Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hitch vs. Everybody

This was a panel discussion in which several popular Christian apologists have a go at the Hitch. Perhaps surprisingly, he manages to hold his own.

At first each speaker makes very brief outline-style arguments (less than five minutes per speaker) none of which are nearly fleshed out and all of which are quite the usual fare. Then they all start going back and forth (perhaps inevitably) on the theological problem of evil and the nature of evil.

Hitchens moves on a bit with his usual hypothetical question "Can you name any moral action that can only be taken by a religious believer?" The theists respond, funnily enough, with tithing and worship. Hijinks ensue. This part wasn't particularly enlightening, as far as I can see. Of course Christians frame morality in terms of obedience, and of course secular humanists do not.
The interlocutors then have a go at the veractiy and verifiability of miracles, and then go aroudn on various topics in the field of philosophy of religion. As usual, the theists argue strenuously that any morality based upon one's own moral feelings of empathy for others is clearly and obviously inferioir to the morality of the slave who takes joy from obedience to his master. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Overall this was an enjoyable discussion, but don't expect too much depth on any given topic.

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