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Catholicism




Claims to be the oldest Christian religious sect still extant (though this could be challenged by others, such as Eastern Orthodox Church).

Leadership : The Church is led by the Pope, who is the supreme doctrinal head and is held infallible on matters of doctrine (subject to some conditions).

Defining dogmas


Membership: 1.1 billion claimed members


Major atrocities
The Crusades, Anti-semitism (the Bloody Myth Libel), Witch-burning & The Inquisition, Widespread child abuse. The socially and religiously conservative position of the Church means that many of its core doctrines are now largely ignored in the West, but are followed, with devastating effects, in many parts of the developing world. Indeed it is my own opinion that the Church is repositioning itself to appeal to the Chinese people. It has been actively attacking the Chinese government over recent years and there seems to be little doubt that it is a battle over the Chinese Catholic Church - claimed by both the Chinese State and the Vatican.

Links
Assorted figures
EndNotes

Rationality Score : 2*

Malignity Score : 9*

Comment
By far the largest Church (bigger than all the other Christian denominations put together). Claims apostolic succession (ie claims descent from the original apostles).

* For an explanation of these scores, click HERE



8 blog comments below

Could you explain the Malignity Score of 9?


adri
adri on Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:36 am
Adri. I almost missed it too. There is a link below the scores to a page that explains both scores.
Very Happy
deanhills on Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:39 pm
Yeah, I know what malignity means - thanks to Bikermans extra blog post - but I'm interested in the reason why Bikerman gave a nine to Catholicism. Wink


adri
adri on Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:11 pm
I regard Catholicism as very malign. The history of the crusades and subsequent horrors need no rehearsing here. I also believe it held-back science by at least half a millenium, arguably much more. How many billions of people would not have died painful deaths if, say, antibiotics had been discovered in the new enlightenment...of the 12th Century.....?

Then we have the current bigotry, hypocrisy and child-abuse cover-ups at the top, which shows what a fundamentally rotten organisation it is.

So it scores very highly on historic atrocity and I think still pretty high today, since the position on birth control is, I believe, responsible for huge numbers of deaths.
Remember, I said 10 represents genocide and systematic, organised violations of human rights on a very large (inter-continental) scale, which are still going on. I think the genocide and human rights violations are unarguable. I also think that some such is still going on (look at Rwanda, for example. The church was heavily implicated). I couldn't honestly say genocide was still going on - but the condom issue is a big one for me, so I gave it 1 less than maximum according to the criteria I had already setout...
Bikerman on Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:08 pm
As you can see in this illustration, my country, the Philippines, is the biggest catholic Asian country. The southern part is in majority Islamic and been a source of insurgency for many years, also constitutes the poorest Filipinos.

How did this happen? The Spanish colonists successfully invaded central and northern part but their settlement was diplomatic in order to prevent bloodshed(The locals killed most from the first fleet including the leader and more wars came after). Eventually, the locals converted to Christianity from paganism.

Their settlement in the south was unsuccessful because of the aggression of the Moro and dangers from pirates.

For 300 years of colonization, Filipinos enjoyed Christianity but never from the friars who claim their lands and imposed polo(forced labor). The Filipinos also suffered racial discrimination and injustice in the hands of the Spanish Colonial Government who is influenced by the friars. The country was peaceful in the earlier part of the Colony but later human rights abuse was rampant.

The majority of the Filipinos now are religious(devoted to catholic rituals and practices) though disobedient to the church in terms of the issues concerning state's law and policies.

The national hero Dr. Jose Rizal who most of us including me look up to is known to be a heretic and was a member of the Freemasonry in Europe. He believes in God but not heaven or hell. He wrote 2 controversial novels that dissent the Catholic Church and Spanish Colony. He was executed after accused of joining the revolutionary.

Currently, proposal and debate about Reproductive Health Bill(concerns contraceptives) and Divorce(Only country that doesn't have) is ongoing and is strongly opposed by the Church. The church has been hurled with criticism by most Filipinos who are still religious. Yet the decision is still up to the Filipinos. If they don't pass any of these, it's not because of religious influence but more as a moral convenience or preservation. Our minds are more independent than it used be.

For my country I score malignity=5 and rationality=7 for the past and malignity=1 and rationality=3 for the present. I gave these scores because though we were abused in the past, they brought well-enjoyed civilization, diversified culture, and pacification(value life and peace). The rationality was just okay because we came from paganism and no science after all. At the present, they pose no danger to a democratic country. For a modern country but not yet developed, practices and rituals are irrational but some doctrines are in line to morality that our society enjoys( e.g. value of life, marriage, and sexuality).

I for one thinks that religious dogma in my country should be limited and minimized because most of it just doesn't conform to the modern society and knowledge. Though, morality that has been nurtured by this religion should stay, such as anti-abortion, value life, value marriage, value sexuality, value humility, respect, etc. Why I think so? This moralities make me feel safe and dignified. I felt that everything is in perfect harmony and pleasant to think of when these moralities are brought to its fullest. The absence of these just brings us back to memories of the dark ages. I think that these moralities that we practice should be practiced still not for religion but just for the sake of it.
loremar on Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:29 pm
Err...let me just go through that again:
anti-abortion. Yep, but don't forget anti-birth control. As Hitchens frequently says, we KNOW how to lift a country out of extreme poverty. We KNOW how to stabilise and reduce overpopulation. It is easy - you give women control over their own fertility and you give them some legal and social support if needed. What does the Catholic church preach? More or less the exact opposite.

value life. That depends what you mean by 'value' and what you mean by 'life'. Remember the words of the great Catholic theologian - Cardinal Newman.
Quote:
“The Catholic church holds it better for the sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions on it to die in extremest agony than that one soul–I will not say will be lost–but should commit one venial sin, should tell one [inaudible] untruth, or should steal one farthing without excuse.”
I don't think that values life at all.
value marriage - so long as it is Catholic, results in the woman spending most of her life giving birth and raising children, and don't even THINK about gay marriage.
value sexuality - values? Totally devalues and represses. They have a twisted and deeply sexist view of 'sexual relations' which is damaging to them and people around them.
value humility - Which is why the Pope ever so humbly lets princes and rulers kiss his ring, before he returns to his humble little tax-free abode and counts the billions...They value humility - from others. Have you never seen the cardinals strutting their stuff?

Bikerman on Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:26 am
Well, about humility and life, I'm in between the sides. It's a different perspective here in the Philippines. The priests are very friendly and open to debates. They don't seem to talk much about the details of apocalypses other than the concept of heaven and hell after the judgement day when the world ends.

About birth-control, marriage, and sexuality, where in different boats. As much as you believe that religion is irrational, I also think that some behaviors in today's society seems irrational. I think man has evolved more irrational along with the evolution of technology. I am pro-natural order.

I am completely against abortion because life is life. No living creature despises life of your own blood. I think birth-control(though people have the freedom to do whatever they want as long as they don't hurt anyone) should be discouraged because it almost will eliminate the primary purpose of sex which is to give birth. I think sex and life should go side by side since we are intelligent beings and know that both are dependent to each other. Man has always created systems to organize the society in order to pursue life, thus he created laws and government. Creating a system that favors behaviors without purpose, over which pursue's life is irrational. People should be responsible and be organized and not just always think what's going to elevate their brain into a state of euphoria.

I think people should stop(though they can always have freedom) treating sex more as a form of pleasure than a form of procreation. It seems we are the only living creatures that acts that way, thinking about sex all the time. This could be because of the evolution of communication and hypes agitated in society. But sex is meant naturally for procreation. If we have strong drive for it, it's because of man's need to exist in earth.

Same sex marriage, as much as religion is irrational, is completely irrational. They are already good without it I don't see any reason why they should. I guess there is positive effect of marriage with respect to society. Marriage is made for man and woman exclusively. That's the reality there's nothing much they can do about it. They will just spoil the beauty of the marriage that the society enjoyed in its truest meaning. Envy must have played a big role with this same-sex marriage.

But that is just based on my moral upbringing. You can't blame me if that is my set of moral values.
loremar on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:54 am
Quote:
I am pro-natural order.
Everytime I hear someone say that I despair. I have to believe that you haven't really thought this through, because the alternative is worse. Do you REALLY think that 'the natural order' is something which mankind should aspire to? You DO know that, in nature, it is very much kill or be killed?
Quote:
I am completely against abortion because life is life. No living creature despises life of your own blood.
Despise is a difficult word to apply to animals but animals certainly kill and eat 'their own blood'. Many species are 'filial cannibals' (ie they eat their young). This would include bank voles, house finches, wolf spiders and many fish species.
Quote:
I think birth-control(though people have the freedom to do whatever they want as long as they don't hurt anyone) should be discouraged because it almost will eliminate the primary purpose of sex which is to give birth. I think sex and life should go side by side since we are intelligent beings and know that both are dependent to each other.
They only go together in the 'natural world' which you seem so keen on. In the civilised world they can be, and are, distinct. Discouraging the use of condoms means that people DIE.
I wonder if you really mean this stuff about 'natural order'. I wonder if you refuse modern drugs; disdain electricity and other modern conveniences; walk everywhere; believe that people born with a deformity should be left out to die; regard non-family as 'alien threats'; live in a house which you have made yourself and which contains no modern materials; clothe yourself in skins....etc etc. If you don't then your position is, to me, hypocritical.
Quote:
I think people should stop(though they can always have freedom) treating sex more as a form of pleasure than a form of procreation. It seems we are the only living creatures that acts that way, thinking about sex all the time.
No this is entirely wrong. Many species use sex for pleasure and some (the Bonobo chimp, most notably) use it as a social bonding and role-defining mechanism - having sex with a frequency that is truly astonishing. Likewise there are many examples of homosexual behaviour in the animal kingdom so the Catholic injunction against homosexuality is certainly NOT based in 'Natural law' theology.
Quote:
Same sex marriage, as much as religion is irrational, is completely irrational. They are already good without it I don't see any reason why they should. I guess there is positive effect of marriage with respect to society. Marriage is made for man and woman exclusively. That's the reality there's nothing much they can do about it. They will just spoil the beauty of the marriage that the society enjoyed in its truest meaning. Envy must have played a big role with this same-sex marriage.
I fail to see why it is irrational. I think you are confusing marriage with some religious affair - it ISN'T. Marriage is a CIVIL contract. If two people wish to commit to living together in love then I cannot see why it is irrational for people of the same sex, whilst rational for people of different sex - that strikes me as discrimination, which IS irrational. But surely we can apply your 'natural law' theology here - after all, in nature we see that different sex animals form pairs and have what we could call families? But to use that argument is frankly dishonest (note please that I am not saying YOU HAVE used that argument, but it is commonly made). To single out some species as 'natural' and ignore a huge number of other species that DON'T behave like this - well, that is what is commonly known as fiddling the figures.
The fact is that marriage is a human construction. It isn't a religious creation either - although religion has sought to take it over many times.
Quote:
But that is just based on my moral upbringing. You can't blame me if that is my set of moral values.
Oh yes I can. YOU are responsible for your morals, not your parents or your neighbours, YOU!.
Bikerman on Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:24 pm



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