Review of Hitchens/McGrath Debate

At the risk of becoming Glenn People's personal advertiser, I'd like to point out his review of the Hitchens/McGrath debate.

Note: If you tend to shy away from logical analysis and gravitate towards 'zingers', you won't be impressed by the review.


  1. When he says “but I can’t take away your responsibilities” and “I can’t
    forgive what you did,” he seems to be simply unclear on what it means to be held “responsible” for something.

    Really, dude? You can't figure out what he means by "responsible"? McGrath understood what Hitchens said and that's why he didn't "capitalize on the doublespeak". *Glenn is disappointed by the missed zinger opportunity.*

    The belief that we are subject to rules that we did not choose follows if Christianity is true, and Hitchens has not raised an identifiable objection to it.

    Dude, if you don't understand why representative government is better than totalitarianism without it being explained to you, then I can't help you.

    I'm sorry. I just can't go on. If "logical analysis" just means harping on Hitchens for not explaining obvious things then, no, I'm not impressed.

  2. Could have been better.
    Hitchens = all emotional blather.
    McGrath = could be better.

  3. Dude, if you don't understand why representative government is better than totalitarianism without it being explained to you, then I can't help you.
    Unless of course the ruler has perfect rules that cannot be improved, whether by representative government or not.

    Just a thought, what difference does it make if a we all follow a king, if that king is defined as a morally, intellectually, perfect person who does no wrong? Who does not abuse power, or discriminates, or anything else.

    But yes, if humans as we know them now, had to choose between representative and dictatorship then obviously we'd rather not have a dictatorship, because we cannot trust any person with that power. In human history such power has only been abused.
    But with a perfect person?

    What's wrong with a dictatorship, in theory, if that dictator was a person of love who never made a rule unless it was for our ultimate good? If that person was morally pure, uncorruptable, and unwavering?

  4. kuhlman, You find it odd that I think Hitchens was unclear about what he means by "I can't take away your responsibilities." However, you don't comment on the reasons I give for saying this.

    Normally, when you pay someone's debt, you HAVE taken away their responsibility. Yet Hitchens says that he can pay someone's debt but he CAN'T take away their responsibilities. That seems like a contradiction, and so that's why I said that it's not clear what he meant by "responsibility." He left it as doublespeak and never clarified.

    You also appear to think that the only rules we are subject to are the rules of government. But this is not true. I agree that a state run by a representative government is better than a dictatorship. But God isn't running a state. To assert that a moral rule does not exist unless we voted on it is simply nonsense. It's no good reproducing Hitchens' techniques by just gasping and hoping that everyone will share your shock.

  5. How can "god" as dictator be perfect if he needs to make moral compromises for our ultimate good?