Christopher Hitchens has cancer. He thinks he won’t win and the cancer will take him.
Too bad. Of course it’s always too bad when someone dies from cancer. He’s been an enthusiastic, lifelong smoker and drinker and would no doubt say that he enjoyed the ride.
He’s a hero of mine. Not because of his lifestyle but because of his stances and defense of what he thinks is the way things are. A long time ago William Blake wrote “… create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.” Good advice, I think. Hitchens has never been shy about pointing out the enslavement foisted upon most humans by religions large and small.
Hitchens is an atheist. And now that he’s dying and thinks he won’t make it, he’s still unrepentant. He’s only 61. With esophageal cancer that’s spread to his lymph nodes and lungs, he says he’ll be very lucky to live for five more years.
He’s an atheist in a foxhole; and he plans on staying one. Hitchens has gone on record about this now, while he has all of his faculties. If he is said to have had a last-minute conversion while he lie dying, it’ll be due to him having lost his ability to think due to the cancer or its treatment. Any claims of sudden conversion at the end will be due to having a diminished mind and not a sudden switching of sides because he sees the light. Because he’d say that religion is darkness.
As a controversial figure because of his views and his wide exposure from his prolific writings and speaking, Hitchens has been engaged in conflicts most of his life. The title of his 2007 book is “God Is Not Great,” that’s a pretty good way to draw fire. It’s a good book too.
Hitchens has lots of experience in holding his own against what he considers bad ideas. I hope he can keep it up.