(07-06-2011 03:38 AM)The_observer Wrote: I always thought it was rather strange for a person to stay religious even after being presented all the counter apologetics...
I'd make the observation that your list is probably spot on. Though with regard to the Belgium Archbishop you mention, intelligent and gentle not withstanding, his comments regarding the children that were raped by clergy lends the impression not only was he a co-conspirator in the cover-up but may very well be a participant in the deviant acts. His statement of dismissal as it relates to the impact of rape of a child is very often one that pedophiles make when excusing their deviant behavior against their victim(s). "Oh come now, it wasn't that bad was it?"
I think Pascal's Wager is far reaching in many respects when it comes to clergy. Priests tend to be highly educated men, often times well before they enter the seminary. So to delve as deeply as they must into the origin of religion and the history of the advent of institutionalized faith, and still cleave to the notion it's all true serves as an example of elective rational discrimination for the facts. Choosing to be blinded by faith, as it were.
Often times I think it so happens because of egotism. Being what many consider the oracle or emissary between humanity and an invisible all powerful supreme being. Commanding an archdiocese, a community church, the worlds billions of catholic population, millions of viewers on cable, etc... And being paid well and thus garner the station of a supreme being in one's own right, above reproach, is the ultimate gratification.
I knew a Priest who later moved to New Hampshire. He use to tease me and say he'd say a hail Mary before his lead foot touched the pedal of his new car. Which ever year's Cadillac edition he found himself driving. City cops in our area garner promotions per the quota of tickets they write. So a wet behind the ear cadet one stripper fresh out of the academy is a sure fire ticket, for just about anything he/she witnesses of someone in violation. All except for Frank.
I told him his god must love him best, as one day he accounted how he'd been let go in a speed trap, doing 50 in a 35. It's the collar, he beamed. As he tugged at his neck that was red from pretending to have an ego, and then he smiled relieved he'd gotten away with yet another citation.
I can imagine how it would look to be a cop with a receipt book including a ticket to a Priest serving at the local Catholic church/school. It's the perks one has to look forward too when they can't have women, I guess.
Thankfully though, not all ministers or clergy set aside the intellect in order to live the mythology. Many leave the Priesthood and turn atheist.
There's hope for the world yet.
But how long's that going to take?