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  Topic: Blair vs. Hitchens;  The Munk Debates< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Bing



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Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 26 2010,13:33   

The Munk Debates

Fresh on the heels of his appearance vs. DrDr Dembski last week Christopher Hitchens will be debating Tony Blair tonight at 7 pm.

Be it resolved religion is a force for good in the world...

The site says that tix are sold out but there is a Live-stream available for $4.99.

So, who's going to watch it?

  
OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 26 2010,15:09   

What is it defending religion all of a sudden?  Are they getting the idea that most of the population thinks its a scam?

Anyway, Hitchens and a few others did this same debate on intelligence squared a few years ago.  The Christians lost their shirts.

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OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 26 2010,16:22   

I don't want to threadjack, but to wet the appatite for Blair/Hitchens:

Hitchens/Robinson Morals of Atheism

I would have mentioned that monkeys also seem to appreciate the divine, have empathy for others, and similar traits that Robinson implies only humans have.

I also would have said that all we are is emergent behavior that has acquired to realize that we are nothing more than emergent behavior.  Empathy is an emergent behavior in many animal species (some might go so far as to say "less so in humans than some other animals").  And that, not a morality (universal or otherwise) is what we derive the desire to not commit acts that would be socially frowned upon.

Finally, I would have mentioned that the society in which one lives much more determines morality than any innate or universal morality.

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Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 26 2010,17:29   

Quote
Be it resolved religion is a force for good in the world...

Just the general (and rather vague) category of religion? Not a specific religion, let alone a specific branch of whichever one is under discussion?

Seems to me that an argument for or against "religion is force for good" would have to address a specific religion; otherwise there would be too many exceptions for the argument to get anywhere.

Henry

  
Badger3k



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 26 2010,19:41   

Quote (Henry J @ Nov. 26 2010,17:29)
Quote
Be it resolved religion is a force for good in the world...

Just the general (and rather vague) category of religion? Not a specific religion, let alone a specific branch of whichever one is under discussion?

Seems to me that an argument for or against "religion is force for good" would have to address a specific religion; otherwise there would be too many exceptions for the argument to get anywhere.

Henry

You also need to be specific as to what "a force of good" means.  Does that mean it is all what is commonly perceived as good, or does it count if there is good and bad, but overall it leans one way or another?  What is also considered good in one culture or context might not be in another.  Such arguments as these are fairly meaningless, IMO,  although they can be fun to listen to or participate in.

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Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 27 2010,03:13   

Not seen the result but I've got a tenner on Blair's overblown messiah complex getting a right good puncturing. I reckon that's a safe bet.

Louis

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socle



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 27 2010,08:59   

From the BBC:

Quote
But a random sample afterwards tended to tell a consistent story. People weren't necessarily opposed to Mr Blair's argument, but they found Mr Hitchens the more persuasive speaker.

A poll of audience members resulted in a defeat for the motion, by a margin of two to one.

  
OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 27 2010,10:52   

Transcript

For those that missed it... like me.

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Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 27 2010,11:43   



 
Quote
The Toilet >>Place of Enlightenment, by arnoKath


ETA a reminder: This marks a removal to the BW, not a comment on the topic.

Edited by Lou FCD on Nov. 27 2010,12:51

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Bing



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2010,08:46   

I don't know if I should be honoured that my thread managed to drag the lunatic repeatedly out of his lair, or if I should be sorry and deeply ashamed instead.

Anyhoo, back to the topic.  The debate is archived and can be viewed until March 2011.  Can anyone here download it and post to youtube?

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2010,09:21   

David Mabus (real name Dennis Markuze) is Canadian.

http://www.canlii.org/en....46.html

IANAL, but up to 5 years in prison for making threats on the internet.

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Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2010,10:00   

The videos have been posted to YouTube, and Greg Laden has them posted on his blog.

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Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 29 2010,17:59   

I have now seen both of Hitchens' debates. I think that he completely out-argued Dembski but Blair did better than WMAD.

IMO Hitchens beat Blair, but the official count looked like a draw to me.

  
OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 29 2010,18:48   

Obviously, I'm slightly biased, but I think Hitchens won both debates.

Dembski... well...

Blair, at least has sincerity and is actively 'working' in Africa.  However, he fails to grasp the dichotomy that Hitchens kept pointing out.

If religion wasn't telling those people to not use condoms and that having AIDS was better in God's sight than using condoms... then all the great work that the religion does in Africa wouldn't be needed in the first place.

I submit that people who do good works would do them regardless of religion (or lack thereof).  Perhaps there would be fewer people, because without the fear of hell, some of them would sit at home instead of going to Zimbabwe or something.  

I'd rather have an honest jerk than a hypocritical nice person.

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Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 29 2010,19:06   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Nov. 29 2010,18:48)
Obviously, I'm slightly biased, but I think Hitchens won both debates.

Dembski... well...

Blair, at least has sincerity and is actively 'working' in Africa.  However, he fails to grasp the dichotomy that Hitchens kept pointing out.

If religion wasn't telling those people to not use condoms and that having AIDS was better in God's sight than using condoms... then all the great work that the religion does in Africa wouldn't be needed in the first place.

I submit that people who do good works would do them regardless of religion (or lack thereof).  Perhaps there would be fewer people, because without the fear of hell, some of them would sit at home instead of going to Zimbabwe or something.  

I'd rather have an honest jerk than a hypocritical nice person.

I agree. IMO Hitchens won. However the vote indicated a draw. Both Blair and Hitchens persuaded a roughly similar percentage to their cause. Dembski was crap.

I am not saying that Blair convinced me. I am just saying that according to the vote. Blair and Hitchens persuaded a roughly = amount to vote their way.

  
OgreMkV



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 30 2010,00:14   

The thing about religion, at least from my neck of the woods (The Bible Belt)... is that so many people grow up with religion.  They see all the good things that 'the church' does and anything bad is 'the person'.

So many people grow up this way that any positive support that they uncritically accept it.  Fortunately, many of the my generation are walking away from the church of their parents, mainly because it isn't relevant and obviously so.  The average age in my old church was 54.  There were multiple Sunday school classes for the over 80 crowd.  I'm hopeful that our children will grow up respectful of the church... in the same way you respect that crazy guy down the street.

While I enjoyed Hitchens, I would have said some other things that may have emphasized the point more.

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Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 30 2010,02:30   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Nov. 30 2010,00:14)
The thing about religion, at least from my neck of the woods (The Bible Belt)... is that so many people grow up with religion. They see all the good things that 'the church' does and anything bad is 'the person'...

Got to agree with that. It is pretty much how I thought when I was religious.

  
Bing



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 02 2010,13:31   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Nov. 29 2010,19:06)
I agree. IMO Hitchens won. However the vote indicated a draw. Both Blair and Hitchens persuaded a roughly similar percentage to their cause. Dembski was crap.

I am not saying that Blair convinced me. I am just saying that according to the vote. Blair and Hitchens persuaded a roughly = amount to vote their way.

I just got an email from the Munk Organizers and they declare a win, albeit slight, for Hitchens.

Quote
Dear Munk Debates Member:

Friday night’s debate on Religion saw an electric exchange between Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens.

Prior to the debate, 25% of the 2,600 audience members agreed with the motion, while 55% disagreed, and 20% were undecided.

The audience vote immediately following the debate showed that Christopher Hitchens won the debate, by a hair, by garnering 13% of the previously undecided vote versus 7% for Tony Blair. The final results for the second audience vote on the motion were 32% in agreement and 68% opposed. To access a detailed report on the results click here.


  
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 12 2010,06:10   



Quote
Me too..., by IkaInk


Responses to Markuzi/Mabus can be found on the BW.

Edited by Lou FCD on Dec. 12 2010,07:11

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
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fnxtr



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 15 2010,22:58   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 12 2010,04:10)


 
Quote
Me too..., by IkaInk


Responses to Markuzi/Mabus can be found on the BW.

It may be time to notify his ISP about his behaviour.  If ISP's still care about such things.

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"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
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