Divine dictatorship 53

Christopher Hitchens, atheist, and Tony Blair, convert to Catholicism, debated religion in Toronto on November 27, 2010.

The motion was: “Religion is a force for good in the world”.

The good news is that Hitchens, opposing, won the debate. The audience voted two-to-one in his favor.

From the report in the Telegraph (where there is also a video clip):

Mr Blair … said: “It is undoubtedly true that people commit horrific acts of evil in the name of religion.

“It is also undoubtedly true that people do acts of extraordinary common good inspired by religion.”

He pointed to the good done by faith based organisations, including the millions of lives saved in Africa and care for the mentally ill, disabled and destitute.

He added: “The proposition that religion is unadulterated poison is unsustainable.

“It can be destructive, it can also create a deep well of compassion, and frequently does.”

We would contend that good people will do good things and bad people bad things whether or not they have religious belief.

Mr Blair said the common thread running through all faiths was to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” .

Most religions have it, but not all. Islam does not have it. The understanding that you will probably be treated by others in much the same way you treat them is also common sense. Which Islam manifestly lacks.

Mr Hitchens … said: “Once you assume a creator and a plan, it makes us objects, in a cruel experiment, whereby we are created sick, and commanded to be well.

“And over us, to supervise this, is installed a celestial dictatorship, a kind of divine North Korea.”

Even Tony Blair had to smile at that.

Posted under Atheism, Commentary, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 29, 2010

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