Hitchens, D’Souza Debate (Again)

Does God exist? Jean Torkelson reviews the recent debate between Dinesh D’Souza and Christopher Hitchens. I didn’t attend the debate, as I didn’t want to surrender $10 plus an evening to go.

Here’s a telling line from D’Souza: “To me, doubt is intrinsic to religious belief. ‘Belief’ is not the same thing as ‘knowledge.’ If I knew for sure, I wouldn’t have belief. Belief means trusting in God even (with) doubts. That doesn’t make belief unreasonable or irrational.”

But there is a huge difference between believing something is probably true based on spotty evidence, and believing that God exists based on no evidence. Of course D’Souza claims that various facts about the natural world demonstrate the existence of God, but the natural facts he cites do not support his supernatural conclusion. Notice how D’Souza tries to have it both ways: he claims to prove the existence of God, but in the end he claims that such a proof is unnecessary. God is not only unproved but unprovable and conceptually incoherent. But, as D’Souza makes clear, he will go on “trusting in God” even though he has no good reason for doing so, and such a practice is indeed unreasonable and irrational.

2 thoughts on “Hitchens, D’Souza Debate (Again)”

  1. This seems to be a statement from “Reformed Epistemology”. This guy has got it figured it out and quotes a relevant comment from one of the apologists. (It’s the January 04, 2009 9:49AM comment)

    In any case, I agree with your assessment on his motivations. Why not say the same things about Allah, or Isis & Osiris, or (my favorite) Athena?

    But then again, don’t terms like proof presuppose an objective reality, which D’Souza ultimately rejects?

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