1. Felicific Forest
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    28 Jan '08 18:12
    SCIENCE MUST NOT BECOME THE CRITERION OF GOOD

    VATICAN CITY, 28 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received participants in an inter-academic conference entitled "The changeable identity of the individual", promoted by the "Academie des Sciences de Paris" and by the Pontifical Academy of Science.

    In his address to them, Benedict XVI first expressed his joy and their inter-academic collaboration which, he said, "opens the way to vast and ever more profound multidisciplinary research".

    In our time, said the Pope, "the exact sciences, both natural and human, have made prodigious advances in their understanding of man and his universe". However at the same time "there is a strong temptation to circumscribe human identity and enclose it with the limits of what is known. ... In order to avoid going down this path it is important not to ignore anthropological, philosophical and theological research, which highlight and maintain the mystery of human beings, because no science can say who they are, where they come from and where they go. The knowledge of human beings is then, the most important of all forms of knowledge".

    "Human beings always stand beyond what can be scientifically seen or perceived", the Pope affirmed. "To overlook the question of man's 'being' inevitably leads to refusing the possibility of research into the objective truth of being ... and, effectively, to an incapacity to recognise the foundation upon which human dignity rests, from the embryo until natural death".

    "Starting from the question of the new being, who is produced by a fusion of cells and who bears a new and specific genetic heritage", the Holy Father told his audience, "you have highlighted certain essential elements in the mystery of man". Man, said the Pope is "characterised by his otherness. He is a being created by God, a being in the image of God, a being who is loved and is made to love. As a human he is never closed within himself. He is always a bearer of otherness and, from his origins, is in interaction with other human beings".

    "Man", said the Pontiff, "is not the result of mere chance, of converging circumstances, of determinism, of chemical inter-reactions. Man is a being who enjoys a freedom which ... transcends his nature and is a sign of the mystery of otherness that dwells within him. ... This freedom, which is characteristic of human beings, means they can guide their lives to a goal" and "highlights how man's existence has a meaning. In the exercise of his authentic freedom, the individual realises his vocation, he is fulfilled and gives form to his deepest identity".

    "Human beings have the specific ability of discerning what is good", the Pope concluded. "In our own time, when the progress of the sciences attracts and seduces for the possibilities it offers, it is more necessary than ever to educate the consciences of our contemporaries to ensure that science does not become the criterion of good, that man is still respected as the centre of creation, and that he does not become the object of ideological manipulation, arbitrary decisions, or abuses".

    AC/.../ACADEMIE DES SCIENCES VIS 080128 (530)
  2. Joined
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    28 Jan '08 18:18
    So, we should base our laws and moral determinations on anthropology and philosophy and theology instead of - what? physics and chemistry?

    It seems like the Pope's whole shstick is to make retartedly obvious statements but wrap them in a lot of rhetoric so that the reactionary wing of Christianity will think he's arguing against evolution, or something.
  3. Felicific Forest
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    28 Jan '08 20:212 edits
    Originally posted by darthmix
    So, we should base our laws and moral determinations on anthropology and philosophy and theology instead of - what? physics and chemistry?

    It seems like the Pope's whole shstick is to make retartedly obvious statements but wrap them in a lot of rhetoric so that the reactionary wing of Christianity will think he's arguing against evolution, or something.
    The Roman-Catholic Church accepts the theory of evolution for what it is, a scientific theory. However, the theory of evolution is not an ideology ( "Evolutionism" ) which can replace serious and true religion ... as Mr.Richard Dawkins seems to be preaching.
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    28 Jan '08 21:08
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    The Roman-Catholic Church accepts the theory of evolution for what it is, a scientific theory. However, the theory of evolution is not an ideology ( "Evolutionism" ) which can replace serious and true religion ... as Mr.Richard Dawkins seems to be preaching.
    What, in your mind, is the difference between serious and true religion(s) and frivolous ones?

    I'm actually curious because many people appear to me to have a number of different definitions.
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    28 Jan '08 21:25
    Originally posted by darthmix

    It seems like the Pope's whole shstick is to make retartedly obvious statements but wrap them in a lot of rhetoric so that the reactionary wing of Christianity will think he's arguing against evolution, or something.
    In a very subtle way he is arguing against evolution. Or rather, with the materialist branch of evolutionists who believe that man can be fully explained as the result of chemical and physical processes. As a Catholic, the Pope views mans' existence as the product of both chemistry and divine will, so he perforce rejects this idea of man as a simple empirical fact.
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    29 Jan '08 00:37
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    The Roman-Catholic Church accepts the theory of evolution for what it is, a scientific theory. However, the theory of evolution is not an ideology ( "Evolutionism" ) which can replace serious and true religion ... as Mr.Richard Dawkins seems to be preaching.
    Dawkins point is that all religion is NOT true and shouldn't be taken seriously anymore because it's a joke. It's like sooooo 2000 years ago!!!

    The evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that churches look like complete imbeciles (even for their standards) to ignore it, but that is not the same thing as accepting it.

    Have you read the God Delusion? In it Dawkins doesn't talk about "evolutionism" at all. He says laws should be rooted in common sense. You know why? Because it is the sensible thing to do!

    People make it seem like he's against everything religious when there is an important distinction to be made. He's against things only because they are religious per se:

    Thou shalt not commit murder is something he'd agree with because it makes sense to outlaw murder. But why can't some guy marry another guy? Because it says not to in the Bible?

    Dawkins keeps repeating himself in the book that he is NOT preaching what laws we should follow because he is unqualified to do so as a scientist. I wondered why he kept repeating this until now. Mind you it wouldn't be necessary for him to do so had his detractors read the book in the first place...
  7. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    29 Jan '08 02:28
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    SCIENCE MUST NOT BECOME THE CRITERION OF GOOD
    Is or is not the belief in the existence and goodness of God empirically justifiable?
  8. Cape Town
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    29 Jan '08 08:00
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    The Roman-Catholic Church accepts the theory of evolution for what it is, a scientific theory. However, the theory of evolution is not an ideology ( "Evolutionism" ) which can replace serious and true religion ... as Mr.Richard Dawkins seems to be preaching.
    Can you provide any reference to back up such a ridiculous claim? When and where did Dawkins ever preach that the Theory of Evolution was an ideology? or anything remotely close to that?
  9. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Jan '08 11:47
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Can you provide any reference to back up such a ridiculous claim? When and where did Dawkins ever preach that the Theory of Evolution was an ideology? or anything remotely close to that?
    Ideologues don't announce themselves as such; they simply get up and preach what for them is, without a shadow of a doubt, the truth.

    Here's an interesting and pertinent piece, much better than the Pope's ramblings: http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2158503,00.html
  10. Cape Town
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    29 Jan '08 11:58
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Ideologues don't announce themselves as such; they simply get up and preach what for them is, without a shadow of a doubt, the truth.

    Here's an interesting and pertinent piece, much better than the Pope's ramblings: http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2158503,00.html
    I cant work out whether you agree with me or not?
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    29 Jan '08 12:00
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    SCIENCE MUST NOT BECOME THE CRITERION OF GOOD

    VATICAN CITY, 28 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received participants in an inter-academic conference entitled "The changeable identity of the individual", promoted by the "Academie des Sciences de Paris" and by the Pontifical Academy of Science.

    In his address to them, Bene ...[text shortened]... NCES VIS 080128 (530)
    His whole argument rests on the presupposition that we should maintain the 'mystery' of humans being and that it is a good thing not to pursue an accurate and empirical description of them. Quite frankly that's just twaddle, I can only view such a desire as being nested upon the need to keep people in the dark, to avoid them seeing the light.
  12. Cape Town
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    29 Jan '08 12:08
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    "Human beings have the specific ability of discerning what is good", the Pope concluded. "In our own time, when the progress of the sciences attracts and seduces for the possibilities it offers, it is more necessary than ever to educate the consciences of our contemporaries ......."
    It appears that he is claiming that some have more of this 'specific ability' than others. Why else would he claim that it is necessary for some to educate others? And how does he know that he is the one with the better ability?
  13. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Jan '08 12:08
    Originally posted by Starrman
    His whole argument rests on the presupposition that we should maintain the 'mystery' of humans being and that it is a good thing not to pursue an accurate and empirical description of them. Quite frankly that's just twaddle, I can only view such a desire as being nested upon the need to keep people in the dark, to avoid them seeing the light.
    Beyond the light, there's just more dark.
  14. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Jan '08 12:16
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I cant work out whether you agree with me or not?
    I don't know enough about your understanding of ideology to judge. I think that Dawkin quite obviously has an ideological axe to grind, although I hesitate to label him an 'evolutionary fundamentalist'. However, there are people who know about as much about the science of evolution as I do (dangerously little) but are quite happy to let it influence their world view and behaviour; they make peculiar fanatics. That is the 'evolutionism' ivanhoe is talking about -- the sort of cheap ideology used to justify some of the worst excesses of 19th century colonialism with a journalistic phrase -- "survival of the fittest". (I'll omit the obligatory reference to Hitler).
  15. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Jan '08 12:16
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It appears that he is claiming that some have more of this 'specific ability' than others. Why else would he claim that it is necessary for some to educate others? And how does he know that he is the one with the better ability?
    The Pope is a bore; who cares what he says?
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