Aren’t Catholics supposed to be the sensible ones?


If so, how to explain this commentary by Cardinal Pell of Sydney, Australia?

I know. Every time I turn around someone tells me that nobody except a few nuts really believes that stuff.

Comments

  1. Chance says

    I don’t know anyone who thinks catholics are sensible except in some of their science views. The rest of their religion is far wackier than any fundy Protestant could imagine.

    In my experience most of the majority of superstitious individuals I have met were catholics.

  2. CalGeorge says

    Maybe he read this:

    “As glaciers and icecaps melted at the end of the last Ice Age, sea levels rose and dramatically changed the world, perhaps nowhere more dramatically than in what is now the Black Sea, where, according to some researchers, a flood 7600 years ago filled the basin.”

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/clihis10k.html

    Just don’t tell the folks who believe the world is only 6,000 years old.

  3. Caledonian says

    They’re all nuts. There isn’t a one of them who both has sense and is willing to apply it.

  4. Tex says

    How in the hell can anyone expect Catholics to be the reasonable ones when their hierarchy systematically covered up buggaring of young boys by their priests, yet church members continue on, pretending like nothing ever happened.

    If I were an all powerful devil who wanted to unleash a great evil upon the world, I don’t think I could come up with a more sick and devious plan than to convince priests to violate the most innocent humans who trust them because they are doing god’s work.

    This whole situation is very powerful proof that either 1) a personal god does not exist, or 2) that he is in favor of buggaring little boys.

    In light of the rest of Catholicism, the Cardinal’s historical views seem quite quaint.

  5. says

    Only a few nuts believe that.

    OK, I said it. Now the real stuff. Sensible is not really the right word for religion. I think that many try, and some succeed (yes, compartmentalization, etc., we’ve been over all of this) to be fairly sensible where science is concerned. Most, though, know little about it and are prone to let their religion override their science–if they have any science knowledge at all.

    So it’s always a struggle for the church to maintain a unified and sensible voice, even about science. When you have a Pope like JP2 who appears to have been embarrassed by a lot of nonsense and persecution in the past, the word is out that they ought to stick to science as far as possible (I assume they’re told more or less what to say, since they usually don’t know science). Those are the golden times, but they don’t do anything about the fundamental ignorance of most cardinals, bishops, priests, whoever is supposed to be taking in JP2’s counsels.

    Then the latest yahoo comes along and gets “elected” (anyone know what that really means? At the least it is said that the “best candidate” almost never wins). He’s all over the map, trying to please the dullards and the intelligent at the same time, as well as to minimalize literalistic evangelists from stealing their many ignorant sheep (they needn’t be so ignorant, but the church hasn’t bothered to change that situation much, with a few notable exceptions).

    So then the stupid ones know that their stupidity is safe (however, they don’t know it’s stupidity, in all probability) and we hear any number of ignorant priests (or whatever) just telling it like they “know” things to be. The Cardinal Pells are there all of the time, it’s just that sometimes the hierarchy keeps them from making fools of themselves. Today it doesn’t.

    This is the problem with Benedict’s weaseling around the issues. The denouncers of science, like Schoenborn and Pell, know that they have free rein to denounce science, like in the good old days.

    I wonder if they can hold onto their more intelligent people when the pope gives license to the able and willing idiots in high office.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

  6. says

    Pell is not one of the sensible ones, if there are any. He has railed against “Darwinism” before, and is one of the more conservative (i.e., to the right of Ratzinger and Schönborn) Archibishops out there. He has no knowledge or understanding of any science, and is sometimes mentioned as a possible future pope…

  7. says

    Uh…did the Catholic priest just say that humans had nothing to do with Noah’s flood? *crickets*

    I thought the flood was TOTALLY because of humans and their sinful nature.
    BUSTED!

  8. says

    The following is a parody of the anthropic principle (an idea that got way the fuck out of control among faith-heads):

    Around the time of Gram Parson’s Grievous Angel, a guy named Brandon Carter postulated an ideology entitled “the anthropic principle.” This theory basically states that although the earth may not be the center of the universe, it is certainly one of the most convenient places for life to exist (due in part to twenty-four hour grocery stores). To further explicate the fundamental “luckiness” of the survival of carbon-based elements, a theoretical probability equation was implemented to illustrate a methodological framework. Incidentally, various metaphysical theologians soon believed that the origin of all cosmological phenomena and interplanetary mediums must have been fond of Arturo Fuente cigars while resembling Hans Langseth. This overly eager misconception led to the disappearance of Brandon Carter for over a decade and his decidedly triumphant return as the cleverly disguised Carter Beauford of The Dave Mathews Band (after all, he figured, if there was cosmic justice you’d see Doris Stokes collecting unemployment and less astrology books being sold at yard sales). Through the gentle persuasion of colleagues and a year supply of charcoal, Carter was able to resume work on his original theory in attempts to embellish contemporary constructions by leading cosmologists concerning strings, M’s, the multi-verse, free-verse and cadence-verse as it applies to the poetry of Terry Eagleton. It wasn’t long thereafter that Nobel Laureates became aware of the idea that our universe may not be alone in its universality. In other words, there may exist even greater civilizations and greater structures than the Dallas Cowboy’s new stadium. No longer does the anthropic bias continue to display fine-tuning and the idea of Tony Dorsett debating Nick Bostrom in another galaxy now seems quite plausible…
    Unfortunately, the topic of infinite regress eventually turned to the mating habits of the Madagascar cockroach. But why the existence of something rather than nothing? Why do roaches eat their own feces and cannibalize their young? Why do roaches, after eating their own feces and cannibalizing their young, go copulate in nests after they spread dysentery? Why do roaches spread their feces to leave pheromones to attract other roaches that eat the feces and then want to copulate vigorously again and again and again? Why will roaches outlive the human species and do so by hanging out in a floor drain long after we have commenced to secure our own extinction in this precarious ecosphere of biological vicissitudes. Surely this implies a grand designer; or at least an ontologically perfect and large roach that eschews space and time. The transcendence and invisibility of this roach is part of what it is. The roach is neither in the universe nor outside the universe. It is simply the causa sui of possibility–the possibility of all roach potential. Needless to say, this valid and luminously articulate argument plagued the department of physics at The University of Texas for several years and led to numerous counterargument films depicting the omnipotent vileness of roaches–even if their entomological nature exuded love and freedom. Many Kafkaesque book clubs began forming and heated discussions arose concerning why it may be better to leave roaches alone than to interfere with their dictatorial destiny in the cosmos. Some theoretical astrophysicists firmly believe that the decision to keep eight instead of nine planets has something to do with our denial of roach life elsewhere. Perhaps Pluto? And why not? Pluto certainly provides an accommodating atmosphere for roaches. Ice has never deterred some serious roach fornication. Besides that, according to future computer predictions, once the earth is gone Pluto’s temperature will shift upwards and resemble that of downtown Tampa.

    In conclusion, an anthropic bias toward roaches may indeed prove the infinite love inherent in roaches and their possible link to particle potential. However, assuming that a metaphysical roach is gender specific may exhibit a premature postulation as to the nature of roach divinity. Many questions regarding these issues remain answerable only in the realm of theoretical pest control and have no place in the academic community.

  9. llewelly says

    I wonder what he thinks the timing of Noah’s flood was, with respect to the ice ages. Before, or after?

  10. says

    I wrote a post about Pell last week (link). He’s pretty goofy.

    Catholics in general are indeed more sensible than Protestants (if you can even agree on what Protestantism is; Protestants sure can’t), but the bottom line is that it’s all Christianity. A religion. Saints preserve us from religion! It’s a difficult task to be “more sensible” in a religious context, because that’s a superstitious belief system. However, with nearly 2000 years of practice, Catholic theologians can usually run rings around upstart Protestants, some of whose churches are mere decades old. I guess it’s like winning a prize for telling the best tall tale.

    But my residual sympathy for my childhood faith is showing.

  11. Geoffrey says

    There’s a huge gap here between the ground-level Catholics (mostly sensible people, going by the ones I know) and folk like Pell; I’m vaguely curious to see how much wider it can get before they give up trying to hold it together as one church.

  12. Uber says

    Catholics in general are indeed more sensible than Protestants (if you can even agree on what Protestantism is; Protestants sure can’t

    I could not disagree with this more. Have you ever talked to an American Baptist(not the southern form), presby, Episcopalian, Methodist? All emminently more sensible than the catholics with their dead saints, holy water, virgin priests, and myriad of other superstitions.

    However, with nearly 2000 years of practice, Catholic theologians can usually run rings around upstart Protestants, some of whose churches are mere decades old.

    Please. Protestants scholarship have shown catholic doctrines to be wrong/ludicorus in many areas. I don’t know which debates you’ver read or seen but it hasn’t been the same that I’ve seen. I give some catholics points for some views on science but thats about it. Past that I think it’s the most superstition oriented of the bunch.

    But religious opinions are like a-holes.:-) We all got one.

  13. Tex says

    There’s a huge gap here between the ground-level Catholics (mostly sensible people, going by the ones I know)

    How can they be sensible if they still hold onto their faith after their priests have acted in such an evil fashion?

    Wouldn’t truly sensible people to come to their senses?

  14. says

    Tex: How can they be sensible if they still hold onto their faith after their priests have acted in such an evil fashion?

    That argument, Tex, could be applied much more broadly. Why are there still any Christians left after the behavior of Jimmy Swaggart, James Bakker, Ted Haggard, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Fred Phelps, etc.? Scandals aren’t the special province of Catholics (or, indeed, any other sect).

  15. Tex says

    Zeno,

    I completly agree. I thought we were focusing on Catholics here, since they instigated this particular instance of idiocy. I am wholly ecumenicial in my disdain for irrationality, however.

  16. says

    Pell is just reciting the mantra of the conservative party who sends a lot of money his way in faith based initiatives.

    When the ideology is that the economy can solve all problems and create no social, economic or environmental problems in the process; it is attractive to not only economic ideologues but to religious ideologues as well.

    Pell likes it because it means that religion is treated like a business corporation without any of the inconveniences of tax.

  17. Kenny Gee says

    As an Aussie I can tell you Pell is a nut, Whenever the media want a right wing view he is one of the ones they turn to. He is getting worst as his main rival is the pastor form a happy clappy creationist group Hillsong church. Sydney is a bit like New York in that it’s quite different from the Rest of Australia and for some reason it’s were the nutters are attracted.

  18. Uber says

    Jimmy Swaggart, James Bakker, Ted Haggard, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell

    Not defending any of these men but child molestation and rape is different from having volutary sex with another and then compounding it with a huge organizational cover up that includes moving the offending pedophiles to other positions with children.

    That is purely a catholic endeavor. Contrast that with the Haggard case. They immediately removed him. So in this regard Tex has a point.

  19. CalGeorge says

    Considering that climate change is going to be a major challenge in Australia, this guy needs to shut the fuck up.

    From the IPCC fourth assessment:

    The main findings about potential impacts were:
    · As a result of reduced precipitation and increasing evaporation, water security problems are projected to intensify by 2030 in southern and eastern Australia.
    · Loss of biodiversity is projected to occur by 2030 in ecologicallyrich sites including the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu wetlands, the Queensland Wet Tropics, southwest Australia, subAntarctic islands and alpine areas.
    · Ongoing coastal development and population growth, in areas such as Cairns and southeast Queensland, are projected to exacerbate risks from sealevel rise and increases in the severity and frequency of storms and coastal flooding by 2050 · Production from agriculture and forestry by 2030-2050 is projected to decline over much of southern and eastern Australia due to increased drought and fire.

    http://www.aussmc.org/documents/Release_RegionalOverview.pdf

  20. RobW says

    For some reason – probably due to the internal politics of each denomination – both the Catholic Archbishop and the Anglican Primate in Sydney are rightwing nuts, and generally regarded as such by the rest of their respective churches. And I guess the same goes for the Imam, who is also based in Sydney.

    I don’t know what the problem is. The rest of us Sydneysiders are pretty sensible.

  21. Geoffrey says

    Tex:

    How can they be sensible if they still hold onto their faith after their priests have acted in such an evil fashion?

    Partly because “their priests” mostly haven’t. There are enough bad priests in the Catholic hierarchy for it to be a significant problem, but there are also a lot who do a pretty good job at practising what they preach, and who spend more time worrying about the poor and disadvantaged than heaping shame on homosexuals.

    Uber:

    Not defending any of these men but child molestation and rape is different from having volutary sex with another and then compounding it with a huge organizational cover up that includes moving the offending pedophiles to other positions with children. That is purely a catholic endeavor.

    No, it isn’t. The Anglican church here in Australia has had several major abuse scandals; the Governor-General, a former Anglican archbishop, was forced to resign after evidence came out about inadequate handling of several instances of abuse by priests under his authority, amounting to a coverup. In the USA, the Baptists have also had several child-abuse scandals – see e.g. http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/19255.htm.

  22. Chris Nedin says

    Wait a minute wasn’t Noah’s Flood a result of human activity?

    “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

    And with a global warming-human activity link now pretty much established, what exactly is Pell trying to tell us . . . ?

    Global warming is another attempt to cleanse the Earth? Well, I guess if water didn’t work, try a heat treatment. Hmm, I can see it now:

    G: Bah! Look at that lot down there! I furnish them with a home and they populate it with idiots. Some of them even claim to be able to see MY designs in nature! Fools! MY designs are seamlessly integrated into the natural world, they only see their preconceived notions.

    “Go forth and multiply!” Great policy that turned out to be! Who’s idea was that?”

    Angel Admin team looks busy.

    G: It’s no good, I’ll have to cleanse it and start again. What did we use last time?

    Angel Admin: (looks through a book) Umm . . ., the usual, water. Springs, flood, rain, general dampness.

    G: I see, and how well did that work?

    Angel Admin team: Umm . . ., not very well. Pretty much the first thing the survivors did was to get drunk and sleep with family members.

    G: Well, scratch water then. What else is there?

    Angel Admin team: (looks through book) Umm . . ., there’s heat.

    G: Heat eh? Good idea, Crank up the theromstat.

    Angel Admin team: Shall we proceed on the normal 40 day timeframe?

    G: Naa. Do ’em slowly. I’ve got all day.

  23. Susannah says

    Uber: “Not defending any of these men but child molestation and rape is different from having volutary sex with another and then compounding it with a huge organizational cover up that includes moving the offending pedophiles to other positions with children.

    That is purely a catholic endeavor. Contrast that with the Haggard case. They immediately removed him.”

    That’s because he was “outed”. The cover-up and shifting around of sexual predators is as active in the Protestant churches as in the Catholic. Except that it is still mostly effective; in other words, most of it hasn’t hit the news yet. But it will; people (victims and their families) are working on that.

    For the tip of the iceberg, try a Google news alert, for “pastor, rape, child, abuse, (or) molestation” for a while: the results will startle you.

  24. amph says

    Pell claims that global warming is “nonsense” purveyed by “zealots” who paint “extreme scenarios to frighten us”.

    He obviously knows what he is talking about. This is something Catholics are really good at.
    After all hell is mentioned only a few times in the bible, but the Catholics turned it into this big thing where we all would like to see our enemies burn.

  25. NC Paul says

    @Chris Nedin
    God may also have noticed the “evil ducks” flaw in the Flood plan, as pointed out by Eddie Izzard. :)

    “There’s going to be a big Flood.”
    Ducks: “So?”

  26. sailor says

    “Jimmy Swaggart, James Bakker, Ted Haggard, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell
    “Not defending any of these men but child molestation and rape is different from having volutary sex with another and then compounding it with a huge organizational cover up that includes moving the offending pedophiles to other positions with children.

    That is purely a catholic endeavor. Contrast that with the Haggard case. They immediately removed him. So in this regard Tex has a point.”

    ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT. I went to church of england school in my youth (a very long time ago), the headmaster was a pedophile. Eventually it got so bad the church establishment had to to do something – so THEY SENT HIM TO AFRICA TO TEACH!

    Excuse the capital letters, it still makes me mad to think about it.

  27. Gerry says

    A young priest knocked at the door of Cardinal Pell’s residence and asked the maid who answered if he could see the great man.

    The maid answered “I’m sorry Father, but Cardinal Pell died this morning”, and weeping, she shut the door.

    Again the young priest knocked on the door, and again he asked for Cardinal Pell when the door was opened.

    The maid, thinking that perhaps he had not heard correctly, told him again that Cardinal Pell was dead, and closed the door.

    Again the young priest knocked on the door, and again he asked for Cardinal Pell.

    Thinking that this was very strange behaviour – indeed insensitive behaviour – the maid said, somewhat angrily, “Look, Father, I’m not not sure why you keep knocking. I’ve told you, Cardinal Pell is dead! What are you not understanding?”

    “Oh” said the young priest, “I understand perfectly. It’s just that I love hearing the words”.

  28. Michael Kremer says

    Cardinal Pell’s remarks on global warming are foolish in the extreme. Note: there is no problem with my saying this and remaining a practicing Catholic.

    On Noah and the Ice Age: I take Pell to be responding to theories according to which not only the Black Sea but also the Mediterranean was at least partially dry land during the Ice Age. On these theories, as I understand them, there was a sudden and catastrophic flood when ocean levels became high enough from glacial run-off to begin pouring water through the straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean basin (and then later through the Bosphorus in the Black Sea) — and this historical fact is what is dimly remembered in the Noah story, the Atlantis story, etc.

    Pell, as a Catholic, isn’t a biblical inerrantist fundamentalist, and is open to this sort of interpretation of the Bible, especially the more legendary material in Genesis. On this score I don’t think he’s foolish at all — though I don’t know enough about it to endorse the particular Ice Age – flood story hypothesis.

    But he’s clearly foolish on global warming. All he’s doing there is expressing his opinion, however, not exercising the teaching authority he is accorded within the Church. Still, I think he should be sharply criticized for his position here, which is not only wrong but dangerous, and which will carry some influence because of his position.

  29. MReap says

    Don’t know much about Sydney Catholics but if the leadership is anything like that of the Sydney Anglicans…oy vey.

  30. Ian H Spedding FCD says

    The alarming thing, as Dawkins and PZ and other have been pointing out, is that Pell is the sort of nut that ordinary people edge nervously away from if they are ‘civilians’, but put a bishop’s robes on them and the press are hanging respectfully on their every word.

    The point about respect for an individual, as so many other have pointed out, is that it has to be earned. I have to respect Ken Ham’s right to hold and speak the views he does but that does not prevent me despising the man himself.

  31. Caledonian says

    All he’s doing there is expressing his opinion, however, not exercising the teaching authority he is accorded within the Church.

    And how, pray tell, do we tell the difference? Perhaps you should invest in a neon sign.

  32. eewolf says

    pz’s argument is essentially correct. pell is spouting nonsense with the authority of his position in the church. So, where is the backlash from the rank and file? where is the backlash from the church authorities?

    there is none. pell is free to spout whatever he chooses while using his position of authority. if he is just so “nuts”, why does he continue to hold his position?

    and as far as the curious catholic/protestant arguments above, should we spend time discussing who has the best “moon hoax” theory next?

  33. quork says

    There’s a huge gap here between the ground-level Catholics (mostly sensible people, going by the ones I know) and folk like Pell;

    Remember that the Catholic church is the ultimate “big tent.” It includes everyone from the “mostly sensible” people you know to the tortilla worshippers.

  34. Uber says

    The cover-up and shifting around of sexual predators is as active in the Protestant churches as in the Catholic. Except that it is still mostly effective; in other words, most of it hasn’t hit the news yet

    Well until the evidence appears it’s not really appropriate to comment.

    ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT. I went to church of england school in my youth (a very long time ago), the headmaster was a pedophile. Eventually it got so bad the church establishment had to to do something – so THEY SENT HIM TO AFRICA TO TEACH!

    No doubt true. I would never say it doesn’t happen but Baptists don’t have a heirarchal structure that allows for this sort of thing as the catholics do, it’s almost systemic with that group. Likewise I’m sure there are Protestant bad apples also but they seem to be far fewer in number. Perhaps because they are allowed to have sex.

    as a Catholic, isn’t a biblical inerrantist fundamentalist, and is open to this sort of interpretation of the Bible

    This is what is funny about catholics. They rail against inerrantist fundies when in reality all they are doing is looking in the mirror. They hold there own doctrines inerrant, even the dogma that they make up as they go. This is why the fundy gets so much traction- because it is consistent- wrong but consistent. The RCC is wrong and inconsistent with reality with a heap of superstition thrown in for good measure.

  35. Swattie says

    Reading Pell’s piece made me cringe. Ay carumba.
    As Michael (author of comment 32) noted, Pell’s ignorant statement about global warning (or any of his opinions regarding science) carries no magisterial authority whatsoever. I think the majority of Catholics don’t need a neon sign to understand that fact, or to recognize idiocy when they see it. However, Pell’s position as a leader in the Church could certainly mislead some people; hence, my whole-hearted “amen” to the posters who think he should stfu when it comes to science. Bad form on his part.

  36. says

    It might help to know that Pell ws born an Anglican. He is also famously anti-gay.

    This from Wikipedia:

    In June 2002, Pell was accused of having sexually abused a 12-year-old boy at a Catholic youth camp in 1961, when he was a seminarian. He “stood aside” (but did not resign) as Archbishop as soon as the allegations were made public, but some weeks after the Church became aware of them. He vehemently denied all the accusations. Since the accuser declined to make a formal statement to the police, the Church’s National Committee for Professional Standards appointed Alec Southwell, a former judge and a non-Catholic, to conduct an enquiry. In October, Southwell found that the allegations could not be sustained, reflecting the general view in the media that the allegations, made by a man with a long criminal history, lacked credibility.[5]

    The enquiry, however, provided an opportunity to air allegations that Pell, along with other Church leaders, had sought to cover up past allegations of child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation by clergy. It was recalled that Pell had accompanied Father Gerald Ridsdale, convicted of sexual offences against children, to court at the latter’s trial in 1993, but he never gave evidence in support of Ridsdale or sought to protect him.

    Pell’s observation only a month before the allegations against him became public that, “Abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people,” provided much ammunition to those who said he had sought to deny and to minimise the importance of clerical sexual abuse. His record, however, suggests that this is not the case. One of his very first initiatives when he became Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 was to appoint a senior barrister as Australia’s first Independent Commissioner to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by clergy. He also established an independent compensation panel to make payments to victims and an independent service to provide counselling for them.

  37. Swattie says

    “How in the hell can anyone expect Catholics to be the reasonable ones when their hierarchy systematically covered up buggaring of young boys by their priests, yet church members continue on, pretending like nothing ever happened.”

    You’re right to ask how Catholics – or anyone – could possibly be unaffected by the knowledge of something so vile coming from their intellectual and spritiual home. The answer is that we DON’T go on pretending nothing ever happened. The Church is reeling from it (internally, not just from external criticism). All the priests and lay Catholics I’ve talked to are hurting badly. I’m ashamed to admit that I probably know less than some people here about what measures the Church is taking to really address this issue, but the little that I’ve heard from priests who have gone to conferences to confront the problem suggests to me that the Church is making a genuine effort to redress the abuses. I guess I’ve gotta do my research.

    Anyway, continuing on in our faith doesn’t mean we are ignoring the problem. We don’t lose faith in the Church or our priests (who, for the most part, have done a lot of good on the world) because of a few ugly and depraved individuals. Just as everyone else doesn’t lose faith in humanity because of the few ugly and depraved indivudals who are capable of killing 32 kids at a college campus. To point at the evil that came from the Church and say that it’s representative of Catholicism (or that it in some way points up our “insensibility”) would be to let your cognitive biases (the availability heuristic, maybe? i dunno) get the better of yourself.

  38. JimC says

    I think the majority of Catholics don’t need a neon sign to understand that fact, or to recognize idiocy when they see it.

    Thats almost laugh out loud funny. If it where the case no one could possibly be catholic.

  39. Swattie says

    sorry if this amounts to spam because of its irrelevance. can anyone tell me how to format a post so that when i quote another person’s comment, it appears indented?

  40. says

    amph took my joke. This is the quote from Pell: “We have been subjected to a lot of nonsense about climate disasters as some zealots have been painting extreme scenarios to frighten us.”

    Replace “climate disasters” with “hell” and you’ve got a subject the Cardinal should be an authority on.

  41. Jason says

    No, Swattie. Evil and stupidity are representative of the Catholic Church. It’s your “cognitive biases” that blind you to that fact.

  42. Uber says

    I tend to think people raised in the catholic faith would be good people regardless. In regard to the doctrines of the church however I find myself agreeing more with comment number 47 than not. They produce much harm around the world.

  43. Richard Simons says

    Swattie:
    To indent text, you put blockquote at the start of the quote and /blockquote at the end, in each case enclosed in triangular brackets (to the right of M on an American keyboard).

  44. Swattie says

    What, confirmation bias? Maybe. I’ve actually been wondering about that a lot lately. I’m trying to figure out if I have any reason to believe in catholic doctrine other than that I want to, and I know that involves considering both sides of the evidence.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and betray my ignorance…what harm do you think NECESSARILY follows from catholic (or christian) doctrine? I know it’s a naive question (or stupid, if you will), but it’s a sincere one. I admit that wars have been fought in the name of Christianity, but I’m of the opinion that such cases arise from the perversion and misunderstanding of religion rather than from a true following of it (peace and brotherly love are things that Christian leaders DO take seriously, even if a few outliers seem to indicate otherwise). Early 20th century science brought us the atomic bomb, but that doesn’t mean science and technology are evil. Democracy brought us George Bush, but that doesn’t mean democracy is a bad thing.

    So…any thoughts (with SPECIFIC examples of how evil results from the theology itself and not from human imperfection) would be a great help to me. =)

  45. Swattie says

    Swattie:
    To indent text, you put blockquote at the start of the quote and /blockquote at the end, in each case enclosed in triangular brackets (to the right of M on an American keyboard).

    thanks, richard! woohooo =D

  46. Jason says

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and betray my ignorance…what harm do you think NECESSARILY follows from catholic (or christian) doctrine?

    No harm “necessarily” follows from any doctrine. Obviously, it is possible to simply ignore any doctrine. But the reality is that religious doctrines influence behavior, and the doctrines of the Catholic Church have caused and continue to cause all sorts of harm, from the torture and persecution of particular groups of people (“heretics,” gays, Jews, etc.) to the misery resulting from the doctrines condemning all contraception, abortion and divorce.

  47. David Marjanović says

    Democracy brought us George Bush

    I agree with all the rest of your comment, but not with this part.

  48. David Marjanović says

    Democracy brought us George Bush

    I agree with all the rest of your comment, but not with this part.

  49. Tex says

    So…any thoughts (with SPECIFIC examples of how evil results from the theology itself and not from human imperfection) would be a great help to me.

    How about preventing married people, even when one spouse is HIV-positiive, from using condoms?

    How about the guilt and anguish that comes from the threat of eternal damnation for masturbating or any number of lesser infractions.

    How about denying the benfits of modern medicine to your sick child because Jesus will heal her?

    These are just a few modern examples. Nearly every chapter of the old testament has god, or his followers acting upon direct orders, committing some unspeakable atrocity.

    I think a better question might be whethe any specific beneficial actions result from theology itself, and not the good works of humans.