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← Christopher Hitchens on Real Time with Bill Maher

Christopher Hitchens on Real Time with Bill Maher - Comments

firehot's Avatar Comment 1 by firehot

hahahaha loved the very last comment hitchens made.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 18:05:00 UTC | #129832

wundergeist's Avatar Comment 2 by wundergeist

Hitchens in great shape!

The best part:

[People say that a candidate for president has to be religious or won't be elected]

Hitchens - Go ask a 1975 republican if they'll vote for a divorced second-rate actor; they'll say no, because they don't know Ronald Reagan yet. Same with religion.

There's an old problem in market research: how to test a completely new proposition. It is known that simply asking is not the solution; however, simply asking whether people would vote for an atheist is exactly like asking whether they'd like a product they never heard about. Imagine asking people in 1900 about the internet...

W

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 18:05:00 UTC | #129833

info_dump's Avatar Comment 3 by info_dump

Nice to see some of my favourite media personalities all in one place. I thought Dan Savage was pretty well-spoken.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 18:10:00 UTC | #129835

firehot's Avatar Comment 4 by firehot

Surely the fact that no congressman in the US has managed to be voted in if he is openly atheist strongly suggests it wouldn't currently be possible for a president to be openly atheist.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 18:19:00 UTC | #129836

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 5 by Steve Zara

Hitchens is wrong about the birth of Buddha. There is no consistent dogma about how the Buddha was born. There are some Buddhist schools which include supernatural nonsense, but there are others than accept that he was born the normal way.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 18:22:00 UTC | #129837

Lenny's Avatar Comment 6 by Lenny

Some awkward moments there for Chris (what was that bit about the Rodham brothers about?), but still entertaining for the most part.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 18:29:00 UTC | #129839

Pentecost's Avatar Comment 7 by Pentecost

Since this is the clear-thinking oasis, I should point out that Maher has some crackpot theories about medicine. Plus, he is a raging misogynist and a poor comedian. He is the type of arrogant persona that turns people off to atheists.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 19:08:00 UTC | #129845

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 8 by robotaholic

i think Maher is funny and don't care what you think about him Pentecost- Hitchens was great too

Steve Buddha is grown and smoked... lol

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 19:16:00 UTC | #129846

LetMeBeClear's Avatar Comment 9 by LetMeBeClear

"Romney, and the magical Mormon underpants."

This should be the punch line for an american express commercial...someone help me...

...magical Mormon underpants...priceless.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 19:28:00 UTC | #129851

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 10 by robotaholic

Steve I don't think Hitch is wrong about Buddha...I mean mabye there are different versions of the Buddha's birth, but even the 2nd-3rd century relief shown here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:SiddhartaBirth.JPG shows him coming out of his mother's side...

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 19:30:00 UTC | #129852

LetMeBeClear's Avatar Comment 11 by LetMeBeClear

Steve, I agree with you completely, but you would have to agree that it just wouldn't be Hitchens style to make an exception here.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 19:35:00 UTC | #129855

Wosret's Avatar Comment 12 by Wosret

There isn't complete agreement in any religion Steve. By that logic, I couldn't say that Christians believe in heave and hell, because some don't. Surely he didn't mean to imply that every single Buddhists does. Not every single christian believes that Jesus was born of a virgin.

I also don't like Maher, he isn't funny, and is a tool, (those are of course my opinion) but I was surpized to see Hitchens back on there after what happened last time.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 20:08:00 UTC | #129861

Thanny's Avatar Comment 13 by Thanny

Pentecost:

Oh no! Bill Maher isn't right about everything! Let's hurry up and accuse him of being a completely worthless human!

If you think Maher is a poor comedian, you're merely demonstrating a crippled sense of humor. The notion that he's a misogynist is rather ludicrous, but you'd have to actually pay attention to what he says to know that.

Yes, he's got some wacky ideas about food and medicine. Hitchens has some wacky ideas about Iraq. That doesn't mean I need to assassinate their characters, and dismiss everything they say as tainted.

That's because I'm a grown-up. Look into it.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 20:44:00 UTC | #129864

Saerain's Avatar Comment 14 by Saerain

I quite like Maher when he is not wasting time on celebrity antics, although that seems to usually be filler material.

As far as the American media goes, he is one of the few closest to being on 'our side'. I think we can debate amongst ourselves on the other issues later. Right now we have religious tension across the globe like we have not seen in some time, and I'm content to find allies there first.

Besides, his views on medicine are not superstitious, they're just ill-founded. I get the distinct impression that he has never been formidably challenged on it. He doesn't strike me as the type who would remain unswayed by a good debate.

Then again, I am sometimes told that I have too much confidence in the human brain.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 21:04:00 UTC | #129867

HitbLade's Avatar Comment 15 by HitbLade

I enjoyed that. I loled some.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 21:18:00 UTC | #129869

Saerain's Avatar Comment 16 by Saerain

By the way, Hitchens is going on about Obama's church, yes? Has he talked about this at more length anywhere else? I'm not sure I understand what better alternative he sees in this particular election.

He has expressed his support of Giuliani in the past, and I can't say that I understand where they would see eye-to-eye except on their similarly belligerent stance the war. Very strange.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 21:27:00 UTC | #129872

Pentecost's Avatar Comment 17 by Pentecost

Wow! Didn't realize this was the Bill Maher love-fest page. No need for people to get their shorts in a bunch. Maher is scientifically illiterate while arrogantly attacking people's characters for being "religulous."
@ Thanny. I would also add that Hitchens is an equally arrogant (though infinitely more entertaining) war-monger. I'm free to have these opinions and you are free to disagree, but try using an argument rather than taunting my lack of humour (or at least lack of interest in the sex and pot jokes that Maher beats to death. He'd probably get a kick out of robotaholic's Buddha ref.) And I'll look into that grown-up thing you mentioned.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 21:35:00 UTC | #129873

Rob3fm's Avatar Comment 18 by Rob3fm

I listen to Maher's show every week as a podcast (it's free on iTunes--and probably elsewhere--in case any of you don't get HBO and want Bill for free), so I miss whatever pleasures the video may have to offer.

But anyway, I enjoy his show a lot. I laugh and enjoy the conversations, but it still can be infuriating to listen to. His monologues are sometimes embarrassingly bad, and he can be REALLY hypocritical and inconsistent with his logic. And I can see the misogyny charge that Pentecost is making. There have been several just plain mean jokes that were clearly not tongue-in-cheek. One thing that sticks out in my mind right now is a rant he did about mothers breastfeeding in public. He boiled the issue down to mothers being self-righteous about how their status as divine mothers or something can't be criticized, and he said something like "wow, you made a baby--something a monkey could do." I'm totally paraphrasing off the top of my head. Anyway, it really pissed me off, as he totally missed the point of what it can be like to have babies and really want to occasionally go out and feel like a normal human participant in society while caring for a newborn--which can be really stressful, Bill! You ass. (Love your show!)

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 21:39:00 UTC | #129875

Pentecost's Avatar Comment 19 by Pentecost

@Saerain
Hitch has written about Romney vis-a-vis religion.
http://www.slate.com/id/2179404/
http://www.slate.com/id/2178568/
And briefly about Obama's church:
http://www.slate.com/id/2181460/

The criticisms about Obama's church seem to have more to do with the pastor and that single church, rather than the denomination. The United Church of Christ is actually one of the most progressive protestant denominations in the US - the only one I know of that will ordain gay ministers - and seems to be the lesser of all evils.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 21:49:00 UTC | #129877

info_dump's Avatar Comment 20 by info_dump


There is no consistent dogma about how the Buddha was born.


I'd like to add that "The Buddha" doesn't strictly refer to a single person. Besides Gautama Buddha, there are several people in history referred to as "buddhas", and all people are supposed to be capable of becoming buddhas. As I understand it, Buddhists don't really worship Gautama Buddha or any of the others, and I don't think they're considered "deities". Hitchens' point about gods bypassing the birth canal is interesting, but I don't think it applies to Buddha.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 22:08:00 UTC | #129881

JanChan's Avatar Comment 21 by JanChan

Talking about Buddhism, believing that some kind of invisible force that causes bad things to happen to you when you do bad things, karma, isn't any different than an invisible sky god meeting out punishments. Both of them are blind ridiculous faith. And it's not moral in any sense to not do bad things just because you're afraid of getting punished.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 22:16:00 UTC | #129884

V1ktor's Avatar Comment 22 by V1ktor

I did see those stats. It is funny how atheists have lowest rate of divorce, for theists divorce more often against their beliefs.

Good video, entertaining.

Viva la Atheism!

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 22:39:00 UTC | #129889

Roland_F's Avatar Comment 23 by Roland_F

22. Comment #136864 by JanChan Talking about Buddhism, believing that some kind of invisible force that causes bad things to happen

There seems to be a misunderstanding about Buddhism : there is no invisible bad force (Evil, Devil, Satan) everything is inside and is coming from the person itself. And this person is only itself responsible for the own Karma. Accumulating good Karma allows a rebirth of the soul into a better future life of another sentient being.
And when the ultimate stage of goodness and enlightenment is reached (= Buddha hood) the cycle of endless rebirth and suffering of physical existence is reached and the soul don't have to suffer longer in physical existence and is reaching Nirvana. The Buddha statues are not for prayer or worship but can be possibly used to concentrate and focus the mind for meditation.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 22:51:00 UTC | #129890

Wosret's Avatar Comment 24 by Wosret

Buddhism has always made me laugh, it is build on the completely idiotic belief of reincationation, and it's practicianers attempt to reach a state of enlightenment so they don't get reincarnated again, but instead meet oblivion, or non-existence...yeah I am pretty sure I don't have to study to reach nirvana, in fact I am confident that everything that has ever died has reached nirvana.

I'd rather reincarnation, but they reality doesn't opporate based on what I'd rather.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 23:15:00 UTC | #129895

info_dump's Avatar Comment 25 by info_dump

Talking about Buddhism, believing that some kind of invisible force that causes bad things to happen to you when you do bad things, karma, isn't any different than an invisible sky god meeting out punishments.


I think that's a misunderstanding of karma. I won't pretend I'm some expert on Buddhism, but you can look up "karma in buddhism" on wikipedia for a start, if you're actually interested. Suffice it to say karma is way more nuanced, and isn't an invisible force.

Your point is well taken though, that there are many aspects of Buddhism that seem like superfluous mysticism, which is not so appealing to me. Some of the ideas are pretty interesting though. Most of what I know about Buddhism comes from listening to MP3 lectures by Alan Watts, which I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn from someone who understands the rather complicated subject, and knows how to teach it.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 23:16:00 UTC | #129896

info_dump's Avatar Comment 26 by info_dump

it is build on the completely idiotic belief of reincationation


Again, another common misunderstanding. Buddhism is by no means built on a belief in reincarnation (which is idiotic, I agree). I think some forms of Buddhism do believe in reincarnation, but there are major branches of Buddhism, including Zen, which don't believe any such thing. It's not really a central belief, and is by no means a foundational teaching.

I always like when you post - your avatar is, um, titillating.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 23:23:00 UTC | #129898

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 27 by irate_atheist

5. Comment #136807 by Steve Zara -

Hitchens is wrong about the birth of Buddha. There is no consistent dogma about how the Buddha was born. There are some Buddhist schools which include supernatural nonsense, but there are others than accept that he was born the normal way.
Could not the same be said about Christians and Jesus? An interesting parallel perhaps? One that we can employ the 'No True Scotsman' on, anyway.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 23:29:00 UTC | #129899

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 28 by irate_atheist

9. Comment #136826 by 4horsefins -

...magical Mormon underpants...priceless.
Perhaps, more accurately: ...magical Mormon underpants...worthless.

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 23:33:00 UTC | #129900

dragonfirematrix's Avatar Comment 29 by dragonfirematrix

Christopher Hitchens was terrific!!!

It is great to see a such a dynamite display by Christopher Hitchens at a simple fire cracker party.

Will humanity ever learn the truth?

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 23:46:00 UTC | #129903

Roland_F's Avatar Comment 30 by Roland_F

Perhaps, more accurately: ...magical Mormon underpants...worthless.

No they are needed for the almighty all knowing God at the end of days, to separate the good Mormons from the bad (non Mormon) people.
Very logical: an all knowing God needs a special marker of fancy underpants to know, otherwise the all-knowing God would not know ?!?!

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 23:53:00 UTC | #129904