What I want to know is why there are so many people who don’t want me to know things . . .
And that doesn’t even include all the things that people “won’t tell me.”
Man crushed by giant crucifix dedicated to Pope
A man has been crushed to death after a giant crucifix dedicated to Pope John Paul II collapsed, just days before a historic Papal canonisation in Rome.
The 30-metre-high (98ft) wooden and concrete cross fell during a ceremony in the Italian Alpine village of Cevo, near Brescia. Another man was taken to hospital.
The structure was dedicated to John Paul II on his visit to the region in 1998.
It’s clear to me that the Pope intended to kill this man. What’s the rule? Does this cancel out one of his life-saving miracles?
If you believe that a dead person can be the agent of unexplained happenings on Earth, then you’ve got to take the bad with the good. If the Pope gets credit for a miracle when a woman’s health improves after seeing his picture in a magazine, then he should take the rap when his crucifix falls over and kills someone.
What sort of evidence is required to certify that an earthly phenomenon was caused by a dead person?
William of Occam would have pointed out that there are simpler explanations for a sick person getting well, e.g.,
I assure you that if 667,302 people with diagnosed medical ailments prayed to my dog, in at least two of those cases (and more likely, thousands), something unusual would happen.
Years ago, a lower GI series revealed that I had a golf ball-sized (4 cm) tumor in my colon. The doctor did a colonoscopy a few days later and the tumor was gone.
It’s a miracle! Unless something was wrong with the production or reading of the x-ray and the tumor was never there at all.
I didn’t say any prayers so no one will be getting a sainthood out of it. Or maybe I myself am a saint!
so·te·ri·ol·o·gy \suh-teer-ee-ol-uh-jee\, noun:
- spiritual salvation, esp. by divine agency.
- the branch of theology dealing with this.
nd now, do You see those stones in this parched and barren desert? Turn them into loaves of bread and men will follow You like cattle, grateful and docile, although constantly fearful lest You withdraw Your hand and they lose Your loaves. . . . You thought, what sort of freedom would they have if their obedience was bought with bread? You replied that man does not live by bread alone. . . .
So, in the end, they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, “Enslave us but feed us!” And they will finally understand that freedom and the assurance of daily bread for everyone are two incompatible notions that could never co-exist! . . .
They will marvel at us and worship us like gods, because, by becoming their masters, we have accepted the burden of freedom that they were too frightened to face, just because we have agreed to rule over them — that is how terrifying freedom will have become to them finally! . . .
I tell You once more that man has no more pressing, agonizing need than the need to find someone to whom he can hand over as quickly as possible the gift of freedom with which the poor wretch comes into the world. . . .
We have corrected Your work and have now founded it on miracle, mystery and authority. And men rejoice at being led like cattle again, with the terrible gift of freedom that brought them so much suffering removed from them. . . .
They will tell us the secrets that most torment their consciences, they will tell us everything, and we shall solve all their problems, and they will trust to our solutions completely, because they will be rid of the terrible worry and the frightening torment they know today when they have to decide for themselves how to act.
Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.
The article describes a study in which researchers phoned up 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about religion.
On average, respondents got half the questions wrong. Breaking down the results by faith (or lack thereof), the highest scores were registered by atheists and agnostics, closely followed by Jews and Mormons.
Some of the knowledge gaps are amazing:
As Nietzsche used to say: If you want happiness and peace of mind, believe. If you want truth, investigate.
You can test your own knowledge of religious lore with an abbreviated, 15-question version of the survey, available here.