Is God Omnipresent?

Hambydammit
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Is God Omnipresent?

Christian theology teaches us that he is. I'm sure someone will disagree with me and tell me that the true scotsman... err... Christian doesn't actually believe that god is everywhere, but I know when I was in bible school they taught me the word "omnipresent" and made me memorize it in conjunction with "Omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent." That last one was always the one I couldn't remember...

Anyway, there's a point to all this. What is hell? Many a theist on this site has said that hell is the complete removal of god's presence. Hell is total separation from god.

How is that again? If god is everywhere, then hell can't exist... but if god is in hell, then what exactly is hell, and why would god want to hang around for eternity looking at billions of his creations suffering? Sounds like a masochist to me.

Anybody want to tell me what I'm missing, and give me some scripture to back it up?

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Sounds like simple minded

Sounds like simple minded theist wordplay to me, being as contradictory as 'omnipotent' - can he therefore create a rock he can't pick up?  If not why not?  If so he can't be all powerful then.  Bit off-topic but did you see that the Vatican recently declared that Limbo, where previous hundreds of years of teaching said the souls of unborn babies, mentally ill people etc went, didn't exist after all and had no theological backing.  So that's alright then...


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I had heard that, but I

I had heard that, but I don't know too much about Catholic theology.  You know what?  I'm going to make a post for St. Michael.  He'll be able to answer my next question, then I can make my next point...

Hold what you got...

 

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Hambydammit
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What?  Nobody wants to

What?  Nobody wants to take a crack at this?

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Does that mean he's in the

Does that mean he's in the toilet too, getting shat and pissed on? :ROTF:


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Not in the toilet, he IS

Not in the toilet, he IS the toilet.

 Actually as I gather from more rational Christians is that God's presence is everywhere in that he is monitoring all activity and can affect everything and everyone. Hell would be an actual place on Earth. He isn't actually in the matter or vice versa but has ultimate control over matter and souls and the hell fire.

Consider this account closed. It's disgraceful this site has no function to delete an account. I cannot be part of an organization that seeks only to replace the religion of the god of the bible with the religion of "poor me" bleeding heart liberalism. Rational my ass! Not believing in a god is one thing. A rational view of the rest of the world is something else, which isn't found here.


Hambydammit
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Boy, it's funny how many

Boy, it's funny how many reads this thread has, and how few replies.

Come on, theists!  Tell me about hell.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit
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Jesus Christ on a pogo

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick!

 

Doesn't anybody have an answer for this?  It seems like an important question.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit
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Why is it that so few

Why is it that so few people want to answer this question?

 

Anyone?

 

Anyone?

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Yes, it is correct that God

Yes, it is correct that God is everywhere. But He is not everywhere in the same way. In some, He is present by grace (in the souls of those whom He has united to His divine life), and is universally present in His power (which sustains the existence of every thing). God is thus found in hell, as by way of His power, but not by way of His unity in the Beatific Vision (or by grace, which is basically the same thing).

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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I thank you for the answer

I thank you for the answer I was waiting for.  About time someone was brave enough to say it.   My favorite method for proving god:  multiple definitions!

"Of course god is everywhere, except that he's not because everywhere is not the same for god as for us and you can't understand it because it's god and it's his definition.  But he is everywhere, because he says he's everywhere, so he is."

 Love it.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: I thank

Hambydammit wrote:

I thank you for the answer I was waiting for. About time someone was brave enough to say it. My favorite method for proving god: multiple definitions!

"Of course god is everywhere, except that he's not because everywhere is not the same for god as for us and you can't understand it because it's god and it's his definition. But he is everywhere, because he says he's everywhere, so he is."

Love it.

ROTF Hamby you crack me up.


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There are merely different

There are merely different senses of what it means to be everywhere. No Catholic or Christian would advocate that God is everywhere by being identical with every substance. Nor would they advocate that this means that God is in every place as an infinitely extended body. Nor would they advocate that God is present everywhere by grace, even in hell.

Rather, we believe that God is everywhere because He underlies every existing thing as its cause and source of existence; in this way, God is really and truly present in hell as the source of the existence of the damned souls. But He is also present in a more perfect way in the saints by dwelling in their soul through grace.

 It is really not that complicated.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: There are

StMichael wrote:

There are merely different senses of what it means to be everywhere. No Catholic or Christian would advocate that God is everywhere by being identical with every substance. Nor would they advocate that this means that God is in every place as an infinitely extended body. Nor would they advocate that God is present everywhere by grace, even in hell.

Rather, we believe that God is everywhere because He underlies every existing thing as its cause and source of existence; in this way, God is really and truly present in hell as the source of the existence of the damned souls. But He is also present in a more perfect way in the saints by dwelling in their soul through grace.

 It is really not that complicated.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

It's not complicated at all!

He's everywhere, and he's also not anywhere.

He's everywhere, affecting everything, but in such a way that it's impossible to find evidence of him or his effects anywhere.

Oh - and when those effects cause suffering and harm to people, they aren't really his effects, but, umm the devil's.

Or the fault of the people suffering.

Or, not really important because human suffering on Earth is either imaginary or not significant compared against the glory of god, etc., etc....

Simple!

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

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My best argument against

My best argument against theists is the cosmological one. So:

If an Omnipresent God is Present Everywhere then Everywhere must already Exist. So an Omnipresent God couldn't create the universe.

God had no time to create time.


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I think it false to say

I think it false to say that it is impossible to find evidence of Him. The fact that we exist depends on His causing our existence. Everything that exists depends on God for its existence.

But now, we're moving away from the initial topic. I never claimed that bad things happened merely because of the devil; in reality, the answer to that is a great deal more complex.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote:Everything

StMichael wrote:
Everything that exists depends on God for its existence.
Nonsense.
    P1. If God exists, then God depends on existence.
    P2. Therefore, existence do not depend on God.
    C1. God is not existence.

God had no time to create time.


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The fact that we exist?

The fact that we exist? You're right, that is a fact and was it the flying spaghetti monster or your christian god that made it so? I won't give any credit to "cultural evidence" of your god, it will come down to rational thought right here, right now. I believe that symbolism holds great value to people, seeing as christianity is a rather widely spread religion it is also credible as such. But what truth does it hold just in that it is widely practiced?

Your logical reasoning is slightly flawed. Because you have the disposition of being a christian and certain things about being a christian just doesn't hold up a "strictly objective" stance if I may say so.

I presume you have watched seminars with Richard Dawkins and that he made you question things about your beliefs. I'd like for you to explain how christianity lives on in your mind as a sort of ultimate truth and why you won't see it for what we atheists think it is. What are we missing? Bring something to the table, I think it'd be wonderful to see a christian take a stance on our logic, and why it is flawed to you.

/Sickboy


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I really have care very

I really have care very little about what Richard Dawkins has to say. I have both read his books and seen him speak and find his arguments very obviously shallow.

I also like the fact that you presume that, because I am a Christian, my views are automatically unjustified. 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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I'm honestly sorry I

I'm honestly sorry I expressed myself the way I did, I was merely energetic about joining the community and wanted to write my first post.

I however feel that the question which Dawkins brings to the table is rather relevant. The question whether there are any substantial evidence that speaks for the existence of a deity. His awnser being, no. And one can clearly follow his point.

How's that for an apology and a re-take? Smiling

/Sickboy


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StMichael wrote:I think

StMichael wrote:

I think it false to say that it is impossible to find evidence of Him. The fact that we exist depends on His causing our existence. Everything that exists depends on God for its existence.

But now, we're moving away from the initial topic. I never claimed that bad things happened merely because of the devil; in reality, the answer to that is a great deal more complex.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

This is not evidence.

Your alleged proofs rest upon the Aristotelian misunderstanding of the nature of motion.

Even if this foundation of your arguments were not known to be incapable of supporting any valid sequence of reasoning, still the last couple of stories you put on top of the unstable structure are in no way supported by the stages below them.

The leap to declaring that the Prime Mover must be a conscious, sentient, willful personality is supported by nothing whatsoever.

Against this, we have mountains of evidence to show that consciousness, mind, will, are characteristics only observed in evolved life forms.

These characteristics only make sense in the context of evolved life forms.

Aristotle's Great Chain of Being, from base matter at the bottom to pure spirit at the top (with man just one step down, of course), is the context in which a sentient deity seems to fit, but we now know that the GCOB was merely a misinterpretation of the evidence that in truth supports an evolutionary view.

The final step of associating the Aristotelian Prime Mover with the deity presented in the Judaeo-Christian tradition would have been met with scorn from Aristotle himself.

An honest and unbiased examination of reality does not show any evidence for a creator god, or for any such thing as dualistic spirit - spirit capable of existing separate from and independent of matter.

Those who seek to make the evidence seem to fit the hypotheses which they have already committed to, rather than studying the world with an open mind tempered by critical thinking, are led into ever more strained and belabored manipulations and explanations and justifications.

The same thing occurs when people try to defend the Bible. It is very clearly a book written by fallible humans, compiled over centuries and reflecting many different periods characterized by many different beliefs, and therefore wildly self-contradictory, and in places completely at odds with all modern concepts of physics and history and ethics.

All of your arguments are deeply mired in the obvious effects of a biased approach to understanding.

You have never shown a spirit of honest inquiry into truth, but rather a dogged determination to mold and shape the whole universe into an argument that supports not only a theist, not only a Christian, but specifically a Catholic view of the world.

 It doesn't hold up in the face of the real world as we have come to understand it over the past five centuries, nor did it ever really hold up logically even before we began to understand the physical world through the scientific approach.

If you would like to defend your take on the Problem of Evil, I've started another thread about the invalidity of the concept of free will in a universe made by an omnipotent and omniscient god, and about how even if Free will could exist in such a universe, it would in no way be a viable solution to the Problem of Evil.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


StMichael
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Quote: Your alleged proofs

Quote:
Your alleged proofs rest upon the Aristotelian misunderstanding of the nature of motion.

I see no such misunderstanding. His concept of motion is different from physical motion, but the notion still holds. Just saying that Aristotle misunderstood motion is not proof that he did do so.

Quote:
 

The leap to declaring that the Prime Mover must be a conscious, sentient, willful personality is supported by nothing whatsoever.

I would argue that it is, but I have not yet done so. The first step to prove this would be to prove that a Prime Mover exists. It would not make sense if I was to leap to my conclusion without firmly establishing my first principles.

Quote:
 

Against this, we have mountains of evidence to show that consciousness, mind, will, are characteristics only observed in evolved life forms.

These characteristics only make sense in the context of evolved life forms.

Ah, but that is your contention. Further, I would disagree with this statement as unsupported. Lastly, I would counter that we do not need to reference any exterior evidence outside of the chain of reasoning that supports the Prime Mover and His necessary attributes (such as mind or will).

Quote:
 

Aristotle's Great Chain of Being, from base matter at the bottom to pure spirit at the top (with man just one step down, of course), is the context in which a sentient deity seems to fit, but we now know that the GCOB was merely a misinterpretation of the evidence that in truth supports an evolutionary view.

I do not see how this is a misinterpretation of fact, and I would also point out that the famous "Great Chain of Being" is in fact something more attributed to Saint Thomas Aquinas and not to Aristotle.

Quote:
 

The final step of associating the Aristotelian Prime Mover with the deity presented in the Judaeo-Christian tradition would have been met with scorn from Aristotle himself.

I doubt that. Aristotle clearly identifies his Prime Mover in respect of His attributes to our concept of God. I believe it could be argued that Aristotle and many other pagan philosophers came to a knowledge of the one true God by their philosophy. 

Quote:
 

An honest and unbiased examination of reality does not show any evidence for a creator god, or for any such thing as dualistic spirit - spirit capable of existing separate from and independent of matter.

I think the first claim is totally unsupported. I think that the universe shows forth in many ways that God exists. In respect to the second claim, I believe that the argument that seperated substances can exist apart from matter is cogent. One can know this by examination of the powers of the human mind, or from rational inquiry into the nature of God (who must be a seperated substance).

Quote:
 

Those who seek to make the evidence seem to fit the hypotheses which they have already committed to, rather than studying the world with an open mind tempered by critical thinking, are led into ever more strained and belabored manipulations and explanations and justifications.

I find it odd that centuries of pagan philosophy in an open and "unbiased" way would then have discovered what I believe to be the true God. 

I find Christianity to be the completion of what natural human reason can know.  

Quote:
 

The same thing occurs when people try to defend the Bible. It is very clearly a book written by fallible humans, compiled over centuries and reflecting many different periods characterized by many different beliefs, and therefore wildly self-contradictory, and in places completely at odds with all modern concepts of physics and history and ethics.

Your contention. I find no such contradictions. I believe there is no intellectual difficulty with maintaing that the Scriptures were written by humans writing under inspiration of the Holy Spirit and, even further, are the most certain Revelation of God to humanity.

 

Quote:

All of your arguments are deeply mired in the obvious effects of a biased approach to understanding.

You have never shown a spirit of honest inquiry into truth, but rather a dogged determination to mold and shape the whole universe into an argument that supports not only a theist, not only a Christian, but specifically a Catholic view of the world.

I have no desire to twist the truth. But the truth cannot be twisted anyway. If I am speaking the truth, there is no question of it. If I am not, you can show how false my reasoning is. I argue for Catholicism and God because I believe that their doctrines clearly and truly define the nature of the universe and reality. I see no reason why this ought to cause my arguments to be false, any more than your own belief that God doesn't exist makes your arguments false or intellectually dishonest.

Quote:
 

 It doesn't hold up in the face of the real world as we have come to understand it over the past five centuries, nor did it ever really hold up logically even before we began to understand the physical world through the scientific approach.

But you have not proven anything here. You have merely asserted this to be the case. I, on the contrary, don't see this to be the case. I would point out that science itself as we know it was originated not by secular humanists, but by religious men and women during the High Middle Ages, by such greats as Albert the Great and Friar Roger Bacon and the great Dominicans and Franciscan scholars of the time. I see no reason why the knowledge of natural science ought to be at all incompatible with religious truth.

 

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: Quote:

StMichael wrote:

Quote:
Your alleged proofs rest upon the Aristotelian misunderstanding of the nature of motion.

I see no such misunderstanding. His concept of motion is different from physical motion, but the notion still holds. Just saying that Aristotle misunderstood motion is not proof that he did do so.

Quote:
 

The leap to declaring that the Prime Mover must be a conscious, sentient, willful personality is supported by nothing whatsoever.

I would argue that it is, but I have not yet done so. The first step to prove this would be to prove that a Prime Mover exists. It would not make sense if I was to leap to my conclusion without firmly establishing my first principles.

Quote:
 

Against this, we have mountains of evidence to show that consciousness, mind, will, are characteristics only observed in evolved life forms.

These characteristics only make sense in the context of evolved life forms.

Ah, but that is your contention. Further, I would disagree with this statement as unsupported. Lastly, I would counter that we do not need to reference any exterior evidence outside of the chain of reasoning that supports the Prime Mover and His necessary attributes (such as mind or will).

Quote:
 

Aristotle's Great Chain of Being, from base matter at the bottom to pure spirit at the top (with man just one step down, of course), is the context in which a sentient deity seems to fit, but we now know that the GCOB was merely a misinterpretation of the evidence that in truth supports an evolutionary view.

I do not see how this is a misinterpretation of fact, and I would also point out that the famous "Great Chain of Being" is in fact something more attributed to Saint Thomas Aquinas and not to Aristotle.

Quote:
 

The final step of associating the Aristotelian Prime Mover with the deity presented in the Judaeo-Christian tradition would have been met with scorn from Aristotle himself.

I doubt that. Aristotle clearly identifies his Prime Mover in respect of His attributes to our concept of God. I believe it could be argued that Aristotle and many other pagan philosophers came to a knowledge of the one true God by their philosophy. 

Quote:
 

An honest and unbiased examination of reality does not show any evidence for a creator god, or for any such thing as dualistic spirit - spirit capable of existing separate from and independent of matter.

I think the first claim is totally unsupported. I think that the universe shows forth in many ways that God exists. In respect to the second claim, I believe that the argument that seperated substances can exist apart from matter is cogent. One can know this by examination of the powers of the human mind, or from rational inquiry into the nature of God (who must be a seperated substance).

Quote:
 

Those who seek to make the evidence seem to fit the hypotheses which they have already committed to, rather than studying the world with an open mind tempered by critical thinking, are led into ever more strained and belabored manipulations and explanations and justifications.

I find it odd that centuries of pagan philosophy in an open and "unbiased" way would then have discovered what I believe to be the true God. 

I find Christianity to be the completion of what natural human reason can know.  

Quote:
 

The same thing occurs when people try to defend the Bible. It is very clearly a book written by fallible humans, compiled over centuries and reflecting many different periods characterized by many different beliefs, and therefore wildly self-contradictory, and in places completely at odds with all modern concepts of physics and history and ethics.

Your contention. I find no such contradictions. I believe there is no intellectual difficulty with maintaing that the Scriptures were written by humans writing under inspiration of the Holy Spirit and, even further, are the most certain Revelation of God to humanity.

 

Quote:

All of your arguments are deeply mired in the obvious effects of a biased approach to understanding.

You have never shown a spirit of honest inquiry into truth, but rather a dogged determination to mold and shape the whole universe into an argument that supports not only a theist, not only a Christian, but specifically a Catholic view of the world.

I have no desire to twist the truth. But the truth cannot be twisted anyway. If I am speaking the truth, there is no question of it. If I am not, you can show how false my reasoning is. I argue for Catholicism and God because I believe that their doctrines clearly and truly define the nature of the universe and reality. I see no reason why this ought to cause my arguments to be false, any more than your own belief that God doesn't exist makes your arguments false or intellectually dishonest.

Quote:
 

 It doesn't hold up in the face of the real world as we have come to understand it over the past five centuries, nor did it ever really hold up logically even before we began to understand the physical world through the scientific approach.

But you have not proven anything here. You have merely asserted this to be the case. I, on the contrary, don't see this to be the case. I would point out that science itself as we know it was originated not by secular humanists, but by religious men and women during the High Middle Ages, by such greats as Albert the Great and Friar Roger Bacon and the great Dominicans and Franciscan scholars of the time. I see no reason why the knowledge of natural science ought to be at all incompatible with religious truth.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

You see no such misunderstanding because you don't want to see the misunderstanding.

Aristotle's physics of motion were not about physical motion?

A perfect example of the kind of strained and ultimately incoherent explanations your approach to understanding is prone to.

Galileo overturned the Aristotelian notion that all bodies in motion tend to reach a state of rest. Aristotle was wrong about that, despite your refusal to see it.

Even the Galilean/Newtonian concept of motion is now understood to be an approximation whose results do not hold true at scales far from those available to our senses - the modern understanding of motion is even less susceptible to use in support of your notions; from wikipedia:

"Modern physics is rife with examples of 'movement without any mover', seriously undermining the first premise of the cosmological argument, that every object in motion must be moved by another object in motion. Physicist Michio Kaku directly addresses the cosmological argument in his book Hyperspace, saying it is easily dismissed by the laws of conservation of mass and energy, and the laws governing molecular physics. He quotes one of many examples - "gas molecules may bounce against the walls of a container without requiring anything or anyone to get them moving." According to Kaku, these particles could move forever, without beginning or end. So, there is no need for a First Mover to explain the origins of motion"

Leaving aside the claim - currently under debate - that "everything" is evidence of a willful sentient god, where do you see evidence of such characteristics existing outside of the physical bodies of biologically evolved life forms? 

The GCOB is generally considered to be derived from Aristotelian thought, though by medieval times it had been "christianized," as modern historians recognize.

Aristotle himself was not led to a monotheistic viewpoint by his own reasoning.

It had been fossilized into its christianized form into the structure of Catholic dogma by the 14th century, long before Aquinas.

Your argument that science was invented by clergymen has zero validity, since that was a predictable result of the church's attempts to control all learning, and to keep the masses in the abysmal ignorance that made them more controllable, and less likely to question the many absurdities of Catholic dogma.

More revealing is the fact that in their pursuit of real understanding of the world, many of the early explorers of the scientific approach were led away from Catholicism, and even from Judaeo-Christian belief generally - despite the fact that they were thoroughly indoctrinated to believe.

Indeed there should be no conflict between science and religion if the religion were true, but there is enormous conflict between science and all religious, or dualistic, or supernatural belief systems, despite your inability or refusal to see it.

 As for demonstrating the invalidity of your logic, it's been done a hundred times over on these boards, but you just reiterate your claims and ignore the arguments against them.

You miss or misinterpret the point I made about the scientific rational approach to understanding.

My disbelief in god is not an assumption I made prior to trying to understand the world, it is a result of those efforts.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


StMichael
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Quote: You see no such

Quote:

You see no such misunderstanding because you don't want to see the misunderstanding.

Aristotle's physics of motion were not about physical motion?

A perfect example of the kind of strained and ultimately incoherent explanations your approach to understanding is prone to.

Galileo overturned the Aristotelian notion that all bodies in motion tend to reach a state of rest. Aristotle was wrong about that, despite your refusal to see it.

OK, we are not talking about the same sort of motion here. Aristotelian motion is not the same to his theories of physical/local motion. He had theories about local motion, but local motion is not the same as "motion" in general. Motion, for Aristotle, is the movement of any thing from a state of potency to a state of acutality, or viceversa. Your misunderstanding of the nature of what sort of motion we are speaking about is the root of why this seems problematic.

Quote:
 

Even the Galilean/Newtonian concept of motion is now understood to be an approximation whose results do not hold true at scales far from those available to our senses - the modern understanding of motion is even less susceptible to use in support of your notions; from wikipedia:

"Modern physics is rife with examples of 'movement without any mover', seriously undermining the first premise of the cosmological argument, that every object in motion must be moved by another object in motion. Physicist Michio Kaku directly addresses the cosmological argument in his book Hyperspace, saying it is easily dismissed by the laws of conservation of mass and energy, and the laws governing molecular physics. He quotes one of many examples - "gas molecules may bounce against the walls of a container without requiring anything or anyone to get them moving." According to Kaku, these particles could move forever, without beginning or end. So, there is no need for a First Mover to explain the origins of motion"

You making a terrific mistake in what it means to move, or what a mover is in Aristotelian terms. A mover is any thing that effects change. Further, in this particular example, the gas molecules require energy in order to do their bouncing. Being made a gas is being made into a high-energy state which is what leads to such spontaneous bouncing. This increase of energy in the thing is a form of motion. Likewise, their existing in time is a forward movement in time. Nothing is in motion without a mover. Modern physics does not contradict such findings at all. In fact, if there were no movers necessary, there would be no point in physics investigating the cause of the motion of various things. It would merely end by saying, "well, they move in the way they do because they are just like that." Things in motion require movers.

Quote:
 

Leaving aside the claim - currently under debate - that "everything" is evidence of a willful sentient god, where do you see evidence of such characteristics existing outside of the physical bodies of biologically evolved life forms? 

 I see such a fact as following from God's nature, whose intelligence can be discovered by use of natural reason (following the consequences of His character as Prime Mover). However, I'd also point out that no intelligence or mind exists in bodies. That much is obvious from the character of our own minds, which are not dependent on matter for their existence.

 

Quote:

The GCOB is generally considered to be derived from Aristotelian thought, though by medieval times it had been "christianized," as modern historians recognize.

Aristotle himself was not led to a monotheistic viewpoint by his own reasoning.

That last phrase is totally unjustified. Aristotle clearly and explicitly believed in a single transcendent God.

Further, I see no reason Aristotle's "chain of being" (assuming such existed) needed to be "Christianized." 

Quote:
 

It had been fossilized into its christianized form into the structure of Catholic dogma by the 14th century, long before Aquinas.

That is also absolutely unjustified nonsense. I would further point out that you are only exposing your own ignorance of the topic when you say such things. The first place to begin in rectifying your idea is to point out that Saint Thomas lived in 1225-1275, which is clearly before the 14th century. Further, Catholic "dogma" has no such "fossil" among its tenets. It could be argued that it is essential or inherent in Catholic teaching in general, but there is no explicit dogma anywhere that says that Catholics must believe in a "great chain of being."

 

Quote:

Your argument that science was invented by clergymen has zero validity, since that was a predictable result of the church's attempts to control all learning, and to keep the masses in the abysmal ignorance that made them more controllable, and less likely to question the many absurdities of Catholic dogma.

That is also just gross ignorance. I don't know where to begin. The Catholic Church has never, ever, ever, had a desire to subdue people or to keep them ignorant. The case has always been the opposite. The medieval monasteries founded by Saint Benedict of Nursia were the strongholds of reason and learning in the ages of the Vandals and the Visigoths, and when the secular society was imploding. The only reason we have any of the learning we do today is because the Catholic Church both preserved it and increased it. The flourishing of education in the Middle Ages resulted from the stability of the Church. The cathedrals began to support grammar schools, as the monasteries also provided education. This wave of new learning evolved over time into the system of the university, which emerged in the High Middle Ages under the tutelge of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders. These two orders of mendicant friars virtually began the systematic development of university life, as well as the vibrant intellectual life which that entailed. These universities created modern systems of learning that are with us today, and encouraged a great deal of debate, such as quodlibetal questions and the like. Intellectual life was critical to the Middle Ages and came into existence almost solely as the result of the Church's sponsorship. The Church's goal has always been to sponsor systems of education, and it has had nothing to do with control. "The Truth will set you free." And the pursuit of truth in studies has been a prime goal of the Catholic Church, that by study of philosophy, literature, and the natural world, as well as theology, all men might praise God with the labor of their minds. 

Further, if the world of learning was invented by a Catholic Church intent on destroying learning, doesn't that seem a bit contradictory? A house divided against itself cannot stand....

Quote:
 

More revealing is the fact that in their pursuit of real understanding of the world, many of the early explorers of the scientific approach were led away from Catholicism, and even from Judaeo-Christian belief generally - despite the fact that they were thoroughly indoctrinated to believe.

Nonsense. Total and utter nonsense. Saints have been some of the foremost scientists of their time. The famous Society of Jesus boasted for almost all of its history to have the brightest and best minds in their respective fields of history, theology, philosophy, natural sciences (chemistry, biology, anatomical science, medicine, physics), and the like. Even today, the Jesuit Order contains some of the brightest scientists in the world. The Church herself today remains in sponsorship of science and promotes a great deal of such endeavors. For example, the Vatican Observatory. Just for fun, here is the biography of the Jesuit Father who is the director of the Observatory, so you can't claim he is a scientific bufoon:

José G. Funes, S.J. Click for full picture of José G. Funes!
Director of the Vatican ObservatoryTel: (520) 795-1918 in Tucson or 39-06-698 85266 in Rome
E-Mail:

Funes, born January 31, 1963, in Cordoba, Argentina, completed his masters' degree in astronomy (licenciado en astronomia) at the National University of Cordoba, in 1985. The theme of his master thesis was the computational analysis of the photoelectric photometry of eclipsing binary stars. In 2000 he obtained his doctorate in astronomy at the University of Padua with the study of the kinematics of the ionized gas in the inner regions of 25 disk galaxies.

Funes entered the Society of Jesus in 1985, obtaining a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1990 at the Universidad del Salvador in San Miguel, Argentina. In the same university he attained the master in philosphy (licenciado en filosofia) in 1996. In the master thesis he discussed cosmology as a science from the point of view of scientific realism. In 1995 after completing the bachelor's degree in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood.

He joined the Vatican Observatory Research Group as staff astronomer in March 2000, and he was appointed Director of the Vatican Observatory in August 2006.

Research Interests: Funes specializes in extragalactic astronomy. His field of research includes the kinematics and dynamics of disk galaxies, the star formation in the local universe. the relationship between gravitational interaction and galalctic activity.

He studies the kinematics of stars and gas in the inner regions of disk galaxies. By studying the bi-dimensional shape of the emission lines obtained from high spatial resolution, long-slit spectra along the major axes of disk galaxies, it is possible to put constraints on the mass of central supermassive black holes, which in the standard paradigm are believed to be nearly ubiquitous in galaxy centers and the engine of the phenomena related to the Active Galactic Nuclei. The goal is to extend demographics studies about super massive black holes in galaxies, in order to better define the relation between their mass and those of the spheroidal components of the hosting galaxies. This relation offers strong clues to galaxy formation and evolution. Moreover, a detailed study of the stellar and gaseous kinematics of Sa galaxies has shown an interesting phenomenon of bulge-disk orthogonal geometric and kinematical decoupling. This peculiarity suggests that the disk could be formed by accretion of material around the spheroidal component that we observe today.

VATT science: One of the major problems in Astrophysics is the understanding of the galaxy formation process. In this process, the history of the star formation rate in the universe plays a very important role. For a better comprehension of the star formation in the local universe (galaxies within 11 Mpc), Funes is conducting a deep H-alpha imaging survey using VATT. These data will provide in-depth information on the distributions of local star formation in terms of galaxy types, luminosities, and interstellar environments, and provide critical tests of the methodology used in constructing the history of the star formation rate in the universe.

In addition to this project Funes is investigating the relationship between gravitational interaction and galactic activity. To demonstrate that most Seyfert galaxies (a class of Active Galactic Nuclei) have undergone interactions, he has started a program aimed at taking deep images through the B, R, and H-alpha filters of a spectroscopically selected sample of Seyfert galaxies. The images obtained with VATT were analyzed using an adaptive filtering technique designed to emphasize faint structures and knots and to reveal disturbed morphologies (distortions in the circumnuclear regions and small bars, double nuclei, faint companions, faint tidal tails) that can be interpreted as the effect of gravitational interaction.

 

Quote:

Indeed there should be no conflict between science and religion if the religion were true, but there is enormous conflict between science and all religious, or dualistic, or supernatural belief systems, despite your inability or refusal to see it.

If I don't see it, point it out to me. As far as I have seen, it does not exist. Further, I can show that many of the tenets of my religion that you attack as being in conflict with what science shows are true from natural reason, absent any consideration of faith.

 

Quote:
 


My disbelief in god is not an assumption I made prior to trying to understand the world, it is a result of those efforts.

I can say the same thing.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

 StMichael

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael

StMichael wrote:

Quote:

You see no such misunderstanding because you don't want to see the misunderstanding.

Aristotle's physics of motion were not about physical motion?

A perfect example of the kind of strained and ultimately incoherent explanations your approach to understanding is prone to.

Galileo overturned the Aristotelian notion that all bodies in motion tend to reach a state of rest. Aristotle was wrong about that, despite your refusal to see it.

OK, we are not talking about the same sort of motion here. Aristotelian motion is not the same to his theories of physical/local motion. He had theories about local motion, but local motion is not the same as "motion" in general. Motion, for Aristotle, is the movement of any thing from a state of potency to a state of acutality, or viceversa. Your misunderstanding of the nature of what sort of motion we are speaking about is the root of why this seems problematic.

Quote:
 

Even the Galilean/Newtonian concept of motion is now understood to be an approximation whose results do not hold true at scales far from those available to our senses - the modern understanding of motion is even less susceptible to use in support of your notions; from wikipedia:

"Modern physics is rife with examples of 'movement without any mover', seriously undermining the first premise of the cosmological argument, that every object in motion must be moved by another object in motion. Physicist Michio Kaku directly addresses the cosmological argument in his book Hyperspace, saying it is easily dismissed by the laws of conservation of mass and energy, and the laws governing molecular physics. He quotes one of many examples - "gas molecules may bounce against the walls of a container without requiring anything or anyone to get them moving." According to Kaku, these particles could move forever, without beginning or end. So, there is no need for a First Mover to explain the origins of motion"

You making a terrific mistake in what it means to move, or what a mover is in Aristotelian terms. A mover is any thing that effects change. Further, in this particular example, the gas molecules require energy in order to do their bouncing. Being made a gas is being made into a high-energy state which is what leads to such spontaneous bouncing. This increase of energy in the thing is a form of motion. Likewise, their existing in time is a forward movement in time. Nothing is in motion without a mover. Modern physics does not contradict such findings at all. In fact, if there were no movers necessary, there would be no point in physics investigating the cause of the motion of various things. It would merely end by saying, "well, they move in the way they do because they are just like that." Things in motion require movers.

Quote:
 

Leaving aside the claim - currently under debate - that "everything" is evidence of a willful sentient god, where do you see evidence of such characteristics existing outside of the physical bodies of biologically evolved life forms? 

 I see such a fact as following from God's nature, whose intelligence can be discovered by use of natural reason (following the consequences of His character as Prime Mover). However, I'd also point out that no intelligence or mind exists in bodies. That much is obvious from the character of our own minds, which are not dependent on matter for their existence.

 

Quote:

The GCOB is generally considered to be derived from Aristotelian thought, though by medieval times it had been "christianized," as modern historians recognize.

Aristotle himself was not led to a monotheistic viewpoint by his own reasoning.

That last phrase is totally unjustified. Aristotle clearly and explicitly believed in a single transcendent God.

Further, I see no reason Aristotle's "chain of being" (assuming such existed) needed to be "Christianized." 

Quote:
 

It had been fossilized into its christianized form into the structure of Catholic dogma by the 14th century, long before Aquinas.

That is also absolutely unjustified nonsense. I would further point out that you are only exposing your own ignorance of the topic when you say such things. The first place to begin in rectifying your idea is to point out that Saint Thomas lived in 1225-1275, which is clearly before the 14th century. Further, Catholic "dogma" has no such "fossil" among its tenets. It could be argued that it is essential or inherent in Catholic teaching in general, but there is no explicit dogma anywhere that says that Catholics must believe in a "great chain of being."

 

Quote:

Your argument that science was invented by clergymen has zero validity, since that was a predictable result of the church's attempts to control all learning, and to keep the masses in the abysmal ignorance that made them more controllable, and less likely to question the many absurdities of Catholic dogma.

That is also just gross ignorance. I don't know where to begin. The Catholic Church has never, ever, ever, had a desire to subdue people or to keep them ignorant. The case has always been the opposite. The medieval monasteries founded by Saint Benedict of Nursia were the strongholds of reason and learning in the ages of the Vandals and the Visigoths, and when the secular society was imploding. The only reason we have any of the learning we do today is because the Catholic Church both preserved it and increased it. The flourishing of education in the Middle Ages resulted from the stability of the Church. The cathedrals began to support grammar schools, as the monasteries also provided education. This wave of new learning evolved over time into the system of the university, which emerged in the High Middle Ages under the tutelge of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders. These two orders of mendicant friars virtually began the systematic development of university life, as well as the vibrant intellectual life which that entailed. These universities created modern systems of learning that are with us today, and encouraged a great deal of debate, such as quodlibetal questions and the like. Intellectual life was critical to the Middle Ages and came into existence almost solely as the result of the Church's sponsorship. The Church's goal has always been to sponsor systems of education, and it has had nothing to do with control. "The Truth will set you free." And the pursuit of truth in studies has been a prime goal of the Catholic Church, that by study of philosophy, literature, and the natural world, as well as theology, all men might praise God with the labor of their minds. 

Further, if the world of learning was invented by a Catholic Church intent on destroying learning, doesn't that seem a bit contradictory? A house divided against itself cannot stand....

Quote:
 

More revealing is the fact that in their pursuit of real understanding of the world, many of the early explorers of the scientific approach were led away from Catholicism, and even from Judaeo-Christian belief generally - despite the fact that they were thoroughly indoctrinated to believe.

Nonsense. Total and utter nonsense. Saints have been some of the foremost scientists of their time. The famous Society of Jesus boasted for almost all of its history to have the brightest and best minds in their respective fields of history, theology, philosophy, natural sciences (chemistry, biology, anatomical science, medicine, physics), and the like. Even today, the Jesuit Order contains some of the brightest scientists in the world. The Church herself today remains in sponsorship of science and promotes a great deal of such endeavors. For example, the Vatican Observatory. Just for fun, here is the biography of the Jesuit Father who is the director of the Observatory, so you can't claim he is a scientific bufoon:

José G. Funes, S.J.Click for full picture of José G. Funes!
Director of the Vatican ObservatoryTel: (520) 795-1918 in Tucson or 39-06-698 85266 in Rome
E-Mail:

Funes, born January 31, 1963, in Cordoba, Argentina, completed his masters' degree in astronomy (licenciado en astronomia) at the National University of Cordoba, in 1985. The theme of his master thesis was the computational analysis of the photoelectric photometry of eclipsing binary stars. In 2000 he obtained his doctorate in astronomy at the University of Padua with the study of the kinematics of the ionized gas in the inner regions of 25 disk galaxies.

Funes entered the Society of Jesus in 1985, obtaining a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1990 at the Universidad del Salvador in San Miguel, Argentina. In the same university he attained the master in philosphy (licenciado en filosofia) in 1996. In the master thesis he discussed cosmology as a science from the point of view of scientific realism. In 1995 after completing the bachelor's degree in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood.

He joined the Vatican Observatory Research Group as staff astronomer in March 2000, and he was appointed Director of the Vatican Observatory in August 2006.

Research Interests: Funes specializes in extragalactic astronomy. His field of research includes the kinematics and dynamics of disk galaxies, the star formation in the local universe. the relationship between gravitational interaction and galalctic activity.

He studies the kinematics of stars and gas in the inner regions of disk galaxies. By studying the bi-dimensional shape of the emission lines obtained from high spatial resolution, long-slit spectra along the major axes of disk galaxies, it is possible to put constraints on the mass of central supermassive black holes, which in the standard paradigm are believed to be nearly ubiquitous in galaxy centers and the engine of the phenomena related to the Active Galactic Nuclei. The goal is to extend demographics studies about super massive black holes in galaxies, in order to better define the relation between their mass and those of the spheroidal components of the hosting galaxies. This relation offers strong clues to galaxy formation and evolution. Moreover, a detailed study of the stellar and gaseous kinematics of Sa galaxies has shown an interesting phenomenon of bulge-disk orthogonal geometric and kinematical decoupling. This peculiarity suggests that the disk could be formed by accretion of material around the spheroidal component that we observe today.

VATT science: One of the major problems in Astrophysics is the understanding of the galaxy formation process. In this process, the history of the star formation rate in the universe plays a very important role. For a better comprehension of the star formation in the local universe (galaxies within 11 Mpc), Funes is conducting a deep H-alpha imaging survey using VATT. These data will provide in-depth information on the distributions of local star formation in terms of galaxy types, luminosities, and interstellar environments, and provide critical tests of the methodology used in constructing the history of the star formation rate in the universe.

In addition to this project Funes is investigating the relationship between gravitational interaction and galactic activity. To demonstrate that most Seyfert galaxies (a class of Active Galactic Nuclei) have undergone interactions, he has started a program aimed at taking deep images through the B, R, and H-alpha filters of a spectroscopically selected sample of Seyfert galaxies. The images obtained with VATT were analyzed using an adaptive filtering technique designed to emphasize faint structures and knots and to reveal disturbed morphologies (distortions in the circumnuclear regions and small bars, double nuclei, faint companions, faint tidal tails) that can be interpreted as the effect of gravitational interaction.

 

Quote:

Indeed there should be no conflict between science and religion if the religion were true, but there is enormous conflict between science and all religious, or dualistic, or supernatural belief systems, despite your inability or refusal to see it.

If I don't see it, point it out to me. As far as I have seen, it does not exist. Further, I can show that many of the tenets of my religion that you attack as being in conflict with what science shows are true from natural reason, absent any consideration of faith.

Quote:
 


My disbelief in god is not an assumption I made prior to trying to understand the world, it is a result of those efforts.

I can say the same thing.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

 StMichael

I'm forced to eat a little crow here, because I don't want to contaminate the valid objections to your illogic with my careless misstatements.

All evasions to the contrary, Aristotle's whole chain of reasoning leading to the unmoved mover relies upon his misunderstanding of the nature of physical motion. It is the false belief that objects naturally tend toward rest, and require an input of energy of some kind in order to be in miotion or to remain in motion.

My statement that Aristotle did not have monothesitic beliefs was too general. Aristotle's notion of god could be called monotheistic, though it differed from Judeao-Christian monotheism in important ways; wiki again:

"In the "Metaphysics" he takes the stand that the actual is of its nature antecedent to the potential, that consequently, before all matter, and all composition of matter and form, of potentiality and actuality, there must have existed a Being Who is pure actuality, and Whose life is self-contemplative thought (noesis noeseos). The Supreme Being imparted movement to the universe by moving the First Heaven, the movement, however, emanated from the First Cause as desirable; in other words, the First Heaven, attracted by the desirability of the Supreme Being "as the soul is attracted by beauty", was set in motion, and imparted its motion to the lower spheres and thus, ultimately, to our terrestrial world. According to this theory God never leaves the eternal repose in which His blessedness consists. Will and intellect are incompatible with the eternal unchangeableness of His being. Since matter, motion, and time are eternal, the world is eternal. Yet, it is caused. The manner in which the world originated is not defined in Aristotle's philosophy. It seems hazardous to say that he taught the doctrine of Creation. This much, however, may safely be said: He lays down principles which, if carried to their logical conclusion, would lead to the doctrine that the world was made out of nothing or always has existed."

 Note the sentence:

"Will and intellect are incompatible with the eternal unchangeableness of His being."

This is not at all compatible with the Judaeo-Christian concept of god. Note also that the Unmoved Mover of Aristotle cannot participate in any active way in either the creation or the subsequent activity of the world. So your active Judaeo-Christian deity fails to be justified by the Aristotelian logic, even if that logic were valid in the light of modern scientific understanding, which it is not.

 On Aquinas' period - total goof, of course. I should have remembered that he was 13th century, but for some reason I wwas thinking 15th. My error.

In consequence, I'll concede that Aquinas very likely is largely responsible for the Christianized version of the GCOB that became a part of the body of dogma. But this was a Christianization, because as explained above, Aristotle's god-concept is not al all compatible with the Judaeo-Christian concept.

If you truly believe that the catholic church did not try to suppress or control knowledge and literacy in support of its own earthly power and political goals, your naivete (or willful blindness) is truly amazing.

In the world ruled by the alliance of feudal aristocracy and the catholic clergy (we call it the Dark Ages), and leading all the way up to he protestant reformation and beyond, the church consistently opposed knowledge and literacy for the masses, for the simple reason that knowledge and literacy contributed to disagreemant with the church and fostered heresy.

The church promoted knowledge and literacy, but only if it was acquired within the structure and under the watchful eye of church authority.

When you talked about Christians who were influential in the development of science, I thought you were talking about those, like Copernicus or Bruno, who dared to think outside the box of Catholic dogma.

I didn't know you meant the Jesuits. here's a link to a site with a brief overview of Jesuit scientific contributions from the formative years of modern science - from Loyola University, no less:

http://libraries.luc.edu/about/exhibits/jesuits/ 

It seems clear that while real science was finally getting under way, the Jesuits were spending centuries focusing most of their energies on vain attempts to deny Copernican theory.

The church was hostile enough to any thinking that contradicted Catholic dogma that they were willing to torture and burn people for such "heresy."

Or do you deny this?

Did the church not threaten Galileo with torture to force him to (dishonestly) recant his support of heliocentrism?

 

Where do you see evidence of mind or will or sentience outside the physical bodies or independent of the functioning of the physical bodies of living things?

The conflict between science and dualistic thinking is fundamental - dualistic explanations can be offered for any phenomenom, but science seeks explanations which do not rely on the whims of supernatural or spiritual entities.

It is also confirmed by the continual and total lack of any evidence for spirits or supernatural entities of any type having any effect on actual physical events.

As Einstein put it, wherever the light of science has penetrated, the attributions of effects of supernatural entities have continually had to retreat - into the darkness and shadows.

 

If you say that your attempts to understand the universe led you to your belief in the Judaeo-Chrsitian god and the truth of Catholic dogma, do you mean you had no faith in these things before trying to learn the truth about the world and how it works?

I have a hard time believing that.

Seems like you favor the approach of Augustine:

"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe."

or

"Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand."

This view has certainly been a foundation of the approach of Catholicism toward knowledge, even if you don't share it. 

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


StMichael
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Quote: All evasions to the

Quote:
All evasions to the contrary, Aristotle's whole chain of reasoning leading to the unmoved mover relies upon his misunderstanding of the nature of physical motion. It is the false belief that objects naturally tend toward rest, and require an input of energy of some kind in order to be in miotion or to remain in motion.

It has nothing to do with things tending toward rest. It has a great deal to do with the fact that motion in things cannot exist without a mover acting on the thing. Just as, for example, the log cannot catch on fire (though potentially hot) unless an actual heat source is brought into contact with the fire. In which case, the potentially hot log moves from potentially hot to actually hot and catches on fire. This sort of motion exists in all changable things and requires, logically speaking, a mover in order to cause the potential thing to become actual. Physical motion is only one example of this movement.

Quote:
 

My statement that Aristotle did not have monothesitic beliefs was too general. Aristotle's notion of god could be called monotheistic, though it differed from Judeao-Christian monotheism in important ways...

 Note the sentence:

"Will and intellect are incompatible with the eternal unchangeableness of His being."

This is not at all compatible with the Judaeo-Christian concept of god.

That is untrue. I don't know what the article means by this, but this obviously contradicts Aristotle's doctrine that God is an mind who thinks Himself. There is no ambiguity in this respect. In fact, the article itself makes that claim when it refers to God as a self-thinking thought. I think what the article means is that Aristotle would see God's will and intellect as unchanging, or as not a potential intellect or will, which is true. In fact, Christians would likewise find that God's will and intellect are immutable. This is compatible.

 

Quote:

Note also that the Unmoved Mover of Aristotle cannot participate in any active way in either the creation or the subsequent activity of the world. So your active Judaeo-Christian deity fails to be justified by the Aristotelian logic, even if that logic were valid in the light of modern scientific understanding, which it is not.

I would argue that the God discovered by natural reason clearly can interact with the world. This is proven by way of its thinking of itself would necessarily include thinking of its effects (I take liberty here, because I see no need to prove this immediately; I am sure that we can wait until later to prove my claim here). God knows and thus governs the world that He intelligently causes. His cause of the world is intentional in nature. While Aristotle may not have seen this, I see no reason why this is incompatible fundamentally with his notion of God. In fact, I see it as a complement to his philosophical position.

Quote:
 

 In consequence, I'll concede that Aquinas very likely is largely responsible for the Christianized version of the GCOB that became a part of the body of dogma. But this was a Christianization, because as explained above, Aristotle's god-concept is not al all compatible with the Judaeo-Christian concept.

Aquinas is not responsible, but I would argue that, at least, Pseudo-Dionysius is, who was far before Aquinas. Even further than him, I would argue that the same thought is found in Sacred Scripture in many places and is not without grounding in the Christian tradition. Aristotle has a notion of hierarchy in being, but it is quite close to the Christian understanding; in fact, Aristotle even posits angels in his seperated spiritual substances. However, despite differences in details, I think it is entirely and fundamentally compatible with what Christians believe.

 

Quote:

In the world ruled by the alliance of feudal aristocracy and the catholic clergy (we call it the Dark Ages), and leading all the way up to he protestant reformation and beyond, the church consistently opposed knowledge and literacy for the masses, for the simple reason that knowledge and literacy contributed to disagreemant with the church and fostered heresy.

Total nonsense. You need to support such a silly claim. The Church has consistently fostered open learning for everyone. Again, my proof of the cathedral schools, monasteries, free education for the commoners, universities, up until the present day refutes your argument soundly. The problem is a skewed understanding of history that is not grounded in fact. 

Quote:
 

The church promoted knowledge and literacy, but only if it was acquired within the structure and under the watchful eye of church authority.

I don't know what to make of this. The Church promoted knowledge, but it didn't? Make up your mind. I don't believe you can deny the fact that the Catholic Church built the very foundations of Western civilization and the entire corpus of Western knowledge was almost exclusively derived from her bosom. It is a fact of history, regardless of whether you disagree with the Church's teachings.

Quote:
 

When you talked about Christians who were influential in the development of science, I thought you were talking about those, like Copernicus or Bruno, who dared to think outside the box of Catholic dogma.

Fr. Copernicus was a faithful Catholic until the day of his death who never once contradicted a single Catholic dogma. He never was in trouble with any Church officials, and he had no problem proposing his view of heliocentrism. In fact, his work was widely held by many Church authorities, bishops and cardinals, without a tinge of blame even during the time of Galileo's trial. Bruno's execution had little to do with his scientific theories (which were not even, to my knowledge, listed in his condemnation) and a great deal more to do with his rampant heresies in other areas.

 

Quote:
 

I didn't know you meant the Jesuits. here's a link to a site with a brief overview of Jesuit scientific contributions from the formative years of modern science - from Loyola University, no less:

http://libraries.luc.edu/about/exhibits/jesuits/ 

It seems clear that while real science was finally getting under way, the Jesuits were spending centuries focusing most of their energies on vain attempts to deny Copernican theory.

 You ought to read the rest of that instead of just asserting that. There were Jesuit scientists of Galileo's time, as there were "real" secular scientists who opposed Galileo - in fact, surprise of surprises, most opposed his theory. Only later was his theory proven, and, even then, his theory was flawed in that it was likewise true that the sun moved (which Galileo rejected). Also, reading that biography of Jesuit scholars, there were only two or so mentioned who explicitly were attempting to refute Galileo's theory; Christoph Scheiner, 1575-1650 praised the work of Galileo, while he did not hold the Copernican system. The Jesuits were the "real" scientists of the era. 

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The church was hostile enough to any thinking that contradicted Catholic dogma that they were willing to torture and burn people for such "heresy."

Or do you deny this?

This is not, however, a denial of free thought in science. Even if we accept that they burned people for heresy, no scientific theory falls under heresy. As I pointed out earlier, the problem with Galileo was that he was making explicitly theological claims contrary to what the Church taught. Thus, he earned a censure. But no amount of natural science earns a condemnation from the Church.

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Did the church not threaten Galileo with torture to force him to (dishonestly) recant his support of heliocentrism?

Actually, the Church never, to my knowledge, threatened torture at all. Excommunication was the penalty for his actions, and as a penance, he lived his life in seclusion. The Church never tortured him or proposed to do so, to my knowledge. Further, the problem was not his support of heliocentrism, but his explicit contradiction of Catholic dogma. Heliocentrism itself does not contradict Catholic dogma, as many of the scientists in his time held the Copernican theory without error (such as a cardinal who was on the ecclesiastical commission to try Galileo for heresy).

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Where do you see evidence of mind or will or sentience outside the physical bodies or independent of the functioning of the physical bodies of living things?

I see it clearly present in my own mind, which is not dependent on matter for its ability to think. Likewise, it can be established from God's nature as the Prime Mover that He is likewise intelligent and has a will.

 

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The conflict between science and dualistic thinking is fundamental - dualistic explanations can be offered for any phenomenom, but science seeks explanations which do not rely on the whims of supernatural or spiritual entities.

Dualistic explanations? There is no contradiction at all. It just depends what you mean by "dualism." For example, I believe it is clearly able to be held that any physical substance is composed of a composite of matter and form - an immaterial reality and matter. This does not contradict in the least with scientific evidence. Or, for that matter, my own soul or the souls of other living things are likewise moving agents that come under the purview of physics, but the principle of life itself in this case is immaterial and cannot be shown with science. It has nothing to do with the "whims" of supernatural entities. It has a great deal to do with an accurate philosophical explanation of the world.

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It is also confirmed by the continual and total lack of any evidence for spirits or supernatural entities of any type having any effect on actual physical events.

My mind has an effect on physical events. God has an effect on physical events as the first cause. The form of a thing, or the soul of a creature, is an immaterial thing that easily has an effect on physical events, as it constantly provides the structure behind any thing.


 

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If you say that your attempts to understand the universe led you to your belief in the Judaeo-Chrsitian god and the truth of Catholic dogma, do you mean you had no faith in these things before trying to learn the truth about the world and how it works?

Actually, I did. I came to a belief in God based on my knowledge of science and philosophy.

 

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Seems like you favor the approach of Augustine:

"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe."

or

"Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand."

 

This view has certainly been a foundation of the approach of Catholicism toward knowledge, even if you don't share it.

I share both of these viewpoints, but I do not see how they contradict any claim for reasonable natural knowledge of things. Faith is not a rejection of what we naturally know, but its perfection in knowing what we cannot naturally know - God Himself.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote:Quote:

StMichael wrote:

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All evasions to the contrary, Aristotle's whole chain of reasoning leading to the unmoved mover relies upon his misunderstanding of the nature of physical motion. It is the false belief that objects naturally tend toward rest, and require an input of energy of some kind in order to be in miotion or to remain in motion.

It has nothing to do with things tending toward rest. It has a great deal to do with the fact that motion in things cannot exist without a mover acting on the thing. Just as, for example, the log cannot catch on fire (though potentially hot) unless an actual heat source is brought into contact with the fire. In which case, the potentially hot log moves from potentially hot to actually hot and catches on fire. This sort of motion exists in all changable things and requires, logically speaking, a mover in order to cause the potential thing to become actual. Physical motion is only one example of this movement.

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My statement that Aristotle did not have monothesitic beliefs was too general. Aristotle's notion of god could be called monotheistic, though it differed from Judeao-Christian monotheism in important ways...

 Note the sentence:

"Will and intellect are incompatible with the eternal unchangeableness of His being."

This is not at all compatible with the Judaeo-Christian concept of god.

That is untrue. I don't know what the article means by this, but this obviously contradicts Aristotle's doctrine that God is an mind who thinks Himself. There is no ambiguity in this respect. In fact, the article itself makes that claim when it refers to God as a self-thinking thought. I think what the article means is that Aristotle would see God's will and intellect as unchanging, or as not a potential intellect or will, which is true. In fact, Christians would likewise find that God's will and intellect are immutable. This is compatible.

 

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Note also that the Unmoved Mover of Aristotle cannot participate in any active way in either the creation or the subsequent activity of the world. So your active Judaeo-Christian deity fails to be justified by the Aristotelian logic, even if that logic were valid in the light of modern scientific understanding, which it is not.

I would argue that the God discovered by natural reason clearly can interact with the world. This is proven by way of its thinking of itself would necessarily include thinking of its effects (I take liberty here, because I see no need to prove this immediately; I am sure that we can wait until later to prove my claim here). God knows and thus governs the world that He intelligently causes. His cause of the world is intentional in nature. While Aristotle may not have seen this, I see no reason why this is incompatible fundamentally with his notion of God. In fact, I see it as a complement to his philosophical position.

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 In consequence, I'll concede that Aquinas very likely is largely responsible for the Christianized version of the GCOB that became a part of the body of dogma. But this was a Christianization, because as explained above, Aristotle's god-concept is not al all compatible with the Judaeo-Christian concept.

Aquinas is not responsible, but I would argue that, at least, Pseudo-Dionysius is, who was far before Aquinas. Even further than him, I would argue that the same thought is found in Sacred Scripture in many places and is not without grounding in the Christian tradition. Aristotle has a notion of hierarchy in being, but it is quite close to the Christian understanding; in fact, Aristotle even posits angels in his seperated spiritual substances. However, despite differences in details, I think it is entirely and fundamentally compatible with what Christians believe.

 

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In the world ruled by the alliance of feudal aristocracy and the catholic clergy (we call it the Dark Ages), and leading all the way up to he protestant reformation and beyond, the church consistently opposed knowledge and literacy for the masses, for the simple reason that knowledge and literacy contributed to disagreemant with the church and fostered heresy.

Total nonsense. You need to support such a silly claim. The Church has consistently fostered open learning for everyone. Again, my proof of the cathedral schools, monasteries, free education for the commoners, universities, up until the present day refutes your argument soundly. The problem is a skewed understanding of history that is not grounded in fact. 

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The church promoted knowledge and literacy, but only if it was acquired within the structure and under the watchful eye of church authority.

I don't know what to make of this. The Church promoted knowledge, but it didn't? Make up your mind. I don't believe you can deny the fact that the Catholic Church built the very foundations of Western civilization and the entire corpus of Western knowledge was almost exclusively derived from her bosom. It is a fact of history, regardless of whether you disagree with the Church's teachings.

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When you talked about Christians who were influential in the development of science, I thought you were talking about those, like Copernicus or Bruno, who dared to think outside the box of Catholic dogma.

Fr. Copernicus was a faithful Catholic until the day of his death who never once contradicted a single Catholic dogma. He never was in trouble with any Church officials, and he had no problem proposing his view of heliocentrism. In fact, his work was widely held by many Church authorities, bishops and cardinals, without a tinge of blame even during the time of Galileo's trial. Bruno's execution had little to do with his scientific theories (which were not even, to my knowledge, listed in his condemnation) and a great deal more to do with his rampant heresies in other areas.

 

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I didn't know you meant the Jesuits. here's a link to a site with a brief overview of Jesuit scientific contributions from the formative years of modern science - from Loyola University, no less:

http://libraries.luc.edu/about/exhibits/jesuits/ 

It seems clear that while real science was finally getting under way, the Jesuits were spending centuries focusing most of their energies on vain attempts to deny Copernican theory.

 You ought to read the rest of that instead of just asserting that. There were Jesuit scientists of Galileo's time, as there were "real" secular scientists who opposed Galileo - in fact, surprise of surprises, most opposed his theory. Only later was his theory proven, and, even then, his theory was flawed in that it was likewise true that the sun moved (which Galileo rejected). Also, reading that biography of Jesuit scholars, there were only two or so mentioned who explicitly were attempting to refute Galileo's theory; Christoph Scheiner, 1575-1650 praised the work of Galileo, while he did not hold the Copernican system. The Jesuits were the "real" scientists of the era. 

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The church was hostile enough to any thinking that contradicted Catholic dogma that they were willing to torture and burn people for such "heresy."

Or do you deny this?

This is not, however, a denial of free thought in science. Even if we accept that they burned people for heresy, no scientific theory falls under heresy. As I pointed out earlier, the problem with Galileo was that he was making explicitly theological claims contrary to what the Church taught. Thus, he earned a censure. But no amount of natural science earns a condemnation from the Church.

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Did the church not threaten Galileo with torture to force him to (dishonestly) recant his support of heliocentrism?

Actually, the Church never, to my knowledge, threatened torture at all. Excommunication was the penalty for his actions, and as a penance, he lived his life in seclusion. The Church never tortured him or proposed to do so, to my knowledge. Further, the problem was not his support of heliocentrism, but his explicit contradiction of Catholic dogma. Heliocentrism itself does not contradict Catholic dogma, as many of the scientists in his time held the Copernican theory without error (such as a cardinal who was on the ecclesiastical commission to try Galileo for heresy).

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Where do you see evidence of mind or will or sentience outside the physical bodies or independent of the functioning of the physical bodies of living things?

I see it clearly present in my own mind, which is not dependent on matter for its ability to think. Likewise, it can be established from God's nature as the Prime Mover that He is likewise intelligent and has a will.

 

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The conflict between science and dualistic thinking is fundamental - dualistic explanations can be offered for any phenomenom, but science seeks explanations which do not rely on the whims of supernatural or spiritual entities.

Dualistic explanations? There is no contradiction at all. It just depends what you mean by "dualism." For example, I believe it is clearly able to be held that any physical substance is composed of a composite of matter and form - an immaterial reality and matter. This does not contradict in the least with scientific evidence. Or, for that matter, my own soul or the souls of other living things are likewise moving agents that come under the purview of physics, but the principle of life itself in this case is immaterial and cannot be shown with science. It has nothing to do with the "whims" of supernatural entities. It has a great deal to do with an accurate philosophical explanation of the world.

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It is also confirmed by the continual and total lack of any evidence for spirits or supernatural entities of any type having any effect on actual physical events.

My mind has an effect on physical events. God has an effect on physical events as the first cause. The form of a thing, or the soul of a creature, is an immaterial thing that easily has an effect on physical events, as it constantly provides the structure behind any thing.


 

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If you say that your attempts to understand the universe led you to your belief in the Judaeo-Chrsitian god and the truth of Catholic dogma, do you mean you had no faith in these things before trying to learn the truth about the world and how it works?

Actually, I did. I came to a belief in God based on my knowledge of science and philosophy.

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Seems like you favor the approach of Augustine:

"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe."

or

"Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand."

This view has certainly been a foundation of the approach of Catholicism toward knowledge, even if you don't share it.

I share both of these viewpoints, but I do not see how they contradict any claim for reasonable natural knowledge of things. Faith is not a rejection of what we naturally know, but its perfection in knowing what we cannot naturally know - God Himself.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Man, you sure can dance.

You have written reams of attempted explanations of this concept based on the motion of ordinary objects.

Before we stir your apparent incomprehension of the principles of thermodynamics into the mix, let's put the motion issue to rest, as it were.

Was Aristotle's understanding of motion fundamentally flawed, and shown conclusively by Galileo and Newton to be fundamentally flawed?

Yes, or no?

If your answer is no, you demonstrate an ignorance of science and history so profound that it is pointless for any modern thinker to even try to discuss these issues with you.

If your answer is yes, then the burden is on you to show how this chain of reasoning (which makes statements about motion and through those statements arrives at the concept of a "Prime Mover" - not a prime firestarter or a prime converter of energies or any other such thing), is not connected to and not reliant upon Aristotle's flawed understanding of motion.

Your failure to "understand" the encyclopedia entry line that specifically contradicts your (and Aquinas' ) attempted retro-fitting of the Aristotelian "Prime Mover" to make it seem to support the Judaeo-Christian god-concept is, well - not very surprising.

Your refusal to acknowledge the church's history of opposing freedom of thought and inquiry is just bizarre.

There is no contradiction in my claim that the church promoted literacy and learning - but not for the masses, and only within the rigid controls of the church hierarchy.

You claim the church promoted literacy and learning for the masses - show me some evidence of that, before the Reformation.

And - all western knowledge proceeded from the bosom of the church - what a load.

While the church held a virtual monopoly on literacy and learning, it was inevitable that what few advances could sneak past the censors would of course come through the church.

 It was no coincidence that the years of the church's total domination of Europe were a period of unequaled lack of intellectual and philosophical and economic progress for Europe.

 It was no coincidence that true science in the modern sense did not arise until the church lost its stranglehold on European thought, nor that the vast majority of the people who truly contributed to the early development of modern science and philosophy were not Catholics, i.e.: Bacon, Spinoza, Newton, Hooke, Liebniz, Boyle, Huygens, to name a few...

An exception that proves the rule (like Galileo) is Rene Descartes - here are a couple of items from his biography that demonstrate the church's true attitude towards freedom of thought, and the effect of that attitude on the advancement of knowledge:

In 1633, Galileo was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church, and Descartes abandoned plans to publish Treatise on the World, his work of the previous four years.

In 1663, the Pope placed his [Descartes] works on the Index of Prohibited Books.

It is you that looks at the Catholic church through a filter of nonsensical idealization.

The Crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of Jews and the violent suppression of dissent, the collusion with the Nazis, the protection of child-molesting priests and the reassignment of the same to new parishes with new victims - no doubt you have answers or agile evasive dances for all of these.

What was it Jesus is supposed to have said about trees and the fruit they bring forth? Not that I agree with this rather foolish analogy myself, but how do you as a believer escape its implications for the Catholic church?

Galileo (who probably contributed more to real human understanding than all the priests and theologians who ever lived) was brought before the Inquisition.

This is an implicit threat of torture, since the church held that torture was an acceptable tool for controlling freedom of thought - which they called heresy, if it disagreed with the church's views.

Here's the Wiki entry:

  • Galileo was required to recant his heliocentric ideas; the idea that the Sun is stationary was condemned as "formally heretical." However, while there is no doubt that Pope Urban VIII and the vast majority of Church officials did not believe in heliocentrism, Catholic doctrine is defined by the pope when he speaks ex cathedra (from the Chair of Saint Peter) in matters of faith and morals. While Church officials did condemn Galileo, heliocentrism was never formally or officially condemned by the Catholic Church.
  • He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.
  • His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial and not enforced, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.

So, despite any weaselly hand-washing gestures by the church and the pope, Galileo was threatened, was imprisoned, and his ideas were censured and repressed - by the church. 

 The Jesuits...I did read it. I saw not one name that is remembered as influential in the development of science. I saw many references to attempts to disprove Copernican and Galilean theories. 

 Duality...

Since you are a living being, a product of biological and your brain is functioning (as best it can constrained by the blinders of your faith), I fail to see how you cite yourself as an example opf mind existing outside the context of evolved living organisms. Your claim of god as the other example, is of course, mere presumption. It also contradicts the true nature of Aristotle's view, which was that in order to qualify as the "Prime Mover" his "God" could not act, and could not have will or intellect.

Since you claim that it was your search for understanding that brought you to the your remarkable conclusions, does that mean you were not born into a Catholic family?

If your apparent failure to comprehend any science after Aristotle and any philosophy after Aquinas arises from some other source than a blinkered bias that refuses to see whatever might dispute the worldview and the sanctity of the Roman Catholic church - well, that would be a really strange coincidence. 

Your endorsement of Augustine's quotes implies that you are still refusing to recognize the fundamental importance of honest and unbiased inquiry, because if your inquiry is constrained to support the conclusions of your faith, you cannot be making an honest inquiry.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


StMichael
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Quote: Was Aristotle's

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Was Aristotle's understanding of motion fundamentally flawed, and shown conclusively by Galileo and Newton to be fundamentally flawed?

No. This depends on what we mean by "motion," as I said earlier, as I would say that, clearly, Aristotle's concepts of local motion are wrong. But, hey, let's look at the consequences.

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If your answer is no, you demonstrate an ignorance of science and history so profound that it is pointless for any modern thinker to even try to discuss these issues with you.

Eww... I'm frightened. Why don't we try to discuss instead of just having you call me an ignorant twit every other word? Things will proceed much better then Smiling

 

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 If your answer is yes, then the burden is on you to show how this chain of reasoning (which makes statements about motion and through those statements arrives at the concept of a "Prime Mover" - not a prime firestarter or a prime converter of energies or any other such thing), is not connected to and not reliant upon Aristotle's flawed understanding of motion.

Which, of course, it isn't.

The motion described in my argument is not the same idea of local motion that is flawed in Aristotle. It has to do with the notion of "motion" in general, not just motion in physical bodies. A motion, according to Aristotle, is any actualization of a potency, or any moving from act to potency. In other words, "motion" is somewhat equivalent to "change."

I quote the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy to clearly indicate that I am truthfully speaking of Aristotle's philosophy:

"Aristotle defines motion, by which he means change of any kind, as the actuality of a potentiality as such (or as movable, or as a potentiality -- Physics 201a 10-11, 27-29, b 4-5)."

You can look up the Physics later. Also, I point to the further elevation of the Thomistic interpretation of Aristotelian motion, which is the source of modern theories of motion in things, as derived through Leibnitz:

"Motion will thus not have to be understood as the mysterious departure of things from rest, which alone can be described, but as the outcome of the action upon one another of divergent and conflicting innate tendencies of things. Rest will be the anomaly, since things will be understood as so constituted by nature as to pass over of themselves into certain states of activity, but states of rest will be explainable as dynamic states of balance among things with opposed tendencies. Leibniz, who criticized Descartes' physics and invented a science of dynamics, explicitly acknowledged his debt to Aristotle (see, e.g., Specimen Dynamicum), whose doctrine of entelecheia he regarded himself as restoring in a modified form. From Leibniz we derive our current notions of potential and kinetic energy, whose very names, pointing to the actuality which is potential and the actuality which is motion, preserve the Thomistic resolutions of the two paradoxes in Aristotle's definition of motion."
 

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Your failure to "understand" the encyclopedia entry line that specifically contradicts your (and Aquinas' ) attempted retro-fitting of the Aristotelian "Prime Mover" to make it seem to support the Judaeo-Christian god-concept is, well - not very surprising.

I fail to see an argument here.

I easily believe that Aristotle gained such an understanding of the Christian God from observation of creation. His own theories of what this God coincide in the almost every way with the Christian God. From the point of view of Christianity, one need only cite Romans to see the easy movement from Aristotle's proof to Christian God: "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. His eternal power also and divinity: so that they are inexcusable." (Rom. 1:20).

 

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Your refusal to acknowledge the church's history of opposing freedom of thought and inquiry is just bizarre.

So says you, despite the fact that history does not support you.

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There is no contradiction in my claim that the church promoted literacy and learning - but not for the masses, and only within the rigid controls of the church hierarchy.

You claim the church promoted literacy and learning for the masses - show me some evidence of that, before the Reformation.

Umm... let's see... the cathedral schools, the monastic schools, the preservation of books in monasteries... all of which are pre-Reformation and open to the "masses."

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While the church held a virtual monopoly on literacy and learning, it was inevitable that what few advances could sneak past the censors would of course come through the church.

That is such an ignorant statement it is not even funny. The Church was the cause, for example, of the Carolignian renaissance, or the movement toward universities that caused the greater learning of the higher Middle Ages. The Church has consistenly fostered learning and the arts. I recommend the books, "How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization," or, "How the Irish Saved the Civilization"

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 It was no coincidence that the years of the church's total domination of Europe were a period of unequaled lack of intellectual and philosophical and economic progress for Europe.

Also ridiculous. The leap in learning took off as a direct result of the Church's sponsorship of learning after the fall of the Roman Empire. The high Middle Ages and the early Renaissance were a "Church-sponsored" event.

 

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 It was no coincidence that true science in the modern sense did not arise until the church lost its stranglehold on European thought, nor that the vast majority of the people who truly contributed to the early development of modern science and philosophy were not Catholics, i.e.: Bacon, Spinoza, Newton, Hooke, Liebniz, Boyle, Huygens, to name a few...

Bah. The Catholic intellectuals of the Renaissance and the later half of the Middle Ages were the foundations for the work of these later figures. Again, a lack of facts.

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An exception that proves the rule (like Galileo) is Rene Descartes - here are a couple of items from his biography that demonstrate the church's true attitude towards freedom of thought, and the effect of that attitude on the advancement of knowledge:

In 1633, Galileo was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church, and Descartes abandoned plans to publish Treatise on the World, his work of the previous four years.

In 1663, the Pope placed his [Descartes] works on the Index of Prohibited Books.

It is you that looks at the Catholic church through a filter of nonsensical idealization.

And you of course omit to mention what of Descartes was placed on the Index. Not a scientific work, mind you. Rather, his book of metaphysics. 

 

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The Crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of Jews and the violent suppression of dissent, the collusion with the Nazis, the protection of child-molesting priests and the reassignment of the same to new parishes with new victims - no doubt you have answers or agile evasive dances for all of these.

Of course, none of these affects the truth of the Catholic Church's positions. I am sure to find atheists who caused wars (for example, the atheist Nazis and Communists), or atheists who tortued people (remember Stalin, Mao, and Hitler?), or atheists who molested children.

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What was it Jesus is supposed to have said about trees and the fruit they bring forth? Not that I agree with this rather foolish analogy myself, but how do you as a believer escape its implications for the Catholic church?

I see the Catholic Church as producing good fruit. These other things do not proceed from the Church itself, but from its members who, in these cases, were of course not practicing what the Church taught or believed.

 

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Galileo (who probably contributed more to real human understanding than all the priests and theologians who ever lived) was brought before the Inquisition.

Total nonsense. Galileo's theories were disproven relatively quickly. Keppler's theories took precedence and so on and so forth. Priests confirmed the heliocentric theories of Keppler in particular, and have been instrumental throughout history in science. Take, for example, Copernicus. Galileo relied on Copernicus for his major theories.

 

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This is an implicit threat of torture, since the church held that torture was an acceptable tool for controlling freedom of thought - which they called heresy, if it disagreed with the church's views.

Torture is not an issue. It does not matter if heresy was involved here or not. Torture was never threatened in reality or in theory.

 

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 The Jesuits...I did read it. I saw not one name that is remembered as influential in the development of science. I saw many references to attempts to disprove Copernican and Galilean theories. 

Nonsense. Just look at a history of seismology to see the influence of Jesuits on science. The entire science was invented and virtually dominated by Jesuits exclusively until very recently. Archeology is likewise a science that the Jesuits specialized in. Biology remains a strong point. Astronomy is also one in which the Jesuits were key. Their observations eventually were the ones to verify the heliocentric character of the universe. Big names are Clavius, Kircher, and Grimaldi.

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  Duality...

Since you are a living being, a product of biological and your brain is functioning (as best it can constrained by the blinders of your faith), I fail to see how you cite yourself as an example opf mind existing outside the context of evolved living organisms. Your claim of god as the other example, is of course, mere presumption.

Your premise is that my mind is merely my brain. There is no reason to assume this. I think it rather obvious that the mind must be seperated from matter for at least three reasons: [1] universals cannot exist in matter and the mind thinks in universals and is hence immaterial, [2] the mind knows intelligible things more clearly in opposition to sense organs, which sense things less the more sensible they are, and [3] the mind can know all bodies, whereas any bodily organ (if the mind were just a brain) would only know one species of body.

 

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It also contradicts the true nature of Aristotle's view, which was that in order to qualify as the "Prime Mover" his "God" could not act, and could not have will or intellect.

OK, if you are so insistent on asserting that this is the case, cite Aristotle. You will not find a single statement in favor of your views because they do not exist.

 

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Since you claim that it was your search for understanding that brought you to the your remarkable conclusions, does that mean you were not born into a Catholic family?

I was, but I was not "raised" Catholic. Further, even assuming that that was the case, I know many people who were led from non-Catholic and atheistic backgrounds into a firm belief in God in the way I described.

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Your endorsement of Augustine's quotes implies that you are still refusing to recognize the fundamental importance of honest and unbiased inquiry, because if your inquiry is constrained to support the conclusions of your faith, you cannot be making an honest inquiry.

I see no reason why demonstrated truth "constrains" my knowledge. If it is demonstrably true that the earth revolves around the sun, or that 2+2=4, then that truth is necessary in order to understand other truths and to form a comprehensive knowledge of things. In a similar way, my faith informs my natural reason to discover truth. Truth leads to truth.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael, if there's

StMichael, if there's something that's worth appreciating about you, that has to be the patience that you show.

I see that many people around here mistook the "prime mover" with something that actually moves in a mechanical way only. Wouldn't be easier for everyone if you scraped this concept and named it something like "prime entity" or something on the lines of that?

OK, having said that, I will now destroy not the concept of "prime mover/entity/whatever", but the correlation that it has been attached by the Christian leaders.

Let's take it a bit from the historical point of view: we can only talk about Christianity after Jesus Christ (the name of the religion comes from there, for Pete's sake). It is a known fact that Christians have taken up numbers during and because of the Romans, having expanded, through Roman occupation, their teachings and traditions. That, however, happened, most definitely, after the supposed brith of Christ.

We also know that Aristotle lived (approximately) in 384-322 BCE. Would you therefore care to tell me how Aristotle was referring to the Christian God, through "unmoved mover", more than 300 years BEFORE he was named and brought to light ? It is of a more realistic nature to presume that he "got an understanding of" (to use your exact words) Uranus than of God.

Therefore, whatever Aristotle's "prime mover" was, it certainly wasn't the Christian God.

 

Next up: Indeed, from the point of view that YOU stated, the Church had a great deal of contribution to the evolution of world. However... don't you think that your point of view is a little bit biased? I'm saying this because you seem to not want to think of what would have happened if the Church HADN'T been there. Let me give you some possibilities:

- we would still have the clay tables found at the base of the monoliths on Easter Island

- we would still have the manuscripts of Qumran that have been lost due to you-know-who's interest

- we would still have answers for many historical questions (like what really happened to the Mayans, Aztec and Egyptian detailed explanations of history, local geography and weather, etc.) that were lost due to, yes, you guessed it, the Church's expansion

- we would still have all the people that have: a) died in the crusades; b) were burned (substitute with other death-bringing penalties) by the inquisition; c) died because of religious fervor not to eat&drink anything; d) died because of the "remedies" the Church instituted, etc.

Furthermore, we would probably have:

- unbiased schools, because schools and academies have existed from the times of Plato, they are by no means an invention of the Church

- libraries, because (as the famous Library of Alexandria), they aren't an invention of the Church either

- hospitals, because (just look at the medieval "remedies" to figure out what I mean), they are BY NO MEANS a merit of the Church

Furthermore, we would possible also have:

- true separation of state and church

- not wasting public money on religious crap

- fewer houses for God, more homes for the people

- less money to the priests, more money in the pockets of working people

- less time/money and energy spent on religious crap, more invested in science and progress

- George W. Bush not being able to blame God for telling him to invade Iraq

So think of it well, StMichael, because all the Church did was to try and correct their mistake by making others. It is true that they were teaching and had schools, but they taught what THEY THOUGHT was right. Probably to you that's OK, but to us non-Christians (includes all religions, not just atheists), it isn't. And so on and so forth.

 

"I see the Catholic Church as producing good fruit. These other things do not proceed from the Church itself, but from its members who, in these cases, were of course not practicing what the Church taught or believed."

Of course, you just had to say it. By all means, let's consider that an institution is perfectly separated from its members. "Hey, I'm a member of the Parliament, but don't worry about me going naked on the street now, I'm not actually in the exercise of the function." Man, get a grip on yourself. If the institution isn't represented by the people, then by whi is it represented? You cannot make a distinction between institution and people, because, without people, there would BE NO INSTITUTION.

Furthermore, your point is more hypocritical than you think (not blaming you for it though). How do you make a distinction from the members who have or who haven't been "practicing what the Church taught or believed"? What should we take as that ONE THING that is by no means breakable? In a normal, social institution, what the people think is what they also teach. In Church, it is practically the same. If they think that heresy is punishable by death, that's what they also teach (e.g. Inquisition). If we were to go by the point you just stated, that would mean we have to take the one thing we have as supposedly not tampered with by humans (Bible) as the true word. Therefore, down with the icons, down with men having long hair, we should start stoning women who have sex before marriage (which, with no offense intended, would mean like about 90%, at least in Europe), etc.

So, your point is wrong... VERY wrong...

 

"Torture is not an issue. It does not matter if heresy was involved here or not. Torture was never threatened in reality or in theory."

Right... Get yourself to reading more. I recommend Bartholome Benassar - "The Spanish Inquisition".

 

"I was, but I was not "raised" Catholic. Further, even assuming that that was the case, I know many people who were led from non-Catholic and atheistic backgrounds into a firm belief in God in the way I described."

Well, what can I say... every forest has it's broken twigs.

 

"Truth leads to truth."

Well, I've yet to think of something that is falser than that. This is actually coming from a man who used to understand surviving by the following method: All that he said was perfectly true, it just wasn't complete. And he had the perfect tool for that. Being asked why he failed to mention a certain detail, he could always say "You didn't ask." Get my point?

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


StMichael
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Quote: Would you therefore

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Would you therefore care to tell me how Aristotle was referring to the Christian God, through "unmoved mover", more than 300 years BEFORE he was named and brought to light ?

I know Aristotle lived before Christ. But, you see, I think that human reason discovered God Himself. I think God is clearly evidenced by the natural world and that human reason, without revelation, can attain to knowledge of Him. So, I think that many philosophers of Greece discovered God, Aristotle being merely one of many. Likewise, I see this natural fact as being the reason that so many religions arise from human beings naturally. It is, in fact, connatural for human beings to discover God and to worship Him. I never said that I thought Aristotle was a Christian. 

 

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Next up: Indeed, from the point of view that YOU stated, the Church had a great deal of contribution to the evolution of world. However... don't you think that your point of view is a little bit biased? I'm saying this because you seem to not want to think of what would have happened if the Church HADN'T been there. Let me give you some possibilities:

- we would still have the clay tables found at the base of the monoliths on Easter Island

- we would still have the manuscripts of Qumran that have been lost due to you-know-who's interest 

- we would still have answers for many historical questions (like what really happened to the Mayans, Aztec and Egyptian detailed explanations of history, local geography and weather, etc.) that were lost due to, yes, you guessed it, the Church's expansion

First, the Egyptians were not destroyed due to the Church's expansion. That is foolishness. Likewise, the civilizations of the Aztecs and the Mayans likewise were not destroyed by the Church's expansion; the Mayans, for example, declined internally and had collapsed in the 8th or 9th century prior to any Christians setting foot on the Yucatan. Further, most of historical paganism (mythology, records, ect.) that survives from Europe or elsewhere was preserved by the Church.

 

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- we would still have all the people that have: a) died in the crusades; b) were burned (substitute with other death-bringing penalties) by the inquisition; c) died because of religious fervor not to eat&drink anything; d) died because of the "remedies" the Church instituted, etc.

In specific response:

a) Regardless of the particular nature of the conflict, people die in wars all the time. However, I think it is justified to say that the Crusades were a defensive war against Muslim incursions into Europe. I personally don't see them as being a terrific blot on the Church's history. If there is one thing in the Crusades which might have been, it would have been the rape of Constantinople by the Frankish Crusaders. However, the Church never sanctioned this action, and in fact condemned it later (after it had heard of it).

b) The Inquisition was not one complete entity, first off. The most common form was regional inquisitorial bodies, like the English Inquisition or the Roman, ect. The Roman Inquisition is likewise seperate from the Spanish. Second, a more in-depth look at history would help your conception of the Inquistions. What I mean, specifically, is to look at the context in which the Inquisiton arose. At the time, it had been secular policy to kill heretics as dangers to the good of the state. This policy was being misused during the 1100s or so, by noblemen who wished to exterminate political opponents by branding them heretics. Likewise, just the crass incompotence and lack of education among the secular courts led to many unfair trials. Pope Innocent III (?I believe) led to the creation of supplement courts, the Inquistion, which would both determine whether a person was in heresy more fairly than the secular courts and which would present the heretic many chances to repent of their action and save themselves from secular punishment. The Inquisition, in fact, was a measure to reduce burning of heretics and the like. Similarly, in the history of the Inquisition, we find that the common people often appealed their cases in ordinary matters to trial in the Inquisition courts because the ecclesiastics were fairer than the secular courts. Lastly, it is foolish to say that the Inquisition either killed anyone or sentenced anyone to death. The Inquisition, by nature, was not a body with the power to impose anything more than penance. The most serious penalty imposed, which often meant capital punishment, was turning the offender over to the secular authorities, whose law punished heresy with death. Also, I would point out that all the deaths that occured during the Inquisition do not number more than a couple thousand (at the most, it may be argued that 25,000 were killed) over the period of about 400-500 years, which is not a great deal. Similarly, the rate of execution among total trials was about 1-2%. I would point out that the Protestants of the time in England (during the Spanish Inquisition) and elsewhere executed far more Catholics than any Inquisition. 

c) I have no idea what you are talking about. There is no religious fervor that has ever been sanctioned by the Church which causes men to starve themselves in that manner.

d) I also have no idea what you refer to by "remedies" the Church instituted. The Church is not a drugstore and never instituted any remedies anywhere. The Church offers remedies for sin, but I suppose that you wouldn't count that in the mix Smiling 

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Furthermore, we would probably have:

- unbiased schools, because schools and academies have existed from the times of Plato, they are by no means an invention of the Church

Two points:

The academy and the school of Plato's day were not the same as the system that was created by the Church which we have today.

Also, the academy and the schools of that time were lost during the decline of the Empire. The Church revived learning, rediscovering pagan literature and wisdom, as well as inventing and creating new methods and avenues to expand it.  

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- libraries, because (as the famous Library of Alexandria), they aren't an invention of the Church either

The Church did not invent libraries, but without the Church, libraries would not exist now in the West, as almost all learning and books would have been lost without the Benedictines.

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- hospitals, because (just look at the medieval "remedies" to figure out what I mean), they are BY NO MEANS a merit of the Church

Medieval "remedies," whatever that means, are not a product of the Church. Also, I would point out that the medieval monastic herbologists knew quite a lot about medicine, as we are learning today in archeological finds. But, actually, hospitals are a creation of the Church. Hospices and hospitals as we know them would not exist had not religious created the charitable socieites and early hospitals of their day. For example, Saint Vincent de Paul veritably invented the idea of a modern hospital. Secular society had virtually no role in their creation.

 

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Furthermore, we would possible also have:

- true separation of state and church

Rather, this idea was more-or-less invented by the Catholic Church. The Church always clearly insisted on a clear division in authority between the secular and the ecclesiastics. I can merely point at the many conflicts that the Church upheld its independence from the secular authorities, such as Thomas a Becket, in order to see that the Church has always insisted on this. This concept did not exist prior to Catholicism, where prior to it religion was established by the secular authority and was essential to it (notice why the Romans burned the Christians).

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- not wasting public money on religious crap 

So giving money to hospitals and religious-run institutes of charity is "wasting public money on religious crap?" I beg to differ strongly, sir.

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- fewer houses for God, more homes for the people

I don't see how this applies to the Catholic Church or even medieval popular religion. Most townsfolk were the means by which the great churches were built, and of their own volition. It had nothing to do with the Church's command to build a church when they hadn't enough money to build their own homes (which, in fact, I don't think a single example of that ever happening exists in recorded history).

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- less money to the priests, more money in the pockets of working people

Your evalutation of worth. Priests are people too, and their work is just as important to society. This was the evalutation of people who did and do give money to support the Church.

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- less time/money and energy spent on religious crap, more invested in science and progress

Religion led to science and progress as we know it today. More religion would be a good thing for science and progress.

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- George W. Bush not being able to blame God for telling him to invade Iraq

Never advocated anything involving GWB. Further, the president was speaking metaphorically. Further, I see no reason to link Catholicism and GWB.

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It is true that they were teaching and had schools, but they taught what THEY THOUGHT was right.

I'll just go tell the public schools not to teach physics, because it is merely what THEY THOUGHT was right. Further, there is no incompatibility with religious instruction and the liberal arts. Further, the Church never attempted to force on non-Christians Catholic religious instruction in their schools, even up to the modern day. One might have to take a theology class if you go to a Catholic school, but it is not a forced acceptance of what is taught (you are not tested, anyway, on how well you accept the doctrine itself, but your knowledge of the doctrine). 

 

 

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Of course, you just had to say it. By all means, let's consider that an institution is perfectly separated from its members. "Hey, I'm a member of the Parliament, but don't worry about me going naked on the street now, I'm not actually in the exercise of the function." Man, get a grip on yourself. If the institution isn't represented by the people, then by whi is it represented? You cannot make a distinction between institution and people, because, without people, there would BE NO INSTITUTION.

Actually, with the Church, without the people the Church would still exist because Christ would exist. But, besides that, I never said that these folks do not give the Church a bad name, which they do. I merely said that their bad behaviour does not affect the truth of what the Church teaches, nor are their personal lives reflecting what the Church teaches. The people who are misbehaving and causing scandal are not those who follow the Church's teaching, but precisely those who do not.

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Furthermore, your point is more hypocritical than you think (not blaming you for it though). How do you make a distinction from the members who have or who haven't been "practicing what the Church taught or believed"? What should we take as that ONE THING that is by no means breakable?

The doctrine of the Church is clear. You can read the Catechism. No, for example, abuse of children. No fornication, no homicide, no theft. 

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If we were to go by the point you just stated, that would mean we have to take the one thing we have as supposedly not tampered with by humans (Bible) as the true word. Therefore, down with the icons, down with men having long hair, we should start stoning women who have sex before marriage (which, with no offense intended, would mean like about 90%, at least in Europe), etc.

Except that we do not accept sola scriptura. The entire point of the Church is to provide a correct interpreation to Scripture and to teach what is necessary to salvation, as well as to actually accompish it in the sacraments. 

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

 

 

"Torture is not an issue. It does not matter if heresy was involved here or not. Torture was never threatened in reality or in theory."

Right... Get yourself to reading more. I recommend Bartholome Benassar - "The Spanish Inquisition".

 

"I was, but I was not "raised" Catholic. Further, even assuming that that was the case, I know many people who were led from non-Catholic and atheistic backgrounds into a firm belief in God in the way I described."

Well, what can I say... every forest has it's broken twigs.

 

"Truth leads to truth."

Well, I've yet to think of something that is falser than that. This is actually coming from a man who used to understand surviving by the following method: All that he said was perfectly true, it just wasn't complete. And he had the perfect tool for that. Being asked why he failed to mention a certain detail, he could always say "You didn't ask." Get my point?

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael

StMichael wrote:
Quote:

Was Aristotle's understanding of motion fundamentally flawed, and shown conclusively by Galileo and Newton to be fundamentally flawed?

No. This depends on what we mean by "motion," as I said earlier, as I would say that, clearly, Aristotle's concepts of local motion are wrong. But, hey, let's look at the consequences.

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If your answer is no, you demonstrate an ignorance of science and history so profound that it is pointless for any modern thinker to even try to discuss these issues with you.

Eww... I'm frightened. Why don't we try to discuss instead of just having you call me an ignorant twit every other word? Things will proceed much better then Smiling

 

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 If your answer is yes, then the burden is on you to show how this chain of reasoning (which makes statements about motion and through those statements arrives at the concept of a "Prime Mover" - not a prime firestarter or a prime converter of energies or any other such thing), is not connected to and not reliant upon Aristotle's flawed understanding of motion.

Which, of course, it isn't.

The motion described in my argument is not the same idea of local motion that is flawed in Aristotle. It has to do with the notion of "motion" in general, not just motion in physical bodies. A motion, according to Aristotle, is any actualization of a potency, or any moving from act to potency. In other words, "motion" is somewhat equivalent to "change."

I quote the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy to clearly indicate that I am truthfully speaking of Aristotle's philosophy:

"Aristotle defines motion, by which he means change of any kind, as the actuality of a potentiality as such (or as movable, or as a potentiality -- Physics 201a 10-11, 27-29, b 4-5)."

You can look up the Physics later. Also, I point to the further elevation of the Thomistic interpretation of Aristotelian motion, which is the source of modern theories of motion in things, as derived through Leibnitz:

"Motion will thus not have to be understood as the mysterious departure of things from rest, which alone can be described, but as the outcome of the action upon one another of divergent and conflicting innate tendencies of things. Rest will be the anomaly, since things will be understood as so constituted by nature as to pass over of themselves into certain states of activity, but states of rest will be explainable as dynamic states of balance among things with opposed tendencies. Leibniz, who criticized Descartes' physics and invented a science of dynamics, explicitly acknowledged his debt to Aristotle (see, e.g., Specimen Dynamicum), whose doctrine of entelecheia he regarded himself as restoring in a modified form. From Leibniz we derive our current notions of potential and kinetic energy, whose very names, pointing to the actuality which is potential and the actuality which is motion, preserve the Thomistic resolutions of the two paradoxes in Aristotle's definition of motion."
 

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Your failure to "understand" the encyclopedia entry line that specifically contradicts your (and Aquinas' ) attempted retro-fitting of the Aristotelian "Prime Mover" to make it seem to support the Judaeo-Christian god-concept is, well - not very surprising.

I fail to see an argument here.

I easily believe that Aristotle gained such an understanding of the Christian God from observation of creation. His own theories of what this God coincide in the almost every way with the Christian God. From the point of view of Christianity, one need only cite Romans to see the easy movement from Aristotle's proof to Christian God: "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. His eternal power also and divinity: so that they are inexcusable." (Rom. 1:20).

 

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Your refusal to acknowledge the church's history of opposing freedom of thought and inquiry is just bizarre.

So says you, despite the fact that history does not support you.

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There is no contradiction in my claim that the church promoted literacy and learning - but not for the masses, and only within the rigid controls of the church hierarchy.

You claim the church promoted literacy and learning for the masses - show me some evidence of that, before the Reformation.

Umm... let's see... the cathedral schools, the monastic schools, the preservation of books in monasteries... all of which are pre-Reformation and open to the "masses."

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While the church held a virtual monopoly on literacy and learning, it was inevitable that what few advances could sneak past the censors would of course come through the church.

That is such an ignorant statement it is not even funny. The Church was the cause, for example, of the Carolignian renaissance, or the movement toward universities that caused the greater learning of the higher Middle Ages. The Church has consistenly fostered learning and the arts. I recommend the books, "How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization," or, "How the Irish Saved the Civilization"

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 It was no coincidence that the years of the church's total domination of Europe were a period of unequaled lack of intellectual and philosophical and economic progress for Europe.

Also ridiculous. The leap in learning took off as a direct result of the Church's sponsorship of learning after the fall of the Roman Empire. The high Middle Ages and the early Renaissance were a "Church-sponsored" event.

 

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 It was no coincidence that true science in the modern sense did not arise until the church lost its stranglehold on European thought, nor that the vast majority of the people who truly contributed to the early development of modern science and philosophy were not Catholics, i.e.: Bacon, Spinoza, Newton, Hooke, Liebniz, Boyle, Huygens, to name a few...

Bah. The Catholic intellectuals of the Renaissance and the later half of the Middle Ages were the foundations for the work of these later figures. Again, a lack of facts.

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An exception that proves the rule (like Galileo) is Rene Descartes - here are a couple of items from his biography that demonstrate the church's true attitude towards freedom of thought, and the effect of that attitude on the advancement of knowledge:

In 1633, Galileo was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church, and Descartes abandoned plans to publish Treatise on the World, his work of the previous four years.

In 1663, the Pope placed his [Descartes] works on the Index of Prohibited Books.

It is you that looks at the Catholic church through a filter of nonsensical idealization.

And you of course omit to mention what of Descartes was placed on the Index. Not a scientific work, mind you. Rather, his book of metaphysics. 

 

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The Crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of Jews and the violent suppression of dissent, the collusion with the Nazis, the protection of child-molesting priests and the reassignment of the same to new parishes with new victims - no doubt you have answers or agile evasive dances for all of these.

Of course, none of these affects the truth of the Catholic Church's positions. I am sure to find atheists who caused wars (for example, the atheist Nazis and Communists), or atheists who tortued people (remember Stalin, Mao, and Hitler?), or atheists who molested children.

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What was it Jesus is supposed to have said about trees and the fruit they bring forth? Not that I agree with this rather foolish analogy myself, but how do you as a believer escape its implications for the Catholic church?

I see the Catholic Church as producing good fruit. These other things do not proceed from the Church itself, but from its members who, in these cases, were of course not practicing what the Church taught or believed.

 

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Galileo (who probably contributed more to real human understanding than all the priests and theologians who ever lived) was brought before the Inquisition.

Total nonsense. Galileo's theories were disproven relatively quickly. Keppler's theories took precedence and so on and so forth. Priests confirmed the heliocentric theories of Keppler in particular, and have been instrumental throughout history in science. Take, for example, Copernicus. Galileo relied on Copernicus for his major theories.

 

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This is an implicit threat of torture, since the church held that torture was an acceptable tool for controlling freedom of thought - which they called heresy, if it disagreed with the church's views.

Torture is not an issue. It does not matter if heresy was involved here or not. Torture was never threatened in reality or in theory.

 

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 The Jesuits...I did read it. I saw not one name that is remembered as influential in the development of science. I saw many references to attempts to disprove Copernican and Galilean theories. 

Nonsense. Just look at a history of seismology to see the influence of Jesuits on science. The entire science was invented and virtually dominated by Jesuits exclusively until very recently. Archeology is likewise a science that the Jesuits specialized in. Biology remains a strong point. Astronomy is also one in which the Jesuits were key. Their observations eventually were the ones to verify the heliocentric character of the universe. Big names are Clavius, Kircher, and Grimaldi.

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  Duality...

Since you are a living being, a product of biological and your brain is functioning (as best it can constrained by the blinders of your faith), I fail to see how you cite yourself as an example opf mind existing outside the context of evolved living organisms. Your claim of god as the other example, is of course, mere presumption.

Your premise is that my mind is merely my brain. There is no reason to assume this. I think it rather obvious that the mind must be seperated from matter for at least three reasons: [1] universals cannot exist in matter and the mind thinks in universals and is hence immaterial, [2] the mind knows intelligible things more clearly in opposition to sense organs, which sense things less the more sensible they are, and [3] the mind can know all bodies, whereas any bodily organ (if the mind were just a brain) would only know one species of body.

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It also contradicts the true nature of Aristotle's view, which was that in order to qualify as the "Prime Mover" his "God" could not act, and could not have will or intellect.

OK, if you are so insistent on asserting that this is the case, cite Aristotle. You will not find a single statement in favor of your views because they do not exist.

 

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Since you claim that it was your search for understanding that brought you to the your remarkable conclusions, does that mean you were not born into a Catholic family?

I was, but I was not "raised" Catholic. Further, even assuming that that was the case, I know many people who were led from non-Catholic and atheistic backgrounds into a firm belief in God in the way I described.

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Your endorsement of Augustine's quotes implies that you are still refusing to recognize the fundamental importance of honest and unbiased inquiry, because if your inquiry is constrained to support the conclusions of your faith, you cannot be making an honest inquiry.

I see no reason why demonstrated truth "constrains" my knowledge. If it is demonstrably true that the earth revolves around the sun, or that 2+2=4, then that truth is necessary in order to understand other truths and to form a comprehensive knowledge of things. In a similar way, my faith informs my natural reason to discover truth. Truth leads to truth.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

If Aristotle's physics is flawed - and we know that it is, it is up to you to show how the flaws in Aristotle's understanding of physics do not contaminate his metaphysics.

You have not done so.

I don't have a copy of Aristotle handy, so I have relied upon standard sources to paraphrase and summarize his view of god.

You don't like wikipedia's assertion that the prime mover cannot act or possess sentience. You claim that Aquainas did not substantially change the Prime Mover in his identification of that PM with the christian god.

Check the resource you quoted earlier, the internet encyclopedia of philosophy:

http://www.iep.utm.edu/g/god-west.htm 

You'll see this about Aristotle's concept:

"Aristotle made God passively responsible for change in the world in the sense that all things seek divine perfection. God imbues all things with order and purpose, both of which can be discovered and point to his (or its) divine existence. From those contingent things we come to know universals, whereas God knows universals prior to their existence in things. God, the highest being (though not a loving being), engages in perfect contemplation of the most worthy object, which is himself. He is thus unaware of the world and cares nothing for it, being an unmoved mover. God as pure form is wholly immaterial, and as perfect he is unchanging since he cannot become more perfect. This perfect and immutable God is therefore the apex of being and knowledge. God must be eternal. That is because time is eternal, and since there can be no time without change, change must be eternal. And for change to be eternal the cause of change-the unmoved mover-must also be eternal. To be eternal God must also be immaterial since only immaterial things are immune from change. Additionally, as an immaterial being, God is not extended in space."

 Again, it is crystal-clear that this god is perfectly passive, and must be to qualify as the unmoved mover. He is not omniscient, but completely unaware even of the existence of the world.

Here's the beginning of the entry on Aquinas:

"Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) accepted both Aristotle and Christian revelation. He accepted both reason and revelation as sources of knowledge of God. Over the neo-Platonic notion of a hierarchy of reality in which lower existences are less real and a mere shadow of the divine, Aquinas accepted gradations of form and matter. Atop the hierarchy is God as pure form and no matter. As pure actuality and no potentiality, he is perfect and therefore changeless. He is also pure intelligence and pure activity. To these Aristotelian concepts Aquinas added Christian convictions that God is loving, providential, and ruler of the universe."

 So, what both Aquinas and you either fail or refuse to recognize is that in adding the characteristics of the Christian god to Aristotle's god-concept, you have completely undermined the support of Aristotle's argument for your god.

Check as many sources as you like, and you'll see the same. Since multiple reputable sources agree with this facet of Aristotle's god-concept, again, the burden is on you to demonstrate that Aristotle thought he was arguing for a sentient, active, caring, ruling god.

BTW - your implication that I somehow edited or took out of context the wiki entry about Descartes is false, as you could have seen yourself by clicking the link. I quoted the line, and added the clarification in brackets, that "his" meant "Descartes'.

The weakness of your defense of the church is becoming quite obvious as we progress. It's clear that you do not make your judgements of the church in an unbiased way.

Instead, you adopt the view that the church gets credit for all the good it's done, but no blame for the evil - much like the Judaeo-Christian party line about god himself.

The Inquisition wasn't so bad, the Crusades weren't so bad, the church only banned some of the works of the best thinkers they had, and only implicitly threatened torture, which is, well, OK, because...why?

Excellent PR.

Why is it OK to torture people over what they believe and say?

When you say torture is not an issue, do you mean that systematic use of torture by the Catholic church as an institution is not an issue you want to discuss?

Or that such intitutional systematic use of torture should in no way reflect on the moral value we ascribe to the church as an institution, and is therefore not pertinent to any discussion as to the overall validity of the church's positions, moral and otherwise?

If your premise that study of nature leads naturally to a Roman Catholic worldview is true, it's rather surprising that none of those greats of science that I mentioned (Bacon, Spinoza, Newton, Hooke, Liebniz, Boyle, Huygens) were led back to the Catholic fold by their studies.

They seemed not to see this wonderful harmony and concordance between science and Catholicism, unlike those unforgettable giants of scientific history you mentioned: Clavius, Kircher, and Grimaldi...

 In fact, if your premise is true, and the scripture is correct that nature confirms the existence of the Christian god - so that I am "without excuse" - where is the great conversion of scientists of all faiths and backgrounds to Catholicism, or even to Christianity?

 How is it that we instead have a very clear trend in the opposite direction?

The better a person understands the alleged Creation, the less likely they are to believe in the Judaeo-Christian creator-type deity.

How do you reconcile this data with your hypothesis?

I never said that your mind is "merely" your brain. I said that mind is something we observe only in biologically evolved life forms, and that only while they live.

You do not provide a valid counter-example to this argument unless you are an inanimate object, or dead, or a disembodied consciousness floating about.

So - you were born into a Catholic family. If you had been born into a Muslim family, and surrounded by Muslim influences, the simple statistical fact is that all of your investigations of the world would have led you to believe that Muhammad had it exactly right...

How do you explain that?

Could it be that people delude themselves to believe that real evidence supports the precepts they have already accepted on faith?

Could it be that you are one of those people?

Demonstrated truth does not require faith.

No faith is required to believe that 2+2=4 or that the earth revolves around the sun. God's existence does not fit into this category, obviously.

You can not show his existence in the way that you can show evidence of the earth's orbit of the sun, or the way any child could convince themselves of the truth of 2+2=4 with a handful of pebbles.

 Since god's existence is not demonstrated truth, nor is it compatible with modern non-dualistic science, your insistence on only seeing evidence that will support your view is clearly a result of a faith-based bias.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


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Can we get back to hell?

Can we get back to hell?


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Quote: If Aristotle's

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If Aristotle's physics is flawed - and we know that it is, it is up to you to show how the flaws in Aristotle's understanding of physics do not contaminate his metaphysics.

You have not done so.

You have not disproved the only idea of motion being relied on in this proof, which is the movement between potency and act. Show me how this contradicts modern physics. It does not.

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You'll see this about Aristotle's concept:

"Aristotle made God passively responsible[....]

 Again, it is crystal-clear that this god is perfectly passive, and must be to qualify as the unmoved mover. He is not omniscient, but completely unaware even of the existence of the world.

Here's the beginning of the entry on Aquinas:

"Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) accepted both Aristotle and Christian revelation[....]

 So, what both Aquinas and you either fail or refuse to recognize is that in adding the characteristics of the Christian god to Aristotle's god-concept, you have completely undermined the support of Aristotle's argument for your god.

No, I believe this is a perfection to Aristotle's argument. I believe it follows Aristotle's premises, even though he did not think this himself. In any event, it is still clear that Aristotle's God is a pretty close throw at the dart board.

 

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Check as many sources as you like, and you'll see the same. Since multiple reputable sources agree with this facet of Aristotle's god-concept, again, the burden is on you to demonstrate that Aristotle thought he was arguing for a sentient, active, caring, ruling god.

I never claimed that he was. I claimed that it follows from the nature of the unmoved mover that God is. And I think Aristotle's premises support this. If not, show where.

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Instead, you adopt the view that the church gets credit for all the good it's done, but no blame for the evil - much like the Judaeo-Christian party line about god himself.

I think that members of the Church have done plenty evil. I just argued that your specific examples were bad, and that the Church itself can never do evil. Further, the fact that some evil members of the Church exist is no proof against the Church's teaching.

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Why is it OK to torture people over what they believe and say?

I don't think it necessarily is. But I would maintain that the Church never did this. Or, if we want to assume for the sake of argument that it had happened (which you already have assumed), I would point out that such was the normal procedure of the day. The Church's decision in this case would be to permit the lesser evil.


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If your premise that study of nature leads naturally to a Roman Catholic worldview is true, it's rather surprising that none of those greats of science that I mentioned (Bacon, Spinoza, Newton, Hooke, Liebniz, Boyle, Huygens) were led back to the Catholic fold by their studies.

I think Liebniz was, but that is my position and not a set-in-stone fact. But I think it is likewise clear that their reason led most of them to God. I did not say that study of nature leads to accepting Roman Catholicism, but that it leads to accepting God as logical. Roman Catholic religious doctrine, properly speaking, is a matter of faith and cannot be naturally proven. I believe nature leads to and supports it, but that is different.

 

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They seemed not to see this wonderful harmony and concordance between science and Catholicism, unlike those unforgettable giants of scientific history you mentioned: Clavius, Kircher, and Grimaldi...

Science and God, however, was no issue for Newton, or Hooke, or Leibniz, or Pasteur, or Spinoza, or Copernicus, or even Galileo. 

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 In fact, if your premise is true, and the scripture is correct that nature confirms the existence of the Christian god - so that I am "without excuse" - where is the great conversion of scientists of all faiths and backgrounds to Catholicism, or even to Christianity?

Humans make mistakes. I personally never said that you were without excuse (though you probably are after this conversation Smiling ) But I would point to the overwhelming history of both Christian and general belief in God in the history of science. Nobody really seemed to have much of a widespread problem with it.

 

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 How is it that we instead have a very clear trend in the opposite direction?

HA!

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The better a person understands the alleged Creation, the less likely they are to believe in the Judaeo-Christian creator-type deity.

How do you reconcile this data with your hypothesis?

I think the opposite is true. Most scientists throughout history have believed in God, even if they were merely deists like Aristotle. 

 

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I never said that your mind is "merely" your brain. I said that mind is something we observe only in biologically evolved life forms, and that only while they live.

You do not provide a valid counter-example to this argument unless you are an inanimate object, or dead, or a disembodied consciousness floating about.

I don't need to prove that such a thing exists because you could not prove it by an empirical example (you can't see, touch, or taste one by definition). You can show that, from what we know about our own minds, that they are subsistent without matter. You can likewise show that God exists and must be an immaterial substance. And this suffices. You can't know, except indirectly through material things, that an immaterial substance exists because of the way we know. 

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So - you were born into a Catholic family. If you had been born into a Muslim family, and surrounded by Muslim influences, the simple statistical fact is that all of your investigations of the world would have led you to believe that Muhammad had it exactly right...

How do you explain that?

Easy. Culture forms us into habits and gives us good predispositions for knowledge. There is nothing that contradicts my views in that. But that is not the deciding factor in whether a view is correct or not. I never claim that the pure reason I choose Catholicism over another religion is because I was raised in it (barely). I argue that Catholicism is true because it is. And I am not arguing for articles of the Catholic faith, but am merely arguing what can be known without even acknowledging that Catholicism exists. I could argue for articles of the faith in a different way, but I am not. I am arguing that a single transcendent God exists and that we have a natural duty to worship Him and to pursue Him as the only way that we can be happy. This is a matter that can be naturally known and does not need faith to be so known. Most even among the pagan philosophers, who never had revelation at all, would agree with me. 

 

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Demonstrated truth does not require faith.

 No faith is required to believe that 2+2=4 or that the earth revolves around the sun. God's existence does not fit into this category, obviously.

God's existence most certainly does fall into that category. No faith necessary. You would need faith to believe that Christ was God, but that is a different kettle of fish entirely.

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You can not show his existence in the way that you can show evidence of the earth's orbit of the sun, or the way any child could convince themselves of the truth of 2+2=4 with a handful of pebbles.

That is precisely what I am arguing that you can do.

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 Since god's existence is not demonstrated truth, nor is it compatible with modern non-dualistic science, your insistence on only seeing evidence that will support your view is clearly a result of a faith-based bias.

Even if I was the most biased person in the world, my argument's truth still stands. I could be biased beyond belief as a Republican who wanted to prove to you that tax cuts were great things. I could have a personal association with the President. I could highly benefit personally in my buisness. I could have bribed people to pass tax cuts. But that all would not change the fact, assuming the truth of my statement, that tax cuts were good. Or, for example, I could be a mathematician whose entire life was spent working out a particular problem and whose entire professional career is determined by the outcome of my theorem. I could have millions of dollars invested in my work and millions in shady bank accounts looking to profit off its success. But that doesn't change the fact that, on proving this theorem, that the theorem is true.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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Quote: I know Aristotle

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I know Aristotle lived before Christ. But, you see, I think that human reason discovered God Himself. I think God is clearly evidenced by the natural world and that human reason, without revelation, can attain to knowledge of Him. So, I think that many philosophers of Greece discovered God, Aristotle being merely one of many. Likewise, I see this natural fact as being the reason that so many religions arise from human beings naturally. It is, in fact, connatural for human beings to discover God and to worship Him. I never said that I thought Aristotle was a Christian.

You THINK human reason discovered God. I THINK you are wrong. Human reason is bound on trying to explain whatever it encounters. Some theories have been proven right, others wrong... 

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First, the Egyptians were not destroyed due to the Church's expansion. That is foolishness. Likewise, the civilizations of the Aztecs and the Mayans likewise were not destroyed by the Church's expansion; the Mayans, for example, declined internally and had collapsed in the 8th or 9th century prior to any Christians setting foot on the Yucatan. Further, most of historical paganism (mythology, records, ect.) that survives from Europe or elsewhere was preserved by the Church.

It's true, and I admit over-reacting. Funny you didn't mention about the others...

 

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In specific response:

a) Regardless of the particular nature of the conflict, people die in wars all the time. However, I think it is justified to say that the Crusades were a defensive war against Muslim incursions into Europe. I personally don't see them as being a terrific blot on the Church's history. If there is one thing in the Crusades which might have been, it would have been the rape of Constantinople by the Frankish Crusaders. However, the Church never sanctioned this action, and in fact condemned it later (after it had heard of it).

b) The Inquisition was not one complete entity, first off. The most common form was regional inquisitorial bodies, like the English Inquisition or the Roman, ect. The Roman Inquisition is likewise seperate from the Spanish. Second, a more in-depth look at history would help your conception of the Inquistions. What I mean, specifically, is to look at the context in which the Inquisiton arose. At the time, it had been secular policy to kill heretics as dangers to the good of the state. This policy was being misused during the 1100s or so, by noblemen who wished to exterminate political opponents by branding them heretics. Likewise, just the crass incompotence and lack of education among the secular courts led to many unfair trials. Pope Innocent III (?I believe) led to the creation of supplement courts, the Inquistion, which would both determine whether a person was in heresy more fairly than the secular courts and which would present the heretic many chances to repent of their action and save themselves from secular punishment. The Inquisition, in fact, was a measure to reduce burning of heretics and the like. Similarly, in the history of the Inquisition, we find that the common people often appealed their cases in ordinary matters to trial in the Inquisition courts because the ecclesiastics were fairer than the secular courts. Lastly, it is foolish to say that the Inquisition either killed anyone or sentenced anyone to death. The Inquisition, by nature, was not a body with the power to impose anything more than penance. The most serious penalty imposed, which often meant capital punishment, was turning the offender over to the secular authorities, whose law punished heresy with death. Also, I would point out that all the deaths that occured during the Inquisition do not number more than a couple thousand (at the most, it may be argued that 25,000 were killed) over the period of about 400-500 years, which is not a great deal. Similarly, the rate of execution among total trials was about 1-2%. I would point out that the Protestants of the time in England (during the Spanish Inquisition) and elsewhere executed far more Catholics than any Inquisition. 

c) I have no idea what you are talking about. There is no religious fervor that has ever been sanctioned by the Church which causes men to starve themselves in that manner.

d) I also have no idea what you refer to by "remedies" the Church instituted. The Church is not a drugstore and never instituted any remedies anywhere. The Church offers remedies for sin, but I suppose that you wouldn't count that in the mix Smiling 

OK, compound response:

a) Indeed, people die in wars all the time. Since there are/have been enough wars and conflicts already, wouldn't it have been better for religion to NOT have started others? and the point really isn't "misuse" of the politics... that WAS the policy.

b) You say that the Inquisition hasn't killed anyone? Have you bothered to study a little history? Because it certainly doesn't seem so. What you are trying to say is that it isn't the Church itself that did the killings, but the proper authority. Well, that's just like the Godfather saying "I didn't kill anyone myself, I only decided that X's existence isn't proper to our regulations". Besides, I don't exactly care whether Catholics or Protestants are killed, they're people too. Why did they have to die? Because having a BELIEF different to the general one? You'll have to come up with a far better argument than this one...

c) I'd present you a case in the news, but I doubt you'll understand anything, it's not in English. Skip this, as it really isn't important.

d) Who the heck had the hospitals back then?

You are trying to separate people from institution. You cannot do that, because, without people, there WOULDN'T BE no institution. Is there the Church of Zeus? Does anyone believe in Zeus anymore? Get my point?

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Two points:

The academy and the school of Plato's day were not the same as the system that was created by the Church which we have today.

Also, the academy and the schools of that time were lost during the decline of the Empire. The Church revived learning, rediscovering pagan literature and wisdom, as well as inventing and creating new methods and avenues to expand it.

"rediscovering pagan literature and wisdom" ? Would you care to give me ONE EXAMPLE of pagan text that was "rediscovered" during the middle ages?

And the "system we have today" is simply a more organized, "mass-production" replica of the old system. Hey, the Democracy we have today is practically an upgrade too...

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The Church did not invent libraries, but without the Church, libraries would not exist now in the West, as almost all learning and books would have been lost without the Benedictines.

And by whom would they have been destroyed exactly ... ? Many European leaders were known to have a sweet tooth for culture. Heck, even the university that I'm studying in is named after one of them.

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Medieval "remedies," whatever that means, are not a product of the Church. Also, I would point out that the medieval monastic herbologists knew quite a lot about medicine, as we are learning today in archeological finds. But, actually, hospitals are a creation of the Church. Hospices and hospitals as we know them would not exist had not religious created the charitable socieites and early hospitals of their day. For example, Saint Vincent de Paul veritably invented the idea of a modern hospital. Secular society had virtually no role in their creation.

They may not be a direct product of the Church (as indeed nobody knows the exact origin), but they have certainly been administered by it wthout any regard.

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Rather, this idea was more-or-less invented by the Catholic Church. The Church always clearly insisted on a clear division in authority between the secular and the ecclesiastics. I can merely point at the many conflicts that the Church upheld its independence from the secular authorities, such as Thomas a Becket, in order to see that the Church has always insisted on this. This concept did not exist prior to Catholicism, where prior to it religion was established by the secular authority and was essential to it (notice why the Romans burned the Christians).

OH MAN this cracks me up... Really, have you actually bothered to stody some history? Where are you located in this world, by the way, just for the record?

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So giving money to hospitals and religious-run institutes of charity is "wasting public money on religious crap?" I beg to differ strongly, sir.

Then differ strongly, sir. I don't have enough money to pay my university taxes. The last thing I need is to give away money. Besides, you only look at the full side of the glass, you don't look at the empty one (churches, houses for priests, cars of priests... or you are actually naive enough to believe they are bought by the owners' own money?).

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I don't see how this applies to the Catholic Church or even medieval popular religion. Most townsfolk were the means by which the great churches were built, and of their own volition. It had nothing to do with the Church's command to build a church when they hadn't enough money to build their own homes (which, in fact, I don't think a single example of that ever happening exists in recorded history).

Catholic, Catholic, Catholic... would you stop with the Catholics already? And you don't think that churches are being built where people have just about enough to survive, nothing more? In that case, you should see the world more. I know, it's cozy sitting in an armchair, watching TV, comfort, etc. I don't make a case to draw public money to help them, but at least not draw public money to do useless things with them.

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Your evalutation of worth. Priests are people too, and their work is just as important to society. This was the evalutation of people who did and do give money to support the Church.

Tell that to the people in the middle ages paying a compulsory tax to the church (if you're going to say that didn't happen, I'm going to tell you to read more history).

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Religion led to science and progress as we know it today. More religion would be a good thing for science and progress.

Right... and pigs generally fly, and with religion, they'd fly even faster.

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Never advocated anything involving GWB. Further, the president was speaking metaphorically. Further, I see no reason to link Catholicism and GWB.

That was supposed to be a joke, actually...

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I'll just go tell the public schools not to teach physics, because it is merely what THEY THOUGHT was right. Further, there is no incompatibility with religious instruction and the liberal arts. Further, the Church never attempted to force on non-Christians Catholic religious instruction in their schools, even up to the modern day. One might have to take a theology class if you go to a Catholic school, but it is not a forced acceptance of what is taught (you are not tested, anyway, on how well you accept the doctrine itself, but your knowledge of the doctrine). 

Oh, that's what YOU think buster, that's what YOU think... possibly it doesn't happen in the USA, but don't bet your behind for the rest of the world.

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Actually, with the Church, without the people the Church would still exist because Christ would exist. But, besides that, I never said that these folks do not give the Church a bad name, which they do. I merely said that their bad behaviour does not affect the truth of what the Church teaches, nor are their personal lives reflecting what the Church teaches. The people who are misbehaving and causing scandal are not those who follow the Church's teaching, but precisely those who do not.

Jesus Christ is dead ! Crucified ! He isn't amongst us in a physical form ! Get over it ! If I was the leader of the Romans back then and ordered all Christians to be executed, would you think there still would be a Bible today ?

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The doctrine of the Church is clear. You can read the Catechism. No, for example, abuse of children. No fornication, no homicide, no theft.

and who exactly established this? Answer before I go forward on this point.

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Except that we do not accept sola scriptura. The entire point of the Church is to provide a correct interpreation to Scripture and to teach what is necessary to salvation, as well as to actually accompish it in the sacraments.

And who exactly guarantees their interpretation is correct ?

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
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Brian37
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StMichael wrote: I think

StMichael wrote:

I think it false to say that it is impossible to find evidence of Him. The fact that we exist depends on His causing our existence. Everything that exists depends on God for its existence.

But now, we're moving away from the initial topic. I never claimed that bad things happened merely because of the devil; in reality, the answer to that is a great deal more complex.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Of course magical claims have to be complex because without the miracle atom string puller in the sky the simple solutuion would distroy your absurdities.

What is that you ask? I'll tell you.

You like what you believe. Nothing complex about that. No invisable being needed. No miracles or spirtits or men with red pitchforks or "sin". No mythology needed to explain why you buy myth as fact. You like your myth and that is why you'd do anything to defend it.

It has nothing to do with your sky daddy being real. It has to do with you wanting it to be real. But, to avoid explaining an absurd claim, it has to be complex so that you can dodge the absurdity and make it up as you go along. If your god is playdough it is easy to mold it into any shape you want without any way to objectively test or falsify existance.

We are not foold by your aomeba dodge and weave arguments to protect absurtities. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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StMichael
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Quote:


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You THINK human reason discovered God. I THINK you are wrong. Human reason is bound on trying to explain whatever it encounters. Some theories have been proven right, others wrong...

And we have not disproven my claims.

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a) Indeed, people die in wars all the time. Since there are/have been enough wars and conflicts already, wouldn't it have been better for religion to NOT have started others? and the point really isn't "misuse" of the politics... that WAS the policy.

War is justified if in defense to an unjust aggressor. Such a war against the incursions of Islam was, in my opinion, clearly justified. Regardless of the actual moral character of the war, it is possible for it to have been just.

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b) You say that the Inquisition hasn't killed anyone? Have you bothered to study a little history? Because it certainly doesn't seem so. What you are trying to say is that it isn't the Church itself that did the killings, but the proper authority. Well, that's just like the Godfather saying "I didn't kill anyone myself, I only decided that X's existence isn't proper to our regulations". Besides, I don't exactly care whether Catholics or Protestants are killed, they're people too. Why did they have to die? Because having a BELIEF different to the general one? You'll have to come up with a far better argument than this one...

It was not for having a differing belief that people were killed. People were killed due to creation of social disorder. People can hold whatever opinons they want. The problem was when, in the eyes of medievals, such a belief tore apart the fabric of religion that held Europe together. I am not necessarily defending this, but merely pointing out the reality.

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d) Who the heck had the hospitals back then?

There were no hospitals as we know them. If we want to refer to some institutions to care for the sick, many were run, but none directly by the Church. Most by various religious orders, or the like.

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You are trying to separate people from institution. You cannot do that, because, without people, there WOULDN'T BE no institution. Is there the Church of Zeus? Does anyone believe in Zeus anymore? Get my point?

Oh contraire. It is precisely our position that the Catholic Church exists apart from its individual members as a transcendent entity. It might not exist on earth without members here (which is impossible, however), but it exists nevertheless.

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"rediscovering pagan literature and wisdom" ? Would you care to give me ONE EXAMPLE of pagan text that was "rediscovered" during the middle ages?

Aristotle.

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And the "system we have today" is simply a more organized, "mass-production" replica of the old system. Hey, the Democracy we have today is practically an upgrade too...

Yep. Tis'.

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And by whom would they have been destroyed exactly ... ? Many European leaders were known to have a sweet tooth for culture. Heck, even the university that I'm studying in is named after one of them.

The Vandals, the Vikings, the Visigoths, the other marauding barbarians of the time. The decay of time acting on improperly preserved manuscripts in combination with the elements would have destroyed them. Rome was sacked multiple times, and the learning of the West was almost gone. The Benedictines preserved this for the West.

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They may not be a direct product of the Church (as indeed nobody knows the exact origin), but they have certainly been administered by it wthout any regard.

Only if they were medically acceptable in the day. You could make the same argument that hospital X was immoral because it administered remedies of the 19th century at some point in time. There were a lot of different medical theories throughout the centuries. You can't blame medieval Catholics for living in a century where microscopes had not been discovered. But they later discovered them, which is part of my point.

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OH MAN this cracks me up... Really, have you actually bothered to stody some history? Where are you located in this world, by the way, just for the record?

Yes, I stody history. The Church has very much insisted on its independence from the manipulations of the state. That's not news. I live in America, but I see no point as to why this relevant.

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Besides, you only look at the full side of the glass, you don't look at the empty one (churches, houses for priests, cars of priests... or you are actually naive enough to believe they are bought by the owners' own money?).

Yes, the faithful support priests and build churches. I see no problem.

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Catholic, Catholic, Catholic... would you stop with the Catholics already? And you don't think that churches are being built where people have just about enough to survive, nothing more?

And only because the people want it. The Catholic Church forces nobody to build a church out of their own pocket. The early immigrants to America from Europe builts TONS of churches on their own scanty penny. The Church never forced anyone to do so.

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In that case, you should see the world more. I know, it's cozy sitting in an armchair, watching TV, comfort, etc. I don't make a case to draw public money to help them, but at least not draw public money to do useless things with them.

I am a seminarian. I think I know what I'm talking about. You need to be more informed before you make radical claims.

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Tell that to the people in the middle ages paying a compulsory tax to the church (if you're going to say that didn't happen, I'm going to tell you to read more history).

That is a little different from today. But even then, the Church levied no tax directly. It was the state that acted to do so. In fact, Germany in particular and many European countries in general still tax a portion of all peoples' income to support their religious body (Catholic if Catholic, Protestant if Protestant, ect.).

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Oh, that's what YOU think buster, that's what YOU think... possibly it doesn't happen in the USA, but don't bet your behind for the rest of the world.

The Catholic Church forces nobody to accept their beliefs. At all. In classes at Catholic schools, there is no compulsion to accept the doctrine presented. The most that is done is the presentation itself.

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Jesus Christ is dead ! Crucified ! He isn't amongst us in a physical form ! Get over it !

Yes He is ("in physical form"? what is that supposed to mean?), but of course that is a matter of faith.

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If I was the leader of the Romans back then and ordered all Christians to be executed, would you think there still would be a Bible today ?

The Church would exist, the Scriptures as well. Further, they did do so. Remember the persecutions?

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The doctrine of the Church is clear. You can read the Catechism. No, for example, abuse of children. No fornication, no homicide, no theft.

and who exactly established this? Answer before I go forward on this point.

Who established what?

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Except that we do not accept sola scriptura. The entire point of the Church is to provide a correct interpreation to Scripture and to teach what is necessary to salvation, as well as to actually accompish it in the sacraments.

And who exactly guarantees their interpretation is correct ?

God.

 

 

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It has nothing to do with your sky daddy being real. It has to do with you wanting it to be real.

I can just as easily say to you, "It has nothing to do with my God being real or not. It has to do with you wanting it not to be real."

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But, to avoid explaining an absurd claim, it has to be complex so that you can dodge the absurdity and make it up as you go along. If your god is playdough it is easy to mold it into any shape you want without any way to objectively test or falsify existance.

 

We are not foold by your aomeba dodge and weave arguments to protect absurtities.

We can objectively test God's existence logically. Easy. But I am not making these things up as I go along. They're in theology and philosophy textbooks everywhere.

Just saying that I am twisting myself into pretzels is not an argument against the truth of the thing. Otherwise, I can just as easily say to you that your rationalization of atheism is merely a dodge-and-weave to protect your own absurdities.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: You have

StMichael wrote:

You have not disproved the only idea of motion being relied on in this proof, which is the movement between potency and act. Show me how this contradicts modern physics. It does not.

Aristotle's metaphysics flows from his physics, which we have both agreed are riddled with errors. Have we not?

Since you are the one claiming that all of the concepts relied upon in Aristotle's proof are valid in the modern scientific view, you should be able to present the argument in a way that makes sense in the context of the modern scientific view. You have utterly failed to do so.

Quote:

No, I believe this is a perfection to Aristotle's argument. I believe it follows Aristotle's premises, even though he did not think this himself. In any event, it is still clear that Aristotle's God is a pretty close throw at the dart board.
...
I never claimed that he was. I claimed that it follows from the nature of the unmoved mover that God is. And I think Aristotle's premises support this. If not, show where.

Reputable modern sources agree that the Aristotelian god as supposedly justified by the Prime Mover argument is fundamentally unlike the Judaeo-Christian god, and that the specific nature of his argument requires a Prime Mover who does not have the qualities that you wish to attribute to it.

You undermine the whole logical structure of Aristotle's alleged proof by attaching Judaeo-Christian god-attributes to it. The god you believe in is very clearly "moved" in Aristotle's sense - again according to reputable modern sources, which I have cited.

Your opinion that this grafting together of fundamentally incompatible notions of deity is somehow a "perfection" of Aristotle's concept is not a valid argument. It is a repetition of your bias, and a denial of the obvious.

Quote:

I think that members of the Church have done plenty evil. I just argued that your specific examples were bad, and that the Church itself can never do evil. Further, the fact that some evil members of the Church exist is no proof against the Church's teaching.
...
I don't think it necessarily is. But I would maintain that the Church never did this. Or, if we want to assume for the sake of argument that it had happened (which you already have assumed), I would point out that such was the normal procedure of the day. The Church's decision in this case would be to permit the lesser evil.

Here you provide a perfect example of how faith-based bias can interfere with the rational thought process, and with the normal human sense of ethics.

Your categorical statement that "the Church itself can never do evil" is obvious nonsense not only to atheists, but to non-Catholic Christians, and even to a lot of Catholics.

Your attempted evasions and obfuscations and excuses and denials regarding the historically well-documented, institutionally sanctioned use of torture as a method for church control of people's free thought and expression provide a clear demonstration that your biased and dishonest approach has led you to a stance that is not only absurd, but also morally repugnant.

Quote:

Science and God, however, was no issue for Newton, or Hooke, or Leibniz, or Pasteur, or Spinoza, or Copernicus, or even Galileo.

Of course the people who were taking the first steps toward bringing the light of the scientific method to bear on understanding the world had difficulty to being able to see past their own indoctrination into religion and other superstitious and ignorant views. Spinoza was one who did abandon the Judaeo-Christian god concept, even then.

But as time went on, and particularly after Darwin and others extended that light into the realm of biology, scientists became ever less likely to believe in gods.

Darwin himself, Einstein, Bohrs, Feynman, Hawking - again, just to name a few. Let's see your list of great minds of modern science that subscribe to the Judaeo-Christian monotheist view, and check how it compares.

chaospump wrote:

In fact, if your premise is true, and the scripture is correct that nature confirms the existence of the Christian god - so that I am "without excuse" - where is the great conversion of scientists of all faiths and backgrounds to Catholicism, or even to Christianity?

StMichael wrote:

Humans make mistakes. I personally never said that you were without excuse (though you probably are after this conversation Smiling ) But I would point to the overwhelming history of both Christian and general belief in God in the history of science. Nobody really seemed to have much of a widespread problem with it.

chaospump wrote:

How is it that we instead have a very clear trend in the opposite direction?

StMichael wrote:

HA!

chaospump wrote:

The better a person understands the alleged Creation, the less likely they are to believe in the Judaeo-Christian creator-type deity.
How do you reconcile this data with your hypothesis?

StMichael wrote:

I think the opposite is true. Most scientists throughout history have believed in God, even if they were merely deists like Aristotle.

From "Nature" – 1998:

Quote:

The question of religious belief among US scientists has been debated since early in the century. Our latest survey finds that, among the top natural scientists, disbelief is greater than ever — almost total.
Research on this topic began with the eminent US psychologist James H. Leuba and his landmark survey of 1914. He found that 58% of 1,000 randomly selected US scientists expressed disbelief or doubt in the existence of God, and that this figure rose to near 70% among the 400 "greater" scientists within his sample [1]. Leuba repeated his survey in somewhat different form 20 years later, and found that these percentages had increased to 67 and 85, respectively [2].
In 1996, we repeated Leuba's 1914 survey and reported our results in Nature [3]. We found little change from 1914 for American scientists generally, with 60.7% expressing disbelief or doubt. This year, we closely imitated the second phase of Leuba's 1914 survey to gauge belief among "greater" scientists, and find the rate of belief lower than ever — a mere 7% of respondents.
Leuba attributed the higher level of disbelief and doubt among "greater" scientists to their "superior knowledge, understanding, and experience" [3]. Similarly, Oxford University scientist Peter Atkins commented on our 1996 survey, "You clearly can be a scientist and have religious beliefs. But I don't think you can be a real scientist in the deepest sense of the word because they are such alien categories of knowledge." [4] Such comments led us to repeat the second phase of Leuba's study for an up-to-date comparison of the religious beliefs of "greater" and "lesser" scientists.
Our chosen group of "greater" scientists were members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Our survey found near universal rejection of the transcendent by NAS natural scientists. Disbelief in God and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers. We found the highest percentage of belief among NAS mathematicians (14.3% in God, 15.0% in immortality). Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality). Overall comparison figures for the 1914, 1933 and 1998 surveys appear in Table 1.

Table 1 Comparison of survey answers among "greater" scientists
Belief in personal God ...1914......1933..........1998
Personal belief .............27.7.........15 ............7.0
Personal disbelief .........52.7.........68 ..........72.2
Doubt or agnosticism....20.9..........17...........20.8

Belief in
human immortality........1914.......1933..........1998
Personal belief............. 35.2.........18..............7.9
Personal disbelief..........25.4.........53............76.7
Doubt or agnosticism.....43.7.........29............23.3

So, theistic belief has been significantly lower in the scientific community than among the general public for nearly a century, at least, and the disparity has continued to increase steadily during that time, among the most accomplished and significant contributors to the scientific advancement of knowledge.

Do you have some response to this clear and obvious trend, exactly as I described, and directly counter to your assertions that science should lead us to theism?

I mean some response a little more substantial than "HA!"

chaospump wrote:

I never said that your mind is "merely" your brain. I said that mind is something we observe only in biologically evolved life forms, and that only while they live.
You do not provide a valid counter-example to this argument unless you are an inanimate object, or dead, or a disembodied consciousness floating about.

StMichael wrote:

I don't need to prove that such a thing exists because you could not prove it by an empirical example (you can't see, touch, or taste one by definition). You can show that, from what we know about our own minds, that they are subsistent without matter. You can likewise show that God exists and must be an immaterial substance. And this suffices. You can't know, except indirectly through material things, that an immaterial substance exists because of the way we know.

So, even though there is no convincing evidence whatsoever of minds existing outside the bodies of living organisms, and mountains of evidence that thought is a process which is clearly a function of electrochemical activity in the nervous systems of living organisms, and mountains of evidence supporting an understanding of mind arising from the evolutionary process that shapes living organisms, you have some unspecified chain of assumptions and hand-waving that you believe makes the case that mind and thought are fundamentally independent of the physical bodies of living organisms.

Let's see this compelling reasoning.
And, could we see it in the context of a worldview that is not centuries out of date, please?

chaospump wrote:

Demonstrated truth does not require faith.
No faith is required to believe that 2+2=4 or that the earth revolves around the sun. God's existence does not fit into this category, obviously.

StMichael wrote:

God's existence most certainly does fall into that category. No faith necessary. You would need faith to believe that Christ was God, but that is a different kettle of fish entirely.

chaospump wrote:

You can not show his existence in the way that you can show evidence of the earth's orbit of the sun, or the way any child could convince themselves of the truth of 2+2=4 with a handful of pebbles.

StMichael wrote:

That is precisely what I am arguing that you can do.

Yes, that is indeed what you are arguing one can do, but you have so far not done it, nor has anyone else.

What you and all theist (indeed all dualist) propagandists continually pretend not to notice, or willfully blind yourself to, is that supernatural and spiritual entities have no observable effects in the real world that can be unambiguously attributed to them.

Rather than seeing this as strong evidence that these entities do not exist in any meaningful sense of the word, you claim it as a sort of immunity from the standards which any other explanation for real phenomena is expected to meet to be deemed even worthy of consideration.

This is not rational.

StMichael wrote:

Even if I was the most biased person in the world, my argument's truth still stands. I could be biased beyond belief as a Republican who wanted to prove to you that tax cuts were great things. I could have a personal association with the President. I could highly benefit personally in my buisness. I could have bribed people to pass tax cuts. But that all would not change the fact, assuming the truth of my statement, that tax cuts were good. Or, for example, I could be a mathematician whose entire life was spent working out a particular problem and whose entire professional career is determined by the outcome of my theorem. I could have millions of dollars invested in my work and millions in shady bank accounts looking to profit off its success. But that doesn't change the fact that, on proving this theorem, that the theorem is true.

Of course a biased person can reach correct conclusions. But what we are discussing here is the path to your conclusions, which is rendered suspect by your bias. You have managed to convince yourself that your thought processes and arguments are rational and logical and in accordance with the scientific understanding of the world.

You will not, however, convince anyone who actually does approach these questions through reason unconstrained by a faith-based bias.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


StMichael
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Quote: Aristotle's

Quote:
Aristotle's metaphysics flows from his physics, which we have both agreed are riddled with errors. Have we not?

His metaphysics is seperate from his physics. That is precisely my point.

Quote:

Since you are the one claiming that all of the concepts relied upon in Aristotle's proof are valid in the modern scientific view, you should be able to present the argument in a way that makes sense in the context of the modern scientific view. You have utterly failed to do so.

For example, the concepts in Aristotle's metaphysics of potency and act are used in physics today, as derived by Leibniz, in notions of kinetic and potential energy. Also, it doesn't of course matter because metaphysics is not the same as physics. They operate on different planes of science.

Quote:

Reputable modern sources agree that the Aristotelian god as supposedly justified by the Prime Mover argument is fundamentally unlike the Judaeo-Christian god, and that the specific nature of his argument requires a Prime Mover who does not have the qualities that you wish to attribute to it.

You undermine the whole logical structure of Aristotle's alleged proof by attaching Judaeo-Christian god-attributes to it. The god you believe in is very clearly "moved" in Aristotle's sense - again according to reputable modern sources, which I have cited.


The Christian God is completely unmoved in Aristotle's sense. I never said that Aristotle's God was entirely like the Christian God, I merely indicated that it does not conflict with his basic proof, and that it follows from his idea of God. Further, I again point out that it is fairly close to a Christian understanding. Lastly, even if you want to maintain that it is unfaithful to Aristotle, that doesn't prove that it is false.

Quote:

Your categorical statement that "the Church itself can never do evil" is obvious nonsense not only to atheists, but to non-Catholic Christians, and even to a lot of Catholics.


The Church itself is an entity that is not the sum of its members. The Church itself is not the Holy See in Vatican City, nor is the budget of the Holy See the budget of the Church. The Church according to us exists, as any catechism will tell you, in heaven, purgatory, and earth. It is the Body of Christ. What its members do privately is not an act of the Church.

Quote:

Your attempted evasions and obfuscations and excuses and denials regarding the historically well-documented, institutionally sanctioned use of torture as a method for church control of people's free thought and expression provide a clear demonstration that your biased and dishonest approach has led you to a stance that is not only absurd, but also morally repugnant.

First, your defintion of freedom of thought is ambiguous.
Second, the Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say, which I believe expresses things well: "2298
In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors."

Quote:

Of course the people who were taking the first steps toward bringing the light of the scientific method to bear on understanding the world had difficulty to being able to see past their own indoctrination into religion and other superstitious and ignorant views. Spinoza was one who did abandon the Judaeo-Christian god concept, even then.

Wonderful. 180. So, they believed in God, but were really godless in their heart.

Quote:

Darwin himself, Einstein, Bohrs, Feynman, Hawking - again, just to name a few. Let's see your list of great minds of modern science that subscribe to the Judaeo-Christian monotheist view, and check how it compares.

Abbt. Gregor Mendel, Armand David, Pierre Duhem, Fr. Paval Florensky, Robert Millikan, ET Whittaker, Arthur Compton, Michael Polyani, Fr. Carlos Filho, Arthur Peacocke, Charles Hard Townes, Stanley Yaki, Allan Sandage, Antonio Zichichi, Ghillean Prance, Fr. Michael Heller. There are plenty more. Also, Einstein, Bohrs, Feynman, and Hawking are arguably not atheists. Einstein was notoriously debated, probably holding a deist conception of God, only rejecting publicly a personal notion of God. Hawking has likewise not shown a terrible propensity to either theism or atheism. Bohrs was critical of religion, as was Feynman, but I would not call either real atheists. It is unclear what religion these particular scientists held. Most of these mainly reacted either against miracles or against a personal God.

Quote:

Do you have some response to this clear and obvious trend, exactly as I described, and directly counter to your assertions that science should lead us to theism?

I mean some response a little more substantial than "HA!"


I think you clearly took my quote out of context. I could not, however, find where that quote was from, so I cannot specifically speak about it.
Again, reading my list above, and the many Jesuits scientists who exist today in many fields of scientific inquiry, I see no room for disagreement between science and faith.

Quote:

So, even though there is no convincing evidence whatsoever of minds existing outside the bodies of living organisms, and mountains of evidence that thought is a process which is clearly a function of electrochemical activity in the nervous systems of living organisms, and mountains of evidence supporting an understanding of mind arising from the evolutionary process that shapes living organisms, you have some unspecified chain of assumptions and hand-waving that you believe makes the case that mind and thought are fundamentally independent of the physical bodies of living organisms.


There are not mountains of evidence that mental activity is purely electrochemical. There is evidence that mental activity includes electrochemical activity, but that is a different claim.

Quote:

Let's see this compelling reasoning.
And, could we see it in the context of a worldview that is not centuries out of date, please?

The evidence is from our natural knowledge of God's existence, from which we can reason that God, an immaterial substance, is intelligent. Further, it is bolstered by the fact that mind itself is immaterial, even in human beings, which I believe that I proved earlier. Lastly, mind and universal objects of mental "perception" are obviously immaterial. It takes an immaterial agent to know immaterials.

Quote:

Yes, that is indeed what you are arguing one can do, but you have so far not done it, nor has anyone else.

Read the proofs that I posted here or on my blog on this site. These are the ones I think clearly demonstrate that God exists.

Quote:

What you and all theist (indeed all dualist) propagandists continually pretend not to notice, or willfully blind yourself to, is that supernatural and spiritual entities have no observable effects in the real world that can be unambiguously attributed to them.

Of course they do. God is the cause of all things. Forms or ideas exist in things as their intelligibility. They obviously have effects on the physical world, because the physical world as we know it cannot exist without them.

Quote:

Rather than seeing this as strong evidence that these entities do not exist in any meaningful sense of the word, you claim it as a sort of immunity from the standards which any other explanation for real phenomena is expected to meet to be deemed even worthy of consideration.

This is not rational.


The positing of spiritual entities, like forms of objects, is a necessity in order to present a rational account of the object. I also think your standards by which any real phenomena is explained are likewise faulty (as I am assuming you deny metaphysical truths).

Quote:

You will not, however, convince anyone who actually does approach these questions through reason unconstrained by a faith-based bias.


Of course I can. If my process of reasoning is fine, which is what we are discussing, then there is no reason why my conclusions are faulty. Anything other than that is ad hominem evidence.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: I really

StMichael wrote:

I really have care very little about what Richard Dawkins has to say. I have both read his books and seen him speak and find his arguments very obviously shallow.

You'd think you'd consider him a kindred spirt then. 

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StMichael wrote:Quote:

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Aristotle's metaphysics flows from his physics, which we have both agreed are riddled with errors. Have we not?
His metaphysics is seperate from his physics. That is precisely my point.
Quote:
Since you are the one claiming that all of the concepts relied upon in Aristotle's proof are valid in the modern scientific view, you should be able to present the argument in a way that makes sense in the context of the modern scientific view. You have utterly failed to do so.
For example, the concepts in Aristotle's metaphysics of potency and act are used in physics today, as derived by Leibniz, in notions of kinetic and potential energy. Also, it doesn't of course matter because metaphysics is not the same as physics. They operate on different planes of science.
Quote:
Reputable modern sources agree that the Aristotelian god as supposedly justified by the Prime Mover argument is fundamentally unlike the Judaeo-Christian god, and that the specific nature of his argument requires a Prime Mover who does not have the qualities that you wish to attribute to it. You undermine the whole logical structure of Aristotle's alleged proof by attaching Judaeo-Christian god-attributes to it. The god you believe in is very clearly "moved" in Aristotle's sense - again according to reputable modern sources, which I have cited.
The Christian God is completely unmoved in Aristotle's sense. I never said that Aristotle's God was entirely like the Christian God, I merely indicated that it does not conflict with his basic proof, and that it follows from his idea of God. Further, I again point out that it is fairly close to a Christian understanding. Lastly, even if you want to maintain that it is unfaithful to Aristotle, that doesn't prove that it is false.
Quote:
Your categorical statement that "the Church itself can never do evil" is obvious nonsense not only to atheists, but to non-Catholic Christians, and even to a lot of Catholics.
The Church itself is an entity that is not the sum of its members. The Church itself is not the Holy See in Vatican City, nor is the budget of the Holy See the budget of the Church. The Church according to us exists, as any catechism will tell you, in heaven, purgatory, and earth. It is the Body of Christ. What its members do privately is not an act of the Church.
Quote:
Your attempted evasions and obfuscations and excuses and denials regarding the historically well-documented, institutionally sanctioned use of torture as a method for church control of people's free thought and expression provide a clear demonstration that your biased and dishonest approach has led you to a stance that is not only absurd, but also morally repugnant.
First, your defintion of freedom of thought is ambiguous. Second, the Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say, which I believe expresses things well: "2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors."
Quote:
Of course the people who were taking the first steps toward bringing the light of the scientific method to bear on understanding the world had difficulty to being able to see past their own indoctrination into religion and other superstitious and ignorant views. Spinoza was one who did abandon the Judaeo-Christian god concept, even then.
Wonderful. 180. So, they believed in God, but were really godless in their heart.
Quote:
Darwin himself, Einstein, Bohrs, Feynman, Hawking - again, just to name a few. Let's see your list of great minds of modern science that subscribe to the Judaeo-Christian monotheist view, and check how it compares.
Abbt. Gregor Mendel, Armand David, Pierre Duhem, Fr. Paval Florensky, Robert Millikan, ET Whittaker, Arthur Compton, Michael Polyani, Fr. Carlos Filho, Arthur Peacocke, Charles Hard Townes, Stanley Yaki, Allan Sandage, Antonio Zichichi, Ghillean Prance, Fr. Michael Heller. There are plenty more. Also, Einstein, Bohrs, Feynman, and Hawking are arguably not atheists. Einstein was notoriously debated, probably holding a deist conception of God, only rejecting publicly a personal notion of God. Hawking has likewise not shown a terrible propensity to either theism or atheism. Bohrs was critical of religion, as was Feynman, but I would not call either real atheists. It is unclear what religion these particular scientists held. Most of these mainly reacted either against miracles or against a personal God.
Quote:
Do you have some response to this clear and obvious trend, exactly as I described, and directly counter to your assertions that science should lead us to theism? I mean some response a little more substantial than "HA!"
I think you clearly took my quote out of context. I could not, however, find where that quote was from, so I cannot specifically speak about it. Again, reading my list above, and the many Jesuits scientists who exist today in many fields of scientific inquiry, I see no room for disagreement between science and faith.
Quote:
So, even though there is no convincing evidence whatsoever of minds existing outside the bodies of living organisms, and mountains of evidence that thought is a process which is clearly a function of electrochemical activity in the nervous systems of living organisms, and mountains of evidence supporting an understanding of mind arising from the evolutionary process that shapes living organisms, you have some unspecified chain of assumptions and hand-waving that you believe makes the case that mind and thought are fundamentally independent of the physical bodies of living organisms.
There are not mountains of evidence that mental activity is purely electrochemical. There is evidence that mental activity includes electrochemical activity, but that is a different claim.
Quote:
Let's see this compelling reasoning. And, could we see it in the context of a worldview that is not centuries out of date, please?
The evidence is from our natural knowledge of God's existence, from which we can reason that God, an immaterial substance, is intelligent. Further, it is bolstered by the fact that mind itself is immaterial, even in human beings, which I believe that I proved earlier. Lastly, mind and universal objects of mental "perception" are obviously immaterial. It takes an immaterial agent to know immaterials.
Quote:
Yes, that is indeed what you are arguing one can do, but you have so far not done it, nor has anyone else.
Read the proofs that I posted here or on my blog on this site. These are the ones I think clearly demonstrate that God exists.
Quote:
What you and all theist (indeed all dualist) propagandists continually pretend not to notice, or willfully blind yourself to, is that supernatural and spiritual entities have no observable effects in the real world that can be unambiguously attributed to them.
Of course they do. God is the cause of all things. Forms or ideas exist in things as their intelligibility. They obviously have effects on the physical world, because the physical world as we know it cannot exist without them.
Quote:
Rather than seeing this as strong evidence that these entities do not exist in any meaningful sense of the word, you claim it as a sort of immunity from the standards which any other explanation for real phenomena is expected to meet to be deemed even worthy of consideration. This is not rational.
The positing of spiritual entities, like forms of objects, is a necessity in order to present a rational account of the object. I also think your standards by which any real phenomena is explained are likewise faulty (as I am assuming you deny metaphysical truths).
Quote:
You will not, however, convince anyone who actually does approach these questions through reason unconstrained by a faith-based bias.
Of course I can. If my process of reasoning is fine, which is what we are discussing, then there is no reason why my conclusions are faulty. Anything other than that is ad hominem evidence. Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom, StMichael

Well, I think we're done here.

Your "proofs" don't stand up to scrutiny - not in terms of their own validity, nor in terms of their applicability to the Judaeo-Christian god.

You deny simple and obvious truths, like the fact that many evils have been perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church - as an institution, and like the fact that scientific study of the world long has been and still remains far more likely to lead people away from theistic belief than toward it.

Your understanding of science, of history, of logic, and of ethics - all are twisted and contorted by your unwillingness to question certain premises; your faith functions as a sort of Torquemada of the mind.

Your biases and their destructive effect on your reasoning process should be crystal clear to any reader who does not already share them, and probably even to many who do, but at least are honest enough with themselves to admit that they base their view on faith - and NOT on reason.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


todangst
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StMichael

StMichael wrote:
Quote:

Would you therefore care to tell me how Aristotle was referring to the Christian God, through "unmoved mover", more than 300 years BEFORE he was named and brought to light ?

I know Aristotle lived before Christ. But, you see, I think that human reason discovered God Himself. I think God is clearly evidenced by the natural world and that human reason, without revelation, can attain to knowledge of Him. 

Aristotles movers were deistic in tone, and utterly unlike the 'personal' god of christian theism.... they were a philosophical necessity (in his eyes).

So there's really nothing in aristotle that actually aligns with christian thought.... instead, christians simply tried to warp aristotle to fit their own needs. 

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chaospump wrote: Here you

chaospump wrote:
Here you provide a perfect example of how faith-based bias can interfere with the rational thought process, and with the normal human sense of ethics. Your categorical statement that "the Church itself can never do evil" is obvious nonsense not only to atheists, but to non-Catholic Christians, and even to a lot of Catholics.

His claim is based on the presumption that he can separate 'the church' from its members, as if 'the church' were a distinct entity apart from its leaders and adherents.  He needs to back this up, and show how this can make sense. 

Quote:
 

 Your attempted evasions and obfuscations and excuses and denials regarding the historically well-documented, institutionally sanctioned use of torture as a method for church control of people's free thought and expression provide a clear demonstration that your biased and dishonest approach has led you to a stance that is not only absurd, but also morally repugnant.

Hey, that's our mike!

 

 

Quote:
Of course the people who were taking the first steps toward bringing the light of the scientific method to bear on understanding the world had difficulty to being able to see past their own indoctrination into religion and other superstitious and ignorant views. Spinoza was one who did abandon the Judaeo-Christian god concept, even then. But as time went on, and particularly after Darwin and others extended that light into the realm of biology, scientists became ever less likely to believe in gods.

I'd also like to add more points for mike to ignore: that it is an error to hold that theism itself had anything to do, whatsover, with the work of these 'theistic' scientists. It was the scientific method, not their 'religion' that led to their insights.

In addition, the fact that a scientist is a christian in no way demonstrates that the scienist used scientific or even rational thinking to become a theist....  

 

Quote:

Darwin himself, Einstein, Bohrs, Feynman, Hawking - again, just to name a few. Let's see your list of great minds of modern science that subscribe to the Judaeo-Christian monotheist view, and check how it compares.

As time passes, it gets worse and worse...

 But again, the real issues is this:  what relationship does theism have to their discoveries and does the fact that they are intelligent thinkers have anything to do with how they became theists?

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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RhadTheGizmo
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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:
Christian theology teaches us that he is. I'm sure someone will disagree with me and tell me that the true scotsman... err... Christian doesn't actually believe that god is everywhere, but I know when I was in bible school they taught me the word "omnipresent" and made me memorize it in conjunction with "Omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent." That last one was always the one I couldn't remember... Anyway, there's a point to all this. What is hell? Many a theist on this site has said that hell is the complete removal of god's presence. Hell is total separation from god. How is that again? If god is everywhere, then hell can't exist... but if god is in hell, then what exactly is hell, and why would god want to hang around for eternity looking at billions of his creations suffering? Sounds like a masochist to me. Anybody want to tell me what I'm missing, and give me some scripture to back it up?

I will put my two cents in. My answer to this question is one of that will not address any of the other comments in this thread because.. well-- they went off to many different tangents and I don't agree with all that St.Michael states.

With all respects to St.Michael.

So here is my response:

Is God omnipresent? And if so, how can you believe in hell (because of the seemingly, many, contradictory implications)

If God is God, in the sense that most Christians believe him to be, he is the source of life. As the source of life, all things exist because he is there. If one were to seperate from him completely, it would no longer exist. In this sense, from the Devil to the most innocent of child, God exists at the very least to point that they exist.

I personally, do not believe in the existence of Hell in the classical sense of eternal punishment (like that described by Dante, or any punishment of like eternality). Hell.. I suppose, can be described as the total seperation from God-- at which time they would cease to exist.

(Before you tell me that Hell is necessary within the Christian belief system.. think about whether that is what you wish to change the subject to.)

On another note, I personally find it a bit contradictory to state that God is completely loving yet will choose, at the end of time, to punish people eternally for what are, otherwise, finite lives of finite sins. And not only that the punishment seems to far outweigh the "crime".. but rather that the punishment requires God's presence to keep these individuals alive to be punished.

But of course.. the preceeding paragraph might use the terminology a believer of this idea might not agree with-- and therefore, I submit to there disagreements.

 Footnote: I would also like to credit St.Augustine with some of the logic within this post.  I don't claim him to be perfect.. only giving credit where credit is due.

 


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Quote: Aristotles movers

Quote:

Aristotles movers were deistic in tone, and utterly unlike the 'personal' god of christian theism.... they were a philosophical necessity (in his eyes).
So there's really nothing in aristotle that actually aligns with christian thought.... instead, christians simply tried to warp aristotle to fit their own needs.

I have already spoken about this elsewhere. Even though Aristotle did not believe in a personal God, I think his natural reason attained a knowledge of the Christian God, and I believe his premises support such a view.

Quote:

Well, I think we're done here.
Your "proofs" don't stand up to scrutiny - not in terms of their own validity, nor in terms of their applicability to the Judaeo-Christian god.
You deny simple and obvious truths, like the fact that many evils have been perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church - as an institution, and like the fact that scientific study of the world long has been and still remains far more likely to lead people away from theistic belief than toward it.
Your understanding of science, of history, of logic, and of ethics - all are twisted and contorted by your unwillingness to question certain premises; your faith functions as a sort of Torquemada of the mind.
Your biases and their destructive effect on your reasoning process should be crystal clear to any reader who does not already share them, and probably even to many who do, but at least are honest enough with themselves to admit that they base their view on faith - and NOT on reason.

Just asserting that I am not rational and refusing to refute my arguments is not proof in the least. Further, I do place my views in my faith, but my faith is just not incompatible with my reason.

Quote:

His claim is based on the presumption that he can separate 'the church' from its members, as if 'the church' were a distinct entity apart from its leaders and adherents. He needs to back this up, and show how this can make sense.

The Church is a transcendent entity which is the Body of Christ existing on earth, in heaven, and in purgatory (Church Militant, Triumphant, and Suffering).

Quote:

…that it is an error to hold that theism itself had anything to do, whatsover, with the work of these 'theistic' scientists. It was the scientific method, not their 'religion' that led to their insights.

I never claimed that they derived scientific results from their articles of faith. I claimed that scientific progress and faith were not inimical.

Quote:

In addition, the fact that a scientist is a christian in no way demonstrates that the scienist used scientific or even rational thinking to become a theist....

I was showing that these scientists found faith and reason compatible. It would be utterly irrational for a scientist, who relies on reason, to not consider his faith a rational precept of belief.

Quote:

Is God omnipresent? And if so, how can you believe in hell (because of the seemingly, many, contradictory implications)

I have said so. God is omnipresent, but He is not present in all places in the same way. He is present in atheists by His sustaining their existence, but He is present in the Christian by grace. These are very different types of presence. Hence, He is in hell, sustaining its existence and the existence of its occupants, but He is not in hell according to His grace or Beatific Vision.

Quote:

If God is God, in the sense that most Christians believe him to be, he is the source of life. As the source of life, all things exist because he is there. If one were to seperate from him completely, it would no longer exist. In this sense, from the Devil to the most innocent of child, God exists at the very least to point that they exist.

Yep, basically. As evil is a privation of goodness and being, the most evil thing would be nothingness.

Quote:

Hell.. I suppose, can be described as the total seperation from God-- at which time they would cease to exist.

It is not total separation from God in the sense of ceasing to exist. This first lacks justice and second operates contrary to God’s design. The human soul and nature of spirits is such that they cannot be destroyed. God could cause them to cease to exist, absolutely speaking, but He does not because He caused them in such a way that He would not do so. It is contrary to His wisdom.

Quote:

On another note, I personally find it a bit contradictory to state that God is completely loving yet will choose, at the end of time, to punish people eternally for what are, otherwise, finite lives of finite sins. And not only that the punishment seems to far outweigh the "crime".. but rather that the punishment requires God's presence to keep these individuals alive to be punished.

First, annihilation would not be the end of punishment. Annihilation would be the end of the person, absolutely. So there is no notion of a better good for the being by annihilation.
Second, any sin is not finite because it offends an infinite God. However, you are partly correct. There are two parts to every sin: the infinite guilt of turning away from the infinite Good, and the finite guilt of turning to a finite good instead. The infinite guilt requires an infinite sacrifice to satisfy – namely Christ’s. The finite guilt requires a finite amount of purification (from Christ’s sacrifice in general) which is accomplished via good works, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, indulgences, and Purgatory (which expiates the soul of finite guilt before entering heaven).
Third, while God sustains them in existence partly out of justice, for the guilt of their crimes, and also out of love. God loves them, and that is why they exist. It would be worse for them, in all reality, if they did not exist at all. You confuse, as I pointed out above, a sort of spiritual suicide with total annihilation. It might seem the same, but they are far different realities. There is no good of the being which ceases to exist.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

PS - Glad you're reading St. Augustine. He's a wonderful theologian and even philosopher.

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


RhadTheGizmo
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I really.. really.. want to

I really.. really.. want to take issue with this:

St.Michael wrote:
Third, while God sustains them in existence partly out of justice, for the guilt of their crimes, and also out of love. God loves them, and that is why they exist. It would be worse for them, in all reality, if they did not exist at all. You confuse, as I pointed out above, a sort of spiritual suicide with total annihilation. It might seem the same, but they are far different realities. There is no good of the being which ceases to exist.

As well as other points. I will not. For brothers in Christ should not argue over the internet. Eye-wink Let us leave it as my beliefs about God, punishment, and love, may be considereably different then yours-- but just as rational.


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StMichael wrote: Quote:

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Well, I think we're done here. Your "proofs" don't stand up to scrutiny - not in terms of their own validity, nor in terms of their applicability to the Judaeo-Christian god. You deny simple and obvious truths, like the fact that many evils have been perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church - as an institution, and like the fact that scientific study of the world long has been and still remains far more likely to lead people away from theistic belief than toward it. Your understanding of science, of history, of logic, and of ethics - all are twisted and contorted by your unwillingness to question certain premises; your faith functions as a sort of Torquemada of the mind. Your biases and their destructive effect on your reasoning process should be crystal clear to any reader who does not already share them, and probably even to many who do, but at least are honest enough with themselves to admit that they base their view on faith - and NOT on reason.
Just asserting that I am not rational and refusing to refute my arguments is not proof in the least. Further, I do place my views in my faith, but my faith is just not incompatible with my reason.

No...

I have refuted your arguments, thoroughly and repeatedly (as have others here) - you just keep pretending I (and they) haven't.

It's rather pointless to refute them once again.

I'm merely saying that I'm satisfied that the record of our debate (this one, anyway) shows your irrationality and bias (and the disastrous effects of same upon the credibility of your arguments) so clearly to any intelligent, rational, unbiased observer  that I see no reason to add more evidence.

If you are likewise satisfied that you've made your case effectively with respect to my arguments, then there's no need to continue this particular exchange.

If you think that some more verbiage will bolster your case, by all means, have at it.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


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I haven't read the entire

I haven't read the entire "debate", as I only really needed to read as far as the logs catching fire bit to find a fatal flaw.

 

A log cannot catch fire, that we have seen, of itself.  That is to say; without introducing energy into the log, the log will tend to the temperature of its surroundings.

 

An atom of Iron or Nickel or Copper does not ever lose anything from its nucleus of its own volition.  An atom is just as "unmovable" from its state of being an atom of that particular kind as a log is "unmovable" from its state of not being on fire.  That is to say, both would require some infusion of energy, with splitting an Iron atom obviously requiring more energy(pound for pound) than lighting a log on fire.

 If you get an atom whose nucleus is large enough, however, it does not follow the same rules as that of Iron, Nickel or Copper; it will spontaenously and of its own volition decay into something completely different.

 The explaination for this is that within every atom, all of the protons in the nucleus are constantly applying a force against each other.  This force alone would force the nucleus apart, leaving us with only hydrogen.  Instead, there is another force working; the strong nuclear force.  This force is a representation of the interaction of quarks and gluons, and acts over a very short distance(about that of the diameter of an atom).  This force is only attractive, and does not have the attract/repulse capability that the electroweak force does.  The result of all of this is that all of the protons in the nucleus are attracted to one another providing that they are sufficiently close to one another.  The electroweak force can act over much longer distances, and if the distance between the protons becomes too great, the electroweak force can overcome the strong force.

 

The problem with your argument relies on aristotle's misunderstanding of physical motion whether you agree with it or not.  This is why;  In your notion of physics, the electroweak force exhibited by an electron should get "used up" when it repulses another electron, or attracts itself into an orbit around an atom.  The fact is that this does not happen.  The electroweak force simply "is", and is not at all like the force I can generate with my muscles;  My muscles consume energy to produce this force, and when the energy runs out so does the force.

 

You might then say "But, can an electron move on its own?  No, therefore a prime mover is required to set the electron in motion."  To that I say "Can an electron ever be considered to be *not* in motion?  In what sense can you say something is not moving?"  This is why you misunderstand.  All motion is relative.  Nothing is "moving" without having something to compare it to.


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I still see no reason how

I still see no reason how you have "proven" my bias and shown my arguments false.

Let's review quickly your arguments showing how clearly wrong I am:

Aristotle's physics = Aristotle's metaphysics.
Assume Aristotle's physics is entirely faulty.
Therefore, Aristotle's metaphysics is likewise entirely wrong.
Then, proof for God's existence is also wrong.

And, then, the ever-popular:
Members of the Church have done bad things
Therefore, all their claims are false.

Likewise:
You wrote:

Quote:

Let's see your list of great minds of modern science that subscribe to the Judaeo-Christian monotheist view, and check how it compares.

I wrote:

Quote:

Abbt. Gregor Mendel, Armand David, Pierre Duhem, Fr. Paval Florensky, Robert Millikan, ET Whittaker, Arthur Compton, Michael Polyani, Fr. Carlos Filho, Arthur Peacocke, Charles Hard Townes, Stanley Yaki, Allan Sandage, Antonio Zichichi, Ghillean Prance, Fr. Michael Heller....

You wrote:

Quote:

Your understanding of science, of history, of logic, and of ethics - all are twisted and contorted by your unwillingness to question certain premises

Who's doing the questioning?

Or,
Your "worldview" is old.
Therefore, it is false.

Or,
I cannot see or physically experience a spiritual thing.
Therefore, spiritual realities cannot exist.

Or,
A spiritual thing is not a body.
Therefore, it cannot have an effect on bodies.

But I think we have come to the end of our debate. But it was not because I stopped answering your questions, but because you claim that all my claims are wrong purely because "any intelligent, rational, unbiased observer [will understand] that I see no reason to add more evidence." Apparently we can retreat without admitting we were wrong. Whose irrational faith is it now, sir?

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: I still

StMichael wrote:
I still see no reason how you have "proven" my bias and shown my arguments false. Let's review quickly your arguments showing how clearly wrong I am: Aristotle's physics = Aristotle's metaphysics. Assume Aristotle's physics is entirely faulty. Therefore, Aristotle's metaphysics is likewise entirely wrong. Then, proof for God's existence is also wrong. And, then, the ever-popular: Members of the Church have done bad things Therefore, all their claims are false.

 

Eh, you were doing well until you decided to take the self-righteous path.  I'm not sure what's wrong with the bolded part; excepting of course that your proof of god does not rely on aristotles metaphysics being correct.  If it does not, then our reasoning is flawed in that line.  If it does, our reasoning is, well, reasonable.

 I won't address the unbolded claim as I don't claim that, and I don't find that anyone here does.


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The weird and sorta

The weird and sorta tragicomic thing about you, Mike, is that I really don't think you are being dishonest, with anyone but yourself. 

That is, I think that of all the arguments that I and others have put forth against your alleged eternal wisdom, these pathetic caricatures of straw men are all that has penetrated your elaborate medieval mental fortifications to actually register on your awareness. 

So, let's review your "review." 

StMichael wrote:

I still see no reason how you have "proven" my bias and shown my arguments false.

Let's review quickly your arguments showing how clearly wrong I am:

Aristotle's physics = Aristotle's metaphysics. Assume Aristotle's physics is entirely faulty. Therefore, Aristotle's metaphysics is likewise entirely wrong.

Then, proof for God's existence is also wrong.

 

No.

I did not say that either Aristotle's physics or his metaphysics was "entirely wrong." I said that both are known to be flawed.

You wish to use them for a "proof," which is a logical construction in which every step depends on the validity of all the steps that precede it.  

To those of us who have actually spent some time and effort trying to understand the natural world as it is described by modern science (including relativistic and quantum theory), instead of wandering about in the murky trackless intellectual swamps of theology and apologetics, this "proof" appears to fail at many levels.

For example: The "proof" seems to rely upon Aristotle's misunderstanding of the nature of motion. That is, it seems to presume that motion is absolute and always tending toward a state of (absolute) rest without the continual input of extra force or energy. Your response that the proof does not rely upon "local motion" seems like a dodge – Aristotle's understanding of change and of causality seems to be predicated upon his misunderstanding of "local motion." The burden is on you to show that it does not.  

The "proof" presumes, rather than proving in any sense, that infinite regress is impossible. 

The "proof" presumes, rather than proving in any sense, that the world is dualistic – that "spirit" is fundamentally separate from and independent of matter. Any of these flaws, as well as others that have been identified, destroys the validity of the "proof."

You have addressed none of them.  

Quote:
 

And, then, the ever-popular: Members of the Church have done bad things Therefore, all their claims are false.

 

I have nowhere made this claim. The only reason that the church even came into this discussion is that you are unable to restrain yourself from injecting it into the discussion. Your ridiculous claims about the Catholic Church demand rebuttal.

That it was a force (indeed, the primary force) supporting the development and spread of literacy, learning and science – and never against those developments, that the scientific study of nature would tend to confirm not only the theistic view, but the Christian view, and indeed the Catholic view, that the Church is a transcendent entity that holds a monopoly on ultimate truth and can never do evil… 

These claims are preposterous, but they have no impact upon the validity or lack thereof in your Angelically Doctored version of Aristotle's proof.  

 

Quote:

 Abbt. Gregor Mendel, Armand David, Pierre Duhem, Fr. Paval Florensky, Robert Millikan, ET Whittaker, Arthur Compton, Michael Polyani, Fr. Carlos Filho, Arthur Peacocke, Charles Hard Townes, Stanley Yaki, Allan Sandage, Antonio Zichichi, Ghillean Prance, Fr. Michael Heller....

  

Let's step back in the context of this little piece of the debate. It arose when you made one of your exuberant allegations about how the scientific approach would naturally tend to confirm the Catholic viewpoint, because the Catholic viewpoint is unquestionably correct. You further claimed that the beginnings of science arose from within the Catholic Church.

I thought of a quick list of the great movers of early science, and realized that almost all of them were Protestant. I also realized that the great Catholic thinkers that occurred to me as belonging in that list all suffered some sort of repression of their thought and expression because they were led into conflict with Catholic teachings (heresy, according to the Church). 

I did not sit down and put together a list of thinkers I knew to be Protestant, I simply thought of a few names I knew were profoundly important in the early history of science. It was only after I thought of the names that I checked on their Catholicism, and found (not at all to my surprise – and of course I already knew that the English ones were very unlikely to be Catholic) that none were Catholic, except Galileo and Descartes – who both were censored by the Church – to say the very least! 

You responded with a list compiled in a very different way. It looks as though you scanned your memory or materials for the names of Catholic scientists who never ran afoul of the Church's censors, and offered them up as examples…Grimaldi, Kircher, somebody else I can't remember right now.

As if these people were anywhere near being in the same league with regard to the development of science as Bacon, Spinoza, Leibniz, Newton, Hooke, Boyle, Descartes or Galileo…you must know they were not.  

Following your usual approach ("You're wrong! Even if you're not wrong, it doesn't matter! Even if it did matter, here's a slightly altered argument that evades your point!), you moved on to trying to use my examples as if they supported the notion that science tends to confirm Christianity, even if not Catholicism.

When I objected that we were talking about the scientific groundbreakers – who had no established scientific worldview to compare against the religions they had been indoctrinated into from the time they were born - and that as science progressed, the conflict between science and religion became ever clearer, you falsely characterized that as a "180" in my argument. 

So I did the same thing again – thought of a few of the greatest names in the continuing development of science up to the modern day and then checked if they were theists – of course, again, I already knew some of them were atheists – but few could argue that my choices included many of the giants of scientific progress.

None of them were theists (despite your standard squirmy quasi-denials).  

You responded with a list that - though better than your first list - includes nobody anywhere near the scientific stature needed to make my list, a list that apparently, again, began with the identification of theist scientists rather than with the identification of great scientists.  

See how your bias shows up in all your arguments and undermines them? 

I provided you with very strong evidence for my statement that the scientific study of the world is far more likely to lead people away from than toward theism - by 1998 fewer than 10% of members of the National Academy of Sciences identified themselves as theists, e.g. - and that's just the latest snapshot of a century-long trend that clearly supports my contention.

Your response to it was…no response at all. 

That's one of your techniques; another is repeated but unsupported denials, like your response to my citing of multiple reputable sources that confirm that the Judaeo-Christian god cannot possibly be identified with the subject of Aristotle's Prime Mover because that god possesses attributes that directly contradict the nature of the Prime Mover as required by the proof!  

So… 

chaospump wrote:

Your understanding of science, of history, of logic, and of ethics - all are twisted and contorted by your unwillingness to question certain premises

  

Your every post heaps on more evidence of the accuracy of this statement. 

StMichael wrote:

Who's doing the questioning?

 

Not you, obviously. 

StMichael wrote:

Or, Your "worldview" is old. Therefore, it is false.

 

Not "old" – outdated. As in, we now have a worldview that takes into account five centuries worth of scientific study that have totally invalidated many of the ideas that are central to Aristotelian and Scholastic thinking, so if you expect to convince anyone who is conversant with the current understanding of the world of the logic and reason you think characterizes your approach, you need to try to present it in a way that works in the modern context.  

StMichael wrote:

Or, I cannot see or physically experience a spiritual thing. Therefore, spiritual realities cannot exist. 

Or, A spiritual thing is not a body. Therefore, it cannot have an effect on bodies.

 

 

The second half of this is a (straw man caricature) version of Ryle's "Ghost in the Machine" objection to dualist thinking. Since a spirit is not physical, and is fundamentally separate from matter-energy, it cannot be the cause of physical effects in matter-energy systems. This is an objection to which no dualist has ever offered a reasonable answer. 

The first half of your straw man is even more of a caricature, so I need a better explanation of what I'm really trying to convey.

Luckily, you have offered up an excellent example for thinking about this issue, as Todangst reminded me: 

Todangst wrote:

His claim is based on the presumption that he can separate 'the church' from its members, as if 'the church' were a distinct entity apart from its leaders and adherents.  He needs to back this up, and show how this can make sense. 

 

Michael, your notion of this "transcendent" Church is a dualist notion.  

Yet, I clearly do recognize the Catholic Church as something that exists in the universe, with real effects – both good and bad.

Where is this Church? It cannot be seen or directly physically experienced or measured on a mechanical device, it has no mass or weight or color or temperature – yet it would be preposterous to claim that it is not "real."  

It cannot be localized in the buildings or real estate or material wealth of the Church, nor in the written records or teaching of the Church, nor in the bodies or minds of the Church's leaders or adherents currently living or long dead - and yet it is in all of those things.

It is a massive human institution, and like all such, it has an identity, which is shaped by its human participants even as it shapes them. But does this mean that there must be (or even can be!) some spectral, magical, other Church, separate and independent from all of the physical systems I identified?

Is there a Roman Catholic Church that would still exist, if the Earth were vaporized tomorrow? 

Of course there isn't. There is no need to postulate any magical extra essence, and to do so is a violation of Occam.

Rather, the identity of the institution arises from the synergy of its actual physical components, and it has effects in the real world only through those components. Eliminate some critical portion of them, and the church ceases to exist. 

You think there is some other essence there, since the Church is a magical entity in your view.

But The United Sates of America is also an entity that exists in precisely the same way. Would it exist also after our hypothetical vaporization? How about the USSR 

Or are these perhaps more like ordinary human souls, and therefore culpable in some sense for the evils they do, as opposed to the godlike soul of the Church, which (like god), can never be culpable, no matter what? 

Quote:

But I think we have come to the end of our debate. But it was not because I stopped answering your questions, but because you claim that all my claims are wrong purely because "any intelligent, rational, unbiased observer [will understand] that I see no reason to add more evidence." Apparently we can retreat without admitting we were wrong. Whose irrational faith is it now, sir?

 

Again, you demonstrate the significant gap between reality and your views. I think you actually suppose that you made some telling and powerful argument that I just couldn't rebut, and this was my way of escaping the embarrassing concession that should have ensued.  

Nope. 

I just grew weary of your sophistry, evasion and smug irrationality.

It's abundantly clear that you are totally unwilling to allow little things like facts, logic, reason or science interfere with your beloved fantasy world, and it seemed gratuitous to me to pile on more evidence of the fundamental self-deceptiveness of your approach and the intellectual bankruptcy of your conclusions, when so much of that evidence has already been presented, usually in your own words. 

Still, self-flagellation is a fine old Catholic tradition, so I shouldn't really be surprised to see you indulging in it.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


StMichael
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I am quite sorry about not

Quote:

StMichael wrote:
I still see no reason how you have "proven" my bias and shown my arguments false.
Let's review quickly your arguments showing how clearly wrong I am:
Aristotle's physics = Aristotle's metaphysics. Assume Aristotle's physics is entirely faulty. Therefore, Aristotle's metaphysics is likewise entirely wrong.
Then, proof for God's existence is also wrong.
No.
I did not say that either Aristotle's physics or his metaphysics was "entirely wrong." I said that both are known to be flawed.
You wish to use them for a "proof," which is a logical construction in which every step depends on the validity of all the steps that precede it.
To those of us who have actually spent some time and effort trying to understand the natural world as it is described by modern science (including relativistic and quantum theory), instead of wandering about in the murky trackless intellectual swamps of theology and apologetics, this "proof" appears to fail at many levels.
For example: The "proof" seems to rely upon Aristotle's misunderstanding of the nature of motion. That is, it seems to presume that motion is absolute and always tending toward a state of (absolute) rest without the continual input of extra force or energy. Your response that the proof does not rely upon "local motion" seems like a dodge – Aristotle's understanding of change and of causality seems to be predicated upon his misunderstanding of "local motion." The burden is on you to show that it does not.

I don’t see how it does so. He never makes that sort of argument in the Metaphysics. He clearly defines motion in his proof as being a change from potency to act, which is not the same as what you are talking about, which Aristotle defines as “local motion” which tends toward rest. But even that is not true necessary in all circumstances of local motion. The motion of the heavenly spheres is circular and continuous and thus is the most perfect. It never tends toward rest at all. So, your argument that Aristotle assumes this fails.

Quote:
The "proof" presumes, rather than proving in any sense, that infinite regress is impossible.

I can show it three ways:
First, if all things moved and movers proceeded to infinity, all these things must be bodies. Every body that moves, however, is moved by the thing that it moves. Therefore, all infinites are moved together when one is moved. However, one of them, being finite, is moved in a finite time. Hence, all infinites move in a finite time. This is absurd, and hence the contrary is true: there cannot be an infinite series of movers.
Second, because in an ordered series of movers, that which is moved is moved only insofar as something acts upon it. If the first mover is removed, all secondary movers which follow it must of necessity lack that initial motion. If there were infinite movers, there would be no first mover, and no motion. Hence, the notion is absurd.
Third, that which is an instrumental cause cannot move unless moved by a principal cause. If we maintain an infinity of causes, all are merely instrumental. Then, there would be no principal cause and hence no instrumental causes. This is absurd, however.

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The "proof" presumes, rather than proving in any sense, that the world is dualistic – that "spirit" is fundamentally separate from and independent of matter.

It does not assume it at all. How does it assume it? It is not in the premises at all that nature is dualistic. Just from the bare fact of motion and the necessity for a first mover, we can deduce that the first mover is without a body (for precisely that fact mentioned above that every body is moved when it moves another – if there is a first mover, it cannot be moved by any other and hence cannot have a body).
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That it was a force (indeed, the primary force) supporting the development and spread of literacy, learning and science – and never against those developments, that the scientific study of nature would tend to confirm not only the theistic view, but the Christian view, and indeed the Catholic view, that the Church is a transcendent entity that holds a monopoly on ultimate truth and can never do evil…
These claims are preposterous, but they have no impact upon the validity or lack thereof in your Angelically Doctored version of Aristotle's proof.


They are not preposterous, just because you don’t believe in them. I see no reason to call them such. Further, they do not impact the validity of the proof for God’s existence, but it was you who brought it up in the first place.

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Abbt. Gregor Mendel, Armand David, Pierre Duhem, Fr. Paval Florensky, Robert Millikan, ET Whittaker, Arthur Compton, Michael Polyani, Fr. Carlos Filho, Arthur Peacocke, Charles Hard Townes, Stanley Yaki, Allan Sandage, Antonio Zichichi, Ghillean Prance, Fr. Michael Heller....

Let's step back in the context of this little piece of the debate. It arose when you made one of your exuberant allegations about how the scientific approach would naturally tend to confirm the Catholic viewpoint, because the Catholic viewpoint is unquestionably correct. You further claimed that the beginnings of science arose from within the Catholic Church.

Which I uphold. Modern scientists may not all be Catholics or even theists, but their intellectual heritage comes straight from Catholicism.

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I thought of a quick list of the great movers of early science, and realized that almost all of them were Protestant. I also realized that the great Catholic thinkers that occurred to me as belonging in that list all suffered some sort of repression of their thought and expression because they were led into conflict with Catholic teachings (heresy, according to the Church).
I did not sit down and put together a list of thinkers I knew to be Protestant, I simply thought of a few names I knew were profoundly important in the early history of science. It was only after I thought of the names that I checked on their Catholicism, and found (not at all to my surprise – and of course I already knew that the English ones were very unlikely to be Catholic) that none were Catholic, except Galileo and Descartes – who both were censored by the Church – to say the very least!
You responded with a list compiled in a very different way. It looks as though you scanned your memory or materials for the names of Catholic scientists who never ran afoul of the Church's censors, and offered them up as examples…Grimaldi, Kircher, somebody else I can't remember right now.
As if these people were anywhere near being in the same league with regard to the development of science as Bacon, Spinoza, Leibniz, Newton, Hooke, Boyle, Descartes or Galileo…you must know they were not.

I was not arguing that all scientists were Catholic. I just argue your statement that all great scientists don’t believe in God, which is not true. The ones even you cited did. The ones I cited were Catholic scientists who did contribute great deals to science. Catholicism is not counter-science at all.

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Following your usual approach ("You're wrong! Even if you're not wrong, it doesn't matter! Even if it did matter, here's a slightly altered argument that evades your point!), you moved on to trying to use my examples as if they supported the notion that science tends to confirm Christianity, even if not Catholicism.
When I objected that we were talking about the scientific groundbreakers – who had no established scientific worldview to compare against the religions they had been indoctrinated into from the time they were born - and that as science progressed, the conflict between science and religion became ever clearer, you falsely characterized that as a "180" in my argument.
So I did the same thing again – thought of a few of the greatest names in the continuing development of science up to the modern day and then checked if they were theists – of course, again, I already knew some of them were atheists – but few could argue that my choices included many of the giants of scientific progress.
None of them were theists (despite your standard squirmy quasi-denials).

My examples are clearly in response to your assertion that such a divide between science and faith exists. The great scientists have been theists of one form or another. Even the ones you cited all had some religious opinion, even if it wasn’t of a personal God.

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You responded with a list that - though better than your first list - includes nobody anywhere near the scientific stature needed to make my list, a list that apparently, again, began with the identification of theist scientists rather than with the identification of great scientists.

Some great scientists of our age, from Time Magazine’s list of great scientists:
Jonas Salk – Jewish
Enrico Fermi – Catholic
Louis Pasteur – Catholic
Alexander Flemming - Catholic
Kurt Gödel – theist
Max Born – Lutheran

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See how your bias shows up in all your arguments and undermines them?
I provided you with very strong evidence for my statement that the scientific study of the world is far more likely to lead people away from than toward theism - by 1998 fewer than 10% of members of the National Academy of Sciences identified themselves as theists, e.g. - and that's just the latest snapshot of a century-long trend that clearly supports my contention.
Your response to it was…no response at all.

I would say that this study is misleading on a number of levels, not least because it could be argued that the scientific cultural climate at the National Academy is disparaging of theists. Likewise, that only 50% responded. Also, this study only catalogues a decline in belief among American scientists. Lastly, this study only deals with the last couple years. It is not clear how this has affected, if it has, belief among scientists. I doubt we can really draw any conclusive evidence from this study, as it is really one of the only contemporary ones of its kind.

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That's one of your techniques; another is repeated but unsupported denials, like your response to my citing of multiple reputable sources that confirm that the Judaeo-Christian god cannot possibly be identified with the subject of Aristotle's Prime Mover because that god possesses attributes that directly contradict the nature of the Prime Mover as required by the proof!

We are not using Aristotle’s proof and what he sees as its implications. Basically, I am arguing that Aristotle was wrong in not seeing these implications following from his proof.

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StMichael wrote:
Or, Your "worldview" is old. Therefore, it is false.

Not "old" – outdated. As in, we now have a worldview that takes into account five centuries worth of scientific study that have totally invalidated many of the ideas that are central to Aristotelian and Scholastic thinking, so if you expect to convince anyone who is conversant with the current understanding of the world of the logic and reason you think characterizes your approach, you need to try to present it in a way that works in the modern context.

Philosophy is atemporal. There is no reason metaphysics can go out of date. Science has no direct impact on anything metaphysics says. It doesn’t matter how much science proceeds. It would be like saying that five centuries of science passed and so the proofs of Euclid are all invalid and outdated. It is lunacy. Mathematics is a different branch and has different methods.

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StMichael wrote:
Or, I cannot see or physically experience a spiritual thing. Therefore, spiritual realities cannot exist.
Or, A spiritual thing is not a body. Therefore, it cannot have an effect on bodies.


The second half of this is a (straw man caricature) version of Ryle's "Ghost in the Machine" objection to dualist thinking. Since a spirit is not physical, and is fundamentally separate from matter-energy, it cannot be the cause of physical effects in matter-energy systems. This is an objection to which no dualist has ever offered a reasonable answer.
The first half of your straw man is even more of a caricature, so I need a better explanation of what I'm really trying to convey.

A spiritual thing is a part of the physical body. It is the component that creates the shape/idea/form of the body. The matter of the body cannot exist without a definite intelligibility or shape. It thus has complete action on real physically existing bodies, as it is necessary for them to exist. Their actions likewise fall under the scope of the body’s form. It is a hylomorphic relationship between form and matter, not some mechanizing little spirit that sits on top of a physical body.
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Luckily, you have offered up an excellent example for thinking about this issue, as Todangst reminded me:

Todangst wrote:
His claim is based on the presumption that he can separate 'the church' from its members, as if 'the church' were a distinct entity apart from its leaders and adherents. He needs to back this up, and show how this can make sense.

Michael, your notion of this "transcendent" Church is a dualist notion.
Yet, I clearly do recognize the Catholic Church as something that exists in the universe, with real effects – both good and bad.
Where is this Church? It cannot be seen or directly physically experienced or measured on a mechanical device, it has no mass or weight or color or temperature – yet it would be preposterous to claim that it is not "real."
It cannot be localized in the buildings or real estate or material wealth of the Church, nor in the written records or teaching of the Church, nor in the bodies or minds of the Church's leaders or adherents currently living or long dead - and yet it is in all of those things.
It is a massive human institution, and like all such, it has an identity, which is shaped by its human participants even as it shapes them. But does this mean that there must be (or even can be!) some spectral, magical, other Church, separate and independent from all of the physical systems I identified?
Is there a Roman Catholic Church that would still exist, if the Earth were vaporized tomorrow?
Of course there isn't. There is no need to postulate any magical extra essence, and to do so is a violation of Occam.

It exists in lieu of Christ. It subsists as Christ’s Body as separate from any earthly members in the saints in heaven united to God.
Further, that which is real is clearly not only that which can be measured with mass or weight or color or temperature. How, for example, are mathematical principles real? Can you measure a dot? Or a mathematical line? Or a circle? Or how can you measure the point at which a line intersects one point on a circle? It is utterly and totally impossible to do so with physical instruments. Yet these things are real. Likewise, your standard of proof that only empirical verification can establish truth cannot be empirically verified. It becomes a totally arbitrary basis for truth or falsity.

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Rather, the identity of the institution arises from the synergy of its actual physical components, and it has effects in the real world only through those components. Eliminate some critical portion of them, and the church ceases to exist.
You think there is some other essence there, since the Church is a magical entity in your view.

It exists in Christ. It is a special case for the reason it was divinely instituted. I am not claiming every society is like this.
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But The United Sates of America is also an entity that exists in precisely the same way. Would it exist also after our hypothetical vaporization? How about the USSR?

No, because it is not dependent on any exterior subsistent cause, as is the Church, which exists in God.

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Or are these perhaps more like ordinary human souls, and therefore culpable in some sense for the evils they do, as opposed to the godlike soul of the Church, which (like god), can never be culpable, no matter what?

The members of the Church can be culpable, but the Body of Christ itself cannot and is supremely holy. It is a cause of holiness in its members which are united to it. It is beyond, but also part of, that which is united to it.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.