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Richard Dawkins Has a Point, Your Eminence! - Comments

mfothergill85's Avatar Comment 1 by mfothergill85

That's the problem, if you end up trying to reconcile an ultimately merciful God with the teachings of the bible as myths and metaphors alone, you end up, as I did in my late teens, realising there is no point to religion whatsoever. There is nothing to fear, no incentive, nothing absolute to base anything on any more. You're left with stories an ideas that make little to no sense at all. If we are not original sinners, and god is merciful no matter what our sins are, then what is the point in Jesus?

And if this was really the most important part of human existence, surely an omnipotent God would have made it a little bit clearer for us all!

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:22:04 UTC | #937699

Duff's Avatar Comment 2 by Duff

The poor author of this article is appalled that the good Cardinal made a hash of the church's historic position on these important questions. Appalled that he conceded so many important issues to that evil atheist, Professor Dawkins. Oh, the inhumanity. What else was he supposed to do, lie...er...that would never do.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:26:56 UTC | #937702

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 3 by strangebrew

Yep the fuckers are getting so very very sharp with their 'fistikated fellology' they are certainly going to end up slicing their own head off!

Pell is just trying the thoroughly modern theist ...'you see we are not stuck in the 16th century' ...personna but gets cobbled up in their own dogma!

So you either reject science or you re-jig the dogma!

Devil and the deep blue sea scenario there methinks!

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:27:24 UTC | #937703

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 4 by RichardofYork

Is that it then? game over ? the pope sells off the Vatican and sets up a fancy dress shop catering for pederasts and liars?

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:28:55 UTC | #937705

Luke_B's Avatar Comment 5 by Luke_B

He referred to Richard as a 'dolt'!? That's 'Professor Dolt' I believe...

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:39:56 UTC | #937709

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 6 by Neodarwinian

" In sum, according to Cardinal Pell: Man certainly did evolve from monkeys, Adam and Eve were not actual people, Genesis is a myth, atheists certainly go to heaven, and homosexuals, far from living a sinful lifestyle, are perfectly free to have unions (whatever that means!).

Aside from the monkey business what is the point anymore? Why not just pack it up, give all those ill gotten gains away and start living in the real world. Oh, yeah, the ill gotten gains part makes that real world scenario impossible to envision anytime soon.

Isn't that the real point your birdieness?

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:42:03 UTC | #937711

inquisador's Avatar Comment 7 by inquisador

Michael Matt is clearly vexed by the poor showing of Cardinal Pell in this debate.

He relieves his feelings by lashing out at the 'insufferable' 'dolt' Dawkins in a manner neither kind, accurate, rational nor Christian.

Perhaps Matt could explain to his readers how he would have answered these tricky questions. Would he espouse the literal inerrant truth of the Bible? The metaphorical reading? Something in between?

His problem is, whichever course is taken, the weakness of biblical claims and yarns is now so plainly exposed to scrutiny that the theologian has nowhere safe left to hide, (metaphorically).

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:42:56 UTC | #937713

Sjoerd Westenborg's Avatar Comment 8 by Sjoerd Westenborg

It’s so simple even an atheist gets it.

Should I feel offended?

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:43:00 UTC | #937714

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 9 by brighterstill

Again, if Catholics don’t even believe anyone actually goes to hell anymore, then, forgive me, but what the hell is the point of the Catholic Church!

Hahahaah! I kind of feel sorry for this guy - he's twisting and squirming on the end of his rope. He's watching all the risible dogma tumble down around him and asking what's left? He's basically saying "If a Catholic can't have his dogma, he might as well be an atheist!"

Slow clap. While Cardinal Pell clearly doesn't think there's any big problem accepting evolution and still believing in myths, this guy is basically a page out of the God Delusion: evolution really does go hand in hand with atheism, if the foundation of your religion is a bunch of factually incorrect propositions.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:44:34 UTC | #937717

brian thomson's Avatar Comment 10 by brian thomson

The article ends with a remark about the "Springtime of Vatican II". Considering that Vatican II was well over 40 years ago, how long until Summer? Or will there be a Vatican III in the Autumn, at which the Cardinals, in reaction to the unfitness of Catholicism for the real world, rationalise their religion out of existence entirely? Not that it would matter, I suppose: it would be just another example of how "sophisticated theologians" such as Cardinal Pell, W.L. Craig, M. Bunting, and so on are distanced from the beliefs of the "common or garden" believer.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:49:32 UTC | #937720

Quine's Avatar Comment 11 by Quine

The trouble the Cardinal ran into is the modern world, itself, where he has to deal with facts. It was so much easier when the Church could just make things up (e.g. Original Sin) and people had to believe those things with no means of checking for truth. Well, that was then, and this is now.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:50:28 UTC | #937721

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 12 by irate_atheist

Comment 11 by Quine -

The trouble the Cardinal ran into is the modern world, itself, where he has to deal with facts. It was so much easier when the Church could just make things up (e.g. Original Sin) and people had to believe those things with no means of checking for truth. Well, that was then, and this is now.

Absolutely. Which is why education - especially training in critical thinking - is so important in the battle against religion and other superstition.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 14:12:46 UTC | #937732

stellier68's Avatar Comment 13 by stellier68

Blockquote It’s so simple even an atheist gets it.

Should I feel offended?

...Of course not, remember we atheists are the ones clinging to easy made-up metaphysical answers.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 14:26:04 UTC | #937735

peter mayhew's Avatar Comment 14 by peter mayhew

Being religious was so much simpler before all that knowledge crap came along. Sigh: I was born 5000 years too late.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 14:30:50 UTC | #937736

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 15 by Agrajag

Comment 5 by Luke_B

He referred to Richard as a 'dolt'!? That's 'Professor Dolt' I believe...

And don't forget "the insufferable Richard Dawkins" later in the diatribe. That helps me make up my mind about who won this argument. ;-)
Apparently Pell suffered him a bit too well!
Steve

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 14:38:30 UTC | #937740

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 16 by strangebrew

Comment 7 by inquisador

Perhaps Matt could explain to his readers how he would have answered these tricky questions

Nah!...bunnies like Matt have neither the wit nor the will to answer the real questions concerning their mythology!

They much prefer being told what to believe...by old kiddy fiddlers in dresses...they find that altogether far more pleasing and satisfying!...certainly the way it pans out the delusional presuppositions of Pell et al...took a rather nasty beating at the hands of rational logic...

Matt found that uncomfortable to the point of lashing out at RD because obviously RD won game set and match! Matt is reeling cos that is not the way it was supposed to go! The premise, if not conclusion, of the debate appears to de-construct katolik' dogma at source and an actual katolik' Cardinal stood by and watched while katolik' bullshite burned!!! the Cardinal actually gave the impression that all xian religion is based on metaphor and nonsense and is was therefore inflammable.

This is not what Matt wanted to hear! ...Matt is licking wounds and thinking that his very ego and reason for existence has been inexplicably catapulted into a world that has no time or interest in his mangy little soul!

Matt is a sad little soldier!

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 14:40:36 UTC | #937741

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 17 by Tyler Durden

"Well Adam and Eve are terms that mean ‘life’ and ‘earth’. Like an Everyman. It’s a beautiful, sophisticated, mythological account. It’s not science. But it’s there to tell us two or three things. First of all that God created the world and universe. Secondly that the key to the whole universe is humans." - George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney.

And yet it existed for 13.5 billion years without us.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 14:43:53 UTC | #937742

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 18 by Schrodinger's Cat

Exactly, Mr. Dawkins! It’s so simple even an atheist gets it. Our Church teaches that every child born into this world enters in the state of sin—Original Sin. Our Church teaches that Original Sin must be wiped clean from the child’s soul so that he can become a child of God and an heir to heaven. Our Church teaches that the only way to remove Original Sin is through Baptism, arguably the most important of all the seven Sacraments since without it we cannot receive grace, can receive no other sacraments, and cannot enter heaven.

So Dawkins is quite right: Why in God’s name would Baptism be all that important if Adam and Eve—our first parents, who committed that original sin for which purpose Christ instituted Baptism—didn’t even exist?

Oh dear. Sometimes both Catholics and atheists get it hopelessly wrong. Whatever the merits or not of the Bible....I'm a firm believer in arguing against what it actually says.

'Sin' is not some list of wrongdoings to be wiped clean. It's not some mysterious stuff that gets attached to you at birth. It is described time and again as being the actual physical state of creatures. A modern day equivalent would simply be 'subject to decay'. Paul uses the term 'perishable'.

Its the Catholic chuch that twisted that to some doctrine about how one is born with a list of 'sins' a mile long all thanks to Adam. But what you actually inherited from the past is not any 'moral wrongdoings' but simply that perishable nature. How can the Catholic church get this so wrong, when it's spelled out in detail in Paul's letter ?

Baptism has nothing to do with 'original sin'. It is symbolic of the Christian belief of dying to this world and being 'born again' and taking on the 'imperishable' nature. There is nothing anywhere in the Bible about baptising infants to wipe away 'original sin'.......in fact that doctrine is totally at odds with the whole definition of 'sin'.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 15:40:47 UTC | #937749

wiz220's Avatar Comment 19 by wiz220

Secondly that the key to the whole universe is humans.

Yikes, that sort of view really worries me. It's the basis for saying that we can do whatever we want no matter how destructive.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 15:42:14 UTC | #937750

DrDroid's Avatar Comment 20 by DrDroid

The real intent of the article was not to say that RD might actually be right, but rather to say that Pell was wrong to deny the standard Catholic interpretation of the Bible. And in the process take a swipe at Richard by calling him a "dolt".

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 15:46:44 UTC | #937751

hitchens_jnr's Avatar Comment 21 by hitchens_jnr

This article has taught me two things:

1) That the author believes that the repetition of received dogma is more important than honesty;

and

2) That there are Some People in the World who believe that Incessant Capitalisation of Key Words lends Credibility to an Argument.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:01:05 UTC | #937756

gr8hands's Avatar Comment 22 by gr8hands

But according to the pope, cardinals are the only true interpreters of doctrine. So if you are a good catholic, you have to accept their interpretations, since they are the ones with the hot line to god.

Mr. Matt seems confused on this point.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:06:16 UTC | #937758

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 23 by mordacious1

... if Catholics don’t even believe anyone actually goes to hell anymore, then, forgive me, but what the hell is the point of the Catholic Church!

To protect pedophiles?

It's telling that he feels that the whole point of the catholic church was to damn people to hell, what a miserable institution.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:06:32 UTC | #937759

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 24 by mordacious1

Comment 22 by gr8hands

since they are the ones with the hot line to god.

...and the really big hats.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:09:27 UTC | #937760

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 25 by hungarianelephant

Comment 21 by hitchens_jnr :

2) That there are Some People in the World who believe that Incessant Capitalisation of Key Words lends Credibility to an Argument.

Germans?

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:14:18 UTC | #937761

refuteist's Avatar Comment 26 by refuteist

I do not see how this Pell character got to where he is today. For a priest of such apparent eminence, he seemed not to have his wits about him, have any intellectual spark or apparent enthusiasm for the subject under discussion,despite having worked in this field for most of his life! I suspect its a case of "piss poor preparation makes for piss poor performance".

As for Editor Matt, merely to promote nostalgia for mindless beliefs past whilst flinging insults at the good Professor, merely emphasizes the emptiness of the belief. Perhaps he can see, in his heart that the argument is lost and cannot figure another way out.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:15:23 UTC | #937763

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 27 by glenister_m

"It’s so simple even an atheist gets it. "

I thought the idea that 'god doesn't exist' was so simple that Catholics would get it, after all lots of children figure it out. Doesn't seem to be the case though.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:33:43 UTC | #937766

dando42's Avatar Comment 28 by dando42

This is an extraordinary article.

Mr. Matt is obviously an intelligent man who clearly spells out the essential components that underpin the Catholic faith. This is that Jesus's crucifiction and resurrection is only relevant if there is original sin and original sin requires and actual Mr. Adam and Mrs Eve. Everything else, heaven, miracles, hell, baptism, etc follows from that.

He then, correctly, points out that a belief in evolution, cannot be compatible with a Catholic worldview, because evolution does not have an actual Adam and Eve. Simply said:

Adam & Eve true than Catholic faith true

or

Evolution true than Catholic faith not true.

I have seldom read such an honest and straightforward article from a religious person who through the strength of his own argumentation totally demolishes the foundation of his own faith. .

Mr. Matt, you nearly are a full blooded atheist; just that last little step of acknowleging that evolution is true and welcome to our flock.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:45:04 UTC | #937767

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 29 by aquilacane

What this author doesn't realize, as he list all of the examples as to why Pell was wrong, is the fact that neither he, the church nor Pell have any fucking evidence. Shut up! Who cares if Pell's fairytale is different from the corporate fairytale? They are all fucking fairytales.

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:49:05 UTC | #937769

rationalmind's Avatar Comment 30 by rationalmind

Comment 27 by glenister_m :

"It’s so simple even an atheist gets it. "

I thought the idea that 'god doesn't exist' was so simple that Catholics would get it, after all lots of children figure it out. Doesn't seem to be the case though.

I wasn't exposed to catholicism but children really do work this out for themselves. I can remember standing outside the house in which we then lived and telling my mother that I didn't want to go to sunday school because I didn't believe and that science was a better explanation. We moved house when I was young so I know I could not have been more than six years old.

My parents are both humanists now! I brought them up well. :-)

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 16:51:10 UTC | #937771