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Blair vs Hitchens

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
It's finally happened....in the great religion vs atheism debate atheism wins a hands down victory and for once I can only agree with Hitchens 100%.

Quote:
Former UK PM Tony Blair has defended the role of religion in global affairs, in a televised debate in Canada with atheist columnist Christopher Hitchens

Video and article.

As much as I deride Hitchens for many things, once you put him up against Blair in a debate of this nature there can only be one winner.

This statement of Blair's is possibly the most nauseating hypocrisy that this master of that genre has ever uttered:

Quote:
Mr Blair also insisted that his decision to support the US invasion of Iraq was based on policy and not on his faith.

What is faith if it does not inform your life and decisions?

Hitchens scored the Knock-out punch with this:

Quote:
Humans gained little, and compromised their freedom, by acting like sheep, said Mr Hitchens.

He said religions created a "celestial dictatorship" which was "greedy for praise from dawn to dusk". He won a laugh from the audience and Mr Blair when he compared such an authority to the North Korean leadership.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

It's finally happened....in the great religion vs atheism debate atheism wins a hands down victory and for once I can only agree with Hitchens 100%.


Video and article.

As much as I deride Hitchens for many things, once you put him up against Blair in a debate of this nature there can only be one winner.






What is faith if it does not inform your life and decisions?

Hitchens scored the Knock-out punch with this:

Religion is a money maker! Why did Blair convert to be a Catholic from a devout Christian?
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

It's finally happened....in the great religion vs atheism debate atheism wins a hands down victory and for once I can only agree with Hitchens 100%.


Video and article.

As much as I deride Hitchens for many things, once you put him up against Blair in a debate of this nature there can only be one winner.

This statement of Blair's is possibly the most nauseating hypocrisy that this master of that genre has ever uttered:

What is faith if it does not inform your life and decisions?

Hitchens scored the Knock-out punch with this:

The win isn't on the topics, but based on the participants. It isn't hard at all to note that all communal concepts follow the same precepts as religion and the human centered ones have been much more violent and harmful. The belief that there was a perfect initial state, a fall, some manner by which the fallen must redeem themselves and then finally we will have utopia again is plainly evident. Worse still, while such a thing might be plausible with a diety, they plainly are IMPOSSIBLE to believe with only human centered endeavors.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

It's finally happened....in the great religion vs atheism debate atheism wins a hands down victory and for once I can only agree with Hitchens 100%.....

It's difficult to argue that "religion" has been a force for good in the world. It's been the cause of wars, violence, mass population control and genocide. However, I've always made a very clear distinction between religion and faith. They are simply not the same thing. In my own life, I am anything but religious. That said, I do consider myself a person of faith. I have a strong belief in God, and I do believe the Christian ethos that Christ died for my sins (I may disagree as to what is a sin and what is not)

So, the comments about religion on Hitchens part? Yes, I agree. I'm also surprised that Blair didn't make any distinction between religion and faith, which seems like an obvious one to me.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The win isn't on the topics, but based on the participants. It isn't hard at all to note that all communal concepts follow the same precepts as religion and the human centered ones have been much more violent and harmful.

Whilst I agree with the first bit - and Blair is the very worst person to represent religion as he is a text-book example of the sort of blood-lust and hypocrisy atheists accuse religionists of.

But your second sentence is wrong.

Not all human communal efforts follow an equivalence of religious precepts at all. This seems a very strange thing to say.

One need only look at head-hunter societies, the Mayans or the IK in today's world to see that is not the case.

Quote:
The belief that there was a perfect initial state, a fall, some manner by which the fallen must redeem themselves and then finally we will have utopia again is plainly evident. Worse still, while such a thing might be plausible with a diety, they plainly are IMPOSSIBLE to believe with only human centered endeavors.

Not sure what you are saying here....seems very unclear.

But to attempt an answer - apologies if I misunderstand the proposition - the idea of 'a fall' is indeed idiotic. Worse it is a sick invention of sick minds designed to control people.

However, metaphorically there is some truth deep down in the idea: we can return as individuals to a better state - before commerce and greed ruled the world for example. Unless you think they always did.

Again I don't accept redemption is impossible minus God - there was an interesting German philosopher who evolved a whole system based on this idea and - surprise! - it worked!!

Also Zen and allied systems achieve the same thing.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

It's difficult to argue that "religion" has been a force for good in the world. It's been the cause of wars, violence, mass population control and genocide. However, I've always made a very clear distinction between religion and faith. They are simply not the same thing. In my own life, I am anything but religious. That said, I do consider myself a person of faith. I have a strong belief in God, and I do believe the Christian ethos that Christ died for my sins (I may disagree as to what is a sin and what is not)

So, the comments about religion on Hitchens part? Yes, I agree. I'm also surprised that Blair didn't make any distinction between religion and faith, which seems like an obvious one to me.

Yes, I noticed that. I also think that it's evident that Blair's belief may have an element of fear or guilt about it.... which is not, imo, a basis for spiritual development.

But what do I know?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Yes, I noticed that. I also think that it's evident that Blair's belief may have an element of fear or guilt about it.... which is not, imo, a basis for spiritual development.

But what do I know?

I don't know where you get that. I think you might like it to be true, but I don't see where you're gleaning that info from.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I don't know where you get that. I think you might like it to be true, but I don't see where you're gleaning that info from.

It's my impression from numerous interviews I have seen of his as well as observing him for most of his reign of terror when I lived under his misrule.

I can be more specific if you wish.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Whilst I agree with the first bit - and Blair is the very worst person to represent religion as he is a text-book example of the sort of blood-lust and hypocrisy atheists accuse religionists of.

But your second sentence is wrong.

Not all human communal efforts follow an equivalence of religious precepts at all. This seems a very strange thing to say.

One need only look at head-hunter societies, the Mayans or the IK in today's world to see that is not the case.

Not completely sure where you are going with those examples so fill it in a bit more please. Are you saying those are examples of irreligious societies that are atheistic and free of any sort of superstition religious or otherwise because I'm not sure we would be in agreement on that.

Quote:
Not sure what you are saying here....seems very unclear.

I'm saying the prior utopian state has never existed. Claims that it has and then there was a fall are about control.

Quote:
But to attempt an answer - apologies if I misunderstand the proposition - the idea of 'a fall' is indeed idiotic. Worse it is a sick invention of sick minds designed to control people.

Agreed for the most part. As you note when applied on an individual instead of group or societal level, things work out differently.

Quote:
However, metaphorically there is some truth deep down in the idea: we can return as individuals to a better state - before commerce and greed ruled the world for example. Unless you think they always did.

Again I don't accept redemption is impossible minus God - there was an interesting German philosopher who evolved a whole system based on this idea and - surprise! - it worked!!

Also Zen and allied systems achieve the same thing.

I'm not of the view that commerce and greed have been absent from the world in any form at any time, ever. The rationales may have changed but the motivations have not.

I think it works on an individual level because individuals are not inclined to judge themselves and tend to excuse their own double-standards.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Not completely sure where you are going with those examples so fill it in a bit more please. Are you saying those are examples of irreligious societies that are atheistic and free of any sort of superstition religious or otherwise because I'm not sure we would be in agreement on that.

No...I mean those societies had no moral code we would recognize. The Ik for example felt that children and old people should be allowed to starve in times of famine.

Headhunters feel guilt if prevented from killing rivals etc.

Quote:
I'm saying the prior utopian state has never existed. Claims that it has and then there was a fall are about control.

I agree...of course it has never existed as a Societal State. It is a state of mind that HAS existed...if only when we are first born - but I think the metaphor is deeper than that.

Quote:
Agreed for the most part. As you note when applied on an individual instead of group or societal level, things work out differently.

Yes...but from my pov there is only the individual in the final analysis.

Quote:
I'm not of the view that commerce and greed have been absent from the world in any form at any time, ever. The rationales may have changed but the motivations have not.

There must have been a time when commerce was not present. Greed probably always was though...

Quote:
I think it works on an individual level because individuals are not inclined to judge themselves and tend to excuse their own double-standards.

They shouldn't though if they are of a religious/spirtual mindset....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

It's my impression from numerous interviews I have seen of his as well as observing him for most of his reign of terror when I lived under his misrule.

I can be more specific if you wish.

Oh, well! It's your impression! Tell you what...I'm going to let you get away with that, so long as I don't a read a string of insults the next time I use that phrase.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
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