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The Wrath

The Pope's Legacy

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I wonder what is the actually the political ideal of the Pope?  Does anyone know?

Well, if he agrees with the Bible, then his political ideal is the absolute dictatorial rule of Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings. But I'm sure he would settle for the absolute dictatorial rule of Christ's representatives on Earth. (More on this in my forthcoming paper on Billy Graham and Christian fundamentalism.)

Edited by MisterSwig

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I assume that the Pope's justification for ending Communism, was to increase religious and intellectual freedom, so that citizens can freely choose their own religion, and thus choose Catholicism.

Perhaps the Pope has a better sense of life than his position suggests, otherwise, his antagonism against communism is hypocritical.  I mean, to exchange political tyranny for a form of a psychological tyranny, which is what consistent Catholicism is, whose ideal political translation is that of Jesus or a Mother Teresa:  If it was not his goal, then the man was a hypocrite, a pragmatist, and perhaps more admirable than in his position as the Pope.

To propogate that human beings live the consistent life as a Catholic is to insist that these humans live a tortured life.

The only loophole is the idea of forgiveness which allows people to live the life proper to a rational human being ... but then one is condemened to a life of perpetual guilt.

He surely does not propogate the values of self-esteem, reason or purpose.

I wonder what is the actually the political ideal of the Pope?  Does anyone know?

By the way, it is a sad day to see the world flocking to Rome, and flocking to churches in blind sadness for this man, and I mean "blind" psycho-epistemologically.

Americo.

It's safe to say that John Paul II was not an advocate of complete laissez faire. At the same time, there is no question that he used his influence to bring down the communist regime in Warsaw, which in turn led to the break up of tyrannical regimes throughout Eastern Europe. The liberation of millions in the present (and by extension millions more in the future) is something that few men in history can take credit for. If John Paul was a hypocrite, then we could use a lot more hypocrites like him.

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Oh, back to the original topic of this thread (Felipe may need to split off the criticism of Catholicism, too). Robert Trascinski, now editor of The Intellectual Activist, made an interesting point in his comments about the papacy of John Paul II: he did not fight against communism as such but against tyrrany. Given, most of the tyrants he fought against were communist dictators, but equating his stance against tyrrany with a stance against communism is an unacceptable package-deal, which I think Rob does very well to isolate.

Rob also goes on to define that John Paul II's legacy was an attempt to combine the ideas of faith and freedom. The ideas, though, are mutually contradictory.

I think he is correct that the Pope will be looked back upon in the future as a marginal Pope, the last legacy of the age of freedom, or the last legacy of the age of tyrrany, depending on whether trends towards statism are successfully halted or not.

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Well, if he agrees with the Bible, then his political ideal is the absolute dictatorial rule of Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings. But I'm sure he would settle for the absolute dictatorial rule of Christ's representatives on Earth. (More on this in my forthcoming paper on Billy Graham and Christian fundamentalism.)

Mr. Swig,

I just finished reading your outstanding article on Sean Hannity. You really laid the truth out for all to read. You absolutely should publish your articles, or compile them in your own book. What you write needs to be read by everyone, and should become a matter of public discourse. If you don't mind, I'm going to invite alot of people to read both of your articles. Is it ok if I provide them a live link to it? I won't post your articles, but a live link to access them here. Is that ok?

Ed

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Felipe,

I understand your distinction, and I am not trying to foist society's understanding of the term upon Objectivist's understanding.

But in saying that the Church is "perpetuating their dirty little secret: they are pretending to be for capitalism but are actually against it" is over-the-top: the Church is addressing the term as is commonly understood by the society at large, as well as most historians and economists. As such, it is hardly a "secret", as it addresses the majority understanding of the term. It is only a "secret" to you because Objectivists, a very small group, have chosen a different understanding of the term capitalism. If and when the majority of society comes to accept your definition, then I would expect the Church to condemn it. As it is, the Church already condemns your version.

In this case I merely wanted to make the distinction for the benefit of those on this forum who do not subscribe to the Objectivist understanding of the term. Not everyone on this forum is an Objectivist, as my presence here indicates (though I once considered myself as such). I would not want those individuals to think that the Church condemns all forms of capitalism, capitalism as understood by society.

Aqad,

In this way, I could wholeheartedly agree with the philosophy of altruism, if it was redefined to mean utmost selfishness, greed and individualism. Would you then say that I agree with altruism? Why not? I said I did, didn't you hear me? I agree with altruism, though I think that unbridled altruism which proclaims selflessness and self-sacrifice should be avoided because it neglects the well-being of the individual who produces values. Now do you believe me? See, I could basically agree with any idea in this manner if I was given the freedom to define them the way I see fit.

However, things are what they are and no amount of words or lies or cover-ups will change that. The church does NOT acknowledge Capitalism, and what they DO acknowledge is some mutilated concept which they dare to call by the same name. The only proper response to the pope (or Church) when he proclaimed that he "agreed" with such "capitalism" is "Sir, that's not Capitalism."

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Oh, back to the original topic of this thread (Felipe may need to split off the criticism of Catholicism, too).  Robert Trascinski, now editor of The Intellectual Activist, made an interesting point in his comments about the papacy of John Paul II: he did not fight against communism as such but against tyrrany.  Given, most of the tyrants he fought against were communist dictators, but equating his stance against tyrrany with a stance against communism is an unacceptable package-deal, which I think Rob does very well to isolate.

Okay, in the pursuit of avoiding all package deals, is there a condition under which we should accept tyranny, when it is non-communist? If not, why is it unacceptable to oppose tyranny in general as opposed to "communism as such"?

In any event, John Paul II is on record as opposing more than just communist tyranny:

"Then there are the other social forces and ideological movements which oppose Marxism by setting up systems of 'national security,' aimed at controlling the whole of society in a systematic way, in order to make Marxist infiltration impossible. By emphasizing and increasing the power of the State, they wish to protect their people from Communism, but in doing so they run the grave risk of destroying the freedom and values of the person, the very things for whose sake it is necessary to oppose Communism." -- John Paul II, Centesimus Annus #19

Edited by Tom Robinson

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Tom Robinson,

Thanks for the quote. Here are some more: "The modern business economy has positive aspects. Its basis is human freedom exercised in the economic field, just as it is exercised in many other fields. Economic activity is indeed but one sector in a great variety of human activities, and like every other sector, it includes the right to freedom, as well as the duty of making responsible use of freedom." and,"it would appear that, on the level of individual nations and of international relations, the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to needs." And another: "It should be noted that in today's world, among other rights, the right of economic initiative is often suppressed. Yet it is a right which is important not only for the individual but also for the common good. Experience shows us that the denial of this right, or its limitation in the name of an alleged ‘equality’ of everyone in society, diminishes, or in practice absolutely destroys the spirit of initiative, that is to say the creative subjectivity of the citizen."

Oh, and the pope did speak Spanish (I think it was you who thought he did not). He spoke 8 languages fluently; 14 well enough to write, read, and speak (though not all fluently).

Source,

In answer to your question, "In this way, I could wholeheartedly agree with the philosophy of altruism, if it was redefined to mean utmost selfishness, greed and individualism. Would you then say that I agree with altruism? Why not?" I would answer: if and when the common meaning of the term "altruism" throughout the main of society (and in particular, in those fields which which would be involved in such activities) comes to be redefined and accepted in the way that you suggest, then that's fine with me. I'm not interested in how you, or any small group of people, redefine a term whether the word is "capitalism" or "altruism" if that is not how the society at large defines it. In your case, you can only say that the Catholic Church condemns capitalism only by redefining and restricting the meaning of the term capitalism to mean only what Objectivists mean by the term.

It's ironic, by the way, that you have a quote from "The Lord of the Rings" at the end of your posts. It's a very Catholic story, and was deliberately intended to be so by its creator, J.R.R. Tolkien (a very devout Catholic).

Edited by AqAd

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Two definitions of Capitalism:

1. A social system where individual rights, freedom to think, freedom to act, freedom of metaphysical beliefs, freedom from physical force, freedom of trade and commerce are mostly upheld, unless the government in power, manages to pass laws that would violate any one aspect of the idea of individual right.

This definition can be applied at anytime since parliamentary England up to the present. It allows for a number of different names isolated according to how much controls and in what way and for how long, a basically free nation allows. What the second definition, that follows, allows for is the distiniction between two fundamental attitudes to governement. The agent in power can initiate force against its citizens in order to dispose of their production, for the sake of himself or of society; or the agent in power can never ever initiate physical force against its citizens no matter what the reason, including economic reasons.

Why is it that an ideal such as communism which has never existed either, because if it did, it would destroy itself, as it actually did, be considered logically valid? (Seems an enigma, I know)

But a concept such as capitalism requires a mixture of Altruism to be taken seriously, merely because there are altruistic citizens?

Second Definition:

The social system that recognizes and upholds individual rights. Keep your word for the moment, until it is rescued by the future majority? Call what Objectivism holds as a political ideal "A Happy Republic" or a "Free Republic" --but the Pope does not and cannot advocate "Laissez Faire Capitalism" he would go insane if he did. The system that Ayn Rand talks about is the ideal one for a rational human being; Christiantity--or mysticism period--cannot advocate such a human beneficial system: it would be an oxymoron.

Once again, it comes down to epistemology as other posters have indicated at.

Americo.

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Source,

In answer to your question, "In this way, I could wholeheartedly agree with the philosophy of altruism, if it was redefined to mean utmost selfishness, greed and individualism. Would you then say that I agree with altruism? Why not?" I would answer: if and when the common meaning of the term "altruism" throughout the main of society (and in particular, in those fields which which would be involved in such activities) comes to be redefined and accepted in the way that you suggest, then that's fine with me. I'm not interested in how you, or any small group of people, redefine a term whether the word is "capitalism" or "altruism" if that is not how the society at large defines it. In your case, you can only say that the Catholic Church condemns capitalism only by redefining and restricting the meaning of the term capitalism to mean only what Objectivists mean by the term.

Facts of reality do not succumb to the oppinion of the ... what do you call it? ... "main of society," nor to the oppinion of any one individual for that matter. In other words, it is not the oppinions of different people that form the idea of what something might be, it is simply the fact that existence exists and existence is identity.

But this is only the introduction to my argument! It goes further thus: We use definitions to define the terms which describe reality, and in order not to make a confusion or contradiction in terms, we make definitions unambiguous and precise, with clear borders between that which these definitions define and what they do not define. What you are trying to pass here is an argument in favor of the art of smearing, which means making such definitions which do not exactly mean what they originally defined, but they could mean a little of something else. Such art is often used, by those who do not care about consistency and reason, in order to destroy the meaning of the idea that a certain concept originally had.

Clearly, when the pope was announcing that he accepted Capitalism, he committed a double fraud! One was that Capitalism is what he actually claimed it to be, and the other was that he actually accepted Capitalism. No amount of public opinion, however, can change the fact that Capitalism is what it is. Not a mass of six billion people can change the fact that existence takes primacy over consciousness. Consequently, nobody can ignore the real meaning of Capitalism and substitute it with something else, because Capitalism is there, defined clearly and consistently and any substitute for it will clash with some other fact that was defined in terms of this substitute.

Thus, no - the pope did NOT accept Capitalism. He merely told the flock what they expected to hear - he agreed with whatever they wanted to call capitalism, as long as it wasn't Capitalism itself.

It's ironic, by the way, that you have a quote from "The Lord of the Rings" at the end of your posts. It's a very Catholic story, and was deliberately intended to be so by its creator, J.R.R. Tolkien (a very devout Catholic).

And what message is this supposed to convey to me?

As I continuously claim, I don't care what someone meant for something to be. Intentions or desires do not shape reality, it is actions and results of those actions. I don't care what Tolkien meant for his book to be, I only care about what it is. And what it is, is an epic about a struggle against tyranny, for freedom.

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Source,

I am in complete agreement with you when you say, "Facts of reality do not succumb to the oppinion of the ... what do you call it? ... "main of society," nor to the oppinion of any one individual for that matter." Facts are facts. "Gay" doesn't mean what it used to. When an institution (say, a large corporation) addresses to the public at large its policy about "gays", it's not talking about happy or light-hearted individuals. Now, there may be a group out there who insists on using the word "gay" in its original form. That's fine---more power to them. They may succeed in re-claiming the word. Until they do so, however, even though they may retain their "purity", they will need to understand what the term means when used by others if they are to engage those others in furthering their cause. Unless they engage others in the cause to maintain clarity in language, they will not succeed. And we certainly do need to insist that our language reflects reality. I completely agree that, "We use definitions to define the terms which describe reality, and in order not to make a confusion or contradiction in terms, we make definitions unambiguous and precise, with clear borders between that which these definitions define and what they do not define." There's an excellent book by the philosopher Josef Peiper called "Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power" which explores this---I recommend it. But you run into some problems when you say, "What you are trying to pass here is an argument in favor of the art of smearing, which means making such definitions which do not exactly mean what they originally defined"---first off, I am not interested in smearing. I agree with you that language needs to be precise, and I am against the euphemisms that are used by today's society to cover reality. However, you have not given me any historical evidence to conclude that the term "capitalism" as narrowly defined by Objectivists was its "original" definition, and was understood to exclude what Objectivists exclude. If you can give me evidence (historical documentation, etc) that those who coined the phrase meant ONLY what you say it means, then I am receptive to that being the definition. Please list your historical sources. Regardless, though, Objectivism will never succeed if it only is advanced by people who, instead of using persuasion, merely condemn others. This is exemplified by your saying, "As I continuously claim, I don't care what someone meant for something to be". That's fine for you, I suppose, but if you want the ideas that you subscribe to succeed, to ever be anything more than a pie-in-the-sky theory, you had better find a better means of promoting them. And, like it or not, it DOES matter what an author, for example, meant by their work. Tolkien MEANT his story to be what it is (a Catholic story), just as Ms. Rand meant her stories to be what they are. Denying the creative author the authority to define their own works (in favor of one's own subjective definition) is an exercise in relativism.

Edited by AqAd

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.

While you are correct that public usage defines public meaning, this is an Objectivist forum and it is generally understood that anyone using the word 'capitalism' here will be using it in the Objectivst sense, ie to refer to that which would normally be called 'laissez faire capitalism'. Edited by Hal

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Hal,

I know that. My point was to say that using the Pope's words regarding capitalism as proof that he condemned capitalism (as some here have implied) was disingenuous, because when the Pope used the word "capitalism", he was using it as understood by society and most historians and economists. He wasn't addressing Objectivists, he was addressing society. And I completely agree, as a Catholic, that the Pope would condemn capitalism as defined by Objectivists. No dispute there.

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Mr. Swig,

I just finished reading your outstanding article on Sean Hannity. You really laid the truth out for all to read. You absolutely should publish your articles, or compile them in your own book. What you write needs to be read by everyone, and should become a matter of public discourse. If you don't mind, I'm going to invite alot of people to read both of your articles. Is it ok if I provide them a live link to it? I won't post your articles, but a live link to access them here. Is that ok?

Ed

I'm very glad you find them of value. You may certainly link to them. I would appreciate the endorsement and promotion. At some point I will offer these essays in some kind of print publication--probably self-published. But I need to finish the fourth essay on Rick Warren first, then I'll worry about further publication.

Look for my third essay on Billy Graham in about a week.

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I would like to offer an anology that I thought of that may illuminate why Objectivism's definition of Capitalism is the objectively correct one regardless of what the term/concepts originator's original meaning was or what any number of people, even if it were 99.999% percent population of the world, stated it to be.

Imagine a group of people that are just starting a new language, and for my purpose I'll just make it English. Let's say this group, let's call them the sky-daddy worshipers, decide that they will call the liquid that is in the ocean "water". Now they understand that if they were to drink this water they would get sick, so the water that they can drink from lakes, etc. they call "pure water". Whenever they refer to the water they can drink they always call it pure water to distinquish it from water from the ocean.

So time passes in the land of the sky-daddy worshippers, until a group that I will refer to as the enlightened few come along. The enlightened few are quite a group indeed, a group that rejects faith and instead use's only reason and scientific knowledge as their means to define and understand the world.

Through their various studies the enlightened few had come to find that ultimately water and the pure water were the same at the chemical level, being namely H2O, exept the "water" had various salts and other pollutants in it that made you sick if you drank it too. So having a new more objective and rational defintion of water being H2O, instead of "the liquid in the ocean" they realized that their definition was the more fundamental one and that the "pure water" in the lakes should be what is refered to as actual water, while the ocean water was the unpure version that should not be considered fundamental.

The enlightened few decided to show the world why their definition is the objectively correct one for "water", but the worshippers of the sky-daddy were going to have none of it. "But the word was originally meant to mean something else," they said.

To which the enlightened few replied, "The original meaning was wrong. What the concept of "water" implicitly entailed is NOT what you originally thought is did."

"But even if you're right how dare your little tiny small group go against the will of what the rest of sky-daddy worshipping-kind has arbitrarily decreed it to be," said the primacy of consciousness loving sky daddy-worshippers while invoking the fallacy of argument from intimidation.

To which the enlightened few simply replied, "Our definition of "water" is the objectively correct one because it cuts directly to the heart of what the concept "water" means. It contains no contradictions and no unpure elements such that it needs to have another concept placed in front of it to understand its true meaning. The water that you drink, the water that you insist on calling "pure water" is properly defined as H2O, and whether you or anyone else besides us ever acknowledges that fact is largely irrelevent because A is A."

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I am in complete agreement with you when you say, "Facts of reality do not succumb to the oppinion of the ... what do you call it? ... "main of society," nor to the oppinion of any one individual for that matter." Facts are facts. "Gay" doesn't mean what it used to. When an institution (say, a large corporation) addresses to the public at large its policy about "gays", it's not talking about happy or light-hearted individuals. Now, there may be a group out there who insists on using the word "gay" in its original form. That's fine---more power to them. They may succeed in re-claiming the word. Until they do so, however, even though they may retain their "purity", they will need to understand what the term means when used by others if they are to engage those others in furthering their cause. Unless they engage others in the cause to maintain clarity in language, they will not succeed. And we certainly do need to insist that our language reflects reality. I completely agree that,  "We use definitions to define the terms which describe reality, and in order not to make a confusion or contradiction in terms, we make definitions unambiguous and precise, with clear borders between that which these definitions define and what they do not define." There's an excellent book by the philosopher Josef Peiper called "Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power" which explores this---I recommend it. But you run into some problems when you say, "What you are trying to pass here is an argument in favor of the art of smearing, which means making such definitions which do not exactly mean what they originally defined"---first off, I am not interested in smearing. I agree with you that language needs to be precise, and I am against the euphemisms that are used by today's society to cover reality. However, you have not given me any historical evidence to conclude that the term "capitalism" as narrowly defined by Objectivists was its "original" definition, and was understood to exclude what Objectivists exclude. If you can give me evidence (historical documentation, etc) that those who coined the phrase meant ONLY what you say it means, then I am receptive to that being the definition. Please list your historical sources.

It is my understanding that the meaning of the word "gay" never changed. Gay still means happy. What it does not mean and what it never meant, and what you suggest it means, is "happy or light-hearted individuals." In other words, "gay" was never used as a noun before. Today it is used that way and it means "male homosexual," if I am not mistaken.

Besides, the word "gay" as an adjective, never had any scientific meaning, while the term Capitalism did and still does. In the science called philosophy, its meaning is very precise and very exact (at least in Objectivism). Thus, redefining the word "gay" could not possibly have any consequence to and could not threaten to destroy a structured philosophical system. This is why here you will only get this one answer "The pope never adopted Capitalism."

And you are correct. I do not have any historical evidence to prove my claim, which is why I should have expressed myself as follows: "What you are trying to pass here is an argument in favor of the art of smearing, which means making such definitions which do not exactly mean what they mean in a consistent and integrated system of ideas, but they could mean a little of something else."

Regardless, though, Objectivism will never succeed if it only is advanced by people who, instead of using persuasion, merely condemn others. This is exemplified by your saying, "As I continuously claim, I don't care what someone meant for something to be". That's fine for you, I suppose, but if you want the ideas that you subscribe to succeed, to ever be anything more than a pie-in-the-sky theory, you had better find a better means of promoting them. And, like it or not, it DOES matter what an author, for example, meant by their work. Tolkien MEANT his story to be what it is (a Catholic story), just as Ms. Rand meant her stories to be what they are. Denying the creative author the authority to define their own works (in favor of one's own subjective definition) is an exercise in relativism.

The only reason why I do not always use persuasion here is because this is an Objectivist forum. All the definitions should already be known by members, and if not, there is plenty of literature available on the subject of Objectivism. If in each and every of my posts I always used persuasion to impress all the necessary ideas upon a certain member - which he needs to grasp in order to understand a certain concept - the discussion would get nowhere very fast. So please, take your time and study the relevant literature before posting.

The job of promoting the Objectivist ideas is thus done - after all, you ARE on an Objectivist forum, are you not? What more promotion of Objectivism do I need to make?

As for what the author meant by the story...

That Tolkien meant for The Lord of the Rings to be Catholic may be a fact. However, when I read the book or see the movie, the story does not strike me as Catholic, not even remotely. This then is the difference between the work of Tolkien and the work of Ayn Rand: Ayn Rand's storyline conveyed exactly what she meant it to convey; Tolkien failed at that task. Therefore, it is another fact that Tolkien's story is not what he meant for it to be. And if he really wanted it to be a Catholic story, then in some weird way I'm glad he failed. I'm sure that if the story had elements which reminded me of catolicism in it, I wouldn't like it as much as I do now.

As a side note, your posts would be much more readable if you divided it in paragraphs -- like I do for example -- and if you used the quote tag. If you can't do the latter for some reason, I would appreciate if you hit "Return" a couple of times while writing a reply.

Edited to correct some details.

Edited by source

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Source,

No, I did not suggest that "gay" meant, ""happy or light-hearted individuals." In my sentence, there's only the suggestion that the word could be used to describe happy or light-hearted individuals---an adjective, not a noun.

I think you are missing the main point, as typified by this: "Besides, the word "gay" as an adjective, never had any scientific meaning, while the term Capitalism did and still does." This doesn't have anything whatsover to do with my point, which was that the pope didn't condemn capitalism as defined by society and most specialists (historians and economists). That he would have condemned the Objectivist concept of capitalism is obvious. So when you write: "This is why here you will only get this one answer "The pope never adopted Capitalism", I can only wonder how many times I can agree with you on this---I've already said it over and over and over: the Church does not approve of Objectivist-defined capitalism. Let me say it somewhat shorter: you and I are in agreement on this one. That's it---there's no need to try and convince me why your definition is the only correct one: it's not relevant to that point whatsover. I'm not here to debate the logic or merits (or lack of) in your definition.

Regarding Tolkien, you wrote: "That Tolkien meant for The Lord of the Rings to be Catholic may be a fact. However, when I read the book or see the movie, the story does not strike me as Catholic, not even remotely."

Well, you're not Catholic, so that's to be expected. When I read it (and I've read the trilogy about 15 times---it's a favorite of mine), the Catholic elements that Tolkien put in are very obvious---but then, I'm Catholic, as was Tolkien. That it is less so in the movies is natural enough, seeing that the director and writers were not Catholic and saw no reason to maintain the Catholicity. Still, much of it is retained by virtue of the directors and writers following the book (more or less). A lot of ink has been spilled in the Catholic press discussing the Catholic elements in the movies that remained.

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AqAd-- Well it is my "main point", since this all started when I challenged your usage of the word capitalism on an Objectivist forum. I still haven't figured out what your main point is except maybe to debate Objectivists and tell them when their philosophy doesn't jive with Catholic dogma.

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OK, here's what I have to say to you. If you understand the law of identity, then you know that Capitalism is what it is and there is nothing else that it could be. The pope proclaimed that he agreed with something. The only thing that this something has in common with Capitalism is the name. You are now arguing that the pope, in fact, did adopt Capitalism. But we have just established that he didn't. It is in contradiction witht the law of identity to claim that he agreed with Capitalism. What he agreed with is not even close to Capitalism.

Then you go about arguing that the pope surely agreed with Capitalism, because the public thinks that he did. Your argument is that the public oppinion makes the pope right and he did in fact agree with Capitalism. Tell me, how is the public able to shape reality? How is it that suddenly the pope is the proponent of Capitalism? Oh, ok, you say that the public oppinion is different from the way things are. Then the public is wrong! What they are thinking of is not Capitalism, and what the pope agreed with is not Capitalism.

Having said so, I do not see the purpose of your argument as a whole in this thread. Why is it so important that I and the rest of the people on this board believe it to be important that the pope okayed Capitalism in the eyes of his flock, when it is not really Capitalism what he agreed with? What are you trying to prove and what is the purpose of this venture of yours?

Regarding Tolkien, you wrote: "That Tolkien meant for The Lord of the Rings to be Catholic may be a fact. However, when I read the book or see the movie, the story does not strike me as Catholic, not even remotely." 

Well, you're not Catholic, so that's to be expected. When I read it (and I've read the trilogy about 15 times---it's a favorite of mine), the Catholic elements that Tolkien put in are very obvious---but then, I'm Catholic, as was Tolkien. That it is less so in the movies is natural enough, seeing that the director and writers were not Catholic and saw no reason to maintain the Catholicity. Still, much of it is retained by virtue of the directors and writers following the book (more or less). A lot of ink has been spilled in the Catholic press discussing the Catholic elements in the movies that remained.

I was raised Catholic. From when I was reading the trilogy, I remember that the characters didn't even say so much as "Oh god" or "thank god," when even I would have said that. So what elements of Catholicism you speak of I have no clue. Then again, Catholicism is a very broad term and it encompasses a lot. Catholics value freedom too. However, I cannot relate freedom to Catholicism, because it is neither its essential property, nor the one that differentiates it from individualism, Objectivism and others. So what would really help here is if you could list some of the elements from the trilogy which are essentials in the term of Catholicism.

Edited to change "not" to "neither."

Edited by source

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RationalOne,

No, this didn't start by your challenging my use of the word "capitalism"---that has been a tangent that you and others have chosen to follow. This started by my amending the statement that the pope condemned capitalism, by merely observing (correctly) that the pope supported some forms of capitalism as the term is generally understood. That the Church or any pope would not be in favor of capitalism as defined by Objectivists is very obvious, and I have not disputed that (and indeed I have repeatedly stated it). That the tangent has been followed in the mannner it has been is simply an indication that some on this forum are perhaps unfamiliar with debate and/or are unable to discern or maintain focus on the essential question. Perhaps this is why, as you say, "I still haven't figured out what your main point is except maybe to debate Objectivists and tell them when their philosophy doesn't jive with Catholic dogma".

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I hope y'alls don't mind if I interpose as a translator here.

AqAd: On this forum, the word "capitalism" means what you call "capitalism as defined by Objectivists." As you have agreed multiple times, the late pope did indeed condemn it--so it is correct to say that "The Pope condemned capitalism."

source & RationalOne: What AqAd is trying to say is: "The Pope did not condemn the mixed economy."

Now let me respond to that:

The Pope did not condemn the mixed economy.

So what?

Edited by Capitalism Forever

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So what?

AqAd seemingly has no answer to this. I have challenged him twice already, first to define what he means by "what is commonly understood as capitalism," and now to say what the purpose of all this is, because I see none. As of yet, he provided no answers to either of these questions.

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Source,

Regarding the discussion of Tolkien...saying that you were "raised Catholic" is fairly meaningless:lots of people who haven't a clue as to what they believe or why could say the same. Oftentimes that simply means you were dragged to church on Sundays; oftentimes it simply means one's parents were Catholic (in name, at least) so you sort of inherited the name Catholic without it meaning anything. And since catechesis has been so awful in the last 40 years, you could have gone to CCD classes and still not get a clue.

As I mentioned before, a lot of ink in the Catholic press has been spent on discussing Tolkien's Catholicism and how it appears in his books. You are right: the characters in the Lord of the Rings don't say "God", but that was quite deliberate on Tolkien's part (he hated allegories). Many people can't appreciate subtlety and can only see the obvious. That such people exist and can't see the author's intention (even after he called the work "fundamentally religious and Catholic") says more about them than it does about the author's intention. (To use a quote from one of the articles below: "One can read The Lord of the Rings as an atheist or an agnostic, or indeed as a New Age neo-pagan, but one will not understand its "fundamentally religious and Catholic" significance. One will be paddling in the shallows of the shadows, instead of plunging headlong into the glorious depths of the light.") As a practicing, observant Catholic, I can tell you that the novels are very Catholic. You asked for a list of the Catholic elements: that would take more time than I feel like typing, but I'll give you links to a couple of short articles that discuss some:

http://catholiceducation.org/articles/arts/al0161.html

http://decentfilms.com/commentary/faithandfantasy.html

The first article is written by a biographer of Tolkien, Joseph Pearce. His biography, "Tolkien: Man and Myth", is excellent.

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This makes a total of three questions that you have failed to give a direct answer to. That somebody said or wished something to be something it is not, is irrelevant. Yet you keep talking about it as if it was the most important thing in the world what someone WANTED to do, rather than what he actually did. This little Tolkien discussion might be somehow connected to your errors you are constantly making when you interpret the pope's words, because in both cases you put something someone believes, thinks or wants to be above that which is. You are the proponent of the primacy of consciousness.

Seing that I will most likely not get an answer to any of my questions in the foreseable future, I will conclude my discussion with you here because you obviously have no value to offer in it.

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