Christopher Hitchens sat down with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg for a frank and fascinating conversation on his cancer and his religious beliefs.
"How am I? I'm dying," Hitchens said at the top of the video. "Everybody is, but...the process has accelerated on me. So I'm looking for ways to try to die more like you.
The writer, who is undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer, said "there are bad days and then there are worse days, and I'm never quite sure whether the exhaustion comes from the treatment or from the tumor itself."
Hitchens spoke in very stark terms about his mortality.
"I'm a realist, I'm objective," he said. "It's not a good cancer to get. The statistics are very depressing. Mine isn't just in my esophagus, either. It's gone to my lymph nodes. I would be a very lucky person to live another five years."
Goldberg and Hitchens then welcomed Hitchens' "dearest friend," author Martin Amis, as the conversation turned toward religion.
Hitchens, an outspoken atheist, said he will never become religious despite his looming mortality. If any such conversion is ever attributed to him, he said, it would be either a lie propagated by the religious community or an effect of the cancer and treatment that made him no longer himself.
"The entity making such a remark might be a raving, terrified person whose cancer has spread to the brain. I can't guarantee that such an entity wouldn't make such a ridiculous remark, but no one recognizable as myself would ever make such a remark," he said.