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  • ekyris (edited 3 years ago)

    So we'll see if this goes anywhere, but a (small) point of contention:

    "As “hip and cool” as the leadership of the new Pope is, don’t for a moment believe he can go against the literal interpretation of the Bible and undo all its contradictions and hypocrisies. Catholics—along with Christians and Muslims—have locked themselves and their religious rules into their sacred texts and its meanings."

    The Catholic Church has never held that a literal method is the only way to interpret the Bible; it considers no less than four levels of 'exegesis' (mode of interpretation): literal, allegorical/symbolic, moral, and eschatological (concerning heaven/the "end-times"). While (only a few recent) other Christian denominations have considered a literal interpretation the only viable analysis, Catholicism has never held such a viewpoint. I don't know enough about Islam to go further on that point, but I do know that how to interpret the Qur'an and the Hadith (collected saying of the Prophet) is a major scholarly debate and not quite so simple as it's made out to be.

    There's a great article by Tom O'Neill about Galileo that touches on this point. While you can be against an institution such at the Catholic Church, it's important to know what you're arguing against. As he says in his conclusion, "Fables make for nice, neat stories with cute morals at the end. But history is not neat and rarely fits into morality tales. True rationalists are interested in what actually happened and why, studied as objectively as possible, not cute stories."