Fragile Safety Blanket

Thoughts after watching a few moments of last night’s Q&A between Richard Dawkins and Cardinal Pell.

I concede that religion has motivated some people to do good things, and has motivated some people who were tempted to do bad things not to do bad things. So never let it be said that its impact on the world is wholly negative. There’s more to the history of religion than just the wars and discrimination.

It does worry me, though, when people argue that without religion they’d be completely unable to function as civilised human beings. Good thing it’s there to keep them going, but… that’s a fragile safety blanket.

Here’s hoping that if those people lose their faith they can still find a reason not to go completely off the rails. I choose to have faith in their humanity that they can.

7 responses to “Fragile Safety Blanket

  1. What I learned from Cardinel Pell last night;
    1/. Jews are intellectually inferior and
    2/. Homosexuals are a flaw in God’s creation.
    Classy as ever.


  2. ” There’s more to the history of religion than just the wars and discrimination.”

    Indeed there is. Paedophilia, Slavery, Deceit, Theft, The total removal of other people’s culture, Scaring children half out of their wits, etc. That’s just main stream religion. Then we have the Mormons who speak in tongues, the Jehovah’s Witnesses who would let a child die for lack of a blood transfusion, Then we have the fundy’s who will relieve you of your hard earned quicker than a one arm bandit. Ah then there is the Islam fascists who would have the likes of people like me hung up by the feet and beaten until I accepted Allah.

    Religion is good for F.A. I don’t even hate the adherents to this schlock I just feel sorry for them.

  3. 3/.Apparently you don’t have to believe in God to get into Heaven.
    …which certainly changes the odds on Pascal’s Wager.

    ”religion has motivated some people to do good things”
    should read
    ”religion has motivated some good people to do good things”

    ”There’s more to the history of religion than just the wars and discrimination.” Pell was also very quick to ascribe a-religious wars to atheism. Personally I do not believe either stance.
    All wars, religious or otherwise, are fought for the same reasons – land, power and your old garden variety mix of boredom and blood lust.

  4. Hi Marek

    As much as I support Dawkins’ argument over Pell’s I thought that the Cardinal was (deliberately?) misunderstood in relation to his comment about the Jews.

    In my view he was merely trying to make the (historically accurate) point that the Jewish people had not contributed much to human civilisation at the time of Jesus when compared to the Egyptians or Persians.

    I’m not sure why he was making that point of how it bolstered his case at all – but nonetheless . . .

    I agree with your summary of his comment about gays.

  5. Hi Mondo.
    I think you’re being deliberately charitable towards the old fool.
    I, too, felt a bit sorry for him when he started flailing around with his idiotic
    and amateur anthropological assessment of Jewish intelligence as expressed by their cultural acheivements, but quickly reminded myself of who this person is and why he deserves no pity.

    Go to the video at and start watching from the 19 minute mark. It’s cultural and religious chauvinism in it’s purest form.
    Ironically, the only way that this creature of privilege and opulence could step away from his intellectual midgetry was to start talking about Battlers and Elites with assurances that God prefers Battlers.


  6. Pell, as usual, came across as a smug fascist. Which makes sense cos he certainly appears to be one.

    Dawkins, as usual, came across as a smug whining crybaby with pretensions of intellectual superiority, who couldn’t understand why the rest of the world didn’t see things exactly the same way he does. Which makes sense cos thats how he always comes across.

    If thats the height of public intellectual debate in this country its no wonder our public discourse is so stupid.

  7. phyllis5tein

    If losing your faith makes you go off the rails, is that a possible “I lost my moral compass” mitigation? Whilst ignorance of the law is no excuse, could no longer knowing right from wrong be one? Will philosophers and clerics be called as expert witnesses? Or, like most of religion, would this just be another sympton of mental illness.

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