Religionists vs non-religionists on air

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2008-03-21 00:06

Julian Darby has uploaded the four-handed religion debate from Lindsay Perigo's show on Radio Live this morning, which I'm told was brilliant radio. I myself have to take his word for that at this stage since I was sleeping at the time, but you can click here to hear the debate in its full MP3 brilliance.

On the side of there being angels is Brother Richard Dunleavy and the Reverend Richard Randerson. Arguing against are Perigo and, from the Rationalists Association, Mr Bill Cooke.

It kicks off with Perigo announcing that God is a psychopath...


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The Atheist vs Christian

Kasper's picture

The Atheist vs Christian debate on radio live that morning was very interesting and revealing. An organized debate took place for an hour involving Lindsay and a lecturer in mythology from University of Auckland up against two bishops from the Catholic Church. The theologians exposed their rationalizations time and time again. The evasions made by the bishops became clearer the more chance they had to talk. Airtime is what they wanted and airtime is what they had. The listening NZ audience had the opportunity to observe that if one puts any pressure on a mystic to declare a verdict on their opinions, they run straight into the fog. Disintegrating contextual facts pivotal to Christianity and igniting smokescreen cover-ups, they shifted ground time and time again hindering any possibility of a clarified answer. How the bishops could not see their intellectual ‘cover-ups’ both astounds and infuriates me. This is why I think of them as intellectual cowards! Their cover-ups are not there to confuse you and me but to justify out their own emotional convictions to the jury of reason, which once lived in their own minds.
Upon submission from Lindsay that faith in their deity was totally irrational and therefore should be scrapped
The bishop replied: "Faith is not something rationally proved, but neither is it irrational" So what IS it then?
The bishop further qualified: "Faith is a reasoned experience based on historical evidence" Well that’s made up. The scriptures would beg to differ. Hebrews Chapter 11 v 1 defines faith; “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we DO NOT see. This is what the ancients were commended for!”
The assertion made by the theologians’ that most people experience a sense of God/supernatural and therefore God exists was an erroneous argument. Lindsay prompted for an onus of proof for the positive. To which one of them replied "I don't think so, I think it is an open ended question". Again shifting ground, the theologian reverts to his own opinion even though he supports the Churches’ teachings and the scriptures, which historically, by the way, does not view this question as open ended - whatsoever! The absolutist rules and regulations uttered for hundreds of years, the teachings of the Church and ample time granted for clarification of why the theologians abort reason to keep following theology really shows the extent of nonsense the Christian faith proposes.
The atrocities, wars, laws, institutions, brainwashing of youth, the lobbying of governments etc. all acted on this primary belief which underlies their religion. That God exists, created the universe including us and cares about who and what we do. Their only absolute on the show was that "many people experience a sense of God"? Do they? Has it occurred to them that it maybe important to become more articulate about this experience they talk of? Secondly, if this is the only common ground the theologian can attempt at, how does it justify such strong beliefs to the point of basing their entire flatulent existence on it? They’re going to have to do much better than that and the onus of proof is definitely on them!
Christianity has for centuries, right from its infancy been about, God creating man, man being a sinner, Jesus who is God and God’s son at the same time came to be, via a virgin birth and being the ultimate sacrifice to save man from his sinful short comings.
Upon criticisms of Christianities fundamental view of man being a sinful creature in need of salvation the theologians shifted ground again. They said that God is really all about the love, that doctrinal mythology has only really got significance historically and is considered far less important in respect to mans’ actual relationship to God. The act of sophistry in this shift of argument is to disarm the prosecutor of having a case against the Christian faith. However, the problem now has arisen for the theologian. If they abandon the scriptures what then do they have to stand on? Answers offered usually surround the topic of their hearts (emotions), experience or more commonly seen “I don’t agree with those guys, I have a very unique and personal relationship with God of my own”! Of course this last suggestion is simply a projection of the theologians’ experience of loneliness and uniqueness. The nature of his individualism needing to be expressed spiritually!
A further problem is faced with the believer - particularly the mature - is that they come up with statements such as “contradictions used to bother me, but now I feel comfortable with contradictions and they don’t bother me any longer”. Well good luck trying to get any honesty out them now! The above bromide is really the conundrum of “this is what reason and evidence say versus this is what I feel – so I’ll have both”. If you ever experience your debate going into the realm of nothingness you can be rest assured that you’re with one of these.

Now I'm going to go and have my cake and eat it too Smiling

Just finished the clip.

Mark Hubbard's picture

Just finished the clip. Interesting debate, and the Humanist acquitted himself quite well I thought.

Loved the debate Linz

HWH's picture

The vapid evasions of these mystics made me think of this quote from Ingersoll.

We have heard talk enough.
We have listened to all the drowsy, idealess, vapid sermons that we wish to
hear. We have read your Bible and the works of your best minds. We have heard
your prayers, your solemn groans and your reverential amens. All these amount to
less than nothing. We want one fact. We beg at the doors of your churches for
just one little fact. We pass our hats along your pews and under your pulpits
and implore you for just one fact. We know all about your mouldy wonders and
your stale miracles. We want a this year's fact. We ask only one. Give us one
fact for charity. Your miracles are too ancient. The witnesses have been dead
for nearly two thousand years.
--
Robert Green Ingersoll
, "The Gods" (1872)

 

I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.- - Robert Green Ingersoll

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Thanks for that link

Mark Hubbard's picture

Thanks for that link Peter.

Now does anybody know of a link to the Douglas interview?

The only audio on demand at Live is that bloody Lush.  (Oh, Marcus, that is Smiling )

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