Saturday, July 7, 2007

Let's Convert the Jews - It's What Mel Gibson Would Want!

The Pope has decided to let priests give the Latin Tridentine Mass. That's a Latin Mass. I have two points, here.

First is that the Pope is allowing this to "heal rifts" between the Catholic Church and it's crazy nutjob ultra-conservative faction. Is he trying to heal rifts between the Church and people who want the Church to lift it's violently insane beliefs about homosexuality, birth control, women priests, non-celibate priests or members who are pro-choice? No. But he does want to "heal rifts" with the most reactionary Catholics in the world.

Second thing is that the Tridentine Mass has this nifty section in it that calls for the conversion of the Jews. Seriously. It contains language saying, basically, that those filthy Jews should convert to Christianity to save their filthy Jew souls.

What a guy, our Pope Rat!


Bob Kowalski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Kowalski said...

Should it really come as a surprise that with all the other religions going all wacko, that the Catholics would want to be left out?

L>T said...

I hope you had a good vacation. :)
I'm about ready for one myself.

I always get the impression with these Popes that religion plays a very small (if any) part in their lives. The whole ride to the top seems to be nothing but politics. Their shows of piousness look staged. As a matter of fact it all looks staged. I think the Catholic Church has been at it so long, if there ever was any sincerity(I'm thinking back to Constantine, who never seemed very sincere to me) it's long gone.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

There are of course, those who feel a deep satisfaction at the return of the Tridentine Mass.

Catholics obviously hope for EVERYONE to convert to sdave their souls. Special prayers are said for the Jewish people because- from a Catholic viewpoint- it would be sad if the people who heard God's word first, never accepted his son.
So it isn't the anti-semitic point you present it as.

We hope fervently that one day everyone will learn to accept both god and his son in their hearts.

Chris Bradley said...


As it happened, I had a European Jewish friend in the house when this news hit, and I told him, and he rolled his eyes. Then ranted for the next couple of hours about the traditions of Catholicism's anti-Semitism. He was of the opinion the Tridentine Mass was anti-semitic, particularly given the history of fairly intense racism -- and recent stuff, stuff in the Pope's lifetime, where the Catholic Church aided monsters like Mussolini and Franco to persecute Jews.

So, yeah, it is that anti-semitic. If it was that the Pope had come up with an additional Latin Mass -- even if it was just the Tridentine Mass with the language about Jews removed -- I wouldn't have bothered to say anything. I'd've gone, "Meh." But because of the continued inclusion of the prayer to save Jewish souls, it is pretty obvious to me that the Catholic Church is reaching into it's ugly past to reopen old wounds.

That said, the Catholic Church's trajectory is towards increasing irrelevance, and this Pope's reactionary stand will only increase the speed that happens. Still, it was a nasty piece of work.

Plus, your god doesn't exist. And if he does exist, he's a monster. So, forgive me if I ever fail to accept that into my heart, much less my mind.

Chris Bradley said...


I think that religion does play a big part of upper clergy's lives. I just think they're also pretty hypocritical. It's pretty easy to parse out why any given interpretation of a given religion, or even religion generally, is obviously not a divine construct -- the human fingerprints are all over it in oh-so-many ways -- but it is self-serving for them to believe that their religions are divine for a number of reasons. But I think that this *is* their religion, and they take it seriously. If that makes any sense, hehe.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

'Plus, your god doesn't exist. And if he does exist, he's a monster. So, forgive me if I ever fail to accept that into my heart, much less my mind.'

The fact that this fairly uncomfortable adolescent line was your parting shot, Chris, speaks volumes.

Your first two paragraphs betray the fact that you read my comments looking for arguments back, rather than taking them in.

As I said, we pray for God's chosen people to accept God's son.

How can that mean we hate them?
We sorrow at anyonme not accepting Christ.
Most of all the people he came from, the people who heard God's message first.

I notice you spend a lot of energy having a go at Catholics, because we're an easy target. We're not PC.

But by definition, Jews (in the context you mean in this case) are monotheists too. Don't try and pretend a racial definition is meant here.

For me, it's simple. I try to imagine what sort of message the son of God might give us.
I read Christ's teachings.
The two tessalate perfectly.

Any institution that is human will contain an element of evil. That is the nature of a world where good and evil intertwine.

But if you, Chris, are SERIOUSLY going to maintain that human history would have been better without Christianity- and specifically Catholicism- I am prepared to lay this down now- you have a poor knowledge of human history.

PS I don't expect you to call him his holiness, but Pope Rat is downright offensive.

Chris Bradley said...


Your god wants to burn everyone who doesn't kiss his ass in hellfire forever. That's . . . monstrous and evil by any rational meaning of those words. It is not an attack to bring up the evident, even if you've been trained all your life to ignore the odiousness of it.

What Jews are is for them to decide. I know a large-ish number of Jews who are largely cultural Jews.

PS. The Jews find it offensive that the Pope thinks that they're going to hell. Maybe if he wasn't so terribly offensive, I would care that I might otherwise offend him. But he's amongst the most offensive people on earth.

PPS. I don't much engage in what if something in history had been different. If there was no Catholic Church . . . barbarism would have spread across Europe? Well, since as far as my study of history demonstrates the pagans weren't any more or less moral than the Christians, they weren't any less learned, they weren't any less skilled at the arts and sciences, I don't think the world would really be too much different. If it wasn't Catholicism, it'd be something else and it is impossible to say from our remove it would have been better or worse. So, I retort, if you think that the history of the world would have been worse off without Catholicism, you're engaging in the spinning of fabulous yarns to justify history as it played out, but it's just fantasy. The truth is we don't know what would have happened, and that's the facts.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

'Your god wants to burn everyone who doesn't kiss his ass in hellfire forever. That's . . . monstrous and evil by any rational meaning of those words.'

Complete misreprsentation. The point is God loves us all. It is WE who damn ourselves by moving outside his love.

So do you think the Pope should go round saying no one's going to Hell?
Was Jesus an anti-semite, because it was Jesus who said the only way to salvation was through him.

I think the evidence of history demonstrates far more positives than negatives on the side of Catholicism, though the long seated Anglo-Saxon tradition of anti-catholicism consistently besmirches that record.

'So, I retort, if you think that the history of the world would have been worse off without Catholicism, you're engaging in the spinning of fabulous yarns to justify history as it played out,'

I actually suggested you looked at the facts, not fables.
The accumalation and dissemination of knowledge, the development of empiricism, advances in almost every branch of human knowledge, plus the obvious improvement of the daily existence of human life acheived by the church stands on its own record.

I am always genuinely puzzled at anti-Catholicism.
And why, of all faiths, are we most deserving of insults?
I don't mind saying I feel a lot of love for his Holiness.

Chris Bradley said...

No. God created hell. He created the conditions under which we arrive in hell. Then we were given an ultimatum of obedience or suffering. Whatever it is, that's not love. If you LOVE someone, you do not condemn them -- even if they piss you off, even if they reject you -- to an eternity of suffering.

Like most people, I've been in the situation of having a person that I love not return the feelings. Like most people, I let go and I honestly wish these people the best in life. I do not go around trying to make their lives miserable because of their rejection. I don't go around punishing them. If I did, I'd be guilty of various crimes and even if people acknowledged I did love the people I tormented it would be equally acknowledged that I was emotionally crippled. That's your god. For the "sin" of rejecting him, you get punished forever -- it's sick, and it's not love.

I think, and I have said so repeatedly, that I think it is sheer intimidation for Christians (or Muslims, Buddhists, etc.) to threaten people with hellfire, so, yeah, I think he should stop it. I've also said, and I think that it's true, that when a Christian (or Muslim, Buddhist, whatever) rears children to obey using their religious intimidation it constitutes child abuse. It's terrible to say to a child that unless they obey that they'll be boiled in oil forever, or be born as a worm, or whatever specific form of intimidation that the particular religion uses. I think all religions should stop trying to bully others into accepting their irrational faiths, and I think that when they do it to children and other vulnerable groups (such as the imprisoned and mentally ill) they're being downright criminal. So, yeah, I think the Pope should shut up about Hell. If I had my way, to preach hellfire to children would be viewed as psychological abuse, and the people who did it as criminals -- just like I'd be viewed as a criminal if I threatened my own children, day in and day out, with eternal suffering. "Obey me or I'll skin you alive and boil you in oil!" -- if you tell this to your children, you're abusing them, and I think that we should use the same rationale for Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., who use these techniques to compel obedience in children.

Interestingly enough, all those developments in empiricisms, blah, blah, blah, had pagan Hellenic sources. Anyone with knowledge about the subject traces the development of science back to pagan Greeks. The Muslims also considerably advanced medieval science in all areas from astronomy to medicine, and they kept alive Greek learning even more efficiently than the West in the medieval period. And what would have happened if the Vikings had accessed Hellenic learning, perhaps from the Muslims or perhaps from the Jews, without Catholic intermediaries? Who knows. You can't say. Really.

This also ignores the fact that the pagan people of Northern Europe were superior in key arts and sciences than late Classical Antiquity -- such as metallurgy and navigation. Christians are quick to say what they "gave", but far less quick to acknowledge that they took far more from pagans -- science and learning from the Greeks and Romans, arts and crafts from everyone but certain the non-Christian pagans of the area -- and the balance falls far more on the side of the pagans. Christians, in those early days, invented nothing much at all.

And all of this is without mentioning the way that China and India were developing their own sciences and technology, which were almost uniformly superior to Christian Europe's until the 17th or 18th centuries.

I think that we'd've gotten by quite fine without the Catholics, looking at the facts.

And, yeah, the Anglo-Saxons had a anti-Catholic bias, but it wasn't like the Catholics didn't have an anti-pagan bias. In the Germanic world, Christianity largely spread through a couple of key conversions, and then through shocking violence. We won't even get into the Christian-on-Christian violence, such as the struggles to destroy Arianism and then, later, the Cathar Heresy, but even confining oneself to conversion by the sword, the history of Western Europe is soaked in blood as the converted Germanic tribes converted others by force. Yeah, the pagans didn't like the Catholics. The Catholics, however, were equally willing to murder the pagans as the other way around.

There's a reason it was called the Dark Ages, and the Christians were one of the groups of people that helped make it that way.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

'No. God created hell. He created the conditions under which we arrive in hell. Then we were given an ultimatum of obedience or suffering. Whatever it is, that's not love. If you LOVE someone, you do not condemn them -- even if they piss you off, even if they reject you -- to an eternity of suffering'

Your understanding of theology is incorrect.
Satan's rebellion- The sin of pride- caused the creation of hell. It is US who choose, love or pride. That is the ultimate choice we all face. It is YOU who condemn yourself to hell, by lining up behind evil. God doesn't make the choice; you do.

'Anyone with knowledge of the subject' would not make the ludicrous dismissals of learni g betwen Augustine and Gallileo that you do. Empiricism is ENTIRELY a post-classical development.

Forgive me if I choose to bring my children up to love an institution founded by the the second person of the trinity to redeem us from our own failings.

It's only called the dark ages by protestant- and atheist- bigots.
Most historians call it the Early Middle Ages.

You can quote atrocities committed in the name of any creed- abortion, for example ranks to me as worse than anything the inquisition produce, because it involves the murder of innocents.

The Pope isn't going to 'shut up' about Hell, because without it, theology just wouldn't make sense.

'I think all religions should stop trying to bully others into accepting their irrational faiths'

And what's so rational about Atheism?
I've never heard so irrational an idea.

Chris Bradley said...

But your god also decided that pride was a sin punishable by eternal torment. The problem really is when you're omnipotent and omniscient, you can't really blame other people. You claim your god created Satan, created us, created hell, he did it ALL, and he did it knowing how things would play out, and knowing this chose to do it anyway. If a human makes a device that he knows will kill a certain number of people who use it -- a large number, at that -- and makes it anyway, encourages its use, etc., that human is guilty of murder. There's no way for a person who believes in an omnipotent and omniscient god to get out of the idea that god caused all these things to happen. Or, in short, your god also created the very pride that got Satan condemned in the first place. Oops.

You are also simply engaging in prejudice when you claim that empiricism is a Western, specifically Christian, development. I mean, when I was studying empiricism, I learned that Aristotle was instrumental to developing it, and learned that the first empiricists, as a group, were the Sophists and Epicurians. None of whom were Christians, of course. Buddhist thought is also deeply empiricist, as is the works of Alhazen, Averroes and Avicenna -- none of whom were Christian, either. I know that the Chinese Neo-Confucians were also empiricists, but the specific names escape me. The idea that empiricism is a uniformly Western, Christian invention is preposterous.

Most historians do call it the Early Middle Age, yes, but it was Christians who coined and used, for a v. long time, the term Dark Age, hehe. The term was invented by Francesco Petrarca to talk about the bad Latin of the Early Middle Age. The term, and the conceits around the concept of the Dark Age, was a notably Christian invention.

Theology doesn't make sense WITH the concept of Hell. I agree Pope Rat isn't going to shut up about it, and I further think that he's doing all in his power to destroy the Roman church, so maybe I should be more tolerant of him. He's a far more implacable enemy to the Roman church than I'll ever be -- he seems quite willing to continue for the Roman Catholic Church to be a backwards reactionary thing that is bleeding members like a stuck pig. So, yay Pope Rat!

Interestingly enough, St. Augustine of Hippo was pro-abortion, hehe. It wasn't until, if my memory serves, in the 17th century that the Catholic Church came to oppose abortion at all, and only in the 20th that it became a big deal. I mean, I get your point, yes, it is possible to point to any group of people and find atrocities, but religion is different in that its atrocities become dogma and are far more resistant to change than just about any other human institution. Thus you ignore what I said about the murderous growth of early Christianity (not to mention, say, the Spanish conquest of Central and South America, or the missionary's progress in North America, and the vast horror and bloodshed that went into those conquests in the name of the Christian god). Or, in short, we all know the Holocaust was inhuman, but in the minds of many the Crusades were justified. Indeed, often on this very blog I've had people defend them. Which is the difference between secular thought and religious thought -- religious horrors are transformed into goodness.

And, on a different level, religious should be abandoned simply because we have other things that work better. I'm actually not judgmental about historical times. Maybe Christianity was good for people in the Middle Ages. Now? There's nothing that religion can give to people that secularism can't give better.

Atheism only makes sense when one applies to one's own religion the same reasoning that you apply to everyone else's. The only difference between you and me is that I believe in one god fewer than you, after all.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

'You claim your god created Satan, created us, created hell, he did it ALL, and he did it knowing how things would play out, and knowing this chose to do it anyway. If a human makes a device that he knows will kill a certain number of people who use it -- a large number, at that -- and makes it anyway, encourages its use, etc., that human is guilty of murder.'

No, you still have Free will. YOU choose. God KNOWS what you will choose, but ultimately it is still you who makes it.

Er- Aristotle most notoriously DIDN'T follow the empirical method. Nor did any of the classical philosophers. Hence his assertion about falling weights.

Have you considered our doctrines are resistant to change because they contain universal truth?

I can actually say that when JP2 went, I prayed for Cardinal Ratzinger to succeed. I happen to like his theology. A theology of love, based on the traditional theology of the most loving institution in the history of the world.
I'm unsure why you think Augustine of Hippo was pro abortion. I have all his writings, and I certainly remember nothing of that nature.

Other things that work better? Free Market Capitalism?

Atheism is a FAITH, the same as Theism. Difference is, Theists don't resort to causing personal offence to Atheists.

Of course Christianity provides things that secularism doesn't. It provides a reason for people not to be the selfish animals that sustain this selfish, materialistic society.
A society that may be technologically ahead of that of 1300, but is a long way behind in terms of caring about its fellow man.

A major difference between myself and you would be that I believe we are judged by a higher transcendant standard of ethics, whereas yours would be based on expediency.

The Ego said...

Holy Shit,I aged 10 yrs reading all that!
I have to agree with Chris that rasing children by putting the fear of God into them is child abuse.
Atleast the Catholics though are allowed to have Christmas presents.No Christmas presents for kids (or me ) would certainly be bloody child abuse.
Atleast the Catholics have nice jewellery and they don't have to shave their heads like those bald ,ugly Moonies.Talk about forced celibacy!
Atleast too, Catholics are allowed to drink coffee and smoke unlike that Osmond faith and have blood transfusions unlike the Jehovah's.
The problem with ALL religions is that there is too much YOU CAN'T DO THIS! and not enough of the YOU CAN DO THAT!
But man, calling the Pope a Rat? I can see why Crushed got his knickers is a knot. You NEVER put down anyone's religion ( or choice in music)

The Ego said...

Having said that though- I heard those nuns are bitches ( and probably lesbians....and don't get me started on their fashion sense)Still if they were paid a decent wage they might have more job satisfaction and be nicer to kids.

Chris Bradley said...

That's such a BIZARRE line of reasoning. Your omnipotent and omniscient god could have made the universe in such a way so that no thinking person would choose otherwise, but chose, instead, to create a world filled with contradictions to the "divine word", and after giving us this bad information, this historical confusion where -- let's face it, even now when Christianity is the most powerful religion in the world, most people STILL don't chose to be Christians -- it is impossible for a thinking person to be sure of any choice for any religion, after making this chaos, we're STILL to blame if we make the wrong decision? It isn't like there is this clear, irrefutable proof of the Christian god's existence. Far from it. There is chaos in that front -- and that chaos is created by your god (if you're right). But we're STILL responsible for making the right choice, and that is called free will? Preposterous!

Actually, Aristotle preformed the first recorded experiment. And he was also wrong about a great number of things, but he gave absolute primacy to human reason and observation to determine how the world progresses, as expressed in his logic. He was wrong about a lot, but he was exceedingly empirical in the sense that he looked for observations, drew hypotheses and occasionally tested them. He is widely regarded as having invented the field of biology, I should further note. And even if Aristotle isn't an empiricist in your book, there's always the Sophists and Epicurians, Democritus and Lucretius, and some of the pre-Socratics like Anaxagoras -- and the Buddhists and Muslims I mentioned.

I'm not a capitalist. I'm a consensualist. I think capitalism is stupid and evil, indeed, far moreso than Pope Rat. I think that corporations should be destroyed, all of them, to the last one. (I also think it is interesting that it was Ratzinger who helped to destroy liberation theology -- that actually acted on the proposition that capitalism was evil.)

Scientists and secular philosophers have long talked about altruism. Being altruistic isn't a specifically Christian thing, and is held by the non-religious as well as the religious. There is nothing inherent in secularism that supports corruption, wickedness, pain, etc., etc., and it's a canard that you suggest it. In America, well, almost everyone in prison believes in god -- by inspection, atheists are under-represented amongst people who regard as doing evil to other people. Likewise, it is fundamentalist Christians who are most likely to get a divorce and atheists who are least likely, as an interesting aside. Religion doesn't make people better, morally, alas, and this is easy to demonstrate -- even, ironically, by the moral standards of Christians, by and large.

My morality is not made by expediency, ugh. You don't know me. My morality is made by observation of the world and interaction with my fellow human beings to create with them a sense of morality. This is true, of course, of almost everyone who isn't religious -- absent the easy (but fundamentally illogical) morality of religion we have to figure things out for ourselves, with the help of other people. Again, secularists are less likely to commit crimes, to get abortions, to get divorced than religious people. The idea that our morality is inferior to religious people simply can't be proven, and indeed the opposite is suggested.

But this whole argument is weird. On one hand you're saying that the Christian West invented empiricism, but on the other hand you say that there's this god up in the sky even though empirically we don't know that's the case. You praise the Middle Ages in learning for advancing empiricism but at the same time you condemn the fruits of it, the modern Western world. It makes no sense!

But theists VERY MUCH throw personal insults at atheists. You've done it in this discussion. For instance, you've said that atheists use expediency to determine their morality -- this is a horrible thing to say to a person! You say that I'm going to go to Hell and it's my own fault! That's a TERRIBLE thing to say to a person! Absolutely terrible! I have been called evil, a tool of Satan, a monster, all sorts of terrible, terrible things by Christians. But you complain that I call the Pope Pope Rat?! But I assure you, religious people call atheists in general and me in specific all manner of terrible things, all manner of dreadfully insulting things.

And I have had the discussion that atheism isn't faith so many times that I find myself too tired to go over it, again. But I'll give you the short version. There is no evidence -- no empirical evidence -- in the existence of any god or gods. And almost everything that religions have traditionally claimed (such as the creation of the world, the development of human beings, etc.) has been refuted by empirical evidence. Under those conditions -- the lack of evidence for the existence of a given god and the presence of a viable alternative for everything that religion claims -- it is foolish to believe in the claims of any one religion, or the belief in any specific god. That is not faith in the religious sense, which is the belief in things unseen, but the belief in what we can see.

I was wrong about Augustine, hehe. Sorry.

Chris Bradley said...


Well, I disagree about the putting down thing, pretty obviously. One of the things I am advancing in my work is that we need to stop having all this exceptionalism about religion. I don't hesitate to call secular leaders names -- say, refer to Bush or Clinton as an idiot, which I and many other people do quite frequently -- why should I hesitate to call a religious leader I think is a horrible person a name? I don't believe that religion is a special species of belief that should require special protections. I think that religion is just a belief, like any other, and should be treated precisely that way.

I think religious people strongly profit from the notion that religion is in some ways beyond reproach. It lets them get away with all kinds of terrible things. So, religious people such as Catholics can advance political policies -- such as threatening to excommunicate politicians who don't take a stand against abortion -- but we can't openly discuss it because it would offend religious people to bring things up. I think this needs to come to an end.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

'There is no evidence -- no empirical evidence -- against the existence of any god or gods. And very little that religions have traditionally claimed (aside from a literal interpretation of Genesis) has been refuted by empirical evidence. Under those conditions -- the lack of evidence for the non-existence of a given god and the fact that non-existence answers less of the deeper questions we seek answers to -- it is foolish to write off unthinkingly the claims of any one religion, or the belief in any specific god. Such belief is just as much faith in the religious sense, which is the belief in things unseen, but the belief that we see is all there is.

'Well, I disagree about the putting down thing, pretty obviously'

Yet you insult someone dear to me.

Chris Bradley said...


I'm insulting a racist, sexist, classist bigot asshole that is one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world. He is, furthermore, a man who insults me and mine -- he calls us evil, says we're going to hell, and he wants to CHANGE us, he works to CHANGE us even though we don't want to be changed. This is DEEPLY insulting.

This man you love? He's a jerk who makes the world a worse place.

divabeq said...

"Theists don't resort to causing personal offence to Atheists."

I disagree.

"A major difference between myself and you would be that I believe we are judged by a higher transcendant standard of ethics, whereas yours would be based on expediency."

Oh, wait, point proven!

I'm a fairly plainspoken person, so, sometimes I boggle at people not getting points when I say them. I speak fairly clearly.

According to the Christian religion, god knows everything and is all powerful. He knowingly created Hell where millions (?) of people are eternally tortured, often for such trespasses as merely not believing in him when he has the power to stop that from happening. I don't see where there is room for confusion about this being evil. This is evil. You say that *we* make the decision to be tortured forever... well, God, then, makes the decision to allow that to happen. By all standards, any intelligent being who does this is a horrific monster.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

'I'm insulting a racist, sexist, classist bigot asshole that is one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world.'

'This man you love? He's a jerk who makes the world a worse place.'

Yet more offensive insults. Is this the centrpiece of the Atheist argument?
OK, you object to attempts to better human nature.
Yet how often have you heard it said that Communism doesn't work because of human nature?

Part of the progress towards perfection HAS to be in ourselves, as individuals?

Divabeq, you obviously did not take the trouble to understand the subtlety. God created a universe where you have the Free Will to choose him. He did not create automatons. He created beings who could choose Love over Self, or Self over Love. But that choice would have meant nothing if we had not the full capacity to make it ourselves.
By choosing God, we validate love.

Of course that choice has a negative. What it means is that HAVING REJECTED love, we cannot any longer access it, and are unredeemable.
I think evangelical Atheists CHOOSE not to understand this, in the belief it gives them more weapons to cause offence with.

L>T said...

Hi Chris & diva,
but it is self-serving for them to believe that their religions are divine for a number of reasons. Yes, I believe they are power hungry individuals using their own semi-divine status to get that power. & I believe you are also right that they really do believe they are right up there with their mythical God. yep! they are religious, alright. he he
Back to the point about not having to kiss the Popes ass. If a person has no respect for someone & thinks they are despicable I see no reason why they should they pay homage to them & give them respect they don't think they deserve? It's Catholics that need Popes, not the rest of us. If they want to kiss the feet of an old man wearing a fancy gown & a weird hat, I say go at it. If they want to think the Pope has God's ear or whatever, bully for them.
Excuse the rest of us while we snicker & point.

& ingsoc(I'm curious, why do you use ingsoc for your name?) You keep talking about love???? It's not about love but about humans hating themselves. Humans believing they need redemption from their horrible sin ridden natures. So horrible we are, that without your God we deserve Hell. So horrible we humans are, that the the divine Catholic Church has justified killing & torturing us since it's conception. The Church has no real respect for humanity.
& then you Catholics want to whine & put on YOUR martyr acts & talk about love?
It's just like Nietzsche said, "an inversion of values."
Go put on your hair shirt & leave the rest of alone.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Nicely done, T. You've taken to the trouble to find out I'm a Nietzche fan.

I would leave you lot alone, if you lot didn't sit there spewing hate at people who make a different faith decision to you. As it is, most of your argumentys consist of the fact that you don't like the Pope, or that you wouldn't like there to be a God. Whether or not there is doesn't seem to be part of your argument.

I agree, empirically we cannot know. That isn't the issue.
Why the need to be so offensive to the heartfelt beliefs of those who do?

If the lack of respect and understanding you show to other beliefs is the message of YOUR faith- yes, FAITH, Atheism is a FAITH- then the way you chose to prove your 'point' shows the hollowness of your creed.

The sole arguments I have sen in this thrad conmsist of;
1. Bad things have been done in God's name.
2. I don't want there to be a God.

The intellectual high ground?
I think not.

L>T said...

Why the need to be so offensive to the heartfelt beliefs of those who do? heartfelt? what does heartfelt mean? something emotional? something based on guilt? you talk like heartfelt is the deepest part of your soul. It's not deep, it's shallow. Heartfelt has nothing to do with respect or lack of in a REAL sense. "Heartfelt" has to do w/feelings... feelings of guilt, fear of death, religious experience, prejudice...

If the lack of respect and understanding you show to other beliefs is the message of YOUR faith Oh boo hoo! This is where you whine & play the martyr, AGAIN. One thing you don't seem to understand is some people are really above all that & we don't have to play back-fiddle or even tolerate your emotional blackmail.

Besides, your argument being asinine, your spelling is atrocious.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Thankyou, LT, for such a succinct statement of your belief system.

It contains as you explain it, the following points.

1. Insulting religions is OK, because religions are wrong.
2. Showing respect for other beliefs is unecassry if they're wrong.
3. We have made a faith decision one way, (no God), those who take other (a God) are asinine.
4. Whereas we have a go at religions for preceived racism, we can propagate religous hatred, because we're RIGHT!

Sorry, the moral superiority of your creed is what???

Chris Bradley said...


It is demonstrable that Pope Rat is a sexist, classist, racist bigot. Indeed, the whole point of my original post is that bringing back the Tridentine Mass is deeply insulting to Jewish people, and racist. The stand that Catholic Church has on birth control is deeply sexist. Recently, he had the cleverness to say that Protestants don't worship in real churches, if you want another blast of his generalized bigotry.

It is a crude attempt to stop the conversation to say that my factual statements about the character of the Pope are "insults". Would you hesitate to call Hitler a monster? Or Stalin? Pope Rat is a member of one of the most demonstrably hateful organizations in the world, and he supports the most odious and reactionary elements of that organization -- it's becoming worse under his watch.

THAT is the essence of my problem with him.

I also do not claim to speak for atheists or atheism generally. I speak for Chris Bradley and no one else. Atheism is not like your church, or any church! We don't follow anyone, have a dogma, we can't be excommunicated, there is no hierarchy. We speak for ourselves.

Part of the progress towards perfection HAS to be in ourselves, as individuals?

I think all of the progress towards perfection -- if that is your goal -- has to be as individuals. I don't think that Catholicism is helping people to be better -- I think it is, at best, a backwards, literally medieval belief system that has about as much relevance in the modern world as feudalism. And, like the Queen of England, is merely an antique from a bygone day that is best relegated into either obscurity or totally dismantled. I think that the Catholic Church, and most religions generally, get in the way of a person's attempts to improve themselves. They weigh a soul down with unnecessary baggage, of inane traditions, bad thinking and bad faith.

Yet how often have you heard it said that Communism doesn't work because of human nature?

Just because someone says something doesn't make it true. They used the same arguments, for centuries, for democracy, too, yet here we are! Human nature changes. We don't live as tribes in the caves, anymore, and feudalism, absolute monarchy, etc., have all been replaced by superior forms of government, letting more people be freer than ever in history. Who knows what the future will bring? I'm hoping for consensualism, but even so I acknowledge that we don't have the technology for wide-spread consensualism, but what my study of history has taught me is that people do change and what didn't work yesterday might work quite well today. Like democracy, or the abandonment of slave economies, or the passing of mercantilism, or the divine right of kings.

God created a universe where you have the Free Will to choose him. He did not create automatons.

Becky can fight her own fights, but stuff like this always gets a chortle out of me.

Your god, if he existed and I'm profoundly glad he doesn't, didn't just create people with free will . . . oh, heck, it's still questionable if we have free will, but that's another fight. We'll assume we have free will. Still, your god didn't just create free will -- he created free will in an environment where determining the truth about god is impossible.

In particular, your god is silent and absent. Instead of gods giving evidence of their existence, what we've got is a world crafted seemingly to put down on the existence of god -- everything that happens, creation-wise, has a physical origin that doesn't require divine intervention! Additionally, there isn't even one religion! There are hundreds, nay, thousands, each and every one of them making claims that their set of miracles and gods are the real set of miracles and gods.

It is into this chaotic situation that we are all born. We are born into a world where, on the one hand, it is increasingly apparent the no gods at all are needed to explain the creation of the world. On the other hand, there are dozens of equally valid religions (some of them far more reasonable, sensible and intelligent than Christianity, I should note). We are not given the same sorts of signs as the people who founded these religions invariably get, furthermore -- we do not see Jesus heal the multitudes, Gabriel doesn't come down to talk to us, Indra doesn't carry us up into the sky for seven years with the apsaras.

And, into this chaos, you tell us we have "free will". But one of the things that a person needs to make a real decision is more than just free will -- they need data. Real data. Meaningful data.

In short, if your god is in charge, he hasn't put enough data into the world for people to make intelligent decisions about religion (tho', if you assume there is no real god(s) things make sense a LOT faster).

On those grounds, alone, the free will argument is preposterous. It's not free will to choose between one god and another, but a guess. (Choosing no god is an actual decision, for reasons I've already touched on.) It's not free will. It's a guess.

Another good argument against the Christian nonsense about free will is the infinite nature of god. If god can do anything, really anything at all, we could have both free will and go to heaven even if we didn't accept his "love". Or he could make a different, not burning forever in a lake of fire place for those who didn't love hiim. Or do any one of a number of different things.

Your god made Hell. He didn't have to do it. He could have made the Land of Puppies, where people who don't to go to Heaven go to cavort forever with puppies that love them, where they'd always have enough to eat, meaningful work and social connections, eternal health and youth, blah, blah, blah. But, instead, out of monstrous spite your "loving" god chooses to create a place of torture instead. Why'd he do that? That's not love. When you love someone, you don't shove them into eternal torment!

And no matter how much you go on about "subtlety", well, so long as hell exists your god isn't a good person, but a demon.

Chris Bradley said...

Why the need to be so offensive to the heartfelt beliefs of those who do?

Because those beliefs have vile consequences for millions of people. The Catholic Church is a racist, sexist, bigoted organization. It teaches fear to children in an abusive manner. It works tirelessly to deprive women of birth control, spreading deadly diseases and poverty. It denies the reality and significance of other people's beliefs, discriminating against all non-Catholics with its considerable (if waning) political and social power. It teaches hate and spreads fear.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

'Your god, if he existed and I'm profoundly glad he doesn't'

Faith statement.

'The Catholic Church is a racist, sexist, bigoted organization'

Incitement to religous hatred.

'Pope Rat is a member of one of the most demonstrably hateful organizations in the world'

Personal insult AND religous hatred.

You seem to miss the point. I'm not asking you to sign up to mass, or to beieve in God. I'm simply asking you not to be offensive to those who do.
Your position is equally a faith position.

Chris Bradley said...

Sorry, the moral superiority of your creed is what???

First, you and yours go after atheists at least as hard as atheists go after religious folks. The difference is I don't see freedom of speech as a problem, even when some Catholic is telling me I'm going to go to Hell and am an evil person. I don't whine about them calling me names. Buck up. Welcome to America. We're got a lot of freedom of speech, especially to criticize people in position of power -- and this is good.

Second off, there's no comparison between what I or L>T is saying and what Catholics do. Calling someone bad names doesn't even rate on the same scale as, say, depriving women of condoms and helping to spread AIDS -- which has killed millions. The first is, at worst, a little mean-spirited, the second is a crime of Hitler-esque proportions.

Third, atheism isn't morality. It's merely rejection of religion and gods. The argument isn't that atheists are automatically moral. Obviously, they are not. Stalin leaps to mind. Or even the argument that religious people are immoral. Again, obviously not. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gandhi leap to mind. Morality is not determined solely by one's belief or lack of belief, and this is known to anyone with a mind.

What atheists say is that religion is untrue, and a system of control, and on whole is bad for people because it controls people while feeding them untruths. And that this has direct and immediate impact on people's lives. So, for instance, under the Catholic doctrine that every sperm is sacred the Catholic Church intervenes in distribution of birth control, leading to misery and death. Or promotes profound ignorance by teaching intelligent design in classrooms, crippling our children's ability to think rationally and weakening our economy because America is increasingly just opting out of biological sciences. The reason why atheists struggle against religion -- and in America, this struggle has always been very above the board, I should note, with no real violence on either side, for which I am grateful and proud -- is because of the social consequences, the real social consequences, of religion in our society.

It isn't about morality, per se, but about the culture of religion where reason is replaced with fantasy and how that belief in fantasy negatively interacts with the world.

Which is also not to say that atheists don't have their own murderous fantasies -- Russian style communism does leap to mind -- but bringing that up is a tu quo que fallacy, isn't it? Just because some atheists do horrible things doesn't mean that religions don't. (I am also of the opinion that lacking holy books, organization, etc., atheism changes faster than religion, in positive ways. The USSR is dead. The Catholic Church remains.)

Chris Bradley said...


Incitement to religious hatred? *rolls eyes* How banal. An obvious conversation stopper. Your feelings are hurt so you're saying that I'm INCITING RELIGIOUS HATRED.

Well, what about the hatred Catholics incite? Saying that me and mine are gonna go to hell, that we're evil, etc., stuff like that. Is that inciting atheist hatred? Well, yeah, it is -- but unlike you, I understand that when people disagree about something important there's going to be some acrimony. To you, your religion is the most important thing in the world. To me, it's a vile, hateful organization of bigotry. We're gonna fight (tho' I reject violence save for immediate self-defense). In short, this is what freedom looks like. It looks like me saying that Pope Rat is a racist, sexist, classist, homophobic asshat and you saying that atheists are immoral, evil monsters. So long as it remains words, we're golden, using out freedom of speech and press to advance our positions so that the world and future generations can decide who's right, contributing to the debates that make freedom meaningful.

So, nope, I'm not going to change. Pope Rat is an asshat. The Catholic Church is a sexist, racist, classist, homophobic institution.

L>T said...

Ingsoc says:

1. Insulting religions is OK, because religions are wrong. No, Insulting religion is OK because "religion" is not sacred, it's a man made invention, & therefore criticizable.

2. Showing respect for other beliefs is unecassry if they're wrong. Any ideology is fair game, IMO. No ideology is worth anything if it can't stand up to criticism.

3. We have made a faith decision one way, (no God), those who take other (a God) are asinine. No, that's not what I said.

4. Whereas we have a go at religions for preceived racism, we can propagate religous hatred, because we're RIGHT!
Whereas??? The racism is not perceived. & Yes, I hate religion, because there is so about religion to hate.
Sorry, the moral superiority of your creed is what??? Don't equate what I think with what you think. Getting beyond morality is something our friend Nietzsche talked about & what he meant was getting beyond the made up & shallow morality of the Church. Do we intend to abolish some superior & noble idea of good & evil that you espouse? Yes, because we feel it is not superior or noble.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

'No, Insulting religion is OK because "religion" is not sacred, it's a man made invention, & therefore criticizable'

Even if it is, there is a still a moral obligation to treat the neliefs of others with respect.
I take my shoes off when I go into a Hindu or Sikh act of religous worship, because it shows respect for their beliefs.

It IS comparable to racism. You are insulting the beliefs of millions of people. Many of them are not racist or homphobic or stupid.
Many of them are people like me, University educated, politically liberal, but also traditionalist Catholics in their theology.

I have only cried twice in my adult life. Once was when John Paul the Second died.

It doesn't concern me in the slightest what you choose to believe.
What does matter is that insulting the Pope in the language used here, is as bad as insulting my own mother. After all, I take mass much more often than I see my mother.

Chris Bradley said...


As I have repeatedly said, Pope Rat doesn't treat the beliefs of others with respect. For instance, he recently said that millions of Protestants don't have real churches or are "defective". By your own reasoning, that's akin to racism. Indeed, Protestant organizations have lodged protests because of the insulting nature of what the Pope said -- should the POPE shut up because what he says hurts millions of people? My guess is that you stand by your Pope when he insults millions of people. Well, I have the same rights as him, and so does L>T.

The difference between the Pope and your mom is that your mom isn't the leader of a worldwide religious movement that huge social and political connotations. That you have the illusion of a personal relationship with this man that does not know you does not change one bit that he is also the leader of an international church with huge social and political ramifications. He's a public figure. Which is why I'm comfortable calling him Pope Rat, or even a racist, sexist, homophobic fuckwit, while I'd never do that to your mother -- he's a different sort of person, a public figure, and this distinction exists in US law.

It's pretty sick of you to try to squelch a public debate about Catholicism and it's head by bringing in your moms, yo. The differences between the Pope -- a public figure in charge of a huge religious organization with vast social and political power -- and your mother are OBVIOUS.

divabeq said...

You take off your shoes when you got to a sikh act of religious worship, but that is your choice to go. If someone came to my house, I would expect them to follow the rules of my house. If I chose to go to a mosque, I would do so wearing a head scarf or whatever their particular sect required. But I won't wear a burqa in public because some Muslims might find it offensive if I do not, and I shouldn't have Catholics trying to affect whether or not I can choose to exercise control over my reproductive life, which they often try to do through political means. It's one thing for a church to tell its members what to do, but when its members and leaders try to control the actions of the general public according to beliefs they've chosen for themselves, well, there's the line. And that's what Chris is talking about: political actions taken by the church that affect those who have not chosen to be members of the church. And these actions, by far, affect women and people of color more negatively than straight white men. Which is what makes them racist, sexist and homophobic.

Furthermore, while I respect everyone's right to hold whatever belief they want, I disagree that I have any obligation whatsoever to respect the belief itself. In fact, I think that if anything I have an obligation to tell the truth about what I see of people's beliefs. If someone wants to be a neo-nazi, assuming they are not infringing on the rights of others in doing so then that's their right, and I would argue their right to believe that. But, I'm not going to respect that belief. I'm going to call it racist, sexist bullshit as it is. Ditto religion.

Chris Bradley said...


No, no, no! It's OK for Catholics to call other people names because it's "fact" or "true" -- but when you bring up facts and truths, golly, YOU MIGHT MAKE A CATHOLIC CRY. Therefore, you should ignore the social and political dimensions of Catholicism, which interferes in your life and hundreds of millions of other women, gays, non-Catholics, etc.! I mean, duh, right? Your criticism of Catholicism HURTS CATHOLIC PEOPLE'S FEELINGS and stopping that is far more important than openly and robustly discussing the sexism, racism, prejudice, homophobia and general stupidity of the Catholic Church and the person of the Pope, who is also a sexist, racist, classist, bigoted SOB.

While, of course, on the other hand they're allowed to say you're evil and are gonna go to Hell because it's "true".


Chris Bradley said...


I know you know this, too, hehe, but I also have tremendous feelings about the emotional abuse that religions, including Catholicism, encourage in raising children. Specifically the threats of Hell to compel obedience.

I suspect that very few Christians actually were given a legitimate choice, and most were bullied into it with threats and intimidation in abusive ways as children. I think the teaching of Hell to children is downright criminal, and probably sufficient justification to shut down almost every Christian and Muslim church (and a bunch of smaller ones, like Mormons, Scientologists, Buddhists, etc.) in America. But we don't because systematic child abuse is OK when done religiously.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Er, Chris. No it's not sick.
This is the point I am trying to make.
To me an insult to the Pope is as hurtful as an insult to my mother.

Debate all you like, but there's no need to cause offence.

May I point it that in UK law, your comments WOULD count as incitement to religous hatred.

Personally, I think there's nothing wrong, theoretically, with any RC articles of faith OR any articles of Catholic teaching. Catholic teaching doesn't say gay people are evil, it says sex for non procreational purposes should be avoided. Gay sex, by definition, is non procreational.

I don't say I live up to Catholic teaching myself, but I recognise it for what it is, the guide to the best way to live.

Your insults anyway are ad hominem arguments. You simply keep throwing insults and think that validates your points.
Bit childish really.

None of this makes Atheism less of a faith than theism, except my faith encourages me to respect others. Yours clearly does not.

divabeq said...

Yeah, you are right that it fundamentally crosses that line of infringing on the rights of others not to worship when you start involving young children. Young children - even without the threats of hell - are so impressionable that raising them in that lifestyle is tantamount to removing from them the freedom to choose what they want to believe. Some churches correct for this, or try to, by not accepting people into certain rites until a certain age. Baptists, for instance, don't allow for people to "accept Christ into their hearts" until the person is 8 years old, and I've heard of other demoninations who do similar things, and the age I usually hear is 8.

But, it would be better to take this a step further and refuse to accept children into any church services and bar them from these (often violent and horrifying) teachings until they are older. Perhaps even adults to ensure their independence to make their own decisions.

Chris Bradley said...


I'm not actually debating anything, hehe.

Fortunately, I'm not in the UK. Fuck the UK! As an American, I can say that, too. And, of course, in the UK you're barred from political office, you filthy Catholic! Trust me, the faults of the US notwithstanding, I have zero desire to emulate England with it's institutionalized religion -- I mean, Angelican bishops in the House of Lords? Oh, wait -- A HOUSE OF LORDS?! Color me the opposite of impressed.

Nevertheless, your personal feelings for He Who Zings Rats are irrelevant in this sort of thing. People cried when Ronald Reagan died. Should this prevent me from calling him a racist asshat, much less prevent me from calling his successor, President Bush, a racist asshat? Certainly not. Under the principle that religions aren't special, that they're just human institutions like any other, it is obvious that the personal feelings that people have for Bush or Reagan are irrelevant when discussing them or the actions of the Republican Party. Likewise, that you cried when some man you didn't know died is not justification for calling to an end robust debate about that person.

Oh, please, I've already demonstrated that Catholics feel comfortable attacking the core beliefs of other people. You're being an utter hypocrite saying that Catholicism teaches you to respect the beliefs of others a couple of days after the Pope was telling hundreds of millions of Protestants that their religious leaders don't count and their churches are defective! You're an utter hypocrite. You believe that the majority of people on earth are going to burn in Hell forever -- this is NOT RESPECT. This is a deep and multifaceted contempt, no matter how much you claim to love those who your religion publicly condemns forever!

Chris Bradley said...


I dunno where the line is about religion and young children. I mean, all parents are obligated to raise their children, and place in them certain beliefs. What is religion's place in that? Is there NO PLACE for religion in raising children?

Aesthetically, of course, I do believe there's no place for religion . . . well, anywhere. But my own beliefs notwithstanding, I don't know that's sufficient to justify totally removing religion from early upbringing. Part of a parent's job is shaping a child's mind, after all.

It's just that the abusiveness of teaching hellfire and damnation is so obvious! If a secular organization systematically threatened young children with horrific tortures, there'd be no doubt it was abuse! Some kid would come home saying that the atheists were saying that they'd skin alive the children who didn't obey, and the parents would get into an uproar and the place would be shut down forever. And the parents would be totally right. But religions? Well, it's OK to do this. So, for me, right now, that's the line with religion and children, I guess -- if the religion includes threats in it, it should not be taught to children.

divabeq said...

hehe. I can agree on the teaching of kids our own beliefs, but I'll hold onto the barring little kids from church services.

Read a book about brainwashing techniques and think back to the last church service you attended and you'll get it.