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Post 0

Sunday, September 27 - 1:40amSanction this postReply
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Here is a noteworthy transcript of part of Pope Francis' speech:

 

"The earth, entire peoples and individual persons are being brutally punished.

 

By whom? God? And punished for what?

 

And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called “the dung of the devil." An unfettered pursuit of money rules.

 

An unfettered pursuit of money is the dung of the devil?  Sounds like the Pope is condemning the same irreligious materialism as the Islamists who call America "the great Satan."

 

The service of the common good is left behind.

 

There is no such thing as the common good, unless that term means the good of every individual. But individualism is the very thing the Pope is condemning.

 

Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home.

 

How is capital not supposed to guide an entrepreneur's decisions?  Or would the Pope prefer that there be no entrepreneurs, no investors, no businesses, no employers, no profit and no money? 

 

As for enslaving men and women, it's the Pope who's enslaved them to a life of unplanned biological reproduction by forcing them to have children they cannot afford to feed and clothe.  It's the Pope's prohibitions against birth control and abortion that's impoverishing the very people who worship him.  No wonder he loves the poor; he's helped to create so many of them. 

 

As for the pedophilia and child molestation that's been scandalizing the Church, it's the Pope's very policy of forbidding priests to marry combined with his prohibition on sex outside of marriage that's largely responsible for it.   Since a life of complete celibacy is virtually impossible to practice, it creates moral leaders who cannot adhere to their own moral beliefs.  

 

What did Jesus say? "Let he who is without sin caste the first stone."  A more modern version:  "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones."  The Catholic Church needs to reform it's ethics before it dispenses ethical advice to others, but if it did that, it would no longer be Catholic.



Post 1

Sunday, September 27 - 12:58pmSanction this postReply
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Good post, Bill.

 

"dung of the devil" - I'd never heard that before... very earthy, very catchy.  His apologists in the Religious Right were talking about how he doesn't understand our capitalism and he has mixed it up with the harsh, crony-capitalism of the Argentina where he grew up.  But that is just so much dung - as the quotes you've listed show, he knows exactly what he is attacking.

 

Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home.

 

I agree with your take on that paragraph and point out that it ends with claiming that capitalism not only enslaves us, destroys our society, pits us against one another, but also puts at risk our common home (Hello, Global Warming).  This is a man who hates capitalism and I suspect that he does so because at some level he sees capitalism freeing man from slavery, misery, hatred and fear (those things he takes as his justification).
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As to the pedophilia and child molestation, it isn't caused by vows of celebacy or the prohibition on married priests.  If it was just the difficulties of celebacy in the face of the sexual urge, we wouldn't see children be molested.  We see lots of illicit connections with female parishers, nuns, and homosexual activity with adults.  I suspect that there are other things that move so many priests towards children.  One, of course, is that there is a degree of sanction of that evil.  The church forgives, turns its head, and if necessary, transfers the offending priest to another state to protect him. Most of these individuals wouldn't be married, if that were allowed.  They sought their calling as much as safe place to hide themselves with their shameful, sexual attraction to children as to lose themselves in their idea of religion.  What channels the urge to have sex towards children is, I suspect, something to do with 'lost innocence.'  The priest is coming from deeply repressed personal shame (my guess) and using rationalization and denial to avoid seeing the reality of what they are doing and the harm to the child.  They are like a kind of emotional vampire trying to get for themselves some of the child's innocence.  In an ugly sort of psychological logic, they destroy that innocence with the sex and with their partial, self-made blindness to what they are doing, and their subconscious enacts a kind of justice by keeping the old, psychological wounds alive and their self-esteem low.  Most of these people would have been pedophiles if there were no church.  There might even be a few of them who were sociopathic, psychopathic pedophiles that saw on the news how the church protected molestors and ran off to join.  What is remarkable is that an institution would be as accepting of this... That tells us a lot about the inner-priest and what they see as man's normal state that they would accept the pain and misery and loss of innocence instead of going after such acts as an unnatural enemy to be fought.
---------------

 

When I step back and compare what Pope Francis says to what we see from Islamic fundamentalism, the main difference is that fundamental Christianity wants to feed off of misery and what they truely worship is that state of misery.  They gave up their innocence in the sense of having given up on personal happiness and joy and achievement and they suppress their part in that by clinging tightly to the belief that those are things that aren't possible on earth.  When they talk about unity, joy and rejoicing, it is only to attract the miserable closer and to bind them more closely.  Fundamental Islam worships death and the act of killing.  Hatred for any opposition is their holy state of being while on earth.  They have no pretense of being in a state of bliss here on earth and their image of a blissful afterlife is so thin as to only be workable by those who are quick to escape into delusion when reality threatens to tell them that something is wrong with what they are doing.



Post 2

Sunday, September 27 - 10:39pmSanction this postReply
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"As to the pedophilia and child molestation, it isn't caused by vows of celebacy or the prohibition on married priests.  If it was just the difficulties of celebacy in the face of the sexual urge, we wouldn't see children be molested.  We see lots of illicit connections with female parishers, nuns, and homosexual activity with adults." 

 

I think the reason they go after children, Steve, may be that children are more easily manipulated into thinking that since it's a spiritual leader, the sex isn't sinful; plus the child can more easily be coached into keeping quiet.  If a priest made a similar advance towards an adult, he'd be more likely to risk exposure. 



Post 3

Sunday, September 27 - 11:22pmSanction this postReply
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Bill,

 

I think the reason they go after children, Steve, may be that children are more easily manipulated into thinking that since it's a spiritual leader, the sex isn't sinful; plus the child can more easily be coached into keeping quiet.

 

That's true.  And many child molestors are strongly into control - control freaks.  But, for most part, the manipulation you mentioned would only be a tactical approach.  No healthy adult WANTS to have sex with children.  No healthy adult finds a little boy or a little girl 'sexy.'  The nature of pedophilia as a disorder is the grossly inappropriate and obsessive sexual attraction to prepubesent children.  The attraction comes first, then comes the formation of a goal to have sex with a child, then, finally comes the working out of the tactics - the 'how to.'

 

When I worked with Los Angles County Dept. of Children's Services, one of the things I did was to run group therapy sessions for convicted sex offenders.   (Admittedly, none of the people in my two groups were priests).  With real pedophiles there is no talk-therapy technique that is effective.  Mostly my goal was to help them minimize any stresses in their lives and to keep track of their stability in staying away from temptations. 



Post 4

Tuesday, September 29 - 12:41pmSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

Also, the prohibition against priests marrying will likely attract men who have no interest in marriage, which would include men who are sexually attracted to children.  So, under that system, you'll be more likely to get more men who are pedophiles than under a system in which priests were allowed to marry.  We don't have the same incidence of pedophilia among Protestant ministers or Jewish rabbis, and I think that may very well be the reason, in addition to the strong opposition under Catholicism to any sexual gratification outside of marriage.



Post 5

Tuesday, September 29 - 2:07pmSanction this postReply
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Bill,

 

I agree that accepting married men as priests would likely decrease the number of pedophiles in the priesthood, but not necessarily the number of pedophiles in existence... they would seek out other venues (becoming teachers, day care attendents, camp counselors, cub scout leaders, etc.)

 

And we don't know how much of the attraction of the Catholic church to these people is related to the church being protective of them when caught and the absence of many kinds of monitoring or transparency in their actions.  I'd guess that these are the strongest pulls.  Pedophiles tend to be sneaky and planning their secret lives.

-----------

 

In some ways, our entire discussion is kind of like talking about what kind of deckchair arrangement would be best on the Titanic.  At least in the sense of spending time thinking about any ways to get the church to let priests marry.  Catholicism itself is a giant epistemological and moral mess.  The Catholic church is huge, and millions of Americans are still held tight in its sway.  They keep alive the basic idea of sacrifice and that man's natural state is misery.  What is amazing is that they are able to dress it up with the jeweled cloaks, and great cathedrals, and latin chants and mystical nonsense and get away with what in fact is a kind of extortion: sacrifice as we tell you to, or you will burn for eternity in the fires of hell.  They have Catholic schools where nuns terrify young children in their classrooms with the image being tortured and burned forever if they don't adopt these insane beliefs.  The only way a person can function when they take these beliefs seriously is to learn to partition their mind off, accept as a working hypothesis that some areas are off limits to reason, to split theory and practice apart and hold all of morality as muddled mess where one approximizes.  It keeps people partly child-like in many ways that aren't good.



Post 6

Tuesday, September 29 - 3:03pmSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

Good post.  I agree with what you say.  Allowing priests to marry would certainly not decrease the number of pedophiles in existence, but it would improve the image of the Catholic Church by making it less likely for these scandals to occur under its auspices. 

 

The doctrine of Catholicism is a failure all the way around and will eventually undermine its support, which is long overdue.  Taking a page out of Marx, Catholicism contains within it the seeds of its own destruction.  The Pope's hatred of life on earth and everything that makes it possible is a monumental tragedy, especially given the widespread influence of the Catholic Church throughout the world, especially in Latin America.  Religion is so anti-life on so many levels that it's mind boggling, and even with all the advances of scientific thinking and technological progress, it still appears to exercise a good deal of influence, if one can judge by all the media hype and attention the Pope's visit to the U.S. has generated.



Post 7

Tuesday, September 29 - 4:23pmSanction this postReply
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Bill,

 

I agree. 

 

I was stunned watching the way the supporters of the Pope would become almost orgastic in their enthusiasm for him.  They did everything but deify him on the spot.  Everything he said was the essence of wisdom, and every move he made was evidence of the depth of his character.  He said, "God is love" and they were bowled over as if all the questions of life were now solved.  They focused on the tiniest thing, even things that were objectively ambiguous, and had no problem seeing wonderfulness that just plain wasn't there.  It was delusional.  And it was not just one or two people.... it was tens or hundreds of thousands.  It was a harsh reminder of how easy it is for the human animal to let go of reason and critical thinking and follow an emotional urge... like a bunch of lemmings.



Post 8

Tuesday, September 29 - 8:03pmSanction this postReply
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When Bill and Steve stay within the mainstream of Objectivism, attacking mysticism, altruism, and collectivism, they are easy to agree with.  On the subject of priests and pedophilia, they are lost lambs.  

 

WD: We don't have the same incidence of pedophilia among Protestant ministers or Jewish rabbis, and I think that may very well be the reason, in addition to the strong opposition under Catholicism to any sexual gratification outside of marriage.

 

How do you know? Is the absence of evidence the same as evidence of absence?  Do you have any statistical survey evidence?  

 

The failures of Catholic priests is only ripped from the headlines to provide a confirmation bias.  Have they forgotten Tammy Fae Bakker and Jim Bakker, Amy McPherson, or a dozen other Protestant con artists?  The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners.  We are fallible, not omniscient.

 

A Catholic priest is no more or less immune to temptation from Satan than any other mortal. We all need salvation through Jesus Christ our Savior. The actual number of child molesters may be within an order of magnitude of the number who take the Lord's Name in vain, dishonor their parents, covet their neighbor's ass (or maid servant), bear false withnesss, or steal from the church poor box.  And those sins may be committed by rabbis, immans, decons, sextons, ayatollahs, bishops, or you. 

 

Mormons wear "angel pants" to bed, full dress night clothes with openings for couplings.  How on Earth did Bill and Steve miss the chance the throw that in Mitt Romney's face back in 2012?

 

I challenge you to put "Republican homosexual" in your search engine.  You will understand my quip that homosexuality is Nature's way of preventing Republicans from reproducing too many of their own kind. It is difficult to do a Google search on Republican Congressmen who have had sex with their aides because "Republican homosexual aids" bring up too many alternative choices... including the claim that lesbians want free healthcare because they are dying of AIDS.  (See here.)  Here is a long list of "Republican Sex Scandals" courtesy of the Democratic Underground.

 

My point is that we are all fallible creatures.  The priests who molested children were immoral. They are not alone. Condemn them, of course, but do not condemn them as if they are special.

 

On a wider topic, you might ask why Bill Gates is not an Objectivist, or why Bill Dwyer and Steve Wolfer are not innovative capitalist millionaires.  The fact is that people are people: A is A.  Bill and Steve and just two guys. And I am a third.  And a priest who molests children is just a child molester.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 9/29, 8:12pm)



Post 9

Tuesday, September 29 - 8:57pmSanction this postReply
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The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners.  We are fallible, not omniscient.

 

Another argument by Marotta that implies that since we aren't omniscent that our arguments are suspect.  As I've said before, Marotta isn't just into relativism, but opposed to any certainty (except for his certainty that he is right and I am wrong).
---------------

 

The failures of Catholic priests is only ripped from the headlines to provide a confirmation bias.

 

Really?  Who is doing this ripping?  Some cabal of conspiring anti-Catholics?  Do you think that all quoted headlines (or asserted positions) amount to no more that a product of confirmation bias?  Can anything be reasoning or knowledge, or is everything, according to Marotta, just a product of confirmation bias?

---------------

 

My point is that we are all fallible creatures.  The priests who molested children were immoral. They are not alone. Condemn them, of course, but do not condemn them as if they are special.

 

Speak for yourself, Marotta.  You feel some kind of moral relativism that lets you adopt the Christian doctrine that we are all sinners, but I don't.  I feel a very distinct difference between myself and child molesters.
---------------

 

I need to mention the weirdness of how Marotta's mind 'works.'  He made some kind of strange attack on Bill and I that amounts to this:  We didn't attack Mit Romney  in 2012 because some Mormons have religious rituals involving the way they dress for bed.  Can anyone find any logic in that attack?
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I challenge you to put "Republican homosexual" in your search engine.

 

I know that your deep affinity for the far-left attracts you to things like that, but I would have expected more of you.
1. Does a Google search prove that Bill and I were wrong on any of the statements we made?
2. We were discussing the psychology of child molesting relative to the Church's tendency to cover up these crimes and whether or not pedophiles sought out priesthood to engage in their activities, and if the church's repressive attitudes on sex have anything to do with priests molesting children.  How is that answered by your Google search challenge?
--------------

 

...a priest who molests children is just a child molester.

 

No, he is a priest who molests children and our discussion was about that relationship.  Do you have Catholic sensibilities that were offended?  Are you aware of how much that post of yours sounds like an outraged liberal catholic who feels under attack?  Do you think that the Catholic church's damnation of any form of sex that isn't related to procreation and sanctioned by the church isn't relative to the discussion?  To tell the truth, I would have expected a better argument from a member of the church than presented in that post of yours.



Post 10

Wednesday, September 30 - 2:16amSanction this postReply
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Pick any population.  Pick any crime.  Then construct as many theories as you can to explain why that population has a proclivity for that crime.  

 

When criminologists say "crime knows no neighborhood" they mean that no population is special. 

 

When criminologists refer to the "mass-mediated hyper-reality of crime" they are pointing to the overlap between news and entertainment by which we are sold the stories we want to experience. Those wants come to us from the media. It is not a special conspiracy any more than the presence of green beans in a grocery store is the result of grocers telling us what foods to eat.  (The other day, I was some place where a television was playing and I heard an ad for gluten-free Cheerios. )  But grocers do sell us what we want and the "hyper-reality" of grocery shopping is that Kiwi Fruit, Ugly Fruit, and Pluots (cross between a plum and an apricot - and that genetic monstrosity comes "organic") are offered to us by innovators. We accept or reject.   So, too, with the news.  They report all kinds of stuff, and the stuff we like, they report more of.

 

It used to be Letters to the Editor.  Now, it is the comments on the blog. Social media analytics make serving your wants very easy.



Post 11

Tuesday, October 6 - 7:50amSanction this postReply
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We expect that the pope is of necessity a mystic altruist collectivist. Any deviation from that would be remarkable.  (For one remarkable exception, see for instance Pope Sylvester II who brought learning into Europe from Muslim Spain c. 1000 AD.)  The discussion here of pedophilia is more problematic.

 

Progressives point to the fact that over 20% of Black youth have primary contact with the criminal justice system as evidence of structural racism in our society.  Over one in five Black youths, aged 15 to 23 are in prison, in jail, on parole, or on probation. The structural racism is easy to perceive. The connection between those two is harder to prove, because, obviously, 80% of Black youth have no primary contact with the criminal justice system.

 

Similarly, the fact that (just guessing here) 99% of Roman Catholic priests keep their vows of celibacy should cast a harsh light on illogical inferences about the sociology of religion.  Moreover, the fact that (my guess) 99% of pedophiles are not Roman Catholic priests should call into question any attempt at a causal relationship between celibacy and other forms of deviance.  (Celibacy is a sexual deviance, just as gluttony and anorexia are both eating disorders.  The failure point of the analogy is that gluttony and anorexia are bad for your health, by simple observation. No such assertion for celibacy has been established. Is vegetarianism an eating disorder, given our omnivorous nature? Perhaps celibacy is just that kind of a choice.)

 

Furthermore, Eastern Orthodox rites, which are also Apostolic churches, allow men who are married to become priests, though men who become priests before they marry cannot.  That would seem to offer an opportunity for a controlled study, if anyone really cared to find out the facts, rather than just pontificating...



Post 12

Tuesday, October 6 - 11:36amSanction this postReply
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Progressives point to the fact that over 20% of Black youth have primary contact with the criminal justice system as evidence of structural racism in our society.  Over one in five Black youths, aged 15 to 23 are in prison, in jail, on parole, or on probation. The structural racism is easy to perceive. The connection between those two is harder to prove, because, obviously, 80% of Black youth have no primary contact with the criminal justice system.

 

The statistics are fact.  The existence of structural racism is Progressive crap.  There are real problems in some of the black communities, in the ideas that are primary to some of the black subculture.   These ideas are what have led so many young blacks into trouble.  Many of these ideas are from the Progressive world.  And at this late date in the 'war on poverty' we have to say that the inner-city is no longer something the progressives are working on.... no, it is something they have created.
-----------------

 

Marotta, if you are Catholic, or have a soft spot in your heart for Catholicism, then that would explain why you are in such a flap over the brief discussion Bill and I had.  We were just discussing a possible relationship between the Catholic church's position on sex, and on celibacy, and on protecting offending priests, to the child molestation that has occurred. 

 

Neither of us said that pedophila by priests was a large percentage.  Neither of us said that there was an out-of-proportion number of pedophiles who are Catholic.  There is a minor relationship between celebacy and any inappropriate form of sex.  The sexual drive is very powerful (in all species) and if that urge has no outlet, then it keeps driving the person on.  It is like a motivational fuel.  I don't believe (and have never argued) that celebacy causes pedophila - it doesn't.

 

Mostly we just talked about factors that favored Catholic priests engaging in child molestation.  The way the church protected the offenders is an example. 



Post 13

Tuesday, October 6 - 2:26pmSanction this postReply
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Steve, you never had a problem understanding Fred Bartlett's rhapsodies. You may have a mental block that prevents you from understanding what I write. Perhaps you purposely obfuscate in order to have an argument.  Perhaps something else motivates  you.  Regardless of your inability or unwillingness to understand my messages, I certainly do not want your smoke screens to cause misunderstanding to any third party.  Let me be clear(er). 

 

MEM:  The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners.  We are fallible, not omniscient.  A Catholic priest is no more or less immune to temptation from Satan than any other mortal. We all need salvation through Jesus Christ our Savior. 

SW: Mostly we just talked about factors that favored Catholic priests engaging in child molestation.  The way the church protected the offenders is an example. 

 

My comment was rhetorical only, an identification of the Church's position. I have never advocated for salvation through Christ. Christians do. The Catholic Church has another way to deal with the problem.  It is why the Church does not turn priests over the police when they embezzle Church funds, which some do.  We all sin.  If you are truly remorseful, you confess your sin, receive absolution, and perform penance.  This is recognized in law in many jurisdictions (though not Utah). The confessional, the doctor's office, the lawyer's office, in therapy with your psychiatrist or psychologist, those are all special relationships that cannot be pierced, except in special circumstances, such as being likely to physically harm others or yourself. 

 

Look at it this way: according to U.S. military custom, no flag ever flies higher than the American flag, except the chaplain's pennant when services are being held.  As atheists, we might view that as an archaic custom, in appropropritate in a modern, secular society, perhaps even a violation of the First Amendment rights of others.  I understand it as symbolizing the fact that moral law is higher than political authority.

 

My points about Tammy Fae and the GOP highlighted the fact that your interest in pedophile priests was without philosophical context. You never cared before. You never cared about pedophilia. Bill at least had the insight to identify the mysticist-altruist-collectivist axis about which the Pope and Church revolve. And that much was fine.  It was when you both went off the deep end spinning baseless theories that I ran half a dozen counter-examples.  You were not concerned about the sexual perversions of Mormons. And, really, who cares?  More to the point, your favoring the Republican Party prevented your from connecting the dots in what you would call a "floating abstraction" to condemn Mitt Romney as an advocate of perversion.  But, when the Pope comes to town, suddenly, this is news worth commenting on.  Over on MSK's OL, someone started a discussion about Pope Francis's visit to the US. I replied with a story about a traffic accident.  (Do you see the intention there, or would you like me to spell it out.)

 

You are right: I have softer spot for Catholicism than I do for Protestantism. In truth, I have an even bigger affinity for Jews than for Catholics.  And when someone here took a shot at Buddhism, you joined Sam Erica and me in touting meditation. So, we all have our preferences.

 

As for sexual energy and its placement, misplacement, or replacement, I recently read a biography of Paul Erdös.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 10/06, 2:30pm)



Post 14

Tuesday, October 6 - 5:15pmSanction this postReply
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Marotta,

 

Steve, you never had a problem understanding Fred Bartlett's rhapsodies. You may have a mental block that prevents you from understanding what I write. Perhaps you purposely obfuscate in order to have an argument.  Perhaps something else motivates  you.  Regardless of your inability or unwillingness to understand my messages, I certainly do not want your smoke screens to cause misunderstanding to any third party.  Let me be clear(er).

 

My understanding Fred versus understanding you isn't about any mental block.  It is about the difference in the logic that Fred employed as compared to the confusing muddle of words you sometimes put forth in the place of logic.  I have no problem rebutting your muddles without ever resorting to obfuscation.  My motivation is simple: I point out what I see as logical problems in what you've written, because I enjoy unpacking fallacies.  And it isn't that I misunderstand or am unwilling to understand what you've written, but that you apparently don't like seeing your errors pointed out.

 

As to calling what I've written a smoke screen... that's nonsense and as to you being "clearer" - I wish you would.
-----------

 

Here is something wierd (and an example of not being clear).  In post #13, you quote yourself: "MEM: The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners. ..." that quote is taken from Post #8, then you put a quote of mine right under it, as if I were replying to that statement: "SW: Mostly we just talked about factors that favored Catholic priests engaging in child molestation. ..." which is from post #12.  Did you mean to indicate that I was replying to your quote?  That wouldn't be honest.
-----------

 

When you say, "The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners" that is YOU saying that.  If you want to be clearer, and did not mean to say those are your beliefs, then say, "The church believes that we are all sinners." 

-----------

 

Let me show you another example of a failure to be clear. 

 

We all sin.  If you are truly remorseful, you confess your sin, receive absolution, and perform penance.  This is recognized in law in many jurisdictions (though not Utah). The confessional, the doctor's office, the lawyer's office, in therapy with your psychiatrist or psychologist, those are all special relationships

 

You say "We all sin" and you say it in a way that implies this is fact as opposed to mouthing the words of the church.  Then you go off into how the church handles priests who sin, and you talk about the confessional where one recieves absolution, and then you roll right into the doctors office and the lawyers office, in therapy, and tie these all up with saying they are special relationships under the law. 

 

Tell me - are you unable to see how you have floated from one concept to another in a way that is lacking in a logical connection that stays true to the issue being discussed?  The issue Bill and I were dicussing had to do with anything the Catholic church does that might account for more child molestation.  Don't you see that you would have been agreeing with Bill and me had you phrased it like this, "The church believes that we are all sinners, and they prefer to accept confession and to grant absolution, even though some people believe that might permit more child molestation."
-------------

 

My points about Tammy Fae and the GOP highlighted the fact that your interest in pedophile priests was without philosophical context.

 

You have a very strange mind.  Bill and I were discussing any psychological, cultural, legal quirks might exist that would make Catholic priesthood more open to child molestation.  Do you think that I'm somehow required to frame pedophilia in philosophical terms?
-------------

 

You never cared about pedophilia.

 

I could answer this in two ways. 
  1.  "So What!" or,
  2.  "You're totally wrong."  I've had clinical training in understanding pedophilia and as a psychotherapist I ran therapy groups for sex offenders for over a year for child protective services.
---------------

 

...your favoring the Republican Party prevented your[sp] from connecting the dots in what you would call a "floating abstraction" to condemn Mitt Romney as an advocate of perversion.

 

Really?  Are you becoming unhinged?



Post 15

Tuesday, October 6 - 6:25pmSanction this postReply
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Marotta you said,

Look at it this way: according to U.S. military custom, no flag ever flies higher than the American flag, except the chaplain's pennant when services are being held.  As atheists, we might view that as an archaic custom, in appropropritate in a modern, secular society, perhaps even a violation of the First Amendment rights of others.  I understand it as symbolizing the fact that moral law is higher than political authority.

    That's an interesting idea, and it deviates from the traditional far-left "secular" agenda of moral relativism and absoluteness of state power. But there are two problems with that; any sort of religious symbol doesn't represent any moral law that ought to be respected above the law, and even if it did, no government has the right to give any special recognition to any moral law, even to Objectivism. I realise that you were not actually supporting the military custom, but you were definitely trying to find a diamond in the rough when it comes to religion in politics. In reality, your just trying to get blood from a stone.

 

   



Post 16

Monday, October 12 - 5:19amSanction this postReply
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LJT declared:

... no government has the right to give any special recognition to any moral law ...

Seriously?  So the morality of respecting human life deserves no special recognition and codification?  This strikes me as untenable on its face.



Post 17

Monday, October 12 - 9:45amSanction this postReply
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    Luke you responded to my statement by saying,

Seriously?  So the morality of respecting human life deserves no special recognition and codification?  This strikes me as untenable on its face.

    There was a podcast Leonard Peikoff did a few years ago, in which he discussed an Objectivist dictator. While he was specifically talking about a dictator who enforced all of the tenets of objectivism as he saw them by force, he still reaches the conclusion more or less that there are some parts of philosophy outside of the sphere of government consideration. The realm of government, in a rights respecting society, is limited only to the exercise of certain powers (the military, the police, the courts, etc.), and to some epistemological issues (standard of evidence in a court of law, when the actions of a foreign nation constitutes an act of aggression, etc.). Individual rights deserve recognition and codification by government, but only to aid in defining the scope of government power. To codify an entire system of ethics or philosophy into law would simply be using the law as a propaganda tool. Think about how christians go nuts over how the Declaration of Independence recognized a "creator", is it really a proper function of the law to give ammunition to certain groups and beliefs? I think not.



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Monday, October 12 - 12:08pmSanction this postReply
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    Here is a quote from Rand (from Capitalism the Unknown Ideal),

 "Objectivism is a philosophical movement; since politics is a branch of philosophy, Objectivism advocates certain political principles - specifically, those of laissez-faire capitalism - as the consequence and the ultimate practical application of its fundamental philosophical principles. It does not regard politics as a separate or primary goal, that is: as a goal that can be achieved without a wider ideological context"

    I take that to mean that while Objectivism advocates specific political aims, Objectivism itself is not a philosophy of politics. Understanding that Objectivism goes beyond politics, and that to Objectivists the realm of politics ought to be severely limited, Rand would probably be against a constitution declaring her philosophy as the bases of the state's authority.

 

    Here is one more quote (from the Virtue of Selfishness),

 "Under a proper social system, a private individual is legally free to take any action he pleases (so long as he does not violate the rights of others), while a government official is bound by law in his every official act. A private individual may do anything except that which is legally forbidden; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally permitted. "

    I interpret this to mean that while individuals are concerned with a wide variety of philosophical and technical issues, the government is only concerned with those issues it has the power under the law to address. Establishing a specific morality of human life, outside of a defined list of man's rights (bill of rights), could be misunderstood to grant the government authority over a wide range issues - for example, if an abortion is justified in a given circumstance - rather than only those issues related specifically to rights.

 

(Edited by Liam Joseph Thornback on 10/12, 12:33pm)



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