Episode 11 The Big Questions

Episode 11

Nicky Campbell presents live debate from Newcastle upon Tyne. Has trade unionism had its day? Is animal testing ever justified? And, does religion make you happy?

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Good morning! I am Nicky Campbell, welcome. We are live from


Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, welcome to The Big


Questions! This week, the left-wing of British politics lost two


important voices, Tony Benn and Bob Crow. Tony Benn was part of


Labour's political aristocracy, Bob Crow was the general secretary of


the RMT, where he secured money, perks and a generous pension for


Tube drivers. Jeremy Paxman accused Bob Crow of being a dinosaur, Bob


Crow replied, they were around for a long while. Has trade unionism had


its day? Is there a place still for union leaders like Bob Crow, big


figures fighting hard for their members? In some days, they hark


back to the likes of Jack Jones. Are they of a bygone Iraq? Of course


not. Bob Crow doubled his membership, nearly, the cos he was


fighting for his members and getting good pay rises. If a union is doing


that, you will get people wanting to join. It is good money, they will


think. Trade unions have got a role to play. All over the world. A good,


strong union. We have got strong industry here, the bosses have


always been strong, so why should the trade unions not be? They are


ordinary people, coming together. ?50,000 a year for the drivers, that


is a fantastic deal. In the City of London, nobody pays anybody more


than they are worth or more than the company could afford, clearly, the


company can afford ?50,000 a year. Massive respect for what he


delivered, but it was a short-term gain. Boris Johnson is looking to


have driverless trains. If the cost of the drivers was not so high, he


would not consider that. It is a short-term gain. The way we go about


business now is working with trade unions, rather than having an


adversarial relationship. You look at the British motor industry, you


look at the 70s, you will remember... Barely! It was full of


strikes every day, Miss Anne came in, they said, we want to book


together, the most productive plant in Europe, washing out cars. The


staff are well paid, they work hard, but they do not have an adversarial


relationship. Would that company have been able to operate in this


part of the world in the 70s and early 80s? Only if the trade unions


could have moved with the times. That is right in a sense, the unions


have modernised, we are talking about the miners strike, we will


never get that again. But trade unions have modernised, Nissan a


great example. As long as you are working together and it is not all


one-sided. I have seen people working together in workshops, it


has been one-sided. As long as trade unions are working with industry to


make it take and make the work better and to have the conditions


that they need, fine. There will never be anything like the miners


strike again, can you conceive a situation where there would be


industrial action as all-encompassing and bitter as that


in this country? Nobody wanted to go down that road. Could it happen? I


hope not, because a year-long means that neither side has won. I can see


that circumstances will arise where people will get angry about the


state of affairs and they will say, enough is enough. I was at a meeting


yesterday, grouping together trade unions and local campaigners, and


there is a mood of anger against austerity, I can foresee they will


ordinate industrial action, because services are being destroyed, people


do not like that, and trade unions want to be at the service of the


community as well as their members. I can see that happening. Even the


strikes that the RNC brought in January, London businesses were at


breaking point. Businesses, retailers in London, if you have


two, four days out, when the country is trying to come out of recession,


it will kill the monthly turnover. Who was responsible? Bob Crow. No,


it was Boris Johnson, removing staff from ticket offices. The members in


that union said, no, we will not have our jobs lost. That is what


motivates people to take industrial action, their right to have a job,


decent pay and decent conditions. They are politicising an issue which


is a management/worker emotion chip bubble. They need to think of


change. A good union does not turn round with a fight against


austerity. Public sector jobs are going to the private sector. That is


great if you are in the private sector, but the unions are trying to


politicise it by saying this is a way to tackle austerity. We can not


afford the high cost of public expenditure. In fairness to the


workers, we have got the bankers' bonuses, and the wages they are


getting, and the money they are getting. And they are being told, I


am not going to get a rise, and I am in debt, and austerity has hit me


for four or five years, and here are the gaffers getting all of this


money. It is unbalanced. You come to our members, nothing of what you


have said relates to them. Most of them are hard-working, fighting for


profit, risking everything. When you say that they are gaffers, that is


an old term. What about the fat cats in the City of London? We stood up


and said that the fact that the dividend payments at Barclays were


three times lower than the executive pay, that is wrong. We do not deny


that, so do not start throbbing that back. Thousands of workers in this


country are not going to get a pay rise this year. And thousands of


businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Profit is rising. That is


the success of the whole organisation. You talked about jobs


going to the private sector. In Doncaster, the careful people with


mental disabilities has been privatised, they have cut the pay of


the workers. In some cases by up to 50%. The union members have taken


seven days of strike action, something they would never have done


in the past, and they are going to take another seven days. They are


having their pay cut as a result of privatisation. They are not the only


ones. Is there a case for some people in the public sector not to


be allowed to strike? Indeed. This is not going to go down well with


these men. The London Tube network and some of the union members should


not be allowed to strike where there is a larger financial benefit to


London or the UK as a whole. The police cannot strike, the Tube


network in London is an essential service, it should be regarded as


such. Teachers? If you are going to roll that theory out, oddly, yes. If


you take that away from working people, you are taking their rights


away. There are many who have sympathy with your position, many do


not, but these are hard-won rights in the 18th and 19th century, a


fascinating part of our history. Are you suggesting they should be


curtailed? Rolled back? Yes, and some of the rules need to evolve.


Many rules and regulations have evolved through time, as the world


has changed. This is one of those things that needs to be changed, it


needs to evolve with the times. The bosses and the people who are at the


control cannot be trusted, we have seen this with the bankers. If the


workers have not got some way to defend themselves, they will just be


exploited, we see it everyday. 50% of employment in this country in the


private sector is in small business, and this general term, the bosses,


is being thrown around, as if we are all getting bankers' bonuses, but it


is a tiny percentage. The modern world is very different. You are


talking about joining the modern Iraq. Are they dinosaurs? The


dinosaurs died out, let's hope these old ways are going. Let the


Victorian mill owners buy off, but equally, we need the trade union


movement to move on. We have to be careful coming down your throat,


because there are bosses that will exploit workers -- coming down your


route. We know Ryan air very well, but if you ask Michael Leary who the


most important people in their organisation in terms of the


stakeholders, he talks about the staff, he says, if the staff are


happy, and therefore the shareholders are happy. Office


workers happy? Why does he not let them join a union, then? If he think


they are happy, he would not have to worry. We have the working poor,


people who are in work and still poor, and the taxpayer is


subsidising their bosses. If everybody had a fair day's paid for


a fair day's work, there would be no problem. What about customers? We


have mentioned the bosses and the workers, what about the customers?


The lady at the back, good morning. Good morning! I am wondering what


you mean about fair play. As a 20-year-old, I am still being


parried's paid ?5 an hour. I have worked in different bars, and you


have to kind of businesses, the one where I am working now, where I know


the boss, and I know they are having issues, they are trying to start


up, they say, we will pay you the minimum wage, you have got to


understand we are trying to build, and after rebuild, we can give you


something back, but some places, I have a zero our contract, they will


give you the minimum pay, they are getting the money in, and they are


leaking you there. It is not like you have a lot of emphasis on the


trains, this is a lot of people working in bars and these kind of


places, and they do not get a say, and they are struggling. Many


companies without unions will pay people as little as they can get


away with, you don't think so? No, it is a short-term solution, not a


long-term fix. Most people in business are looking for long term.


You can't do that forever. You've got to treat your staff well or they


do not perform as best they can. If they perform well, your business


performs well. And what about the argument about protecting the jobs


of the here and now and in so doing jeopardising the jobs in the future,


it was that the case in the '70s? We are a globally competitive world, so


whatever we do, we have to make sure we are better, be it by quality,


price or service, than anyone else in the world. We can't look across


the river and say, they are paid 50p an hour more. One of the issues of


this time is zero hour contracts. They've risen 1,000% in the last


couple of years. It kills your argument. No, it helps it. I have a


chap who is 56, he doesn't want to work full time. He is a craftsman.


He likes the idea that he can have a few weeks off. We work together. But


that's the exception. No it is not, it happens all the time. The


gentleman there. Good morning. I think if your friend was a single


man, wouldn't enjoy that time off with zero hours contracts.


APPLAUSE And if you pay workers more money, that money goes back into the


economy. If people use the word gaffer, I apologise if a working


class term offends you that much. APPLAUSE Down, boy! Hold fire. Let's


get more comments. With the glasses. The thing is you are alls talking


about trade unions and that's all well and good, but it seems to me


you are talking about people who've already in work. I've only just


turned 16, so I'm at the age now where I can start looking for a job


and get work, and a few of my friends are, but we don't know our


rights. We are taught, this is how you do a CV, but we need somebody


our age to stand up for us and say, this is what you are allowed. If we


don't have that, it is easy for us to be taken advantage of, and that


has happened. APPLAUSE Who is there for the


workers Richard? Modern business doesn't look to take advantage of


its workforce. Private companies look to work with their employees,


because a happy workforce actually looks to further the company's aims,


once the company is making more money, the customer is more engaged


and there is more money to pay the staff. We had a situation here on


Tyneside where on the Metro, the private contractor employed the


cleaners on a minimum wage, refused to recognise the trade union. That


was a success of the RMT, they won a living wage for those cleaners. It


took 12 months but they did it. As much as I think it would be lovely


to say bosses wants to look after their staff, unfortunately you will


always get a certain amount of people that won't treat people well


and somebody needs to look after people who haven't got a voice.


APPLAUSE Ian and Richard here in Newcastle University you've come


into the lion's den! The exception moves rule. Good employers will


survive in the long return and bad employers won't. One of the things


we have to bear in mind is the vast majority. It is a bit like you might


say the dinosaurs but the trade union movement are dying out and the


modern unions are coming forward. You would think from listening to


Ian we have Utopia in industry. We haven't got any! The world is


constantly changing and we have to move with it. Globalisation,


freelance work... Zero hours work contracts, whatever it is. I


employed an apprentice. He understood customer service, what it


ways like to turn up every day and he was better prepared to work


Have you been in a union? Yes I was. I left a union as well. I was in the


national Union of Journalists when I first started in the working world.


What's wrong, couldn't hack it? APPLAUSE You making the just


remember the 1980s, it was time when the NUV was strong, powerful, but


there was a huge amount of change coming place. I had come out of


university and I was using a PC, but they used a typewriter with carbon


papers. It was a joke. I was struggling away. I said to the


editor, who had a computer, "Can I have a computer?" He said


unfortunately the NUJ refuses to let you have computers unless you get


more pay for using one. I said, buts easier for me. But he said no, the


union refuses. After six months of the union wanting another 20% pay


rise, I said my life's miserable because of what the trade union


wants. I left the union and got a PC. Within two years the union had


been derecognised because of its very narrow minded stand.


APPLAUSE Isn't it a good thing that practices like that are in the, to


use Lenin's phrase, if I may, in the dustbin of history? No, I think


trade unions have a role to play in the future. But practise like that?


Practices like that are dying off. You will (Inaudible) we never had


that, by the way. Down the mines you did what you were told to do. If we


kill trade unions now, which the Tories are trying to do, lo and


behold the workers of the future. What killed the coal mine industry,


30 years on, some people say it was Mrs Thatcher and some say it was the


strikes. No, it was the Ridley plan. She brought in an American and he


did the work for her. Without those strikes what would the mining


industry have looked like today? Very different. There's some great


challenges for school in this country. They are closing all the


coal-power powered power stations. If you employ politicians, they are


paying a strike price for renewable energy where you can't afford to


generate gas or coal. That's a political manipulation. Remove


politicians. Apart from Ronnie. Thank you all very much for taking


part. Thank you. APPLAUSE If you have something to


say about that debate, log on to bbc.co.uk/thebigquestions and follow


the link to where you can join in the discussion online. Or contribute


on Twitter. We're also debating live this morning: Is animal testing ever


justified? And does religion make you happy? So get tweeting or


emailing on those topics now, or send us any other ideas or thoughts


you may have about the show. .


Two universities here in the northeast of England have been


causing controversy with experiments on animals. Newcastle University was


in trouble for operating on baboons in Kenya to find treatments for


stroke patients. And now there are protests against its work here,


where macaque monkeys have been used for research into shakes and tremors


in humans. And Durham University has reported a sevenfold increase in its


use of animals in research. Is animal testing ever justified?


Professor Paul Flecknell, hello, where are you Paul? Laboratory


animal science at Newcastle University. I'm sure nobody in the


studio will suggest that experiments on our closest relatives, the great


apes, the chimps, that's been phased out in the western world,


intelligent, sentient, cognitive, it is amazing that this goes on


elsewhere. Why though macaques? We use very few - I should say first of


all we use very few animals in our research programme in the UK. At


Newcastle for example it is about 10% of our total medical research


but the. The rest is, our colleagues would call alternative methods. But


it is made up for in numbers by mice. I understand this, and it will


no doubt come out, where macaques? Because they are so similar to us.


They have some parts of their brain that we have and mice don't, rats


don't, the other species that are used in labs don't. Because they are


so like us, it raises even more ethical concerns about using them in


research. Hence the point about chimps and great apes. The more like


us they are the more useful it is. Beagles are used, and cats. A lot of


people will say the fact that it works, or is effective, doesn't mean


that it is right. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's right.


What we are saying is that the means justify the benefits to humans. You


call me Professor. I started life as a veterinary surgeon and working in


practice and I moved into the field where I'm responsible for the


welfare of animals in laboratories. I would rather we didn't use animals


in research. As a vet, I care about animals, but I have to confess that


at the end of the day I think people matter more. If the only way that we


are going to make rapid progress towards treating some of the major


disease problems that we still have is to use animals for part of that


research, then it is ethical to do so. White bun ethical to say no


we're not going to do, that we are going to deny ourselves all of those


research options. APPLAUSE Dr Jarrod Bailey, we have


the strongest ethical rules in the world in this country. We are


leading the way, are we not, in the ethical treatment of lab animals?


They may or may not be the strong nest the world. What we are - you


can claim that they are the least-worst. We find out what really


goes on in labs not from the PR from the industries that use them, from


the people that use them, but from undercover investigations. People


who go in unknown and take footage of what is being done. What's


happening to these macaques, do you imagine? Fist of all they suffer


from just being in a laboratory. This is scientifically acknowledged.


They become stressed just from routine procedures from handling,


seek people experimenting on them, having blood taken. Experimentally


they are poisoned. They have new chemicals and substances tested,


forced down tubes into their stomachs. They are forested to


inhale them. They are have their skulls removed, things implanted


into their brains. Experiments that are very invasive and cause a huge


amount of suffering. That's what really goes on. Theeth cat argument


not only involves what is being done to the animals, and there is strong


evidence that there the suffering of animals in labs much greater than


the people who do it would have you believe, so the cost is greater. But


is that animal experimentation really essential to human cures and


treatments to furthering the medicine? Or is it incidental? Sit


counterproductive? There is a lot of evidence that I and other scientists


like me have helped gather to show it is counterproductive. Animal


research is misleading. They are not little furry humans and we would be


much better, as you mentioned with chimpanzees in the US, that's


stopped, and it has stopped because an independent science panel looked


at the evidence... Because they are so like us. They didn't need to use


chimps had. Even though they are the most like us they are not like us


enough. If chimps aren't good enough, how on earth can any other


animal species be good enough? We don't need to use animals?


APPLAUSE To come back on the point that all eur mimates are -- our


primates are frightened and distressed, we used nine macaques


last year out of 25 animals which were primarily rats, mice and fish.


Those animals were bred in captivity in the UK for research. When I go in


to see them, they don't cower into a corner. They try to steal my badge


and mobile phone, because that would be entertaining for them, not so


much for me. Do they have a play area? They have play areas. They


interact with their cage mates, their pen mates. I should say, is


we've taken round nonscientists to look at them. Yesterday Steve Owen,


and this backs up what you are saying, he said, I love prime axts


when you work with a monkey study you really get to know them. In the


end I prefer that it is me that puts them down. I know Steve and yes he


will genuinely care about then answer. For our technical staff and


the scientists who work with these animals, they do become individuals


and it does become very hard when it is the end of a study and the animal


has to be humanely killed. Ben? We are, you say there a maul number of


animals being uxtd last year we used 4. 1 million animals in the UK


medical experiments, the highest number in a generation. For those 4.


1 million animals we don't have 4. 1 million new vaccines. There are 20


inspectors, less than that now in the UK, for those 4. 1 million


animal as. My colleague here did fantastic work. They went undercover


at the Imperial College... A lot were fish and mice, have to say.


People draw the lines at the most cognitive animals, macaque as


include oozed. But fish and mice, people don't have such a problem


with that That's very bizarre to me. All animals have the ability to feel


pain and fear like we do. No, they don't. One of the reasons why, and I


would fully support Jarrod and his campaign to not use chimpanzees,


their brains are so like us and their emotional awareness is close


us the that they feel pain and distress... But not a macaque? There


is a difference. To say that a zebra fish, especially one at five days


old, when it is about this big, feels same way that a mouse or a


rats or a macaque does. They certainly feel pain. They have


desires to live out their own live lease. So if that is the case we


should ban fishing. Many species of animal, from rodents up, have


similar structures and pathways in the brain that deal with the


perception of pain and suffering, how they respond to it, having their


natural behaviour is prevented and inhibited, and how they respond to


incarceration. To claim that these animals are not suffering regularly


and chronically is ridiculous, it has been proven, they have elevated


levels of stress hormones, and there is another element. When animals are


stressed, as animals in laboratories are, this is a fact, it effects


their general health, the genes in their bodies. It is


counter-productive to the experiment? Of course. You struggle


to apply those results to normal monkeys and rats in the wild. A


moment ago, Doctor Bailey said they were so different, it would not be


scientifically useful, now he says they are so similar... They are


similar in the way they suffer and respond to pain. Over time, we have


seen so many medical breakthroughs, almost all of the breakthroughs that


we see come from animal research. Decades ago, the polio vaccine, the


TB vaccine. A lot of research into veterinary medicine. There are other


ethical points. In this country, we were allowed to capture primates in


the wild, babblings were caught, Newcastle University were in Kenyan,


that was exposed, and you stopped it, because it is clearly


unethical. As anyone will realise, you have to kill ten to get one. It


was outsourced. Newcastle United... I have a one track mind sometimes!


Because at University outsourced it, that is what you stop. To get one,


you have to kill ten. They fight for their family. That is another


ethical issue. That is why we purpose breed animals. The issue of


going to Kenyan, the Primate research Centre captures them from


the wild, where they are going to be killed as pests. The research worker


thought it was better to use an animal that would otherwise have


been killed. Why did you stop? There was a change in the policy of the


research councils that oversee the funding, and we thought about the


animals' experience, and decided it would be better not to do that work


with wild caught animals. About the medical breakthroughs having come


about from animal testing, it is a legal requirement to test all new


drugs on animals, it does not mean it is the best way. The developed --


the development process was through animals. Without animals, it would


not have come about. We are not spending the money in new


technology. You released figures to say that less than 4.036% of all


research and develop and funding is on trying to produce alternatives to


animal testing, it is inertia and lack of political will which means


we have found ourselves in this situation. The lady there. I am a


psychology student, we have studied animal studies, the ratio of ethics


inducing animal studies. I do not agree with the fact that we can


stress out of monkeys to see how their biology develops, but to an


extent, a lot of us would not be here if no animal testing was done.


It is horrible, it should not be done, certainly not for cosmetic


purposes, but some of it has to be done in the initial stages. We all


draw different lines. Yes, but at the end of the day, as he said, we


choose these animals because of their similarities to us. They feel


pain. You are causing another living being pain in doing that. If we have


to use them, should recognise that they feel pain, and it is not always


going to be a happy life. It was the point that we are looking to use


babblings, and you can understand that from a scientific perspective,


because the similarities exist, but we then have to look at, why would


you use the five-day-old angelfish? If you are talking about only 5%


being primates, with their similarities, that would suggest


that 95% were animals that have such insignificant similarities that,


what could we gain from that? The more these animals are like us, the


more useful they are, the more of an ethical problem we have. You said


earlier that if chimpanzees are not similar enough, what is? They are


still very different. They can be similar in useful ways. For


Parkinson's disease, the frontal and temporal lobes are enough. Animals


are not humans, we have special cognitive things, notably language,


which enable us to reflect on our thought processes. There is


increasing evidence about those higher cognitive species having


their own forms. An interesting point, some chimpanzees are more


intelligent than some human beings. Then, but not and Moore said he and


-- and more sentience and cognitive. The experiment being referred to is


the chimpanzees' working memory, they can identify where things are.


Humans have to think consciously about that. Chimpanzees have that


ability automatically. That does not mean it is intelligence, it is a


different type of thing. When you see animals moving towards something


or away from something, that does not necessarily mean they are


feeling fear, they are showing a response. Fear is a uniquely human


emotion. It depends whether you define it according to behaviour


or... Dolphins, elephants, chimpanzees, research coming out...


You can see when animals are distressed. If you are going to use


them, you have to use the absolute minimum amount. We are talking about


how close to humans the animals are, if we are torturing animals, how


human are we? That is emotive language, you are right,


stop people doing it. Animal testing will not stop tomorrow. Anybody who


has taken a dog or a cat to the vet will no that animals fear things.


That is nonsense. Something cannot be ethically defensible that is not


scientifically defensible. We cannot say it is OK to test on animals when


scientifically it is not OK. I would like to briefly run through some of


the things that we have found. Chimpanzees use in America. Despite


the citrus claims from those who use them that medical research would


fail. It stopped based on the evidence we gathered, that 100 AIDS


vaccines have been tested on chimps and did not work in people. In


animals, well over 1000/ treatment. They do not work in humans. If you


stop it, and get outsourced to countries who do not have any


standards or regulations. Primates, there is a growing one in China,


they are disappearing into laboratories. I am looking at this


from a human perspective, where are we going to get tools and


treatments? The pharmaceutical industry will tell you they are in


serious trouble, they are so reliant on animal testing. 19 out of 20


drugs that look good in animals do not work in people, even some of the


ones that make it on later removed. We are still looking for clues for


cancer, we need an AIDS vaccine, because animal tests do not work. We


do not have a cancer cure, but we have treatments which are pushing up


the survival rate, breast cancer has gone from 40% to 75%, testicular


cancer even further, next to the research on animals. The law says


that if there is another viable method, you must use it. Does that


will not apply? Of course. The University over the road, looking at


the effect of green tea extract on animals, study people who drink


green tea, you can do it. The effect of mint on mice, putting them on a


hot plate and seeing how it burns their feet. Studied this on people.


We do. You know that animals feel fear. Where we differ with a


psychology is, are the animals conscious of their fear in the same


way that I am? I can it is about fear. That is why you would not do


it on a chimp? Yes, there are differences. I do not claim that


Bush do not feel pain, but it is in a different way from other species.


Each species has its unique sensation. To go back to this idea


about other ways of doing things that scientists are ignoring, as I


said at the outset, about 10% of the total medical research in Newcastle


has some involvement of animals. We are using patients, human


volunteers, the same laboratory that happy controversy about Kenya, it


works with people, with volunteers. They do brain slice work, individual


cells in a ditch, and try and work out what is happening, but at some


stage, you need to go back to the whole animal, and if it is not


ethical to make it human, you have to find another approach, which


usually involves a laboratory animal. You can join in the debates


by logging onto the website. You can follow the link to the online


discussion. Or you can tweet. Tell us what you think about our last big


Ashton, does religion make you happy? If you would like to be in


the audience for a future show, you can e-mail us. Southampton next


week, then Glasgow and Bristol. This Thursday has been dubbed


International Day of Happiness in support of the UN's humanitarian


efforts. If you want to take part, you need to post a video of yourself


being happy online. There is a link between religious affiliation and


happiness, especially in society is a link between religious affiliation


and happiness, especially in societies facing adversity. But does


religion make you happy? Does religion make you happy? Does it


elevate the quality of your life? We have to understand the difference,


we have to separate religion as an institutional organisation... We


have to, if we want a mature debate. Or else people will take cheap


shots. Faith, belief in God. The characteristic that makes a


spirituality. I do believe it, I am a Christian, a Catholic Christian,


the gospel values which I hold the, they help bring me in connection


with other people, through communities, let's say the Church


committee, for example, the local parish, something like that. There


is an understanding, and responsibility, to be aware of each


other. For the happiness side of it, also, I think it is important to


understand what happiness means. We can have one side of happiness which


is pleasure, which is great, not a problem. But the happiness that I


think spirituality can give you, that a real faith can give you, if


the deep joy that is spoken about in the Bible and in the gospels


particularly. differences. I do not claim that


Bush do not feel pain, Some people get fellowship at the golf club.


Absolutely. It is not exclusive. So it is a valid cation of your world


view, is that what you are talking about, like-mind people? Snow Very


much not exclusive. It is that we are all people, we are all human


being on this planet and somehow we are connected, and that there is a


responsibility to be aware of the other person, particularly the most


vulnerable this societies. That's what true gospel values is about.


Ronnie Campbell is happier when he is with Ed Miliband than when she


with George Osborne. LAUGHTER Aren't you? Well...


LAUGHTER Who wouldn't be? Do you understand me? Yes, I do. There is


an understanding, there is a connection to in that scenario would


be an ideology of society, which is fine. Similar, like-minded. It can


be, yes. It is very important to get that distinction between the


institution. I'm hammering that home. Hammer it home all you want.


There are great schisms at the moment which are causing


unhappiness. You are a revert, are you happier now? I am. It is


difficult to be happy after that animal experimentation debate. That


was well depressing, but no, seriously, it really was


heart-breaking. But the Koran, the holy book in which I have faith,


says verily in the remembrance of God do hearts find tranquillity. I


think from the point of view of a fallible, a finite human being to


contemplate, to remember, to remember the Washington who was


perfect, who was all-wise, who was almighty, all good, it cheers me um.


It cheers you up? Right, so your life has changed hasn't it? You used


to drink a lot and so forth. I wasn't a plonky!


LAUGHTER But you look back on that time of life and you think, that was


all just frivolous nonsense, now I've got something deep in my life,


yes? I think Mia hit the nail on the head that there are different types


of happiness. Getting smashed on Stella does bring a certain type of


happiness. Transient. Transient happiness. Practising my religion


and believing in it, that gives me a different type of happiness. I refer


the lat tore the former. Although I can still have some worldly


pleasures as well, I'm not a hermit. When are you at your happiness? --


your happiest? From the point of view of a Muslim, theled with world,


even the most mundane affairs, are imbued with meaning. We believe that


the whole (Inaudible) is a manifestation of the creative


capacity of almighty God. Even making cheese on toast can be a


mind-blowing experience, because everything is God in action. So


walking through the countryside and looking at the creation of God, as I


see it, that's probably when I'm at my happiest. OK. Matt? Exactly as


you described it. Religion definitely is statistically


associated with being happy. The more adverse circumstances you have,


the more effect it has. But not only that, the actual, the religious


make-up of the country also has an effect. The more religious is


country is overall the greater the effect religion has on your own


happiness. Explain that more. The UK... Probably more people are part


of that group. Specifically the UK. Fairly secular compared to most


countries. Take it - an African nation, people in Africa will get


more benefit from that religion than the people in the UK where there is


less of a religious nature. That has to be looked at within the context


of the socioeconomic status of that country. We are a relatively rich


country, our levels of happiness are high compared to other countries. We


might reach a ceiling effect. What's interesting is the way it works. One


of the ways, like Mia was saying, you are part of a group where you


get respect, where people share your values. You have morals and they are


shared. We also get personal meaning from life. If for example you are


finding it difficult in your life, you are having difficult


circumstances, not only does prayer maybe enable you to cope with that


but there's a different meaning beyond the materialistic gains that


might be there as well. You find this, the things that people pray


for change. It is a consolation as well isn't it? It may be a


consolation. It is about meaning, having self efficacy. If you are


elderly and have lost a partner, you think maybe you'll meet again, not


just elderly, it is a huge comfort isn't it? It is the terra management


thing... There's a label for everything! There. It is nice to


think we might see people afterwards. This might help us deal


with that. There are reasons to believeta humans are predisposed to


believe in an afterlife without teachings of God. It is honouring


the ancestors. I grew up in Northern Ireland. Very religious. I think a


lot of the attraction of religion, quite a lot of religions offer


redemption and forgiveness. With that you can see why for example


somebody with blood on his hands, like Tony Blair, wants to be


Catholic, because he feels he can get forgiveness. That's part of the


attraction people have for it. But away from that point, which we have


debated for, the former Prime Minister, Martin is saying there's a


lot of people who are river no-one Northern Ireland. There is sectarian


sectarianism... And in the whole world. That's the politics of


religion. What we were talking about today is the spirit at of the


individual. Can that aid your own happiness. Those people were engaged


with their religion and it was making them happy, they wouldn't be


going into the politics of each other if they were religion. If they


are engageded with the true sense of what the religion is about, not the


politics of it. Richard? Without making life of it, if you look at


what faith, is people coming together for a common purpose, we


are in Newcastle. Thursday morning, the happiness index would be higher


if St St James's Park victory on Wednesday was for the home and not


the away team. Les? We need to remember what really does bring us


happiness. If you look at what the happiness... What brings you


happiness as a human? As a humanist, helping other folks. When you


analyse it, when you see people in times of distress, you find when


they are in real distressful time, off as a bereavement or something,


what really brings them happiness, what makes their life worthwhile is


the fact that they are able to help people. That is the fundamental


thing. APPLAUSE You don't need religion to


do that. The man at the back. Good morning. I was brought up a Roman


Catholic. I'm now not practising, but I do have a lot of happy


memories spent at church as a child. Whether that was my interaction with


the religion, my interaction with other people, or my interaction with


the holy book, I don't know. However, if it makes happy, meeting


everybody once a week... Are you happy now? I don't know. I don't


know where that happiness came from, was it the people, with the book or


the religion? I don't know. If you are happy doing that once a week or


more, and spending time with like-minded people, knock yourself


out and go for it. Whatever makes you happy. You, sir. I gave up


religion and I've never been happier ever since. Daniel will have a word


with you later. He will fail miserably. I've found that the more


religious a country, the more suffering is you will see on its


streets. That's just a correlation rather than a causative fact. Where


there is more suffering people are more likely to be religious rather


than religion causing the suffering. That is partly because in those


times there are more things that prayer can help you deal with. Is it


not that it makes the population more willing to accept their


suffering, because they are told they will get their reward in


Heaven, so they are more willing to take it more. That could be how the


country works but it doesn't mean the country isn't coping. The


mechanism by which it works is complicated. You may or may not be


happy with that. As a psychologist I'm trying to describe the human


phenomenon. When are you at your happiest? Today, meeting you, in


Nicky. LAUGHTER While I do appreciate


everybody's views and I do think that as a Christian myself religion


can make you happier and it is a spiritual journey, but at the same


time I think the problems in our modern culture come when people take


a political viewpoint on it or go beyond the individual spirit at of


it. Then we get huge problems, killings in the name of honour. We


get radical people from all religions acting in the wrong way. I


think that's wren when it can cause grave unhappiness. I think there was


a point you wanted to drum home and that is the point. It is when people


make the religion itself their God. Religion is there as a structure to


help you manifest your faith. How would you change that? I did agree


with what you said earlier about helping people. As a humanist that


would be very important to you. As a Christian that's fundamental to me.


To gospel values. You only have to look at what's happening now,


particularly in the Catholic Church with Pope Francis, who is


rejuvenating the Catholic Church because he is bringing it back to


what the gospel values are all about. He's keeping it real is he?


Yes. What happens in many religious groups, they tend to focus on


helping their own. That's not to say they don't help nonreligious groups,


but there is a certain element of it. It is quite strong, particularly


in the Muslim faith, I also work with Save the Children. It is a


secular charity. But when we are fundraising we have to identify


certain project projects for Muslim donors. Because they insist that if


money is going to be used it should be used for Muslims. So you are in


an in-group it excludes the out-group? It can do. The I think


you are trying to separate the politics of religion and the spirit


at of religion but I don't think you really have a choice in modern


religions today. I think that's is very frustrating and that doesn't


make you happy. Daniel? Sorry, but I really don't want to let Les get


away with that. It is just a load of rubbish, the idea that Muslims or


people of any other religion only done to causes that are going to


benefit people of their faith. He said that can be the case? But it's


not the norm. I can say that as someone who is very much part of the


Muslim community. I've seen with my own eyes Muslims raising money for


charities which supersede all religions are, things like Marie


Curie. It is not just Muslims who get cancer. Actually the evidence


shows that although religious people do give more to charity, they give


more to charity specifically to ones associated with their faith. They do


favour and buy answer-group charities. If you see someone on the


TV who looks like your own mother or father suffering is, that will


probably strike a chord within you to donate rather than someone who


looks very much different and might not strike a chord. If you turned on


the television and sea someone like him, would you donate? I'm


initiativing nothing to anybody! LAUGHTER I like the idea of religion


and faith, but why do so many organised religions, why are these


divisions causing all these trouble? Pope Francis knows it is not about


the religion but the faith. Why are there divisions? Personal spirit at,


your own beliefs? Thank you all very much for taking part. .


As always, the debates will continue online and on Twitter. Next week


we're in Southampton, so join us then. But for now, goodbye. Have a


great Sunday.


Nicky Campbell presents live moral, ethical and religious debates from Northumbria Students' Union in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Has trade unionism had its day?

Is animal testing ever justified?

And, does religion make you happy?

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