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Old 02-03-2013, 07:57 AM   #21
willT08
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Is that David Wolpe one the one with the "When I look at you, I see Elvis" bit?
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:08 AM   #22
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Watching further through this video, this Rosenberg guy isn't really very good.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:08 AM   #23
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I love debates. I very rarely see good ones, though, because most debates devolve into name-calling, ad hominems and purposely misunderstanding the other side's arguments. If two sides have researched their shit, don't become overly emotionally invested, and simply put facts, research and rhetoric against each other, then I'm all ears.

Another thing I never see in debates is one side conceding a point to the other, like in the old Lorax movie:

The Once-ler: Well, what do you want? I should shut down my factory, fire a hundred-thousand workers? Is that good economics, is that sound for the country?
The Lorax: I see your point. But I wouldn't know the answer.

Because that shows the person acknowledges the shades of grey in an argument.

Only Siths deal in absolutes.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willT08
Is that David Wolpe one the one with the "When I look at you, I see Elvis" bit?


Yes.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:15 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreysMonster
I love debates. I very rarely see good ones, though, because most debates devolve into name-calling, ad hominems and purposely misunderstanding the other side's arguments. If two sides have researched their shit, don't become overly emotionally invested, and simply put facts, research and rhetoric against each other, then I'm all ears.

Another thing I never see in debates is one side conceding a point to the other, like in the old Lorax movie:

The Once-ler: Well, what do you want? I should shut down my factory, fire a hundred-thousand workers? Is that good economics, is that sound for the country?
The Lorax: I see your point. But I wouldn't know the answer.

Because that shows the person acknowledges the shades of grey in an argument.

Only Siths deal in absolutes.

Definitely the best way to argue with someone's points is to concede as much of what they want as you can, but still show it doesn't work.

The video TS posted has the atheist start arguing against there being a first cause of the universe by talking about quantum mechanics... it would've been a lot more useful and applicable if he'd accepting for arguments sake the theory of sufficient cause and shown it not work on its own grounds.

Even if you don't fully accept someone's point, you can accept it for arguments sake as a much more powerful tool that denying everything they say.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:18 AM   #26
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Then I'm glad I'm watching it. I quite like Wolpe as well so it's a laugh.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:36 AM   #27
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Then I'm glad I'm watching it. I quite like Wolpe as well so it's a laugh.


Wolpe's one of my favourite commentators, especially as a defender of religion. He's funny and witty and intelligent to match. He's sort of what Hitch would have been if he'd been raised a Jew, and not been completely cynical.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:53 AM   #28
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I'm at the bit :3
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:59 AM   #29
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I like debates, but I prefer taking part in them rather than watching them.

That said, I've got quite a bit of entertainment from watching Christopher Hitchens debating.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:02 AM   #30
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I think all of us on UG are much more Hitch blokes than Dawkins guys. Which I like.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:23 AM   #31
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I think all of us on UG are much more Hitch blokes than Dawkins guys. Which I like.

Dawkins is a souless debater, he knows some great facts but he just doesn't match up to the sheer passion that Hitch brought to the game.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:27 AM   #32
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I don't like debates about religion, that's for sure. If you're in one of those debates, regardless of which side you're on, you're most likely retarded beyond all hope.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:29 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by SlackerBabbath
Dawkins is a souless debater, he knows some great facts but he just doesn't match up to the sheer passion that Hitch brought to the game.


I think the reason Dawkins seems dull in debates is because he isn't politically minded, and oratory is an art entirely embedded in and dependent on politics, and Dawkins disappoints. Dawkins is clearly more intelligent than Hitch was, but Hitch argued against religion on political terms (and, a personal point, was fantastically well read) and understood debate and rhetoric as he had lived and breathed it since university. Dawkins is a scientist who became an orator.

Dawkins does, due to being a scientist, though, have a much more incisive and somewhat lateral mind.

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I don't like debates about religion, that's for sure. If you're in one of those debates, regardless of which side you're on, you're most likely retarded beyond all hope.


"If you're debating one of the most important and defining questions of our assistance then you're a ******."

This is you.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:51 AM   #34
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I don't like debates in general: there always seems to be a nasty/smarmy undercurrent no matter what the topic.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:25 AM   #35
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I don't like debates about religion, that's for sure. If you're in one of those debates, regardless of which side you're on, you're most likely retarded beyond all hope.

Retarded? Simply for stating an opinion on the question of religion?

You're saying that only people without opinions are not retarded?

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I think the reason Dawkins seems dull in debates is because he isn't politically minded, and oratory is an art entirely embedded in and dependent on politics, and Dawkins disappoints. Dawkins is clearly more intelligent than Hitch was, but Hitch argued against religion on political terms (and, a personal point, was fantastically well read) and understood debate and rhetoric as he had lived and breathed it since university. Dawkins is a scientist who became an orator.

Dawkins does, due to being a scientist, though, have a much more incisive and somewhat lateral mind.

Agreed completely.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:25 AM   #36
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I don't like debates in general: there always seems to be a nasty/smarmy undercurrent no matter what the topic.

That's usually only when people become overly emotionally invested in what they're talking about. There's a big difference, for instance, in how Americans debate, vs how Germans debate. Germans tend to be much more emotionally removed from a subject matter due to the culture, and thus debates very rarely get as heated as, well, this.



It was shocking for me to learn that discussing politics and religion is more or less considered a social taboo in the USA, and I was even more shocked to see people get very angry at the mere mention that their political party made mistakes. Very different over here.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:30 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by CoreysMonster
That's usually only when people become overly emotionally invested in what they're talking about. There's a big difference, for instance, in how Americans debate, vs how Germans debate. Germans tend to be much more emotionally removed from a subject matter due to the culture, and thus debates very rarely get as heated as, well, this.



It was shocking for me to learn that discussing politics and religion is more or less considered a social taboo in the USA, and I was even more shocked to see people get very angry at the mere mention that their political party made mistakes. Very different over here.


Yeah, I learnt that Americans are a lot more bottled up about politics when talking to an American friend from uni who was talking about his disgust at the Iraq war and I told him that that was silly. It seems like he'd never really had his view challenged before, which struck me as quite odd. Religion, though, is very guarded in the UK too; possibly not as much as in America but having never been I can't comment. People don't take offence, but almost everyone would rather you didn't ask, and if in the process of a seminar you discuss some literary work and say that something silly in it is taken from religion there's a certain ominous silence that descends on the room.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:40 AM   #38
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Religion, though, is very guarded in the UK too; possibly not as much as in America but having never been I can't comment. People don't take offence, but almost everyone would rather you didn't ask, and if in the process of a seminar you discuss some literary work and say that something silly in it is taken from religion there's a certain ominous silence that descends on the room.

The English often tend to have a bit of a hang-up with not wishing to cause offence, (it's a politeness thing) so they often try to avoid situations in which they can possibly be construed as being offensive, and regardless of what you say about religion, there's always someone who will claim to be offended by it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:44 AM   #39
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The English often tend to have a bit of a hang-up with not wishing to cause offence, (it's a politeness thing) so they often try to avoid situations in which they can possibly be construed as being offensive, and regardless of what you say about religion, there's always someone who will claim to be offended by it.


Certainly, it's incredibly infuriating. Although, it does have the upside of meaning that those over-earnest drunken conversations you have down the student bar always end up being about space and time and quantum physics, and I'm down for that. Would be nice to be political/theological every now and then though.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:47 AM   #40
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Certainly, it's incredibly infuriating.

Most definately. It's really hard to get a valid point across to someone who instantly freaks out whenever they hear it rather than actualy thinking rationaly about it.
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