Ciudad de las Ideas debate on religion

If you have 2.25 hours to spare (I don’t today, but I’ll look soon), they’ve posted the Ciudad de las Ideas religion debate, which I missed when I was in Mexico, on YouTube.

Against faith:  Dan Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens

The faithful for faith: Shmuley Boteach, Dinesh D’Souza, Nasim Taleb

The atheist for faith:  Robert Wright.

The sound seems to be a bit muted, but it may be my computer.


  1. Posted November 29, 2009 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Gracias. Let the games begin.

  2. Fergus Gallagher
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    No – sound is cr*p. I’ve been hoping they’d redo it for quite a while (the spanish version audio is just dandy)

  3. newenglandbob
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Permalink


    I already watched this a week or so ago. Dennett, Harris and Hitchens far outmaneuvered Boteach and D’Souza. Boteach was offensive. D’Souza spewed his usual lies and garbage. Taleb was off in a private angry world by himself and Wright was irrelevant squared.

    • Steve
      Posted November 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      I think that hardly counts as a spoiler

  4. H.H.
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Boteach seems like yet another religious idiot who doesn’t realize that he has evolution to thank for his moral sensibility, not an invisible sky daddy.

  5. bsk
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m absolutely shocked at how stupid Taleb is. He was the of the few economists whose view of markets I found superficially plausible.

    What does this say about my understanding of economics, or about economics in general? How was his complete disregard for logic not immediately evident?


  6. Steve
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t watched it yet, but I wonder if Boteach will say that Stephen Jay Gould disproved evolution and replaced it with punctuated equilibrium again.

  7. Sili
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I think I’ll have to settle for PeeZed’s summary.

    I do loves me some Hitchens, but I D’Souza makes me wanna hurt somebody. I don’t think I can take three of his kind.

  8. Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    For faith and against faith without a clear definition of faith? Since it references the debate regarding atheism vs. fundamentalism, I am guessing atheism is the against faith side and fundamentalism is the faith side. Of course this ignores the majority of faithful who are neither atheist nor fundamentalist.

    Since it is not intuitively obvious which begs the question…

    Can you have your faith and edicts, too?

  9. Posted December 3, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Well, I made it to 1:10:13. Conclusions:

    1. There’s only so much of this shit you can take;

    2. Jokes don’t travel;

    3. Hitchens was the weakest I’ve ever seen him, but he still put the wingnuts to shame.

    Harris’s comments, as always, stand alone regardless of the context. I’d like to see them presented as individual clips on YouTube; they’d be an excellent educational resource.

    ‘Night, all…

  10. Posted December 3, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    PS: I just have to remark on the way Boteach refers to 1 to the power 242 as if it’s a large number. Fail. 🙂

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