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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 02:48 AM

The motion “The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world”

This is from a few years ago, but I've only just seen it.

In this Intelligence Squared debate, it considered the motion “The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world”. Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry, opposing the motion. Archbishop Onaiyekan (of Abuja, Nigeria) and Ann Widdecombe spoke for it.

Here's how the voting went:

Before the debate:
- For the motion: 678
- Against: 1102
- Don’t know: 346.

After the debate.
- For: 268
- Against: 1876
- Don’t know: 34




Hitchens and Stephen Fry kicked ass. Although I think the audience comments helped sway the rest of the audience as well.

Wonder how this would go in the US?





10 replies, 1533 views

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Reply The motion “The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world” (Original post)
progressoid Feb 2013 OP
Warpy Feb 2013 #1
BlueMTexpat Feb 2013 #2
Warpy Feb 2013 #7
gadjitfreek Feb 2013 #3
mr blur Feb 2013 #4
progressoid Feb 2013 #6
SamKnause Feb 2013 #5
LiberalFighter Feb 2013 #8
LiberalFighter Feb 2013 #9
Zoeisright Mar 2013 #10

Response to progressoid (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:06 AM

1. Not surprisingly, people who haven't thought about things

since they took Western Civ. 101 and did away with their history requirement are going to have their eyes opened by any open and frank discussion of that organization.

While the people and a few of the parish priests can be and are a force for good on a limited basis in their communities, the mischief the hopelessly corrupt hierarchy has done over the centuries far outweighs it.

Breaking with Rome should have been done centuries ago.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:34 AM

2. Henry VIII did that -

and although I myself am not religious, the Anglican/Episcopal versions - at least in their more enlightened forms - seem preferable to Roman Catholicism, certainly that of Benny XVI and his lackey enablers.

I was a "cradle Catholic" myself, but it didn't take in the long run.

But I knew/know many Catholic priests/nuns - as opposed to the Roman hierarchy - who indeed are forces for good. I believe that the good is innate to them personally, however. They would have been forces of good wherever they went and in whatever professions they practiced. They didn't "need" the Church to BE good.

I do hate it, however, when people such as they are tarred with the same brush as the "Baddies."

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:58 PM

7. I send disgusted Catholics who still believe over to the Anglicans

all the time and most of them find it a very good fit. Others just quit completely and eventually end up heathen like the rest of us.

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Response to progressoid (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:35 AM

3. This is a classic.

Fry is absolutely brilliant in this and Hitchens is his usual cool genius. I don't care which one you subscribe to, religion is indefensible. The difference between crazy and a cult is a few followers. The difference between a cult and a religion is that vast numbers seem to add credibility to a religion even though the ideas are every bit as crazy as a cult's.

Dawkins said it best:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

The Catholic church is no more or less pestilential than any other belief in the supernatural. Particularly noxious are those faiths that preach that if you don't follow the faith then you deserve to spend an eternity having the worst possible torture visited upon you. By the numbers, if there is a hell, then everyone who ever lived is either there or is going there.

Christopher Hitchens put it even more eloquently than I could manage:

"Even the most humane and compassionate of the monotheisms and polytheisms are complicit in this quiet and irrational authoritarianism: they proclaim us, in Fulke Greville's unforgettable line, "Created sick — Commanded to be well." And there are totalitarian insinuations to back this up if its appeal should fail. Christians, for example, declare me redeemed by a human sacrifice that occurred thousands of years before I was born. I didn't ask for it, and would willingly have foregone it, but there it is: I'm claimed and saved whether I wish it or not. And if I refuse the unsolicited gift? Well, there are still some vague mutterings about an eternity of torment for my ingratitude. That is somewhat worse than a Big Brother state, because there could be no hope of its eventually passing away. "

Though it is a vain hope because of the innate gullibility of the social animal that seeks acceptance as part of the evolutionary adaptations necessary for a social being like us to survive makes it unlikely to ever happen but I would shed no tears should humanity manage to eventually throw off the yoke of religion and embrace reason, evidence and humanism instead of pseudoscience, superstition and ignorance.

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Response to progressoid (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:42 AM

4. Widdecombe, of course, is a loon, a joke.

Just saying..

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Response to mr blur (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:37 AM

6. That's putting it mildly.

Here's a little more of her - post debate. What a horrid person.

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Response to progressoid (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:17 AM

5. Atheists

Thank you for posting this video.

I really enjoy listing to these debates.

As an Atheist, I enjoyed this one immensely !!!!

Loved the results of the second vote.

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Response to progressoid (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:13 PM

8. I like the point the one kid stated in reference to the bishop's statement

that before becoming a christian his father had a basic grasp of the 10 commandments from the society that he lived in.

If people have a grasp of basic morality without the dogma the doctrine of the church then everything good or the humanitarian aid or the great work of the church that has been doing that you have spoken about truly that is not the church that's just people that happen to be under the umbrella of the church. The people that are doing it not the dogma of the church.

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Response to progressoid (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:37 PM

9. One challenge I would make is in regards to the church claiming they are the orignator

of morality.

Jewish law didn't exist until Moses bringing down the so called 10 commandments. Where was Moses before the exodus? He was an Egyptian that escaped from Egypt. Do they forget that the Egyptians had laws back then? It looks like there was something called the concept of Ma'at. It consisted of truth, order, balance and justice in the universe. The 42 principles of Ma'at were written at least 2000 years before the ten commandments. Moses period is calculated to be 1391 to 1271 BCE.

There is also the Code of Hammurabi created about 1750 BCE and the Code of Ur-Nammu in 2050 BCE.

Below are 42 commandments of ancient Egypt
THE 42 COMMANDMENTS OF ANCIENT EGYPT

I. Thou shalt not kill, nor bid anyone kill.
II. Thou shalt not commit adultery or rape.
III. Thou shalt not avenge thyself nor burn with rage.
IV. Thou shalt not cause terror.
V. Thou shalt not assault anyone nor cause anyone pain.
VI. Thou shalt not cause misery.
VII. Thou shalt not do any harm to man or to animals.
VIII. Thou shalt not cause the shedding of tears.
IX. Thou shalt not wrong the people nor bear them any evil intent.
X. Thou shalt not steal nor take that which does not belong to you.
XI. Thou shalt not take more than thy fair share of food.
XII. Thou shalt not damage the crops, the fields, or the trees.
XIII. Thou shalt not deprive anyone of what is rightfully theirs.
XIV. Thou shalt not bear false witness, nor support false allegations.
XV. Thou shalt not lie, nor speak falsely to the hurt of another.
XVI. Thou shalt not use fiery words nor stir up any strife.
XVII. Thou shalt not speak or act deceitfully to the hurt of another.
XVIII. Thou shalt not speak scornfully against others.
XIX. Thou shalt not eavesdrop.
XX. Thou shalt not ignore the truth or words of righteousness.
XXI. Thou shalt not judge anyone hastily or harshly.
XXII. Thou shalt not disrespect sacred places.
XXIII. Thou shalt cause no wrong to be done to any workers or prisoners.
XXIV. Thou shalt not be angry without good reason.
XXV. Thou shalt not hinder the flow of running water.
XXVI. Thou shalt not waste the running water.
XXVII. Thou shalt not pollute the water or the land.
XXVIII. Thou shalt not take God’s name in vain.
XXIX. Thou shalt not despise nor anger God.
XXX. Thou shalt not steal from God.
XXXI. Thou shalt not give excessive offerings nor less than what is due.
XXXII. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.
XXXIII. Thou shalt not steal from nor disrespect the dead.
XXXIV. Thou shalt remember and observe the appointed holy days.
XXXV. Thou shalt not hold back the offerings due God.
XXXVI. Thou shalt not interfere with sacred rites.
XXXVII. Thou shalt not slaughter with evil intent any sacred animals.
XXXVIII. Thou shalt not act with guile or insolence.
XXXIX. Thou shalt not be unduly proud nor act with arrogance.
XL. Thou shalt not magnify your condition beyond what is appropriate.
XLI. Thou shalt do no less than your daily obligations require.
XLII. Thou shalt obey the law and commit no treason.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 09:33 AM

10. Morality existed way before that.

Morality actually came about through evolution, when people started realizing they had to work together to survive, let alone thrive. And any "morality" that comes via a threat if you don't behave is not true morality.

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