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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Being human – and not

Hundreds of Catholic priests are expected to be implicated in alleged child-abuse in Ireland in a major report due out today.

You can read about it in the Telegraph, here, but we all know the story; we don’t need the actual details. Priests are sworn to celibacy and fiddle with little kids.

Do they do it because they’re starved of what comes naturally? Do they do it because they’re of a mindset that draws them to the priesthood, and the two are somehow linked in the psyche?

God knows! I don’t.

But it’s rich in light of this that the man who’s retiring from his post of the head of Roman Catholics in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, said atheists were somehow less than human (see the YouTube video below).

To be fair, he was probably saying that people who don’t think about the bigger questions are not maximising their humanity. Maybe he has a point. But he seems to be saying that being an atheist or agnostic automatically means we don’t use our human potential to the full.

That’s bollocks. Many atheists have come to their atheism from a position of belief precisely by examining the bigger questions. Many of those who have never believed will have nonetheless examined the bigger questions – and, in the case of questions concerning the existence of sky fairies, found those questions not worth asking.

Why are these sky pilots so arrogant? Why is it that only they have the answers?

And how can they possibly profess to know the supernatural, when the supernatural, by its very nature, is unknowable and at best can be only speculated on?

Why is Murphy-O’Connor such a twozzock?

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