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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And no doubt one of those awful people living with gun control too!

Thanks @Strega/@arch for the tip.

Professor, I wrote above, "In the Univ. of Fla. natural history museum I saw skeletal similarities and, amazed, asked How can humans and [other] animals not be related?"

You asked "Why must there have been some [anti-evolutionary dogma]?"

You saw the word "amazed" and it didn't penetrate the screen you keep in place to protect your dogma. Even my boldfacing it didn't help it penetrate.

You are indeed well protected.

I referred to the Catholic schools I attended and you reply "We have no particular problem with evolution."

Note my first person singular pronoun, here both bolded and underscored.

Your screen kept you from seeing that your plural pronoun differed from my singular pronoun.

I understand your difficulty. I worked for about three years with a man who'd done well on the math portion of the GRE and poorly on the language portion. I beat him at chess and he cleaned my clock at table tennis.

I saw him let opponents score twenty unanswered points before he scored twenty two consecutive points. Is something other than language your strength?

@Tom, I'm sorry.  I thought you were trying to make an argument, not simply relate personal experience.

I respect your personal experience, and have to take at face value as what you remember of your childhood. 

Anecdote is not the singular of data, however.  I apologize if you had poor teachers, but what you describe has not been the teaching of the Catholic Church in many lifetimes.

@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.

I didn't claim Cardinal Law and his predecessors learned of six decades of child sexual abuse and covered it up for six decades through a religious confession.

I referred to the state's child abuse reporting law, which did not require priests to report child abuse until 2002. And I didn't make the claim, the Massachusetts Attorney General did:
"Although evidence gathered during the investigation establishes that senior Archdiocese managers did not report suspected child sexual abuse to public authorities, the state’s child abuse reporting law is not applicable because it was not expanded to include priests until 2002."
I raised as a separate issue that the exception granted for child abuse information gained in a confession-- or gained "in a similarly confidential religious communication"-- is still on the books.
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 wonder about you sometimes, Robert. Is this wilful ignorance or boldfaced lying? I'm inclined to think the latter, since you've told this whopper before, and it's been falsified before.
Here it is, falsified yet again.
All 50 US states have mandatory reporting laws for child abuse. The laws specifically mention physicians; medical interns; hospital personnel engaged in the examination, care or treatment of persons; medical examiners; psychologists; emergency medical technicians; dentists; nurses; chiropractors; podiatrists; optometrists; osteopaths; photo developers; the general public; and allied mental health and human services professionals, and clergy.

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 get a special exemption from facing criminal charges for failing report the rape, beating, or neglect of a child in most states. And we've covered that occupation already.

The information at those links comes from the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. And your gainsaying of that reputable source is based on what, and comes from where?

From the definitions of the legal term "child abuse" in the statutes of those states.  You can peruse them at http://www.childwelfare.gov .   For example, in the current statutes in Massachusetts, reportable child abuse is defined as the "nonaccidental commission of any act by a caregiver upon a child under age 18 that causes or creates a substantial risk of physical or emotional injury..."

Then one must look at the legal definition of "caregiver" in the state, in both statute and case law.  Massachusetts definition is very broad compared to most states, and yet even now it likely does not include priests outside of a school/foster care setting.  "Caregiver" does include parents/guardians, household members entrusted with a child's care, and other persons providing child care or services (schools, daycare, foster/group care, etc.). 

Most states are more restrictive than Massachusetts, though the trend has very definitely been toward expanding the definitions.

Again, it is not enough to quote isolated text that you feel is authoritative, in this or any discipline.  There are reasons why people who practice in the field engage in many years of specialized study and internship.   Absent that study, there is a high burden to do sufficient research on principles, context, and actual practice which govern interpretation of the text if you wish to build a genuine understanding.

Why were priests excluded in the first place?

In U.S. child abuse reporting laws, traditionally only those with professional expertise in recognizing signs of abuse were mandatory reporters:  health care workers, teachers, etc.  People with real expertise and training.

The standard here in the U.S. for reporting is "reasonable suspicion", and those reports start time-consuming and invasive investigations that can result in taking children away from their parents.  You don't want that sort of thing going on because the nosy neighbor doesn't like that the kids are running around the yard.  So mandatory reporting for "reasonable suspicion" was limited to those with professional training whose reasonable suspicion could be relied on.  That did not include priests.

Re child abuse reporting laws. During my years at San Francisco Sex Information:

1) I had the training and might have reasonable suspicion. But knowing only what phone callers told me, I was unable to identify the location and was not a mandated reporter.

2) I described my work as a wonderful remedy for twelve years in Catholic schools.

Here's a word you probably haven't seen; bizarrerie - the Catholic sexual ethic.

Okay, it's my definition, not New Oxford American's.

Robert: 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. 

Gallup: 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 get a special exemption from facing criminal charges for failing report the rape, beating, or neglect of a child in most states. And we've covered that occupation already. The information at those links comes from the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. And your gainsaying of that reputable source is based on what, and comes from where?

Robert: From the definitions of the legal term "child abuse" in the statutes of those states.  You can peruse them at http://www.childwelfare.gov .   For example, in the current statutes in Massachusetts, reportable child abuse is defined as the "nonaccidental commission of any act by a caregiver upon a child under age 18 that causes or creates a substantial risk of physical or emotional injury..."

Click on the link in my words above. Look at the names on the columns in the document: medical care professionals, childcare professionals, school professionals, clergy members, photo/film processors, other, and the general public. Note the 'general public' applies to "citizens, supervisors, and employees" and it applies to 20 states.
Posting a non sequitur link and a partial definition of child abuse in Massachusetts does not refute that, although the latter underscores that clergy still get a free pass. In fact, one glaring omission from the reporting requirement you quoted suggests the source is questionable. Medical professionals (who are not caregivers) are required to report child abuse in Massachusetts: this comes from my friends, a married couple who are both board-certified medical doctors in that state.
Again, it is not enough to quote isolated text that you feel is authoritative, in this or any discipline.
So why did you? Again, you've doubled your standards.
And I didn't quote isolated text. I provided direct links to complete documents, which contained specific and relevant information. Unlike your link, http://www.childwelfare.gov, which leads to a title page and no specific information. 
There are reasons why people who practice in the field engage in many years of specialized study and internship.   Absent that study, there is a high burden to do sufficient research on principles, context, and actual practice which govern interpretation of the text if you wish to build a genuine understanding.
Why do you assume this is all I have ever done? I have another friend-- an agnostic lawyer-- who lives down in the Catskills. We had many enlightening discussions about Cardinal Law and this very subject while the scandal was unfolding. I found it most enlightening, but I can't cite a conversation in a web link.
Beyond that, my "genuine understanding" is that if an employee tells his boss he's been raping children, the boss reports him to the proper authorities, and that goes no matter what the law requires, or how much worrying the public relations department might do.
Blaming the law for Cardinal Law's failure to act is disgusting, Robert. But it's your routine.

Posting a non sequitur link and a partial definition of child abuse in Massachusetts does not refute that.

Well, yes, it in fact does.  Because you see, the mandatory reporting applies only to child abuse.  If something does not meet the legal definition of child abuse, then the mandatory reporting statute and its protections for good-faith reporters do not apply.

ChildWelfare.gov is actually an official source, because states are required to provide the federal government with information on their child abuse statutes annually under CAPTA.  That is different from your link to RAINN, which is a special interest lobbying organization.

In fact, one glaring omission from the reporting requirement you quoted suggests the source is questionable. Medical professionals (who are not caregivers) are required to report

No omission, just your lack of understanding.  There is a difference between who can commit child abuse or neglect, and who is a mandatory reporter of child abuse or neglect.  A priest, being non-custodial, cannot commit child abuse, and therefore none of the mandatory reporters are obligated by law to report.  If they choose to report, they are not protected by the statutory immunity provisions of the reporting law, and can be subject to civil lawsuit for slander.

A priest can of course commit the crime of sexual battery (rape) or other lesser offenses.  Like all ordinary crimes in the U.S., there is no legal obligation to report.  Moral obligation?  That is between you and your God(s) or personal philosophy.  I would say there is a moral imperative to do so for felonies at least, but the standard for making such a report may be higher than "reasonable suspicion."

my "genuine understanding" is that if an employee tells his boss he's been raping children, the boss reports him to the proper authorities

An employee may tell his employer that he's been raping children, and then claim that he said no such thing. What a man tells his bishop in a moment of candor can be quite different from what he will admit to in public. If the employer reports (a public record), then the employer may be subject to a slander suit by the employee, where the burden of proof shifts to the employer.   This is a challenge for many employers, particularly in cases where the evidence may be weak or witnesses unwilling.

That being said, it is a consideration, not an excuse.  A person in a leadership role should have the moral fortitude to do what is right even in the face of legal or personal risk.

Blaming the law for Cardinal Law's failure to act is disgusting, Robert.

Except that's not what I'm doing, and you know it.  I'm blaming the law for its inability to prosecute Bernard Law for that failure.  There's a difference.  Bernard Law's failure to act was contemptible, and I condemn it unequivocally. 

Gallup: Posting a non sequitur link and a partial definition of child abuse in Massachusetts does not refute that.

Professor Robert: Well, yes, it in fact does. 

I'm afraid it doesn't. You're short by 49 states. You obviously did not look at the link you provided yourself, because it refutes what you say about mandatory reporting.

Look at the other 49 states. Or you can continue not bothering. Instead, read this summary of mandatory reporting requirements for child abuse, available on another site published by the federal government, which is inclusive of all 50 states. Note it includes the following statements:

"In approximately one-third of the states, mandated reporting is limited to those situations where the abuse was perpetrated or allowed by a person responsible for the care of the child. [...] In two-thirds of the states, the statutes specify circumstances under which child abuse is a reportable offense irrespective of the defendant’s relationship to the victim."

I also encourage you to read the entire entry from this legal dictionary, which includes the following:

"Until the 1970s the prevalence of [child] sexual abuse was seriously underestimated. Growing awareness of the problem led legislatures to enact reporting requirements, which mandate that any professional person (doctor, nurse, teacher, social worker) who knows or has reason to believe that a child is being abused report this information to the local Welfare agency or law enforcement department."

Note that priests are "professional persons" and they were exempted from most reporting laws all along, exactly as I said. Furthermore, the RAINN links I posted indicated that the reporting laws include "the general public" in 20 US states.

So your statement that "citizens, supervisors, employees are not, in U.S. law, required to report crimes more generally" is false. Reporting is required in all 50 states and in 20 states it's required by the general public.

A priest, being non-custodial, cannot commit child abuse, and therefore none of the mandatory reporters are obligated by law to report.

In two-thirds of US states, anyone may be charged with child abuse-- not just caregivers-- and that includes priests. In those states all of the mandatory reporters are obligated to report. 

Priests cannot commit child abuse? There's a difference between mindless gainsaying and spreading misinformation that could actually lead to children getting hurt.

An employee may tell his employer that he's been raping children, and then claim that he said no such thing. What a man tells his bishop in a moment of candor can be quite different from what he will admit to in public. If the employer reports (a public record), then the employer may be subject to a slander suit by the employee, where the burden of proof shifts to the employer.

The reports may be made public (unless a judge says otherwise) but the information in the reports may be provided to police and child welfare agencies confidentially. The employee may figure it out, but then it's up to the employee to prove the employer went to the police or child protection agency.

Gallup: Blaming the law for Cardinal Law's failure to act is disgusting, Robert.
Robert: Except that's not what I'm doing, and you know it.  I'm blaming the law for its inability to prosecute Bernard Law for that failure.  There's a difference.  Bernard Law's failure to act was contemptible, and I condemn it unequivocally.

Condemnation that comes on the heels of shifting the blame elsewhere is not unequivocal. I know you wrote, "The civil justice system failed" and there was no blame assigned to Cardinal Law in those words.

As I said before, the criminal justice system did not fail. It (mal)functioned as intended: the laws were written to render it powerless over clergy. They're STILL written that way in Massachusetts and in a majority of states, Robert. Even in 2002, right after this huge scandal, loopholes for clergy were written into the revisions to the law. That's not failure, it's corruption. The powerful and influential clergy who benefit from it-- via overwhelmingly religious public officials, voting populations, and shameless hucksters like you-- have everything to do with that.

@Gallup, all this is just chasing your tail.  The fact is that Bernard Law was not a mandatory reporter, because under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that were in force at the time, (1) child abuse could only be committed by a guardian, and (2) only professionals in child care as defined by the statute were mandatory reporters.  Besides, failure to report is typically a misdemeanor.

So there wasn't a legal case to be made, and the reason had nothing to do with some vast imagined conspiracy.  It had to do with how child abuse was treated historically under the law everywhere.

read this summary of mandatory reporting requirements for child abuse

Which you conveniently neglect to admit goes on for 5 paragraphs about exceptions and limitations.  There's no question, though, that the trend is toward increased mandated reporting, and both statutes and case law are in flux many places.   Like many laws put in place in the quest for perfect security, those also have implications for liberty and protection of the innocent.

Priests cannot commit child abuse? There's a difference between mindless gainsaying and spreading misinformation that could actually lead to children getting hurt.

Priests can commit sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, etc.  We are talking legal definitions here, and "child abuse" has a different legal meaning than colloquial meaning in many jurisdictions.

The employee may figure it out, but then it's up to the employee to prove the employer went to the police or child protection agency.

No, that's not the way it works.  The childrens' services agency only has jurisdiction as defined by law, and only childrens' service agencies have legally mandated protections for reporters.   For any crime outside the jurisdiction of childrens' service agencies, like rape, law enforcement agencies have sole responsibility, and in the ordinary criminal justice system those are public records because defendants have a right to confront their accusers.

What Bernard Law did was horrendous, but according to the chief law enforcement official of the state it was not provably illegal.  So if you're mad that he's not in jail, blame the state.  If you're mad that he's an ass, blame him.

What is truly irrational is to blame a worldwide church community who happened to share his religious philosophy.  That worldwide church community is what "Catholic Church" means

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