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.
Well, you see it. I expect you might also believe Jews eat babies or that all muslims are terrorists.
I actually had a Jew fetus last night for dinner sauteed in butter with fava beans and a nice Chianti. :P (yummy)
Of course all Muslims are terrorists because they don't believe Jessy was the son of doG...those dirty non-pig eaters (you can't trust people who don't eat BBQ). LOL
I'm open to evidence.
Forgive my shocked expression Bob, the amount of evidence presented to you in these 43 pages that you have subsequently ignored is the reason behind that expression.
Otherwise, just admit that your position is an irrational one, based on emotion and a belief in myths which you cling to because believing in myths makes you feel better about yourself.
The graphics are amusingly sophomoric, but is that all you can muster in defense of your myths? Name-calling and ridicule? Not even the hint of evidence or a rational argument?
43 pages of discussion, with various links to other treasure troves of data not enough for you, Bob?
Don't get me wrong, I don't care what you believe, I care if you want to make other people believe it with you. Because that makes you part of a system that is not a force for good.
I believe I have data that counters yours, but I will have to research first. I'm a working guy, so I will get back with you when I get a chance. As I mentioned in the OP, I did do some research back when the incident happened. Prior to that, I had no beef with the Catholic system.
My point is that it is not pre-judging that I did back then. I was looking at facts and judging. I was a bit emotional when I wrote the new thread, and wasn't ready to look at stuff like that. I am able to look at it clearly again.
Bob, it seems you are a highly trained lay person, not a priest yourself. (just a guess) But could you do without sex for your whole life? If you did, how do you think it would change your perspective on everything?
Testosterone is not magical, but it is a strong driving force. You could say an overwhelming driving force in males. Priestly inability to overcome testosterone induced behavior is what we are talking about in the end. If there is a Divine, why would he/she ask someone to counter the processes that were developed to keep the species propagating?
RE: "If there is a Divine, why would he/she ask someone to counter the processes that were developed to keep the species propagating?" - if I were to guess at a response, Mel, it would be, "to prove devotion."
Yes, I am a layman and a university professor in the sciences, not a priest.
Chemicals affect us, certainly, as does the rest of our environment. Testosterone just as readily can lead men to rape or have affairs with other women even if they're already getting some. We are rational creatures, we can choose our behaviors despite urges. Alcoholics can choose not to drink. Husbands can choose to be loyal.
I've known lots of people who do without sex their whole lives. What distinguishes them is their deep commitment to the community as a whole, and to each other as (platonic) brothers and sisters. It's just another form of the same sort of loyalty that allows a man to be true to his wife, despite his testosterone. They are loyal to the mission.
It's not for everyone, certainly. We see in soldiers who may be in theater for long periods of time that most are actually able to do OK, and even stay loyal to wives or husbands back home. But you're right, some do turn to prostitutes or to raping civilians. Yet I wouldn't condemn someone's choice to serve his or her country as a soldier.
@Reg - This was also on the internet through Vatican Crimes - which the lovely Bob thought was 'silly'. Bubble Bob will not read or acknowledge anything that does not go through catholic channels or the vatican.
He still has not answered two questions that I put to him.
He doesn't care about contraception - well, there you go, because the vatican says so.
He says there are no such thing as Decrees - Wrong - Decree of First Vatican Council - which is reinforcement of previous decrees - the pope is infallible.
Chapter 4. On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman pontiff
Decree of Second Vatican Council - re-enforcement of previous decrees - on contraception - banned. The only form of birth control that can be used is the 'Rhythm Method', decreed by a small group of old men, never married, but very experienced in sex by bonking underage boys. In reality, these men have taken vows for celibacy, which also means no masturbation. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.
@Bob - What does Bob think about everybody being treated humanely, in equal manner, as in Gay marriage - couldn't/wouldn't answer.
@Bob - When does he think women will be included in the hierarchy and eventually, become pope in the catholic church - couldn't/wouldn't answer.
@Melvinotis - Bob can't open his eyes too well, his eyes keep hitting his knees when his spine gives way - Klonk - ah, there it goes again.
I deleted it, there were a couple of typos I tried to fix and I ended up botching the whole effort. LOL
But yea that's our Bob (mister flim-flam man) the irrational follower of a corrupt organization trying his best to dress up a pig.
I think ol' Bobby must have taken training from the William Lane Craig School of Debate.
I must admit I am impressed with the effort that some of the TA's have put in trying to have a conversation with little Bobby only to have him avoid any real effort himself at an actual conversation.
Worth a read:
"Apparently, the Marine Corps thinks a 'lack or loss of spiritual faith' could be dangerous."
This topic deserves its own thread.