Intelligence Squared Debate

>> Sunday, February 28, 2010

In the previous October, Intelligence Squared from the UK had a debate on whether the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world. Arguing for the motion were Archbishop John Onaiyekan, MP Ann Widdecombe, against the motion were writer Christopher Hitchens and actor Stephen Fry. It's a feel good debate and it's worth watching it in its entirety.

Archbishop Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe did not seemed to be the intellectual equal to their counterparts, he seems very sincere but his only argument was if the Catholic church wasn't a force for good he wouldn't have devoted his life to the church while hers was "Yeah, the Catholic church was bad but we weren't the only ones." Even Christopher Hitchens brought up a lot of great point even though I was never a big fan of him, arrogant intellectuals are sad and misguided. They are too wrapped up about their own narcissism, they rather showcase their intellect than do anything productive. Stephen Fry was as sincere as the archbishop with more conviction and logic.

I have to say I love the format of these debates. Vote on the issues first, debate and then revote to see how many people have change their minds. I wish the government system is more like this, maybe it is, but nobody has the attention span to follow a debate that takes months with 200+ debaters each taking turns to have a say. C-Span should change their formats. Each and every issue can only take up to one day, locate one hour for questions/answers, you log on at the end of the day to vote with your social security and pre-registered password. No dragging along, maybe even no need for politicians, just debaters. We used to have representatives and congressman because no one can make time to stay in a meeting place and listen and decide on every issues, but the internet is making everything a lot more accessible and if we can all represent ourselves via online, there's no need of representatives to crowd up issues. What we need again, it's people who knows the system well to debate and to figure out how to implement decision into the system and make it run smoothly: persuaders, overseers, supervisors but not voters or decision makers.

The whole political system doesn't have to be this big monster that is extremely complicated to figure out and drags every issue around for years and years, that frustrate everyone to no end. Just health care reform had been kicked back and forth for months, the bill is getting weaker and still no one is budging and nothing is being passed. Majority rules, that's what democracy is all about.

Go to their site for more debates, they are all very interesting.

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