• Pseudonym
    889
    Religion does not discourage critical thinking.BlueBanana

    That's just your opinion, mine differs hence my inclusion of it on my list. If you read the posts this list derived from, they are all about personal moral responsibility and the need to choose even when evidence is scarce either way. Your response to this point is a prime example. You say it doesn't, I say it does, where do we go from there?

    "Absolving of moral responsibility to an authority" is neither a strictly negative thingBlueBanana

    Again, I believe it is, so as far as my personal moral obligation is concerned, it is to act with the best will, based on what I believe to be true. If you'd care to actually present any arguments to back up your assertions I'd be interested to hear them. If not, that's fine, but you'd be crazy to expect me to act based on what you believe. I'm going to act based on what I believe, aren't I?

    every state in the world does that with their legal systems.BlueBanana

    No, most states are democracies which means that each citizen has a part to play in devising and revising these moral decisions. Religion is not a democracy, it does not invite opinion on moral matters from its congregation. There was no vote on the ten commandments.

    Wars exist without religions, which are just excuses. Child abuse happens outside religions as wellBlueBanana

    This is a nonsensical argument. Racism exists outside of neo-nazi groups so we shouldn't act against neo-nazis? Sexism exists outside of men's clubs so we should not act to open up exclusive clubs? Corruption exists outside of secret lobbying interests so we shouldn't act to close that particular instance?

    Religion gives people an excuse for war, restrict religion, that's one less excuse. Religion gives child abusers a way to access their victims and maintain their silence. Restrict religion, that's one less route for child abusers.

    The human race right now does seem to be quite riddled with bad people. If we can't make progress by eliminating as many opportunities as we can for them to get away with doing bad things I don't see how we expect to make any progress at all.
  • Pseudonym
    889
    It's fine in the faith school, I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be tolerated here.BlueBanana

    Again, it's fine if you just want to voice your opinion, but without an argument I've got nothing to consider. Why do you think it's fine in faith schools? It seems like a rather problematic thing to teach our young children to me. It seems obvious to me that such teaching is not going to help social cohesion, teaching that an entire group of people are evil. If you think it's fine I'd like to hear why.
  • BlueBanana
    840
    No, most states are democracies which means that each citizen has a part to play in devising and revising these moral decisions.Pseudonym

    No single individual can affect the laws, so they're under the power of their authorities. And that the authority (state, society, laws) is chosen democratically by the people does not make it any less an authority.

    There was no vote on the ten commandments.Pseudonym

    No, but they have so much space for interpretation they actually leave a lot more freedom for moral decisions and the choices and preferences of the individuals than actual laws.

    An authority is needed for morality in any society, because otherwise we're left with pretty much an anarchy or the state of nature with everyone following their own interests. In my opinion that authority should be democratic, but also more open-ended like that of religions'.

    Racism exists outside of neo-nazi groups so we shouldn't act against neo-nazis?Pseudonym

    Statistically neo-nazi groups have proportionally more racists than the general population, whereas priests don't have a higher probability to be child abusers than other men. Let's shut down hospitals and schools as well because then there are less opportunities for child abusers.

    The reason the above isn't a good idea, even if stopping child abusers at any cost was the top priority, is that blocking a single way to do that won't stop the abusers, but instead they'll find another way. And on top of that I don't think any pedophile becomes a priest just because it's an easy way to abuse children; they're just priests that happen to also be pedophiles.
  • Pseudonym
    889
    that the authority (state, society, laws) is chosen democratically by the people does not make it any less an authority.BlueBanana

    Of course it does, it means that any time they no longer represent the will of the people, they can be replaced. Moral laws resulting from democratic governments evolve, moral laws eminating from religions either do not evolve or are not what they claim to be (the word of God).

    they have so much space for interpretation they actually leave a lot more freedom for moral decisions and the choices and preferences of the individuals than actual laws.BlueBanana

    This is just religious apologism. If having moral choice is a good thing then ditch religion, you have complete choice then. If moral authority is good then religious laws being widely open to interpretation is a bad thing. You can't have it both ways unless you're claiming that religion just happens to have exactly the right balance of authority to autonomy, in which case I'd love to hear your argument for that conclusion.

    An authority is needed for morality in any society, because otherwise we're left with pretty much an anarchy or the state of nature with everyone following their own interests.BlueBanana

    And you know this how?

    Let's shut down hospitals and schools as well because then there are less opportunities for child abusers.BlueBanana

    No, because hospitals and schools serve some demonstrable purpose without which the well-being of society would suffer (personally I don't believe this to be the case with schools, but that's another discussion). There is no reason to believe anyone would suffer if Sunday schools and faith schools were banned. Half the world are atheist, it doesn't seem to have done any demonstrable harm.

    priests don't have a higher probability to be child abusers than other men.BlueBanana

    Yes they do. There are a greater proportion of child abusers in the priesthood than there are among farmers, or soldiers, or dentists. Just as there are among schoolteachers, paediatricians etc. Groups that have access to children, particularly where they have some significant authority and are implicitly trusted by parents tend to attract abusers. The priesthood is one such institution.

    blocking a single way to do that won't stop the abusers, but instead they'll find another way.BlueBanana

    Again, it's fine just to hear your opinion on this, but an argument to support this conclusion would be more interesting. Personally I think that most people suppress their more base desires because they simply wouldn't get away with expressing them, they have a lack of facility. Therefore, the more facility we remove the less abuse will take place. If you followed your logic there would have been no child protection measures at all "why bother, they'll just find some other way".
  • Harry Hindu
    1.2k
    That doesn't mean anyone that twists certain evidence to support their belief and ignores other evidence that contradicts their belief is delusional.BlueBanana
    Being delusional is holding beliefs that contradict reality or rational argument. I've posted the symptoms of Wikipedia several times on these forums and theists match up with a vast majority most of them. Look it up.

    I'm not saying theists are psychotic. I'm saying religion is a means of coping with stress - a way of covering up what it is that they don't like about reality - a defense mechanism if you will.

    Theists typically inject more into the empirical evidence than is necessary to explain it. They are inconsistent. They are defensive. It's emotional for them. They need it to be true.

    Actually, some like me, didn't need it to be true. What I needed was the actual truth about everything; not what I wanted it to be. The truth isn't subject to my feelings. I learned about other religions, philosophy and about science's explanations. The bottom-up explanations of science appealed to me over the top-down explanations that ended up being inconsistent in order to explain the existence of God, and what it wants, in the first place.

    When they realize that the truth isn't guaranteed to make them content, that is when they can actually start to question their own beliefs and develop an intellectually honest search for truth, where they apply the same rationality they do in the rest of their lives. Delusional people can behave normally and rationally in other aspects of life, but it is only when their delusion is challenged, or questioned, do they become defensive and irrational.
  • Akanthinos
    758
    Yes they do. There are a greater proportion of child abusers in the priesthood than there are among farmers, or soldiers, or dentists. Just as there are among schoolteachers, paediatricians etc. Groups that have access to children, particularly where they have some significant authority and are implicitly trusted by parents tend to attract abusers. The priesthood is one such institution.Pseudonym

    That's reversing cause and effect. People who want to have easy access to children choose jobs where they do and who have enough authority to get away with it. But it is certainly very sad to see how many profess knowledge of the divine and yet allow themselves to do something as vile as to prey on children.
  • Pseudonym
    889


    I didn't say that the priesthood or anything about religion caused priests to become child abusers and if that's the impression my comment has left then I'd like to make that abundantly clear. I don't like organised religion, but I'm not in the business of making accusations about it that aren't backed by evidence, it has enough issues that are to go on. All I said was that it is one institution (among a number of others), that allows child abusers access to victims and a means to cover-up their behaviour. The fewer such institutions we have the safer our children will be. It is a simple corollary of that fact that there will be more child abusers in the priesthood than in professions that do not have access to children.

    I think the fact that a group supposedly professing knowledge of the divine manage to restrain themselves from abusing children to no greater degree than any other group shows absolutely clearly how utterly useless religion is at instilling moral values. If those at the very top of religious orders who have spent an entire lifetime studying scripture can't even stop themselves from doing something as blindly obviously wrong as abusing an innocent child how anyone could suggest that religion is responsible for morality is beyond me.
  • Akanthinos
    758
    All I said was that it is one institution (among a number of others), that allows child abusers access to victims and a means to cover-up their behaviour. The fewer such institutions we have the safer our children will be.Pseudonym

    Well, the problem could be solved in multiple manners. The Church could be much much better at policing its own members and prosecuting them. There could be advisory standards in place so that priests never have much one-on-one time with children, if at all. Given that we are to trust, for the most part, total strangers on the basis of cloth and position alone, that would not be too much to ask.

    I, perhaps, was lucky, but I was raised in a fairly conservative Catholic environment. Boarding private unisex schools, uniforms and all, and I yet I was never once alone with a priest more than, what, 5 minutes? Everywhere there was a mean-looking Sister or Mother watching us like we were vermin, and she was the eagle. So, as such, there is already a semblance of those standards in place.

    On the other hand, this is not to say that there could not have been cases of such abuse in my vicinity. The spread of this vileness is always horrifyingly disconcerting.

    I think the fact that a group supposedly professing knowledge of the divine manage to restrain themselves from abusing children to no greater degree than any other group shows absolutely clearly how utterly useless religion is at instilling moral values.Pseudonym

    Well, that is the moral problem of Christian religions : for all their claims about morality, the overall moral content of the Bible, once analysed, is, at least to me, relatively trivial. Its only a solid foundation if you give in to the reality of divine punishment, and I think that's not really as widespread amongst Christians as they claim it is.
  • Pseudonym
    889
    Well, the problem could be solved in multiple manners. The Church could be much much better at policing its own members and prosecuting them. There could be advisory standards in place so that priests never have much one-on-one time with children, if at all.Akanthinos

    Absolutely, I think these are all good solutions, but in order to enact them there needs to be a culture that sees priests and nuns as just as much of a threat as other professions with access to children (which means more of a threat than average). With the continued attitude that religion is somehow equated with morality, I don't see how that's going to happen. We see it on this forum in most debates touching on religion, but also in my field, its pretty much automatic that a religious representative is on any board of ethics. Someone representing an institution that can't even prevent its own highest echelons from abusing children doesn't deserve any special treatment with regards to ethics.

    I think that's not really as widespread amongst Christians as they claim it is.Akanthinos

    The trouble is early Christians knew they weren't going to get any takers if the offer was simply 'behave well and you'll go to heaven' that's far to much like hard work. The real advertising scoop for Christianity was the big emphasis on forgiveness. Now you can do whatever the hell you like in life as long as you get in a quick apology before death you'll be fine.

    Honestly, Saatchi and Saatchi could not have come up with a better campaign.
  • Akanthinos
    758
    The real advertising scoop for Christianity was the big emphasis on forgiveness. Now you can do whatever the hell you like in life as long as you get in a quick apology before death you'll be fine.Pseudonym

    Well, I was always taught absolution in Ultime Onction could only be given if the person was truly earnest in his repentance. But then again, it's not like the Church never sold any pardon. :(
  • Pseudonym
    889


    Yes, I've always found that an odd tenet. Surely one who is truly repentant, without simply being scared of hell, must therefore know their sins are immoral intrinsically. That means that they committed them with the capacity to work out they were wrong (even if they didn't carry out that calculation at the time).

    Someone who does not repent is someone who continues to believe they were right to do what they did.

    Who has committed the worse wrong?
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