Mudcat Café message #1392917 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77771   Message #1392917
Posted By: Joe Offer
29-Jan-05 - 11:32 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Religious Left
Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
Gee, Jerry, I'm sorry. You know where I think a lot of the trouble is - legalism. Everybody has to have proof, to see things in black and white, right and wrong, truth and lies. The atheists and the liberal and conservative religious people are all the same - they're all tied to their doctrines, all so sure they know the truth that they're afraid to ponder the questions. I think the truth lies somewhere in the ever-changing flow of things. I suppose we have to have rules and definitions and doctrines and all that, to give us a hint of understanding of the flow - but then we get mired down when we hold onto those doctrines and rules and deify them.

Yes, Jim, I do think that abortion is wrong and that the world would be a better place if we could significantly reduce the number of abortions - but I refuse to see right and wrong in legalistic terms, and I find myself boxed into corners when I try to explain my position in terms that are not my own. So, no, if you cannot accept my statement that I believe abortion is wrong, then I cannot explain it to you in terms you can understand. If you see legal coercion as the one and only way to reduce the number of abortions, then you and I cannot communicate. Too bad - we could be on the same side, if you could be a bit more open to differences in opinion and alternative means to a common end. That's why I cannot be either a Republican or a Democrat - because I cannot buy their line hook, line and sinker, and both sides demand unquestioning loyalty. There is no room for moderates any more, and certainly no foom for free thinkers who do not tie ourselves to any ideology.

-Joe Offer-

...but now I suppose I have to lapse into legalism to explain something to Jerry. The pope isn't infallible - but some of the doctrines he promulgates can be infallible if they meet a raft of restrictions and qualifications. One major restriction is that almost everybody and his brother must already agree with the doctrine for centuries beforehand. Infallibility was declared in the 1870's, and has been invoked only twice - to bestow some noncontroversial titles on Mary, the mother of Jesus. Some say the pope had more credibility before the declaration of the much-misunderstood doctine of infallibility.