Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#101  Postby Horwood Beer-Master » Sep 16, 2013 8:08 am

DarthHelmet86 wrote:...Though I would argue that the first people doing it used their religion to veil their own personal fear and hatred of sex rather than the religion imposing that upon them...


Your looking so far back in time here that it's impossible to be sure of the motives. Although given that circumcision started back in the days when pretty-much all religions were 'ethnic' religions, I would suggest that at least part of the motive was as a way of distinguishing "us vs them", and maybe as a way of demonstrating commitment to the tribe.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#102  Postby DarthHelmet86 » Sep 16, 2013 8:11 am

Horwood Beer-Master wrote:
DarthHelmet86 wrote:...Though I would argue that the first people doing it used their religion to veil their own personal fear and hatred of sex rather than the religion imposing that upon them...


Your looking so far back in time here that it's impossible to be sure of the motives. Although given that circumcision started back in the days when pretty-much all religions were 'ethnic' religions, I would suggest that at least part of the motive was as a way of distinguishing "us vs them", and maybe as a way of demonstrating commitment to the tribe.


The USA's circumcision use didn't start all that long ago really. But I get what you mean about trying to work out the original motive from way back when for the start of circumcision in general.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#103  Postby Greyman » Sep 16, 2013 8:19 am

Horwood Beer-Master wrote:
Nora_Leonard wrote:...However it was a tradition for a long time to circumcise all male infants on "hygiene" grounds, which had nothing to do with religion...
I somehow doubt the idea of routine infant male circumcision (with any justification) would have ever occurred to anyone in the first place had it not been for it's history as a religious practice. It's hardly the kind of procedure that simply suggests itself.
Indeed. It's rather like suggesting we should amputate ears for hygiene reasons. Why did nobody ever propose that? It would save on all those arguments with children over having to wash behind them. Just clip them off babies for hygiene reasons.

Or toes for that matter.

Fingernails too.

What's so special about the penis that it's the only extremity to have bits amputated for these hygiene reasons?
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#104  Postby Scot Dutchy » Sep 16, 2013 8:20 am

DarthHelmet86 wrote:As I understood it the USA's foreskin chopping came from semi-religious grounds, since it was about stopping kids from playing with their dicks which was thought of as bad and unseemly due a religious fear or hatred of sex and sexuality. Since then it has become a sort of tradition with mistruths like "hygiene" being used to keep the practice going even though it is a barbaric mutilation of a child for no benefit. Though I would argue that the first people doing it used their religion to veil their own personal fear and hatred of sex rather than the religion imposing that upon them.


From Wiki:

Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision,[42] Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"
:crazy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#105  Postby chairman bill » Sep 16, 2013 8:25 am

I really don't need the Bishop of Rome telling me to follow my own conscience. I managed to work that one out all by myself.

What would be good is if he told the Catholics to follow their consciences, rather than fuckwitted, medieval teachings from purveyors of supernaturalist mumbo-jumbo bollocks.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#106  Postby DarthHelmet86 » Sep 16, 2013 8:30 am

chairman bill wrote:I really don't need the Bishop of Rome telling me to follow my own conscience. I managed to work that one out all by myself.

What would be good is if he told the Catholics to follow their consciences, rather than fuckwitted, medieval teachings from purveyors of supernaturalist mumbo-jumbo bollocks.


I actually doubt he wants you to follow your conscience, what he means by being good and following your conscience is to accept the idea the Catholic church thinks are the right options. Other wise he would be coming out and telling the flock to use condoms and to allow gay marriage.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#107  Postby Scot Dutchy » Sep 16, 2013 8:48 am

DarthHelmet86 wrote:
chairman bill wrote:I really don't need the Bishop of Rome telling me to follow my own conscience. I managed to work that one out all by myself.

What would be good is if he told the Catholics to follow their consciences, rather than fuckwitted, medieval teachings from purveyors of supernaturalist mumbo-jumbo bollocks.


I actually doubt he wants you to follow your conscience, what he means by being good and following your conscience is to accept the idea the Catholic church thinks are the right options. Other wise he would be coming out and telling the flock to use condoms and to allow gay marriage.


Yep the old git just wants to impose so-called catholic morals by the back door.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#108  Postby trubble76 » Sep 16, 2013 8:59 am

Quaker wrote:
trubble76 wrote:Does that mean the carpenter chappy was wrong when he said something about him being the only way to god? Atheists can get there without a zombie carpenter? Whats the need of the RCC then?


Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

There's more going on here than meets the eye. This is one of John's key "I am" phrases. These "ego eimi" phrases echo the Jewish name for God. Later on, John has people falling down as Jesus utters the words ego eimi, and John also has Jesus saying "before Abraham, ego eimi". So John is again pointing to the divinity and the timelessness of God present in Jesus (we have an "am" before a "was"). Elsewhere John uses the "I am" phrases to mirror descriptions of God in the Hebrew scriptures, such as being the good shepherd. John, it seems, when he used the "I am" phrases is pointing very strongly to the divinity of Jesus - which the Jews understood and they often reacted strongly to these ego eimi statements. Jesus is the way to God because Jesus is God. That, it seems, is what John is teaching. Some evangelicals use this verse "I am the way, the truth and the life, etc." to beat up non-Christians, but I think that is to miss the primary focus of what John is teaching, and that is that Jesus is God come in flesh. To John, Jesus was not just some intermediary who takes people to God, rather he, as God, embraces people. To approach Jesus is to approach God, in Johannine thought (again echoed in John's words of Jesus saying "I and the Father am one" and "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father").

As regards the OP, it seems to me that Pope Francis (who I have to say I'm very impressed with, so far) is reflecting Paul's teaching in Romans 2 that to follow one's conscience is to follow a law of God written on our hearts.

"When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all."


So atheists follow jesus when they follow their conscience? It matters not that atheists, to use a favourite term of christians, reject jesus and jehovah.
As you seem to have a familiarity with scripture, does any of it deal with the consequences of rejecting the triumvirate? If I unrepentantly called jesus a syphilitic crack whore and jehovah the sucker of satan's cock but still followed my conscience, I would still be welcomed into heaven along with all the humble god-botherers?

This is christianty claiming conscience the same way it claimed ethics, marriage and everything else it could get it's grubby little hands on, isn't it? It reminds me of a Family Guy episode where Peter is issuing commands to Brian, his dog. As Brian stops obeying him, Peter starts issuing commands that are what Brian is doing anyway to give the impression that Peter is still in control.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#109  Postby nunnington » Sep 16, 2013 1:14 pm

The odd thing is that this letter is a straight lift from the Bible, I would think Romans 2: 12-16 in particular, where natural law is formulated, and became an influential text. However, natural law had been described in the pre-Christian era, for example, by Cicero and the Stoics. Whether or not it can be taken back to Aristotle is a matter of dispute.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#110  Postby Scar » Sep 16, 2013 1:18 pm

nunnington wrote:The odd thing is that this letter is a straight lift from the Bible, I would think Romans 2: 12-16 in particular, where natural law is formulated, and became an influential text. However, natural law had been described in the pre-Christian era, for example, by Cicero and the Stoics. Whether or not it can be taken back to Aristotle is a matter of dispute.


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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#111  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Sep 16, 2013 2:00 pm

Mick wrote:You can forgive and still punish. Frankly, I have no idea what God has in store for atheists with a good conscience. I don't even know what hell is supposed to be.


What has god got in store for christians? Do they have some sort of bonus on their heaven pension? Or maybe it's a free complementary photo with Jesus himself on entry?
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#112  Postby Quaker » Sep 16, 2013 6:10 pm

trubble76 wrote:So atheists follow jesus when they follow their conscience? It matters not that atheists, to use a favourite term of christians, reject jesus and jehovah.
As you seem to have a familiarity with scripture, does any of it deal with the consequences of rejecting the triumvirate? If I unrepentantly called jesus a syphilitic crack whore and jehovah the sucker of satan's cock but still followed my conscience, I would still be welcomed into heaven along with all the humble god-botherers?

This is christianty claiming conscience the same way it claimed ethics, marriage and everything else it could get it's grubby little hands on, isn't it? It reminds me of a Family Guy episode where Peter is issuing commands to Brian, his dog. As Brian stops obeying him, Peter starts issuing commands that are what Brian is doing anyway to give the impression that Peter is still in control.


It's interesting that you read the Pope's words as a claiming of conscience for Christianity. I rather read them as clear distinction from any idea that only Christians can have a claim to know good from bad. The context was a 'bridge-building' letter to an atheist, so I would have to say I don't think the content or the context in this case supports your view; I think it was much more generous than that.

As for rejecting and insulting the 'triumvirate'*, I think you can only truly insult what you believe in otherwise it comes across as "I don't believe in God and I hate Him". Sure you can reject the proposal that God exists but then what sense is there in your little pretend diatribe?

*I'm no strict trinitarian myself. It seems to me that the scriptures cited to claim the Holy Spirit as a person could be equally applied to claiming Wisdom as a person (e.g. see Proverbs 8), and a woman (Sophia) at that! So if only strict trinitarians get into heaven I'm in the same trouble as you Trubble.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#113  Postby Arnold Layne » Sep 16, 2013 8:26 pm

So, why didn't all the previous Popes tell us this? :think:
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#114  Postby Doubtdispelled » Sep 16, 2013 10:31 pm

Arnold Layne wrote:So, why didn't all the previous Popes tell us this? :think:

Oh, for heaven's sake, Arnold. When will you ever learn not to ask awkward questions? :nono:
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#115  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Sep 17, 2013 2:19 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:
DarthHelmet86 wrote:As I understood it the USA's foreskin chopping came from semi-religious grounds, since it was about stopping kids from playing with their dicks which was thought of as bad and unseemly due a religious fear or hatred of sex and sexuality. Since then it has become a sort of tradition with mistruths like "hygiene" being used to keep the practice going even though it is a barbaric mutilation of a child for no benefit. Though I would argue that the first people doing it used their religion to veil their own personal fear and hatred of sex rather than the religion imposing that upon them.


From Wiki:

Non-religious circumcision in English-speaking countries arose in a climate of negative attitudes towards sex, especially concerning masturbation. In her 1978 article The Ritual of Circumcision,[42] Karen Erickson Paige writes: "In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control 'masturbatory insanity' – the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the 'polluting' practice of 'self-abuse.'"
:crazy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision

But not everything about the anti-masturbation movement has come out negative. I quite enjoy my Kellogg's Corn Flakes breakfast cereal. ;)
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#116  Postby laklak » Sep 17, 2013 2:27 am

Don't forget Graham crackers. Without the anti-masturbation brigade we wouldn't have smores.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#117  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Sep 17, 2013 3:45 am

..... Just FYI: I have it from a reasonably reliable source that neither of those delicious foods work as their inventors intended.

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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#118  Postby trubble76 » Sep 17, 2013 8:57 am

Quaker wrote:
trubble76 wrote:So atheists follow jesus when they follow their conscience? It matters not that atheists, to use a favourite term of christians, reject jesus and jehovah.
As you seem to have a familiarity with scripture, does any of it deal with the consequences of rejecting the triumvirate? If I unrepentantly called jesus a syphilitic crack whore and jehovah the sucker of satan's cock but still followed my conscience, I would still be welcomed into heaven along with all the humble god-botherers?

This is christianty claiming conscience the same way it claimed ethics, marriage and everything else it could get it's grubby little hands on, isn't it? It reminds me of a Family Guy episode where Peter is issuing commands to Brian, his dog. As Brian stops obeying him, Peter starts issuing commands that are what Brian is doing anyway to give the impression that Peter is still in control.


It's interesting that you read the Pope's words as a claiming of conscience for Christianity. I rather read them as clear distinction from any idea that only Christians can have a claim to know good from bad. The context was a 'bridge-building' letter to an atheist, so I would have to say I don't think the content or the context in this case supports your view; I think it was much more generous than that.

As for rejecting and insulting the 'triumvirate'*, I think you can only truly insult what you believe in otherwise it comes across as "I don't believe in God and I hate Him". Sure you can reject the proposal that God exists but then what sense is there in your little pretend diatribe?

*I'm no strict trinitarian myself. It seems to me that the scriptures cited to claim the Holy Spirit as a person could be equally applied to claiming Wisdom as a person (e.g. see Proverbs 8), and a woman (Sophia) at that! So if only strict trinitarians get into heaven I'm in the same trouble as you Trubble.


Well, you are welcome to read it any way you choose but it rather seems to me that he is saying "no matter what you believe, if you are well behaved, you are following christ and you will get into the big Disneyland in the sky. It's either that or he's saying that you don't have to follow christ to get in.
I think the latter is unlikely so therefore it seems to me that Frankie is claiming all good conscience as essentially christian.
As for the insults, I'm not sure I can agree with you, I surely can insult things I don't believe in. I believe I offered a couple of examples already. I can also call Santa a fat paedo. I don't need to hate him or believe he exists, I just have to believe in the concept of Santa, which is easy to do when the supermarkets start stocking christmas products in September. As for the point of such an exercise, I'm fairly sure there are quite steep consequences outlined in the bible for people who insult the lead characters, which would be somewhat contradictory to Frankie's latest offering. I'm trying to see which one wins.

I wouldn't call heavenly exclusion trouble though, can you imagine spending all eternity with faithful christians? And that god sounds like a nasty piece of work, it's not as if you could do anything about it. Good Lord, I'd rather take my chances elsewhere.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#119  Postby Quaker » Sep 17, 2013 3:13 pm

Hmmm. I have to say Trubble I do still have a difficulty in the idea of genuinely insulting something you don't actually think exists. The biblical context is the rejection of a God who is said to have shown his power clearly to people. I don't think that applies to people today. I think that brings us back to Pope Francis - that surely a just God would look kindly on people trying to do what is right in the context of their own lives. This echoes something I remember he said earlier - that we all "meet" together and with God in "doing good". I think the Pope has been eating his Quaker oats myself.
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Re: Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own conscience

#120  Postby trubble76 » Sep 17, 2013 3:41 pm

Quaker wrote:Hmmm. I have to say Trubble I do still have a difficulty in the idea of genuinely insulting something you don't actually think exists. The biblical context is the rejection of a God who is said to have shown his power clearly to people. I don't think that applies to people today. I think that brings us back to Pope Francis - that surely a just God would look kindly on people trying to do what is right in the context of their own lives. This echoes something I remember he said earlier - that we all "meet" together and with God in "doing good". I think the Pope has been eating his Quaker oats myself.


Okay, if you say so. I think I have adequately demonstrated that I can easily insult things that I do not believe exist. Mainly because I can believe the concepts exist without believing the things themselves actually exist. It seems blatantly obvious to me but perhaps I misunderstand your point.

I think it's interesting that you concede that jehovah fails to offer us the same chances he supposedly offered to bygone people, normally theists argue that their god almost drowns us in proof that is miraculously invisible to atheists. To me this points to it being a human fabrication.

As for Frankie, you seem to agree with me that he is claiming goodness for his god and his religion whereas you earlier objected. The bolded part shows him saying that good deeds mean we meet with his god. Doing good deeds does not join us with his god. I object to him crowbarring his god into where it is not wanted and not required. Humanity is perfectly capable of goodness without attributing it to some cosmic superhero. I do not let his god weasel his way into my life why should I let him weasel his way into my good deeds?

For all my objection, I actually do like this chief frock-wearer over the last two. At least he seems to make an effort to practice what he preaches. Sadly he is hamstrung by being catholic.
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