The email debate between neo-atheist Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson is now completed, all of it archived on Christianity Today’s website.
Throughout the debate Wilson challenged Hitchens as to the foundational basis of his ongoing moral judgments. Hitchens seemed to misunderstand Wilson’s point as being that an atheist couldn’t be moral while Wilson, echoing Romans 2, repeatedly reasserted that, no, the issue is that an atheist cannot account rationally for his morality.
Whatever one thinks of the debate itself, we can all surely agree with Wilson’s final challenge to the curmudgeonly Hitchens.
He’s pro-life and pro-war, pro-Darwin and pro-KJV. He’s not just an atheist, but an anti-theist. And that’s why he longs for the days of compulsory prayer in schools. He’s Christopher Hitchens, former columnist for The Nation and the neo-conservatives’ favorite liberal.
The June 3 issue of World magazine, the conservative evangelical newsweekly, features an interview with Hitchens on what makes him, in songwriter Kris Kristofferson’s words, “a walking contradiction.”
In the interview, Hitchens identifies religion “with barbarism and backwardness and human stupidity.” No one who has ever read Hitchens will be surprised by this: he loathes Christian creationists in Tennessee for the same reasons (if not to the same degree) that he loathes Islamic jihadists in Saudi Arabia. Hitchens says that unlike some atheists, he does not wish theism were true: “To have pre-cradle to post-grave round-the-clock supervision and surveillance by someone with a very devious form of morality, who wants this to be true?” Hitches ridicules the idea of Jesus’ atonement for sin, along with the idea of “a real program of torture that will go on forever” in Christian eschatology.