Obnoxious as hell

I just got through watching a debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox. It’s well worth watching. Lennox comes across as one of the more convincing Christians, and that’s primarily due to his style of rhetoric. “And so I would like to suggest” is usually his lead from the set-up of his argument into his conclusion/main points. He does it well. Of course, when all seems lost for the atheist position, Dawkins always fires back with an argument that completely defeats whatever falsehood it is that Lennox convincingly said. Watch it.

But I’m not making a post to merely encourage people to watch a debate. I want to point out a specific part. In this part, Lennox obnoxiously says “hmm” over and over. He does it several times between the 3 and 4 minute marks.

In this context, “hmm” is used somewhat in the sense that “really” is used when someone is being sarcastic.

1. Obama was elected president.
2. Really? Thanks, Captain Obvious.

But there’s a little more to it than that. It isn’t that Lennox is saying that what Dawkins is stating is obvious. He’s saying that it’s obvious that Dawkins’ statement supports Lennox’s position. Let me clarify.

The two are discussing the different between faith and evidence. Lennox asks Dawkins how he knows his wife loves him (or how anyone knows someone else romantically loves them). Dawkins then goes on to explain that there are any number of little signs that constitute real evidence. He’s right. “A catch in the voice” or a “look in the eye” aren’t issues of faith. Those are indications of love when given in the proper context. But all throughout this Lennox keeps saying “hmm”, “hmm”, “hmm”, as if Dawkins is describing faith. In the end, it appears Lennox was playing a silly game of semantics and Dawkins recognizes this. But that isn’t what irks me. It’s that I’ve had personal experience with believers using their sarcastic, condescending, arrogant, obnoxious method. It’s as if once an atheist starts to speak of love or sympathy or any other soft, so to speak, emotion, Christians think they’ve won the point. I don’t get it. If anything, the total capacity of love for humanity from an atheist is higher than the total capacity of love for humanity is from a Christian. Afterall, the atheist’s love can be totally focused upon humanity. It isn’t distracted by the faux sense of love a believer feels for his god.