3rd December 2009

“How many saints and miracles and councils and conclaves are required in order first to be able to establish a dogma and then after infinite pain and loss and absurdity and cruelty to be forced to rescind one of those dogmas?”

Christopher Hitchens

7 Responses to “3rd December 2009”

  1. tech Says:

    Good question for which I must give more thought. i,ll get back to you on that one.In the meantime, take care and may GOD BLESS you.

  2. Brian Delrosario Says:

    Is he talking about Galileo, the Catholic Church, and that whole Earth-rotates-around-the-Sun thing? The Catholic Church apologized for that recently. So to answer Mr. Hitchens’s question, at least a few generations.

    Nationalism and brutal (yet secular) leaders seem like an even greater causes of violence — just my opinion, not trying to change the subject. I’m a fan of Mr. Hitchens. Interesting guy and all.

  3. Chris Says:

    I’ve heard him use similar words when referring to the odious doctrine of limbo, which, after tormenting the minds of millions of distraught parents, the catholic church has now said…ooops, doesn’t exist.

  4. Brian Delrosario Says:

    The cool thing about the Catholic Church saying oops, remains in that it somewhat parallels scientific thinking. Science builds on trial and error. Explanations graduate from hypothesis, to model, to theory, to natural law.

    If an explanation doesn’t make it round two of testing, does science hold onto it? Negative. We give way to reason and evidence, with each mistake bringing us one step closer to newer and cooler technologies.

    Ever hear of new religious advancements on sale at Best Buy? Won’t happen. But at least some churches try to build on trial and error.

  5. Chris Says:

    Science starts with a hypothesis, tests that hypothesis and if the hypothesis survives then and only then can you be said to have a theory. A theory is actually the highest plane in science because a theory is what explains the observations, that is, the natural law.

    Religious doctrine, on the other hand, is made up out of whole cloth, enforced by fiat and changed by whim. While chucking an immoral doctrine like limbo certainly is an ethical step forward, they had as little reason to throw it out as they had to create it in the first place. Sometimes it’s silly as when I was a kid and you couldn’t be considered a good Catholic if you didn’t observe “fish Friday”. Sometimes it’s deadly, as when thousands were tortured and killed for the crime of reading the bible in English in the middle ages.

    Flattering Catholicism in this way is unfair to science. Even a broken watch is right twice a day. The church will sometimes advance but it has always done so following society, not leading it. They were for slavery until societal pressure made them decide it was evil.

  6. John Says:

    …and what about their ties to the Hitler? (allegedly)

  7. Chris Says:

    Alleged? The very first treaty Hitler signed was with the Vatican. Hitler was catholic, used his catholicism as justification for the persecution and attempted extermination of the Jews and was never excommunicated. To be excommunicated, you have to do something serious. Like using a condom or ordaining a woman. Just this year, the Pope lifted the excommunication on holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson. Said Williamson “I believe that the historical evidence is hugely against 6 million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.” What should one expect when the Pope is a former Hitler Youth member.