BreakPoint Blog

A Religion Debate, All in the Family

It's interesting enough when a caustic, pro-war, anti-religion British emigrant to the U.S. clashes with a (relatively) soft-spoken, anti-war, London-based Anglican. But after this debate last week, the brothers Hitchens were sent to their rooms until they were ready to play nice.

Actually, the interaction was fairly civil, though Christopher and Peter Hitchens were polar opposites in both style and substance, on both issues of foreign policy and faith. I don't know what their relationship is really like, but Christopher seemed to treat Peter like any of his other debate opponents.


...judging by the applause for Christopher - I wonder - how many in that audience even WANT to rigorously test BOTH mens' assumptions? Chris Hitchens getting away with that "Egyptians can't write" stuff! Reflects his "rock star" like status - amongst some. What's an antidote? TEACH THE YOUNG TO REASON! Dorothy L. Sayers' great essay about recovering the lost tools of learning (available online - an easy search) recommends teaching logic and reasoning ability to our kids. So - someday, when someone commits a WHOPPER like the "Egypticans couldn't write" they get the Bronx cheer - even from their fans! ===== PS I pray sometime Christopher lives up to his glorious name! I think it means "Christ Bearer".
In the following press conference Christopher makes a point . The media is "lazy" in checking out candidates who claim an official faith. If I understand him right, the media (and actually votors) sometimes give the candidate proclaiming a faith - a PASS on hard isues. I personally would ask Mr. Obama (especially) to talk about Planned Parenthood's longterm racism - and what about those recent recordings where Planned Parenthood staff ALWAYS were willing and happy to take the $$$ to specifically abort black babies.) All three candidates should be put thru such rigors...
Peter Hitchens is quite good in that clip, isn't he? And his brother demonstrates why the Bible says that 'he who says there is no God, is a moron" Now, I don't claim that C. Hitchens believes in his -heart- that there is no God. I think it much more likely that he is mad at God about something. Anthy Flew appears to have been much more of an honest atheist - and as a result, he didn't stay one.
Steve wrote: "Leequod: for me, the insolvable theological problem of theistic evolution is that it requires Adam and Eve have parents," Agreed, Steve. My time as a theistic evolutionist ended when someone asked me if Adam and Eve were Homo sapiens or Homo habilis. I realized that if there were no actual first humans (but instead, a slow evolution into them) then more and more of the Biblical narrative had to be thrown out - including at least one statement by Jesus. It's tough to be a follower of Jesus if you don't know what Jesus really said. But for me the clincher was the contradiction of a God who would use the tools of random mutation and mass extinction to finally arrive at a species to whom He would reveal Himself, declaring that He loved us and had planned for us. (Rather like giving someone a gift and having them say "Oh, I **love** it!! I've always wanted one...what is it?") And what's more, our fear and revulsion and resistance and wailing at death and decay - not only our own, but that of fellow humans and even *other species* - makes little sense if that's the way God designed it to work. ("For lunch you're having roast beef? That's Bessie. She was a good cow.") It makes lots of sense, though, if (as we feel in our hearts) that's *not* the way things are supposed to be.
I've heard Hitchens make the same point before. It seems rather weak and I'd sure like to know his sources. He's speaking with confidence about what life was like in prehistoric times despite the fact that, by definition, there is no history. What part of PREHISTORIC does he not get? We know from direct observation of actual living people that the poor can be quite happy and the rich quite miserable. There are several operating principles, including regression toward the mean (psychologically, we adapt to our circumstances), comparison to others (poverty feels worse when surrounded by rich people), the clash between expectations and reality (if your expectations are low, you don't experience as much disappointment or depression), plus a few others. So on the one hand there is Hitchen's personal conjecture that everyone prior to Abraham lived a life of total pointless misery, and on the other hand, direct evidence from first hand observation that people adapt pretty well. If God is real, then many could have been living lives of joy and fulfillment through those unrecorded times. And of course there has always been suffering; otherwise Genesis could not possibly be true. I don't see this having any bearing on the young earth vs. old earth Genesis interpretations. Biblically, there is no human prehistory (it began with Adam and Eve) and there has always been a remnant of the faithful, whether we're talking 8,000 years or 50,000 years makes no difference. Leequod: for me, the insolvable theological problem of theistic evolution is that it requires Adam and Eve have parents, and hence grandparents, siblings, uncles, cousins, or various combinations thereof. That in turn raises a huge can of worms.
Ya gotta think that there were lots of car rides with: "Did not!" "Did too!" "Did not!" "Did too!" "All RIGHT, you two; STOP it RIGHT NOW or I'm pulling over!!" "... *He* started it. ..." But Christopher does have a valid point, I think. It is, in fact, the reason I found I couldn't validly be a theistic evolutionist. I am rather shocked, though (and one does find oneself using phrases like "rather shocked" instead of, say, "blown away", after listening to that particular accent, doesn't one?) to hear Christopher declare multiple times that Egypt was illiterate. As a prince of Egypt, Moses must have known how to read and write. (The critics of religion hooted when Cecil B. DeMille had Charlton Heston, as Moses, writing while in a tent in the desert. Then, shortly afterward, they found evidence of Egyptian writing that predated Moses. Sic semper cynicus.) So Peter's largely right; this is dredging up arguments that have already been debunked.