Is your trust in science based on faith or based on science?

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.

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No, the pope is not "inspiration personified."

Now this one I've never heard of. Perhaps Arch can elaborate.

That was my way of saying he received divine inspiration, personally, man to - whatever - which you essentially covered with your holy mind-meld.

Ah, @Gallup, again you forget that we Catholics are not fundamentalists, and are unimpressed by out-of-context quotes from a book-based authority.  For that to be meaningful you need to be talking to a fundamentalist. 

What you actually want in order to develop a genuine understanding of our doctrine of infallibility are our conciliar documents from the first and second Vatican Councils.  Specifically Lumen Gentium and nexus mysteriorum.  Plus some works from St. Augustine, and commentaries on the gospel of John. 

The real doctrine of infallibility is that the whole body of the faithful cannot err in matters of belief, when from the bishops to the last of the faithful they manifest universal consent.  When we all agree, then the pope, speaking ex cathedra, can proclaim that universal agreement.

One of the interesting side products of the doctrine of infallibility is that millenial tradition has the force of law.  So if enough of the faithful believe the same thing for a long time, that becomes the teaching of the Church.

All of your other quotes refer to the power of governance, which is a different thing.  Yep, the pope can make rules, appoint bishops various places, decide on what the Swiss Guard uniform should be. 

So sorry, no holy mind-melds.   Dante put quite a few popes in hell in the Inferno, which wouldn't be appropriate if the guy was truly infallible in the way you mean it.  

The pope is just a regular guy serving in an important position. That is what we actually teach.

Nihil obstat.  Imprimatur.

Ah, @Gallup, again you forget that we Catholics are not fundamentalists, and are unimpressed by out-of-context quotes from a book-based authority. 

I cited links to the complete relevant texts from the Catechism which were too long to include here. They were only out of context if you didn't bother to click the links and read them.

For that to be meaningful you need to be talking to a fundamentalist. 

For what YOU say to be "meaningful" you need to provide links to reputable sources of information that back up your claims.

According to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, "[t]he Catechism contains the essential and fundamental content of the Catholic faith in a complete and summary way. It presents what Catholics throughout the world believe in common. It presents these truths in a way that facilitates their understanding."

It doesn't say anything about your I'm-wrong-again-better-lay-down-another-bullshit-smokescreen about documents and works and commentaries and councils, Bob.

The real doctrine of infallibility is that the whole body of the faithful cannot err in matters of belief, when from the bishops to the last of the faithful they manifest universal consent.  When we all agree, then the pope, speaking ex cathedra, can proclaim that universal agreement.

Whoa, back up, Bob. What do you mean, the REAL doctrine?

"No, the pope is not held to be infallible. No, the pope is not the direct pipeline from God to Man. [...] None of that is what we Catholics actually teach or believe. I would join you in agreeing that those notions are completely silly. -Professor Robert"

You denied papal infallibility. You said it's not Catholic teaching. No Catholics believe it. None of it. You said it was silly. For fuck's sake, you said the Pope would agree with you.

Now you've weaseled an about-face and you're lecturing us about how it works?

*Laughing* I love this guy!

I cited links to the complete relevant texts from the Catechism which were too long to include here.

And again, I have to remind you that we are not fundamentalists.  Not about the Bible, and certainly not about the Catechism, which is sort of an abbreviated compilation of reference material of differing levels.  Quotes from a simplified summary where you do not understand the culture or the language (remember, the original is in Latin) are not dispositive.

I gave you the relevant references.  And, if you were alert, you would also note that my text was taken from the Catechism as well, from the parts that you conveniently skipped over. 

If you were to read that carefully, and understand what it says, you would recognize that the real doctrine of inerrancy is very different from what you seem to think it is.

In many ways it is very similar to what we do in science.  Individuals propose theories.  Theories are tested and with growing evidence are accepted by larger numbers of people.  At some point they start appearing in textbooks (catechisms) and get taught to others.  Sometimes, on certain issues of import senior members and others get together in major conferences and formulate consensus statements (ex. Copenhagen on quantum mechanics, IPCC on climate change), which have great weight (Councils).   While we're always open to learning more, we really do believe that work that has been accepted by the entire community for a long period of time is pretty darn solid.

Yes, the pope would agree with me.  Unlike you, he speaks the language and understands all the source material, and is not coming with such a pronounced bias.  He's just a regular guy, serving in an important position.  Mind-melds are just science fiction.

And again, I have to remind you that we are not fundamentalists.  Not about the Bible, and certainly not about the Catechism, which is sort of an abbreviated compilation of reference material of differing levels. 

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops say the Catechism "contains the essential and fundamental content of the Catholic faith in a complete and summary way."

And your story is that the Catechism is NOT fundamental and IS abbreviated? You expect me to ignore the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, your six-foot-long wooden nose, and take your word over theirs?

Tell me another one.

Quotes from a simplified summary where you do not understand the culture or the language (remember, the original is in Latin) are not dispositive.

I understand the language, Bob. It's written in English. The Bishops go on to say the Catechism "presents what Catholics throughout the world believe in common. It presents these truths in a way that facilitates their understanding."

It's not difficult to understand at all, Bob. You denied papal infallibility. Now you're lying and saying you didn't.

I gave you the relevant references.  And, if you were alert, you would also note that my text was taken from the Catechism as well, from the parts that you conveniently skipped over. 

Did you? I must have missed those.

By all means, show me the references supporting your position that papal infallibility is none of what Catholics teach and believe, is a completely silly notion, and that the Pope agrees with you.

And no paraphrasing this time, Bob. Provide the direct quotes and links. That way nobody has to be as "alert" as you.

If you were to read that carefully, and understand what it says, you would recognize that the real doctrine of inerrancy is very different from what you seem to think it is.

Which is utterly irrelevant. The issue is whether or not papal infallibility is part of catholic teaching and belief. Your position is no, none of it is, it is silly, and the Pope agrees.

Yes, the pope would agree with me.  Unlike you, he speaks the language and understands all the source material, and is not coming with such a pronounced bias.  He's just a regular guy, serving in an important position. 

"No, the pope is not held to be infallible. No, the pope is not the direct pipeline from God to Man. [...] None of that is what we Catholics actually teach or believe. I would join you in agreeing that those notions are completely silly. -Professor Robert"

The Pope would not agree that papal infallibility is not what Catholics teach and believe, and is a completely silly notion. Your character is too small and your ego is too big for you to admit Arch knew it's part of Catholic doctrine and you didn't.

Mind-melds are just science fiction.

Papal infallibility isn't even that, Bob. It's just fiction without the science.

@Gallup, it's truly amusing to have a non-Catholic play fundamentalist and tell a Catholic what it is he believes.  Do you pick up high school chemistry texts and quote them to tell research chemists that they're wrong about chemistry? 

I'm going to have to start making up things that atheists must believe and quote some English translation of a French text.

The Catechism is written in Latin, and only translated into English.  "Catechism" translates roughly as "teaching text for beginners" who are called catechumens.  So the Catechism is just a compilation of stuff we think is important ("fundamental") for beginners.   There have been dozens of them.  One of the most widely used in the first half of last century in the U.S. was referred to as the Baltimore Catechism.  A lot of the stuff in it was good, some of it has been re-thought and de-emphasized.

The reference you want with respect to "infallibility" (which is probably better translated as "inerrancy") is Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church from the Second Vatican council.  Again, the original is in Latin and very much in the cultural language of the Church.  There are OK English translations, but they don't quite convey the proper sense.  Here's the relevant text that describes the doctrine:

The body of the faithful as a whole... cannot err in matters of belief.  Thanks to a supernatural sense of the faith which characterizes the People as a whole, it manifests this unerring quality when from the bishops down to the last member of the laity it shows universal agreement in matters of faith and morals...

This is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in the faith, he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals.

The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of bishops...

You will note that this is the language I have been using all along, which is also copied into the Catechism in the parts you skipped over.

@Gallup, it's truly amusing to have a non-Catholic play fundamentalist and tell a Catholic what it is he believes. 

I'm not telling a Catholic what he believes in. The doctrines posted at the Vatican and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops web sites are doing that. I am simply linking to them here.

YOU were telling non-Catholics what Catholics DISbelieve in, namely papal infallibility, which you said was not part of Catholic teaching, not believed by Catholics, was complete in its silliness and that the Pope himself held this view.

The authoritative Catholic sources clearly DO cite papal infallibility as part of Catholic doctrine, which flies in the face of your emphatic denial that it is (which included a pronouncement not quibbling over how it works, but attesting to its complete silliness.)

Now you are dishonestly attempting to re-cast the conversation as a question of HOW papal infallibility works, instead of a simple yes or no as to whether or not it is part of Catholic doctrine.

See how that works, Bob? I'm not the amusing fundamentalist. You're the plucky comic relief; perpetually dishonest, ever transparent, wooden nose getter longer and longer.

Do you pick up high school chemistry texts and quote them to tell research chemists that they're wrong about chemistry?

No. I'm citing the doctrine of the Catholic Church which specifically states that papal infallibility is part of Catholic teaching, after you said it wasn't.

The superstitious stain that is Catholicism is not science. It has none of the legitimacy and prestige of science so your analogy with chemistry is ridiculous. But by the same analogy what you've done is akin to a chemist denying that hydrogen can be found on the periodic table and then, upon being presented with proof in a standard high school chemistry textbook, compounding his humiliation by denying his denial and blaming the whole thing on cultural differences between French and English.

I'm going to have to start making up things that atheists must believe and quote some English translation of a French text.

Start making things up about atheists? You do that already. When you do it you are lying because there are no such things that atheists must believe. When someone says he is an atheist you know from that statement nothing about what he believes. You know exactly one thing he does not believe.

And there is no symmetry here, Robert. It's easy for atheists to find things that Catholics must believe because there are things that Catholics MUST believe. That's what dogma is. Jesus was born of a virgin, was a blood sacrifice for your sins, rose from the dead, will come again in glory, baptism, blah blah blah. Papal infallibility is just one more for the list.

The Catechism is written in Latin, and only translated into English.  "Catechism" translates roughly as "teaching text for beginners" who are called catechumens.  So the Catechism is just a compilation of stuff we think is important ("fundamental") for beginners.   There have been dozens of them.  One of the most widely used in the first half of last century in the U.S. was referred to as the Baltimore Catechism.  A lot of the stuff in it was good, some of it has been re-thought and de-emphasized.

Which is completely irrelevant.

Unless you are claiming the Catechism is NOT what Catholics teach and believe, then it IS what Catholics teach and believe, including the yes or no proposition of papal infallibility. The Vatican and the Bishops say it is.

If you say it IS what Catholics teach and believe then you are wrong, papal infallibility IS part of Catholic teaching, and this "debate" is over, as indeed it was long ago.

If you say it is NOT what Catholics teach and believe, and if you maintain that papal infallibility is NOT part of Catholic teaching and belief, and is completely silly, and that Pope Francis agrees, then it is incumbent upon YOU to demonstrate this.

That means providing links to authoritative sources that prove the Vatican and USCoCB sites are false. Mind you, not another load of obfuscation about HOW papal infallibility works, but backing for your position that papal infallibility is NOT part of Catholic teaching or belief at all and that Pope Francis backs you up.

Good luck with that one.

The text and link (which I did not omit but specifically included and repeatedly referenced in my first reply) says the following. Note the fact that it references Papal infallibility at all, and that you acknowledge and refer to this infallibility yourself after claiming NONE of this silliness was part of Catholic teaching or belief, already proves you were wrong.

------

889 In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a "supernatural sense of faith" the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living Magisterium, "unfailingly adheres to this faith."

90 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

891 "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith." This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.

I'm not getting into this thing between you and Gallup, Bob, despite the fact that it appears to have begun over a remark I made, regarding papal infallibility, simply because, a) Gallup is perfectly capable of holding his own and doesn't need my help, and b) Gallup has clearly done extensive research which, at the moment, I have neither the time nor inclination to duplicate.

However, in your response to Gallup, you made a statement with which I would like to beg askance, that when the bishops convened, and made a unanimous decision, the results of that decision are indeed infallible.

Now I have no idea how many bishops there are in the world, hundreds? thousands? You would know better than I, and looking it up would serve no purpose as regards my question.

You're clearly an intelligent man, Bob, well-read, well-educated, and for that reason, not only do I not understand your belief in religion - ANY religion - but I'm even more amazed at how you can possibly believe that the unanimous conclusion reached by however many old virgins, could possibly attain any degree of infallibility. It boggles the mind.

If you were a Falwell, a Robertson, a Shirley Phelps, or any other of those basket cases, I could much more easily understand it.

Let me toss in an example, and since this is an afterthought and I have only 11 minutes to do it, I may not make it.

You've stated that Gallop doesn't understand how this infallibility thing works, that one would have to know much more than he has been able to glean, in order to do so, and that may or may not be true.

However, I HAVE extensively studied the 325 CE Council of Nicea, in which it was "infallibly" decided that a trinity existed, consisting of old Yahweh, Yeshua, and the Holy Spook - firmly, inexorably, infallibly established, despite the many references I haven't time to list, present in the Gospels, in which Yeshua admits that he would have no power except that given to him by his Father, who prays in Gethsemane to god to release him from his agreement, his quoting of the Psalm, "My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?" - not to mention that the entire purpose of the sacrifice of a "perfect lamb" is to appease a god, which, according to the Council, would have been himself.

There was as much, if not more arm-twisting going on in that Council as happens regularly in Congress or Parliament, yet somehow, we are to conclude that that decision was true for all time, divinely inspired and infallible. Grimm's Fairy Tales are more credible.

Good heavens!   You're doing the isolated quote-verses out of context thing that the fundamentalist Christians do when trying to prove a point.   Have you noticed how much your thinking and approach resembles theirs?  Why you even seem to believe in a literal Noah's Ark!

For just one example, slavery in nomadic middle eastern tribes was not the chattel slavery of North America.  It was closer to indentured servitude.  You could "sell" yourself as a laborer, or "sell" your son or daughter as a laborer (which later became the practice of apprenticing).   These are cultural and economic practices.  So reading that Exodus chapter in that light, what you have is an effort to make that cultural practice more humane.    I personally believe prostitution is degrading of women, yet it's legal in Nevada, people choose to do it voluntarily for money.  So Nevada has laws to regulate it.    In Israel, you can buy someone's labor, but you are responsible for their upkeep.  You can re-sell their labor, but not to foreigners who may not follow our laws or who may abuse them.  If you marry them they are your full wife, not a concubine.  That all seems fairly progressive for nomadic tribes of the day.

The point is that we can look at the works of Leonardo da Vinci and can certainly point out how many ways he got anatomy wrong, or how his proposed devices are obviously stupid and would not work based on what we know now.   Or we can look at the works of da Vinci and say "wow, he really did quite well for his day, and was remarkably prescient about a number of things."   Most smart people choose the latter.

For the rest, as I've said repeatedly, absolutely there is corruption in the Vatican bank.  Absolutely, members of the church hierarchy have at many times been foolish and at some points been wicked, and most of the time been arrogant.   Cover-ups, corruption, cases of murder, rape, intrigue... yep, all real.  Yep, absolutely, they should be condemned.

No, they in no way affect the question as to whether or not the theory or principles are correct, any more than corruption in U.S. banks means that capitalism is wicked, the presence of corrupt politicians and coverups means that democracy is not a good form of government or scientists committing fraud or murder affect whether science is a good descriptor of the universe.

To be honest intellectually you must address the merits of an idea independent of the character of individual proponents of the idea, just as morally you must not ascribe the failings of some members of the group to the entire group.

To be honest intellectually you must address the merits of an idea independent of the character of individual proponents of the idea, just as morally you must not ascribe the failings of some members of the group to the entire group.

Wow, Bob. So by your own admission you were intellectually dishonest to proclaim atheists are intellectually inferior. Gotcha again, Pinocchio.

Heyyyy, wait a minute! That's not just dishonesty. That's hypocrisy too!

Don't bother to reply, Bob. Like you said, you're not here to debate anything or address any of the arguments we post. You're just here to offer an alternative perspective.

So keep posting! It's great you're here to show us the true Catholic way of looking at things. It's like you're an atheism recruiting mascot or the plucky TA comic relief!

Your faith must be in something greater than what humanity has created. It must be in something greater than what the institutions of the world have created.

You see your faith is meant to keep your mind focused on a Greater Power that resides within you and within the minds and hearts of all who dwell here. It is this power within you and around you that must be the focus and substance of your faith.

For consider, if your faith is based upon the manifestations of life—the creations of humanity, what human institutions have developed—then how can this faith be sustained into the future? What will happen to your faith when nations clash, when terrible acts are committed against innocent people in the name of God and religion? What will happen to your faith when people go hungry and starvation increases as the world’s supply of fresh water and food declines due to environmental degradation and overuse? What will happen to your faith when holy sites are desecrated, when places beloved by people are destroyed through turmoil, through competition, conflict and war?

What will happen to your faith within these scenarios? If you believe that God is the author of all that takes place, how will you justify these things? How will you keep God holy, merciful and beneficial if you think God is the author of human behavior and human conflict? There must be a clarification here. There must be a greater understanding, or faith will fail you if it has not done so already.

There are many people today whose faith has already been shattered. They have grown cynical and their fear has become justified. They do not believe in a greater promise for humanity. And if they are religious, they will think that humanity will suffer under the weight of God’s recrimination and punishment.

They think these things because they have lost faith in what is most essential in life. They are unaware of the great endowment of Knowledge—a greater intelligence that has been given to the human family that resides within each heart, as a potential within each person. They have seen their dreams be shattered through human conflict, corruption and degradation. And now their heart is closed and their minds are dark. They will easily succumb to the Greater Darkness in the world that will speak to their fear, to their anger and to their distrust. They are unaware of the great endowment from the Creator of all life.

RE: "What will happen to your faith when people go hungry and starvation increases as the world’s supply of fresh water and food declines due to environmental degradation and overuse?"

Some of that, Lionel, can definitely be attributed to Humanity's greed and self-absorption, but I can't help wondering if some of it is due to those who believe there's no need to conserve or to protect the environment, as, in their minds, the "second coming" is right around the corner --

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