@Professor Robert, first if Strega was pointing me out as being aggressive to you I'm sorry. I'll admit that aggression is not necessary, and what you said above is much better. I don't hold you personally responsible or any other catholic that wasn't involved in the molestation or the subsequent cover-up. I did find your excuses, and attempts at turning it around inappropriate when asked about molestation though.
Professor Robert- Besides, have you ever been to Nunavut? That strikes me as being a lot harsher than a typical prison term at the state pen. <g>
Heather- Yeah, some of the stuff is hateful - but that's what happens when an institution that claims public authority on moral grounds uses that authority to aid and abet child molesters.
Professor Robert- It couldn't possibly be that individual people were corrupt and disgusting. It has to be that the whole institution with all 1.2 billion people aided and abetted child molesters.
All that had to be said is molestation is wrong, and so is any individual or institution that covers it up. Again I don't hold you personally responsible.
Moving on though, the point I made that you didn't answer was why do you believe if you don't believe in the bible?
We do not take a literal view of what is written in the Bible, and we think taking a literal view is foolish.
Then what makes you believe in god?
We try to be tolerant of our brothers and sisters with that approach, but it does make us roll our eyes quite a bit.
You might not want to, that's how some of us atheists look at you.
In my Church as an intellectual community, we'd think of the Bible as a compilation of important documents. A bit like if you were to pick up a text on the history of physics. It includes stuff from Archimedes and Aristotle in the "Old Testament", and stuff from Newton and Maxwell and Einstein and Bohr and such in the "New." Is everything that Archimedes wrote to be taken literally?
The difference is those men you mentioned made contributions to furthering science. I still believe anything they wrote that can be proven over, and over again as many times as necessary. I don't believe anything that can be disproved. Is there anything written in the bible about god that can be proven? Do you believe the bible should be treated any differently? Do you think it's just historical?
All I would suggest to you, as a parting thought, is that not all approaches to religion are the same, and it would be more fair and reasonable to address each individually.
I did, in fact I addressed you specifically within your religion. I'll ask again though, what makes god real to you?
"not all approaches to religion are the same, and it would be more fair and reasonable to address each individually. "
But it remains, doesn't it, that all flavours of religion - including Catholics, though you want to set yourself apart, require this giant leap of irrationality called "Faith". Further it remains, doesn't it, that, without the Bible there would be no Christianity - including Catholicism. Yet even a cursory examination of the Bible reveals itself to be so full of holes as to be useless as the reference you claim it to be.
Being that (and advertising that :-) you are a Professor, would some specific questions be in order?
"Body of Christ" - literal or allegorical?
"Virgin Birth" - (what's the clerical word for "requirement of faith")? or opinion?
Don't these tenets require that science be suspended? How, as a scientist, do you reconcile what you KNOW to be true with silly myths like these?
I can't speak for Doc Bob, Mike, but since we don't know if he's coming back, I can at least respond to one of those, and he can add to it or correct me if he chooses, the matter of the "virgin birth."
Christianity, as we know it, in the first century CE, was matter of "majority rules" - there was a group who believed that Yeshua was born naturally, of the union of Joseph and a non-virgin Mary, and that he didn't become the "Christ," or the anointed one, until his baptism. The surviving translation was, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased" but other translations that didn't survive, included, "This is my beloved son, whom I have begotten this day." These were known as "adoptionists," and they believed god adopted Yeshua because of the sinless life he had lived, but because they were in the minority, their writings were destroyed by those in the majority. The only way we know of them, is through the writings of others of the time, stating the beliefs of the adoptionists and cautioning early Christians not to believe them.
"in the first century CE"
? I'd always thought that was one of Constantine's proclamations.
Constantine ordered the Council of Nicea convened in Constantinople (now, it's Istanbul, not Constantinople, so you can't go back to Constantinople, cause it's Istanbul, not Constantinople - why did Constantinople get the works? That's nobody's business but the Turks) - sorry, I went away for awhile, but I'm back now - at which time it was decided that Jesus was god and god was Jesus, and they both were the holy spirit, but the virgin/not-virgin, mortal/divine thing happened much earlier, and was settled by the time of the Nicean Council.
Curse you. That's all it takes to get a tune in my head that I can't shake.
BTW, you and your son remind me of me and mine, some years ago --
Who and whose son. That's me and my granddaughter about three years ago. :-)
Sorry - in the smaller picture, I made an erroneous assumption. She's a doll, but then, I guess you know that!
I've found that the professor either changes the subject, or doesn't answer specific questions. So good luck having those answered. You might want to ask something more vague.