Friday, October 8, 2010

The Catholic Church and Fideism


Recently a Catholic reader said this about my dismissal of theists as blind believers, lemmings, and unthinking purveyors of mindless platitudes: “… we Catholics are also against fideism.”
For those not familiar with the term:

fideism –noun
- exclusive reliance in religious matters upon faith, with consequent rejection of appeals to science or philosophy.
- a philosophical view extolling theological faith by making it the ultimate criterion of truth and minimizing the power of reason to know religious truths.

In short when it comes to religious matters fideism implys all you need is faith, reason need not apply.

So, while the Catholic Church has been willing to allow a certain degree of reason to be mixed with it’s blind faith such as finally accepting evolutionary theory (with certain caveats) and ultimately rejecting the geocentric model of the universe-- it is hardly anti-fideist . They may be perceived as more progressive than some other denominations of Christianity, and certainly Islam; but I wouldn’t call anything about Catholicism “reasoned.”

Since the existence of god or the supernatural has never been demonstrated by objective reasoning, in spite of the failed attempts by Aquinas, to continue to maintain that reason can prove god’s existence is plain Catholic self delusion. Reason that is reduced to subjective absurdity, distorted by the infusion of faith (i.e. “the proof of god is all around you.”) is not “reason” anymore so than calling astrology a science or calling a faith healer a medical professional.

Unless and until theistic philosophies / belief systems retain the fundamental precepts of religion that are good and not rooted in supernatural, and abandon those things that are in diametric opposition to reason, then reason will always be the enemy of faith, as Martin Luther said.
What kind of things? For starters things like saying condoms spread AIDS and their use is in opposition to some god’s will; masturbation is a “sin” ; homosexuality is a choice and a “sin”; dead things reanimate; the “trinity” is real; proffering that a man committing suicide repays the trespasses or takes away the imaginary sins of others; that life after death is real; that torture for an eternity for non-belief is genuine; that nonbelievers are immoral at face; that man is here for a greater “purpose” than are any other species of plant or animal life; indeed any belief in the supernatural.

None of those things permit reason to displace the illogic and fantasy necessary to retain ones religious belief or a religion's dogma. All of them reject scientific proofs, objective reasoning, history, zoology, cumulative secular knowledge, advances in morality, prima fascia statistical and observable evidence and common sense.

To suggest that any religion, including Catholicism, promotes reason as equal to or even approaching par with faith is simple self delusion. It’s an attempt to co-opt reason as a way to justify their blind following of myth, to establish Catholicism as a higher order of Christianity versus Protestantism. If Catholics read the bible in its entirety (which the majority do not), and without Catholic apologetic sites to reinterpret and thus smooth its obscene and unreasoned acts in an effort to transform them, make their “context” seem reasoned and palatable -- their reason would overwhelm their faith. Catholicism would dissolve even faster than it is now in the industrialized world.

No, sorry -- saying Catholicism opposes fideism is simply ignoring the facts of what superstitious belief demands of its adherents. The Catholic Church HAS to discredit reason in order to stay viable, just like any other religion, sect, or cult… that they pay reason lip service in their doctrine of pure faith is simply a shell game to get believers to accept they aren’t mindless unthinking zombies. But, they are.

8 comments:

innerminds said...

Great work, Hump! Hey, can you also post this to http://filipinofreethinkers.org ? :

NewEnglandBob said...

I had a back and forth discussion on the RCC with a professed Catholic on another blog and pointed all this out to him (not as eloquently as Hump does here) but he still didn't get it.

I even added the cover-up of pedophilia to the list, but he still would not admit how irrational his stance is.

His major tactics was to divert, obfuscate, blame everyone else (pedophilia is also rampant in schools: his claim to divert from priests) and accuse me of being rude, irrational and of using ad hominems, all bogus.

These theists are well controlled by their delusion and will say anything to avoid reality and justify their criminally run, disgusting church.

Dromedary Hump said...

Inner: Done!!

NEBob: I often wonder if their denial is a result of having had catholic nonsesne drummed in to their heads, with no room for anything else; or whether they are lying and avoiding the truth as they so often have done when faced with things like the Church's dispicable history; or if they are just plain stupid.

Then again...it may be all three which renders continued debate with them a masturbatory exoercise

Joan said...

Terrific post! So logical. So beautifully reasoned, and sadly pretty much wasted in debate with theists.

It’s always amazing to me that theists think that atheists or agnostics are unfamiliar with biblical teachings. A great many of us have been through it in spades but have finally evolved . That being said, the plan in all religions is to get ‘em while they are young and pray they don’t learn their way out of it.

(The following is with apologies to Rogers and Hammerstein and thanks to Hump for the inspiration.)

YOU'VE GOT TO BE TAUGHT

You’ve got to be taught
from year to year
That God is a person
that you must fear
He’ll throw you in Hades
for drinking a beer.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught
that sex is bad,
Too much masturbation
will drive you mad
Or make you go blind,
which is equally sad.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught
that you’re impure,
A sinner from birth,
and that’s for sure.
When baptism’s offered
you dare not demure.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught
before it’s too late
Before you are six
or seven or eight
To fear all the people
your church buddies hate
You’ve got to be carefully taught

Of course there are perks
for joining the clan
Of peeps who believe
in the Son of Man
You’re brainwashed and saved,
a true Jesus fan,
Because you’ve been carefully taught.

Dromedary Hump said...

Joan..LOL. Nice adaptation from the South Pacific song. Glad I inspired you. ;)

Joan said...

Oops! that should read "demur" not "demure". Spell checkers don't always save my life.

gristleoflife said...

The systematic, intensive indoctrination of the children of evangelical parents borders on mental abuse. These households are a cult within a cult. The parents are afraid that if they don't brainwash them while they're young, they'll choose a different path than they did....and they can't have that.

People cling to religion for three main reasons:
1. Fear of insignificance.
The promise of religion is that you are one of the "chosen". You're special. You're not just a random speck in the universe. Don't worry, God's got your back.
2 Fear of a death that is truly the end.
The promise of religion is immortality.
3. 18+ years of brainwashing by their parents.

J Wu said...

If you clap your hands (and believe) hard enough, Tinkerbell will most assuredly NOT live. Not if you clap your hands where she's flying.