Freedom of Conscience


Q. Aren’t we free to follow our conscience even if we disagree with the teachings of the Catholic Church?

A. No. The true voice of our conscience is the law of God written on our hearts. If the “voice” of our conscience seems to be conflicting with Church teaching then it is NOT the actual voice of our conscience but the voice of Our Enemy enticing us away from the Truth. Unless your heart is completely hardened you will hear a still soft voice saying to your heart, “This is the Way, walk in it.” You will actually know which voice is True, if you sincerely try to discern the truth. But, you may not want to follow it, and so try to convince your self that the Other Voice is true, the voice of our culture is true, etc. “If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart.”

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8 Responses

  1. This is a great explanation! Thanks for your insight.

  2. QAnd just what gives the church, any church, such exclusivity on the truth? This is non-sense.

  3. tga-
    Well, I guess the fact that Jesus founded our Church and He is God the Son. But if you don’t believe that then of course you would not accept the authority of the Catholic Church.

  4. It’s a falacious circular argument. You believe in the Church because you believe jesus is god, and you believe jesus is god because of the teachings of the church.

    And all this is based on various pieces of fiction written by primitive men and cobbled together, adapted, tranformed, and translated by other men.

    You’re entire faith is based on a myth, but I guess hat’s why it’s called a faith.

  5. Actually no. If I had nothing but the circular sort of reasoning that you describe I would be an athiest as well. The beauty and order of the universe speaks of a Creator. If I find a tree branch on the ground I know it fell off of a tree. If I find a wooden carved horse on the ground under a tree I know it DID NOT fall off of the tree. I KNOW it has a creator. I have read extensively on the arguments for and against evolution de novo. I became an athiest in college in deference to the Theory of Evolution. The arguments for evolution are no longer convincing. I could cite a few things but I admit I am not a scientist. But before going any further let me ask you a question. Would you follow the Truth no matter where it led?

  6. “If I had nothing but the circular sort of reasoning that you describe I would be an athiest as well.”

    You are dead wrong there. Reason and logic that leads to atheism is not a circular argument, it is purely based on evidence, or lack thereof. Whereas faith is based on blind belief, brainwashing, and suppressing science and free thinking while glorifying belief in what cannot be demonstrated. In fact, I find it incredible that after reading the bible, and researching the origins of the bible and the stories it contains (most of which are based on very ancient Egyptian texts, and are found in most of the main religions, not just Christianity) that people still view it as a sacred text. Do you believe in Noah’s flood? Then you must reject pretty much the entirety of scientific knowledge and instead believe in an old story written by primitive humans and for which there is no evidence.

    So you are saying that because of the magnificence of the universe, there must be a god? I don’t buy that argument at all. While it is true that the universe, the Earth, and life are magnificent, they most definitely don’t show much intelligence, and they were certainly not created for us. The universe is mind-bogglingly huge, beyond human comprehension, and a very deadly place; how could it have been created for us? The earth is equally unfriendly and dangerous to human beings. The human body itself is full of deficiencies and of old useless parts left over from previous species (the spleen being the best example of that). If god created the earth, why did he create deadly insects and diseases? Why did he create 80,000 species of beetles? Was it a hobby of his? Why did life only appear after billions of years? Was god on vacation? No, only evolution over billions of years can explain such diversity, and genetics show the common link that joins all life forms on earth to the first primordial cells.

    You say that the arguments of evolution are no longer convincing, and then you admit to not being a scientist. I can tell you that evolution is well beyond controversy (other than in religious circles), so you should go study it before you deny it. It is in fact one of the most well supported, tested, documented theory in all of science. There are two kinds of people who do not believe in evolution: those who don’t understand it, and those who are blinded by their faith or else have been brainwashed by creationists who spread fallacies about evolution. But I guess people of faith must be smarter than the 99% of biologists, biochemists, palaeontologists, geneticists, geologists, and scientists from several other branches of science whose studies and experiments all support evolution and demonstrate how beautiful, elegant, and powerful it is. Yes there are still a few nooks and crannies that we don’t fully understand (same goes for the theory of gravity by the way, do you dispute that one too?), but that in no way invalidates evolution. And that’s what science is about: discovering how those last little bits work. We have the geological record, we have millions of fossils, we have modern biology, we have genetics showing how all life forms are related, we have actual observations of living species that evolved differently because of their physical isolation, and we have modern species that evolve under our eyes (rats and viruses are perfect examples of natural selection at work).

    Even the Vatican has admitted that the biblical account of the creation is a metaphor and is not to be taken literally.
    I was born and raised a Roman Catholic (and I thought it was the only religion in the world). By the time I was a young teenager, it became very clear to me that all those rituals were meaningless, and that the entire edifice of the church, it’s sacred texts, its laws, its rituals, its confessional, its childish threat and reward system, and the authority of the clergy, were all carefully orchestrated for the church to gain and maintain power over people, and collect their money. It is carefully designed to make it very hard for people to think about anything that might go against the dogma. Very clever indeed, but holy? Not in a million years. I actually now think that the Catholic Church is one of the most repugnant out there. Exploiting people throughout human history, silencing scientists, killing millions of humans, supporting slavery, coercing money from the poor so they themselves can live in their palaces, and telling Africans not to use condoms instead of teaching them about AIDS and safe sex. That last one borders on genocide is responsible for at least several hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths every year. But then that’s hardly surprising, since the bible is full of such atrocities.

    It is ironic that so many people still do not trust science in this world. A world where pretty much everything we do is affected by science. Cars, cells phones, computers, airplanes, modern medicine, all would be impossible without science. Much of modern medicine would not be possible without the findings of evolution biology. Yet people disrespect and distrusts scientists as if they were all the mad scientists portrayed by Hollywood. That’s what you get when an entire nation is virtually scientifically illiterate because of religious and social stigmas attached to the study of science. It is too bad because, as Carl Sagan so eloquently demonstrated time and time again, the universe, and the science that enables us to understand it, are magnificent things that should be celebrated and communicated to everyone.

    The power of religion, its dogma, and its system of threat and reward are powerful indeed. Powerful enough to cause billions of people to reject science, physical evidence, and critical thinking in favour of superstitions and ancient stories created by Kings trying to preserve their power.

  7. bfhu “If I had nothing but the circular sort of reasoning that you describe I would be an athiest as well.”

    tga- You are dead wrong there. Reason and logic that leads to atheism is not a circular argument,

    I think you misunderstood me. I meant that I would not be a Christian if all I had was the shallow circular reasoning that you describe.

    faith is based on blind belief, brainwashing, and suppressing science and free thinking while glorifying belief in what cannot be demonstrated.

    I am sorry if that was your experience. It has not been mine.

    Do you believe in Noah’s flood?

    Well, yes. Most if not all primitive civilizations have some sort of flood story. That is historical evidence that, despite the differences and distortions they could all be based on some sort of real flood event.

    Then you must reject pretty much the entirety of scientific knowledge and instead believe in an old story written by primitive humans and for which there is no evidence.

    No, I love science but it has its limitations. It cannot scientifically prove Evolution and neither can it falsify a Creator. This is outside the scope of science since creation/evolution is not testable/repeatable. Evolution is based on historical evidence and can never be proven using the scientific method.

    So you are saying that because of the magnificence of the universe, there must be a god? I don’t buy that argument at all. While it is true that the universe, the Earth, and life are magnificent, they most definitely don’t show much intelligence

    ,
    The intelligence I am talking about is the evidence that an intelligent being organized the universe & all that is in it. The workings of a “simple” cell is so complex that the probability that it just happened without an intelligent creator is nil. Let alone an eye or the structure of the avian lung and feathers. Did you know that billions of years ago the sun would have been touching the earth?

    and they were certainly not created for us. The universe is mind-bogglingly huge, beyond human comprehension, and a very deadly place; how could it have been created for us?

    Well of course we believe that the deadlieness is a result of the Fall of Man. But originally it was all good. Even all 80,000 scecies of beetles and insects.

    genetics show the common link that joins all life forms on earth to the first primordial cells.

    Actually, genetics and DNA show NO sign of Evolution from one species into another.

    You say that the arguments of evolution are no longer convincing, and then you admit to not being a scientist. I can tell you that evolution is well beyond controversy (other than in religious circles), so you should go study it before you deny it. It is in fact one of the most well supported, tested, documented theory in all of science.

    But it is only a Theory and it completely contradicts a SCIENTIFIC LAW of the UNIVERSE–The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. I prefer to trust an eternal destiny to a scientifically PROVEN Law of the universe than a mere theory. If I am wrong, when I am dead and gone, I am dead and gone. But if you are wrong then you will live forever but not in Heaven.

    We have the geological record,

    Did you know that the hypothesized Geological Column is nowhere to be found in all the earth in the correct order?

    we have millions of fossils

    But no real transitions and there should be billions and billions.

    we have modern biology, we have genetics showing how all life forms are related

    As I said the DNA has no rhyme or reason related to evolution of Species-see Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton. And as far a similarities between species–If the Creator came up with something that worked well why not use it over and over. The similarities do not argue for evolution only but also for a single Creator.

    we have actual observations of living species that evolved differently because of their physical isolation, and we have modern species that evolve under our eyes (rats and viruses are perfect examples of natural selection at work).

    That is NOT Darwinian or macro evolution but micro evolution. And I agree it DOES occur. It has been observed. Changes within species is a far cry from one species changing into another species–like lizards into birds.

    I am sorry you are so angry at the Catholic Church. I LOVE it. I am a convert. I am not sure where you get your information about it but it is all quite wrong or distorted.

  8. TGA you can try a simple test to see if life could just happened. Cut the bible up one letter at a time, put each letter in a hat shake it up pour the contents out, if it spells out the Bible as it was before you cut it up chances are that life could have just happened. I believe the odds are the same to create the simplest life form.

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