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So this Pell v Dawkins episode, which I understand was the highest rating QandA to date,
was a bit of an anticlimax, Dawkins was jet lagged, and somewhat flustered and Pell seemed to be in an advanced stage of dementia, starting to answer a question but then didn't go anywhere, and then launch into a grandpa Simpson style anecdote, and inserting the word Hitler to bolster his case.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by horst View Post

So this Pell v Dawkins episode, which I understand was the highest rating QandA to date,
was a bit of an anticlimax, Dawkins was jet lagged, and somewhat flustered and Pell seemed to be in an advanced stage of dementia, starting to answer a question but then didn't go anywhere, and then launch into a grandpa Simpson style anecdote, and inserting the word Hitler to bolster his case.

yeah it was a bit disappoint. Pell basically made all the same arguements that Dawkins refutes in God Delusion.

also they shouldn't call it an audience, they should say 'let's take a question fromcheer squad A'

also Pell seemed to temper a lot of his answers. Apparently atheists do go to Heaven. I'm not sure if he actually believes that.
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I was expecting some sort of higher level discussion, but Pell did seem to meander with his answers a fair bit. (I suppose that could be because religion inherently cannot answer most questions with any degree of satisfaction - - BIAS ALERT). Dawkins did seem a bit incredulous at some of the more basic questions put to him, and I thought that the whole 5 mins of "durka durr r u a athest or teh agnostic hurr inconsistent hurr" could have been done away with. On the whole, it was just another 3am drunken religion vs science debate which I have been witness to so many times.

His comments on gay marriage just make me want to vomit in rage. I can't believe this person, with these outdated views, has such an influence on this topic.
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Dawkins was woeful.........basically his argument centres around the fact that scienece can't prove or disprove anything but believing in God is still stupid. I thought Pell made him look like a 7 year old child who didn't get his own way. Pell also has a sense of humour while Dawkins couldn't get a rise in a brothel
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Oh really buffed? Dawkins is a twat, no doubt. But at least he didn't come up with this pearler.

From: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainme...#ixzz1rgNpQj52

Pell's argument during an exchange over evolution was downright baffling. He started by saying he "probably" accepts that humans descended from Neanderthals.

"Neanderthals?" piped up Dawkins, jumping disdainfully on the slip. "They were our cousins. We can't be descended from our cousins."

"These are extant cousins?" shot back Pell. "Where will I find a Neanderthal today if they're our cousins?"

Dawkins: "They're extinct."

Pell: "Exactly. That's my point."
"Your point is that because they're extant they can't be our cousins?" Dawkins asked, by now incredulous.

"I'm not really much fussed," said Pell.

"That's clear," said Dawkins.


Atheists go to heaven now? How convenient.... That's not even part of his own churches theology.

Oh and the Hitler argument... Please! I'm pretty certain Hitler was Christian, if not he was religious.

This guy must be Abbott's best buddy.

Oh and the "preparing some young boys" comment, followed by the pause, was TV gold.

Last edited by Portal: 11-Apr-12 at 09:31am

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why should anyone live by the church's rules if Pell admits that most of its bible stories are metaphorical, that science can explain everything besides 'why' the universe exists, and that atheists get into heaven anyway?

also lol'd at his 'the church cares for people with AIDS' comment

yeah as long as they don't use condoms hey Georgie Boy
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I forgot to @ grandpa simpson-esque ramblings

so true

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I've found it quite easy to find other things to do on Monday nights this year.

I thought the bast description of Q&A ever was "like the Jerry Springer show for people with degrees" but then I read this:

"the vacillation of opposing monologues, interspersed by tediously predictable questions, and smattered with a derisive and frankly disgusting Twitter-feed".

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true, the twitter feed was pretty wrong
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I'm with l-a on this. It's like watching this forum, but I think sometimes people on this forum do a better than Q&A panelists.

But at the insistence of a work colleague I watched this episode on iView.

I partly agree with buffed on this, I thought Dawkins did a really poor job. I don't think he did science any favours. Pell always comes across as arrogant, and I dislike the Cartholic church and I don't really like Pell very much, but apart from the weird neanderthal and intellectual capacity of jews things I was reasonably impressed with Pell. Dawkins actually seemed the more arrogant of the two.

This is the first time I'd heard Dawkins at any length and I was really disappointed. What really surprised me is he didn't seem to know Darwin properly, and that confuses me given he describes evolutionary biology as his life's work. He did a particularly poor job of explaining the concepts of randomness.

What surprised me even more is that Dawkins came across as more ideological than Pell, and it seems a really cold ideology as well.

The best challenges to Pell came from Tony Jones.

Now it may be that Pell was playing a masterful PR game, but the thing about Pell that really surprised me was his metaphysical approach. On the other hand Dawkins doesn't seem to have a metaphysics of anything and while science might be capable of rejecting metaphysics for a purely epistemological world view, he seems to leave us with nihilism. I haven't read his books so he may go much further than this.

Pell is obviously a relatively advanced theologan. I particularly liked that Pell didn't try to explain away the question of human suffering, which to me is the great hole in the Christian notion of God. Pell seemed to be saying don't take the Bible literally and draw on Christianity as a way of leading a more ethical and compassionate life. If only that was how the Catholic church actually operated.

And we could do without Pell's obvious deference to the political right and his illinformed opinions on climate change.

The cheer squad audience was telling that for most people this is a battle of ideologies and not an effort to try to understand an alternate world view, which is how Q&A always ends up.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by claude glass View Post


The best challenges to Pell came from Tony Jones.

I watch this on a semi regular basis (I still haven't seen this episode) and generally speaking this is the case.

the audience questions are nothing more than fapping their ideology or attempting to out-wit a pollie with a daft ill-thought-out question, the challenges from other panellists are nothing more than grandstanding and an attempt to get on the shorts for that week. Tony I have always thought is an excellent interviewer, without him I am confident this show would have been binned long ago.

I haven't watched it since the Adelaide one with Amanda Vanstone as a panellist, who very nearly caused the remote control to be embedded into the TV by a good few inches.

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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Originally Posted by Bracko View Post

the audience questions are nothing more than fapping their ideology or attempting to out-wit a pollie with a daft ill-thought-out question, the challenges from other panellists are nothing more than grandstanding and an attempt to get on the shorts for that week. Tony I have always thought is an excellent interviewer, without him I am confident this show would have been binned long ago.

The audience always seems to be mainly populated by conservative 1st year university debating team members.
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the audience questions are most likely presented to the panelists before hand..

tony has the opportunity to ask follow up questions and probe more... the audience doesn't
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It was an especially ugly audience. Like, physical ugliness. The whole retreating laughter of Pell's preparing young English boys comment was noticeable, people are like oh yeah shouldn't laugh about child abuse.

I thought both of them did well, it was definitely many steps above the average debate between believer and non. That people in the audience, twitter, fb and IRL feel the need to get worked up over this issue belies the mostly calm and rational way these two debated. Noone's changing anyone's minds, it's just a good opportunity to hear the opposing case from someone who knows their stuff and can articulate.
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Originally Posted by walkdogz View Post

It was an especially ugly audience. Like, physical ugliness. The whole retreating laughter of Pell's preparing young English boys comment was noticeable, people are like oh yeah shouldn't laugh about child abuse.

I thought both of them did well, it was definitely many steps above the average debate between believer and non. That people in the audience, twitter, fb and IRL feel the need to get worked up over this issue belies the mostly calm and rational way these two debated. Noone's changing anyone's minds, it's just a good opportunity to hear the opposing case from someone who knows their stuff and can articulate.

I didn't think Dawkins looked calm. I thought he looked aggravated and irritable. He is a self styled professional science communicator and he failed in my view.
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^^^
Agreed, he was very touchy and even though I'm on his side so to speak after that performance I have no interest in hearing or reading anything from him again.

As for the twit feed I find myself tuning in to Q+A less and less and that is the reason why, I had to listen to Monday's show flat on back on the lounge, why do Twitter people honestly think others give a rats ring for their opinions?
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^^^
Agreed, he was very touchy and even though I'm on his side so to speak after that performance I have no interest in hearing or reading anything from him again.

As for the twit feed I find myself tuning in to Q+A less and less and that is the reason why, I had to listen to Monday's show flat on back on the lounge, why do Twitter people honestly think others give a rats ring for their opinions?

It's their 140 characters of fame.
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The show really could've used someone like Alain de Botton to give some perspective on the value of religion and science without rabidly attacking them. It seemed a bit like one fundamentalist vs another.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by baax View Post

^^^
Agreed, he was very touchy and even though I'm on his side so to speak after that performance I have no interest in hearing or reading anything from him again.

It's a bit rough writing someone off based on a single extremely jet-lagged performance.

Anyone with some level of experience with sleep deprivation would know that it makes logic and reasoned conversation much harder.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

It's their 140 characters of fame.

isn't that the point of Twitter?

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well done sofu, perhaps your most offensive post yet!

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Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

It's a bit rough writing someone off based on a single extremely jet-lagged performance.

Anyone with some level of experience with sleep deprivation would know that it makes logic and reasoned conversation much harder.

that's true, but what's the point of doing it then?
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Because he agreed to it. He got irritable at an extreme lack of respect from the smug Christian audience members who were laughing snidely at perfectly acceptable scientific concepts. He was calm for the most part, youve cherry picked a few examples and claim that was his demeanour the entire time which is wrong.
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Well if you are asking what was the point with an atheist arguing with a theologian, the answer is none. You can't have a rational discourse with someone who denies the value of rational discourse. They lack the ability to understand when their arguments are less or more valid than the person they are arguing with so it's an exercise in futility.

The only way to get them to understand whether they are winning the argument or not is to teach them logic and if they believe in faith based reasoning over rational thought then seriously whats the point?

If you are asking why he did the Q&A show then I'd probably poor planning on his part as he isn't used to the amount of jetlag he would have coming to Australia compared to say flying to the US from the UK. He should probably have planned for a days rest before going on the debate but was likely over committed to social functions.

I just thought it was amusing that everyones criticisms of his performance were basically a list of symptoms of sleep deprivation.
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Any man that makes Pell seem humble has fucked up imo.

I liked Scott Stevens's piece for the Drum that covered some of this. He thought it would have been far better to have a full panel like usual, with Dawkins and Pell, but with some other guests that dot the scientific/theological spectrum. John Shelby Spong would've been good, and Damon Young (Australian philosopher) perhaps and a Christian/Muslim/Judaist scientist as well.

The fact is that there will always be people who will believe that there is a God, and there will also be those who need a religious doctrine to measure themselves against. There will always be a tension between atheists and believers, scientists and theologians (laypeople or experts or others). This isn't a bad thing. In fact I see it as a good thing to have contrarian forces on all sides, it should mean that there is a far more rigorous analysis for the points that are being made.

The problem is when believers start to assert that what they believe falsifies scientific evidence (in debates about medicine and health or climate science etc.). Or when they try to insert their brand of faith into education institutions as being the one and only true brand, above all other beliefs (or non-beliefs as it were), and by trickery try to have their way of thinking be taught as the only way of thinking.

Not that believers should have no part in the debates about important issues like birth control, abortion, climate change, stem-cell research, gay-marriage, climate change etc. It would be anti-democratic and anti-free speech for the multiplicity of religious voices to be excluded. Though they should certainly concede, and show some intellectual integrity, that when they do argue about certain matters, and insist that their will overcome all others, that they are arguing from the perspective of pure faith based speculation (unless they have other qualifications of course) and not from any empirically observable rationale.

This is why Stevens's suggestion of having a wider variety of guests on the other night's QandA makes more sense: there can be no doubt that Dawkins and Pell do not speak on behalf of all atheists and Catholics alike. They simply don't. I know Catholics who are far to the left of Pell, I know atheists who are far more concilliatory than Dawkins. Diversity of views is what I is sayin' yo.

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I mostly agree with Claude in relation to this week's show.

Overall q and a is a massive disappointment. Too many politicians, too few thinkers. It's like the abc has an obsession with politics. It's getting a bit tedious over time.

Bring back slavoz zizec, Brendan o'neil and then resurrect Christopher hitches. Get bill o'reilly and bill maher over here. Sure you would disagree with a few of them at least, but it would be better tv than this shit.
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I usually like QandA if they have some intelligent people on and pollies who can produce original thought. Don't really see the need to bash the hell out of it.

Atleast we get some 'intelligent' debate shows on TV rather than more re-runs of some inane laugh track comedy.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nardo View Post

I mostly agree with Claude in relation to this week's show.

Overall q and a is a massive disappointment. Too many politicians, too few thinkers. It's like the abc has an obsession with politics. It's getting a bit tedious over time.

Bring back slavoz zizec, Brendan o'neil and then resurrect Christopher hitches. Get bill o'reilly and bill maher over here. Sure you would disagree with a few of them at least, but it would be better tv than this shit.


I agree, get rid of the pollies. None of them ever talk out of school. It is tedious. I do understand the objective of the show to begin with was for the community to have greater access to pollies but surely the rationale for it starting doesn't have to be why it is still on air.

Some politicians are great at explaining their party's positions, which is good, this needs to be done, but most of the time the views expressed by them do not shine any further light on an issue. I much prefer the Qanda panels that have a variety of guests from different disciplines outside of politics.
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Im pretty sure Christpher Hitchens was meant to be out here at the same conference Dawkins is speaking at, but alas he didnt make it

Hitchens would have destroyed Pell as he is a much better communicator than Dawkins. Dawkins always comes across as irritable when other people say stupid things, or when stupid people dont understand pretty basic scientific fact....like Pell's idea that we come from neanderthals and his mis-understanding of evolution.

Mind you, Pell really let the cat out of the bag on a few occassions. For example, admitting that the story of Adam and Eve was a made up story to teach lessons to others...When Tony Jones then asked if all the other stories, such as the parting of the seas are also made up, he just refused to answer...either way he had shot himself in the foot...he basically admitted the bible is a collection of stories to enable societal cohesion and teaching, not an accual account of historical fact.

The discussion was also interesting when Pell accepted that humans evolved from non-humans. While he got the family tree completely wrong he did accept that we evolved from animals. The subsequent discussion about when the "soul" came about was another slippery slope for Pell, that he tried to discuss but in the end hoped the question would just move on as he had been trapped...if god had created only animals first, as Pell accepts, then the story of creation is incorrect. He also tried to argue that if we did descend from another species then there must have been a first human [presumably Adam]...but again, thats not how evolution works.

That's the problem for Pell and religion as it tries to accept science while maintaining the bible's teachings, which are essentially pre-science...at least in the locale that the bible was written. If they reject what is commonly accepted and proven science they are shown to be completely out of touch with reality, but if they accept it, then the inevitable conclusions destroy the basis of their beliefs.
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Quote:

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Well if you are asking what was the point with an atheist arguing with a theologian, the answer is none. You can't have a rational discourse with someone who denies the value of rational discourse. They lack the ability to understand when their arguments are less or more valid than the person they are arguing with so it's an exercise in futility.

The only way to get them to understand whether they are winning the argument or not is to teach them logic and if they believe in faith based reasoning over rational thought then seriously whats the point?

If you are asking why he did the Q&A show then I'd probably poor planning on his part as he isn't used to the amount of jetlag he would have coming to Australia compared to say flying to the US from the UK. He should probably have planned for a days rest before going on the debate but was likely over committed to social functions.

I just thought it was amusing that everyones criticisms of his performance were basically a list of symptoms of sleep deprivation.

You know, I travel for internationally for work, and I don't have the luxury of blaming jetlag for poor performance. The reason for his poor performance while understandable, is not acceptable to me.

I agree with your first point, the initial reason I didn't watch this is it seemed an exercise in futility. However, after watching it, I came away with more respect for Pell than I expected, and less for Dawkins.
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Originally Posted by lowkeyandnude View Post

Im pretty sure Christpher Hitchens was meant to be out here at the same conference Dawkins is speaking at, but alas he didnt make it

Hitchens would have destroyed Pell as he is a much better communicator than Dawkins. Dawkins always comes across as irritable when other people say stupid things, or when stupid people dont understand pretty basic scientific fact....like Pell's idea that we come from neanderthals and his mis-understanding of evolution.

Mind you, Pell really let the cat out of the bag on a few occassions. For example, admitting that the story of Adam and Eve was a made up story to teach lessons to others...When Tony Jones then asked if all the other stories, such as the parting of the seas are also made up, he just refused to answer...either way he had shot himself in the foot...he basically admitted the bible is a collection of stories to enable societal cohesion and teaching, not an accual account of historical fact.

The discussion was also interesting when Pell accepted that humans evolved from non-humans. While he got the family tree completely wrong he did accept that we evolved from animals. The subsequent discussion about when the "soul" came about was another slippery slope for Pell, that he tried to discuss but in the end hoped the question would just move on as he had been trapped...if god had created only animals first, as Pell accepts, then the story of creation is incorrect. He also tried to argue that if we did descend from another species then there must have been a first human [presumably Adam]...but again, thats not how evolution works.

That's the problem for Pell and religion as it tries to accept science while maintaining the bible's teachings, which are essentially pre-science...at least in the locale that the bible was written. If they reject what is commonly accepted and proven science they are shown to be completely out of touch with reality, but if they accept it, then the inevitable conclusions destroy the basis of their beliefs.

See, I didn't regard those as slippery slope issues, I regarded them as mature theological responses to the issue of the allegorical nature of the bible. The more christians do that, the more they admit that notions of god sit outside science and are frameworks for living well, the more I'll listen. I have no doubt that catholic cardinals discuss these issues at that level amongst themselves. It doesn't really matter if there is a fuzzy boundary at the intersection of faith and science as long as they recognise it's fuzzy.

I thought Pell argued that the soul was sentience, and that it was a continuum. I'd say the reason he stopped himself is because he would have been aware that many watching would be literal believers. I found it very interesting to hear him go in the directions he did, although it does seem to demonstrate he lives something of a contradiction - to me that's a problem for him, given he spoke about heaven being a destination for those who live honestly.

I am an atheist, but I think atheists don't get anywhere by trying to demolish religion. The argument should actually be about the church acting morally, which it often doesn't, rather than trying to beat faith over the head with science.
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Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

What really surprised me is he didn't seem to know Darwin properly, and that confuses me given he describes evolutionary biology as his life's work. He did a particularly poor job of explaining the concepts of randomness.

Surely Dawkins should have had a cookie cutter response to the whole Darwin being a christian comment from Pell (and the fact that it isnt true), he would have heard it a 1000 times before. I find that comment really interesting in itself, that by Darwin believing in god somehow nullifies his work on evolution, that all the work on evolution since is invalidated because of one man's belief.
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Originally Posted by lowkeyandnude View Post

Im pretty sure Christpher Hitchens was meant to be out here at the same conference Dawkins is speaking at, but alas he didnt make it

Hitchens would have destroyed Pell as he is a much better communicator than Dawkins. Dawkins always comes across as irritable when other people say stupid things, or when stupid people dont understand pretty basic scientific fact....like Pell's idea that we come from neanderthals and his mis-understanding of evolution.

Mind you, Pell really let the cat out of the bag on a few occassions. For example, admitting that the story of Adam and Eve was a made up story to teach lessons to others...When Tony Jones then asked if all the other stories, such as the parting of the seas are also made up, he just refused to answer...either way he had shot himself in the foot...he basically admitted the bible is a collection of stories to enable societal cohesion and teaching, not an accual account of historical fact.

The discussion was also interesting when Pell accepted that humans evolved from non-humans. While he got the family tree completely wrong he did accept that we evolved from animals. The subsequent discussion about when the "soul" came about was another slippery slope for Pell, that he tried to discuss but in the end hoped the question would just move on as he had been trapped...if god had created only animals first, as Pell accepts, then the story of creation is incorrect. He also tried to argue that if we did descend from another species then there must have been a first human [presumably Adam]...but again, thats not how evolution works.

That's the problem for Pell and religion as it tries to accept science while maintaining the bible's teachings, which are essentially pre-science...at least in the locale that the bible was written. If they reject what is commonly accepted and proven science they are shown to be completely out of touch with reality, but if they accept it, then the inevitable conclusions destroy the basis of their beliefs.

Catholicism has long held that the story of creation is bullshit and that evolution is real, just guided by god. I've always felt that new militant atheists like Dawkins a simply beating strawman fundamentalists over the head, and ignoring more nuanced positions. There are plenty of religious schools of thought who view the whole Garden of Eden thing as a parable about the blissful ignorance of proto humans who then found knowledge and became the humans we are today.
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I thought Pell's account of the soul becoming imbued in humans when they had evolved to a state to comprehend greater things than their immediate existence wasn't a bad one - God didn't choose, he was waiting first past the post type thing. At the same time it merely lends itself to the explanation that religion is a byproduct of greater human thought/boredom and therefore evolution.

Re. Moses. He said such acts of public divine intervention haven't been seen since because the very existence of the Christian 'movement' at the time wouldn't have lasted if he hadn't. That can make sense, but it's also an easy way out.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

See, I didn't regard those as slippery slope issues, I regarded them as mature theological responses to the issue of the allegorical nature of the bible. The more christians do that, the more they admit that notions of god sit outside science and are frameworks for living well, the more I'll listen. I have no doubt that catholic cardinals discuss these issues at that level amongst themselves. It doesn't really matter if there is a fuzzy boundary at the intersection of faith and science as long as they recognise it's fuzzy.

Fair analysis, though, as they mentioned on the show, this is nothing new in Catholic thought given Aquinas's contributions.
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Originally Posted by tapout View Post

Surely Dawkins should have had a cookie cutter response to the whole Darwin being a christian comment from Pell (and the fact that it isnt true), he would have heard it a 1000 times before. I find that comment really interesting in itself, that by Darwin believing in god somehow nullifies his work on evolution, that all the work on evolution since is invalidated because of one man's belief.

It's not necessarily not true. His views fluctuated throughout his life, and it needs to be seen in the context of the time. The correct response is it's immaterial to Darwinism (which is NOT survival of the fittest by the way).
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Originally Posted by lowkeyandnude View Post

The discussion was also interesting when Pell accepted that humans evolved from non-humans.

That's the problem for Pell and religion as it tries to accept science while maintaining the bible's teachings, which are essentially pre-science...at least in the locale that the bible was written. If they reject what is commonly accepted and proven science they are shown to be completely out of touch with reality, but if they accept it, then the inevitable conclusions destroy the basis of their beliefs.

Like gravy said, Catholics have no problem with evolution and the Vatican astronomer recently said "Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be. If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."

The ignorance most people have about the Christian faiths, and in particular Catholicism, is (almost) surprising considering how quickly many atheist dismiss people of faith as ignorant.
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If you're at all impressed by that episode of Q&A you might enjoy 'Hitchens vs Blair, The Debate of Our Time'. It will probably only take as long as an episode of Q&A to read (it's only about 50 pages or so) and you don't have to deal with the twitterverse or clumsy attempts at one-upmanship (who gives a shit if neanderthals were cousins or ancestors?).

Maybe I'm cynical because I've never been impressed by Dawkins. His arguments are derivative, his public speaking (from what I've seen) isn't engaging and he comes across as conceited. Christopher Hitchens was light years ahead as both an author and public speaker. There's nothing new in debates about religion so if you're going to listen to one, it may as well be between two intelligent people.
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Originally Posted by Vital View Post

The ignorance most people have about the Christian faiths, and in particular Catholicism, is (almost) surprising considering how quickly many atheist dismiss people of faith as ignorant.

That's because most Christian faiths, and in particular Catholicism tend to change what they claim the tenants of their faith are depending on their perception of the general intelligence and education of their audience.

Speaking to educated atheists - oh it's all allegorical and a moral code for dealing with the societal problems we face.

Speaking to uneducated people in developing nations - contraception is a sin and you will burn in hell for using condoms.
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Originally Posted by Griggle View Post

That's because most Christian faiths, and in particular Catholicism tend to change what they claim the tenants of their faith are depending on their perception of the general intelligence and education of their audience.

Speaking to educated atheists - oh it's all allegorical and a moral code for dealing with the societal problems we face.

Speaking to uneducated people in developing nations - contraception is a sin and you will burn in hell for using condoms.

I think you've got the exact opposite end of the truth to what you think you do. Catholics preach contraception is a sin to both Africans and Westerners. It's unfortunate but Catholic dogma is too strict to preach one doctrine to westerners, who know better, and another to poor people who don't.
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his comparison was between one extreme and another - aetheists and the poor and easily led using the examples of Africans.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by claude glass View Post

Dawkins actually seemed the more arrogant of the two.


.

this has always been Dawkins' problem. for someone who holds (or used to hold) the position of "professor for public understanding of science" he has always had an air of stuffy arrogance about him and I've seem him throw little tanties on other docos whenever someone cannot or does not want to, embrace the raw black and white logic which he advocates.

@vital, thanks for the tip on the Hitchens v Blair debate. will check it out
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Wtf were the abc expecting? Members of the clergy aren't scientists. They dont pretend to be. a scientist wants to debate science and a clergyman wants to talk religion. These topics are far less related than was assumed.

Its like the abc decided to stick a chicken and a rabbit in a ring and see how they fight it out. Answer - they don't. It also makes for really crap tv.

I can't stand the catholic church. Bunch of hypocrites as far as I am concerned. However I did get the impression that the intention of the abc was to stick a fairly scientifically-ignorant cardinal up against Dawkins just so the cardinal would come out looking like an idiot. That to me seemed like a cheap trick and If it wasnt for the fact that the Catholics had ordered in rent-a-catholic crowd, it just may have worked. I'm surprised Pell agreed to appear (since when do Catholics put themselves up for such potential ridicule?).

Tony Jones seemed intent on trying to score a headline out of Pell. He seemed to be focussing on trying to show Pell up as anti Jewish at one point. Fair enough, but that wasnt really the topic of the debate. If it was then there is other histoical ammunition that tony jones seemed ignorant of. Like I said, I don't like Catholicism, but again, it seemed like a cheap trick and disrespectful to bring Pell on and then try to goad him into making anti Jewish comments. It just confirmed my view that Tony Jones is a lightweight. Maybe jones could have just asked something stupid like 'didn't the jews kill Jesus?' maybe he should save that for the mel Gibson appearance on q and a.

Dawkins came out looking like a wanker and my beliefs probably are closer to his than to those of the Catholics. I wanted to agree with some of his arguments, but he came out looking like a sad, angry little child.

This show needs a complete re-work. Good concept but really boring and stale at the moment.

Last edited by Nardo: 11-Apr-12 at 11:20pm

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Portal View Post

Oh really buffed? Dawkins is a twat, no doubt. But at least he didn't come up with this pearler.

From: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainme...#ixzz1rgNpQj52

Pell's argument during an exchange over evolution was downright baffling. He started by saying he "probably" accepts that humans descended from Neanderthals.

"Neanderthals?" piped up Dawkins, jumping disdainfully on the slip. "They were our cousins. We can't be descended from our cousins."

"These are extant cousins?" shot back Pell. "Where will I find a Neanderthal today if they're our cousins?"

Dawkins: "They're extinct."

Pell: "Exactly. That's my point."
"Your point is that because they're extant they can't be our cousins?" Dawkins asked, by now incredulous.

"I'm not really much fussed," said Pell.

"That's clear," said Dawkins.


Atheists go to heaven now? How convenient.... That's not even part of his own churches theology.

Oh and the Hitler argument... Please! I'm pretty certain Hitler was Christian, if not he was religious.

This guy must be Abbott's best buddy.

Oh and the "preparing some young boys" comment, followed by the pause, was TV gold.

It was so hilarious. such comedy, although i'd agree at times dawkins was definitely looking jet-lagged especially when Pell was side-stepping, rambling n digging holes. Dawkins can be a bit of a indignant n arrogant twat but I agree with him, he was pretty much a straight shooter in wit at times.

Although the next bit also rates

Quote:

TONY JONES: I mean do you believe that homosexuality, since it’s not a question of choice, is part of God's natural order?

GEORGE PELL: Creation is messy. I think it’s the oriental carpet makers always leave a little flaw in their carpet because only God is perfect.

TONY JONES: But, sorry, are you suggesting that homosexuals are flawed human beings?

GEORGE PELL: Not necessarily but what I am saying is I don't think homosexual activity is simply the result of genetic makeup, because we are free. We can control our instincts and like with heredity and environment, a lot of this practice is learned.

Followed by this tweet, i thought was clever

Quote:

Originally Posted by W_Goffrey

Homosexuals are not a carpeting flaw. The gay community do not tolerate shoddy fabrics.

so much hearts for QandA. ^__^
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nardo View Post

Wtf were the abc expecting? Members of the clergy aren't scientists. They dont pretend to be. a scientist wants to debate science and a clergyman wants to talk religion. These topics are far less related than was assumed.

Its like the abc decided to stick a chicken and a rabbit in a ring and see how they fight it out. Answer - they don't. It also makes for really crap tv.

I can't stand the catholic church. Bunch of hypocrites as far as I am concerned. However I did get the impression that the intention of the abc was to stick a fairly scientifically-ignorant cardinal up against Dawkins just so the cardinal would come out looking like an idiot. That to me seemed like a cheap trick and If it wasnt for the fact that the Catholics had ordered in rent-a-catholic crowd, it just may have worked. I'm surprised Pell agreed to appear (since when do Catholics put themselves up for such potential ridicule?).

Tony Jones seemed intent on trying to score a headline out of Pell. He seemed to be focussing on trying to show Pell up as anti Jewish at one point. Fair enough, but that wasnt really the topic of the debate. If it was then there is other histoical ammunition that tony jones seemed ignorant of. Like I said, I don't like Catholicism, but again, it seemed like a cheap trick and disrespectful to bring Pell on and then try to goad him into making anti Jewish comments. It just confirmed my view that Tony Jones is a lightweight. Maybe jones could have just asked something stupid like 'didn't the jews kill Jesus?' maybe he should save that for the mel Gibson appearance on q and a.

Dawkins came out looking like a wanker and my beliefs probably are closer to his than to those of the Catholics. I wanted to agree with some of his arguments, but he came out looking like a sad, angry little child.

This show needs a complete re-work. Good concept but really boring and stale at the moment.

well this is one thing you and I are in complete agreement on nardo
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Vital View Post

I think you've got the exact opposite end of the truth to what you think you do. Catholics preach contraception is a sin to both Africans and Westerners. It's unfortunate but Catholic dogma is too strict to preach one doctrine to westerners, who know better, and another to poor people who don't.

Nah, you just have no real concept of how the church goes about missionary work.

When attempting to convert tribespeople found in the Amazon or whereever the fuck the missionary is situated, they do stuff like find elements of the tribes belief system that are compatible with the tribes belief pattern. Then they hand out some antibiotics as soon as there is some sickness, claim that they will pray for the sick people while administering it and then when the tribespeople recover from known treatable diseases claim it was the work of God.

Now the cured people are obligated to help the missionary and are under the impression that their god has magic powers, so also begin the process of converting their fellow tribespeople.

Now this is going to end up with a religion that has very little to do with the Churches Canon but that's ok. The Church is playing a long game here. They are really trying to convert the initial generation of these tribespeople to the Churches beliefs. The plan all along was to convert their kids to the true faith so who cares if the initial converts are all heretics and won't be going to heaven?

So the initial converts all now think they have magic powers handed down to them from God, who is probably actually in their minds one of their own gods who this missionary just happens to worship as well. Then the kids of the tribe are trained to follow canonical beliefs by the missionary as the tribe then hands over the right for the missionary to educate their children. Within a generation or two the local population now follows a religion close to the main churches Canon.

Before you go claiming that this isn't how the Catholic Church operates, think for a moment about why Irish Catholics still have many Gaelic traditions and ceremonies in their churches that Spanish or Italian Catholic Churches do not have. That's because the Church hasn't bothered to force them to change all the canonically neutral beliefs for the Irish belief system that they co-opted. As I said SOP for the Church and has been since it's inception.

---------------------------

So how does this apply to this weak as piss argument by a cardinal to an atheist, that the cardinal doesn't really believe in the absolute truth of the churches teachings and that it's all allegorical and the Churches main function is providing a moral compass to the world as some sort of giant social club where good people can hang out and engage in ceremonies that they all understand are just a lot of twaddle because it's a cracking good time and brings families together?

It's the same exact trick they use for converting tribespeople to the Churches doctrine.

Start off by affirming the targets current belief system: "Oh you don't believe in gods because there is no evidence they exist so the whole concept is pointless. Wow! Me too! I only go for the social club on Sundays. We all have a good laugh engaging in ceremonies we know serve no purpose. It's like a gentleman's club you can bring your kids to."

Make comparisons to belief systems both have in common: "Well we do lots of good stuff like help out needy people. You like helping people right? You should totally turn up to do that. Sure you'll have to do the secret ritual where everyone in the club lines up and spanks you with ping pong bats to join our secret club but hey we all did that when we joined. We know its naff, but you can stop tradition eh? And think of all the needy children."

Provide some sort of miracle benefit for joining the super best friends club: "Yeah my marriage was looking a little rocky, but going to Mass really helped that. Learning all the secret rituals with my wife while our kids were being babysat by some helpful person in the church brought us together as we had something to do in common. Our kids really got better behaved after they learned they would burn in hell for all eternity if they didn't do what we told them too which was a plus."

Last step: convert the heretic's kids. Yep you're a heretic because as an atheist you are still going to church and not believing there is a god so will burn for eternity in hellfire even though they won't push that all that hard at you.

After a few years of indoctrination at Sunday School, the kids are now little Christians and have been taught to believe in the absolute truth of the bible at an age that they are most susceptible to being indoctrinated with other belief system.

Pell was attempt to proselytise, not engaging in debate.
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Have you ever noticed that people who take atheism really seriously tend not follow sport?

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Wow. Don't say in 50 words what you can say in 5000, right?
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I knew he had an essay in him today.
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