Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

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MichaelNugent
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Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

Post by MichaelNugent » Fri May 15, 2009 3:51 pm

I will be a guest on Spirit Moves this Sunday, May 17, on RTE Radio 1 at 6.05 pm. The other guests are David Quinn, Harry Browne, Fr Brendan Purcell and Claire O'Connell.

The theme is Cardinal Brady's statement this week at TCD that the real clash of cultures is between those who believe in God and those who disdain such belief and aggressively oppose any tolerance of its influence on law, morality or the public square.

Here is the relevant section of his address:
The Compatibility of Faith and Reason

As recently as last Saturday, Pope Benedict addressed this precise point in Jordan when he said, and I think it is important to hear his words in full:

"Mature belief in God serves greatly to guide the acquisition and proper application of knowledge. Science and technology offer extraordinary benefits to society and have greatly improved the quality of life of many human beings…. At the same time the sciences have their limitations. They cannot answer all the questions about man and his existence. Indeed the human person, his place and purpose in the universe cannot be contained within the confines of science ... The use of scientific knowledge needs the guiding light of ethical wisdom. Such is the wisdom that inspired the Hippocratic Oath, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention and other laudable international codes of conduct.

"Hence religious and ethical wisdom, by answering questions of meaning and value, play a central role in professional formation. And consequently, those universities where the quest for truth goes hand in hand with the search for what is good and noble, offer an indispensable service to society."

As Cardinal John Henry Newman, reflecting on the idea of a university, said as far back as 1852: so often the "fundamental dogma" of the scientist today is "that nothing can be known for certain about the unseen world." The pursuit of theological studies therefore is the pursuit of a mirage and in the mind of the scientist lacks the credentials necessary for inclusion in the university curriculum.

This idea that "religion is a delusion" has enjoyed something of a resurgence recently. It has been re-energized in the popular media by what one author describes as the "New Atheists". The fact is that the popular assumption that faith and reason are incompatible is false. Faith and religion remain an essential part of the human experience and of the search for meaning and truth.

The real clash of cultures in our world at the moment is not between the religious traditions of the world. All the indications are that the major religions of the world are moving towards greater understanding. The real clash of cultures is between those who believe in God and those who disdain such belief and aggressively oppose any tolerance of its influence on law, morality or the public square.
Brady's full address is online at http://tr.im/lrcO

Any thoughts on this welcome between now and Sunday...
Ygern
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Re: Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

Post by Ygern » Fri May 15, 2009 4:49 pm

Just the obvious points:

There is nothing inherently moral or ethical about religious belief. I think this would be a difficult point to get across in the confines of a radio interview; especially because a lot of people would believe this to be a default position truth, and also assume that their own religion is the default religious position. One way of tackling this might be to point out the inconsistencies between the various religions on a specific point, or even within a single religion over the passing centuries. Perhaps an example might be the status of women in society: the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran are all significantly different in their wisdom on the subject, and even the most fundamentalist Christian churches don't insist on veiling women and keeping them silent in church, in spite of Paul's moral guidance on this matter. Even fewer feel that you may stone your wife with impunity, no matter what the circumstances.

If enlightened Christians don't think it is necessary to veil women anymore - how do they know this?

Beyond Belief 2006 had a number of speakers who addressed this topic (from both sides) particularly Joan Roughgarden, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.

As far as the claim that "the major religions of the world are moving towards greater understanding" goes, who is he trying to kid? The only thing they all seem to agree on is that they don't like atheists much. And even then they can't agree on whether they should behead them or just pray for them.
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lostexpectation
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Re: Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

Post by lostexpectation » Fri May 15, 2009 5:53 pm

im sure you'll mention this video you tweeted Atheists "not fully human" says leading UK Catholic Cardinal
http://tr.im/ljnk listen

he said they are missing something, rather then being less then human,he said 'not fully human' he didn't quite say anything about atheist being sub human, but any talk like that is one of the most gross and dangerous insult you could ever say about a group of people.
test
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Re: Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

Post by Globi » Fri May 15, 2009 10:15 pm

Not fully human........
What if an atheist says something along these lines about a believer?
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Re: Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

Post by Hobbesian World View » Fri May 15, 2009 10:58 pm

lostexpectation wrote:im sure you'll mention this video you tweeted Atheists "not fully human" says leading UK Catholic Cardinal
http://tr.im/ljnk listen
The new atheism is clearly getting to them. They see it as an emerging threat. Which it obviously is.

Its the end of the line for mainstream religion. And they know it.
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Re: Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

Post by Ygern » Sat May 16, 2009 12:02 am

Let's not get too off-track here - Michael wanted feedback on Brady's statement, not Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's (delightful though it may be).
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Re: Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

Post by FXR » Sat May 16, 2009 2:35 pm

Quinn debating Richard Dawkins on the Turbidy Raido Show. I'd bet in the mind of the casual listener Quinn made more of an impression especially given the fact that religionism has already sown the ground.
http://jumpcut.com/view?id=52097D3672BF ... type=movie

Quinn goes on about Dawkins not knowing where matter comes from so therefore it's perfectley rational to posit God. He could have had the ground taken from under him by pre-empting the claim by stating "god" is just another term for "don't know". Religionists also have the advantage of hiding in the general term "religion" instead of having to defend one particular religion. As usual Stalin was brought up. The hole in the Stalin lies in the factual description of what organised religionism is;
A set of unproven or irrational beliefs perpetuated by force and coercion by a centralized power structure.

Stalin was just another individual using the Papacy as a model. It's always going to be a mistake to argue against religion as opposed to organised religionism: separate the flock from the wolves posing as shepards.
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.
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Re: Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

Post by FXR » Sat May 16, 2009 3:45 pm

The Compatibility of Faith and Reason

As recently as last Saturday, Pope Benedict addressed this precise point in Jordan when he said, and I think it is important to hear his words in full:

"Mature belief in God serves greatly to guide the acquisition and proper application of knowledge. Science and technology offer extraordinary benefits to society and have greatly improved the quality of life of many human beings…. At the same time the sciences have their limitations. They cannot answer all the questions about man and his existence. Indeed the human person, his place and purpose in the universe cannot be contained within the confines of science ... The use of scientific knowledge needs the guiding light of ethical wisdom. Such is the wisdom that inspired the Hippocratic Oath, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention and other laudable international codes of conduct.
How they manage to subtly shift terms: now it’s “mature belief in a god”. So does that mean they’ve spent centuries imposing “immature belief” by murder, torture and coercion? He’s using the usual Vatican speak. He continually tries to make identical twins of two unrelated abstracts. It’s the usual smoke and mirrors that works so well on the indoctrinated. That science has it’s limitations is meant to imply that religionism is equal to science by equating it’s vastly. He’s assuming that religionism is automatically “the guiding light of ethical wisdom”. I suppose all those Inquisitions were just carried out on people who refused to “accept the guiding light”. Mr. Bradys organisation condemned everything from the Magan Carta to modern democracy and here he is lauding the Geneva Convention. You won't hear him mentioning the Syllabus of Errors where the pope of the time condemned just about all the basic human rights so important to Western Civilasation.
"Hence religious and ethical wisdom, by answering questions of meaning and value, play a central role in professional formation. And consequently, those universities where the quest for truth goes hand in hand with the search for what is good and noble, offer an indispensable service to society.
Then off he goes having established an unfounded assumption he builds on it. This is where the Fowkes and the UDS types get this modus operandi. Since they lost out so badly on testable propositions like how humans came about now they’ve retreated into the misty goalpost moving hall of mirrors of “religious and ethical wisdom”. There is no wisdom in perpetuating ignorance and bloody minded ideas like infallibility.
As Cardinal John Henry Newman, reflecting on the idea of a university, said as far back as 1852: so often the "fundamental dogma" of the scientist today is "that nothing can be known for certain about the unseen world." The pursuit of theological studies therefore is the pursuit of a mirage and in the mind of the scientist lacks the credentials necessary for inclusion in the university curriculum.
Mr. Newman also said (in response to Humane Vitae’s stance on condoms):
The Church holds that it would be better for sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and of all the many millions who are upon it to die of starvation in extreme agony, so far as temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say should be lost, but should commit one venial sin, should tell one wilful untruth, thought it harmed no one, or steal one poor farthing without excuse.

This idea that "religion is a delusion" has enjoyed something of a resurgence recently. It has been re-energized in the popular media by what one author describes as the "New Atheists". The fact is that the popular assumption that faith and reason are incompatible is false. Faith and religion remain an essential part of the human experience and of the search for meaning and truth.
Theres the shift in terms again to suit his own purposes: the name of the book was the God Delusion not the Religion Delusion. Then he goes and mixes faith and reason in one sentence and changes it to faith and religion in the following sentence. This is an exercise in obfuscation by conflating terms and linking them as if they were interchangeable. It’s no wonder this is so effective on the flock. If it was self evident that religious faith and reason were compatible he'd have no need to keep insisting that they were. His complaint is his own indictment.
The real clash of cultures in our world at the moment is not between the religious traditions of the world. All the indications are that the major religions of the world are moving towards greater understanding. The real clash of cultures is between those who believe in God and those who disdain such belief and aggressively oppose any tolerance of its influence on law, morality or the public square.
So the real clash of cultures is not bands of raving Taliban Islamic fanatics and extremist right wing NeoCon Christians facing each other with bombs, bullets and aeroplanes and trying to rewrite reality (dinosaurs and humans?) it’s people who, by debate alone, threaten to undermine the income streams and power positions of the Vatican. In other words anything that threatens the rarefied detached netherworld of CCL clerical princes is much more important than anything that threatens ordinary citizens in the street with the loss of life and limb.
Brady's full address is online at http://tr.im/lrcO...
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.
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Re: Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

Post by NorthOfTheBorder » Sun May 17, 2009 10:31 am

Good luck to you in your efforts to make the religious see the blindingly obvious :D To my mind, that quote starts off with an assertion that can be demonstrated to be false with examples easily understood by the average listener:
"Mature belief in God serves greatly to guide the acquisition and proper application of knowledge.
Belief in a god, and the authority of scriptural revelation that goes with it, has long suppressed and misdirected the acquisition of knowledge. Galileo & heliocentrism being a prime example where the Roman Catholic Church actively suppressed the truth as discovered by science because it conflicted with what their holy book said. 150 years ago, everyone "knew" the natural world was the way it was because god put it there thousands of years ago, end of discussion. But then Darwin dared to ask the question "why?", and ended up discovering a profound truth that many theists still refuse to accept.

The very fact that an individual believes in a god presupposes that they already know the ultimate answers to some big questions. But why only the big ones? Where do you draw the goddidit line? Why waste time looking for answers to any questions about the nature of the world if everything's ultimately down to/controlled by a deity? Science and reason have been pushing the goddidit line further and further back for centuries, to the point where the theists increasingly retreat into the realms of nebulous waffle when trying to find something that their belief allegedly can explain. In short, belief in a god can be seen as the ultimate disincentive to the quest for knowledge.

All obvious to those of us on this forum, I know - but the sort of concrete example of religion hindering progress that theists ought to be confronted with when they try to make out that they somehow are better at understanding reality that the rest of us :twisted: .
“I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong”

Richard Feynman on doubt,uncertainty and religion
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Re: Cardinal Brady on "the real clash of cultures"

Post by lostexpectation » Sun May 17, 2009 1:56 pm

i think Fr Brendan Purcell likes to quote reknowned scientists who throw a bone towards god and say that proves he exists
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