We're all going to hell now

We've got some new additions to the Deadly Sins, the ones that will get you consigned straight to hell as soon as you die.

"You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour's wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos," he said.

Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included taking or dealing in drugs, and social injustice which caused poverty or "the excessive accumulation of wealth by a few".

He said that two mortal sins which continued to preoccupy the Vatican were abortion, which offended "the dignity and rights of women", and paedophilia, which had even infected the clergy itself and so had exposed the "human and institutional fragility of the Church".

The mass media had "blown up" the issue "to discredit the Church", but the Church itself was taking steps to deal with it.

The article also mentions using contraception is a mortal sin.

It's a strange list. There are a couple that are common practices of the Catholic church itself, the excessive accumulation of wealth and pedophilia (and isn't that just the cutest little disclaimer? The church is "taking steps to deal with it" — which usually means hushing it up and sending the offending priest off to virgin hunting grounds). Does the Vatican really haven any credibility when an old guy in silk robes encrusted with jewels declares the virtues of poverty?

The dictum against polluting the environment is a good one, but awfully vague. Is he promoting a zero-carbon footprint? Is he arguing against nuclear power? Should we stop exhaling carbon dioxide? Similarly, the prohibition against drugs isn't very specific — are all pharmacists going to hell now?

Declaring that meddling in the fate of embryos is also terribly broad, suggesting that all developmental biologists are also going to hell. This is one mean and nasty pope, I think — he has me damned on several counts!

And I'm sorry, but it is not defending the dignity and rights of women to deny them family planning. It also contradicts any sincere desire to improve the livability of the planet to argue that people are not allowed to take simple action to limit their fecundity.

But of course this is all an exercise in empty rhetoric. The pope does not have any better knowledge of the mind of any god than I do, and does not know anything about the actual fate of human souls after death. It is a bit presumptuous to be declaring that there is an immortal omnipotent being who will torture you for eternity for putting a condom on, don't you think?

More like this

And I'm betting that he doesn't consider alcohol to be a drug. Probably just a 'dietary supplement'. Or maybe liquid manna from heaven.

Okay, polluting is a sin but according to the corpse Jerry Falwell being an environmentalist is a sin because environmentalism is satanic.

So either way we're going to hell. I'm so glad the religious have provided a great moral standard.

Every sperm is sacred
Every sperm is great
And if one is wasted
God gets quite irrate

Monty Python

ichthyic and I were musing about Hell last night. I'm finally going to open that catering business I've been dreaming of.

He said that two mortal sins which continued to preoccupy the Vatican were abortion, which offended "the dignity and rights of women", and paedophilia, which had even infected the clergy itself and so had exposed the "human and institutional fragility of the Church".

The mass media had "blown up" the issue "to discredit the Church", but the Church itself was taking steps to deal with it.

Umm, could it be possible because the Church protected both the child-rapists and their protectors from the law? That's not the media's fault asswipe.

lol, part of environmentalism is sound family planning

The Earth can't sustain Catholicism's version any longer

"The dictum against polluting the environment is a good one, but awfully vague. Is he promoting a zero-carbon footprint?"

Vague or not, it's a good idea. I'm often surprised that more Christians aren't environmentalists. I mean, if you believe god made everything and put everything here in a perfect system, don't you think it'd be a good idea to keep it nice?

The same argument goes for the ID weirdos. If an 'intelligence' made this ecosystem, who are we to mess it up.

Me, I just like trees better than mini-malls.

(I think Falwell and the fundies don't support environmentalism because they believe they're going to be raptured up anyway, so why bother with the mess)

But man, it must be soooo cool to hear voices in your head from an ultimate and unquestionable authority which you may then pass along for the 'benefit' of everyone. Sweet deal, this whole infalllibility/proxy for The Magical Sky Man Who Shall Not Be Questioned thing, really... Just think... However batty might be the commands (ahem), they are to be followed.

Oh... Wait... Coooool... I'm getting something now... The voice in my head says the Vatican cardinals got it wrong, last 'election'. It turns out they were really deceived by evil forces from beyond, and I was supposed to be the pope that time 'round... Ratzinger is an imposter! This is my first revelation. Praise be!

Oh, and for my first Papal bull (how aptly named these be), The Holy Commands From The Sky Are: stop wearing clothing with buttons. This is a sin. And every man, woman and child on the planet is to send me $50...

Oh... And one more coming in... (Moans and groans 'n slightly inappropriate Victorian seance-ish fashion)... Ummm... His command is: if you see any member of the Catholic clergy, moon them...

Oh... But children are exempt from this last commandment. The Magical Sky Man said this exemption had somethin' to do with 'not asking for trouble'...

Hey, don't give me flack over this. These were His commandments. Do as I say! I'm infallible now, doncha know...

I'm so sick and tired of these goofy idiots in their ornate costumes barking out orders from their imagined deity. Do they actually think that wearing those things gives them credibility? Those people, and anyone who gives any credence to their insane views, are delusional.

"You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour's wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos," he said.

Even if the morality is itself under debate, you're going to Hell.

The Catholic Church (and the Christian religion in general) has got a lovely scheme going on with their ability to equivocate on the word "sin" -- which has entered the language as meaning the same as the secular concept of "evil" or "harm" or "wrongdoing." It's the same thing, really, they imply. Surely we can all get together and agree that ruining the environment, like murder, causes unnecessary harm, right?

Except that when used in the religious sense, "sin" does NOT mean the same as "wrongdoing" in the secular sense. It means "going against the will of God." Which may -- or may not -- be discernibly wrong to those outside of the Special Revelation. There is no harm done according to the standards of the world caused by homosexuality, or blasphemy, or contraception -- all of them "sins." Victimless "sins."

And add to that "interfering with Nature." Some genetic manipulations can potentially cause harm to people -- and some only violate the injunction that "God doesn't want people to do that." That's a critical difference -- unless it's all "sin." You know. Like murder.

They like to slide that little discrepancy by the unwary.

I think Mormons and Some sects of Judaism overbreed even more than Catholics do.
They actively try to have lots of kids, Catholics at least try the pull out method.

the book of nuggan

He's a bishop, not the pope. Although I'm sure the pope would damn you on several mean and nasty counts, as well.

To which I will drink - after my developmental biology class; before I strap a condom on (never can be too careful when taking drugs, you know).

As long as they don't make it a sin to make fun of people wearing those silly pope hats, my salvation is secure...

This pope talks way to much, at least the last one had the decency to mumble only now and then. If he really has to talk this much, let him go on a talkshow tour.

/Imagines the pope explaining transubstantiation to Stephen Colbert./

By Dutch Delight (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

I find these lists counterproductive. They think you'll see some item on the list and think "oh noes, i will never do this again." But really, there are so many things on that list for which you're already going to hell, you might as well go all out.

He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy.

I can't take seriously a institution run by someone who bears such a striking similarity to Emperor Palpatine.

Abortion "offends the dignity and rights of women"? I guess that's the dignity of the poverty stricken single mother and a woman's right to have a child by incest or rape. Well thank Jebus the Church is looking out for us!

By Alexandra (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

Cn we please buy a consignment of wiffle bats and let the catholic clergy go at it with the heads of the LDS, moonies, baptists, scientologists, calvanists, episcopaleans (how the hell do you spell that?), that nutjob that pickets funerals, CofE, CofS, etc. We could do it like the world cup andhave rounds, but I think it would be better to just throw them all in a pit with their bats. Let them al pray to skydaddy to be on their side and see how it turns out. Last man standing.

Hmm... alcohol is a drug, it's more harmful and does more damage to society than many other drugs.

Does that mean all catholic priests are now living in mortal sin for holding mass?

Certainly would get the confession attendance up... take mass, then you immediately have to confess to taking drugs; 5 hail-marys and a fiver in the donations tray. Great new revenue stream for the church.

By MartinSGill (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

WTF??!! What the hell kind of fuzzy thinking is this? What the hell does "carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments", mean????

Morally debatable does not = morally wrong, it = up for discussion.

My 6th grade teacher Sister Mary Mother Of Pain would have smacked him with a ruler and made him like it for talking crap like this.

Here's a thought for you. What if the catholic church not only allowed the use of contraception but handed out free condoms after their sermons? Their numbers would skyrocket, don't you think?

They could make the lubricant with holy water!

By Whodunnit (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

It's funny seeing some conservatives. They see the environmental movement as liberal propaganda who puts the world before humans but when THEY support it, it's a message from God.

Vague or not, it's a good idea. I'm often surprised that more Christians aren't environmentalists. I mean, if you believe god made everything and put everything here in a perfect system, don't you think it'd be a good idea to keep it nice?

No, because they also believe in the Rapture. What's the point of keeping the earth nice, if Jesus is gonna come back, take all the righteous to Heaven, and lay waste to everyone else with his super powers?!

AlanWCan,
How will each sect be represented? Will it be proportional to the number of believers or a set number for each "team". I think a set number takes away that clear Catholic/Muslim advantage.
Can we please dress them up in uniforms? Oh! and have mascots! Get some big dancing magic underwear to cheer for Captain Romney and the Joseph Smithies.

I'm really looking forward to your Faith Bowl.

You folks always pick the easy targets in your rants against religion and God. But I challenge you to read some intelligent believers whose faith is well-reasoned and see if your "rock-solid" belief systems aren't shaken, at least a little.

Try Tim Keller http://thereasonforgod.com/ or Donald Miller http://www.donaldmillerwords.com/

Peace!

"You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour's wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA..."

Are there any genetic manipulations that do not alter DNA? So, what, moving DNA from one room to another is still permitted, but having poor repair of a T-T dimer after a sunburn, that will send me straight to hell?

Let's see...check, check, check...oh wait..it's not a checklist... Isn't "morally debatable" a good thing? You know...actually being able to question and reexamine whether something is ethical rather than being held to millenia old dogma of oppression and bigotry?

I do pollute the environment pretty regularly...since I do emit greenhouse gases and consume natural resources. Sadly I can't even compete with the church on insulting the dignity of women and I don't recall sheltering any paedophiles because they were part of my exclusive club. Oh well, I guess the makers of the checklist are always going to be the best at meeting the goals.

You can see their priorities: paedophilia isn't wrong because is hurts children, but because it exposes the church.

You can see their priorities: paedophilia isn't wrong because is hurts children, but because it exposes the church.

Well, duh. With exposure, the supply dried up.

Bishop Girotti said...the mass media had "blown up" the issue "to discredit the Church".

That's a big step forwards for the Catholic Church. 100 years ago (or perhaps even 50) the scapegoat wouldn't have been the media; it would have been the Jews.

All sins are deadly. The Pope would know that if he became a born-again Christian. He could have his sins forgiven though, if he believed that Jesus took the punishment for his sins, and if he committed his life to following God. No rituals, no extra good works, no intercession by Mary or saints required.

By Ross Nixon (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

So Ross, what exactly is it that makes our American "born-agains" more credible than the Catholic church? Is it the suits?

We're all going to hell now

'bout time. I sent out the invitations AGES ago.

Just how long did you all think I could keep the entertainment on hold?

The Pope would know that if he became a born-again Christian. He could have his sins forgiven though, if he believed that Jesus took the punishment for his sins, and if he committed his life to following God. No rituals, no extra good works, no intercession by Mary or saints required.

Frankly, Ross, that's something I'd like to see.

the added extremism would only doom the delusion that is xianity that much faster.

PZ you've just given me an idea for a great new party game:

Everyone is given the following sentence: "Does the Vatican really have any credibility when an old guy in silk robes encrusted with [blank] declares the virtues of [blank]?" and is given 30 seconds to come up with a pair of words that have no precedent in an actual douchebag from some point in the church's ~two millenium history of fucking other people's shit up.

"All sins are deadly. The Pope would know that if he became a born-again Christian. He could have his sins forgiven though, if he believed that Jesus took the punishment for his sins, and if he committed his life to following God. No rituals, no extra good works, no intercession by Mary or saints required."

Nah, if I'm gonna buy into a made up belief system of imaginary, all-seeing space tyrants, the guy in charge better at least have a kickass hat and some nice artwork.

There is no harm done according to the standards of the world caused by homosexuality, or blasphemy, or contraception -- all of them "sins." Victimless "sins."

How can you call them victimless when they make baby Jesus cry?

Are there any genetic manipulations that do not alter DNA?

sure.

There are manipulations that alter how and when genes are expressed that don't in any way alter the DNA itself. Hmm, I suppose one might more accurately define those as "epigenetic" manipulations, though.

Not that it's relevant in any way to the nonsense under discussion here, but I thought it worth tossing out there.

ichthyic and I were musing about Hell last night. I'm finally going to open that catering business I've been dreaming of.

*rubs hands together*

Gooood. Goood.

remind me to send you those recipes for long-pig.

Nah, if I'm gonna buy into a made up belief system of imaginary, all-seeing space tyrants, the guy in charge better at least have a kickass hat and some nice artwork.

"The only tenet any religion should have is that hats are optional"

George Carlin

I'm gonna buy into a made up belief system of imaginary, all-seeing space tyrants, the guy in charge better at least have a kickass hat and some nice artwork.

Or tentacles! Don't forget tentacles!

Rodd (#29):
I'm obviously not going to fork out my hard earned $$ for a book on your say so. As you neglected to describe the "reasoning" behind these peoples faiths I investigated the resources you did give.

After reading Keller's "study guide" for his book it's obvious that he brings to light neither new arguments nor new evidence (or even old evidence). He seems to be vomiting up the same old strawmen and pathetic Christian apologia. Nothing more than a courtier's digression.

Can you point to the location on Miller's website where the arguments for
1) the existence of a (any) god
2) the validity of Christianity
are made? I really don't feel like going through all links looking for them. They might not exist on his site and, if his "revelations" follow the standard pattern, I would have to fork over more $$ to read some more of the same-old same-old.

So to avoid draining my already depleted coffers, could I take advantage of your kindness and ask you to summarize Keller's and Miller's arguments for points 1 & 2 (above). Thank you.

Martin

Tulse, are you implying that the mighty cephalapod overlord is imaginary? How dare you?!

see if your "rock-solid" belief systems aren't shaken

Rodd,
No.

Maybe they appear to be easy targets to you because they don't have the "right" faith. You are all easy targets. Inconsistant liberal theology is still sky fairy worship with no real evidence to support it.
Try reality it's fucking great.

Tulse, are you implying that the mighty cephalapod overlord is imaginary? How dare you?!

Not imaginary, but from such unspeakable antediluvian dimensions beyond all puny human conceptions of space and time that he might as well be.

"I'll have you know that there are plenty of Catholics who don't like the pope either."

Well then they ought to overthrow him. That would at least provide some entertainment for us.

Not imaginary, but from such unspeakable antediluvian dimensions beyond all puny human conceptions of space and time that he might as well be.

And better tasting than Jesus. C'mon, wafers or fried calamari? No brainer!

And better tasting than Jesus. C'mon, wafers or fried calamari? No brainer!

all the better to fatten you up with..

er, I mean, what I meant to say was...

oh forget it, you'll find out soon enough (if you're lucky).

Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included taking or dealing in drugs....

They can have my coffee when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

It had to be said!

Many infants (Jesus seemed to indicate most) will grow up to reject salvation and end up in everlasting torment.

Children who die before 'the age of accountablity' will go to heaven.

For those who believe these two statements the most loving thing they can do is to kill all infants as soon as they are born.

Martin,

Sorry, I should have been clearer about both Keller and Miller but you won't find any type of scientific evidence proving existence/non-existence of God. Both agree, as do I, that the existence question is a philosophical one, so far not proven one way or the other with any hard facts. Both make reasoned arguments for the plausibility of a biblically-rooted faith, for those interested in hearing it.

Children who die before 'the age of accountablity' will go to heaven.

Of course, for Catholic babies, that is a recent development, and a big improvement on Limbo. (Man, those babies who died prior to 2007 must be pissed.)

Good thing consecrating wine turns it into blood. That way everyone is safe from church sponsored sin.

Like others, I note the primary effect of the church's stance against contraception is increased population. The more people, the more pollution and degradation of the environment.

With all the advisors on the payroll, you'd think they wouldn't let such big errors slip through.

By JohnnieCanuck, FCD (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

#52:

But have you tried turduckjesus?

Rodd #29 wrote:

You folks always pick the easy targets in your rants against religion and God. But I challenge you to read some intelligent believers whose faith is well-reasoned and see if your "rock-solid" belief systems aren't shaken, at least a little.

One of the most common arguments atheists hear is the "Oh, well, I don't believe in THAT God, either" argument. Presumably, the atheists have managed to find a silly, clumsy, straw-man version of "God" lying around somewhere which the sophisticated believer doesn't believe in either. And THAT's really the problem. Stopping too soon on the journey.

Trouble is, that comes from all sides. Everyone thinks their own version of God is the mature, sophisticated view, and "those other guys" who see it differently simply haven't thought it through deeply enough. Whether God is "a Heavenly Father overseeing human affairs" or "a substance of infinite attributes expressing eternal and infinite essentiality" or "a field of consciousness set up for maximum diversity" or "a symbol of the mystery that lies between the poles of our clearest rational dichotomy" or "a superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it" -- some believer who thinks they've given a deep and meaningful description of God is balanced out by another believer who now is rolling their eyes at the stupidity, and waiting to give theirs. Or, in many cases, not waiting to give their definition at all, because their theology works better if they never really get down to what they actually mean by the word "God."

As MartinDM points out, those websites are pretty vague, and as far as I can tell wasting a few minutes on them don't get into anything specific. It would be nice if you, personally, provided something concrete.

However, I'm going to make a quick and dirty guess here that these gentlemen have more liberal versions of God which are pretty vague and nonspecific as well. Less concrete. Thus, more reasonable. When you get right down to it, the only versions of God which start to "make sense" and seem a bit likely are the ones that manage to cover themselves deeply in analogy and secularization. The "prayer is not to ask God for favors; it is for the person praying to find acceptance for whatever happens" school of apologetics. See? Nothing an atheist wouldn't or couldn't do.

That is not a route where people are going to "get to" God. That is where people on their way out of God are going to cling on to some last minute scrap of credibility.

Everyone thinks their own version of God is the mature, sophisticated view, and "those other guys" who see it differently simply haven't thought it through deeply enough.

hey, my unicorn has a SILVER horn, OK?

Declaring that meddling in the fate of embryos is also terribly broad, suggesting that all developmental biologists are also going to hell.

Hell PZ, it's even broader than that. Merely allowing genetic manipulations, etc. to occur--never mind actually being the manipulator--will get you fired, so to speak. Quite a bummer to have to choose between supporting gene replacement therapy for, say, Cystic Fibrosis, and eternal damnation. I guess anyone who isn't a rabid, lab-smashing anti-science activist is in for it.

I'd much rather go to the place you're going than the place Fred Phelps is going.

That's a no-brainer.

Turns out I will be anyway. I just hope I can decompose in a helpful way. Maybe my survivors can get a carbon credit or two when I go.

Ichthyic #62 wrote:

hey, my unicorn has a SILVER horn, OK?

But it's not a literal silver horn, right? That would be silly. It's a symbolic, metaphorical silver horn, and it represents some very profound and timeless truths about the human condition which speaks to our hearts in language that transcends the literal and expresses what lies just beyond our intellectual comprehension, though not outside our conceptual consent.

You folks always pick the easy targets in your rants against religion and God. But I challenge you to read some intelligent believers whose faith is well-reasoned and see if your "rock-solid" belief systems aren't shaken, at least a little.

The problem with 'well-reasoned' Christian faith is that it draws no support from scripture unless you do a lot of intellectual hand-waving about which scriptures you cite and which you ignore. There comes a point at which, if you are truly 'well-reasoned', you realise that what you are doing is re-defining Christianity to fit, well, whatever the hell you think it's supposed to fit.

Going though that process didn't just shake my faith; it killed it. That's how I became an atheist.

But it's not a literal silver horn, right? That would be silly. It's a symbolic, metaphorical silver horn, and it represents some very profound and timeless truths about the human condition which speaks to our hearts in language that transcends the literal and expresses what lies just beyond our intellectual comprehension, though not outside our conceptual consent.

Beer?

Bee-er?

B-E-E-R!

But it's not a literal silver horn, right?

yes, it is. I polish it often.

hint:

don't use Tarnex!

That would be silly.

I can't disagree with that, since it was indeed the point.

Sastra,
I'm glad you checked out the link. Both of the authors mentioned come from a reformed Christian background, and I wouldn't categorize either as liberal or vague. Both put forth a theology based on an interpretation of the bible as God's revelation about who we are, who God is and how he relates to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Both author's do a much better job than I ever could of making that last statement not sound so strange.
When you say "The "prayer is not to ask God for favors; it is for the person praying to find acceptance for whatever happens" school of apologetics. See? Nothing an atheist wouldn't or couldn't do." makes total sense if you agree with the notion that if there is a god, and he is truly a god in the sense that he is in complete control over everything, then our prayers would be pointless. But Keller and Miller propose that the bible, through all kinds of literary styles, presents a God who is in control, but good.
Now if you hold to the philosophical view that there is no God, then you need go no further. But if your philosophy stems from your disagreement with what's revealed in the bible, then it may be useful to hear Keller and Miller out.

These recent papal admonitions made me think of this web comic. It answered all my nagging doubts as to the pope's divine connections.

I've never gotten a response when I've asked the faithful about this one...

What about fertility clinics?

If abortion = murder ...

Fertility clinics = mass murder, right?

By dogmeatib (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

Both of the authors mentioned come from a reformed Christian background, and I wouldn't categorize either as liberal or vague.

RUN LIKE THE FUCKING WIND!

The Reformed tradition is fucking insane. I escaped from those people and couldn't be happier. Those are the crazy-ass right-wing Dutch Iowa relatives, and I'm never returning to Iowa.

RUN!!!!

Sorry Rodd. Nice try. Thanks for playing. The home version of the game is available backstage, on your way out. Join us again next time for Reality, same place, same time and same channel.

You could also try lurking for a while - lots to learn from the sinners who frequent here. Hell, just today I learned that not only is there Baby Jesus and Zombie Jesus, but there is also an Action Hero Jesus (release date: TBA). I'm sure he'll really kick ass - if Chuck Norris doesn't take him out first.

Rod #69 wrote:

Both of the authors mentioned come from a reformed Christian background, and I wouldn't categorize either as liberal or vague.

Thank you. If the writers both come from a "reformed Christian background" as I'm familiar with it, they most likely put forth an apologetics of presuppositionalism or TAG -- and their works would be unlikely to be helpful to me. As I understand from what I've read and past encounters, this form of theology works from the starting assumption that the existence of God is obvious and basic, and inescapably clear to all but those who are willfully blind or perverse. God is the ground of rational thought itself, which cannot be 'justified' without it.

That is, if you think about it, not an attempt to persuade or convince someone who honestly disagrees. If a Muslim told you that you knew, in your heart of hearts, that Islam was true and Keller and Miller were liars -- and that you were forced to assume Allah exists in order to deny it -- there is no common ground you could start from to persuade him that no, you don't know or do any such thing.

It's a chump's game. You can have a fair give-and-take debate on whether or not you're wrong, and don't know it. But you really can't have a fair debate on whether or not you're lying -- and don't know it. The minimum ground necessary for mutual courtesy is to assume mutual sincerity.

Now if you hold to the philosophical view that there is no God, then you need go no further. But if your philosophy stems from your disagreement with what's revealed in the bible, then it may be useful to hear Keller and Miller out.

I do not "hold" to the view that there is no God in the sense that it is an unalterable premise; I consider it to be a "working theory," subject to revision. And the versions of God I find unpersuasive include versions far more general -- and far less specific -- than the Calvinist God of the Bible. I wasn't raised in any particular religious tradition, so for me the issue lies "further up" than any single Special Revelation. So no, I don't think it would be particularly useful.

"We're all going to hell"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTOffYj5TxU

Posted by: Anon | March 10, 2008 2:52 PM

That is a great song! btw, is that PZ I saw during the refrain after the third verse, along with Richard Dawkins, or am I just seeing things after all the birthday tributes??

"Hell, Hell, Hell
is a wonderful place
filled with fire
and brimstone"

By dwarf zebu (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

In my Sunday Observer newspaper (no digital access without payment, sorry) a reader's letter pointed out that, in fairness, if Stephen Hawking was going to be referred to as 'the notorious atheist' then the Pope ought to be referred to as 'the notorious believer'.

It struck me that this was one way of making religious views not the default state.

So "The notorious believer Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included...". Kinda has a ring to it.

By DiscoveredJoys (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

Pz. Z. Meyers and associates searching out additional roads to Hell.....now that's overkill...stop looking you're way over qualified.

By Keith Eaton (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

Pz. Z. Meyers and associates searching out additional roads to Hell.....now that's overkill...stop looking you're way over qualified.

no it's not.

ever tried making it there on the main thoroughfare during rush hour?

traffic's a bitch.

We're even thinking of offering GPS service that maps out alternate routes. Discount rates are available on long term service contracts.

Yeah, I know you bought a bunch of paper maps, Keith, and no, the discounts we offered you on the paper maps are not transferable.

"Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included taking or dealing in drugs, "

The Wire: Vatican City

"He said that two mortal sins which continued to preoccupy the Vatican were abortion . . . and paedophilia"

A rather good word-choice there, I think.

" which offended "the dignity and rights of women""

Indeed, the Vatican's preoccupation with abortion - and obsessive opposition to reproductive rights- does offend "the dignity and rights of women" the world over. I'm glad they're catching on.

"The article also mentions using contraception is a mortal sin."

A little while back I decided to see what the current justification for this silliness was. That was a mistake, as the resulting high blood pressure probably took a couple months off my life. Besides being on the same level as 'we shouldn't fight cancer, because God's trying to tell us something!' or 'the Heimlich maneuver frustrates God's design, because there is a morally inseparable connection between swallowing and breathing,*' if you get into more detail, it turns out to be basically an elaboration of the idea that eating walnuts is good for your brain (because they're wrinkly and kinda-brain-shaped), or the related idea that the often fantastical accounts of animal life and behavior found in bestiaries were actually lessons and representations of the Christian story.
Medieval meanderings with no place in the modern world.

At least that's a kind of improvement over Paul VI, who thought contraception was just as bad as rape (although to be fair, I suppose he should get some depressingly genuine credit for realizing that marital rape was bad back in 1968). If we're going to have popes -which I'm not necessarily opposed to, though it seems a bit primate**-hierarchy-crazy - could we at least have ones with a chance of having mature and healthy experiences of sexual & familial relationships, instead of these wizened and pampered celibates cut off from basic human realities?

* of course, both the link between (pleasurable, intimacy-enhancing) sex and reproduction, and that between breathing and eating (with, for us, that unfortunate side effect of being choking-prone) do indicate a kind of deeper 'truth'. but not the one the church intends. . .

** heh.

"The mass media had "blown up" the issue "to discredit the Church", but the Church itself was taking steps to deal with it."

There's a term for what he's doing here, I'm sure, this sort of 'DHS is making a big fuss out of some bruises and burns my kid got because they're trying to persecute me . . .' thing . . .

It's amazing - there's was a bit of a furor recently in the Philly Inquirer letter-column over an (arguably heavy-handed) editorial cartoon re: clergy sex abuse cases, and none of the oh-so-offended people - from representatives of the archdiocese to random abuse apologists - ever seemed to grasp that by protecting and facilitating kid-raping priests, the church did something unspeakably worse than draw a cartoon.

"or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos,"

Now, what's this about? Certainly there are genuine ethical concerns about some possible uses, but given that the population isn't still largely illiterate, uneducated, sometimes literally mentally stunted through malnutrition and hardship, and generally involved in constant backbreaking labor throughout a short life often spent within a few often sparsely-populated miles of one's birth - not the kind of circumstances that predispose one to complicated ethical reasoning - maybe we can get a little more nuance? No doubt some of it is merely the same 'we are slaves of God who mustn't dare dream of mastering our own destiny' thing that also surfaces in the anti-contraception shtick, but . . . perhaps Haidt's ideas about moral purity are relevant here?

{shakes head}

DiscoveredJoys #77:

What about the 'ring' to:

"The self-proclaimed believer Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included...".

What, there was a pronouncement from the vatican condemning most of humanity? I did not see that coming.

By Janine, ID (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

self-proclaimed believer

redundant.

Haven't they just admitted that the bible is not the source of all morality? Could be something of an own goal there.

By FollowTheGourd (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

"the excessive accumulation of wealth by a few".

Choke!!

The Vatican Bank is going to hell.

They can't elect another pope now, with all that nasty, poluting black and white smoke.

By FollowTheGourd (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

The Catholic Church's ideas on contraception and abortion only make sense to those who think the greatest thing a woman can do is bear and raise a dozen children. I admire the women who choose this path and are successful at raising productive members of society, even--perhaps especially--those women whose talents do not lie in the areas suitable to making little hellions cooperate. But.

By MercuryBlue (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

Hey- the pope is infallible!! How do we know that? Because he says so - and the pope is always right!!

Someone ought to get his infallibleness to correctly call 50 coin tosses. That'd show all those nihilist atheists what "infallible" really means! Or maybe not.

Wouldn't work, Marcus, and he'd admit it--he's only infallible when he says he is, and he won't say he's infallible to call a coin toss.

By MercuryBlue (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

faith is well-reasoned

I'm still laughing my ass off over that one. It's going on my list of favorite oxymorons:
- Military Intelligence
- Jumbo Shrimp
- Well-reasoned Faith

A very intelligent Catholic friend of mine once tried to present me with a completely "secular" argument against contraception as wrong, in principle, even for married couples. As I recall, his two main points:

1.) Contraception treats the sex act and/or the act of conceiving a child as if it were a "disease," and this degrades the sexual relationship between a man and woman.

2.) Since the decision to not have a child is often the best, most reasonable decision given the circumstances, a couple should not be "rewarded" for making it, because that would be like a judge getting extra bribe money after coming to a fair, legitimate legal decision.

Yeah, I know. He finally gave up when he realized I just wasn't going to "get" either one of those points.

FollowTheGourd:

I don't think Catholics ever claimed the bible as the only source of morality, that's more a protestant thing. Rather, the Pope's the ultimate source of morality. I'm not sure what they do when one pope contradicts his predecessor, though.

On the optimistic side, I'll have you know that there are plenty of Catholics who don't like the pope either.

So why don't they either A) stop giving their time and money to the church or B) speak out at least as aggressively as they lay into noncatholics for lumping them together with their leader?

...list of favorite oxymorons:

How about "business ethics".

By c-serpent (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

Sastra: Did you try explaining to him that, one, the only form of contraception that treats sex as disease-like is the condom and that only because there really are sexually transmitted diseases that condoms mostly stop the spread of, and two, what reward is there for deciding not to have a child? (Lack of punishment for lack of enough forethought to use contraception doesn't count as a reward for having said forethought. If my convoluted sentence structure makes any sense.) And I'd think the supposed degradation of a sexual relationship occurs only when the goal is pleasure, not conception or pleasure-and-hopefully-conception, and contraception is not used, because then the pleasure may well come with negative consequences that it needn't have.

By MercuryBlue (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

It just leaves me flabbergasted. People in funny hats wielding a bronze-age religion in their typical holier-than-thou way after willingly participating in some of the greatest evils in the history of mankind are going to find "new sins" with which to keep their members in line.

@76:

Dwarf Zebu--

I had not noticed that before, but I believe you are right! Right before "Check this shit out". Good eyes! PZ Myers in Hell!

And yeah, I love the Bastard Fairies. Check out (in the "related videos") their version of the Asylum Street Spankers' "whatever". Wonderful...

You folks always pick the easy targets in your rants against religion and God. But I challenge you to read some intelligent believers whose faith is well-reasoned and see if your "rock-solid" belief systems aren't shaken, at least a little.

You misunderstand. We have a lack of belief systems.

:-)

All sins are deadly. The Pope would know that if he became a born-again Christian. He could have his sins forgiven though, if he believed that Jesus took the punishment for his sins, and if he committed his life to following God.

Guess what! He'll gladly tell you that he has already done all of that. The born-again part is baptism in the interpretation of all Christians -- other than a few small American denominations who think that you must say that you're born again.

no extra good works

That's what the Bible says, 14 times in total. At the same time, it also says that faith and good works are required, and at the same time it also says (most often, BTW) that good works alone suffice. And at the same time, it says that good words alone suffice...

You should try reading the New Testament. I kid thee not.

For those who believe these two statements the most loving thing they can do is to kill all infants as soon as they are born.

See, that's what limbo is for. Extra ecclesia nulla salus.

Of course, for Catholic babies, that is a recent development, and a big improvement on Limbo.

Wait, waaaaait. "There is reason for prayerful hope" that limbo doesn't exist, said the Pope. That's all. He never said "it doesn't exist".

(How agnostic of him.)

-----------------------

"Military Intelligence" :-D

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

Of course, for Catholic babies, that is a recent development, and a big improvement on Limbo.

Not according to "Mr Deity and the Limbo"!

There are a couple that are common practices of the Catholic church itself, the excessive accumulation of wealth and pedophilia (and isn't that just the cutest little disclaimer? The church is "taking steps to deal with it" -- which usually means hushing it up and sending the offending priest off to virgin hunting grounds

I see what you did there

Pardon me, as a woman, if I don't take a Bishop, a man, a celibate man at that (go forth and multiply, my arse) seriously enough to define FOR ME what I might be offended by as far as my uterus is concerned.

The "dignity and rights of women" should be decided by women themselves, not some guy dressed up in funny cloths who can't seem to find his way into the 21st century already.

Pardon me, as a woman, if I don't take a Bishop, a man, a celibate man at that (go forth and multiply, my arse) seriously enough to define FOR ME what I might be offended by as far as my uterus is concerned.
The "dignity and rights of women" should be decided by women themselves, not some guy dressed up in funny cloths who can't seem to find his way into the 21st century already.

But God--the heavenly FATHER--has decreed it to be such, even going so far as to rape a virgin in order to send his SON to be tortured and die to satisfy his bloodlust. Who better than a celibate man who approves of child rape to carry that message and define women's bodies?

Well, as a farmer, I guess I'm going to hell anyway. Crossbred cattle, harvesting crops right to the edge of the field. I've even deliberately mixed wheat and barley to plant for feed grain. I'm doomed, I tell ya.
But, since there's only 144,000 people getting into heaven anyway, and the aborted embryos get the first tickets, my chances aren't high even if I did reform. And the longer it takes before the rapture comes, the less my chances.

can't seem to find his way into the 21st century already.

21st?

hasn't even made it into the 20th for the most part.

@Anon:

Is it just me, or is that PZ in the background at 2:44? If not, who is it?

Random partial thoughts:

This whole abortion + "Right to Life" thing seems to me to be totally upside-down. Surely it would make more sense to start ensuring life from the end, and work back to birth? Only seek to ban birth control etc once the embryo has the entire path to a well earned old age death ensured? I know, I know, making sense has never been the province of these idiots.

Abortion bad because God has a Plan. But He gave us Free Will. So what happened to The Plan? It's one or the other, not both. Plus that logic earlier - kindest act is to kill babies at the earliest opportunity to guarantee they go to heaven. therefore abortion good, right?

Also remember "Go Forth and Multiply" descends from a time of incredibly high infant mortality.

There are more versions/definitions of "God" than there are or ever were people to define it. It's all a semantics game for power.

More?

By GrayGaffer (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

That does look like PZ in the video. His face anyway. As for the bod...... well...... I decline to speculate. That's his Significant Other's job, not mine. :-)

By themadlolscientist (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

That's what the Bible says, 14 times in total. At the same time, it also says that faith and good works are required, and at the same time it also says (most often, BTW) that good works alone suffice. And at the same time, it says that good words alone suffice...

To be fair here the works passages are considered a product of faith and faith alone is mentioned far more than the other options.

[quote]"You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour's wife[/quote]

How about coveting your neighbor's little boy?

"How about coveting your neighbor's little boy?"

That's iffy - according to fifty thousand priests* ("they can't be wrong!"), you can sexually use him - that is ok. It's only when you get to coveting that there is maybe an issue.

* Number pulled out of my posterior orifice for a nice round number.

Uh... sorry if someone already pointed this out (if so, I missed it) but aren't "Contraception is a Sin" and "Ruining the Environment is a Sin" somewhat contradictory? What greater threat to the environment exists than unchecked procreation?!?

You folks always pick the easy targets in your rants against religion

True or not, that's hilarious. If THE FREAKIN POPE is an "easy target" then perhaps rationality does have a chance. The implication is that The Vicar of Christ, the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church and its ONE FREAKIN BILLION MEMBERS, is in essense no different than a city sidewalk monster-shouter.

I love it.

Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included taking or dealing in drugs....

me: They can have my coffee when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Damn, I just realized what this means. The Bishop is... a Mormon!

Uber: To be fair here the works passages are considered a product of faith and faith alone is mentioned far more than the other options.

What, the Bible is a democracy now? If it contradicts itself, it's majority (or even plurality) rule time?

Presumably when the Bishop talks about "drugs" he means illegal drugs. Now this is fascinating. The Holy Mother Church has just delegated damnation rights to civil legislative bodies.

If I sell drug X to you when it's legal then that's OK and my path to eternal paradise is assured[*]. If Her Majesty's Parliament (I'm a Brit) then bans drug X and I carry on selling it then I'm damned to eternal torment without relief. Wow! Has anybody told the politicians about their new powers?

[*] Actually if the Catholics are right I'm pretty much screwed any way.

By Bob Dowling (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

Sandy said:

The "dignity and rights of women" should be decided by women themselves, not some guy dressed up in funny cloths who can't seem to find his way into the 21st century already.

Give the poor guy a chance - he shows precious few symptoms of having made it into the 20th yet!

Besides, didn't you get that memo from St Paul - we women are supposed to stay silent in church and learn from our husbands at home. We just don't get to decide important things like this - that why we need an antediluvian Emperor Palpatine lookalike around to do it for us. Grrrrrr.

Kseniya said:

aren't "Contraception is a Sin" and "Ruining the Environment is a Sin" somewhat contradictory?

I think you might be rather optimistic in expecting logic from this particular source.

By Lilly de Lure (not verified) on 11 Mar 2008 #permalink

@Sandy: It should be decided by the women, yea. Not by some dude that isn't even allowed to fuck us!

You know ,that's a thing that always annoyed me about priests and clergymen. What right do these asses have of telling how to run out our sex lives and families? They are supposed to be forever virgins sworn to God! They aren't even supposed to know what it is to raise children!

Rodd, #56:

Sorry, I should have been clearer about both Keller and Miller but you won't find any type of scientific evidence proving existence/non-existence of God.

Yeah...didn't think they could. There is never any evidence for non-existence of putative entities c.f. Invisible Pink Unicorn, Allah, FSM, YHWH &c. You only need to provide evidence for the existence of your god-of-choice (or supernatural entities in general).

Both agree, as do I, that the existence question is a philosophical one, so far not proven one way or the other with any hard facts.

Nor have any other fictional entities (Here's a hint: You should probably modify "prove" with "supported by evidence"). By using the correct starting axioms (implicit or explicit) pretty much anything can be proved with "logic", but as soon as the hard questions (axiom justification and missing evidence) are raised then "philosophical proof" disapears in a puff of smoke.

Also, you might want to read Dawkin's argument that the existence problem is a scientific one. This god entity is meant to interact with material objects and, hence, should leave evidence of said interactions.

Both make reasoned arguments for the plausibility of a biblically-rooted faith, for those interested in hearing it.

So have many before and so will many after. But without evidence and justification of starting points they're all just pissing into the wind.

I'm NOT going to fork out bunches of cash to read some apologia unless it has something to say that is not more of the same. It really appears (from your description) that they're just preaching to wavering members of the choir who already accept 90% of whatever arguments they make.

Martin

Trilemma!

Accumulating wealth is a sin? Except I suppose when a candidate for sainthood - Teresa aka Agnes Boiaxhu - does it? What could be more sinful than salting away millions, providing the worst possible care (not even palliative) for the few that are delivered to their doorstep; while the head nun and her colleagues enjoy the finest healthcare at top-notch places like Scripps in California? That is obscenely sinful unless you are a charlatan wedded to Rome.

Unchecked population? apparently 'the Lord will provide'. That is a quote too, my fundie sister has 8 kids.

By Peter Ashby (not verified) on 11 Mar 2008 #permalink

if this planet was intelligently designed, how could we possibly pollute it?
=D

It should be decided by the women, yea. Not by some dude that isn't even allowed to fuck us!

Don't kid yourself, Michelle. Celibacy notwithstanding, they've been fucking us for years.

How does one 'compromise embryos'? Is the good Bishop registering his opposition to mixing of the races?

@Brad:

Ditto. In my berry garden, there's row of blackberries & raspberries. Together & all that!

See ya there! (:

Gee, unimpressed with the lack of originality in these judgmental, yet witless responses. Talk about doing yourselves no favors....one sheep following another. God gave you free will and I guess you can squander as you see fit.

"Talk about doing yourselves no favors....one sheep following another."

Yawn. A predictably pellucid piece of projection from a follower of The Good Shepherd.

Ah, I wish that I, too, could live an irony-free life.

"allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA"
alright you heard him, time to shut down all the grocery stores, all those products have been genetically modified over centuries we must now eat only wild lettuce, and wild fruits, nothing grown by farmers...

So... if the pope rides a car or flies on an airplane... he is a sinner, right? because those evil machines cause environmental damage O___o

run for your life!!

Uh... sorry if someone already pointed this out (if so, I missed it) but aren't "Contraception is a Sin" and "Ruining the Environment is a Sin" somewhat contradictory? What greater threat to the environment exists than unchecked procreation?!?

Modern medicine that allows unchecked procreation to translate into unchecked population growth. Duh!

By Andreas Johansson (not verified) on 12 Mar 2008 #permalink

Rodd (#29):
I'm obviously not going to fork out my hard earned $$ for a book on your say so. As you neglected to describe the "reasoning" behind these peoples faiths I investigated the resources you did give.

After reading Keller's "study guide" for his book it's obvious that he brings to light neither new arguments nor new evidence (or even old evidence). He seems to be vomiting up the same old strawmen and pathetic Christian apologia. Nothing more than a courtier's digression.

Can you point to the location on Miller's website where the arguments for
1) the existence of a (any) god
2) the validity of Christianity
are made? I really don't feel like going through all links looking for them. They might not exist on his site and, if his "revelations" follow the standard pattern, I would have to fork over more $$ to read some more of the same-old same-old.

So to avoid draining my already depleted coffers, could I take advantage of your kindness and ask you to summarize Keller's and Miller's arguments for points 1 & 2 (above). Thank you.

Martin

You folks always pick the easy targets in your rants against religion and God. But I challenge you to read some intelligent believers whose faith is well-reasoned and see if your "rock-solid" belief systems aren't shaken, at least a little.

You misunderstand. We have a lack of belief systems.

:-)

All sins are deadly. The Pope would know that if he became a born-again Christian. He could have his sins forgiven though, if he believed that Jesus took the punishment for his sins, and if he committed his life to following God.

Guess what! He'll gladly tell you that he has already done all of that. The born-again part is baptism in the interpretation of all Christians -- other than a few small American denominations who think that you must say that you're born again.

no extra good works

That's what the Bible says, 14 times in total. At the same time, it also says that faith and good works are required, and at the same time it also says (most often, BTW) that good works alone suffice. And at the same time, it says that good words alone suffice...

You should try reading the New Testament. I kid thee not.

For those who believe these two statements the most loving thing they can do is to kill all infants as soon as they are born.

See, that's what limbo is for. Extra ecclesia nulla salus.

Of course, for Catholic babies, that is a recent development, and a big improvement on Limbo.

Wait, waaaaait. "There is reason for prayerful hope" that limbo doesn't exist, said the Pope. That's all. He never said "it doesn't exist".

(How agnostic of him.)

-----------------------

"Military Intelligence" :-D

By David Marjanović, OM (not verified) on 10 Mar 2008 #permalink

Rodd, #56:

Sorry, I should have been clearer about both Keller and Miller but you won't find any type of scientific evidence proving existence/non-existence of God.

Yeah...didn't think they could. There is never any evidence for non-existence of putative entities c.f. Invisible Pink Unicorn, Allah, FSM, YHWH &c. You only need to provide evidence for the existence of your god-of-choice (or supernatural entities in general).

Both agree, as do I, that the existence question is a philosophical one, so far not proven one way or the other with any hard facts.

Nor have any other fictional entities (Here's a hint: You should probably modify "prove" with "supported by evidence"). By using the correct starting axioms (implicit or explicit) pretty much anything can be proved with "logic", but as soon as the hard questions (axiom justification and missing evidence) are raised then "philosophical proof" disapears in a puff of smoke.

Also, you might want to read Dawkin's argument that the existence problem is a scientific one. This god entity is meant to interact with material objects and, hence, should leave evidence of said interactions.

Both make reasoned arguments for the plausibility of a biblically-rooted faith, for those interested in hearing it.

So have many before and so will many after. But without evidence and justification of starting points they're all just pissing into the wind.

I'm NOT going to fork out bunches of cash to read some apologia unless it has something to say that is not more of the same. It really appears (from your description) that they're just preaching to wavering members of the choir who already accept 90% of whatever arguments they make.

Martin