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« President out of touch and tasteless for playing so much golf during bad economy | Main | "So we don't forget" »

Monday, June 18, 2012


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Kris, in New England

Beautiful example of the Holy Spirit moving in this young woman's life.

I just hope she's ready for the onslaught from the atheist world; they will (if you will forgive the expression) crucify her.


"I just hope she's ready for the onslaught from the atheist world; they will (if you will forgive the expression) crucify her"

Truthfully, many atheists and anti-theists will do just that. But as Atheism is not a creed but rather a shared disbelief, you can't speak for all atheists as if they were all one.

I personally do not agree with her newfound interest in the Catholic church but I applaud her willingness to be open minded and free thinking (enough to decide for herself) what type of morality suits her best emotionally.


Ed, two things. One, "new found interest" is an extremely inept description of conversion. It's not wrong exactly, but. Would you say an adopted child has a "new found interest" in their new family?

Two, and more importantly, do you really think she has merely decided on a "morality that suits her best EMOTIONALLY"? Is that how you think people find their morals? (Please say, no!)


Does a adopted child find a new found interest in their family? well yes, why would they not?

It would mean adapting to their new environment, fitting in, etc etc..they would have an avid investment to fit into their new familial unit and get that acceptance they lacked otherwise.

Yes, I do think some people find their morals emotionally. It colors many things they see in the world. People feel best suited to have black and white thinking and others can see shades of grey, and these would be best described as neuro physiological in nature, (that would be the source of their emotion) That would depend on the entire make up of the person.

Where do you think they come from?


Ed, please! Of course the adopted child has a new interest in the mew family. The point is the word "interest" limits the experience to a mere preference. A new family is much, MUCH more than that. Similarly, a conversion to Christ is not like taking up a hobby. If you think it is (and the phrase made me wonder if you do think that) then you are seriously mis-informed.

Of course, SOME people find their morals emotionally. But most of us would find it insulting to have that kind of morality (just do what you feel) attributed to us.

Where do I think morals come from? I think there is an objective moral law which human beings can discover... if they want to.


If the person is well informed, and serious in their quest for faith then it is a serious conversion, to Christ, Elohim, Odin, Allah, whomever.

Of all of the fantasies out there, these are the most pressing on people and they actively build their lives around it. So no, I am not 'mis-informed' about that at all..

That is why I said, 'some', there are people who 'feel' and those who 'think'. but ultimately it is dependent on your neuro physiological make up on what you will adhere to, thinking or feeling.

That is science not philosophy.

What 'objective moral law' would that be? be specific.


Some people do use emotions for morality. We don't disagree. But you used it to describe the woman in the original post. If you read much of, any of, her explanation of her conversion, that characterization would be seen as clearly off base.

THE objective moral law. There is only one.


I disagree,

I think (after reading many of her posts on this subject) that her view of Morality and her unanswered questions as to where 'it' originates led her to pick an answer that suited her best. Any answer.

She does not strike me as having been a rationalist to begin with, as some atheists are not.

I want to ask her sooo many questions. Questions only she can answer.

THE objective moral law. There is only one..hum, as a pastor I wouldn't expect any less biased an answer ;)


She has a blog and takes comments. Ask her your questions.

I'll ask you, where do you think morality comes from?


I think I will do just that.

Where do I think morality comes from? it comes from us, naturally.

From time tested cause and effect events that teach us as social mammals what is or isn't constructive for either our own well being or that of our offspring.

It's an ever evolving process, but created within our own minds, nonetheless.

Like a great many other things ;)


I hope you do ask her your questions. You could echo her answers back over here.

With that source for morality, would it be fair to suggest that, in politics, Machiavelli rules. I mean, his is a summation of time-tested cause and effect events which have been constructive for individual rulers' well-being (and therefore, the well-being of their offspring).

And didn't Roman Polanski take your stance when he argued that since almost everyone wants to have sex with 13 year olds... there can't be anything wrong with it?

If we human beings are indeed the measure of all things moral... it seems a very fickle standard. Doesn't this "evolving process" lend itself to "might makes right" or the revised "golden rule" which states, "He who has the gold makes the rules"?

Just a few questions to think about. I would be interested in your answers.


I will try to

Machiavelli made some astute observations of the powers of the day and how they were effected by princes and other authority figures, many of whom espoused a divine right to do as they pleased to begin with.

Regardless of what his own personal inclinations might have been, his observations shows us now how detrimental this type of thinking is, and yet it has not completely dissapeared. But our own nation is a symbol of said evolution in politics and sociology.

That enlightenment is what led the founders of our nation to seek something better and more reasonable than 'divine right' in leadership.

I'm glad you mentioned him specifically as I was always fascinated by his interpretation of Moses and the way he wielded complete authority and massacred a great number of his own people to achieve his ends.

Roman Polanski speaks for himself, clearly you can delineate that, and even if he were a spokesman for a group of people who want to make love to 13 years olds, the backlash of mothers and family everywhere (in the Western world at least) would be staggering.

And why should it have gone from being completely the norm and even at times a necessity in the religiously pious 1890's and later, to being the outrage that it is today for a man such as himself to say this?

Feminist and child welfare reform, reason, courage, humanity and the good old fashioned instinct of a mother to protect her offspring. Simple biology. A beautiful thing.

I can and will venture to say that we humans are the advent of all that is moral, and yes we are fickle about it at times.

As fickle as the hundreds of priests and their leadership who wholeheartedly practiced, and covered up sex abuse for years. Where, pray tell was their objective moral law then? Because, as spiritual leaders to defensless, all trusting children, they should have been eyebrows deep in it.

Some things to consider for yourself..


Ed, as one who recognizes an objective moral standard yet often violates it himself, I can tell you that the actions of the priests you mention is irrelevant to whether there is, in fact, such a standard.

You say that humans are the advent of all that is moral. What does that mean exactly? Did we invent it? Is it the next evolutionary step? Is evolution taking us somewhere, or is morality just another experiment of nature that might or might not work out?


BroKen is it irrelevant?

Going by the assumption that you are a pastor, and that your absolute moral law is based on the bible (and I do hope that is a correct assumption) would it be fair to say that these men did the same? as well as their leadership? that their victims and their victims families expected them to uphold this standard? I would think that it is fair to say exactly that.

Anytime you look at an institution and find corruption and total disregard for order within it, you don't just blame the laymen. It is a leadership problem. It trickles down from above, another simple natural law.

And to play devils advocate here...

Would you agree, that having god near you is like basking in the glow of a light and the absence of said god an enveloping darkness? instead of good or evil there is light and darkness? well, how could these priests basking in this glow of light from the one and only god commit such abominations? where did the light go? what suddenly showed up to cast a shadow from said light?

And lets also keep in mind this occurred for years. Not every now and then or as a singular act. YEARS. And instead of it being acknowledged for what it was, it was swept under the rug. Minimalized. The blame shifted entirely on to something irrelevant to the situation at hand.

Pope Benedict said in 2010 that,

"In the 1970s, pedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,
It was maintained - even within the realm of Catholic theology - that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a 'better than' and a 'worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself."

This is the institution that Miss Libresco has convinced herself is the epitome of absolute moral law.

I mean exactly what I stated. We as social animals, initially sought out to preserve actions that would help us and our offspring persevere, as well as the social groups we belonged to. Some were atrocious, irrational, and just illogical. The tide of thinking changed, but it did not happen overnight.

It is the next evolutionary step when people realize there is a lot more out there in the natural world than bronze age presuppositions of how things work.

It changes the moral landscape when we discover that those things we thought were a certain way are in fact, the opposite.

When people in our recent past history decided to uphold an 'absolute moral law', they fought tooth and nail to maintain the institutions of slavery, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and persecution of those who did not fit their idea of 'absolute moral law'. And they still do.

Obviously something was not working so people who felt the burden of those clamoring to uphold said 'absolute moral law' had to find ways for society to evolve from the nonsense it was adhering to.

We have gone far and will continue to do so..that is what evolution is about. Slow and steady. And it comes from within.

To quote another Italian genius, Dante,

"When the present world go astray, the cause is in you. In you it is to be sought."


Ed... you are either being obtuse... or completely deceptive... I'm going to hope for the former and not the latter... but I have my strong doubts...

Here are the Pope's words in context...

I think you either need to do more homework and apologize to my readers for your inability to comprehend simple concepts... or confess that you've wilfully taken something and completely skewed its meaning, on purpose, to further your agenda here...

Clearly the Pope was standing in opposition to pedophilia yet you attribute the exact opposite to him...

Sadly pathetic... or completely twisted...

Which is it?


Here are the Pope's words that Ed failed to fully quote... once read, you'll either understand why Ed failed to quote them or you'll understand why Ed has a comprehension problem (that would make most of his other arguments questionable at best):

In order to resist these forces, we must turn our attention to their ideological foundations. In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. This, however, was part of a fundamental perversion of the concept of ethos. It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a “better than” and a “worse than”. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstances and on the end in view. Anything can be good or also bad, depending upon purposes and circumstances. Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences, and in the process it ceases to exist. The effects of such theories are evident today. Against them, Pope John Paul II, in his 1993 Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, indicated with prophetic force in the great rational tradition of Christian ethos the essential and permanent foundations of moral action. Today, attention must be focussed anew on this text as a path in the formation of conscience. It is our responsibility to make these criteria audible and intelligible once more for people today as paths of true humanity, in the context of our paramount concern for mankind.

Flowery prose does not aleviate the fact that abuses were covered up, now does it?

I know of several cases personally and where their inquiries went, as well as the abusers being shuffled off to other parrishes.

Mybe you should apologize for your collectivist attitude Rick.

I dare you to.


No apologies from me other than to say I'm sorry to see you're dodging and obfuscating and deceptively attempting to change the subject...

It's clear to anyone with a set of eyeballs that you twist truth in the attempt to support the lies you're telling and when confronted, you set off in yet another direction.

You have no integrity with me.

Come clean and that perspective would change.

Do you have the integrity to do that?


Ed, it is irrelevant because we are talking about the existence of an objective standard of morality, not the behavior of individuals or groups. The fact that some cops violate the law does not invalidate the law. The fact that some people (priests, pastors, and everyone else) are corrupt, does not indicate there is no moral law. In fact, because we can recognize some behaviors and call them corrupt, that actually can indicate that there is such a law. Now, do you understand?

Your assumptions about me and my basis for the objective standard are off base. You know what they say happens when you assume! It would be more proper to say that the Bible is based on the objective moral law, than what you have stated.

So, no, I also do not agree with the assumptions of your "devil's advocate". No one here is defending the priests or any cover-up. You're just blowin' smoke, my friend. Stop it, please. Rick's calling you out on your distortion of the Pope's statement. It truly was dishonest or, at best, uncharitable. You need to come clean and own up to your mistake.


Rick go back and read my comment before you suffer from any more emotional rants..

Minimalizing the issue with points that do not address the problem specifically at hand and willfully negligent and are criminal offenses, short of morality as well.

I could present evidence from here to Texas on it but do not need to. You would whine about that too. As I said, I have personal testimony of it.

broKen, I said that law changes with the times, initially that is what I had proposed.

There are no absolutes, otherwise people would not decide now that something is immoral as opposed to years ago. That's fairly simple to grasp too.

Ok, that would be a agreeable point. It (the bible) is based on that theory of mine as it is made up by men as well. Myth is, or was created by ancient people to describe natural events in the world.

Once people are able to find these things in science and reason the myths are discarded or new ones pop up to take its place.

Simple concepts that neither of you are willing to accept anyways.

I wish Miss Libresco the best, I really do, but she may have not ever been an atheist to begin with. Hope her proclamations of being bi-sexual won't make her transition too rough.:)

The rationalist philosophical answers she seems so desperate to seek may or may not come from the church, and I suspect she won't stay in it long. So celebrate while you can.


I've read enough of your participation on this site to brand you as what you are.

Ignorant. And integrity-less.

When you're confronted with the error of your ways, whether that error be willful or simply born from ignorance, you obfuscate, deny or more consistently, change the subject.

Others here may have patience with your deceptive ways... I don't.

You have the wherewithal to come clean here and change your ways, to act in a way that merits respectful disagreement.

Instead, you want to play games.

I don't play the kind of game you're playing.

Come clean.

For Christ's sake, have the integrity to come clean.


I don't know, Rick. The game Ed is playing may be the best he knows. He did say "I have personal testimony of it". It seems clear that he has a "chip on his shoulder" about religion in general and the church in particular. Don't really know what's caused it, so, I'm willing to be gracious awhile longer.

Ed, I'm having trouble following you. You say, "there are no absolutes" and that is a simple concept, far too simple for human life. Have people changed their minds about lying, or betraying friends, or premeditated murder? Now, before you say, "Any of those might be moral in some instance." let me agree. Just as it is far too simple to pick one principle as "absolute" in all cases, it is at least as simplistic to say, "Because principles occasionally conflict with one another, there are really no principles." Moral dilemmas do not deny the moral law, in fact, I think they verify it. Denying moral law because of dilemmas would be like a teenager who says his father is an untrustworthy jerk because he promised to buy him a car and now he won't... just because he got laid off six months ago. How foolish is that?

What is the "agreeable point"? I'm not sure why you brought in the Bible. I'm the Bible-thumper, after all, and I haven't mentioned it, except in response to you. Why even go there?

Now, your explanation of the evolution of morality seems to me quite confused. Help me understand. Is this evolution taking us toward something... or it is just one darn thing after another?

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