Friday, December 30, 2011

Australia’s Catholicism: the Irish kind, fundamentalist, and militantly anti-Communist.

Australia’s Catholicism: the Irish kind, fundamentalist, and militantly anti-Communist. – Peter Myers « Bharata Bharati

"   Redemption, God, Atheism, Knowledge, World Peace: A fallibilist writes to his friends
Seth, I’d like to introduce you to Israel Shamir (assuming you don’t already know him), and bring him into our discussion. You are both of Jewish background – “Jews by birth” – who have adopted Christianity. And you both talk of the spiritual impoverishment of our times.
Although my possibly-Jewish surname could suggest a Jewish ancestor – not in recent generations – I have never had a Jewish consciousness. I grew up Catholic in Sydney, in the 1950s when Catholics constituted a ghetto. Australia’s Catholicism was the Irish kind, fundamentalist, and militantly anti-Communist.

I entered a seminary at the age of 17, but, while there, stopped believing in the Devil, and stopped believing that “we” were the good people and “they” were the bad people. Rather, the line ran through all of us. So, I lost my reason for being there, and left, as did 75% of my class. I no longer consider myself Catholic, but Shamir still refers to me as “our Catholic friend” (he freely uses the Royal plural). So, perhaps there is still something “Catholic” about me, just as others might see some lingering “Jewishness” in each of you. You wrote, “I presume you are still a theist”. I believe in “Divinity” but not “God”.
“Divinity” is a neutral term which allows me to say that I don’t know what it is, but that I think it’s there. There is such a thing as “religious non-theism”: a religion can be non-theistic. Buddhism is; and Jainism too. The simple question you raised has led me to long-forgotten pages of my website where I explored such issues. I’m now delving into them and quoting them. We have all come across Christians – evangelicals mainly – who talk as if they know God like the guy next door. Yet, God’s mind – assuming a theistic God – could not be like ours.  "   ......


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