Hitchens Versus the Christians

The Christian Book Expo is a major event for those in the Christian book industry. It’s taking place this weekend in Dallas, Texas.

Of the several panel discussions taking place, here’s one that seems pretty well-balanced:

Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?

The New Atheists usually make two charges against Christianity: (1) that it is untrue and (2) that it is harmful. A panel of Chologetics experts responds to an atheist critic with evidence from Scripture, science, and history about why the faith is both reasonable and good for the world.

Panelists include four Christian apologists (including Lee Strobel and William Lane Craig)… versus one Christopher Hitchens.

No doubt Hitchens is loving this matchup. You can keep piling Apologists’ arguments on him and he’ll just throw them right back at you.

I wonder what the odds on this panel would be in Las Vegas…

  • Jason Peper

    what the heck is a “chologetic”?

  • mikespeir

    Yeah, that must be a typo. I didn’t get a thing when I googled it.

  • Tom N

    Will this be available to see online? I loved Hitchens matchup against the Rabbi at the 92nd St Y about a year ago. That was online but it was the Y’s own website I think.

  • Tom N

    Also, why the hell is Scientology being advertised at the top of the webpage!?! That seems a bit off putting to me. I thought it might be part of a group of banners but when I refreshed the page it was still there!!

  • http://trainbiggermonkeys.com/blog Yuri Nalarm

    Banners are usually designed to advertise what you have been searching.

    Chologetics must be another made up word to make them sound credible.

  • JimboB

    I like how all the Christians have these big, goofy grins while Hitchens is just kind of staring at the camera.

  • http://thehappyhuman.wordpress.com John

    Vegas wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole, because in debates there’s hardly ever a clear winner. Everybody walks away with their biases confirmed.

  • David D.G.

    I just finished reading Hitchens’ god is not Great recently. I cannot imagine how any religious person could read it and then claim, with any kind of intact conscience, that “faith is both reasonable and good for the world.” Hitchens leaves any such claim in shreds. If he can bring even half of his book’s punch to this panel, he just might open up a few eyes there, even though it’s bound to be a classic “tough room.” Best of luck to him!

    ~David D.G.

  • Richard Wade

    These things are depressingly predictable. Hitchens will utterly disassemble every one of the apologists’ arguments, yet the audience, consisting mostly of Texas Christians will walk away thinking the apologists “won.” The apologists may be able to privately appreciate that their arguments were logically reduced to rubble, but they also will still think they “won” simply because they did not emerge from the debate as atheists.

    Hitchens’ arguments require you to use your prefrontal cortex. Apologists’ arguments require you to relax your analytical mind and just enjoy the pleasurable sensations of being reassured that Mommy and Daddy were right. That takes place in much older and more powerful parts of the brain.

    I wonder what the odds on this panel would be in Las Vegas…

    I’d say the odds of any Christian leaving that room with any new doubt planted in their mind are less than the odds that they will be struck on the back of the head by a small meteorite as they leave the Expo.

  • http://primesequence.blogspot.com/ PrimeNumbers

    Why do Christians insist on sending more of themselves to the lions?

    Hitchens has heard their arguments before. He’s rebutted their arguments before. Faith is only reasonable if you redefine reasonableness to “I have reasoned it, therefore it’s reasonable”, even if you reasoning is suspect, self serving and circular.

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com ollie

    Doubt is a seed that can take a heck of a long time to germinate. I’d heard atheist arguments from the mid 1970s and they really didn’t stick until the 1990s or so.

    Now I am disgusted that I ever gave any credence to those superstitions.

    Anyway, that is the effect that Hitchens might have with a handful of the theists who will be there.

    They aren’t going to go straight home and throw away their Bibles, but there might be a teeny tiny bit of doubt that germinates.

    It depends…we know that some seeds fall on rocky ground, some fall on shallow ground and some fall on rich ground where they yield a good harvest. :)

  • http://primesequence.blogspot.com/ PrimeNumbers

    When you have absolute certainty, doubt is a thing that grows and festers inside you, until it rips that certainty apart. You can only stretch cognitive dissonance so far.

    But, in contrast, the atheist lives with doubt. The scientist lives with doubt. Doubt it not a problem. We use doubt to drive us on forward, to explore and understand more. We don’t have a fixed position to defend.

    Doubt is a powerful weapon for us. Hitchens yields it like a sword.

  • http://www.drzach.net Zachary Moore

    I’m going to be there, and I’m also going to be recording an episode of Apologia with some of my theist and atheist colleagues immediately following the panel.

  • Richard Wade

    You guys are more optimistic about the power of doubt. I really hope you’re right and I am wrong.

    I wonder, will Hitchens be allowed to sell his books at the Expo? If so, I wonder how many will be sold?

  • http://thehappyhuman.wordpress.com John

    I should expand on my previous comment: I don’t think debates like these are pointless or anything. They are if you wish to reach the diehard believers, but they’re very persuasive to people (like, say, me five years ago) who are exploring, searching, on the fence – anybody who hasn’t got their mind made up yet.

  • Shane

    Well-balanced? Hardly. Only 4 apologists against Hitchens? He won’t even break a sweat.

  • Ty

    Hitchen’s can handle four Christians even when he’s drunk off his ass.

    And probably will be.

  • Luke Garbutt

    Hitchens v.s Mother Theresa

    That would be the modern day Thrilla in Manilla.

  • Secular Humanist

    Chologetics? Is that short for Christian apologetics?

    I read Hitchens’ stuff all the time. The guy is a genius.

    As a former journalist myself, I can appreciate him even more.

  • http://psychodiva.blogspot.com/ Psychodiva

    my money is on Hitch :) of course the idiots won’t know that they have been beaten to a pulp but I hope they film it for our entertainment :)

  • chancelikely

    Chologetics appears to be a typo (probably Ch[ristian ap]ologetics). But I had to google it to be sure – the four hits are two on this site and two versions of the original linked article.

    Then again, I was sure ‘baraminology’ was a joke. Apologists striving for a veneer of legitimacy seems to be pretty common.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Chologetics

    I think it’s a synonym for “cdesign proponentsists”

  • jake

    Ha! I just want to point out that anyone who states that faith is reasonable is 1) an idiot and 2) completely ignorant as to the definition of the word faith. A simple grazing of Webster’s will show you that faith is the belief in things not based in proof and that the presence of proof entirely alleviates faith of it’s power. As the majority of christians do not understand this concept in the least this argument will once again show that christians are more interested in converting people to the religion that they follow blindly than actually studying what it is they so strongly stand behind.

  • TXatheist

    3 hour drive and $20 to get in. I’m so tempted to go and wear my “Friendly neighborhood atheist” t-shirt. Seriously, how many atheists are going to be there? 10 at most.

  • TXatheist

    Thanks for the link Hemant. I saw a volunteering link so I asked what I could do to volunteer in setting up for Christopher Hitchens and clean up if needed. If that warrants a better entrance fee let me know.

  • Jonathan Weyer

    I’m not sure why they choose to have four against one. Craig or Wilson have and could hold their own quite nicely against Hitchens.

  • Jonathan Weyer
  • http://trainbiggermonkeys.com/blog Yuri Nalarm

    “Chologetics”

    I think it’s a synonym for “cdesign proponentsists”

    Good one Reginald. HAHA

  • justanotherjones

    Given what I’ve heard theists say about previous debates where Hitchens mopped the floor with an apologist, they’ll say he lost. They always say that, even when their guy makes asses out of all of them.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    I really hope the convention planners bring plenty of sawdust to absorb the bloodbath and powerful water hoses to wash it away after Hitchens is done with them. That could get ugly. Maybe they should buy him a few drinks first to get him chummy.

  • Carl D

    For a bunch calling itself “Friendly Athiests”, you can be quite pugnacious and arrogant. Which is how Hitchens will show himself to be at Expo. Drunk or not.

  • http://darwinsdagger.blogspot.com Darwin’s Dagger

    I think Hitchens vs. Predator would be a fairer fight.

  • absent sway

    Oh snaps, ollie busted out the sower and the seed parable!

  • friendly Christian

    Wow, you guys! Congratulations! It seems you’ve already crowned Christopher, King! And without even hearing the other side. Amazing. Jake said, “Anyone who states that faith is reasonable is 1) an idiot,” wow, well said. Can’t argue with that one! Discredit your opponent before he can speak. Nice.
    It also seems to me that things cut both ways. When Wilson “mops the floor” with Hitchens, all you atheists will claim your side “won.” Especially since it has already been decided, since Wilson must be an “idiot.”
    By the way, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

  • Ty

    No, all the people calling the other side idiots *have* heard that side.

    Hence the value judgment.

    Or do you think Wilson will have some startling new evidence never before disclosed? Unless he does, he’ll just trot out all the same tired apologetics, arguments from incredulity, appeals to the mob, and other logical fallacies that side uses.

  • friendly Christian

    Really? All the people calling the other side idiots have heard that side. That’s a broad statement. Of course maybe it’s possible because there are so few atheists. I also find it interesting that your “value judgment” is name calling against someone with whom you disagree.

    Wilson shows that Hitchens has no foundation upon which to stand. If we are all merely physical beings and I am a collection of atoms bumping off of each other and so are you, then why does it even matter what one set of atoms says to another? What would make the neurons firing from one entity more valuable than the neurons firing from another? Why should you even care if “Christian” atoms “believe” in a Creator? Why would you even care to call a bunch of neurons firing an idiot? Why the hate?

    Wilson doesn’t grant the atheist the assumption that all of you want to have; that you can be an objective observer of this universe. You are a creature in rebellion against your Creator so you will see things through an unbelieving lens.

    By the way, are you all fans of Peter Singer? At least he seems to be a consistent atheist.

  • Eric

    If it were possible Hitchens should really debate David Hume. I realize Hume is long since dead, but I think it will take Hume himself to get Hitchens to actually address Hume’s is ought problem, but who am i kidding, Hitchens doesn’t eve want to go there.

  • http://mylongapostasy.blogspot.com ATL-Apostate

    Hitch will dominate this debate. Hardly fair if you ask me.

    I agree with a previous respondent about “seeds of doubt.” I too was an ardent Christian, having read and endorsed the views of Strobel, Craig, et al.

    It took 15 years, but the doubt finally gave way to reason, and ultimately, liberation. I’m so thankful to folks like Hitch and Dawkins who keep doing what some consider “pointless” debates. If not for them, I would likely still be “lost.”

  • christi

    More of the Angry Atheist stereotype. This is fun!

    I like how the fact that we have feelings means there must be a god. That makes complete sense. Certainly biochemistry has nothing to do with it.

    And I’ve never heard a believer call an atheist an idiot. Especially on fox news. Talk about some angry Christians!

    I also love how Christians can be as vocal and obnoxious about their faith as they want to be, but as soon as an atheist says, “i don’t believe in your fairy tale” s/he is described as angry.

  • Todd

    If we are all merely physical beings and I am a collection of atoms bumping off of each other and so are you, then why does it even matter what one set of atoms says to another?

    Why wouldn’t it matter? This line of attack has always puzzled me. It’s basically a really watered down version of the if-God-didn’t-exist-I’d-rape-my-sister argument.

  • Godfrey

    @ “Friendly Xtian”: eventually, you may find that the pain of focusing on logical thought and fact is less than that of the pain of apologetics…or not. It takes real effort to discern anything in the world. Live in that graceful “la-la” if you want to. It really is a sad place, based on my view of “cold, hard reality”. Seeing as how that is how the world really is. Don’t mistake yourself that a real atheist is going to “regret and repent” on his deathbed. Stay with your acceptance of the beauty of the rainbow without the physical understanding of what happens to the light when it penetrates, refracts and reflects. There is far more beauty in that view than you might imagine.

  • jake

    I find this rather humorous. Note to the friendly christian… I am also a christian and there was actually no hate in my statement at all, merely a call for research on the part of those protesting that faith is reasonable. By definition faith cannot exist in light of reason for in essence faith is something like the opposite of reason. It is not knowledge and it is not logical. In order for a true faith to exist one must know how truly unlikely the object of this faith is. Thus, “anyone who states that faith is reasonable is 1) an idiot”.

    And I must admit, I find myself quite comfortable in the company of these men and women who actually do research and understand what they believe.

  • Bill Kitchen

    Love how atheists are faster than a speeding bullet with the ad hominem attacks and self-congratulatory remarks of victory before the game even begins. Nice! I’m sure all parties will be cordial and polite with few sparks flying! Maybe some sparks!

  • friendly Christian

    @ Godfrey: I realize the “cold, hard reality,” and I call it sin. What do you call it? Blind chance? If so, who cares? Why argue? Let’s just follow Peter Singer. I don’t mistake myself and think an atheist will repent on his deathbed. Usually their hearts and minds have been hardened throughout the years. Do you enjoy sunsets? Or do you insist that we call them an earth rotation and light refracting through the atmosphere? I find “sunset” works just fine.

    @ Todd: you would? Wow. Who would care if you did anyway, except for maybe your sister?

    @ Jake: faith can be defined as a strongly held belief or theory. Kind of like that of evolutionists.

    Blessings to you all. It’s late, and I have to work early in the morning. It’s been fun. Be sure to check out “A Collision of Lives”, an upcoming film by Darren Doanes (I think I spelled that right).

  • Anticontrame

    @friendly Christian: “If we are all merely physical beings and I am a collection of atoms bumping off of each other…”

    Why does meaninglessness follow from naturalism? Why predicate your caring for someone on their being made out of supernatural stuff? Pets don’t have souls according to most forms of Christianity, but I haven’t met a Christian family that didn’t care about the well being of the family dog or pet bunny.

  • Pseudonym

    It’s interesting that the summary describes this as a “discussion” rather than a “debate”. If everyone (and I mean both sides) are willing to discuss rather than debate, this might be really interesting to see.

    But I doubt it. I suspect that neither Hitchens nor Craig (in particular) are capable of reasoned discussion in each others’ presence.

  • Siamang

    I think the “Friendly Christian” had an interesting experience here.

    He comes in assuming Jake is an atheist. Just goes to show you that listening first, asking questions and engaging is not a bad way to go.

    Friendly Christian, you said:

    You are a creature in rebellion against your Creator so you will see things through an unbelieving lens.

    First off, way to assess us without talking to us first. Not a promising start. It does not bode well for a respectful conversation. You complain of “discrediting your opponent before he speaks”, but is that not what you just did? Did you enter into this discussion already convinced we are in a state of rebellion?

    Second off, the statement is nonsensical. How can I be in a state of rebellion against an entity I do not believe exists? It’s a self-contradictory sentence.

    Instead of attempting to rephrase or clarify your assertion, how about you chill out from the assertions and ask some questions? How about a deal: I don’t tell you what you supposedly believe, you do the same for me? It’s about asking, not about telling, and not about arguing strawmen.

    Usually their hearts and minds have been hardened throughout the years. Do you enjoy sunsets? Or do you insist that we call them an earth rotation and light refracting through the atmosphere?

    Okay, seriously, why the hate? What the hell are we to you? Robots?

    You’ve got to ask yourself, FC, why did you come here? Are you building walls or bridges? Are you here to gain any understanding of other human beings at all? Or are you here to preach and leave? Post and feel smug and superior and leave? Pick an online fight and leave?

    Because you’re just a wall-builder here so far. We need bridge-builders, because the walls are already too high.

    Why should you even care if “Christian” atoms “believe” in a Creator?

    Um…. because people are important to me, because I am a person. People don’t need to be magical to make them worth caring about. I’m a people, you’re a people, so I care about you.

    Calling someone a stack of atoms (while essentially true) is also monumentally false. If it’s all “just atoms”, then you won’t mind eating a pile of shit, right? Oh, no? Is it because the shit has a soul from God? No. It’s because it’s not “just atoms”. The arrangement of the atoms actually matters! A pile of sugar isn’t the same as a pile of gold or a pile of shit, and only a philosopher enamored of his own logic lapses can’t tell the difference or needs to posit that the gold or the sugar or the shit or the human being are only differentiated by a magical ghost living inside them.

    A dog or a donkey knows the difference between sugar and shit. Guess, what, so do atheists. In all my life I’ve only heard the religious argue that without a ghost, it’s all just atoms. If a philosopher can’t tell the difference between sugar and shit, I’ll make a dog my guru. The dog knows it ain’t just atoms.

    FC, I STRONGLY suggest you take a breather, then come back when you’re willing to try a different tack. Come back when you don’t have to prove how big a man you are, or how better you are than us. Come back when you want to understand how someone different than you thinks about things. Come back with some ears to hear us, and some questions to share with us.

    The world is a wonderful place full of people with different ideas and different beliefs. How lucky that we share it with each other. How blessed are we that we get to learn from each other! What joy there is in life itself! Do not fear or pity us, for we taste the sweet nectar of life in all its fleeting, fragile beauty. We dance in the light of the flickering, all too brief candle. We experience love, and beauty and hope and friendship and death and sorrow and pain just as you do. We do not fear life, nor does knowing of its end diminish our relish of it. On the contrary! It makes it all the sweeter for its imminent vanishing. Dance! The light is almost out!

    Come back knowing that we are people, and you should treat us better. Not because we believe exactly what you do, but merely because we ask it, and you are human just as we are. Someday one of us may save your life. An atheist may have given the blood that saved your sister. Someone here might have built your house, or taught your child to read.

    Come back and treat us as you would have us treat you.

    But please come back.

  • Siamang

    But I doubt it. I suspect that neither Hitchens nor Craig (in particular) are capable of reasoned discussion in each others’ presence.

    Agreed. And Strobel, if his time here is any indication, will avoid all tough questions and focus on making whatever statement he decided to make.

  • Richard Wade

    Hi friendly Christian,

    I like your name, and I’ll take it to heart.

    I think it’s unfortunate when people call others idiots, even when they are acting like idiots, mostly because it just makes matters worse. When people hear others calling them idiots, they get angry and defensive. Blood diverted to the emotional centers of their brains is not going to their frontal lobes, so they are less capable of thinking clearly. They’re more likely to continue to act like idiots. So unless we like being surrounded by idiots, which I do not, we should stop calling others that and try to encourage them to think clearly and carefully.

    I haven’t heard or read every single apologist in the world, but I’ve heard enough so that long ago their arguments stopped being new. It got to be so disappointing to hear them repeat the same old fallacies and canards that I finally lost interest. It was kind of sad, because they would deliver them with an eager fervor that one would expect if they had a brand new idea that had never been poked full of holes by a simple logical analysis.

    For instance, your questions about all of us just being atoms and so forth sound like a familiar one called Argument from Purpose. If I am reading you correctly, you seem to be saying that without your god our lives have no purpose, and so caring about such things as a controversy between theists and atheists would have no point.

    The point is that most atheists do not spend much time at all objecting to a concept of a god. They spend most of their time objecting to the real behaviors of real people who believe in a god and think that they are justified by their god to impose their narrow views upon others, taking away their civil rights, insinuating their theology into science, public education, public policy and private lives, and shunning, slandering, abusing, firing, beating and killing anyone who dares to disagree with them. That is the point. That is why it matters.

    You ask “Why the hate?” You’ll understand if you realize it’s not about hate, it’s about hurt. Rational people are not cold and strictly analytical. They care very much about the world and about people, and they hurt deeply to see what irrational people do in the name of their beliefs. Mind you, I don’t automatically lump you in with those who are abusive and ruthless; you just have the same beliefs. You’re the friendly Christian, and I’m glad to meet you. I know a few others like you.

    We “collections of atoms” invent our own purposes and meanings for our lives, and you might be surprised that they are not so different from those that probably enrich your life: Love of our families and friends, desire to alleviate the suffering of others as well as ourselves, interest in helping society to be both just and prosperous, interest in learning.

    You tell us “You are a creature in rebellion against your Creator so you will see things through an unbelieving lens.” Here is another familiar fallacy. It’s a circular, begging-the-question kind of thing. If I am understanding your statement, you seem to be assuming that we secretly do believe in your god and we are rebelling against it. No, just try to accept the reality that we really don’t believe in it. We can’t rebel against something we don’t believe in. We don’t believe in it simply because we need evidence to believe in claims, especially fantastic, amazing claims.

    friendly Christian, if you are actually friendly, and I’m assuming you are, then please respect us enough to not tell us what we think, feel and do. Ask us what we think, feel and do.

  • Todd

    @ Todd: you would? Wow. Who would care if you did anyway, except for maybe your sister?

    You misunderstand. You’re moral underpinning appears to rely on the threat of hell to keep you from doing horrible things. That was my point.

    Do you enjoy sunsets? Or do you insist that we call them an earth rotation and light refracting through the atmosphere? I find “sunset” works just fine.

    Believe it or not, it’s possible to appreciate the beauty of a spectacular sunset and understand the scientific basis for how it happens.

    For me, I like the aftermath of a really big snowfall, when the world turns white and the snow deadens all sound. Crystallized water take my breath away.

  • http://www.bullartistry.com.au/posts Mike Bull

    Hi Mr Wade

    Not all Christians are reasonable, but many people are Christians because of the evidence.

    Christians object to the concept of no god because they understand the terrible consequences of the concept in the lives of real people. Many also understand that the morality of modern western atheism is not the product of human reason or pragmatism but capital stolen from Christianity. The greatest culture in history, and modern science, resulted from Christianity and its effect on culture. Is that not evidence?

    The rest of your paragraph definitely cuts both ways, thus:

    “Christians spend most of their time objecting to the real behaviors of real people who have no objective basis for morality and think that they are justified by their philosophy to impose their limited, subjective views upon others, taking away their civil rights, insinuating their philosophy into science, public education, public policy and private lives, and shunning, slandering, abusing, firing, beating and killing anyone who dares to disagree with them.”

    Seen Expelled? Actually, seen the 20th century? I guess it depends what you think is true, hey? Both sides think the other is delusional, but atheism has the higher body count by far. These new atheists and their tired old (answered) arguments are like a doctor prescribing thalidomide today and touting its benefits.

    But perhaps the 100 million or more slaughtered in the 20th century are not ‘evidence’ for the dangers of applied, consistent atheism.

    I don’t believe in evolution because so far, after nearly 30 years of me waiting, reading, studying, atheists have failed to come up with evidence to convince me of their fantastic, amazing claims that boil down to ‘Enuma Elish’ in a veneer of science. And when challenged they pull rank or resort to ridicule. They too repeat the same old fallacies and canards, and insist on including them as proven facts in textbooks for gullible children.

    I have read highly qualified scientists who point out the holes, baseless foundational assumptions, circular reasoning and logical fallacies in evolutionary theory. Am I unreasonable for not believing it? I see breathtaking beauty and astounding design in nature. Is this merely a subjective response, or is it actually evidence? Could not your interpretation of that beautiful fossil you are holding be a subjective response based on unproved assumptions? That’s how I see it.

    Philosopher Daniel Dennett called Darwinism a universal acid that ‘eats through virtually every traditional concept’—mankind’s most cherished beliefs about God, value, meaning, purpose, culture, morality—everything. That is evidence.

    As the west turns its back on Christianity, we need more and more legislation because people are less and less self-governing. Looks like we are sinners to me. That is quite reasonable ‘evidence’ for the truth of the Bible.

    What I see in the world around me doesn’t prove the Bible, but neither does it contradict it. I don’t switch off my brain, and neither does Wilson.

    The impression I got from the first Wilson/Hitchens debate was that Hitchens really didn’t get the depths of Wilson’s arguments. Hitchens was thowing rocks at Wilson’s windows while Wilson was pointing out that Hitchens’ house has no foundation.

    In the pub debate, Hitchens also made the mistake of challenging Wilson with the claim that Jesus was wrong about the time of his ‘coming.’ After Wilson’s response, you could have heard a pin drop. Hitchens refrained from challenges using the Bible after that. Atheists make a lot of ignorant claims, too. Even the smart ones.

    But these gentlemen did hit it off when they discovered a mutual appreciation for P. G. Wodehouse. If the debate was down to natural selection, neither of them looks particularly fit. But they are both very intelligent, reasonable and witty, which for me is also evidence for the God of the Book. And it would be a privilege to attend if I could.

    With respect to you all,
    Mike Bull

  • TXatheist

    Almost 24 hours later no reply for my volunteerism. I’ve heard W Craig and read/heard Strobel. They usually have some very important statement like “if you can accept x then the rest will follow”. That is the catch.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Seen Expelled?

    Yes, I saw Expelled. It was a horrid stinking chunk of revisionist dreck. have you seen the reviews of Expelled? Such as this one by Roger Ebert? Have you checked the distortions and falsehoods in the movie catalogued at Expelled Exposed?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    More on Expelled for Mike Wade:

    Comparing biologists (i.e. “Darwinists”) to Soviet Communists was particularly stupid and galling, as most historically literate scientists will have heard of the era of Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union, in which legitimate genetics and evolution were suppressed, and researchers punished, for dogmatic ideological reasons. If you saw Expelled and accept its message uncritically, then I think I have learned something important about your capacity for critical analysis.

  • Siamang

    Folks, I know we’ve got some friendly Christians here… can they do some lifting for us atheists when one of their tribe comes in here thinking “Expelled” is a good and reliable witness for them?

    Seriously. Note to Mike Bull: expelled is full of lies. I saw it. I saw the lies. Is that REALLY what you hold up as capital-T Truth?

    I can’t believe you fell for that shit! I guess PT Barnum was right.

  • benjdm

    @friendly christian:

    If we are all merely physical beings and I am a collection of atoms bumping off of each other and so are you, then why does it even matter what one set of atoms says to another?

    Well, that’s my understanding of what it means for things to matter – for a mental-processing collection of atoms to consider it significant in its thinking. But let’s assume I’m wrong and you’re right – people are collections of atoms AND some spirit-goo. How does the addition of spirit-goo make things matter where before they did not?

  • petey

    In both debates I’ve seen between Hitchens and Wilson, Hitchens can never sufficiently explain why he believes he can make objective judgments about morality, beauty, etc. Until he can do this, the rest of the debate seems pointless to me.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    If we are all merely physical beings

    “Merely”? Why would you say “merely”?

  • Indigo

    Mike Bull -
    Given your statement that “As the west turns its back on Christianity, we need more and more legislation because people are less and less self-governing”, how do you feel about the fact that you are less likely to be murdered now than if you had been alive at any other point in the history of Western civilisation?

  • Richard Wade

    Hi Mike Bull, Thank you for your thoughtful and earnest comments.

    Often, when I explain to a theist that skeptics need evidence to believe in claims, the conversation then turns to what constitutes evidence. Here we usually have to describe our requirements for what is acceptable evidence and basically agree to disagree, since very often a theist’s requirements are far too loose for a skeptic to accept. For example:

    Christians object to the concept of no god because they understand the terrible consequences of the concept in the lives of real people. Many also understand that the morality of modern western atheism is not the product of human reason or pragmatism but capital stolen from Christianity. The greatest culture in history, and modern science, resulted from Christianity and its effect on culture. Is that not evidence?

    Evidence of what? A god?

    This is the fallacious argument called Argument from Consequence. History is full of accounts of people doing wonderful things and terrible things. The god-free people doing terrible things is no more evidence for the existence of a god than the godly people doing terrible things is evidence for the non-existence of a god. Inversely, the god-free people doing wonderful things is no more evidence for the non-existence of a god than the godly people doing wonderful things is evidence for the existence of a god. In short, people’s behavior is not evidence for a god. It is evidence for people’s behavior. Similarly, your appeal to the material success of Western culture is not evidence for the existence of a god. It could just as easily be argued that Christianity has handicapped the development of science over the centuries, and that Western culture would have been even more successful today if it had not had the interference of religion. Once again, arguments from consequences and arguments from “what might have been if only,” are not logically connected to the existence or non-existence of a god.

    You should be careful trying to attribute the slaughter of millions to atheism, since it leaves you open to the same argument accusing religion of the slaughter of millions. Such arguments often employ the fallacious argument of False Cause. Just because a serial killer is left-handed does not mean his left-handedness “caused” him to kill. There have been theist and atheist tyrants. A tyrant’s belief or lack of belief in a god may or may not have anything to do with his tyranny. Much more solid evidence would be required to logically make such a causal link.

    You said,

    Philosopher Daniel Dennett called Darwinism a universal acid that ‘eats through virtually every traditional concept’—mankind’s most cherished beliefs about God, value, meaning, purpose, culture, morality—everything. That is evidence.

    Again, evidence of what? You seem to imply that these “traditional concepts” are all still valid in our society today, and must never be questioned, amended or improved upon after an honest and fearless reassessment. This sounds like Argument from Tradition, assuming that because something has always been done one way it should continue to be done that way.

    I’m getting long-winded here so I’ll quickly go through some more of your fallacious arguments: Appealing to “qualified scientists” who remain unnamed is Argument from Anonymous Authority. Appealing to the “holes” they are supposed to be objecting to is Argument from Ignorance. Appealing to the beauty you enjoy in nature, (I enjoy it too) is Argument from Emotion. All these are arguments. Arguments, even ones that are not as fallacious as these, are not evidence. Arguments need evidence.

    Here I’ll cut to the chase and describe what I need to accept something as evidence for a claim: It’s three dimensional and it has mass. It can be seen, touched, heard, smelled and tasted. It can be tested. Others giving similar tests will find similar results. Talk is not evidence. Claims written in an old book are not evidence. To me, evidence is what you would want to have on your side if you were falsely accused of a serious crime. You would not feel secure if all you had was a silver-tongued defense lawyer who spoke eloquently about how you’re such a nice person that you couldn’t have committed the crime. No, you’d want strong, physical evidence of both your innocence and the guilt of the real culprit, stuff so solid it would convince the most skeptical juror. The bigger the claim, the more evidence that claim demands. Your claims are very large. I need very large evidence to believe your very large claims. You do not need what I need, so here we reach the impasse about what constitutes evidence.

    Near the end of your comment you said,

    What I see in the world around me doesn’t prove the Bible, but neither does it contradict it. I don’t switch off my brain, and neither does Wilson.

    You and I concur completely here. Nothing you have described either proves or disproves the Bible. Neither of us switch off our brains; we just use them differently. You use faith to believe in the Bible, and I do not. I need evidence. Your default position is to believe those claims without evidence, and my default position is to refrain from belief of any claim without evidence. I think it would be better if you just exercised your faith and did not try to link it with rationality, or try to make it sound rational. It is not a rational process. Jake, a Christian here, has put it very well in his comment above. If you want to take it on faith, that is fine, but don’t try to build rational sounding arguments to stand in place of your faith. At least so far, they just don’t work with rational skeptics.

    Mike, please understand that I am not attacking or ridiculing you. I am spending all this time to try to help you understand what skeptics need to believe claims, and to help you understand why your arguments do not work for us. I hope we can continue a respectful and cordial dialogue.

  • http://micketymoc.mchronicles.net/ micketymoc

    I have nothing to add to Richard’s comments, except that I’d favorite it if I could, if only for the respectful (to Christians) tone that I think all of us atheists should emulate.

    FSM knows I try, but that’s really difficult to pull off consistently.

  • Siamang

    It takes a lot of typing to back someone down from some pretty heavy assumptions or behaviors they often arrive with.

    And more times than not, that’s the last these people post here…

    I think it’s rarely worth the effort.

  • Richard Wade

    And more times than not, that’s the last these people post here…
    I think it’s rarely worth the effort.

    Well, if that’s the only outcome, then maybe that’s worth the effort too.

  • friendly Christian

    @ Richard Wade. Thank you for the thoughtful response. My point about us being just a bunch of atoms (according to the atheist worldview) is that I find it impossible for anyone to have a consistent standard as to what is right and wrong. If physicality is all there is, then I don’t see why it matters whether or not one entity kills another. On what consistent basis would one object? Feelings? Majority Rule? What if those wanting to do the killing are simply “ahead” in the process of evolution? Who has the “right” to say they are “wrong”? What is the difference (according to your worldview) between killing a cow and killing a human?

    Please note: I’m glad you and others on this board appear to be thoughtful and caring individuals. I would probably love to have you as a neighbor. I just think there is no consistency as to why things are right and wrong from the atheist worldview.

    You also said:

    They spend most of their time objecting to the real behaviors of real people who believe in a god and think that they are justified by their god to impose their narrow views upon others, taking away their civil rights, insinuating their theology into science, public education, public policy and private lives, and shunning, slandering, abusing, firing, beating and killing anyone who dares to disagree with them. That is the point. That is why it matters.

    I happen to find just the opposite happening today in America. It is the secularists that are opposing their narrow views on society. They create their version of blasphemy laws; they are called “hate speech”. In Canada, ministers are being arrested because they teach what the Bible says about homosexuality; namely, that it is a sin. Christians aren’t trying to “lock up” homosexuals or take away their civil rights! Any man can choose to marry any woman (providing they are not related, etc). . . I know I just opened a can of worms. . .

    So if you think about it, even here in California, the majority (barely) voted to keep marriage between a man and a woman. This is how it has always been here in America. We are not “imposing” anything. The secularists are “imposing” change. How do you determine if it is right or wrong to allow homosexual marriage? If the majority of us blobs of thinking atoms are in favor of marriage only between a man and a woman, could that mean (in your worldview) that we (the majority) are further along in the evolutionary process? Besides, if you look at it through evolutions eyes, homosexuality actually goes against the survival of the species.

    @ Siamang: you said:

    Come back when you don’t have to prove how big a man you are, or how better you are than us.

    I am hardly here to prove how big a man I am, and I certainly don’t think I’m better than you. In fact, I am sure there are much more intelligent people on these boards than I (or is it me?).

    How blessed are we that we get to learn from each other! What joy there is in life itself! Do not fear or pity us, for we taste the sweet nectar of life in all its fleeting, fragile beauty. We dance in the light of the flickering, all too brief candle. We experience love, and beauty and hope and friendship and death and sorrow and pain just as you do. We do not fear life, nor does knowing of its end diminish our relish of it. On the contrary! It makes it all the sweeter for its imminent vanishing. Dance! The light is almost out!

    “If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’” 1 Cor 15:32

    I hope I did not offend anyone too much by quoting a verse from the Bible.
    So you are living out a worldview that the apostle Paul dealt with. Life is fleeting, enjoy it. And then we die. . . so, what is the point?

    Sorry this post was so long.

  • benjdm

    My point about us being just a bunch of atoms (according to the atheist worldview) is that I find it impossible for anyone to have a consistent standard as to what is right and wrong.

    OK. Now we’re a bunch of atoms and some spirit-goo. How does the spirit-goo change this?

  • friendly Christian

    “spirit goo” again is a materialistic term. We are made in the image of God, and therefore, human beings (including unborn humans who have their own DNA–oh my, I’m using science) have more intrinsic value than any other creature.

    So it’s not “goo”. Our value comes from beyond ourselves. You still haven’t answered according to the atheist worldview.

  • christi

    FC: by bringing up the homosexual marriage ‘can of worms’ you just validated richard when he said:

    They spend most of their time objecting to the real behaviors of real people who believe in a god and think that they are justified by their god to impose their narrow views upon others, taking away their civil rights, insinuating their theology into science, public education, public policy and private lives, and shunning, slandering, abusing, firing, beating and killing anyone who dares to disagree with them. That is the point. That is why it matters.

    I do not care one bit if your faith compels you to define marriage as one-man-one-woman. I do not care if 85% of Americans (all the Christians) believe the same thing. But the law should not impose that restriction on everyone. Let the god-fearing straight couples get married in your church and deny that ceremony to the gays…that is your particular church’s business. By making it the LAW however, you are forcing your beliefs on all of us.

  • friendly Christian

    Christi, you prove my point. . . according to atheism each person is a law unto themselves. Why would it be wrong for the “stronger” among the evolutionary chain to kill the “weaker” (i.e. those who engage in acts that do not further the species)? Please note: I AM NOT advocating this!!!! I am just saying that you have no consistent basis with which to argue against it!

    There are all kinds of LAWS that force behavior on people. Would you object if I came into your home at night and took your money, jewels, and other objects of value? Why would you object? “I do not care one bit if your faith compels you to deny breaking and entering and stealing. I don’t care if 95% of Americans believe that theft is wrong! I say it’s right!”

    Let those who think theft is wrong buy stronger locks!
    Again, I am not arguing FOR theft. I’m just waiting to hear your answer as to why imposing laws against theft is the right thing to do?

  • christi

    And “this is how we’ve always done it” is a very poor argument. We “always” had segregation, but luckily enough reasonable members of American society realized that denying rights on the basis of skin color is wrong.

    If your argument for keeping the status quo has nothing firmer to stand on then “we’ve always done it this-a-way” then perhaps it is time to reevaluate the issue.

    And i will grant you that homosexuality is not an evolution-friendly trait. neither is baldness.

  • friendly Christian

    My argument is not that this is how we’ve always done this. My argument is that this is what God commands. Somehow, I don’t think you will respect that argument. My only point in saying it has been this way is to point out who are the people trying to force their opinions upon others. It is the secularists that are imposing their views. Homosexuality is not only evolution-friendly, it is wrong! See, and I have to be careful by saying that. . . that could be considered hate speech, and thus a sin of the state.

    I noticed you didn’t try to answer the argument.

  • christi

    Because we are a civilized society, and not a bunch of animals, we enact laws to protect the weak and the minority from the strong or the majority. We regulate ourselves with our laws in order that each of us may fully enjoy our own lives (or stuff) without interference from others. If you steal from me (or hurt me) you have denied me the right to enjoy my life. I can do whatever i want (I’m speaking in large generalities here) so long as I don’t hurt you or take your stuff (violate your rights). over the last 200+ years our laws have gotten more complicated as they adapt to our changing world, but the basics still hold true.

    What i do in my bedroom (or with my life insurance) with other consenting adults is not harming anyone else. i do think there are already laws prohibiting public lewdness, so as long as you aren’t in the room with us (in which case you’d not be consenting and the argument is no longer valid) you will not be affected one bit. Why legislate something that doesn’t harm anyone?

  • friendly Christian

    I will not be graphic about what male homosexuality actually consists of, but it hardly causes no harm. Back in the day, the scientists were predicting a heterosexual epidemic of AIDS, but they were wrong. AIDS is largely a homosexual disease.

    So your arguments are basically, we’ve had laws for 200+ years? According to you, this is a a “very poor argument”.

    But I am very glad to hear that you are pro-life and not pro-choice.

  • christi

    I’m answering as fast as i can, FC, but i can’t see your response until i am done writing my own and the page refreshes. I’m still using an amiable tone, but you have strayed from your “friendly Christian” path.

    My point was that i don’t care if You think it is wrong. You don’t get to tell me what to do, so long as i don’t hurt you. And obviously, feelings don’t count.

    maybe this is all a ploy to keep us atheists occupied on this site so we are too busy to be activists or enjoy this fleeting life of ours!

  • christi

    it has only been 200+ years because that is how old our great country is. prior to that, laws WERE enacted that oppressed people. We fought for FREEDOM, and that is what i was referring to. sorry if i wasn’t more clear.

    I will not be graphic about what male homosexuality actually consists of, but it hardly causes no harm. Back in the day, the scientists were predicting a heterosexual epidemic of AIDS, but they were wrong. AIDS is largely a homosexual disease.

    first off: like I don’t know how men f@c#. Puhhhlease!
    secondly: you’ve crossed the line. i’ll pass the ball to the next sucker that wants to debate you.

  • friendly Christian

    Christi, I certainly have not meant to stray from an amiable tone. It is difficult to write in this format as it seems to be more tailored to quick responses.

    I know you don’t care if I think you’re wrong. I would just say, why would I care what you think? (according to your worldview?) Is the standard “as long as I don’t hurt you”? If so, who made that up? Why is that the standard? Is it Christi’s standard, or did the majority decide that? You’ve already said, you don’t care what the majority says, so I guess that can’t be it. By the way, that is why I assume you are against abortion and are pro-life, because you don’t believe in hurting others.

    And please understand, I am not angry or ranting or raving or anything of the like. If we were talking in person, you would be able to “hear” my tone and you would know that I am still using an amiable tone.

    And no, this is not a ploy to keep you all occupied. ;^)
    I’m smart enough to pull that off.

  • friendly Christian

    Sorry to have driven you away. “Homosexuality” seems like a “nice” word. But when you actually think about it, it is rather disgusting. Kind of like partial birth abortion.

    What crossed the line? Saying that AIDS is largely a homosexual disease? It is the truth. And very sad, I might add. Thankfully people are not dying from it like they used to.

  • friendly Christian

    I should have said, thank God people are not dying like they used to.

    Blessings to you all. I think I’m done for the night. So I most likely will not be responding tonight. Have a wonderful evening.

  • Siamang

    Wow… If that’s a friendly Christian, what are the unfriendly ones like?

    I asked him to refrain from telling us what we supposedly think, and really that’s all he does.

    He starts spouting off about this and that “according to the atheist worldview” and “according to atheism each person is a law unto themselves”.

    Never did he ask. Only does he tell us what we supposedly believe and think.

    Sorry, FC, you are a wall-builder, not a bridge-builder. Go troll for internet arguments elsewhere. Most of us here don’t want to debate, we want to discuss, learn from others and gain perspective.

    Please visit internet infidels or JREF to debate.

  • friendly Christian

    Wow. Asking you to be consistent is “telling you what you think”? I’ve asked for answers as to why you think the way you do and why anyone should listen to a bunch of atoms banging around? Never did you tell me why you think the way you think. Oh well, apparently asking questions, or more appropriately, asking for answers must build walls.

    I have been very friendly (IMHO). I have not called anyone names. I have not damned you all to hell. I have not called for blood.

    I don’t expect that I have “won” any one of you over to God’s side. I originally replied because I found it amusing that most people on this site were calling Hitchens the winner without hearing the panel (or the film of the debate between he and Wilson). Sorry, I just thought that funny.

    Well, even if none of you is convinced, I hope you at least entertain some of my challenges. Sorry to have entered a “debate” here.

    I am not the one with the allusions of the Christians being thrown to the lions. I did not ask for a bunch of saw dust to mop up the blood of Hitchens opponents.

  • Anticontrame

    @friendly Christian: You say that the only possible way to determine right and wrong is to consult a revelation given by a god. Or do you say that, because we claim no inerrant source of rights and wrongs, there is no legitimate way to discriminate between them?

    Whatever your position is, I think your assumption falls to pieces once you admit that we humans are fallible. You can’t be sure that you, along with all the other interpreters, the translators, the editors, the compilers, the recorders, the retellers, the witnesses, the prophets, etc. have gotten the story exactly right. With all those opportunities for bias, agenda, and honest error to creep in, how can you claim to know “God wants it to be this way” with such certitude that all of us -even those of us without your certainty- should be subjected to a legal codification of your religious beliefs?

    If we’re going to decide to write laws straight out of a religion’s precepts (i.e. become a true theocracy) who gets to decide which religion gets the driver’s seat, and why? How can we determine which of the thousands of religious revelations is the right one? If we pick Christianity, do we pick a version that says a blastocyst deserves full human rights or not, and why? It’s not laid out in the Bible. It’s only present in the various denominations’ interpretations of it. On what grounds are modern interpretations better than those that used the Bible to justify slavery? Do we make the death penalty a federal punishment, as it exists in the Bible? Do we go back to stoning disobedient children?

    Some aspects of morality are complicated, but most of it is pretty straightforward. I and everyone I’ve spoken to think that we should try to minimize pain and suffering, and maximize happiness and well being. Of course we all have different beliefs as to why we think this, and especially as to how we should achieve these goals, so we refine our ideas through debate and we learn from our mistakes. We progress.

    Personally, I think that a perfect guide for behavior does theoretically exist. Given everyone’s needs and desires there must be a perfectly balanced compilation of rules of thumb somewhere in the aether, but I don’t claim to know it. I’m definitely skeptical of anyone who claims they do. I won’t agree with your version unless you convince me with argument and evidence. What I am doing is constantly refining my own thoughts so that I might be ever more in line with this ideal version of right and wrong.

    The important thing is that we recognize our imperfection. One thing I think we both can agree on is that the worst atrocities in history were committed by people with the arrogant idea that they had an absolute knowledge of what is right.

  • Siamang

    friendly Christian said:

    Wow. Asking you to be consistent is “telling you what you think”?

    No, you’re coming here issuing challenges. “Asking you to be consistent” is not actually trying to come here to learn from others. It’s trying to come here, all assumptions about us made beforehand, and tell us where we have it all wrong. It takes no “open ears” at all to do what you’ve done.

    For example, I and others have responded to your “we’re only atoms” attack. If you have been listening, you’d be able to sum up our argument in a couple of sentences. What is it? If you’re actually listening. If your ears work, you should be able to tell us why it is that we think we are not properly described as “just atoms”.

    I’ve asked for answers as to why you think the way you do and why anyone should listen to a bunch of atoms banging around?

    No you didn’t. Asking implies you want to know something from someone else. All you did was put a question-mark at the end of an attack.

    Never did you tell me why you think the way you think.

    Yes we did. You didn’t listen. I can only conclude therefore that you don’t want to know how I think. Otherwise you’d actually act like you gave a flying fuck.

    Oh well, apparently asking questions, or more appropriately, asking for answers must build walls.

    You aren’t asking questions. You’re issuing challenges. You come in here telling us we supposedly believe that we’re all just atoms, that we think every man is a moral island, that we are some kind of science droids with no appreciation for natural beauty, that we advocate kill-the-weak style morality… and then you start bringing in hot-button issues like Proposition 8, AIDS, late-term abortion… like any common internet troll.

    You’re not asking questions. You’re trolling for a fight, or to feel like a big man defending your religion.

    I have been very friendly (IMHO).

    Multiple regular posters here would disagree. So how you doing getting people to listen? Is that working out for you so far? Do you enjoy shouting in the wind? Would you actually like to be heard?

    How about taking a chill pill and adjusting your style? You are the newcomer here after all. You even pissed off a fellow Christian here!

    I have not called anyone names. I have not damned you all to hell. I have not called for blood.

    You set a low bar for civility if that’s all it takes to be friendly.

    I don’t expect that I have “won” any one of you over to God’s side.

    Whoo… listen to THAT ego!

    I originally replied because I found it amusing that most people on this site were calling Hitchens the winner without hearing the panel (or the film of the debate between he and Wilson). Sorry, I just thought that funny.

    So if you think it’s funny, who are you posting for? Who is reading your post and enjoying that humor? You seem really self-absorbed and self-pleased.

    Well, even if none of you is convinced, I hope you at least entertain some of my challenges. Sorry to have entered a “debate” here.

    Dude. You’re just coming off like a jerk with something to prove. Really. Chill. Trust me.

    I am not the one with the allusions of the Christians being thrown to the lions. I did not ask for a bunch of saw dust to mop up the blood of Hitchens opponents.

    I fail to see how you’ve set any better example.

  • Indigo

    ““Homosexuality” seems like a “nice” word. But when you actually think about it, it is rather disgusting. Kind of like partial birth abortion.”
    *thinks about it*
    Hmmm…nope. Still not getting why homosexuality is gross or how it’s comparable to abortion.
    When anti-gay types start spouting this stuff, I wonder if they realise how much they sound like kindergarteners. “Gays have cooties! Icky!”

  • benjdm

    spirit goo” again is a materialistic term. We are made in the image of God, and therefore, human beings (including unborn humans who have their own DNA–oh my, I’m using science) have more intrinsic value than any other creature.

    Well, now I’m confused. The addition or not of a soul (spirit-goo) is not the important point – atoms in motion can have ‘intrinsic value’ if God values them? If God (a thinking subject) is the one doing assigning the value, the value (by definition) is still subjective. Adding a God doesn’t change anything.

    Our value comes from beyond ourselves. You still haven’t answered according to the atheist worldview.

    I don’t have the energy to go through it. Reading ahead, I see that you consider ‘God commands it’ to be a consistent standard of right and wrong. I don’t consider that as having to anything to do with what is right and wrong – we would be talking past each other.

  • http://darwinsdagger.blogspot.com Darwin’s Dagger

    So it’s not “goo”. Our value comes from beyond ourselves. You still haven’t answered according to the atheist worldview.

    How does that work exactly? Why do the capricious whims of an outside intellect give us more value than that which we find within ourselves? Why must meaning be imposed in order to have meaning?

  • RHA

    AIDS is not a primarily homosexual disease. AIDS transmission began in North America in the gay population, and currently a slight majority of new infections in the USA are in the homosexual and bisexual populations – mainly because there is a larger pool of already infected individuals in these populations to begin with (as a result of the initial spread of the disease).

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/factsheets/incidence.htm

    Worldwide it’s a very different story. In countries that are not the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand UK, or in Europe (i.e. a larger portion of the world) heterosexuals are far and away the largest portion of those living with and newly infected by HIV/AIDS. The millions of HIV/AIDS infected individuals in Africa, and continuing epidemic there, are clear evidence of this. You can see similar patterns in many Asian countries.

    http://dsp-psd.tpsgc.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/BP/bp411-e.htm

    Do we conclude that AIDS is a black/asian person’s disease because the majority of worldwide infections are in these populations? No.

    There are behaviours that increase the risk of one getting HIV/AIDS, but anyone can partake of them and anyone can also mitigate their risk in these behaviours (drug use, multiple partners, unprotected sex, etc can all be made safer or avoided all together).

  • Siamang

    Darwin’s Dagger asked:

    Why must meaning be imposed in order to have meaning?

    I’d further add that all that does is pass the buck for assigning meaning one entity higher up the chain.

    If God assigns our meaning, who assigns God’s meaning?

    Is God without meaning if there’s no God above Him deciding that?

    If God can have meaning without an outside entity assigning it to Him, then so can I!

  • friendly Christian

    Okay, I’ll leave you all alone. There are far too many to respond to specifically. However, since you have responded a lot to me, Siamang , I will reply to your last comments.

    If God assigns our meaning, who assigns God’s meaning?

    Nobody. By definition God is the author of meaning.

    Is God without meaning if there’s no God above Him deciding that?

    Uh, no. He is God. There is none above Him.

    If God can have meaning without an outside entity assigning it to Him, then so can I!

    Ummm. . . no. . . You are not God. No offense.

  • http://www.apologetics315.com Brian

    MP3 Audio and video from the panel discussion with Christopher Hitchens, William Lane Craig, and others can be found here.


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