There are no words to adequately express the deep sadness that the Global Atheist Convention and Atheist Foundation of Australia feel at hearing the news of the death of Christopher Hitchens.
Christopher was scheduled to appear at the 2012 Global Atheist Convention, to be held in Melbourne next April – the same weekend as his birthday. While there will inevitably be great sorrow and disappointment surrounding his absence from next year’s event, it remains a celebration of all that Hitchens held dear.
A much loved and admired figure in the atheist community, Christopher Hitchens will be remembered for his merciless wit, his courageous journalism and his tireless defence of intellectual honesty.
Christopher was a beloved and irreplaceable member of the ‘Four Horsemen of the Anti-Apocalypse’ with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett. Along with these other best-selling authors, Hitchens has awakened a movement for a return to enlightenment values and the promotion of science and reason in the face of creeping superstition and irrationality in today’s society.
“We knew from the outset that this situation was a very real possibility,” President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia and Chairman of the Global Atheist Convention David Nicholls said. “But the world’s largest and most significant gathering of atheists would not have been the same without Hitchens in the program, and it’s a tribute to Hitchens’ character that he wanted to continue to take speaking and writing engagements and fight the good fight for reason until the very end.”
Whilst Hitchens’ death weighs heavily on the hearts of those working behind the scenes of the Global Atheist Convention, it has not dampened their resolve.
“What better tribute to Hitchens, and in particular that of his distinguished contribution to atheism and rational thought, than to host the remaining three horsemen, live on stage to reflect upon the great man’s life,” explained Nicholls. “We are privileged to have shared a lifetime with such an extraordinary individual. History will ensure that Hitchens takes his place in the ranks of intellectual giants such as Twain and Voltaire, and his words will forever be read and quoted and revered.”
The Global Atheist Convention has placed a tribute to Christopher Hitchens on the front page of its website: http://atheistconvention.org.au
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