Deep Theological Question

 
burt
 
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burt
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03 October 2019 18:23
 

From Neal Stephenson, The Confusion (second book in the Baroque Trilogy): A conversation between 18 year old Princess Caroline, a Protestant, and Father von Mixnitz, a Jesuit:

“But Archduke Charles is Catholic while Aunt Sophie and Aunt Figgy are Protestants—as am I,” said Caroline,...”

“It is hardly unheard-of for Persons of Quality to change their religion,” the Jesuit said, “Especially if they are intellectually active, and are presented with compelling arguments. As I am taking up residence here in Berlin, I shall look forward to exchanging views with your royal highness on such matters in coming years, as you grow in wisdom and maturity.”

“We needn’t wait,” Caroline said helpfully, “I can explain it to you now. Dr. Leibniz has taught me all about religion.”

“Oh, has he now?” Father von Mixnitz asked uneasily.

“Yes, he has. Now tell me, Father, are you one of those Catholics who still refuses to believe that the Earth goes round the Sun?”

Father von Mixnitz swallowed his tongue and then hacked it back up. “Highness, I believe in what Dr. Leibniz was saying just a minute ago, namely, that it is all relative.”

“That’s not exactly what I said,” Leibniz protested.

“Do you believe in the transubstantiation of the bread and the wine, Father?” Caroline asked.

“How could I be a Catholic if I did not, Highness?”

“This is not how we do birthday parties in Poland,” commented Wladyslaw, landing himself another cup of wine.

“Hush! I am enjoying it greatly,” Sophie returned.

“What if you ate it and then you got sick and threw up? When it came out, would it be Jesus’s flesh and blood? Or would it de-transubstantiate on the way out, and become bread and wine again?”

“Such solemn questions do not comport with the frothy imaginings of an eighteen-year-old girl,” said Father von Mixnitz, who had gone all red in the face….

 
EN
 
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EN
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03 October 2019 19:23
 

As a non-Catholic Christian, I must say that it is difficult to come to terms with the more absurd tenets of one’s birthright religion. It took me a long time to come to the position that the Bible was not the infallible Word of God.  I never had to deal with the rituals of Catholicism, but I can imagine how difficult that would be for a true Catholic.  While I still have faith (I can no more relinquish it than I can relinquish my arms or testicles), I acknowledge that certain aspects of the “Faith” are ridiculous. The best I can say is that all aspects of faith are open to question and criticism, and whatever the outcome, so be it. May the Truth (whatever that may ultimately show itself to be) prevail.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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03 October 2019 19:43
 
EN - 03 October 2019 07:23 PM

As a non-Catholic Christian, I must say that it is difficult to come to terms with the more absurd tenets of one’s birthright religion. It took me a long time to come to the position that the Bible was not the infallible Word of God.  I never had to deal with the rituals of Catholicism, but I can imagine how difficult that would be for a true Catholic.  While I still have faith (I can no more relinquish it than I can relinquish my arms or testicles), I acknowledge that certain aspects of the “Faith” are ridiculous. The best I can say is that all aspects of faith are open to question and criticism, and whatever the outcome, so be it. May the Truth (whatever that may ultimately show itself to be) prevail.

And that’s why you are the second most reasonable person here.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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03 October 2019 20:05
 

As to the OP ... ‘out of the mouths of babes’.

I was raised in a very liberal Protestant church and my husband is Catholic, which has led to many, let’s call them ‘lively’, discussions over the years.

Roman Catholics make up extra stuff.  The immaculate conception (of Mary, not Jesus), transubstantiation rather than “do this in remembrance of me”, the infallibility of the pope thing, male superiority, etc., and I’ve yet to find a bible verse that says ‘thou shalt not take the pill’.  For those of us who are atheists, the Catholic Church certainly provides more ammunition for criticism.

(I think we all need to stop trying to talk EN out of his faith because he’ll probably need those most important body parts.)

 
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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04 October 2019 00:38
 

Stephenson’s best work, in my opinion, and that is saying something, given all the other stuff he wrote.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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04 October 2019 01:27
 

Centuries ago, monks used transubstantiation to avoid taxes on intoxicating beverages.

In the Roaring Twenties, devout mobsters used transubstantiation to avoid Federal prosecution from Elliot Ness. “Cut ‘em loose, Rico! There’s nothing here but the Blood of Christ!”

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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04 October 2019 09:03
 
Twissel - 04 October 2019 12:38 AM

Stephenson’s best work, in my opinion, and that is saying something, given all the other stuff he wrote.

Definitely his most complex, am rereading it and amazed at the amount of work that must have gone into research.

 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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05 October 2019 00:36
 

The Catholics are lousy with ritualistic baggage.  Because my wife is Catholic, I end up in church on occasion, and during a moment of frankness, the priest explained that because of transubstantiation, he is required to consume the left over wine and bread from communion.  Considering all the back-wash in the wine, I am surprised priests aren’t infected with a disease.  Yuck. . .

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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05 October 2019 01:30
 

Why not use it for cooking?