Saturday, June 23, 2007
Transcript of Debate
MODERATOR: Welcome to the debate! It’s great to see so many of you show up, especially on a Saturday. I’m going to get started right away because the management has a meeting of the East Tennessee Libertarian party scheduled in two hours and they need this room. First, some ground rules. The East Tennessee Rationalist’s Support & Therapy Club recognizes the male honorifics “Mister”, “Doctor,” and “Professor,” Since Dr. Hitchens has a PhD, he will be referred to as Dr. Hitchens. However, the Catholic Priest Timothy Plarvik does not have a doctorate and is not a professor, so he will be referred to as “Mr. Plarvik.” Secondly, there will be no interruptions. I say this particularly with regard to the beret-wearing gentlemen and his obese friend, who had been chanting “Fr. Tim! Fr. Tim!” a few minutes ago. Finally, the debate will be in the form of a series of questions posed by me, the moderator. If I choose, I will ask clarifying questions. But the point of this debate is to allow the debaters to freely explore rational differences in their viewpoints. So, without further ado, I will pose the first question, beginning with you, Mr. Plarvik… Does God exist?
PLARVIK: If by “God” you mean “the Life Spirit,” then, yes, it is easy to show that…
HITCHENS: Oh, shut the hell up, you addled hippy!
PLARVIK: I beg your pardon?
HITCHENS: You lovey-dovey christians with your hand-holding and prayers! You make me sick. You really believe that some white-robed old deity is going to rain fire and brimstone on you if you don’t do what he says?
PLARVIK: Of course not! I don’t believe anything like that at all. You seem to have me mistaken for…
[CHANTING FROM THE AUDIENCE: FR TIM! FR TIM! FR TIM!]
MODERATOR: This is the first warning to the audience to settle down and respect the rational debate that is occurring. Mr. Plarvik, please continue.
PLARVIK: Hey! I’m cool. Ché & Keith – settle down now. As I was saying, that old notion of a white…
HITCHENS: You see how this “loving” priest silences his own flock?
PLARVIK: Excuse me?
HITCHENS: Just now. You told your own supporters to be quiet and hold their tongues. That’s what you priests are all about. All you can do is stifle free speech and respectful dissent. Because any ideas… any science threatens to upset your fantasy world. You – you’re a little Torquemada, aren’t you? You’re a little Inquisitor – you can’t wait for the first chance you get to start putting people in their places. I bet you’re going to take your friends back to your Church and put them on a rack.
PLARVIK: Actually, I was just trying to get them to stop interrupting. The moderator said…
[CHANTING FROM THE AUDIENCE: FR TIM! FR TIM!]
MODERATOR: OK – that’s the second warning. I believe you still have the question, Mr. Plarvik, and do try to hurry along.
PLARVIK: OK, OK, Anyway, I agree with you completely that the old traditional picture of a personal god who gets upset when people make valid life-choices is a bunch of hooey, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an overall LifeSpirit who fills us with love much as empty cups are filled with…
HITCHENS: Shut up! Shut up! I can’t stand it! You rotten bastards with your [expletive deleted] and your [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] sacred cows! If there were a hell, you’d be in it you [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted]. Look what you did to Darwin! Look what you did to Galileo and Copernicus and Tycho Brahe! Where’s your LifeSpirit then? Huh? You think you can just pass off your two thousand years of oppression by making some felt banners and distributing copies of I’m OK, You’re OK to your parishes? Look what you did to the freethinkers! Your whole Church is a charade perpetuated upon a simple population that you kept simple. What… what are you doing… sit down young lady…
MODERATOR: Please return to your seat.
PLARVIK: Ché – can you please keep Taheetee under control? Keith – sit down!
MODERATOR: OK – who threw that?
HITCHENS: I will not be intimidated!
MODERATOR: Stop it! Now! Hey! Let go!
HITCHENS: Owww! Owww! Oh God! Help!
PLARVIK: Hey everybody, settle down now…
HITCHENS: [unintelligible sounds]