You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 08, 2016, 03:57:12 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'  (Read 3560 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Shjade

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2012, 12:53:36 PM »
I just can't understand how you can justify excommunicating two people for saving a life. Realistically at the girl's age and the short term of her pregnancy that the twins were definitely not going to survive. Was it better to let all three people die?

I believe this falls under the purview of the popular phrase, "Two wrongs don't make a right."

Did they do anything illegal? No.
Did they save a life? Most likely, yes.
Did they still "kill" two "people" do accomplish the above? According to the church, yes.

It's fairly cut and dried: it doesn't matter why they did what they did, they still did it. They could have refused to save the girl's life and, in so doing, saved their souls (Is that how it works? Someone more familiar with Catholicism please feel free to correct me on the specifics.). They made a choice. Given there are conflicting systems of value involved, it stands to reason that they couldn't have made everybody happy no matter what they chose to do.

As for the earlier question from vtboy: what's wrong with bashing the church? The same thing that's wrong with bashing any group, I should think. "Bashing," in general, isn't an activity one should expect to be widely accepted: it's insulting, overtly hostile and pretty much intended to draw a negative reaction. If you disagree and think it's fine, by all means, try making a gay bashing thread and let's see how well it goes over. On second thought, let's not do that and just say we did; I'm sure we can all imagine the most likely outcome. Didn't turn out so well, did it? Locked immediately, or as immediately as staffers could see it existed, along with everyone involved getting warned for their behavior, I should think?

So why should you think bashing a religion is any better?

Now, that's not to say you should agree with them, or even like them. It's totally cool to point out flawed reasoning, present counter-arguments, raise conflicts or disagreements or whatever - that kind of thing happens here (and other places) every day. Heck, just look through some fairly recent threads for some less-than-supportive videos about hardline religious fervor in action from an atheist's point of view and etc. That's not on the same level as bashing for its own sake, which is basically just prejudice/the beginnings of hate speech.

If you don't understand why this might cause problems within a community, see Rick's earlier post for details.

Offline Sure

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2012, 02:17:46 PM »
Right, so, this is a post about abortion and religion, which are two landmines. So I'll try to escape with my dignity and sanity:

Sel Nar, you have some facts wrong. The Cardinal specifically and the Vatican generally was not involved in this incident until questioned on it, nor did the Cardinal excommunicate anybody. This was all done by the local Archbishop, who is a local official and has no special status as a Vatican insider or influence there. This mistake is not present in the article you linked, as far as I can see, so I can only come to the conclusion you invented that. It's a bit like looking at the recent anti-gay marriage laws in certain states and claiming they were promulgated by a White House staffer and then using this as 'proof' the United States is anti-homosexual.

Furthermore, the Archbishop comes from Brazil, a country which recognizes the right to life of fetuses. This girl had to go before a judge to get the abortion specially approved or the doctors would have, in fact, been breaking the law. The current laws are supported by 82% of the population as of the last count I've seen (which was in 2010). So some allowance has to be made for cultural context. Furthermore, from his comments, it seems to me like the Cardinal is saying "This is an unfortunate episode but abortion is still wrong and we have to follow cannon law". Which is to be expected, I would think. The Archbishop, on the other hand, seems to have actively pushed for the girl's excommunication until the Vatican told him 'no'.

Anyway, hopefully everyone excommunicated has since been absolved and this is just one Hanging Archbishop, to paraphrase an colloquialism.

Offline vtboy

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2012, 02:28:47 PM »
Responding to Shjade:

Thank you for your definition of "bashing." Mine is a bit different.

Please note, I asked what is wrong with bashing the Church, not what is wrong with bashing Catholics. The RCC is an organization, like political parties, corporations and governments with all of which it bears some striking similarities. I fail to see how criticism of the Church for its actions and policies --such as those which are the subject of this thread -- can possibly be labeled "hate speech" or equated with deriding the character of homosexuals. And, let's not forget we are talking about an institution which has shown little compulsion about its own forms of "hate speech" aimed at, among others, women who would like to free themselves from the burden of serial child birth, homosexuals, and politicians in secular democracies who dare to compartmentalize between the personal duties imposed by their religion and the duties to constituents imposed by office.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 02:33:40 PM by vtboy »

Offline NatalieB

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2012, 03:36:38 PM »
Responding to Shjade:

Thank you for your definition of "bashing." Mine is a bit different.

Please note, I asked what is wrong with bashing the Church, not what is wrong with bashing Catholics.

It's difficult to explain what is wrong with bashing the church if we cant agree on what bashing means.  What is your definition?

Offline Sabre

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2012, 05:18:11 PM »
The Church has, in its books, a selection of laws and statutes that applied to this issue; one of them simply states that anyone who performs a mortal sin, unless they do not have the mental capacity, or are under the age of 16, is automatically excommunicated. You would ~think~, then, that Rape, of a family member no less, would be considered a mortal sin. However, the only people Excommunicated were the 9 year old's mother, and the doctor who performed the abortion, as the Church would rather have 3 dead people than one living child who never should have been put in that position in the first place.

It's not a matter of what decision has an objectively lower body count.  Both can be considered mortal sins, but the excommunication is not based on how personally disgusted a society is with the perpetrator but whether or not the sin is both grave (which both abortion and rape are) and if the act threatens the unity of the church and its community.  Rape does not seriously threaten the Church as it is clearly a very personal crime that no one will obviously defend within or without the church.  Abortion, however, threatens the teachings of the Church on life and the soul because in modern times abortion is a frontline topic that straddles the line between moral acceptance and moral abhorrence.  Abortion became a reason for automatic excommunication recently because of this while there is clearly no threat of Catholics believing 'well incest and rape are okay and not at odds with Catholic teaching.'

The Church would rather not have three dead people.  But what it wants is to maintain that abortion is still an act of murder which is a grave sin made mortal by people accepting it might not be immoral (based on objectivism rather than theology for the most part).

Quote
Secondly, the abuse of the girl by her stepfather had been going on for 3 years; that is more than enough time for the abuser to poison her mind and justify the abuse, such as 'everyone she knows is hurt by her'. What message did the Cardinal send when he publicly declared the excommunication against the girl's mother, who was only trying to help a scared, hurt child? That would reinforce the abuser's negative reinforcement that she would 'deserve' the abuse, because everyone that 'helps' only gets hurt by her.

The message they wanted to send is that, at the end of this tragedy, the aborted fetus was also a victim that was willingly sacrificed through an act of murder.  That it was done in order to save her life does not erase the fact that this was still a grave sin much like killing in self-defense.

Quote
Thirdly, as per the Code of Canon Law 1323 and 1324, due to the Extenuating circumstance involved, the excommunication should have been immediately revoked, due to subsections 4, 5 and 8 in Canon 1324.

"4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls;"

The Church maintains that abortion harms the soul (of the fetus).

Quote
Fourthly, Why did the church NOT excommunicate the Abuser/Molester/Rapist? There was no explanation given stating why a 23 year old man that raped a pre-teen for 3 years was given the privelege of 'Not being thrown out of the church'. There were NO followup reports at all on that angle, which leaves a LOT of questions unanswered.

Because excommunication is not a criminal penalty like being sentenced to jail.  Its purpose is not to be vindictive.  And there's no rule on automatic excommunication on rape.

Offline rick957

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2012, 12:28:54 AM »
There's been a lot of specific info presented here about the Catholic Church that I didn't know, so that's been very positive and useful.  I'm especially grateful to those of you who have been brave enough to defend the Church, whether as devils' advocates or not.

My personal issues with the rulings of the Catholic Church are more general than any individual case or even any individual issue (such as abortion).  As my previous post suggested, I find several of the Church's decisions to be personally upsetting and morally indefensible, frankly, but I'm sure there are Catholics somewhere who are able to make at least enough peace with the Church's problematic behavior that they continue to attend mass and self-identify as Catholics.  I want to better understand those people's perspectives on these issues.

Quote
I see no reason to put a straitjacket on expressions of opinion which stop short of true incivility. Emphatic speech serves a purpose, as does giving voice to repugnance and astonishment.

I agree with the second sentence there, and I'm not suggesting some sweeping censorship initiative.  The mods overseeing this section of the site have to decide for themselves what constitutes permissible frankness and what crosses the line into incivility.  Unfortunately, my personal impression is that the kind of derision heaped upon certain favorite targets at E would never be allowed if it were directed towards liberals or gay people or ethnic minorities.  My ire gets up, perhaps too quickly, whenever I see that particular kind of discrimination; I think it's far too common in this section of the site.

Many individuals who feel marginalized or discriminated against elsewhere can relax and enjoy themselves around Elliquiy and not worry about getting attacked or denounced.  It's one of the best things about Elliquiy -- maybe the very best thing.  I just wish there was more sensitivity to the way that the minorities in this particular community are treated.  In fact I think the gross lack of sensitivity at times in the past warrants a collective effort at increasing awareness about the kind of discrimination that can and does happen here, in my view.

Quote
And, what exactly is wrong with bashing the Church?

Quote
It seems like a way of expressing a dislike for the Church and inviting others to join rather than an attempt to start a debate, do you get what I mean? 

IMO the people in the minority at Elliquiy are not those of certain ethnicities or those with liberal sexual mores; the latter group must be in the majority around here, and I've never seen racism of any kind here.  What I have seen is far too many incredibly nasty comments about social, political, and religious conservatives, with American Republicans at the top of the list.  Those are the real minorities in this virtual community, and they get bashed a lot in this section, without much restraint or deliberation of any kind, it seems. 

I'm sorry if I'm being knee-jerk or oversensitive here.  I don't think it bugs me just because I happen to be a very religious person; I think -- hope -- it bugs me because bigotry and prejudice of any kind sucks, and I want to be vigilant in rooting it out, whether I happen upon it in a public place, or come to see it in my own heart or in one of my opinions.  People who face discrimination in the larger society, as many Elliquians perhaps have, are just the ones who should know better than to allow it around here, I would hope.  IMO, YMMV.

... And, now that I've finished my long-ass post, I see that Shjade made most of these points already, and probably better than I could.  :P  +1 to what he said.  Here's another great example of why I should read the whole thread before writing a response.  :)
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 12:45:48 AM by rick957 »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2012, 12:42:55 AM »

IMO the people in the minority at Elliquiy are not those of certain ethnicities or those with liberal sexual mores; the latter group must be in the majority around here, and I've never seen racism of any kind here.  What I have seen is far too many incredibly nasty comments about social, political, and religious conservatives, with American Republicans at the top of the list.  Those are the real minorities in this virtual community, and they get bashed a lot in this section, without much restraint or deliberation of any kind, it seems. 

I'm sorry if I'm being knee-jerk or oversensitive here.  I don't think it bugs me just because I happen to be a very religious person; I think -- hope -- it bugs me because bigotry and prejudice of any kind sucks, and I try to be vigilant in rooting it out, whether I happen upon it in a public place, or come to see it in my own heart or in one of my opinions.  People who face discrimination in the larger society, as many Elliquians perhaps have, are just the ones who should know better than to allow it around here, I would hope.  IMO, YMMV.

... And, now that I've finished my long-ass post, I see that Shjade made most of these points already, and probably better than I could.  :P  +1 to what he said.  Here's another great example of why I should read the whole thread before writing a response.  :)


Despite the ungodly hold of certain Moral Conservatives have on the GOP, I would like it said that not all republican conservatives fall into the 'we worship the command of Pat Robinson/ect'.  I consider myself a Goldwater conservative, which is to say I prefer issues handled on a lower level than they typically are, moral issues aren't the domineering focus of my life, and I think for myself. That being said what you're referring to are the 'Double-High Authoritarians' that have come to hijack the party over the last 2 decades for the most part.


Offline vtboy

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2012, 05:24:00 AM »
It's difficult to explain what is wrong with bashing the church if we cant agree on what bashing means.  What is your definition?
To attack. In the context of debate, to criticize, denounce, rebuke, reprehend, in vigorous or even harsh terms.

Quote from: rick957 date=1338150998
Unfortunately, my personal impression is that the kind of derision heaped upon certain favorite targets at E would never be allowed if it were directed towards liberals or gay people or ethnic minorities.  My ire gets up, perhaps too quickly, whenever I see that particular kind of discrimination; I think it's far too common in this section of the site.

Many individuals who feel marginalized or discriminated against elsewhere can relax and enjoy themselves around Elliquiy and not worry about getting attacked or denounced.  It's one of the best things about Elliquiy -- maybe the very best thing.  I just wish there was more sensitivity to the way that the minorities in this particular community are treated.  In fact I think the gross lack of sensitivity at times in the past warrants a collective effort at increasing awareness about the kind of discrimination that can and does happen here, in my view.

******************************************

I'm sorry if I'm being knee-jerk or oversensitive here.  I don't think it bugs me just because I happen to be a very religious person; I think -- hope -- it bugs me because bigotry and prejudice of any kind sucks, and I want to be vigilant in rooting it out, whether I happen upon it in a public place, or come to see it in my own heart or in one of my opinions.  People who face discrimination in the larger society, as many Elliquians perhaps have, are just the ones who should know better than to allow it around here, I would hope.  IMO, YMMV.

Bringing this back to context for a moment, all this wailing and gnashing of teeth began over a comment to the effect that, in excommunicating the mother and doctors who acted to save the life of this horribly misused nine year old, the Church -- not Catholics acting in conformity with some believed stereotype -- had acted stupidly. Fairly appraised, it was no more than modest rebuke for what can only strike those not thoroughly invested in RCC dogma as remarkable, and perhaps ultimately self-injuring, cruelty -- an act which, indeed, called into question the fidelity of the institution to the sort of humane conduct Jesus is claimed to have urged. Certainly, the comment did not savage Catholics as a group.

"Stupid" may not have been the most eloquent and least provocative of appropriate adjectives, but bigoted?  Prejudiced? Grounded in stereotype? Of a piece with the sort of derogatory and incendiary invective hurled at homosexuals, blacks, Latinos, Muslims, Jews? Really?

I understand there is something gratifying in donning the mantle of victimhood, but let's try to keep some sense of perspective and proportion here. And, above all, let's not hold the vigorous exchanges of ideas so many of us enjoy on these boards hostage to overweaning notions of what is dictated by mutual respect. 
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 06:50:31 AM by vtboy »

Offline NatalieB

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2012, 06:30:15 AM »
Well, that sounds like an inherently negative thing to do.  Given that definition of "bash" would you appreciate it if someone bashed you?

Can we not agree that criticising, denounceing etc-ing in harsh terms is a counter productive debating tactic.  If you have genuine grievances then harsh terms are not necessary, if you don't then harsh terms won't hide that.

I think I mentioned this above but your attacks, your "bashing" seem personal.  Now, you may well have the greatest personal reasons in the world for disliking the Church, but the plural of anecdote isn't data.  With your "harsh terms" it makes any defense of the Church seem to be an attack on you when - and I'm pretty certain I speak for all in this thread - noone intends that.

Essentially, that definition doesn't seem to differ too greatly from SHjade's and I don't see how Rick's criticisms don't still hold true.

What's wrong with bashing the church is it shuts down the debate.  It makes your posts seem to be, as I said above, more clarion calls to others to come and talk about how they too want to attack the Church than any attempt to exchange ideas.  I don't know whether that's your intent or not, but thats how it seems to me and I think how it seems to others.  Thats whats wrong with bashing the church.

Offline vtboy

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2012, 07:00:14 AM »
Well, that sounds like an inherently negative thing to do.  Given that definition of "bash" would you appreciate it if someone bashed you?

Can we not agree that criticising, denounceing etc-ing in harsh terms is a counter productive debating tactic.  If you have genuine grievances then harsh terms are not necessary, if you don't then harsh terms won't hide that.

I think I mentioned this above but your attacks, your "bashing" seem personal.  Now, you may well have the greatest personal reasons in the world for disliking the Church, but the plural of anecdote isn't data.  With your "harsh terms" it makes any defense of the Church seem to be an attack on you when - and I'm pretty certain I speak for all in this thread - noone intends that.

Essentially, that definition doesn't seem to differ too greatly from SHjade's and I don't see how Rick's criticisms don't still hold true.

What's wrong with bashing the church is it shuts down the debate.  It makes your posts seem to be, as I said above, more clarion calls to others to come and talk about how they too want to attack the Church than any attempt to exchange ideas.  I don't know whether that's your intent or not, but thats how it seems to me and I think how it seems to others.  Thats whats wrong with bashing the church.

I modified my last post to include a response to Rick's last which I had not yet read.

And, no I do not agree that "criticizing, denounce-ing etc. in harsh terms is a counterproductive debating tactic," provided the harsh terms remain within bounds of civility. Besides, I don't know that these boards are meant for debate per se, as opposed to the free flow of ideas.

I don't believe you mentioned in prior posts that my "bashing" seemed personal. If that is your impression, it is incorrect, and I can't imagine what  its source could be outside of your own personal prejudices.

If you are truly concerned that use of the term "stupid" to describe the excommunication shut down debate, please flip back through the posts in this thread.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 07:02:52 AM by vtboy »

Offline NatalieB

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2012, 07:18:00 AM »
Hmmm.

I would say that the free flow of ideas can't exist in the sort of environment where bashing, your definition of, occurs.  It makes things personal, it makes them private.  It leads far too much to an attack on people rather than ideas.  It shuts down the argument.

As it has done here.  "I think I mentioned this above" means I'm not sure I did or not.  I'm prepared to take your word that I didn't, far too lazy to check.  Your response felt like a personal attack on me - "personal prejudices".  You seem to be getting defensive that people don't share your abhorance of the events, and the thread is becoming a little unpleasant.

That's why bashing is wrong.

Offline vtboy

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2012, 07:39:38 AM »
Hmmm.

I would say that the free flow of ideas can't exist in the sort of environment where bashing, your definition of, occurs.  It makes things personal, it makes them private.  It leads far too much to an attack on people rather than ideas.  It shuts down the argument.

As it has done here.  "I think I mentioned this above" means I'm not sure I did or not.  I'm prepared to take your word that I didn't, far too lazy to check.  Your response felt like a personal attack on me - "personal prejudices".  You seem to be getting defensive that people don't share your abhorance of the events, and the thread is becoming a little unpleasant.

That's why bashing is wrong.

To be clear, no personal attack on you was ever intended. Nor do I think one may be read into anything I've written here. The first injection of the ad hominem in this thread seems to be your suggestion that there is some personal subtext to what I've said.

Offline NatalieB

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2012, 08:01:46 AM »
Well, perhaps I misread.  Regardless, as I say, this thread is beoming unpleasant.

It's been a pleasure talking to you all, without exception.

Offline Shjade

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2012, 10:39:23 AM »
And, no I do not agree that "criticizing, denounce-ing etc. in harsh terms is a counterproductive debating tactic," provided the harsh terms remain within bounds of civility.

Explain to me what's civil about calling someone's belief system stupid.

Offline rick957

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2012, 01:25:45 PM »
@ vtboy

I had a different response up earlier, but I didn't like part of it, so I took it down.

"Stupid" may not have been the most eloquent and least provocative of appropriate adjectives, but bigoted?  Prejudiced? Grounded in stereotype? Of a piece with the sort of derogatory and incendiary invective hurled at homosexuals, blacks, Latinos, Muslims, Jews? Really?

I meant the things I said.  Thanks.

Offline vtboy

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2012, 02:06:10 PM »
Explain to me what's civil about calling someone's belief system stupid.

1)  The term described a particular act, not an entire "belief system."
2)  Are you sure it is the word, rather than the condemnation it attempted to express, to which you are objecting? It is, after all, difficult to find nonabrasive language for behavior one finds truly odious. There are other descriptions I would have preferred, among them "benighted," "depraved," "inhumane," "perverse" and "appalling," but the initial word choice was not mine. Would these also have been "uncivil" in your lexicon? Would you have perferred "unwise" to "stupid"? How milquetoasty need one be?
3)  Not all "belief systems" merit respect and some are stupid. Take white supremacy, for instance. (To save the digital ink I already see cascading my way, let me be clear -- I am not equating the RCC with the KKK).
4)  As long as ad hominem attack against a speaker is avoided, I don't see what is uncivil about speaking plainly, vigorously, and critically. 

Offline Sabre

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2012, 02:40:01 PM »
Polemic doesn't have to be uncivil, but lack of courtesy generally is.  And it has almost always been damaging to attempts to find compromise and reconciliation - especially in this case where the purpose is not to find common ground or even desire to understand the position of the Church but to unilaterally condemn its position.

Offline vtboy

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #42 on: May 28, 2012, 05:18:20 PM »
Polemic doesn't have to be uncivil, but lack of courtesy generally is.  And it has almost always been damaging to attempts to find compromise and reconciliation - especially in this case where the purpose is not to find common ground or even desire to understand the position of the Church but to unilaterally condemn its position.

If the purpose of the critics is as you state, perhaps they are better students of the Church than you recognize.

Reconciliation and compromise?  Is that what the Church did when it excommunicated the mother? Or did it unilaterally condemn her?

I don't think the criticism of the Church in this thread has been fueled by either an unwillingness or inability to understand its position. Quite the contrary.

Offline Sabre

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2012, 05:47:37 PM »
She excommunicated herself, since it's an automatic thing with abortion.  The purpose of excommunication is reconciliation anyway.  The local archbishop that went too far and lambasted the mother and doctors made the situation worse, forcing the mother to dig in her heels and the local population to condemn the priest.  But then the usual media circus followed with pot shots at the Church, and the Church does the same in return.

The very thread title - 'forgive the rapist' - shows that the church's position is ignored.

Offline Shjade

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2012, 11:50:32 PM »
1)  The term described a particular act, not an entire "belief system."
Quote
Is it just me, or has the church gone completely stupid?
No, it didn't, which also makes your #2 pretty much irrelevant.

3)  Not all "belief systems" merit respect and some are stupid. Take white supremacy, for instance. (To save the digital ink I already see cascading my way, let me be clear -- I am not equating the RCC with the KKK).
4)  As long as ad hominem attack against a speaker is avoided, I don't see what is uncivil about speaking plainly, vigorously, and critically.

"Because some belief systems don't merit respect, none of them do, therefore my being disrespectful is justified." Am I reading that right? 'Cause I have to say, it's an ill-formed argument. With that kind of logic, since not all people merit respect, no one does, so there should be no repercussions for anything disrespectful anyone does in any context. What does that accomplish? No, I'm afraid I have to reject your premise, and that's without even getting into the subjectivity of who determines what does and does not merit respect.

As for #4, what would you call labeling an entire body - of which very little was involved in the events in question at all - "stupid" if not ad hominem? In what context is that term not so categorized?

Offline rick957

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #45 on: May 29, 2012, 04:41:09 AM »
This post wanders widely from the thread topic but is relevant to the discussion being had.

@ vtboy

I'd appreciate it if you would answer a question with regard to your personal approach to civil discussion of contentious topics.  Not long ago at all, in a different thread, you took a considerable amount of trouble to argue that questioning the sincerity of a person with different religious or philosophical views is neither necessary nor appropriate in the course of attacking those views.  (I hope I got at least the gist of that right.)  I found your defense all the more compelling because you made your disdain for religion clear up front, so I assumed you were making the point based on more general ethics about how people ought to treat one another in a civil society.

Mere days later, I find you in this thread suggesting that it's perfectly fine to question the basic intelligence ("hasn't the church gone stupid") and the personal motives ("it's so gratifying to play victim") of your opponents in the course of this discussion. 

My view is that all three rhetorical techniques -- attacking an opponent's basic sincerity, intelligence, or motives -- cross the line into incivility, not to mention undermining the credibility of any person who chooses to resort to such low-handed tactics, even if they do so in the course of championing a correct, truthful viewpoint.  I think if such things as civil debate or the respectful exchange of differing views is possible at all, it can only happen when excessive emotionalism and crass rhetorical mudslinging is prohibited among all parties, for the benefit of all.  Those techniques are just distraction, or worse, deliberate obfuscation of the actual issues being discussed.  I think the rules of both logic and common courtesy require better behavior from all sides, and do so without prohibiting candor, vigorous disagreement, or emphatic argumentation.

I don't know how much of any of that you buy, but I'm particularly interested in the distinction you seem to draw between attacking sincerity versus attacking intelligence or motivation.  Are not all of these just varieties of ad hominem?  How is it that the latter two pass muster ethically while the former is forbidden?
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 04:46:33 AM by rick957 »

Offline vtboy

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #46 on: May 29, 2012, 05:19:02 AM »
No, it didn't, which also makes your #2 pretty much irrelevant.
Yes, it did. "Gone stupid" was obviously a reference to a demarking event, in this case the excommunication. And, it is disingenous to take the remark entirely out of this thread's context. If you prefer not to answer my #2, that is fine, but so too is my drawing the obvious inference that it hit the mark with you
.
Quote
"Because some belief systems don't merit respect, none of them do, therefore my being disrespectful is justified." Am I reading that right? '

No, you are not. In fact, you're creating a straw man argument. You offered the absolute proposition that it is never civil to call someone's "belief system" stupid. ("Explain to me what's civil about calling someone's belief system stupid.") I offered an example where, in my view, the label would be appropriate for an entire belief system.

Quote
As for #4, what would you call labeling an entire body - of which very little was involved in the events in question at all - "stupid" if not ad hominem? In what context is that term not so categorized?

Re-read #1.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 05:21:12 AM by vtboy »

Offline vtboy

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #47 on: May 29, 2012, 06:16:17 AM »
She excommunicated herself, since it's an automatic thing with abortion.  The purpose of excommunication is reconciliation anyway. 

This is really a distinction without a difference.

The Church promulgated a law which prescribes the most severe possible ecclesiastical penalty for abortion and, from what I gather, pemits no exception or leniency in its application. Thus, that the pregnant woman is a nine year old girl makes no difference; that she was raped makes no difference; that the rapist was her stepfather makes no difference; that she would die without the abortion makes no difference; that the fetus would die anyway makes no difference; and that the mother was impelled to save her daughter by maternal instinct (which, if you believe in god, I assume you also believe to be a gift from god) makes no difference. It strikes me as rather poor excuse that the excommunication resulted without further (i.e., post-rule promulgation) ad hoc deliberation.

Were we discussing an equivalent civil law which automatically imposed, say, a ten year prison sentence on the mother, I suspect there would be few who would disagree the law is monstrous and that its framers, if not also monstrous, at least acted mindlessly. 

Quote
 
The local archbishop that went too far and lambasted the mother and doctors made the situation worse, forcing the mother to dig in her heels and the local population to condemn the priest.  But then the usual media circus followed with pot shots at the Church, and the Church does the same in return.

I suspect the archbishop's comments fell well within the compass of his ecclesiastical authority. And, what did he really do but give voice to the principle behind the rule? That the media may then have acted in a manner true to its nature is hardly defense for the Church "do[ing] the same in return," especially as the eternal Church claims to navigate by principles higher than those which guide mere mortal organizations.

Quote

The very thread title - 'forgive the rapist' - shows that the church's position is ignored.

I assume the title was not intended as literal description, but instead as allusion to the double standard of denying all spiritual benefits to the mother but not to the rapist.   
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 06:20:50 AM by vtboy »

Offline Sabre

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #48 on: May 29, 2012, 08:54:55 AM »
This is really a distinction without a difference.

The Church promulgated a law which prescribes the most severe possible ecclesiastical penalty for abortion and, from what I gather, pemits no exception or leniency in its application. Thus, that the pregnant woman is a nine year old girl makes no difference; that she was raped makes no difference; that the rapist was her stepfather makes no difference; that she would die without the abortion makes no difference; that the fetus would die anyway makes no difference; and that the mother was impelled to save her daughter by maternal instinct (which, if you believe in god, I assume you also believe to be a gift from god) makes no difference. It strikes me as rather poor excuse that the excommunication resulted without further (i.e., post-rule promulgation) ad hoc deliberation.

As mentioned, an unwillingness to understand Church doctrine becomes widespread until all that remains is outrage that Canon law is not based on Common law reasoning.  No different from murder in self-defense, or stealing when hungry or to help others, abortion is considered an act of murder.  Mitigating factors are useful to determine the level of penalty occurred in both Canon and Common law, but in the Church's opinion the severity of the sin remains.  The Church has nothing against the mother's natural instinct to save her child, or a doctor's duty to save his patient, but it is not in the business of claiming the sin is any less grave than without their situations.  It will certainly factor into whatever penance is asked of them when reconciliation is sought, however.

Were we discussing an equivalent civil law which automatically imposed, say, a ten year prison sentence on the mother, I suspect there would be few who would disagree the law is monstrous and that its framers, if not also monstrous, at least acted mindlessly. 

But we are not discussing a sentenced punishment.  Excommunication's actual equivalent in civil law would be indictment, where the excommunicated receives his or her summons to appear in confession and seek reconciliation.  It is censure and not a criminal sentence (which would be penance if any).  Too much of this backlash seems related to overreaction and little understanding of the true purpose of automatic excommunication.  Most of the Brazilian Catholic population understands it, so their outrage is directed not at the Canon but instead at the behavior of the archbishop.  Everyone else, however, has acted just as expected.

I suspect the archbishop's comments fell well within the compass of his ecclesiastical authority. And, what did he really do but give voice to the principle behind the rule? That the media may then have acted in a manner true to its nature is hardly defense for the Church "do[ing] the same in return," especially as the eternal Church claims to navigate by principles higher than those which guide mere mortal organizations.

There's no ecclesiastical ordination within the mother church to be a dick.  The archbishop that sparked all this controversy went beyond the censure that automatic excommunication entails - which is usually a quiet and private matter - and condemned the mother and doctors in harsh terms.  That sparked the outrage in the local population.  The only one giving voice to the principle behind the rule here is the other priest that told media the rapist is probably not liable to be excommunicated.

I assume the title was not intended as literal description, but instead as allusion to the double standard of denying all spiritual benefits to the mother but not to the rapist.

So it is allusion for the first half of the phrase 'Forgive the Rapist' but then not allusion for the second half, 'Excommunicate the Victim'?

There is simply no clause that entails automatic excommunication of the rapist, and so would require an ecclesiastical court to determine this.  Excommunication is the most severe of doctrinal censures, not criminal penalties, and the outrage that the rapist is 'forgiven' does not seem to appear in Brazil.  Only that the conservative archbishop involved made a public declaration of their excommunication to make a political statement at the victim's expense.

Offline Shjade

Re: 'Forgive the Rapist, Excommunicate the Victim'
« Reply #49 on: May 29, 2012, 05:34:17 PM »
Yes, it did. "Gone stupid" was obviously a reference to a demarking event, in this case the excommunication. And, it is disingenous to take the remark entirely out of this thread's context. If you prefer not to answer my #2, that is fine, but so too is my drawing the obvious inference that it hit the mark with you.

No, you are not. In fact, you're creating a straw man argument. You offered the absolute proposition that it is never civil to call someone's "belief system" stupid. ("Explain to me what's civil about calling someone's belief system stupid.") I offered an example where, in my view, the label would be appropriate for an entire belief system.

It was a reference to an event leading to a descriptor of the entire body as stupid, rather than the action. It was not, "the church did something stupid," it was, "since the church did this, it must be stupid," thus, "gone stupid," a state from which one is expected to see future stupidity take place due to a change in the status of the church itself rather than something indicative of a mistake with regard to a single action.

Whether or not you think someone's belief system truly is stupid does not mean it somehow merits/is civil to describe as stupid. Thus, my response to your KKK comparison: the fact that you think it is not a system deserving of respect is irrelevant; your opinion does not entitle you to be disrespectful toward them or make rude behaviors somehow not rude because "they deserve it." That your response to this is claiming the label is "appropriate for an entire belief system" demonstrates that you're missing the point: whether or not you feel something merits respect does not determine whether your behavior toward that thing constitutes civility.

The wording here is getting a bit silly, [noembed]so I think I'll use a musical aid to sum up the underlying point.[/noembed]