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Real Answers™
Copyright: © 2007 Tom Flannery
700 words


By: Tom Flannery

When Christopher Hitchens and Dinesh D'Souza, two best-selling authors and intellectual heavyweights, squared off against each other in a spirited debate at The King's College last month, many of those in attendance were probably expecting something quite different than what actually transpired.  
Hitchens, after all, is the author of the atheist manifesto "God Is Not Great," while D'Souza has answered with a defense of the faith entitled "What's So Great About Christianity."  So it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a reenacting of the age-old argument between religion on the one hand and science and reason on the other.
But that's not how it turned out at all.
Instead, it was D'Souza, the Christian, who appealed to science and reason in his allotted time.  Hitchens presented a case for anti-theism (a more militant brand of atheism) which turned out to be predicated largely upon sheer emotion -- namely, a visceral hatred of all things religious.
D'Souza cited modern scientific discoveries which show that we are living in a universe tailor-made for man, a universe so fine-tuned that if any one of dozens of laws governing it were altered by the slightest of margins it would be impossible for life to exist on Earth.  Yet why should a universe made up of matter obey laws?  We can all understand how a man or woman or even a child can think and act in a rational manner -- but how do we explain a rational universe? 
More precisely, how do atheists explain a rational universe?  Christians look at a rational universe operating in an orderly manner according to fixed laws and see the glorious handiwork of a rational Creator who works in an orderly manner and is by nature a Lawgiver.  Atheists look and see an accident, but one where a mind-boggling amount of information based upon a readable language (DNA) and fine-tuned according to observable laws is written into nature itself.  How do they reconcile these seemingly contradictory facts?
In his debate with D'Souza, Hitchens certainly couldn't.  He didn't even try.  He knows very well that scientists have spent hundreds of years searching out, discovering and documenting the intricate, extraordinary laws governing our universe, and as D'Souza observes:  "If scientists have spent centuries decoding the universe, who encoded it?"
But D'Souza didn't stop there.  He noted that the vast majority of scientists over the past few hundred years -- Newton, Galileo, Kepler and so many others -- were professing Christians.  He pointed out that human consciousness and conscience cannot be explained by random mutations or the chance reaction of colliding molecules.  He showed how religion in general (and Christianity in particular) has gotten a bad rap as the purported inspiration of history's greatest murderers and source of its greatest massacres, when the truth is that a handful of godless anti-theistic monsters in the 20th century (Stalin, Hitler, Mao, etc.) slaughtered far many more millions than were killed by the religiously-motivated throughout all the centuries of human history combined.  And he recounted just some ways Christianity has improved life and living conditions for untold millions of people the world over, with the help of an audience member who related how the people of his home island used to eat each other before Christians arrived with the Gospel and cannibalism was abolished. 
In the face of all this evidence, Hitchens did little more than rail against God.  Hitchens, you see, considers God a "celestial dictator."  He believes that living in heaven would be akin to being consigned to a concentration camp.  He has said that even if the God of the Bible does exist, he would still neither love nor serve Him.
He has chosen to count himself among those who "suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18), who profess themselves to be wise but become fools (verse 22) by refusing to accept the God who has clearly manifested Himself in countless ways for all to see and know.  Their problem therefore is not an intellectual one, but a moral one;  it is an issue not of the head, but of the heart.  They don't believe God because they don't want to believe in Him -- a fact that was demonstrated yet again in his debate with D'Souza.


"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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