Do you have to watch a pornographic film to know that it is immodest, immoral and a temptation to sin?
If, however, you wanted to explain to someone the PARTS of that film that were sinful and the parts that were not, and debate on specifics, you would need to watch the film. (One would argue that this kind of debate would not be worth having, given the cost of being able to engage in that debate on an educated level. *I* sure as heck wouldn't go there.)
Do you have to watch an abortion to know that it is murder?
If, however, you wanted to try and convince a young woman who was planning an abortion that it is a dreadful thing, that it truly is a human being in there and that abortion truly is murdering that human being, you might make use of a video such as "The Silent Scream", which at one point depicts an actual abortion taking place. It is very graphic, and I actually couldn't watch the whole thing, but it can certainly carry the point across and it has saved many children's lives.
Do you have to witness a murder to know that it is sin?
If, however, you wanted to prove that the murder was a murder and not a suicide, manslaughter or death of natural causes, you would need to come as close to the murder as possible by examining the evidence. And I will point out again, hearsay is not admissible as evidence in court. You need to examine the PHYSICAL evidence - blood traces, ballistics, etc.
If this were the case then a great many college professors in fields like palentology and anthropology would be out of work.
In my opinion there are a lot of university professors that SHOULD be out of work - or at least looking for work elsewhere. I had the great pleasure of encountering many of them when I was at university, and no doubt I will encounter more of them when I get around to undertaking my postgraduate studies.
They speak with great authority and knowledge on things they did not witness first hand.
The study of paleontology is founded on physical evidence, the closest that one can get to what happened millions of years ago. Our knowledge of ancient creatures is founded upon fragments of bone and various other bits of physical evidence that have been thoroughly examined with scientific methods.
The study of anthropology is the study of people and as such is based primarily upon observation. The anthropologist obeserves people and notes his observations, identifying trends and patterns.
You mention pottery below - anthropology must have been a typo - are you referring to archaeology? I actually took a few units of that in my second year - was heaps of fun.
Once again - based upon physical evidence, such as the pottery that you so aptly mentioned.
Yet students, and indeed, the world at large are expected to accept their interpretation their "hearsay" if you will, about what they have discovered from studying bones and shards of pottery that far predate their own experiences.
It is true enough that they are expected to ABSORB this 'hearsay' and give it due consideration. But the true scholar doesn't simply READ a journal article or a piece of research. The sholar will read it, and then test it. They will read the opinion, they will do their own study of the physical evidence, and they will then make their own contribution to the discussion.
I'm convinced that university study is NOT to turn out experts in any given discipline. University study is to turn out people who are now equipped to become experts in their discipline, if they decide to take what they have learned of what others have said, and go test it out for themselves. This is easier to do in some disciplines than others, mind you, but the general principle applies across all the disciplines that I can think of.
Anyone who graduates from university and believes that they know a lot about their field is, in my opinion, grossly misguided. They don't KNOW a lot about the field itself. They know a lot about what scholars in their field have written. To know about the field themselves, they need to take what they know of what scholars have written and test it against the evidence.
I need not read for myself a book that is full of blasphemy to know that it is rubbish.
Very true. To engage in a debate as to which parts are rubbish and why, and then correct the misconceptions by presenting the truth of the matter- well, THAT requires reading the book. But it doesn't stop there. Once you have done that, it is up for the person you to whom you have demonstrated this to go and investigate for himself/herself. They must test what you have told them against the evidence.
There are learned men of the clergy who have read this book and they discourage the faithful from reading it. That is enough for me.
Learned, and I respect that. But not infallible. This discouragement has not come from the one and only person who is infallible, and even if it had, whether to read a book or not is not a matter of dogma or morals.
There are a lot of people, including priests, who advocate the idea that studying Kant is damaging for the Catholic philosopher's mind.
Yet for a philosopher, be he Catholic or otherwise, not to study Kant - well, they are a philosopher with a gap in their understanding of philosophical history and the progression of ideas, for much Catholic philosophy was developed in response to Kant. One cannot truly understand that philosophy unless one does so in its context - that is, unless one studies the ideas to which this philosophy was a response.
(My goodness, its now 3.40am).
I respect the priest who says it, but I disagree with him. Often I have been to doctors (learned men/women in their field) who have erred in their diagnosis, or whose recommendations I chose not to take. This doesn't mean I don't respect him as an expert in his field, as far as experts go these days. It simply means that I am aware he is human, and that I have to make the best decision that I can, based on the knowledge I have available to me at any given time. The doctor cannot own the decision to do something - the decision is mine, and I alone can make it.
Just because I disagree with a priest doesn't mean I'm doingn something wrong. It CAN mean that, but it doesn't necessarily mean that.
You should try to sell your "righteous indignation" elsewhere. For I doubt it will receive much of a warm reception here.
An observation that I have tested against available evidence thus far and found to be correct. *wry grin*
Although I think "religious indignation" is painting it a bit strong. It was a frustrated rant, nothing more and nothing less. Noone likes being judged, and no Catholic likes having their integrity as a Catholic questioned.
Were you in my shoes on a different issue where you felt you were doing the right thing, I would be suprised if your response (minus my little temper tantrum) would be much different.