Archive for November, 2009

An entertaining debate on whether the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world today.  The video is in five parts.  I’ve posted the first part here.  Here are the numbers for those for/against/undecided BEFORE the debate and the numbers AFTER the debate.  The motion put forth is:  The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world.


Before the debate:

  • For the  Motion:  678
  • Against the Motion: 1102
  • Undecided: 346

After the Debate:

  • For the Motion:  268
  • Against the Motion: 1876
  • Undecided:  34


  • For: -410
  • Against: +774

Money quotes:

I’m slightly disappointed that anyone would say, “Ohhhh I knew they would bring up condoms, child rape, and homosexuality.  It’s a bit like a burglar in court saying I knew you would bring up that burglary or that manslaughter, you never mention the fact I gave my father a birthday present!  There is a reason we hammer home these issues, it is because they matter.  (Stephen Fry)

When my children were young I would have been proud to have Stephen as my babysitter and tell them they were lucky.  And if anyone came to my door wearing holy orders I would call first a cab then I would call the police. (Christopher Hitchens)

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Somone must have traduced Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning…Who could these men be?  What were they talking about?  What authority could they represent?  K. lived in a country with a legal constitution, there was univeral peace, all the laws were in force; who dared seize him in his own dwelling?…”What are your papers to us?”  cried the tall warder…”We are humble subordinates who can scarcely find our way through a legal document and have nothing to do with your case except to stand guard over you for ten hours a day and draw our pay for it.  That’s all we are, but we’re quite capable of grasping the fact that the high authorities we serve, before they would order such an arrest as this, must be quite well informed about the reasons for the arrest and the person of the prisoner.  There can be no mistake about that.  Our officials, so far as I know them, and I know only the lowest grades among them, never go hunting for crime in the populace, but, as the Law decrees, are drawn toward the guilty and must then send out us as warders.  This is the Law.  How could there be a mistake in that?  (Franz Kafka, The Trial)

It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law… (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


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