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← Is There An Afterlife? Christopher Hitchens vs Shmuley Boteach

Is There An Afterlife? Christopher Hitchens vs Shmuley Boteach - Comments

Michael Austin's Avatar Comment 1 by Michael Austin

This guy is loud!

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 04:29:37 UTC | #569984

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 2 by Neodarwinian

Now that is fifteen minutes I will not forget soon! How many secular jews,christains,muslims and hindus are there really?

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 04:43:49 UTC | #569991

fuzzylogic's Avatar Comment 3 by fuzzylogic

I like how Hitch is arguing against the existence of the after life probably very close to the relevant time for him.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 05:58:59 UTC | #570000

Alan Canon's Avatar Comment 4 by Alan Canon

Comment 1 by Michael Austin :

This guy is loud!

Jesus F. Christ (Oh, excuse me, Noah F. Abraham) he is! I wish I'd been there to be the audio engineer. I guess Boteach might be used to filling a hall without a microphone. Nothing wrong with having a good set of "pipes," (except if you're spouting inane drivel as Boteach always does) but the correct way to run sound for a person like that is to set up a microphone all nice and perty...and then keep it turned completely down, out of the sound mix.

Or, alternatively, set up a vocal monitor speaker right in his ear that blasts his own voice back at him at full volume so he can hear what he sounds like. But he's so divorced from reality it might not make a difference.

Poor Christopher, sitting there listening to this crap, with his life ticking away. What a waste of air.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 06:12:11 UTC | #570004

Radesq's Avatar Comment 5 by Radesq

Well, I watched all eight clips of this. Hitchens was fine, maybe a little more subdued than usual. The Rabbi didn't give him much to work with because he started by giving up most of the field to Hitch.

The most memorable exchange had to be when the Rabbi trotted out the Fascist/atheist bit about Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot for the Nth time. Hitchens forcefully countered once again.

Hitch also spoke eloquently about the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom and the greatness of the secular nature of the US Constitution.

Actually, the thing I found most remarkable about Rabbi Shmuley (other than his volume set to 11, as noted above) is his going out of his way to make clear his dislike of Richard Dawkins and that he essentially asserted that Richard Dawkins doesn't care about or like children.

I can't remember watching any of the debates in which they both participated - but I guess I will have to take a look now because Prof. Dawkins obviously touched a sore spot with the Rabbi at some point.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 06:41:52 UTC | #570010

Michael Austin's Avatar Comment 6 by Michael Austin

Comment Removed by Author

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 07:08:31 UTC | #570012

Michael Austin's Avatar Comment 7 by Michael Austin

Comment Removed by Author

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 07:10:17 UTC | #570013

Michael Austin's Avatar Comment 8 by Michael Austin

After watching all 8 clips, I feel that Richard and this guy need to have a talk. Preferably out of public and in an ally. If you're reading this Richard, he took some pretty low blows at you. He basically said that you hated humanity, and children, unless they fit into your cause of eradicating religion from the world.If you don't want to watch the whole thing, I or someone else can point you to the -completely out of context- attacks on your character. @Comment 5, I think he's referring to this debate ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFRh-uBi6W8 ). I couldn't watch the whole thing because the audio's terrible, and people are deliberately coughing whenever Richard goes on stage.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 07:11:20 UTC | #570014

JuJu's Avatar Comment 9 by JuJu

The Afterlife is for the living, not the deceased. It feels better to believe a loved one is in a 'better' place, even if its just pretend. This is the position my wife holds. If one of our children die, she wants to believe they still exist somewhere outside of just our memories. Although she admits its a make believe thought and highly unlikely, she doesn't care, and demands that no one try to take that self imposed pseudo belief away from her. Knowing the mental gymnastics syndrome this must cause, I of course give in to her request and back off on this subject.

I'm actually quit proud of her, she was a full fledged Mormon, who thought Joseph Smith was an actual prophet. She doesn't anymore (yeah!). I managed to slowly, over time, get the truth to sink in and shes pretty much a convert (my first). Heck, we might even send our kids to Camp Quest this summer.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 08:23:11 UTC | #570022

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 10 by rod-the-farmer

I think perhaps, after asking Shmuley the question at the very start, "Is there an afterlife ?", and allowing him to go one for so many minutes of bafflegab, the moderator could have asked the exact same question of Christopher.

His response ?

"No."

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 08:49:31 UTC | #570029

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 11 by Rodger T

Oi vey,Shmuley the greatest inducer of headaches ,ever.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 09:56:45 UTC | #570032

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 12 by El Bastardo

I've listened to the first 6 minutes and all I hear from Shmuley is wordplay. He's basically saying yes there's an afterlife if you mean after your life people will still remember you, well no shit Sherlock.

Let me state here and now, that of course there's a heaven, if by heaven you mean a table. There are heavens all over the world, some houses even have 2 or 3, praise be.

Shmuley had an ability to talk and talk and not say a damned thing. It seems to be the only tactic in his arsenal.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 10:12:17 UTC | #570034

Sample's Avatar Comment 13 by Sample

It seems to be the only tactic in his arsenal. El Bastardo

The bull**** element at these debate spectacles was in full force here. I know I don't watch these things to learn much, but I am so thankful that there are people like Hitchens who continue to play these venues.

If nothing else, and it could be said most importantly, allowing their opponents' nonsense and dishonest evasivness to be exposed might just be the remedy to reducing their power and influence in society.

I tip my hat to Hitchens and always will.

Mike

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 10:35:53 UTC | #570040

Corey Hill's Avatar Comment 14 by Corey Hill

I spent most of the video being distracted by the moderator

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:28:36 UTC | #570080

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 15 by irate_atheist

Ah, yes, the shrill strident Schumley Blowfelch. Not worth wasting any intertubes time on.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 14:11:15 UTC | #570119

stellier68's Avatar Comment 16 by stellier68

Wow, they really found a "hardcore" rabbi to debate with! I loved especially how he got right in the matter: - "Schmuley, is there's an afterlife?" - "We all believe there's an afterlife, we just don't...blah...blah...blah"

Case closed, you heard it...We ALL believe !!!

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 14:35:36 UTC | #570130

keith's Avatar Comment 17 by keith

I'm a huge fan of both Hitch and Sam Harris but there is one thing that I simply don't get. The idea that our consciousness might somehow survive our bodies seems only very slightly less ridiculous than the idea of heaven. Can anyone explain what I'm missing?

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 15:48:58 UTC | #570163

Marc Country's Avatar Comment 18 by Marc Country

Why is the guy with the coaster on his head screaming?

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 16:07:25 UTC | #570170

mattlennon's Avatar Comment 19 by mattlennon

I don't think we should be riding the rabbi so hard here. All he's saying is that the effects of our actions may extend beyond our lifespans, and in that sense there is an afterlife. I think that this sentiment, in a vacuum, is both positive and incontrovertible.

Sure, Shmuley is the author of many nonsensical ideas, but these first minutes here are ideas I can get behind.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 17:13:42 UTC | #570222

mattlennon's Avatar Comment 20 by mattlennon

Side note: the moderator is Lisa Oz, wife of Oprah acolyte Mehmet Oz. Her wikipedia page notes Mrs. Oz

attended Columbia University’s Union Theological Seminary and has written on and maintains a passion for spiritual studies. She is a Reiki master and has spoken widely of her insights into energy and health.

Reiki Master, indeed. Sounds impressive.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 17:47:27 UTC | #570247

dreamr's Avatar Comment 21 by dreamr

Wow, Shmuley actually made a huge amount of points against faith and the "children" monotheist religions of the Hebrews. Love it. After watching debates with numerous other religious wackjobs it always makes me soft-hearted for the Jews. They make a lot more sense then the Christians, Muslims, and (insert scientology, mormonism, et all here).

Having known several terminal people in my life I disagree that hitch isn't on form. He's the most put together, powerful, moving terminal person I have ever "known". A marvelous animal that man, a marvelous human.

On part || Shmuley goes on to make more sense. Holy crap! I will be the first to admit that while I value evidence on all things, one issue makes me abandon it and "hope" and "have faith" concepts I think we should strip from religion.

That subject is humanity. I have hope and faith in people, even though they give me quite contrary evidence to their goodness. However I find that treating people in this way gets better results then criticizing and scrutinizing everyone.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 17:50:09 UTC | #570251

fuzzylogic's Avatar Comment 22 by fuzzylogic

Comment 16 by stellier68 :

Wow, they really found a "hardcore" rabbi to debate with! I loved especially how he got right in the matter: - "Schmuley, is there's an afterlife?" - "We all believe there's an afterlife, we just don't...blah...blah...blah"

Case closed, you heard it...We ALL believe !!!

To be fair you have to hear the rest of his argument, because he goes on to define afterlife as simply an earthly legacy that lives on in others. A most agreeable thing.

It's just a weak claim to say that is a religious idea of what happens after death.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 19:38:11 UTC | #570321

Michael Austin's Avatar Comment 23 by Michael Austin

Comment 17 by keith :

I'm a huge fan of both Hitch and Sam Harris but there is one thing that I simply don't get. The idea that our consciousness might somehow survive our bodies seems only very slightly less ridiculous than the idea of heaven. Can anyone explain what I'm missing?

I think he's talking about using technology to transfer human conscience.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 20:22:34 UTC | #570351

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 24 by Rawhard Dickins

Utter lack of grasp of reality by Boteach yet again.

Keep trotting out the same crap, if you shout it loud enough someone will be converted!

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 00:32:53 UTC | #570495

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 25 by huzonfurst

Once again, Hitch lets Boteach get away with claiming that atheists are "certain" there are no gods, and then uses that to claim that it's just another belief system.

To me that screams for an immediate correction but it rarely happens in these debates, and I want to know why.

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 00:45:06 UTC | #570500

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 26 by Cook@Tahiti

Comment 17 by keith :

I'm a huge fan of both Hitch and Sam Harris but there is one thing that I simply don't get. The idea that our consciousness might somehow survive our bodies seems only very slightly less ridiculous than the idea of heaven. Can anyone explain what I'm missing?

Hitch is from the humanities side of the CP Snow 'Two Cultures' divide. Sometimes, it seems the only science he's ever read is a page from Hawking about the Event Horizon that he goes on and on about.

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 01:51:56 UTC | #570525

Michael Austin's Avatar Comment 27 by Michael Austin

Comment 27 by   :

That's one hot moderator.

Except that Dr. Oz has defiled her, and she's a cult member.

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 02:57:34 UTC | #570541

Toronto Atheist's Avatar Comment 28 by Toronto Atheist

What science professor would tell his students that half of what they learn in medical school will be obsolete by the time they graduate?

Dubious claim to say the least. Especially since Lisa Oz and her husband(Mehmet Oz) promote alternative medicine on their syndicated talk show (an Oprah spin-off).

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 03:00:33 UTC | #570543

BJ Murphy's Avatar Comment 29 by BJ Murphy

It's official...the Jewish are just one step closer to atheism than everyone else is. ^_^ I think Hitchens held in quite well.

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 04:56:47 UTC | #570581

erindorothy's Avatar Comment 30 by erindorothy

Crikey. Rant, rant, rant, really loud loud loud - headache coming on (mine) - poor Christopher. fancy having to put up with this shit, I mean really.

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 07:39:23 UTC | #570615