FEELguide Classic: Hitchens, Dennett, Dawkins, Harris And The Greatest Conversation Of All Time

by • July 11, 2012 • Christopher Hitchens, FEELguide Classics, Inspiration, Me, Nature, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Sam Harris, Science, Space, Spirituality, UnexplainedComments (0)3053

Ever since the events of 9/11, I have become increasingly passionate about the philosophical arguments against organized religion, the understanding of why religion is the greatest threat to our civilization, the spread of secular values, and the dismantling of the free pass that has protected religion from criticism for far too long.  I have witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of religion, and as FEELguide continues to expand in the coming years, so too will its role as a resource for the communication of these ideas.  After all, this is not a war against religion — it is a war of good ideas vs. bad ideas.  And thankfully, good ideas are contagious.

At its core, this fight is about truth.  So it is worth holding in one’s mind this question: what is the essence of truth?  The answers to this question are expansive, but at its core, truth is that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.  And if one were to analyze the evolution of truths throughout our civilization — from the knowledge that the Earth is round, to the understanding of atomic structure, to the understanding of DNA and electromagnetism — these truths all have one thing in common: they are now universally accepted.  Furthermore, if one were to use an animated infographic to map these and other truths as they travelled around the world from culture to culture, the graphic would spread until every corner of our world was reached by these truths.  This is how truth behaves.  In contrast, if one were to look at a world map of contradicting religious beliefs, the infographic would appear to represent the exact opposite of truth.

Four of my personal heroes and champions of reason and science, are Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris.  And in the following 2-hour conversation you will be given a crystal clear glimpse into not only the minds of these four icons of science and philosophy, but also into the fight itself.  The conversation that unfolds is one of the most profound philosophical discussions I have ever discovered, and I cherish it much in the same way as the finest of ports — keeping it close by at all times, and revisiting it occasionally when I choose to be reminded of the taste of brilliance.  Coined by Hitchens himself, “The Four Horsemen Of The Counter-Apocalypse” recorded this conversation inside Hitchens’ Washington home in 2009 as the sun beamed in, the Johnnie Walker Black flowed, and the beauty of truth and reason blossomed in its full beauty for a full two hours.  It is a conversation that has moved me so deeply, I have created a brand new category here on FEELguide for my ultimate favorite posts: FEELguide Classics.  It would be impossible to inaugurate this category in a more impressive way than what you are about to watch.  Pure amazingness.

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was the groundbreaking writer, journalist, philosopher and public intellectual who wrote for numerous publications including New StatesmanThe Atlantic and served as Contributing Editor for VANITY FAIR.  His books include: God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything and Why Orwell Matters.  Hitchens is also widely regarded as one of the most unrivaled and preeminent debaters of the past half century.  Daniel Dennett is an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science.  He is currently the Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and a University Professor at Tufts University.  He is the author of Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.  Richard Dawkins is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author.  He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008. His books include The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion.  Sam Harris is an American author, philosopher (Stanford University), public intellectual, and neuroscientist (UCLA, Ph.D.), as well as the co-founder and CEO of Project Reason.  His books include the PEN Award-winning The End Of Faith as well as Letter To A Christian Nation and The Moral Landscape.


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