Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Remarkable Debate

Kosher sex vs. a drunken goy.

I wish I could participate in this type of thing.


badrabbi said...

Wow. It looks like Hitchens wiped the floor with the rabbi.

The question is why JP would actually place this on his blog. It feeds my suspicion that JP is an atheist incognito.

jewish philosopher said...

I think who won depends on what your point of view is to begin with.

Incidentally, I don't think either person was the ideal debater for his position, but they were pretty good.

Physiocrat said...

Christopher Hitchens is part of the British atheist establishment that includes Peter Atkins, who until his retirement last year was a renowned teacher of physical chemistry and author of many textbooks, and of course Richard Dawkins, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, who is also a scientist of good repute. Both are reliable as long as they confine themselves to their field. Unfortunately they do not. The late Dominican Hugh McCabe wiped the floor with Atkins in a TV debate a few years ago.

Religion in Western Europe suffers from self-inflicted problems.

(1) There has been a significant issue of child abuse in the Catholic church, made worse by cover-ups by the hierarchy. It has also suffered from liberalism which has diluted the teachings and watered down the liturgy to the point that about 60% of congregations have drifted away since the 1970.

(2) US style biblical fundamentalism, what is known as the Religious Right, with matters made worse by Bush and Blair and their promotion of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(3) Creationism, which is not a compulsory article of religious faith and flies in the face of evidence which would convince anyone with a mind that was even slightly open.

(4) Islamic intolerance, terrorism and its oppression of women.

jewish philosopher said...

The most foolish comment Hitchens makes, in my opinion is (9 minute 10 second point): "Nothing remains to be explained which can only be explained by referring to God." This is perhaps the core of his argument.

How about:

- The origin of the universe.
- The origin of the laws of nature.
- The origin of life.
- The origin of species.
- The origin of self consciousness and free will.
- The origin of Judaism.
- The ideal way to lead our lives and govern society.

True, Darwinists have made an attempt to explain the origin of species, and they are obviously wrong.

Josh said...

I don't see how

- The origin of Judaism.
- The ideal way to lead our lives and govern society

need to be explained by Hitchins. There's no concrete proof to the events of the chumash, if anything most evidence points away from bereishis/shemos/dvarim/yehoshua and it's not until mlachim that we can start to find some evidence of some of the things that took place. If he can prove the other things why does he need to prove anything about Judaism? The same with the last comment that's what made the Rabbi's argument really weak in my opinion. He kept focusing on morals and values, but unfortunately those are all normative things. If you can prove that we all evolved and the universe is part of a multiverse that has been creating itself ad infinitum morals are just things that humans create on their own then with no real purpose. Many of the great leaders of history have been atheists, George Washington and Napolean come to mind.

natschuster said...


Napolean was a war mongering dictator, as a so many Atheistic leaders. A lot of people died to satisfy his ambitions.

natschuster said...

According to wikipedia George Washington was an Episcopalian who regularly attended church services.

jewish philosopher said...

Hitchens says "nothing" is remaining to be explained which needs God to explain it. So I am waiting anxiously for the atheistic explanations for these things.

Hitchens most famous book "God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" focuses on the immorality of religion, so I think Boteach felt responsible to answer that. Hitchens (1:01:50) then seems to change his mind and says it doesn't matter what is more ethical, we must seek the truth. In other words, if evolution leads to genocide, fine, so long as we are intellectually honest.

I believe George Washington was Episcopalian and Napoleon was Roman Catholic.

jewish philosopher said...

I will give Hitchens credit for being a better comedian than Boteach.

david said...

The main reason the atheists like Hitchens is his sharp wit and rudeness. It doesn't exactly add anything to proving any of his nonsense.

jewish philosopher said...

According to the BBC website, Hitchens regards Leon Trotsky as "the perfect combination of the man of ideas and man of action".

Unknown said...

Well, you are going to get at least one favour from one of us: I am not visiting your blog again - being such a close-minded idiot as you have shown to be, misunderstanding and misrepresenting anything that is not in league with your beliefs, I sincerely cannot see how anyone would ever be capable of erasing the compartmentalisational rationalization which advocates your every step on these matters without resorting to psychiatric and psychoanalytical methods...

Rebeljew said...

I, for one, would love to see JP debate like this. It would be very popular too, like watching a train wreck.

Ʀăḥٹლąί said...

Judaism needs no apologists. Period.
Shmuely did a terrible job. His arrogance distorted the pure Judaism the world once knew.

What a shame.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

I saw this debate back when I believed in Judaism.

This is actually one of the debates that seriously "shook" my emunah, and made me realize I had to seriously examine my beliefs.

jewish philosopher said...

So when did you quit? Three months ago??