Pope Benedict XVI creation of a new group "The Courtyard of the Gentiles" to debate atheists.
The existence of any god/gods is important, and there is nothing wrong with debating an issue, but don't they need to prove that god exists first? Not because what anyone believes about a supernatural beings is of great significance, but the impact these beliefs have on society is important, and debate could be helpful in differentiating between facts, lies and myths.
Pope Benedict XVI ordered the creation of a new group, which will be available to meet, and debate atheists called "The Courtyard of the Gentiles." They hope to host a series of debates in Paris next year. The foundation would only be interested in "noble atheism or agnosticism, not the polemical (argumentative) kind.
A one sided or unbalanced rigged debate is pointless, and that is actually what is being advocated. There would have to be an unbiased sponsor (or negotiator) involved if it is to be a fair debate. The fact that the foundation thinks that they should pick where the debate would be and who can be in the debates indicates their sense of superiority. The atheists are supposed to just accept all this like stupid little sheep. On faith I guess? They want atheists or agnostics who are respectful not sarcastic. Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi is also concerned that certain atheists "read religious texts like fundamentalists."
You don't have to be a fundamentalist to know that if their belief is based on bogus claims (and it is) it has no credibility. However, I have never met an atheist who believed a word in the Bible. I think atheists are amazed that anyone ever took the Bible for the literal truth or believed that a superior being inspired it. The Bible was surely written by primitive ignorant men who were all over the place with their morals and their blunders. No superior being who created everything would have inspired that mixture, but who knows what any of the manuscripts or books that were burned originally said? How does anyone know what the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in Qumran November 1947, and took 50 years to uncover originally said? We do know that there are missing scrolls because they admit that some of them were burned. We do not know if there are Dead Sea Scrolls still hidden from the public? That is something that we will probably never know, but it is a good question. Also, the scrolls that were published took fifty years to uncover, along with a lot of hell raising. There must have been reasons why the Vatican thought the contents could not be published for fifty years.
Pope Benedict XVI during a speech to the Roman Curia said, "We, as believers, must have at heart even those people who consider themselves agnostics or atheists," he said. "When we speak of a New Evangelization, these people are perhaps taken aback. They do not want to see themselves as an object of mission or to give up their freedom of thought and will. Yet the question of God remains present even for them, even if they cannot believe in the concrete nature of his concern for us."
It is not necessary to give up freedom of thought to seek the truth about anything. The lying deceiving clergy needs people like that to keep making money and controlling the masses. A brainwashed uneducated public is what they need to keep this farce alive. The only time God is a concern for atheists is when someone tries to force their own personal beliefs on them.
If all that didn't make you want to puke, get a load of this! Pope Benedict has appointed special Vatican investigators to travel to Ireland and restore the dignity of the Church by cracking down on "liberal secular opinion" amongst clergy and parishioners.
Why do they feel the need to crack down? Maybe because they need uneducated, naive bumpkins on the receiving end of their dogma?
Why doesn't he propose to debate dissenting groups within Christianity or even other religions first? By not doing so is he implying other theistic perspectives on god may be legitimate (that would a first)? Maybe start off easy with Anglicans and then work through Lutherans on the way Calvinists. Probably would be wise to save Islam for last (*ka-boom*).
Regardless, he really should get all those hashed out before tackling the hard stuff and debating atheists ('noble' or otherwise). ;-)