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he despised the alternative flow of information and insight, which was gossip and rumor. Like Winston Smith, he was first and foremost activated by a raging thirst to know: a thirst that could only be slaked by a personal quest for the least varnished version of the truth. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Part of the function of memory is to forget; the omni-retentive mind will break down and produce at best an idiot savant who can recite a telephone book, and at worst a person to whom every grudge and slight is as yesterday's. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There are days when I miss my old convictions as if they were an amputated limb. But in general I feel better, and no less radical, and you will feel better too, I guarantee, once you leave hold of the doctrinaire and allow your chainless mind to do its own thinking. -- Christopher Hitchens
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What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I began the project of judging Mother Teresa's reputation by her actions and words rather than her actions and words by her reputation. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We owe a huge debt to Galileo for emancipating us all from the stupid belief in an Earth-centered or man-centered (let alone God-centered) system. He quite literally taught us our place and allowed us to go on to make extraordinary advances in knowledge. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Only a complete moral idiot can believe for an instant that we are fighting against the wretched of the earth. We are fighting, as I said before, against the scum of the earth -- Christopher Hitchens
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If you've led a rather bohemian and rackety life, as I have, it's precisely the cancer that you'd expect to get. That's a bit of a yawn. -- Christopher Hitchens
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When I am at home, I never go near the synagogue unless, say, there is a bar or bat mitzvah involving the children of friends. But when I am traveling, in a country where Jewish life is scarce or endangered, I often make a visit to the shul. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Ethiopians imagine their gods as black and snub-nosed; Thracians blue-eyed and red-haired. But if horses or lions had hands, or could draw and fashion works as men do, horses would draw the gods shaped like horses and lions like lions, making the gods resemble themselves. Xenophanes -- Christopher Hitchens
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Hardest of all, as one becomes older, is to accept that sapient remarks can be drawn from the most unwelcome or seemingly improbable sources, and that the apparently more trustworthy sources can lead one astray. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Anyone whose major concern is the sanctity of human life is in effect, by leaving population growth unchecked, ensuring death by famine. Nature is pitiless, and if humans will not themselves limit population then they will have it done for them. -- Christopher Hitchens
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One has children in the expectation of dying before them. In fact, you want to make damn sure you die before them, just as you plant a tree or build a house knowing, hoping that it will outlive you. That's how the human species has done as well as it has. -- Christopher Hitchens
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(Adlai Stevenson once said to Richard Nixon: If you stop telling lies about me I'll stop telling the truth about you. -- Christopher Hitchens
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To read of the unrelenting coarseness and brutality of the boy's father is lowering to the spirit, as is the shame he felt at his mother's reputation for unchastity. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The state was founded, actually, I think the year that Nineteen Eighty-Four was published. And it's as if they sort of took the book and thought, I wonder if we could make this work? -- Christopher Hitchens
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The forces of piety have always and everywhere been the sworn enemy of the open mind and the open book. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I used to call myself a single-issue voter on the essential question of defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors, and on that 'issue' I hope I can continue to expose and oppose any ambiguity. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There are also people who say it's God's curse on me that I should have it near my throat because that was the organ of blasphemy which I used for so many years. I've used many other organs to blaspheme as well if it comes to that. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Lovers often invest their first meetings with retrospective significance, as if to try to conjure the elements of the numinous out of the stubborn witness of the everyday. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I don't say things like "the grace of God." All that's white noise to me, not because I'm an intellectual. For many people, it's gibberish. Likewise, the idea that the Koran was dictated by an archaic illiterate is a fantasy. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Imponderable Sir, I presume from some if not all of your many reputations that you might prefer honest and convinced unbelief to the hypocritical and self-interested affectation of faith or the smoking tributes of bloody altars. -- Christopher Hitchens
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"Objective" means that, in a confrontation with the evidence, you would be willing to change your own mind. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It is a frequent vice of radical polemic to assert, and even to believe, that once you have found the lowest motive for an antagonist, you have identified the correct one. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The thing about religion is that it's the first and the worst. The worst because it's the first. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Exercise is a pastime only for those who are already slender and physically fit. It just isn't so much fun when you have a marked tendency to wheeze and throw up, and a cannonball of a belly sloshing around inside the baggy garments. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I am a person of faith: I am a person who will believe practically anything on no evidence at all. -- Christopher Hitchens
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No society has gone the way of gulags or concentration camps by following the path of Spinoza and Einstein and Jefferson and Thomas Paine -- Christopher Hitchens
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I would say that if you don't believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you're really not in any meaningful sense a Christian. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The great thing about the United States and the historically magnetic effect it has had on a lot of people like me is its generosity, to put it simply. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The beauty of science hugely outranks the charms of superstition. -- Christopher Hitchens
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One of the many dreadful aspects of the Kennedy 'legacy' is the now-unbreakable grip of celebrity politics, image-doctoring, stage management, and "torch-passing" rhetoric in general. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I have nowhere claimed nor even implied that unbelief is a guarantee of good conduct or even an indicator of it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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At one point I suggested he go to a well-regarded waxing parlor in town for what they indelicately call the "sack, back, and crack." He struggled to absorb the full meaning of this, but after a few seconds he smiled a nervous smile and said, "In for a penny ... -- Christopher Hitchens
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When people have tried everything and have discovered that nothing works, they will tend to revert to what they know best - which will often be the tribe, the totem, or the taboo. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The human species is an animal species without very much variation within it, and it is idle and futile to imagine that a voyage to Tibet, say, will discover an entirely different harmony with nature or eternity. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Martin is your best friend, isn't he?' a sweet and well-intentioned girl once said when both of us were present: it was the only time I ever felt awkward about this precious idea, which seemed somehow to risk diminishment if it were uttered aloud. -- Christopher Hitchens
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That an article of mine was well argued but dull, and advised me briskly to write more like the way you talk. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We become accomplices in evil every time we seek to soothe the unslakable appetites of the crime family that sits in Pyongyang. -- Christopher Hitchens
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As Shakespeare put it in 'King Lear,' the policeman who lashes the whore has a hot need to use her for the very offense for which he plies the lash. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I sympathize afresh with the mighty Voltaire, who, when badgered on his deathbed and urged to renounce the devil, murmured that this was no time to be making enemies. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The belief of an infinity of creative and created Gods, each more eminently requiring an intelligent author of his being than the foregoing, is a direct consequence of the premises, which you have stated. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There's a big difference, as I'm sure you know, it's a slightly manneristic one, between people of the '60s and people of '68. Being a soixante-huitard - it's so nice to have a French word for it - is very different from just having happened to been a baby boomer in the '60s. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Incidentally, I have also learned a bit about the importance of avoiding feminine embarrassment ('Daddy,' wrote Sophia when she enrolled at the New School where I teach, 'people will ask "why is old Christopher Hitchens kissing that girl?"') and shall now cease and desist. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Those who want to be offended don't have the right to try and close down the newspaper that offends them. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We have preachers and savants who dilate endlessly on the sanctity of family and childhood but who tolerate a system in which a casual observer can correlate a child's social origin with its physical well-being. -- Christopher Hitchens
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This surrender, by a man of the Enlightenment and a man of truly revolutionary and democratic temperament, is another reminder that history is a tragedy and not a morality tale -- Christopher Hitchens
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A celebrity is well known for being well known. I'm relatively well known - but for what I've written and said, or so I fondly imagine. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A speech idiosyncrasy, in the same way as an air quote, is really justifiable only if it's employed very sparingly and if the user consciously intends to be using it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The concept of loneliness and exile and self-sufficiency continually bucks me up. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There cannot be a censor, or a censorship that does not degenerate into absurdity and corruption, there never has been, and there never will be and of all the excuses for it that there could be, that it protects superstition, and religious fanaticism would be the worst. -- Christopher Hitchens
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If I convert it's because it's better that a believer dies than that an atheist does. -- Christopher Hitchens
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No moral person would do such a thing unless they thought it was divinely warranted. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We are all stardust, or nuclear waste depending on your analysis -- Christopher Hitchens
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There are two clocks ticking in Iran. One is the democracy movement clock which is ticking now faster than it was but it's got a lot of catching up to do. And then there's the clock that's ticking towards a nuclear weaponry. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's like a memorial to Atlantis or Lyonesse: these are the stone buoys that mark a drowned world. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The gods that we've made are exactly the gods you'd expect to be made by a species that's about half a chromosome away from being chimpanzee. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I love it when Muslims go to war with each other, as I do when the Christians do, because it shows there's no such thing as the Christian world and the Islamic world. That's all crap. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Instead, the polling business gives the patricians an idea of what the mob is thinking, and of how that thinking might be changed or, shall we say, "shaped." It is the essential weapon in the mastery of populism by the elite. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Urging humans to be superhumans, on pain of death and torture, is the urging of terrible self-abasement at their repeated and inevitable failure to keep the rules. -- Christopher Hitchens
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At the time, the United States had an attorney general named John Ashcroft, who had stated that America had "no king but Jesus" (a claim that was exactly two words too long). -- Christopher Hitchens
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Orwell wrote easily and well about small humane pursuits, such as bird watching, gardening and cooking, and did not despise popular pleasures like pubs and vulgar seaside resorts. In many ways, his investigations into ordinary life and activity prefigure what we now call 'cultural studies. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Once again it is demonstrated that people do not love their chains or their jailers,-and that the aspiration for a civilized life - that "universal eligibility to be noble," as Saul Bellow's Augie March so imperishably phrases it - is proper and common to all. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I leave it to the faithful to burn each other's churches and mosques and synagogues, which they can be always relied upon to do -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's amazing how relaxing it is not to claim you know more than you do. I'm surprised that those who claim to speak in the name of god don't take more advantage of this relief. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In effect, nobody who is not from the losing classes has ever been thrust into a death cell in these United States. -- Christopher Hitchens
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You can only have one aim per debate. -- Christopher Hitchens
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You notice how liberals keep saying, 'If only Islam would have a Reformation' - it can't have one. It says it can't. It's extremely dangerous in that way. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Prayer: A petition that the laws of nature be suspended in favor of the petitioner; himself confessedly unworthy. -- Christopher Hitchens
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So there's nothing more vulgar than the sound of someone saying, God Bless America, someone who doesn't really believe it, but he thinks it will make him look good to other people. I think it's the most nauseating spectacle. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The true essence of a dictatorship is in fact not its regularity but its unpredictability and caprice; those who live under it must never be able to relax, must never be quite sure if they have followed the rules correctly or not. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I am, I hope, never offensive by accident. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The transformation of part of the northern part of this continent into "America" inaugurated a nearly boundless epoch of opportunity and innovation, and thus deserves to be celebrated with great vim and gusto, with or without the participation of those who wish they had never been born. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The search for Nirvana, like the search for Utopia or the end of history or the classless society, is ultimately a futile and dangerous one. It involves, if it does not necessitate, the sleep of reason. There is no escape from anxiety and struggle. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Perhaps the values of socialists can only be realized by socialists in a nonsocialist society. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The finest fury is the most controlled. -- Christopher Hitchens
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And showed him to be a villa-dwelling dependent and not an ascetic cave-dwelling guerrilla. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We have millions and millions of North Korean children totally stunted in mind and body and will have to be dealt with at some point, who have been raised to believe that they live in a regime that is run by a god. -- Christopher Hitchens
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If you don't state a clear preference, then your drink is like a bad game of poker or a hasty drug transaction: It is whatever the dealer says it is. Please do try to bear this in mind. -- Christopher Hitchens
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And it seems possible, moving to the psychological arena, that people can be better off believing in something than in nothing, however untrue that something may be. -- Christopher Hitchens
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'WASP' is the only ethnic term that is in fact a term of class, apart from redneck, which is another word for the same group but who are in the lower social strata, so it's inexplicably tied up with social standing and culture and history in a way that the other hyphenations just are not. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Saul of Tarsus on the Damascene road. -- Christopher Hitchens
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[I]n a place with absolutely no private or personal life, with the incessant worship of a mediocre career-sadist as the only culture, where all citizens are the permanent property of the state, the highest form of pointlessness has been achieved. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Not since North Korean media declared Kim Jong-il to be the reincarnation of Kim Il Sung has there been such a blatant attempt to create a necrocracy, or perhaps mausolocracy, in which a living claimant assumes the fleshly mantle of the departed. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The clear suggestion is that there ought not to be civilian control of the military. What have callow noncombatants giving brisk orders to grizzled soldiers? How could Lincoln have fired the slavery-loving Gen. George B. McClellan, or Truman dismissed the glorious Douglas MacArthur? -- Christopher Hitchens
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A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realisation that you can't make old friends. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm not a sheep. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I am sometimes asked about the concept or definition of a 'public intellectual,' and though I find the whole idea faintly silly, I believe it should ideally mean that the person so identified is self-sustaining and autonomously financed. Susan was pre-eminently one such. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I don't think the war in Afghanistan was ruthlessly enough waged. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A rule of thumb with humor; if you worry that you might be going too far, you have already not gone far enough. If everybody laughs, you have failed. -- Christopher Hitchens
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If asked my opinion about virginity, I would say, "I'm opposed to it." I don't think it deserves to be celebrated, at any rate. Or at least, if I'm not opposed, I'm very highly skeptical and critical of it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The chief principle of banana-ism is that of kleptocracy, whereby those in positions of influence use their time in office to maximize their own gains, always ensuring that any shortfall is made up by those unfortunates whose daily life involves earning money rather than making it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There's been some research in cognitive science, I'm told, that discloses that there have always been perhaps 10 to 15 percent of people who are, as Pascal puts it, so made that they cannot believe. To us, when people talk about faith, it's white noise. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It is pardonable for children to yell that they believe in fairies, but it is somehow sinister when the piping note shifts from the puerile to the senile. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm a member of no party. I have no ideology. I'm a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that's all around us. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There is an unusually high and consistent correlation between the stupidity of a given person and that person's propensity to be impressed by the measurement of IQ. -- Christopher Hitchens
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By the way, if you knew how you sounded when you hissed, you wouldn't do it: you sound like such berks when you do that. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' ... -- Christopher Hitchens
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From a plurality of prime movers, the monotheists have bargained it down to a single one. They are getting ever nearer to the true, round figure. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Don't write in to ask whether I would prefer Gingrich to Clinton. Ask, rather, whether Clinton prefers Gingrich to you. Go triangulate yourself. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Paine and Joel Barlow attempted to change Jefferson's mind, urging him to settle thrifty German immigrants in the new lands and to permit black families to travel from other states to acquire their own land there, but the sugar interest triumphed, -- Christopher Hitchens
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Until the early middle years of the sixteenth century, when King Henry VIII began to quarrel with Rome about the dialectics of divorce and decapitation, a short and swift route to torture and death was the attempt to print the Bible in English. It's -- Christopher Hitchens
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while courage is not in itself one of the primary virtues, it is the quality that makes the exercise of the virtues possible. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I've been writing a lot about a new form of Russian imperialism. Actually, Russian Orthodox imperialism. It's very little remarked that the cement, the political, ideological cement of the Russian regime now, communism having collapsed and imploded, is increasingly a confessional one. -- Christopher Hitchens
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New forms of the artistic register are one of the infallible signs of an authentic moment. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A bit of a stomach give a chap a position in society. -- Christopher Hitchens
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To what faults do you feel most indulgent? To the ones that arise from urgent material needs. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The whole reason for the success of Dr. King's civil-rights movement was that it was not a movement for itself. The civil-rights movement understood very clearly, and stated very beautifully, that it was a question of humanism, not a sectarian movement at all. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I am always and at once on the defensive, for example, when people speak of races and nations as if they were personalities and had souls and destinies and such like. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I say 'Merry Christmas' to people I don't know, or to people I know are Christians. I say 'Happy Hanukkah' to people I know to be or suspect to be Jewish. And I don't say 'Happy Kwanzaa,' because I think African Americans get enough insults all year round. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, religion no longer offers an explanation for anything important. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I could be spending time looking through a telescope or into a microscope and finding out the most extraordinary, wonderful things, but people say faith can move mountains. Faith in what, by the way? You haven't said. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The problem with open-mindedness is that it can become empty-mindedness -- Christopher Hitchens
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Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There's no Hell mentioned in the Old Testament. The punishment of the dead is not specified there. It's only with gentle Jesus, meek and mild, that the idea of eternal torture for minor transgressions is introduced. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In The Future of an Illusion, Freud made the obvious point that religion suffered from one incurable deficiency: it was too clearly derived from our own desire to escape from or survive death. This critique of wish-thinking is strong and unanswerable, -- Christopher Hitchens
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I shall simply say that those who offer false consolation are false friends. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The advice I've been giving to people all my life - that you may not be interested in the dialectic but the dialectic is interested in you; you can't give up politics, it won't give you up - was the advice I should have been taking myself. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Doubt, skepticism, innovation, and inquiry are the only means by which wonder, beauty, awe, and symmetry will be discovered. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Everyone has a little book in them, and in most cases, that is where it should stay. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Dogma in power does have a unique chilling ingredient not exhibited by power, however ghastly, wielded for its own traditional sake. -- Christopher Hitchens
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One of the most repellent spectacles at election times is the pretense of piety on the part of people running for office. -- Christopher Hitchens
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You don't so much as become an atheist as find out that's what you are. There's no moment of conversion. You don't suddenly think 'I don't believe this anymore.' You essentially find you don't believe it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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This is what I have been telling writing classes for years. You must feel not that you want to but that you have to. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It ought to be an offense to be excruciating and unfunny in circumstances where your audience is almost morally obliged to enthuse. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Very often, people embarking on such guesswork make the vulgar assumption that the lower the motives, the more likely they are to be authentic. -- Christopher Hitchens
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God did not create man in his own image. Evidently, it was quite the other way about, which is the painless explanation for the profusion of gods and religions, and the fratricide both between and among faiths, that we see all about us and that has so retarded the development of civilization. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The basis of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. In other words, religion is the self-consciousness and self-feeling of man who has either not yet found himself or has already lost himself again. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We have lived in a world where the discoveries of physics and genetics are far more awe-inspiring, as well as infinitely more liberating, than the claims of any religion. -- Christopher Hitchens
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To reflect upon the event horizon is a great deal more awe-inspiring than a burning bush or a wooden statue that weeps or pees or bleeds. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Any critique of realism must begin with a sober assessment of the horrors of peace. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's not at all good when your cancer is 'palpable' from the outside. Especially when, as at this stage, they didn't even know where the primary source was. Carcinoma works cunningly from the inside out. Detection and treatment often work more slowly and gropingly, from the outside in. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Those who had alleged that a million civilians were dying from sanctions were willing, nay eager, to keep those same murderous sanctions if it meant preserving Saddam! -- Christopher Hitchens
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Haven't we all heard some irritating person saying that if so-and-so is elected, then he/she is absolutely definitely leaving the country? There must be some reason why it is mainly liberals who tend to say this, but the chief thing to note about the promise is that it is usually an empty one. -- Christopher Hitchens
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What they [the 9/11 attackers] abominate about 'the west', to put it in a phrase, is not what western liberals don't like and can't defend about their own system, but what they do like about it and must defend: its emancipated women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I think it was David Hume who put it slightly vulgarly, this was again about the virgin birth I think. Which is more likely ... that the whole natural order is suspended or that a Jewish minx should tell a lie? -- Christopher Hitchens
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Thus did I begin to see, or thought I began to see, how the British Conservatives kept the fierce, irrational loyalty of those whom they exploited. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Go too far outside "the box," of course, and you will encounter a vernacular that is much less "tolerant." Here, the key words are "fanatic," "troublemaker," "misfit" or "malcontent. -- Christopher Hitchens
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As is so often the case with pieces that appear in the Onion, I honestly could not decide whether this was a clever hoax or not - the arguments were almost exactly as stupid as the real thing. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Gullibility and credulity are considered undesireable qualities in every department of human life - except religion ... Why are we praised by godly men for surrendering our 'godly gift' of reason when we cross their mental thresholds? -- Christopher Hitchens
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One of my first reservations about Zionism was and is that, semiconsciously at least, it grants the anti-Semite's first premise about the abnormality of the Jew. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A panel at a beautiful annual literary festival in Brazil, held in the almost Utopian coastal town of Parati, found me matched with Fernando Gabeira. This comparison reduced my own limited charisma value to something like zero: Gabeira has excelled at every cultural activity in Brazil. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The trade-off between freedom and security, so often proposed so seductively, very often leads to the loss of both. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Suppose there were groups of secularists at hospitals who went round the terminally ill and urged them to adopt atheism: 'Don't be a mug all your life. Make your last days the best ones. People might suppose this was in poor taste. -- Christopher Hitchens
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My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and kiss my ass. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Thus in order to be a "radical" one must be open to the possibility that one's own core assumptions are misconceived. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It is indeed strange, given the heavy emphasis placed by chroniclers on Churchill's sheer magnitude of personality, that the ingredient of pure ambition should be so much ignored or even disallowed. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I am so made that I cannot believe. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Here we are then, I was thinking, in a war to the finish between everything I love and everything I hate. Fine. We will win and they will lose. A pity that we let them pick the time and place of the challenge, but we can and we will make up for that. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We can always be sure of one thing - that the messengers of discomfort and sacrifice will be stoned and pelted by those who wish to preserve at all costs their own contentment. This is not a lesson that is confined to the Testaments. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The ( Catholic ) church, as far as I know, has not endorsed any war as just since it supported General Franco 's invasion of Spain to destroy the Spanish republic with a Muslim mercenary army in the thirties, on the side of Hitler . -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's a curious thing in American life that the most abject nonsense will be excused if the utterer can claim the sanction of religion. A country which forbids an established church by law is prey to any denomination. The best that can be said is that this is pluralism of a kind. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I've always regarded it as a test of character to dislike the Kennedys. I don't really respect anyone who falls for Camelot. -- Christopher Hitchens
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If you can charm everyone it means you don't care about anyone in particular. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Religion is not the belief there is a god. Religion is the belief god tells you what to do. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The unspooling of the skein of the genome has effectively abolished racism and creationism, and the amazing findings of Hubble and Hawking have allowed us to guess at the origins of the cosmos. But how much more addictive is the familiar old garbage about tribe and nation and faith. -- Christopher Hitchens
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At Oxford one was positively encouraged to take wine during tutorials. The tongue must be untied. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Like the experience of warfare, the endurance of grave or terminal illness involves long periods of tedium and anxiety, punctuated by briefer interludes of stark terror and pain. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I myself hope to live long enough to graduate from being a 'bad boy,' which I once was, to becoming a curmudgeon.... -- Christopher Hitchens
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It [Obama's Nobel peace prize] would be like giving someone an Oscar in the hope that it would encourage them to make a decent motion picture. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In the grip of a neurological disorder, I am fast losing control of words even as my relationship with the world has been reduced to them. -- Christopher Hitchens
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My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends, -- Christopher Hitchens
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If people I've never met or don't know say that what I've written or done or said means anything to them, then I'm happy to take it at face value, for once. It cheers me up. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm not a conservative of any kind. -- Christopher Hitchens
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What if, I never tire of asking, we said 'Secret Council' instead of the archaic and therefore cuddly 'Privy Council'? -- Christopher Hitchens
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Flaubert was right when he said that our use of language is like a cracked kettle on which we bang out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we need to move the very stars to pity. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I boldly assert, in fact I think I know, that a lot of friendships and connections absolutely depend upon a sort of shared language, or slang. Not necessarily designed to exclude others, this can establish a certain comity and, even after a long absence, re-establish it in a second. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Did we not aid the grisly Taliban to achieve and hold power? Yes indeed 'we' did. Well, does that not double or triple our responsibility to remove them from power? -- Christopher Hitchens
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I still make sure to go, at least once every year, to a country where things cannot be taken for granted, and where there is either too much law and order or too little. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Some peaceniks clear their throats by saying that, of course, they oppose Saddam Hussein as much as anybody, though not enough to support doing anything about him. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I think everybody has had the experience at some point when they feel that there's more to life than just matter. But I think it's very important to keep that under control and not to hand it over to be exploited by priests and shamans and rabbis and other riffraff. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A virgin can conceive. A dead body can walk again. Your leprosy can be cured. The blind can see. Nonsense. It's not moral to lie to children. It's not moral to lie to ignorant, uneducated people and tell them that if they only would believe nonsense, they can be saved. It's immoral. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The most educated person in the world now has to admit
I shall not say confess
that he or she knows less and less but at least knows less and less about more and more. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In our time, the symbol of state intrusion into the private life is the mandatory urine test. -- Christopher Hitchens
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one of the great failures of human civilization has been its refusal to pay proper attention, or a proper wage, to those who perform the hard but essential primary task of growing our food. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Divine permission, given to people who think they have god on their side, enables actions that a morally normal unbeliever would not contemplate. -- Christopher Hitchens
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What better way for a ruling class to claim and hold power than to pose as the defenders of the nation. -- Christopher Hitchens
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How dismal it is to see present day Americans yearning for the very orthodoxy that their country was founded to escape. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The friends of Galtieri, Saddam Hussein, Mullah Omar and Milosevic make unconvincing defenders of humanitarian values, and it can be seen that their inept and sometimes inane arguments lack either the principles or the seriousness that are required in such debates. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The discovery there is no god is a great relief, because if there were, it would be like living in a celestial North Korea if there was one. You would never be able to escape. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In my life, the only certainty is to be uncertain. I'm an unbeliever who believes in skepticism. I'm only sure about being unsure. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Intellectuals never sound more foolish than when posing as the last civilised man. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I was abruptly recognized as nonthreatening, brusquely advised to fuck off, and off I duly and promptly fucked. -- Christopher Hitchens
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When the book was published, I had just turned sixty-one. I am writing this at a moment when, according to my doctors, I cannot be certain of celebrating another birthday. -- Christopher Hitchens
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No one has the right to tell me what to do because he has a divine warrant. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Every campaign, Garry Wills once wrote, "taught Nixon the same lesson: mobilize resentment against those in power." History taught the same to many conservative and reactionary populist movements, whose real attitude to those in power and authority was one of a servile, envious, vicarious adoration. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The amazing fact is that America is founded on a document. It's a work in progress. It can be tested by each generation. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Well look, I mean, I think that prayer and holy water, and things like that are all fine. They don't do any good, but they don't necessarily do any harm. It's touching to be thought of in that way. It makes up for those who tell me that I've got my just desserts. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The point of protesting about 'moral equivalence' is surely not to blur moral choices on 'our side'. Is it? -- Christopher Hitchens
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Only the aspirants for president are fool enough to believe what they read in the newspapers. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Your least favorite virtue, or nominee for the most overrated one? Faith. Closely followed - in view of the overall shortage of time - by patience. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Scientists have an expression for hypotheses that are utterly useless even for learning from mistakes. They refer to them as being "not even wrong." Most so-called spiritual discourse is of this type. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'd always somehow felt slightly as if I'd been born in the wrong country. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The enormous condescension of posterity was the magnificent phrase employed by E. P. Thompson to remind us that we must never belittle the past popular struggles and victories (as well as defeats) that we are inclined to take for granted. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm a single-issue voter, to get straight to the point. I'm really only interested in the candidate who's toughest and least apologetic when it comes to the confrontation with Islamic Jihadism. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Obscenity comes from grime. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm here as a product of process of evolution, which doesn't make very many exceptions. And which rates life relatively cheaply. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We are not immune to the lure of wonder and mystery and awe: we have music and art and literature, and find that the serious ethical dilemmas are better handled by Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Schiller and Dostoyevsky and George Eliot than in the mythical morality tales of the holy books. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There is a limit to the success of conservative populism and the exploitation of "little guy" or "silent majority" rhetoric, and it is very often reached because of the emaciated, corrupted personalities of the demagogues themselves. -- Christopher Hitchens
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*For a fuller account of the revelations of the Moscow archives, and their detailed vindication of Orwell, see my Introduction to Orwell in Spain (Penguin, 2001). -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's a big mistake to think that your own cause, or your own country, or your own side has God in its corner. For one thing, it commits the sin of pride. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Ronald Reagan said that he sought a Star Wars defense only in order to share the technology with the tyrants of the U.S.S.R. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The struggle for a free intelligence has always been a struggle between the ironic and the literal mind. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's impossible, I think, however much I'd become disillusioned politically or evolve into a post-political person, I don't think I'd ever change my view that socialism is the best political moment humans have ever come up with. -- Christopher Hitchens
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George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The easiest way to establish a dictatorship is to claim you are God's representative on earth. -- Christopher Hitchens
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You should be nicer to him,' a schoolmate had once said to me of some awfully ill-favored boy. 'He has no friends.' This, I realized with a pang of pity that I can still remember, was only true as long as everybody agreed to it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I say that homosexuality is not just a form of sex, it's a form of love, and it deserves our respect for that reason. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The polls undoubtedly help to decide what people think, but their most important long-term influence may be on how people think. The interrogative process is very distinctly weighted against the asking of an intelligent question or the recording of a thoughtful answer. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Religion is compulsory in English schools, you know. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Why do humans exist? A major part of the answer: because Pikaia Gracilens survived the Burgess decimation. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Everything I love: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's only when you have grazed on the lower slopes of your own ignorance and begun to understand the great vistas of nonknowledge that you have, that you can claim to have been educated at all. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Not the wish to die with dignity but the desire to have died -- Christopher Hitchens
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Only a humorless tyrant could want a perpetual chanting of the praises that, one has no choice but to assume, would be of the innate virtues and splendors furnished him by his creator, infinite regression, drowned in praise!) -- Christopher Hitchens
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There but for the grace of God,' said John Bradford in the sixteenth century, on seeing wretches led to execution, 'go I.' What this apparently compassionate observation really means--not that it really 'means' anything--is, 'There by the grace of God goes someone else. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Jesus makes large claims for his heavenly father but never mentions that his mother is or was a virgin, and is repeatedly very rude and coarse to her when she makes an appearance. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's considered acceptable in our culture to approach perfect strangers, as often or not who may be in extremis, and evangelise. I don't see why that's considered a normal thing. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A lot of people, because of my contempt for the false consolations of religion, think of me as a symbolic public opponent of that in extremis. And sometimes that makes me feel a bit alarmed, to be the repository of other people's hope. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The politicized sponsors of this pseudoscientific nonsense should be ashamed to live, let alone die. If you want to take part in the "war" against cancer, and other terrible maladies, too, then join the battle against their lethal stupidity. -- Christopher Hitchens
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What is your idea of earthly happiness? To be vindicated in my own lifetime. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In one way, I suppose, I have been 'in denial' for some time, knowingly burning the candle at both ends and finding that it often gives a lovely light. -- Christopher Hitchens
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What if I pulled through and the pious faction contentedly claimed that their prayers had been answered? That would somehow be irritating, -- Christopher Hitchens
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When I meet people who say - which they do all of the time - 'I must just tell you, my great aunt had cancer of the elbow and the doctors gave her 10 seconds to live, but last I heard she was climbing Mount Everest,' and so forth, I switch off quite early. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has - from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We know that our life is essentially tragic. I'm absolutely not for handing over that very important department of our psyche to those who say, "Why didn't you say so before? God has a plan for you in mind." -- Christopher Hitchens
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The point is not the honest relief of suffering but the promulgation of a cult based on death and suffering and subjection. Mother -- Christopher Hitchens
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I have not been able to discover whether there exists a precise French equivalent for the common Anglo-American expression 'killing time.' It's a very crass and breezy expression, when you ponder it for a moment, considering that time, after all, is killing us. -- Christopher Hitchens
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For most of my life I let women do the driving and was happy to let them. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Of course we have free will because we have no choice but to have it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation - is that good for the world? -- Christopher Hitchens
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If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In the struggle against that state of affairs criticism is no passion of the head, it is the head of passion. It is not a lancet, it is a weapon. Its object is its enemy, which it wants not to refute but to exterminate. -- Christopher Hitchens
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America was not interventionist enough, which, of course, did mean a bit of a breach with old comrades on the left. I felt the international left in the countries concerned took the same position as I did. So, in my view, it's the left that's become reactionary and isolationist and parochial. -- Christopher Hitchens
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As Bertie Wooster once phrased it, they experienced some difficulty in detecting the bluebird. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Nothing proves evolution more than the survival of the religious belief. It shows we are still fearful, partially formed animals with a terror of death and the dark -- Christopher Hitchens
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If I was to interrupt this article every few sentences, asking you whether or not I was making a good impression on you, I hope and believe that you would think I was a servile jerk. Yet this is what our politicians are doing in every speech. -- Christopher Hitchens
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As the cleansing ocean closes over bin Laden's carcass, may the earth lie lightly on the countless graves of those he sentenced without compunction to be burned alive or dismembered in the street. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I am sorry for those who have never had the experience of seeing the victory of a national liberation movement, and I feel cold contempt for those who jeer at it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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If I was told to sacrifice something to prove my devotion to God , if I was told to do what all monotheists are told to do and admire the man who said 'Yes I'll gut my kid to show my love of God. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm reminded of the lady governor of Texas who, during a controversy about bilingualism in the State House in Austin, said if English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it was plenty good enough for her. -- Christopher Hitchens
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At a certain point talk about 'essence' and 'oneness' and the universal becomes more tautological than inquisitive. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A good conversation is the only human equivalent: the realizing that decent points are being made and understood, that irony is in play, and elaboration, and that a dull and obvious remark would be almost physically hurtful. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The prostitute journalist is a familiar and well-understood figure in the Middle East, and Saddam Hussein's regime made lavish use of the buyability of the regional press. Now we, too, have hired that clapped-out old floozy, Miss Rosie Scenario, and sent her whoring through the streets. -- Christopher Hitchens
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[Today's left] would have left us with Slobodan Milosevic in power, Bosnia ethnically cleansed, Kosovo part of Greater Serbia, Afghanistan under the Taliban, and Iraq the property of a psychopathic crime family. Now, I'm sorry to say, I've no patience with that leftist mentality anymore. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I don't envy or much respect people who are completely politicised. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Time spent arguing is, oddly enough, almost never wasted. -- Christopher Hitchens
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People know when they are being lied to, they know when their rulers are absurd, they know they do not love their chains. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A good liar must have a good memory. Kissinger is a stupendous liar with a remarkable memory. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Say 'Toronto' or 'Ontario,' and the immediate thought associations are with a somewhat blander version of North America: a United States with a welfare regime and a more polite street etiquette, and the additionally reassuring visage of Queen Elizabeth on the currency. -- Christopher Hitchens
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If you say you're a unifier, you expect and usually get applause. I'm a divider. Politics is division by definition, if there was no disagreement there would be no politics. The illusion of unity isn't worth having, and is anyways unattainable. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I have the impression that if the "armchair generals" arguers got their way and asked only war veterans what to do about Saddam Hussein, there would have been a rather abrupt "regime change" in Iraq long before now. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Your ideal authors ought to pull you from the foundering of your previous existence, not smilingly guide you into a friendly and peaceable harbor. -- Christopher Hitchens
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David Irving is not just a Fascist historian . He is also a great historian of Fascism . -- Christopher Hitchens
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Your favorite occupation? Travel in contested territory. Hard-working writing and reading when safely home, in the knowledge that an amusing friend is later coming to dinner. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There is no such thing as closure, and it wouldn't be worth having if it were available, because all it would mean is that something that was quite an important part of you had gone numb. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We have no proof that Socrates ever existed. We only know from witnesses to his life that he did. Like Jesus, he never wrote anything down. It doesn't matter to me whether he did or not exist because we have his teachings, his method of thinking, and his extreme intellectual and moral courage. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Never ask while you are doing it if what you are doing is fun. Don't introduce even your most reliably witty acquaintance as someone who will set the table on a roar. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The Postmodernists' tyranny wears people down by boredom and semi-literate prose. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The secular argument, or the liberal argument, is to as much as possible remove taboos so things do not become unmentionable; to let some air into the discussion. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Skepticism rather than credulity is the highest principle that the human intellect can use to ennoble our existence. -- Christopher Hitchens
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On page 607, alluding to the end of my first marriage (and carefully remembering to state that that's none of his business), he very sweetly says that I 'might leave a wife, but not a friend.' Nice try. Neat smear. But he shouldn't be so sure ... -- Christopher Hitchens
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To the dumb question "Why me?" the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not? -- Christopher Hitchens
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You've heard it all right. People don't have cancer: They are reported to be battling cancer. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I apply the Abraham Lincoln test for moral casuistry: 'If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.' Well, then, if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Those who say that I am being punished are saying that god can't think of anything more vengeful than cancer for a heavy smoker. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Life in Britain had seemed like one long antechamber to a room that had too many barriers to entry; here in the USA it seemed to be true that if you dared to give things 'your best shot' then the other much-used phrases like 'land of opportunity' would kick in as well. -- Christopher Hitchens
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People say, "What's it like to be a minority of one, or a kick-bag for the Internet?" It washes off me like jizz off a porn star's face. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The whole point about corruption in politics is that it can't be done, or done properly, without a bipartisan consensus. -- Christopher Hitchens
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One can't live without fear, it's a question of what is your attitude towards fear? I'm afraid of a sordid death. I'm afraid that I will die in an ugly or squalid way, and cancer can be very vigorous in that respect. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Don't swallow your moral code in tablet form. -- Christopher Hitchens
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[Even if the U.S. doesn't attack] Saddam Hussein is not going to survive. His regime is on the verge of implosion. -- Christopher Hitchens
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My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilisation, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can't prove it, but you can't disprove it either. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Remember that it is 'free-thinking Jews,' not Jews as such, who are defined as the undesirables by T.S. Eliot in After Strange Gods. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Your narrative may fail to grip if you haven't taken any care to find out how well or badly your audience member is faring (or feeling). -- Christopher Hitchens
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I have been called arrogant myself in my time, and hope to earn the title again, but to claim that I am privy to the secrets of the universe and its creator - that's beyond my conceit. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm very depressed how in this country you can be told "That's offensive" as though those two words constitute an argument. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I used to wish there was a useful term for those of us who thought American power should be used to remove psychopathic dictators. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The United States finds itself with forces of reaction. Do I have to demonstrate this? The Taliban's annihilation of music and culture? The enslavement of women? -- Christopher Hitchens
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This need to know things at the level of basic experience, and the reluctance to be fobbed off by the official story or the popular rumor, was a part of the "infinite capacity for taking pains" that Thomas Carlyle once described as the constituent of genius. -- Christopher Hitchens
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So this is the way we live now: conditioned by the awareness that no North Korean provocation, however egregious, can be confronted, lest it furnish the occasion or pretext for something truly barbarous and insane. -- Christopher Hitchens
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No possible future government in Kabul can be worse than the Taliban, and no thinkable future government would allow the level of Al Qaeda gangsterism to recur. So the outcome is proportionate and congruent with international principles of self-defense. -- Christopher Hitchens
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PATRIOTIC AND TRIBAL feelings belong to the squalling childhood of the human race, and become no more charming in their senescence. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There are people who cannot forget, as neither do I, the lesson of the years of the Indochina War. Which was, first, that the state is capable of being a murderer. A mass murderer, and a conspirator and a liar. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Well, I'm in my 60s now. I finally look it, I think. People until I was 60 would always say they thought I looked younger, which I think, without flattering myself, I did, but I think I certainly have, as George Orwell says people do after a certain age, the face they deserve. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Nose-hairs gone: runny nostrils. Constipation and diarrhea alternating -- Christopher Hitchens
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I have tried to write about politics in an allusive manner that draws upon other interests and to approach literature and criticism without ignoring the political dimension. Even if I have failed in this synthesis, I have found the attempt worth making. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Three years later, Mr. Turley has received no reply to his letter. Nor can anybody account for the missing money: saints, it seems, are immune to audit. -- Christopher Hitchens
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What a country, and what a culture, when the liberals cry before they are hurt, and the reactionaries pose as brave nonconformists, while the radicals make a fetish of their own jokey irrelevance. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I've been to Uganda and to North Korea and to Eritrea, countless horror spots around the world. -- Christopher Hitchens
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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. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There either is a god or there is not; there is a 'design' or not. -- Christopher Hitchens
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One of the reasons I decided to apply for American citizenship after something like a quarter of century of living here on a British, European Union passport and a green card, was my identification with the United States in the post-September 11th period. -- Christopher Hitchens
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How do I know that I know this, except that I've always been taught this and never heard anything else? How sure am I of my own views? Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever you think you're bound to be OK, because you're in the safely moral majority. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I am absolutely convinced that religion is the main source of hatred in this world. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Religion invents a problem where none exists by describing the wicked as also made in the image of god and the sexually nonconformist as existing in a state of incurable mortal sin that can incidentally cause floods and earthquakes. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The Koran shows every sign of being thrown together by human beings, as do all the other holy books. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It is a tragic and potentially lethal irony that those who most despise science and the method of free inquiry should have been able to pilfer from it and annex its sophisticated products to their sick dreams. -- Christopher Hitchens
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To take a side against Rushdie, or to be neutral and evasive about him in the name of some vaguely sensitive ecumenical conscience, is to stand against those who try to incubate a Reformation in the Muslim world. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The pornography of tough-mindedness, covert action, and preparedness for "peace through strength" has had a predictably hypnotic effect on the legislative branch, turning it from legal watchdog to lapdog. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The awareness that the distinction between "over here" and "over there," or between "home" and "abroad" is often a false one has never left me. -- Christopher Hitchens
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But we do believe in religion - at least for other people. It is a means of
marketing hope, and of instilling ethical precepts on the cheap. It is also a form of discipline. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Who are your favourite heroines in real life? The women of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran who risk their lives and their beauty to defy the foulness of theocracy. Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Azar Nafisi as their ideal feminine model. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The Auden/Kallman relationship had this to be said for it: It affirmed that it's better to be blatant than latent. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I want to urge you very strongly to travel as much as you can, and to evolve yourself as an internationalist. It's as important a part of your education as a radical as the reading of any book. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The people who must never have power are the humorless. To impossible certainties of rectitude they ally tedium and uniformity. -- Christopher Hitchens
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When the New York Times scratches its head, get ready for total baldness as you tear out your hair. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I felt Clinton represented the worst of the 1960s. -- Christopher Hitchens
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He amended the thought to say that men were "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights," thus -- Christopher Hitchens
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Teasing is very often a sign of inner misery. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The crucial distinction between systems ... was no longer ideological. The main political difference was between those who did, and those who did not, believe that the citizen could
or should
be the property of the state. -- Christopher Hitchens
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My political life has been informed by the view that if there was any truth to religion there wouldn't really be any need for politics. -- Christopher Hitchens
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'Bombing Afghanistan back into the Stone Age' was quite a favourite headline for some wobbly liberals. The slogan does all the work. But an instant's thought shows that Afghanistan is being, if anything, bombed out of the Stone Age. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The connection between religious faith and mental disorder is, from the viewpoint of the tolerant and the "multicultural," both very obvious and highly unmentionable. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Cheap booze is a false economy. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The totalitarian, to me, is the enemy - the one that's absolute, the one that wants control over the inside of your head, not just your actions and your taxes. -- Christopher Hitchens
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(Howard) Dean is a raving nut bag ... a raving, sinister, demagogic nutbag ... I and a few other people saw that he should be destroyed. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It is exactly the fear of revenge that motivates the deepest crimes, from the killing of the enemy's children lest they grow up to play their own part, to the erasure of the enemy's graveyards and holy places so that his hated name can be forgotten. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In the ordinary moral universe, the good will do the best they can, the worst will do the worst they can, but if you want to make good people do wicked things, you'll need religion. -- Christopher Hitchens
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For the people who ostensibly wish me well or are worried about my immortal soul, I say I take it kindly. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Authors who moan with praise for their editors always seem to reek slightly of the Stockholm syndrome. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Those who are determined to be 'offended' will discover a provocation somewhere. We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt. -- Christopher Hitchens
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(An astrologer of a London tabloid was once fired by means of a letter from his editor which began, "As you will no doubt have foreseen.") -- Christopher Hitchens
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We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Just as the humble, unassuming, assenting 'O.K.' has deposed the more affirmative 'Yes,' so the little cringe and hesitation and approximation of 'like' are a help to young people who are struggling to negotiate the shoals and rapids of ethnic identity, the street, and general correctness. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Be ... suspicious ... of all those who employ the term 'we' or 'us' without your permission. This is [a] form of surreptitious conscription ... Always ask who this 'we' is; as often as not it's an attempt to smuggle tribalism through the customs. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I was precocious enough to watch the news and read the papers, and I can remember October 1956, the simultaneous crisis in Hungary and Suez, very well. And getting a sense that the world was dangerous, a sense that the game was up, that the Empire was over. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Millions of people die every day. Everyone's got to go sometime. I've came by this particular tumor honestly. If you smoke, which I did for many years very heavily with occasional interruption, and if you use alcohol, you make yourself a candidate for it in your sixties. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Try your hardest to combat atrophy and routine. To question The Obvious and the given is an essential element of the maxim 'de omnius dubitandum' [All is to be doubted]. -- Christopher Hitchens
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My little ankle-strap sandals curled with embarrassment for her. -- Christopher Hitchens
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What is it you most dislike? Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The Islamists will try to spoil everything for everyone. -- Christopher Hitchens
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We shall have no more prophets or sages from the ancient quarter, which is why the devotions of today are only the echoing repetitions of yesterday, sometimes ratcheted up to screaming point so as to ward off the terrible emptiness. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The quality you most admire in a man? Courage moral and physical: 'anima' - the ability to think like a woman. Also a sense of the absurd.
The quality you most admire in a woman? Courage moral and physical: "anima" - the ability to visualize the mind and need of a man. Also a sense of the absurd. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Nothing optional
from homosexuality to adultery
is ever made punishable unless those who do the prohibiting (and exact the fierce punishment) have a repressed desire to participate. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The worst days are when you feel foggy in the head - chemo-brain they call it. It's awful because you feel boring. As well as bored. And stupid. And resigned. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm not very impressed by people who yell "traitor" and "communist" and other less printable things. I don't like it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Faith of that sort - the sort that can stand up at least for a while in a confrontation with reason - is now plainly impossible. -- Christopher Hitchens
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When I look back on what I did for the Left, I'm in a small way quite proud of some of it - I only wish I'd done more. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I feel upsettingly de-natured. If Penelope Cruz were one of my nurses, I wouldn't even notice. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Anyone who can look me in the eye and say they prefer the story of Moses or Jesus or Mohammed to the life of Socrates is intellectually defective. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Bad habits have brought me this far: why change such a tried-and-true formula? -- Christopher Hitchens
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Would you have wished more, or fewer, anarchists around in the Thousand Year Reich or any of the other fantasies of hierarchy? -- Christopher Hitchens
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Within this quadrilateral of forces, Jefferson was to emerge as the republican equivalent of a philosopher king, who was coldly willing to sacrifice all principles and all allegiances to the one great aim of making America permanent. -- Christopher Hitchens
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When I go to the clinic next and sit with a tube in my arm and watch the poison go in, I'm in an attitude of abject passivity. It doesn't feel like fighting at all; it just feels like submitting. -- Christopher Hitchens
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This huge and terrible industry [the slave trade] was blessed by all churches and for a long time aroused absolutely no religious protest ... In the eighteenth century, a few dissenting Mennonites and Quakers in America began to call for abolition, as did some freethinkers like Thomas Paine. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Either one attributes one's presence here to the laws of biology and physics, or one attributes it to a divine design. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There are times when it is conservative to be a revolutionary, when the world must be turned on its head in order to be stood on its feet. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A good day is one where I can not just read a book, but write a review of it. Maybe today I'll be able to do that. I get for some reason somewhat stronger when the sun starts to go down. Dusk is a good time for me. I'm crepuscular. -- Christopher Hitchens
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You don't say 'they all do it' unless you know you've been doing it too. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Every day one reads meretricious babble about 'globalization' and the abolition of frontiers, most of it amounting to little more than celebration of the worldwide availability of Wheel of Fortune. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Trust is not the same as faith. A friend is someone you trust. Putting faith in anyone is a mistake. -- Christopher Hitchens
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For some reason, many religions force themselves to think of the birth canal as a one-way street, and even the Koran treats the Virgin Mary with reverence. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I must have been one of the least surprised people on earth on September 11. I felt very braced for that. I knew something like that was going to come. -- Christopher Hitchens
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He's a man [George W. Bush] who is lucky to be governor of Texas. He is a man who is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In particular, it is absurd to hope to banish envy of other people's possessions or fortunes, if only because the spirit of envy can lead to emulation and ambition and have positive consequences. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In a Pyongyang restaurant, don't ever ask for a doggie bag. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm afraid the SS's relationship with the Catholic Church is something the Church still has to deal with and does not deny. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Reagan is doing to the country what he can no longer do to his wife. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I have no time to waste on this planet being told what to do by those who think that God has given them instructions. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Read with care, George Orwell's diaries, from the years 1931 to 1949, can greatly enrich our understanding of how Orwell transmuted the raw material of everyday experience into some of his best-known novels and polemics. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The rich world likes and wishes to believe that someone, somewhere, is doing something for the Third World. For this reason, it does not inquire too closely into the motives or practices of anyone who fulfills, however vicariously, this mandate. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In Africa, there is a birthrate trap: a higher standard of living will lead to smaller families but smaller families will not lead to a higher standard of living. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Well, we can't say any more than we can say there is no god, there is no afterlife. We can only say there is no persuasive evidence for or argument for it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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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. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Mockery of religion is one of the most essential things ... one of the beginnings of the human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority, its indispensable -- Christopher Hitchens
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[E]xceptional claims demand exceptional evidence. -- Christopher Hitchens
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To 'choose' dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's surprising to me how many of my friends send Christmas cards, or holiday cards, including my atheist and secular friends. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I don't think there's any need to have essays advocating selfishness among human beings; I don't know what your impression has been, but some things require no further reinforcement. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm an atheist. I'm not neutral about religion, I'm hostile to it. I think it is a positively bad idea, not just a false one. And I mean not just organized religion, but religious belief itself. -- Christopher Hitchens
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These are the rewards of maturity, to be enjoyed only as we decline. We -- Christopher Hitchens
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Beautiful sentences pop into my head. Beautiful sentences that aren't always absolutely accurate. Then, I have to choose between the beautiful sentence and being absolutely accurate. It can be a difficult choice. -- Christopher Hitchens
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phenomenon has reappeared in a more troubling form with the holy alliance between the believers and what they can borrow or steal from the world of science. Here is Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy, a distinguished professor -- Christopher Hitchens
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My favorite time in the cycles of public life is the time when the Pope is dead and they haven't elected a new one. There's no one in the world who is infallible for those weeks. And you know, I don't miss it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In a time when both rights and reason are under several kinds of open and covert attack, the life and writing of Thomas Paine will always be part of the arsenal on which we shall need to depend. -- Christopher Hitchens
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If god really wanted people to be free of [wicked thoughts], he should have taken more care to invent a different species. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There is some relationship between the hunger for truth and the search for the right words. This struggle may be ultimately indefinable and even undecidable, but one damn well knows it when one sees it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I think that anti-Jewish prejudice is an unfailing sign of a sick and disordered person ... It's a horrible, conspiratorial, pseudo-intellectual, mean spirited, eventually lethal piece of bigotry. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Terrorism works better as a tactic for dictatorships, or for would-be dictators, than for revolutionaries. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The argument about ethics and morality will have to go on in a post-religious society, just as it had to go on when religion was regnant and was often ordering good people to agree to evil things such as torture, slavery, or cruelty to children. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Hesitate once, hesitate twice, hesitate a hundred times before employing political standards as a device for the analysis and appreciation of poetry. -- Christopher Hitchens
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MT [Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'd like to prove to other people that it's not the end of everything to be diagnosed with cancer. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's true that obscenity is a matter of taste and in the eye of the beholder. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Nonintervention does not mean that nothing happens. It means that something else happens. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Unlike other countries, it was founded on written proclamations. America is an ideal as well as a republic. Its documents are open to revisions. They're works in progress. There's an invitation to participate. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The people who tend to raise antiwar slogans will do so generally when it's American or British interests involved. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I took part in what was actually the last eruption of Marxist internationalism. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There was also the time that competitors were asked to submit a paragraph of a Graham Greene parody: Greene himself entered under a pseudonym and placed third. -- Christopher Hitchens
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He was so much the picture of different kinds of assimilation that it was almost a case of multiple personalities. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In the very recent past, we have seen the Church of Rome befouled by its complicity with the unpardonable sin of child rape, or, as it might be phrased in Latin form, no child's behind left. -- Christopher Hitchens
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To be in opposition is not to be a nihilist. -- Christopher Hitchens
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A sort of moral blackmail is exerted from both poles. The underclass, one gathers, should be dulled with charity and welfare provision lest it turn nasty. The upper class must likewise be conciliated by vast handouts, lest it lose the "incentive" to go on generating wealth. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It is a deformity in some 'radicals' to imagine that, once they have found the lowest or meanest motive for an action or for a person, they have correctly identified the authentic or 'real' one. Many a purge or show trial has got merrily under way in this manner. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I don't regard myself as any kind of conservative, except conceivably neo, and that word, of course, is a ridiculous appellation, because it's used to describe a group that was ready to make war on the status quo, which is not a conservative position. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I appear as a skeptic, who believes that doubt is the great engine, the great fuel of all inquiry, all discovery and all innovation. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Rights have to be asserted. Animals cannot make such assertions. We have to make representations to ourselves on their behalf. -- Christopher Hitchens
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One of the great questions of philosophy is, do we innately have morality, or do we get it from celestial dictation? A study of the Ten Commandments is a very good way of getting into and resolving that issue. -- Christopher Hitchens
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History is a tragegy, not a morality tale. -- Christopher Hitchens
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("Anyone who uses 'childhood' and 'dream' in the same sentence usually gets my attention. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Shepherds don't look after sheep because they love them - although I do think some shepherds like their sheep too much. They look after their sheep so they can, first, fleece them and second, turn them into meat. That's much more like the priesthood as I know it. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There is a division within the neo-conservative movement, which is, by the way, one of the tests of its authenticity as a tendency. I would say I was a supporter of Paul Wolfowitz. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint. -- Christopher Hitchens
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What word or expression do you most overuse? Re-reading a collection of my stuff, I was rather startled to find that it was 'perhaps. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The usual duty of the "intellectual" is to argue for complexity and to insist that phenomena in the world of ideas should not be sloganized or reduced to easily repeated formulae. -- Christopher Hitchens
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What do you most value in your friends?
Their continued existence. -- Christopher Hitchens
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My father had died, and very swiftly, too, of cancer of the esophagus. He was 79. I am 61. In whatever kind of a 'race' life may be, I have very abruptly become a finalist. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The disquieting thing about newscaster-babble or editorial-speak is its ready availability as a serf idiom, a vernacular of deference. Mr. Secretary, are we any nearer to bringing about a dialogue in this process ? -- Christopher Hitchens
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Whatever view one takes of the outcome being affected by morale, it seems certain that the realm of illusion must be escaped before anything else. -- Christopher Hitchens
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And how easy it is to recognize the revenant shapes that the old unchanging enemies - racism, leader worship, superstition - assume when they reappear amongst us (often bodyguarded by their new apologists). -- Christopher Hitchens
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A sure sign of ineptitude and malice is manifested when one's attacker is willing to cover himself with mud in order to try and make some of it adhere to his target. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The spirit of our accurate and exact philosophy is outraged by conclusions that contradict each other so glaringly. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Ronald Reagan used to alarm his Soviet counterparts by saying that surely they'd both unite against an invasion from Mars. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There must be some connection between the general nullity of Christie's prose and the tendency of her detectives to take Jewishness as a symptom of crime. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex, and picnics. -- Christopher Hitchens
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If you think that the intifada in France is about housing, go and try covering the story wearing a yarmulka . -- Christopher Hitchens
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The term 'the American Left' is as near to being meaningless or nonsensical as any term could really be in politics. It isn't really a force in politics anymore. And it would do well to ask itself why that is. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Today I want to puke when I hear the word 'radical' applied so slothfully and stupidly to Islamist murderers; the most plainly reactionary people in the world. -- Christopher Hitchens
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How is the United States at once the most conservative and commercial AND the most revolutionary society on Earth? -- Christopher Hitchens
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I think the materialist conception of history is valid. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's no fun to appreciate to the full the truth of the materialist proposition that I don't have a body, I am a body. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The reading public isn't born that doesn't think foreigners are either funny or faintly sinister. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Henry Kissinger should have the door shut in his face by every decent person and should be shamed, ostracized and excluded. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Those of us who are most genuinely repelled by war and violence are also those who are most likely to decide that some things, after all, are worth fighting for. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In our native terms, the ironic style is often compounded with the sardonic and the hard-boiled; even the effortlessly superior. But irony originates in the glance and the shrug of the loser, the outsider, the despised minority. It is a nuance that comes most effortlessly to the oppressed. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It is not that there are no certainties, it is that it is an absolute certainty that there are no certainties. -- Christopher Hitchens
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You have to choose your future regrets. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I've had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I think that all filth is local ... and that a joke isn't a joke unless it's at somebody's expense -- Christopher Hitchens
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The holy book in the longest continuous use - the Talmud - commands the observant one to thank his maker every day that he was not born a woman. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Saul Bellow: Death is the dark backing that a mirror needs if we are able to see anything. -- Christopher Hitchens
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As with the normal life, one finds that every passing day represents more and more relentlessly subtracted from less and less. In other words, the process both etiolates you and moves you nearer toward death. How could it be otherwise? -- Christopher Hitchens
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Of course what I'm about to share isn't true for me but ...
Friends, somebody said, are "god's apology for relations." (p. 129) -- Christopher Hitchens
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Not many people come through esophageal cancer and live to talk about it, or not for long. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I, for one, will not have [the Vietcong] insulted by any comparison to the forces of Zarqawi, the Fedayeen Saddam, and the criminal underworld now arrayed against us. These depraved elements are the Iraqi Khmer Rouge. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Rosa Luxemburg was - still is for me - a great personal and intellectual heroine. Her analysis of Leninism and capitalism and social democracy are all worth reading. I wouldn't consider anyone truly politically literate if they hadn't given her work at least some study. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It was not for the sake of oil that the risky decision to cease this corrupt coexistence was made. But at least now the Iraqi people have a chance of controlling their own main resource, and it will be our task to ensure that the funding and revenue are transparent instead of opaque. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Reason is the Devil's harlot, who can do nought but slander and harm whatever God says and does. - MARTIN LUTHER -- Christopher Hitchens
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Jesus, it is true, shows no personal interest in gain, but he does speak of treasure in heaven and even of "mansions" as an inducement to follow him. Is it not further true that all religions down the ages have shown a keen interest in the amassment of material goods in the real world? -- Christopher Hitchens
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The brilliant Schiller was wrong in his Joan of Arc when he said against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. It is actually by means of the gods that we make our stupidity and gullibility into something ineffable. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Trotsky was so much an intellectual that in the final analysis, Marxism was not quite enough for him. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The creation story is ridiculous garbage. And has given us a completely false picture of our origin as a species and the origins of the cosmos. If you want a good mythical story it would be the life of Socrates. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Knowing that we are primates, I think, is a fascinating discovery, and a very interesting and rather cheering one. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The taming and domestication of religion is one of the unceasing chores of civilization. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The role of dissident is not, and should not be, a claim of membership in a communion of saints. In other words, the more fallible the mammal, the truer the example. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Even if I accepted that Jesus - like almost every other prophet on record - was born of a virgin, I cannot think that this proves the divinity of his father or the truth of his teachings. The same would be true if I accepted that he had been resurrected. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The two things he most valued, which is to say liberty and equality, were not natural allies. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Obviously, there must be some connection between the subordination of actual individuals and the grotesque exaltation of symbolic ones like Kim Il Sung. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The antagonistic exponents of freedom and absolutism must thus meet at last and then will be fought the mighty battle on which the world will look with breathless interest; for on its issue the freedom or the slavery of the world will depend. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The drops (polio vaccine) were designed,said these believers. Their intention and effect was genocidal. Nobody was to swallow them, or administer them to infants. Within months, polio was back ... -- Christopher Hitchens
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Religion is not going to come up with any new arguments. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Religion fosters servility and solipsism. -- Christopher Hitchens
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If only religion were an opiate. No known narcotic rots the brain so fast. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Morality comes from humanism and is stolen by religion for its own purposes. -- Christopher Hitchens
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For me, to remember friendship is to recall those conversations that it seemed a sin to break off: the ones that made the sacrifice of the following day a trivial one. -- Christopher Hitchens
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In this way he will draw men to him by the strong cords of their passions, made reason-proof by being baptized with the name of piety. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's the minute fanaticism and superiority of the Almanach that offends: the chilling and narrowing of the kinship tie into something denatured and artificial. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I learned that to be amusing was not to be frivolous and that language - always the language - was the magic key as much to prose as to poetry. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Three words for those who want to put the Christ back in Christmas: Jingle Bell Rock. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There is no conceit equal to false modesty, and there is no
politics like antipolitics -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's the professional deformation of many writers, and has ruined not a few. (I remember Kingsley Amis, himself no slouch, saying that he could tell on what page of the novel Paul Scott had reached for the bottle and thrown caution to the winds.) -- Christopher Hitchens
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We live only a few conscious decades, and we fret ourselves enough for several lifetimes. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The measure of an education is that you acquire some idea of the extent of your ignorance. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I have more than once in my time woken up feeling like death. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self-centred and even solipsistic. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The enduring rapture with magic and fable has always struck me as latently childish and somehow sexless (and thus also related to childlessness). -- Christopher Hitchens
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Populists (and 'national socialists') look at the supposedly secret deals that run the world 'behind the scenes'. Child's play. Except that childishness is sinister in adults. -- Christopher Hitchens
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As well as being a vulgar producer of her own spectacle, and an embarrassment to her family, Cindy Sheehan is at best a shifty fantasist. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Allow a friend to believe in a bogus prospectus or a false promise and you cease, after a short while, to be a friend at all. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It is a terrible thing to feel sorry for one's mother or indeed father. And it's an additionally awful thing to feel this and to know the impotence of the adolescent to do anything at all about it. Worse still, perhaps, is the selfish consolation that it isn't really one's job to rear one's parents. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The sad thing is that so many people, in the belief that the universe is organized to suit and influence them, are willing to sacrifice even the slight cranial capacity with which evolution has equipped us. -- Christopher Hitchens
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If you care about the points of agreement and civility, then, you had better be well-equipped with points of argument and combativity, because if you are not then the "center" will be occupied and defined without your having helped to decide it, or determine what and where it is. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Every time the secret police close in, our heroes are able to "disapparate" - a term that always makes me think of an attempt at English by George W. Bush. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I burned the candle at both ends and it often gave a lovely light. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I can claim copyright only in myself, and occasionally in those who are either dead or have written about the same events, or who have a decent expectation of anonymity, or who are such appalling public shits that they have forfeited their right to bitch. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Everything everyone thinks they know about [Mother Teresa] is false. It must be the single most successful emotional con job of the twentieth century. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Islamophobia: a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Indeed, it's futile to try and use Holy Scripture to support any political position. I deeply distrust anyone who does. Just look at what an Islamic Republic is like. -- Christopher Hitchens
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[P]erhaps you notice how the denial is so often the preface to the justification. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I make preparations both to live and to die every day, but with the emphasis on not dying, and on acting as if I was going to carry on living. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I think religion should be treated with ridicule, hatred, and contempt, and I claim that right. -- Christopher Hitchens
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That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Beware what you wish for, unless you have the grace to hope that your luck can be shared. -- Christopher Hitchens
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justified in the name of "security" like almost every cowardly idiocy before and since, -- Christopher Hitchens
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But here are wine and beautiful young girls, Be wise and hide your sorrows in their curls, Dive as you will in life's mysterious sea, You shall not bring us any better pearls. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It is a pity that ... the majority of feminists and their allies have stuck to the dead ground of "Me Decade" possessive individualism, an ideology that has more in common than it admits with the prehistoric right, which it claims to oppose but has in fact encouraged. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Our Christian enthusiasts are evidently too stupid, as well as too insecure, to appreciate this. A revealing mark of their insecurity is their rage when public places are not annually given over to religious symbolism, and now, their fresh rage when palaces of private consumption do not follow suit. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The death toll is not nearly high enough ... too many [jihadists] have escaped. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Europeans think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Ever since I discovered that my god given male member was going to give me no peace, I decided to give it no rest in return. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It must be obvious to anyone who can think at all that the charges against the Hussein regime are, as concerns arsenals of genocidal weaponry, true. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It has been said that alcohol is a good servant and a bad master. Nice try. The plain fact is that it makes other people, and indeed life itself, a good deal less boring. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I have always found it quaint and rather touching that there is a movement [Libertarians] in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I joined a small but growing post-Trotskyite Luxembourgist sect. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The diet book is one of those fool-and-money separation devices that seems, like roulette or slot machines, never to lose its power. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The faithful believe that certain truths have been 'revealed.' The skeptics and secularists believe that truth is only to be sought by free inquiry and trial and error. Only one of those positions is dogmatic. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm terrified of losing my voice. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Osama bin Laden's writings and actions constitute a direct negation of human liberty, and vent an undisguised hatred and contempt for life itself. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's all a complete farce you understand? We're born into a losing struggle ... I've investigated the road up ahead. No one comes out of this a winner. In the meantime I think one must show some contempt and some defiance and the best means of doing that that I know are irony and obscenity. -- Christopher Hitchens
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When Maimonides says that the Messiah will come but that 'he may tarry,' we see the origin of every Jewish shrug from Spinoza to Woody Allen. -- Christopher Hitchens
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That most risky and volatile of all things a self-pitying majority. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Forget it. Never explain; never apologize. You can either write posthumously or you can't. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Ordinary morality is innate in my view. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There is a noticeable element of the pathological in some current leftist critiques, which I tend to attribute to feelings of guilt allied to feelings of impotence. Not an attractive combination, because it results in self-hatred. -- Christopher Hitchens
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[T]his is an enemy for life, as well as an enemy of life. -- Christopher Hitchens
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lying on "mattress graves. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Will an Iraq war make our Al Qaeda problem worse? Not likely. -- Christopher Hitchens
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There is an old Belfast joke about the man stopped at a roadblock and asked his religion. When he replies that he is an atheist he is asked, Protestant or Catholic atheist? -- Christopher Hitchens
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There can be no progress without head-on confrontation. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I'm not afraid of being dead, that's to say there's nothing to be afraid of. I won't know I'm dead, would be my strong conviction. And if I find that I'm alive in any way at all, that'll be a pleasant surprise. I quite like surprises. -- Christopher Hitchens
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My looks by then had in any case declined to the point where only women would go to bed with me. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Why has the blowjob had a dual existence for so long, sometimes subterranean and sometimes flaunted, before bursting into plain view as the specifically American sex act? -- Christopher Hitchens
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Unless a reincarnationist is willing to say there was a 'first generation' of souls created with the first humans, he is exposed to absurdity by the recency of human life on the planet. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Chemotherapy isn't good for you. So when you feel bad, as I am feeling now, you think, 'Well that is a good thing because it's supposed to be poison. If it's making the tumor feel this queasy, then I'm OK with it.' -- Christopher Hitchens
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I mean, what would I be doing if I couldn't write? But that fortunately hasn't proved to be the case and I can read any day. I still read a lot, and I can write any day, but much more slowly and fewer words. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Control over the production and distribution of oil is the decisive factor in defining who rules whom in the Middle East. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Billy Graham is a boring, racist charlatan. -- Christopher Hitchens
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You can't have occupation and human rights. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Solidarity is an attitude of resistance, I suppose, or it should be. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Normally, anything done in the name of 'the kids' strikes me as either slightly sentimental or faintly sinister - that redolence of moral blackmail that adheres to certain charitable appeals and certain kinds of politician. (Not for nothing is baby-kissing the synonym for public insincerity.) -- Christopher Hitchens
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Only the force of American arms, or the extremely credible threat of that force, can bring a fresh face to power. -- Christopher Hitchens
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all children are born into a losing struggle with death -- Christopher Hitchens
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Death has this much to be said for it: You don't have to get out of bed for it. Wherever you happen to be They bring it to you - free. - Kingsley Amis -- Christopher Hitchens
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I personally want to "do" death in the active and not the passive, and to be there to look it in the eye and be doing something when it comes for me. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Well, to the people who pray for me to not only have an agonising death, but then be reborn to have an agonising and horrible eternal life of torture, I say, 'Well, good on you. See you there.' -- Christopher Hitchens
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Religion makes kind people say unkind things: "I must prove my faith, so mutilate the genitals of my children." They wouldn't do that if God didn't tell them to do so. -- Christopher Hitchens
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I respect those who say that the United States should simply withdraw from the Middle East, but I don't respect them for anything but their honesty. -- Christopher Hitchens
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The man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right. -- Christopher Hitchens
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Evolution has meant that our prefrontal lobes are too small, our adrenal glands are too big, and our reproductive organs apparently designed by committee; a recipe which, alone or in combination, is very certain to lead to some unhappiness and disorder. -- Christopher Hitchens
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This walking business is overrated: I mastered the art of doing it when I was quite small, and in any case, what are taxis for? -- Christopher Hitchens
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The few heroic sluts on this great working-girl turf -- Christopher Hitchens
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It especially annoys me when racists are accused of 'discrimination.' The ability to discriminate is a precious faculty; by judging all members on one 'race' to be the same, the racist precisely shows himself incapable of discrimination. -- Christopher Hitchens
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It's [Los Angeles] mostly full of nonsense and delusion and egomania. They think they'll be young and beautiful forever, even though most of them aren't even young and beautiful now. -- Christopher Hitchens