Debate: Does Atheism Poison Everything? Christopher Hitchens vs. David Berlinski

In front of a sold-out crowd of 1,200 in Birmingham, Alabama, Christopher Hitchens, famed atheist and author of “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” debates Dr. David Berlinski, Paris mathematician and author of “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions.”

Hitchens and others of the New Atheism movement have called for the annihilation of religion in order to establish a purely secular society. Berlinski, who describes himself as a secular Jew and an agnostic takes the position that a society absent religious influence is not the kind of place where most of us would want to live.

So the question stands: Is a purely secular society preferable to a religious one? Ultimately, this is a question of importance to everyone. Whether a given society is with or without a religious influence affects people of all persuasions, not just Christians and atheists.

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Comments

  1. While listening to the debate I started wondering what sort of event, evidence or miracle would make Christopher Hitchens a believer. I came across this article which I would like to share: Atheism – Freethinker or Non-thinker
    Below are some interesting ideas (emphasis added). More

    Atheists boast themselves to be freethinkers. Is this a reality?

    Atheist will not acknowledge any facts that oppose their ‘freethinking’ view. It is extremely rare for an atheist to be persuaded by logic or reason because he or she prides himself or herself on not believing and any opposition becomes a personal fight to preserve their identity.

    The Soviet block countries were founded upon atheism. Stalin killed millions of people each year of his reign of terror, as did those who followed him. The most oppressed society in history was built upon atheism. The claims of the communist officials was that if God was banished from society that utopia would result. The claims Stalin and his followers made are still being proclaimed by atheist today.

    God gives us moral direction that opposes the atheists desire to do what he or she wants without any constraints. Abolishing God is necessary because if God exists then we know that we will one day be accountable to Him. When someone is in the wrong, they despise anyone that reminds them that they are in the wrong. Christians are a constant reminder of God and this is why they are opposed by atheists.

    Atheists ‘disprove’ God by setting up rules that He must fit within. If God does not fit within their conceived rules, that is proof that God does not exist. For example, D’Holbach said that in order for God to be a reality we must be able to comprehend His divine nature and that if God is incomprehensible, it is rational to think that He doesn’t exist at all. This is an irrational argument. The same could be argued about the universe. Scientist now tell us that they believe that we have not even scratched the surface of the universe around us and we may never know how many stars are out there. Under D’Holbach’s argument, if we can’t comprehend the universe, maybe it doesn’t exist at all. That is no argument at all. Just because I am not able to comprehend the magnitude of something does not discredit anything except my limited ability to comprehend. D’Holbach obviously did not realize that he was not infinite in his understanding. That is the arrogance of his atheism.

  2. “The Soviet block countries were founded upon atheism.”

    Wrong, Eliot. The Soviet Union was built on communism. Stalin’s version of communism did not tolerate any other ways of thinking, which resulted in oppressing religions, as well as other opposing secular views; the Communist Party even oppressed other communist views; just see it’s ban on factions in the Communist Party in 1921. And we know where this lead to.

    In short: the problem is not atheism; the problem is intolerance towards opposing views. And we can see this problem in Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, the Middle-East under ISIS, Chili under Pinochet and indeed, the Soviet Union.

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  1. […] I watched the OCF Debate and a bit of the same stuff elsewhere with Christopher Hitchens. And I gotta say, “our” folks seem to give a good show against the Atheists, but a good […]

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