Monday, August 11, 2008

Hitchens vs Prager vs DSouza (2008)

A Catholic, A Jew, and an Atheist walk into an auditorium... (video, audio)

Hitchens makes his usual spiel, which I consider more rhetorical than logical and more entertaining than persuasive. His opening statement sort of toys around the edges of Drange's arguments from unbelief and suffering, without actually stating the premises or making the arguments themselves.

D'Souza also gives us a variation on his usual spiel, including his personal background and an argument from cosmological fine-tuning to (presumably) deism.

Prager makes the argument that we can use "common sense" to understand cosmology, and that the atheist must explain how we went from nothing to Bach. He seems to believe that theism is a sort of default position, and anything less than an exhaustive scientific explanation of life, the universe, and everything should allow for reversion to his favored hypothesis -- a magical mind mediating by mysterious means.

None of the opening statements were particularly perspicacious or insightful, however, around 24 minutes in the various speakers start going back and forth and things really get going. At this point, the event rapidly turns into something I've only ever seen or heard on the internet, that is, an enthusiatic, energetic and enjoyable three-way exchange.

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