Ten months before his death — a death he knew was coming — Christopher Hitchens debated the question, “Is there an afterlife?”. Sharing the stage with Sam Harris, and Rabbis David Wolpe and Bradley Shavit Artson at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, Hitchens lamented how “It’s considered perfectly normal in this society to approach dying people who you don’t know, but who are unbelievers, and say, ‘Now are you gonna change your mind [about the existence of God]?’ That is considered almost a polite question.” “It’s a religious falsification that people like myself scream for a priest at the end. Most of us go to our end with dignity.”
After spending years as an unapologetic atheist, Hitchens also wasn’t going to start believing in an afterlife — or what he half jokingly called “The Never Ending Party.” The video above takes some of Hitchens comments from the debate and turns them into a whimsical animation. It’s classic Hitchens. Equal parts emphatic and funny. Below, you can watch the original debate in its entirety.
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I remember Hitchens, in a debate somewhere, chastising the religious for immorally (in his view) subjecting their children to the fear of G-d. I thought to myself, and you would do better by telling your children that their destiny is ultimately a pile dirt. I realized at that time that, while an interesting political pundit, Hitchens was out of his league when it came to theology.
On the contrary, Hitchens would advocate that you only have ONE life to live. Spend it well not on foolish lies to kids and empty promises of an afterlife.
For someone who doesn’t believe in god or an afterlife, Hitchens spends a disproportionate time talking about ‘fairy tales.’
The conventionally religious are certain there is an afterlife,and the atheists are certain there isn’t. Surely the only honest answer is,”I don’t know.”
Most atheists are not certain there is no afterlife. It’s more of an “I don’t know if there is an afterlife, but I have no reason to believe there is one”.
Public intellectuals are a rarity in the English speaking world. Funny as hell intellectuals price is above rubies. I miss the unrepentant, pig-headed bugger’s byline.