Afterlife Debate Clips and Audio

February 23, 2011

A couple of clips of Christopher and Sam uploaded by retroprodigy40

Jewish Journal has two audio clips from the debate (20/24 min)

Unfortunately poor audio quality.


Anonymous said...

Hitch doesn't think everything is random? Hmmm...need further clarification.

Anonymous said...

There's only one side of the debate!

Anonymous said...

See full thing at

Anonymous said...

I think you can watch the full version here:

Sin said...

I had the pleasure of attending this event last week. It was gratifying indeed to see my personal hero Christopher Hitchens, accompanied as he was by another in the pantheon, the great Sam Harris, do what they do so very well.

The rabbis were great too; engaging and likeable men with an impossible task, which I'm afraid leads to their overarching tactic of humorous and elaborate evasion.

I do wish the boys had been up against a more defined target; like a Christian fundamentalist pastor. It would have been nice to see them spill some real blood. And I also wish the crowd had been more evenly split; but even at the Jewish University, the audience members were overwhelmingly atheist.

But as I said, it was great in any case to be present to see these two intellectual Titans shake the ground around them.

If anyone is interested, I've posted a video on YouTube that I dedicated to Hitch just after his diagnosis. See

Thanks Tom, for keeping the Hitch-loving community in the loop!

HJ said...

Hitchens was highly amusing. I especially liked the bit where Wolpe has just finished accusing atheists of being close-minded and not open to the possibility of an after-life and then he went on to rattle off lots of quotes from Chekov and Nabokov etc...etc...

Wolpe seems to have been making some elaborate show of being learned while essentially covering up the fact that he has no positive argument to make and will only assert that he should win the debate if he can only get the audience to believe an afterlife is not beyond all reasonable doubt.

Hitchens comes back with a quote from Star Wars in which Princess Leah has promised Han Solo more wealth than he can possibly imagine. He says this demonstrates that he too can quote literature if the need arises. It was an hilarious moment as it punctured the pompous Wolpe who may have been trying to suck up to Hitchens or compete with him.

The two rabbis were just annoying in pretty much the same way as almost all of Hitchens opponents seem to be these days. I've said it before so many times now but it has seemed clear that Hitchens opponents seem to think they can win by some kind of underhanded maneouvre in which they first try to deny any of their religious beliefs and pretend they are only coming from a position of pure doubt, purer than that of an atheist, and then start pretending or claiming to be persecuted or unduly ridiculed and hope to win the debate by some subterfuge. In short, they argue in bad faith, ironically. I like Hitchens's line, "you never know what they're going to say next..."

San Harris did a fairly good job of moderating the debate and refusing to easily accept these diversionary tactics of theirs.


Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir