Matt drops the F-Bomb, scares away theist

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F-Bomb

Postby TheRationalizer » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:40 pm

I agree, Matt shouldn't have done it. I think Matt has great debating skills but lets himself down by exposing his short temper.

My argument as to why Matt shouldn't have sworn at this lady consists of two quotes from Matt.

1: From the WIKI "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them"
2: From the show "I debate with people on the phone not for their benefit, but for the benefit of people watching"

Plus the debate would have been interesting if it had proceeded :-)
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Postby Cephus » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:56 pm

The problem is, it probably wouldn't have proceeded, that's the point. She was looking for an escape hatch when it became clear that Matt wasn't buying the bullshit she was throwing. If it hadn't been the f-bomb, it would have been something else. She wanted to get off the phone with as much dignity as she could. She had already lost and she knew it.
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Postby TheRationalizer » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:07 pm

Cephus wrote:The problem is, it probably wouldn't have proceeded, that's the point. She was looking for an escape hatch when it became clear that Matt wasn't buying the bullshit she was throwing. If it hadn't been the f-bomb, it would have been something else. She wanted to get off the phone with as much dignity as she could. She had already lost and she knew it.


Sure, I agree completely, but then she'd have had to leave for an obviously false reason and not because Matt acted like a social ass :-)
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Postby Cephus » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:47 pm

TheRationalizer wrote:
Cephus wrote:The problem is, it probably wouldn't have proceeded, that's the point. She was looking for an escape hatch when it became clear that Matt wasn't buying the bullshit she was throwing. If it hadn't been the f-bomb, it would have been something else. She wanted to get off the phone with as much dignity as she could. She had already lost and she knew it.


Sure, I agree completely, but then she'd have had to leave for an obviously false reason and not because Matt acted like a social ass :-)


She already left for an obviously false reason. Any adult who can't handle a couple of sounds that come out of someone else's mouth has issues.
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Postby TheRationalizer » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:24 am

Cephus wrote:She already left for an obviously false reason. Any adult who can't handle a couple of sounds that come out of someone else's mouth has issues.


Hitchens is probably one of the best debaters around today. I respect him so much because his argument consists 100% of material regarding the issue.

If at some point during a debate he stopped and said "Oh fuck off" he would seriously damage his position in the debate even though his argument is sound. He'd come across as an ass, and his debater would have every right to refuse to continue to participate.

I have never seen Hitch do this. He destroys people's arguments whilst giving them no adhominem ammunition with which to make an excuse and get out of the fire.

Do I think the caller would have changed her mind? No!
Do I think she would have made an excuse and left anyway? Yes!

The difference is that if Matt had been civilised then she'd have been leaving with an excuse that 99.9% of people would have thought of as pathetic. If Matt is uncivilised with people then even people like myself think "Actually, I don't blame her".

It's not just criticism, it's constructive criticism. It's much more difficult to get Christians to listen to show in which the host is being vulgar.
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Postby Cephus » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:12 pm

Hitchens doesn't tend to debate random people off the street like AE does. The people he debates are professionals and therefore, his debates come off professionally. If he had debated this lady, I wouldn't have been surprised at all for him to tell her where to shove her head.

The fact remains, Matt was debating a brick wall. She got herself backed into a corner and would have done anything to get out. She found an excuse. If it hadn't been that, it would have been something else. It's not that Matt said a "bad word", it's that she had a horrible argument and ridiculous beliefs and Matt rightly called her on it.
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Postby TheRationalizer » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:53 pm

Cephus wrote:Hitchens doesn't tend to debate random people off the street like AE does. The people he debates are professionals and therefore, his debates come off professionally. If he had debated this lady, I wouldn't have been surprised at all for him to tell her where to shove her head.

The fact remains, Matt was debating a brick wall. She got herself backed into a corner and would have done anything to get out. She found an excuse. If it hadn't been that, it would have been something else. It's not that Matt said a "bad word", it's that she had a horrible argument and ridiculous beliefs and Matt rightly called her on it.


He was talking to someone who thinks we deserve to burn not only to death, but beyond death for eternity.
This woman also thinks that this is fair and just, and that we bring it on ourselves.
I agree that what she believes is vulgar and horrid.

However, Matt doesn't do this show to convince the person on the phone. He does the show to try to get people at home watching it to think "Hang on a minute, he has a point there!"

At first he was doing a good job, defining that god created hell and also the rules by which we go there, and therefore it is god who sends us to hell and not ourselves. The problem is that swearing at her has two consequences

1: People like me don't get to hear any more of the argument, and therefore don't get extra arguments I can use myself when debating.
2: People that Matt wishes to reach will turn off the show and probably never watch it again.

Whether this woman deserved it or not is completely irrelevant. The relevant point is whether or not Matt should have done it, and considering the benefits vs the cost he obviously shouldn't have.

I wish Matt would learn to control his temper, he'd achieve a lot more if he did.
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Postby ExTech » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:38 am

Actually, I think there *IS* a benefit to how they handled her.

Sometimes, if you don't call out absurdities immediately, they can take root and people may give them credence.

If, on the other hand, you treat a ridiculous statement with immediate, even humiliating contempt, you can quickly and efficiently expose its absurdity and, perhaps, cause the proponent to feel some justifiable embarrassment.

That was the whole point of the cross-examination in "Inherit the Wind," after all, to expose absurd beliefs by trotting them out in public.
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