Catholic Wanting Real Answers
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
14-02-2015, 03:22 PM
RE: Catholic Wanting Real Answers
(13-02-2015 04:06 PM)Suzanne Wrote:  I am doing my best to research and understand Catholic and Atheist perspectives on arguments. But I need help.

PLEASE: does any one have articles / books / audiobooks / other podcasts — any and all reliable** sources for such things as:
I know you've asked for resources, but I'll give you my opinions/questions instead for what they are worth to you.

(13-02-2015 04:06 PM)Suzanne Wrote:  1. Where did the Bible come from and can we trust it?
I like the idea of skepticism. If you are not skeptical then you are at major risk of being gullible.

I'm a firm believer in personal accountability, I don't feel that it makes any sense for an independent adult to delegate their own responsibilities out to other people. Sure you might feel that someone else is smarter than you on a particular topic. Especially a complex topic that you might be struggling to grasp. But even the smart folk get themselves tangled up in philosophies, preconceptions, beliefs etc. You really do need to (IMO) at least attempt to understand things that you find important.

Regarding the bible and whether you can trust it.
Depends on what you mean by "trust" and in what context.

The bible is sold not as fiction but as a historical account of Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus etc.
If you are interested in history, then do you think that anecdotal stories written by people (non eye witnesses) decades or hundreds of years after the events are a reliable account?
If you believe that God divinely guided the pen as humans wrote these stories then how can verify that this is true?
Do you think that it is acceptable that you are told not to doubt but instead to have faith and believe?

I have had a couple of attempts to read the bible but personally I didn't find it particularly interesting, nor particularly informative. The idea of all women being punished (with painful childbirth) for Eve eating a piece of fruit is particularly unfair and somewhat sadistic, the idea of women being subservient to men seems too misogynistic for me. Anyways, I didn't get far in the book but had read enough to decide it wasn't for me.


(13-02-2015 04:06 PM)Suzanne Wrote:  2. Truth about miracles such as weeping statues, the Eucharist being the true body and blood (Lanciano 8th century bleeding Eucharist miracle), Our Lady of Guadalupe ‘tilma’ maintaining a living human body temperature, Shroud of Terrain, etc.
The shroud seems pretty poor evidence.
Eucharist seems disgusting actually. Do you really want to eat the flesh of Jesus, drink his blood? Really?
It's just bread and wine isn't? Scientifically it registers as bread and wine, not human flesh. The idea of Transubstantiation sounds to me that someone is pulling a "Porky". There's no way to have come up with the idea of Transubstantiation other than an over active imagination tasked with trying to make sense of a nonsensical message in the bible. If you can't validate it then it is yet again another case of "Trust me, trust what I say, don't look for evidence, you need to have faith and believe..."


(13-02-2015 04:06 PM)Suzanne Wrote:  3. What are actual polls about relationships stating out there? I have read a few but wondering what polls my parents are giving as their information about divorce rates differ from my research.
You need to be careful about how trying to correlate cause and effect.
It is a fact that when ice cream consumption increases then drownings increase.
Does this mean that ice cream is the cause of increased drownings?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Stevil's post
16-02-2015, 09:28 AM
RE: Catholic Wanting Real Answers
That's a rough spot. Sorry to hear you're having so much trouble with this.

Firstly, I'm also in the boat of getting alot of backlash from my parents about living with my girlfriend. Personally I've never understood the big deal. We support each other, both emotionally and financially, we're happy, we entertain for friends, we both have good jobs, we have LOADS of sex, and for SOME crazy reason, we aren't murdering or raping or what have you, because of it.

The fact of the matter is, divorce rates don't really mean anything. Like someone else mentioned already, most religions frown upon divorce, so those people will do anything, including living in an abusive situation, to avoid divorcing, because they believe that their eternal reward is worth more than being happy now. I read somewhere awhile back that the divorce rates among non-religious people were actually basically the same as religious people (Actually a few percent lower, but we're talking a huge variation in the size of those two groups, so we'll discard that).

Seriously though, trying to claim some kind of authority on love/marriage from the Bible is RIDICULOUS!

Consider this: During the time period that the Bible was written, your typical "relationship" was that, as a man, you basically decided you were horny, wanted a wife, and then paid her father to take her home and start crankin' babies out.

Does that REALLY sound more healthy than spending a year or more getting to know your SO, building up trust, enjoying mutual interest, sharing goals, and then deciding that you want to spend the rest of your lives together? Do you REALLY want to trust the "relationship" standards of a primitive people who condoned slavery and rape? No. Absolutely not.

Moving on to your questions, I'm definitely not the smartest guy on the board when it comes to theological stuff, but one thing that really helped me out was looking into resource that pointed out errors in the bible, such as here:

http://bibviz.com/

It may not seem like much, these little things, but when you add them all up, and think about it, this is supposed to be the INFALLIBLE word of God. Why so many inconsistencies? Why would a being purposefully muddy up things like that? Just to give you one more hurdle in faith? Who does that? Take that, and then look at the other oddities, such as many stories in the Bible BLATANTLY copying other, and more importantly, MUCH OLDER stories, such as the death/resurrection of Jesus or the entire flood myth.

This book, that people claim is the BLACK AND WHITE AUTHORITY on morality, isn't even consistent, and people cherry-pick out what they want. How can this book be ABSOLUTELY CORRECT on what you're supposed to do with your life, and your relationship, if those who follow it can't even decide what parts are right, and what parts are just fancy analogies or metaphors, or can just say that "Oh, that part in the OT about rape is outdated, thats old law. Oh, but that part about gays? Totally on par. Excellent stuff"

When I got into this relationship I'm in now, I was still clinging onto faith. I personally made the decision to really sit down and do the research and get a good solid understanding of both sides, and by the end, I couldn't even go back to my church again, after opening my eyes to how much shit was going on . The manipulation, the indoctrination, the lying, the judgment, it was sickening.

That was my personal experience, and I definitely hope for the best for you on this issue. I agree with what other have said, that you should take this one step at a time. Focus on fixing YOU. Do whatever you need to do to feel HAPPY and SECURE in the decisions you make. This is your life, and ultimately, the choice is yours.

Hope this has helped, even a little. Good luck!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-02-2015, 03:26 PM
RE: Catholic Wanting Real Answers
Hi Everyone,

I have read all your replies -- Thank you for your support and links Smile I have so many tabs open on my laptop you wouldn't believe it.

I am setting up an appointment to talk to a Catholic priest I have known since I was 17. I am doing it as my parents have requested it. For the first time I feel like I'll be walking into the lion's den. Perhaps though, it will exemplify how I am not just falling away because I am luke-warm in my faith -- there are some serious questions that need answering. All this study support will help me articulate the next time I talk to a friend, priest, or family member.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Suzanne's post
16-02-2015, 03:31 PM
RE: Catholic Wanting Real Answers
This sounds good to me. Please share more!

(14-02-2015 12:12 AM)DLJ Wrote:  No offence intended to all the previous reply-ers who have offered you answers to your question ... which are all valid btw, but if you use any of these arguments you'll be heading down the wrong path.

That path ... that of trying to use rational arguments and evidence to demonstrate that your parents are wrong ... will lead to disunity, anger, strife, emotional torment for all parties.

You are dealing with a flawed epistemology (i.e. Faith) and you need to undermine that before you can make progress using an evidence-based epistemology.

Step back and reconsider... is that your real objective?

Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't your real objective more about getting your parents to accept the relationship and the living arrangements?

If so, the path you should take is one of demonstrating the benefits - love, happiness, contentment, greater likelihood of grandchildren Wink - of the new status quo.

If this is the case, the process to use is not one of debate but instead one of Relationship Management.

Lemme know if you'd like me to expand on the process of Relationship Management (3 goals, 5 practices and 24 activities).
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-02-2015, 03:48 PM (This post was last modified: 16-02-2015 03:54 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Catholic Wanting Real Answers
(13-02-2015 04:06 PM)Suzanne Wrote:  One month ago I told my parents I moved in with my boyfriend. My boyfriend and I had dated for over a year, and are always by each other’s side. My boyfriend comes from an Atheist background. His mom knows how close him and I are. My parents are Roman Catholics (so Catholic, they would go the Latin Rite masses if they could). I could not express nor reveal how much my boyfriend meant to me. I know they would say (and now have said ): I cannot have sexual relations outside of marriage. Pre-marital relationships divorce more than married ones. The Bible says it is wrong. If I have a child (and “because pre-marital relationships have a high rate of divorce”) that he or she would grow up with a lot of psychological strain and such effects as depressions etc.

My mother told me that “I am unhappy” (even if I “don’t realize it”), and will remain unhappy because it is wrong.

They are convinced I am going through something temporary, and that “God has a plan”.

For my 24th birthday they sent me a card:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” JER 29:11.

I listened to my parents my whole life and dared not speak up. I listened and discussed with some of my close atheist friends, but found it hard to articulate basic Christain ideas (ideas that crumble easily under my friend’s opposing statements and questions). My faith is suppose to be on ROCK and yet I feel like I am in quicksand of misinformation, contradictory stories, and false claims. I feel I have had the wool pulled over my eyes.

I am doing my best to research and understand Catholic and Atheist perspectives on arguments. But I need help.

PLEASE: does any one have articles / books / audiobooks / other podcasts — any and all reliable** sources for such things as:

1. Where did the Bible come from and can we trust it?

2. Truth about miracles such as weeping statues, the Eucharist being the true body and blood (Lanciano 8th century bleeding Eucharist miracle), Our Lady of Guadalupe ‘tilma’ maintaining a living human body temperature, Shroud of Terrain, etc.

3. What are actual polls about relationships stating out there? I have read a few but wondering what polls my parents are giving as their information about divorce rates differ from my research.

There is so much information out there. I’m hoping that perhaps, with your support, I may be able to read the best sources.

If there is anything scientifically supporting (or not supporting) Catholic recognized miracles, please help me find the links. I need truth. Please help!

Well, I think if you're looking for perspectives in support of the Catholic/Christian faith, you probably are in the wrong place. I'm probably one of the few believers here, and everyone else will likely give you a plethora of reasons to reject a belief in God, let alone the Christian God.

If your faith is sort of dangling on a series of supposed miracles, or whether the Bible stands up to historical scrutiny, the way in which our modern historical documents do, than I think you've reached the last and final days of belief, because none of this holds up well.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Tomasia's post
16-02-2015, 04:58 PM
RE: Catholic Wanting Real Answers
Hey Suzanne. Sending hugs. Hug

As a former Catholic, I definitely think you're on the right track with wanting to research the faith. It can be tricky to study the evidence/arguments on all sides with a critical eye when you are taught that faith is a virtue, but when I was finally able to master the skill, I came to conclusions on my own, rather than merely relying on others' opinions.

I would suggest reading the entire Bible at your convenience (which I'm finally doing, and learning TONS that I didn't know before), reading the catechism, and checking out the Catholic Encyclopedia (available for free online at http://www.newadvent.org). Also the writings of the church fathers/historians - Origen, Irenaeus, Eusebius, etc. - most are available in full-text form on New Advent. GWG is probably the best person to ask about biblical scholarship and historical analysis.

There are also tons of debates between leading atheists (the "New Atheists," scientists, historians, etc.) and apologists like Dinesh D'Souza and William Lane Craig on YouTube. They are generally pretty fun to watch, and you get both sides of the argument. You might also stumble upon debates between two theists, or between two atheists, which can also be informative.

Education is key. Not only will it help you figure out the answers to the questions you have, but it will also give you the courage you need to be your own person in a family that thinks they know what the right path is for your life. Parents can offer a lot of wisdom, but that doesn't mean they're right about everything. Wink

Several years ago, I went through what you're going through now. It'll get better. Heart
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Dahlia's post
16-02-2015, 08:01 PM
RE: Catholic Wanting Real Answers
Suzanne, please let me know if you have any questions. look through the links I posted to you, they go to specific posts from my resource library. I am well versed in the catholic christian persuasion as I got my official education in religious studies from saint leo university....thus I can speak the language so to speak. You will notice the books I referred you to were catholic/christian textbooks, those were some I had to have for classes, and I kept them as to know one's enemy is to defeat him. Reading through them with the critical eye allowed me to identify their weaknesses, the smoke and mirrors and waving aside of evidence they do to sell "the message" of the importance of faith...the belief in the unseen, unproven, transcendental world of god....i.e...fable and fiction. be strong, and engulf yourself in knowledge. PM or email me if you have any questions...

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes goodwithoutgod's post
17-02-2015, 01:26 PM
RE: Catholic Wanting Real Answers
(16-02-2015 03:48 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Well, I think if you're looking for perspectives in support of the Catholic/Christian faith, you probably are in the wrong place. I'm probably one of the few believers here, and everyone else will likely give you a plethora of reasons to reject a belief in God, let alone the Christian God.

If your faith is sort of dangling on a series of supposed miracles, or whether the Bible stands up to historical scrutiny, the way in which our modern historical documents do, than I think you've reached the last and final days of belief, because none of this holds up well.

Thanks for responding, Tomasia. I'm glad to see another voice in the mix. Thumbsup

Yes, I am here for the Atheist perspective. I have had some Catholic perspectives, but felt the need to not keep my understanding one-sided.

What denomination are you? What keeps your faith alive?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
17-02-2015, 05:08 PM
RE: Catholic Wanting Real Answers
(13-02-2015 04:06 PM)Suzanne Wrote:  One month ago I told my parents I moved in with my boyfriend. My boyfriend and I had dated for over a year, and are always by each other’s side. My boyfriend comes from an Atheist background. His mom knows how close him and I are. My parents are Roman Catholics (so Catholic, they would go the Latin Rite masses if they could). I could not express nor reveal how much my boyfriend meant to me. I know they would say (and now have said ): I cannot have sexual relations outside of marriage. Pre-marital relationships divorce more than married ones. The Bible says it is wrong. If I have a child (and “because pre-marital relationships have a high rate of divorce”) that he or she would grow up with a lot of psychological strain and such effects as depressions etc.

My mother told me that “I am unhappy” (even if I “don’t realize it”), and will remain unhappy because it is wrong.

They are convinced I am going through something temporary, and that “God has a plan”.

For my 24th birthday they sent me a card:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” JER 29:11.

I listened to my parents my whole life and dared not speak up. I listened and discussed with some of my close atheist friends, but found it hard to articulate basic Christain ideas (ideas that crumble easily under my friend’s opposing statements and questions). My faith is suppose to be on ROCK and yet I feel like I am in quicksand of misinformation, contradictory stories, and false claims. I feel I have had the wool pulled over my eyes.

I am doing my best to research and understand Catholic and Atheist perspectives on arguments. But I need help.

PLEASE: does any one have articles / books / audiobooks / other podcasts — any and all reliable** sources for such things as:

1. Where did the Bible come from and can we trust it?

2. Truth about miracles such as weeping statues, the Eucharist being the true body and blood (Lanciano 8th century bleeding Eucharist miracle), Our Lady of Guadalupe ‘tilma’ maintaining a living human body temperature, Shroud of Terrain, etc.

3. What are actual polls about relationships stating out there? I have read a few but wondering what polls my parents are giving as their information about divorce rates differ from my research.

There is so much information out there. I’m hoping that perhaps, with your support, I may be able to read the best sources.

If there is anything scientifically supporting (or not supporting) Catholic recognized miracles, please help me find the links. I need truth. Please help!

Now i know this won't probably be helpful, or consoling to you... but i still feel it must be said.

I could post a million articles disproving biblical miracles. And for each of those articles, i could post at least 1 other article that disproves it.... and so on and so forth. And this is the problem with finding answers to these types of questions...... there is absolutely no consensus on anything of this nature..... Sometimes it just pays to have a little private talk with yourself..... lay out what you know, what you think, and what you think you know, and piece a picture together one piece at a time. You are a very intelligent person, and i am sure you will find your own path that works for you.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes ResistenceXD0001's post
17-02-2015, 07:04 PM (This post was last modified: 17-02-2015 07:11 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Catholic Wanting Real Answers
(17-02-2015 01:26 PM)Suzanne Wrote:  Thanks for responding, Tomasia. I'm glad to see another voice in the mix. Thumbsup
...
What denomination are you?

I'm not too sure which denomination I belong to. I often attend an evangelical church, but that's because I like the community and sincerity of the believers there. It's a church with some remarkably good people, but I don't think I'd classify myself as an evangelical. I do have an affinity for Catholic thinkers, my favorite theologian is a Jesuit priest, the late, great, Herbert Mccabe. But I don't think I'd classify myself as a Catholic either. I think I'm just some of run-of-the-mill believer.

Quote:What keeps your faith alive?

When I was younger none of it really made any sense, I would sit in church and go through the movements, but had no real connection to any of it. I moved away, didn't believe in much of anything. I saw the world one way, and then one day I saw it all differently. That there's more to the story of the crazy jew that got strung up, then all that we so casually dismiss, that he saw the world differently too. And once the world is seen in such a way, there's no unseeing it, and that's what keeps my faith alive. I don't know how not to believe.

....

"An hour later, going back to my hotel, I ran into a peasant woman with a nursing baby. She was a young woman, and the baby was about six weeks old. And the baby smiled at her, as far as she’d noticed, for the first time since it was born. I saw her suddenly cross herself very, very piously. ‘What is it, young woman?’ I say. (I was asking questions all the time then.) ‘It’s just that a mother rejoices,’ she says, ‘when she notices her baby’s first smile, the same as God rejoices each time he looks down from heaven and sees a sinner standing before him and praying with all his heart.’ The woman said that to me, in almost those words, and it was such a deep, such a subtle and truly religious thought, a thought that all at once expressed the whole essence of Christianity, that is, the whole idea of God as our own father, and that God rejoices over man as a father over his own child—the main thought of Christ! A simple peasant woman! True, she’s a mother … and, who knows, maybe this woman was that soldier’s wife. Listen, Parfyon, you asked me earlier, here is my answer: the essence of religious feeling doesn’t fit in with any reasoning, with any crimes and trespasses, or with any atheisms; there’s something else here that’s not that, and it will eternally be not that; there’s something in it that atheisms will eternally glance off, and they will eternally be talking not about that.”

-Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Tomasia's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: