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.
Theism poisons the minds of those who embrace the ideology, as evidence I refer you to the posts of one Professor Bob....I won't commend any works/actions which stems from a core ideology of any type of Theism (doGs).
So you won't commend people who choose to do good or even heroic things if they are religious? The man who runs into the burning building to save another, the police officer who stands in harms' way to protect another, the aid worker tending the sick and injured in refugee camps in South Sudan... no commendation or recognition if they do it as believers?
We Catholics are happy to commend atheists who live lives of goodness.
Do you really think that it's my mind that is poisoned by ideology?
It should be obvious by my comments, that I don't think of you that way, but the one problem I DO have with you, Bob, is that I have asked you, on more than one occasion, to outline what your OWN, personal beliefs are, and you've tended to pretend I didn't.
Why are my own personal beliefs so important to you, @archaeopteryx? In discussing things here, we're engaged in a discussion of particular ideas, not attempting to challenge each others' beliefs. Surely it's possible to engage in such discussions without knowing every detail about a person's beliefs, or ethnic background, or personal history.
Besides, I think I've been pretty clear that I am a faithful, practicing, Roman Catholic Christian, and professionally a scientist and science educator. That's far more about my beliefs than I know about yours.
BTW, I saw recently that you have been replaced by Aurornis xui! Ah, well. Being the oldest isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
"Why are my own personal beliefs so important to you, @archaeopteryx?"
Because I've noticed a particular pattern to your behavior - you attempt to refute what each of us says we believe, while dancing around your own, without ever giving us an opportunity to refute them - expressing your own personal beliefs removes that unfair advantage, allowing us to see past the smoke and mirrors, to the man behind the curtain.
RE: "I saw recently that you have been replaced by Aurornis xui!" - go look up the most recent data, I don't have that link at my fingertips, as I didn't realize I'd be called to the stand - that conclusion has been reversed, I remain king of the protp-birds!
Because I've noticed a particular pattern to your behavior - you attempt to refute what each of us says we believe, while dancing around your own, without ever giving us an opportunity to refute them
I see it exactly in reverse.
If you'll forgive me the critique, the normative discourse style here seems to be to latch on to isolated theist statements or beliefs without developing any real understanding, and then "refute" them or subject them to ridicule based on surface features. When that fails, resort to general smears about pedophilia or corruption or causing wars ;P
I'm not really interested in getting you to declare your personal beliefs so that I can refute them or subject them to ridicule based on surface features. My only inquiry into people's beliefs here was the discussion on "atheist creed", and I was very careful not to use anyone's response to refute their beliefs. It just doesn't seem courteous, when I don't really know enough about them. That's especially true for a guest in this space like myself.
Where I do choose to respond I'm only trying to offer a more authentic theistic perspective, one that's a bit deeper than the caricatured one that sometimes emerges here. Not to refute your belief, but just to correct your information about my belief, and those like me.
Respectful sharing is all. If you're going to make an argument against religion, it should at least be a good one!
I hadn't seen more recent data on Aurornis. I just caught the original Nature article. So Archaeopteryx is still king, eh?
RE: "I see it exactly in reverse." - of course, I would expect no less.
I find myself wondering if possibly you're writing a paper, using us as lab rats.
No, no papers!
The IRB approval process for human subjects research is too onerous by far!
@Bob - you said all - I didn't say 'ALL" you read what you want to read, but I would say, a large proportion of them should be roundly condemned, brought to justice and jailed. What the church has done, because of its surreptitious, evil behavior, is taking the good guys down with them.
Trillions? 2x10^12? I think your orders of magnitude are off. The Vatican bank's total assets are less than 10 billion.
Can you say, how much you think is in their bank - Nobody knows how much - the hierarchy of the vatican and the bank WILL NOT allow anybody to look at their accounting, and where the money has come from and going to... The vatican and the bank will not allow anybody to see how much property they own, they will not allow anybody to look into their Insurance arm - more obfuscation and arrogance - they are a completely protected entity - because of that revered, wonderful, honorable figure, Benito Mussolini, and it continues to this day.
They will be forced to become transparent in everything, albeit kicking and screaming.
Why do you think they will not allow any investigation if there is nothing to hide.
University hospitals make a fortune - I don't know about your University hospitals, but here in Australia, University hospitals are the teaching hospitals, where the best and brightest go to learn, with the best of equipment known to man - where people are treated FOR FREE - Catholic and Seventh Day Adventist hospitals here, are private, and charge private fees, and costs are enormous - every pill every bandage - charged and made a profit. No benevolent society in there - nothing for the good of the people. If you can't afford to go there, sorry, no admittance.
When a civil tort case is tried, the insurance company is the one who defends the case, not the church - the insurance company is there for the clerics, nobody knows how much has been paid out, or to whom, or for what crimes. Criminal.
This insurance arm are the ones who pay pedophile victims, protect the pedophiles, and force the traumatized victims to sign a non-disclosure, to not speak of the rape and sodomy they endured. Once again, what wonderful christians run this Insurance company.
So you won't commend people who choose to do good or even heroic things if they are religious.
Of course, we will. Nobody has ever said that - Once again you twist what is being said, to suit - it's a very old old christian tactic.
You just keep on making excuses - while the leaders of your church commit heinous crimes against humanity.
Just breeze through the following link - this is just one group after pedophile priests etc. There are groups all over the world, trying to send pedophile priests to jail, before they can take off into the safe compound of the vatican.
You mentioned the lovely Bernard Law, just another recalcitrant being protected by the vatican, along with thousands of others, enjoying life. Criminal. The following are the crimes committed by the vatican - but business rolls on, with the help of the Public Relationships Department.
This following is happening in your country.
Of course there are other pedophiles from other groups, but when found, they go to jail, not your lot.
No other organization or group, professing to be good honest blah de blah, protect criminals the way your catholic church has done.
Heroes in Australia get medals - criminals go to jail - and I know that is also the fact in your country, religion has nothing to do with it, or whatever the motives for doing a good deed. One helps in whatever way one can, because one is a civilized human being.
That's not what they would claim, @arch. They would claim that their faith made them who they are.
Even if you were to dismiss their own self-reflection (on what grounds?), you are left with the question of whether they "brought what they are to the clergy" specifically because work within religion gave them the greatest support and scope for who they are. It is doubtful that they would have expressed themselves as fully in the job of government bureaucrat.
First, we don't know that that's not what they would claim, but if they did, it likely would be because their belief system, based on non-existent, mythological characters, supports, and in fact, promotes, false modesty.
Well, several of the people I mentioned I know or knew personally, so of course I know what they would claim.
Of course their belief system promotes modesty. False perhaps to begin with, and then learned and made more personal through practice and habit. A measure of modesty is necessary to actually care about and to serve others. Ego, as in the unrestrained ego of some politicians, does not allow for true service to others or the community.
So the operation of the belief system has achieved its desired end and the result is efficacious. You dismiss it because you don't understand it or your own bias gets in the way. If it is efficacious, then does it matter that you can't see some things? Electricity works, and we can't see electrons. We claim they exist solely because we see the effects.
@Bob - It is not because of the charlatans and liars that I am an Atheist, it is because I could not follow or revere or think wonderful the god of your bible. Then came the analysing of the bible, adam and eve, virgin birth, where did the population of the earth come from, two people? Mmmm - bit of a worry, that. Very basic stuff.
From the ten commandments - "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
Mmmm - what other gods - this was my initial drop of faith into the abyss, and the abyss filled up with more and more of the stupidity and evilness, of the bible.
'All fair and noble impulses of humanity, the dreams of poets and the agonies of martyrs, are shackled and bound in the service of organized and predatory greed.'
Upton Sinclair - 1878-1968
I have known one good priest, a lovely man, who would have a beer with my Dad, after Mass. My Dad was an Anglican and a Mason - no matter - they never spoke religion. The next good christian was a Nun. She would come around for coffee. No talk of religion - she knew that I was an Atheist. She gave solace to a friend of mine who had a two year old drown, BUT, never spoke of religion.
Both these people were innately good, nothing to do with religion. It is people like this that prop up the business of the catholic church - "The Firm' -
Christian hospitals make a fortune, yet pay no tax on the millions they make, all on the back of Science. The best of property - no tax - trillions sitting in the bank and insurance company - no tax.
I also give latitude to the new pope in the hope that he will actually do some good - the only way he can make up for misdeeds of the criminals in your midst, who lead your catholic church is -
1. Stop the harassing of victims of pedophilia in every catholic country in the world, and when they are paid a meagre amount of money - they were then forced to sign a Non-Disclosure", and can never sue the church, or talk about it, again. This, has been, by the way, finally overturned legally, and victims can now come forward and tell their story, of the catholic church's most protected people, the abusers of children .
The catholic church here spent millions in court, trying to stop the victims from telling their story - and thank my lovely white unicorn - the church, with it's hundreds of very highly paid lawyer's, failed. This, hopefully, will come to your country too.
2. Open the books of the Vatican bank, to show the places where the money has come from is not laundered money. It was, by the way, called The Institute for Works of Religion - a misnomer if there ever was one. Complete transparency, and the investigation to be made by people not involved with the bank. The money in the bank goes to clergy etc, to keep them in the lifestyle that they have become accustomed to.
3. Find out what happened to - "Roberto Calvi, nicknamed "God's Banker", was found hanged beneath London's Blackfriars Bridge, with investigators unable to rule whether he had committed suicide or was murdered."
The Vatican chose a Swiss firm to manage financial services inside the Vatican - because of Switzerland's secrecy on bank accounts.
4. Find where the millions given in good faith to the lovely Mother Teresa went, instead of to where it should have gone, building a hospital, and caring for the sick and dying, and still raking in millions, from good intentioned people, who assume the money will actually go to where it is intended, the sick and they dying.
5. Stop harbouring pedophiles at the Vatican, where they can't be touched by the law.
6. The Vatican should be cleaning out these cancerous people, who give the good people, doing good works etc. a bad, distrustful name.
You, sir, should not be supporting the bad guys with your apologetics , but band with the good people of your church and stop making excuses for the criminal element which now permeates your church.
I do think religon is a load of cosdwallop, but that is not my point - you want to believe in god - good for you.
Nor can I condemn the beliefs of 1.2 billion people because some acted badly -
That is not what I am doing - I am condemning the hierarchy, the hub, the controllers of your religion - who are hiding their criminal acts behind the cross, who take money from poor, superstitious people who want to go to heaven, to a church already weighed down by the amount of money it has, who are riding on the backs of the likes of you and others like you, who do believe, and like good little sheep, prop this cancerous cell - up.
I feel sorry for all the good people in all religions, who mean well, and act with propriety - but the hierarchy of any religion, any church, do not do this.
The church preys upon the insecurities inherent in human beings to keep them under control, and engender the fears, to boost the numbers. Religion has peddled this notion of a mythical place called hell, it's working a treat for uneducated superstitious peoples.
As in the quote above - it is all about predatory greed, which is once again, full steam ahead in third world countries - in your name.