The Need for a New Enlightenment
Just finished with reading Hitchen's god is not Great. The introductory quote of the final chapter deserves much applause. Here it is:
"The true value of a man is not determined by his possession, supposed or real, of Truth, but rather by his sincere exertion to get to the Truth. It is not possession of the Truth, but rather the pursuit of Truth by which he extends his powers and in which his ever-growing perfectibility is to be found. Possession makes one passive, indolent and proud. If God were to hold all Truth concealed in his right hand, and in his life only the steady and diligent drive for Truth, albeit with the proviso that I would always and forever err in the process, and to offer me the choice, I would with all humility take the left hand. "
~~ Gotthold Lessing, from Anti-Goeze, 1778.
Also worth mentioning was Hitchen's penultimate paragaph in this book, epic-sounding it was, but it's rather inspiring too, at the same time.
"However, only the most naive utopian can believe that this new humane civilisation will develop, like some dream of 'progress', in a straight line. We have first to transcend our prehistory, and escape the gnarled hands which reach out to drag us back to the catacombs and the reeking altars and the guilty pleasures of subjection and abjection. "Know yourself', said the Greeks, gently suggesting the consolations of philosophy. To clear the mind for this project, it has become necessary to know the enemy, and to prepare to fight it."
~~Christopher Hitchens' god is not Great, In Conclusion: The Need for a New Enlightenment, 2007