While I cannot recommend it for everyone, those who want to follow intelligent arguments could do worse than to listen to npr’s Intelligence Squared on Sunday afternoons.
This past Sunday, the first time I’ve heard it, the debate was over the question as to whether or not freedom of expression includes the freedom to offend. Christopher Hitchens was on the pro team (yes, it does). All participants seem to be partisan and passionate so it’s not the type of debate where you take any side.
I found the arguments of those who would find some things to offensive to be unpersuasive. Hitchens was esp nasty but justified in his rejection of the con arguments; he characterized them as “simpering’. For students to stand outside a classroom door and tell entering minorities that they are too dumb to understand the lecture is a form of disturbing the peace, but I have no problem with the same argument, stupid as it is, being voiced out on the commons.
I would enjoy blogging with others who will listen next Sunday.