Stephen Fry — The Intelligence Squared Debate

A rational argument explaining why the Catholic church is a force for ill in our society

36 thoughts on “Stephen Fry — The Intelligence Squared Debate

  1. Stephen Fry IS filled with love, there’s nothing morally evil about that man.
    It’s nice that he mentioned the “Galilean carpenter”.. he knows what’s real from the centuries of bullshit.
    The last bit, they could concentrate on the apparent essence of their belief..

  2. (opps.. no editing feature there.. )
    The last bit, they could concentrate on the apparent essence of their belief.. they never had any essence or belief to concentrate on! – The catholic church.

  3. It is a pity that the whole debate wasn’t up there it was fairly evenly balanced. Just as an aside Cristopher Hitchens was the one with Stephen Fry debating for the same side of the motion. I always thought he was an explosive charachter he was on Fox all the time saying that the end justifies the means till he was waterboarded for Vanity Fair mag, he changed his tune very quickly after that!

  4. I watched it alright that is why I said it was evenly balanced. Ann Widdecomb wouldn’t have been my number one choice for the defense though

  5. Hard to disagree with anything there. In my opinion the C of E / I etc certainly gained from having married priests. However even their tolerence was stretched a number of years ago and a schism threatened when women were first ordained. Right on, but not that much. Another anomily which tends to confuse me is the very close link between state and church. The ruling monarch is head of C of E, meaning that no serving cleric can become head of his/her church. Also the head of the church is also the head of state, an unelected head of state at that. Even Iran is a democratic republic.. His closing remarks about acquired treasures and wealth being repatriated were well made, mores the pity that Britain wouldn’t set an example. The head of the Catholics lives in luxury, so does the head of the Protestants. I abhor the church and its mumbo jumbo, but lets have a level playing field.

  6. Bock, I hope you won’t mind that I stole this video to share with my few readers. I pointed them towards your blog … although I doubt you’ll notice them with your vast readership. And a percipient lot they are, too, judging by their comments.

  7. So explain cathedrals then. And Palestrina choirs. And Gregorian chant.
    And his depiction of More is lifted straight from Fox and is not thought to be accurate.
    He believes in the age of enlightenment. Gee wizz, no sh*t ! Well, sunshine, that was the eighteenth
    century and how did we all get to there in, more or less, one piece ? Via Judaism ? Islam ? Druids?
    Overblown rhetoric Mr Fry.

  8. tessa — You didn’t steal it. It isn’t mine. We should all spread the word of this gentle, civilised, erudite man.

  9. I find TSephen Fry to be a great speaker eventhough, as with many great speakers, I don’t agree with everything he says. This short chat is interesting for those of us who communicate via the net;

  10. Not sure Fry is wrong there Bock, I think his focus was on the fact that though 1) and 2) work (abstinence and fidelity), his point was that the CC actively “dis-promote” the use of condoms. I can’t argue with the WP article but I get that all 3) factors in combination, and not mutually exclusive bring about the required result.

    What is fascinating about this video more to me are the numbers he swayed to his side of the debate and completely (with the exception of 34) pulling the undecideds with him. Shows the power of a clear and cogent argument. Something not one of our own, or indeed anyone’s political classes, have a good example of.

  11. Interesting, lapsedmethodist’s video link by Jonathan Miller.. I find it amazing that peoples’ reason to believe in the non existence of a God is that bad things happen. Is that not reason to believe also..

  12. Probably. But what loving God would have permitted, Gengis Khan, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Clerical child rape, the crusades any many other acts in his/her name or by by his/her followers?

  13. True No. 8, but I can’t help but think we have free will and we are not puppets on a string where everything is orchestrated. All these things are man’s doing. Man permitted those dictators to come into power. It’s people that turned a blind eye to Clerical child rape. It’s people that gave the Church their power.
    We don’t live in a world where events are interfered with by the gods.. the days of the Titans and Olympians are over.

  14. Thanks, Bock.

    In response to lapsedmethodist, I would argue that Stephen Fry is the cultural heir of Jonathan Miller. I find both equally compelling, erudite and let’s not forget funny! I’m old enough to remember Miller from his Beyond the Fringe days.

  15. Lapsedmethodist — I don’t see the relevance of the Jonathan Miller clip. Fry isn’t talking about atheism.

  16. Fantastic speaker. Doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not, it’s just impossible to disagree with the things he has said in that clip, because they’re all true.

    The Catholic Church has to be broken.

    They have managed to set themselves up for too many people as the “exclusive agent” of communion with God. That’s just not right, and it’s not the way JC meant it to be.

  17. It will have to be done for them, because they don’t get it and they’ll never get it. These guys will never, ever change as long as they think reporting of sexual abuse is “petty gossip”.

    As somebody on the radio said today, they don’t even know that they don’t get it.

  18. Sorry Bock. I included Millar because of the “route to aethism” element in that series: Not to suggest that Fry was an aethist or was discussing aethism.

  19. Who said , Stephen Fry is a stupid persons idea of what an intelligent person sounds like ?

  20. have I missed something LM, cant see where anyone else said it on this post

    it seems like a question that you knew the answer to

    either that or you were just being your usual self

  21. I don’t know who said it. I know that it was said. I thought that it was amusing. I try and bring a little light into your miserable lives.

  22. It is a fact that people like Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens are admirable, what is more admirable I think is that they actually challenge these
    institutions and predgidices.

  23. Think Stephen Fry admirable, also the fact that he challenged these institutions very courageous.

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