Scientist blames Vatican dogma for AIDS pandemic
Posted: 03 December 2005 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Scientist blames Vatican dogma for AIDS pandemic

By Annabel Crabb, London
December 4, 2005 (from The Age )

AUSTRALIA'S most distinguished expatriate scientist, Lord May of Oxford, has launched an attack on the Catholic Church, blaming Vatican policy for the spread of AIDS in the Third World.

Lord May said that the Vatican's opposition to the use of condoms was an example of "dogma" leading to the deliberate misrepresentation of facts, at great human cost.

The Sydney-born scientist's words came in his final speech delivered as president of Britain's Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific organisation, past presidents of which include Isaac Newton and Joseph Banks.

Speaking in London, Lord May described AIDS as a pandemic, with more than 40 million people infected across the world. He quoted a UN report from June that said effective and essential prevention strategies "reach only a fraction of those who need them".

"The dissemination and adoption of successful prevention strategies is being seriously hindered by arguments over the role that contraception in the form of condoms should play. This controversy has nothing to do with a scientific assessment of the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the transmission of HIV, but rather derives from religious beliefs against the use of contraception," Lord May said.

"The Vatican promotes abstinence outside marriage, and condemns condom use. This disapproval … is not an effective strategy for preventing dissemination of HIV, not least because unprotected sex with an infected individual is high risk regardless of whether the act is intended for procreation or recreation. With added support from fundamentalist groups, these arguments have the effect that aid from the US for tackling HIV/AIDS seems usually to be tied to promoting abstinence and condemning condom use."

Lord May is a pioneer in the use of mathematical theory to analyse the spread of disease in populations. He harbours a strong resentment against the Vatican for what he believes is an unforgivable denial of reality.

While he has not attacked the Catholic Church publicly before, he stated at a private seminar in the early 1990s, his belief that the Pope had been responsible "for more deaths than Hitler" through Vatican policy on contraception.

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Posted: 03 December 2005 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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ABOUT TIME SOMEBODY SAID IT!!

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http://powerlessnolonger.com

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Posted: 03 December 2005 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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You poor folks, you are always trying to get around the rules and laws that God established for mankind, to no avail.

God says don’t have sex outside of marriage or you will have problems (and we know that includes disease, unwanted pregnancies, broken hearts, lost innocence, and other problems). BUT WAIT, you mankind says, don’t worry about what God says, go ahead, here is a condom. And we know that condoms are not a 100% guarantee against disease, or even pregnancy. And we know that condoms may shield one physically (and taking away from the sheer physical pleasure that God intended), but does not shield one emotionally. So this is one rule that man tries to skirt around, to no avail.

Another rule is that if you have sex, you probably will get pregnant. BUT WAIT, mankind says, don’t worry about an inconvenience such as a living being (i.e., a poor, helpless, child), we’ll just reach in there and destroy it for you. Good heavens, we certainly don’t want to cause you anxiety in reaching your career or personal goals by holding your feet to the fire for committing a sin and having sex outside of holy matrimony. Heck, we’ll even destroy that little baby up to 2 minutes before it pops it’s precious little head out of your womb. Don’t worry!! Man will take care of everything for you….

In the end, the Catholic Church was right all along. Abstinence beats out condoms any day. Abstinence protects you physically as well as emotionally. And God wants you filled with joy, not stressing out about consequences from fleeting pleasure.

So, I categorically reject the observations of Lord May of Oxford. Rather, I suppose, this is another case where booksmarts does not translate into street smarts. Ole Lord May of Oxford will have to explain himself to the Almighty one day, in why he attacked the Body of Christ for doing a good work (i.e., shielding people physically, mentally, and emotionally through abstinence, thereby allowing them to be filled with the spirit instead of weighed down with the yoke of bondage via a sexual sin.)

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-29

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Posted: 04 December 2005 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

There’ll be a lot of popes and priests reaping a lot of injury then in the next life. Oh, wait, they’re forgiven aren’t they? Let’s hope ‘Ole Lord May will be reaping a whole bunch of good advice in hell then!

But rather: “How dare you try to ward AIDS off your fellow man! Now suffer excruciatingly!”

Really.

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Posted: 04 December 2005 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”]You poor folks, you are always trying to get around the rules and laws that God established for mankind, to no avail.

The only rules and laws that we can be sure of, are the ones that can be demonstrably proven.  It is the Christians (and other religious folk) that try to get around those laws that govern our world.

God says don’t have sex outside of marriage or you will have problems (and we know that includes disease, unwanted pregnancies, broken hearts, lost innocence, and other problems). BUT WAIT, you mankind says, don’t worry about what God says, go ahead, here is a condom. And we know that condoms are not a 100% guarantee against disease, or even pregnancy. And we know that condoms may shield one physically (and taking away from the sheer physical pleasure that God intended), but does not shield one emotionally. So this is one rule that man tries to skirt around, to no avail.

What utter hypocrisy.  Why isn’t the church teaching against all the various weight control medicines that are being developed?  After all, healthy diet and exercise is the best way to keep a healthy weight, and the Bible (to its credit, I suppose) advocates just that.  The bottom line is that people are going to have sex with multiple partners, and they are not always going to eat well.  This is a reality, and even your book of fairy tales does not tell you otherwise (sin nature, after all).  So, the question is, given that two people are going to engage in sex, but don’t know each others disease status, or are not ready for children, is it better for them to use protection, or not?

Another rule is that if you have sex, you probably will get pregnant. BUT WAIT, mankind says, don’t worry about an inconvenience such as a living being (i.e., a poor, helpless, child), we’ll just reach in there and destroy it for you. Good heavens, we certainly don’t want to cause you anxiety in reaching your career or personal goals by holding your feet to the fire for committing a sin and having sex outside of holy matrimony. Heck, we’ll even destroy that little baby up to 2 minutes before it pops it’s precious little head out of your womb. Don’t worry!! Man will take care of everything for you….

This is a gross misrepresentation, and you know it!  Firstly, the notion that sex has a high probability of resulting in pregnancy is utterly false.  In point of fact, biologists now recognize that that sperm have at least three distinct age ranges, and, based on these age ranges, they have different functions, and also have different chances of causing impregnation.  In addition, it is now well known that if, and when, and how many times a woman climaxes, in relation to when the man climaxes, has a real impact on the odds of getting pregnant.  Finally, we now know that, on average, every single man, woman, and child is the result of “sperm warfare” within the last five generations.  That is to say, that you, and everyone else, are the product of many instances where the sperm from two (or more) men did battle for the right to fertilize a single egg.

The age of sperm, and the varying “duties” is a fascinating story.  Young sperm are the “fighters”, and are adept at doing battle with the sperm of another man.  Middle aged sperm are ideally suited to fertilize eggs.  Older sperm hang around, and act as “guards” to ward off the sperm of other men.  One might wonder why this is important, but the importance becomes obvious when one consideres the frequency of sexual intercourse in the progression of a relationship.  Early in a relationship, sexual frequency will be high.  Thus, the man will have a disproportionately high number of young sperm, which are good at killing off other sperm, and preventing him from being a father to another’s child.  As the relationship progresses, and frequency declines, more middle aged sperm will increase the chance of impregnation.  After children, as sexual frequency drops still further, the purpose of the sperm, now mostly older, is to prevent another man from impregnating the woman, by hanging around as guards.  The key, though, is that sexual frequency determines the ratio of young, medium, and old sperm.

The role that a woman’s orgasm plays on impregnation is similarly interesting.  If a woman climaxes at nearly the same time that a man climaxes, it acts to give substantial assistance to the sperm making their way to the egg.  Shortly after climax, however, the environment becomes considerably more toxic for sperm.  Thus, if the woman climaxes well before the man, and/or multiple times, it actually reduces the likelyhood of getting pregnant.

Modern birth control is merely a method for achieving greater precision over when a woman gets pregnant.

Ad far as abortion is concerned, none of the abortion advocates rejoice when abortions are performed.  Bill Clinton, Al Franken, and many more of your favorite liberals all take the same stand:  Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

I’m going to take some time out, though, to address a really ugly, but true aspect of human nature.  Throughout history, women have killed their children.  It still happens today, from time to time.  Women kill their children because of stress.  They kill their children because they want to be more desirable to new man.  Whatever the reason, it is clear, although highly unpleasant to think about, that there is an instinct in women, which, if triggered, can result in infanticide.  We also know, however, that women with better prospects in life are less inclined to kill their children, either before or after birth.  Christianity actually promotes misery and suffering, by compelling people from ignoring these truths, and thus not putting them to practical use.

In the end, the Catholic Church was right all along. Abstinence beats out condoms any day. Abstinence protects you physically as well as emotionally. And God wants you filled with joy, not stressing out about consequences from fleeting pleasure.

The Catholic Church has not been consistent all along, so they cannot possibly have been right all along.  The Catholic Church, once upon a time, supported prostitution, believing that men who didn’t have enough sex were likely to go crazy from the built up pressure that they thought resulted.  Oddly enough, this view may be marginally closer to the truth than their current view.  There is plenty of evidence to support the notion that, for most people, a healthy sex life is an important part of leading a happy and fulfilled life.

So, I categorically reject the observations of Lord May of Oxford. Rather, I suppose, this is another case where booksmarts does not translate into street smarts. Ole Lord May of Oxford will have to explain himself to the Almighty one day, in why he attacked the Body of Christ for doing a good work (i.e., shielding people physically, mentally, and emotionally through abstinence, thereby allowing them to be filled with the spirit instead of weighed down with the yoke of bondage via a sexual sin.)

Only in your twisted fundamentalist mind does an action which increases the number of deaths qualify as “protecting” people.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

Like sowing bad advice which results in people getting sick and dying?

-Matt

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Posted: 04 December 2005 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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This is a gross misrepresentation, and you know it! Firstly, the notion that sex has a high probability of resulting in pregnancy is utterly false. In point of fact, biologists now recognize that that sperm have at least three distinct age ranges, and, based on these age ranges, they have different functions, and also have different chances of causing impregnation.

Come on now, that’s a bit unfair isn’t it?  Hitting the poor guy with science.  I think in retaliation, he should throw some more bible quotes at you.  That’ll show ya.  wink

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Posted: 04 December 2005 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“sjkebab”]Come on now, that’s a bit unfair isn’t it?  Hitting the poor guy with science.  I think in retaliation, he should throw some more bible quotes at you.  That’ll show ya.  wink

LOL

Thanks, that chuckle did me good.  It might be unfair, and it is almost certainly pointless, but I just came back from a family function, where there was a Christian radio broadcast on in the background, and since decorum (and a desire not to get into a shouting match with the family) kept me from pointing out the insane assertions there, I suppose I am taking it out on Champ. 

Sorry Champ, I should try to be more civil, but I do stand by my arguments, as I know you stand by yours.

Random thought:  If you were stranded on an island with an amazingly beautiful woman, and no hope of rescue, but with a functionally unlimited supply of condoms, what would you do?  Would you be able to resist temptation, and not sleep with her, because you were not married?  Would you decide that, as a result of the circumstances, God would understand, and that you could exchange vows without things being “official”?  If so, would you use the condoms, knowing that childbirth would be incredibly dangerous for both the child and the mother, due to the lack of medical supplies?

-Matt

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Posted: 04 December 2005 07:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Lorenzium makes some excellent points regarding the biology of procreation. Keep up the good work. For some good references read up on the cross cultural(looking at several cultural groups) work done by cultural and physical anthropologists dealing with “birth spacing” and infanticide.

It is interesting that the Catholic church pushes for the use of no contraceptives, yet Italy as one of the highest uses of contraceptives, and they have ZPG. So even the most Catholic of countries ignores the idiotatic dogma of the church.

Secondly, why should African and South Asians suffer from policies developed by christian countries, when the majority of those effected by this policy are not even christian and have their own religious beliefs. George Carlton (spelling?) said it best - religion is like a lift in the shoe, it makes you walk a bit taller and you feel better, but please don’t go around nailing lifts onto the native’s feet.

I basically ignore the rantings of this TheChampion fellow. He is simply baiting you with his arguements, hoping to get a rise out of someone. Nothing we can say will change his mind - he is an example where logic, reason, and common sense will not win, and beliefs and emotion win. I suggest the everyone carry on a dialog and just not respond to his spewings. I have always found fellows like him to be the most hypecritical - G_d’s law above Man’s crap - when he knows he has to support Man’s (e.g. society’s) laws or he would be in jail for none payment of taxes or homicide - for killing someone like me who routinely (after hitting my thumb with a hammer while nailing) “Jesus F#%^ing Christ”. Enough said.

I will participate in a good logical, reasoned discourse with anyone else who chooses to do the same.

Cheers,
Anthro

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Posted: 05 December 2005 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”]You poor folks, you are always trying to get around the rules and laws that God established for mankind, to no avail.

Jaboc, King David, Solomon didn’t obey those rules and last two were rewarded by god by getting to write parts of the bible.

But maybe this is evolution at work, AIDS kills off superstitous third world people, the only places in the world where religion is taken seriously. Leaving secular comdom wearers like me to live and breed.

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Posted: 05 December 2005 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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A couple of questions for those who know better than myself.

What’s the official church stance on the withdrawal method?  Although a (near) useless form of contraception, it’s still nonetheless contraception.  And so stemming from this question, what’s wrong with one form of contraception (eg condoms) and fine about another?

Secondly, what’s the stance of (orthadox) Judaism and Islam regarding contraception?  Does it differ from christianity?  All of these religions advocate marriage before sex, and I assume this is something to do with parenthood out of wedlock.  Based on this, my assumption would be that these religions have equal views regarding contraception.  Is this true?

Cheers peoples

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Posted: 05 December 2005 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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I can’t speak for Judaism and Christianity but I do know a thing or two about Islam.

Actually, here’s the answer for you right here, answered by Sheikh al-Munajjid of Islam-qa.com

Question :

  On the first night after getting married, can one use contraception ( e.g condom ) or should this not be allowed. This is because it may be possible (by the will of Allah) for my future wife to get pregnant, but we may not choose to have children so early in our marriage.Please advise.

Here’s the answer, but I’ll have to translate some of it.


Answer :

  Praise be to Allaah. 

  It is permissible to engage in coitus interruptus if a person does not want a child, and it is also permissible to use a condom, but that is subject to the condition that the wife gives her permission for that, because she has the right to full enjoyment and also to have a child. The evidence for that is the hadeeth of Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: We used to engage in coitus interruptus at the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). News of that reached the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he did not forbid us to do that. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 250; Muslim, 160

[My note: the hadeeth above is actually referring to the slave-girls that Muhammad’s companions would get on their jihad expeditions. More on this after the shaikh has finished]

[color=green]  Although that is permitted, it is nevertheless makrooh (trans: disliked) and intensely disliked. Muslim (1442) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about coitus interruptus and he said: “That is the secret burying alive of infants.” This indicates that it is strongly disliked.

  Al-Nawawi said:

  Coitus interruptus means intercourse in which, when ejaculation approaches, the man withdraws and ejaculates outside the vagina. It is makrooh (disliked) in our view in all circumstances and with all women, whether the woman consents to that or not, because it is a means of preventing offspring. Hence in the hadeeth it is called “the secret burying alive of children,” because it cuts off the means of producing offspring, like killing a newborn by burying him or her alive. With regard to it being haraam (forbidden), our companions said that it was not forbidden…

  These ahaadeeth (trans: pl. of hadeeth) and others, when taken in conjunction, may be understood as meaning that it is makrooh, but not strongly so, and the reports in which permission is given for that may be understood as meaning that it is not haraam; they do not mean that it is not makrooh.

  It is better for the Muslim not to do that, unless there is a need for it, such as if the woman is sick and cannot cope with a pregnancy or it would be too difficult for her or would cause her harm. Also, coitus interruptus cancels out one of the purposes of marriage, which is to have a lot of children, and it also means that the woman’s pleasure is incomplete.

  See also question no. 3767 . ( source )

To sum it up: contraception is allowed in Islam but disliked in a mild manner.

————-

Now, for the sake of interest, the issue of coitus interruptus was first brought to Muhammad when his poor companions who had been fighting so hard for the cause of Allah, who had left their wives at home for Allah, - felt horny. Rather than doing the noble thing and allowing his warrior companions a week or so off to visit their wives, he allowed them to sleep with the female slaves they captured in war. Here are some relevant hadeeths.

————-

Narrated Ibn Muhairiz: “I saw Abu Sa’eed and asked him about coitus interruptus . Abu Sa’eed said, ‘We went with Allah’s Apostle, in the Battle of Bani Al-Mustaliq and we captured some of the Arabs as captives, and the long separation from our wives was pressing us hard and we wanted to practice coitus interruptus. We asked Allah’s Apostle (whether it was permissible). He said, ‘It is better for you not to do so. No soul, (that which Allah has) destined to exist, up to the Day of Resurrection, but will definitely come, into existence.’” (Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 718 [The Book of Manumission of Slaves].)

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said while he was sitting with Allah’s Messenger: “O Allah’s Messenger! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?” The Prophet said, “Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.” (Bukhaari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 432 [The Book of Sales and Trade])

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri also reported that at the Battle of Hunain, Allah’s Messenger sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger seemed to refrain from having intercourse with the captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that: “And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (4:24)” (i. e. they were lawful for them when their ‘Idda period came to an end). (Muslim, Book 8, No. 3432.) [* The ‘idda is the period when a woman’s menstrual cycle is complete. That is, the companions had to wait until she had her period to ensure she wasn’t pregnant. When that was confirmed, they could then “go in unto” them.]

————-

The first hadeeth explains that the companions were away from their wives for a prolonged period of time, so naturally, they felt desirous. They wanted to relieve themselves using the slaves, so they sought Muhammad’s permission and it was granted.

The second hadeeth shows that they wanted to do coitus interruptus because they were “interested in their prices”, i.e. they didn’t want the female slaves to get pregnant because then they would be responsible for the children and would have to marry them (as Islamic law dictates). Rather, what they wanted was to use them for sex and then sell them at the slave market and earn a “good price”.

The third hadeeth shows that these women, in many cases, were still married to their (obviously) polytheist husbands – but slavery in Islam automatically annuls the previous marriage – so they asked Muhammad about it and he allowed them to have sex with them, preferring them not to withdraw, but not forbidding.

So there you go. If you ever capture a slave girl or several in war, forget about her previous husband (damn polytheist!), pull out before you cum, and then sell her down the local market for a good price! Ah, the mercy of Allah’s ways.

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Posted: 06 December 2005 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Lorenzium,
Assuming you know your topic (and I have nothing to go on to doubt that you do), I learned something from your posting. Being truely ignorant (in the true sense of the word) of the details of Islam, I find it facinating that Mohammed actually needed to solve serious morale and social issues for his armies. It appears that he just didn’t dictate some “commandment”, but saw a problem and adjusted what is accepted behavior within Islam.

This seems to differ from the Old Testament stuff with G_d sending down all these edicts for people to follow. Sorta like the difference between an employee run religion and a CEO run religion (Ken Lay as energy G_d).

The polytheistic religions that were conquered, is there a mention of who they were? Greeks, Romans, Hindus; or were the battles were faught?  I am wondering what other historical or archaeological sources might be available to provide more details about the people and locations of these wars/battles.

Cheers,
Anthro

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Posted: 06 December 2005 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Hi Anthro,

In order not to let this subject get derailed too far, I’m gonna put a reply to your questions in the Islamic section. Should be up in an hour or so.

Cheers.


————-

UPDATE: Here it is .

[ Edited: 06 December 2005 05:30 PM by ]
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Posted: 06 December 2005 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Sounds good to me - so I’ll re-post my initial question.

What’s the official church stance on the withdrawal method? Although a (near) useless form of contraception, it’s still nonetheless contraception. And so stemming from this question, what’s wrong with one form of contraception (eg condoms) and fine about another?

Secondly, what’s the stance of (orthadox) Judaism and Islam (islam’s done - see lorenzium’s post above) regarding contraception? Does it differ from christianity? All of these religions advocate marriage before sex, and I assume this is something to do with parenthood out of wedlock. Based on this, my assumption would be that these religions have equal views regarding contraception. Is this true?

Cheers peoples

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Posted: 11 December 2005 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”]You poor folks, you are always trying to get around the rules and laws that God established for mankind, to no avail.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

So…..God is responsible for the creation of all things…even the HIV virus ...and every other microbe….

or is god the intelligent designer of this virus?

WELL done god…thanks for that one mate!

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Posted: 11 December 2005 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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[quote author=“sjkebab”]A couple of questions for those who know better than myself.

What’s the official church stance on the withdrawal method?  Although a (near) useless form of contraception, it’s still nonetheless contraception.  And so stemming from this question, what’s wrong with one form of contraception (eg condoms) and fine about another?

Its against gods law to ‘spill seed’...especially on the back of a camel.

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