The world’s most powerful humanist
Posted: 22 February 2014 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I think it must be Pope Francis. (I am not and have never been a Catholic.)  But Francis has been raging against income inequality. Also, he just appointed a bunch of non-European Cardinals (many who seem to be inclined towards actually helping the weaker members of society). 

I think it would be interesting to have him post on this forum.  Of course he would never do so, as he would get burned by our predominately anti-religious posters.

Anyway, am I wrong? Is there another single individual humanist in the world today who could have more of an impact than Pope Francis?  Or do you even accept my contention that Francis is a humanist?

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Posted: 22 February 2014 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yes, I heard that even his chauffeur is a humanist, as is his chef, his gardener, his butler, and even the guy who holds the towel to catch his semen when he masturbates so that it doesn’t hit the ground. Not sure about the guy who polishes his golden rings… grin

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Posted: 22 February 2014 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I was hoping for serious responses, and I get a nihilist trying to be funny.  Great.

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“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

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Posted: 22 February 2014 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Don’t worry Tim, that’s just George doing his PWI thing again.

I’ve read about pope Frankie’s latest appointments. They’re all old men, but at least they’re not all Europeans. While hamstrung by the Catholic Church’s structure, Frankie does seem to be trying to drag the organization into the 20th Century. Maybe his successor can bring them into the 21st Century.

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Posted: 23 February 2014 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I may not be much of a businessman but were I the CEO of a corporation like the Catholic Church I would probably also appoint as many non-European COOs as possible, since that industry in Europe is dying out. Yes, I would do that even as a racist and a non-humnanist.

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Posted: 23 February 2014 04:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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And I would also make sure they are all men. Not because I am a sexist, but because that would be the right business thing to do. Feminism is nowhere as wildly spread in the third-world countries as it is in the Western society, and female bosses wouldn’t simply be as effective.

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Posted: 23 February 2014 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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So, George, I glean from your serious remarks that you view the Pope’s “business” as maintaining or expanding the base of Catholicism and perhaps not promoting basic Jesus-like tenets of love your neighbor, help the poor and vulnerable in society, calling out corruption, etc., except as a means to the “bottom line” of keeping Catholicism viable. 

I have no idea whether this is correct, but even if it is, I view the tactics of Francis as promising.

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“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

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Posted: 23 February 2014 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I guess the Church does help the poor along the way, but their primary focus has always been money and power. The Pope would have to do a lot more to convince me he is serious about following Jesus’s teaching. Not that I really care all that much.

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Posted: 23 February 2014 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Yes Tim, there is no doubt that the pope has the potential to advance the most humanist values that one person alone could advance.
In that respect he is potentially the most powerful humanist on the planet.
Who’s the next most “powerful”? The Dahli Lahma?  One of these New Age book peddlers? Obama? No! Not even close.

I think it definitely remains to be seen whether he will advance the most far reaching, effective, and profound humanist “directives”.
It’s possible.  We wouldn’t have had this conversation about any other preceding pope.  This one COULD be different.

It’s tough.  He certainly isn’t going to break any “rules” regarding catholic doctrines.
But, but there are plenty of catholic(christian) doctrines that could be emphasized and dictated down the chain of command that could amount
to the implementation of the most powerful humanist drive.

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Posted: 23 February 2014 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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For all of our wishful thinking, those of us on the left want the Pope to be a reform minded humanist bent on bringing social equality to all and acceptance of free thought and expanding sexual mores, but it ain’t going to happen. For all his humanist pronouncements he is still the leader of the strongest xtian church in the World and takes his orders directly from his God. That means the religious dogma that has been the mainstay philosophy of the Church for over a thousand years and that is something he has pledged to protect. Few seem to remember that he was worked his way up from priest to Cardinal within the system and you don’t get there by divine intervention, really. Yes he has accomplished some progressive reform and refocused Catholicism on the poor and destitute but he still recites a catechism and reaffirms his faith in the very ideals that put him there in the first place. I think this author put it best , at least for me:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100250271/time-magazines-man-of-the-year-is-pope-francis-alas-its-not-the-real-pope-francis/


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Posted: 23 February 2014 10:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I appreciate all of your replies, thoughts, and links.  I may very well be too naively hopeful.  It wouldn’t be the first time. 

But one other thing about Francis that is unique among Popes is that he is a Jesuit.  My understanding is that their general guiding principle is striving to be like Jesus.  It would be refreshing to me to see a Pope who clearly promotes the same sort of progressive social priorities that are attributed to Jesus historically. And so far, Francis seems to be going down that path, at least more so than any previous Pope that I have been aware of.

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“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

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Posted: 24 February 2014 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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TimB - 23 February 2014 10:34 PM

I appreciate all of your replies, thoughts, and links.  I may very well be too naively hopeful.  It wouldn’t be the first time. 

But one other thing about Francis that is unique among Popes is that he is a Jesuit.  My understanding is that their general guiding principle is striving to be like Jesus.  It would be refreshing to me to see a Pope who clearly promotes the same sort of progressive social priorities that are attributed to Jesus historically. And so far, Francis seems to be going down that path, at least more so than any previous Pope that I have been aware of.

Yes, he’s talking a good game.  Let’s see if he actually plays it.

Lois

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Posted: 24 February 2014 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I’m not as sanguine as most of you.  All religions (sorry for the reference, PlaiClair) over the years have either changed to match the changes in their societies or they died.  I believe (sorry, Lois) talk of humanism is very popular now (not necessarily people actually behaving humanistically).  I think the pope sees that shift and has decided to incorporate those words into his church to assure it’s attractiveness to the maximum number of people.

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Posted: 24 February 2014 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Bw careful not to conflate Catholic humanism and our Humanism.  Catholic humanism extends only as far as it does not contradict Catholic theology and “morality.” It has been used to support antii-abortion laws, contraceptive use, anti-divorce laws, certain wars, and many other ideas we would not consider humanistic. Remember that Catholics never put humans above their ideas of what they think their god wants. Blindly supporting Catholic humanism without knowing exactly what Catholics mean by it is treading on quicksand.

Lois

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