Counterpoints: Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens vs. Frank Turek

Richard Dawkins: "Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated and need to be challenged and, if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt." [1]

Christopher Hitchens: "I think religion should be treated with ridicule, hatred, and contempt, and I claim that right." [2]

Frank Turek: "...why resort to ridicule, hatred, and contempt when atheists claim that reason soundly refutes what a religious person believes?  Could it be that atheists arguments don't succeed?  Could it be that since they don't succeed, atheists often resort to emotion in order to cover their deficiency in reason?

If atheists declare themselves about reason, then they should use it.  They should present their arguments without ridicule, hatred, or contempt, and then we can evaluate them on the merits.  After all, don't they believe their own press releases-the ones where they bestow on themselves flattering nicknames such as 'brights' and 'freethinkers'?" [3]

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Courage and Godspeed,

1. Richard Dawkins, "Reason Rally" Speech, 2012, Transcript here.
2. Christopher Hitches from a speech in Toronto as quoted by Frank Turek in Stealing from God, p. 38.
3. Frank Turek, Stealing from God, p. 39.


John B. Moore said…
Even if reason soundly refutes my cherished idea, I am not obligated to accept that reason and change my idea. I can freely ignore reasoned arguments, or I can simply wallow in my irrationality. Who says human beings must be rational? Maybe the atheists' rational arguments are rock solid, but who cares?

When atheists use emotional appeals full of ridicule and contempt, they're trying to wake up the irrational people and motivate them to pay attention. That's their strategy.

Of course it looks the same as frustrated desperation, as Frank Turek points out. I wonder how we can tell who's right.
Chad said…
Hello Mr. Moore,

I hope all is well in Tokyo!

"I wonder how we can tell who's right."

It is my conviction that one must first be sure they want to know who is right.