Four years ago today, the most relentless Horseman rode away. Christopher Hitchens was a fierce opponent of that version of nihilism that denigrates the multiform meaningfulness of life.
“A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called ‘meaningless’ except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one’s everyday life as if this were so.”
In other words, as David Hume said, “Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.” Live out the meanings of your life, and – like Hitch and Hume – face its inevitable end with unflinching dignity and good humor. “To the dumb question “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not?”
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