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Christopher Hitchens: Religious vs. empirical knowledge

Christopher Hitchens delivered a speech at VCU in Richmond, VA, as part of a debate with Frank Turek about the existence of god. You can watch the entire debate "Does god exist" at Vimeo.

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  1. Christopher Hitchens seems like a skilled speaker to me. I get the impression that he is familiar with rhetoric techniques and how to use them.
    However, I think, his message and his delivery do not match. It seems to me, especially after watching the longer version of this video, that he takes the side of a strictly scientifically based viewpoint on the universe, “god” and such issues; at the same time I’d call his behaviour rather unscientific. Instead of just presenting evidence, he more than once uses a populist rhetoric, is sloppy with his argumentations, and makes assumptions which he presents as his opponent’s. In my book, this is less than scientific.
    I don’t neccessarily disagree with his viewpoint, yet the content and the form of his speech do not match.

    Comment by Chris — March 11, 2009 @ 12:19 am

  2. I agree. The debate seemed somewhat backwards. His opponent had actually a more concise way in trying to prove his point (though he confused loudness with persuasiveness).

    Comment by Michael — March 12, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

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