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Christopher Hitchens
Gods, Religions and Beliefs


Christopher Hitchens
quotations and quotes

Image of Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011



We hope that our visitors will be somewhat diverted by these variously interesting, amusing and provocative quotations and quotes from Christopher Hitchens about Gods, Religions, Faith and Religious Beliefs.


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"What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof."
"Less than Miraculous," Free Inquiry magazine (February/March 2004), Volume 24


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"Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it."
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)


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"Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with."
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)


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"I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves."
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch-22: A Memoir)


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"And here is the point, about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake."
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)


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"Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse."
Christopher Hitchens


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"Thus the mildest criticism of religion is also the most radical and the most devastating one. Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did. Still less can they hope to tell us the "meaning" of later discoveries and developments which were, when they began, either obstructed by their religion or denounced by them. And yet - the believers still claim to know! Not just to know, but to know everything. Not just to know that god exists, and that he created and supervised the whole enterprise, but also to know what "he" demands of us - from our diet to our observances to our sexual morality. In other words, in a vast and complicated discussion where we know more and more about less and less, yet can still hope for some enlightenment as we proceed, one faction - itself composed of warring factions - has the sheer arrogance to tell us that we already have all the essential information we need. Such stupidity, combined with such pride, should be enough on its own to exclude "belief" from the debate. The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted."
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything) p. 4


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"One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody-not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms-had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think - though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one - that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell."
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)


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"We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes - one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximum freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
Christopher Hitchens


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"Religion ends and philosophy begins, just as alchemy ends and chemistry begins and astrology ends, and astronomy begins."
From an nterview with Lou Dobbs


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"How do I know that I know this, except that I've always been taught this and never heard anything else? How sure am I of my own views? Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever you think you're bound to be OK, because you're in the safely moral majority."
Christopher Hitchens

Some Human Mysteries?

"You will hear things like, "Science doesn't know everything." Well, of course science doesn't know everything. But, because science doesn't know everything, it doesn't mean that science knows nothing. Science knows enough for us to be watched by a few million people now on television, for these lights to be working, for quite extraordinary miracles to have taken place in terms of the harnessing of the physical world and our dim approaches towards understanding it. And as Wittgenstein quite rightly said, 'When we understand every single secret of the universe, there will still be left the eternal mystery of the human heart.'"
Stephen Fry quoting Wittgenstein during a Room 101 TV program

Human Being seems
to be rather "Tripartite"

Diagram suggesting that Human Nature demonstrates a Spiritual, Materialistic and Tribal or Group-related 'Tripartism'

 

If Charles Darwin were alive today we at Age-of-the-Sage would be urgently seeking to interest him in our discovery of the fact that there is close agreement between several major World Faiths, Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, Shakespeare and Emerson in suggesting that Human Wisdom / Spirituality is relative to Human Desire / Materialism and to Human Wrath / Ethnicity.
Psychological science seems to agree ~ with these more philosophical and intuitive authorities!


Explore Human Nature on our insightful
Human Nature - Tripartite Soul page