Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hitchens Plays Biblical "What If?"

Professor PZ Myers over at Pharyngula puts up a great post which features columnist Christopher Hitchens playing a seemingly loaded game of religious "What if?" with an evangelical radio show host named Todd Friel whom Hitch spiritually and intellectually pwns the hell out of.

Part 1:

Part 2 (the audio ends halfway through this clip):

This exemplifies everything I love about Hitchens: he displays a razor sharp intellect combined with an unapologetic disdain for hacks like Friel and the religious premises he tries to force on others. I don't mind admitting that I would be intimidated as hell if I ever had to debate this man in public.


Van Zan said...

I think any conversation with him would soon turn into an interesting debate.
Hitchens holds views that I agree with and others I don't - and I think you, DLB, Tim, Truth, One L, AmPow, Trashman, Grace and everyone else who ever commented on this blog and probably everyone else on the planet would find the same.... which challenges to myriad perceptions make him of great intellectual value, of course.

This game with Friel is interesting in that Hitchens approaches it with the same seriousness as if he was talking to someone who is not - excuse me - an evangelical simpleton.

JBW said...

That's what I love about this, VZ. Hitch ignores all of the obvious taunts and goes directly for the rhetorical jugular, scoring an obvious kill.

Tim said...

Hitch, with whom I disagree with on some subjects, I am totally aligned with on religion.

What Hitchens does here is he does not allow the interviewer/game show host to own the argument. The questions are a bit ridiculous in their premise, and Hitchens rightfully turns them on their ear.

The Jesus argument, "did he die or not," is classic, a question I always ask. I usually phrase it thus: "What kind of sacrifice are we talking about if Jesus is in fact God, who is immortal?"

God, being God, had a plan for himself, i.e. Jesus, to go through the motions of dying, only to be resurrected, reborn, whatever...

It turns into a circular logic loophole the Christians can never really answer.

Soldiers also make sacrifices for others. As do firemen, police officers...

CS said...

He's pretty good JBW, but I am not so sure about Hitchens' political views. His arguments for the Iraq war are weak at best.

JBW said...

I'm right there with several of you about Hitch's views on other subjects. As with most anyone, I don't agree with him on all things but I do love his take on organized religions.

CS said...

Hell-aluyah .....!