About This Blog

I’ve felt compelled to write up a little history of this blog, and namely, the reason why I started it.  I was involved with the beginning of AirMaria.com in the Spring/Summer of 2007, and managed to attend the Vlogging school offered at the Friary for the AirMaria team.  I valunteered some time in video prepartion for the Vlog, by converting several files, writing video summaries, and helping out with several other things.  This basically stirred the interest of blogging in my mind, and in writing reviews for the videos, began to put my thoughts down in a blogging format.  I created this blog about mid August of 2007, just experimenting with a WordPress powered blog, like AirMaria’s.  I put up one or two posts, and in the long run, left the blog for dead.

My interest in debate and discussion was aroused on a forum I frequented with some friends, in which I ended up holding discussion emails with my friend.  Eventually I decided not to just keep it between her and I, and decided to move to the blogging world, where I started out with simply posting some of my writings.   Over time, I moved from publishing my written works to discussing certain topics of interest.  Namely discussion my father and I had/have, and rather making them known to the world, to challenge the classic ideal of remaining silent.

As a joke, I think of society as the words of an arrest:  “You have the right to remain silent, everything you say may and will be used against you.”   I felt that many people who actually see the world through the eyes of proper Catholicism often enough don’t actually reach out to the outside world.  They talk amongst themselves, which is fine; but no one ever seems to bring the discussion to the opposite side.  Which is what I tend to do here.  Write my articles from the Strict Standing of the Church’s Teaching Authority, the Magisterium.  This has brought me under a lot of fire from supposed, “Free Thinkers,” who hold the belief that Catholicism is a poison of the mind, inhibiting reason and free choice; while in reality, the Beauty of Catholicism is grounded in the fact that God gave man a free will, to either follow after Him, or to choose His own path.  I keep this blog updated with the hopes that people may come to appreciate Catholic Free Thought, and though I find that many people do not appreciate it, the fight is still worth fighting.

~Master Paul Xavier



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18 Responses to About This Blog

  1. Pingback: About Us « Catholic+Discussion+Blog

  2. Matt says:

    Circular logic: A proposition based on a premise which is itself true only if the proposition is true. e.g.

    I believe in God because I read the Bible.
    I believe in the Bible because I believe in God and it is His word.

    Neither of these statements offer a true premise. Neither the premise or the proposition can be proved true or false. Your belief in God or the Bible cannot be proven by logic. If you don’t understand, then you don’t know what logic is. Read a book about the subject. But not the Bible, it does not teach logic.

  3. A quick question on Logic Matt:

    What is logic? Do you use it? In studying the world around you. Are you inclined to believe that a Big Bang happened who knows how many millions of years ago? With the chance of life forming that, being the tiniest fraction? Is that logic? Not quite so… But to assume that the world was created? Seems logical enough, considering, if you are open minded enough towards God….

  4. SignaVeritae says:

    And for even more logic, why have atheists only recently in the last 300 years been surfacing?

  5. Matt says:

    I appreciate your reply. I would advise a textbook for a formal definition of logic. There are various forms for myriad purposes. What I was referring to was logic applied to argumentation. You say it is “Not quite logical” (paraphrasing) to consider the validity of the Big Bang Theory, even though that is where the evidence leads? That is curious. In our justice system, are law enforcement officers not duty bound to follow the evidence where ever it leads, regardless of their personal wants? Our higher mental faculties would have us find theories to support facts, not facts to support theories. I’m afraid that is what you are engaging in when you reach the conclusion of Creationism based on the assumption of the creation story which came to you from a Bible that you assume is true. Science doesn’t work that way. You can’t fill in the gaps if you don’t have the data to support it. The Big Bang may not be the way it happened. Evolution may not have happened in the exact manner in which the current scientific community thinks it did. However, a hypothesis will always be better than faith. There is most always some sort of evidentiary support for a valid hypothesis, and it can be adapted if disproven by an influx of new data. Can you say that honestly about faith? When there are individuals out there who would kill you if you questioned their faith? I would bet that even you sir have ostracized or excommunicated people in your past that have sewn doubt in your head about your faith by challenging you to think critically about it.

  6. Matt says:

    @ SignaVeritae: What does your question have to do with logic? Better question, What are you even talking about? Are you proposing that individuals who hold no belief in a higher being have only existed on this earth for 300 years? I assume you are speaking of a rise in individuals speaking out about the fallacies of Christian doctrine. I can only speculate on a few possible causes. First and foremost, these individuals are no longer burned at the stake. Having your flesh lit aflame is a pretty good incentive to keep your opinions to yourself. I would also credit the Age of Reason, where the church and its problematic belief system was set aside for logic, reason, and science. (Interesting aside, the founding fathers, who operated during this time period, didn’t think very highly of religion and its ability to dull a free thinking spirit). Also, credit the proliferation of the Web. No longer is information controlled by an elite few in academia, government, or religion. The masses can now communicate openly and freely, and share ideals without fear of reprisal(see: burning at the stake). If I were to thank God for something, it would be for those who brought about the destruction of the stranglehold Christianity held on western civilization! But instead, I’ll reflect on the individuals who made it happen. They deserve the credit.

  7. SignaVeritae says:

    I’m simply pointing out that it is a “since the beginning of the world” tradition for people to place their faith in someone. Every ancient civilization had a god or multiple gods. I know that all ideas must start sometime, but the fact that people have believed in a higher being for however long the earth is old is a pretty strong conviction. Atheism is fairly new, giving it much less credibility. Also, you must concede the fact that no one will ever know how the universe was made. Granted there may have been a “Big Bang,” but how did those elements come into place? That theory has just as much credibility as Intelligent Design.

  8. SignaVeritae says:

    And I will credit you with the freedom theory. Everywhere in history, when people are free, we make much more rapid scientific advancements, as opposed to when people are surfs. However, as for the stranglehold of Christianity, you must also remember that no one was ever required by the Church to be a Christian. It was individual lords and rulers, who, not acting for the Church, took matters into their own hands. The Church, never forced anyone to believe their teaching, and were not responsible for the action of individuals. Granted, the Renaissance is a hard era of Church history to defend, and there was many anti-popes, but you are never required to be a Christian. Should we talk about how the Romans never let anyone be Catholic, and how Nero had Catholics burned as torches for his parties? Or Queen Elizabeth the first had thousands forced to pay huge fines if they wanted to be Catholic, and if they couldn’t pay the fine, or wouldn’t give up their faith, she had them killed in the most horrible manners? The Catholic Church has never done that. Or simply how Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered the most grueling passion, to, out of love for you, save you from your sins? If you could name ONE atheist who was burned at the stake, I would be surprised. I am of the opinion that there should be ABSOLUTE separation of church and state. Let people think and do what they want, as long as they stay within certain morals. Those are called laws. And keep in mind. “Freedom” is not being able to do whatever you want. Freedom is the license to do what is right.

  9. Where the evidence leads?

    This is no Sherlock Holmes case, I must dare say, its a matter of understanding our origins. “evidence” supposdely leads to the conclusion of a big bang theory, while reason will lead towards an intelligent design idea. Now, I will cut my reply to that a bit short, since I don’t want this to head into a discussion on Earth’s origins, so I will reply to your reply to Signa.

    The Age of Reason brought about the downfall of organized religion as we’ve known it. This 21st Century being the product of a meltdown of faith. Prior to the Enlightenment, we had mixed views on how man should conduct his thinking. On the left, we have Martin Luther and his cohorts, urging a strict Faith based understanding of Religion. The Catholic Church has long endowed Faith and Reason, each complementing the other. Any careful study will reveal this.

    Signa,
    Might I say that there should be a unison of Church and State. The Pope’s have written many articles in regards to the matter, and it all comes down to this basic idea: We must bring about the Kingship of Christ here on earth. Society should reflect Christ and His teachings, and we must do all things possible to bring this about. The two should be one, so man may be furthered in his journey to reach God, and to live his life to the best of his ability as a natural man. Society should be helping man along to his goal, not hindering him.

    I’m not saying we should have great persecutions and such, I’m speaking more on a basic level of morality and faith.

  10. SignaVeritae says:

    But there is no need for a union of Church and state, as long as the state does not violate any morals, and teach the wrong things, as they are doing now. If the state let people choose what they want to believe, then it is not necessary. If there was an ultimate union, then the Church would be the oppressors.

  11. Matt says:

    SignaVeritae, I admire your last statement, “If there was an ultimate union, then the Church would be the oppressors.” Apparently, all three of us have differing definitions for “evidence,” and “reason” so a debate on scientific and philosophic principles would be futile. Furthermore, to discuss the atrocities performed in the name of, or against religion would ultimately lead to an agreement that doing evil is bad, no matter what the purpose may be. Now, back to where I started, your comment gives me hope that there may be more Christians out there like you. However, I do have to point out a fatal flaw in your belief. You stated that “there is no need for a union of Church and state, as long as the state does not violate any morals, and teach the wrong things, as they are doing now.” The end of that statement is what did your argument in. By stating “as they are doing now,” you are making a judgment on the morals and teachings of our current society. No doubt your basis for this judgment is a contrast between what you see around you and what you were taught about morality from a religious institution. I am assuming that since you were taught about morality at this institution as a child, you automatically assumed that the two(morality and religion) are inherently linked. This is an easy assumption for a child to make. But as adults, we know that things are not this simple. When you grow up, you meet other people who seem to have outstanding qualities, and who when faced with moral dilemmas choose the same outcomes that we would like to have chosen, based on what we were taught. Then you learn that these individuals did not receive teaching at a religious institution like yourself. In fact, they don’t even hold any religious beliefs like yourself. You are then left with a puzzling question. How did this individual learn right from wrong without instruction from a religious institution like myself? How you answer this question depends on how hard you want to think about it. Eventually, if you cling to your faith hard enough, you will overlook what reason tells you, and that is morality is independent of religion. So I ask you, by what moral standard will our threshold be judged? When will we need union of church and state? And who’s version of morality do we use as our measuring stick? If it is the morality of a Christian, then you already had a union between church and state.

  12. SignaVeritae says:

    Well, to begin, thank you for the compliment, but as for you last point, the measuring stick is called Life. I don’t know your stance on abortion, or euthanasia, but those are to things I stand vehemently against. They are morals that are being violated. While my opinions stand against other things, such as sex outside of marriage, I will not force people to not, otherwise it would be taking away their free will, something which would, again, make the Church the oppressors. However, in matters of human life, and human ethics, there is a code of morals that should be laid out. With our form of government, it is possible to avoid a necessity of an ultimate union of church and state. In our form of government, it is possible to elect officials who will, not necessarily put forth Christian view, but at least moral views. Immoral is easily defined as something that harms another. A dream society, where everyone helps everyone is not impossible. How can someone say that destroying human life does not violate any morals? The Christians ask only that we are allowed to practice our religion freely, and that important morals, such as human life, are not violated, never mind destroyed. I hope that clarifies things.

  13. Matt, people not raised in a religious enviroment can still have the same morals as those who are. The basic reason for this is how we all were created with the law of God written in our hearts. (You probably wont believe in that terminology, though probably will agree that all humans have certain ‘morals’ in their nature, and depending on the formation of their conscience, choose either to obey or go against that code of ethics.)

    Two forms of the Church/State unison which people frown upon, and which often wreak havoc are:

    1. The Church State.

    and

    2. The State Church.

    Church and State cannot be one in the phsyical sense of actuality, but Church and State are supposed to reflect one another. Where morality, life, and the social good are based off both the Church and State’s principles. Only in today’s society, do we see the vast split between the two. Why? because we have redefined Liberty as the ability to do what we want. When in actuality, liberty is the freedom to do the good without hinderence.

  14. Master Christopher Joseph says:

    Matt, you make a perfect example of the way the world thinks when you made the assumption that “to discuss the atrocities performed in the name of, or against religion would ultimately lead to an agreement that doing evil is bad, no matter what the purpose may be. ” But the problem with this statement is: what is GOOD, and what is BAD? What is MORAL and what is IMMORAL? I’m sure in some people’s turn-key environment where everyone is nice to each other and have the same way of thinking, this assumption would be true. But the cold trueth of it all is……..we dont all live in that environment. You see, people who dont have “guidelines” as it were, tend to create their own illusion of what is good/bad/moral/immoral to fit their desired actions. I’m sure we are all in agreement that raping and murdering a woman would be bad/immoral. But to a rapist/murderer this is good/moral, because to them it is better to kill the victim then have them live life psychologically damaged. They are just doing the victim a favor………do yo see where I’m getting at yet? There has to be some form of unity in the sense of what is good/bad/moral/immoral.

    But it seems to me that you do not want the Church for this and quickly pick up your skirts and run to the horizon of the State. But I have news for you………what does the Government have that is so simillar to the Church? To answer this question, I’ll draw out a little graph for you:

    Church:

    (1) doctrines saying what is good/bad
    (2) doctrines saying how to live out your every day life
    (3) punishment if you do not follow doctrines of 1 & 2

    State:

    (1) statutes saying what is good/bad
    (2) statutes saying how to live out your every day life
    (3) punishment if you do not follow statutes of 1 & 2

    It seems to me that the only thing your afraid of is the difference between the words “doctrine” and “statute”.

    Here is another concept you may not have considered (including Mater Paul and Signa): Doesn’t it seem that most of the State statutes have a lot in common with the Church?

    Ex:

    Church:

    Thou shalt not kill [unjustly]!

    State:

    the unlawfully killing of another person with malice aforethought is prohibited!

    SAME THING……..DIFFERENT WORDS!

    And here is yet another concept:

    Why does it seem that the State parallels the rules of the Catholic Church in particulare instead of all religions?

    Ex#1: The Catholic Church prohibits the husband from beating their wives……..The State prohibits this……..but some religions dont. In fact, in some religions its considered good/moral to beat their wives on a frequent basis. Clearly the State government was not founded on that religion

    Ex #2: The Catholic Church alone has what are called specifically “The Ten Commandments”. The Supreme Court building has hanging inside the court room on the wall “The Ten Commandments”………WHAT A COINSIDENCE!!!

    So wrapping this up, it is clear from the EVIDENCE I have stated above that the Church and State actually do, or at least used to, fully coexist and at least for the most part, still compliment each other today.

    So Matt, if you just cant coexist with the Church then I am sorry to burst your bubble because the State is basically the same thing!

    In conclusion, I will say that the difference between “faith” and “theory” is in how you find out if you’re wrong (I was interested in that debate too). A theory can be created, proven and disproven in a single test. But faith on the other hand can only be proven or disproven after death. And trust me, people are dying to find out! (cough….had to add that in there) So the only question that needs to be considered is: What do I have to loose? If you are right Matt that the Church should be ignored, if not destroyed, and you are right, then you have nothing to loose by thinking this way. But what if your wrong? What if the Catholic Church is the way to go and you find out that there is a “life after death” and eternal punishment to go with it? It seems to me that you would have everything to loose!

    I’ll end with a quote from Padre Pio when posed with this very question:

    “So you dont believe in Hell?……..well, you will when you get there”

    I hope this isn’t your fate Matt!

  15. knight for right says:

    Wow…what did I miss here?
    this looks like a good debate. I went through a couple bags of pop-corn, and knew I couldn’t pass this up. Master Christopher Joseph, talk about a stump in the middle of the road huh? OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!! (I feel like a cheering section)
    And Matt…..I tell you….you’ve got more courage than any of us here. To think….your arguments are not going to even phase these people. But you keep them comming. That takes a lot of guts. I commend you!
    Although the battle has been very colorful Matt, where are you comming from?
    I don’t really want to beat a dead horse, but I like the issue on morality the best. The standpoint of what is moral/good and what is immoral/bad all depends on the person thinking about it. “Morals” are nothing more than a thought process to destinguish between what is right and wrong. You can get the thought process, or moral characteristics, from a whole bunch of places. Church, family, friends, school, government programs, lectures, etc..are all examples of where a person might get those characterisitics. By the sound of things, Signa got them from church, and you got them from some secular place. But does this mean that her’s are no more valid than yours on a face value? Absulutely not!
    Just like logic, these thought processes can be used to justify many things. The Natzi’s used obeying your commanding officer, a moral point, to justify loading thousands of Jews into trains to be slaughtered like sheep. Others said what they were doing were wrong, but was it? (don’t get me wrong……I am no Natzi….this is just to get you to think)
    In conluding, I would just to say that, before you start using that fancy talking to prove absolutely nothing….just think about who your talking to, and what your going to say.

    I have a lot to say, just like you…so lets continue shall we?

  16. Matt says:

    I apologize for the delay in my response. There has been some interesting activity since my last post. There are so many topics to cover. It seems though that the conversation has mostly shifted to ethics, so that is where I will resume. It appears that some of you believe in moral relativism and some of you believe in morality as defined by a book written in the Bronze age, and Master Christopher compared our modern judicial system to the Ten Commandments. These are all interesting viewpoints. First, I should give you my definition of ethics. I think Ethics/morals are to be defined as what “ought” to be. How we “ought” to act. The word “ought” is important here. Especially when talking about Moral Relativism. As a theory, Moral Relativism does not speak to what “ought” to be. It speaks to what “is.” This is a big difference. It uses as examples the way humans behave. In this way, it is more an anthropological or psychological study of human behavior. This is NOT a theory of ethics in the classical sense. However it does have its place which I will bring up later. In the case of the Ten Commandments, how many of those are laws today? Two? Kill and steal. What does that tell us? Maybe that those rules are a little outdated for our society? What else does that tell us? That lessons gleamed from a book written over 1000 years ago may teach us some valuable lessons about life but may not be the only source text that we structure our lives around?
    Master Paul, I do agree in the existence of the conscience. We just disagree on its source. You believe that it was endowed by a Creator. This is a belief shared by many of the great philosophers, such as Kant, and Aquinas. However, our difference comes down to evolution. I see no proof for the existence of God, as Kant and Aquinas tried to prove, but I do for evolution. So I think we will always disagree on the source. I will though tell you what I think the source is. The conscience, and morality for that matter are evolutionary necessities. If you think back to the earliest civilizations, how would they have survived if everyone killed at will, or stole, or lied? These rules that we live by, that seem to be embedded in us a priori, are nothing more than an adaptation that gives us an evolutionary advantage. It is not coincidence that the writers of the Bible and our law makers have hit upon the same conclusion, that it is not conducive to society’s existence that we kill each other, or steal, or lie. It is also not by coincidence that cultures which pre-date Christianity and Judaism by thousands of years also reached the same conclusion. Morality is necessary to survive.
    This is where Moral Relativism gets interesting. What if a group of people exist that don’t have a goal of building and maintaining a society? They may have a goal of bringing an end to society. Well then, their morals are not going to look similar to ours. They might think it is good to kill, steal, rape, and lie. There are patterns to be seen from this. If a society has as its goal to maintain itself and prosper, you will find moral guidelines similar to our laws in America, and similar to what can be found in religious and secular philosophic text from around the world. At least on the major issues: kill, steal, lie. Other issues seem to be relevant to the time and place. However, if a society is destructive, you would find the opposite of our moral guidelines.
    To knight for right, I appreciate your commendation. And I will leave you with a delightful quote to meditate upon: “For he that believes, no proof is necessary. For he that does not, no proof is possible.”

  17. SignaVeritae says:

    Well, obviously anything that harms another human should be defined as immoral, but what defines harming a human being? For instance, abortion, embryonic stem cells research. Those are two things that I reject, due to the belief that they are human life, and that it harms human life. Those are the things that should clearly be defined. Same with euthanasia. Things such as sex outside of marriage, and divorce, look at it. The world is a better place without those things. No long divorce trials, no “who gets the house. Who gets the kids?” No child support, no O.J. Simpson type things. Why do you think that prostitution is illegal? However, those are things are for each individual person to decide. But harming another human is unacceptable. However, if you become a Roman Catholic, you must abide by the laws of the Church, which is no bad way of living. It’s the choice of the people to make. The responsibility of the Government, is to, other than tax, lol defend it’s citizens. To defend the humans living within it’s realm. What defined human? That is where religion comes in.

  18. I get the gist of what you are trying to say. I think.

    Are you saying that morals and ethics change throughout time? So what might have been for the benefit of a growing society 2000 years ago, is no longer necessary now?

    Personally, and I think many will agree, how will we survive today if we go about at will, killing, stealing, and lying? Moral and Ethics do not change. The way they are intepratated may be. But either way, they remain the same.

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