25 December 2013

PZ and me and Pope Frankie

This doesn't happen all the time, but I actually agree with PZ Myers opinion of Pope Frankie's latest and rather limp attempt to reconcile with non-Catholics.  I'd even go one step beyond PZ's assessment.

Briefly, Frankie has said "I invite even nonbelievers to desire peace."  I urge you to read PZ's piece yourself (linked above) as it's both short and lucid.

Beyond that, though, I have two objections to Frankie's statement.

The first might be relatively minor, as it might just be a crappy translation.  The notion of being invited to desire peace is a bit absurd.  I mean, desires aren't things rooted in conscious decisions; they're rooted in unconscious, emotional states.  It's almost as if Frankie doesn't quite accept, or know about, our current understanding of the brain and mind.

Wouldn't be the first time, I suppose, that a religion ignored scientific knowledge.

Still, one would think that the leader of the Catholic Church would have a better grasp of language - if not just better speech-writers.

My second objection is more serious, I think, though it concerns the same sentence.  To invite one suggests that the inviter has some privilege that the invitee lacks  A "good time," the pleasure of one's company, a home-made dinner, even one's very presence.  In this case, to invite one to desire peace seems to me to imply that Frankie believes he's already there, that he - and his Catholic cohorts - already have peace, possess it, have acquired it.  And others have not.

That's just too sanctimonious for me.  It's arrogance born of Catholic (and, more generally, theistic) brainwashing - the privilege of "knowing" that their god is the One True GodTM and that they can afford to be magnanimous because their entry to heaven is already guaranteed.

And it's crap.  Utter crap.

Peace isn't something one is invited to want.  Peace is a fundamental desire of any human, and it is achievable only if we all agree that we all share equally in the opportunity and responsibility to achieve it.

1 comment:

  1. Agree with every single word. But I've grown used to this situation. The always mentally and morally retarded, always "behind the times", when they finally "catch up" with human development and enlightenment, then it's not from a place of humility, let alone repentance, but a position of magnanimity, as if they'd already always been there, as if they'd invented tolerance, peacefulness, compassion...