It seemed these things were popping up in multiple discussions as people like @Suzanne chased me about, so rather than continue the multiple hijacks, maybe putting them here will be more entertaining for everybody. All I ask is that people be kind, and perhaps answer questions in turn. These questions come from http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/mad-at-the-outcome-thought...
1. Why did you choose catholicism over all other religions?
Because it made the most sense to me on several levels. I of course can't rule out cultural bias, since obviously I'm a westerner and Roman Christianity is culturally pervasive. For me it was a conscious choice at some point, though I am not a convert. Interestingly, if I were not Catholic I'd be more inclined to Judaism than the Protestant faiths. Perhaps the shared intellectual depth of Judaism and Catholicism is a contributing factor.
2. Do you follow the decrees made by the Vatican?
The Vatican does not make "decrees". The Holy See serves as the administrative center of the worldwide Catholic community, and we do have some administrative rules like any community (our technical term for these is "merely ecclesiastical laws"). For the rest, all we do is teach.
3. Do you agree or disagree with contraception being available to those who would choose to use contraception, if they had access?
I'm not sure why I should care. Now sometimes when people say "being available" they mean that I should pay for it. I think that's a different sort of question that belongs more in the realm of public policy.
4. How do you choose which parts of the bible to follow, and not follow.
We don't "follow" the Bible, we read it and refer to it, the way anyone does with a favorite book or reference text. We try to "follow" God, perhaps, or the example of Jesus or other holy men or women, but not the Bible. In teaching things or exploring religious ideas, we refer to a wide range of writings and experiences, including long oral tradition, writings of various scholars, journal articles, encyclicals, consensus documents, conciliar writings, etc., much like any intellectual community.
5. Is purgatory in or out, these days.
It's a theory that had moderate but not universal acceptance some centuries ago. It's still referred to, but not anywhere near as widely as in its heyday. So it never quite rose to the level of Newtonian Mechanics in physics in terms of acceptance as a theory, and it's perhaps fading faster, but like Newtonian Mechanics it's still referred to in some contexts.
Thanks. No reason to bottle it up. The past can't hurt you. Unless of course that past has anything to do with organized crime, but that's another movie all together. lol
"Should imperialist western white people who think they know better impose their views on all those poor black people who they think just breed too much?" - to whom are you referring? i.e. you could be talking about either side.
Point 2: Here is a decree from the Vatican. I think the source is enough to suggest that they do make decrees or am I wrong? Read the last line.
Well, you got me on that one, though the Italians should learn that the better American English translation for that document would be "Proclamation", not decree.
The problem here I think is that there are multiple definitions of the English word "decree", and the word has yet an additional set of meanings within the English-speaking Church. The Vatican does not make decrees in the way that @Suzanne intended from the most common English definition.
though the Italians should learn that the better American English translation for that document would be "Proclamation", not decree.
@Kris - The lovely Bob is not the typical catholic, catholics in an educated society, ignore doctrine and decrees, as it will hurt their family unit. Bob is a fundamentalist, prop up the church type, that it doesn't matter what the hierarchy does, or how many pedophiles in their ranks, or how much evil is covered up, or how many lives are ruined by catholicism, he will defend and support the company, and is quite happy for the company to carry on it's business of evilness.
He is a fundamentalist, he never answers questions, he throws in Science as a diversion, which is typical of catholic fundamentalists. Bob is a dishonest, hide behind the cross type. Diversion is his game.
I am glad Bob is here, as I need a reminder of how his religion works, how the catholic church has perpetrated crimes with impunity.
Bob forgets how many of us here were 'taught' in the catholic 'tradition'.
How can anybody, with morals and ethics, still proudly call themselves a catholic. A true catholic will see what is happening in and to their church, by manipulating, greedy, sex starved, bitter old men, who love the power and the lifestyle, and do something about it. In Australia, many catholics are coming forward, and placing charges on pedophile priests. They know that by covering up these crimes, hurts their church, so they are stepping up, to get rid of these vermin. But not Bob.
There is a show coming up on TV, interviewing the mute boys who were raped in Canada, telling their story. And they are the tip of the iceberg. The following is what Bob doesn't read, he likes his bubble, and doesn't want to acknowledge the fact that he is supporting a company that is intrinsically evil.
He is a reminder to me, of why the catholic company has got away with its Crimes against Humanity for decades.
I am still in shock over the lovely Bob's question -
Does it always result in harm? What if we were to bring it out of the closet? so it isn't as psychologically abnormal and stressful? A society where it is accepted as n ordinary form of mentoring by youth and parents? If that were the case, so that long term harm were minimized and social and person/economic benefits for the child were larger, would that make it OK.
How is any normal, average, run of the mill human being's reaction to this - he just doesn't get it, never will.
I am still in shock over his attitude towards contraception.
Bob, who's ego in being on an Atheist site, thinks he can not only inform heathens, but show us the right way. My morals and ethics are so far above the lovely Bob's, it makes me sad. He is teaching me not to trust a christian.
He is proving to be a lousy teacher, he just makes me realize what a pratt and lousy teacher he is, and what criminals are running his joint.
Suzanne, RE: "I am still in shock over the lovely Bob's question -
"Does it always result in harm? What if we were to bring it out of the closet? so it isn't as psychologically abnormal and stressful? A society where it is accepted as n ordinary form of mentoring by youth and parents? If that were the case, so that long term harm were minimized and social and person/economic benefits for the child were larger, would that make it OK."
I can tell you where Bob is going with that. In Bronze Age/Early Iron Age Grecian times, young boys were expected to join the army and defend their city-state. whether Athens or Sparta. Each of these young boys were apprenticed to an experienced soldier, whose job it was to teach him survival and battle skills. In return, the boy was expected to be the soldiers servant, to keep his armor repaired and polished, his weapons sharp, and to provide homosexual sex for him during the long times that he is away from women.
What Bob is saying, is that in a society, in which homosexual pedophillia were the norm, a commonplace and accepted practice, who would there be to say it was wrong?
By that token, if Mohamed's decision to have sex with 9-year old Aishya had caught on throughout the Middle East, grown men having sex with 9-year old girls would be OK too, right, Bob?
@Bob - Let's just keep this a thread for those curious about what I, or fellow Catholics like me, really believe/teach -
if only... problem is, Bob, you don't answer questions. If you 'deem' them to be too hard - you just ignore - not a good thing to do, it just makes you dodgy, untruthful, deceitful, and deceptive - ah, but then you are a christian - you are proving to be an abysmal teacher. -You are a fundamentalist christian, you support 'The Company', they are the worst. Run of the mill catholics love the ceremony, try to be good people, and ignore the dogma - but not our Bob. Fundamentalist to his bootstraps.
Let's try for more unanswered questions -
1. How come Cardinal Law is protected behind vatican walls, ands is still being protected by the latest pope, Jorge Borgoglio, now known as Francis
2. What does Bob think of the latest pope, by bringing in rules that has made it illegal to report sex crimes against children.
3. Can you explain to me the following statement you made - I have an interpretation of this statement - and I think it is going to be a tad different to yours, so do enlighten me. Do watch peoples, see our lovely Bob put his catholic spin on this, that is if he has the spine to answer. Bubble Bob - Klonk.
Does it always result in harm? What if we were to bring it out of the closet? so it isn't as psychologically abnormal and stressful? A society where it is accepted as n ordinary form of mentoring by youth and parents? If that were the case, so that long term harm were minimized and social and person/economic benefits for the child were larger, would that make it OK."
Suz - fascinating article (http://www.vaticancrimes.us/2013/07/outrageous-pope-francis-makes-i...) - such subterfuge sounds positively Machiavellian, or as we in the US prefer to think of it, Republican.
I sent the link to my Catholic/closet-atheist son - what men won't do for, well, let's be kind and call it love.
Aw, @archaeopteryx, you silly bird. I'd been so impressed by your thoughtful responses, and then you choose to cite a random website called "Vatican Crimes" without even a touch of skepticism or additional research?
Prof, are you being selective in your response or have you just chosen to pick unnecessary battles with archy for it appears very clearly in his response that he is using the same link Suzzanne gave in her response!
Hi onyango. Thanks for pointing that out. I was being selective. I confess I only skimmed through the pages of @Suzanne's text. She's hurting and lashing out against Catholicism, and I expect needs time and space before a more abstract intellectual discussion makes any sense.
I wasn't picking battles with @arch. I actually find him quite thoughtful most of the time, which was why I was surprised he quoted Suzanne's weird blog without exercising his usual skepticism.