A debate between Catholics and Atheists on whether the Catholic Church is evil (vid)

It is in 5 parts. It is quite interesting to hear both sides of the argument. If you look at the debate objectively without thinking the atheists are the devil, then it is quite entertaining, a good watch, and good points made by both sides.

Here is a link to the youtube channel that it is being hosted to. You can watch the whole thing there. It is in 5 parts.


This debate involves Christopher Hitchens, a big atheist proponent, Stephen Fry, a writer and acto, arguing against the church, and an African arch bishop from Nigeria and Ann Widdecome who is a big Catholic proponent in England and a former political leader of some sort.

I think both sides make good points to be honest. The audience does agree that the Catholic church is not a force for good though. That obviously has a lot to do with the speakers though.

Yah, actually, I’m disapointed in Intelligence Squared; I don’t think that the speakers for the Church were the best they could have. I actually doubt, from what I’ve read on the debate and such, that the Bishop of Nigeria knew what he was getting into; which could account for how ill-prepared he was. His native language isn’t even English; I don’t understand why they chose him.

To be honest, from all the specials I have seen on the BBC, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did it intentionally. The BBC doesn’t seem to be very pro Christianity to be honest.

If you guys want to see a good Christian debater, you have to look up William Lane Craig. He is not a Catholic, but he crushes atheists in debates constantly. He had a debate with Christopher Hitchens recently, and even atheists were saying that Hitchens got crushed. Craig seems to be the only Christian that is capable of successfully debating atheists.

I’m surprised the Church fell for such a rigged debate.

“Prove that you are good. If you do not prove it, then you are bad.” :rolleyes:

This is not a rigged debate at all. The audience agreed with the non Catholics because of the things they mentioned that the church did that was not good. If the BBC had gotten competent debaters, I have no doubt that they could have won the debate. The two they picked were obviously out matched in debating skills. I am sure Hitchens and the other guy could have beat the two Catholics in a debate on just about anything.

But then again, the non Catholics made some thought provoking points that the Catholics could not refute properly. That was their downfall. They knew what the non Catholics were going to say, they should have prepared rebuttals for: condoms, homosexuality, and other common arguments against the church. But they didn’t and were crushed for it.

I agree that it was an ill match, but I have seen what happens when you put professionals in the ring with Atheists. It’s hard to watch.

The rigging that I referred to was that if I propose to you to have a debate about how good of a person you are, then you are already at a disadvantage. You have to not only prove that you have done good, but you also have to prove that you did more good than bad, but then also, you have to prove that the lack of you or the existence of someone else would not have been better. But I all I have to is raise doubt. I don’t have to prove anything.

In a “fair” debate. Both sides must be required to prove opposing views. If the Catholic must prove that it is good, then the anti-Christ has to prove that it is bad.

In such a debate either side can raise doubt in the other’s argument, but both must prove something in order to actually win. It is not a case of one having to prove something and the other having to merely claim that they failed to prove it. Anyone can deny a proof.

In a recent debate between Dr. Banhsen and Dr. Stein, at the end Stein proclaimed that he won because Bahnsen had failed to prove his point. But of course, Stein had stipulated that only a logical argument would be accepted and then also proclaimed that what is logical or not is merely a convention that is not necessarily true.

{and yes, the BBC is VERY anti-Christ}

The question is whether they asked the church for spokespeople and that was what they were sent. I was recently in a debate and used a lot of Hitchens stuff in my prep ( I had to take the atheist view) it was invaluable. I’d put Hitchens in the ring against anyone.

Ah come on. If I were 10 years younger he wouldn’t even get to first base against me. I normally root for the underdog, but the Atheists have never been able to make a showing on the intellectual front. They have to use pathos appeal to temptations and lusts, politics.

But then it’s a tough position to be in to have to fight a losing battle. :wink:

To be honest, that is pretty much the debate was. And it sure seemed like the Catholic opponents made much better points as to why the Catholic Church was a force for evil in the world. Their arguments wasn’t “well, what you did isn’t that great.” Their argument was to bring up evil things the church has done. In my eyes, the atheists provided effective evidence that the Catholic Church was evil. If the wording of the debate was “Is the Catholic Church evil,” thus making it the atheists that had to prove it, they still probably would have won convincingly. I don’t think it was the wording that got the Christians, just their debate style and its substance.

You should watch his debate with William Lane Craig because apparently “Craig spanked Hitchens like a foolish child.” That is a quote from an atheist website too.

Here is a recap of the debate by an atheist website.


Lucifer was a superstar. His light shone brightly. In his mind he knew better than God did and he has many of the best lines.

The truth of the Church is not contingent on whether 2 people can argue a win against clever hubris.

Frankly all you have to say is the following…Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao. Debate over.

That is a ridiculous argument. Hitler claimed to be a Christian, but that doesn’t make all Christians bad. Just because those people were atheists doesn’t make atheists bad.

I didn’t say all atheists were bad. I implied - and I am correct in doing so - that where atheism has been the de facto state creed its crimes and the crimes of its adherents have been colossal and at least as great and in fact greater than any of the crimes of the faithful the like of Hitchens Dawkins etc point to.

Most atheist assumption that religious belief = bloodthirst is based on places and times whre a religion was essentially a state c reed. The are in denial however about the scores of millions murdered in what were in reality atheist pogroms called cultural revolutions.

That was the implication. Clearly not all atheists are bad…all atheist regimes are however.

Have seen the two of them debate on more than one occasion and have felt Hitchens got the better of it. I have seen the debate you mention. To me, Hitchens looks ill and off his game.

Who are Hitchens and Fry and why should I listen or care what they have to say? They are just men.

Wow, what a HORRIBLE generalization. You know what, the dalai lama ran an atheist regime before China took it over and I would trust him to run a country more so than the pope.

To hear Atkins claim that science is omnipotent is instructive of the actual belief system they hold. He truly believes a clear nonsense.

John Gray in Heresies, Black Mass etc is entertaining and instructive on how this worship of science is in fact a post-Christian cult.

Erm the state he ran…successful was it? Protect its people from nihilist communism did it? Still exist?

Your affirmative answers to all these will show me just how successful he was and what a hard act he will be to follow.

Another horrible argument. What would have been a better course of action that he could have taken to prevent what happened?

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