Thaelman Urgelles One more thing: attributing to millennials the badly called Arab Spring is a bold and blind statement. It's like attributing to New Zealand the defeat of the Third Reich. Besides, I want to see the numbers of millennial volunteers for Iraq and Afganistan. Small wars for small times. Nothing compared with Vietnam of WW 1 and 2.
Thaelman Urgelles Being offended or taking personal comments like that are the kind of attitudes that justify those comments. They mock at us because of the self-righteous attitude which is, to my impression, quite annoying. All this entlitlement rhetoric is many times ridiculous.
Thaelman Urgelles But that's the kind of things individuals would do. Small organizations. Even particular priests. But not a Bishop. They have too many responsibilities, too much people to take care of. Maybe there was a direct line sent from the Vatican. Beside, Bergoglio did help the the dissidents. It's just that in dictatorships you can't do that out in the open. You have to be discreet. In full time autocracies you can't go out and simply yell against the government. It doesn't work that way.
Thaelman Urgelles Ana, this is just calumny. The bishops are not social activists, and in America when they give their opinion liberals yell "secularism!". This is an unfair treatment of the events. I don't know much about Argentina, but saying just like that that he is partly to blaim is too much. Politics is more complicated. The Church cannot go around messing with governments like an all-time opposition force. When in Mexico the Church opposed the Jacobin regime following the Revolution (1917), the Cristeros movement caused a bloody civil war that the Church ultimately condemned. Why would Argentina be a different case? It's the same story as people claiming Benedict to be a former nazi. Disingenuous remarks.
Thaelman Urgelles Your experience is shared by a lot of people. I also hated the question "where are you from" but for different reason. I escaped Venezuela and this popular idea of the US made me think anyone can be American. To a certain extend it's still true because to be an American you only need to be a citizen, and that's possible. But soon I realized that this idea of self-defining yourself is utterly false if you don't take you unchosen context into the equation. Today I rather see myself as a Venezuelan trying to live a cosmopolitan life without country bondage. But you were fortunate enough to grew up in America and not in a hardcore nationalist country! (And you should have an opinion on Chavez ;-) )
Thaelman Urgelles It seems the government is loosing strenth. I can't tell what will happen because I jave no idea. But the times when Chavez could balance democracy with autocracy and still win elections are over. The new regime will only hold to power through the use of force. That might have unpredictible consequences.
Thaelman Urgelles No doubt. We have advanced a lot. And as a Catholic I do not see science as contradicting religion at all. The Jesuit order is in charge of a lot of scientific research. Example: the theistic-leaning big ban theory, as opposed to the agnostic-leaning steady state theory, proved to be correct. Catholic teaching is too wise to take the Bible literally, which leads to some awkward statements. However science doesn't tell us anything about morality, which is only informed to us through the efforts of philosophy and theology. Seeing the progressive secularization and de-Christianization of the West is a standard for saying that today is less moral than a hundred years ago.
Thaelman Urgelles Besides Anna, going back to your mention of the Middle East as an example of religion causing violence. Your example is not quite accurate because Islam did not cause it. In a brilliant book called "Islam" by Karen Armstrong, and that I always suggest, she makes the case that current violence in the Middle East was promted by the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the imposition in the region of secular dictatorships by the Western Europeans. Religion might have been the catalyst for a lot of conflict, but it was secularism and the collapse of an empire which brought violence to that region.
Thaelman Urgelles True that immorality has always been there. But there is a big difference. Today we are going through a demorilizing secularism. In previous generations people might have been just as immoral as today, but no one denied their immoral character. Immorality was not main stream pop culture. Today there is a defiance of everything descent that is compared with the decadent times of any civilization. Henry VIII is a good example of a debouched tyrant in times of social convultion. I don't say people should be perfect, because no one is. But that culture today promotes a demoralized secularism is evident. Debouchery is no longer checked and rebuffed, it is encouraged and praised in the media. Who can deny it?
Thaelman Urgelles I invite you to watch half an hour of Mtv or E! Look for programs like Jersey Shore. Do a quick search for porn sites on the internet. Watch a comedy show and check for adult language. Look up divorce rates. Look up public nudity cases. Socialize a little bit around college campuses. Watch Game of Thrones. Look up for legislations destroying traditional marriage. Look up the amount of babies murdered since Roe vs Wade. Do quick research in the morality from the 50's backwards, and excepting for white male racist suppremacy, the West was considerably more moral than it is today. Find the facts. They are out there. They are quite evident. Don't ask me to be your teacher for me to assign you readings.
Thaelman Urgelles True. And this has been one of the core debates in Christianity since its foundations. On the one hand there is a renunciation of the world, in which case social decay should not matter, and on the other there is a will to make our societies more Christian, so that the word of God reaches the majority of people and salvation becomes more possible for the majority, and that requires participating in the world. It's the difference between the Benedictine monks and the Franciscan poor preachers. There is no solution to this. But part of being Christian is preaching and trying with words (not violence) to lead people toward God, our final destination. A Christian who preserves his Christianity to himself is not a good Christian.
Thaelman Urgelles I agree that citing research is good for bettering a conversation. I'm all for it. What I'm aggainst is people using some conveniently selected research to kick others out of conversations. Reasonable arguments do not require research to be reasonable. Ben wanted to bully me out with some articles. Regarding religion: religion educates morality but it's ultimate purpose is not social cohesion. From the social science ventage point only the social cohesion matters, because it can be tested. But from religion's ventage point what matters is the truth of the word of God through His prophets and through His Son, because through that truth salvation is possible. What happenes down here on Earth is pretty much irrelevant on those terms.
Thaelman Urgelles mmm, I think you didn't get my point. I said that there is no solution for violence. That every society going though social transformation falls into violence, and that religion is not save from it. And dude, you cannot quote Wikipedia if you want to show off your methodological insight. Did you even read these articles? look: "In The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany, it is noted that Hitler supported the Deutsche Christen church which rejected the Hebrew origins of the Gospel and stated first that Jesus was an Aryan and also that Paul as a Jew had falsified Jesus's message, a theme Hitler repeatedly mentioned in private conversations." Does that sound Christian to you? I mean, c'mon.
Thaelman Urgelles Ben, I don't know if you know academia from inside or not, but having spend some years in grad school showed me why science proof is so relative to circumstances, the biases of the researchers, and methodological problems. I really don't have time to read the articles, I'm interested in other topics. But let me remind you that science is proved wrong with more frequency that outsiders to science believe. You have some facts, fine, I'm sure they are not definite, five years from know this might end up being all false and the data might be filled with noise. I do know that West is less moral and descent by the year. That is a fact of history. Read the past, read today, compare. Not talking about indivuals, but of society as a whole.
Thaelman Urgelles I wouldn't kno about Japan and China. I have my reservations with those two nations. China is a blind dictatorship that even censures and regulates faith (not only expressions and property). But in what regards to violence, as you pointed out, violence has always been a feature of human societies. Yes, religion is not a cure for violence, true to the boot. But I think the same applies for practically anything. The reasons for violence can be found on every society going through a social transformation like contemporary Middle East. There was a time when the Muslim world was the most tolerant place on Earth. I simply don't think there is a cure for violence, and liberal secularism is included here. Nazi Germany was an atheist regime...
Thaelman Urgelles On point 5, that idea was already framed by Benedict XVI when he was cardinal Ratzinger. I think the point is not that atheists will go to heaven and that no evil doers will be cast in hell. Maybe the idea is that Christ's sacrifice encompasses the whole of humanity, and that even atheists have a chance to redeem themselves by changing their minds.
Thaelman Urgelles If you think the only way of participating in a political conversation is by showing up some scientific-like evidence, you are wrong. Human beings have been discovering stuff for thousands of years without the need of the last 200 years or so of modern science. As a matter of fact many of social scientific discoveries are data proving things told by Greeks thousands of years ago. So you take it or you leave it or you retort.
Thaelman Urgelles It was terrible, it was shocking, but it made sense. After all the momentum Robb created in the closing of the first season, everything he's been doing since then is procrastinating for some uncomprehensible reason. He should not have married Taria, he should not have gone to his granfathers funeral, he should not have gone to the wedding, maybe he should not have behaded the old man who killed the Lannister boys (not sure about his one though). So this guy is in for battle and war but he still has time to pay homage to social conventions. No people, Robb Stark was not up to the challenge. Tyrion might become Lord of Winterfel and John Snow has the first chance of inheriting some glory by rebelling the north.
Thaelman Urgelles The problem Ben is not that a person cannot be moral without being religious. I'm sure it can; I know a lot of atheists and agnostics who can be more charitable that a lot of blind Christians. The problem is that a society on the whole, on the aggregate (not case by case individuals), cannot have a public morality and decent character without the help of religion. This is the core of the problem. Even if individually a lot of people can be nice and kind and civil without believing in God, when society turns its back on God moral decay spreads in the youth, in the banks, in government, maybe even in churches. Let anyone decide for their own, but let Christ God be the flag of society.
Thaelman Urgelles Great job Ryan. I've been wanting to write something similar but I haven't been able to. Truth is, many people don't realize that the lowering of Western moral standards began in the 60's with the sexual libertine culture. Everyone that aprehends religion knows why religion sets social mores. A lot of the liberal/libertarian debate recently has been pointing out that religion should be kicked out of the public realm completely so that gays and lesbians and free sex people can enjoy their sexualities publickly without religious people stating their views. The Manhattan Declaration phrames the problem correctly when it points out that this is not about individual rights and freedom but about liscence and moral decay.
Thaelman Urgelles The difference is that the promotion of condoms implies that having sex outside heterosexual marriage is okay after all. They do have sex regardless, as you say, but it's not morally condoned.
Thaelman Urgelles Nice article. But you know, I don't think we read classics for practical reasons. Practical reasons are below the purely aesthetical reasons why we read classics. I don't know if it makes you smarter, but it definitively makes you a fuller person. It gives awareness of our human condition above our animal drives. It connetcts with our higher being. Books on policy and international issues are boring, and most of the times are proved wrong one decade later. Many of them are a waste of time because most of the things they call for are not even within our reach, so there is no reason to feel guilty. BTW, talking about violence, the most violent book of all times is called The Illiad, and it's one of the most fantastic poems ever written.