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Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson

August 19, 2009

Hitchens and Wilson have been mentioned all over the blogosphere lately concerning their new film being released, so I recently listened to their debate found over at Westminster.  It was a good debate, with some interesting interaction between the two.  The two have obviously become fond of one another, even though one is a Christian and the other an atheist.

Hitchens is quick witted and a wordsmith.  He says things like, I would rather look at revelation of the natural world through the Hubble Telescope than a burning bush in an illiterate part of a Middle Eastern desert. Or Its much more miraculous that in physics there are no miracles.  It all works naturally and gloriously.  That is much more amazing than a legion of demons being sent into a herd of pigs being thrown over a cliff by a wonder worker using a bit of sorcery.

Douglas Wilson used a presuppositional method and was good throughout the debate.  However, Hitchens seemed to skirt some very good questions Wilson put forward and I wish Wilson would have pressed him more to answer them.  One great illustration Wilson used was, if all this world is chance and molecules bouncing off one another, then this debate is like two bottles of soda besides one another, shaken up.  This chair and table and all of us are simply molecules bouncing off one another, forming random objects.  My brain and your brain are like shaken up bottles of pop, thats all.  And this debate is meaningless. For Wilson, even for Hitchens to argue that there is no God presupposes a theistic world.

The debate is good and fun to listen to.  Wilson answers every question Hitchens throws at him very honestly and bluntly, while Hitchens seems to skirt many of the difficult ones Wilson had.  At one point Hitchens asks Wilson if it was wrong for God to have the Israelites slaughter entire nations.  Wilson handled the tough question well.  Wilson, however, came back at Hitchens and asked if there is no God and all is chance, then why are we even having a “moral” discussion?  For anyone to argue for the truth of morals presupposes moral absolutes found in a theistic world, specifically a Triune theistic world.

Take a listen if you get the chance.

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