Fatwas and papal encyclicals are all bull

I am distressed by the fact that so many humans give so much credence (or any credence at all) to priests. All “priests” are in the business of imposing their beliefs onto others. What is not knowledge is ignorance. And beliefs only exist in the space outside knowledge. Imposing beliefs on others is just the imposition of ignorance. Each individual should at least be allowed his own ignorance. The “good” priests at least confine themselves to imposing their beliefs onto those who choose to suspend their intelligence and agree to be subjugated. The “bad” priests are those who seek to impose their beliefs on all and using force if necessary.

Science is the process by which ignorance becomes knowledge. And beliefs are, of course, required only when there is no knowledge – in the Space of Ignorance.

What is not knowledge is ignorance. Religions only exist in the Space of Ignorance

I find the idea that a few people and their spokesmen, whether some Mufti or the Pope, are taken seriously when they tell others what to believe, quite repugnant. In fact I find the idea that any  “priest” who – by definition – operates in the Space of Ignorance – and tells others what particular bit of ignorance they are to follow, effectively denies and degrades the sentience of the “follower”.

And while I have no objection to anybody wishing to subordinate his own capacity for thought and to unthinkingly “follow” some other person’s belief within the Space of Ignorance, it does not increase my respect for that person. Encyclicals, bulls and fatwas are merely opinions. They are all about beliefs in the Space of Ignorance. They are required only for matters of belief and are not required for matters which lie in the area of knowledge. Papal encyclicals are of a somewhat lower status than a papal bull.

Slate: Encyclicals are authoritative, not to be criticized or rejected lightly by members of the church, but they are not infallible. Only three doctrines developed in the past 200 years are considered infallible, and all were issued as bulls: the Immaculate Conception (that Mary was born without original sin), the Assumption (that Mary was taken up body and soul into heaven), and the definition of papal infallibility issued by the First Vatican Council.

There is a distressing and contemptuous suspension of reason when a papal bull – regarded as infallible – has to be issued that the Pope is infallible. ” I am infallible because I am”.

But there is no difference between a papal encyclical which is a form of pastoral letter – sent by the Pope as a shepherd to inform all the unthinking sheep of his congregation what they are to believe, and the fatwa issued by some idiot Imam as a command to all those who choose to suspend their own intelligence. (A fatwa is actually a religious legal opinion and can only be pronounced by one who is a Mufti. All Imams are considered learned enough to be Muftis). Of course a papal bull would be a command to the faithful but would only have excommunication (nowadays) as the sanction for non-compliance. Non-compliance with a papal bull could be heresy and once upon a time demanded torture and death. A fatwa on the other hand is stuck in some distant past and may still require death for non-compliance.

In areas of ignorance where religious beliefs do not impinge, the process of science is not in conflict. But it took until 1835 for the Catholic Church to permit books on the heliocentric nature of the solar system:

The Catholic Church’s 1758 Index of Prohibited Books omitted the general prohibition of works defending heliocentrism, but retained the specific prohibitions of the original uncensored versions of De revolutionibus and Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Those prohibitions were finally dropped from the 1835 Index.

Many fatwas and encyclicals are opportunistic and often stupid. A fatwa from Saudi Arabia as recently as 2000 declared that the sun revolved around the earth. In 2005 an Indian mufti issued a fatwa against the tennis player Sania Mirza and her tight tops. Also in 2005 another Indian mufti declared that a 28 year old woman raped by her father-in-law was now in the position of mother to her husband and had to leave him. A fatwa from an idiot mufti in Malaysia banned “tomboys”. Children are still prevented from vaccinations against polio because of a fatwa.

Encyclicals from the Pope are more sophisticated than fatwas issued by a multitude of silly muftis, but just as opportunistic and equally inane. In 1864 a papal encyclical (Quanta Cura) condemned freedom of individual conscience or that the will of the public could override any law, human or divine, among many other idiocies. In 1937 a self-serving encyclical written in German (Mit brennender Sorge) was issued to protect Catholics in Germany and which denounced the theories of “race and blood”, but did not name the Nazis or Hitler. Just 5 days later another encyclical (Divini Redemptoris) denouncing communism and bolshevism and designed to mollify the Nazis was also issued. In 1968, another encyclical (Humanae Vitae) condemned contraception. In 1991 the encyclical Centesimus Annus praised labour unions and insisted that the end of the Cold War did not mean that Capitalism was the only model of economic organisation. In the last 100 years all the encyclicals issued have been about opportunism and political appeasement.

A papal encyclical has been expected for some time – any day now – on Climate Change. This would continue the recent tradition of populist political correctness. But it probably will not say very much about the sexual abuse of children by its priests. But addressing  climate change itself is some confirmation that, for the Catholic Church, hypothesised global warming (renamed to be the almost meaningless term “climate change”) lies in the Space of Ignorance and is not knowledge.  It is expected that the Pope will call on all good Catholics to stop using fossil fuels and stop eating meat or at least to get their cows to reduce their flatulence. But knowledge needs no papal encyclicals – only beliefs do.

Global warming belief is – as with all religions – placed in the Space of Ignorance. There is no “science” involved in “climate science”, when there is no testable hypothesis. No “climate policy” anywhere in the world has any climate parameter as a measurable goal. (The talk about a global warming of 2C is based on a parameter that is calculated not measured – and the calculations themselves are suspect). That the Catholic Church and this Pope espouse global warming orthodoxy is only “proof” that global warming is nothing more than a belief in the Space of Ignorance. It is Religious Alarmism of the worst kind. That the Catholic Church supports this belief could – hopefully – be its kiss of death.

But the bottom line is that encyclicals and fatwas are only needed in the Space of Ignorance and are all bull.

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2 Responses to “Fatwas and papal encyclicals are all bull”

  1. michaelwordpress Says:

    Thanks for this perspective. Jiddu Krishnamurti is the authoritative source in screwing the guru, so to speak. His works I can come back to over and over.

  2. Pope’s fatwa presents a cosmic teapot and passes the buck on global warming | The k2p blog Says:

    […] are rich. As usual the Pope – just like idiot Muftis promoting jihad – operates in the Space of Ignorance and as his “authority”, he presents the views of others operating in the Space of […]

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