I believe we were talking about the covering of asses in this portion of the thread, which is why that paragraph began with the sentence that it did. Officials covering their ass when they make mistakes is something pretty common no matter where they happen to be officials, wouldn't you agree?
"Yes, but holding someone to a standard isn't necessarily a matter of my expectations."
This is where I'm not getting it. What's the difference between holding someone to a standard and expecting them to achieve a standard. Is the former just reserving the right to say, "ha ha"?
Catholic priests may CLAIM the moral high ground. To me that's just silly. They're normal men like you and me. I therefore neither expect them to achieve to a higher standard nor do I consider myself to be in any way subject to their moral standards.
" Is it illogical to hold religious authorities to a higher ethical standard?"
Of course it is. It would be logical only if you maintained that they were, in fact, agents of the supernatural and consequently above normal human behavior THEY might believe that, but that doesn't mean we have to be equally silly.
You should always evaluate claims independently, absolutely. God and evolution gave you a brain, and you should use it!
I would just gently suggest that the claims you choose to evaluate should actually be the claims that the other group is making, rather than the claims that you are making.
Catholicism does not hold that its curial officials and popes are anything other than ordinary humans, with ordinary human weakness and failings. We would not claim that Cardinals or popes are necessarily holy men, in fact there is a long tradition in Catholicism of those we revere as saints castigating the lot of church officials as a bunch of sinful swine.
Catholicism offers moral and social teachings that it would claim are worthwhile, even truthful to the extent that humans can discern or teach the truth, which is pretty limited. So your professor can be a jackass, but perhaps what you're learning in his class might still have some merit.
Always, always question and evaluate, though. That's how you really learn, not by parroting any authority.
" If someone claims to run fifty kmh, I will hold them to that standard."
Yes, but if someone claimed to run 500 kph, would you hold them to that? Or would you simply dismiss them as cooks and consequently expect even less from them than their peers.
Running at 500 kph is a great deal more reasonable than a magic, invisible daddy in the sky.
I can understand the peeve. The Catholic perspective would agree with you, actually. We're all about working hard and doing good works as necessary.
At the same time, whether you attribute it to God or luck or some really fascinating genomic statistics, being born in the wealthiest country in the world is a heck of a starting advantage. My guess is that you also weren't born into urban or rural poverty in the U.S., and that you received help and support from family, friends, teachers, community members and others along the way.
Recognizing those things in no way diminishes your hard work or accomplishments.
Catholicism does not hold that its curial officials and popes are anything other than ordinary humans, with ordinary human weakness and failings.
Is papal infallibility in matters of faith a human weakness or a human failing?
I can't speak to this comedian you're talking about, but even back 500 years ago Dante in his Divine Comedy put a number of popes in hell in very amusing ways. Even at the height of the Inquisition, we didn't imprison Dante.
They sure as shit wanted to.
A blurb in the biography of Dante...
"All participants in public life had to belong to a guild, so Dante joined the union of physicians and apothecaries. Soon, he was elected as a prior (chief magistrate) of the city. When the republic was again ripped apart by political turmoil, Dante chose the wrong side. His opponents gained control, and the poet-philosopher was charged (falsely) of hostility to the church, fraud, and corrupt practices; he was fined and barred from holding office ever again. When he refused to pay the fine, he was sentenced to death by burning. Dante fled the city."