Bernard Regp > Bernard's Quotes

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  • #1
    Christopher Hitchens
    “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, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

  • #2
    Christopher Hitchens
    “To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?”
    Christopher Hitchens

  • #3
    Christopher Hitchens
    “Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.”
    Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

  • #4
    Christopher Hitchens
    “Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.”
    Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

  • #5
    Christopher Hitchens
    What is it you most dislike? Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition.”
    Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

  • #6
    Christopher Hitchens
    “The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”
    Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

  • #7
    Christopher Hitchens
    “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

  • #8
    Christopher Hitchens
    “Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.”
    Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

  • #9
    Christopher Hitchens
    “About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about?

    Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. 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' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.”
    Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

  • #10
    Christopher Hitchens
    “[E]xceptional claims demand exceptional evidence.”
    Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

  • #11
    Christopher Hitchens
    “I suppose that one reason I have always detested religion is its sly tendency to insinuate the idea that the universe is designed with 'you' in mind or, even worse, that there is a divine plan into which one fits whether one knows it or not. This kind of modesty is too arrogant for me.”
    Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

  • #12
    Christopher Hitchens
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him will believeth in anything. - Hitchens 3:16”
    Christopher Hitchens

  • #13
    Christopher Hitchens
    “Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.”
    Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

  • #14
    Christopher Hitchens
    “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, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

  • #15
    Christopher Hitchens
    “[Said during a debate when his opponent asserted that atheism and belief in evolution lead to Nazism:]

    Atheism by itself is, of course, not a moral position or a political one of any kind; it simply is the refusal to believe in a supernatural dimension. For you to say of Nazism that it was the implementation of the work of Charles Darwin is a filthy slander, undeserving of you and an insult to this audience. Darwin’s thought was not taught in Germany; Darwinism was so derided in Germany along with every other form of unbelief that all the great modern atheists, Darwin, Einstein and Freud were alike despised by the National Socialist regime.

    Now, just to take the most notorious of the 20th century totalitarianisms – the most finished example, the most perfected one, the most ruthless and refined one: that of National Socialism, the one that fortunately allowed the escape of all these great atheists, thinkers and many others, to the United States, a country of separation of church and state, that gave them welcome – if it’s an atheistic regime, then how come that in the first chapter of Mein Kampf, that Hitler says that he’s doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making Hitler into a minor god, begins, “I swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer?” How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system?

    Again, this is not a difference of emphasis between us. To suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won't hear said and you shouldn't believe.”
    Christopher Hitchens

  • #16
    Christopher Hitchens
    “To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase 'terrible beauty.' Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it's a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else's body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away.”
    Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

  • #17
    Christopher Hitchens
    “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, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

  • #18
    Christopher Hitchens
    “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, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

  • #19
    Christopher Hitchens
    “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, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

  • #20
    Christopher Hitchens
    “Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing. The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament—the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana—is a tribute to the persistence of Hellenism in an otherwise austere Judaea. The same applies to the seder at Passover, which is obviously modeled on the Platonic symposium: questions are asked (especially of the young) while wine is circulated. No better form of sodality has ever been devised: at Oxford one was positively expected to take wine during tutorials. The tongue must be untied. It's not a coincidence that Omar Khayyam, rebuking and ridiculing the stone-faced Iranian mullahs of his time, pointed to the value of the grape as a mockery of their joyless and sterile regime. Visiting today's Iran, I was delighted to find that citizens made a point of defying the clerical ban on booze, keeping it in their homes for visitors even if they didn't particularly take to it themselves, and bootlegging it with great brio and ingenuity. These small revolutions affirm the human.”
    Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

  • #21
    Christopher Hitchens
    “Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and—since there is no other metaphor—also the soul.”
    Christopher Hitchens

  • #22
    Christopher Hitchens
    Who are your favorite 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, Hitch 22: A Memoir

  • #23
    Christopher Hitchens
    “To the dumb question "Why me?" the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not?”
    Christopher Hitchens, Mortality
    tags: fate

  • #24
    Christopher Hitchens
    “I have met some highly intelligent believers, but history has no record to say that [s]he knew or understood the mind of god. Yet this is precisely the qualification which the godly must claim—so modestly and so humbly—to possess. It is time to withdraw our 'respect' from such fantastic claims, all of them aimed at the exertion of power over other humans in the real and material world.”
    Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

  • #25
    Christopher Hitchens
    “The noble title of "dissident" must be earned rather than claimed; it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement.”
    Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

  • #26
    Christopher Hitchens
    “Hitch: making rules about drinking can be the sign of an alcoholic,' as Martin Amis once teasingly said to me. (Adorno would have savored that, as well.) Of course, watching the clock for the start-time is probably a bad sign, but here are some simple pieces of advice for the young. Don't drink on an empty stomach: the main point of the refreshment is the enhancement of food. Don't drink if you have the blues: it's a junk cure. Drink when you are in a good mood. Cheap booze is a false economy. It's not true that you shouldn't drink alone: these can be the happiest glasses you ever drain. Hangovers are another bad sign, and you should not expect to be believed if you take refuge in saying you can't properly remember last night. (If you really don't remember, that's an even worse sign.) Avoid all narcotics: these make you more boring rather than less and are not designed—as are the grape and the grain—to enliven company. Be careful about up-grading too far to single malt Scotch: when you are voyaging in rough countries it won't be easily available. Never even think about driving a car if you have taken a drop. It's much worse to see a woman drunk than a man: I don't know quite why this is true but it just is. Don't ever be responsible for it.”
    Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

  • #27
    Christopher Hitchens
    “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

  • #28
    Christopher Hitchens
    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, Hitch 22: A Memoir

  • #29
    Christopher Hitchens
    “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, Mortality

  • #30
    Christopher Hitchens
    “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, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything



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