I was at the debate between Hitchens and Craig at Biola and this is a good blog on the subject, although I disagree with his conclusion, you should check it out.
The author claims he believes that Hitchens won the debate, not from a fact or even debate point of view, but from an emotional point of view. He thinks the crowd favored Hitchens and was most convinced by him. Now I do not know where to begin with this, but I have a few thoughts: either this author is weak minded and is very emotional, which I doubt, or the general population has generally gone mad, or I am completely wrong on my judgment of people. What I mean is either this author was convinced of Hitchens points, or people leaned more towards his rabbit trails and insults than facts, or people could actually see who truly won the debate even if they don’t want to admit it.
Of course I believe the answer is the latter, however I would like to assure my readers that it is only slightly due to my pride and mostly due to observations.
First Craig was clearly in control, was polished, studied, ready clear, crisp, and powerful in his display of evidence. Hitchens on the other hand showed non of these things, and one could clearly see he was not nearly as put together as Craig, his of topic ramblings, and constant hickups in speaking demonstrate this. Second Craig was all substance and even appeased Hitchens by following him down some of his rabbit trails and giving substantive responses. Hitchens on the other hand, had no substance but continued to appeal to emotions, his two biggest arguments paraphrased being: “The existence of evil, and specifically religious evil exist” and “I am not convinced of your arguments”. Now Craig in all his brilliance I believe made three mistakes: one he followed Hitchens down the rabbit trails, after all the debate was on the existence of God, not on Christianity. Two he didn’t adaquately address these two big concerns (in my opinion), and three he had an emotionally subjective argument as one of his main five proofs.
Hitchens appeals to emotions without reason, demonstrates extreme arrogance, and shows he really hates God in all his debates. He cannot get away from criticizing God in any debate even if the debate was on “are roses red or violets blue”, he would even there find a reason to bring up how much God sucks. Now having heard Hitchens before I knew to expect all of this, but I was disappointed that even Craig fell into his trap, although not as badly as most other Christians. However, I was surprised to experience Hitchens giving the real reason why he is an atheist. He said that he doesn’t want anyone telling him what to do or how to live, he doesn’t want to be subject to any church authority, he doesn’t want God telling him how to live, he wants to be “free”. Mr. Hitchens don’t you know that unless you believe in Christ you can never be truly free? Only Christ’s servants and sons are truly free, that’s the irony.
In conclusion I believe that Craig obviously won the debate for any clear thinking individual. It was very obvious to me that he stuck to the debate, offered evidence for God, which was not countered. Hitchens gave no arguments as to why God didn’t exists, nor did he contradict Craig’s evidence. Hitchens gave only emotional arguments which focused on “God is a big meany”, and actually gave evidence for God, meaning he argued that true morals exist, he is outraged at the existence of evil, and has no real evidence that God couldn’t exist. Don’t let Hitchens emotional arguments, and his atheistic presuppositions fool you. We must stand up to this type of arguing and never concede that such dismal displays of reason could ever win any debate or argument. According to the rules of logic, reason, common sense, and sensibility, we would have to agree with Craig’s final statements “I put forth that Mr. Hitchens should become a Christian” because Hitchens gave us and himself no reason to the contrary.