His intention was to become more skilled at defending his faith, but as he tried to “step back” to look at Christianity from a non-believer’s perspective, he found that he became more swayed to that point of view.
“If God is God, he’s big enough; he can handle any questions I’ve got. Well, he didn’t. He didn’t measure up! And that sounds, you know, so funny, because if I heard somebody else saying that a year ago, I’d have thought, ‘You are such a sacrilegious person. God’s going to strike you dead by lightning or something!’ I’ve actually thought and tried to pin-point, but I can honestly say that intellectually, from within the first few weeks of my studies, I thought, ‘Wow! Could this be true?’"
The best understanding I've come to on this is expressed well by Kierkegaard, a devote Catholic
Faith is not a requirement for membership in the Catholic Church, although it would be nice if you could muster up a little hope and charity. The ritual of baptism, for instance, depends on the certification of the required authority, and the performance of specified actions. The priest's state of mind is irrelevant as long as his authority has not been revoked by the Bishop, and the ritual is performed correctly.
Those who know better, please chime in. I know that faith is not required of anyone who was baptized in a state of grace, such as a baby.
Poking around the Catholic rule book: "Heretical or schismatical ministers can administer the sacraments validly if they have valid Orders, but their ministrations are sinful."
Note that being heretical or schismatic involves active anti-church behavior.
From what I'm seeing the emphasized quality for ordination is grace, not faith. Grace is administered by the Holy Spirit, the most mysterious and ineffable character among the three.
And thus the Dawkinsites and the creationists continue to have their quarrels, entirely unaware of how monumentally irrelevant such quarrels are
An amateur doing research on a topic for which he has a huge axe to grind? That's a textbook recipe for bad scholarship.
Confucianists don't, in general, believe in or worship any gods. Are they religious?
You say that like it's a bad thing.
What other career indeed?
Oh come on, nanojath that's not the same thing at all! No, of course, of course it isn't.
But I think atrazine's response is really more to the point. You might be an atheist, but you're a very Evangelical Christian atheist.
This [that there are many valid gods] is still a belief, though, no less so than "it is understood by all that there is only one God, and that He speaks through the Church."
As others have pointed out, that's false. Syncretic religions may or may not be threatened or challenged by other syncretic religions, but if you challenge their central belief (that there are many gods), that's often viewed as a threat.
Rather, they seem to see what modern-day "new atheists" and contemporary fundamentalists miss, but that Karen Armstrong understands, along with centuries of monks and theologians and mystics and ordinary religious people: religion in its deepest form is not primarily a question of belief but a question of practice, a doing rather than a thinking
And thus the Dawkinsites and the creationists continue to have their quarrels, entirely unaware of how monumentally irrelevant such quarrels are, while everyone else, including these good pastors, gets on with the actual living of spiritual life...
When you saw the headline "Dennett interviews clergymen who don't believe in God" did you have any doubt what slant the article would take? Did you expect to find hard hitting questions like "Don't you think what you're doing is fraudulent?" Are you at all surprised that the closing paragraph begins, "These are brave individuals who are still trying to figure out how to live with the decisions they made many years ago"? Might not a less biased interviewer suggest that genuine bravery would entail publicly stating their beliefs and living with the consequences?
posted by straight at 3:32 PM on March 21 [+] [!]
1 THOU SHALT NOT BE INTOLERANT
2 THOU SHALT NOT TOLERATE BELIEFS WHICH OPPOSE 1
3 GOTO 1
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