Author Topic: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics  (Read 49567 times)

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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #90 on: July 14, 2008, 03:55:33 PM »
Whether or not it's appropraite is completely irrelevant, the point of relevance I was making is that you shifted from engaging the argument to engaging the person; which is essentially a rhetorical concession.

Nope. I choose not to engage in the only activity you delight in here. Consider it under the "various other topics" portion of this thread dedicated to inflate your ego. YOU and your ego-centric views are the topic.
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Offline GiC

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #91 on: July 14, 2008, 05:33:54 PM »
Nope. I choose not to engage in the only activity you delight in here. Consider it under the "various other topics" portion of this thread dedicated to inflate your ego. YOU and your ego-centric views are the topic.

'Egoism is the very essence of a noble soul.' -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #92 on: July 15, 2008, 01:59:40 PM »
The discussion concerning the Roman Catholic attitude towards Orthodoxy has been moved here.
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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #93 on: July 16, 2008, 07:50:42 AM »
GIC... Simply put, if someone doesn't believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Trinity or even God, they are not Christian, let alone Orthodox. I don't know who you think you are to say that atheists can be Christians... Heck, even some people who believe in Jesus, but in a different Christ and a different God aren't considered Christian (see: Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormans).

Therefore, one CANNOT say they are an atheist, but also a Christian. Because Christians BELIEVE certain things. Religion is still all about belief.

You, however, see it as all about culture because you only see weak religions. Christianity, especially in the west is weak right now. We don't take our faith seriously enough. That is why you believe it's all about culture, just because you see people who don't take it seriously. Yet, just as we heard from Frederica Matthews-Green, this is why Islam seems so strong atm, because we don't take our faith seriously, and Muslims do take their faith seriously.

Offline GiC

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #94 on: July 16, 2008, 12:31:21 PM »
GIC... Simply put, if someone doesn't believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Trinity or even God, they are not Christian, let alone Orthodox. I don't know who you think you are to say that atheists can be Christians... Heck, even some people who believe in Jesus, but in a different Christ and a different God aren't considered Christian (see: Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormans).

A different Christ? While I'm willing to entertain the possibility there were two Messiah-type figures named 'Jesus' in first century Palestine...messiahs were basically growing on trees...somehow I doubt a different one was the inspiration for their religion than the one that was the inspiration for yours.

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Therefore, one CANNOT say they are an atheist, but also a Christian. Because Christians BELIEVE certain things. Religion is still all about belief.

When the majority of the faithful don't even adhear to (or know) the dogmas of the Church, beliefs become pretty irrelevant.

Quote
You, however, see it as all about culture because you only see weak religions. Christianity, especially in the west is weak right now. We don't take our faith seriously enough. That is why you believe it's all about culture, just because you see people who don't take it seriously. Yet, just as we heard from Frederica Matthews-Green, this is why Islam seems so strong atm, because we don't take our faith seriously, and Muslims do take their faith seriously.

Even when 'taken seriously' religion is an element of culture. It's confined by traditional linguistic and cultural boundaries, it's transmitted from generation to generation in the same manner as the rest of one's culture. You speak the same language as your people, you dance the same dances as your people, you sing the same songs as your people, and you pray to the same gods as your people. Sure, you can learn to speak different languages, dance different dances, sing different songs, and pray to different gods...you can embrace another culture...but few generally do. We are fortunate to have evolved our society enough that while the trappings and mythology of Christianity is part of our culture, the actual belief in the supernatural is no longer essential to it. This can also be seen in various Buddhist cultures and even some Moslem ones (e.g. Bosnia) it is simply another step on the latter that we as a people climb from the ways of our barbarous ancestors toward our continued enlightenment.

Offline 88Devin12

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #95 on: July 16, 2008, 12:46:06 PM »
You don't understand, just because someone says they worship "Christ" doesn't mean they worship the true Jesus of Nazareth that lived 2000 years ago.

They do not worship the same God, nor the same Christ as Christians do. It's exactly the same as how the Muslims and the Jews do not worship the same God as Christians do. We may call our Gods by the same names, but that does not mean they are the same.

Also, you keep claiming that religion is a product of culture. But that just is not so. There is most definitely a God, you cannot prove it, but you can believe it. And the evidence of his existence is everywhere.
We know that Jesus of Nazareth existed, and we believe he is God incarnate, and is the Son of God. We have the evidence of this in the scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, as well as the writings and visions of Christians ever since the ascension.

You also must keep in mind, that there is also evidence of the truth of our faith in other faiths. Other faiths have beliefs that are fulfilled in Christianity, and in fact, reinforce the fact that Christianity is true.

I don't know why you are in such a worship of mathematics. Mathematics is very limited and cannot solve everything. It is just like science, and can only be used to an extent. It cannot solve the mysteries of God, it cannot solve the puzzle of what our purpose is here. It cannot tell us who we are (even science can only give us properties and no more).

Offline theistgal

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #96 on: July 16, 2008, 01:39:20 PM »
They do not worship the same God, nor the same Christ as Christians do. It's exactly the same as how the Muslims and the Jews do not worship the same God as Christians do. We may call our Gods by the same names, but that does not mean they are the same.

Since the God of the Jews is the God of the Christians, why would you say they don't worship the same God?  ???
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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #97 on: July 16, 2008, 01:46:27 PM »
Wouldn't it be proper to say that the God the modern Jews worship is NOT the same as ours? Especially since they do not recognize Christ or the Trinity? Therefore, it is not the same God.

However we DO worship the same God as the Jews during and before Christ's time. But modern Jews now worship a different God than the Jews before Christ.

Modern Jews are NOT the same as the Jews before Christ.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 01:48:22 PM by 88Devin12 »

Offline GiC

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #98 on: July 16, 2008, 03:12:17 PM »
You don't understand, just because someone says they worship "Christ" doesn't mean they worship the true Jesus of Nazareth that lived 2000 years ago.

And that would be the same Jesus they worship. I understand quite well, you both worship the same man but in different ways.

Quote
They do not worship the same God, nor the same Christ as Christians do. It's exactly the same as how the Muslims and the Jews do not worship the same God as Christians do. We may call our Gods by the same names, but that does not mean they are the same.

You all worship a non-existent invisible old geezer in the sky...I really fail to see why it's necessary to try to make a distinction.

Quote
Also, you keep claiming that religion is a product of culture. But that just is not so. There is most definitely a God, you cannot prove it, but you can believe it. And the evidence of his existence is everywhere.
We know that Jesus of Nazareth existed, and we believe he is God incarnate, and is the Son of God. We have the evidence of this in the scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, as well as the writings and visions of Christians ever since the ascension.

Yes, yes, yes, every culture and every people have said this and have had their beliefs in their own deities. All are equally valid (or invalid, as the case may be). A simple objective view of the world and the general means of transmitting religion should be more than enough to demonstrate to the impartial observer that religion is an element of cultural identity.

Quote
You also must keep in mind, that there is also evidence of the truth of our faith in other faiths. Other faiths have beliefs that are fulfilled in Christianity, and in fact, reinforce the fact that Christianity is true.

I thought it was Islam that claimed to be the final revelation of the monotheistic faiths? ;)

Quote
I don't know why you are in such a worship of mathematics. Mathematics is very limited and cannot solve everything. It is just like science, and can only be used to an extent. It cannot solve the mysteries of God, it cannot solve the puzzle of what our purpose is here. It cannot tell us who we are (even science can only give us properties and no more).

Mathematics transcends the human mind or any theoretical computational system for that matter, that is to say any mind. It can describe and contain all things and anything that is not within the system is, by definition, self-contradictory. And as for your prupose, you have none...you are an accident of evolution, sorry you're not special, no one in the sky loves your, no one's going to care for you. So make your relationships in this life count, your friends and family are ALL you have.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #99 on: July 16, 2008, 03:45:27 PM »
Even when 'taken seriously' religion is an element of culture. It's confined by traditional linguistic and cultural boundaries, it's transmitted from generation to generation in the same manner as the rest of one's culture. You speak the same language as your people, you dance the same dances as your people, you sing the same songs as your people, and you pray to the same gods as your people. Sure, you can learn to speak different languages, dance different dances, sing different songs, and pray to different gods...you can embrace another culture...but few generally do.

In successive generations of interfaith marriages, each of the above elements is gradually being assimilated into the dominant culture, regardless of its location.  In middle school, I read When the Legends Die by Hal Borland which detailed the struggles of a young Indian boy to either be a successful rodeo rider or an Indian.  Reading the book helped me question the peculiarities of the Greek-American culture but not of the Orthodox Christian Faith.  From the Context Section:

Quote
In When the Legends Die, Borland repeatedly emphasizes the importance of the concept of "roundness," or the continuity and eternity of old ways, in Ute culture. He recognizes the threat modern American society presents to this continuity.

The Orthodox Faith is under the same threats from modern American society as was the Ute Indian Culture portrayed in the book.

Offline GiC

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #100 on: July 16, 2008, 05:38:37 PM »
The Orthodox Faith is under the same threats from modern American society as was the Ute Indian Culture portrayed in the book.

Of course it is, it's the struggle to maintain a minority culture in the midst of a dominate culture.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #101 on: July 16, 2008, 08:03:50 PM »
Wouldn't it be proper to say that the God the modern Jews worship is NOT the same as ours? Especially since they do not recognize Christ or the Trinity? Therefore, it is not the same God.

However we DO worship the same God as the Jews during and before Christ's time. But modern Jews now worship a different God than the Jews before Christ.

Modern Jews are NOT the same as the Jews before Christ.

Surely it would be more appropriate to say that Muslims and Jews worship the same God as we do, but their understanding of him is incomplete. We could claim that their understanding is so flawed it's like they believe in another God. But it is only their understanding of the One True God that confounds the issue - I mean, just how many gods are there? If the Orthodox Church can look at polytheistic pagans and see that all their strivings for truth are indeed strivings for the One True God, why not Muslims and Jews who are monotheistic? Afterall, they strive for the same God that we do. And while they are wrong in many things so, too, are we.   
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 08:05:19 PM by Riddikulus »
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Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #102 on: July 16, 2008, 09:30:01 PM »


Mathematics transcends the human mind or any theoretical computational system for that matter, that is to say any mind. It can describe and contain all things and anything that is not within the system is, by definition, self-contradictory. And as for your prupose, you have none...you are an accident of evolution, sorry you're not special, no one in the sky loves your, no one's going to care for you. So make your relationships in this life count, your friends and family are ALL you have.

The Enlightenment is so two seasons ago.  ::)
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #103 on: July 16, 2008, 10:30:25 PM »
Surely it would be more appropriate to say that Muslims and Jews worship the same God as we do, but their understanding of him is incomplete. We could claim that their understanding is so flawed it's like they believe in another God. But it is only their understanding of the One True God that confounds the issue - I mean, just how many gods are there? If the Orthodox Church can look at polytheistic pagans and see that all their strivings for truth are indeed strivings for the One True God, why not Muslims and Jews who are monotheistic? Afterall, they strive for the same God that we do. And while they are wrong in many things so, too, are we.   
This question, at least as it regards Muslims, you'll find discussed here:  Do Muslims worship the same god as Christians?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 10:31:08 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline GiC

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #104 on: July 16, 2008, 11:52:58 PM »
The Enlightenment is so two seasons ago.  ::)

Well, the mathematical proofs and systems to support what I said really wern't developed until the 1930's...hardly enlightenment era thinking.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #105 on: July 17, 2008, 12:34:43 AM »
Alright so basically this thread is allowing 3 things to occur:

1) It's giving one poster a chance to have his ego boosted
2) It's giving other posters the chance to sin by demonstrating malice, anger, judgmentalism, and ridicule against this poster.
3) It's allowing lurkers and guests who are reading this forum to wonder, "what the heck is up with these Orthodox people?"

I realize the point of this thread is to stop thread hijacking but I wonder about the propriety of it all.
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Offline GiC

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #106 on: July 17, 2008, 12:55:16 AM »
1) It's giving one poster a chance to have his ego boosted

I can't speak for the other two, but do you really think it's possible to inflate my ego any more than it already is? ;)

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #107 on: July 17, 2008, 01:04:39 AM »
I can't speak for the other two, but do you really think it's possible to inflate my ego any more than it already is? ;)
Your head hasn't popped yet, has it? ;)
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Offline observer

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #108 on: July 17, 2008, 01:11:27 AM »
What's happened with Gic's masonic sympathies?  No longer an EP supporter? Just curious.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #109 on: July 17, 2008, 01:25:11 AM »
What's happened with Gic's masonic sympathies?  No longer an EP supporter? Just curious.
Seriously, what do Masonic sympathies have to do with support of the EP?  If you're implying that the EP is connected to the Freemasons, you either need to support that implication with evidence or rescind it immediately.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 01:27:43 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline GiC

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #110 on: July 17, 2008, 01:25:36 AM »
What's happened with Gic's masonic sympathies?  No longer an EP supporter? Just curious.

I think the Oecumenical Throne should be supported for several reasons, both cultural and political...I just don't buy the metaphysical bells and whistles.

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #111 on: July 17, 2008, 01:42:54 AM »
From GiC's first post on OC.net:
Quote
"I say this as an American of many generations, and as a convert to the Orthodox Church, aware not only of the baggage I brought to the Church..."

So...he's apostate, pray for him...and move on.
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Offline stanley123

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #112 on: July 17, 2008, 02:09:02 AM »
Mathematics transcends the human mind or any theoretical computational system for that matter, that is to say any mind. It can describe and contain all things and anything that is not within the system is, by definition, self-contradictory. And as for your prupose, you have none...you are an accident of evolution, sorry you're not special, no one in the sky loves your, no one's going to care for you. So make your relationships in this life count, your friends and family are ALL you have.
That brings up a few questions:
1. How can mathematics transcend the human mind if it is a creation of the human mind?
2. If mathematics can describe all things, then what would be the mathematical description of the love that exists between two people?

Offline SolEX01

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #113 on: July 17, 2008, 02:15:00 AM »
So...he's apostate, pray for him...and move on.

My gut tells me that GiC hasn't apostasized from anything and his mathematical ponderings sounded like things I dreamed up in College.   ;D 
I looked through his first 1,000 posts of so and found them quite spiritually helpful.   :)

It was said in another thread that I was accused of being like GiC and I quickly defended myself by saying that I wasn't a troll (which I don't believe GiC ever was) and I would stop posting unless something relevant came along.  Having said that, I think there's a pink elephant in this forum where I have no idea what people are talking about when it comes to GiC.   ???

Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #114 on: July 17, 2008, 03:23:37 AM »
Well, the mathematical proofs and systems to support what I said really wern't developed until the 1930's...hardly enlightenment era thinking.

What were/are those mathematical proofs and systems? I'm not asking as an inquisitor, but as someone who is genuinely interested. Do you think these proofs and systems somehow disprove an absolute reality beyond a purely calculable realm, or have you just extrapolated their existence/reality to another level that corresponds with your beliefs above and beyond the data? Of course, I'm a sane, logical, modern person who would not accept a concept of divinity that does not correspond with mathematical fact. Still, I do believe that there is reason and revelation- a spiritual reality that exists beyond mental comprehension- A reality that can be perfectly real and understandable, just by different faculties of the human person that exist outside of our limited minds. If there is a spiritual reality, how could our physical being ever fully grasp that reality? How can the mind every understand that which by nature surpasses the mind? It's apples and oranges, really.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 03:24:55 AM by Bogoliubtsy »
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #115 on: July 17, 2008, 07:10:12 AM »
My gut tells me that GiC hasn't apostasized from anything and his mathematical ponderings sounded like things I dreamed up in College.   ;D 
I looked through his first 1,000 posts of so and found them quite spiritually helpful.   :)

In the first thousand, first two thousand, yes, I agree. The last thousand however... bleh :(
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Offline stanley123

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #116 on: July 17, 2008, 05:49:13 PM »
What were/are those mathematical proofs and systems? I'm not asking as an inquisitor, but as someone who is genuinely interested. Do you think these proofs and systems somehow disprove an absolute reality beyond a purely calculable realm, or have you just extrapolated their existence/reality to another level that corresponds with your beliefs above and beyond the data? Of course, I'm a sane, logical, modern person who would not accept a concept of divinity that does not correspond with mathematical fact. Still, I do believe that there is reason and revelation- a spiritual reality that exists beyond mental comprehension- A reality that can be perfectly real and understandable, just by different faculties of the human person that exist outside of our limited minds. If there is a spiritual reality, how could our physical being ever fully grasp that reality? How can the mind every understand that which by nature surpasses the mind? It's apples and oranges, really.
To assert that there is no reality beyond that which can be expressed as a mathematical theorem would seem to be at first glance an unprovable assumption or axiom. However, as we think about it more, there do appear to be counterexamples which amount to showing that this assumption is really false.

Offline Jetavan

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #117 on: July 17, 2008, 07:25:04 PM »
I think the Oecumenical Throne should be supported for several reasons, both cultural and political...I just don't buy the metaphysical bells and whistles.

So, GiC, earlier (much, much earlier) you said:

Quote
No Society or People are completely devoid of Grace, and there is nothing anti-Christian about saying that the Greeks had discovered many elements of Truth, what we do say is that Only Christianity has the fullness of Truth.

Would you today agree to such a statement?
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #118 on: July 17, 2008, 08:29:19 PM »
Acts 17:29-32 (NKJV)

29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.”


The Orthodox Study Bible interprets Verse 32 as a point where Gentile philosophers reacted negatively to the concept of the resurrection of the dead while accepting everything else Paul said without challenge.  Such rejection is due to the Platonic view that the body was a prison for the soul and unworthy of salvation.

There was no such concept as resurrection from the dead among the ancient Greek Gods nor ancient Greek philosophers.

Offline Tzimis

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #119 on: July 17, 2008, 10:04:48 PM »


Mathematics transcends the human mind or any theoretical computational system for that matter, that is to say any mind. It can describe and contain all things and anything that is not within the system is, by definition, self-contradictory. And as for your prupose, you have none...you are an accident of evolution, sorry you're not special, no one in the sky loves your, no one's going to care for you. So make your relationships in this life count, your friends and family are ALL you have.

I kind of agree with your statement, that relationships are all that count. How does that not make you a Christian?

Offline ignatius

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #120 on: July 18, 2008, 10:03:59 AM »
I've followed this thread and I'm confused. If one believes there is simply no logical reason to believe in a ground and source of all being (i.e. prime mover for lack of a better neutral term) then the question must be asked 'on what grounds does one claim another to be immoral, evil and bad or another to be moral and good? I hear reductionist argument but I don't think it's going far enough... if there is no ' moral law giver' then there really are not 'ultimate' moral truths in which to claim to be champion of. On what grounds does one equate equality among men (women, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc)?
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline SolEX01

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #121 on: July 18, 2008, 11:07:58 AM »
I've followed this thread and I'm confused.

So am I but that's not the point.   :)

If one believes there is simply no logical reason to believe in a ground and source of all being (i.e. prime mover for lack of a better neutral term) then the question must be asked 'on what grounds does one claim another to be immoral, evil and bad or another to be moral and good?


I don't know if this helps.  Here is a quote on reductionism from this Source:

Quote
From Lucretius (98-54 B.C.) onwards, those who have supposed that there is nothing but atoms and the void have also espoused  atheism. The reality of the mental and the spiritual is vital to religion, and the reality of the material is vital to Christianity, the religion of the Word made flesh ( JESUS CHRIST, INCARNATION AND DOCTRINE OF LOGOS, IV). Theology should take heart from the fact that there is sufficient encouragement, both from science properly construed and from philosophy carefully pursued, to defend the antireductionist position.

From another Source, an interesting summary.  Note that the DRN = De rerum natura, the name of Lucretius' work:

Quote
the celebrated lines (2.490-2) ‘Happy he who was able to know the causes of things (felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas), and who trampled beneath his feet all fears, inexorable fate, and the roar of devouring hell’.

Sounds like the future Resurrection of Jesus Christ was being foreshadowed by one accused of being an atheist???

I hear reductionist argument but I don't think it's going far enough... if there is no ' moral law giver' then there really are not 'ultimate' moral truths in which to claim to be champion of. On what grounds does one equate equality among men (women, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc)?

The same equality cited in the Bible, In Christ Jesus there's no <fill in the blank>.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 11:09:50 AM by SolEX01 »

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #122 on: July 18, 2008, 11:19:22 AM »
The same equality cited in the Bible, In Christ Jesus there's no <fill in the blank>.

But if the Bible is nothing more than a mythological history as GiC claimed where is it's authority? See my point?
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline SolEX01

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #123 on: July 18, 2008, 01:56:54 PM »
But if the Bible is nothing more than a mythological history as GiC claimed where is it's authority? See my point?

See Reply #121 - "Happy [is] he who was able to know the causes of things (felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas)"  That individual has authority.

The ancient Greek Philosophers may have had some knowledge of the Old Testament except that their understanding of the Old Testament was even more limited than that of the Jews.  The Jews didn't believe in 12 Gods; Their Canaanite neighbors (some of whom like the Phillistines were influenced by the ancient, ancient Greeks) were polytheistic.


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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #124 on: July 18, 2008, 07:01:59 PM »
What were/are those mathematical proofs and systems? I'm not asking as an inquisitor, but as someone who is genuinely interested. Do you think these proofs and systems somehow disprove an absolute reality beyond a purely calculable realm, or have you just extrapolated their existence/reality to another level that corresponds with your beliefs above and beyond the data? Of course, I'm a sane, logical, modern person who would not accept a concept of divinity that does not correspond with mathematical fact. Still, I do believe that there is reason and revelation- a spiritual reality that exists beyond mental comprehension- A reality that can be perfectly real and understandable, just by different faculties of the human person that exist outside of our limited minds. If there is a spiritual reality, how could our physical being ever fully grasp that reality? How can the mind every understand that which by nature surpasses the mind? It's apples and oranges, really.

I'm talking in general about the mathematical fields of Computation and Complexity Theory...the abstract hierarchy of computational devices (or perhaps more accurately, systems) that basically can construct a computer to compute any problem of any degree of complexity, even if the problem is infinitley beyond anything even conceivable to humans and such a computer would be theoretically impossible by our laws of physics. One the hierarchy of computational devices was developed, demonstrating that any given problem can be computed is simply a matter of argument by induction, which can go to any degree of infinity (countable, uncountable, aleph-2, etc., etc.), even an infinite degree. In the end, even the infinite is rather mundane to mathematics.

Heck, a computational system that solves the halting problem would be beyond the capabilities of the human mind, but is a very basic system you deal with on a regular basis in Computation Theory; mathematics lets us play with problems we cannot even begin to comprehend. We did not evolve to understand infinity, or an infinite number of dimensions, or an infinite different degrees of infinity, or computational systems that if constructed would seem as gods to us, but these are all rather simple, straightforward, and fundamental problems in mathematics.

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #125 on: July 18, 2008, 07:02:42 PM »
So, GiC, earlier (much, much earlier) you said:

Would you today agree to such a statement?

Do I need to go back and formally recant each of my first 5000 posts? ;)

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #126 on: July 18, 2008, 07:04:04 PM »
I kind of agree with your statement, that relationships are all that count. How does that not make you a Christian?

Because I place emphasis on one's relationship with their neighbour and say not to bother with a relationship with a god, a 'humanist' would probably be a better description of me.

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #127 on: July 18, 2008, 07:14:48 PM »
I've followed this thread and I'm confused. If one believes there is simply no logical reason to believe in a ground and source of all being (i.e. prime mover for lack of a better neutral term) then the question must be asked 'on what grounds does one claim another to be immoral, evil and bad or another to be moral and good? I hear reductionist argument but I don't think it's going far enough... if there is no ' moral law giver' then there really are not 'ultimate' moral truths in which to claim to be champion of. On what grounds does one equate equality among men (women, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc)?

There are many grounds, first and foremost we evolved as social creatures, we have a vested biological interest in the preservation of our tribe. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly because of it's basis in reason, there's the theory of the social contract, which really is the basis of my morality, we agree to abide by certain rules in society because the benefit of having others abide by them outweighs the cost of having to abide by them ourselves (it is mutually beneficial to have a law against murder, the cost I endure in not being allowed to randomly kill someone is relatively minor compared to the benefit I receive in others not being allowed to kill me at random)...in essence, I believe that morality and law is a cost-benefit problem. Thus, my morality may differ from traditional Christian morality, I see no notable benefit in getting to tell people who they can sleep but having this private area of your life dictated to you does imply a substantial cost in personal liberty. On the other hand, the cost of not giving people equal opportunity could be enormous, we could be preventing a great mind from making a discovery to benefit mankind, or, on a more mundane (and frequent) but equally significant level, we could be giving less competent people positions of economic influence that should go to people of greater ability but from a traditionally disavantaged group (women, african-americans, jews, homosexuals, etc.) and, as a result, we suffer from a less efficient economy which hurts everyone's standard of living. And, at the same time, what real benefit do we receive from this discrimination? A few undeserving people may get an undue advantage and a few others may get their ego boosted, but all this at the cost of real economic, scientific, and cultural loss.

I believe cost-benefit analyses and social contract theory can provide a perfectly sound basis for morality and law, absent the presence of an omnipotent law-giver. In fact, the flexibility of such a system makes it even more viable and useful in my opinion.

I mean, do we really want to start applying the biblical and canonical prohibitions against usury to our current society and economy?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 07:15:25 PM by greekischristian »

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #128 on: July 18, 2008, 09:48:20 PM »
Seriously, what do Masonic sympathies have to do with support of the EP?  If you're implying that the EP is connected to the Freemasons, you either need to support that implication with evidence or rescind it immediately.

Agreed.  The next time this happens, you may be warned or moderated in some way.
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The more I know, the less I know.   ;)

Offline SolEX01

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #129 on: July 18, 2008, 11:18:18 PM »
^^ Dematerialism appears to mesh with the explanations GiC has provided.  Some of the above have been expressed on this website (for all we know, maybe GiC is the author of said website)?   :)

Dematerialism.net

Offline GiC

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #130 on: July 19, 2008, 12:53:10 AM »
^^ Dematerialism appears to mesh with the explanations GiC has provided.  Some of the above have been expressed on this website (for all we know, maybe GiC is the author of said website)?   :)

Dematerialism.net

Well, looking at that website, I wouldn't fully agree. The opening sentence says 'The prevention of competition for wealth and power is a necessary and sufficient condition for Universal Sustainable Happiness' and essentially defines this a 'dematerialism'. While I believe those things are necessary for happiness, I do not know that they are always sufficient, depending on the economy, culture, demographics, etc. of a society.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #131 on: July 19, 2008, 01:51:21 AM »
^ I came across the Dematerialism site based on what was said earlier about social contracts.  I said to myself, can there be a social contract with a religious component and I wound up looking at something which led back to the Dematerialism site.   :)

Given that the author of the site is a Chemical Engineer from Houston, TX - maybe the site is more of a rant regarding the current Materialistic oil-driven society, who knows.   ???

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #132 on: July 19, 2008, 02:23:28 AM »
Given that Freemasonry has come up here, I fail to see how GiC's belief system (for that is what it is) differs from a Godless form of Freemasonry.

Personally, been there - done that.

Is there any reason for this topic to remain open other than as a proselytization venue for his a-theistic views?
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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #133 on: July 19, 2008, 04:56:11 AM »
Is there any reason for this topic to remain open other than as a proselytization venue for his a-theistic views?

Yes, I think there is.
Firstly, if posters are going to keep challenging and questioning GiC's beliefs, then there needs to be a place where he can answer them.
Secondly, we are a Community of sorts, albeit an online Community, and GiC has been part of this Community for years, in fact, longer than I have. If my brother's Faith grows weak, should I reject and silence him?
Thirdly, I see no proselytism here from GiC. I see questions directed to him by Orthodox posters which he is answering. I see him presenting mathematical and scientific facts, which, although he disagrees, both you and I know come ultimately from God. There is no division between Faith and Science in Orthodox Christianity.
Fourthly, I think it is a positive exercise for people to learn to "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1Peter 3:15)
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: GIC on judgment, faith, mathematics, and various other topics
« Reply #134 on: July 19, 2008, 05:35:32 AM »
Yes, I think there is.
Firstly, if posters are going to keep challenging and questioning GiC's beliefs, then there needs to be a place where he can answer them.
Secondly, we are a Community of sorts, albeit an online Community, and GiC has been part of this Community for years, in fact, longer than I have. If my brother's Faith grows weak, should I reject and silence him?
Thirdly, I see no proselytism here from GiC. I see questions directed to him by Orthodox posters which he is answering. I see him presenting mathematical and scientific facts, which, although he disagrees, both you and I know come ultimately from God. There is no division between Faith and Science in Orthodox Christianity.
Fourthly, I think it is a positive exercise for people to learn to "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1Peter 3:15)


Very well. Maybe change name of thread.
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