Richard Dawkins vs Cardinal George Pell: Heavyweight Easter Match

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Richard Dawkins vs Cardinal George Pell: Heavyweight Easter Match


Australia's highest-ranking Catholic and Sydney's archbishop, Cardinal George Pell, spent an hour with evolutionary biologist and celebrity atheist, Professor Richard Dawkins.

Questions cover everything from evolution and resurrection to eternal damnation.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck

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I don't really trust Pell.

I don't really trust Pell. He's one of those odd priests. At least with the others you know where they are coming from with their opinions.

Pell is sort of like an outsider to the catholic community.




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Jack Dyer lives

It was hilarious. At times one just had to watch open-mouthed as Pell came out with extraordinary nonsense.
He also seemed to be making up doctrine on the spot; saying that atheists can go to heaven, for example.
The apologist I debated religion with at my Catholic school was far more sophisticated.
I imagine that many Catholics would have watched the show in horror.

Dawkins looked tired and bemused and seemed happy to let Pell destroy himself.
It is amusing to imagine what Hitchens would have made of it. A good kicking would have been delivered, one suspects.

It was interesting to note that Dawkins is attempting to combat the 'shrill and strident' accusation.
He was always careful to be ultra polite, calm and generous; tricky when one is debating Pell.


I don't say things I don't mean.
Gays are like a flaw in an oriental rug.
Hitler was an atheist.
Where will I find a Neanderthal today if they're our cousins?
God picked the Jews to prove his existence, even though they were just a bunch of shepherds and intellectually inferior to the Egyptians.
The Germans suffered more than anyone else in the last century.
Hell has to be real as what else could you do with Hitler?
The church civilised the Roman Empire.

Re Darwin's alleged theism, it seems that Pell was half right, in a way.
His original autobiography left out references to religion, in order not to offend, but as Darwin got older he became an agnostic.


Pell's father was a heavyweight boxing champion and Pell himself signed up as a ruckman for Richmond.
Intellectually, he certainly came across quite like a footballer or a boxer, channelling Captain Blood.


"I won't say anything in case I say something."
"That's the beauty of being small – your hands are close to your feet."
"Mark Lee's long arms reaching up like giant testicles."
"It's as dark out there as the Black Hole of Dakota."

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