John Waters & God v. Hitchens & Reason

June 10, 2007 at 10:29 am 4 comments

Well, it’s Book Club Day again for fans of the Bible, who gather every week to hear more of the adventures of their favourite characters. But next Sunday in the Gate Theatre they can hear a real debate, between Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great – the Case against Religion and John Waters, author of Lapsed Agnostic and They Can’t Stop the Spring. >>>

Mother Teresa

God is not Great retells the revealing story of Mother Teresa of Calcutta coming to Ireland to campaign against divorce in 1996, the same year that she told Ladies Home Journal that she hoped that her friend Princess Diana would be happier now that she had escaped her unhappy marriage to Prince Charles.


Waters’ new opus on returning to faith is still in creation, so to speak, but Hitchens’ latest offering has evolved well. At its core is his plain assertion that

Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody – not even the mighty Democritus, who concluded that all matter was made from atoms – had the smallest idea what was going on.

It comes from the bawling and screaming infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs).

Today the least educated of my children knows more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.


Hitchens may be on shakier ground when it comes to another of his references to Ireland, when he states that

In Ireland alone – once an unquestioning disciple of Holy Mother Church – it is now estimated that the unmolested children of religious schools were very probably the minority.

Well, I hope that Hitchens has the evidence to back up that claim. Actually, I hope that he hasn’t, because of course I hope that it is not true. But, if it is true, then I would like to see some more evidence than a bald unattributed statement.

Because one of the problems of arguing rationally against faith is that if you leave any doubt, however small, in the factual side of the rational argument, then the faithful can pounce and make that doubt the focus of the debate.


Anyway, it should be an interesting debate. Next Sunday, Gate Theatre, 5 p.m., tickets cost 10 euro each. Further details from the organisers, Dublin Writers Festival.


Entry filed under: My Favourites, News, Religion.

Quiz – What do U2 Think of Each Other? That’s Pirate Radio Part 5 – Radio 2 Cominatcha!

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John Cav  |  June 10, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    A ticket may well be bought just to question Hitchens further about his molestation claim. Appreciate the man’s writing and theory, but such a generalisation is empirically dodgy to say the least…

    By the way, a fine blog you’re running here sir. Huzzah.

  • 2. Michael Nugent  |  June 10, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    Thank you, John. Huzzah is a much under-rated word.

  • 3. John Cav  |  June 11, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    It surely is… Cazart is also a good one, a favourite of old Hunter S.

    Thanks for the blogroll add by the way. Much appreciated.

  • 4. Aggressive Secularist  |  February 6, 2008 at 11:06 am

    I was at this debate. I recall seeing a video camera there but footage of the debate doesn’t seem to have surfaced. Waters was anihalated (as expected).


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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.


Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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