All entries for Wednesday 14 May 2008
May 14, 2008
Seven new mortal sins have been announced.
- Environmental pollution
- Genetic manipulation
- Accumulating excessive wealth
- Inflicting poverty
- Drug trafficking and consumption
- Morally debatable experiments
- Violation of fundamental rights of human nature
Right, let's take each of these in turn. I'd like to remind readers at this point that, while I will endeavour to deal with the objective inaccuracies and contradictions that follow, my personal dislike of organised religion, and my own Christianity will undoubtedly come into play. Just FYI.
Environmental pollution - somewhat excessive, perhaps? If you're a literal believer of the bible, this is the same God who almost wiped out all life on the planet with a flood. How damaging is that to the environment? Not to mention pillars of salt, burning bushes and the like (one of those is a joke :P). Even if you're not, it seems a disproportionate punishment. So by extension, if you ever dropped a piece of litter which you didn't confess to, you're going straight to hell... Pardon the scepticism...
Genetic manipulation - so using the intelligence God gave us (or allowed us to develop) to lessen the pain and suffering experienced around the world by those unfortunate enough to have been born with various defects is enough to be sent to hell? Unless you're one of those who believes God inflicts such things as punishments or whatever on people (a view I can't even begin to justify unless you're a moron), then surely lessening someone's suffering is only the logical outcome of the love we are all supposed to show one another?
Accumulating excessive wealth - what counts as excessive? Who defines it, the church? One of the richest organisations in the world is going to dictate how much money other people are allowed to have before they get sent to hell? Hypocritical much? Some of the richest men in the world are the biggest philanthropists, like Bill Gates. Surely what you do with your money is just as important as how much of it you have. I know there's the parable of the poor woman and the rich philistine, but I don't think that can really be applied in todays world, and it is a parable anyway. If it is supposed to be followed like that (giving everything you have, no matter how much or little it is), then we're all fucked.
Inflicting poverty - surely this is the corrollary of the above. Regardless, while the sentiment is somewhat commendable, it is lethally vague. If someone offers to buy something for me, and I accept, or offers to sell me something, and I refuse, then surely I am making them poorer. Since poverty is a relative measure, have I not inflicted poverty on them? Would this not totally undermine charity?
Drug trafficking and consumption - oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The Catholic Church (CC), in trying to modernise, has shown itself to be even more stuck in the past. Unless by drugs they mean to include alcohol (which would include the wine at communion) and tobacco, it shows a woefully poor understanding of the scope of drugs, and the realities of addiction. Drugs in moderation are not evil. As for trafficking, only insofar as it is breaking the law, and the practices it is involved with and funds. So why single out one illegal act over any other?
Morally debatable experiments - sorry, what? Any intelligent person can debate the morals of any experiment. Animal rights activists will debate the morals of any experiment using animals, yet without these, countless antibiotics, treatments, vaccines and the like might not exist. By this, the CC just mean "experiments our ridiculous Draconian institution doesn't approve of", i.e. anything they falsely view as 'playing God', a phrase that should surely be banned, such is the rank stupidity of those who generally use it as the be-all and end-all of argumentation.
Violation of fundamental rights of human nature - which are? Hell, people don't even agree on the current universal declaration of human rights: I find issue with articles 5, 13, 16, 21, 25, and 26. That's one fifth of the current set of human rights. Is the CC giving its much delayed backing to the declaration? Or is it trying to bolster its own set? Regardless, without clarification, the statement is vapid and meaningless.
Then again this passage pretty much tells you all you need to know:
He also named abortion and paedophilia as two of the greatest sins of our times. The archbishop brushed off cases of sexual violence against minors committed by priests as "exaggerations by the mass media aimed at discrediting the Church".