John Lennox vs Michael Shermer and Christopher Hitchens

UPDATE: Audio and video from a  panel discussion with Hitchens, Craig, etc. is linked here.

I found this debate between Michael Shermer and John Lennox, with video and audio, here. Shermer is, as usual, completely unable to bear his side of the burden of proof. He does not present a single argument other than the problem of evil, and that isn’t presented with any rigor. Lennox presses several scientific arguments from the progress of science, including the big bang. He also argues that atheism makes life and moral behavior meaningless. Shermer does not understand this simple maxim: before you can show why a belief is wrong, you need to show that a belief is wrong.

In other news, Lennox will be facing-off against Christopher Hitchens in Birmingham, AL in March 2009.

The Samford University Socratic Club is sponsoring a debate between leading atheist and acclaimed journalist Christopher Hitchens and Christian apologist and Oxford Professor John Lennox in what promises to be a thought-provoking evening.

“Is God Great?” will take place at 6:00 pm on March 3, 2009 at Samford University’s Wright Center in Birmingham, AL.  Doors will open to the public at 5:15, and the event will last until 8:00 with a booksigning to follow. Books will be on sale in the lobby.  Both men debated each other before for the first time this past fall at the Edinburgh International Festival over the question of whether or not Atheism could save Europe. Click here for the DVD of that event.

Tickets can be purchased through Samford University
$20 each / $10 for Samford Students

For questions or other inquiries, call 205.807.4477
For more information, see the
Socratic Club website.

15 thoughts on “John Lennox vs Michael Shermer and Christopher Hitchens”

  1. Why should an atheist “bear his side of the burden of proof”? It’s a bit like me asking you to provide proof that there is no Russellian teapot orbiting Mars, or even no Santa Claus. All atheists are happy to conclude that there is a god, just as soon as they are presented with good evidence to back up that assertion (and I don’t mean the incoherent blabberings of ancient goat hearders who thought it moral to kill their own children for disobedience, rape the virgins captured during war, keep slaves or stone adulterers).


    1. Yes, I agree. That is the attitude of atheists.

      As a theist, I make a propositional claim about the external world, and I supply evidence.

      Your claim “I am an atheist” really is a faith commitment, a religious statement. It’s not testable, not defensible. It really is a confession that you don’t want to be bothered with evidence, you just want to be left alone to pursue pleasure for 75 years in the here and now. It’s a personal preference, not something that is based on rationality and external evidence.

      It’s like comparing the writing of software to spending a day at the spa. One is serious, the other is narcissism.


    2. Well, not quite Irene. Many Christians for instance, put forward their beliefs and offer evidence. Your final comment is not the “evidence” I had in mind. Many atheists put forwrad their beliefs and also offer evidence. But in this case Shermer failed to do so.


  2. True, it really does boil down to a preference. Lets make a distinction, Atheists carry this title only because of one commonality: they BELEIVE in the absence of a god. The reasons, however, may be various and diverse (and are the result of yes, a preference that later develops into the “attitude” of the atheist).

    Though, I disagree when one says that Atheism is a “belief” (in this context: a positive belief) one requiring evidence. Rather, Atheism is the lack of a belief; the denouncing of an of affirmative statement: I believe in a god. It is the one making the affirmative statement that is required present substantiating evidence for their claim; the one whom denounces does not carry this responsibility.


    1. David, clearly many new atheists would disagree with you. They are not simply debunking arguments for God, but clearly articulating arguments against God with the intent to proove there is no God. In this, they are unconvincing.


  3. Ok.. your definition of Atheism is correct, that is exactly what I affirmed in my last comment. Agnosticism, on the other hand, is when one can not know the nature of a god. Your comment makes it sound like I spelled out agnosticism when I clearly established the base for Atheism: “the absence of a the belief in a god” aka “the claim that there is no God”.


  4. i listened to the debate between Lennox and Shermer several times, and am trying to find a written transcript of the debate. Does anyone know where I might get the transcript?


  5. MIchael Shermer is an embarrassment to himself presenting supposition, speculation, “possibilities” as fact… again, we have these highly intellectuals who are consumed within their own intellects…


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