Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Four Atheists

A friend sent me a two hour audio of a round-table discussion between Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, and Hitchens. I had a few thoughts:

Dawkins is clearly the light-weight, not even worth the time of most people. Hitchens contradicts himself often and gets a lot of historical facts wrong, and Harris' atheism comes across as the wish-fulfillment that some atheists claim Christians practice. However, Dennett is actually interesting to listen to.

I found it interesting that they all said that getting rid of the beautiful old translations of Scripture was a shame. Hitchens even said that the reformed liturgy was a shame because of its poor aesthetics. Dawkins added that the new liturgy shows how ridiculous faith is in a way that the Tridentine did not. I thought that was an interesting comment, based on faulty presuppositions. They were all very much enamored of the Christian art, architecture, poetry, literature, and music that has come down to us.

However, the entire talk was mostly on how religion is false because of the psychology of believers. The idea of truth never really came up in any concrete manner. Dawkins says that he only cares about the question of truth but at least here didn't actually deal with the matter. It was just accepted that faith was false. When Harris asked the others if they ever doubt their atheism, Hitchens said that some of Aquinas' proofs pose a problem that will never be answered. It shocked me that they can claim Christians have no proof of the existence of a God and then admit that they cannot refute the proofs that Christians offer.

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