Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No Atheists in Radio Talk Shows

How do you know when you're really getting to an atheist? When you force him to cry out to an ostensibly imaginary supreme being for help.

Hugh Hewitt accomplished just that in his interview/debate with anti-christ Superstar Richard Dawkins yesterday:

RD: There's massive archaeological evidence [of ancient Roman history], there's massive evidence of all kinds. It's just not comparable. No ... if you talk to any ancient historian of the period, they will agree that [the Bible] is not good historical evidence.

HH: Oh, that's simply not true. Dr. Mark Roberts, double PhD in undergraduate at Harvard has written a very persuasive book upon this. I mean, that's an astounding statement. Are you unfamiliar with him?

RD: All right, then there may be some, but a very large number of ancient historians would say…

HH: Well, you just said there were none. So there are some that you are choosing not to confront.

RD: You sound like a lawyer.

HH: I am a lawyer.

RD: Oh, for God's sake. Are you?

We can all relate to the surprise and disgust Dawkins feels upon realizing he's talking to a lawyer. Maybe he can get a pass for that little theistic slip. But what comes later in the transcript, there can be no Earthly explanation:

RD: You cannot seriously be saying that the case for the existence of the Roman Empire is as weak as for Jesus.

HH: That's not what I'm saying at all. I didn't say that. I said that your argument, by analogy, to a Latin teacher being harried by people who deny certain things, but especially your idea of a detective using evidence at a crime scene, that it doesn't comport with your dismissal of the evidence for Christianity and the historical Jesus.

RD: Okay, do you believe Jesus turned water into wine?

HH: Yes.

RD: You seriously do?

HH: Yes.

RD: You actually think that Jesus got water, and made all those molecules turn into wine?

HH: Yes.

RD: My God. I've realized the kind of person I'm dealing with now.

Again, with the plea for divine intervention! From one of the foremost divinity deniers on the planet. It's the miracle on AM1280 the Patriot. Our buddy HH gets one more of these and he's on his way to canonization.

Actually, I doubt Dawkins was having a conversion experience. He was using a common phrase for expressing shock. Apparently, Dawkins was stunned, gobsmacked, that the guy he was debating, the guy who was defending the religious perspective and Christianity (the dominant view in the culture), would actually believe one of the miracles noted in the Gospels. Shocked, shocked was he that Hugh was one of "those kind of people." My God, indeed!

Dawkins is an Oxford professor, a media fixture, a culturally aware guy. The idea that a conservative American commentator like Hugh Hewitt believes in the Gospels would be stunning to him is less plausible than turning water into wine.

Instead, it seems to be Dawkins trying to marginalize the expression of mainstream Christian beliefs. Perhaps that's a feature of the New Atheism, something we all have to look forward to seeing more of in the future. No chance of him backing down Hugh though and his response was well played:

HH: Yes. My God, actually, not yours.

UPDATE: Associate professor of biology at UM-Morris, PZ Myers, chimes in with his scholarly opinion on Harvard man, law professor Hugh Hewitt:

Hewitt is a ridiculous puffed-up blowhard of very little brain, and a remarkably calm, polite discussion while he ducks and dodges and blows a dog-whistle for his crazy listeners doesn't work very well.

Ah, the evidence-based, dispassionate analysis of a scientist!

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