This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Sean Hannity with Christopher Hitchens

Sean Hannity with Christopher Hitchens - Comments

Rick777's Avatar Comment 1 by Rick777

What is the point of conducting an interview, where the interviewer is doing all the talking? If this was indeed the entire interview as seen on TV ,then it is clear that it has been edited to excise the stronger points that Hitchens usually makes when dealing with boneheads like Hannity.

Sun, 08 Jul 2007 22:59:00 UTC | #51649

AmericanHumanist's Avatar Comment 2 by AmericanHumanist

If I was a believer in fairy tales/gods/santa/your-supernatural-drivel-here, as Hannity clearly is, I would be disappointed in his performance as the host of this particular interview. Hannity is no match for Hitchens.

If Hitchens is "intellectually snobby", then Hannity is ignorantly and unjustifiably snobby.

Sun, 08 Jul 2007 23:06:00 UTC | #51650

ricey's Avatar Comment 3 by ricey

If Hannity were British he would be a Sun columnist - too dum to know how dum he sounds.

Sun, 08 Jul 2007 23:35:00 UTC | #51654

Jyazz21's Avatar Comment 4 by Jyazz21

This type of tv editing gives me the shits. There are so many camera cuts and parts where they've edited out a heap of material that it's not funny.

It's a bad idea to go onto a biased tv show, because they'll just edit out all the really good arguments and will try to make you look like an idiot. Luckily they weren't able to make hitchens look like an idiot but that may be my own bias speaking for me

Sun, 08 Jul 2007 23:36:00 UTC | #51655

wkburnette's Avatar Comment 5 by wkburnette

No, they didn't make Hitchens look like an idiot...even with their editing. This stuff goes on and on and on but is simply a lot of noise. That's how Fox operates and that's what their demographic craves.

Sun, 08 Jul 2007 23:40:00 UTC | #51657

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 6 by Enlightenme..

^ I love it, Hitch doesn't appear as if he's gonna convince fencesitters with his aggressive, 'snobby' bearing, and that's why I think he appeals to people who wish to 'interview' a 'nasty anti-theist'.
However, I think he's great at soundbytes, like 'celestial North Korea', and 'people dictating to you that they know his mind' and these will sink in especially well with a nation of people who purport to value freedom.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 00:04:00 UTC | #51659

Nicholas Kalar's Avatar Comment 7 by Nicholas Kalar

I can't understand how American Media (this goes beyond Fox News) can be so biased when they pride themselves on being the non-biased media. I'm a literally sickened every time I come across something like this.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 00:11:00 UTC | #51662

Feuerbach's Avatar Comment 8 by Feuerbach

Hannity is a fake of the highest order. A college dropout who is awarded an honorary degree from a fake university, now working for a fake news network, with what looks like fake hair colouring.

Faux news indeed.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 00:11:00 UTC | #51663

Moridin's Avatar Comment 9 by Moridin

Too bad he did not attempt to destroy the first-cause argument. Well, Fox is that way it is.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 00:28:00 UTC | #51667

Andrew Brown's Avatar Comment 10 by Andrew Brown

I banged my head on the keyboard when Hannity started wittering on about the need for a first cause and energy in the universe. Where's Neil deGrasse Tyson when you need him? This argument has been dealt with so many times. It's like saying there must be something north of the North Pole. Why is it that when semi educated simians such as Hannity start trying to sound intelligent they end up sounding even more stupid?

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 00:31:00 UTC | #51668

Darwin's badger's Avatar Comment 11 by Darwin's badger

Fox News is slightly less credible than the National Enquirer or (for those of us in the UK) the Sunday Sport. Fair play to Hitch for giving it a shot on there, but the phrase "pissing in the wind" does spring to mind.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 00:32:00 UTC | #51669

ImagineAZ's Avatar Comment 13 by ImagineAZ

I thought Hitchens did quite well. There was an obvious EDIT when Hannity asked a question and instead of an answer, there was another question, but other than that, I think Hannity got properly butchered.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 00:52:00 UTC | #51674

Graeme's Avatar Comment 12 by Graeme

I've just watched that twice and think Chris did OK.
I love the way he responds to Hannitys waffling with such dismissive contempt...
"You seem to be angry with religion, angry with god? I wrong in my perception?"
"Of course I'm not angry with god, obviously that would be absurd."
and later..
"thats a little intellectual snobbiness on your part"
"Well, that could well be right"
Despite Hannity having his finger on the edit button Hitchens still outclasses him.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 00:52:00 UTC | #51673

ajpb's Avatar Comment 14 by ajpb

Speaking of the National Enquirer...

When on earth is RD's "The Rational Enquirer" series coming to TV. This is getting ridiculous now! I assume someone somewhere has authorised/paid for the production of this series, so where is it? Why is it not being broadcast?


Mon, 09 Jul 2007 02:07:00 UTC | #51686

blueollie's Avatar Comment 15 by blueollie

Interestingly enough, Hitchens does quite well (in the eyes of people like us), but the average Fox viewer will have seen Hannity "putting that arrogant egg-head in his place with his "common sense" positions".

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 02:40:00 UTC | #51700

nothing's Avatar Comment 16 by nothing

I'm afraid I have to agree with blueollie. The believer-viewer will be all too happy to see Hitchens as an "arrogant egg-head" being defeated by Hannity's "common sense". Although, maybe, just maybe, a seed of doubt will be planted?

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 03:34:00 UTC | #51712

savroD's Avatar Comment 17 by savroD

Well.... you can certainly tell this Hannity dude is illiterate when it comes to science. He's a Bush!

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 04:33:00 UTC | #51720

_J_'s Avatar Comment 18 by _J_

That wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be! I reckon Hitchens came over rather well, there.

It's a lovely moment when Hannity loses the ability to string coherent sentences together and instead falls back on replacing every second word with 'energy'. I don't think this is actually deliberate use of the Chewbacca defence - the magic of 'energy' seems to be one of the most popular universal (non)explanations among people addicted to everything from homeopathy to Hindu.

As an entertaining diversion, play Energy Bingo: see if you can predict when someone is going to take a nosedive out of meaningful discourse and start making sweeping appeals to Energy. Fun for all the family!

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 04:56:00 UTC | #51721

Crazymalc's Avatar Comment 20 by Crazymalc

I too think Christopher Hitchens did quite well.

The "First Cause" argument seems to get more airtime than it deserves.

Thesit: Ha ha! But what came before energy? You can't answer. I say God came before.

Atheist: But, what came before God?

Theist: Ummm...

Both sides are asking: What came before X?

And the answer to both questions is that we just don't know. Theists can't answer what came before X (X being god) and Atheist can't answer what came before X (X being energy/matter).

It is what Richard Dawkins calles PAP (Permamnent Agnosticm in Principle) in TGD. We can't know. We'l never know. In TGD, Richard Dawkins uses the example of whether I see Red that the same way you see Red. We'll just never know.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 05:00:00 UTC | #51725

Alex Malecki's Avatar Comment 19 by Alex Malecki

Hannity is a demagogue, who quite clearly, as Hitchens pointed out, hasn't read any of the argument against his position.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 05:00:00 UTC | #51722

windweaver's Avatar Comment 21 by windweaver

I note that Hannity raises the old chestnut beloved of theists "Why is there something rather than nothing? Science actually has a good answer to this question. Check it out at:

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 05:18:00 UTC | #51726

PrimeNumbers's Avatar Comment 22 by PrimeNumbers

The science answer would baffle a Fox viewer though..... That's half the battle that the "you can't get something from nothing" makes sense to a lot of people. Then you throw in the "godidit" and they nod their heads approvingly......

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 05:26:00 UTC | #51727

konquererz's Avatar Comment 23 by konquererz

This interview will come off as another victory for the Christian right to fox viewers. My parents definitely view this as another shut down of an arrogant ignorant atheist by a fox news retard.

And the problem with the "infinite regression" of evolution and the creation of the universe is this. When you argue with true believing fundamentalists you get an argument you simply cannot win. And that argument goes something like this:

Fundy: If the big bang started it, what made the big bang?
Atheist: Obviously we don't know for sure, we have theories, but we weren't there.
Fundy: AH HA! See, it had to be god since you don't know the answer!
Atheist: But then what came before god, what created god?
Fundy: Nothing, in the beginning was just god. God always was, always has been, and always will be. He was never created, or he wouldn't be god!
Atheist: Well that makes zero sense. How can someone have no beginning when everything we know about life says it had a beginning somewhere?
Fundy: No one knows the mysteries of god. You just have to have faith. When we get to heaven, we will know all the answers!
Atheist: Your as loony as they come you know!
Fundy: Thats why I'm going to heaven and your going to burn in torment for an eternity that I can't comprehend while I laugh at you. Your an arrogant wicked man for thinking you know the answer to the god question when its obvious that someone as humble as myself has all the answers.

You can't win this argument when people are willing to simply stop the regress and accept what ever the hell they want to believe on faith and zero evidence. Thats like trying to win an argument with a retarded person. You get no where and in the end, you look like the bully.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 05:27:00 UTC | #51729

Kimpatsu's Avatar Comment 24 by Kimpatsu

Hannitty makes the age-old mistake of assuming that the universe was created ex nihilo. As any modern physicist can tell you, the universe has ALWAYS existed, just not in its current form (which is no greater than assuming it was was created by some external entity). Hitchens should have nailed Hannity on this fundamental ad hoc misconception.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 05:35:00 UTC | #51733

Alkal's Avatar Comment 25 by Alkal

One thing I can never understand how the theist position of the "starting point" makes for more "majesty".

They refuse to even acknowledge the wonder of "Creation" by saying , "God did it, can we eat now..." ( or some such thing)

Also the whole insistence on "God, god, god" after a while becomes idiotic,

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 05:36:00 UTC | #51734

Alkal's Avatar Comment 26 by Alkal

I think I posted it before completing my argument.

Plus he quickly changes the topic. And is no match for the logic...

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 05:38:00 UTC | #51735

didhereallysay's Avatar Comment 27 by didhereallysay

Hitch was right from the getgo. Hannity lied, there's no possible way he could have heard "all the arguments" against faith already if he thought the complexity argument had any type of strength at all.

I have no problem with interviewers being dumb (a lot of them are) and their guests showing them up, but I have a burning anger towards interviewers who will not innovate or change up the line of questioning any. Nearly every interview with Dawkins and Hitchens has been about, "you're an atheist. What's your problem with god? Can't you see a lot of people think there is one? Doesn't religion help instead of hurt? Why are you angry?"

COME ON... Talk within the 40 yard lines gets nobody anywhere and cuts off all intellectual discussion.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 05:43:00 UTC | #51736

Dr Benway's Avatar Comment 28 by Dr Benway

Andrew Brown:

It's like saying there must be something north of the North Pole.
Oh that's very good. It illustrates an abstract concept with a concrete visual. Excellent meme replication potential. Yours, or has it been around? Mind if I steal it?

My updated response to the ol' "Why is there something rather than nothing?":
Physicists have a lot to say about the first few moments of our universe. I'm not a physicist so I'll leave the details to others more qualified. But in brief: it appears that the notion of "before" loses meaning at the moment of the Big Bang, just as the notion of "further north" loses meaning once you reach the North Pole.
Hitch, If Andrew doesn't mind, I certainly don't mind your stealing this wee retort.

I must agree with the several voices at this web site wishing to hear a tighter, TV friendlier reply to the first cause challenge.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 06:05:00 UTC | #51739

_J_'s Avatar Comment 29 by _J_


It is what Richard Dawkins calles PAP (Permamnent Agnosticm in Principle) in TGD. We can't know. We'll never know. In TGD, Richard Dawkins uses the example of whether I see Red that the same way you see Red. We'll just never know.

Ooh, I'd forgotten that part of TGD. For a bit of fun, would you mind going over to the Richard Dawkins and Alister McGrath thread and saying that to Dianelos? Especially the 'We'll just never know' part...

Andrew Brown,

Dr Benway's right - that's a very concise and expressive visualisation. Well done, sir.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 06:19:00 UTC | #51742

robert s's Avatar Comment 30 by robert s

I first came across the 'north of the North Pole' concept in A Brief History of Time.

Mon, 09 Jul 2007 06:31:00 UTC | #51744