Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens Debate Religion (Clip)

From BBC News:
Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens debated the idea 'Religion is a force for good in the world'

Former UK PM Tony Blair has defended the role of religion in global affairs, in a televised debate in Canada with atheist columnist Christopher Hitchens

Mr Blair, a Catholic convert, said faith was a force for good and it was "futile" to attempt to drive it out.

But Mr Hitchens, who is terminally ill with cancer, argued religion forced people into doing terrible things.

In a vote after the debate, the audience voted two-to-one in Mr Hitchens' favour.
Read more


  1. Anyone have a link to the whole thing?

  2. Even in this tiny clip Blair manages to drop a catastrophic clanger by somehow claiming Catholicism as a force for good in its dealings with HIV in Africa!
    This must be like shooting fish in a barrel for Hitchens.

  3. Can't wait to see the rest of this

  4. I know its too soon to mourn the loss of CHitch, but damn, that is a great mind in his prime

  5. Priming Hitchins like this is like inviting Hannibel Lecter to lunch.

  6. What the hell? A politician trying to debate against a seasoned intellectual for religion? Was this actually supposed to be a challenge for The Hitch?

  7. here's the transcript to the debate

  8. Denis Robert, TorontoNovember 27, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    I didn't watch the clip, but I saw the whole debate yesterday. It was precious to see Blair's face when Hitchens picked up on this opening and went for the uppercut. Blair's jaw literally went slack, and from this point on, he was a jiggling mess on stage. He never recovered from this.

  9. Combining Catholics, HIV and Africa in a debate opener with Hitchens would make you a masochist. Didn't Blair do any research at all? How'd he ever get elected?
    PS Waited too late for tickets. Was offered a set for $450 each.

  10. "In a vote after the debate, the audience voted two-to-one in Mr Hitchens' favour."

  11. Tony Blair: Self-important waffle master.

    Found this through a friend.

  13. Not nearly as EPIC as you make it appear.

    The PRE-debate vote was 22% For (Blair) to 57% Against (Hitchens) and 21% claiming undecided (which I think is always a lie).
    The POST-debate vote was 32% For and 68% against.

    This means before either one said anything AT ALL the audience already had made up it's mind. And after neither one appears to have changed a single mind.
    If anything it makes Blair look better since they split the 'undecided' vote almost exactly 50/50 and neither one lost any per-debate votes.


  14. The results aren't that reassuring.
    The PRO group grew by a much larger proportion than the CON group. Of the undecideds nearly half decided in favor of TB