A Conversation for Ask h2g2

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 81

Just Bob aka Robert Thompson, plugging my film blog cinemainferno-blog.blogspot.co.uk

Some (possibly all) of Benedict's resignation statement was in the BBC report I read, and I thought it hinted very subtly that dealing with modern society and issues was a major reason he felt he couldn't cope. He's said to be a very introverted, academic character who views the world very much with a theologian's eyes. That gives me hope that he will use his influence on the voting committee to get a more flexible successor.

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 82


The problem, as I have said, is that The Church is the voice piece of 'God' and if they were doing their job as 'God' expects them to do they would not be trying to change eo keep in step with modern society, as that essentially means they are wrong and modern society is right and therefore how can they say they are the arbitors of morals/ethics to us all.

Flexibility indicates they are wrong - the whole point of what religions stand for is what their god has demanded we all do which is what Theology is all about.

Once society starts drving what religions do and think then esentially those religions are null and void.

And YES religions always change to try and keep up with society however that is what negates them for me and removes any requirement to have any respect of their views especially when they keep saying 'it's what god wants us to do'.

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 83


Wow, I'm rather amazed that the cherry-picking accusation only arrived at post 80. It's generally quicker than that. smiley - winkeye

You do realise that saying "you people are wrong, full stop" is pretty much what you're accusing religions of doing?
... Not that I don't respect your views, even if you don't respect mine. smiley - hug

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 84

Otto Fisch ("Soft play area with free bananas; Iguana Andy and his... iguanas")

"Flexibility indicates they are wrong - the whole point of what religions stand for is what their god has demanded we all do which is what Theology is all about.

Once society starts drving what religions do and think then esentially those religions are null and void."

There are at least some good arguments for saying that the fundamental moral guidance of most religious (and of humanism) hasn't really changed much - it's just the interpretation that has in response to changing circumstances - not just societal but also technological, educational, philosophical and economic.

What's at the core of Christian belief? Well, my interpretation and my understanding (as a former Catholic, others may disagree) is that Jesus said there are really two things - firstly, you must love God, and secondly, you must love your neighbour as yourself. Or, if you prefer the Ten (or however many they really were) Commandments.... well, a lot of it holds up remarkably well over 2000 years later. Have a day off once a week. Respect your parents. Don't lie, don't steal, don't cheat on your partner, don't be jealous. There are others about not worshipping other gods, but, you know... meh. Now granted, there are omissions, but overall, not a bad list from those much-derided nomadic tribal elders.

Where a lot of moral disagreement lies is not about basic principles - there is a surprising amount of agreement about the basic principles of morality and about what counts - but about interpretation. What does it mean to love your neighbour as yourself? Might it sometimes be okay to lie? Who counts as my partner, and what counts as cheating? Might some degree of jealousy drive human progress? What do I owe my parents, if they have treated me poorly in return?

But I'm not really sure why I'm bothering to write this, because the usual anti-religion suspects aren't really reading properly anyway, just looking for a line or two to disagree vehemently with. And it's fine for people not to like religion in general, or a religion in particular... but I think if they're going to pronounce on it, they should do so from a position of having made at least some effort and thought rather than one of ignorance and knee-jerk.

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 85


Otto, I'm very glad you're writing it. smiley - ok

I agree too, religions, any of them, change according to interpretation. Over time, as things get interpreted differently the religions change accordingly.

And most of what people bash religions for, is the interpretation not of the core tenants / beliefs of the religion, but how the church has acted.

Do those that have the cheap shot at Catholicism disagree with the fundamental "love thy neighbour" that the religion preaches, or do they have an issue with the way individuals within the organisation act?

Personally, I have no problem with the Catholic religion. I do have issues with some people in it and the way they twist it to suit themselves.

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 86

Nosebagbadger {Ace}

He found out I was visiting and wanted the conclave to start just as I got there to make Rome a nightmare to get around

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 87


Personally, if any club I was a member of openly discriminated against women and homosexuals, I wouldn't want to have anything to do with it. Even if they gave away free beer on a Thursday, tickled kittens and told me my nasal hair was pretty. smiley - shrug

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 88

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

Sometimes (often, actually), someone has an idée fixée, a certain idea about how the world works, or how people behave or should behave, or something along those lines, and they like that idea, and therefore they actively blind themselves to contradictory evidence. We're all guilty of this from time to time, which is why I've been known to say that scepticism is a tool for examining your own beliefs, not a platform from which to berate others'.

The prime exemplars of this behaviour on h2g2 are, of course, Alfster and Hoo. Both proclaim, constantly, loudly, and in the teeth of vast amounts of contradictory evidence, that all religious people are stupid. It gets a bit wearing from time to time, but it's an interesting demonstration of cognitive dissonance in intelligent people.


The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 89


... Not that I don't respect your views, even if you don't respect mine.>

You don't have to respect my views merely respect my freedom to express them.

Well, that's pretty much what you are saying to the people of all other religions aren't you as they are worshipping false idols?

Also, your beliefs are based on what it says in a certain book and (presumably) a feeling.

Mine are based on the historically corroborable evolution of how religions developed.

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 90


Looks like the Catholic god isn't pleased - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21421810

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 91


Nah, that's Thor.

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 92


Oh, I don't know. Maybe they're just driving the message home? smiley - winkeye

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 93


Does anyone know if lightning strikes there much? For all I know it could happen quite regularly, but no-one bothers to mention it. Unless something of the ordinary happens the same day and they want to attach some importance to it, of course.


The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 94

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - bigeyes

Well the top of the dome does have a lightning rod.
But why be prosaic and sceptical of potential miracles.

If it is struck regularly, as I'm sure it must be, then turn
your mind to considering just how many angels might
dance on the head of its pin.

smiley - zen

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 95


Actually, Alfster, that's the point, though, isn't it? I do respect your views, your right to hold them, and your right to express them, as much as those of anyone who believes in another form of deity, or none.
I've said it before in others threads, I have more respect for an atheist who respects others than for a Christian (or other believer) who doesn't.
Also, I happen to think (yeah, I know, you probably find that hard to believe... smiley - tongueincheek)... I happen to think that religion is a private matter, and that no, I don't KNOW, I merely BELIEVE. Maybe I'm completely wrong, maybe I'm just a little wrong, maybe I'm right. smiley - shrug Whatever.

And please don't just assume you know what's in my head. You don't. Thank you.

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 96


I don't see why any one should respect a certain view when one is of the opinion that it is incorrect.

Especially when it comes to religion as it's a pretty much 'Yes that one is the right one and all the others are wrong. I believe that is what Yahweh's view of it is.'


The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 97



Woah now, Sir.

Let's not do the old 'religious people are stupid thing.' And accusing people of calling other people that.

There are many reasons why very intelligent people believe in stupid things. I happen to believe, when it gets down to it that religion is an out-of-date idea.

Anyway, I'm unsubbing from this thread. It's getting tediously predictable and I stopped making any particular religious comments a long time ago...the Pope thing dragged me back.

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 98


Oh, my bad. You obviously do know what's in my head so much better than I do. smiley - rolleyes

To quote Otto, I think it was, "I don't really know why I bother".

Off to sleep now, it'll be more productive.

smiley - smooch Good night, Alfster. smiley - smiley

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 99

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - zen
>> Semantics. <<

Too bad you have unsubbed. I was gonna give you a lesson
on the qualities and values of semantics - which give our
language the ability to communicate with precision when
necessary or when diplomacy and understanding are
preferable to polarised debate.

To know, to believe or to think anything can be the same,
or, three completely different states of understanding.

And yet we do not think, we only think we do.
We may or may not believe just as we may or may not
think we believe. And of course we do not know, even
when we know we do.

All of which is just what I think and not what I believe
or know. Or what I think I know.

smiley - towel

The Pope Resigns - It's a fix!

Post 100

Otto Fisch ("Soft play area with free bananas; Iguana Andy and his... iguanas")

Oh well, for those who find themselves in the centre of the Venn diagram of people who are still here and people still interested...

"I don't see why any one should respect a certain view when one is of the opinion that it is incorrect."

Here's the thing. Any ideological or faith based position is complicated, and it's virtually impossible to find anyone who will say "yes, all of it is correct" or "no, all of it is wrong". Because most people don't live in a peculiar black and white world. Pick any religion or ideology, and there will be positive things to say about it. Things to admire. Things that others could learn from.

Back when I was a Catholic, I thought that other branches of Christianity were probably wrong on a few specifics, but were basically along the right lines. I thought there was value in other religions, and while they didn't have it as right as we Catholics did, they too believed a lot of same things that we did. It's worth noting that Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe in the same God. One thing that I remember striking me about Islam and Judaism was their commitment to charity and to giving to the poor. Non-Abrahamic faiths were a bit more of a puzzle.... but although a lot of it sounded odd to me, there was also wisdom and common ground. The Golden Rule is a common thread through most if not all religions.

I was very taken with the story about a bunch of blind men trying to describe an elephant through touch alone, and each getting different bits, each getting it right as far as their experience went, but no-one getting the whole picture.


As jwf said, no, it really isn't. And further, it's a bizarre view to think that it is.

Anyone who has been religious or who knows people who are religious will know that actually most religious people experience a lot of doubt about a lot of things a lot of the time. Superfrenchie has made this quite clear. One of the things that I miss most about not being religious any more (my occasional borderline deism doesn't provide this for me) is that sense of doubt and the imperative to reflect upon my own life and my own attitudes and behaviours and beliefs.

People who are religious will speak of belief rather than knowledge because they're not certain. About God's existence, about what he wants of them (if anything), and about whether they've understood correctly. They doubt. Some atheists doubt too. Doubting is good, because it keeps people thinking and reflecting and open to finding out more and revising their view.

It's people who are certain - whatever it is that they're certain about - that worry me.

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