At the invitation of Professor Robert, I'm starting a new thread.
Dr Bob, you are continually trying to draw clear distinctions between Catholicism and other (especially Christian) religions. I grant that Catholics are (a little) different, but, as they still fundamentally believe in the magic, invisible daddy in the sky, there is really NO difference.
Two points: The Bible (whether or not you take it literally) is the foundation of your (and all Christian) religions. A cursory examination of the Bible reveals a SMALL handful of usable tenets along with pages and chapters FULL of utter nonsense. The fact that any religion would base itself upon such a holey book, makes that religion as creditable as Joseph's golden tablets from God which he, unfortunately, misplaced.
God: I will be heartily disagreed with here, but I find the idea of God to be completely understandable. Here we have, at the dawn of civilization, various groups of totally ignorant people trying to put words, meanings, and causes to all manner of things which they couldn't possible understand. Combine this with a clever but ruthless set who have come to realize that, if they ascribed words, meanings, and causes to the world around them, people would actually BELIEVE them (as they no other source of information). These priests could and did use this power to govern the people - insisting that everyone in the tribe bow before them.
Then came the age of knowledge. We could start to actually understand all these things that the priests had, up till then, kept to themselves. As the power base for all civilized people rested with these priests, they were (and, of course, still are) wildly defensive of their position.
There is, however, NO CONCEIVABLE REASON for any educated person to believe in the supernatural - aside from these historic pressures.,
Zoltar will crush you underfoot, trample you, burn you and torture you forever and ever, and ever!
It's because he loves you like a father loves a son, you know.
@Jorita, I'm sure you don't need religion to teach you right from wrong, or to treat others with kindness. That's not quite the same thing, though, as saying that no one does, nor is it the same thing as saying society doesn't. After all, you have been raised from birth in a culture that is steeped in Judeo-Christian belief. Everything from Hollywood to literature to friends to social structure. You can't help but adopt a lot of Judeo-Christian modes of thought just by osmosis, like the notion that we are one humanity, and that humanity is worth caring for.
It's also not the same as saying that you'll never need it, or that it wouldn't be helpful. Kindness sometimes benefits from reminders when we are tired or grumpy.
To answer your question, though, no, I am not a historian by profession. As you can tell from some of my other examples, my work is in physics and in science education. I'd be interested in what evidence and reasoning you have for the claim that Christianity has done more damage than any other religion, though. How are you defining damage? What makes something "in the name of Christianity?" Are you correcting for the fact that Christianity has more adherents than any other religion, to be sure you're not just measuring total numbers of people?
"After all, you have been raised from birth in a culture that is steeped in Judeo-Christian belief. Everything from Hollywood to literature to friends to social structure."
I think this is correct, and it's been interesting over the last few years as I've analyzed why I think certain things are good to do, figured out why and tossed it aside or kept it with new reasons replacing the old. We are one humanity not because we are children of God or made in his image, but because we share a genetic similarity. One can find people who act in similar fashion all around the world. It's like congruent evolution. An appendage or organ might have a similar shape and perform similar action in two different species, but that doesn't mean the two species are in anyway closely related.
Robert is not offended, he just truly believes in god and the catholic church, and is trying to show us the error of our ways and thinking. The thing Robert is missing, is that most Atheists have and do read the bible, some have been lucky enough not to have gone through the indoctrination and brain washing. Some Atheists are angry, as well they should be, at what they have been through, and from that, they learned, especially in institutional teaching, there were/are so many evil people, how could that be, when they were constantly told, god was a loving, gentle, kind god, who would look after you, if you prayed hard enough. Religion and the bible is the best source of recruitment for Atheism. Robert, as with religious people of every persuasion, doesn't answer questions, or puts the same question back to us. Always evasive.
I, also do understand why all the different gods were thought up, and I agree with MikeLong, I don't understand it from the days of Enlightenment and the information which abounds these days.
Catholics are actively told not to read the OT, children are bought up with Catechism, a summary of what they want catholics to believe. It is total propaganda and a lesson in what to drop out of the discussion, what and how to twist words, and what to completely ignore, never to be spoken of again.
I'm not sure where you're coming from with those claims, @Suzanne. Old Testament readings are part of almost every Catholic mass. That seems like an odd thing to do if we're being actively told not to read it. In fact, Catholic services run on a schedule of readings, so that nothing important is left out and no minister can dwell overmuch on any "favorite" biblical verses. That also helps put verses in context, rather than isolation.
The Catechism is far too dense a read for children; nobody would do that. It's more like a quick reference book for adult learners. Even then the English translation is a bit awkward.
Sorry, I have to agree with Suzanne. After 12 years of Catholic education (4 in grammar school, 4 in high school and 4 in a catholic university) I will attest to the fact that the Old Testament was downplayed, glossed over or ignored. I remember being told that the old testament was a teaching tool for a primitive people and should not be taken literally. So while you can cherry-pick the Old Testament for a few passages for a mass, vast tracts are embarrassing. Ezekiel and Leviticus come to mind as being over the top rantings of a Bronze age people.
Ezekiel, I am convinced, ate some interesting mushrooms at one point or another.
Ezekiel 23:20 is priceless, especially in the New International Version.
"Ezekiel and Leviticus come to mind"
Imagine that - It would make Sunday mass a lot more interesting.
E 9 And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord that smiteth.
Thats good poetry
I am not sure where you're coming from with those claims - Just telling you Robert, this is what I was taught - At Catechism classes, after church every Sunday and Wednesdays after school. I was reading the old testament at home, and was told not to. If I asked a question that a nun couldn't answer, Noah's Ark, millions drowning, despot drunk chosen etc. that was one of the mysteries of god. In mass, they certainly quoted from OT, but they were very careful not to choose anything contentious - big mistake.
Far too dense a read for children - obviously not, it is what we read, just one of many versions, I suspect.
The Four Pillars of Faith, The Apostles Creed, learned rote of course, The Ten Commandments, and the other two, I have forgotten what they were.
The problem with CCC, I haven't seen a CCC for years, and don't know what is in it these days, but American catholic bishops had a problem, I don't know which version, they thought there was not enough, or it was not denoted, what was doctrine and faith, and what was opinion.
My opinion, it that it is all opinion, all made up stories. The human brain is capable of retro fitting previous myths, and that is exactly what the catholic church did.
Robert, you should broaden your horizons, think outside the little box of catholicism, find out how the rest of the world is thinking, and what they are doing.
Did you know, Argentina was the first country to legalise gay marriage, the very same place the new pope was born. Naturally, he opposed it vehemently, saying it was the work of the devil, the country would go to ruin, but it was legalised anyway, and the sky hasn't fallen.
Fantastic PR going on right now within the vatican. The pope can wash as many feet as he likes, cook his own meals, travel in a bus, BUT things will never change within the heirarchy.
That is the thing, catholics are showing their humanity, and going against the church's inhumanity, or, as in my case, leave the hypocrisy behind.
There is more speculation about what the pope did or did not do during the time of the Argentina’s military regime, and the pope did not try to save two priests who were fighting for the people, they were tortured and killed. But, no doubt, the PR machine will explain this away, that is what they do.
It is those bloody lefties saying this, actually no, it is the families of all the victims who are the accusers. Do some extra reading, with an unbiased mind. You could well learn something.
Me:Hi God. It's me again. Hey, how did Noah save the Kangaroos?
Did they used to live in the Middle East and Noah dropped them off in Australia from the Arc?
God:You insignificant little piece of crap. How dare you question me or the bible.
Me:Sorry. So why is Sister Mary so mean. She is always slapping kids, sometimes the good kids too.
God:You little twit. Sister Mary is awsome. You better fucking listen to her.
Me:How come you gave Grandma a stroke. She went to Church every Sunday, and was as good as any saint.
God:You fucking asshole. How dare you question me. You will burn for that.
Me: Ok God. Thanks. Please don't kill me today. My Mom would be very sad. But if you
have too please wait until after confession. I guess you already know what I did wrong, but
I have to go tell Father Murphy later and Sister says if I die before that I will go to Hell.
OK. I will stop trying to think. I promise. Bye
Someday I want to write a satirical religious FAQ with a bunch of slushball questions easily disposed of, a bunch of questions disposed of with nonsense that looks impressive, or so crazy you will figure maybe it makes "sense" to a believer, and then at the end, a really awkward one. With the answer being "Shut up."