Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hitchens vs. Hitchens


I recently went to Grand Rapids to see Christopher Hitchens debate his brother, the rather less well know Peter Hitchens.
I've never seen a debater as impressive as Christopher Hitchens before. On the other hand, he does show a great deal of respect in a debate. His brother was no slouch in debating either.
The brothers debated two issues, the Iraq war and God. Christopher supported the war and does not believe in God, and his brother has the opposite belief on each issue. It seemed like each brother had a very different kooky set of beliefs. Peter Hitchens endorses intelligent design, and at one point sounded off about how global warming is a hoax.
Cristopher Hitchens certainly presents the best argument in favor of the war I have heard. Indeed, before the war, I recall many right-wingers making sorry analogies to Hitler. Hitchens on the other hand makes a very intelligent case in favor of invading.
He says something to the effect that there are four reasons a state's sovereignty can be rolled up: support for terrorism, committing genocide, committing aggression and developing/proliferating weapons of mass destruction. Saddam brazenly did all these things (North Korea and Sudan have also done almost everything on the list- but that doesn't mean invading these countries is wise).
I think the best that can be said for Hitchens argument is that the war on principle may not have been such a bad thing. That said, his brother is completely right: the war in practice has been monstrous. It was clear to me that this would be a disaster even before the invasion occurred.

I will write more on the theology part of the debate later.
(Posted by Ewan)

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