The *bang* you just heard was my brain exploding. Again.

October 11, 2007

From the Age:

THE Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, has stepped up his criticism of Catholics who support contraception, abortion and stem-cell research on the basis of their own moral conscience as proponents of a “Donald Duck heresy”.

Donald Duck? Immediately I’m thinking this can’t be going anywhere logical…

In a compilation of 10 short essays to be published this week, Cardinal Pell also warns that the pill has created a “contraceptive” mentality with “evil consequences” for the world, including a plummeting fertility rate in which many children will one day know no siblings, aunts, uncles or cousins.

Contraceptive mentality? Contraceptives are generally used by people who don’t want to have children. Presumably if they’re devout catholic they would practice abstinence and still not have children. (Besides, aren’t we dealing with an over population problem?)

And how about Aids? Contraceptives aren’t just for pregnancy prevention (but then I suppose recreational sex isn’t really smiled upon by the church either).

God and Caesar is the first academic title written by Cardinal Pell, and it returns to his regular theme of rampant liberal secularism and warns that anti-life attitudes are infiltrating the church, a traditional champion of pro-life causes.

Oooh! I’m a rampant liberal secularist. That sounds saucy. Rowr!

He disputes that there has ever been a traditional Catholic Church teaching on truth and personal conscience, which gives the ultimate right to Catholics to make moral judgments based on individual conscience, even if it is in error.

This argument lies at the heart of debate in the church over contraception and moral and ethical questions surrounding bioethics, euthanasia and abortion. It was aired recently when Cardinal Pell controversially called on state politicians to follow church teaching and not their conscience on issue of stem-cell research.

And this is what we get when we have no constitutionally mandated separation between church and state. I’ve blogged before about this, when the Pope issued an apostolic exhortation compelling politicians of the Catholic faith to use their political power to defend the church’s repressive stance on issues like abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage. Catholics shouldn’t be surprised – this is exactly the doctrine that they signed up for when they joined the church – but a catholic politician is in a position to effect the lives of a huge number of the non-catholic, and that’s where this stops being an issue of personal belief and becomes a gross imposition of evil, repressive dogma on people who didn’t sign up for it.

Referring to the work of the English historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Cardinal Pell said he was concerned about the consequences of support for a Donald Duck heresy.

“Too many Donald Ducks produce the feel-good society which works to remove personal guilt, anything that would make people feel uncomfortable so that complacent self-satisfaction becomes a virtue; confession is replaced by therapy and self-reproach by self-discovery.”

So he is implying that not having personal guilt is necessarily a bad thing, that catholic confession is somehow better than proven scientific psychological therapy, and that self-discovery should be valued less than self-reproach. It’s as though the people who buy into this pernicious nonsense actually think that a culture of repression, guilt and self flagellation (metaphorically speaking I presume) is inherently more moral than the alternatives.


Well, if that’s what you want then you’re welcome to it, but kindly play your nasty little games with your own folk and leave the rest of us out of it.


4 Responses to “The *bang* you just heard was my brain exploding. Again.”

  1. jokahC Says:

    Catholicism is opposed to contraceptives because of, well, evolutionary theory. Not implicitly of course, although I believe the “coolest” of uncool Popes Jp the dos said it’s God’s little tool for keeping the clock running. But you’ll see what I mean.

    Catholicism is a meme. You know, what memes were before every idiot started referring to their web posting threads that way. It needs little new organisms to carry that meme. Catholic officials have this thing about making new little Catholics because apparently there aren’t enough suckers left to convert, and most are converting to Islam anyway. Go Allah.

    Well, AIDS only exists to punish those evil homos, and the occassional drug user, better to get as many women pregnant with potential Catholics than worry about a little thing like an incurable retrovirus.

    Aren’t you sick of the personal guilt thing? Like atheists have no value of anything at all? We’re the ones inventing vaccines, defining the universe, inventing the nuclear technology (both good and bad), preserving what’s left of the indigenous world before missionaries screw it all up and its no longer anthropologically interesting, and admitting people shouldn’t be killed for speaking their mind. We started the end of slavery, we started women’s suffrage (Elizabeth Cady Stanton – ATHEIST), we convinced people Prohibition ended the problem, we have women not dying from late night botch job abortions, but everyone goes STALIN or COLUMBINE and we’re just supposed to take it.

    I actually was kind of miffed when I read Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens refer to the 19 hijackers as the most religious people out there, as religious as you can get. I thought I finally had an original thought, and now no one will probably believe me.

    But thats OK, those people don’t know the REAL teaching of the religion…. do theists assume no one understands history at all?

    How many germs did the Vatican cure in the excess thousand years it ran Western Civilization? It sure is helping them kill people NOW.

    I love your site by the way, I just wish you didn’t keep it all “logical.” Most arguments are based on fallacy in some way, except ALL the Christians refers rely on appeal to emotion, appeal to pity, vox ad populii, not to mention ad baculum, slippery slope, red herring, appeal to ignorance, straw man… gosh, just look up fallacies in a logic book and I guess that pretty much sums it up.

  2. jokahC Says:

    I should add in the Prohibition statement I was referring to ending the problem of religion in government, not alcohol consumption itself. Of course Prohibition was just a form of forbidden fruit. Don’t these guys even read their own book – made it a sin, and everyone’s in. How we all fell down, and get blamed for what two people did….

    Seriously though, if you’ve self-flagellated yourself by reading Thomas Aquinas you could easily see how logic can’t be used to prove anything about reality. Its called scientific method, it works, its really advanced how people live. Its even made a lot of people who need to believe in God admit they really can’t dictate how everyone should live based on universal hermeneutical interpretations anymore.

    Evolution means things want to survive, not the same way god wants everyone’s soul for himself, but that proliferation is the ultimate goal. If someone is running around killing people and doesn’t care, that proliferation won’t occur. Other genepools are going to act to stop it. You can get into theories of justice and morality and all of that, but the point is if we decide the rules for ourselves we make the ones most beneficial to everyone. Obviously the criminals, psychopaths, and flat out insane won’t like it, but that which is maladaptive… its going to end up going flatline eventually anyway.

    I don’t know why I’m wasting my time, the only people I’ve known who have read the Bible in its entirety, especially multiple times, were other atheists. Except divinity students, but then wasn’t it just a homework assignment?

  3. […] never been shy about his conservative religious beliefs, or his opinion that such beliefs should be actively pushed by Catholic politicians onto a non-catholic public. Justice Kirby says he understands the discomfort of some people around […]

  4. […] here we are again. And again. What would be the reaction if a political candidate said that he (or she) wanted to “bring a […]

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