Thursday, March 19, 2009

Is the Pope obviously wrong on condoms?

My comments on a post.

It is hard to calculate the consequences of condoms because human behavior is complex. If you only look at the issue through an abstract level then I can see how the Pope's statements can seem like "obvious nonsense". A barrier of latex between someone and infected body fluid is going lower the risk of getting HIV. But if you look at all the complex variables, then it's not so clear if passing out thousands of condoms really lowers HIV in the long term. Condoms being readily available is going to have an element of risk compensation. People are going to act more risky because they feel more safe while using condoms. Does the protective benefit of condoms offset the risky behavior? I really don't know and there is no scientific data provided on this blog that would make this question "obvious".

The other variable that I think the Pope was trying to get at and which the author of this post was trying to separate from the popes comments is the question of whether people are actually going to consistently use condoms. This is the real issue.

The truth is that asking people to use condoms every time they have sex is like asking a fat person to have salad for every meal. It just not going to happen. Sure people will do it a couple times but in the long run using condoms get old. Using condoms is just not that fulfilling. So to sum up, condoms increase risky behavior but over the long term the average person is not going to use condoms consistently. This leads me to believe that what the Pope is saying has a lot of truth to it. And it's not because the Pope says that condoms are wrong, but because using condoms suck.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

[ This leads me to believe that what the Pope is saying has a lot of truth to it. ]

who do u think you are to ''believe'' how much truth is in the pope's speech?

do you think u are in the position to JUDGE n quantify how much truth the pope has??

the pope is infallible, n god does not ask you to think, rationalize or reason with your finite human brain

so stop dishing your your i-know-better-judgements on what the pope says, you are not in any position/authority to do so.

Cure of Ars said...

"who do u think you are to ''believe'' how much truth is in the pope's speech?"

I am a human who has beliefs just like you.

"do you think u are in the position to JUDGE n quantify how much truth the pope has??"

No I'm not in that position but I do believe that the Pope along with magisterium of the Catholic Church has been given the job to protect and preach the deposit of faith.

"the pope is infallible, n god does not ask you to think, rationalize or reason with your finite human brain"

I agree that the Pope is infallible when he defines a doctrine in regards to faith and morals. But how do you know that God did not ask me to think, rationalize or reason with my finite human mind? What is the point of having a brain if we are not to use it?

"so stop dishing your your i-know-better-judgements on what the pope says, you are not in any position/authority to do so."

I apologize if my comments caused scandle. I agree I am not in a position of authority. My audience really wasn't Catholics and to just say it's true because the Pope says is just not going to cut it. I also agree that my thoughts are often too secular. Please pray for me.

bill bannon said...

It's the salad part of your post that outrages me. How can people be allowed to skip salad with all we infallibly know about veggies now.
I'm enraged....I think I'll go to Arthur's Tavern for a veggie burger to de-stress... it is Friday in Lent....sure...sure...you were just about to bite into duck confit at the Cafe Panique.

Anonymous said...

1. I am a human who has beliefs just like you.

this statement basically says you can choose to "switch on" papal infallibility when u like it, n "switch off" papal infallibility when you don't like it, so why don't you stop shifting around in politically correct positions n state that you can choose to believe/reject what the pope says as n when u like it, why be a coward n concede that the pope is infallible n at the same time u secretly exercise autonomy when nobody is rude enough(like me) to point out your contradictory position.


2. No I'm not in that position but I do believe that the Pope along with magisterium of the Catholic Church has been given the job to protect and preach the deposit of faith.

you BELIEVE that the Pope along with magisterium of the Catholic Church has been given the job to protect and preach the deposit of faith, but you also subconsciously/secretly believe that somehow you have better knowledge of the theological aspects to pass a judgement on the positions the pope/the magisterium take. you are contradicting yourself, you think you are not in the position to judge, but at the same time you think u can "debug" what they preach on the sideline(in your blog), which is what you are doing.


3. I agree that the Pope is infallible when he defines a doctrine in regards to faith and morals. But how do you know that God did not ask me to think, rationalize or reason with my finite human mind? What is the point of having a brain if we are not to use it?

what is the point of having a nuclear bomb if u do no use it? accoring to to u we should use nuclear bombs frequently so as not to "waste" them by having them lying around doing nothing.

ergo, your argument is zilch.

now, how do you know god encourages you to think, rationalize or reason?, please state any scripture teachings that encourages you to think, rationalize or reason.


4. I apologize if my comments caused scandle. I agree I am not in a position of authority. My audience really wasn't Catholics and to just say it's true because the Pope says is just not going to cut it. I also agree that my thoughts are often too secular. Please pray for me.


u agree with papal infallibility on matters concerning faith in your third statement (3), now in your fourth statement u contradict youself immediately by saying: "just say it's true because the Pope says is just not going to cut it", so u agree with papal infallibility and disagree with it when it becomes inconvinent to you, condoms concerns abstinance, absitnance is derived from divine inspired morality, u cannot separate condoms from faith, u have no way out, therefore praying or not praying for you is no longer relevant.

Cure of Ars said...

"this statement basically says you can choose to "switch on" papal infallibility when u like it"

You must think you can infallibly interpret my words because you are making me say things that I didn't say. You should try to give people the benefit of the doubt when interpreting someone's words.

"but you also subconsciously/secretly believe that somehow you have better knowledge of the theological aspects to pass a judgement on the positions the pope/the magisterium take"

So you can read my heart to get to my subconscious or secret beliefs? Only God can read hearts so you should give it up.

"what is the point of having a nuclear bomb if u do no use it?"

Since when did God give us a nuclear bomb?

"now, how do you know god encourages you to think, rationalize or reason?"

If you are not supposed to think and rationalize then why are you using reason and thinking to argue with me?

"please state any scripture teachings that encourages you to think, rationalize or reason."


"Happy the man who meditates on wisdom and reasons intelligently, who reflects in his heart on her ways and ponders her secrets. He pursues her like a hunter and lies in wait on her paths. He peers through her windows and listens at her doors. He camps near her house and fastens his tent-peg to her walls; he pitches his tent near her and so finds an excellent resting-place; he places his children under her protection and lodges under her boughs; by her he is sheltered from the heat and he dwells in the shade of her glory" (Sir 14:20-27).


"u agree with papal infallibility on matters concerning faith in your third statement (3), now in your fourth statement u contradict youself immediately by saying: "just say it's true because the Pope says is just not going to cut it", so u agree with papal infallibility and disagree with it when it becomes inconvinent to you, condoms concerns abstinance, absitnance is derived from divine inspired morality, u cannot separate condoms from faith, u have no way out, therefore praying or not praying for you is no longer relevant."

The question of whether condoms lower the rate of HIV is a scientific questions not a moral question. The Pope is not infallible in regards to science. Even if condoms were shown by science to lower HIV, condoms would still not be moral. But these are really two different questions. One scientific, where the Pope can be wrong and the other moral which was defined in Humane vita. Anyway may the peace of Christ be with you.

Anonymous said...

now as u accuse me of twisting words, i would also wish to warn you not to try shift any goal posts.

the pope is not a stupid person, either he can make a point on condoms from a moral standpoint OR from a scientific-statistical standpoint.

now, on BBC report 10 Jun 2005 ... Africa's Aids battle should be fought with abstinence not condoms, says the Pope in his first comments on the issue.

the pope being a man of some intellect would not be as stupid as to make a point on condoms from a scientific-statistical standpoint, becos he has no authority, n nobody gives a hoot, n the scientist will laugh their heads off, why should the pope do what the scientist can do better - in calculating statistics.

obviously the pope used the word ABSTINENCE, which is pretty smart, becos thats where he has authority.

come on, can we move from kindergarden level to something of more substance? no pope would ever abandon a position of strength n try to become a scientist.

therefore when the pope talks abt condoms, abt abstinence, it is always from a moral standpoint.

have u ever see an engineer talk about cars from the view point of a duck??

now don't laugh, cos u r not off the hook yet.

the day the pope can talk abt condoms without talking abt abstinence, can talk abt abstinence without talking abt divine inspired morality, i will concede my point

the pope is be bothered abt banning cars, tables or chairs becos it does not concern morals.

as of now condoms are a moral thing for the pope, if not, he would not give a damn abt it, he does becos it precisely is abt morals.

Anonymous said...

i do not need to be able to read hearts/minds to observe something so obvious, that you are adopting a ambiguous(which is politically safe) position.

why don't u pluck up some courage and make a stand, ok when the pope is exercising papal infallibility on an issue, do u:

option 1 - ACCEPT it without question OR

option 2 - exercise autonomous thinking n choose to accept or reject what the pope says as n when u feel like it.

it is apparent u can only take ONE of either position.

u dare not or cannot take one?

Anonymous said...

i think u missed the whole point abt nuclear bombs, god did not "give" humans a nuclear bomb, but god gave free will to make one, n allowed us to make one n gave free will for us to use use it.

ergo, god ALLOWED it to be made, which is as good as giving it to us, even if u argue abt it, god gave it to us-indirectly.

then again the consequence to this squabble is not relevant on the brain part since u have no answer to that.

Anonymous said...

" If you are not supposed to think and rationalize then why are you using reason and thinking to argue with me? "

now on this point u are assuming too much, u assume the same rules applies to u as it applies to me,

i am not a catholic and i am challenging your point of that a catholic is encourage to think and rationalize by god.

i am not affected by the inconsistencies of your position since we do not share the same beliefs.