A cocky audience member once made the mistake of challenging Christopher Hitchens

“If there is no God, why do you spend your whole life trying to convince people that there isn’t? Why don’t you just stay home?”

That was a question posed to the late journalist, author and outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens after a 2008 debate with Christian apologist and author Frank Turek.

Although Hitchens’ views on the Iraq war alienated many of his friends on the left, his commentary and polemics against religious extremism are some of the most revered and quoted amongst secular thinking Americans — and his response to this ridiculous question posed by a cocky audience member is a perfect example of how powerful and direct his words were.

You can find the full debate here.


[This post has been updated] Featured image via screen grab



  1. Avatar


    July 6, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Why so pejorative? I happen to agree with what Hitchens said. But the questioner was not “cocky” ( though his body English looked pretty uncomfortable). Nor was his asking it a “mistake.” Hitchens invited questions. A civil question was asked. A civil answer was given. Civil discourse advances in this manner.

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    Marc Elliott

    July 7, 2014 at 5:32 am

    You’ve been Hitchslapped!

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    Mike Coppola

    July 7, 2014 at 9:46 am

    The ‘Cocky’ Christian audience member looks mighty uncomfortable over the fact the someone has questioned his belief system – good – I hope it causes him to question more and wake tfu.

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    September 27, 2014 at 3:38 am

    I agree. Rhetorical self-righteous smugness, is valueless.

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    September 27, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    It looks like the man asked a reasonable respectful question and received a comprehensive respectful answer. I could see nothing cocky about either of them.

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    Jeff Perry

    February 5, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    I don’t disagree with what was said, the problem in his answer was, one he bypassed the question and instead proved wickedness and death that both believers and non believers agree on.Second, the god he refuted incorporating Christianity and Muslims doesn’t exist. The best part is the whole foundation to his argument and “passion” for the world has already been done through Jesus Christ. The true God whose bones can’t be dug up and has impacted lives for the good not the bad till this day.

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    February 6, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Because it’s in his face when he asks and when the answer is being given. He thinks he’s “got” him.

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    John Doe

    February 6, 2015 at 5:42 am

    2:45 appears to be a No True Scotsman fallacy–there are plenty of Christians who treat the Bible as metaphorical and yet believe. It’s fine to address one particular theological stance, but it’s not fair to try and say all “true” Christians must hold it.

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    February 6, 2015 at 10:44 am

    That’s what I thought the moment he asked the question, and I think it’s a good question as well.

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    February 6, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    You might not have clicked if the title of the article wasn’t presented in these blatantly clickbait terms.

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    February 7, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Exactly, but in order to get clicks, you have to make up an eye catching (untrue) title.

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    February 9, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Oh my “god”! Brilliant!!!!

  13. Avatar

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