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← Johann Hari on Tony Livesey

Johann Hari on Tony Livesey - Comments

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 1 by Richard Dawkins

Johann is superb in this broadcast. Listen to him and cheer. And this was recorded before the latest outrage, the pope's Hitler speech in Edinburgh. I'd love to hear what Johann makes of that!


Thu, 16 Sep 2010 15:06:17 UTC | #519032

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 2 by AtheistEgbert

Apologists apologising for low will they go...

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 15:25:58 UTC | #519056

JumpinJackFlash's Avatar Comment 3 by JumpinJackFlash

Arrest the Pope.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 16:22:07 UTC | #519109

Jon McGill's Avatar Comment 4 by Jon McGill

How about if we Atheists would elect a "leader"... would the Queen of England give him or her an official "State" reception? I would nominate Richard as our pontiff ;-) But I'm pretty sure he would never accept such a position because it just doesn't make sense to have a leader for one particular opinion. Or does it? Maybe a leader for the promotion of scientific advancement?

Updated: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 16:37:30 UTC | #519117

nickthelight's Avatar Comment 5 by nickthelight

Tony Livesey - didn't he used to be editor of the Daily Sport?!

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 16:49:36 UTC | #519137

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 6 by chawinwords

Wow, all those millions of pounds spent by the taxpayer to cover the cost of a visit from an old cult's religious leader. If so, why the taxpayer covering the cost and not the followers of the cult.

Some how, that just doesn't seem fair to all the members of the other various religous cults, and especially, not fair to those citizens not a member of any such cults.

Perhaps, those of you taxpayers not so addicted should tell your P.M. to "KMA." You know, Kiss M. A."

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 17:02:47 UTC | #519149

PrimeNumbers's Avatar Comment 7 by PrimeNumbers

Johann is indeed superb. More pressing questions posed to the defenders of child rapists is needed.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 17:03:11 UTC | #519150

biorays's Avatar Comment 8 by biorays

link text

The link above (world map for 'age of sexual consent') caused me to wonder how a religious 'head of state' legally sanctions laws relating to 'age of sexual consent' amongst a population and clergy spread around the globe? Is there some scriptural reference it relies, upon which it bases its state legislation for the 'age of consent'? Does it even have state specific laws - or is its belief exactly one and the same? Or is it more like muslim nations which vary their 'age of consent' according to which ever nation they are in? And what of those church members who flit from one state to another?

My points are:

Can religion ever have a legal framework on a worldwide scale? Will there always be a discrepancy between secular legislation and that considered to be founded upon some antique belief system and accompanying manual? Are both religion and secular law destined to acknowledge discrepancies or ought one take precedence over the other in a future world? Ought we be contemplating universal laws and has religious doctrine a legitimate position in forming them?

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 17:04:00 UTC | #519152

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 9 by God fearing Atheist

Johann Hari:- Atheism's rottweiler!

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:05:31 UTC | #519209

Roedy's Avatar Comment 10 by Roedy

If Benny Hinn, Peter Popoff, Ernest Angely (famous Christian con men) came to visit, should they too be given the royal treatment? Granted the costumes are not as colorful, but equally tacky.

Imagine the pope visiting but wearing jeans and tee shirt. People are reacting to an extreme degree to the costume.

How do we treat the Aga Khan, the head of the Ismaili muslims? At least he uses his fabulous wealth to build hospitals rather than gold costumes, jewelry and an elaborate palace. The pope should not be treated any better that he is.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:21:37 UTC | #519226

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 11 by Stevehill


"How about if we Atheists would elect a "leader"... would the Queen of England give him or her an official "State" reception?"

How about if we Britons could elect a leader? We're not allowed to: our Head of State is a hereditary position. And the Queen, as Defender of the Faith, is not even doing that job very well, since she swore an oath on her Coronation to keep all other faiths out of the country!

But I'm enjoying my new role as a "Nazi". Britain is getting to see the Pope in his true colours, and yet again the Vatican is alienating its own faithful by the million.

Jesus wept (probably).

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:59:13 UTC | #519256

Jon McGill's Avatar Comment 12 by Jon McGill


But I'm enjoying my new role as a "Nazi".


That reminds me of a funny story. I'm an American, and I live here in Finland... anyway I have a job which has me visiting the Rhineland in Germany quite often (I also speak German). Anyway, some of my German colleagues keep telling me about how a lot of unexploded bombs from WWII days are still being found in back yards (still in 2010, can you believe it?).... as in "the same back yard where I used to play as a kid" - kind of thing. Anyway, one of my other colleagues is a Brit, and I could swear that the Germans who tell us this story about the bomb excavations, tell it with a twinge of anger (though greatly damped) towards us Americans and Brits who caused the bomb to end up there in the first place. Isn't that amazing??? Anger towards Brits??? What about anger towards Hitler??? I mean considering the reasons for the bombs in the first place, it's hard to believe that people let this kind of emotion guide their thinking.

No hard feelings towards Germans out there... I'm just commenting on human nature, I guess...

By the way, to the real topic of this thread... Ijust listened to Johann's debate with the Catholic guy and I think he did a great job!

Updated: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 19:19:55 UTC | #519272

John Jones's Avatar Comment 13 by John Jones

I think that as most people here are Americans they need to be aware that religion poses no scientific threat in the UK, unlike America.

So the frenetic dismay that an American might feel about UK religious Pope shenanigins is always going to look a little out of place here in the UK. America is a polarised country, rich and poor, justice and the lack of it, free enterpise and other forms of social gambling, etc. Things are more evenly paced here.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 20:36:05 UTC | #519340

Wulfgar's Avatar Comment 14 by Wulfgar

"let's move on"...

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 22:33:19 UTC | #519441

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 15 by Stevehill

He gets off the plane and starts spouting about Nazis and atheists in the same breath, in the country where my late, atheist father flew Spitfires in WW2 attacking his relatives, so that the Pope might be free to express such views today.

Which I find personally offensive in the extreme.

It's contemptible. And the man's a geriatric imbecile - or appallingly advised - if he thinks this sort of language is going to win him more friends than he loses.

This man is a disaster for his church. Every time he opens his mouth, it seem to be for the sole purpose of putting another foot in it. In the name of God, go....

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 22:35:04 UTC | #519442

Mayhemm's Avatar Comment 16 by Mayhemm

Johann is great....when he's allowed to speak. It seems like he'd just be about to make his point when the moderator would cut him off so they could "move on". A tactic he rarely used on Jamison.

This program would have benefited greatly from a longer length. Then there wouldn't have been so much drivel about "moving on".

The apologetics and denial Jamison was spewing almost made me lose my lunch. Hardly a balanced discussion.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 00:09:24 UTC | #519498

Dean Buchanan's Avatar Comment 17 by Dean Buchanan

Who is this Tony fellow?
He (paraphrase)'Didn't want to talk about specific details'. generalities will just have to do?
This is exactly what trained politicians, theologians, and people who want to find comfort in a simple narrative thrive on.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 00:31:00 UTC | #519505

sbooder's Avatar Comment 18 by sbooder

Although I agree with Johann Harris and admire the passion, I am fearful that impartial listeners may have found him ranting and bullying, by constantly shouting over the other guest, and repeating the phrase google it, google it.

As anyone who uses google on a regular bases, will know that one has to be rather discriminatory, if you do not get my meaning then try googleing Moon Landings or 9/11, you will soon get what I am talking about. I would have liked him to have sited particular information and where to get it.

I would have just liked to have heard a more calm engagement. I realise I will soon be getting a backlash about my perceived take on the show, but it is just my opinion.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 09:02:47 UTC | #519659

Aztek's Avatar Comment 19 by Aztek

This Jamison made my blood boil. What a snake tongued weasel of an apologetic. Just trying to evade, evade and evade the questions. Typical answers, "we need more diverse opinions", "your opinions are simply not true", "we need to focus on the positive things during the Pope's visit, not the negative", "The amount of Catholic believers makes what the church does right" and so forth.

He practically just said that we need more dialogue. Talk, talk, talk, that's the only thing these priests ever want to do. They move their mouths but nothing sensible ever comes out. He even tried to claim that the diverse protective systems in countries make it hard for the church to implement the same kind of rules everywhere it operates. How hard is it to implement rules banning the rape of children? I bet raping children is wrong wherever you go on this planet, and should therefore not be an issue when implementing rules protecting children.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 15:00:20 UTC | #519909

Kiwi's Avatar Comment 20 by Kiwi

I have done a rough count of time used in this interview up to the 30 minute mark on iPlayer.

Interviewer: 4.38 Hari: 5.12 Jamison: 7.10 Callers: 3.36

This sums to 20.36

Some times are allocated to both as they were talking over each other.

But it seems to me that Hari got significantly less airtime than Jamison.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 23:34:57 UTC | #520287

kmoposse's Avatar Comment 21 by kmoposse

How could it be fathomable that Ratzi is simply there for addressing his followers for public relations, only to avoid the biggest issue within the church in his speach? We have seen others avoid or quickly move over an issue (Bill Clinton on his affair, steroid abusers in the MLB, Richard Nixon resigning, etc). Only if we are persistent will he have to fully recognize the situation and real truth will come from his lips. Notice how Fr. Jamison was ready to move on to the next topic before it could be carried any further. I'm not trying to say he has anything to do with the cover up, but it is amazing how much avoidance is being done by the church which stands for or believes in "righteousness", "truth", and especially "confession".

Mon, 20 Sep 2010 08:56:56 UTC | #521722