Thursday, October 30, 2008
Hitchens v.s Turek
Christopher Hitchens/Frank Turek Debate from Larry M on Vimeo.
A recent debate between atheist journalist Christipher Hitchens and Christian apologist Dr Frank Turek, co-author of I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.
There seems to be some variance over the topic of debate, with Turek striving to defend a minimal form of philosophical theism and Hitchens wanting to focus upon matters of specifically Christian theology. This makes the debate somewhat frustrating.
I wouldn't put everything the way Turek does - I think he's rather imprecise and confused when talking about the Big Bang (its not that a state of nothingness existed for a time before the big bang and that the universe emerged out of this 'nothing'; but rather that it is not true to say that there was anything before the big bang and that this event happened a finite time ago) - but at least he gives arguments and stays on topic.
Hitchens fails to grasp Turek's arguments about causation, the information content of DNA and the objective moral law, and this leads him to respond with unsubstantiated contrary assertions and a string of misrepresentations.
Hitchens provides a master-class in the use of red herrings, straw men, self-contradiction (on at least three occasions) and emotive rhetoric; whilst failing to understand, let alone seriously engage with,Turek's arguments for the existence of God.
Hitchens also reveals the shallowness of his understanding of the theology which he attacks, and is far too impressed with David Hume's much criticised argument against belief in miracles.
Hitchen's response to a member of the audience who asks what the purpose of life is if God does not exist is terribly witty, terribly facetious, and terribly nihilistic.