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For more than a decade the Hoover Institution has been producing Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, a series hosted by Hoover fellow Peter Robinson as an outlet for political leaders, scholars, journalists, and today’s big thinkers to share their views with the world. Guests have included a host of famous figures, including Paul Ryan, Henry Kissinger, Antonin Scalia, Rupert Murdoch, Newt Gingrich, and Christopher Hitchens, along with Hoover fellows such as Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.

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August 23, 2007 | Recorded on August 23, 2007

Hitchens—The Morals of an Atheist

Christopher Hitchens

If there is no God—no ground of being—if human beings represent nothing more than temporary swarms of atoms, then what sense does it make even to speak of “right” and “wrong”? Where does morality come from? Reflecting on what he calls “the appalling insinuation that I would not know right from wrong if I was not supernaturally guided,….” Christopher Hitchens takes on the likes of Jonathan Swift, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Darwin in making his case for atheism. (20:53) Video transcript


00:00 Where does morality come from?
06:44 Where does reason come from?
12:13 Religion works, doesn't it?
17:32 A sense of the devine