Legacy

Monday, August 16, 2010
I really enjoy reading the writing of Christopher Hitchens. I think he's smart, well-read, reasons well, and his point of view is almost always defensible.

That doesn't mean I agree with him. In fact, I disagree with a good portion of what he writes. As a liberal, I think his political point of view has always been misguided. Even though I'm an Atheist, I don't think Religion Poisons Everything. I tend more towards the opinion that if something is going to get poisoned, it's because people do it, and sometimes use religion as a rationalization to do what they want to do. But he always makes me think, which is the most complementary thing I think I can say about a writer.

I admire the man, and never so much as now, as he faces his probable death from esophageal cancer. During recent public appearances and writings, he has firmly established his legacy of unwavering intellectual honesty in a way that really touches me. He makes no excuses for the role his personal lifestyle choices may have played in his illness. Knowing that there is probably a connection between his lifestyle and his diagnosis, he doesn't rail against the universe, but accepts his outcome while still acknowledging his disappointment that he won't be able to do the things he had planned for the next decade. He's honest about his feelings, concerns and perceptions about being a cancer patient.

I certainly wish the man a full recovery (although I know it's not likely), but regardless of the outcome, he's earned my respect as a role model for intellectual honesty when facing adversity.

4 comments:

WendyB_09 said...

Close friend died a few years ago from the same cancer, it's one of the most difficult to diagnose correctly, so is often not identified until the later stages when treatment choices are limited.

I'll have to read some of the Hitchens links when I get home. Knowing how my friend & friends dealt with the cancer in their lives, I'd be interested to see how he's dealing with his illness through his work.

kimby said...

I remember when I was reading god is not Great for one of my Religion classes last year. Bug had a fit, wanted to know why I would ever read a book like that. After calming her down, and explaining that reading all sorts of books was how we learned, it opened another great discussion on rights and freedoms in religion and literacy. While I may not agree with all he has to say, he says it well. I watched a recent interview with him and Anderson Cooper, and was reminded what a wonderful speaker he is.

孟謝謝謝凱謝謝謝謝 said...
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Janiece said...

*TONG*