Is Religion A Force For Good In The World?

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Is Religion A Force For Good In The World?Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned showdown between an atheist and a religious convert? The possibilities for awkward silences, blasphemy and overturned tables are endless, plus one of them used to be England's prime minister.

On one side you had novelist and author Christopher Hitchens, a loudly, proudly self-avowed cancer-stricken writer whose brush with death has done nothing to disavow his long-held convictions that God is Not Great, as he titled his recent book.

On the other was former British PM Tony Blair, a recent Roman Catholic convert who became the latest straw man to go up against the erudite Hitchens in a debate over the existence of a divine being. The pair squared off on Friday at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto for a philosophical debate on the moral merits of religion.

The surprises? Mr. Hitchens, who lives in Washington, D.C. has had a Christmas tree as long as he’s been a father and observes Passover. He discovered his family's Jewish roots late in life; his wife, Carol Blue, is also Jewish.

And Mr. Blair's father, Leo, a retired law professor, is a militant atheist. The long-time politician also revealed in his recently released memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, that he has always been more interested in religion than politics.

For Mr. Blair, who converted to Catholicism after leaving office in 2007, religion plays the most central of roles, both personally and in his worldview.

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448 Comments / User Reviews

  1. England didn't have a prime minister, the UK did. Such an ignorant comment from one who should know better.

  2. Blair could not have done better, still dont think won the debate.

  3. Tony Blair has a gentle soul but he's hopeless in this particular case, he barley made an argument agreeing with the opponent half the time. Yes as Christians we are obliged to be good natured but stand up for the true essence of religion with zeal and fervency. This debate required someone less compromising, in that they stood their ground and never wavered regardless of how relentless the hailstorm of garbage that was directed at them be. Mr Hitchens was beyond bias, considering he wrote a book undermining God, and the cold calculating tone behind every word, he seemed in his element degrading religion and it's flaws. Humans will be humans, so when a human uses religion for evil, then judge the human not religion. Also, the things that happened in the Old Testament were so long ago, it was a different time, different culture, methods, laws, etc.. The times have changed and with it came the New Testament, a ministry of love and mutual edification. Anyone who thinks the big bang theory and evolution are fact need a thorough scan; because to believe that we exist by accident, and that the balance and harmony of the world is accidental, and that we went from tadpoles to a civilization with phones, electricity, Internet, cars, etc.. is simply put, a mockery. A higher power exists no matter what name you give Him, and on the day of reckoning we who have suffered now and are called crazy will inherit an eternal rest of paradise while you who mock and call us crazy will gain an eternity of anguish and regret. Blessings.

    1. @kay kastro:

      Do not utter or insinuate any veiled threats to anyone, not allowed, fair warning, take heed!

    2. I met Tony Blair in Beijing and he is intensely needy of attention but that is not a crime. What is a crime is the illegal war he sucked the UK into which cost over a million innocent Iraq lives. Anyone who thinks otherwise is sucked into a reality framework that is absent of concrete data points. The paradox of this debate is that Chris Hitchens and Tony Blair both agreed to the neconservative agenda that preplanned the war and any free thinking individual can confirm that concrete data point at the Project for a New American Century on the internet and which was put up in the 90's.

    3. I agree 100%. Blair was out of his depth,and to my mind partook in this debate with one hand tied behind his back as not once did he reference the supernatural for fear of reprisals from his caustic foe. Hitchins was a man of supreme intelligence. unfortunately he used it to the determent of both himself and others.

  4. Not at all... Blair was extraordinary against an undefinable vastness of uncertainty that leads to an unproven nothingness that goes nowhere

  5. Blair got his ass handed to him.

  6. Mr. Hitchens was not a novelist.

  7. your all kindergardeners to think this is a real debate on religious context in society. Listen to the history of the world and imagine the social context myth story and ideals hold. Read the greeks- read the western philosphers- we are all searching for a metaphysical answer- generally found and suited up by religion. So just stop being arrogant and thinking that the tiny percentage of information and perspective you call yourself "mind" can so quickly make up the only quest there is in existence. This is a world os samsara-chaos and suffering-paradox. There are reasons- greater than political trends and social customs. Timeless ideals.

  8. Samuel.. This is the most hilarious thing I have heard in a while.. Made me laugh out loud.

  9. Hitchens appeared to pay deeply for his belief. I hope he gets a second chance. He was a bright fellow.

    1. how did he pay for his belief?

      are you suggesting only atheists die from cancer?

    2. ?? What do you mean?

    3. So Christians don't get cancer huh? Got a peer reviewed paper showing that?

  10. I think Tony Blair inadvertently at the beginning of the program made an interesting point but that point leans on the side of secularism. He made a quote saying that the old testament as well as all other religions have 'do unto others and you wish they would do unto you' and everything else is just commentary. This is the essense of humanism. Everything else is just needless additions to the one central notion that everyone human knows innately. All the other 'commentary' is not needed therefore religion is essentially pointless and can only cloud and corrupt the intended message of religion at its heart.

  11. Evidently, many people here believed in the entity that was ;if not indeed the infallibility that was of 'hitchins'. Pathetic!!!. Howandever.....the materialist is now immaterial.

    Moreover; spare us the sentimentality of 'hitch-you will be missed". That's dumb -on so many levels.

    Don't with limited understanding, jump to a conclusion that I speaketh from a theistic standpoint,either, because of this comment.

  12. god and religion are the products human fear ....illutions...and cowardice.It requires great courage to come out of it,if it is placed in mind from childhood.

    1. Mathew, I could not agree with you more. It is one of the problems that has affected my whole life. I was brought up in an extremely Roman Catholic way, ophanages and strict RC schools, You are frightened into believing in God, and even in later life when logic tells you it is all nonsense, it is almost impossible to break away from what is forced into you.

  13. Tony Blairs' argument is pretty much thank god we've got snakes otherwise we'd have no anti venom for snake bite!

  14. Tony Blair has just won the argument. he has proved that he is a goose and religion is even worse off in my view than before.

  15. As a UK resident I used to shake my head in shame reading about Blair, and his wife's, reliance on one or other 'Astrologers' who guided their decision making.

    This wasn't just Media story-mongering.... I recall watching this leader (in power with minority of votes), on a 'Live Broadcast' trying to squirm his way out of a rather innocuous 'Breakfast telly' interviewer's question on the subject.

    I'm sorry to have to ask... but what on Earth is wrong with us all (in light of society, sense and 'democracy'), that we allow someone who believes in 'guidance' through the positions of the planets and belief in one or other Sky-fairies to manage a multi-trillion £/$ economy!?!

    At times like this I almost wish there WAS a Supreme Being to step in and show us where we've all gone wrong!

  16. Hitch completely killed him

  17. After (coming to Jesus) 6 years ago, I recently had to secede religion. My family and I, who are college educated and also being recipients of rather large hearts, as in compassion, were increasingly alienated within a congregation that, instead of openly discussing opinions, dictated them as self evident truths. We first started with the exclusion of the Old testaments which included rape, pillage and incest amongst other despicable acts. Instead we focused on the New Testament. After finding conflicting information, we then focused on the Red Letters, which supposedly are those spoken by Jesus. After finding out that the Prince of Peace actually says he has come not to bring unity but instead division even amongst family members we then were left with basically nothing. Through the process of elimination we concluded the obvious. This was a good debate and needs to be displayed at all churches! Wouldn't that be a hoot!

  18. Blair found religion after leading his country into an unnecessary war just in case he needs saving when his time is up.
    Its like a convict 'finding god' to look good for the parole board.

  19. you know that I mean science helps us discover and find knowledge or cures, but that shouldn't mean spirituality should be shone. history is what we have become today. and there's good in and bad in everything ,such as science and religion.

  20. Tony Blair was quite disappointing. Being a politician, he was appealing to the audience's sentiments rather then providing arguments. He also seemed to be confused and was fumbling for arguments at many points in the debate.
    Christopher Hitchens, on the other hand was witty, pithy, and supremely confident in what he said. No appeals to sentiments.

  21. Christopher Hitchens you will be greatly missed.

  22. Replace the word religion with ..politics or military regime.. and one would be hearing the same reasoning and arguments. Remove them first...then decide if religion would be necessary anymore. The spiritual life is not the same thing as a religious life. Is a spiritual life a force for good in the world? In my experience, it is.

  23. Imagine George Bush doing this debate... LMAO

  24. My issue with religion is that it does not promote free thinking or free choice. One does not choose to be religious. This desire to have faith in god is a seed that is planted in us from a very young age. We are brain washed by our parents and our peers. I discovered that god may not be real the same way that I discovered Santa Clause isn't real. I weighed the facts.

    1. Are parents and peers brainwash us in everything we think and do. Who the hell are we kidding there is nothing free about anyone's way of thinking or choices. All of our knowledge is dependent on others.

  25. I would like to know if Jesus was a religous man? Who invented religeon? Does this mean that man has always wanted to know the meaning of life? Does he use religeon to give the answers? No matter what the religeon is, if a wise and good man makes sense to you, take note of it. Too many people have killed one another in the name of God. What a load of hypocrits. It all disgusts me....... most of us have no common sense.

  26. Religion is man-made. Each religion has it's own beliefs. As we all know, they somtimes clash. Which one is right????

    Just do the the best we can and be kind to one another and cut the crap.

  27. Hitchens reminds me of Arthur Scargil during the miners strike, answering all questions with fluency and without hesitation. Blair on the other hand stammering his way through his questions just like the politician during the miners strike. I feel i could have offered a more convincing argument for religion and i am an atheist!

  28. Religion is a way to control, dominate and enslave people especialy womans and young ones

  29. Religion legitimizes irrational thought.

  30. True, without religion the fanatics would have less reason to be fanatic but as Tony Blair said there still would be fanaticism over a different matter. And true there would be no aid from religion based charities but there would still be aid. Even trading one for another means that mans is met somewhere in the middle where we are both good and evil... That is the case now I don't think that religion has much effect on us in that respect, without it we'd still be the same.

  31. ohh cults.

  32. lolcano, tony owned at 48:10

    1. lolcano- permission to use?

  33. Religion can bring the best and the worst out of people you can choose to learn from it or you can choose to ignor it either way it dose not matter people will die for the cause and people will also be reborn from the cause.

    1. just want to add aswell that a life in which god exsist as oposed to one which god dosent exist dosnt make life any less worth living life is a gift cherish it

  34. Religion gives people a sense of security. Similar to that of a child running to their parents when they are scared. But who then do the parents run to? Short answer is no one. The parents are alone, and know it. But for those who dwell in religion they receive a similar sense of security because they look at their deity as a parent watching over them.

    This is why religion is so popular. How scared would a theist be if they were to realize there is no one there? Its this primal fear which drives many to religion. This allows they to be in a state of bliss until death. They surrender their critical minds, for a happier life.

    Now the question is no longer whether or not religion is good or bad, but rather, which is better? Critical thinking (fear) or religion (bliss).

    I'm an atheist, and I honestly love my critical mind, but when it comes down to it, I never have a moment of peace. My mind cycles information at all times of day. It's often painful just to think about. It would be easier to be a theist. But I don't like limitations.

    1. Bleaker, nice post. As a former Christian and "born-again atheist", I can certainly understand what appears to be nostalgic yearnings for security and comfort that religion sometimes seems to provide.

      But I don't think that your options are as limited as you suggest. You infer that critical thinking only leads to fear (insecurity resulting from realization of our finite lifespan) and that religion only leads to bliss (security blanket in knowing that there is a god watching over you and taking care of you). This limited, linear, dualistic mental tendency is unfortunately the product of Western Judeo-Christian thought. Even atheists who are former Christians, Jews, or Muslims tend to fall into this black vs. white, no grey area way of thinking.

      This is a mental trap. For instance, I would suggest that it is possible to be a critical thinking atheist and be quite content. After all, ya certainly don't have to worry about Hell!

      As far as the insecurity resulting from realization of your finite lifespan-- This is a state of mind. You control this. I think that Buddhism--at its core without all the superstitious stuff that was added on over the ages in certain circles-- is an appealing thought system for Western-influenced atheists. The historical Buddha taught that belief in a god was irrelevant and unnecessary to achieving happiness. Happiness is a state of mind--something that can be influenced by external factors such as death and illness--but is something you ultimately control. I think it's possible to be content with the acceptance of your finite existence...this frees you to really cherish the one, short life that you have right now, don't you think?

  35. The Declaration of Independence states "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"... If you believe in evolution, no two men are equal...and yet a tree or a whale is possibly more valuable than a man. Thank God that all men were created in His image...without this, a man can pick and choose who should be enslaved and which rights are his alone...

    1. Huh ? This comment is barely intelligible. If you are saying that only religious types value humanity, you are a twit.

    2. Thomas,
      god isn't real.

    3. You are right about one thing, no two men are equal, but that does not change the ideal that all men and women deserve equal rights.

      Your unprovoked attack on evolution underlines your predilection towards religion, moreover it's a sign of the insecurities you might have because of this theory.

      Your quote:
      "without this, a man can pick and choose who should be enslaved and which rights are his alone..."

      Slavery was abolished before evolution became a scientific theory. Slavery existed in a time most heavily influenced by religion (for further reading, refer to the Bible for other acts of cruelty towards human beings). I don't know how you came about this ridiculous statement. Without evolution humans would not have morals, and it's only through education that we learn how to exercise these morals, nothing at all to do with a supernatural being.

      I also find your choice of Thomas Moores' name rather ironic. The history of his death and establishment of the Church of England, is a prime example of how corruptible religion is.

  36. One comment to all my fellow atheists:

    I'd like to propose that we stop using the term "religee." I think I've probably used the word before and I agree that "religee" is easier to say than "one who subscribes to a religion" and that saying "person of faith" has a cultural connotation that implies that faith is a good thing, so another term is needed. However "religee," whether intended or not, sounds silly and thus mocking or derogatory. It sounds kind of like a slur, and it potentially makes us look hypocritical and bigoted. No matter how ludicrous or evil we think religion to be, lumping the religious together and writing them off with a silly nickname doesn't contribute anything to rational throught and discussion. It just irritates religious people and makes us look like jerks.

    Thanks for listening!

    1. What? are you knocking my broad term religee? I thought it was fine when I initially coined the term. Much better than..."Bead Mumbler...Bead jiggler...Bible Basher...Bible Thumper...Burkboy...Christ Killer...Clamhead...Fundy...Fish Eater...Happy-Clappy...Holy Roller...Hun...Jesus Freak...Molly Mormon."

      Rational thought and discussion? are you talking about This lifetime? Bigoted? you betcha! Now and always, until the happy day that the Earth is rid of the "religee's". After all, does not must of them (religee's) condemn us to their hell, so that we may burn in their fire and brimstone hell for ever and ever for all eternity. Hmmm?

    2. Don't know whether you actually coined the term, but it certainly gets around. I'm not arguing it has a nice ring to it and that there are much worse terms that some people might actually be deserving of. I just don't know how it helps to call names. Temporary short-term amusement?

    3. @ Cody,

      Trust me, Achems is certainly the first one to use the term on this site :). And that was a loooong time ago, about two years now I think. I thought it was quite appropriate, based on evidence available (wink, wink) :).

    4. @WTC7:

      Hi WTC7, yes, thank you, you and I have been here on TDF a long time, we are friends. I believe my stay is going on 4 years now, "tempus fugit" (LOL)

      And I know that I coined the term, religee's.

    5. Achems,

      Friends, absolutely! I know it was the term you coined, just wasn't sure how long ago it was, truly, tempus fugit :).

    6. @Achems_Razor

      I don't dispute that you coined the term. I have no clue, and I'll take your word and that of WTC7 at face value. I was just saying that it's quite catchy and I've heard a lot of people use it. I might've even used it myself at some point.

      I do dispute that name-calling of any sort will do us atheists any good. They already try to label us as arrogant, strident jerks who want to disrupt everyone's traditional way of life. I'd rather be seen as a rational, intelligent likable person who wants to disrupt everyone's traditional way of life.

    7. @Achems_Razor

      Just to add to “Religee” debate. I had my own Atheist website 7 yrs ago and it was in fairly common use then. The same went for “Religeese” (anything they preach). None of us started it; we think it goes way back. I only mention it because I used it in my first proper post here and didn’t want you to think that I nicked your beloved, coined by you, term. With much respect.

      Unkeep the faith

    8. We made up my daughter's name (a combinaiton of my name and my wife's name), and then I had the bright idea to Yahoo it only to find it was a real last name in France! Bummed me out big time. As far as Christian religee names are concerned, I personally prefer "redeemed" or "beloved of God" myself. ;-)

    9. Dude Molly Mormon is awesome. Never thought of it. Also thanks for one of the answer in another far away post.

    10. @Cody

      You make a good point. I use it quite frequently because I know most of “them” don’t like it. Some of my “religious” friends hate it. I also use it because it is fairly mild term in the scale of banter between opposing views on this subject. I’m aware also that much of my language is intentionally provocative towards religion but there is a point behind it. You say it irritates “them”! To say that some of the things that the religees/crazies/loonies say irritates me would be the understatement of the century. No promises but I have taken your point on board, sometimes I think mocking humour is a good weapon against the monster of religion, but sometimes I think I’m acting like a child.

      Unkeep the faith

    11. Thank you for adding an icon. It's fitting for you.

    12. I tend to stick to "theist" and "nontheist". Simple enough, in my opinion.

    13. Where is your spiritual knowledge?
      That which have no DNA?

    14. @Apostle Jack

      Could you clarify that?

    15. @cody
      Spirituality is the other side of knowledge.It is the opposite of science and technology. It have no cells,elements ,atoms,nor DNA.But yet it have intelligence and action reactions and communication.
      Personality,thoughts,choice,intelligence,just to name a few, are spiritual concepts.The heart and the brain is a different matter.
      Celestial spirituality is the 2nd of the 2 kinds of spirituality.
      There are more knowledge in the world than what is here now in the world.

    16. @Jack

      What I think of that depends heavily on how you define "spirituality." If you mean anything supernatural, then I can't agree with you. If you mean that there is an aspect to life that can't be quantified (the real world experience of living, with thought, choices, etc.) then I am definitely aware of this (I am alive after all). There is still no SOUND reason to believe in gods or join a religious group or practice their rituals.

      Even if that latter definition is what you mean, it would not exist were it not for cells, elements, atoms, and DNA. The mind is a process of the brain, which is an organ composed of the aforementioned material. The heart is an organ that pumps blood. Nothing more. What people call the "heart" in a romanticized or emotionalized sense is simply an aspect of the mind, which is a product of the brain.

      As far as "celestial spirituality" being the "second of two kinds of spirituality," you're going to have to clarify before I can comment on that.

      And I agree with you that there is more knowledge to be found than what we currently possess. It does not logically follow that such knowledge is of a supernatural origin.

    17. @cody
      You think that everything comes from a material source.That is like saying that all apples came from a peanut vine and not from an apple tree.

    18. peanut vine?

    19. @Jack

      "You think that everything comes from a material source.That is like saying that all apples came from a peanut vine and not from an apple tree."

      That is a terrible analogy. Apples obviously come from apple trees, both of which are physical. Likewise peanuts also come from peanut plants, both of which are physical. Apple trees and peanut plants are also both proven to exist and very well-documented. We know a lot about them. The supernatural is not proven to exist, and as such we can't really have any credible documentation or data about it.

      That has no bearing on, nor any analogue to, the idea that consciousness can be experienced as the result of matter and energy in the brain as part of a naturalistic material universe - no supernatural interference required.

    20. @cody
      Are you saying that spirituality came from a material source?

    21. People define "spirituality" in many different ways, most of them incredibly vague. To be able to say whether I think "spirituality" comes from a material source, I would have to have a precise definition of what you mean by "spirituality."

    22. @decoder
      According to the increase Daniel 12 v 4 . There are only 2 ways that you can define the UNSEEN:Spiritual and spiritual-Celestial.Spirituality is what you cannot see,yet have life,action and reactions,and intellect.
      Some species have no brain nor heart,yet they have intellect,they can think and have actions and reactions of spirit.Such as the jelly fish.
      Until now Science and the world is without this "knowledge of integrity".Spirituality came from and was created byGod,it is not an earthy origin.

    23. @Jack

      Once again, you have failed to define what you mean by the term "spirituality," so I still can't respond to your question.

      Instead you have made an unclear statement in which I think you are referencing Daniel 12:4, which reads:

      "But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.""

      First off, this isn't self-evidently relevant to anything we're discussing. Secondly, I have no reason to believe anything written in the book of Daniel even if it were clearly relevant.

      As for the jellyfish...

      "A jellyfish does not have a brain or central nervous system, but rather has a loose network of nerves, located in the epidermis, which is called a "nerve net". A jellyfish detects various stimuli including the touch of other animals via this nerve net, which then transmits impulses both throughout the nerve net and around a circular nerve ring, through the rhopalial lappet, located at the rim of the jellyfish body, to other nerve cells. Some jellyfish also have ocelli: light-sensitive organs that do not form images but which can detect light, and are used to determine up from down, responding to sunlight shining on the water's surface. These are generally pigment spot ocelli, which have some cells (not all) pigmented."
      (from Wikipedia)

      They may not have a brain per se, but they do have a nervous system that does certain jobs for them similar to what a brain would do for us. The rest, jellyfish are simply not capable of, or achieve via some other organ. That they do not have a "brain" organ like ours does not mean that they are guided by some immaterial force. I'm also not sure I would go so far as to say that jellyfish have "intellect."

    24. I totally agree that it's actually completely harmless, but we're a minority and we're working against negative stereotypes. If we're going to come out of the closet slinging our ideas around, we're going to shock people enough. Name calling, while perhaps amusing to us, isn't necessarily the best way to accomplish anything.

      I am also in total agreement that the religious majority of the world are doing far far far worse to us (and each other) than calling names, and that we could all write endless lists of gripes and grievances.

      I just think it's smarter for us to educate ourselves and keep level-headed and reasonable. We have all of the science and logic on our side, so we can be as vocal and firm as we want without resorting to the irrational. In discourse, let the others be childish in the face of our reason, and they will slowly alienate themselves. If they try to legislate or otherwise enforce that irrationality, we are obligated to defend ourselves (and make them look like idiots in the process)... But even then name-calling will hurt us more than help us.

    25. I propose that we either agree that religees means all religion participants, Person Of Faith is too long.
      POF on the other hand sounds kind of reminds me of something vanishing out of thin air.
      I don't wish for anyone or any POFs to die, i just wish they could see the chains constricting their mind and release.

    26. There is a big difference between Christianity and religion.You first have to separate them in order to have full knowledge of what defines them.

    27. @Apostle jack
      I have traveled over 40 countries, really traveled with a backpack, a tent, a camera, and a board saying in the appropriate language "looking for a place to pitch my tent, a roof will do".
      I have met people of many religions, and after all that, i still think all religions are kept alive because of followers with their heads down thinking of their sins or their heads up hoping for a better place.

    28. @Jack

      Christianity and religion are different in that religion includes Christianity as well as other things. This is obvious. I'm sure everyone here has separated them and is fully capable of evaluating them apart from each other.

      The catch is that, when evaluated, neither comes out credible.

    29. @Azilda

      I don't think anyone here wants any actual harm to come to those who practice religion (at least I hope not). I was just trying to say that, for reasons of both etiquette and pragmatism, we ought to shy away from name calling. POF works, but the mainstream of almost every culture places so much positive emphasis on the concept of "faith" that I hesitate to use it because calling someone a "person of faith" sounds too much like a compliment. We can discuss the negative aspects of faith all day long, and I think a lot of people are coming around to the fact that it's a poor excuse for thinking. But when talking about those who still do believe, I think we need something that is descriptive but sounds neither derogatory nor complimentary. "Theists" may be our best bet.

    30. @Cody
      How could have already separated religion (which is earthly)from Christianity (which is from heaven)when you explain them in the same category.Christianity is a salvation,while religion is a self-made agenda.They are like oil and water...they don't mix.

    31. @Azilda
      There are common knowledge,and there is divine knowledge.What common knowledge won't tell you,divine knowledge will.Earth don't have all the answers.Some knowledge is found outside of our experiences of where we have been.

    32. @Apostle Jack
      Religion is the file cabinet, Christianity is a thick file in it.
      Simply put!

    33. Wow, Az! 40 countries! I envy you!

    34. Christ came from heaven.His messages was not earthly nor common.Religion is common,and not from heaven.
      Simply put.

    35. @Jack

      There is no evidence that there is a Heaven, very little evidence that there was a Christ, and even less evidence of what his life might have been like.

      I am willing to accept that there could have been a person named Jesus, upon whom the Biblical character is based. I don't know for sure, but it's not so far-fetched that I think I need to argue it at this point.

      You declare Christianity outside of religion because it is YOUR religion and you see it as exceptional. It is, in fact, just another religion.

    36. @cody
      I have seen bodies without flesh,and have witness a different reality than you have,which allow me to speak with confidence,and not from theories.

    37. @Jack:

      That's great, but you can't expect me to take your word for it.

    38. @Azilda

      “I have traveled over 40 countries”

      I guess that being so well travelled helps you see how important environment and culture are in people’s belief systems. I’ve travelled a bit too (nowhere near 40!) and seen the huge significance of this. My 2 yrs in South Africa (83-85) finally convinced me that it was time to speak out.

      (imho) I think travelling the world helps you become more “well rounded?” in the whole scope of human emotion and idea. Of course this is not possible for many but at least the world is shrinking in other ways. Those that cannot travel can gain valuable opinion from you. Keep up the good work. Anyway you’ve only got 150 left so you had better get a move on. Lol

      Unkeep the faith

    39. only 53....
      you are right...better get on the move!

    40. to die...i was referring to dying in Hell as an ending suggested by Christians for none believers.

    41. Theist is neater, and has the advantage of being an actual word. @ Apostle Jack - of course your God is the One True God. Goes with the franchise, along with a funny hat.

    42. I think someone can be a theist (believe in a grander force) and still not be religious.
      And frankly my comment was more of a joke....

    43. What is this 'joke' of which you speak?

    44. @Analog.....POF on the other hand sounds kind of reminds me of something vanishing out of thin air.

      I agree not much of a joke!

    45. @Az
      I was feigning ignorance of the concept of humor. Yet another failed joke. Not too far off, apparently.

    46. "delusional" or "meta-magical thinker" are my favourite terms for the religee

      Debating with the religious of this world is entirely pointless- you cannot reason with crazy- they just imagine more nonsense to back up their views....just watch tony b-LIAR in the debate.....

      There is no real argument to be had with lunatics.
      "Rational" debate by its very nature is an impossibility in the face of indoctrinated insanity.
      great name by the way

  37. Blair didn't propose anything during the debate, he just described the current condition of religion and hinted at change towards good within religion, which doesn't even begin to oppose Hitchen's standpoint. He might as well have been agreeing with Hitchens the whole time.

  38. I thoroughly enjoyed this. I wish to see more of these.

  39. Blair has only 'become religious' as it's the only way he'll be only truly accepted into the upper echelons of world puppet masters; a club exclusively reserved for white, middle-aged, God-fearing men. Wahey, 4 out of 4!

  40. By far the best debate I've ever seen on the subject. I'm rather annoyed that they didn't show the results of the second poll of the audience after the debate to see if and how they were swayed by the arguments.

    1. They did cut that part out. However, you can see the results at the bottom of the screen (if you squint a little) at the end of the debate.

  41. If Tony's argument is in uniting different religions for the good of mankind, why did he switch to Catholicism?

    1. He didnt switch, he always was- there is a little known law in the uk that no catholic can hold the office of prime minister.
      So if he openly converted whilst in office it would have effectively been a treasonous act...archaic i know but i think its a very good statute myself.
      As for uniting the worlds religions that would be great we could have ww3 -the crazy vs the sane.

  42. im from canada so i just find it funny this was on c-span

    1. whats your point? why is it funny it was on c-span and what does canada have to do with it?

    2. Well I am not sure what his point is but it is funny cause most people do not watch c-span. Also I thought C-span was just for the house meetings. Should have been on CBC.

  43. T.S Eliot, [at the end, a converted Catholic], and condescension...perfect together.
    'Life' is so manifestly and exuberantly about the question of 'WHY' in all its resonating variations. So it has always struck me as strange that so many people settle on the first explanation, frequently given as a birthright, and then proceed to ridicule those of us who, not settling, simply discount revealed religion as a 'way of knowing' and continue to try to understand. On account of that, I'm not much of an aggressive atheist, preferring to maintain an open, undistorted mind on the epistemology of self-consciousness. I remain respectfully curious about 'theology' as a way of knowing but sadly disappointed in unctuous preachers and snake oil salesmen from both sides of the aisle.
    This is the final scene of the film of Sinclair Lewis' Elmer Gantry. It has Burt Lancaster quoting one of the most revealing statements ever written in the bible.
    Elmer Gantry: "When I was a child, I spake as a child. I understood as a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things... St. Paul, First Corinthians, 13/11"
    Good debate...Hitchens held serve...Read your Darwin!

  44. @Ozycba1

    Thanks for the info but I'm none the wiser after reading it. Perhaps Vlatko could make it a bit clearer for dumb asses like me.

    Re: " II am the antichrist."

    Are you referring to the Rastafarian antichrist or the christian antichrist?

    1. @ Atheist13
      "Are you referring to the Rastafarian antichrist or the christian antichrist?"

      Antichrist, which am I, cannot speak
      its name in this darkness of my mind.
      I am but 'The Sloth of the Underworld',
      reluctant, shy of brightness,
      shifting her dragon scaly folds.


    2. @ Oz

      Joyce! No wonder I didn't recognize it! Hardest stuff I ever tried to read in my life, with the exception of the "Portrait"; TOO musical, TOO pun-filled, TOO stream-of-consciousness, just all-flat-out overwhelming... I think I need a few more years before I'm ready for it! It is not food for the stomachs of literary children, put mildly.

      (growing ever more wicked by the minute? OZ!... Etes-vous jouer avec vos parties genitales?! lol.)

      [thanks for the link, by the way.]

  45. Well I would say that you,re calling the debate a little too soon. But that's just me.

  46. I don't think anyone has said it yet, so I'll say it: The debate here has been light-years more interesting and informative than the doc that inspired it. What a great journey this has been all around!

    1. Absolutely, I agree. The more that people peruse these docs and accompanying debates raises the information available for most people exponentially.

    2. Stupidly, I forgot something...

      Thanks, Vlatko! This site has added a LOT of value to my life in recent months. I've never been so surrounded by very intelligent people, holding such a huge variety of insightful views on every subject. Every day I'm truly impressed, and more than a few times have been just simply stunned. It's a lot of fun trying to keep up with everyone, and that is a dream come true for me.

      (I've turned on a few of my friends to this site, too, and hope to see some of them posting soon!)

    3. @ Pysmythe
      "The debate here has been light-years more interesting and informative than the doc that inspired it."

      That's only because of contributors like you and Achems. :-))


    4. @ Oz
      That's 1/2 nonsense (!?) and you know it, lol.
      (and this is probably the ONLY "math problem" I can get right, so...there's your answer!)

      [come on, man, stop hustlin' me! You KNOW you're the best, and so does most everyone else!]

    5. @ Pysmythe
      "come on, man, stop hustlin' me!"

      Actually, that's exactly what I was doing, sucking up for thumbs-ups! (LOL)


    6. @ Oz
      Yeah, because OVER 5000 isn't enough for you yet, right? You're as greedy as Az may be for poetry! You are a thumbs-up Capitalist!

    7. @ Pysmythe
      "You are a thumbs-up Capitalist!"

      I plead guilty.
      But no repentance!
      I'm in love with my sin.
      @Pysmythe, have you been getting the same sensation as I, that things around here are getting a little boring surrounded as we are by nothing save the vanquished?

      Nothing's got my dander up in days.

      Usually this is when we, according to anthropologists, should begin resorting to ritual cannibalism. (lol)


    8. @ Oz
      I have been feeling that, somewhat. You're gonna think I'm just saying this, but it's true: Over the last couple of days, I've actually thought a couple of times about picking a fight on some topic with YOU, just to make you happy and see how it all shakes out. But I just don't have the heart for it... And I think I know how it'd turn out anyway! (not very much in my favor; at least, not without a LOT of work, lol.)

      Be patient, my friend. Some fool will fall right into your bear trap shortly! But I've seen the blades that are down there, and I value my skin...

    9. @ Pysmythe
      "...I think I know how it'd turn out anyway...not very much in my favor..."

      You shouldn't say things like that. It's self-deprecating, but most of all, it's not true.


    10. I agree but that's because we have been able to absorb the info given in the debate and elaborate on it. There are some folks here who are just going off of the comments and don't realize the points they make have been addressed and already refuted in the debate (usually by Hitchens) so there comments can become redundant.

    11. That's true, but, on either side, when that happens, I usually still find it interesting and useful what people have to say. The frame of a painting, or even the room it hangs in, can all be a part of understanding and appreciating its effect. And having some additional background like that can help everyone in presenting a stronger argument. And you might also say you have a better chance of hunting someone down if you know the layout of the house they're living in: What might seem like redundancies to us might be for them another room they're able to run away and hide in.

  47. 75 percent willing to change their mind on the matter. Clearly they haven't thought about things thoroughly.. "Sheep" springs to mind.

  48. err. no it is not

  49. Humanity or rather 'humanism' are precondition for certain actions and faith in essence maybe deemed as a catalyst to evoke the good - in life - the absolute imperativeness is to sought an 'equilibrium' and faith attribute such necessity....of course religion on the other hand deemed nulled as means of contributing 'good' as such is inset within us all as well as the 'bad'...if you were to read any such religious text each individual would decrypt different meanings. Religion is not at fault but 'humanism' behavior my fellow men and women...their's two separate variables - structured religion and human - put the the two together and their's the directed community of faith being borne

    1. my thought is....religion/belief is long as you keep it off the streets....

    2. ignorance + imagination = religion

  50. Great debate !! Pity Tony Blair was there.

    I have always wanted to ask Christopher Hitchens if evolution is not proof of a purpose of existance (aka God). I think that most problems caused by religion are that they humanize god as opposed to the concept of god being the ultimate (maybe not?) limit of human imagination and conceptual thinking.
    Is 'the human god' not a goal we set for ourselves to achieve through once religion, but now increasingly through science.

    How can you believe in evolution and not a purpose that the universe needs its continuation ?
    Isn't the problem that the religious claim that god is a super human and the atheist finds this horrifing because humans can then claim to represent or actually be god?

    Why cant we all just say that evolution seems to point to a purpose for life but we just dont know the true nature of the universe. (yet.)

    1. Why does there have to be a purpose? Why doesn't it just happen because it can?

      If there was a purpose, meaning a goal, and someday that goal would be reached, then why would we be still around? Even if there was a purpose eventually we would ask ourselves the same question as now. Now we face the fact that there is no purpose. Now we realize this is the only freedom we have. We get to choose our own purposes. Now we have chaos. Now we have mass manipulation. Now we have religion. Now we have governments. Now we have science. Now we have internet. Choose your next purpose. It's the meaninglessness that drives us now and we can point it in some directions. That's why whatever you do in life you will never be fully satisfied all the time. Can't you appreciate the irony of it?

      Welcome to reality. Feed the brain. Nom Nom.

    2. Personally I find life to be more meaningful when it's purposeless.

    3. @ dave.eggermont

      I'm only half-joking when I say that sometimes I really do think we've been evolving only in order to build our machines, and that someday they will replace us. It's far from an original idea, of course, and it's one that usually makes a lot of sense to me. If Kurzweil's Singularity is ever reached, for example, we ourselves are going to have to be at least part machine in order to keep up with the pace of the world. In that world, the sum total of human knowledge will be doubling EVERY HOUR, if what he forecasts is correct. It's a scenario that holds out a lot of promise for us in terms of benefits, maybe, but also the uneasy prospect that we may be too inefficient for such a world, however many upgrades we install in ourselves, unless we become something totally "other". Transhuman, as they call it. And however much for progress I may be, that's a thought that, as I stand now, makes me profoundly uncomfortable. In fact, this is a large part of what Kurzweil means by the Technological Singularity: It is the point at which all bets are off, and no one can possibly know what to expect. If we don't kill ourselves off in a new series of massive worldwide religious Crusades sometime in the next 50 years (which may, who knows, turn out to have been the Earth's secret method for getting rid of us all along!), then maybe this is the goal we are "meant" to reach, and maybe we, as we are now, WON'T be around any longer...

      "It's the end of the world as we know it;
      It's the end of the world as we know it;
      And I feel fine."

      Well, maybe not yet, but I'm working on it.

    4. @ Pysmythe
      "It's the end of the world as we know it;..."

      Not with a bang but a whimper.


    5. @Pysmythe

      Great post. His singularity freaks me out too. A thought I had on it though, if aliens exist, the kind that can visit earth, you would think if they have that kind of technology that they would have reached the singularity by now. And since we don't see this massive wave of energy absorbing everything at light speed, maybe a singularity is impossible? Or perhaps black holes are the result of singularities?

      Wild speculation I know, but it's fun :)

    6. Yeah Dave I too love the smell of irony in the morning. Your post reminds me of Arthur Schopenhauer's "Studies in Pessimism". Highly recommended if you haven't read it.

    7. So dave.eggermont is living in reality.
      And sees no order in evolution?
      See's no purpose in natural selection?

      Im sorry if I insulted you by suggesting you don't know everthing.

      You must be very wary of further scientific research.
      Im not sure you realize that reality is relative.

  51. @ ZarathustraSpeaks

    Dear Mr. Vanity Personified.

    Nietzsche rolls in his grave at your Blasphemy!

    Are you Superman perhaps?

    "For we are echoes in his footsteps"

    I'm not sure what your point is but here goes.

    How do we know who Burke's "good people" are? People have always and always will do bad things "in the name of God, In the name of country, in the name of their own brand of justice.

    Did you watch this doc? Hitchens answered this as simply and eloquently as he always does. Have you seen his debates with other religious leaders? He owns them all.

    I know lots of good people, I'm one. We're the ones not killing innocent people under any name, nor chopping bits off children for the sake of sick ritual. Good people are easy to spot but I guess you're so beyond good and evil you've forgotten what they're like.

    As for your cats, mice, lions and dogs analogies! What piffle, distinctly Blairite! No atheist I know says the nature of man has been corrupted by religion. Man survived for millions of years before religion was thought of as a concept. Nor do they say the world will be a perfect utopia if religion was eradicated, they just maintain it would be a lot better.

    I may be a dog but I'm a good dog.

    Regards and thanks for your comments.

    Unkeep the faith

    1. @ Atheist13
      "Dear Mr. Vanity Personified."

      Bravo! Bravo!
      One of the best offerings all day/nigh(I never sleep! (lol)).

      Take heed, @ZarathustraSpeaks.


    2. Thanks. Some things have to be said.

      Why do you never sleep? How do you italicize?

  52. no "debate", Hitch nailed it in just a few words before Blair even spoke. then every word of "tony" supported the idea of separation of church and state.

  53. I find religion too be a VERY bad excuse for doing bad things in this world. But, i find it even more pathetic when people use it as a excuse to do something "humane". As If we need a "god" to do that. Ironically, if you believe people "are" what they do, and not what they "preach", then you might agree with me, that "we" don't always have-to-have something in-it for us (like heaven or hell), just to be a good person.

  54. I find religion too be a VERY bad excuse for doing bad things in this world. But, i find it even more pathetic when people use it as a excuse to do something "humane". As If we need a "god" to do that. Ironically, if you believe people "are" what they do, and not what they "preach", then you might agree with me, that "we" don't always have-to-have something in-it for us (like heaven or hell), just to be a good person.

    1. I agree, being good for the sake of it, is its own reward. Altruism is good for the evolution of the species. No gods required.

  55. Tony Blair was a loathsome toad (slimy and poisonous variety) as a politician and now he is even worse as a mass debater. He takes empty rhetoric to new heights of vacuousness and thinks his soundbite philosophy will convince people. You would have to be wilfully blind and ignorant not to see how religion is negative force in the world.

    I'm surprised Hitch didn't issue the challenge he has used in other debates with religious people. It goes like this, "name one good thing that religion has done that could not have been done without it". No one has answered successfully. Try it in your own arguements with religees and watch them struggle. Now try and list all the attrocious things done in the name of some god or religion, the holy wars, the inquisition, Northern Ireland, 9/11 etc. etc. and you would run out of time, space, and possibly the will to live.

    What people believe in thier own homes is of no concern of mine but bring it into the public domain and you're subject to criticism like the rest of us, especially if you if you cause harm and suffering by your actions.

    The way the religious indoctrinate, alienate and mutilate children displays a lack of human understanding that deserves our contempt at least.

    "All it takes for evil to succeed is good people do nothing" Edmund Burke

    Unkeep the faith.

    1. How do we know who Burke's "good people" are? People have always and always will do bad things "in the name of God, In the name of country, in the name of their own brand of justice. If an act or idea is wrong its not because someone chooses to say "God said so" its just because its wrong by whatever criteria you use for moral judgements.I guess my main problem with this line of thinking has always been to assume first that humans are naturally ethical and God gets in the way. The idea that if people just were born with the knowledge that all faiths and religions were false then somehow we could "just get along". I see no evidence of this. Its like looking at a cat and saying he would not torture that mouse if he didnt believe God wanted him to. If the cat is not "torturing" the mouse then he just does not understand what he is doing or feel "empathy" for the mouse. Did the evolutionary process give us the ability for intelligence enough recognize pain and suffering while leaving out the other species? If that is so then anyone that accepts a inherent moral/ethical code should consider it their moral duty to turn all carnivores into vegetarians because the lion is morally bankrupt as he just does not have enough intelligence to know better. None of this has anything to do with the basis for belief in a unknowable God but the assumption that the nature of man has been corrupted by faith is laughable. All the examples you cite are only symptoms of a basic instinct by humans to be in the right "pack of dogs" which elevates us over the other dogs. Atheism can only confirm us as "dogs" not change our nature.

    2. Leave people alone and a good person will do good deeds, an evil person will do evil deeds. But it takes religion to make a good man do evil.

    3. Zarathustra... you didn't even watch the debate did you?

    4. No I very rarely watch the docs. I just read the comments. That’s usually enough for my purposes.

    5. Well you should, Hitchens addresses many of the points you try to make.

    6. "Atheism can only confirm us as "dogs" not change our nature."

      We all share the potential to do good and to abstain from evil. Reciprocity. That's our nature, what's got to change about that? It is your gods who that say your nature is evil. And yes, many good men turn evil by this dogma.

  56. I am a fan of Hitch, but I come from a society where we all have the same religion and even history. And, my people still hate each other. Even without religion, we will find other reasons to hate each other. It's sad.

    1. True, but it's no reason to keep any of those reasons around. Kind of like saying why stop racism when we won't get along anyway. Just saying :P

    2. Racism is a specific term for a belief that some races are superior to others. The term religion has no specific beliefs. It only a term to try to encompass a incredible range of beliefs none of which are not tied together by anything other than hope or faith in something beyond ourselves. Racism has been both a product of and a target of various religious just like almost any other injustice in the world. What matters is how each individual responds to it not what excuse they hide behind.

    3. well the argument is whether religion is a force for good. I can not say one way or the other. I don't like religion. I would rather people use reason. But I do not think religion is a force for good or bad. I would prefer there be no religion

    4. @ Rinton
      "well the argument is whether religion is a force for good."

      Bad people will behave badly. Good people will behave well.
      However, it takes religion to make otherwise good people
      behave badly.

      Cases in point:

      1. 4,000 lesbians and gays have been executed since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Methods of execution include; beheading, chopped in two, stoning to death, burning alive, and being
      thrown alive from a high building

      2. Pregnant woman to be stoned to death for adultery by Infidelesto on July 15, 2010.

      3. Tehran Court rules 25-year-old woman convicted of adultery must be executed despite pregnancy. Her lawyer hopes to have sentence ‘commuted’ to lashing.

      4. An Iranian court has sentenced two more women to death by stoning, a human rights group reported Thursday, adding the horrific sentence was made worse by the fact that one of the women was pregnant.

      5. Maryam Ghorbanzadeh was recently convicted of adultery and although she is pregnant, was sentenced by an Islamic court to death by stoning.

      BBC, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

      Some 22 million people are infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, according to UN figures for 2007. This amounts to about two-thirds of the global total.

      "HIV/Aids is a tragedy that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem."
      ~ His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

      Sexual abstinence
      While in Africa, the pontiff is expected to talk to young people about the Aids epidemic and explain to them why the Catholic Church recommends sexual abstinence as the best way to prevent the spread of the disease.

      The Pope said what he said not because he is a bad man (which he is!) but because of religious dogma. It makes no sense but, from a Catholic standpoint, it is the 'Will of God'. So tens of millions of people will unnecessarily die because a particular religion thinks condoms are immoral.


  57. Asking if religion is a force for good in the world is like asking is sports a force for making people healthy. If you lie on the couch and eat chips while you watch the game or poison your rivals "rally tree" then probably not, but if you raise money for charity, teach team play and sportmanship or just volunteer for the Special Olympics then maybe so. Sports is too broad a catagory and not even nearly as broad as religion.

    1. "God is a thought which makes crooked all that is straight."
      - Nietzsche

    2. Anything "crooked" is made by man not by God. To assume mans thoughts would not be crooked if no thought of God ever existed in man is self delusion at least as much as a belief in God may be. Whatever human faults exist do so with or without God. The color of a mans skin, the leaders of his country, or the tribe he was born in have always been quite sufficient reason to hate him.

      The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness. Joseph Conrad

    3. He's quoting Nietzsche, you know, the guy who wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra! You got that right? And how does that statment imply that ALL man's thoughts are straight before god?

      Man, I have to stop being so offended by utter stupidity.

    4. "God is the truth by which all crooked ways are found to be lacking."

      - Charles B.

    5. As avd420 states, me, too find it extremely ironic that you would argue against something that comes literally out of the book your nickname comes from. I'm not very sure if you understand the quote, but I would suggest you actually read the book too. It's quite entertaining.

    6. But it also could be a bad force as people get injuries and some die from sports related illnesses.

    7. Exactly right, religion can be either

    8. What's so bad about that?

    9. I live two hours from Auburn, I can't believe that guy poisoned our tree man. The university and local businesses have paid several thousand trying to save it, but it doesn't look good. I got my first kiss under that tree, drank my first beer, and had some of the best times of my life. I hope we manage to save it somehow but, according to the resident tree guy at Auburn, its going to die. I can't believe someone would kill such an old, beautiful, majestic oak over a football rivalry, that's sick in the head if you ask me.

    10. Now that's a true B%^#^%$#%! Oaks take centuries to grow and some moron kills it to make a sports statement! I felt sick to my stomach when in South Korea they killed dozens of centries old cherry trees because a new politician wanted to widen the road to make a name for himself, and didn't forewarn anyone so they wouldn't protest it. People went there in the sping to see the traditional cherry blossoms and found asphalt instead! Utterly detestible in my opinion. ;-(

    11. Waldo, I read about that! I'm still boiling mad. Did they catch they guy? I can't remember. I plant fruit trees around our neighborhood, and one of the neighbors said, "A man that plants trees is in a way a national hero."

      We have a cocaonut tree, a jackfruit tree, and an antis tree growing slowly from seedlings, but I just can't get the chesa seeds to germanate yet. Papayas everywhere, but that's just a two year "tree" at most. Oh, and we have a star apple growning--3 in fact. Oh! And two centol trees that came up on their own because the kids picked the fruit green and just tossed them in our yard. I do so love trees. I want to get at least one mycopa tree going and a guibano. Oh! And our neighbor says I can transplant one of the rambutan seedlings that came up near their house. Oh, and 3 Indian mangos. I may never get to eat their fruit, but I've eaten a lot of fruit from other's trees. It's just my way of returning the favor. My favorite is papaya -- they grow in a year; last a year; and then you chop them down and start again. We also have a banana tree (two actually counting the neighbor's), but that's more like a giant "weed"! Bazzare thing--sprouted 4 "babies" already. Don't like them much. Love the bananas; hate the "ugly" plants.

  58. @ bbga
    "I think you are getting caught up in semantics... yes you can, in fact, teach
    (or preach) atheism."

    You know, bbga, it really is not just semantics.

    Just think of all the gods you don't believe in, most of whom you probably never even heard of. Hinduism, alone, has hundreds of gods.

    Of course, you do not live in a Hindu community in India. But let us imagine that you did. Let us further suppose that Hindus started to get on you case for being an atheist. After all, you don't believe in the only 'real' gods there are. Theirs!
    So that really does make you an atheist in their eyes.

    You say, But I am not an atheist. I believe in the God of Abraham and in Jesus, the Christ, Our Lord and Our Savior, and God's only begotten Son, at one with the Father, both of Whom are in eternal Communion with something called the Holy Spirit. But don't get me wrong! It's all just one God, the only God, and his name is God.

    Not only would these Hindus have not the slightest idea what you are babbling on about, they may seriously begin to wonder about your sanity. So you stop trying to explain the Trinity and content yourself telling these Hindus that you do not believe that any of their so-called 'gods' exist. And that, as they say, is that!

    Now things get serious.

    "Are you saying our gods are not real? Well, I got news for you, buddy ?
    THEY ARE!!!"

    Prove it! says you.

    "Well, just look at the wonders of Nature all around you! Isn't that proof enough?"

    'Fraid not, dude! Look, if you really want me to take you and your gods and your religion seriously, you are going to have to show me something concrete, some kind of evidence I can understand. Hundreds of gods! Who ever heard of such a thing? Who are you trying to kid?!

    The Hindus keep on about the wonders of Nature and tell you to 'open your heart', and you will know.

    Can it. I want proof.

    "Hey, listen, you atheist, you. If you want to live apart from the glory of the one true faith, then that is your choice, but don't be preaching your atheism around here!"

    I'm not preaching! You were the one who started this whole thing. You are the one who is preaching! I just don't think you have made a good case. In fact, I
    don't think you've made any case at all.

    "Okay! If you believe our gods aren't real, then you prove they aren't."

    Are you nuts?! You prove to me that they are! I don't have to 'prove' anything!

    "Is there anyway you can know for sure that our gods don't exist? If so, show us!"

    There's nothing to show.

    "Exactly! You have not a scrap of evidence that our gods do not exist. So your belief is unsupportable."

    Wha? What belief?! You are the one with the belief, a$$h0le! And I just do not
    buy it. Look. You came to me preaching that these gods of yours exist and that
    I should worship them. I didn't even know about them till you came along. I do not believe your gods exist and you have given me not one single scrap of evi-dence to change my mind.

    Listen up, now. As far as I am concerned there are no so-called Hindu gods. And
    I don't have to prove anything. You're the one who's got some proving to do, bro! There is no logical reason why I, or anyone else, should believe in your so-called 'gods'.

    "Listen. I have a question. Are you trying to convert me to your way of thinking? Are you trying to convert me to your religion that our gods don't exist? Because,
    if you are..."

    Now it gets real nasty.

    The Hindus cannot accept you aren't attempting to convert them to your religion of non-belief, and you keep trying to tell them that not believing in their gods cannot be called a 'religion', that the very idea that you're trying to 'convert' anyone to anything is ridiculous.

    All you are doing is refusing to hide.

    All you are doing is making it plain to all that you are not a Hindu and could never be a Hindu because there is no evidence that Hinduism's gods are real. That's all.

    When you explain that you have been shown nothing in support of their endless claims about their hundreds of gods(all with names, btw) and that, until, and unless, they do provide hard core evidence, there is no logical reason for anyone to believe in this Hindu malarkey.

    The Hindus, in turn, claim you are trying to spread you religion of non-belief.

    Do you get what I am trying to explain, bbga?

    Anyhow, thanks for reading this.


    1. Well said. Nice parallel.

    2. hahaha, that was beautiful. Thank you and cheers! m/

    3. Atheism is valid in Hinduism. You can say that Atheism is a branch of Hinduism. The core belief of Hinduism is not a belief in a God or in a variety of gods but that you live your life as a good human being. By the way, i'm Indian and atheist.

    4. @ AUWR
      "Atheism is valid in Hinduism."

      I apologize for having misrepresented what it means to be a Hindu. I know absolutely nothing about Hinduism.

      For exactly that reason did I choose Hinduism to sketch out my analogy, to give my discussion partner a feeling of what it might be like were the tables turned and it were he, for a change, who found himself in an environment utterly unfamiliar with, and totally indifferent to, his belief system.

      I think you know I had no intention of offending. I just had to choose some scenario so, rather arbitrarily, I chose a scenario involving Hinduism, knowing for sure my discussion partner would be totally clueless.

      I hope you understand my motive and that I meant no harm or disrespect.



      Atheism is valid in Hinduism."
      In that case, maybe I'll join(if you'll have me, that is.

    5. @ 0zyxcba1:
      Don't worry, you didn't offend me. Just thought it was better to point it out.

    6. @OZ
      Thanks for the tips on moderation.

      Just to let you know though, I've been here a while, even before the "disqis" format was added. I just posted under a different name.

  59. Ok, if I do good in the name of purple aliens, yes, I am doing good... but I am still deluded by purple aliens. Religion is a shared & willfully subscribed to delusion. No more.
    Everyone, on each side of the equation loses. If you don't believe, you're not 'in the club', and if you do believe, you set yourself up for disaster believing in something that is not real.

    I have known since the first pastor told me I was born in sin that he was a liar; fortunately for me, I was kicked out of the church... and made my way promtly to the library. If there was a god, I'd thank him for that.

    1. Why were you kicked out of church? I've known people kicked out of churches, and the church was the one in the fault. Just curious.

    2. I once had this idea to examine the difference between single celled organisms, and those of a multi-celled animals. I was looking specifically at amoebas and white blood cells --as they are relatively similar-- trying to determine what basic attribute allowed one to operate as an independent, while the other remained subordinate to the host. And I didn't really find anything physical which could explain the difference. Then it occurred to me that the answer was in the question... "Why was one subordinate, and not the other?"

      We were born into a society which teaches us that all humans have rights.. That all shall have justice for whatever crime might happen to befall them... That all should be free to reach for the sky.

      But have you looked at the earth from on high, lately? Have you seen the quilted landscape? The festering cities, with their tentacles reaching out in all directions? Seen the oil slicks? The eroding forests? The expanding deserts? The plumes of algae from our agriculture? Almost looks like a bad infection, doesn't it? Or does it all look beautiful to you?

      We walked away from serving our host in order to become it's disease. THAT is the Original Sin. And not one single person on this earth could ever tell me I am wrong about that, because I've got all of the scientific evidence I could ever need!

    3. Well, y'all think what you like. That is my understanding based on literal interpretation and observation. That you came to some different conclusion is no surprise to me.

      But riddle me this: If the book is so wrong, then why has our world become everything it ever warned us it would? Or do you dispute that too?

    4. Ow please, tell me rather what the book DIDN'T warn us about. If I wrote a book now with some vague ambiguous predictions of the future, you think those guys would believe anything I say because some of them have come true?
      Come on man, now you're just being silly. In the year 4116 the rain will fall on the just and the unjust alike and all will be wet! There, if that comes true than that means there is no God. Let's now wait and see what happens.

      By the way, how can you literally interpret an amoebe? Seriously.. It's like you're not even trying. I feel like fighting an unarmed man. Here.. have some pity.
      I hope you one day come to realize how much they took away your own reasoning and replaced it by a fast-food solution. It's making you feel good, but it's also making you sick. Just watch the symptoms.

    5. @David Foster,

      That is my understanding based on literal interpretation and observation. That you came to some different conclusion is no surprise to me.

      But riddle me this: If the book is so wrong, then why has our world become everything it ever warned us it would? Or do you dispute that too?

      On the contrary. Your interpretation is metaphorical. As @dave.eggermont pointed out, the predictions (if there are any) in that book are so vague and ambiguous and because of that they carry hundreds off possible interpretations.

      The original sin is not an Old Testament doctrine. It is not even a Jesus doctrine. It is invented by Paul the Apostle and was interpreted very differently amongst the Christian denominations. Beginning from Bishop of Lyon Irenaeus in the second century to Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose and Ambrosiaster, then Augustine of Hippo, Pelagians, Second Council of Orange, Saint Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Lombard, Thomas Aquinas etc., etc. they all have different interpretations of the Original Sin. Yours is just among the hundreds of others. Wait in line.

      Further more, Augustine believed that unbaptized infants go to hell as a consequence of original sin. I hope you don't believe that too.

      As far your opinion that the book warned us of how the world will turn out to be, I must say I'm stunned again.

    6. Ah, I see. You are one who believes it was all written in secret chambers by men who sought to control the world, and was falsely presented as true history.

      Be that as it may, I see that they were correct in their predictions (vague as they may be). And I see the world heading full-steam toward their final conclusion. Science has NOT proved to be the great savior in all this; but merely the tool by which it is accomplished.

      "For in the day that you eat of the fruit [of the tree of knowledge], you shall surely die."

      I am perfectly aware you don't believe any of that; which is what allows you to keep going. "Guys like me" are only here to say "I told you so".

    7. @David Foster,

      Ah, I see. You are one who believes it was all written in secret chambers by men who sought to control the world, and was falsely presented as true history.

      No, I see it as an ancient book written by an ancient people for an ancient people. Probably it was applicable back then but today is just an outdated judeo-political brochure.

      It is cultural thing. Culture embedded in environment produces various forms of religion. Some of them have omnipotent Gods some of them don't.

      For in the day that you eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, you shall surely die.

      Yes, whoever seeks knowledge will die. Again I'm stunned.

      "Guys like me" are only here to say "I told you so".

      And guys like me are here to tell you "Wake up. It's the 21st century. There are hundreds of contradictions, scientific errors, unethical advices in the Bible. And plus there are many other scriptures out there (other religions). What makes you think the Bible has the right answers.

      It appears to me that you're really fundamentalist with your approach. Medicine haven't done any good, knowledge is dangerous, the book warned us, etc...

      Since you're literal interpretor of the Bible, and to cut the chase, I would like you to answer some simple questions, please:

      1. Do you believe in the creation story in the Bible?
      2. Do you believe that the Earth is 6000 years old?
      3. Do you believe that the Bible is the word of God?
      4. Do you believe that the Bible is just an inspired word of God, written by humans.
      5. Do you believe in the Noah's Ark story?

      The list of question can be very big but 5 is enough I think.

    8. @David Foster, That's not a sin David that's called over population. One hundred years ago there was 1.5, billion people on the Globe today there are 7, billion, because of the advent of DDT, Vaccinations, Better plumbing and Advanced Medicine in general. If we were not brained washed by all this go to church on Sunday and Electrocute them on Monday Horse Sh#t, and followed the natural order of things and joined in nature instead of trying to rise above it and circumventing it with False Golden Bull...Sh#t worship then maybe we would have more respect for, Mother Earth and Father Nature. I don't like you very much right now and i don't like that about me. Your ignorance is dIspicable! There is one Force that manifest all forms, the same force that runs this computer I'm on runs this fan across the room, the same Force different forms. The only thing that may save our spiecies is a thinning of the population by two thirds. I am afraid it's to late for the natural evolutionary process to correct it's self. I have to give you this David, The Spiritualist and The Atheist are probably as guilty as you. This natural sin sh#t is enough to make me puke! There is no Damning god David but there sure as hell i a BALANCING DEITY just like when you flip a coin a hundred times it will almost always come up 50% heads and 50% tails give or take a flip because the flipping process is not finite. The DEITY ALLOWS NO MONOPOLIES, it just simply doesn't equate. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SIN.

    9. @David

      "Be that as it may, I see that they were correct in their predictions (vague as they may be). And I see the world heading full-steam toward their final conclusion."

      Please tell me, please-please tell me, that you are aware, that the statement in which you have uttered, has been repeated during every decade since the bibles inception.

      Please tell me you're not so ignorant to think that we are the only generation to live in a doomsaying society.

      "Sure they all thought it was the endtimes too, but THIS TIME, really is!"

      On a long enough time-line the survival rate for everything drops to zero, so eventually you will be correct, but don't hold your breathe. Try and enjoy life a little, because I would be willing to bet mine that you will die of natural causes or an accident or a disease before you die from a biblical apocalypse. And the same goes for your kids, and there kids, and there kids, kids, kids....

    10. David I don't see those things which you speak of. All I see is a birth rate that's getting so high because more than 50% of the children these days have access to medical care adequite enough to have a baby safely. All I see is people living into ripe old ages enough to make even the authors of the bible call BS. All I see are disease like leprosy and polio being all but eradicated while others like diabetes and HIV which used to be death sentences becomming managable. I see a world where there is less war and murder than ever before in the history of makind. I see a world food is less scarce than ever in the history of humanity. I see a world where the color of ones skin no longer determines there value in society.

      Wanna know the scariest thing about the world I see? People like you who choose to focus on the very small negatives and blow irrational fears out of porportion. People like you who choose to preach filth to those who want to live a safe life in which there ancestors have sacrficed themselves for. People like you, for whom, it will never be good enough until it's all destroyed.

  60. I think that the entire argument on "converting" is one of semantics. Conversion is not a strictly religious term after all. If I set fire to a log I convert wood to ash, I can convert electrical current from alternating to direct current. Saying that, since atheism is a disbelief in any god does not make it any less of an actual thing that you can be. Disbelief in god does not make your ideology the equivalent of antimatter and therefore something you could not convert to. Now I may be wrong for some of you but for most I believe that at some point you may have belonged to an organized faith. I don't intend to debate whether that was by choice or upbringing or what have you. I am simply saying that at one point you were one thing and at another you were something else, ergo you converted.

    1. Indeed, most of us grew up. xD
      (too easy, I know, couldn't resist it)

    2. Lol yea for most that is how it works @dave. Whatever the case for the change if it makes ya happy go with it.
      Edit: unless it's Scientology that S#&^ is just friggin nuts.

  61. @bbga, excuse me i thought you were using the dictionary's definition of atheist, "the disbelief of Any Deity or god period; this implied to me that because some one who does not believe in Your particular religion or belief is and atheist. Now that i understand that you didn't know the dictionary's definition of the word atheist i stand corrected it was not a DUMB statement it was an IGNORANT statement.

    1. Actually, I did... look it up on Wikipedia and the supporting definitions.

      I would rather be ignorant, than an ASS:)

    2. @bbga perhaps i was a little to snappy it's just i am intolerant of people trying to shove their religious beliefs down other peoples throat. I have said this before i don't need a third party religious broker, and no one else does, telling other people what, "god's" got to say. The Deity doesn't need help! Nothing personal i am sure you are a good person and you are certainly entitled to your beliefs! Now that being said, if you came on here and said, this is what i believe, etc. well okay; but for you to tell me or us or anybody that this is what the scriptures or memos or quotes from your religious book "TELLS US', no!, that's what your book tells you. Not US! If you really believe it don't spout it live it and show the rest of us through example, fair enough?

  62. Catagory A: Zionist, anti-muslim, Christian fundamentalist.
    Catagory B: Zionist, anti-muslim, Atheist fundamentalist.

    1. People who believe that Zionists are to blame for everything should visit informationclearinghouse dot com. Here, we prefer to believe that Christians are to blame for everything.

    2. @David Foster,

      Do you speak in the name of the site, the visitors, the commentators... or is that just you?

      Or that was just a simple display of innocent sarcasm. Hmmm... So in order to avoid any future misunderstandings, please try to use "I" instead of "we", when appropriate.

    3. I believe misguided people are to blame for everything.

    4. BRAVO!

    5. @Vlatko... I speak from observation. Most of you say that you are against religion as a whole; but what you appear to be doing is attacking Christianity exclusively. I don't see you knocking Buddhism or Shamanism with the same zeal.

      I've said the same thing to informationclearinghouse... Zio-Nazi-Fascists do not even EXIST; much less are they the cause of all that sucks!

    6. You don't see that because you're not bothering to visit any of the islamic documentaries on here.

    7. @ Far Spam
      Catagory A ? Catagory B

      What's an Atheist fundamentalist ?


    8. @ Oz
      Don't expect much of a reply from this guy, Oz...He's really busy with another, fuller agenda, up on his Arabian "everyone here hates muslims" horse, though I know you hate all religions equally. In the same way, some others nearby are up on their own horses, red ones in these cases, railing that everyone here only hates or blames Christians... Living in the particular country (or part of the world) we do, apparently we're only being fair if we hurl criticisms at the Dalai Lama, as well, every time we have anything to say about the abuses of Christianity, he being such a huge influence in this neck of the woods, after all.

    9. @Pysmythe, ok. thnx 4 the tip
      hav u changed ur avatar AGAIN ???


      Did you know that the Dali Lama stepped down as god? (LOL)

    10. @ Oz
      I liked the humor, but not the colors, so... I'm sure that butterfly boy will think he had something to do with it, though, considering his rude remark, and that's fine... He's too righteous to address me directly, anyway; which I've been pretty pleased about, actually. I had more than enough of his breed of animal the first 16 years of my life. You know the sort: The stupid kind, obsessed with horns, following the herd mentality, plodding along on all fours, grazing only on the meanest of diets, small-brained heads always looking down, or turned up with glazed-over eyes to follow whatever foul as^ is in front of them, etc. etc...

    11. not an agnostic

    12. @ Oz
      D'ya see that, Oz? The Grand Mufti Far Spam has condescended to give the kafir such a very clever answer...

    13. "What's an Atheist fundamentalist ?"

      Those annoying people on the internet serving religious people all kinds of witty remarks. ;)

    14. I like the word conclusive better then fundamentalist

    15. @ dave.eggermont
      "What's an Atheist fundamentalist ?"

      I'm not absolutely sure I'm not mixing this guy up with someone else, and I'm not going to bother checking it out, BUT:

      I think the guy admitted he was drunk. (lol)


    16. @ SONNYCORBI
      "I like the word conclusive better then fundamentalist"

      Indeed. An academic ring.


  63. Art visual or sound, that includes dancing Azilda, is religion. It's the only common denominator that brings US ALL to LOVE and WORSHIP!, without scientific ratification, Oz.

    Einstein said: "The most powerful force is the creative force", (or words to that effect). His understanding of this is what makes him such a great Architectural/Engineer, hence: The Fusion Of Theoretical-Physics.

    As a good feeling Sunday note, Picasso said: "I went to the university for four years to learn to paint like Leonardo Da Vinci but it took me a life time to learn to paint like a child".

  64. ATHEISM: The rejection of indefensible theistic claims.
    Nothing more.
    Theists say "This is how it is."
    I say "Prove it."
    They fail to provide proof, so I don't buy into what they're selling.
    Atheism does not say where I should invest my ideological currency in the marketplace of ideas, only where I rationally and honestly do not.
    So no, it is NOT a belief, but a lack thereof... just like not collecting stamps isn't a hobby.
    (It has nothing to do with the big bang theory.)
    Makes perfect sense.

    1. @ Gil Joseph Klein
      "(It has nothing to do with the big bang theory.)"

      Gil, you might have generalized, saying that atheism has nothing to
      do with science then going even further, pointing out that non-belief
      is arrived at strictly via logic.

      I do think most theists erroneously understand atheism to be(for lack
      of a better word): 'scientism'.

      If I am correct, then it is no wonder theists persist in couching their understandings of atheism in logically positive language.

      I think, too, that theists when first confronted with the logic of atheism are genuinely confused. The theist sees atheism as no more than a word on par with a word like 'communism'. It therefore follows that a theist's initial exploration of 'Atheism' is the exploration of a capital 'A'. To such
      a theist atheism is novel, often provocative, even threatening.

      From now on when engaged by a theist in conversation, I will deliberately steer clear of any reference to science, relying instead solely upon logic. Should the theist light on a matter related to science, I will respond, Yes, I've heard about that, too (if indeed I have! (lol)), then, Can't we please get back to what we were discussing?

      Just saying.


  65. Man you guy's and gal really went at this doc. Is it because it's Sunday?

    1. @SONNYCORBI, I speak only for myself. It is because I do not have a life, lol (if I did, I wouldn't be here posting :)


    2. @ Oz, I am not sure witch comment of mine you are replying Oz? As for you not having a life, i can imagine that most of the people that comment here on a repetitive basis are some what of a hermit, a loner, an intellectual, pick one or a couple. It's one mind talking to another mind Oz. We don't need arms and legs and cars and pogo sticks to "have a life". At least here it's not superficial horse Sh#t, ie, "see my knew phone", hello!, no pun intended. Oz most of the people i run into don't even know there alive. The people here are real for the most part and most of the time, even if we do get into a hissy fit now and then. The People on TDF try to show off their intellectual zeal and that's good. To me that's Artistic expression. I'll close with this, looking back on my life the hardest and most trying times have become my fondest memory's. I could elaborate on that but not now.

    3. @ SONNYCORBI,
      Thanks for the reassuring words. It is an addiction, though.
      I think I'll have to seek out a forum-addict 12-step program:

      Hi. My name is 0z and an internet junkie. (LOL)

      But I'm only half joking. I really do have to stop. I bought thousands of dollars of computer parts: motherboard/ 6-core processor/ SSD's -- the whole none yards, and it all just
      sits there in the corner.

      Building my own computers is just about the only hobby I have, and now I'm a forum-junkie. What am I to do? What ever am I
      to do?

      I got a great giggle out of your one-liner:

      "Oz most of the people i run into don't even know there alive."

      Thanks again for the kind words.


  66. @Ozyxcba1

    That's very interesting. I would point out that there are different levels of atheism. Literally the term means "without God". Some atheists are self described 'spiritualists' (in other words, some do no believe God(s) exist; however they believe a soul exists, etc. etc.) I guess what I want to point out here is that the subject matter is not so black and white as you are describing.

    I think the math analogy is interesting, but worthless in comparing to the concept of a supreme being (or absence of). The two aren't compatible. You are using matters of math to compare to matters of faith. The gospels tell us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the essence of things unseen. Let me take this to another level: you are trying to compare matters of the physical world with the metaphysical world.

    Nonetheless, I think I see where you're coming from. You want evidence and there is no evidence for you in the physical world.

    1. @bbga, you are mistaken. I am showing that preaching conversion to atheism is an oxymoron. Nothing more, or less.


    2. I think you are getting caught up in semantics... yes you can, in fact, teach (or preach) atheism. That is, in fact, what you have been going off on tirades about on this site.


    3. @ bbga

      Preaching is one thing. Attempting to convert someone
      to a non-belief, is another.

      The former is a rant(I plead guilty as charged).
      The later is an impossibility, by definition.


    4. "Preaching is one thing. Attempting to convert someone
      to a non-belief, is another."


    5. You seem to be implying that atheists could be or are unorganized religious people. One can have a profound understanding of the Deity, (god if you like) and not be a person who follows college graduated ministers of self ordained ministers and or their text. I refer you to Gil Joseph Klein's comment above. (If that's too much reading go directly to the part about stamps)

      Your comment above is not ignorant it's DUMB!

    6. No, I wasn't implying anything. I was explicitly explaining that there are numerous different degrees of spiritual belief/atheism, etc. That's all. If you don't think that billions of people, including atheists, have different opinions about what spirituality is, I suggest you get out more.

      I'll just ignore that part about being dumb, thank you very much


    It's kinda like a high school maths teacher.

    Imagine you're teaching a high school geometry class and you get to the famed Pythagorean Theorem, you know:

    The Square of the Hypotenuse is Equal to the Sum of the Squares of the Other Two Sides.

    a² + b² = c²

    It is actually quite simple to prove just using cardboard cut-outs. A third-grader could not be expected to repeat the proof on a test, but when third-graders see you do it, they giggle with delight just as though you had shown them the secret to some magic trick.

    Now back to our high school geometry class.

    Everyone understands the conjecture. That's dead easy. And proving it isn't hard, and there are a number of approaches. So now the teacher goes through the proof on the blackboard. Everybody gets it. The following week, on a pop quiz, the kids are asked to prove it on their own. Almost all of them do so with no difficulty.

    One of your brighter students even surprises you by figuring out for herself one
    of the alternate proofs that you had NOT demonstrated. In other words, she really understands the theorem as well as could be expected of anyone, and also she astonished you with her aptitude in proving the theorem by alternate means.

    Now(just minutes after having proved the theorem) she says, But, Sir, I believe there exists a right triangle that is an exception. She admits she cannot provide the triangle and knows that, according to the theorem she has just proved, such a triangle could not exist. But she persists in her claim that, against all logic, such a triangle nonetheless does exist.

    Of course she is right ? if you include non-Euclidean geometries, doing geometry on the surface of a sphere, for instance.

    But this is plane Euclidean geometry, and she knows it:

    "I know the proof is correct, Sir, but I still have faith that there is some right triangle that does not conform."

    Try, if you will, to imagine how exacerbated the teacher gets explaining the obvious over and over again, that such a triangle simply cannot exist, knowing
    all the while that she knows and understands fully that what he says is true.

    "Yes, I know, Sir, but I still maintain that there is at least one triangle that does not conform."

    The teacher knows the student well and knows how bright she is and also knows that she is not pulling his leg, that this is no joke!

    The teacher says, But can't you see, what you are saying makes no sense ?

    "Yes, Sir. Nonetheless, I have faith that there exists a triangle that does not conform."

    Now the teacher gets really frustrated and explains over and over again, from every conceivable standpoint, but to no avail.

    Someone walking into the classroom, having no idea what the conversation is about, might think the teacher, by his ardent and persistent manner, is somehow attempting to talk the student into something and that the student either does not comprehend or is being unduly pressured. In other word, a third party might think the teacher is attempting to 'convert' the student to Pythagoreanism which, of course, is literally, utter, NON sense!

    This make-believe scenario is analogous to the kind of situation in which the atheist often finds himself. Over and over again he shows logically that burden
    of proof, etc.,... But the other party persists in insisting that the atheist is preaching,

    It is easy to understand why some feel that the atheist is indeed, in some manner or other, attempting to 'convert'. But we are just frustrated, that's all, at our ropes end. It's all so obvious!

    Atheism cannot be a belief.

    No 'conversion' attempt is even possible. It make no sense even to talk about it. And yet the other party calmly persists in insisting that 'lack of belief' is belief!

    What's an atheist to do?

    At some juncture the atheist gives up, if the theist hasn't already walked off.


    1. Diogenes would say "I've found a human."

      Thank you for taking the time to state the obvious. My sincere gratitude.

    2. @dave.eggermont, you are more than welcome. :-)


    3. Ozyxcba1: I'm going to join Az and take a few days break. Too much time on the Internet is not healthy physically or mentally. Cut me some slack if you can.

      Charles B.

    4. Many moons ago an Indian chief had 3 wives and in the teepee 2 of them slept on buffalo hides and the other on a hippopotamus skin. One year they all fell pregnant together and 9 months later the wives that slept on the buffalo hides each had twins but the wife who slept on the hippopotamus skin had quads. Amazingly they were all boys. Which goes to proove. The sons of the squaw on the hippapotamus are equal to to sons of the squaws on the other 2 hides.

  68. This may be my last comment for a while. I am off to dance again!
    Shambhala music festival, camping, observing 10,000 kids, working as a cook for the next 2 days (before the festival starts), having fun and lots of it, swimming in the river, smoking weed (no alcool at Sham), taking photos, dancing dancing goal dancing 6hours a day at least! It will be easy because the music is 24hrs a day, no way to get away from the it.
    Have a good week everyone.
    Don't fight, it imitates religion!
    Thumbs up to all and a special one to Vlatko!

    1. Again... have good one @Az.

    2. Az: That sounds fun! I need to take some time off too, just for my own soul's sake. I wish I could join you, apart from the weed smoking.

  69. Religion, science, neither has a monopoly on the truth. The truth is that the human mind is still far too limited to be able to know everything and say for sure that there is or is not more to life than just physical existence. The question remains unanswered and only fools have solid convictions about things that cannot be proved either way. Why not keep an open mind? Closed minds cannot accept the full spectrum of all available experiences and knowledge.

    1. @ Archon474
      You have posted below, in another post:
      "I don't believe in any religion, I just believe in what I have personally experienced and that includes things that cannot be explained by science."

      There are many things science cannot prove. Science, for example, cannot 'prove' Beethoven's Ninth Symphony nor a Renoir.

      And, by the way, before I start, atheism has nothing to do with science. Atheism has to do with logic. It is true that atheists point to science to show that theism has made claims that have been proved false. I can quite well understand why a person might believe atheism is nothing but 'scientism'. I can understand that. But is really isn't so.

      Atheists cannot try to 'convert' you, as atheism is not a belief; atheism
      is not a philosophy; nor is atheism a point of view; nor is atheism an ideology. Atheism is just that: a-theism. An atheist does not believe in god(s). Period.

      So whatever unfortunate experiences you may have had with atheists,
      it cannot be due to any one of them having attempted to 'convert' you.
      It is simply not possible. There is literally NOTHING to convert you to.

      At last count, there are approximately twenty-eight thousand gods. All Christians, to cite but one example, are atheists to the extent that all Christians do not believe in 27,999 gods(at current count). An atheist
      is simply someone who believes in one less.

      I do not know what your beliefs are. All I know is that you do not believe in any religion.

      Welcome to the gang.

      I cannot deny that you have been put upon by atheists, as you have clearly stated that you have. I am curious about the nature of the unfortunate experiences you have had to endure and, hopefully, have been able and willing to tolerated.

      Please tell me more. You have whet my appetite!


      This post is NOT a response to your posting just above. I only just now have seen it. This comment is in response to a posting of yours below beginning with: "I don't believe in any religion,..."

    2. "Truth" is that men in fancy attire send armies ahead of themselves to take whatever they want, and install police forces behind them to make sure that no one tries to take it back. This is history. All else is commentary.

      Today, I hear many people who wish to start a revolution relentlessly quoting Thomas Jefferson, as though he were the wisest man who ever lived. How is this any different than people from two thousand years ago quoting Solomon or Moses?

      Somehow, I guess people think that if they can disprove the existence of GOD, that they won't have to listen to the advice that history has to offer on a HUMAN level. But whether or not God or Heaven exists is irrelevant. God is the hope of the hopeless. You take away someone's hope and the only thing they will have left is to pray. And in the end, you will have created a whole NEW God; who is potentially more terrible than the last.

    3. I will have to agree with you Archon474.
      I feel that religion is just a way to control people, whether or not its teachings are true. I don't believe in science because science says that given a cretin scenario that a+b=c ; but the only place this happens is in laboratory's or on paper. There seems to be this phobia with scientist to include themselves as an observer because a+b=c only happens when u see it happen. Everything we experience is this a+b=c idea, this makes up our reality only because this is what we are experiencing. I'm not saying that things happen because I see them happen, I think I'm saying that nothing exist until u experience it for yourself.
      A question that comes up is then "What do i believe in?" The answer is I don't know, I'm keeping an open mind. I'm a Dr. David Eagleman fan btw.
      These are just my thoughts here guys, be gentle with me ^_^

    4. @ archon,

      You say nobody has a monopoly on the truth. Well, truth has. If I claim it to be true that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, the scientific method is the only way for you to decide whether that claim is true or not.

      Science doesn't claim to have all the answers or that all the answers are 100% correct. Science is the one who encourages doubt and scrutiny. Science is the one telling you: "Look, in 90% of the cases it will be like that, the other 10% it will be different." (This is also the reason why a lot of pseudo science pops up, and why people have a skewed perception of the scientific method)

      To me, this is much more realistic and it portrays the environment I'm surrounded by in a very HONEST way. The absolute truth we might never know, but why should that stop us of making it possible to get the most accurate assumptions possible?

      Religion does not provide that option for me. If I was to claim to know anything about anything, then I would NEED the scientific method to PROVE that I'm not just making things up.

      Solipsism, plausible as it is, for me is not an option. It would render everything I do being meaningless. Whether this is so or not, I can't tell you HONESTLY that I believe that everything I do is meaningless. The only thing that is at least as honest about reality as myself is science.

      Does this mean this is the only place to find wisdom? OF COURSE NOT. I can find a lot of conventional wisdom just from going to the movies. Scriptures are nothing but good movies, historically and scientifically incorrect, but they can contain some wisdom. Sure. But will all that wisdom tell me anything of how my bowels work? No. Science will. Science brings beauty to wisdom as wisdom brings meaning to science.

      Well, that's my take on it. From what I've read here on the forum I think a lot of people have a similar way of perceiving this nuance between truth and wisdom. That's why smart people sometime say stupid things and why dumb people sometimes say the wisest things. This doesn't mean truth and wisdom are separated, to me they work in a very fascinating dynamic. That's why we need science to help us uncover the truth, (even if it just lifts the veil just a picometer), and art to pass on wisdom in a way that's accessible for EVERYONE. Not just the "chosen" ones. Catch my drift? Science is open even for religious people. It doesn't work the other way around. That's why you have religious scientists but no scientific religion. Science says: "This is what we got so far, this is how we got it.. make of it what you can."

      So to me, to be open minded, but not to the extent of being gullible, the scientific method is the most honest and reasonable way to make CERTAIN claims. What these claims are have nothing to do with anything "mystical", as you will find the same answers. So if you get the same data independently from me, well, wouldn't you dare to say you have found some truth? Well that's the simplified definition of the scientific method.

      Sometimes I think people are afraid to lose their "spirituality" once you stop being religious. In fact, it is the other way around. If you don't have a religion, your spirituality is free to explore. Religion just confines your spirituality. Maybe that is what holding a lot of people back, they feel safer surrounded by what they are used to so they know what to expect.

      That's why I want to "convert" everyone to science. At least I'm honest about it. But I'm only going to try to convert if I think I'm dealing with some reasonable person. And also I promise I won't go door to door, or be shouting on street corners, or somewhere you might expect it. It will be there where there is a congregation of bright people, where I have learned from experience, my ideas might be laughed at, but nobody will hurt me for them.

      No, I'm not sorry about the length of this reply, it was the only way I knew I could do it some justice.

    5. You are a biological machine which only "thinks" it is alive. That is all science will ever be able to tell you.

      But is it true?

  70. It is evident that religion is not a force of good in the world. It promotes isolation, which leads to conflict.
    "My question to all these people here is if you think that religious people will ever be able to leave their religion behind? And if so, how? "

    It's hard but possible, since people likes to stick to their oppinions and values, when one understands that all these values and oppinions are just results of indoctrination of society/parents/etc and the result of ones experiences. And one shall always be sceptical of ones experiences. If one truly thinks about the question at hand, it's quite easy to see how man has created religion, nations etc as a result from thinking in isolation (us - them). Religion is one of the primary causes of conflict in the world, along with nations.

  71. Both speakers were brilliant. I'm not usually a Blair fan but he showed how managed to become UK PM. I'm surprised this was aired on C-SPAN. Regardless of side held the ability to have such arguments in America has become taboo in recent years.

    I'll not enter the argument below for 1 simple reason; you can't argue religion it's not rational therefore outside the boundaries of a rational argument.

    Until religion is treated like alcohol where you are not allowed to imbibe it until 18 or 21 it's here to stay.

    1. I have to agree, he held up quite nicely for a mere PM. :p

    2. That's true. "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it"---it's the Bible promise I'm standing on with my own kids.

    3. "Train up a child..."

      Truer words were never spoken! And that is exactly why my own children aren't allowed to attend any church. They are to treat others as they would want to be treated, attempt to understand the world and others in terms that don't resort to divisive myth, comprehend and amend, if needed, their own baser natures, without the condemnation inherent in the doctrine of original sin, and to live productive lives with as much joy, and as little fear, as possible, not cringing in guilt for being human, or feeling all the steps of their days are hounded by the threat of hell.

    4. Here's a quick story. I teach in an elementary school and a couple of years ago, one small boy in grade 3 cried for 2 weeks straight in the office. None of us knew why and we all tried to comfort this distraught child. Eventually he told us "I'm a bad boy and bad boys go to hell....."

      For two weeks he cried his eyes out at home and at school and didn't tell anyone why because he was afraid of hell.

      I truly hope you raise your kids with good morals and ethics. I also hope you raise your kids without any religion as I would hate for them to have to go through what that young child went through whether or not they openly weep or keep the turmoil burning in their own private minds.

    5. @ memoiandi

      I can't tell you how sad and angry it makes me to hear that! This is precisely why, since it won't be gotten rid of, religious instruction should be, BY LAW, reserved for adults only. But at least my kids are never going to go through something like that, if I have anything to say about it. I'm afraid to ask if you know if this poor child was ever set straight about this.

      (Are you religious people proud of this kind of thing? This sort of business is just routine to you, right? Terrorizing helpless children...All just a very necessary part of God's plan, huh? Believe me, if it was up to me, and a hell could be made, you creeps who use such tactics on these little ones would be the very first to go there!!)

    6. Twelve years parochial schools and one year cloistered in a monastery studying to become a priest of the Redemptorist Order.

      I was thirteen years old.

      I will never forgive the Church, not that She has ever begged forgiveness.

      Emperor Constantine's Holy Roman and Apostolic Catholic Church preaches of forgiveness and remission of sins, the faithful penitent of Her subjects be, first:

      a) sorry;
      b) in thirst of forgiveness;
      c) resolute ne'er ever to sin again.

      Well, if God will not forgive without that one meets the above three requirements, then I certainly have no intention of doing so, either.

      Were His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, to be genuinely sorry for what I went through in that cloister; were His Holiness to grovel at my feet, begging my forgiveness; were Benedict XVI to sincerely pledge never to allow anything like that ever to happen ever again, to anyone, I would consider forgiveness, for about two seconds, before kicking him in the teeth.

      My mercy is not infinite.

      By the way, the horrible sin I knew would caste me into the bottomless pit of the everlasting, never consuming, flames
      of Hell was ? masturbation.

      The whole of my sexually formative years were twisted by Holy Mother Church into some grotesque, self-devouring monster.
      And I was that monster.

      I masturbated.

      God hated me.
      And now, I hate God.

      As far as His Son goes, Jesus, the Christ, I hear He's a real knockout! So I might consider letting Him suck me off.

      And, Charles, if you know what's good for you, you will say NOTHING. Do you hear me?



    7. Pysmythe/memoiandi: To not teach my children about Hell (properly and in the right time and way) would be the ultimate evil in my mind. Hell is real, just as Heaven is real. I never feared Hell as a child, even though I learned about it. Kids are going to have horrible traumas just from life---without hope and faith and love and God's promises to guide them, what kind of parent would I be to just let them wander aimlessly and truly "lost" through life if I could help it? Let me worry about my well-adjusted happy mentally and physically healthy children, you worry about your own.

      P.S. I've been a camp concelor and youth worker (for years), and I've known a lot of kids from non-Christian families messed up to nearly beyond help---angry, cruel, selfish, hateful, disrespectful, abusive, drug addicted, sex addicted, theives, liars and bullies, without hope or direction in their lives. Yep! Nice alternatives to a life of faith and fulfillment in my opinion too. The inner cities of America are full of these kids (and that's why no one likes to walk down the streets any more at night).

      As far as sin--any sin, as long as you have the desire, it's forgivable. Try again, and again, and again. Jesus said we are to "forgive" our brothers 70 x 7 DAILY when they ask. That 490 times each day. Surely God wouldn't ask us to do something He's not willing to do Himself.

      A lot of people have been hurt by others in the past (including me). I found the greatest freedom in my life when at the age of 34 I had a meeting with God and I prayed, "I was just an innocent child, Father, but if he wants forgiveness, then I forgive him." Not for his sake, but for mine. It's a progressive healing, but you have to start somewhere. Forgiveness (without abdicating the person of responsibility of their actions) is a good place to start.

    8. How many of those messed up kids came from homes, for example, where there wasn't a father around to administer discipline when necessary? A temporary discipline, in proportion to the offense? I'd be willing to bet a pretty fair number! I don't think you can put the majority of such problems down to not having been brought up in a faith. And, in fact, quite a few of such kids' issues may even be a result of a religious upbringing (for example, using drugs to deaden feelings of guilt or fear), though you may not have seen it. There are all kinds of variables that go into making kids without proper limits or direction.

      As far as my own kids (aged 21, 19, 14, and 7) are concerned, thus far none have ever been in any trouble with the law, none have ever gotten messed up with drugs or alcohol (the eldest did experiment with pot, but after I found out about it, you better believe he didn't do it again, at least not before he moved out of the house -if he did, he was extremely discreet about it), the two eldest graduated high school and are now working, and the two youngest are currently doing pretty well in their studies overall. I'll admit that, with all of them, their attitudes can be a little more caustic than I could wish on occasion (especially my 14 year-old daughter, who has realized over the last year or so that she's much brighter than me or her mother), but being that both of their parents are pretty sharp-tongued, why should I expect anything else? They all know what the limits are, however, and when they'd better back it down a notch. They know who has been putting food in their stomachs, and what the hierarchy is in our household.

      They are not nearly perfect, though, and I'm not suggesting they are. They've made their share of mistakes, but nothing major, and so far are turning out to be law-abiding, useful citizens. And, as I've said elsewhere, they CAN look into religious faith, if they like, when they are NO LONGER CHILDREN, and can THINK ON THEIR OWN TWO FEET; as two are now of age to do, should they ever feel the need. But to have had panting, fear-mongering fundamentalists hurl their beloved threats of eternal fire and torture (among other things) at MY little ones? No thanks! Not this time around, fellas... The doctrine of hell is the most barbaric thing I ever heard of in my life. Explain to me exactly how such a thing could EVER equate to justice? The last time I checked, our temporal lives are not eternal! Why should any punishment be? This thing has been used as a threat, to make children conform for life to unbelievable things. But if my grown offspring should ever take up Christianity, as a result of their upbringing, they will not be burdened with having to try to throw off the whole armor of childhood psychological manipulation and abuse, as well, if they should ever want to put it down again.

      If this point of view is incomprehensible to you, I'm not surprised, but I will not apologize to anyone for it. It is the right thing to do, to safeguard vulnerable kids, who's imaginations are generally much more vivid, direct, and far-reaching in their consequences, from these absolutely despicable, MAN-MADE terrors.

    9. Well said Pysmythe. The concept of hell is a man made one, no reason at all to expose young children to such fiction.

      Good for you for not exposing your children to church, I'm sure they will grow up just fine. They will most likely grow up more rational, guilt free, and tolerant of others than
      C and N's kids.

    10. I have to go against you on that one. Hell is of no consequence to the raising of a child. Children respond much better to earned reward than to feared consequence. I personally do not believe in hell and never have. In fact I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools (when they would have me). I never responded well to the looming threat of damnation because even at an early age I was smart enough to see the hypocrisy. For instance in the 4th grade we were given a lecture by a teacher wherein he insisted that if we dared to engage in sex before marriage we would be cast to the pits of hell. My response to him was "So you are telling me you are over 40 and a virgin?" he was unmarried. I then spent the remainder of my elementary school years in the public school. For high school the Catholic approach was attempted again it lasted two years. The school was very good and I felt challenged and engaged in my studies...all except for religion class. Whilst diligently studying to memorize the names of some 70 saints, in alphabetical order, I yet again determined that this was total BS. I spent the remainder of my 5th period class time smoking cigarettes behind the gym. Except Mondays, Mondays we were allowed to pick a passage from the bible that we enjoyed and we would read it aloud to the class. I quite enjoyed reading every bit I could find about dragons sweeping the stars from the skies and dark men on horses in my very best Vincent Price impression. I then once more joined my chums in the state payed educational establishments.
      I always find it to be confusing that CHRISTians think so much of hell. Christ himself never preached hellfire and damnation. The only mention of hell or the devil is in passing or in the statement that Jesus himself "closed the gates to hell" after his death. One would think that since the savior of the faith had closed the gates we would no longer have to worry about going there.

    11. "I've known a lot of kids from non-Christian families messed up to nearly beyond help... Nice alternatives to a life of faith and fulfillment in my opinion too. The inner cities of America are full of these kids"

      Ummm.... Does this include all those gang members with crosses tattooed all over their bodies? Prison's full of them right? Oh oh right.... they're the ones who don't know christ's true teachings right?

  72. I also want to say after reading a lot of comments, a lot of people here seem to be very insightful when it comes to this topic of religion. My question to all these people here is if you think that religious people will ever be able to leave their religion behind? And if so, how?

    Personally I've found it very hard to "convert" a believer. Any theories ?

    1. I don't know if there is a planet far enough where we could get rid of religion. It is a very very infecting disease!
      let's hope religion is doing that to ITSELF

    2. yes but it's infecting our environment as well and we are entangled with our environment :O very scary !

      I swear to god this is what I'm gonna teach my kids, hahahaha

      edit @azilda: When I'm making fun of something I always try to include god. God is the punchline of so many cruel jokes.

    3. Swearing to GOD has no value unless that word represents you and your Self. If you want to swear use "f*ck" at least it represent fun.
      I swear to f*ck, sounds good.
      In Quebec we do use religious words to fill in the blanks. We swear religious words instead of swearing on them.

    4. Here is an equation that's not advanced math, it's illogic math!
      (power+religion)=control=money/(over)peace and the discovery of our true self

    5. The single most annoying thing a religious person can do is constantly try to convert people. I have heard so many on here say as much. Why not so to push disbelief? Maybe try to accept them as they are?

    6. Ahem... The single most annoying thing about atheists is that they are always trying to convert us.. Nuff said.

    7. Right, tell me of one instance of any atheists knocking on doors to convert the religee's to atheism. Where I live all types of religions pounding on doors, including the christians, the mormons will literally chase a person down the road, I've had them running after me when riding a bike!

      Would love to give the religee's a taste of their own medicine have a slew of atheists knock on religee's doors to try and convert, probably be on the news.

    8. @ David,

      Right.. And when I was 4 weeks old, I asked to be baptized and to be placed into an arbitrary doctrine, wasting my time singing mythical songs when I could have been studying about what the universe consisted out of and all that other fine jazz. I love the holidays though, I say we keep 'em as a reminder of the good ol' days when people's lives were a little less complicated.

      I actually hate the term atheist, because I see it as a preset value taken away from me when I was defenseless. Wake the fudgestickles up.

      Santa Claus + Boogieman = God.

    9. I don't believe in any religion, I just believe in what I have personally experienced and that includes things that cannot be explained by science. I have had more atheists try to convert me in the last 10 years than religions trying to convert me. And atheists seem to do it with an attitude of arrogance and ridicule. At least religious people are sincere and want to convert you because they think they are trying to help you. Atheists try to convert you because they think you are stupid for not believing what they believe and I find that incredibly offensive. Just let people believe in whatever they want. How does that hurt you unless they do it in a way that is offensive to you or keep doing it after you politely ask them to stop?

    10. @ archon

      It is true the most radical atheist is the arrogant one. But the most radical theist is a whole other story.

    11. @Achems; Just look to the comment I was replying to. It is quite obvious that some do attempt to convert. It seems pretty much to be a natural state that people try to convince others to think as they do. I am just saying that it is obviously not just the religious that do so.

    12. @ StillRV
      "It is quite obvious that some do attempt to convert."

      StillRV, the question is not do some try. Are we succeeding?i (LOL)

      (If not, give us some pointers where we're going wrong :-)


    13. Oz; Just look around you. I think it is quite obvious that the social conversion toward atheism and or agnosticism is progressing. I think the question is; If ever your ideal is reached will it be anything like the peaceful, logical, global community so many predict? Or will it be just a new theme for the same old game?

    14. Convert to what, to not believe in any gods? Nothing to convert to! Maybe to believe in science, but that should be a no-brainer. Without science, we would definitely be lost sheep.

    15. Achems;you can convert to atheism just as you can convert to democracy, or to holistic medicine, or any of the myriad ideologies. I won't say atheism is a religion because that gets people all fired up but it most certainly is an ideology.

    16. @ StillRV
      "Oz; Just look around you."

      All kidding aside, StillRV, I really do think the world would be much better off without theocracies, such as exists in Iran. An atheist world would be far from a utopia. You see, religion is by no means our only problem in the world today, and religion most certainly is not the only force for what can only be termed 'self-destructive behavior'.

      Without religion, there will still be greed, lust for power, war, people like DickCheney with a finger on the button. But we would at least have one big problem less to deal with.

      And speaking of problems, we've got lots:

      We are running out of oil and the demand for oil is increasing.
      We really are over-fishing the oceans. In general, we are affecting the ecosystem in such a manner that it cannot heal as quickly as we rape. And we have to 'rape' because there are so many mouths to feed.

      Just yesterday I was writing something and went to quote my usual 6,000,000,000, but then I thought I'd get the exact number. I was shocked. In just the time I've been tooting my usual 6,000,000,000, about three or four years, the number has climbed to almost 7,000,000,000. There are not unreasonable estimates that by 2050 the world population will be approaching 15,000,000,000.

      What are we going to do? Pray?

      There are thousands of pressing problems, and we really must shift from a paradigm relying on the supernatural as our guide
      to one that has at its core intelligent reasoning based upon real evidence and logic, or we aren't going to make it.

      Here's but one example of what we can well do without:

      BBC, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

      Some 22 million people are infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, according to UN figures for 2007. This amounts to about two-thirds of the global total.

      "HIV/Aids is a tragedy that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem."
      ~ His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

      Sexual abstinence
      While in Africa, the pontiff is expected to talk to young people about the Aids epidemic and explain to them why the Catholic Church recommends sexual abstinence as the best way to prevent the spread of the disease.

      I know. I know. The pope and the Catholic Church don't represent real Christianity. But what difference does it make. These religious arguments as to which religion is right have been going on forever. We haven't time for all this nonsense. We just don't.

      The Pope said what he said not because he is a bad man
      (which he is!) but because of religious dogma. It makes no sense but, from a Catholic standpoint, it is the 'Will of God'. So tens of millions of people will unnecessarily die because a particular religion thinks condoms are immoral. Imagine how much worse
      it would be if Charles were running the show! (lol)

      Can't you see?

      It's like the eradication of Small Pox. Eradicating Small Pox from the face of the globe did not eradicate disease, not by a long shot. Does that mean we ought just to have let it go.

      Religion is not helping. At best it is harmless. At worst, I give you Iran. Charles thinks it would be a good idea for America to fight a global war against Islam. Can't you see? The world needs to really think, hard, long, and logically about our problems. There is no time to waste on prayer and stonings.

      It's not so much theism as religion. The problem seems to be that theism always develops into a religion ? and pronto!

      Besides, you have to admit, there is no falsifiable evidence in support of any argument for a god. None!

      Religion has had thousands of years to make its case, and it has failed and taken many an innocent person in the process. And it
      is not just the Abrahamic religions, either.

      The Aztecs and the Incas were ripping the hearts out of their own children's breasts to appease the gods. To them all that nonsense was as real as your god is to you.

      Think of all the horror.

      And all the while they could have been trying to find the real reason for rivers running dry, or moved instead of worshipping
      a rain god. Worship, sacrifice, worship ? still no rain. Answer: We must not be offering enough hearts.

      It is time that a not too bad species put these past mistaken analyses as to how and why thing occur aside, once and for all.
      It will happen, but will it happen in time.

      Anyhow, that's what I think.


    17. @ StillRV
      Convert to what?

      Atheism is not a belief system. You are already an atheist to the extent that you lack belief in 27,999 gods. Atheists simply lack belief in one more.


    18. @Oz; That, sir, was you greatest post I have seen to date. Your intellect and your opinions come forward so much better than in your usual posts. You may be shocked to know that I actually wholeheartedly agree with all of your points. I am not a pro religion person but I am a pro human rights to believe as they wish to person. Thus my strong defense of religion. I long ago abandoned any sort of organized faith, yet I retain a sense of the spiritual. How could I not? I stand in awe of so many things in this world and that awe translates to almost a spiritual enlightenment.
      On theocracies I could not agree more. Religion should never be the foundation of any nation or governmental body. America had this right in the constitution but has since fluctuated on the matter. I'm not sure where we even came up with the idea of separation of church and state. I like to think we got it from the native Americans. They had a Chief and a Shaman, two separate branches of leadership that at times worked together, yet he Chief or elder always had last word. More likely though it was just the colonialists being sick to death of being under the thumb of a government with a "king chosen by god himself".
      Honestly I just think that no matter what we do, embrace theocratic regimes or adopt an entirely secular attitude we will still find something on which to disagree and continue to fight.

    19. @StillRV

      I actually think you've made sense right there, we will always have a reason to disagree. But the fact of the matter is that religious disagreements result a lot in needless violence. You will never see two scientists try and kill each other if they don't agree? No. That's why the more scientific people on this forum are so reluctant when it comes to religious people. You will never see a physicist kill someone because he doesn't believe in quantum mechanics.. The worst he would do is come off as arrogant. I want to live in that world. Where the worst is to be an arrogant person. A world where I wouldn't feel the threat of eternal damnation or needless violence whenever I get something wrong. Maybe I'll feel stupid a lot, but hey, I feel stupid anyway.

    20. @Dave: I'm afraid that your assertion may prove false. There have been and continue to be casualties in competitive science. They are just more oblique in their manifestation. One could easily infer that the competition within industry is the child of opposed scientists and engineers. Where one company destroys another economically with the ideals and power of their own invention. Anyway we have never had a world run by science, so it is tempting to hope that it may be the near Utopian ideal we long for. However that precludes the inevitable invasion of power hungry individuals into the realm of science. My feeling is that it is not the religion, nor is it the political alignment that Causes the fight, It is the men and women who would dream and dare to use whatever tool at their disposal to dominate and control. In today's world one does not become a scientist in pursuit of power and domination. If science becomes the basis of society that will change. The sociopaths and the egoist who love nothing more than to abuse power will become scientists because that is where the power is, thus would fall the reign of science. Just as has been the case with any and all ideologies or ways of life in recorded time.
      The first Jews were migratory goat herders not Zionists paving the streets of their "homeland" with the blood of the innocent. The first Christians worshiped in catacombs and tunnels for the joy of the faith, not stroll gilded halls in silk robes condemning the world. The first Socialists found happiness and comfort in a cooperative community of equals, not bloated bureaucrats hoarding power as the masses starve. And the first democracy was set up in pursuit of individual freedom and self determination, not global conversion and dominance of all who have what we want.
      Perhaps it is sciences turn to take the reins, however I feel it is foolish to hope that the end result will be any less of a perversion of the source than any in the past. To arrogantly insist that science is immune to the corrupting force of absolute power is, at best naive, at worst conspiratorial. If your science ruled world should dawn, believe me, I wish it the best and hope for it's success. Yet just like with any child all hopes and dreams could easily end in disappointment.

    21. Why should I give up what I have? You have nothing to offer me except spiritual apathy. My faith gives me hope and a purpose for my life that I believe will even go on after my physical death.

      But, if you want to "convert" a foolish ungrounded "believer" then focus on the temperal; the here and now; and put off anything that has to do with accoutability for your actions or thinking about death and consequences. If it feels good do it! "Yes, there may be a God, but there's always tomorrow. Let's not worry about that today. You have plenty of time." "Yeah, tomorrow!" and many times "tomorrow" never comes.

    22. If your religion includes"redeemer" as the
      Christian faith does ,then you cannot claim that you have taken accountability for your actions. Indeed,You have abrogated that responsibility to another. Please don't claim that you have. In fact only when you evaluate your own choices by real morality (your hard-won internal compass of right and wrong) can you claim accountability.

    23. "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." — George Bernard Shaw.

    24. @ dave.eggermont
      "Any theories?"



  73. Religious people are the ones who prefer horses over cars. They both get you from point a to point b but why would you take a horse over a car when you don't know where or if there even is a point b? Have faith they say.
    Well I'm going to drive my car until we find something better!

    Hitchens is not only a voice of reason, he's a voice of morality as well.

    I actually laughed when Blair was seemingly unaware of outing this mass manipulation tactic by stating "we need to find a way to use religion to make it a force of good". It's like saying let's see how we can manipulate a lot of gullible people to do good things so we can just sit back and enjoy it. Like Hitchens noted so many times, religion makes people say and do despicable things. All people really need is a proper education. Once people get adequately educated, religion becomes redundant.

    Blair doesn't realize yet that people of faith actually are the secularists and I agree with him that they do need a lot of debates with people who are not so they come to realize this ironic fact.

    Blair: "...we should celebrate the good that have come out of religion."
    Yes, and we should congratulate Hitler for bringing welfare to Germany before he destroyed it.

    Please people, how can you applaud this madness?
    Context people.. I want to remind you the value of putting things in its respectable context.

    Also it was kind of funny to see the amusement on the face of Hitchens when the moderator said "initially 65% voted against" when it was actually 55%.

  74. Does Blair really need to pause after every four words for impact? How unbelievably obnoxious. He comes across as a completely amateur speaker in this debate.

  75. Hitchens v Blair ....... It's a 'Toss Up' emphasis on the 'Toss' !!!

  76. Still I gotta say, Religions champion was a poor choice, although strangely appropriate. Just look at all the 'good' things that sorry sob did in the name of religion. A more evil man would be difficult to find.

  77. @Liew Anthony, why should religion be required in order for people to be inspired to do good things? religion cannot claim the monopoly on morality. I have seen first hand the harm that religion can do. All the good that religion claims for its own - this is false (or plagiarism at the very least) - good people do good things, bad people do bad. Unfortunately, religion makes it possible for good people to do bad things. Maybe it also makes it possible for bad people to do good, but I maintain if someone admits that without their faith they would happily rape and murder then they should be locked up regardless. Real human beings take responsibility for all their actions, good or bad, not to blame the bad on the devil, and not to give credit for the good to god. Religion is a crutch, an excuse for not growing up and accepting the responsibility for our actions, and as such should be strictly controlled the same as legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco.

  78. From the conversations, is obvious that Mr Hitchens has very shallow of religion in general and Christianity in particular. Not sure what is his motive for writing the book - hurtful childhood, unforgiveness or....
    We judge usually from deep seated fears and insecurity.
    His book is a insult to all people who are inspired by their religious faith to do good in this world of chaos.

    1. Did you even watch the video or read the book? Obviously not.

    2. I think his motives for the book derive from the fact that he is able to use reason and logic to identify obvious fallicies and flaws inherent in religious beliefs. Examples include, but not limited to, the following:

      The promotion of teaching pseudoscience in schools

      Forced genital mutilation of children

      Promotion of homophobia, sexism, slavery, fear, guilt and hate

      Promotion of irrational thinking

      The list goes on and on. Faith is not a virtue, it is gullibility in action. At best religion is a waste of time at worst it is manufacturing violence, hate, fear and ultimately war.

      This "world of chaos" is the direct result of people's religious convictions. Why can't you see this?

      His book is an insult to people of faith? Your book is an insult to everyone with a rational mind. Wake up; you have been brain washed.

    3. That's why we're peeling out the big bucks for my son's private education in a Christian academy. So he doesn't have an alternative lifestyle choices taught him, and evolution taught as undisputable facts. Phew! I sure hope you're not a public school teacher, Pulunco, but it wouldn't surprise me if you were. P.S. Here in the Philippines we wait until their old enough to decide if they want their genitals mutilated themselves or not, but most choose to do so, and then they march around proudly holding out their pants (no joke). It's a rite of passage into manhood.

    4. @ C_and_N

      Oink. Oink.


    5. @C_and_N:

      Charles, you say you are peeling out big bucks for your sons education in a christian academy, so he doesn't have any alternative lifestyle choices taught to him, especially evolution, that smacks to me of "pure control" and CHILD ABUSE!! In my books you are a BAD parent!! I honestly do not understand why no laws as yet for that, seems like there are laws for everything else!

    6. @C and N

      So you are choosing to "pay big bucks" for an inferior product? Pay "big bucks" to put your child's head in the sand? I feel very sorry for your child.

      Your religion will teach him that he is born a sinner and under threat of eternal damnation must be made better by believing in a god for which there is no evidence.

      You are almost beyond help. I can only hope your son has the mental faculties to recognize the ramifications of your backwards, outdated way of thinking before it is too late.

    7. @CnN
      I would suggest that you print ALL the comments you have ever written (in here) concerning your child's future.
      You may want to read them in 10-20yrs to elucidate why your child is behaving in such a contradictive way to your way.
      With a child "my way is your way" only until a certain extend!
      One day he will realise that the money you pour on his path doesn't change the fact that the path is in a prison's court.

    8. Az: I'll bet my life savings that my kids turn out great! The one thing I need to do more of is actual prayer for them, as someday I will be gone and then it's up to them and God to work things out. I'm just trying to give them the best start in life as possible as my mom and dad tried at least to give me.

      Mr. Razor: No, Child abuse is giving them no foundations or bounderies in life. If you truely truely TRULY believe there is a God and a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun, it would be the uttermost evil of a parent not to do his or her best to give instructions to their child that leads to life--eternal life, nonetheless!

      Pulunco: My kids are near genious level I.Q. I'm sure, just like my wife. I want to give them something to put their faith in as well as their intelligence, so that they are WISE as well as very bright.

      Peace to you,

      Charles B.

    9. I hope your kids know how to spell "genius" better than you.

    10. @CnN
      I'll bet my week savings that your kid will turn out great! All i'm saying is that he will turn out great when he finds his true path, not necessarily the one you are mowing for him.

    11. @C_and_N:

      Charles, just because you believe in something, does not mean it should be forced, in this case on undeveloped minds, your children.

      You are doing a grave injustice on the unalienable rights of your children. Nothing but pure unmitigated "control" over their lives, it should be illegal, just like praying or teaching creationism or ID in schools is illegal.

      I hope as you say their genious(SIC) wins out in the end so they may drop any religious fanaticism you may have instilled in them.

    12. It's absolutely incredible to me that there are actually people out there that think teaching your children to love and obey God, and parents, and country (as far as possible) is a bad thing.

      That moose-headed guy won't even let his kids go to church; it's his choice. To raise my kids to love and honor God is mine and my wife's choice alone, thank you very much.

      Our kids are some of the happiest I personally know.

      Mr. Razor: Didn't you instill your own beliefs in your daughter when she was a child? Yes or no? Surely you did, or you wouldn't have been any kind of parent at all.

      Peace to you,

      Charles B.

    13. @C_and_N:

      Instill beliefs?...Absolutely, that religion bites the big one!

    14. @CnN
      Didn't know @Achems was a dad...imagined him to be about 26, single, on the prowl.
      I don't doubt your kids are happy, they are loved, they are trained, the are surrounded by church goers, they have no choice but to be happy your way and they don't know that for now.
      You are obviously very sincere with your love because life is exactly the way you want it for them.
      IF and When one decides to explore outside of the confinement of Christianity....will you let them? Will you still love them and let them? Will you accept them no matter the consequence of the freedom given? Will you be proud of them if their choice goes against your chuch?
      Unconditional love mean unconditional!

    15. Az: You used to almost be nutral, but here lately you've been entirely antaginistic also towards any form of Christian faith.

      I'm sure I'll love and support my kids no matter what, but I'll never support Godlessness that would lead to a reprobate life. I wouldn't "disown" them should they make discision contrary to my hopes and dreams for them, but I really truly believe they will be forces for good and not evil; for God and not any other.

      Az, I don't just playact; I truly know there is a God. He's interactive and personal, and as such, my children's destinies (and even my own) have His touch and guidence. And, if I do a good job as a father, I believe they will choose to follow Christ wholeheartedly just as I have, just as my parents have, just as many of my ancestors have. The first person I want to meet in Heaven is my dear Godly grandmother, Julie Ann who died when I was five, but I know who prayed for me earnestly. What legacy do you want to leave your daughter? "Unconditional love" does not mean "unconditional acceptance" of that which is not of God. If you truly love, then you train, discipline, and then advise the bast you can until you draw your last breath.

      Peace to you.

    16. @ Razor: Exactly! Now we understand eachother perfectly.

    17. C and N

      How do you "truly know there is a God"?

    18. Show us this thing you call god !

    19. @CnN
      I was never neutral, i proudly stand in a middle.
      I think "following" a religion (any religion) is like following a bloody army. You, yourself have written several time how religion is at the source of wars but that's good enough for you. I think that is lazyness in your part. Bow and follow, don't question and spread the words some more for more wars, more division, more "only we will be saved".
      As for science, it is doing a darn good job at explaining the physical, natural world.
      In my view there is a table, everything ever thought of, talked of, seen, touched, smelled, tasted is on the table. Off the table is GOD or the unknown, off the table is me, you and them looking at the table.
      The legacy i want to leave my daughters is BE 1i i1

  79. this was enlightening. thank you Vlatko.

  80. @ fonbindelhofas

    Sorry man but I only write one way, the way I write. I don't intentionally make my posts long, it just happens. That said if you think mine are long, check out Art Vinette, a whole book at a whack I tell you. I will try to condense things when possible though, just don't expect too much.

  81. @ SFXkilla

    Sorry people are attacking you about your grammar and punctuation, don't let it get you down. As long as we can tell what you are saying, I just don't see the big deal. In my opinion the content of what you are saying is all that is important in these kinds of informal settings. Post away!!

  82. why does Tony present religion as an outward force rather the people need to understand its the inner forces that divide good from bad, religion is just a representation of these forces and the strongest among humanity's desire to stand along power, if it turns negative then Hitchens has his laugh

  83. They should re-title this video as: Hitchens owns Blair.

  84. It was a very disappointing debate!! Rather one sided. Tony Blair could not defend himself or religion. It was also ironic that every time he supported atheistic beliefs he got the applauds from the crowd lol In order to defend something in a debate one needs to have an idea of what he is talking about. Tony Blair had a broad subject to defend. He could only talk about Christianity and had no clue about other religions, not that he was able to support even that. All in all, if you cant even defend about it, just take it off :P

  85. i wonder if Hichens purposly mentioned Iran in intriduction, sensitive topic, way past religion. that was the only moment in debate that i doubted the reason of him, what ya think?
    (i do not throw this in some missunderstanding, Hichens made tears to flow from me, whats why i love him so much)

  86. For a while I've been thinking that religion(s) should carry a health warning, you know like, cigarettes. Then when people started being religious near me i could say 'Sorry, do you mind cutting that out?' I find it offensive and i certainly wouldn't want my children to be exposed to it. Do whatever you like in your own homes as long as you're not harming anyone other than yourself, but I don't want to hear it, or see it.

    1. @ Samuel Morrissey
      "...religion(s) should carry a health warning,..."

      Sam, this is really good! Do you mind if I use it?


    2. @Sam, this time I'm begging. Can I use it? (lol)


  87. Nice debate. Hitchens at his finest.

  88. The term "religion" is sooooooo broad. "Religion" alone has been one of the main sources of the evil in the world, I think. I don't think I could even argue this debate as it was worded here. With that said, I wish there had been a different advocate for religion than Blair, as earnest as he was.

    1. The cat hunts the rat. The rat hates the cat. The cat declares it righteous. The rat declares it evil. Who will write the history book, the cat or the rat?

    2. Apparently you took it upon yourself, thin though the plot may seem. Come on man, do you really see history that way. Sorry but much of it is just not this ambiguous at all. Do you really think that burning people alive for the ridiculous crime of being a witch, by the hundreds if not thousands by the time it was over on both continents can be considered righteous or just by anyone, from any point of view? I will not bore you nor everyone else here by running through the rest of the list of unambiguous religious evils, which is quite extensive and has been discussed at length on this site. Suffice to say that I don't buy it, sure a lot of what the church or religion has done can be seen from two different points of view, but much of what they have done is clearly evil from all points of view, but their own of course. But, hey just ask Charlie M. or any other psychopath and they will justify cutting there girl friend up in tiny pieces to feed them to the dogs, from their point of view it was completely warranted and they have done no wrong. So I suppose we could look at many religions as psychopathic, unable to recognize their own evil acts, able to justify anything internally, a self contained sense of righteousness needing no outside support to be considered valid by itself.

    3. @waldo ... I don't think that the witch burnings were quite as significant an event in history as you do. Much like any other news, they were blown way out of proportion. Watch a couple of episodes of Democracy Now!, and you'll see what I mean. Theirs is "Old-School Style Reporting" in action. :-)

      My life's observations indicate that 99 out of 100 people who read a particular piece of literature (such as the Bible) never actually get the point of what the author was saying. When I read the Bible, I gleaned from it the idea that religion causes suffering; which, in response, causes more religion; which causes more suffering... Another way to say that is: "Life imitates Art imitates Life"... Which should make you reallly concerned about your kids sitting around playing military video games!

      Anyway... While all this is going on, the rich --whose only objective is to collect the spoils-- get richer and the poor get poorer, until the civilization which was constructed on the whole idea collapses. And whoever is left at the end of it gets to tell the tale. More often than not, it was the cat. In the case of the Bible, it was both.

      THAT'S how I see history (the condensed version).

      The Bible says something interesting, which I do not attempt to interpret any way but literally: "God Is The Hope Of The Hopeless."

    4. And, uh... "Good and Evil" is a biblical concept. **Not Science-Based** Are you sure you want to build your philosophy on it?

    5. @ David Foste
      "'Good and Evil' is a biblical concept."


      'Good and Evil' is a human concept, just as is the bible.

      Though not a branch of science, ethics is nonetheless subject
      to reason and provides the only rational approach to finding solutions to moral dilemmas and to developing, maintaining
      and changing social norms.

      It is suicide to look to a dump truck load of camel-herder scrolls for absolute, not-to-be-questioned, ready-made answers to complex, ever-changing patterns of 21st Century problems.

      But, then, that is what Rapture is all about: suicide.


    6. @CnN
      ""Religion" alone has been one of the main sources of the evil in the world, I think."
      You are not the only one!

    7. 2: religion & power
      i would say 1st power after religion as means to get it...

    8. @ C_and_N
      "The term 'religion' is sooooooo broad."

      The term 'religion' is broad only because some people insist, and persist, in employing the term either poetically or metaphorically, or incorrectly.

      Religion is based upon four pillars:
      1. community
      2. system of core beliefs
      3. faith
      4. ritual

      1. community
      Religion cannot be private.
      Private 'religion' might be defined as 'spirituality'. Within most religious contexts, spirituality is inevitable. But, by itself, 'spirituality' cannot be called 'religion'.

      2. system of core beliefs
      A set of core beliefs is essential to any religion, disbelief in any one of which automatically condemning the heretic to ostracization from the community of the faithful; to excommunication; even to execution.

      3. faith
      Unquestioning, absolute adherence to the set of core beliefs absent any supportive evidence for the beliefs is an inherent aspect to any religion. Indeed, to the extent evidence may exists in support of a belief, to that extent, faith in that belief is rendered impossible, by definition.

      4. ritual
      While most religions encourage, or even demand, private ritualistic practices, such practices are neither necessary for, nor sufficient to, religion. However, an elemental requirement for every religion is the regular, periodic performance of witnessing(or ritual) during gatherings from within the communion of the faithful.

      It should be noted that, traditionally, systems of core beliefs are most frequently centered about a notion of a god or gods or, in some instances, are centered about notions of universal consciousness.

      Though such systems are usual, they are by no means necessary. Objectives of the core beliefs can, in principle, be any notion, or
      set of notions, non-supportable by tangible evidence.

      For example, Communism can be a religion.

      1. Community: the very word 'communism' implies community.

      2. Communism centers about a well defined system of core beliefs.

      3. Faith is required, as no evidence supports the core beliefs.

      4. Ritual: May Day parades; endless state sponsored rallies exquisitely fine tuned and orchestrated with banners in unison all aflutter.

      Anyone who knows anything about North Korea knows that the cult worship of the state gods, Jong-Il and his father, the late Kim Il-Sung, are orchestrated in such a manner as to fulfill all four requirements
      for religion.

      In their apologetics, all religions are inherently tautological and thus always fallacious.

      It is difficult to comprehend what conceivable benefit could possibly be derived from any religion.


    9. Unbelievable! I actually pressed the "like" button on one of your posts--except for the last line.

    10. @OZ with capitals on this one!

      when you use your words like an archer, i imagine you in green and red stripe tights, a white flowing cotton shirt with frills, flip-flops, a pocket full of tricks, and an imagination that never shuts off because of the knowledge fueling it.
      Sometimes...a thumbs up is not enough. I am number 11

    11. "Artemis with shafts of gold loves archery and the slaying of wild beasts in the mountains."

    12. @Azilda! "tights" ?!

      Honestly. I ain't so forgone as that!

      Have you been sampling your hydroponic crop, again? (lol)

      "Green and red" ???!!! ? @Azilda, I have taste.

      Lots of it! (LOL)

      And, ...flowing cotton shirt with frills, flip-flops,... ??

      @Azilda, you really should not mix your medications with alcohol.
      It's dangerous! (LOL)

      You are sweeeeeeeeet. But I digress.
      I think you're fishing for another poem in adulation of your charm,
      you greedy... oh i am bit'n my tung, lololo :-)


    13. @Azilda, if you don't cap your pot, you'll end up, permantemtly...

      In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
      A stately pleasure-dome decree:
      Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
      Through caverns measureless to man
      Down to a sunless sea.

      ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge


    14. @Oz, are you perMANtemtly gone? Cracked pot?

      IF (partly)

      If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
      Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
      If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
      If all men count with you, but none too much:
      If you can fill the unforgiving minute
      With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
      Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
      And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

      Nice to see the Like keep coming for the Oz

    15. @ Oz
      That one has always been a favorite of mine. I've probably read it a hundred times. I also like the take off on its ideas/images by three guys named Geddy, Neil, and Alex.

    16. @Pysmythe, I haven't forgotten my promise to check out 'The-Universe-Evolving-into-God' theory. I will. Soon. It's just that
      I have been very busy commenting on documentaries I am too busy commenting on, even to watch! (LOL)


    17. @ Oz
      I could find her such poems as might would spin her head around...But I WON'T! (lol)

    18. @ Pysmythe
      Tell me which ones they are, and I'll do it for you, by proxy. (LOL)


      P.S.: Quite obviously, you are not one of those 'part-missing' males mentioned in my follow-up to your last posting. (lol)

      Come to think of it, maybe Ive got a part missing. :-)

    19. @ Oz
      That might be a plan! She rightly likes you better than me, anyway...H^ll, even I like you better than me, lol.

    20. @ Pysmythe
      "She rightly likes you better than me,..."

      No no. I'm gay so I'm safe.

      Str8 friends hate me!

      I'm a chick magnet cuz I genuinely don't care.
      Chicks buzz around me like fruit flies -- OMG! did I just say that? (LOL)

      I'm a challenge, too!

      Think about it:
      A guy's whole motive is to seize control.
      Now here's a male who don't, want, nut'n!


      What'dya mean, ya don't want nut'n?!
      Ain't I good enough for ya?
      Well we'll see about that!

      Smart str8 guys fake it.
      Women see through that like air.
      She'll feign oblivion, but inside she's giggling! (lol)

      Women are just dreadful, don't ya thinque? (LOL)


    21. @ Oz
      Very funny post! A lot of us boring chaps have noticed these things about women around you entertaining chaps (which opposites are probably one more motivation involved in "The Subject of the General Behavior of Women around Homosexual Men". [which title is an abstruse attempt to cover my a^s, but probably won't work, but nevermind]). One small observation, though, about what may be other standard perceptions of yours: At the end, you use the word "cackling" instead of "giggling". (i.e. witches over women!)

      Is it silly to ask if that was a conscious, DELIBERATE thing? (lol)

      [dreadful and fascinating, yes! A "Rubik's Cube of Motivations," which, I believe, is chapter 5 of "The Subject of the General Behavior of Women around Homosexual Men".]

      (incidentally, your post this time looks a little bit like the terza rima stanzas of The Divine Comedy, or a collection of haikus)

    22. @ Pysmythe
      "...At the end, you use the word 'cackling'..."

      Pysmythe, doubtless you already know the quip was tongue-in-cheek, there as a sort of 'set-up' for the spoof at the start of the concluding sentence. I should have highlighted the phrase with a '(LOL)', which I idiotically neglected, and even had I not left it out, the remark was in bad taste. I am so ashamed of myself.
      (lol(just a little)) :(

      I've altered the word to 'giggling'.

      While I am confident you did not receive my stupidity in offence,
      I nonetheless apologize, not just to you, but to Azilda as well, indeed to women, in general. I don't know, maybe the whole thing was inappropriate, just plain unfunny, insensitive.

      I'm sorry.


      PS: Men are just dreadful, too! Don't ya thinque? (lol)
      I know I am.

    23. @ Oz
      You worry too much sometimes, sweety! I didn't think it was anything BUT funny, because it's pretty doggone accurate according to my experience; and I don't think that many women (if any) with a sense of humor would take offense at it, though I could be wrong, lol. I only worded my response precisely the way I did (I hoped humorously, as well) so that Az wouldn't maybe get the idea that anything I ended up saying was in reference to her, not in an attempt to hold myself up as having some superior, more politically correct point of view. And, yeah, we're pretty dreadful, too, but (especially if you're one of us) we're generally easier to get along with!

      (how's that last line for pc? lol)

    24. @ Vlatko, it's happening AGAIN!!!

      I posted I reply embedded deep within a thread and now, 13 HOURS later,
      it appears top of page one for all to see.

      If I had wanted it as front page news, I could have done it myself instead of
      this mindless system taking it upon itself to indulge in perpetual indigestion!


    25. @ Oz
      ...?? ( can't find it anywhere now.)

    26. @ Pysmythe
      "...?? ( can't find it anywhere now.)"

      After registering my complaint, Vlatko must have deleted it(from the front page). The rant below about the system's malfunction is in place of the original message, as I didn't want others to see it. In other words, what I posted to you was 'edited' out by me entirely by overwriting it as a message to our dear moderator.

      I know it's not Vlatko's fault, but this has happened on a random, yet frequent, basis many, many times. I have emailed Vlatko about it and he emailed me back that it sometimes takes the system a little while to correct itself.

      But this was 13 hours.

      Had it been anything else, I would have been annoyed, but this was downright humiliating.

      I have suggested to Vlatko a number of times to sue the mindless insect, DISQUS Corporation, chomping its way through the economic jungle, not for money, but for repair and maintenance.

      I have not been so humiliated ...



  89. It is a choice of direction.

    1. @ Apostle Jack
      "It is a choice of direction."

      What is?


  90. Some on here are making comments, to the effect, that all religion should be destroyed.

    I would remind you, regardless of what you really think (and may or may not be saying just to be heard on a documentary website), that he who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.

    1. @ bbga
      "...he who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster."

      Excellent advice!

      I have looked to it that I myself do not become a monster. And I haven't, nor do I think I ever shall. People like me put a stop to people like you. That is why, today, we see no more witch burnings, otherwise you guys would still be at it.

      We stopped you once, and we can do it again.

      The world will not be destroyed by Jew, Christian, Muslim. Not in the Middle East. Not anywhere. Religion will NOT take over our schools.

      We won't let you.

      We will stop you again.



    2. "People like me put a stop to people like you"

      Spoken like a true Monster.

    3. How did people like you stop the witch burnings? I'm not trying to be sarcastic-----I just don't think "homosexuals" nor "atheists" either one had anything to do with the ending of the Salem Witch Trials, but I could be wrong.

    4. @C_and_N:

      WOW! That is some "bad" stuff you just said!!!

    5. I think it is interesting that you qualify the beginning of your statement the way you do, but then finish up with "people like me will put a stop to people like you".

      So, since you seem to know me so well, and are willing, according to you, to violate my human rights. I have to ask, what kind of a person am I? And what exactly do you propose to do to stop me from being a Christian?

    6. @C_and_N
      blah, blah, blah,..."I'm not trying to be sarcastic-----I just don't think 'homosexuals' nor 'atheists'..."blah, blah, blah

      We refused to be any longer intimidated from thinking.
      We invented the printing press and learned to read.
      We learned to write and wrote books of our own.
      We invented secularism and forbade witch trials.
      We died fighting religion for the right to know.

      We invented the compass and explored our planet.
      We saw how planets move, kicking religion in the balls.
      We discovered how gravity works freeing the mind further.
      We brought social change, putting an end to theocracy.

      Religion hates social change.
      By the mid-17th Century, religion lost its grip on power.

      Religion provides children's fairytales to explain nature.
      We invented the scientific method.

      By the 19th Century science was answering nature's mysteries.
      By the end of 19th Century science had exposed religion as lies.

      We showed how nature & mind work without the need of gods.
      We invented the steam engine and began the industrial age.
      We made science & technology unstoppable.

      Science discredits religion's picture of the universe ? utterly.
      Science successfully replaces religion as the authority for truth.

      Religious leaders are now fearful of scientific discovery.
      Religion resists by trying to put ID bul$hit in science classrooms.
      Religion fought us in court and lost.
      Religion's influence has declined and will continue to decline.

      Conservative religions keep flocks by reinforcing herd conformity.
      Progressive religions struggle to compromise with science.
      But scripture can be stretched only so far before people laugh.

      Religion has lost all intellectual and moral credibility.
      Religion is a hindrance to human progress.
      Religion will be replaced by rational understandings of existence.

      Your tiny gods will become ever smaller til they finally all vanish!

      Want to know how we did it? ? Read history.
      Want to see how we will do it again? ? Stay tuned!

      You creeps are good for one thing and one thing only: witnessing.
      Well, we are going to give you something to witness!

      People like me include all decent folk who hate religion and that includes many, many theists who hate religion.

      Religion kills people.
      We will help religion to kill itself.

      Charles, you are a small, sad, laughable figure.
      Do you still believe in talking snakes?
      Or have we freed you from that?


    7. Oz: Excuse me, but in my opinion, it was the gift of God that gave all men their intellect and genious. You certainly are an arragant person. The Bible says that "God sends the rain on both the just and the unjust" which means that he gives a measure of blessing to all men, regardless of who they are or how they use it. You said that "your people" stoped the witch burnings, and I ask how. You didn't answer me.

      I don't like "religion" either. I despise it, in fact. Religion alone leads to death, but there is life in only one source, and that is to know the one true living God, and so very few put forth the effort to do so.

      Nonetheless, when all is said and done, atheism will eventually be an extinct philiosophy, and I'll still be standing to see that day. Time will eventually tell who is right and who is wrong in this matter, and I like my odds at being the ultimate winner here.

      Good night and peace to you once more.


      Charles B.

    8. @ C and N
      For one particularly famous example of the victory (albeit bittersweet) of reason and justice over the cruelties of fanaticism, see the Wikipedia article on "Jean Calas". I'll grant you that it didn't involve homosexuality, literal witch burning, or even atheism, but that is beside the point Oz was actually making, which was in essence that "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." And that had everything to do with the Calas case.

    9. @ C_and_N

      Excuse me, but in my opinion, you have yet to properly define what exactly you mean by this thing you spell 'G'o'd', let alone provide the least scrap of evidence that this, 'whatever-it-is', exists.

      Unless, and until, you are able and willing to explain what it is
      you are talking about, clearly, so that any rational person can understand and, further, are able and willing to provide falsi-fiable evidence in support of some rational argument for the objective existence and relevance of the 'thing', all sentences using, or referring to, said noun are meaningless, incoherent babble.


    10. CnN
      I think one of the good achievement of this site may be to have turned you around (hopefully) one day! To have opened your eyes WIDE. To have made you realize you were floating on the blood of Christianity on a bible raft.

      It is already in the making: i see a lot of nonsense writings fuelled by your doubts. And i like to think that your ego is so strong that when you see the change in the mirror, you won't tell us. You'll take a different name and start making sense.

      You say:
      I don't like "religion" either. I despise it, in fact. Religion alone leads to death"
      No,.... life leads to death. Religion leads to other people's death.

    11. Do you know of any good monsters to rid the world of religion? have to fight fire with fire Eh?... Good will inherently win out in the end.

    12. @ Achems_Razor
      "Do you know of any good monsters to rid the world of religion?"

      Neytiri, maybe? (lol)


    13. Nice try... no Cthulhu and his trusty sidekicks Achems_Razor and the dude with a pic of Che with a mickey mouse cap ;)

    14. Mr. Razor, I'm leaving a comment here as the other one is too embadded. No, I didn't say that Christianity would be the dominant religion in Europe shortly. I think it will be Islam.

    15. @Achems
      aside from this topic

      I got a little curious as to why you either never give a thumbs up to anyone or you do and make it anonymous?
      Reminds me of:
      "Nobody knows who I am or what I do. Not even I.
      (You know who! CC)

    16. I suppose his sense of selflessness requires no personal favoritism to be applied where it would seem to be excessive. A very interesting way of being might I add. Whether he is or isn't is another question.

    17. @Azilda:

      Never give a thumbs up?? au' contraire! am hitting the like button constantly, even for your posts.

    18. I just scrolled down to 2 weeks ago and i don't see one thumbs up in your file. May be your thumbs up don't show like on other people's file.
      Press harder.

    19. @dave
      I suspected he was giving thumbs up because of where and how often an anonymous thumbs up would appear on a comment i was sure he was supporting, many by Oz, Pysmythe, Waldo and others(while he was online). There may be a problem.

      Carlos Castaneda best said on personal history:
      “Personal history must be constantly renewed by telling parents, relatives, and friends everything one does. On the other hand, for the warrior who has no personal history, no explanations are needed; nobody is angry or disillusioned with his acts. And above all, no one pins him down with their thoughts and their expectations.”

      Carlos Castaneda Quotes

      I am way too much of an open book!
      (Very Hardly) No one has a sense of selflessness in public.

    20. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster perhaps?

    21. Hail Eris!

  91. The United States needs to take a lesson from the Brits and Canada (and Western Europe) and open up our airways to more debates like this. I admire what I've seen from the BBC, compared to the Hollywood and murder obsessed media.

  92. What was it? 20 minutes, and Blair started talking about Hitler and Stalin... low... very low on his behalf.

  93. The Ayatollah Khomeini issued an assassination decree(fatwa) against Hitchens' close friend, Salman Rushdie, because Salman is supposed to have blasphemed against 'The Prophet(pbuh)' and against Islam itself in his novel 'The Satanic Verses'. This meant Muslims worldwide were called upon to kill Hitchens' friend.

    Rushdie lived in constant terror for years having to hide and change addresses, constantly, and to flee from country to country until Khomeini finally lifted the 'fatwa' allegedly because of a technicality in Islamic law requiring that anyone so condemned must first have had the opportunity to defend himself (what an inovation!). But even after the assassination 'edict' was lifted, Rushdie continued to live in constant fear from would-be crackpot assassins ('assassin', btw, is a word of Arabic derivation).

    Salman Rushdie still lives in constant terror, especially after the murder in Amsterdam of Dutchman Theo van Gogh(great grandnephew of Vincent van Gogh) by a 26-year-old Moroccan Muslim man for having made a film about the treatment of women under Islam.

    Turgay, a 32-year-old Muslim of Turkish descent, said:

    "The majority of Muslims does[sic] not do anything, they do not take a stand against things but we should take a stand to show we do not agree with what
    is happening."

    For speaking out, Turgay is now worried about the safety of his children, and of his own safety.

    Islam, the Religion of Peace. ROTFLMFAO!!!

    Isn't Ireligion just wonderful ?!

    So Hitchens wants America to go to war with Islam, world-wide(if necessary)
    to either stop Islam or force(repeat: FORCE) Islam to change its tune, pronto!

    What finer place to start than the Middle East!

    By the way, Hitchens is on record(and has been throughout his entire career) as being in almost fanatic support of liberation of the Israeli-occupied territories and, most particularly, wants to see the 'settlements' in the West Bank bulldozed and the so-called 'settlers' forced off Palestinian property, at gunpoint, if necessary, at the earliest, possible, convenience!

    So, you see, it is perhaps not as simple as some people would at first think.

    But then, nothing ever is.


    I disagree strongly with Hitchens, strongly! I want to see all religion in Sarah Palin's 'Crosshairs'!

    1. That's good information.

      Hitchens may be right; perhaps the ONLY thing that can even ebb the spread of Islam worldwide is America/Christianity. I personally believe it will be the dominant religion in Europe in just a matter of years.

      Oz, have you heard of the new documentary (propaganda video) put out by Iran called "The Return is Near?" about the 12th Imam? Bone chilling, as they believe the 12 Imam will only come when provoked into doing so with the invasion of Isreal by "millions" of Muslim martyrs. It's Iran's plan, not a pipe dream.

      Love it or hate it, Islam is on the move, and the Califate I'm quite sure will be resurrected in Turkey within the decade. I and those like me may be one of the few things holding back that tide, for at least a short time. Cut me some slack if you can.

      Peace to you,

      Charles B.

    2. Charles, You personally believe that your american/christianity will be the dominant religion in europe, now you really freaked me out, another war between the religee's.

      Which is the lesser of two evils, christianity or islam? They are both the same! Evil to the core!!

      Again I say the only way for the human race to realize their objective is the eliminate "all" religions, and get on with the process of shooting for the stars as we are meant to do!

    3. We have to stop fighting religion and Ignore it completely...

      Ignoring religion will end wars
      Ignoring religion will end borders

      Everything changes and the dead rules have continued to be as ghosts.
      The basis of religion is already dead, we keep it's past alive by paying attention to it.
      There are enough people on earth who have come to realize that religion is a prison.

      A moralist is a person who lives for the rules, the rules are not there for him/her, they are there to fight others and that's what keeps the ghosts alive.

    4. Please don't try to make America and Christianity synonymous, they are very different things. Being one in no way suggests you are also the other by default. And no, the answer to religious fundamentalism is not more religious fundamentalism, that's ridiculous.A world controlled by Christians is no better than a world controlled by Islam. Why should I trade a few tyrants a thousand miles away for a thousand tyrants a few miles away?

    5. There are more similarities between Christianity and Islam then there are between a cucumber and a zucchini!

    6. Shut up, Charles.

    7. So that is your mission C and N, to stop the spread of Islam? That is the problem with religion it causes division among people and makes it an "us vs them" attitude.

      From the view point of certain muslims you are the evil; put yourself in other people's shoes and think once in awhile. Muslims have thier bad people (911 terrorists) christians have thier bad people (Anders Behring Breivik). What makes you so righteous?

  94. Coke huh? Well, high-five for good observations and I don’t doubt that Christopher has done a line or twelve in his time. I’d seriously put all bets on the effects of cancer though. Maybe even from appending the HEAVY smoking and drinking.

    I do think that it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’s simply allergic to Tony Blair however. If anyone is the personification of an allergen … Tonys' it. Is it just me or has he always looked and sounded a trifle spore-ish?

    1. A dapper, slightly effeminate pod-baby, imo, who's spores may be a red-neck rub-off from President Yeehaw and the 7 year circle-jerk they indulged in, smeared with petroleum products. Anyway, his performance here, to me, came off about as forceful and intellectually intimidating as a clip-on power tie.

  95. @ SFXkilla

    It's all good, no problem. I guess I am a little touchy about my grandfather, so maybe I jumped the gun there. I realize you had no way of knowing that he was a pastor or that I was so close to him, all is forgotten.

    @ Everyone

    Man it was hard to see Hitch like that, he looked really bad. I had just become aware that he had cancer at all, hadn't seen him since he started looking the part. I noticed people below saying they thought he was on coke, I would imagine his snorting to have a lot to do with his esophageal cancer, but maybe I am wrong.

    1. It does. Esophageal cancer can cause the sensation of suffocation, trigger swallowing and sniffing reflexes to clear the airway of the perceived obstruction.

    2. Thanks man, that makes perfect sense. Makes me wonder why others were so quick to assume he was on coke, it seemed obviously connected to his illness to me.

  96. When Tony Blair said that it wasn't a productive way to look at the question 'is religion a force for good in the world?' as "oh well there's 6 hospices here and one suicide bomber there" I immediately decided that he had lost the debate. Sure it sounds good to say a thing like that, and it rolls right off the tongue, but when one really thinks about it - isn't that EXACTLY what we're debating? The question is 'is religion a force for good in the world?' A cost/benefit analysis of the role religion plays in the world is in fact the point being debated. I'm not saying it's positive or negative (although my instincts tell me it's negative), but shouldn't this be at the heart of the debate? Maybe my mind is too logical for this issue.

    1. or perhaps you look at things as either black or white all the time. There are many shades of gray my friend.

    2. I would agree with you, it was the whole point of the debate. But, I think what Blair was saying is that if we only look at the obvious things like suicide bombers vrs. hospices we would miss much of the good and bad caused by religion. In other words to get a true picture of the real effects of religion, both positive and negative, takes a much more subtle and complicated approach than just tallying up the obvious.

  97. Sad to see Hitch like this, still he keeps going and I find that highly admirable.
    Yet, the irony of Blair and Hitch being antagonists in the subject of religion while both feeling so strongly about the rightoussness of the invasion of Iraq hit me several times while watching this.

  98. Aside from all political comments, doesn't Hitchens seem like hes on coke? He may be as silver tongued as a Withworth, but sniffling all the time, rubbing his nose. That ain't a normal allergy.

    1. You should inform yourself about the symptoms of esophagus cancer before saying Christopher Hitchens is on isn't relevant to this debate anyway.

    2. Don't be a moron.

  99. @SFXKilla, learn punctuation. It makes you seem more intelligent.

    1. haha sorry that was a bit of a rant and yes I so thought hitchens was on coke

    2. We repeat, learn to use proper punctuation and grammar.

    3. you know what shutup. I said I was sorry once I wont do it twice

      Subject: [topdocumentaryfilms] Re: Is Religion A Force For Good In The World?

  100. thank you for including this doc and i would like to make a reply to waldo by saying yes I am also glad that name calling was not a part of this debate but i also would not have suspected that as i dont suspect the intelegence of my christen brothers I myself am not christian but i know many and they are not by and large ignorant but and I will stress this but they seem to willfully close their eyes and let someone else tell them what is true this IS NOT A VIRTUE this is the main sickness i see plauging mankind today I AM A HUMAN and i will not sit idley by and watch my fellow man be subjegated for the sport of the few if you think your pastor or priest doesnt know he is full of sh-t then by all means carry on. omg im starting to get heated please for the love of mankind help yourselves

    1. Wow, do you read or write English at all. Re-read my post, I am an atheist and I never said that religious people were less intelligent, in fact I said just the opposite. I was trying to say that intellectual debate never gets petty or insulting, that's all. Where you came up with telling me that my priest or pastor knows he full of sh1t is beyond me, I have no priest or pastor.

      That said, my grandfather was a pastor and he believed every word from his mouth, lived the life he preached, so don't tell me all pastors know they are full of it. I agree with many of your sentiments on religion, but I can not be objective about your generalized insult aimed at all pastors or priests. There are many of them that do what they do out of sincerity and a desire to help others, they don't understand the complexity of what they are involved in. Its hard for someone like my grandfather that grew up during the depression in a tiny little one horse town in Alabama, never knew anything of education or science, never really saw the big picture of religion and how it effects the world at large, to understand why what they are doing is not a good thing. My grandfather was a sweet loving person that helped many many people from a sincere desire to do so, never expected anything in return, and remained optimistic and hopeful despite horrible poverty and hardship. Hardly the oppressive liar you say all priests or pastors are. Now if he was that way I have to believe there are many more that are as well. Generalizations and blanket accusations are amongst the many wrongs of religion, I hope that is something secularism will remedy not perpetuate.

    2. wow no no im sorry I didnt mean nothing beyond glad that that it didnt degenerate. I was already repromanded for my poor puntuation and im sorry that it seemed i was atacking you.

    3. @wald0

      :) xexe i read your posts, most of the time i get you, and even agree, dont get it offensive but, coud we get your ideas in smaller amount of letters :) its not that im dumb and lazy to read. truth is short.

    4. @Waldo
      I rather read your long posts (actually never that long compare to many others) than a short one that says nothing of value.

  101. Christian fundamentalist who kills his own people and then blames it on the Muslims... Is Tony Bliar still around?
    Perhaps he should be joined by Bush (another Christian fundamentalist who kills his own people and blames it on Muslims)...
    There are so many more that should be on this list... wonder who else we can put on here....

    These are the best people you can find to represent Religion!

    1. The POPE!!!!!,Any world leader should be on that list!! They can camouflage themselves by wearing suits, instead of a military uniform,but the FACT is they're all killers, behind the scenes, or in front of the camera! Every important elected politician has had someone eliminated,cause they threatened their power! Every politician has done many illegal things to get wear they're at,or to stay where they're at!! Anyone who thinks differently is a FOOL!!!!! Or a Christian!! those two are pretty much the same!!

    2. American Zombie... a very apt title you have chosen.

  102. I could only watch about a half an hour of this, this is not a win win situation of an i win you loose situation. The one thing that is puzzling to me is why has Tony Blair converted to Roman Catholicism at this point in time. It makes me wonder if it was driven by guilt?, need i say more?

    1. its marketing, thats why :)

    2. @fonbindelhofas True mkt. is the reason, i read that the Jerry Lews annual telethon only pays 3%, towards the actual cause. I am not say that is good or bad, i'm just saying.

    3. It's possible that he was driven by guilt, though personally, I doubt he has the required backbone to look that honestly at himself. I suspect it was more a case that he felt that he didn't have many friends by the end of his political career, and the catholic church would have welcomed a very public conversion from a big political figure.

      There's also the small matter of religion and politics not making for comfortable bedfellows in the UK. I doubt that any politician in the UK would end a speech in the Commons with "...and god bless the United Kingdom". So an overtly public conversion whilst in office, would have been career suicide.

  103. Tony Blair sounds like a broken record and cannot seem to grasp the fact the HE chose is doctrine and the book of his religion is disgusting in and of itself. It was extremely aggravating to hear him say over and over how people are good and bad with religion.

  104. So,Tony Blair used to be "England's Prime Minister" did he? Brilliant,that means that after 304 years of English rule and oppression we in Scotland have regained our independence and no-one even told us! I imagine the Welsh and Northern Irish are going to be pretty surprised too! SAOR ALBA!

  105. I enjoyed this. Poor Hitchens, he looks really bad. Hopefully he'll recover.

    As a fellow Christian, I was happy to see Tony Blair take a high road and strike a somewhat conciliatory tone. At the end of the day, Blair is not religious academic or theologian (unlike many others who have debated Hitchens). I think that's why he seemed a little nervous. But, he spoke from his heart and sounded genuine.

    Hitchens makes some very good arguments with his usual glib remarks.

  106. I don't think the church would be nearly as involved in charity, if at all, without the ulterior motive of conversion to said religion.

    1. Absolutely true that

    2. @Jonathan Mcculley, in addition to your remarks about the conversion i have some background in fund raising for various nonprofit charitable organizations, not religious, and i know for a fact that the percentage of the founds collected and given to the charity in question from the funds actually collected is very very very very small?

  107. and here our tony goes to war... in a name of peace and love

  108. Wow, I expected better from Blair. He had the same response to everything brought up, that religion is guilty as charged but not alone in its crimes. In other words getting rid of religion will not get rid of the negative things religion has been and is guilty of, because non-religious organizations and persons also promote and practice these same things. This is no argument for the value of religion at all. Of course getting rid of it will not end war, oppression, prejudice, division, etc. but by Blair's own admission it will reduce these things. He even admits that these things are intrinsic parts of many religions because they are in the very text and as a result part of the very structure of many religions, especially Abrahamic religions. To be honest I was surprised to see he had managed to gain several of the undecided audience members support, according to the numbers at the end of debate. Hitchens clearly won the debate, again according to the numbers, but Blair did manage to persuade more than I thought he should have with that poor of a performance.

    I did notice, and was not at all surprised by the fact, that neither Hitchens nor Blair reverted to calling one another names, belittling one another's intelligence, or attempting to demonize their opponent. They gave their reasons for believing as they do but never attempted to tell the other why he believed as he did. The same is true for Dawkins or any other real academic that debates this or any other subject, they do not revert to simple profanity, name calling, belittling their opponents, etc. They stick to the subject at hand and explain why they disagree with their opponent, why they feel as they do. They never start insulting their opponent for their beliefs, or telling them why they feel as they do.

    Someone brought it to my attention the other day that during Darwin's time they did often engage in insults and tell their opponent not only were they wrong but the reason why, because they were st*pid. This is true, they also believed in blood letting and phrenology, amongst many other ridiculous things, as if they were legitimate medical procedures, but we seemed to have been able to move on from these barbaric and unproductive practices. Besides, Darwin himself never once insulted the intelligence of those he disagreed with, though they often attacked his. In fact Darwin had a great respect for the beliefs of the general public and wrestled greatly with the question of whether or not he should even publish his work for fear of its impact on society. He held his devoutly religious wife in the highest of regards, along with many other very religious peers, so it is obvious he didn't consider religious people as st*pid or less intelligent. In the end it is up to whom ever is debating as to how they proceed, but real academic debate is never petty and insulting, never vulgar and demeaning, it is in fact uplifting and should bring people together.

    1. I enjoy reading your comments wald0. You just summarized the debate for me so I don't have to watch it :D. You also bring very interesting ideas in other documentaries that I otherwise wouldn't of thought of.


    2. Thanks for the compliment, but you should watch the debate. My synopsis doesn't do it justice by a long shot.

    3. well put.

      I enjoyed this debate. I've seen others with Christopher Hitchens and I am always impressed with his mind. He is such an inspiring, eloquent speaker. Blair had the same point to make over and over, which didn't present itself well against Hitchens' erudite language, but I surprised myself at finding some sympathy for Blair's argument. I am definitely an atheist, but I feel now, that I can almost understand the motivation for people to have faith and how that faith can co-exist with science and all other logical and reasoned thinking.

      The problem is, and I noticed Hitchen's didn't ask anything like it, (perhaps he felt it would have been petty, as he and Tony Blair seem to be good friends), but if Blair is only concerned with the powerful message to do good from Jesus, then why did he choose to become Catholic? Why not Protestant? Why not any other Christian denomination?

      I appreciate the idea of Jesus being an inspiration for people and to motivate them to be a good, but why does that have to lead you into support of organised religion, which rarely behaves with the same, simple selflessness that Jesus apparently had?

    4. "I can almost understand the motivation for people to have faith and how that faith can co-exist with science and all other logical and reasoned thinking. "

      Really, I can't. Do you mind explaining what Blair said that made you feel that way? I am not poking fun at you, seriously. I just don't get what he said that could have inspired that kind of understanding.

  109. This oughta be good, after England 7 7 bombings, Hmmm?

  110. Tony Blair? Really? Maybe if he had been debating Dr. Craig this would have been worth watching.

  111. oh hitchens i love your talks so much I cry with your reason, eloquence and humility. thanks for trashing that douche.

  112. Yet another example of Hitchens blowing the opposition out of the water with a rational, intelligent & logical view.

    Blair may as well have had an Mp3 player with 4 or 5 answers to play because his repertoire of discussion was generic & more than less of what i would expect of someone who was prime minister of the UK for 10 years.

    But then again, thats all they have, a collection of old chestnuts that are nothing more than deepitys & evidence proof by design.

    Easy targets for real thinkers all the same :)

  113. Should be a good laugh, I rarely see religion doing anything good for anyone. Certainly will have to watch this soon.

  114. I predict:
    A torrent of words!

    a bit of opposition is necessary
    otherwise life would remain what it has been
    a lot, will change it finally

  115. ye tony blair talking about god after taking uk to a war based on lies.

    1. I was thinking the same thing, they should gotten W. on this thing to, well maybe not he's a little to easy to make look stupid, he does fine all by himself.

    2. Guys what you forgot here is that W. said god actually told him to remove Sadam. I guess he relayed the big cahoona's advice to their mutual pal Tony so they knew it was a good idea. I'm not sure whether god said something about WMDs because W.'s description wasn't that specific. But since he is omniscient and apparently told W. this load of horse manure he obviously lied himself. Not really a credible type this god, next time I have an epiphany, I will make sure only to listen to gods with more than two arms...