Friday, May 25, 2007

Hitchens/Wilson Debate on Christianity Today

Christianity Today is sponsoring a debate between between Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson. Here are the links so far:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Has anyone been following this debate? If so, I'm curious what your take is.

If I were Hitchens, the last person on earth I'd want to debate over the internet would be Doug Wilson. Pastor Wilson is smart, he's wry, and the way he writes appeals to the younger generation--much in the same way I think Hitchens stuff appeals to those of no-faith. If I were him, I'd be afraid of losing my target audience.

I also wouldn't use Scripture to prove my point. His attempt to explain the Good Samaritan as a nice, moral story that tells us to love each other was lame. Truly an exercise in missing the point. But frankly, even if he was good with Scripture, again, it's Doug Wilson we're talking about here. I disagree with some of his theology, but the guy sure knows his Bible.

Finally, I know of at least one person from the other side who thinks "the question is lame." Maybe he's right. I find myself wondering what question would be better to demonstrate the unerring brilliance and clear-headed rational thinking of the atheist camp. If I find out, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, since the atheist folks put such a premium on rationality, I keep wondering what evidence atheism has to back up its claim. Does it really hold together as a system? But maybe I'm expecting too much by looking for a coherent system. My friend the atheist puts it this way:
No-one... and I mean no-one... (even Chris) is claiming atheism (the non-belief in gods) provides any "rational basis" for anything other than not believing in gods.
That clears everything up.

Update: Here are all the links:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

4 comments:

Even So... said...

Yeah, I'm following it, typical stuff with overblown pretense, IMO...get past the lugubrious language and all you have is the same ole' same ole'...it is a smart man's "way of the master vs. rational response squad"...again, IMO...I do think DW is "winning" though...

Anonymous said...

I was expecting more out of this debate. Hitchens and Wilson simply speak past each other. Wilson's major argument is that the has to be an objective basis for morality, and that basis is God. I am not convinced by this logic, because there are no set moral "laws". In retrospective, moral principles constanstly shift, and the Bible is far from the best exposition of human morality. It is funny that Wilson and other fundy Christians don't realize this simply fact.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I read an interview of Christopher Hitchens in the Times newspaper.

Drew said...

So far I have been very disappointed in Hitchens. He never really answers Wilson's simple question--why be good? what is the good? We have been asking similar questions about morality to atheists for years and here are some of there answers...www.vitalsigns.md