By What Standard?

By What Standard? is a video showing a deleted scene from the video Collision, featuring Doug Wilson and Christopher Hitchens. I’ve been taking notice of Wilson ever since I caught An Evening of Eschatology featuring Wilson, Jim Hamilton, and Sam Storms, mediated by the delightful John Piper. I appreciate his approach here as he attempts to make Hitchens come to terms with some of his own presuppositions. Too, I love his inclusion in his notes C.S. Lewis’ idea that Wilson calls an “umpire instinct.” To date, Lewis is far and away my favorite author, and his tact and wit are unparalleled. I’m a fan of anyone who gives him a shoutout, as he laid so very many important apologetic ideas that have helped grow my faith.

Basically, the question that seems to bring Hitchens up short is “by what standard?” In context, Wilson is referring to eternal damnation being viewed as “horrible,” but it’s a simple question to apply to nearly any debate. Everyone comes to the table with something in mind, developed by their cultural milieu and refined by their life experiences. What they bring to the table always directly affects what is possible for them to take from the table. Anyone tip toeing around the philosophical question will eventually have to come to terms with all their presuppositions, including but not limited to their standard for declaring anything “real,” “higher,” or “horrible.”


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