Saturday, 11 June 2011

"Risk thinking for yourself..."

I don't always agree with Christopher Hitchens politically (and I cannot forgive him for abandoning Britain with the only Hitchens being Peter), but I do tend to on the subject of religion and it's impact. He is also an extraordinary writer and a beautiful, eloquent speaker - it is a joy to listen to his debates, in particular his usually forceful and passionate closing statements. I was flicking through YouTube though, and I came across this tribute:

I'm a little tired right now and I'm moved by these sorts of things even in the sanest, soberest times. Still, I'm going to go blub over this.

"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 and I am always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I’d urge you to look at those of you who tell you, those people who tell you, at your age, that you’re dead until you believe as they do. What a terrible thing to be telling to children. And that you can only live... and that you can only live by accepting an absolute authority. Don’t think of that as a gift, think of it as a poison chalice, push it aside however tempting it is.
Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way. "

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