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Writer and atheist Christopher Hitchens, who is suffering from oesophagus cancer, made his first public appearance in months at the Atheist Alliance of America conference in Texas where he was presented an award by Richard Dawkins.


The 62-year-old Hitchens said that he had been determined to attend the conference because of Texas' Bible Belt devotion. Receiving the 'Richard Dawkins Freethinker of the Year Award,' Hitchens looked gaunt and his voice was soft.


Dawkins praised Hitchens for showing determination even in the face of death and said he had disproved the saying that there are "no atheists in foxholes."


"I'm not going to quit until absolutely I have to," Hitchens told the audience before receiving a standing ovation.


After being asked by an eight-year-old girl what books she should read, Hitchens recommended Dawkins' 'Magic of Reality,' Greek and Roman myths, anything satirical by Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, PG Wodehouse, David Hume, and Charles Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities.'


Hitchens discovered in June 2010 that he had Stage 4 oesophageal cancer. The writer has admitted to drinking and smoking heavily for much of his life. Although he gave up cigarettes in 2008, he once said he could "drink enough every day to kill or stun the average mule."


Twice married, last year Hitchens announced he had gay relations with two ministers in Margaret Thatcher's government while he was at Oxford University but refused to name them.






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Not the biggest fan of Dawkins, for someone who is a strong athiest he spends far too much time researching, talking and thinking about ways to disprove something he himself is pretty damn sure doesn't exist.



Aye bit.....talking and thinking is what we do.


Use it or lose it.



Betty , I take it you wint me tae resume threads dedicated tae phoenix's denners( lunch ) and tea breaks? I think it's a subliminal desire manifesting itsel'.

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Not the biggest fan of Dawkins, for someone who is a strong athiest he spends far too much time researching, talking and thinking about ways to disprove something he himself is pretty damn sure doesn't exist.


Pretty much a fundamental aspect of science I'm afraid. Challenging existing theories in order to learn and move forward. The most ignorant thing we could do is just to accept some of these big issues without question.

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Fackn hell, he's looking rough.


He gave up public speaking a while ago, the press release simply saying it was due to the loss of his voice. Didn't say whether it was permanent or not.


I like Hitchens... he's a champion of rational thought over blind faith... and in America that's a pretty rare thing. His brother, Peter, can fuck off though.


My biggest problem with Hitchens (Christopher) is his outright support for the war in Iraq. Support he's maintained even in the face of the overwhelming evidence that the war was nothing more than a resource grab by the Americans.


Hope he pulls through, but I'm sure there's millions of Americans, led by the FOX 'News' Network, praying he croaks.


I'd like to see a guy like Stephen Fry take up the torch alongside Dawkins if things don't go well for Hitchens.


I remember watching the Intelligence Squared debate, where Fry and Hitchens vs Widdicome and Onaiye were given the opportunity to persuade an audience regarding whether religion is a force for good or not After the debate the audience voted, and the swing towards Fry and Dawkins was massive.


And that's the best way to convince people about the lack of a need for organised religion.... open dialogue.



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I just don't particularly give a fuck about this subject.


It's nithin against you min, just doesn't excite me.




Nae buther , Roberto.....I'm no expert but the subject matter does stimulate me. It's the times I guess which are stimulating with science battling it out with religion for the minds of the people.


And of course religion has it's impact on football , thankfully not significantly in Aberdeen. Altho' only 16% of Brits go to church these days , I get 'browned aff' that the gap is being filled by Islam when a mild interest in cosmology and quantuum physics should provide more genuine solace and wonder.


Hitchins has such a formidable intellect with cajones to match , that it's difficult to be unimpressed.

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