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Christopher Hitchens: No Deathbed Conversion for Me, Thanks, But it was Good of You to Ask



Atheist Christopher Hitchens was asked earlier this year how his struggle with cancer has affected his views on the question of an afterlife. “I would say it fractionally increases my contempt for the false consolation element of religion and my dislike for the dictatorial and totalitarian part of it,” he responded. “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?’ That is considered almost a polite question.”

Hitchens spoke (see above) during a debate on the question, “Is there an afterlife,” with Sam Harris and Rabbis David Wolpe and Bradley Shavit Artson at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles on February 15. (You can watch the entire event here.) Hitchens’ views on the subject have remained consistent over the years. “It’s a religious falsification that people like myself scream for a priest at the end,” Hitchens said before he was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer in the summer of 2010. “Most of us go to our end with dignity.”
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