Comments on: Helen Thomas, Christopher Hitchens, and being wrong A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: AlbertSparks Wed, 13 Jul 2011 08:36:25 +0000 Being right at the cost of united balance is not only dangerous in business or politics, it is short sighted and arrogant. Learning together through shared communication that remains open and honest is the key to a healthy outcome regardless of situation.


By: ZPT Tue, 17 Aug 2010 13:22:23 +0000 The issue isn’t that she’s wrong, the issue is that she was wrong and advocated the relocation of 7 million people from thier homeland– a crime against humanity. If someone denied the holocaust and then took it back, would you be so forgiving?*

If I recall, a while back there was a big Republican politician who advocated that Palestinians in the West Bank move to Jordan, which is a lot less drastic than what Thomas advocated, even though it was still ethnic cleansing. He got hell for it, and probably should have gotten more, but the difference is he was an established politician and Thomas was a reported who was at retirement age anyway.

*(Unless you happen to be a member of the PA and would elect such a person as president.)

By: gh1 Sat, 24 Jul 2010 17:01:09 +0000 Felix, you apparently didn’t read Christopher’s memoir; in it he mentions several times when he discovered he had been wrong about things and changed his views. He discussed those experiences in detail. One of the important points of his book was that it’s folly to take a stand until you understand all the relevant issues, and in most cases it takes a lifetime to understand all the issues.

I strongly suspect you misunderstood his statement that he couldn’t remember the last time he was wrong. He was not denying ever being wrong; he just literally couldn’t think up an example. Try it yourself and you’ll find it’s not an easy task; the human mind erases memory structures that led to mistakes, so as to reduce the chance of making those mistakes in the future.

By: oldyeller Fri, 16 Jul 2010 06:36:42 +0000 Hitchens seems to object only to the implications of religious belief when it is misunderstood. I don’t think he imagines that he is smarter than Moses and Jesus, does he? Heaven help him if he does. The original ‘desert storm’ would make continental breakfast for the multitudes out of him. The only reason he has not been struck by lightning so far (that I can think of) is that he helps to enlighten infidels who have run even further afoul of God than he has.

By: iambemused Wed, 07 Jul 2010 18:44:39 +0000 Thank you for an interesting article. i enjoyed pondering the issues being raised but have difficulty seeing what the real objective is here.

If we strip away the side issues of gender and theism, the central argument appears to be that it should be acceptable to be proved wrong. Being proved wrong, and being prepared to change that view if better evidence comes along, is a sign of capacity to grow, and that should always be encouraged.

That is the case when considering factually correct/wrong issues but it is difficult to take the argument any further, as attempted in this article. If correct/wrong cannot be proved then we are dealing with opinions, and in that area emotion will count as much as any degree of logic or validity of propositions.

Introducing side issues of belief (theism, deism, atheism or any other ‘ism’) and gender we encounter broad generalisations that cannot be proved. In the case of belief there can only be opinions on any angle of the argument. Gender issues will always be open to statistical interpretation or misinterpretation.

On this basis, perhaps the objective of the article is to identify a possibility that Christopher Hitchens is ‘wrong’ somewhere or everywhere and that he should admit this? If so, this cannot be successfully tackled using the arguments raised.

Somewhere in amongst this is a good story to tackle further – but to be used correctly in this instance, you’d have to prove that Christopher Hitchens is wrong first or at least identify areas where he could be.

By: LHM Fri, 11 Jun 2010 19:25:57 +0000 Please be careful in generalizing across gender with no real data or research. I’m not even sure why you felt the need to address the gender issue here (it is certainly not central to your point), but you might want to look into studies like the one I link to below before you make sweeping generalizations. In short, this study finds that on a group level, women rate their own IQ lower than it actually is, while men rate their own IQ higher than it actually is. This effect could explain why you feel that women are more flexible in their opinions. On a group level, they are less confident that they know enough to be correct.

However, the authors of the study make clear that this effect is not driven by differences between all the women and all the men in the study. In fact, most of the women and men rated their own IQs in very similar ways, but a few women rated their IQs way below the true value, and a few men rated their IQs way above the true value, causing what looks like big differences between the two groups, but is actually just big differences between a few select members of each group. Most women are very similar to most men. Some women and some men behave very differently from each other, and this makes us all see a giant chasm between these two groups of mostly similar people.

Wide generalizations give people excuses to dismiss each other as stereotypes, when in fact most of us simply don’t conform to those stereotypes. =ArticleURL&_udi=B6V9F-3Y6PG3W-1X&_user= 10&_coverDate=02%2F28%2F1995&_rdoc=1&_fm t=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=& view=c&_searchStrId=1367088298&_rerunOri sion=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=e679 ad6c2b189efdc9d62f50359aa67d

By: pastblast Fri, 11 Jun 2010 03:19:02 +0000 60/40 so if there were 41 different logically sound arguments against your belief you would have to give it up.
Fair enough. Provide me with 41 logically sound arguments that God exists and I will recant my heathen ways and embrace theism.

By: GenericHuman Wed, 09 Jun 2010 20:15:18 +0000 Wow, what a pathetic hack job.

It started as a criticism of social shaming of unpopular ideas, and turned into a social shaming of atheism/skepticism.

Please ask the Catholic church about the certainty of their beliefs, or ask a Mormon about the certainty of their faith in Joseph Smith as a prophet.

Instead of questioning the obvious peddlers of certainty, you attack those that question a widely believed hot-button issue (god) and do the very thing you are criticizing.

Salmon, I am a big fan of your writing, but this was just plain hypocritical and bad.

I look forward to your attack on the certainty of religious belief.

By: Danny_Black Wed, 09 Jun 2010 05:35:17 +0000 DRickard, and being wrong about the Surge apparently gets you elected to the most powerful post in the world… Guess life isn’t fair.

By: obamamurders Tue, 08 Jun 2010 20:51:36 +0000 Helen Thomas should not have apologize for speaking her mind i.e. exercising her right to speak freely against zionist murderers.

The UN, in 1947, did not have the right to partition Palestine or assign any part of its territory to a minority of alien immigrants for the purpose of establishing a state of their own, without the consent of a Palestinian majority. In international law, only the soon to be illegally dispossessed Palestinians could give israel legitimacy and recognition.

The UN resolution in 1947 was non-binding, unless or until it was approved by the Security Council. This partition plan was pure propaganda.

Attacking a humanitarian convoy of ships with excessive force without irrefutable proof of smuggling weapons into Palestine is murder. Point blank and simple.

To hell politeness, decency and delicacy when criminals feigning righteousness, take all the passengers video equipment and believe they are the only ones who have right to use force. Zionist murderers and their supporters are the only ones who are to trusted. The rest of the world is inhabited by children.

All I have to say to zionist bullies and apologists is if I see you on fire, I going let you burn. You are not god and your not immortal. That means you are not mightier than anyone else. Which is way your bullying punk murderers sustained injuries.

When you kill on the sneak netanyapunk, you fornicate with your family every week to make you feel good. The only way to shut me up is to do the aforementioned.