Catholics teach that the fear of god is a gift from the holy spirit.

Fear = Wisdom? Really?

I used to fear GOD. It was real to me and a constant source of stress. Perhaps when atheists speak of new found freedom, some of it is really the shedding of fear. Did you ever "FEAR the LORD? and if so, how did it feel to ditch that fear?

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"No, each of those gods had different characteristics and the respective religions made different claims.   Consider them different hypotheses, perhaps.  Some have been rejected."

Rejected? How so?

What argument can you make for dismissing any other deity /hypothesis that wouldn't apply to yours?

Don't forget Thor!  Thor is real.

Sighs - I'd be a woman of the cloth now, wouldn't I?  Oh, hang on, not in the Catholic faith - silly idea, what was I thinking!

I have, however, lived without preachings, all my life.  I don't know if you are here to test your faith, or our lack thereof.  I have no idea what points you try to make here, although that "yawn" post seems to have dismissed any traces of interest I had in your philosophy.

You appear to be trying to say that your religion is the true one, and that's very comforting to you I'm sure.  But trying to infer that Catholicism and its kindred religions are beneficial and true, to me is like trying to indicate that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

@Strega, I'm sure I couldn't see you as a woman of the cloth!

I'm not sure why you want to impute to me some agenda, though I suppose you get that here from time to time.

In any event, I have no intention to preach and certainly no desire to proselytize.  I apologize if anything I've written has come across that way.  I am perfectly comfortable with atheism intellectually and personally, and am happy to be supportive of atheists.  I also am quite comfortable in my own faith; there's really little here that would "test" it even if I did see the regular members of ThinkAtheist as being a proselytizing bunch.  Being referred to as an "ass-raper" I find amusingly juvenile.

If I were to reflect a bit, I suppose that  I think outside perspectives help all of us to think about things better, and are preferable to intellectual monocultures.   When I first blundered here, I was a bit taken aback by some of the hurtfulness and prejudice, and just ignorance.  That sort of stuff often grows in intellectual monocultures (and I completely include religious thought in that indictment), but it had not been my previous experience with intellectual atheism.

So perhaps, deep down, I'm thinking an occasional word or two from a real Catholic theist would contribute something to mutual understanding and good will.  I'm figuring most intellectual atheists would prefer the real thing to the imaginary Catholics and theists people seem to dislike so much. 

As I have said, though, I am simply a guest in your space here, and a very occasional one at that.  I am happy to withdraw if you like, or limit myself to one area.  This space should remain a comfortable and supportive one for those whom it serves.

Please, Robert. Atheists overwhelmingly test your faith on an intellectual level.

It's just Bob, @Gallup.  Robert is way too formal.

I'm sorry to report, however, that atheists are relatively underwhelming on an intellectual level, in my own experience.  The arguments I tend to find dull and sophomoric, when they aren't just arguing against a fictional version of religion of their own making.

I searched TA and found no examples of anyone referring to you as an ass-raper, Robert.

Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren...

I believe you'll find a number of comments to the effect that my church, which according to our theology is not a building or an organization but a community of people, are all about the ass-raping.

Step up and be honest.  There are all kinds of relatively mean-spirited and biased things posted here about theists of various sorts every day.

The theists who hate and mistrust us, and use the law and violence against us, and vastly outnumber us, are not imaginary.

No, those individuals aren't imaginary.  However, the ascribing those characteristics to whole groups of people is entirely imaginary, and unjust.  As is most of the understanding of religion or theology described here.

Your backhanded admiration of other's views and this page, isn't hiding your smug condescension, Professor Robert. Bob.

Your verbal tactic of using indirect insults, and coded derisiveness, is actually quite common. It's an elementary style of offending, and is often seen coming from those like you, who have a mistaken sense of superiority, but have no original thoughts to back it up.

The level of perception here is higher than you give credit for, but I refuse to personally indulge you.  I have read your comments, and you have all your trite phrases already prepared.  You have never shown any creative language, you just churn out trite rhetoric by rote.

"Underwhelming" indeed.

Your Church has been a source of human unhappiness and misery for centuries. Whether or not "God" exists doesn't even have any bearing  on the effects of mind control, guilt, fear, and hypocritical behaviour dictated by the "chaste" sexual perverts calling themselves Priests and Nuns, Bishops and Cardinals, and Popes, as they control people's behavior by capitalizing on the natural fear of death.

And yes your "church" was all about the "ass-raping" from the very beginnings with the homosexual, pedophilic, mysogynist "Paul" duping an ignorant population of peasants with his con-man bullshit and setting up the organization of psychopaths, of which you are one.  And you are not the most deceptive psycopath I've seen, but you try hard.

If you defend this criminal, sexual guilt and fear religion, I say fuck you.

If you do not defend it, I say FUCK YOU  anyway because you're a prick, obviously.

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Your Church has been a source of human unhappiness and misery for centuries. Whether or not "God" exists doesn't even have any bearing  on the effects of mind control, guilt, fear, and hypocritical behaviour dictated by the "chaste" sexual perverts calling themselves Priests and Nuns, Bishops and Cardinals, and Popes, as they control people's behavior by capitalizing on the natural fear of death.

And yes your "church" was all about the "ass-raping" from the very beginnings with the homosexual, pedophilic, mysogynist "Paul" duping an ignorant population of peasants with his con-man bullshit and setting up the organization of psychopaths, of which you are one.  And you are not the most deceptive psycopath I've seen, but you try hard.

If you do not defend it, I say FUCK YOU  anyway because you're a prick, obviously.

LOL.  Like I said, relatively boorish and sophomoric, where it isn't just prejudiced nonsense.

In this case the lie was claiming we atheists are your intellectual inferiors and you refuse to debate us because our arguments bore you to tears.

Arguments like the one above that ended in "Fuck You?"  Who wouldn't be bored to tears?   Seriously! 

All I did, @Gallup, was deny your own claim of intellectual superiority: "Atheists overwhelmingly test your faith on an intellectual level."   Just look at all the chest-beating I generated by reflecting your own approach back at you for a brief moment.

Too easy. 

Again with the constant ad hominem?  Don't you tire of it?

To go through your list:

No, your understanding of papal infallibility is wrong. Explanation in that thread.

For a good example of a religious commentary on economics, try picking up the U.S. Bishop's Letter on the Economy.  Remarkably prescient.

Yes, we have a metaphorical or theoretical notion of hell, without either a definitive or dogmatic understanding of what that actually means.  Call it lots of competing theories.

Hmmm.  You listed that one twice. 

What you seem to be unable to grok is that we are not fundamentalists.  Not about the Bible, and certainly not about the Catechism, and not even about the documents of the various councils.   Quoting isolated snippets without an understanding of the language or the culture demonstrates your ignorance of our faith and practice, not understanding.  Again, sophomoric.  It's the rough equivalent of a freshman physics student telling me I'm wrong about physics and he can prove it by quoting one line out of the textbook I wrote.

Much as I might wish to continue your edification, you clearly have more time on your hands than I do.  I don't mean to be running away and sulking, I just have other commitments to attend to.   So what I would suggest is that you go take a class.  Find a nearby Catholic college or university and take a few basic theology courses.  Even better, start with a rabbinical class on the Torah, because in many ways Catholic intellectual thought comes from Judaism.  Then you might be able to make a reasonable argument with reference to the proper texts and what we truly teach.

And that, my friends, is the kitchen sink.  Thank you, Gallup, :D

As someone who has been touched by the Professor's infinite wisdom and clarity of logic, I have in recent times found myself as somewhat of an apprentice of his.

His graceful sidestepping of questions he is unable to answer in any meaningful way; much like my Wood Elf Rogue character in my D&D campaign gracefully dances around enemy sword swings, the Professor dances around what he will answer and what is just "Yawn" (in translation: what he really doesn't know how to answer, even with his bumper sticker logic he normally gives).

I have been so mesmerized by his replies that I feel obligated to step in on his behalf in the extreme cases like this one.

So, Professor, my mentor, if I may one again cut in and take this dance for you.

I think it goes something like this...

@Gallup: Yawn, those people surveyed are not "true Catholics". A true Catholic does not need to study the bible, the bible studies him... Or some shit like that.

Or, if we may, and only with your permission, Professor, take it up a notch..

I know you are, but what am I?

Such insight into the human soul... You continue to inspire me Professor.

And unlike Gallup, I cannot bring myself to call you anything less than THE Professor; I would not dare do disservice to your position, after all, the mark you are making on Think Atheist is a wonderful example of the state of the American education system.

You're a smug little prick, aren't you Robert.

" Fear of our spouse is why we guys make a point of remembering our anniversaries ;-)"

Goodness, I'm glad I'm not your wife. 

The desire to celebrate our love and have a great evening of entertainment together is why my husband remembers our anniversary. 

...and because it's on my birthday. 

But seriously. Really? 

Fear? 

You're doing it wrong. 

Even an aversion to offend isn't a good excuse. Sometimes people need to be offended. Just because he's married to me doesn't give him special privileges! 

No one is above skeptical inquiry. No one is above thoughtful question and honest dialogue. 

...whether it's offensive or not. 

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