Friday, October 31, 2008

Looking a Horse in the Mouth

Today, I met one of the "four horsemen" of the New Atheism (Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Dennett) - Christopher Hitchens. He was debating Douglas Wilson (of Blog and Mablog fame) at Martin's Tavern in DC.

First impressions: Doug seemed like a very down to earth guy. Hitchens was more aloof, sitting by himself at the bar, and drinking (a lot!). He was drinking before the debate, finished a snifter (brandy? whiskey?) early, and I saw him drinking a glass of wine before the end. Doug got through about a half a pint of beer in the same time...

On the topic, they largely talked past each other. Hitchens brought up the old complaints about "how can any intelligent person believe this stuff", while Wilson hammered away at Hitchens foundations (specifically, the lack thereof). That is, Hitchens has only himself to declare acts good or evil. When someone else (Hitler, Stalin, etc.) uses those same criteria and acts differently, by what authority is Hitchens superior?

I did respond to Hitchens directly at one point. He asked if anyone knew God's truth (or will, I forget the exact phraseology). I raised my hand, and he looked at me. I said, "the Bible". Wilson quipped, "There you have it." (or the equivalent)

I thought the crowd would be about 50/50 (atheist/Christian). It certainly felt stacked in favor of atheists. My table had three atheists and me. I stayed about three hours after, giving a good defense for the faith.


Christopher Lake said...

God bless you for defending the faith to your atheist tablemates. So many non-Christians think that there *is* no legitimate defense of Christianity. We must show them that this is not the case, and we must do it with love for God and for them.

Also, thank you for standing up, thoughtfully, for Young Earth Creationism on Internet Monk's blog! That takes some courage, as most people who comment there are rather "down" on YEC! I myself am not settled on the issue, but Genesis does seem to "point" more toward YEC than to Old Earth Creationism or Theistic Evolution.

nedbrek said...

Hello and welcome!

Thank you for your encouragement. You might be interested in a post from a couple months ago. It has a lot of links to some on my earlier posts on evolution. They are all tagged "controversy".