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Darzin

The future of Catholicism

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1 hour ago, SeanF said:

I'd say the worst child abuse scandal in the UK, in my lifetime, was the way that people working in social services and the police

I dunno, this seems worthy of consideration:

Quote

Between 1970 and 2015, the church in England and Wales received more than 900 complaints involving more than 3,000 instances of child sexual abuse, made against more than 900 individuals, including priests, monks and volunteers. [...]

When complaints were made, the church invariably failed to support victims and survivors but took action to protect alleged perpetrators by moving them to a different parish. “Child sexual abuse,” the report says, “was swept under the carpet.”

 

1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

The other more viable option is to copy how other cults have adapted and become a sort of self help society that picks on the emotionally vulnerable and offers the promise of community and a sense of superiority. 

......Who do you think those other cults copied this from in the first place?

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9 hours ago, SeanF said:

IMHO, some people will do evil very cheerfully for all sorts of reasons other than religious conviction.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction

Tell me one thing that removes their inherent inhibition more than religious fanaticism. Uncountable historic proofs. 

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9 minutes ago, TheLastWolf said:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction

Tell me one thing that removes their inherent inhibition more than religious fanaticism. Uncountable historic proofs. 

Considering that the last century was pretty well the first time in history atheism became widespread, that’s a pretty meaningless statement. But once atheists took over governments, the slaughter of millions continued. The communist governments of Russia and China certainly weren’t holier than any country with a state-sponsored religion.

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13 hours ago, Week said:

This is an interesting topic - as a corollary, I've been thinking about a *good church's role in community building, organizing, and support across a group of people within some proximity of home or family and there is no non-religious group, that I'm aware of - aside from political parties maybe (*shiver*) - to fill this gap or that of your bolded point. It feels ripe for disruption aside from it's necessity to be at least not for profit. At this point, I think social media is filling that gap for both religious and non-religious and we're seeing the negative impact of that.

*Might even be RCC!

I am thinking of this too all the time, particularly in the wake of FB's suspension of tRump for 2 years.  This was a primary function of the Church and the Pope, the use of the tool of excommunication, 'for the sake of the people.' For a very long time now, with the rise of the nation state post the Reformation and the 17th Century's wars of religion, the resource tool of excommunication by the Church no longer functioned. We have nation states embargoing trade, which indeed in ye older times, was also part of the most severe excommunication of a leader, affecting his people and economy (always male -- I can't think of any female leader who ever got excommunicated; Elizabeth I was protestant and so was her nation, and so were the Hansa League cities, so who would care, amahrite?).

FB, Twit, etc., suspensions and banning are the closest the ultimate shunning of papal excommunication one has seen internationally in quite a while. Except, of course, the eternal embargo of Cuba insisted upon and enforced (unlike so many trade embargos) by the US.

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24 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Considering that the last century was pretty well the first time in history atheism became widespread, that’s a pretty meaningless statement. But once atheists took over governments, the slaughter of millions continued. The communist governments of Russia and China certainly weren’t holier than any country with a state-sponsored religion.

In a way those states became religions of their own with the dictator replacing god.

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54 minutes ago, TheLastWolf said:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction

Tell me one thing that removes their inherent inhibition more than religious fanaticism. Uncountable historic proofs. 

Greed, for land or gold;  political conviction;  racial hatred;  fear of the enemy;  those will all work just as effectively as religious fanaticism. , 

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3 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

I very much doubt that becoming more "liberal" will "save" Catholicism in the west. The Church of England is already more liberal and their situation is not better.

I don't think it will help it much at hall. It's the utra-orthodox ultra-conservative parishes that are full of young people. The liberal and neutral ones outnumber those by far but they are on borrowed time.

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11 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

In a way those states became religions of their own with the dictator replacing god.

I don’t necessarily disagree but I also don’t think it’s fair to say that these specifically non-religious entities that have done great evil count as religion because of the political structure. 

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@SeanF

@Fragile Bird

I was talking about the whole history of mankind. Entire Homo Sapien existence. Egypt, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley to the Crusades to the jihad and neo Nazis. Turks. Mughals. Genghis khan. Religion is behind most of chauvinism, xenophobia, racism and bigotry. 1 century can't even match 

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1 hour ago, S John said:

I don’t necessarily disagree but I also don’t think it’s fair to say that these specifically non-religious entities that have done great evil count as religion because of the political structure. 

But it's the structure that matters. The ideology fills in the gaps. 

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I think the old platitude that religion is responsible for wars can be dispensed with.  War is fundamentally a competition of resources, religion is just one of the most (and obviously THE most up to the 20th century) salient justifications for this foundational impetus.  Or, as Trey Parker put it:

Quote

"Atheism? No. We've learned to get rid of all the isms in our time."

"Yes. Long ago we realized isms are great for those who are rational, but in the hands of irrational people, isms always lead to violence."

"So there is no war now in the future?"

"Of course there's war. The stupid French-Chinese think they have a right to Hawaii."

"Yeah!"

OTOH, I do find it somewhat concerning that there seems to be a bit of moral equivalency or even relativism here that elides the massive crimes the RCC has committed in regards to child abuse - and subsequently covering it up.  The Church is, by far, the greatest culprit of this worldwide and no other institutions even really compare.  They should own that. 

I do agree, however, that this is not their biggest problem (albeit it still is a significant one) when it comes to waning membership in the western world.  That's simply a facet of people becoming less religious, and I don't really think any religion can combat that trend.

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I'd suggest that, more generally, people in the West don't join social groups as much as they once did. Trade unions, political parties, community organisations, as well as Churches, just don't have the active membership they once did. We live in a much more individualistic and atomised society.

In approaching the Catholic Church, you have to consider two factors:

(i) The sheer longevity of the thing. It long, long pre-dates modernity, and indeed until it was de-fanged by the World Wars and Vatican II, it still railed against the supposed evils of liberal democracy. The Church doesn't adapt itself particularly well to modern social trends, primarily because it thinks in terms of centuries, not decades. This also means that the Church would be happier to continue in decline than shift to accommodate.

(ii) The fundamentals of Christianity are non-materialistic. It's a religion, not a self-help movement. Changing the Church line on gay marriage might garner the approval of many in the modern West, but it's not going to actually shift anyone's belief in God or Jesus' Resurrection.

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1 hour ago, TheLastWolf said:

@SeanF

@Fragile Bird

I was talking about the whole history of mankind. Entire Homo Sapien existence. Egypt, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley to the Crusades to the jihad and neo Nazis. Turks. Mughals. Genghis khan. Religion is behind most of chauvinism, xenophobia, racism and bigotry. 1 century can't even match 

I really disagree with this. Throughout most of human history most religion has been a reflection of societies values rather than imposing values on society. It's only been relatively recently with the rise of Christianity and Islam that we've seen expansionist religion attempting to impose scriputral values on society. 

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4 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

@SeanF

@Fragile Bird

I was talking about the whole history of mankind. Entire Homo Sapien existence. Egypt, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley to the Crusades to the jihad and neo Nazis. Turks. Mughals. Genghis khan. Religion is behind most of chauvinism, xenophobia, racism and bigotry. 1 century can't even match 

Genghis Khan and his successors believed they were favoured by Eternal Heaven, but they were almost all religiously tolerant people. Their conquests were in no sense wars of religion. The Turks and Mughals were just as likely to be fighting fellow Muslims as Christians and Hindus respectively.    IMHO, Thucydides got it right, when he wrote that honour, self interest, or fear, were the motivators for most wars.

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4 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

@SeanF

@Fragile Bird

I was talking about the whole history of mankind. Entire Homo Sapien existence. Egypt, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley to the Crusades to the jihad and neo Nazis. Turks. Mughals. Genghis khan. Religion is behind most of chauvinism, xenophobia, racism and bigotry. 1 century can't even match 

By that metric (whole history of humanity) - religion is relaitively non-violent. Vast majority of its history humanity spent as hunter-gatherers with no organized religions. And hunter-gatherer period was exceedingly violent by modern standards, heck by any standards in general. Worst case scenario, IIRC, was the tribe where they found that 60% of male population died in war or due to consenquences of the war. Long story short, violence and war precede religion by a large margin.

Btw, if you're interested in expanding that idea of war onto biological level, here's a interesting piece of data. There's one other species, other than homo sapiens, that actively engaged in stuff like genocide, mass slavery and extermination of other "tribes" - and these are ants, who live in highly organized and hierarchical society with clear labor division. So, possibly, these could be the factors to look out for - not religion

Anyhow, moving out onto the examples you provided. While all of these societies were religious (indeed, it's hard to find historical society that isn't) - their conflicts and wars weren't necessarily motivated by religion. Genghis Khan, for example, was indeed one of worst butchers in humanity's history - but did he engage in his brutal campaign due to any religious reasons whatsoever? No, as far as anyone knows. In fact, since your list mentions only two examples of genuine religion conflicts: crusades and jihad. Heck, I'll even steel-man it by providing you with more examples: 30-year war, Arab expansion in 7th and 8th century, Albigensian wars, French religion wars of 16th century, role of missionaries in colonization of the New World. Etc.

But even taking these into account, I don't see religion being prevalent, much less the worst, source of conflict between societies. In fact, outside of sphere of Islam and Christianity (two monotheistic, universalist and expansionist religions) I see very little religion conflict at all. Take...I don't know, take China for example, country with long history of (mostly civil and internal) wars and conflicts. And while they were brutal and bloody (e.g. it's possible that An Lushan rebellion was the war with most casualties in history up until the 20th century), I don't know if any of it had anything to do with religion.

In short, this is incredibly complex, multifaceted and arduous topic to discuss  and bringing it down to a single cause is doing it a disservice. Nor did violence, brutality and evil (whichever way you want to conceptualize evil) begin with religion, nor will they be gone (if and when) religion ends.

4 hours ago, DMC said:

War is fundamentally a competition of resources, religion is just one of the most (and obviously THE most up to the 20th century) salient justifications for this foundational impetus

While I don't necessarily disagree (and give you lots of kudos points for South Park reference), I do feel this is somehow overly simplistic. People, both on individual and group level, can do incredibly nasty, hurtful and downright brutal things to one another without the "competition for resources" ever coming into play.

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4 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Genghis Khan and his successors believed they were favoured by Eternal Heaven, but they were almost all religiously tolerant people. Their conquests were in no sense wars of religion. The Turks and Mughals were just as likely to be fighting fellow Muslims as Christians and Hindus respectively.    IMHO, Thucydides got it right, when he wrote that honour, self interest, or fear, were the motivators for most wars.

Even the Crusades had noticeable non-religious motives beneath the religious zeal. Urban wanted to bolster his authority, Alexios wanted to bolster the geopolitical position of his Empire, and the Crusaders wanted loot and land.

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5 minutes ago, Knight Of Winter said:

 Take...I don't know, take China for example, country with long history of (mostly civil and internal) wars and conflicts. And while they were brutal and bloody (e.g. it's possible that An Lushan rebellion was the war with most casualties in history up until the 20th century), I don't know if any of it had anything to do with religion.

The only one that springs to mind there is the Taiping Rebellion of the nineteenth century - a war started by a nutter who claimed to be the brother of Jesus. On the other hand, that one was also a reflection of how unpopular and corrupt the Qing Regime had become by that point.

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12 minutes ago, Knight Of Winter said:

People, both on individual and group level, can do incredibly nasty, hurtful and downright brutal things to one another without the "competition for resources" ever coming into play.

Well, of course.  There are a lot of justifications for war in order to motivate entire groups of people.  And some of those justifications make the wars (or even "wars") more brutal than others.  Point is religion is just one of these justifications.  Eradicating it, or racism, or any other justification, will not eradicate war.

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48 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

The only one that springs to mind there is the Taiping Rebellion of the nineteenth century - a war started by a nutter who claimed to be the brother of Jesus. On the other hand, that one was also a reflection of how unpopular and corrupt the Qing Regime had become by that point.

Everything I know about the Taiping comes from Flashman and the Dragon.  There's a hilarious dialogue between Flashman and the Heavenly King at the same time as the latter is fornicating with a pair of his concubines.

When Flashman is introduced to the man's son, he comments internally "I suppose he must be Jesus' nephew."

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The Horde system was to actively encourage religion, by not taxing the notables of every religion in their conquered territories.  Religion fostered stability, and with the active support of the notables, discouraged unrest.  The more stability the more tax revenue, which was often also collected by the local religious authority (not always) and sent back to the Great Khan and other Hordic khans, which then was distributed throughout the populations of the Hordes -- which was the Mongolian Hordic political strategy, as well as the mandate from Heaven to do as well.  Trade and taxes were the foundations of Mongolian aspiration and administration. Thus, while the khans's horde/court moved along with their people and herds, the khans also built and rebuilt many cities.

 

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