Christian College Hiding Debate Video between Hitchens and Dembski

A few months ago Prestonwood Christian Academy held a debate between Christopher Hitchens and their darling poster child for Creationism, Dr. Dembski.  They captured the debate on video, which they soon refused to air on their website.  Why?  Hitchens, in good form, creamed Dr. Dembski.  Apparently some people have been able to grab the video before Prestonwood decided not to share the defeat of Dr. Demski with the online world and have posted it on youtube.  

The ironic part is that for the first 9 minutes of the presentation, some teenage brainwashed kid and a male presenter talk about how necessary it is to engage atheists in debate and understand their viewpoints because it makes them better Christians, etc. But when the atheist wins the debate, they must find a tidy bible passage to justify hiding that information from their community and others who wish to hear what both Hitchens and Dembski had to say. Please comment below if you notice my video link to the debate isn’t working, as Prestonwood has been after youtube posters to take down the content.

You can get a better idea of the whole posting war debacle on Richard Dawkin’s webblog.

Nov 23rd, 2010: Hitchens debates Dembski: If you don’t want to hear the brainwashing crap at the beginning, skip to the debate at 9:10.

Part 2:

Part 3:

Continue to watch following the debate thread on youtube.

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  • http://www.detailedabstractions.com Michael S. Langston

    I’m writing quickly for three main reasons, but want to start with a disclaimer: I agree with Christopher Hitchens about 98% of the time. I am a libertarian and have no use for religion (though find philsophy is a requirement for a good life). I’m not an atheist per say, but I don’t believe.

    Having said that – you made three main assertions in this post, none of which seem to match reality.

    The first – they removed this from their website due to Hitchen’s win. Now, this might be true, but it’s more likely they removed it for benign reasons such as being unable to handle the level of requests when hosting a Hitchen’s debate.

    The reason I know it’s not because of Hitchen’s “win”, and the second assertion which doesn’t seem to pan out, is because objectvely Hitchen’s didn’t win.

    Regardless of whether you believe that to be true, it seems an open enough question that the religious among us likely saw the entire thing and thought just the opposite.

    Lastly, your point about the first 9 minutes is completely without merit. The little kid and idiot talking about football and whatever, wasn’t overly religious and lasted just a few minutes. It’s an intro for how students, likely unused to hearing self avowed atheists the caliber of Hitchens talk, should take in the opposing side and its usefulness. This was probably necessary due to the controvery allowing such a speaker as Mr. Hitchens present at a religious institution.

    & again, that only lasted a couple minutes – the remainder of the 6 or so minutes are a brief synopsis of the first part, rules on how the audience should behave, and introductions.

    & for those who have seen Mr. Hitchens in other speeches and debates, the introduction is actually useful. They are very complimentary. More so than I’ve seen in other instances where the audience was much more likely to be in his court.

    I was honestly impressed by the way this school handled the entire event.

    Quickly to circle back – on why I think Hitchens didn’t win – isn’t because I think he was bested by sound logic and rhetoric, but rather neither side really “won” because neither side really engaged the other’s points.

    I will say the question/answer period was Hitchens best display and he said some truly briliant things there, but the rest of the debate doesn’t appear to be a clear win for anyone.

    Just my two synapses either way – glad you posted it, it was well worth the entire time it took to watch. Just think you might be a little harsh on the religious school which, in my opinion, acted honorably and treated Mr. Hitchens better than I’ve seen his “friends” treat him at other times.

    Thank you – MSL

  • http://liberatedmind.com LiberatedMind.com

    Thanks for commenting Michael, I appreciate your feedback. I would argue that the college is trying to conceal the video of the debate from the public because they have been trying to prevent it’s spread on the internet. If simply managing the web traffic that Hitchens debates brings to a webpage were the only concern, they would have welcomed the posting of this debate on other websites.

    You are right, this wasn’t a formal debate where a winner and looser is determined, however it is evident that Dembski was clearly unable to address Hitchen’s major points and that he did not offer a clear reason as to why religion is a force for good (given all Hitchen’s examples of how it is a force for evil, not responded to by Dembski). Either way, it is intellectual dishonesty to hold a public debate, have your debater embarrass himself and then withhold the debate from others. They very well may have the legal right to do so, but it makes them look suspect.

    I found the 9 minute intro ironic because for the first half the two presenters talked about how important it is for Christians to understand the atheist viewpoints (presumably so they can debate them in daily life and be even more assured in their beliefs). And yet, here we are trying to get this public debate out for Christians and Atheists alike to be able to view and decide for themselves which argument has more merit…

    I’m glad you enjoyed watching the debate (and that it is still posted on the web!)

    Cheers!

    Chrystine

  • http://www.detailedabstractions.com Michael S. Langston

    First I’d like to say that my goal from a writing standpoint is actually along the non-fiction, non-political, critical thinking lines. Due to this, I talk and write a decent amount outside of public purview and recently was discussing how one should take highly critical information (IE – information given to you for which you strongly disagree).

    Not that I make money at this (yet), but FWIW – I loved your reply. Very decent considering the directness with which I stated my opinion.

    To your points – didn’t know the school actively tried to remove the video from YouTube. That detail certainly gives more weight to the idea that they were embarassed, though I would still maintain I don’t know why they would be.

    It’s hard for me to envision a very devout Christian watching the video and thinking Hitchens won, if based upon nothing more than confirmation bias which is exhibited by all humans.

    Not that it would surprise me that they didn’t think of any of that and made a stupid decision anyway…. but seems odd.

    Either way – thanks for the reply. If you’d like to chat about other random stuff – feel free to email me.

    Til then – peace