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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@Bob - I am so sorry, I didn't know of the good works you were doing in Africa - I thought you were ensconced in a catholic University - my mistake.

No, I work at a major public research university, not a Catholic one.  But I did write a blog post about my travel to East Africa and my work with some of the church and folks there. 

As a supposed intellectual, have you not been even a tad curious about where the version of your bible came from.

Why would you assume that I don't know where our version of the Bible came from?  I'm not a biblical scholar by any means, but I think I've been clear that my Church compiled the thing over time from a variety of disparate sources.  The history and the mishmash of different sources is really quite interesting, as is the extent to which apocryphal sources like the book of Enoch enter into Christian understanding.   Which part of that would you like to explore and discuss?

lose any creditability you may wish to gain by calling yourself professor.

You should never base an assessment of credibility on the title "Professor" or any other title for that matter.  Certainly I don't.  I just happened to type that in when I joined because my students tend to call me "Dr. Bob".  I don't know, perhaps I was feeling formal or maybe I was worried you all would think I was a surgeon, so I just put in "Professor Robert".

You did very well in keeping Legions of Christ and Opus Dai from your door, pity the vatican didn't do likewise.

As I mentioned, I would agree with you about suppressing the Legionaries of Christ.  Not because most of them aren't good men, but because there's such a taint on the order from the behavior of its founder.   Opus Dei from my limited contact with people in it is essentially an intellectual and committed group that supported Eastern European Catholic lay people who were living under atheist communist repression for decades and had to meet in secret out of fear for themselves and their families.  I at least know some real people in Opus Dei.  Do you?

Now, a question for you - as an American, what are you doing to expose the pedophilia in your public schools?  The failure of your social service agencies to protect kids?   Do you tell your friends about the untold wealth of the unions or the hedge fund bankers?  Do you speak of the lifestyle of the Hollywood elite with contempt - the multi-million dollar homes, the sumptuous travel, the housekeepers, the male and female prostitutes?  Or do you like all Americans worship them on television?   How about the American politicians with the same perqs?   Do you point out the inaccuracies in your Constitution and Supreme Court interpretations?  Do you quote people, out of American history books or the laws of your state the evil stuff?  Or do you just stick to the good stuff for the most part?

Those would be the sort of objections a pro-Sharia law Islamic fundamentalist might ask an American. When you ask those sorts of things about the Catholic Church, you are just emulating that sort of highly biased fundamentalist fanatic.

You, and they, are right of course.  American politicians and other financial and social elites are in many cases wealthy, self-centered, even wicked.  So are Catholic clerics, though they tend not to be anywhere near as wealthy or as wicked. 

None of that means that we should replace constitutional democracy, just as it doesn't mean that Catholic teaching isn't perfectly valid.

@Bob - I am so sorry, I didn't know of the good works you were doing in Africa - I thought you were ensconced in a catholic University - my mistake.

If I were born in an Arabic country, I would understand the Koran and Islamic culture much better than I do -

Understanding a book, doesn't make it true. I understand the bible, I reject interpretation that christians put on it - I understand my book on Goblins, doesn't make it true. There are also ex-muslims on this site, who understand the koran - they do not want to follow a violent, misogynistic pedophile.

Muslims used to be a vibrant, educated group of inventors, of builders of beautiful artifacts, of respect for women - but have returned to the old ways of religion - violence, stone them, or cut off their heads, if you disagree with Allah. Exactly what catholics used to do. Burn at stake stoning, drowning, general torture. Men women, children.

As part of your general education, read up on Peter the Hermit, who claimed a letter was written by god and delivered to him personally by Jesus. Just wouldn't wash these days, by catholics, well, hopefully, but is is still being claimed by certain christians.

The biggest charlatans of all are the people of rank in the catholic church. They cannot believe what they preach, or else why fight to keep criminal activity away from authorities - they have to protect 'The Firm', that is losing numbers in their thousands, so the catholic church is doing what it has always done, preyed on the gullible and superstitious people, they are now in third world countries, where there is very little, if any education.

As a supposed intellectual, have you not been even a tad curious about where the version of your bible came from. How many people have had a hand in translating, changing, adding to, working out where those bloody vowels should go. How many commandments should be left out. Have you no want of knowledge, to at least become a good teacher, of where the bible that you adhere to came from. It is very traceable, and really should have been part of your education - but seemingly not.

Without you doing your homework - you fail. And until you do your homework, you are not being truthful, and lose any creditability you may wish to gain by calling yourself professor.

You did very well in keeping Legions of Christ and Opus Dai from your door, pity the vatican didn't do likewise. Both of these cults are practicing their hypocrisy world wide. Yes, there are good people in both groups, but the good gullibles are being dragged into the pit, along with the bad. Close these cults down, by vatican decree, and move the others around, just like the catholic church does with pedophiles. They have had so much practice at moving people around, I am sure they could find the time to do it for some good people, too, don't you think.

You, dear sir, are part of the problem of protecting these hypocrites.

A question for you - You, as a practicing catholic, what are you doing to expose the pedophilia, and the cover up perpetuated by the hierarchy, in your church. Do you tell your students about the untold wealth of the catholic church, do you speak of the money laundering of criminals through the vatican bank? do you speak of the lifestyle of these people in the hierarchy, the multi million dollar apartments they live in - the sumptuous travel, the housekeepers, male prostitutes, or women, if they so wish. Do you speak of all the inaccuracies in your particular version of the bible. Do you quote to them, out of your bible, the evil verses, or do you just stick to God loves you' scenario?*yE0wTo-sum*4BFXTQJ1L0aVYw62LkF*wZb5WS-Dm0t-67xgAzO3JH0ptfH7IvQ3HEP4e0h43M7k-Dm1g-C7ch/Bergoglio001.jpg


I thank the person who sent me this - It is really good to know there are people all over the world, who understand what the,in this case, the catholic church is really all about, and the International Community want a pope and the vatican charged with Crimes against Humanity.

@Bob - If you are going to support the Vatican and it's criminals, you really should know what you are protecting - loads of information to be had, and after reading just some of these articles, on what is happening outside your bubble of privilege, then come back and discuss again, and tell me this is what you want to do, protect criminals, fraudsters, pedophiles and hypocrites. No business, no criminal syndicate comes close to what the catholic church has held secret, has covered up.

It gets to the stage of words are said so often, they lose their impact. Is that what is happening. You are just as guilty, as the people actually doing these crimes.

I will stick to one pope, also keeping in mind, popes used be able to get married, so they can change that rule back again, if a pope so wished.

Dear Bob, it is not personal bias, it is opening eyes, as opposed to making excuses for crimes against humanity. This is not just an Italian court, it is a number of International Courts.'

***But at least few of ours walk away independently wealthy -

They have no need for independent wealth, they have everything they want, everything their little heart desires, is provided. One of the big differences these days, is that Ratszinger can't leave the Vatican confines - or he will be arrested. Do your homework.

@Gallup - brilliant - Also don't end up in a catholic hospital if you are threateneing to miscarry - they will not give you an abortion - even with the threat that the mother may well die, makes no difference, as has happened in cathlic hospitals, even itf the mother is not catholic. I class this as murder.

Why have catholic hospitals, aren't they praying hard enough?

The usual, have a bet both ways, if you die, it is god's will, if you survive, it is a miracle.

Has our friend, Bob, left the building.

Why have catholic hospitals, aren't they praying hard enough?

LOL.  Now you're mixing us up with the Christian Scientists!

We have Catholic hospitals because people who are sick need real medical care, and because in much of the world they can't afford it or don't have access to it.

Lol.  No, its because we need more students in the Catholic schools! ;-)

You raise an interesting point that is perhaps worth exploring on this interminably long thread if anyone is even paying attention.

The Catholic Church does not "forbid" birth control.   I'm not exactly sure how we would forbid it, or too many other things for that matter.

Instead what we do is teach that the fullest expression of love between two people in a marriage is to be open to all the possibilities of that love, including the gift of a child.  Sex at its best should be about love and openness and possibility, not about recreation.

So we'd say that's the ideal to strive for.  Like any ideal, when we fall short of the ideal that's a failure, or sin, which makes us and the world a little bit less than what we could be.  Sometimes coming up short of our ideals is really a small thing, as a loving couple who is just trying to be economically prudent; other times it's a bigger thing, as in a guy who tries to rack up one-night stands, demeaning women and leaving injured feelings in his wake.   

Regardless, we're also compassionate about such failings, because we all fail.  Our goal is to teach and inspire people to choose to be better more than it is to "forbid."

So if I may present the Cliff Notes and take some of the flowers out of the phrasing, by saying, "Like any ideal, when we fall short of the ideal that's a failure, or sin" - you're basically telling us that any Catholic, though not expressly "forbidden" to use birth control, is a sinner and a failure if he or she does so, because they're rejecting any possibility of receiving one of your god's little gifts.

Not any Catholic, any human. 

Yep, we're all sinners.  Some folks eat too much, or consume too much in other ways.  Sometimes we get impatient with others when we shouldn't, we tell "white" lies when we should be truthful, we exaggerate a bit on our tax deductions, we drive by that car stopped along the side of the highway without checking to make sure people are OK or we look the other way when we notice some human need we should respond to.

All those things have consequences, for ourselves and for other people and for the world.  By teaching people, we hope that some will change, will do a bit better, will try something new, and in that way they will grow and the future world will be a bit better.

BTW, is there any way to search postings in this place?  I just saw this old posting when I was trying to find something else <;-}

I certainly do those things, but I contend that I am not a sinner. It's a matter of perspective.  I say I'm human and imperfect, with room for improvement. I don't accept the label of "sinner " because I do not believe in a deity whose rules I have broken.  

You can say that you are a sinner, and can certainly believe that everybody is a sinner, but please understand that I don't agree that I am one.  You might think it's semantics, but it isn't. I don't buy the whole concept of sin, at least as I currently understand it.

I completely get it that we are all imperfect and we are continually in a learning process.  I choose to try to improve myself, but not for the approval of a deity.  I think that's important.

Here ya go, Diane - I cranked up the old Singer and knocked this out just for you, I had to guess on the size:

There ya go.  It's official.

Catholics go to hospital when their god does not answer their prayers and they turn to Science for help. Some Christians don’t because they have a different interpretation of the bible and so let their children die because it is part of their gods plan.  The other problem is that if you are a non-Catholic in an Irish Catholic hospital then you are unable to procure a termination based on medical needs (the life of the mother). I am mentioning this again because it is still big news here in Ireland.

The Catholic primate of Ireland (you gotta luv that title) has just told our politicians that if they vote for the proposed changes to abortion law then they are not welcome to receive communion in church. So here we have another case of the church interfering in politics. Imagine not being allowed to swallow the flesh of an imaginary god! Fuck ‘em from a height. They are marching around the streets like zombie sheep these last few days with their magic rosary beads and incantations. They are up in arms against giving gay people human rights too.  

When I was 10 years old I was in hospital for a few days after a minor road accident. I woke to find a huge crucifix hanging on the opposite wall. I asked to be moved and the religious nurse (nun I think) started flapping around the room like a trapped bat and praying in Latin. It was a sight to behold. I think it may have left me with deep emotional scars...haha….lol.

Hitchens on hospitals

This is a total aside, but it doesn't deserve a thread of its own. I wonder why people in the UK's sphere of influence feel no need to put "the" in front of hospital when speaking of people going to or being sent to a hospital?


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