Is God an Imposter?

Gridfire
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Is God an Imposter?

This idea has probably been floated on the forums before, but I couldn't find it, so I'm gonna try it out.

I reckon that all the answers to these questions are true. If not, please enlighten me as to where I went wrong.

First the Biblical questions
1. Satan is the most reviled creature in the entire Christian Religion, True/False?
2. Another name for Satan is his older name of Lucifer, True/False?
3. Lucifer is Latin for "The Light Bringer", True/False
4. The first commandment that God gave in Genesis was "Let there be light", True/False
5. When Stalin became the leader of the USSR, he attempted to eliminate Trotsky as a political rival, True/False?

I see a situation here where Lucifer makes Creation and God takes the credit. History is written by the victors!

Just to clarify, I'm not a Satan worshipper, nor a total crackpot. Just an Atheist with a sense of humour ; )

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Not only a sense of humor,

Not only a sense of humor, but quite the sense of irony! lol I never thought of it like that, funny indeed.  Funny, too, is that your first response on this would be from a man calling himself, "hellfiend666"!!!  It seems that irony abounds! lmao!

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I remember proposing the

I remember proposing the idea that chrisitans were worshipping the wrong god a few years ago in a debate. The reaction was priceless. And it totally fits. Satan is the real god, god is the evil imposter. This is our test, to figure it out. It's like an extension of job. I had some fun. Laughing out loud

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I have actually discussed a

I have actually discussed a similar idea with some christians.


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I had a similar discussion

I had a similar discussion a few days ago.

God apparently wants people to stop doing pretty much everything fun. Sex and booze are especially bad, which sucks, because they're also especially fun. The odd part of the story is that Satan is pretty much down with us doing that sort of thing. God gets his panties in a wad any time people start doing too much science and try to take credit away from him. Satan apparently loves when we start thinking about things like evolution.

So, given the fact that human nature seems to coincide with Satan's agenda, wouldn't it be logical to believe that either:

1) God is an asshole because he created us with natural drives and then required us to live in a state of constant deprivation...

or

2) God is a liar, and Satan's actually the good guy, and maybe even the real creator?

Seems like there was something along this line in the movie "Devil's Advocate" but I can't remember for certain.

 

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

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Some gnostic sects firmly

Some gnostic sects firmly believe that the creator of the universe was evil.

They believe that the creator was petty and egotistical.  He created the physical universe to satisfy his own ego, and did a poor job in the process.  This is how they explain the fact that the god of the old testament was such a genocidal asshole.

They feel that Jesus was a messenger sent to earth in order to teach people that the creator was a false god.  The only way to know the true god is to transcend the physical world through direct mystical experience.

 


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Except that Satan is a

Except that Satan is a creature, a fallen spirit. Hence, he cannot create at all.

 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: Except

StMichael wrote:

Except that Satan is a creature, a fallen spirit. Hence, he cannot create at all.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

 

He may be fallen now, but he wasn't then.  In fact, wasn't he like gods right hand man at one point, before being cast out for rebelling? 

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StMichael wrote: Except

StMichael wrote:

Except that Satan is a creature, a fallen spirit. Hence, he cannot create at all.

 Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Unless god is the fallen spirit, and satan is the real creator.

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This point is sophistry.

This point is sophistry. God, by definition, is the only being that can create. Satan, or any other creature, cannot. If some creature exists, it would not be God. Hence, God cannot be a fallen spirit.

And, yes, Satan was the highest Cherubim in God's divine order of angelic hierarchies.  

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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"Letters from the

"Letters from the Earth"

Mark Twain 


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StMichael wrote: This

StMichael wrote:

This point is sophistry. God, by definition, is the only being that can create. Satan, or any other creature, cannot. If some creature exists, it would not be God. Hence, God cannot be a fallen spirit.

And, yes, Satan was the highest Cherubim in God's divine order of angelic hierarchies.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

You have a positive definition for God?  

Incidentally, stating "God is the Creator" is not a definition but a renaming. 

Let me hear it. Tell me what/who God is, not what he's not.

Also, man has the ability to create does he not? So was man not created? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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One cannot arrive at a

One cannot arrive at a defintion of what God is in Himself. We do know that, in relation to the world, He is its creator and the creator of all things. Satan, or any fallen spirit, is just that: a spirit. It is a created thing. It does not have the power to create as God does.

Man and angels can only create in a mitigated sense. They can modify matter and give it order, or create an idea in the same sort of way. Neither is the cause of its own existence, nor can they thus create ex nihilo as God can. In other words, God's ability to create surpasses our own by something of an infinite order of magnitude.

 

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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FundamentallyFlawed

FundamentallyFlawed wrote:

Some gnostic sects firmly believe that the creator of the universe was evil.

They believe that the creator was petty and egotistical. He created the physical universe to satisfy his own ego, and did a poor job in the process. This is how they explain the fact that the god of the old testament was such a genocidal asshole.

They feel that Jesus was a messenger sent to earth in order to teach people that the creator was a false god. The only way to know the true god is to transcend the physical world through direct mystical experience.

 

Most gnostics believed something like that.

There was also a non-gnostic "heretic" named Marcion who took the different behaviors of God in the Old and New Testaments (i.e. a vengeful, jealous God vs. a loving God) to it's logical conclusion. He though that they were two different gods, and that the NT God sent Jesus to appease the OT God.


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StMichael wrote: One

StMichael wrote:

One cannot arrive at a defintion of what God is in Himself. We do know that, in relation to the world, He is its creator and the creator of all things. Satan, or any fallen spirit, is just that: a spirit. It is a created thing. It does not have the power to create as God does.

Man and angels can only create in a mitigated sense. They can modify matter and give it order, or create an idea in the same sort of way. Neither is the cause of its own existence, nor can they thus create ex nihilo as God can. In other words, God's ability to create surpasses our own by something of an infinite order of magnitude.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

 

1) I told you before - renaming is not a definition. You've not only substituted a renaming for a definition but now you need to positively define spirit.

2) Doesn't the Bible also define God as a spirit? According to your definition, spirits can't create and therefore neither can God.

3) Man and angels create in a mitigated sense? You're backpedaling. You originally said that "Satan, or any other creature, cannot (create)". Now you're saying that man can only create from ideas that God originally gave (at least that's what I think you mean when you talk about modification). Are you saying that people like Dawkins, Dennett and Harris wrote based on ideas inspired by God?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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1) A spirit is a spiritual

1) A spirit is a spiritual substance which exists apart from matter, a mind.

2) God is a spirit in that He is a substance seperate from matter, a mind. However, He is infinite in character and the cause of His own existence. In His substance, there is no division between His essence and His existence. In angels and other created spiritual substances, there is no matter, but there is potency in that regard; created spirits have a division in their essence and existence. This is why they are creations and not God. They are not omnipotent, nor are they omniscient, nor are they omnipresent for the same reason. Only God can claim these titles. A created spirit can never, properly speaking, create.

3)  I obviously meant "to create in the proper sense." So, for example, Satan could not have created the universe. It is beyond his power as a created spirit. Only God can create ex nihilio. And, further, I never said that all men got their ideas from God. But their intellects, their being, and the particular matter that a man manipulates when he creates, for example, a rocking horse, is not the man's creation. God created all these things, and the man imitates God in creating a rocking horse, but the man does not properly create these things. The problem is that you are using univocal senses of the word create.

 

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: 1) A

StMichael wrote:

1) A spirit is a spiritual substance which exists apart from matter, a mind.

2) God is a spirit in that He is a substance seperate from matter, a mind. However, He is infinite in character and the cause of His own existence. In His substance, there is no division between His essence and His existence. In angels and other created spiritual substances, there is no matter, but there is potency in that regard; created spirits have a division in their essence and existence. This is why they are creations and not God. They are not omnipotent, nor are they omniscient, nor are they omnipresent for the same reason. Only God can claim these titles. A created spirit can never, properly speaking, create.

3) I obviously meant "to create in the proper sense." So, for example, Satan could not have created the universe. It is beyond his power as a created spirit. Only God can create ex nihilio. And, further, I never said that all men got their ideas from God. But their intellects, their being, and the particular matter that a man manipulates when he creates, for example, a rocking horse, is not the man's creation. God created all these things, and the man imitates God in creating a rocking horse, but the man does not properly create these things. The problem is that you are using univocal senses of the word create.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

1) Recursive definition - you're using "spirit" to define "spirit".

2) Doesn't moving those goal posts around hurt your back? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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God is an intelligence, a

God is an intelligence, a mind. That is what it is to be a seperate spiritual substance. I clearly defined what it is.

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: God is an

StMichael wrote:

God is an intelligence, a mind. That is what it is to be a seperate spiritual substance. I clearly defined what it is.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

So now you're wandering into the realms of the Church of Christ, Scientist?

God is mind, eh? Is mind God? If you want the Identity Principle to work you have to be able to flip the equation and still have it make sense.

Also, no matter how you like to deny it, you still used a circular definition. you can't say "a spirit is spiritual" and call it a definition any more than I could define a brick by saying it's bricklike.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Not my mind. God is a mind.

Not my mind. God is a mind. He is an intelligence, with the powers of intellect, will, and memory (in God, these are supremely one and undivided). This is what a postively spiritual substance is.

 There are also negatively spiritual substances, like being and good. These do not depend on matter to exist, but are sometimes found therein. But, no, we can clearly define a spiritual thing. It does not need circular logic at all. Spiritual, as a term, indicates merely seperation from matter. All sciences deal with something spiritual in a sense, as for example physics treats motion of physical bodies in an "unmoving" way (it abstracts the laws of motion and energy, ect. from actual bodies and thinks about motion in this way, abstractly).

 

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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Wow, I come back to find

Wow, I come back to find that my Joke's become a serious topic Eye-wink

I gotta say St. Mike, how many mental hoops do you want us to jump through in order to arrive at this "definition" of God?

The word "God" is sometimes synonymous with "creator" but not always so. Did aphrodite ever create anything that didn't already exist? I imagine that those who worship the Greek Pantheon would take offence to you definition. Also tell me that there is no "Spiritual feeling" associated with Cathedrals and beautiful natural areas like Victoria falls, or the Grand Canyon. They seem like faitly solid matter to me. Also in the same way, you can't separate the awe we feel for these things from the things themselves.

Again in a like fashion you can't separate the properties (eg movement) of an object from the object itself without an interventional mechanism (another object) so I really have no idea what you mean by this abstraction.

Mr Rage, I like your little interjection there. Strange to think that a freethinking theist was labeled a heretic, but I guess that's the way of all organised religions. Just the same thing happened to the Gospel of Judas, one of the lost Gnostic Gospels.

Hey St Mike, What do you think of the Gnostic Gospels? Why weren't they included in the Bible originally?

Eye-wink Chris


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  I never claimed a

 

I never claimed a definition of God. I claimed that we can know a being exists who is the cause of all things, and whom we would clearly call God.

 Frankly, Greek philosophers believed in an idea of God much like this one, rejecting the pantheon as irrational.

 I don't know what you refer to by seperating motion from an object without a mover. An object that is in motion requires a mover. An infinity of these movers cannot exist, as each would be set in motion by another and there would be no movement without an initial mover. Hence, a prime mover, unmoved by any other, exists.

Lastly, the false gospels of the gnostics were never in the canon of Scripture defined by the Church.

 

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:  An

StMichael wrote:

 An object that is in motion requires a mover.

Including god.

 


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Good one Tilberian, we're

Good one Tilberian, we're back to the good old infinite regression model again!

St Mike, depends which philosophers you mean. Aristotle? yeah sure Aristotle believed in a "prime mover" (not creator *mover* there's a difference) If you're talking about someone like Aristarchus of Samos, he was basically Atheist in all but name and at the very least a freethinker. He came up with the Heliocentric model of the solar system well before Copernicus did (230 BC as opposed to 1543 CE) Aristotle, by the way, is a major reason for the "dark ages" of religious persecution of science.

With the motion and objects thing. I mean that you can't have motion without an object, If you can't get this...I just don't know. Why can't there be an infinity of movers? what tells you in particular that there can't be? If it's subjective to yourself I'm not interested. We're talking fact here, objective evidence.

Oh, yes some lovely juicey Biblical debate! What precisely makes the Gnostic Gospels (or any other Gospel that isn't in the Bible) false? Why were they not added to the cannon of scripture when the Bible was compiled? I'm really interested in your criteria for "Truth" when it comes to scripture Eye-wink

Rationally Yours,

Chris


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God is not in motion, so He

God is not in motion, so He doesn't require a mover. Only things that are in motion require a mover.

Quote:

St Mike, depends which philosophers you mean.

Most pagans believed in a single transcendent god, of some sort or another. However, I would point out that you allot a great deal too much credit to the philosopher you quote, Aristarchus of Samos, whose only surviving work is not atheistic at all. It is merely a treatise on the revolution of the planets. I daresay we have no idea what his personal beliefs are on the matter of religion or God. Just holding heliocentrism does not make one an atheist. Also, I think you are quite unfair with Aristotle.

Quote:

I mean that you can't have motion without an object, If you can't get this...I just don't know.

You can't have motion without something that can be moved. That is true. However, I don't see what that has to do with anything.

Quote:

Why can't there be an infinity of movers? what tells you in particular that there can't be? If it's subjective to yourself I'm not interested. We're talking fact here, objective evidence.

Nothing can be in motion without a mover. Nothing in motion can be moved by itself. If it was, it would be in actuality toward itself and in potency toward itself in the same respect, which is impossible. In other words, if a thing is changed in any way (and hence in motion) it require a mover.

Quote:

Oh, yes some lovely juicey Biblical debate! What precisely makes the Gnostic Gospels (or any other Gospel that isn't in the Bible) false? Why were they not added to the cannon of scripture when the Bible was compiled? I'm really interested in your criteria for "Truth" when it comes to scripture

The very fact that they are not in the canon, as the canon is the Church's declaration of infallibility in Scripture, is evidence enough. However, the decisions were not made without reasons. The false gospels the gnostics wrote were written after the Apostolic age, and were far later than the four true Gospels. They were not written by Apostles or anyone associated with the Apostles, and they were not accepted by any of those who were direct successors of the Apostles. All of this, combined with the fact that they contained heresy which clearly conflicted with the handed down teaching given by the Apostles, clearly indicated that these works were not inspired and ought not have been in the canon.

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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St. Michael, you wrote:

St. Michael, you wrote:

"God is not in motion, so He doesn't require a mover."

But doesn't God have to move (in your world) in order to affect something else?

and:

"...they [the other Gospels] contained heresy which clearly conflicted with the handed down teaching given by the Apostles,..."

By that logic, nothing that Paul of Tarsus wrote should have been in the canon.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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First, God is not in motion.

First, God is not in motion. And that is precisely what is required in the proof for His existence.
Second, Saint Paul's letters were in the canon for the reason that Saint Paul himself was an Apostle.

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: The false

StMichael wrote:
The false gospels the gnostics wrote were written after the Apostolic age, and were far later than the four true Gospels. They were not written by Apostles or anyone associated with the Apostles, and they were not accepted by any of those who were direct successors of the Apostles. All of this, combined with the fact that they contained heresy which clearly conflicted with the handed down teaching given by the Apostles, clearly indicated that these works were not inspired and ought not have been in the canon.

You are stating this information as if it is factual. While it may reflect the official position of the church, there is little or no evidence to trace any of the gospels to the time of the apostles.


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First off I apologise for

First off I apologise for the length of this post. It may put people off, but I prefer to answer fully and frankly, any and all questionable statements that I can discern in a theists argument. I always hate it when the opportunity to show up a bit of shaky logic goes untaken.

Quote:
St Mike:
God is not in motion. And that is precisely what is required in the proof for His existence.

So you a priori state that God doesn't move and then use this neat bit of circular logic to declare that he exists. How many times do we have to tell you? Circular logic IS NOT real logic!

Quote:
St Mike:
Saint Paul's letters were in the canon for the reason that Saint Paul himself was an Apostle.

I take it that you have no idea about what the Gnostic Gospels are besides a name attached to heresy, otherwise you could not have made such an ignorant statement.

Some of the more famous Gnostic Gospels:
1. The Gospel of Mary (most probably Magdeline).
2. The Gospel of [Doubting] Thomas.
3. The Gospel of Judas.

Last time I checked "Apostle" meant follower. You can't tell me that these three were not followers of Jesus as depicted in the Bible.
I have also purposefully left out other Gnostic Gospels which we are fairly sure were written by apostles, but cannot verify one way or the other.

I shall also address inconsistancies in your other previous post as well. I have already addressed the issue of whether or not they were written by Apostles, but even then none of the Gospels were written in the Apostolic age! Even the earliest Gospel for which we have datable evidence (Mark) was written in 68 AD, well after the death of Jesus (don't you think they would have wanted to write this down straight away?)

The Cannon was chosen by the council of Nicene (325 AD) after a very close vote to assign divinity to Jesus. The Cannon was chosen with a view to push this perspective in the writing.
Besides that it was chosen by Men! Who are men to question that which God inspires Hmmm?

As a side note, you can't declare infalibility of anything which posits it's own infalibility by circular logic.

Quote:
St Mike:
The false gospels...were written...far later than the four true Gospels.

And you know this how precisely? If you display ignorance of what the Gnostic Gospels themselves contain, why should I believe anything you happen to say about them in other realms?

Quote:
St Mike:
...they were not accepted by any of those who were direct successors of the Apostles. All of this, combined with the fact that they contained heresy which clearly conflicted with the handed down teaching given by the Apostles, clearly indicated that these works were not inspired and ought not have been in the canon.

Contained Heresy according to who? The Nicene Council? The council of Men? Just because information does not conform to arbitrary standards, does not make it a priori false.

Now onto other subjects.

Quote:
St Mike:
Most pagans believed in a single transcendent god, of some sort or another.

Wikipedia: Pagan;

Quote:
Paganism...is a term which, from a western perspective, has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices of natural or polytheistic religions. (Emphasis mine)

Quote:
St Mike:
However, I would point out that you allot a great deal too much credit to the philosopher you quote, Aristarchus of Samos, whose only surviving work is not atheistic at all. It is merely a treatise on the revolution of the planets. I daresay we have no idea what his personal beliefs are on the matter of religion or God. Just holding heliocentrism does not make one an atheist. Also, I think you are quite unfair with Aristotle.

I'll hold my hands up to the Aristarchus comments, as I may have been a little rash about my claims for his beliefs, however I stand foresquare in the breach by my comments on Aristotle. He was a great thinker and was one of the first true scientists, unfortunately his scientific thoughts became dogma early in his life (a stigma we must all try to avoid) and he refused to accept any criticism at all. When Saint Thomas Aquinas came to write his Theology(the main dogmatic document of the Roman Catholic Church) he took many of Aristotles ideas and "set them in stone" from a religious perspective. This caused the religious persecution of scientists whose results differed from Aristotelian dogma.

Am I being unfair?

Quote:
St Mike:
Nothing can be in motion without a mover. Nothing in motion can be moved by itself. If it was, it would be in actuality toward itself and in potency toward itself in the same respect, which is impossible. In other words, if a thing is changed in any way (and hence in motion) it requires a mover.

I totally agree, but if nothing can be in motion without a mover, why should God be exempt from this logical sequence except by dint of special dispensation given to him by theists?


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StMichael wrote: First, God

StMichael wrote:
First, God is not in motion. And that is precisely what is required in the proof for His existence.
Second, Saint Paul's letters were in the canon for the reason that Saint Paul himself was an Apostle.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Again,

"God is not in motion" = "God cannot move", does it not?

How can he affect other things if he doesn't/can't move?

Also, if I recall correctly, Paul is the only one who claimed to be an apostle in scripture. No one else gave him that title.

Unless the people who needed his works to be in the canon so the religion would make sense made him an apostle by consensus.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Quote: there is little or

Quote:

there is little or no evidence to trace any of the gospels to the time of the apostles.

I disagree. It is clear that their origin is placed within the Apostolic age, namely, ~60-100 AD. Also, apart from the Gospels, the writings of Saint Paul are clearly within the Apostolic era, being written before the Gospels in 40-65 AD.

Quote:

So you a priori state that God doesn't move and then use this neat bit of circular logic to declare that he exists. How many times do we have to tell you? Circular logic IS NOT real logic!

You are jumping into an argument and you did not read what I wrote previous to that. The proof from motion starts with the fact that things exist in motion, and hence requires an unmoved mover in order to move them in the first place. God is then by definition unmoved.
God is not in motion, but He can move things. This is because He causes the motion to exist by means of His substance. He grants existence to any substance having motion by willing it to be, as well as the existence of the substance in general. He can not move it like a physical being, and in fact must not, because they He would likewise be physically moved (physical local motion being only one type of motion referred to here) and hence not the First Mover.

Quote:

I take it that you have no idea about what the Gnostic Gospels are besides a name attached to heresy, otherwise you could not have made such an ignorant statement.

No, I have friends who are biblical scholars and I know a good deal about the gnostic gospels. They were all written far after the time of the Apostles, in the second or third century, or even later. For example, the Nag Hammadi texts were dated to 390 AD, which contains many of the fragments you later speak of.

Quote:

Last time I checked "Apostle" meant follower. You can't tell me that these three were not followers of Jesus as depicted in the Bible.

These texts were written pseudonymously, which is to say that they were written by people under the names of the Apostles or of Mary. Just because they bear the name of an Apostle is no proof of their authorship at all.

Quote:
...none of the Gospels were written in the Apostolic age! Even the earliest Gospel for which we have datable evidence (Mark) was written in 68 AD, well after the death of Jesus (don't you think they would have wanted to write this down straight away?)

Actually, I thought I already mentioned it. Further, I mentioned the dates of proposed authorship earlier in this post. However, as you might or might not know, 68 AD is within the Apostolic age, which is from about 40 AD-90 AD. The term refers not to the time of Christ's resurrection in about 33AD, but to the lifetimes of the preaching and travels of the Apostles themselves until roughly the times of their deaths. Lastly, it is to be pointed out that we have no definite dates for when the Gospels were written, so it is fallacious to claim that it was written exactly at 68 AD; the most we have are estimates, and these are being constantly haggled over by scholars.

Quote:

The Cannon was chosen by the council of Nicene (325 AD)

The First Council of Nicea determined the canon? Where are you getting your information? The agenda was to deal with the Miletian schism, the date of Easter, the Arian heresy, and a host of other issues. The Council issued the famous symbol of faith, the Nicene Creed, as well as canons having to do with these issues (I just quote from Wikipedia's article on the council):
Quote:

1. prohibition of self-castration;
2. establishment of a minimum term for catechumen;
3. prohibition of the presence in the house of a cleric of a younger woman who might bring him under suspicion;
4. ordination of a bishop in the presence of at least three provincial bishops and confirmation by the metropolitan;
5. provision for two provincial synods to be held annually;
6. exceptional authority acknowledged for the patriarchs of Alexandria and Rome, for their respective regions;
7. recognition of the honorary rights of the see of Jerusalem;
8. provision for agreement with the Novatianists;
9–14. provision for mild procedure against the lapsed during the persecution under Licinius;
15–16. prohibition of the removal of priests;
17. prohibition of usury among the clergy;
18. precedence of bishops and presbyters before deacons in receiving Holy Communion, the Eucharist;
19. declaration of the invalidity of baptism by Paulian heretics;
20. prohibition of kneeling during the liturgy, on Sundays and in the fifty days of Eastertide ("the pentecost"). Standing was the normative posture for prayer at this time, as it still is among the Eastern Orthodox. (In time, Western Christianity adopted the term Pentecost to refer to the last Sunday of Eastertide, the fiftieth day.)

There was no vote on the divinity of Jesus that was recorded in history annals (no account of their proceedings survives), let alone a "close" vote. The canon of Scripture was determined by the promulgations of a synod of Rome, as well as by numerous local synods which were confirmed likewise by Rome (Carthage, Hippo, ect.). The Roman Church confirmed and promulgated a canon of sacred scripture which was accepted by the other churches throughout the world. This is clear, for example, into the translation of the Greek texts into the Vulgate edition under Saint Jerome, as the Pope clearly compiled this edition for use in the Latin West. No formally ecumenical council prior to Florence, and later Trent, promulgated this canon, but it was universally accepted, proceeding from the authority of the Holy See.

The First Council of Nicea is likewise considered as inspired by the Holy Spirit. In all ecumenical councils, it is believed by faith that the Holy Spirit presides over the outcome of the deliberations and that such decisions are infallible in their promulgation. The same inspiration is true of the Roman Pontiffs formal decrees, under certain conditions.

Quote:

unfortunately his scientific thoughts became dogma early in his life (a stigma we must all try to avoid) and he refused to accept any criticism at all. When Saint Thomas Aquinas came to write his Theology(the main dogmatic document of the Roman Catholic Church) he took many of Aristotles ideas and "set them in stone" from a religious perspective. This caused the religious persecution of scientists whose results differed from Aristotelian dogma.

Am I being unfair?

First, on paganism, I meant that most pagan philosophers throughout history have held a notion of a single transcendent god. I know what paganism is, and know that not all pagans believed in one god. I apologize for any confusion I caused there.
Second, I do believe your treatment of Aristotle is quite unfair and unsubstantiated in its claims about him. Where are you getting your information that he turned his science into dogma? That is just plain nonsense. Aristotle was one of the first systematic natural scientists and laid the foundations for later science - heck, we still use his classifications in biology today.
Third, your assertions about Aquinas are equally as uninformed. Aquinas wrote the "Summa Theologica," not the "Theology," and it was never dogma of the Catholic Church, ever. Some things he said was dogma, as would be natural, and other of his specific theories were later made dogma, but his work is not officially dogmatic. Also, his work did not set in stone Aristotle's views on natural science, as Aquinas did not write very much at all about natural science. His teacher, Saint Albert the Great did, but even he departed from Aristotle in many areas. There is no ground for your assertions.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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St Michael wrote: "I

St Michael wrote:

"I disagree. It is clear that their origin is placed within the Apostolic age, namely, ~60-100 AD. Also, apart from the Gospels, the writings of Saint Paul are clearly within the Apostolic era, being written before the Gospels in 40-65 AD"

The fact that Paul wrote his works before the Gospels leads me more to thinking that the Gospel writers read Paul's stuff, thought the concept of Christ that he created was really neat but it needed a more human back story to make it more marketable to the masses. Thus Jesus of Nazareth was created, more of a marketing tool than a Messiah.  

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But you see, that is pure

But you see, that is pure and utter speculation, unsupported by facts. Saint Paul refers to these aspects of Christ's life. Further, the Gospels were written by Apostles or those closely associated with them. These are the same folks from whom Saint Paul derives his knowledge of Christ.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:
But you see, that is pure and utter speculation, unsupported by facts. Saint Paul refers to these aspects of Christ's life. Further, the Gospels were written by Apostles or those closely associated with them. These are the same folks from whom Saint Paul derives his knowledge of Christ. Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom, StMichael

And you counter my speculation with speculation of your own, as unsupported by facts as you claim mine is.

The difference is, I don't claim to be doing more than speculating. You, however, claim that your speculations are wholly supported by facts. For some reason, though, you refuse to bring these facts to the party when people ask for them.

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Facts. Here are the

Facts. Here are the facts: Saint Paul clearly refers to the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord, His virgin birth, the Last Supper, and His life of preaching. He also makes other off-hand references which seem to indicate a familiarity with the life of the historical Christ, which he assumes in his readers. Here is a citation with references to both the ancient historical sources which testify to the authorship of the Gospels as well as some contemporary scholars: "So did Sts. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John write the Gospels? Is the sacred author also the saint? Remember only St. Matthew and St. John were among the Twelve Apostles. We must keep in mind that in the ancient world, authorship was designated in several ways: First, the author was clearly the individual who actually wrote the text with his own pen. Second, the individual who dictated the text to a secretary or scribe was still considered the author. Third, the individual was still considered the author if he only provided the ideas or if the text were written in accord with his thought and in his spirit even though a "ghost writer" did the actual composition. In the broadest sense, the individual was even considered the author if the work was written in his tradition; for example, David is given credit for the Psalms even though clearly he did not write all of the Psalms. Whether the final version of the Gospels we have is the word-for-word work of the saints [they are named for] is hard to say. Nevertheless, tradition does link the saints to their Gospels. St. Mark, identified with the Mark of Acts 12:12 and the Mark of I Peter 5:13, is mentioned in a quote contained in a letter from Papias (c. 130), Bishop of Hierapolis: "When Mark became Peter's interpreter, he wrote down accurately, although not in order, all that he remembered of what the Lord had said or done." St. Irenaeus (d. 203) and Clement of Alexandria (d. 215) support this identification. The Gospel of Mark is commonly dated about the year 65-70 in conjunction with the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. St. Matthew is identified with the tax collector called as an Apostle (Mt 9:9-13). Papias again attests to the saint's authorship and indicates that he was the first to compile a collection of Jesus' sayings in the Aramaic language. For this reason, the Gospel of Matthew, at least in a very basic form in Aramaic, is considered the first Gospel and placed first in the New Testament, although the Gospel of Mark is probably the first in a completed form. St. Irenaeus and Origen (d. 253) again support this authorship. Nevertheless, some scholars doubt the saint's direct authorship because we only have the Greek version, not the Aramaic, and no citations are made from the Aramaic version in Church literature. The version of the Gospel we have was probably written between 70-80. St. Luke, the beloved physician and disciple of St. Paul (Col 4:14), has consistently been recognized in Christian tradition as the author of the third Gospel, beginning with St. Irenaeus, Tertullian (d. 220) and Clement of Alexandria. The Gospel [has long been assumed to have been] written about 70-80. St. Irenaeus identified the author of the fourth Gospel as St. John the Apostle. He does so based on the instruction of his teacher, St. Polycarp (d. 155), who himself was a disciple of St. John. Throughout this Gospel, the numerous details indicate the author was an eyewitness. Also scholars generally agree that "the beloved disciple" mentioned in the Gospel is St. John. This Gospel was written probably about 80-90. Whether the actual saint wrote word-for word, whether a student did some later editing, or whether a student actually wrote what had been taught by the saint, we must remember the texts — whole and entire — are inspired by the Holy Spirit. Yes, the human authors used their skills and language with a view to an audience; however, they wrote what God wanted written. The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation clearly asserted, Since, therefore, all that the inspired authors, or sacred writers, affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Sacred Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error, teach that truth, which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures. (No. 11) So no matter who actually put the finishing touches on the sacred Scriptures, each is inspired. Interestingly, with the recent scholarship on the Dead Sea Scrolls, new evidence points to the authorship of the traditional authors. Rev. Reginald Fuller, an Episcopalian and Professor Emeritus at Virginia Theological Seminary, with Dr. Carsten Thiede, has analyzed three papyrus fragments from the 26th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew; the fragments date to the year 40, which would indicate that the author was an eyewitness to our Lord's public ministry. Father Jose O'Callaghan, S.J., studying fragments of the Gospel of Mark and using paleographic means, dated them at 50, again indicating an eyewitness author. Finally, Episcopalian Bishop John Robinson also posited from his research that all four Gospels were written between 40 and 65, with John's being possibly the earliest. This new research is not only questioning some of the modern scholarship [and dating] but also supporting the traditional authorship" (click). If you want some more references, I have a couple books I could also cite for the authorship of the Gospels. Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom, StMichael

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StMichael wrote: This

StMichael wrote:

This point is sophistry. God, by definition, is the only being that can create. Satan, or any other creature, cannot. If some creature exists, it would not be God. Hence, God cannot be a fallen spirit.

And, yes, Satan was the highest Cherubim in God's divine order of angelic hierarchies.  

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Except satan usurped(sp) gods name and patents. Wrote his own book and pretended it was the work of the master instead of the student. God let him to test human reasoning, and you've failed.

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Um, St Mike? Catholic

Um, St Mike? Catholic Culture.org?

Citing a theist source to back up theist arguments is like Darwin Citing The Origin of Species as evidence of Evolution. One feeds back into the other, and guess what? It's our old friend CIRCULAR LOGIC again!

I'm sure that some of the details in that long chunk of text are true, undoubtedly the sections which refer to Saints and other theists coming up with dates and "facts" about the Gospels actually happened.

Please provide these other sources that you cite. We can then check to see if they were created by unbiased writers who do not have something to gain by espousing the views of the status quo.

Also, going back to previous post, you noted that the Gnostic Gospels were probably written pseudonymiously by people impersonating the apostles they were supposedly written by. Evidence? And if this were true, who is to say that the Cannonic Gospels were not just the same. Where's the dichotemy between the two? How do you tell with absolute certainty that it was this way?

Rationally Yours, Chris


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I gave the link so that you

I gave the link so that you could read their references. I mainly quoted the link because it cites contemporary scholarship on the issue. It is not circular at all. Biblical scholarship is found in articles on biblical scholarship.

Quote:

...you noted that the Gnostic Gospels were probably written pseudonymiously by people impersonating the apostles they were supposedly written by. Evidence?

We don't have testimony of the gnostic gospels until far after the second and third centuries. We also have historical testimony from apologists who support the view that these were of recent composition, in the later centuries. The gnostic gospels came far after the real Gospels and tend to plagarize the Gospels themselves, interspersing them with various heretical nonsense. The later dates of the gnostic gospels is evident both historically, as well as according to the style of writing, which was not contemporaneous with the first century AD.

Quote:

And if this were true, who is to say that the Cannonic Gospels were not just the same. Where's the dichotemy between the two? How do you tell with absolute certainty that it was this way?

The evidence that the four Gospels were written very early between 60-100AD is fairly clear. Again, citation of these Gospels occurs in documents we have from the first century, such as the letter of Saint Clement and other sources, as well as historical testimony from this early age that the four Gospels were in circulation. The writing of the Gospels themselves is likewise taken to indicate this, from the style of the Greek and the like.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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St M wrote  "The evidence

St M wrote

 "The evidence that the four Gospels were written very early between 60-100AD is fairly clear. Again, citation of these Gospels occurs in documents we have from the first century, such as the letter of Saint Clement and other sources, as well as historical testimony from this early age that the four Gospels were in circulation. The writing of the Gospels themselves is likewise taken to indicate this, from the style of the Greek and the like."

Which brings up another old point. If this Jesus character was so important to these guys why wait 30-40 years to start writing about him?

Disclaimer: I am assuming here that you believe that the authors of the Gospels were alive when this alleged Jesus was allegedly walking around the planet. If you don't hold this view, answer the question with your own tack.  

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Quote: Which brings up

Quote:

Which brings up another old point. If this Jesus character was so important to these guys why wait 30-40 years to start writing about him?

Simply, they thought their work in preaching was more important than writing it down for future generations, due in part to their assumption that Christ would come again within their own lives. Then, near the end of their lives, they saw the necessity of committing their message to writing. It also might have been that they thought that the Church itself and their preaching would have been sufficent, along with the already extant Scripture of the Old Testament. However, in the Apostle's own lives, heresies arose which they needed to put down. How to preserve their doctrine and message for future generations? Hence, the Gospels.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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Actually why didn't Jesus

Actually why didn't Jesus write it down himself? If the story is true he had to know it would need to be written, and he would have gotten everything right.

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Jesus founded a Church to

Jesus founded a Church to preach His message. He left the Holy Spirit to guide the Church in all truth. Hence, the inspiration of the Gospels. So, yes, the Church was writing the Gospels under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and all things were correct therein.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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StMichael wrote: Quote:

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Which brings up another old point. If this Jesus character was so important to these guys why wait 30-40 years to start writing about him?
Simply, they thought their work in preaching was more important than writing it down for future generations, due in part to their assumption that Christ would come again within their own lives. Then, near the end of their lives, they saw the necessity of committing their message to writing. It also might have been that they thought that the Church itself and their preaching would have been sufficent, along with the already extant Scripture of the Old Testament. However, in the Apostle's own lives, heresies arose which they needed to put down. How to preserve their doctrine and message for future generations? Hence, the Gospels. Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom, StMichael

So instead of taking notes about things as they happened so they could be available in case they decided to write a book later, they waited 3-4 decades (until the ends of their lives as you say) and tried to reconstitute their experiences from their failing memories?

You're trying to tell me that this scenario is more believable than the writers (whoever they were) making it up out of whole cloth?

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Yes. I am. And I don't think

Yes. I am. And I don't think their memories were failing. They could quite possibly have taken notes. And, yes, this is quite a bit more probable than making it up for a number of reasons.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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StMichael wrote: Yes. I am.

StMichael wrote:
Yes. I am. And I don't think their memories were failing. They could quite possibly have taken notes. And, yes, this is quite a bit more probable than making it up for a number of reasons.

I can easily point out the opposite.

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St. Mike said: "You are

St. Mike said:

"You are jumping into an argument and you did not read what I wrote previous to that. The proof from motion starts with the fact that things exist in motion, and hence requires an unmoved mover in order to move them in the first place. God is then by definition unmoved.
God is not in motion, but He can move things. This is because He causes the motion to exist by means of His substance. He grants existence to any substance having motion by willing it to be, as well as the existence of the substance in general. He can not move it like a physical being, and in fact must not, because they He would likewise be physically moved (physical local motion being only one type of motion referred to here) and hence not the First Mover. "

How does god's will interact with physical objects to make them move?  You have accurately described the problem:  in order for god to make a physical object move, he would have to behave like a physical object and move himself.  However you then evoke magic to "solve" the problem. 

How does god's will interact with physical objects to make them move?

Sorry, magic doesn't cut it.  If god is allowed to violate the physical laws of the universe, then we lose the ability to describe him AT ALL.  You and I immediately know the exact same amount about god:  zero.

It is an observed principle of energy that it cannot be created or destroyed.  We have absolutely no evidence that suggests that the universe ever contained one joule more or less than it does right now.  Your idea that a prime mover must have put all the energy into the universe assumes a starting point in which the universe existed, but the energy in it did not.  This is a fantasy.  The total energy of the universe has always been there and has always been in motion.  

Saying that the universe requires a mover is like saying that a circle requires round.  It is nonsensical, because the universe is energy, and therefore motion.

 

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It seems todangst is having

It seems todangst is having me banned because he disagrees with me, and calls everything I say a "lie." As such, I cannot continue this post and post it as is. I'll be praying for all of you and wish you the best.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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StMichael wrote: It seems

StMichael wrote:
It seems todangst is having me banned because he disagrees with me, and calls everything I say a "lie." As such, I cannot continue this post and post it as is. I'll be praying for all of you and wish you the best.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Maybe if you were actually capable or even willing to post a rational argument, evidence, or ceasing your lies I'd have a problem with this. As it is though, I'll just wave goodbye and smile. Your repetitiveness has become boring. Smiling

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The fallacies of the 'unmoved mover'...

I've noticed the classic ontological (Aristotelian / Thomist) argument used as an existence for God repeatedly in these discussions. This argument was refuted centuries ago, but nevertheless is still being wheeled out as a proof of God. Before looking at the classic formulation and its rebuttals I will breifly mention a contemporary theory that could cause even more difficult problems that the sophistic, self-regressional absurdities of Thomas Aquinas: In the realm of astrophysics and cosmology there is increasing scientific debate about what is popularly called the "pre-bangian universe". Scientific American published an article on this theory last year...

Many, including many theists, will agree that the Copernican, Newtonian and Darwinian revolutions offered some of the most powerful cases against faith yet conceived. Perhaps the fourth will be the "pre-bangian" account. Without going into the physics it should suffice to say that this account may well imply (based on further evidence, probably within this generation) that the universe existed prior to the big bang, and may even be in a vast cycle of eternal recurrence (to use Neitzsche's phrase) with no beginning and no end. This would lead to an ontological blow to religion that would be devastating, though, as we can readily see, evidence and proof are never sufficent to counter human anxiety over death and the corollary non sequiturs of meaning, morality etc... The dust will settle on the side of evolution eventually, scientific cosmology will have to wait for future generations of creationists and their desperate refutations...

Causation has a long and intellectually contorted history dating from at least Aristotle with his classic 4 formulations. The Scholastic and Jesuit schools hung desparately to these arguments. Thomas Aquinas, (undoubtedly a brilliant thinker and sadly wasted on religion) is remembered for his (attempted) syncretic synthesis of Aristotle's philosophy with Catholic doctrine. Indeed Aristotle was the primary source in university's (including Oxford) well into the 1700s (~2000 yrs of little progress!). The great David Hume (certainly an Atheist and much reviled during his life for his Sceptical positions on the nature of causation) published posthumously. The following account draws from his argument amongst others.

I will quote from an essay available here.

The Classic Cosmological Argument: Thomas Aquinas

 

"We see in the world around us that there is an order of efficient causes. Nor is it ever found (in fact it is impossible) that something is its own efficient cause. If it were, it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Nevertheless, the order of efficient causes cannot proceed to infinity, for in any such order the first is cause of the middle (whether one or many) and the middle of the last. Without the cause, the effect does not follow. Thus, if the first cause did not exist, neither would the middle and last causes in the sequence. If, however, there were an infinite regression of efficient causes, there would be no first efficient cause and therefore no middle causes or final effects, which is obviously not the case. Thus it is necessary to posit some first efficient cause, which everyone calls 'God.'"
--Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, c.1260 CE

Dating back to Aristotle, the cosmological argument is very probably the oldest argument offered in support of the existence of God, and probably the most frequently used by lay apologists as well. As formulated above by Thomas Aquinas, the cosmological argument states that every event has a cause; but every cause is itself caused by something else. To avoid an infinite regression, the argument concludes, we must postulate a first cause that is itself uncaused and eternal, and it identifies this first cause as God.

If the flaw of the ontological argument is circularity, the fallacy of the cosmological argument is special pleading. Namely, it asserts without good reason that everything except God needs a cause. But why should this be? If anything can exist without a cause, we could just as well conclude that it is the universe itself that is uncaused, existing eternally and giving rise to all other cause and effect. This hypothesis has just as much explanatory power as the hypothesis that God created the universe, and it is more parsimonious, requiring fewer additional assumptions. Therefore, all other things being equal, it is to be preferred.

Aquinas' objection to the possibility of an infinite regress is also poorly founded. He claims that an infinite regression of causes could not exist because there would be no first cause, but this shows a failure to understand the notion of an infinite series. In such a series, every individual event would have a perfectly good cause: the event preceding it. Alternatively, if we accept Aquinas' logic on this point, we can then ask, how many thoughts did God have before creating the universe? Every thought God had must have been caused by another thought preceding it, since Aquinas claims nothing can be its own cause. But since by Aquinas' argument an infinite beginningless series is impossible, God must have had a single thought preceding all others - i.e., there must have been a point at which God came into existence. We can then ask the cause of this initial thought, and so on ad infinitum.

There is one final attack on the classic cosmological argument. Say for the sake of argument that we ignore the above difficulty and grant this argument everything it asks - then it still does nothing to establish the existence of God. Even if we accept this argument's logic, all it proves is that there was a first cause. It does not prove that this first cause still exists today; it does not prove that this first cause has any interest in or awareness of human beings; it does not prove that this first cause is omnipotent or omniscient or benevolent. It does not even prove that the first cause is conscious or a person. An atheist could accept this entire chain of logic and then posit that the first cause was a purely natural phenomenon.

 

This argument also renders the notion of 'eternal wisdom' as hopelessly confused.

Tim. 

 


MrRage
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riverrun, where have you

riverrun, where have you been all this time?


riverrun
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I've been trying to supress

I've been trying to supress further turmoil between the Fusillians and Farfalleans over the nature of noodlenees. Sticking out tongue

Great forum bro! Just joined, but I'll post often here. It's great to read so many well informed debates, arguments from people who care enough to think for themselves. Smile