Hitchens Beats Blair in Religion Debate

Nearly 3,000 people packed into the sold-out Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada, to witness Roman Catholic convert Tony Blair and charismatic, cancer-stricken skeptic Christopher Hitchens engage in a philosophical debate on whether “religion is a force for good in the world.” During the 90-minute debate, Hitchens, an avowed atheist and author of the book God Is Not Great, seemed to win over the crowd, saying, “Once you assume a creator and a plan it make us subjects in a cruel experiment,” before causing laughter by comparing God to “a kind of divine North Korea.” Blair, meanwhile, argued that religious people engage in good works, and to generalize all religious people as bad is wrong. “The proposition that religion is unadulterated poison is unsustainable,” said Blair, adding that religion is “a benign progressive framework by which to live our lives.”