Be careful Pontiff
You know...the Bible is, well, a bit "fake news" really, isn't it?
Take it easy with those hard-hitting exclusives and investigations, said the Pope this week, lumping inconvenient quality journalism with fake news and clickbait. We can't think why the head of a church mired in decades of globe-spanning child abuse scandals would have a problem with hacks doing their job and getting straight …
"You know...the Bible is, well, a bit "fake news" really, isn't it?"
Indeed this bit seems to confirm that that's The Pope's view too:
God's mortal deputy went on to reference Genesis 4:4-16 and 11:1-9, the stories of Cain and Abel and Tower of Babel, as examples for the harm caused by playing it fast and loose with reality.
The pontiff declared scribes should set aside the chase for breaking news in favor of making sure they get things right and tell the actual story.
There is a reason "The Economist" is so highly regarded as a reliable source, even amongst some who don't share its laissez-faire economic/political editorial line, and it is at least partly due to the fact that it almost never "breaks" a story. You read The Economist because you want thorough fact-checking and analysis, not because you're desperate to beat Twitter in the wild speculation and scandalous spin stakes.
I haven't bought a daily paper for over a decade and the only thing likely to tempt me back would be a publication that openly stated it usually aimed to cover stories 72 hours to a week after the likes of the Daily Blackshirt because accuracy means everything and "scoops" mean nothing.
...You read The Economist because you want thorough fact-checking and analysis,...
Ah. So Brexit plunged the UK straight into recession in 2017, and Climate Change is settled science and mustn't be questioned?
I think you'll find that The Economist has its own prejudices and follows the crowd like the vast mass of the mainstream media..
"and Climate Change is settled science"
That the world is rapidly warming largely due to human activities - primarily the emission of CO2 - hasn't been in any credible scientific doubt whatsoever for at least a decade now If that counts as settled?
"Ah. So Brexit plunged the UK straight into recession in 2017, and Climate Change is settled science and mustn't be questioned?"
Climate change is settled science. What it isn't settled in is in the minds of non-scientists.
This is a technology site, right? We don't see people down the pub have their own opinions about processor architecture, they just assume that the experts are right about that stuff.
"Steve, I've been thinking. I don't see how Intel and AMD are going to get past the uncertainty principle, they cannot just keep shrinking the gap between transistors. Eventually the error rate is going to be too high."
"Yeah, Phil, I know. I reckon they should just build 3D chips. That allows closer spacing of transistors without their linear distance going down."
"Come on, Steve. How are you going to dissipate heat from the centre of the chip?"
"Good point, Phil, I never thought about that. I guess that's why I'm not a hardware designer, and just work in an office dealing with stationary orders."
That's the same as climate science. You have literally no right to an opinion on climate science, in the following sense: climate science is decided in journals, not in the Daily Mail. Your thoughts will not get published, I am going to guess, so you don't get an opinion.
Where you do get an opinion is in electing your government, and some of them seem as intransigent as you.
It's a bit too much to listen to him go on about the evils that "fake news" causes.
Perhaps he is forgetting the Millions over the past near 1500 years that the organization he heads caused to be killed, tortured, abused based on their interpretation of concepts that cannot be proven or disproven.
It's not like the Russian trolls are literally burning people at the stake or literally torturing them.
Pretty sure Russian internet trolls have not yet been proven to be part of a vast cover up for child abuse.
One could also add that various things his organization pushes still cause ongoing harm and distress to many, in excess of what "fake news" could ever be.
When you have actual skeletons in the closet..... Huge amounts of them.....
"It's not like the Russian trolls are literally burning people at the stake or literally torturing them."
You forget that Putin is in an alliance with the conservative elements of the Russian Orthodox Church. Gay people are persecuted and physically abused with the tacit encouragement of that alliance.
"Their continued opposition to contraception".
The Pope is actually not against condoms but there is opposition because he is considered too "modern", even in Britain, to my surprise. This is not exactly my field and I find it funny that the only person a Catholic priest is not allowed to fuck is his wife. He is taking baby steps but the road ahead is long.
Umm... the Salem witch trials were an all-Protestant affair, thankyousomuch.
The Crusades were a European war - specifically a land grab - in the Middle East. We've managed to keep making those to this day, without the blessing of any recent popes that I'm aware of. Religion was used as political cover, but it wasn't the underlying motivation, any more than "spreading democracy" was the motivation for invading Iraq.
The Spanish Inquisition was a secret police force used to enforce national conformity in Spain after the Reconquista, when there was a moral panic about Jews outwardly converting to Catholicism, but secretly continuing to be Jewish. This mattered because Jews would tend to favour the ousted Muslim rulers (who had allowed them a lot of freedom) over the conquering Christian kings (who allowed them virtually none). In other words: it was about political loyalty.
"Initially, they were about stopping the Turks taking Anatolia and threatening Byzantium."
It was the Fourth Crusade in 1204 that sacked Christian Byzantium.
The People's Crusade in 1096 was responsible for mass murders of Jews in the Rhineland.
The Albigensian Crusade of 1209–1229 slaughtered the Christian Cathar "heretics" of the Languedoc region of France.
Land grab...? after the collapse of the Roman Empire c 600 more or less), Western Europe was pretty depopulated, as shown by birth/Baptismal records. Some 500-odd years later population rebounded caused by several factors. By the time Charlemagne came up, there was sufficient population pressure to allow expansion of population into new or previously abandoned areas. In the near eastern areas the Avars and (Southern) Saxons were slaughtered; meanwhile the Cathusians (bear with me, I'm doing this from memory) expanded into the German forests and the Estonians, etc expanded into the northern Baltic areas. While Islam and Europe coexisted in Spain for the time being, the reconquest and expansion of Spain continued until 1492 One can guess at the fate of the disorganized pagan tribes of the conquered areas. In summary both Islam and Europe expanded and added land/population until they collided.
" In other words: it was about political loyalty."
Which is the main aim for any organised religion. It is social control of a society by a ruling elite. The religious dogma proscriptions are enforced by indoctrination, coercion, and usually transcribed into civil law of a state.
I couldn't care less if it was a priest, a politician or a tv presenter, anyone who messes with kids is going to get my hate.
Don't think religion has the exclusive rights to hate for messing with kids but when the head of the catholic church who some members have been proven on many many occasions to be pedos starts spouting bullshit about getting facts straight then there is going to be a lot of hate directed at them and what they stand for.
"Anti-religion: the only socially approved hate?"
You don't want to be hated? Don't be religious then. You do actually have a choice, unlike myself, who does not get a choice as to whether bishops get to sit in the House of Lords. Their qualification to decide on my laws? Believing in something stupid that the small minority of people think is true.
Here is the obvious proof that all major religions are bullshit. The world's major religions are pretty well known now. If any of them had any substance, why are they geographically concentrated and not spread out? If Hinduism (say) is the One True Faith, then non-Hindus should be seeing this and converting. All the Hindus shouldn't be in one place, miraculously just because their parents were Hindu.
In history, some trades were handed down through parental lineage. But nobody said that being a cooper was the One True Profession, and those thatchers and wheelwrights were jobless heathens. Religion is an inherited trait, part of an organism's extended phenotype, to use Dawkins's terminology.
So, where are the quotes from the pope that support the hysterical, clickbait headline of this article? Where does he draw a connection, or even a parallel, between hard-hitting investigative journalism and "fake news"?
Or were you just desperate for a headline that would get people to click?
What he does say:
Nor can we ever stop seeking the truth, because falsehood can always creep in, even when we state things that are true. An impeccable argument can indeed rest on undeniable facts, but if it is used to hurt another and to discredit that person in the eyes of others, however correct it may appear, it is not truthful.
Example: "As POTUS, Donald Trump directs the employment of thousands of people whose job is to promote his agenda; his political allies employ many more, across multiple organisations. Trump has previously called the Pope's comments "disgraceful". Now here is Shaun Nichols, ostensibly employed by The Register, posting smears on the Pope's character and thoughts."
Every statement in the foregoing paragraph is well documented truth. Does that make the paragraph, taken as a whole, "true"? Are you, in fact, working for Trump?
"An impeccable argument can indeed rest on undeniable facts, but if it is used to hurt another and to discredit that person in the eyes of others, however correct it may appear, it is not truthful."
In order words - don't rock the boat - turn a blind eye. While possibly taken out of context - that wording suggests a line of thinking that accounts for many of the Catholic Church's actions in covering up scandals.
The biblical commandment is "Thou shalt not bear false witness". Otherwise you generally are expected to "tell the truth, and nothing but the whole truth" by swearing on the Bible.
Do you have a problem with an article mocking the head of the catholic church asking for journalists to slow down and get their facts straight when there isn't any instance of kiddy fiddling priests where the facts were wrong?
Gone are the days of religion when they could get away with murder.
Lots of ignorant comments here and the article itself is not far behind.
I'm not a religious person and I never read the Bible but the current Pope is quite decent. Some (most even) his opinions, essays and talks he gives are very smart and often don't even contain any religious preaching. Interesting, enjoyable, easy to listen and the issues he speaks about are relevant with to modern times. If only people took off their a**hats for few minutes and listened and perceived him as an inteligent man instead of someone who, in theory, is stuck few hundred years back.
The Pope's problem is that he does not have the absolute power over the Vatican that people expect. Every time he makes a liberal sounding statement - there is almost inevitably an official "clarification" issued by the Vatican to re-emphasise their doctrinal dogma line. That makes the Pope sound as if he is a hypocrite.
A pity - it had been hoped that he would be able to do more. The best he can hope for is to load the next College of Cardinals with liberal thinkers. The conservative elements in the Vatican will be intent on correcting what they probably see as the mistake of the last Conclave - when they probably thought they were choosing a compromise "safe" candidate.
It looks last Conclave was a fight between two factions, with the very conservative one defeated, but not easily. Still, they are a powerful block, especially in Rome.
To start, the Catholic Church should make the Conclave transparent. That secrecy is not Christian at all. It looks more borrowed from how Praetorians selected the next Emperor after killing the previous one.
But all religion, regardless of the good intents they may be based upon, as soon as become organized and powerful, fear and combat transparency to maintain and gain power.
The Vatican is truly worried investigative journalism can put its nose in secrets long kept (it's happening), and if many of them are brought under light, there would a lot of painful explanations to be given why a Christian organization didn't act as Christian at all, but more mafia-like.
And today, trying to extinguish news once released is quite difficult, it not impossible. Once very few publishers, if any, would have dared to challenge Vatican and its power political allies.
"Nuns responsible for generations of abuse."
Several women friends over the years had been taught by nuns. There is a recurring pattern of a young inspirational teacher being an exception in an oppressive regime of petty rules and harsh discipline.
An Italian acquaintance in Edinburgh in the 1970s took his Scottish born sons out of their Catholic School on account of the sheer brutality meted out by "the Brothers".
The Pope as an individual is indeed "quite decent". That doesn't preclude holding adverse opinions on the system of belief which he represents.
Brutality was a watchword at the school I attended. Beatings were administered with straps, canes, shoes and a cricket bat. I kid you not. No one can accuse the Catholic monks of ignoring Proverbs 13:24.
My first wife was educated by nuns. She got good 'A' level results but was told that she would only be given a reference if she applied to a Catholic teachers' training college. University was out. I could give other examples of how they limited girls' potential from direct experience but it would get tedious.
Yet, most of them looks to be awfully ignorant about the Gospels... probably they never read the Bible that far... and even if they do, they think whatever Jesus said was some kind of cryptic prediction about the future catholic church only they have the interpretation key - as if Jesus was some kind of Nostradamus talking to a theological elite, and not someone simply speaking to simple people.
Of course the words like "“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea." don't sound well in the hears of pedophiles priests... they have to give that a far different arcane meaning, or there would be a shortage of millstones...
I've skimmed through his declaration and actually it doesn't seem to be aimed at investigatory journalism, but rather political propaganda and sensationalist news that are not based in reality. And, come on, let's be real about this, there does exist a problem with the spread of news articles not based on any type of reality, mostly for propaganda purpouses and sensationalist clickbaiting (japan's cannibal restaurant, anyone?).
I'm not saying ol' Frankie might not have a hidden agenda that he or his leaders promote, but this is the guy that said gay marriage is ok and told capitalists to calm the f*ck down. He's not exactly pushing for change, but at least he's not like that OTHER guy; Emperor Palpatine or whatever his name was. Let's keep a level headed attitude on this instead of jumping on the mainstream train.
Yeah, his point is totally null and void because you don't like the Catholic Churches history. Really? Tell me why his point isn't valid on those "hard-hitting exclusives and investigations" when so many of them have been shown to be either totally false or misrepresentations after more facts were uncovered - facts that could have been found by the publishers of those "hard-hitting exclusives" if they would have bothered to do proper fact checking and diligence before rushing to publication? And the author of this drivel ignores the issue of people accepting the initial news report at face value - and either ignoring or not even seeing the subsequent retractions or updates.
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