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Main Discussion Zone => MailBag => Topic started by: naemhni on September 08, 2013, 08:04:19 PM

Title: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: naemhni on September 08, 2013, 08:04:19 PM
Hello,
Most of your objections to the existence of a loving God seem to be based on modern-day American Christianity, which does not contextualize Biblical literature within history, philosophy, science, and anthropology as the Catholic church does. In fact, modern-day American Christianity, both in belief and practice, is indeed full of holes.
However, the Catholic faith has answers to every objection to the "God of the Bible" that you have raised; and they're not puny justifications either.
Can you please provide a list of the philosophers, scientists, historians, and anthropologists of whom you've read who have concluded that the God featured in Judeo-Christian literature exists? Since you are an "intelligent person living in the 21st century," I'm sure you've "take[n] some time to look at the data."
Respectfully,
[name removed]
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: neopagan on September 08, 2013, 08:10:48 PM
Ken Ham... enough said.

I would look up more but I have a meeting with a priest who wants to show me a spitting snake.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: ParkingPlaces on September 08, 2013, 08:41:48 PM
Sorry, can't help you. I didn't become an atheist because of any specific religion, but rather because I rejected all of them. If the catholics seem to think they've answered all questions, that's cute and all, but it doesn't address the ridiculousness of the concept. I don't care how many priests and church intellecdtuals have found ways to justify their religion and practices. Intellectual scams are not much more enjoyable than red-neck ones.

We let lawyers do pretty much the same thing with the law and look what we're stuck with. Humans can't self-justify their way out of a wet paper bag.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Traveler on September 08, 2013, 09:45:13 PM
Sorry, bud, but catholicism is one of the worst of the bunch. They change their tune more often than I change the tv channel, and that's coming from a friend of mine who studied to become a priest.

But all that aside, ParkingPlaces says it best. The whole ridiculous mythos of the abrahamic gods is just that ... ridiculous.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: William on September 08, 2013, 10:26:25 PM
Quote
... which does not contextualize Biblical literature within history, philosophy, science, and anthropology as the Catholic church does.

Ummm ... why does the bible need to be contextualised within history? 
Did God change along the way? 
Did God plan His communication strategy so that only highly educated "Catholic historians" can get the message right?

From my own experience in the Catholic Church, including being educated by the Christian Brothers, I can say that almost NOBODY actually reads the full Bible (including the OT).  They rely almost entirely on the prescribed readings cherry picked by the Catholic hierarchy to control what the flock hears and thinks about.  When I did get around to reading the whole Bible I was stunned, no ... gobsmacked :o , at how much content the Catholic Church had quietly suppressed.

As for contextualising within science ... what a joke!?  &)  Last time I was in a Catholic Church I heard: "Let us pray that scientists looking for cures to diseases such as cancer and AIDS are blessed with patience and knowledge."  What an insult!? ... that their Git of a God would withhold such information for millennia and then suddenly "bless" the toiling scientists by revealing titbits of critical knowledge in response to prayers?   :-\

The Catholic Church, historically a staunch resistor of scientific progress, is rapidly being dragged to confront its own dishonesty and irrelevance.  Where are the apologies from the Catholic Church for getting it so wrong on:

Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: jaimehlers on September 09, 2013, 02:03:33 AM
Honestly, what makes you think that Catholics got it any more right than any other religion did?

Remember, the Protestants revolted from Catholic authority because of abuses that the Catholic authorities were perpetrating.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 09, 2013, 02:21:07 AM
Hello,
Most of your objections to the existence of a loving God seem to be based on modern-day American Christianity, which does not contextualize Biblical literature within history, philosophy, science, and anthropology as the Catholic church does. In fact, modern-day American Christianity, both in belief and practice, is indeed full of holes.
However, the Catholic faith has answers to every objection to the "God of the Bible" that you have raised; and they're not puny justifications either.
Can you please provide a list of the philosophers, scientists, historians, and anthropologists of whom you've read who have concluded that the God featured in Judeo-Christian literature exists? Since you are an "intelligent person living in the 21st century," I'm sure you've "take[n] some time to look at the data."
Respectfully,
[name removed]

If they had all the answers then 38,000+ other Christian sects wouldn't exist.

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 09, 2013, 02:22:18 AM
Ken Ham... enough said.

I would look up more but I have a meeting with a priest who wants to show me a spitting snake.

Don't swallow what it squirts in your mouth.

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nick on September 09, 2013, 08:19:38 AM
Is that the snake that tricked Eve?   (and OP, I was Catholic...did the 1st thru 12th grade thing with nuns)  Catholics like to think they have all the answers because they are the originals.  Just another in a long line of god/man myths.  The Church just has a long history of control and power...still a scam.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 09, 2013, 10:11:13 AM
I thought the Hebrews were the "originals"?

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Mrjason on September 09, 2013, 10:53:06 AM
I thought the Hebrews were the "originals"?

;)

-Nam

I'm fairly sure Hebrews didn't build stone henge. Could be wrong though.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 09, 2013, 10:59:34 AM
.
However, the Catholic faith has answers to every objection to the "God of the Bible" that you have raised; and they're not puny justifications either.

"God has a plan" and "God works in mysterious ways" ARE puny. And of the mountains of apologia that the Catholic church has produced, well more than half can be boiled down to one of those two statements.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Anne on September 10, 2013, 09:53:05 PM
Hi folks. I'm the one who asked the question. Does anyone actually have an answer to it?
Thanks,
Anne
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 10, 2013, 10:15:11 PM
Hi folks. I'm the one who asked the question. Does anyone actually have an answer to it?
Thanks,
Anne

obviously none you want to hear.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: William on September 10, 2013, 10:22:23 PM
Welcome Anne, it's great to have someone from the mailbox actually show up. 

Personally I don't make any effort to read apologists and excusiologists. I've tried a few times over the decades but soon got put off by the special pleading, Pascal's wager, and 'god-of-the-gaps' type of arguments. 

Some of the others here will have done a more thorough job I'm sure.

Please feel free to post a list of the Scientists and Philosophers (or just their arguments) you think we ought to take seriously :)

EDIT: "historians, and anthropologists" too  :)
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Astreja on September 10, 2013, 10:25:51 PM
Hi, Anne!  Let's start with something simple:  Genesis 3.

First, why would your god allow two nescient humanoids to be led off-course by a Talking Snake™?  Surely an omniscient being knew the snake was there and had a pretty good idea of what would happen.

Secondly, could you please send Me a Talking Snake™?  I've been trying to get one for several years now, and no one's managed to find Me one so far.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 10, 2013, 10:27:45 PM
Hi, Anne!  Let's start with something simple:  Genesis 3.

First, why would your god allow two nescient humanoids to be led off-course by a Talking Snake™?  Surely an omniscient being knew the snake was there and had a pretty good idea of what would happen.

Secondly, could you please send Me a Talking Snake™?  I've been trying to get one for several years now, and no one's managed to find Me one so far.

Actually Catholicism rejects the literal interpretation of the Bible. So attempting to phrase questions in the form of Bible literalism does nothing to undermine their viewpoint.

However, if they reject Bible literalism, ask them about what methodology that they use in deciding if a particular pronouncement or story within the Bible is correct, or just a divinely inspired fable.(spoilers: the answers is an appeal to authority, which will end up with circular reasoning)
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Tero on September 10, 2013, 10:30:53 PM
Sorry, I don't understand the question.

If you want to rip apart catholicism, try Joseph McCabe. All the texts are free on line.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Astreja on September 10, 2013, 11:27:49 PM
Actually Catholicism rejects the literal interpretation of the Bible. So attempting to phrase questions in the form of Bible literalism does nothing to undermine their viewpoint.

This is true.  It does, as you say, muddy the waters as to how much, if any, of the Bible is allegedly factual rather than allegorical.

And it does raise the question "If Catholics aren't worshipping the god described in the Bible, what are they worshipping and on what basis?"
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: William on September 11, 2013, 12:22:43 AM
Catholics ARE biblical literalists - but only for cherry picked parts, e.g.

Quote
Matthew 26  26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

And that happens to be exactly where a Nun lied to me for Christ - my first recollection of psychological abuse at the hands of Catholics :'(  When I was 6 years old in preparation for first holy communion I was warned not to bite the host because somebody who did so had his mouth fill with blood - proof that the wafer is the body of Christ :-\   Forty-eight years later I still vividly remember the fear and confusion in my trembling little body as I was kneeling the pews watching people coming back from communion chewing away at those stupid dry wafers in their mouths.

And if in any doubt Catholics take it literally then check out this theological mumbo jumbo fabricated around the idea of "Real Presence":
Quote
Hence Christ is present in the sacrament with His Flesh and Blood, Body and Soul, Humanity and Divinity.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05573a.htm


Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 11, 2013, 12:27:00 AM
Protestants do the same ritual. They are all cannibals. ;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: hickdive on September 11, 2013, 01:46:06 AM
Hi folks. I'm the one who asked the question. Does anyone actually have an answer to it?
Thanks,
Anne

You asked for a list of academics who agreed with your position. For one thing, it isn't our role to dig up your supportive evidence: which would only be an argument from authority anyway. For another thing, it would be a very short list and, if you're content to use fallacious arguments, would simply allow us to use both an argument from authority and an argument from majority.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 11, 2013, 08:21:49 AM
Protestants do the same ritual. They are all cannibals. ;)

-Nam

Yes but this is one point where the Protestants, which are more inclined to be literalists, believe it to be figuartive, and Catholics are literalists when they are more inclinded to  to be figurative interpretionists.

Because when there is no science or fact, anything goes.

Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 11, 2013, 02:10:58 PM
Protestants do the same ritual. They are all cannibals. ;)

-Nam

Yes but this is one point where the Protestants, which are more inclined to be literalists, believe it to be figuartive, and Catholics are literalists when they are more inclinded to  to be figurative interpretionists.

Because when there is no science or fact, anything goes.



Not the church I went to.

They were extremely anal about the drink being served because it had to look exactly like blood. I jokingly said, "Why not just use blood?" They didn't like that but I did get some laughs from those around my age.

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: neopagan on September 11, 2013, 02:24:19 PM
^^^ Most protestants won't even use wine (as jeezus did), but go with grape juice.  After all, the bible/gospel of Paul said no to be drunk with Welch's!
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 11, 2013, 02:30:05 PM
^^^ Most protestants won't even use wine (as jeezus did), but go with grape juice.  After all, the bible/gospel of Paul said no to be drunk with Welch's!

So Jesus' blood to Catholics is made of wine, and to protestants made of prune juice?

Dude sounds fucked up, literally.

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: neopagan on September 11, 2013, 03:18:06 PM
^^^ Grape juice, you heretic! 

 :D
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nick on September 11, 2013, 04:47:47 PM
^^^ Most protestants won't even use wine (as jeezus did), but go with grape juice.  After all, the bible/gospel of Paul said no to be drunk with Welch's!
That could just mean don't drink with Welch people.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: shnozzola on September 11, 2013, 07:23:05 PM
Hello,
Most of your objections to the existence of a loving God seem to be based on modern-day American Christianity, which does not contextualize Biblical literature within history, philosophy, science, and anthropology as the Catholic church does. In fact, modern-day American Christianity, both in belief and practice, is indeed full of holes.
However, the Catholic faith has answers to every objection to the "God of the Bible" that you have raised; and they're not puny justifications either.
Can you please provide a list of the philosophers, scientists, historians, and anthropologists of whom you've read who have concluded that the God featured in Judeo-Christian literature exists? Since you are an "intelligent person living in the 21st century," I'm sure you've "take[n] some time to look at the data."
Respectfully,
[name removed]

Anne,
   As we think things through in life, it becomes obvious that the idea of an omniscient being that would set things up so poorly (read the debates here as far as evolution of body organs such as eyes, or the spleen, or the evolution of viruses and diseases) points to the truth that no such being exists.  As we have said before here, why would 3/4 of the earth be ocean when humans can't survive under water? So mankind continues looking at all this teaching as allegory here and there, factual truth here and there, with everyone picking and choosing what is and what isn't truth - how absurd  for humans to base so much on and be positive who is correct and who is not.

   Sure,  wisdom from so many philosophies is good, from Buddhism to Islam to Christianity to Socrates and different Greek secular teachers, etc.   But this idea of a deity looks to be wrong.  Certainly not sure enough to kill other humans based on one set of beliefs.   Shouldn't the ideas and lifestyles of atheists deserve every bit of respect as the ideas and lifestyles of Catholics - tell me, where does allegory and fact meet in your definition of heaven and hell?   And shouldn't Catholics (that can stand outside of their views and examine them objectively) see that celibacy and repressed homosexually has caused so much horror in society - tell me you are convinced the Catholics have any more of a correct interpretation of reality. 
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Chronos on September 11, 2013, 07:48:09 PM
Most of your objections to the existence of a loving God seem to be based on modern-day American Christianity, which does not contextualize Biblical literature within history, philosophy, science, and anthropology as the Catholic church does.


I'm still trying to choke down that statement. I have GERD.

Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: shnozzola on September 11, 2013, 07:48:13 PM
 - And again, Anne,  why would the idea of Adam and Eve and the loss of paradise, but the reprieve from a resurrected Jesus, yet mankind's ability to resist a loving god and therefore spend ETERNITY in hell, make sense - while everything else going on in a unbelievably huge 13.7 billion year old universe with blackholes and red dwarfs and stars and millions of galaxies  and suns and planets be worth nothing - with only humans on planet earth existing just to get to heaven, be what it is all for?
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: shnozzola on September 11, 2013, 07:53:14 PM
Most of your objections to the existence of a loving God seem to be based on modern-day American Christianity, which does not contextualize Biblical literature within history, philosophy, science, and anthropology as the Catholic church does.


I'm still trying to choke down that statement. I have GERD.

Yeah, how about Kenyan modern day Christianity, where witches are still burned - surely atheists object to that, maybe even Catholics.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: neopagan on September 12, 2013, 08:30:06 AM
the witches have free will... they can either be burned or love jeezus... &)
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: epidemic on September 12, 2013, 12:42:24 PM
If the earth is 10,000 years old and all peoples sprung from the loins of Adam and Eve and then the population was reduced to about 8 all following a monotheistic religion where they actually wittnessed an impossible storm wipe out all life on earth,  Why are there so few monotheistic religions.  I could understand a regional differences in the practice of a monotheistic religion and even possibly one or two poly theist religions but with only 4,500 years between the flood and today it is almost impossible explain the world religious makeup.

And to be fair we are even talking about less time because Egyptian culture/religion goes back right to the around the  flood.  Zeus, hades and Aphrodite, Vishnu have long histories going back into antiquity.  So I am to believe that all cultures spawned from one family and one religion, and morphed into most of the world being polytheistic.  To further put the kabash on this we also have the tower of babble,  here we still have a montheistic culture all working toward the construction of a giant building to reach heaven.   God punished people for their evil act by creating different races and languages.  So at this point x hundred years after the flood races began to move around the world from a common oral history they completely (absolutely) forgot the oral traditions and invented their own religions. 
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Anne on September 14, 2013, 04:36:31 PM
Hi, Anne!  Let's start with something simple:  Genesis 3.

First, why would your god allow two nescient humanoids to be led off-course by a Talking Snake™?  Surely an omniscient being knew the snake was there and had a pretty good idea of what would happen.

Secondly, could you please send Me a Talking Snake™?  I've been trying to get one for several years now, and no one's managed to find Me one so far.

Actually Catholicism rejects the literal interpretation of the Bible. So attempting to phrase questions in the form of Bible literalism does nothing to undermine their viewpoint.

However, if they reject Bible literalism, ask them about what methodology that they use in deciding if a particular pronouncement or story within the Bible is correct, or just a divinely inspired fable.(spoilers: the answers is an appeal to authority, which will end up with circular reasoning)

The type of literature, cultural/historical references/context, translation differences/evolution (sociolinguistics), and emic worldview are all taken into account. Frequently, footnotes will point out alternative translations, consistency or disagreement with other areas of scripture and possible explanations, contemporary historical events and whether the biblical account has the same dates as other historical accounts, etc. Good bibles that illustrate the Catholic perspective of scripture would be the Douay, New Jerusalem, or New American. In addition to the footnotes, the introduction will help describe the role of scripture within the whole body of knowledge we have about God. (The best of these versions are those that have the native languages in a column next to the vernacular translation.)
There is also most definitely there is an appeal to authority - based on the appointed and elected leadership's assessment of the data and interpretation of the movement of the Holy Spirit (better than one Joe Schmoe’s interpretation of the Holy Spirit, but surely still not perfect). At this point, it’s easy to discount that if you do not believe in the Holy Spirit. However, for me to explain the position of the Church without referencing a Being beyond this earth is like a person trying to explain the sunrise without acknowledging that there’s a universe beyond our atmosphere.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Anne on September 14, 2013, 04:38:37 PM
Welcome Anne, it's great to have someone from the mailbox actually show up. 

Personally I don't make any effort to read apologists and excusiologists. I've tried a few times over the decades but soon got put off by the special pleading, Pascal's wager, and 'god-of-the-gaps' type of arguments. 

Some of the others here will have done a more thorough job I'm sure.

Please feel free to post a list of the Scientists and Philosophers (or just their arguments) you think we ought to take seriously :)

EDIT: "historians, and anthropologists" too  :)

Thanks, William! I'm working on it. It's hard to figure out where to begin! Fortunately, it's not for a lack of said references. It's just truly difficult to figure out what would be most important/interesting to this crowd. Thank you again for the welcome.  :)
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nick on September 14, 2013, 04:58:33 PM
Truth and proof.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Anne on September 14, 2013, 05:33:00 PM
Okay, well I've read through the posts and no one has referenced any specific work s/he has read that is written with a pro-God/Catholic perspective. (Thank you to Hatter23 for at least mentioning it, though. I can relate to the experience of bad/incomplete apologia. It's definitely out there!)

It's difficult for me to understand how one could take a position about whether or not there is a God (which is, as you've experienced, one of the most -if not the most- important questions we can ask ourselves) without trying to "disprove" him/herself first. Isn't that what you do with important questions - try to disprove yourself so that you are sure that you believe what you believe?
It seemed to me that the arguments on the wwgha website were quite steeped in mainstream media and biased "history" classes' perspectives, so I tried to give its author & members more credit than that by asking the question (at the beginning of this thread) in the first place. I truly am surprised at the lack of response.

Thank you, however, for responding! All responders brought up perspectives on God (or on people who claim to serve Him) many times. In response to William's request, therefore, I'd be glad to get together a cursory list of the types of works I referenced (philosophy, science, anthropology, etc) to respond to some of those perspectives.

I'll begin with one that I believe answers the website's question about amputees. It's John Paul II's anthropology called Theology of the Body, which describes how God’s nature can be discovered through a study of the human body & relationships. It was laid out  in 4 years' worth of Wednesday audiences. This website has the entirety of those audiences: http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2tbind.htm
Another work that elaborates this is called Love and Responsibility.

These won't only speak to the amputee question; they also describe the Catholic perspective on homosexuality.
{And on that note, I will certainly acknowledge with the rest of you that many Christians -Catholics included- have lived out their homophobic perspectives in the name of God. That is wrong and extremely hurtful (and frustrating). If Catholics and Christians properly understood the perspective on homosexuality taken by the Church, the world would be a much better place.
The super-duper-condensed version has to do with the idea that man and woman together are made in the image of God. We believe that their union, which produces a child, is abundantly rich with meaning, since the human family is precisely what God gave us to reveal Himself to us. So (and again, please bear in mind this is the cursory explanation, so I'm only sharing the conclusion, not everything that get us there), man+woman+child represents our triune God (Father+Son+Holy Spirit). So, human love is not just about love, nor is it just about procreation; it's about revealing God. Such revelation is not accomplished in homosexual union. (Father and Son are the same gender, you say? God has no gender. Again, I began this entire thread not go back and forth about specific arguments, but rather to reference intelligent and dependable works of philosophy, science, etc. For an elaboration on this explanation, please reference the bodies of literature listed above. Both the Wed audiences (Theology of the Body) and the book (Love and Responsibility) make hearty use of philosophy, science, history, etc.)}
Thanks for entertaining that mega-parenthetical digression.

So, would anyone be interested in some more science/philosophy/anthropology/history references?

You do want to disprove G.K. Chesterton’s & C.S. Lewis’ observation that atheists are more dogmatic/unscientific in their thinking than Catholics, don’t you? ;-)
(Chesterton & Lewis were learned atheists who converted to Christianity in the 20th century, based on thought & observation.)

Thanks for the hearty dialogue!...

Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 14, 2013, 05:49:56 PM
One gets the lack of response when they've read it a million times, just of variants of itself. Bring something new, you'll get responses.

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Jag on September 14, 2013, 06:03:52 PM
It's difficult for me to understand how one could take a position about whether or not there is a God (which is, as you've experienced, one of the most -if not the most- important questions we can ask ourselves) without trying to "disprove" him/herself first. Isn't that what you do with important questions - try to disprove yourself so that you are sure that you believe what you believe?

It all gets considerably easier if you let go of your expectations of why we are atheists first. You're approaching the question from your perspective, based on your personal experiences, which have been processed through your personal filters.  I'm quite sure I believe what I believe. I'm equally confident that your assumptions about what my beliefs are do not have any influence on what they actually are.

Quote
You do want to disprove G.K. Chesterton’s & C.S. Lewis’ observation that atheists are more dogmatic/unscientific in their thinking than Catholics, don’t you? ;-)
Well, it sure seems that YOU want someone to want to. I don't generally waste much time worrying about what other people think of me based on a single characteristic that we don't happen to share. Do you?

Quote
(Chesterton & Lewis were learned atheists who converted to Christianity in the 20th century, based on thought & observation.)
I really don't know why you think this is noteworthy. According to Mohammed, Islam is based on thought and observation and I REALLY doubt that's enough to sway your opinion one bit. Why would you think some other random dead people would sway any of ours?

Quote
Thanks for the hearty dialogue!...

Thanks for participating!
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: ParkingPlaces on September 14, 2013, 07:21:13 PM
Anne

How much intellectual work did you put into rejecting the possibility that the hindu gods were real, or the gods of the Kenyan Kikuyu peoples, or the Dogon, or any given native American gods? Was that a big mental exercise for you, where you seriously considered every one before deciding they were not real? Or did you just shrug your shoulders and say "Of course those gods aren't real?"

If it was the latter, that is exactly how I rejected any possibility that the christian god is real. It actually takes very little effort to come to ones senses.

There may be some atheists on this site who are interested in the history of christianity and apologetics and all that stuff. But it is not a universal trait amongst us atheists, and you may or may not get a satisfactory discussion out of the deal.

Oh, and if we atheists are less scientific than catholics, that probably means that when catholics burned scientists at the stake that was merely an experiment in rapid decomposition. Something I've never felt enough interest in to justify killing other human beings for. But I guess I should look at the scientific papers they wrote up after doing in Bruno or something. They might have added to the literature.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 14, 2013, 11:41:26 PM
After reading part of "that Hideous Strength," I cannot believe Lewis was an atheist of any intellectual stripe. It is just a big strawman cartoon depiction of atheists.

Seriously, atheists who worship Satan?....that's beyond stupid.

Atheist more dogmatic than Christianity. Oh, that's a laugh. unless you think "actually pay attention to evidence" is dogma.

If you are Catholic you're soaked in Dogma. From The Apostle's Creed to infallibility, to transubstantiation...all Dogma. Being atheist means I don't believe in your god just as you don't believe in Santa...that's it.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 14, 2013, 11:52:48 PM
At this point, it’s easy to discount that if you do not believe in the Holy Spirit. However, for me to explain the position of the Church without referencing a Being beyond this earth is like a person trying to explain the sunrise without acknowledging that there’s a universe beyond our atmosphere.

You are hiding the circular reasoning. Why should we trust the word of those who state the6 are the ones who state they are guided by the Holy Spirit, when the question of Holy Spirits very existence and what it does is based not upon evidence, but upon the pronouncements of these members of the same authority structure?

I isn't that I do not understand the position of the Church. I was raised Catholic. I just find the position of the Church one great circle of hogwash.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 15, 2013, 12:33:08 AM
If you look at an aerial view of a town or city, and able to remove all buildings except churches, I bet they depict circular locations...or pentagrams-which ever.

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Astreja on September 15, 2013, 01:43:28 AM
It's difficult for me to understand how one could take a position about whether or not there is a God...

One need not disprove something when it's sufficient to merely not accept it.

There are lots of things I don't accept.  For instance, I don't like schmaltzy lyrics in any genre of music.  However, I'm not about to take a PhD in English with a dissertation on poetics for the sole purpose of intellectually justifying to someone else My dislike of a particular tune.

Similarly, as I seem to have been born with a congenital inability to cultivate any sort of religious faith, I don't accept the idea of gods that must be accepted sight unseen.  I can accept gods as metaphors and symbols, and I can accept the hypothesis that there may be  beings more powerful than humans somewhere in this vast universe, but the idea of an eternally existing but completely undetectable entity of immense power?  Absurd.  That falls squarely in the category of "I'll believe it when I see it, and not before."
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 15, 2013, 03:40:19 AM
^squarely? No, circularly.

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: William on September 15, 2013, 04:43:49 AM
So I've started reading bits of the John Paul II stuff (not too much yet because it's footy finals season here in Australia) but the first thing that strikes me in all the stuff written about God creating "male and female", "eternal law", "precisely as "male and female,"", and the "rib" thing  &) is the glaring omission that "female" was an afterthought. Actually worse than an afterthought - a concession to give Adam a "helper" in response to Adam's request.  God first paraded all the animals (presumably both sexes) in front of Adam for Adam to name them and find something he liked: 

Quote
Genesis 2 19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found.

I've explored this question before, but did God retrofit Adam with a penis including erectile tissue, testicles, sperm etc only after Adam asked for Eve? .... or was all that equipment already there and functioning as intended for the animal parade? :o
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Graybeard on September 15, 2013, 06:36:47 AM
Okay, well I've read through the posts and no one has referenced any specific work s/he has read that is written with a pro-God/Catholic perspective.

Probably for the same reason as nobody reads Pol Pot’s political speeches justifying his regime: we already know they are deceptions and untrue

Quote
I can relate to the experience of bad/incomplete apologia. It's definitely out there!

There is no “good” apologia. “RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

Quote
It's difficult for me to understand how one could take a position about whether or not there is a God […] without trying to "disprove" him/herself first.

Your difficulties are caused by yourself: after years of indoctrination your neurons have probably realigned to accept that which is illogical.

Quote
Isn't that what you do with important questions - try to disprove yourself so that you are sure that you believe what you believe?

Yes, and on the balance of probabilities, there cannot be a god of any sort.

Quote
I'll begin with one that I believe answers the website's question about amputees. It's John Paul II's anthropology called Theology of the Body, which describes how God’s nature can be discovered through a study of the human body & relationships. It was laid out  in 4 years' worth of Wednesday audiences. This website has the entirety of those audiences: http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2tbind.htm
Another work that elaborates this is called Love and Responsibility.

The very facts that
(i) you cannot summarise the works you reference and thus give a reason why God will not heal amputees
(ii) the amount of words required for an explanation is apparently huge
(iii) you have not said whether this is “good” or “bad” apologia,
indicate that the reason given for God’s lack of action is not that God does not exist, but that merely mortals have discovered the nature of the Unknowable…

Remarkable…

Quote
These won't only speak to the amputee question; they also describe the Catholic perspective on homosexuality.
{And on that note, I will certainly acknowledge with the rest of you that many Christians -Catholics included- have lived out their homophobic perspectives in the name of God. That is wrong and extremely hurtful (and frustrating). If Catholics and Christians properly understood the perspective on homosexuality taken by the Church, the world would be a much better place.

So, we have 2,000 years of the church persecuting homosexuals, and in all that time nobody actually objected. No pope decided to review the issue – surely this indicates that persecuting homosexuals was God’s will? So why does your god now think it might be different?

Quote
We believe that their [a man’s and a woman’s] union, which produces a child, is abundantly rich with meaning,

The only meaning is that asexual reproduction has evolutionary disadvantages. Anything else is bad apologia and vapid wanderings of the imagination in the self-interest of an already very wealthy church.

Quote
So, would anyone be interested in some more science/philosophy/anthropology/history references?

No, we don’t like bad apologia and science and anthropology speak against the supernatural. Science and anthropology like explanations that do not include, “and at this stage there was a miracle…”

Quote
You do want to disprove G.K. Chesterton’s & C.S. Lewis’ observation that atheists are more dogmatic/unscientific in their thinking than Catholics, don’t you? ;-)

I don’t think that Chesterton and Lewis were necessarily wrong. Atheists wish to show the religious that the religious are suffering from a delusion. I don’t know if you have ever tried to convince someone who suffers from a delusion that there is a better way of viewing the world, but, after a lot of discussion that is met with only close-mindedness and apologia, the temptation is to become dogmatic.

I used to work with the mentally ill. A woman believed that a brick in her house was reading her mind and transmitting information to Germany. I had her identify the brick and mark it. I marked it too. The brick removed. When I returned a few days later, her apologist stance was that the wrong brick had been removed… (NO, the marked brick had been removed…)

It is at this stage that some sort of dogmatism kicks in.

I fail to see how your (and other’s) claim that some invisible, timeless, undetectable, sky-pixie takes a deep interest in a single species of animal on a small planet orbiting an insignificant star in one of trillions of galaxies can make any sense at all.

However, to you it all makes sense, doesn't it? (Have you checked all your bricks recently?)
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: jaimehlers on September 15, 2013, 09:03:16 AM
The problem, Anne, is that the people you refer to, who concluded that a god existed, predicated their logic and arguments on the presumed fact of that god's existence.  In other words, their Achilles heel is their apparent lack of evidence.  You don't need logic to justify the existence of something that actually exists and that you have evidence for.  There should be mountains of that evidence, unmistakeable as anything else, in the case of a god who presumably intervened in human history for thousands of years.  But there is nothing solid.  It is all as unseen as the god itself, which allows lots of flexibility in justifying things as being the work of that god - but virtually nothing that can convince the skeptical mind.

Also, I don't think C.S. Lewis was ever actually an atheist (except in the self-described sense).  What happened is that he stopped believing in Christianity (or at least the faith he was raised in) - but he went straight into mysticism and the occult from there, both of which are not things that atheists generally put any reliance on.  And then later on he was brought back to Christianity by Tolkien.  So yes, he did lose his Christian faith and he did start searching for something to replace it - but he never really became an atheist, except in the sense of not believing in the Christian god.  I have no desire to commit the "no true Scotsman" fallacy here, but I think it is nonsensical to call someone an atheist simply because they stop believing in one particular god or religion.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: neopagan on September 15, 2013, 11:35:46 AM
I read several of Lewis' books as a believer. As I recall, he came back to "the faith" because of what he saw as this universal sense of justice or morality across cultures and concluded that was the work of god.  Seeing activities replicated in similar fashions across cultures and thus pointing to a god does not look to me like a conclusion drawn by an atheist (or a scientist for sure).  Using that fractured logisc, why not conclude: we all get hungry and eat, so it's proof of a god?
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 15, 2013, 12:26:00 PM
Quote from: Graybeard
Reply #47

Atheists wish to show the religious that the religious are suffering from a delusion.

This is an inaccurate statement. Not all atheists seek to do this. I don't even think a majority of them do.

I think it'd be more accurate to say, "Atheists at websites like this one, or certain other atheists..." etc.,


-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Traveler on September 15, 2013, 02:04:01 PM
Yep, Nam has it right.

The only thing one can categorically say about all atheists is that we don't believe in god. Period. End of sentence.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nick on September 15, 2013, 04:06:51 PM
Yep, Nam has it right.

The only thing one can categorically say about all atheists is that we don't believe in god. Period. End of sentence.
But not the end of the story.  All of us are smart, good looking, help puppies and old ladies across the street, and can see BS a mile away.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 15, 2013, 05:36:57 PM
I read several of Lewis' books as a believer. As I recall, he came back to "the faith" because of what he saw as this universal sense of justice or morality across cultures and concluded that was the work of god.  Seeing activities replicated in similar fashions across cultures and thus pointing to a god does not look to me like a conclusion drawn by an atheist (or a scientist for sure).  Using that fractured logisc, why not conclude: we all get hungry and eat, so it's proof of a god?

Or more sophisticated and directly: The cultures that valued cooperation, communication, learning, and respect are the ones that grew to a size to have records. SO when going over records....guess what you are going to find.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Chronos on September 15, 2013, 06:37:46 PM
Quote from: Graybeard
Reply #47

Atheists wish to show the religious that the religious are suffering from a delusion.

This is an inaccurate statement. Not all atheists seek to do this. I don't even think a majority of them do.



I don't care to show the religious that they are suffering from a delusion -- at least not until the religious try to show me that I am denying that their god exists.

This forum invites theists to come discuss the book (WWGHA), and consequently for theists to discuss their beliefs. Ergo, the only place I routinely contest the statements of theists is on this forum. In the offline world I rarely have theists trying to convert me to their beliefs. Perhaps that's because I emit an appropriate rational vibe.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 15, 2013, 07:40:20 PM
Quote from: Graybeard
Reply #47

Atheists wish to show the religious that the religious are suffering from a delusion.

This is an inaccurate statement. Not all atheists seek to do this. I don't even think a majority of them do.



I don't care to show the religious that they are suffering from a delusion -- at least not until the religious try to show me that I am denying that their god exists.

This forum invites theists to come discuss the book (WWGHA), and consequently for theists to discuss their beliefs. Ergo, the only place I routinely contest the statements of theists is on this forum. In the offline world I rarely have theists trying to convert me to their beliefs. Perhaps that's because I emit an appropriate rational vibe.


I'm tall, big, and ugly, and apparently scary looking. All the repel I need. I worked many years to look like this. When I was younger people thought I was "pretty" (from how young I looked), and some based on looks alone, thought I was shy, and timid. I wasn't.

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: hickdive on September 16, 2013, 07:51:33 AM
Okay, well I've read through the posts and no one has referenced any specific work s/he has read that is written with a pro-God/Catholic perspective.

Still looking for other people to do your work for you?

What is it about Catholics that they insist on this? We had a particularly rabid female Catholic on here not so long ago who claimed to have spent many years studying all this guff and was most upset when it was pointed out that none of it was evidence for anything except prepositional-ism.

Mind you, I suspect the realisation that they've wasted a lifetime will inevitably result in angry denial.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 16, 2013, 08:38:23 AM
Okay, well I've read through the posts and no one has referenced any specific work s/he has read that is written with a pro-God/Catholic perspective.
What is it about Catholics that they insist on this? We had a particularly rabid female Catholic on here not so long ago who claimed to have spent many years studying all this guff and was most upset when it was pointed out that none of it was evidence for anything except prepositional-ism.

It is a variant of the internet intellectual snotball meme that came along around 2004 -2006. "You can't be possible informed on the subject until you have read (insert snotballs favorite book on the subject). Read it and get back to me when you can have an INFORMED conversation."

The thing is, in a very few instances, this is correct. It is difficult to have an informed opinion on particular book or author without reading a chapter or two. However, on most subjects, there are no single definitive single book to understand said subject.

It is just a new 21rst century fallacy, composed of poisoning the well, appeal to authority, ad hom, and mostly no true Scotsman.

I don't expect a theist to have read the works of Dawkins or Hitchens, unless they are disparaging those works. And even then, I don't expect them to have read them in full.


As far as I am concerned, I don't need to read the reams of apologia describing the wonders of the Emperors new clothes, and why they must necessarily exist because of Ontology, to point out the fact that there is no evidence the he is wearing anything.

Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: jdawg70 on September 16, 2013, 10:54:40 AM
As far as I am concerned, I don't need to read the reams of apologia describing the wonders of the Emperors new clothes, and why they must necessarily exist because of Ontology, to point out the fact that there is no evidence the he is wearing anything.
I find it necessary to bring out the ole Courtier's Reply:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/12/24/the-courtiers-reply/
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 16, 2013, 04:15:56 PM
Okay, well I've read through the posts and no one has referenced any specific work s/he has read that is written with a pro-God/Catholic perspective.

Still looking for other people to do your work for you?

What is it about Catholics that they insist on this? We had a particularly rabid female Catholic on here not so long ago who claimed to have spent many years studying all this guff and was most upset when it was pointed out that none of it was evidence for anything except prepositional-ism.

Mind you, I suspect the realisation that they've wasted a lifetime will inevitably result in angry denial.

Maggie-the-paranoid?

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Anfauglir on September 17, 2013, 06:24:35 AM
It's difficult for me to understand how one could take a position about whether or not there is a God (which is, as you've experienced, one of the most -if not the most- important questions we can ask ourselves) without trying to "disprove" him/herself first.....

I quite agree - that's exactly the position I take, agnostic in the general, atheist in the specific. 

More than happy to take a look at your particular god, as soon as you specify some testable and falsifiable characteristics for it. 
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 17, 2013, 07:23:52 AM
As far as I am concerned, I don't need to read the reams of apologia describing the wonders of the Emperors new clothes, and why they must necessarily exist because of Ontology, to point out the fact that there is no evidence the he is wearing anything.
I find it necessary to bring out the ole Courtier's Reply:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/12/24/the-courtiers-reply/

and then there's this "refutation" of the Dawkins and the Courtiers reply.  The issue of course is the enitre article IS the Courtier reply, and all hinging on very circular reasoning

http://www.american.com/archive/2010/march/the-new-philistinism

I am a philistine. One who does not care about this or that philosopher's particular take, but the essential question "Is this distinguishable from fiction?"

Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: epidemic on September 17, 2013, 07:26:47 AM
It's difficult for me to understand how one could take a position about whether or not there is a God (which is, as you've experienced, one of the most -if not the most- important questions we can ask ourselves) without trying to "disprove" him/herself first.....

I quite agree - that's exactly the position I take, agnostic in the general, atheist in the specific. 

More than happy to take a look at your particular god, as soon as you specify some testable and falsifiable characteristics for it.

Me thinks that Anne may have flown the coupe.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 17, 2013, 07:45:21 AM
Chickens don't fly. Too fat.

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Anne on September 17, 2013, 09:55:45 PM
Again, thanks for reading, and for viewing!
I want to clear something up - the wwgha website says that you can "Contact us" and if there is not enough time to get back to an individual question, it may be posted to the forum instead. So, I did, assuming (always a mistake, I admit!) that the standard was a personal response, and the back-up was post-to-a-forum. So, long story short, I didn't particularly intend to begin a thread that would require daily check-ins. When I realized a thread had been started, I began to participate. I should have said at the outset that I am not going to be able to keep up on this through daily check-ins. From the beginning, though, I checked "yes" to the option that allows persons to email me individually and I would be happy to exchange emails with you personally.
That said, I respect that you do not want a list of things to read because your journey is not the same as mine - a list of things to read might not be meaningful to you. I came to the faith through reason and research (And yes, included looking into other faiths & systems of belief. My undergraduate degree was in Anthropology; so research, particularly regarding systems of belief, is something I value quite a bit.), but that doesn't mean that you came to atheism in the same way. And, just as all Catholics are not the same, all atheists are not the same; this is, of course, because all people are not the same.
My assumption that some research or reading had taken place was based on WWGHA itself, which talks about Jesus, the Bible, etc. The reason I asked the question in the first place (again, intending it to go to an individual) was because so many of the things in WWGHA indicate that the writer(s) did research about Christianity, but missed what a basic Freshman/Sophomore-level course in Western Humanities would consider significant works. In other words, I'm not asking whether s/he read every work on Catholicism (the Courtier's Reply); I'm trying to get to the bottom of what was read in order to conclude WWGHA's conclusions. (And, after the thread was posted, to find out what readers'/contributors' research has entailed, since WWGHA doesn't seem to have a specific spokesperson to describe what was read about Christianity in order to come to the conclusions drawn in WWGHA itself.)
Presumably, if someone were going around saying things like “your mother’s a whore,” or “your father is a greedy, lying son-of-a…”, or “You have no sense of reason, intelligence, or the capacity to use your eyeballs and review evidence,” you would at the very least ask him/her: “Where are you getting your information?”
So, since not the least of this has been said about the Church and those who believe in her, I asked “Where are you getting your information?”
And if you would like evidence for whether or not such things are said, please review the rest of this thread.
Again, if this WWGHA were a website refuting the Muslim God, or Hindu gods, I wouldn’t have been inclined to ask such a question. WWGHA focuses on Jesus and Christianity, so I responded because I could see that what was known about Christianity, even at its most basic beliefs, was misunderstood - clearly based on popular media and modern-day American Fundamentalist Christianity.
Being that I am, like you, a person, and therefore have a husband and dinner and all those good things to attend to, I must stop here for now. I will check in again soon, and thank you again for reading…



Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 17, 2013, 11:53:45 PM
Again, thanks for reading, and for viewing!
I want to clear something up - the wwgha website says that you can "Contact us" and if there is not enough time to get back to an individual question, it may be posted to the forum instead. So, I did, assuming (always a mistake, I admit!) that the standard was a personal response, and the back-up was post-to-a-forum.

The creator of this forum hasn't been here in years, and though he still owns this place (sadly), no one really expects he'll ever come back.

Quote
So, long story short, I didn't particularly intend to begin a thread that would require daily check-ins. When I realized a thread had been started, I began to participate. I should have said at the outset that I am not going to be able to keep up on this through daily check-ins.

No one is expecting you to respond to everything at once. Take time, we're not going anywhere (figuratively speaking).

Quote
From the beginning, though, I checked "yes" to the option that allows persons to email me individually and I would be happy to exchange emails with you personally.

Not a good idea. This is a way for bots to send you unwarranted e-mail, or, even have a member harass you or vice versa. It's sort of like giving out your address to strangers. Not really a good idea.

Quote
That said, I respect that you do not want a list of things to read because your journey is not the same as mine - a list of things to read might not be meaningful to you. I came to the faith through reason and research (And yes, included looking into other faiths & systems of belief. My undergraduate degree was in Anthropology; so research, particularly regarding systems of belief, is something I value quite a bit.), but that doesn't mean that you came to atheism in the same way. And, just as all Catholics are not the same, all atheists are not the same; this is, of course, because all people are not the same.
My assumption that some research or reading had taken place was based on WWGHA itself, which talks about Jesus, the Bible, etc. The reason I asked the question in the first place (again, intending it to go to an individual) was because so many of the things in WWGHA indicate that the writer(s) did research about Christianity, but missed what a basic Freshman/Sophomore-level course in Western Humanities would consider significant works. In other words, I'm not asking whether s/he read every work on Catholicism (the Courtier's Reply); I'm trying to get to the bottom of what was read in order to conclude WWGHA's conclusions. (And, after the thread was posted, to find out what readers'/contributors' research has entailed, since WWGHA doesn't seem to have a specific spokesperson to describe what was read about Christianity in order to come to the conclusions drawn in WWGHA itself.)

Atheism, to my recollection, is not about "conclusions". It's just the agreement that god/s do not exist. Past that the argumentation of subjects of religion, such as Christianity, is differing in many views, on many subjects even within one particular sect.

Former Catholics here would probably suit to your needs. Some of us are former protestants. I am a former Southern Baptist.

Quote
Presumably, if someone were going around saying things like “your mother’s a whore,” or “your father is a greedy, lying son-of-a…”, or “You have no sense of reason, intelligence, or the capacity to use your eyeballs and review evidence,” you would at the very least ask him/her: “Where are you getting your information?”
So, since not the least of this has been said about the Church and those who believe in her, I asked “Where are you getting your information?”

One tends to research things by multiple sources. Most of those in Christianity research from the Bible and books written in contention to it to validate it. Atheists tend to research those materials and find information from sources outside those sources to cut the overall bias.
 
Quote
And if you would like evidence for whether or not such things are said, please review the rest of this thread.
Again, if this WWGHA were a website refuting the Muslim God, or Hindu gods, I wouldn’t have been inclined to ask such a question. WWGHA focuses on Jesus and Christianity, so I responded because I could see that what was known about Christianity, even at its most basic beliefs, was misunderstood - clearly based on popular media and modern-day American Fundamentalist Christianity.
Being that I am, like you, a person, and therefore have a husband and dinner and all those good things to attend to, I must stop here for now. I will check in again soon, and thank you again for reading…

This website doesn't discriminate against other religions, just that most members here are former Christians, and the website is based in a predominantly Christian area.

People here tend to research the validity of a claim rather than listen to a biased source. You should look into that.

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Anfauglir on September 18, 2013, 02:43:12 AM
I respect that you do not want a list of things to read because your journey is not the same as mine - a list of things to read might not be meaningful to you. I came to the faith through reason and research .....

Excellent news!  So my offer.....

More than happy to take a look at your particular god, as soon as you specify some testable and falsifiable characteristics for it.

.....should present no problems for you, since you will (presumably) already have identified its characteristics and been able to verify them.  Looking forward to you presenting them - don't feel you have to do loads at once, feel free to start with just a couple if you would prefer.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Fiji on September 18, 2013, 03:10:11 AM
*Raises hand*
Ex-Catholic here. Well, not entirely as I started moving away from Catholicism as early as the age of five. At age eleven, the catechism pretty much drove the final nail into the coffin of Catholicism for me. Especially the realization that the catechism and the bible had little if anything to do with eachother and that the 'catechism lite' we were taught was entirely different take, yet again, on (what should have been) the same material.
Now, this was in an age before the Internet was widely available. Hell, only years later did we purchase a C64[1] and that was state of the art! But still I had come across non-canon fiction based on the Star Wars universe and couldn't help but notice the similarities between that and the bible-catechism-catechismlite disaster.
So, which do you go for? The oldest or the most recent? There was stuff in the catechism that could only be found in the bible in such a twisted and mangled form that they basically amounted to wild guesses. Turning to the bible only made things worse; that thing is a mess!
In short, by the time I was confirmed into the Catholic church, I had already abandoned Catholicism.

BTW, all of this happened over a quarter of a century ago, so don't expect me to pluck specifics from the back of my mind.
 1. The '64' refers to kilobytes... btw ... KILOBYTES!!! I kid you not
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 18, 2013, 04:04:33 AM
^yer old.

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: screwtape on September 18, 2013, 08:53:09 AM
Being that I am, like you, a person, and therefore have a husband and dinner ...

You monster.  You are nothing like me.  I have no husband.  But if I did, I certainly would not think of him as dinner.

Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 18, 2013, 12:41:48 PM
That said, I respect that you do not want a list of things to read because your journey is not the same as mine - a list of things to read might not be meaningful to you. I came to the faith through reason and research (And yes, included looking into other faiths & systems of belief. My undergraduate degree was in Anthropology; so research, particularly regarding systems of belief, is something I value quite a bit.),


If so, differentiate your belief in a cosmology that conflicts with other cosmology beliefs without commiting a logical fallacy.

Really, I'd like you to do the following three things:
(1)Define God.
(2)Prove that that definition is not a logical paradox
(3)Show proof that differs from the other ten thousand dieties man has worshipped

 Until you do those three things....I am not going to take what you say as different from just a gibbering tribal primitive.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Chronos on September 18, 2013, 08:37:44 PM
I want to clear something up - the wwgha website says that you can "Contact us" and if there is not enough time to get back to an individual question, it may be posted to the forum instead. So, I did, assuming (always a mistake, I admit!) that the standard was a personal response, and the back-up was post-to-a-forum. So, long story short, I didn't particularly intend to begin a thread that would require daily check-ins. When I realized a thread had been started, I began to participate. I should have said at the outset that I am not going to be able to keep up on this through daily check-ins.

A daily visit and daily reply is not required. The forum is designed for visiting when you can or desire.


From the beginning, though, I checked "yes" to the option that allows persons to email me individually and I would be happy to exchange emails with you personally. That said, I respect that you do not want a list of things to read because your journey is not the same as mine - a list of things to read might not be meaningful to you.

Many of us have read many things on various reading lists. Those of us who are atheists come to the same conclusion regardless of what we read.


I came to the faith through reason and research (And yes, included looking into other faiths & systems of belief. My undergraduate degree was in Anthropology; so research, particularly regarding systems of belief, is something I value quite a bit.), but that doesn't mean that you came to atheism in the same way. And, just as all Catholics are not the same, all atheists are not the same; this is, of course, because all people are not the same.

As a person who has studied anthropology, I find it more amazing that you believe in any god. But as you say, all people are not the same.

Many of us have experienced various religions and/or various denominations of particular religions. I have attended services for Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic churches. I have read various materials issued by these respective denominations. For me, regardless of the denomination, the basic theme is that there is an all-powerful god who created everything. I see no evidence for such an entity, regardless of the variations (minor) in how the god is defined. Once I concluded that a god as defined cannot exist, then reading additional materials from a particular religion will not alter my conclusion.


My assumption that some research or reading had taken place was based on WWGHA itself, which talks about Jesus, the Bible, etc. The reason I asked the question in the first place (again, intending it to go to an individual) was because so many of the things in WWGHA indicate that the writer(s) did research about Christianity, but missed what a basic Freshman/Sophomore-level course in Western Humanities would consider significant works. In other words, I'm not asking whether s/he read every work on Catholicism (the Courtier's Reply); I'm trying to get to the bottom of what was read in order to conclude WWGHA's conclusions.

I cannot verify the exact books the author read before he wrote the WWGHA book. The entire point of the WWGHA book is that these readings or investments in Western Humanities are irrelevant, at least with respect to the existence of a god. The book demonstrates the methods of reasoning used in the conclusions reached by the author. It is a book more about philosophy, specifically, than the broader subject of humanities. Additionally, and most importantly, the book relies on proof, reasoning and rationality, inasmuch as any scientific exercise would require. The only difference is that since god is not an entity in which one can interact in a defined and definitive way, the end result is that the dependence on a god is not a reliable or rational dependence. The god described has abandoned his children.


(And, after the thread was posted, to find out what readers'/contributors' research has entailed, since WWGHA doesn't seem to have a specific spokesperson to describe what was read about Christianity in order to come to the conclusions drawn in WWGHA itself.)

While I can appreciate that you were wanting contact from a particular person who could answer your question(s), one person cannot spend his days replying to hundreds of queries each week. Well, he could but he would slowly go insane. The responses one person may provide would likely depend on boilerplate texts in order to effectively reply on a timely basis. The book itself is that reply.

It appears to me that you accept the premise of a god as defined by Catholicism. Given that you accept this premise, you can argue about how one interprets such a god, or the supposed writings of such a god (inspired or not), or the moral and ethical quandaries about how such writings apply to our daily lives. You can argue that Catholicism is better than Methodism or Buddhism or whatever religion you like.

The WWGHA book rejects the initial premise of a god as defined because it demonstrates in various ways that the god cannot exist. The god does not participate in or affect our daily lives, individually or collectively. I came to the same conclusion long ago. So, to discuss what particular writings support the positions of a particular religion, or to demonstrate the commonly-held beliefs, morals or actions of the general membership of a particular religion, is like rearranging chairs on a ship that is going down.

It is an amazing moment when one realizes that there cannot be a god.


Presumably, if someone were going around saying things like “your mother’s a whore,” or “your father is a greedy, lying son-of-a…”, or “You have no sense of reason, intelligence, or the capacity to use your eyeballs and review evidence,” you would at the very least ask him/her: “Where are you getting your information?”

I haven't read every response in this thread to know if our members have responded with the quotes you have made above. As you stated, we are all not the same. Some of us have better debate skills, social skills or diplomatic skills than others. While this is not a tit-for-tat situation, nor a justification for such, some responses you receive may be a reflection of the responses we as atheists often receive when we visit other religious forums (primarily Christian forums).

Here, the predominant theme is that we use our own intellect, reasoning and integrity to conclude whether a god may exist or not. We do not rely on the specific writings of anyone about atheism or religion. The more information we consume, on either side of the issue, the more likely that information will reinforce our conclusion. In fact, it is obvious to us that most people make their conclusions about the positive existence of god with less and less information. Ignorance is bliss.


Again, if this WWGHA were a website refuting the Muslim God, or Hindu gods, I wouldn’t have been inclined to ask such a question.

The WWGHA also refutes the Muslim "god" or the Hindu "gods" or the Jewish "god" or any other god you would like to describe. The book was written by a person who lives in a predominantly Christian country (the USA) and a predominantly Christian state (in the South). Ergo, his audience for the book was the Christians who surrounded him. Replacing the words Christian, Catholic, god, or Jesus for other words aligning with other religions is merely an abstraction with the same result.


WWGHA focuses on Jesus and Christianity, so I responded because I could see that what was known about Christianity, even at its most basic beliefs, was misunderstood - clearly based on popular media and modern-day American Fundamentalist Christianity.

If you read the WWGHA book and only conclude that the book refutes only fundamentalist Christianity, l have to question your critical thinking skills. The reasoning and conclusions in the book are quite easily abstracted to Catholicism with no real mental effort. Catholicism has an all-powerful God who came to the earth in flesh and blood as Jesus. This is the same in every Christian religion. Everything else is just window dressing.


Being that I am, like you, a person, and therefore have a husband and dinner and all those good things to attend to, I must stop here for now. I will check in again soon, and thank you again for reading…

I am also quite busy, so I visit every 4-5 days, sometimes every 10-14 days. I do appreciate you visiting the forum and taking time to reply to us. If you received negative responses, I hope you will continue to visit and reply to the members who are engaging to you.

Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 18, 2013, 11:25:21 PM
^you're so professional in your reply, making the rest of us look bad. Stop it. :P

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Fiji on September 19, 2013, 12:58:28 AM
^yer old.

;)

-Nam

Fair warning ... never get me started on Cold War stories
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Graybeard on September 19, 2013, 09:09:10 AM
[...] I responded because I could see that what was known about Christianity, even at its most basic beliefs, was misunderstood - clearly based on popular media and modern-day American Fundamentalist Christianity.

Thank goodness for that! At last, someone who knows exactly what God means whatever and wherever he spoke!

I, for one, am sick and tired of Christians coming here who only say they know what God means and only say they know what Christianity is but now we have the definitive version. I'm so happy.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: epidemic on September 19, 2013, 09:30:53 AM
Anne,

You may not just visit on occasion.  You have to be all in or concede defeat and admitt atheism is correct.  Your home life is irrelevant!!!  ;D



But seriously, I came to my agnostic atheism through light review of the bible, personal observation of the world, and deductive reasoning through my own personal biases and knowledge. 

I have concluded with almost complete certainty on my part that the christian bible can not describe a benevolent hands on God that some people describe.  A hands on god seems unbelievable because it requires a superbeing with more character flaws then I have. 


I think it is unlikely that a hands off god is required to create the universe and even if he did how am I to deal with a god who never makes himself known.  Why should I believe in something that leaves no evidence of his existence let alone his desires.

So having deduced there is no credible book (because I don't believe the bible), and absence of any evidence, I can not believe in god.

About the only inkling left for me of a possibility of a god is the god of my absence of knowledge.  Where did all this stuff come from defies my understanding of the universe.  But is that enough reason to believe, and if so what am I to do with a hands off God.

Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 19, 2013, 09:31:42 AM
[...] I responded because I could see that what was known about Christianity, even at its most basic beliefs, was misunderstood - clearly based on popular media and modern-day American Fundamentalist Christianity.

Thank goodness for that! At last, someone who knows exactly what God means whatever and wherever he spoke!

I, for one, am sick and tired of Christians coming here who only say they know what God means and only say they know what Christianity is but now we have the definitive version. I'm so happy.

Catholicism; an Institution for true Scotsmen across the globe.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: nogodsforme on September 20, 2013, 04:37:25 PM
If there was a super powerful being who wanted every human being to know that it existed, we would all know that it existed. He could speak to everyone in their brains in their own language, and explain his existence and what he wanted from us. He could change every tv show and radio program and book to explain his existence. He could put the information on the internet and on every cell phone in the language that the person looking at it understood.

Any number of ways to communicate to everyone efficiently and accurately. There would be no doubt, confusion or debate about it unless that being wanted people to have doubts and confusion. If Catholicism had been all that and a bag of wafers, there would never have been any other religion after it arrived on the scene. There would be only the one religion and it would be as obvious as the existence of the sun.[1]

The true religion should have easily smashed all the competition. It would be impossible (or at least extremely difficult) to defeat the efforts of a supernatural being with something like "sin", "hard-heartedness" or disobedience. No need to wipe out the planet with sh!t like a global flood only to have all the bad people come right back. How could a weak ordinary human defeat the efforts of a supernatural god? It would be like a toddler trying to arm wrestle the Hulk. There should not be hundreds of different religions-- unless god wanted there to be all those alternatives to trick people into hell. Bwahahahaha!

But this is not the case. The supposedly one true god has acted exactly the same way as all the fake gods that people no longer worship. Inefficiently, slowly, capriciously, and inaccurately.  The god(s) appear to one special guy, who goes around telling a few special people and there is all this magic, so they tell other people and eventually someone writes some stuff down.

With each retelling and translation and cultural adaptation, the message changes and gets more complicated, until nobody is practicing the same religion as the first group. And amazingly, the magic disappears right about the time people start to use critical thinking and science. Gods in these days of cellphone cameras and youtube are conveniently invisible and work in mysterious ways.  They answer prayers at the same rate as random chance.

Would the most powerful entity ever, who created the entire universe, have to communicate by a primitive form of the telephone game? He can be defeated by a talking snake and some fruit. He maims and kills and destroys sh!t. In order to understand him, each generation of believers has to create thousands of pages of new explanations.

We have to conclude that either there is no supernatural being, that it is an evil SOB, or that it has no interest in human beings at all. Clearly, it wants the world to be exactly the way it is, with hundreds of religions, lots of problems that people have to solve on their own-- and many unbelievers.
 1. Interesting how we think people who worship the sun and the moon or natural phenomena are ignorant and primitive. At least those things really exist.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Tero on September 21, 2013, 10:53:14 PM
I never quite got the opening post. These crazy American Christians are imbeciles? And somewhere in the world are brilliant scientists who are god fearing Catholics?
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Anne on September 28, 2013, 12:15:02 AM
Thanks for the assurance about there being no necessity to keep up with this forum regularly.
I know that I won't be able to. Thanks for the information about the original author, and load of traffic on the site, etc., as well; I had no idea wwgha received so many questions on a daily basis.

Because it's remotely isolated and of particular interest to me, and because it's a response to the question about what people have read, I'll respond to Hatter23's comments:

After reading part of "that Hideous Strength," I cannot believe Lewis was an atheist of any intellectual stripe. It is just a big strawman cartoon depiction of atheists.

Seriously, atheists who worship Satan?....that's beyond stupid.


Lewis wrote both fiction and nonfiction. That Hideous Strength was fiction and not meant to be a summary of his conclusions about atheism, nor Christianity. The story of his conversion is in Surprised by Joy, in which he talks about his journey to God in what is now referred to as "the argument from desire." In other words, he found that, since there was a satisfaction for all universal human needs/desires (e.g. food for hunger; relationships for the desire to love & be loved, etc), that there must be a solution for the desire for joy. Joy, here, can be understood as utter fulfillment - non-boring peace; energy that is not wearisome; happiness that is ever new; pleasure that needs no repetition; no suffering but no lack of the benefits of suffering (accomplishment, refinement, etc); something that is special without being rare  - some balance of all the good things with none of the bad. Every earthly source of joy is temporary (and would not be joyful unless it were, indeed, temporary); why is it there a universal longing for untainted happiness -happiness that does not depend on some pain in order to be fully felt or understood- if there is not something to satisfy that desire? That is truly only part of Lewis' story, but it was significant for him.
For a better explanation of the argument from desire, in the style of Aristotle or Aquinas (Premises, Conclusions based on Premises, Objections, & Answers to objections), please see Peter Kreeft's explanation here:
http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/desire.htm.
Kreeft wrote a book where he examines man's search for joy, from the perspective of just about countless philosophers & religions (with myriad references - of course atheist philosophers/observers are included among the arguments & ideas he considers).

Since God, like the theory of evolution or the fact that ancient Egypt existed, is not "testable" (because none of these can be reproduced using the scientific method) but is still provable (because the scientific method is not the only way to gather reliable knowledge and information), this book is a meaningful review using plenty of data. It's called Heaven (the heart's deepest longing)...and, naturally, I highly recommend.

Other nonfiction by CS Lewis includes The Problem of Pain and Mere Christianity. I think that The Problem of Pain is particularly interesting, since the most common objection to God (esp as a loving God) that I've seen has to do with human suffering. I hope to speak to that next time, as it's been a big part of my journey...

Thank you, William, for responding to my Theology of the Body comments & invitation to read; I hope to respond to you soon!
cf:
So I've started reading bits of the John Paul II stuff (not too much yet because it's footy finals season here in Australia) but the first thing that strikes me in all the stuff written about God creating "male and female", "eternal law", "precisely as "male and female,"", and the "rib" thing  &) is the glaring omission that "female" was an afterthought. Actually worse than an afterthought - a concession to give Adam a "helper" in response to Adam's request.  God first paraded all the animals (presumably both sexes) in front of Adam for Adam to name them and find something he liked: 

Quote
Genesis 2 19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found.

I've explored this question before, but did God retrofit Adam with a penis including erectile tissue, testicles, sperm etc only after Adam asked for Eve? .... or was all that equipment already there and functioning as intended for the animal parade? :o

For now, I can say that the literal, isolated reading of scripture might lead to such a conclusion, but a better understanding of ancient Judaism, the culture/time period in which this was written, the original language, a comparison of the two separate Genesis stories, (a.k.a. context) leads to the conclusion of the Church: woman is every bit as wonderful, purposeful, and respected as man. More on that in Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity and Vocation of Woman), an apostolic letter...and in countless other works.
Ultimately, I hope you read more about Theology of the Body because it answers the objection you raised above specifically.

That's all I can do for now. More soon?

Thank you again and take care!
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: jaimehlers on September 28, 2013, 02:28:00 AM
Actually, the theory of evolution is provable via the scientific method, and not just through historical data.  We observe evolutionary changes in organisms (mostly ones with short lifespans and thus many generations that can be observed on a human scale) today.  For that matter, we can write programs that mimic environmental influences on life-forms and demonstrate how those spur evolutionary change.  Both of those qualify as valid experimental data and thus support the theory of evolution.

For that matter, Dawkins wrote a computer program which illustrated this by taking a nonsense string of characters and applying the equivalent of environmental pressure to conserve 'correct' letters in order to reproduce the sentence "Methinks it is like a weasel", and it accomplished the goal in 41 iterations.  Other, similar tests have been done, and they ultimately support evolutionary theory.  Anne, while I understand the point you are trying to get across (many things can not currently be broken down into scientific methodology, and perhaps may never be), it's time and long past time to dispel the myth that evolution isn't supported by experimental science.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Anfauglir on September 28, 2013, 03:15:31 AM
That Hideous Strength was fiction and not meant to be a summary of his conclusions about atheism, nor Christianity. The story of his conversion is in Surprised by Joy, in which he talks about his journey to God in what is now referred to as "the argument from desire." In other words, he found that, since there was a satisfaction for all universal human needs/desires (e.g. food for hunger; relationships for the desire to love & be loved, etc), that there must be a solution for the desire for joy. Joy, here, can be understood as utter fulfillment - non-boring peace; energy that is not wearisome; happiness that is ever new; pleasure that needs no repetition; no suffering but no lack of the benefits of suffering (accomplishment, refinement, etc); something that is special without being rare  - some balance of all the good things with none of the bad. Every earthly source of joy is temporary (and would not be joyful unless it were, indeed, temporary); why is it there a universal longing for untainted happiness -happiness that does not depend on some pain in order to be fully felt or understood- if there is not something to satisfy that desire?

The ultimate source of happiness (as wished for by Lewis) is embodied in Brahma, not Yahweh.  Unless you can show me otherwise?
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: shnozzola on September 28, 2013, 11:16:16 AM
.............that there must be a solution for the desire for joy. Joy, here, can be understood as utter fulfillment - non-boring peace; energy that is not wearisome; happiness that is ever new; pleasure that needs no repetition; no suffering but no lack of the benefits of suffering (accomplishment, refinement, etc); something that is special without being rare  - some balance of all the good things with none of the bad. Every earthly source of joy is temporary (and would not be joyful unless it were, indeed, temporary); why is it there a universal longing for untainted happiness

I know this feeling.  I have experienced it.  As an atheist I understand this definition as not god, but "joy".   I believe you could also look at Christian Quaker beliefs that this "ultimate joy" definition is a mindset of our individual brains, defined as a piece of "god" by Quakerism, where we are able to experience this ultimate joy any time, no matter the circumstances , probably a result of the evolutionary mental instinct for survival, like a natural drug such as endorphins.

But none of this matters, unless the ultimately joyful people start killing other people.  That could not happen because evolution would prevent it.   But what if a person's ultimate solution for joy is killing - is that the opposite of god, satan, or is that just marked down as mental chemical imbalance?
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Chronos on September 28, 2013, 07:19:20 PM
Since God, like the theory of evolution or the fact that ancient Egypt existed, is not "testable" (because none of these can be reproduced using the scientific method) but is still provable (because the scientific method is not the only way to gather reliable knowledge and information), this book is a meaningful review using plenty of data. It's called Heaven (the heart's deepest longing)...and, naturally, I highly recommend.

The premise that a desire to know how we were created means that there must be a god (in essence) is just a premise. It's a premise with a desire that there be a god, not that a god does or should necessarily exist. Beyond that premise are the attributes that such a god must have. Any attempt to define the attributes and abilities of a god necessitates a test of such attributes and abilities. The result is more faulty premises and circular thinking.



Other nonfiction by CS Lewis includes The Problem of Pain and Mere Christianity. I think that The Problem of Pain is particularly interesting, since the most common objection to God (esp as a loving God) that I've seen has to do with human suffering. I hope to speak to that next time, as it's been a big part of my journey...

Perhaps it is the most common (which is an opinion of yours that I will not contest), but it is certainly not the most compelling. Again, the issue of human suffering in relation to a god presumes that the god exists in the first place. A premise has to have some foundation in something that can be tested. Otherwise it is merely desire.


Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Hatter23 on September 28, 2013, 07:54:56 PM
The argument from desire has a more common name; "Magical thinking"
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: neopagan on September 29, 2013, 09:05:36 AM
^^^ cupio ergo deus.   :)
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nick on September 29, 2013, 09:10:58 AM
^^^ cupio ergo deus.   :)
Wow, you know Latin also.  I'm impressed.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Chronos on September 29, 2013, 09:15:22 AM
e pluribus unum
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 29, 2013, 11:30:02 AM
Clamo, clamatis, omnes clamamus pro glace lactis

-Nam
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Anfauglir on September 30, 2013, 06:56:40 AM
Caesar adsum jam forte.  Caesar sic in lu.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Fiji on September 30, 2013, 07:09:50 AM
There was this episode of Inspector Morse where they see a Latin phrase proudly displayed on a pretty wood carving which Morse translates as "At night, put the cat out"
But I can't find it anywhere :(
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Foxy Freedom on September 30, 2013, 08:26:32 AM

Since God, like the theory of evolution or the fact that ancient Egypt existed, is not "testable"


I can think of ways to test all of them.

 Are you just repeating rubbish which you have read or do you really lack the brain power to think for yourself? Try it. There is more than one way to test each of them.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: William on September 30, 2013, 10:26:58 AM
^^^ cupio ergo deus.   :)
Wow, you know Latin also.  I'm impressed.

You actually knew that was Latin. (I had to google translate it to find out.) I'm also impressed ;D
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: William on September 30, 2013, 10:28:35 AM
There is more than one way to test each of them.

FF, curious, what's your test for "God"?
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: screwtape on September 30, 2013, 10:33:32 AM
Since God, like the theory of evolution or the fact that ancient Egypt existed, is not "testable" (because none of these can be reproduced using the scientific method)

This is untrue.  You misunderstand science.  The ToE makes predictions.  Those predictions are testable.  If they turn out to be wrong, the ToE is wrong.  For example, it predicts you will find more primitive fossils deeper in the geologic column and not more advanced ones.  If you were to find a fossil of a human next to one of a trilobite, it would invalidate the ToE.  And we would need another explanation to account for what we observe. 

The same applies to ancient Egypt.  If there were ancient egyptians, then it predicts we would find remains of their civilization.  If we looked for remains where they were expected, then our theory is shot and we need another explanation.

What predictions does the theory of god make that can be tested?   

(because the scientific method is not the only way to gather reliable knowledge and information

Oh really?  What are other methods that are reliable and methodically filter out our biases?  I am not aware of any.



Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: nogodsforme on September 30, 2013, 02:42:01 PM
The other thing about science is that if a theory is sound, its real-life applications work. That is the "test" that matters to most of us in everyday life.

So we know that the physics of aerodynamics is sound because helicopters and planes fly and don't float off to the moon or randomly fall out of the sky. We know that geology is sound on how old the earth is, because we find coal, petroleum and uranium where the rocks are of the right age, not just in any location.

We know that the TOE is sound because, for example, flu vaccines have to be updated as the flu virus evolves resistance. And chimp DNA is more similar to human DNA than it is to wolf DNA, and all of these have DNA more similar to each other than to earthworm or tulip or mushroom DNA. This is exactly as the theory of evolution predicts.

What theories about religion or god are supported by practical real-life applications?  :?
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: nogodsforme on September 30, 2013, 04:38:05 PM
The other thing about science is that if a theory is sound, its real-life applications work. That is the "test" that matters to most of us in everyday life.

So we know that the physics of aerodynamics is sound because helicopters and planes fly and don't float off to the moon or randomly fall out of the sky. We know that geology is sound on how old the earth is, because we find coal, petroleum and uranium where the rocks are of the right age, not just in any location.

We know that the TOE is sound because, for example, flu vaccines have to be updated as the flu virus evolves resistance. And chimp DNA is more similar to human DNA than it is to wolf DNA, and all of these have DNA more similar to each other than to earthworm or tulip or mushroom DNA. This is exactly as the theory of evolution predicts.

What theories about religion or god are supported by practical real-life applications?  :?

I want to add that with science, it does not matter whether you understand how it works, or are sincere in your belief, or have the right kind of heart (open or soft or whatever). If the theory is sound, the science works.  No "belief" needed. 

Otherwise it would not make sense to vaccinate babies or animals against disease. It would not make sense to use fertilizer or pesticides on plants. Most of us don't understand how our cars, cell phones, cd players or microwaves function. (Hell, I don't even know exactly how this computer works.) But we are still able to use them.

That is another way that science trumps religion. Science works for everyone and everything, under every circumstance. With god, prayer and so forth, you have to: have faith, be humble, open your heart, suspend judgement, believe, be sincere, etc. or it doesn't work.[1] &)
 1. Of course, even then it still doesn't work , but you get my point.
Title: Re: Catholicism [#2759]
Post by: Nam on September 30, 2013, 04:46:20 PM
Screwtape,

The bible. Hello?

;)

-Nam