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


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


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


Glasgow. Welcome, all of you, to the big


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


campaigning. Local and European elections in May, the Scottish


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


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


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


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


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


modern voting to tackle what it called the increasingly


disenfranchised younger generation. If people do not engage with


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


their interests and they basically think they are dishonest. Those


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


working people representing themselves, now it is people who


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


therefore given we are less passionate about politics, we are


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


cannot see much difference between the politicians, put those things


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


from people themselves, we are a society that wants instant


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


hierarchical system of government and politics, and we have a


horizontal society. We communicate through social media, we get


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Representing the Highlands in Westminster, big difference. When


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


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


World War vintage, very distinguished people. We have just


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


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


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


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


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


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


capacity between the voter and the elected person is now infinite


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


citizenship where everyone participates in democracy. So that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to avoid embarrassments to themselves, but as a result it


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


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


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


Parliament, we do things differently. We have heard that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


point about not answering the question and we all suffer


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


ridiculous. Any other points? Charles Kennedy


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


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


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


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


about that particular referendum debate come because we walk the line


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


political meeting means the interaction between the public and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


were harvesting the votes of other people and engaging in electoral


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


on. 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 from Glasgow: Should the morning-after


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


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


ideas or thoughts you may have about the show.


This week NICE, the National Institute for health and Clinical


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


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


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


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


reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies but critics fear it will


encourage promiscuity and spread sexually transmitted diseases.


Should the morning-after pill be available in advance?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


healthy society, when young people are being taught that the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Westminster, who vote for these immoral issues. And present


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


making sure that young women can make informed decisions about their


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


are the advantages of having been morning after pill more readily


available? Fundamental tenant of medicine is that prevention is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


instead of preventing young people getting into the situation by giving


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


talk about a happy and healthy relationship. Part of a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Catholic Church disapproved of that. That is what you actually


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


view, specifically how we have been programmed over our evolutionary


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


relationships they got married. Meeting somebody, courtship, break


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


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


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


morning-after pill available? Absolutely, yes.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


come from the United States proclaiming the same message now,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


changed exponentially in recent times. If you think about the


population, the consumption of resources, technology,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Egypt, taken away by the Babylonians, hammered by the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


you have question what have you been collecting pensions?


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


the referendum, anyway. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


after private apprehensions. There have been 34 individual predictions


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


how people interpret the Bible and people trying to predict specific


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


broad scenario. There are really interesting correspondences between


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


circumstances that trigger a new world are actually a geopolitical


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and have a great Sunday. -- carry on!


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