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posted by CoolHand on Friday October 06 2017, @12:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the eco-pope dept.

More than 40 Catholic institutions are to announce the largest ever faith-based divestment from fossil fuels, on the anniversary of the death of St Francis of Assisi.

The sum involved has not been disclosed but the volume of divesting groups is four times higher than a previous church record, and adds to a global divestment movement, led by investors worth $5.5tn.

[...] Assisi's mayor, Stefania Proietti – a former climate mitigation professor – told the Guardian: "When we pay attention to the environment, we pay attention to poor people, who are the first victims of climate change.

"When we invest in fossil fuels, we stray very far from social justice. But when we disinvest and invest in renewable and energy efficiency instead, we can mitigate climate change, create a sustainable new economic deal and, most importantly, help the poor."

Are they putting their money where their mouth is, or making a smart economic bet?


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by stormreaver on Friday October 06 2017, @12:57PM (21 children)

    by stormreaver (5101) on Friday October 06 2017, @12:57PM (#577979)

    They're doing both, but with scaling factors:

    1) Economic prudence: 90%.
    2) Putting their money where their mouth is: 10%.

    We have to remember that Churches are, first and foremost, businesses in a never ending search for more political power. The notion of Faith is simply the oil that keep the revenue wheels greased.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by melikamp on Friday October 06 2017, @03:32PM (12 children)

      by melikamp (1886) on Friday October 06 2017, @03:32PM (#578065) Journal
      From what I understand (and please prove me wrong if you can, as I would welcome the news), RCC does not actually disclose how it invests its money, nor does it disclose how it spends the money. So they can't really substantiate these kinds of claims, they are pure PR, and most likely just lies. It is truly amazing that a multinational corporation such as RCC is able to claim a charitable organization status, pay no taxes, provide zero financial disclosure, and openly, brazenly discriminate against women both in employment and with respect to their human right to their bodies, all at the same time. But then may be it's not surprising at all, as it's been the MO of the god of Moses and Jacob, since the very beginning. He is basically a very rich, very manly man, with a taste for large buildings dedicated to him, filled with gold trinkets, and with a short temper and a marked hatred of all kinds of non-chosen people. Sorry if it sounds familiar, that would be just a coincidence :)
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:19PM (11 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:19PM (#578091)

        Haha no this is not a troll, the bible was heavily influenced by politics and money. For fuck's sake there is a King James Bible that people reference!! Oh right, the true and rightful King chosen by God himself *ahem*

        Sorry if you're just finding out that religions are just big cults with tons of ulterior motives, but don't let that sour your search for spiritual understanding. Plenty of cultures have spirituality not associated with a financial institution (church). No need to give 10% of your money to some guy, and if you do at least make sure they're transparent about everything. Have plate collections counted out and recorded, etc.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:31PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:31PM (#578098)

          You can have "Rightful King Chosen by God" or you can have "libertarian dystopia", choose wisely!

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday October 06 2017, @05:11PM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @05:11PM (#578132) Journal

            This is a joke, right...?

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @07:46PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @07:46PM (#578282)

            Well we're testing out the former and the world hasn't ended. I think I'd be up for trying "libertarian dystopia" because here in Cali I think it would evolve pretty quickly into a more standard socialism (workers own means of production) with voluntary participation in single payer healthcare and insurance programs. Let the die hard conservatives pay for theirs as individuals.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday October 07 2017, @08:14AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 07 2017, @08:14AM (#578512) Journal

              Let the die hard conservatives pay for theirs as individuals.

              As long as they don't have to pay for your system? Sounds like a great deal, particularly in a place like California.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by meustrus on Friday October 06 2017, @06:40PM (6 children)

          by meustrus (4961) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {surtsuem}> on Friday October 06 2017, @06:40PM (#578218)

          I feel sorry for the people that modded this informative.

          The King James Bible is named after the king who sponsored its translation [wikipedia.org]. You will find idiot fundamentalists who believe it is the only true source, but people who know shit about their own religion know that the originals were written in several ancient languages, including Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

          I also invite readers to discover the anthropological definition of "religion" [wikipedia.org], which is much broader than its typical usage. What's important is that when Americans talk about "religion", we are almost always speaking of "ecclesiastical" religions like Christianity that are based on large institutions. But this kind of religion is actually a development of simpler forms of what we would normally call "spirituality". And the less developed forms, lacking the large-scale organization of ecclesiastical religions, are functionally incapable of any kind of large-scale corruption.

          Even Christianity at times resembles the simpler "communal" type of religion. Many Protestant churches basically operate autonomously, only interacting with the rest of the denomination when they need help finding a new pastor or when there is a call for charitable donations for larger causes like disaster relief.

          Basically all Protestant churches actually operate in a manner you would seem to find acceptable. The "church" is the people, not the building and certainly not the pastor. People join a church by becoming a member (typically requiring a recognized baptism and a formal agreement with a statement of faith, sometimes requiring an ongoing financial commitment to keep the local organization running). Members are engaged in operating the church business, even directly handling the church's finances. Church budgets, with itemized income and expenses, are circulated among the entire membership.

          But if basically being a board member of the institution you are funding is too much for you, there are Christian churches with no expenses you can join too. They meet in homes and donated spaces, with volunteer leadership. It's harder to find these churches, since they don't have a dedicated space, but it's there if that's what you want. They also lack a number of community services and are much less capable of serving religiously-motivated causes, like helping the poor; the reason you pay a pastor is so that they can be available full-time as a combination of therapist, adviser, mediator, and administrator.

          Of course there are people that set up "churches" for their own financial gain, and you need to be wary. But this is only possible because the foundational organization of a "church" is based on the goodness of the people within it. Humanity has built some pretty impressive institutions by moving beyond that requirement. But given that a common goal of religion is always to promote "goodness" in its followers, building a religious organization on that foundation should be exactly as effective as the organization's effectiveness in getting people to behave altruistically.

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @07:53PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @07:53PM (#578286)

            Well that is a nice clarification, but the general point that parts of the bible are written / "updated" by old rich men is still true. The entire concept that a country's ruler was the messenger of god was pretty popular.

            Christianity seems to be coming out of the dark ages these days, but not before it spawned mormons and jehovas witnesses, two of the more disturbing and cult like examples. The super churches of the South are pretty abhorrent as well, and then there is the Catholic church which blows them all out of the water but is at least more progressive in accepting scientific facts.

            As I said, explore spirituality but be cautious about who you give your faith to. Any human you meet is not deserving of any spiritual devotion. Appreciation, warm feelings, sure. Devotion? Not so much. Devote yourself to the ideals, or if you really must then use Jesus / Confucius / whatever, but not a living person.

          • (Score: 2) by melikamp on Friday October 06 2017, @10:39PM (2 children)

            by melikamp (1886) on Friday October 06 2017, @10:39PM (#578373) Journal

            I think the GP is very informative, even though xe conflated religion with mainstream organized religion. You are right, of course, that religion, very broadly speaking, is not inherently responsible for corruption, even though most religions were designed from the ground up by corrupt priests for corrupt priests, and the same is true for most churches.

            Even Christianity at times resembles the simpler "communal" type of religion.

            "At times" indeed. Not much of that after year 200, not much at all.

            Basically all Protestant churches actually operate in a manner you would seem to find acceptable.

            I don't know what would lead you to says something like that. It is certainly true that some protestant churches circulate the books among the members: not just the board members, but all who donate, and these churches have a legitimate claim to being charitable organizations. But I would venture to guess that most protestant churches (in the sense of most lay-people attending), are corrupt in a standard way. The books are closed, and a portion of the income is transferred to the franchise mothership, where the secrecy gets really tight. I am talking about denominations such as Southern Baptist Convention, where individual churches don't really have to be a part of franchise or send it any money, but many choose to affiliate.

            Once again, I really want to be proven wrong, so please, give me an example of the largest sect you know that has the books open to the public, which is the only way to prove, really, that they are a charity. Show me the largest christian organization that publishes itemized financial statements: how much it takes in every year, and how much it disburses, broken down by category, with charitable categories cleanly separated from the bureaucratic upkeep. Here's an example from an actual charity:

            https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Financial_reports#2017.E2.80.932018_fiscal_year [wikimediafoundation.org]

            For the most and the largest churches, opening the books is not even an option, as it would be too embarrassing. With Christian sects, the business is in making young girls pregnant, forcing and/or guilting them into giving birth, even if it means abject poverty, and then brainwashing their children into buying the fairy tale of a spiritual reward in exchange for a monthly check. This is a very solid business model that held up for 1800 years, and will probably endure a while longer. This is where the bulk of spending is happening: increasing the number of hereditary Christians by any means possible. For the largest sects this translates into feeding the priests, honing the church bureaucracy, and buying cheap PR stunts which pass for charity.

            Someone in this thread expressed a hope that Christianity is finally coming out of dark ages these days, but I am afraid it's just the opposite. Very similar processes are taking place right now within Christianity, as well as related religions: Islam and Judaism. Every day they are losing another way to oppress women, which is one of the cornerstones of their enduring success, and they don't have a plan for that. Every day they have to deal with the ever-increasing impact of the net, which quickly informs anyone and everyone about all the various crazy religions and their variations, providing young people with a perspective which makes it that much harder to convince them this is the one true way, worthy of being passed down to the next generation at any cost. Every day these churches are faced with a more and more secular society, where brainwashing children becomes more and more tricky. And if they don't actually brainwash a child, but merely introduce her to the church customs, then chances are very good she is not going to force the church on her own children, so it's all over in 2 generations. So I predict a very ugly future, where a small portion of Christians will secularize and amalgamate, and their faith will become a utilitarian feel-good charity-related exercise, without any need for miracles or myths to support the theology. But the large churches, I believe, will dig in, and try to keep the brainwashing conveyor going for as long as they can, which means they will try to keep their "flocks" separate from the rest of the secular society. This will maintain a very large and very dangerous sub-population of hopelessly deluded suckers -- an army in the service of theocratic priests. I mean, you can see this happening even now, what with the way evangelicals tend to vote, but it will get uglier still. As their numbers dwindle, they will become more and more desperate. One likely scenario which may yet come to pass here in USA: priests will tell parents to take children out of secular schools. Many of these parents won't be able to afford education, but they will save by having girls home-schooled by ignorant mothers, so that some boys can be educated by the church. So it's back to the dark ages for them, I am afraid.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07 2017, @02:56AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07 2017, @02:56AM (#578460)

              > This will maintain a very large and very dangerous sub-population of hopelessly deluded suckers -- an army in the service of theocratic priests.

              Is this one of the schools you describe? https://calbaptist.edu/about/ [calbaptist.edu]

            • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Monday October 09 2017, @05:14PM

              by meustrus (4961) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {surtsuem}> on Monday October 09 2017, @05:14PM (#579316)

              With Christian sects, the business is in making young girls pregnant, forcing and/or guilting them into giving birth, even if it means abject poverty, and then brainwashing their children into buying the fairy tale of a spiritual reward in exchange for a monthly check. This is a very solid business model that held up for 1800 years, and will probably endure a while longer.

              You could make the argument that today, with many effective forms of birth control available, religious teachings are making the teenage pregnancy problem worse. But teenagers definitely don't need religion to get pregnant.

              The spectrum of Christian morality around sex is built upon the reality that without modern birth control, there is no consistent way to avoid pregnancy other than abstinence, and since newborns require a level of care that precludes primary caretakers from doing anything else, it really is best for everyone if the mother and the newborn are cared for by others who are less encumbered.

              Further, I think you're actually missing an opportunity for criticism here. For the bulk of Christian European history, the Church has been an institution that is as essential to the community as the King. Sometimes even more so, because the Church has been a more stable organization than many royal families. So when they demanded a tithe, it was not really in exchange for anything. It was a tax, and you paid it or the Church got the King to collect.

              --
              If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07 2017, @03:42AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07 2017, @03:42AM (#578469)

            Full of errors.

            One of my favorites is calling Jesus a carpenter.
            In the original Greek, he was described as a "tekton"[1] which translates as "hand worker" [google.com] AKA day laborer or handyman.

            [1] From the days when I watched TeeVee, surfing channels and hit on TV preacher Gene Scott.
            Quite a speaker.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Monday October 09 2017, @05:04PM

              by meustrus (4961) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {surtsuem}> on Monday October 09 2017, @05:04PM (#579314)

              It's also filled with phrasing that was more correct at the time than it is now. The English language has changed, and some words actually mean something very different than they did when the King James translation was written. That's why there is more than one modernized version of the King James translation today. But even then, any translation is doomed to be colored by the interpretations of the translator. Study bibles try to mitigate this by annotating difficult translations with other potential translations.

              --
              If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
    • (Score: 2) by SomeGuy on Friday October 06 2017, @03:39PM (5 children)

      by SomeGuy (5632) on Friday October 06 2017, @03:39PM (#578069)

      It took me a minute to figure out why this story was actually even news. But an organization that is so large and so powerful and influential that it has some affect on everyone's lives, even those that don't subscribe to their nonsense, that makes such large changes where it makes investments or otherwise changes its gaze can long term mean very unpleasant things. Something this large will assuredly have an impact on politics, business, and science.

      On the surface, it might seem like they are just going with what is trendy. Green=goooohd. But these are the kinds of people that likely believe that the batteries for their telsa or whatever just pop in to existence with no resources required to manufacture them and pop out of existence without expensive recycling costs or polluting landfills.

      So why are they really making this change? So they can print verses from their magic book of ball gargling on every solar cell? It is probably much deeper than that (in your children's butts).

      Oh, and Captain (hopefully) Obvious to the rescue: There no such thing as "God", sorry about that. :-/ These organizations should not even exist.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:50PM (#578119)

        Green = good indeed. It has been over used by marketing departments for decades now, but the underlying truth it the same.

        Nice strawman with the solar panel resource cost, "it takes burning oil to create solar panels, so lets just burn oil forever!" Make a solar powered solar panel factory, maybe a few, and bam you're burning less oil than before you switched to solar. We keep more non-renewable resources in reserve, and we impact the planetary climate to a much lesser degree. Win fucking win.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by fritsd on Friday October 06 2017, @05:01PM (1 child)

        by fritsd (4586) on Friday October 06 2017, @05:01PM (#578125) Journal

        The opposite of "sustainable" is "not sustainable".
        There's no other way to put this.

        The Roman Catholic Church is a very conservative institute, i.e. they'd like things to stay as they are.
        The expression "as they are" depends on the time stretch that you use to define it.
        The 100-150 years of the Age of Petroleum, is just a blip on the radar for them. That's not "as it is" but "as it is NOW".
        But Global Warming provides an existential threat to humankind and must be countered.
        If agriculture fails because it is sometimes a bit too warm a bit too long, then we're really fucked.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday October 07 2017, @09:39AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 07 2017, @09:39AM (#578519) Journal

          But Global Warming provides an existential threat to humankind and must be countered. If agriculture fails because it is sometimes a bit too warm a bit too long, then we're really fucked.

          Bullshit. There are several things to note here. No actual research has show an existential threat to humankind. Sure, if we continue to burn hydrocarbons for a few thousand years, we might reach a state like in some of the past mass extinctions, where large numbers of humans are difficult to support. But that still doesn't rule out smaller numbers of humans.

          Second, the world is not one single temperature. It's not magic to grow a crop a little further north, should that be necessary to keep it within a desirable temperature range. In this way, agricultural failures are averted even in cases of serious global warming.

          Third, all the threats of global warming are significantly overrated and adaptation completely ignored. If life sucks where you are, say like because there's a meter of water in the living room, then you can always move, a very simple solution that gets ignored except when someone wants to overplay it (say to gin up the threat of the worst refugee crisis ever). Worst threats like habitat and arable land destruction, poverty, overpopulation, etc get massively downplayed and a number of the would-be mitigation fixes for global warming often make these bigger problems worse.

          Finally, this has all the hallmarks of a scam from the games played with the science to rushing the decision-making process. For example, there's repeated [nature.com] research [nature.com] backtracking [ipcc.ch] (fig 9.8) now on the most important parameter in climatology today, the sensitivity of global temperature to a doubling of CO2. The IPCC claimed it was likely to be 3 C per doubling, but the current warming is consistent with 2 C per doubling or lower (for example, from the first paper, I calculated this parameter as 1.75 C per doubling, using their claims for restrictions on CO2 emissions to keep long term CO2 emissions below 1.5 C total increase).

          That backtracking coincides with a sudden claim (which is reflected in the paper) that we need to keep warming below a rise of 1.5 C (above pre-industrial era). This aggressive limit means that we buy about 20 years (as stated in the paper). But if we went to the old 2 C limit, then we buy about 50 additional years over the predictions. It gets far worse, if we hold the limit at a much more slack limit, such as 4 C. Then it's something like two centuries of current rates of emissions that we can emit and still stay under the temperature cap. For reference, the current rise since pre-industrial Earth is about 0.9 C increase.

          Notice how that works. We don't have any evidence for serious problems from global warming in the near future, but the current narrative is that we need to act now to hold temperatures to a very aggressive cap a little above present. If that cap is raised even a little, we suddenly buy at least half a century before we need to act. In other words, there's no reason for this cap except to force us to act now.

          So sure, if you want to believe that the existence of humanity is threatened by a slightly rise in temperature accompanied by a fraction of a meter rise in sea levels and farmers possibly being forced to plant crops that are currently viable a couple hundred km further south, nobody's stopping you. But maybe you ought to think about the games being played here and shape your beliefs on a rational basis?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @08:51PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @08:51PM (#578328)

        Oh, and Captain (hopefully) Obvious to the rescue: There no such thing as "God", sorry about that. :-/ These organizations should not even exist.

        I'd rather believe in infinite parallel universes/realities with infinite possibilities. Except when one or more of those possibilities could have a God in it. Then it absolutely could not happen, therefore infinite realities cannot happen. Unfortunately without infinite realities, the odds of *this* reality (each and every atom arranged just as they are) occurring is dismally low.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @11:33PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @11:33PM (#578392)

          Given that this reality has happened, the odds of it happening are 100%.

    • (Score: 1) by trimtab on Saturday October 07 2017, @06:57PM (1 child)

      by trimtab (2194) on Saturday October 07 2017, @06:57PM (#578641)

      "Shared myths" are the way that humans are bound together into tribes larger than extended family units. Religion and paper money are both "shared myths." They exist and work because enough of the participants "believe" in them. These participants become the tribes that are then manipulable by their beliefs.

      Paper money only works as long as there are other believers who also believe in it's power as a fungible medium of exchange for real goods.

      "Shared myths" also create power structures over believers. And some humans will always work to acquire power within the confines of the myth. The most pragmatic leaders don't really believe the myths. They just use them to control others and to acquire power over the tribe. Such is the history of the human experience.

      I used "paper money" and "religion" as examples purposely. As neither really have anything to do with the physical world. But humans interact with the physical world and each other based on them.

      As far as we know, no other animal on the planet believes their own BS like we do.

      • (Score: 2) by stormreaver on Saturday October 07 2017, @11:55PM

        by stormreaver (5101) on Saturday October 07 2017, @11:55PM (#578695)

        Religion and paper money are both "shared myths."

        No, they aren't. Religion and paper money are close to diametric opposition. Religion asks you to believe in absurd notions that have no basis in fact. Paper money exists as a medium of exchange to the extent that people know that they can accept it now and pay with it later. The two have almost nothing in common. Bitcoin is close to a religion, though.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by c0lo on Friday October 06 2017, @01:08PM

    by c0lo (156) on Friday October 06 2017, @01:08PM (#577984)

    An alternative title:

    Catholic Church loses faith in fossil fuel and votes with its wallet.

    (On the pipeline in the next months: "As socially responsible corporations, Koch brothers owned companies will start sponsoring enquiries into child sexual abuses")

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @01:40PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @01:40PM (#577994)

    As Christians, we believe that "good is good, and bad is bad". Anything else is the sophistry of the devil.

    So, if you invest ethically, you will get a better return. Maybe not now, maybe not in the next quarter,
    but, from the point of view of an organisation almost 2,000 years old, next quarter is NOT the long term!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @01:48PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @01:48PM (#578001)

      You're absolutely right. Good is good and bad is bad.

      Uh, but hey. One of those thing you say is good, which by the first rule of tautology club is good, is definitely bad, which, again, by the first rule of tautology club is bad.

      In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not just bad but downright evil. If I had to guess, only somebody under the influence of the devil would think something that bad is good.

      Kill the infidels! The millennium is upon us! Jesus will return to lead me and my followers, the true Elect (and here's the crazy reason going back to Noah's kids that I'm right and you're deluded by the devil, plus a prophecy or two that only I, naturally, am destined to fulfill) to glorious jihad! Jesus will command us to make the seas run red with your blood, and then he'll throw you all into a lake of fire for all eternity!

      ...

      My father is a minister (who incidentally can tell you why both Protestants and Catholics will burn in the lake of fire for an unbounded amount of time), so I think I know what I'm talking about.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:40PM (#578106)

        Would I be right in guess Baptist?

        Funny thing is the most sanctimonious Baptists I knew were an ex-girlfriends parents, who even did classes at the church.

        They'd both been divorced, and probably had premarital sex if not adultery, given when a sibling was born.

        Yet somehow they had the gall to judge me :)

    • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday October 06 2017, @05:13PM

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @05:13PM (#578136) Journal

      As Christians, you believe that good and bad are whatever your God arbitrarily says they are at any given point in time, and this sophistry is called Divine Command Theory. I know; I used to be one of you.

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @01:41PM (23 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @01:41PM (#577995)

    I'm just waiting for the US right-wingers to start complaining about those Vatican liberals.

    Again.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @01:51PM (15 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @01:51PM (#578002)

      I don't think you'll need to wait for long. It should be fairly quick. Protestants don't believe Catholics are Christian. Of course they're going to say that the Vatican is doing this at the devil's command.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:39PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:39PM (#578022)

        I'm a protestant, in theory anyway, and this has to be the first pope in my memory that I actually approve of.

        I always wondered how traditional right wing conservatives could gut the EPA and cry foul about environmenal protections while claiming to be part of a religion that states we are the stewards of the earth.

        I guess like any set of laws, people obey fully the ones they like, and try not to get caught when ignoring the rest.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:46PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:46PM (#578027)

          what was wrong with JP-II?

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:56PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:56PM (#578034)

            He didn't talk about the environment enough while helping pedophiles get away with their crimes. This pope does.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 06 2017, @02:57PM (11 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @02:57PM (#578037) Journal

        I'm Protestant, professing Presbyterian but attended many services at Lutheran, Episcopalian, Baptist, Assemblies of God, and Methodist churches. I've never heard pastors or deacons or lay people in any of those places claim or hint that Catholics aren't Christians. In fact all of them say the Apostle's Creed which expresses a belief in the "holy Catholic church." I think that's "catholic" meant in the sense of "universal," but nevertheless it's a rather positive invocation of that term against zero negative invocations of that term.

        I have, however, been to many Catholic services where non-Catholics are specifically dis-invited from taking Communion, which is the central rite of Christianity. So I've experienced more indication that the Catholic church doesn't believe Protestants are Christian. Maybe in the heart of the church in Rome they're secretly hoping things play out with this heresy the way they did with the Cathar Heresy, which took a few hundred years to crush.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:04PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:04PM (#578079)

          Ah ok. Christian Reformed, Reformed Church of America, and Christian Identity here. Latter one says that even Protestants aren't Christian.

          Christian Identity filled me with so much disgust that my personal opinion is that Yahweh is a being of unfathomable evil. Fortunately, such horrors probably don't exist.

        • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Friday October 06 2017, @04:46PM (3 children)

          by vux984 (5045) on Friday October 06 2017, @04:46PM (#578113)

          I'm Protestant, professing Presbyterian but attended many services at Lutheran, Episcopalian, Baptist, Assemblies of God, and Methodist churches. I've never heard pastors or deacons or lay people in any of those places claim or hint that Catholics aren't Christians.

          I recall belonging to a baptist church as a child that was fundraising to send missionaries to Catholic countries in south america with the express intention of converting Catholics. We quit that church. It wasn't the church doing it on its own; it was just signing up with groups like "Gospel Missionary Union", "World Vision", and "The Christian Missionary Alliance" ... all of which were active in South America. They all treated any Catholics they ran into as 'people who needed to be converted to christianity' and not 'fellow christians under a different banner'. And this is South America... after Spanish colonialism...yes, there were some native traditional cultures out there, but a LOT of the villages they were sending missionaries into were 104% catholic with +/-4% error.

          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 06 2017, @05:05PM (2 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @05:05PM (#578127) Journal

            Maybe it's a regional predilection, then, or characteristic of sects I don't have experience with. There are lots of flavors of Protestants. Individual churches can vary quite a bit within the same denomination. So it's not really possible to say "Protestants are this, or that."

            Catholic churches seem to take their marching orders from Rome, such that what you hear at one church is what is sanctioned from upon high. Maybe Catholics would dispute that--I dunno.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @05:26PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @05:26PM (#578149)

              I think you're right. There are just two sects of Catholicism (that I'm aware of, anyway):

              - Old Catholics [wikipedia.org] (some kind of version of Catholicism from the 1870s. A family in my village were Old Catholics and they were very strict.)

              - Opus Dei [wikipedia.org]: Catholics who studied L. Ron Hubbard's recruiting and mind control technologies, it seems.

              Posted as AC becaues Scientology and Opus Dei scare the shit out of me.

            • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Friday October 06 2017, @06:49PM

              by vux984 (5045) on Friday October 06 2017, @06:49PM (#578225)

              I agree with you; individual churches vary a lot. But a lot of the small churches pool together into the big protestant organizations such as world vision etc. And it is these BIG missionary / evangelical organizations that are actively targetting catholics for conversion. Even if the individual churches aren't explicity on board with that goal, they're perpetuating it by supporting these organizations.

              And While catholics do take their marching orders from rome, it should be pretty obvious that the message isn't universally accepted. Some churches defy the marching orders openly on certain rulings; others pay lip service to the marching orders but turn a blind eye to the violations of the rules on contraceptives for example. And then catholics, like protestants... as individual people largely believe and take from 'religion' what they want; ie... there's a lot of Easter + Christmas catholics AND protestants.

              My point here is that its not really possible to meaningfully say that even if the official position of the catholic church is this or that... it still may or may not filter down to the individual person or even priest that you are talking about.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday October 06 2017, @05:16PM (4 children)

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @05:16PM (#578139) Journal

          The Catholic position--ask me how I know, i was one of them--is that ONLY Catholics are "saved," and everyone else, even other Christians, gets to spend eternity in hellfire. Lovely. Do remember, though, that Catholicism is *not* the original form of Christianity; we'd need to ask the Ebionim about that except, oh wait, we fucking can't, since they're all dead. The Catholic Church proper began with the Council of Nicaea, not Jesus, and I think he'd be very surprised to hear some of the things his supposed oldest church believes about him...

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 06 2017, @05:30PM (3 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @05:30PM (#578154) Journal

            That is kind of what it looks like from the outside.

            Visiting the Middle East is a useful exercise for people who want to get a flavor of what Christianity was before the Catholic church. The cave churches in Capadocia where Christianity gained its first toehold and really took off, exude a raw kind of spirituality, sort of like a Woodstock moment for the early religion, that you won't detect at all in the Vatican. It was really diverse as well--the iconography from one cave church to another was much, much different, even though the doorway of one was literally 10 yards away from the doorway of another. It must have been a terrifying and exhilirating time for those early Christians.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday October 06 2017, @08:22PM (2 children)

              by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @08:22PM (#578313) Journal

              Yeah? Lemme throw some cold water on that for you: the Christians were just another shrieking hysterical largely-illiterate backwoods doomsday cult. If it hadn't been for the Romans the religion would have all but died out in the early fifth century. As it is, their numbers were far lower--and the persecution far less severe--than we are popularly told.

              Know who early Christians were most like? Today's alt-right. There, I fucking said it. Bunch of angry, disenfranchised hicks who'd rather burn the whole place down than do anything to help their situation. You REALLY need to study more ANE and Roman history.

              --
              I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
              • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday October 07 2017, @11:53AM (1 child)

                by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 07 2017, @11:53AM (#578546) Journal

                I think you're projecting your current frustrations with politics onto the subject. One of the early centers of Christianity was Ephesus. It had a chance there because the town hosted the temple of artemis, which generated a lot of income from pilgrims coming to make offerings for fertility. It being a cult dominated by priestesses, women in general had better status in the incredibly absolutist patriarchy of the Roman world. Christianity at the time accorded equal status to women, which was lapped up by the Ephesian women. Soon the artemisian cult had been supplanted by Christianity.

                That's right: the early church thrived because it was feminist (at least by the standards of the time).

                --
                Washington DC delenda est.
                • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday October 08 2017, @07:17PM

                  by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 08 2017, @07:17PM (#578939) Journal

                  Yeah, and early Islam was feminist by the standards of the time too. What's your point? You're confusing historical success with truth.

                  --
                  I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @09:05PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @09:05PM (#578339)

          Because of this [dumbonyc.com].

          Read God's word the holy bible daily. Or burn in hell forever.

          When the Witnesses go to ground, you know the end is nigh!

          Praise Jesus! The non-believers need to be saved!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:41PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:41PM (#578024)

      Conservatives and true liberals will simply point out the the Vatican are spouting UN Agenda 2030 [un.org] buzzwords. Global socialism, coming soon to a mass grave near you!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:11PM (#578082)

        exactly, this is NWO propaganda by the whore of babylon.

    • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Friday October 06 2017, @06:44PM (4 children)

      by meustrus (4961) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {surtsuem}> on Friday October 06 2017, @06:44PM (#578221)

      Recently I received a flier in the mail to attend some doomsday preacher down the street. Prominently displayed was five world leaders photoshopped into a sinister phalanx, from left to right: Kim Jong-un, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, Pope Francis, and Vladimir Putin.

      I did not attend.

      --
      If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
      • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Saturday October 07 2017, @01:16AM (3 children)

        by fritsd (4586) on Saturday October 07 2017, @01:16AM (#578429) Journal

        Sounds like they're into numerology:

        The Even leaders are good, the Odd leaders are odd / evil.

        I once got something like that, but it was an elaborate hoax by a progressive television organization to convince me to become a member. They were taking the piss (VPRO).

        • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Monday October 09 2017, @05:17PM (2 children)

          by meustrus (4961) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {surtsuem}> on Monday October 09 2017, @05:17PM (#579318)

          So you're saying there are people out there that think Popes are like Star Trek movies?

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
          • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Monday October 09 2017, @05:56PM (1 child)

            by fritsd (4586) on Monday October 09 2017, @05:56PM (#579339) Journal

            Good point!

            On second thought hm... maybe not

            St. John XXIII - Very Good
            Paul VI - meh.. don't really remember.
            John Paul I - so good, he was murdered in only 33 days. Maybe he had been stupid, and threatened to clean up the Curia before he was elected.
            St. John Paul II - very fanatical pope; very good in some ways (communicative), less so in other ways. Archconservative.
            Benedict XVI - was responsible, at the height of the child abuse crisis, for writing a policy that priests should protect guilty priests, rather than rat them out to the worldly authorities. And then AFTERWARDS they made him pope! Also an arch-conservative.
            Francis - Very Good, tried to adopt rules pertaining to divorcees to the real world. Also I actually read and enjoyed "Laudato sì" and I've never read any other encyclical by anyone. Has to try to clean up the child abuse crisis before he exchanges the temporal for the eternal. Did you watch the Youtube video clip: "The Encyclical"? It doesn't bother me that it's over the top satire, making fun of the pope. I hope he watched it and enjoyed it, too. Sometimes you have to prevent issues in a silly way, to get them communicated across.

            I don't remember anything about popes before John XXIII. How many Star Trek movies are there again? (yes, I bow my head in shame. Here's my nerd card.)

            • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Monday October 09 2017, @08:10PM

              by meustrus (4961) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {surtsuem}> on Monday October 09 2017, @08:10PM (#579391)

              How many Star Trek movies are there again? (yes, I bow my head in shame. Here's my nerd card.)

              It's ok. I think most of us stopped keeping track after OS X Lens Flare.

              --
              If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @01:59PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @01:59PM (#578006)

    ...whose abusers the Catholic church protects and allows to walk free.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:01PM (19 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:01PM (#578007)

    Will the church be moving away from sodomizing choir boys with petroleum based lubricants as well?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by c0lo on Friday October 06 2017, @02:25PM

      by c0lo (156) on Friday October 06 2017, @02:25PM (#578013)

      Will the church be moving away from sodomizing choir boys with petroleum based lubricants as well?

      But of course!
      They will simply do it rough - what's a little pain when the church is doing the right thing™?

      (grin)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:31PM (16 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:31PM (#578017)

      Will the church be moving away from sodomizing choir boys with petroleum based lubricants as well?

      Rejoice, your financial future look better already, the Koch brothers will need to keep you on their payroll longer.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:43PM (15 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @02:43PM (#578025)

        You're shilling for an organization worth billions of dollars, responsible for the covering up the worst crimes against children of the last two centuries, and I'm the one on the payroll?

        How many trees does the Pope have to talk about planting for you to give the church a pass for each abuse? Two? Three?

        • (Score: 3, Troll) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 06 2017, @03:03PM (14 children)

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @03:03PM (#578042) Journal

          I like this current Pope. I do believe he is a servant of Christ. His comportment, his actions, have been consistent with somebody who's trying to walk humbly before the Lord. I hope he lives to 150.

          There is a lot to make up for. The child sexual abuse is a horrid episode, but it's only the latest for the Catholic church. Power, corruption, and abuse are an ubroken throughline from the present all the way back through the Borgias and probably to the very beginning. It's a very different animal from what the church was when the gnostics were still running around.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:34PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @04:34PM (#578102)

            "It's a very different animal from what the church was when the gnostics were still running around."

            Nope, it's the very same monster that exterminated the early Christians while appropriating their identity.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday October 06 2017, @05:21PM (12 children)

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @05:21PM (#578143) Journal

            Will you please take off the stained-glass goggles and look at what your religion and your God are trying to do with clear, neutral vision? The guy sounds like quite literally Infinite Hitler. This is not a Godwin; he intends to rule the earth forever, and runs an eternal, inescapable concentration camp full of fear, fire, pain, and torture for nonbelievers...in other words, *for his political prisoners.*

            Your God, if it existed, would be the one being I have ever heard of who would deserve the title of Devil-with-a-capital-D. I'm no atheist, but I know evil when I see it.

            And that's not even getting into the complete incoherence of the properties this God is said to have in order to *be* God, which conflict both internally and with observable reality. In fact, if this God were real, there wouldn't be *any* observable reality except him and no one to do the observing except him. Think about why: it has to do with the attributes of perfection, self-sufficiency, and divine aseity.

            You seem like a good enough person, but this is in spite of your beliefs, not because of them. Buddhism has better ethics, if that's what you're looking for, and all forms of secular humanism are more grounded in reality.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
            • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 06 2017, @06:07PM (9 children)

              by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @06:07PM (#578188) Journal

              Everyone's journey is different, Azuma. I am a rationalist who came to my faith through a very long journey as a dyed-in-the-wool doubting Thomas. I know God exists because events lined up at a very difficult period in my life in such a way that they could not have done so as random chance. I was trained in quantitative methods as a social scientist, and when you run through the data and pass the statistical tests, you know there's causality in what you're studying. That's what happened for me, in a nutshell.

              Before that I had no use for religion. When I read the Bible it sounded like stories written by primitive herdsmen to explain visits from aliens. As a young man I would read the thing like a lawyer, underlining passages and writing in the margins about how this section directly contradicted another section that had immediately preceded it. I would argue with the thing (big surprise, right?). Large tracts of it still read like propaganda to me. Some passages are horrific, like Lot having sex with his daughters or Abraham pimping out his wife to his hosts as part of a blackmail scheme. But somewhere in there there's a deeper presence. I open the book randomly and nearly always find words speaking to me at that point of need in my life. I don't think hermeneutics can sift out exactly what that presence is, because that's yet another human construct on top of human authorship, but for me the presence is there.

              That's not your experience, and it's not the experience of many others. My experience is mine alone, and not something I would impose on others or use as a filter to judge others. Good people are good people no matter what their creed.

              One last thought: reality is not the absolute you think it is. We even now know that objectively, in part. Confirmation of predictions from quantum mechanics prove reality is a much, much weirder place than our classic view of it is. Maybe what humanity has interpreted as God is like Carl Sagan's story [youtube.com] about how beings in a two-dimensional universe would interpret a visit from a three-dimensional universe; in short, there's more than meets the eye.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @06:42PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @06:42PM (#578220)

                Maybe what humanity has interpreted as God is like Carl Sagan's story [youtube.com] about how beings in a two-dimensional universe would interpret a visit from a three-dimensional universe

                But that doesn't rhyme in any way with the Christian tenet that God is the prime mover. If He is like that, a higher-level being, than He is neither singular nor prime. It is fine for you (or anyone else) to infer a higher-level plane of existence from the mythology of the Bible, but you cannot reverse the argument and use that theoretical plane as an argument in favor of a Christian God.

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday October 06 2017, @08:11PM (4 children)

                by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @08:11PM (#578303) Journal

                Phoenix, you are not a Christian then. You're some kind of vaguely Bible-flavored Deist. And you're giving Yahweh far too much credit. You're also giving the Bible too much credit; OF COURSE it has good stuff in it, it was written over centuries and centuries and something full of entirely bad advice won't survive.

                And your God disagrees with "good people are good people no matter what their creed." Did you just not read ANY of my post at all? If you are a Christian or a Muslim, you believe that your God sentences nonbelievers to eternal torment. In fact, most churches would say that you yourself will end up in Hell because the above statement you made is directly contradictory to God's Revealed Word (TM).

                Would you care to tell us what these "too good to be a coincidence" events were and how you know, for precisely certain, that they were not caused by any other being, circumstance, or condition?

                --
                I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday October 07 2017, @07:36AM (1 child)

                  by Arik (4543) on Saturday October 07 2017, @07:36AM (#578508)
                  "Phoenix, you are not a Christian then."

                  But who are you to decide who's a Christian?

                  "You're some kind of vaguely Bible-flavored Deist."

                  I didn't see any deism in his response. Certainly not any orthodox high church christianity either, but mysticism is no junior to orthodoxy in Christianity.

                  "And you're giving Yahweh far too much credit. You're also giving the Bible too much credit; OF COURSE it has good stuff in it, it was written over centuries and centuries and something full of entirely bad advice won't survive."

                  That's one narrative, the result of one frame of interpretation. The thing is like any work of literature, there are many frames that can be applied, not just one. There are also a very wide variety, not just interpretations of the bible, but of the relationship of the bible to christianity. You appear to be espousing the modern theory typical among fundamentalists that puts a literal reading of the bible at the center of what christianity means, perhaps only because that is what you have been most exposed to (or what made the strongest impression on you, at least) but that's just the most novel framing, not the only one by any means.

                  --
                  "If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve."
                  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday October 08 2017, @07:11PM

                    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 08 2017, @07:11PM (#578935) Journal

                    ...you DO realize you're talking to someone who's put, let's see here, nearly 12 years into the study of these things, correct? I can read some of it in the Koine, even.

                    All of this is completely missing the point. I *was* one of those mystics for a good long time before pulling my head out of my ass, learning some actual logic and philosophy, and testing the base, core concepts of Christianity. It's ridiculous all the way through, and blasphemous too.

                    --
                    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday October 07 2017, @12:13PM (1 child)

                  by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 07 2017, @12:13PM (#578552) Journal

                  I certainly could give you the specifics, but they wouldn't be meaningful to anyone but me because they weren't there, in my skin. Faith journeys are that way: highly personal. It's for that reason i would not try to convince you that you're wrong, that there is a god, and that everything you have experienced is wrong, that you've misperceived it. The things that have happened to you in your life are real and you're an intelligent person who has examined those events from every angle, so the conclusions you have reached are valid. For you.

                  I sense that you're wanting to prove me wrong, by redefining what i believe as something else to prove that i'm muddled and misguided. I believe you're doing it out of kindness; you think i'm in error and you're trying to help me out. But take a step back for a moment. Would it make sense for me to challenge something very personal about you that you know, that is part of your identity? What if i were to tell you that you're not really a lesbian, that you simply haven't found the right man yet? (I would never do that, BTW, and don't believe any of it, and apologize for its raising your hackles, but i'm using it to make a point) You would tell me to fuck right off. How could i possibly tell you that what you know in your heart is wrong?

                  --
                  Washington DC delenda est.
                  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday October 08 2017, @07:15PM

                    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 08 2017, @07:15PM (#578937) Journal

                    Nice false analogy there, buddy. People don't choose their sexual orientation (if we did, EVERY woman would be a lesbian). Religion, while socially influenced, is very much a lifestyle choice.

                    Nowhere in your posts do you address the actual thrust of my argument, which is 1) Yahweh's supposed attributes are incoherent, 2) but without them a being wouldn't be God, 3) observable reality is incompatible with any personal-being or egoic conception of the Divine, and 4) Yahweh acts like a demon.

                    And how many damn times do I need to say this? I am not an atheist! I believe there is a God, it just doesn't give a damn what we believe. It's the ultimate "it is" (where you lot go wrong and say it's the ultimate "I am").

                    I believe you when you say you have a social sciences background. That kind of postmodernist drivel and slimy, weaselly evasion is completely typical for the genre.

                    --
                    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
              • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @08:20PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @08:20PM (#578312)

                in such a way that they could not have done so as random chance. I was trained in quantitative methods as a social scientist

                Those two phrases back-to-back really made me chuckle; the second phrase explains the first.

              • (Score: 3, Touché) by aristarchus on Friday October 06 2017, @10:29PM

                by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @10:29PM (#578368) Journal

                But, Hold on, Pascal!

                I know God exists because events lined up at a very difficult period in my life in such a way that they could not have done so as random chance. I was trained in quantitative methods as a social scientist, and when you run through the data and pass the statistical tests, you know there's causality in what you're studying. That's what happened for me, in a nutshell.

                Stats, eh? This is not faith, it is insurance. Best to hedge the petrol market, methinks.

                --
                #freearistarchus!!!
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Arik on Saturday October 07 2017, @07:13AM

                by Arik (4543) on Saturday October 07 2017, @07:13AM (#578502)
                "I open the book randomly and nearly always find words speaking to me at that point of need in my life."

                That's not religion, that's divination.
                --
                "If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve."
            • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @06:15PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @06:15PM (#578200)

              Religion piggy backs on top of our mammalian social habits. I would say for most believers the real draw is a community to belong to, and besides there are decent lessons from all major religions. Picking the right ones is the tricky part though, and you're right Buddhism in general is better but still has a lot of its own stuffiness. Humans gotta hume y'know?

            • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Saturday October 07 2017, @02:45AM

              by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday October 07 2017, @02:45AM (#578458)

              Will you please take off the stained-glass goggles and look at what your religion and your God are trying to do with clear, neutral vision? The guy sounds like quite literally Infinite Hitler. This is not a Godwin; he intends to rule the earth forever, and runs an eternal, inescapable concentration camp full of fear, fire, pain, and torture for nonbelievers...in other words, *for his political prisoners.*

              "Humanity has accomplished a lot, along with all the infighting and political machinations. I like to think I just help provide a lot of the infrastructure to make that possible. I know everything isn't exactly the way you'd like it, but when you have an issue, all I want you to do is log a helpdesk ticket. Is that really too much to ask?"

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by HiThere on Friday October 06 2017, @05:44PM

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06 2017, @05:44PM (#578171)

      This is a real problem. Priests, despite any claims to the contrary, average neither better nor worse than other people. Catholic priests are required to be celibate, which most humans find a real problem. So they naturally look for accessible outlets. And people of any organized group tend to protect other members of that group. Which is why police can often get away with murder.

      This is why you should never trust anyone with power. Some people will handle it justly, but others won't. And they will be protected by others of the group that wields the power. Think of it as tribalism in action.

      --
      Put not your faith in princes.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Sulla on Friday October 06 2017, @03:26PM (2 children)

    by Sulla (5173) on Friday October 06 2017, @03:26PM (#578058) Journal

    I kind of expect a lot of large groups that are currently invested into fossil fuels to invest in other forms of energy now that the whole "if you don't you are the devil" thing is dying down a bit. As humans we tend to dig in when someone says we are the devil even if it is in our worst interest. Had the primary argument for alternative fuels been economic from the beginning we would be a lot further on, instead there was a "us vs them" plan to guilt people into it.

    --
    "I'd rather take a political risk for peace rather than risk peace in pursuit of politics" - President Donald J. Trump
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @05:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @05:23PM (#578146)

      You forgot the massive MASSIVE amounts of money dumped into lobbying and shitty science.

      Your post irks me, it was always an "us vs. extinction" plan and the sheer amount of negativity and derision for "hippy environmentalists" can only be explained by corporate propaganda conveniently intertwined with the GOP's various talk show promoters. Now that conservatives have gotten a taste of what its like to be in the "out group" maybe they'll stop being so quick to come down on others simply because they're different.

      I get what you're saying about stubborn people, and you know the old saying "you can lead a horse to water..." Doesn't make it any less frustrating for the cowboy though, I'm just glad the horse finally drank before it had to git put down.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @06:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @06:03PM (#578183)

      You're forgetting, the economical reason wasn't there for the longest time and now only is because real environmentalists and ideological dreamers supported sustainable energy sources.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @08:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @08:15PM (#578308)

    It says $5.5tn. Did you see that? Five point five tonnes of money. That's a lot, but it obviously depends upon the denominations used and whether we're talking about paper or metal money.

    If we're talking about the €5 banknote , then it is something like €5M.

    On the other hand, if we're talking about it all being in euro coins, which weigh 7.5 grams, then we're only talking about €733,333 euros, so not as impressive. I hope they clear this up.

  • (Score: 2) by fraxinus-tree on Friday October 06 2017, @08:48PM

    by fraxinus-tree (5590) on Friday October 06 2017, @08:48PM (#578325)

    In a sense, Roman Catholic Church is one of the biggest investors worldwide. If they put their money and influence into "something", you can be sure the "something" will go a long way. So their bet is pretty much self-fulfilling (they are used in doing that not only with money and not with money alone).

    OTOH, putting their money where their mouth is, is not exactly the Vatican style. But, sometimes, they really have to. Like, say, helping the poor. I don't say they are very good at it, but they do.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07 2017, @02:57AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07 2017, @02:57AM (#578461)

    If there's one group I trust less than the GOP in matters of science, it is the Catholic Church

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