Christopher Eric Hitchens was a prolific Anglo-American author, journalis, and essayist who was well-known for his sharp wit and mastery of English.
Renowned for writing on controversial subjects, Hitchens contributed to Vanity Fair, The Nation, and more.
Born in England, he was the son of Eric and Yvonne Hitchens, both Royal Navy members. Self-identifying as an antitheist, he viewed the notion of a supreme being as totalitarian and opposed to individual freedom.
His critiques extended to public figures such as Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and Mother Teresa.
Politically, Hitchens described himself as a socialist and Marxist, but broke with progressives on several issues, including the Iraq war.
Diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2010, Hitchens passed away in December 2011.
Here are the best Christopher Hitchens quotes that you will like.
Best Christopher Hitchens Quotes
Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
What do you most value in your friends? Their continued existence. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
If you can charm everyone it means you don’t care about anyone in particular. ~ 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.
One can’t indefinitely do for somebody what he is reluctant to do for himself. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Time spent arguing with the faithful is, oddly enough, almost never wasted. ~ 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.
The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks. ~ 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.
To the dumb question, ‘Why me?’ the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, ‘Why not?’ ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Those of us who are most genuinely repelled by war and violence are also those who are most likely to decide that some things, after all, are worth fighting for. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
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. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Popular Christopher Hitchens Quotes
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. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
A gentleman is never rude except on purpose – I can honestly be nasty sober, believe you me. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
There is no such thing as closure, and it wouldn’t be worth having if it were available, because all it would mean is that something that was quite an important part of you had gone numb. ~ 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.
There can be no progress without head-on confrontation. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
It’s called faith because it’s not knowledge. ~ 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.
Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Teasing is very often a sign of inner misery. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I used to call myself a single-issue voter on the essential question of defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors, and on that ‘issue’ I hope I can continue to expose and oppose any ambiguity. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
What is your idea of earthly happiness? To be vindicated in my own lifetime. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I don’t think the war in Afghanistan was ruthlessly enough waged. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Top Christopher Hitchens Quotes
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.
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. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Trust is not the same as faith. A friend is someone you trust. Putting faith in anyone is a mistake. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
To suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won’t hear said and you shouldn’t believe. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
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. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Who are your favourite heroines in real life? The women of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran who risk their lives and their beauty to defy the foulness of theocracy. ~ 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.
No society has gone the way of gulags or concentration camps by following the path of Spinoza and Einstein and Jefferson and Thomas Paine. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Nonintervention does not mean that nothing happens. It means that something else happens. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Atheists have always argued that this world is all that we have, and that our duty is to one another to make the very most and best of it. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I think being an atheist is something you are, not something you do. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The creation story is ridiculous garbage. And has given us a completely false picture of our origin as a species and the origins of the cosmos. If you want a good mythical story it would be the life of Socrates. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The finest fury is the most controlled. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The secular state is the guarantee of religious pluralism. This apparent paradox, again, is the simplest and most elegant of political truths. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
There are also people who say it’s God’s curse on me that I should have it near my throat because that was the organ of blasphemy which I used for so many years. I’ve used many other organs to blaspheme as well if it comes to that. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation – is that good for the world? ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Jesus is Santa Claus for Adults. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Famous Christopher Hitchens Quotes
It is a tragic and potentially lethal irony that those who most despise science and the method of free inquiry should have been able to pilfer from it and annex its sophisticated products to their sick dreams. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
There are people who cannot forget, as neither do I, the lesson of the years of the Indochina War. Which was, first, that the state is capable of being a murderer. A mass murderer, and a conspirator and a liar. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
What is it you most dislike? Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition. ~ 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.
The mildest criticism of religion is also the most radical and the most devastating one. Religion is man-made. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Billy Graham is a boring, racist charlatan. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Doubt, skepticism, innovation, and inquiry are the only means by which wonder, beauty, awe, and symmetry will be discovered. ~ 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.
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.
I don’t have a body, I am a body. ~ 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.
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. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Religion attacks us in our deepest integrity by saying we wouldn’t be able to make a moral decision without it. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
It is not that there are no certainties, it is that it is an absolute certainty that there are no certainties. ~ 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.
I appear as a skeptic, who believes that doubt is the great engine, the great fuel of all inquiry, all discovery and all innovation. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Europeans think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they’ve taken as their own, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
To reflect upon the event horizon is a great deal more awe-inspiring than a burning bush or a wooden statue that weeps or pees or bleeds. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Don’t take refuge in the false security of consensus. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
There are all kinds of stupid people that annoy me but what annoys me most is a lazy argument. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Picture all experts as if they were mammals. 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.
The atheist proposition is the following – most of the time – it may not be said that there is no god; it may be said that there is no reason to think that there is one. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Take the risk of thinking for yourself. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I became a journalist partly so that I wouldn’t ever have to rely on the press for my information. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I’m dying, but so are you. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Ultimate Christopher Hitchens Quotes
Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The one unforgivable sin is to be boring. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Religion gets its morality from us. We don’t get our morality from religion. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
With modern American dentistry it is simply amazing to see what transformation can be wrought in a single day. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
There is an unusually high and consistent correlation between the stupidity of a given person and that person’s propensity to be impressed by the measurement of IQ. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
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. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I think religion should be treated with ridicule, hatred, and contempt, and I claim that right. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Those who are determined to be ‘offended’ will discover a provocation somewhere. We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realization that you can’t make old friends. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
There’s no Hell mentioned in the Old Testament. The punishment of the dead is not specified there. It’s only with gentle Jesus, meek and mild, that the idea of eternal torture for minor transgressions is introduced. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
All of life is a wager. ~ 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.
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.
It’s a matter of principle. If Jews born in Brooklyn have a right to a state in Palestine then Palestinians born in Jerusalem have a right to a state in Palestine. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Allow a friend to believe in a bogus prospectus or a false promise and you cease, after a short while, to be a friend at all. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Morality comes from humanism and is stolen by religion for its own purposes. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
That most risky and volatile of all things a self-pitying majority. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Most of the utopian community ideas actually are religious. They’re based more on the idea of the monastery than the commune. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Great Christopher Hitchens Quotes
The beauty of science hugely outranks the charms of superstition. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian. ~ 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.
Mother Teresa was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
You have to choose your future regrets. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I’ve had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I suppose that one reason I have always detested religion is its sly tendency to insinuate the idea that the universe is designed with ‘you’ in mind or, even worse, that there is a divine plan into which one fits whether one knows it or not. This kind of modesty is too arrogant for me. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Islamophobia: a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Religion fosters servility and solipsism. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Name a moral statement or action, uttered or performed by a religious person that could not have been uttered or performed by an unbeliever. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I’d always somehow felt slightly as if I’d been born in the wrong country. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Of course we have free will because we have no choice but to have it. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Your favorite virtue? An appreciation for irony. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The amazing fact is that America is founded on a document. It’s a work in progress. It can be tested by each generation. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
In order to be a part of the totalitarian mind-set, it is not necessary to wear a uniform or carry a club or a whip. It is only necessary to wish for your own subjection, and to delight in the subjection of others. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The discovery there is no god is a great relief, because if there were, it would be like living in a celestial North Korea if there was one. You would never be able to escape. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, religion no longer offers an explanation for anything important. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
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. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The search for Nirvana, like the search for Utopia or the end of history or the classless society, is ultimately a futile and dangerous one. It involves, if it does not necessitate, the sleep of reason. There is no escape from anxiety and struggle. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Profound Christopher Hitchens Quotes
If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I have been called arrogant myself in my time, and hope to earn the title again, but to claim that I am privy to the secrets of the universe and its creator – that’s beyond my conceit. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Redemption is promised at the low price of surrender of your critical faculties. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I’m an atheist. I’m not neutral about religion, I’m hostile to it. I think it is a positively bad idea, not just a false one. And I mean not just organized religion, but religious belief itself. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
It’s amazing how relaxing it is not to claim you know more than you do. I’m surprised that those who claim to speak in the name of god don’t take more advantage of this relief. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Forget it. Never explain; never apologize. You can either write posthumously or you can’t. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Once you assume a creator and a plan, it makes us objects in a cruel experiment whereby we are created sick and commanded to be well. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, open mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I sympathize afresh with the mighty Voltaire who, when badgered on his deathbed and urged to renounce the devil, murmured that this was no time to be making enemies. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Virtue and merit can become their opposites if they are exacted or compelled… ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I am, I hope, never offensive by accident. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
It’s true that obscenity is a matter of taste and in the eye of the beholder. ~ 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.
It’s a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else’s body. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
In my life, the only certainty is to be uncertain. I’m an unbeliever who believes in skepticism. I’m only sure about being unsure. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Will an Iraq war make our Al Qaeda problem worse? Not likely. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
If I’m in a political argument, I think I can, with reasonable accuracy and without boasting, put the other person’s side of the case at least as well as they could. One has to be able to say that in any well-conducted argument. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The struggle for a free intelligence has always been a struggle between the ironic and the literal mind. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
In the ordinary moral universe, the good will do the best they can, the worst will do the worst they can, but if you want to make good people do wicked things, you’ll need religion. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The taming and domestication of religion is one of the unceasing chores of civilization. ~ 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. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Skepticism rather than credulity is the highest principle that the human intellect can use to ennoble our existence. ~ 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.
How dismal it is to see present day Americans yearning for the very orthodoxy that their country was founded to escape. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
No child’s behind left. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
If someone tells me that I’ve hurt their feelings I’m still waiting to hear what your point is. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The one thing that the racist can never manage is anything like discrimination: he is indiscriminate by definition. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Forgotten were the elementary rules of logic, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The four most overrated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex, and picnics. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Deep Christopher Hitchens Quotes
I’m very happy by myself – I’m lucky in that way – if I’ve got enough to read and something to write about and a bit of alcohol for me to add an edge, not to dull it. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
The trade-off between freedom and security, so often proposed so seductively, very often leads to the loss of both. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
There is nothing more; but I want nothing more. ~ 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.
Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Beware of identity politics. I’ll rephrase that: have nothing to do with identity politics. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Religion is not the belief there is a god. Religion is the belief God tells you what to do. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Don’t swallow your moral code in tablet form. ~ 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.
Why do humans exist? A major part of the answer: because Pikaia Gracilens survived the Burgess decimation. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
Demands that you believe the impossible do not lead to peaceful outcomes. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I want to urge you very strongly to travel as much as you can, and to evolve yourself as an internationalist. It’s as important a part of your education as a radical as the reading of any book. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
I burned the candle at both ends and it often gave a lovely light. ~ Christopher Hitchens.
So these were the 154 top Christopher Hitchens quotes on religion, life, death, love, prayer, atheism and God.