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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I think the L.A. Times investigation into the Boy Scouts identified many cases like that, @archaeopteryx.  It came out in the Oregon lawsuit as well.

I'm an older fellow, so I remember the times better than some here perhaps.  Obtaining convictions for rape of any sort was quite hard, because it often turned on relative credibility.  That was true for women, and even more so for children; the credibility of a child witness compared with a "respected" adult was quite low.   The social norm was that parents did not want their children involved in such cases because there were few protections for witnesses, and so much potential for social stigma.  Mandatory reporting for parental abuse really didn't come about until the 80s.   The Scouts according to reports didn't even start requiring background checks until a few years ago. 

Much has changed over the years, thank goodness.  More needs to.

So employers of all sorts, not just religious, tended to "move these people along" back then.  With no likelihood of prosecution, the goal was to get them out of their current circumstances.  Smaller organizations allowed them to resign and get new jobs serving youth elsewhere.  They wrote qualified letters of recommendation because of (legitimate) fear of a slander suit, or because they could not find contractual grounds to fire them without establish cause.   Sometimes, they were more concerned about scandal than they were about victims.  Larger organizations tried treatment programs or moving them to other roles.

Teachers, ministers, coaches, scout leaders, parents - all people with a great deal of access to youth and a great deal of community trust and respect.  All ideal roles for predators.  We didn't do well by kids.

For me, though, parent, priest, and teacher perpetrators are the most... I don't have a word.  Disgusting.  Infuriating.  Something.  Just because those roles are very close to me, they feel like a bigger betrayal.

On this side of our northern border, it's prerogative, not "prorogative" --

My pleasure.

My that's hard to read.

The Seattle times report cites the AAUW study, which is a peer-reviewed research study that found that 10% of public school students were victims of sexual abuse of some sort at the hands of teachers or administrators in public schools.  I believe that's actually a higher incidence rate than any of the studies of clergy sexual abuse.  There is of course a scientific question of whether the research sample is properly representative of the population as a whole, as you point out.  That same criticism applies to the samples we have seen from investigations of incidents within the Catholic church.

What's telling in that report is the point you make:  nobody cares enough to actually investigate it further, even though 10% of children are reporting abuse.  If that isn't negligent and reflective of "cover up", I don't know what is.  How can you have 10% victim reporting and almost no cases referred for prosecution?

@Bob - Welcome back, so we can help you in enlarging your world, of maybe realizing that America is not the only country on this planet, but there are actually other countries, and that they not only have millions of honest good and faithful to god christians, but also in those same countries, rampant, systematic pedophilia, covered up by the hierarchy in all of those same countries, and hopefully, you stepping out of your bubble, and seeing truth and honesty, instead of protecting the cancers in the church that you are propping up and protecting.

I am not zealous - I wouldn't be fussed if you had faith in a rock, or if millions also had faith in a rock, sang Amazing Grace, or prayed to said rock. It is ONLY the skullduggery of religions in general, but as you are a catholic coming onto an Atheist site - I answer you.

I don't go to christian sites, as they remove any comments I make :) They just don't like any discussion about their faith. And that is OK by me.

However, we don't have any ability to punish or imprison those members of the clergy who broke the trust of so many.    For that we must turn to the State.

Bollocks. If catholics don't step up in large numbers, and oust these criminals - who will? Oh, yes the families of the rape victims are getting their voices finally heard, the good catholics in your midst, are stepping up, just not you.

I didn't mention euthanasia, and it is a hoot how you once again, don't actually pick up on the important. I want these priests and bishops and popes to be given over to the police, charged and taken to court, and when hundreds of victims give testimony, go to jail for the rest of their lives.

There are not just a few bad apples, but a rotten barrel.

I didn't expect you to know anything about George Pell, why would you when you live in a bubble, he was just one example of the attitude of denial, of coverup, as is the norm within the hierarchy of the catholic church in any country that you care to name,in the cover up of pedophilia rampant in the catholic church in Australia. So I will stick to America, and that systematic coverup.

The following is just the tip of the iceberg - and keep in mind, the thousands upon thousands of children chosen by these men, were sexually inexperienced, as young as six years old.

First, I know about Bernard Law, and how good catholics, protested outside his church, and cut off the money supply to him. My goodness, how do I know about this. I read American newspapers, I watch American news, as I do with Ireland and Nigeria, and Indonesia and the Philippines, where the rape of children by priests is the norm.
Cardinal Law became the first high-level Church official to be accused of actively participating in the cover-up of child molestation.

The Archdiocese closed sixty-five parishes before Cardinal Law stepped down from service. He lives in protection behind Vatican walls, continuing his misogyny,  and is a disgrace to humanity.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony - former head of the largest catholic archdiocese in the US has been accused of protecting more than 120 sexually abusive priests during his time as the archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011.

Even after an apology In 2007, he kept up the hiding and moving around, the protecting of rapists of children, until 2011.  Mahony apologized for the abuse of hundreds of victims from around 500 families of children who had been raped, sodomized, molested, intimidated and bullied to keep it quiet. Just with this small group of people, Mahony got from the Vatican through it's insurance company, 660 million dollars to pay the victims, when they were forced to sign a document to say they would not talk about this or sue the church anymore.

The well-being of these victims, children scarred for life, many suiciding, directly caused by the sickening abuse, never emerges as the uppermost concern of the Church hierarchy.

How about Lawrence Murphy, the predatory priest who was systematic in choosing to work with deaf children, who were marginalized by their deafness. This lovely Father Murphy chose around 200 children from families who did not know sign language. Murphy was reported to Ratzinger by Archbishop Rembert Weakland, but was ignored by Ratzinger.

Murphy died in 1998, never having been punished by the church or local criminal authorities in Milwaukee, according to documents and interviews with families and children raped and molested by this person.

Sadly, yet another one of many - too many to name here :(

It is only the catholics who truly love their god, who are protesting, as an archbishop is doing in Australia, sending around the world a petition to expose all the documents, all the priests and bishops who are being protected by the Vatican, and send them to trial. It is catholics 'Fighting for Justice', as opposed to apologists.

I would say you have never heard the story from a victim of rape - the following is part of your education.

With diocesan finance is that it is mostly well meaning but bumbling, carried out by folks -

I know that generally, the catholic suburban church has to raise it's own money, they don't get money  from the vatican per se, the local suburban church relies on the people who go to that church to pay the upkeep of that church, and to raise money for that church. Many good honest people do this. But, people are leaving in droves, that is why so many churches are closing, with no help from the vatican. It is the vatican insurance company that pays for rape and sodomy victims of the catholic church, albeit kicking and screaming, only when absolutely forced to.
As to "crimes against humanity", that's a legal term of art referring to genocide - Wrong!!!! 

The list of the specific crimes contained within the meaning of crimes against humanity has been expanded since Article 6(c) of the IMT to include, in the ICTY and the ICTR, rape and torture on a large scale. To target a given group and carry out a policy of “widespread or systematic” violations. Crimes against humanity are also distinguishable from war crimes in that they not only apply in the context of war—they apply in times of war and peace.

So, you just stay in your bubble if you don't like the truth, and leave it to the good, honest catholics, the secularists and atheists, who do want to clean out the cancers in your church, who do want justice to be done.

Excellent post Gallup :)

Welcome back, so we can help you in enlarging your world, of maybe realizing that America is not the only country on this planet, but there are actually other countries

LOL.  Yes, I have to admit, we Americans are ignorant in an almost premeditated way about other cultures and nations.  It is well nigh impossible to get competent international reporting through any American news outlet, and in all our social problems from gun violence to health care we seem obliged to reinvent the wheel while completely ignoring what any other nation has done or discovered.  So you'll have to forgive me my culture's failings.

I want these priests and bishops and popes to be given over to the police, charged and taken to court, and when hundreds of victims give testimony, go to jail for the rest of their lives.

I do as well.  In fact, when Geoghan was murdered in prison by a fellow inmate, I confess I didn't shed any tears.

However, I'm not willing to dismantle the protections of the criminal justice systems in my country or others just to get that result.  Nor (I hope) would I take justice into my own hands.  When Bernard Law skated off after the Massachusetts AG chose not to prosecute I was livid, because I wanted the head of that pompous ass on a pike.  That's probably why decisions to prosecute based on the evidence are best made by others with a more professional perspective.

where the rape of children by priests is the norm.

I was with you up to here.  This is where your argument runs off the rails and ceases to be rational or objective.  Here in America, the percentage of serving priests who committed these sorts of crimes was not the norm.  It was small.  In Australia it was small.  In Ireland, it was small.  Heinous, awful, perhaps protected by (or at least hiding within) "the system" at times, but far from the norm.

In a worldwide community of 1.2 billion, individual anecdotes aren't hard to find and point to with alarm.  There are Fr. Geoghans and Fr. Murphys.  There are Bernard Laws.   Anecdotes are not data, and they certainly don't establish a norm.

people are leaving in droves, that is why so many churches are closing, with no help from the vatican.

Actually, the U.S. Catholic population is stable.  People here are leaving the mainline protestant churches in favor of evangelical churches, and to some extent are leaving sexually liberal churches in droves (at least it's tearing the American Episcopal community apart in some ways).

The reason why Catholic churches are closing over here is shortage of priests, and to some extent demographic shifts.  Urban churches are closing as Catholics move into suburbia. 

It is the vatican insurance company that pays for rape and sodomy victims of the catholic church

Actually, the structure here is that various "Catholic Conferences" pool resources for the purpose of insurance.  They typically are self-insured (high deductible) for the first round, then have regular commercially available insurance for higher amounts.   There's no such thing as a "Vatican Insurance Company", and certainly nothing like that is licensed to operate in the U.S.

The list of the specific crimes contained within the meaning of crimes against humanity has been expanded since Article 6(c) of the IMT to include, in the ICTY and the ICTR, rape and torture on a large scale.

While I understand the temptation to try to expand definitions unreasonably, I don't agree with the practice.  In fact, I think it's dangerous to liberty to allow overbroad definitions of criminality.  Rape and torture on a large scale refers to things like the forcible rape of family members throughout an ethnic community as a form of ethnic cleansing that we see in African tribal wars.  We cheapen and render ineffective these important protections of law when we use them inappropriately to refer to the acts of individual child predators who just happen to have the same job.

@Dianne - my sentiments exactly.

@Bob - I am so glad you are on this site. You reinforce the reason why the catholic church has got away with these Crimes Against Humanity for decades.

I see it exactly in reverse - Of course you do.

If I belonged to a very large family, and I love them dearly, and I found that some brothers, uncles, father were pedophiles, I would be off to the closest police station, to have them charged. I would be at the court case, and hear the children give their testimony, and be very happy that these excuses for human beings go off to jail for life, just so they were not able to do it again.This is not happening in the catholic church.

I'm not willing to dismantle the protections of the criminal justice systems in my country or others just to get that result.

Well, of course, that goes without saying. But these Archbishops, priests, whatever, flouted the law, they are above the law, have not, and will not follow civilized law, laws to protect children.

Even a glance at the number of perpetrators per population from any of them shows them to be on par with clerical abuse in the Catholic Church - so, your point is???? which is, by the way bollocks.

No other organisation has systematically hidden and protected criminals they way the catholic church has. Moved them around, paid millions to keep children quiet, let these priests continue their crimes. The vatican knows the crimes that Bernard Law has committed, but still hasn't given him over to the law.

The Vatican and it's Bishops thought the problem could be buried, but because the parents of these children, went to the authorities time after time, involving many countries, over many decades, many thousands of parents, was the only thing that got the ball rolling against these rampant pedophiles, being protected by the Vatican.

Not the State, not the Vatican and it's subsequent popes, but grass roots people, who had faith and trust in their church.

The following is a petition, from an Archbishop, who knows the extent of the rape and sodomy of thousands of children, and knows the "System" must change. Maybe, then, the Vatican and it's cohorts will finally understand that good catholics will not stand any more, the protection of these criminals.

This is happening all around the world, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Austria, Canada, as well as in your country, as well as mine.

The former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, covered for seventy priests during his time in charge. But, leaving the system as is, by the apologists, nothing will change.

So, be a good christian, be a good catholic, and put your name to the petition, to change the system of protection for the likes of a person, an evil man like Bernard Law, instead of being charged by the law, who, incidentally, is cloistered in a monastery, protected, along with many others, by the Vatican.

You keep mentioning Boys Scouts pedophilia - that is a diversion away from the rampant problem in the catholic church - there is nowhere near the numbers as is the case of the catholic church - There were 2,000 US cases of abuse within the Boy Scouts of America prior to 1994, and one abuse incident in 2006.

For you to say, 'Oh, it is happening over there in Boy Scouts - is obscene. They should all go to jail, the perpetrators who were found out in the Boy Scouts have done, not like the Vatican, protecting the pedophiles in their immediate midst.

The following was written in a National Catholic Newspaper -

Once again, don't care who or what you idolise or put faith in, just don't hide behind how good religion is, how good god is, what a loving god you have faith in, when these men hide behind their cross. Not just criminals, but cowards.

The catholic church is at the top of the pile of these criminal acts.

The following is from a Dallas newspaper -

and tell me it only involves a small amount of people.

Doc Bob was WAY off base there - some cultures with multiple gods were deeply invested in science, while the Israeli shepherds were concluding that since their god did everything, there was no need to understand how the world worked. The Israelis were still contending that faith could move a mountain, a couple of thousand years after the Egyptians actually built mountains, the Pyramids, using extensive mathematical and engineering knowledge, or as we like to call it, science!

And let's not forget those Greek polythesists, with their well-populated pantheon and those crazy ideas about atoms, determining the circumference of the Earth and other science-type things.

I haven't read all the posts in this thread all the way though, so I ask in fear I may be repeating what someone else has said. Has no one mentioned the Mayans, with their mastery of astronomy, accomplished entirely without polished glass optics or electronic devices? What about the Hindus, who invented numbers and, some might argue, calculus, 250 years before it was developed by Newton (or, arguably Leibniz)? 

As a scientist, I would beg to differ that it is the same thing as engineering. ;-)

It is true we see elements of proto-science in some places, like the Greek schools around the time of Plato.  Of course, Plato and many of those schools were also proto-monotheists, so much so that those writings were preserved by the early Church.

@Unseen, mathematics may be a different thing.  At least the mathematicians around here would claim so.  They would not characterize what they do as "science."  There's no need for observation or experiment.


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