Saturday, 27 November 2010
The old second sight must be coming back to me, because as soon as I read this article, I guessed that Hitch won the audience because (well, let's be frank) only fanatical atheists would be sad enough to watch a 'debate' between two dopey, half-crazed, war-mongering pseudo-intellectuals.
And blow me down, was I not right:
'Throughout the 90-minute debate Hitchens seemed to have the crowd's sympathy. That might have been to do with his ill appearance due to cancer, but was far more likely to be down to the sharpness of his verbal barbs and the fact that 57% of the audience already agreed with his sceptical position according to a pre-debate poll, while just 22% agreed with Blair's side. The rest were undecided.'
Don't get me wrong. I don't doubt for one second that Hitchens wiped the floor with Blair. But then, who couldn't (aside from Tory party leaders that is)? Surely the most interesting fact is that both men have such astounding arrogance and that belief plays such a large role in both lives: they are twins arguing over shadows.
And this, incidentally, is one of very many reasons I would have no interest in seeing Tony Blair debating. For me to appreciate belief you have to appreciate reason, research and logic.
Then there's also the fact that he sees himself as a paragon of Christian virtue after the 'dodgy' dossier. The thing is, we Christians can afford to be choosy. Given how long Hitchens has been lauded by the humanist fanatics, I wonder if they could say the same?
Saturday, 20 November 2010
I've not had much time for the old blog recently, due to being away from the internet. But a quick roundup.
Regular commenter and friend of this site, John, now has his own blog and very good it appears to be as well. It focuses on economics and cooperatives and is very well researched and full of interesting references.
Animal Rights, Logical Wrongs
You'd normally think that someone who brags about eating at Macdonalds would be someone highly unlikely to take animal welfare seriously. Or for that matter to think that anyone would respect their views on that topic.
But you would be unfamiliar with Johann Hari, who as per usual suffers no doubts that he has both the moral high ground and an unquestioning audience who will gulp down his every word.
I think sadly he is correct on the second one. As it is, I'm against Kosher and Halal slaughtering, and don't need the words of someone who stuffs their face with battery farmed chicken to bring me to this conclusion. But when you are sure of your own rightness as Hari is, the suffering of people is as beside the point as the suffering of animals:
'You can cry that we are "persecuting" you if we stop you committing acts of cruelty if you want.
It's what the religious – Christian, Jew and Muslim alike – did when we stopped you tormenting women and gays and anybody else you could get your hands on. One of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is that the howls you will hear are from the Men of God.'
Really? So glad to hear that Soviet Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia achieved such pinnacles of human kindness. And of course Iraq is no doubt becoming more kind now that Christians are getting massacred, courtesy of an invasion Hari supported. Still, this will be beside the point for the hysterical New Atheists who share so much in common with the American fundamentalists who can turn their eyes from the misdeeds of their televangelist heroes to revel in self-righteousness.
Been so Long
Neo-conservatism has the unlikely advantage that it makes so many gross errors that audiences struggle to keep track of them. Everyone knows Iraq was a disaster, but, uhm, that place in Europe they invaded over a decade ago, guess that must have been a righteous war since we hear so little about it, right? Wrong.