Christopher Hitchens citations

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Christopher Hitchens

Date de naissance: 13. avril 1949
Date de décès: 15. décembre 2011
Autres noms: Christopher Eric Hitchens

Christopher Eric Hitchens, né le 13 avril 1949 à Portsmouth et mort le 15 décembre 2011 à Houston , est un écrivain et journaliste ayant les nationalités britannique et américaine. Ses livres, ses essais et ses articles de presse ponctuent une carrière longue de 40 années.

Diplômé en philosophie, sciences politiques et sciences économiques du Balliol College d'Oxford, cet Anglo-Américain est successivement rédacteur et critique littéraire pour des journaux prestigieux comme The Atlantic Monthly, Vanity Fair, Slate, World Affairs, ou The Nation. Observateur politique et polémiste, il accède à la notoriété en tant que défenseur des idées de gauche en Grande-Bretagne et aux États-Unis. Il s'en éloigne toutefois à partir de 1989, à cause de ce qu'il considère comme des « réactions tièdes » de la gauche occidentale à l'appel au meurtre de Salman Rushdie par l'ayatollah Khomeiny. Les attentats du 11 septembre 2001 renforcent sa conviction interventionniste en matière de politique étrangère ; sa critique de ce qu'il appelle le « fascisme à visage islamique » se fait véhémente. Ses prises de positions publiques, ses conférences et ses attaques contre Mère Teresa, Hillary Clinton et Henry Kissinger font de lui un polémiste engagé célèbre auprès du public anglophone, puis sur le plan international.

Icône du mouvement athée, reconnu comme un intellectuel influent, Christopher Hitchens s'est décrit comme un antithéiste, défenseur des idées des Lumières. Il a notamment dénoncé le concept d'un dieu « entité suprême » comme une croyance totalitaire qui détruit la liberté des individus, et souhaitait que la libre expression et le progrès scientifique prennent le pas sur la religion. Son ouvrage intitulé Dieu n'est pas grand sur l'athéisme et la nature des religions a connu un immense succès lors de sa sortie en 2007.

Citations Christopher Hitchens

„That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.“

—  Christopher Hitchens

2000s, 2003
Variante: "What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof." in
"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." appears by itself in God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (2007).
Translation of the Latin phrase "Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.".
Variante: What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.
Source: god is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
Contexte: Forgotten were the elementary rules of logic, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

„The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.“

—  Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

Source: 2000s, 2001, Letters to a Young Contrarian (2001)

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„Of the genital mutilation community the same can be said“

—  Christopher Hitchens

Authors@Google, August 16, 2007, YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD0B-X9LJjs
2000s, 2007
Contexte: It is said that Louis Farrakhan’s racist crackpot Nation of Islam and its sectarian gang gets young men off drugs. For all I know it does, it may, but that does not recommend it, to me, nor does it prove anything of its theology. Whereas I can tell you that of the suicide bombing population one hundred percent is faith-based. And I don’t think that in itself disapproves faith, but I think it should make you skeptical of that kind of random sampling. Of the genital mutilation community the same can be said.

„Emancipate yourself from the idea of a celestial dictatorship and you've taken the first step to becoming free.“

—  Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens vs. William Lane Craig, 04/04/2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KBx4vvlbZ8&t=1h45m56s
2000s, 2009
Contexte: Religion is the outcome of unresolved contradictions in the material world. If you make the assumption that it's man-made then very few things are mysterious to you: It would be obvious to you why there are so many religions; You will understand why it is that religion has been such a disappointment to our species - that despite innumerable revivals, innumerable attempts again to preach the truth, innumerable attempts to convert the heathen, innumerable attempts to send missionaries all around the world - that the same problems remain with us. That nothing is resolved by this. If all religions died out, or were admitted to be false, all of our problems would be exactly what they are now: How do we live with one another? Where, indeed, do morals and ethics come from? What are our duties to one another? How shall we build the just city? How shall we practice love? All these questions would remain exactly the same. Emancipate yourself from the idea of a celestial dictatorship and you've taken the first step to becoming free.

„You either accept the principle of royal intervention or you don't. And if you don't, you always have the choice of an actual 'Commonwealth' - the beautiful and resonant name given by the English revolutionaries to the most forbidden passage of our history after the removal of the Stuarts.“

—  Christopher Hitchens

1990s, The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish
Contexte: The evidence is that on 'Commonwealth' questions Her Majesty reserves a certain autonomy when it comes to the expression of an opinion. But you can't have it both ways. Queen Victoria used to browbeat poor Mr Gladstone most dreadfully when it came to overseas or, as they were then called, 'imperial' matters. Either this is proper or it isn't. You either accept the principle of royal intervention or you don't. And if you don't, you always have the choice of an actual 'Commonwealth' - the beautiful and resonant name given by the English revolutionaries to the most forbidden passage of our history after the removal of the Stuarts.

„If it is a plan or a design, the planner must be either very capricious - really toying with his creation; and/or very clumsy, very tinkering and fantastically wasteful - throw away 99.9% of what you've made; or very cruel and very callous; or just perhaps very indifferent“

—  Christopher Hitchens

"Does Religion Poison Everything?", Festival of Dangerous Ideas, October 2009.
2000s, 2009
Contexte: If this was the plan - was it made by someone who likes us? And if so, why have 99.9% of all the other species that have ever been created already died out? And part of what plan was that?; If it is a plan or a design, the planner must be either very capricious - really toying with his creation; and/or very clumsy, very tinkering and fantastically wasteful - throw away 99.9% of what you've made; or very cruel and very callous; or just perhaps very indifferent; or some combination of all the above. And so it's no good saying that He moves in mysterious ways, or that He has purposes that are opaque to us, because even that kind of evasion has to make itself predicate on the assumption that the person saying this knows more than I do about the supernatural, and I haven't yet met anyone who does have a private line to the creator, of the sort that would be required even to speculate about it. In other words, I haven't met anyone, in holy orders or out of it, who isn't also a primate. And neither have you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVvJf9wTQXo

„I'll give you all the miracles and you'll still be left exactly where you are now, holding an empty sack.“

—  Christopher Hitchens

"Does God Exist?" debate http://hitchensdebates.blogspot.com/2010/11/hitchens-vs-turek-vcu.html vs.
2010s, 2010
Contexte: I'll grant you that it would possible to track the pregnancy of the woman Mary who's mentioned about three times in the Bible and to show there was no male intervention in her life at all but yet she delivered herself of a healthy baby boy. I can say— I don't say that's impossible. Parthenogenesis is not completely unthinkable. It does not prove that his paternity is divine and it wouldn't prove that any of his moral teachings were thereby correct. Nor, if I was to see him executed one day and see him walking the streets the next, would that show that his father was God or his mother was a virgin or that his teachings were true, especially given the commonplace nature of resurrection at that time and place. After all, Lazarus was raised, never said a word about it. The was raised, didn't say a thing about what she'd been through. And the Gospels tell us that at the time of the crucifixion all the graves in Jerusalem opened and their occupants wandered around the streets to greet people. So it seems resurrection was something of a banality at the time. Not all of those people clearly were divinely conceived. So I'll give you all the miracles and you'll still be left exactly where you are now, holding an empty sack.

„A moment later, the same speaker is telling another listener of all the good things that monarchy is a 'force' for. These good things invariably turn out to be connected to power. They are things like 'stability', 'unity', 'national cohesion', 'continuity' and other things for which powerless people would find it difficult to be a force. Edmund Wilson would have had little trouble noticing, furthermore, that all the above good things are keywords for conservative and establishment values.“

—  Christopher Hitchens

1990s, The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish
Contexte: The first False Issue one normally encounters is the claim that it has 'no real power'. One never quite knows what 'real' is intended to mean here, but the conventions of the False Issue lead one to guess that the word is doing duty for 'formal'. Thus is the red herring introduced. A moment later, the same speaker is telling another listener of all the good things that monarchy is a 'force' for. These good things invariably turn out to be connected to power. They are things like 'stability', 'unity', 'national cohesion', 'continuity' and other things for which powerless people would find it difficult to be a force. Edmund Wilson would have had little trouble noticing, furthermore, that all the above good things are keywords for conservative and establishment values.

„The first False Issue one normally encounters is the claim that it has 'no real power'.“

—  Christopher Hitchens

1990s, The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish
Contexte: The first False Issue one normally encounters is the claim that it has 'no real power'. One never quite knows what 'real' is intended to mean here, but the conventions of the False Issue lead one to guess that the word is doing duty for 'formal'. Thus is the red herring introduced. A moment later, the same speaker is telling another listener of all the good things that monarchy is a 'force' for. These good things invariably turn out to be connected to power. They are things like 'stability', 'unity', 'national cohesion', 'continuity' and other things for which powerless people would find it difficult to be a force. Edmund Wilson would have had little trouble noticing, furthermore, that all the above good things are keywords for conservative and establishment values.

„For all I know it does, it may, but that does not recommend it, to me, nor does it prove anything of its theology.“

—  Christopher Hitchens

Authors@Google, August 16, 2007, YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD0B-X9LJjs
2000s, 2007
Contexte: It is said that Louis Farrakhan’s racist crackpot Nation of Islam and its sectarian gang gets young men off drugs. For all I know it does, it may, but that does not recommend it, to me, nor does it prove anything of its theology. Whereas I can tell you that of the suicide bombing population one hundred percent is faith-based. And I don’t think that in itself disapproves faith, but I think it should make you skeptical of that kind of random sampling. Of the genital mutilation community the same can be said.

„What is it like to lie to children and tell them that they have an authority, that they must love and be terrified of it at the same time. What's that like? I want to know.“

—  Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens vs. Alister McGrath, 11/10/2007 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq-KiDdYvsY&t=15m17s
2000s, 2007
Contexte: On our integrity, our basic integrity, knowing right from wrong and being able to choose a right action over a wrong one, I think one must repudiate the claim that one doesn't have this moral discrimination innately, that, no, it must come only from the agency of a celestial dictatorship which one must love and simultaneously fear. What is it like to lie to children and tell them that they have an authority, that they must love and be terrified of it at the same time. What's that like? I want to know. And that we don't have an innate sense of right and wrong, children don't have an innate sense of fairness and decency, which of course they do. What is it like?

„I haven't met anyone, in holy orders or out of it, who isn't also a primate. And neither have you.“

—  Christopher Hitchens

"Does Religion Poison Everything?", Festival of Dangerous Ideas, October 2009.
2000s, 2009
Contexte: If this was the plan - was it made by someone who likes us? And if so, why have 99.9% of all the other species that have ever been created already died out? And part of what plan was that?; If it is a plan or a design, the planner must be either very capricious - really toying with his creation; and/or very clumsy, very tinkering and fantastically wasteful - throw away 99.9% of what you've made; or very cruel and very callous; or just perhaps very indifferent; or some combination of all the above. And so it's no good saying that He moves in mysterious ways, or that He has purposes that are opaque to us, because even that kind of evasion has to make itself predicate on the assumption that the person saying this knows more than I do about the supernatural, and I haven't yet met anyone who does have a private line to the creator, of the sort that would be required even to speculate about it. In other words, I haven't met anyone, in holy orders or out of it, who isn't also a primate. And neither have you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVvJf9wTQXo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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