Wangs, Gonads, Cu... Vagina-Forumers, lend me your rears!
So, I love listing to debates of all kinds, and I think we should make ourselves a thread compiling or otherwise linking debates which we have enjoyed. I'm not sure how the thread will turn out - whether we want to have a peanut gallery thing for a debate, speech or lecture that is posted each week, or whether we just want to dump everything in the thread and have at it, post reviews, makes comments and post other speechifyings. So, let's see how it goes.
Firstly, something for which I should apologise, I suppose is the fact that due to main direction of my interests and so forth, almost all of the debates I tend to find are related to religion. I don't mind if this turns into a "let's post a bunch of religious debates and then yell at each other about religion" thread, but that's not, in this case, my aim.
Anyway, to get things started, I figure I give you a debate of an hour and a half between Christopher Hitchens and Rabbi Shmuley Baotech. I think it's a very interesting listen regardless of what you think of the larger part of Hitchens' ideas. Baotech is a raving lunatic - I don't say this because of his beliefs, but because his arguments have no basis in reality, and substitutes force of argument for excesses of passion mixed with what seems to be the end result of a crash course in "How to Make Friends and Influence People". Hitchens' technique is quite interesting - he, by and large, doesn't address most of what the Rabbi says, except when direct charges against him are made and instead leaves it up to the audience to see the clear absurdity of his opposition's position, makes his own points and intersperses it with the occasional barb (which he excels at). Rhetorically it can be said without fear of contradiction, Hitchens crushes Baotech.
One thing which I do not enjoy is Questions From the Audience because 1) The panelists/debators rarely keep on topic or answer the question (and this case is no exception) and 2) Who cares what Joe Schmoe audience member has to say? Give me the back and forth between the people who actually prepared something substantial for the event.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnMYL8sF7bQ