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  1. Even Mother Teresa could not escape the barbed pen of Christopher Hitchens
  2. Guide Why Mother Teresa Is Going to Hell... and Other Observations
  3. Mother Teresa
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In the name of service, religious conversions were made. But helping the poor is helping the poor, and regardless of any possible ulterior motives, at least the people she cared for were better off for it, right? By Nickolaus Hines. Five reasons this widely beloved figure did much more harm than good. Share Tweet Email.

Even Mother Teresa could not escape the barbed pen of Christopher Hitchens

Report a bad ad experience. Nickolaus Hines. Nickolaus Hines is a freelance writer in New York City. Previous Post. You might also like. You seem to understand the Catholic position, while preferring the more secular approach. I think we should leave that there, I understand the objections. Sure thing. I would add that Jesus seemed to want to take the "stop the suffering approach" at least in the gospels.

Healing children is something I can certainly get behind, and have donated to. It seems in some cases, miracles really can be bought :. Thank you, Valence. This really gets to the heart of the issue. And, I think it is one of the major reasons the modern world has moved past the Catholic worldview. Feel free to correct me if I'm somehow understanding redemptive suffering incorrectly You have it spot-on. I could give you lots to read to make more sense of it, but that's uncool ;. She may well have been wrong in assessing herself. That is why she had spiritual advisers, a well-established practice in Catholicism and several other religious traditions.

Possibly, the poem the dark night of the soul is rather joyful, however the feeling of emptibess and darkness associated with it is found in the catholic tradition and within other religiones like buddism and sunyata. In fact this letters helped her become a saint because this periods of despair are normal amongst saint. A jesuit theologitian once told me when I was in high school that when Jesus said why did the Father abandoned him at the cross, it was because before joining with Good, Jesus must have has to feel the abscence of God first, as some sort of challenge.

The impression one get's from Mark, likely the first gospels, is rather heartbreaking. It appears Jesus hopes the Father will save him from the cross, Mark 14 in Gethsemane. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.

Jesus understandably doesn't want to be crucified, and is pleading with God to save him. With this in mind, Jesus's words on the cross seem to be a legitimate question as to why God didn't save him, Chapter It seems to me that when your beliefs and your feelings are so at odds with one another, there is something profoundly wrong.

Does anyone know if Mother Teresa sought real therapy, not just "spiritual counseling"? I remember reading that one of her spiritual advisers told her what a privilege it was for her to be allowed to suffer so much. Perhaps she needed something like cognitive behavioral therapy and a good antidepressant. And I say that not to denigrate her. Perhaps she suffered needlessly and could have been even more effective had she received appropriate help.

Very true, but there are difficulties that can be addressed with pills. And I don't think some kind of psychological or psychiatric help would have done any harm. I don't know the intimate details of Mother Teresa's psychological life, but I would be very interested to know if she sought psychiatric help. If she didn't, she should have. And once again, I say this not to denigrate her. I'm not offhand aware of any traditional psychiatric help that she sought or obtained.

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I dare say that such therapy would be rather unusual. Given the network of advisers and spiritual friends around her I would also have regarded such therapy as unnecessary. I guess the thing is, longing for God is not a disease. Longing for God is what we are made for or at least, that's what I believe, and I imagine she must have believed something along these lines.


Guide Why Mother Teresa Is Going to Hell... and Other Observations

She was a spiritual athlete who was able to enter into a depth of longing for God that few or perhaps none of us will never know. You don't take a pill to cure that. If anything, we should all take a pill to develop that ability, if such a pill existed. Now, if this life is all there is, then all her longing will never be fulfilled, and it would have been better to just take some heavy meds. But if there is a beatific vision at the end of the road, then she is going to revel in that homecoming in a way that none of us will be able to.

Not because God will love us any less, but because we won't have learned to love our home with God with the same depth of feeling that she apparently did. I think we and I include myself have to admit that we cannot say anything for certain about Mother Teresa's mental life. Anything we can say is speculation, no matter how well informed.

In the great Strange Notions tradition, I pronounce this a straw man. Nobody has said here that longing for God is a disease. Certainly I have not said it. Even if I believed it were a fact that there is no God, I would not consider longing for God to be a disease. But certainly we can say that Mother Teresa's experiences, to the extent that they have been accurately reported, are unusual in the extreme.

No, I don't think that is accurate. It was not that she longed for God more than the average believer or more than the average saint. She she felt he was withholding the experience of his presence—almost sometimes even his very existence—from her. I remember in my high school we began each class with prayers, and we had a bell ringer who rang a little bell halfway through class, whereupon we would say in unison, "Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

She didn't long for more of God. She experienced anguish at his total absence. This is certainly atypical for any Christian, saint or no saint. Her accomplishments in this life may or may not serve as a model, but no one should aspire to emulate her interior life. As I said, we cannot know for sure how to characterize her bleak interior life. If it was a gift from God, I hope he is very sparing in handing out such gifts! But why, even if we believe she lived an exemplary life, must we assume she could not have been helped by psychotherapy and antidepressants?

Would you claim no one should take antidepressants because they interfere with God's work? Are saintly people immune to clinical depression? Or are they supposed to endure it? I think I can say without fear of contradiction that if Mother Teresa did not suffer from clinical depression, then antidepressants would have done nothing to change her psyche at all.

Antidepressants alleviate chemical imbalances in the brain. They do not somehow magically make unhappy people happy. There is a reason why antidepressants have little or no "street value," but stimulants, opioids, an tranquilizers do. It is like aspirin and headaches. Aspirin may make headaches go away, but taking two aspirin when you don't have a headache does not make your head feel better than normal!

Who is to say Mother Teresa didn't accomplish what she did in spite of her interior anguish? I long for truth and understanding, but that is something quite different from a personal relationship. If I ever did met God I wouldn't be asking for a big hug at first, I'd be asking nerdy questions about his creation, the first of which is "why did you build a giant search engine".

It's interesting that atheists and believers do have different thinking styles pretty consistently. Notice that in the conversation about free will, intuition was a convincing argument for the believer, and the atheists ignored it as flawed or untrustworthy data. Shenhav and his colleagues investigated that question in a series of studies. In the first, American adults answered online surveys about their belief in God. How much does the ball cost? But people who use "reflective" reasoning to question their first impulse are more likely to get the correct answer: 5 cents.

Sure enough, people who went with their intuition on the math test were found to be one-and-a-half times more likely to believe in God than those who got all the answers right. The results held even when taking factors such as education and income into account. In a second study, participants were told to write a paragraph about either successfully using their intuition or successfully reasoning their way to an answer. Those who wrote about the intuitive experience were more likely to say they were convinced of God's existence after the experiment, suggesting that triggering intuitive thinking boosts belief.

The researchers plan to investigate how genes and education influence thinking styles, but they're quick to note that neither intuition nor reflection is inherently superior. I agree completely that the reflective thinking style isn't superior for everything especially social interaction and personal relationships so I had to learn to think more intuitively when it was appropriate.

Mother Teresa

Naturally I do tent to think more reflectively, and the fact that I had a nearly perfect score on the math section of the SAT could be evidence for a more reflective bent. I've never seen any evidence for a universal longing for God. Doesn't that lack of evidence work against the Catholic theory here? Oh my. If you disagree with Carroll on the illusory and count it a bridge too far, well that is fine, but then you didn't come close to unpacking the problem of contingency, which illusion solves for Carroll.

The metaphysical baggage rendering philosophical naturalism the philosophy of boys isn't gaps within this or that strata of physicalism, but its ever widening arrays of the forced reductio ad absurdum at all foci. Your unawareness of the problem on the table seems to be combined with an odd flavor of fallacious scientism, and all of that is combined with what are all derivatives of the fundamentally irrational serving on all fronts as your truth-finder — leaving you chasing after ever more deflationary truth values once your presuppositions actually have to do some work.

And all of that noise is irrelevant to Christendom's truth claims. In this thread on humanitarian relief and the lives who give themselves to such work, once again we find our Non-Theist friends amid something that is evidence-free. Non-Theists tend to be so intuition based that they unwittingly sacrifice the more analytical side of reality's various equations. But both are needed. Feelings are certainly important, and, given Christianity's moral and causal paradigm , can and do weigh in towards factual ends. Rather, evidence, feelings, reason and reality must all converge, convergence being a mark of lucidity.

As they say, "Reason's impossibly extravagant appetite It is an impossibly extravagant appetite, a longing that can be sated only by a fullness that can never be reached in the world, but that ceaselessly opens up the world to consciousness. To speak of God, however, as infinite consciousness, which is identical to infinite being, is to say that in Him the ecstasy of mind is also the perfect satiety of achieved knowledge, of perfect wisdom.

God is both the knower and the known, infinite intelligence and infinite intelligibility. This is to say that, in Him, rational appetite is perfectly fulfilled, and consciousness perfectly possesses the end it desires. And this, of course, is perfect bliss. You have no idea what it means to make your comment relevant, do you? Save your personal insults for someone who cares what you have to say, please. You made it quite clear you have no idea what you are talking about before, and this comment is no different.

That you think the problem is one of intuition and feelings rather than a logical argument against your paradigm's inevitably forced reductio ad absurdum on far too many fronts tells me you do not fully understand the nature of the problem nor the disagreements. I pointed out where feelings do and do not weigh in, on two different fronts universe vs. Look, it's clear that you have no idea what I'm talking about, nor do you comprehend the study that relates thinking styles to belief in God. It's also clear to me that you do not understand my arguments when I present them to you, so why do you bother commenting on things I say at all.

I've tried having a conversation with you, it failed miserably. I won't try again, because I'm convinced, after observing some of your conversations with others, that rational conversation is impossible with you. You are capable of mixing plenty of insults into your incoherence, but that doesn't help your case at all. To help us both, I'm not blocking you so I no longer see your posts. May you find something productive to do with your time, as this certainly is not it. I'm refuting two of your claims, that's all. First, out of million is fine, as I said, and, though I can't imagine there's sufficient power there, that's not the point.

That's false. The Christian is logically compelled analytical, not intuition to reject, rather than tolerate, that baggage given that "gaps" are not the problem, but, rather, too many forced reductio ad absurdums. Correct, and pills often aren't that effective. Dietary changes and omega 3 can work better than pills, and exercise is critical even in the elderly. These days therapists often want to use CBT if pills don't work pills are simply cheap and easy and cognitive behavioral therapy often reminds me of what you'd get from a religious counselor.

Talk of love and approach to relationships healthy relationships also seem critical to mental health in normal people reigns there. Of course. But do we know that her difficulties were of that sort? Did she herself have good reason to think that her difficulties could not be, or should not have been, remedied with medication? I'm in the process of reading a few books about her, I will be on the lookout for that. I doubt however that she would have been too concerned about any psychological evaluations or interventions.

Like it or not, she had the cure for all ailments. In a world where the default position is to care about one's own welfare and pleasure, anyone who radically sacrifices their life for the benefit of others is deemed mentally ill, in need of counselling and therapy. I have never seen it implied by anyone—and certainly not by me—that Mother Teresa's dedication of her life to ministering to the poor, the sick, and the dying was a cause to question her mental health.

Frankly, I am insulted by your implication, which I take to have been intentional. I think for purposes of this discussion, it may be a mistake to use the terms "mentally ill" or "mental health. I think for anyone who has suffered severe depression, it would not take anything away from Mother Teresa's life and accomplishments to suggest she may have suffered from depression.

It would make her all that remarkable. I hope no one here defending Mother Teresa against what is imagined to be an attack would suggest to anyone, no matter how religious, that if he or she is suffering mental anguish, therapy and drugs are out of the question, because mental suffering must somehow be a gift from God.

No one, not even living saints, should be discouraged from seeking diagnosis of a condition that may be depression. And if so diagnosed, not one should shun treatment in the mistaken belief that depression is a gift from God. Once again, I repeat that I do not know the cause of Mother Teresa's suffering, and unless she was evaluated by experts and diagnosed, no one will ever be able to say whether or not she suffered from clinical depression.

However, I find it difficult to believe that God deliberately visits torment on individuals who are trying to serve him. If there is a God, then clearly he permits bad things to happen to good people. But I would prefer not to believe that he makes bad things happen to good people. This sounds to me like masochism, or something very much like it. I must confess I don't know what to make of Mother Teresa and the rush to canonize her. The stories don't all come together and make sense.

I do not find her inspiring at all. When I first heard of her experiences of "darkness," I found it very distressing. I had assumed she was a good woman who did the things she did out of love.

One Comment

When the news came out about her bleak interior life, it seemed to me that she had been somewhat of a fraud. You had looked at the good woman who took care of the sick and the poor, and perhaps you thought, "I would like to be like that. And of course there is another side to her work. I have no particular interest in the negative books that have been written about her, but I do gather that her order did not always provide decent medical care, while Mother Teresa herself hobnobbed with celebrities and raised millions of dollars.

There are some doubts as to how much she alleviated the suffering of those who were sick and dying and how much she merely collected those people. But I am not so much interested in that question. It does not seem to me that what she experienced is the kind of life that the Jesus of the Gospels called people to. He talked about his continued presence. He said things like, "Ask and you shall receive. He said,. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. He didn't say, "Expect a nightmare of suffering and darkness.

Don't expect me to be there when you call. Just keep going no matter how much it seems I have abandoned you. I get joy from your suffering. Her life and her experiences do not make sense to me next to other great saints, even those who experienced times of deep depression, like St. Francis of Assisi. And of course it seems to me rather schizophrenic on the one hand to have saints like Saint Teresa of Avila, who experienced great ecstasies, and then Mother Teresa who experienced years of mental anguish.

And both are seen as having been blessed. Faith is not an easy thing, and maybe it shouldn't be. We find some of the great spiritual figures throughout history struggling mightily and with great difficulty against doubt, against darkness, isolation. Personally, my best explanation is to see our spiritual journeys as paths of growth, if we are successful in following them.

Growth implies pain, maybe suffering, sacrifice, starting over, falling, hope, redemption. Being human. As Catholics we expect these frailties. Some of us would say MT's struggles led to the fruit that all but a most cynical and ignorant group of detractors would deny. It is also in examples like this that we see some of the inconsistencies of some of the atheist arguments. We often hear how faith is a crutch, a fairy tale because we are afraid of the dark. But here, why did MT hang on? Because she truly believed, because she truly loved. I've thought about it a bit, and I can only agree that the "if You get a drop of joy from this I would like to argue that Saint Teresa was not so much imagining that God might find joy in her suffering per se , and that she was instead imagining that her response to her alienation from God might give God joy in the same way that I'm happy if my wife says that she missed me while I was gone.

But that is unfortunately not born out by the text. She doesn't say, "if my response to my suffering satiates Your thirst Did she mean what she actually wrote, or did her words fail to precisely convey her meaning? If it is the former, I have to say that I also find it deeply problematic. That would not be the sort of God I believe in. Perhaps those who have read her letters in greater depth can provide context that would help in inferring her intent with this bit of writing.

That is basically my position. Or I might put it a little more strongly and say, "This does not seem to be consistent with the God I was taught about in twelve years of Catholic education and decades of reading. Noted without comment, from Amazon. In this carefully researched book, Donahue pulls the curtain back on Mother Teresa's critics, showing that virtually all of them shared an abiding disdain for Catholicism. Her critics were militant atheists, Donahue explains, and strongly embraced socialism, viewing Mother Teresa's work as a deterrent to government-controlled programs.

In these pages, Donohue responds point-by-point to all of her critics claims, and proves that their attacks on her are motivated almost entirely by her conviction that life begins in the womb. Don't let Mother Teresa's critics win. Read this book, and be armed with all the evidence you need to put to rest those cruel myths that are being promoted by those who wish to destroy the legacy of one of the Church's most admired saints. It's odd that Donahue is worried about government controlled programs when the Catholic Church is a government.

The politics of Vatican City take place in a framework of an absolute theocratic elective monarchy, in which the head of the Catholic Church, the Pope, exercises ex officio supreme legislative, executive, and judicial power over the State of the Vatican City[1] an entity distinct from the Holy See , a rare case of non-hereditary monarchy. I accept that English is not your first language, but first you ascribed the quotation to me, now you've ascribed it to Mother Teresa.

It is a quote by Christopher Hitchens. Please try to read more carefully, Neil. A lot of your arguments here simply stem from poor reading comprehension. Yes, and that the creator of the sculpture is a human. God could exist, and all religion could still easily be manmade. That would be why they seem so anthropomorphic compared to creation itself. OK, google turned up this new clip. But IMO the quotes Hitchens used don't especially support his claim. Mother Teresa said she didn't feel God's presence. To me there's a big difference between that and if she said she didn't feel there was a god.

She's not saying that she does not feel God's presence, therefore he does not exist. The handful of people who accused her of atheism denied that she actually believed in God. According to those people, if she said she did, then either she was deluding herself or else she was just plain lying. Mother Teresa was regularly and traumatically confronted with the most difficult apologism of Christianity to accept. Do we feel God is with us when we stand with Him in what what sure seems like hell? It's tough. Her open honestly should be appreciated. It mustn't have been easy on her.

You sound a social darwinist, of the Escape Theology. It's easy to just blame it on evil. It's harder to try to deal with reality. But no matter, I know what I know. You're being a goofy. Nothing you say is making sense. Fuck this chat with you. Come back with something better preferably before hair stops growing on your body. Demand away you funny man. Why don't you construct some evidence for your assertion in a manner that will reach me?

Or are you just making shit up again? So, is that what you would do, Neil, if you discovered there was no such a thing as evil? Let me try it over again. Is it rational to believe in a bad God? Anyway, in a God so bad as all that? The Cosmic Sadist, the spiteful imbecile? I was getting from it the only pleasure a man in anguish can get; the pleasure of hitting back. Only what I thought would offend Him and His worshippers most. That sort of thing is never said without some pleasure. A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside.

After that, silence. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask— half our great theological and metaphysical problems— are like that. I trembled in all my members. Christ was wholly lost. I was shaken by desperation and blasphemy of God. We've all experienced this, me too. It is part of the journey of faith, it is part of our lives.

This should not surprise us, because we are human beings, marked by fragility and limitations. We are all weak, we all have limits: do not panic. We all have them. So then, why do I believe? In my own days of skepticism, I wanted a dramatic interruption from above. I wanted proof of an unseen reality, one that could somehow be verified. However in my days of faith, such supernatural irruptions seem far less important, because I find the materialistic explanations of life inadequate to explain reality. But suffering shared with the passion of Christ is a wonderful gift, the most beautiful gift, a token of love.

The greatest science in the world; in heaven and on earth; is love. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your weakness.

I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus. Do we know the poor in our house, in our family? Perhaps they are not hungry for a piece of bread. Perhaps our children, husband, wife, are not hungry, or naked, or dispossessed, but are you sure there is no one there who feels unwanted, deprived of affection?

Love them anyway. Our vocation is the love of Jesus. Do I really love others in the same way? Work without love is slavery. I don't know about anyone else, but I view this woman as a near complete failure of a human being. Tragic, tragic individual unworthy of imitation let alone praise but certainly deserving of contempt. Would anyone here seriously consider sending their family to one of her homes to die?

Why or why not? I think it takes a particularly cold and unimaginative individual to dismiss her work in the language that you are using here, unable to adopt a nuanced view where after all her mistakes, all the gossip and inter-religious rivalry are deducted you are still unable to grant her and her hospitals credit for the immense good work that they have done. The world, who has heard all of the bile that people like Hitchens and a few others have spat out, still sees this as a unique and remarkable woman. It is in strategic mistakes like this unbalanced criticism of MT, in the incessant negativity and ceaseless criticism of all that is good, without managing to construct something of better and lasting value, that atheism will continue to sink into irrelevancy.

As to your question about sending a family member there : if I lived in that community then yes, I would send a family member there to die, and I would go there myself to die, all the while counting myself as blessed. Their aversion to the world's traveling city of humanitarian relief isn't unreasonable you know. But that's how the world is. Your "Her morality is wretched" isn't seamless with your own claim of the rational and whether you like it or not the rational had better be seamless with the moral the amoral in your case , on pain of circularity.

While the Christian interprets reality and feelings through the rational, the fact that the Non-Theist is not merely impacted by but in fact led by evidence-free feelings is obvious, even demonstrable. That he then supposes he arouses anything short of intellectual and moral pity from us is troubling as such is a mark of something far worse than merely being uninformed. The unsound irrational atheist emerges as the rational on his end fails to find a seam of entry into the moral on his end:.

Non-Theists tend to be so intuition based that they unknowingly sacrifice the more analytical side of the equation. Feelings are certainly important, and given Christianity, can and do weigh in towards factual ends. You seem preoccupied with this passage, but you are misquoting it. From the book, it is as follows:. It implies that people with whom we have moral disagreements—whether it's Hitler, the Taliban, or schoolyard bullies who beat up smaller children—aren't wrong in the same sense that it's wrong to deny Darwinian evolution or the expansion of the universe.

Your misquote makes "schoolyard bullies" the ones who "aren't wrong. We can't do an experiment, or point to data, or construct a syllogism, or write a stinging blog post that would persuade them of why their actions are bad. Now, I know you disagree with Sean Carroll. But it is not the case, as you constantly seem to imply, that all "non-Theists" hold as does Carroll that there are no moral facts. You spend a lot of your time writing about the "non-Theist" as if he were the boogeyman rather than one of the parties invited to dialogue on this site.

I don't disagree that you might disagree with Hume and Carroll. While some may be satisfied stopping at serotonin surges as their definition of "the fundamentally true", Hume and Carroll and myself and in fact anyone seeking to understand the fundamental nature of reality cannot justify stopping there. If anyone wants to offer an argument which strips the rational of that right, that is fine.

All any of us need to do is show reason our truth finder reality's irreducible contours after which she must to be "reason-able" chase. That's it. Note Hume's appeal to that which reason is justified in chasing after. Carroll affirms this and the level of reality in play is that which is far more fundamental than those derivatives of the irrational which we label serotonin surges. Hume and "-Tis not contrary to reason to prefer All that is left to contradict that is the foist of this or that derivative of the irrational, which some term feelings, and others term serotonin surges.

While some may be satisfied with invented axioms feelings as their definition of "the fundamentally true", Hume and Carroll and myself and in fact anyone seeking to understand the fundamental nature of reality cannot justify stopping there. This does make sense. St Paul says that if Christ has not been raised then we are of all people most to be pitied.

Mother Teresa is like that. If there really isn't a God who cares for the poor then what she did was stupid. If Jesus really isn't alive and is not God then reordering your life because you think Jesus spoke to you on a train is crazy. So I admire your consistency. You follow your creed to its logical conclusion. That is much better than most Christians and most atheists do. At some point you need to ask if this logical conclusion is the place you want to be. If you change some of your underlying assumptions you can end up in a much different and I think much better place.

Is that how we should judge all our assumptions? Accept them if they lead to conclusions we like, and reject them otherwise? And so, for us naturalists, no further explanation is needed. That he is completely unaware of the nature of the problem is now demonstrable. Given Non-Theism. Whereas, given the triune God, reason justifiably carries us into the fundamental nature of all things per the Christian metanarrative as we find the unending processions constituting reciprocity's timeless " one-another " D.

Hart via Trinity. The rational is therein perfectly seamless with the moral. MT's fighting against the silence: There's no pressing point to be made that's not obvious. Being rational with respect to our feelings is unproblematic. I'm surprised you had to ask. On the syntax of evil, of suffering, of whatever, you claimed, as far as I can tell, that it sourced to Nature. But to define reality by feelings forces us to bisect reality. So much for the rational then. It is the syntax of reason's race to indifference, and hence to silence, of Hume and Carroll which becomes inevitable.

They've no means by which to fight against the dark silence for it just is the rational given Non-Theism. The Christian rationally disagrees -- and fights against it. We see it in MT but we see it in all of us and to varying degrees. Christ overcomes it. Obviously the transcendentals change over inside of a paradigm shaped and defined by the immutable love of the Necessary Being.

To call something evil to render a judgment, not to state a fact, except in this sense: If anyone says "My judgment is X," they are asserting a fact about their state of mind. Carroll and Hume agree. I'd say they're not doing so on the grounds of Idealism or Solipsism, though, if they did, it still leaves it all awash in the dark night of indifference with no rational means to rationally fight against the dark.

Whatever "dark" is supposed to mean. Within the silence of indifference, given the illusion of dark, of light, and therefore ipso facto of sight, it's not obvious that prescribing medications to treat one illusion and foster another illusion counts as good medicine. They'll help with feelings of course, just not with the interpretation of reality, that is given Non-Theism's silence of indifference. Reason finds no rational justification to prefer one over the other, or to prefer the scratching of one's finger over the destruction of the whole world Hume, Carroll, etc.

Those prescriptions do factually help interpret reality if reality presents reason with an irreducible shape amid love's one-another and thereby with rational means layered over and amalgamated with rational ends. We find then prescriptions vs. Perhaps: Let's say that we remove dualism -- just for fun -- and go with a straight-up material man and, given the moral and causal paradigm which comes with [1] Non-Theism vs. Edit at 15 min If you want to equivocate on the term moral fact and claim rational justifications for moral non-facts that is okay, but I was talking about what S.

Carroll and Hume talk about with respect to moral facts, which they rightly concede don't exist. Given such a state of affairs, prescribing medications to treat one illusion and foster another illusion counts for nothing with respect to moral facts. I was talking about what S. I get that. I'm simply disputing the assertion that we therefore cannot rationally justify our disapproval of certain behaviors. Everyone has goals. The sound of one's own voice being the only real metric.

That wasn't quite my point. There are goals that some people have that the rest of us are, through the exercise of reason, justified in opposing. Reason cannot justify asserting illusions. And you've not offered anything other than colliding ontological equals. Why is Hume wrong? And Carroll with him? Getting to the point about their error isn't something I see you accomplishing. What does "conclusions we like" mean? It can mean that the conclusions we arrive at resonate with us at a deep level and feel right. Nihilism does not feel right to me. Catholicism feels right.

Life should mean something. Love should be superior to hate. The poor should have dignity. Any system that tells me those instincts and everything else are all just nonsense is going to be something I tend to resist. Yes, if that could be proved conclusively I would have little choice. The fact is it can't. Radical skepticism is not the only way to proceed. You tell me. You're the one who said, "At some point you need to ask if this logical conclusion is the place you want to be.

I think my skepticism is justified. Whether it merits the modifier "radical" seems to be a matter of personal judgment. What is the difference between justified skepticism and unjustified skepticism? I guess that is the heart of the matter. When what is assumed to be pure logic ends up having a bunch of personal judgement brought it. Our emotions and desires have a way of pushing our reason this way or that. It is especially not satisfied with arguments from authority or with appeals to social or ideological convention.

It tends to be committed to some version of epistemological evidentialism, according to which beliefs are justified only if they are inferrable, to some minimal degree of probability, from some set of facts that are reasonably regarded as indisputable. Skepticism becomes unjustified, I would say, when it demands a response that eliminates any possibility of error. This is sometimes manifest as the position of epistemic infallibilism, i. I don't know that eternal intellectual vigilance can solve the problem.

If your mind is biased in one direction then any process of being vigilant will be biased to. It is likely to make you more certain of you conclusions but it is not likely to make you actually right more often. Others may call them that but that is different. I think everyone accepts arguments from authority. Nobody can drill down to the lowest level and do all the inferences themselves on every question. What people disagree about is which authority can be trusted and which cannot. In fact, that decision of who to trust explains a lot about why people tend to cluster in certain schools of thought.

Those that pick the same opinion leaders tend to have the same opinions. It is a very human way to do it but it can go very wrong. Skepticism is often used against an authority someone distrusts but not so much against the authority you trust. This gives people the impression that their opinions are based on logic and not on the choice to trust certain people.

We want to believe we are logical but we want to belong as well. We make it work by inconsistent use of skepticism. Does the church believe anybody can live a sinless life? Does the church tell people they should try to not sin? That can happen. It is one reason for studying the arguments of your adversaries and making a good-faith effort to understand where they are coming from. Granted, for all of us some selectivity is necessary.

And aside from any social fallout, none of us has the time or resources to be The Compleat Skeptick. This is an instance of the previous observation. A rational skepticism does not claim that authorities are never to be trusted. It says they are never to be treated as infallible. Like most people my age, I need a certain amount of routine medical attention, and I am not constantly challenging my doctors to convince me of the soundness of their advice.

I have not attempted to search all the medical literature regarding the medications they have prescribed or to verify every diagnosis they have come up with. But I have done some research. More to the point, I have over the course of my life learned something about the scientific basis of modern medicine and the limits of what the medical community actually knows, on that scientific basis, about what makes our bodies tick.

When my doctors talk to me, they are not talking to a scientific illiterate, and they know this. None of us is immune from the pressure to conform or to appear conforming. And human nature precludes our being perfectly consistent in any of our intellectual endeavors. An argument from authority is easy to misuse because it is easy to use. The incorrect usage is: X must be true because the authorities say X.

Another question often relevant when the subject is biblical criticism: To which authorities are we referring? If you are to have a productive debate, you will have to do enough of your own good-faith research to figure out how your authorities reached their conclusion and how the other authorities reached the contrary conclusion. The biggest burden of proof, of course, is on anyone who challenges a real consensus among authorities universally accepted as such, because good-faith research must be done without presupposing any ignoble motivations behind the consensus.

And speaking of good people and bad people, I have found it useful in my own research to assume that practically everybody is either depending on my mood at the moment as good as I am or no worse than I am. Obviously you have never been without food or clean water, without hygiene or medicine, without a home, without dignity, without even an identity.

You have never been a worthless piece of humanity prostrate in a gutter surrounded by faeces and refuse. The smells alone are too much sometimes. Manning Supposedly the world has about K humanitarian workers. Comfort care, humanitarian aid, Hospice care, and other avenues of caring for one another are not easy, and such work, especially as a lifelong decision, isn't for everyone.

The reward within the Self is housed in the loving of the Other whereby the Other passes through we hope some series of moments strewn together in which what is almost always chronic suffering can, at least for now, abate. Adjustment to normal life again can be a problem, with feelings such as guilt being caused by the simple knowledge that international aid workers can leave a crisis zone, whilst nationals cannot. Thus Christ's incarnation, far from dissembling his eternal nature, exhibits not only his particular proprium as the Son and the splendor of the Father's likeness, but thereby also the nature of the whole trinitarian taxis.

On the cross we see this joyous self-donation sub contrario , certainly, but not in alieno. For God to pour himself out, then, as the man Jesus, is not a venture outside the trinitarian life of indestructible love, but in fact quite the reverse: it is the act by which creation is seized up into the sheer invincible pertinacity of that love, which reaches down to gather us into its triune motion. The 40 poorest countries in the world owe 13 dollars in debt payments for every dollar they receive in foreign aid. Have you ever seen abject poverty? Have you ever gone through an African slum?

I have. The smells in particular are the hardest for me to shake. When I was there, the majority of rich white people that I saw were there to purchase African boys and girls for sexual purposes. This is because we have adopted a thoroughly legalistic approach to morality. What do you mean by writing 'help'? Are you implying that she did not in fact help the poor?

Perhaps you think that you have served the poor better than she? How about them? Catholicism does not take the position that no one else has engaged in good works other than Mother Teresa. This is acknowledged in various Catholic documents, speeches and homilies from popes, etc. Of course those Biblical passages are in all Catholic bibles. What of it? Catholicism is grateful for all people who live out the beatitudes.

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  • You asked if Mother Teresa was only "trying to 'help' the needy because media's camera's on her. Now you are saying that neither does anyone else. If everybody helps the needy before becoming famous, why did you ask if Mother Teresa was only "trying to 'help' the needy because media's camera's on her"? Did your wonder if she was the negative exception to your positive rule? Mother Teresa eventually received media attention because of her work. If the modern news media existed in the first century, surely Christ and the apostles would have received plenty of media attention.

    The fame of Mother Teresa was helpful to her task of caring for the poor. If you were to try to help as many of the poor and sick as she did, you would understand how media coverage can be beneficial. Aren't you a Seventh-day Adventist? The Adventist Development and Relief Agency does not do its work quietly at all, and there is plenty of boasting at its website. Why wasn't Barry C. Black, a Seventh-day Adventist, forbidden by Adventist authorities from accepting the position of chaplain of the United States Senate?

    That position involves plenty of public prayer. Do you approve? MT did saved sick and miserables, i don't question that. ADRA of course publishes its achievements of works on their website so that donors and the public know its activities. The Catholic Church honors many people who engage in good works.

    Mother Teresa is not the only Catholic saint, or the only person to ever be honored by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church in your country is perfectly capable of initiating a process to have Quezon named a saint. If they have not initiated such a process, Catholics in your country can petition them to do so. That is a fact. Look up Barry C. The office of Senate chaplain involves plenty of public prayer, yet Black is celebrated. Of course, since ADRA is a non-profit organization, they are obliged for accounting of all receivables donations in kind or in cash.

    Pretending otherwise does not change that reality. Stop dodging the question about Barry C. In the US he is is a celebrity within Adventism, and yet his job requires public prayer. I'll admit to having done very little for them. I've also never asked anyone for any money to help me do it. The universe is made up of knowledge; some we know, much we still do not. The source of that knowledge is a great mind. We conscious creatures are products of the universe, products of that knowledge, products of that great mind. As conscious creatures we have an in-built programme to seek out the source of the knowledge that creates us, to seek out that great mind, to seek out our Maker.

    Most of us do not experience the spiritual presence of the Creator within us, even for a fleeting moment, This can include those selfless individuals who sacrifice their lives to comfort the destitute and who, for their heroic efforts, are sneered at by the bloated elite on the pampered fringes of humanity.

    Of one thing I am certain, though. God may not have shown his interior presence to St. Theresa of Calcutta, but he most surely would have done to the many whom she and her Sisters comforted in their dying moments. Although few of us have a spiritual experience of our Creator, we all as conscious beings have the desire to seek him out and we all respond in different ways.

    It is the in-built desire to seek out our Maker which is the indelible sign of the Creator within us. Even atheists who seek out alternatives to God, are driven by that same desire to uncover the ultimate source of their existence. I think the answer of contemporary Catholicism would be that God did not invent Hinduism, nor is Hinduism a "false religion.

    From ancient times down to the present, there is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human history; at times some indeed have come to the recognition of a Supreme Being, or even of a Father. This perception and recognition penetrates their lives with a profound religious sense. Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry.

    They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust. Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination.

    Likewise, other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing "ways," comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.

    I Remember: Did Mother Teresa Talk About Death?

    Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ "the way, the truth, and the life" John , in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself. That is, although the Catholic Church believes itself to have the "fullness of truth" revealed by God, other religions have found some truths and are not "false" but rather incomplete.