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← Christopher Hitchens Debates Timothy Jackson

Christopher Hitchens Debates Timothy Jackson - Comments

eXcommunicate's Avatar Comment 1 by eXcommunicate

I can't understand a word Christopher is saying.

EDIT: Turned my volume way up. Nice. Hitchy is so much better when he's sober.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 11:21:00 UTC | #116504

Colwyn Abernathy's Avatar Comment 2 by Colwyn Abernathy

Well, I got "Thank you."

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 11:25:00 UTC | #116505

aoratos philos's Avatar Comment 3 by aoratos philos

alternate source

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 11:30:00 UTC | #116509

anotherclinton's Avatar Comment 4 by anotherclinton

Hey! I was at this debate! Jackson took his lumps like a man, though a lot of time was wasted on the MLK question.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 11:36:00 UTC | #116511

liddlefeesh's Avatar Comment 5 by liddlefeesh

Wonderful. And I was supposed to be working tonght! :)

Can't get enough of Hitchens :P

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 11:57:00 UTC | #116518

eXcommunicate's Avatar Comment 6 by eXcommunicate

The last bit at the end with the bottle of Bourbon was hilarious.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 12:32:00 UTC | #116535

AnthSynthasome's Avatar Comment 7 by AnthSynthasome

I rather prefer Hitchens when his tongue is a bit anesthetized by the drink! Aside, it is always entertaining to watch him debate.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 12:43:00 UTC | #116543

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 8 by HappyPrimate

Waiting for the day when schools of theology no longer exist in legitimate colleges and universities. Not an educational subject anymore than schools of astrology. Otherwise I really enjoyed Hitchens in his usual good form.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 12:49:00 UTC | #116545

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 9 by al-rawandi


As long as people continue to believe in God, the belief should be studied. Eliminating theology is like eliminating criminology. We have to understand what drives the religious, ignoring their beliefs does not fix the problem.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 12:50:00 UTC | #116546

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 10 by Gymnopedie

al-rawandi, studying religion and studying theology are not the same thing. Religion is a real historical and cultural subject, theology is the study of a non-existant being. One is a subject, the other is a non-subject. Confusing the two is quite dangerous.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:06:00 UTC | #116551

keith's Avatar Comment 11 by keith


Sorry to follow you around but I couldn't help but notice your rubbish analogy. Eliminating theology is not like eliminating criminology at all. Criminology tries to explain why people commit crimes. Theology doesn't try to explain why people are religious. Or do you think that Dan Dennett was engaging in theology in Breaking The Spell?

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:07:00 UTC | #116552

CruciFiction's Avatar Comment 12 by CruciFiction

Sorry, part 7 changed to:

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:11:00 UTC | #116553

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 13 by al-rawandi


Please, don't apologize, you aren't the first. I think religion should be studied in an anthropological setting. For instance why people believe in God. This would encompass psychology, history, etc... So in that sense I think "theology" should perhaps be redefined, maybe "religious studies" or "religious theory". But it should be studied in the same way as criminology (I think the two are similar).

I guess I wasn't clear enough in the post.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:14:00 UTC | #116554

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 14 by al-rawandi


Looking back at my post. Perhaps it would have benefitted you to read it more closely. Like where I said:

the belief should be studied


We have to understand what drives the religious,

Rubbish reading skills more like it. Call the field whatever you like.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:18:00 UTC | #116556

krisking's Avatar Comment 15 by krisking


Theology doesn't try to explain why people are religious

What do you think does?

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:24:00 UTC | #116557

ACJames's Avatar Comment 16 by ACJames

I think Hitch likes the irony of drinking and out-thinking a guy while (somewhat) intoxicated.

He has had these debates so many times with religious defenders who are so monotonous, and his love of strong drink so ingrained, he must feel a need to "mix it up" as it were, to keep himself entertained.

Hitch rocks, even when i disagree with him, I still like his arguement better, a true artist.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:48:00 UTC | #116564

technogogo's Avatar Comment 17 by technogogo

Sound quality is not great. But if you are using Realplayer (via the linked to site) you may have a graphic equaliser. On Mac its on the Window pulldown menu. Or command-E. Not sure about PC vesion. Lower all the sliders apart from those for the 3 or 4 highest frequency bands.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:52:00 UTC | #116567

mmurray's Avatar Comment 18 by mmurray

I think you are arguing over meanings here.

If by theology you mean the study of God aimed to try and remove the logical contradictions apparent in religious belief then I think this a non subject.

If by theology you mean the study of religion you mean the study of how religions behave, or the history of religious thought or why people are religious etc that is a serious subject.

I'm with Gymnopedie -- we should call the second of these religious studies or similar and the first theology. There is probably some overlap of course. If you study God you will want to read religious books but your aim is different.


Tue, 05 Feb 2008 14:15:00 UTC | #116577

Corylus's Avatar Comment 19 by Corylus

CruciFiction you seem to be busy with the videos alot.

I enjoy being able to watch debates on here, so thanks for the hard work :-)

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 14:37:00 UTC | #116585

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 20 by Chrysippus_Maximus

I love when Hitchens mentions Spinoza.

His interlocutors don't even know who that is!

Ha~! (and you'll catch Mr. Jackson's explicit ignorance of Spinoza... who THEN SAYS HE WENT TO GRAD SCHOOL FOR PHILOSOPHY. What a moron.)

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 14:48:00 UTC | #116588

urbster1's Avatar Comment 21 by urbster1

The ending was my favorite! This may well be the best debate I've seen Hitchens do so far. Nice job!

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 15:31:00 UTC | #116594

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 22 by Dr. Strangegod

al-rawandi -

theology is sort of like the emic study of religion, while most "religion" departments take a more etic view, or at least they are supposed to. my BA department called the program by the name "History of Religion" in reference to the work of Mircea Eliade, and this is fairly commonly understood as the term for the anthro/socio/psycho/historical study of religion. believe me, it has been unendingly annoying to have people confuse what my degree is in with theology. i've actually been asked many times whether i was going to be a priest (to which My Dark Lord Satan thunderously laughed). theology and history of religion should not be confused. i've always said that i'm like a biologist who studies trees: i am not a tree myself, and in fact being a tree would probably hamper my ability to study trees objectively. likewise, i am not a believer, i study them. like trees. or bugs. or viruses.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 15:45:00 UTC | #116600

plastictowel's Avatar Comment 23 by plastictowel

Why does no one EVER put these debates in windows or Microsoft format! I can't ever burn these, and I have too much hubris to watch movies/debates from my pc! Yahweh damnit.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 16:43:00 UTC | #116611

Zaphod's Avatar Comment 24 by Zaphod

In regards to the third video clip.

A dog being hit by a car made him a Christian? This is what made stupid arguments somehow more credible? An emotional thing happened(to a dog) and it made his rationality, reason and logical thoughts fly out the window. This does happen to people (albeit for more personal traumas like the death of a loved one). However, to let it change your world view 180 degrees is mental. What arguments that you found stupid as a non believer do you know find credible? Seriously. I am an atheist because I care about what is true. I don't believe things because they make me feel good. In fact if they make me feel good I see even more reason to be sceptical of them.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 17:07:00 UTC | #116615

AfraidToDie's Avatar Comment 25 by AfraidToDie

Timothy Jackson seemed to be quite apologetic, and never argued "for" religion or claimed any strong personal belief in a god (or Jesus). If he was really Christian, he caved in because he at least knew he had no argument that made sense. He could only try and challenge Hitch on his statements such as MLK wasn't really Christian. I came away thinking Mr Jackson may be coming into the light of rational thinking. If he had a "flock", he's going to have a hard time keeping them together after this debate!

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 17:10:00 UTC | #116616

LordSummerisle's Avatar Comment 26 by LordSummerisle

Lovely. I've been looking for Hitchens's Southern debates for quite some time now.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 17:20:00 UTC | #116617

home8896's Avatar Comment 27 by home8896

Kudos to those who can put up with listening to this stuff repeatedly and argue it repeatedly. I got to Mr. Jackson talking about the Nazis and social darwinism and I just gave up. I just can't listen to this, over and over and over...

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 17:21:00 UTC | #116618

LeeLeeOne's Avatar Comment 28 by LeeLeeOne

Hitchens' humor... priceless!

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 17:26:00 UTC | #116620

LordSummerisle's Avatar Comment 29 by LordSummerisle

Surprisingly genial, all in all. The bourbon bottle at the end was a nice gesture on Jackson's part.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 17:37:00 UTC | #116624

Zaphod's Avatar Comment 30 by Zaphod

That was awesome he gave him some bourbon at the end. Timothy Jackson your a nice guy.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 18:02:00 UTC | #116634