Tag: religion

Like alcohol and driving, it’s hard to mix cultures

Like alcohol and driving, it’s hard to mix cultures

(Below is blog post. It contains naive ramblings and no great conclusions—and lots of mizpellings and grammatical errors.)

Why is it hard to mix cultures?…What is a culture?

A culture is a collection of people who share certain beliefs and values and, to some degree at least, share ideas on how those values should be expressed. For example, I was raised a Catholic, but I’m not Catholic anymore. To become a Catholic, I adopted Catholic values and beliefs; indeed, to become a member of the Catholic Church I had to profess those values and beliefs in various rituals.

So why did I leave that culture, that community?

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Pope Francis declares Big Bang theory compatible w/ Church teachings, but doesn’t understand evolution

Pope Francis declares Big Bang theory compatible w/ Church teachings, but doesn’t understand evolution

While I applaud Pope Francis’ statement that the Big Bang Theory and evolution are compatible with the Catholic Church’s teachings about God and creation, the Pope  doesn’t appear to understand the modern theory of evolution and the origins of life. In his statement, he says:

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Marcus Aurelius quote about the gods – misattributed

Marcus Aurelius quote about the gods – misattributed

Marcus Aurelius quote about God

Though this quote appears to be misattributed to Marcus Aurelius, it offers a lot to think about.

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

~ Marcus Aurelius (misattributed)

Pope Francis to Jesus: “You shouldn’t have provoked them” ~ by Heathwood & Lee

Pope Francis to Jesus: “You shouldn’t have provoked them” ~ by Heathwood & Lee

This cartoon commentary by Heathwood and Lee illustrates so brilliantly my reaction to Pope Francis’ recent…advice…that one should expect a physical or violent reaction if criticizing another’s faith, so just don’t criticize. Would Pope Francis have said the same to Jesus Christ, whose life was devoted to exposing the hypocrisy of the Jewish leadership of his day. “You shouldn’t have provoked them!”

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What atheists need to ask the faithful ~ JT Eberhard

What atheists need to ask the faithful ~ JT Eberhard

JT Eberhard ~ Photo by Michael M. S.
JT Eberhard ~ Photo by Michael M. S.

JT Eberhard is a persuasive young man. An atheist and advocate for freedom of thought, he speaks regularly about atheism and how to discuss religion and atheism with religious believers. During this talk, JT Eberhard asks a number of questions that hit home and trace my path from reasonably devout Catholic to an irreligious agnostic, or “free thinker” as some like to say. Believers would probably just call me an atheist. Labels are easy. Understanding is hard.

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When freedom of thought becomes impossible ~ Salman Rushdie Quote

When freedom of thought becomes impossible ~ Salman Rushdie Quote

freedom-of-thought-rushdie-sm

The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.

~ Salman Rushdie

So well put by Rushdie. That goes for everything, from science to religion, from art to politics…It’s core to what freedom of speech is about. It’s not pretty. You’ll have to tolerate a lot of garbage. But no one will be able to restrict you from thinking what like and saying what you think. As I get older, I feel more strongly about preserving and protecting our right to free speech.