Catholic homosexuals

This is a discussion on Catholic homosexuals within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by MK27 As I've already said, theology and religion are intended to constrain and manipulate the moral sense ...

  1. #106
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    As I've already said, theology and religion are intended to constrain and manipulate the moral sense -- they are not its foundation.
    But in what way do you mean constrain and manipulate? By simply existing, any moral rule constrains and manipulates moral sense. There's no exceptions, regardless of the source of that moral rule; be it religious or laic.

    If on the other hand you mean religion has done more wrong than good to the moral sense, despite all my ranting I cannot agree either. Religion still is a bastion of morality. I can agree it is rapidly loosing its appeal and being replaced by better institutions for several reasons, one of which the issue at the center of this thread. But with very few exceptions, any religion in the world is centered around moral canons. These define them. And objectively, these are good moral rules.

    I do not look into morality as the source of religion's "evil". Religions are fundamentally good at their core. That evil I see instead in religious doctrine and especially dogma.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #107
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    But in what way do you mean constrain and manipulate? By simply existing, any moral rule constrains and manipulates moral sense. There's no exceptions, regardless of the source of that moral rule; be it religious or laic.
    No. I am not a relativist; I do not believe that just because Bob believes something, that makes it true for Bob or anyone else. Bob can be wrong. A "moral rule" is not necessarily a restraint of the moral sense. If it is correct, it is an expression or product of human moral sensibilities. I think people, like most mammals, have a clearly observable moral sensibility. While it may not be perfect, or always override other instincts, it is a natural aspect of our perception combined with our ability to synthesize and analyse information. For example, what you have to do to create a fighting dog (of the sort used in dog fighting) -- a dog we might say has a deranged moral sense -- is very severe. Healthy wild mammals can be violent, but they will not simply tear one another apart at random unprovoked whenever the opportunity presents itself. They do not behave like animals that have been twisted into rabid killers by people.

    Human culture has provided us with tools and opportunity to do very perverse things to our minds, successively, over generations.

    Religion begins with politics. Christ was a political reformer who used Judaism as a vehicle. I think JC was probably a pretty good guy who said a lot of great things, but that does not mean the vehicle of Christianity must or subsequently had to be driven by one, and clearly to a great extent it has not been.

    There are a lot of misconceptions, vis, that the Church in it's darkest hours (and they are as dark as you could possibly get) was simply victimized by external forces, or reflecting the evil of society in which it was immersed. This is simply not true. The Church was generally at the center of it and the members of the clergy directly responsible -- it was not made sick, it was the original illness. It may be a bastion of goodness, but much more it is a bastion and pedestal for some of the most vile and powerful human beings who have ever lived.

    I do agree that there are, and always have been, a lot of very moral, outstanding religous people with an impressive legacy.The problem with religion now is that it is no longer as useful a vehicle for positive political reform as it once might have been,* but it is almost certainly the most excellent vehicle for very negative, backward, repressive, violent, AMORAL politics, largely (but not only) because it can shroud itself in the garb of being "the highest moral authority" or bastion or whatever you want to call it. I would argue that today, religion is mostly about some very clever and manipulative evil people outwitting hoards of dim witted/irresponsible/delusional ones.

    * because we have evolved much more direct, dynamic, and efficient means and institutions. Hence, I think the people with the truest moral compass now either do not involve themselves with religion, or they set it aside when it comes to politics. On the other hand, I see a lot of people claiming good intentions clearly bogged down in religious politics which lead them very far astray.
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  3. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    It shouldn't. However, suppose that you consider same sex marriage to be morally wrong. Suppose that same sex marriage is legal and widespread. Now, even if you teach your children that same sex marriage is morally wrong, by their observation of society, your children may conclude otherwise, i.e., same sex marriage is normal, well and good.
    But why wouldn't you want your children to see gay people get married? It's not going to affect them in any negative way. Your argument is exactly the same as a KKK family saying that they don't want their kids to see Black people running for President... The only reason they don't want their kids to see that is because they hate Black people, just like Catholics hate gay people.
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  4. #109
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    I am not a relativist; I do not believe that just because Bob believes something, that makes it true for Bob or anyone else. Bob can be wrong.
    I agree. Now I think I understand your statement:
    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    As many people have observed, morality has no value in a completely relativistic universe, which is what you are suggesting -- that individuals can just make up or adopt whatever they want and defend that as "their morality".
    I am not suggesting "a completely relativistic universe". Rather, I am stating that if a person believes something, then it makes sense for the person to act on that belief, even if it is mistaken or otherwise warped.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    Religion begins with politics. Christ was a political reformer who used Judaism as a vehicle.
    I do not agree, but it probably is just a matter of perception.

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by cpjust
    But why wouldn't you want your children to see gay people get married? It's not going to affect them in any negative way.
    Sorry, I cannot give you my reasons, since I would not mind letting my children go to the wedding of a gay couple, assuming that they are going out of respect for the couple rather than to protest. (It simply is not nice to ruin other people's weddings, even if you find the idea of them marrying absurd.)
    Last edited by laserlight; 01-26-2010 at 08:04 PM.
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  5. #110
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    I haven't followed your other posts in the thread very closely, but it seems from the information above that you would be opposed to legislation banning gay marriage. Is that right?
    I would be opposed. But my point is that society and religion are different. One decides about the legal part of the marriage, the other just offers its own form of marriage. About the actual wording and terminology, I am not really familiar and don't really care.

    The church has no direct power on changing laws. Thus, no power on civil marriages.

    But there are some morals and ethics with marriage that come with it no matter if it is a civil or a religious one. And those ethics and morals are not consitutional, neither written anywhere. They a mixture of a lot of ideas, that some actually come from the Christianity. Since it has greatly affected the Wester civilization directly. Thus, the Catholic Church cares about marriage even if it is civil, because it feels responsible to form those morals and ethics behind marriage.

    If the catholic church and the people seperate religious and civil marriage, then marriage will be "simplified" and religious morals won't be linked with the morals of society.

    I don't think what I am saying is clear. But let me give an example.
    The idea that "God thinks homosexuality is an abomination" thas there should be no (civil) marriage between homosexuals is not a valid argument on a society that doesn't have to believe in God. It is totally unfair for any atheist for example.
    The idea that "There should be respect in a marriage" is a valid argument. It speaks about human relationships and behaviours, which concerns society.

    So the church can argue on civil marriage, but when it speaks of marriage it should not "pretend" it is a religious one. So the people know what they are talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F.
    Seesh! No one spoke of church marriages on this thread except you.
    Nice talking with you
    After the "true hypocrite", "wisen up", "nice talking to you" I kind of doubt that you are open minded enought to change your stance. Making anything more pointless. Even though most of the things you are saying I agree upon.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpjust View Post
    just like Catholics hate gay people.
    Catholics shouldn't hate anyone

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    No. I am not a relativist; I do not believe that just because Bob believes something, that makes it true for Bob or anyone else. Bob can be wrong. A "moral rule" is not necessarily a restraint of the moral sense. If it is correct, it is an expression or product of human moral sensibilities
    What do you mean "wrong" and "right". Those words don't really have a meaning. They are usually are based on morals, making the terms correct/wrong morals logically wrong.
    And somethings are made true if you merely believe in them. When we are talking about "beings" that are solely based on belief, like God, then by believing them they become true. The same way "beings" that are based on perception become true if you can perceive them.
    But even if there is a right and wrong moral, can you be certain which ones are right and which ones are wrong?

  6. #111
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    What do you mean "wrong" and "right". Those words don't really have a meaning. They are usually are based on morals, making the terms correct/wrong morals logically wrong.
    And somethings are made true if you merely believe in them. When we are talking about "beings" that are solely based on belief, like God, then by believing them they become true. The same way "beings" that are based on perception become true if you can perceive them.

    That is more or less a textbook example of a strongly relativistic position. Looking at the wikipedia article on
    Moral relativism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I would agree with descriptive relativism ("the observation that different cultures have different moral standards"), but I do not at all agree with the more extreme meta-ethical relativism ("terms such as "good", "bad", "right", and "wrong" do not stand subject to universal truth conditions at all, rather only to societal convention and personal preference"). Even if every single person* on Earth believed with all their heart in God, he would still not exist

    Textbooks aside, basically I believe right and wrong are to a very significant degree universally and naturally apprehendable by sane adults of normal intelligence regardless of the cultural standards they inherit. As I said, we are hardwired for the task. So, for the most part, people who habitually do the wrong thing do it on purpose, and are commonly also pathological liars.

    However:
    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    But even if there is a right and wrong moral, can you be certain which ones are right and which ones are wrong?
    Given the correct information, YES. However, complex issues can be confusing and require abstract knowledge, which can be incorrect or falsified. An example of that would be making judgements about drug use, which is a complex issue that is fairly clear given possession of the correct information.

    The rightness or wrongness of homosexual marriage is not very complex and does not require any such abstract knowledge to evaluate.

    * this is where democracy abuses itself: we could all vote yes on it, that would still not make it right or true.
    Last edited by MK27; 01-26-2010 at 09:58 PM.
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  7. #112
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I would agree with descriptive relativism ("the observation that different cultures have different moral standards"), but I do not at all agree with the more extreme meta-ethical relativism ("terms such as "good", "bad", "right", and "wrong" do not stand subject to universal truth conditions at all, rather only to societal convention and personal preference"). Even if every single person on Earth believed with all their heart in God, he would still not exist
    Eh, yeah, I really don't believe in a universal truth
    So you can guess for me if a single person believed in a God he would exist as that single person's God.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Given the correct information, YES.
    Let me ask you then how do you distinguish between good and bad morals? Why should we consider lying as something bad, for example?

    EDIT: Of course, for all the others, that single person's God wouldn't exist. So I believe what exists and what doesn't isn't some universal truth.
    Last edited by C_ntua; 01-26-2010 at 10:07 PM.

  8. #113
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    Eh, yeah, I really don't believe in a universal truth
    Yet you said "Catholics shouldn't hate anyone" -- that's a kind of universal statement. "I really don't believe in a universal truth" is usually a cop out, C_ntua, or sarcasm. I imagine it is extremely hard to "truly" be a completely subjective person.

    So you can guess for me if a single person believed in a God he would exist as that single person's God.
    I wouldn't say it's impossible, but I wouldn't join the cult either. Exercising the imagination is a (universally) good thing to do.

    Let me ask you then how do you distinguish between good and bad morals?
    That's what ethics is. Just I would take the how to mean the same as it does in the sentence "How do you distinguish colors?" or "How do you tell up from down?". You could study that, some science would apply.

    Why should we consider lying as something bad, for example?
    I don't (ie, it isn't ). You can lie about something you consider bad though, which might associate them.
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  9. #114
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    "I really don't believe in a universal truth" is usually a cop out, C_ntua, or sarcasm. I imagine it is extremely hard to "truly" be a completely subjective person.
    I generally don't believe what I cannot define with my logic. The problem on defining that something exists is that existence as a meaning is purely logical. Thus if you were to say that a universal truth exists then you would have to prove it logically. Or "defend" it with logical terms.
    Except if by universal truth you mean something that most people believe in. Or an X percentage of Y kind of people believe in. In this case you use something specific, something perceivable and countable.

    But my believes are based on "because I want them to exist". I believe in an afterlife because I just want to believe in it. I can say I feel it exists or use any other similar phrase, but in the end it is just the way I want to interprete my emotions. I can use my logic, but only to prove that is "can" exist and that the opposite in not most likely to exist. So in a way everything is subjective for me. Because everything you think/believe depends on your mind.

    What I am not is completely unbiased, completly unaffected by the world. Everybody is subject to a lot of things that form their believes. Complete chaos, not believing in anything is not for humans. At least not for humans that can function in a society. For example, a person that grew up in a christian family will be affected by it. He can be separated and try to find his own truth, but he cannot erase from his mind his experience. And since your believes are also based on emotions, other believes, your information in general, his believes will be affected by christianity either he wants it or not.

    So I would say everything is subjective, but each subject is affected by a lot of things, making their believes depandable on those things.

  10. #115
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    After the "true hypocrite", "wisen up", "nice talking to you" I kind of doubt that you are open minded enought to change your stance. Making anything more pointless. Even though most of the things you are saying I agree upon.
    Don't be too sensitive. This is a conversation. We throw our arms in the air, we argue, we debate. We calm down and then we throw our arms again in the air. The whole thread has been fantastically well behaved, don't you think? Especially taking into consideration the theme.

    So the church can argue on civil marriage, but when it speaks of marriage it should not "pretend" it is a religious one. So the people know what they are talking about.
    And we agree. But then this isn't what the church has been doing. And hence the whole problem and part of the reason of this debate.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  11. #116
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    The whole idea of a Church wanting to discuss civil marriage as if they owned the concept (and, nb, "the institution of marriage" IS NOT a Christian invention and predates Christainity) is a perfect example of what I meant by co-opting, subverting, and manipulating morality for an explicitly negative purpose (persecuting minorites).
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  12. #117
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    The whole idea of a Church wanting to discuss civil marriage as if they owned the concept
    In this sense, I agree with Mario F.: the Catholic Church discusses "marriage", not "civil marriage", because it does not recognise civil marriage as the main concept. It is more like civil marriage is just some external though legally necessary procedure in the liturgy.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    a perfect example of what I meant by co-opting, subverting, and manipulating morality for an explicitly negative purpose (persecuting minorites).
    I think that you are merely concluding what you have assumed, i.e., that there is "an explicitly negative purpose (persecuting minorites)" to begin with. Rather, you might validly point out that the Catholic Church's actions have had the negative result of the persection of a minority, and this shows that it is guilty of "co-opting, subverting, and manipulating morality".
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  13. #118
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    And we agree. But then this isn't what the church has been doing. And hence the whole problem and part of the reason of this debate.
    On that part we agree. There are three factors that have fault, just to get the whole picture
    1) The people (including goverment). Most people accept the church but don't bother thinking about its believes and its role. A lot are selective on it or think about it as offering some good for them and the society moral rules.
    2) The church, cause most of the times it cares about convincing people rather than educate them. Giving them the whole picture.
    3) The media, because they again don't present the problem as it is. They only care about selling the news.

    Mostly to blame are the media, because they technically are the "middle" man, the ones that should present the problem as it is. But for philosophical or thelogical matters they really do a poor job. As there is a general lack of phylosophical education, compare to scientifical one.


    I believe that you would give more fault on the church, but I would give more fault on the people and their education on the matter (including goverment and media). And that is the part we really disagree

  14. #119
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    I believe that you would give more fault on the church, but I would give more fault on the people and their education on the matter (including goverment and media). And that is the part we really disagree
    Yes, definitely here we disagree. It's the church doctrine. It's their responsibility, not the media's, not the government's and not the of population.

    As an example take the recent events in Haiti. This weekend we learned that people would congregate and, convinced that the earthquake was actually their fault as a punishment for their country's and their own faults, asked for mercy from God. Do you think the Catholic church tried to tell them their god is not a vengeful one that mass murders children and innocent? No. Instead you got silence and consented prayer for the people in Haiti. It's the church that spreads by action or inaction their dogma. And a good part of that doctrine resides on Fear.

    Then we remember that at the core of the church doctrine is supposed to be Love instead. So, why the church lacks the kind of commitment they put against homosexuality when battling what is in fact a much deeper problem that is a general lack of understanding by their own followers as to what the Catholic Church represents? The answer, as I see it, is because Fear serves them better. Fear has been the historical ally of the Catholic church (and many other non catholic religions) throughout the centuries. It's the glue that keeps the followers attached to the church.

    So, in reality the church doctrine is the church's responsibility. It's not up to the media, government or even the population in general to interpret the doctrine. It's up to the church to do that as part of their spreading of the faith. But, through dishonesty is how it has been done throughout the years.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  15. #120
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    take the recent events in Haiti. This weekend we learned that people would congregate and, convinced that the earthquake was actually their fault as a punishment for their country's and their own faults, asked for mercy from God.
    The church is certainly the largest form of public activism in the world. Nothing else even comes close in terms of it's power to get people into a hall together, identify as a group, and (for the most part, it seems) lend their weight to the political postures of their leaders.

    From a psychological standpoint, this is pretty interesting, since the Church is in no way shape or form democratic.* It's almost like the message is that they want an authoritarian ruler (God? ). I also suppose that if God is the kind of being that sends earthquakes to Haiti, then a priest telling you to disrespect and slander an entire class of people for no tangible is par for the course.

    Of course, religious activists do many positive charitable things, it is just a shame they do not take more progressive (ie, less regressive) stances on public morality.

    * I have sat in on some Mormon "post Sunday congregation" community meetings and those have a democratic element, but not with regard to setting public policy.
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