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Author Topic: Catholic Apologist: Earth is Center of Universe  (Read 2330 times) Average Rating: 0
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Frobie
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« on: April 24, 2003, 07:47:03 PM »

http://www.catholicintl.com/epologetics/geochallenge.html

Any thoughts? Is this issue important to Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2003, 08:06:54 PM »

I would say no.

I do not think the Church needs to get into the business of claiming scientific infallibility.

I also think this group is wasting its energy on something that will only marginalize it and make it look foolish in the long run.

I am not a scientist and am not interested in the challenge to prove heliocentrism, but I would say that, from what I can see, the evidence is in.

It would have been awfully difficult for NASA and the Russians to have done all the amazing things they have done since the 1950s if the fundamental mechanism of our own solar system were so badly misunderstood.

Is this apologetics group affiliated in some way with the Flat Earth Society?
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2003, 08:34:36 PM »

Isn't Catholic Answers rather controversial?  I forget what the controversy was but I seem to recall something.  I skimmed the link and was put off by the insistence on the "literal" interpretation of Scripture.  As far as I know, Catholics have never insisted on a literal interpretation.  In fact, insisting on a literal interpretation leads to conflicts with Catholic dogma.  First, there are so bothersome passages in Scripture about not calling any man "father."  Second, the Gospels refer to Jesus's brothers and sisters.  

I'm sure there are other examples but none come to mind at the moment.  I'm a Catholic...I don't know the Bible!  

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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2003, 09:15:59 PM »

Linus <<Is this apologetics group affiliated in some way with the Flat Earth Society?>>

    Hahhahaha. Good response. I think Sungenis is overreacting; the Church Fathers can err. Earth must not be the universe's center so that man will understand his godly origin. While Catholic fundamentalism is not desirable, I do admire him as he challenges the scientific dogmas people uncritically accept, however misguided he may be. Orthodoxy, in my opinion, cannot just ignore or mindlessly accept science either.  

Jennifer,

      I know nothing about Catholic Answers. They are probably a little crazy. And come on! Good Catholics read the Bible!  Tongue

:reading: --a non-protestant Bible  

Matt
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2003, 10:18:15 PM »

Is this apologetics group affiliated in some way with the Flat Earth Society?

How interesting.  If you read that page, it seems they take their pains to stress their disassociation from Flat Earth folks.  Flat Earth ain't Biblical, you see. :-)

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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2003, 10:44:46 AM »

Frobisher

Quote
Any thoughts? Is this issue important to Orthodoxy?

I believe that the verse is in Proverbs which says, to paraphrase: "a man's arguments sound good... until you hear the other side's arguments". I've not studied the issue, I don't know what to say to their challenge. I don't find it to be particularly important, though I might read some more of their material on the subject if they have any (I read the linked-to article, but couldn't surf around the rest of the site yesterday).
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2003, 10:54:52 AM »

Justin,

    Let me know what you find out!

Matt
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2003, 10:43:55 PM »

I read a few things more from the website, and will continue to read some things. I haven't seen much in the way of a strong case for his position, but that's probably because most of my reading thus far has been of various discussions he had with other people on some email list. In that text, most of his answers amount to something like: "you can't prove heliocentrism, and it's admitted that geocentric models have not been proven unusable". I'm still waiting to get more into the meat of what he's saying, though he's interesting me enough in the subject to where I might get a few books that he mentions from the library.
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2003, 01:59:55 PM »

Ok, I've read over a good bit of what he has on the site relating to this issue. His position can be summarized as follows:

1) Based on his understanding of the Fathers and Papal Encyclicals, he believes that we are to understand Scriptural passages literally unless there is very persuasive evidence that they should not be taken literally.

2) He believes that the Scriptures teach geocentricity.

3) He affirms that the Scriptures are not a "science book" per se, but maintains that when "science and faith intersect" the truth will always be the same (ie. scripture is not a science book, but it also does not make inaccurate scientific statements)

4) He believes that heliocentricity is, at best, a theory with a number of flaws

5) He believes that all of the mathematical and scientific data, and that all of the practical things we do (e.g., launching satellites, shuttles, etc.) can be accounted for and will work within a geocentric solar system and universe. He believes that these shuttles/satellites/etc will work or function even when the builders/designers think that the solar system/universe is heliocentric.

6) Therefore, a good Catholic should affirm geocentricity since it is what the Scriptures appear to teach, and since science has not persuasively demonstrated heliocentricity.

His challenge, of course, is one that cannot be answered, which is why he made it: he's making a point that you cannot prove heliocentricity. You cannot scientifically prove heliocentricity any more than you could prove evolution or the big bang; at most, you can provide evidence and show how such theories answer for and take into account the numerous variables involved.

So, I understand what he seems to be doing on a certain level; however, I think he is misunderstanding the problem. He sees things such as this undermining the Catholic Faith: people are placing more faith in science than in the Church in his mind. Therefore, he does not merely see a slight correlation between this issue and the deterioration of the Church (ie. heliocentricity might be part of a larger problem that is causing Christians to stumble), but sees a definate causation involved (ie. heliocentricity in itself unquestionably causes Christians to stumble). From a Catholic vantage point, the truth is probably very difficult to see: almost all of Catholic and Protestant belief is based on a humanistic and rationalistic foundation. It's not heliocentricity and evolution that are causing Catholics to lose faith in their Church, but it is the underlying premises and mindset that these theories sprang from that is undermining the faith.

I guess I'm not really sure what to say about his arguments for geocentricity--or in any event, his arguments demonstrating that geocentricity is just as plausible as heliocentricity. He does have me somewhat interested, though, so I might get a few books from the library. In the end, I don't find the issue to be of crucial importance to the Orthodox Christian, though, like other matters of science, it is interesting and should not be totally ignored.

Justin

PS. To my shock and amazement, this fella seems to affirm an open view of God. One time an open theist had told me that a Catholic priest friend of his was considering the open view position, but I hadn't really given it much thought. To be quite honest, I'm at a loss to understand how someone in a traditional Church can affirm the idea that God "changes his mind". Well, on the other hand, I guess I can understand it (to a degree), some people need everything to fit "logically," and so if "God answers prayers," God must be able to change his mind Shocked Lips Sealed *Sigh*
« Last Edit: April 26, 2003, 02:13:06 PM by Paradosis » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2003, 04:02:34 PM »



So, I understand what he seems to be doing on a certain level; however, I think he is misunderstanding the problem. He sees things such as this undermining the Catholic Faith: people are placing more faith in science than in the Church in his mind. Therefore, he does not merely see a slight correlation between this issue and the deterioration of the Church (ie. heliocentricity might be part of a larger problem that is causing Christians to stumble), but sees a definate causation involved (ie. heliocentricity in itself unquestionably causes Christians to stumble). From a Catholic vantage point, the truth is probably very difficult to see: almost all of Catholic and Protestant belief is based on a humanistic and rationalistic foundation. It's not heliocentricity and evolution that are causing Catholics to lose faith in their Church, but it is the underlying premises and mindset that these theories sprang from that is undermining the faith.


I think there are a lot of reasons why people in the Catholic church, and in many other traditions are straying away from the church. I think the author of the website misses the point entirely. The church has lost the ability to be a hospital in our age. Many churches have lost the ability to cure the ailments of the soul, which is why we see so many people suffering depression, addictions, and engaging in rampant hedonism. The Catholic and Protestant churches and to a certain extent Orthodox ones, have become more or less social clubs. In other words, it is a club you join when you get married and have children because  joining a church is the next thing to do on the list of life. This is why so many young people who go to college don't go to church, no one is out there acting as a physician to their souls. No one is interested unless you meet the requirements of membership. Many evangelical churches are a joke. All they are good for is a shallow holiness, rampant emotionalism, and plain olde charlatanism.

Why do people stray away from their faith? It is NOT because of evolution or geocentricity or heliocentricity. People who give reasons like that typically are not honest with themselves. They just don't care about their salvation and just won't admit it. Some people who stray are angry at God. Take for instance a woman who loses a child. She becomes angry at God for taking away her child and eventually becomes alienated from Him and his church. I am sorry, but no logical sounding arguments refuting evolution or geo/heliowhatever will ever abate that woman's anger. Logical proofs do nothing to build faith and heal the anger that one can have at God. Rationality will never cure anything that ailes the soul.Those who think so are missing the point totally. I laugh at these evangelical Protestants who are so eager to refute evolution, and yet how many people could they help if they better spent their time building their church up as a place for the cure of the soul. The church is the hospital for the soul, and if the cure for it cannot be found there, where will people find it? They will find it in some new other god such as drugs, alcohol, pornography, illicit sexual activity, greed, entertainment, etc. Yet in the end they despair because they cannot find it in drugs or alcohol or sex and so they move on to some moral depraved sin.

P.S. It is amazing that the Catholic church still cannot get over Galileo.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2003, 04:16:03 PM by sinjinsmythe » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2003, 04:22:51 PM »

Linus <<Is this apologetics group affiliated in some way with the Flat Earth Society?>>

    Hahhahaha. Good response. I think Sungenis is overreacting; the Church Fathers can err. Earth must not be the universe's center so that man will understand his godly origin. While Catholic fundamentalism is not desirable, I do admire him as he challenges the scientific dogmas people uncritically accept, however misguided he may be. Orthodoxy, in my opinion, cannot just ignore or mindlessly accept science either.  

Jennifer,

      I know nothing about Catholic Answers. They are probably a little crazy. And come on! Good Catholics read the Bible!  Tongue

:reading: --a non-protestant Bible  

Matt

Matt and Jennifer,

I am a Catholic too, Latin rite to be exact.  Yes it is very good to read scripture so that you are able to account
for the hope that is within you.  I was like Jennifer until a few years ago when my faith was being challenged
continuously by my fundamentalist friends and I could not offer a defense, at least one from scripture.   This really
motivated me because I feel they tried to "save me" and convert me to fundamentalism but I did not want to
"be saved" if you catch my drift!   Grin  I had already been "born again" through the waters of baptism.

1 Peter 3:15-16 (RSV)
15 but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope
that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;
16 and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.


I thought about this recently.  People say that Catholics practice Catholicism but what would you say a Baptist
practices?  Baptism or would it be Baptistism?  Hehe.  Smiley  One could say I practice Southern Baptism but I guess
they do not like to use the word "practice" in terms of their faith.

In CHRIST,
Catholiciou
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2003, 07:19:39 PM »

I've been meaning to post a clarification for some time, but this is the first time I remembered while I was actually at a computer! Just so nobody gets the wrong idea, I don't support geocentrism. I just don't deny it's possible either. I (now) sort of look at this debate in the same way I look at the evolution/creation debate. I have my opinions and thoughts, but I don't really feel it necessary to come out strongly for or against any particular position, and if I'm wrong in my personal opinion on the issue it won't be the end of the world. That's how I sort of look at this above discussion.  Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2003, 02:11:02 AM »

Personally, I do not believe this is a vital argument.  I agree with other posters, that this is not the lynchpin issue (or even anywhere close) to why so many people have drifted away from Christianity into materialism.

At the same time, I have to agree with the author of the pro-geocentric polemic - heliocentrism cannot be "proved."  I think it's fair to say this is an issue which is dependent upon p.o.v.  Since the earth is the centre of the Bible's drama, it is the centre of the universe - even the creation is dictated in revelation from the perspective of one standing on terra firma.

Perhaps that is the danger, the moral harm which heliocentrism (or other "centrisms") have caused - the great materialistic lie, that man (and this world) are just a little, insightnificant part of a larger universe, a part so insignificant that it would hardly matter whether we existed or not.

I know Justin doesn't agree with the ideas of the late Alexander Kalomiros on the subject of evolution (and I'm not entirely convinced of everything he had to say on this subject either), but one part of his argument I find incredibly compelling is his reconciliation of what we read in Genesis chapter 1, and what we know from the historical record regarding the probable course of creation.  For example, when Genesis 1 speaks of the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky, it is not at all mandated by the text that one believe they were created at this point in the narration (particularly since the same chapter speaks of day and night, light and darkness, already effecting the earth at that point).  Rather, Kalomiros interprets this to mean this is when these heavenly bodies first became visible from the earth (having previously had their light obscured and diffused through the thick haze of the primordial sky).  And why was this important (the mentioning of their becoming visible)?  Because, they were made visible for a purpose - so that men could use them to guage the passage of time and the measurement of seasons (that's the rational that Genesis 1 provides.)

I only bring this up, because Kalomiros' interpretation (besides reconciling conventional scientific chronology with Holy Writ) illustrates something very important - the narrative of creation given by Genesis is given from man's p.o.v., or at least in a way meaningful to men and God's designs for them...thus indicating why the Bible is implicitly "geocentric" in it's manner of speaking.  In this regard, the RC website mentioned is doing something of a service, at least in so far as it shows that this "geocentric" position is not only quaint (manifesting the Bible's concern for man's perspective), but also perfectly sound from a scientific perspective (since what one reckons to be the "centre of the universe" is totally a matter of opinion and perspective.)

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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 07:33:39 AM »

http://andreaskoutsoudis3.com/truth/the-consensus-of-church-fathers-on-geocentrism1/

Yes, it is important to Orthodoxy! The Earth is the centre of the universe!

Use the above link to get a great article about this topic by the Church Fathers!
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You fast now and then, but I am never refreshed by any food; you often keep vigil, but I never fall asleep. Only in one thing are you better than I am and I acknowledge that.” Macarius said to him, “What is that?” and he replied, “It is because of your humility alone that I cannot overcome you.”
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