Oh dear, this'll be a huge one...
Is that what you are telling me?
I take it you've never read the Bible, eh?
See, that's the kind of statement that just irks us. I might as well sarcastically say "I take it you've never read Cosmos
, eh?", or "I take it you've never read the Origin of Species
, eh?"! We Catlicks take Scripture + Tradition as the Magisterium. We are not Sola Scriptura (Bible Alone), as we know a tempering or balancing Office is needed to clarify things. Even if you don't believe the Catholic Church has any right to this office, it's surely a sensible, logical requirement for just about any any ethical system.
What's your point? God offers people a chance to cover their sins by some sacrifice in each instance. Perhaps if it said "If an X sins, he shall be snuffed forthwith", there would be a cause.
As for the last one: the priest is to pay, from his own pocket, for the propitiatory sacrifices of a man who sins out of ignorance? That's not exactly my idea of oppressive. A priest lives to give up his life for the service or others, ideally. He knows what he signs up for; if not, and he finds out later, he quits. That's is a just law, because it's the priest's duty to educate people about sin! If he fails, he pays.
You are missing an important point in this Leviticus 4 stuff: this is the Old Covenant. Why do you think God directs all these lambs, calves, and such to be sacrificed? It is His ritual way of covering the sins of man with the blood of innocent animals. Say what you want regarding this, but it's certainly logically consistent throughout the entire O.T.! Christ, ever-consistent with the O.T., is considered "The" Lamb of God, who not only covers our sins but scrubs them out somehow. As silly as you may think it sounds, it certainly isn't an idea that changes with time.
When Christ said "not a jot or tittle shall pass away from this Law until all is fulfilled", He later said "it is fulfilled/consummated" on the Cross; therefore, the Old Law passed away at the Crucifixion. No more shrimp bans or cloth restrictions. You cannot accuse Catholics of having the same obsession with the O.T. as fundamentalist Baptists and such.
The Catholic holds 4 things in high regard. [...] Tradition since the Pope is infallible.
You do not understand Papal Infallibility. Read Vatican I's declaration of infallibility from July, 1870. It's a very, very small and compact paragraph that doesn't say much.
The Pope was never considered vice-God. This is madness! The Pope also does not have "moral" infallibility. His infallibility is limited to officially sealed documents that say at least four things: 1. "I declare and define" 2. "by virtue of my Office" that 3. "X is to be believed by all Christian faithful", 4. "on pain of excommunication/anathema". You will always see this formula on infallible declarations. Only two have been made in history. He is not considered infallible in economics or politics, and never was.
Keep in mind, some of us were Catholic, and some of us still have Catholic relatives trying to reconvert us.
Sorry if I sound terribly prissy here, but: if you were Catholic and left, you probably didn't have a very good reason. Had you ever believed it is THE Body of Christ, you simply wouldn't leave at all; you couldn't, in good conscience, because no matter what rubbish went on in there, you'd know it was for the greater edification of the One Body at some point. This is the logic, anyway.
Although you have convinced yourself of this, and I am unlikely to dissuade you, I will point out that, famously, the difference between you and me is that I believe in one fewer gods than you.
I am wont to point out that another difference between you and me is that you're wrong and I'm right. Don't take it as pride; it's just a fact. God exists; He cannot not
exist, or else none of us would exist. It's quite plain and simple. I came to believe God exists because things which do not explain their own existence do exist. The fact that you are alive and exist to say "there is no God" is a proof that God exists. You do not "believe in" one fewer god than I do, because there can be no reduction. It is just as illogical to reduce from One God to no God, as it is to multiply One God into two, three, or fifty thousand gods. These are equally untenable.
I am sure that you know that this request is ridiculous, as, apparently, only you know what, “the light of pure truth” means.
The light of pure truth = fact. Please don't feign ignorance. Just because I used a poetic term for "truth" doesn't mean you have to say "I don't know what you could possibly mean by that".
Were that to be accepted, you are, of course entirely correct in any statement that follows... well, at least, right up until the point at which your opponent requires the same condition from you and then makes his statement.
Thankfully, that's not at all close to what I said. Just because I think I believe in something that's true doesn't mean I want you to get stuffed and go to Hell because you haven't accepted it yet.
Your equating atheism with nihilism is observationally faulted, as we see philanthropic, altruistic, generous atheists, who do their works out of kindness and a perceived need to relieve suffering. They do it without having to resort to a mythical being.
My opinion is that they do this out of a sense of peer pressure, or subconscious influence from the culture around them. We only laud charity because of the Christian bubble in which the West grew up, and formed its essential sociology around from A.D. 500 - 1200 or so. Without this firm glue, atheists would do no charity (I think). Unless you can come up with charitable atheists in a culture that never had any
Christian or religious assumptions implanted into them from a very early age, I will continue to believe this.
Consular - [...] you are still factually wrong about atheists.
This is all true, but I was going on what I have experienced of atheists. Almost every one I have met has fallen into X, Y, and Z categories very neatly; thus, I can say almost every atheist is X, Y, and Z. My experiences may be wrong, but they're all I have to go on at the moment.
Everyone here realizes that the sexual abuse within the Catholic clergy does not make all priests bad, [...] But sadly, adult humans like yourself would rather ignore it and point out that the church is still somehow good.
You have no idea who I am or why I am Catholic, really. As it was unjust of me to say "all atheists are X" (and I am
sorry), it is also unjust of you to say "all adult humans who remain Catholic must be willfully ignoring the facts and mindlessly think it's still good". I would most certainly not "rather ignore it", and I am taking vigorous steps to assure that prosecution does occur in future. My own archdiocese has been drenched in such despicable behaviour. Must you paint all Catholics as mindless sheep who happily follow the priest that's getting a B.J. under the parish office desk? Be better than your enemy.
Not to mention the fact that you are simply choosing from tens of thousands of unique Christian sects. You are choosing the one that you like the best. Unless you are prepared to defend exactly why you chose correctly, and why everyone else is wrong, your salvation may be in grave danger!
My salvation is in grave danger every second. It wouldn't matter whether I was in the right denomination, church, or sect. Christ demands moral reformation and perfection from each person firstly. Were I in the True Church and a happy cad, I'd remain a cad and probably go to Hell or spend a looooong time in Purgatory. Right now, I'd be happy
for 50 000 years in Purgatory!
By the way, I think it's hardly fair to call Catholicism just another "one of tens of thousands of unique sects", as it certainly existed long before any of the branches of Anglicans, Calvinists, Methodists (itself an Anglican branch), Baptists, and non-denom. churches. The Orthodox and Catholic Churches are really the only two that are ancient enough to be fair claimants. Please read the history of the schisms to see this more clearly!
You don't know me personally, [...] concerned about gods.
You might show yourself to be an atheist the moment you opened your mouth. Essentially, someone would eventually bring up some topic that would merit your speaking. Anyone can tell a fundie Christian from an atheist once that happens. You really can't identify anyone by appearances, of course! I'm not moved or concerned about gods, either, by the way. One God is ontologically different than a plurality of gods, since infinity is uniform. Two infinite things cannot exist, after all.
Sadly, you're in good company with your bigotry, [...] And people like you are not helping.
"Just trying to live our lives in peace and harmony" is not exactly parallel with joining a forum that exists to raise a defiant question to all theists. The very forum of which you're a member invites conviction, zealotry, fanaticism from all-comers who disagree. Your attitude about God leaves the door open for passionate replies! Don't bring out this peace and harmony excuse. If you want peace and harmony, make this an "atheists only" forum.
What is this bigotry you mean, by the way? Hate? I'm here saying I think you're wrong about the Cosmos. Why do high tempers make me a bigot or hater? I don't hate you at all. I want everyone to see what I see, at least, exactly because you're my beloved brothers and sisters on Earth. If you don't like it, fine, but don't call me a friggin' bigot. Do you call your brother a bigot or a hater when he smacks you on the head for doing something wrong? I have no right to hit you, but I'm doing what I think is urgently required.
Maybe so. [...] Pope himself?
They were hoping to postpone it while deciding what to do. I wouldn't take long to decide (kick 'em out), but since Vatican II, bureaucracy and immobility has become a very critical problem. Do you know the history of the Church's government since 1965? 80%+ of these abuse cases are from years after the Second Vatican Council. There was no such thing as a bureaucratic Episcopal/Bishops' Conference before Vatican II, so the matter would have been dealt with immediately and swiftly by one bishop or by a cardinal in the Congregation for Holy Orders/Religious. Today, though, individual National Councils have become glued together, tyrannically dictating every last Catholic policy in each country. It is a huge mess, and it is not prudent for dealing with these cases.
The current Pope is not my favourite Pope; however, we are not meant to be peons for the Pope anyway. He is supposed to be our Prime Minister, not "Vice God" (as someone else put it).
If you could somehow convince me that my soul was on the line, [...] After all, what does a man have if he doesn't have his principles?
How brutally honest of you! Sadly, you're making an equivalency that is not real. The Church itself does not have a doctrinal rape-quota. My Italian priest-friend, ordained last December, does not have a specific number of altar boys to be abused every month. The Scripture, Tradition, saints' writings, canon law, and statutes of the Church are the point of its maintaining order among Christians. Do not conflate the organisation with its members - as sordid as that sounds, it makes sense when you think about it.
Just because evil men rape boys in the organisation doesn't mean the organisation trains them to rape boys. This is a set of immoral men in separate cases that is disturbingly prevalent since Vatican II. I think it's the Church's open, tolerant, mushy style since the 1960's that has raised men to be effeminate and pleasure-bent, which has given us so many priests who are absolute perverts.
If Christ founded this Church, I'm staying put, no matter how tiny it gets. I'd rather someone started kicking out the jerks sooner than later, but I have confidence someone will do it. Were it to be ignored, I'd become a damn cardinal myself and start kicking priests out left and right. We agree that this is crucially important.
No, no, I don't blame you for verbosity.
I appreciate how anxious you are not to insult me, but please don't be so soft on me. People with too much free time need to get up and change the world, not argue with strangers like I'm doing.