TCS Daily


A Shot Across Many Bows

By Stephen Bainbridge - September 15, 2006 12:00 AM

As expected, various and sundry Islamic leaders are criticizing Pope Benedict's Regensburg speech. The LA Times reports:

"Pope Benedict XVI flew back to Rome on Thursday to face an international flurry of protest over comments he made critical of historical Islamic violence during a six-day trip to his native Germany.

"Muslim clerics and community leaders from Europe to the Middle East and beyond condemned the pope's comments made this week."

Both the Times (not surprisingly) and the Muslim leaders, of course, have missed the point. Benedict's remarks (which you can read in full here) must be understood in the context of his theology as a whole.

Jesus claimed "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6. As C.S. Lewis put it of this claim:

"A man who was merely a man and said the sort of thing Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

In a 2002 interview, then-Cardinal Ratzinger came down clearly and emphatically on the side of the Son of God:

"Christ is totally different from all the founders of other religions, and he cannot be reduced to a Buddha, a Socrates or a Confucius. He is really the bridge between heaven and earth, the light of truth who has appeared to us."

Also in 2002, when presenting the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Declaration "Dominus Iesus": On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, the then-Cardinal condemned the belief that "all religions are equally valid roads to salvation for their followers." He explained:

"This is a widespread conviction today not only in theological environments, but also in ever greater sectors of Catholic and non-Catholic public opinion, especially those most influenced by the cultural orientation that prevails in the West today, which can be defined, without the fear of contradiction, by one word: relativism."

In turn, he argued, relativism leads ineluctably to the "refusal to identify the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth with the very reality of God, the living God."

Some of Benedict's predecessors -- arguably including his immediate predecessor John Paul II, who is otherwise well-deserving of his fast track to sainthood -- downplayed this aspect of Christian theology in order to promote inter-faith dialogue. In contrast, it is a core part of Benedict's faith and is rapidly becoming a major theme of his pontificate.

If Islamic leaders expect Pope Benedict to treat Islam as an "equally valid" "road to salvation," they are thus sure to be disappointed.

If rejecting the relativism constitutes a shot across Islam's bow, that shot also crosses any number of other bows. In the Regensburg speech, the Pope staked out a set of claims about the relationship of man and God that stand in opposition not only to the Islam of Ibn Hazn, but also that of the Protestant Reformers, the Jesus of History crowd, and (an area of particular concern for this pope) post-Christian Europe. The Pope renewed the claims of the Church Universal to have a truth that is transcendent, rather than culturally-bound:

"True, there are elements in the evolution of the early Church which do not have to be integrated into all cultures. Nonetheless, the fundamental decisions made about the relationship between faith and the use of human reason are part of the faith itself; they are developments consonant with the nature of faith itself."

Having said that, of course, I concede that the Pope does seem to have the problem of religiously motivated terror in mind. Even so, Islam was not his only target. He said:

"A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures."

I read that line as a shot across the bow of post-Christian Europe -- a warning that Europe increasingly lacks the tools demanded to meet the threats of the day. Hence, the speech implicitly recalls what may be the ultimate goal of Benedict's pontificate; namely, calling Europe back to Christ.

Steve Bainbridge is a TCS Daily Contributing Editor and a Professor of Law at UCLA. He writes two popular blogs: ProfessorBainbridge.com and ProfessorBainbridgeOnWine.com.

Categories:

143 Comments

PARADISE ON EARTH, POSSIBLE?
In the year 1905, Nobel physicist, Albert Einstein, published his E=mc² EQUATION, which opened the door to THE WORLD OF THE PROTON GENIE. But, nobody looked or listened except the Energy Cartel, which stood to lose its Global Empire unless this paradigm discovery was prevented forever from being implemented.

Einstein's EQUATION provides the basis for extracting and fusing PROTONS from ordinary, pure water, which will make everybody on Earth so idly rich and content from the benefits of this clean, virtually-free, and inexhaustible energy supply that nobody should ever again have to worry about pollution, war, or poverty, and Mother Nature can once again reign as The Supreme Mistress of any and all Climate Change.

The Doomsday Clock reads: 7 minutes until Doomsday, and counting!

Is it too late? Or, will some ordinary, individual tinkerer (maybe just an average high school student) rise to the occasion and demonstrate the physical expression of Einstein's EQUATION so that the entire World Population can move forward into a future of peace, contentment, and prosperity?

You can help make Einstein's vision become a reality by linking this blog to your home page.

web site:
http://howtosavecivilization.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-to-save-civilization.html

Only a post modern relativist cold be shocked that the pope thinks his religion is better than other
Only a post modern relativist cold be shocked that the pope thinks his religion is better than other religions.

The post modern relativist really believes that nobody is right and nobody is But that his country men who believe in right of wrong are worthy of condemnation.

And it effects our lives directly try to find a marriage counselor who will say: You are wrong on this matter and he is right (or vice versa). Won’t happen they will say how does it make you feel when he does X.




Worldwide shock - The Pope is Catholic
Given continuance of current trends Benedict may well be the first Pope since the fall of Constantinople in the 1400's to see a Cathedral converted into a Mosque.

And, he is the first Pope since 1917 to start his reign over the church while there is no other totalitarian ideology which presents a greater or more imminent threat to his flock than resurgent Islam.

So he has both motive for firm action and also maneuvering room not granted to his immediate predecessors.

The most amazing thing about this brouhaha is the total failure of the world press to recognize that he almost surely quoted a Byzantine Emperor on the subject of Muslim Jihad with full expectation of how the Muslim world would likely react.

Mirabile Dictu - He may simply be a true believer and take seriously the fact that he heads the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

For sure it is impossible that the successor of a Pope who took a bullet for his stand against Communism is unaware of the possible consequences of confronting Islam.



Religion, Salvation and Destruction
“Jesus claimed "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

In the New Testament Jesus stated his identity many times, and several times indicated that the way to salvation is only through Him. So, can one be saved who has never heard of Jesus? I believe the answer is YES.

Jesus gave all an equal shot at salvation. Our path to salvation is by following his teachings and example. However, this path does not presume first hand knowledge of Jesus’s teachings or his life. How can this be? The answer is…God was, is and always will be with every human. We had to be “saved” because we choose to listen to the callings of the flesh instead of the soul. Anyone can hear and follow the Lord and achieve salvation, no matter what official religion they profess.

In the end, only "who we are" and "what we do" will save us. On judgment day, what religion we claimed to profess will not matter. Religion is a TOOL (and only a tool) to help humans on our road to personal salvation. When the tool becomes more important than its purpose, only harm can follow. “Holy War” in any form destroys.

Simon the Magus
“Jesus claimed "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

Jesus was far from being the only person claiming to be the Messiah. Simon also claimed to be the Son of God, around 60 AD.

They brought him up on charges of being a false prophet. At his trial the judge said "Do you claim to be the Son of God?" And Simon said "Yes, that's so."

So the judge said "Then you could be walled up in a tomb for three days and nights, and yet live?" Simon, backed into a corner, had to go with it. He said "Yes".

So the judge had him walled up for three days and nights. End of story. He did have a great message though, one of love and joy.

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/m/magus_simon.htm

Pope is right on target
I am a Protestant and support the Pope in his statements. I also think protestants and catholics are much closer to our belief in Christ than some believe. We simply interpret doctrine somewhat differently with the exception of Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through Him. We are solid on Christ as the only way to the Father plus recognition of other doctrines.

It is interesting to note that Islam kills and burns when their faith is challenged. This started in 622 a.d. and has continued up until today. Does this sound like a peaceful religion? Anyone who evaluates Islam doctrine, the Qur'an and the Hadith will see quickly that this is a religion that spreads its message by threats, intimidation and death. The god of Islam is not the God in three persons that Christians worship. The Pope is exposing modern man's misunderstanding of Truth. It is time someone did this with worldwide recognition.

Generally, I support taBonfils belief that a person who has no knowledge of Christ will be treated fairly by God at death. This is discussed by Paul in Romans. But, if a person is aware of Christ and rejects Him as the mullahs are doing, they are simply lost to salvation forever. God's divine revelation to man (Bible) makes this crystal clear.

Lastly, Mr. Bean's message shows he is simply clueless. There are a number of post moderns these days who are clueless too. They are without excuse and one day will find this out.

2000 years
For some reason, people have believed Jesus is the Messiah for nearly 2000 years.

Maybe there is something to it?

Ignorance Indicator
The blow up about the Pope's comments highlight the world's ignorance.

1300 years
Interestingly enough for 1300 years, Islam has considered "Isa" as a prophet, but merely a man based upon the premise that the divine would have no need of a son. Of course as we know, the Christian understanding of the purpose of the incarnation wasn't God's needs but ours.

In the early years, Islam tolerated Christianity as "people of the book", but took a dimmer view when Christians would not proceed to accept another gospel.

Twisted irony - - - - -
This is a great joke. The Pope implies that muslims might, at some time, have been violent in the name of their religion. The Palestinians promptly, in retaliation, burn down Christian churches, confirming the Pope's suspicion to which they object. Is it something in the water or the diet? I've stopped eating couscous and lamb, just in case it may cause homicidal mania and room temperature IQ.

Muslims will be dragged, kicking and screaming, from backwardness, into the modern world, if they continue their violent tranditions.

Twisted irony - - - - -
Is there anything Muslims don't get upset about as a pretext to violence?

Beatitudes
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

I noticed something in this passage that shocked me: The meek inherit the earth, but it's those who are persecuted because of righteousness who will inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Why the difference? Right & wrong versus meek, of course.

When one who is righteous defines what is right, he also defines what is not right and what is wrong. This is perilous, especially if one's community is on the wrong side of one's definition, which is just as true today of Christ's followers as it was in the early church. The prevailing reaction to Benedict's comments exhibit this truth perfectly.

In contrast, a meek person defines what is right as, "Whatever works for me is right, so whatever works for you and everyone else must be right as well". Accordingly, meek folk have inherited this earth, purchased with the coin of relativism which, because it attempts to store all values, is without value.

I was once like you, my good son, thinking that those who've never heard of Christ must get a shot at heaven. But it's not so. Christ offered eternal life - a reprieve from the death everyone who's had a life owes God - to those who believe in him. Faith in Christ is the only way one gets it - it's a unilateral contract whose offer is crystal clear. And while it may not seem fair to some, never forget that since life is its own reward and the wages of sin are death, a life lived in sin is both its own reward as well as the source of all costs, including death.

Praise the Lord, Live the Beatitudes. . . but
Keep your powder dry.

Reality by popular vote
"For some reason, people have believed Jesus is the Messiah for nearly 2000 years."

People believed the world was flat for well over 2,000 years. Therefore following your logic the world is somewhat flatter than Jesus is the Messiah.

Proof
It was proven centuries ago the world was not flat.

How many now believe the world is flat?

Millions believe Jesus is the Messiah in spite of hundreds of attempts to prove otherwise.

There are even those who have made a rational decision to believe that Jesus is the Messiah.

I believe in Superman
He's more powerful in all senses... except for that kryptonite thing, but, hey!, his competence was three days out of business.

I must add that Superman is always in a better mood than Christ, and he doesn't spend all day in "do this", "ouch, that's sin". Superman has never destroyed this world (Jesus' Dad did it, and there's that filthy Sodoma and Gomorra affaire).

But the best thing about Superman is that he only loves Lois Lane. I'm sick of hearing everyone telling me: "Jeeeeesus loves you!". Really? Well, let's admit it. So, what? I'm heterosexual, you know...

The place of reason
While reason should not be deaf to the divine, it should be completely subsumed by it either. Both are errors in the critical use of reason.

With respect to evolution, the Pope seems to be on the brink with respect to the latter.

Proof?
>>Millions believe Jesus is the Messiah in spite of hundreds of attempts to prove otherwise.

Since when are beliefs the province of proof?

"Reason"
While reason should not be deaf to the divine, it should NOT be completely subsumed by it either. Both are errors in the critical use of reason.

With respect to evolution, the Pope seems to be on the brink with respect to the latter.

It works for some
"Does the persistent human longing for God prove that He exists? Embarking upon his career at
Oxford, Lewis flirts with the idea that God may be just a tempting illusion before concluding that
his desire for God is in fact evidence of his existence. The panel discusses the reasoning behind
their worldviews."

http://www.cslewis.org/resources/QofGodGuide2004.pdf

I believe ghosts exist.

The Wright brothers believed heavier than aircraft could fly.

Imagination and belief are foundations leading to proof.

When the world hates you
and you hate yourself, Jesus loves you.

Like it or not.

Why would anyone not like that?

Pascal's reason
"A number of authors read Pascal as arguing that you should believe in God — see e.g. Quinn 1994, and Jordan 1994a. But perhaps one cannot simply believe in God at will; and rationality cannot require the impossible. Pascal is well aware of this objection: "[I] am so made that I cannot believe. What, then, would you have me do?", says his imaginary interlocutor. However, he contends that one can take steps to cultivate such belief:

You would like to attain faith, and do not know the way; you would like to cure yourself of unbelief, and ask the remedy for it. Learn of those who have been bound like you, and who now stake all their possessions. These are people who know the way which you would follow, and who are cured of an ill of which you would be cured. Follow the way by which they began; by acting as if they believed, taking the holy water, having masses said, etc...

But to show you that this leads you there, it is this which will lessen the passions, which are your stumbling-blocks."

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/

The requirements for proof
"Imagination and belief are foundations leading to proof."

In other words, imagination and belief are sufficient. This explains quite a lot about the views you've been expressing on these pages. You want to think something is true-- so you press your eyelids shut and wish really, really hard. And presto! It's true.

What was he thinking?
The new Pope seems to be experiencing the same problem new Fed chief Ben Bernanke experienced when he first came out of the stall. A couple of off-handed words and the stock market started clutching its chest and reeling.

When the whole world is your audience and is hanging on your every word, best to weigh them carefully before blurting them out. At least he didn't mention any other old Church pronouncements, like the one about Christ-killers. He'd have had two wars on his hands.

Experience plus reason equals belief; experience equals truth
The only way to know with absolute certainty that something is true is to experience (perceive) that thing oneself. Once one has experienced it, then one can believe it's absolutely and certainly true.

But I'll wager you believe many things you haven't experienced yourself, rb. Am I right? So how do you justify your belief in those things?

Reason, hah, hah! But here's the thing: No logical system of axioms can prove itself true by its own axioms. Hmmm, so now we're back to the rule that certain truth must be experienced? Yes.

Well then how about degrees of certainty? One can say, "I believe x is true because not x is highly unlikely." Bingo! In this probabilistic universe, this is precisely how we convert experience plus reason into belief. But certain truth is never absolute in this calculus because certain truth requires the believer's participation in every event deemed certainly true.

Now here's the mind bender, rb: This universe's laws can't prove its existence, leaving the rule that the universe must be experienced to be true. The proof for this is the universe's probabilistic nature and the fact that every science experiment must proceed under controlled conditions produced by people participating and experiencing the truths they intend to produce. Put differently, reason can really only tell us how likely something is to be true because shite happens.

If you've followed along this far, you should begin to understand how tricky the concept of truth really is, and along with it, deceit. You should also realize just how necessary to humanity's cognitive navigation of its universe belief is.

So be careful not to be too cavalier when discussing beliefs, for yours may be lest probable than you believe.

Physics Phun
Isn't physics fun?

Dumbing down
See what happens when school systems teach to the lowest common denominator?

No one knows how to think.

So world leaders must now cater to the stupid and ignorant because they might get upset?

Hate?
Why do you assume I should hate my self if I don't believe there's any god out there? In any case, Jesus didn't love those people killed in his name. And no, I'm not talking about crusades: those towelheads deserved it. I'm talking about European Inquisition, and Christian antisemitism.

"In any case, Jesus didn't love those people killed in his name."
How do you know?

Evidence law is great fun, too!
Physics is indeed phun. But I've got to come clean: I rely mostly on evidence law for analogies and proofs.

See, evidence law reqires a party who wants to convert a claim into a fact to submit relevant and reliable evidence that meets some burden of proof defined by a probabilistic standard, such as "beyond a reasonable doubt" or "more probable than not".

Now, we know from physics that an event can't be proved to an absolute certainty unless one participated in (perceived) it. But since all physical events are information, traces of them tend to endure through time. These traces we call evidence; think CSI for illustrations of what I'm babbling about. And if the evidence adds up to meet the relevant standard of proof, which is always below absolute certainty, then the finder of fact may decree that a claim is a "fact", or in other words, that a party has "proved" his claim.

Of course, human laws can be whatever we want them to be, suiting whatever purpose we want them to suit. But if we want our evidence laws to work well, they must operate to deliver us as close to truth as this universe permits. So at least in this one small area of law, the universe's laws both define truth and what human law must be if it is to serve truth instead of other, more human designs.

Just Curious Roy
You seem to have a need to dispute the nature of Christ, do you also have any objections to the assertion that Mohammed was the prophet of God?

The Scientific Method
The Scientific Method enables us to see beyond what is visible to our eyes. We can examine events prior to our birth through a critical look at the historic record. If we take the long view we can see what was visible to everyone who came before us-- and, through a proper use of reason, stand upon their shoulders and see even a bit farther than they ever did.

A personal visit and glimpse is invaluable, though. Three or four days spent on a foreign shore are quite enough to note that there is a quality of life present that the writers of all the histories and guidebooks have failed to cover. It is the living flavor of the place-- and, like poetry, is difficult to capture on the printed page.

Thus a visit is always beneficial to perk up the dry leaves of written history, and reconstitute the tangy essence of life in a foreign clime. Plus, there is nothing like brushing shoulders with a crowd fluent in a strange language to remind one of how much there really is beyond the cultural horizons of one's home town.

There are, for instance, actual people on earth who are neither Baptist nor Methodist! And the greater one's exposure to the exotic Mahometan (for instance), the less likely on is to ascribe to his character unlikely traits of treachery or congenital intellectual error.

Unlike you (apparently) and many others, I have no relativist conception of truth. There is but one truth, and it is so complex that like the elephant, it can be seen in many different forms by many blind men. But so often knaves use this purportedly elusive nature of objective truth as a beard for elaborate structures built from nefarious lies. Which I stand ready to expose here on a daily basis, with pick and shovel.

The above is my general statement. But specifically, in addressing marjon's belief system in this thread, I would offer that matters of belief alone are unreliable and always to be distrusted. My earliest lesson was to not become prey to superstitious thoughts, but to rely only on that which could be proven to be so.

How proven? I "believe" the earth to be spherical in shape, even though I personally have not gone around it. But if I look at all the evidence I note that the alternate theory would be that every person claiming to have gone around it has been lying, and that their lies have all been mutually consistent. Which conjecture I find unlikely.

Add to that the Ptolemaian Proof, and also my observation that the ocean horizon is quite visibly curved, and I'm thinking the mistaken belief that the place is flat was conjured up by people who lived well inland, and who were neither all that bright nor that well schooled.

Plus there is the fact of the lunar eclipse, where one can readily see the earth's disc move across the moon's surface. This I've not just read about, but seen on shipboard, on the Equator, at twilight, at precisely six PM. So I feel that on the whole, astronomic observations as reported in print are probably all true.

Ergo, I believe the earth to be spherical in shape.

Marjon, if you're listening, I agree that a matter of belief or disbelief can form the groundwork for a hypothesis. But such a hypothesis is nothing without rigorous testing-- it still remains in the realm of utter speculation.

Fault Diagnostics
I have had occaison to analyze faults from a limited data set provided by a system that has been destroyed in test.
I believe the three acceptable responses to a probable cause are 'not likely', 'possible' or 'likely'.
I have been trying to find a reference to this. If this sounds familiar at all I would appreciate any references you might have.

An equinoctial lunar eclipse
If there are gaps in your picture of what this alleged lunar eclipse was like (after all, I could be lying, couldn't I?) consider the following data:

It occurred within a day (actually within hours) of the precise vernal equinox. Of course one couldn't tell this. On the equator, every day of the year is equinoctial. That's the way our world works.

The precise time of the event was six o'clock PM sidereal time, or real time. Actual clock time in that time zone and at that longitude was, as I recall, 6:10 to 6:12.

Finally, on the high seas there is no obstruction to the horizon. You can see simultaneously the sun half-set at one horizon and, 180 degrees about, the full moon half-risen at the other horizon. It's quite an instructive glimpse of the motion of the celestial orbs.

You could choose, of course, to believe that I'm making all this up, in the service of some point. But that would, IMO, be unduly skeptical of you. So, if you agree, we have arrived at some small Truth.

Speaking of wars..
How many wars have been waged, how many genocides have been launched as a result of the left's belief in the fantasy of the socialist paradise.

Hmmm, Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Poll Pot, Mao, Castro.. maybe Roy will be happy when the Bible is amended to include the Gospel of Karl.

The question isn't why people don't become perfect, the question is why aren't they even worse. Atheist socialism has absolutely NO credential to question human failing.

A very good question
"You seem to have a need to dispute the nature of Christ, do you also have any objections to the assertion that Mohammed was the prophet of God?"

In this area I would go along with the Islamic view-- that Moses, Jesus and Mohammed were all Prophets of God. I would heartly disagree that any of the above were the exclusive Son of God.

I think all of us are equally sons, and daughters, of God-- as are the beasts of the field. And that every tribe of the Book has an equal share of the truths of the Book. And also that there are many more truths out there, that have not yet been written down in any Book.

Finally, rather than believe that everything that can be revealed has been revealed, and all we have to do is to read about it and to believe, I am busy every day getting to the bottom of it, and glimpsing new truths as they are revealed every morning. The world is evolving, and (hopefully) we are with it.

Adventures in Feel Good Syncretism
Here's the problem with your thesis. There are substantial an irresolvable differences between these individuals. Pretending they don't exist is laziness, not enlightenment.

Why do stop at Mohammed? Why not add Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy? Didn't these folks have something to add to "glimpsing new truths as they are revealed every morning".






I agree
"See what happens when school systems teach to the lowest common denominator?"

If school systems are to be inclusive, and teach everyone, they must be accessible to the lowest third of their pupils. Otherwise, if they fast track and slow track, they foster a class system of smart kids and dumb kids. Sincere opinions differ as to which system is best.

In one, the smart kids are left stranded without instruction. In the other, the slow kids are condemned to be our hewers of wood and drawers of water. And today's culture has no demand for such people.

(The dropout rate in my state is 38%, meaning 38% of ninth graders fail to graduate from grade 12.)

"No one knows how to think."

Society has no real use for people who can think. The way we are structured today there is room at the top for a handful of elitist leaders-- probably members of Skull and Bones, as were our last two presidential candidates-- to tell us how to behave in society. Everyone else is best employed in following orders. Otherwise things get unruly, with everyone deciding he knows more than do our great leaders.

Thus thinking is not among the courses being offered for study-- except at a few liberal arts colleges.

"So world leaders must now cater to the stupid and ignorant because they might get upset?"

Of course. The miracle of democracy is that no one is too dumb to vote. And even in an autarchy, like the Catholic Church, they can still vote with their feet. So world leaders do have to keep one eye on the public pulse. This is probably a good thing.

Pulling Threads
Too bad you don't apply the same logic questioning your elitist socialist tendencies.

Perception only?
Aristotle states: "the human mind uses to kinds of principles. There are the unquestionable truths of the understanding which are axioms or self-evident truths, and there are truths of perception, truths which we know, which we possess, which we perceive matters of fact, such as, "Here is a piece of paper in my hand", Here is a book, I see a book." That is a matter of fact I can't have any doubt about, just as the self evident truth that the whole is greater than the part is a truth of my understanding about which I can have no doubt.

Actually you are in a subject which needs much more discussion to define "truth". Lastly, the natural moral law starts from a self evident truth: "we ought to desire the things that are really good for us". This self-evident truth develops morals which are confirmed in divine revelation. If you try to experience what you think morals should be, we are in trouble as we are today in relativism.

Bainbridge on Benedict
Utter nonsense. Salvation? What is Salvation? There is no road to something that doesn't exist, neither through Christianity nor Islam nor any the others. What we need to be concerned about is our behavior here on Earth during our own lifetimes, and in that respect Islam in particular needs to be purged of its militancy and intolerance. Pope Benedict is spot on about that and he needs no allegedly helpful mumbo-jumbo from the likes of C.S. Lewis.

Who's qualified to lead the way?
I don't stop at Mohammed, or at Joseph Smith or Mary Baker Eddy, or even at Franklin Graham or the Dalai Lama. We're all perfectly competent at deciding how it is we want to live our lives. Those that feel they need help should find some master whose teachings they are comfortable with.

The rest of us can feel free to just make it up as we go along.

Encyclicals of Pope Roy
In his latest decretals, told us how blacks have no entrepreneurial genes and there's no Jewish baseball players (well maybe 1 or 2). This is after he spouts off endlessly about the deficiencies in accounting, then admits he hasn't got the time to take "two or three" accounting courses to become an "expert", and is an unceasing font of economic and political nonsense, most recently describing Cuba as "independent" and subject to "calumnies".

Just curious Roy, who issued your credentials as a master of public deportment? You really need to realize that stupid is as Roy speaks. (no apologies to Forest Gump)


Making it Up.
You are a living example that is unworkable. Now get yourself facing East, its time to pray.

Encyclicals of Pope Roy
In his latest decretals, told us how blacks have no entrepreneurial genes and there's no Jewish baseball players (well maybe 1 or 2). This is after he spouts off endlessly about the deficiencies in accounting, then admits he hasn't got the time to take "two or three" accounting courses to become an "expert", and is an unceasing font of economic and political nonsense, most recently describing Cuba as "independent" and subject to "calumnies".

Just curious Roy, who issued your credentials as a master of public deportment? You really need to realize that stupid is as Roy speaks. (no apologies to Forest Gump)


Pope's Reaction
After witnessing the bizarre and violent reaction of Muslims, the Pope said, "See... I told you so."

Autocratic religions
We have only your opinion to say that I'm an atheist. It may well be that my belief in God is implicit.

And of your list of genocidal socialists, I would correct a couple of entries. Hitler's national socialism had nothing to do with our use of the word, as in creating a worker's paradise. He imagined all workers as the property of the state, whose labors would be directed by the heads of industry.

Castro, on the other hand, is certainly Marxist but not genocidal. I suppose I just use words more carefully than you are doing here.

As I recall, the first actual genocide on European soil was the Holy Roman Church's destruction of the medieval Cathars and Albigensians, culminating in Montaillou (circa 1240-1329). About 1-1/2 million heretics in the south of France were gleefully destroyed for practising their religion.

This brand of Catholicism and that brand of Marxism (practised by Stalin and Mao) had much in common.

An interesting allegation
Please pull out one of my "elitist socialist tendencies". I'd be happy to examine it.

Otherwise
I'm not an almighty being, but even then, if some mfs start killing people in my name, I would do something to stop them. Wouldn't you?

That's not the problem
Back when the crisis of the Danish cartoons, the Pope COMDEMNED the Danish cartoons, calling then "blasfemous" and justifying the "anger". Even back in time, when U.S.A. disarmed Saddam Hussein, there was a strong oposition against the U.S.A. by those in charge in the Vatican at that time. Now, suddenly, Ratzinger discovers how nice are Mahometan towelheads. That should be funny... but it isn't at all.

TCS Daily Archives