Episode 13 The Big Questions


Episode 13

Nicky Campbell presents live moral, ethical and religious debate from Hutchesons' Grammar School in Glasgow.


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Transcript


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Today and The Big Questions, democracy, promiscuity and the end

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of the world. Good morning, I am Nikki Campbell,

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welcome to The Big Questions, live from Hutchesons' Grammar School in

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Glasgow. Welcome, all of you, to the big

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questions! The UK is about to be plunged into a year of political

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campaigning. Local and European elections in May, the Scottish

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referendum in September, then the general election in May 2015. We can

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all look forward to a cause of newspaper coverage, how is of

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interviews and debate. But many people will not vote, especially if

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they are under 25 or poor. Less than 1% of all age groups join political

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parties. So this week the Electoral Commission announced a review of

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modern voting to tackle what it called the increasingly

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disenfranchised younger generation. If people do not engage with

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politics, democracy ceases to be government by the people for the

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people. Is our democracy working? Willie Sullivan from the electoral

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reform Society, what has gone wrong? What we have ended up with is

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government by a very few people, for a very few group of people. People

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have switched onto that, so we talk about the missing million in

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Scotland, this 1 million people that never take part in elections. I ran

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some focus groups with Ipsos MORI, and they said that, you know, they

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don't vote because politicians are not like them, they do not represent

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their interests and they basically think they are dishonest. Those

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people do not count, so they do not vote, so they do not count again. We

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have a legacy of first past the post... They say nothing changes if

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you vote, but if you do not vote, nothing will change. They tried it

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in the past, I guess, and they do not think it is having any effect.

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And the politicians do not speak to them, because it is a first past the

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post system, where they speak to swing voters in key seeds. They are

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ordinary working people who have been neglected. 30% of Westminster

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went to Oxbridge, 25% to private schools. The Labour Party used to be

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working people representing themselves, now it is people who

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work in politics. It was not always working people, Clement Attlee, Tony

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Benn. Is that the problem? It is just one middle-aged man versus

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another middle-aged man with another one trying to beat all the others?

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If you cannot see other people who look like you, who are from where

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you are from, from your background, or you are talking about issues that

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can relate to you in your everyday life, how can you put yourself

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there? You are correct when you are saying that is one of the reasons

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why people don't get involved in politics, but again, we don't teach

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young people about politics, we don't teach them in schools about

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it. Yeah OK, we might teach them and modern studies. We teach them about

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laws and why they have to behave in a certain way, and what the laws of

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the land are, but we never teach them who makes the laws and how the

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laws are made and what that looks like. So therefore you do have a

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generation gap, but I am telling you that, you know, from my position at

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NUS, like, people are engaged. They are talking about issues, young

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people. There is a dissonance there. I have been involved in politics

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since I was 14, and that speaks volumes. If you go out, even if you

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go to primary schools and ask them, you know, what sort of world do they

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want to live in, they are talking about clean space, park space,

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talking about everyone being treated the same. This is it, there is an

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engagement, but this whole idea, John Curtice, of civic duty, have we

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lost that? The first two speakers have talked about what I would call

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the supply-side problem, which is to say that what is on offer is not

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important or different enough. It is partly to do with the people, but

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the Labour Party was never as working class in Parliament as its

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electorate. But it is to do with a feeling that there is not enough

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difference between the parties, and that is interesting, the referendum

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in Scotland may be different. Here it looks as if people do accept that

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the choice that Scotland will make in September is important, and all

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the evidence is that people will turn out. But there is also a

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demand-side problem, and that is that as a population we no longer

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feel so passionate about politics as we once did. But we do about

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issues. Yes, but we do not feel passionate about the individual

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parties. Far fewer of us and say I am Labour, I will go to the polling

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station come what may. We have to be given more reason than that, and

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therefore given we are less passionate about politics, we are

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less likely to join political parties. If, at the same time, we

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cannot see much difference between the politicians, put those things

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together, and we end up saying, it really is not worded, I am not that

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committed to voting and there does not seem to be much point. -- it

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really is not worth it. It is only when we give the electorate a real

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choice that they bother to turn out. They do care deeply about local

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issues like housing, employment and jobs, but they do not care about

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party politics, because they do not think it will make a difference. In

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the work I have done, they think the referendum will make a big

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difference one way or the other, and they will vote in that. People who

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have told me they have never voted before... So if the issue is big and

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significant enough... They think it will change something, John is

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right. It does now have to be significant for people to go to the

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polls. Charles Kennedy in a minute, but, Stacey, isn't there a problem

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from people themselves, we are a society that wants instant

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gratification, and politics isn't about that? It is a long road to

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change, isn't it? It is an ability to make a change... But it doesn't

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happen overnight, and we have a society that wants everything now.

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We do not go to teach people about the political system, we do not

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teach them what it takes to pass a motion in Parliament, all the things

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that it needs to go through. Plus, we were talking about... We didn't

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teach them in the past. I think what we have now is a vertical

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hierarchical system of government and politics, and we have a

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horizontal society. We communicate through social media, we get

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information. We know the elite are not any better than us. Before, they

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used to control the information... They could do what they wanted. They

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could set themselves up as being better than us, but they are just

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like us, human, flawed. But we were just hearing they are not like us

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and that is the problem. Charles Kennedy! They are like us... I know

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we do not fit the stereotype of public school or Oxbridge. You were

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a very young MP. It is hard to envisage now! Go buy some

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appreciation for Charles being here. Representing Westminster. Good luck!

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Representing the Highlands in Westminster, big difference. When

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you went into the House of Commons, did you look around and think, what

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is this? I was taken aback, because there were people of a post-2nd

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World War vintage, very distinguished people. We have just

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lost one of them, Tony Benn, Jim Callaghan, great names, Ted Heath,

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Michael Foot. I sat in the chamber and listened to them all. As a

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student of politics, never mind an MP, the big change since then is

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that most MPs did not possess a fax machine. The internet had not been

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invented, mobile phones did not exist, rolling news did not exist.

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All of that has happened, and what I notice is that the communication

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capacity between the voter and the elected person is now infinite

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compared with what it was 30 years ago. But the actual quality and

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quantity, too much of it. The quality of communication has gone

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down. This is perverse, this is something we need to address. I come

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back to what I think is a home truth, the Electoral Commission is

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looking at this, you can use all sorts of gizmos and technologies,

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well-intentioned ideas to increase participation and ten. But it is

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like the plague Death Of A Man, Willie le Roux axis selling himself.

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-- play. Politics has to sell hope. Ann McKechin, you are MP for Glasgow

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North, still voting for the same old people, propagating the same old

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policies. I do not fit the stereotype either, I also went to a

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state school, lived in a council house, and I also had a job before I

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went into politics. And of course I am a woman, and one of the good

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things about politics is that there are far more women and from ethnic

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communities in Westminster. That is a good sign, and more people are

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communicating with their MPs on a day-to-day basis than ever before.

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But there is a disconnect, and we need to create a culture of

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citizenship where everyone participates in democracy. So that

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is a civic duty. We have a responsibility as politicians, but

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it is about how, as a society, we need to talk about how we

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Emmrich... The system is not working any more. Ed Miliband is a good

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example of someone steeped in politics, his father was a political

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theorist, his childhood spent in the West London Labour lead, all his

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jobs have been in politics. Does he look like an ordinary person? We are

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all different, but he is a younger person, someone who has values, who

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is intelligent and listens to people. You are towing the party

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line now. I know Ed Miliband, and he is a decent guy. It is difficult,

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because as soon as you put the word politician, we become a different

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set of people, but actually I regard myself as someone who is in our

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community living and working with people that I represent every day,

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and I hope I can try and show that in the way I work. One thing to bear

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in mind is not just a question of where politicians come from, but we

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are in a world where politicians are professionalised. Charles was a

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trailblazer in the sense that he became an MP in his 20s, but the

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truth is that most people now go into politics, get into politics in

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some way or other in their 20s, not usually in Parliament, but as a

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special adviser to a minister, working for a party or whatever.

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Alongside that, they begin to learn the tricks of the trade, and one of

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the tricks... The dark arts! It is learning how not to answer the

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questions that are put to them. One of the things we are saying in

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politics, some of the protest voting going on for UKIP, one of the things

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that UKIP is saying, look, you hate politicians, both for us! One of the

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things that people feel about Nigel Farage, whether you like him or not,

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is that it sounds as though he is saying what he believes, whereas I

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think people often get the feeling that many of our politicians have

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learned the professional art of the interview, the presentation in order

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to avoid embarrassments to themselves, but as a result it

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doesn't necessarily sound authentic. I have not come to Carl yet, the

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tricks of the trade, you are in the Scottish Youth Parliament, how are

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you getting on learning the tricks of the trade? In our Scottish Youth

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Parliament, we do things differently. We have heard that

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before! We talk about issues and campaigns, and we spend a lot of

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time listening. You don't talk about politics? We talk about things that

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are important to people, and we are talking about leaders being younger,

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but actually the policies they are coming up with, democracy is working

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for older people in this country, anyone with a pension, anyone who

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gets the winter fuel allowance, TV allowance. It is working for them,

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but for younger people democracy is a complete turn-off. Why bother

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turning out to vote for someone who will cut your... I mean, the Liberal

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Democrats are examples, Jewish and fees tripled, sacrificing the longer

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-- tuition fees tripled, sacrificing the younger electorate. I agree with

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you, I have voted accordingly. You increased the youth vote and then

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dropped that policy in coalition. Nick Clegg has himself apologised,

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saying that was an error. But you and I, in the radio context, John's

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point about not answering the question and we all suffer

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accordingly, I answered a direct question a couple of years ago about

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the single currency. Kennedy, are you in favour of it? Do you not

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think you were wrong? I said, yes, looking back, I was wrong, and he

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ran it and run it as a clip. I remember. And it did me no harm

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whatsoever! The son kept rising in the east. -- sun. I remember the

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massive response of people saying how amazing, how wonderful, a

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politician who answers the question. Why didn't you pass them on to me? I

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rebelled against the party line on the vote in a ruck and also Trident.

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I think it is becoming much more the norm -- the vote on Iraq. Not if you

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want to get on and climb the greasy pole... I think there is hope. There

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are people who want to change the system. The referendum, for younger

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people, I have never since many younger people interested, wanting

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to vote. 416 and 17-year-olds, they are some of most interesting people

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such the 16 and 17-year-olds. If we can start getting people into

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vogue to recognise that voting can make a change -- in to vote. What

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issues across the UK would get people engaged? So that when they

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are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, they will think it is important to vote?

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It is local politics. For young people, employment, youth services,

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education, these are important things which don't get as much air

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time. For older people, it is childcare. Gentleman at the back,

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good morning. One tick of the yes box would dissolve 26 unelected

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bishops in the House of Lords and any number of hereditary peers...

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That is democracy in action. It is a massive... The second-biggest

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unelected chamber after the one in China, in the world. Utterly

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ridiculous. Any other points? Charles Kennedy

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made an important point, we need to sell people hope. That is what

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politicians are not doing. I think the great thing about the referendum

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coming up is that at last people in Scotland have understood we have a

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chance of changing things. That is a terrific thing. Without making this

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about that particular referendum debate come because we walk the line

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of impartiality on that, I appreciate what you are saying, we

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are trying to talk about politics in general and you make a good point.

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The problem with politics nowadays, politicians are too remote from the

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general public. When I was a youngster, I went to hustings with

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my mother and father. Regardless of the fact that politics at a 40 new

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did not particularly interest me, I was dragged along -- as a

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14-year-old. I got to know the local MP. No one would go now. There was a

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meeting in full kirk recently with one or two from the Scottish

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Parliament -- in Falkirk and it was open to the public, and only 78

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people attended. I thought that was horrendous. There are multiple

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political problems in a town like Falkirk. Basically the problems is

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the politicians are too remote. It is interesting. The decline of the

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political meeting means the interaction between the public and

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all additions is not face-to-face. In all honesty, there were not

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probably many 14-year-olds who were being dragged to the hustings, even

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30 or 40 years ago. So far as what the commission is going to look at,

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should we be voting by the internet, at weekends, etc, we tried

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a whole load of experiments in local elections about a decade ago. We

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discovered that the only way in which we could increase turnout by

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changing the method was the old-fashioned thing of snail mail.

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Getting people to vote by post. Further down the track we discovered

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there was a problem with that, there seemed to be a risk that some people

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were harvesting the votes of other people and engaging in electoral

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fraud. So we have reined back from that. Problem is that nobody has

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found a way of changing the way in which we vote, other than going to a

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polling station. That gets more people to go to the polls and it is

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secure. At the end of the day, the crucial thing is it is not so much

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what politicians talk about, it is the choice they offer. One of the

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problems that face all democracies is that because we live in a more

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globalised world, where what one country does depends on what other

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countries do, it has become more difficult for politicians to provide

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a big story. The Labour Party is no longer offering -- offering

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socialism and the Conservative Party capitalism. Thank you, we will move

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on. If you have something to say about that debate, log on to

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bbc.co.uk/thebigquestions, and follow the link to where you can

:20:33.:20:36.

join in the discussion online. Or contribute on Twitter. We're also

:20:37.:20:38.

debating live this morning from Glasgow: Should the morning-after

:20:39.:20:44.

pill be available in advance? Are the end times imminent? So get

:20:45.:20:47.

tweeting or e-mailing on those topics now or send us any other

:20:48.:20:51.

ideas or thoughts you may have about the show.

:20:52.:20:55.

This week NICE, the National Institute for health and Clinical

:20:56.:21:00.

Excellence, issued new guidance for GPs and pharmacies allowing them to

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give young women easier access to the morning-after pill. Now women

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under 25, including girls under 16, will be able to stock up on the

:21:10.:21:13.

morning-after pill in advance and for free. NICE says its aim is to

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reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies but critics fear it will

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encourage promiscuity and spread sexually transmitted diseases.

:21:20.:21:26.

Should the morning-after pill be available in advance?

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Surely every child should be a wanted child and if the morning

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after pill stops an unwanted child... The problem is we live in a

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society that has such a concept of an unwanted child, we live in a

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society that is encouraging young people to break the law, underage

:21:58.:22:01.

sex, and not take the consequences of their actions. I did not get the

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chance to say this is one of the reasons why some of us are

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disenfranchised. The whole ethos of the country has changed. We talk

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about democracy and we forget that God's law has got to undermine

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democracy. These kinds of innovations of the last few years,

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where young people have been highly sexualised and it is routine to just

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break the law... Young people have always had sex. Usually within

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marriage. There have always been unwanted babies. It was never made

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an OK thing to do. Do you think that word should be brought back,

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illegitimate? It is a side issue. It is a distraction and a way of

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pulling down the argument. The key argument is, are we living in a

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healthy society, when young people are being taught that the

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responsible thing to do with regards to sex is not to wait until you find

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somebody want to marry and be with for the rest of your life and raise

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children, the responsible thing is to sleep around and make sure you

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don't have a baby, that is the only message to get. It is an outrageous

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message to give. Can I add one thing, I am here is a repetitive...

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Scottish this at this -- bishops are composite in this. They have not

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told us we should not be voting for members of Parliament, Scottish

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Westminster, who vote for these immoral issues. And present

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themselves for holy Communion. The bishops have a duty to say, you

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can't come to holy Communion if you are going to go against God 's law

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so publicly and in a disgraceful way. They are not doing it. The

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question was asked, should it be administered before having sex, I

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will answer a question, the answer is yes. We already use preventative

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measures and medicine when it comes to the window, you stock up on cold

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and cough medicine. You stock up on paracetamol. We give vaccines and

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immunisation. This is not about a cold. No, but listen to what I am

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saying. If, for instance, a young woman this is about a woman 's

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choice... Be it under the age of 16. If you let me finish. This is about

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a woman's choice. Quite clearly this debate is about that. We need to be

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making sure that young women can make informed decisions about their

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bodies, and make decisions that are based on what is right for them, not

:24:41.:24:46.

on what is right for anyone else. OK, you have said... We do not apply

:24:47.:24:57.

that standard of morale due to anything else. You can't say, it is

:24:58.:25:01.

my right to steal from you or anything else. It is only in this

:25:02.:25:06.

area of sex that this applies. The statistics and the rest of it... It

:25:07.:25:12.

is not against the law to have sex with somebody. Is it a good thing

:25:13.:25:17.

that a child is learning to connect sex with disease, unwanted babies.

:25:18.:25:24.

We pretend that we are concerned about children... Doctor Mark, what

:25:25.:25:31.

are the advantages of having been morning after pill more readily

:25:32.:25:38.

available? Fundamental tenant of medicine is that prevention is

:25:39.:25:41.

better than cure. The morning after pill prevents fertilisation. The

:25:42.:25:50.

morning after pill is not an adult and pill, it is preventing

:25:51.:25:55.

fertilisation. Can it be abortive if fertilisation has occurred? No, the

:25:56.:26:02.

position is that it does not repent implantation. Implantation is a

:26:03.:26:07.

fertilised egg embryo. It doesn't prevent that. It can upset the

:26:08.:26:11.

menstrual cycle, but that prevents fertilisation in the first place. So

:26:12.:26:15.

you're not creating a baby, you're not aborting anything. Another

:26:16.:26:21.

position... I am an IVF specialists I have an interest in women not

:26:22.:26:25.

getting too damaged from infections. If you are a young woman with the

:26:26.:26:28.

now is to say, I may well have sex tonight, I will go and get the

:26:29.:26:32.

morning after pill and take it before I have sex, you probably have

:26:33.:26:42.

the to say I have a packet of condoms and will use it, prevention

:26:43.:26:48.

is better than law. It should be the sponsor Bertie of the chap, too. But

:26:49.:26:56.

equally is women get pregnant. -- it should be the responsibility of the

:26:57.:27:03.

chap. When we look at sexual elation chips, there is a man and a woman

:27:04.:27:09.

involved, -- sexual relationships. If we are looking at a heterosexual

:27:10.:27:12.

relationship, two people involved and both of them need to be part of

:27:13.:27:17.

the decision-making process. It is not just about a woman saying, I am

:27:18.:27:22.

looking after myself and the man in question is a throwaway, one night

:27:23.:27:25.

stand. It needs to be a relationship. Prevention is better

:27:26.:27:31.

than cure but it can't just be about women. Is this the real world? It is

:27:32.:27:39.

the world we have created. When was the moral golden age? There has

:27:40.:27:46.

never been... People talk about the hypocrisy... People say return to

:27:47.:27:51.

Victorian values, you will send children up chimneys. Hypocrisy is

:27:52.:27:58.

the tribute that vice pays to virtue, that is at least

:27:59.:28:01.

acknowledging a standard. We live in an Anais stick -- and

:28:02.:28:13.

instead of preventing young people getting into the situation by giving

:28:14.:28:19.

them good moral education... We need to be teaching people properly,

:28:20.:28:31.

about sex, relationship, education. Some people would argue it can be

:28:32.:28:35.

about moral education, or moral education can be a part of it. In

:28:36.:28:40.

the Netherlands, where they have very low teenage pregnancy rates,

:28:41.:28:44.

they have education about love and nation chips from a very early age

:28:45.:28:50.

-- and relationships. When it is age-appropriate, they start teaching

:28:51.:28:56.

them about sexual relationships. What is wrong with that? You can

:28:57.:29:01.

talk about a happy and healthy relationship. Part of a

:29:02.:29:05.

relationship, whether you agree with this or not, is about yes, talking

:29:06.:29:09.

about love and what that looks like, that is fantastic, but we

:29:10.:29:14.

can't get away from the fact that people in our society are having

:29:15.:29:19.

sex. That is what humans do. Actually, the best form of that is

:29:20.:29:23.

making sure that everyone knows what the pros and cons of having sex. So

:29:24.:29:32.

it is a well informed choice. I was going to say, what is morality? It

:29:33.:29:37.

seems to me that everybody does what is right in their own eyes, and I

:29:38.:29:41.

call that anarchy. I believe that is what is happening. It is my right to

:29:42.:29:47.

make my decision. But it is not, we live in a society. We have

:29:48.:29:52.

responsibilities and duties and that word, duty, is something that so

:29:53.:29:57.

many have forgotten about, ignored, or deliberately turned their back

:29:58.:30:01.

on. What do you think about the available tee of the morning after

:30:02.:30:05.

pill, I infer you not happy? -- availability. I would not say that,

:30:06.:30:14.

I would not say that, but we need to go deeper to look at the root of

:30:15.:30:19.

society, what is society? Do we know what society is? Do we know where we

:30:20.:30:24.

are going as a society? Do we have any vision? On Saturday night, you

:30:25.:30:29.

do not think where you are as a society. That is why we need proper

:30:30.:30:34.

education. Many of us have been there. Sex education in schools, I

:30:35.:30:42.

speak to 16 and 17-year-olds who have no idea about relationships or

:30:43.:30:45.

their own fertility or how their own body works. It has to start earlier.

:30:46.:30:50.

We live in a society where, as we said earlier, there is instant

:30:51.:30:54.

gratification, we are looking at images all the time in the media

:30:55.:30:57.

online, and that is where young people are getting information from.

:30:58.:31:02.

It needs to be a proper, structured education, teaching them how to

:31:03.:31:06.

behave in a relationship, how to keep themselves safe and, you know,

:31:07.:31:42.

difficulty... Two difficulties, young people always think, this is

:31:43.:31:46.

the one, this is the one. Some people in their 20s and 30s and

:31:47.:31:51.

40s. Exactly, ordered and disordered life... Sorry to interrupt you, but

:31:52.:31:59.

Marco... This morning, Clare Balding was interviewing Philomena, who

:32:00.:32:07.

conceived 50 years ago and then had to give up that child because the

:32:08.:32:13.

Catholic Church disapproved of that. That is what you actually

:32:14.:32:16.

potentially are advocating, going back to that awful scenario. And if

:32:17.:32:26.

you don't... The Lady there. Can I just go back to the point you made?

:32:27.:32:34.

Unwanted children, people having, like, people having sex having to

:32:35.:32:41.

cope with the consequences of ending up in a position where they have an

:32:42.:32:45.

unwanted child? So what are you saying? That people who don't have

:32:46.:32:52.

the means to bring up a child, who don't have the money, who don't have

:32:53.:32:57.

the mental physical stability to do so, like... People are lining up to

:32:58.:33:04.

adopt children, can just finish one point that nobody is making in this

:33:05.:33:08.

discussion? This word love, without making a distinction between ordered

:33:09.:33:15.

and disordered love. What is that? As any woman whose husband has run

:33:16.:33:19.

off with another woman because he loves her. Not all love is good.

:33:20.:33:28.

Over there, sorry, it is a bit of a disordered debate now! I am thinking

:33:29.:33:34.

that we're going back to the 1970s, I thought we won all these points 35

:33:35.:33:42.

years ago. We heard earlier on... I do not agree with Pat, family

:33:43.:33:47.

enough, I do not agree with that. I think she is well out of date. She

:33:48.:33:56.

does represent a body of opinion. You mentioned the real world, the

:33:57.:34:01.

woman High Speed Two have suffered in the real world. -- the women I

:34:02.:34:11.

speak to. Excuse me, I am not interrupting you, I think you should

:34:12.:34:20.

let me speak, you said quite enough. All the young women that get

:34:21.:34:27.

pregnant, 40% result in abortions. Have an abortion or take the pill?

:34:28.:34:30.

Take the pill, abortion is a terrible thing for a woman to

:34:31.:34:35.

experience. It takes two to tango, so where are the males in this

:34:36.:34:40.

debate, right? At the end of the day, you cannot have a baby without

:34:41.:34:50.

a male. Your arm shot up there! We have not examined the male point of

:34:51.:34:56.

view, specifically how we have been programmed over our evolutionary

:34:57.:35:00.

development, the mail to spread his sperm and reproduction, and the

:35:01.:35:05.

woman to invest in the future of the militantly few children she will

:35:06.:35:09.

have. We haven't examined that fundamental difference in drivers

:35:10.:35:18.

between ales and females. Well, we are not also the backs, are we? --

:35:19.:35:36.

silverbacks. The gentleman with a hat. From the point of view of

:35:37.:35:43.

gender, if there are condom is available for males everywhere, why

:35:44.:35:49.

can't they for women? Leonora, are you worried about the fact this is

:35:50.:35:57.

available for girls under 16? Yes, that is terrifying! If children are

:35:58.:36:01.

having sex under 16, that is illegal, to start off with. If they

:36:02.:36:06.

are going to a school nurse and getting a morning-after pill, there

:36:07.:36:09.

have to be bigger questions asked. Is it not more worrying if they have

:36:10.:36:15.

a baby? Having a baby is not the only consequence of having sex.

:36:16.:36:35.

Should they get a lecture on contraception? We should be saying

:36:36.:36:39.

that it is illegal, it is against the law. I think we can have moral

:36:40.:36:48.

arguments and beliefs, but at the end of the day, for professionals,

:36:49.:36:52.

for services, we have to be realistic about these things. Young

:36:53.:36:56.

people are having sex. Morality exists, but we also have to accept

:36:57.:37:01.

that for some young people morality and religion is not part of their

:37:02.:37:04.

lives, they were never brought up in that. They should have the freedom

:37:05.:37:08.

to be able to access services. If they don't want to do, that is their

:37:09.:37:13.

choice. I am quite happy to live in a world that is relatively liberal,

:37:14.:37:17.

it is people's choice to do these things, and I think I would rather

:37:18.:37:22.

see contraceptives, let's have a real discussion about sexual

:37:23.:37:25.

relationships, to do what was then in the past, but it all in a

:37:26.:37:30.

cupboard, pretend it did not exist, and then you had all these unknown,

:37:31.:37:34.

unseen problems. You want people to at least be honest about it, because

:37:35.:37:37.

they can get help if they needed. I sense a schism here, you are

:37:38.:38:04.

saying only marriage. It will happen because we will be coming to that in

:38:05.:38:09.

the next discussion. The end times?! This will not last! We used

:38:10.:38:15.

to all get married, remember, when people wanted to have sexual

:38:16.:38:19.

relationships they got married. Meeting somebody, courtship, break

:38:20.:38:23.

off and meet some else without the sex. And plenty of extramarital

:38:24.:38:29.

affairs and STI is. They should still be taught that marriage is the

:38:30.:38:33.

context for sexual activity. Marco, is this going to help? Making the

:38:34.:38:38.

morning-after pill available? Absolutely, yes.

:38:39.:38:44.

You can join in all the debates by logging on to the website. Follow

:38:45.:38:52.

the link to the online discussion, you can tweet using the hashtag

:38:53.:38:57.

#bbctbq. Tell us what you think about our last big question, the end

:38:58.:39:02.

times imminent? If you would like to be in the audience at a future show,

:39:03.:39:09.

you can e-mail us. We will be in Bristol, then we have a two-week

:39:10.:39:13.

break while you enjoy the London Marathon and Easter Sunday, and we

:39:14.:39:20.

will be back in April from York. It was one safer milia site on high

:39:21.:39:24.

streets, men wearing sandwich boards declaring the end of the world is

:39:25.:39:32.

nigh. -- it was once a familiar sight. Evangelical missionaries have

:39:33.:39:37.

come from the United States proclaiming the same message now,

:39:38.:39:41.

and there are some home-grown doom mongering churches too. Why do they

:39:42.:39:48.

think the world is about to end? Because the Bible says that it will

:39:49.:39:52.

happen when people become lovers of self, of money, heartless,

:39:53.:39:58.

slanderous, without self-control, brutal, treacherous, swollen with

:39:59.:40:03.

conceit, lovers of pleasure, sounds like our audience! When this

:40:04.:40:09.

happens, Jesus will come again to judge the world and reviewed it for

:40:10.:40:20.

its sins. The times imminent? Doctor -- Dr Mark Vincent, what are the

:40:21.:40:24.

signs? There are a number of signs, some general background signs of the

:40:25.:40:32.

passage you have quoted, we have had the Noah movie, just released. Is it

:40:33.:40:39.

that bad?! It is interesting that Jesus said there will be a parallel

:40:40.:40:45.

between how things were in day 's and Noahbefore his coming, and that

:40:46.:40:49.

is about violence in society, more people massacred in the last

:40:50.:40:55.

century, and that is just a result of the exponential growth of

:40:56.:41:02.

technology and weaponry. But in the hundred thousand odd years of human

:41:03.:41:08.

history, the 4.5 billion years of our world, 65 million years since

:41:09.:41:11.

the dinosaurs became extinct, there have been scabs and downs, ins and

:41:12.:41:18.

outs. There have, but it is interesting how some things have

:41:19.:41:21.

changed exponentially in recent times. If you think about the

:41:22.:41:28.

population, the consumption of resources, technology,

:41:29.:41:31.

communication, the ability to travel. What will happen? Talk us

:41:32.:41:38.

through it. OK, so to make this a bit more specific, the Bible has a

:41:39.:41:42.

lot to say about Jerusalem. Jesus will come back to the earth, what

:41:43.:41:48.

will happen? So actually the old Testament, 2500 years ago, the new

:41:49.:41:55.

Testament, Jesus said that the end of times would not come until the

:41:56.:41:59.

Jews were back in the land of Palestine, so that is not a

:42:00.:42:03.

political thing, that is a sign. But what will happen? That has only been

:42:04.:42:10.

the case since 1948. The Bible also talks about a geopolitical crisis

:42:11.:42:15.

that will be centred on Jerusalem. But what will it look like, Jesus

:42:16.:42:20.

coming back to? That is quite remarkable, isn't it? Jerusalem is

:42:21.:42:25.

right in the centre of the map, you know, it is the main point of three

:42:26.:42:31.

world religions. When Jesus comes down, what will happen? That is the

:42:32.:42:37.

fantastic news, and what will happen is that Jesus will become the future

:42:38.:42:43.

king of the world. We have talked about, you know, some of the

:42:44.:42:48.

disillusionment of politics. We have talked about... King of the world,

:42:49.:42:53.

what will the world be like? There is a lot of work to do, a lot of

:42:54.:42:58.

redistribution of resources. There is enough food in the world to feed

:42:59.:43:04.

people... Jesus will be the head of a world government? That is right.

:43:05.:43:09.

Will it be a democracy, will he be a dictator? We would like to be able

:43:10.:43:15.

to feed everyone, but we have not achieved it. Who better to actually

:43:16.:43:19.

lead these initiatives than Jesus? Yeah, OK, Chris, you are a man of

:43:20.:43:27.

religion. He wants the end of the world to come, a new phase, is this

:43:28.:43:32.

dangerous thinking? It is, in American politics, for example, you

:43:33.:43:40.

can see how the handling of the Palestinian problem, OK, it is meant

:43:41.:43:45.

to happen, therefore let it happen. A self-fulfilling prophecy. That is

:43:46.:43:51.

the kind of thing that happens. It is a total misunderstanding of the

:43:52.:43:56.

Bible. The Jewish people have this image of a loving God who was always

:43:57.:44:01.

with them, but what the experience told them was, end slavery in

:44:02.:44:06.

Egypt, taken away by the Babylonians, hammered by the

:44:07.:44:08.

Syrians, under occupation by the Romans, and so, for goodness sake,

:44:09.:44:15.

when is God going to sort all this out? The whole eschatology was

:44:16.:44:20.

about, when is God going to clear up this mess? It was not about the end

:44:21.:44:25.

of the world, it was, when was God going to put his programme of love

:44:26.:44:29.

into action? That is what it was about. You think we are in the end

:44:30.:44:36.

times, don't you? Yes, and I'm not a scientist, a mathematician, but I

:44:37.:44:43.

believe the Bible to delete to be true Ulster literally? Literally

:44:44.:44:51.

true. I am happy to debate with anyone. The end times begins,

:44:52.:44:57.

according to Jesus, when the Jews are back in Israel, and he says that

:44:58.:45:02.

Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the age of the

:45:03.:45:08.

Gentiles is finished. 14th of May 1948, busy deal prophesied -- busy

:45:09.:45:29.

What other portents are there? Jesus said there would be famines and

:45:30.:45:34.

wars. There have always been famines and wars. If you check the

:45:35.:45:40.

exponential growth... Climate change. It says in Luke 's gospel

:45:41.:45:48.

chapter 21 there will be tsunamis and tremendous floods and chaos in

:45:49.:45:59.

the world. What will happen? I am sure there are a litany of

:46:00.:46:04.

predictions. There will be a major invasion by Russia, Turkey, Iran,

:46:05.:46:09.

Libya, Ethiopian... It says it in the Bible? It does, you can read it

:46:10.:46:16.

for yourself. They will invade Jerusalem and God will send floods,

:46:17.:46:21.

hail, fire upon them. The people in Djourou Slim were going to suffer

:46:22.:46:26.

terribly in the very last days -- in Jerusalem. I think this is a

:46:27.:46:34.

terrible thing. It is what the Bible says. In the last days... Wait,

:46:35.:46:48.

wait! Sceptics will come. Peter says that. What will happen... There they

:46:49.:46:58.

are. What will happen to those who don't believe? They will go to hell.

:46:59.:47:05.

After hell, the lake of fire. That is what the Bible says. Don't say

:47:06.:47:12.

they are going to hell and point at Charles Kennedy. Saint Peter was so

:47:13.:47:21.

right. The last days, you will be sceptics and scoffers. Charles

:47:22.:47:28.

Kennedy. There was an old joke about the Reverend Ian Paisley when he was

:47:29.:47:32.

at the height of his powers. He said, the day of reckoning, there

:47:33.:47:36.

will be anguish and suffering and hardship and gnashing of teeth. This

:47:37.:47:40.

old lady in the congregation said, but reverend Paisley, I don't have

:47:41.:47:43.

any teeth. He said, teeth will be provided. I can only say... I must

:47:44.:47:52.

have bought a different edition of the Bible from the one I have just

:47:53.:47:58.

been hearing about. In a minute, I want to bring in somebody else. We

:47:59.:48:03.

are all sinners, I want to bring in another one, Ian Scott from the

:48:04.:48:07.

Glasgow sceptics. It is all in the Bible. Sceptics. The Bible says

:48:08.:48:16.

there are no dogs in heaven, it is actually sceptics, it is a Greek

:48:17.:48:24.

word. My dog is going to be there. So will mine. But sceptics... I

:48:25.:48:30.

definitely think the end times are coming, absolutely. But perhaps not

:48:31.:48:35.

in quite the same timescale that you do. I haven't got a timescale. If

:48:36.:48:42.

you think the end times are imminent, what sort of timescales do

:48:43.:48:45.

you have question what have you been collecting pensions?

:48:46.:48:52.

It is a foolish and immature thing to say. You have said by 2016? After

:48:53.:49:04.

the referendum, anyway. APPLAUSE

:49:05.:49:11.

If there is a yes vote, it will be the end of the world. This is a

:49:12.:49:23.

pack, they used to do this at University, pack the audience with

:49:24.:49:26.

all of the people that believe the same thing. 2016 and counting. There

:49:27.:49:36.

was a 19th-century preacher who started all of this, all of these

:49:37.:49:42.

words. The words like rapture did not exist in the Bible. There was a

:49:43.:49:49.

guy like Schofield in 1909 who wrote the Schofield Bible and in it he had

:49:50.:49:53.

a lot of notes. Picking passages here and all of this detailing the

:49:54.:49:59.

end of the world. This Bible sold very well, this whole cult, you can

:50:00.:50:04.

call it, a dangerous cults got off the ground. There was a whole lot of

:50:05.:50:12.

fiction about how this world was going to end. You made the point,

:50:13.:50:17.

there is a bit of it all over the world. In Iran, they are waiting for

:50:18.:50:24.

the lost profit to come and there is an apocalyptic thing. In America

:50:25.:50:30.

there are people who actively want this to happen. They want it to

:50:31.:50:35.

happen, for them, all of the signs and disasters are about the end of

:50:36.:50:39.

the world but what it actually is doing, it is negating their

:50:40.:50:44.

responsibility. Do you want this to happen? I don't, and neither does

:50:45.:50:50.

God. I can speak for God... Nobody else is beating for him! Your God is

:50:51.:50:59.

a violent murderer, really. Do you preach from the pulpit that God is a

:51:00.:51:05.

violent murderer? No, but that is the kind of got you are talking. I

:51:06.:51:10.

see it represented in Jesus. A loving, inclusive, compassionate

:51:11.:51:18.

God. And this, God is going to annihilate the world, in what way

:51:19.:51:24.

does that... Does Jesus talk more about hell or heaven? Jesus talks

:51:25.:51:31.

more about love. He talks more about hell because he loves us. It is Pat

:51:32.:51:44.

time... Because Pat... Are you an end times person? The question was,

:51:45.:51:51.

are the end times imminent? In the Scriptures it tells us that in the

:51:52.:51:54.

eyes of God and the wider eternity, a thousand years is but a day. The

:51:55.:52:02.

key sign of the end times is apostasy, godlessness. We have seen

:52:03.:52:06.

that all morning, no offence. No offence? ! A complete godlessness.

:52:07.:52:12.

There is a more recent prophecy about the end times. It has the

:52:13.:52:17.

blessing of the church. The church does not lightly encourage us to go

:52:18.:52:28.

after private apprehensions. There have been 34 individual predictions

:52:29.:52:31.

since the year 2000, we are entering a new one in two days time, looking

:52:32.:52:38.

forward to it very much! This is not a prediction. Charles, you are

:52:39.:52:44.

conducting the debate? I am interested in the research, you keep

:52:45.:52:47.

asking the correct question, what will happen? You must have dealt

:52:48.:52:52.

with people who go to top of Ben Nevis because the world is going to

:52:53.:52:56.

come to an end at four o'clock next Wednesday and it doesn't, and have

:52:57.:53:00.

to come back down again. When you deal with people, you have

:53:01.:53:05.

interviewed people for research like that, it is not what will happen,

:53:06.:53:09.

but what didn't happen. What do they say? That gets into the question of

:53:10.:53:18.

how people interpret the Bible and people trying to predict specific

:53:19.:53:32.

dates. It is not about predicting the end of the world. It gives a

:53:33.:53:37.

broad scenario. There are really interesting correspondences between

:53:38.:53:40.

what the Bible predicts, and the broad period that we are now living

:53:41.:53:45.

in. It sounds like a politician's answer. Jesus coming to Earth... The

:53:46.:53:50.

gentleman in the checked shirt. Good morning. With all of this

:53:51.:53:57.

interpretation, the only way you are going to get into heaven is if you

:53:58.:54:00.

believe in God, not if you are a good person, because the person who

:54:01.:54:05.

God is getting portrayed as is sounding quite cruel and hateful. I

:54:06.:54:13.

think this line of thought shows why religion, especially in an

:54:14.:54:17.

unmitigated form, can be so dangerous. First of all, it brings

:54:18.:54:22.

up things that are not grounded in evidence. It gives value to things

:54:23.:54:26.

that were not reasoned with and it detracts from the issues we are

:54:27.:54:30.

faced with today. If someone believes the end times are in and he

:54:31.:54:33.

is less likely to do something against global warming, and I think

:54:34.:54:39.

that is why it is dangerous. If you look at Jesus, his concern wasn't so

:54:40.:54:44.

much about heaven and hell but about the woman who has been excluded from

:54:45.:54:52.

society, the rich man who talks about the redistribution of his

:54:53.:54:54.

wealth. He was concerned about real issues that we are tackling in a

:54:55.:55:00.

period of occupation by the Romans. He was talking about inequality in

:55:01.:55:08.

society. The question is about the end times. If we were talking about

:55:09.:55:12.

the love of Jesus, that would be a wonderful and enriching debate but

:55:13.:55:15.

we are not. We are talking about, are there signs in the Bible, in the

:55:16.:55:19.

world, that the world is on the brink of meltdown? And yes. You

:55:20.:55:25.

thought my question was immature and foolish. Well, it was a question and

:55:26.:55:29.

I would like you to answer it because I think York -- your

:55:30.:55:38.

position is stupid and foolish. What is the point in the prediction if

:55:39.:55:45.

you don't have a date? If I believe the Bible, I am stupid? I think you

:55:46.:55:48.

are very non-dot-macro rational. Do you agree with each other? Is he

:55:49.:56:08.

going to hell? Everybody believes in something. Even the devil believes

:56:09.:56:13.

in God. That does not get anybody to heaven. I would Jesus be so loving

:56:14.:56:20.

and people to hell? They choose to go. You don't think people go to

:56:21.:56:28.

hell? I think the perception of hell is wrong. I think people who have

:56:29.:56:31.

lived their lives and don't want to be part of what God is planning for

:56:32.:56:34.

the future, they die, they sleep eternally, that is what hell is. It

:56:35.:56:38.

is basically the grave. We are not talking about God when we talk about

:56:39.:56:44.

the end times, we're not talking about God and I letting the world,

:56:45.:56:51.

as somebody put it. -- annihilating the world as somebody put it. The

:56:52.:56:55.

circumstances that trigger a new world are actually a geopolitical

:56:56.:56:59.

crisis that we bring upon ourselves. Will there be countries? Nation

:57:00.:57:07.

states? Who knows? That is why I am asking Mark. God is not going to

:57:08.:57:15.

destroy the world, we are. Will there be nation states? A lot of the

:57:16.:57:18.

details, I do not know, the Bible is not clear. Will Satan be involved?

:57:19.:57:28.

Is there a final battle? Satan is a symbolic picture of sin in human

:57:29.:57:33.

nature. I can't pick and choose in the Bible, if it is God's word, it

:57:34.:57:38.

is God's word. There is a final battle called Armageddon. The Bible

:57:39.:57:46.

is very clear about it. Iran and Russia and Turkey are now in an

:57:47.:57:51.

alliance, Turkey put Russia on its best friend list. The atomic power

:57:52.:58:01.

station is only there because of Russia and Iran. Iran has said they

:58:02.:58:07.

are going to bomb... You won't be laughing soon. Using Iranians are

:58:08.:58:15.

inherently evil? People in that area of the world, which had a lot of

:58:16.:58:18.

difficulties, are going to be the cause of evil as opposed to any

:58:19.:58:21.

other part of the world... That seems un-Christian. Next week we're

:58:22.:58:29.

in Bristol, so join us then. You carry an! But for now it's goodbye

:58:30.:58:34.

and have a great Sunday. -- carry on!

:58:35.:58:37.

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