“ The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”
– Christopher HItchens in The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer, 2007
You can find a fitting and rollicking eulogy over at the New Yorker.
Actually I’ve just come across another quote which seems to sum up his spirit as well as anything. A mixture of inspiring, defiant devotion to individual expresssionism and the utmost contempt for correct society:
“My own opinion is enough for me. And I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, anytime. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass.”