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hitchslap store: t-shirts, mugs - all that is christopher hitchens - irony and reason

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Confirm your front line standing in the battle against the darkness of unreason, faith, intellectual temerity and demagogy of bad ideas. Get swag to engage your like-minded friends and enrage unlike-minded enemies.

who was christopher hithchens

For an introduction to Hitchens, it's best to watch Hitchens at his best, delivering hitchslap 6: "Who but a slave desires such a ghastly fate?" ( ).

the hitchslap

hitchslap: to utterly obliterate an opponent's entire argument with a few well crafted and incisive statements. The term was coined after the rhetorical style of Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011), a brilliant essayist, writer and journalist. Hitchens was one of the top 100 public intellectuals and his book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything has propelled him to rock star status on the debate circuit.

I hold Mr. Hitchens in the highest esteem. I have given up my Christmas in favour of Hitchmas. You can read about what I do, contact me, or buy something already!

hitchslap t-shirts

Hitchslaps are conveniently categorized by theme. See the hitchslap catalogue for full text.

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the hitchslaps

The hitchslaps are compiled from public debates, not from published sources. In some cases minor adjustments were made to create a smooth transition from spoken to written word. Words that are emphasized appear as outlines on the back of the t-shirt.

1 / Nature of Reality / The whole universe was designed with just you in mind.

There is a certain arrogance to this assumption that all of this extraordinary development was all about us. The tremendous wastefulness of it. The tremendous cruelty of it. The tremendous caprice of it. The tremendous tinkering and incompetence of it. Never mind. At least we're here. The whole universe was designed with just you in mind.
watch video / Hitchens vs Craig at Biola University (4 April 2009) / full transcript / entire debate

2 / Say Sorry / And I still haven't heard enough apology for it

It makes ordinary moral people, compels them, forces them, in some cases orders them do disgusting wicked unforgivable things. There's no expiation for the generations of misery and suffering that religion has inflicted in this way and continues to inflict. And I still haven't heard enough apology for it.
watch video / Hitchens vs Rabbi Harold Kushner and Rev Gomes at Connecticut Forum (Jan 2009) / entire debate

3 / I Won't Have It / Don't say my children must play with these toys

I'm perfectly happy for people to have these toys. And to play with them at home. And hug them to themselves and share them with other people to come around and play with the toys. That's absolutely fine. They're not to make me play with these toys. I will not play with the toys. Don't bring the toys to my house. Don't say my children must play with these toys. Don't say my toys are not allowed by their toys. I'm not going to have any of that. Enough with clerical and religious bullying and intimidation. Is that finally clear?
watch video / Hitchens vs Sharpton at New York Public Library (7 May 2007) / full transcript / full video

4 / Affront and Outrage / Do we get no credit for saying this?

What about the most important minority in the history of the world? Those who have never believed in God. Those who believe that ethical life is possible without religion. Who don't want it. There are lots of us. We have to be insulted and outraged everyday by what we see and what we read. By slaughter and murder. Slaughter and murder and barbarism and insult and superstitious nonsense. We do not reply in kind. We don't say we'll go and kill you if you go on insulting us like this. Do we get no credit for saying this?
watch video / Hitchens vs Sashi Tharoor at Hay Festival (27 May 2006) / entire debate

5 / I Won't Have It / One has to oppose this 100%.

Whatever you do, they will find a reason to take offence. And when they've done that, they think it's their axiomatic right to go straight to violence of the most criminal kind. Including violations of diplomatic immunity, one of the most precious gains of human civilization. No. One has to oppose this 100%. I'm not going to live under a dictatorship of people like this, I'm not going to listen to their opinions. I'm not going to respect them. No, keep it to yourself. Do not dare address me. Do not dare talk to me as if you're warning me when I comment on this. I won't have it. I won't be talked to in that tone of voice.
watch video / Hitchens vs Sashi Tharoor at Hay Festival (27 May 2006) / entire debate

6 / Celestial North Korea / Who but a slave desires such a ghastly fate?

It is the wish to be a slave. It is the desire that there be an unalterable, unchallengeable, tyrannical authority who can convict you of thought crime while you are asleep. Who can subject you to total surveillance around the clock, every waking and sleeping minute of your life. Before you're born and, even worse and where the real fun begins, after you're dead. A celestial North Korea. Who wants to this to be true? Who but a slave desires such a ghastly fate?
watch video / Hitchens vs Peter Hitchens (his brother) at Fountain St. Church, Grand Rapids (3 April 2008) / full debate

7 / I Won't Have It / I'd rather fight it out. If it takes all my life

What is the ground of grievance here? That the Prime Minister of Denmark will not stop the publication of cartoons in the evening paper. That's all it takes to make enemies. People who say let's not make enemies under these conditions are being flat-out masochistic. Sure we can avoid their ire, just as long as we're willing to destroy everything that makes our society different from theirs. Well, I'm not ready to do that. I'd rather fight it out. If it takes all my life.

8 / I Won't Have It / I cannot take your responsibility from you

If Jesus claims to be able to take your sins on himself, remember what we're talking about here. The revolting idea of human sacrifice. Of vicarious redemption. Of scapegoating. The idea that you can throw your sin on someone else and make him die and take your sin with him. The repulsive, immoral idea of vicarious redemption. I can pay your debt. I can serve your sentence in prison. But I cannot take your responsibility from you. Because it would be immoral to do so. You've no right to ask it of me. You can't shed that responsibility. The whole basis of morality requires that you face it and take it upon yourself. Nonetheless, Christianity offers the idea of vicarious redemption.

9 / Affront and Outrage / It is the most important argument we have, ever since the dawn of civilization

The beliefs of the religious are very offensive to me. I do not go and burn down the nearest Baptist or Catholic church. I don't call for you to form mobs to vindicate my hurt feelings. I'm an atheist. I have a natural resistance to profanity. It comes from Antigone. It comes from Sophocles. It doesn't come from monotheism. The criticism of religion is the beginning of all criticism. If you don't have the right to criticize religion, you have no right at all. It is the most important argument we have, ever since the dawn of civilization.
watch video / Hitchens vs Sashi Tharoor at Hay Festival (27 May 2006) / entire debate

10 / Mind-Forg'd Manacles / I say that this is evil.

So when I say that religion poisons everything, I mean to say it infects us in our most basic integrity. It says we can't be moral without big brother. Without totalitarian permission. We can't be good to one another without this. We must be afraid. We must also be forced to love someone who we fear. The essence of sadomasochism. The essence of abjection. The essence of master and slave relationship. I say that this is evil.
watch video / Does God Exist? Hitchens vs Turek at Virginia Commonwealth University (9 Sep 2008). / full transcript / entire debate

11 / Celestial North Korea / It is a horrible idea

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, just for what we think. Who can judge us while we sleep for things that might occur 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.
watch video / Hitchens vs Peter Hitchens (his brother) at Fountain St. Church, Grand Rapids (3 April 2008) / full debate

12 / Nature of Reality / No one beats these odds

I know what's coming. I know no one beats these odds. And it's a matter of getting used to that and growing up and realizing you're expelled from your mother's uterus as if shot from a cannon towards a barn door studded with old nail files and rusty hooks. It's a matter of how you use up the intervening time in an intelligent and ironic way. And try not to do anything nasty to your fellow creatures.
watch video / Impromptu roadside conversation with a fan.

13 / Mind-Forg'd Manacles / Primates who claim to know it should be distrusted

It's a claim to a truth that no primate can claim to make. Primates who claim to know it should be distrusted. Great damage has been done and continues to be done by such people and by such ideas. You're better off thinking for yourself and taking all the risks, and all the pleasures that will come from that. The most overrated of virtues is faith. The metaphysical claims of religion are untrue.

14 / Mind-Forg'd Manacles / I don't respect it. I suspect it

People always demand respect for their faith. Why should I respect someone who makes enormous claims on no evidence? And when confronted with that fact, says "I don't need any evidence, I have faith". I think extraordinary claims such as that they know not just that there is a God, but they know his mind, they know his instructions, they've had revealed truth from him. A claim like that demands extraordinary evidence. Instead of which they say 'How about no evidence at all and just take me on faith." Why am I supposed to respect that? I don't respect it. I suspect it.

15 / Pogrom of Good Ideas / Let's try that for experiment and see who comes out better

I want to be told how any society that follows the precepts of Lucretius, Spinoza, Galileo, Russell, Voltaire, Jefferson, Paine, and Einstein has ever fallen into the same pit of ignorance, famine, cruelty, stupidity, hysteria and witch hunting that is the special privilege of the faithful. Let's try that for experiment and see who comes out better.

16 / Celestial North Korea / Of course you have free will, the Boss insists upon it

But I would say, yes, I think we have free will. When asked why I think so, I'd have to take refuge in philosophical irony and say, because I don't think we have any choice but to have free will. But the Christian answer is, "of course you have free will. The boss insists upon it".
watch video / Hitchens vs Craig at Biola University (4 April 2009) / full transcript / entire debate

17 / Celestial North Korea / The smashing of your individuality only begins at the point of death.

I've been to North Korea. It has a dead man as its president. It's a necrocracy. A thanatocracy. It's one short of a trinity. It is the most revolting and utter and absolute and heartless tyranny the human species has ever evolved. But at least you can fucking die and leave North Korea. Does the Koran or the Bible offer you that liberty? No. No. The tyranny, the misery, the utter ownership of your own entire personality, the smashing of your individuality only begins at the point of death.
watch video / Hitchens vs Peter Hitchens (his brother) at Fountain St. Church, Grand Rapids (3 April 2008) / full debate

18 / Pogrom of Good Ideas / Is it good for the world?

Is it good for the world to appeal to our credulity and not to our scepticism. Is it good for the world to worship a deity that takes sides in wars and human affairs. To appeal to our fear and to our guilt. To our terror of death. To preach guilt and shame about the sexual act and the sexual relationship. To terrify children with the image of hell, and eternal punishment, not just of themselves but of their parents and those they love. Worse of all, to consider women an inferior creation. Is that good for the world?
watch video / Hitchens vs Tony Blair at Roy Thomson Hall (26 November 2010) / full transcript

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