cofty that was an interesting debate. It just shows you what an impact open debate can have on people's views, and shows up just how empty the case for religion is. The archbishop and Ann Widdecombe had nothing to offer, no real defense beyond 'you must respect us' blah blah, it was just pathetic. Worse than that they are morally bankrupt, and by the end of the debate most people in the audience recognised it. Imagine the governing body, or even articulate JW apologists, in open debate with knowledgeable opponents. They would fare even worse than poor old Ann Widdecombe.
Jehovah's Witnesses and the "Great Disappointment" on UK Television
I have never seen a debate that made such a difference to the views of the audience.
I think as Dawkins said many people "believe in belief", when the reality of the effects of religion were made clear by Fry and Hitchens it caused many to think again.
I would love to see reps of the watchtower agree to a formal academic debate!
Thanks for posting SBF and Cofty,
I would have missed both if not for you, not being a great TV watcher.
A debate in public by any Dubs, of any rank, just won't happen, they were warned off years ago,pity, it would show to their own rank and file the paucity of their arguments and beliefs.
One really telling point was where Ann Widdecombe thought she was making a significant counterattack when she disputed Stephen Fry's understanding of the dogma on limbo. But the fact she can get really excited about that (I don't think she even had a strong technical point) and at the same time totally dismiss the human suffering, discrimination and even death caused by the church as of little concern speaks volumes. Where is the human compassion in such a life? An obsession with religious "truth" is not conducive to being a good human being, it seems to me.
The archbishop's tactic on the other hand was to be personally charming without actually saying anything at all. It didn't work.
I find Anne Widdecombe to be one of the most unpleasant people in public life. It was hilarious to see Fry and Hitchins demolish her smugness.
Just watched this weeks QI