Monday, March 30, 2009

The Scale Is Smaller

But I'm not seeing a lot of difference between The Pope's dogmatic opposition to condom use and what this bunch of religious whackjobs did to a 16 month old child.

Frankly, I hope that the judges involved in trying this case in Baltimore lock all of these nutbars up in separate prisons until they come out of the utterly destructive group hallucination they have been party to.

I suppose in the Pope's case it falls under the same rationale as this old statement:

"If you kill one person it's murder; if you kill thousands it's policy"

6 comments:

Niles said...

...." -- Although an inability to think critically can be a sign of brainwashing, experts said, the line between that and some religious beliefs can be difficult to discern.

"At times there can be an overlap between extreme religious conviction and delusion," said Robert Jay Lifton, a cult expert and psychiatrist who lectures at Harvard Medical School. "It's a difficult area for psychiatry and the legal system." -- "

Sums it up.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, let's call a spade a spade ...... extreme religious conviction and delusion are the same thing.

Just look at all of the religious nut jobs out there who are unquestioningly following someone else's interpretation of a book written 2000+ years ago. They are not applying any critical thinking skills to what they are being told, they just accept it. (by the way this applies as much to Christianity as it does to other religions......Islam, Judaism, etc.)

SB

Cardinal Pole said...

"I'm not seeing a lot of difference between The Pope's dogmatic opposition to condom use and what this bunch of religious whackjobs did to a 16 month old child."

Say what??????? You're seriously comparing the consensual behaviour of adults to the starvation of a minor by his carers?! Funny how for people so big on 'critical thinking skills' your readers haven't challenged this nonsense. (Or maybe they did, and you blocked them. But this always was a vanity blog, I suppose.)

"They are not applying any critical thinking skills to what they are being told, they just accept it."

The notion of a society as a contract has been in vogue at this blog, so permit me the assumption that you too are a positivist, SB, and let me ask you: if, say, a society's supreme court hands down an authoritative, final interpretation of a law, should one then 'apply one's critical thinking skills' and defy it if one disagrees with it? (Just in case your 'critical thinking skills' aren't fully warmed up yet: the point I'm making is that it's not at all irrational to defer to the judgment of a legimitately-constituted, competent authority. And the reason I mentioned society-as-a-contract/positivism is to insulate myself against charges that courts sometimes get it wrong--for a strict juridical positivist, the highest court cannot get it wrong.)

MgS said...

No, I am not comparing what goes on between consenting adults and what was done to that child.

I am comparing the application of "faith" by two religious leaders.

Both, in case you haven't figured it out, are wrong in my view. The only difference is that one is now facing criminal charges for their acts.

Cardinal Pole said...

"No, I am not comparing what goes on between consenting adults and what was done to that child."

Cf. what you say in the original post:

"If you kill one person it's murder; if you kill thousands it's policy"

Where has the Holy Father advocated that innocent children should be starved to death? Where has he advocated that anyone be put to death? There is not the faintest trace of any moral equivalence here. What you are saying here is simply scurrilous; His Holiness has not advocated that people have unprotected sex with H.I.V.-positive people; he advocates the only logical and ethical thing to do: namely, don't have sex with H.I.V.-positive people. If people practised what he preached then H.I.V. would all but vanish--abuse does not detract from use; if people practice what the alleged child-killers in your linked article preach then there would be widespread infanticide.

Which brings me to another point of incongruity in the comparison: starvation is a punishment that is out of all proportion to the child's misbehaviour, while it is the inverse with Catholic sexual ethics: we advocate that one cannot risk having sex with an H.I.V.-positive person because the evil of having to go without sex is miniscule in proportion to the evil of potentially catching a fatal disease.

And another point of incongruity: the Holy Father's ethics here is deduced from natural revelation, not supernatural revelation; it has nothing to do with faith, thus invalidating your objection in your comment. (See my latest response in the other combox on this topic for more on the principles involved.)

And another (!) point of incongruity: killing a child in the hope that God might resurrect him is, in addition to the monstrous sin of infanticide, the sin of putting God to the test. Whereas what the Holy Father advocates is precisely that people should not put God to the test by risking catching H.I.V. with a method of 'protection' that has a significant risk of error.

So give me a single way in which the two cases are remotely comparable. If you can't, then if you have any trace of decency left MgS you ought to apologise for what you have said.

MgS said...

You want a point of analogy? My goodness, but your eyesight is limited.

Two religious leaders make statements and decisions which ultimately will lead to the death of others.

The Pope's rigid hostility to even talking about condom use in Africa makes my point for me. He is using his position of influence to propagate ignorance among the population regarding condoms. No matter how I slice it, that policy will lead to deaths that could be prevented.

This is no different than the class of decisions and reasoning involved in the second case.

- and both make me just as angry.