Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:27 AM
Jim B. Jim B. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,864
St. Januarius, Miracles, and the Proof of God.

I have to tell you all. I was planning on posting this yesterday. I'll tell you why. Yesterday was the feast of St. Januarius in the Roman Catholic Church.

Allow me to explain. Every year, on the feast of St. Januarius, in a little chapel in Italy, St. Januarius's blood liquefies. Or so the legend tells.

I was brought up in the Catholic church. And growing up, I have to tell you, there were many impressive miracles. The miracle at Lourdes. The miracle at Fatima. And many more. Believe me. Including the above mentioned, miracle of St. Januarius.

I have to admit. St. Januarius seems a little to just be a parlor trick. But supposedly there are many more.

As I have grown up, I have become more skeptical. Haven't we all? But one thing remains. The Catholic church offers many so-called miracles, that supposedly defy ordinary explanation.

My question is simply this. If any one miracle could be proven, even just shown to be without easy explanation, would that be proof of God? Or maybe that is a bit too strong.

So let me put it this way. If you are an atheist. And if something the Catholic church offers as a miracle, could at least be proven to be without immediate explanation, would that be enough to make you question your staunchly held beliefs? I trust you can see what I am trying to posit.

I still believe in God. And I believe in being good. But as I get older, I find myself questioning what I once held true. So if you say "No" to the above question, I want you to know, I am not entirely against you. But still, there is a lot in this world that defies explanation. How do you deal with that, if you are atheist (for example)?

Thank you all in advance for your kindly (and civil) replies.

__________________
"Love takes no less than everything." (from "Love Is", a duet by Vanessa Williams and Brian McKnight)
  #2  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:39 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
If it turns out bleeding statues have no natural explanation, then I am willing to listen to the premise that some supernatural entity has the amazing ability to make statues bleed...then dismiss said premise until solid evidence is produced to back it up.
  #3  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:48 AM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
I can't answer the OP's question personally because I'm a theist, but I don't think there's really one universal answer.

Miracles are enough to convince some people, and not enough to convince others. Jesus went around doing all kinds of scientifically inexplicable things. Some witnesses believed, some didn't.

I'm pretty sure that there was at least one previously atheistic journalist who was covering the events at Fatima who converted after the miracle of the sun. I think there was also a scientist who was studying the tilma from Our Lady of Guadalupe who converted.
  #4  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:50 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
I'm pretty sure that there was at least one previously atheistic journalist who was covering the events at Fatima who converted after the miracle of the sun. I think there was also a scientist who was studying the tilma from Our Lady of Guadalupe who converted.
Who were these people?
  #5  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:56 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 7,809
It is a line of reasoning that starts in the wrong place for me.

Let us establish first of all if anything is happening at all then we can start talking about the mechanisms for it.

And then if something is going on you would have to exhaust all the possible explanations within the natural world (which we know does exist) before I'd even consider an explanation that relies on the supernatural (of which there is zero evidence).

And then you'd have to prove that it was something called a "god" (i.e. a conscious entity) that was existing beyond the natural world and not just a set of phenomena that we haven't yet incorporated in our worldview yet.

And then you'd have to show that it was due to a conscious entity that can be identified as the christian god that the catholics claim to know the mind of.

So, sure. Do all the above and then we'll talk.
  #6  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:56 AM
DCnDC's Avatar
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 11,143
I'm willing to believe there are mysterious occurrences that cannot currently be explained by science, and maybe never will be. I am NOT willing to extrapolate that to a belief in an invisible, omnipotent deity.

If God personally appears to me, in front of objective witnesses, and passes on a message or performs a miracle, sure, I'm in.

However, if something happens that defies the known and expected properties of the universe, I'm NOT going to just attribute it to a supernatural being or presume that I understand the nature of that being, no matter how many other people do.
  #7  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:58 AM
naita naita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Norway
Posts: 5,730
I assume for arguments sake that the relic with St. Januarius' "blood" does look like blood liquefying. Go back more than 400 years ago and it becomes difficult to prove that it isn't blood, and is in fact pretty much a parlor trick.

Why would I assume today, knowing how many other relics, miracles and mysterious events in Christianity and other religions and beliefs have eventually been shown to be ... not magic, that a new one, or the many old ones that are outside the reach of scientific inquiry, is an actual miracle?

What happened when Moses parted the Red sea? I don't know, I think he probably never did.
Did Joseph Smith and others actually handle the book of Mormon on gold plates? I don't know, but I think they probably didn't.
Did Muhammad get someones horse to sink into the ground, and then rescue the guy through prayer? I don't know, but I think probably not.
Are people actually being abducted by UFOs? I don't know, but I think probably not.

When presented with something claimed to be a miracle today, why would I let it shake my lack of faith in miracles, rather than assume that, like someone analysing St. Januarius' blood 400 years ago, I don't have the tools or the information to explain it?

And why, considering all the conflicting belief systems that claim miracles or similarly fantastical events, would this shake my lack of faith in divine beings? Even if my lack of faith in fantastical events was shaken, I'd still not know how to choose between Catholicism, belief in the Matrix, the Greek gods, aliens or the Illuminati.
  #8  
Old 09-20-2018, 12:12 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by naita View Post
Even if my lack of faith in fantastical events was shaken, I'd still not know how to choose between Catholicism, belief in the Matrix, the Greek gods, aliens or the Illuminati.
Methinks one of these things is not like the others....
  #9  
Old 09-20-2018, 12:29 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 19,625
True. The Matrix never raped anybody.
  #10  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:05 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 57,865
If God exists, he knows what is required to convince me to believe in his existence. Until he gets off his ass and does it, I see no reason to take that step on my own.
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #11  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:20 PM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 29,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
So let me put it this way.
OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
If you are an atheist.
I am. So far, so good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
And if something the Catholic church offers as a miracle, could at least be proven to be without immediate explanation, would that be enough to make you question your staunchly held beliefs?
What staunchly held beliefs would I be questioning?

I once saw a Mr Copperfield fellow make The Statue of Liberty disappear! Seriously, *poof* she was gone! I was amazed, but deep down I knew there was an explanation. Just sayin.
  #12  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:20 PM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,697
There's no good reason to think that any miracles have ever happened, because there's always a simpler explanation for what happened. "Because there's a magic daddy in the sky" is easy to SAY, but it doesn't constitute a simple explanation, because it requires a great deal of OTHER explaining to make it work.
  #13  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:22 PM
elbows elbows is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 13,799
If one well documented ‘miracle’, was unequivocally proven to be a purposeful sham for financial exploitation, would that make Catholics abandon their faith in droves?

Converting atheists, or defaithing Catholics is going to take more than a single example, no matter the strength of the proof, I should think.

Mostly though, it’s called FAITH for a reason. Because you have to BELIEVE !!

Believe in the face of zero evidence, believe in the face of science that contradicts, believe steadfastly in a two century old book from another age/culture, being applicable in today’s culture/society.

Ultimately all Christians are ‘cafeteria’ Christians, come down to it. No one is actually practising the Old Testament in it’s entirety. Each branch picks and chooses what to apply and how. For a lot of people that’s hard to respect.

The bible uses the exact same language to condemn eating shellfish, as it does to condemn homosexuality, yet Red Lobster is still packing them in!
  #14  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:30 PM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 29,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
The bible uses the exact same language to condemn eating shellfish, as it does to condemn homosexuality, yet Red Lobster is still packing them in!
You're saying homosexuals shouldn't eat at Red Lobster?!
  #15  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:31 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
You're saying homosexuals shouldn't eat at Red Lobster?!
I think it was another unwarranted attack on gay lobsters.
  #16  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:38 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
What is it with this idea that any evidence of any supernatural event whatsoever proves the existence of any particular deity? That's a pretty low bar when it comes to evidence making a case.
  #17  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:54 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
There's no good reason to think that any miracles have ever happened, because there's always a simpler explanation for what happened. "Because there's a magic daddy in the sky" is easy to SAY, but it doesn't constitute a simple explanation, because it requires a great deal of OTHER explaining to make it work.
Firstly, there is not "always" a simpler explanation. Secondly, "a magic daddy in the sky" is a pretty specific definition of a very vague concept (conscious source of all things).
  #18  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:55 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 20,637
If a certain "miraculous" event can be produced through natural means, that casts serious doubt on the claims of the supernatural. The "miracle" of the blood liquification can be reproduced in the laboratory.
Quote:
In a report published by the British journal Nature, a group headed by Dr. Luigi Garlaschelli, a chemist at the University of Pavia, says that blood liquefaction can be explained in terms of a phenomenon called thixatropy. Certain substances, including some types of mayonnaise, are normally thick gels, but can be liquefied instantly by shaking or stirring. Part of the ritual of checking the miraculous blood of Saint Januarius, observed every few months in Naples, for example, involves inverting the blood's reliquary container. This simple act is enough to liquefy certain thixotropic gels, the authors note. Left to stand, such liquids soon revert to gels.

The Italian team prepared one type of imitation blood using a solution of ferric chloride and calcium carbonate. Another successful experiment involved extraction of material from animal gut, and subsequent treatment with iron oxide and sodium chloride. In these and other experiments, the scientists said, they produced a brownish material that clotted when left alone but was easily liquefied each time it was gently moved.
Is the famous liquefying blood of Saint Januarius a fake?
Quote:
"The chemical nature of the Naples relic can be established only by opening the vial, but a complete analysis is forbidden by the Catholic Church," the scientists said. "Our replication of the phenomenon seems to render this sacrifice unnecessary."
  #19  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:00 PM
Pork Rind's Avatar
Pork Rind Pork Rind is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Santa Barbara
Posts: 2,349
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
You're saying homosexuals shouldn't eat at Red Lobster?!


You can put me down as saying this! Not because I have a problem with gays, but because I have a problem with Red Lobster.
  #20  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:06 PM
glee glee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Obama country
Posts: 15,175
Every single person on the planet believes in gravity.
Every time you test gravity on Earth, it works.

If there was a God, you'd think He could match gravity...
__________________
Arnold Winkelried:
'glee, I take my hat off to you.... at first I thought you were kidding with your cite but I looked it up and it was indeed accurate. (Still in awe at the magnificent answer)'
  #21  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:08 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
Firstly, there is not "always" a simpler explanation. Secondly, "a magic daddy in the sky" is a pretty specific definition of a very vague concept (conscious source of all things).
It's a very vague definition unless you describe the entity you are referring to and show that only the deity that you describe fulfills the qualifications, as opposed to all the others.

In other words: Who's your Daddy?
  #22  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:09 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
If one well documented Ďmiracleí, was unequivocally proven to be a purposeful sham for financial exploitation, would that make Catholics abandon their faith in droves?
Don't know, but I will say that it is not required of Catholics to believe in any reported miracles, apparitions, etc. Of course some purported miracles are integral to the faith (i.e. the resurrection of Jesus) and are required, but one doesn't have to believe in Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, or the blood of St. Januarius to still be a good Catholic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Converting atheists, or defaithing Catholics is going to take more than a single example, no matter the strength of the proof, I should think.

Mostly though, itís called FAITH for a reason. Because you have to BELIEVE !!
Agreed 100%. I don't think signs and/or miracles are as powerful to change one's beliefs as many would like to assert, both believers and non-believers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Believe in the face of zero evidence, believe in the face of science that contradicts, believe steadfastly in a two century old book from another age/culture, being applicable in todayís culture/society.
Catholics are not required to believe ANYTHING based on zero evidence or science that contradicts. Even something as outlandish as the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not based on zero evidence. You are also mischaracterizing the Bible. Catholics do not believe that everything in the Bible is applicable to today's culture/society, and it wasn't all meant to be applicable for all times and places.


Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Ultimately all Christians are Ďcafeteriaí Christians, come down to it. No one is actually practising the Old Testament in itís entirety. Each branch picks and chooses what to apply and how. For a lot of people thatís hard to respect.
Why are you asserting that in order to be a Christian, one must practice the Old Testament in its entirety? What Christian made this claim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
The bible uses the exact same language to condemn eating shellfish, as it does to condemn homosexuality, yet Red Lobster is still packing them in!
So what? Some rules have nothing to do with universal morality, and so they are relative and apply only to specific people in specific situations and at specific times for a specific purpose. Some rules are a part of basic human morality that applies to all people in all societies at all times.

If you think that shellfish and human sexual relations are equivalent issues, then I fear that you greatly misunderstand Christian moral teaching and its basis.
  #23  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:15 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
Catholics are not required to believe ANYTHING based on zero evidence or science that contradicts. Even something as outlandish as the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not based on zero evidence..
What hard evidence convinced you to become a Catholic?
  #24  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:21 PM
Lemur866's Avatar
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
Posts: 22,146
If there was a phenomenon that I could not explain through ordinary means, would that make be become a Christian?

No, no it would not. Because the universe is filled with things that I can't explain. What is dark matter? What's up with Quantum Mechanics? Why does 2 + 2 = 4? What happened to a stuffed rabbit I had when I was a kid?

The list of thing I can't explain is very long. And figuring out one thing doesn't shorten the list, because every time I figure something out it just makes me aware of a bunch of other stuff that I haven't figured out that I hadn't even known that I didn't know.

So no, seeing a vial of red stuff turn liquid when a priest plays with it isn't going to convince me to become a Christian, because even if I don't know exactly what's happening I do know that there are dozens or hundreds of possible explanations that are not miraculous. I might not know which explanation is correct, but not knowing doesn't mean I reach for the miraculous explanation. Just like when I watch a guy pull the Ace of Spades from behind a kid's ear. I have no idea how he did it, but I do know that it's just a clever trick. I suppose he could be using real miracles to pull out that card, but guess what, he's not.

And so I have no idea what is going on with the miracle of St Januarius. And I have no interest whatsoever in figuring it out. Am I passing up my chance to investigate a real miracle? Maybe, but I'm willing to bet my immortal soul that I'm not.
  #25  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:21 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
It's a very vague definition unless you describe the entity you are referring to and show that only the deity that you describe fulfills the qualifications, as opposed to all the others.

In other words: Who's your Daddy?
It's not so much a competition of different deities. It goes back to philosophy.

Given what we can observe about the world (matter does not spontaneously come into existence), there must be a source that brought it into existence.

Based on further observations, religious traditions have given their interpretations of what this ultimate source must be like, but yes the definitions of "God" tend to be pretty vague.

I think you will find that the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and even Hindu definitions of 'God' are remarkably similar.

Keep in mind that American Evangelical Christianity is an extremely small minority flavor among the world's Christians, and doesn't exactly have what most would call an intellectual or philosophical tradition.
  #26  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:24 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
I think you will find that the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and even Hindu definitions of 'God' are remarkably similar.
Except for the parts where they differ wildly, of course.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
Keep in mind that American Evangelical Christianity is an extremely small minority flavor among the world's Christians, and doesn't exactly have what most would call an intellectual or philosophical tradition.
I don't recall bringing them up.
  #27  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:27 PM
elbows elbows is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 13,799
I never said or implied anyone was required to believe in miracles.

Please provide the proof of the resurrection.

Never in conflict with science? What about that invisible all knowing, all judging guy? Science says Nope!

I didn’t say anyone had to follow the the Old Testament, but if we got two books to work from which shall we follow? I know, let’s have a little of both, as and when, it suits us!

The point was if every body gets to pick what applies when, and what can be overlooked when it suits. That’s less doctrine than flimsy, ever changing personal preference dressed up as religious faith, in my opinion.

Which opens the door to all the god fearing Christians lining up and cheering for the quoting of scripture to support slavery, subjugation of women, racism, burning of witches and many other horrors. The Klu Klux Klan start their meetings holding up their bibles after all.

You’re counter arguments are fully making my case for me, keep up the good work!
  #28  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:27 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
What hard evidence convinced you to become a Catholic?
I believe that Jesus really and truly rose from the dead. I believe this because I believe that the testimonies of those who witnessed it are credible. I also find the incarnation of Jesus, along with his life, death, and resurrection to be too good of a fulfillment of Old Testament promises and prophecies to be a coincidence.

Anecdotally, I believe that if the Catholic Church was not of divine origin, it would have crumbled a long time ago.
  #29  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:31 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Except for the parts where they differ wildly, of course.
Where do they differ wildly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I don't recall bringing them up.
Not explicitly, but your characterizing of God as a magic sky daddy or whatever shows that your impressions regarding Christianity have been much more influenced by American evangelicalism than by classical Christianity. Or maybe it was another poster who used that terminology? If so, I apologize.
  #30  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:34 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
I believe that Jesus really and truly rose from the dead. I believe this because I believe that the testimonies of those who witnessed it are credible. I also find the incarnation of Jesus, along with his life, death, and resurrection to be too good of a fulfillment of Old Testament promises and prophecies to be a coincidence.

Anecdotally, I believe that if the Catholic Church was not of divine origin, it would have crumbled a long time ago.
The first sentence doesn't differentiate the Catholic church from hundreds of others, and your anecdotal supposition about the long life of your particular sect can be applied to other religions.
Again I ask: What hard evidence convinced you to become a Catholic?
edited to add: Were your parents of that particular faith, and when did you start going?

Last edited by Czarcasm; 09-20-2018 at 02:35 PM.
  #31  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:37 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Please provide the proof of the resurrection.
I didn't say there was proof. I said that there is evidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Never in conflict with science? What about that invisible all knowing, all judging guy? Science says Nope!
Then what is science? If science only deals with the physical world, then the concept of a spiritual deity is outside its scope. Being outside the scope of science is very different from science saying "Nope!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I didnít say anyone had to follow the the Old Testament, but if we got two books to work from which shall we follow? I know, letís have a little of both, as and when, it suits us!
Jesus didn't institute a book (or two). He instituted a Church. We follow Jesus and his Church, not a book (or two).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
The point was if every body gets to pick what applies when, and what can be overlooked when it suits. Thatís less doctrine than flimsy, ever changing personal preference dressed up as religious faith, in my opinion.

Which opens the door to all the god fearing Christians lining up and cheering for the quoting of scripture to support slavery, subjugation of women, racism, burning of witches and many other horrors. The Klu Klux Klan start their meetings holding up their bibles after all.
You have just thoroughly discredited Protestantism. Thank you.
  #32  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:40 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
I didn't say there was proof. I said that there is evidence.



Then what is science? If science only deals with the physical world, then the concept of a spiritual deity is outside its scope. Being outside the scope of science is very different from science saying "Nope!"



Jesus didn't institute a book (or two). He instituted a Church. We follow Jesus and his Church, not a book (or two).



You have just thoroughly discredited Protestantism. Thank you.
You have just attributed quotes to me that I never said, multiple times. I do NOT thank you.
  #33  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:49 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
The first sentence doesn't differentiate the Catholic church from hundreds of others, and your anecdotal supposition about the long life of your particular sect can be applied to other religions.
Again I ask: What hard evidence convinced you to become a Catholic?
edited to add: Were your parents of that particular faith, and when did you start going?
OK, so why am I specifically Catholic. Gotcha.

First let me quibble with your claim that "your anecdotal supposition about the long life of your particular sect can be applied to other religions." Please refute my supposition. Can you name anything, religious or otherwise, to match the institutional integrity of the Catholic Church? I don't believe you can.

But no I was raised in mostly non-denominational and Baptist churches. We went to church every week growing up.

I became Catholic about 4 1/2 years ago. I came to realize that if the central claims of Christianity are true, then Protestantism and its claims on the Bible make no logical sense. The Reformation of the 16th century was utterly illogical and absurd. Me becoming Catholic was more of a rejection of Protestantism at first, because I saw how full of holes it was. I was raised to be very anti-Catholic, so even getting to the point of thinking that Catholics don't worship idols was a big step for me. But now I've definitely come around to being fully accepting of Catholicism.
  #34  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:51 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
You have just attributed quotes to me that I never said, multiple times. I do NOT thank you.
Ahh, sorry, it was elbows, and it won't let me edit. I'm not exactly the most computer-savvy person, so quoting in this format is a bit of a challenge.
  #35  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:58 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
First let me quibble with your claim that "your anecdotal supposition about the long life of your particular sect can be applied to other religions." Please refute my supposition. Can you name anything, religious or otherwise, to match the institutional integrity of the Catholic Church? I don't believe you can.
You're not even in the top three.
  #36  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:00 PM
Ignotus Ignotus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
So let me put it this way. If you are an atheist. And if something the Catholic church offers as a miracle, could at least be proven to be without immediate explanation, would that be enough to make you question your staunchly held beliefs? I trust you can see what I am trying to posit.
It would depend on the nature of the alleged miracle. Solids liquefying and re-solidifying is nothing miraculous, so that wouldn't do. On the other hand, if it were scientifically proven that a piece of rock could produce and exude haemoglobin, this would basically mean that all I've ever learned of physics, chemistry and biology were utterly wrong from the start, so I guess God would rank pretty far down on my list of worries...
  #37  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:04 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I can't follow the link at the moment, but I'm not talking about the age of the religion. I'm talking about institutional integrity.
  #38  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:07 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
I can't follow the link at the moment, but I'm not talking about the age of the religion. I'm talking about institutional integrity.
Define "institutional integrity" in a way that isn't just taking certain traits of your sect and calling it that.
  #39  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:09 PM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 29,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
I can't follow the link at the moment, but I'm not talking about the age of the religion. I'm talking about institutional integrity.
Institutional integrity? The Catholic Church? Seriously? Ever read a newspaper? I'm in Pennsylvania, where apparently you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone who's been raped by a priest.
  #40  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:12 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
I can't follow the link at the moment, but I'm not talking about the age of the religion. I'm talking about institutional integrity.
Hinduism
Zorastrianism
Judaism
Jainism
Confucionism
Buddhism
Taoism
Shintoism
  #41  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:13 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Define "institutional integrity" in a way that isn't just taking certain traits of your sect and calling it that.
Continuous existence in the same tangible, continuously identifiable form.

People have been able to point to a building and say "there's the Catholic Church" since the 1st century. People have been able to point to a guy and say "there's an ordained Catholic bishop" since the 1st century.
  #43  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:15 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Hinduism
Zorastrianism
Judaism
Jainism
Confucionism
Buddhism
Taoism
Shintoism
Yes these are ancient religions, but there is no one institutional structure within them that matches the institutional integrity (or continuity if that makes more sense) of the Catholic Church.
  #44  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:16 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
Continuous existence in the same tangible, continuously identifiable form.

People have been able to point to a building and say "there's the Catholic Church" since the 1st century. People have been able to point to a guy and say "there's an ordained Catholic bishop" since the 1st century.
Who taught you this nonsense?
  #45  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:17 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
Institutional integrity? The Catholic Church? Seriously? Ever read a newspaper? I'm in Pennsylvania, where apparently you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone who's been raped by a priest.
THIS:
Integrity: the state of being whole and undivided

NOT THIS:
Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness
  #46  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:19 PM
Sage Rat's Avatar
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Howdy
Posts: 20,145
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamshedji_Sorab_Kukadaru
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meherji_Rana
  #47  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:19 PM
EscAlaMike EscAlaMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Who taught you this nonsense?
??? Who taught you otherwise?
  #48  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:23 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 57,689
So, what hard evidence convinced you to become a Catholic? So far you've named attributes that many sects share, and "institutional integrity"...but you have yet to provide any evidence that supports your sect and your sect alone.
  #49  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:24 PM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 29,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscAlaMike View Post
THIS:
Integrity: the state of being whole and undivided

NOT THIS:
Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness
Ahhh, so the Catholic Church, like the mafia, has integrity. Got it.
  #50  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:25 PM
elbows elbows is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 13,799
Institutional integrity? Catholics? What are you smoking?

Like moving child molesting priests from parish to parish, and never involving the police in reported cases criminal sexual assault of children?

Or every single piece of the hierarchy STILL solely bent on covering it up or praying it away.

What the Catholics did to the First Nations people of my country is shocking and criminal by any measure. What they want is an apology. Nope. Never. Not ever gonna happen.

I don’t think you understand what the word integrity means.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:12 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017