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← Blair-Hitchens head-to-head

Blair-Hitchens head-to-head - Comments

sunbeamforjeebus's Avatar Comment 1 by sunbeamforjeebus

Can't see why this women has such a down on C.H.?She does of course wheel out the old atheist caused Stalinism/communism tosh in defense of religion. Blair is a self-serving smug twat and Hitch should rip his guts out!

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 09:57:32 UTC | #551346

Austin K's Avatar Comment 2 by Austin K

Couldn't finish reading that trash, though I can't wait for the event!

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 10:10:27 UTC | #551350

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 3 by El Bastardo

I'm looking forward to the event but can't fathom why this article was posted, unless someone wanted us all to lose our lunch.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a piece of work, claiming Stephen Fry is a misogynist, oft making racist comments and of course, flip flopping.

This is from her rant against local produce

Indigenous Britons are in a mighty sulk over strangers on their shores, our weird languages, strong colours and tastes, and "unBritish" ways.

Yet check her wiki page and you'll see this wonderful quote

It would be great if you lot just went away; white, middle class men

Classy. Multi culturalism is great, so long as you're not 1. Male or 2. White.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 10:32:51 UTC | #551359

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 4 by El Bastardo

Comment 1 by sunbeamforjeebus :

Can't see why this women has such a down on C.H.?

In the piece she tries the old fluff technique of calling atheists fundamentalists and insisting religion should be warm and fuzzy cause it's not about dogma, it's about "spirituality". Irony much. This coming from someone who claims to be muslim when it suits, though she's also used the "Some of my best friends are..." defence for her abominable opinions.

Though personally I think it's because he's a man, worse, a white man and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a blatant sexist and racist. Of course she'll say different cause only men are sexist and only white people can be racist bleugh

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 10:39:41 UTC | #551360

PrayForMe's Avatar Comment 5 by PrayForMe

How tediously unsurprising. A muslim criticising an atheist and a fundamentalist christian

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 10:42:19 UTC | #551361

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 6 by AtheistEgbert

This woman is not in the same league, and this is more gutter journalism than the more intelligent kind found by the likes of Hitchens. She has absolutely no defense as a Muslim to claim to speak for scepticism. She also has a shallow understanding of Einstein's religious naturalism.

Typically as a shallow journalist, she fails to understand the roots of Communism are religious (see The League of the Just) while Fascism in Italy made Catholicism the official state religion, and also gave the Vatican its sovereignty. Both are irrational religiously followed political ideologies that have nothing to do with atheism.

But of course, all this bullshit can be excused because it's an opinion piece and not real journalism, and, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, your opinions are a disgraceful display of ignorance.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 10:50:04 UTC | #551364

ev-love's Avatar Comment 7 by ev-love

In spite of everything I've retained a flickering soft spot for Yasmin ever since she was attacked by Norman Tebbit for not being British.

ev-love

Can soft spots flicker?

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 10:51:59 UTC | #551366

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 8 by Jos Gibbons

I wish I had the time to do my usual refutation stuff, but I'm snowed under. But I'll say this for now: how exactly is moderation meant to help here? Either claims are true or false. This isn't a matter of either Blair or Hitchens taking an extremist stands on um; it's a case of them disagreeing on a genuine dichotomy.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 11:10:37 UTC | #551373

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 9 by Michael Gray

Can soft spots flicker?

Sure they can! [grin]

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 11:17:44 UTC | #551379

DocWebster's Avatar Comment 10 by DocWebster

Let's face it, the woman is jealous of Christopher and his manner. She wishes her prose came out sounding half as intelligent as his, a jealousy I happen to share. I also have a feeling that deep down Hitch excites her so she has to vilify him to suppress her own indecent desires.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 11:20:27 UTC | #551381

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 11 by Stafford Gordon

I take objection to being told that without religion I lack some kind of "flickering flame within".

My flame burns most brightly thank you very much.

If it hadn't been for religion conditioning minds over millennia to accept absolutist dogma, Communism and Fascism would never have taken hold as they did, as state religions.

It seems that every so often a lunatic crops up in circumstances favourable to his (it's usually a male) taking over the joint. One such is, of course, the Pope.

It is pathetic and demeaning to believe that without faith in the supernatural we would all descend into chaos.

Sadly, and I hope I'm proved wrong, I expect this exchange to be somewhat disappointing.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 11:21:17 UTC | #551382

ev-love's Avatar Comment 12 by ev-love

"“Richard Dawkins has dismissed us as "uneducated", "rather stupid" and "paranoid". “

Well actually, no, he hasn’t.

Don’t you hate it when they do that?

ev-love

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 11:31:26 UTC | #551388

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 13 by Stevehill

Ah yes, Yasmin. If only they'd had your good sense and invited a radical muslim with hooks for hands maybe, to offer us a Third Way at the debate.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 11:41:06 UTC | #551397

AlexYoung's Avatar Comment 14 by AlexYoung

"Both are excruciatingly self-righteous; their eyes shine with the loony light of absolutism; they are men of ideological wars without end, propagandists who have spun themselves into unedifying prophets. Belief and scepticism deserve better champions than these two, I feel, perhaps because they seem to have no heart and no room in their heads either for ambiguity or that unknowingness so many of us struggle with."

I wish we all had the subtlety of mind required to swallow multicultural dogma and whitewashes of Islam year after year.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 11:52:06 UTC | #551401

biorays's Avatar Comment 15 by biorays

' Neither of us would stupidly defend the religions we were born into. '

YAB is spot on with this statement! It's just that her emotions are so vented through the accidental consciousness of her birth that ALL of her goodwill is harnessed through IT. She has no independence of mind from what she calls ' stupidly defend the religions we were born into.' She is bound over to do exactly that by her very own lifelong fiction of emotions presenting as her own subjective reality. To a fault! She has no other position! She is currently hooked lined and sunk with that very equation I quoted at the above - emotionally doing exactly that which she intellectually terms 'Stupidly..'

And then to her personal emotional defense of her own position:

'Religion – particularly organised religion – has exerted a malevolent influence forever. Those who don't accept this are lying to themselves and us.'

First smacking at the ineptitudes of religion that she identifies and also:

'However, atheism weaves its own lies and gives itself licence to demean and wreck. Religion didn't give rise to Communism and Fascism, nor does it fuel most of the endless tribal conflicts around the world.'

In which she presumes atheism to be an untruth that defaults to criminal behaviours. This is a bridge too far as respects comparing the merits of deluded teachings (god claimed religious doctrines) and those absent such delusions. To infer that to teach non-delusions is corrupt since it defaults to corruption is an absolute dishonest self fulfilling prophecy i.e that we must teach by corruption (or deception) to avoid corruption and expect non-corruption to be its outcome- no wonder history is so littered with layers of confusion resulting in religious slaughter and oppression.

Furthermore 'tribal conflicts' are so often spurned by religious heritage and the inequalities of generations. Many are also affiliated to religious dogma in some form or other. The problem is endemic in humanity due religious delusions being endemic in our accidents of birth. To advocate no religion is to search for an escape for future generations. To condone religion is to seek a replication of deceptive claims about the unknown and the history, well proven to ruin countless lives, that this guarantees.

And to her most well stated point:

'They mean nothing to the millions of us sustained by delicate, fragile, whispered, unspoken, doubt-ridden faith.'

Which is exactly why religious deceptions need be uncovered and reduced to the lies they propagate as knowledge. The uneducated , poor and deprived of the future are bound over to escaping their plight by being fed intellectual trauma - then passed on to their offspring. This is zoo management employed as if it were some holy writ. The lies claimed by religions as if unquestionable facts are what the rational humanists are revealing. This is no hatred of people. It is a hatred of the ideas which are employed down the centuries to farm their minds and deceive them into en-mass manipulations.

What is lacking and what it is that I think truly frightens YAB is the lack of a clear holistic alternative. A cut and paste improvement. The alternative seems all too shaky and unproven. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas unless the naive believed in make believe. Keep it up for life and some - only some (that's how elitists deceptive logic is after all) will die thinking virgins, and whatever else they think their inner emotions crave, awaits them.

Cruel indeed is ones own mind when it contemplates ones goodwill of a lifetime may well have been deceived into thinking itself rational. Cruel indeed is ones own mind when it realises it is the victim of many generations of deceptive teaching - taught sincerely by the previously deceived!

How does an individual digest such knowledge? It is painful and the tragedy is that replacement is non existent. Reality is what it is. Truth harsher than fiction. But I will choose the harsh reality lest my delusions torture another as if they knew better. Atheism attempts to bring home the truth seekers. Humanitarianism is transferable. Religions simply deceives people into thinking it is under pain of death - whether everlasting or otherwise.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 12:14:17 UTC | #551413

Logicel's Avatar Comment 16 by Logicel

"Both are excruciatingly self-righteous; their eyes shine with the loony light of absolutism;..."

Dramatic Goldilocks petulantly pouting gimme that lukewarm porridge and gimme it now! Brown is excruciatingly tedious; her eyes do not shine, but are dulled by mediocrity.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 13:06:45 UTC | #551432

Dark Matter's Avatar Comment 17 by Dark Matter

Personally, I am completely mystified as to why the Independent, the BBC or any media outlet actually think Yasmin's self-evident infantilism, random rhetoric and worthless opinions are of any value whatsoever.

Doesn't the editor at the Independent actually read her pig-ignorant pronouncements before deciding to publish them?

Isn't there a single producer or interviewer who actually listens to her fluent nonsense and thinks "what ridiculous rubbish - why on Earth did we have this idiot on the show?"

Why do any media outlets keep repeatedly inviting her (excluding more capable, intelligent, qualified guests) as if she is some kind of authority or expert on anything at all?

Do they not even pretend to have any kind of journalistic standards at all?

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 13:24:11 UTC | #551443

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 18 by Steve Zara

Religion can be a force for good if it is internalised and divorced from politics and power. As a flickering flame within, it stops you from becoming hateful, careless, self-aggrandising, grabbing and too materialistic. It has its place, must have its place. Blair and Hitchens are fundamentalist gladiators, performing for entertainment, just another reality show. They mean nothing to the millions of us sustained by delicate, fragile, whispered, unspoken, doubt-ridden faith.

Delicate, Fragile, Whispered, Unspoken, Doubt-ridden Faith.

Delicate is the line in the cartoon that draws the death threats.

Fragile is the child, abused by his unholy Father.

Whispered are the sins of a young girl confessed shamefully into the ear of the priest.

Unspoken is the fearful love of Muslim man for Muslim man.

Doubt-ridden is the algebra of faith-based equality, unsure if XX = XY.

Know that in some of us, the flame doesn't flicker.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 13:26:15 UTC | #551444

mlgatheist's Avatar Comment 19 by mlgatheist

Both are excruciatingly self-righteous;<\blockquote> Tony Blair absolutely, if I can be forgiven for the use of the word. Christopher Hitchens to a lesser extent. Just like a medical doctor when discussing any illness.
their eyes shine with the loony light of absolutism; <\blockquote> Does a Math professors' "eyes shine with the loony light of absolutism" when he speaks about Math? Does a doctors', when teaching people how to reduce their likelihood of catching a virus, "eyes shine with the loony light of absolutism"? If you answer yes to both of these then you might say this about Mr. Hitchens.
they are men of ideological wars without end, propagandists who have spun themselves into unedifying prophets.<\blockquote> The one doing the spinning is the one who believes in fairies (angels) and Santa Claus (the xtian god, for those who prefer to ignore the Old Testament) or an eternal & all powerful Marquis de Sade (if you prefer the Old Testament).
Belief and scepticism deserve better champions than these two,<\blockquote> I do not care who the "champion" of the believers is, he/she is on the side of ignorance and bigotry. As for the "champion" of Atheists and other non-theists, we have many "champions" and Mr. Hitchens is one of the best.
I feel, perhaps because they seem to have no heart and no room in their heads either for ambiguity or that unknowingness so many of us struggle with. <\blockquote> If you are incapable of realizing that the xtian god is not logically possible, based solely on the bible that is your problem. If you cannot tell that the bible was formed from the oral tales of illiterate nomads who knew nothing of the word, again that is your problem. Criticizing someone whose brain is fully functional and does not have your problems is dumb at best.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 13:29:32 UTC | #551448

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 20 by DamnDirtyApe

Chris,

This might be your finest hour.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 13:30:51 UTC | #551449

mlgatheist's Avatar Comment 21 by mlgatheist

Everyone, sorry about that. The preview comment section does not appear to work for me today and I did not notice that my '/' was the wrong one. Hopefully this is easier to read.

Both are excruciatingly self-righteous;

Tony Blair absolutely, if I can be forgiven for the use of the word. Christopher Hitchens to a lesser extent. Just like a medical doctor when discussing any illness.

their eyes shine with the loony light of absolutism;

Does a Math professors' "eyes shine with the loony light of absolutism" when he speaks about Math? Does a doctors', when teaching people how to reduce their likelihood of catching a virus, "eyes shine with the loony light of absolutism"? If you answer yes to both of these then you might say this about Mr. Hitchens.

they are men of ideological wars without end, propagandists who have spun themselves into unedifying prophets.

The one doing the spinning is the one who believes in fairies (angels) and Santa Claus (the xtian god, for those who prefer to ignore the Old Testament) or an eternal & all powerful Marquis de Sade (if you prefer the Old Testament).

Belief and scepticism deserve better champions than these two,

I do not care who the "champion" of the believers is, he/she is on the side of ignorance and bigotry. As for the "champion" of Atheists and other non-theists, we have many "champions" and Mr. Hitchens is one of the best.

I feel, perhaps because they seem to have no heart and no room in their heads either for ambiguity or that unknowingness so many of us struggle with.

If you are incapable of realizing that the xtian god is not logically possible, based solely on the bible that is your problem. If you cannot tell that the bible was formed from the oral tales of illiterate nomads who knew nothing of the word, again that is your problem. Criticizing someone whose brain is fully functional and does not have your problems is dumb at best.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 13:34:49 UTC | #551453

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 22 by irate_atheist

Belief and scepticism deserve better champions than these two, I feel, perhaps because they seem to have no heart and no room in their heads either for ambiguity or that unknowingness so many of us struggle with.

Oh, FFS. Just because you can't think straight, Yasmin, doesn't mean that everyone else has to be a woolly-minded credulous fool as well.

Bertrand Russell would have intellectually torn her limb from limb.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:01:18 UTC | #551494

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 23 by Steve Zara

Comment 22 by irate_atheist

I have a tendency to get a bit poncey with words. What you said is better :)

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:07:25 UTC | #551495

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 24 by KRKBAB

Comment 22 by irate_atheist- where ya' been, Father Dougal?- it seems like I haven't read any of your enlightened comments in quite some time. (missed all of those "fucktards" of yours) :)

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:42:31 UTC | #551511

PERSON's Avatar Comment 25 by PERSON

It's interesting to note that both of these are interventionists, and both shifted right relative to their backgrounds. Blair as a matter of pragmatism, as he saw it, and Hitchens from being immersed in the US corporate news culture, the shift being precipitated by visceral outrage at 9/11. Both men were conned, only one was held to account by popular opinion.

All that, however, is independent of their views on religion. Blair tried to reconcile his newly found WOT orthodoxy with the (entirely sane) idea that Muslims are not a monolithic block of evil in his typical third-way style. That led to a divergence from reality that continues to this day. You can't have a system of rhetoric that portrays all Muslims as likely terrorists and at the same time recognise and respond to diversity of opinion within Islam.

Personally, I think Blair felt it was necessary to lie because he thought there was a real threat.

Islam needs to be secularised along with all other religions, and dispersed. Tribalism simply prevents its dilution. The WOT has created a focus that has assisted the worst aspects in gaining power (including, e.g. Bush's mates the Saudis, like y'know, the Bin Ladens). The far right wants an enemy, and so do the extremist Muslims. They've been co-dependent in hijacking their respective societies. And neither of them seems to get that.

Violence creates fear and uncertainty, which strengthens religion. Violence cannot destroy religion.

Blair continues to hold diversity over other all things. Diversity is wonderful, should be celebrated, and should be a goal, but it's not sacred. That doesn't mean we should be frightened into abandoning it, but like free speech there are times when it should be moderated. He'd like us all to get on when there are things that need to be rejected. I can see where he's coming from: there are plenty of people who want to exacerbate differences that are in reality of no consequence, to hype tribal signifiers and turn people of the same class against each other (c.f. white racists vs blacks in the southern US). But really, he's totally lost the plot. I think his conscience has actually driven him insane, which is in a way admirable I guess, and he's taken refuge in childish beliefs.

As for YAB "Nuclear weapons were made and used by those with no sense of the sacred or the holiness of life."

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." J. Robert Oppenheimer, "father of the atomic bomb", quoting the Bhagavad Gita

"Commercial greed is destroying the natural and social environment and one can't blame Islam or Catholicism or Hinduism for that destruction which cannot be reversed. " True, blind faith is as bad as religion.

"Atheist China is guilty of more human rights abuses than is excessively religious India, where people are capable of barbaric religious violence but others are also restrained by prayer, guilt and fear of retribution from the deities." And has recently founded it's state sanctioned christian church. I'm sure it'll be as useful for monitoring of subversives as the Greek orthodox church was to the Soviets.

"When they denounce the faithful as cretins or villains they sound irrational and implausible, drunk on their own home-made hooch of disbelief." This is a fair point, though it's far from universal behaviour.

"Richard Dawkins has dismissed us as "uneducated", "rather stupid" and "paranoid"." Context? Are you saying there aren't large numbers of religious people who are exactly that? An how many times has he said that he's not talking about the likes of YAB, the highly educated and sophisticated?

"So, as I say above, people of faith and those with none could do with better defenders and guardians. And more respectable arguments for and against." Fuck off, tone troll.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 16:10:17 UTC | #551520

BroughtyBoy's Avatar Comment 26 by BroughtyBoy

In an ever changing world it`s always nice to have something you can rely on. In this instance it happens to be the usual tedious and predictable half baked tosh from my chum Yasmin.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 16:16:42 UTC | #551523

PurplePanda's Avatar Comment 27 by PurplePanda

Blair is just prepping himself for a big 'ol tour of Christian America. I can see the $$$ in his eyes from here.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 17:08:03 UTC | #551548

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 28 by irate_atheist

Comment 23 by Steve Zara -

Yours was far better, I have just lost the patience to be verbose with this self-confessed willfully-ignorant, terminally silly, apologist for non-sense.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 17:23:00 UTC | #551554

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 29 by God fearing Atheist

I see atheism is now also responsible for capitalism, as well as Stalin and Hitler.

I learn something new every day. I thought capitalism emerged with those good Catholics, the late medieval and Renaissance Italians, spread across Europe, developed in the industrial revolution in Northern Protestant Europe, spread to the USA, and then around the world.

If Renaissance cathedrals are going to be put down on the plus side of religion's balance sheet, you can bloody well take capitalism on the balance sheet as well.

I note the industrial revolution was fuelled by the misery of African slaves, and how the Christian church came up with just the right bible passages to morally exonerate the wretched practice.

As for the current commercial empire of the USA - who are its biggest fans? It wouldn't be the religious right would it?

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 18:01:02 UTC | #551576

Saikat Biswas's Avatar Comment 30 by Saikat Biswas

Short Alibhai-Brown - "I dig woo. Why can't you?"

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 18:12:33 UTC | #551580