Tag Archives: Stephen Fry

Fry/Hitchens take on Catholic Church

The intelligence squared debate above in 2009 was the motion “the Catholic Church is a force for good”. Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry were opposed taking on Ann Widdecomb and the Archbishop of Nigeria.

As always Hitchens was to the point and reminds us of the interlocutor we all miss. Fry though gives a passionate, rational, emotionally controlled challenge to homophobia, which moves anyone that feels love is love when gentle, kind and considerate.

Hitchens observed if St Peter’s Church always reflected those qualities it would be Jesus’ too. Widdecomb’s idea that without collections in churches there would be a lack of philanthropy in the world is absurd. Compassion is moved on us by empathy. The belief in salvation is immaterial when you see a starving child.

The only thing that might be argued is that people are so guilt ridden by original sin, or so moved by desiring salvation in the next life, that they give more. That empathy with Christ on the Cross is more moving for the hand to the collection plate than all the misery that nature and humankind give to each other that we can see.

This view of humanity is one that needs to be challenged.

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

Follow @JPSargeant78


Filed under Hitchens, Religion

Looking down a slippery slope argument

Thanks to Stephen Fry for sharing on Twitter. Beware slippery slope arguments.

The Uninvited Interlocutor

There are lots of good books and websites (see:  The Fallacy Files and Your Logical Fallacy Is ) on critical thinking, logic and fallacies, but unfortunately there’s still widespread ignorance of such things.  So, I think it’s always a good idea to discuss common errors in reasoning with a view to explaining why they are errors.

The “Slippery Slope” is one of the most frequently misused and misunderstood argument forms — because those who employ it believe it to be a strong argument form when it is, in fact, the exact opposite.  It’s a commonly used phrase and most who use it are attempting to show that if one does “A” then a chain of events will occur which will eventually lead to the undesirable result “D”, for example.  The imagery is quite simple: by initiating “A” one has stepped out onto the top of a steeply angled and slippery incline…

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Filed under Philosophy

Comedians travelling – which to watch at 9pm?

Comic adventures - a new travel genre

Comic adventures - a new travel genre

Tonight British comedian Griff Rhys Jones is on a journey of great cities of the world, starting in New York, tonight at 9pm on ITV.

Also starting tonight, British comedian Paul Merton will be travelling through India in a new series, tonight at 9pm on Five.

This Sunday British comedian Stephen Fry will be travelling through the USA on BBC 1 at 9pm.

Michael Palin started something with his humorous accounts as he travelled around the world. Still a welcome change from the reality TV competitions of celebrities and wannabes.

Why they have to all come at the same time on terrestrial TV though is the issue. Better find a tape for the largely unused VCR.


Filed under Humour