Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Be it resolved that religion is a force for good in the world...

The next Munk Debate (Nov. 26, 2010) pits former British P.M. Tony Blair against writer Christopher Hitchens arguing if religion is a force for good. Is there really any point? It might be an interesting evening, but here we will see Blair defending the indefensible and Hitchens arguing for the intolerable.

Who knew that politics gave Blair the credentials to argue in favour of religion? Oh, wait a minute "power" is central to both, and there is corruption, control, obfuscation, and extortion in both; maybe he is qualified. Certainly Blair's recent book tour where he defends Britain's entry into the war in Iraq qualifies him to defend the indefensible.
Hitchens' is a widely respected atheist who certainly qualifies as a worthy opponent, but his position as posted on the Munk website is: "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world." That is as intolerable to me as religion itself. Imagine "instruction...not allowed", quite a different world indeed. Hitchens' shows us in that statement his true conservative roots - and when I use the word "conservative" I mean it in its most derogatory sense. What an ugly comment, what an ugly thought!
I don't have a problem with anyone practicing and perfecting their religion, just leave me out of it and keep me away from bigots like Hitchens'.


  1. That's not a position. It's a hypothetical.

    I would have no problem provisionally accepting the most natural implications of the hypothetical as his position. However, since we have many clearly articulated theses from him that contradict the most simplistic assumptions derivable from that quote, such a characterization by Munk is dishonest and wrong.

  2. I'm fairly certain Peter Munk did not frame the resolution. It is a debatable statement whether dishonest/wrong or not. Lots of people are interested in hearing these two bash it out, ticket are already sold out as of Oct.14.


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