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Honouring Christopher Hitchens - Comments

calvinchan's Avatar Comment 1 by calvinchan

Is there a video of the speech available?

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:19:46 UTC | #879411

flamenco's Avatar Comment 2 by flamenco


Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:22:57 UTC | #879413

some asshole's Avatar Comment 3 by some asshole

My goodness... When I read the title on Twitter, my first thought was that Hitchens had passed. I know, there is nothing inherent to "hono[u]ring" someone that requires them having met their demise, but typically you don't see this sort of thing until they have.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:27:51 UTC | #879414

Moderator's Avatar Comment 4 by Moderator

Is there a video of the speech available?

Richard's speech, together with Christopher's response, was filmed and we will post the video of it as soon as we have it.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:39:10 UTC | #879417

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 5 by Mark Jones

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:39:57 UTC | #879419

Scumgrinder's Avatar Comment 6 by Scumgrinder

Comment 3 by some asshole :

My goodness... When I read the title on Twitter, my first thought was that Hitchens had passed. I know, there is nothing inherent to "hono[u]ring" someone that requires them having met their demise, but typically you don't see this sort of thing until they have.

yeah i felt the same. i went: NOOOOOOoooo

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:56:40 UTC | #879424

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 7 by Stafford Gordon

Even if I was capable of doing so I wouldn't even attempt to follow that.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 16:13:59 UTC | #879432

andersemil's Avatar Comment 8 by andersemil

His voice may be lessened and his breath shortened, but his words are as powerful as they ever were.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 17:38:04 UTC | #879452

Am I Evil?'s Avatar Comment 9 by Am I Evil?

Fantastic speech for a fantastic person. The Hitch has influenced me more than he'll ever know.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 17:40:49 UTC | #879453

howler's Avatar Comment 10 by howler

I only discovered Hitch a couple of years ago and I've spent the past year reading everything I can find by him. I'm presently reading "Arguably" which is great. A great writer and public speaker, and an impeccably well informed journalist in the tradition of George Orwell.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 18:09:50 UTC | #879459

ptdc's Avatar Comment 11 by ptdc

Excellent speech in honor of an excellent human being.
Free-thought and freedom from religion for all who desire to be free.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 18:23:28 UTC | #879463

vjohn82's Avatar Comment 12 by vjohn82

Wonderfully put Richard and it is a mark of the man that your praise barely touches the sides of this most incredible of persons.

A true intellect in the bookish sense, he has not shied away from the public calling that his wit and oratory skills demanded of him. I truly look at the world differently thanks to Christopher Hitchens.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 18:24:01 UTC | #879464

em536's Avatar Comment 13 by em536

Great speech, kudos to you both.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 18:34:36 UTC | #879466

cristianbursuc's Avatar Comment 14 by cristianbursuc

I love Hitchens for his rhetoric - listening to him speak is like watching an artist paint.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 19:17:18 UTC | #879478

turbozed's Avatar Comment 15 by turbozed

Hear, hear!

Wish I were there to witness this tribute to Hitch in person. I hope a video shows up soon.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 19:18:28 UTC | #879479

reformedcalvinist's Avatar Comment 16 by reformedcalvinist

Comment Removed by Author

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 19:30:08 UTC | #879482

Fluffmeister's Avatar Comment 17 by Fluffmeister

A great tribute, and I must admit I also did a double-take when I first saw it, wondering if Chris had died!

There's one part of it that makes me uneasy, though - and is why, I think, that Richard Dawkins is sometimes accused of being a "fundamentalist". Religious people come in all shapes and sizes - the idea of god being a sort of bearded policeman in the sky is pretty much a minority view among religious people. Hindus, for instance (numbering nearly a billion) don't have this concept of a deity, and nor do Buddhists (who don't actually believe in a god, but are nevertheless religious), and of course nor do the majority of Christians and Jews.

It almost seems as though Richard Dawkins sets up a strawman argument of "religious people think there's a single (male) god who is a bloke in the sky with a white beard", and then when encountering religious people who don't have this view of their deity assume that they must be "half-hearted".

Although I don't share their perspective, I've met plenty of religious people who have very strong and, in their own terms, consistent beliefs, without subscribing to the "bearded policeman in the sky" model of religion. Perhaps, rather than being "half-hearted", religious people who don't think their deity has a white beard have simply given rather more thought to their belief system, and consider that their concept of deity is a bit bigger than the Hephaestus "god of the forge" version who knocks up a solar system in a few days - an act which, while reasonably impressive, is something we could conceive a sufficiently advanced civilisation achieving in a manageable timespan.

I think that by refusing to engage with people on the basis of what they believe in, rather than what Prof. Dawkins assumes they believe in, is to do the sceptical scientific community (and I'm using the term sceptical in its literal sense of open-minded, rather than "anti") a great disservice.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 21:26:50 UTC | #879523

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 18 by phil rimmer

Great men, both.

I have known some where, nearing the end of their lives, the "colour" has gone out of it for them. Hitch still has colour in his I'm delighted to see. What a big, beautiful mind.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 21:49:58 UTC | #879527

Ranting Socrates's Avatar Comment 19 by Ranting Socrates

So sad! My goodness; it was just a few years ago that I was introduced to him.

Cancer has played a sick joke on Hitchens. At the beginning of nearly every interview he conduceted while promoting his memoir someone would ask him '' is it not too early to write your memoir'' and Hitchens would always reply something along the lines of it it better now then never. And then, weeks later, cancer hit him. Ah my goodness. Remembering the introduction to his memoir as well, even worse.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 22:01:17 UTC | #879531

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 20 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Good speech, Richard! :)

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 22:45:22 UTC | #879545

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 21 by Philoctetes

A rare and inspiring address, so rational in its content it nevertheless had me forcing back the tears

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:18:14 UTC | #879561

UncleJJ2's Avatar Comment 22 by UncleJJ2

A wonderful and well crafted speech, Richard. You picked some of the best from a huge collection of brilliant output from Hitch. He'll be missed but we have his treasure trove of writings and many of his best speeches have been recorded for posterity on video. This award is richly deserved and it was so good to see him well enough to accept it in person.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 00:46:12 UTC | #879593

brettbuchanan's Avatar Comment 23 by brettbuchanan

Thank you for the continued inspiration.

[Link to personal website removed by moderator]

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 05:25:30 UTC | #879663

NickD's Avatar Comment 24 by NickD

Now on youtube:-

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 12:38:25 UTC | #879781

valla's Avatar Comment 25 by valla

When my time will approach I hope I will remember the example of moral strength that Christopher Hitchens is giving us and that that memory will encourage me to try to imitate him.

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 17:19:24 UTC | #879884

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 26 by Premiseless

Again today I walked,

Again today I talked,

Amongst the layered mess,

A society men have made,

That dogma be displayed,

And elevated, on parade,

That makes me bow,

And spurns my reason,

To validate pernicious fusion,

Of power, therefore cruel,

Lest they that rule,

Fear they must walk as I!

And so again I must return,

To this, A vessel,

Cured of filth,

The mouthpiece,

Ever teaching,

The mindpeace,

Ever searching,

The man,

The "Christopher Hitchens",

That I am!

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 22:13:20 UTC | #880008

mmurray's Avatar Comment 27 by mmurray

Comment 26 by Premiseless :


Just in
case you don't realise
The HTML command {BR} with the curly
brackets replaced by pointy ones.
Will force a line break.

You don't need to leave a gap.


Tue, 11 Oct 2011 22:42:39 UTC | #880017

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 28 by Laurie Fraser

A really lovely speech, Richard, and I know that it's right from your heart. Thank you for saying the words about Hitch that many of us feel.

Wed, 12 Oct 2011 07:49:49 UTC | #880090

billstanley's Avatar Comment 29 by billstanley

I just watched Richard Dawkins' stirring tribute to Chistopher Hitchens. I find myself choking back tears and clapping vigorously at my computer screen as I sit alone in my home. I hope I live long enough to explain to my grandchildren what this moment meant to me.

Wed, 12 Oct 2011 13:05:10 UTC | #880141

-TheCodeCrack-'s Avatar Comment 30 by -TheCodeCrack-

May his Hitchslaps rain down for eternity through his books and videoed debates!

Thu, 13 Oct 2011 05:03:38 UTC | #880387