"The Catholic church as an organization has done some pretty horrific things. "
the catholic church did not create nuclear weapons... the scientific community did... and they are the greatest threat to mankind and i'd argue that they should never have been created
actually when it comes down to it - uranium depleted rounds, biological weapons, hollow points, pipe bombs, napalm etc etc etc who developed these threats to humanity? the church or the scientific community?
I didn't come here to stack up the crimes of science against the crimes of the church, but let me explain why these are different.
There is no universal, top-down organizational structure in science that is comparable to the Catholic church, or any other similar organization. And that is ultimately what I have a problem with, certain organizational structures.
In many churches though, you have ordinarily decent people who will look the other way on crimes against children, because protecting the integrity of the church is seen as more important. Or you'll have ordinarily decent people treat blacks as second class citizens, or fight against equal rights. All until the guy at the top says it's okay to stop.
And it's not just churches, of course. You can have ordinarily good people conspire to hide information about how unsafe a sport is to protect the integrity and profitability of the sports league. Or, much like the Catholic Church, you can have good people look the other way on decades of sexual abuse to protect a college football program. You can have good, educated, college kids riot and turn over news vans rather than confronting the uncomfortable truth that their idol enabled child abuse.
There is probably a discussion to be had about specific scientific projects; The Manhattan Project, for example. What compelled otherwise good people, to create a weapon of mass destruction? If they were fundamentally convinced that it was the right thing to do, as I think an argument can be made for, I don't have much of an issue. If they did it out of a sense of duty to their country, or simply because their boss told them too, that might be something to look into.
I am no more against people having a relationship with god than I am against people studying science. But organizations can be corrupted. And fealty to organizations can make people do horrible things. As we've seen above, it can happen in any organization, but it is particularly pernicious in certain churches. And for obvious reasons. God is everything, and the Church has a monopoly on God.