I REALLY want to respect these guys. Their awesome, and the Jesuit high school I went to was amazing. My best friend is going to be a Jesuit as well.
Their brilliant people, open minded, thoughtful, skeptical of traditional thought patterns, and very kind. Everything I strive to be as an atheist.
But they dedicate their lives to god. Every time I see one, I get this disappointed feeling, like their wasting their lives, because I know they, of all the religious people in the world, are the most tolerant and brilliant.
I want to respect them, like a lot, not only for my best friend, but also because they could do a lot more for the world. They do a lot, but they're only scratching their potential.

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Comment by STEVIE NICHOLL on August 22, 2011 at 8:54pm

You can respect someone without respecting their beliefs.  Sometimes you have no choice (family for instance).  However, tolerant or not, these people still believe in a deity that does not exist... fueling the support for religion throughout the world.  What I am trying to say is that 'being nice' isn't going to change things.  Only knowledge can do that.  Then as you said... they could reach their potential.  It IS important to be nice... but their 'god' thinks it's nicer to be important.

Comment by Rocky Oliver (LotusGeek) on August 23, 2011 at 10:04am

I find myself thinking basically the same thing about quite a few of my friends and family. The one thing I find that most of these people have in common is that a) they are "true" to their faith, and try to not proselytize, but to "live their faith" and let their actions be their "testament"; b) they tend to be very "good" people (by my standard, not their religion's) who strive to help others and respect others, even those who do not believe as they do. I respect these people immensely, and I love them.

 

But I also feel frustrated, deep inside, that they could be doing and giving so much more; that they could be getting so much more out of "this" life, instead of trying to live for the "next" life. I feel like the wool has been pulled over their eyes, and they have chosen to live in this "wooly darkness" rather than move into the light of logic and reason.

 

So I definitely understand your feelings - and I bet others do, too as well, just like me.

Comment by Jimmy Boy on August 23, 2011 at 10:38am

I always had a lot of time for the Jesuits (I nearly became a Catholic Priest).  But their history is absolutely dreadful: they were core to the Spanish inquisition for eg.  Their last auto-da-fe was in 1850 in Mexico I understand...that's not so long ago.  The things they did are almost unreadable.

 

They do tend to be interesting characters these days, and very intelligent.  But of course it is all warped by their weird theistic logic...

Comment by Russell on August 23, 2011 at 4:43pm

Rich, could you expand on their twisted logic for me? I would really appreciate that! I guess I've been a little brainwashed coming from a Jesuit high school and my best friend.

Fret not tho, I am still an atheist haha

Comment by John Siqueiros on August 23, 2011 at 9:03pm

The Jesuits are a rather complex group. It's true, they got their start as an order as being the papal intellectual soldiers against a rising Protestant reformation, and swearing an oath of loyalty to the Pope. I guess they still do that. On the other hand, in more recent times the Jesuits have had a lot of folks who have publicly taken on the Pope. For example, the Jesuits were very influential in establishing liberation theology in Latin America, eventually causing Pope John Paul II to essentially put an end to it.

 

I also attended a Jesuit high school and received an excellent education from it, and one that was not particularly religious, to the point that a few of my friends and I thought we didn't learn all that much about the Catholic religion there.

 

I'd say that if you're going to pursue a mythology in your life, you could do worse.

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