Pope declares Atheists to be Saved

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/22/pope-francis-atheists-can-be-good

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/pope-francis-good-atheists_n_3320757.html

http://news.msn.com/world/atheists-are-good-if-they-do-good-pope-francis-says

Apparently the new Pope says EVERY person who does good gets to go to heaven. Sounds win-win to me! Probably exactly what the world needs, too, whether you believe it is true or not. As a Christian myself, I've always felt that if God was going to pick and choose who was worthy of life after death or not, the smart thing to do would be to pick the ones who embraced altruistic actions rather than the ones who talked a lot but achieved nothing. (The Jury is still out on motivational speakers. I guess they do good by getting others off their ass? Muh)

Also, now that I think on it, if the Pope keeps to his word(s), this makes it Okay-To-Be-Gay as long as you're saving kittens and feeding hobos.

What's the escapist community feel about this?

Captcha: Mumbo Jumbo. Thanks captcha, like I don't already get enough people telling me I'm an inbred-moron-who-is-the-cause-of-all-wars-ever-and-is-holding-humanity-back.

Well good on this new Pope, who will no doubt cause right-wing fundementalists to start making up reasons why he's not elligiable to be Pope (which happened to John Paul II when he made decisions some people didn't like).

Well, let's see if actions follows words, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church is changed:

Article 2125:
"Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion.
..."

Also, when did "Just do good, and we'll find a meeting point" mean that everyone would meet in heaven? The statement might as well be read "Just do what we consider as good, and we won't oppress you". Which given the impotence of the church in the western world isn't that much of an admission.

Also, I find it amusing that "god" changes his stance on extremely basic theological questions with every new pope. Don't Catholics find that... strange?

If only doing good is enough to get into heaven and belief has nothing to do with it, why believe at all? Indeed, considering their attitude towards scandalous priests and their reactionary doctrine, shouldn't the Catholic Church be avoided? And what happened to accepting Christ as your saviour thing?

Imperator_DK:

Also, I find it amusing that "god" changes his stance on extremely basic theological questions with every new pope. Don't Catholics find that... strange?

It's part of god's divine plan. To appear to slightly change his opinion to fit whats popular at the time, and thereby increase positive effects and limitt negative ones! It's worked flawlessly so far. You merely don't understand the complexity of the system, not that I blame you for it. 'You' aren't divine.

Excuse me if I don't reply immediately after this, I have to go and do my daily good for the Pope, and his lord ofc.

warmachine:
If only doing good is enough to get into heaven and belief has nothing to do with it, why believe at all?

The implication of that is that the only reason people choose to believe in Christianity is to get into heaven/avoid hell - that's not real belief, people believe things because they think they're true. This is probably a good move for the Catholic Church, lets them refocus its image to one of acceptance and tolerance, and it's more in line with modern day values - all in all, a good move from a PR standpoint, although they risk taking a hit from a theological standpoint.

Whatever, I'm a cynical non-believer, I don't imagine they'd care much about my opinion, though it is a far more respectable standpoint than one that claims I'm a monster who'll be tortured forever for refusing to reject my own moral judgments in favour of adherence to an ancient, malicious tome.

warmachine:
And what happened to accepting Christ as your saviour thing?

Creative interpretation's of "accepting Christ." You could easily pass it off as "if you're a good person you're accepting Christ in your own way."

Imperator_DK:
Also, I find it amusing that "god" changes his stance on extremely basic theological questions with every new pope. Don't Catholics find that... strange?

John Paul II outright stated that, unless the Pope begins his statement with "This is the absolute word of God," it merely reflects the stance of the church and Catholics are free to agree or disagree.

As an angry athiest, this is fucking great, now a lot of tension can be let go. Even if the Christian and Catholic faiths were the truths, and the nonbelievers were dammed to hell, this is a closer step to peace on earth. That's a lot of undue stress relieved upon the world.

Syzygy23:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/22/pope-francis-atheists-can-be-good

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/pope-francis-good-atheists_n_3320757.html

http://news.msn.com/world/atheists-are-good-if-they-do-good-pope-francis-says

Apparently the new Pope says EVERY person who does good gets to go to heaven.

I don't believe that is exactly what he meant, or said.

Shaoken:
...
John Paul II outright stated that, unless the Pope begins his statement with "This is the absolute word of God," it merely reflects the stance of the church and Catholics are free to agree or disagree.

So basically what he says means nothing at all theologically. Except when he himself decides that it does, in which case he can decide basic theological questions for all eternity (...or until another pope might decide that god has changed his mind on the issue).

That kinda takes the whole "shared beliefs" out the equation, and hence the religious aspect. When a catholic kneels down beside another catholic at church, he pretty much knows that he might not share any views with him! Any feeling of community would rest on unfounded assumptions that he does, or ignorance that Catholics can apparently just ignore pretty much all of the church's dogma if they feel like it.

...not that doing so would get them out of still being personally responsible for the church's dogma and deeds. After all, whatever their personal views on stuff like homosexuality is, they're paying both money and lip service to a homophobic organization. And as actions speak louder than personal thoughts, they are thus responsible for the church's views due to supporting it, even if they don't consider those views to be of divine origin.

Nikolaz72:
...

It's part of god's divine plan. To appear to slightly change his opinion to fit whats popular at the time, and thereby increase positive effects and limitt negative ones! It's worked flawlessly so far. You merely don't understand the complexity of the system, not that I blame you for it. 'You' aren't divine.
...

You'd think a god could do a little better in limiting negative effects.

But "Deus Impeditio Esuritori Alter boys Nullus", I suppose.

Thanks Pope!

So far, and it may be just me, but this Pope doesn't seem so bad really.
As for the theological issues... who cares?
He's the Vatican King. He can do anything.

A better question is that if an atheist can be good, what is the use of religious behaviour and doctrine? Perhaps a mere lifestyle choice with attached superstition?

Franky expresses a view a lot of moderate Catholics share. What he needs to do is change the catechism of the Church to reflect this. Going to Catholic schools growing up, where we were required to take at least one religious course a semester, often a "Christian Lifestyles" course. In those courses, we often talked about how, even though a lot of people and even a lot of Catholics don't like to think of non-Catholics automatically going to hell, the catechism of the Church official teaches this.

As far as, "He didn't really say Atheists go to heaven," just saying that everyone is redeemed in Jesus Christ is kind of a big deal. Again, it doesn't really matter unless they try to change the catechism of the Church, which is something where more conservative Cardinals will be able to throw around some clout and hamstring any changes.

Now that's just silly. Inching ever closer to Mormonism there, where everyone regardless of his religion gets to convert after death.

Also, how's that going to affect their extra Ecclesiam nulla salus policy?

EDIT: I, too, am fallible
But now I can still be saved despite double posting!

@ Uszi

Franky expresses a view a lot of moderate Catholics share.

Exactly. I must say I appreciate this gesture. The Catholic Church has for a long time been much better in this regard (synergy over faith on its own, which is just immoral) and now putting such clear, strong emphasis on good works is a further positive step on that aspect. While it of course doesn't matter theologically to me since I don't believe in the story anyway, it's important because it reflects a change in approach towards Atheists and their treatment.

I applaud his statement. I had a feeling since the beginning he would be a good pope.

Some of the prominent atheists of the world should get together and release their own statement in response, "Dear, religious community. We just want it to be known that - regardless of the things you actually choose to believe - you, I, and everyone else who is not cremated, will decompose in a similar fashion. Yes, even the ones who think there is more after death."

TKretts3:
Some of the prominent atheists of the world should get together and release their own statement in response, "Dear, religious community. We just want it to be known that - regardless of the things you actually choose to believe - you, I, and everyone else who is not cremated, will decompose in a similar fashion. Yes, even the ones who think there is more after death."

Well...problem with that is that the Pope is the recognised leader of Catholicism, and is thus respected throughout that sect, and other Christian groups (at least nowdays, and it still seems a bit odd).

Atheism doesn't have someone like that. Well, you have people revering Dawkins as some kind of saint, but there is a lot wrong with that, and much of the community recognises that.

Wow, the cynicism in this thread is fucking unbelievable.

This Pope has actually genuinely been trying to reach out and talk to groups that previous popes have largely ignored or paid lip service too, and he seems to genuinely believe in what he's saying.

And no matter what he does, he's still evil and underhanded because 'catholicism is evil' I guess?

Holy shit.

Also, the idea of 'Good Works' ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_works ) is kind of a thing in christian theology and has been for a long time, more so for Catholics then protestants.

So when the catholic church refuses to change, it's 'stuck in the past' and 'moralistically out of date'. When the head of the church seems to be talking about and supporting changes in attitude towards individuals, it's either 'Oh he's lying for PR' or 'He doesn't have the power to do that'.

And I acknowledge there are post that do not do this, but the number of ones that do is really disheartening. Not surprising on who is doing what, mind you, if you're familiar with the forum, but still.

@thaluikhain

Atheism doesn't have someone like that. Well, you have people revering Dawkins as some kind of saint, but there is a lot wrong with that, and much of the community recognises that.

The only one I would worship is Holy Sagan, Prophet of the Cosmos.

More seriously, I can tell you that I was far from a fan of Hitchens, for instance. So some of the reactions from other Atheists seemed rather odd to me when he died. But I'd stay far away from talking about such behaviour in a way comparative to religious adoration. Compare it to a celebrity, if you must. Or a famous fiction-writer. Or a musician. Or something. Unless people want to throw all sorts of approval, admiration and support in the same gianormous bucket, I don't think any of that is really comparable to religious reverence.

EDIT: @Bentusi16
Please acknowledge the posts in this thread that don't qualify, it makes it seem like you're blatantly overgeneralizing otherwise.

As a Catholic atheist, this pleases me. Totally against almost two thousand years worth of church dogma stretching back to within a few decades of the founding of the Roman Empire, but nonetheless a nice thing to know.

Skeleon:
Unless people want to throw all sorts of approval, admiration and support in the same gianormous bucket, I don't think any of that is really comparable to religious reverence.

Well, I would say those things often tend to overlap, but that's another issue.

With the previous pope being so horribly right wing and dragging the Catholic church back 100 years this makes me think he might have been persuaded to leave, for the sake of the church's popularity. As opposed to illness like they said.

The more progressive the Catholic church becomes the happier we'll all be.

I'm not sure this matters that much.

On a realistic level, because God and heaven still almost certainly don't exist.

Theologically, because the Pope can say it, but it doesn't make it true according to God's will, or even Catholic doctrine. It only becomes serious Catholic doctrine with stuff like encyclicals and invoked infallibility, et cetera.

On the other hand let's not be too sniffy, because as Smeatza says:

Smeatza:
The more progressive the Catholic church becomes the happier we'll all be.

Syzygy23:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/22/pope-francis-atheists-can-be-good

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/pope-francis-good-atheists_n_3320757.html

http://news.msn.com/world/atheists-are-good-if-they-do-good-pope-francis-says

Apparently the new Pope says EVERY person who does good gets to go to heaven. Sounds win-win to me! Probably exactly what the world needs, too, whether you believe it is true or not. As a Christian myself, I've always felt that if God was going to pick and choose who was worthy of life after death or not, the smart thing to do would be to pick the ones who embraced altruistic actions rather than the ones who talked a lot but achieved nothing. .

As an agnostic-atheist, this is always been what I have believed as well. If God is supremely good (omnibenevolent), it makes no sense to punish those people that do good, but are skeptical about his existence.
Good on the pope, I say, and a good start on his reign.

Imperator_DK:
Snip

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, damnit!

(Yes, I'm aware of the massive theological and ethical problems such a statement generates, but on a prima facie level, it still makes more sense than 'Believe in Christ or go to hell')

Realitycrash:
...
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, damnit!

(Yes, I'm aware of the massive theological and ethical problems such a statement generates, but on a prima facie level, it still makes more sense than 'Believe in Christ or go to hell')

I find it advisable to look gift horses in the mouth, when they come from the My Little Popey stud farm. Which generally only breed fire breathing night-mares.

Who defines what is "good"? I'm sure Hitler thought his actions were good. All the extremist (theist and atheist) think they are doing good by devoting their live to being complete jerks and attacking anyone who thinks differently than they do.

Imperator_DK:

Realitycrash:
...
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, damnit!

(Yes, I'm aware of the massive theological and ethical problems such a statement generates, but on a prima facie level, it still makes more sense than 'Believe in Christ or go to hell')

I find it advisable to look gift horses in the mouth, when they come from the My Little Popey stud farm. Which generally only breed fire breathing night-mares.

On a related note, you've just invented the worst fan-fiction ever.

Imperator_DK:

Realitycrash:
...
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, damnit!

(Yes, I'm aware of the massive theological and ethical problems such a statement generates, but on a prima facie level, it still makes more sense than 'Believe in Christ or go to hell')

I find it advisable to look gift horses in the mouth, when they come from the My Little Popey stud farm. Which generally only breed fire breathing night-mares.

Yeah, not the analogy I'd use, but I'm going to wait and see on this. I don't expect this to be anything more than lipservice at the idea of being progressive. Still, c'mon Pope, prove me wrong.

Well, er, cheers I guess. If they do turn out to be right, glad I'm not going have a pitchfork in my schlong for eternity.

This pope seems much nicer than the old one. Is it the done thing to send "Who's awesome? You're awesome!" jpegs to the Pope's Twitter?

Assassin Xaero:
Who defines what is "good"? I'm sure Hitler thought his actions were good. All the extremist (theist and atheist) think they are doing good by devoting their live to being complete jerks and attacking anyone who thinks differently than they do.

Well I imagne the pope thinks that God decides what is good, so from his perspective the statement makes sense. Obviously if you dont believe in objective morality its a little... lack luster as a statement.

Its a nice thing to say and definitely makes the world a more inclusive place if adopted by all but im hesitant to reward or praise someone for just "nice" behaviour. Saying this pope is a fantastic pope because he believes atheists dont deserve infinite sadistic torture porn (or are going to experience it) is like saying i have fantastic friends because they dont shank anyone or devour human eyes. Great going guys :D Sure im HAPPY my friends dont do that. And im HAPPY the pope has a more inclusive world view where torture isnt really appropriate being dealt by a higher power to the innocent ever (i dont think its right even for the guilty but eh) but im not gonna bake him cookies. Its just being a decent person to accept atheists as more than hell fodder. So good for him, but this is kinda been a long time coming and hes not going to get a hug from me for thinking i deserve more than hell.

Also in response to Mr Assassin i dont know anyone who has devoted their lives to attacking religion or atheism. Even dawkins is an evolutionary biologist first and formost. He actually has a job and knowledge in a subject he has definitely devoted more time to than attacking religion (degrees arent easy to get :P). Sure being a jerk is totally shitty no excuses but id be hesitant to say people are only a single attribute. Sure a doctor might be a jerk to religious people outside of work but hes a doctor. Devoting your life to something is a pretty tall order.

Cool. My viewpoint has always been that Thomas had to meet reincarnated Jesus to be convinced, so it's hardly fair to burn everyone else without offering the same level of proof. Nice to see the Catholics no longer accept that either.

BiscuitTrouser:
Also in response to Mr Assassin i dont know anyone who has devoted their lives to attacking religion or atheism. Even dawkins is an evolutionary biologist first and formost. He actually has a job and knowledge in a subject he has definitely devoted more time to than attacking religion (degrees arent easy to get :P). Sure being a jerk is totally shitty no excuses but id be hesitant to say people are only a single attribute. Sure a doctor might be a jerk to religious people outside of work but hes a doctor. Devoting your life to something is a pretty tall order.

Saw someone once, may have been on this site, that said he devoted his life to mocking Christians and attacking them, which was rather hilarious because he then strawmanned everything.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked