Gloucester County Humanists Message Board › Intelligence Squared debate on the Catholic Church

Intelligence Squared debate on the Catholic Church

Philadelphia, PA
Post #: 2
At the end of the last meetup, the subject of whether the good that some churches do outweighs the bad (or makes them a 'necessary evil') came up - I mentioned a wonderful debate hosted in England some time ago via 'Intelligence Squared' with the Hitch and Stephen Fry

Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Nigeria, and Ann Widdencombe (British Conservative member of parliament at the time) support the motion 'The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world', and the wonderful duo of the Hitch, and Stephen Fry oppose.

Really great if you are in the mood for a righteous smackdown!

Part 1­

Part 2­

Part 3­

Part 4­

Part 5­

Fry is particularly excellent on the moral relativism of the Church excusing their historical evils.
Janice R.
Group Organizer
Clayton, NJ
Post #: 387
Sounds like a good one, now all I need to do is find the time to watch...
Bill R.
Glassboro, NJ
Post #: 291
Thanks Neil...these videos are great! Gotta love Fry and Hutch.

Good luck on Easter...Remember that Esther is the ancient goddess of Springtime! Time to celebrate life and nature, not death and ghosts.

Thanks for contributing to our meetings. Your humor and international insights are much appreciated.
Michael D.
user 15761781
Sewell, NJ
Post #: 10
Neil - This was a great debate. I'm not surprised that that the argument against the motion drew such large support in England. This will probably happen in more educated communities. The exception to this is in the US, where we have a large number of "politically motivated christians". They would show up to a debate like this one, and they would be heard. The arguments for a secular society are clear and irrefutable. We just have to hold our ground, and hope that through education, more people will see that religion is a path to nowhere.
Philadelphia, PA
Post #: 3
Yes, my move here was not without a certain amount of culture shock! The US is home to some of the finest universities in the world which bodes well for secularism in the long term, but there is a rather nasty anti-intellectual streak running through certain politics at the moment.

I tend to be a little more acerbic than some in my thoughts about religion (which is probably why I do so enjoy the polemics of the 'new atheists') but recognise that any real change is going to occur very gradually. Fallacious arguments should be attacked vigorously and vocally, but on a wider level - the myth that humanism is 'evil' or lacking in morality is best dispelled by exposing people to a widescale positive experience of reality.

I think the Reason Rally was a fantastic bit of PR for atheism/humanism, and would love to see more fun, inclusive events happening at a national level.
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