Christopher Hitchens in the "Den of Lambs"

I love Christopher Hitchen's tenacity and passion along with his literary examples. See him mix it up with Christians at the recent Christian book expo...




At about 33 minutes it gets interesting. Go get'em Hitch! I found the standard answers by the Christian panelists to be pathetic, really pathetic.

To read more about the Elisabeth Fritzl case that Hitchens mentioned, follow the link.

22 comments:

jim666 said...

Having listened closely to this 'debate' I was wondering, If these so called Christians were given the same opportunities, power and privileges within an Atheist institution if they wouldn't grasp it, They seemed to me to be pushing the thought that Atheism is just another religion to be over come. Morally how can anyone be part of an organisation that is responsible for thousands of years of torture murder and genocide.

Ryan said...

I don't give two shits what anyone says, whether he did poorly or not, or they like him or not.

It still took four of them to go against hitchens and on their home turf!!

That itself is embarrassing.

Jon said...

I actually edited some of Hitchens best moments from this panel at my YouTube channel. Here are the links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLL7k4K6XCI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IQ-o0x_oZU

Summer Seale said...

It appears to me that at the end, they all claim that they made arguments for believing in a Christian world view which they say Christopher never disproves.

It appears to me that they didn't prove the arguments, they just made the assertions that, again, these may be rational explanations if one accepts the initial premise of the truth of Christianity.

If, however, one does not (as Christopher said he doesn't), then they do not make sense.

So, in the end, these are not arguments to prove the truth of Christianity at all, but arguments to prove why certain things are the way they are *if* Christianity is true. It is therefore incumbent upon them, still, to prove the premise. They never did that. The point is, nobody can which is why those enough honest to say so will tell you it's simply a matter of a leap of faith. That's the entire basis of the Christian (and other religious) world view. Using arguments based upon somebody making that initial leap of faith do nothing to prove why one should make it in the first place.

Personally, I think Chris kicked their holy collective asses. =)

guitarstrummr said...

You know, I can't believe the condescending attitude of the Christians on stage. It is absolutely flabbergasting. You can almost see them looking down their noses at Christopher, as if to see "let us teach you the way, you poor lost soul..." - yet all the while ignoring the answer staring them in the face. They even admit the problems with their faith and yet cling to it. They'll continue to reinvent their own theology until the cows come home and never realize that they are simply imitating those who preceded them.

The judgmental attitude and utter lack of reflection on their part just makes me not care a lick about what they say anymore. I really honestly just don't care anymore except that they stand up like Pharisaical (to use their own term) pricks who seek to lead others. I only want to keep others away from their ideas and subservient and hierarchical attitude toward the universe and particularly mankind.

Who honestly gives a shit whether Christianity is beneficial or whether some of it might make sense (of course some of it will make sense!)? I wanted to know if its true. Its not.

They even admit the data does not match the claims (problem of evil) and yet persist.

Arrogance will not easily give up its throne. It is a comfortable and thrilling feeling to think one is obeying God, yet they refuse to see that it is their own comfort they seek.

Kel said...

How is it that Hitchens can hold his own against 4(5) others, yet get spanked by Craig. Is that Craig is that good of a debater?

J.L. Hinman said...

It took four to go agaisnt him? that's becasue they didn't think of calling him names and slandering him.

all thatch all atheists are capable of. there's no proof for your big sky pixie. you are sutpid, you never went to school, you can't spell.

that's a atheists view of an intellectual debate.

nothing but a buch of thugs looking for people to bully.

Its stupid of you to deny being a hate group, that's all you are doing here is spewing it all over yourself.

Ryan said...

Thanks J.L, you just proved our suspicions for us!! Now if you don't mind I have to go yell at old people, grind puppies and kick babies among other things.

Keep up the good work!

Daniel @ Burst said...

Agreed. If I hear one more Christian apologist (or anyone, for that matter) use the tired "religion is man trying to reach God, Christianity is God reaching down to Man," blech blech ugh.

The pamphlet-style lowest-common-denominator talking points are so lame and annoying.

Though to be fair, I think I may have watched too much Hitchens online now, because a few of his tried and true lines are starting to have the same effect on me. :)

Phillysoul11 said...

Hitchens is an intelligent and witty fellow, but Craig is way out of his league, put someone like Dennet in their. The debate was a disaster for the journalist.
:(
I like Hitchens, I really do, but his argument appealed to emotion rather than philosophical truth, which is why I have to hand the trophy to Craig...the debate disappointed me.

dvd said...

Hitchens makes debates interesting. Debates are starting to get boring, but whenever he is around, it makes it interesting. I'm a Christian, but a fan of Hitchens and I always get a good laugh with him.

Judy Weismonger said...

This so-called debate was so dull, except for Hitchens, by some of the most ignorant people I've ever seen on a stage...demanding that we believe in a god because of two bottles of pop, Mountain Dew and whatever..This was just horrible and embarassing that Hitchens had to listen to this childish garbage. Now we know why so many people are concluding they are Atheists...because the Xians have nothing intelligent to say.

Glenn said...

"because the Xians have nothing intelligent to say."

The Christians. Really. And you wonder why some of us are tempted to be condescending.

Slugsie said...

Gotta say, Hitchens pretty much ruled that debate. Same old tired and absolutely refuted arguments trotted out by the Xians again and again.

Eternal Critic said...

@Glenn

A significant number of you are far more than tempted. If you think the Atheists have a monopoly on being arrogant or presumptive you are grossly mistaken.

socraticmammal said...

All of Strobel and Craig arguments follow this structure: X happened/exists, we don't why, it must have been God.

This is of course simply the "god of the gaps" and logically indefensible. Both individuals have repeatedly had this pointed out to them and reject the logical criticism because of ideological bias. Rather than simply saying "I don't know", they begin with their conclusion and reject alternatives, regardless of their level of explanatory power.

Trying to take this position head on legitimizes it in the eyes of the audience. Since their position is logically faulty in the first place, reason based arguments are of no use. All you can do is explain why the position and intellectually honest thing to do is simply say "I don't know". Replacing that with God is to do so on faith and not on reason. I that faith supplies personal comfort, so be it. But to claim it is logically justified is just not the case.

David said...

A lot of people criticize Hitchens for using appeals to emotion in his debates. However, the Bible is FILLED with appeals to emotion. Kind of genius if you ask me.

Just as these appeals are useful in gathering the flock into the fold, they can also be quite useful in opening their eyes to the reality that their shepard is an imaginary maniac.

mathyoo said...

I have no idea why Craig has such a high reputation as a debater. All he did is regurgitate age-old arguments for the existence of God that have been long refuted, and then whine in his summation that his arguments hadn't been addressed.

The problem with that "debate" is that there were four theists against one atheist, and while Hitchens did get more time than any one theist, he was still forced to address the nonsense of at least two of the theists on just about every issue.

meh.

Russ said...

Listening to the points made by the religious on this panel underscores how religious scholarship, especially apologetics, is a thing unto itself: independent of religious practice and having little relevance in the lives of everyday believers.

This was brought into glaring relief as Craig pedantically closed out the session. In doing so, he listed ten arguments he says were left unaddressed. If Craig were to be honest about it, he would have to admit that believers neither become nor remain believers because of those arguments. Most believers become psychologically and socially dependent on religion long before any of them perceive a need to defend it. Fact is, most believers are never faced with the need to defend it. Almost no believers are even aware of Craig or his arguments. If Hitchens neglects Craig's battery of arguments, he is actually no different than most of the religious.

A favorite criticism of Hitchens and other recent high-profile atheists is that they do not take on the strongest arguments of the best Christian thinkers. I ask why should the likes of Hitchens need to when the best thinkers in other religions have seriously considered those arguments and been obviously ummoved? Arguments by Craig, Lewis, Van Til, Schaeffer, Geisler, Clark, McDowell, Strobel, Jeffrey, Lennox and Stoner don't persuade Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish scholars, and Craig, et al, are notably unimpressed by their arguments and evidence as well.

What's more, ignoring arguments supporting Christianity appears to be completely justifiable since the same god of Abraham tells Jewish and Muslim scholars that Christians have gotten it wrong.

strangebrew said...

Craig and Strobel got flattened...

Hitchins ruled the roost...never heard of the other two bunnies...but dull as dishwater on the theist side...Four against one...they are hunting in packs now because their poison is a lot weaker then it was...seems tooth and claw are blunted and pulled...or maybe their game plan is so well known one atheist can kick their but with no problems...Cute!

Ali said...

Maybe it's difficult for some of you to understand why Craig was "regurgitating old arguments" because like many of the contemporary Atheists, you fail to understand them.

I love how the majority of you think the Cosmological argument says "EVERYTHING that exist has a cause" or that Aristotle's metaphysics are wrong because they're old and motion is actually about moving.

The reason many contemporary Atheists don't like these old arguments is because you guys refuse to learn about them as they are and don't understand them.

You want something directly empirical to fall on your face, as though that's logical. You refuse to acknowledge that your own rational justifications are merely simpleton ideas already refuted in the modern philosophical era (Logical Positivists cousins).

The New Atheism is primarily made up of formerly religious persons who have simply traded one narrow minded conception of religion for another.

That's it. And that's why it's no less ignorant or annoying than the religious traditions they came from.

David said...

@Ali

"You refuse to acknowledge that your own rational justifications are merely simpleton ideas already refuted in the modern philosophical era (Logical Positivists cousins). "

I don't think you've actually read the Bible. Is it not your God that paints a picture in Genesis 1 of the rain clouds residing higher in the Heavens than the sun, moon and stars do? I can't even get past the first chapter of your book before I run into the most wildly absurd and highly inaccurate statements.

Yet we atheists are the simpletons? I beg to differ.