Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hitchens and Fry yack a bit on blasphemy

Guardian Unlimited (the digital counterpart to UK daily newspaper The Guardian) published a very interesting item on their ‘Culture Vulture Blog’ on Monday. It was a recording of a debate that took place at last year’s Guardian Hay Festival between Stephen Fry (comedian, actor, writer etc) and Christopher Hitchens (journalist, writer etc). Debate is perhaps too strong a term, discussion is probably more fitting. Their topic: the bill about inciting religious hatred bouncing about in the government at the time. But they go beyond that into general issues of religion and free speech.

It turned out to be an interesting and compelling dialogue, lasting almost eighty minutes, with each man advancing their respective views, opinions and insights with intelligence and sublime eloquence. Fry put forth a liberal and witty position on the subjects, despite often being drowned out by Hitchens’ rather rude and obstinate interruptions. Fry ended proceedings with a wonderful humanistic tract, the sort that would leave Richard Dawkins (who incidentally does get a mention) weeping atheistic tears.

Hitchens was forceful and articulate with his own verbiage. Whilst I’d disagree with some of his viewpoints on international politics (luckily there’s little of that here), he proves himself a wise orator, and always worth a listen, even if you’d be liable to shun some of those attitudes into the bin marked ‘neoconservative.’ But this time he’s ranting on the human stupidity intrinsic to religion. Rant on I say.

Go and give it a listen here. And also, since when did Hitchens turn into Albert Camus?


Blogger Miss Templeton said...

You dare tempt me with this while I am in Miami and on a business-center computer with no soundcard!

Ah well. Something to enjoy when I return home and manage to disentangle myself from my husband's fevered grip.

I have been a Stephen Fry fan since Blackadder II days.

7:36 pm  
Blogger Aaron Fleming said...

I look forward to hearing your commentary.

1:03 am  

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