Philosophical and literary discussion from the heart of Barcelona

    Proud to be Catholic despite it all



    Posts : 1
    Join date : 2009-09-02

    Introduction and thoughts

    Post  iansedano on Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:31 pm

    Hi there,

    I am new to this forum - i heard about you from Justin in the Gracia Arts Project - i don't know if you're familiar with it, but anyway, I have been looking for that philosophical strain in Barcelona for a little while!

    I hope you don't mind if I jump right in!

    The catholic church is a strain of Christianity - Christianity is based on the myth of Jesus. I say myth here because the miracles, virgin birth, re-incarnation are impossible. They are, however, frequent motifs in other myths that preceded Christianity (I would have to do a bit of research to find out which ones exactly but heros and leaders have always been special people that ignite the imaginations of people, and seem to have skills that surpass the human) and so it's very possible that Jesus existed, being a remarkable man, and that his story was mythologized into one very powerful, rich and moving myth.

    I recently read a book by H.G. Wells - "a short history of the world" - and it starts way back but gives it's main focus to humans and our many forms of civilization. I would quote the book but i lent it to someone! Anyway, it devotes a special chapter to the 6th Century BC.

    In the 6th Century BC, Lao-Tzu (founder of Taoism or Daoism), Confucius, the Greek Philosophers, and the first Prophets from the Old Testament, were all making similar appeals to the Individual Human Conscience and Reason. This, says H.G.Wells, was the first time that such an idea had ever taken a hold of man. It was the first tentative reach out from the collective nature of archaic human psychology. In other words - it was the first time that people were saying: "let your own heart and mind make your choice, and not the king, caesar, khan, or 'owner'."

    Christ read the Old Testament, he was Jewish. He didn't listen to the Jews, he came to his choices and conclusions by listening to himself and reading the rich literature of the Jewish peoples. That literature, which was the first in History to contain the idea of a One All Powerfull God.

    I agree with you both: things seem to have got very complicated when one golden rule seems simple enough. "love thy neighbor" "do unto others and you would have then do unto you"

    I have a question though: If it is so simple, then why is it so difficult?


    I just realized that the last message posted was in March! Well, I'll post this and hope for some discussion!

    All the Best
    All the Best

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2009-02-03

    Sorry to my other friends

    Post  Admin on Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:37 am

    By the way, sorry to the other members for this quite specialist topic. In fact, I don't know why I included it as it's really an extension of a conversation LH and I had in the ARS cafe at Sants station (I think we accidentally had the first symposia meeting over a cold beer).

    Anyway, Laura... many many thanks for replying... you haven't done much to aid my confusion, though, but... that's not your brief. Anyway, I'll be pursuing the topic further when i see you next. In the meantime, though, what about the big guys visit to Africa... what an embarrassment to Catholics the world over.... it really, for me, makes me continue to wonder why we need the whole Pope thing in its current form.

    Have a good weekend.


    Posts : 1
    Join date : 2009-03-09

    Re: Proud to be Catholic despite it all

    Post  lh on Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:25 am

    I also consider myself Catholic, but I'm not sure that the Catholic Church would consider me Catholic... My friend uses a term which, I think, appropriately labels this phenomenon, and that is 'cafeteria Catholic.' I definitely pick and choose from the available doctrine, but then I often wonder: is that even an option? Can we be selective? Or is it all or nothing? I try not to think about it too much.

    I think that spirituality and religion represent very personal choices; choices which should involve lots of thought, questioning, and patience. I believe that in the end, Catholicism can be, and often is, a label and there are plenty of people who do not wear that label who seem to follow the ideas that Christ promoted: love thy neighbor as thyself, love God (i.e truth, goodness) above all else. Likewise, there are plenty of Christians who don't seem so good at loving others, like Hitler, for example.

    I feel like one of the problems with organized religion, labels, etc., is that tons of time is spent judging others, as if partaking in religious activity is like forming part of some elite club. To me, this is the human element. Humans will never be perfect, we will always have issues with power, greed, judgement etc. But we also have an inclination to search for the truth, and I believe that the role of religion should be to nurture that inclination. Another thing is that people get so caught up in arguing about religion that they often forget to look at the source of the ideas. Ideas can be manipulated, abused, and misrepresented, but those manipulations are not the ideas themselves, and people often argue with each other instead of going straight to the source and grappling directly with the ideas.

    I haven't read the whole Bible, but from what I have read, I feel like there are some possible discrepancies between what Jesus promoted and what the modern Church does (or has in the past). At the same time, I think there are valuable insights that society as a whole ignores, but that the Church has identified and maintained as essential. That is why, in the end, I have opted for Catholicism (or my modified version of it). To me, religion and spirituality mean searching for truth and being open to it, a task which is extremely challenging and never ending. I don't think Catholicism is the only way to do that, but I have found it to be the best way for me.

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2009-02-03

    Proud to be Catholic despite it all

    Post  Admin on Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:19 am

    I'm a bit confused. I'm proud to be a Catholic but don't believe a word of Catholic doctrine. I especially don't believe in papal infallibility - a complete and utter abberation and in itself sinful and twisted. I don't believe Jesus was the son of god, i don't believe in the virgin birth, the resurrection, or any of it.

    I am, however, very religious... but the religion I believe in is concerned with the way you treat others, yourself and the way you view the fruits of creation. I deeply believe that religion is as necessary for the healthy functioning of society as oil or government and I'm commited to turning myself and my fellow man onto the path of righteousness...

    But I don't see why we need all that dogma... why do we need to have all those words and ceremonies and voodoo superstition? Why can't we take the essential part of what Jesus said and live our lives by actions not words?

    and this whole thing of worshiping God... what sort of all powerfull being would suffer from the very human need to be worshiped and praised?!!!!!

    I think that religion is desperately important for society - especially at this time - but we have wandered down a path of navel gazing, mumbo-jumbo, irrelevance and plain stupidity. God will surely judge us on our actions not by our words and prayeres and ceremonies!

    But, I still consider myself a Catholic and sometimes go to church.

    I'm confused.

    I suppose my central question is, once more, 'why do we need all that dogma?'

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