside Stephen Fry, about the Catholic Church. If you search for: Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world, you'll find it on youtube.

"But the point is, find somebody to love. Everything else is overrated." - HouseofCantor
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16-12-2011, 10:03 AM
RE: Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
I wouldn't characterize him as an 'angry atheist', although some may.

It would, perhaps, be more accurate to say he was an outraged atheist. He made his outrage at the very idea of the monotheistic big 3 conception of God and at the failings of religions throught out history very clear.

Watch some videos and decide for yourself.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-12-2011, 10:06 AM
RE: Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
I think I know what you mean, CalmBlue. Hitch was certainly of the "New Atheism" confrontational sort, and with a Johnny Walker Black in hand could be rather cantankerous, while being absolutely correct. His writing cut to the heart of matters and he wouldn't let BS stand if he could help it.

I'd suggest checking out some YouTube debates and videos and see for yourself. Many folks have been inspired by his way of thinking, and I believe one can be inspired by the thoughts and words without having to adopt the behavior if that's what you're hesitant about.

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16-12-2011, 10:30 AM
RE: Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
I wouldn't worry at all about being an angry non-theist, you were probably winning the debate. The fact is they are stupid non thinking sheep who believe the most outrageous fabrication ever.

This is a quote that says it the way it is: " I do not seek to offend religious sentiment, but I will not submit to tyranny. Demanding that people who do not accept Muhammad's teachings should refrain from drawing him is not a request for respect but a demand for submission."
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Add god and change the word draw, to "contradicting" and it is clearer. Religious people demand submission and Hitchens said NO to all the bull sh!t.

I am truly sorry to hear of Christopher Hitchens death, that leaves three of the four horsemen left. Here they are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuyUz2XLp1E
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16-12-2011, 11:41 AM
RE: Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
(16-12-2011 08:58 AM)calmblueocean Wrote:  What do you folks think?

I think I'm sitting here having a virtual Irish wake for my good pal Hitch, and we're all getting tanked; sucking down the suds, making up dirges, crying on each others shoulders. Buncha drunken poets, we Irish. Then a Christian walks in to the bar...

A friend recommended the place. Sorry for your loss. Was Hitch and angry atheist? And all of a sudden, the legendary sound of silence falls.

I gotta go. Cops are here. I guess somebody called in a homicide...

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16-12-2011, 12:24 PM
RE: Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
I would say that he was an unapologetic angry atheist. What would you characterize as angry? Everything he despised is pretty well encompassed by religion and it's practices all over the world. Being a world wide reporter the guy had seen some shit.
No one wants to say he was an angry atheist because it carries with it a negative connotation but Hitchens himself would have said let's cut out the bullshit and say it like it is. He hated religion. But he had reasons, ones that were honest and researched. He was never afraid to say what we should all say.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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16-12-2011, 12:31 PM (This post was last modified: 16-12-2011 01:31 PM by kingschosen.)
RE: Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
(16-12-2011 10:30 AM)goldenuke Wrote:  I wouldn't worry at all about being an angry non-theist, you were probably winning the debate. The fact is they are stupid non thinking sheep who believe the most outrageous fabrication ever.

Tell us how you really feel.

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16-12-2011, 01:06 PM
RE: Was Christopher Hitchens an 'angry atheist'?
I know where you are coming from Calmblueocean, anger only seems to accomplish bad feelings all around. However, repression of outrage only serves denial and that can be far more unhealthy. Being inspired by someone with a healthy perspective can help foster that within oneself.

I agree with Chas -Hitchens was more of an outraged Atheist - I would say an Audacious Atheist. And Erxomai said it very well ~ one can be inspired by the thoughts and words without having to adopt the behavior.
Frankly, I'm glad Hitch was in my corner. He could cut but I always noticed he did it only when cutting was necessary, and rarely excessively. There's a lot to be learned right there. He was actually a very well spoken and quite charming man, at times.

Smile Do check out some of the videos on YouTube.

This might help to start you out....


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