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 don't think I've ever heard of the BSA shifting Scoutmasters around to prevent their arrest --

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.

What I said was that it was a mischaracterization, meaning you have misrepresented the character of his argument. It is clear that he does not, as a matter of principle, defend child rapists or cover-ups. Furthermore, what you quoted was clearly intended to defend the broader scope of Catholicism excluding child rapists and conspirators against the law. At best you can argue that his presumption of inculpability is wrong. That is the nature of the disagreement, and not the defence of child abusers.

Well, I suppose I am incorrect on one detail: you can obviously argue whatever you like. If you want to stick with 'defended the child rapists', that's your prerogative, of course.

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

Typo. Thanks for pointing that out.

My pleasure.

@Gallup, now I've got to track you across multiple threads in order to respond in the proper one? LOL.

*Laughing* I've been referring to one thread, Robert. You can "track" that many, can't you?

I provided some statistics on child abuse in other venues in one of these threads somewhere (the search feature here is not very robust).  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.

You posted links to three articles; in Slate, the Seattle Times, and the Florida Sun Times, to which I posted the rebuttal at the link.

Three articles from publications in the United States do not begin to make your case. You're still short on statistics for the Catholic Church and the coaches, teachers, and "others' in 192 countries, and cities in at least 289 major metropolitan areas in the United States.

From my rebuttal to each article:

1. The [Seattle Times] article says the majority of the abusers faced consequences for what they did. Compare that with the findings of the Ryan Reports, which covered an entire country: not ONE clergy member was ever investigated, reprimanded, or fired. That is not "on par".

2. The Florida-Sun Times: "When the convicted child molester volunteered at this Palm City church summer camp, nobody stood in his way. Not the church. It welcomed the tall, rangy 34-year-old as its newest youth chaperone without screening his background." [How does this support your case?]

3. The article [in Slate]: "These statistics are uncertain, however, because no one has ever designed a nationwide study for the expressed purpose of measuring the prevalence of sexual abuse by educators." The article says it does not provide a statistically accurate sample of even ONE country, let alone the general population worldwide. 

The Boy Scouts in America, as just one example, have been heavily in the news for similar sorts of things.  One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Boy Scouts and the Catholics is that they're large, national/international organizations with centralized structures that preserved records that were eventually made public.

Please provide a list of all the state and federal laws that allow 'scout mastering' as an exemption or as a defense to child abuse, child neglect, felony crimes against children, misdemeanors, manslaughter, murder of a child, and child neglect resulting in death. Until you can do that, BSA is nowhere near "on par".

See the very last item on this list for a reminder of why Cardinal Law (and the other Catholic clergy who allowed the abuse to continue) never faced criminal charges for what they did. This was a privilege of the highest order, and for sixty years they abused it in the worst way imaginable: to protect child rapists and to allow the abuse to continue. (That too, is on the list of abuses linked to above.)

None of the three articles you posted ever mentioned that about teachers, coaches, and "others", Robert. So you've still got a lot of homework to do. Or you can just keep lying your ass off.

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?

"What's telling in that report is the point you make: 

This isn't the point I made, it's completely beside it.

nobody cares enough to actually investigate it further, even though 10% of children are reporting abuse."

10% of all children, in every city in the US, and worldwide?

I'm afraid the report doesn't say that, Robert. Not by a long shot. (I guess it's just an honest mistake you left out that key bit of information.)

The points I made (among others) were:

1. You're short by 192 countries. You still are.

2. The Seattle Times states the majority of the abusers faced consequences for what they did. The Ryan Reports: Not ONE clergy member was ever investigated, reprimanded, or fired. You haven't addressed this point.

3. None but the religious and clergy allowed children to be sexually abused and for that abuse to continue due in part to laws that granted them immunity from prosecution. You haven't addressed this point and it was the main point of our discussion all along.

Besides not addressing these points, the one point you did address is also irrelevant. The claim you made was about rates among coaches, teachers, and "others", not about the number of victims.

So worldwide, Robert:

What is the percentage of sexually abusing coaches, teachers, and 'others' who are working for institutions that conspire to obstruct justice and cover up their sexual abuses-- upon discovery transfer the sexual abusers to new institutions, accept sexual abusers transferred in from other institutions, allow the sexual abuse to continue-- with the senior officials themselves abusing special laws passed for their benefit in order to do so, and the rates of incarceration for all of them?

That is what the 'abuse' in the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal consisted of specifically. Go and read the Massachusetts report again and see for yourself.

After all, the cover-up and prosecution angle was central to our conversation in this thread, a conversation which you have now resumed here after running away from it previously: a conversation about religious and clergy who commit crimes, and get away with crimes more often using special status and privileges afforded to them because of religion.

@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.


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