Alan Caruba gives us some canards about atheism:
Atheism offers no real hope, no real reason for living, but Hitchens is clearly doing whatever he can to live, to defeat the cancer. A friend of his proposed a day of prayer for him, but Hitchens said he would not attend, deeming such prayers “a nice gesture.”
Atheism is not about hope. It is about determining the truth whether it is hopeful or depressing or neither. Hitchens’s statement is rooted in the truth. There are a few studies on effectiveness of prayer. Very few of them say that it significantly alters health in the positive. There at least one studies which suggest that informing patients that you’re praying for them will worsen her or his health. (See this study).
Where I seek hope is not in some deity who never answers any requests or even questions, but in my family and friends as well as fellow humans.