Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
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04-04-2011, 01:24 AM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
I'm with BnW. The Pope and most of his Bishops and Cardinals should be on trial for their crimes against humanity. If it was any other organization that systematically covered up the sexual abuse of thousands of children by it's employees, the public would be demanding they all be immediately prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The way to see by Faith, is to shut the eye of Reason. - Ben Franklin
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05-04-2011, 12:27 AM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
Hey Ghost

I will change my post to not put burden of proof on you. I will keep the questions that you didn't answer.

Is history of an organisation to be totally ignored when considering what they are doing now?

Are their present actions not apart of who they are, like their past actions were?

Does this mean I have to welcome the pope with open arms and no suspicion about his future deeds, no matter what I have seen?

I don't remember where all the documentation that brings me to this suspicion is now. It covered years of input, so I can't just find it and post it for you. Does that mean I have to totally ignore all that because I can't produce it for your perusal?

I removed the line that asks you for proof. Now will you answer these questions?

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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05-04-2011, 09:09 AM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
Hey, No. J.

Ok. Let's get specific here. When presented with the report that, "A new Vatican initiative to promote dialogue between believers and atheists debuted with a two-day event on Thursday and Friday (March 24-25) in Paris," which was a report about something that had already occurred, you said:

Quote:I suspect that this may be a ploy to get into the heads of some atheists with the express idea of;

1. learning how to convert some atheists into catholics.
2. learning more about athiest arguements so as to be better prepared for conquering us in debates.
3. learning anything they can about us so that they can keep us looking like devil worshippers.

Yes I am skeptical. I will change my mind when, and if, I see enough PROOF that their intentions are what they say they are.

You suspect that their initiative to open a dialogue with Atheists was not (you said "may be" future tense) about dialogue, but that it was/is a ploy to get into the heads of Atheists to learn how to convert them, to better conquer them in debates and keep Atheists looking like devil worshipers.

That is exceptionally specific. It's not, I think there's something nefarious going on, it's not, I don't trust them because of their past, it's a very specific accusation. That accusation is based on NOTHING. You invented it. That's the single issue. It's as baseless as Atheists are devil worshipers and Barak Obama is a secret Muslim. If you can't see that, so be it.

Quote:Is history of an organisation to be totally ignored when considering what they are doing now?

No. But it only has an impact when it is relevant.

If you can show me a part of the Catholic Church's history, or even allude to it, that demonstrates a track record of using initiatives for opening dialogue with groups they are in conflict with as a platform for undermining that group, then yes, their history would have everything to do with it. But I don't think that the historical link of their past and your theory exists and if it does, you have yet to mention it.

So beyond doubt, if the North Vietnamese offer you a cease fire on Tet, you have reason to be suspicious (evidence, the 1968 Tet Offensive). If the United States goes to war because they've been attacked, you have reason to suspect that they may have had foreknowledge of it, staged it, falsely reported it, or been a party to that attack (evidence, the second Gulf of Tonkin incident, August 4, 1964). If you bump into a Canadian on the street, you have every reason to believe they'll apologise to you (evidence, it’s like cultural eh). There is historical PRECEDENT for all of those things. But what you did was fabricate something and then tried to support it with utterly unrelated things that have nothing to do with the matter at hand, but everything to do with emotional appeals.

Quote:Are their present actions not apart of who they are, like their past actions were?

Their present actions ARE who they are. The question is, did they indeed enact the very specific ploy you outlined? There is zero evidence to support that they did and zero evidence to support that they ever even entertained it.

If you're pointing to some hot button topic like the cover up of pedophilia, that has nothing to do with your suggestion. Covering that up in no way supports the idea that they are tried to undermine Atheists. Is it awful? Of course it is. Anyone who defends it has a serious uphill battle. But that doesn't mean someone can use it as the basis of inventing other things.

This issue has nothing whatsoever to do with the moral integrity of the Catholic Church. They're past is suspect. They did that to themselves. This issue has to do with YOU. You are the one that made the suggestion. The question is, do you have a reasonable basis for that, or did you fabricate it?

Quote:Does this mean I have to welcome the pope with open arms and no suspicion about his future deeds, no matter what I have seen?

Your trust or distrust of the Pope is irrelevant. Distrust away. Shun him all you like. I don't know that I'd like to talk to the man myself. That has more to do with Ratzinger than the position, but that's me. But our trust or distrust has nothing to do whatsoever with your very specific accusations. It's enough to make you suspicious of the initiative, but not enough for you to suggest what is "actually" going on.

Quote:I don't remember where all the documentation that brings me to this suspicion is now. It covered years of input, so I can't just find it and post it for you. Does that mean I have to totally ignore all that because I can't produce it for your perusal?

This is a dodge of the highest order.

So we're all just supposed to trust you? Because THAT'S how rational inquiry works? Ignore all of what? What SORT of information are you basing this on? Perhaps some books you read whose title or author you now forget but were basically about ______? A speech you heard? A documentary you watched? An insider at the event? Complaints from attending Atheists? You're offering nothing. Not even the hint of a bread crumb trail.

Pluto's made of gingerbread. I can't remember where I heard that but should I ignore it because I can't produce it for your perusal?

Obama was born in Indonesia and is therefore ineligible for the presidency. I can't produce a birth certificate or offer a shred of evidence, but should I ignore it because I can't produce it for your perusal? I mean, he did spend some time there as a child, so obviously that means he was born there. I mean, that’s just solid logic.

Reason. Science. They DEMAND that others are able to verify what you're saying. If I can't produce the beginnings of proof to support my Pluto gingerbread suggestion and you can't produce the beginnings of proof to support your real reason for the Catholic initiative suggestion, then others have the right to call us out on it and question the validity of our statements.

I’m sorry (I’m Canadian, we do that) but, ‘well I can’t offer supporting evidence but they are a bunch of jerks, so that’s just as good’, is not acceptable evidence.

I honestly cannot believe that on this site, of all sites, that anyone is allowing fabrications to go unchallenged simply because the organisation that is being slandered is not in favour (read: they are hated). This isn't about whether or not the Catholic church should be hated. It's about whether or not the community on this forum holds itself to a standard of supporting their statements.

So I renew my initial question. What do you base your initial statement on? If the answer is ‘you don’t’, then great. You invented it and we can all move on. If the answer is, ‘on _____’, then great, we can review your evidence as soon as you provide it. If the answer is ‘on things I cannot reproduce’ then great, it’s a fantasy until you can produce those things and we can all move on. So what is your answer? A, B, C or D: none of the above? If D, then what?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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06-04-2011, 12:51 AM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
(05-04-2011 09:09 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, No. J.

Ok. Let's get specific here. When presented with the report that, "A new Vatican initiative to promote dialogue between believers and atheists debuted with a two-day event on Thursday and Friday (March 24-25) in Paris," which was a report about something that had already occurred, you said:

[quote]I suspect that this may be a ploy to get into the heads of some atheists with the express idea of;

1. learning how to convert some atheists into catholics.

The catholic church has sent out tens of thousands of missionaries to convert people. This process is still going on today.

' Wrote:2. learning more about athiest arguements so as to be better prepared for conquering us in debates.

I do not know how you could miss this one. "Know thine enemy". The idea that the church that has persecuted so many over so long is going to turn around and all of a sudden be totally honest and open to new ideas is extremely unlikely. You tell me that my last posts are about unrelated topics to this. Really? They are a part of the catholic organisation's history. Organizations rarely make quick and significant changes, and older, more established organizations are bogged down in their inner bureaucracies and are very slow to change.

Recently, when atheist groups put up billboards, The outcry has been very strong evidence that atheists will not be listened to. These outcries come from many churches, including the catholic church. This is evidence that we won't be listened to fairly and honestly.

The fact that the catholic church will not recind a ban they placed on condoms and as a result the spread of AIDS in Africa is rampant is evidence that the catholic church doesn't care about people, or understanding others and theis plights, forget their ideals.

' Wrote:3. learning anything they can about us so that they can keep us looking like devil worshippers.

I don't have anything to support this one, except that many people in the bible belt are convinced that all atheists are devil-worshippers. I can't demonstrate that the catholic church is still calling atheists devil worshippers. They definitely did for centuries. They even burned musicians at the stake for playing diminished 5th chords. Now they use the diminished 5th in some hymns. But that was more than a century and a half ago. Somehow, people are still getting the idea that all atheists are devil worshippers. Someone is putting it in their heads. The catholic church has a long history of doing that.

What the hell. Are you not aware of any of the history of the catholic church or any of what they are doing now?

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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06-04-2011, 02:21 AM
 
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
If I recall correctly, there has been an article posted some time ago, perhaps not here, stating that they would only invite "atheists" whose philosophy was that there is place for both reason and religion in the world. Can't recall the term...

So, sorry, but this dialogue is really just a dialogue, no conflict. If they actually invited atheists like Hitches, Harris, Dawkins, hell, even Stephen Fry, they I would see this in a better light, but since I hardly believe they did I see this as just a marketing ploy.
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06-04-2011, 09:31 AM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
Hey, No. J.

Quote:What the hell. Are you not aware of any of the history of the catholic church or any of what they are doing now?

Yeah. I am. But I don't see how that history supports what you said.

Just because the United States has operated on the idea of manifest destiy for a long time, doesn't mean that that supports the position that the United States is using the G20 summits as a way to introduce a single world currency so that they can take economic control of the entire planet. What do I base that on? Nothing. I just invented it. But if anyone for a second thought that it might be true because of the history of manifest destiny in the US, then I have demonstrated what the issue is. The idea of 'whatever I'm saying must be true because they are not to be trusted' is a dangerous idea.

Quote:The catholic church has sent out tens of thousands of missionaries to convert people. This process is still going on today.

Christian mission has nothing to do with this initiative. If there is some evidence that missionaries were involved in any way in the, I keep wanting to call it a conference but I'm not sure if that's accurate, so anyway, conference, then I'm all ears.

Quote:I do not know how you could miss this one. "Know thine enemy".

That's a saying. What does a saying have to do with an actual event?

Quote:The idea that the church that has persecuted so many over so long is going to turn around and all of a sudden be totally honest and open to new ideas is extremely unlikely... Organizations rarely make quick and significant changes, and older, more established organizations are bogged down in their inner bureaucracies and are very slow to change.

This is one of the few reasonable things you've said because it's limited. They have a history and they are a monolthic institution and so I believe that a pattern change is unlikely based on that so I am skeptical of their motivations. It ain't perfect, but it'll do.

Quote:The fact that the catholic church will not recind a ban they placed on condoms and as a result the spread of AIDS in Africa is rampant is evidence that the catholic church doesn't care about people, or understanding others and theis plights, forget their ideals

This has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with Catholics conquering Atheists in debates. Unless you're talking about how Catholics might say that Atheists don't do their homework.

Quote:I don't have anything to support this one, except that many people in the bible belt are convinced that all atheists are devil-worshippers. I can't demonstrate that the catholic church is still calling atheists devil worshippers.

An extreeme wing of a group that broke away from the Catholic church hundreds of years ago is doing it, so naturally the Catholic church is still doing it.

I do want to give you credit for admitting that you can't support this one. No BS. Straight up. But the broad stroke you use after that admission is a clear example of the problem of using flimsily related generalities to support a position.

If you were presenting this case in a court of law, you'd never even make it to trial.

Now, for the record, once again, I am not defending the Catholic church as an organisation, nor am I dismissing their history. What I am having issue with is the fact that a slanderous statement was made that cannot be supported.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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07-04-2011, 02:34 AM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
I'd Tell The Vatican, (The Majesterium) , to Fuck off.

But then I'm still Bitter at the pope "Forgiving" Galileo after 300 years; Instead of Apologizing and admitting their stupidity!

The Beauty of The Scientific Method , is the Anticipation of a Better Explanation.
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07-04-2011, 12:39 PM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
Frankly I'd not be interested in a discussion with these men because constantly hearing them justifying the dogma that kills millions everyday is bad enough.

It would to me be like sitting down with a table of murderers and child rapists trying to tell me they hold the same level of moral understanding as anyone else. No I'm afraid you most certainly do not.

The followers and everyday Catholic are honestly not such bad people. Neither are most Priests but once you start getting into the upper levels of Catholic hierarchy it's truly disgusting and without regard for suffering.

Of course most of this is justified by saying that separation from god is worse then suffering and that suffering can draw a person closer to god but this is a way of saying all is justified when we can hold an invisible magical kingdom over your head as a reward.

I think I'll pass on the dialogue with these violators of human rights. Thanks.
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08-04-2011, 03:12 AM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
Hey Ghost

As I see it, I had three options.

1. Come up with evidence or proof of what I said that is satisfactory to your expectations. This is the most desirable, but not always possible.

2. Shut my mouth and not state my opinion. This avoids a chance of saying something that is wrong, but it also denies a chance of giving someone an opportunity to be aware of a possible situation that they could prepare for.

3. State my opinion in a way that shows that it is an opinion. This takes a chance at saying something that is wrong, but it gives people a chance to be aware of a situation that they would rather be prepared for.

I chose Option 3. You tell me that it is invalid. I disagree. You seem to think that only Options 1 and 2 are valid. I disagree.

History is full of disasters that could have been prevented or prepared for if people would had spoken up when they had the opportunity.

If I suspect you are about to walk into a trap, but I can't prove it to you, shall I warn you or keep my mouth shut?

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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08-04-2011, 02:32 PM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
Hey, No. J.

Don't make this about me. I’m not the Grand High Arbiter of Acceptable Supporting Evidence. This has nothing to do with my personal expectations. This has to do with simple standards of supporting what one is saying. I think that's important and I am hoping that I'm not alone. You said something outrageous that screamed fabrication, so I asked you what you based it on. You have, in my estimation failed to back it up while you’ve clung to the idea that there is in fact support for your statement (and if other people want to say that you've backed up your statement satisfactorily, that’s cool, because we can have a conversation about that because that's what reasonable people do).

If someone said that Jesus was the living son of God and someone else asked what they based it on, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

So 1 - Again, it's not about my expectations, it's about reason's expectations. This is the most desirable. And no, not always possible. I agree. But if I say, "rabid buffalo are going to invade Poland," and someone asks me if I have any proof, the only reasonable answer is, "No, I don't have proof. But ya gotta believe me. Honest."

2 - I think that it's important for everyone everywhere to feel confident enough to speak their mind. Straight up. But I don't think it's a good idea for people to defame others with impunity. If I took out an add in the local newspaper calling my neighbour a serial rapist, he'd sue the fuck out of me. And he'd have every right. If Fox News tells their millions of viewers not to trust the President because he's a Muslim and a foreigner, it has very serious ramifications. That sort of thing should be scrutinised, particularly if it continues past the moment when his Hawaiian birth certificate was released. So speaking your mind is great. But defamation is not.

3 - Stating that it's an opinion, explicitly, is not a bad thing. “I think X but I have no proof so take it with a grain of salt.” You're telling the listener, explicitly, that it's a hunch at best. "I don't have any proof, but I get this vibe that my neighbour is a serial rapist. I don't know. Something about his socks." It's not perfect and in the end, it's still slander until it’s proven that it isn’t and it’s the source of the phrase 'that's how rumours are started,' but at least it's not just an unsupported or unqualified declaration.

So I'm not telling you that what you're saying is invalid, I'm just asking if it has any basis in reality. Is it anything but slander? The answer that I've gotten, as I interpret it, is that they're a gang of shit heads. Be that as it may, it doesn't speak at all to your specific statement.

So your characterisation of me as a person that thinks only options 1 and 2 are valid is a mischaracterisation.

Quote:History is full of disasters that could have been prevented or prepared for if people would had spoken up when they had the opportunity.

Now this is important. I agree. This is true. That being said, an equal number of disasters have been CAUSED by people coming forward and saying baseless and outrageous things. Blacks can never pilot planes because they are far too inferior and because the blood vessels in their brains are too small. Jews run the media. There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Saddam Hussein plans to use them in an attack on the Continental United States of America.

When it comes to that Jews run the media bit, or the Obama secret Muslim nonsense and even the WMD crap, millions of people STILL believe it.

Let’s get real. You said something and at the same time, demanded a standard that you weren’t holding yourself to. I called you on it. You could have said, “You’re right, I have no proof, but…. (insert any number of things here),” but instead you took up my challenge of “correct me if I’m wrong” and offered me a litany of Christian atrocities, which is akin to George W. Bush saying, “we know Saddam will attack us with WMDs because he gassed the Kurds.” Actually it’s a weaker support than that because at least the Kurdish slaughter is directly related to the charge. Then when I pressed you on the proof you offered, you back pedalled, shifted things onto me, said you didn’t need proof because it was an educated guess, told me your dog ate your proof, hid behind the idea that if it weren’t for brave people saying things without proof then atrocities would happen more often, anything to save yourself from just admitting, “You know what? I just made it up.” So if you want to admit that you made it up, then great, we can all move on. If you want to cling to the idea that you based it on some sort of proof, then let’s scrutinise that proof like level-headed people and forget about this silly idea that proof just ain’t that important.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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