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View Diary: Rebuttal to the front-page criticism of Jindal (109 comments)

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  •  This is a stupid line: (1+ / 0-)
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    homogenius

    The phrase "utterly depraved minds" is attributed to Calvin, who was a founder of Protestantism.  "Utterly depraved" is meant to describe everyone, not just non-Catholics; it is referring to the fact that, as humans, we are flawed, with all number of lusts and sins and whatnot.  The argument here is that, rather than depend on the fallibility of one's own conscience, one would be better to put faith in the collective, the positions of the Catholic church which have been shaped by the church's best minds over the course of millennia.

    So the church's best minds weren't "utterly depraved" like everyone else's?  Or only church leaders are capable of overcoming their depravity in analyzing theology?

    And incidentally, are we including the men who brought us the Inquisition in the "best minds" listing?

    This is where I stopped reading.

    The American people are competent. Why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth. Why should our government lie? -Jimmy Carter

    by JR on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 05:24:07 PM PDT

    •  We are all sinful (1+ / 0-)
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      Ahianne

      and we are fallible, says the Church; even the saints and the Popes and the Doctors.  The theory is that the whole will be better than the sum of its parts, that the errors of one individual will be corrected by others, so that the end result is a theology which is correct, though created by imperfect people.

      Again, this is exactly the philosophy that lies behind science.  No one person invented all of physics (for example; I'm a physicist) nor did any one person ever understand those subjects perfectly, but through the contributions of many physicists, we have constructed a theory of the Universe which is much more accurate (apparently) than any one person would come up with on their own.  Where the Church falters in this, to my mind, is to insist that Catholicism has already gotten everything correct, and not officially allowing for the watershed moments that occur in science.  Change does occur in Catholic theology, but much more slowly as a result.

      The word "depraved" is an unfortunate choice of Jindal's here, because it sounds much more derogatory than I believe he intended.  "Sinful" is probably a better choice for these times.  Having now read his article, he is clearly trying to appeal to Protestants (note his extensive citation of scripture), and so by using John Calvin's own words ("utterly depraved") he is appealing to the Protestant's own authorities.

      •  And yet you assume... (3+ / 0-)

        ...that the Catholic Church is, to keep up the analogy, the only accredited body in physics capable of determining which ideas should or should not be considered.  Or, rather, that the ideas of anyone not accredited by this body should be considered with dramatically lower weight.  Even physics is rife with examples of how amateurs and non-academics made incredible contributions to the field.  

        To discount or dismiss the theological concepts of those not affiliated with the Church, while embracing the concept that theological ideas from those affiliated with the Church are more likely to be valid, is akin to prejudice.

        And note the self-contradictory logic you've employed:

        The theory is that the whole will be better than the sum of its parts, that the errors of one individual will be corrected by others, so that the end result is a theology which is correct, though created by imperfect people.

        How on earth does this jibe with the exclusion of outside opinions?  If having more people involved leads to greater review and scrutiny, and thus a better end result, then why exclude those who offer unorthodox opinions (unless you're assuming that nobody "unaccredited" by the Church can play at that level--which, again, is inherently prejudicial).

        You can't put faith in the collective when the collective itself is limited in membership based on preconceptions that may need to be challenged.

        The American people are competent. Why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth. Why should our government lie? -Jimmy Carter

        by JR on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 05:58:40 PM PDT

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        •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

          and I agree with you: the Catholic Church is depending too much on the conclusions of too few.  If the Catholic Church really believed in the strength of collective thought, then they would not insist so much on their own correctness.

          Please don't confuse Jindal's position with my own; I'm not particularly orthodox.  However, it's interesting to note that in the last two paragraphs of his article, Jindal says that the Catholic Church should incorporate ideas from the Protestant denominations, so it sounds like he agrees with us.  Huh.

      •  You are way too generous to infallibility claims (2+ / 0-)
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        TrueBlueMajority, chigh

        here. Benedict 16 is still a human, nothing happened to him to convert him from a cardinal to a pope to make him a world class thinker. He believes that Catholics have been too lax and not sufficiently militant in defense of their special role in defining Christianity and going to heaven. It is an exclusive Catholic role, and the rest of "Christianity" is basically condemned to be excluded.

        If you ask the Xtian fundies, one must be "saved" to enter heaven. Of course it is the particular minister near whom you live and congregate regularily that defines that.

        I believe that putting a spotlight on religious bigotry is  a spotlight on BJ's true views. Even if that bigotry is only expressed as cheerleading for one sect as opposed to other sects it's fundamentally wrong for a politician trying to work with a secular and non sectarian sort of Constitution,which at last glance we still have a shred of in America.

         If Jindal's run for Senate is oppposed by say, another Catholic that repudiates Jindal's views of tolerance towards other christians, does that make nonJindal an "unfit catholic" and opposable?

         In other words does Jindal's orthodoxy make him more worthy among the conservative extreme Catholica and therefore the one to be supported?

         I just want to know where these views become a litmus test over and beyond any purely political views he holds. That is the trouble with the Jindal viewpoint.

        And BTW, the Pope is the final arbiter of what is correct and what is not. Nothing like a self correcting critical peer review that modern physics holds on to  to exists in Catholicism. It is a belief system, it is faith and not application of scientism or critical rational experiment and efforts. It is not self correcting.

          You distort your own work and mislead readers as to what Catholicism truly is when you try to bridge the gap and the split in modern life with an apology for Jindal's views.

        America has been stolen, your citizenship is a hollow fraud, and you have no power. What will YOU do to reverse these hurts, crimes, outrages?

        by Pete Rock on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 06:28:51 PM PDT

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        •  Clarification (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pete Rock

          I'm trying to explain Jindal's argument; I'm not supporting it.  Your point about papal infallibility is a good counter.  My argument in all of this is not that Jindal's article is right, but that it is in the realm of rational theological discourse.

    •  You're not a theologian (0+ / 0-)

      The Church has a unique claim to truth not because of its human leaders, but because of Christ's blessing of its apostolic succession.  It's a silly idea, IMHO, but it in no entails any kind of notion that Catholics are less depraved or better than protestants.

      And any claim otherwise is misinformed.  Jindal's piece was crap, but only inasmuch as catholocism itself is crap.  

      •  Good luck (0+ / 0-)

        using that argument (that Catholicism is crap) in a political ad in Louisiana.  :).  The ad is the original issue here, after all.

      •  The argument presented... (0+ / 0-)

        ...was that the "best minds" of the Catholic Church were the only ones capable of rising above that "utter depravity" afflicting all humans.  That was what I was rebutting.

        Incidentally, I am not, in fact, a theologian.  I'm the son of a theology major and the brother of a religious studies major, the son of a minister (lapsed Catholic himself), the grand-nephew of a Jesuit priest, and a former religious studies student, all in addition to myself being ordained a minister).  But my status as a non-theologian does not in and of itself preclude me from making theological arguments any more than the Wright Brothers being bicycle repairmen precluded them from making huge advances in applied physics.  (Which, incidentally, was exactly my point all along.)

        The American people are competent. Why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth. Why should our government lie? -Jimmy Carter

        by JR on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 08:00:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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