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Two White Guys Walk Into a Bar... (thanks to MirandaCeleste)

Let's move beyond faith versus reason.

Fourteen minutes into the new film Collision, my fingers started to itch for the fast-forward button. I desperately scanned the movie's press materials: "How long can this go on?" I wondered. (Answer: 90 minutes.) The documentary, which opens this week, shows the public intellectual Christopher Hitchens and an Idaho pastor named Douglas Wilson arguing in one drab venue after another over whether Christianity is "good for the world." So uncinematic is this picture—two middle-aged white men talking—that my attention insistently wandered toward anything humanizing and finally dwelled, for too long perhaps, on a fleck of something on Hitchens's eyelash. All the while Hitchens and Wilson went on and on and on and on, always well mannered, never conceding a thing.

Really, what's the point of all this?

For five years, since the publication of Sam Harris's The End of Faith, the so-called faith-versus-reason debate has been a favorite pastime of certain secularists and intellectuals, the subject of innumerable books and lecture series. Three charismatic men—Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Hitchens (who is a NEWSWEEK contributor)—have not just dominated the conversation, they've crushed it. And so they've become celebrities. Together they've sold more than 3 million books worldwide, which suggests they may be in this for more than just our edification.

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