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orthonorm
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« Reply #180 on: December 09, 2010, 03:42:41 PM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
Only beings that are finite and changing need a cause. If a being is pure actuality, there is no need for a cause. The law of sufficient reason states that a being must have a sufficient reason for its existence in itself or in another. Finite, changing beings all must find a sufficient reason for the their existence in another. Thus they are caused beings. Since God is not finite and changing, we need not seek the sufficient reason for his existence in another, but rather in himself. As a self-existent being, he is the only uncaused being.

And, yes, I know some of the Anti-Westerners here will get all bent out of shape over the fact that I used Thomistic terminology.

And you wonder where secularism came from?
To say that secularism came from proving the existence of God, may almost be as silly as isa's post.  Cheesy

To render God to a syllogism, no matter how complex, is laughable. Certainly not Christian nor Biblical. Where is the Gospel in that argument of yours? The Cross?
Wow, you are completely undeducated about scholasticism. In fact, Thomas explicitly argues that we cannot know what God is. In fact, he says that the begining of wisdom is to know that we do not know with regard to God. That is different from arguing that God exists.
St. Paul is with me on this, not you.

I wasn't critiquing Thomastic thought. I was critiquing what I thought was a tongue in cheek argument by you with a similarly tongue in cheek counter argument and reference to another thread.

Since you evidently sincerely believe such stuff is relevant and compelling and revelatory to and about the Gospel. I will keep you in my prayers and tears.

You decide where the irony lies.

EDITED: Due to garbled placement in quote.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 03:44:43 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #181 on: December 09, 2010, 03:51:26 PM »

^ If I misunderstood you, I apologize. To me it seems like were attacking something that need not be attacked.
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orthonorm
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« Reply #182 on: December 09, 2010, 03:57:15 PM »

^ If I misunderstood you, I apologize. To me it seems like were attacking something that need not be attacked.

It's OK. I am used to boards with more implied vitriol, which usually is taken in stride as jest.

Probably something I should correct, since I am misunderstood here too frequently.

I apologize for being less than earnest. I will try to be more so in the future.

 
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« Reply #183 on: December 12, 2010, 05:34:36 AM »

What I want to know is how do you know that "The Holy Spirit" inspired, guided or "spoke to" anyone? It's one thing to make the claim that the words of an ancient religious leader managed to be passed down through oral tradition. It's another to make the claim that they were inspired by supernatural beings.

Additionally, if anything was supposed to be written down, wouldn't it have made sense for Jesus to say, "Hey, you guys better take notes." I mean, if he was standing right in front of a bunch of disciples and "God" was going to "inspire" people to write things down anyway, then it seems like that would have been a good time to start, not decades or centuries later.

And like I mentioned in another thread, if Jesus/God wanted to "make disciples of all the nations", then why not have a "representative" (i.e. virgin birth/messiah figure) IN all those nations in the first place? If people could only be "saved" through Jesus, then people were going to hell simply for not getting the memo. If the text really was divinely inspired, it seems like people should have had a "Bible" from every continent that conveyed the same history and philosophy.

I'm just asking these questions to try and parse out the ultimate logic here, because from my perspective, these things just don't really make logical sense as anything other than one of the many mythologies created by man to explain his condition and express his philosophy.
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« Reply #184 on: December 12, 2010, 10:36:35 AM »

And like I mentioned in another thread, if Jesus/God wanted to "make disciples of all the nations", then why not have a "representative" (i.e. virgin birth/messiah figure) IN all those nations in the first place?
A "representative" could also be a prophet, or philosopher, or a sage. Some Christians argue that the Holy Spirit has been active in inspiring many different such "representatives" across the globe:

"We are reminded that the "Spirit blows wherever it wills" ( John 3:8 ). Peter the Apostle states that. "Truly I perceive God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him" (Acts 10:34-35). St. Paul, addressing the Athenians at the Areopagus, observes that they worship an unknown God, whose name and message he came to proclaim (Acts 17:23-31).
....
Subsequent to the Apostolic age St. Justin Martyr, a second century apologist, makes the claim for Christianity that "Whatever things were rightly said among all men are the property of us Christians." Justin espouses the belief that both Gentiles and Jews will be saved on the basis of their piety and holiness. He states that "Christ is the first-born of God, and we have declared above all that He is the Word (Logos) of whom every race of men were partakers; and those who lived according to reason are Christian.""
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 10:44:27 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #185 on: December 12, 2010, 12:36:04 PM »

What I want to know is how do you know that "The Holy Spirit" inspired, guided or "spoke to" anyone? It's one thing to make the claim that the words of an ancient religious leader managed to be passed down through oral tradition. It's another to make the claim that they were inspired by supernatural beings.
I'm skipping this question for the moment.

Quote
Additionally, if anything was supposed to be written down, wouldn't it have made sense for Jesus to say, "Hey, you guys better take notes." I mean, if he was standing right in front of a bunch of disciples and "God" was going to "inspire" people to write things down anyway, then it seems like that would have been a good time to start, not decades or centuries later.

Obviously, you are not a 1st century Palestinian Jew, and are influenced by Protestant post-enlightment views. Faith is not transmitted by reading a book. That would be like reading romance novels and never being in love. Christianity was not alone in this. The Rabbis forbid the writing down of what latter was redacted into the Talmud: teaching had to be transmitted through a chain of rabbis. A similar idea was acted on among the philosophical schools.

When the generation of the Apostles had started to pass, it consolidated the Church, grooming the next generation, consecrating their successors and establishing them in the major sees, and writing down and having written down their testamony in the NT.

For instance, in the scientific method, scientist conduct a slew of experiments and take copious notes (at least that is what we are told). They then redact this into their results which they publish for consumption by the scientific community to build up the body of science.

I reckon that you are now saying "but the scientists can replicate the results." But so can the Orthodox Christians. As the Gospels say 'Come and See!"

John 4: 39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in Him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me all that I ever did." 40 So when the Samaritans came to Hhim, they asked Him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His word. 42 They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."

Quote
And like I mentioned in another thread, if Jesus/God wanted to "make disciples of all the nations", then why not have a "representative" (i.e. virgin birth/messiah figure) IN all those nations in the first place?

Because He is one God, not several. And He is incarnated, not coming down in an avatar.

There is a genre of Patriistics on "The Preparation of the Gospel" which goes over things in the various cultures that prepared them for the Gospel. Among it is a quotation of Virgil which reads like Isaiah and Luke on the matter.  It also played a large role in the evangelization of this continent in Alaska.

IN this season we have hymns that point out that Christ came to be numbered when the census of the world was being conducted, during the first, and only, time that the Mediterranean Basin was united in one government and with one lingua franca, in contact with Iran, India, China and Ethiopia, so that the Gospel could spread rapdily. Which it did.

Quote
If people could only be "saved" through Jesus, then people were going to hell simply for not getting the memo.

So you refuse to read and follow the memo you got, because someone didn't get the same memo at the same time?

Quote
If the text really was divinely inspired, it seems like people should have had a "Bible" from every continent that conveyed the same history and philosophy.

Your Protestant influences are showing. We Orthodox have a different teaching. I can elaborate later (I'm pressed for time, to get to Church).

Quote
I'm just asking these questions to try and parse out the ultimate logic here, because from my perspective, these things just don't really make logical sense as anything other than one of the many mythologies created by man to explain his condition and express his philosophy.
Funny you mention many mythologies, as the the Father utilize those very same in the writings on the "Prepartion for the Gospel."
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #186 on: December 13, 2010, 03:37:51 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

What I want to know is how do you know that "The Holy Spirit" inspired, guided or "spoke to" anyone? It's one thing to make the claim that the words of an ancient religious leader managed to be passed down through oral tradition. It's another to make the claim that they were inspired by supernatural beings.

We don't know, we experience it.  We do know assume, we discover.  Just as in this science you praise so highly, our religion is a methodology, a practice, an activity, it is not a stagnant dogma or belief.  We live our religion, we do no postulate on it.  The Holy Spirit speaks to us in different ways, just as scientific revelation comes to us at different levels of experience, and we live in this realm of inSpiration.  We must learn from our experience and growing understanding what Scripture means, and what the inspiration of the Holy Spirit means.

For example, the rabbinical interpretation of Isaiah 7 is clearly in reference to a young girl having a normal child in the contemporary period of Isaiah, and yet we in the Christian faith have come to understand through the Holy Spirit the Virgin birth of Jesus Christ.  God reveals this to us when we read the Scriptures, just as an algebra equation sort of explains itself as you go through the examples and formulas of the lesson.  The Holy Spirit is the lesson, it teaches us.  It is the inspiring Spirit of interpretation that reveals actively the meaning of Scripture.

We study it just as a person might science.  We do not necessarily suppose because of the Holy Spirit that a single interpretation is correct, or decisive, or conclusive, rather we let the realm of the Holy Spirit continue to actively define and explain the text.  You might pettily dismiss this as an active imagination on our parts, but think for a moment, what even is imagination? A random collection of neurochemical firing in the brain? What is the initial or first cause of these chemicals firing at one moment over another? Does science ever really explain aside from a "how"?

In our view from our own experience, the Holy Spirit is the "why" to the "how" answers of science. How God reveals Himself to us is through our minds, through the neurochemicals  which fire in our brains and dictate our perception, but the "why" is the interpretation these thoughts bring.  The Holy Spirit actively explains itself, for those patient enough to quiet all the selfish "I,I, me, me" chatter in their minds and just listen..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #187 on: December 17, 2010, 05:06:45 AM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
Only beings that are finite and changing need a cause. If a being is pure actuality, there is no need for a cause. The law of sufficient reason states that a being must have a sufficient reason for its existence in itself or in another. Finite, changing beings all must find a sufficient reason for the their existence in another. Thus they are caused beings. Since God is not finite and changing, we need not seek the sufficient reason for his existence in another, but rather in himself. As a self-existent being, he is the only uncaused being.

And, yes, I know some of the Anti-Westerners here will get all bent out of shape over the fact that I used Thomistic terminology.
How convenient it must be to not need a cause. So why can't our entire plane of existence simply be "pure actuality"? Why can't the matter and energy in our universe by the result of the confluence of multi-dimensional "membranes" (that are "pure actuality") or the nodes of inter-dimensions "bubbles", of the vibrations of "strings" of reality, or whatever. I think your answer just creates more questions. Saying God just always existed basically amounts to giving the reply, "just because." With science we look back as far as we can, and keep trying to go further. There are no absolute answers because there is no final end. And that is the one of the key differences between religious knowledge and scientific understanding.
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« Reply #188 on: December 17, 2010, 05:36:58 AM »

Saying God always existed answers infinite regress, that is the common problem facing the person who does not subscribe to a prime mover be it whatever, God, the universe, some cosmic event or whatever. I find God the most convincing answer to this problem myself.

This is not mere religious enquiry but logic, scientific and Theological in nature. For we must ask ourselves what started the universe? and perhaps teh naturalist will pressupose a pre existing universe which eventually retracted in on itself and then started antoher big bang and the process will go on and on if one does not subscribe to an ultimate mover or cause. This is not illogical, rather is the most logical answer that there was a thing, call it what you want, I and most others call it God, that is the source for all eternity.

But I would ask you, if i wasn't God, who purposely designed it as such, what was it?

That being siad, you seem to think science is the end all method of enquiry. Is this a correct analysis? That science is the best or only way to learn of reality?
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