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Superstitious Fool
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Post by Superstitious Fool » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:12 pm

Sorry for being slow to answer this, but I have been busy. This morning, for example, the image of the prophet Mohammed appeared on my toast but then I remembered that they don't allow images so it can't have been him.
infix wrote:If (as you say you believe), homosexuality is natural, then it cannot be the place of the Catholic church to question god's wisdom in making some people homosexual and others not. True or not?
The Church never did question it. Some evangelical protestants say homosexuality is something that can be "cured" but the Catholic Church has not suggested that. This is what the Church says: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2358.htm.
infix wrote:You say: "God knowing what I will do does not mean it is predestined," but this is a glaring logical error. If you believe in god's infallibility, then it is predestined. If god has prior knowledge of what you will do, having already laid down your choice in eternity, then you can only have the power to do something different if you are more powerful than god. Are you?
I have tried to answer this before but I probably failed to do so clearly. I can make choices only about what I know. God knows everything that has happened or ever will happen, whereas I know only my past (which I can recall only in glimpses, not all at once) and my present. And being able to act only on what I know, my choices are free.
Last edited by Superstitious Fool on Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Michael G
Superstitious Fool
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Post by Superstitious Fool » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:51 pm

inedifix wrote:I wonder if it's raised any doubts in your clearly able mind about the business of blind faith. What does it say about the tolerance of a credo, that will not permit questions from people it invites to ask them?
Thanks for the compliment to me. It was just not the right kind of forum for believers to engage with non-believers. I am happy to debate here as long as you tolerate me — though I would not be surprised or offended if you barred me because of what has happened on the Irish Catholics' Forum.

But may I challenge the tern blind faith? From the age of sixteen until I was about 30 I was indifferent to religion. In my early thirties I began to doubt my position. I started to go to Church of Ireland services in Christ Church Cathedral because the CoI people were not too insistent on beliefs, the liturgy was beautiful and the clergy and congregation were nice educated middle-class people. At the time, I was reading CS Lewis and Evelyn Waugh (about whom I wrote an MA thesis).

After a year or two of Christ Church I found the services a bit vacuous and I went to Confession in a Catholic Church. Since then (1986) I have been more or less a definite Catholic (though I still find most Masses in the new trendy form vacuous and have to strain to focus on the main element, but that is a separate issue which you will find discussed on the Irish Catholics' Forum).

There have twice been times since 1986 when my faith was not so much tested as dulled, when my sister and soon after that another sister's boyfriend died young; but here I am. I honestly mean no disrespect, but some of challenges in this forum and in the Irish Catholics' Forum are in terms that I can't engage with because I don't understand them.
Michael G
inedifix
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Post by inedifix » Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:09 pm

Superstitious Fool wrote:
infix wrote:You say: "God knowing what I will do does not mean it is predestined," but this is a glaring logical error. If you believe in god's infallibility, then it is predestined. If god has prior knowledge of what you will do, having already laid down your choice in eternity, then you can only have the power to do something different if you are more powerful than god. Are you?
I have tried to answer this before but I probably failed to do so clearly. I can make choices only about what I know. God knows everything that has happened or ever will happen, whereas I know only my past (which I can recall only in glimpses, not all at once) and my present. And being able to act only on what I know, my choices are free.[/url]
No, you've been perfectly clear. But perfectly illogical. And perfectly wrong too. Here's why (please try and follow the logic, not your heart)...

1. You say: "God knows everything that has happened or ever will happen." In other words you cast him as the author of the book we call "Existence".

2. Having written it, he knows it from cover to cover, while the characters can only ever discover their realities on a sentence by sentence basis. Or as you say: "I know only my past (which I can recall only in glimpses, not all at once) and my present."

3. This stance makes you a character, created by God, to fulfill a role in his book.

4. So while you may 'feel' as though you are making choices, clearly you are not. You are merely playing the part written for you by God. Just as Juliet follows Shakespeare's script, you follow God's. Both of you can wrangle with existential angst, but neither of you has any power whatsoever to alter the plot.
Superstitious Fool wrote:The Church never did question it. Some evangelical protestants say homosexuality is something that can be "cured" but the Catholic Church has not suggested that. This is what the Church says: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2358.htm.
Yet I believe that paragraph 2357 of the Roman Catholic Chatechism says:
"Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved"
And the pope has described homosexuality as "A moral evil". So my question remains: how can anything authored by God be described by the church as "contrary to natural law"? You just can't have it both ways. Christians are faced with a true dilemma: either you accept that homosexuality is a natural part of God's plan and reverse your moral stance on it, or you admit that you (mere humans all) are setting yourselves up as morally superior to God.

Of course it's much easier for me to square this circle than you. For me there is no god, there are only humans with human limitations and prejudices, the good, the bad, and in the case of homosexual intolerance, the plain old ugly.

It seems rather ironic that atheists are so much more able to accept their human condition than those of you who believe we're all molded by the hand of God, doesn't it?

I
“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. What we can't understand we call nonsense. There is no free will. There are no variables. There is only the inevitable.” Chuck Palahniuk
Superstitious Fool
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Post by Superstitious Fool » Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:58 pm

inedifix wrote:This stance makes you a character, created by God, to fulfil a role in his book.... So while you may 'feel' as though you are making choices, clearly you are not. You are merely playing the part written for you by God. Just as Juliet follows Shakespeare's script, you follow God's. Both of you can wrangle with existential angst, but neither of you has any power whatsoever to alter the plot.
That was an impressively quick answer given the density of your argument. Your phrase "playing the part written for you by God" is a very good one, if you don't mind my saying so; but it is recalls those French novelists I heard about in University but never read (Ionesco perhaps). Like Juliet, I choose in real time whether to live or not. Outside of time, the narrative has been, or rather is, written.
inedifix wrote:Yet I believe that paragraph 2357 of the Roman Catholic Catechism says:
"Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved"
And the pope has described homosexuality as "A moral evil". So my question remains: how can anything authored by God be described by the church as "contrary to natural law"?
Because the issue is homosexual actions, not being a homosexual man or woman (which for most homosexual people is probably not a choice either way — the individuals are innocent). Whatever our dispositions, we are free to make our choices; we can choose what used (before the dumbing-down of Catholicism) to be called the seven deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride), or their opposites.
Michael G
inedifix
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Post by inedifix » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:34 am

Oops. Posted twice in error so deleted this one.
Last edited by inedifix on Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. What we can't understand we call nonsense. There is no free will. There are no variables. There is only the inevitable.” Chuck Palahniuk
inedifix
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Post by inedifix » Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:04 am

Superstitious Fool wrote:That was an impressively quick answer given the density of your argument. Your phrase "playing the part written for you by God" is a very good one, if you don't mind my saying so
Nice try at deflecting me with flattery, but it won't work Superstitious. It's a particularly simple argument and it's not as though it just occured to me, hence the speed of it coming your way.
Superstitious Fool wrote:Like Juliet, I choose in real time whether to live or not.
No, like Juliet, you have no choice at all. All you have is the illusion of choice. Shakespeare makes it seem as though Juliet has the freedom to choose not to take her poison, but she doesn't. If you believe (as you have said) that your every action is a fait accompli of God's, then you are merely follow the script he's written for you. You have no choice, no ability to alter your path. And praying is, therefore, either a conceit on your part, or just part of your program.
Superstitious Fool wrote:Outside of time, the narrative has been, or rather is, written.
The expression "outside of time" is meaningless, doubly so when you apply it in both the past and the present tense.
Superstitious Fool wrote:Because the issue is homosexual actions, not being a homosexual man or woman... the individuals are innocent.
That is a just a verbal slight of hand. The "actions" are a product of the "nature" of being homosexual. If the nature is god-given, then the actions that stem from that nature (like a penguin flapping wings that will never make it fly) are god given too.
Superstitious Fool wrote:Whatever our dispositions, we are free to make our choices;
Not according to your theory that God has already written the parts we will play. You cannot have it both ways. Either the future is written, or it is not. God either knows everything that will happen, or he just has a good idea about the probabilities. Which one is it?
Superstitious Fool wrote:we can choose what used (before the dumbing-down of Catholicism) to be called the seven deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride), or their opposites.
What does homosexuality have to do with the seven deadly sins? It's just not on the list.

I

P.S. Isn't it impossible for a pious person, or one who seeks the glory of God, to avoid the sin of Pride?
“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. What we can't understand we call nonsense. There is no free will. There are no variables. There is only the inevitable.” Chuck Palahniuk
FXR
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Post by FXR » Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:16 am

Superstitious Fool wrote:Inedifix, I'm not happy with the outcome. I would have preferred to keep it wide open.

You've made it to the blogosphere..........
http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/20 ... ic-or.html
Last edited by FXR on Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
Superstitious Fool
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Post by Superstitious Fool » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:00 am

FXR wrote:You've made it to the blogosphere..........
http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/20 ... ic-or.html
Something tells me that the proprietor of that blog might be a Fr Brian D'Arcy kind of priestling and his pals might also be still living in the 1970s. Have you any idea how embarrassing that sort of thing is for us?

Apologies for the long silence. I was on holidays (Scotland is very nice) and then came back to find that my employer had exorbitant expectations. If I'm still welcome here I'll get going again in a few days.
Michael G
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Post by DollarLama » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:58 am

Superstitious Fool wrote:Apologies for the long silence. I was on holidays (Scotland is very nice) and then came back to find that my employer had exorbitant expectations. If I'm still welcome here I'll get going again in a few days.
Welcome back, Superstitious. Glad you enjoyed your hols. You contributions are always appreciated.

regards
DL
inedifix
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Post by inedifix » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:49 pm

Hey Michael,

Any chance of a response to my post four up? Or would you rather I open a new thread in IrishCatholics.ie to discuss the issue? :wink:

I
“What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. What we can't understand we call nonsense. There is no free will. There are no variables. There is only the inevitable.” Chuck Palahniuk
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