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Do the Head Believers Believe?
derF
I was reading up a bit on the assassination attempt on Karol Josef Wojtyla better know by his followers as Pope John Paul II. By all accounts Karol was fearless when confronted by the assassin and even visited the assassin after his recovery and forgave him. That sounds pretty damn holy to me somehow. Not the actions of someone who is only in it for the money. (If I may say so.) The point I would like to debate here is this: How many of these various heads of different religions truly buy into the beliefs they espouse? Are they truly convinced that they are going to be rewarded with eternity or do they merely use religion as a means to amass wealth and influence? I am curious to hear your opinions.
Edited by derF on 09/08/2008 01:38
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Skeeve
When it comes to popes, I think politics, not religion.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
derF
Possible, Skeeve, but usually heads of large governing bodies such as that have a hierarchy that has the responsibility of replacing dead leaders. Examples of this are the Roman Catholic church, The Chinese Communist leadership as well as leaders for other religions, governments, bureaus, departments and the like. They all pick their leaders from within their own bodies. They are usually under great pressure to select someone who fits the ideal of the perfect embodiment of their groups core beliefs. Even if they do not truly believe in them they must appear so convincingly enough to receive the nod from their compatriots. To merely lightly brush it off as politics as usual is to ignore other factors that must be considered in the day to day operations of their respective pursuits. For all outward appearances they must appear to practice what they preach and I am increasingly of the opinion that many of them do believe in spite of the fact that many of them are quite intelligent and well educated.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Bob of QF
derF wrote:
I was reading up a bit on the assassination attempt on Karol Josef Wojtyla better know by his followers and Pope John Paul II. By all accounts Karol was fearless when confronted by the assassin and even visited the assassin after his recovery and forgave him. ....


How....arrogant.

As if this ordinary man with an unusual job is somehow morally superior in every way to the would-be assassin.

That takes an ego the size of Jupiter.... ;pukeright;
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Doubting Thomas
I'm reminded of a comedy bit by Dennis Miller about that very incident...

"I was just hoping the pope would lean over and say, 'Hey you little punk bastard! If you ever pull a gun on me again, off with the silly bathrobe, I'll put my papal foot up your Hindu ass!'

"All the cardinals are holding him back... 'Get out of here kid, he's crazy when he's like this!'"

"Oh what's that? I'm the pope, I don't fight back? F--k you pal! You're just lucky my chick's here."

But anyway, I think a lot of heads of different sects or cults do believe what they preach, while others obviously are frauds. Cult leaders, especially, tend to have a god complex themselves, so they just try to pass it on to their followers.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
neilmarr
What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!

Pope Leo X (1513-1521)

Neil
 
RayvenAlandria
I always saw the Pope's visit to the would be assassin as nothing but a publicity stunt. If he was a loving and forgiving person he would not have been the Pope. Generally speaking, Catholics are not exactly loving, supportive, accepting, or forgiving people. They may pretend to be, but their behavior shows otherwise.

Of course, there are acceptions, but to be honest I have yet to meet a Catholic who was not overly judgmental. I hope nice catholics exist someplace, but I have no proof that they do. I've never met one.
 
catman
When I was a Catholic (1965-68), I suppose I might have been judgmental. I think I was more concerned with my own self than anyone else. Anyway, I had enough sense to keep it to myself if I was.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
seeker
I agree with Derf on this. I think that in order to rise up through the ranks there has to be some degree of true belief. The Pope is only elected because the people who elect him think they know exactly what he will do.
 
Doubting Thomas
When I was a Catholic, I was very judgemental, but I got it from my mom who to this day is still very judgemental. My mother-in-law is a devout Catholic and also judgemental. My father-in-law not so much, at least he's partially accepting of my atheism. My wife is less judgemental since I lost my faith, and tends to be a bit more open-minded about things, so maybe I'm rubbing off on her. Of course she doesn't go to church so that probably helps. My sister & her husband, who we visited recently, are very devout and quite a bit judgemental.

So I guess it seems the more devout a Catholic you are, the more judgemental toward other people you become. I'm glad I gave that up because that was one thing I realized I hated about myself when I gave up religion. I am far more accepting these days of people who are different from me.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Bob of QF
I am still quite judgmental, despite being a soft atheist-- but as I recognize that the essence of being human, is to judge things/people/actions/etc, I am able to modify my initial judgments, when faced with new or conflicting information.

And, I am quite willing to examine information which seems to contradict those assumptions I hold dear-- so long as the new information is rational. That's one assumption I refuse to part with (rationality.... Grin ).

What I try not to do (and sometimes fail) is to initially judge people and then never allow that my initial judgment may have been in error.

This is one area religious people seem to fail-- the make initial judgments about a person, then refuse to allow that that may have been in error.

Another area the overtly religious fail, is to consider that their world-view may not exactly correspond with someone else's. Where they fail, is that they then go on to assume that the non-corresponding view is the exact opposite of theirs!

That is, they assume a false two-state situation. They do not allow for tangential or parallel, or right-angles or any other view that may range from subtly different to radical-but-not-opposite different viewpoints.

I've seen this time and again: an insistence that things are simply: "either THIS or THAT".


Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
RayvenAlandria
Maybe I should have used the term "close-minded" instead. Come to think of it, I am judgmental too, most people are, it is a survival mechanism. There is a difference between being judgmental and close-minded though. We all make judgments and assumptions but open minded people are open to changing that assumption whereas close minded people aren't, regardless of what evidence is placed before them.
 
Doubting Thomas
I think where most religious people fail is that they can only see the world through their little narrow religious view. And since the major problem is that they've convinced themselves that since God believes exactly as they believe when it comes to issues like morality, anything they disagree with is inherently immoral and against God's wishes. They will never change their minds because to do so is to disagree with God, and the only way they can ever change their mind is to either take a less strict interpretation of religion or do away with it altogether.

It's never a good situation when you have people who believe that God is telling them this or that is good or evil.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Sinny
I agree with RayvenAlandria I always saw it as public relations. Got to show forgiveness to keep the church in good standing with the public. If the Pope shows anger, hate, vengeance then the public might go bat shit thinking they are showing support for the catholic church and the pope. I too have never met a catholic that wasn't close minded and judgmental. Not until they or a close family member went through the same thing the person they are judging went through. All of a sudden they understand and stop judging when it's too late to undo the harm they caused when they decide to play god when it wasn't them being judged.

Do they really truly believe? I think they believe if they do their jobs, stick with the program and play by/make the rules easy enough for them and the public to follow they will be rewarded by their followers. I think they start out truly believing in the god of their choice but many, if not all, stop believing in the bullshit stories of the babble. Sure it's said the Catholic church has documents no other religion has but no one in the public has ever seen them so I can only surmise that they don't have any further knowledge other than their bible and this leads me to think they don't buy it anymore than we do. The catholic church has made far too many changes over the years to conform with society. If the Vatican, Priests, Pastors, any clergy/church truly believed it wouldn't change, add, remove the bible/scripture or the way they preach/practice their rituals/rules, etc. They stick with claiming they believe, as they may very well once have, to keep business of selling a concept thriving.

I make one exception and only one. Billy Graham I think truly believes in the god and the bible he was taught.
 
catman
It seems to me that the more certain someone is that they believe in the One True Faith (whichever s/he thinks it is), the less likely s/he is to be open-minded and non-judgemental. There are exceptions, but not many.

I see no reason to believe that Billy Graham is any more sincere than any other sky pilot. He's old and in poor health, so it's comforting for him, I suppose, being a 'man of God' and all. By the way, he isn't a Catholic.Wink:lol: I think some of them probably are sincere, but of course that doesn't make them correct.

I still have my Catholic Bible, and it's very similar to a Protestant one except for having six more books.
Edited by catman on 09/06/2008 23:33
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Bob of QF
Sinny wrote:
I make one exception and only one. Billy Graham I think truly believes in the god and the bible he was taught.


Graham is just like all the others.

Back in the 70's during a short-lived (thankfully) Jesus movement among young people, Graham held a "rally" in a large stadium in Dallas.

He announced his event weeks in advance, to ensure a full stadium (and full coffers, to support his private limo...).

Thousands flocked from all over, into Dallas at his behest-- but being young and more or less naive (stupid?) few thought about accommodations, and tried to camp out in nearby parks and such.

Was a mess. People getting sick from exposure, no sanitary facilities, little in the way of food.

When Graham (the root-cause of all this) was approached to possibly share some of his riches.....he refused to part with one thin dime...

....no, his true colors shone thorough. He was just in it for the money, fame and influence.

Just like all the rest...
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Sinny
Bob, I never heard about that before. I checked the internet and can't find anything about it, except that the Time Magazine called it the jesus woodstock. Was it requested by the people or the media? People don't ususally ask for money or help when camping outdoors overnight to see or hear someone speak that's why I ask.

There should be a link somewhere in the internet for people to find out the low down, dirty or whatever about all the TV/political preachers, especially the multi-million dollar one's.
Edited by Sinny on 09/07/2008 19:46
 
neilmarr
***I still have my Catholic Bible, and it's very similar to a Protestant one except for having six more books***

And there's another vital difference, Cat. If you compare the Catholic version of Exodus with all others, you'll find that the 'graven images' commandment against idolatry is missing and another commandment split into two to make up a round ten.

Cheers. Neil
 
derF
I would like to thank everyone for their input on this topic. To me curiosity is a sort of hunger. And information is the food that nourishes that hunger. At first I thought this thread was going to veer off on a tangent. (As these threads so often do.)

But everyone seemed to stay on topic (pretty much) and I was able to gain some valuable insight from your posts and opinions and I thank you for it.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
catman
neilmarr wrote:
***I still have my Catholic Bible, and it's very similar to a Protestant one except for having six more books***

And there's another vital difference, Cat. If you compare the Catholic version of Exodus with all others, you'll find that the 'graven images' commandment against idolatry is missing and another commandment split into two to make up a round ten.
Cheers. Neil

Hmmm...I wonder if that is so that Catholics can indulge themselves in statuary (especially of Mary), and praying before it as they do, without breaking a commnandment? My Catholic Bible seems to consider the second set of commandments in Ex. 34 to be the real Ten Commandments, as it gives a heading stating "The Ten Commandments" to them, while not doing so for the earlier set in Ex. 20.
Edited by catman on 09/08/2008 01:56
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
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