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Intelligence Squared debate: Catholics humiliated by Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry

Posted in News by Skepdude on October 20, 2009

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I have just witnessed a rout – tonight’s 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, comprehensively trounced Archbishop Onaiyekan (of Abuja, Nigeria) and Ann Widdecombe, who spoke for it. The archbishop in particular was hopeless.

The voting gives a good idea of how it went. Before the debate, for the motion: 678. Against: 1102. Don’t know: 346. This is how it changed after the debate. For: 268. Against: 1876. Don’t know: 34. In other words, after hearing the speakers, the number of people in the audience who opposed the motion increased by 774. My friend Simon, who’s a season ticket holder, said it was the most decisive swing against a motion that he could remember.

The problem (from the Catholic point of view) was that the speakers arguing for the Church as a force for good were hopelessly outclassed by two hugely popular, professional performers. The archbishop had obviously decided that it would work best if he stuck to facts and figures and presented the Church as a sort of vast charitable or “social welfare” organisation. He emphasised how many Catholics there were in the world, and that even included “heads of state”, he said, as if that was a clincher. But he said virtually nothing of a religious or spiritual nature as far as I could tell, and non-Catholics would have been none the wiser about what you might call the transcendent aspects of the Church. Then later when challenged he became painfully hesitant. In the end he mumbled and spluttered and retreated into embarrassing excuses and evasions. He repeatedly got Ann Widdecombe’s name wrong. The hostility of both the audience and his opponents seemed to have discomfited him.

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The immorality of the Catholic Church

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on March 5, 2009

In Brazil at least. A 9 year old was allegedly raped by her stepfather and impregnated with twins. It was decided that it was on her best interest to abort the fetuses.

Fatima Maia, director of the public university hospital where the abortion was performed, said the 15-week-old pregnancy posed a serious risk to the 80-pound girl.

“She is very small. Her uterus doesn’t have the ability to hold one, let alone two children,” Maia told the Jornal do Brasil newspaper.

This would make perfect sense to any rational brain that has not been poisoned by religious dogma of course.

But Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins to term and had a cesarean section.

“It’s the law of God: Do not kill. We consider this murder,” Miranda said in comments reported by O Globo.

I see, it is the law of God. And he must work in mysterious ways if he allows a pervert to rape a 9 year old, and if that wasn’t bad enough allows her to get pregnant, and if that wasn’t bad enough allows her to get pregnant with twins, and if that wasn’t bad enough allows this to happen in a time in her life when her body cannot properly handle a pregnancy, and if that wasn’t bad enough wants to force her to go through with the pregnancy that her little body can’t handle without very probable permanent damage.

All knowing, all loving, right? And this is the being that we are supposed to get our morals from? Tell me this dear Catholics , do you agree with Mr. Miranda the asshole? Is this stupid idiot’s statement, morality in your eyes? Is this morality in your God’s eyes? Are you not ashamed that this person is speaking on behalf of Christians? Because if you’re not, you deserve to suffer  not  this poor little girl. You know the only times where I hope there is a just God is when people like Mr. Miranda open their foul mouths, because then I would know that he would in fact burn in hell for eternity. Unfortunately, that does not seem very probable.

Bill Donahue: If You Want to Spew Ridiculous Nonsense, Please Make a New, Relevant Argument

Posted in Enemy Combatant by Skepdude on November 14, 2008

Oh, crazy crazy Bill.

It’s absolutely nutjobs like you that make it pretty damn hard to imagine such a thing as a genuinely intelligent christian (or catholic).

Cool, we get it. You believe in god, you think everyone should, and you don’t like that those stupid meanie head atheists won’t play your game, and are putting signs on busses and not sitting down in their corner quietly, hiding and hoping you won’t notice them. We get it, dude.

However, you’d stand a fairer chance of convincing even one person who doesn’t already agree with you if you’d refrain from:

Insisting that we only pick on the christian faith. Stop that. The reason you see more actions targeting or specifying Abrahamic faiths is that they are prevalent in the society we live in. That makes them more relevant to the discussion. Dig? Cool? Got it? Gonna stop making that tired argument? I sure hope so.

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