Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson
They teach it in high schools, but they hone it at Oxford and Cambridge. It's totally infuriating.
Okay, last comment from me on Hitchens' debating style. It occurred to me, as I listened to him offer incredibly sweeping statements of assumption ("we would have had to deal with Iraq eventually"), that Hitchens is a man of belief. While it's true that he's one of the world's great anti-religionists, that doesn't change the facts. His habit of mind is to assemble facts after he's found his truth. Listening to the diavlog was frustrating because so many of his points rested on deeply-held, totally unsupported 'facts.'
These beliefs are absolute and immutable. Shading, softening, contextualizing them--not possible. Debating a true believer is a fruitless and frustrating exercise: there's never any hope of arriving at a truth that hasn't already been unshakably established.
(cell-phone post--forgive typos)