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← Christopher Hitchens Debates Kenneth Blackwell About Religious Influence In America (VIDEO)

Christopher Hitchens Debates Kenneth Blackwell About Religious Influence In America (VIDEO) - Comments

Gamma ut's Avatar Comment 1 by Gamma ut

Gotta love the CH! He can bogart me anytime :)

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 19:50:00 UTC | #345904

blueollie's Avatar Comment 2 by blueollie

Blackwell's basic ignorance is appalling.

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 19:59:00 UTC | #345905

chuckg's Avatar Comment 3 by chuckg

The reason religion is loosing is glaringly obvious to anyone watching this. Hitch is superb!

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 20:03:00 UTC | #345906

Russell Blackford's Avatar Comment 4 by Russell Blackford

lol, I hope no one will ever confuse me with this guy. "Kenneth" is actually my middle name, and I've had people confuse the names "Blackwell" and "Blackford" in the past. Seeing this was just a bit freaky for a second.

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 20:17:00 UTC | #345907

Ned Flanders's Avatar Comment 5 by Ned Flanders

Oh ok, these must be the same Christian values that are holding the world back in stem cell research, gay rights, aids prevention, evolution in schools,...

Not much to be proud of if USA is truly built on this moral foundation.

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 20:19:00 UTC | #345909

Neuro's Avatar Comment 6 by Neuro

I've also found that many "believers" are skeptical of aspects in religion. However, I think they ultimately believe in a "higher power" but just not the rules of organized religion. It is more of a "I should be 'X', therefore I am 'X'". You ask them, do you go to church every Sunday? "No" "You are going to hell, then, are you not?" "Well.." then they typically do not finish or say something like, "You do not need to go to Church to be a good [Christian]".

Think independently, is what I say!

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 20:35:00 UTC | #345911

Robert Maynard's Avatar Comment 7 by Robert Maynard

Wow, Chris Matthews lost his hair really fast. :P

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 20:44:00 UTC | #345914

Danno Davis's Avatar Comment 8 by Danno Davis

Ah, he did a masterful job of wrapping it all up at the end. So glad he was able to get the last word in as well. Always nice when that happens.

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 20:54:00 UTC | #345916

happyfinesad's Avatar Comment 9 by happyfinesad

"Ah, he did a masterful job of wrapping it all up at the end. So glad he was able to get the last word in as well. Always nice when that happens."

As he deserved to get the last word in, considering most of the time Blackwell wouldn't let Hitchens get a word in edgewise.

[edit - I'm a fool and used the wrong name. =D]

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 21:07:00 UTC | #345917

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 10 by Chrysippus_Maximus

The poor guy shouldn't be going up against someone like Hitch... It's like that time Dawkins talked to Bill O'Reilly.

Imagine a poodle fighting a T.Rex... even if the poodle puts up a good fight, there's just no comparison.

I really honestly feel bad when people who aren't well read try to argue these things... the guy started stuttering because he couldn't find the words or witty anecdotes to counter Hitchens' vast repertoire.

I like to see Hitchens when he's actually challenged. (and I don't mean by rhetoricians like D'Souza, I mean by a well-spoken, well-read, reasonable human being who happens to hold an opposing viewpoint...)

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 21:39:00 UTC | #345921

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 11 by Carl Sai Baba

Is there nothing for which the christians will not try to credit Jesus£ He invented capitalism, socialism, not killing people, morality (though his core message was that you didn't have to be moral, and in fact could not), and maybe pizza. No wait, he didn't INVENT pizza, he WAS the first pizza. Cheesus Christ on a cracker crust.

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 21:44:00 UTC | #345923

blitz442's Avatar Comment 12 by blitz442

10. Comment #362256 by Spinoza

Overall I agree but Blackwell did have decent point about religion being pronounced dead 25-30 years ago then bounding back. Hitchens intitial "show me one person who said this" retort was weak, but his later description of why today's skepticism is different than that of 25 years ago was better.

I liked the part where Blackwell tried to credit capitalism to Christianity (there is a barely anything in the Bible to inform us of sound economic policies); I heard Hitch snicker and wish that he could have replied.

Also, I don't think that Dawkins did that well against O'Reilly. Bill wouldn't let him talk, so Dawkins didn't come across as sharp as he usually does. Probably was a mistake to even go on his show.

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 21:48:00 UTC | #345924

Koreman's Avatar Comment 13 by Koreman

Nice. Some of those people who are proud that the US was built on judea-christian principles seem to forget what those religious principles exactly were back then. Those principles supported looting, genocide, slavery, harsh corporal punishments, witch hunting and racism. Something to be very proud of indeed.

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 21:56:00 UTC | #345926

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 14 by Rodger T

Also, I don't think that Dawkins did that well against O'Reilly. Bill wouldn't let him talk, so Dawkins didn't come across as sharp as he usually does. Probably was a mistake to even go on his show.

Yeah,I agree, I don`t know why anybody would go on O`Reilly`s show, all that ever happens is that Bill talks over the top of every guest and shouts down those he disagrees with, if being a fuckwit was an olympic sport Billy O would be the perennial gold medallist.

Christopher Hitchens interesting as always.Just begun God is not great, enjoying every page so far.

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 22:42:00 UTC | #345930

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 15 by Oromasdes1978

It is so glaringly obvious that facts and evidence mean nothing to religious people like Mr Blackwell.

The Hitch was superb as per usual - Blackwell should learn his history as well as Christopher has if he is ever going to be able to sound more convincing than that.

I have to hand it to Diacanu when he said they want it all - Blackwell wants it all to be Christian, he needs it to be Christian - he even goes so far as to fudge around with historical facts to make it that way. These people do NOT want evidence, they do not want facts - they want people to be stupid and ignorant of even the most basic things.

See how Blackwell was talking about how moral and wonderful Christianity is and completely ignores any other faith than his own - its all for HIM, its all HIS religion - that is the only thing that matters.

It doesn't matter, as Christopher pointed out, that there is fear, death, sadism etc - No it MUST be Christian, when it is all Christian then it will be perfect.


Well done Christopher, good work!

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 22:51:00 UTC | #345932

Lord Osis's Avatar Comment 16 by Lord Osis

CH vs theotard (another one)

Oh no - I'm getting beaten - what shall I say next? - I know - giggle giggle giggle - that'll get him

same old story

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 00:58:00 UTC | #345950

bluesky's Avatar Comment 17 by bluesky

Blackwell also used that tired old ploy, beloved of intellectual lightweights and those who know they've lost the argument, of constantly giggling whenever Hitch was speaking.

The aim, I think, is to try and make the viewer believe that the other person is making such a ridiculous comment that it's not worth taking seriously. Unfortunately for Blackwell, in this case it made him look cringe-makingly juvenile.

Almost felt sorry for him. Almost...

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 01:08:00 UTC | #345952

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 18 by bendigeidfran

Hitch vs William Lane Craig was April 4th. Now there's a much more impressive liar. Anyone know how that one went?

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 01:23:00 UTC | #345956

Kiwi's Avatar Comment 19 by Kiwi

Notice Hitchens said "crisis FOR faith" not OF faith. The interviewer turned it into "crisis OF faith". Hitchens suggesting people consider faith as an object/behaviour/meme rather than the usual woowoo "faith must be good".

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 01:47:00 UTC | #345961

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 20 by Oystein Elgaroy

Comment #362292 by bendigeidfran

I found a review of the debate at

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 01:58:00 UTC | #345965

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 21 by bendigeidfran

Comment #362301 by Oystein

Aaaagh! it's worse than I feared. Hitchens has debated too many half-wits, Lane Craig is very slick and slippery.

You should have emailed him the fine-tuning blog post!

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 02:28:00 UTC | #345970

Russell Blackford's Avatar Comment 22 by Russell Blackford

Okay, that was pathetic. Blackwell was trying to defend the indefensible, at least the way he framed it. Hitchens was pretty devastating. But wtf is this "Family Research Council", anyway? Some right-wing front for something?

EDIT: Oh no, I just realised that I used the f-word in the above. I mean "framed".

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 02:32:00 UTC | #345971

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 23 by Oystein Elgaroy

Comment #362306 by bendigeidfran

I don't think it would have made much of a difference, actually. I am sure Hitchens knows many of the scientific objections Craig's arguments since he has read Vic Stenger's book. At least I assume he has because he has written an introduction for the paperback edition.

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 02:40:00 UTC | #345976

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 24 by Steve Zara

Comment #362312 by Oystein Elgaroy

I am sure that Craig must know many of the scientific objections too. I suspect that debates like Hitchens vs. Craig end up not about truth, but about performance.

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 02:43:00 UTC | #345977

bujin's Avatar Comment 25 by bujin

You've got to find it amusing when a guy who has only been a citizen of the USA for a couple of years knows more about the constitution and the founding fathers than someone who has been an American all his life...

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 02:48:00 UTC | #345978

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 26 by Oystein Elgaroy

Comment #362313 by Steve Zara

I very much agree. And in the case of Christian apologetics your statement applies to more than just the debates.

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 02:54:00 UTC | #345980

Frankus1122's Avatar Comment 27 by Frankus1122

4. Comment #362242 by Russell Blackford

The thought went through my head quickly:

"Is that our Kenneth Blackwell? No, wait a minute, he's Russell. Why would Hitchens debate with Russell Blackford? I should watch the video."

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 03:04:00 UTC | #345982

Roger Stanyard's Avatar Comment 28 by Roger Stanyard

Russell asks

But wtf is this "Family Research Council", anyway? Some right-wing front for something?

Yep. It's a conservative and deeply politicised religious lobbying group founded by an arch fundie, James Dobson (Focus on the Family).

It claims to be for "family values" which, translated into English, means it's against everything that isn't wingnuttery - gays, liberalism, divorces, abortion, stem cell research, contraception, sex education, pornography, "activist" (i.e. non-Republican) judges, taxation, measures to prevent global warming, gambling...

It basically can't stand seperation of church and state. It's basically aiming for a theocracy.

It's also cretinist. It supports Intelligent design.

That says it!

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 03:09:00 UTC | #345983

decius's Avatar Comment 29 by decius

Comment #362263 by Sarmatae1

Damn right, mate.

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 03:23:00 UTC | #345984

Frankus1122's Avatar Comment 30 by Frankus1122

The segment mirrored what appears on this site often: a religite making claims based on inaccurate information. They get the facts wrong.

I think about thought as a hierarchy. You begin with factual knowledge, then understanding or comprehension, analysis (comparing and contrasting ideas, ordering them, etc.), synthesis (reframing), and evaluation or judgement.

The conclusions that Blackwell makes are wrong because the very foundations of his thought are wrong.

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 03:25:00 UTC | #345986