What I mean is this: how much do you actually know about the science most atheists parrot? Most atheists know as little science as most Christians know as little theology. Just as a Christian trusts his priest to tell him what he believes, an atheist trusts scientists with a Ph.D. tacked to their name to tell them what they believe. But how many times have the scientists turned out to be wrong? I only ask this because it seems this is central to the problem that most atheists have. They are repulsed by the phrase “believe” – they are addicted instead to the phrase “know”. But honestly, do you really know, or are you just believing what you’re told? I would like to remind you that in the 1970′s the scientists of the day were seriously concerned that we were about to enter an ice age, and less than 30 years later they are now convinced Earth is about to turn into a desert.
Unless you’ve observed something yourself, or observed and interpreted the evidence yourself and drew your own conclusions, you are just as guilty as faith as any religious person.
Wow, there are really two of these long missives!
I don't want to argue, @Suzanne. I'm just providing an alternative viewpoint. You might try to dismiss that as being brainwashed, but isn't that just really trying to hide from a perspective? I assure you my participation in the Catholic community is entirely voluntary and not incompatible with my life as a science faculty member at a research university.
Yes, the Catholic Church "makes millions". It's hard not to when you are trying to provide services for 1.2 billion people. Even if each only gave us a penny a year we'd be making millions. The fact is that an average priest's salary is much less than his education level would command anywhere else, and of course the religious work essentially for subsistence wage.
No, we don't set ourselves up as paragons of virtue. We do teach about virtue, and try to encourage virtue, but we're as fallible as anyone else when it comes to practicing virtue, and at all levels. Why would you believe we are anything other than human?
Yes, in 1.2 billion people, you will find Catholics who are murderers, rapists, thieves. Yep, we have an institutional hierarchy that is sometimes an embarrassment or in need of jail time. It's true that the current episcopate has been influenced a bit by the worldwide trend toward fundamentalism/authoritarianism, despite our teaching to the contrary. None of that is any different than any other institutional effort serving 1.2 billion people. President Obama taught constitutional law, and yet we have an illegal prison, questionable drone strikes, and overbroad subpoenas of journalists' phone records. We humans don't often live up to our teachings or our highest ideals.
The only difference is perhaps that so many of our folks are doing their work in the Church for free, and so few are getting any real personal wealth from it. The retired pope gets a small apartment on the grounds.
In the same way, you should not expect any of us who engage in science to be paragons of virtue either. We are every bit as human, with the same level of potential for wickedness. Perhaps we don't have as much access to youth, since we don't run many children's programs, but we certainly do design a lot of weapons to enable the more effective slaughter of our fellow humans, implement natural gas fracking without sufficient thought about unintended consequences, overstate findings frequently and get a bit full of ourselves. ;-) We probably don't make as much as our education level should command either, and there aren't too many of us who retire to great wealth, though as a group we do considerably better than the men and women religious.
For all the rest about killing children, selling women, and the like, that's just irrational and ugly prejudice, and I suspect you know that.
Science has nothing to do with my believing/not believing in god. Believing in god and trusting in science are not mutually exclusive but I can examine the evidence for both and I find one factual and one not. Wanna guess the factual one? Science is not like religion in that if you don't understand one paper (on say light wave frequency ranges) you can examine other evidence you may understand until your grasp of the knowledge is up to par and there are may fields of study. Religion is just dogmatic crap for the dark ages.
Science is not like religion in that if you don't understand one paper (on say light wave frequency ranges) you can examine other evidence you may understand until your grasp of the knowledge is up to par
How is that not like religion, @BryanPaul? There are many, many works on religion. Books and periodicals, monographs and popular press. Some written by/for people in the field, some written more generally.
Two scientific papers on the same subject are based on a collection of facts and knowledge which are the same for both papers.
While there are many works on religion, they are about many DIFFERENT supposed gods and spiritual facts.
I do not profess to have your august knowledge of both science and religion, Professor Robert, but what I do know of science, is that it is self-correcting - when a theory is found to be in error, it is corrected - what I do know of theology, is that it is not.
It took your Church 400 years, to, in 1998, finally admit that Galileo may not have been entirely wrong - that there was at least a remote possibility that the sun did not, in fact, revolve around the earth.
I can certainly imagine their embarrassment, but I must wonder how much more would have been their chagrin, if, like John Hus, a follower and supporter of John Wycliffe, (writer of the first English Bible), they had burned him alive, as they did Hus (using a stock of Wycliffe's Bibles as kindling) --
@Bob - It isn't an argument, it is a discussion - This is not a christian site, you came here, as a christian - I really would like to know what did you expect.
Once again, on this site, are many ex catholics, who have been through the system - and know from experience what the brainwashing is like, first hand.
I have been both sides of the discussion, a theist and an Atheist - that really is the perspective. You have the distorted perspective, only seeing one side, as a theist.
What I find in my brain is the dichotomy of a supposedly educated person - whose research stops at -
In the beginning god created the heaven and the earth.
As for being brainwashed, isn't that just really trying to hide from a perspective?
Not at all - I went through the same brainwashing, I just came out the other side, after much research and logic, and came to the conclusion it was not just codswallop, it was evil, violent. That was one of the first inklings of this is not right - I had have been 'taught' about a loving generous, giving god, all I saw was a perverted, blood lusting, vengeful god.
It took a number of years to dispel the brainwashing. It was like learning another language, it took a while, but it was worth it.
It's hard not to when you are trying to provide services for 1.2 billion people. -
No, the vatican is sitting on billions, through dodgy deals and crooked bankers - for all the good deeds done by catholics, and of course, there are good groups, they do it on a bloody shoe string, while the pope and his henchmen sit in the lap of luxury. The bank is supposed to be there for good works, for charity , but it doesn't work that way, and hasn't for decades, if it ever has.
I do my research, you don't - which I find extraordinary, for a bloke who is supposedly educated - If you do research, and if you don't like it, you ignore it? If it undermines, or goes against what you have been brainwashed into believing, you turn your head away, and say, that cannot possibly be true?
Just ONE of the ways the catholic church could live the lifestyle of the rich - If you need more information on the hundreds of methods they did use, and are using now, I could show you the way.
When need be, they would have - Indulgences: These were ‘certificates’ produced in bulk that had been pre-signed by the pope which pardoned a person’s sins and gave you access to heaven.
The arrogance of these people is mind blowing - how dare anyone question them - the same with the thousands of pedophilia cases, how dare anyone have the audacity to question them - they are above the law. And this is the bunch that you support, make excuses for, and then claim,
"Well, those people over there do it". A President or Prime Minister is democratically voted in, and if they had secret money laundering facilities, and if they had been found to be raping children, they would go to jail. Once again, the catholic church considers and demands that they are above the law.
You live in a bubble - see what is happening around you, and overseas, where the catholic church is strong and powerful, and tell me, it is good!
No, we don't set ourselves up as paragons of virtue - You may not, but religions do, but especially the catholic church does -
Yes, in 1.2 billion people, you will find Catholics who are murderers, rapists, thieves -
If god were around today, he would be charged with the murder of millions.
institutional hierarchy that is sometimes an embarrassment or in need of jail time -
Just a tad more that that, thousands of priests etc etc. over decades have ruined forever, thousands of lives, thousands of childhoods, in a systematic betrayal of children who trusted them - Come unto me, little children -
None of that is any different than any other institutional effort serving 1.2 billion people -
Comparing your lot with another despicable lot, doesn't cut it - catholics have been lulled into, and ignore facts that the hierarchy are criminals, that your particular god would be charged with murder, that by your bible, is a dictator with anger problems.
President Obama taught constitutional law, and yet we have an illegal prison, questionable drone strikes, -
There you go again, comparing an organization, going for hundreds of years. who one would have thought would know the difference between right and wrong by now.
Do as I say, not as I do -
An Australian Archbishop, the fabulous George Pell, just another who ignored the evidence and cries from children - and said 'Move on, get over it", has built an apartment at the vatican for a mere 23 million, for pilgrims. Criminal.
It is true, many catholics do brilliant volunteer work, while the hierarchy live in luxury, refuse to be questioned on where the billions have come from or where are they now, while millions of catholics are starving, while millions of babies starve to death - Go catholics.
In the same way, you should not expect any of us who engage in science to be paragons of virtue either -
Only if a scientist is sprouting the bible, professes to not commit illegal acts - which I haven't actually heard or read where any scientist talks about morals and virtue, and raping children and hiding this fact, or have an untouchable hierarchy and bank. Can you show me where this information could be. Always ready to be enlightened.
Perhaps we don't have as much access to youth - your church used to, not any more. Everybody now has information about the systematic abuse of children.
Good priests are now seen as suspicious.
For all the rest about killing children, selling women, and the like, that's just irrational and ugly prejudice, and I suspect you know that.
Do tell - Have you actually read your bible -
2 Kings 2:23-25 - Only 42 people were killed, a small amount compared to Noah's Ark. Of course, christians re-interpret this, to suit their agenda.
Noah's Ark- millions drowned, men women and children. Of course, once again, ad nauseum, christians, including you will re-interpret,ignore, that is not what it meant.
Leviticus; 21:20-21 If a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and ... he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
Sell your daughter:
Exodus 21:7-11 - When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.
Judges 11:34-40. - Whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.
Stupid statement to make, who would insist on this except your god, and who did this father see first?
The book that you support so staunchly is filled with stupidities and evilness, just like these.
While there are apologists like you, willing to support a corrupt and evil organisation, it will continue to thrive. The catholic religion cannot survive without people, just like you, ready to explain away, make excuses for, and tell anybody that asks questions, it is all a beatup, the evils of the bible, and the evils of the catholic church. They really should give you recognition for the PR work you do for them. It doesn't work on an Atheist - we have our eyes open, we don't ignore criminal acts perpetrated by the catholic church, we have read the bible, we don't live in a bubble of ignorance.
You go, Girl!
And BTW, Robert, you know as well as I do, that Obama didn't initiate those practices, "W"/Cheney did, though I agree that Obama should have ended them.
The only point, @archaeopteryx, is that it's as silly to expect that religious leaders are paragons of virtue as it is to expect that democratically elected leaders are paragons of virtue.
None of that speaks to the value of democracy itself, or of religion.
At least we both agree that it's silly, but despite that, the Pope is held to be infallible, the direct pipeline from god to Man - god's word to Man's ear, so to speak, inspiration personified --
No, the pope is not held to be infallible.
No, the pope is not the direct pipeline from God to Man.
No, the pope is not "inspiration personified."
None of that is what we Catholics actually teach or believe. I would join you in agreeing that those notions are completely silly. So would Pope Francis.
What a fabulous piece of insight, Kris. I like the cut of your cloth!
How do you figure, @Kris? I don't think that follows logically from correcting a few random misunderstandings.