Wednesday, June 14, 2017


(You are welcome to make use of this. Just let me know how it went.)

HITCH: Christian, thanks for relating your story about how Jesus changed your life, but you can't expect us to attach any weigh to your personal experiences. People from other religions have similar stories. Hindus report encounters with Shiva, Muslims with Muhammad, and Buddhists with the Buddha. What would you tell them? That your experience is more valid than theirs? Don't you think you're being a bit imperialistic?

DAWKY: That's the word for it, Hitch.

HITCH: I hope you don't think that our skepticism is unreasonable?

CHRIS: certainly not, Hitch. I would be asking the same questions if I was in your position. However, since you asked why I had become a Christian, I thought I'd start from the beginning.

DAWKY: You mean there's more?

CHRIS: Definitely! I am the biggest skeptic in the world. I don't mean to step on your turf, but I too would doubt my experiences, even though they had been so profound. Besides, I needed to know if these encounters were about Jesus. I therefore began to seek objective confirmation.

DAWKY: Pleaseeeee...objection confirmation?

CHRIS: I began to read the Bible to check out its claims that Jesus had fulfilled prophecy and had performed miracles. What I found particularly impressive and determinative was the evidence for Jesus' resurrection.

HITCH: however, many scholars have examined this same evidence and weren't convinced by it. Why should we believe your conclusions over theirs?

CHRIS: Hitch, I am not asking you to accept my conclusions without the supporting evidences.

HITCH: Chris, I don't think that you understand my point. Let me try to put it another way. Many honest and gifted scholars have also evaluated the same evidences without coming to your conclusion. For example, you believe that the accounts of the Bible and the resurrection come from God. So you take the accounts of the Bible as God's words. However, your faith is not shared by a multitude of scholars.

CHRIS: That's true, but I am convinced that there is compelling reasons to regard it as God's words.

DAWKY: Here you go again demanding that we all accept your faith!

CHRIS: Dawky, I am not trying to force my conclusions down your throat. I am merely inviting you to consider the evidence. I’m aware that many disagree with my conclusions. While “majority-rules” might determine decision-making, it shouldn't determine truth.

HITCH: Well, how do you know that you have the truth, in light of the fact that the scholarly community has rejected your beliefs? Don't you think that you are being a bit arrogant in standing against the conclusions of countless scholars?

CHRIS: I can't deny what I have seen and experienced. But let me turn the tables on you. If the consensus of the majority is so crucial, why are you an atheist, in light of the fact that theism is by far the leading worldview and always had been?

DAWKY: I think that Hitch is right. You are arrogant to think that you are right and everyone else is wrong.

HITCH: Chris, to answer your question, even though I am an atheist, I admit that I might be wrong, but you don't. I think that this displays a certain lack of humility. You've got to be right and everyone else must be wrong.

DAWKY: Exactly!

CHRIS: Evidently, you both think that you're right. Does that mean that you too are arrogant?

HITCH: I'm just suggesting that you might be arrogant. I think that it's something that you should consider.

CHRIS: I think it's something that we all should consider. Wouldn't you agree that self-examination is necessary for sound thinking?

DAWKY: What are you talking about?

CHRIS: If you are flying a plane with various objects affixed to your wings, they will profoundly influence the course of your flight. It's the same way with us. Our hidden motives can take control of our thinking and skew our conclusions.

DAWKY: Exactly! You believe in God because you want to. He's your crutch.

CHRIS: Perhaps? But are you aware of how your atheistic beliefs might also serve as your crutch?

DAWKY: Certainly not! It's just a matter of evidence.

HITCH: Or lack thereof for a god or gods.

CHRIS: And so you are admitting that you see no connection between your beliefs and your inner motives? Are you above having any emotional or mental crutches?

DAWKY: We are freethinkers. We don't need a crutch. We even disdain the idea of a crutch.

CHRIS: Perhaps this very belief is a form of a crutch, a self-elevating crutch. Don't you think that this issue is worthy of exploring?

HITCH: We have explored it, but I’d like to return to this issue of certainty. We admit that there is room for doubt, but you do not. How can you be certain, when most of the world actually denies your beliefs?

CHRIS: Are you certain about your skeptical position? Well, I too am certain about certain things. I am certain that I am breathing and talking to you right now. Meanwhile, many believe that our individual existence is just illusory. Should I become less certain because of this difference of opinion? Is this where your freethinking is leading you?

HITCH: Chris, I am not questioning your certainty about your existence, but about your god. You can’t know with any certainty that your god exists or who he/she is.

CHRIS: Are you certain about this? Then how?

DAWKY: You’re just playing word games. Why don’t you just tell us how you can be certain about your sky daddy?

CHRIS: If I am certain that I exist by looking in the mirror, why can I not be certain about God? Perhaps He has appeared to me. Perhaps, even more significantly, He has transformed me. How can you rule out my certainty about God? Do you freethinkers have any evidence that might set me straight?

HITCH: The burden of proof is on you, Chris. You are the one who has to provide the evidence.

CHRIS: Oh? You mean that you are not under any obligation to support your claims that I cannot know with certainty? Am I the only defendant here? Only I am to be placed on the defensive? Very convenient!

DAWKY: I think we’ve heard enough, Hitch. And you, Chris, wonder why people hate Christians! Just look in your mirror!

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