Thursday, April 09, 2009

Of Rocks and Grass - The Hitchens/Craig Debate

There was a recent debate between atheist apologist Christopher Hitchens and Christian apologist William Lane Craig. There are so many bits being spilled in the blogosphere on this debate that I'm not going to bother trying to link to any of them. Try searching this, this and this for starters. I only want to focus on one point. Namely, that Hitchens admitted that his contention against the existence of God is that if there were a God we wouldn't be free.

He then attempted to approach Craig on logical terms, but was barely able to mount answers to the excellent cosmological foundation Craig laid from the beginning for framing the debate.

But I consider it hopefully honest of Hitchens to admit such a illogical primary reason for denying the existence of God. to whit:

Regarding freedom, what comes to mind is the belly of a slave ship where a slave in shackles might deny the existence of the slave trader because that would mean that he were a slave. I'm sure I could point to a half-dozen fallacies that could sum up this rationale:

"I want to be morally free. Therefore, there is no superior entity that can hold me to any moral obligation."

It's a ridiculous argument, but I would guess that it is true of most who deny God. Interestingly, what is also true is that most of the same people who hold this as true would argue for some morality not based on God. They want their own moral rules to hold sway over the world. Hitchens astonishingly did just this in the debate arguing that atheists were more moral than theists.

Hitchens also said that if theism were true, he'd be depressed. So he should thank God for keeping him ignorant of the truth so his short life in this world is happier? I would rather know the hard truth than live in blissful ignorance.

Craig's side of the debate was won in the opening comments. It seemed that he spent the rest of the debate sweeping off the verbal grass Hitchens kept throwing at his rock solid position.

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