Friday, 21 November 2008

The return of Popewatch

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk

Did we ever have a feature called Popewatch? I think you'll find we did - just off the top of my head I can refer you to the following editions of New Humanist: Vol 122 No3, Vol 122 No 6, Vol 123 No 1...

Let's face it - we watch Benny so you don't have to. And thank Christ we do, or you may never have known about his new power – retrospective prophecy. Yes, it turns out that the Pope knew all along that we'd be entering a period of financial turmoil, as he prophesied it in 1985. Which makes me imagine a process a little like this (I will play the role of Pope for a moment):
Person X: If only we could have known that our future would be spent living in crudely fortified caves, battling the dinosaurs so foolishly resurrected by scientists who believed they could control nature.

Me: I knew it was going to happen.

X: What?

Me: I knew, I prophesied it.

X: Why didn't you tell us?

Me: It was a prophecy. I only tell people about them after they've actually happened.
Is this what the Pope's been up to? Not really - it turns out that what he actually did in the '80s, presumably in between sniffing glue and listening to The Specials, was write an article along the lines of "sometimes bad things will happen to the economy", or in his own words a decline in ethics "can actually cause the laws of the market to collapse.''

Hardly Nostradamus, is he? But I do like how if anyone else wrote a simple assessment of things that can go wrong in the economy it would be seen as a prediction but, when the (future) Pope does it, it becomes a "prophecy".

PS - anyone who finds my dinosaurs example too ridiculous may wish to read this.

2 comments:

ChicagoMolly said...

Sounds like the Irish proverb, "Some cow will give birth to some calf some day."

Mari said...

I thank you for taking on the dirty work that none of us wanted...

Someone's got to keep an eye on him, and we're too busy watching the mormons & scientologists!