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The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:52 pm

Huckleby wrote: I am attempting to show that those who believe absolutely in the scientifically verifiable are themselves taking on many of the characteristics of the religous.
You have failed.
Huckleby wrote: I am asking people to question the definitions, think if there isn't more overlap there than inititally meets the eye, am met with stubborn defensiveness.
Again, you've merely presented the same old tired arguments which have been offered and rejected for centuries. This is not because people are too stubborn to examine them, it's because they are bad arguments. Contemplating something but ultimately rejecting it based on evidence and logic is not closed-minded. Rejecting something without contemplation and despite evidence and logic is. The latter is what religions do. (Also, I'm not surprised that you want people to "question the definitions" since redefining what basic concepts mean seems to be the only way you can make your case.)
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:39 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Again, you've merely presented the same old tired arguments which have been offered and rejected for centuries.

YOU are arguing the centuries-old science vrs. religion debate. I am not.

I've challenged you to move beyond the obvious, take a fresh perspective. No luck.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:This is not because people are too stubborn to examine them, it's because they are bad arguments. Contemplating something but ultimately rejecting it based on evidence and logic is not closed-minded.

Agreed. You are making the 15th century case.

What I am trying to argue is somewhat subtle. Maybe logic & evidence is like Newtonian mechanics. It isn't "wrong", but it is incomplete. There may be aspects of life and the universe that can not be understood by logic & measurable evidence.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:37 am

Huckleby wrote:What I am trying to argue is somewhat subtle. Maybe logic & evidence is like Newtonian mechanics. It isn't "wrong", but it is incomplete. There may be aspects of life and the universe that can not be understood by logic & measurable evidence.


For the sake of completeness, I offer some other possibilities:

2. Logic and evidence aren't "wrong," but are inconvenient.

3. Logic and evidence aren't "wrong," but scientific honesty is inconvenient.

I consider it to be overwhelmingly likely that a statement about life and the universe offered in the absence of logic & evidence probably falls into one or both of the latter two categories.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:03 am

WestSideYuppie wrote: a statement about life and the universe offered in the absence of logic & evidence probably falls into one or both of the latter two categories.

Fair enough, we are entitled to our personal philosophies, you can be a deacon in Prof. Wagstaff's Church.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:53 am

Huck, first you argue that most Catholics ignore the Church's rulings on contraception, then you argue that "liberal Catholics" are appalled that the Church has to cover birth control through their health insurance policies.

No one has ever accused you of being consistent with your argument.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:23 am

Huckleby wrote:
WestSideYuppie wrote: a statement about life and the universe offered in the absence of logic & evidence probably falls into one or both of the latter two categories.

Fair enough, we are entitled to our personal philosophies, you can be a deacon in Prof. Wagstaff's Church.

I'm not making a statement of personal philosophy, but merely of observation and experience.

I have a certain interest in the arcane field of audio electronics. You should visit some of the Web forums for discussions of audio topics. In that field, the belief that the scientific method is incomplete (or various similar statements) is not a "fresh perspective," but is in fact a dead horse that has been killed, beaten, and run over with a truck. Yet it crops up again and again, and oddly enough, always in close proximity to somebody who has discovered that his truth is more important than evidence, reason, or honesty.

Maybe you're an audiophile?

Back in the 16th century, scholars and Church leaders had no problem with the scientific method. Why? They were absolutely confident that science was incomplete -- that it would reach a dead end. Specifically, science would never explain the evolution of life, human consciousness, or reproduction. The Church bet the farm on those beliefs. They remain inseparable from Christian dogma.

Today, those hurdles have all been crossed. Why? Because instead of giving up on scientific methodology, scientists just kept plugging away.

Giving up on scientific methodology today, would be like accepting defeat at halftime when your opponent hasn't even gotten close to scoring but has more cheerleaders. It's happened, and made people seem foolish. Newton refused to consider hypotheses that led to insights about the extremely distant past or future, because he thought that those things were strictly the domain of theology. Oops. Einstein made some similarly foolish bets about cosmology and quantum mechanics. Oops.

But what if reason and evidence are "incomplete?" How are we going to find out? By simply jumping to that conclusion? Certainly not. The Church jumped to that conclusion in the 16th century. So did Newton and Einstein. No, the only way to discover where science fails (if it does at all) is to keep plugging away. The only way to know who wins this game in the end, is to keep playing it by the agreed-upon rules.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:42 pm

Huckleby wrote:I've challenged you to move beyond the obvious, take a fresh perspective.

No, what you consider a "fresh perspective" is just the same old tired arguments. You've presented nothing new. It's truly incredible that you think you have and that you still seem to believe that before this thread and your enlightened teachings, none of us had ever thought of any of it before.

Huckleby wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:This is not because people are too stubborn to examine them, it's because they are bad arguments. Contemplating something but ultimately rejecting it based on evidence and logic is not closed-minded.

Agreed. You are making the 15th century case.

Huh?

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:There may be aspects of life and the universe that can not be understood by logic & measurable evidence.
This, for example. Do you honestly believe this position is a "fresh perspective"? It's just the standard old "God-of-the-gaps" argument, which becomes less convincing every single time one of the "gaps" in which God supposedly dwells gets filled in by new scientific research.

But let me ask you another question: If something can not be understood via "measurable evidence" then what possible effect could it have on us? If God does not effect measurable change on the universe, in what meaningful sense does he interact with it at all? Because all of the "miraculous" things he's been credited with over the years are not "unmeasurable", even if we could never hope to achieve exactitude. We can measure relative amounts of locusts and frogs, we can measure relative successes of warring desert tribes, we can measure sea level, we can measure relative healthiness, and we can even measure relative happiness. So how can something interact with or influence something else without leaving any measurable evidence? Sure, it's possible God is intentionally deceiving us -- first by creating a universe that appears to be explicable via investigation, cause-and-effect, and natural evolution, and then by circumventing his own rules to amaze and/or confound us -- but then why would anyone have reverence for such a cosmic trickster? If God exists, he also created our intellects, after all. So he created us just to deceive us? You might as well pray to Penn & Teller if all you require from a deity is deception and amazement.

Another question: When you say "aspects of life and the universe that can not be understood by logic & measurable evidence" what, besides some sort of God-concept, would you grant such status to? Because that kind of "open-minded" wishy-washiness leaves the door wide open for astrology, homeopathy, feng shui, magnet therapy, and a host of other easily dismissed nonsense. What do you feel is the difference, if any?
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:58 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Huck, first you argue that most Catholics ignore the Church's rulings on contraception, then you argue that "liberal Catholics" are appalled that the Church has to cover birth control through their health insurance policies..

This is not my argument, it is the facts. Yes, it is indeed something of a paradox. I've tried to explain why Catholics, including liberals, both ignore the Church and resent a government imposition on the church that violates their Church's precepts. I'm not going to repeat the explanation, [insulting remark removed.]

Henry Vilas wrote:No one has ever accused you of being consistent with your argument.

Again, they aren't arguments, I'm trying to explain the negative reaction of many Catholics, I'm mostly repeating what I've heard/read.

Speaking of inconsistency, you began this thread with the general accusation that the Catholic Church is trying to impose its values on American society (I hope I paraphrase you accurately.) And then you offer multiple posts revealing that local dioceses are cooperating fully with the public wishes. That is a bit of a contradiction there.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:05 pm

The contradictions are among the bishops. Again, they protested little when state mandates have been imposed over the years (in over half the states), yet they howled when the federal government did they same. I guess, like the GOP in general, that they have a visceral dislike (dare I say hatred) of President Obama.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:47 pm

Henry Vilas wrote: that they have a visceral dislike (dare I say hatred) of President Obama.

No, Obama has nothing to do with it.
I already explained why the Fed law was more offensive, won't repeat myself.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:01 pm

WestSideYuppie wrote: Yet it crops up again and again, and oddly enough, always in close proximity to somebody who has discovered that his truth is more important than evidence, reason, or honesty.

Maybe you're an audiophile?.

I am a big music lover and junior audiophile. I worked for several years in an audiology research lab, mostly doing programming & instrumentation for experiments leading to modeling of human hearing, ultimately for use in computerized hearing aids. So I know about all the digital/analog issues and babble.

I agree with you, science carries the day in this practical application. Whatever subtleties are in the analog system, they can be replicated digitially, after all, it all boils down to a signal on a wire.

WestSideYuppie wrote:Today, those hurdles have all been crossed. Why? Because instead of giving up on scientific methodology, scientists just kept plugging away.

Sure, keep plugging away.
But no hurdles have been crossed.
Prof. Wagstaff believes that science is converging on truth. I believe that we have no idea, it could all be a cosmic joke.

What hope does an earthworm have to understand foreign currency exchange rates? All a worm can sense is moisture, warmth, maybe soil texture. We may be just as blind and dumb as the earthworm. There may be many dimensions of perception than we will never be able to imagine.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:04 pm

Huckleby wrote:I've tried to explain why Catholics, including liberals, both ignore the Church and resent a government imposition on the church that violates their Church's precepts.


That's not been my impression, talking to Catholics. It may be that a few liberal Catholics temporarily bought into the "religious freedom" objection before all of the facts came to light.

Again, they aren't arguments, I'm trying to explain the negative reaction of many Catholics, I'm mostly repeating what I've heard/read.

Speaking of inconsistency, you began this thread with the general accusation that the Catholic Church is trying to impose its values on American society (I hope I paraphrase you accurately.) And then you offer multiple posts revealing that local dioceses are cooperating fully with the public wishes. That is a bit of a contradiction there.


I offered an explanation, which is simply that there is no consistent doctrine or policy that spans all of the layers of the Church from bottom to top. It can be an indication of basic corruption, but also of the need to manage the conflict between intransigent official policy and necessary practical progress.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:15 pm

Huckleby wrote:There may be many dimensions of perception than we will never be able to imagine.


There certainly may be. But it's my observation that when this notion is raised as an argument in debates about earthly topics, it is invariably an empty argument.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:19 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Huckleby wrote:I've challenged you to move beyond the obvious, take a fresh perspective.

No, what you consider a "fresh perspective" is just the same old tired arguments. You've presented nothing new.

You don't understand what I am suggesting, you're just falling back on science versus religion classic argument.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:If something can not be understood via "measurable evidence" then what possible effect could it have on us?

You are thinking so narrowly. Maybe you are a puppet in the mind of some being. Or maybe we lack the imagination and language to even discuss this question. How do you explain facebook to an earthworm?

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:When you say "aspects of life and the universe that can not be understood by logic & measurable evidence" what, besides some sort of God-concept, would you grant such status to?
A concept outside our imagination.
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Re: The Catholic Church, health care and birth control

Postby Huckleby » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:33 pm

WestSideYuppie wrote:
Huckleby wrote:There may be many dimensions of perception than we will never be able to imagine.


There certainly may be. But it's my observation that when this notion is raised as an argument in debates about earthly topics, it is invariably an empty argument.


I assume by "earthly topics" you mean, say, LPs versus CDs. I was not suspecting that vinyl has a soul.
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