Posts Tagged atheism

Warren – Flew Debate on the Existence of God

My grad school philosophy and apologetics professor, Dr. Thomas B. Warren (God rest his soul), has the distinction of holding the longest debate on the Existence of God on record. His debate with Anthony Flew on four consecutive nights in Denton, Texas was a masterpiece of preparation and execution. Dr. Warren’s charts and diagrams went up like smoke from a fire.

Dr. Flew was considered the world’s premier philosophical atheist. He had spent his life arguing the atheist position and had written many important philosophical works, including God and Philosophy (1966) and Evolutionary Ethics (1967). He held to the presupposition of atheism and claimed that it was the default position.

The debate covers a large swath of intellectual territory including evolution, the classic arguments for the existence of God – the cosmological and teleological arguments, and more. Dr. Warren is a skilled logician and it shows during the debate. If you have an interest in serious philosophical discussion, take a day out of your life and listen to this debate. You will be richly rewarded.

Warren – Flew Debate

How Atheism Poisons Everything – a debate

The Fixed-Point Foundation will sponsor this debate on September 7th, 2010 in Birmingham, Alabama. The debaters are Christopher Hitchens and David Berlinski.

Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, and Dr. David Berlinski, author of The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions.  The question being debated: What are the implications of a purely secular society?  It promises to be a formidable clash of titans.  In addition to being highly entertaining and witty, these two men have a serious message they want to communicate. You will not want to miss it.

Though Mr. Hitchens has reduced his schedule of public events due to illness, this debate is one of the select few that he continues to honor.

Christopher HitchensChristopher Hitchens, an atheist and polemicist, is best known for his controversial book,God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, and, most recently, for his memoir, Hitch 22, which has been on The New York Times Best Seller List since its release last month.  Hitchens has been a columnist for The AtlanticSlate, and Vanity Fair, and has debated his views around the English-speaking world.  Hitchens is one of the so-called “New Atheists”, along with other notables like Richard Dawkins.

David BerlinskiDavid Berlinski describes himself as “a secular Jew and an agnostic.”  He has written a number of books on mathematics, but he is best known for his appearance in the Ben Stein film “Expelled” as well as for his irreverent assault upon the New Atheists in his book, The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions.  Mr. Berlinski, whose immediate family was saved during the Holocaust by the “American Schindler” Varian Fry, resides in Paris.  He possesses a Ph.D. from Princeton University and formerly taught philosophy and mathematics at Stanford University and the University of Paris.

For details of the debate, go to:

Review: Atheist Delusions, by David Bentley Hart

Here we review important books and articles, new or old, that relate to the issues surrounding Christian Apologetics. This review focuses on David Bentley Hart’s, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies, published in 2009 by Yale University Press.

Atheist Delusions, by David Bentley Hart, 2009.

Francis Bacon reminds us that “Some books are meant to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” Atheist Delusions is of the “chewed and digested”  category.  It is a response to the New Atheists, the Triumverate of Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. But Hart’s is not a point-by-point rebuttal. It is a studied and brutal expose of their uniform ignorance of the history of Christianity and the world into which it was birthed and grew. Indeed, he reminds us all that the very moral air we breathe today was first exhaled two millenia ago by Christianity’s uniquely clear moral vision of humanity.

It is immediately obvious that Hart is entirley at home and comfortable in the world of ancient Greece and Rome and their development through the Middle Ages. He is a first-rate historian who has given his life to the study of the thinkers of that period and their contribution to Western civilization. Hart is not interested in portraying Christianity as the answer to all of the ills of society. He is objective enough to recount its failures as well as successes. As he writes, “I feel no need to evade of excuse the innumerable failures of many Christians through the ages to live lives of charity or peace.”

His “ambitions are small” and “concerns the history of the early church, or roughly the first four or five centuries, and the story of how Christendom was born out of the culture of late antiquity.” His chief ambition “is to call attention to the peculiar and radical nature of the new faith in that setting: how enormous a transformation of thought, sensibility, culture, morality, and spiritual imagination of Christianity constituted in the age of pagan Rome; the liberation it offered from fatalism, cosmic despair, and the terror of occult agencies; the immense dignity it conferred upon the human person; its subversion of the cruelest apects of pagan society; its (alas, only partial) demystification of political power; its ability to create moral community where none had existed before; and its elevation of activy charity above all other virtues.”

Some might argue that if Christianity had never existed then we would find ourselves today in much the same moral climate. It is a case that cannot be made since history did not happen this way. And so we can only trace with the fingers of study how Christianity did, in fact, influence our world for better in a number of critical ways.