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  1. #71
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    To me that sounds pretty much like a dispute between science and the church.
    Even if true, a relatively minor one at best. As I already showed, it had little if any effect on scientific research - even within the Church. Not only that, it was a very unusual case that the Inquisition wasn't used to dealing with. The verdict on Galileo did not go uncontested within the ranks of the Church. I believe one of the Inquisitors on Galileo even refused to sign the condemnation out of protest of the judgement.

    As another historian of science, David Lindberg, noted, whatever literal position the institution took was largely because of the tense situation following the Protestant Reformation concerning interpretation of scriptures, where the Reformers condemned the Church for not being true to scriptures enough. The Medieval Church was well known for its relaxed positions concerning scriptural interpretation.

    Let's also keep in mind Galileo was a devout Catholic his entire life, and at least one of his daughters became a nun. He even wrote a treatise calling theology "the queen of all science".

    I'll give you another example. Not scientific this time, but about the nature of organized religion.

    Indulgences.
    Are there any arguments against Catholicism that go beyond 1600?

    The point is, the church doesn't change until it suits their own purpose.
    That can be said of anybody or any institution for that matter, religious or secular. BTW, indulgences are not part of Dogma.

    Whereas a (good) scientist would say: "Hey, this is an odd observation. Let's try to explain it now and come up with a good theory." And then subsequently accepts it if another scientists says: "But wait, now these other observations are unexplained so the initial theory must either be wrong, or changed to encompass this."
    And this contradicts Catholicism how exactly? In another discussion, I brought up the issue with Jennifer of how St. Thomas Aquinas speculated that a human fetus doesn't attain a soul until 40 days after conception. This was largely based on scientific data at the time(13th century). Now through subsequent scientific research we know much more about how life first begins, so many theologians now speculate that a fetus attains a soul much earlier.

    This also plays into the Galileo affair, since the Church's interpretations of scriptures was made in light of the astronomical theories of Ptolemy(which were Geocentric in nature).

    So the Church does intepret scriptures in light of scientific research, not against it. This approach was outlined by St. Augustine of Hippo:
    "The purpose of the Bible is redemptive, said Augustine. God gave us the Bible to instruct us in the knowledge of salvation, not science. In his Literal Commentary Augustine asked what Scripture teaches about the shape or the form of the heavens, a topic that many ancient writers addressed. Are the heavens spherical or flat like a disc? Or, does it matter? He responded: "Many scholars engage in lengthy discussion on these matters, but the sacred writers with their deeper wisdom have omittedthem. Such subjects are of no profit for those who seek beatitude, and, what is worse, they take up very precious time that ought to be given to what is spiritually beneficial." These words may seem to suggest that Augustine disparaged science, and he has been interpreted that way by secular-minded readers. He did not think that natural knowledge was worthless, only that it was inferior to knowledge of God, who made nature. Augustine was saying that the biblical authors were not giving a definitive theory of the heavens in a scientific fashion.

    Augustine warned against a danger among Christians of his day and ours. If the Christian insists on a certain scientific theory as if it were the teaching of the Bible, and it turned out to be wrong, then the unbeliever will reject the Bible wholesale and miss the saving purpose God has in composing it. This danger is so real that Augustine emphasized it a number of times in his writings. Unreliable knowledge of nature is not damning but it can be a stumbling block "if he thinks his view of nature belongs to the very form of orthodox doctrine, and dares obstinately to affirm something he does not understand." In this case, the Christian's lack of true knowledge becomes an obstacle to the unbeliever's embracing the truth of the gospel. The great harm, says the bishop of Hippo, is not that "an ignorant individual is derided" but that "people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions and . . . the writers of Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men."

    HOW AUGUSTINE REINED IN SCIENCE (This Rock: March 1998)
    So yeah. Theology and science are not opposed, but you can't insist that theology blindly follow science, since they aim towards different ends and achieve them through different means.

  2. #72
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    Science and faith are not mutually exclusive.
    Indeed they're not. I mean how else could it have been possible for a Belgian priest named Georges Lemaţtre to propose what we now call the Big Bang theory. How could Seismology(the study of earthquakes) be nicknamed "the Jesuit Science" if science and religion were opposed?

  3. #73
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Even if true, a relatively minor one at best. As I already showed, it had little if any effect on scientific research - even within the Church. Not only that, it was a very unusual case that the Inquisition wasn't used to dealing with. The verdict on Galileo did not go uncontested within the ranks of the Church. I believe one of the Inquisitors on Galileo even refused to sign the condemnation out of protest of the judgement.

    As another historian of science, David Lindberg, noted, whatever literal position the institution took was largely because of the tense situation following the Protestant Reformation concerning interpretation of scriptures, where the Reformers condemned the Church for not being true to scriptures enough. The Medieval Church was well known for its relaxed positions concerning scriptural interpretation.

    Let's also keep in mind Galileo was a devout Catholic his entire life, and at least one of his daughters became a nun. He even wrote a treatise calling theology "the queen of all science".

    Are there any arguments against Catholicism that go beyond 1600?
    Like I said, science and faith are not mutually exclusive. I don't find it hypocrite that scientists are part of an organized religion. I will not go into the details of Galilei's case any further, but instead give you the main idea. Somebody says something that church doesn't like, church banns it, reality calls church to order, church realises it was being silly and changes stances. Appart from the Galilei affair, and more recently, this would include the shift from "God put us on this earth as we are now", aka creationism to "God created us and incorporated evolution in his building plans", aka intelligent design. And I personally think that the next big thing the catholic church will back off on, is the prohibition of the use of condoms. There is a pope who said that AIDS in Africa should be stopped, but the currently most effective (and only realistic) method, give every African easy access to cheap, reliable, condoms is being condemned. What are we supposed to do then? Stop people from having sexual relationships all together?

    Also, it isn't a thing against the catholic church per sÚ, they're just the religion I got into contact with most, and know the most about. Muslims who believe all women should weir veils, Scientologists who believe we are souls send to earth to be imprisoned, by some sort of space-dictator called Xenu.
    They are all examples of the ridiculousness of organized religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    That can be said of anybody or any institution for that matter, religious or secular. BTW, indulgences are not part of Dogma.
    Other institutions are not relevant to this thread, but yes, you are right. And yes, indulgences are not part of Dogma, but they demonstrate how the church (as an institution) resist change and is opportunistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    And this contradicts Catholicism how exactly? In another discussion, I brought up the issue with Jennifer of how St. Thomas Aquinas speculated that a human fetus doesn't attain a soul until 40 days after conception. This was largely based on scientific data at the time(13th century). Now through subsequent scientific research we know much more about how life first begins, so many theologians now speculate that a fetus attains a soul much earlier.
    If scientist #1 would subsequently say to scientist #2, "You're wrong regardless of your proof" he would be a metaphor for a religious institute, and a bad scientist.
    And ah, a nice example, if a human fetus doesn't get a soul until 40 days after conception. Does this mean abortion up until that limit should be fine? I don't think I ever heard the church saying that, it's against their doctrine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    This also plays into the Galileo affair, since the Church's interpretations of scriptures was made in light of the astronomical theories of Ptolemy(which were Geocentric in nature).

    So the Church does intepret scriptures in light of scientific research, not against it. This approach was outlined by St. Augustine of Hippo:


    So yeah. Theology and science are not opposed, but you can't insist that theology blindly follow science, since they aim towards different ends and achieve them through different means.
    I'm attacking organised religious institutions, not at all (the majority) of the individuals who are participating. I'm fairly sure the Pope is a good guy who wishes the best for everybody, I also do not hate the catholic church at all,. I think they do a lot of good humanitarian work for a lot of people.

    As for interpreting scriptures from a scientific point of view. They do at first, but if they can't find a satisfying way to incorporate findings into the existing believes they merely fall back to opposing it. They 'stick their heads in the sand'. Let religion worry about helping the poor and making people feel better, and let scientists do the explaining of the world.

    On another note, I do hate people and religions who aggressively seek to press their ideas on people (think cults, westboro baptist church, at least a part of all Jehovah's witnesses, Extremists of every kind etc.) They are an entire different issue al together for me.
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  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    I will not go into the details of Galilei's case any further, but instead give you the main idea.
    Ok shoot.

    Somebody says something that church doesn't like, church banns it, reality calls church to order, church realises it was being silly and changes stances.
    I think you need to look more into Church history and the nature of Catholic teachings.

    And I personally think that the next big thing the catholic church will back off on, is the prohibition of the use of condoms.
    Isn't going to happen. That issue was settled with Humanae Vitae.

    There is a pope who said that AIDS in Africa should be stopped, but the currently most effective (and only realistic) method, give every African easy access to cheap, reliable, condoms is being condemned. What are we supposed to do then? Stop people from having sexual relationships all together?
    Well a few years ago Kenya's health minister Charity Ngilu did praise the Catholic charities for its efforts to stop AIDs, including providing medical care for those infected with the disease. To try to make it sound like the Church isn't doing anything about the epidemic is flat out wrong.

    Then there's Dr Norman Hearst's report "Condom promotion for AIDS prevention in the developing world: is it working?":
    Two decades of experience and research provide new insights into the role of condoms for AIDS prevention in the developing world. This literature review and synthesis is based on computerized searches of the scientific literature and review of conference presentations, publications of national and international organizations, and popular media. Condoms are about 90 percent effective for preventing HIV transmission, and their use has grown rapidly in many countries. Condoms have produced substantial benefit in countries like Thailand, where both transmission and condom promotion are concentrated in the area of commercial sex. The public health benefit of condom promotion in settings with widespread heterosexual transmission, however, remains unestablished. In countries like Uganda that have curbed generalized epidemics, reducing the number of individuals' sex partners appears to have been more important than promoting the use of condoms. Other countries continue to have high rates of HIV transmission despite high reported rates of condom use among the sexually active. The impact of condoms may be limited by inconsistent use, low use among those at highest risk, and negative interactions with other strategies. Recommendations include increased condom promotion for groups at high risk, more rigorous measurement of the impact of condom promotion, and more research on how best to integrate condom promotion with other prevention strategies.
    So simply promoting condom use doesn't actually help in preventing epidemics of AIDS. The argument can actually be made that if people actually lived by Catholic sexual teachings, AIDS wouldn't be a major problem.


    And ah, a nice example, if a human fetus doesn't get a soul until 40 days after conception. Does this mean abortion up until that limit should be fine? I don't think I ever heard the church saying that, it's against their doctrine.
    Although liberal Catholics like to try to argue that, but no it doesn't. Abortion has always been upheld as wrong. The issue at stake was whether or not it was technically homicide to kill fetus without a soul, or was it some other sin.


    Let religion worry about helping the poor and making people feel better, and let scientists do the explaining of the world.
    Religion is much more than just social charity, although that is one of its functions. Religion is also concerns itself with theology, metaphysics, and cosmology. Science largely concerns itself with the empirical study of the natural world. Science - not Scientism I should stress.

  5. #75
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Peguy, you're obviously a fairly liberal Christian. You seem to have the ability to do research and don't seem inclined to follow people blindly. In situations with people like that religion can do little harm. Other people are not so lucky, they follow their religious leaders blindly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Ok shoot.


    I think you need to look more into Church history and the nature of Catholic teachings.
    That's not an argument against anything I said! I think you need to look more into church history and the nature of Catholic reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Isn't going to happen. That issue was settled with Humanae Vitae.



    Well a few years ago Kenya's health minister Charity Ngilu did praise the Catholic charities for its efforts to stop AIDs, including providing medical care for those infected with the disease. To try to make it sound like the Church isn't doing anything about the epidemic is flat out wrong.

    Then there's Dr Norman Hearst's report "Condom promotion for AIDS prevention in the developing world: is it working?":


    So simply promoting condom use doesn't actually help in preventing epidemics of AIDS. The argument can actually be made that if people actually lived by Catholic sexual teachings, AIDS wouldn't be a major problem.
    . Recommendations include increased condom promotion for groups at high risk, more rigorous measurement of the impact of condom promotion, and more research on how best to integrate condom promotion with other prevention strategies.
    ~ Condom promotion for AIDS prevention in the developing world: is it working?

    Pope says, condoms make AIDS crisis worse

    Your article does not stroke with what the Catholic leader is saying. The fact that in Humanae Vitae condom use is allowed strictly for medical purposes suddenly seems like a lip service if the leader of that church is saying it's not working. Or maybe it's plain hypocrisy. I don't know the motives.


    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Although liberal Catholics like to try to argue that, but no it doesn't. Abortion has always been upheld as wrong. The issue at stake was whether or not it was technically homicide to kill fetus without a soul, or was it some other sin.
    Considering abortion wrong is very valid if you ask me. There can certainly be arguments against it. I was just noting, that despite the fact that a Catholic scholar said that a foetus doesn't get a soul until 40 days after conception (how he came up with that, I don't know), it is still illegal to abort even before then. Why? Because it is homocide! Why, the thing doesn't have a soul, right? No, but one day it will have! Well, not if we abort it before that! But that's immoral!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Religion is much more than just social charity, although that is one of its functions. Religion is also concerns itself with theology, metaphysics, and cosmology. Science largely concerns itself with the empirical study of the natural world. Science - not Scientism I should stress.
    As long as it stays like that, I'm cool with religion, but as soon as religion starts to teach how the actual world works (social sciences and natural sciences alike) they become a thread to people who think differently.
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  6. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    So simply promoting condom use doesn't actually help in preventing epidemics of AIDS. The argument can actually be made that if people actually lived by Catholic sexual teachings, AIDS wouldn't be a major problem.
    Wouldn't these stats instead suggest that the condoms aren't being used correctly or the majority of transmissions are not sexual? In which case neither Catholic teachings nor condoms are going to be much help.
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  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    Peguy, you're obviously a fairly liberal Christian. You seem to have the ability to do research and don't seem inclined to follow people blindly. In situations with people like that religion can do little harm. Other people are not so lucky, they follow their religious leaders blindly.
    Actually I'm a very traditional Catholic.

    Your article does not stroke with what the Catholic leader is saying.
    They agree that condoms dont work in stopping epidemics of AIDS. They differ in solutions they offer. Not that big of a deal.

    As long as it stays like that, I'm cool with religion, but as soon as religion starts to teach how the actual world works (social sciences and natural sciences alike) they become a thread to people who think differently.
    Like it or not, but religion does deal with issues related to social sciences(Social Theology), natural sciences(Natural Theology and Philosophy), and for that matter politics as well(Political Theology). Sure you can try maintaining the illusion that they don't, but you're only kidding yourself.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    Wouldn't these stats instead suggest that the condoms aren't being used correctly or the majority of transmissions are not sexual? In which case neither Catholic teachings nor condoms are going to be much help.
    It clearly states that limiting the number of sexual partners was more effective than promoting condom use. That basic logic is very much in line with Catholic teachings on chastity.

  9. #79
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Actually I'm a very traditional Catholic.



    They agree that condoms dont work in stopping epidemics of AIDS. They differ in solutions they offer. Not that big of a deal.



    Like it or not, but religion does deal with issues related to social sciences(Social Theology), natural sciences(Natural Theology and Philosophy), and for that matter politics as well(Political Theology). Sure you can try maintaining the illusion that they don't, but you're only kidding yourself.
    At least you don't come to me with the "Because it's in the bible", or "Because the pope says so" arguments.

    As for the condom argument. The article states that 'condoms alone are not a good way to stop the spread of AIDS', and that 'recommendations would be to distribute condoms along with taking other measures'. I think this could, at worst, be interpreted as 'condoms don't add to public health' (everything between ' and ' is paraphrased). On the other hand, nowhere does it say that distributing condoms doesn't add to public health. The pope on the other hand says, condoms -> more AIDS, due to a decrease in awareness of the risks and an increase in the numbers of sexual partners. Which to me seems like a fair enough and plausible conclusion, worth further research.

    I hope you still agree with me up to here, since I think so far I'm not touching anything the Catholic church wouldn't be fully endorsing. Up until so far

    Now here's the part that you might find a little bit on the edge. The subject is worth further research, not worth agreeing with blindly. The pope bans condoms, not because they don't necessarily stop AIDS, but because he is trying to control the sexual morale of people. If there would be a reliable and cheap medicine for AIDS available tomorrow, do you think the pope would say, thank god, now we there is no more practical reason to ban condoms! I think nothing would change for him, and his "abstinence, not condoms" agenda. He'd just find another petty reason why he is right, and others are wrong.

    And yes you are right, religion does interfere with politcal, social, and natural sciences. It's the main reason I'm so militant against organised religion in the first place. I'm not bothering communal hippies despite my preference for cold hard globalisation, but as soon as one of them says "This is how to live" instead of "Consider my view on things, and here's the reasons why I think it's better", they become my enemy. And organised religions tend to be very heavy on the first option.

    (Now take Hare Krishna, there's a religion I can feel empathy for).
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  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post

    And yes you are right, religion does interfere with politcal, social, and natural sciences. It's the main reason I'm so militant against organised religion in the first place. I'm not bothering communal hippies despite my preference for cold hard globalisation, but as soon as one of them says "This is how to live" instead of "Consider my view on things, and here's the reasons why I think it's better", they become my enemy. And organised religions tend to be very heavy on the first option.

    (Now take Hare Krishna, there's a religion I can feel empathy for).
    Once you realize religious people aren't the only ones who do that, I think you'll have a much more balanced perspective. It has more to do with the fact that there are a vast portion of people in society who vehemently cling to their own beliefs, be it in God or something else (like the environment), and both try to impress their views upon others in various ways. Not all religious people are like that. I wouldn't even say that a majority are like that. I would say that, religious or not, it is likely in the collective character of a certain generation, the boomers, that makes them take a position of values and defend it tooth and nail. Religious boomers, atheist boomers, intellectual boomers, environmentalist boomers, same thing. Our parents are the ones who yell and grip their world views with ever fiber of their being until the day they stubbornly die. Then INTPs like you take your experiences with your parents and your other elders and project that upon everyone as if it actually applies there, when it doesn't. It seems like half the INTPs on this forum are Catholic/Christian butthurt.

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