Jan 13, 2009

Back to the Middle Ages

(Just to preface: although undoubtedly worthy of it, I did not learn of this story from Coast to Coast AM. Perhaps it will be featured there soon.)

In what can be termed a 'little Inquisition' for the 21s century - and an eloquent demonstration of why religion is the imaginary philosophy - the Pope orders bishops to root out false claims of visions.
In some cases exorcists will be used to determine if a credible apparition is of divine origin or whether it is demonic.

The guidelines will come in a "vademecum", or handbook, which is in its final stages and will be published soon by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

When a claim of heavenly apparitions occurs, the local bishop will need to set up a commission of psychiatrists, psychologists, theologians and priests who will investigate the claims systematically.

[Why go to all that bother when James Randi can do it?]

The first step will be to impose silence on the alleged visionaries and if they refuse to obey then this will be taken as a sign that their claims are false.

[What if the alleged visionary is actually Christ in his second coming - do they expect him to be silent as they say? If not, his claim is false? That would be an embarrassing situation, to say the least.]

The visionaries will next be visited by psychiatrists, either atheists or Catholics, to certify their mental health and to verify whether they are suffering from conditions of a hysterical or hallucinatory character or from delusions of leadership.

The third step will be to investigate the person's level of education and to determine if they have had access to material that could be used to falsely support their claims.

The new document will also instruct the bishops to see if the visionaries and their associates stand to gain financially from making their claims.

The content of any heavenly messages will also be scrutinised to see if it is harmony [sic] with the teachings of the Church.

None of their methods for determining the truth or falseness of a vision has the slightest thing to do with anything objective in reality (other than the subject's mental health, but they would do well to question their own for engaging in such investigations in the first place), regardless of how "systematically" they follow their procedures, but has everything to do with someone's mere say-so, from "Wizard Joe" (a.k.a. Pope Benedict XVI) to bishops, to psychologists, to theologians, to demonologists, and finally to the words of ancient, ignorant peasants that comprise the scriptures that this pathetic charade is based on.

It would be amusing to watch Wizard Joe's mystical experts in their futile labor to distinguish "true" from "false" visions; claims which by their nature are neither true nor false, for they are arbitrary and unrelated to reality. Actually, their new Inquisition's arbitrarily made-up methods will likely give them, the authorities, the power trip of arbitrarily deciding what are "true" and "false" visions.

So goes the story of religion.

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