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I did not know Christopher Hitchens, and thus unlike everyone, and I do mean everyone else who recalls flirting, feuding, fighting fascism or drinking to the point of stumbling stupefaction with him, cannot offer any personal recollections of the man. But my father has written an obituary here:
His atheism nonetheless had a kind of shambling boisterousness that made Christopher Hitchens seem a Mirabeau to Richard Dawkins’s Saint Just or Sam Harris’s Robespierre. Hitchens was uninterested in subtle analysis. On the masthead of the Daily Hitchens, there is the legend: What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. The difficulty with this assertion is straightforward. If it has been asserted without proof, why should it be believed, and if not, where is the proof?
I asked Hitchens about this during a break in our debate. We had retreated to a forlorn hotel loading ramp in order to have a cigarette. “Well, yes,” he said, “it’s just a sentence.”