Pope declares Atheists to be Saved

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Do atheists really care? There is no such thing as heaven so being told we are allowed to go there is kind of pointless really. It's like being told you can to go to Narnia. Maybe it will stop angry religionists spouting their crap about people going to hell (which also doesn't exist) for not subscribing to their belief system.

I guess it is a step in the right direction though. The more religionists who are accepting of other folk the better, it's good to see the Holy Cheese isn't a complete twat. Now what do we have to do to get him to be nice to lesbians? Spaghetti dinner?

Captcha: remain calm. Good advice Captcha. You are truly the wisest of us all. Praise Captcha!

BiscuitTrouser:

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.

The Pope says if you don't believe in god that you can go to heaven by doing good... Good is defined by what god says it is... God says you must believe in him to be good/saved...

Captcha: Challenge Accepted. I'll have a whole team of philosophers and scientists working around the clock to figure this one out.

Imperator_DK:
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.
..."

That's actually one of my favorite articles of the catechism. I don't really appreciate how you cut it though, since the full article says

Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion.61 The imputability of this offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances. "Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion.

The article says 3 things:

1) Athism, as a rejection of God, is a sin.
2) How bad a sin is dependant on the motives of the atheist in question.
3) The failure of Christians to represent Christianity well almost certainly pushes people to atheism, so it's our sin too.

Although, I guess you wouldn't like the rest of it, since that second point lets a lot of good people off the hook while condemning you to super hell.

OT: I feel like I have to say this every time the Catholic Church does anything: Everyone Is A Sinner. Atheists are sinners, Catholics are sinners, gays are sinners, straights are sinners, everyone is a sinner.

Calling someone a sinner IS NOT, IS NOT, saying that they won't go to heaven.

So this really isn't news.

TKretts3:

BiscuitTrouser:
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.

The Pope says if you don't believe in god that you can go to heaven by doing good... Good is defined by what god says it is... God says you must believe in him to be good/saved...

Believing in him might be necessary for salvation, but I don't believe it says anywhere that it's necessary for being good, otherwise the Catholic Church wouldn't have latched onto Thomas Aquinas' idea of how everyone is naturally rational and good, they just won't be saved because they don't believe. And, considering the Pope is infallible to Catholics, what he defines as good is good, which will probably involve being a generally good person, not a good Christian.

tstorm823:

Imperator_DK:
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.
..."

That's actually one of my favorite articles of the catechism. I don't really appreciate how you cut it though, since the full article says

Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion.61 The imputability of this offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances. "Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion.

The article says 3 things:

1) Athism, as a rejection of God, is a sin.
2) How bad a sin is dependant on the motives of the atheist in question.
3) The failure of Christians to represent Christianity well almost certainly pushes people to atheism, so it's our sin too.

Although, I guess you wouldn't like the rest of it, since that second point lets a lot of good people off the hook while condemning you to super hell.

OT: I feel like I have to say this every time the Catholic Church does anything: Everyone Is A Sinner. Atheists are sinners, Catholics are sinners, gays are sinners, straights are sinners, everyone is a sinner.

Calling someone a sinner IS NOT, IS NOT, saying that they won't go to heaven.

So this really isn't news.

Can you go to heaven with nonrepented sins, though? Must you not be given absolution before you die?

LifeCharacter:

TKretts3:

BiscuitTrouser:
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.

The Pope says if you don't believe in god that you can go to heaven by doing good... Good is defined by what god says it is... God says you must believe in him to be good/saved...

Believing in him might be necessary for salvation, but I don't believe it says anywhere that it's necessary for being good, otherwise the Catholic Church wouldn't have latched onto Thomas Aquinas' idea of how everyone is naturally rational and good, they just won't be saved because they don't believe. And, considering the Pope is infallible to Catholics, what he defines as good is good, which will probably involve being a generally good person, not a good Christian.

So what the pope thinks is a good person is a good person?

It makes sense in the cases of lapsed Catholics whose family still believe and are worried about them not getting into heaven. It's a PR move to make the Catholic church seem more tolerant, nothing more.

So far the new popes good at the PR, we'll wait and see if he ever actually does anything though.

Realitycrash:
So what the pope thinks is a good person is a good person?

Papal infallibility basically gives the Pope the power to dictate the doctrine and morals of the church and is incapable of being wrong when it comes to these tasks, so if he says that certain people are good people, the Catholic Church says that those people are good people. It obviously doesn't have any direct impact on anything outside the Catholic Church, but it can indirectly affect things due to the Church's influence

LifeCharacter:

Realitycrash:
So what the pope thinks is a good person is a good person?

Papal infallibility basically gives the Pope the power to dictate the doctrine and morals of the church and is incapable of being wrong when it comes to these tasks, so if he says that certain people are good people, the Catholic Church says that those people are good people. It obviously doesn't have any direct impact on anything outside the Catholic Church, but it can indirectly affect things due to the Church's influence

Yeah, but how are we supposed to know what the pope thinks is a 'good person'? Is there a 'Pope-commandments-for-non-believers' to check against? Is it a wide, sweeping 'everything done with good-intentions'-clause?

I've been inadvertently following the Pope because I get bored at work at it looks more respectable to be browsing NPR than IGN and I have to say, I'm a fan of this guy (not religious at all personally). This pretty much clinches it.

CriticalMiss:
Do atheists really care? There is no such thing as heaven so being told we are allowed to go there is kind of pointless really. It's like being told you can to go to Narnia. Maybe it will stop angry religionists spouting their crap about people going to hell (which also doesn't exist) for not subscribing to their belief system.

I guess it is a step in the right direction though. The more religionists who are accepting of other folk the better, it's good to see the Holy Cheese isn't a complete twat. Now what do we have to do to get him to be nice to lesbians? Spaghetti dinner?

Captcha: remain calm. Good advice Captcha. You are truly the wisest of us all. Praise Captcha!

Like it or not the Church DOES have pull in this world so it's good see the kind of positive attitude that the new Pope has.

Realitycrash:
Yeah, but how are we supposed to know what the pope thinks is a 'good person'? Is there a 'Pope-commandments-for-non-believers' to check against? Is it a wide, sweeping 'everything done with good-intentions'-clause?

His idea of what a good person is is probably similar to the normal Catholic idea of what a good person is, just with the religious dogma and the restrictions those bring removed. Is it really that hard to reasonably assume what the Pope considers good people and good works that happen to lack any religious (or Catholic) influence?

LifeCharacter:

Realitycrash:
Yeah, but how are we supposed to know what the pope thinks is a 'good person'? Is there a 'Pope-commandments-for-non-believers' to check against? Is it a wide, sweeping 'everything done with good-intentions'-clause?

His idea of what a good person is is probably similar to the normal Catholic idea of what a good person is, just with the religious dogma and the restrictions those bring removed. Is it really that hard to reasonably assume what the Pope considers good people and good works that happen to lack any religious (or Catholic) influence?

Not hard, but it ends up rather vague.

Realitycrash:

LifeCharacter:

Realitycrash:
Yeah, but how are we supposed to know what the pope thinks is a 'good person'? Is there a 'Pope-commandments-for-non-believers' to check against? Is it a wide, sweeping 'everything done with good-intentions'-clause?

His idea of what a good person is is probably similar to the normal Catholic idea of what a good person is, just with the religious dogma and the restrictions those bring removed. Is it really that hard to reasonably assume what the Pope considers good people and good works that happen to lack any religious (or Catholic) influence?

Not hard, but it ends up rather vague.

Really, it's vague? You can't come up with an idea of what a Catholic in the western world would consider a good person that isn't vague to the point that it's an actual issue for you?

A fair point to consider is that what your average Atheist and Catholic consider to be "good" often differs even aside from belief, can I be a good Atheist if I use a condom, masturbate, have a homosexual relationship or an abortion for example?

As a die hard atheist who goes out of his way to avoid religion, every single thing I hear from the new pope puts a smile on my face. He has my respect.

JoJo:
A fair point to consider is that what your average Atheist and Catholic consider to be "good" often differs even aside from belief, can I be a good Atheist if I use a condom, masturbate, have a homosexual relationship or an abortion for example?

Abortion is hard to assume, but does the Church see people who masturbate or use condoms as bad people, sinful yes, but I don't think I've seen anyone condemn another to hell for condoms and masturbation. As for homosexuality, I'd like to hope that it was put under the same idea as not believing in God and that it's not going to ruin your chances, but I can't say since I'm not sure how tolerant the new Pope is.

What I cannot understand is why would anyone care what the pope thinks? It isn't like he is Jesus. He doesn't get to make the rules for heaven, nor do Atheist care whether or not some guy over there thinks they can go to " heaven" or not. LOL

The only benefit I see of saying" Atheist can go to heaven too" would be to have Christians stop trying to pressure everyone else because they are " afraid for them". That would be a releif to all of those who are constantly annoyed by those who think " they know what is best for them because they don't want them to go to hell". If this makes them stop trying to push Christianity on everyone else ( which I do not see it actually doing that) that would be good. I don't believe it will however.

LifeCharacter:

Realitycrash:
Yeah, but how are we supposed to know what the pope thinks is a 'good person'? Is there a 'Pope-commandments-for-non-believers' to check against? Is it a wide, sweeping 'everything done with good-intentions'-clause?

His idea of what a good person is is probably similar to the normal Catholic idea of what a good person is, just with the religious dogma and the restrictions those bring removed. Is it really that hard to reasonably assume what the Pope considers good people and good works that happen to lack any religious (or Catholic) influence?

I don't believe that papal infallibility is really still a thing. From what I see anyway as a non-catholic. He certainly does not operate under the principle and Catholics don't seem to abide by the idea.

LifeCharacter:

Realitycrash:
So what the pope thinks is a good person is a good person?

Papal infallibility basically gives the Pope the power to dictate the doctrine and morals of the church and is incapable of being wrong when it comes to these tasks, so if he says that certain people are good people, the Catholic Church says that those people are good people. It obviously doesn't have any direct impact on anything outside the Catholic Church, but it can indirectly affect things due to the Church's influence

Last I knew, not all he says is considered infallible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility

Lil devils x:
What I cannot understand is why would anyone care what the pope thinks? It isn't like he is Jesus. He doesn't get to make the rules for heaven, nor do Atheist care whether or not some guy over there thinks they can go to " heaven" or not. LOL

The only benefit I see of saying" Atheist can go to heaven too" would be to have Christians stop trying to pressure everyone else because they are " afraid for them". That would be a releif to all of those who are constantly annoyed by those who think " they know what is best for them because they don't want them to go to hell". If this makes them stop trying to push Christianity on everyone else ( which I do not see it actually doing that) that would be good. I don't believe it will however.

He is divinely chosen according to catholic doctrine, so there is something to that. That gives him a fair amount of legitimacy (If you buy into their doctrine, of course)

Shock and Awe:
I don't believe that papal infallibility is really still a thing. From what I see anyway as a non-catholic. He certainly does not operate under the principle and Catholics don't seem to abide by the idea.

Xeorm:
Last I knew, not all he says is considered infallible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility

Yep, looking further down I see that I was mistaken about the extent of his infallibility, thanks for pointing that out. Though he is still the Pope, so his words, while contestable, still carry a fair amount of influence over the Church and all those affected by it, so hopefully it'll stick for awhile.

LifeCharacter:

Shock and Awe:
I don't believe that papal infallibility is really still a thing. From what I see anyway as a non-catholic. He certainly does not operate under the principle and Catholics don't seem to abide by the idea.

Xeorm:
Last I knew, not all he says is considered infallible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility

Yep, looking further down I see that I was mistaken about the extent of his infallibility, thanks for pointing that out. Though he is still the Pope, so his words, while contestable, still carry a fair amount of influence over the Church and all those affected by it, so hopefully it'll stick for awhile.

Agreed; Pope Francis seems to be basically be making all the right moves, regardless of what some more....hostile, people think.

Well I'm glad he made the step, he strikes me as a good guy even though we don't hold the same beliefs, just like how I rather respected Pope Jean Paul. Not that it affects me, I'm still determined to live my next life as a spoiled house cat or a tree growing in a really deep forest as I think that would be really relaxing.

And when my super Christian family comes to visit this summer and starts talking down to me again I can throw this in their faces. "Nah nah you're being a bad person by judging me, so you're going to hell while the Pope says I'm going to heaven!" ... Yeah.

Hey, wasn't expect the new pope to have a soft-spot for atheists. Good on him for having an open mind. I like this pope a lot more than the old pope. I still have my disagreements with him, but I have disagreements with everyone. He seems like a step in the right direction for Catholicism, bringing back a little bit more of that "We are the earthly servants of God" rather than "WE ARE THE SUBSTITUTION FOR GOD! BOW DOWN TO US!" which was a huge problem.

Still not a catholic, still don't really believe in a personal God of any sort, but I think that if I met this new pope, I'd smile rather than frown.

Prsonally even though Im a catholic I thought thats how it always should be.

Realitycrash:

Can you go to heaven with nonrepented sins, though? Must you not be given absolution before you die?

Of course. Don't you think it would be a pretty fickle doctrine if someone was cursing someone out moments before getting a nuke drop on them and that one action was eternal damnation?

Catholic doctrine is that if you die absolved of all sins, you stroll right into heaven. If you die unashamed and unrepentant for your sins, you go to hell. If you die in a state of sin and are repentant of your sins, or become repentant of them upon understanding that they are wrong, then you are purified before entering into heaven.

It does feel pretty ad hoc, but thats the same Catholic doctrine that's been around for centuries.

But yeah, it's not just about which side of which line you fall of in some set of rules. Catechism says

At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.

and that is what's most important. If the atheist is an atheist while trying to be more loving, it is a mistake, not an act of evil. And yet again, another line that lets a big swath in while pushing Imperator far, far away.

Bentusi16:

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

As far as I can tell, the only post on this page containing anything like that statement is yours. There is some cynicism here, to be sure, but the first and second mentions of evil or malicious intent were yours.

Are you sure you are not being a little judgmental and eager to perceive ill intentions yourself?

OT: Good for him. I imagine the biggest effect this will have in the US is to just give those who dislike atheists AND Catholics more reason to dislike Catholics or both. We can probably expect conspiracy theories about atheists taking over the Catholic church fairly soon, if indeed those are not already common. Still, every measure of acceptance is welcome.

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.

Fire Breathing? I thought our old pope was the one who lightning out of his hands.

Shock and Awe:
Snip

Agreed; Pope Francis seems to be basically be making all the right moves, regardless of what some http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/edit/528.408708.17085880more....hostile, people think.[/quote]

Don't think even the more hostile people (Unless they were Catholics in disagreement) would see this as a bad thing, merely doubt in his words ability to improve things.

The Catholic Church doesn't have as much power over the West as it used to, and many of the most judging, most disgusting christians... Aren't Catholic. Hopefully though his words will have an effect on atheists in Africa/South America/Mexico. Today those seem the area's in the world that respect the popes word more than any other.

Man, a whole lotta woosh in this thread.

I understand people have various axes to grind with organized religion, and the last pope didn't endear himself to anyone who wasn't already thoroughly enamored with the faith, but c'mon. This pope is emphasizing genuine altruism with a focus on the poor. It's practically all he preaches. If he can get the church turned around and focusing entirely on real benevolence towards all of mankind, without exception, I think that's fucking fantastic.

I guess this is one time where it might be nice to see people put away the rational arguments against organized religion and recognize all of the good that could come from legitimate disciple of Jesus Christ - especially given the pervasive and toxic nature of modern capitalism.

FieryTrainwreck:
Man, a whole lotta woosh in this thread.

I understand people have various axes to grind with organized religion, and the last pope didn't endear himself to anyone who wasn't already thoroughly enamored with the faith, but c'mon. This pope is emphasizing genuine altruism with a focus on the poor. It's practically all he preaches. If he can get the church turned around and focusing entirely on real benevolence towards all of mankind, without exception, I think that's fucking fantastic.

I guess this is one time where it might be nice to see people put away the rational arguments against organized religion and recognize all of the good that could come from legitimate disciple of Jesus Christ - especially given the pervasive and toxic nature of modern capitalism.

Problem is, that is an extremely big "if".

Sure, the Catholic Church could do a lot of good, but can you blame people for thinking it's still not going to live up to anything like it's potential?

Hm, as a Jedi I support this, more acceptance from major world religion, hoooo.

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. (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.

I feel far from blessed and saved.

BUT WHAT DO I KNOW? THE POPE IS INFALLIBLE!!!!!111211!!

Saved?
From what?
Considering that, from Christian point of view, the person who saves me (Jesus/God) is also the person who put me in danger in the first place (Jesus/God), i somehow fail to be impressed or grateful.

Still, points for the thought i guess.

I don't give a shit; he's contradicting what the Catholic Church says. It's all well and good when the Pope says, "Oh, we're not all bad; we may not agree with your lifestyle, but we respect what you're doing", until any old amateur can look up the scriptures and point a paragraph with context that almost blatantly says, "No, Mr. Pope, God doesn't like that."

The guy could use the same sort of logic for justifying corrupt, sexist, child molesting "men of God". Yeah, you can ruin a child's life because you imposed a lifestyle of celibacy on yourself and couldn't handle it so you had to let your sexual frustration out on a little boy you could count on to not tell anyone, as long as you pray for forgiveness.

Fuck off. As long as they still hate gays for no other reason than "It's icky; God said so; changing the definition of marriage BLAH BLAH fucking BLAH", the Catholic Church will never be progressive and the best thing for all of us is for it and the Papal system to be abolished. This is 2013, we don't need religion anymore because we've been thinking for ourselves for a long fucking time!

As an atheist I don't particularly care for the Pope, of course, but this one does seem to be a tad more likeable than the last guy. Reforms don't happen overnight, of course, but if the trends of what he's been saying lately continue throughout his papacy, and keep on continuing after he's done with it, well, I can't consider that a bad thing.

Question is whether the other old dudes on top of RCC are also up for such reforms.

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