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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Christopher Hitchens vs Tony Blair

I can't remember how many times I listened to this on my iPod, but, I had a bit of time today, so I watched this debate again.

When I feel my brain needs some fresh oxygen, it's usually Christopher Hitchens I turn to.

There's no concrete record of the famous debate between Thomas Huxley and bishop Wilberforce over Darwinism in 1860.

Thanks to modern technology, we can watch this another historical debate online anytime we want.

Dubbed as "Heavy-weight match", this one is really memorable. Hitchens, by then, was diagnosed as stage four oesophagus cancer.
"The thing about stage four is, there's no stage five", he used to say in an interview.

Despite his ill health, he managed to produce a knock out blow one after another against Tony Blair.

I must say, I was a bit disappointed by his defence of religion. His arguments are all very tame at best.
I had expected to see far better, forthright counter arguments from this brilliant statesman.

As usual, Hitchens are very lucid, offering a razor-sharp logical arguments, and not only that, he's very funny. That's his charm, really. There're not many public intellectuals who can make audience laugh like Hitchens.

Surely, one thing he was incapable of was being boring.

"Religion forces nice people to do unkind things, and also makes intelligent people say stupid things.
Handed a small baby for the first time, is it your first reaction to think, beautiful, almost perfect, now please hand me the sharp stone for its genitalia that I may do the work of the Lord.
No, it is — as the great physicist Stephen Weinberg has aptly put it, in the ordinary moral universe, the good will do the best they can, the worst will do the worst they can, but if you want to make good people do wicked things, you’ll need religion."

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