G-d Is Greater Than Christopher Hitchens

Atheists love to bash the Bible. But only biblical standards preserve us from a morality based on survival of the fittest.

Christopher Hitchens' rancorous attack on religion, "G-d Is Not Great," is the number one book in America. Three years ago he and I debated religion in New York City. I looked forward to the debate because I had always admired Hitchens' brilliant and iconoclastic mind, along with his barbed and clever pen. In our debate, he did not disappoint. He began with a typically acerbic attack against religion, saying that Stephen Hawking had more wisdom in his little finger than all the pages of the Bible combined.

When my turn came, I responded that the great, wheelchair-bound physicist was fortunate that religion, rather than evolutionary thinking, had been the stronger influence on British morality. Hawking is a very incapacitated man, and many evolutionary biologists maintain that a life like his should never have been preserved in the first place. The Bible establishes the infinite value and indeterminable sanctity of every human life, whether healthy or diseased. Evolution, of which Hitchens is a firm devotee, advocates the survival of the fittest.

If you toss out the Bible and religion, you’re left with evolutionary morality in its place, with its emphasis on the value of life being determined by its quality. Sufferers of major illnesses like Prof. Hawking would never stand a chance.

Thankfully for Prof. Hawking, the society he lived in embraced biblical morality and rejected the evolutionary idea of survival of the fittest. Prof. Hawking is not the fittest, but that does not mean that he should not exist. It’s because societies abide by biblical standards that he’s been given ongoing medical care and continues to enrich humanity with his genius.

For all Christopher Hitchens’ own brilliance, this is where he goes seriously astray. Without the Bible, how would we even know what good and evil are? Through science? Professor Bentley Glass suggested that we redefine the terms "good" and "evil," stripping them of their moral connotations. Glass says the words should refer merely to what is good or bad for the development of a species. Would we then eliminate the mentally defective or people who carry a disease because to have them in the gene pool might be "bad" for the health of the species?

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