Why I am an atheist – Jemima Cole


There are a lot of reasons why I’m an atheist. The idea of worshipping a god who seems to have all the evils and psychological problems of a North Korean dictator, who would send me to an eternity of torture for thinking the wrong thing, who demands total, eternal devotion and praise from his supporters, and would then show those he had saved images of me being tortured for their delight (it’s Catholic doctrine, fact fans!) … well, what a bastard. Fuck that God. Every Earthly equivalent of ‘Heaven’ only exists in dictatorships. God’s Palace sounds just like Saddam’s – all gleaming marble and gold taps. Day to day life in Heaven sounds like a perpetual Soviet Victory Parade. None of the things I value in life seem to exist in Heaven. I like to elect my leaders, I like freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

But that doesn’t mean that god doesn’t exist.

For me, as I judge the competing truth claims of religion and atheism, the most compelling reason for me to be an atheist is that religion is consciously untrue. That, in other words, priests and believers lie.

We see it reported all the time on this blog. The first time some creationist says something crazy about junk DNA or how evolution is just a theory … well, it’s common or garden ignorance. Not their fault, we all have to learn things some time.

The second time they say it, it’s a lie. The third time, it’s a policy to lie.

The Catholic Church, to pick just one example, routinely lies. Did you know there are holes in condoms that let AIDS out? Did you know Hitler was an atheist and that the Catholic Church fought Hitler with all its might? Read the Cloyne Report and see that Bishop Magee prepared two reports about child abuse – one for the police, another for the Vatican. Oh, but the Vatican can’t be expected to know what some local priest is up to … he was the man that found Pope John Paul I’s body. He was private secretary to that Pope and to John Paul II.

Conscious, repeated lies. Not mistakes.

Another aspect of the same phenomenon is the double standard. Priests declare moral relavitism is a scourge of society, that there’s good and there is evil and nothing inbetween, that they can show you the difference and that if you even *think* bad thoughts, you’re guilty of them. Then they cover up another priest raping an eight year old, deliberately withholding evidence from the police. When they are caught, they play the ‘well … everyone’s human. It’s all trumped up by the media. Did you know that this stuff happens all the time’ card. Pick one. To me ‘is raping a child bad?’ is not a moral conundrum, it’s not a time to pick at definitions. If my best friend raped a child, I would phone the police, I would tell them everything I knew, and I would have no moral qualms about it. I don’t believe in moral absolutes. I do know that raping a child is wrong. If some smarmy theologian wants to pick as that as ‘intellectually inconsistent’, please, please let’s discuss that in comments. I double dare you.

It goes further than the Catholic child abuse scandal. Beyond the almost identical Mormon abuse scandals, or the Scientology abuse scandals, or … well, the list goes on.

If an atheist accidently credits the wrong loony idea to the wrong branch of one Christian sect, they’ll get a long, patronizing speech about how we’re woefully ignorant of theology, that the Holy Church of the Ratfucker Jesus might believe that, but the person you’re talking to is from the Sacred Chapel of Christ Ratfucker.

Then they’ll take the credit for all religion ever. ‘What has my religion done?’ a Protestant will say, ‘why … just look at the Sistine Chapel’. ‘How dare you insult the 90% of people on this planet who believe in God?’. Let’s accept that 90% of people in the world are religious for sake of argument. The majority of those people aren’t even monotheists, let alone Christians, let alone Protestants, let alone Sacred Christ Ratfuckers.

Meanwhile … talk to someone who’s been trained at a seminary. Training to be a priest is, from the accounts I’ve been told, very simply being taught how to lie. The comforting lie, the ‘things to say to the people who’ve read the Bible and spotted that it doesn’t say the things you say it does’, the lies necessary to keep the institution from external scrutiny. Priests understand that what they teach isn’t what they believe – they have ‘a more nuanced’ understanding. That there are a lot of things they have to keep vague, very simple questions they must not allow to be asked (‘who does the Bible says is going to Heaven?’, to pick one). Always, always, it’s ‘avoid a straight answer’.

Jesus said some wise things. One of them was “A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit”. Truth does not come from lies. Creationists lie. The Vatican lies. Anglican theologians explain that the bits in the Bible that are true are true, the rest are metaphors. They don’t even *understand* truth, in other words.

So, a simple question to believers: if they’re telling the truth, why do your holy men lie to you so frequently and so consistently?

Jemima Cole

Comments

  1. hypatiasdaughter says

    Jemima – two thumbs up – one for each of the points I quote below. One of the best “Why I am an atheist” posts yet.

    The first time some creationist says something crazy about junk DNA or how evolution is just a theory … well, it’s common or garden ignorance. Not their fault, we all have to learn things some time.
    The second time they say it, it’s a lie.
    The third time, it’s a policy to lie.

    If an atheist accidently credits the wrong loony idea to the wrong branch of one Christian sect, they’ll get a long, patronizing speech about how we’re woefully ignorant of theology, that the Holy Church of the Ratfucker Jesus might believe that, but the person you’re talking to is from the Sacred Chapel of Christ Ratfucker.
    Then they’ll take the credit for all religion ever. ‘What has my religion done?’ a Protestant will say, ‘why … just look at the Sistine Chapel’. ‘How dare you insult the 90% of people on this planet who believe in God?’.
    Let’s accept that 90% of people in the world are religious for sake of argument. The majority of those people aren’t even monotheists, let alone Christians, let alone Protestants, let alone Sacred Christ Ratfuckers.

  2. says

    Jemima Cole, thanks for the nice summary of the out of control insanity in Idiot America.

    So, a simple question to believers: if they’re telling the truth, why do your holy men lie to you so frequently and so consistently?

    Religion is of course a money making racket that depends on dishonesty. But perhaps many preachers believe the bullshit they sell. For example a recent poll shows that 74% of Protestant pastors strongly agree with the Adam and Eve myth. They actually think our species started with two people and they claim they know their names. America’s professional idiots might be liars but they’re definitely stupid.

    Human Ape

  3. redpanda says

    Great points Jemima, and I can definitely empathize.

    The realization that I had been lied to my entire life about evolution was the tipping point for me in my conversion to atheism. Initially at least, it was mostly about trust. If you’re going to lie so blatantly and insistently about something like that, then why should I trust anything else you say?

  4. KG says

    I agree with hypatiasdaughter – an excellent post. On the question of “moral absolutes”, Karl Popper, somewhere in The Open Society and its Enemies, makes a useful distinction between “absoluteness of status” (X is always wrong), and “absoluteness of origin” (X is wrong because Y – where Y is God/Daddy/the categorical imperative/whatever – says it’s wrong, and what Y says, goes). Like you, I don’t believe in absoluteness of origin – in fact, I think the idea is incoherent – but do believe in absoluteness of status.

  5. thunderbird5 says

    This essay really nails it. Straightforward, lucid, and compellingly argued.

    I really enjoyed reading that (and learnt stuff also) – thanks Jemima.

  6. raven says

    So, a simple question to believers: if they’re telling the truth, why do
    your holy men lie to you so frequently and so consistently?

    I say something similar.

    If their religion was true, they wouldn’t have to lie all the time.

    Lying is a prominent characteristic of xians, especially the fundies. It is one of their three main sacraments.

  7. brocasbrian says

    This was the best “why I’m an atheist” post yet.

    I’ve only got one nit to pick.

    “For me, as I judge the competing truth claims of religion and atheism”

    Atheism doesn’t make any truth claims. It’s about uncertainty and skepticism.

  8. Random Mutant says

    I definitely agree, this is one of the best yet.

    I had some young Mormons door knock me a little while ago, but didn’t have time to engage them as I was busy with my children. In hindsight, the one thing I wanted to say to them was, Have you considered your elders are lying to you?

    Just sow a seed of doubt and let them work it out for themselves.

    Come to think of it, the fact that theists have to perform ever-wilder contortions just to present their view of the world is a very good indicator of how much they lie. The truth is simple but a lie always needs more lies to prop it up.

  9. markd555 says

    One of the best A’s so far. Great job.

    One question:
    “and would then show those he had saved images of me being tortured for their delight (it’s Catholic doctrine, fact fans!)”

    Does anyone have a reference or link to this? I don’t doubt it, just looking for citation to back it up when I use it in an argument.

  10. emmet says

    Markd555 – I was thinking the same thing. An atheist who prizes truth over untruth wouldn’t make claims without evidence would she? Is Jemima lying, is she lazy and hasn’t checked her facts, or is it just a dsiplay of (to use her words) “common or garden ignorance”?

  11. raven says

    emmet lying:

    Is Jemima lying, is she lazy and hasn’t checked her facts, or is it just a dsiplay of (to use her words) “common or garden ignorance”?

    Oh look a xian is here. You can tell because he is lying. Xians always lie. It’s one of there three main sacraments.

    google capture:

    Quotes About Hell Fire from Christian Leaderswww.tentmaker.org/Quotes/hell-fire.htmCached – Similar
    You +1’d this publicly. Undo

    “Therefore the elect shall go forth…to see the torments of the impious, seeing which … .The saints in heaven know distinctly all that happens. . .to the damned. …

    “Non-Christians often ask the Christian, “But how can the God of love allow any … “God will hold sinners with one hand over the pit of hell, while He torments them …

    It’s a common xian belief that in heaven, the saved get to look at the unsaved in hell being tortured. This is supposed to be their version of TV. Heaven is a very boring place, apparently. One of the few activities is thought by xians to be live real time and real torture porn. It’s not clear if there is sex in heaven but the bible claims there isn’t. So that leaves sadistic voyeurism, I guess.

    This was originally a Catholic belief, thought up centuries ago. But it has spread throughout xianity. When xians aren’t slaughtering each other, they occasionally steal each others superstitions.

  12. raven says

    emmet the lying xian troll:

    An atheist who prizes truth over untruth wouldn’t make claims without evidence would she?

    Hey emmet thanks for showing up and lying.

    People like you are why people like myself and Jemima are ex xians and atheists.

    The fundie version of xianity routinely produces morally defective people and way more than their share of monsters. If satan existed, he would be the god of the fundies.

  13. raven says

    “That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly, they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell.” Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 CE), Summa Theologica. 5

    The originator of the belief that the people in heaven spend all their time watching real torture porn live from hell was Saint Thomas Aquinas.

    Thomas Aquinas was a towering intellect and theologian in the Catholic church when it was the main church. His influence continues to this day.

    Xians are always vague about heaven and what happens there. They are much more imaginative and detailed about what hell is like. I guess they can’t wait until they are dead and in their heaven to watch torture porn forever.

    I’m guessing that the atheist heaven would be unlimited broad band internet and access to state of the art telescopes and particle accelerators and other scientific instruments. It’s a huge universe and we know very little about anything beyond our tiny corner. Plus lots of cats and cephalopod pets.

  14. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    raven #16

    I’m guessing that the atheist heaven would be unlimited broad band internet and access to state of the art telescopes and particle accelerators and other scientific instruments. It’s a huge universe and we know very little about anything beyond our tiny corner. Plus lots of cats and cephalopod pets.

    The Christian heaven consists of gazing in adoration at a sadistic megalomanic and singing hymns of praise at him. Plus torture porn.

    The Jewish heaven consists of arguing about minutae of legal codes.

    The Nordic heaven is an eternal steakhouse and brawl.

    The Islamic heaven is an eternal orgy.

    These heavens were dreamed up by unimaginative people. None of them are in the least bit attractive, certainly not for all eternity.

  15. says

    The source for the ‘saved see sinners in Hell’ is Aquinas, the Summa Theologica: “That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell”.

    The Catholic Church consider this doctrine, although they don’t go out of their way to admit it. Aquinas is generally seen as an authority, ie: what he says is Catholic teaching (although if you get into that realm, you quickly end up in Alice in Wonderland territory – the Vatican have, in the past, issued statement X saying a previous statement Y is infallible Church doctrine … but clarified that the statement X isn’t infallible).

    So, Summa Theologica is taught as Catholic doctrine, but – again, we’re down the rabbit hole – it might not currently be ‘Catholic teaching’ or ‘Catholic doctrine’. These are not the same thing. Just because an ordained Catholic priest teaches it doesn’t mean it’s ‘teaching’. Oh, and while Catholic doctrine is unchanging, there have been changes but they don’t count as changes because … why are you asking these questions? Are you possessed by devils?

    Because simple truth statements are beyond them, is the real answer.

    Discussion of the issue here: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=448437 and if you ever wanted to see how religion turns normal people into foaming sadists, it’s a great example.

  16. says

    “Is Jemima lying, is she lazy and hasn’t checked her facts, or is it just a dsiplay of (to use her words) “common or garden ignorance”?”

    Hello Emmet.

    No, I wasn’t lying, I just didn’t cite the source in that piece. Now I have, perhaps you’d like to apologize for the accusation and admit that, yes, Aquinas *did* say that?

  17. says

    Another tack, Emmet.

    Clearly, most human beings would be appalled, not delighted, by seeing people tortured for eternity. Yet that seems to be a feature of Heaven.

    Given that God’s plan includes the torture porn reality show, given that God is good, then clearly torture porn reality shows are good. There’s some discussion of that in the link in my last post.

    Should Catholic priests (continue to) conceal this aspect of Heaven to make the prospect more enticing to their flock? Or should they make more of an effort to publicize this feature of Heaven, using the same justifications Aquinas does?

    (If you read that bit, the logic is irrefutable – we know from the Bible that the saved see sinners suffering in Hell, it’s clearly not to keep the saved in line, as they’re already saved. So it *has* to be something that makes them happier than not seeing it).

    ‘Should Catholic priests lie about Heaven?’ is the question. They do. Should they?

  18. says

    While we wait for Emmet to reply, I think it’s important to note that ‘being happy at the thought of other people in Hell’ is a pretty common position for Christians here on Earth – you only have to look at the reactions to Hitchens’ death.

    Some were honest about it delighting them, others like Rick Warren disguised their delight, others made sadface little pouts about how they take no pleasure in the thought of someone suffering, tee hee hee.

    It’s sadism, pure and simple.

  19. emmet says

    Raven #14 – what’s your source for your claim that “It’s a common xian belief that in heaven, the saved get to look at the unsaved in hell being tortured”? More to the point, seeing as the original writer claimed that it’s Catholic doctrine, where’s your source (and hers) for that claim? Where’s your proof that this is Catholic doctrine?

  20. emmet says

    Raven #15 – “Hey emmet thanks for showing up and lying.”
    What was my lie?

    “People like you are why people like myself and Jemima are ex xians and atheists.”

    People like me? What am I like?

    “The fundie version of xianity routinely produces morally defective people and way more than their share of monsters. If satan existed, he would be the god of the fundies.”

    Hm. OK. Another claim that needs some scientific backing, but we’ll let that one slide eh?

    I’m a Catholic, for the record.

  21. jentokulano says

    @10
    ” just looking for citation to back it up when I use it in an argument.”
    It appears in the Hebrew Testament (beware, the prophet Isaiah was a crappy soothsayer).

    Isaiah 66:23-24

    @15
    “If satan existed, he would be the god of the fundies.”
    He already is. Xtianity is technically not monotheist.

    @17
    “These heavens were dreamed up by unimaginative people. None of them are in the least bit attractive, certainly not for all eternity.”
    I dunno. I’ll sign on for the last one if it’s all the same.

  22. says

    Emmet, perhaps you missed the bit where we cited Aquinas. If so, have a read of this:

    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/5094.htm

    The Catholic Encyclopedia has this to say about Aquinas:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14663b.htm

    Read the last section, in which Aquinas’ centrality to Catholic teaching is explained.

    This is Catholic doctrine. It’s right there, in Aquinas. The burden of proof is now on you. If you’d like to supply a letter from, say, your priest outlining which bits of Summa Theologica are doctrine and which are pure bullshit, by all means, please do.

    Given that you’re a Catholic, raising the subject with your priest won’t be too difficult, right? It’s a simple yes or no answer, so if, say, he squirms like a shifty little fucker, that would be a sign of something, yes?

    While you’re there ask him this question: ‘is the ordinatio sacerdotalis of May 22 1994 infallible doctine or not?’. Again, it’s a very simple yes or no answer.

    Your priest has been carefully trained to give an evasive answer to this question. Please insist on a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, and report back. Thanks.

    You’re a Catholic. So, a simple question for you: do you feel your Church has ever lied?

  23. emmet says

    jemimacole:

    Basically, I get the main point of your original post: you have an idea of what God is, and don’t like that idea. Fair enough. You are also appalled at hypocrisy. Me too. You think that a feature of the Catholic Church is that its leaders lie as a matter of course, which is a claim that you fail to back up.

    I come to these blogs because I’m interested in how “the atheist man/woman in that street” thinks. I also like the way I’m challenged to think critically here. Lastly, it’s a good opportunity to attempt to clear up misconceptions about the Catholic faith – what we actually believe, not what people think we believe.
    In attempting that, I have good faith that people here actually do want to be correct when they say things about the Catholic Church: I start from that basic understanding. If I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t bother trying.

    In that vein, I’m pointing out that your understanding of what Catholic doctrine is could be cleared up a bit.

    “The Catholic Church consider this doctrine, although they don’t go out of their way to admit it.”

    What does that mean? To consider a doctrine?

    “Aquinas is generally seen as an authority…” Agreed.
    “…ie: what he says is Catholic teaching”. No. Just as an experienced political analyst is seen as an authority, may even influence a government’s policy or be directly quoted by that govt, but doesn’t speak for the government in any official capacity. That’s Aquinas.

    “the Vatican have, in the past, issued statement X saying a previous statement Y is infallible Church doctrine … but clarified that the statement X isn’t infallible.”
    Again, can you give us a reference for that claim?

    “So, Summa Theologica is taught as Catholic doctrine, …” No, it’s not. Aquinas influenced Catholic thought and doctrine, but his writings as a piece are in no way “Catholic doctrine”. That’s not nit-picking, that’s commonsense.

    “but – again, we’re down the rabbit hole – it might not currently be ‘Catholic teaching’ or ‘Catholic doctrine’. These are not the same thing. Just because an ordained Catholic priest teaches it doesn’t mean it’s ‘teaching’.”

    Correct, as far as it goes. An example would be priestly celibacy. The current practice of the Latin rite of the Church is that married men can’t be ordained. But that’s not a doctrine (an unchangeable teaching) – the practice has been different in the past, there are exceptions in the present and it could change again in the future.

  24. emmet says

    jemima #19

    “No, I wasn’t lying, I just didn’t cite the source in that piece. Now I have, perhaps you’d like to apologize for the accusation and admit that, yes, Aquinas *did* say that?”

    I wasn’t actually accusing you of lying – I’ve never had the impression that any blogger here at FTB is deliberately setting out to deceive – but of common or garden ignorance, and of making claims about the Church that you can’t back up.

  25. Brownian says

    Lastly, it’s a good opportunity to attempt to clear up misconceptions about the Catholic faith – what we actually believe, not what people think we believe.

    Are you a member of the laity, emmet? Because if so, unless you’ve got some sort of expertise in dogma, then it’s a good opportunity to explain what you believe, but you don’t speak for all Catholics, the faith, or the RCC Church.

    In short, you’re not the only former altar boy here.

  26. emmet says

    To clarify – two things –
    1. The idea that people in Heaven see people in Hell is theological speculation. Might be true, might not. My own theological speculations, shared by other Catholics, are these: a. we won’t be able to see people in Hell.
    b. there may be no-one in hell. (Hell exists, is eternal, but may be unpopulated because in the final wash-up, our sins will be “but a drop of water thrown into a blazing fire” as St Therese had it (the fire being God’s mercy).
    2. The chief suffering or punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God – forget fire, pitchforks and sulphur.

  27. emmet says

    Brownian #30

    “Are you a member of the laity, emmet? Because if so, unless you’ve got some sort of expertise in dogma, then it’s a good opportunity to explain what you believe, but you don’t speak for all Catholics, the faith, or the RCC Church.”

    I am a layman. My “expertise in dogma” is about twenty years of living, praying, studying and thinking about my Catholic faith. I don’t claim to be an expert but I do make the claim that when I say here, “This is what the Church holds to be true: …”, that what I’m saying is what the Church teaches.

    “In short, you’re not the only former altar boy here.” I am a former altar boy. I’m also an adult who makes an adult’s decisions about truth.

  28. Brownian says

    The chief suffering or punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God

    Which is—for everyone who’s not a Abrahamist who believes God is with them, unseen, unheard—standard operating procedure.

    So then, is life on earth a punishment from God? If so, what did you do to deserve here?

  29. emmet says

    I read your last line wrong, as “you’re only a former altar boy”.

    You were actually saying that there are people here who used to be Catholic, that I’m not the only one who understands Catholic teaching. Perhaps you’ve hit the nail on the head with your comment: many people who claim to know what the Church believes and teaches had, at one time, a child’s faith/understanding but never moved on to an adult one. This comes across in many of the “why I’m an atheist” posts, where the gist is “I prayed for a pony and god didn’t give me one so god isn’t real”.

    It’s a pity. I saw a reading list the other day on an atheist blog that didn’t include a single Catholic work. What an impoverished, unimaginative, stunted library.

  30. Brownian says

    I am a layman. My “expertise in dogma” is about twenty years of living, praying, studying and thinking about my Catholic faith.

    Same here. Now I’m an atheist.

    I don’t claim to be an expert but I do make the claim that when I say here, “This is what the Church holds to be true: …”, that what I’m saying is what the Church teaches.

    Right. So, we’ll take your claims on what the church holds to be true for what they’re worth.

    I am a former altar boy. I’m also an adult who makes an adult’s decisions about truth.

    So you say. I’ve seen literally hundreds of No True Christians™ here, every one of them a self-proclaimed expert on their own faith, each one with a vested interest in making their own belief claims sound as reasonable as they can.

    By the way, is “I’m also an adult who makes an adult’s decisions about truth” supposed to be impressive or meaningful, or has the church relaxed its stance on masturbation?

  31. emmet says

    B #33:
    “So then, is life on earth a punishment from God? If so, what did you do to deserve here?” Your premise being that life on earth is separation from God. I’d disagree with that. Life here is where we learn to love: the ancient dictum that God is love suggests that life here is in no way separation from him.

  32. emmet says

    B #36 “Right. So, we’ll take your claims on what the church holds to be true for what they’re worth.”

    Fair enough. I’ll try and give you links/sources so you can see “what they’re worth”.

  33. Brownian says

    You were actually saying that there are people here who used to be Catholic, that I’m not the only one who understands Catholic teaching.

    Indeed.

    Perhaps you’ve hit the nail on the head with your comment: many people who claim to know what the Church believes and teaches had, at one time, a child’s faith/understanding but never moved on to an adult one.

    I’ll leave off the ‘perhaps': speculation of this self-serving type does not make you the adult you think you are. My words are not the pony you wished for.

    Grow the fuck up.

    What an impoverished, unimaginative, stunted library.

    I’m glad that you describe your beliefs, as well as those of other Catholics, as both ‘speculation’ and ‘imaginative’. Your compatriots in faith don’t often share your honesty.

    Your god is shit at quality control. Not being with him (and his followers) for eternity is not nearly the punishment you believe it to be.

  34. emmet says

    “So you say. I’ve seen literally hundreds of No True Christians™ here, every one of them a self-proclaimed expert on their own faith, each one with a vested interest in making their own belief claims sound as reasonable as they can.”

    Fair enough again. To that the only thing I can say, and I realise that it might not mean much to you, is that my belief claims aren’t based on my interpretation of Scripture, or my interpretation of my pastor’s interpretation but on the authority of the Church – an external magisterium with its beliefs documented and easily found.

  35. says

    I see that Emmet got his ass handed to him way back in #18 by jemimacole. So why are his fingers still typing? Shouldn’t they be busy trying to reassemble his buttocks while he runs away?

  36. emmet says

    #43 How so? As I pointed out, she misunderstands what Catholic doctrine actually is. “Summa theologica is taught as Catholic doctrine”? No, actually, it isn’t. Some ass-handing that is.

  37. Brownian says

    Life here is where we learn to love: the ancient dictum that God is love suggests that life here is in no way separation from him.

    So, there’s no love in hell, or is it that hell is unpopulated?

  38. says

    I’m sorry, Emmet, but your “external magisterium” is a corrupt, venal empire of child-fuckers that puts the Mafia to shame in its universal efforts to sow evil and misery. It has no credibility here.

    You can cite it all you want, and every time, every one here is thinking, “What an ass.”

  39. emmet says

    #36.

    “By the way, is “I’m also an adult who makes an adult’s decisions about truth” supposed to be impressive or meaningful, or has the church relaxed its stance on masturbation?”

    Yeah, that was a bit whiffly and pompous. Sorry. What I was getting at was the difference between a child’s practice of their religion and an adult’s.

  40. says

    1. The idea that people in Heaven see people in Hell is theological speculation. Might be true, might not. My own theological speculations, shared by other Catholics, are these: a. we won’t be able to see people in Hell.

    Have you ever thought of why there is nothing but theological speculation? Why can’t this be answered definitively one way or the other? You really shouldn’t attack the poster if in this instance it is “He said, She said”

  41. emmet says

    yeah, I get it PZ Myers. I get it that the Church has no credibility here. When I cite Church teaching, I’m not saying, “Here it is, now – ha ha! – you’ll believe”, I’m saying, “Here’s what the Church actually teaches – attack that instead of the strawman you’ve set up”.

  42. Brownian says

    What I was getting at was the difference between a child’s practice of their religion and an adult’s.

    You’re still terrible at this thing called thinking. What you were getting at, poorly, was your perception of the difference of a child’s practice of their religion and an adult’s, which even you can admit has a component of self-service to it.

  43. emmet says

    #48 Except that the poster isn’t putting it forward as her own speculation – if that was the case, more power to her – but as what the Church teaches as doctrine. She is saying, “This is what the Church teaches”. It doesn’t – that’s a strawman.

    And in that she’s not lying – but she hasn’t checked her facts before making claims. Hasn’t backed up those claims with evidence. Is that too much to ask?

  44. janine says

    And emmet, you have been informed what the RCC’s doctrine is. Take a whiff of that perfume that that the burnt flesh of the damned. Such a divine pleasure. And you keep trying to wave it away.

  45. says

    “Summa theologica is taught as Catholic doctrine”? No, actually, it isn’t. Some ass-handing that is.

    A lot of Catholic doctrine is not taught as doctrine.

    The official doctrine of the Papal Infallibility for example is limited…and it isn’t that the Pope is always right. But the clergy is fine letting people THINK that’s what it means. They won’t teach it but they won’t go out of their way to correct it. Same with evolution, the church is very happy to be vague. There’s also the idea of Baptism by Intention: ie that technically someone who is good but never hears of Christianity goes to heaven because they would if they could, but they don’t advertize that. Or that by doctrine there’s the idea that you have to follow your own sincere conscience, again not advertized in favor of deference to dogma. There is a huge gap between the Christianity of the clergy and that of the pew.

  46. Brownian says

    I’m saying, “Here’s what the Church actually teaches – attack that instead of the strawman you’ve set up”.

    Which, as you said, you will provide citations to back up, since your word is only that.

  47. says

    Except that the poster isn’t putting it forward as her own speculation – if that was the case, more power to her – but as what the Church teaches as doctrine. She is saying, “This is what the Church teaches”. It doesn’t – that’s a strawman.

    And in that she’s not lying – but she hasn’t checked her facts before making claims. Hasn’t backed up those claims with evidence. Is that too much to ask?

    How can you back up the claims with evidence when it’s empty speculation. that’s the point.

  48. emmet says

    #50 – Look, I’ve talked to a lot of people who used to be Catholics, and now go to other Christian communities or call themselves atheist or agnostic. While talking, it becomes clear that they never moved on from the child’s faith of “Dear God please give me a sunny day for the school sports day” to an adult faith. That’s my point. I’m not saying that’s the case for every person who leaves the Catholic Church or who describes themselves as atheist – not at all. It’s a pity if that’s how it came across.

  49. says

    If you look up Hell in the Catholic Encyclopedia, if you look at the actual doctrine taught, they sound positively maniacal in their obsessive attention to the torments of hell. It is a revolting concept, and Christians revel in it. That’s the reality of what the church teaches.

    And look at you, you contemptible, vile pissant. Here’s a post that indicts the church on multiple evil acts, on tolerating and defending the rape of children, and you, Oh Jesuitical One, whimper, “Errm, here’s a minor point of doctrine I think you got wrong.” It’s just like a fucking Catholic to ignore the abuse of children to fuss over the proper interpretation of dogma, and it’s exactly why I find you repellent.

  50. says

    I would not be surprised if the Church has changed the offical stance on that doctrine. Like they did with Limbo, and Purgatory.

    Howeve…

    A) doesn’t mean it isn’t still being taught. There are still huge rifts in Vat 2 and pre Vat 2 clergy

    B) We’re seeing huge drifts in the Church’s stance from PJP2 days and Ratzy. Less and less of Vat 2 and PJP2’s views are official stance now… other stuff may or may not fall into favor.

    C) This ever shifting official unchanging dogma just shows how insane it is to credit this institutor with any authority

  51. emmet says

    #55 – her claim that Aquinas’ thoughts about Hell are Catholic doctrine. Can she back that up? By citing a church document, not one single random Aquinas quote?

    She can’t.

  52. Brownian says

    How can you back up the claims with evidence when it’s empty speculation. that’s the point.

    Emmet has conceded that. It is, however a fair point to claim that some speculations are considered doctrine and some aren’t, though your claims about what’s official and what we’ll let those who put the money in the collection plate believe aren’t always the same thing.

    It’s been awhile since we had a Church Lawyer here. Last time we did was with one of Pilty’s incarnations, I believe. And boy, did he love to point to Aquinas as his source when it suited him.

  53. says

    @Emmet

    Is it possible at all for you to look at the bigger picture and answer why there isn’t any way to solve the actual question, ignoring what the church thinks?

    If both the Church stance (according to you) and Aquinas are both just speculation what are the implications of that. Why is Aquinas right so often according to doctrine but not here? what changed?

  54. emmet says

    PZ: “If you look up Hell in the Catholic Encyclopedia, if you look at the actual doctrine taught,”

    Look, the Catholic Encyclopaedia is not doctrine. Good grief, you’re a professor – presumably one thing you teach your students is to find out the publisher of a particular source. Who is the Catholic Encycopedia published by? Not the Church.

  55. Brownian says

    #50 – Look, I’ve talked to a lot of people who used to be Catholics, and now go to other Christian communities or call themselves atheist or agnostic. While talking, it becomes clear that they never moved on from the child’s faith of “Dear God please give me a sunny day for the school sports day” to an adult faith. That’s my point.

    Oh, why didn’t you say you’d talked to “lots of people” before?

    Everybody, immediately give Emmet your undivided attention on whatever he says about human nature. He’s talked to “lots of people”. (Incidentally, it doesn’t count as doctine if you’ve talked to “lots of” Catholics and are describing what they believe.)

  56. chigau (同じ) says

    When I was a Catholic child, I did not have “Faith”.
    I had indoctrination, inexperience and ignorance.
    As I matured I got over all of that.

  57. emmet says

    PZ:

    “And look at you, you contemptible, vile pissant.”

    Ahem.

    “Here’s a post that indicts the church on multiple evil acts, on tolerating and defending the rape of children, and you, Oh Jesuitical One, whimper, “Errm, here’s a minor point of doctrine I think you got wrong.” It’s just like a fucking Catholic to ignore the abuse of children to fuss over the proper interpretation of dogma, and it’s exactly why I find you repellent.”

    I’m not fussing over the proper interpretation of dogma – I’m pointing out that what has been claimed to be dogma … isn’t!

    With regards to the rest of your post above, I’m not ignoring the abuse of children: I’ve been thinking about how to address the original poster on that. My experience here is that posters and commenters don’t go well on the topic of the abuse scandals in the Church, so I was trying to formulate a response that would help the discussion not hinder it.

  58. says

    While talking, it becomes clear that they never moved on from the child’s faith of “Dear God please give me a sunny day for the school sports day” to an adult faith. That’s my point.

    Did you try seeing how many Catholics still have that childish faith?

  59. Brownian says

    When I was a Catholic child, I did not have “Faith”.
    I had indoctrination, inexperience and ignorance.
    As I matured I got over all of that.

    Wait, are you saying something for Emmet’s argument or against it? Because if it’s against, you’ll need to cite encyclicals. If not, your word is all that’s needed.

    That’s apparently what adult Catholics do, which probably explains why they’re adults and still Catholic.

  60. says

    I’m not fussing over the proper interpretation of dogma – I’m pointing out that what has been claimed to be dogma … isn’t!

    No now you’re just asserting that it isn’t. Even when shown a source. Your response was to dismiss the source.

  61. Brownian says

    Ok now you need to provide evidence to the contrary. The Catholic Encyclopedia was pointed to at my Catholic school.

    NOPE, WRONG.

  62. emmet says

    #65 – http://www.newadvent.org/utility/contactus.htm

    The site is maintained by a Catholic layman.

    Here’s where we get into the distinction between what is actual teaching and what is written under the name Catholic by any old Joe Bloggs.

    But any thinking adult can take the time to suss out that distinction – good grief, in the internet age, haven’t we all been burned by not doing our homework on the source of a particular piece of writing? PZ Myers, quoting the CE as official doctrine, wouldn’t be the first; wouldn’t be the last.

  63. says

    @Emmet

    You know according to another Catholic layman the church right now is in direct opposition to the real word of God since Vatican 2. Also the Jews are responsible for every war.

  64. Brownian says

    Here’s where we get into the distinction between what is actual teaching and what is written under the name Catholic by any old Joe Bloggs.

    Right, and guess which one you, and all of your speculations, and your well thought out research into the religiosity of former Catholics, is?

    So, the CE is a shitty, unofficial source. So far, that’s a weak 1 point.

    Where’s your source?

  65. Brownian says

    Catholic doctrine can be easily found on the vatican website, linked to by another poster earlier.

    And it disavows Aquinas’ description of hell where?

  66. says

    @ Emmet

    Thanks for not linking to any relevant portion insuring that anyone who wants to check has to waste their time wading through Catholic fapping off!

  67. emmet says

    “Right, and guess which one you, and all of your speculations, and your well thought out research into the religiosity of former Catholics, is?

    So, the CE is a shitty, unofficial source. So far, that’s a weak 1 point.

    Where’s your source?”

    Source for what?

  68. Brownian says

    Weird. The vatican clearly thinks hell is full of fire, as does Jesus:

    1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.612 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,”613 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”614

    1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”615 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

    And yet emmet, here to teach us all about what Catholicism really is, says this:

    The chief suffering or punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God – forget fire, pitchforks and sulphur

    Good thing you stopped by to be enlightened.

  69. Don Quijote says

    emmet says “I’m also an adult who makes an adult’s desisions about truth.” And he’s still a catholic. Can’t explain that.

  70. Brownian says

    Ing, your point about Catholics not even knowing what they’re supposed to believe is true.

  71. says

    “Basically, I get the main point of your original post: you have an idea of what God is, and don’t like that idea. Fair enough.”

    No. My initial point is that God sounds horrible, but horrible things exist, so a horrible God could exist. The main point of my original post is that religions seem to routinely back up their ‘eternal truths’ with obvious lies.

    “You think that a feature of the Catholic Church is that its leaders lie as a matter of course, which is a claim that you fail to back up.”

    Read the Cloyne Report, which spells out that it was a pattern of behavior.

    “No. Just as an experienced political analyst is seen as an authority, may even influence a government’s policy or be directly quoted by that govt, but doesn’t speak for the government in any official capacity. That’s Aquinas.”

    … I covered this. Please go to your priest and come back with a simple yes or no. You can settle this for us, and the answer would be very interesting, I’m sure.

    “the Vatican have, in the past, issued statement X saying a previous statement Y is infallible Church doctrine … but clarified that the statement X isn’t infallible.”

    “Again, can you give us a reference for that claim?”

    It’s that statement from 1994 I mentioned in a subsequent post.

    https://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfrespo.htm

    Ordinatio sacerdotalis was a statement from the last Pope. It was controversial, so Rottenfuhrer Ratzinger, in his post-Nazi but pre-Pope days, issued a statement that it was to be considered infallible. However the Vatican has since further clarified that *Ratzinger’s* statement *wasn’t* infallible.

    So, was the original statement infallible or not? Ask your priest. Or perhaps Lewis Carroll.

    “Correct, as far as it goes. An example would be priestly celibacy. The current practice of the Latin rite of the Church is that married men can’t be ordained. But that’s not a doctrine (an unchangeable teaching) – the practice has been different in the past, there are exceptions in the present and it could change again in the future.”

    Look, ask your priest. Is what Aquinas said doctrine or not?

    These are all very simple questions, with yes/no answers. So ask them.

  72. says

    Emmet,

    “I never accused you of lying”

    No, you asked this question:

    “Is Jemima lying, is she lazy and hasn’t checked her facts, or is it just a dsiplay of (to use her words) “common or garden ignorance”?”

    How about this as an answer: ‘no, she was referring to Aquinas, who the Code of Canon Law refers to as the model Catholic teacher’?

  73. says

    “I never accused you of lying”

    No, you asked this question:

    “Is Jemima lying, is she lazy and hasn’t checked her facts, or is it just a dsiplay of (to use her words) “common or garden ignorance”?”

    Glenn Beckism.

  74. Brownian says

    Read the Cloyne Report, which spells out that it was a pattern of behavior.

    The work by Dennett and LaScola does not contradict this. (PDF link.)

    It would seem that a child’s and adult’s faith are not the same, but an adult educated in theology has none at all.

  75. emmet says

    Is PZ Myers running away … what was it? Putting his ass back together or something?

    Jemima too?

    To re-state: attack the Church all you like (hell, attack me directly – call me a vile pissant if you like) but attack what she actually teaches.

    I read FTBlogs to get an idea of what the atheist man/woman in the street thinks about things. Again and again, I see the much-vaunted values of evidence, reason, impartiality go out the window when it comes to the Catholic Church. Claims are thrown out left right and centre with nothing to back them up. Misunderstandings are rife. And everyone pats each other on the back. Once in a while, someone challenges a claim – markd555 today – but that often gets lost.

    Here’s another point from the original post – the Church lies about condom efficacy. Say again? Was that the Church or was it one clergyman’s opinion?
    She claims that the Church claims that “Hitler was an atheist” – where does the Church make such a claim? If it did, it should be easy to point to it and say here it is. Either Jemima is sitting on those sources for some reason, or she doesn’t have them and is mistaken.

    As far as I can see, the answer to “why I am an atheist” for Jemima Cole is “Because I believe things for which I have no evidence or which are based on logic which rests on badly flawed premises.” Fail.

  76. truthspeaker says

    jemimacole says:
    23 January 2012 at 6:30 am

    No, I wasn’t lying, I just didn’t cite the source in that piece.

    That particular doctrine is well enough known I don’t think it was necessary to cite a source. But, although I had heard it before, I couldn’t remember the source, so I’m glad you provided it when asked!

  77. janine says

    Is PZ Myers running away … what was it? Putting his ass back together or something?

    Jemima too?

    Emmet, you are a flaming sack of shit. No needs to stay online just to be at your beck and call.

    Stick the collected works of Aquinas and soak up the knowledge.

  78. emmet says

    #78 #79.

    You’re adults. Look it up yourself. You’d have to read a chunk of it, not one paragraph. That’s not beyond you.

  79. janine says

    That should be:

    Stick the collected works of Aquinas up your ass and soak up the knowledge.

  80. chigau (同じ) says

    jemimacole
    When quoting someone try this:
    <blockquote>Copypaste the quote</blockquote>
    That will inset the quote and make it easier to read your words vs their words.

    Copypaste the quote

  81. emmet says

    The Catechism is not going to disavow Aquinas, Brownian. Read the sections on Hell, Heaven etc and you’ll find out what the Church actually teaches. If you don’t want to know that, don’t bother.

  82. chigau (同じ) says

    Who gives a flying fuck what the actual Sophisticated™ Doctrine™ really is?
    What are the sheep being led (by their shepherds) to believe is Doctrine?
    And why would the sheep continue with the church when they find that everything they have been taught is crap?

  83. emmet says

    #92
    “Emmet, you are a flaming sack of shit. No needs to stay online just to be at your beck and call.”

    I know. I din’t expect him to be at my beck and call. My comment was to point out again, for other readers, PZ Myers’ mistake, not to suggest he should drop what he’s doing to converse with a stranger on the internet. I’m about to shoot through as well. Gotta go read me some Catechism.

  84. janine says

    Emmet, you flaming sack of shit, I do not need any of the bullshit about Aquanis to hate the church. Just what the current pope has to say about homosexuals and his lies and condom use is enough.

  85. Brownian says

    Read it yourself, Emmet. I quoted the relevant parts, and where the Official doctrine differs from what you claim you and other Catholics believe.

    Something about ignoring the beam in your eye to pick at the motes in others’, I believe.

  86. emmet says

    #91. What facade? And how did I end it? And you’re picking me up on *tone* right now in the midst of some of the other comments flying about in here?

  87. emmet says

    Janine –

    that’s the guts of it isn’t it? I commented on this earlier – I don’t know if it’s true for you or not, but the hatred that some people feel towards the Catholic Church is the basis of their atheism. “I’m an atheism because, by gods, I hate the Catholic Church and so whatever it proclaims as true must be lies.” They start not from a position “What is true about the existence of the Christian God?” but from “There is no god.”

  88. says

    Yeah, I read your Official Church Doctrine source.

    Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,” and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”

    That’s pretty clear. Your evil church preaches eternal, unforgivable torture for those who refuse to believe and be converted to your faith. Your church is a great evil, by its own words, teaching lies and guilt. We see clearly what it teaches.

    Fuck off, you despicable fraud.

  89. says

    “1. The idea that people in Heaven see people in Hell is theological speculation. Might be true, might not.”

    Er … except Luke 16, where Jesus says that’s what happens.

    Jesus was ‘speculating’. Is that your position?

    “2. The chief suffering or punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God – forget fire, pitchforks and sulphur.”

    You may want to study your own religion. The Catholic Encyclopedia says you’re wrong:

    Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving … shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.”

    Brimstone is sulphur. So … you’re wrong. Sorry to break it to you.

  90. emmet says

    #101

    I disagree that what you quoted contradicts what i said. (But I would say that.) You actually need to read a bit more of that Catechism to understand what the Church teaches (of course, I’d say that too.)

    Anyway, I have to go.

  91. says

    There goes Emmet, a wonderful demonstration of why some Catholics are detested. Not because we hate god, but because they themselves are reprehensible, hair-splitting wankers with no sense of proportion and a dedication to lies.

  92. says

    “A lot of Catholic doctrine is not taught”

    Exactly my point. Aquinas is the model Catholic teacher and reams and reams of what he wrote are treated as doctrine. Except when inconvenient. In this case, it’s simply not taught.

    The most extraordinary fact for me is that there’s no official Vatican list of infallible statements. You’d think such a thing would be useful for all concerned.

  93. truthspeaker says

    emmet says:
    23 January 2012 at 4:27 pm

    emmet says:
    23 January 2012 at 4:27 pm

    To clarify – two things –
    1. The idea that people in Heaven see people in Hell is theological speculation. Might be true, might not.

    Are you saying your theological speculations carry as much weight as Aquinas’s? Is the Catholic Church a democracy now?

    2. The chief suffering or punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God – forget fire, pitchforks and sulphur.

    Now it’s your turn to supply a source. In this particular instance I do not know what the Catholic Church teaches. The Bible does not use the name “Hell”, but it describes the punishment for nonbelievers as fire and a lake of fire. But the Catholic church does not employ sola scriptura, so I await your citation for your claim about what the church teaches.

    I want the church’s beliefs, not your beliefs. If they differ from church teaching their heretical. You signed on for that when you decided to be a Catholic – the hierarchy, not you, has the last word on what your beliefs are.

  94. emmet says

    jemima – that encylopedia isn’t a source of official Church teaching, so quoting it at me doesn’t fly.

    I’ll be back in later hopefully, and would be interested in your response to a post of mine 5 or 10 posts back, about your other claims – lies about condoms, comments about Hitler, your anecdotal “evidence” that priests are trained to lie.

  95. janine says

    I don’t know if it’s true for you or not, but the hatred that some people feel towards the Catholic Church is the basis of their atheism.

    And yet the flaming sack of shit did not back up this claim.

    Choke on it.

  96. says

    “#55 – her claim that Aquinas’ thoughts about Hell are Catholic doctrine. Can she back that up? By citing a church document, not one single random Aquinas quote?

    She can’t.”

    And there’s the lie. It was not ‘a single random Aquinas quote’. It was a link to an entire *chapter*.

    If you don’t believe me – why would you, to be fair? – then ask your priest. It’s a simple enough question, and it’s not a general point about Aquinas, it’s a very specific question: is what Aquinas said in that chapter, that saints delight in the suffering of sinners doctrine? Ask him yes or no. Spoiler: the answer’s ‘yes’.

  97. janine says

    Also, flaming sack of shit, you owe both Jemima and PZ an apology for crowing that they both fled from you.

    Fuck you.

  98. Irene Delse says

    Emmet:

    that’s the guts of it isn’t it? I commented on this earlier – I don’t know if it’s true for you or not, but the hatred that some people feel towards the Catholic Church is the basis of their atheism.

    Sorry, you’re just speculating, here. There are many kinds of atheists, some never believed in God or any supernatural beings, others lost their faiths; some were raised in a religious culture, others were the children of atheists themselves.

    In my case, I’m a former Catholic, I used to believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost, but gradually lost faith while learning more and more about Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular – though I never came to hate the Church, probably because I was raised by rather liberal and “modern” Catholics.

    I did learn from my mother the same stuff you quote about Hell being really “eternal separation from God”… but she was honest enough to say that she thought so even though it wasn’t a belief shared by all Catholics.

    (As she told us, when she was a kid, the priests taught that Hell was indeed an eternity of pain and anguish, not just being apart from God. Although I don’t like much the modern version either. If being separated from God causes such grief that it’s worthy of being called “Hell”, why would a loving God inflict such torment on us for not believing in Him?)

  99. says

    “Was that the Church or was it one clergyman’s opinion?”

    And that’s the question, isn’t it? Cloyne was dismissed as a ‘local priest’ when he was found out … but he was a direct appointment of John Paul II, and *had been his private secretary*. One of his duties was waking the Pope every morning. It was in that capacity that he was the first to find the previous Pope’s body.

    As for condoms and holes:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/oct/09/aids

    Cardinal Trujillo was president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, he was filmed in the Vatican, in his fancy dress, saying that condoms had holes.

    Now, that might lead people to think it wasn’t some random guy spouting off, that it was the Church saying it. It was taken as church teaching by many (see the article). The Church never denied it was Church teaching.

    So was it ‘one clergyman’s opinion?’ or was it the Church’s position? Never mind the exact definition here: it was a lie, plain and simple. One the Church spread instead of quashed.

    Because they routinely lie.

  100. truthspeaker says

    Here’s another point from the original post – the Church lies about condom efficacy. Say again? Was that the Church or was it one clergyman’s opinion?

    It was a few clergymen. And by clergymen, I mean an archbishop:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7014335.stm

    another archbishop:

    http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20100223-254840/Bishops-want-Cabrals-head-over-condoms

    and a bishop:

    http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Filipino-bishops:-condoms-and-irresponsible-sex-increases-the-spread-of-AIDS-17632.html

  101. says

    “She claims that the Church claims that “Hitler was an atheist” – where does the Church make such a claim? If it did, it should be easy to point to it and say here it is.”

    Ratzinger, in his speech in Edinburgh, September 16 2010:

    “Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity … reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century”

    So perhaps you may want to go fuck yourself.

  102. janine says

    Want to know what the problem here is, the masses were allowed to learn how to read. We can read what various Catholic theologian have written over the centuries. To have the good old days when an illiterate congregation was lead in Mass by an illiterate priest who got his orders from on high.

    Emmet, your problem is this, we have access to the past of the past. And your hand waving does not erase the fact that Aquinas is the go to guy about dogma.

    And fuck you. I do not hate the church because I am an atheist. I hate the church because I am humane.

  103. says

    jemima – that encylopedia isn’t a source of official Church teaching, so quoting it at me doesn’t fly.

    I quoted Jesus from the Gospel of Luke. Does that ‘fly’? Don’t tell me, just because Jesus said it, it’s not ‘doctrine’?

  104. Irene Delse says

    @ Jemima Cole:

    Ah, yes, the Edinburgh speech! This reminded me of why I do in fact despise Ratzinger: he knows what the Nazis were, he was there at the time, and he still lies about them being “atheists”. I hope he finds the eternal, absolute peace of nothingness when his time comes.

  105. Irene Delse says

    Don’t tell me, just because Jesus said it, it’s not ‘doctrine’?

    Well, there’s a reason why the Catholic Church didn’t want to put the Scripture itself in the hands of lay people! And in fact resisted as long as they could its translation in vernacular languages. This way, they aren’t able any more to control the religious message ;-)

  106. says

    I don’t hate the Church at all. I’m a life-long atheist.

    My point in the original argument was that churchmen lie. It wasn’t an anti-Catholic point, specifically. But the Vatican lie a lot. They lie about little things and big things. Cloyne invoked the ancient belief in ‘mental reservation’, which is basically ‘as long as you think “I know I’m lying, God”, it doesn’t count as lying’.

    The idea that Aquinas or Trujillo or Cloyne or Ratzinger or now, thanks Emmet, *Jesus* are just some guys mouthing off is one of the biggest lies of all.

  107. says

    he knows what the Nazis were, he was there at the time,

    Indeed. He swore the oath of the Hitler Youth:

    “In the presence of this blood-banner which represents our Fuehrer I swear to devote all my energies, and my strength to the Savior of our Country, Adolf Hitler. I am willing and ready to give up my life for him, so help me God. One People, one Reich, one Fuehrer.”

    Now, the position on this is much-discussed and nuanced, and I wouldn’t condemn Ratzinger for being a man who shot down Allied aircraft in defense of Nazi Germany. But the one thing we know Hitler wasn’t was ‘atheist’. Ratzinger knows he wasn’t an atheist. So to suggest that Hitler was motivated by atheism is a conscious lie.

  108. Brownian says

    #101

    I disagree that what you quoted contradicts what i said.

    I never said ‘contradicts’. I used your favourite weasel word: ‘differs’.

    Isn’t that what this whole argument is about?

    If you want to play internet pedant, fucker, make goddamn sure you have your fucking ducks in a row.

    Now, maybe you’d like to provide citations for your belief that hell “may be unpopulated”.

    There’s nothing saying that in that catechism, and clearly anything less than an official vatican.va reference is horseshit, you duplicitous asshole.

  109. janine says

    That is actually the one thing I will not blame Ratzinger for, being in the Hitler Youth.

  110. Therrin says

    emmet,

    I also like the way I’m challenged to think critically here.

    Being still a Catholic, one can presume the challenge has gone unanswered.

    (the fire being God’s mercy)

    Irony, thy name is religion.

    I’m also an adult who makes an adult’s decisions about truth.

    One of the neat things about truths, they don’t change based on any person’s decisions, nor from their ironic pseudonyms.

    The vatican clearly thinks hell is full of fire

    Wait, I thought fire was God’s mercy. Now fire is for torture? “Give us this our daily mask!”

    emmet #93, please meet emmet #40:

    I’ll try and give you links/sources so you can see “what they’re worth”.

    “Somewhere on this site” doesn’t count as providing a source.

    And you’re picking me up on *tone* right now in the midst of some of the other comments flying about in here?

    You’re the one ignoring jemimacole’s request. Twice.

  111. says

    The ‘holes in condoms’ lie:

    First, I’m assuming there’s no argument that what Trujillo said is false.

    So the issue is ‘did he know it was false’? And the first time he said it, it might have been ignorance, stupidity or what have you. He might have sincerely thought it was true. Catholic priests don’t know much about condoms, after all – that’s why the death rate from HIV related illnesses among Catholic priests in the US is four times that of the average population.

    (Oh, wait, sorry, I can see Emmet asking me to cite a source for that:

    http://www.actupny.org/YELL/catholicpriests.html

    There you go. I’m not trying to score points. I think it’s a tragedy. They are, in the words of the old UK AIDS campaign, dying of ignorance.)

    The point is that the *second* time Trujillo said it, after he’d been made aware of the facts, it’s a lie.

    And as there are clearly people working within the Catholic Church (as quoted in the Guardian article) like nuns and priests who believed it, the Church become complicit in that lie if they do nothing to correct it. Trujillo was not some passing bystander, he was seen as a potential Pope in 2005.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s ‘doctrine’ or ‘teaching’. Who cares? The Vatican get to set the rules on that, and change them, and contradict themselves. What matters is whether it’s true. It’s not, it’s false. It was a lie, plain and simple.

  112. Brownian says

    Wait, I thought fire was God’s mercy. Now fire is for torture?

    Well, it wouldn’t be theology if it weren’t imprecise (when not actually dishonest) language, coupled with self-satisfaction and an exhortation that one’s opponents confine themselves to more or less universal and uncontested doctrine.

  113. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    What I’m taking from this is that there’s the official policy of the church, and an unofficial policy – the major difference being the individuals (like emmet) are able to distance themselves with the latter when it gets criticised, but are quite happy to accept when it’s not.

    Yep, sounds like typical apologetics to me – a serving of shifted goalposts with a helping of special pleading on the side.

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Emmet, well, there’s your problem. You believe in bullshit. Bullshit based on the twin fallacies of your deity not being a delusion in your mind, and the babble being anything other than a book of mythology/fiction. Add together those fallacies with mental masturbation sounding like philosophical bullshit, and you have the theology you are vainly defending with even more lies. It doesn’t matter what your theology says, if you can’t show conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity, and conclusive physical evidence your babble is inerrant. Otherwise, lies up the wazoo, starting with the fallacious presupppositions, as the theology is based on lies, making your sophistimicated theology even bigger lies.

  115. chigau (同じ) says

    If emmet was a Real Catholic, he would have skipped whatever trivial thing he had to do and stuck around to Defend His Faith.

  116. Irene Delse says

    First, I’m assuming there’s no argument that what Trujillo said is false.

    No risk of that. Condoms are waterproof, and viruses are lots bigger than a water molecule!

    BTW, there’s a cute 3 min video about the goldfish saved by a quick-thinking lady and a latex condom. Don’t know if you’ve already seen it?

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7h6qj_poisson-rouge-3000-scenarios-contre_shortfilms

    (This was a French AIDS awareness PSA from 1994. Funny thing is, you know the actress in the video? Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi? She’s the sister of Carla Bruni, the current “first lady” of Sarkozy!)

  117. desoto says

    emmet

    I don’t know if it’s true for you or not, but the hatred that some people feel towards the Catholic Church is the basis of their atheism.

    I, and I assume many other deconverts, came to the realization that god was non-existent and therefore catholicism was moot. Hate of the catholic church never came into play; that came later.

    Irene

    Well, there’s a reason why the Catholic Church didn’t want to put the Scripture itself in the hands of lay people! And in fact resisted as long as they could its translation in vernacular languages. This way, they aren’t able any more to control the religious message

    I didn’t even see a bible (as a teaching aid) until my junior year in high school (11th year of catholic schooling). My catholic family didn’t even own one, just some missalettes.

  118. Rey Fox says

    The idea that people in Heaven see people in Hell is theological speculation.

    That’s a laugh. Theology is nothing but speculation.

    They start not from a position “What is true about the existence of the Christian God?” but from “There is no god.”

    The burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim.

  119. consciousness razor says

    While talking, it becomes clear that they never moved on from the child’s faith of “Dear God please give me a sunny day for the school sports day” to an adult faith. That’s my point.

    For me it was more like “God, stop making AIDS, you piece of shit.”

    When I realized I was supposed to worship a piece of shit, it seemed as if things could only go downhill from there. But it turned out that it made much more sense not to worship anything, since nothing was worth it, and having faith didn’t make sense either.

    1. The idea that people in Heaven see people in Hell is theological speculation. Might be true, might not.

    Couldn’t be true, doesn’t make sense.

    My own theological speculations, shared by other Catholics, are these: a. we won’t be able to see people in Hell.
    b. there may be no-one in hell. (Hell exists, is eternal, but may be unpopulated because in the final wash-up, our sins will be “but a drop of water thrown into a blazing fire” as St Therese had it (the fire being God’s mercy).

    Why wouldn’t you consult Catholic doctrine? Here’s some:

    “It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. ‘There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentence for men after death.'”

    -Part 1, Sect. 2, Art. 2, Para. 7… for fuck’s sake: p. 110-111 in my long-winded and bullshit-filled copy of the Catechism

    So, doctrinally speaking, hell isn’t unpopulated.

    On the other hand, if we wanted to be rational, we could say that hell is unpopulated in the same way that nothingness is unpopulated.

  120. says

    chigau #133

    If emmet was a Real Catholic, he would have skipped whatever trivial thing he had to do and stuck around to Defend His Faith.

    At this point the best way emmet can defend his faith is by not posting any more. Sheesh.

  121. chigau (同じ) says

    The burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim.

    No, it’s not.
    .
    .

    Condoms are waterproof, and viruses are lots bigger than a water molecule!

    Citation needed.
    .
    .

    If emmet was a Real Catholic, he would have skipped whatever trivial thing he had to do and stuck around to Defend His Faith.

    No, he wouldn’t.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Sorry. Just trying to keep busy until emmet returns.

  122. says

    I don’t think anyone here blamed Ratzi for being in the Hitler Youth. The point was that since he WAS, he knows damn well that Hitler and the Nazis weren’t atheists. So his claim that they were is a lie, not a mistake.

  123. Irene Delse says

    chigau:

    Condoms are waterproof, and viruses are lots bigger than a water molecule!

    Citation needed.

    Seriously? o_O

  124. chigau (同じ) says

    No, not seriously. Duh.

    Was, too serious. (No not too, rather indeed.)
    .
    .

    Need more coffee?

    Too late for coffee. Does the red wine show?

  125. says

    “I don’t think anyone here blamed Ratzi for being in the Hitler Youth. The point was that since he WAS, he knows damn well that Hitler and the Nazis weren’t atheists. So his claim that they were is a lie, not a mistake.”

    I agree with that.

    I suppose I would add, though, that having ‘member of the Hitler Youth’ on the resume isn’t some neutral thing. I understand why he covered it up, why the Vatican doesn’t like to talk about him fighting for Hitler (there are some good questions unanswered, too, like what rank he reached). But he was young, his country was being attacked, I don’t blame him.

    However, as someone whose atheist grandfather fought in the war against the Nazis, being told *by someone who was literally a card-carrying Nazi* that it was my grandfather’s lot’s fault does stick in the craw.

  126. Brownian says

    However, as someone whose atheist grandfather fought in the war against the Nazis, being told *by someone who was literally a card-carrying Nazi* that it was my grandfather’s lot’s fault does stick in the craw.

    It’s also, oddly enough, a No True Nazi— argument. I mean, who were the Nazis if not card-carrying members of the Hitler Youth and other like groups?

    I don’t blame Ratzi for being pressed into the Hitler Youth any more than I blame a child baptised and pressed by hir Catholic parents to become confirmed.

    But I don’t see the church rushing to assure everyone that those children, forced and indoctrinated without regard for their will, aren’t really Catholics.

  127. says

    “What I’m taking from this is that there’s the official policy of the church, and an unofficial policy – the major difference being the individuals (like emmet) are able to distance themselves with the latter when it gets criticised, but are quite happy to accept when it’s not.”

    OK, first of all, I’ve just realized I made a howler – the Cloyne Report was about the abuse in Cloyne. I used ‘Cloyne’ like it was the name of the abusive bishop. That was John Magee, and the report is pretty damning, going as far as to accuse him of personally abusing children, not ‘just’ covering it up.

    He is the only man in history to be private secretary to three Popes. He’s pretty much the definition of a Vatican insider.

    So, when the Cloyne Report spells out that he sent one report, full of lies, to the police and a second report, containing the truth, to the Vatican.

    Oh, and he was made aware of 15 cases, and only ever reported 6 to the police in the first place.

    You do not compile two reports like that accidentally. It’s policy to lie to the local authorities, in other words. Magee’s evidence includes a detailed description of how he justified that. Go on, guess. That’s right: he didn’t think God would mind.

    Given Magee’s place in the Church hierarchy, I don’t think it’s exactly a leap of faith to suggest that filing false reports to the police is Church policy. There are almost certainly filing cabinets full of accounts of what really happened to the victims in Rome.

  128. Dhorvath, OM says

    Brwownian,

    But I don’t see the church rushing to assure everyone that those children, forced and indoctrinated without regard for their will, aren’t really Catholics.

    I had never seen that angle before. Consider this incorporated.

  129. desoto says

    There are almost certainly filing cabinets full of accounts of what really happened to the victims in Rome.

    Vatican porn. Pervs.

  130. emmet says

    Myers #107:

    There goes Emmet, a wonderful demonstration of why some Catholics are detested. Not because we hate god, but because they themselves are reprehensible, hair-splitting wankers with no sense of proportion and a dedication to lies.

    Whatever. If I was to say, “Look at PZ Myers’ comments in this thread. This is why some atheists are detested: because they’re arrogant blowhards who launch into foam-flecked diatribes at strangers on the internet and make the schoolboy mistake of not checking their sources” I’d be a fool. I’d be forming my opinion on Myers based on a few short pieces of writing, without context or body language or voice. Myers doesn’t even know me – his opinion of me is not based on any evidence beyond what he has read in quickly-typed comments in a blog’s combox.

    Evidence… Jemima reckons that the idea that people in heaven rejoice in the sufferings of people in hell is Catholic doctrine: that is, every Catholic is bound to believe that, and it is a teaching that won’t change. That’s a positive claim that requires rock-solid evidence. (Does that sound familiar? It should.)

    So far she hasn’t been able to provide that evidence – she’s tried; she keeps citing Aquinas and saying things like “Aquinas is generally seen as an authority” and “Summa is taught as doctrine” but hasn’t provided an authoritative source that proves her point.

    What I’m getting at: sure, it’s a fine point. Is that teaching doctrine, as Jemima insists doggedly, or is it not? Who cares, right? Yet it’s (yet) another example of atheists not practicing what they preach: that any claim requires evidence. (Like the billboard in a recent Pharyngula post, which says, “We are all born without belief in gods”. If a Christian was to say “We are all born believing in God” they would be laughed out of town – “Prove it, dickhead!” – but it’s A-OK for one of our atheist friends to make such a claim.)

    Myers again:

    It’s just like a fucking Catholic to ignore the abuse of children to fuss over the proper interpretation of dogma, and it’s exactly why I find you repellent.

    I wasn’t ignoring the abuse of children, I was ignoring one more atheist blogger’s rant about something about which they appear to know very little – or if they know more than they say here, can’t be bothered writing about critically.

    jemima:

    OK, first of all, I’ve just realized I made a howler

  131. emmet says

    chigau said:

    If emmet was a Real Catholic, he would have skipped whatever trivial thing he had to do and stuck around to Defend His Faith.

    Mm-hm. I think your tongue is in your cheek, but I’ll bite anyway.

    First, the Catholic Church doesn’t need me to Be Her Defender.
    She’s defended herself admirably through the last 2000 years.
    Secondly, I left the conversation to spend time with my wife and child. I would hope that everybody here, given the choice between spending time talking to strangers in the echo chamber of internet atheism or spending time with loved ones would choose the latter.

  132. emmet says

    jemima #147

    There are almost certainly filing cabinets full of accounts of what really happened to the victims in Rome.

    Almost certainly? Almost certainly, huh.
    Did one of your seminarian contacts tell you this? Sounds a bit Da Vinci Code to me.

  133. emmet says

    Consciousness razor #137

    “… ‘There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentence for men after death.’”

    So, doctrinally speaking, hell isn’t unpopulated.”

    Good point. The fallen angels then, are in hell. Their choice against God, unlike similar choices of living humans, was once and final.
    We were talking about humans in this thread so my comment about the population of hell was in reference to humans, not fallen angels.

  134. emmet says

    Further to that, Brownian #125 says:

    Now, maybe you’d like to provide citations for your belief that hell “may be unpopulated”.

    There’s nothing saying that in that catechism, and clearly anything less than an official vatican.va reference is horseshit, you duplicitous asshole.

    It’s not a belief of mine. Catch up. I said it was speculation: as such, it doesn’t need a “citation” and of course it won’t be in the Catechism.

    Briefly, it goes like this:
    -God is just, and God is merciful. Neither of those outweigh the other.
    -The choice we face is between ourselves for eternity, or Christ for eternity.
    -At the moment of death, that split second where whatever happens at death happens (who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to measure/quantify/describe exactly what death is one day, but we can’t today), the soul makes its choice.
    -No-one is so utterly and completely selfish (as in loves themself to the exclusion of all others absolutely) in this life that at that moment, seeing truth, chooses self over Christ.
    -So, zoom-zoom, everyone heads off to heaven. Everyone’s experience of heaven though, is based on their capacity for love. (Think of a glass and a bucket – each can be filled to overflowing and know no lack of water, but the bucket yet has more.)

    Of course, it’s just speculation, reflections based on the belief in a God who will “exploit every loophole” to bring his children home.

  135. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Emmet wrote:

    If I was to say, “Look at PZ Myers’ comments in this thread. This is why some atheists are detested: because they’re arrogant blowhards who launch into foam-flecked diatribes at strangers on the internet and make the schoolboy mistake of not checking their sources” I’d be a fool.

    Do you seriously think being detested for being ‘arrogant blowhards’ is anywhere near as bad as being detested for supporting an organisation that covers up thousands of child-rapes? I know which one I’d be less concerned by.

    She’s defended herself admirably through the last 2000 years.

    Yes, she has – through such exemplary practices as lies, oppression, torture, theft, slavery, indoctrination, extortion and both small- and large-scale murder. Do you think that’s something to be proud of?

    I would hope that everybody here, given the choice between spending time talking to strangers in the echo chamber of internet atheism or spending time with loved ones would choose the latter.

    You’ve not actually spent much time reading atheist websites, have you?

  136. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Emmet wrote:

    The fallen angels then, are in hell. Their choice against God, unlike similar choices of living humans, was once and final. We were talking about humans in this thread so my comment about the population of hell was in reference to humans, not fallen angels.

    and

    It’s not a belief of mine. Catch up. I said it was speculation: as such, it doesn’t need a “citation” and of course it won’t be in the Catechism.

    So, you’re allowed to comment on things that aren’t in the catechism and be immune from criticism by calling it ‘speculation’ but everyone else must abide by the official church teachings?

  137. emmet says

    Re condoms:

    Sure, Trujillo was a bigwig. But just because the media report his comments as “The Vatican says…” doesn’t actually mean he speaks for the Church. Confusing for the atheist in the street, poor communication on the Church’s part, an embarrassment for other Catholics, sure… but not official Catholic teaching.

    On a side note, the book “Can we trust the BBC?” by R. Aitken looks at the programme that aired the two-minute portion of the one-hour interview with Trujillo that featured his comments about condoms. (Aitken’s conclusion, I think, was “Not really.”)

    If you’re interested (I’m sure you are, being keen seekers of truth and all) in the nuances of Trujillo’s views on condoms, here’s an article.

  138. emmet says

    Do you seriously think being detested for being ‘arrogant blowhards’ is anywhere near as bad as being detested for supporting an organisation that covers up thousands of child-rapes?

    I wasn’t aware it was a detestability contest.

    What I was actually pointing out … never mind.

    BTW, a general apology to all if it seems I’ve been flooding the combox in the last little while – it’s just that you’re all asleep up there at your end of the world and we’re all go down here, so I’ve just been sending things through as I ponder them.

  139. emmet says

    So, you’re allowed to comment on things that aren’t in the catechism and be immune from criticism by calling it ‘speculation’ but everyone else must abide by the official church teachings?

    No, criticise all you like. It’s a layman’s speculation.

    The official teaching of the Church is that Hell exists and is eternal – she has never claimed that any specific person is actually in hell. That opens the door to the idea that it may be unpopulated.

    (This is not the same as saying, “Hey, everyone goes to heaven no matter what!”)

  140. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Jemima reckons that the idea that people in heaven rejoice in the sufferings of people in hell is Catholic doctrine: that is, every Catholic is bound to believe that, and it is a teaching that won’t change.

    If “Catholic doctrine” is something that every Catholic believes, then I’m willing to bet that no Catholic doctrines actually exist. Especially if you do that thing where you count everyone who was baptized as Catholics.

    Way to set up an impossible standard of evidence, though.

  141. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    St. Thomas Aquinas was a “Doctor of the Church”, i.e., an authority on Catholic doctrine. That’s not to say everything he wrote is gospel (sorry, couldn’t resist) but if some lay member of the Church wants to dispute his writings then they better have some good backup for the disputation. “Nope, ain’t doctrine” is not sufficient backup.

  142. Therrin says

    It’s just like a fucking Catholic to ignore the abuse of children to fuss over the proper interpretation of dogma, and it’s exactly why I find you repellent.

    I wasn’t ignoring the abuse of children, I was ignoring one more atheist blogger’s rant about something about which they appear to know very little – or if they know more than they say here, can’t be bothered writing about critically.

    Seriously? You’re actually now defending the rape of children? Or do you think that all the victims that have come forward are just “misremembering” what actually happened? Do inform us, what part of child rape is the Catholic church not sanctioning? What do we “know very little” about? Enlighten us, so that we may know what you know and not wallow in our ignorance. That is, of course, unless it’s actually you that hasn’t been paying attention.

    Or is that not YOUR Catholic church? They sure think they’re the Catholic ones! Funny how that works.

    Oh, and about writing critically? If you think rape isn’t bad, there’s a football legend you’re going to love.

  143. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Emmet, I see you failed to provide any conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity, or that your babble isn’t a book of mythology/fiction, tacitly acknowledging your sophistimicated theology is nothing but self-serving lies and bullshit. Welcome to reality based thinking.

  144. says

    So far she hasn’t been able to provide that evidence

    Emmet, I did not include footnotes in my original email to PZ. I’ve cited and linked and quoted since. You haven’t. You’ve asserted that no one ever said those in Heaven can see those in Hell – Jesus said it, in one of the more famous stories from the Bible. You said Hell isn’t ‘fire and brimstone’, and that’s simply nonsense, and I’ve cited where the Bible says that it is.

    If you think I’m wrong, then practice what you preach: cite. Unless your position is that Catholic theology has never discussed Hell?

    There are two issues:

    1. Do sinners delight in the suffering of the damned?
    2. Is this Catholic doctrine/teaching?

    I’ve demonstrated beyond any doubt that the Bible, Aquinas and other authorities say the answer to (1) is ‘yes’.

    As for the second point … ‘Catholic teaching’ and ‘Catholic doctrine’ are notoriously slippy. What men are taught in seminaries is simple: God is unknowable. That’s what priests and theologians will tell each other, that’s the God they talk about in private. Here’s the second thing they’re taught: the masses want something more reassuring and concrete. They want a friendly man with a beard, like the Sistine Chapel.

    So they are taught to evade questions like ‘does God think saints will delight in the suffer of sinners?’ with statements like ‘does that sound like God to you?’.

    Ask your priest that question. He will not say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, he will evade. Go on, try it. Double dare you.

    What constitutes ‘Catholic teaching’ is slippery. There are ‘teachings’ that never, ever feature in a classroom. When Trujillo says something that Catholic teachers teach to students in a classroom and appears in teaching materials … that *doesn’t* count as ‘teaching’.

    Whether we can nail jelly to a wall is not the issue. Aquinas is accepted as an authority on this. It was an issue of great dispute in the early church, but it was settled in a way consistent with Aquinas.

    If I’m wrong, cite a source that says that. Or tell us what your priest said. The exact words he used. OK?

  145. says

    Did one of your seminarian contacts tell you this?

    Did you read Cloyne?

    It’s not ‘the Da Vinci Code’ to say that there’s been a criminal conspiracy to cover up child abuse in the Catholic Church, is it?

    Magee wrote two reports, one that was true (which went to the Vatican) and one that was lies (that went to the police). Police recovered the first document.

    Now, do you believe this was the very first time this had happened?

    What Cloyne demonstrates is that the Church were kept fully informed, and that there were policies in place to lie to the local authorities.

    If you think that only applied to one area of Ireland, it’s not Church policy? Well … where to start?

    Look, there are only two ways to defend the Church’s actions there or generally when it comes to the abuse scandal: ignorance or willful doublethink. Simple as that.

  146. says

    So, zoom-zoom, everyone heads off to heaven.

    The Bible has Jesus telling the story of a man in Hell, though. Revelation revels in the account of the damned meeting their fate.

    Emmet, you’re talking absolute nonsense, even in your own nonsensical terms. You’ve managed to come up with something even sillier than Catholicism, well done.

  147. says

    Emmet,

    Sure, Trujillo was a bigwig. But just because the media report his comments as “The Vatican says…” doesn’t actually mean he speaks for the Church. Confusing for the atheist in the street,

    Trujillo lied.

    Your argument is not that it’s not a lie, it’s merely that the lie is being mischaracterized as doctrine or an official position. I never said it was doctrine, I never said it was a case of ‘the Vatican says’, I only said it was a lie. Because it was a lie.

    Let’s discuss this. It was not just silly atheists that got confused – it was taught by Catholic nuns in Catholic schools. The Vatican did nothing to correct that.

    And I’ll say it again: when a senior Vatican man makes a statement to camera physically in the Vatican, in the clothes of office, about an area for which he is the senior Vatican figure, and the Vatican do nothing to contradict him, I don’t think it’s particularly odd to think it might carry some official weight. Not that it’s ‘doctrine’, but just that it’s not just some guy’s random opinion. It’s a reasonable working assumption, surely?

    The issue for me is not which pile we put that lie in. He lied, the lie was repeated. There was no official retraction or clarification, the lie was allowed to stand. There was then a concerted effort, which you’ve fallen for, to suggest that the BBC were biased when they *showed him on camera saying what he said*. That propaganda effort was, itself, a further lie.

    Trujillo, just about as senior figure as you can get at the Vatican, said something very foolish and wrong. A statement with a death toll. And rather than admit that quickly, the Vatican blustered that he was right, covered for him, then came up with excuses.

    And I come back to the closing line of my original email: if they’re telling you the truth, why do the holy men lie so much?

  148. says

    I suppose I would add, though, that having ‘member of the Hitler Youth’ on the resume isn’t some neutral thing. I understand why he covered it up, why the Vatican doesn’t like to talk about him fighting for Hitler (there are some good questions unanswered, too, like what rank he reached). But he was young, his country was being attacked, I don’t blame him.

    Honestly, it’s not as if he had a choice in that. Hang him for the crimes he commited willingly, not for the ones he was forced to commit.
    My own anti-fascist, atheist grandpa had to serve in the Wehrmacht. He’d have loved to turn the gun around and helped to fell Hitler, probably would have if the French hadn’t deported them back to Germany, but as things were he knew that he couldn’t, because it would have meant the death of his parents and sisters

    Sure, Trujillo was a bigwig. But just because the media report his comments as “The Vatican says…” doesn’t actually mean he speaks for the Church. Confusing for the atheist in the street, poor communication on the Church’s part, an embarrassment for other Catholics, sure… but not official Catholic teaching.

    yes, it’s that wonderfull technically not lying thingy they keep going:
    Trujillo says some shit as the catholic authority that he is, which the Vatican actually likes but knows to be wrong. Instead of stomping it out hard and good, issuing a press-release immediately, making Trujillo correct himself publicly, they just shut up.
    And then the good sheep like you come along and defend the mother church because they never officially said anything and did a “poor job at communication”.
    You know, if somebody publicly utters a statement and you just stand beside them and, even though you have all the time, means and possibilities in the world, don’t correct it, oppose it, challenge it, it is generally seen as condoning it.
    And if you go to court, it is considered lying and a criminal offence.
    It’s the same with the fucking Pius-Brotherhood and that Holocaust-denying Nazi Williamson: When it came to light Ratzi just claimed that he hadn’t known.
    So, either the RCC is run worse than a street-corner shop, his advisors lied to him, or he consciously made that decision and then lied to the public

  149. KG says

    emmet@157,

    Your article is packed with irrelevancies; no-one has ever claimed either that condoms are 100% protection, or that behavioural changes other than condom use are not worthwhile. Trujillo lied; his superiors did not repudiate the lie. That lie could be expected to make it harder for women, especially Catholic women, to insist on condom use, and give Catholic men an excuse for not using them. In doing so, that lie will have killed an uncalculable but almost certainly large number of people.

    HIV infection rates are now falling in most countries. A recent South African study (Journal of the Royal Society Interface, DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2011.0826, abstract here concludes that most of the decline in that country is due to increased condom use. No doubt your lying church will find some other lie to tell in the service of its vile misogyny and homophobia.

    Lies about condoms; lies told to cover up an endemic culture of child rape in one country after another; lies about the Church’s enabling of and collaboration with fascism and Nazism in the 1930s. Your church is founded on lies and run by liars.

  150. chigau (同じ) says

    emmet
    You are wrong about my tongue.

    First, the Catholic Church doesn’t need me to Be Her Defender.
    She’s defended herself admirably through the last 2000 years.

    If the Roman Catholic Church does not require you (a Roman Catholic) to Defend Her, that is a Major change in doctrine from when I was a Roman Catholic. Are you separate from the Church​?

  151. csmiller says

    Emmet, if (for the sake of argument), Leon Panetta, US Secretary of Defense, were to say

    Elbonia’s president is a despotic murder; we must implement full sanctions against Elbonia immediately.

    and he did not make it clear that this is own opinion, and President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, nor any other senior member of the Obama Cabinet were to publicly contradict Panetta, would he be taken as speaking for Obama? For most countries (and other large organisations), the answer would be ‘Yes’.

    Since Trujillo is a senior member of the Vatican, anything he says, unless publicly corrected, is taken by most people as being the official thoughts of the Vatican.

  152. says

    Since Trujillo is a senior member of the Vatican, anything he says, unless publicly corrected, is taken by most people as being the official thoughts of the Vatican.

    Let me pre-empt Emmet – he’s going to say ‘well, then most people are wrong’. And they are … technically. But when other priests, nuns, teachers in Catholic schools and textbooks make the same mistake, how can we be blamed for making it?

    The Catholic Church has a very strict, small definition of which of its statements are ‘infallible’. They don’t even list which ones are infallible, people have had to piece it together. I noted one earlier – the ordination of women.

    They are used sparingingly because if an infallible statement is proven false, Catholic theology holds that it’s game over for Catholicism. It’s all been bullshit. The last Pope issued a statement saying it was an eternal truth that women couldn’t be ordained. The current Pope clarified that this statement *was* infallible.

    Women have been ordained in the past – Ludmila Javorova, for example. Leaving that aside, it closes the door on women ordination for all time. In 50,000AD if one woman is ordained, that’s the end of Catholicism … and people at the Vatican panicked when they realized that, and have furiously backpedaled. John Paul II said it for venal political reasons – he wanted to sheepsteal Anglicans, who’d just voted to allow women priests – but it’s painted the Church into a corner they really don’t want to be in. Which is, of course, FUCKING HILARIOUS.

    Emmet, if you don’t believe me, ask your priest to give you a yes or no answer to a very simple statement: ‘is it infallible doctrine that a woman can never be ordained a Catholic priest?’.

    It is the work of moments to find statements that the Catholic Church have declared ‘infallible’ that are false. The notion of infallibility was itself declared to be a lie about Catholics spread by Protestants in a Catholic Catechism the year before the First Vatican Council declared that Papal Infallibility as doctrine. Subsequent editions of the same Catechism stated that it had always been doctrine.

    (Emmet – I’ll gladly source this, on one condition: when I do, you admit I was right. Deal?)

    But this is the point: the people in charge of saying what’s ‘doctrine’ are also the people who define all the terms. The players are also the referees, and their decision is final. So when they answer a question ‘no’ one year and ‘yes’ the next, they’ve not contradicted themselves, they’ve ‘come to a new understanding entirely consistent with the previous position’.

    Lies. Self-deception? No, I don’t think so. To change position from ‘yes’ to ‘no’ and claim you haven’t is either conscious dishonesty or serious mental illness.

    Sorry … still thinking about that headline: “Catholic Church’s Pedophilia Investigator Jailed For Pedophilia”. I mean … seriously, Emmet, if you’re still a Catholic at that point, I think perhaps you may be beyond all reason. There are more ex-Catholics in the US now than Catholics, you know. More people left the Church in Germany last year than were baptized. Attendance at seminaries is at 6% the level it was in 1960.

    Certainly, we’ll see yet more dioceses collapse and merge and declare bankruptcy. It’s a shame. I do think a lot of people in the Church do good work. But ultimately it wasn’t atheists getting in through cracks in the wall that killed your religion, it was the wall, and what your holy men got up to hidden behind that wall. It does warm my heart, I have to admit, to realize that the last Pope may already have been born.

  153. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Hi, Jemima! Both your essay and yourass-kicking rampage in the comments are quite awesome.

    I’m curious regarding the source for this:

    There are more ex-Catholics in the US now than Catholics, you know.

    …since last I heard, ex-Catholics were about 10% in USA, and Catholics about 20%.

  154. Brownian says

    It’s not a belief of mine. Catch up. I said it was speculation.

    Yawn. What was that about being an arrogant blowhard?

    Your cowardly tendency to use the word ‘speculation’ when you want to distance yourself from a claim you can’t support but still want to be throw it out there is nearly pathological.

  155. says

    Your cowardly tendency to use the word ‘speculation’ when you want to distance yourself from a claim you can’t support but still want to be throw it out there is nearly pathological.

    It’s a very common theist debating tactic, not just an Emmet thing. Posts 1-5: passionately define and defend a position, post 6: ‘oh, that’s what some people believe, not me, why would you think that>’.

    It’s dishonest. Not a ‘lie’ so much, but definitely not truthful in intent. The problem’s simple: atheists can’t disprove ‘gods’, that weird, poorly-defined, abstract concept. But give us a target, we can blast it apart pretty easily, assuming words mean what words mean (hence the other tactic, redefining very easy words to mean something else: ‘yes, it’s taught by teachers from textbooks in schools to students, but it’s not *a teaching*’).

    Some of it seems to be so instinctive that I doubt they even realize they’re doing it. I think the reason’s easy enough: if you accept God exists, then to the first approximation, nothing else matters – logic, facts, reason, numbers, statistics, consistency.

    This was the basic point of my original email. Science makes mistakes, there are dogmas and institutional wisdoms and pressures. But it knows it’s a work in progress. It sometimes simplifies things for a general audience. It simply doesn’t flat out *lie* in the way religions do. It does not have an elite who are initiated into the truth and a different message for the masses. It is careful to define and to stick to those definitions.

    Catholicism is well defined and consistent by the standards of these things. But it’s still ramshackle and shoddy the moment you start interrogating it. It still buckles under the sheer absurdity. It still has a serious disconnect between what it teaches and reality (just try getting a Catholic to explain who Adam and Eve were and how it’s consistent with evolution, it’s *hilarious*. Here’s a nice gambit: ‘OK … you say the dinosaurs went extinct 65M years ago, but you also say there was no death before the Fall’).

    Truth shouldn’t need lies to defend it. Scientific truths, when you see them, almost always have a ‘oh shit, that’s so … pure’ quality to them. They’re simple, elegant, obvious in retrospect. And quite unlike the scribbled, self-contradictory nonsense proposed by religions.

  156. says

    So perhaps you may want to go fuck yourself. –jemimacole #117

    Right on! I’m extremely depressed that I missed reading and/or participating in this thread when it was still going. Damn, damn, damn!

  157. Owlmirror says

    Oh, look. It’s Pilt. Can’t stay away, can you?

    Absolutely null and utterly void.

    It’s interesting that you would condemn women who died in prison — denied the sacraments by a Communist dictatorship — to the Hell of the unshriven.

    Of course, “bitches ain’t shit”, under Catholicism, right? With the single exception of the putatively Unfucked and Never-fucked Mary.

    Only mankind enjoyed prelapsarian immortality.

    Define “mankind”. Does it include all members of the genus Homo?

    And related to that — are you a fan of the incest or the bestiality theory of where Cain got his wife?

    Just curious.

    (The Tree of Life!)

    What, the tree that wasn’t eaten from, even in the myth that mentions it? How is that even relevant?

  158. says

    The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

    That could be read that they had access to the tree before hand (they were only barred from eating the knowledge fruit) and now are cut off from their source.

    But then there’s that problem of God using the plural “us” and expressing fear of “their” own creations.

  159. Owlmirror says

    That could be read that they had access to the tree before hand (they were only barred from eating the knowledge fruit) and now are cut off from their source.

    But the “and take also” implies that he hadn’t done so yet.

  160. says

    @OwlMirror

    Or that the problem would be the combination of the two fruit.
    IE being smart AND immortal. rather than immortal and easily manipulated or pacified by the “got your nose” trick

  161. janine says

    Stop for one moment and think of this line.

    Absolutely null and utterly void.

    This is the line of a man with absolute conviction. It is about a subject that most atheist could support, let alone care about; women being ordained by the RCC. That line shows contempt that the speaker has about women, a contempt that his beloved church holds.

    But also, think of this. There was a time when this institution was the most powerful organization in Europe. This was also a time when it is arguable that the Arabic, Indian and Chinese civilizations were more advanced and more powerful. But this line: Absolutely null and utterly void. is spoken by a man who has no power, no sway, no way for it to be enforced outside of the RCC.

    The only power he has to to say statements that can only be supported by two thousand years of collect dogma. He can only engage in furtive arguments with people, mostly his ethical superiors, people who’s main weakness is that they are compelled to engage in arguments. Even if that person does not argue in good faith, just in absolute faith. That this person who, in an other time and an other place, would not engage in an argument but to silence any voice of herecy.

    Hoax, you are powerless. For this accident of history, I am grateful. If you could be what you wanted to be, you would gleefully have blood on your hands.

    Instead, I get to celebrate that fact that you live a life of constant frustrations.

  162. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You don’t fuck with the Virgo Potens.

    No, one mocks such idiocy.

    That line shows the absolute conviction of the speaker that women can no more be fathers than men can be mothers.

    Which has nothing to do with the ability to act as a priest. As the evidence, not bullshit dogma, shows. Where is your physical evidence, not dogma and bullshit?

    How could a law pertaining to the RCC priesthood be enforced outside the RCC anyway?

    Why does the RCC continue to speak about abortion outside of their church? Massive ego problems and unreality with the leadership of course. Showing themselves to be megalomaniac losers.

  163. KG says

    Only mankind enjoyed prelapsarian immortality. (The Tree of Life!) – jonathangray

    Then the claim that there was no death is a lie. Plants die, non-human animals die.

    Of course, “bitches ain’t shit”, under Catholicism, right? With the single exception of the putatively Unfucked and Never-fucked Mary. – Owlmirror

    The RCC doesn’t look down on women! All a woman has to do to gain its respect is to be simultaneously a virgin and a mother.

  164. says

    ‘OK … you say the dinosaurs went extinct 65M years ago, but you also say there was no death before the Fall’

    Ha! Sapper KG detonated that one under me once … Cracks appeared. St Thomas amply filled the breach. Only mankind enjoyed prelapsarian immortality. (The Tree of Life!)

    Before I deal with your confusion over the ordination of women, can I just establish your position on this?

    Simply put: do you swallow that shit? Do you think that’s an actual account of history, of what really, scientifically, happened, or do you consider that to be just a neat bit of solipsism that closes a plot hole in a story?

    What do *you* think? What do you, personally, believe to be the case? With special reference to post #177.

  165. chigau (違う) says

    I know you are including non-cis people in this talk about mothers.
    Do you think the RCC does?

  166. says

    is spoken by a man who has no power, no sway, no way for it to be enforced outside of the RCC.

    Well … that’s the thing.

    A generation ago, it would have been unthinkable to have women priests. Then Anglicanism allowed it in the early 1990s. There were those in the Church of England who hated this, and threatened to leave.

    For entirely cynical political reasons – to ‘sheepsteal’, as it’s called – John Paul II made a declaration in 1994 that women would never be ordained as Catholic priests. It’s a very common pattern – if you look at when the Church became so anti contraception, it was when Anglicanism allowed it. (NB: there was always stuff on the books about contraception, but it was just never a big deal until the twentieth century.)

    The reason John Paul II made the declaration was precisely because he wanted people – existing Catholics and Anglican converts – to vote with their feet.

    So, yes, individual Catholics have power. If you look at why people leave religions, the vast majority of people don’t become atheists, they move to a different church that they believe has firmer doctrine. Religious people like certainty and tradition, on the whole. There is a liberal wing of Catholicism, but it’s massively outnumbered by the socially conservative.

    The Vatican is simply not in a strong enough position at the moment to risk alienating its existing followers.

  167. says

    You don’t fuck with the Virgo Potens.

    Back in my angry goth high school days I remember writing down notes for a story idea where the main villain was a demon who was Teh evilest being in existence, and feared even by Lucifer. He was kicked out of heaven not for the initial rebellion, but well…he reasoned he would never be known or notable as an angel, but saw an opportunity to be the apex of something, so he raped the Virgin Mary. I’m thinking that’s in the “not funny” category now but man would it cause Catholic conniptions.

  168. janine says

    That line shows the absolute conviction of the speaker that women can no more be fathers than men can be mothers.

    So says the man who wants who wants a return to the Inquisition.

    That says enough of what you think of women.

  169. Brownian says

    That line shows contempt that the speaker has about women

    That line shows the absolute conviction of the speaker that women can no more be fathers than men can be mothers.

    That’s right, everyone: absolute conviction. I mean, it’s a biological fact, right? Next…

    But this line: Absolutely null and utterly void. is spoken by a man who has no power, no sway, no way for it to be enforced outside of the RCC.

    How could a law pertaining to the RCC priesthood be enforced outside the RCC anyway?

    Oops, he meant ‘inviolable concept of father’ in the arbitrary definition of the RCC priesthood that’s unenforceable outside of its own walls of dogma manned by pissants. So, not at all like the conviction that women can no more be fathers than men be mothers.

    Classic bait ‘n’ switch.

    Stick to mouthing the names of saints. You’re never very good when you’re working off book. You’re just not good at thinking.

  170. Owlmirror says

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/11782305/They-Have-Taken-Away-My-Lord-Father-Demaris

    Fascinating:

      The circumstances where these laws do not oblige,are those where God’s Will manifests itself to obtain our salvation without the intermediary of man.
      God needs nobody but Himself to save us when He so desires.

    He’s basically declaring the entire Church to be redundant and unnecessary! If it’s possible to obtain salvation when deprived by circumstance of the Church’s intervention, it is by implication possible to obtain salvation without the Church’s intervention at all.

    So much for Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.

    That line shows the absolute conviction of the speaker that women can no more be fathers than men can be mothers.

    What is it, exactly, that priests do, that specifically requires a Y-chromosome and a penis and testicles?

  171. janine says

    What is it, exactly, that priests do, that specifically requires a Y-chromosome and a penis and testicles?

    Makes semen, the building blocks of existence.

  172. says

    What is it, exactly, that priests do, that specifically requires a Y-chromosome and a penis and testicles?

    The historical answer to that is magnificently insane:

    Christianity evolved from a branch of Judaism particularly keen on ritual purity. Only those ritually pure could enter certain holy sites, and certain priestly duties could only be performed in those sites. When women menstruate, they are not pure. They are pure when they’re not menstruating. But rather than risk a priest who might start menstruating during a service, they banned women priests. Yes, even the post-menopausal ones.

    To recap: Catholicism doesn’t allow women priests because *back in the Iron Age* *a now defunct faction* of *a different religion* didn’t allow women to officiate in ceremonies *that the Catholics don’t actually perform* in *places with no sacred significance to Catholics*.

    The pragmatic answer is basically the same: a bunch of creepy male weirdoes think women’s bits are icky.

    To clarify: the Vatican says a man, if approved by the church, can, say, rape a menstruating thirteen year old girl and five minutes later perform his priestly duties and that’s fine.

  173. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    What is it, exactly, that priests do, that specifically requires a Y-chromosome and a penis and testicles?

    Because a bunch of male, professional virgins think women are icky. It’s like 8 year old boys talking about girls’ cooties, only with added dogma.

  174. janine says

    If you want to know more about this Catholic joker, jemimacole; go to the SB version of Pharyngula and enter “Piltdown Man” in the search engine. He is a twisted bit of meat, calling for the return of the Inquisition and a Catholic monarchy. PZ allowed him to comment for years but got tired of the one note buzzing and banned him. He likes to come back and communicate with us even though PZ deletes his posts. As you can see, there are people who cannot resist his siren call.

    He is the proud result of a man who uses modern tools in order to pretend that he is a medieval man. It is as sick as it sounds.

  175. says

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2021519,00.html

    A good article here.

    I’d ask Jonathan Gray the same question I asked Emmet, the one Emmet ran away from: is the 1994 declaration that women can’t be ordained infallible doctrine or not?

    The answer is entirely pragmatic and cynical. It’s that it’s considered infallible at the moment. In other words, when they change their mind, they’ll say it turns out it wasn’t infallible, after all.

    My main point in my original ‘why I’m an atheist’ post was that religion exists in an ecosystem of lies. Flat out counterfactual statements, but also hedging, disingenuous remarks, deliberate ambiguity, the deliberate leaving of loopholes.

    This is a great example. It’s a question that ought to have a straightforward answer. Why doesn’t it? Because the Catholic hierarchy is split, it knows that there will be official women priests at some point, probably the first half of this century, it knows that it, like the Anglican Church, will schism when that happens.

    Or, you know, they could try honesty.

  176. janine says

    Also, as a minor point; I do not care if a woman is ever ordained in the RCC. It fall in the same list of concerns as a black person becoming a Grand Dragon. They should be free to do so but why would any sane and ethical person ever do it.

  177. says

    Also, as a minor point; I do not care if a woman is ever ordained in the RCC.

    I’m not, nor have I ever been a Catholic. I think, except where it harms others, they can do what they like. As with Mormon posthumous baptizing, the ritual stuff is manifestly too nonsensical to be even very interesting.

    I think there are important points.

    1. The Catholic Church, even the clergy, does contain sane, rational people of all political and social persuasions. That the Vatican and the hierarchy in the US has become a shrill anti-contraception, anti-gay pressure group is not reflective of most Catholics, and it’s most certainly not what the Church *has* to be. The Church has, essentially, been hijacked by a very old rearguard who blame ‘liberalism’ for everything. Including absurd things like Hitler and their own child-rape scheme.

    2. I think it’s the classic case study in religion lying and the different ways in which it lies, from ‘2 + 2 = 5′ blatant stuff through to self delusion.

    The issue of women priests isn’t very interesting. It will happen, it will strengthen the church when it does. I’m only raising it to note that when it does, the dogma and doctrine and precedents and previous statements to the effect that the world will end the moment a woman is ordained will be quietly forgotten.

    Here’s the thing: science. Science *admits* it’s a work in progress, that it doesn’t have everything right. The scientific consensus has changed way more than Catholic dogma in the last two hundred years. And that’s it’s *strength*. It does look monolithic and institutional and even dogmatic at times … but it values truth, it values honesty, it values those higher than it does political convenience. Religion simply doesn’t.

    Catholic doctrine changes and ends up at a place remarkably politically convenient. So, in China, where they’re not in power, the Vatican is all for religious diversity. In South America, where they dominate religious life, Catholic priests absolve the death squads sent to wipe out other religions.

    As for Piltdown Man, or whatever … well, it’s easy enough: let’s see his cards. Let’s see what he’s got. He may surprise us, it may not be bullshit, contradiction and retraction disguised as persecution complex.

  178. janine says

    Piltdown Man has shown what he got. Look it up. He is not welcome to repeat himself here.

  179. Owlmirror says

    enter “Piltdown Man” in the search engine.

    Or rather, the quoted phrase “by: Piltdown Man”. There are creationists who bring up the palaeoanthropological hoax itself.

    ======

    My main point in my original ‘why I’m an atheist’ post was that religion exists in an ecosystem of lies. Flat out counterfactual statements, but also hedging, disingenuous remarks, deliberate ambiguity, the deliberate leaving of loopholes.

    That’s Piltdown Man’s defence of Catholicism in a nutshell, all right.

    ======

    I do not care if a woman is ever ordained in the RCC.

    Meh, I would generally approve if it indicated the institution becoming more liberal, egalitarian, and nondogmatic.

    I mean, as an atheist, I don’t think anyone should believe that an invisible person with magical superpowers exists, let alone the ludicrous notion that some collection of people — of whatever gender — have a magic connection to this putative invisible person with magical superpowers such that they can say magic words over crackers and/or fermented grape juice which magically makes the magic essence of the invisible person with magical superpowers go into the crackers and/or wine to be magically consumed by everyone. And all the other magic tricks that priests can supposedly do, like put magic water on people, or listen to people tell how they broke the rules of the invisible person with magical superpowers, and absolve them of the rule-breaking, and so on.

    I mean, it’s all just silly.

    But there’s a misogynistic pettiness in the whole business of “Only boys can do the magic tricks. Gurls not allowed!”, which it might be good to see ended, as long as the silliness is going on anyway.

  180. says

    Janine, I see what you mean. I Googled, too, and it’s pretty funny to see him condemn evolution as ‘mud to man’ … er, isn’t that literally what the Bible said happened?

    OK … he’s an adamandeveist. Got you. Fair enough. While there is some fun to be had in watching them try to explain how ‘the universe was created quickly and man is a special creation’ with ‘it took billions of years and we have a common ancestor with every lifeform on the planet’, it’s also a fairly well-worn track.

  181. Brownian says

    The problem with Pilty is that he enjoys the hit-and-run too much. He’s most fun when you get him on a lengthy thread like this, because he never met a length of rope he didn’t want to play out until he had enough to hang himself. (For instance, I very much enjoyed demonstrating that both he and Aquinas have no coherent definition of the “perfection of Jesus”, for instance, and that it’s simply ugly spackle to cover a theological hole (i.e. how could Jesus’ death, or the temporary death of any immortal deity, be considered a sacrifice?) in this thread.)

    It’s been said that “creationism lost its best argument when the Catholic Church stopped burning people at the stake.” Pilty is living proof of this.

  182. says

    I’m sorry Pilty was allowed to run off at the mouth for so long, but I’ve been busy. Please, in the future, when that asshole shows up, do not respond to him. His comments all get deleted eventually.

  183. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Jemima, you think that the last Pope may have been born already.
    But now the question is: is the future first Mome already among us?

  184. Owlmirror says

    I Googled, too, and it’s pretty funny to see him condemn evolution as ‘mud to man’

    Actually, I’m pretty sure that was a different commentator calling himself “Piltdown man”, on Greg Laden’s blog.

    The Jonathan Gray Piltdown Man offered a citation from the Pontifical Biblical Commission on what is acceptable in interpreting Genesis, and more explicitly said “So as I understand it, if a Catholic finds Darwin’s theory of evolution to be true beyond all reasonable doubt, he can accept it in good faith.”

    But then the discussion went into what the bible actually says, and after some digression and linguistic hair-splitting, he had a bit of a meltdown about the translations of the bible provided by the Vatican itself.

      “If some bozos at the Vatican want to put the poxy New American Bible version on their poxy website, more fool them. They can go to hell.”

    Hee!

  185. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Oy, I think I remember a neat little discussion about whether considering the Catholic church insufficiently Catholic makes you a Protestant.