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Christopher Hitchens on Christianity's Greatest Contribution

Before his death in 2011, the outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens was asked if he could identify "Christianity's greatest contribution." Hitchens replied:

I haven't been asked that in those terms before, but I find it strangely easy to say what it would be from the prayers I used to intone and the hymns and psalms I used to sing and the lessons I used to read and hear. The greatest contribution of Christianity in my life is the reminder of the complete ephemerality [the state of being temporary, short-lived] of human power, and indeed of human existence—the transience of all states, empires, heroes, grandiose claims, and so forth. That's always with me, and I daresay I could have got that from [other sources], too. But the way I got it and the way it's implanted in me is certainly by Christianity.

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