Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Christopher Hitchens - KQED Forum

Open Culture's post about KQED forum podcast in which Christopher Hitchens was interviewed, brought me to listen to it as well. I had not met KQED before and though I had heard of Hitchens, I had never read him or listened to him. It won't have to happen again. (KQED forum feed)

I may roughly agree with Hitchens on a couple of major points, but the style and eventual stand puts me off. As far as the interview is concerned, be warned also about a not so ideal voice: his diction could improve. It makes for rather tiring listening.

The program consists of roughly two parts. The first in which Hitchens gives his view on the Bhutto assassination (must be Al-Qaeda) and on the war in Iraq (can't retreat now, that would be worse) and the US caucus system (shame for democracy to put such heavy importance on such a small occurrence). In the next section he gets to answer listeners' question who are put through to the show. These questions move his focus to the atheism subject of his. This is where he finds praise with Open Culture:
For Hitchens, if there existed a God who answered prayers and intervened in human affairs, “we would be living under an unalterable celestial dictatorship that could read our thoughts while we were asleep and convict us of thought crime and pursue us after we after are dead, and in the name of which priesthoods and other oligarchies and hierarchies would be set up to enforce God’s law.” Essentially, we’d be living in a supernatural Orwellian world.

Personally, I am not so impressed by this.


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