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  1. #41
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    I was raised Catholic by vaguely theist parents, and even though I self-identify as agnostic/panentheistic, I still kind of have a degree of affection for the pope. I guess it's weird, but he's a father figurehead, a symbol of striving for good in the world, of human cooperation on a massive scale, and there's a lot of intrigue surrounding the Vatican. He's a little grandpa-looking guy who wields incredible power, and upon whom an incredible burden lies. That's a lot of world (and otherworld) on the hands of one small, elderly man. I guess I feel compassion for him. He's a human trying to live up to the divine expectations of billions, not to mention his own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    They provide illusionary hope for a better future.
    Yeah. Even tangible hope, every now and then. John Paul had some moments.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Nice info. I can't really wrap my head around this mindset, but I guess these SJ types have a valid perspective which is useful for something.
    Someone else has already mentioned this being more complex than a temperament thing, but I wanted to add that I think it's actually very human in general to look to authority and leadership. It's not even so much because of security-seeking as it's a natural function of a large population, where triangular power structures tend to form. Because it's not efficient to have everyone disagreeing and holding the same level of power, power is delegated in growing stages to increasingly smaller groups. Even democracies and republics, with rejection of a monarch, typically have a singular figurehead.

    Specifically in Catholicism, the role of Pope is as the successor of Peter, who Jesus appointed to be the founder of his Church. He is also, and perhaps most importantly, the "Vicar of Christ" - the representative of Christ in the world. So his importance is incredibly magnified for believers, who see him not just as a leader and symbol, but also as a simulacrum of Jesus himself.

  2. #42
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    It's not that I don't want to minimize them. I just cope with them differently, I think. And I try to understand them to a point. I don't keep my mind on the ideal and say "this is how things should be". Sometimes I just want to know how something came to be, in the first place. You could say that's my own way to the ideal, of looking at a problem, and hopefully learning enough to not repeat it. I could be wrong, but I think INFPs just want to turn away, and point to perfection.. knowing what's right is good enough. Understanding what's wrong is not necessary.
    Interesting. I find it hard to imagine diagnosing a problem without some sort of good idea of what you want the outcome to be. Well, I did say I had my theories as to why Christianity has flaws. I think at least as much if not more about what is wrong with a system as how it should be.

  3. #43
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    I'm sure this is true, for the reasons you point out in the past paragraph- unscrupulous people will always capitalize on opportunities. The objection against Christianity is that it was all justified by and in the name of religion, and so fostered prejudiced and negative attitudes in the uneducated population. Even though any religion can be manipulated, any religion which is that easily manipulated (and I have my theories as to why in the case of Christianity) is a bad one in my book since the purpose is supposed to be to cultivate people toward their highest good- whether that is virtue, compassion, wisdom, reason, etc. And historically Catholicism in my opinion has done more to push people away from that than toward it. A good religion should be both explicit and internally consistent enough so as to not be easily interpreted in the wrong ways, and vague enough in key ways to allow and encourage critical thinking and individual decision making.
    I can't think of any religion that has not been manipulated in this way, except perhaps Buddhism or Native American religions, but I don't know enough to be sure. The misinterpretations come from people, and will happen as long as the human element remains in institutionalized religion. Same applies to dogmatic philosophies (e.g. Nazism, communism). I do think this kind of manipulation is easier in "religions of the book" where authority is vested in items external to the believer, like written scriptures and organized clergy.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  4. #44
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I can't think of any religion that has not been manipulated in this way, except perhaps Buddhism or Native American religions, but I don't know enough to be sure. The misinterpretations come from people, and will happen as long as the human element remains in institutionalized religion. Same applies to dogmatic philosophies (e.g. Nazism, communism). I do think this kind of manipulation is easier in "religions of the book" where authority is vested in items external to the believer, like written scriptures and organized clergy.
    Right. It's been true of every major religion except Buddhism, probably some forms of Hinduism, and some Native religions. Which is why I would classify all those as bad religions and the exceptions as tolerable ones. I'm generally opposed to religion for this reason- that almost all of them share the same major flaws.

  5. #45
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    Well I know that the big thing was that he is from Argentina, but other than that, I don't see how he is going to be much of a change from the last pope. From the bits that I've read, Pope Francis has essentially the same views as Pope Benedict XVI.
    I haven't had a chance to read much on him yet. He may prove to be a disappointment but it's quite common for people to be excited about a newly elected official. Nothing like hope and the possibility of change riding in the same vehicle.

  6. #46
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Right. It's been true of every major religion except Buddhism, probably some forms of Hinduism, and some Native religions. Which is why I would classify all those as bad religions and the exceptions as tolerable ones. I'm generally opposed to religion for this reason- that almost all of them share the same major flaws.
    There are Buddhists killing people (Muslims) in modern day Burma. And it's more about politics and cultural differences than religion per se. There's nothing in Buddhism that encourages it. But there's nothing in Christianity that does either. Christianity's history of conflicts is a lot more complicated than "it's just a mean spirited religion".

  7. #47
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    There are Buddhists killing people (Muslims) in in modern day Burma. And it's more about politics and cultural differences than religion per se. There's nothing in Buddhism that encourages it. But there's nothing in Christianity that does either.
    There are a lot of passages in the Old Testament which if taken out of context could certainly encourage it. And like I say, it might be largely about politics, but in some cases it is about religion, and in many more it is sanctioned by religion. There have been many more deaths in the name of Christianity and Islam than there have been in the name of any other religions. I agree that no religion is perfect, which is why I called the ones which were not particularly "bad" merely tolerable.

  8. #48
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    There are a lot of passages in the Old Testament which if taken out of context could certainly encourage it.
    There's a reason why it's called the Old Testament by Christians. The Jews don't call it that. It's their only Bible. Don't confuse the two.

  9. #49
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    There's a reason why it's called the Old Testament by Christians. The Jews don't call it that. It's their only Bible. Don't confuse the two.
    It's just one example. There are many others which are explicitly Christian. I guess it depends on what you take to be the core of a religion which is encouraging the action, but as we are talking about the Pope, and he is thought of by Catholics to be infallible, if he were to tell Christians that they should kill heretics and burn witches that would be a pretty big flaw in the religion. Infallibility of any human is a recipe for disaster. I don't know what all the popes in history have decreed, but I'm certain not all of it was conducive to cultivating people towards their highest good and treating every human with love and respect.

  10. #50
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    It's just one example. There are many others which are explicitly Christian. I guess it depends on what you take to be the core of a religion which is encouraging the action, but as we are talking about the Pope, and he is thought of by Catholics to be infallible, if he were to tell Christians that they should kill heretics and burn witches that would be a pretty big flaw in the religion. Infallibility of any human is a recipe for disaster. I don't know what all the popes in history have decreed, but I'm certain not all of it was conducive to cultivating people towards their highest good and treating every human with love and respect.
    There's nothing about killing heretics and witches in the New Testament. The anti-violence is so strict that it's difficult to follow, if you want my opinion. "Love your enemies.." "Turn the other cheek.." "He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.." "He who wishes to be great among you shall serve you.." "Love one another.." These ideas torment me, for the fact that they're absurdly righteous.

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