Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
As an antitheist, I detest most aspects of most religions. However, let me give you a few ways in which the worst Pope you can think of is better than the best head of government (of your country) imaginable.

CHOICE. You don't have to be a Catholic. You have that choice of the worst misogynistic homophobic Pope having little to no impact on your life directly. You don't have that choice with government. Your vote has an approximately 0.00000% chance of changing the outcome of an election, so you do not choose your president, your peers do. You just have to live with that choice, and whatever policies it may bring with it. It's also not very practical to move away to escape the authority that's claimed over you just to land yourself in an area of another similar authority.

POWER. Even if you are a Catholic, the Pope can't throw you in jail for not following the rules and commands no enforceable authority over you. Suppose the bad pope says that gays should be stoned to death. You can just ignore that, and keep having gay friends. A governmental decree of even the best intentions can often result in very negative unintended consequences. Unlike a papal decree, it cannot be ignored. If you do ignore it, violence will be used against you via financial fines escalating to imprisonment, and finally death if you resist. The Pope can scare a true believer shitless with hell fire, but wields no physical power over them.

LEGITIMACY. To most critical thinkers out there, it's obvious that the Pope has no legitimate authority at all past the actual merits of his argument. Unfortunately, those same people are willing to grant massive legitimacy and power to a government leader simply for using the democratic process. Just keep in mind that Hitler was democratically elected, and in my opinion, the democratic process can never legitimize anything that's not already legitimate to begin with.

SHORTER ELECTIONS. The ridiculous spectacle doesn't last months or years, which is quite a relief. We can all move on so much quicker without having to deal with it day in, day out. No celebrity endorsements, no biased mainstream media editorials, no lies by candidates for us to hear.
  • Listening to: BNP Paribas Open 2013
  • Reading: strength training articles and papers
  • Playing: ANKLE SPRAIN :(
  • Eating: salad
  • Drinking: tea
Add a Comment:
 
:iconindigos-la-moon:
Indigos-LA-Moon Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
rather than saying worst Pope is better than best president - I would have to say worst pope is better than current president... as, we have had a few good presidents...
Reply
:iconlionstar123:
Lionstar123 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013
In your POWER point, I found a flaw. If your vote counts for %0.00000 or whatever you said, then everyone else's does as well since the votes are anonymous and everyone over 18 gets to have one (at least in America). So that means that everyone has the same chance of having their vote count, which means that inevitably, everyone's vote counts for the same. And that means that every vote could be the one to tip the scale. The only way your vote wouldn't count for anything is if you don't vote at all.
Reply
:iconheartmelinda:
heartMelinda Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013   Traditional Artist
Electoral Collage [link]

The popular vote, the vote of the people, your vote, does not count. The Electoral College is what counts.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Professional Photographer
You don't understand the basic mathematics of voting.
Reply
:iconredchucks:
RedChucks Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Reply
:iconveinne:
veinne Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Sadly true, though I'd like to point that in some countries it's illegal not to have a religion.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Professional Photographer
Those countries are beyond fucked, and receive universal scorn of the enlightened world.

In all countries it's illegal not to have government services if you don't want them ;)
Reply
:iconveinne:
veinne Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Ahaha, true, true. ;)
Reply
:iconviciousm:
ViciousM Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Student General Artist
The lesser of two evils?
My goodness is this how far we've come after all that "free will" bs?
Sad.
So sad.
Reply
:iconvirtualtune:
virtualTune Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Student Photographer
Choice: I agree 100% with your statement. Power: A pretty accurate statement, although death sentencing is only an option in a few countries. Legitimacy: I think Hitler is a rather outdated example. Quite a complex topic.
You are really only comparing the pope to any demorcatic leader. President may not be the right word here.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Professional Photographer
Not death sentence. If you disagree with the government, you get killed in any country for resisting arrest if it goes that far.

Actually, I don't need an example. In terms of morality, can something immoral be made moral by a majority vote?

Yes.
Reply
:iconvirtualtune:
virtualTune Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Student Photographer
Alright then that first part is true. I answerded your question on the poll. In the future, why don't you answer your own poll questions instead of just commenting on everyones opinion.
Reply
:iconifsantag:
ifsantag Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
"You have that choice of the worst misogynistic homophobic Pope having little to no impact on your life directly".

Here in Italy the situation is a little different... The Pope's philosophy and his attitude influences our politicians and their choices, influences the population's choices too, for example in important referendum (assisted procreation and recognition of unmarried couples - goat people!), for not talking about the influences that IOR has in our financial and banking system! Also, we, the Italians, have to pay maintenance and restructuration for every church in our territory(and you can image how many churches there are in Italy!), even if they are owned by Vatican (that didn't want to pay the ownership tax).
Other important effects are in Third World's population: you know that Vatican (that has a seat in UN) has always stood against the diffusion of condoms in Africa, eg?
I'm not sure about the Pope's freedom of choice, but I know that how he appears could change the world, his aperture or closure could help or not a lot of people, and make a lot of Italians less hypocrite! (:
Reply
:iconvirtualtune:
virtualTune Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Student Photographer
"The Pope's philosophy and his attitude influences our politicians and their choices" haha good one :D
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
Well, to be clear, I meant a typical western democracy with a decent separation of church and state.

Nevertheless, look how their power has declined: from deciding who lives and who dies in the days of the inquisition to being just another lobbyist group to the corrupt political system.

Let's give it some more time, and religious dogma will continue fading into fairy tale land.
Reply
:iconifsantag:
ifsantag Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Eheh! (:
I hope!
Reply
:iconmath-mage:
Math-Mage Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013
All of these differences come down to the papacy not having legal power (which, lest we forget, it did have once). That's very different from a statement about the papacy being better or worse than any legal authority.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
Two of them do. How is that different? It's far better.
Reply
:iconmath-mage:
Math-Mage Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013
Well, then you might as well just write about why you think legal authority/power is always bad, rather than disguising it as a revelation about the Pope. The 'revelation' depends on your a priori assumption, and follows trivially from it.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
I'm against the use of force (except in self defense), and I like the ability to choose. The catholic church (today) is better than a government in a sense that they do not claim sovereignty over the members. They provide services (kinship, a promise of a fulfilled life, an eternal life after death, etc) which they withdraw if you choose to quit. So long as choose to remain within the church, the church has lots of authority over you. That's totally fine, because that stops once you decide to quit the day after that pedophile priest molests your daughter.

The way in which an abusive religious cult is different - like Jehovah's Witnesses - is that they will enforce compliance against you by preventing your family and friends from contacting you if you decide to quit or criticize the organization. This is very similar to how a government would deal with a citizen who just wants to be left alone - NO BENEFITS, but NO TAXES too. If you speak out against incredible abuses - like Bradley Manning - they will use violence against you, and brand you a traitor. There is no practical opt out option unless you are willing to move away physically and start over again.
Reply
:iconmath-mage:
Math-Mage Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013
Is that your 'best imaginable' head of state? Hum.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
I didn't talk about a head of state at all. It's not about the person, more so that it is about the system.
Reply
:iconfallingdark:
FallingDark Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I don't get your Choice argument. You make the point that Popes can be wholly ignored, which is fine, but then you talk about voting power. Nearly every Catholic alive has no say at all in choosing the next Pope, so why is having so little voting power relevant?

And saying that a vote can't change the outcome of an election is false on three fronts. First, if there is already an outcome, the process is over and there's nothing more to be decided. Second, outcomes are decided by votes! Millions of dollars go to IGs and political party campaigns to influence the votes, but without any votes there would be no outcome. Third, your voting power goes way up if the system has more than two parties and has proportional representation in the legislature.

Finally, you mention the impracticality of moving away after an election turns out badly for you. One, nearly everyone who says "they'll move if Horrible Candidate X is elected" is talking out of their ass. Two, if other areas have similar authority structures then why would moving to a different area even come across their minds in the first place?

I see where you're trying to go with this (that it's better to live with a system where power can be widely accessed and/or questioned) but I'm not sure what you meant by the first part.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
Voting power applies to being a citizen of a liberal democracy, not being a catholic. Being a catholic is a choice, being a subject of a government is not.

| And saying that a vote can't change the outcome of an election is false on three fronts

I didn't say it can't. It's very unlikely to the point that you ought not to care about bothering with it. [link]

For your last point, you aren't disagreeing with me.
Reply
:iconfallingdark:
FallingDark Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
As your link said, that voting paradox assumes that people are rational and self-interested...which is a bold assumption. While in most cases people are self-interested and rational, altruism and purposeful behavior have a huge part in the voting process. For instance, I "threw away my vote" last election by voting for Johnson. I voted for the person I believed best and in explaining my choice to several...politically challenged friends of mine and they ended up voting for him as well, based solely on what I told them. Using the traditional model all of us acted irrationally.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
If your goal was to change the outcome of the election, and since you do not command an influence over a substantial voting block, you did act irrationally. If the purpose of voting was not to change the outcome of an election - but, for example, to feel good about yourself or to promote certain ideas you cherish - then I am not all that interested. After all, there is no effect on the person who is elected. All of these things can be accomplished by other means.
Reply
:iconfallingdark:
FallingDark Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
In practice, yes. But in theory, if I were to convince enough people to vote for Johnson given my personal feelings, I would have had a more significant impact on the results.

...Unfortunately for me, though, I live in Texas--where Romney was a shoe-in. Because there was no way in hell (heh heh) I could vote for Romney and consider myself generally sane, I was screwed whether I voted for Obama or Johnson (or Stein). Because my voice had so little power, I decided that I might as well make my first vote feel good.

Main point: yes, our voting system is fucked up. :D
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
| Main point: yes, our voting system is fucked up.

Describe a system which doesn't suffer from the same fundamental flaw.
Reply
:iconfallingdark:
FallingDark Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
If you consider systems to be 'sociological facts' (anything capable of exerting force over an individual while existing independently from the individuals themselves), then no, there is no perfect system. We are the flaw and we always will be, whether or not you are religious or politically active.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
| (anything capable of exerting force over an individual while existing independently from the individuals themselves) then no, there is no perfect system

I was talking specifically about a voting system. You mentioned that "ours" was fucked.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconredsox1830:
redsox1830 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Student Photographer
Or we can all be Taoists and give religion and war the boot from our planet.
Reply
:icongretgor:
Gretgor Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013
Good point, man. In fact, governors have the capability of fucking over our lives without any shame, and that's one thing religious leaders (in general) don't get (at least in western society).
Reply
:iconrheiders:
rheiders Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013
Erm...I'm Catholic, but I have to say that your assessment seems to be forgetting that the pope essentially WAS the government at one point in history. That was a bad time for the church, and that is where we got many of the worst popes. "Even if you are a Catholic, the Pope can't throw you in jail for not following the rules and commands no enforceable authority over you." And with what I said in mind, this is also untrue for certain periods in history.

These are problems that have been fixed by now. Power corrupts, and the bride of God shouldn't be a part of that corruption. Separation of church and state is a good thing, and Catholics ought to know that better than anyone else.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Professional Photographer
Just to clarify, I'm talking about today. Obviously, I'll take almost any government today over the days of the inquisition.
Reply
:iconmbugard:
mbugard Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
I think Pope Urban II is worse than any political leader in history. The legacy of most leaders quickly fades after their death, especially after the most tyrannical ones. After Stalin and Hitler died the systems they helped create collapsed rather quickly. We will see that happen here in the US within a generation of Bush and Obama. But the power of religious leaders lingers. Urban II made his call for Crusade in 1099, which unleashed centuries of wanton slaughter in the name of God, but for the true purpose of controlling important trade routes. For centuries a European king could not claim legitimacy without Papal support. We are still dealing with hostility and suspicion between the Christian and non-Christian world because of the venal actions of a man in a funny hat nearly 1,000 years ago. Hitler, Stalin, Pot, Nixon, Bush, Obama, or any other of the horrible tyrants of the last century will not have a direct impact that can be traced clearly and directly for 1,000 years like that of Pope Urban II.

Deus Vult!
Reply
:iconblindseer95:
Blindseer95 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013
There's the fact that the pope is a spiritual leader, not a secular leader. biiig differences there.
Reply
:icontheartisticgenius:
TheArtisticGenius Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Some pretty good points here. It's funny how the government of America works, really, compared to other groups or "governments". I'd honestly love to live anywhere but the US, but it seems every country and every place has its issues.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Professional Photographer
What makes the US government particularly detestable to you? I mostly use it for bad examples because more people would be familiar with it.
Reply
:icontheartisticgenius:
TheArtisticGenius Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, for one thing, many of the laws passed by Congress are unconstitutional in a variety of ways, like the recent law on everyone who lives on the borders of the US and 100 miles inwards who can now be searched through their electronic possessions without warrant (which violates our 5th amendment) and the bill in the process that would enact the mandatory obligation of citizens 18-25 years old to serve a two year term in the military, which is also against our Constitution (I think the name of the bill was HR747 or something like that). Well, that's just one reason why I think the government needs some heavy revision on their laws and decisions, etc.
Reply
:iconivanandreevich:
IvanAndreevich Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
Sure, but in Russia, for example, the police can come to your home and take your family hostage to extort your money. That's a whole different level of fucked up.
Reply
:icontheartisticgenius:
TheArtisticGenius Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Guess there's all sorts of messed up crap no matter what country. What a wonderful world we live in.

Peace. :)
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconivanandreevich: More from IvanAndreevich


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
March 13, 2013
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
6,482
Favourites
10 (who?)
Comments
43
×