Taking the Hitchens Challenge

Excerpt:  In his introduction to the new book "The Portable Atheist," Christopher Hitchens issues his now-familiar challenge to theists: "Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer."He obviously sees this challenge as the silver bullet that finishes off any and all defenders of religious faith, boasting in the book how he's used it in debates with believers across the country and is still waiting for someone to answer it. He exults: "As yet, I have had no takers." Well, as someone who has written and argued in various forums over many years for the truth claims of the Bible, I am more than willing – as a Christian – to take up the challenge. Not that there's anything particularly challenging when it comes to Hitchens' logic here. He knows that in a philosophical debate of any kind, the skeptic (in this case Hitchens) must give the presumption of truth to his adversary. He must presume that the philosophy or worldview he is opposing (in this case the Christian faith) is in fact true, and then debunk it on that basis (on the basis of its own claims) if he is to cast any doubts upon its veracity.

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