Is the Prevalence of Religious Violence an Argument for Atheism?
In Jan. 30, three of the top minds in Christian apologetics were on stage together in Chase Gymnasium to discuss “God, Science and the Big Questions.” Oxford University professor John Lennox was joined by Biola professors William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland, with radio host Hugh Hewitt serving as moderator. More than 2,000 attended the event and nearly 5,000 more watched live online from 71 countries across the world. The event’s hashtag, #GodScience, quickly became a national Twitter trending topic.
The two-hour conversation covered an array of topics and challenges in contemporary apologetics, focusing on science-related questions like the origins of the universe, evolution, the historical Adam and Eve, neuroscience and multiverse theory. One of the night’s final questions picked up a topic raised in a 2008 debate between Craig and the late Christopher Hitchens: Isn’t it a proof against God’s existence that so much of the world’s violence is done in the name of religion? Below is an edited transcript of the exchange. The full event can be viewed at open.biola.edu.
Hugh Hewitt: [In 2008, Christopher] Hitchens was arguing that the evidence for the irrationality of any religious belief was everywhere because the violence of religion was everywhere. He would be pointing today to ISIS and to the accumulating evidence of a terrible crisis in the world having to do with religious fanaticism. So how in the world does the scientific truth of the rise of fanaticism get repudiated by an appeal to the Bible when, in the eyes of the world, that’s the problem?
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