22 March 2010

Pope scandal

I'm not sure I need to add anything.

I personally am very fond of referring to this joker as "Pope Soup Nazi". He's not doing very well at endearing me to any nickname which sounds less offensive which I realize isn't his job. I suspect however he's not doing very well at endearing actual Catholics either. Given the rates of departure.

There's also this amusing tale. Among most people's concerns over faith and their choice of religious affiliation is the increasing disaffection with peculiar and outmoded moral dogmas and decrees, specifically over homosexuals, birth control, and abortion, for many. And yet what seemed clear from surveys last year where all were quick to clamor over some end of faith or religion in America was that "faith" was still quite strong. It was organised religion(s), which were suffering. This was largely because they are less flexible and doggedly defend interpreted values against modernity. To me this question is pointed at the problem most crisis of faith people have "what if we can’t reform religion much; which would he choose between atheism and the today’s distribution of religious styles?"

For myself, the problem was never the abuses of organised religions or the bizarre importance and moral framework attached to obscure notions like original sin and salvation. It was simply that metaphysics sucks. Human beings have been busily informing their reality with tales of greater beings and the supernatural for thousands of years to explain things they did not understand and which have been explained later by plausible natural phenomenon. The only thing that changed, so far as I could tell, were the names and possibly the numbers of the deities involved. This was convincing enough a reason to ignore religious preaching and its powerful negative effects on the tolerance and happiness of humans within their communities (ie, that religious communities create intolerance outside of their community and thus negatively effect overall happiness by excluding, negating, or even slaughtering outsiders for their decisions). Whatever the benefits are, it's pretty easy to come by them without these negative effects. (So far as I can tell the benefits are things like socializing with others, relative in-group tolerance, and internal peace of mind on the part of the strongest ideological believers).

Something as simple as having priests who aren't paedophiles shouldn't require a major effort. I accept that it will be hard to get Shi'ite and Sunni or Baptist and Catholic to get along and that this is a key indictment of religion from an outside view (because those arguments are fucking pointless metaphysical ones rather than real and factual or even informed ethical differences of opinion), simply because of the team effects. But you would think these teams would try to keep their internal membership serene and passive against intrusions and doubts over the sanctity of their mission and organisations.

On the plus side, I would gather that I'm not likely to have to worry about being on a jury. Between the economics mindset and the atheism, I'm going to be booted right away, though I might at least have an amusing anecdote to tell later about the process and the series of questions used to boot me.
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