April 10, 2018

Did the Pope just say there is no Devil?

I'm reading this Reuters article because Drudge sent me there with the teaser, "After 'no hell', Pope gives devil due..." but I don't read this as an acknowledgment of the existence of Satan. Quite the opposite. Here, see if you notice what I notice:
In the document known as an Apostolic Exhortation called "Gaudete et Exsultate," (Rejoice and Be Glad)... Satan gets more than a dozen mentions... as Francis talks about how life can be "a constant struggle against the devil, the prince of evil."

He continues in the same section: "Hence, we should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable."

Francis refers to the "wiles of the devil", "the spirit of the devil", "keeping the devil at bay", how to "banish the devil", and "snares and temptations of the devil".
There's a difference between saying the devil is not just a myth and what the Pope did say: we should not think of the devil as a myth. It's a "mistake" to "think of the devil as a myth" not because you'd be factually wrong but because we'd "let down our guard... grow careless and end up more vulnerable."

If you picture evil as a frightening, conscious entity who's out to get you, you will do a better job of being good. That's the idea expressed. I assume that the Pope, an intelligent and educated man, thinks the devil is, as he put it, "a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea," but he advises you not to think in those terms, which are too sophisticated for you. You'll get into trouble thinking like that.

184 comments:

Fernandistien said...

If you picture evil as a frightening, conscious entity who's out to get you,

Are you SURE the Pope is conscious?

rhhardin said...

A fallen angel doesn't require hell. It just requires a fallen angel.

Levinas on evil, in connection with Heidegger's sympathy for Nazis being revealed:

It is impossible to be stinting in our admiration for the intellectual vigor of "Sein und Zeit," particularly in light of the immense output this extraordinary book of 1927 inspired. Its supreme steadfastness will mark it forever. Can we be assured, however, that there was never any echo of Evil in it? The diabolical is not limited to the wickedness popular wisdom ascribes to it and whose malice, based on guile, is familiar and predictable in an adult culture. The diabolical is endowed with intelligence and enters where it will. To reject it, it is first necessary to refute it. Intellectual effort is needed to recognize it. Who can boast of having done so? Say what you will, the diabolical gives food for thought.

EDH said...

"After 'no hell', Pope gives devil due..."

How long before this Pope blames capitalism for the Devil's "homelessness"?

Jeff Roth said...

I think you are over analyzing that statement.

I read it as the Pope telling people to NOT think of the devil as anything but real, as he knows people indeed do not think the devil is real.

I certainly do not as an atheist, but I can see why he would tell those who are Catholic that should believe.

The Godfather said...

Where does @Althouse get the idea that Pope Francis is intelligent? I’ve seen to evidence that he is.

The Godfather said...

“No” evidence.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I assume that the Pope, an intelligent and educated man, thinks the devil is, as he put it, "a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea,"...

So you assume that anyone who is intelligent and educated must reach the same fundamental conclusions about the world that you have reached. Even though he is far, far, far, far more educated about that aspect of the world than you are.

When you assume you make an ass out of u.



LilyBart said...

Ah, this Pope - a continuing fountain of controversy and confusion. What a sad joke this guy turned out to be.

Etienne said...

I think the Pope needs new writers. He's going down faster than Kathy Griffin.

gerry said...

Good heavens, this post is pure clickbait!

Marc said...

Arguably, the Roman Pontiff has now denied three articles of the Faith i.e. the immortality of the human soul, the existence of Hell, and the existence of the evil one. As the joke has it, in his next conversation with Dr Scalfari, the good atheist media baron will report that Franciscus has denied the existence of sin. SMH.

gerry said...

This Althouse post is pure clickbait!

Henry said...

If it helps, think of the Devil as a blond. Make it real.

Ignorance is Bliss said...


Did the Pope just say there is no Devil?

See Betteridge's law of headlines.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” - The Usual Suspects

Caroline Walker said...

NY MAG to Antonin Scalia: Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?
Scalia to NY Mag: “You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.”

Ken B said...

We shouldn’t think of Chuck as a life long Republican.

mccullough said...

Never let down your guard against communists. They are evil bastards.

Lexington Green said...

Prof. Althouse is imputing too much subtlety to the pope on this issue. I read the document. He is absolutely clear that the devil is real. He's not telling people to act as if the devil is real while coyly reserving the prospect that the devil is not real to cynically manipulate people's behavior. To the contrary, spiritual beings, such as God, angels, and demons, are real. The spiritual world is active, participates in our corporeal life, and is part of a larger world beyond the capacity of our biological senses to perceive. The dogmatic assertion that the totality of what actually exists is that which is perceptible to our sensory equipment and thinking capacity has always been a silly myth. There's no reason whatsoever to believe it. The totality of what exists in all likelihood dwarfs what we are capable of perceiving and understanding with the sensory and reasoning capacities which we have evolved over millions of years to solve the narrow and focused problem of survival and reproduction under the circumstances that are biological ancestors faced on this one planet.

the 4chan Guy who reads Althouse said...

It's kinda sad, really: this Pope is starting to sound like one of those guys on 4chan who goes on and on talking all this weird blah blah blah about religion and the universe and shit, but that's on 4chan and that dude is probably righteously stoned, he isn't the fucking Pope talking his Pope shit.

I mean, this is like Obi Wan saying, like, there really isn't a Dark Side of the Force, that's just some shit Yoda made up. The Pope is supposed to be to Catholics what William Shatner was to Star Trek, okay? I mean, if you want to make Sulu gay, fine, but don't go fucking with the big stuff.

Like, if I'm on 4chan looking at some chicks spreading their ass cheeks and showing their assholes, I kinda can think the Devil is making me like this shit, that is something the Devil would do. So if there is no Devil that means I just like that shit, and maybe that makes me not a good guy, even though I try to be nice to people and not be an asshole.

But by saying this shit, maybe this Pope is really the Devil and he just has everyone convinced that he's a good dude, but he's really all mind-fucking us, and making us confused about God and shit. Which is worse than anything anyone does on 4chan, I think.

I post my shit here.

Professional lady said...

I've observed that people bend over backward to interpret Francis' words to confirm what they already think and do. His willingness to informally converse with people and the fact that he is not proficient in English makes it easy to do that. I find him inspiring at times and annoying at times. If he wasn't making me uncomfortable (and sometimes pissed off), he wouldn't be doing his job. People want him to agree with them and confirm what they're already thinking and doing. Yes, I'm fine, I don't need to change a thing! Heaven forbid you should be forced to question and examine your actions, attitudes, and motives.

n.n said...

It's advice to people who have grown intellectually satisfied and religiously/morally weak.

ballyfager said...

I had twelve years of Catholic education. One of the things that was stressed throughout those twelve years was how smart the Jesuits are. The Pope is a Jesuit. Althouse asserts that the Pope is intelligent. The Pope is also a socialist.

Seems to me there is a contradiction in there somewhere if not an outright lie.

roesch/voltaire said...

A symbol represents something, gives it form, but the dark destructive side--thanatos-- may not have hooves.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I assume that the Pope, an intelligent and educated man, thinks the devil is, as he put it, "a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea,"

Trolling us religious folk again?

mockturtle said...

In this instance the Pope has confirmed his belief in a devil who is not merely a myth. Althouse is projecting. Not defending what the Pope has said previously and not defending his office [I am not a Catholic] but in this case he has made his position plain enough.

Gahrie said...

I assume that the Pope, an intelligent and educated man, thinks the devil is, as he put it, "a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea,

It's a sad day when someone can write this, and be taken seriously. What next, the Pope thinks that God is "a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea"?

If you are a Christian, surely you must believe that the devil exists. The problem is, there's a really good chance that the current Pope isn't even a Christian.

mockturtle said...

Rhhardin at 8:10: Excellent quote summing up the argument here.

mccullough said...

The Jesuits aren’t smart. They are economic imbeciles who don’t understand human nature. The Islamists will cut all their heads off.

YeeHaw! said...

So I can understand that Atheists reason that there is no God, because there is no evidence for God -- that is, that all the phenomena we see can be explained by non-divine causes, and therefore there is no basis to believe in the Benevolent Divine.

But how do you use that arguement to justify non-belief of the devil? Because there seems to be lots and lots of evidence for a divine yet malevolent sentinent being that delights in the downfall and suffering of man and woman.

You have to be pretty blind to the ways of the world to not see the absolute heaps of evidence for someone powerful who hates us and actively wishes us evil.

gilbar said...

how long before this Pope explicitly states that the devil is not a myth; the devil is capitalism?

Or, he just hop straight to stating that the USA is the Great Satan?

mccullough said...

The pope has no answer for radical Islam. He’s retarded about it just like W was. Both idiots

Ron Winkleheimer said...

If you are a Christian, surely you must believe that the devil exists.

Not necessarily, a lot of "mainstream" Christians don't accept the devil or demons as real. The think they are just metaphors and that the demoniacs that Jesus cured were just mentally ill people. I mentioned my believe in diabolical forces to a young Christian couple once and I could tell they thought I was odd. Their response was that humans don't need evil outside forces influencing them to do bad things, that they will think up and do them on their own. A sentiment with which I agree, but that does not preclude the existence of such forces.

Sally327 said...

This makes sense to me in the context of magical realism, a frame of reference that would be familiar to this Pope, I think, as it's a very popular genre in Latin America, and also familiar to many of his followers there.

Gahrie said...

If you picture evil as a frightening, conscious entity who's out to get you,

This is one of the foundational beliefs of Christianity.....I really don't see how you can call yourself a Christian if you don't.

I really wonder sometimes about Althouse's faith...it's like she wants to call herself a Christian without actually believing in Christianity.

Or perhaps she is just trolling us.

traditionalguy said...

If the Devil doesn't exist, that will highly disappoint the Satanists who openly chant curses they want demons to do for them and make cremonial blood sacrifices to The Father of Lies. Poor Charles Manson will be on his own.

Scriptures say the Galilean carpenter that the Christians worship encounterd the Devil in the wilderness and was tempted by him , but passed and unlike the first Adam he refused to sin. Jesus like to say get behind me Satan, or when translated correctly, " go along behind me." Satan offers new Christian converts the temptation test to pass. So The Lord's Prayer to the Father includes," Lead us not through the Tempation, and deliver us from the Evil One."

But that may all be Hebrew Prophets stuff. And Israel again at the center of world events and a final battle for Jerusalem to be followed by The Son of David's return must not be possible at all ...right.

Gahrie said...

Not necessarily, a lot of "mainstream" Christians don't accept the devil or demons as real.

Then why believe in God? The same evidence of God's existence also argues that the devil and demons exist. If you don't believe in the devil you might as well be an atheist.

n.n said...

He's addressing people who believe that something is not real until it is deemed worthy, or viable. Also, the people, notably with secular faiths, who casually and willfully conflate logical domains. There are devils lurking at the twilight fringe.

YoungHegelian said...

@Althouse,

Repent, ye sinner!

(One of the more famous Country/Bluegrass album covers ever made. It's a good album, too, if you like that sort of stuff. Which I do.)

mockturtle said...

Does Althouse consider herself a Christian? In fairness, I've never seen any evidence that she makes that claim.

Christopher said...

That's the idea expressed. I assume that the Pope, an intelligent and educated man, thinks the devil is, as he put it, "a myth...

You keep portraying traditional Christian beliefs as something that an intelligent and educated person could not believe, even though a great many people have, do and will. It's kind of strange.

If this is sincere and not trolling, it helps explain your misreading of the passage, which pretty clearly states the opposite of what you want it to say.

Incidentally, for a Christian--I mean, a Christian Christian--there's a more plausible route to believing no one ends up in hell, without quite denying its existence. An act of universal unmerited mercy, much like the point of Crucifixon and Resurrection itself, though that would injure justice.

But the devil, well, no devil, no Christianity, just like no Resurrection, no Christianity.

You're navigating without a map in these parts.

P.S. I'm no great fan of this pope.

Vance said...

I like the poster above who said that humans don't need the devil to commit sin: we are all capable of it without that.

Very, very true. But that doesn't mean the Devil is fake. Ever thought: "With all the worlds in the universe, why would the Son of God come to this one?"

Probably because the Devil is here, in full force.

The early American concept of the Devil is much, much more realistic than today's red guy with horns and a pitchfork--a laughable idea. No, read about "the Devil against Daniel Webster" or Old Scratch, or "Never Bet the Devil your head!"

The Devil is a nice, soft spoken guy who makes it all seem so easy and calm.....

Henry said...

Ever thought: "With all the worlds in the universe, why would the Son of God come to this one?"

What a bizarre thought. The universe is a sphere of perfection with the immovable stars fixed upon it.

n.n said...

If you picture evil

There's the crux of the matter, and thus the demand and establishment of the Twilight Amendment, a wall, a layer of privacy, a congruency, a liberal religion.

hombre said...

“... I assume that the Pope, an intelligent and educated man, thinks the devil is, as he put it, "a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea,"

Well, perhaps, because that’s how all the other “intelligent and educated” cafeteria Christians view The Evil One. LOL.

sinz52 said...

Vance asked: ""With all the worlds in the universe, why would the Son of God come to this one?" "

Who said that the Son of God only came to this planet?

Maybe after he was resurrected and his work was done here, he went to the next stop on his itinerary (Sigma Draconis IV or Gliese 581g?) and taught morality to the aliens there.

Reminds me of a story that Zenna Henderson once wrote about a space-alien girl going to school in an Earth elementary school.

One of the Earth girls asks her: "Why do you have so many eyes?"
The alien girl replies, "I dunno. Why do you only have two?"
The Earth girl says, "My daddy said God made me this way."
The alien girl says, "Well, MY daddy said God made ME this way too."

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Then why believe in God? The same evidence of God's existence also argues that the devil and demons exist. If you don't believe in the devil you might as well be an atheist.

I've asked myself that questions as well. I've also read about supposedly Christian churches that don't have crosses because someone might find the imagery off putting and others that insist that you not recite creeds because that's divisive. So what are you left with? Some sentimentalist do-gooding I suppose.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPg0wBP5k6M

Lewis Wetzel said...

It's all symbols. The neurons that fire in our brain when we think of the devil (or anything) are a representation of that thing. We experience the world as symbols and express ourselves in thought, word, and deed using allegory. Isn't that obvious?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And since we are talking about Frank the Hippy Pope.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEchg1KhmTY

Henry said...

The same evidence of God's existence also argues that the devil and demons exist.

That same evidence is pretty much evidence for anything. It is evidence of naiads and dryads. It is evidence of Jörmungandr, the world-wrapping serpent. It is evidence for Manichaeism and Gnosticism.

Evidence of the unknown and unknowable is a particularly malleable kind of evidence.

gg6 said...

Once again, Althouse, in speaking of Religion, what you say has 'no there, there'. It's simply a statement of your own personal attitude backed by absolutely nothing. So, here you say:
"... I assume that the Pope, an intelligent and educated man, thinks the devil is, as he put it, "a myth.."
I.E. anyone who doesn't believe what YOU believe is STOOPID. How easy and comfortable for you.
I'm both intelligent and educated and not a 'religious' person - yet I feel disdain for such disdain.
What's with you on this subject, I wonder.

YoungHegelian said...

@Henry,

That same evidence is pretty much evidence for anything.

Yeah, that's it. That's why each & every one of the classical modern philosophers comes up with yet another reason for the existence of God unknown to the ancients & Medievals.

Is there something you don't understand about the difference between positing something as necessary vs contingent?

Inga said...

“What's with you on this subject, I wonder.”

The devil made her do it.ūüĎĻ

mockturtle said...

She's just trolling us, gg6. But I enjoy reading the comments.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

That same evidence is pretty much evidence for anything.

Either Jesus existed or he didn't. Either Paul gave up his status as a Pharisee and stopped killing Christians and instead became A Christian because he had good reason to believe that Christ had risen or he threw away the good life to be homeless, poor, beaten, stoned and ultimately killed because he conspired with Peter to preach a made up religion even though it would not benefit them or any of the other Apostles in any way. Either Christ's body was in the tomb or it wasn't.

William Chadwick said...

I'm non-religious now, but I was raised Catholic in the urban northeast while living currently in the more Protestant South; and my impression is that the Devil is more of a Protestant thing.A teacher of Religion in Catholic high school told us that of the three dangers to the soul--the World, the Flesh and the Devil--most people will fall prey to the World and the Flesh, and we needn't worry too much about the Devil. "Ol' Nick" pretty much bestirred himself only to go after the souls of the saintly who had resisted the lures of the World and the Flesh. (And, the teacher implied, it was doubtful that many of us were in danger of becoming saints.) This seems to me a contrast to the Protestant view where the Devil is always present and active and always lurking to snatch the souls of the unwary.

This difference would appear to reflect a difference in the general world-view between the Protestant and the Catholic. After I was already settled in the Bible Belt, I read a very interesting anthology of Catholic science-fiction stories edited by the novelist and priest Andrew Greeley. In his I production to the anthology, Father Greeley states that the stories weren't necessarily written by Catholics, nor pushed Catholic theology, but reflected a Catholic world-view: what Ayn Rand would have called "a sense of life." Listing the characteristics of that Catholic sense of life, Fr. Greeley, as I recall, listed first of all that the world--not just Planet Earth but the physical universe--was in essence a good thing, because created by God. This was in contrast, to me, with what I had gleaned from my contact with the dominant Protestant sense of life: that the physical world is the Realm of Satan, whose snares are everywhere.

mockturtle said...

As C.S. Lewis put it in Mere Christiantiy:

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the 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. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God."

William Chadwick said...

I typed "in his introduction. . . . " but apparently the Devil changed that to "in his I production," whatever that means.

Molly said...

Eaglebeak

The Pope an "intelligent, educated man"? I give you educated--he had a Jesuit education in Argentina and seems to have wound up a Peronist--

He may be intelligent in the sense of subtle (Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves), but his grasp of theology and philosophy is hopelessly bad, compared to, say, Pope emeritus Benedict.

His sellout of the underground (= real) Catholic Church in China is execrable, and his "I order my own pizza" pose of being a regular guy is tiresome.

Heaven knows what his long-term impact on the Church and the West overall will be, but dollars to doughnuts he doesn't get canonized.

Robert Cook said...

"Where does @Althouse get the idea that Pope Francis is intelligent? I’ve seen to evidence that he is."

It's immaterial if the Pope is intelligent or not intelligent...he is infallible. That is enough, yes?

And, of course there's no devil. That intelligent people can think there is simply proves that intelligent people are as susceptible to irrational beliefs as unintelligent people are.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Fr. Greeley, as I recall, listed first of all that the world--not just Planet Earth but the physical universe--was in essence a good thing, because created by God. This was in contrast, to me, with what I had gleaned from my contact with the dominant Protestant sense of life: that the physical world is the Realm of Satan, whose snares are everywhere.

I must admit that the idea of the physical realm being inherently evil does have a strong strain in many Protestant denominations, even though it is a Gnostic heresy.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Just because a thing is a myth does not mean that it is not true. Both the future and the past are creations of the human imagination. The universe only exists now, after all. A story can be true or false. A myth can be true or false.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And, of course there's no devil.

He stated as if he was the ultimate authority. That is an assumption. Based on a materialistic view of the universe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism

Gahrie said...

And, of course there's no devil. That intelligent people can think there is simply proves that intelligent people are as susceptible to irrational beliefs as unintelligent people are.

Belief in God and the Devil is much more rational than belief in Communism.....we have real world evidence that Communism doesn't work.

Robert Cook said...

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the 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. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God."

C.S. Lewis resorts here to making assertions that are not self-evidently true, yet he fails to explain why he thinks they're true. Why is it that only a madman or a demon could say the things Jesus said? Lewis is presenting assertions as evidentiary fact so as to prove his own conclusion that Jesus was divine.

mockturtle said...

I must admit that the idea of the physical realm being inherently evil does have a strong strain in many Protestant denominations, even though it is a Gnostic heresy.

It is a gnostic heresy and I've never heard it preached or taught in 'Protestant' churches or in Christian literature.

Charlotte Allen said...

In the document known as an Apostolic Exhortation called "Gaudete et Exsultate," (Rejoice and Be Glad)... Satan gets more than a dozen mentions... as Francis talks about how life can be "a constant struggle against the devil, the prince of evil."

He continues in the same section: "Hence, we should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable."

Francis refers to the "wiles of the devil", "the spirit of the devil", "keeping the devil at bay", how to "banish the devil", and "snares and temptations of the devil".


Sounds to me like he's actually saying he believes in the devil.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mccullough said...

Mohammed replaced Jesus. Turns out Jesus philosophy is the path to extinction. You don’t get to turn the other cheek to someone who cuts off your head. Nor do you get to forgive him for having different religious beliefs. You dead. You don’t even get 73 virgins like the guy who chopped your head off.

Better to ask instead: What Would Zeus Do?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

C.S. Lewis resorts here to making assertions that are not self-evidently true

Jesus claims to be the Son of God and God. We generally think people who claim to be God are lunatics. And if he is saying it and doesn't believe it then he is lying to people for self-gratification. So evil. It seems pretty self-evident to me.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Mohammed replaced Jesus. Turns out Jesus philosophy is the path to extinction.

Christians did a pretty good job of fighting the followers of Mohammed for 1400 years. It seems to me that it is the secular people who took over from the "naive" Christians that have been failing to do so.

YeeHaw! said...

Robert Cook,

I am interested in your arguments concerning the irrationality of belief in the devil, because so far, you have just sort of begged the question.

I could understand such an assertion from someone who lived in Aspen or some other la-la land, but a for a fellow living in New York City to ignore the plentiful empirical evidence at hand for a sentinent, supernatural entity that delights in the suffering and downfall of man and woman...That is willful blindness.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"Jesus claims to be the Son of God and God. We generally think people who claim to be God are lunatics. And if he is saying it and doesn't believe it then he is lying to people for self-gratification. So evil. It seems pretty self-evident to me."

People, particularly teachers, speak in metaphors all the time. Jesus himself was known to give lessons in the form of parables. Assuming Jesus was actually a living historical person, and assuming the words attributed to him in the Gospels were actually uttered by him, it's very easy to read them as metaphorical language.

n.n said...

What is consciousness? Does it originate or is it expressed in the three perceived dimensions of our brain?

That said, Satan is the prince of dysfunction, and a troll. He is almost certainly Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, and congruent, following prevailing winds and whims, where there is comfort and sanctuary away from and to a dissonant world, a mad existence.

Robert Cook said...

"I am interested in your arguments concerning the irrationality of belief in the devil, because so far, you have just sort of begged the question."

It seems those asserting the devil's existence have the burden of proof upon them, so I am not begging the question.

I could understand such an assertion from someone who lived in Aspen or some other la-la land, but a for a fellow living in New York City to ignore the plentiful empirical evidence at hand for a sentinent, supernatural entity that delights in the suffering and downfall of man and woman...That is willful blindness."

What "empirical evidence?"

Fernandistien said...

"Mature Jesus rides with the best in PBR"

"In his first appearance at this iconic event, Jesus went 0-3 and wondered if he blew his chances of getting invited again."

mccullough said...

The Crusaders didn’t forgive their enemies or turn the other cheek or love the Muslims as they loved themselves. Naive Christians are the ones who take Jesus seriously. Who turn the other cheek. Who love their enemies. The Pope is speaking exactly as Jesus did. It’s naive as hell but he’s consistent with this bullshit. It’s the road to extraction.

If Mohammed was delusional as he was, then so was Jesus. These guys sincerely believed they were gods emissaries. It’s madness. Always was

mccullough said...

Communism is empirically worse than even Islam so far. The body count on communism is over 100 million.

M Jordan said...

The devil’s as real as the evil in humanity’s heart. In the book of Job the devil appears in the heavenly scene in the first chapter, then delegates his role to Job’s human companions. They become Job’s adversaries which is what Satan means. Remember, Satan is not omnipresent, he is CEO of a vast organization. And when we join him in his goal of tearing down the church, Christ’s masterpiece, we become little satans.

mccullough said...

Devil of the 20th Century: Mao. Edges out Stalin and Hitler.

Robert Cook said...

"If Mohammed was delusional as he was, then so was Jesus. These guys sincerely believed they were gods emissaries. It’s madness. Always was."

mccullough raises a valid point: it's possible a historical Jesus who said the words attributed to him was a lunatic, (or a devil, Lewis' other fantastic assumption--unless he means "devil" in the sense of his having been a lying fraud, a con-man). Lewis assumes--without evidence--that Jesus was not a lunatic or a "devil." Lewis begs the question of Jesus' divinity.

M Jordan said...

I agree with Ann’s interpretation of what the Pope is saying here. This has been the way the church has operated for millinea: the clergy secretly believing things contrary to the laity but placating the laity’s simplemindedness.

mccullough said...

The Church? There are dozens of Christian “The Church.” More Christian Churches than fast food restaurants. Lots of version of Islam and Buddhism and Hinduism too. Very good evidence that it’s all man made. If you agree with whatever views (or enough of them) then pick one of the many off the menu.



Gahrie said...

Assuming Jesus was actually a living historical person,

No need to assume...we have historical records of him.

M Jordan said...

All those fascsimiles of “the Church” speak of the reality of this unique assembly. The facsimiles areflawed, but the Venn center is pure as the driven snow.

mccullough said...

Lewis thinks most people wouldn’t say out loud Jesus was a lunatic. He was nuts. So was Mohammed. Both Christianity and Islam have had major influences on the planet since the cropped up (well after Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle who speak very intelligently to similar problems). But the are as bullshit as the Greek Gods.

mccullough said...

Lol. “The Church” is a Platonic Form. The influence of Plato on Christianity is immense.

mccullough said...

The Pope is marketing Roman Catholicism to the Millenials. Nothing more.

YoungHegelian said...

@mccullough,

Very good evidence that it’s all man made.

As to what that isn't? "Nature"?

Do you people ever read any philosophy? Ever?

You think that you're "empiricists" when you're not. Empiricists think that sense data may not be much, but it's all we got. It is a school of philosophy that is critical of the claims of human reason.

You guys are epistemological "Realists" in that you think that objects that are "out there" somehow get into our heads as concepts or ideas or experiences, & that somehow these things in our heads correspond in a real way to objects "out there".

Guys, that, too is magical thinking. It may be true, but it's incredibly difficult to defend.

Sigivald said...

Reporting on the Pope's words is almost always so wrong as to be worse than useless.

If you look at the text itself, you'll see - right before that bit about "thinking of": [para. 160]

Indeed, in leaving us the Our Father, Jesus wanted us to conclude by asking the Father to “deliver us from evil”. That final word does not refer to evil in the abstract; a more exact translation would be “the evil one”. It indicates a personal being who assails us. Jesus taught us to ask daily for deliverance from him, lest his power prevail over us.

The Pope is affirming the literal existence of the tempter, of the Devil.

The Pope is an educated, intelligent man, yes.

He's also Catholic, and thus believes in a literal Devil, just not a "red man with horns and a pitchfork".

[He may or may not believe the Devil is a single individual entity, rather than a collective name for the spirit of opposition to God and of Evil, but that's irrelevant to any of the theological issues.]

(Unless one is to take the entire story of Job as a parable (and Jesus' temptation in the desert, etc.), the existence of a tempter, an evil one under God's leash, is unavoidably something one must believe in, if one is a Christian.

I'm not a Christian, but I don't exactly find the relation difficult to grasp; there's no logical issue here that requires immense subtlety.)

Lewis Wetzel said...

Robert Cook, your comments re: C.S. Lewis's argument for the historic reality of Christ lacks context. Lewis was a scholar of ancient texts and ancient myths. He believed that the scriptures were historically accurate because they did not much resemble ancient myths.
There are many odd things about the reality described by the Gospels. Christ did not reveal himself to be other than a prophet and a teacher until his Ministry was nearly over.
Personally, I don't think that the "madman or messiah" argument is very effective. Still, if today a person appeared claiming to be the Son of God, regardless of what he said, most people would think of him as a mad man, and not a great teacher. Imagine if Ghandi had claimed to be a divine being who only existed only to reconcile men and God.

mccullough said...

Young Hegelian,

I studied philosophy in college, even your namesake’s nonsense.

Empiricism is much more than philosophers think it is. Philosophers understand human nature less than than sociologists.

Christianity, like Islam and all other religions, started in one part of the world. People in China and the Americas never heard of Christianity or Islam for over the first 1,000 years of its bullshit. Seems insane to have what, 300 million people sent to hell for eternity because they weren’t baptized into a religion they never heard of? That is cruelty that even Satan or Beelzebub or Lucifer would never come up with. Total fucking madness.

We hate Hitler and Mao and Stalin etc for killing over 100,000,000 million but we give Yahweh or Allah, etc a pass for sending billions to eternal damnation? They are the Good Guys? You must be fuckng kidding me. If anyone is the Devil, it’s these assholes

Darrell said...

It's one thing not to believe. It's quite another to proselytize that non-belief, attempting to win over converts to that position.

That's your ticket to Hell right there. . .

Christopher said...

Fr. Greeley, as I recall, listed first of all that the world--not just Planet Earth but the physical universe--was in essence a good thing, because created by God.

Yeah, I don't exactly where it lies on the spectrum of belief, but that's a baseline Catholic teaching. This is in opposition to some strands of Protestant thought where the world is utterly depraved.

mockturtle said...

Christopher, perhaps you allude to Calvin's theory of the Total Depravity of man, e.g., man is too depraved to choose God, therefore it is God who does the choosing. The argument between free will [in salvation] and the sovereignty of God has been an ongoing debate since before the Reformation.

mccullough said...

CS Lewis was an Anglican. King and Queen before God.

mockturtle said...

King and Queen before God.

Don't be ridiculous.

Howard said...

Blogger mccullough said... blah, blah, blah G_d is Devil
Blogger Darrell said... you will burn in hell for that, thus completing Mac's proof

Henry said...

I find it funny that YH presumes that I'm narrowing the field as opposed to widening it.

And then Ron narrows the field.

Howard said...

Admit, you hate Pope because he preaches teaches Jesus' socialist philosophy which is conflicts with the greedy pagan Roman spin used as a proxy for actual scripture.

YeeHaw! said...

Robert Cook,

I am unable to even prove my own existence, yet you obviously seem to believe that I do - you do strike me as a fool who wastes his time replying to autobots. Therefore, you do not consider a belief in the existence of me as a sentinent being to be irrational.

Thus, we are discussing rationality of belief in the devil, rather than absolute proof. There are many things that cannot be absolutely proved, but which are perfectly reasonable to believe.

As to "empirical evidence', I refer to elements that exist in any large city, and which thrust themselves on the observer, indeed cannot be passively disregarded and must be willfully shut out from one's consciousness.

A city is full of the stupid and senseless human misery and suffering, the callous disregard, the perversion of that which is good and noble to ensnare and drag down.

In such an environment, how can a belief in a supernatural and willful evil be not only discarded but considered beyond the pale for a intelligent person?

traditionalguy said...

Last Days is a sorting out time when fence sitting is
Harder to do. Let the filthy more filthy... it helps with the sorting out.

Howard said...

YeeHaw! You're head is just zapped by the sensory stimulation of the eternal present. The supernatural illusion is the consequence of Evolution + Deep Time. Occam's Razor

Lewis Wetzel said...

Mccullough said...

CS Lewis was an Anglican. King and Queen before God.

4/10/18, 12:24 PM

Tolkien wrote that the only thing stopping Lewis from converting to Catholicism was his Ulsterman bigotry. Lewis was an Anglican, but he rarely mentioned it. I doubt if he was good fit in the Anglican church after it began to liberalize in the 1930s.

mockturtle said...

Let the filthy more filthy... it helps with the sorting out.

There is Scriptural foundation for tradguy's comment, of course. [Revelation 22:11]

YeeHaw! said...

mccullough,

One of the major themes of the Old Testament is dealing with the idea that divine beings do not require "a pass" from us to do what they do, and that we are the ones that need to come to terms with them, not the other way around. Book of Job, of course, but a lot of the other books too.

It seems that a lot of those who identify as atheists don't so much doubt God's existence as disapprove of God's ways.

YeeHaw! said...

Howard,

Even a cursory examination of the misery and suffering in the world puts the existence of a divine yet evil being on the right side of Occam's razor.

Sensory stimulation of the eternal present? Pfft. Next you will be trying to sell me some crystals and a horoscope.

mccullough said...

I don’t hate the pope. He’s a fool like Howard and the other Red Scum. An increasingly irrelevant one. If he wants to open the Vatican to millions of young men who grew up on the stew of Radical Islam then let him. But he’s not that fucking stupid. He just thinks other people are. They aren’t, at least not most of them.

As for socialism and communism, they don’t work. Never have, never will. The US protects the UK and Western Europe. Not God. So they can have their high social spending until either the debt or the Islamists kill them. Either way, they are finished. They don’t procreate. The men pee sitting down. Then they invite millions of vampires into their country to make up for their impotence. Merkel loves the crazy Muslims more than Hitler did.

Capitalism cures diseases and lifts people out of poverty. But it also makes people stupid. Too much leisure time will do that. Fools like Howard who thrive under the benefits of capitalism spend their free time decrying it. Typical imbecile. He’s too lazy and to pick up an ice pick like Brother Trotsky and start the Red Revolution all over again. He’d have to leave the friendly confines of his grandma’s attic.

Freeman Hunt said...

I know a great number of sophisticated, educated, intelligent people who believe in a literal Satan. It is not rare. And many would phrase the admonition not be misled into thinking of Satan as a symbol in the same way. The danger is not so much in thinking something that is incorrect. All people think lots of things that are incorrect. The danger is falling prey to evil and being led into temptation. The Pope emphasized the right thing.

Char Char Binks said...

"If it helps, think of the Devil as a blond. Make it real."

"Samuel Spade's jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting V under the more flexible V of his mouth. His nostrils curved back to make another smaller V. His yellow-grey eyes were horizontal. The V motif was picked up again by thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down – from high flat temples – in a point on his forehead. He looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan." -- Dashiell Hammett

YeeHaw! said...

Robert Cook

Also, to correct a Typo in my earlier reply -- you do not strike me as a fool who wastes his time replying to autobots.

Indeed, you do not strike me as a fool in general, which is why I read what you post.

Char Char Binks said...

We don't sin because we love money, or from any other base motive, but because the devil on our shoulder overcomes the angel on the other shoulder, and entices us with gain, or prods us with his pitchfork.

mccullough said...

Who said I’m an atheist? Just because I don’t believe in the bullshit that’s already out there doesn’t mean I can’t come up with my own bullshit to believe in.

Jesus was a Jew who was revising Judaism. Completely a man of his time and place. He didn’t revise Hinduism or Buddhism or even discuss them because he never fucking heard of them. He didn’t travel the world. Alexander saw far more of the world than Jesus. He never left the country he was born in. And he sure as shit didn’t warn people about the dangers of Islam coming down the pipe in 600 years because he couldn’t see the future like Miss Cleo can. Mohammed had it easy. He knew about Jesus so his delusions were able to revise it to fit in with Islam. Jesus was a prophet according to Mohammed. Problem solved.

And the Old Testament isn’t that old. Humans were around a long time before we heard of the religions that managed to stick around. And the ones that stuck around are under constant revision. They make adjustments. They have to. Marketing to the masses requires listening to your customers. So Hell and The Devil are now out.

Howard said...

Blogger Freeman Hunt said... The danger is falling prey to evil and being led into temptation. You mean like the leader of the free world who worships money, fame, adulation, guns, porn stars, Playboy Bunnies and legal fixers?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

. Lewis assumes--without evidence--that Jesus was not a lunatic or a "devil." Lewis begs the question of Jesus' divinity.

Actually, no. Lewis was an atheist who became a Christian after consideration of the evidence. You might not find the evidence convincing, but that doesn't mean there isn't any.

Howard said...

Red scum, I like that.

mockturtle said...

YeeHaw! asserts: It seems that a lot of those who identify as atheists don't so much doubt God's existence as disapprove of God's ways.

Like the arrogance of Thos. Jefferson in writing his own Bible.

MaxedOutMama said...

To me it seems like Ann is bending herself into pretzels to defend her own biases. Or maybe she just really dislikes this pope, and wants to insult him? I would be somewhat ashamed if had written this.

Ann, read the document first, before you opine. Reading it might do you some good:
http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20180319_gaudete-et-exsultate.html
159. We are not dealing merely with a battle against the world and a worldly mentality that would deceive us and leave us dull and mediocre, lacking in enthusiasm and joy. Nor can this battle be reduced to the struggle against our human weaknesses and proclivities (be they laziness, lust, envy, jealousy or any others). It is also a constant struggle against the devil, the prince of evil. Jesus himself celebrates our victories. He rejoiced when his disciples made progress in preaching the Gospel and overcoming the opposition of the evil one: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Lk 10:18).

More than a myth

160. We will not admit the existence of the devil if we insist on regarding life by empirical standards alone, without a supernatural understanding. It is precisely the conviction that this malign power is present in our midst that enables us to understand how evil can at times have so much destructive force. True enough, the biblical authors had limited conceptual resources for expressing certain realities, and in Jesus’ time epilepsy, for example, could easily be confused with demonic possession. Yet this should not lead us to an oversimplification that would conclude that all the cases related in the Gospel had to do with psychological disorders and hence that the devil does not exist or is not at work. He is present in the very first pages of the Scriptures, which end with God’s victory over the devil.[120] Indeed, in leaving us the Our Father, Jesus wanted us to conclude by asking the Father to “deliver us from evil”. That final word does not refer to evil in the abstract; a more exact translation would be “the evil one”. It indicates a personal being who assails us. Jesus taught us to ask daily for deliverance from him, lest his power prevail over us.

161. Hence, we should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea.[121] This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable. The devil does not need to possess us. He poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice. When we let down our guard, he takes advantage of it to destroy our lives, our families and our communities. “Like a roaring lion, he prowls around, looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8).


Earlier in the exhortation the Pope warns us against the gnostic heresy, for example. Here the Pope warns us against the heresy of not understanding that Evil is real, and actively seeking to destroy us.

mccullough said...

Scum is capitalized. I give your comrades Proper Nouns. Killing over 100 million deserves a distinction.

Lewis Wetzel said...

To not believe in the metaphysical is to not believe in meaning. Some people say that they are happy to believe in a universe without meaning, but they aren't serious. It would mean living in a world where love and hate, loss and grief have no meaning. That would be a world populated by psychopaths.
Hold your dying wife's hand, and when she has taken her last breath, just get up and walk away. Nothing happened, right? No more meaning than a clock running down or candle's flame guttering out.

Freeman Hunt said...

"You mean like the leader of the free world... ?"

Yes, like anybody, including him.

Char Char Binks said...

"It seems that a lot of those who identify as atheists don't so much doubt God's existence as disapprove of God's ways."

Those people aren't atheists, no matter how they or anyone else identifies them.

Anyway, we can argue about a supposed God's morality separately from the question of his, or His, existence.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Christopher Hitchens believed in the numinous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL9FnERmLeg.
What Hitchens did not believe was that the numinous had a relationship to man: we did not exist because of the numinous, the numinous did exist because of us.

mccullough said...

What’s Althouse’s bias? The pope was bullshitting. Triangulation it was called in the 90s.

He’s trying to not alienate the old folks who actually attend while trying to get the foolish young in the West to take their place. It’s the only strategy he’s got. Open the priesthood to married gays is next. They already snagged some married Anglican and Episcopalian priests who were sick of the slide of Anglicanism. Now that those guys are dying, come one come all.

Roman Catholicism is losing customers, which means it’s losing money. The Pope is also hoping to convert the millions of young Muslims in Europe. That’s why he’s such a fan of letting in vampires to Europe. He can’t penetrate the China market because Xi, the Politburo, and the rest of the Red Scum who run that joint give him the back of the hand. And India is impossible to convert. The Brits got maybe 1% of the population on the Christian card before they threw in the towel 70 years ago. They weren’t buying it.



mccullough said...

Lewis,

Don’t be mawkish. People believe what they want and imbue life with meaning. People were around 200,000 years before Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, etc. Bin Laden loved his wives as much as you loved your wife.

mockturtle said...

Mccullough, God doesn't convert nations. He converts individuals. Acts 13:47-49: "For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region."

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

AA: I assume that the Pope, an intelligent and educated man, thinks the devil is, as he put it, "a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea," but he advises you not to think in those terms, which are too sophisticated for you. You'll get into trouble thinking like that.

Equating a particular opinion with being "intelligent and sophisticated" is, of course, a signal that the equate-er both agrees with the opinion and considers himself "intelligent and sophisticated" regarding the subject at hand.

If you'll forgive my stating the obvious.

Slightly less obviously, it's also a pretty good predictor that the equate-er's views on the subject at hand are "sophisticated" (conventional received opinion of his class), not sophisticated. (Does anybody who has something profound and original to say on any given subject every feel the need to state or imply-by-proxy that he, or what he has to say, is intelligent and sophisticated?)

Christopher said...

Christopher, perhaps you allude to Calvin's theory of the Total Depravity of man, e.g., man is too depraved to choose God, therefore it is God who does the choosing. The argument between free will [in salvation] and the sovereignty of God has been an ongoing debate since before the Reformation.

Yes, Calvinism was on my radar for that, I just hadn't looked at it for awhile and didn't want to assert too much.

Fernandistien said...

Lewis Wetzel said...
Christopher Hitchens believed in the numinous:


Only as an emotion:

"We have a sense of awe and wonder at something beyond ourselves, and so we should, because our own lives are very transient and insignificant. That’s the numinous, and there’s enough wonder in the natural world without any resort to the supernatural being required."

Robert Cook said...

"To not believe in the metaphysical is to not believe in meaning. Some people say that they are happy to believe in a universe without meaning, but they aren't serious. It would mean living in a world where love and hate, loss and grief have no meaning. That would be a world populated by psychopaths.
Hold your dying wife's hand, and when she has taken her last breath, just get up and walk away. Nothing happened, right? No more meaning than a clock running down or candle's flame guttering out."


We live in a universe empty of meaning and a world filled with meaning...the meaning we ascribe to it, the meaning we create for ourselves. This is where meaning lies--within and among ourselves. We cannot know if animals find "meaning" in their existence, but we know many animals feel and express affection, love, loyalty, and companionship among themselves and with other species, we know that many animals communicate with each other in various ways, so it's conceivable they create meaning for and among themselves to the extent and in the manner that their sentience allows them to do so. However, there is no meaning external to that created by sentient beings.

jimbino said...

Now I wait for the pope to kill off the talking snake and donkey, the numerous unicorns, angels, devils and spirits, the bloody wine, carnal crackers, winey water, assumptions, resurrections, incarnations, virgin births and immaculate conceptions. Then, maybe, the world might be freed from the yoke of Roman Catholicism.

pacwest said...

You guys still dancing around on the head of that pin?

First Cause is unknowable to us due to infinite regression.

mccullough said...

Mockturtle,

Mohammed disagrees with your view. Also, you are quoting a translation of a book written by multiple people over time. How do you know that translation isn’t distorted?

Allah says you are going to hell. Mohammed says you should be killed and Allah chose The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, to pass his Word because Jews and Christians had distorted his message.

If you had grown up in Saudi Arabia, you would be quoting the Koran if your husband let you on the Internet, which he wouldn’t because Allah forbids it.

Christianity, like Islam, is a Johnny Come Lately religion compared to Judaism and Hinduism. Of course, Zoroastrians religion is even older.

It’s not like you surveyed all the religions across the world over time and decided on Christianity. You just grew up in a time and place where Christianity was predominate. Pretty much the way people pick their sports teams to cheer.

You should stick with it. William James was right. Religion serves a very practical function.

buwaya said...

"The Brits got maybe 1% of the population on the Christian card "

The British governments in India were quite hostile to missionaries. It made political trouble for them.

The Portuguese managed to get the majority of the (small) populations in the enclaves they had to become Catholic, so it was not impossible.

The Muslims got a very large number of converts after all, in those places which they managed to conquer. And they indeed got into a great deal of trouble, constant wars on an enormous scale through the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries.

mccullough said...

The Brits couldn’t convert because they didn’t have the infrastructure of the Roman Catholic Church like the Spanish did.

Kill some, take their land, fuck their women, and them send in the Padres to convert the rest. Brilliant business plan by both Spain and The Roman Catholic Church. Mexico down through the top of Chile is now Roman Catholic. Of course, most of those countries are corrupt shitholes, but Roman Catholics are Roman Catholics. Quantity over quality.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

R. Cook: We live in a universe empty of meaning and a world filled with meaning...the meaning we ascribe to it, the meaning we create for ourselves.

That's really fucking trite, but hey, so am I, so it works for me.

What I don't understand is how some people who say that they believe this (that "the universe is empty of meaning but we create our own meaning") get so butthurt when other people go about creating meaning for themselves in ways that those people don't like.

Say I would find deep meaning and fulfillment in leading a life based on the Conan the Barbarian's precepts for attaining the Good Life. But as soon as I started conquering and enslaving, these same The Universe is Empty of Meaning types would be all up in my grill telling me I'm mean or immoral or something. Why? What are they appealing to? Oh sure, they'll shuck and jive and come up with lame "reasons" like, uh, "greatest good for the greatest number", or even appeal to "nature", stuff that doesn't withstand the limpest logical examination.

Frankly, I find the religious nutjobs slightly less annoying and inconsistent. And less pompous and self-righteous.

Robert Cook said...

"What I don't understand is how some people who say that they believe this (that 'the universe is empty of meaning but we create our own meaning') get so butthurt when other people go about creating meaning for themselves in ways that those people don't like."

Because the "meaning" we create tends to derive from behaviors that have to do with the preservation of our lives, and this necessarily includes the preservation of our kind: our tribe, which, writ large, includes all humans alive. We develop morals that proscribe murder and theft and so on as a means of maintaining trust and developing bonds between ourselves and others, necessary for groups of humans to work cooperatively for their collective--and, thus, individual--survival. You scoff at the "greatest good for the greatest number," but that's what it does come down to, your sneering notwithstanding.

There are species of creatures who live and survive in solitude, so such collective bonding and trust between members is unnecessary and therefore absent.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"People were around 200,000 years before Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, etc. Bin Laden loved his wives as much as you loved your wife."
I think that you are making my point for me, Mccullough. The fact that we live in a universe of meaning when the material universe has no meaning doesn't prove any particular religion is correct, but it is a necessary first step to proving the validity of any religion. And Buddhism has some religious aspects, but it is not a religion, any more than Stoicism is a religion.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

mccullough: Kill some, take their land, fuck their women, and them send in the Padres to convert the rest. Brilliant business plan by both Spain and The Roman Catholic Church. Mexico down through the top of Chile is now Roman Catholic. Of course, most of those countries are corrupt shitholes, but Roman Catholics are Roman Catholics. Quantity over quality.

As opposed to the what appears to be the Anglo long game, of "kill some, take their land, bring your own women, build successful, well-run countries, and then get greedy and stupid and allow uncontrolled immigration (including jillions of Roman Catholics from those corrupt shitholes you always shuddered at), until your country, too, has been Latin-Americanized into just another New World corrupt shithole."

You were saying about brilliant business plans? (Press 2 for English.)

Gahrie said...

Christopher, perhaps you allude to Calvin's theory of the Total Depravity of man, e.g., man is too depraved to choose God, therefore it is God who does the choosing. The argument between free will [in salvation] and the sovereignty of God has been an ongoing debate since before the Reformation.

Yes, Calvinism was on my radar for that, I just hadn't looked at it for awhile and didn't want to assert too much.


Don't the Calvinists believe that only the select go to Heaven, and the select were chosen by God long before their birth, and nothing you do on earth can change that?

Mark said...

I assume that the Pope, an intelligent and educated man, thinks the devil is, as he put it, "a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea," but he advises you not to think in those terms, which are too sophisticated for you.

Sigh. Really? REALLY?

And while we are at it, instead of relying on what some news outlet said, why not read the document itself? It's free. It's readily available. And, yeah, it is fairly long at 22,000 words, but not as long as some other things. Here's the link --

Gaudete et Exsultate, paragraphs 158 et seq.

Krumhorn said...

He never left the country he was born in.

The Mormans would say you’re wrong.

- Krumhorn

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M Jordan said...

@McCullough: "Lol. “The Church” is a Platonic Form. The influence of Plato on Christianity is immense."

The church may fit your Platonic view but only because it's a filter you place on things. From your perspective the church may be nothing but the shadow on the cave wall that the manipulators cast.

But what the Apostle Paul saw was a connection between the risen Christ and the earthly followers. "I am Jesus, whom you persecute." A union of divinity and humanity.

Plato's still dead, by the way.

traditionalguy said...

Gahrie...Yes. Paul wrote that over and over. It is at the heart of Christianity that we become new creations in Christ without our choice. The Free Will guys cannot accept that without qualifications. Probably, the preachers don't want to limit the harvest by limiting their message to reaching the chosen, because no one knows whom God has chosen.

But blaiming Paul's doctrine on Calvin is a cheap shot. Calvin just taught what Paul wrote. The Presbyterians have no trouble knowing that they did not pick God. It takes the pressure off them to continually pick God by being a perfect all of the time. They can accept themselves once for all as accepted by God. And nothing can ever change that.

That faith leaves them free to work at winning successes in life because the working at pleasing God angle is finished. That gives us the Protestant Work Ethic.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Robert Cook: Because the "meaning" we create tends to derive from behaviors that have to do with the preservation of our lives, and this necessarily includes the preservation of our kind: our tribe, which, writ large, includes all humans alive.

"All humans alive"? Says who? That our evolved morals require including "all mankind" in the people we form bonds and co-operate with is just a pious belief pulled out of your ass, with no more claim to truth than anybody else's religious axioms, or other allegedly "nature derived" ideologies. It's not even self-evident that "human universalism" is "more natural" or "just nicer" or "less likely to have ugly consequences" than any other "ism" - clan-ism, tribalism, racism, nationalism - that humans cook up to "create meaning".

Sorry, there is *nothing* in "preserving our kind" that dictates that "our kind" is what you'd like it to be. There is nothing in nature or the "meaningless universe" that prescribes universal co-operation, your sneering and "universal co-operation or solitary existence" false dichotomy nothwithstanding.

If you want to believe in "humanity" or the "moral unity of mankind" or whatever you want to call it, and try to persuade others to agree, fine. I just think it's funny when people who believe in that think that their fabricated morals are so much more "rational" and "natural" than what other people concoct. The fact is that your arguments against my wanting to "create meaning" via Conanism* have no more foundation than some fundie invoking the Ten Commandments.

*invoked for purposes of discussion only. No current plans for thundering across the prairie with conquering horde.

Mark said...

Pope Francis and the Devil
America Magazine
October 28, 2014

Why does so much of Pope Francis' speech seem to be haunted by the Devil?

"For Francis, the Devil is not a myth, but a real person," explains Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., of Salt and Light TV, in a new video that is part of The Living Word collaboration between America and the American Bible Society.

"I believe that the Devil exists" and "his greatest achievement in these times has been to make us believe that he doesn't exist," then-Cardinal Bergoglio said in the 2010 book, "On Heaven and Earth, a theme informed by his Jesuit spirituality that Francis continues to revisit in speeches and homilies.

The evil one appears frequently in the pope's teachings, and was detailed in a Washington Post article in May:

"Largely under the radar, theologians and Vatican insiders say, Francis has not only dwelled far more on Satan in sermons and speeches than his recent predecessors have, but also sought to rekindle the Devil’s image as a supernatural entity with the forces­ of evil at his beck and call." . . .

"Each time he speaks about the Devil, Pope Francis urges us to be vigilant and not to give into that initial temptation and thus allow it to spread" Rosica adds.

"There's also a Jesuit connection to the Devil for Pope Francis," Rosica says. "You see, in Ignatius' teaching, there is an edginess, a seriousness about the campaign the opposition of the evil one, and about the strength and grace that people need to make us resist and to make the right decision. For Ignatius and for Pope Francis, people must discern where God is calling them and following that call requires courage and a willingness to accept suffering and rejection. St Ignatius believed that making progress in following Christ gives birth to a sense of peace and harmony even in the face of challenges. The enemy doesn't like that and tries to disrupt it, particularly by tempting Christians to focus all their attention on themselves."

gerry said...

You have to be pretty blind to the ways of the world to not see the absolute heaps of evidence for someone powerful who hates us and actively wishes us evil.

Hell, that's Hillary Clinton.

Mark said...

POPE FRANCIS
October 30, 2014
“This generation along with many others has been taught that the devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil. But the devil exists, and we must fight against him.”

February 14, 2016
“Because brothers and sisters, let's get one thing clear, one cannot have a conversation with the devil. We can't do this, because the devil will always win. Only the power of the Word of God can defeat the devil.”

March 21, 2014
“You still have time to not end up in hell. That is what awaits you, if you continue down this path.”

June 17, 2014
“As Christians, our duty is to pray for them and ask the Lord to give them the grace of penance, so that they don't die with a corrupt heart, because otherwise the dogs of hell will take their blood.”

Howard said...

Morals are hard-wired, like language and fear of snakes.

buwaya said...

On the Devils work, and the reality of the supernatural -

There is a very great deal in human nature, and in human society as sets of collectives especially, that is unexplained and unexplainable.

The genesis and spread of ideas, or states of mind, especially, is a mysterious thing, often spontaneous, often self-directed. What causes these things to spread and "infect" people, very often to their personal harm, and general social degeneration?

This stuff defies rational analysis.

Amos510 said...

"I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me," John 14:31 (NIV)

"My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." John 17:16 (NIV)

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." John 15:19-20 (NIV)

This Pope wants to be liked too much.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Howard: Morals are hard-wired, like language and fear of snakes.

Compare and contrast:

"Moral feelings are hard-wired"

vs.

"We are hard-wired to be utilitarian globalists, believe in the equality of all humans, and to value 'the greatest good for the greatest number' in the context of the entire human race."

You will often notice attempts at sleight-of-hand with these two assertions.

mikee said...

Patrick O'Brian in one of his Aubrey/Maturin novels wrote about "the devil to pay and no pitch hot," a term I had only known as "the devil to pay" which to me meant a big price for a bad deal. In the British Navy of the Napoleonic era, the original term meant a very tight place under the deck where it met the hull, which needed hot tar applied to prevent leaks. In other words, a hard job and inadeqaute tools to do it.

I thought we should all share this. Next up, The Devil Goes Down to Georgia.

mockturtle said...

All in all, I am heartened by the Christian erudition shown here by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. There is hope for us, yet.

Fernandistien said...

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...
Compare and contrast:
"Moral feelings are hard-wired"
vs.
"We are hard-wired to be utilitarian globalists, believe in the equality of all humans, and to value 'the greatest good for the greatest number' in the context of the entire human race."

You will often notice attempts at sleight-of-hand with these two assertions.


Really? Like where, for example?

Certainly not in this thread, where you're the only person to use the words 'utilitarian', 'globalist', 'equality' and you introduced "the greatest good", so if anyone's trying to pull a slight-of-hand, it's you.

Mark said...

For those of you buying into the falsehood being pushed here that Pope Francis does not genuinely believe in Hell or the devil (Satan) or other devils, here is something else he has said recently --

when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can also distort the way we use our ability to communicate. . . . The capacity to twist the truth is symptomatic of our condition, both as individuals and communities. . . .

the spreading of disinformation on line or in the traditional media [has] to do with false information based on non-existent or distorted data meant to deceive and manipulate the reader. . . . this false but believable news is “captious”, inasmuch as it grasps people’s attention by appealing to stereotypes and common social prejudices, and exploiting instantaneous emotions like anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration [and it] is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. That is the end result of untruth.. . . .

preventing and identifying the way disinformation works also calls for a profound and careful process of discernment. We need to unmask what could be called the "snake-tactics" used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place. This was the strategy employed by the "crafty serpent" in the Book of Genesis, who, at the dawn of humanity, created the first fake news (cf. Gen 3:1-15), which began the tragic history of human sin, beginning with the first fratricide (cf. Gen 4) and issuing in the countless other evils committed against God, neighbour, society and creation.


-- Pope Francis, Message for World Communications Day 2018

mockturtle said...

Don't the Calvinists believe that only the select go to Heaven, and the select were chosen by God long before their birth, and nothing you do on earth can change that?

Gahrie, my best friend and I have been arguing that point for twenty years. ;-D We will never agree. The truth is that the results will be the same in either case. Those who are saved, by free will or by predestination, still require Christ's sacrifice for their atonement. It's all in God's hands and God is sovereign.

mccullough said...

Jordan,

Paul is still dead, as well. A Road to Damascus moment is a mental break with reality. Same thing as Mohammed. Auditory hallucinations and visual hallucinations are a mental problem, which is why we don’t follow around crazy people who tell us Repent The End Is Near. Paul was an asshole most of his life and then believed, after his “conversion,” that almost everyone else was going to hell. What a great guy and what a great religion. Sending everyone to hell except himself and the other True Believers. The pope knows you can’t sell this bullshit anymore. Way too much interaction among people throughout the world — positive, negative, and neutral — to cling to this nonsense. It’s totally cruel to believe that people who don’t subscribe to your beliefs are getting eternal damnation or should be killed. And all those people throughout history who were never baptized get purgatory or some other eternal sentence because they never even heard of this bullshit belief system. Totally cruel.

Paul was a nut job like Mohammed and the rest. And a murderer. How easy is it is to get into the Roman Catholic heaven. Just have some hallucinations and your murders are gone with a wave of the wand. No problem as long as you worship their God vs some other God. But the rest of the people who actually lead decent lives go to eternal damnation. Do you see how fucking insane this is? What an arbitrary and cruel belief system.

You believe Mohammed was full of shit just like the rest of us but you can’t make the next step and say it’s all man-made bullshit. Jesus appeared to Paul but Mohammed just hallucinated Allah? Nonsense. All bullshit.

Christians are about 1/3 of the world population, and that’s being generous because so many of them don’t practice anymore. It’s just a data point. People don’t believe anymore because it’s so obvious it’s just made up.

Go make up your own religion. It’s bound to be less crazy and cruel.



Professional lady said...

If the Catholic clergy doesn't believe in the devil, why has the Catholic Church performed the rite of exorcism for 2,000 years? From what I've read, the number of exorcisms performed has been increasing recently and more priests are now being trained to perform exorcisms. I've read that John Paul II performed an exorcism while he was pope. The Catholic church is not declining in numbers. Globally, the Catholic church is rapidly growing. www.pewforum.org/2013/02/13/the-global-catholic-population/

buwaya said...

"If the Catholic clergy doesn't believe in the devil, why has the Catholic Church performed the rite of exorcism for 2,000 years?"

This is true. Also about the increase in the rate of exorcisms.
And for that matter the seriousness with which a growing proportion of the clergy views this function.

Robert Cook said...

Angel-Dyne,

You spent a lot of time spewing bile, but not saying much.

If you want to be reductionist about it, "moral behavior" comes down to: I agree not to kill you if you agree not to kill me. I will help you get food if you help me get food. I will help you defend yourself against predators if you help me defend myself against predators. And so on.

We establish mores and laws to codify these basic and innate agreements between ourselves that we will work toward mutual survival and mutual self-defense to better ensure our own survival. One needn't have an iota of feeling for one's neighbors for this to remain rational practice. If we don't want another country to attack us militarily, we have to agree not to attack the other country militarily. If we want to ensure we are not tortured if captured by opposing armies in war, we have to agree we will not torture their soldiers who fall into our hands.

We are innately social animals--pack animals--and so we are driven not just by rational self-interest but by whatever instinct exists in our lizard brains to work in concordance with our fellows. Non-human pack animals cooperate with each other, and some have their own forms of "fair play," and their own means of punishing members who resort to "cheating" or other socially destructive behavior.

You can engage in your Conanism, to be certain, but you will that way encourage others to wish for and eventually seek your abrupt demise.


But, "Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not’," as the man said.

Rusty said...

LOL
Why your Holiness.
Please allow me to introduce myself.

Lewis Wetzel said...

If you want to be reductionist about it, "moral behavior" comes down to: I agree not to kill you if you agree not to kill me. I will help you get food if you help me get food. I will help you defend yourself against predators if you help me defend myself against predators.
That is mere transactionalism, Robert Cook. If I give you a dollar and you give me a dollar's worth of stuff, that isn't moral. By your definition, there is nothing moral about charity. Charity, by definition, is giving something and expecting less than you gave in return.

Krumhorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krumhorn said...

A Calvinist arrives at the pearly gates....

He sees that there are two lines going in. One has a sign that reads "predestined," and the other, "free will". He naturally heads to the predestined line.

While waiting, an angel comes and asks him "Why are you in this line?"

He replies, "Because I chose it."

The angel looks surprised, "Well, if you 'chose' it, then you should be in the free will line."

So our Calvinist, now slightly miffed, obediently wanders over to the free will line.

Again, after a few minutes, another angel asks him, "Why are you in this line?"

He sullenly replies, "Someone made me come here."

Among the Presbyterians, that’s a knee-slapper

- Krumhorn

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Robert Cook: You spent a lot of time spewing bile, but not saying much.

You're right, I didn't say much - I made a simple, straightforward observation re: the incoherence of believing that "the universe is empty of meaning", but at the same thinking that you have some grounds for labeling as "immoral" or "irrational" any approach to "creating meaning" that isn't based on co-operative human universalism. (Sorry, but in a meaningless universe, wiping out a competing tribe may not always be the most rational move, but it is by no means always the wrong move - sometimes it works out quite nicely as far as the survival and flourishing of one's own tribe goes. To claim otherwise, that it's always "irrational" and counter-productive, and therefore not behaving like that is somehow encoded in our instincts for co-operation and sociality, is nonsense.)

I'm not "spewing bile", being reductionist, or defending any moral position. I'm pointing out that if "the universe is empty of meaning" and we create our own meaning, you have no grounds, rational or moral, on which to condemn my hypothetical "Conanism" (or anybody else's "ism").

You pretty much evaded all that, instead repeatedly setting up a false dichotomy between solitude and human sociality, and engaging in a lot of hand waving about the nature of social animals - as if our innately social nature dictated some absolute "rational", "moral" basis for human universalism, but not the competitive in-group/out-group tendency that is a feature of human life always and everywhere.

And it's funny that you appear to think that in pointing out the above, I'm *defending* "Conanism" or interventionism, or some tom-fool thing our current PTBs are getting up to.

CStanley said...

Since the concepts of heaven, hell, eternal souls, and angels (including the fallen ones) are not physical locations or beings but spiritual ones, it is not at all impossible for intelligent (and sophisticated!) people to accept the possibility of their existence.

Myths can be true, in fact the greatest truths...but I can't express that nearly as well as Tolkien did here.

CStanley said...

Of course many sophisticated intelligent people prefer agnosticism or the acceptance only of the possibility of a God whi doesn't mind their obsession with self and autonomy. The best way to remain in this comfort zone is to make a straw man of Christianity and never allow yourself to examine the complexities of theology based on these things as abstractions which are nonetheless as real as the material works that we observe with our senses.

Robert Cook said...

"I'm not 'spewing bile', being reductionist, or defending any moral position. I'm pointing out that if 'the universe is empty of meaning' and we create our own meaning, you have no grounds, rational or moral, on which to condemn my hypothetical 'Conanism' (or anybody else's 'ism')."

Sure I do...because your Conanism disrupts and endangers the peaceful lives of many others, so your Conanism is bad in terms of maintenance and survival of a productive and peaceful society of people. From the point of view of the larger community, your Conanism makes you a bad actor and a danger to be condemned and sanctioned. If no one shared these precepts, and all acted purely for their own self-interest, there would be no basis of law or condemnation of anyone violating the law (or the moral principles underlying the law). There would, in fact, be no law, other than the law of "top dog violates and takes from small dog." A society where this was the norm would not survive long. Thus, from the point of view of long-term survival, these human-created morals have greater utility and thus trump nihilistic Conanism.

Deny it all you may, you're wrong.

bagoh20 said...

He might have said it, but the devil made him do it.

mccullough said...

Christianity, like Judaism, Islam and Hinduism and Buddhism, etc, has many complexities. So does Shakespeare. There is no straw man to make of Christianity or any of them. They all have their origins and translations and interpretations and revisions. If it gives you comfort, then great. Over a billion Muslims get comfort from the Koran. They also believe its a divinely inspired. The Word of Allah.

To claim the New Testament (and its many translations) is divinely inspired but the Koran is not is just bullshit. That’s not a straw man argument. No one went through all the religions of the world in their original texts and decided that one was Divine and the rest were horsehit. No one has that level of erudition or time commitment.

The Jews like their Torah, the Christians like their New Testsment, the Muslims like their Koran, etc. It’s like sports teams. Maybe MLB is divinely inspired. Maybe the Angels and the Padres are God’s teams. Yes, that’s it. Or maybe not.

Maybe all these religions sprang up in different places at different times and eventually spread thousands of years later to other parts of the world where they were totally foreign. Much like literature in general. The Iliad and the Ofyssey. King Lear. The Canterbury Tales. The Kama Sutra. The Arabian Nights. All stories.















Gahrie said...

Every attempt to build a society, nation or civilization without religion has ended in bloody ruin.

Marc said...

I tried to keep up, at lunch and on the bus after work, but am too much over this at the moment to actually sit down and read through all these.

Every night, at Compline, Catholics and other believers pray the line from St Peter's First Epistle 5,8-9: Fratres, s√≥brii est√≥te, et vigil√°te: quia advers√°rius vester di√°bolus tamquam leo r√ļgiens c√≠rcuit, qu√¶rens quem d√©voret: cui res√≠stite fortes in fide, be sober, and watch well; the devil, who is your enemy, goes about roaring like a lion, to find his prey, but you, grounded in the faith, must face him boldly....

Renee said...

So you guys never heard of the angel Lucifer who was kicked out of heaven.

Rusty said...

I shudder to think that man is the measure of all things.
I think I read that somewhere.
But it's true.
After reading the hatred and bile against ideas that wish noone harm.
Equally irrational?

Fernandistien said...

Gahrie said...
Every attempt to build a society, nation or civilization without religion has ended in bloody ruin.


So you think the U.S. is a bloody ruin?

Look thru the Constitution for mentions of religion (much less your favorite religion), or any ideas based on any religion.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Robert Cook: Sure I do...because your Conanism disrupts and endangers the peaceful lives of many others, so your Conanism is bad in terms of maintenance and survival of a productive and peaceful society of people. From the point of view of the larger community, your Conanism makes you a bad actor and a danger to be condemned and sanctioned. If no one shared these precepts, and all acted purely for their own self-interest, there would be no basis of law or condemnation of anyone violating the law (or the moral principles underlying the law). There would, in fact, be no law, other than the law of "top dog violates and takes from small dog." A society where this was the norm would not survive long. Thus, from the point of view of long-term survival, these human-created morals have greater utility and thus trump nihilistic Conanism.

I think you need to repeat your false dichotomy and straw man one more time to persuade me, Robert. Third times the charm.

Stronger groups throughout history have "disrupted and endangered the peaceful lives of many others" to successfully procure their own "maintenance and survival". A great deal of civilization and law and accepted "moral principles" are built up and consolidated via just that sort of behavior. People sanction some Conans as "bad actors", and they also organize and co-operate under the leadership of other Conans, with very good outcomes for their own interests, and very bad outcomes for their enemy's.

Do you read any history at all, Robert? I'd be interested to know where you get your Coke commercial view of human behavior and human history, and the cause of your inability to think past the glaring straw man/false dichotomy that you keep repeating, despite its having been explicitly pointed out to you.

Deny it all you may, you're wrong.

What am I denying, Robert? I pointed out to you that in "a universe empty of meaning", you have no grounds, moral or rational, to condemn the behavior of people who "create meaning" in ways you don't like. You answer with a lot of fluff, essentially denying that successful human "maintenance and survival" ever involved violent tribal competition.

mockturtle said...

Angle-Dyne, be gentle with Cookie. He has terminal idealism.

CStanley said...


To claim the New Testament (and its many translations) is divinely inspired but the Koran is not is just bullshit.

Agree or disagree but it’s not bullshit at all. There are plenty of distinctions that become plainly evident from a cursory comparison. The New Testament presents a covenant offered by a merciful and loving God to His people. It presents a God who would humble Himself and accept suffering on our behalf, and in doing so models behavior that can lead us to defeat evil. And the humans who walked the earth with this Jesus, who were in a position to know if it was all a scam or not, all chose to spread His Word even though they were persecuted to death. Some of these had previously been part of the Zealot movement, believing that a militant Messiah would come as a conquering hero, but they too accepted humility and suffering instead.

There is nothing of that in the Koran. Pope Benedict got right to the point when he challenged Islamic scholars to respond to the criticism quoted from Emperor Manuel II: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." Perhaps unduly harsh, but it gets to the point about what Muslims believe about Allah and how this differs from the Christian concept that God is all good and cannot contradict Himself. Evil exists because of free will, not as something that comes from God.

Bad Lieutenant said...

jimbino said...
Now I wait for the pope to kill off the talking snake and donkey, the numerous unicorns, angels, devils and spirits, the bloody wine, carnal crackers, winey water, assumptions, resurrections, incarnations, virgin births and immaculate conceptions. Then, maybe, the world might be freed from the yoke of Roman Catholicism.

4/10/18, 1:57 PM


Shouldn't he get all the blacks and browns to go to national parks first?

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

mock: Angle-Dyne, be gentle with Cookie. He has terminal idealism.

Idealism can have nasty consequences, but in this instance I admit it was really the initial secular-church-lady schmaltz that got me going.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

Bad L: Shouldn't he get all the blacks and browns to go to national parks first?

Lol.

Jimbino has a bit of a dilemma here. On the one hand, he wants the world to be freed from the yoke of Roman Catholicsm.

On the other hand, though he's hopping mad that he's taxed to subsidize white and Asian Americans' enjoyment of national parks, he's also a cheap, lazy, rent-seeking bastard who thinks that those same people should be subsidizing his landscaping and home improvement costs. And the RCC is not only one of the the world's great promoters of the mass migration that enables this, but, in the U.S. specifically, its mass-migration mania results in the ingress of jillions of Roman Catholic migrants whose Catholicism is has even more unicorns and crazy-juju than the native variants.