What is your opinion on Christopher Hitchens?
An intellectual who held a vast amount of contrevisal opinions.
What is your opinion on him. I am curious as to what other CreateDebate members think.
As a theist, I think Hitchens injected some really interesting and worthwhile discussion into the atheist/theist debate. However, he also injected a whole new breed of fanatical hatred into the atheist narrative which has brought it closer to having a dogma than at any other point in the history of atheism. I also strongly disliked his neo-conservative ideas (e.g. recommending the carpet bombing of civilian areas in the Middle East to cull the worlds Muslim population).
(e.g. recommending the carpet bombing of civilian areas in the Middle East to cull the worlds Muslim population).
Can you cite that? I've been looking for a while now and the only thing that keeps popping up on google is this debate on CD. There seems to have been a verbal misunderstanding where he mocked someone asking a question about this subject, but I haven't actually been able to find the direct quote where Hitchens says we should senselessly murder Muslims for the sole purpose of culling the Muslim population. And I'm curious.
1) I disliked him because I found most of his opinions irrational and misinformed; one example is that of his attack on Mother Teresa for celebrating the poor and other like issues.
2) I liked him in regards to the how he debated. He was never so arrogant as to refuse to admit he was wrong; his persuasive tactics were wonderful; many others.
All in all, I think that he is the most respectable atheistic intellectual of them all.
1) "Most respectable" is a term of measurement. It means that out of all the atheist intellectuals he is the "most" respectable.
2) Polemics are intended to intentionally challenge the suppositions of the status quo in order to provoke thought. That is the point of polemics; we do not know whether he actually believes in the things that he espouses, which might be why he easily concedes his points.
A bright, very influential, and skilled debator/orator. How many atheists have critical remarks to offer about Hitchens? I'll give you a tip NOT MANY. I imagine the typical atheist does the atheist equivalent of quietly saying "Amen" over and over while viewing or listening to his work.
He was bright enough to call religion "a man-made attempt to make sense of the world." our first attempt to make sense of our surroundings or explain reality. He called it "our first attempt" at such things as science, medicine, astronomy, psychiatric care, philosophy, and cosmology, and physics.
But he wasn't quite sharp enough to realize that this as he calls it "first attempt" is actually an ongoing process. He argues against the process as opposed to viewing it as an evolving phenomenon.
Doesn't this kind of go for almost any ideological group? Except that atheists are a less well defined group than most theist groups, so it's harder to generalize them like this?
Also, I think it's kind of rich for a theist to call the atheist community "an echo-chamber" when your religion is a manifestation of the same few long dead ideas echoing the exact same shit for thousands of years. Perhaps both communities are echo-chambers, but if that's the case, theist communities have been echoing longer, louder, and in greater numbers.
He was certainly an interesting man.
He's also one of the few vocal atheists who identifies himself as pro-life and anti-euthanasia. Both viewpoints stem from his personal life - he's an abortion survivor and he developed a distaste for euthanasia because his mother, who he loved very much, killed herself.
It was also fascinating to read about his transition from a dedicated marxist to a neoconservative. His ultimate abandonement of the left was the crucial peak of his political mindset.
All that aside, I think his anti-religious stance was puerile and oversimplified. Mostly I think he realized that such polemic sells and it was profitable to continue with it.
The finest advocate of atheism in the past 100 years. Hitchens was blessed with a tremendous grasp of the English language, combined this with his own unique takes on ancient arguments, and soon became one of the leading intellectuals in the secular community. I remember fondly his first debate against Shmuley Boteach, completely and utterly destroying him.
It's a shame his political ideologies were not as agreeable as his religious views. A self-proclaimed Marxist that supported the war on terror? Regardless of the religious fuel he claimed was added to the fire, the war on terror is not something anyone expected and was pleased that Hitchens supported.
Overall though, a clever man with rambunctious wit and killer arguments that polarised every person he came across.