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Nov 15 2012

Kids these Days

With their gangs and their baggy pants and their hophip music and their atheism.

So what’s the pope so mad about today? Is it the millions of people doomed to die in Africa if they don’t use condoms? Is it the treatment of homosexuals in Uganda where they are planning to execute gay people? Is it the death of Savitha and how the church needs to modernise? Nope! It’s about a group he hates more than atheists.

The practical atheism of those who say they are Christian but live as if God does not exist is a greater threat than actual atheism, Pope Benedict XVI said as he presented three ways for people to more fully discover God. While actual atheists often think deeply about God before rejecting belief, practical atheism “is even more destructive … because it leads to indifference towards faith and the question of God,” the Pope stated.

This basically means “the Roman Catholics who refuse to play nice” and who don’t listen to the pope. The catholics who basically don’t follow the stupidity and who actively criticise the way the RC church is run. AKA “the critics”.

It’s not the indifference he dislikes. It’s the fact that they are eroding at his power. That people realise that he is not the First Amongst Catholics but an old man flogging superstition.

Christian witness is always hard, he said, because people are prone to “being dazzled by the glitter of worldliness,” but in the Western world sharing the faith is even harder today. As he described it, the Christian faith was the everyday reality for most people in what used to be called Christendom. The burden was on non-believers to justify their disbelief.

Really Pope? Is that the best you can do?

You are finding it harder to “witness” (AKA prosletyse and convert) because people are more educated and don’t think they need to follow a 2000 year old book to be perceived as good. Especially when that 2000 year old book actually insists on a moral code that is a step backwards from our current morality.

And the pope doesn’t seem to understand (amongst other things such as fashion, sex, morality and women) how proof works. You cannot disprove unicorns, doesn’t mean unicorns exist. The person making the grandiose claim must provide proof. During “christendom” people didn’t fucking know any better. They either accepted the existence of god or they fucking died. The church was also the sole proprietor of all knowledge to the point that western society lost the ability to build domes and arches. Stuff we could build before the bible such as the Colosseum could not be built after Christendom was established. The sum total of knowledge regressed because western society believed that men who believe in imaginary things should control knowledge. And such men do not see the value of bridges and domes. When we discuss architecture, remember “Gothic” was an insult (It is the art of barbarians. Of primitive building techniques. The death of knowledge left us with that system. To the average Dark Age architect the stuff the Romans built would have seemed like freaking magic. Imagine being from a society that couldn’t build wide open spaces suddenly being confronted with a massive dome such as the one on the Hagia Sofia or the US capitol building? That would blow your mind. You have effectively using science made rocks FLY and to the man with no grasp of this style of architecture built things by defying gravity. This is second nature to us but it would be like walking on one of those glass floors if you didn’t know about domes and arches.

If you don’t care for these things then you haven’t grasped the value of reality.

It took centuries to regain the knowledge and only because of Islamic scholars who preserved it and expanded upon it. The enlightenment created western society. We all know that. The pope still thinks that lack of evidence is support for something existing because there is no evidence to suggest against it.

But today the tables have turned, following a long slide into atheism, skepticism and a secular worldview that was ushered in by the Enlightenment.

Only an idiot would consider the Enlightenment as a bad thing. This is a man who yearns for the days of papal decree, excommunications and inquisitions and good olde tithes and burning protestants.

This, in turn, has paved the way for moral and spiritual disaster in the Western world. People have become confused about ethics once commonly held, making room for relativism and fostering “an ambiguous conception of freedom, which instead of being liberating ends up binding man to idols,” the Pope said.

Like slavery, racism and sexism. And currently? Bashing  and killing gays and letting women have access to basic medicine. Letting people have sex without interfering in it? Worries about a penis macintosh? Such a disaster…

It is better to have an ambiguous concept of freedom than to be a definite slave. I need to have that on a t-shirt.

In response to the ensuing moral and spiritual chaos, Pope Benedict called on all people to discover God by following three paths.

Crime is at an all time low. We have (barring a certain country with a fascination for stars and horizontal stripes and a disrespect for tea) as a planet had a period of the greatest stability, peace and progress. We have taken our first tentative steps to functioning as a species rather than as a nation or a caste. Yes we have a long way to go but Rome wasn’t built in a day. But it certainly can burn in one. It’s why defending secularism and keeping religion from politics and education and from influencing public life is vital.

The first path involves contemplating creation. “The world is not a shapeless magma, but the more we know, the more we discover the amazing mechanisms; the more we see a pattern, we see that there is a creative intelligence,” the Holy Father remarked.

Really? I thought the more you learnt about how the world worked the more you realise that religion doesn’t know anything and that the pope is actually a scientifically illiterate man in a robe and silly hat rather than the chosen representative of mankind to a god.

The second way of finding God is through inner contemplation. Benedict quoted St. Augustine’s famous saying, “Do not go outside yourself, come back into yourself: Truth dwells in the heart of man.” He also observed that the modern world is full of distractions that make it hard “to stop and take a deep look within ourselves and read that thirst for the infinite that we carry within, pushing us to go further and towards that Someone who can satisfy it.”

If the pope thinks the world is full of distractions, then perhaps he can sell the Vatican. This is proper “Opiates of the Masses stuff”. You are distracted by jealousy of the rich, go pray and you will be richer than the man who has real fruit, healthcare and the obscene amount of money. Richer in spirit!

The third path, faith, is a dimly lit path for many people who view it as a limited aspect of life, if not a form of “illusion, escapism … or sentimentality. Faith … is an encounter with God, who speaks and acts in history and which converts our daily life, transforming our mentality, system of values, choices and actions,” he said. Faith is “not illusion, escapism, a comfortable shelter, sentimentality, but involvement in every aspect of life and proclamation of the Gospel, the Good News which can liberate all of man.”

I prefer the word delusion. Medically, a delusion is defined as a belief that is demonstrably wrong but is still held despite being repeatedly proven wrong. Any proof is twisted and turned to support the delusion. So if I believe that my socks are being stolen by the Sock Goblin and you tell me that it’s the dryer, then either you will be part of the Sock Goblin Propaganda Machine or the Dryer will become the nebulous gateway to the Sock Goblin home world of Umbro. Hence atheist conspiracies and such ridiculous notions that the entire natural mechanism of the function of the planet is proof of a specific personal deity.

Yet many people consider Christianity as a mere system of beliefs and morals instead of God’s self-revelation in history so that he could have a loving relationship with his creatures. “Christianity, before being a moral or ethical value, is the experience of love, of welcoming the person of Jesus,” Pope Benedict stated, calling on all Christians to learn better the faith they profess and purify their lives in conformity with Christ.

Unlike those Hindus and Muslims whose faiths are a mere system of beliefs and morals rather than God’s self revelation in history. Also? My god is sexier than yours? Yours is a bearded old man who cannot fight iron chariots. One of my old ones was a sexy youth who brains old men with chariot wheels. Clearly “impromptu weapon” murder and “sexy” is a better skill set than “Carpenter” and “Impromptu Caterer”.

Krishna Intervenes

Goddamnit Krishna! Put a shirt on before you kill the old man. The ladies will swoon! SWOON!!!!  (Mahabaratha)

Mrs. Vieland rejoiced in the unity of Catholicism on display in the hall, with so many people from around the world professing their common faith: “I believe that if more people came to Rome to see the unity of the Church, they’d become closer to Our Lord.”

I think most of us have seen what belief in Catholicism can do. In order to believe that you would have the rape and child abuse that was endemic to the catholic church. The church was so united that no one spoke out against paedophiles. Instead the offenders were moved around or in some cases took part of massive and horrendously systemic abuses such as the Christian Brothers who are estimated to have sexually and physically abused thousands of Irish Children. Papal Unity only grudgingly accepted that condoms helped save lives. After 20 years of fighting against it by actively spreading lies. Papal Unity still causes events like Savitha.

Papal unity can go fuck itself as far as I am concerned (Link is NSFW or Children. Contains Abortion and Recreations of Illicit Abortion). You cannot be a moral human being and be united behind the Roman Catholic Church. You can be a roman catholic and be moral but in order to do so you would have to be one of those “Catholics Who Are Practical Atheists”. You cannot side with an organisation responsible for millions of deaths across Africa, the restriction of women’s rights and access to basic contraception and which actually thinks the biggest issue of the day is “Lapsed Catholics” rather than “The fact that bullshit flogged by Catholicism has killed someone. We need to redress our beliefs”.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    mikmik

    “The world is not a shapeless magma…”

    As soon as the youngest child is able to comprehend lava flows from a volcano, it pretty much has a lock on this knowledge. Apparently, His Exalted Heinous thinks this is news to true Christians.
    He may be right.

  2. 2
    rq

    The pope coming out with this statement today is somehow… very apt. In demonstrating the utility of the church as an institution in the modern world, able to grapple and come to terms with modern science and social justice issues… Yeah, something like that. Not that he’s redirecting everyone’s attention away from the church’s inability to act morally, or anything like that.

  3. 3
    Eric Riley

    “I believe that if more people came to Rome to see the unity of the Church, they’d become closer to Our Lord.”

    I have been to the Vatican – as a Catholic. I sat in Mass inside St. Peter’s, and saw people milling about and leaving before it was over. That was the last time I went to Mass.

    There was no sense of community – and that is part of what I went to find. I thought that perhaps the problem was only in my parish, but no – it’s wider spread than that.

    It wasn’t for a couple more years that I left belief, but that was certainly when I left the Church.

  4. 4
    dannorth

    “I believe that if more people came to Rome to see the unity of the Church, they’d become closer to Our Lord.”

    There is in Boccaccio’s Decameron (the Italian equivalent of the Canterbury Tales) a story about a Jew who is considering converting to Christianity after being proselytised to by a neighbor and decides to visit Rome first.

    The neighbor is sure that after seeing the corruption in Rome the Jew will refuse to convert but upon his return he gets baptised.

    The neighbor asks him afterwards what in his trip convinced him to convert and he answers that for the Church to keep standing despite the corruption at the top it had to be actively supported by God himself.

    Maybe that is what Mrs Vieland had in mind.

  5. 5
    Bill Openthalt

    From the viewpoint that a single human life (with “human” as per the secular definition) trumps any conviction, then you’re so obviously right it hurts.

    But there is no proof this viewpoint is the “correct” viewpoint, unless you’re prepared to entertain Sam Harris’s scientific take on morality.

    I am no friend of the catholic church, but I think the majority of the priests are honest in their conviction that their god exists, their idea of morality, and their definition of human is correct.

    We cannot hope to influence and convince others if we cannot accept they are honest.

  6. 6
    Ahab

    Eric — I too have witnessed the utter lack of community and personal connection at Catholic churches. This lack of real community is one of the reasons why Catholicism is losing followers, in my opinion, although its many other problems (misogyny, homophobia, child abuse, corruption) play big roles.

  7. 7
    Kevin K

    It doesn’t matter whether their beliefs are honest. It matters whether their beliefs are true.

    Someone who honestly believes a cracker becomes a piece of god is deluded. A superstitious primitive for all practical purposes on par with the clients of the witch doctor.

    And the morality derived from this superstitious drivel is objectively harmful. No less harmful today than when slavery was condoned as well as the right of kings to rule by divine right.

    Honesty has nothing at all to do with it. Seriously.

  8. 8
    mikmik

    We cannot hope to influence and convince others if we cannot accept they are honest.

    It doesn’t matter what we think. They have to be reasonable and cognizant. Anyways, I don’t think there has ever been a problem with assuming they are honest, it is the same for everyone we engage, and that is assuming they are honest right out of the gate.
    They are mostly trying to be honest, but their thinking is brainwashed, or emotionally addled. They are most likely unable to discern the truth, obviously, and are programed to assume we are dishonest or addled. They most likely have these ‘truths’ deeply ingrained in their brains by being taught to think that way, and taught what to think, since Christ was a cowboy – their whole lives.

    I don’t react much differently whether I think they are being genuine and honest, or not. I am always being honest, and reason and logic are what determines the TRUTH, which is unaffected by attitudes – the truth/facts are the truth.

    There are very respectable people here – counselors, pastors, managers with excellent social skill, and disciplined and honest to a fault. Their credibility is without question, but we may as well be talking in a vacuum when it comes to god and the bible. They are so cognitively impaired and biased that facts presented in a directly substantiated and logical manner do not register in the part of the brain responsible for executive function, I imagine. (Idea for fMRI research, lol)

    It seems as if they suddenly speaking another language, to me, and they think that is what I am switching to.

    Honesty matters squat without an equal understanding of reality. It is the same with politics and fiscal budgets – some people really do think it is proper to hang the poor out to dry, and some are humanitarian above all. These are basically innate viewpoints; God/religion, politics, whether Leeds United is the best team in football, and the like.

    It is a matter of emotional investment, not honesty, that influences what people see as real. (If your investment is tied Leeds, it doesn’t matter how low they sink in the tables, I still think they can beat anyone on any given afternoon)

    Honestly!

  9. 9
    S Babu

    Is that Krishna attacking Bhishma at the battle of Kurukshetra? I don’t remember any such scene when I read the Mahabharata. Are you sure it’s not Abhimanyu (who got trapped in the Chakravyuha formation)? Though the blue skin does seem to indicate Krishna.

  10. 10
    Avicenna

    Read the Mahabaratha properly. The “Victorianised” mahabaratha is an ugly piece of literature because it ignores a lot of bits. They also don’t like mentioning it.

    Bishma was killing so many people that Krishna wanted to interfere. However Bishma’s Curse/Boon is that he can die by the manner of his choosing and he tries to throw the battle by dying in this rather awesome manner. However others hold Krishna back because at this point the war had no degenerated into the “honourless” battle of the end since Bishma is their leader.

    So yes. Krishna wasn’t allowed any of his weapons but super strength and a chariot wheel do just fine…

  11. 11
    Pierce R. Butler

    Why does so much modern Hindu art display barely repressed homoeroticism?

  12. 12
    im

    Does it really, or is masculinity different?

  13. 13
    Avicenna

    The Problem is not that Hindu art has barely repressed homo-eroticism, but that we see barely repressed homo-eroticism in their art.

    Remember, the Romans and Greeks probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at the super homoerotic art that they had. They thought it was normal. Even the Rennaisance nudes which are “rather homo-erotic” probably wouldn’t have raised any eyebrows then.

  14. 14
    Pierce R. Butler

    The picture shown above was clearly painted in the last few decades, by someone well aware of modern globalized styles and techniques.

    Even if the tropes of “classic” era (of whatever region) art included images of one man’s hand disappearing into the folds of another man’s thigh coverings, how could anyone with the training evident in that graphic not know what the 21st-century eye would see in it?

  15. 15
    Avicenna

    I don’t think Arjuna is attempting some sort of mobile rusty trombone while Krishna kills Bishma… It’s more like trying to hold back a god (Krishna has monsterous strength, one of his miracles is using a mountain to shield a town from lightning attacks from Indra… Arjuna is a hero but ultimately a man…)

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…

  16. 16
    Pierce R. Butler

    In the US, that particular style of painting is generally seen in only two contexts: Hare Krishna propaganda and (some) New Age art.

    Does India suffer even more of it from other sources?

  17. 17
    Lyn

    During the Second Vatican Council in 1962 Benedict was shortly on the side of the reformers who wanted to modernize the Catholic Church. Granted that “modernization” in catholic circles doesn´t equal what the “normal” society understands of that term.
    I really wonder what happened to him ever since.

    Christianity (yes, I am a theist), to me, can and should be summed up in just one sentence “Love others like you love yourself.” Taking that as a starting point of dicussion and looking at the way the catholic church is treating a huge amount of individuals she must be full of self-hatred and self-disgust. It´s a tragedy that so many people are blinded by it´s doctrines and unwilling to think by themselves and simply accept that life isn´t all black and white but full of gray…

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