Wow way to make yourself look foolish, listen logic and stories are two different things, for example, english as compared to math, english opinions, math logical fact, english is analysis math is understanding of the set rules. 2 + 2 is 4 and it makes all logical sense, because you cannot prove so otherwise, while religion is interpreted as you can see by the fact that there are many religions with slight differences and by the fact that each person takes what is said from religion into context differently, and that mon ami is why what you stated is completly irrelevant.
Religions make claims about the world. Those claims are either true or false.
Consider this claim: "God is three persons in one substance." If that claim is true, then Islam's claims about God are false. This is every bit as objective a matter as mathematics.
If Catholicism is true, then other religions are not. They don't all say pretty much the same thing. Many religions say things almost diametrically opposed to the kinds of things Catholicism says--say, Hinduism. These religions obviously conflict in fundamental ways. The conflict between Hinduism and Catholicism is very nearly as deep as the conflict between secular humanism and Catholicism!
Some other religions, however--say, Episcopalianism, for example--say lots of things that Catholicism also says. (This is because there is a dependence relation between Episcopalianism and Catholicism: the former depends upon the latter.) So even if Catholicism is true, and Episcopalianism is consequently false, that doesn't mean that everything
that Episcopalianism teaches is false. It simply means that the whole great big long conjunction of all the teachings of Episcopalianism is false.
(You've talked about logic up above, so I assume you are aware that if any of the conjuncts of conjunction are false, then the whole conjunction is false. That is, say that "John is 25 years old" is true; and that "Pete is 22 years old" is true; and that "Rose is 34 years old" is false. If you put all of these statements together into one long sentence joined by "ands," then you get a false
sentence: "John is 25 years old and Pete is 22 years old and Rose is 34 years old." It's false even though 2 out of 3 of its conjuncts are true. This is the logical point I'm applying to the discussion at hand.)
The question that matters when you're discussion religion is: which big long conjunct--which religious story about the world--if any
, is the true one? There can't be more than one (although there could
be less than one, namely, zero).
You're talking as though truth had nothing to do with it. It's all about stories, and they're all pretty much saying the same thing at heart. You seem to be saying that since they're all just stories, and they're all saying pretty much the same thing at heart, it's wrong to say that there can be one true religion--one that "fits" everyone. But this view is utterly contrary to the self-understanding of Catholicism. It's a story, all right, it's the true
story. It's true whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not. It's true because Christ really did live, and really did die, and really did rise from the dead to save you from your sins. And he founded a Church to preserve his teachings and to guard his sacraments. That's
It's not a matter of interpretation, anymore than it's a "matter of interpretation" that we're at war in Iraq. We are
at war. That's the fact. Well, Christ did
live and die and rise again. That's
Or so I say. And I can argue in support of that view.
But you have to understand that you're simply making a very basic kind of intellectual error.
You're confusing the epistemological arena with the metaphysical arena. The metaphysical, in this context, has to do with the way things are
. Catholicism makes claims about the way things are. It makes metaphysical claims. (Here, I mean to include its historical claims, as well, not just its claims that fit into the area of philosophy known as metaphysics, such as its doctrine of God.) Because it is making claims about the world, its claims are either true or false. And whatever they are, true or false, they're the same "for" everyone, because truth or falsity is not a relative thing. It's not relative whether we're at war in Iraq. We are. It's not true for some people and false for others. It's just true. Period. End of story. That's the real metaphysical deal.
However, there's another level. The epistemological level. This has to do with how we know
what's true. And this is where you are making a very serious error. You seem to be thinking that because it is a difficult thing to figure out what's the truth--because people have serious, seemingly irresolvable differences of belief--in religious matters, that there's no truth or falsity. It's all just about stories and interpretations. This is just a bad error.
Look, it's either true or false that right now
, there is a mosquito sitting on the nose of the George Washington figure on Mt. Rushmore. There's either a mosquito there, or there isn't. That's the metaphysics.
But how do I know whether there's a mosquito there?
I don't. I have no way of knowing. There are serious epistemological difficulties here. It behooves me to withhold my belief in either direction on the question of whether there's a mosquito there. I don't have any evidence one way or another. But that's an entirely epistemological point. The metaphysics swing completely independently. The statement: "There is a mosquito sitting on George Washington's nose on the Mt. Rushmore monument at 11:00 pm on Wednesday" is either true or false, despite the fact that I'm not in any position to learn its truth.
OK, the epistemology is distinct from the metaphysics.
Catholicism makes metaphysical claims. It tries to tell us about the way things really are. It is, consequently, either true or false. It's not just a nice story (or a not-so-nice story). It's an attempt to tell us the way things are.
So your job is to evaluate the evidence that it offers in support of its claims. That's the deal here. Are its claims like the claim about the mosquito--unsupportable by evidence? I think not. Are its claims well supported by arguments? I think so.
Trying to say that it's all just a matter of opinion is just a confusion. It's a matter of sorting through the arguments and the evidence. And then, trying to figure out the most reasonable beliefs to hold.
It is quite clear to me that the Catholic story is the true one, and this is a position I argue for virtually every day in my classroom. I guarantee
you that the arguments are far better than you believe. But in order to be in any position to evaluate the arguments, you have to understand that Catholicism isn't about how people feel. It's not "subjective." It makes claims about the world--claims that are either true or false. Until you see that, then there's no conversation to be had here.