The Wisdom of the Popes
Posted: 11 August 2007 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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"Even the most docile forms of Christianity currently present insuperable obstacles to AIDS prevention and family planning in the developing world, to medical research, and to the development of a rational drug policy - and these contributions to human misery alone constitute some of the most appalling failures of reasonableness in any age." - Sam Harris, in 'The End of Faith'.

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 24 October 2007 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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As a person who still has a small toe still caught in the door of the catholic church (spousal issue), posts like this leave me feeling startled at how brainwashed a person can become.  I began as a rational person, but my husband insisted that we be catholic when we got engaged.  So eager to please him, I agreed and spent the next 12 years of my life struggling to remain catholic.  The idea that anyone is supposed to believe that preventing conception by anything but abstinence is a mortal sin - worthy of the fires of hell - is absurd and ridiculous.  After each of my miscarriages, christians tried to comfort me by assuring me my blighted ova were children in heaven.  It didn’t comfort me then, and it was always a stretch to believe when I did cling to that faith.

I am sure that I will soon become reviled and subconsciously feared by those in my sphere of existence (especially here in the bible belt): an atheist, ex-orthodox Roman Catholic, thinking woman, IT Administrator turned Registered Nurse with a BS in biology.  Please keep me in your prayers - bwahahaha!  Just kidding.  smile

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Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home.
          —Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

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Posted: 24 October 2007 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Sounds just like my mom’s dilemma when she married, SSCoop. I think she maintained the charade for about 20 years before gradually extracting herself. . . which eventually provided the rest of us with the permission to question. There are eight of us kids, but only three stuck with the church, and only two of those are devout—devout in ways that have alienated them from more than just our family. . . The anti-gay stance of one brother has kept him (and his four children) parted from my younger sister (bi-sexual) for 20 years, even though they had been best buds up until her confession to him. Another brother boards at various Catholic monestaries (!!!), living an ascetic existence. He’s a journalist major and a PhD in various languages, so he writes papers and does translations for them. The third believer is, drumroll, the bi-sexual sister, who has never hurt a flea, but loves Catholic ritual, while seeming to turn a blind eye to biblically-based laws which would reduce her to a spiritually ill fornicator.

Personally, I don’t get it—hanging onto a framework that is so very UN-loving, for all its claims to the contrary—but we often see extremely nice people seeking affiliation with religion, if only to help them make sense of why they themselves are nice and kind. It’s as if they’re uncomfortable accepting that they’re just that way. . . but the church offers an explanation: God made them this way, through his grace.

Welcome to the forum : ), and best of luck with the family situation there.

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Welcome to Planet Earth, where Belief masquerades as Knowledge!

This way to the Unasked Questions—->
<—- This way to the Unquestioned Answers

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Posted: 24 October 2007 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Thanks, Mia.  I have a sister who’s a lesbian.  When I found out on my own (when I was in college), I was first angry that she hadn’t trusted me with the truth, and then I was torn by what I knew the bible and catechism said on the matter.  What turned the tide for me was that I realized I couldn’t pass judgment on her when I was having premarital sex with my soon-to-be fiance. 

Part of my own roller coaster with faith was due to my previously undiagnosed struggles with a form of bipolar disorder.  When I felt bad, I thought I wasn’t doing enough religiously and would begin to pray more, go to confession more often, pray more rosaries, etc.  The irrational guilt and fear or hell were intense.  Once things got really bad, I let myself forget about anything that wasn’t directly related to surviving.  What a relief!  Now on the right medication, therapy, etc, I’ve been able to see things more clearly.  One of the things that has really bothered me is: if christians were really being faithful to the “inerrant word of god,” they would have long ago proclaimed me possessed by demons or the devil.  I would have been beaten, exorcised or committed for life.  I’m sure it still happens in backwater/country areas.

My husband is currently convinced I’m in the seemingly never-ending cycle of belief to non-belief that I’ve been going through over the years because of mental instability.  I keep reminding him I’ve been stable for about a month now, and it’s been the same amount of time since I stopped practicing catholicism.  (Not to claim cause and effect, but perhaps religion as a factor exacerbating and triggering the latent disease.)

Sorry to fall off topic.

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Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home.
          —Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

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Posted: 24 October 2007 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Mia - 24 October 2007 06:11 PM

Personally, I don’t get it—hanging onto a framework that is so very UN-loving, for all its claims to the contrary—but we often see extremely nice people seeking affiliation with religion, if only to help them make sense of why they themselves are nice and kind. It’s as if they’re uncomfortable accepting that they’re just that way. . . but the church offers an explanation: God made them this way, through his grace.

I didn’t get it either but I recently heard an argument that makes a lot of sense of this.
It is made by Christopher Hitchens and he points out that Xianity appeals both to the self-centeredness and solipsism ( Yes, I have learned a new word ) and our desire to be a serf and be rid of all our responsibilities.

Between these polar extremes, and with the aid of an old book chuck-full of contradictions and gibberish, a space is created where apparently many people can find some sort of appealing mirage to hang on to.

I wish I could phrase is better but I hope you know what I am getting at.

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“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools.
But that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever.”

From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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