Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemud

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism

MtheGM 02 Jun 13 - 11:32 AM
Jack the Sailor 02 Jun 13 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Musket not giving in just yet 08 May 13 - 05:48 AM
Joe Offer 08 May 13 - 02:14 AM
GUEST,Musket sans respectability 08 May 13 - 01:17 AM
Joe Offer 07 May 13 - 09:03 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 13 - 05:40 AM
Jim Carroll 07 May 13 - 04:53 AM
Ebbie 06 May 13 - 07:43 PM
Steve Shaw 06 May 13 - 07:25 PM
GUEST 06 May 13 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Musket sans sin 06 May 13 - 09:04 AM
Joe Offer 06 May 13 - 03:39 AM
Jim Carroll 06 May 13 - 03:20 AM
Joe Offer 06 May 13 - 02:54 AM
Joe Offer 06 May 13 - 02:19 AM
GUEST,Stim 05 May 13 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Stim 05 May 13 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Musket sans sin 05 May 13 - 04:37 AM
Joe Offer 05 May 13 - 02:58 AM
John P 05 May 13 - 12:18 AM
GUEST,Stim 04 May 13 - 11:54 PM
Joe Offer 04 May 13 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Stim 04 May 13 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Stim 04 May 13 - 05:43 PM
GUEST 04 May 13 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Stim 04 May 13 - 12:32 PM
GUEST 04 May 13 - 11:40 AM
Joe Offer 04 May 13 - 03:43 AM
GUEST,Musket sans Ian 04 May 13 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 May 13 - 07:01 PM
Joe Offer 03 May 13 - 05:35 PM
John P 03 May 13 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 03 May 13 - 11:19 AM
Jack the Sailor 02 May 13 - 10:17 PM
John P 02 May 13 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 02 May 13 - 08:13 AM
GUEST 01 May 13 - 05:42 PM
John P 01 May 13 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Stim 01 May 13 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Stim 01 May 13 - 01:54 PM
John P 30 Apr 13 - 10:58 PM
GUEST,Musket sans sin 30 Apr 13 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 30 Apr 13 - 05:21 PM
Amos 29 Apr 13 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Spleen cringe 29 Apr 13 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Musket sans sin 29 Apr 13 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 29 Apr 13 - 03:57 AM
GUEST 29 Apr 13 - 02:52 AM
Jack the Sailor 28 Apr 13 - 04:34 PM
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: MtheGM
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 11:32 AM

Steve, Musket ~~ rereading this thread which I had not logged on to lately: astounded to find you both in different ways dissing Rupert Sheldrake, who seems to me to have the best, most questioning intellect currently working on questions that really matter, i.e the dogmatism to which science, as well as other sorts of intellectual concepts like faiths, are prone to settle matters of dispute by appeal to different sorts of unquestionable "Constants". The account in his TED lecture of the reactions he had provoked from a "Professor of Metronics[?]" was as shudder-inducing to me as some of the declarations one reads of from the Holy Office at the trial of Galileo. It seems to me that the Sheldrake road is surely, clearly, the way to go. Particularly surprised, Steve, by your admission that you had decided all of a couple of minutes into his lecture that it was not worth listening any more as he was 'talking out of his bottom'. Regret to say that he does not appear to me in this instance to have been the one so doing; not what I should have expected of you whatever!

Jack ~ Have just seen the film of Life of Pi, and read it some time ago; exercised as to what relevance you find in it to topics raised in this thread.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 10:36 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_of_Pi


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket not giving in just yet
Date: 08 May 13 - 05:48 AM

Yes, I do understand the more federal or franchise approach religious parent bodies adopt.

However, this is rather convenient. When a Pope or Archbishop is influencing governments, which they do, they use their membership as a single body in terms of what they bring to the table. When Stalin asked how many divisions the Pope had, it was a dismissal of people power rather than dismissing the view of the Pope.

The offical view of The Church of Uganda is not consistent with the views as stated publicy by some of its own leaders, (influenced by the way through funding and support by certain evangelical American organisations, staffed by British evangelical people.) The main African aversion to being gay may be there, but also there is a deep faith and respect for church.

If churches therefore stopped discriminating, stopped finding weasly excuses to hate people for what they are.... the "African" view on being gay would alter, the permission to hate people for being different would be lessened and ... and... Well, why not try it at least?

But they won't.

Because God doesn't want equality for gays.

Apparantly.

He doesn't want women in top positions of employment in the church either.

Apparantly.

Are you sure their bible has the same words in it as yours Joe? I reckon yours is similar to my cousin's copy. I also reckon my local vicar's copy must have been a different translation because he comes across as rather bigoted. Doesn't help that he approached Catholicism as he feels it is more in line to his view of the world. The catholic church meanwhile has opened its doors to Anglican clergy who don't want to see women in senior positions. What respect, seriously, what respect should someone offer the catholic church when it can do that?

Hard to explain that to a simplistic bloke like me, or at least it is difficult I guess to put a positive spin on it.

When I put provocative and, yes, insulting posts in order to bring out debate, I am not proud of myself, not seeing this as the Ian who deals with my own reality day to day and sometimes I actually want to insult. Why? Because I have huge issues with it all. I cannot think of a single mainstream religion that doesn't promote difference as something to be distrustful of in one way or another.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 May 13 - 02:14 AM

But churches don't work on the model of corporations, Musket. They are broken into national churches that are loose affiliations of dioceses that are far more autonomous than what you would find in most corporate divisions. In the Anglican Church, Archbishop of Canterbury really has very little influence over other churches in the Anglican Communion. And besides, the reports from the "legitimate press" paint a far more favorable picture of the conduct of the Anglican and Catholic bishops in Uganda. There's a lot of extremist propaganda on both sides of this issue. The Anglicans and Catholics are caught in the middle of this impossible situation, and I think they're being judged unfairly.

In general, Africans seem to be far more conservative about homosexuality, than the peoples of any of the other continents. Here's the official position of the Church of Uganda (Anglican) on the previous anti-homosexuality bill. It definitely opposes homosexuality, but does not promote any of the harsh punishments that have been proposed. http://churchofuganda.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/COU-official-position-on-the-Anti-Homosexuality-Bill-2009-.pdf.

This pastoral letter [http://www.uecon.org/downloads/A%20Pastoral%20Letter%20UEC%20Celebrating%20Uganda%20at%2050%20Years%20Please%20Oct%202012(1).pdf] is the only mention of homosexuality I could find in the documents from the Roman Catholic bishops of Uganda. Both the Catholics and the Anglicans oppose homosexuality, as is the tradition in their churches; but neither group speaks in favor of the harsh treatment of homosexuals that is proposed in the Anti-Homosexuality Act of Uganda. Wikipedia has an excellent article on the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

As for Ireland, the Irish bishops and the Irish government have the information and the authority to handle the situation of the industrial schools and the Magdalene Laundries. The Irish Catholic Church is largely autonomous, and Rome rarely interferes on local issues.

If you try to understand churches as corporate authority structures with strong chief executives that command obedience, you're looking at the wrong model. Every local church/parish is largely independent; and every member of every church is a voluntary member.

Churches work more on a family structure. My cousins and I are in the same family, but I don't ordinarily intervene in the family affairs of my cousins' families. Even Grandpa should be very hesitant to intervene in the affairs of his adult grandchildren.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans respectability
Date: 08 May 13 - 01:17 AM

Very true Joe. But.

Laying blame upwards allows responsibility for actions in your name.

If The Archbishop of Canterbury was to even acknowledge that the views and assertive attempts by Anglican bishops in Uganda to promote capital punishment for anything, let alone being gay... were not the actions of people in his ministry, it would be a start.

The difference between a person in the street with a view and the influence of these savages is the cloak of respectability his church offers them.

Ditto Rome and the Irish issues. Saying that influence restricts the excesses is a bit weak when their representatives are part of the problem and the centre turns its head and looks away.

I have been a board chairman and a chief executive variously in my time, thousands of staff working under our banner. I can't see any situation where the media wouls accept a plea of "not my problem" should actions by our staff do harm.

Don't confuse blame with responsibility. Ask whether the big bosses would be happy to take credit for any good these people do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 13 - 09:03 PM

Well, Jim, in Spain in the 1490s, it was a church court that was passing judgment and handing people over to government for torture or other punishment. So, there's no disagreement there. It was, however, quite some time ago. I'm sure you're still looking to pin the blame on somebody, though.

In the case of the industrial schools and the Magdalene laundries in Ireland (18th - 20th centuries), these were local affairs - not done under the authority of Rome. Rather than transfer the blame elsewhere, why not admit that the crimes committed in these institutions should be prosecuted by Irish authorities?

And people are pointing fingers of blame at churches everywhere because of proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda. There's no doubt the legislation is unjust, but the churches have at least been successful in getting the death penalty removed for most situations. Despite all the finger-pointing, I have yet to see solid evidence of leaders of the major churches supporting anti-gay legislation. They just haven't opposed it according to specifications set by the finger-pointers. So, the Archbishop of Canterbury gets blame, and some Catholic bishop in western Africa who was one of the frontrunners in the papal elections.

It's all about blame, folks. The people placing the blame, have little to do with fixing the problem, however. For those who place the blame, making progress on a problem is never enough.

-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 13 - 05:40 AM

Original sin is an easy one, Jim. We are all miserable, guilty wretches because a woman who never existed bit into an apple belonging to someone else who never existed. This was passed down to us in a story told by a liar. Now the only way out of our guilty wretchedness is to turn our faces to "The Lord" and, grovelling before him ("Lord, I am not worthy...") ask his forgiveness for something we did not do and which never happened in the first place. Even the tiniest of new babies are besmirched with this guilt! But, even having signed up to his club (which I'm certain he would have hated) you might well be waiting around, even long after you're dead, for "judgement day" to find out whether you've done enough to get yourself off the hook. Hope this helps!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 May 13 - 04:53 AM

By the way Joe - in both the examples you gave - Spain and Ireland, had the church chosen to intervene, the abuse would have stopped immediately - they didn't and it didn't.
In the case of Ireland, the church held the establishment in its pocket, and still does to an extent.
Confining religious abuse to national boundaries is as dishonest as it gets.
Don't suppose anybody would care to explain the concept of "original sin" would they?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 May 13 - 07:43 PM

Oh dear. I have come up with a metaphor that does not console.

"You are climbing higher and higher and the ground, when you dare peek, is getting farther and farther away. The one thing that gives you the confidence to keep going is knowing that you are safe because you have a belaying rope around your middle.   You have heard of other people who suffered grievous accidents but you know that either they went off without their rope or they didn't know how to fasten it properly. Thank the gods that you have been properly trained.

You know that you are safe, and that makes all the difference. You are not aware that the rope is not attached at the other end."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 May 13 - 07:25 PM

I guess that in a simplistic way, I'd define sin as that which does harm - or maybe that which gets us into the fricking mess we're in right now. Viewed from that standpoint, we all sin.

I've been in hospital for a bit and I haven't been keeping up, so this might not fit in, but here goes. Neither of those definitions of sin will do because you can do harm by accident, or out of the very best intentions, and you can get into a fricking mess completely unintentionally and with the best will in the world.

Now, to be slightly provocative (and ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek...), let me put one or two things forward for consideration. Musket prays that Sheffield Wednesday will avoid relegation. I put it to you that his prayer is sinful, because, by asking God to keep his team up, he is, in effect, praying that another team (unspecified, but I'm afraid that doesn't get him off the hook) will suffer the ignominy of the drop. My 85-year-old granny, massive character, still got all her marbles, salt of the Earth, hub of the family, has got cancer. We stand around her bed praying to God for her to get better. This is sinful because we are asking God to keep an infirm old woman alive who will continue to be a huge burden on the social services, which are paid for by taxpayers who never knew her, and we are asking him to keep alive a person who will be also a burden on the resources of the planet.

I elected not to tell you I was going into hospital (for a major op on my spine) because I didn't want praying for (plus I use my real name and I never disclose my infrequent absences from home online). You may or may not be relieved to know that I'm recovering remarkably well. That is nothing whatsoever to do with all the good wishes I've received (which were all most welcome all the same) or with any covert praying that's been going on round here. I will be buying the missus a bunch of flowers for looking after me brilliantly since I came out of hospital and I might just send that amazingly skilful surgeon a thank-you card. :-) Good stuff comes from truly human endeavour, not from some bloke in the sky who, according to religion, could click his fingers and wipe me out in a heartbeat. I can't imagine Mr Wafai in the Orthopaedics/Trauma department even remotely contemplating that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 13 - 09:06 AM

Whatever that is what you are talking about, the church still sees fit to punish whoever it disapproves of.
Following the death of a young woman due to being refused a termination, the Irish Government has been forced to review Ireland's laws on termination.
The hierarchy have announced that it is "not inconceivable" that politicians who vote 'the wrong way' will face excommunication.
Long may we stay in the 19th century!
I would have thought that considering its historically appalling record on sex education, contraception and the clergy's own record of sexual misconduct, sex should be the last thing the church has a right to have a say in
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 06 May 13 - 09:04 AM

Thanks for the explanation Joe.

In some ways I remain confused but am not getting hung up over it.

By having the facility to excommunicate it seems logical to me that there can be no definition for all. Either everybody is subject to doctrine whether they want it or not, one true path etc or the religion only applies to the members. In which case what happens to the rest of the planet?

I see a logical flaw here. If a religion explains the world and those matters we don't as humans understand, it applies to all. It also makes other religions contemptible?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 13 - 03:39 AM

Not what I'm frickin' talkin' about, Jim - and you know it.

Those were systems of punishments within an institution, issued by the staffs of the institutions and those who supervised them.

And yes, those systems of punishments were wrong - and those who committed crimes were Irish citizens and should be punished under Irish law. If your government doesn't have the courage to prosecute crime that happens within its own boundaries, don't try to pass the blame off on Rome, or America. The criminals were Irish, every one of them.

-Joe Offer-


....and the Spanish Inquisition was exactly what the name implies - Spanish. Of course, the Popes were Spanish at the time, too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 May 13 - 03:20 AM

"the Catholic Church has been out of the business of punishing people for wrongdoing for a long, long time."
http://www.magdalenelaundries.com/jfm_comm_on_torture_210411.pdf

Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 13 - 02:54 AM

Musket asks about "excommunication." The Wikipedia article gives a pretty good definition: Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community or (as in the case of the Catholic Church) to restrict certain rights within it.

Excommunication is most usually used in matters over which there is disagreement, to attempt to compel the individual to comply with church policy. Women who receive abortions and practitioners who perform abortions are automatically excommunicated. One of our Mercy sisters was vice president of a Catholic hospital and a member of the hospital ethics committee, and she was excommunicated by her bishop when she voted to allow an abortion when the mother's life was endangered. The nun had to go through a humiliating process of confession and repentance in order to be readmitted. I wish she hadn't submitted to that, but that's what she chose to do.

Excommunication is also used in cases of heresy, when a theologian refuses to retract something that has been deemed contrary to Catholic teaching. Another sanction used on theologians, is the withdrawal of the theologian's license to teach in a Catholic university.

Now, please take note that I tend to agree or at least sympathize with most Catholics who are being excommunicated these days, so please don't ask me to defend excommunication. I'm hoping Pope Francis cuts way back on excommunications. Remember that I'm an associate member of the Sisters of Mercy, and these frickin' bishops have been excommunicating nuns lately.

While it might seem appropriate to excommunicate a child molester, especially if the molester is a priest; that isn't done. There's no controversy, no room for retraction - in most situations nowadays where complaints are substantiated, the priest is simply removed from ministry and never allowed to practice as a priest again - and referred for criminal prosecution. There's still lots of noise about what happened before 2000, but there is now very little tolerance for priests who engage in any sort of sexual misconduct with children.

Many of you won't believe this, but the Catholic Church has been out of the business of punishing people for wrongdoing for a long, long time. By the end of the 16th century, the excesses of the 15th-century Spanish Inquisition had been done away with. Sanctions issued after that time were to ensure compliance, not to punish wrongdoers for sin. Even the Spanish Inquisition referred wrongdoers to civil authorities for punishment - although it's clear that blame for the torture and punishments of the Inquisition, rests squarely on the shoulders of the Inquisitors.

So, the general idea nowadays is that the Catholic Church may issue sanctions to force compliance, but any punishment is meted out in the Hereafter - by a Judge known to be "gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love" (Psalms 86, 103, and 145).

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 13 - 02:19 AM

Stim, I agree with all you say about "hamartia." We covered the concept thoroughly in moral theology classes.
That's why I don't want to get stuck behind the narrow definition of "sin." If you try to decide to decide what's a sin and what's not a sin, you oversimplify the entire topic of moral judgment.

A moral person must explore the ramifications of what he/she does, and weigh the pros and cons of every action - very few of the important things in life are absolutely right or absolutely wrong, so a balance must be sought.

I also think that our moral decisions are often choices of general attitudes, rather than individual acts. We often to have time to make a moral decision on the spur of the moment, so what we do depends on the attitudes we have chosen before the action itself. After I had been a father for about a dozen years, I realized that I didn't like hearing myself say "no" as a first response whenever my kids wanted to do something. I made up my mind to say "yes" unless I had a darn good reason to say no, and it made for a far more positive relationship with my kids. Now, I really wasn't wrong in my earlier, negative approach - but I found the later approach to be much more positive and healthy. I made a moral choice and it had a profound effect on my relationship with my children, but it wasn't really a choice between right and wrong.

Guest who posted 04 May 13 - 05:08 PM asks:
Well, I can't see defining sin as a tragic flaw or an honest mistake. Why would you all feel the need to seek forgiveness for something you don't have any control over.

I wouldn't consider those things to be sin, either - but I did apologize to my kids for my previous negative approach. I think that apology should be seen as doing what it takes to heal the harm and mend the relationship, even if that harm was unintentional. I think it's wrong to see apology and forgiveness as bowing in submission to the offended party and groveling to beg forgiveness (although I had an ex-wife that demanded that....)

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 May 13 - 06:05 PM

For Joe:

My point is that, whatever the Catholic view on sin may be, the idea of harmatria, or "tragic flaw" is that we are morally responsible for failing to recognize the harm that can come of our plans and actions, even, or perhaps especially, things done in "good conscience"

My thought, as I get older, is that relatively few of my fellow humans really "do evil" intentionally--they may act impulsively, stupidly, out of misunderstanding, out of misplaced loyalty, out of selfishness, or simply without self-awareness. Whether they (or we) are exonerated by a court of law, absolved by a church, or just slide on a technicality, we have to live with the knowledge that we caused harm, and that, if things had been more carefully considered, we wouldn't have.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 May 13 - 05:51 PM

For John P, in response to:

"Stim, do you really see this being a problem in the real world? It seems fairly obvious that it is not, from anyone's point of view, OK to murder or otherwise harm others. Why would you say such a thing?"


It really is a problem--people who are not insane do terrible things all the time. And they do them believing that whatever the laws might be, and whatever suffering that they might cause, that they are justified in doing them.

Though a lot of war atrocities spring to mind, I'll bring up the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments . If you're not familiar with this, medical researchers, working for the United States Government told a group of black sharecroppers that they were giving them free medical care. They concealed from them the fact that they had syphilis, didn't treat them with penicillin, and prevented them from getting outside treatment. They allowed them to spread the disease to loved ones and babies, and watched as they slowly died, without intervening with antibiotics, so they could observe and document the course of the disease.

This work went on for 40 years, and the people involved were intelligent, rational people who cannot have been oblivious to either the suffering that was going on, or the fact that they had the power to end it. They didn't though.

And so it goes...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 05 May 13 - 04:37 AM

Just to be provocative then Joe.

At what point is any Catholic subjected to excommunication? The police officer who is aware of the possible consequence of arrest? The prosecuting attorney? The judge and jury? The governor? The technician? The doctor who pronounces time and cause? Any voter who uses their vote for a pro capital punishment politician?

Are there any Catholics in the armed forces?

How about the priests and their support who have been found guilty of abuse? Or the Vatican seniors who covered it up?

Excommunication sounds a weak response to a non believer but even then, I don't see it used much either as a response nor a deterrent?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 May 13 - 02:58 AM

Stim, you're twisting what I had to say. And as I said, I don't like to get boxed into looking at morality from a legalistic or doctrinal point of view - we need to take a much wider view of all the implications of moral decisions, of what's right and wrong. In answer to the question posed, I defined the matter very narrowly with regards to personal guilt for sin - not legal guilt, and not whether the act was objectively right or wrong. The principle has many worthwhile applications, particularly in issues where there is disagreement - like birth control and homosexuality and abortion, for instance. Warfare and capital punishment and employer mistreatment of workers would be three other good examples, ones that make conservative Catholics squirm. The Catholic Church is opposed to all these things, and considers them to be "objectively immoral." In the eyes of the Catholic Church, these things are NOT "OK," and some of these things may even result in excommunication, the most extreme punishment the Catholic Church can impose.

But even then, if the person does these things believing that they are not wrong, or not intending to do wrong, then the person is not guilty of sin and is considered to have done these things "in good conscience" (even if he/she gets excommunicated). For Catholics who oppose certain policies of the Catholic Church, that allows a modicum of freedom of conscience that offers at least a bit of reassurance - and I think most Catholics oppose at least some of the policies of the Catholic Church.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 05 May 13 - 12:18 AM

Is it OK for a person to murder, to steal, to commit adultery, etc if they didn't believe that they were doing wrong, and didn't intend to do harm?

Stim, do you really see this being a problem in the real world? It seems fairly obvious that it is not, from anyone's point of view, OK to murder or otherwise harm others. Why would you say such a thing?

People who don't know they are doing harm when they commit these crimes are insane and our courts actually don't hold them responsible in this way.

I agree with Joe that if I found out later that my actions caused harm I would try to make the situation better. While I would feel bad about it, I wouldn't think I had committed a sin, and I would probably be somewhat successful at convincing myself that feeling guilt was inappropriate for the situation and harmful to myself.

Sorry, the guest a few posts back was me unexpectedly sans cookie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 May 13 - 11:54 PM

That comes very close to the idea that "It's OK if I think it's OK". Is it OK for a person to murder, to steal, to commit adultery, etc if they didn't believe that they were doing wrong, and didn't intend to do harm?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 May 13 - 08:04 PM

Musket, traditional Catholic teaching says that for sin to be serious (mortal), it must in fact be serious and known to be serious, and done with the intention of doing serious harm.

Non-serious (venial) sin is a little broader, but it still must be intentional.

But in a broader context, I don't think that "I didn't know" is a completely adequate excuse. Once we become aware that something we've done has caused harm, I think there's a duty to put things right.

I don't like to get boxed into looking at morality from a legalistic or doctrinal point of view. For one thing, that's a negative approach, and I'm in this life to make positive impacts. My criterion is justice, what does it take to make things right. I may not be responsible for that man on the corner being homeless, but don't I still have a moral obligation to him? Maybe all I can do for him today is make eye contact with him, but at least that's something.


-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 May 13 - 05:50 PM

Incidentally, GUEST, those comments are about the idea of "Hamartria". I was simply posting some commentary on the meaning of a word, what it implies to you is your own affair.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 May 13 - 05:43 PM

It isn't about something you have no control over, and it's not about "God", "The Bible", or other Christians, or whatever--it's about setting standards for yourself, (which all of us do (whether we identify ourselves as religious or not), and missing the mark.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 13 - 05:08 PM

Well, I can't see defining sin as a tragic flaw or an honest mistake. Why would you all feel the need to seek forgiveness for something you don't have any control over? You seem to be saying that if I make the best decision I can based on everything I knew at the time, and if that decision later proves, because of knowledge that came later, to have been a mistake, that I was engaging in sin. If that's sin, I'm glad I'm not a Christian of the "we're all sinners" variety, and I'll stop wondering why so many Christians are so screwed up about wanting to tell how other people how they ought to behave. It sounds like their sense of where responsibility lies has been twisted sadly out of shape.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 May 13 - 12:32 PM

In the original Greek of the New Testament, "sin' is actually "hamartia", which, as the more literate Mudcatters may know, is an important idea in Aristotle's discussions of drama and tragedy. Here's a bit of definition, from the Wikipedia entry:


"The Greek term "hamartia," typically translated as "tragic flaw," actually is closer in meaning to a "mistake" or an "error," "failing," rather than an innate flaw. In Aristotle's understanding, all tragic heroes have a "hamartia." The character's flaw must result from something that is also a central part of their virtue, which goes somewhat awry, usually due to a lack of knowledge. By defining the notion this way, Aristotle indicates that a truly tragic hero must have a failing that is neither idiosyncratic nor arbitrary, but is somehow more deeply imbedded -- a kind of human failing and human weakness."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 13 - 11:40 AM

Thanks Joe. Being altruistic and not doing harm is pretty much my definition of ethical behavior.

If sin is defined as doing harm, isn't there still a requirement that the harm be intentional in order for it to be considered sin? Or are you saying that doing harm completely unintentionally, maybe without even knowing about it, even without there being any way to avoid it, is being sinful? I'm pretty sure I can't go along with that. It offends my sense that intention, responsibility and consequences need to be balanced.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 May 13 - 03:43 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans Ian
Date: 04 May 13 - 03:32 AM

That's your problem Joe.

It can be very irritating for someone like me when you utterly destroy the religious stereotype I need to vent my anger at.

Kindly stop being so rational, logical and agreeable and start living up to the Catholic stereotype idiots like me dismiss in one sentence.

Regarding sin, if I were being serious, I'd say that it can describe what you and others have portrayed it as but to many people, regardless of their view on religion, sin seems a religious word. You can break local laws, you can commit acts that go against any moral compass or you can go against what scriptures suggest. An act can fall into any or all categories but I suspect it has to fit in the latter to be a sin for many people?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 May 13 - 07:01 PM

Atheist agreeing with Christian alert!

I do find myself agreeing with what Joe says above. To me, the point is that people can be good, moral, altruistic or conversely, completely otherwise - and whether they subscribe to a religion or are atheists or don't even think of their world in either of those terms is largely irrelevant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 May 13 - 05:35 PM

I guess that in a simplistic way, I'd define sin as that which does harm - or maybe that which gets us into the fricking mess we're in right now. Viewed from that standpoint, we all sin.

And I think this simplistic perspective of sin is as valid as the more complicated ones. I think we all have the ability to determine right from wrong - and I think the vast majority of us are inclined to choose what's right. Oh, I suppose there may be some shifts on the fringes of what's considered right and wrong, but I think that for most people, what's right is what serves the benefit of ourselves and those around us.

And in general, I think that "moral" people, are people who are altruistic - people who think of others as much as they think of themselves. I know lots of very moral, exemplary people who have no religious beliefs - and I know lots of immoral, despicable people who are so religious it makes me choke. I know lots of wonderful religious people, too.

And I think I can honestly say that sexual orientation (and a great deal of sexual conduct) doesn't fit into my perspective of morality at all - unless it does harm to another person.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 03 May 13 - 04:35 PM

Not good enough, pete.

Support what you say, please. Stand up and be counted. Own up to your words. Take responsibility for your actions. Say what you mean. Etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 03 May 13 - 11:19 AM

i guess the pursuit of good art is more profitable than answering pointless and p taking posts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 May 13 - 10:17 PM

make good art.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 02 May 13 - 09:51 AM

pete, did you really think I wasn't being serious, even though my logic, since I borrowed most of it from you, is completely full of holes?

You don't get off the hook for your inflammatory comments about atheists. Please explain why you think atheists are "shutting off the sense of wrongdoing and not being able to recognize it anymore."

Do you have any evidence to support this assertion? Can you offer any examples of atheists who have no sense of wrongdoing, where that lack of sense was caused by their atheism? Do you recognize that some people, of all religions or lack thereof, are evil people? Have you not looked at the Catholic Church lately? Do you know that there are good people from every group and every walk of life, regardless of their religion? Which type of person are you? Do you have any clue about how offensive it is to say this sort of thing to people? Is insulting people in a crass, ego-centric way part of your Christianity?

Do you know that you, right here and now, are the reason so many people have no patience with Christians?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 02 May 13 - 08:13 AM

now that you have confirmed that you are john taking the p i know not to answer any more posts from you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 13 - 05:42 PM

"framework of reality as expressed in this thread" is an oxymoron. That's funny.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 01 May 13 - 05:10 PM

why should your definition of sin have meaning to anyone?

Why shouldn't it? If it's a reserved concept, why is it in this discussion? Is "sin" always defined only from a religious viewpoint? I'll poke fun at pete all I want when he says rude things like the following:

if they think they never do that,it speaks to me of shutting off the sense of wrongdoing and not being able to recognize it anymore.
or
not having any point of reference as a final authority they determine right and wrong on whatever suits them.this admittedly seems consistent with atheism.

Besides, did you really think I was being serious, even though my logic is unassailable from within the Christian framework of reality as expressed in this thread?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 01 May 13 - 02:20 PM

Sorry, John, I meant to say, "why should your definition of sin have meaning to anyone?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 01 May 13 - 01:54 PM

With all due respect, John P, if sin is a religious concept, why should you, a self-proclaimed atheist, have meaning for anyone?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: John P
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 10:58 PM

maybe the sinless ones could enlighten those of us that are conscious of being sinful what they mean?

It's very simple, in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. Sin means doing bad things with the intent to do bad things. While I have made many mistakes, I have never purposefully done bad things. I am an atheist, so it follows that being an atheist does not cause a person to sin. You, on the other hand, as a Christian, do sin. You've said so. Jack has said that all Christians are sinners. Therefore, all Christians do bad things on purpose.

pete = Christian, bad

John = atheist, good

All clear now?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 06:03 PM

But if your God is eternal, how can we be in his image? we have evolved from amongst other things a form of starfish in a cosmic speaking short length of time. We also have belly buttons and vary a hell of a lot with individual DNA.

Your exceptional person would be so regardless of Creed or lack of Creed surely? You might even say by that logic, an atheist person would have no ulterior motive. Im not sure faith has any bearing on morals unless it just happens to be your moral compass.

Making faith a personal rather than group affair. And on that subject, whatever floats your boat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 05:21 PM

we have had a few dogs mess on the carpet.mostly we trained them to desist from doing so.in their canine capacity they then know it is dog gone wrong and wait till they are outside.
i was not suggesting that an atheist must of nessesity be always wrongdoers or moving the boundaries but if no-one see,s and there are no other constraints it must be an exceptional character who resists temptation.of course,i believe that being made in Gods image we all have conscience,even God deniers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 03:14 PM

EVeryone has acts they knew intuitively were in some way more harmful than good. And everyone has a list of things they did not do that would have been better done, omissions which harmed through inaction.

Neither sort of harm requires a confessor--it requires the strength of personal ownership and responsibility, a willingness to face the truth. 'S about it. Sins are one's own responsibility, and not that of any intergalactic watchers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Spleen cringe
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 12:05 PM

"if you have no faith you must be an anarchist and capable of doing naughty things no believer would consider."

An aside. Anarchism's not about 'doing naughty things' - it's simply a belief in a stateless society. Self-rule not being ruled.

Me above at 2.52. Sorry for not filling the box in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Musket sans sin
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 08:17 AM

Yeah perhaps sin is a word that has religious connotations so if you feel no need for religion it doesn't mean you can't sin.

I fail to accept pete, s second theory. Determining right or wrong on whatever suits you infers moving the boundaries. My dog is consistent in that he knows not to crap on the carpet. He has no point of reference. Many creatures show altruism but lack the capacity to ascribe it to anything.

Or put another way, it is rather insulting to be preached at along the lines of "if you have no faith you must be an anarchist and capable of doing naughty things no believer would consider. "

Let he who is stoned cast the first sin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 03:57 AM

Christian Left

Christianity is Reactionary Conservatism by default, thus Christian Left is a contradiction in terms. In its various guises, Christianity is humiliating, disempowering & counter-revolutionary, even if that revolution only exists in your own head. Christianity is an orthodoxy devised for the pacification of slaves & as such it is founded on a divinely appointed hierarchical absolutism anathema to Left Wing thinking, which is Atheist at its very core.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 02:52 AM

"i am surprised that even atheists consider themselves sinless"

I consider myself sinless. I've done stupid, bad and thoughtless things, hurt others and made bad choices. I've hopefully learned from these experiences. But I've never "sinned", because that's a purely religious concept and I'm not religious.

As to this issue about mental ill health being rooted in guilt, maybe it is in some instances. What the average mental health practitioner would say, though, is that more often or not it's rooted in trauma.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 04:34 PM

It is a quote John P. It is a quote of instructions of things for Christians to say to Christians who need help. Please don't take it personally.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

 

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 25 July 4:58 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.