Excellent video, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris discuss a supernatural matter, afterlife with Rabbi David Wolpe and Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson in the panel held in Whizin Center for Continuing Education.
Tags: Afterlife, Afterlife?, Artson, Atheism, Atheist, More…Atheists, Belief, Beliefs, Bradley, Christianity, Christopher, David, Debate, Evangelical, Faith, Harris, Hitchens, Is, Monicks, Sam, Shavit, There, Wolpe, an, godless, religion, secular
i was there.
the debate sucked. don't get me wrong, it was great to see Hitch speak and with his illness i was glad to get to see him while he's still around, but still...
Hitch argues that an afterlife is offensive to morality but this says nothing about whether or not an afterlife exists.
Harris just seemed bored. he began by saying that he had expressed to his wife his worry that the audience would be bored because, at the end of the night, each of the participants would be forced to admit that they didn't know if an afterlife exists or not. after saying this he seemed to try to fulfill his prophecy himself by sometimes coming off as downright taciturn.
the two rabbis were absurd. neither of them was willing to define what they believed in when they said "i believe in an afterlife" they seemed to stick to a metaphorical interpretation of "afterlife" but still said that this Metaphor gave them comfort when thinking about lost friends and loved ones.
Rabbi Artson didn't even want to be there, something he made plain repeatedly.
so, yeah, i get to say i saw Hitch speak but i can't say i saw a good debate.
The comment by Harris that the Afterlife is a substitute for not making the effort to achieve the wisdom to realise that we are here once and death is most likely the end of it is worth consideration. When pressed on what they preach, Theists are continually giving new interpretations of heaven and the afterlife. If there is some continuity of consciousness (I don’t think so) it is not a concept for theists to take ownership of. Why believers with the promise of an infinite afterlife in paradise even need to consider it on a philosophical level proves to me that they don’t “really” believe it. Anyway thanks for posting – it is good to see Hitch on form. I have tried to find errors in what he says but very seldom am I able to disagree with him. RE the Munk debates you might like to read this:
I definitely understand those who don't think very highly of this debate; I, for one, found it entertaining an actually quite enjoyable.
However, I will say this: you have to admit that this debate with these rabbis is much more intellectual and enjoyable - and much less frustrating - than debates with pretty much any xian I have ever seen. Maybe it's because Judaism has had a couple thousand extra years that the xians didn't, but I find most rabbis in debates are much more measured, intelligent, and thoughtful than any debate - ever - with xians that I've seen.
Think of it this way - could you ever picture Ray Comfort and his lapdog Kirk Cameron being able to hold their own with the panel and discussion in this debate?
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June 29, 2013 to June 30, 2013 – Dublin, Ireland
October 19, 2013 from 9am to 9pm – University of Akron Student Union Theatre
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