Catholicism and Politics - Interesting Segment with Bishop Robert Barron (1 Viewer)

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wardorican

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Start from about 3min in, where I'm linking this. The first bit is about a bible they put out.


First, I found his early discussion on the nature of political debate being mostly a conflict of wills, of experiences, and how that's not helpful. It's the breakdown of real argument.

So, the way past that is to refuse to cooperate in that verbal violence. don't make it will vs will, experience vs experience. Appeal to values in common, e.g. propose various objective values. A few posters are better than others at this, but I see many try. It really does sum up where political talk goes bad, without directly criticizing that.

Later it gets into Catholic teaching, and politics. Somewhat lightly, since the main idea is that they'll never tell you who to vote for, and the truth is, neither party bats 1000 with the church, so both are generally equally valid.

I thought it was an interesting chat.

I've caught a few other chats with him that are good. He makes an interesting point about the Church having a high bar of expectations, but also lavishly gives divine mercy when we fail.
 

SystemShock

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I must say, that is rich, coming from a Catholic priest. The word "objective" is thrown around a lot, like "objective values", "objectively wrong", "objectively right"....

And really, arguments come from personal experiences, which are going to be different to various degrees depending on a number of factors. Whether we keep a discussion civil and approach it with reason, that's a different story.

Here's one topic: gay rights. Let's talk about "objective values", who is 'objectively right" and who is "objectively wrong". Let's see how this conversation is not a conflict of the wills, experience vs experience.
 
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wardorican

wardorican

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I must say, that is rich, coming from a Catholic priest. The word "objective" is thrown around a lot, like "objective values", "objectively wrong", "objectively right"....

And really, arguments come from personal experiences, which are going to be different to various degrees depending on a number of factors. Whether we keep a discussion civil and approach it with reason, that's a different story.

Here's one topic: gay rights. Let's talk about "objective values", who is 'objectively right" and who is "objectively wrong". Let's see how this conversation is not a conflict of the wills, experience vs experience.
What you experienced doesn't make it true for society. We can be informed by our experiences, but if we just argue our experiences, we get no where.

If I've never been cold, it doesn't meant there isn't winter.
 

insidejob

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What you experienced doesn't make it true for society. We can be informed by our experiences, but if we just argue our experiences, we get no where.

If I've never been cold, it doesn't meant there isn't winter.
I'm a recovering Catholic. The Christian Brothers and Jesuits (at Loyola - not Jesuit High School) are the most liberal Catholics on Earth. I went to Catholic schools and was forced to go to mass, confession - all that BS - from kindergarten through half of ninth grade when I finally managed to get thrown out of every possible Catholic high school in New Orleans after literally being shunned since the third grade by traditional Catholics because my parents split up. Like I had a damn thing to do about it. The Catholic guilt from St. Dominic's grammar school literally had me wanting to commit suicide at nine years old. There was only one nun there who gave a shirt about how all of it was affecting me. After all I went through, I just don't want to hear any of it from a forking priest. Fr. Harry Thompson was the real deal - as are the ones who show up to say mass at the ICC at Loyola today - but the pedophile butt crevasses (7 more in New Orleans just got outed, not sure if they were indicted/arrested) who have been running that church for the past century have absolutely no leg to stand on when it comes to talking about experience vs. experience, etc..
 

SystemShock

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What you experienced doesn't make it true for society. We can be informed by our experiences, but if we just argue our experiences, we get no where.

If I've never been cold, it doesn't meant there isn't winter.

But if you have never been cold, you don't know what being cold feels like. And what defines what "being cold" is, anyway? Neil Degrasse Tyson has this great quote: "one of the great challenges in this world, is knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about a subject, to know you are wrong".

Society is not monolithic. It is an amalgamation of everyone's experiences. We don't have to look any further than racial/ethnic divides in our society and all of the countless discussions about white privilege and systemic racism.

We make arguments based on our experiences all the time, but that is not the reason we get nowhere in an argument/discussion. Stubbornness, denial, close mindedness, ignorance, tribalism... that's why we get nowhere.
 
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wardorican

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But if you have never been cold, you don't know what being cold feels like. And what defines what "being cold" is, anyway? Neil Degrasse Tyson has this great quote: "one of the great challenges in this world, is knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about a subject, to know you are wrong".

Society is not monolithic. It is an amalgamation of everyone's experiences. We don't have to look any further than racial/ethnic divides in our society and all of the countless discussions about white privilege and systemic racism.

We make arguments based on our experiences all the time, but that is not the reason we get nowhere in an argument/discussion. Stubbornness, denial, close mindedness, ignorance, tribalism... that's why we get nowhere.
I think we're saying the same thing. Re-read what I said... "if we just use..." that's similar to being close minded.
 
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wardorican

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I must say, that is rich, coming from a Catholic priest. The word "objective" is thrown around a lot, like "objective values", "objectively wrong", "objectively right"....

And really, arguments come from personal experiences, which are going to be different to various degrees depending on a number of factors. Whether we keep a discussion civil and approach it with reason, that's a different story.

Here's one topic: gay rights. Let's talk about "objective values", who is 'objectively right" and who is "objectively wrong". Let's see how this conversation is not a conflict of the wills, experience vs experience.
Side note, I'm not up on all of my philosophy, but listening to him talk, he tends to bring up a lot of classical philosophy, along with religious philosphy.

.
 
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wardorican

wardorican

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I'm a recovering Catholic. The Christian Brothers and Jesuits (at Loyola - not Jesuit High School) are the most liberal Catholics on Earth. I went to Catholic schools and was forced to go to mass, confession - all that BS - from kindergarten through half of ninth grade when I finally managed to get thrown out of every possible Catholic high school in New Orleans after literally being shunned since the third grade by traditional Catholics because my parents split up. Like I had a damn thing to do about it. The Catholic guilt from St. Dominic's grammar school literally had me wanting to commit suicide at nine years old. There was only one nun there who gave a shirt about how all of it was affecting me. After all I went through, I just don't want to hear any of it from a forking priest. Fr. Harry Thompson was the real deal - as are the ones who show up to say mass at the ICC at Loyola today - but the pedophile butt crevasses (7 more in New Orleans just got outed, not sure if they were indicted/arrested) who have been running that church for the past century have absolutely no leg to stand on when it comes to talking about experience vs. experience, etc..
I'm sorry to hear about how awful your experience was.
 

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As somebody who grew up Catholic, was very devout for a good period of time, got married and had a child and lived for the majority of my life repressing and denying my homosexual orientation and then eventually accepting it and coming out, I feel I have a different view of this. The priest talks of those "objective values" as if something we can all agree on. "Homosexuality is a sin" is an objective value of the church. That is not an "objective value" for me. And yes, that is drawn from my life and experience. Furthermore, with the exception of the violence that is brought on homosexuals by those who oppose homosexuality, there is no objective measure that homosexuality is bad for society.

So who's "objective value" do we accept and proceed forward with for the good of society? Mine or the Catholic Church's?

I can do that with a number of issues that we face today and that are the reason we are so divided. Who is defining what an "objective value" is? Is it the "moral authority of the church?" Which church? Why a church if we have separation of church and state? We first need to define and agree with what are the "objective values" we hold true on a societal level and how that's done,
 

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As somebody who grew up Catholic, was very devout for a good period of time, got married and had a child and lived for the majority of my life repressing and denying my homosexual orientation and then eventually accepting it and coming out, I feel I have a different view of this. The priest talks of those "objective values" as if something we can all agree on. "Homosexuality is a sin" is an objective value of the church. That is not an "objective value" for me. And yes, that is drawn from my life and experience. Furthermore, with the exception of the violence that is brought on homosexuals by those who oppose homosexuality, there is no objective measure that homosexuality is bad for society.

So who's "objective value" do we accept and proceed forward with for the good of society? Mine or the Catholic Church's?

I can do that with a number of issues that we face today and that are the reason we are so divided. Who is defining what an "objective value" is? Is it the "moral authority of the church?" Which church? Why a church if we have separation of church and state? We first need to define and agree with what are the "objective values" we hold true on a societal level and how that's done,

Your experience and those of others is exactly why the Church is on the verge of going through another schism. Believe me when I say that is a good thing. I've been Catholic all of my life and the one thing that I have always highlighted to pastors (some who have agreed, others, not so much) is the Church's hypocrisy on church life, church teachings, and life values that has shown through even moreso now that there's a more liberal, Jesuit Pope at the Vatican.
 
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Start from about 3min in, where I'm linking this. The first bit is about a bible they put out.


First, I found his early discussion on the nature of political debate being mostly a conflict of wills, of experiences, and how that's not helpful. It's the breakdown of real argument.

So, the way past that is to refuse to cooperate in that verbal violence. don't make it will vs will, experience vs experience. Appeal to values in common, e.g. propose various objective values. A few posters are better than others at this, but I see many try. It really does sum up where political talk goes bad, without directly criticizing that.

Later it gets into Catholic teaching, and politics. Somewhat lightly, since the main idea is that they'll never tell you who to vote for, and the truth is, neither party bats 1000 with the church, so both are generally equally valid.

I thought it was an interesting chat.

I've caught a few other chats with him that are good. He makes an interesting point about the Church having a high bar of expectations, but also lavishly gives divine mercy when we fail.

You should read Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power by Josef Pieper. It's a quick essay that is probably free in pdf form somewhere.

I haven't watched the video in it's entirety but just a few minutes let's me know what he's talking about. Regardless of your position on particular issues, if we approach communication not as a means to transmit and discover truth, but instead as a way to move and manipulate, then we have given ourselves over to what Benedict XVI called the dictatorship of relativism.

What he is calling a conflict of will is born of the notion that there is no such thing as objective truth or values (relativism). In the absence of objective truth, we elevate personal perception or experience to all that is necessary or relevant to the individual. We then have no standard by which to examine thoughts or experiences. And thus we have no mechanism to peacefully proceed in disagreement. It's the death of dialogue. (dia = through; logos = truth) We are simply left with your view and my view. Since there is no truth and no dialogue, the only way forward is a power struggle. Someone must lose.
 

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You should read Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power by Josef Pieper. It's a quick essay that is probably free in pdf form somewhere.

I haven't watched the video in it's entirety but just a few minutes let's me know what he's talking about. Regardless of your position on particular issues, if we approach communication not as a means to transmit and discover truth, but instead as a way to move and manipulate, then we have given ourselves over to what Benedict XVI called the dictatorship of relativism.

What he is calling a conflict of will is born of the notion that there is no such thing as objective truth or values (relativism). In the absence of objective truth, we elevate personal perception or experience to all that is necessary or relevant to the individual. We then have no standard by which to examine thoughts or experiences. And thus we have no mechanism to peacefully proceed in disagreement. It's the death of dialogue. (dia = through; logos = truth) We are simply left with your view and my view. Since there is no truth and no dialogue, the only way forward is a power struggle. Someone must lose.

How do you define that objective truth? Where does it come from? Do we have to believe in a specific religions interpretation of that objective truth to know what it is?

Relativism has it dangers but so does and unqualified belief in objective truth.
 
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Brennan77

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How do you define that objective truth? Where does it come from? Do we have to believe in a specific religions interpretation of that objective truth to know what it is?

Reltivism has it dangers, but so does and unqualified belief in objective truth.

In this context we simply mean that truth exists outside of our personal experiences and that as rational beings we can recognize and interact with it. The belief that there is objectivity in life and that both you and I are capable of knowing it and even are responsible to do so, is the foundation of communication and dialogue.

Since we are speaking of natural realities, and not supernaturally revealed realities, religion really doesn't come into the conversation. Think of it as very base human presumptions about our experiences and the world around us.
 

coldseat

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In this context we simply mean that truth exists outside of our personal experiences and that as rational beings we can recognize and interact with it. The belief that there is objectivity in life and that both you and I are capable of knowing it and even are responsible to do so, is the foundation of communication and dialogue.

Since we are speaking of natural realities, and not supernaturally revealed realities, religion really doesn't come into the conversation. Think of it as very base human presumptions about our experiences and the world around us.

I think I understand what you're saying, and I agree to an extent. However, it seems to me that what WE believe are objective truth has changed and evolved throughout history, just as we have. And as such, "objective truths" are relativistic themselves, they're just held as truth by the majority of society at a certain period of time.

So for example, this is often seen as an objective truth from the Declaration of Independence: " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. " While we love and celebrate these words and document still today, the truth is none of those are self-evident or unalienable rights and that isn't an objective truth. Not even by Jefferson, who wrote it. It never has been. Those are truths that we obtained through power, rebellion and self governance, but that still aren't true for everybody today. And the meaning behind those words have evolved and changed just as we have evolved and changed as humans/Americans.
 
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wardorican

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I think I understand what you're saying, and I agree to an extent. However, it seems to me that what WE believe are objective truth has changed and evolved throughout history, just as we have. And as such, "objective truths" are relativistic themselves, they're just held as truth by the majority of society at a certain period of time.

So for example, this is often seen as an objective truth from the Declaration of Independence: " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. " While we love and celebrate these words and document still today, the truth is none of those are self-evident or unalienable rights and that isn't an objective truth. Not even by Jefferson, who wrote it. It never has been. Those are truths that we obtained through power, rebellion and self governance, but that still aren't true for everybody today. And the meaning behind those words have evolved and changed just as we have evolved and changed as humans/Americans.
In one of the videos I was watching with the Bishop, they were talking about the "pursuit of happiness" and how that was actually a pretty novel change in philosophical thinking. I'm not versed enough in this arena to really expand. It may have been in the one I posted in the Religion sub board.
 

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I have enjoyed watching a bunch of his videos. I think he describes the conservative US Catholic view point well. I also am reminded why I don’t identify as Catholic.

I don’t know how he can describe businesses refusing to hire blacks as irrational prejudice and then say he is concerned that people and the government will perceive the Catholic’s views towards homosexuality as the same irrational prejudice. See 4:30-5:30 of below video.

He argues the same way people like J. Peterson argue. Tell a believable story, state A which is broadly accepted, state an outcome of B which is feared, don’t say why A and B are related or comparable because it hurts your arguments. It’s a disconnected argument reliant on fear.

 

Saint by the Bay

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The challenge with the concept of objective truths is humans are very rarely objective. We are shaped by our experiences, backgrounds, and what is best for the welfare of us and our tribe. People claim to be objective because the human ego often refuses to acknowledge bias, but bias is an intricate part of the human survival extinct and to protecting our emotional health.
 

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