Posted: 12/02/2013 at 14:59
As I said, I am not a Catholic and there are certainly things about the Catholic church that I don't agree with at all. However, I would point out that if you think that man should look to himself for the salvation of the world, then he hasn't done much of a job so far. Atheistic countries have the worst record of all in terrms of human rights, and this has to do with their view of the value of the individual. If we are no more than intelligent animals, then there is no logical reason that we should not cull human beings the way we might cull seals of badgers or even exterminate rats. One reason that Hitler was able to get away with so much in Germany may have been because German liberal theologians had undermined so much of traditional Christian teaching about the origins and value of man as created in the image of God. Man became a more-or-less intelligent animal. Yet if we do away with God, we make ourselves the highest and most intelligent beings in the universe, capable of creating morality and purpose and virtue. This is about the most hope-free philosophy I can imagine - and I am a teacher of philosophy. People have done terrible things in the name of religion, but at least they recognised that there is an absolute morality, even if they did not adhere to it.Iin the past, there was no concept of a 'secular world' and so evil, power-hungry men seized control of religious institutions because religion was part of everything. Those who did such things were not behaving in a Christian or godly way, but rather using and abusing the religions they dominated. It is no good lumping all religions together, either, because they have a different concepts of God and therefore different views of the value of the individual.