Stephen Fry was wrong about God – expert

Actor evoked outrage when he described God as a “maniac”, “utterly monstrous” and “totally selfish”.

A leading Irish philosopher has strongly rebuked Stephen Fry’s controversial remarks about God.

Fr Brendan Purcell, Adjunct Professor in Philosophy at Notre Dame University, Sydney accused the staunch atheist of “mixing up” what humans experience as bad with evil.

Mr Fry evoked outrage when he described God as a “maniac”, “utterly monstrous” and “totally selfish”.

During a TV interview with Gay Byrne on RTÉ’s The Meaning of Life, the Englishactor and author said of God: “It’s perfectly apparent that he is monstrous, utterly monstrous, and deserves no respect whatsoever. The moment you banish him your life becomes simpler, purer, cleaner, more worth living in my opinion.”

However, Fr Purcell warned that without God “not one of the problems, sufferings, tragedies and disasters that Fry would like to blame on God, goes away”.

“He’s mixing up what we can experience as bad – sufferings caused by the way our universe is set up, animal
suffering, human illness – with evil,” he told The Irish Catholic.

“Our universe is kept together by gravity, so blaming God for gravity is like blaming him for creating the universe,” he said.

Fr Brendan Purcell's response to Stephen Fry:

1: Banishing God does not rid the world of its problems

2: Catholic teaching is to love your neighbour

3: God can bring greater good even from tragic illnesses

4: Bad experiences should not be misunderstood as evil

5: Human beings are free to hate as well as to love

6: The Greeks discovery by reason of the existence of ‘the One’ God


For Fr Brendan Purcell’s full response see: