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Heaven Can Wait - Was I wrong about the afterlife? No. - Comments

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Comment 1 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Damn! That was immense!

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 23:25:36 UTC | #927154

MilitantNonStampCollector's Avatar Comment 2 by MilitantNonStampCollector

A tad corny but a well intended piece.

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 23:48:49 UTC | #927162

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Comment 3 by debonnesnouvelles

And now the resurrection, please! Please....

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 23:51:09 UTC | #927164

ergaster's Avatar Comment 4 by ergaster

Some turns of phrases were as if written by the HItch himself, but however well written it serves as a reminder of how irreplacable the man is.

I applaud every attempt to channel Hitchens. Even if the prose is forever gone, the message must continue to be conveyed.

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 23:59:46 UTC | #927169

BigBlue's Avatar Comment 5 by BigBlue

And you know what? There will be several gulllible Christians who really do believe he is speaking from the grave.

1-0 Hitch!

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 00:17:48 UTC | #927180

Linda Ward's Avatar Comment 6 by Linda Ward

Superb

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 00:25:06 UTC | #927183

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 7 by Ignorant Amos

It gave me rise to give a smirk.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 00:30:41 UTC | #927187

hitchens_jnr's Avatar Comment 8 by hitchens_jnr

I'm pretty sure the real Hitch would never have misspelled "Montmartre".

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 00:48:10 UTC | #927194

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 9 by aroundtown

Much appreciated and noted. I hope to "pass" as bravely, and as staunchly adamant in my non-belief. I recently lost the best friend I ever had in this life and by odd coincidence it just happened to be a small little dog that nobody wanted. He became the friend I never expected. I tried to keep him going but he just became to sick and in an effort to ease his suffering I took him to the veterinarian to have him put to sleep but within minutes of arriving there he simply stayed in my arms and died right there with a beautiful gaze on his face. The reason I tell this tale for the first time is this - I made a pact to myself that if I could die as bravely as he did I will have won the game. Oh how I miss him.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 00:50:48 UTC | #927196

Sample's Avatar Comment 10 by Sample

My condolences for your loss, aroundtown.

As for this article, it was stirring to read along with each sentence. And then, happily, there was a second page!

For just the briefest of moments I felt once again what it was like to think of Hitch as still among us; that is to say, I didn't feel sad.

But now I do.

Mike

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 02:13:31 UTC | #927238

zengardener's Avatar Comment 11 by zengardener

This was a kind gift.

Thank you.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 02:39:17 UTC | #927259

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 12 by Steven Mading

I'm skeptical because its alleged to be dictated by Christopher Hitchens to Art Levine, presumably as something he said when he knew he was on his deathbed and had little time left, but the writing style is very different from Christopher Hitchens. If it really was dictated I think Art Levine probably made a lot of edits to it, and that's being generous.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 04:06:27 UTC | #927319

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 13 by susanlatimer

Comment 9 by aroundtown

I recently lost the best friend I ever had in this life and by odd coincidence it just happened to be a small little dog that nobody wanted.

Mine was a big one. Seventy pounds. But the same story.

I made a pact to myself that if I could die as bravely as he did I will have won the game.

Mine taught me the same lesson.

Oh how I miss him.

I know what you mean.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 04:36:55 UTC | #927335

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 14 by mordacious1

Just goes to show that no one can duplicate Hitchens. I've been re-reading Hitchens' books from his first to his last (more than half way through) and he was just an amazing writer. I miss his eloquence.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 04:52:20 UTC | #927342

motorcycle_emptiness's Avatar Comment 15 by motorcycle_emptiness

Comment 9 by aroundtown :

I recently lost the best friend I ever had in this life and by odd coincidence it just happened to be a small little dog that nobody wanted. He became the friend I never expected. The reason I tell this tale for the first time is this - I made a pact to myself that if I could die as bravely as he did I will have won the game. Oh how I miss him.

Your comment moved me so much I signed up to this website to offer my reply.

On-topic: Non-belief is lonely at times and as for deathbed conversions, I couldn't care less if someone did that having been an atheist all their lives. Thankfully though, Christopher didn't and probably wasn't even tempted to. Ultimately, the universe doesn't care if someone is a believer or not and this truth will be realised by everyone eventually; hopefully sooner rather than later. I find that reassuring - no matter how miserable religious people make us, they lose anyway. However, rational heroes like Christopher make non-belief a viable stance when one is in the public eye. A truly monumental achievement and I do hope that people can finally rid themselves of crippling mythology based morality.

The reason I replied though is that I'm so sad to hear about your friend. A lovely, sensitive, shaggy, and relatively tall dachshund (bred as the Germans intended originally:)) became my best friend without me ever realising it until recently, when I faced losing her forever. I decided to babysit her for a couple of months for a friend, she then became my companion 24 hours a day for two years. She's amazing and she's still alive right now. However, she has liver cancer and will soon be dead. She's in good health due to the medicine she takes, so we're making the most of our short time left with her.

When that day comes, I will shed many tears as I did a few weeks ago when I found out the bad news. I really, really feel for you and I never expected that friendship with a dog could be so profound, moving and so utterly painful when it ends. I'm holding back the tears right now typing this. I too, hope that I face a tragic event like cancer or death with the same dignity as my dog. Of course, she's just a dog, and probably doesn't comprehend mortality to the extent that we do, but the bravery animals demonstrate in the face of adversity is nothing short of magnificent and inspiring.

I hope you find that love again in the future, if you'd like to.

Best wishes,

motorcycle_emptiness.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 04:52:36 UTC | #927343

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 16 by aroundtown

Comment 13 by susanlatimer

I am so sorry you had to go through it too. Damn hard to take losing a friend. I hope you keep the fond memories for a long time. I keep thinking of all the fun we had together and that is a comfort to me.

Comment 15 by motorcycle_emptiness

My heart is heavy thinking of your impending loss. Love her all you can while you've got her. Thank you for remembering my friend too.

Comment 10 by Sample

Thank you. And I feel sorry I brought you guys into my sorrow but I very much appreciate your thoughts. You would know what I am feeling had you know this little guy, he was awesome.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 05:14:21 UTC | #927349

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 17 by susanlatimer

You would know what I am feeling had you know this little guy, he was awesome.

That's the impossible part to explain. You have to know them. I know mine and you know yours. So, I understand.

And I feel sorry I brought you guys into my sorrow.

Don't. I wouldn't trade a second of it to avoid the sorrow. I had to think about that for a while. It's such a loss. He taught me about life and death. I'll never forget him.

And motorcycle_emptiness, aroundtown is right. Love her all you can while you've got her. Embrace it all. That's all we've got.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 05:30:24 UTC | #927351

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 18 by Cartomancer

while consigning homosexuals and nonbelievers to one of Dante’s outer circles of Hell

We get an upgrade to the outer circles now? Dante himself wasn't nearly so generous. If I recall correctly homosexuality was a circle seven offense, which would probably count as "inner".

Seems this is the thread for recently deceased pet stories too. Though I'm not sure I want to rain on anyone's parade. My dearly beloved cat Wednesday passed away eight weeks ago, and I'm still beside myself with sadness and feeling the loneliness deeply (why else am I still awake and distracting myself with the internet at 6.07am). Like Hitch it was a mouth cancer, though fortunately my Wednesday didn't suffer much, even to the end. It is a truly vile notion that we who do not believe in gods are somehow lacking in compassion and love. I am glad Christopher made the contribution he did to standing up for this in his last days.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 06:06:15 UTC | #927361

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 19 by susanlatimer

Cartomancer

Your posts are so very good that I don't even bother commenting. It's more useful to sit by and let you do the dirty work. I have to respond to this one.

My dearly beloved cat Wednesday passed away eight weeks ago, and I'm still beside myself with sadness and feeling the loneliness deeply.

There's no way around that. She is, I'm sure, irreplaceable. I remember when you told us she was sick. I'm glad she didn't suffer. So are you, I'm sure.

I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I have felt the loneliness.

Stupid non-humans.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 06:25:29 UTC | #927364

crusader234's Avatar Comment 20 by crusader234

Way to go Mr Hitchens. Makes me feel like if Hitchens can do it - so Can I. Die . Just less scary now....

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 06:31:44 UTC | #927365

Raiko's Avatar Comment 21 by Raiko

I'm skeptical because its alleged to be dictated by Christopher Hitchens to Art Levine, presumably as something he said when he knew he was on his deathbed and had little time left, but the writing style is very different from Christopher Hitchens. If it really was dictated I think Art Levine probably made a lot of edits to it, and that's being generous.

I think this is merely a well written "what would Hitchens have said"-story, and for not being Hitch, the author has done a great job. I hope pretending to speak for Hitchens didn't poke anyone's wrong side - I personally think it is a nice idea.

Condolenses to everyone who has lost a pet here. I am in line with you after a cat companion I grew up with since age 7 died four years ago. I was a mess for a very long time and if time heals wounds, the scars always stay. I will not ever stop missing her and while I have new cats these days that I love dearly, you can't replace a friend, of course.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 07:41:16 UTC | #927377

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 22 by susanlatimer

Comment 21 by Raiko

you can't replace a friend, of course.

It might seem slighty off-topic, all this talk about pets. But it isn't. It's about life and death. Life is life and embrace it.

I miss Hitchens too. I only discovered him a few years ago link by link on a mission I went on. I adored him because he was a thinker and a real writer. The world needs those. He reminded me of Thomas Paine in the sense that their presence in the world was so significant but that they took a backseat to the mundane world of kings and celebrities.

As much as I adored him, I took him for granted. I somehow assumed that he'd always be there, to argue against delusion, to articulate humanity's ongoing need to define the questions and to champion reason. He was also good to argue against because his challenges were so so soundly presented.

Now, topic after topic, event after event, I look around for him and I realize what the world has lost, how rare it is and how we need to grab the baton, no matter how unqualified we are.

He taught us about life for as long as he could, and he taught us about death when he had to.

The article is a tribute. It was presented as such. The channeling of a lost voice.

An awfully good job was done. It's an old tradition. Writing in the voice of another writer. Copying the masters. I think Hitchens would have appreciated the tribute.

I miss him. He's truly missing.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 08:03:29 UTC | #927378

Quine's Avatar Comment 23 by Quine

Susan: I miss him. He's truly missing.

It's sinking in, more and more, and I don't like it.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 08:08:12 UTC | #927380

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 24 by susanlatimer

It's sinking in, more and more, and I don't like it

I know. I like it less and less all the time.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 08:11:54 UTC | #927381

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 25 by drumdaddy

It is exhilarating irony that Christopher Hitchens would be reporting from the void, setting us straight on the details of where he isn't. Peace to this great man.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 10:35:31 UTC | #927402

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 26 by Stafford Gordon

He's caught his turn of phrase very well I think. It would have been more enjoyable but for the very reason it was written; I wish - and I thought early on that it might be the case - that he'd set it down himself, as a last laugh, so to speak.

Pity about grouping him with Voltaire, Pain, Orwell et al; although well intended, I think Mr Hitchens would have baulked at that somewhat.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 11:12:07 UTC | #927415

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 27 by Stafford Gordon

12: Steven Mading.

Ah! I didn't notice that it had been dictated to Art Levine.

So, it was a last laugh after all.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 11:29:14 UTC | #927423

notany's Avatar Comment 28 by notany

I had the distinct feeling of Hitch smiling down on me as I read this.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 13:06:22 UTC | #927453

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Comment 29 by Follow Peter Egan

Comment 9 by aroundtown :

Much appreciated and noted. I hope to "pass" as bravely, and as staunchly adamant in my non-belief. I recently lost the best friend I ever had in this life and by odd coincidence it just happened to be a small little dog that nobody wanted. He became the friend I never expected. I tried to keep him going but he just became to sick and in an effort to ease his suffering I took him to the veterinarian to have him put to sleep but within minutes of arriving there he simply stayed in my arms and died right there with a beautiful gaze on his face. The reason I tell this tale for the first time is this - I made a pact to myself that if I could die as bravely as he did I will have won the game. Oh how I miss him.

aroundtown I know exactly how you feel. I lost my best friend just before Xmas. She died in my arms looking at me after 12 years of the best friendship. Wish I could say something to help, but I do know how painful it is.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 13:33:38 UTC | #927465

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 30 by Rawhard Dickins

He has risen !!

Praise be !

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 13:51:03 UTC | #927469