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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 4:01PM #81
TemplarS
Posts: 6,584

You are right, Woodman.  This is a stumbling block. But it is one with little evidence to support it.


Seraphim mentions the saints; and he is right. These are people who have served God and man and the Church.  You cannot say the Holy Spirit was not at work through these individuals. Yet many were not clergy. For that matter many were women.  For that matter many (Joan of Arc for one) were condemned by the men of the Church while they were alive.


You therefore cannot say that in conflicts between clergy and laity (or for that matter Bishops and other clergy) the clergy and Bishops are always right.


The response to this is, then, either:


1) Always right only in matters of, as it is called "faith and morals."    But, it seems, the boundaries of faith and morals can change. Slavery was once a matter of economics; now it is morals.  The structure of the cosmos was once a matter of faith; now it is science.  So this is a rather nebulous claim. What it amounts to is "faith and morals are what we say faith and morals are."  Which is, at the end of the day, a circular argument.


2) Obedience, right or wrong. This is actually not so silly as it sounds, as a way of maintaining some structure in an organization or a society. In effect all of society's laws are based on this same principle.  The problem is: it is a bit different from the principles Jesus himself operated under, and quite inappropriate for an organization carrying on his work.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 4:52PM #82
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,741

Apr 25, 2012 -- 10:22AM, SeraphimR wrote:


Where was the dialog between jlb and happygardener supposed to go?


Where are dialogs between religious progressives and atheists supposed to go?


I will also point out that "not going anywhere" is the preferred outcome for conservatives, by definition.  So we conservatives tend to prevail in these dialogs.




I said in my post that the dialog becomes impossible after one side says "I'm right because god (or the church, speaking for god"and holds to that. It's basically saying "you're wrong and I'm not listening anymore, case closed." That fact that the other person/people in the discussion do not agree doesn't matter to the person playing "I have the Absolute Truth bcs God said so" card. There's no point in further discussion. As you say, conservatives who pull that in dialogs want the dialog to end. Then they think they won and go home. That's what wavering was saying many posts ago. There was probably no point in trying to engage in discussion right from the get-go with somebody who plays that card.


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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 4:55PM #83
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,741

Apr 25, 2012 -- 2:45PM, woodmanx wrote:


Apr 25, 2012 -- 2:11PM, TemplarS wrote:


I do not know any way to engage in such discernment other than dialogue.  I do not think relying on a work written 2,000 years ago (or, for that matter, things written by saints in different times and cultures)  can be done without serious thought about how to translate these  principles into our day and time.  I think we can rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit,  but I do not think this guidance descends on Churchmen only (at least, history seems to indicate it does not).  This is an activity required of the whole Church. 


 





Although I agree with what you say, you raise the fundamental stumbling block.  According to RCC conservatives, dialogue is unnecessary BECAUSE the Holy Spirit speaks to churchmen.  Actually, a more accurate way to say it is that only churchmen are capable of hearing the Holy Spirit and deciphering its words without veering into error.  Because they believe that churchmen are incapable of being led down a wrong path, it doesn't matter what anyone else says, or whether cultures, norms and mores change over time. 




Right. If you're looking for dialog, don't look to RCC officials. They don't engage in it with the layfolk. It's their way or the highway. Of course they tolerate dissent within the flock, long as the money keeps rolling in. But discussion regarding issues on which there is disagreement? Fuggedaboudit!

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 5:05PM #84
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,208

Apr 25, 2012 -- 12:53PM, gilg wrote:


Apr 25, 2012 -- 10:22AM, SeraphimR wrote:


Where are dialogs between religious progressives and atheists supposed to go?


I will also point out that "not going anywhere" is the preferred outcome for conservatives, by definition.  So we conservatives tend to prevail in these dialogs.

LOL! Good thing early humans didn't believe that.....






How can conservatives lose when they change and claim they never change?


Today, I am a client of the Catholic Credit Union, when I borrow money I pay interest (usury);  today I don't have to question whether I am human and worthy of God's love; my daughter is free to marry who she wants and my son didn't marry the young woman I thought would be a perfect soul mate for him.... Usury used to be against scripture yet today we don't even think of paying interest or gaining interest; during the 16th Century the Progressive theologians from the School Of Salamanca were arguing that the indigenous people of the Americas were fully human and thus it wasn't moral for the Church and Europeans to plunder and kill the natives simply to take what belonged to them; the conservative Christian communities from Puritans to Orthodox, Catholics to Presbytarians didnt' think anything of stealing from the savages who were apparently considered less than human; until the 4th Lateran Council people married who the parents deemed appropriate, today people marry out of love; and, the church no longer profits from the slave trade, though it still supports serfdom in Latin America and it continues to keep the land and precious metals it stole from the natives and today even the most conservative bishop is likely to say I am fully human and covered by "natural law."  


So it is  not that conservatives don't change, it is simply that they refuse to awknowledge that people always change, including conservatives. BTW: It is a good thing Christ wasn't so conservative that he obeyed the priests and religious leaders of his time, but you are right, over the short  term conservtives fear change so bad that they Crucified Christ for the crime of blasphamey.... good thing there were  Jewish progressives.....Wink




Well Conservatives can only conserve what they inherit.  The church changes for the worse, the old conservatives die off and the new conservatives inherit the change.


(Chesterton once observed that liberals invent new mistakes and conservatives strive to make sure the old mistakes are not corrected.)


Usury is against scripture and the progressive insistence on usury was a blunder.  Without usury you would never have had capitalism and western style imperialism that led to the exploitation of the natives of America.




People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 5:08PM #85
woodmanx
Posts: 466

Apr 25, 2012 -- 4:01PM, TemplarS wrote:


You are right, Woodman.  This is a stumbling block. But it is one with little evidence to support it.


Seraphim mentions the saints; and he is right. These are people who have served God and man and the Church.  You cannot say the Holy Spirit was not at work through these individuals. Yet many were not clergy. For that matter many were women.  For that matter many (Joan of Arc for one) were condemned by the men of the Church while they were alive.


You therefore cannot say that in conflicts between clergy and laity (or for that matter Bishops and other clergy) the clergy and Bishops are always right.


The response to this is, then, either:


1) Always right only in matters of, as it is called "faith and morals."    But, it seems, the boundaries of faith and morals can change. Slavery was once a matter of economics; now it is morals.  The structure of the cosmos was once a matter of faith; now it is science.  So this is a rather nebulous claim. What it amounts to is "faith and morals are what we say faith and morals are."  Which is, at the end of the day, a circular argument.


2) Obedience, right or wrong. This is actually not so silly as it sounds, as a way of maintaining some structure in an organization or a society. In effect all of society's laws are based on this same principle.  The problem is: it is a bit different from the principles Jesus himself operated under, and quite inappropriate for an organization carrying on his work.





Of course the saints hears the voice of the Holy Spirit, or the voice of Jesus, or whatever voice you want to say that guides them, or even their inner voice, when they express their saint-like pronounciations or perform their saint-like actions.  God speaks to all of us, not just those that wear a collar.  And those that wear the collar are no closer to the voice of the Holy Spirit merely by virtue of wearing that collar.


I understand your two responses to the conflict, but both of them will still have conservatives and progressives linin up on opposite sides of the aisle.  Under the first, faith and morals as determined by the hierarchy is most assuredly a circular argument.  It also gives no effect to the "sense of the faithful.:  It really is just another way of saying obey us or else.


Under the second response, you note that this is not all that different from how civilizations operate.  This is true, but at least with respect to democratic societies, the people (laity) gets a voice in making those laws.  My biggest beef with the RCC is that the hierarchy has determined that "faith and morals" includes even the corporeal governance of the church.  Not sure what that has to do with "faith and morals" in the commonly understood context, but the bishops (and Rome) sure continue to hang on to that aspect of control as well.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 5:14PM #86
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,208

Apr 25, 2012 -- 4:52PM, newsjunkie wrote:



I said in my post that the dialog becomes impossible after one side says "I'm right because god (or the church, speaking for god"and holds to that. It's basically saying "you're wrong and I'm not listening anymore, case closed." That fact that the other person/people in the discussion do not agree doesn't matter to the person playing "I have the Absolute Truth bcs God said so" card. There's no point in further discussion. As you say, conservatives who pull that in dialogs want the dialog to end. Then they think they won and go home. That's what wavering was saying many posts ago. There was probably no point in trying to engage in discussion right from the get-go with somebody who plays that card.




How else is such a discussion supposed to go?  Religion is discerning the will of God, after all, and when you are satisfied that you have done that, you go with it.


And if the particular change you were advocating for doesn't happen, then they did win.


Why do you want the Catholic Church to progress in the particular directions you think it ought.  Ultimately because you think it is the will of God, right?


Or are you unabashed in trying to make the Church conform to your particular prejudice?  An naked exercise of the Will to Power.

People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 5:47PM #87
jlb32168
Posts: 13,132

NJ, what exactly does “engage in discussion” mean when it comes to deciding where or how God is moving, if He is moving?  Neither party - even those with your sympathies - seems interested in embracing the other's opinion so it seems "discussion" isn't desired as much as "debate" is.


Victim of this, victim of that, your mama’s too thin and your daddy’s too fat, get over it! - the Eagles
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 9:58PM #88
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,741

Apr 25, 2012 -- 5:14PM, SeraphimR wrote:


Apr 25, 2012 -- 4:52PM, newsjunkie wrote:



I said in my post that the dialog becomes impossible after one side says "I'm right because god (or the church, speaking for god"and holds to that. It's basically saying "you're wrong and I'm not listening anymore, case closed." That fact that the other person/people in the discussion do not agree doesn't matter to the person playing "I have the Absolute Truth bcs God said so" card. There's no point in further discussion. As you say, conservatives who pull that in dialogs want the dialog to end. Then they think they won and go home. That's what wavering was saying many posts ago. There was probably no point in trying to engage in discussion right from the get-go with somebody who plays that card.




How else is such a discussion supposed to go?  Religion is discerning the will of God, after all, and when you are satisfied that you have done that, you go with it.


And if the particular change you were advocating for doesn't happen, then they did win.


Why do you want the Catholic Church to progress in the particular directions you think it ought.  Ultimately because you think it is the will of God, right?


Or are you unabashed in trying to make the Church conform to your particular prejudice?  An naked exercise of the Will to Power.




I have nothing to do with any church so I don't know what you're talking about. What I'm trying to say is that  it's basically impossible to discuss religion with certain people. Is it really that hard to understand what I'm saying? That's the third and last time I'm saying it. 

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 10:03PM #89
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,741

Apr 25, 2012 -- 5:47PM, jlb32168 wrote:



NJ, what exactly does “engage in discussion” mean when it comes to deciding where or how God is moving, if He is moving?  Neither party - even those with your sympathies - seems interested in embracing the other's opinion so it seems "discussion" isn't desired as much as "debate" is.





Frankly, I'm not interested in discussing "where or how God is moving" etc. with people who are very set in their beliefs. That would be a waste of my time. I have had many good, interesting discussions with people, some of whom are very religious and devout, but who have a more open mind. But with people who are very set in their views, well, I don't find discussions with them to be interesting enough to spend the little free time I have on that.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 10:34PM #90
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,208

Apr 25, 2012 -- 9:58PM, newsjunkie wrote:



I have nothing to do with any church so I don't know what you're talking about. What I'm trying to say is that  it's basically impossible to discuss religion with certain people. Is it really that hard to understand what I'm saying? That's the third and last time I'm saying it. 




I do have a hard time understanding that.  But if that is the way you feel, I guess it just is.  You don't have to say it again.


I prefer to have discussions with people who have definite opinions on whatever topic is under discussion.  A matter of taste, I guess.

People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
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