The Catholic Church - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Polls on politics, news, current affairs and history.

On balance is the catholic church a positive or negative force in the world?

On balance it is a positive force in the world.
27
45%
On balance it is a negative force in the world.
26
43%
Other
7
12%
User avatar
By Old Brit
#13499497
Due to the popes visit to Britain this week it has been a hot topic in the British press, I am interested to find out what the views of it on this forum are.

EDIT: To make clear this thread is not meant to suggest that either I or the British public are intolerant of catholics, It is meant to find out what, after looking at the positive aspects of the church such as its ideals of forgiveness and its help through missionary work to third world countries and its negative aspects, such as its child abuse scandals and its atitude towards contaception, the views of people from any country on this forum are.
Last edited by Old Brit on 14 Sep 2010 19:21, edited 2 times in total.
By William_H_Dougherty
#13499517
Old Brit wrote:Due to the popes visit to Britain this week it has been a hot topic in the British press, I am interested to find out what the views of it on this forum are.


Oh God, do we have to go through this again?

You do know that from the perspective of an outsider and atheist, I think there are certain segments of the British population that are incredibly intolerant and the fact that they are intolerant of "Catholics" makes them no less worthy of the title of bigot. The idea that the British Prime Minister can't come out as a "Catholic" isn't even soooo 20th Century, it is sooo 19th Century when Queen Victoria had her first Catholic Prime Minister in Canada.

Besides, religion is a voluntary thing. If someone decides that some old man with a fancy hat is the voice of God, why am I to take them less seriously than any other religious mouthing off on unproveable bull$h!t? If they are forcing me to convert then, yes, I'll get hostile but truth be told I've found the Catholics the most respectful of my atheism.

At least the Catholics have nice Churches and have sponsored some of the most moving art in the history of our species.

- WHD
User avatar
By Annatar
#13499527
Negative

The Catholic Church is and has always been a force working against moral, economic and social progress and espoused the very worst mainstream version of Christianity there is.
User avatar
By Fasces
#13499535
Not true in the slightest, and Catholicism is indeed a very progressive force today, and has historically been a great patron of the sciences, but the Protestant Black Legend seems ingrained in the racial memory of Northern Europeans. :eh:
By William_H_Dougherty
#13499551
Annatar wrote:The Catholic Church is and has always been a force working against moral, economic and social progress and espoused the very worst mainstream version of Christianity there is.


Catholics believe in an imaginary man in the sky who gives a $h!t about what they do = All Deists Minus 5 points.

Image

Vatican City = Catholic Church Plus 1,000 points.

- WHD
User avatar
By Annatar
#13499552
has historically been a great patron of the sciences


More than half a millenium of Catholic hegemony in Europe disagrees with you.

Catholicism is indeed a very progressive force today


Even today the Catholic nations of Europe are considerably worse off than their Protestant neighbors.

but the Protestant Black Legend seems ingrained in the racial memory of Northern Europeans


It has nothing to do with being Northern European. Machiavelli despite being Italian recognised the destructive influence of the Catholic Church far more clearly than most people precisely because he lived directly near the source of Catholic corruption.
User avatar
By Fasces
#13499556
More than half a millenium of Catholic hegemony in Europe disagrees with you.


Eh? Expand, if you will. :roll:

Even today the Catholic nations of Europe are considerably worse off than their Protestant neighbors.


An odd claim to make, when one looks at national rankings by GDP. It looks almost as if the particular strand of Christianity followed has no impact whatsoever on the rankings. :roll:

It has nothing to do with being Northern European. Machiavelli despite being Italian recognised the destructive influence of the Catholic Church far more clearly than most people precisely because he lived directly near the source of Catholic corruption.


Never mind that the specific issues Machiavelli had with the Church had been addressed in the Counter-Reformation and no longer apply, as well as a general sense of the anti-clerical that applies to Protestants as well.
By William_H_Dougherty
#13499563
Annatar wrote:More than half a millenium of Catholic hegemony in Europe disagrees with you.


Leonardo Da Vinci disagrees with you, badly written novels aside.

Even today the Catholic nations of Europe are considerably worse off than their Protestant neighbors.


And Canada is considerably better off than the UK (HDI) where Catholicism is, by far, the plurality religion.

And France is considerably better off than the UK (HDI), where Catholicism is the majority relgion.

And Ireland is considerably better off than the UK (HDI), where Catholicism is, by far, the majority religion.

Me thinks you are full of it, friend.

It has nothing to do with being Northern European. Machiavelli despite being Italian recognised the destructive influence of the Catholic Church far more clearly than most people precisely because he lived directly near the source of Catholic corruption.


Replace the word Catholic with any other religion and you have an out-of-the-closet bigot. Just accept it, you are Milton re-incarnated. Not a bad thing, he was a talented guy and everything, he, to quote joe pesci, just didn't want his girlfriend "kissing nat king cole, if you know what I mean".

- WHD
User avatar
By Fasces
#13499566
Top 10 GDP of the world:

1. USA - Protestant/Catholic
2. Japan - Neither
3. China - Neither
4. Germany - Catholic/Protestant
5. France - Catholic
6. UK - Protestant
7. Brazil - Catholic
8. Italy - Catholic
9. Spain - Catholic
10. Canada - Catholic/Protestant

Top 10 Happy Planet Index:

1. Costa Rica - Catholic
2. Dominican Republic - Catholic
3. Jamaica - Protestant
4. Guatemala - Catholic
5. Vietnam - Buddhism (followed by Catholic)
6. Colombia - Catholic
7. Cuba - Catholic
8. El Salvador - Catholic
9. Brazil - Catholic
10. Honduras - Catholic
....
43. Netherlands - Catholic/Protestant (Happiest Europeans!)
44. Malta - Catholic

:roll:
Last edited by Fasces on 14 Sep 2010 20:07, edited 2 times in total.
By William_H_Dougherty
#13499574
Humand Development Index (HDI).

1. Norway 0.971 (▲ 1)
2. Australia 0.970 (▲ 2)
3. Iceland 0.969 (▼ 2)
4. Canada 0.966 (▼ 1)
5. Ireland 0.965 (▬)
6. Netherlands 0.964 (▬)
7. Sweden 0.963 (▬)
8. France 0.961 (▲ 3)
9. Switzerland 0.960 (▲ 1)
10. Japan 0.960 (▼ 2)

What do Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland have in common? That's right, out of the 10 countries with the highest standard of livings, the majority of them are plurality (and in some cases majority) Catholic.

Such a regressive force Catholicism must be...

- WHD
User avatar
By Nets
#13499575
On balance it is a positive force in the world.


Also, the above discussion is retarded. I honestly can't imagine that much difference between mainstream secular Protestants in Europe and mainstream secular Catholics.

And Ireland is considerably better off than the UK (HDI), where Catholicism is, by far, the majority religion.


I am not sure about this.
Last edited by Nets on 14 Sep 2010 19:54, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Fasces
#13499576
The funniest thing is that Germany, Annatar's home, also has a plurality of Catholics. It's such an inane statement, I have trouble believing how anybody could say it with a straight face. :|
By William_H_Dougherty
#13499580
Nets wrote:I am not sure about this.


Err ... refer to my list above. Ireland has had a higher Human Development Index (HDI) rating than the UK for quite some time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hdi

The UK has been in the 20s for a number of years and the trend is downwards.

- WHD

EDIT: Or were you calling into question that Ireland is majority Catholic? Ummm...it is somewhere around 70% Roman Catholic, more Catholic than Italy and maybe even Poland!
Last edited by William_H_Dougherty on 14 Sep 2010 19:58, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Nets
#13499582
HDI, so what. Ireland was just a massive tax haven that is completely dependent on foreign corporations. I think long run UK has a much brighter future than Ireland.

Even if you do use HDI, is .947 really differentiable from .965? A 1.9% difference is "considerable"?
Last edited by Nets on 14 Sep 2010 20:00, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Annatar
#13499583
Eh? Expand, if you will.


I don't think I have to. The entire history of the high and late middle ages is testament to the backwardsness of catholicism.

An odd claim to make, when one looks at national rankings by GDP.


Really?

GDP of Catholic countries:

France: 29,600
Italy: 25,200
Spain: 22,900
Portugal: 15,800
Croatia: 10,800

GDP of Protestant countries:

Denmark: 40,400
Netherlands: 34,600
Finland: 32,100
Sweden: 31,300

Out of the major catholic countries the only one that even comes close to the GDP of the Protestant ones is France which is a laicist country. Add to that the fact that all of the Catholic countries are more or less bankrupt.

Never mind that the specific issues Machiavelli had with the Church had been addressed in the Counter-Reformation and no longer apply


Read "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" by Max Weber and you'll see that nothing Machiavelli addressed had truly been changed by the Church.

as well as a general sense of the anti-clerical that applies to Protestants as well.


Actually that's not true. Both Calvinism and the later forms of Lutheranism place a far higher value on a virtuous earthly life as opposed to waiting for heavenly salvation than Catholicism does and would therefore be much more to Machiavelli's liking.
Last edited by Annatar on 14 Sep 2010 20:00, edited 1 time in total.
By William_H_Dougherty
#13499584
Nets wrote:HDI, so what. Ireland was just a massive tax haven that is completely dependent on foreign corporations. I think long run UK has a much brighter future than Ireland.


That is a legitimate point of debate, Nets.

However, my statement was:

WHD wrote:And Ireland is considerably better off than the UK (HDI), where Catholicism is, by far, the majority religion.

I try to be objective, so my citation was the HDI itself.

Of course, the legitimacy of the HDI in properly quantifying Standard of Living is up to debate...

- WHD
By William_H_Dougherty
#13499587
GDP of Protestant countries:

Denmark: 40,400
Netherlands: 34,600
Finland: 32,100
Sweden: 31,300


Errr ... the Netherlands is plurality Catholic. So please remove from your list of protestant countries.

Where did you get that list BTW? Lets look at GDP per Capita. I'm going to just take the top 10 and we'll compare, none of this pick and choose to make a point:

1 Qatar 83,841
2 Luxembourg 78,395
3 Norway 52,561
4 Singapore 50,523
5 Brunei 49,110
6 United States 46,381
7 Switzerland 43,007
— Hong Kong 42,748
8 Netherlands 39,938
9 Ireland 39,468
10 Australia 38,911

What do Austrlia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg have in common?

This Christian infighting is distracting from the real enemy, the Muslims. Get it together, guys.


I'm an atheist, I am standing up to a series of ludicrous and bigoted remarks out of principle, they are all full of it (Muslims included) as far as I'm concerned.

- DPG

P.S. No, not to suggest Nets that a certain relgion isn't particularly threatening to secular atheists like me.
Last edited by William_H_Dougherty on 14 Sep 2010 20:07, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By Nets
#13499589
This Christian infighting is distracting from the real enemy, the Muslims. Get it together, guys.
User avatar
By Fasces
#13499594
I don't think I have to. The entire history of the high and late middle ages is testament to the backwardsness of catholicism.


Enlighten me?

Really?

GDP per capita (( :roll: )) of Catholic countries:


When you account for higher living costs, that list changes remarkably.

Here they are by PPP.

1. Qatar - Muslim
2. Luxembourg - Catholic
3. Norway - Protestant
4. Singapore - Buddhism
5. Brunei - Islam
6. USA - Protestant/Catholic
7. Switzerland - Catholic
8. Netherlands - Catholic/Protestant
9. Ireland - Catholic
10. Australia - Catholic/Protestant
11. Austria - Catholic

It almost appears as if no correlation existed between religious beliefs and national success. :|
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