Recovering Catholic here...
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13-03-2018, 11:32 AM
RE: Recovering Catholic here...
(13-03-2018 11:26 AM)jason197754 Wrote:  Personally....Im way much more comfortable with pantheism than atheism..even though pantheism seems to be ilogical according to theists and atheists....

Imo, to each their own I say (as long as you are not standing in the way of science and education, hurting anything, or telling others how to live their lives). If pantheism makes you happy, then so be it. That said, I do think it's always a good idea to examine why you believe what you believe and hold it up to scrutiny and not just go by "the feels." Just my take on things. Smile
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13-03-2018, 11:33 AM
RE: Recovering Catholic here...
(13-03-2018 11:26 AM)jason197754 Wrote:  Personally....Im way much more comfortable with pantheism than atheism..even though pantheism seems to be ilogical according to theists and atheists....

That's only because it is illogical.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-05-2018, 08:00 PM
RE: Recovering Catholic here...
"Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear... Fear is the basis of the whole thing—fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death."
-Bertrand Russell

Catholicism, old and new, is still an important part of western culture. It is helpful to know something about it. Of course, in exactly the same way, it helps to understand a bit of ancient Greco-Roman tradition. The Catholic Church’s longstanding power is not a reason to believe in it. If you want culture, there are more places to look than Catholic Europe. You can like Catholic churches without having to like the Catholic Church. I might really like Buddhist art, but that doesn't mean I need to become a Buddhist.

Catholicism has no means of making you a better person. Catholicism, at the height of its power, did not create a moral utopia. Sts. Augustine and Aquinas were the two titans of Catholic thought, and got slavery wrong. They did view slavery as a product of a 'sinful world,' but they did not deny the right of slave owners to own other human beings, and permitted the practice. Some popes personally owned slaves. The Third Lateran Council recommended slavery as a punishment for heresy. The Church at its most influential was plagued by corruption, which is why there were so many Church councils, reform movements, etc. If you feel uncomfortable with a modern secular culture, Catholicism does not have a better world to offer you.

The Catholic Church possesses billions of dollars, after having spent billions on abuse cases. Who could ever justify such a fact? It is quite a stretch to suggest that a few vague verses of Matthew's Gospel justify all of the wealth and power granted to the Bishop of Rome. What is it all based on? Hans Kung writes this summation of Matthew 16:18, the alleged source of Petrine or Papal authority:

"[it is] not once quoted in full in the whole of Christian literature of the first two centuries, but is quoted for the first time in the second century by Tertullian, and then with reference, not to Rome, but to Peter; that not till the middle of the third century did a bishop of Rome-Stephen II, an early example of Roman authoritarianism who worked above all with the weapon of excommunication and abused the great St. Cyprian as a pseudo-apostle and pseudo-Christian-claim the better tradition by appealing to the pre-eminence of Peter; that it was not till the fourth century that Matthew 16:18f. was quoted (notably by the Roman Bishops Damasus and Leo) in support of a claim to primacy, though without any formal claim to infallibility; and, finally, that in the whole of the Eastern exegesis of Matthew 16:18 until the eighth century and beyond at most a personal primacy of Peter was thought of, without any idea of Roman primacy being seriously entertained."

In Mark's Gospel (the oldest of the four) there is no discussion of keys, Peter is not given special binding and loosing privileges. In chapter nine, the Apostles argue over the very question of who would be greatest among them. Jesus doesn't say "Peter, obviously" he says "Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Paul in Galatians clarifies his and Peter's roles, and says clearly that Peter is the apostle to the Jews (not infallible overlord, mind you) while he, Paul, is apostle to the Gentiles. This framework is completely alien to Catholic dogma, yet it is in the Bible, which in Catholic terms is as infallible as any Papal statement.

There is no good reason to believe in Catholicism. It has been historically opposed to the Enlightenment, Catholic conservatives will still occasionally take shots at modern science, even if they are not as bad on the issue as Protestant fundamentalists. Better to find your own identity, rather than clinging to fictive traditions. Conservative Catholics don't want you for their partner in an ancient culture, they want to use that culture to control you and assert their power over you. You should prize independence over that style of dogmatic conformity.
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14-05-2018, 02:15 AM
RE: Recovering Catholic here...
(13-05-2018 08:00 PM)DistantSecond2 Wrote:  "Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear... Fear is the basis of the whole thing—fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death."
-Bertrand Russell

Not really, that's a huge misconception. It's an intrinsic part of culture, and the development of people's shared cultural identity. It's based, primarily, on people wondering about who they are, where they come from, and what the meaning of life is.

Quote:They did view slavery as a product of a 'sinful world,' but they did not deny the right of slave owners to own other human beings, and permitted the practice. Some popes personally owned slaves.

Right, and they were also the first organisation, ever, that we know of to ban smoking indoors. In 1575. Were they 450 years ahead of their time?

Quote: In Mark's Gospel (the oldest of the four) there is no discussion of keys, Peter is not given special binding and loosing privileges. In chapter nine, the Apostles argue over the very question of who would be greatest among them. Jesus doesn't say "Peter, obviously" he says "Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Paul in Galatians clarifies his and Peter's roles, and says clearly that Peter is the apostle to the Jews (not infallible overlord, mind you) while he, Paul, is apostle to the Gentiles. This framework is completely alien to Catholic dogma, yet it is in the Bible, which in Catholic terms is as infallible as any Papal statement.

Peter, James, and John were the most prominent disciples immediately after the death of Jesus in the early church, and Peter was probably the first to have a christophany (a vision of Jesus) which explains his status.

Quote:There is no good reason to believe in Catholicism.

It's interesting how far some liberally minded Catholics are from the norm, one Roman Catholic scholar on Reddit said his undergrad mentor reckons that about 80% of source).

So to go back to your point, there's no good reason to believe certain things that Catholics teach - but belief is very flexible and some people are happy to disbelieve in the supernatural and call themselves Roman Catholic or whatever else.

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14-05-2018, 07:29 AM
RE: Recovering Catholic here...
It is an intrinsic part of culture and the history of civilization, but what underlies it? Primarily (Russell does not say exclusively) it is fear of life and fear of death that are at the heart of religion. Catholicism, for instance, is traditionally quite fixated on suffering and death.

Slavery is permitted and personally engaged in by certain popes, but indoor smoke? Yes, that’s gotta go.

Whatever else Peter does in the Bible, the main focus for Roman Catholic conservatives and apologists is Matthew 16. Those few vague verses are the dubious foundation for the vast wealth and power of the papacy.

I am pleased that the Cafeteria Catholics continue to prosper, yet they might do better as ex-Catholics.
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14-05-2018, 06:40 PM
RE: Recovering Catholic here...
(14-05-2018 02:15 AM)Aractus Wrote:  It's interesting how far some liberally minded Catholics are from the norm, one Roman Catholic scholar on Reddit said his undergrad mentor reckons that about 80% of source).

Sorry I must have messed that up somehow. He said his undergrad mentor reckons that about 80% of SBL NT scholars have been excommunicated from somewhere!

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14-05-2018, 07:25 PM
RE: Recovering Catholic here...
Quote:So to go back to your point, there's no good reason to believe certain things that Catholics teach


True of all variants of jesusism.

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14-05-2018, 09:59 PM
RE: Recovering Catholic here...
(14-05-2018 07:25 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  True of all variants of jesusism.

There are positive teachings as well. If you focus on only the positives you can sanitise the religion, read Brettler's book and his book chapter:

"Many who have just completed this book would guess that I, as its author, lack religious convictions altogether. After all, it is easy to read the previous pages as an acute case of "Bible bashing." I have emphasized the composite nature of the Bible, treating it as a human, rather than a divine, work. I have contextualized it in the ancient Near East, rather than treating it as a timeless book. I have made the following claims: the beginning of Genesis is a "myth"; the Exodus did not happen; and Joshua did not fight the battle of Jericho and make the walls come tumbling down. Further, I have stated that much of the material in the Bible's historical texts is not historical; that not everything found in the work known as Amos (or Isaiah, or Jeremiah, or Ezekiel) was written by Amos (or Isaiah, or Jeremiah, or Ezekiel); and that David composed none of the psalms. I have asserted that not only is the Song ol Songs a secular work, but that much of the Bible is also, for it was influenced by (secular) ideology as much as by religion.

"I am, in fact, an observant Jew. I take the Bible quite seriously in my personal life. It is not merely a book from which I make a living (as a teacher and author). Rather, it stands at the core of who I am as a person, and as a Jew.
...
"In a nutshell, here is my view of the Bible as a Jew: The Bible is a sourcebook that I —within my community—make into a textbook. I do so by selecting, revaluing, and interpreting the texts that I call sacred." (Brettler, 2005, pp.279-80)

"It is crucial, however, to engage in this reworking so that the ethical problems suggested by a literal reading of certain places of the Bible—xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia—are not transferred into the textbook. There is nothing extraordinary about this move—through its methods of interpretation, rabbinic Judaism has left behind certain biblical texts. For example, the rabbis “abolish” the horrific ḥeremor proscription law of Deuteronomy 7 and 20 by suggesting that we can no longer distinguish Canaanites and their subgroups, who are supposed to be massacred in an act of ethnic cleansing. The rabbis used interpretation to change what they perceived as wrong. The same option is available today." (Brettler in Brettler et al 2012, p.57)

"Sometimes, when confronting a particular issue, I find that all the biblical texts are problematic for one reason or another. In such cases, I must acknowledge that the Bible is an ancient text; it hails from a society fundamentally different from ours. Perhaps it has not always aged well. Therefore I must actively "translate" the text into terms that fit our society. This is extremely difficult to do with integrity, yet in some areas, especially concerning matters of sex and gender (what "real men" and "real women" do), it is the only workable approach." (Brettler 2005 p.281)

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20-05-2018, 03:25 PM
RE: Recovering Catholic here...
(17-02-2018 11:46 AM)jason197754 Wrote:  So...I decided to ditch the label of atheist last year and decided to call myself a pantheist...and I do believe in awe....wonder....mystery...as well as logic...reason and philosophy....I also started listening to Alan Watts lectures...he gets into Taoism/Daousm and philosophy and stuff like that...but he really seemed to be mixed up though....and I guess I got into a lot of....woo....and I still feel trapped in religion-Catholicism mentally and emotionally...

Any ideas...suggestions or advice??? Thank you...

As long as you understand that you are a recovering Cath-a-holic you have set yourself on the right path. The woo will go away soon enough as reason and common sense begin to grab a stronger foot-hold as time marches on.

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