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Only magical thinking is magical enough

Thanks to grumpyoldfart’s comment on Likely to enhance his progressive reputation I checked out Frankie the pope’s encyclical Lumen fidei aka the light of faith. One does wonder why they bother. They can’t color outside the lines, ever, so why not just re-issue the old encyclicals?

But let’s take a look at it anyway, since it’s there.

Faith is light; Jesus brought light; yadda yadda.

But then modernity. People said it’s just a fake light. Faith was associated with darkness.

Faith was thus understood either as a leap in the dark, to be taken in the absence of light, driven by blind emotion, or as a subjective light, capable perhaps of warming the heart and bringing personal consolation, but not something which could be proposed to others as an objective and shared light which points the way. Slowly but surely, however, it would become evident that the light of autonomous reason is not enough to illumine the future; ultimately the future remains shadowy and fraught with fear of the unknown.

Therefore, the thing to do is decide that you do know all about the future after all, and what you know just happens to be consoling and cheerful. Yay.

There is an urgent need, then, to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God.

It must? Why must it? Why couldn’t it instead come from human imaginations, which can simply decide they have a light that is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence.

Also, why does Frankie the pope even think that? If that light is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence then why did the church or its employees or both do such shitty things over the centuries? Why is the church still doing shitty things? Why isn’t it obvious that the light is in fact just one more human thing, which has all the limitations that humans do have? It’s not transcendent or limitless, it’s the opposite of that, and that’s why it didn’t notice all those children imprisoned in Irish industrial schools and being told their parents were dead when they weren’t.

He said a lot more after that, but with such a bad start, I don’t see any need to read all of it.

 

Comments

  1. Al Dente says

    Faith is belief in something for which you have no evidence. Frank has faith that Jesus hates contraception. Frank has faith that Yahweh is homophobic. Frank has faith that the Holy Ghost doesn’t want the Catholic Church to tell the cops about child-raping clergy.

    Slowly but surely, however, it would become evident that the light of autonomous reason is not enough to illumine the future; ultimately the future remains shadowy and fraught with fear of the unknown.

    Frank really misses the 14th Century.

  2. Andrew B. says

    “It must? Why must it? Why couldn’t it instead come from human imaginations, which can simply decide they have a light that is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence.”

    Because then the church would have no authority, no use, and that’s just intolerable.

  3. says

    Meh. So far he still hasn’t shown himself to be as bad as his predecessor, Pope Palpatine. At least he’s actually being rather… erm… less negative about atheists and homosexuals and such.

    Or maybe I’m just so jaded from Pope Palpatine that anyone is better…

    Whatever.. the Church really needs to go, anyways…

  4. notsont says

    I have had people start literally frothing at the mouth screaming at me, when I simply said that Hope and faith are not the same thing. The guy would have physically attacked me if I didn’t out weigh him by 100lbs. Many religious seem to think faith is a combination of hope and confidence.

  5. sailor1031 says

    Why is? Why isn’t? Why can? Why can’t? Because that’s why! Because RCC Inc is only about the sale of turgid, antiquated bullshit to impressionable people, not prone to questioning, so that they will keep sending in their money and so that RCC Inc can continue to exercise a kind of power over those people and, more importantly, over their governments. This power enables RCC Inc to enjoy a self-sustaining hegemony which can only be threatened by the peoples’ losing faith and dropping out and no longer sending in their money.

    Remember that with the RCC, as with all such corrupt organizations and people, it is all about money and power. As always “follow the money”.

  6. says

    It’s not transcendent or limitless, it’s the opposite of that, and that’s why it didn’t notice all those children imprisoned in Irish industrial schools and being told their parents were dead when they weren’t.

    Exactly. It never became a star. It never shone and took notice of them. It never nurtured and took care of them during their imprisonment. The light never shone down when they were in particular need of it, despite being told that the light of faith was unique, and was capable of illuminating every aspect of their human existence.

    Children were irrelevant. So what need did they have of parents? Weren’t they better off being told by the enlightened religious that their parents were dead. What child needs a mother who may have been a ‘fallen’ woman, or a father who was probably a drunkard? Or a mother who was cavorting outside of marriage, or a father who was separated from his wife, and living in sin. The list of such disgusting, dirty, vile and unenlightened creatures goes on and on. Sure – wasn’t Christ their true father and their mother Faith in him. Weren’t they created from that divine light, and were a new experience and a luminous vision of existence.

    What child needs a mother and a father when they have Christ… who is the shining light beaming down on them, and pumping love into their hearts… and a mother who is Faith incarnate, who cuddles and holds and rocks and nurtures them with her eternal presence.

  7. David Marjanović says

    But then modernity. People said it’s just a fake light. Faith was associated with darkness.

    …Just like Epicurus and his disciples did.

  8. says

    …Just like Epicurus and his disciples did.

    I agree: reading some of Epicurus and his disciples was basically the turning point for me in deciding to become an Atheist like 6 years ago almost now. It went something like Aug trad catholic, Sept deist, October Agnostic, Nov atheistic agnostic, Dec technically atheistic agnostic but comfortable with the label Atheist and quasi-Gnostic Atheist concerning all known, revealed deities that I had personally examined/looked into. That was in latter half of 2007 all this took place; it snowballed one month after another with simple study on the internet of various philosophers and youtube videos and a book or two offline, ultimately it was Epicurus and his disciples that showed me Atheism was historically and logically valid and correct =)

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