Is God Great? - Christopher Hitchens vs. John Lennox

July 28, 2010

Thanks to Atheist Altar for uploading.

March 2009 at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. This debate is for sale on DVD and is every now and then uploaded and after a while removed from YouTube. In case you haven't watched this debate, here's your chance. My guess is that it won't be on YT for long.


Available at The Hitch Shop!


Anonymous said...

Interesting essay here:

Until I read this memoir I had always registered Hitchens's doubleness as evidence of the fine balance of his mind, the scrupulousness of his politics, which in those days and for years afterward could best be summed up as anti-imperialist. In a 1976 essay ostensibly about Guernica, he begins with a paradox: "There is the atrocity of war, and the atrocity in war." Then he dismantles it: "For the purpose of analyzing a fascist attack on democracy, the distinction is a phony one. The tactics derived from the strategy; the strategy was neither just a military operation nor simply a war crime. Like My Lai, it was both; and like My Lai, inevitably so." I can still remember the first time I noticed the Hitchens byline—on a dispatch from Northern Ireland in the New Statesman as remarkable for the absence of cant about either the IRA or the British government as for its style. Here was a reporter who refused to pander to his readers' prejudices at the same time his indiscreet and densely (historically and literarily) allusive prose seemed to put a pleasingly high estimate on one's intelligence. Here, crucially, was an avowedly left-wing writer who regarded it as no part of his job to accept or purvey bullshit from "our side," heeding instead Trotsky's view that the "professional ethics of a correspondent" are best summed up in two words: "Don't lie!"


Yet when contrarianism becomes not just a habit but a method, the line between having no illusions and having no ideals can be tricky to discern. Hitchens's brief, unhappy flirtation with David Irving—which waxed with the assurance in June 1996 that Irving was "not just a Fascist historian. He is also a great historian of Fascism" and waned five years later with the revelation that Irving had fabricated evidence, fiddled figures and favored Hitchens's younger daughter with a recital of racist doggerel—is as good an object lesson as any in the perils of parlor iconoclasm. I don't think Hitchens doubted the reality of Auschwitz even for a second. Rather, his eagerness to ├ępater the literal-minded, spurred by an awareness of the ways the Holocaust has been exploited as a shield for Israeli intransigence, led him to neglect the signs that should have warned him off Irving.,0


Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir