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-   -   The Week in Blog: Lightning Is Delicious (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=7259)

David Edenden 12-24-2011 12:40 PM

X-File Mystery ... What Happened to Krycek?
 
1 Attachment(s)
he's a regular on Bloggingheads!

basman 12-24-2011 01:11 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Lightning Is Delicious (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 235376)
Oh yes, Posner the torture apologist. Hitchens would be so proud of the company...

"If the stakes are high enough, torture is permissible. No one who doubts that this is the case should be in a position of responsibility." Richard Posner.

You don't think that's true?

Also you take one sentence, even stipulating it's an egregious one, which it's not, and on this basis, you would dismiss him? How would you like that measure to apply to you? I wouldn't want it to apply to me, though I have no pretense that anyone's interested in measuring me.

Itzik Basman

basman 12-24-2011 01:15 PM

Re: X-File Mystery ... What Happened to Krycek?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Edenden (Post 235377)
he's a regular on Bloggingheads!

That's his son, Eric Posner, a legal scholar who teaches at the University of Chicago Law School. Richard is his father who is a federal appellate judge and writes omnivorously and is a founding father of law and economics. He has never appeared here to my knowledge.

Itzik Basman

Mike 12-24-2011 02:03 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Lightning Is Delicious (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by basman (Post 235360)
Mike:

Ok and fair enough.

I agree with a lot of what you just said.

I'd quarrel with you some that being a man of ideas is not saying much, as I understand that status. Clearly, comparing Hitchens to the thinkers you name is either like comparing an apple to a banana or like comparing my cooking to that of some world class chef, the latter qualifying the former but not rendering it, necessarily, mediocre. I liken him to someone like Richard Posner, a highly impressive public intellectual, not well known like Hitchens and not a self promoter, but someone, like Hitchens, doing significant public work in his realm, and who must, like Hitchens, I'd argue, be considered outstanding compared to his confreres doing comparable and wide ranging work.

Itzik Basman

Ah yes, the classic case of different standards. I would never claim that my judgements of Hitchens are generous. To be fair, I am no more generous in judging my own thoughts, perhaps why am not hesitant to use stricter standards. And your statement strikes me as an entirely reasonable position. Hitchens' work was not necessarily mediocre, I just tend to think it was not successful nor impressive (here again I think of Wittgenstein, Spinoza, Gödel. Unfair? Maybe, but they were certainly impressive). These sort of statements are really more about personal disposition and personal intellectual interests. Disagreeing is then neither wrong nor irrational.

As a note, I think the Posner comparison is quite good.

basman 12-24-2011 05:04 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Lightning Is Delicious (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike (Post 235389)
Ah yes, the classic case of different standards. I would never claim that my judgements of Hitchens are generous. To be fair, I am no more generous in judging my own thoughts, perhaps why am not hesitant to use stricter standards. And your statement strikes me as an entirely reasonable position. Hitchens' work was not necessarily mediocre, I just tend to think it was not successful nor impressive (here again I think of Wittgenstein, Spinoza, Gödel. Unfair? Maybe, but they were certainly impressive). These sort of statements are really more about personal disposition and personal intellectual interests. Disagreeing is then neither wrong nor irrational.

As a note, I think the Posner comparison is quite good.

Okay my new found bhtv friend, let's leave it there.

Have a good holiday and a good new year.

Perhaps in that new year, we can find something else to disagree civilly about, even with this site being stripped down.

Itzik Basman

David Edenden 12-24-2011 08:37 PM

Re: X-File Mystery ... What Happened to Krycek?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Edenden (Post 235377)
he's a regular on Bloggingheads!

Picture is in the forum.

basman 12-26-2011 02:57 PM

Re: X-File Mystery ... What Happened to Krycek?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Edenden (Post 235423)
Picture is in the forum.

Not sure what you mean. Can you direct me to a dialog where Richard Posner took part. I'd be interested to hear it.

Itzik Basman

Diane1976 12-27-2011 07:49 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Lightning Is Delicious (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
I think Hitchens was making a political argument about religion, not a deep philosophical one. I would see it as the argument Marx made, that religion is used to enslave people, or to use them to gain political power, to push ideas on people that are harmful. Of course, it isn’t always used that way and that’s why I don’t agree with people who rant against it in a general manner, instead of just arguing against those who are using it inappropriately or harmfully.

I also think that Hitchens hated imperialism, American imperialism as well as other forms, but he wasn’t anti-American. He was just the opposite. He loved America and he liked to talk about Marx’ admiration for it. He objected to American military power being used for the purpose of extending American domination/imperialism. He convinced himself that the second Iraq war wasn’t about that (he opposed the first Iraq war). He believed the second Iraq war was about using American power for a good purpose, to liberate Iraqis from their dictator. I thought that was odd because, in fact, that’s exactly what the British said when they “liberated” the Mesopotamians from the Turks, in the first place, created Iraq and tried to make it their first democratic “brown dominion”, modelled on Canada and Australia. That translates into setting up an independent country loyal to British interests which would happily fight in all its wars. But it didn’t work out because Iraqis aren’t Canadians or Australians.

I loved this debate between Hitchens and Tony Blair, after Christopher had become ill. It’s about religion. I would have preferred another topic, such as the direction of the left, or something along that line. But, it’s great anyway. Blair is religious and has converted to Catholicism. But, he’s what I’d call part of the “religious left” which I think is the best antidote to the “religious right” in all its least and most harmful meanings, from those who try to impose their attitudes regarding “moral issues” like homosexuality or birth control on others to the really evil “Islamofascists”. As Blair said, you can’t eradicate religion so it’s better to promote it in its better and more moderate forms, or words to that effect.

I don’t know if Blair was just being generous, or if he really meant it, but he said that people like Hitchens do a service because they remind religious people of the dangers of fanaticism and fundamentalism. I think that might be true.

In this debate they do get a little into the issue of “transcendence”, metaphysics, I suppose. I probably understand that in a sort of simplistic way, not being very knowledgeable, but Christopher talked about our appreciation of things that seem not of this world and beyond our understanding, whether it’s the universe or the magic of beautiful art and music often associated with religion. Tony, it seems to me, believes that the name religious people give for this is “God” and, I would say, they invent all sorts of stories to go with that, in order to make it more understandable, or for other not so positive reasons.

The Blair/Hitchens Debate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddsz9XBhrYA

Baz 12-28-2011 09:52 PM

Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis
 
Good Hitchens obituary here, sums it up pretty well for me.

Florian 12-29-2011 05:18 AM

Re: Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baz (Post 235528)
Good Hitchens obituary here, sums it up pretty well for me.

Excellent, I agree. Do you know the author? The progress from left-wing gadfly to cheerleader for neo-conservativism to scourge of religion has a certain coherence, a certain logic.

Quote:

After spending decades as a left-wing gadfly, with no influence in the centres of political and economic power, Hitchens felt that Bush's response to 9/11 had given him a cause with which he could identify wholeheartedly. The reformed Marxist's aggressive endorsements of Bush policies soon won him visits to the White House and meetings with neoconservative strategists like Paul Wolfowitz. Hitchens even gave Bush and his inner circle a political pep talk on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.
Quote:

As Iraq fractured along confessional lines and support for Bush collapsed in America, Hitchens turned increasingly from the War on Terror to the notion of a wider war between religion and reason. In his 2007 book God is not Great he proclaimed religion an 'urgent danger' to the survival of the human race, and demanded a concerted struggle against it. .

Baz 12-30-2011 11:03 AM

Re: Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 235544)
Excellent, I agree. Do you know the author?

Non.

badhatharry 12-30-2011 12:09 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Lightning Is Delicious (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 235482)
I think Hitchens was making a political argument about religion, not a deep philosophical one.

interesing and thoughtful post

look 12-30-2011 04:46 PM

Re: Hitch and Hell
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hume's Bastard (Post 235126)
If there is a hell, I think it begins with the sound of an American conservative's voice, like Soltis'. There is nothing more insipid than a college freshman discussion of God's existence. True, Hitchens' and fellow atheists' views were already crippled when Hume wrote Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. But, Hitchens did us a favor by dispatching Mother Theresa or the Catholic hierarchy. The meta issue is just tedious. "Does religion do harm?" is a live question. Americans can understand this: what is the cash value of believing in God?

And, I keep hearing and reading, that "Hitchens was a great stylist, but..." No but's. The main drank and smoked himself to a self-professed goal. He wasn't a clock-puncher.

I think Hitch is in hell now. He failed to sway his peers to do better.

Hitch good, Hitch bad, Hitch good, Mother Theresa the spawn of Satan, Hitch in hell (according to Balt's Sunday school interpretation of the Divine). You have a fascinating mind.

badhatharry 12-30-2011 06:10 PM

Re: Hitch and Hell
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 235650)
Hitch good, Hitch bad, Hitch good, Mother Theresa the spawn of Satan, Hitch in hell (according to Balt's Sunday school interpretation of the Divine). You have a fascinating mind.

Look who came home for the holidays!

look 12-31-2011 12:33 AM

Re: Hitch and Hell
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 235656)
Look who came home for the holidays!

:) Happy Festivus, harry.


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