Stephen Fry: The Church is very loose on moral evils, because, although they try to accuse people like me, who believe in empiricism and the Enlightenment, of what they call ‘moral relativism,’ as if it’s some appalling sin, where what it actually means is ‘thought.’ They, for example, thought that slavery was perfectly fine. Absolutely OK.
Anne Widdecombe: As did all societies of the time!
Stephen Fry: And then they didn’t. And what is the point of the Catholic Church, if it says, ‘Well, we couldn’t know better, because nobody else did’? Then what are you for?
This, to me, is part of why I’m an atheist. If there’s a God, and God is good and important, then shouldn’t we expect Churches – especially large ones that are run by people who have spent a lifetime intensely studying the question of what God wants – to be noticeably better at morality than the rest of humanity?
An hourlong video of the debate between Fry and Widdecombe (and also Christoper Hitchens and Archbishop Onaiyekan) can be viewed here. The debate is pretty good, but the moderator spent waaaay too much time on audience comments.