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Atheist Convert: R.J. Stove
Why I'm Catholic ^ | R. J. Stove

Posted on 10/24/2011 7:56:07 PM PDT by ventanax5

The upbringing I underwent in New South Wales, Australia —partly in Sydney, but mainly in the village of Mulgoa— was one of complete, although predominantly quiet and civil, atheism. Both my parents (who are now dead) spent their childhood as Presbyterians, but shed religious belief soon after attaining adulthood.

My father was the philosopher and political polemicist David Stove. During his undergraduate years, he fell under the spell of the militantly atheistic guru John Anderson of the University of Sydney's philosophy department. Except that "fell under" seems a much too gentle phrase to describe what my father and thousands like him experienced at Anderson's none-too-scrupulous—and, where females were concerned, lecherous—hands.

To those who, like myself, are too young to have known Anderson (he died in 1962, the year after my birth), the mystery of his charm to hordes of students will always be impenetrable. Certainly nothing in Anderson's viscous prose explains his charismatic appeal. It is only fair to add that by the time I was born, this crusading fervor on his acolytes' part had mellowed;

(Excerpt) Read more at whyimcatholic.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: atheist; catholic; mentalillness; religion

1 posted on 10/24/2011 7:56:13 PM PDT by ventanax5
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To: ventanax5

Sounds like not just an atheist, but a black magic atheist who didn’t even grok the powers that worked through him.


2 posted on 10/24/2011 8:00:57 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: ventanax5

(I mean not Stove, but his mentor.)


3 posted on 10/24/2011 8:02:00 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: ventanax5

I read up till the part where the father hanged himself. That whole family sounds unstable and the father was clearly obsessive. I don’t think it would have mattered what he believed, it was mental illness that ran his life, not religion nor lack thereof. And the son is heading down the same path, just with a different flavor.


4 posted on 10/24/2011 8:27:59 PM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: ventanax5

I’m not a Catholic but that was a lovely lovely testimony. Thank you for posting it.


5 posted on 10/24/2011 8:39:05 PM PDT by punditwannabe
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To: A_perfect_lady
Catholicism is just a different flavor of mental illness?

Is that what you meant to say?

6 posted on 10/24/2011 8:58:57 PM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: A_perfect_lady

Which is probably why you ascertained the argument that Catholicism provokes mental illness.

Had you carried on through the piece

“Had I known that the opposite was true (and that my Catholicism has been more important than anything else in blunting the sharpest edge of illness), I would never have hesitated for so long.”

You would not have drawn the conclusion you did.


7 posted on 10/24/2011 9:04:20 PM PDT by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! 10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government)
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To: A_perfect_lady

Psychology has this failing: it tells us nothing about how we will act when the props are knocked out from us.


8 posted on 10/24/2011 9:23:03 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: A_perfect_lady

The mother had a debilitating stroke and the father hanged himself. The whole family sounds unstable?

I found this article very moving and have book marked it. Mr. Stove is a first class mind. I hope I can find other essays by the man.


9 posted on 10/24/2011 9:27:22 PM PDT by Dudoight
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To: ventanax5

I had listened to forty years of disgruntled Catholics (Converts to Protestantism) tell me what Catholics believe, I finally found out for my self. The pastor of my church would ask what are you protesting? I think the history of persecution by representatives of the Roman Catholics of the Church. There certainly a lot of Protestant churches coming apart by their wondering away from their Bible and faith and far to many Catholics are wondering (clergy and laity) too. I just have one question how do you write so many words about conversion and not mention Jesus? I guess I infer the name. I certainly know Pope Benedict XVI knows who saves him. I do empathize his reference to prayer and considering how much Son of God prayed I better muddle myself through this lack of time spent in communion with God. His audience is to avowed atheist (agnostic) fellows.


10 posted on 10/25/2011 12:49:49 AM PDT by the_daug
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To: ventanax5

Constantine_the_Great

Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity


11 posted on 10/25/2011 2:29:42 AM PDT by SF_Redux (Sarah stands for accountablility and personal responsiblity, democrats can't live with that)
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To: the_daug

there is only one reason people have been taught to discredit and denounce God and Jesus ..

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”

and most are just too damn stupid to know, and too damn lazy to find out, because they didn’t learn about the communist goals in school .. where they have removed God from


12 posted on 10/25/2011 2:36:45 AM PDT by SF_Redux (Sarah stands for accountablility and personal responsiblity, democrats can't live with that)
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To: Trailerpark Badass
Catholicism is just a different flavor of mental illness? Is that what you meant to say?

No, that his father was a mentally-ill atheist, and this guy is a mentally-ill Catholic. I hope you don't believe that becoming Catholic renders someone immune to any mental disorders, because not even God promises that.

13 posted on 10/25/2011 5:56:48 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: BenKenobi

I did see that quote, I just think time will tell, and that he, like his father, will find that nothing really cures what the real problem is. I’m sure for a long time his father thought atheism was the answer.


14 posted on 10/25/2011 5:58:50 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: RobbyS
Psychology has this failing: it tells us nothing about how we will act when the props are knocked out from us.

I'm not a huge fan of psychology, but I have come to the conclusion that we are all distinct personality types who will indeed act in predictable ways under stress. The faintly depressive will go full-on depressed. The mildly suspicious will turn completely paranoid. The asocial will withdraw more deeply. The somewhat obsessive gets worse, and so on. We all lean in one direction or the other.

15 posted on 10/25/2011 6:01:56 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: Dudoight
The mother had a debilitating stroke and the father hanged himself. The whole family sounds unstable?

Remember, she was living on cigarettes and booze. Father was obsessive, mother sounds depressive, both elevated atheism to a religion of its own with creeds and sages... yes, these were some unhappy people searching for peace. They didn't find it. This guy thinks he's found it. We'll see. Everything works at first.

16 posted on 10/25/2011 6:04:50 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: ventanax5

Mesmerism is one of Satan’s tools.


17 posted on 10/25/2011 6:21:50 AM PDT by RoadTest (For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.)
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To: A_perfect_lady
I hope you don't believe that becoming Catholic renders someone immune to any mental disorders, because not even God promises that.

No, but I do not discount the work of Satan in this world, either. I don't think most mental illness can be reduced completely to some biological cause. There seems always to be at least some spiritual/psychological component.

18 posted on 10/25/2011 6:23:10 AM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: A_perfect_lady

Well, that’s the difference with Christ. He heals people.


19 posted on 10/25/2011 9:24:57 AM PDT by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! 10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government)
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To: BenKenobi

So what is your problem with the guy? It seems to me he is a Christian.


20 posted on 10/25/2011 11:07:15 AM PDT by Dudoight
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To: Dudoight

Hmm? Were you addressing a perfect lady?

I thanked the threadstarter for posting this excellent testimony. I think that Christ will heal him and help him with his problems.


21 posted on 10/25/2011 11:16:49 AM PDT by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! 10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government)
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To: A_perfect_lady

Psychology is a pseudo-science. All of its schools rely heavily on the observation of behavior, and treat human intelligence as not more than an epiphenomenon of bodily functions, and our personal behavior as driven by forces beyond our control, with intelligence exercising only a slight control. Yes, it can observe and classify, but so far as a predictor of OUR own behavior, of our own strengths and weakness, it is not much good. In short, it does not prepare us for tragedy. Maybe it is because it refuses even to ask those questions which are the concern of religion, or if it does, it disdains the answers that religion has produced.


22 posted on 10/25/2011 11:28:25 AM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: RobbyS

I don’t have a high opinion of psychology either, but I have noticed definite personality types, and rather than write them off to satanic influences or astrology, I’ll at least accept the descriptions offered by psychology.


23 posted on 10/25/2011 5:15:46 PM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: A_perfect_lady
Back in the ‘60s, the mental health industry pretty much gave up on psychoanalysis as a remedy. They use antipsychotic drugs. The theory behind it reminds me of the old theory of humors. :-). Yes, everyone has a different temperament, and it seems to be inborn. At bottom, however, is a kind of reductionism. The human being is thought of as a kind of organic machine. It is really just a variation on the old dualism, in which the spirit sort of inhabits the body. Aristotle had a different view, which is that the spirit is the form of the body and inseparable. The mind is something uniquely human, drawing from and working" with the body, and overall a spirit which holds it all together, a kind of nonmaterial envelop, you might say. But it exists in world of such spirits, or forms which in their "essence" are what are described perhaps mathematically. Think Pythagoras. Whatever one might think about such a "look" at the world, it is certainly very different from the world view of the psychologists.
24 posted on 10/25/2011 9:11:00 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: RobbyS

Yes. In the end, I have my own view which references but does not cleave to either Aristotle, nor the Bible, nor the APA. I go from my own observations. I don’t think humans are unique. I do see evidence of a more developed capacity for imagination, but in terms of the baser tendencies: our desires, our sentiments and reactions... pretty similar to the animal kingdom. Most of what I see in humans, I also see in my cats. I accept that the world of psychology has delineated certain personality types, and the words they use, depressive, obsessive, dependent, avoidant, seem useful enough for me. I accept that the religious world has designated certain activities as wrong, such as murder, theft, vice, and I agree with them on most counts. I accept that philosophers have tried to sort out the impulses of thought, feeling, and physical need, and I can understand why. But in the end, we all make up our own minds about it.


25 posted on 10/26/2011 5:13:36 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: A_perfect_lady

Pascal said that man is a reed but a thinking reed. He can ponder his own nature, but so far as we know, animals do not. They share much with us, but not all. For one thing they do not try to build towers reaching to heaven. To be sure, if we vanished, a visitor from another planet ten thousand years hence would have to dig deep to find any evidence of our existence. But we are here while we are here, and we do try to etch our names in stone to tell future readers we were.


26 posted on 10/26/2011 7:41:35 AM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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