Except Atheists and Jews. They know stuff. Watch Penn Jillette take a quiz on religion:

I love this quote: “I gave my daughter a bible. That’s how you make atheists.”

Comments

  1. #2 Ashley Moore
    September 30, 2010

    “Most Americans are deeply ignorant about religion.”

    Why should religion be any different?

  2. #3 timberwoof
    September 30, 2010

    It amuses me when Americans say “Religion” and mean “Christianity”. It’s similar to the conceit in the meaning of the word “catholic”.

    I bet if there were a real discussion on religion, people would flunk out even more. (Quick! Can you define the Three Pillars and the Eightfold Path?)

  3. #4 Liz
    September 30, 2010

    Down, Polyester fiber and Horse hair?

  4. #5 Julian
    September 30, 2010

    I guess reading the Bible can go either way. I was a staunch atheist for years before becoming Catholic, mainly from reading the Gospels. Only competition was Deism.
    But yea, Americans are mostly ignorant of everything, including logical thinking, they are basically pragmatists and conform to the zeitgeist and only have knowledge of pop culture. The culture is completely anti-intellectual. No literacy in any subject, except trivial information such as celebrities, sports, games, fashion, tv, movies and music. Very few intellectuals.

  5. #6 Julian
    September 30, 2010

    funny, reading the Bible made me Catholic. Well, many other theological and philosophical writings as well, but the Bible clearly seems true. But I do agree, Americans are ignorant of religion and almost everything else. They are only knowledgeable about their narrow specialty and pop culture. It is a completely anti-intellectual culture and truly educated people are as rare as diamonds.

  6. #7 Tony P
    September 30, 2010

    Those who say reading the Bible made them Catholic from atheism make me laugh. If they really read the ENTIRE Bible they would have spotted the inconsistencies present in the book.

  7. #8 rienzi0711
    September 30, 2010

    (Quick! Can you define the Three Pillars and the Eightfold Path?)

    I think you mean Five Pillars.

  8. #9 Ender
    October 1, 2010

    “Those who say reading the Bible made them Catholic from atheism make me laugh. If they really read the ENTIRE Bible they would have spotted the inconsistencies present in the book.”

    Yeah, I tend to deride those who come to different conclusions from me. Like you, you’re a prick. Haha.

  9. #10 Greg Laden
    October 1, 2010

    Ender, it’s not deriding, it’s spotting the lie.

  10. #11 Rob Jase
    October 1, 2010

    Reading the bible makes one Catholic???

    Odd since sola scriptorum is a Protestant dogma, not a Catholic one.

  11. #12 Mal Adapted
    October 1, 2010

    I was a staunch atheist for years before becoming Catholic, mainly from reading the Gospels.

    You may have been a “staunch” atheist, but you were surely an empty-headed one. One suspects any magical nonsense would have filled the vacuum equally well.

  12. #13 Julian
    October 2, 2010

    Catholics do not believe anything that contradicts scripture, we just do not believe in only scripture. Catholics put together the Bible, not protestants. Nothing in the Bible contradicts Catholicism. I have not really met any atheists who have read any non-biased works. Contradictions are what seems like contradictions until further examination. Not really empty headed, I have read many philosophical works and am well versed with all the atheistic arguments. There is nothing illogical in Catholicism, and how many here have studied it in depth rather than quoting what others say. What book have you read from the Catholic point of view? I have read many works from secular and atheistic authors, and it only further convinces me of my position, they contain mostly just same repeated specious arguments.

    “Faith and Reason are like two wings by which humans can contemplate truth” – JPII

    Nothing in the faith contradicts reason. But some truths of the faith are beyond reason. The primacy of reason without faith was the failure of the Enlightenment.

    “A little philosophy inclines a man to atheism. Depth in philosophy leads a man to religion” – Francis Bacon

    Anyway, not trying to convince anyone, it is pointless, got to get back to prep for usmle, go wherever truth takes you.

  13. #14 laursaurus
    October 2, 2010

    @Julian, you are courageous to honestly share your experience on Scienceblogs. For a site supposedly devoted to science, the blogs mostly focus on religion and politics in a highly subjective manner.
    I became a confirmed Catholic as an adult, too. During the year-long RCIA process, we were presented The New American Bible, St. Joseph edition. What an amazingly superior and virtual goldmine compared to the cryptic KJV’s versions I gave up on trying to understand back in my teens! The wealth of supplemental material included in this version transformed my whole perception. Upon reading, “How To Read Your Bible” in the introduction, Scripture took on an intellectually appealing aspect to me.
    “The Bible is not just a book at all. It is a vastly diverse collection of ancient literature compiled together in one volume The authors of these books are mostly unknown and were composed over a lengthy period of time. Many centuries elapsed between the oldest traditions, and the last book of the Bible in several different original languages. A major disadvantage is that these books are not put together systematically, as the books of a modern library. All kinds of literary forms: history, historical novels, parables, allegories, poems, mid rash, and more are intermingled. Even if you read your Bible in an up-to-date [modern English]translation, you need guidance….The Bible is God’s word and man’s word. One must understand man’s word first in order to understand the word of God.”
    My point is I found the official version of the Catholic church exceptionally more comprehensible. This makes it an excellent selection for conducting a skeptical inquiry. That’s why it is entirely plausible that one could actually find the message compelling and convincing.
    If atheists want believers to challenge their beliefs, then why not lead by example? When you continue to reach the same conclusions, it fortifies your view point.

  14. #15 Aratina Cage
    October 2, 2010

    I’m trying to imagine what it must be like to be laursaurus and find the sparkly New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition. Why, it must be like getting to see Star Wars in 3-D or finding an illustrated copy of Harry Potter!

  15. #16 EnglishAtheist
    October 4, 2010

    @Julian @laursaurus I’d welcome your comment on the whole “How do you know which bits of the Bible to accept, and which to reject?” arguments:

    http://furtherthoughtsfortheday.blogspot.com/2010/09/over-at-nick-baines-blog-i-was-alerted.html

    “If atheists want believers to challenge their beliefs, then why not lead by example? When you continue to reach the same conclusions, it fortifies your view point.”

    I do honestly seek out get my view points challenged, but no one does when it comes to an atheist world view. It was my exploring Christianity, and asking questions, when I was a Christian, that led me away from Christianity.

  16. #17 JimC
    October 4, 2010

    There is nothing illogical in Catholicism

    Seriously someone just wrote that on a blog. Just a short list of illogical ideas springs to mind:

    purgatory
    infallibillity of the pope
    cracker to body
    saints
    rosaries
    argument from tradition(and authority) as the basis for the whole illogical ediface.

    We could go on.

    In all honesty I find the Protestant positions much more compelling and less illogical than all the catholic writing that I have read(with the exception of fundamentalist science ideas). Catholics shoot themselves in the foot with their tradition. It’s a huge irrational hole.

    but the Bible clearly seems true.

    In what way? historical? As a measure of a cultures thought at the time? from a science standpoint?

  17. #18 Greg Laden
    October 4, 2010

    In all honesty I find the Protestant positions much more compelling and less illogical than all the catholic writing that I have read

    Uh huh. But, when was the last time you saw a great action-adventure flick based on protestant theology starting Christopher Walken, or a hilarious adaptation of Christian dogma based on Martin Luther’s writings?

  18. #19 JimC
    October 4, 2010

    haha Greg, catholic superstition and dogma certainly lends itself to the spooky!

  19. #20 Julian
    October 4, 2010

    How are any of those things illogical if you accept that Christ is divine and he has instituted the Church with authority and divine protection from the Holy Spirit and infallibility in defining Dogma and Doctrine?

    Have you read the Development of Dogma by Newman, a protestant convert?
    What Catholic books have you read that explain Catholic positions.
    Do you know the difference between Apostolic Tradition and tradition?

    How is protestantism more accurate if they cannot trace their roots to Christ? All those things mentioned have been believed since the earliest times since Christ, and are defended by the early Church Fathers. All rejection of those things only began in the 16th Century. Who put together the Bible? Who determined what was accepted as scripture? If Christ did not found a Church he was foolish, if he found some other Church where is it and who claims to be it? Orthodox yes, and that is mostly a matter of deciding the degree of power the pope weilds, and we are seeking unification. But protestants is basically a rejection of most things of Catholicism.
    All heresies are basically simplifications and therefore more easily defended. Says nothing about truth.

    “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant” – Newman

  20. #21 Beowulf
    October 4, 2010

    I am an atheist and answered the quiz questions correctly. However, if being an atheist required a lack of respect for and making fun of people’s beliefs and opinions the way the atheists in this discussion do, then maybe I will read the Bible, try to believe, and hopefully find a group of people I can stand to be around.

  21. #22 Stephanie Z
    October 4, 2010

    Beowulf, if you’d prefer to hang with believers who mock the beliefs of other believers or of atheists, or who try to tell bloggers what kind of content they should provide, I don’t think the atheists are going to miss you. For an atheist, you’re awfully blind to what believers are saying about you in this thread.

  22. #23 EnglishAtheist
    October 4, 2010

    @Beowulf Respect isn’t a given, it is something you have to earn.

    http://furtherthoughtsfortheday.blogspot.com/2010/10/you-must-earn-respect.html

  23. #24 JimC
    October 4, 2010

    How are any of those things illogical if you accept that Christ is divine and he has instituted the Church with authority and divine protection from the Holy Spirit and infallibility in defining Dogma and Doctrine?

    Wow, you just did it. Argument from authority. Illogical premise and all.

    How is protestantism more accurate if they cannot trace their roots to Christ?

    They can as well as catholics. Or are you referring to Jesus telling Peter he was the rock upon which he would build his church? The same thing he told another group of believers a few verses later. Of course a large organization wants to claim ‘firsts’ for whatever that is worth. In the end it simply doesn’t matter.

    There where 6 or more competing versions of Christianity at the origin. The RCC emerged from this group. They don’t have a stranglehold of being first. Just the strongest survivor at the time.

    But protestants is basically a rejection of most things of Catholicism.All heresies are basically simplifications and therefore more easily defended.

    Yes Protestantism is a rejection of catholism- that was the point. Once RCC dogma was actually compared to the bible gaping holes where found. Hence the need to reform the religion from the heresies of the RCC.

    To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant” – Newman

    Argument from authority- blah. To be deeper in history shows the RCC as one of several compteting factions. One that according to Protestants lost it’s way.

  24. #25 Beowulf
    October 4, 2010

    @Stephanie Z: I don’t think the religious types are saying anything about me in this thread. They are simply saying what all the religious types are saying in my life, “You must believe!” You are the only one saying stuff about me in this thread. Go back up and re-read if you don’t believe me. I’ll miss all you fellow atheists! Sniff, sniff… just being sarcastic, I really do not feel the need to associate with other people on the basis of what religion they are, or aren’t. I just don’t care.

  25. #26 Beowulf
    October 4, 2010

    @EnglishAtheist: The fact that you think people do not deserve respect simply because of our common humanity shows that you are probably not very educated as to what secular humanism means.

    @Stephanie Z: I don’t think the religious types are saying anything about me in this thread. They are simply saying what all the religious types are saying in my life, “You must believe!” You are the only one saying stuff about me in this thread. Go back up and re-read if you don’t believe me. I’ll miss all you fellow atheists! Sniff, sniff… just being sarcastic, I really do not feel the need to associate with other people on the basis of what religion they are, or aren’t. I just don’t care.

  26. #27 Caveat Lector
    October 4, 2010

    “Religion is a night light in the darkness of death”- Pierce

  27. #28 EnglishAtheist
    October 5, 2010

    @Beowulf Sorry, I didn’t make myself clear. My default is to respect someone, but they might give me reason to lose it. For example, I may share a common humanity with someone, but if they’re a homophobic, peadophile protecting, anti-scientific hypocrite, I see no reason to respect them any longer.

  28. #29 EnglishAtheist
    October 5, 2010

    Oh, and when it cmes to ideas, respect for them must be earnt. I’ll listen to all ideas openly, but, all ideas are not equal in the respect they deserve.

    For example, creationism is bunk. One does not need to respect it. On might still respect the person who holds that idea though.

  29. #30 Stephanie Z
    October 5, 2010

    As I thought, Beowulf. You’re blind to the fact that, despite the context of the post, there are believers here who are still telling you that the only reason you don’t believe is because you’re ignorant of whatever piece of propaganda convinced them. Maybe you don’t mind that because they’re doing it in nice words, but it’s not a pretty concept.

  30. #31 Julian
    October 5, 2010

    @JimC

    What lines are you referring to another group?
    Christ did not establish 6 different churches, but there were heretical groups, just like the largest one coming in the 16th Century, Protestants. And none of the earlier heretical groups have the same beliefs that the Protestant reformers did, so how can they trace their origins to one of them? Can you name one “faction” in the early centuries that claim Sola Scriptura or Sola Gratia?

    You are saying that Christ either did not establish a Church or the Church he established was not the Catholic Church, I’m assuming you following the rules of logic. It would make no sense for him to establish 6 churches with contradictory beliefs. So what is the name of the other Church he established?

    So can you please enlighten me and tell me which of the 40,000 Protestant groups is the TRUE church of Christ? Many of them hold contradictory beliefs so they cannot logically be all true.

  31. #32 JimC
    October 5, 2010

    What lines are you referring to another group?
    Christ did not establish 6 different churches, but there were heretical groups, just like the largest one coming in the 16th Century, Protestants.

    There where at least 6 distinct Christian groups in the first century. The entire formation of the religion is very muddled and apparently not at all linear. Calling other groups heretical is a luxury the survivor gets to play but doesn’t make it so.
    The Protestants are, in their view of course, repairing the heresy of the RCC. Calling another group heretics is old hat and typically the standard canard of groups who don’t like what another group is saying about their beliefs.

    You are saying that Christ either did not establish a Church or the Church he established was not the Catholic Church, I’m assuming you following the rules of logic.

    I am but your not. Your taking one premise, assuming it true, and then going from there. He certainly didn’t establish the RCC, that came much later. There was, as already mentioned, much discussion over what Jesus meant about this and that and the direction any church should go. Hence the multiple factions.

    It would make no sense for him to establish 6 churches with contradictory beliefs. So what is the name of the other Church he established?

    Your presuming he established one at all, or at least an official version. He created a religion. Not necessarily a church.

    So can you please enlighten me and tell me which of the 40,000 Protestant groups is the TRUE church of Christ? Many of them hold contradictory beliefs so they cannot logically be all true

    You presume the RCC is a solid slate as well which of course it isn’t but that is beside the point. Just because Protestants have many sects doesn’t make the alleged 1 of the RCC correct. It’s just as likely to be wrong as the rest of the 40000 Protestant sects.

    You can be alone and still be very wrong. And virtually all 40000 sects believe in faith alone as a central tenet. Unlike the shaman like superstitious mumbo jumbo of the RCC- not that some Protestant sects don’t have their share.

  32. #33 Julian
    October 5, 2010

    “The Protestants are, in their view of course, repairing the heresy of the RCC”.

    How are they repairing the heresy of the RCC when there is no history of the 5 solas that they believe in? How could you even say the Bible Alone is enough when the Bible was not even formulated until centuries after Christ’s death? Can you please show any history of any groups believing in the 5 solas before the 16th Century? These were entirely NEW doctrinal creations of Luther and others, not based on any historical relation.

    From what I get of what you say, Christ did not establish any particular church, and it does not matter which of the Christian denominations I follow because there is no fficial church so it does not matter. I guess I will pick the easiest one to follow or the one that’s the most fun, or the one I FEEL is good, cause they are all as good as another.
    I think it would be foolish for Christ to not establish an official Church and expect his followers to be in such disunity and splintered into 1000s ad 1000s of groups. And if he did establish an official Church, he would guarantee that it would last until the end of time (indefectibility) and be able to pronounce doctrines and dogmas without error (infallibility), so that people of all times and places would have a place to turn for the truth. I know of no other church claiming such a right, and Christ would definitely have not let his official Church die off and be conquered by a false Church, if indeed he founded one that was not the Catholic Church.

    So if you were to advice someone in picking a denomination, you would have to say it does not matter because Christ did not establish a Church, and so no church has an authority to claim they are the one true church. One persons interpretation of the Bible is as good as another’s because what determines truth?

    One Question:
    Where in the Bible is Sola Scriptura?

  33. #34 khan
    October 5, 2010

    There’s no evidence of gods.
    People who believe in gods tend to think women are crap.
    I have rejected all cults that treat women as chattel.

  34. #35 JimC
    October 5, 2010

    How could you even say the Bible Alone is enough when the Bible was not even formulated until centuries after Christ’s death? Can you please show any history of any groups believing in the 5 solas before the 16th Century?

    I think you misunderstand Luther’s intent almost in it’s entirety. The bible alone is enough to lead man to an understanding of salvation. It need not be obscured by another mans point of view. The priesthood of the believer.

    This btw was a common thought of some of original Christian lines, that God dwells within each of us.

    Christ did not establish any particular church, and it does not matter which of the Christian denominations I follow because there is no fficial church so it does not matter.

    I think that is an accurate assessment.

    I guess I will pick the easiest one to follow or the one that’s the most fun, or the one I FEEL is good, cause they are all as good as another.

    From a truth perspective easy or hard makes no difference. Some of the most difficult sects are Protestant. They make the RCC look like a walk in the park. But it doesn’t matter as that doesn’t increase the truth claim one iota. This has nothing to do with feelings.

    I think it would be foolish for Christ to not establish an official Church and expect his followers to be in such disunity and splintered into 1000s ad 1000s of groups.

    You thinking it does not make it less so. History clearly shows multiple competing groups.

    And if he did establish an official Church, he would guarantee that it would last until the end of time (indefectibility) and be able to pronounce doctrines and dogmas without error (infallibility), so that people of all times and places would have a place to turn for the truth.

    Again, faulty premise, no logic here.

    I know of no other church claiming such a right, and Christ would definitely have not let his official Church die off and be conquered by a false Church,

    Claiming something again doesn’t make it correct. And many if not all churches claim to have the correct pathway to God.

    So if you were to advice someone in picking a denomination, you would have to say it does not matter because Christ did not establish a Church, and so no church has an authority to claim they are the one true church. One persons interpretation of the Bible is as good as another’s because what determines truth?

    Oh churches can claim to be the one true church, many do. But the claim is totally meaningless and meritless. The prounouncement has no real value. And no, ones interpretation of a verse need not always be as good, when it conflicts with reality the one that most agrees with reality is likely correct. If you buy all the hocus pocus of the RCC you have an uphill logical battle that just isn’t likely to succeed.

    sola scriptura is not a denial of other authorities governing Christian life and devotion. Rather, it simply demands that all other authorities are subordinate to, and are to be corrected by, the written word of God’

    That about sums it up- likewise- ‘Mark 7:13: “thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do’

    Tradition is just another illogical argument from authority. It’s a fallacy from the get go.

    ‘ simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it’

  35. #36 Isabell
    October 6, 2010

    I think you misunderstand Luther’s intent almost in it’s entirety. The bible alone is enough to lead man to an understanding of salvation.

    Women seem to be off the hook on this one.

  36. #37 JimC
    October 6, 2010

    man = mankind

    Sorry Isabell:-)

  37. #38 Isabell
    October 6, 2010

    mankind = still sexist

  38. #39 JimC
    October 6, 2010

    Good grief.

    Humankind

  39. #40 Greg Laden
    October 6, 2010

    Being dragged against your will into the 21st century when gendered terminology has not been used by the educated and politically aware for decades = priceless.

    But anyway, back on topic: Keep in mind that it was pretty typical of religion at that time to have multiple factions, with the differences between them being interpretation as to how to go about worship.

  40. #41 Julian
    October 6, 2010

    Ok, so basically what you are saying is there is no official Church, correct?

    Rather, it simply demands that all other authorities are subordinate to, and are to be corrected by, the written word of God’

    You still did not answer my question, on what basis is that statement made? Where in the Bible is that or when did Jesus say that?

    Catholicism has nothing that contradicts scripture, Catholics determined what books go in the Bible!

  41. #42 JimC
    October 6, 2010

    Ok, so basically what you are saying is there is no official Church, correct?

    I think that should be obvious walking around anywhere in the world.

    You still did not answer my question, on what basis is that statement made? Where in the Bible is that or when did Jesus say that?

    Answered above.
    ‘Mark 7:13: “thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do’

    There are multiple references to the word itself that will never pass away.

    Catholicism has nothing that contradicts scripture, Catholics determined what books go in the Bible!

    Yes they did and by a vote that won by 5. That of course has no bearing on the truth claims within. And the catholics didn’t really determine the bible, the jews had a little something to say about the OT.

    Of course the RCC has ideas that contradict scripture as multiple scholars have shown through the years- some of them catholic themselves.
    Where are rosaries in scripture?
    Purgatory? The authority to close it?
    Mary’s ascention?
    Selling indulgences?

    Good grief this list could go on.

    Lots of RCC material is a pure bow to the paganism at the time of it’s origin.

  42. #43 Julian
    October 6, 2010

    Answered above.
    ‘Mark 7:13: “thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do’

    We have not made void the word of God, we give highest importance to the word of God.
    “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ” – St Jerome
    Scripture is not superior to Apostolic tradition and was never considered so until the 16th Century!! If you can show me evidence of any Christians believing this before 16th Century?? Or did Christ hide the truth till then?

    All those things may not be explicitly stated in the Bible, but come all the Early Church Fathers believed it? How come it does not contradict scripture? Why is your interpretation of scripture better than the Catholic interpretation? You have no authority to say yours is better while we do. Anyone can pull lines from anywhere, even the devil can quote scripture. The Bible needs to be looked into as a whole and in context and needs an infallible authority to interpret it.

    Why do protestants still follow many Catholic creations such as Christmas and Easter, The sabbath on Sunday, etc? Shouldn’t all that be rejected? Isn’t Christmas the incorporation of a pagan holiday?

    Of course the RCC has ideas that contradict scripture as multiple scholars have shown through the years- some of them catholic themselves.
    Who? Which Catholic scholar that is faithful to the Church’s official teachings?
    Bible Alone is what lead to 40,000 denominations. Anyone can interpret scripture anyway they want and without an infallible authority that Christ established, no one can tell them that there view is superior to another’s. Leads to complete relativism. Once authority is dismissed, soon the Bible is dismissed.

    Why do Protestants even accept the 5 solas, was Luther divinely inspired?
    So which of the protestant denominations should i join, which one is the truth? Which one adheres the closes to reality objectively, not in your opinion?

  43. #44 EnglishAtheist
    October 6, 2010

    @Julian “The Bible needs to be looked into as a whole and in context and needs an infallible authority to interpret it.”

    As I asked before:

    @Julian @laursaurus I’d welcome your comment on the whole “How do you know which bits of the Bible to accept, and which to reject?” arguments:

    http://furtherthoughtsfortheday.blogspot.com/2010/09/over-at-nick-baines-blog-i-was-alerted.html

  44. #45 zeb
    October 6, 2010

    Julian

    “It would make no sense for him to establish 6 churches with contradictory beliefs”

    Sounds kinda like how a (admittedly complicated) debating society might work
    Makes perfect sense to me

  45. #46 zeb
    October 6, 2010

    “mankind = still sexist
    Posted by: Isabell | October 6, 2010 11:10 AM”

    “Good grief.
    Humankind
    Posted by: JimC | October 6, 2010 12:35 PM”

    Supersmoothcrazychimpkind

    Better? ;)

  46. #47 Julian
    October 6, 2010

    @ Zeb
    lol. I don’t think his intention was to create a debating society

  47. #48 zeb
    October 6, 2010

    Julian
    “lol. I don’t think his intention was to create a debating society”

    But all your churches argue (debate) with each other so either:

    A) You dont know “the mind of god” (In which case my opinion is as good or better than yours on “holy” matters)
    or
    B) “He” is fallible and therefore not god ( so none of your churches are worth a damn anyway)

    So: Who wants to start a new improved cult?
    Ill bring the beer

  48. #49 Julian
    October 6, 2010

    @EnglishAtheist
    The development and integrity of the NT Canon is a complicated topic that is not easily addressed on this forum. Check this for information:
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03274a.htm
    Are you talking about which bits of the Bible to accept as part of the Official Biblical Canon or which bits to accept when one personally reads and interprets it?

    Anyway, logically, only a church claiming Divine Protection regarding proper formulation of the canon or interpretation of the text has a rightful authority to do so. Any other individual or institution, no matter what credentials, claims of intelligence, or claims to wisdom, cannot be the final authority on interpretation for the basic reason that they are only HUMAN. So either we have to accept that we cannot know the final truth or we have to determine if the group claiming Divine Protection regarding Orthodoxy is rightfully claiming so. Now protestants claim that each person is divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit regarding interpretation when reading scripture, and I really do not need much to show the falsity of that claim. Look at where it took Penn Jillette and his plans for his daughter, the video on the webpage lol. Protestantism and the personal interpretation of the Bible leads to Atheism. That has been the progression of western philosophical thought for the last 500 years, beginning with the Reformation.
    So either the Catholic Church is the rightful interpreter and guardian of Christ’s flock, or we accept doctrinal anarchy.

  49. #50 Julian
    October 6, 2010

    @Zeb
    Exactly my point.
    Christ said,
    “that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” John 17:21

    Christ established the Catholic Church as his official Church. All these 40,000 denominations are from the 16th Century Reformation, a split from the church as much for doctrinal as political, social, and other false reasons. The division of Christendom is a tragedy and unification and ecumenism are constant goals of the Church. If you lived in 1000 AD you would not have asked that question. Christ would have been foolish not to have build a Church and given it authority and protection because it would have created thousands of different groups just like the Protestant Reformation did.

    The Catholic Church claims to know the mind of God, just because others disagree with you does not mean its false.
    If there are hundred people saying that the earth is flat does that mean that both groups are false and the whole issue should be forgotten, or that one group is right and the rest are false. Its a bad example but work with it lol.

    I take Choice C: one group does know the mind of God and the rest are heresies (false beliefs).

  50. #51 zeb
    October 6, 2010

    Doode’
    False … Not your point at all

    Did you forget “The Great Schism” (Wasnt there two of them) and all the antipopes? How about the Cathars or the Heretics at the councils of Nicea. Protestants are just the new kids on the block

    Nope: Debating society it was meant to be and debating society it is.

    I’ve got two 6 packs…… Who wants to join up? It’ll be fun!!

  51. #52 Professor Smart
    October 6, 2010

    Maybe atheists are better “educated” in “religion”, but none of the seem to have a clue about what is going on in creationism or conservatism (real conservatism).

    They just don’t get it. They still believe the universe just popped into existance all by itself and serves no purpose. They still beleive people decended from apes which is 100% undeniably impossible even if given trillions upon trillions of eternities to happen. Once creature cannot turn into another creature. It can change characteristics but an altogether brand new kingdom of animals cannot happen. It is physically and mathematically impossible.

    What’s more the same lamebrains who scorn the public for not accpeting their religion of darwinism has not shown one single peice of proof of their God -evolution.

    All they show a monkey bones and birds with claws on their wings which some still have today by the way. Piltodown man was a fake, peppered moths were a fake and is still being discussed in classrooms years after their fakeness came about (asshole textbook writers).

    Yep. Atheists know everything. They should. They are usually the ones you see in high school looking and acting like Steve Urkel. The dorky little punks that can;t get anything right except that math equation which 99% of the population will never use after they exist that class. I guess not much changes after they become adults except they learn to make signs about being a proud babykiller socialist and global whining nut. No wonder most people do not take them seriously. Global warming? Ha. Russia is expected to have the coldest winter in over 1000 years. Dingleberry morons know nothing. Ignore them and live like you wish. If they try to force those corkscrew bulbs on you, bust one over their head and maybe they’ll get the idea that we normal people are not dorky snot nosed brats that bully people with hoaxes like the global warming scam.

    I have been encourageing people to stay away from smart grid and if we do get smart grid at least have a back up generator capable of fully running your whole house indefinitely if so needed. Not only that I as with others I know have stockpiled enough real light bulbs to last 10 families of four about 80 years. So, in short, FUCK THE EPA and the eco-nazidorks who worship at their altar.

    back to religion and conservatism. I have also encouraged people to start stockpiling gold, silver, ammunition, food, water, filters, and medical supplies as well. When shit happens, i have my place of refuge to last at least seven years. Velostat lined, x-ray proof, and altogether RF proof. Waterproof, bulletproof, sanitary, and with enough candles/batteries to last a real long time(7-10 years) in the dark. Radios, tv, back up computer with satellite dish link for internet in case I need FOX news real quick. Police/fire/HAM band scanners, mutiple radios, GPS, you name, we got it.

    I also encourage friends to start gathering all availbale military survival manuals as well while the government still allows them to be printed for the general population. I have several Special Forces wilderness/war zone survival guide books. For the most part, most of it is common sense stuff that is taught in Boy Scouts, only more in depth. Growing up in rural country I already know how to fish, hunt, and live off the land. I have not tried making my own bow and arrow yet, but I pretty much know how to do it if I had to. Booby traps are not my specialty but I am learning some very nasty ones with a little evil twist of my own thrown in. Nothing like getting a 6 inch long sharp barb stuck in you gut when it’s covered in human shit. This is almost guarunteed to cause severe infection and most of the time death very quickly (a few days) if unchecked. See, something good di come from those vietnam commies after all. They taught us Americans how to make really nasty, deadly traps in the wilderness against the enemy.

    Now back to the subject. Atheists? Educated? If they were educated, they wouldn’t be atheists now would they? They would have sense enought to know evolution is a racist lie and global warming is a wealth redistribution method and a scam. I say they are the least educated. Maybe educated idiots.

  52. #53 Professor Smart
    October 6, 2010

    If atheists are so danred educated on religion, then why don;t they know about the flood of Noah causing the dinosaurs to drown?

    I bet they cannot even tell me when this flood happened.(about 2000 BC). What’s more I bet none of them can get the age of the earth right either. it’s less than 10,000 years old according to “religious” texts. Yet they say they are “educated” in religion. They know nothing excpet their hatred toward their own creator.

  53. #54 JimC
    October 7, 2010

    Anyway, logically, only a church claiming Divine Protection regarding proper formulation of the canon or interpretation of the text has a rightful authority to do so.

    How is this logical in any way shape or form? You have a bunch of false premises and unproven ascertions and then you wave your hands and go —correct.

    Any other individual or institution, no matter what credentials, claims of intelligence, or claims to wisdom, cannot be the final authority on interpretation for the basic reason that they are only HUMAN

    As are the original people who put it together. Humans all the way around.

    Christ established the Catholic Church as his official Church

    No he didn’t as history clearly shows. Multiple sects all competing.

    Protestantism and the personal interpretation of the Bible leads to Atheism

    HAHAHAHHAHAHA, the internet if chock full of atheists who used to be members of the RCC and couldn’t accept the illogical nature of the religion. You need to read ALLOT more.

    You defeated your own argument here:

    All those things may not be explicitly stated in the Bible, but come all the Early Church Fathers believed it?

    Who cares what they believed when it was obviously in error. You clearly state those things are not in the bible. So why do you take such an absurd stance with sola which at least aims to be consistent. And the early church fathers didn’t buy into that list either much of that was added later on. Oh and Christimas is not a RCC creation.

    ‘Mark 7:13: “thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do’

    We have not made void the word of God, we give highest importance to the word of God.
    “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ” – St Jerome
    Scripture is not superior to Apostolic tradition and was never considered so until the 16th Century!! If you can show me evidence of any Christians believing this before 16th Century?? Or did Christ hide the truth till then?

    All of this actually supports the Protestant POV. Not one word about making someone else read and interpret it for you. It seems pretty clear from your own posting that sola can stand on it’s own.

  54. #55 opit
    October 7, 2010

    You have had some enthusiasts show up without adding a lot of light, hm ? Here’s a website run by people of various ‘religious convictions’…including ‘atheist’ and ‘agnostic’, which are really R.C. pejorative terms. I’ve cited the link to Protestant belief as it seems so much of what this thread is about….but perhaps I should have found some Islamic thought just to shake things up !
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/chrcarddoc.htm
    From the Religion list at my.opera.com/oldephartte/links

  55. #56 zeb
    October 7, 2010

    Professor Smart: Blah blah hate hate dumb dumb

    4 ton buddah lands on his head. plllllllttttttttt! squish!

    Zeb: Hey! Where did that evolve from? A statue of a monkey perhaps?

    God: No my boy, just recalling another defective product.

    Zeb: Whatever happened to prepaid fedex satchels?

    God: “snigger” .. Stupid atheist

    “Curtains down – Lights up – Audience file out of the theatre to the parking lot, mount their dragons and return to their home planets”

    I tell you its gonna be the best cult ever. And I still have the best part of a six pack left!
    Join now!

  56. #57 Richard Simons
    October 7, 2010

    Julian @41

    Catholicism has nothing that contradicts scripture, Catholics determined what books go in the Bible!

    Really? How about the ostentatious public praying, the use of standard, formulaic prayers and the overwhelming displays of wealth? I thought Christ frowned upon all of these.

    Julian @50

    Christ established the Catholic Church as his official Church. All these 40,000 denominations are from the 16th Century Reformation, a split from the church as much for doctrinal as political, social, and other false reasons.

    Where do the Greek, Ethiopian and other eastern Orthodox churches fit in with this?

  57. #58 Julian
    October 7, 2010

    @Richard Simons
    Yes, I am actually a member of one of the Oriental Orthodox churches that entered into full communion with Rome (Syro-Malankara Catholic Church).
    The Oriental Orthodox Churches split at the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451), and they consist of seven churches, who are in union with each other but heirarchially independent. They are considered Miaphysite in accordance with their Christology. Various groups of these factions are in full communion with Rome or seeking reunification with Rome.

    (Assyrian Church of the East) The Church of the East developed from the early Christian communities in Persia, and at its height had spread from its Mesopotamian heartland as far as China and India. They In 1552 a dispute over patriarchal succession led to a schism, resulting in there being two rival Patriarchs. One of the factions that emerged from this split became the modern Assyrian Church of the East, while the other became the church now known as the Chaldean Catholic Church, which entered into communion with the Catholic Church. While the Church of the East (Nestorian Christianity) also did not accept the Council of Chalcedon, in addition to that it rejected the First Council of Ephesus as well and has, according to the traditional interpretation, an opposite Christology to the Oriental Orthodox. It may thus be called “Non-Ephesine”.

    Various heresies have been there throughout history and have died out, but do resurrect again in various forms. But the vast majority of the denominations that you see now are a result of the Protestant Reformation.

    There were numerous heresies right from the beginning of the Church. But protestantism is the worst because it has destroyed the unity of Christianity and made difficult the possiblility of reunification. Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Church of the East have remained very close to original Christianity and are thus extremely similar to the Catholic Church and also have not split into thousands and thousands of factions due to maintenance of apostolic succession and systems of authority.

    Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians reported promising progress on Friday in talks on overcoming their Great Schism of 1054 and bringing the two largest denominations in Christianity back to full communion. Experts meeting in Vienna this week agreed the two could eventually become “sister churches” that recognize the Roman pope as their titular head but retain many church structures, liturgy and customs that developed over the past millennium.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/09/24/catholics-and-orthodox-report-promising-progress-in-latest-round-of-unity-talks/

    “Whatever history teaches, whatever it omits, whatever it exaggerates or extenuates, whatever it says and unsays, at least the Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there was a safe truth, it is this.” – John Newman, Anglican convert to Catholic Church.

  58. #59 Julian
    October 7, 2010

    If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex- monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517.

    If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.

    If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.

    If you are a Protestant Episcopalian, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century.

    If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

    If you are a Methodist, your religion was launched by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744.

    If you are a Unitarian, Theophilus Lindley founded your church in London in 1774.

    If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1829.

    If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1605.

    If you are of the Dutch Reformed church, you recognize Michaelis Jones as founder, because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.

    If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.

    If you are a Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year in which your religion was born and to Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy as its founder.

    If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as ‘Church of the Nazarene,” “Pentecostal Gospel.” “Holiness Church,” “Pilgrim Holiness Church,” “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past century.

    If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ the Son of God, and it is still the same Church.

    Can you tell me who started the Catholic Church if not Christ?

  59. #60 Professor Smart
    October 7, 2010

    ZEB: blah blah blah. Rectangle goober quiet pen light top bottom fart belch clock.

    I see you can throw random words too. Dingleberry. You aren’t one of those fat slobs with no neck are you? Beer is illegal in my county. You should live here. It’s a dry county. You could sip on dingeberry juice though. Oh, my mistake. Looks like you had your fill already.

  60. #61 zeb
    October 7, 2010

    Professor Smart | October 7, 2010 8:27 PM

    My apologies. Here I was thinking you were a humourless troll, but that was actually quite funny.

    “Beer is illegal in my county.”
    Is that why your hobby is buttsecks?

  61. #62 Julian
    October 7, 2010

    @Richard Simons
    @Jim

    Catholicism formed the canon of the Bible, how can it contradict it?

    The Bible was written over the course of about sixty years. From Jesus’ death in 33 A.D. until the Gospel of John in the 90’s. During this time, well over 250 documents, letters, books, etc were written that claimed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Yet only 27 are now in the Bible.

    The Holy Spirit guided the canonists as they selected which books belonged and which did not. We can all agree on this. The problem for the protestant is that the canonists were Catholic bishops headed by the pope in the late fourth century.

    To make matters even worse for the protestant, the core test that a book had to pass to get into the Bible was for it to conform to all oral tradition of the Catholic Church.

    Therefore, it is a FACTUAL IMPOSSIBILITY for a book in the caon of the New Testament to disprove any tradition of the Catholic Church. Each book was hand picked by a team of bishops specifically because it upheld those traditions.

    Any time you hear a verse that “disproves” Catholicism, do this. First, check the context, read the passages before and after. Things are often have different meanings when you understand what the author was actually saying. Next make sure no words were added by the person reciting the verse to you (like “alone” in faith alone or scripture alone, 2 Tim 3:16 never has the word “alone”, but Protestants generally ignore that little tidbit). Finally, understand that Catholic Traditions don’t need to be explicitly stated in the Bible. For example, the Assumption of Mary isn’t in the Bible and is therefore impossible. Four people, not counting Jesus, were assumed in the Bible (Enoch, Elisha, & 2 witnesses in Revelation), so why can’t Mary be too? There’s a precedent set that bodily assumption is possible, Tradition tells us Mary was assumed. What’s the problem? The Bible doesn’t say she wasn’t?

    The bottom line is that the Bible is a Catholic book that is a core part of our faith. Yes, our bishops and popes have read it. Yes, they have considered it when they formed this Church. There’s nothing in there that Catholics didn’t put there.

  62. #63 Richard Simons
    October 8, 2010

    Julian: You failed to address my points.

    Did Jesus expressly denigrate public prayer or did he not?
    Catholics frequently pray in public.

    Did Jesus condemn formulaic and ritualized prayer, including the Lord’s prayer, or did he not?
    Catholics have a standardized liturgy including the Lord’s prayer.

    Did Jesus advise people to shun worldly wealth, and especially ostentation, or did he not?
    Ostentatious robes, chalices and other accoutrements form an integral part of Catholic ceremonies.

    I am not particularly interested in the relationships between all the various Christian factions, but it seems to me that when you claim that the Catholic church continues all the teachings and traditions of the early church you are wildly off course.

  63. #64 Julian
    October 8, 2010

    @RichardSimon
    I addressed your second point.

    Don’t protestants pray in public?
    Ritualized Prayer:
    I can assure you that a prescribed or written prayer can be just as much from the heart as any prayer off the cuff. And when a priest reads or recites a prayer in the Mass, he can be as sincere as if he had composed the prayer himself. One of the most important reasons that the Church provides these prayers is that it doesn’t want the people of God to be misguided by the individual inclinations or, even worse, the false teachings that an individual priest might fall into unknowingly. Standardized prayers are a way of exercising the pastoral care of Christ in his body, the Church.

    Repetitious Prayer:
    Not all repetition is vain. Consider the prayers spoken of in Revelation 4:8 offered day and night without ceasing: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Another repetitious prayer pleasing to God is contained in Psalm 136: “For his steadfast love endures for ever.” This phrase is repeated over twenty-five times. Finally, Matthew 26:44 tells us that Jesus himself prayed the same prayer three times in the garden in Gethsemane

    Wealth of the Church

    A woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at table. But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For the ointment might have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.” Matthew 26:6

    One reason that the Vatican doesn’t sell off such treasures is that the Vatican doesn’t believe that the treasures are the Vatican’s to sell. They are considered the patrimony of mankind, entrusted to the Vatican for safekeeping, and cannot be sold or borrowed against. Indeed, the Vatican values them at one euro each for purposes of internal bookkeeping and spends a great deal of money to preserve the treasures for future generations.

    If such treasures were sold and the money given to the poor, that money would soon be gone and mankind would be culturally impoverished by the loss of such artifacts into private hands. Besides, it is not offensive to religious sensibilities for a Church to maintain such beautiful treasures for the glory of God. If the Temple in Jerusalem could be richly ordained in order to glorify God and to inspire human worship, the universal Church of God can be richly ordained for the same purposes.

    Ostentation to give dignity to the function and in glorification of God is ostentation used well. Priests have to take a vow of poverty and live on a meager salary, the wealth is not theirs.

  64. #65 Julian
    October 8, 2010

    @RichardSimon

    Early Christianity:
    read the writings of the early church fathers, the closest we can get to the beginnings of Christianity
    http://www.churchfathers.org
    I find most protestants study the Bible but fail to study early Christianity in depth. You will find that the beliefs of Early Christians is completely Catholic! They believed in mariology, saints, sacraments, Eucharist, Purgatory, all the Catholic beliefs. Look at all the Eastern Christian (orthodox, etc) that split off early from Catholicism, how come their beliefs are very similar to the Catholic Church? Protestant “dogmas” began in the 16th Century unrelated to earlier Heresies.

    “We must hold to the Christian religion and to communication in her Church, which is Catholic and which is called Catholic not only by her own members but even by all her enemies. For when heretics or the adherents of schisms talk about her, not among themselves but with strangers, willy-nilly they call her nothing else but Catholic. For they will not be understood unless they distinguish her by this name which the whole world employs in her regard.” Augustine, The True Religion, 7:12 (A.D. 390).

    “See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrneans, 8:2 (c. A.D. 110).

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