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On morality

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, September 12th, 2008 - 81 comments
Categories: Social issues - Tags:

The Catholic Church has called for politicans to take a ‘moral stand’ on abortion, adoption by same-sex couples, gambling, embryonic stem-cell research, and euthanasia.

Ok, well here are my moral stands on those issues:

Abortion: is an awful thing for anyone to have to go through but the moral principle is that a woman’s body is her own. On a practical level, outlawing abortion does not prevent it, it just makes it more dangerous.

Same-sex adoption: My moral principle here is that just because a girl likes girls doesn’t mean she can’t be a damn good mum. It’s stupid to assume that no homosexual couple can be as capable parents as any hetrosexual couple – so why would we have a blanket ban on the one having kids but allow all the others to have them?

Gambling: morally, society should act to prevent the weak being exploited by the powerful – that means restricting access to gambling in  low income areas and ensuring that the proceeds of gambling really do return to the communities they are raised from.

Stem-cell research: is it moral to not carry out research that can save lives because we don’t want to use cells that will not form part of a living human either way?

Euthanasia: what moral right do we have to force someone to live if they make a rational decision that they no longer want to do so?

Are those the moral stands the Catholic Church was looking for? No? Oh, they want us to follow their morality. A morality that calls abortion murder but supported rightwing governments sending communists and other dissidents to their deaths; a morality that goes into spasms over two men holding hands but stood silient while the Jews were being rounded up; a morality that makes the Catholic Church one of the richest organisations on Earth while many of its attendees live in abject poverty. How silly of me, clearly they’ve got a monopoly on morality.

81 comments on “On morality”

  1. DeeDub 1

    To be fair the Catholic Church didn’t just stand ‘silent while the Jews were being rounded up’…. The enlightened thinkers at the Vatican in June 1941 actually convinced the Pope to send Hitler a congratulatory telegram on his invasion of the ‘godless USSR’. This in the full knowledge of the atrocities commited by the Nazis in Poland the year before… Moral, don’t make me laugh.

  2. Scribe 3

    SP,

    Just in the interests of accuracy, the Catholic bishops didn’t talk about gambling in their pre-election statement, which can be viewed here, for those who want to read what they actually said: http://www.catholic.org.nz/statements/0808_elections.php

  3. burt 4

    Steve P.

    Seldom I agree with everything you say and sadly this post isn’t one of these rare cases.

    However I agree with almost all of what you say but I have lived in places where almost all gambling was outlawed and I can tell you that illegal casino’s are a lot more fun than legal ones. Having doting hookers help you place your bets while drinking free alcohol is pretty exciting for a guy in his early 20’s. It’s a lot more depraved when it’s illegal is the message here. The same message that you make about abortion.

    I agree the Church have been outrageously hypocritical over the years when they take high ground stances on one hand and turn a blind eye on the other. However I think that like public health, the foot soldiers at the coal face have good intentions and usually do a bloody good job it’s the layers of self serving empire building management that tend to “F’ up the delivery of what could be a great service.

    I financially support the Wellington City Mission, not because I believe underprivileged people need God but because they do such great work feeding and providing basic for the needy.

    I take the inference from your post that you think the Church is out of touch with society and longs for the good old days when it had more control. Have I read this correctly?

  4. Rocket Boy 5

    Oh come on Steve, next you will be suggesting that the Pope used to be a Nazi!

  5. yl 6

    Nice post SP,

    really hit the nail on the head.

    The use of the word morality is dangerous as it is always someones morality that we will be engaging in.

    For me, it wont be the catholic churches

    Capthca – test purity (not kidding)

  6. Scribe 7

    In response to your comments, congratulations on ticking off three of the major anti-Catholic taunts: It’s anti-gay, it supported Hitler, and it’s too rich.

    Find me an organisation that does more for the poor than the Catholic Church. Find me an organisation that does more for Aids victims in the world. And the pope during WWII is credited with saving millions of Jews (the number varies depending on the historian).

  7. Bill 8

    Hey guys, back off!

    The pope is god incarnate. So of course all morality resides within the Catholic Church.

    The pope is the Godfather for Christsake. Don’t mess.

  8. Vanilla Eis 9

    It’s stupid to assume that no homosexual couple can be as capable parents as any hetrosexual couple – so why would we have a blanket ban on the one having kids but allow all the others to have them?

    I totally read that as “blanket man”.

    Otherwise, good post. I’m sure it’ll gather some heat, but all posts on topics like this invariably do.

    captcha: be pommes. Like, the fruit? I can be fruity. I might be persecuted for it, however.

  9. Scribe 10

    yl,

    The use of the word morality is dangerous as it is always someones morality that we will be engaging in.

    For me, it wont be the catholic churches[sic]

    Ok then, whose morality will it be?

  10. Phil 11

    SP/DD

    There is an excellent discussion on the Vatican’s response to German atrocities in “What If? 2” Edited by Robert Cowley.

  11. Rocket Boy 12

    Scribe – ‘Find me an organisation that does more for Aids victims in the world’

    WTF? What about the ‘ban’ on contraception?

    Out of all the dumb shit the Catholic Church stands for the ban on contraception is probably the dumbest.

  12. Vanilla Eis 13

    Scribe: I’m sure that yl will have his own set of moral values that he ascribes to. Just because they don’t align with those of the Cathlolic church does not mean they are wrong.

  13. Scribe 14

    I need to set up one of those Sarah Palin-style truth squads for this thread.

  14. burt 15

    Rocket Boy

    It’s a funny old game isn’t it. Ban contraception and claim to be doing good work stopping the spread of Aids . Tell them not to have sex that will do it!

    My take on it: The whole principle of monogamy is a bad fit for human nature and is basically a social control device. Monogamy has deep roots in protecting blood lines of noble and powerful people. Couldn’t have the Kings daughter getting pregnant to the gardeners could we. Humans like pretty much all of our primate cousins are promiscuous creatures. This conflict of guilt and punishment over basic natural human behaviour under the banner of “morality’ has a lot to answer for.

  15. yl 16

    Burt,

    Seldom I agree with everything you say and sadly this post isn’t one of these rare cases.

    However I agree with almost all of what you say,

  16. Scribe 17

    Rocket Boy,

    1. I’m talking about the medical care of victims.

    2. Have a look at how well the billions of condoms dropped into South Africa have helped the HIV rate.

    Vanilla,

    I’m not saying yl’s morals are wrong. But they’ve probably derived from someone or somewhere. I’m curious as to from whom or where.

  17. Rocket Boy 18

    Vanilla – ‘Just because they don’t align with those of the Cathlolic church does not mean they are wrong.’

    What? When even their own Priests can’t stick to the Catholic version of ‘Morality’? If not wrong then totally unworkable.

  18. Bill 19

    That one paragraph in the article aside, I have to say that what the churches are calling for and their analysis in terms of social policy is spot on.

    The article says the bishops highlighted the moral issues this post focusses on. It doesn’t say what their take on it is, only that the church is morally opposed to those things.

    The world does contain some very radical bishops who ,literally, put their lives on the line in seeking social justice and who don’t follow or ascribe to church diktats.

  19. Scribe 20

    RB,

    Well done. Got the kiddie-fiddling priest crack in. Amazed it took so long.

  20. BeShakey 21

    The whole debate about how well morals line up with the Catholic Church (or anything else) seems a bit silly to me (unless you believe like many Catholics that the pope has a direct line to God who feeds him the good stuff on morality). The point is more that their morality system is stupid in a variety of ways (canvassed by others already). But if their system was good, we should go for it. The point is more that they insist we subscribe to their system without any debate or discussion, and that we then insist that everyone else subscribe to it too.

  21. “Find me an organisation that does more for Aids victims in the world.”

    No, you’re right, the Catholic Church’s stand against condoms probably has done more for AIDS victims than any other organisation. I’m not sure that’s really something to boast about, though.

  22. higherstandard 23

    There seems to be a lot of hatred about today – perhaps if people read scribes link they’d get a clearer view of what the catholic church has said rather than going on the attack.

    As an example SP has said

    “Stem-cell research: is it moral to not carry out research that can save lives because we don?t want to use cells that will not form part of a living human either way?”

    While the release from the catholic church has said

    “The Church supports stem cell research using adult stem cells or umbilical cord blood, but not creating embryos for the purposes of research and other people?s medication and then discarding them”

    And no I’m not a catholic – just asking for a bit of balance rather than some of the bile that’s being posted.

  23. Pascal's bookie 24

    “The world does contain some very radical bishops who ,literally, put their lives on the line in seeking social justice and who don’t follow or ascribe to church diktats”

    True, but sometimes Rome turns her back on them. I’m thinking here about Liberation Theology in S.America.

    It’s also interesting, but coincidental I’m sure, that fascism has been strongest in Catholic areas. Poland, Austria, Vichy France, Italy, S.America, Spain… funny that.

    Can anyone think of a fascist govt that didn’t spring from a Catholic culture? Why is that? Genuine question, I suspect it’s the authority thing.

  24. Dean 25

    SP:

    “a morality that goes into spasms over two men holding hands but stood silient while the Jews were being rounded up”

    I see you’re frothing again.

    You really might want to rethink that one, because you’re quite wrong.

  25. Ari 26

    Burt: While I agree with you in principle, “monogamy is not natural or easy” is often used as a really poor excuse for treating your partner(s) like crap.

    If people can’t manage monogamy they need to be up-front and truthful about it, even if that complicates their personal lives.

  26. Quoth the Raven 27

    Rocket Boy – You do realise that the Catholic church helped hide Nazi war criminals after the war was over.

  27. Scribe 28

    Pb,

    Liberation theology, when concentrating on the preferential option for the poor, is a good thing. In some places, though, it has been taken to an illogical and immoral conclusion.

    The NZ Catholic bishops and its main social justice agency have been pounding poverty hard in recent years, reaching a deluge in the last two or three months. They are calling for it to be a major election issue.

  28. burt 29

    Ari

    If people can’t manage monogamy they need to be up-front and truthful about it, even if that complicates their personal lives.

    Yes agree 100%, if they are not up-front and truthful about it then they are completely immoral.

    I don’t think it’s about “can’t manage” as much as don’t choose. Monogamy is not a requirement that some cannot manage, it’s an expectation that few in “Christian/Western” culture openly challenge.

  29. randal 30

    what we need is more celibacy and less idiots going round thinking just because they have one means they have to use it.

  30. higherstandard 31

    If only your good father had taken that view.

  31. Pascal's bookie 32

    Now who’s being vile HS?

  32. burt 33

    randal

    One of the most promiscuous creatures on the planet is the female Chimpanzee. 99% similar genetics to us

    I don’t know why people assume that it’s males who are more likely to not sit comfortably with monogamy than females Social conditioning and old concepts of Woman being chattels that are owned by men I guess. Only men stray eh Come on get a grasp on the subject material before you proclaim to be an expert.

  33. Hoolian 34

    Great, another anti-Catholic post. Bit bored today are we Clinton?

    The CC has a repsonisbility (just like the unions, or any other organisation, to promote its own values to its members. This was not designed for non-Catholics, nor, I suspect, would the CC give a shit about what you think. It was written by Catholics, for Catholics.

    Therefore, you cannot expect us to be so shocked that such a socialist as yourself draws issues with Catholicism. As a Catholic, I take great stead in the fact that you disagree with everything – that in itself shows the CC is on the right track.

    Monogamy has deep roots in protecting blood lines of noble and powerful people. Couldn’t have the Kings daughter getting pregnant to the gardeners could we. Humans like pretty much all of our primate cousins are promiscuous creatures.

    This doesn’t even warrant answering, but I’ll bite. Burt, you are correct. Human beings are nothing more than monkeys. We should pick mites out each others hair and consume our own poo. FYI human beings are a step up from normal creatures in the animal kingdom even if individuals like yourself don’t do us any justice.

    Next you’ll be advocating for the murder of our ‘born’ young, because monkey’s kill theirs. Talk about setting a low Standard for yourself.

    The point is more that they insist we subscribe to their system without any debate or discussion, and that we then insist that everyone else subscribe to it too.

    The CC subscribes to the belief that it’s teachings are the Truth. You are not expected to be a Catholic, but if you are a Catholic you’re expected to be a good one. Go along to any Catholic meeting and you will see a great deal of debate. Not all Catholic theologians agree (although they probably do on the essential stuff like the belief in Jesus and the respect for all life).

    Quoth the Raven please reference your obscenely outrageous comments, or pipe down. I have no problem with your differnce of opinion but please refrain from espousing nonsense that you cannot reference (and please DO NOT reference The Standard – as Clinton does).

  34. higherstandard 35

    PB

    Vile ?

  35. Pascal's bookie 36

    HS. yes.

  36. bill brown 37

    Yeah, HS, wishing someone’s dead is not nice.

  37. higherstandard 38

    PB, bb

    Apologies if my wit has caused offence.

  38. burt 39

    Hoolian

    You can take the cat out of the jungle but you can’t take the jungle out of the cat.

    OK, so by your own assertion we are a step up. Of course we don’t kill our young well not all of us anyway. Only the occasional occurrence. NZ are world leaders in this so perhaps NZ people are a little closer to the apes than most? Dangerous ground to tread on but hey you opened the door about killing our young.

    Interestingly most killing of ‘born’ young occurs in the animal kingdom in circumstances where a ‘dominant male’ kills the offspring from another male (asserting ownership of a female and protecting their own genetic proliferation) and interestingly statistically ‘step fathers’ are highly over represented in the murder of young children. How far are we really removed from our instinctual (often ugly) behaviours ?

    Christianity may seek to moderate and/or control some of these behaviours but it cannot modify basic human nature. Young kids still bite people to defend themselves, still steal food from others peoples mouths when they are hungry etc. The thin veneer we call ‘civilised’ is a very thin veneer, ask anyone who’s tried to help a drowning person how quickly that person would push them under water to save themselves.

  39. burt 40

    Hoolian

    Parents do still pick nits from their childrens hair – it’s called being a caring parent. I must admit that the few times I’ve been required to do it I did feel like a primate. But that didn’t stop me doing it.

  40. bill brown 41

    burt, you should feel like a primate all the time, not just when you’re picking nits out of your kids hair!

  41. burt 42

    bill brown

    The hair on my back is starting to turn silver, can I mate with your wife now ?

    [lprent: Identity fraud? You’re not trying to be monkey-boy are you? ]

  42. Ari 43

    I don’t think it’s about “can’t manage’ as much as don’t choose. Monogamy is not a requirement that some cannot manage, it’s an expectation that few in “Christian/Western’ culture openly challenge.

    I was more thinking in terms of the people who use this as an excuse- who tend to be people who TRY to be monogamous but don’t manage it very well most of the time.

    …like the belief in Jesus and the respect for all life).

    Which is why the Catholic Church have been so strongly anti-war and anti-death penalty recently… 😉

  43. Quoth the Raven 44

    Hoolian the idiot – Learn some history. It’s called the ratlines.
    I first heard of this in a documentary. While looking for this on the internet, today I stumbled across his. It has lots of great photos of the Pope of the time and Hitler. Here’s one of the better photos You might want to use that as your background, Hoolian.

  44. Draco TB 45

    Apparently, the Catholic Church are lobbying for the eradication of poverty. When they start lobbying for the eradication of capitalism I’ll start believing that they’re actually serious.

    Some of what the Church teaches is good stuff:

    Don’t steal
    Don’t murder
    Be honest etc

    of course, all of these are prerequisites of a viable society and have been taught by most religions and atheists since the beginning of history.

    Some of it is just BS:

    Anti-abortion – sorry, but that’s solely to increase the size of the community for the benefit of those in power. Growing economy means more wealth.
    Anti-gay – see previous point.
    monogamy – primogeniture, enough said.

  45. burt 46

    Draco TB

    Well said.

  46. Ben R 47

    “Apparently, the Catholic Church are lobbying for the eradication of poverty.”

    They should change there position on contraception if they’re serious about that. The population of Africa alone is set to double from around 700mil to 1.5 billion by 2050.

  47. Billy 48

    Things you never thought you’d see at the Standard:

    Draco TB: When they start lobbying for the eradication of capitalism I’ll start believing that they’re actually serious.

    Burt: Well said.

  48. Ben R 49

    “FYI human beings are a step up from normal creatures in the animal kingdom even if individuals like yourself don’t do us any justice.”

    You’re missing the point that while we have more advanced intelligence, our basic desires have been shaped by evolution. For instance, the genes of a man who slept with 50 women spread more quickly than those of someone who slept with one. So men generally tend to desire quantity in s9xual partners.

    On the other hand, a woman who slept with fifty men would have had no more descendants than a woman who slept with one. So women tend to focus more on quality rather than quantity.

    Check out ‘Human Instinct’ by Robert Winston, ‘The Blank Slate’ by Steven Pinker, or ‘The Moral Animal’ by Robert Wright. All excellent on these topics.

  49. Scribe 50

    Ben R,

    They should change there position on contraception if they’re serious about that. The population of Africa alone is set to double from around 700mil to 1.5 billion by 2050.

    Only 16% of Africans are Catholic, so the bishops won’t be able to do a great deal. Maybe the imams are the ones you should be talking to.

  50. burt 51

    Ben R.

    Desmond Morris
    Naked Ape : Human Zoo

    Is also good reading. A bit off the deep end from time to time but fascinating stuff.

  51. burt 52

    The Ethical Slut is good reading on the subject of morality.

  52. Francois 53

    Comrades,

    Attacking the Catholic Church with these blanket denounciations is counter-productive as it (naturally) leads to a defensive reaction. The result is a closing wagon-circles type response that leads to a strenghtening of reacionary forces within the Church. A better approach would be to applaud the progressive aspects of the faith which will encourage the progressive elements.

    Regards.
    A member of the NZ Progressive Faith Caucus

  53. Billy 54

    The Ethical Slut is good reading on the subject of morality.

    Now, if only we can get the women to go along with it…

  54. randal 55

    burt if you compare and contrast posts you will see that you are the one proclaiming to be an expert on matters sexual as pertaining to chimpanzees. I think you are making a monkey of yourself or perhaps you wish you were a monkey in a promsicuous monekye group? anyway as Bertrand russel said in his introduction to the 1967 reprint of the ‘history of western philosophy’, ‘that when morals and ethics fail then so does social cohesion’ and nowhere is that better illustrated than the 1990’s when the national party promoted CHOICE and all the idiotes took that to mean do what you like. Ideas have consequences burt and Nationals ideas have had absolutely the worst consequences this country has ever had to suffer through and we are still recovering. In the meantime they still want a GO. well I’ll tell’em where to go but it wont be nice and some of their party pinheads would be screaming blue murder if I told them in public. Oh and thats another thing. They are experts at stifling debate by claiming they are offended: TOUGH TITTY.

  55. Bill 56

    draco TB

    “Apparently, the Catholic Church are lobbying for the eradication of poverty. When they start lobbying for the eradication of capitalism I’ll start believing that they’re actually serious.”

    You might be interested in this then…http://www.catholicworker.org/aimsandmeanstext.cfm?Number=5

    I’d be interested to hear your take.

  56. Matty Smith 57

    “living human”

    Sorry for being a pedant, but: Science, please. Foetal stem cells come from something that is both living and genetically human. Wouldn’t it be more prudent and correct to say that “foetal stem cells come from a being that has never been conscious – a being that need not become so.” The question is why a woman should risk her life for a ‘living human’ that is not yet capable of thinking and suffering.

  57. I agree with steve with the exception of Euthanasia. How does the state determine whether a decision to end ones life is indeed a rational one. Under what circumstances does the state sanction or deny a person that decision. In granting state sanction for an individual to decide when and how to die, how then does the state protect the aged and the terminally ill from the influence of those who deem their lives as an economic and social inconvenience. Those questions are very complex, without even entering into the myriad of ethical issues for medical practitioners and nurses.

  58. bill brown 59

    burt, no need to take offence, I was just pointing out … oh, never mind.

  59. Draco TB 60

    Bill:
    Most interesting. Here we have the main founder described as Catholic anarchist and that she is presently being considered for canonization. Reading the link that you posted seems to indicate that the group have maintained such leanings for the last 75 years. Unfortunately the site doesn’t give a lot of information (any?) on how the members actually live and what they do to support themselves.

    Now, without wanting to denigrate their achievements any, I’m going to have to point out that this is a subset of catholics and not the Church. Their ideology is not being put forward by the Church as a possible social-economic paradigm to replace capitalism with. So, my original statement still stands but it is nice to know that some within the catholic community are seeing the inherent inequalities and injustices within capitalism and are doing something about it.

  60. Bill 61

    Draco TB

    Thought you’d like it. never have been able to get my head around the catholic anarchist thing. I know they sympathise with the IWW…which puts them streets ahead of most in my book. They have a presence in NZ. Going here for a look around might give you some idea of how they live and support themselves.

    http://www.catholicworker.org.nz/index.html

    And yes, they are not the church but I’d have to say that the church is no more likely to seek the overthrow of capitalism than any other organisation built as centralised bureaucracy. I mean, you wouldn’t expect leninists, Trots or Stalinists to seek to overthrow Capitalism…capture it, yes, but not overthrow it.

  61. Bill 62

    Get me out of moderation!!! Lemeout! It’s fucking boring in here.

    Thankyou

  62. Still raining but spring is in the air 63

    I wrote a couple of comments to put on this topic but realised how much anger I still feel about the roman catholic church, so thought perhaps not as it would probably offend some people.

    Anyway, if they are really committed to eradicating poverty, they could make a case of the Philippines which is a predominately roman catholic country and has horrific poverty. That is my challenge to the roman catholic church and it’s followers – walk the talk!

  63. Dean 64

    Draco:

    “So, my original statement still stands but it is nice to know that some within the catholic community are seeing the inherent inequalities and injustices within capitalism and are doing something about it.”

    I think you might find some within the catholic community did a little bit about the inequalities and injustices of communism too.

    How much do you actually know about the catholic church? Because from what you’ve written so far, my guess would be bugger all.

  64. DeeDub 65

    Dean:

    Mate?! Surely even the most pious Catholic cannot deny the Vatican’s involvement in some pretty abhorent acts and failures to act throughout it’s history?

  65. Draco TB 66

    I think you might find some within the catholic community did a little bit about the inequalities and injustices of communism too.

    As I’ve said before – Communism, in a form recognizable within the actual ideology, hasn’t been tried yet so I doubt that.

  66. Anita 67

    There is some really interesting research about the role of the Catholic church addressing social justice issues in Latin America, where in many countries the church was significant in the resistance against unjust regimes.

    One of the recurring themes is that the church’s involvement was not lead by the Vatican, or even the senior Latin American clergy. It was driven by the priests out there in the poorest communities and was, in many cases, successful despite the Catholic establishment and lead to the development of new and different Catholic structures and practices.

    If you’re interested Christian Smith’s Disruptive Religion has a chapter by Sharon Erickson Nepstad which is an ok introduction.

  67. Dean 68

    DeeDub:

    “Mate?! Surely even the most pious Catholic cannot deny the Vatican’s involvement in some pretty abhorent acts and failures to act throughout it’s history?”

    Of course it has. It’s done a lot of absolutely terrible things, a lot of extremely good things, and a whole lot more things that lie somewhere in between the two. Is that a good enough reason to say that everything it’s done is bad? Thats what SP would have you believe. This is the kind of pig headed, stupid arrogance that makes him look foolish – not that his brand of extremism ever needed any help.

    Draco:

    “As I’ve said before – Communism, in a form recognizable within the actual ideology, hasn’t been tried yet so I doubt that.”

    Neither has capitalism but that’s not stopping you, is it?

    You still don’t seem to have the slightest clue about what the Catholic church has done apart from what you’ve selectively gathered. Yes, the catholic church is against abortion and condoms, both of which are attitudes that need to be changed well into last century.

    As with most organizations that have lasted so long, and particularly those who have existed in the same time periods, the Catholic church is much broader and complex than you’d like to pretend. Calling for them to condemn and work against captitalism as a means to end poverty is nothing more than blind idealogy.

    You can admit you’re wrong any time, comrade. Noone will think any less of you for it.

  68. DeeDub 69

    Dean:

    “Calling for them to condemn and work against captitalism as a means to end poverty is nothing more than blind idealogy.”

    I disagree. I think the church would do wonders for it’s reputation as a nominally Christian organisation if it took a stand against Friedman-style, unregulated capitalism. Maybe taking the example of the one man they see as more powerful that the Pope and ‘throw the money dealers out of the temple’.

    In his time JC himself had a few who accused him of ‘blind ideology’…..

  69. Anita 70

    DeeDub,

    There are a number of well-funded think-tanks out there whose sole purpose is to prove that unregulated capitalism (of the more extreme kind) is required by Christian ideals.

    It’s a spooky world :-/

  70. Dean 71

    “I disagree. I think the church would do wonders for it’s reputation as a nominally Christian organisation if it took a stand against Friedman-style, unregulated capitalism. Maybe taking the example of the one man they see as more powerful that the Pope and ‘throw the money dealers out of the temple’.”

    In the temple, and in the new testament. I think you’ll find that catholics, much like every other christian faith, take parts from both testaments which contradict each other famously.

    You can’t take one part of the bible in isolation and expect the catcholics to act solely in accordance with it.

    “In his time JC himself had a few who accused him of ‘blind ideology’ ..”

    He also apparently walked on water too, in which case it’s not hard to see why.

  71. Pascal's bookie 72

    The New Testament.

    Anarcho-syndicalism.

    So sayeth the Lord.

  72. DeeDub 73

    Dean:

    “You can’t take one part of the bible in isolation and expect the catcholics to act solely in accordance with it.”

    Fair enough but I do expect them to act in accordance with the central teachings of the man they proclaim as the son of God.

    The core message of the whole early Christian movement was not ‘every man for himself’ was it? Quite the opposite. At times the church has ignored the obvious central thrust of JCs teachings to concentrate on twisting a passage here and there to suit their political ends.

    To be fair it might be just a ‘church’ now – but it was once the most powerful political means of control on the face of the earth . . . it wouldn;t do for it to stand up for the oppressed when it was the one out there doing most of the repressing….

  73. randal 74

    tonight I will pray: Dear God can you make some of these tory idiotes intelligent please. It is very wearing trying to think up things to say to fools and you know God as I do that a fool can ask more questions than a wise man can answer. especially tory fools. I know you have better things to do than to listen to the prayers of an unregenerate anrcho-syndicalist but if you can find the time would you do something?

  74. Bill 75

    Christianity comprises many parts. A lot of it shit. The authorities within Christianity (Catholic, Protestant etc hierarchies ) are, of course centres of power: illegitimate authority that has captured an idea to peddle its own institutionalised ends. Individuals of position within the power structures of Christianity accept the authority as legitimate because it enhances their own social standing and sense of worth. Of course they have to convince followers that their authority is legitimate to continue receiving the various benefits accruing to them. And they do. Quite successfully.

    The Left comprises many parts. A lot of it shit. The authorities within the Left (Labour Party, unions, communist etc hierarchies) are of course centres of power: illegitimate authority that has captured an idea to peddle its own institutional ends. Individuals of position within the power structures of the Left accept the authority as legitimate because it enhances their own social standing and sense of worth. Of course, they have to convince followers that their authority is legitimate to continue receiving the various benefits accruing to them. And they do. Quite successfully.

    The Right comprises many parts….

    The ‘This’, the ‘That’, the ‘Whatever’, comprise many parts…..

    Am I missing something here? Or is it simply a fact that the root of inequity is an exercise of power and the particular ideology a mere secondary factor?

    To finish. Why is it that there seems to be more common ground between people who come to that realisation than there is between people of the same professed world view who have not?

  75. bill brown 76

    The main problem with catholicism, or any other religion, is that it is based on the premiss that you should base your life on the teachings of someone who hears voices in their head, writes it down what they say and gets a whole lot of gullible people to believe what the voices said are the Truth.

  76. Draco TB 77

    Neither has capitalism but that’s not stopping you, is it?

    I think you’ll find that it has (or at least closer than communism has ever come) and it was an unmitigated failure with the wealth created by the society accruing to the ruling oligarchy and dictator. Government oppression running rampant with the people living in fear and poverty. Places like Pinochet’s Chile and Haiti under Doc Duvalier come to mind.

    As you implied – most of the Western Democracies aren’t truly capitalist.

    As with most organizations that have lasted so long, and particularly those who have existed in the same time periods, the Catholic church is much broader and complex than you’d like to pretend.

    I never said it wasn’t. I pointed out that some of what the Church teaches is good, some bad. I then expressed my surprise that there were Catholic Anarchists. The surprise comes from the fact that Anarchism has a non-hierarchical organizational type structure and the Church is very definitely a hierarchical structure.
    When I say Church I mean the hierarchy as embodied by its most visible person – the pope. I certainly don’t mean all of the individuals within it which, as you say, are a rather diverse bunch.

    Calling for them to condemn and work against captitalism as a means to end poverty is nothing more than blind idealogy.

    No, it isn’t. Capitalism requires poverty to work. This isn’t an ideological assumption but a known fact. You can’t get someone to work for you if you can only offer lass than what they’re getting now.

  77. Quoth the Raven 78

    Neither has capitalism but that’s not stopping you, is it?

    Capitalism certainly has been. I don’t know what planet you’ve been living on. I think what you mean is that fully laissez-faire style capitalism has never been tryed.

  78. Phil 79

    No, it isn’t. Capitalism requires poverty to work. This isn’t an ideological assumption but a known fact.

    I call that bullshit. ‘Capitalism’ works through the mechanism of freely being able to trade with others to acrue greater benefits than either of you can make on your own.

    Poverty is an unfortunate consequence of poor choices – or sometimes just bad luck – in exactly the same way that poverty is a consequence of a centrally planned system. The idea that either system requires poverty shows an astounding level of ignorance.

  79. Bill 80

    Phil

    Material wealth and poverty are relative terms. You CANNOT create in one set of people a sense of material wealth unless they have another set of people in material poverty with whom they can compare themselves.

    Since Capitalism is inherently going to favour the already materially wealthy, it can be said that not only does it need a reserve pool of material poverty to sustain a sense of wealth in some, but that it must continuely create material poverty.

    And that is what it has done over the past 200 years with remarkable success.

    You want to argue that individual circumstance is all down to luck and choice? That’s so far removed from any sensible interpretation of reality that I wont be wasting any more of my time tying to point out the bleeding obvious.

    Good luck in sustaining any ongoing denial of the real world you wish to indulge yourself in.

  80. Draco TB 81

    ‘Capitalism’ works through the mechanism of freely being able to trade with others to acrue greater benefits than either of you can make on your own.

    That’s not capitalism – that’s the free-market.

    Capitalist
    Capitalism

    The interesting thing about these two definitions is that they contradict each other. If capitalism is true then capitalist would equate to trader. If capitalist is true then capitalism would be A hierarchical social system whereby your position within the hierarchy is determined by the amount of wealth you have and the means of production that you control. Both cannot be true.

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