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Catholics and Condoms: Pope says Condoms aggravate African AIDS Crisis

_J__J_ PedantRegistered User regular
edited March 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Source
The Pope today reignited the controversy over the Catholic church's stance on condom use as he made his first trip to Africa. The pontiff said condoms were not the answer to the continent's fight against HIV and Aids and could make the problem worse.

Benedict XVI made his comments as he flew to Cameroon for the first leg of a six-day trip that will also see him travelling to Angola. The timing of his remarks outraged health agencies trying to halt the spread of HIV and Aids in sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 22 million people are infected.

The Roman Catholic church encourages sexual abstinence and fidelity to prevent the disease from spreading, but it is a policy that has divided some clergy working with Aids patients. The pontiff, speaking to journalists on his flight, said the condition was "a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems".

According to The FDA: "Condoms are not 100% safe, but if used properly, will reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS."

1) Is it sensible for someone who denies an empirical basis of facts to make empirical claims?
2) How can a conversation occur between, say, the Pope and the FDA with regard to the utility of condoms?
3) Is it sensible to attempt to modify Catholicism with regard to condom use or is Catholicism fundamentally flawed given its primary assumptions of reality?
4) What of the Pope's position? Ideologically it can be defended. So what of the view of reality this ideological position manifests? To link to question 2, are the FDA and the Pope discussing the same thing?
5) Could it be sensibly argued that the Pope is correct?

What do you think of this situation? We already know what Bristol Palin thinks...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQgaBvgmS88

_J_ on
Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
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  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    This'll probably come out like an anti-religion rant.

    In short:
    1) No
    2) I don't rightly know, what with one side being a representative of highly irrational, dogmatic, religious institution.
    3) It is a sensible idea to modify their stance, however, they won't change their position yet for a century or so. It's how they roll. Not to mention that a lot of their assumptions are fundamentally flawed on account of not being true and being based on what some primitive people wrote up thousands of years ago instead of demonstrable scientific evidence.
    4) The Pope relies on his religious ideology in this question, and while his stance could be argued to follow his ideology. While it can be said that his position is valid in relation to his ideology, it says nothing about whether the ideology he relies on is a valid one. This is the point where you open a can of worms, but personally, I wouldn't make statements about reality based on hearsay or make-believe. I'd need some evidence.
    5) The Pope could theoretically be correct about the first part of his statement, that abstinence would prevent the spread of the disease(in an ideal catholic world, where people wouldn't have sex. In reality, abstinence is pretty much a useless, even detrimental doctrine). The pope saying that condoms aggravate the AIDS crisis is just false, as condoms reduce the chances of catching the disease. This just makes the Pope look like a fundie idiot.

    Really, I have a huge problem with people using their influence to spread their opinions, when only harm can come out of it. The Pope making this statement can only make the situation worse, as most of Africa is highly religious, and the catholics would probably listen to the Pope.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    man, the church already changed his quote to make it seem less retarded. When even they are backing away from what he said, then there's a problem.

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  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    my dad has said for YEARS that using abstinence only approaches to the AIDS problem has worked better than introducing condoms. I've never seen any numbers proving it and I'm willing to bet he hasn't either. lucky for him he doesn't even require fake charts and graphs to be convinced.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    Its not true, and there's plenty of numbers to prove otherwise (and basic logic dictates that a combined approach of 'wear condoms' and 'respect your partners' will always work better than relying on one or the other). There's links in the comments to this, IIRC.

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  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm wondering if in the Pope's comments are focused upon these being "Africans with AIDS" as opposed to, say, "Europeans with AIDS".

    My assumption is that the Pope endorses abstinence for both Africans and Europeans. But I'm wondering if the "aggravates the problems" comment is racist.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    Its certainly anti-male, given that the implication is that he thinks males with access to condoms will inevitably act like bastards at the first opportunity. And possibly culturalist, given that he seems to think that's an especially local problem.

    That said he was speaking at an african event about african stuff, so lets not get carried away.

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  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    it's a way to keep people from having sex, which catholics view as EVIL, unless you're married and doing it unprotected in which case it's a holy union under God.

    it's also the exact type of blind to reality bullshit you can expect from a lot of religious groups. they can not admit that a little of both might be the best way to go about it, so they frame is as abstinence vs. condoms rather than saying that use of protection + not fucking anything that moves = less HIV transmission. It can't be gray, they can't understand gray.

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  • PaperPrittPaperPritt Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    it's a way to keep people from having sex, which catholics view as EVIL

    Whoa, what? Let's not get too hasty on the overgeneralizations hrmmm? Being a catholic myself, and knowing a very large number of catholics, they .. really don't think about it like that. Well the answer is a bit more complex but that's not the point of this thread.

    Lemme tell you, tho. For catholics such as myself this pope is fucking depressing. I might add that a very large (and growing ) number of bishops have privately and publicly opposed this pope before, and will continue to do so.

  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I was raised catholics and I use the term to define the official church teaching, not what certain catholics practice.

    sin is evil, sex outside of marriage or with protection is a sin. the fact that many many catholics don't actually believe that (from my experience) doesn't change anything.

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  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    This topic makes me really angry. Especially with all the well meaning money pouring in from all over the world, only to have the opportunity squandered by people pushing their own agenda.

    Its also naive to think that in many parts of the world, women have the luxury of saying "no". At least give them a fucking chance.

    If the studies show that condoms reduce the spread of Aids - then I feel its almost criminal to push a less successful methodology based on your own personal preference. Cant we agree that the problem is so bad that it just needs to be sorted? Lets leave the agenda until later.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    People have been having sex outside of wedlock since the dawn of time. At some point you'd think they'd get tired of being wrong but here we are.

  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Its harder to roll my eyes about it when people are dying.
    And there's an organisation that COULD do so much good in the region... but doesn't.

    Honestly - it makes me want to cry.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    As abstinence-only sex education high schools all across America have demonstrated, abstinence-only education only means that when people engage in promiscuity they don't know to take the proper precautions.

    People aren't not going to have sex, the Catholic Church is just making it all the less likely that anyone will take the proper precautions when engaging in promiscuity.

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  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    By rule, all catholics think what the pope think. His word is absolute, and cannot be wrong. If any particular catholic disagrees with the pope, he is automaticly wrong. Such is the catholic church.

    That's why a lot of weight is given to the pope's statements. He is the absolute spiritual (moral) ruler of hundreds of millions of people. The catholics church stance on issues such as abortion, euthanesia, gay marriage, sex in general holds a lot of weight in the politics of many countries. See for instance the recent drama in Italy over a man who desperately wanted to terminate the life of his daughter, who had been in a coma with severe braindamage for decades.

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  • LindenLinden Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    SanderJK wrote: »
    By rule, all catholics think what the pope think. His word is absolute, and cannot be wrong. If any particular catholic disagrees with the pope, he is automaticly wrong. Such is the catholic church.

    I'm not Catholic. I'm not religious at all. But, quite frankly, this is an incorrect understanding of the doctrine of papal infallibility. Infallibility is subject to very specific terms - for instance, it must incorporate "a doctrine concerning faith or morals". Does the word of the Pope have great weight? Absolutely. But he is not invariably infallible, and, in fact, papal infallibility is extremely rarely used. Following the definition of the doctrine (note that ecumenical councils are also considered infallible) it has in fact been invoked only once. There are, however, several instances where infallibility is considered to apply after the fact (for instance, the dogma of the immaculate conception, which is itself frequently misinterpreted)

    I'm not interested in defending the Catholic Church, dammit!

    What if this weren't a rhetorical question?
  • SpoonySpoony Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The Church seems to be reasserting orthodoxy after JP II's willingness to not take a hardline stance. Particularly with denouncements of politicians (especially Catholic politicians) who are pro-choice. Or supporting the Brazilian Archbishop who excommunicated the mother and doctors who gave a nine-year old an abortion.

  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    A Christian religious leader makes a stupid and unfounded claim about sex? You don't say. I pretty much ignore anything that the Pope has to say about sex because it's bound to be heavily biased against a sensible view of sex.

    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
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  • RussellRussell Registered User
    edited March 2009
    It really just comes down to practicality vs. ideology. Is it easier to give everyone condoms or convince people not to have sex?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    yeah, i think all he was trying to say was "if you don't have sex, you can't get aids"

    since condoms make it easier to have sex, you therefore have more people getting aids.

    that assumes that without condoms people would be afraid to have sex instead of just doing it without protection....

    but he's the pope, was this really out of character?

  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    In my opinion, the Pope is blind to reality because he has his head shoved up his ass, mitre and all.

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  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Hey woah, guys woah. With or without religion people will be dicks. If it wasn't the Catholics it'd be the communists doing this. The pope is in no way culpable for the deaths of every person who dies a horrific AIDS death that could have been prevented if the church had a different stance on condoms, or the children who catch it off these mothers.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Variable wrote: »
    I was raised catholics and I use the term to define the official church teaching, not what certain catholics practice.

    sin is evil, sex outside of marriage or with protection is a sin. the fact that many many catholics don't actually believe that (from my experience) doesn't change anything.

    Rule 1 of being Catholic: acknowledge the Pope is the leader of the Catholic Church. Promptly ignore everything the guy says.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The pope is in no way culpable for the deaths of every person who dies a horrific AIDS death that could have been prevented if the church had a different stance on condoms, or the children who catch it off these mothers.
    No, just many of those deaths that could have been prevented with condoms.

  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Personally, I tend not to trust people's opinions on sexual relations when they have never had them or consider them a sin.

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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Off with his head, miter and all.

    Fucking cockmonger.

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The fact that Africa is majority Catholic is one of history's great tragedies.

  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    Hey woah, guys woah. With or without religion people will be dicks. If it wasn't the Catholics it'd be the communists doing this.
    I'm pretty sure the Communists wouldn't be stupid enough to think banning condoms helps stop the spread of AIDS.
    The pope is in no way culpable for the deaths of every person who dies a horrific AIDS death that could have been prevented if the church had a different stance on condoms, or the children who catch it off these mothers.
    He most certainly is culpable. He is the leader of the Catholic church. Leaders are culpable for what they tell their followers to do.

    And I'm sick of this constant nonsequitor bullshit defense of religious stupidity via "humans are bad without religion too."

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Sorry *Sarcasm. I would've thought the last line would've given the game away. Though interestingly under Stalin condoms were banned.

  • VonVon Registered User
    edited March 2009
    The pope is completely effin wrong, but in a very small way he's got something right...

    When you tell people "AIDS is bad but these condoms will protect you from getting it!" you're giving them a certain sense of security. Since most people don't use condoms properly even with instruction (and since if you don't have the right size they break or slip off), chances are they're not getting the 99.99% protection they believe in. Rape is extremely common in certain areas of Africa, and if the rapists aren't using condoms (or aren't using them properly) then condoms can't help much. The female condom is supposed to help a bit with the rape issue since women can insert the condom hours before they have sex, but since those condoms are expensive and since it's probably kinda tough to predict when you might be raped, that's not a sure-fire solution either.

    So, the pope is wrong, wrong, wrong because if people are using condoms they're reducing the risk of transmission and slowing the spread of AIDS. But he's a tiny (eensy weensy) bit right in that condoms don't get at the heart of the problem... which is why education is paramount! (and why the pope's reliance on abstinence is totally wrong).

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Fuck this pope. He is an asshole.

    I can't wait til the pope and whatever cohort of assholes who support him just die off.

    I hope for a progressive pope within my lifetime. I don't expect catholicism will disappear before i die, but it can damn well be turned into a tool for at least some positive effect.

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  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The statement is just so detached from reality. If the Catholic Church thinks that abstinence is the true and best way to prevent disease (which it honestly is), then that's fine. If they think that theoretically condoms allow people to feel less guilty/worried about sex so they have more of it, then I guess they can think that.

    However, this isn't a fucking theoretical puzzle. It's not something for scholars to sit and discuss ad nauseam. These are people's lives. This is a continent that is dying. Millions of people can be SAVED by acknowledging that maybe people are not perfect, and that trying to account for that is not an evil thing.

    The pope is directly responsible because these people listen to what he has to say. I don't understand how any of the higher level catholic clergy can reconcile the fact that they had the power to save millions of lives and did nothing to stop it. In fact, they hindered it. Don't they think God is going to be pissed?

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Asiina wrote: »
    If the Catholic Church thinks that abstinence is the true and best way to prevent disease (which it honestly is), then that's fine.

    No it isn't. What the fuck?

    Abstinence not a thing that people do.

    People are going to have sex.

    In some kind of abstract, theoretical realm, the best way to not get AIDS is to not have sex. But people are going to have sex, in the real world.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    You misunderstood what I said.

    All things being equal, assuming you were healthy before, abstinence will keep you STI free 100% of the time.

    Abstinence (not abstinence education, but actually not having sex) works.

    It is, however, not the only thing that works.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    If the Catholic Church thinks that abstinence is the true and best way to prevent disease (which it honestly is), then that's fine.
    It isn't fine if all evidence contradicts its thinking. Atrocities committed based on what the people committing the atrocity to be the true and best way to do somethings are still atrocities.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    The fact that Africa is majority Catholic is one of history's great tragedies.
    Its really not O_o

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  • EndomaticEndomatic Registered User
    edited March 2009
    The Pope is simply touting the party line. He kinda has to.

    It is pretty ignorant of him to say that they ADD to the problem, but he's just doing what he has to.
    Everyone knows the tenets of Christianity are a little out of date.

  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I thought Africa was mostly muslim in the north and followed indigenous religions in most of the interior. The only heavily Christian areas I thought were Ethiopia and a few of the more heavily colonised regions in the South.

  • RussellRussell Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Nah, Christianity is pretty widespread throughout Africa as a whole.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    I thought Africa was mostly muslim in the north and followed indigenous religions in most of the interior. The only heavily Christian areas I thought were Ethiopia and a few of the more heavily colonised regions in the South.
    Pretty much. Its about 20% catholic overall, and I suspect a lot of that is people hybridising it with the local animist beliefs, judging by all the witch-burning stories popping up in the news. Catholicism's growth areas are Africa and South America, and the same goes for quite a few flavours of old-school monotheism, because God is popular with people who live in shitty conditions.

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  • EndomaticEndomatic Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I think you're right.

    Didn't Christianity make a pretty big sweep through Africa in the past though?
    I'm not exactly sure how their religious views have developed over the years.

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