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Christopher Hitchens vs God.

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okay, let me see, i don't think it's gonna take ten minutes to disprove the existence of god the atheist proposition is the following... most of the time it may not be said that there is no God it may be said that there is no reason to think that there is one that was the situation after Lucretius and Democritus and the original anti-theistic thinkers begun the critique of religion and I would just ask you all ladies and gentlemen to bare in mind a mild distinction while we go on you may wish to be a deist as my heroes Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Payne were and you may not wish to abandon the idea that there must be some sort of first or proximate cause or prime mover of the known and observable world and universe but even if you can get yourself to that position which we unbelievers maintain is always subject to better and more perfect and more elegant explanations even if you can get yourself to that position all your work is still ahead of you to go from being a deist to a theist in other words to someone who says god cares about you, knows who you are, minds what you do, answers your prayers, cares which bits of your penis or clitoris you sew away or have sewn away for you, minds who you go to bed with and in what way, minds what holly days you observe, minds what you eat, minds what positions you use for pleasure, all your works is still ahead of you and lots of luck because there is nobody, there's nobody, even Aquinas had to give it up there's no one who can move from the first position to the second So I could, and I am actually strongly tempted to, I can leave it right there but then it's not in my nature to let off a captive audience so easily so I'll add a couple of things the reasons why I am glad this is not true would I suppose be the gravamen of my case some people I know who are atheists will say they wish they could believe it some people I know who are former believers say they wish they could have their old faith back, they miss it I don't understand this at all I think it's an excellent thing that there's no reason to believe in the absurd propositions I just, initially rather briefly rehearsed to you the main reason for this I think is that it is a totalitarian belief it is the wish to be a slave it is the desire that there be an unalterable, unchallengeable, tyrannical authority who can convict you of thought crime while you are asleep who can subject you, who must indeed subject you, to a total surveillance around the clock, every waking and sleeping minute of your life, I say of your life before you 're born and even worse, when the real fun begins, after you 're dead a celestial North Korea Who wants this to be true? Who but a slave desires such a ghastly fate? I've been to North Korea It has a dead man as it's president. Kim Jung Il is only head of the party and head of the army is not head of the government or the state that office belongs to his deceased father, Kim Il Sung it's a necrocracy, a thanatocracy, it's one short of a trinity I might add the son is the reincarnation of the father it's the most revolting and utter and absolute and heartless tyranny the human species has ever evolved but at least you can fucking die and leave North Korea Does the Koran or the Bible offer you that liberty? No. No. The tyranny, the misery, the utter ownership of your entire personality the smashing of your individuality, only begins at the point of death This is evil, this is a wicked preachment So, that's the first thing. Second, it attacks us in our deepest, most essential integrity It's an insult to us in other ways, it says that we, you and I, could not individually or collectively decide on a right action or right thing without celestial, divine permission we would not know right from wrong if we did not have heaven's permission to do so where else, how else could we know our human solidarity, our innate knowledge of right and wrong our acute awareness of what is fair, what is unfair, what is just are worthless to us these come to us also as gifts from the great unassailable dictator and throne What could abolish our integrity, what could abolish our honesty, our decency, our dignity more than that The second... third is a little more pragmatic Religion is our first, that's why I am so fascinated with it, it's our first version of the truth our first attempt as a species, it's what we tried when we didn't know anything we didn't know we lived on a spherical planet we didn't know that our planet revolved around the sun we didn't know that there were microorganisms that explained disease we thought diseases came from curses, or witches, or ill-wishing, or devils, or dust devils we didn't know anything from the childish, terrified, ignorant origins of our animal primate species comes religion it also our first attempt at philosophy, our first attempt at morality our first attempt at healthcare actually, but because it was our first it is our worst we now have better explanations for all these dreads and we have cleared up all of these mysteries yet we still dwell and in some countries, in some societies, not just dwell but live under a totalitarian regime that forbids us to think about the progress that has been made or denies us the knowledge that these advances had in fact occurred so it has become, where once it probably was an aid to us, the bible a really great peril to our continued ability to live as a civilized species thus it seems to me that in point of its proposing of a totalitarian solution to what it is after all a real problem to its ghastly reliance upon the supernatural rather than the much more miraculous, much more beautiful much more elegant, much more numinous much more harmonious natural explanations think how much lovelier Einstein and Darwin are think how much more elegant and persuasive they are than the idea of the burning bush or the demand that without circumcision there can be no redemption just picture it, and then I'll give you one final thought experiment this is what you have to believe now if you are a monotheist cause we now know things we didn't use to know we know that the human species could be as much as two hundred thousand years ago that it become separate from the Cro-Magnons and the rival previous species could be as little as a hundred; Richard Dawkins thinks two hundred thousand Francis Collins who did the human genome project who is by the way a CS Lewis kind of christian, thinks a hundred thousand alright I'll take a hundred, i'll take a hundred, here's what you have to believe For a hundred thousand years humans are born as a primate species expactation of life, what, twenty five years? for the first two hundred thousand years... first few tens of thousands of years infant mortality rife, microorganism disease terrifying earthquakes... volcanoes... extraordinary and fights over land, over territory over food, over women, over tribalism frightening too for ninety five, ninety six thousand years heaven watches this with folded arms, with indifference, with coldness and then around three to four thousand years ago but only in really barbaric, illiterate parts of the middle east not in China, not in China or where people can read or think or do science, no, no, no in barbaric, illiterate, backward parts of the middle east has decided "we can't let this go on, we'd better intervene" and what better way than by human sacrifices and plagues and mass murder and if that doesn't make them behave morally, we just don't know what does if there is a single person in this room who can bring themselves to believe anything remotely like that they convict themselves of being first very stupid and second very immoral and thus it seems to be that the case for divine intervention and for the supernatural [is] false and we should be glad that it's foil and thank you...

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 21 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Christopher Hitchens
Director: Christopher Hitchens
Views: 285
Posted by: messias on Oct 11, 2011

Christopher Hitchens' opening statement on god during the Hitchens vs Hitchens debate.

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