The New Seven Deadly Sins

The Catholic Church has added to the list of the seven deadly sins.

Apparently polluting, genetic engineering, obscene riches, taking drugs, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice are to join pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, wrath and sloth as originally defined by Pope Gregory the Sixth in the 6th Century.

Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, named the new mortal sins in an interview with the Vatican newspaper yesterday, saying,“New sins have appeared on the horizon of humanity as a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalisation. God was offended not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour’s wife but by ruining the environment, conducting immoral scientific experiments and genetic manipulation.”

I confess i’m not a Bible expert but i can’t find the one about ruining the environment anywhere.

Via Andrew Bolt.

Update; Catholics in full damage limitation mode! Some commenters have referred us to this article suggesting that it’s all a fuss about nothing. Yes – of course The London Times was not suggesting that the Vatican intended to officially update the Seven Deadly Sins. They were merely doing what we and many others are doing – poking fun at a ridiculous statement from the Vatican’s Chief ‘Penances and Sins’ guy. Talk utter nonsense and expect to be ridiculed.

154 thoughts on “The New Seven Deadly Sins

  1. There would seem to be some potential for overlap between gluttony, greed and obscene riches. In any case isn’t the catholic church obscenely rich?

    The enviromental tendancies of Jesus are there if you look hard enough. My mother inlaw did a theology thesis on the topic, despite my enduring cynicism. But then again I’ve got friends like J.Humphreys who have decided (see his personal blog) that Ghangis Khan was a libertarian, so what am I to do?

  2. I agree with Humphreys. Poor Genghis has had an unnecessarily bad rep. When he had to fight he fought hard but he was a pretty benign ruler. I’m looking forward to the release of that new movie made about him.

  3. The Chruch is obscenely rich because the faithful simply keep on doling out their incomes to it.

    In theory their greed is benign and beholden to the parishoners. Gluttony is something you could more easily accuse the Vatican of.

    I’d like to know the basis of declaring ALL genetic engineering as evil. Even that of enriching rice to vitamin A rich “golden rice”.

  4. “Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself, and not use his/her property as a dumping ground.” I suppose loving thy neighbour means all of your neighbours, not just your next-door neighbours, so that is where the anti-pollution aspect comes from.
    In some countries (like India) couples are aborting female babies, which is an extreme form of genetic engineering.
    I have always felt that the traditional virtues were hard enough to practice, because there were two demons to every virtue, so to speak- I was always outnumbered! The angel of moderate diet was always fighting either gluttony or anorexia, and so on with all the virtues! It’ll be even harder now!

  5. I am so disgusted by the news that the Vatican released a new list of “deadly” sins. I feel so sorry for the people who follow the Catholic church. I want to know on what authority the Catholic church thinks they can deem a sin a mortal sin. They define a “deadly” sin as a blantant violation of the ten commandments. And they state if you are guilty of a “deadly” sin and you die, your soul will be condemmed to eternal damnation. I want to know how they figure this when they have actually changed the ten commandments and violate them on a regular basis. My Bible, the Holy Bible (not the Catholic version), states that idol worship is a blatant violation of the second commandment and going to church on Sunday is a blatant violation of the fourth commandment. So, what a bunch of hypocrites! And actually, all sins are deadly according to the Bible. The Bible states the wages of sin are death. This is why Jesus Christ had to die for our sins. They would know this if they bothered to read the Bible. The Catholic church seems to think they are all powerful and they constantly state that they do things on their own authority because they don’t have to answer to God. They state they hold God’s place on earth which is not only ridiculously bold but it’s blasphemy! They repeatedly blasphemy God based on the Bible’s definition of blashempy. It is blashempy to state that you can change God’s law on your own authority and they have done it and they are proud. Anyone that studies the Bible and Cathetholism can tell you that they changed Saturday, the Sabbath, to Sunday by their own authority and the whole world worships on Sunday and has no idea why they do it. The church actually brags about this. And the Bible also states that God is the only being that can forgive our sins yet they continue to put themselves in God’s place by stating their preists can forgive your sins. It is sick! If any other organization that wasn’t so wealthy and politically influential had the nerve to make the claims the Catholic church does and make their own rules and throw out the Bible, they would be called a cult and cut off from society! I am sick of this and feel sorry for the world that follows this nonsense without questioning it! PEOPLE PLEASE USE YOUR BRAINS AND STUDY FOR YOURSELF! QUIT FOLLOWING SOMETHING BECAUSE YOU ARE TOLD TO DO IT! QUESTION THINGS, GOD GAVE US A BRAIN AND THE BIBLE FOR A REASON!

  6. If any other organization that wasn’t so wealthy and politically influential had the nerve to make the claims the Catholic church does and make their own rules and throw out the Bible, they would be called a cult and cut off from society!

    Yes, it’s all about numbers.

    Why is it socially acceptable to insult Scientology but not Catholicism or Islam?

    Numbers.

  7. Erica, the mormons are also guilty of the sin of adding to the Bible, and they are called decent people.
    If you read the Holy Bible, as translated from the Aramaic by George Lamsa, you will find many amazing things. For instance, to ‘turn into a pillar of salt’, did not mean a literal translation. ‘Turn into’ could be translated as ‘resembled’. Lot’s wife turned around, saw what was happening to the city she had called home for years, and had a deadly shock. She turned so white from shock that she resembled a pillar of salt. This would have been understood by the aramaic audience, just as we no longer think that ‘strokes’ are literal strokes from arrows from elves trying to kill you with invisible arrows! Cultural context has to be understood.
    So which version of the Bible do you read? (I am currently reading The Jewish Bible, which has Old and New Testaments, but the Jewish names are kept through-out, so Hellenized Jesus stays as Yeshua, etc.)

  8. Nicholas, I read the King James version of the Bible. I am starting to study Hebrew though so I can get a better idea of how translation has been lost as it was converted to English. I do want to clarify in my comment that when I said going to church on Sunday is a violation of the fourth commandement, what I should have said is keeping the Sunday as Sabbath instead of Saturday is a violation. And I want to make sure that everyone knows I don’t have anything against Catholic people. I think there are lots of good Catholic people. I have something against the religious organization! And I agree, Mormons added to the Bible. A lot of religions have added and taken away things in their belief structure. Thank you for your comment.

  9. Pommy,

    I suspect Erica is an American. Catholic bashing is “the last socially acceptable prejudice” there. Perhaps she should learn more about the history of the translation & acceptanbce of certain books in the bible) and what Catholics actually believe.

    I think we need to chalk this up to a bad idea or fad. Every religion and denomination has had plenty of them.

  10. Pommygranate, maybe people are too afraid to insult the Catholisim because they are afraid the church will use it’s influence to start burning people at the stake again for publicly not agreeing with them! Lol!

  11. Mark, I am definetly an American and very proud of it! I have studied Catholisim into much detail as well as many other religions. Believe me, I know what I am talking aboutand I could start quoting scripture and referencing books in the library and spaces on the internet that colaborate what I am saying. Would that make everyone feel better? I suggest you take your own advise, study what Catholics actually believe and comments that the church has made.

  12. Nicholas
    Seeking the most attractive and intelligent partner you can find is a form of genetic engineering. Following the Catholic church’s formulation, the only unsinful way of reproducing would be to have partners randomly assigned.

  13. Hey speaking of pollution Google Vatican at night and look at the amount of outside light this place has, Just think what theyre running for a bill on that, plus inside the place, just flicking a switch there kills 3 seals in the arctic!!lol, anyways they want us to go back to the dark ages pretty much you cant even burn something without creating air pollution, you cant even take a dump now witout polluting….google the car that he rides around in, its a six wheel something or other, you and i know thats suckin up as much gas as 2 suv’s would, this religion is whack, its a soft form of dictaorship. I feel sorry for the people who choose to live by their rules, Anyways gotta go.

  14. From what I can tell very few Catholics live by the rules of the Catholic church. Thank God!

  15. Ericka, the early Christians worshipped on Sunday to commemorate the day when Jesus arose from the dead. After all, ‘Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man.’ It also helped to make them distinct from their Jewish origins, though that might have been a mistake, since we need to know as much about Jewish culture as we can if we want to understand Jesus.
    I would certainly agree that the Catholic Church has gone too far in some of its’ doctrines, but my beliefs are Highly Unorthodox, First Church thereof. I apply the Cabbalah to both Old and New Testaments, for instance.

  16. Just a point on the non-pollution – I have heard it argued that God’s first commandment to Adam and Eve was basicaly to care for the environment. But I’m an athiest so I wouldn’t really want to venture an opinion on that.

    Having been brought up Catholic I can’t help but experience a residual annoyance at other christian whackos having a go at the church. The Catholic church is a very interesting institution with lots of history and established bureaucratic proceedures for producing new doctrine. These splitter churches just decide which of their personal prejudices they want to be the word of god, look for some vague reference in the bible that can be twisted to back it up and then found their new church.

    Not that I want to defend the church as such, but if you’re gonna believe in a (christian) sky pixie you really should go back to the source – the Catholic or Othodox churches….

  17. How does God define ‘obscene riches’? Does He benchmark relative to median incomes (see other post)? Or is it an absolute measure of obscenity? I am obscenely rich compared to the average worker in a socialist country but obscenely poor compared to your average Vatican priest.

    But i don’t want to give up work completely lest i be ‘slothful’.

    Also – does a glass of Chianti of an evening count as ‘drug taking’?

    Ed – stop this. It’s too easy.

  18. Re: comment 3.
    Mark, In the past the Catholic Church forcibly seized land and property. I admit, much of their wealth has been through voluntary donations. However remember that for much of the church’s history, being a non-Christian was illegal.
    So in summary, the Church acquired much of its wealth in a manner that should have been illegal and criminal.

    On a lighter note, I think the Pope is actually trying his hand at some business theory, in regard to supply vs demand.
    He’s worried that less and less people are going to confession these days. So he’s increasing the supply of sins, to increase the cofessional patronage. It’s like there’s a 50% sale on sins at the Vatican. You can get two sins for the price of one, and still get to feel that smooth refreshing brand of Catholic guilt.

  19. I’m always amazed at people’s fascination with a) professing their religious beliefs through bashing another religion, and b) an almost maniacal obsession with the Bible being the only possible scripture in existence! Had it not been for the Catholic church, the Bible as we know it today (although the term itself really just means a collection of books, not “God’s only True Scripture”)) would not have made it into our hands. Had the Catholic church not held various councils and made some of the decisions it made in the early years of the Church, and had simply sat back and let the growing confusion over what was or wasn’t scripture decide, then the books and gospels we read today simply would not exist! In addition, where do people get the false notion that “The Bible” cannot be added to? Most likely, it is a misquote of Revelations 22:

    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    This is John speaking from the Isle of Patmos, in his final years of life – he has no idea that his words are going to be a part of something called ‘a Bible’ – he is referring to his writings. The fact that this shows up in the end of ‘the Bible’ is only because when the Books were organized, that is where Revelations ended up. In fact, most Bible scholars agree that John wrote this long before other contributors to the New Testament had written their words down. Are we to then disregard anything written chronologically after John wrote as not being scripture?

  20. I don’t agree with these new rules. I like that the church is condemning pollution and supporting the enviroment. I don’t like that they are saying you will go to hell if you disobey these new laws. I like that obsene riches are condemned as many people haven’t a fraction of the richest in America. Social Justice is a huge one. Again, I don’t think that causing social injustice. People could argue that giving handouts to the homeless only encourages them to stay homeless while others could argue that not giving them anything makes it utterly impossible to help themselves. Its an issue of perspective. Pedophilia would be condemned anyway in Catholicism b/c premarital sex is condemned as are lustful thoughts, which both would cover the pedophilia topic. Even though it truely is the most despicable of the new deadly sins.

    In any case I can see the old deadly sins being called deadly sins as they could kill you. I can’t wait for David Fincher to make a sequel of Se7en with the New Deadly sins. “Se7en: The Se2uel”

  21. Nathan, I hope you know that during the dark ages, the church had the Bible printed in a language that no one could read and kept it chained to the library wall. There was even a period in time where people had to smuggle hand written pages of the Bible in loaves or bread to avoid persecution by the church. Are you still so sure that the Bible is here because of the church?

  22. Patrick

    I like that obsene riches are condemned

    Why? Is Bill Gates to be condemned? or do you just condemn inherited money? what about a hedge fund manager worth a $1bn? is some earned money better than others?

    condemning paedophilia is just an in-house reminder by the Vatican to its priests not to go there anymore.

  23. Nicholas, I know the history of how the Sabbath was changed to Sunday! Thank you for trying to enlighten me though! And I mean that! I am not trying to be smart about it! I welcome everyone’s opinion too! The only reason why I expressed my opinion was in hopes that it would challenge some people’s belief system and that they might go do a little more research! I respect the fact that everyone doesn’t believe the same way I do, this is what makes the world go round. But, if you are going to adopt a set of spiritual belief; you should know where they came from and why you practice what you practice. I am talking about people in general of course, not you!

  24. I have to agree with Tim R! It seems to be that the church was concerned that people weren’t confessing anymore! So they upped the anty and introduced more “deadly sins”. In my humble little opinion, I have to say they freaked when they saw that people might actually start thinking for themselves and deciding that they could talk directly to God and ask to be forgiven without a go between. Hum! Imagine that!

  25. This is just a silly fad.

    Religious laws were once useful, and had clearly defined rules – don’t steal, rob, mirder etc.

    Now we have two stages of breakdown which makes churches useless social instititutions –

    1. Arguments over obscure and ambigious scripture,

    2. The final descent into doctrines influenced by political pressure groups (all denominations).

    The latter occured long before this current silly, unscientific attack on progress.

  26. The loss of churches as a useful social institution bugs me.

    I don’t care about doctrine, etc, but what churches do. Are they counselling people who make bad choices? Are they building wells in Africa? Are they helping the homeless, prisoners, street kids and addicts? Are they helping the starving around the globe? Literacy programmes? Respite care for carers of the invalid? Are they teaching others to treat everyone with dignity and respect? I might even give my time, money or resources or surplus goods away to help them out in their noble deeds.

    I can’t see the utility in arguing over esoteric vaguaries and issuing new rules with no measureable way of knowing if you are following the rules.

  27. I agree! If a church does nothing to try to contribute positively to society, it is useless anyway, no matter what denomination or whatever it is!

  28. Call me crazy, but isn’t pedophilia at the top of the sin list? Did we need them to declare that? Excess wealth? They have more gold and valuable artwork than they know what to do with. Isn’t pedophilia a social injustice? I’m confused. Maybe that purple smoke that comes out of the Vatican when a new pope is selected is a little suspect under the taking drugs sin.

  29. the Catholic Church killed more Jew’s than Hitler way back in History. The Catholic Church and politics have a lot in common. Both with lots of power and both are out of control.
    The Catholics Idolize the Cross and Mary rather then focus on what they should be: GOD

    To me religion just gets in the way. I believe in GOD however with all the perspectives and rules Churches create, I get turned off. It can be like voting for the next president, not many good choices to choose from.

    Whats really amusing is who told the Catholic Church or anyone else who can say [on Earth] this is a new sin and this is not. Crazy if ya ask me ……

  30. Well, as the founder of the Greed, Obesity and Drugs Party, (The party of G.O.D.) I am delighted at all these believers! Remember to vote for US at the next elections, you sinners, and all will be revealed! Blessings upon you already!

  31. I remember around 15 years ago as a lad who had left home due to severe physical abuse, seeking refuge at a Catholic Church in a major city, homeless, only to be turned away by the priest saying im sorry we dont do that anymore, try the phone book, this was early evening, in the middle of winter and I would say it was there and then I had my faith shattered for good.
    This marks the beginning of the end for the Catholic Church, the only reason they lump genetic engineering in the same room as paedophilia is that it will disprove God, if you can make a living being (outside the womb and outside the sacredness of creation) then you disprove the whole myth of creation and the soul.
    As far as taking drugs, would that be limited to what is loosely termed as a drug ie panadol, or that which is addictive, say alcohol or nicotine? Or are we talking opiates such as heroin? Then if opiates, codine is out!!!! And on it goes… This whole thing is sensationalist clap trap, this aging dinosaur is trying a little shock and awe pr, which seems like the last rasp of a dying beast. Hang on! What was that? Oh its deafening silence, the sound of not caring.
    Also all that money and wealth tied up, when was the last time you have seen a project run in Africa for clean water by the catholic church? The only help that is doled out is that in we will teach you religion for our help, thus making more clones.. End Rant.

  32. Erika,

    I’m not saying the Catholic church didn’t do things right, nor do I defend their actions throughout the Middle Ages – clearly it was to their advantage to keep the Bible out of the hands of the masses. How else could they wield such unrighteous authority over them? People might read it and know the truth!

    I guess my point is that although they screwed up royally, (and in many ways continue to do so), why waste so much time and effort in condemning Catholics when we should, in some way, thank them for at least preserving (okay, maybe this isn’t the right word, but work with me) the scriptures, providing you and I with the opportunity to search them today. It just doesn’t make sense to me to spend all of this energy trying to squash other’s beliefs when the teachings of Christ clearly do not support this as the most important component of Christianity. I get the whole ‘we need to know the facts’ argument – I hear that one on a daily basis from my atheist friends. It seems to me that if we are to become true Christians, in every sense of the word, we need to learn to put down our ridiculous attempts to smash each other’s doctrines and teach true principles and let them teach themselves.

  33. Mark,
    It would perhaps be a Liberal Democrats view that the catholic church is helping the impoverished masses in Asia, perhaps as a benign and benevolent effort, but seeing as how historically their rate of conversion in Asian countries has been the lowest given the truly ancient history of their religion/s I would suggest that perhaps their agenda is different.
    To imply I am a misinformed bigot simply demonstrates the problems inherent in religion as a whole, the I am right factor and you are ignorant so we will educate you. The joke is of course that the religious are the most ignorant of all, believing a more complex myth,than perhaps say santa claus or the easter bunny, but who have not yet grown out of it.
    As far as asian poverty not being a priority, well I am of the mind that it should be taken off the map as far as giving any form of help and support. China is seconds away from being the dominant economy on the planet, India is set to outstrip by that by 3 fold with 10 years. Why should we give our money to help such supposedly “poor” countries?
    Finally my personal experience is my own, used to illustrate my feelings and direct experience, shall I tell you of the boys raped in Altar service in front of my very eyes? Shall I talk of the culture of fear? More to the point shall I discuss the vast sums of money offered up to these children (now adults) for their silence? The culture of money runs deep, and it is far from noble, lest we take your example of self promoting on a forum about the seven deadly sins whilst your name itself links itself to fundamentalist politics….Taking free trade as an example, current thinking indicates that this is more detrimental to developing economies and countries, being more beneficial to larger well established countries such as Australia, the US and Europe. Food for thought perhaps…..

  34. Erica,

    “Your” Holy Bible came from the Catholic Church… Jesus did not tell his church to “go out and write a Bible” He said, go out and “teach” all that I have commanded of you. An “unbiased” search of Christian history will reveal that the Gospel was spread for many years orally by the early Church, and the Apostles and disciples did so without a bible.

    When after the Apostles writings–and others of the time–were complete (many of which were “letters” confirming what was already taught by the Church orally), the Canon of the Bible, that is, the authentic teachings of Christianity within Sacred Scripture as interpreted by the one Church instituted by Christ, was confirmed by the same–the Catholic Church. And there were many Christian writings of the time that were not interpreted as coming from the Holy Spirit who inspired the writers of Sacred Scripture. The truth is, you don’t really know which books making up the Bible are authentic, because its not written anywhere within the Bible stating which writings are of sacred origin. The Catholic Church did this.

    The teaching authority of the Catholic Church by means of Apostolic Succession (still existing today) relies on the sure guidance of the Holy Spirit to interpret its own text, guards it from error, and is the source and ancient origin of the Bible found in the world, which even Martin Luther (the father of your Bible alone Protestantism) confirms. So please, on this point, if you must beat us with our own Bible, at least do so by following its dictates of love… If not, give it back, and ask God to provide you with your own.

    As for reading the Bible. The Bible was not printed and available in mass for nearly 1500 years until the printing press was invented, which supports the argument above for the need of a “teaching church” who can authentically pass on what God taught us in the flesh for the salvation of souls. Again, the Catholic Church spread the Gospel in the world, and for many, perhaps multitudes, it was a world without education and the ability to read. Is this starting to make sense to you Erica?

    As for reading the Bible today, the Church continuously proclaims the Word of God from the rising to the setting of the sun upon earth, as she continues in prayer, the teachings of the Apostles, and the breaking of bread during the same Mass instituted by Our Lord, and yours, over 2008 years ago.

    As for the forgiveness of sins, this too comes from Christ, and the power is not from the priest (but from Christ Himself) who acts in persona Christi, and follows His commands to the Church concerning the binding and loosing of sins on earth and in heaven. “Lo, I am with you, even to the consummation of the world…”

    Erika, it’s obvious you are in need of educating yourself concerning the gift and fullness of the Christian faith instead of protraying Catholics as biblically ignorant. This bigotry of yours is an remnant and tradition you have been taught from ages past and handed down into ours; this is obvious from your letter, because it’s impossible for one to say they love God and His Word and hate neighbor at the same time. Charity my dear.

    James Mary Evans
    http://www.fratres.wordpress.com

  35. Who in the hell do these nitwits think they are? First off, if your a catholic and you actually listen to a man that is obviosly senile your a moron. Secondly, If you read the bible and you believe it. Then you are on drugs. You have to be. I have read it, the whole time all I kept asking myself is where are the unicorns? Thirdly, pedophilia. Now this just shows the arrogance of these assholes Really pedophilia Jesus H. Christ what the hell is wrong with these people? Obscene riches, HUH so does this mean that there wont be anymore collection plates? I never really understood that part of church. God is suppose to be all knowing and the creator of the Universe but somehow he just cant seem to balance his checkbook that just doesnt make any sense. It is nice to see though that all law makers are full of shit.

  36. Disenchanted,

    Note well the comment “notwithstanding personal experience”. I didn’t call you a bigot. I think you’ve rightly got a beef with the church.

    To say there hasn’t been a despicable tone of anti-Catholic bigotry on this thread is denialist. Some of the scliches Teajay pointed out are reminiscient of the “Know Nothings” movement.

    If you are going to attack religion on athiest or even deist grounds, it doesn’t make sense to get stuck into one religion.

    Asia is dirt poor. Go to India, poverty is rampant. Helping in Asia might be worthwhile because Africa has greater institutional problems and more authoritarian Governments.

    Also note it is like you have said to simply not bother about the poor in Australia as well.

    Like I said, it is a stupid fad and most belief systems, even the secular ones have these too.

  37. Eric,

    Churches are defensible since they rely on voluntary contributions. As long as they never demand their mores being the basis of our law over self ownership and utilitarian ethics, I have no problem with them. Obviously militancy is immediately repugnant.

    My only problem with a collection plate isn’t that they are giving money to an old man preaching about invisible sky faeries, but they don’t give it to me. I don’t think I have a right in telling other people how to spend their money, paticularly their disposable, after tax incomes.

  38. Hmm, on the one hand, the Catholic church is hugely influential. They’ve ignored the environment for a long time, and it’s got to be a positive thing that they’re now taking it seriously. Potentially, millions of people will pay attention and begin to put their faith and the environment together.

    On the other hand, isn’t the whole idea of ‘deadly sins’ a medieval scare tactic?

  39. Pingback: So! What about that racism, then? « In a strange land

  40. The Key To All Of This, Is The Word “Globalisation”, This Hasn’t A Thing To Do With God Or Sins, This Is An Attempt To Force Upon Us, A One World Government,And Religion, A Very Interesting Website To Check Out, http://WWW.jordanmaxwell.com

  41. Actually, I don’t find it so bad that the Catholic Church says it’s bad to pollute the environment, since frankly, it is. I don’t know if you go to hell for it, but I think perhaps the Church is trying to send a message to big rapacious companies, not the litterbug. Then again, I am a Catholic, so I don’t think the Church is some vast Satanic anti-Christ conspiracy because I have already been duped. Vote for Hillary Clinton. I think she’s a Methodist.

  42. “Jordan Maxwell continues as a preeminent researcher and speaker in the fields of secret societies, occult philosophies, and ufology since 1959. His work is not only fascinating to explore, but too important to ignore.”

    Well of course. We wouldn’t want to let the debate of real world issues get in the way of such important research.

  43. Hear yea, hear yea.. we speaketh now on the sins of others, let him who hath a brain-cell and be without sin cast the first stone.

    Engage RANT MODE

    1) Dear Terje: The “Wealth” of the Vatican is so huge that they had to borrow money to bury the last two popes. Oh my, could it be that all this wealth is actually tied up in all those protected national heritage type cathedrals and works of art deeded to the church in earlier generations. These are works of the greatest artists, of historical, cultural and artistic merit. No matter, lets let Leonardo and Michelangelo’s work chip and fade so we can get on with our lives. Who needs are to enrich their lives and remind them of the genius that is mankind’s heritage….
    2) Read the actual press release at http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0801336.htm and you will see there are no changes to the “seven deadly sins”. Instead we see a highly intelligent man simply saying that we have a moral responsibility to take care of our environment. Seems sensible to me whether you think it is a gift from god, or just sensible not to poison our own home.
    3) Dear Erika: Any work of literature, complied many years (sometimes centuries) after the fact must be treated with scepticism. Similarly any work undergoing dozens of ‘revisions’ and numerous translations has to be looked at with a slightly jaded eye. Nowhere is this truer then with the Holy Bible (of any denomination), especially as we have to work with the context of the time and location, not just literal translations.

    Please people read the damn release, do some research, think for yourselves, just don’t parrot what you herd from another site, that wrote down someone’s interpretation, that summarised an article.

  44. Erika
    I wouldn’t say Bill Gates has obscene riches because he donates A LOT of his money away. It would be the people who get rich and stay rich and don’t do anything to help people, kinda like Greed, Sloth and this new Obscene Riches all combined

  45. i think everyone should check out http://www.zeitgeist.com. go on now. it’s a 2 hour movie online (free). the first third really relates to this whole discussion.

    i don’t believe in religion. i personally feel as though it has done more harm than good over history. this is not to say that i do not believe in a power greater than myself, just not the dogma and rules that come with organized faith.

    the rest of the movie deals more with how messed up government is. it focuses on america and 911, you can skip the rest if you already know that we are all screwed, governments lie, and it’s hopeless. or if you want to sleep at night. i am not recommending skipping the rest mind you, but it is a commitment. and it is kind of scary. i guess because i’m an american *gasp*

  46. hahahahahahaha..cracked me up..the church would be far better served if it spent its time and energy and its
    “riches” to find all the priests who molest children..!!

  47. This post is incorrect, based on crazy incorrect press stupidity.

    The real story.

    I hate it when blogs get swept up in the bizarre inability of the British press to report anything about religion correctly.

  48. Hi

    thanks for the hate… Americans should however realise that Catholics settled the first settlement in North America on September 8, 1565 !! So long… for your protestant Mayflower of 1620… read on …. haters !!!

    Interestingly, on September 8 1565, the solemnity of Our Lady’s Nativity, the Spanish adventurer and explorer Captain General of the Indies Fleet, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, landed in Florida and proclaimed it Spanish and Catholic territory. On that Saturday, he planted a cross and while singing the hymn ‘Te Deum Laudamus,’ kissed it, naming the new settlement St Augustine 40 years before Jamestown and 50 years before Plymouth Rock. The natives copied and imitated the explorer’s actions. The first shrine dedicated to Our Lady was erected on this very spot and dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Good Delivery.’ It is incredible that on the same day, the good Lord wrought a victory through the mostly Spanish ‘Grand Succor’ in Malta and allowed the formation of the oldest settlement in the USA through the Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles.

  49. lol is that for real? Haha, I have trouble remembering 7 as it is, what with sloth being my sin, now I’m gonna be buggered.

  50. the honest God question that i have: are they going to change the name of that group of sins? or still just call it the seven deadly sins?

  51. Visual Lover and others….please – there is no story here. It is horrible reporting!!

    See this story for a correction.

    And I wish this blogger would amend the post.

    Part of the appeal of the blogosphere was to put the microscope on faulty reporting from the mainstream media.

    But apparently it’s really just an enabler to spread the media’s stupidity and lies…

  52. While I’m a philosophy professor and not a religious scholar, some of my colleagues in religion have argued that the bible does contain environmental injunctions.

    I’m familiar with what John Locke argues on religious grounds, namely that the earth is given to us, but not to ruin. Here’s the text from his Two Treatises:

    “God has given us all things richly, 1 Tim. vi. 12. is the voice of reason confirmed by inspiration. But how far has he given it us? To enjoy. As much as any one can make use of to any advantage of life before it spoils, so much he may by his labour fix a property in: whatever is beyond this, is more than his share, and belongs to others. Nothing was made by God for man to spoil or destroy.”

    Of course, that is Locke’s interpretation. But, his expertise does lend credence to the claim that Christianity is consistent with or even encourages environmental responsibility.

    http://aphilosopher.wordpress.com/

  53. Lisa makes a good point pommy — you should add an UPDATE with a link to the correction story.

    The catholics made the bible (under instructions from a non-christian), so people who believe in the bible should at least thank them for that. Personally, I think the bible is pretty crap compared to the books that the early christian church destroyed — on philosophy, physics, biology, astronomy etc. No wonder the west went into a dark age.

    Any book the celebrates the mass genocide of a people shouldn’t be taken seriously. Of course, people can believe in whatever sky-fairies they like. But to them I say — my imaginary friends are better than yours! 🙂

  54. Pingback: Vatican blesses earth with further instructions « The Sagamore Journal

  55. Pingback: The 14 Deadly Sins? « Twisted One 151’s Weblog

  56. This is exaclty why don’t follow organized religion. All I need to do in life is be the best person I can be, to myself & to others. I believe there is a higher power but I dont feel like I should have to walk on eggshells to be accepted.

  57. Nathan, thanks for your feed back I agree with a lot you have to say and respect the rest of it even if I don’t agree with it all.

    James Mary, I feel really sorry for you. The Catholic church makes decisions on their own authority not God’s. Why don’t you look up the origin of how the church came into play and what compromises were made to early religion, and then we will talk. And just to let you know, people don’t need a go between to talk to God or to be forgiven. That is one of the reasons Christ came here and died for our sins. Why don’t you go do some research on the early history of the church and do some reading in your Bible and then we will discuss this. When you can justify idol worship and proclaiming you hold God’s place on earth, I might be a little for open to what your saying!

  58. P.S. James Mary, I am just curious, if Caholics made the Holy Bible then why do they need their own version of it, the Catholic Bible. Why don’t you compare the two! When Catholics start following God’s set of commandments and not their own, I will have a lot more respect for that religion.

  59. Erika? You have issues.

    Martin Luther made his own Bible, taking out the books he just didn’t like. Of course, he kept the Song of Songs because he was a horny SOB.

    Just FYI.

  60. But to them I say — my imaginary friends are better than yours!

    I bet my imaginary friend could kick your imaginary friends butt!!! Your imaginary friend is weak and false, my imaginary friend is all powerful. Some even say that your imaginary friend doesn’t even exist. My imaginary friend says he likes me and that he doesn’t like you. So there.

  61. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. No one person’s opinion is neccessarily better than anyone else’s! This is the beauty of being a human being and having the ability to think and reason.

  62. “PEOPLE PLEASE USE YOUR BRAINS AND STUDY FOR YOURSELF! QUIT FOLLOWING SOMETHING BECAUSE YOU ARE TOLD TO DO IT! QUESTION THINGS, GOD GAVE US A BRAIN AND THE BIBLE FOR A REASON!”

    I’m totally with you on this one, Ericka. I’m very pro independent thought and -… hang on.

    God gave you the bible? Kick. Ass. Where?

  63. Terje, we are not talking about your imaginery friend, but about the real God. Do try to keep a grip on reality.
    Certainly, all people should read the Bible for themselves, and see what they make of it. All versions of the Bible, in your own language, should be available to anyone who wants to understand them. I also have a Hebrew-English Old Testament, and a Greek-English New Testament for study. Whilst we don’t need priests as intermediaries, since we have a permanent High Priest in Heaven, they can perform other functions.
    Re Saturday versus Sunday. Jews were called upon to worship on the Sabbath, but this was exclusively Jewish- Noah was not given a fixed date for rest in his covenant. therefore non-Jews are not bound by it. And doesn’t Saint Paul in his letters make that same point- that the old Covenant, including keeping the Sabbath, doesn’t apply to the new world-wide community? If you disagree, take it up with Saint Paul.

  64. No — not all opinions are equally valid. If you think 2+2=5, then your opinion is wrong. You’re free to hold that opinion, but you’re still wrong. Likewise, if you think a sky-fairy created the universe 6000 years ago, then committed mass genocide, and then instructed his followers to commit mass genocide, and you still believe the sky-fairy is a nice person… you’re wrong.

    nicholas: Terje, we are not talking about your imaginery friend, but about the real God

    In other words, we’re not talking about Terje’s imaginery friend. We’re talking about nicholas’s imaginery friend. And once again I’ll repeat, my imaginery friends could bitch-slap your Yahweh down quick-smart. Indeed, I reckon I could give him a good run for his money myself.

  65. All people should read the Bible so that they will know what is in it, and will not be beholden to an interpreting priest. And this thread is about sins, which is the domain of God. I don’t know what imaginery friends rule. Do try to keep on topic, John.

  66. Zeus, Apollo and Thor deserves more air play than they are getting at the moment. Obviously there can be only one (apologies to Highlander) but why assume it’s the Jewish desert god? 😉

    Monotheism was an innovative way of rationalising mysticism. It elliminated most of the gods. After all the imaginary friends have slayed eachother we are now essentially down to just one. The next step is simple. Taking on one god is so much easier than taking on a multitude. Humphreys would stand no chance if he was trying to slap all the gods of Mount Olympus. However he doesn’t need to because the monotheists have done the job for him. Although if you are going to slap a god I do still recommend that you wear well insulated shoes.

  67. Nicholas

    Jesus always struck me as a sound libertarian and a thoroughly decent guy – being anti-violence (‘turning the other cheek’), a protector of property rights (by restating the OT line of no stealing), pro-work (“If a man will not work, he shall not eat”), anti-coercion (“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”), someone who treated people as individuals and not one to force people to accept his way (‘render unto Caesar..”).

    I suspect he was a very talented early form of doctor and a wonderful speaker.

    Yahweh and Allah, on the other hand, come across as monsters.

  68. Zeus, Apollo, and Thor have not lasted the distance, and therefore are unlikely to be real. When your friend, whom you admit is imaginary, gives advice as good as, “Treat others as you would wish to be treated”, then I might even listen to him. Or I might listen to what you claim he says.

  69. Terje, The Sabbath was given to man at creation before there were jews. It is at the beginning of the first book of the Bible. You know, right after he created the world. If the Sabbath commandment was abolished, then by all means the other ones were too. I guess there is no such thing as sin because there is no such thing as the law? I guess I should take that up with St. Paul, I guess he is the authority not God! P.S. Even Christ kept the Sabbath. Why do you think he did that if it had been abolished? I am interested to know your opinion.

  70. I agree pommy. The stories of Jesus make him out to be a top bloke. I hope they’re true. And Yahweh is a monster. Allah is just the arabic word for “god”, by whom they mean Yahweh too.

    Terje, I don’t know why you think there must only be one. I have many gods, and they are all much more real than the christian sky-fairy.

    One of my gods is the sun — which creates life and skin cancer. Pretty impressive. Another god is reason, which gives us the ability to build bridges and cars, not shoot ourselves, and pick a wife. And satan, the god of “don’t sell your soul to the sky-fairy”. Another is the laws of physics, which help to make sure the planets and stars are in the right place. If I speak with the physics god, I even have the magical ability to predict cool things like eclipses. Yahweh can’t do that. Other gods include freedom, tolerance, love, nature, happiness and my ancestors. All quality fellas.

    And of course there is thor, because he can throw lightning, has a cool hammer, and even had thursday named after him. 🙂

    Humans often have a desire to anthropomorphise their gods and pretend that they’re self-aware thinking creatures. I don’t bother. My gods are good enough without pretending that they are human-like. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with making up religious stories with human-like creates playing a role. I believe religion is a cross between art and philosophy, and I like both. Unfortunately, some religious followers (particularly the unitheists) have started believing that the art is real.

  71. Ok i was checking out these blogs and must say interesting comments. One thing i must Erika has a good saying for each to read for themselves. If you find that comments made of your belife system are incorrect be able to show proof or reason of why you belife what you do. Dont just go on the well the pastor, priest, or rabbie told me so. Hell you look like mindless sheep doin so. One thing that really baffles me is, if we are suppose to be Christians and the basis of Chrisitianity is to be Christ- like. Why is it that we look for excuses and other people to say why we should not do the things Christ did. Afterall i though he was the example we were to go by, but all i see is people trying to justify themselves by doing otherwise. Did Christ himself say not one part of the law should be done away with till heavean and earth is done away. So why is it now we are saying the laws are done away with? Well in that case what is the point of Christianity if we are all going to do otherwise and not actually use the examply given to us directly from G-D.

  72. Ericka, I’m the one who pointed out that the Sabbath was a Jewish covenant, as it is! The only thing Adam is told to do is to tend this Garden, and not eat any fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Nor are there any Day of Rest Commands given to them when they are expelled from Eden. These only appear in the Ten Commandments, as part of Yahwah’s Covenant with the Jewish people (remember Mount Sinai?).

  73. Ericka, I’ve asked you before, but Jesus did something once on the Sabbath in a cornfield.

    But you reckon “Christ kept the Sabbath”.

    I’m pretty sure it really doesn’t matter. But do go on, tell us more about Christianity.

  74. The sabbath was mention more then just in the Mt. Sinai event. Its the most spoken commandment in the scripture and very detailed. Why else would the deciples and people make a big deal to Christ when he healed the woman on the Sabbath

  75. Nicholas, I know that you pointed out that the Sabbath was a Jewish convenant and I am glad that you are at least aware that at one point Sabbath wasn’t on Sunday! You seem to know more than the average person and that’s refreshing. The Sabbath was mentioned several times in the Bible but yes I do remember Mount Sinai! I read on from there though! You might want to check it out. Sabbath is the only day in the Bible where it is mentioned that God hallowed and blessed! I think that might mean it is important!

  76. Once again that is something Christ did that we as Christians find a way not to do, i guess it not that old time religion we sing about,or is it not good enough for me?

  77. Martin, you are so right! Jesus healing the woman on the Sabbath caused an uproar! Must of not been a very important day, huh? I wish someone would show me in scripture where the Sabbath law was abolished. I really wish people would just go look, I think it would enlighten a lot of people!

  78. I guess next time someone goes out and robs, cheats on there spouse, and murders someone; we should tell them it’s no big deal right? The law was abolished. We can tell society that if they have any issues with that, they can take it up with St. Paul!

  79. It works for me, Ericka! But if you’re going to be literal then the Sabbath starts on our Friday evening, at sunset, and end at the start of our Saturday night! You DO remember ‘And the evening and the morning were the first Day,’ etc.? The Day starts with the night and builds up to the light portion, just as the year started with Autumn and end at the end of Summer, according to Jewish custom. And I hope you circumcise ALL male believers? (Cut me out, please!)

  80. Two other points, Ericka. Do you think sinners guilty of death should still be stoned as they were in the time of Jesus?
    And do you think that the law cannot be summarised, but must be remembered in all its 613 pieces (613 commandments make up the Torah)? No “Thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart and all thy mind and all the soul, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; This is the Law and the Prophets.”?
    And how come there is no mention of original sin, in the OT? Why did G-D say, “The thoughts of man are evil from his YOUTH upwards.”, at the time of Noah’s flood? Man is not born evil, but is only evilly inclined from puberty onwards. This, together with free will, is why the rabbies of Israel never accepted the doctrine of inherited sin. (I told you I studied the Cabbalah!)

  81. John – there must be only one. It is a rule. I read it somewhere. It must be true because if it wasn’t true then lots of people would be wrong. Thats not possible. Is it? 😉

    I agree with you that the key issue is about the personification of god and or gods. I don’t believe in a personified god. However if the universe and consciousness turns out to be interconnected in some manner that is currently mysterious I wouldn’t be shocked. The theory of mind stuff is a compelling explaination for the invention of gods and spirits but the very existance of mind itself somewhat defines common sense (IMHO). My existance is an enigma.

    One of the fun things about humans is that they can invent meaning from mush. Stuff like if it rains on your birthday then you’re a bad person. Or if you have a big house then you’re a success. Of if you cut down a tree then you’re evil. Or if you say something unusual and everybody laughs at you then you’ll die. We are meaning making machines. And we work full time at it. No wonder there are gods and spirits and demons everywhere. No wonder so many of us go through life sh1t scared of shadows.

  82. Ericka — if you would rob, cheat & murder without god then you are a sick individual. I don’t believe in your sky-fairy, and I don’t do those things.

    This isn’t a forum to discuss the correct holy day for your particular sky-fairy-cult. Most people here aren’t yahweh-followers and simply don’t care about your strange mythology.

  83. Ericka,

    The difference is that we here condemn these ideas as part of a new fad a denomination of Christianity is jumping on the bandwagon of. Anti-progress is unfortunately popular these days.

    The adoption of such a worldview could make use all poorer and hurt those who are already poor the most.

    You condemn the people behind the ideas (but not the ideas themselves), since you disagree over the interpretation of a series of books written by ove 70 authors, in another language, over 1900+ years ago.

    The adoption of such a worldview is largely inconsequential but often involves unecessary personal attacks.

  84. ….there has’nt been a God in the catholic church since they first began-
    now they are saying pediphiles are deadly sinners….there won’t be any catholic church left-except maybe one or two janitors that are too old to grab a kid!
    One priest-Mahoney-showed us that just one diocese (Los Angeles) had 650 million on hand to pay off the law suit against them,soon San Diego followed with 250 million-for the same priest?? then (aint the pope the puller?) the grand ole opry boss of the bishopry of Cally Fornicate I A (california) gets shoveled into the pope palace by the death of the former pope gets excused from any further possible prosecution by gawd all mighty…George Bush [now theres a God figure]…these bald blokes of papeldom have so much to try to smooth out-how can any one sit in a genuflecting chapel of good nonsense even point a finger??

  85. this whole thing is really just strange to me. I am a Catholic, but for goodnes sake, you’re gonna go to hell for staming your cigarette butt out on the street? and there are a lot of obscenely rich people contributing back to society (Bill Gates, anyone?). I can’t really say anything about pedos or dealers, but i sorta agree with the abortion thing, even though I am pro-choice (and i choose not to do it if i ever do get pregnant). but genetic engineering? people do that for a job; basically, some scientists are going to hell just for following their passion for science and punching the clock at the office. *shakes head* just keep the original 7 and i’ll be fine; in this day and age, anything else would be a bit too sticky to declare a sin because of all the figurative red tape.

  86. Nicholas, I do know that Sabbath starts when the sun goes down on Friday night and lasts until the sun goes down on Saturday night. I’ve kept the Sabbath for years. Sorry if I did something to indicate to you that I didn’t know that. As far as men being stoned, I don’t really know how to answer that one for you. I guess you must also keep up with the law of the land to a certain degree. And I am studying the Torah now, so I really can’t answer your questions about that without all the information. I don’t like to discuss something that I am ignorant about to a certain extent. So, I study it so I can learn the answers to my questions. And honestly, that was the whole point of why I posted a comment on here. I was hoping that it make people question these things enough to go study for themselves. Even in the denomination I belong too, I don’t agree with everything and and I think that is healthy not just to accept someone else’s opinion as fact. I voice my concerns and opinions at my church when I don’t agree with everything, I ask questions, and I study.

    Mark, Jesus told the dispciples they could pick corn so they could eat. That isn’t a violation of the Sabbath. And I don’t condemn the people, I disagree with the reglious organization. I don’t have anything against the people.

  87. John, I believe you missed the point entirely! I am sorry that you didn’t understand what I was trying to say. And I am sorry that you don’t believe. That is your right not to believe and I respect your opinion. I choose to believe in God. If I am right about God and live a geniune Christian life and am rewarded with eternal life as a result, than I have gained everything. And I’ve lived a life on earth full of hope and love. If I am wrong, I’ve lost nothing. I still was able to live a life full of hope and love. If you are right and there is no God than you gain nothing but the satisfaction of being right and if you are wrong, you lose everything! Think about it.

  88. Mark, I agree we have day jobs. I too have a day job. I just choose not to work on Friday nights or during the day on Saturday. I keep the Sabbath holy because that is what I believe is right.

  89. I also sure hope Ericka remembers the grain sacrifices, and slaughters bulls and goats and lambs for sin offerings, all per the commandments of the old Testament, which have to be carried out. As a Christian, I’ll go along with the idea that Jesus fulfilled the law with his own voluntary sacrifice, and thus did away with it for all time, even though there is no prediction in the OT that these commandments would be eradicated. AND as a Christian, I’ll try to live by the pro-active command, “Treat others as you would wish them to treat you.”, and also remember that Jesus asked us to live by the spirit of the Law, not the dead letter. And didn’t Jesus also say “What you command on Earth will be what is allowed in Heaven”? One of the Keys to the Kingdom speeches, extolling the virtues of Peter (whilst forgetting his words to Peter ‘get behind me, Satan!’).

  90. A final point, Ericka. ‘Six days you shall work, and rest on the seventh.’ If you are keeping the traditional Sabbath, I hope you are not being a hypocrit by also taking Sunday off from work!

  91. Nicholas, I take Sunday off of work from my job because I get the weekend off of work. But I work on Sunday as far as doing all my errands, etc. not a hypocrit. I only keep the one day holy.

  92. Nicholas, I also wanted to point out that there were only 10 commandments made by God and grain sacrifices and slaughtering bulls, goats, and lambs for sin offerings weren’t part of the ten. They were actually a different set of laws that were written by Moses not by God. But, I do understand what you wer trying to say.

  93. “If I am right about God and live a geniune Christian life and am rewarded with eternal life as a result, than I have gained everything. And I’ve lived a life on earth full of hope and love. If I am wrong, I’ve lost nothing. I still was able to live a life full of hope and love. If you are right and there is no God than you gain nothing but the satisfaction of being right and if you are wrong, you lose everything!

    You’re suggesting a Pascal’s wager. Not a good argument for belief.

    Funnily enough, it’s the logic I hear used by environmentalists these days, “If we do something and were wrong, we’ve lost nothing but some time and money – but if we do nothing and we’re wrong, the planet is doomed!”

  94. I agree with Fleeced. I wasn’t aware it was called Pascal’s wager, but I previously evaluated this idea for myself by what I called the “toss of the coin” fallacy.
    You’re saying that believing or not believing is basically 50:50 arrangement in regards to costs/benefits. But this is false. It costs you to substitute faith for reason – It costs you to believe: money, intelligence, time, guilt and fear, and faith can in my opinion lead to psychological disorders such as loss of self esteem, feelings of powerlessness and susceptibility to mysticism generally. Religion is especially harmful to those with mental disorders.
    Now, after becoming aware of Pascal’s wager it’s also obvious that this “might as well believe” approach itself triviallises a person’s search for truth – if you adopt this approach you have automatically forfeitted your faculties of reason and judgement and are saying important decisions can be left to a gamble (and not a good gamble when considering the costs).

    Personally, I have strongly benefitted from becoming an atheist.

  95. Sorry, Tim, Eternity is worth thinking about. You may have gained short-term benefits, but a drug-addict might say the same about his habit.
    As for Ericka, this is just a poser to consider- didn’t Jesus stop a woman from being stoned to death for adultery, even though that was the law of the land? (Thou shalt not covet anything of thy neighbours.) Why didn’t he allow the law to be fulfilled?

  96. Another wager:

    The world will blow up next Tuesday… I can stop it – but I need a million dollars.

    If I’m lying, and you didn’t believe me, you’ve gained/lost nothing. If I’m lying, and you paid me the money, then you’ve lost a million dollars.

    On the other hand, if I’m telling the truth and you pay me, then you’ve still lost a million dollars, but you’ve save the planet. But if I’ve told the truth and you don’t pay me, bye bye planet Earth.

    So: you believe me, the worst case is you lose a million dollars. You don’t believe me, the worst case is destruction of the planet. The only rational decision in this case is to give me a million dollars.

  97. Interestingly now, Erika doesn’t believe that the entire bible is the inspired word of her sky-fairy. According to my parents, that’s straight to hell for her. Opps!

    As for the idea of believing “just in case”, I don’t understand how that’s possible. Either you believe something or you don’t. True, you could pretend to believe in something, but wouldn’t a smart god know that you’re pretending?

    And even if you’re taking a pascal’s wager, there are so many different possibilities that your probability of picking the right one is pretty low anyway. So that’s a low percentage guess at achieving something of unknown value (eternity with yahweh might suck). And the wager doesn’t come for free… this low-expected-value benefit requires that you basically sacrifice your soul to a sky-fairy in this life. That is a huge sacrifice, because chances are this is the only life you get.

    It’s better that we consider the possibility of sky-fairies on the merits of the argument. One supposed element of the christian sky-fairy is that he apparently loves us and wants us to love him. However, he consequently set up a world where the vast majority of people are apparently burning in hell for ever. He endorses mass genocide. And he refused to tell the vast majority of the people on earth that he even existed for thousands of years. That’s just daft. He either doesn’t exist, or he’s a lot dumber than what christians think.

    There are plenty of other problems. Yahweh was a racist bigot for thousands of years… ignoring the chinese, germanic people, celts, slavs, africans, indians, khmers, thai, aztecs, incas, mongols, turks, arabs etc and only caring about one small tribe of hebrews. I’m not interested in such a limited sky-fairy.

    Yes, the rules changed 2000 years ago. But either yahweh endorsed the original rules for thousands of years (making him a racist bigot) or he realised that he made a mistake (meaning he is not perfect and doesn’t live outside of time, as christians hope). Or — much more likely — there just aren’t sky-fairies floating around in space.

  98. Your arguments might seem good, but the rabbies had answers for them. The other races and folks all had their own prophets (Balaam, with the talking donkey, was one such prophet). The Bible also makes it quite clear that god spoke to other people in dreams, giving them advice (Gideon won because his enemies had dreams pointing out they were going to lose, the earliest form of psychic warfare recorded!)
    AND Judaism never subscribed to the idea of an eternal punishment- after a year or so of retribution, sinners would be allowed into God’s Heavenly banquet hall, the sages of old decided. You can find all this in the Talmud, John Humphreys!

  99. My young neice told me one day that God didn’t exist. Checking for understanding I asked if she thought that God was just imaginary like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. She was livid at the suggestion that Santa wan’t real and gave me a real earful. Understandable I suppose.

    John – if you’re so clever tell me how come when you put a tooth in a glass overnight then in the morning it’s replaced by a coin. I mean it’s fair enough to claim sky-fairies are make believe but you have to admit that there is a clear body of evidence over many years to show that the tooth fairy is real.

  100. Fleeced- I am not going to give you a million dollars. Secure in the certainty of an afterlife, I look forward to you blowing up the planet. Whilst I think suicide should be a person’s last option, you will probably change your mind, and I don’t believe in giving in to blackmail or terrorism.
    Wow. I never thought that a libertarian would usher in the Kingdom of God! You had us all fooled, mate!

  101. nicholas — I’m glad we have you here. Smart defenders of Yahweh are rare enough, and he deserves to have somebody in his corner. Even if he is genocidal.

    Only yahweh-believers think that yahweh came to other cultures in dreams. It’s a cop-out. Nobody in the khmer empire, inca civilisation or aboriginal tribes had an honest chance to hear about yahweh. Yahweh apparently spoke to the hebrews all the time… mostly to complain. Apparently he did all manner of miracles. But for the poor old cham civilisation, or the celts, or the san bushman… he went all quiet. Instead, they had druids and ancestors and pagan gods who did the exact same things, but who ignored yahweh! What an amazing coincidence! I hope the poor chaps didn’t end up in hell.

    As for the idea of 2 years in the “sin-bin”, I like it. Though of course, most christians wouldn’t accept that. If a good, smart god does exist, I’m confident that he will respect my inquiring, skeptical, rational mind and welcome me into the family without the 2-year waiting period.

  102. Fleeced’s hypothetical in comment 109 is a fully correct metaphor by my evaluation.
    The actual argument makes no obvious logical error. The error is in the premise itself (his unbacked assertion of impending doom that requires your faith).
    And this is the same as Pascal’s wager.
    The premise is false for one main reason – the premise of eternal life requires faith and is not a proven premise. (Also, their is a cost to faith as previously discussed, but Fleeced has shown me the light, that this is not the main problem with the argument).

    I wouldn’t normally comment on this topic because after 10 years of researching arguments for and against religion I have grown bored of the subject.
    What I do find interesting is logical fallacies. Something I was never taught at school and that I think can be quite difficult.

  103. everytime an animal including us breathes we breathe of carbon dioxide which is polluting the environment because it a greenhouse gas I’m 15 and I’m forced to be catholic I believe in god but not catholicism

  104. “everytime an animal including us breathes we breathe of carbon dioxide which is polluting the environment”

    Carbon dioxide isn’t a pollutant.

  105. “Whilst I think suicide should be a person’s last option, you will probably change your mind, and I don’t believe in giving in to blackmail or terrorism.”

    Oh, I didn’t say that I was going to blow the Earth up… of course I’m not suicidal. I just happen to know it’s going to occur – unless I finish building this super-dooper scientific device that will save us from destruction. Unfortunately, I need a million dollars to finish building this planet-saving contraption.

    Seriously, what have you got to lose? A million dollars if I’m wrong – but the WHOLE PLANET if I’m right?! You have to act! You must give me a million dollars.

    You denialists are so immoral… what about the precautionary principle?

  106. the precautionary principle means I should ask you some questions to find out the truth of your claims, in the same way that people in the old testament asked for proof before believing angels or prophets (king Hezekiah asked for proof from the Prophet Isaiah before believing that God was giving him an extra 15 years of life, etc.).
    If you are NOT suicidal, then explain your dilemma to Dick Smith or James Packer, and let them build the device! Go to the money!
    John, whilst I have not read about all those civilisations, I can correct you on some points. Many Aboriginal tribes had a name like Baiami, meaning Maker, for the original Cause of the world- He was thought of as like an Aborigine, funnily enough! In some Parks around Sydney are rock-etchings of a Hermaphroditic spirit, thought to be of God, Who has both Masculine and Feminine qualities.
    The Chinese civilisation did have a belief ina supreme being Who started everything- the other gods were lesser beings with assigned tasks. Presumably only the Emperor, with the Mandate from Heaven, could petition the supreme God.
    The Hindus also had a Supreme First Cause. So did the Amerindians, with their Great Spirit.
    So some of your points seem incorrect to me.

  107. This one is for you, Fleeced: –
    “If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can’t be done.”
    Peter Ustinov

  108. nicholas — you are not correcting me. Of course aboriginies created a mythology about creation. That’s the nature of humans. It hardly proves that your genocidal sky-fairy is real.

    And it simply isn’t true that your sky-fairy revealed himself to the world. He kept himself a secret, until capitalism & western development brought him to the world. And now, thankfully, people are increasingly turning away from fairy stories.

  109. Yes, and turning to the evidence, John.
    I doubt if you’ve read, “Distant Mental Influence”, by William Braud, Ph.D, or “Healing Words”, by Larry Dossey, M.D.. Both books deal with prayers being answered in scientifically-controlled tests, people being cured, etc.
    And whilst some people are turning away from any religion, many more Africans and Asians are turning towards Pentecostalism, and other variants of Christianity, as their faith. I read that in Quadrant, so it must be true.

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  111. And something else to rub in- “Foreign Correspondent” just had a short piece on “Lourdes”, the miracle town in France. Now I can be as sceptical as anyone else here, but they interviewed an Irishman, Paeder Clarke, who had been diagnosed by doctors as having multiple sclerosis all through his body. On his sixth visit to Lourdes, about 20 years ago, he was suddenly cured. Now he helps take others there regularly, even though he is currently suffering from arthritis. They also interviewed others, less well documented, but still with some evidence of illness before the visit, and cure afterward.
    When your imaginery friends do as well as the real friends of the Catholic Church, then I’ll listen to you!
    P.S. I am not a Catholic, but an esoteric Christian, prepared to look at all sorts of evidence.

  112. Hmmm. It is true that I have no explanation for this. But surely it does not mean that the Biblical story of creation, or account of Jesus’ mission, or anything about the Christian body of doctrine, are true?

  113. Justin, why not investigate for yourself? The Kabbalist Rabbies always maintained that G-D spoke to man in metaphors and dreams, so Creation might have been a slimmed-down version of the whole process! Maimonides wrote “The Guide for the perplexed”, which elucidates this very point- that the Bible uses Symbolism a lot.
    As for Christianity being true, have we ever heard of any site like Lourdes in the non-Christian World? Wouldn’t we have heard from someone if another place and another faith actually produced healing miracles? (I actually think that some Hindu and Buddhist practices, like Yoga and meditation, would give, or strength, mental powers, BUT the basic structures of these religions are more egotistical, less communal, than Christianity- adepts would have been taught to keep such abilities to themselves.)

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  115. Nicholas said:

    And something else to rub in- “Foreign Correspondent” just had a short piece on “Lourdes”, the miracle town in France. Now I can be as sceptical as anyone else here, but they interviewed an Irishman, Paeder Clarke, who had been diagnosed by doctors as having multiple sclerosis all through his body. On his sixth visit to Lourdes, about 20 years ago, he was suddenly cured. Now he helps take others there regularly, even though he is currently suffering from arthritis. They also interviewed others, less well documented, but still with some evidence of illness before the visit, and cure afterward ..

    I just saw that on the replay. MS though is tricky, remissions do occur and there is definitely an environmental\behavioral component to the condition. Nonetheless, if he was truly cured then they should have done an MRI because MS typically leaves lesions. That would constitute proof yet again that last extra step is not taken. That he developed arthritis, also having an auto immune component, is quite fascinating. It is as if the immune system switched its attention because it would take some time for symptoms to appear.

    I take your point though, there are examples of healings that cannot be explained with our current understanding. All very difficult, especially given that even in control groups you will get on average circa 25-30% placebo response.

  116. funny, cos it seems the vatican/catholics are great in causing social injustice. and pedophilia! how odd…

  117. John Hasenkam-

    My other point was also to wonder why other religions don’t have their own places where cures occur because of their God intervening? Where is a Muslim version of Lourdes? If it were only a placebo effect, then they should all have some site which cures, since we can all fool ourselves!
    Where is John’s imaginery friend now? Can it induce spontaneous remission of Multiple Schlerosis?

  118. Nicholas,

    You have a very simple understanding of the placebo effect. It is widely misunderstood as a statistical artefact. Wrong, there is definitely something physiological going on. It is not that people spontaneously get better, something makes them get better. Hell, even a classical conditioning paradigm can induce healthy changes physiology. You don’t need an imaginary friend to achieve remission from MS, you need to know what you are talking about.

  119. I would pretty much like to say that HOW DARE a bunch of fat old MEN sit around and decide what is best for women who become unwantingly pregnant. It is a lose-lose situation. Use contraception and avoid the topic of abortion entirely- ya go to hell. Dont use contraception and become unwantingly pregnant and get an abortion- GO TO HELL. I am not a feminist but I wholeheartedly disagree with these men enforcing rules which blatantly forces the role of women in society back to the stone ages. The entire Catholic Church is full of hypocrisy! and indeed if we are meant to follow their rules and teachings they must be on a one way express to hell. obscence riches HAHAHA The Catholic Church is one of THE richest institutions in the world! I would also like to point out that the contraception, abortion and pollution sins all indirectly affect each other. If everyone adhered to the no contraception/no abortion ideal then the population in turn would exponentially grow hence drastically increasing pollution. We are at an environmental crossroad. Not only are we quickly using resources but our reserves of fresh water are running out and with global warming, this will not abate. If the rate of population increase is to grow anymore, there will not be people left in the world to a) create these insane rules and b) live by these insane rules. The Catholic Church needs to get a reality check and research these blasphemous (oh yes) sins before they release them on the world. Stop blaming science and TRY to come up with theological theories to explain everything in life ASSHOLES.

    Don’t even get me started on Stem Cell Research…..

  120. Whilst the Catholic Church has its faults, I am Catholic and proud of it. After reading some comments here my growing belief has been confirmed. CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISM IS AS DANGEROUS AS TERRORISM.

  121. John Hasenkam, the number of “cures” at Lourdes is actually slightly lower than spontaneous recovery rate.
    And Lourdes gets a very high number of people visiting.

    As well as the placebo effect, sometimes people simply recover from their terminal illness and medical science cannot explain why. – If they’re religious, they would attribute the recovery to God.

    So why would God cure less people than on average at his holy healing site?

  122. Tim R,

    Of course I don’t believe in Lourdes or any of those places. Sheesh, just because someone throws up an alternative view of what can happen in so called spontaneous healing you lot think I am dreaming up ghosts. Irony of that is that I am the one trying to find physically based explanations for such healings. A changed psychological state can have strong effects on the endocrine and immune processes. Various studies have even established the efficacy of meditation practices in ameliorating disease. For example, in elderly subjects who practised Tai Chi there was a much higher response rate to the flu vaccine. There is a whole lot of interesting material on this. Read enough of this stuff and you begin to realise that it will be possible to understand these “spontaneous healings” within a psycho-physiological paradigm.

    “Spontaneous” is simply an admission of ignorance as to cause. Never use it as an explanation because it is a cop out. Better to call it idioauto-healing? Talking of ghosts, look up Henry Beecher.

  123. Criticisms of the Catholic faith would be better if they showed an understanding of the actual strucutre and procedure of the church. As well as the last critic points out social losses from opposing stem cells, but ignores the much more enlightened approach to science mainstram churches have than some evangelicals.

    Any good Cathloic would know it isn’t that easy to make up new sins. Anyone with sense can see it is a poor attempt to latch onto a bandwagon that’s already rolled through town.

  124. Tim R,
    I know you hate to be objective, but can you prove what you wrote earlier, about recovery rates? Or do we just have blind faith in you?

  125. John, yeah I know you don’t believe in healing sites. I just thought it was interesting that the Lourdes healing rate is actually lower than the spontaneous remission rate. (And therefore the placebo effect presumably isn’t working so well here).
    The placebo effect is very interesting and from my knowledge of clinical trial results is definitely real and significant too.
    I haven’t heard of Beecher, I’ll look him up.

    Nicholas, I’m assuming that Richard Dawkins has got his numbers right. I got this data from the “Root of all Evil” BBC mini series. I reckon he probably got his data from Carl Sagan who wrote his skeptic book in 1996, therefore pre-dating Dawkins.
    Anyway, I did a quick search and found this Carl Sagan quote from http://homepage.eircom.net/%257Eodyssey/Quotes/Life/Science/Carl_Sagan.html :

    “Since 1858 something like a hundred million people have come to Lourdes in the hope of being cured, many with illnesses that the medicine of the time was helpless to defeat. The Roman Catholic Church rejected the authenticity of large numbers of claimed miraculous cures, accepting only 65 in nearly a century and a half (of tumours, tuberculosis, opthalmitis but not say the regeneration of a limb or a severed spinal cord). Of the 65, women out number men ten to one. The odds of a miraculous cure in Lourdes then are about one in a million; you are roughly as likely to recover after visiting Lourdes as you are to win the lottery, or to die in the crash of a randomly selected regularly scheduled airplane flight – including the one taking to Lourdes.
    The spontaneous remission rate of all cancers, lumped together is estimated to be something between 1 in 10,000 and 1 in a 100,000. If no more than 5% of those who come to Lourdes were there to treat their cancers, there should have been something between 50 and 500 ‘miraculous’ cures of cancer alone. Since only 3 of the attested 65 cures are of cancer, the rate of remission at Lourdes seems to be lower than if the victims had just stayed at home”.

  126. Why would you assume that Dawkins got his numbers right? In the latest issue of Fortean Times is a letter from Richard Sheldrake, where Sheldrake assumed that evidence would at least be allowable in the subject they were discussing, telepathy. But Dawkins didn’t want to discuss the evidence, he just wanted to airily dismiss the whole subject. The film crew with them eventually admitted that this was not a hard-science show they were doing! Since when has evidence not mattered to a scientist?
    And my original question was still- why are there no Hindu or islamic equivalents of Lourdes?

  127. I just ready 98% of these posts. Being a Roman Catholic student of theology, I have a lot to say, but what I found most shocking – and appauling – was the idea of Jesus as a libertarian. Wow.

  128. That Lourdes study is probably flawed, possibly due to the severity of cases going to Lourdes. If there was no effect, the rates should be the same. But of course statisticians never make mistakes ….

  129. C, of course Jesus is a libertarian! The separation of Synagogue and state was propounded by him- Rend unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and rend unto God the things that are God’s, remember? What could be more libertarian than this?
    Note also, that Jesus asks individuals to give to poorer people- he never says to set up statist institutions of welfare!

  130. C, of course Jesus is a libertarian! Rend unto Caesar, Caesar’s, and rend to God, God’s, remember?
    And Jesus always wanted his followers to donate from their own money- he never advocated setting up Welfare Offices!

  131. C, of course Jesus is a libertarian! ‘Rend unto Caesar, Caesar’s, rend unto God, God’s’ is an ideal libertarian statement! Would a statist allow a free conscience?
    And Jesus asked his followers to give their money to the poor- he never told them to tax people to support welfare!

  132. sorry Nicholas – did you have to type this three times? the spam filter normally only picks up the ‘f’ word and the ‘c’ word and anything by Graeme Bird. 😉

  133. these knew sins are nothing more than a prethetic scare tactic by the catholic church they say that to be a human is having the right to freedom i say no that is contridictiory to giv us 14 sins that say that if you abide by this law then you are definetly going to hell. isnt the freedom of being a human choosing to go to heaven or hell {that is if it really exists which i highly dought} gluttony,sloth i say that if god lets us die then there is no greater laziness then to stop it from happening. envy i personally think that god himself envey’s the living. pride i tell you is it really a sin to take pride in ones appearence. gluttony how is this a sin some people are fat because they are depressed and which this is no excuse i know but how can we not commit these sins if they are being thrown at us from every turn. well these are the sins in which i find flaw but dont get me wrong all of them are rediculous

  134. i must admit im a bit behind the times and only recently heard about the new”deadly sins”. It’s times like these that i seriously doubt my so-called religion.how have they the ability to chop and change whichever parts of the religion they so choose…surely its hypocrasy and idiocy. its all a money making and power game.I can understand the abortion thing but surely God would understand if you were raped that you are not going to want that child,,fair ennough the child has nothing to do with the predecessor but isn’t God forgiving and understanding??! As for genetic engineering..we are supposed to help our fellow humannity and is this not a way in which we could?
    religion should stem from the creator and flow through the believer not be changed on a nonsensical whim
    just my view 🙂

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  136. ummm… there seems to be alot of hubub about the sabbath and how sacred it is.
    Question: how do people know what day is the true sabbath? as far as i’m concerned humans named the days of the week, and not to burst anyone’s bubble, but humans also wrote the bible!!! what proof do u have that wat’s written in there isn’t just the random rambling of some crazed up fruit loop bent on world domination??

  137. Based on my observation of world events, whoever invented religion was a GENIUS! they have clearly accomplished their goals, if only they were alive to see today

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