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← Hitchens and Prager Debate

Munger's Avatar Jump to comment 88 by Munger

It's funny, but whenever I hear a debate of this sort, I realize that atheists are ultimately optimists while religious folks are cynics in disguise. An atheist believes the universe is a product of chance and natural selection, that mankind is no more significant than any other bits of carbon in the universe, but that we can still lead rich fulfilling lives and that we don't need to be constantly monitored by a cosmic skyfather to keep us from turning on each other and eating each other's brains/children/SUVs/etc.

Religious folk on the other hand tend to think that everything is terrible, that without god, humanity would tear itself apart and indeed, without god, the universe itself wouldn't even tolerate us. Only through god's strongarm tactics, is it forced to allow us to live.

I used to consider it lack of imagination. But now, I think of it as pure cynicism, contempt, and fear. Cynicism that sometimes good things happen from randomness. Contempt that we are all horrible little creatures without a grand warden watching our every move, and fear that we are insignificant and unimportant.

As for the meat of the interview, prager pretty much cheats constantly by saying atheism scores no points for its many fine historical figures but religion does. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

I find it even stranger that Prager advocates religion as the solution to all our problems. We've had religion for well over two thousand years and it hasn't solved much of anything. Certainly hasn't improved the quality of life like say the polio vaccine, antibiotics, or heck, even something as trivial as video games.

Prager believes that without god, the world would crumble. That sort of absolute security blanket is pretty much impossible to remove. Still, bravo to Hitchens for going on and trying to spread the word.

Mon, 11 Jun 2007 02:55:00 UTC | #46284