Debate and Discussion

Religion for IDIOTS !
mapaghimagsik at 11:14PM, Dec. 16, 2006
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ozoneocean
You have a bit of a problem understanding religion obviously. It's a LOT more complicated than “what the bible says” or “what the pope says”. Far, far, far more complex. Catholics do not all believe the same things either. :) Things like the bible and people like the pope aren't the bedrock upon which Christianity rests, contrary to popular thought. These are social/political institutions with long histories, cultures, and traditions, the most important element of which will always be the current adherents; because without them, the religion is dead.

As for the city of Prague, that's obvious: remember the country there along with most of its near neighbours were communist for the last 60 years or so. That's a couple of generations of people who have missed out on a religious education and a massive part of their culture, simply because communist sates tended to ruthlessly discourage too much religion…

I'll try to remember that I obviously have a problem understanding religion. If you want to argue that Catholocism isn't what the pope says, I encourage you to take that up with the Pope, or the Bishop for your area. You will probably find that your views about what Catholocism is and isn't – well its what the schizm of 1378 was about. Oh wait, I don't know anything about religion, right? But I can declare myself an antipope and make every Saturday night happy fun night.

Just to be sure, I checked my post to see if I misued my terms. Luckily, I didn't this time. Please site me a reference how the pope is not the highest mortal authority of the Catholic faith. I didn't say Christian, which does come in all sorts of varieties and colors, with varying degrees of mysticism and whatnot. After all, King Henry the VIII became the highest mortal authority in the Chruch of England so he could have marriages annuled without papal approval. I forget the final scorecard, but at least three of the wives were put to death. Luckily, we're only talking about bits of Adam's rib here, not some sort of living breathing person.

I don't mean to shatter the illusion of communism as the great religion killer, but the growth of athiesm occured much earlier than the arrival of Catholocism. Start around 1918, and you'll find that the Bohemian movement actually pushed atheism toward communism, rather than visa versa. So perhaps its not that they missed out on a religious education, but more or less outgrew it?

And again? Is the earth 10,000 years old? If not, how old is it? Feel free to round to some sort of margin of error.

While we're at it, can you also help me understand why it took until 1967 for the Catholics to forgive the Jews for killing Christ? Just wondering.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
ozoneocean at 5:03AM, Dec. 17, 2006
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I never said you didn't understand anything about religion, I just said you had a problem understanding it, which you clearly do. ;)
The thing is, you generalise far too much. The pope is not Catholicism. He is simply part of its hierarchy. It's exactly like saying that the President of the USA is the USA. Clearly, he plays an important role, but would the average US citisen define their country in terms of him, or even the constitution? Only a small proportion of Christians are fundamentalists who take ancient mythological nonsense literally, as you would expect! Do all US citisens still follow the kinds of things the “founding farthers” believed in and put down on their constitution, (or whatever)? Are they all “god fearing” Christians, with slaves etc? Of course they're not, but the fact that they don't follow the ways of those founding farthers doesn't mean they're not really US citisens. And it's the same with modern Christians; Just as the laws and customs in countries change, so do the practises of religions, and just as the nature of a country's citisens vary, so do the followers of religions.

And I hold with my statements about communism and the turning away from religion in Eastern Europe, especially since there has been a resurgence in many of those countries. Atheists pushing towards communism in Prague in the early 20th C? Nonsense. Communism was imposed upon them. Again you simplify atrociously, there were so many HUGE factors involved in the political and social upheavals in that country… You should know that: The collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Industrialisation, universal suffrage, German minorities in disputed territory, terrorism, propaganda, invasion… two world wars.

I'm not religious, but I do realise how important it has been to our civilisation and I make an effort to understand it.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
mapaghimagsik at 8:35AM, Dec. 17, 2006
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Wow. The total amount of misunderstanding you have about how Catholocism works is staggering.

Please check into the popes role in the Catholic church. Also, look into a Bishop's role. And *then* look into the Priest's role, and *then* take a look a hierarchy in the Catholic church and get back to me.

Keep making that effort to understand religion though. I heartily recommend it. However, understanding takes knowledge, and that takes facts. You are willfully denying them, which makes understanding impossible.

I get it. You want to support this vauge abstract of religion and see it as a good thing. In the vauge, murky world of religion as a general practice its contribution to civilization has waxed and waned. But that's religion in the *big* which is a mixed bag of things. Lumping Catholicism with Satanism (both religions) is just not an exciting direction to discuss. My questions were not about kudos to the idea of religion but to look at specific beliefs of a religion and see how they pan out in practice – which unfortunately is a mixed bag.

I also get the “you don't agree with me, so you don't get it” idea. Hey, thanks for that too.

Good luck on that understanding religion part.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
ozoneocean at 3:33PM, Dec. 17, 2006
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You're the one being vague my friend. Catholosism doesn't work any specific way, people aren't required to be memebers of it like some kind of rigid militray structure and follow policy (unless your simply refering to the hierarchy…). I don't know what kind of bookish, theoretcial, unrealistic model of that branch of Christianity you have but it is clearly faulty. Or are you going to go back to how all Christians should “stay on message” with the idea that the world is 10,000 years old or not be true Christians? Where did that idea go then…? I miss it. :( The world just doesn't work that way. Yes, the church has an organisational structure, so what? You're defining catholisism purely by its hierarchy and cannot see anything wrong with maginfying such a single aspect and placing so much importance upon it? Again I say it's like claiming the US is nothing more or less than its system of government.
Wow, that's myopic.

They're not even defined simply by their beliefs, that again would be myopic. One interesting thing that does set Catholicism apart from the rest of Christianity is the way the the church hierarchy continually refines and redefines their idea of Christianity. In Catholicism the bible is not the be all and end all; they have always been open to change (through certain channels), incorporating the writings of many scholars, Popes, scientific thought… That is one of their strengths, as opposed to many later Protestant movements that introduced some secular modernisation, but went back to the mythology of the bible on matters of belief; relying on the untutored cognizance of the individual to interpret it, rather than going through the educated, nuanced mediation of the church. That was the strength of the Caotholic hierarchy, even as its rigidity is its weakness.

Satanism is not a religion, it is at heart a philosophy (as claimed by its followers), which I don't really want to get into discussing. Minority, cultish belief systems, new age or alternative religions have always sprung up in the wake of the majors in all parts of the world, we can't be expected to eveluate the impacts of all of them. The contribution (or lack of them) to civilisation by the various world religions are extremely uneven; with the majors having signifigant imapct, while fringe phenomena like Stanism are negligible in their influence.

Religion isn't “good” or “bad”, it's simply an integral part of our civilisation and our history. Understanding its place there enables you comprehend the what happens in our world and what has happened. Religions must be understood in their totality: structure, belief, philosophy, practices, art, history, and most importantly; the nature and lives of the followers themselves.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
mapaghimagsik at 4:42PM, Dec. 17, 2006
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ozoneocean
You're the one being vague my friend. Catholosism doesn't work any specific way, people aren't required to be memebers of it like some kind of rigid militray structure and follow policy (unless your simply refering to the hierarchy…). I don't know what kind of bookish, theoretcial, unrealistic model of that branch of Christianity you have but it is clearly faulty.
I'm not convinced you know what Catholocism is. Espeically since anyone who does half a google will find out the Roman Catholic Church does have a rather strict order. Ask any Catholic. The Bishop is the interpreter of Biblical Law. But you have demonstrated you can discard facts to fit your worldview twice already, so I don't think you're really up for facts, but more to rant.

Or are you going to go back to how all Christians should “stay on message” with the idea that the world is 10,000 years old or not be true Christians?

Wow, again you mix Catholocism with Christianity. You flip your terms to suit your argument. It works well for people who aren't trying to work with clearly defined terms, but since you can't stay on any kind of topic *and* refuse to answer the age of the earth, I just don't see where I'm going to get much here.
The world just doesn't work that way. Yes, the church has an organisational structure, so what? You're defining catholisism purely by its hierarchy and cannot see anything wrong with maginfying such a single aspect and placing so much importance upon it?

Now this is just willful ignorance. I've given you tons of sources to research and you just want your worldview to be what is. Sorry, but Catholocism *doesn't* work that way.
Again I say it's like claiming the US is nothing more or less than its system of government.
No, its like saying the Catholic Chruch has strict dogma which is handled by Rome. You've already said you're not religious and obviously know *nothing* of catholocism, so please stop before you embarass yourself further. Anyone who has even remotely looked into Catholocism knows that its got a rather strict set of dogma.
Wow, that's myopic.

Its not everyone who can be insulting, *and* miuse a word. Double dip for you!

They're not even defined simply by their beliefs, that again would be myopic.

As the movie says, “I don't think that word means what you think it means.”
One interesting thing that does set Catholicism apart from the rest of Christianity is the way the the church hierarchy continually refines and redefines their idea of Christianity.

Not at all. Different branches of Christianity have Sees all the time. But to make a change in Catholocism, it all goes through Rome. I can't encourage you enough to really look into this so you stop making stuff up as you go along.

In Catholicism the bible is not the be all and end all; they have always been open to change (through certain channels), incorporating the writings of many scholars, Popes, scientific thought… That is one of their strengths, as opposed to many later Protestant movements that introduced some secular modernisation, but went back to the mythology of the bible on matters of belief;

The Catholic church belives in exorcism and that the eucharist involves transformation into the body and blood of Christ. Yup, no mythology here.

relying on the untutored cognizance of the individual to interpret it, rather than going through the educated, nuanced mediation of the church.


Wow, stop. First you're all about how the Catholocism isn't about structure and dogma, that is much, much, more, and then you cite the much much more as being the source of “unstructured cognizance?”

Congratulations. That's circular reasoning. I think there's a prize for it somewhere, unfortunately the prize is not a course in logic.


That was the strength of the Caotholic hierarchy, even as its rigidity is its weakness.

You spend your time telling me how the Catholic Chruch isn't rigid, and now it is? That's a double circle. Can we go for a double axle into a full twist?

Satanism is not a religion, it is at heart a philosophy (as claimed by its followers), which I don't really want to get into discussing.

Translation: Religion is a narrow band which I and I alone will define. That means that I want to tell you about Jesus Christ, and Satanism, Wiccanism, Jehova Witness, Mormonism… they don't count, because I don't want them to.

Sadly for you, the *dictionary* defines religion thusly:

www.dictionary.com
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Satanism: Yup, fits.
Mormons: Yup, fit.
Wiccans: Yup, fit.
Shinto: Yup, fits.

Minority, cultish belief systems, new age or alternative religions have always sprung up in the wake of the majors in all parts of the world, we can't be expected to eveluate the impacts of all of them.

You can't even stay with Catholocism. So good luck with the whole evaluating those “minorities.”

blah blah blah blah blah some sort of wrap-up that makes me sound scholarly.

Wow, and *thank you* for your insightful input. So are you ready to explain, finally, how old you think the world is? And do you think Jesus wore a western saddle on his brotosaurus steed, or an english saddle?

You might want to hold off responding until you have answers, points and facts, rather than feelings and assertions that are not backed by history. There's plenty of revisionism going around without at least having *some* scholarly source. At least check out http://www.catholic.org/clife/prayers/beliefs.php. At least then we could have some sort of *real* discussion, rather than having to wade through your demagoguery.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
ozoneocean at 7:31PM, Dec. 17, 2006
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Oh dear, I try to be reasonable and structure what I have to say in a nice, orderly, readable fashion, responding to what you have to say in a thoughtful and insightful matter. And you return with a barrage of what basically consists of “WOW, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT MORON” . There is no way I would deign to respond to such an unordered, unfocused, personally directed, scrolling barrage with a return argument.
-yes, I personally directed one point, but not my whole post.
On a personal note however, I will say that you seem marginally literate, but rather too literal and devoid of subtlety. I do hope I don't offend you by saying that.

I respect your passion Mapaghimagsik, and I respect you as a person, but not your debate method or the points you are trying to make. I respectfully withdraw from this debate.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
Black_Kitty at 11:51PM, Dec. 17, 2006
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I know religion debates are always heated and can be a touchy subject…but can we all just tone it down? I'm not saying you have to hold back your thoughts or keep your opinions to yourself. Just be aware of the tone of your posts when writing responses.

I don't want to say too much because the last thing I want is to spend my Christmas holiday wrapped up in yet another online religion debate. What I will say though is that my personal experience as a Catholic is one that isn't about listening to whatever the Pope said. I've been in the Catholic education system all the way until university and right up to my last religion class it was about not being afraid of asking questions and acting with a sense of personal responsibility. There was no talk about us listening and obeying the Pope or just following along with whatever people say.

Most people I've talked to online about Christians and Christianity in a debate/discussion come up with one of two things:
1. We're all just a bunch of sheeps that can't think for ourselves and listen to some old man in Rome wearing a funny hat.
2. We either follow everything or nothing. Picking and choosing means we're not REAL Christians. Therefore Christians should believe this, this, and this.

You either follow one or the other but if you follow one, you're faulted for not following the other.

A million things could be said in a debate about religion but when it comes down to it, there's only two things worth remembering if you find yourself stuck between those two choices: you're a human being with a functional mind and you have free will.

Christians are human beings too. Their religious journey and what they feel is their relationship with God is a deeply personal matter. This is not one size fits all no matter what dogma or theology may have you believe. It doesn't mean it's not up for discussion or that Christians don't question or have evolving ideas. (Human beings do change their mind after all.) It means that Christians try to make personal sense of their own relationship with God and religion in general, and they try to work out the details the best they can.

Which is why it rubs me the wrong way at times when people try to tell me what I should believe and feel when they find out I'm a Catholic. Look, I don't go around and tell YOU what to do and believe. The least you could do is not tell me what I should be doing or believing.

As a side note, from what I understand you do not go to hell for being a homosexual. Additionally, the Pope does not hold the keys to heaven and your final judgement will be done not by the Pope but by God. Honestly, I hardly think about God in a conscious manner during my everyday activities so the Pope isn't even anywhere NEAR the radar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
mapaghimagsik at 5:18AM, Dec. 18, 2006
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Alright, I'll put the filet knife away. So lets skip the prelims of how creationism is a buch of hooey because we do wind up in the usual corners.

Organized religion consistantly demands secularism when it comes from the state, but refuses to engage in secularism when it comes to interfering in goverment. In the US, organized religions are nothing more than political action committees, with the loophole they do not have to pay a majority, if not all, taxes. Churches want to tell me who to love, have every daddy own every uterus on the planet until it can be sold off to some husband, and tell me what I can and can't learn in school.

So look, you can tell me all you want that you're Catholic and you don't believe that gays are going to hell. That's a great step forward, but if you tithe, you are giving to an organization that preaches that kind of hate. And because of the group you belong to, I don't think the assumptions are so shocking.

In a similar vein, it would be me talking about how Islam is a religion of peace and donating money to Hamas for weapons. There is this disconnect between what someone says, and what the organized groups they want to belong to do. If I belonged to the KKK, how can I say I'm racially tolerant? Are there Catholics putting active pressure on Rome, which holds sway over literally millions of followers, who *do* take the popes word as gospel, that birth control is a good thing?

Evangelical Christians blow up abortion clinics. I know you can't pick every member of a group you are part of, but what is the Christian community doing besides egging them on? I read the news and do a lot of research. I don't see Christian groups stepping up and denouncing acts of terror. Does the name Eric Rudolph ring a bell?

I go to a wedding, and in the wedding the pastor has to have a little sermon about how “marriage is under attack” Not by high divorce rates, not by Hollywood show marriages, but *of course* by the homosexuals. Anecdotal evidence, sure, but I don't think I'd have to google far to bring up some Christian official who was talking about how horrible “teh gay” is.

I'm willing to have an open mind about this, but you'll have to understand I have far too much data in print for someone to trundle out the “oh but we're different card” without some proof. I'm willing to read links, so that's all good, but consider this for a second.

There is a cancer in a group that you are a part of. That cancer is getting people killed, and ruining the lives of others – completely unnecessarily – the alleged good works of said organization could continue to happen without the damage they are doing.

However, this is more than an organization, since its also a way of living. What do you do about that? And if you're doing nothing, then do you really have any right to complain when people denounce your group, and you by membership?

I just want to add that groups fighting the good fight get my respect, for what its worth, even if they do believe they're snacking on some dead prophets blood and body every Sunday ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
jakey926 at 4:51AM, March 7, 2007
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lothar
Looking at what a mess they've made of the world, is it wrong for me to say that the 3 major Religions that worship “GOD” (christians muslims and jews) are just Plain STUPID !!!!
I'm tired of people saying we should respect ALL religions !
I don't have to respect alchoholics or Goths or whatever stupid idea somebody gets to skrew up their life with, so why do I have to respect somebodies stupid religion ? i'm not saying that they don't have the right to practice their beliefs, no more than I would suggest outlawing alchohol or advacate the fire bombing of hot topic .
It's strange that nobody can see the Obvious problem for the Earth is not “terrorism , or whatever other chicken flue - global weather fuckup thing is going on ” It's RELIGION !!!!!! it makes people crazy + stupid

do you think the world would be better off without it ?

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
ggod point i agree. that's why i became atheist.
the only thing dumber than this signature is the one who's reading it…
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reconjsh at 11:55AM, March 7, 2007
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I don't really understand the point of this thread. But I will “debate” this:
Someone
So look, you can tell me all you want that you're Catholic and you don't believe that gays are going to hell. That's a great step forward, but if you tithe, you are giving to an organization that preaches that kind of hate. And because of the group you belong to, I don't think the assumptions are so shocking.

I can't speak for other religions. Alot of them abuse what's in the Bible and spread hate, ignorance, and misinformation. Let's just say I think most of them are looney too.

And I can't speak for all catholics because honestly alot, ALOT of catholics are poorly informed. Even moreover, some catholics state “catholics believe this…” when in fact the exact opposite is true.

But I can speak for the Church and what they believe… and you're only catholic if you believe what Catholicism states. If you don't practice with the team, you can't play for the team. So if some catholic says “gays are going to hell” then they might not actually be catholic… though they think they are. The church has easy to read, clearly stated documents - most particularly the Catechism of The Catholic church - that I can reference and I happen to be pretty well-read on what the Catholic Church actually believes/“preaches”. I'm sorry if someone has misinformed you and I'm sincerely glad to clear anything up.

Sure, they church has made mistakes… it's nearly 2 millenias old and lead by flawed human beings. But individuals within the organization f-ing up doesn't negate the organization.

Let me first say: the church doesn't preach hate. Secondly, they don't believe that gays are going to hell. If you want to know more specifically on gays, the catholic church, and hell I'd be glad to go into detail. Feel free to ask.


In fact, ask me anything that you think the church believes and I can clear it up for you. Anyone can do so. I'll gladly explain anything that the church has done or that you think it belives.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
CorruptComics at 3:15PM, March 7, 2007
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I think most people assume Christians are the same as the leaders of the church. That's like assuming all Americans are George Bush.

You don't have to tolerate a religion. But you have to be tolerate of a human being who has placed his faith into it. You have no moral high ground to attack them. They in turn, have no moral high ground to attack you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:46AM
Atom Apple at 4:51PM, March 7, 2007
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lothar
DUDE ! PoionedV , it's like you didn't even read the post , i didnt say anything about catholics in particular , but since you brought it up maybe you should do a little research on their history ! :lol:
Look at American history. We pushed Native Americans off there land, enslaved African-Americans, denied women's rights, but does that mean we are all bad people? Especially considering that was only fifty years ago and the bad things Catholics have done are far older. Also, if you're going to do smileys do them right.
i will also like to know you the more
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:03AM
mechanical_lullaby at 9:48AM, March 8, 2007
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Guys, do whatever you want with religion, just leave me out of it. Just remember, when it feels like you have to be tolerant of other religions you're not being tolerant. It works the same way with people. Everyone's going to make a decision when they reach that certain age in their life. If they've been raised Christian and stay that way, or become Pagan or Athiest or Agnostic or Jewish or vice versa, then support them. If they don't have a religion, leave it alone. If they have one, let it go. Supporting and respecting is just as easy as listening. If they respect you too, they wont be all over you with their religion. If everyone could untie their feet from the boulders they've grown, we could all live a little bit better. Life is too short for worthwhile conflict.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
lothar at 4:11AM, March 9, 2007
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Atom Apple
if you're going to do smileys do them right.
um … that post was made a LONG time ago , the forum has changed since then and for some reason the smileys got messed up ! it is also strange to see this bumped becuase this thread was locked for a long time( i think )
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM

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