Thursday, June 07, 2007

Atheism Is Like So Totally Intellectual

I would feel so much smarter just being able to say,"I'm an atheist. What are you people? Some no-necked, bucket-eared, God-fearing simpletons, that's what. If only you were reasonable." It's delightfully easy being an atheist and so smugly satisfying. So, Christopher Hitchens the atheist debated Mark Roberts about God. Here's what James Lileks said and I'm still giggling:

Related: Hugh Hewitt had a three-hour debate between Hitchens and Mark D. Roberts the other night over the subject of God, and it was quite enjoyable, both for its depth and civility. I think Hitch won, ergo God Does Not Exist. Dynamite the churches! Of course, in such situations the atheist always wins, because he doesn’t have to prove anything. It’s like a color-blind man debating someone without sight about the existence of Red – a fascinating intellectual exercise that tests and reveals the talents and character of the debaters, but has little to do with the hue of the stuff that runs through your arteries.

Well, I think the RC church let Cicero into heaven as a noble pagan, so Hitchens needn't despair. Although he'll have to spend the first 9 billion millenia drinking tea with Mother Theresa.
Oh, and Mr. Lileks is gainfully employed and, it seems, happier, too. He's all the "buzz" and here's a sample from over there:
Google has decided – on a lark, just for grins – to digitize every book in the world and put them online. Even those romance novels whose covers have Fabio pirates with pectoral muscles the size of serving platters. They’ll provide the books for free, of course. Google does everything for free, yet has a market value of $937 trillion dollars (approximately.) Google, as we speak, is driving cars around major cities taking pictures; you’ll be able to view street-level views of all big towns online. Next year I expect they’ll buy everyone’s DNA and put that online, followed by digitized versions of your nightly dreams, acted out by student theatre troupes and uploaded to Google Video so everyone can check out your roiling subconscious. Google always gets kudos for its motto, “don’t be evil.” Well, that’s special, but it’s like telling your kid “don’t eat the cookie.” Your kid wants the cookie, after all. Does Google want to be evil?
Jovial mood, don't you think? He's bouncing along on the I've-still-got-insurance feeling. Yippee!


carol said...

Wonderful - "color blind" - he gets that exactly right. Atheists are like people who don't get music, can't sing or dance, and don't know why anyone would want to.

And they always get miffed when we persist in our beliefs despite their efforts to enlighten us. It's because of the Crusades and the Inquisition and all, no matter how much I assure them I haven't partaken in either of those much recently.

MaxedOutMama said...

I'm happy for Lileks, and thanks for the news.

As for the atheist/believer debate, I don't know that it's exactly productive. The encounter that produces strong faith is an individual encounter. Apparently that's the way the universe was designed.

The thing that confuses me about atheists who seem to believe that everyone can be "converted" to their way of thinking is that they are ignoring reality, history and common sense.

Enjoy your Mom's visit!! I'm glad she's energetic enough to drive you nuts.... It's good practice for homeschooling. LOL!!

Kobayashi Maru said...

Nice post. The Roberts/Hitchens debate on Hewitt was good for some other juxtapositions as well, putting the whole thing in a Phyrric light (Hitch won the battle; he will lose the war).

Hitch seemed to be going for the jugular and using all kinds of subtle debating tricks and tactics whereas Roberts and Hewitt pretty much played it straight. They were searching for common ground even as Hitch was planting his flag on it.

Hitch was also throwing out such a huge volume of nice-sounding but utterly faulty verbal chaff that it would have taken days to debunk any one of his assertions. That forced Roberts to pick his shots and appear to be conceding points.

Finally, it struck me that Roberts missed dozens of opportunities to challenge Hitch's base assumptions and go back on offense. (Jesus never turned the other cheek on false doctrine or hypocrisy). E.g., Hitch kept referring to 'morality' without reference to any enduring, common, authoritative framework for that concept.

Listeners could be excused for thinking that Hitch stands for something powerful and independent called "morality" while Roberts stood for something that kept saying "yes, but" to "morality". Roberts and Hewitt missed many golden opportunities to point out that morality comes only from one source. One may choose not to acknowledge the source, but it doesn't make it go away.