Comments

  1. Ghostface says

    I find that the world itself is blind in the fact of or in the belief of gods, clearly the word god is applied to all that is unknown, and it truly irritates me that it is let at that. It has already been proven that science is the great key to all, why not advance in it. Iam glad that certain people share my beliefs and thoughs through advancing discoveries and through the ever expanding knowledge that, us, humans are capable of harnessing .

  2. Sid Whittaker says

    The first video I EVER watched that had anything to do with Atheism was ” Intelligence Squared Debate 2009″
    It opened my eyes to an amazing array of free thinking and passive vlogs.That help to explain to the good and bad within the scriptures and the organisations that devoutly follow and teach it’s dogma.
    If you do nothing today but watch one video..make it this one,And listen to what I found to be a tearful and passionate plea for reason from one of my favourite personalities.

  3. Stuart says

    Interesting fact from the UK in the papers today:

    The 31st annual British Social Attitudes survey (BSA), published yesterday, has found that 50.6% of the population saying they have no religion (up from 47.7% last year), with just 41.7% regarding themselves as Christian (the lowest ever figure).

    This doesn’t mean over 50% are atheist of course but ot does show a move away from organised religion.

    Do you think the US is heading this way as well?

  4. says

    As an atheist I’m on duty 24/7, unlike some theists and god(s) which seem to be more off duty then on.
    I would have to agree with Matt about bankrupting the Catholic church or at least doing away with most if not all of the corruption, but then the same could be said about the government.

    Jen is correct about someone’s medical records that the information is to be viewed by licensed medical professionals and on a as needed basis only, not by some over glorified chaplain who is probably off duty.

  5. Tayzlor says

    Matt is awesome and my intellectual debate hero, a worthy champion to fill the hitch debate vacuum. Time to step up Matt and inherit the burden to mattslap people with some refreshing logic! And of course we love all the Austin team ;)

  6. xscd says

    While I agree that the Catholic Church has committed and then attempted to bury more than its fair share of sins over the centuries, in this episode of The Atheist Experience Matt seems a little like the self-righteous, fire-breathing minister he might have become if he had not decided to become an atheist instead. :)

    I enjoyed the episode though. I agree with one of the recent callers that while Matt has a tendency to hang-up on some infuriating callers, he sometimes allows tedious, boring, incoherent callers much more air time than they deserve. I’m thinking especially of the recent caller “Kyle from Georgetown” (if I remember correctly) whose thoughts and words so continuously and endlessly branched into tangential territory that he never made any real point. He was incredibly frustrating (from my point of view as a listener) to try to make any sense of, yet Matt allowed him to hem-and-haw and um-and-you-know his way through more than half of the program with this caller’s “I’m an atheist but I might believe in God” premise.

  7. unfogged says

    I’ve seen that one and it was amazing for the attempted defense of the most vile beliefs. I was dragged to a Catholic church as a kid and even though I never bought into it I didn’t fully realize how disgusting it was until I started being a more active atheist and looked back at it. This debate really showcases the extent of the abyss that is Catholicism.

    It was amusing to see the priest admit that morality doesn’t come from the religion apparently without realizing how much he was undermining his position.

  8. says

    It’s a wonderful debate by the ‘anti’ side. It’s an embarrassment to the ‘pro’ side.

    I love that most of the complaints from christians are that they had bad representation in this debate.

    It’s true – Anne Widdicomb was an odious politician before she jumped ship from rthe church of england to catholicism.

  9. says

    Did you see last Sunday’s observer? 56% of people surveyed are against state funding of denominational schools – that’s a good result and probably a lasting legacy of fiddly priests…

  10. Matt Gerrans says

    Yeah, one of the things that annoys me most about “Does God exist” debates is that “God” is not defined and allowed not to be defined. The first order of business should be to specifically and unambiguously define what “God” is and not allow for the whishy washy nonsense that people like William Lane Craig build a career upon. Let’s don’t argue some vague notion of “God” that nobody (except perhaps a few new age numbskulls, who virtually qualify as “nobody” anyway) believes in. Let’s instead have a very specific and unambiguous definition of what is being argued for or against.

    I guess the only problem with that, is that the debate will be finished at the outset when everyone realizes that this magical “God” thing evaporates when you try to bring it out of the land of make-believe.

  11. Monocle Smile says

    If you weren’t a frequent poster, this would be dangerously close to concern trolling.

    the Catholic Church has committed and then attempted to bury more than its fair share of sins over the centuries

    This is the understatement of the fucking millennium. Furthermore, notice how in the US, no one in power EVER calls out the Catholic church in public for anything grievous. That’s why Matt had the show. The Catholic church deserves nothing but constant contempt.

  12. xscd says

    Monocle says: “If you weren’t a frequent poster, this would be dangerously close to concern trolling.”

    I fully support atheists’ efforts against what I think of as “socialized religion.” I just thought it was a little amusing how Matt in this episode reminded me a little of the hellfire-and-brimstone preachers I was forced to listen to as a kid growing up in a Christian missionary compound. I think that the points Matt made were good ones, but it was his rather sanctimonious-appearing delivery of those points that reminded me of those childhood preachers.

  13. says

    Not only is God undefined, but in those instances where the theist actually defines God to some degree or another, nobody ever asks them where they got that definition. How do they know what characteristics this God actually has? They found it in a book? How did the people writing the book know?

    It’s like saying “I can’t show that leprechauns exist but I can tell you all about what they think.” How do you know?

  14. says

    You should probably ask before starting to suck somebody’s dick. :)

    I’m glad Matt is out there debating too, but I’m not sure anyone can, or should even try, to match Hitchens’ unique style.

  15. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Listen – this is an international organization whose official – but private – policy is to protect priests who rape children, not report them to police, and to send to hell anyone who reports them to police. At least they claim they’re sending anyone to hell who reports such priests. That’s what “excommunication” means to them. Again, they are not sending to hell those who rape children. They are sending to hell those who report priests who rape children.

    And we have a plethora of evidence that they have acted on this policy, many, many times, and that it pervades the entire organization.

    If it was anything but a religion, most of the top officials would be rotting in jail right now for a large portion of their lives. The organization would have been ripped apart by 1- lack of leadership who are now in prison, 2- damages from lawsuits, 3- and complete lack of members as everyone leaves the organization because they are horrified.

    I’m with Matt in every way. Everyone who calls themself a Catholic is a minor aider and abetter of child rape, and anyone who is fully aware of this information and continues to call themself a call has no excuse and is knowingly and willingly aiding and abetting child rape. Of course, I don’t think that alone is legally actionable, but if they also tithe, then that is totally legally actionable in my world view, and it would be legally actionable too in the real world if it was anything but a religion.

    In fact, I would love to see that actually happen. I would love to see priests and all tithers charged. (Or at least a fine to any tither – a kind of class action criminal liability.) Too bad it won’t.

  16. Robert Smart says

    With the 1st(?) caller on the topic of faith, I’m surprised both presenters did not just talk about the distinction between trust and faith especially in the example of the Parachute.

    The Parachute metaphor is a perfect example of why “Trust” is a better word for that situation as there is so much additional information that goes into to evaluating your decision to jump after being given a parachute.
    examples being:
    Does this person an instructor of a jump school.
    Do I know them personal (and their attitudes to me)
    My previous experience of similar individuals.

    All these questions and many more observations all inform the degree of trust you place in the person handing you a parachute and the parachute itself.

    An amusing example would be:
    Would you jump if the person taking you up happened to be the father of the daughter you have just been caught in bed with, who happens to own a crop-duster and the “parachute” he hands you is pink with a snoopy dog on the back.
    One might be slightly distrustful in the situation.

    I think the Faith mentality isn’t so much about evaluating information as it pertains to the believe, rather rejecting information as it contravenes belief.

  17. says

    It reminds me of a call the show got years ago. The caller literally switched definitions of “faith” mid-sentence.

    She said (something to the effect of) “I have faith in God like you have faith that your chair is going to hold you up when you sit in it“.

    She equated a state of being confident in something without any supporting evidence, to being confident in something with significant supporting evidence.

    “Faith” is such a useless word, if it can mean the exact opposite of itself, at the same time.

  18. adamah says

    I prefer the easy-to-understand definition that says faith is ‘claiming to know things you don’t know’.

    I’d reserve use of the word ‘faith’ for religious discussions (where the phrase, ‘blind faith’ is redundant, since ALL faith is blind), keeping the word ‘conviction’ reserved to describe those beliefs for which evidence exists (eg brakes (based on their having a rated duty-cycle).

    PS watched ‘God isn’t Dead’ last night: it’s a genre-buster, being the first movie to depict “love bombing” (the Newsboys), and the first snuff film made for Xians (spoiler alert: the arrogant atheist professor dies after being the victim of hit-and-run. Fortunately, he doesn’t die before accepting Jesus as his savior, lol)!

    And what are the true motives for making the movie? Glorifying YHWH?

    Per IMDb, the movie cost the production company some $2 mil to make, but has earned $60 mil in box office sales so far (6/14).

    Hell, for a 30x ROI, I’d be praising Jesus, too, telling believers what they want to hear and desperately want be true.

    Except I can’t: unlike some Xians, I actually have morals, and need to look at myself in the mirror.

    Adam

  19. AhmNee says

    The nones represent approximately 20% in the US. But I heard recently there was a poll (I think it was of young, college age, voters) of the young that put the nones in their demographic up at 30%.

  20. AhmNee says

    I thought we reserve that kind of talk for the intellectually dishonest theists we get here.

    I know the smiley identifies it as a joke, but wow, that was just jarring. We are not renaming it the “bitslap”. No. The dream is dead, dude. ;)

  21. grumpyoldfart says

    I agree with the comments in the video at the 7 minute mark.

    Whenever I see a story about another child raping priest I always leave a comment asking the members of the congregation to demonstrate their dismay by refusing to go inside the church, but to form a picket line on the footpath outside the church. So far, to my knowledge, this has not happened anywhere in the world.

  22. Jason Jensen says

    First, Matt needs to find a bit of humility when talking about the church as a “criminal organization”. The church has nothing on the US government that throws kids in jail for almost nothing. Then between 1/10 and 3/10 are sexually and/or physically abused. Of which, many reported it happened more than 10 times. The guards also get to determine who is a suicide risk who are then stripped butt naked and thrown in solitary.

    Next, the advice you go see a “mental health professional” is horrible advice. Not only do they not give a shit about you or your problems but you are all but guaranteed to get a prescription for dangerous and addictive drugs. That’s what treatment means today – drugs.

    You aught to be ashamed of yourself for putting people down that path. Your emotions are not a disease or a disorder – they are your humanity.

  23. Jason Jensen says

    And for the record I have no religion. I am not defending the church per se. More pointing out that bad shit happens everywhere and in every organization.. and yes government moves suspect pedophiles and covers that shit up too. Governments all kill and do testing on people.

  24. says

    Unfortunately, no matter what the hosts do, people will complain either that they let someone ramble on for too long or that they cut someone off too early. Since everybody has different standards and areas of interest, it’s simply impossible to find the perfect point for everyone.

    As such, I think it’s best that the hosts just follow their own judgment and we leave it at that. Anything else would be unworkable.

  25. says

    The sad thing is that the people who do that are often completely unaware of the problem. They simply don’t think about it enough to realize that they’re switching between definitions.

  26. toska says

    I think you may have missed the point a bit. It’s not that “the Catholic Church has committed and then attempted to bury more than its fair share of sins over the centuries.” It’s that they are still doing it. They are still protecting rapists from legal action (among many other ethical concerns), so Catholics who continue to give money, support, and credibility to the Church are part of the problem.

    Matt is trying to get decent Catholics to withdraw their support, which could effectively cripple this criminal organization. Without followers, the Catholic Church is nothing, and they would have no power to commit and cover up their atrocities.

    Fire and Brimstone pastors tell people what to believe, and they threaten eternal punishment. They use fear as their main tool to convince people. Matt isn’t trying to scare Catholics into changing their beliefs. He doesn’t threaten them with anything. He is telling them if they want to be ethical people, they need to withdraw support from the Church.

  27. Frank G. Turner says

    I argue that in another thread, that no one should debate a theist until they come out with a clear, well defined, unambiguous definition for God. Of course then there would be no debates and no one would be reached.
    .
    Maybe an agnostic or atheist could do it for them though. One might really make a theist look like a fool by defining “God” for them even though you don’t believe it exists whereas they can’t define it clearly even though they believe in it. I can just imagine the question being asked, “How can you believe in something that you can’t even define clearly?” early on.
    .
    People shut down though when I define “God” for them better than they can. I talk about the universe having a unifying force through it and formulas that seem to influence its behavior and can be used to make predictions about future behaviors, which I tend to call “nature.” I point out that they are trying to indicate that nature has a conciousness, which they call “God.” Then I get people saying it is something more to which my common response is, “ok what is that something more?” to which I never have gotten a coherent answer. I typically get a “you just have to feel it,” or “I just know” response if anything, which is how I know the individual has not really reflected upon the question.
    .
    Feel free to try some of this sometime.

  28. Frank G. Turner says

    It is likely because believers, much like many people who just “can’t be wrong,” rationalize things like how not sharing information that is not asked for is technically not “lying” or engaging in “false witness.” That is why I like the George Carlin revision of the commandment as “Though shalt not be dishonest.” And I would add some bit about insisting that people being required to engage in full disclosure too.
    .
    Telling believers what they want to hear is being dishonest, but it may not be a “lie” technically. You and I think alike though, I have morals and have to look myself in the mirror and I ask for nothing in return. I don’t need a promise of an afterlife or the favor of a superior to follow my morality, that morality is its own reward. Even as a believer I felt that.

  29. adamah says

    Frank said-

    I can just imagine the question being asked, “How can you believe in something that you can’t even define clearly?” early on.

    I generally don’t find that approach to be effective, since their “get out of jail free card” is citing one of many scriptures that TELLS believers God’s ways and reasoning is beyond human comprehension. The ancient writers of the Hebrew Bible clearly encountered that challenge, and thought up a response to the challenge, and gave the flock a plausible defense that works (as long as the believer doesn’t ponder too much about how we can be made in God’s image AND simultaneously believe His ways are incomprehensible to us).

    It’s the same reason it’s pointless to question any event in the Bible that discloses being a miracle (eg Noah’s flood, plagues against Egypt, Jesus’ healing work, etc), ie manifestations of the power of God, since that instantly places those events in the category of “untouchable to reasoning”: you either believe in miracles or you don’t.

    That’s why I avoid questioning the impossibility of miracles (like the plague) like the plague (pun intended), since the believer only invokes the defense of, “But it’s a miracle!”, which you believe in or you don’t. If the person were skeptical, they wouldn’t believe in miracles in the first place.

    I instead prefer focusing on the MANY contradictions, continuity errors, or morally-questionable motives of God, etc. Those are not as easily dismissed with just a few words, whether it’s “the Bible says Gods ways are beyond us” or “the Bible says it’s a miracle!”.

    Adam

  30. says

    On that note, refraining from thinking through the implications of one position to avoid realizing the contradiction of another position seems to be quite prevalent in religion.

    I just listened to a sermon where nearly every statement the preacher made would have caused serious theological problems if only you thought one or two steps ahead. For example, she mentioned the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, god’s love for us and how he never wanted anyone to suffer… and then also mentioned how we should be thankful that we’re not starving like some people.

    Hold on. If god wants to avoid suffering and if he can create food out of nowhere, why are people starving? How is that situation even possible? Obviously, this is a particular instance of the problem of evil; if god can prevent suffering and he wants to prevent suffering, why is there suffering?

    There’s no way an intelligent person could say these things and not realize that it was an inconsistent mess if they thought about it, even just a little. However, religious training, more or less directly, teaches adherents to stop thinking. It really is a form of double-think; you avoid problems with cognitive dissonance by simply not thinking about what you’re saying.

    Each statement or belief is isolated from the rest, floating in a gentle sea of fluffy emotions. You believe it and feel good about it – and then you make damn sure to forget it completely before moving on to the next idea.

  31. says

    And a final remark on that: This is why believers so often seem stupid. It’s not that they really are stupid (well, some are); rather, they’ve been taught not to use the intelligence they have. They’ve been deliberately intellectually crippled, to prevent them from criticizing the faith.

    Effectively, it amounts to the same thing, with one exception: If it’s just an ingrained habit – a taught behavior – then it’s much easier to reverse.

  32. Frank G. Turner says

    I generally don’t find that approach to be effective, since their “get out of jail free card” is citing one of many scriptures that TELLS believers God’s ways and reasoning is beyond human comprehension. The ancient writers of the Hebrew Bible clearly encountered that challenge, and thought up a response to the challenge, and gave the flock a plausible defense that works (as long as the believer doesn’t ponder too much about how we can be made in God’s image AND simultaneously believe His ways are incomprehensible to us).
    .
    When I was young I considered that this was a second level analysis means it is a pretty good argument. The fact THAT the writers of the Hebrew Bible had encountered that challenge and thought of a response (which is not a very good one) means that they knew it was a good argument. I have asked how one is supposed to define something and even argue about it if it is beyond your comprehension, why not just wait until it is within your comprehension first? (People shut down in response to that too or give the “the lord works in mysterious ways” response, which to me is saying, “I have to be right, if I am wrong my whole world comes to an end”).
    .
    A lot of talk has come up on thinking rationally and reasonably. I am no expert but it seems to me that a lot of believers can think reationally and reasonably. The difficulty is that they don’t prioritize reason over emotion. When emotion tells them one thing, and reason another, the emotion is so powerful that a world of reason could not overwhelm them. SO I start to wonder if the difficulty is that they need to be touched emotionally and that they need their emotions to betray them, to make them have chosen an answer so wrong and so hurtful that it almost destroys the person inside. Reason and rational thought needs to be the only alternative and lead to an answer so correct that it overwhelms the person. I don’t know how to do this, overwhelm a person with emotion.
    .
    I say this after reading a story about a University student (there are LOTS of these all over the internet) who, on the one hand, loved his parents but was taught in a very religiously restrictive way and went on to study higher level science to become a doctor. Naturally he went on to study genetics and evolution (hand in hand) and try as he might to deny it just could not deny the overwhelming feeling that his parents were lying to him about evolution (we all hear about these stories). It was not the logic of evolutionary theoiry that got him to give up his religion, he could forgive a misunderstanding of that. It was the overwhelming FEELING of having been lied too (maybe he was not lied to but dishonesty was certainly present) that drove him away from religion. Maybe that type of feeling can be recreated deliberately to make a point (without hurting someone deliberately) and can get through to some believers. (Then again with people making up excuses as to why priests will molest young boys, which is clearly wrong and should elicit an overwhelming emotional response, maybe not).

  33. Matt Gerrans says

    Of course, we’ll have to duck when all the idiotic “tone trolling” accusations follow.

  34. Matt Gerrans says

    Well, even before you get to starving people, here’s the part of that story that made me go “hmm” even as a child: If God can make a universe out of nothing, why does he need “starter” in order to make more loaves and fish? And why the hell not make something much better like pizza or burritos instead? What an incompetent and worthless god.

  35. Matt Gerrans says

    I used to go to Catholic church with my college girlfriend on occasion. The thing that really annoyed me about sermons is the fact that they are just that: sermons. There is no stopping to question claims, or point out contradictions, illogical conclusions, fallacies, etc. The priest just gets to blather on to his hearts content, spewing non sequiturs, contradictions, false claims, etc. I was constantly wanting to raise my hand and say “Wait, what? If Jesus could multiply loaves and fishes, why couldn’t he just create food ex nihilo? And why wasn’t he able to make a fig tree produce food out of season if he did have the magical power to wither it? Why would he even need a tree or food at all? And where were these thousands who saw his miracles when he was later being castigated and jeered by the crowds?” etc., etc. etc.

    But you don’t get to ask questions, you only get to sit there and say “Amen!” The hell with that.

  36. says

    Excellent video, it reminds me of that one sided game in the Super Bowl when Seattle hammered Denver. Does anyone here know first aid? I think the Bishop and that arrogant, and obnoxious MP got their ass’s handed to them by Hitchens and Fry. It probably would have gone better for them if they would have at least shown some remorse instead of just handing out one excuse after another. Just another good example as to why the Catholic church,(as well as others), need a complete overhaul.

  37. xscd says

    Good points, Toska. Thank you for expressing them. I like Matt and am grateful that he’s such a good, high-profile proponent of the atheist community. I shudder to think how effective he might have been as a Christian preacher though. :-)

  38. adamah says

    Jason said-

    First, Matt needs to find a bit of humility when talking about the church as a “criminal organization”. The church has nothing on the US government that throws kids in jail for almost nothing.

    Holy Hell, Jason: you mean to tell us you’ve made it this far in life without having heard “two wrońgs don’t make a right”? Pointing a finger at someone else and saying, “But mommie, Johnny did it too!” is a childish argument, only to be met with the line of every Mother since time immemorial, “If the other kids were jumping off a bridge, would you do it, too?”

    It’s called a ‘tu quoque’ fallacy, and is a collossal fail when it’s used as a defense for an obviously offensive act.

    Jason said-

    Next, the advice you go see a “mental health professional” is horrible advice. Not only do they not give a shit about you or your problems but you are all but guaranteed to get a prescription for dangerous and addictive drugs. That’s what treatment means today – drugs. You aught to be ashamed of yourself for putting people down that path. Your emotions are not a disease or a disorder – they are your humanity.

    So you don’t like Matts suggestion: what do you suggest they do instead?

    Let me guess: pray? Talk to a minister for ‘spiritual counseling’?

    Adam

  39. adamah says

    Frank said-

    I have asked how one is supposed to define something and even argue about it if it is beyond your comprehension, why not just wait until it is within your comprehension first? (People shut down in response to that too or give the “the lord works in mysterious ways” response, which to me is saying, “I have to be right, if I am wrong my whole world comes to an end”).

    They’ve already covered that one 2,000 yrs ago, saying they need to wait until after death, as we only see things thru the glass darkly, and must wait until all is revealed. It actually creates anticipation in the minds of believers, being able to ask patriarchs directly about their questions (eg asking Noah about the logistics of collecting animals, etc).

    The various theodicies and apologetics operate in parallel (ie shotgun), and can even be contradictory to each other, as believers will drop one offered argument that you dismantle and go to another, as if they have the short-term memory of a gnat! It’s not about logic leading, but their emotional desires in search of post-hoc rationalizations.
    .
    A lot of talk has come up on thinking rationally and reasonably. I am no expert but it seems to me that a lot of believers can think reationally and reasonably. The difficulty is that they don’t prioritize reason over emotion. When emotion tells them one thing, and reason another, the emotion is so powerful that a world of reason could not overwhelm them. SO I start to wonder if the difficulty is that they need to be touched emotionally and that they need their emotions to betray them, to make them have chosen an answer so wrong and so hurtful that it almost destroys the person inside. Reason and rational thought needs to be the only alternative and lead to an answer so correct that it overwhelms the person. I don’t know how to do this, overwhelm a person with emotion.

    Many only become receptive after being forced in that position, ie being excommunicated/disfellowshipped, or witnessing or experiencing injustice at the hands of church leaders themselves. Until that happens, most are content to remain blissfully unaware (Jesus had some balls, brazenly calling his followers his ‘sheep’, a docile animal that was sheared, slaughtered, and eaten by the shepherd).

    Adam

  40. adamah says

    Matt asked-

    If God can make a universe out of nothing, why does he need “starter” in order to make more loaves and fish? And why the hell not make something much better like pizza or burritos instead?

    God fed the Israelites with nothing as a starter when he made manna magically appear every morning (except Sabbath) in the wilderness. Problem is, the Israelites weren’t impressed and complained (and would’ve posted bad yelp* reviews if they had cellies). In Hebrew, the word ‘manna’ means “what is it?”. The implication is even MREs served to our troops would taste better.

    When Jesus came, God apparently decided it was risky to cook new dishes without using a recipe: hence the need for a starter materials as a frame of reference…

    Adam

  41. Frank G. Turner says

    They’ve already covered that one 2,000 yrs ago, saying they need to wait until after death, as we only see things thru the glass darkly, and must wait until all is revealed. It actually creates anticipation in the minds of believers, being able to ask patriarchs directly about their questions (eg asking Noah about the logistics of collecting animals, etc).
    .
    Believe me I would be happy to ask a few things like that myself, but I don’t expect it to happen. I would actually be quite surprised if it did happen but I am sure that any “all seeing” and “all knowing” God would understand why I had to go with what I had to go with. I guess what sucked for the believers was actually getting hard evidence that they had to ignore, like fossil records. Like I said, it seems that many believers are actually more frightened that there are evolutionary biologists who do consider themselves Xtian (obviously they don’t believe that Adam and Eve existed) than the believers are frightened of atheist evolutionary biologists. I guess it is more frightening to have people that believe and have faith yet can still look at hard evidence and acknowledge it. Maybe it means that faith is loosing ground as a means of basing one’s life in the long run.
    .
    Many only become receptive after being forced in that position, ie being excommunicated/disfellowshipped, or witnessing or experiencing injustice at the hands of church leaders themselves. Until that happens, most are content to remain blissfully unaware
    .
    Some stay blissfully unaware even when the victims of injustice (hence my mention of excuses regarding abuse of boys in the Catholic Church). I’ve heard that called an advanced form of “battered spouse syndrome.”

  42. says

    More pointing out that bad shit happens everywhere and in every organization

    … so therefore we shouldn’t criticize them for it? Seems to me like this would be an argument for more criticism, not less.

  43. Jason Jensen says

    “Holy Hell, Jason: you mean to tell us you’ve made it this far in life without having heard “two wrońgs don’t make a right”? Pointing a finger at someone else and saying, “But mommie, Johnny did it too!” is a childish argument, only to be met with the line of every Mother since time immemorial, “If the other kids were jumping off a bridge, would you do it, too?””

    Don’t even try to act link I am a child. fact is, Matt called it a “criminal organization”. That’s not true. I pointed out the STATE does the same thing – but WORSE. So you going to go on record calling the state a “criminal organization” too? How about Matt?

    “It’s called a ‘tu quoque’ fallacy, and is a collossal fail when it’s used as a defense for an obviously offensive act.”

    It’s not a fallacy. I wasn’t claiming what happened wasn’t bad. I wasn’t saying it’s better because other people do it. I WAS SAYING THAT THE WHOLE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FEW.

    By your logic, if you pay for the state, and the state puts kids in jail, and the jailer rapes the kids – then you are a pedophile/rapist. In what world does this make sense?

  44. Jason Jensen says

    “So you don’t like Matts suggestion: what do you suggest they do instead?

    Let me guess: pray? Talk to a minister for ‘spiritual counseling’?”

    NO. I am not religious. I said that. It would probably be better than seeing a psychiatrist. All you will get there is DRUGS. They will call them medication and even correct then when you call them drugs. Just don’t point out that the FDA stands for food and drug administration. THEY ARE DRUGS. And they have HORRIBLE and LIFELONG side-effects.

    It would be like recommending a depressed person get drunk.

    There is some good evidence that MDMA and LSD can have therapeutic effects for PTSD.

    http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-04/new-science-lsd-therapy

    But they won’t ever let you use that.. Why? It’s not a “medication” it’s an illegal drug.. lol..

    There is also good evidence that Cannabis (you may know it as pot/marijuana/weed but the plant’s name is CANNABIS) can help with depression..

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071023183937.htm

    But they will call you a drug addict if you use that..

    ———————————–

    So what’s my advice? Find a good friend. A REAL friend. and talk about what you are going through..

  45. Jason Jensen says

    “… so therefore we shouldn’t criticize them for it? Seems to me like this would be an argument for more criticism, not less.”

    No.. MEANING you should criticize the PERSON not the ORGANIZATION/BANNER..

  46. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Don’t even try to act link I am a child. fact is, Matt called it a “criminal organization”. That’s not true. I pointed out the STATE does the same thing – but WORSE.

    Do you understand what a “non sequitur” is? That right there is a non sequitur.

    Now, you might have been going for a reductio ad absurdum, but if so you have to complete the argument. We’re not magic. We can’t read your mind.

    I pointed out the STATE does the same thing – but WORSE. So you going to go on record calling the state a “criminal organization” too? How about Matt?

    It’s not a fallacy. I wasn’t claiming what happened wasn’t bad. I wasn’t saying it’s better because other people do it. I WAS SAYING THAT THE WHOLE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FEW.

    Can you please provide citations that show that the US government has official internal policy of protecting child rapists, sending to hell those who report child rapists to the police, and that this official policy was created and signed by the president of the US, and that the overwhelming majority of officials of the US government follow this policy? No? Didn’t think so. That’s what we have on the Catholic church.

    I don’t understand how people are unable to read or listen. Our problem with the Catholic church is not that some priests rape kids. That’s going to happen in any organization. It happens. It’s unfortunate. We should try to stop it as best we can.

    Our problem with the Catholic church is that their official internal policy is to protect child rapists, to not report them to police, and send to hell anyone who reports them to police, and that these orders were created by Ratzinger himself before he became pope, or at least they bear his official signature. Further, have plenty of evidence that following these orders is the norm and not the few of church officials. Again, our problem is not with the child rapists themselves, but with the entire church hierarchy which protects the child rapists. That makes the Catholic church an international criminal child-rape organization,

    Please learn to read. You might learn a thing or two, and also not look like an idiotic ass. (You’ll still look like an ass with merely adding reading, but being an ass can also be fixed.)

  47. Jason Jensen says

    Do you understand what a “non sequitur” is? That right there is a non sequitur.

    Now, you might have been going for a reductio ad absurdum, but if so you have to complete the argument. We’re not magic. We can’t read your mind.

    So is trying to say the organization, in this case a church, is responsible for the actions of individuals.

    Can you please provide citations that show that the US government has official internal policy of protecting child rapists, sending to hell those who report child rapists to the police, and that this official policy was created and signed by the president of the US, and that the overwhelming majority of officials of the US government follow this policy? No? Didn’t think so. That’s what we have on the Catholic church.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/28/prison-rape-elimination-act-doj_n_5406665.html

    http://news.yahoo.com/unbelievable-texas-says-ignore-rules-designed-prevent-rape-150546525.html

    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=131113

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5239043

    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2013/12/lawsuit_accuses_mdoc_guards_of.html

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/medomsley-detention-centre-paedophile-ring-2162990

    http://www.alternet.org/story/10813/report_finds_%22deliberate_indifference%22_to_prison_rape_epidemic

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/transgender-man-files-suit-claiming-ga-jail-turned-blind-eye-rape-article-1.1557084

    http://www.propublica.org/article/guards-may-be-responsible-for-half-of-prison-sexual-assaults

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbCOH3bYK6g

    https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2012/apr/15/state-by-state-prisoner-rape-and-sexual-abuse-round-up/

    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2010/jan/07/the-crisis-of-juvenile-prison-rape-a-new-report/

    http://www.wcl.american.edu/endsilence/juvenile_inthenews.cfm

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/04/16/texas-juvenile-detention-centers-cope-with-charges-rape-abuse/

    ————————————-
    Here is a school:

    http://nation.time.com/2013/10/08/school-official-arrested-in-apparent-cover-up-of-steubenville-rape-case/
    —————————————

    The evidence is just so abundant that I am not going to post anymore links.

    I don’t understand how people are unable to read or listen. Our problem with the Catholic church is not that some priests rape kids. That’s going to happen in any organization. It happens. It’s unfortunate. We should try to stop it as best we can.

    Our problem with the Catholic church is that their official internal policy is to protect child rapists, to not report them to police, and send to hell anyone who reports them to police, and that these orders were created by Ratzinger himself before he became pope, or at least they bear his official signature. Further, have plenty of evidence that following these orders is the norm and not the few of church officials. Again, our problem is not with the child rapists themselves, but with the entire church hierarchy which protects the child rapists. That makes the Catholic church an international criminal child-rape organization,

    So is the policy of state governments.

    So here you have the same thing. You have SOME PEOPLE raping kids. And then you have SOME OTHER PEOPLE covering it up to protect the church.

    Again, not the whole church.

    Please learn to read. You might learn a thing or two, and also not look like an idiotic ass. (You’ll still look like an ass with merely adding reading, but being an ass can also be fixed.)

    You fucking learn to read. And stop using a common problem in ALL ORGANIZATIONS to try to prove your argument.

    As far as you calling me an ass – fuck you.

  48. adamah says

    Frank said-

    Believe me I would be happy to ask a few things like that myself, but I don’t expect it to happen. I would actually be quite surprised if it did happen but I am sure that any “all seeing” and “all knowing” God would understand why I had to go with what I had to go with.

    Well OF COURSE it won’t happen, no more than anyone will be able to talk to Job, who you know is a character in a parable who never even existed, and the Book of Job subtly discloses that fact, up front, thru it’s idiomatic syntax!

    Syntax-schmintax: my believing relatives truly think they’ll be able to talk with Job after he’s resurrected in the New System. They believe it since they WANT it to be true, casualties of their own delusional desire being fed by others who share the same fantasy.

    That’s part of the way Xianity operates: it encourages the listener to become a player in the game, a participant in the ultimate battle between the forces of good and evil! Imagine your good luck to be alive now, at the climax of in the history of the Universe! That belief takes a level of personal narcissism that silly ol’ me cannot muster.

    (This elaborate game of make-believe is why those with difficulties discerning between reality and fantasy (eg schizophrenics) are at greater-risk when exposed to religious ideology; it’s even toxic to some ‘normal’ types (like Jihadists who blow themselves up in the name of Allah), and it’s absolutely playing with fire for those struggling with mental illness.

    guess what sucked for the believers was actually getting hard evidence that they had to ignore, like fossil records. Like I said, it seems that many believers are actually more frightened that there are evolutionary biologists who do consider themselves Xtian (obviously they don’t believe that Adam and Eve existed) than the believers are frightened of atheist evolutionary biologists. I guess it is more frightening to have people that believe and have faith yet can still look at hard evidence and acknowledge it. Maybe it means that faith is loosing ground as a means of basing one’s life in the long run.

    As I’ve also said before, I’ve seen brilliant minds (eg Chick Corea) who are able to believe some unbelievably whacky stuff (Scientology). Michael Shermer (a psychologist) wrote a book for lay-people on the topic called something like, ‘why we believe irrational ideas’. And just because an irrational illogical thought is widespread doesn’t make it true (appeal to popularity).

    It’s clearly not a matter of intelligence, but whether you have the courage of your convictions to overcome the power of the group to actually say the King has no clothes. Most people don’t, being social animals at the core of our brain-stem, going with the mindless herd (ironically mob behavior is a valuable trait that has served animals well in prior times: thanks evolution!).

    Adam

  49. Frank G. Turner says

    It’s clearly not a matter of intelligence, but whether you have the courage of your convictions to overcome the power of the group to actually say the King has no clothes. Most people don’t, being social animals at the core of our brain-stem, going with the mindless herd
    .
    Funny that you should mention this in that I have been called courageous for sticking to my convictions in the face of objecting to group popularity when I feel something is wrong or just plain without evidence. Then again there are many instances where I am not the emotional type and I find those that follow the pack drive are the more emotional type. I was in many ways not social and did feel outcast and would really like to have met people like you a long time ago. I really wish I had known about this show when I was in my undergrad years. Still it is nice to have it now.
    .
    A big thanks to you guys for it, Matt and Martin and John and Tracy (I have spoken to you via email) and Jeff and Jen. It is nice to know that there are people like you and a part of me wishes I could live in AUstin. If I ever come out there I may try to see the show live sometime (I do have a friend who lives out there).

  50. Frank G. Turner says

    No.. MEANING you should criticize the PERSON not the ORGANIZATION/BANNER..
    .
    Why not both? I think I see what you mean though in that sometimes it is not the group but each individual within the group. However, when multiple individuals within a group maintain a similar attitude it can inadvertently create an implicit group policy even if not an explicit one. That may have been what Matt was getting at or would if questioned (if he is reading perhaps he can respond).
    .
    I would guess that Matt would clarify in that regard if asked directly.

  51. says

    Your words:

    Governments all kill and do testing on people

    Seems to be that Matt’s critique of a named organization was rather more specific than your accusations against all governments.

    Indeed, Matt was criticizing the people within a specific organization and the specific actions they take, along with the people who were supporting that organization and therby offering implicit support for those actions.

    In short, I think you’re full of shit and if you want to convince me otherwise, I strongly suggest you start making more sense.

  52. Jason Jensen says

    Why not both? I think I see what you mean though in that sometimes it is not the group but each individual within the group. However, when multiple individuals within a group maintain a similar attitude it can inadvertently create an implicit group policy even if not an explicit one. That may have been what Matt was getting at or would if questioned (if he is reading perhaps he can respond).
    .
    I would guess that Matt would clarify in that regard if asked directly.

    Because you hurt a lot of people that have nothing to do with the crime. My Grandmother, for instance, is a Catholic. If you call the organization a criminal organization that supports pedophilia/child rape, do you not include her? How about the rest of my family that is Catholic? Aren’t they included?

    That’s just wrong. Should you call the Wife of a pedophile a pedophile? How about a pedophile “lover”?

    It’s just wrong and immoral. People are responsible for THEIR actions – not the actions of others.

  53. Jason Jensen says

    Indeed, Matt was criticizing the people within a specific organization and the specific actions they take, along with the people who were supporting that organization and therby offering implicit support for those actions.

    No. he said it was a “criminal organization”. That’s not attacking the people in the organization that did the acts – that’s attacking everyone associated with the organization.

    I mean it’s different from the Church and say NAMBLA.. he could, and rightly so, criticize that organization. Since it is explicit to EVERYONE involved what they stand for. But the Church doesn’t go around saying that they support that kind of crap. And some members were criminal. More still became criminal when they used their affinity to the organization as justification to protect it from scandal. But, that is still not representative of the organization.

    If it were they would have been open and public about their actions and policy. The fact that they were secretive and concealed what they were doing shows it doesn’t represent the organization.

  54. AhmNee says

    The individual should be blamed for the act and treated accordingly. Sure.

    Now that that is out of the way. The organization itself has an implemented procedure for covering up crimes and protecting criminals which includes intimidation of victims and whistle-blowers through threats of hellfire and damnation. That is not a problem with the individual but with the organization.

  55. says

    Should you call the Wife of a pedophile a pedophile?

    If she knows about him being a pedophile and still supports him and gives him money, knowing he’ll use it to rape more children, YES! She’s effectively just as bad and should certainly be considered an accomplice.

  56. Jason Jensen says

    I can say the same thing about government and schools.

    I can find examples of how schools intimidated, covered up, lied, etc etc to cover rapes.

    Still can’t blame the school.

    You are so angry you just want to assign blame to the whole thing – and why not – it doesn’t cost you a thing. In fact, since you are atheist you benefit.

    It makes you a scoundrel.

  57. AhmNee says

    But the Church doesn’t go around saying that they support that kind of crap.
    The fact that they were secretive and concealed what they were doing shows it doesn’t represent the organization.

    Do you think the mafia openly states that it supports extortion and racketeering? WTF?

    The covering up of crimes IS representative of the organization.

    You have a very warped sense of responsibility if you think that someone covering up (being secretive of) their illegal practices absolves them from their actions.

  58. AhmNee says

    If an individual covered up or lied about rapes. That would be one thing. If the school covered up or lied about the rapes, you bet your sweet ass you can blame the school. What reality are you living in?

  59. Jason Jensen says

    Do you think the mafia openly states that it supports extortion and racketeering? WTF?

    The “mafia” has NO public policies. In fact, the members are secret, and their actions are secret. If you know what they are doing then they made a mistake.

    You comparing the two just shows how intellectually dishonest you are. So bloodthirsty that you just revel in kicking the organization when it is down.

    It’s pathetic. You want to “win” that way? Say more about you than the church.

    The covering up of crimes IS representative of the organization.

    Nice claim. Notice there is nothing supporting your OPINION. And no, no it’s not. How do I know? BECAUSE 99% of the members had NO IDEA.

    You have a very warped sense of responsibility if you think that someone covering up (being secretive of) their illegal practices absolves them from their actions.

    Never said that. Not once. NO WHERE did I say that. In fact I said “others became CRIMINAL when they covered it up”

    More intellectual dishonesty from you.. You are a maggot. You can’t actually debate so you use straw men and lies to “try to make your point”..

  60. AhmNee says

    “In fact, since you are atheist you benefit.”

    As would every child never raped by a priest.

  61. Jason Jensen says

    If an individual covered up or lied about rapes. That would be one thing. If the school covered up or lied about the rapes, you bet your sweet ass you can blame the school. What reality are you living in?

    Oh blame the kids that knew nothing for what others did?

    I got your number. You and you “social justice” bullshit.

    Well, THEN YOU CANNOT SUPPORT A SINGLE ORGANIZATION NOW OR EVER.

    They all have had corruption at times.

    So go hide back under that rock you came from.

  62. Jason Jensen says

    If she knows about him being a pedophile and still supports him and gives him money, knowing he’ll use it to rape more children, YES!

    That’s a lot of IFs I didn’t include. Which shows HOW LOW YOUR POSITION IS.

    Most people that gave the church money, in fact, DID NOT KNOW. So keep with the analogy.

    She’s effectively just as bad and should certainly be considered an accomplice.

    And would be arrested in that case. So you just full of crap. You know damn well that’s not what I was talking about.

  63. Jason Jensen says

    As would every child never raped by a priest.

    The priest would just become a youth juvenile detention officer.. plenty of kids to rape there. More control. Oh and you can just say they are “suicidal” as a justification to strip them naked..

  64. AhmNee says

    Look, mental midget.

    When a criminal organization has legitimate businesses that secretly do illegal things like launder money, do you think those businesses are left alone?

    When the government arrests the leaders of a criminal organization, do you think they aren’t trying to take down the organization. Would they stop if the organization took up new leadership and continued business as usual? No. (Unless it’s Banks/Wall Street)

    The “mafia” has NO public policies. In fact, the members are secret, and their actions are secret. If you know what they are doing then they made a mistake.

    What difference does this make to anything? How exactly does this make me intellectually dishonest?

    BECAUSE 99% of the members had NO IDEA.

    Again, this makes a difference why? You think that no criminal organizations have people who thought their place of employment/worship/etc. was legitimate and had no idea there was something illegal going on there?

    Never said that. Not once. NO WHERE did I say that. In fact I said “others became CRIMINAL when they covered it up”

    Except you did:

    The fact that they were secretive and concealed what they were doing shows it doesn’t represent the organization.

  65. AhmNee says

    You are either a troll or insane and off your medication. Either way, I’m done.

  66. Jason Jensen says

    When a criminal organization has legitimate businesses that secretly do illegal things like launder money, do you think those businesses are left alone?

    Yep. I can link to hundreds of cases where the banks are slapped on the wrist and pay a small fine.

    When the government arrests the leaders of a criminal organization, do you think they aren’t trying to take down the organization. Would they stop if the organization took up new leadership and continued business as usual? No. (Unless it’s Banks/Wall Street)

    It depends on the organization and what it stands for. Your continued proclamation that the church wanted this and assisted it is beyond delusional.

    And you don’t LINK TO ANYTHING EVER yet DEMAND OTHERS DO.

  67. Jason Jensen says

    The “mafia” has NO public policies. In fact, the members are secret, and their actions are secret. If you know what they are doing then they made a mistake.

    What difference does this make to anything? How exactly does this make me intellectually dishonest?

    Oh this makes NO DIFFERENCE? The WHOLE NATURE OF THE ORGANIZATION makes no difference?

    You are either willingly dense or not able to understand simple concepts.

  68. Jason Jensen says

    BECAUSE 99% of the members had NO IDEA.

    Again, this makes a difference why? You think that no criminal organizations have people who thought their place of employment/worship/etc. was legitimate and had no idea there was something illegal going on there?

    Yes and those people are innocent.

    Well, since this is the way you think:

    You pay government taxes.
    Governments kill and rape.

    YOU ARE A KILLER AND A RAPIST.

    And since you KEEP PAYING taxes.. you are complicit in the killing and rapes.

    But this only applies to you since you are the only kind of idiot that can’t understand the difference.

  69. AhmNee says

    LOL. I couldn’t pass this up.

    When a criminal organization has legitimate businesses that secretly do illegal things like launder money, do you think those businesses are left alone?

    Yep. I can link to hundreds of cases where the banks are slapped on the wrist and pay a small fine.

    You know that’s precisely the opposite of being left alone, right?

  70. Jason Jensen says

    Never said that. Not once. NO WHERE did I say that. In fact I said “others became CRIMINAL when they covered it up”

    Except you did:

    The fact that they were secretive and concealed what they were doing shows it doesn’t represent the organization.

    What a joke. In the same post I said this:

    No. he said it was a “criminal organization”. That’s not attacking the people in the organization that did the acts – that’s attacking everyone associated with the organization.

    I mean it’s different from the Church and say NAMBLA.. he could, and rightly so, criticize that organization. Since it is explicit to EVERYONE involved what they stand for. But the Church doesn’t go around saying that they support that kind of crap. And some members were criminal. More still became criminal when they used their affinity to the organization as justification to protect it from scandal. But, that is still not representative of the organization.

    If it were they would have been open and public about their actions and policy. The fact that they were secretive and concealed what they were doing shows it doesn’t represent the organization.

    Intellectual Dishonest….

  71. Jason Jensen says

    LOL. I couldn’t pass this up.

    So much for you being “done”..

    When a criminal organization has legitimate businesses that secretly do illegal things like launder money, do you think those businesses are left alone?

    Yep. I can link to hundreds of cases where the banks are slapped on the wrist and pay a small fine.

    You know that’s precisely the opposite of being left alone, right?

    You didn’t read the PART WHERE THE BANK EMPLOYEES COMMITTED CRIMES AND WHERE COMPLETELY LEFT ALONE and only THE BANK paid fines that amounted TO NOTHING>?!?!

    Well, congrats – Mr. Super Douche.. on your award of Most Douchebaggy of the Day!

  72. AhmNee says

    I think I see your major malfunction.

    You think that in a criminal organization that everyone involved in that organization is equally culpable and treated the same, whether they’re the boss of the organization, someone who works for it or is a patron.

    Yeah … nothing works like that.

    When an organization is a criminal one, not everyone involved is necessarily a criminal themselves. Though with the Catholic churches policies of protecting child rapists being publicly exposed, I think people who continue to support the organization/church are more culpable than the cashier at a business that does money laundering, who knew nothing about the laundering going on.

  73. Jason Jensen says

    I think I see your major malfunction.

    Your bullshit is my only malfunction.

    You think that in a criminal organization that everyone involved in that organization is equally culpable and treated the same, whether they’re the boss of the organization, someone who works for it or is a patron.

    Yeah, that’s what a “criminal organization” is. The MAFIA is a CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION. AKA an ORGANIZATION OF CRIMINALS.

    Eats books with words much? You know they are FOR READING.

    Yeah … nothing works like that.

    Yeah.. yeah they do. A gang in new york is a “criminal organization” that sells drugs and bangs..

    When an organization is a criminal one, not everyone involved is necessarily a criminal themselves.

    The fact that some people might or might not be criminal has no bearing on if it is a “criminal organization” the only thing that has bearing is INTENT.

    Though with the Catholic churches policies of protecting child rapists being publicly exposed, I think people who continue to support the organization/church are more culpable than the cashier at a business that does money laundering, who knew nothing about the laundering going on.

    Well I think pink pigs purposefully pour poop on your head..

    First, the cashier that knows bank of america has been cited over and over money laundering – knows.. yet still need s a job and still works there. HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CRIMINALS THAT WORK THERE. Same with the people who have accounts there.

    Catholic churches policies of protecting child rapists being publicly exposed,

    It isn’t a policy. A policy is never secret. Why? because a secret policy cannot be POLICY.

    HERE IS THE DEFINITION OF POLICY:

    “A policy is a principle or protocol to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure[1] or protocol. Policies are generally adopted by the Board of or senior governance body within an organization whereas procedures or protocols would be developed and adopted by senior executive officers. Policies can assist in both subjective and objective decision making. Policies to assist in subjective decision making would usually assist senior management with decisions that must consider the relative merits of a number of factors before making decisions and as a result are often hard to objectively test e.g. work-life balance policy. In contrast policies to assist in objective decision making are usually operational in nature and can be objectively tested e.g. password policy.[citation needed]”

    –WIKIPEDIA

  74. AhmNee says

    HERE IS THE DEFINITION OF POLICY:

    Let me see. Nope. Nothing there that says a policy cannot be secret. In fact, many corporate policies are secret within the corporation or even within a certain segment of a corporation. And they’re not even criminals.

    By all means, keep the crazy coming. I don’t even need to make points any longer. You just keep talking and anyone can see how separated from reality you are.

  75. unfogged says

    Most people that gave the church money, in fact, DID NOT KNOW.

    There was a time when that was a reasonable claim but the activities of the church hierarchy have been well publicized for a number of years. Anybody still supporting the Catholic Church currently has a share in the guilt and, as Matt was saying, the only moral course of action today is to withdraw all support, financial or otherwise.

    Your government analogy is irrelevant since the topic is support for the church. Whether or not it is moral to support any other specific organization doesn’t affect the fact that it is immoral to support the Catholic Church. (By the way, NAMBLA is a better comparison since that is at least voluntary membership like the church and not a legal requirement like taxes.)

  76. Jason Jensen says

    Let me see. Nope. Nothing there that says a policy cannot be secret. In fact, many corporate policies are secret within the corporation or even within a certain segment of a corporation. And they’re not even criminals.

    God you are one stupid mother.

    Here is the definition of STATEMENT:

    “state·ment
    ˈstātmənt/Submit
    noun
    a definite or clear expression of something in speech or writing.
    “do you agree with this statement?”
    synonyms: declaration, expression of views/facts, affirmation, assertion, announcement, utterance, communication, proclamation, presentation, expounding; More
    an official account of facts, views, or plans, especially one for release to the media.
    “the officials issued a joint statement calling for negotiations”
    a formal account of events given by a witness, defendant, or other party to the police or in a court of law.
    “she made a statement to the police””

    In other words, a statement can’t be secret or it’s not a statement. Check out it’s SYNONYMS.. DECLARATION, ANNOUNCEMENT, PROCLAMATION….

    By all means, keep the crazy coming. I don’t even need to make points any longer. You just keep talking and anyone can see how separated from reality you are.

    Is this an argument? Seems like you are attacking me and not what I am saying… if only they had a name for that.

    DOUCHE.

  77. AhmNee says

    Oh, this is totally ad hominem. But I’m not using it to debunk your argument. I’m stating that you’re batshit insane and you’re debunking yourself. Because it’s an observation and not an argument, it’s not invalid.

    There’s nothing about the definition of a statement that requires it to be public. So, it follows that a secret statement is not an oxymoron.

    Your turn. Unleash that beautiful mind of yours.

  78. Jason Jensen says

    There was a time when that was a reasonable claim but the activities of the church hierarchy have been well publicized for a number of years. Anybody still supporting the Catholic Church currently has a share in the guilt and, as Matt was saying, the only moral course of action today is to withdraw all support, financial or otherwise.

    Not really. The church is a conglomerate. People still support the one they belong to and it may not have had any issues. Moreover, many people in the church purposefully avoid reading about this stuff.. So they still do not know.

    Your government analogy is irrelevant since the topic is support for the church.

    Some claim you have there. But you must be consistent. And that is what I am pointing out. You are not consistent because you don’t want to be.

    Whether or not it is moral to support any other specific organization doesn’t affect the fact that it is immoral to support the Catholic Church.

    It does if your motive is to use the event to destroy an organization that you want destroyed for other reasons.

    (By the way, NAMBLA is a better comparison since that is at least voluntary membership like the church and not a legal requirement like taxes.)

    But to these people, it’s not voluntary. Their GOD commands it.

  79. Jason Jensen says

    There’s nothing about the definition of a statement that requires it to be public. So, it follows that a secret statement is not an oxymoron.

    I love how you cannot read. I even posted the definition..

    “an official account of facts, views, or plans, especially one for release to the media.”

    Duh.. oh that’s right.. “especially one for release to the media” must mean to keep it secret.

  80. AhmNee says

    So, that one part of the definition must be the only definition that applies.

    Here, let me help you. From Mirriam Webster Online:

    Full Definition of STATEMENT
    1
    : something stated: as
    a : a single declaration or remark : assertion
    b : a report of facts or opinions
    2
    : the act or process of stating or presenting orally or on paper
    3
    : proposition 2a
    4
    : the presentation of a theme in a musical composition
    5
    : a summary of activity in a financial account over a particular period of time
    6
    : an opinion, comment, or message conveyed indirectly usually by nonverbal means
    7
    : an instruction in a computer program
    See statement defined for English-language learners »
    See statement defined for kids »

    Notice there are 7 distinct definitions of “statement”. By your logic, every statement is an instruction in a computer program, too.

  81. AhmNee says

    Oh, well, if their god commands it.

    Why did we prosecute that woman who drown her kids because god commanded her to?

    {sarcasm}It was involuntary, she couldn’t be held responsible.{/sarcasm}

  82. Jason Jensen says

    So, that one part of the definition must be the only definition that applies.

    Here, let me help you. From Mirriam Webster Online:

    Full Definition of STATEMENT
    1
    : something stated: as
    a : a single declaration or remark : assertion
    b : a report of facts or opinions
    2
    : the act or process of stating or presenting orally or on paper
    3
    : proposition 2a
    4
    : the presentation of a theme in a musical composition
    5
    : a summary of activity in a financial account over a particular period of time
    6
    : an opinion, comment, or message conveyed indirectly usually by nonverbal means
    7
    : an instruction in a computer program
    See statement defined for English-language learners »
    See statement defined for kids »

    Notice there are 7 distinct definitions of “statement”. By your logic, every statement is an instruction in a computer program, too.

    Nope but you have to select the definition based on the usage.

    1
    : something stated: as
    a : a single declaration or remark : assertion
    b : a report of facts or opinions

    A declaration is by definition not secret. Nor is a report.

    2
    : the act or process of stating or presenting orally or on paper

    A presentation is by definition not a secretive process..

    So when you take the OVERALL meaning of the definition it implies a non-secretive nature.

  83. Jason Jensen says

    Oh, well, if their god commands it.

    Why did we prosecute that woman who drown her kids because god commanded her to?

    {sarcasm}It was involuntary, she couldn’t be held responsible.{/sarcasm}

    And in such a case, she could be found mentally ill and not held responsible.

    I think they have a phrase in court for that.. something like “Not guilty by reason of insanity”…

    AND THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OTHER. You correlate a person believing they must attend church because god commands it to someone that murders their child because they are schizophrenic.

    You are a pathetic loser.

  84. AhmNee says

    Nope but you have to select the definition based on the usage.

    1
    : something stated: as
    a : a single declaration or remark : assertion
    b : a report of facts or opinions

    A declaration is by definition not secret. Nor is a report.

    2
    : the act or process of stating or presenting orally or on paper

    A presentation is by definition not a secretive process..

    So when you take the OVERALL meaning of the definition it implies a non-secretive nature.

    Sorry, your logic doesn’t follow through. If I make a declaration to a select group of people who are to keep the declaration confidential, it’s what we call secret.

    If I make an oral presentation to a select group of people who are to keep the declaration confidential, it’s what we call secret.

    Ooo, this is so exciting. Like a game of tennis. I serve the ball, you bat it back all covered in crazy.
    Okay, okay. Here we go. {Serve!}

  85. AhmNee says

    Is it impossible for you to actually reply to the post you’re responding to? L2Forums.

    {sarcasm}It was involuntary, she couldn’t be held responsible.{/sarcasm}

    And in such a case, she could be found mentally ill and not held responsible.

    So all I need to do to be held not responsible for my actions is say that god told me to do it? I am SO remembering that for my next speeding ticket.

  86. unfogged says

    Some claim you have there. But you must be consistent.

    There is a difference between being inconsistent and being incomplete. If Matt had claimed that the Catholic Church was evil because it concealed pedophilia but that NAMBLA isn’t evil then he’d be being inconsistent. The fact that he didn’t mention NAMBLA, or rant against supporting the government or the mafia or any other organization you care to name only means that he was focused on one entity. To complain that he didn’t rant against other things that you, and possibly he, also think are bad is a very strange argument, at least from my perspective. There may be many things he finds as bad or worse overall but, regardless of where it fits in the grand scheme, the Catholic Church is evil.

    It does if your motive is to use the event to destroy an organization that you want destroyed for other reasons.

    I disagree completely. If I have multiple reasons for finding an organization deserving of destruction and one of those reasons is stronger or more resonant with others then using that reason, even to the exclusion of other reasons, is legitimate. If people agree that the church should end because of the history of protecting child rapists then the other reasons aren’t needed. As long as the stated reason is legitimate then alternate, even ulterior, motives are beside the point.

  87. adamah says

    Jason said-

    Well, since this is the way you think:

    You pay government taxes.
    Governments kill and rape.

    YOU ARE A KILLER AND A RAPIST.

    And since you KEEP PAYING taxes.. you are complicit in the killing and rapes.

    If you’re a citizen of the US, paying taxes isn’t optional: the govt throws you in jail for tax evasion if you don’t.

    Granted, you can always renounce your citizenship and vote with your feet by moving to another country. It’s an extreme measure, but sometimes people will do it (eg conscientious-objector draft-dodgers who fled to Canada).

    Unlike the Feds, though, the Vatican can no longer throw Catholics in jail for leaving (you’ve gotta love the idea of separation of church and state, no?), so your entire argument is what’s called in logic a “false equivalency”.

    Adam

  88. unfogged says

    “especially one for release to the media” must mean to keep it secret

    “especially” is not the same as “exclusively”. Statements, like policies, do not have to be released or publicized. There are such things as “internal policies” that are never intended for public release.

  89. adamah says

    Jason said-

    A declaration is by definition not secret. Nor is a report.

    You gotta be chittin us, or you completely lack an awareness or any real experience with govt/business?

    Have you EVER heard of “classified reports” written for members of the Armed Services committee, that are classified as “top secret”? Never heard of a private statement, where it was NOT meant to be released for public consumption?

    You’re absurdly incorrect here….

  90. adamah says

    To complain that he didn’t rant against other things that you, and possibly he, also think are bad is a very strange argument, at least from my perspective.

    I think it might have something to do with the fact the show is called TAE, and not “let’s bitch about the totalitarian fascist govt experience”? ;)

  91. Jason Jensen says

    You gotta be chittin us, or you completely lack an awareness or any real experience with govt/business?

    Have you EVER heard of “classified reports” written for members of the Armed Services committee, that are classified as “top secret”? Never heard of a private statement, where it was NOT meant to be released for public consumption?

    You’re absurdly incorrect here….

    That’s they you add the words “classified” to the word “REPORT”.

    and “”private” to “statement”. If statement was automatically private – then there would be no need.

    —————————————–

    And this is all bull crap anyways. We defined “policy” which led to “statement” –

    So how does one go about enforcing a “policy” that is SECRET?

  92. Jason Jensen says

    Sorry, your logic doesn’t follow through. If I make a declaration to a select group of people who are to keep the declaration confidential, it’s what we call secret.

    Then that wouldn’t be policy. Because everyone wouldn’t get the memo..

    If I make an oral presentation to a select group of people who are to keep the declaration confidential, it’s what we call secret.

    Then that wouldn’t be policy. Because everyone wouldn’t get the memo..

    Ooo, this is so exciting. Like a game of tennis. I serve the ball, you bat it back all covered in crazy.
    Okay, okay. Here we go. {Serve!}

    Whatever.. you are nothing but a bullshit artist. Why don’t YOU DEFINE “done”

    Because you have commented a lot for someone whom is DONE..

  93. Jason Jensen says

    Is it impossible for you to actually reply to the post you’re responding to? L2Forums.

    Yes, yes it is. I have loaded this page in IE, chrome, and Firefox. After x number of level the “reply” button is GONE. That does make it IMPOSSIBLE to reply to that post. It is annoying..

    {sarcasm}It was involuntary, she couldn’t be held responsible.{/sarcasm}

    And in such a case, she could be found mentally ill and not held responsible.

    So all I need to do to be held not responsible for my actions is say that god told me to do it? I am SO remembering that for my next speeding ticket.

    No dipshit. Google SCHIZOPHRENIA. If god told you to do something then you are hearing voices. One of the hallmarks of that “disease”..

    You are one of the dumbest idiots on earth..

  94. Jason Jensen says

    Some claim you have there. But you must be consistent.

    There is a difference between being inconsistent and being incomplete. If Matt had claimed that the Catholic Church was evil because it concealed pedophilia but that NAMBLA isn’t evil then he’d be being inconsistent. The fact that he didn’t mention NAMBLA, or rant against supporting the government or the mafia or any other organization you care to name only means that he was focused on one entity. To complain that he didn’t rant against other things that you, and possibly he, also think are bad is a very strange argument, at least from my perspective. There may be many things he finds as bad or worse overall but, regardless of where it fits in the grand scheme, the Catholic Church is evil.

    That’s an opinion (that the catholic church is evil).

    “only means that he was focused on one entity”

    NONSENSE. In the same show they ranted about the benefits of PSYCHIATRY for almost HALF THE SHOW.

    I don’t even need to go into the DARK PAST of PSYCHIATRY do I?

    It does if your motive is to use the event to destroy an organization that you want destroyed for other reasons.

    I disagree completely. If I have multiple reasons for finding an organization deserving of destruction and one of those reasons is stronger or more resonant with others then using that reason, even to the exclusion of other reasons, is legitimate. If people agree that the church should end because of the history of protecting child rapists then the other reasons aren’t needed. As long as the stated reason is legitimate then alternate, even ulterior, motives are beside the point.

    You can disagree all you want. As Matt would say – no one gives a damn about your feelings or emotions. If you can’t demonstrate a thing – then NO ONE CARES.

    And no they are EXACTLY the point. You are focusing on the things that people will find particularly despicable. That’s being a con artist and a manipulative twit.

    In other words, you can’t get them on the actual argument. In this case, there is no god. So you want to shame them for being associated with an organization that had some problems.

    Come to think of it.. I guess you want to destroy the “Boy Scouts” too.. They are religious, have had pediphia, covered it up, etc etc etc..

  95. Jason Jensen says

    Well, since this is the way you think:

    You pay government taxes.
    Governments kill and rape.

    YOU ARE A KILLER AND A RAPIST.

    And since you KEEP PAYING taxes.. you are complicit in the killing and rapes.

    If you’re a citizen of the US, paying taxes isn’t optional: the govt throws you in jail for tax evasion if you don’t.

    Sure it is, you just don’t want to be victimized by the same organization victimizing others..

    Granted, you can always renounce your citizenship and vote with your feet by moving to another country. It’s an extreme measure, but sometimes people will do it (eg conscientious-objector draft-dodgers who fled to Canada).

    See.. you do have a choice. You just ignore it.. JUST LIKE A PERSON IN THE CHURCH SINCE THEY WERE A CHILD..

    Unlike the Feds, though, the Vatican can no longer throw Catholics in jail for leaving (you’ve gotta love the idea of separation of church and state, no?), so your entire argument is what’s called in logic a “false equivalency”.

    Adam

    And this is idiotic. The Vatican is in another country. In fact, it is it’s own state. So they never had “separation of church and state”. And that doesn’t hold true either. A psychiatrist can look at you and observe you for 5 minutes and have you committed for ever..

    and it’s only a “false equivalency” because you assert it so. It is an EXACT equivalency. Except that the STATE will hurt you for not contributing whereas the church won’t. That’s it. That’s not a false “equivalency”.. that’s a direct equivalency.

  96. adamah says

    Jason asked-

    So how does one go about enforcing a “policy” that is SECRET?

    You’ve never heard of insider policies vs outsider doctrine? Never heard of “unwritten rules”?

    Almost every organization I’ve ever been in, from govt (military) to religious (JWs) has unwritten rules that are passed by word of mouth (or better yet, not even stated, but demonstrated by making an example of someone) which you abide by, or you’ll learn the hard way….

  97. Jason Jensen says

    “especially one for release to the media” must mean to keep it secret

    “especially” is not the same as “exclusively”. Statements, like policies, do not have to be released or publicized. There are such things as “internal policies” that are never intended for public release.

    But everyone IN the organization with the “internal policies” still knows..

  98. Jason Jensen says

    To complain that he didn’t rant against other things that you, and possibly he, also think are bad is a very strange argument, at least from my perspective.

    I think it might have something to do with the fact the show is called TAE, and not “let’s bitch about the totalitarian fascist govt experience”? ;)

    Yet they took a HALF HOUR to talk about how GREAT IT IS to go see a “mental health professional” aka PSYCHIATRIST.

    Just youtube “history of psychiatry”

    I DARE YOU. Cutting up people.. Rapes.. Torture.. It’s all THERE..

  99. Jason Jensen says

    Jason asked-

    So how does one go about enforcing a “policy” that is SECRET?

    You’ve never heard of insider policies vs outsider doctrine? Never heard of “unwritten rules”?

    WHAT does that have to do with the church being a “criminal organization”? If it’s an unwritten rule – it’s not a policy.

    Almost every organization I’ve ever been in, from govt (military) to religious (JWs) has unwritten rules that are passed by word of mouth (or better yet, not even stated, but demonstrated by making an example of someone) which you abide by, or you’ll learn the hard way….

    And that’s not what is alleged here.

  100. Jason Jensen says

    You are either a troll or insane and off your medication. Either way, I’m done.

    We should REALLY take your advice on words. Here you say you are “done”

    Yet since then you have made what? A half a dozen posts?

    See this is your stupid manipulative tactics showing. You thought I would give up and go away if you said you were “done”.. (to express, in your mind, to me that no one was listening/reading).

    Get a life.. the world does not revolve around you.

  101. unfogged says

    That’s an opinion (that the catholic church is evil).

    Correct. I do not apologize for opining that an organization that repeatedly hides child rapists and attempts to evade discovery and blames the victims to be evil.

    “only means that he was focused on one entity” NONSENSE. In the same show they ranted about the benefits of PSYCHIATRY for almost HALF THE SHOW.

    Yes, they talked about psychiatry for part of the show and about the Catholic Church for part of the show. Why you can’t seem to deal with individual subjects one at a time instead of conflating everything into a single topic is your problem, not mine.

    You can disagree all you want. As Matt would say – no one gives a damn about your feelings or emotions. If you can’t demonstrate a thing – then NO ONE CARES

    I wasn’t talking about my emotions. I said that promoting a legitimate reason to destroy an organization is valid whether other reasons exist or not. If you can demonstrate that it is invalid to bring up legitimate concerns unless all concerns are brought up then please do so.

    And no they are EXACTLY the point. You are focusing on the things that people will find particularly despicable. That’s being a con artist and a manipulative twit.

    If those things that people find particularly despicable are valid complaints and sufficient to outweigh any positive attributes of the organization then that is not being manipulative.

    Come to think of it.. I guess you want to destroy the “Boy Scouts” too..

    Actually, yes, I would like to see that organization disbanded and replaced with a secular alternative which is why I donate to groups like Camp Quest and not to the Boy Scouts.

  102. Jason Jensen says

    This website sucks.. it has so many syntax errors.. You can’t reply to comments after 3 levels or whatever..

  103. Russell Glasser says

    Dear Jason, this is your moderator speaking. Tone down the flame wars, please.

    Politely yours,
    The moderator

  104. Jason Jensen says

    TO Russell Glasser
    June 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm (UTC -6) Link to this comment

    RE:

    Dear Jason, this is your moderator speaking. Tone down the flame wars, please.

    Politely yours,
    The moderator

    I like how I am called names CONSTANTLY like ass, insane, etc etc etc.. but you only see fit to tell me to “tone down the flame wars”..

    I wonder if it has anything to do with my opposition to your position?

  105. Russell Glasser says

    It might possibly be that, although I’ve only read back a few posts so I can’t really say I know that much about your position. Regardless of the reason, it’s still you I’m asking.

    Nevertheless, if you like posting at this blog particularly, being snide to the moderator is not the way to express that. So I’m gonna ask nicely a second time: kindly tone it down. Or alternatively, you may take another shot at how much this blog sucks and then you may show yourself the door, if that is the way you would prefer to work things. Totally your call.

  106. AhmNee says

    Because you have commented a lot for someone whom is DONE..

    Yeah, I made a liar out of myself after the fact. But you made it worth it, JJ. No one does crazy like you, man.

  107. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Again, non-sequitur. The Catholic church has also committed crimes. the Catholic church’s official policy, signed by its leader, repudiated by none, is to protect (child) rapists and to send to hell anyone who reports (their) child rapists to police.

    Perhaps the US government is just as bad, but that’s just a non sequitur when talking about the Catholic church. Presumably you are arguing we should fix both, yes? You’re arguing we should send to (non-rape) prison those responsible, yes? Like the current pope who signed the order, yes? And all of the bishops and other officials to enforced the order, yes?

    Also, you are playing word games with “individuals” vs “group”. I am not interested. if the official policy of the organization is X, and the order is signed by X, and not a single official in the organization has spoken out against it (AFAIK, no one important at least), then it’s fair to see that the organization does X. I am not interested in your word games.

  108. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Because you hurt a lot of people that have nothing to do with the crime. My Grandmother, for instance, is a Catholic.

    Does your grandmother give money to the Catholic church? Then in my world view she is legally and morally culpable for giving money to an organization whose official policy is to protect child rapists and to send to hell those who report child rapists, a policy created and signed by the leader of the organization, and implemented by most people of the organization.

    Your grandmother is either ignorant of these problems, or is a miserable human being.

    You are a miserable human being for defender your mother, and saying she is innocent. You are both complicit in the rape of many children. You are not innocent. The clergy are not innocent. The children are innocent.

  109. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Well, THEN YOU CANNOT SUPPORT A SINGLE ORGANIZATION NOW OR EVER.

    I support many organizations, and AFAIK those organizations do not have an official policy, signed by the leader of the organization, to protect child rapists and to send to hell those who report child rapists to the police. In fact, I think that a majority of organizations do not fit that criterion.

  110. Russell Glasser says

    All right, AhmNee, I’m not a big JJ fan at the moment, but you tone it down a bit too. k thx

  111. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Oh this makes NO DIFFERENCE? The WHOLE NATURE OF THE ORGANIZATION makes no difference?

    If they have an official policy, signed by the leader of the organization, to protect child rapists, and to send to hell those who report child rapists to the police, then that’s correct. Whatever other good work they does not compensate. The organization should be fixed or destroyed. We can create better organizations. Most organizations don’t have an official policy to protect child rapists, and most organizations do not systematically protect child rapists.

    You pay government taxes.

    Paying money to the Catholic church is voluntary. Calling yourself a Catholic is voluntary.

    Taxes are not voluntary. If you do not pay your taxes for long enough, eventually a man will come to your house with a gun.

  112. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    But to these people, it’s not voluntary. Their GOD commands it.

    What is the moral choice? To give money to those who rape children for fear of being punished by a god, or to fight against the child rapists and put them in (non-rape) prison where they belong?

    Does god order people to rape children? Does god order people to give money to those who rape children? Does god command people to give money to an organization who calls itself a church who also has an official policy, signed by the leader of the organization, obeyed systematically, which calls for protecting child rapists and sending to hell those who report child rapists? I would hope not.

    That’s an opinion (that the catholic church is evil).

    It’s not a mere opinion. That is a demonstrable fact.

  113. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To be fair, I am saying that he is a miserable human being for defending those who give money to organizations who official, systematically implemented policy is to protect child rapists and send to hell those who report child rapists to the police. Also for defending those who knowingly belong to such an organization. Also for effectively defending child rape itself by strongly implying that “god commands that you give money to the Catholic church”.

    He is a miserable human being for all of these reasons, and I have no particular plan to back off from this characterization of “a miserable human being”, unless and until he apologies and changes course (or the unlikely case that he shows that I’m wrong somehow).

  114. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Also, to our resident child rape apologist: You are right that oftentimes the policies in US prisons concerning rape are atrocious. I don’t support those policies. I vote Democratic. I argue about it online, such as here. I agree with you that we need to get the word out and fix the US prison system.

    However, you seem to be doing nothing to fix the Catholic church, and even defending those who support the church. To finish the analogy, that would be like you defending people who vote for Republican governors who go out of their way to not fix the prison rape problem because god commands them to vote for Republicans who are in favor of prison rape.

    Now, if there is no better option, then you go for the least evil option. Sometimes that means I have to vote for people when I disagree adamantly with some of their positions, because the alternative of not voting is even more evil.

    To bring the analogy back to the Catholic church, I expect people in the Church to at least be making a massive ruckus like I do about prison reform. I see no such ruckus. Does your grandmother do such a ruckus. Do you do such a ruckus? Rather than fighting to reform the system to not have child rape, or rather than destroying the child rape system, you have argued that god commands you to support the child rape system, and thus you should support the child rape system. This is the immorality of divine command theory at its finest. You are a miserable human being, and you should feel miserable. Because of people like you, many kids are being raped now that we could have prevented, if only we acted against the Catholic church – by reforming it or by destroying it.

  115. Frank G. Turner says

    Also for defending those who knowingly belong to such an organization. Also for effectively defending child rape itself by strongly implying that “god commands that you give money to the Catholic church”.
    .
    I don’t mean to defend child rapists in any way shape or form. Honestly I very much had considered breaking from the Catholic church for reasons of this nature and I am frankly glad that I have been coming in here to affirm what I had already thought and that there are others who think similarly to what I think. However, in response to

    Because you hurt a lot of people that have nothing to do with the crime. My Grandmother, for instance, is a Catholic. If you call the organization a criminal organization that supports pedophilia/child rape, do you not include her? How about the rest of my family that is Catholic? Aren’t they included?

    That’s just wrong. Should you call the Wife of a pedophile a pedophile? How about a pedophile “lover”?

    It’s just wrong and immoral. People are responsible for THEIR actions – not the actions of others.
    .
    I do acknowledge that this is a good point and I don’t think that acknowledging that not every bit of what the followers do is supportive of the leadership. Not every penny of what is donated to said Catholic charities goes to child rapists, some goes to people who need it, but if you donate through the church it does have the potential to go to child rapists given what has occurred. (Hence why I started giving to the charities directly ever so long ago). I get it that his grandmother may still consider herself Catholic and was not personally involved but I can see how one might consider continued involvement in the Catholic faith to be considered approval, even those who were not part of the archdiocese of Boston. I knew many Catholics who took a hard line stance against what happened and made a “ruckus” (I knew many who left the faith between 2002 and 2004) and many who did not, which includes myself. I am ashamed to say that I failed to take a hard line stance but by reforming from the faith as I do now I hope to make amends in what ways I can. (I don’t know how but if I am ever to become a friend of one of those boys abused by the priests I would be infinitesimally supportive). A big part of taking a hard line stance now is by accepting the pain and shame of not making more of an issue about this years ago when I should have.
    .
    I know hindsight is 20/20 but I did start to think of some of what follows back in 2002-2004. If the Catholic Church had wanted to take a real hard line stance against the child rapist issues they would not only have welcomed back anyone excommunicated from the church for reporting a child rapist priest but would have excommunicated Bernard Law in 2002. Resignation, even the fact that it had to be demanded for is NOT enough and should not even have needed to have been demanded. They should never have let him set foot in Rome or the Vatican (or ANY other Catholic church for that matter) , maybe even have insisted that he face the Law (pun intended) by personally facing criminal charges in Boston (deporting him if they needed to) and possibly have done the same to any other Bishop involved in the scandal (admittedly some did). As it stood, allowing Bernard Law ANY continued position in the church (much less a higher level appointed one) was essentially to voice the approval of his actions and that occurrence 10 years ago is a large part if what started to draw me away religion. That was John Paul’s action though and not anyone’s grandmother.
    .
    I know how you feel though JJ, not everyone in the Catholic Church was a part of that, but the leadership did not do a good job of accepting the pain and shame of their actions, i.e.: acknowledging sin (by taking a hard line stance) and asking forgiveness by trying to make more amends (maybe a little but in retrospect it seemed pretty insincere). Which is odd how they should really be modeling the behavior that they expect out of others, you know, “doing unto others as they would have done unto themselves,” a policy that seems to be often taught and rarely practiced by many in the leadership of the Catholic Church (and many other leaders of various organizations, the US government and other religious orders included). Good for you and your family if you practice that though, it certainly gives me respect for you if you do, regardless of whatever religion you follow.
    .
    Now does that do a good job of considering everyone’s feelings while still voicing disapproval of the Catholic child abuse scandal?

  116. Jason Jensen says

    I will show myself the door. I see how it is. Look at the response to just this post. I am an getting equated to the worst of humanity just because I am defending the MILLIONS upon MILLIONS that han nothing to do with rapists.

    I see how it is. You have yet to correct ANYONE but myself. Yet you claim that you seek the truth. Nothing could be further than the truth. Which is why, yet again, me getting insults is COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE in your mind 0 but any one else ridiculing me get no response from you.

    You should be ashamed of yourself yet you know no shame. So such it is.

    Just so you know. As a technical matter you could NEVER block me. I can change ip addresses and emails like the wind. But that not how I intent to make a point. In fact, I could completely, in a technical matter, make it impossible for you to continue. But I have Honor. And that is not How I intend to “win”…..

    But thanks for explaining the REAL you. the one who selectively enforces “flame wars”… and quells debate of those in opposition.

    The respect I have for this institution, especially Matt, has evaporated. I will waste no more time reading/listening to your ramblings because I know their true nature.

  117. Jason Jensen says

    Well to be fair. I posted this, AFTER drinking 1/5 of tequila. I am surprised I found the keyboard. Let alone made a somewhat coherent response.

    However, I cannot find fault in what I said and I see no where where you are anyone else was publicly ostracized by this “moderator”…

    In fact, the post you reference:

    All right, AhmNee, I’m not a big JJ fan at the moment, but you tone it down a bit too. k thx

    Shows a distinct preferential treatment.

    But that’s fine. I have sobered a bit. (I am actually quite impressed at my “keyboard” abilities with that amount of intoxication – anyways).. You can go argue amongst yourselves. I care not. I have unsubscribed to your facebook, youtube, and this website.

    And i particularly don’t mind unsubscribing from the website. In all my years of engaging on a website this site is particularly shitty.

    So there ya go.. ya won. Think whatever – UNOPPOSED.

  118. Russell Glasser says

    Well, I promised you one last word and you got two. You’re banned now. I’m pleased that you got what you were after.

  119. corwyn says

    Well that got completely out of hand. I appreciate the work of the moderators, and I understand reticence to ban people. Would it be possible to provide a cooling off period, perhaps on the whole thread, to allow a less draconian remedy, that moderators would be less hesitant to apply?

    Thank You Kindly.

  120. Russell Glasser says

    No, Jason, you’re wrong, see? I CAN block you, and any other sock puppet accounts you try to make.

  121. adamah says

    Jason said-

    Well to be fair. I posted this, AFTER drinking 1/5 of tequila. I am surprised I found the keyboard. Let alone made a somewhat coherent response.

    Two points:

    1) it’s not a coherent response.

    2) More importantly, you likely have a problem with substance abuse, and this is your desperate cry for help.

    It doesn’t matter if the rest of the World can see it as clear as the nose on our faces: the one who has to recognize it is you: only you can control your next step, but you obviously must be feeling it’s time to deal with your ‘demons’ or you wouldn’t have mentioned the tequila, weed, etc. Accepting responsibility is difficult, and it’s time to quit blaming the tequila, the psychiatric profession, Matt, mods, etc.

    In an attempt at trying to get the topic back on-track, I’d point out no one specified HOW much blame there is: obviously the phenomena of diffusion of responsibility is at play, where all congregants may agree that it’s a problem and wring their hands in consternation, but it’s all for nothing unless the organization changes their policies that protect pedophile priests.

    Point being, although the individual blame turns out to be some incredibly small morsel when diluted amongst billions of members, it doesn’t completely disappear out of existence: some non-zero amount nevertheless persists, even if it’s a single atom of blame.

    In the end, as atheists we recognize there’s certainly no God to see that evildoers receive their just punishment, and the State won’t step in, hence why Matt was directly appealing to individuals’ consciences to get them to ‘do the right thing’ and act accordingly (that is, if they retain any sense of independent morality, since their consciences are often atrophied due to decades of neglect by allowing their morality to be handed to them).

    Once again, we’re back at the common theme of accepting responsibility for one’s actions…. Ironic, no?

    Adam

  122. adamah says

    Or, participants can act like adults and self-moderate?

    How about taking the dog for a walk around the block, rearrange the bedroom furniture, clean the oven, etc BEFORE hitting that submit button?

    I take it for granted that I have thick skin and sometimes forget not everyone is like me (!), but I cannot imagine getting so emotionally-involved in an online ‘flame war’ that I’d need a drink (let alone a fifth!). Such types need to work on building their ego barriers, since destroying one’s liver isn’t a solution…

  123. Frank G. Turner says

    I tried to indicate a bit of understanding and not name call and relate as well. He does make some good points. Did I miss something?
    .
    I guess even as atheists and agnostics we can’t all be expected to be rational people who prioritize reason over our feelings on all issues, just one issue.

  124. says

    That’s a lot of IFs I didn’t include

    That’s your problem, since these “ifs” do apply to the case of Catholics supporting the church. The continuing criminal behavior of the clergy aren’t really a secret.

    Most people that gave the church money, in fact, DID NOT KNOW. So keep with the analogy.

    Yes, gave. Past tense. Maybe a few decades ago someone could claim not to know, but it’s pretty common knowledge these days. As such, my conditions are perfectly analogous to the contemporary believer and the fact that you’re trying to weasel out of that is telling indeed.

    For the record, if a Catholic told me “I used to support the church, but then I realized all the crap they were doing and now I withhold my donations until they deal with it properly”, I’d be perfectly willing to grant that this particular Catholic was not an accomplice. However, any Catholic that currently donates money or otherwise offers support to the church doesn’t have that excuse.

    The analogy is apt, you just don’t like the conclusion it’s pointing to.

  125. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Frank
    Disagreed. Using your wife example, the wife knew the husband raped children and did not report him to the police, then we should hold her morally and legally culpable. Either JJ’s grandmother was ignorant of the situation, in which case she is still an enabler but not morally culpable, or she did know what was going on and then she knowingly and willingly aided that organization.

  126. Mars God of War says

    I don’t think you know what “syntax error” means. People who do are not impressed by your attempt to sound technically literate.

  127. Frank G. Turner says

    @ Enlightenment Liberal
    Actually that is JJ’s wife example, I was quoting it to make a point but you make a better one. I guess I was an enabler then too in a way. Though I did have the sense to donate funds to the charities directly rather than risk it going to the pedophile priest funds. Even in denial of what was really going on I still thought it would have made more sense to excommunicate Bernard Law. The fact that it was even NEEDED for people to demand his resignation is telling and the fact that he would even be offered ANY position in retirement and not made to face criminal charges is telling.
    .
    Albeit, although it is not going to bring me back I do have a little more respect for Pope Francis in that he actually did excommunicate members of the mafia. THAT is demonstrating a bit more testicular fortitude. Now if only that had happened a hundred years ago. Now if some official policies can be documented in that regard (carved into stone?). I kind of wonder if it is just a political move because maybe they are not getting huge donations from those groups anymore? (A bit of healthy skepticism). Now if he gets offered a huge donation to take it back and says “no”….

  128. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    In an attempt at trying to get the topic back on-track, I’d point out no one specified HOW much blame there is: obviously the phenomena of diffusion of responsibility is at play, where all congregants may agree that it’s a problem and wring their hands in consternation, but it’s all for nothing unless the organization changes their policies that protect pedophile priests.

    Point being, although the individual blame turns out to be some incredibly small morsel when diluted amongst billions of members, it doesn’t completely disappear out of existence: some non-zero amount nevertheless persists, even if it’s a single atom of blame.

    I take a slightly stronger stance:

    All it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.

  129. AhmNee says

    So, a friend of mine is enamored of Pope Francis’ “courage” at excommunicating the Mafioso.

    http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/pope-francis-mafiosi-are-excommunicated-from-the-church-30373595.html

    So I did some digging because I questioned why pedophile priests weren’t excommunicated. What I found didn’t agree with my position at all. What I’m getting from reports in may is that the Pope has instituted a zero tolerance policy for child abusers and this one opinion piece likens what’s been happening to “cowboy justice” where accused are considered guilty and fired without “due process”.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2014/03/05/pope-francis-critics-sex-abuse-both-sides-have-point/bbFKfVEb7WFSaKdR62ZSjI/story.html

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/pope-francis-calls-u-s-churches-stupid-article-1.1295178

    Does this change anyone’s opinion? Is this guy actually putting his money where his mouth is? I’m conflicted. I still don’t agree with some of his decisions. But it seems like he’s actually pushing for reforms to get rid of pedophile priests instead of just issuing platitudes.

  130. Matt Gerrans says

    This doesn’t really change my opinion of the Catholic Church. Francis seems to have his head in the right place on some moral issues, which is great. However, the Church, for the last 2000 years or so has had access to the Absolute moral Truth. They stoned people to death for apostasy and for being “witches” among other things. How is it even possible that that priests, who have given up everything to “be close to God” can be raping children? Why weren’t these priests stoned to death in the public square by the Catholic Church itself? How can the idea of this organization having any sort of “moral authority” be anything but a cruel joke and further assault on those that have been victimized by it?

  131. says

    From the Boston Globe article:

    Today, the Vatican’s line is that bishops are obligated to follow the law of the land and to cooperate fully with civil and criminal investigations.

    That’s certainly a big (and long overdue) step in the right direction. However:

    Critics often cite the case of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., who pleaded guilty in 2012 to a misdemeanor offense of failing to report a charge of child abuse, yet remains in office and has not suffered any form of ecclesiastical censure.

    As long as there’s no real punishment for bishops who fail to follow the church’s norms, critics argue, then “zero tolerance” is basically just words on paper.

    That’s certainly a valid point, as well.

    Basically, only time will tell whether this is PR damage control or a real change of behavior. Given the history of the church, it’s not unreasonable to be suspicious. We’ll see.

  132. adamah says

    Ahmnee asked-

    Does this change anyone’s opinion?

    Pope Francis is a master of weaselwordity, making statements that give the impression of saying one thing while he has no intention of actually doing it. Eg he says the mafia are excommunicated, and the gullible crowd goes wild, assuming he’s referring to inviting mafia members to undergo the formal legal process of excommunication. Nope, a Vatican spokes-hole later clarified he only meant they’ve distanced themselves from God.

    The same thing happened a year ago when he said atheists could go to heaven; a spokes-hole came out later and said the pope doesn’t set such policies; God does. Pope was blowing smoke, playing the media and enjoying the spotlight.

    As said by LykeX, talk is cheap: actions matter.

    Btw, something the OP also seems to not understand is that even if a policy exists, it still requires enforcement: the two are not tied, eg there were many regulations governing Wall St before 2008, but the problem was Bush had underfunded the regulatory agencies such that many rules on the books were routinely ignored, since the firms knew the odds of getting busted were essentially zero since the regulators (SEC) were understaffed and overwhelmed.

    Adam

  133. adamah says

    Simon said-

    21 June – International Miss the Damn Point Day est. 2014

    And what great insight did I overlook?

    His advice to self-diagnose and self-treat? Yeah, that’s novel: no one has ever thought of THAT before.

    Perhaps you were referring to the age-old problem for how to deal with those who cannot control their own behavior?

    Perhaps the mods should send potty-mouthed posters to bed without dinner? Send them to stand in the corner for a time-out?

    Puleeze…

    Placing someone’s comments on full moderation is a possibility, but it also creates an additional workload for the mods (and it’s easy to volunteer the time and energy of others, when it requires no sacrifice on your part).

    The guy exceeded my pointless ad hominem threshold long before Russell gave him the boot, when it was clear it’s not worth sorting thru his many childish outbursts to get to the rare valid point.

    Did he offer valid constructive criticism and move on? Hardly.

    In the terminology of audio engineering, the guy offered an exceedingly-low ‘signal-to-noise ratio’, offering incessant rants but not making any effort to consider responses. He wanted to argue.

    (He offered a few real doozies, too; any reader who can’t spot the goofy should be asking why they don’t.)

    It’s tiring when theists engage in that dogmatic closed-minded approach, but it’s especially disheartening when it’s someone who CLAIMS to be an atheist, as if they’re hell-bent on demonstrating theists don’t have any monopoly on dogmatic thinking.

    Adam

  134. Robert, not Bob says

    Yes, exactly, this pope’s a PR man. His job is to change the church’s image, not its policies. Reminds me a bit of Republican “outreach” efforts to women and non-whites, except he’s much, much smarter than they are.

  135. AhmNee says

    You know, that was the caveat that I was looking for and I missed it. Reading these paragraphs really make it sound like something substantial is being done.

    Today, however, the Catholic church has officially embraced “zero tolerance” and has adopted streamlined procedures for weeding abusers out of the priesthood – so much so, in fact, that some church lawyers regard what’s happening today as a form of “cowboy justice” that rides roughshod over the due process rights of the accused.

    Over the past 12 years, the Catholic church around the world also has invested untold millions in running background checks on personnel, implementing abuse prevention and detection programs, and offering outreach services to victims.

    But that stands in stark contrast if nothing is actually being done with whatever programs are supposedly being implemented. I was also trying to find out how many new cases had been brought forward in the last year but I was unable to find that.
     
    It’s a mixed bag of bullshit half the time. Like this article:
     
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/11/us-vatican-law-idUSBRE96A0PQ20130711
     

    Pope Francis, acting to end years of scandals damaging the Catholic Church, overhauled Vatican law on Thursday to specify sexual violence against children as a crime and impose tough penalties for staff who leak confidential Vatican information.

    (Emphasis mine)
    Sure, they’re putting tougher penalties on paper but also making harsh the criminalization on whistleblowing. At least that’s my takeaway.

  136. AhmNee says

    No. No. I totally get that policy without enforcement is just more platitudes. But that first article, as I cited above, really made an effort to make it sound like something substantive was going on. But I missed the part that shows that not all that much has substantially changed.
     
    What I was reading seemed to be a complete turn around. “What sounds too good to be true, usually is” and all that. I was suspicious and it appears right to be. That’s why I was looking for a second opinion and I appreciate the new sets of eyes. Maybe something substantial could come of it, but it’s way to early for optimism.
     
    Even when I was a believer, I didn’t like the Catholic church. I never liked the idea of someone setting themselves up between god and the masses. Seemed arrogant, maybe. But then, I didn’t know as much of the bible as I know now. Arrogance is it’s tools of trade.

  137. adamah says

    Sorry, AhmNee, as this is my fault for the confusion: when I said ‘OP’ I was referring to Jason, not you.

    Similarly, my sentence in Corwyn’s thread in response to Simon (talking of self-diagnosis/treatment) is obviously a non-sequitur, belonging to another post (i sometimes write a response in ‘notes’ app before cutting and pasting text in the browser from an iPhone).

    Anyway, AhmNee said-

    But that first article, as I cited above, really made an effort to make it sound like something substantive was going on.

    It’s interesting how many headlines you see now claiming the Pope excommunicated mafia members; in fact, our own poster Frank seemingly fell for it in another thread!

    I suppose few Catholics will bother to dig any deeper, and will just go with the incorrect headline to perpetuate a modern Catholic urban legend, rather than realizing the Pope seemingly relied on the ambiguity over intended punctuation when speaking to allow believers to hear what they want to hear, giving him plausible deniability.

    And if you think of it, the whole idea of organized criminals having been given shelter in the Catholic Church is hugely scandalous, in and of itself; they should be formally excommunicated (how lame it is to say they’ve ex-communicated themselves)!

    On the other hand, the mafia have learned everything they know about terrorist tactics to commit extortion and from the same source of the name of their leaders: they don’t call them ‘GODfathers’ for no good reason….

    Adam

  138. Frank G. Turner says

    Actually, I don’t really “fall for it” in that I point out it seems odd to do it at a time when the church is not getting large sums of money from the mafia and if the Pope were offered large sums and still said “no” it would hold a bit more weight. I did kind of wonder if there were actual measures taken to excommunicated (which there were not) and I mentioned the whole thing in reference to Bernard Law not being excommunicated or made to face charges. Furthermore I acknacknowledge that I was an enabler (though I had enough sense to donate to the charities directly rather than through the church.
    .
    What I was pointing out was that it seems like Francis had a bit more testicular fortitude but via healthy skepticism it still is not drawing me back (I am glad that someone pointed out the “talk is cheap” principle).

  139. AhmNee says

    Would we really know if the church was or wasn’t receiving money from the Italian Families? No sooner did the Pope make the declaration and the church leadership came in behind him like a street sweeper cleaning up after a parade of elephants, saying “No. No. He didn’t really mean that. What you heard wasn’t really what he means. That’s not canon.”

    It’s not like the Vatican nor the Mafia aren’t well schooled in keeping information in confidence.

  140. Darbi Macy says

    I’d like to deviate from the Catholic church and address something else. I’ve heard people now ask about the historical Jesus a few times and the answer always seems to involve Richard Carrier. I have nothing against him, and I’m pretty sure he reads Greek and Hebrew and has a relevant degree (the first two things matter in biblical scholarship).
    But Carrier is in a very small group of academics and historians who dispute the historical Jesus. Pretty much every other person I have read/heard on the subject agrees that a Jesus existed and was crucified by the Romans. That’s really it; those two things. Secular, Jewish and Christian scholars almost all agree on this, for actual historical reasons.
    The talk on the show often then drifts into Jesus of the gospels, who does all this stuff that there is no evidence for at all. Historians do not claim en masse that all that stuff happened.

    I think it’s an important difference. The large consensus of people who understand Greek and Aramaic and have spent years squinting at vellum and presenting papers seems relevant.But there is a big difference between historical Jesus the dude (not really relevant to claims of divinity) and all these outrageous miracle claims. It does seem that the consensus of the people qualified to determine this, including Jews and nonbelievers with no dog in the race, should matter.

  141. adamah says

    Darbi, you’re missing the big picture here, since consensus opinion of experts changes, and Carrier is taking the discussion to peers, adopting and refining what was once a topic for non-scholars (eg Freke, etc) to give it serious consideration.

    Believer and archaeologist William F. Albright’s “Bible as literal history” school of thought WAS the prevailing opinion in the first half of the 20th century, until consensus opinion changed; it’s not written in stone.

    Honestly, the “Jesus as man or legend” question is largely irrelevant, IMO, since there’s plenty of other evidence the Bible is the work of mortals.

    Adam

  142. Matt Gerrans says

    I think it is pretty important too that when you dig into the basis for the expert opinions, the only source of that opinion is essentially the New Testament. Bart Ehrman’s recent book “Did Jesus Exist” is a good example of just how flimsy the case is. It seems like it boils down to “scholars have assumed he was a real figure for so long now, that he probably was.”

    I think we have more perspective now and scholars are finally starting to realize that the Bible is not documentation of historical events any more than the Book of Mormon or the Qur’an are. It seems pretty obvious now, but amazingly, this was not always self-evident (years of merciless indoctrination can do a lot to a person’s perspective).

  143. says

    Point taken. That was pretty crude, my apologies. How about:

    Whoa, could we take it easy on the hero worship?

    As great as Hitchens was as an atheist debater (really glad he was on our side), he was far from perfect. I’m also not sure Matt would gain much from trying to copy Hitchens.

  144. says

    Of course, we’ll have to duck when all the idiotic “tone trolling” accusations follow.

    You don’t have to be pretentious if you’ve got some valid criticism. I’m sorry, but preemptively labeling any response as “idiotic” never has, and never will, help the conversation. It just enforces the “Us vs Them” mentality, which gets humanity nowhere. Also, while this was much more subtle, characterizing any response as a questionable “accusation” simply poisons the well.

    If anything, I was tone-trolling Tayzlor, in a rather adolescent tone.

  145. Frank G. Turner says

    Would we really know if the church was or wasn’t receiving money from the Italian Families? No sooner did the Pope make the declaration and the church leadership came in behind him like a street sweeper cleaning up after a parade of elephants, saying “No. No. He didn’t really mean that. What you heard wasn’t really what he means. That’s not canon.”

    It’s not like the Vatican nor the Mafia aren’t well schooled in keeping information in confidence.

    .
    WHich is precisely my point about taking a “hard line stance” against an issue. If Bernard Law and several of the other Bishops involved in the cover up were OFFICIALLY excommunicated and it was declared that they were never allowed to set foot in the Vatican ever again and their posters were presented to security officials of the Vatican and other churches, THAT would be taking a stand against the child rape issue.
    .
    The way the Catholic CHurch is treating the Mafia it seems more like they are putting down an unpopular political party than they are making any canon statements about immoral or criminal behavior. Then again, I am kind of thinking that religion is just a more psychologically advanced form of politics.

  146. Frank G. Turner says

    I wonder if any debater will truly matter. Some people just refuse to loose with grace and dignity. Like trying to save face at the end of an argument. The way I look at it, that is like a child kicking and screaming being spanked by parents. The only loss of grace and dignity comes when you accept the emotional pain of the loss and admit to it. SOme peopel are comfortable in their delusions and maybe we just need to find a new planet to occupy or just hope that in half a generation we catch up with most of Scandinavian Europe.
    .
    Matt you are not a superhero that I worship but you do rock (my $0.02). That ok?

  147. Darbi Macy says

    I really should have been clearer; I think the subject is interesting only as a historical curiosity, and is completely irrelevant to discussions of the truth of Christianity. The conversation about whether the bible is divinely inspired is a separate one, and there’s really no historical argument for that (or scientific. Or any other kind).
    I have studied this myself because I find it interesting; I’ve never been a believer so don’t have any sentimental attachment to the claim either way. As new stuff comes out I will read it. I just feel like if the majority of people qualified to make that assessment say one thing, I should probably have a good reason to dismiss it.

  148. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Darbi Macy
    You should generally defer to experts, especially if you not an expert yourself. An expert is someone with a proven track record. When an expert, or a community of experts, start committing logical fallacy after logical fallacy, and factual error after factual error, then the expert status of that community should be revoked in the perspective of the layman.

    I’m at that point for Jesus studies in general. They may have degrees, but I have little respect for the community at large when my laymen expertise and research is enough to identify many huge logical fallacies and factual errors.

    So, I don’t find it worrying when I disagree with that community of “experts”.

    Compare to this: Most experts in relevant fields believe that there is a god. However, they believe so for demonstrably bad reasons. As a layman, plus research, I am able to identify this, and that’s why various expert communities have lost their expert status to me on the god question. It’s exactly this kind of reasoning which also leads me to revoke the expert status of relevant “expert” communities on the historical Jesus question.

  149. says

    I’ll deviate with you, Darbi. I also think expert deferral is in order in fields that are held to be academically valid (unlike “certified homeopath,” for example). The change in consensus must come from within. And while anyone may have a personal opinion on a matter, once we begin saying that a layman may discount expertise in any area, based on their assessment of a bias–that is pretty much every YE Creationist’s argument for rejecting any branch of science that conflicts with their own views. Many of them will get into specifics about theories that most lay people are totally unfamiliar with. And they claim, correctly, that science won’t/can’t factor in a supernatural cause. They consider this a “bias.” And in fact, if there were such a cause it would be beyond the ken of science, they are not wrong.

    My follow up to them is where, then, are they getting this idea, if no evidence can be discovered. HOWEVER, the precedent of telling them “I accept expert opinion when it favors me, but not when it favors you,” seems fairly hypocritical to their ears. It is for that reason that I adopt consensus view of any valid academic field as the final word in any debate–including whether I personally understand it or agree with it. My personal, lay opinion, and $5 will get you a Starbucks’ coffee.

    That being said–much respect for Dr. Carrier’s work, because he IS taking the correct route of trying to at least bring some respect to the mythicist view among the community of peers. THIS is the route that should be taken. And this is how consensus is changed. If he succeeds, then I will shift my position in debates to something like “this is held as contentious among experts in the field.” But until that time, this is the consensus, and it’s what I will defer to until the community of peers has be convinced to make a shift.

    I once had someone reject the consensus of psychology due to the fact it’s “soft science.” It IS soft science, but those are the experts, and this is how they interpret the data–whether right or wrong. Nobody claims consensus is right–just that it has to represent a standard that we agree to adhere to, so that we can have discussions. If someone points to consensus, they are not being irrational. And I don’t expect everyone to become expert in physics, geology, biology, and so on–so that we may have discussions. It is totally fair for anyone to say “this is expert opinion.” And if a lay person disagrees, they may/may not have their reasons–but deviation by lay people from these consensus views is exactly what supports conspiracy theories and Creationists. I have no intention of arguing evidence/expertise in a field for which we already have expert consensus. I defer to it. Otherwise, it’s a rabbit hole of anyone/everyone wishing to discount expert views, asking me to delve into areas for which I have CHOSEN not to study, in order to try and determine if consensus is valid–and that’s a rabbit hole I’m not willing to go down. I’m not going to learn particle physics in order to address Cosmological claims. I’m not going to learn upper level evolutionary biology in order to counter a Creationist. I’m very much going to say “this is the view of people who have studied it. If I wanted to be an expert myself, *I* would have studied it. As I did not, I defer to their findings at this time. When that changes, your view as a lay person will have some backing. Until that time, the community of peers is not in your camp. They have the requisite years of study, you do not. It is their job to sort this out–not mine/yours.”

  150. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’ve known far too many people back in high school who had “progressive” political positions and irreverent views about religion become quite conservative as they became adults. The system makes damn sure that you don’t enjoy anything approaching a comfortable life unless you conform to the the traditions of those in power–namely the previous generation. Just look at the hippies! Sure they were all peace, love, and equality in their teens and early twenties, but when the 80s rolled around they sold out, traded in their tie-dyes for Armani, their pot for cocaine, their Volkswagon mini-buses for a Porsches, and became Republican-voting corporate raiders.

    The same happened to my generation. Sure they listened to Nirvana and Peral Jam back in college, and talked glowingly of national health care and GLBT rights, but these days most of those Gen Xers are now Mega-church-attending Tea Baggers.

    The same will happen to these young “nones.” They be non-committed in their youth, but as soon as it becomes necessary to please the powers that be, they sell out just like their parents, and their grandparents, and their great grandparents…

  151. Akira MacKenzie says

    And let’s not forget what God did to those who complained about the mana-only diet and ate of a massive amount of quail that he sent them…

    And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.

    Numbers 11:33

  152. Akira MacKenzie says

    I thought it was nothing but an over-long ad for a crappy x-ian rock band and “Duck Dynasty.”

  153. Akira MacKenzie says

    Mars beat me too it, Jason’s insane diatribes against psychiatry have the distinct reek of L. Ron about them.

  154. adamah says

    Akira said-

    I thought it was nothing but an over-long ad for a crappy x-ian rock band and “Duck Dynasty.”

    Apparently the producers have absolutely no shame, depicting the band in the act of “love bombing” the dying atheist blogger in order to convert her….

    Oh Lordy, there’s not enough “rollie eyes” emoticons produced since the dawn of the internet to express my disgust over THAT scene!

    Adam

  155. Frank G. Turner says

    The same happened to my generation. Sure they listened to Nirvana and Peral Jam back in college, and talked glowingly of national health care and GLBT rights, but these days most of those Gen Xers are now Mega-church-attending Tea Baggers.

    The same will happen to these young “nones.” They be non-committed in their youth, but as soon as it becomes necessary to please the powers that be, they sell out just like their parents, and their grandparents, and their great grandparents

    .
    I dunno, what you say makes sense but at one point the belief in a flat earth was quite popular even when hard evidence demonstrated that it was false and over many generations that world view changed to the point that flat earthers are a small group that is given no real respect. I would think based on world trends that evolution would be the same, worldwide belief in evolution is pretty strong even though we dwindle in the US. Maybe when a large number of older individuals in the US who are set in their ways starts to die off, the demographics of what is “normal” in that regard could change quite quickly.
    .
    It may be the same way with “nones,” as an older generation starts to die off and the real numbers pass a critical mass the Gen-Xers that you are talking about start coming out of the woodwork and admitting that they were just BSing to please the “powers that be,” i.e.: public opinion, for a profit. (Of course at that point who knows what they really think if the only reason they admit to certain views is to please their peers). A part of me wishes I had been born a hundred years from now in order to see how public opinion has changed regarding said issues (I am willing to bet that the USA is more in line with the world in the next 30 years, particularly given this free market of ideas on the internet).

  156. says

    Fiesty, but unnecessary.

    The point missed was by JJ – that he couldn’t understand Matt’s point was laughable.
    That he couldn’t separate the concept of a criminal organisation and it’s supporters was laughable.

    I get that you responded to my post while in a heightened state of aggravation, however, calm down.

  157. bigwhale says

    I don’t think it’s fair for you to put all the Catholic crimes in the past. They are still doing it. They are not turning over criminals to be prosecuted.

  158. bigwhale says

    Then again, I am kind of thinking that religion is just a more psychologically advanced form of politics.

    “Advanced” in the sense of an advanced disease, I’d agree. It’s very advanced at getting its tendrils in and turning what should be factual questions about issues into a sectarian ego trip.

  159. H. Elgharib says

    I thought this may be of interest to your viewers:
    Would have liked to provide the link in a youtube comment, but comments are disabled.

    A few years ago, we had a public debate about this topic in the UK.
    It was part of the Intelligence Squared series.

    The motion was: “Is the Catholic church a force for good in the world”
    For the motion: Archbishop John Onaiyekan, Ann Widdecombe
    Against the motion: Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Fry
    Chair: Zeinab Badawi

    CH and SF won the debate. The motion was not carried.

    It is worth watching these two amazing intellectuals at work.
    There is a full two hour copy posted on GodlessUK youtube channel.

    Search youtube for:
    “[ 2hr Version ] Christopher Hitchens & Stephen Fry – Intelligence Squared Debate [2009]”

    Or follow the direct link:

  160. Christopher, "Christ", Weckner says

    The WORD, “GOD”, is just THAT, a word! A word that has ultimate power, causes more chaos, calamity, death and holy wars than ANY other word on the face of planet Earth!
    WHY?
    Because it is timeless and meaningless! It is a word that No One on the planet can agree to a definition, and has been this way since the beginning of time and it’s existence.
    So when someone says that they can PROVE the existence of GOD, and tells You that they have evidence and proof, well, You already have it, and it is Not some kind of Deity, Being, or someone that has your best interest at heart.
    It is a cold heartless and calculated WORD, that “At It’s Best” could only hold an (Acronym) meaning of “Good Orderly Direction”, but in all probability will keep a place for Pedophiles, Incest Molesters, Women Rapists, Bully’s and the such, in a Church of its sick and delusional Worship!
    Maybe I can sue the Vatican for attaching My name, Christ, as Christian, or Christ Like, to their sick religious culture, for Defamation of Character or Slander. Maybe then they will be a little more careful about who and what they confuse their Deity with, or better yet, maybe I can bankrupt them and they’ll have to close down their HIDEOUTS!
    So YES, “GOD”? Give Me a break!
    Christ of Los Angeles

  161. jason combs says

    im a new none believer my mind has been opened up to so many things that i took as truth. i was rased in a baptist church till i was 18. long story short i have a friend that was going threw a mandated AA class to get his kid back due to his drug issue.he is atheist as well . the problem is by law to get his kids back part of the treatment was AA. where you cant pass the class till you lay your drug issue on a hire power. is this not unconstitutional? to force you to admit to a higher power or not pass a class required to get your kids back

  162. says

    I think “higher power” is considered vague enough that it doesn’t constitute a church-state violation. After all, it doesn’t explicitly say it has to be a god. It could just be your concept of your ideal self, your belief in the goodness of humanity, your commitment to your family, or whatever; just something outside yourself.

    I know, it sounds like mealy-mouthed, “let’s call it a higher power, so we can sneak it past the courts” nonsense, but there may be more to it than that. From what I’ve heard, the AA people do accept whatever you personally want to put into the “higher power” box, no matter what.

    As long as they’re not pushing god on people, I’m not sure it’s a big problem. Still, your friend might try looking into secular sobriety programs. It’s possible that the court could be persuaded to accept one of those as an alternative.

  163. Marcos says

    A criminal organization, you say? And what law enforcement agency agrees with you?
    As Fulton Sheen once said:
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

  164. says

    Now that you’ve gotten that off your chest, do you feel like actually engaging with what people are saying?

    E.g. as I quoted earlier:

    Critics often cite the case of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., who pleaded guilty in 2012 to a misdemeanor offense of failing to report a charge of child abuse, yet remains in office and has not suffered any form of ecclesiastical censure.

    This is a Bishop, pleading guilty to, effective, covering up child abuse and the church hierarchy apparently thinks he’s perfectly trust-worthy.

    Let’s say that a leader of a day care center was found guilty of covering up child abuse committed by his subordinates and then his superior decides that no sanctions should be made against him. Would you be in here defending them? If not, why is the church different?

    Don’t be too quick to answer. Give yourself a chance to really think about it. What’s the difference? Should there be a difference?

  165. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    A criminal organization, you say? And what law enforcement agency agrees with you?

    The president of the United States of America, George W Bush, thought it was plausible enough that it would be charged that he (purportedly) went out of his way to ensure that the pope was given immunity as a “head of state”.

  166. says

    On the subject of whether the Catholic Church is really serious about a change of policy, I bring you business as usual:

    The Vatican has declined a royal commission request to hand over documents about child sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests in Australia.

    Seems like they’re still firmly committed to the practice of protecting pedophile priests, rather than innocent children. Old habits die hard, I guess.

  167. Erik Andersson says

    If it wasn’t a religion, the pedophile supporting “cult” would have been shut down a long time ago…

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