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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

David Nicholls on Hitchens' death

David Nicholls, organiser of the forthcoming Global Atheist Convention, for which Christopher Hitchens was going to be a star attraction, writes an obituary here.

He concludes:
We can expect detractors to exit from the woodwork over the next months. There will be half-true and untrue rumours and stories of a hateful nature, which will only go to reinforce the greatness of this one human who once trod the earth in a dignified manner. The intensity of his life and bravery to the end were examples of the finest of human qualities. If but everyone could emulate them.

The death of Christopher Hitchens has special significance for the Atheist Foundation of Australia. He was booked to appear at the 2012 Global Atheist Convention – 'A Celebration of Reason' in April next year along with the other acclaimed Four Horsemen of the Anti-Apocalypse: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris. Christopher knew, as did we, that this was a gamble with time. If pneumonia had not stepped into the scene, the Four Horsemen would have been together at a public forum for the first time.

I know I can speak for the audience and everyone involved with this convention in saying that we are all deeply and profoundly sad that one of the four chairs on centre stage will be empty.

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