are catholics allowed to join this forum

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Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
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Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:14 pm

roseanna wrote:in my ignorance had made an assumption of what this meant and tarred Nozz.. with the same brush - again I apologise, since clearly my argument on that point does not therefore apply.
Do not worry about it. Alas this is a very common mistake.

"Atheism" is a term which tells you nothing except what a person is not.

Often people then go on to infer what a person IS from this. This is an error. You cannot assume to know what a person is from being told what they are not.

It is a burden that comes with the word and this is why I refuse to associate myself with the word. When asked what I am I always say "Secular". I never say "atheist".
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Post by lostexpectation » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:19 am

take yer time you don't have to answers us straight away,i didn't quite catch if you said your parents were catholic?

the catholic church system ain't latent if still owns most of the schools when it shouldn't,it supposed to public education system not private sectarian one.

wet means you don't have any explanation for your belief in transubstantiation, other then that's what your told. ie the sheep.

how are we supposed to argue against that with logic?

mother teresea motivation were somewhat perverse she saw her work as a duty for all to suffer.
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No questions - I promise

Post by mellow » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:48 am

Rosanna asked:
What I've noticed on these boards here is a huge preoccupation with the Catholic Church in Ireland. I haven't had experience of attending Catholic schools, but am just curious as to why this subject has arisen here again and again. .

When I knew atheists / agnostics in England, they just got on with it and didn't particularly feel the need to actively criticise others' religions / faiths - they had their philosophy and that was it/

To be honest Roseanaa I find this question (almost) equally as fascinating as how people can believe in a God. Part of me asks why should I care? Let me try to outline some of _my_ reasons for whatever it is worth. I’ll try not to ask you any questions – it seems like you’re under enough pressure already. Stick with it !

One reason I can give is I believe in my right to be an atheist and that is not a right I feel I can exercise freely in Ireland. Albeit from trying to find a local school for my child, to speaking aloud in work that I believe there is no god and not expecting some fall-out.

I also feel that the church (including non-official spokespeople) in Ireland is particularly vocal. Being told that I’m wrong everyday for something I believe in leads naturally to a rebellious feeling. I must speak – I must 

Finally (?) I not only believe that while the church is a not a good thing, I would go as far as to say that the church and religion/faith in general is an actively bad thing. I say this for lots of reasons that I don’t want to bore you with until you ask. I am, I believe, an altruist. I want the best for people. I feel sorry for people who live their life under an illusion. Presumably they feel as irritated as I when I hear “Ahhh bless ! He’s an atheist”

So why speak out? For me? Well let’s face it. While I absolutely believe in tolerance, and don’t think anyone should be persecuted for their beliefs. Over the period of millennia there isn’t much room for 2 doctrines Religious Vs Atheist. Simple economics would state that eventually we’ll reach a happy balance, not so I believe. We are learning too much as a global society (call it evolution if you really want to), are becoming too intelligent to need this fatalistic guilt ridden crutch euphemistically called faith. (Did that sound harsh?)

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? - Epicurus
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Post by inedifix » Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:17 am

roseanna wrote:Okay, finally, my question, which has no hidden agenda, I am just genuinely curious as to your opinions on this. Although living in Ireland now, I was brought up in a secular education system in England. What I've noticed on these boards here is a huge preoccupation with the Catholic Church in Ireland... the presence of Catholicism in modern Ireland is almost, shall I say latent - it appears that way to me anyway. When I knew atheists / agnostics in England, they just got on with it and didn't particularly feel the need to actively criticise others' religions / faiths - they had their philosophy and that was it. Is the situation different here in Ireland because of the Church-State relationship, and do you feel in any way that you have a mission / point to prove? If so, what is it? Again, I am genuinely curious because this aspect of atheism, etc. is new to me so I'm wondering if it is Ireland-specific.
I think that's a really good question Roseanna. I was born and brought up in England too, so I appreciate the difference you refer to from an atheist perspective. Back in England, being an atheist was never an issue for me as the vast majority of people I knew were of a similar mind to me. The state is secular. Society itself is by and large secular. And organized religion is pretty benign, it doesn't try to get into people's lives, most of the time. But Ireland is different, almost stiflingly so.

Over on IrishCatholics, I posted the response below (slightly amended) to a question similar to your own:

Imagine living in a country where the edifice of the state, the legislature, the constitution, the schools, the TV stations and 90% of your family, your friends, your colleagues, and the rest of the population at large, hold to a belief system diametrically opposed to your own.

Imagine not being able to educate your children without having to feign adherence/sign up to a belief system you consider wrong.

Imagine having to make the same pretense to your family to keep them in blissful ignorance of your views.

Imagine having to comply with family and peer expectations to subject yourself to various religious ceremonies that go against your own beliefs.

Imagine your life being dominated/demarcated by the social, cultural and moral mores of this belief system.

Imagine having to keep your true feelings about your world view secret from your employers, friends, colleagues, family, community, for fear you may lose your job, a promotion, a sale, someone's trust, or otherwise be ostracized.

Imagine not even being able to choose a funeral that complies with your own world view, because of the insurmountable logistical problems and the risk of hurting your family.

Imagine having to pay taxes to support this belief system that you don't believe in, and even having part of your pay cheque foot the legal bill for the sexual abuse crimes perpetrated members of this belief system's hierarchy.

Well... that's a snap shot of reality for atheists in Ireland. Obviously not all of us experience all of these problems, but most of us have probably experienced some of them at some time. Things are changing now though, and atheists are feeling increasingly able to speak up. And because they are speaking up. You are hearing us.

The effect of living in a country where Church and State are effectively one, and where 90% of the people are Catholic, is incredibly stifling. Religion intrudes constantly into our lives in a way that it simply doesn't in the UK. And we get sent a bill to pay for this intrusion too.

So you are probably correct in pointing out this difference. But if you can imagine the situation reversed (e.g. having to provide a certificate of atheism to the school you want to send your kids to) perhaps you'll understand why.

“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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Post by lostexpectation » Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:52 pm

rosanna if you told me that you consider the bread into body to be some sort of allegory or moral tale, that i'd be very happy to accept your religion but to say it something supernatural is when you loose respect.
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Post by royalosiodhachain » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:31 am

roseanna wrote:I'm a Catholic.

I totally respect others'beliefs too,so have no intention of antagonising anyone - for a start,I'd be totally outnumbered anyway.
Roseanna, I am Catholic also so that brings the total to two of us.
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Post by royalosiodhachain » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:42 am

roseanna wrote: As for the practical benefits of my religion? Think of the moral code it teaches. I'm not saying ther aren't non-believers who don't live good lives - but think of what the Catholic faith's response to poverty, suffering, greed, injustice, violence, hatred, intolerance, is... what can be wrong with our religion's teaching on those issues, or asking people to try and conform to moral standards in relation to them? And if more people put them into practise, would it be such a bad thing? I'm not sure if that's what you were asking me, I'm a bit KO'd this eve... go easy on me.[/i]
Roseanna, Motherhood is a blessing although not without pain. I concur that faith of any sort in humanity usually invokes sentiments of charity toward others and those in need. Faith in humanity leads many to faith in a Creator. The world and the universe is so vast that for some it is difficult to imagine that no one was responsible for it's existance. The hand of God is everywhere for those who believe in Him and for those who do not believe there is a huge question mark when the subject of how did man, woman and the world come to be along with the universe. I also find it hard to put my faith in mere cell regeneration as the key to life's mysteries. It seems far more plausible that man, woman, the world, the universe was all created by a God of all consuming intellect and goodness. As we all can attest to, the world in and of itself is perpetually nourishing of mankind although men are sometimes not kind and some women also are not kind to creatures, persons and the environment.
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