Christopher Hitchens debate on the freedom of speech. The first video is Hitchens part of the debate only. If you want to watch the whole debate watch the second video. I’ve listened to hundreds of hours of Christopher Hitchens speeches and debates on Youtube and this to me is the best 20 minutes I’ve ever heard from him.
Christopher Hitchens, Philip Gourevitch and Signe Wilkinson go against Daisy Khan, David Cesarani and Mari Matsuda in a debate on the motion of “Freedom of expression must include the license to offend”. Hitchens and company flat out owned the debate and are of course for the motion. Philip Gourevitch was excellent and hope to see him in future debates since Hitchens is no longer with us.
The best point in the debate in my opinion is when Philip Gourevitch talked about how the Hutu’s who committed the Genocide in Rwanda were offended by the Tutsis and some Hutus who wanted them to live together in harmony. Since the Hutu Power people were offended by people who want to live together in peace is it the right thing to do in suppressing the free speech of the Tutsis so Hutu Power isn’t offended?
Hitchens makes an excellent point in the question and answer period about the Danish cartoon incident.
Lawrence Krauss (May 27, 1954) is a famous atheist, author, theoretical physicist and cosmologist. Lawrence is the author of several books including A Universe from Nothing and The Physics of Star Trek. Krauss has many popular debate videos that can be found on Youtube.
“Richard Feynman used to go up to people all the time and he’d say “You won’t believe what happened to me today… you won’t believe what happened to me” and people would say “What?” and he’d say “Absolutely nothing”. Because we humans believe that everything that happens to us is special and significant. And that — and Carl Sagan wrote beautifully about that in The Demon-Haunted World — that is much of the source of religion. Everything that happens is unusual and I expect that the likelihood that Richard and I ever would’ve met. If you think about all the variables: the probability that we were in the same place at the same time, ate breakfast the same. Whatever. It’s zero. Every event that happens has small probability… but it happens and then when it happens; if it’s weird, if you dream one million nights and it’s nonsense but one night you dream that your friend is gonna break his leg and the next day he breaks his arm… *sound of revelation* So the real thing that physics tell us about the universe is that it’s big, rare event happens all the time — including life — and that doesn’t mean it’s special.” – A Universe From Nothing” by Lawrence Krauss, AAI 2009
“The other thing people don’t realise about science which differentiates it from religion is that, the most exciting thing about being a scientist is not knowing and being wrong. Because that means there is a lot left to learn.” – Cosmic Connections by Lawrence Krauss, 2011
Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011) was an author and journalist. His books include God is not Great and The Missionary Position. Hitchens became an American citizen on the 13th of April 2007. Christopher Hitchens is one of the most famous atheists in history and because of his ability to own theists in debates the word Hitchslap became a meme.
“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”
“Religious exhortation and telling people, telling children, that if they don’t do the right thing, they’ll go to terrifying punishments or unbelievable rewards, that’s making a living out of lying to children. That’s what the priesthood do. And if all they did was lie to the children, it would be bad enough. But they rape them and torture them and then hope we’ll call it ‘abuse’.”
“Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.”
“If Jesus could heal a blind person he happened to meet, then why not heal blindness?”
“Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did.”
“Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience.”
“Nothing proves the man-made character of religion as obviously as the sick mind that designed hell, unless it is the sorely limited mind that has failed to describe heaven — except as a place of either worldly comfort, eternal tedium, or (as Tertullian thought) continual relish in the torture of others.”
Shlomo Venezia (1923 – 2012) was a Holocaust survivor and author of the book Inside the Gas Chambers: Eight Months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz. Venezia was part of the Sonderkommando in Auschwitz-Birkenau for six months and became an important spokesperson on the horrible events that took place in The Holocaust.
In his book Inside the Gas Chambers: Eight Months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz, Shlomo Venezia was asked by an interviewer “Were there any religious men among you?” His response to the question is below.
“Some people prayed every day. I know that in other parts of the camp it was impossible or much too dangerous, but we didn’t run too many risks as the Germans never came up to where the men of the Sonderkommando slept. You could easily pick up prayer books, even though the men in question didn’t need them – they knew the prayers by heart.
I’d never been religious – not even a believer. I always found that respecting the Ten Commandments was enough for me. In Birkenau, I never asked myself this question; since I wasn’t religious, I left God out of all that. But I couldn’t understand why they continued to call on him: “Adonai, Adonai” (“Lord, Lord”)…. What were they thinking? That Adonai was going to save them? What an idea! We were all living beings in the process of crossing the frontier into death.” – Inside the Gas Chambers: Eight Months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz