"Once you assume a creator and a plan, it makes us objects, in a cruel experiment, whereby we are created sick, and commanded to be well,... And over us, to supervise this, is installed a celestial dictatorship, a kind of divine North Korea … Salvation is offered at the low price of the surrender of your critical faculties.”
“It is undoubtedly true that people commit horrific acts of evil in the name of religion. It is also undoubtedly true that people do acts of extraordinary common good inspired by religion. Almost half the healthcare in Africa is delivered by faith-based organisations, saving millions of lives. A quarter of worldwide HIV/AIDS care is provided by Catholic organisations. There is the fantastic work of Muslims and Jewish relief organisations . . . So the proposition that religion is unadulterated poison is unsustainable. It can be destructive, it can also create a deep well of compassion, and frequently does.”
The memorable phrase I took away from this debate Is "... the sheer force of logic."