Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Posts re the latest religious firestorm, again....

[Collected posts I've made in my newsgroup hyperlucidity over this situation]

Date: Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:16 pm

Actually, the central idea of this is the first and only intelligent/enlightened thing he's said since I've heard of him --and now people are getting upset, when it wasn't about rolling back the right to abortions, or repealing same-sex marriage in Canada, but the central fallacy of all absolute religions? Of course, he doesn't quite get that what's good for the goose is good for the gander -- but shouldn't that be the place to start the criticism on any humanistic grounds, not with the incident of it being taken as an insult against one religion that actually does have people doing stupidly theofanatical things in the present day?
Here's the Fox fulltext -- and the AP story below that's the one found on Yahoo News from yesterday. The Fox story paraphrased but did not quote directly what he said (not quite fair and balanced), and the upshot of what he said happens to be the one thing that all religions should be taking into account. Perhaps they omitted it because it strikes a potential blow at the feet of American forcible theocracy?


P.S.--I suspect that some Orthodox and other Eastern Christians will be rather put out over both the pat citing of the text as "obscure[and] medieval" and of the assumption of the Pope as being "the highest cleric in Christianity." Sounds like a whole lot of people are stuck in the Middle Ages.......and just rarin' for another go at the whole Crusade/jihad exercise at overgeneralization and prejudice. Doesn't anyone study the history of religions anymore?

(Religious Leaders Across Mideast Rage Against Pope's Comments on Islam)

(Muslim leaders condemn Pope's speech, want apology)

Date: Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:35 am

I'm not saying he's any less bad than they are either -- but whether he meant it or not, what he said himself (i.e., not just quoting Palaeologos, who was a medieval Byzantine) ought to be given weight...again, whether he likes the full import of it or not. That's what he ought to be challenged on, though -- the Catholic Church's own record of spreading the faith by the sword, and the necessity of all faiths (and philosophies) forever recanting and refusing that method of literal "ideological warfare". It's what we need, no matter who happens to say it .I don't downplay how bad Stalin and Hitler were either, but they said a lot of insightful things about what they were doing and how they read the hearts and minds of people to do it. I'd rather understand and respond to their words logically than censure (or censor) them. Not to mention that I have no fondness for catering to the thin-skinnedness of any religion, no matter how militant.


[This is where I posted the post closely previous to this one, with bulleted observations]

Date: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:51 am

Okay, here's some context for the actual attitude that was being taken here through the speech, and the entire transcript (located under the American spelling of the title) can be read here:http://zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=94748 ....So, that's what he was trying to say--that he thinks the field of reason should and must re-embrace theology as a natural study, rather than relegating it to the realm of the utterly subjective.

Which is not too far from my own views, but then I still would have to resist the trend (which I can't imagine him not supporting) to consider religion to be mandated by (supposed) logical proof, as it seems his direction must inevitably be if he is opposed to the 'subjective' diversity of beliefs and practices. Because A, it might or might not be actually "true" as allegedly proven (choose your premises carefully), and B, even if something is true, if it harms no one to believe/practise otherwise or in a different version at the surface, then why press the issue? It is far more important for people to interact decently as fellow humans than to agree on the same exact creed, and I think a good deal more attention in the philosophical vein, since it's been brought up, ought to be re-addressed to the subject of ethics and responsible social interaction with others as equal beings.


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