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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I used to be Catholic, but now I think for myself

"Thinking for yourself"...this seems to be the mantra of the modern atheists.  This meme of a quote by the late atheist Christopher Hitchens is circulating the internet:

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This prompts a few apologetic thoughts:

1) It's a bit amusing to see folks re-posting this meme.  For doesn't this mean that they are, ironically, NOT thinking for themselves but rather simply parroting an idea that someone else coined?

2) Anyone who, say, types a response to this meme that says, "I agree!" or "Like!" or "So true...." is actually, again, NOT thinking for themselves because they have followed the rules that everyone else who speaks English dictates as to how to write and spell.  

If they actually wanted think for themselves they should respond with something like, ";jfjajf".  And when someone says, "huh?" the response is:  "I think for myself.  No one tells me how to spell!"  *;) winking

3) I am 100% certain that the advocates of the "think for yourself" movement are quite glad that our engineers, airline pilots, construction workers, navigators DON'T "think for themselves" but rather follow the laws of science, physics, math, geography in order to get us safely to our destinations.  Who wants to drive over a bridge in which the engineer has decided, "Hey, I want to think for myself and I've decided to build this bridge without using Calculus.  Or submitting to the Laws of Thermodynamics".  

Of course, the Catholic Both/And is at work here.  We DO embrace the idea of thinking for ourselves.  That is a good and righteous way to evaluate the world.  We don't want our children to follow what the Queen Bee says in order to be liked, right? We should tell our children "Think for yourself!  Was that a smart thing to do just because Queenie told you to do this?"

However, we also say that sometimes it's good to accept the moral truths, scientific principles, laws of physics, educational truths our teachers have shared with us...We wouldn't encourage our child to try to argue with her teacher that she should get 100% on her geography quiz because she "thought for herself" and decided that Amarillo is the capital of the US, right?

So when someone says she has left the Church because she can "think for herself" now and doesn't have to follow the doctrines imposed on her by some dogmatic authority, I think we should ask her why she inconsistently applies this model.  If she "thinks for herself" with Catholic laws, then shouldn't she "think for herself" when it comes to scientific laws, traffic laws, grammatical laws, civil laws...and if she does this, her life is going to be really, really chaotic and confusing.


  1. Sorry, but there's a HUGE difference between Red light means "STOP" and Masturbation is a sin. Obviously you can't/shouldn't think for yourself and decide Red light means "GO" but it's quite obvious after talking to dozens of Doctors, hundreds of friends, and from personal experience that masturbation is healthy, normal and good. Thus the dogma that "Masturbation is a sin" is something I disagree with and reject whole heartily. Just as using ABC, it seems like most Catholics indeed "think for themselves" about ABC.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Anonymous. Yes, you are correct that there is a huge difference.

      But we are agreed that sometimes we DO NOT want to "think for ourself" but rather follow what's already been discerned as truth.

      The question as to whether masturbation is wrong or right is independent of the meme, yes?

      And I would say that anyone who indulges in masturbation has an impoverished understanding of sexuality. He (or she) has been duped into accepting a rather crude and unsophisticated apprehension of sex.