For preview only. Get it at Amazon.com.

Collision: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson

,    »  -   130 Comments
641
8.56
12345678910
Ratings: 8.56/10 from 9 users.

Storyline

COLLISION: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas WilsonCOLLISION carves a new path in documentary film-making as it pits leading atheist, political journalist and bestselling author Christopher Hitchens against fellow author, satirist and evangelical theologian Douglas Wilson, as they go on the road to exchange blows over the question: "Is Christianity Good for the World?".

The two contrarians laugh, confide and argue, in public and in private, as they journey through three cities. And the film captures it all. The result is a magnetic conflict, a character-driven narrative that sparkles cinematically with a perfect match of arresting personalities and intellectual rivalry.

In May 2007, leading atheist Christopher Hitchens and Christian apologist Douglas Wilson began to argue the topic "Is Christianity Good for the World?" in a series of written exchanges published in Christianity Today. The rowdy literary bout piqued the interest of filmmaker Darren Doane, who sought out Hitchens and Wilson to pitch the idea of making a film around the debate.

In Fall 2008, Doane and crew accompanied Hitchens and Wilson on an east coast tour to promote the book compiled from their written debate titled creatively enough, Is Christianity Good for the World?. “I loved the idea of putting one of the beltway’s most respected public intellectuals together with an ultra-conservative pastor from Idaho that looks like a lumberjack”, says Doane. "You couldn't write two characters more contrary. What’s more real than a fight between two guys who are on complete opposite sides of the fence on the most divisive issue in the world? We were ready to make a movie about two intellectual warriors at the top of their game going one-on-one. I knew it would make an amazing film."

More great documentaries

Comments and User Reviews

  • nick_kcin

    Skip the first part

  • lisa

    the whole christian apologetics is nonsense as i see

  • Keith Wilson

    here we go again. Christians ought to quit debating Christopher Hitchens and just quietly go about the business that Jesus modeled and taught - spreading peace, placing others before themselves, caring for those that are abandoned and outcast. I say this as a Christian...just shut up and get to work y'all.

  • Keith Wilson

    I agree with Hitchens on Augustine as a matter of fact.

  • juggz

    Hitchens does another fine job in deflunking the whole concept of religion.Pity it ends so abruptly,would have enjoyed watching some questions,from the audience.

  • jozsko

    only which, some part of which is true... One excellent VS.

  • Louis

    I actually find Douglas Wilson sympathetic. But his logic and reflection is typically pure for a religous ignorant such as he.
    To give an example: when he asks Hitchens if we can know anything for a fact if the universe only consists of dark matter, chemical reactions. As i see it, we don´t have to know for sure if anything is "real". If the whole worlds population interprets a few elementary physics the same, then we`re living in a collective reality. The fact that we have different assumptions is determined by enviroment and perhaps our genetic predisposition. And if all of you was simply a product of my mind, it wouldn`t matter the slightest bit after as you still would act and be same - to me. It`s basicly the same reality.

  • cld

    i watched this thinking that i was going to hear 2 giants for their positions. neither showed any DEEP insight for their position or had penetrating questions for the other. i was going to write that maybe the topic influenced the depth of the discussion but what i realized is that we did not have a generalist theologian or a secular scholar debating. there are other much better discussions that i've seen. their references to earlier discussions makes me wonder if a condensed version of all of their discussions would be more valuable. it would certainly be less time consuming.

  • BJ

    I agree, this was hard to watch. I do not think there is any point, to have someone asking a creationist "why other miracles of other faiths didn't happen", because it does not compute with someone like Mr. Wilson. Even though I myself along with so many others realize this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask yet he(Douglas) can not even recognize that.

  • BJ

    Also, sorry Keith but if Christians should go back to the business that Jesus modeled and taught – spreading peace, placing others before themselves, caring for those that are abandoned and outcast. The fact that it just doesn't happen as simply as you put it is the concern of atheists and should be for all humans. Religion is not so cut and dry as you put it and history agrees with this. I think atheists have every right to debate, argue and protest against all religions for that very reason.

    I think I understand that the fundamentalism of Christianity perhaps upsets you as much as atheism and for this I wholeheartedly respect. I hope I didn't put words in your mouth(I fear I probably have).

    A debate like this has no merit as it is about the "existence" of a deity, or at least that's where it ends up and that just can't be debated when fact and rational thought is pitted against faith. I think my post above this one proves that. I much prefer the debates about religion in schools. It has more of an immediate social and plausible impact and is an important one when multicultural societies are becoming more of the "norm".

  • Joseph

    the devil told Jesus to turn stone into bread. he did not.
    Every single miracle done by Jesus was for the good of people that he saved. Jesus never worked a miracle to impress people of his power. Jesus delivered the man in Gadarenes from demons. all the people of the town could do was to chain him, they could not save him. Jesus saved the man.
    It seems that Mr Hitchens considers 2000 pigs more important that one human soul. The townspeople of Gardarene believed the same.
    There is not even one miracle that Mohammad did was the good of anyone.

  • jari

    @Joseph, what makes your silly fairytale more credible than others? Oh yes, because your fairytale says so. Nice one.

  • http://closertothesoul.wordpress.com octo

    What does it mean to not turn a stone into bread ?
    Philosophically it means that there is also something like 'food for our spirit', no stone, no bread, aldough we are connected with matter...'ether' also exists as a very special form of matter

  • Kyle

    Douglas Wilson is actually a very weak debater. The part about what miracles he believes in was especially cringe worthy.

  • kai

    The fact that Douglas Wilson could give no credible reason to the question why christian miracles are true and others are not besides "its what he believes" is deeply concerning. The fact is all religions believe their stories are true and are the root of all violence in the first place. The stories are used to convert, judge and forsake people and i pity anyone that believes in it.

    "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth" ~Albert Einstein~

  • Keith

    This is not the movie it says it is. This is one debate of several. I like Hitchens but William Lane Craig destroys him, and Craig uses the same 5 point argument every time. Hitchens even waives his final statement. The Movie Collision is excelent. This is one debate and not the movie. It should be labeled as such or taken off. Thanks

  • Lester

    I've been pondering an idea lately and I wonder what someone else might think...

    If you where to die, that is if your heart stops and you quit experiencing all the senses of this life, if you where in state of nothingness, complete blackness...

    but somehow you where still conscience of yourself and your memorys...

    ..my question is this, wouldn't Hell be a step up from that? I mean, people grow to love pain right? S&M and bondage and all that. Wouldn't being something no matter what the physical pain or torment be better than complete isolation and nothingness?

  • BJ

    @ Lester

    I'm not sure what you mean by "but somehow you where still conscience of yourself and your memorys…"

    That implies that in a casket you are lying there conscious of the fact you can't move physically? I don't quite understand. As far as I know when you die you have no memory or conscience. Thus it would be better than the picture of "hell" you paint.

    Going off strictly your thoughts, I'd have to say- I don't know, maybe.

  • Stargazer

    I say we should honestly seek out truth or otherwise just shut up. Why bother to listen to anyone who wants to prove God does or does not exist? Mostly it is just their ego they need to prove, as is apparent here when it comes to Higgins. His attitude reveals it.

  • Joseph

    @jari
    A miracle is a cessation of the laws of nature. If God is all powerful why cant he work miracles
    I believe in God therefore a miracle is not impossible. Mr Hitchens does not believe in God therefore there are no miracles and are just "fairy tales"
    Jesus Christ is God and can work miracles.
    At the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  • BJ

    "Higgins" or Hitchens is basically a philosopher/author/journalist. Our society has people working on seeking the truth but I equally think we need people like Hitchens to decipher and report what has been found and perhaps what needs to happen with these findings.

  • Ron

    It would have been nice to see the whole feature. 10 minute introduction was a joke. Skip the first 10 minutes of someone in love with the podium and microphone.

    So if a person in Saudi Arabia had a choice between islam and athiesm, athiesm would be the preferred choice by this Christian?

    I prefer being an athiest where you can believe and choose whatever you like as long as it stands the test of our laws in society. And those laws are not holistically religious based anymore.

    Also the virgin birth. Wow that was a unique thing now wasn't it? Also how god created what we see through the hubble telescope? No he didn't create that it has been evolving and transforming since the big bang and we know that because Hubble realized that things are expanding. And if they are expanding then they must have had a starting point. Does the bible explain that? Do you think god would have enlightened the people he created about that? Or is it such a thing to keep a secret from the people he created?

    Religion just does not add up in so many ways. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Budhists, Hindu's etc etc. Its only the Christians and Muslims and Jews that want to make sure they are the only ones left standng. And one day some really really bad things will happen because of that faith in righteousness. Christianity of all religions is least accepted. How many offshoots of that religion have started because people didn't like what was going on and wanted it their way. Baptist Catholics Mormons Protestants etc etc.

    If god said he created the big bang and then told man to put that in a book then maybe I would believe him. 6 days and then a day of rest and making people out of dust has no logic. It is not possible. But as an athiest you are free to believe. Just don't see how you can win any debates much like the christian in this partial documentary.

  • Ron

    @Kieth

    Do you think GW Bush thinks he had Jesus on his side when he invaded Iraq over false information and covert desires?

    Dub ya

  • silkop

    I feel sorry (in a face-palm fashion) for the blundering bearded fool.

  • Kyle

    @Joseph

    Both of your comments are genuinally bizarre. You just believe because you choose to. You haven't a shred of evidence of any miracle, or God, yet you feel comfortable writing off Muhammed. What possible logic can you be using? There is an element of sheer creepiness in your way of thinking.

  • Keith

    @Ron

    Has it ever been proven Bush thinks. Does it matter? Did anyone bring up Bush? I'd say the Flying Spaghetti Monster Smiled upon Bush's actions. He can think he has Jesus on his side. You can think you have Jesus on your side. Won't change the fact that, as much as I like Hitchens, He LOST against William Lane Craig. More Importantly, Collision was a decent movie but this debate is only a small part of it. This should not be labeled as the movie Collision. Collision is much more entertaining. You know with video cuts and a soundtrack and the best parts of many debates and conversations between the two.

  • jari

    @Kyle,
    Thank you!

  • jari

    @Keith, if you read the text just above the video frame, it says:
    "(The playlist is just the debate. If you want to see the documentary go to stagevu)"

  • Keith

    @Jari

    Thanks

    Why not put that link in under Collision and leave the debate as a debate.

  • Joseph

    @kyle

    i see by ur reaction that u r a Muslim hiding behind an English name. I make no apologies for my comments or for my faith in Jesus. In fact i am proud to be Christan(I live in a Muslim country, 99.5% Muslim, where churches are burnt, Christians are killed, their women raped and their property confiscated)

    Why such a reaction to a fairy tale???

    My comment on Mohammad, if u watched the commentary, Mr Hitchens refers to Mohammad flying on a horse, claiming it to be a miracle. In the Quran Mohammad categorically denies that he ever worked a miracle.

    I can say with 100% certainty that u have not read a single page of the Bible, neither has Mr Hitchens, the moment he opened his mouth he views about the Bible were all warped.

  • Randy

    Hitchens has read every page of the bible and memorized every jot and tittle, (that's a biblical thing, because I have also read every page of the bible... etc...).

    Hitchens is our best warrior against the wave of EVIL that is the christian church(es).

    This monstrosity must be abolished.

  • john

    @Joseph

    i see by your comments that you are a misguided fool, and a bigot, explain this jesus boy....if god is all knowing, allpowerful and all seeing (which this celestial mafia big boss must be, after all he is god) then he knows all my actions and decisions before i make them, therefore there is no such thing as free will. everything is preordained befor i came into existance. how then can this god then punish anyone for denying his existance or any other action as the person has no choice but to follow this set path. and if god is love...so christians say..why would we be punished anyway unless he gets a sadistic kick out of it. as for the existance of a devil..an all powerful god could just make him disappear in a puff of smoke. if there is a devil either god is NOT all powerfull or he is again a sadist who likes to see us squirm a we are just a chess game to him......face reality. GOD DOES NOT EXIST.

  • Lester

    @ BJ, I understand when your brain quits functioning you are incapable of being conscience, I was looking at the idea of a "soul" and the afterlife from a Christian perspective.

    If God is perfect why create us to begin with? Perfect means not needing anything right? Christians are either dillusional or just a woefully ignorant lot.

    Keith is right to point the noodly appendage that is evident in all miracles. He, the Flying Spaghetti Monster that is, is even gonna make someone grow their arm or leg back one day. Even Jesus and God can't do that miracle apparently.

  • Joseph

    a=no, theist=no god.
    The subject matter of atheism just boils down to 'there is not god" what a boring and dry subject.
    atheists are sick, old boring clowns trying to be funny.

  • Randy

    @Joseph,

    Sweetie, what are you 16-17? Your brain isn't even cooked yet. It's all full of mush from X-box and PS3 and Wii and Facebook and Twitter and YouFace... whatever...

    You know nothing... wait, are you living your daddy's fantasies? Really?

    The gods told you to relax! Silly little boy.

  • Randy

    Wait, Joseph... I am looking at you right now. Are you trying to find me?

    Because I am ready and spoiling for a fight. Wait... I seem to see that you are an only child, but you have many brothers... hmmmm...

    Well, let us just contemplate this, I will not display you in a public forum.

    (But, please... come after me!)

  • Chris

    Well, that was a waste of time! Neither Christopher Hitchens nor Douglas Wilson represent their positions well or as scholars. I have heard far better arguments and defense from high school debate teams.

    It's hard to describe how disappointing this was. Hitchens is dismissive, sarcastic and superficial in his arguments and comments. Wilson appears to be preaching to the choir rather than making sound, logical and persuasive apologetics. It's almost as if they are not debating each other.

    An interesting meaningful debate would ask hard questions regarding known science, cosmology, geology, ancient history and the bible rather than Christian traditional teachings and inaccurate religious interpretations. Such things cannot and should not be defended.

    The scope of the debate was beyond the resources of both participants. Very disappointing.

  • Jordan Hardy

    I hate that Hitchens has become a spokesperson for atheists. I want another Hume or Nietzche. New Atheists are terrible.

  • Ron

    Well thanks for the sensorship V.

    You cut my reply out to Keith and then I get to read the drivel that follows on anyway.

    Must be a real kick to play god here?

    Last post of a comment for me but enjoy the doc's.

    I tried to explain my position to Keith and you didn't allow it. Totally unfair and uncalled for.

    @ Keith. With faith you cannot lose anything. Hitchens will always win a debate. Miracles that supposedly happened 2000 years ago are truths to the man. If it was the spagetti monster that did it the debate would have been about the spagetti monster. I brought up GW BUSH because leaders thinking they have the right to go to war based on their beliefs has occured in the past. THAT IS WHY I MENTIONED BUSH. OK. Much appreciated if you let this one last post of mine go on V if not so be it I will not post again anyway.

    Good luck with your work as god V.

  • Ron

    Hitchens will always lose the debate. See V you really have me rattled.

  • Lester Wise

    "always win..." ?? Hmmm, I guess they are not debating for your benefit. Thank you for the perfect example of blind faith. Better yet, deaf faith.

    and to Chris, you really should watch the full movie for an accurate idea of how these two debate. Neither of these guys are inept for this task though and it is hardly "out of the resources" for either man.

    I do somewhat agree with Jordan H. about Hitchens being the drunken (did he say drunken?) figure head for a group that can't even really call itself a group, that he is a bad representation of all Atheist. I would rather hear Hume, Nietzsche or especially M. Twain but alas, all of these cats are dead.

    So, out of those that are alive such as C. Hitchens, R. Dawkins, D. Dennett, J. Miller and S. Harris just to name a few, I would really like to see Sam Harris debate the more broad issues about religions but Dawkins or even Miller would probally be the better fit to tackle creationism vs science debates.

  • mona

    If you could post a diffrent link that would be great, the stagevu is not working even if I downloaded the divx player.

  • miamia

    I recomment to watch "oh my god" the best docu about religions i have see do far...

  • Kurrrt

    God is not a living entity. Is that what a judge would say if you asked for "God" in court while swearing in?
    Daily 2010 use of the word "god" used mostly as an expression, (of personal needs, love, hopes, and hate). Hear of anyone seeing an angel around lately ? No. Does thousands see the many UFO's while no one at all sees- not one god, or an angel, raise any question of their existence?
    Faith, (a verb) is a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. There are those directing their faith into supernatural accounts, when in reality- actual facts of TRUTH are readily available! Question a religion before you follow one of them aimlessly. Focus on the Laws of the Universe. It can be done through intention and attention to what choices can be made to bring as many peaceful moments to each day as possable.

  • Ali

    ______How long is the world going to avoid what islam really means

  • PC812

    I wish the Q&A was included on this.

    "The subject matter of atheism just boils down to ‘there is not god” what a boring and dry subject.
    atheists are sick, old boring clowns trying to be funny."

    Spoken like someone who has no idea what atheism is all about. The subject matter of Christianity just boils down to, "there's an invisible man in the sky who will love you as long as you do whatever he tells you to do. But if you disobey him, you'll be tortured for all eternity."

    That's it. With atheism, you have questions about morality, about relativism, about how to treat each other. We don't have the luxury of an invisible dictator telling us what we can and can't do. Believing in such a figure is easy -- all your decisions are made for you. Believing in nothing is much harder because you have to find valid reasons to justify the choices you make beyond just, "God told me to."

  • Jordan Hardy

    PC812,

    I know you're just reacting, but that's a bad strategy. Christianity doesn't boil down to an invisible man in the sky who abides on conditional love. It doesn't boil down to anything. It is a complex system of beliefs about God that developed over thousands of years, and which will manifest themselves differently in the lives and beliefs of every adherent. Believe it or not, many liberal Christians probably live their lives much like you do even though they believe in the "invisible dictator."

    Oversimplification is rarely a good rhetorical strategy. You just did exactly the same thing that Joseph did in reverse. Do you really want to parallel your discussion of the subject with Joseph, who's obviously ill-informed?

  • http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com Lester Wise

    "Oversimplification is rarely a good rhetorical strategy." I like that. Most of us atheist have a tendency to debate religous folks by talking down to them or we just make fun of something that they believe that we think is silly.

    PC812 did have some interesting points about morality though...

    Might I ask you what your defintion of a "liberal Christian" is? How do you know what part of the Bible should be taken literally and which part are simply metaphors?

    If there is a God that inspired the books and letters of the bible, wouldn't God have made the meaning of each story, parable or retelling of events easy enough to comprehend and understand that there would be no doubt as to the real meaning of the ideas expressed?

    It seems to me that most modern day Christians use the bible to fit the morals and standards that they themselves have learned from their own experience and environment. If you really thought that the bible was the absolute word of God, shouldn't you be like the "God hates America" church? Aren't extremist the real face of True christianity and all other religions for that matter?

  • bg

    A Deist could make a good case, but when you add in the dogma and man made "facts" then you start to look foolish.

  • Jordan Hardy

    Hi Lester,

    I'm actually an atheist, so I'm the wrong one to answer a lot of those questions. But, there are lots of liberal Christians (people who go to Christian churches, consider themselves Christians, but hold liberal views) who might not really be Christians at all, strictly, not believing in the resurrection or the incarnation. But they believe in God. I find very little reason to look down on these people. So they have one unjustified hypothesis, big deal. It is only when it begins to influence them to do highly irrational things, or to try to change public policy in the interest of their hypothesis that there is a problem. And believe it or not, a huge proportion of Christianity has interest in pushing their hypothesis on others.

  • Lester Wise

    Yes Jordan I wouldn't look down at them if they only had "one unjustified hypothesis." I think the problem is much more influential on all parts of their own philosophy and their actions. A simple belief in God is not that drastic and taken by itself would certainly not merit any form of disrespect.

    However, I do think that the very foundations of our society are based upon antiquated rules and oversimplifications that are used to justify everyone's own specific actions. Zero accountabilty for all...

    Their system is one of scapegoating and this is what is truley dangerous for modern communities.

    Libral Christians are usually complacent look-the-other-way types that do not ever chance a confrontation of any kind with the various institutions that exert contol over their lives.

    I don't these ideas are quaint superstitions.

  • James

    This entire so-called documentary lacks depth and is really hardly more than an extended commercial for a money making venture created by two authors simply cashing in through book, film, and tour while their popularity is peaking!

    I must be honest. This is primarily business first, and at a very distant second, an intellectual debate. There is no sincere attempt to produce a thought provoking examination of religion and secular humanism, only the appearance of one. The film idea was craftily invented to heighten the expectation of a hot debate.
    No doubt some of you will disagree, but I don't apologize for calling this as I see it! I also happen to know someone involved with its inception and much of what I point out here is true, unfortunately!

    I have read books written by both authors, spoken with them, and I have to say...there is nothing new under the sun regarding this old argument!!

    One consideration regarding atheists that I personally believe theists either overlook or dismiss, is the fact that many disbelievers truly want to believe! Most of the atheists I have spoken with, including myself, would welcome the prospect of a second existence, a beginning at the conclusion of this one. Especially alluring are the common qualities assigned to nearly every religion's concept of the afterlife!

    Also, I must conclude, from the comments made by Joseph on this board, that he or she is developmentally regressed and obviously mentally r@#$%^|&*!!

  • Lisa

    I am fairly new to this website and have enjoyed some of the documentary`s within....however...the comments are what really interest me.

    I have spent hours in the past week reading the comments and absolute mean spirited rhetoric between atheists and Christians. What seems abundantly clear is that the atheists are obviously the ones who are omniscient...not God! While there have been many preachy comments made by the Christians the ones that blow my mind are the absolute arrogant, narrow minded, and often down right mean comments made by the atheists. They apparently know all and anyone who has a faith is considered a moron.

    As well, please proof read your comments before hitting the add comment button....the spelling and grammar from both the atheists and Christians is terrible!!!

  • Troy

    Lisa,

    The reason that most (atheist) comments seem offensive to you is beacause you are religious, & when you are faced with rational explainations your brain cannot handle it & you enter "defencive" mode by default.

    Quite simple really & dont try & sound holier than thou with your attack on peoples grammar, you are not better than any other person by indirectly proclaiming yourself to be the smartest human alive :)

  • yvonneagnostic

    Perhaps you should proofread your own comment. For example, it is "documentaries within" not "documentary's within". An apostrophe is used to show possession; for instance, "the documentary's message". Furthermore, "proofread" is one word, not two.

  • tipotago

    Can someone explain (or try to)in a Darwinian evolution model why Christopher believes in atheism and his younger brother Peter Hitchen's believes in God the father?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Memento-Mori/100000478081968 Memento Mori

    I have but one question for anyone who tries to claim that not only is the bible true, but that the earth was formed in 7 days.

    How do you explain the fossil record?

    Creatures that lived millions of years ago must have been created somehow, or does God only create what he feels like and allows evolution to take hold the rest of the week?

    If you want to claim yourself a Christian, then defend that which you hold to be true. If the bible is the true and honest word of God, then you are obligated to take it as being true, or else you are not holding to your faith and you do not honor the souls of your religious ancestors.

    God created the world in 7 days along with the moon, sky, stars and everything on the planet below. No one noticed large monster-like creatures lumbering around or eating up the local population?

    I mean no offense as this is only my personal view but...

    Organized Religion is not only a shame, it is a cancer and a blight upon the potential of the Human Race. It is because of your FAITH that Scientists and Philosophers were persecuted, thus setting back innovation and modernization, such as the computer, cell phone, coffee and air-conditioning you so adore. It is because of your FAITH that innocent lives were needlessly wasted during the Inquisition as your FAITH is grounded in half-truths, superstitions and Fear. It is because of your barbaric and archaic FAITH that young women were burned as Witches in Salem. It is because of your FAITH that people are scorned and slandered because of who they love even if they live good and honest lives. It is because of your FAITH that priceless artifacts and timeless knowledge from the Aztecs was burned and destroyed as Heresy against your "all loving and ever forgiving" God.

    I try not to blame the individuals because it is Faith and Faith alone that is the cancer which saps the true potential out of the Human Race.

    Imagine everyone woke up tomorrow and decided to be good.
    Not because of God or Heaven or the fear of Hell, but just because its the right thing to do.
    Imagine everyone woke up tomorrow and worked together, just because it would benefit us all mutually and we abandoned the old superstitions of this world.
    Imagine what would happen if we said "we're destroying the walls that divide us. No longer shall the Human Race be separated by the titles of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Agnostic, Atheist, Democrat, Republican, Anarchist or Communist. We shall now be known as Humankind, for we all equally deserve our rights and dignity. We are here, we are one Race, one Species. We are Human."
    We could become so much more than we already are and ever have been.

    If you wish to hold this back, if you wish to put a stop to progress and if you wish things would get worse so that your Messiah will come back, then by all means continue with your petty and nonsensical belief's about how we're different and born in Sin and we need to be saved.

    On the other hand, if you want to aid the Human Race in reaching its true potential, then learn to question what you are told. Learn to seek out information on your own. Learn to create, innovate and wonder.
    Most importantly, learn to think for yourself.
    Do not accept what you're told simply because someone else told you that "God said it so it must be true". That's not an answer, that's an excuse for 'I don't have an answer'. If you were born in another part of the world you'd believe something completely different. Religion is an side-effect of your particular situation at birth and young life. "I'm a Christian because I was raised by Christians" does not mean you are right, it means you are not capable of forming your own opinions and you blindly go along with what other people say you should without even giving you the option to make your own decision.
    In short, be a Sheep or stand up and be a Human who thinks for themselves.

    If the pope said the Messiah will come back if we have a blood sacrifice because "God and Gabriel told him so" would you believe him? He is the closest one to God, so why shouldn't you? What if he said that if you didn't participate, you'd be damned to Hell? What would you do if the priests, cardinals and bishops all went along with this?

    Go ahead and ask yourself that but never forget one very important piece of evidence against the ridiculous sham you call your "Faith".

    Dinosaur Bones.

    If your "God" put them there to test your Faith, then he's not all-loving, he's maladjusted and wants to trick you so you'll go to Hell.
    You can be a moderate Christian, but know you this, there is no Moderate Christianity and its time we grew up as a Species and left this and all other nonsense religions behind us.

    Christianity is NOT good for the world and neither is any other form of Organized Religion.

    A belief in a higher power is perfectly fine.
    It's when a personal belief is pushed on others (and it is, do not lie to yourselves) that troubles arise.
    I stand against Organized Religion, but I do not stand against God.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Memento-Mori/100000478081968 Memento Mori

    Can you or anyone explain why someone else's personal belief's hold any relevance to anyone else?
    Why do Christians feel the need to 'save' people?
    Why do Muslims believe they must spread the word of Allah?
    Why do any of those goofy stories even matter so long as you know how to live as a productive, free-thinking and peaceful member of society?

  • bw24225892

    I think you mean 'documentaries', not 'documentary's'.

  • http://profiles.google.com/pumped2run Tim Lawson

    There is, assuredly, a basis of morality apart from God: We evolved as hunting pack animals (current and recent examples of this include the San people of the Kalahari, the Tarahumaras of Chihuahua Mexico, and the Navajo) and if you look at other hunting pack animals you will observe extremely complex social structures because for a hunting pack to succeed, they need trust, an understanding of hierarchy, and the ability to work together as one unit.

    What can not happen in these family units, however, is 'sin.' I am defining 'sin' from a pre-theistic point of view; it is those things which can cause a pack or troop dissension, inability to trust each other or work together, to fail in the short term, and possibly ultimately not survive. Breaking the social protocols of a successful hunting troop is, therefore, punishable by the group and at least in nature, the offenders are often driven out. It is this, necessary survival of the family unit, which has ingrained this morality into the very fabric of out being.

    As a pack animal, as hunters, trackers, and gatherers, we saw signs in the ground or plants and derived explanations, i.e. a gazelle recently left that footprint, or that 3 leaved plant is poison so I should avoid it. It was this learning and curiosity and very need to understand the world around us which drove us to seek explanations for quite literally everything. When we could not find answers for the seasons, the rising sun, or other things of the like, we invented explanations or 'gods' and we created them in OUR image. We imposed our morality on them, and we have changed our gods as our society changes.

    Why else would 'God' be completely okay and actually encourage ethnic cleansing, genocide, rape, the keeping and beating of slaves (but only so hard as that they can get up after a day or two... after all they are the property of the owner and he can do with them as he likes Exodus 21:20-21), all this 4,000 years ago, and now he is not okay with it? what changed? culture or god?

    Back then the 'family' strove to survive even if it was at the expense of their neighbors, and fighting for top-rung made genocide 'acceptable' and even Imperative (therefore encouraged by the culture driven god) as you were fighting for your own place.

    Now we see ourselves differently, as part of all humanity and all able to thrive, rather than fighting against others for our own spot of earth to hunt and provide for our own. Because we have expanded our idea of the pack to include everyone, genocide now appears a social taboo working against the pack . Hurting anyone is now seen as hurting the family. Is it any wonder that the 'Love your Neighbor as yourself' God is a product of this new mentality/ philosophy?

    So it is not Religion which provides us with morality, but rather, what it offers is Dogma. As long as people (all religions) hold onto the idea that 'I'm right and you're evil,' we will never be able to move beyond the conflict that we have in this world today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mario-Silverio/100001020374909 Mario Silverio

    very interesting doc. its not every day that you see two different points of view being discussed in an adult faction. important point to me, both agree that there are good people regardless of their personal believes.

  • Gunnar1961

    What I found most striking about this documentary was the pathetic weakness and irrationality of Wilson's arguments. Also, the fact that he actually tried to defend the massacre of the Amalekites and the other atrocities that the Israelites did in the name of God was a huge turn off! If anyone today tried to justify such atrocities against people whom they disliked or opposed by claiming that God commanded it, almost all Christians today would regard such a claim blasphemous and/or proof of insanity! Why was it any less blasphemous or insane for the Israelites claim that? I have no doubt that they invented the idea that God commanded these atrocities after the fact, to justify and/or salve their consciences for crimes they or their ancestors had already committed.

    The one thing he said that rang true was his admission that the reason he is a Christian is that he was taught to be so by strict, religious parents who reinforced their teachings and discipline by corporal punishment whenever they deemed it necessary. It is remarkable to me that he fails to realize what a damaging admission that is!

    One of Hitchen's strongest arguments was the absurdity of, as he called it, "substitutiary redemption." Imagine a man who claims to be a loving father who decides that despite his love for all his children, he cannot in good conscience forgive them for their misdeeds and disobedience, even if they sincerely repent, unless the one son who never misbehaved volunteered to be cruelly tortured to death to atone for the sins of his siblings. Would anyone disagree that such a father should be locked away in an institution for the criminally insane? Why would it be even the slightest bit less insane for God to act that way?

  • loveoneGod

    Why do athiests feel the need to 'save' people and spread the word of Charles Darwin? It is because they believe that if they spread this belief, the world will somehow be a better place, or for the sake of 'truth' itself. Believers in God want to spread what we believe are the truths that will change the world and individuals for good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Waddingham/100000623340975 Andrew Waddingham

    My opinion on Religon is that it can't really be judged based on actions of people that call themselves Religious, which alot of these documentries tend to do.

    For example if someone ants to follow the example of Christ, then they shouldn't follow a preacher, but read the texts for themselves, theres many views on it including Gnosticism. that are vastly differant, but I find these documentries tend to find the most extreme examples to make for drama and entertainment, and rarely a fair view, but an advance of someones agenda.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Waddingham/100000623340975 Andrew Waddingham

    I think its people thats the problem, I think if there was something else that was a popular movement, there would be people acting the same as Athiests, people tend to side with something like this to be apart of the group, and have a feeling of superiority, not all of course. Same is for Religious groups, but I tend to believe the problem is fanaticism. I find the loudest people know the least, if you know what I mean, they tend to simply repeat others, and arin't really lead by reason. :|

  • http://profiles.google.com/barmstrong1188 Brandon Armstrong

    If we wanted to look at Christian texts closely enough we will eventually be led astray. There are hundreds and hundreds of contradictions, some outright nasty stuff in that book. And the first few books in the bible that were written were originally from a polytheistic faith system. The name Yahweh was originally given to the god of war. Which is why in the old testament you see that name referenced quite a bit, and it just so happens to be while they're seeking deliverance from war. Once they were successful, Yahweh was deemed the one true God and (off the top of my head, could be more) Genesis, Exodus, and Isaiah had monotheism re-written into them.
    I heard in a sermon once (about the validity of the bible) where the pastor's first bullet point was something along the lines of "The way we know the Bible remains unchanged, is because Jesus promised that does."
    - well.. there's ample evidence of this not being the case. So, either Jesus was lying or didn't know what he was talking about. Either way, not fruits of a god in human form. This is one of so many problems one could make with this faith system. Do you really believe something so lofty could come from a supposedly supreme being? Is this really something trustworthy enough you'd be willing to base your life off of? Be honest with yourself and take an objective view at your faith. Be as scrutinizing (if not especially) with your faith as you are with others. You have logic, it's alright to use it. And you'll be happy you did. Best wishes.

  • Renevonn

    For one thing, we are never finished arriving at the "truth".
    Our science is always changing, growing and evolving. As it becomes more refined and precise, we will come upon newer and deeper questions, all of which will lead us to a new truth until we should happen to arrive at the "Ultimate Truth".
    To say that we've arrived at Ultimate Truth because of something as fallible and archaic as the "Holy" Bible is a pretty big claim and completely baseless. The Bible makes no mention of any recently discovered archeological sites dating so far back as to double the suggested age of the earth mentioned in the "Good" book.
    I would purpose that the Scientific Method is the best and strongest method by which to discover the Ultimate Truths about anything we wish to know, even God itself. The fact that we've managed to create and thrive off of such a system is evidence in and of itself that Science will lead us to the answers and critical thinking and QUESTIONING of ones environment is key to this process.
    It takes a curious soul to ask "why?" but it takes a brave soul to ask "why?" and then track down the correct answers. Religion is outdated, it was great when we had no fundamental understanding of the forces of nature at work on our planet and out in the Universe, but now we have a more precise system to use other than rather humorous superstitions. (Live inside of a whale (or Big Fish), anyone?)
    By the way, Scientific Method can indeed be applied to Human Ethics, so do not bother arguing that without Religion we wouldn't know right from wrong. At this stage, how difficult is it to accept that you shouldn't butcher each other or take each others stuff? Honestly, get modern, evolve and help each other. If we made the basic necessities of Life (Food, shelter, clothing) available to everyone free of charge, we'd have a huge drop in crime. Hard to get a job when you're homeless. With the current level of technology and scientific understanding, I'm surprised any Religion is even taken seriously anymore.
    How can you read that old book and say "oh yea, that makes completely logical sense. I can dig it."?

    By the by, I'm not rejecting the idea of God, I'm rejecting the ancient superstition of Religion.

  • Michelle Landschoot

    It frustrated me that Hitchens did not seem to have an answer to Wilson's assertion that morality comes from God. Isn't human EMPATHY the basis for morality? I am not sure what research has been done, but it seems to me that man, from an evolutionary standpoint, being relatively weak as we are, are "fittest" because of the development of empathy within us. Not that empathy cannot be found in other creatures, but one can argue that it certainly is one of the, if not THE main reason for our survival. Our numbers survive, not because God willed it, but because of our evolutionary instinct to protect the family or the tribe, and ultimately, our species, above the self. Yes, man is capable of heinous acts, but also of great heroism. What other creatures on earth consistently risk their own safety for a stranger of the same species (and in many cases, for other species).

    As far as Wilson's outrage toward the question of the beating of a pregnant woman, I would personally say it is because violence is being done against her (i.e. she did not ask for it) and her unborn, and, it is assumed wanted child. Personally I believe that it is the woman who determines whether the growth within her is "fetus" or "child". Planned Parenthood is not in the habit of forcing women to kill their wanted children. Its very name implies much of what it does... allow people to better plan their families, so that, theoretically, no child will ever be born that is not wanted. There are literally over a BILLION unwanted children on the planet... please direct your outrage to that! Of course, abortions are only a very small percent of what PP does, so the argument that Planned Parenthood would be the observer who stands by whilst a woman and her wanted child are beaten to death against their will is not only wrong, but the absolute opposite of the reason for which Planned Parenthood exists.

  • Michelle Landschoot

    I don't pretend to know the reason for Peter's conversion. I personally was raised in a Catholic family that still very much practices today, and yet I have become an atheist myself in recent years. I can certainly see why someone would choose a spiritual path, and I don't think people like Hitchens are against an individual finding a religious path in any way (although they may be against the organization of religion itself). Religion can offer community, comfort, hope for the future in the face of seeming hopelessness. As an atheist, I do still sometimes worry what will happen to me when I die, and ask myself "what if I'm wrong". But I choose not to make that fear of the unknown, the basis of leading a moral life. I still appreciate going to mass, and making contributions to local churches that aid my community, participating in common ritual with family and friends. Can I explain- no, but I can certainly empathize.

  • http://twitter.com/jonathanconway jonathanconway

    I'm an atheist, but more importantly, an Objectivist.

    There are elements of Douglas's argument which I agree with: that absolute knowledge of reality is possible, that practicing virtue requires a consistent ethical foundation, that ideas are important and influence history.

    There are elements of Hitchen's argument which I agree with: that god does not exist (I know, big surprise), that our sense of right and wrong doesn't come from a supernatural source, and that a universe controlled and governed by a supreme being would be a totalitarian dictatorship. (Although this last point is insignificant; we *don't* live in such a universe, and the existence of such a universe is metaphysically impossible.)

    However, I find both sides to be seriously mistaken in their fundamental premises.

    This debate is basically the refresher of a much older debate that goes back centuries: between rationalism and empiricism.

    The rationalists adhered to reason, but claim that knowledge it is only possible within consciousness - divorced from existence and gained by revelation, such as from a supernatural consciousness.

    The empiricists claimed that knowledge is only possible through direct experience of existence, but that reason is impotent to grasp and refine our understanding of existence.

    As Ayn Rand summarized it: "those who joined the mystics by abandoning reality—and those who clung to reality, by abandoning their mind".

    Douglass is obviously of a rationalist persuation. Hitchens values the achievements of science, but still seems drawn to the skeptical mindset, when he claims (paraphrase) that "we can no nothing for certain", or that "knowledge is forever changing".

    I believe the correct argument is that knowledge of reality is possible (and only possible) both by sense-perception and by integrating these percepts. Reason is the tool by which we perform this integration, and the result is concepts. Ayn Rand says: "A concept is a mental integration of two or more units which are isolated by a process of abstraction and united by a specific definition."

    This is a slightly more advanced form of the fundamental epistemology set forth originally by Aristotle.

    Now, if one accepts this epistemology, there's nowhere left for god to hide. Humans are capable of gaining absolute knowledge of reality, as long as they adhere to reason, and only reason.

    Existence exists, and precedes consciousness, which means that a consciousness could not have created existence, and hence, not only does god not exist, but "a god" could not have existed.

    Hitchens is incapable of presenting a *conceptual* explanation of his personal ethics, and resorts to deriving it from "instincts" and collectivist worship of society - ignoring the fact that collectivist societies have repeatedly crumbled and collapsed throughout history, and the one society that advanced science, technology and human living conditions the most (and which Hitchens himself feels drawn to) is the United States of America - the one nation which was grounded at least initially, on respect for individual rights.

    It is the principle of self-interest that makes a rational, consistent morality possible. The individual's self-interest lies in acquiring knowledge of reality (the virtue of rationality), acting on such knowledge (the virtue of productiveness) and co-operating peacefully with others (the virtue of independence and the benevolent "negative"-virtue of non-coercion).

    Politically, the principle of "rights" makes it possible for a stable, prosperous society to exist, while maintaining the freedom of all of its individual citizens.

    No aspect of the Objectivist ethics involves a god - quite the opposite, a "morality" that is forced upon mankind wouldn't be morality, just as an existence created by god wouldn't be, and is not, existence. Reality is an absolute.

  • http://twitter.com/jonathanconway jonathanconway

    Although I'm an atheist, I have a certain respect for religion, because it has served as a primitive form of philosophy in times when there simply wasn't any other system of ideas in existence, and men needed (as they also now need) a consistent worldview.

    I also think the majority of philosophers (both religious and secular) have undermined the pursuit of truth.

    However, the truth ultimately lies in understanding reality by means of reason, and that's why I choose Objectivism and atheism rather than faith or skepticism.

    Another positive word on religion - I admire the artistic creations of certain religious people of the past. I very much enjoy the music of Bruckner, not because I agree with him on religion, but because I'm moved by the feelings of joy, profoundness and purpose that his music conveys (particularly his 7th and 8th Symphonies).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Rogers/100000500188396 Timothy Rogers

    God is love. God is light. The light shines in the darkness. Even though in the name of religion wrong is done, love and light persist. Billy Graham said if the Holy Spirit went home, 90% of the religious business would continue. It is in the 10%, amongst those filled with the Spirit of Jesus, that miracles are seen, love is released, and the world made a better place. We are naturally self serving, sin is choosing self. Christ's spirit empowers us to choose others and to focus our lives on transforming a suffering world.

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ Timothy Rogers

    With all due respect, I do not believe you.

    0z

  • 0zyxcba1

    @ jonathanconway

    "Objectivist," à la Ayn Rand?

    0z

  • Guest

    They are on each side of what is exactly right for you, that is in different degrees for each of us (for some, one side is almost empty of any support). No one can say I disagree entirely with either one of them because too much is said in too many ways.

    It comes clear to me as i listen to them that if an additional person was involved in the conversation, this person would bring a third view which could be closer to DOuglas or Christopher or wavering or completely different than both.
    Now to agree with either is to take side in the popular opinions.
    To disagree with both is to take the risk that you may be considered crazy because what else are you going to bring out?
    az

  • Guest

    I am surprised the frequent players are not all over this doc.
    az

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheli.gonzalez Sheli Gonzalez

    Wow.. Best ReligiousAtheist debated Documentary.. very well carried.. well handled.. very respected... it's beautiful to see people agree to disagree and not be so irate or hostile about it.. Strong points on BOTH sides... but I still love God. God reveals himself to me and I can NEVER deny it. I can't leave it.. not only because the Bible says so.. it's just diferent .. not of this world as some would say.. If I had such fluent words for such a description as these gentlemen in the film.. perhaphs it might help.. but as usual.. you have to experience God .. know God.. not just learn about Him.. I mean really get to know him.. seeking Him.. when you experience that.. then you'll understand love, grace.. not just stories.. you begin to change.. something good dwells in you that come alive änd makes you yearn for more of Him. Experience.

  • Atheist13

    Excellent doc.

    Hitchens and Wilson debate in very affable manner and at times it's lol stuff. The Woodhouse quotes bit is hilarious! I think it's because Wilson is such jolly and genial chap that Hitch is a bit easy on him. Hitch says that this is one of the few debates where his opponent genuinely believes in god. Wilson's arguements are weak but his belief is strong, he cannot see he has been brainwashed so effectively that brainwashing is now his profession. Religion is the business of mind control and they are very good at it.

    Unkeep the faith

  • Angela P.

    Why is Chistianity evil? Please elaborate. I want to know what it is about my love for life and dependence to God that makes me so evil. Maybe your argument will make me realize that I am such a horrible, awful, monstrous person that I'll kill myself, just to save saints like you from myself.

    I realize your comment was added over a year ago, but I just had to reply.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Mobbs/890690316 Mark Mobbs

    My problem with the good samaritan is that the church teaches the wrong story. I realised the story was aimed against the church a long time ago and I'm surprised at Mr Hitchens look of epiphany at this. It goes against the church and yet he took time to work that out. He should have used this against the believer instead of a bit of mutual backslapping.

    I think they have to much mutual respect to argue effectively on this subject. This is more about book sales than actually pushing the argument forward.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Mobbs/890690316 Mark Mobbs

    "and the one society that advanced science, technology and human living conditions the most (and which Hitchens himself feels drawn to) is the United States of America -"

    Well that just utterly ruins everything you've just said and leaves you no credibility. The only thing that's true about the comment is Hitchens is an american apologist. Besides all you do is quote Ayn Rand. Learn to think for yourself.

  • dhairy

    I like the argument because they respected each other which made for a good and not irritating listen. I grew up with all chrstian beliefs and walked away from them later in life. The killings which took place in Joshua were something I could not get over. I do have a question for people on the side of athiesm which was not brought up in the debate. What about the supernatural? What do athiests say about healings, signs and wonders etc. There are thousands upon thousands of cases of healings from the past up to the present. I am curiouse for some feed back on this.

    Dave

  • Hard_Core

    Great job PC812 summarizing christian mythology, and distilling it down to it's very essence. Everything else is pretty much inconseqential drivel.

    Allow me to go a step further and summarize the presupposed development of all religions.

    Gods were created when primitive people used their imaginations to explain natural, inexplicable phenomena.

    The nascent origin of "religion" came about when certain individuals realized they could manipulate others through fear and hope by claiming special access to these so-called gods. Superstitious people became followers of these cult leaders in hopes of currying favor.

    These cults gained wider acceptance and transformed into religions. These religions then became interwoven into the fabric of various cultures, and like a malevolent virus, infected new followers through the processes of socialization, enculturation and indoctrination.

    Over time religions evolved as cultures intermingled. The fittest religions survived while the weaker ones died out. Humanity evolved with the survivors, and thanks to our primitive ancestors, people now may be genetically predisposed to have an inclination to believe mythology is actually real. With evolution on its side, religion thrived for thousands of years.

    And all was well until along came logic, reason, the scientific method, the Socratic method and Charles Darwin et al...and the death knell for religions everywhere was sounded.

    Many of these "religions" are now dead, and the remaining few are dying a slow, pitiful death.

    And there you have it in a nutshell...religion is nothing more than the spawn of primitive minds that has evolved over time, and whose time has finally come.

    Wow, isn't it amazing how certain sacred cows can appear so ridiculous when stripped of their deceitful trappings?

    My point with all this is a very credible and persuasive argument supported by numerous branches of science can explain and thus refute all religions quite easily, especially when the opposition's argument is: god exists because I believe s/he exists because somebody told me s/he exists, and I believe them...I also read a really old book and believed it too...basically I really just want to believe s/he exists because it gives meaning to my life and makes me feel good inside, and you can't prove my imaginary friend doens't exist so there!

    It makes me wonder why we are even debating whether or not christianity is good for the world (a question which btw history does a wonderful job of answering) or the existence of god at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dennis-Kautz/100000759847300 Dennis Kautz

    "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine."

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dennis-Kautz/100000759847300 Dennis Kautz

    What Christians don't want to admit is they share a core belief with other religions that the answers are within. A teaching shared by Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Gnosticism, Muslim and many other faiths. The problem with actually teaching this within each religion is that it undermines the control they have over their flock. "If the answers are within than why the hell do you need us" is a fear of any control system.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Monkeyspasm Duane Drew

    well atheist can refer to a lot of people but if your talking classical sense the person to look up is michael shermer for skeptics magazine. basically the idea of a modern athiest is to base things off of evidence, if said super natural has evidence then it is proven true and if not it is still in the land of unicorns and cyclops. but also should something super natural ever be shown to be true the very nature of its discovery would take the super out of its title as we would then be able to see its place in the natural world.

  • Mantid

    No there are not thousands of cases of miraculous healings, there are thousands of people claiming that, none are documented. No documentation = no proof.

  • Mantid

    You can't learn what isn't real.

  • Mantid

    Watch out the thought police are watching. Why do you depend on something that may or may not be real? Oh yeah I forget you want paradise.

  • biologist190

    Ughh. I almost want to believe at least one idea that comes from Wilson's mouth just because he seems like such a nice man and he's getting his ass kicked. It actually makes me sad how much he believes what he is saying, but essentially is making points that wouldn't sway even a wavering atheist, let alone a firm one. Anyways any logical human being would agree with Hitchens. Just plain and simple.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melvin-David/685453164 Melvin David

    the natives in africa thought the mirror was supernatural...just because we don't understand something doesnt make it supernatural

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melvin-David/685453164 Melvin David

    it separate a good decent person like you from the rest of humanity and calls us all sinners if we don't believe ..that's what makes it evil...it judges us with no basis

  • nate_171

    you see "the kicking of a pregnant woman is repulsive", sure maybe for a sympathetic viewer, but, I would beg to differ if you say the person kicking them is feeling repulsed by the act he is doing.

  • nate_171

    melvin i believe the bias it uses is the outright denial of the truth that has been given to the world.

  • D Jones

    That was a terrible 'documentary'. Such an incoherent mish-mash of half-finished ideas and snippets of film, backed by nerve-rending 'music'.
    I thought this video was going to be an actual debate.

  • D Jones

    Unfortunately, religions are not dying a pitiful death.
    Islam is growing faster that one can imagine, and in this 'religion', pregnant women get kicked to death every day, sanctioned by the Koran.

  • D Jones

    Look for a moment at cultures that have no Judeo/Christian moral code.

    a) India.
    Example: Suttee, a practise where a widow, regardless of her age (sometimes 9 or 10) is burned alive on her husband's funeral pyre. (This was outlawed by the Judeo/Christian laws of the British who colonised India.)

    b) China.
    Example: endless murder of female infants, culminating in a population which now had 60,000,000 more young adult males than females.

    c) Islamic nations.
    Examples:
    Stonings, beheadings, amputations, mutilations, enslavement of an entire gender...the list is too horrific to continue.

    I could site more examples than could fit on this site, but I don't have time to write a thesis.

  • James Cabral

    in grammar school the priest came at 9am, and i had to lower my head and while internaly i asked myself 'what the hell is this for', I had to externaly obei and agree with the man of cloth. And that is what I recall of religion. It is a dictatorship. And it is on that basis alone that it is morally wrong. In other words there probably is nothing wrong with "informing" young ones of certain moral conduct, when it be in the interest of the youngling's well being, in which case it is assumed the parents are not able to perform some basic functions. but on the flip side when the vulnerable child is imposed a train of thought by a complete stranger who has no interest in the familly, I question the validity of the medium. As a matter of fact I question it's value.

  • blahblahbob

    d) Europe.
    Example: the Spanish inquisition, because of christianity...
    e) USA.
    Example: the Salem witch trials, because of christioidiocy, i mean christianity...

  • blahblahbob

    something tells me you have NEVER written a thesis...

  • blahblahbob

    Billy Graham is a very rich and glutenous man thanks to that same 90% of the religion business

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Simon-Dahlström/622330752 Simon Dahlström

    If we go to other planets in the future, will all these religious people stay on earth? The bible is about events on earth, and never mention any other planets, why would they follow the rest of us?

  • http://twitter.com/UnderINK Ava Wilson

    Sort of silly for you to point out Islamic nations. Islam came after Judaism and Christianity and their morals are based off of Judeo-Christian morals. That is, morals found in the Old Testament. In fact, they practice the Old Testament to almost a T. Stoning adulterers and adulteresses and enslavement? God encourages that all the way through the Bible. He even gives you the guidelines for how to do it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GXOE2TH2DZX6RZIMVHOJDDQSBM Max

    What an awesome Documentary!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8846494 Vlad Tsimbler

    How would I define truth? Well, I would know how to define the struggle for it. I don't believe that as with, objectivity for example, that it can be declared to be arrived at or found or discovered. But I think there are rules of etiquette and procedure that one must follow in the un-ending search so that the struggle may go on. As Rabbi Halil once put it "you may not ever win the battle, but you are not allowed to give it up".

    I don't think that everything is relative. I don't think that subjectivity or individual impressions, in aggregate, cancel each other out. No. I mean I think there are concepts such as honestly, and objectivity that could help one in the struggle for truth, but I would very much doubt someone who said that they've found what the truth was.

  • Simon Dahlström

    I don't even know where to start, but let's try with one example.

    "c) Islamic nations.
    Examples:
    Stonings, beheadings, amputations, mutilations, enslavement of an entire gender...the list is too horrific to continue."

    Christians and Jews also used Stoning, beheadings, amputations, mutilations, enslavement of an entire (Ops I mean "race").

    It was thru secular means that all those stuff stopped in christian and jewish societies.

    I bet you haven't read THE WHOLE bible, and all the christian and jewish text! (It does NOT count if "someone" have talked to you about what says in the texts, DAaaah...)

    ALL religions mess things up. Religion = Stupidity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/emirbiz Emir De La Biz

    If Jesus resurrected from the dead than he never died for our sins did he?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504510957 Tiago Niles

    look for a moment at a culture which heavily exercises a Judeo/Christian moral code.

    a) the U.S.A. highest gun homicide rate per capita in the world and then we execute those murderers LEGALLY through capital punishment when some of those same Christians will try to teach you that we shouldnt kill others out of revenge cause only God should exercise the power to take life away.... interesting

  • Sondre Jensen

    I wish this movie wasn't ruined by shitty music, often times disturbingly in the background, shaky camera and gangster'ish helicopter shoots.. It just doesn't fit, and it grinds my gears. Otherwise a good collection of discussions. I must say I'm impressed by Douglas Wilson, he has his own arguments, which he obviously has put a lot of thought in to, and they are often well formulated. But Christopher, as he always did (rip), rules!

    btw, one of Douglas' arguments, which was about looking at the world map, and picking out the nations that had been or still is, christian, you get the nations of the first world. Granted, but as Neil D. Tyson said, the middle east was once the great center of science on earth. Think about it, most of the stars names are arabic, we use latin letters, arabic numbers and mathematics, etc. etc... Until this douche prophet came along and made every man grow beards, woman cover themselves up and stay indoor, and kill everyone saying that he was wrong about his religion (infidels).

    And take a look at the christan dark ages, which ruined the progression of science and set us back, and held us back for several hundred years.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CWXVJGGWG4XPNF2NPQFXBUASPU Cody Welch

    i really wish Hitchens would have picked up an evolutionary biology book once or twice. Every Christian crusader I come across always reverts to the argument, "how can you explain morals through innate evolution?", and the answer is very simple. Over thousands of years, random mutations in DNA, as we all know, produce different results in offspring, and, as a process of natural selection, the fittest survive and reproduce. That is fact. What Wilson obviously never considered is that a morally just individual, one who has empathy for his or her kin and sees the importance of working together, is much more likely to survive. His argument is destroyed on this principle. I'm formally trained as a chemist and not a biologist but that is the gist of it. Just angers me when I keep hearing this argument over and over.

  • Johnny O'Connell

    What about evolutionary psychology? The basis of our society is the ability to communicate, the basis of our ability to communicate is language and the basis of language is theory of mind. Theory of mind is the ability to think about what another is thinking about and act acordingly. Being able to think like this is the basis of empathy which is the basis of morality, social cohesion and human solidarity.
    Nice and circuler but there is some truth in there somewhere!! Haha.

  • Mike Kosiak

    Cody, I agree with you that a morally just individual was typically more likely to survive and reproduce. However, I think Hitchens avoided using your argument for the following reasons:

    Morality does not equal what is evolutionarily advantageous/more likely to survive. An individual with 20/15 vision was more likely to survive than an individual with 20/20 vision. This doesn't mean that 20/15 vision is 'right' and 20/20 vision is 'wrong'.

    We have to be careful when linking morality to evolutionary theory. Just because something is evolutionarily advantageous doesn't mean that it is morally 'right'. For example, euthanizing cognitively disabled individuals would probably contribute to the successful development and growth (evolution) of the human race. However, I doubt many people would agree that euthanizing cognitively disabled individuals for this reason is 'right'.

    Great video by the way. Very respectful discussion between Hitchens and Wilson. Everyone should see this.

  • nofearofgods

    Wilson admitted that he s a Christian because his parents were, so if his parents were Jewish he would be fighting the same battle for them, So whose god is real ???????? None..

  • nofearofgods

    Hitchens wins hands down !

  • Brian Combe

    Well he did... but he got better.

  • Brian Combe

    It's also stranger than we might imagine a stranger could imagine.

  • Brian Combe

    Not all atheists feel the need to spread the word of Darwin, some of them don't feel the need to spread anything. A large number of people who spread the word of Darwin are theists and I imagine they do it in the spirit of education.
    Why do people go around talking about Newtonian Physics?
    Apples will still fall down if they kept quiet about it.

  • Warbler

    Both theism and atheism are leaps of faith.
    There is no evidence for or against the existence of an invisible super being somehow responsible for general existence.
    Biblical literalism however is bonkers and clearly stupid.

  • Guest

    It requires no faith to not believe in something, so I'd have to disagree with your statement. What is it that is faith based about not believing in gods?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Smith/100003248213016 Ron Smith

    Atheism is not a "lack of belief in God" it is a belief that there is no God. Agnosticism is a "lack of belief" or "uncertainty" as to the existence of God.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Smith/100003248213016 Ron Smith

    Really? Didn't you find his concession at the end to be basically an admission that Christianity is good for the world?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Smith/100003248213016 Ron Smith

    I believe the name of that logical fallacy is "affirming the consequence". Rain could be the cause of wet streets. That doesn't mean all wet streets got their water from rain. Likewise, parents could be a cause of their child's faith, but that doesn't mean all children with that faith got it from their parents. Many grow up and choose faiths in spite of their upbringing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Smith/100003248213016 Ron Smith

    I'm not sure how your first argument is against Christianity. If anything, it supports Christianity. The root religion of Islam is Judaism, just as it is with Christianity. An objective observer might conclude that Islam corrupted that root while Christianity caused it to thrive and flourish.

    The Middle Age universities were Christian, so I'm not sure how you can conclude that progress was "ruined" during this time by Christianity. Who knows how long the West would have remained in darkness were it not for those universities.

  • Sam Ward

    The early universities (Paris & Oxford of around the 12th C) practiced scholasticism. Universities, as we understand them today, did not appear until the Renaissance and the concomitant revival of Platonism.

    If Southern Iberia had not been under Islamic rule until 1492, when it it was reconquered by Ferdinand and Isabella, it is probable that the Renaissance would not have begun until even more recently.

    Put another way, "the West would have remained in darkness" for much longer, if the Christian reconquest of Spain had happened earlier.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000925697654 Hollis Evon Ramsey

    i consider myself god-free, not god-less, and i think that's what you are expressing here. i believe that there are no gods. it is not something i lack; rather, it is something i have shuffled off.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FITFOWWUOP5734HTEGKO4MVQUM John

    no

    Atheism on its own is simply a lack of belief in god

    Agnosticism regards whether a belief about god is that of a "belief" or of a "known fact"

    Gnostic Theist = There is a God i know it
    Agnostif Theist = I believe there is a god but i don't know for sure

    Gnostic Atheist= There is no god and I know it
    Agnostic Atheist= I don't think there is a god, but i'm not sure

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dean-Edgington/1003719946 Dean Edgington

    I think you’re being a bit picky and have been dying and too hasty to point out a logical fallacy. Most people get their faith from their environment and have the same religion as their parents, this is overwhelmingly the case. Now do you get it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/robin.l.bowman.9 Robin Lee Bowman

    I can answer that Dave ... it's called The Theory of Quantum Entanglement .... Look it up .... It's actually being proven as I write this .... Theoretical science is constantly making up for the baseless idea of faith based anything through thought, logic and reason rather than blind faith and superstitious mysticism ....The proof of all successful scientific theory is founded upon that which can be proven and repeated ... Not the repetition of stories or mere speculation and blind faith .. As hitch once said ... "That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence"

  • Jeff Dykstra

    As C. S. Lewis noted, psychology proves too much. Why shouldn't the acceptance of evolutionary ideas be a result of upbrininging? In the end, you still need to show support for your position regardless of anyone's motivation for their opposing position.

  • Chris

    norway , sweden, denmark, finland, also mainly atheist , and also among the top countries with best health care / least poverty and least murder rate... your point is moot