Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hitchens vs. Boteach in NYC

In this debate, Christopher Hitchens meets his rightful match in Shmuley Boteach, an interlocutor who is as keen on rhetorical flourish and as short on valid arguments as Hitchens himself.  This debate is massively entertaining though fairly non-substantive (like reality television) and all too often it sounds as if both men are running the playbook from Schopenhauer’s 38 Ways to Win an Argument, which remains the definitive text for cynically unscrupulous rhetoricians.  Perhaps I’m being a bit too hard on these guys.  They each make at least two-and-a-half arguments which might possibly be recast as valid deductions.  I leave that as an exercise to the listener, and good luck with it.

Hitchens quote of the day – “I have rather a crazy salad of slanders to respond to and I don’t want to miss any of them out.”


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