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The Problem with Religious Moderation From Sam Harris

#1021 User is online   akwoo 

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Posted 2014-November-02, 19:58

View PostVampyr, on 2014-November-02, 02:05, said:

I didn't come into contact with these somewhat more free-thinking groups during nine years of Catholic school. In the "mainstream" church they tell you what your beliefs are, and if you disagree you tell it in confession and you pray about it.


People who disagree with what Rome sense are asked to pray over the issue. And if enough of them do so and still disagree, eventually Rome changes its mind, usually by reinterpretation, or Rome simply gets ignored. Meanwhile, nothing much happens unless someone publicly denounces the Pope. In the little Protestant sects I think of, people who disagree with official doctrine are simply kicked out or kick themselves out.

If you look back to the middle of the 19th century, you could believe slavery was sanctioned by God and be a Catholic. You could believe slavery was a grave sin despised by God and be a Catholic. Also true, at least in the US, for the Episcopal (i.e. Anglican) church. Every other Protestant denomination split into two (or three or five or a gazillion) over the issue, except for the ones where one side or the other was too small to continue and just disappeared.

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And don't forget that the Pope can speak "infallibly" on doctrinal questions.


1) Popes do this very rarely.

2) They're only supposed to do this on issues the Church has come to a consensus on. (Admittedly, the Pope is the sole judge of whether the Church has come to a consensus or not, so...)

3) Like any other relatively short snippet of words, whatever is said can be and over a long enough period of time will be interpreted to mean anything and everything.
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#1022 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2014-November-03, 03:46

View PostWinstonm, on 2014-November-02, 16:58, said:

Yes, but what if the Spartan Dean of Students were the only true prophet?

Sparty is the only true prophet... for me.

That there are some nitwits who think a wolverine is the only true prophet is not my problem.

Rik
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#1023 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2014-November-03, 03:55

View Postkenberg, on 2014-November-02, 13:45, said:

We agree on the values here. I am a pessimist about how this will play out but not a fatalist. I hope we can pull it together.

At the personal level I expect to, and for the most part i think I do, get along just fine with people from a variety of backgrounds. I have no nationalist or religious axe to grind. I think of this as the norm. but still, things can go badly wrong.

There are times that I get very frustrated. I was 6 when WW II ended, after that we had to all learn how to crawl under desks in case the Russkies nuked us, then there was a long cold war, and Korea and Vietnam and more than a bit of other stuff, and now this. A fair part of my reaction is "Oh no, again?" . I have kids, I have grandkids, and even if I didn't I have no stomach for war. But, but, but.

I'm a product of mid and late twentieth century America. I expect most, by far the most, of us really have no stomach for another war. If I were designing the universe, I would have done some things differently.

I think your pessimism is not justified.

In the past 2000 years, the world has never been as peaceful as it is today. "We" have come a long way in learning to find ways to resolve conflicts in a non violent way. So, in this respect, I am very optimistic about the future. I am pessimistic, though, on the environmental issues. Though the science about global warming is fundamentally fairly simple, the psychology of an entire planet in denial is not.

Rik
I want my opponents to leave my table with a smile on their face and without matchpoints on their score card - in that order.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!), but “That’s funny…” – Isaac Asimov
The only reason God did not put "Thou shalt mind thine own business" in the Ten Commandments was that He thought that it was too obvious to need stating. - Kenberg
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#1024 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2015-March-15, 08:50

The NY Times has an interesting piece today about how the US became "a Christian nation" a few decades ago: How Business Made Us Christian

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For all our talk about separation of church and state, religious language has been written into our political culture in countless ways. It is inscribed in our pledge of patriotism, marked on our money, carved into the walls of our courts and our Capitol. Perhaps because it is everywhere, we assume it has been from the beginning.

But the founding fathers didn’t create the ceremonies and slogans that come to mind when we consider whether this is a Christian nation. Our grandfathers did.

Back in the 1930s, business leaders found themselves on the defensive. Their public prestige had plummeted with the Great Crash; their private businesses were under attack by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal from above and labor from below. To regain the upper hand, corporate leaders fought back on all fronts. They waged a figurative war in statehouses and, occasionally, a literal one in the streets; their campaigns extended from courts of law to the court of public opinion. But nothing worked particularly well until they began an inspired public relations offensive that cast capitalism as the handmaiden of Christianity.

The two had been described as soul mates before, but in this campaign they were wedded in pointed opposition to the “creeping socialism” of the New Deal. The federal government had never really factored into Americans’ thinking about the relationship between faith and free enterprise, mostly because it had never loomed that large over business interests. But now it cast a long and ominous shadow.

Accordingly, throughout the 1930s and ’40s, corporate leaders marketed a new ideology that combined elements of Christianity with an anti-federal libertarianism. Powerful business lobbies like the United States Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers led the way, promoting this ideology’s appeal in conferences and P.R. campaigns. Generous funding came from prominent businessmen, from household names like Harvey Firestone, Conrad Hilton, E. F. Hutton, Fred Maytag and Henry R. Luce to lesser-known leaders at U.S. Steel, General Motors and DuPont.

Ah, marketing. What a powerful tool!
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The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#1025 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2015-March-16, 11:23

View PostPassedOut, on 2015-March-15, 08:50, said:

The NY Times has an interesting piece today about how the US became "a Christian nation" a few decades ago: How Business Made Us Christian


Ah, marketing. What a powerful tool!

It should be noted that similar forces are working extremely hard to ensure that American children are told fables about their country instead of facts, and a cynic might well argue that this is precisely so as to ensure that the voting public never even thinks about how they and their parents/grandparents have been conditioned. Couple revisionist 'history' taught in the gr 1-12 system with a systemic Republican assault on higher education funding, and one might well despair for the future of the US.

Frankly, I am not sure that would bother me too much, but in Canada, we are very vulnerable to the woes of the US, and we are currently governed, federally, by a Prime Minister who appears to think that the Republican message for the US would fit right in here at home.

And, of course, we have increasingly intentionally science-denying Islamic movements (truly an irony when one realizes that the Renaissance began with exposure to Arabic records....when one considers, for example, the origin of the word algebra). When the nation with the strongest scientific record in the modern era is governed by science denialists, and the major cultural conflicts in the world pit fundamentalist islam against fundamentalist Xianity, the entire human race should shudder (well, apart from the billions who have more pressing problems, such as how to survive another day)
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#1026 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2015-March-17, 09:55

Did I link to this video yet?

https://www.youtube....h?v=5mLOUWl-L-s
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
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