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Wednesday, September 16, 2009



Hopefully, you wil be able to post Cardinal Pell's speech after he has delivered it. It should be a great read.


Since nothing is the absence of something, I wonder how Mr.Hitchens will explain the fact that in order for there to be something, something must transcend the material universe, since we know that something had to create the Laws of Nature to begin with.

Mark O'Neill

Sounds like pearls will be fed to the swine once again.

Stephen Sparrow

Further to your comment Nancy, it was a former Archbishop of Canterbury (St Anselm) I think, who said, "It's impossible to conceive of nothing."

Atheist Faith cracks me up every time. I should try & go to that debate. A three hour flight & I'm there.


Unless I missed something, there doesn't appear to be a head-to-head debate here (a la political campaigns). It's just separate speeches at different times.

Certainly still a valuable dialogue for those attending, but I would have loved to see Cardinal Pell in a face-to-face battle with Hitchens.

Ed Peters

You know, (jaded) admirer of Hitches as I tried to be for some timne (many years ago), I was very surprised to hear that he was going to debate Pell. CH just does not take on real live opponents anymore. But I thought, hey, maybe a little ember for CH is still glowing somewhere.

Alas, it's not a debate after all, it's just another speech by a man with some talent for making speeches. Sigh.


Hitches must be shaking ,his knees getting weaker in the coming face to face dialogue with a man of God.

But it won't be him who would be shaking,it will be his double....

Mark Trotier

How can anyone have an open mind if one anticipates the outcome of a debate?


"Hitches must be shaking ,his knees getting weaker in the coming face to face dialogue with a man of God."

If you remember back when Hitchens spoke in New York a year or so ago, he seemed to have no qualms about what he said while being in front of men of God, most notably Fr. Rutler who called him on his (lack of) argument and his behavior. There is video of it (which I will try to find), but Hitchens's behavior seemed to have been influenced by the drinks that were in his hand throughout the talk.

At the upcoming event, will he be allowed to drink while on stage?


Here is a piece you might find amusing:

The Cantankerist

This article beats about with a bit of a straw man in its fearless dissection, does it not?

The argument that Hitchens and co. would make re. religious murderers is that their stated justification is to kill "in the name of God" or "to honour God" or "to put the unworthy to the sword" or so on. Notice how this article shuffles sideways and says "in that respect, religion has struggled to keep up with atheists" - not "atheism", which would be the correct comparison but would make a mockery of the claim in the first place. Very few of those abhorrent killers would seek to justify their actions solely or chiefly by their adherence to an atheist outlook - "I killed these people because there is no God" is nowhere near as common as "I killed these people because God demanded it/they were unholy" etc.

I'm not suggesting that religion is only that, mind. But saying "well more atheists than religious people have killed" is not a fair response, as it misreads the proposition - which is that religious belief is often used as a justification for murder, and atheism much less so. If you think that point's debatable, then debate that.

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