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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@Bob - However, in honesty you must admit that you know very little about me -

Oh, I have the measure of you, an apologetic catholic, who keeps on saying, 'Oh, they are doing over there as well - so much diversion Bob, does not sit well with me. You helped get rid of Bernard Law, but the problem is Bob, he is sitting pretty, as are many other pedophiles and pedophile protectors, who have scuttled off, to all to be protected by successive popes.

I guess, you would say, well at least he isn't in a position of protecting any more pedophiles, when in fact, you should be helping other catholic parents and other good people in the catholic church to get these criminals charged by law to answer to their crimes.

It's not my calling, though.  I teach and do research.  -

It is not mine either, Bob, but I can put myself in the shoes of a parent whose child's life has been ruined, who has been raped and sodomized, and then those dregs are then protected by your church, and re-acted as any decent, upright, ethical moral citizen in any country, of any political, religious or secular persuasion, would do. Did you sign the petition Bob, or how about you start one on your own in your country - don't just sit on your hands, and say "What a good person am I, I helped move Bernard Law out of Boston - Yayyyy.

You do what you can when it's in your neighborhood -

No, nowhere near it - I know what is going on in America, I know what is going on in Nigeria, where people are screaming out for contraception, to stop a mother from having too many children, that they know will starve to death, all because of the catholic church.

Are you truly judging me and others by the same yardstick you judge yourself?

Absabloodylutely, Bob. I could not sleep at night, if I knew that an organized group that I was a member, professing to be the best 'group' on earth, was protecting pedophiles, and I did not do anything about it. I find it really distressing, disappointing and truly sad, that a supposed catholic, thinks it OK to sit on their hands. If that were the case, Bob, pedophilia would remain as rampant as ever.

Get out of your bubble, Bob.

I will admit to being somewhat pedantic and professorial at least -

Pedantic yes, about protecting your religion, making excuses, apologist, blinkered, yep, all these, that is how you come across.

It has always baffled me, that when one claims to be an educated christian, the education stops at a certain point, in your case, it seems to be genesis, how the catholic church came into being, and how the vatican came to be protected.

Why do you call yourself a catholic, when this particular group doesn't give a fig for the lives it has destroyed.

Do you think contraception should be used?

This is not catholic bashing bashing per se, Robert, this is pedophile bashing, it is just the fact the catholic church is at the top of the pile, a protected species, in a systematic campaign of protection, and the only ones to get away with it are catholic priests etc, hundreds, if not thousands of priests, protecting their assets, while successive popes have hidden pedophiles and pedophile protectors behind state boundaries, that is a crime against humanity, and that is what is happening.

Because Bernard Law clearly did not learn of the abuse of children through a religious confession - who cares how he was found out, the fact is, he was found out, and of course, it was a surprise to him that he was found out. The only reason he absconded, was the fact his parishioners, the sheep who propped up this particular diocese, cut off the money supply. Oooops, time to go.

I really don't believe you could be so blind with the following statement - Bernard Law of course was not housed in the Vatican.  He was made the pastor of the Major Basilica of St. Mary in Rome - Splitting hairs, Bob.

Question: Why is he not in the US being charged for his crimes of protecting pedophiles.
Answer: Because he is being protected by Pope Francis, and therefore the vatican.

Where non-performers or those who have made poor judgments - No Bob, this is not poor judgment nor non-performer, this person is a criminal, and along with many others, are being protected by the catholic church, your church, I do believe Bob.

I don't approve of the practice - I not only not approve of this, it is obscene, repulsive, a stain on humanity.

but it does have the advantage of avoiding litigation and being relatively expedient -

My jaw is now dropping on ground, and you just don't get it, which is why nothing will change in the catholic church, if it depended on the likes of you, and the other millions just like you. Leave it to the distraught parents of these children, leave it to secular people, leave it to people who want to uphold justice.

You just stay in your bubble, Bob.

You helped get rid of Bernard Law, but the problem is Bob, he is sitting pretty

It seems to me the problem you have is with western jurisprudence, which places restrictions on ex post facto laws and bills of attainder, and which generally errs on the side of protecting the accused.   You are correct, I support those legal protections, and that does mean that sometimes guilty parties or just plain bad people get away with things.  I think the protections are important, though, to prevent other forms of intimidation or abuse.

All of your anger seems to come down to that issue, displaced onto religion.  So to answer your "question" properly:

Question: Why is he not in the US being charged for his crimes of protecting pedophiles.

Answer:  Because the Attorney General of Massachusetts decided that he had not committed any crimes, and chose not to prosecute.

@Bob - Again, it is not enough to quote isolated text that you feel is authoritative, in this or any discipline -

This is exactly the reasoning and hiding of the catholic church in your country.

You're obfuscating again, Bob. You know where I come from - as in a previous comment - you said I don't know what goes on in your country - so I stuck to one, and only one pedophile protector in your country. I could give you a very long list if you wish, but you being a scientist and researcher, I would have thought would want to do your own research on this religion that you follow, that is so good, so honest, so honorable, so trustworthy.

It seems to me the problem you have is with western jurisprudence -

No, Bob, your church have a big problem defining what is right and what is wrong.

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/04/08/297203/3-us-priests-remove...

How about Paul Shandley, who raped a boy from the age of six, for seven years.

Catholics didn''t expose him, journalists found him, and reported him to the district attorney. The following is just part of your education, Bob - but who would like to bet me, he will not read any of it - because Bob wants to stay in his bubble, and hopes all this will just go away, and can these atheists just not talk about it anymore?????

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases_in_the_United...

I would think, hope, assume, that anybody of even a reasonable standard of morals, would think the systematic practice of raping a child, a human adult sodomizing a boy, in some cases for years, to the point he can never lead a normal life - to be criminal, in a western society. But, obviously not. Your counterparts, are protecting criminals by dodging around rules and law, how do these priests etc, sleep at night, after what they have done.

We are having enquiries here, where hundreds of children have come forward to tell their story. Maybe, that is what you need to hear, how these children have suffered. The enquires were bought about by parents and police, not catholics, who just wish it would all go away. This should also be happening in your country, Bob, start a movement, there must be other catholics just like yourself, who are appalled at what is happening in your country, and want to do something about it. It is not going away. That is why Ratzinger fled. He could see what was coming.

The Archbiship who started the Australian petition, which went all over the world, and peoples from many countries signed it - to the vatican - did you sign it? Hundreds of these petitions are going all over the world from many countries, people are waking up to the fact that not only, mainly boys, systematically raped, but also systematically told to go away?

These dregs can't hide their crimes anymore, people all over the world are joining forces against the horrific behavior of the catholic church. Viva la Internet.

All of your anger seems to come down to that issue, displaced onto religion -

Not displaced, Bob, these dregs could only do what they did, for many decades, because of your religion, the vatican, which puts up every barrier, and millions of dollars - and these cowards hid behind the cross and cloth,just so they can rape boys in many districts, over decades. Am I wrong??? Grass roots people are the ones to change things, people just like you.

No, Bob, your church have a big problem defining what is right and what is wrong.

That link refers to several priests who were fired.  Firing them seems justified and seems to me to be the right thing to do.  Do you think they should have been retained?

How about Paul Shandley (sic)

Paul Shanley was a truly disgusting, despicable individual.  He should have been removed from the priesthood in the 70s for his gay and child sex advocacy, particularly when coupled with the early allegations.  I would have fed him to the fish.  But then one might say his gay advocacy was before its time, and that the allegations were just slander from conservatives who didn't like his positions of tolerance toward homosexuality.   I'm sure that's what he claimed.

These dregs can't hide their crimes anymore, people all over the world are joining forces against the horrific behavior of the catholic church. Viva la Internet.

On this, we'll agree.   Every bit of this should be excised, root and branch, from any institution in which it has festered.  To the extent the internet helps alert others to patterns of behavior by predators or cover-ups by officials, Viva!  Sicut in die honeste ambulemus.

I have my trust in science based on science with knowing a basic understanding of the science to see how it works/happens. Belief relies on faith, that is accepting something is true without question.

There is so much myth going on about climate change, to assist the excuse for the big fossil fuel industries to carry on as normal, while they choke the planet with atmospheric pollutants. I like using the term "climate change" because the planet's weather pasterns work in balance, and when there is an unbalance, such as a an extreme warming, you are likely to get an extreme cooling, following another extreme warming, with increasing weather variations as more pollution disrupts the weather and climate, until one day it may topple over, and would lean towards desertification with the decline of vegetation such as the amazon forest and other rain forests which acts as a climate buffer.

@Bob - Question: Do you think they should have been retained - Well, of course, Bob, why not, it was a given in your church, to move priests around from diocese to diocese, from country to country, where they could keep sodomizing children, as freely as they wished. So, what went wrong for these dregs to actually be fired. Too much evidence maybe, couldn't get them moved quick enough, or somebody actually listening to the children for a change?

Paul Shandley - just one of thousands of priests with the same arrogance and protection.

Every bit of this should be excised - so, what are you, as a practicing Roman Catholic, doing about it.

Did you sign the petition I sent you, or are you going to set your own petition in motion, and include your local church in your local area, that would be a good start, and send it on to the vatican.

First, Ratzinger resigned, and now, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of the Vatican State, has also scuttled off. Sign of things to come, Bob. The Vatican is crumbling - and now, can you believe it, there is the arrest of Nunzio Scarano, a bishop from Salerno, near Naples, charged with money laundering, through the Vatican Bank to the tune of $26 million.

Gay priests I am not worried about, hypocritical yes, but not concerned, Only the abusers who rape children and have gotten away with it for decades.

Grass roots Bob, grass roots.

Third time asked - do you think contraception should be encouraged, in direct opposition to the catholic church, or not.

Matthew 19:14 - Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven - Bit of a shame Jesus wasn't watching over the children, as they were being raped, hey.

Sicut in die honeste ambulemus - Yes, it is appalling that the church and its disciples don't follow this.

@Suzanne, side question...

Do you really think petitions are effective?  If so, why?  Particularly online petitions.

Gay priests I am not worried about

Except that Paul Shanley was a gay priest.  Let's be honest, monogamous and caring gay men leading happy and productive lives are not priests.  One of the challenges is that for a time at least the priesthood was a bit of a refuge for sexually repressed and deviant characters like Shanley.

So, what went wrong for these dregs to actually be fired.

That is a question many of us ask ourselves.  Some of it is version of unresponsive bystander effect in psychology; when circumstances are ambiguous, as they often are, people tend not to respond or to equivocate.  Administrators worry more about legal/PR concerns than they should, because that's what their daily life is like most days.  Their job is typically to worry about such things.  Friendships and loyalty come into play in a big way.

Believe me, many of us at universities asked ourselves the same questions after the Jerry Sandusky affair at Penn State. 

Personally, I think it's that most of the time, people in political positions (including bishops, most CEOs, etc.) got there because they were selected for certain skills and personality traits.  Those political skills suit them well for most of their job, but they are dysfunctional when it comes to situations which require decisiveness and real leadership.   That's why a 29-year-old computer geek shows more courage than the dozens of our congressmen who had a real oversight role; why a young floor trader can show more courage than an investment bank CEO, etc.

now, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of the Vatican State, has also scuttled off. Sign of things to come, Bob.

Hopefully!  That's all pretty normal, as a new pope selects his own staff.  What's been heartening thus far has been that His Holiness has brought in commissions of Vatican outsiders to clean house, both at the Vatican Bank and within the administrative structure.  I think that's healthy.  

Have to hand it to Bishop Scarano.  Only a churchman could bungle money laundering for such a paltry sum.  That amounts to what?  The amount of money laundered in a typical American city in a week or two of the drug trade?  Talk about amateur hour.

Haha, don't tell me... I think I get it, but I won't spoil it here for others. (Poor Robert... ah the extent to which others will put him on the spot.)

Oh, Bob is just fine with it.  Have to have a sense of humor to hang out here.  At least those are briefs!   @Gallup needs the Looonggg pants version. ;-) 

Oh, Bob is just fine with it.

Folks without a conscience would be just fine with it too

Have to have a sense of humor to hang out here.

To a lack of conscience, add humor. These are two of the characteristics of psychopathy. Google <Robert Hare> and see the results of decades of research.

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