Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Back in May, Christopher Hitchens had an online debate with Douglas Wilson, who challenged Hitchens to provide a basis, any basis, for an objective morality without God.
So here is Hitchens being asked about his debate with Wilson:
What about the question of morality without God? Al Sharpton spent a lot of time grilling you on that. And it was also a major theme in your email debate with the Christian author Douglas Wilson at Christianity Today.
Wilson insisted that if you took Jesus out of the equation, the words “right” or “wrong” would have no meaning. Thoughts in the brain would just be a series of chemical reactions, like bubbles in a soft drink. As he put it, “If you were to take a bottle of Mountain Dew and another of Dr. Pepper, shake them vigorously, and put them on a table, it would not occur to anyone to ask which one is ‘winning the debate.’ They aren't debating; they are just fizzing.”
What he’s saying is that if he ceases to believe in Jesus, he’s going to instantly become an immoral person. It’s a terrible admission to have made! It’s an awful insult to human self-respect to say that. And they don’t seem to understand that they give themselves over in that way. It’s like saying that nothing would stop me from raping you now if I weren’t under the supervision of a heavenly dictator. And I have a higher opinion of myself than that.
So the person asking the question understood Wilson. And what does Christopher Hitchens say?
"What he's saying is that if he ceases to believe in Jesus, he's going to instantly become an immoral person. It's a terrible admission to have made!"
But that's not what Wilson said. After a five-part debate, the interviewer got the point but Hitchens still doesn't understand Wilson's argument.