" but even then, such scientists normally claim to be "agnostic"."
Just FYI, all three of the supposed atheistic zealots you mention dub themselves as agnostic. They admit that they don't know for sure. Hitchens differed in being an anti-theist in that he hoped it wasn't true, but he still claimed he didn't know for sure (as any sane reasonable person would).
Gotta disagree on the debates too, although it's been a very long time since I saw them. WLC did nothing but linger on these broken pseudo-philosophical ideas that had no real relevance whereas Hitchens commented on the absurdity of the whole story and situation. And in the Sharpton debate, all I can remember was him going back over and over again to the title of Hitchens' book, trying to avoid the debate that was going on. Kinda felt like he was making a fool of himself.
^^Agnostic atheist. The scientists dont use the term atheist at all.
I have differing ideas. In both debates I got the impression that Hitchens was sounding like a broken record, constantly going back to the idea of religion bad, religion bad. He refused to say one good thing about religion, which is where I had issues. I kinda remember Sharpton focusing on the title of the book too, and I'm not saying I agreed with WLC either, but I still think Hitchens largely lost because his views came across as incredibly one dimensional and just kept bashing religion (like, that's all he knows how to do). It's been a little while since I listened to them too, but normally, I expect atheists to dominate these debates in terms of substance (style is a different story). Hitchens didn't. And it's because he only had one point to make, it was a rather bad, overly general point, and he kept just going over his point over and over again. All WLC and Sharpton needed to do is cite a couple good things done because of religion and they won. Because all Hitchens knew how to do was bash religion. I'm not saying Sharpton or WLC debated perfectly either, but the point is, Hitchens did even worse IMO both times.
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