Hitchens – Dembski Debate
Now this would be a very uninspiring debate had it not been for Hitchens’ closing statement. Basically much of the debate involved back and forth between the two speakers over evolution, where Dembski (embarrassingly a UChicago alumni, I must admit) kept insisting on the conspiracy that atheists were emotionally attached to their position and were therefore making up models and explanations to support evolution. I cannot believe in this day and age that the overwhelming evidence for the truth of evolution is still a worthy topic of debate, but I guess I just don’t visit the Creation Museum often enough.
Hitchens talks about Shakespeare because Dembski brought up the idea of how wonderful it must be to meet Shakespeare in heaven. The reference to children being taught that they are “dead” was another response to Dembski, who said earlier in response to Hitchen’s criticism of the concept of hell, that in fact Hitchens misunderstands: Christianity doesn’t say “believe or die and go to hell”; instead, Scripture says that we are already dead, and that only Christ can make us live.
Well I guess his life story is inspiring in and of itself. After all, Hitchens is fighting cancer right now, and we all hope he will make it through this difficult period of his life with joy and comfort.
But I found it most fitting that Hitchens mentioned how authors are “immortal in the works they leave behind.” For me personally, Hitchens’ writings are the Shakespeare of the modern era, albeit mostly in nonfiction form. I agree with fifty percent of what he writes, and I love every little thing about all his writing: the structure, the vocabulary, the tone. There’s something dynamic about his prose; there’s nothing I like more than elegant ways to say simple things. He’s one of the few people who have made me want to read Slate and Vanity Fair Magazine.
If he leaves us anytime soon, I’m sure he’ll never really die.