September 02, 2010

Christopher Hitchens: My so far uncancerous throat is not at all the only organ with which I've blasphemed.

I'm not a huge fan of Mr Hitchens (who has just announced he's dying of cancer), but sometimes he makes a well-phrased atheistical point, in this case a response to the accusation that his cancer was somehow linked to his non-religiosity:

Almost all men get cancer of the prostate if they live long enough: it’s an undignified thing but quite evenly distributed among saints and sinners, believers and unbelievers. If you maintain that god awards the appropriate cancers, you must also account for the numbers of infants who contract leukemia. Devout persons have died young and in pain. Bertrand Russell and Voltaire, by contrast, remained spry until the end, as many psychopathic criminals and tyrants have also done. These visitations, then, seem awfully random. While my so far uncancerous throat, let me rush to assure my Christian correspondent above, is not at all the only organ with which I have blasphemed …And even if my voice goes before I do, I shall continue to write polemics against religious delusions, at least until it’s hello darkness my old friend. In which case, why not cancer of the brain? As a terrified, half-aware imbecile, I might even scream for a priest at the close of business, though I hereby state while I am still lucid that the entity thus humiliating itself would not in fact be “me.” (Bear this in mind, in case of any later rumors or fabrications.)

I also liked his take on the Jefferson Bible (thanks to Chuck & Josh of the Stuff You Should Know Podcast for quoting this):

[...]The Jefferson Bible [...] was what he found was left if he took a pair of scissors and cut out everything in the Bible that could not by any intelligent person be believed. Makes for a slender, convenient read; I recommend it.

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