A word of interest to me is “catholic”. I had always assumed that it referred to a religion, but it is chiefly identified as an adjective which means: (1) Of broad or liberal scope; comprehensive. And: (2) Including or concerning all humankind; universal.
Based on this new knowledge I can state that the antonym of “catholic” is “parochial”, which I find highly ironic, as Catholic schools are often referred to as parochial.
If Catholics were in fact catholic in their outlook, then perhaps Giordano Bruno would not have been burned at the stake and Galileo would not have been placed under house arrest. Those things happened a long time ago and it is illogical for me to be disturbed by them, but those facts are still being chewed on by others, since the Catholic Church waited some 350 years to exonerate Galileo.
In reality, Catholics are parochial, and thus exhibit mental attitudes which conflict with their decent name. If Catholics were in fact catholic, then they would not believe in just one god. In fact, Catholics don’t even believe in the facets of their own religion. As an example, the Pope makes public appearances on roads in a vehicle armored with bulletproof glass. In the Catholic religion, the Pope is the top dog (pun intended) and he doesn’t even believe that praying works. If the Pope believed that praying actually works, then he would pray to God that no one would shoot him. After praying, he should then make public appearances without hiding behind bulletproof glass. If the Pope is shot and killed, then that would serve as proof to the world that praying does not work. But we already have the proof in the form of the Pope’s behavior.
Honestly, I would like to call myself a “Catholic”, due to the optimistic nature of its adjectival definition. However, other people would assume I was referring to the childish religion that propounds absolutism and traditionalism. Catholics are children, even if they are morphologically adults. I’m not concerned with their bodies, or with what I can see; I am concerned with the mentality of Catholics and all other religious people, including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc.
When I think of religion, I think of absolutism, which reminds me of Hitlerism. Since I’m not religious, does that mean I am an atheist? Many people think in those simplistic terms, always correlating beliefs with God or other gods. But did you know that there are these things called humans? I believe in humans; God and gods are completely irrelevant and archaic. Only traditionalist and absolutist people concern themselves with God and gods. I am concerned with humans, which makes me more mature than religious people, because, at least we have evidence indicating that humans exist. In fact, I made the existence of humans the starting point for my Philosophy of Reality, which is posted elsewhere in this blog.
I am clearly not an atheist, since that solves nothing by placing God at a level of paramount importance by denying His existence. God is the main point in atheism. And that’s why I don’t like it. So what am I? In my studies, I have discovered two terms that I really like. They are:
2. Secular Humanist
What is a meliorist? The Latin root is melior, which means better. You’ve probably seen the word ameliorate, which is one of the English words derived from melior. A meliorist is someone that believes humans can be improved or there is a tendency for humans to improve themselves. I also want to point out I did not make up the word meliorist; it is listed in my 2011 American Heritage Dictionary. This quote aptly summarizes meliorism:
"In my case this article of faith is that the human race will continue to live forever and will develop and progress without limit. This is an assumption that I must make for my peace of mind. Living is worthwhile if one can contribute in some small way to this endless chain of progress."
-Paul Dirac, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1933
A secular humanist is someone that places precedence on humans, rather than religion. I automatically became a secular humanist when I placed humans above God in my Philosophy of Reality. I have always believed in the importance of humans. Do bear in mind that my bias plays a role in this inclination. I am a human. People that place God above humans must have an infinitely odd identity crisis. I also agree with the related notion of secularism, which is the view that religious teachings are irrelevant to society. It’s more relevant to teach the reality of religion and not teach religion as if it is descriptive of reality.
Catholics are neither secular nor melioristic. The orthodox Catholic has a paradoxically heretical parochial mentality. This is the conundrum of the Catholics.