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Pope attacks atheists

I thought since we had another thread about respect for religion, that this - regarding the Pope's respect for those without faith might be interesting.

To summarise he seems to be extremely intolerant. Apparently Atheism = Communism and Suffering. And people are atheists because they 'no longer find the prospect of an eternal after-life attractive'. And, to paraphrase, 'if there's no god then we might as well not bother trying' Does this guy really believe these things?



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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/12/01/wpope101.xml

Pope Benedict XVI has launched a powerful attack on atheism, saying that it was responsible for some of the "greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice" in history.

In the second encyclical of his papacy, the Pope urged Christians to put their hope for the future in God and not in technology, wealth or political ideologies.
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His 76-page document, Spe Salvi, comes in the context of rising secularism in Europe and a spate of books attacking belief in God, including the "The God Delusion" by the Oxford academic Richard Dawkins.

In the document, the highest form of papal writing addressed to the whole Church, Benedict XVI said that many people rejected religious faith because they no longer found the prospect of an eternal after-life attractive.

Instead, they had put their faith in human reason and freedom in the hope that the "kingdom of man" would emerge.

In a scholarly analysis, he said that these ideas had originated during two periods of political upheaval, the French and Communist revolutions.

He said that Karl Marx and the 19th and 20th century atheism spawned by his revolution could be seen by some as a "type of moralism" responding to the injustices of the time.

Atheists argued that "a world marked by so much injustice, innocent suffering and cynicism of power cannot be the work of a good God," the Pope wrote.

But ideologies such as Marxism that hold that humans have to establish social justice because God does not exist had been proved wrong by history.

The idea that man can do what God cannot by creating a new salvation on earth was "both presumptuous and intrinsically false."

He added: "It is no accident that this idea has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice.

"A world which has to create its own justice is a world without hope."

Marxism, the Pope wrote, had left behind "a trail of appalling destruction" because it failed to realise that man could not be "merely the product of economic conditions". For man to be redeemed, he also needs God's unconditional love.

Benedict XVI, who was elected in 2005, is working on a third encyclical on the theme of social justice which is due to be released next year.

Re: Pope attacks atheists

I would not equate marxism with atheism.

Atheism is not supposed to be a religion but some seem on a par with the very bible bashers they bash, but holding Richard Dawkins book aloft (like the beacon on the statue of liberty) instead.

Re: Pope attacks atheists

I agree that there is some boorish equivalent of 'bible-bashing' from some atheists too. :)

I think there are some big differences between the two though.

Re: Pope attacks atheists

>>He added: "It is no accident that this idea has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice.

This in particular I think is a little rich coming from the Catholic church.

Also, can you imagine him attributing the same thing to Muslim theocracies? - no, he wouldn't dare.

Re: Pope attacks atheists

Atheism is not technically a religion in my view. I find it hard to understand why people see it as such.

Re: Pope attacks atheists

But it's a personal view, and one which some people identify with. I'm sure that a catholic would find a sentence like 'All catholics are xxxxx' insulting. Why do you think that 'All atheists are xxxxx' would be any less offensive to others?

Re: Pope attacks atheists

I don't see anything in the article that insults atheists. He is putting across a point of view, in a similar way that Dawkins puts across a point of view in his book. Where is the insult?

Re: Pope attacks atheists

Now you are just being evasive - I was obvoisly answering your previous post - I assume you've abandoned that point now.

But to answer you last question, consider this bit:
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The idea that man can do what God cannot by creating a new salvation on earth was "both presumptuous and intrinsically false." He added: "It is no accident that this idea has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice.
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In summary: Atheism has led to the greatest cruelty and injustice.

I think that is pretty insulting, don't you? Not to mention ridiculous and hypocrytical - there have of course been many cases of cruelty in the name of religion throughout history (Catholicism included).

Re: Pope attacks atheists

it's not insulting only in the sense that Atheism isn't an organised group. It's a bit like the War On Terror; it's an abstract.

It's a cop-out; "yes, yes," admitted Benedict today, "the Catholics did some bad things, but look at all the bad things the 5bn non-Catholics are doing..."

It's just a false dichomoty, and I wouldn't expect anything else from a religious leader.

Re: Pope attacks atheists

"In summary: Atheism has led to the greatest cruelty and injustice.

"I think that is pretty insulting, don't you? Not to mention ridiculous and hypocrytical - there have of course been many cases of cruelty in the name of religion throughout history (Catholicism included)."In summary: Atheism has led to the greatest cruelty and injustice.

I think that is pretty insulting, don't you? Not to mention ridiculous and hypocrytical - there have of course been many cases of cruelty in the name of religion throughout history (Catholicism included)."

Far less insulting than what atheists say about Christianity. I haven't read the Dawkins book, but from what I hear, it's pretty much rubbishing the basis of Christianity so why should the Pope not respond with his own view?

Re: Pope attacks atheists

Atheism = couldn't really care about religion.

That is how I feel. Atheism I always thought meant. doesn't believe in god and thats it.

Re: Pope attacks atheists

"Atheism = couldn't really care about religion"

In my experience there are people who don't really care about religion. They have been brought up without religion and don't give it much thought. This is what I think atheism should be.

And then there are people who call themselves atheists, who seem to care about religion a great deal. In particular they seem to think a great deal about Christianity. They seem to think and talk about it more than your average Christian ever would. They feel a need to convert. That to me is a separate group. I'd see marxists as a separate group from both of these. Marxism is just another religion to some.

Re: Pope attacks atheists

Atheism is an active ideology. Agnostics are the ones that don’t care or give it much thought.

The Pope is right to oppose the atheists; it’s his job. It is also his job to spread his faith to agnostics.

Re: Pope attacks atheists

" Agnostics are the ones that don’t care or give it much thought"

Some Agnostics give it a great deal of thought and therefore remain unconvinced.

It's probably time to come to terms with the fact that most churches are rather negative thibgs and the world should stop talking about a better afterlife etc and start building 'Christ's kingdom', or 'The New Jerusalem' (or whatever else one might call it) here on earth right now.

And with as few god-botherers as possible.