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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The madness?  no...

I smell a pious, pigeon trainer.

We do use that language, which is a carry over from the Middle Ages.  Mostly, the Church struggled against the abuses of monarchy, which is why it kept trying to one-up the monarchs.  Philip is the King, but Christ is the King of Kings.  The king wears a crown, but the pope wears a tiara of three crowns.  That sort of thing.  The Church used the language of the day to address the people of the day.

Mostly, the Church struggled against the abuses of monarchy,

By out abusing the monarchy?

Was it a competition to see which type of ruler could get away with the most atrocities and greed?

Robert, your remark The Attorney General of Massachusetts decided that under the laws of the Commonwealth in force at the time, there was no case to be made inspired me to do some research.

Martha Coakley is Roman Catholic.

Pro:

1) her work in child sexual abuse, including prosecution of several priests for such abuse, and

2) her saying that practicing Catholics probably ought not work in health care.

Con: Because I have no information

1) on her personal relation to Bernard Law, or

2) on her legal reasoning for saying there was no case to be made,

I can suspend judgment. (Science, NOT religion, helped me learn how to do that.)

During my Catholic teens and early 20s, the bible's "judge not lest..." didn't stop me from judging. Because Catholicism considers this life unimportant, it doesn't address the cause of judging.

However, no charges have been filed against Bernard Law. No request for extradition has been made. The Attorney General of Massachusetts decided that under the laws of the Commonwealth in force at the time, there was no case to be made. So nobody is sheltering him from civil justice.

Not another amnesia attack, Robert.

You've seen the extensive list of federal and state laws which give shelter to religious and clergy after they've committed child abuse, child neglect, felony crimes against children, misdemeanors, manslaughter, murder of a child, and child neglect resulting in death.

Failure to report is a felony or misdemeanor in 46 states and a punishable offense in all 50 states. But one occupation on that list gets a special exemption from facing criminal charges for failing report the rape, beating, or neglect of a child.

Care to guess which occupation received that special shelter in Massachusetts until 2002-- long enough for Cardinal Law and his predecessors to allow and cover up at least six decades of sexual abuse in Boston-- and which STILL gets a form of the same shelter today?

"Priests, rabbis, clergy members, ordained or licensed ministers, leaders of a church or religious body or accredited Christian Science practitioners do not need to report if the information was communicated to them through a confession or similarly confidential communication in other religious faiths."

The civil justice system failed.  

How hypocritical when on the heels of these words came the words: "There is no such thing as an organization that "does" something. People do. Judge the individual people if you wish."

The criminal justice system did not fail. It (mal)functioned exactly as intended: the laws were written to render it powerless over clergy who committed these crimes.

The system isn't broken. It's fixed. Not failure; corruption.

You don't suppose the powerful and influential clergy who benefit from it-- via the overwhelmingly religious public officials and voting populations-- have anything to do with that, do you? Of course you don't.

You shift the blame to secular state institutions and secular people, as though we are responsible for the corruption, and we are the reason why the clergy who committed their crimes under the shelter of that corruption will never face justice for what they have done.

Crackpot: Those poor clergy. Those poor rape victims. The inept secular state failed them all. *Sigh* If only there was something the Church could do. Care for another bon-bon, Cardinal Law?

Tell me another one, Robert.

@Gallup, unfortunately your claim doesn't hold legal water, because Bernard Law clearly did not learn of the abuse of children through a religious confession.  He learned about it through his administrative position as local ordinary.  So the religious exception in the law did not apply.

The legal problem is a different one.  Mandatory reporting statutes were historically enacted to pierce the parental privilege.  Even today, child abuse and neglect in most states can only be committed by a parent or other legal custodian, and only child abuse is subject to reporting requirements.   Citizens, supervisors, employees are not, in U.S. law, required to report crimes more generally.   I'd argue we have a moral obligation, but we don't have a legal one.  We eschewed that sort of reporting regimen because it was associated with the worst of Soviet abuses - neighbors reporting on neighbors, upset children reporting on parents, etc.

Molestation by a priest, teacher, coach, etc. is a crime of sexual battery.  There is no mandatory reporting requirement in most states, and also no immunity from a slander suit if you do choose to report.

When a jerk like Bernard Law does something like this, there's always a quite natural desire to lynch the man.   However, in American jurisprudence we endeavor to err on the side of law over that form of justice, because we recognize that constraining the arbitrary power of the state to mete out punishment is a good thing for everybody overall.

Perhaps that's why it's sometimes satisfying to believe in Hell, I suppose.

How about Cardinal Dolan?  News today broke that his concealment of that $57 million from legal access for sexual abuse victims was actually ratified by the Vatican.  It's all a bit tawdry really.  In the old days, without the internet, so many were operating in blissful ignorance of these awful activities. 

I don't blame you for not knowing about stuff that wasn't all that widely available when you were younger, but now it is available and now it can be acknowledged and addressed.  If you are working to improve the quality of the behaviour of the catholic priesthood, that's great. 

What makes me feel uncomfortable in your posts, however, is that you seem to be dismissing these various issues with a shrug and a smile.  You come over kind of patronising, and I honestly don't think that's your intent.  Please take this as constructive criticism, because I think you might find it easier to communicate with others here if your posts didn't always seem to carry the tone of an amused parent talking to a naughty child.

Well, I will admit to being somewhat pedantic and professorial at least. ;-)  That's just who I am, I suppose.

You'll have to forgive me if I come across as patronizing, however.  That's not my intent, though I expect it's a quite natural reaction to some of the posters here that come across as, well, childish.  I don't know if that's their intent either, but it makes it more difficult to interact with those who are more mature and thoughtful. It's truly hard to take anybody who calls me "Pinocchio" seriously, though I do find myself humming the little ditty "I've Got No Strings..."

I was going to raise that in a blog post just to see what the community here felt, but I really think it's up to a community's regular members to raise those issues with each other. 

Strega, you are FAR more diplomatic than I could ever be.

Well, I will admit to being somewhat pedantic and professorial at least. ;-)  That's just who I am, I suppose. You'll have to forgive me if I come across as patronizing, however.  That's not my intent, though I expect it's a quite natural reaction to some of the posters here that come across as, well, childish. 

Ah, the psychology of attribution. Blame others for your shortcomings rather than take responsibility for them. It helps an overinflated ego reduce anxiety.

Admit you’re not that good? Nope. Make an effort to improve? Nah. Confront your own reality? Meh. It's easier to blame someone else.

Crackpot: Sure, I'm a haughty prick, but quite naturally it's that other guy's fault!

I don't know if that's their intent either, but it makes it more difficult to interact with those who are more mature and thoughtful. It's truly hard to take anybody who calls me "Pinocchio" seriously, though I do find myself humming the little ditty "I've Got No Strings..."

I've mentioned satire before, Robert. Google it if you still don't know the intent.

I don't know what's funnier. That it's still going over your head or that even you now associate yourself with a little wooden puppet whose name is synonymous with bad liars.

You're intellectually dishonest, dismissive to the point of cowardice, impervious to reason, and now you're blaming others for your behavior. You're the guy in the clown suit and greasepaint saying, it's hard to take you seriously, Gallup! I just grin and hit you with another cream pie. Sure thing, Pinoch! 

There's no reason to think criticism-- rendered via satire, Strega's direct approach, or any other-- will cause any improvement. Once you put on your clown suit, that's my cue to start throwing pies. They won't improve you, but there is an audience out there in the big top. And it is fun.

See here for my response.

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