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Two Debates

Two recent debates which people may find interesting. The first is Christopher Hitchens vs William Dembski on the topic “Does a Good God Exist” and can be found here. Hitchens looks surprisingly well and is in flying form. More thoughtful and soft-spoken than he often is.

The second is between Matt Dillahunty and  Hans Jacobse on the topic “The Source of Human Morality”. The first part is below and the rest can be found either here or here. The debate starts out friendly but the religious speaker ends up Godwining. An experience I’ve had when debating Christians myself.


4 Responses

  1. Jason,
    Thanks for the link to the video. It is funny, Dembski used the exact argument that I thought he would. Perhaps I have spent far too much time with him. If I had seen the video first, I wouldn’t have brought it up.

    Anyway, Hichens’ argument in the first two time periods does not stay on the target of the debate. Hitchens thinks that the fact that our planet exists in an unimportant suburb of a very unimportant galaxy is proof that God does not exist, but he did not say anything about the fact that if we were not in a “suburb” that is in the outer corner of the galaxy, this rather unimportant rock would not be able to support life. The seemingly unimportant position of the earth is not proof that there is no God. On the contrary, the position of the earth makes it more attractive for me to accept a designer. The amount of radiation closer to the center of the galaxy would likely make our planet a most inhospitable place for life to exist. Also, we must consider the fact that our planet is suspiciously located in such a place that we are able to observe the universe. It is not only a refuge of life, but it is also an observation deck from which the universe can be studied. Think about it. If we were further inside the galaxy (and able to survive the radiation), we would not be able to see beyond our own sky and would probably never have considered the great mysteries of the universe. How would life be different in a world where man never realized the vastness of the universe? I have to admit that these are ideas that I heard of first in a book edited by Dembski. Hitchens is a wonderful rhetorician and has excellent speaking abilities, but his scientific support for the argument is weak. Hitchens attacks Dembski’s positions by attacking religion specifically instead of the scientific arguments that Dembski made. In the rebuttal section, Hitchens did not really do anything that makes me want to hold the position that God does not exist. His proof for evolution does not refute the existence of God. This is something Hitchens should have addressed and worked harder to find support for his side.

  2. Hi Kyle, the debate has also been posted to youtube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCSxf1JgeQk

  3. Jason,
    I would like to see this debate between Hitchens and Dembski but the link that you have posted above does not seem to be working.

    I have not yet seen the debate and cannot say anyhting particularly about it, but I have met and talked with Dembski. After hearing him speak in other debates and listening to his arguments, I have to say that his comments have left me in a hard place to deny the necesity of a deity to morality. From what we discussed, atheism does not leave much room for morality. If there is no grand direction in the universe, no reason or purpose, then there is no purpose or reason to think about others and to behave in a way that considers others. We are simply collections of chemical reactions that start and end. It leaves us incapable of saying that one thing is right and another is wrong which is the basis of morality. How can we make assumptions about right and wrong unless there is a purpose for which we should be striving? And how can there be a purpose if all that exists is the material universe? Your and my assumptions of right and wrong would only be the result of chemical reactions and how can a chemical reaction be wrong?

  4. I couldn’t believe he arrogance and sheer intellectual dishonesty of Dembski in the Hitchens debate. Some of his comments are mind-numbing in their ignorance.

    Thanks for the links to the 2nd debate, I hadn’t heard about it!

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