79 Social Quotes of Christopher Hitchens

” Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are God. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are God. “
” What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. “
” There are all kinds of stupid people that annoy me but what annoys me most is a lazy argument. “
” I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness. “
” Religion is part of the human make-up. It’s also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy. “
” A gentleman is never rude except on purpose – I can honestly be nasty sober, believe you me. “
” The totalitarian, to me, is the enemy – the one that’s absolute, the one that wants control over the inside of your head, not just your actions and your taxes. “
” In one way, I suppose, I have been ‘in denial’ for some time, knowingly burning the candle at both ends and finding that it often gives a lovely light. “
” Solidarity is an attitude of resistance, I suppose, or it should be. “
” Well, I’ll put it this way: you can certainly say belief in God makes people behave worse. That can be proved beyond a doubt. “
” Well, I’ll put it this way: you can certainly say belief in God makes people behave worse. That can be proved beyond a doubt. “
” Say ‘Toronto’ or ‘Ontario,’ and the immediate thought associations are with a somewhat blander version of North America: a United States with a welfare regime and a more polite street etiquette, and the additionally reassuring visage of Queen Elizabeth on the currency. “
” Ronald Reagan used to alarm his Soviet counterparts by saying that surely they’d both unite against an invasion from Mars. “
” I’m crepuscular. “
” To the dumb question, ‘Why me?’ the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, ‘Why not?’ “
” Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint. “
” A good day is one where I can not just read a book, but write a review of it. Maybe today I’ll be able to do that. I get for some reason somewhat stronger when the sun starts to go down. Dusk is a good time for me. I’m crepuscular. “
” I don’t think it’s possible to have a sense of tragedy without having a sense of humor. “
” I had real plans for my next decade and felt I’d worked hard enough to earn it. Will I really not live to see my children married? To watch the World Trade Center rise again? To read – if not indeed write – the obituaries of elderly villains like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger? “
” One of the great questions of philosophy is, do we innately have morality, or do we get it from celestial dictation? A study of the Ten Commandments is a very good way of getting into and resolving that issue. “
” I vote and I do jury duty. “
” I’m afraid the SS’s relationship with the Catholic Church is something the Church still has to deal with and does not deny. “
” To ‘choose’ dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid. “
” I’m not particularly a feminist, but if you get women off the animal cycle of reproduction and give them some say in how many children they’ll have, immediately the floor will rise. “
” My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilisation, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can’t prove it, but you can’t disprove it either. “
” Trust is not the same as faith. A friend is someone you trust. Putting faith in anyone is a mistake. “
” The cause of my life has been to oppose superstition. It’s a battle you can’t hope to win – it’s a battle that’s going to go on forever. It’s part of the human condition. “
” The violence in the Bible is appalling. “
” Pakistan has to export a lot of uneducated people, many of whom have become infected with the most barbaric reactionary ideas. “
” Littera scripta manet – ‘The written word will remain’. That’s true, but it won’t be that much comfort to me. “
” The great thing about the United States and the historically magnetic effect it has had on a lot of people like me is its generosity, to put it simply. “
” And when I was young, my family was perfectly nice. I write a lot about it, as you noticed. But it was rather limited. I think, I don’t think anyone in my family would really feel I’d done them an injustice by saying that. We didn’t see many people. There were many books. It was as if I wanted to get away from home. “
” I joined a small but growing post-Trotskyite Luxembourgist sect. “
” I didn’t think Marilyn Monroe was beautiful. It used to worry me. I thought maybe I’m not put together like the other chaps. “
” To terrify children with the image of hell… to consider women an inferior creation. Is that good for the world? “
” A speech idiosyncrasy, in the same way as an air quote, is really justifiable only if it’s employed very sparingly and if the user consciously intends to be using it. “
” It doesn’t take much to make me angry. “
” For most of my life I let women do the driving and was happy to let them. “
” It’s true that obscenity is a matter of taste and in the eye of the beholder. “
” When you hear people demanding that the Ten Commandments be displayed in courtrooms and schoolrooms, always be sure to ask which set. It works every time. “
” Just as the humble, unassuming, assenting ‘O.K.’ has deposed the more affirmative ‘Yes,’ so the little cringe and hesitation and approximation of ‘like’ are a help to young people who are struggling to negotiate the shoals and rapids of ethnic identity, the street, and general correctness. “
” Millions of people die every day. Everyone’s got to go sometime. “
” I used to wish there was a useful term for those of us who thought American power should be used to remove psychopathic dictators. “
” I’m here as a product of process of evolution, which doesn’t make very many exceptions. And which rates life relatively cheaply. “
” My dear wife has, I would say, probably never opened a religious book, and seems to be one of those people to whom the whole idea is utterly remote and absurd. “
” If you can talk, you can write. “
” I’d always somehow felt slightly as if I’d been born in the wrong country. “
” If you look at any Muslim society and you make a scale of how developed they are, and how successful the economy is, it’s a straight line. It depends on how much they emancipate their women. “
” I mean, what would I be doing if I couldn’t write? But that fortunately hasn’t proved to be the case and I can read any day. I still read a lot, and I can write any day, but much more slowly and fewer words. “
” Millions of people die every day. Everyone’s got to go sometime. I’ve came by this particular tumor honestly. If you smoke, which I did for many years very heavily with occasional interruption, and if you use alcohol, you make yourself a candidate for it in your sixties. “
” Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self-centred and even solipsistic. “
” I think being an atheist is something you are, not something you do. “
” ‘Bombing Afghanistan back into the Stone Age’ was quite a favourite headline for some wobbly liberals. The slogan does all the work. But an instant’s thought shows that Afghanistan is being, if anything, bombed out of the Stone Age. “
” The human wish to credit good things as miraculous and to charge bad things to another account is apparently universal. “
” The term ‘the American Left’ is as near to being meaningless or nonsensical as any term could really be in politics. It isn’t really a force in politics anymore. And it would do well to ask itself why that is. “
” I’m not resigned, but I’m realistic too. The statistics in my case are very poor. Not many people come through esophageal cancer and live to talk about it, or not for long. And the other wager is, the part of the wager, it’s a certainty you’ll have a terrible time and you may wish you were dying because it’s an awful process. “
” It’s impossible, I think, however much I’d become disillusioned politically or evolve into a post-political person, I don’t think I’d ever change my view that socialism is the best political moment humans have ever come up with. “
” The secular argument, or the liberal argument, is to as much as possible remove taboos so things do not become unmentionable; to let some air into the discussion. “
” To be in opposition is not to be a nihilist. “
” There’s a big difference, as I’m sure you know, it’s a slightly manneristic one, between people of the ’60s and people of ’68. Being a soixante-huitard – it’s so nice to have a French word for it – is very different from just having happened to been a baby boomer in the ’60s. “
” The press is still investing itself, it seems to me, in a sort of cynicism. It comes out better for them if they can predict hard times, bogging down, sniping, attrition. “
” High moral character is not a precondition for great moral accomplishments. “
” The advice I’ve been giving to people all my life – that you may not be interested in the dialectic but the dialectic is interested in you; you can’t give up politics, it won’t give you up – was the advice I should have been taking myself. “
” I boldly assert, in fact I think I know, that a lot of friendships and connections absolutely depend upon a sort of shared language, or slang. Not necessarily designed to exclude others, this can establish a certain comity and, even after a long absence, re-establish it in a second. “
” I love it when Muslims go to war with each other, as I do when the Christians do, because it shows there’s no such thing as the Christian world and the Islamic world. That’s all crap. “
” You notice how liberals keep saying, ‘If only Islam would have a Reformation’ – it can’t have one. It says it can’t. It’s extremely dangerous in that way. “
” The worst days are when you feel foggy in the head – chemo-brain they call it. It’s awful because you feel boring. As well as bored. And stupid. And resigned. “
” George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as ‘evil.’ Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. “
” Many parents and teachers have become irritated to the point of distraction at the way the weed-style growth of ‘like’ has spread through the idiom of the young. And it’s true that in some cases the term has become simultaneously a crutch and a tic, driving out the rest of the vocabulary as candy expels vegetables. “
” I’m not a sheep. “
” I don’t consider myself to be that credulous. “
” Primate and elephant and even pig societies show considerable evidence of care for others, parent-child bonding, solidarity in the face of danger, and so on. “
” Ordinary morality is innate in my view. “
” Lovers often invest their first meetings with retrospective significance, as if to try to conjure the elements of the numinous out of the stubborn witness of the everyday. “
” I have tried for much of my life to write as if I was composing my sentences to be read posthumously. “
” Every now and then I will see a word as if for the first time, and suddenly appreciate that Evian is ‘naive’ spelled backward, or that Bosnia is an anagram of ‘bonsai.’ “
” Like the experience of warfare, the endurance of grave or terminal illness involves long periods of tedium and anxiety, punctuated by briefer interludes of stark terror and pain. “
” A lot of people, because of my contempt for the false consolations of religion, think of me as a symbolic public opponent of that in extremis. And sometimes that makes me feel a bit alarmed, to be the repository of other people’s hope. “
” One of the many problems with the American left has been its image as something rather too solemn, mirthless, herbivorous, dull, monochrome, righteous, and boring. “