Sunday, February 17, 2013

Take This . . .

This story out of Tanzania (sounds like one of those Three Stooges countries when they'd show a map.. . Moronica, Imbecillia. . . .)

AFP - Attackers collecting body parts of albinos for witchcraft have hacked off the hand of a seven-year old boy in Tanzania, the latest in a series of bloody assaults, officials said on Sunday.
"The boy was attacked on Saturday by three people as he walked home with his four school friends," said Apolinary Macheta, the local government leader in Tanzania's southwestern Milepa district.
The boy, Mwigulu Magessa, is recovering in hospital, Macheta added.
The attack came just days after an albino mother of four had her arm chopped off by machete-wielding men, with police on Saturday saying they had arrested five men after discovering the decomposing limb hidden in a field.

In Tanzania, albinos are killed and dismembered due to a widespread belief that charms made from their body parts bring good fortune and prosperity.

So these crazy bastards think magic will happen to them if they use body parts from albinos. Jeez that's crazy. The Catholic church on the other hand... (from wikipedia)

According to the Catholic Church, when the bread and wine are consecrated by the priest at Mass, they cease to be bread and wine, and become instead the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ. The empirical appearances and attributes are not changed, but the underlying reality is. The consecration of the bread (known afterwards as the Host) and wine represents the separation of Jesus' body from his blood at Calvary; thus, this separation also represents the death of Christ. However, since according to Catholic dogma Christ has risen, the Church teaches that his body and blood are no longer truly separated, even if the appearances of the bread and the wine are. Where one is, the other must be. This is called the doctrine of concommitance. Therefore, although the priest (or minister) says, "The body of Christ", when administering the host, and, "The blood of Christ", when presenting the chalice, the communicant who receives either one receives Christ, whole and entire— "Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity".

OK.. .

My bold is "underlying reality". It struck me because it is a phrase I often use when teaching physics! Yes. For example, when you drop a steel ball and a piece of paper most people will say that the ball will hit first because it is heavy. The ball does hit first and it is heavier than the paper but that is not WHY it hits first....there is an underlying reality. The difference between my underlying reality and the church's is that mine can be checked. I ball up the paper into a tight ball. I make the point that the paper is the same weight as it was before. I drop the steel ball and the ball of paper again and this time they strike the floor together. The underlying reality is that things fall to the earth with the same acceleration but air resistance clouds this issue. When we strip it away (as the astronauts on Appolo 15 did so nicely for us) the underlying reality is revealed!

The church claims that the bread and wine are not changed but the underlying reality is. Prove it! What does it even mean to say that basically no measurable quality of the bread and wine is changed but reality itself is. What do we have to our reality except appearances and attributes?

This is a bold claim and one wonders that coupled with such claims as this, is this why the church must embellish itself in all the hoopla, latin, pointy hats, gold crosses, magic water, etc. The claim is outrageous but look over here at all the shiny stuff and don't think about it.