The pursuit of knowledge has been condemned by various religions for centuries. As the internet continues to expand to more and more nations, one can see how the use of Facebook and other social networking sites has contributed to uprisings against cruel totalitarian leaders. One can only speculate as to how long medical knowledge was delayed by the teaching that Satan was the source of illness. How many people could have hypothesized about the universe before Galileo, but were afraid of being condemned by the Catholic Church?
I would be much more lenient toward Catholicism if it did not preach eternal suffering as a punishment for the pursuit of knowledge. The refusal to admit that one does not have knowledge of something is a virtue not a vice.
Benjamin Franklin wisely stated during the critical time period of the founding of the United States:
“On the whole, sir, I can not help expressing a wish that every member of the convention who may still have objections to it, would, with me, on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and, to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.”
So would the Church be as powerful as it is today if it did not claim infallibility?