Pederasty, faith, and informal logic

The priest, convicted of tying up and abusing two young boys in a California church rectory, wanted to leave the ministry.

But in 1985, four years after the priest and his bishop first asked that he be defrocked, the future Pope Benedict XVI, then a top Vatican official, signed a letter saying that the case needed more time and that “the good of the Universal Church” had to be considered in the final decision, according to church documents released through lawsuits.

That decision did not come for two more years, the sort of delay that is fueling a renewed sexual abuse scandal in the church that has focused on whether the future pope moved quickly enough to remove known pedophiles from the priesthood, despite pleas from American bishops.

New York Times

Of course, some of us feel moral outrage and revulsion.  I often feel revulsion of another kind too.

I try not to be militant about my atheism unless I am provoked and drunk.  God doesn’t exist, but what’s the point of arguing with people of faith.  I sympathize with those who say their faith brings them joy and comfort.  The flip side of that coin is that faith also brings sadness and anxiety.  The words of praise for the lord are also accompanied with words of anguish.  The anguish is simply forgotten or given short shrift by most people of faith.

For me, the question of god is quite simple.  Somebody says that god exists.  I say, oh goody, can I meet him.  My interlocutor replies, yes, pray.  No, can I meet him in the flesh, I say.  God’s  not that kind of thing, the interlocutor says.

And there you have it.  God’s not that kind of thing.  All attempted proofs of god, no matter how sophisticated, have been shown to be fallacious.  Two people disagree about the existence of an entity.  One says it exists.  The other says it doesn’t.  In a logical argument, the burden of proof lies on the person who says an entity exists rather than someone who has never been shown solid evidence for the existence of that entity.

What if I called 911 and reported a unicorn cavorting in the park across the street?  Keep in mind it is against the law to make crank or frivolous calls to 911.   As the police arrest me, I say, but you must have faith.

Having faith in something that is not true, nor even any evidence for it is philosophically foolish in my opinion.  Especially when the falsehood leads to immoral and harmful events.  Such is the case with the Pope.

If I need aid and comfort, I’d rather have the here and now of people giving it to me than a belief in a being that does not exist.  I’ve almost come to believe that the belief in god is like a virus.  Benign in a lot of people, not toxic or dangerous, but in all too many others it is another cause of evil in the world.

As for the church running the state, that makes my passive atheism turn militant.

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 6:58 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yes, Lynn. Like you I have turned into a militant atheist. The sheer hypocricy of the church is astounding – as it has always been. Not to speak of the perversions.

    And yet they are allowed to exist in a separate universe with their “own” judicial system.

    I agree with Christopher Hitchens: Prosecute the Pope! And tax all religious communities.

  2. Thankfully there are other more pleasurable pursuits:

    El Clasico tonight: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona!

    Doesn’t ESPN carry it?

  3. Orla,

    It eludes me why organizations that are actively engaged in blatant political and commercial activities are not taxed.

    ESPN is carrying the Barca/Real game. Hooray!

  4. The best team won. Emphasis on team.

    Barca is a professional theater group. Real a collection of soloists.

    At best, soccer is 11 = 1 rather than 11 = 11.

    • Barca seems to be in a league of their own right now. I don’t see anybody beating them in the Champions League.

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