I finally got around to watch the Cardinal Pell/Richard Dawkins debate which is about an hour long.
Quite an interesting debate that was fairly civil. I already knew Cardinal Pell was one sharp cookie, though did not know about his sense of humor and wit. I also knew Richard Dawkins was not a serious philosophical student and he proved it here in spades. He also seemed to be quite humorless and multiple times had to ask why people were laughing. I guess he got the selfish gene, but not the humor one. I did find Dawkins to be rather charming.
Though like many debates no doubt atheists will think Dawkins got the upper hand and other will think the same of Cardinal Pell. It was not a perfect debate performance by Cardinal Pell, but it was pretty excellent – though he went off point a couple of times in reply. Once when the Cardinal was talking about Darwin and his theism, Dawkins called him a liar and the Cardinal replied citing the page number in Darwin’s autobiography. There were other exchanges like that.
Dawkins referred to “Lawrence Krauss’ book A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing.” a couple of times – a book the Cardinal had also read. It is a rather a shell-game of a book where nothing is really something – but a much simpler state. The Cardinal brought up the critical review of the book from what should have been the sympathetic New York Times.
My opinion of Dawkins is that he is really unequipped for such debates. His understanding of Christian theology is totally undeveloped and distorted as if it was frozen at a grade school level. That understanding opposing arguments is not a worthwhile use of his time and thus he would jump in with painfully silly questions for the Cardinal. For example when the Cardinal explained the creation account and it’s literary form. That a truth was being told in poetical form, not in modern historical writing. But Dawkins oblivious to the the Cardinal was saying, responded by asking that since Adam and Eve were not real than where did original sin come from?. I felt embarrassed for Dawkins at this point. As Mark Shea sometimes says “Scratch an Atheist, find a Fundamentalist”.
In a related post Marc at Bad Catholic in his post ReligiON, ReligiOFF wrote in part “It hurts to even mutter the heresy, but Science didn’t spring forth from Richard Dawkins’ ass.” His post is quite brilliant, especially characterizing the atheist culture at Reddit.
I thought Pell was awful in the debate. Dawkins was not much better.
For what “IT” is worth this is what Goldie Hawn thinks about all the smart people.
I don’t believe in debating atheists. And the Cardinal was incorrect about hell. There is sadly a real hell, and even more sadly, real people are going there.
>understanding of Christian theology is totally undeveloped and distorted
That’s what you theists always say when anyone points out just how crazy your beliefs and the faith you have in them is.
It’s really the only bastion you have, to insist that your critics have gotten it wrong or just don’t understand!
We do, you think a blend of neolithic to classic mythology is factual and relevant beyond the academical. You think that a universe creating god, prone to fits of rage, not only exists but is interested in having you endlessly praise it. Furthermore you think the idea of this god sacrificing itself to itself so it wouldn’t be wrathful to its own creation for behaving exactly how it knew it was going to behave not only makes sense but is a good plan.
Oh and your loving god is going to throw the vast majority of people who don’t think as you do into a place created for endless torture because he’s some sort of terrorist I guess?
At any rate Dawkins is a scientist who has expanded humanity’s knowledge, your church’s most significant achievement in the last 75 years was what? Google gives the answer and it’s hardly flattering and as far from divine as you can get.
PS The Greek Captcha is freakin’ brilliant, you totally got me.
Really Dawkins failed to impress at any level. He is apparently atheism’s leading hit man, whereas Cardinal Pell, although intelligent is not among the Church’s greatest intellects. And yet the Cardinal had Dawkin’s measure. Just imagine, if you will, Dawkins trying to debate a Catholic like Fr Georges Lemaitre (proposer of the Big Bang theory.) He wouldn’t know what hit him. It would be like comparing “Love Me Do” with “The Marriage Of Figaro.”
Dawkins came across as ill at ease and his peuantlt “What’s funny about that?” (twice)goes to show that atheists have little or no sense of humour. It is clear from this debate and his writings that Dawkins is not a God denier, just someone who denies what he thinks God is – I don’t believe in the God Dawkins portrays either. There is little to be gained from engaging in a discussion with the likes of Dawkins as he hasn’t a clue about anything beyond the physical and empirical – it is totally incomprehensible to him. It would be like trying to describe a gorgeous sunset to a person born blind…By agreeing to debate with him, Churchmen and other theists give him a credibility he really doesn’t deserve.