Sunday, December 13, 2009

Me vs. The Pope, Round 1

The pope & I are duking it out over at The Daily Kos.


Jerry said...

Read it, confused by your rant. You didn't argue against the Pope's point which is, you live as if God exist or you don't. Being agnostic does not give you partial credit. He did not say or imply that an atheist is incapable or does not live as a Christian. He did not say or imply an atheist cannot be a good person and live by God's law. He made no reference to religion or acceptance of any religious doctrine. There was not a reference to the discovery of God or being sure as to what God wants. While you may no see reason to pursue a relationship with God, does not mean it is beyond reason. Perhaps someone that is near sighted and so focused on the religion of no God can't see it. I think you may have it backwards that poets are more likely to go "insane". Atheism may not have a user manual but neither does faith in God. There are religions that have tried to interpret one from a book many times mistranslated and the inspired word of God. Since man touched it, it is not perfect. So next time you want to fight the Pope or anyone else, start by getting into the same ring at the same time. That way you won't be staring at an empty corner.

Spencer Troxell said...

"Read it, confused by your rant."

If you're ever confused with a piece of online writing again, I would recommend reading it again, especially if you plan on posting inane comments about it.

Spencer Troxell said...


Please defend the notion that you either live as if there is a god or if there is not a god. Define the words 'live' and 'god', and give examples of what each kind of life would look like, and how the parts would interact with one another. Finally, please justify the pope's presentation of only two alternative ways to live.

Jerry said...

I read it several times, re-read what the Pope had said. I stand by calling yours a rant. You wrote about many things that the Pope did not say, unless there is more to the quote than what you posted. You seem very angry at the Pope and mean towards religion.

I cannot defend completely the Pope's notion, it's his assertion. I will not try. He is well educated and I do not know the origin of the quote. If it were an adhoc remark based on someone's statement, he will have to explain the context. If it was from a prepared statement, I would bet that many read the statement and can back it both from religious and a human stand point, he has a pretty good library and staff at his disposal. If you write to the Vatican, someone may be able to help you.

I'm a little old to be accepting homework assignments. I just wanted you to carify where your statements came from. I did not mean any disrespect and was using rant as Dennis Miller might. You seemed to have taken a simple statement and attached alot of personal issues that were unrelated to what you were posting against. Then you seemed to be claiming victory. I've not met you or the Pope to know who is smarter, has better resources and more life experience, I'll take the odds at this point and bet the Pope, nothing personal.

Finally, I can accept what the Pope said as being legitamate. I don't know how most of your writing applies to the statement.

Good luck.

Spencer Troxell said...

Jerry: my argument against the pope's point is pretty clear, and discernible to anyone who would care to understand it.

regarding this conversation, either shit or get off the pot. Please. If you can't understand my counter argument to the pope's point, and can't even defend the pope's rationale, what are you doing here?

Jerry said...

I understood the Pope's point and every word and statement made by you. While you hint at wanting to discuss what he said, you are throwing darts blindfolded, they may be in the right direction, but off target. Since you seem angry and unable to connect your argument for me, and I really did want to understand, you now have reverted to the implication of stupidity of anyone who doesn't get it. My original post was to point out where I think you missed and were arguing alot of stuff not in the Pope's statement, these are where I wanted clarification. I have never offered defense of the Pope's statement, I am saying it is clear, understandable and legitimate. I wanted the same from you. I would like to counter your argument for the Pope, but I need to understand the items and revelance I pointed out in the original post. Also, more information on the quote from the Pope so I can find context. On the surface it appears you found a quote from the representative of an institution you dislike and got a lot of stuff off your chest. It would have been nice to have some background for the statement like, "excerpt from Pope John Paul II, sermon to American priest July 18th, 1997". Instead we got a Catholic friend sent this, I don't know if its true, but here's my argument against it, religion, theology in general. You claim it as some big battle but the Pope probably isn't aware of it and may not remember the statement as even that important. Then you try to be reflective by siding with the poets. You sort of quote other people but don't give any evidence that the Pope actually said what your tirade is about. I gave you the benefit of the doubt on the quote, now I'm not sure.

I do wish you the best and did not want to anger you any further than you all ready are.

Good Luck and Merry Christmas.

Spencer Troxell said...

Jerry: The point is that the pope is offering us a loaded false choice between living as if there is a god and living as if there is no god. That's why I asked you to tell me the difference between living as if there is a god and living as if there is no god, because any definition either of us offers is going to be entirely subjective. The point of my rebuttal to the pope is 1) his terms are loaded, 2) he's presenting a false choice, and 3) the situation is nowhere as simple as he's trying to make out.

It's not my responsibility to connect any dots for you. I have very little patience for anonymous trolls whose desire to be snarky outweighs their ability to think coherently. I believe that you are capable of understanding my point, Jerry, I think you're feigning ignorance as a way to protect whatever ideas you think my position threatens. And you can stop with the 'good luck' and 'merry christmas' bullshit. You came into this conversation in bad faith, and you know it.

Jerry said...

The Pope is not offering you anything and it is not loaded with anything. I know you don't want to defend loaded so I won't ask. He is saying there is little difference between agnostic and atheist and so you are living as if God exist or he doesn't. you either believe or you don't. Not knowing is not believing. It is simple. 1) They are his opinions (and mine), not terms. 2)He is not offering a choice, each individual makes a choice. He is stating a difference. and 3) the situation can be that simple, requiring nothing more. More importantly, it makes sense.

You are absolutely correct, you do not have to connect any dots. You do not owe me an explanation. I thought someone as opinionated as you may want the opportunity to expand the argument and clarify. I could have filled out an application to write on your site but none was asked for. Since I have no way of confirming who you are as well, I didn't think it necessary. My real name is Jeremy Hernandez but have been called Jerry since elementary school or just Jer. I will not give my SS#, ID theft is a big problem. I like your use of troll here and questioning anothers thought processes based on a few emails. Thinking about my stature I don't think troll is the best description, I'll have to get back to you on what mythical creature is best. As I said before, I understand what you said, I don't understand how it applies or where it came from. Thinking about the alledged Pope Statement, If it were John Paul I or John Paul II may make a slight difference in its meaning (JPII is more political). If it's the current Pope, who knows. In other words, there is not enough information to know if the quote is real and definately not enough to go off on your tangent. Benefit of the doubt has been removed. Maybe you just made it up so you could have an opinion to attack.

As for my ideas that you believe to be threatened, you are not even close. I do believe in God and it would take an act from God to change my mind. There's some irony for you. I found your site researching dingos oddly enough. I was pretty deep looking for new information. Sorry about your cat. Some of the people you seem to rely on for your truths of life I found interesting. Then you take on the Pope. Amazing. My wish for you to have good luck, since you seem to hate anything to do with religion, was sincere as was the Merry Christmas. I've always wished people luck in closings. In parts of Arizona it is greatly appreciated by the Native Americans. I tend to be a lttle cold when in research mode, really never considered it "snarky", but ok I'll accept it. Since you are to the point of jumping to conclusions and attacking we'll close here.

Good Luck, Merry Christmas and I wish you a prosperous New Year. No bullshit.

Spencer Troxell said...

But what does a life lived as if God exists look like when compared to a life lived as if God doesn't exist? The juxtaposition is loaded because you're supposed to assume that the life lived as if there were a god would be a life lived according to the Pope's decisions about what god would want from you. How would anyone know what God wants from them? How many different variations are possible regarding the way a belief in God may affect the way a person lives their life?

My argument is that it is a false choice, and you still haven't challenged that point.

Spencer Troxell said...

PS: "Not knowing is not believing".

Therefore, everyone is living as if there is no God, because no one could possibly know whether there is one or not. That is, if you limit yourself to the terms established by the pope.

Jerry said...

The Pope did not put terms to it. It is a personal choice and will vary from person to person. If you are Catholic they want you to live by their rules, but I think most Christians would prefer belief from someone and no church than no belief and church every sunday. Yes the atheist could lead a more Godly life than the diehard faithful from someones perspective. The only rules from God published were the ten commandments and now that man has had them for a while there may be some mistranslation. They are still good rules to live by. Being faithful does not have any hard and fast rules accept one - believe. If the Pope had said be Catholic to believe then I would agree with you. All he said was there is little difference between agnostic and atheist so instead of three categories there are really only two, faith or no faith. He is not condeming anyones lifestyle, judging anyone as good or bad. Agnostic means not being sure, so you don't believe, it may be possible but you don't believe right now. Atheist means you are sure and you don't believe. The choice is yes or no, you can say maybe but for now maybe is no until you decide yes.

I'm done. Thanks and I hope and will pray for you. Good luck and I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and the best of new years. No bullshit.

Spencer Troxell said...

You still didn't answer the question.

Spencer Troxell said...

"So next time you want to fight the Pope or anyone else, start by getting into the same ring at the same time. That way you won't be staring at an empty corner."

take your own advice.