99+ Best Christopher Hitchens Quotes

Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English-American author, columnist, essayist, orator, journalist, and social critic. Profoundly inspirational Christopher Hitchens quotes will encourage growth in life, make you wiser and broaden your perspective.

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Famous Christopher Hitchens Quotes

Whenever I hear some bigmouth in Washington or the Christian heartland banging on about the evils of sodomy or whatever, I mentally enter his name in my notebook and contentedly set my watch. Sooner rather than later, he will be discovered down on his weary and well-worn old knees in some dreary motel or latrine, with an expired Visa card, having tried to pay well over the odds to be peed upon by some Apache transvestite. – Christopher Hitchens

Religion is poison because it asks us to give up our most precious faculty, which is that of reason, and to believe things without evidence. It then asks us to respect this, which it calls faith. – Christopher Hitchens

The Postmodernists’ tyranny wears people down by boredom and semi-literate prose. – Christopher Hitchens

We have lived in a world where the discoveries of physics and genetics are far more awe-inspiring, as well as infinitely more liberating, than the claims of any religion. – Christopher Hitchens

Religion attacks us in our deepest integrity – the core of our self-respect. Religion says that we would not know right from wrong, we would not know an evil, wicked act from a decent human act without divine permission, without divine authority or without, even worse, either the fear of a divine punishment or the hope of a divine reward. It strips us of the right to make our own determination, as all humans always have, about what is and what is not a right human action. – Christopher Hitchens

We know of no spectacle more ridiculous—or more contemptible—than that of the religious reactionaries who dare to re-write the history of our republic. Or who try to do so. Is it possible that, in their vanity and stupidity, they suppose that they can erase the name of Thomas Jefferson and replace it with the name of some faith-based mediocrity whose name is already obscure? If so, we cheerfully resolve to mock them, and to give them the lie in their teeth. – Christopher Hitchens

This huge and terrible industry [the slave trade] was blessed by all churches and for a long time aroused absolutely no religious protest… In the eighteenth century, a few dissenting Mennonites and Quakers in America began to call for abolition, as did some freethinkers like Thomas Paine. – Christopher Hitchens

If you think that American imperialism and its globalized, capitalist form is the most dangerous thing in the world, that means you don’t think the Islamic Republic of Iran or North Korea or the Taliban is as bad. – Christopher Hitchens

I burned the candle at both ends and it often gave a lovely light. – Christopher Hitchens

I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness. – Christopher Hitchens

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 hold our convictions dogmatically. We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion. And we know for a fact that the corollary holds true – that religion has caused innumerate people not just to conduct themselves no better than others, but to award themselves permission to behave in ways that would make a brothel-keeper or an ethnic cleanser raise an eyebrow. – Christopher Hitchens

Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way. – Christopher Hitchens

Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. – Christopher Hitchens

We live only a few conscious decades, and we fret ourselves enough for several lifetimes. – Christopher Hitchens

No school of philosophy has ever solved this question of whether being determines consciousness or the other way around. It may be a false antithesis. – Christopher Hitchens

If you want to stay in for the long haul, and lead a life that is free from illusions either propagated by you or embraced by you, then I suggest you learn to recognize and avoid the symptoms of the zealot and the person who knows he is right. For the dissenter, the skeptical mentality is at least as important as any armor of principle. – 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. – Christopher Hitchens

The teachings of Christianity – from vicarious redemption to the love of enemies, no thought for the morrow need be taken, that no thrift or care or family or society or solidarity is necessary – these are immoral teachings that have done and continue to inflict untold moral and physical harm on our species. And until we outgrow this nonsense, we have no chance of emancipating ourselves. – Christopher Hitchens

To ‘choose’ dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid. – Christopher Hitchens

If the Qur’an was the word of God, it had been dictated on a very bad day. – Christopher Hitchens

What better way for a ruling class to claim and hold power than to pose as the defenders of the nation. – Christopher Hitchens

Skepticism rather than credulity is the highest principle that the human intellect can use to ennoble our existence. – Christopher Hitchens

Islam makes very large claims for itself. In its art, there is a prejudice against representing the human form at all. The prohibition on picturing the prophet – who was only another male mammal – is apparently absolute. So is the prohibition on pork or alcohol or, in some Muslim societies, music or dancing. Very well then, let a good Muslim abstain rigorously from all these. But if he claims the right to make me abstain as well, he offers the clearest possible warning and proof of an aggressive intent. – Christopher Hitchens

Why do humans exist? A major part of the answer: because Pikaia Gracilens survived the Burgess decimation. – Christopher Hitchens

There are, after all, atheists who say they wish the fable were true but are unable to suspend the requisite disbelief, or who have relinquished belief only with regret. To this I reply: who wishes that there was a permanent, unalterable celestial despotism that subjected us to continual surveillance and could convict us of thought-crime, and who regarded us as its private property even after we died? How happy we ought to be, at the reflection that there exists not a shred of respectable evidence to support such a horrible hypothesis. – Christopher Hitchens

I think being an atheist is something you are, not something you do. – Christopher Hitchens

We have known for a long time that Prince Charles’ empty sails are so rigged as to be swelled by any passing waft or breeze of crankiness and can’t. He fell for the fake anthropologist Laurens van der Post. He was bowled over by the charms of homeopathic medicine. He has been believably reported as saying that plants do better if you talk to them in a soothing and encouraging way – Christopher Hitchens

Beautiful sentences pop into my head. Beautiful sentences that aren’t always absolutely accurate. Then, I have to choose between the beautiful sentence and being absolutely accurate. It can be a difficult choice. – Christopher Hitchens

Henry Kissinger should have the door shut in his face by every decent person and should be shamed, ostracized and excluded. – Christopher Hitchens

Who are your favorite heroines in real life? The women of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran who risk their lives and their beauty to defy the foulness of theocracy. Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Azar Nafisi as their ideal feminine model. – Christopher Hitchens

The one thing that the racist can never manage is anything like discrimination: he is indiscriminate by definition. – Christopher Hitchens

Faith is the surrender of the mind; it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It’s our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated. – Christopher Hitchens

The polls undoubtedly help to decide what people think, but their most important long-term influence may be on how people think. The interrogative process is very distinctly weighted against the asking of an intelligent question or the recording of a thoughtful answer. – Christopher Hitchens

Shepherds don’t look after sheep because they love them – although I do think some shepherds like their sheep too much. They look after their sheep so they can, first, fleece them and second, turn them into meat. That’s much more like the priesthood as I know it. – Christopher Hitchens

The most educated person in the world now has to admit– I shall not say confess– that he or she knows less and less but at least knows less and less about more and more. – Christopher Hitchens

A good day is one where I cannot 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. – Christopher Hitchens

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

Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it. – Christopher Hitchens

Reagan is doing to the country what he can no longer do to his wife. – Christopher Hitchens

Virtue and merit can become their opposites if they are exacted or compelled. – Christopher Hitchens

It’s a big mistake to think that your own cause, or your own country, or your own side has God in its corner. For one thing, it commits the sin of pride. – Christopher Hitchens

Let me tell you something: for hundreds of thousands of years, this kind of discussion would have been impossible to have, or those like us would have been having it at the risk of our lives. Religion now comes to us in this smiley-face, ingratiating way — because it’s had to give so much more ground and because we know so much more. But you’ve got no right to forget the way it behaved when it was strong, and when it really did believe that it had God on its side. – Christopher Hitchens

Happiness is fleeting and life is brief, but we know that, nonetheless, life can be savored and that happiness, even of the ecstatic kind, is available to us. – Christopher Hitchens

Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong. – Christopher Hitchens

What is it you most dislike? Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition. – Christopher Hitchens

Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, religion no longer offers an explanation for anything important. – Christopher Hitchens

I became a journalist because I didn’t want to have to rely on the press for information I only read it to make sure of whatever everyone else thinks is going on, because it’s useful to know what people think is the news. – Christopher Hitchens

Evolution has meant that our prefrontal lobes are too small, our adrenal glands are too big, and our reproductive organs apparently designed by committee; a recipe which, alone or in combination, is very certain to lead to some unhappiness and disorder. – Christopher Hitchens

Anyone who can look me in the eye and say they prefer the story of Moses or Jesus or Mohammed to the life of Socrates is intellectually defective. – Christopher Hitchens

My favorite time in the cycles of public life is the time when the Pope is dead, and they haven’t elected a new one. There’s no one in the world who is infallible for those weeks. And you know, I don’t miss it. – Christopher Hitchens

Islamophobia: a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons. – Christopher Hitchens

Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need). Perhaps above all, we affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations. – Christopher Hitchens

Philosophy begins where religion ends, just as by analogy chemistry begins where alchemy runs out, and astronomy takes the place of astrology. – Christopher Hitchens

Where would you like to live? In a state of conflict or a conflicted state? – Christopher Hitchens

I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us. – Christopher Hitchens

What a country, and what a culture, when the liberals cry before they are hurt, and the reactionaries pose as brave nonconformists, while the radicals make a fetish of their own jokey irrelevance. – Christopher Hitchens

I learned that to be amusing was not to be frivolous and that language – always the language – was the magic key as much to prose as to poetry. – Christopher Hitchens

The Iraqi Baath Socialist Party was modelled in large part on admiration for European National Socialist and Fascist movements, hoped to emulate them especially in their nationalism against the West. But mutated by Saddam Hussein it became also one that very, very much admired, and grew a special moustache in admiration of the work of Yosif Vissarionovitch Dzugashvili, the great Georgian known to us historically as Stalin. So, you had him in modern Iraq, a regime in our own time, that was openly, directly modelled upon the two most extreme examples of European totalitarianism. – Christopher Hitchens

A virgin can conceive. A dead body can walk again. Your leprosy can be cured. The blind can see. Nonsense. It’s not moral to lie to children. It’s not moral to lie to ignorant, uneducated people and tell them that if they only would believe nonsense, they can be saved. It’s immoral. – Christopher Hitchens

I had become too accustomed to the pseudo-Left new style, whereby if your opponent thought he had identified your lowest possible motive, he was quite certain that he had isolated the only real one. This vulgar method, which is now the norm and the standard in much non-Left journalism as well, is designed to have the effect of making any noisy moron into a master analyst. – Christopher Hitchens

Mockery of religion is one of the most essential things because to demystify supposedly ‘holy text dictated by god’ and show that they are man made and what you have to show [is] there internal inconsistencies and absurdities. One of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority… it is an indispensable thing people can call it blasphemy if they like, but if they call it that they have to assume there is something to be blasphemed – some divine work, well I don’t accept the premise. – Christopher Hitchens

Don’t drink on an empty stomach: the main point of the refreshment is the enhancement of food. Don’t drink if you have the blues: it’s a junk cure. Drink when you are in a good mood. Cheap booze is a false economy. It’s not true that you shouldn’t drink alone: these can be the happiest glasses you ever drain. Hangovers are another bad sign, and you should not expect to be believed if you take refuge in saying you can’t properly remember last night. (If you really don’t remember, that’s an even worse sign.) – Christopher Hitchens

He’s a man [George W. Bush] who is lucky to be governor of Texas. He is a man who is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things. – Christopher Hitchens

The Koran shows every sign of being thrown together by human beings, as do all the other holy books. – Christopher Hitchens

If you gave [Jerry] Falwell an enema he could be buried in a matchbox. – Christopher Hitchens

All of life is a wager. – Christopher Hitchens

Islam in its origins is just as shady and approximate as those from which it took its borrowings. It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or surrender as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing-absolutely nothing-in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption. – Christopher Hitchens

If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world. – Christopher Hitchens

In one way, traveling has narrowed my mind. What I have discovered is something very ordinary and unexciting, which is that humans are the same everywhere and that the degree of variation between members of our species is very slight. This is of course an encouraging finding; it helps arm you against news programs back home that show seething or abject masses of either fanatical or torpid people. In another way it is a depressing finding; the sorts of things that make people quarrel and make them stupid are the same everywhere. – Christopher Hitchens

I’m not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful. – Christopher Hitchens

Those of us who write and study history are accustomed to its approximations and ambiguities. This is why we do not take literally the tenth-hand reports of frightened and illiterate peasants who claim to have seen miracles or to have had encounters with messiahs and prophets and redeemers who were, like them, mere humans. And this is also why we will never submit to dictation from those who display a fanatical belief in certainty and revelation. – Christopher Hitchens

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. – Christopher Hitchens

My own opinion is enough for me. And I claim the right to defend it against any consensus, any majority anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass. – Christopher Hitchens

To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation – is that good for the world? – Christopher Hitchens

Doubt, skepticism, innovation, and inquiry are the only means by which wonder, beauty, awe, and symmetry will be discovered. – Christopher Hitchens

It is a horrible idea that there is somebody who owns us, who makes us, who supervises us – waking and sleeping – who knows our thoughts, who can convict us of thought crime, thought crime, just for what we think, who can judge us while we sleep for things that might occur to us in our dreams, who can create us sick, as apparently we are – and then order us, on pain of eternal torture to be well again. To demand this, to wish this to be true is to wish to live as an abject slave. – Christopher Hitchens

The struggle for a free intelligence has always been a struggle between the ironic and the literal mind. – Christopher Hitchens

Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing Visiting today’s Iran, I was delighted to find that citizens made a point of defying the clerical ban on booze, keeping it in their homes for visitors even if they didn’t particularly take to it themselves, and bootlegging it with great brio and ingenuity. These small revolutions affirm the human. – Christopher Hitchens

Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life except religion. Why are we praised by godly men for surrendering our ‘godly gift’ of reason when we cross their mental thresholds? – Christopher Hitchens

A gentleman is never rude except on purpose – I can honestly be nasty sober, believe you me. – Christopher Hitchens

We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid. – Christopher Hitchens

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 okay, because you’re in the safely moral majority. – Christopher Hitchens

The gods that we’ve made are exactly the gods you’d expect to be made by a species that’s about half a chromosome away from being chimpanzee. – Christopher Hitchens

The man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right. – Christopher Hitchens

Part of the function of memory is to forget; the omni-retentive mind will break down and produce at best an idiot savant who can recite a telephone book, and at worst a person to whom every grudge and slight is as yesterday’s. – Christopher Hitchens

Human beings are pattern-seeking animals who will prefer even a bad theory or a conspiracy theory to no theory at all. – Christopher Hitchens

I have no time to waste on this planet being told what to do by those who think that God has given them instructions. – Christopher Hitchens

Arguments that explain everything, explain nothing – Christopher Hitchens

Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience. – Christopher Hitchens

I have tried for much of my life to write as if I was composing my sentences to be read posthumously. – Christopher Hitchens

The faithful believe that certain truths have been ‘revealed.’ The skeptics and secularists believe that truth is only to be sought by free inquiry and trial and error. Only one of those positions is dogmatic. – Christopher Hitchens

To the dumb question, ‘Why me?’ the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, ‘Why not?’ – Christopher Hitchens

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

I have always found it quaint and rather touching that there is a movement [Libertarians] in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough. – Christopher Hitchens

The offer of certainty, the offer of complete security, the offer of an impermeable faith that can’t give way, is an offer of something not worth having. I want to live my life taking the risk all the time that I don’t know anything like enough yet; that I haven’t understood enough; that I can’t know enough; that I’m always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom. I wouldn’t have it any other way. – Christopher Hitchens

Ever since I discovered that my god given male member was going to give me no peace, I decided to give it no rest in return. – Christopher Hitchens

Endless praise and adoration, limitless abnegation and abjection of self; a celestial North Korea. – Christopher Hitchens

Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay. – Christopher Hitchens

What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. – Christopher Hitchens

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