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Author Topic: The Cosmos?  (Read 6694 times) Average Rating: 0
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JamesR
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« on: March 16, 2013, 06:49:22 PM »

One concept I read all throughout the Scriptures and amongst the writings of the Church Fathers is that the cosmos NEEDS a Creator and that the "uniqueness and majesty" of it--what contemporary folks call "fine-tuning"--proves that the cosmos needs a creator, and that anyone who rejects it is akin to a fool who would reject that a boat needs to a captain to venture on course. The Bible even says that the crafting of the universe bears witness to God, and I know that the Church rejects any teaching on the cosmos which rejects the need for a creator.

But this is something that I--as a posterboy for western logic--have trouble accepting. Not because I reject the Church, but simply because I find it a faulty argument. What is so "fine-tuned" or "unique" about the state of our universe? "Fine-tuned" and "complexity" and all those other adjectives are merely manmade concepts which describe our perception of the universe. They have NO basis in science, nor are they objective like math. They are merely sentiments of our thoughts and feelings--our attempt to apply manmade, relative qualities to an objective, non-manmade object. It doesn't add up to me.

What really makes the state of our cosmos any more special than any of the other countless possibilities? We only see it as special merely because we feel that it is special--we cannot scientifically prove that it is special because concepts like "fine-tuning" are not scientific. Our universe had an equal chance of being different, what makes its present state special at all? It would be like drawing an Ace from a deck of cards and saying that it's special, when in reality, it isn't too special. There was an equal chance you could have picked any of the other cards, and the only reason it seems special to you is because you prescribe this manmade concept of specialness to the "Ace" card. If someone picked a 6 or a Queen, it could just as well be special to him, and you would have no way of proving that the Ace is really anymore special from a philosophical point of view. My view on the universe is somewhat similar; our universe had an equal shot at being different, so it isn't really that impressive that our universe is the way it is right now, and I don't get how it is "fine-tuned." Thus, I don't get how it bears witness to God.

Thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 07:28:23 PM »

Although I was not churched when I was young, that matter was never a question for me.  I always believed in God, but I never thought about it much when I was younger.

My personal thoughts are that I came to disagree with what some people claim is scientific fact.
I was briefly in a protestant fundamentalist Church when I was searching for a genuine Church many years ago, and they gave me a bible commentary (by MacDonald as I recall), and I had an incident which led to a new view of the cosmos.

I expected that commentary to be a work of God, and as I began a study of Ecclesiastes, I read that his commentary became weak and limp wristed when speaking about a verse that would imply geocentrism if taken literally.  I became quite angry that the commentary which I placed so much faith in was so manifestly uncertain about science or any thing else in the bible.  I perceived that MacDonald doubted a part of the bible, and I considered his commentary worthless and threw it in the trash.

Although I had never even bothered to think about it before (and of course still consider it irrelevant to salvation), I took the position that what the bible said about those things was inerrant, and I became a geocentrist that night because that was consistent with the bible's teaching.  It would not matter to me if heliocentrism had been the way it was, but it was not the case.  Pretty every one (atheists and protestants alike) disagreed.  Because of the attitude of some people (particularly at Church), I was motivated to go to the extent of ignoring technology to make a realistic experiment and reasoned that my own eyes observed that the sun moved across the sky every day.  The sun is moving and not the earth.  I reckoned that if modern science is so allegedly true, then why does it need a crutch like technology or some textbook to brainwash people about it?

I looked far and wide for a geocentric organization of any kind and found nothing except for the flat earth society which I considered too extreme and good bit beyond what I was searching for, but which I ultimately contacted because I knew of nothing else.  They sent me a flyer (this was in the mid-1990's) from which I discovered the existence of an english flat earth movement in the nineteenth century which was based on a book written in 1865 by a guy who had taken the time to tediously develop astute refutations to all objections to that astronomy. 

I got the book through interlibrary loan and photocopied it.  I was converted by the second chapter.

I remembered a reference to Cosmas Indicopleustes in Webster's Biographical Dictionary.  He was an Egyptian monk at Saint Catherine's monastery in Sinai who wrote a book defending the early Byzantine Christian view of the world (which turned out to be flat) against the pagan view which was globular.  His book had been translated into english in 1897, and I photocopied it at a local university library.

That aroused my interest in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and thus it did play a part in my conversion to the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 08:09:28 PM »

Although I was not churched when I was young, that matter was never a question for me.  I always believed in God, but I never thought about it much when I was younger.

My personal thoughts are that I came to disagree with what some people claim is scientific fact.
I was briefly in a protestant fundamentalist Church when I was searching for a genuine Church many years ago, and they gave me a bible commentary (by MacDonald as I recall), and I had an incident which led to a new view of the cosmos.

I expected that commentary to be a work of God, and as I began a study of Ecclesiastes, I read that his commentary became weak and limp wristed when speaking about a verse that would imply geocentrism if taken literally.  I became quite angry that the commentary which I placed so much faith in was so manifestly uncertain about science or any thing else in the bible.  I perceived that MacDonald doubted a part of the bible, and I considered his commentary worthless and threw it in the trash.

Although I had never even bothered to think about it before (and of course still consider it irrelevant to salvation), I took the position that what the bible said about those things was inerrant, and I became a geocentrist that night because that was consistent with the bible's teaching.  It would not matter to me if heliocentrism had been the way it was, but it was not the case.  Pretty every one (atheists and protestants alike) disagreed.  Because of the attitude of some people (particularly at Church), I was motivated to go to the extent of ignoring technology to make a realistic experiment and reasoned that my own eyes observed that the sun moved across the sky every day.  The sun is moving and not the earth.  I reckoned that if modern science is so allegedly true, then why does it need a crutch like technology or some textbook to brainwash people about it?

I looked far and wide for a geocentric organization of any kind and found nothing except for the flat earth society which I considered too extreme and good bit beyond what I was searching for, but which I ultimately contacted because I knew of nothing else.  They sent me a flyer (this was in the mid-1990's) from which I discovered the existence of an english flat earth movement in the nineteenth century which was based on a book written in 1865 by a guy who had taken the time to tediously develop astute refutations to all objections to that astronomy. 

I got the book through interlibrary loan and photocopied it.  I was converted by the second chapter.

I remembered a reference to Cosmas Indicopleustes in Webster's Biographical Dictionary.  He was an Egyptian monk at Saint Catherine's monastery in Sinai who wrote a book defending the early Byzantine Christian view of the world (which turned out to be flat) against the pagan view which was globular.  His book had been translated into english in 1897, and I photocopied it at a local university library.

That aroused my interest in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and thus it did play a part in my conversion to the Orthodox Church.

Appreciated your Trotsky posts on another thread. While I find the notion of a flat earth untenable, I have no problem with geocentrism. As a relativistic liberal, I am still waiting for a convincing argument against it or rather against the notion that all frames of reference are valid.
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2013, 09:56:26 PM »

Appreciated your Trotsky posts on another thread. While I find the notion of a flat earth untenable, I have no problem with geocentrism. As a relativistic liberal, I am still waiting for a convincing argument against it or rather against the notion that all frames of reference are valid.
Thank you.  It is reassuring to hear since I hope that I can avoid offending anyone when expressing any of these viewpoints. 
In spite of my opinion of Trotsky's actions, I do have heartfelt respect for most any sincere Trotskyist and do share some of their views on some things - particularly an Orthodox Christian - the realization of which fact speaks more to the conscience than does any political correctness. 
Do forgive us Orthodox Christians on the far left end of the forum!  Smiley

As to geocentrism, here is a link to the scientific links page of a traditional papist website that endorses spherical geocentrism:
http://www.alcazar.net/origins2.html

You might find some useful "ammunition" therein.  I think that Nathan Martin Gwynne's posts are particularly good.  Some years ago he sent me an essay of his (not listed here) that convincingly refutes the existence of nuclear weapons. 

I will perhaps make another post summarizing some links and basic information on flat earthism for what it's worth.
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2013, 10:20:59 PM »

As far as the moon landings are concerned, Bill Kaysing first refuted them in the 1970's with his book 'We Never Went to the Moon.' David Percy, Bart Sibrel, and numerous others have produced books and videos about this since. Lloyd Mallan wrote an expose of the Russian space program as a farce designed to improve the Soviet image. More recently, a Hungarian writer wrote an informative book about Yuri Gagarin showing that the alleged first man in space lied for the party and the entire thing was Soviet propaganda that never occurred. Corroboration of this comes from Albanian communist leader Enver Hoxha who wrote against Soviet science teams whom he found diseeminating falsified information in his country which is one of the reasons he went with China. While Mao was still alive, the Chinese press asserted that the moon landings are a lie and nuclear weapons are a paper tiger, and the schools in Cuba and other socialist Latin countries maintain that today.

The consensus of the early Church endorsed the flat earth cosmology even before Constantine came to power. It was the pagan scholars who argued for a globular geocentric earth. Christians writers like Lactantius wrote emphatically in favor of a flat earth. What unambiguously unified the Church Fathers was the concept of antipodes which they were against. The existence of antipodes refers to feet on the opposite side of a globe where it rains upwards and men are upside down and plants and trees grow downwards as Lactantius wrote.
'Of the Antipodes, The Heaven, and the Stars'
Divine Institutes Book III, Chapter XXIV
By Lactantius
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.i ... .xxiv.html

The Church Fathers such as Saint John Chrysostomos declared that it is unacceptable to bleieve in the antipodes. However, I should say that although most Christians at that time believed the earth to be flat, what Saint Chrysostomos had in mind theologically was the teaching of another race of men on the other part of the world who were not descended from Adam. The distinction is important because belief in whether the earth is flat or rounded is not important to salvation as Saint Basil declared. I feel that I should mention that the english translation of the word "world" or "Universe" as rounded or hemispherical in Saint Basil's Hexameron must be viewed as referring to the firmament or heavens in order to be consistent with other Church Fathers who viewed the earth as flat as the heaven as domed.

Venerable Bede of England is the first I have found that unequivocally blieved that the earth is globular rather than flat. I suspect that the influence of Islamic science (which preserved the globular teachings of the greeks) had some influence by that time as a close observation reveals that Saint John of Damascus's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith was more influenced by contemporary science than was earlier Christian writers - probably because he rightly did not consider the natural sciences as essential as the theology. If he did not make any mistake with regard to theology, but only on natural science then the book is good. I would question what Saint John of Damascus wrote in one passage where he wrote that lunar eclipses occur because the moon passes into the earth's shadow. However, I have read that lunar eclipses have been observed in which the sun is still visible in the sky. IF that is the case, then then the darkness overcoming the moon is not the shadow of the earth. I belive the moon is a vessel in the sky which emits light (not reflects it) which is how Saint Basil describes it. Genesis 1 says that the sun and moon are both lights in the sky.

Cosmas Indicopleustes was a monk of the Sinai monastery at the time of Saint John Climacus who wrote a book entitled 'Christian Topography' which refuted the pagan concept of a globular earth. A ninth century copy of this book is on display at the Sinai monastery, and it is mentioned in books published with the monastery's blessing by the American University in Cairo. The ancient Church of Saint George in Madaba, Jordan has a sixth century mosaic map of the world which contains the most ancient map of Jerusalem known to exist. The most exhaustive study of this map was done by Piccirillo using the archives of the Patriarchate of Jersusalem, and he asserts that this mosaic map was commissioned by Cosmas Indicopleustes as was another one in Gaza. He also asserts that Emperor Justinian agreed with Cosmas and publicly spoke to that effect.
'Christian Topography'
By Cosmas Indicopleustes
http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/ct/index.htm
Online Chapter of Piccirillo's Madaba Map Book
http://198.62.75.1/www1/ofm/mad/index.html

Circa 400 A.D., Saint Jerome also translated and paraphrased a flat earth cosmological book by a Scythian pilgrim named Aethicus of Istria. Modern infidels have questioned Jerome's authorship of this since about 1850, but prior to that it was accepted.
Cosmography of Aethicus of Istria
Translated and Paraphrased by Saint Jerome
http://www.amazon.com/The-Cosmography-A ... 2503535771

According to this kind of cosmos, the sun and stars are much smaller than imagined by modern astronomy and are only a few few hundred miles away. Jerusalem is located at the geographical center of the earth as the psalm says that God worketh salvation in the navel of the earth. This refers to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ just outside of the Jerusalem city gate which coresponds to Jerusalem's layout at the time of Christ. The exact geographical centre of the world is a specific place in the navel of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre called the Omphalos. It is literally a few feet north of Golgotha and a few feet east of the Tomb of Christ.
This cosmos also includes a great mountain in the far north which is the one the Devil was referring to when he boasted in Isaiah 14. The height of this mountain is taller than the orbit of the sun, moon and stars which revolve around it. Cosmas asserted that the shadow cast by this mountain creates night on the opposite side of the world.
The world is surrounded by a vast sea which is hemmed in on four sides by the four walls of heaven, and the roof is a dome. The Garden of Eden is an actual geographical location in the East. Along the four sides of the world are located the twelve storehouses of the winds - three on each side.
The river that flows west from the garden of eden splits into four riverheads that proceed underground and resurface in this world and flow to the sea. These are the Nile, Euphrates, Tigris, and the Ganges according to most authors. It is possible that underground tributaries of these rivers account for most or all of the world's aquifers. I have been to the cave in the Himalayas from whence the Ganges gushes forth. It is quite striking. I have also been to the source of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia which also originates from an underground river.

Although the book of Enoch is mentioned in Jude's Epistle, it was expunge from Holy Scripture at the Synod of Pergamos because of interpolations. It survived in the Ethiopian bible and has vestiges of the original book. The most notable astronomical part within the Book of Enoch is the Book of the Heavenly Luminaries which describes the twelve storehouses of the winds.

Twelve storehouses of winds are mentioned in 'A Cosmological Tract' attributed to first century Saint Dionysios the Areopagite and has been preserved in Syriac.
A Cosmological Tract
By Dionysios the Areopagite
http://www.sacred-texts.com/journals/jras/1917-07.htm

A movement by devout protestants in nineteenth century England revived flat earth belief in a modified model. The foundational book of that movement was a book by Samuel Rowbotham that refuted modern science's objections to the flatness of the earth.
'Earth Not a Globe'
By Samuel Rowbotham
http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/za/index.htm

I might also mention that the most original and ancient cosmology of every nation in the world is a a flat earth cosmology. This was attested by the zealous albeit erudite nineteenth century science historians like Draper or the atheist Andrew Dickson White in his book 'The History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom':
http://masi.cscs.lsa.umich.edu/~crshali ... /form.html

Finally, the most popular Flat Earth Society website is a poorly regulated and agnostic oriented satire where serious posters are less than one in a million.
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2013, 10:28:12 PM »

For what it’s worth, the photographs of Felix Baumgartner’s recent high altitude dive which depicted a curved earth horizon in the background were faked by having been run through a fish lens to obtain the curvature.

Here is the official photograph which depicts a curved earth in the background after it had been run through a fish lens to make it appear curved:


Here is the same photograph as it actually appeared originally:

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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2013, 10:35:18 PM »

Gerard Wisnewshki's 'One Small Step' is likely the best book on the moon landings so far published - although I noticed that he did not make use of Lloyd Mallan's 1966 book 'Russia's Space Hoax' which refuted the Soviet space program as mere propaganda at that time:
http://www.amazon.com/One-Small-Step-Great-Dominate/dp/1905570120

'Moon Shadows' by James Beals is also a worthwhile alternative view of the american space program.
http://web.archive.org/web/20080104131143/http://www.futuresunltd.com/sudarshan/MoonShadows/MoonShadows.htm
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2013, 10:51:18 PM »

In Father Damascene's biography of Seraphim Rose, it records that the books of muslim esotericist Rene Guenon initially set him on the road to pursuit of the truth.  One of guenon's books was entitled 'The King of the World' which recounts a cosmological tradition common to the most antique traditions of every nation in the world.  Namely, a mountain range or ranges in the far north which are taller than any any mountains in the normally habitable world.  Guenon's book gives the names of the tallest of these mountains in each of the various major traditions and languages. 

In ancient pagan cosmologies as well as in early Christian cosmology, the sun and moon orbit this mountain once a day which casts a shadow that constitutes night on the side of the mountain and of the world opposite to the sun.  Saint Jerome believed this, and Raymond Beazeley's description of Cosmas Indicopleustes's worldview in volume one of hsi 1897 book 'The Dawn of Modern Geography' gives a detailed ten page description of Cosmas Indicopleustes's universe and of the many Church Fathers whose views it represented.  The views of Beazeley and other nineteenth century scholars is the opposite of modern agnostic scholars who deny the influence of Cosmas's book on geographers of the middle ages. 

I do not believe in the hollow earth theory, but they do seem to have a lighted on a significant fact.  Marshall Gardner's early twnetieth century book 'Journey to the Earth's Interior' gives an excellent analysis and rebuttal of the claims of arctic adventutrers Cook and Peary and establishes that modern globular charts are erroneous and that regions exist in the far north past which modern explorers have not ventured.

The sixteenth century globularist cartographer Gerhard Mercator actually acknowledged the existence of these mountains which called hyperborea [which were also known to the ancient greeks.  Catherine II of Russia actually sent a naval expedition in search of this land of hyperborea which was planned by the Russian scientist Lomonosov. 
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2013, 10:53:42 PM »

Tabernacle view of the flat earth cosmos with the heaven in the shape of a dome from a manuscript of Cosmas Indicopleustes:
http://www.henry-davis.com/MAPS/EMwebpages/202C.html
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2013, 11:54:28 PM »

Appreciated your Trotsky posts on another thread. While I find the notion of a flat earth untenable, I have no problem with geocentrism. As a relativistic liberal, I am still waiting for a convincing argument against it or rather against the notion that all frames of reference are valid.
Thank you.  It is reassuring to hear since I hope that I can avoid offending anyone when expressing any of these viewpoints. 
In spite of my opinion of Trotsky's actions, I do have heartfelt respect for most any sincere Trotskyist and do share some of their views on some things - particularly an Orthodox Christian - the realization of which fact speaks more to the conscience than does any political correctness. 
Do forgive us Orthodox Christians on the far left end of the forum!  Smiley

As to geocentrism, here is a link to the scientific links page of a traditional papist website that endorses spherical geocentrism:
http://www.alcazar.net/origins2.html

You might find some useful "ammunition" therein.  I think that Nathan Martin Gwynne's posts are particularly good.  Some years ago he sent me an essay of his (not listed here) that convincingly refutes the existence of nuclear weapons. 

I will perhaps make another post summarizing some links and basic information on flat earthism for what it's worth.


I do not need ammunition Dionysii, the opposing view has to refute Einstein's theory of general relativity.

In regard to the flat earth hypothesis, one need only go to a flight  tracking website like flightaware, knowing the fuel capacity of the planes involved to realize this notion is not possible. If it is possible because God only made it to be appear impossible please post in the DEAD HORSE   Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy thread. I have more than once proclaimed that this is an attribute of Satan and not God. I have yet to receive a response on this issue.

In regard to Trotsky, both Plato and Trotsky had a negative impact on my life and my dreams for the future.

I am also disappointed.

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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2013, 12:54:55 AM »

In regard to Trotsky, both Plato and Trotsky had a negative impact on my life and my dreams for the future.
My condolences for that experience.  All things work for good to them that love God.  At the very least, I would reckon you have acquired a healthy distrust of these writers.

Carl Sagan wrote an enthusiastic preface to the edition of Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution which I previosuly owned.  Reflection upon this fact brought me to the conclusion that the October 1917 revolution and Trotsky's historical record of it was a history written by, about, and on behalf of atheism.  Thus, I threw it away.

For Greek philosophers, I am partial to the Orthodox Christian interpretation of Constantine Cavarnos as he was experienced at distinguishing their errors from those things which they spoke which were true.  Plato believed in errors like metempsychosis (i.e. reincarnation), but he also accurately observed that the human soul is a trinity (reason, ethos, and emotion), and this second teaching of Plato's is in accord with the Christian doctrine that man is made in the image of God.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato's_tripartite_theory_of_soul
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2013, 02:26:41 AM »

In regard to Trotsky, both Plato and Trotsky had a negative impact on my life and my dreams for the future.
My condolences for that experience.  All things work for good to them that love God.  At the very least, I would reckon you have acquired a healthy distrust of these writers.

Carl Sagan wrote an enthusiastic preface to the edition of Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution which I previosuly owned.  Reflection upon this fact brought me to the conclusion that the October 1917 revolution and Trotsky's historical record of it was a history written by, about, and on behalf of atheism.  Thus, I threw it away.

For Greek philosophers, I am partial to the Orthodox Christian interpretation of Constantine Cavarnos as he was experienced at distinguishing their errors from those things which they spoke which were true.  Plato believed in errors like metempsychosis (i.e. reincarnation), but he also accurately observed that the human soul is a trinity (reason, ethos, and emotion), and this second teaching of Plato's is in accord with the Christian doctrine that man is made in the image of God.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato's_tripartite_theory_of_soul

I realize I was unclear. The issue of Trotksy and Plato did not relate to them directly. They intervened in the more important issue of Romance rather than philosophy.

I really posted about your reply#4 above. I think you need to think about this some more. To me it seems like you are accepting an opinion of others that is almost certainly not true. That is what is disturbing to me.
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2013, 03:21:25 AM »

One concept I read all throughout the Scriptures and amongst the writings of the Church Fathers is that the cosmos NEEDS a Creator and that the "uniqueness and majesty" of it--what contemporary folks call "fine-tuning"--proves that the cosmos needs a creator, and that anyone who rejects it is akin to a fool who would reject that a boat needs to a captain to venture on course. The Bible even says that the crafting of the universe bears witness to God, and I know that the Church rejects any teaching on the cosmos which rejects the need for a creator.

I don't think this is a "logical" argument in the sense you mean. It is a poetic statement about the beauty of creation and how it reflects God.
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2013, 02:15:05 PM »

I realize I was unclear. The issue of Trotksy and Plato did not relate to them directly. They intervened in the more important issue of Romance rather than philosophy.

I really posted about your reply#4 above. I think you need to think about this some more. To me it seems like you are accepting an opinion of others that is almost certainly not true. That is what is disturbing to me.
Yesterday, I briefly wondered if my flat earth posts might be offensive, but I dropped the thought when I recalled the thread subject and that the inital post had asked for any thoughts.

As to my post #4 above, well I am sorry about that.  Albeit well intended, I mistook your statement about having "no problem with geocentrism" as that you were a die hard geocentrist - my own wishful thinking perhaps implying more to your statement than was intended.  That is what I had meant by "supply you with ammunition" as I had mistakenly thought that our scienctific opinions were closer than they actually are.  That papist website had a lot of material on it, and although I do not blindly agree with every single detail therein, I must be honest and not hide the fact that I rather admire that website.  However, the bearing which it will have on life does not generally incline me to argue about such things. 
That being the case, I suppose we can agree to disagree on things scientific - especially as you say some things are more important. 

As to romance, I had a conversation with my bishop last week about it.  Until a year and a half ago, he was a married priest, and I had had the intention of becoming a monk in Greece.  As it turns out, his wife reposed and he became a monk (in order to become a bishop), and I got married.  Our positions reversed.  I had never been on a search for a wife, but life with this particular one comes much closer to the hesychastic life for which I had visited Greek monasteries in the first place.  I figure they are two different means to the same end.

If God is willing, all things will work out for you yet. 

And definitely avoid Trotsky on that one. 
A pessimistic political schemer in enough trouble to get deported and killed might not offer the most stable dating advice out there.
What I wrote about Trotsky only touches the surface of a much deeper interest in Russia - the essence of which has to do with the Old Orthodox Christians aka Russian Old Believers. 

Although I believe that my synod (Matthewite) is the genuine Church, I recently discovered that the Bela Krinitsa Synod (Russian Old Orthodox) passes every test which I applied to it which means that their hierarchy is genuine!  I contacted one of their priests and explained to him that such a discovery is exciting.  (My own {Greek Orthodox} priest confessor knows about this as well.)  I definitely plan to visit them and relocate some day.  I find that the prayer book published by the (Old Believer) Holy Nativity Church in Erie, PA is far more instructive than the other prayer books avaiable in english.  I visited them two years ago and specifically told their Archpriest Pimen Simon that the english language prayer book which he published is second to none.  I just received their book 'The Son of the Church' which is likewise outstanding.  The Old Believer services in Slavonic with the prostrations seem more natural to me as an english speaker to get involved in than do the Greek services.

Although knowledgeable of Greek, my priest is actually from the Caucasus and also familiar with Russian customs.  He was discussing how everyone did bows before going into Church when he was younger in the Soviet controlled Caucasus - similar to the way I see bows described in Old Believer prayer books.  I asked him about people not doing that at our Greek old calendar Church, and he said Greeks never do those things.

He said that morality has declined to the point that devout minded people in the Soviet era were generally more pious than Greek old calendarists today. 

Note:  Not trying to be offensive. I am in a Greek old calendarist synod which I love and plan to be baptized in.  I just think it is important to be able to note an observaton about a general spiritual condition of our time.  Although he said Greeks, I think this statement applies even more to the world generally.  I should also say that society in Greece today is generally more religious than in Russia.  The kind of Russians of which I was speaking are a distinctly devout minority.
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2013, 03:09:22 PM »

I definitely plan to visit them and relocate some day.
I definitely plan to visit.  Whether I would relocate several years from now is another question.  If that was the case, the motivation is acquiring an environment more suitable to spiritual growth as is the case of one who enters a monastery.  The beautiful thing is that such a move is not an abandonment of my synod since both hierarchies are legitimate. 
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2013, 05:30:57 PM »

Quote
The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is presently understood.[1] The existence and extent of fine-tuning in the Universe is a matter of dispute in the scientific community.[citation needed] The proposition is also discussed among philosophers, theologians, creationists, and intelligent design proponents.

Physicist Paul Davies has asserted that "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life". However, he continues, "the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires." He also states that "'anthropic' reasoning fails to distinguish between minimally biophilic universes, in which life is permitted, but only marginally possible, and optimally biophilic universes, in which life flourishes because biogenesis occurs frequently".[2] Among scientists who find the evidence persuasive, a variety of natural explanations have been proposed, such as the anthropic principle along with multiple universes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe


What makes our Universe special is the condition in which exists.. The diversity in which exists, and the diversity in which life exists , the forms of life found on Earth, which is quite amazing.. Inteligent and reasonable life, a reasonable way phenomens exist and take place on earth.. like the fauna, flora, changing of seasons, etc. What makes it special is REASON.
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2013, 05:32:45 PM »

I realize I was unclear. The issue of Trotksy and Plato did not relate to them directly. They intervened in the more important issue of Romance rather than philosophy.

I really posted about your reply#4 above. I think you need to think about this some more. To me it seems like you are accepting an opinion of others that is almost certainly not true. That is what is disturbing to me.
Yesterday, I briefly wondered if my flat earth posts might be offensive, but I dropped the thought when I recalled the thread subject and that the inital post had asked for any thoughts.

As to my post #4 above, well I am sorry about that.  Albeit well intended, I mistook your statement about having "no problem with geocentrism" as that you were a die hard geocentrist - my own wishful thinking perhaps implying more to your statement than was intended.  That is what I had meant by "supply you with ammunition" as I had mistakenly thought that our scienctific opinions were closer than they actually are.  That papist website had a lot of material on it, and although I do not blindly agree with every single detail therein, I must be honest and not hide the fact that I rather admire that website.  However, the bearing which it will have on life does not generally incline me to argue about such things. 
That being the case, I suppose we can agree to disagree on things scientific - especially as you say some things are more important. 

As to romance, I had a conversation with my bishop last week about it.  Until a year and a half ago, he was a married priest, and I had had the intention of becoming a monk in Greece.  As it turns out, his wife reposed and he became a monk (in order to become a bishop), and I got married.  Our positions reversed.  I had never been on a search for a wife, but life with this particular one comes much closer to the hesychastic life for which I had visited Greek monasteries in the first place.  I figure they are two different means to the same end.

If God is willing, all things will work out for you yet. 

And definitely avoid Trotsky on that one. 
A pessimistic political schemer in enough trouble to get deported and killed might not offer the most stable dating advice out there.
What I wrote about Trotsky only touches the surface of a much deeper interest in Russia - the essence of which has to do with the Old Orthodox Christians aka Russian Old Believers. 

Although I believe that my synod (Matthewite) is the genuine Church, I recently discovered that the Bela Krinitsa Synod (Russian Old Orthodox) passes every test which I applied to it which means that their hierarchy is genuine!  I contacted one of their priests and explained to him that such a discovery is exciting.  (My own {Greek Orthodox} priest confessor knows about this as well.)  I definitely plan to visit them and relocate some day.  I find that the prayer book published by the (Old Believer) Holy Nativity Church in Erie, PA is far more instructive than the other prayer books avaiable in english.  I visited them two years ago and specifically told their Archpriest Pimen Simon that the english language prayer book which he published is second to none.  I just received their book 'The Son of the Church' which is likewise outstanding.  The Old Believer services in Slavonic with the prostrations seem more natural to me as an english speaker to get involved in than do the Greek services.

Although knowledgeable of Greek, my priest is actually from the Caucasus and also familiar with Russian customs.  He was discussing how everyone did bows before going into Church when he was younger in the Soviet controlled Caucasus - similar to the way I see bows described in Old Believer prayer books.  I asked him about people not doing that at our Greek old calendar Church, and he said Greeks never do those things.

He said that morality has declined to the point that devout minded people in the Soviet era were generally more pious than Greek old calendarists today. 

Note:  Not trying to be offensive. I am in a Greek old calendarist synod which I love and plan to be baptized in.  I just think it is important to be able to note an observaton about a general spiritual condition of our time.  Although he said Greeks, I think this statement applies even more to the world generally.  I should also say that society in Greece today is generally more religious than in Russia.  The kind of Russians of which I was speaking are a distinctly devout minority.

You are not offensive at all (at least so far) and I am not offended by a belief in a flat earth. The latter poses a dilemma for me which I sometimes have to express.
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2013, 07:57:14 PM »

You are not offensive at all (at least so far) and I am not offended by a belief in a flat earth. The latter poses a dilemma for me which I sometimes have to express.
I read that people in Cuba do not believe in the moon landings, and I subsequently read that many people in Latin countries do not believe in them. 

Since my wife is a poor Honduran that cooks with wood in a mountain village, does not speak english, and worked as a cleaning lady for the equivalent of US$40 a month before we met, I decided to ask her opinion about it.  She said that she believes the moon landings are a farce and american propaganda.  I asked her if she was saying that because she knows what I believe, and she said everyone in her town believes the same way she does.  Only one or two people hold different opinions similar to what many people in the US believe. 

From this conversation, I concluded that people in the US really do live in an ivory tower.  Noam Chomsky said that the wealthiest 20% of americans are the most propangandized class of society, and Will Rogers wrote that americans know too many things that are not true.
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2013, 08:10:57 PM »

I asked my priest what he thought about this.  He is from Ossetia, and he said that most people in Russia do not believe anyone ever went to the moon, and it is american propaganda.

Neither of he nor my wife believe that the earth is flat having been taught the contrary in school when they were young, but their opinions do seem to give an indication of non-american opinion about alleged moon landings.
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2013, 08:12:33 PM »

Stay off the drugs, Dionysius.
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2013, 04:46:37 PM »

One concept I read all throughout the Scriptures and amongst the writings of the Church Fathers is that the cosmos NEEDS a Creator and that the "uniqueness and majesty" of it--what contemporary folks call "fine-tuning"--proves that the cosmos needs a creator, and that anyone who rejects it is akin to a fool who would reject that a boat needs to a captain to venture on course. The Bible even says that the crafting of the universe bears witness to God, and I know that the Church rejects any teaching on the cosmos which rejects the need for a creator.

But this is something that I--as a posterboy for western logic--have trouble accepting. Not because I reject the Church, but simply because I find it a faulty argument. What is so "fine-tuned" or "unique" about the state of our universe? "Fine-tuned" and "complexity" and all those other adjectives are merely manmade concepts which describe our perception of the universe. They have NO basis in science, nor are they objective like math. They are merely sentiments of our thoughts and feelings--our attempt to apply manmade, relative qualities to an objective, non-manmade object. It doesn't add up to me.

What really makes the state of our cosmos any more special than any of the other countless possibilities? We only see it as special merely because we feel that it is special--we cannot scientifically prove that it is special because concepts like "fine-tuning" are not scientific. Our universe had an equal chance of being different, what makes its present state special at all? It would be like drawing an Ace from a deck of cards and saying that it's special, when in reality, it isn't too special. There was an equal chance you could have picked any of the other cards, and the only reason it seems special to you is because you prescribe this manmade concept of specialness to the "Ace" card. If someone picked a 6 or a Queen, it could just as well be special to him, and you would have no way of proving that the Ace is really anymore special from a philosophical point of view. My view on the universe is somewhat similar; our universe had an equal shot at being different, so it isn't really that impressive that our universe is the way it is right now, and I don't get how it is "fine-tuned." Thus, I don't get how it bears witness to God.

Thoughts?
Since you are interested in the Russian Orthodox Church, then you might want to check out 'Sobornosti' by Matthew Raphael Johnson if you have the opportunity.  It was the best book on Russia which I have read in a while. 

I also recently picked up a copy of 'The Way of a Pilgrim' translated by Olga Savin with an preface by Fr Thomas Hopko, a professor at Saint Vladimir's Theological Seminary.  This edition includes translations of additional material in the appendices which is included in most Russian editions and which has never been translated into english before including specific instructions about breathing, et cetera.

This book is so much better than Bishop Brianchaninov's book on the same subject which does not actually give much information about how to get started on this prayer. 
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2013, 11:56:38 PM »

Stay off the drugs, Dionysius.

Irrespective of how it was intended, I think we will go ahead and take that as a compliment in disguise by someone who does not question modern science to the extent that we do. God bless.
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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2013, 12:34:19 PM »

Surely heliocentrism is preferred because it offers a simpler model for explaining celestial movements. Under geocentrism, we have to propose different orbital patterns for the sun, the planets and the stars, without any overarching explanatory mechanism for these different orbits. Under heliocentrism, all the celestial motions can be explained by the action of gravity alone, which predicts what orbit to expect based only on the mass and velocity of the celestial bodies in question. We can then explain all the movements with this single model, whereas under geocentrism we had to stipulate different models for each differently behaving body. It's just Occam's razor, isn't it?
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« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2013, 01:36:07 PM »

Surely heliocentrism is preferred because it offers a simpler model for explaining celestial movements.
Heliocentrism is vastly more complicated and inaccurate.

No one has ever used heliocentrism to track the stars.  The geocentric system of epicycles used for tracking astronomical movements has been in use for over 2,200 years and is traced through Hipparchus (probably to even more ancient astronomers from whom he learned it).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipparchus

Hipparchus's system of epicycles was adopted by the second century geocentric Aegyptian astronomer Claudius Ptolemy upon whom late modern technical astronomy is based.  This system continues to be used today to track astronomical movements.  Computers which accurately track stars use the geocentric system - not heliocentrism.  The geocentric system of epicycles was never changed in all these centuries sicne Copernicus and Galileo in spite of all the heliocentric rhetoric since heliocentrism is useless as a means of tracking the stars, sun, and moon.

"In calculating these perturbations, the mathematician is forced to adopt the old device of Hipparchus, the discredited and discarded epicycle. It is true that the name, epicycle, is no longer used, and that one may hunt in vain through astronomical text-books for the slightest hint of the present-day use of this device, which in the popular mind is connected with absurd and fantastic theories. The physicist and the mathematician
now speak of harmonic motion, of Fourier's series, of the development of a function into a series of sines and cosines. The name has been changed, but the essentials of the device remain. And the essential, the fundamental point of the device, under whatever name it may be concealed, is the representation of an irregular motion as the combination of a number of simple, uniform circular motions
."

'Gravitation Versus Relativity' (page 133)
By Charles Lane Poor
http://archive.org/details/gravitationversu00pooruoft

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« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2013, 01:59:54 PM »

You realize Hipparchus knew that the Earth was spherical right? You can't have it both ways.
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« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2013, 02:21:26 PM »

Surely heliocentrism is preferred because it offers a simpler model for explaining celestial movements.
Heliocentrism is vastly more complicated and inaccurate.

No one has ever used heliocentrism to track the stars.  The geocentric system of epicycles used for tracking astronomical movements has been in use for over 2,200 years and is traced through Hipparchus (probably to even more ancient astronomers from whom he learned it).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipparchus

Hipparchus's system of epicycles was adopted by the second century geocentric Aegyptian astronomer Claudius Ptolemy upon whom late modern technical astronomy is based.  This system continues to be used today to track astronomical movements.  Computers which accurately track stars use the geocentric system - not heliocentrism.  The geocentric system of epicycles was never changed in all these centuries sicne Copernicus and Galileo in spite of all the heliocentric rhetoric since heliocentrism is useless as a means of tracking the stars, sun, and moon.

"In calculating these perturbations, the mathematician is forced to adopt the old device of Hipparchus, the discredited and discarded epicycle. It is true that the name, epicycle, is no longer used, and that one may hunt in vain through astronomical text-books for the slightest hint of the present-day use of this device, which in the popular mind is connected with absurd and fantastic theories. The physicist and the mathematician
now speak of harmonic motion, of Fourier's series, of the development of a function into a series of sines and cosines. The name has been changed, but the essentials of the device remain. And the essential, the fundamental point of the device, under whatever name it may be concealed, is the representation of an irregular motion as the combination of a number of simple, uniform circular motions
."

'Gravitation Versus Relativity' (page 133)
By Charles Lane Poor
http://archive.org/details/gravitationversu00pooruoft



The geocentric model may still be useful when tracking planets and stars from the earth. This is because for tracking purposes, we need the computer to predict the motions only, and despite the greater explanatory power of heliocentrism, it is easier to program the computer to predict planetary movements with a geocentric model, since our vantage point is the earth, not the sun. If we could observe planetary movements from the sun, a heliocentric model would turn out to be the easiest model for predicting those movements.

Science is ultimately about explaining natural events, not merely predicting them. While we can certainly predict all celestial movements with a sufficiently complex geocentric model, we have to stipulate many more mechanisms than under heliocentrism, e.g. the retrograde motion of Mars is merely a brute fact under geocentrism and has no explanation. Under heliocentrism, the apparent retrograde motion can be explained by the relative orbital speeds of Mars and the Earth.
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« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2013, 02:30:59 PM »

Lol, this thread is so bizarre.
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« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2013, 03:32:44 PM »

the retrograde motion of Mars is merely a brute fact under geocentrism and has no explanation
This is rubbish.

Mars rises in the east and sets in the west like every other star in the sky.
  
A few stars such as Venus, Mars, Jupitar and Saturn do not rotate at the same rate at which all the fixed stars rotate.
However, they still revolve around the earth in the same direction.
The rate at which these few stars rotate and their exact future positions can be calcuated using epicycles.

I directly observe with my own eyes that all of these revolve around the earth.  To understand otherwise is error.
I believe my own eyes rather than fables of atheist astronomy.
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« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2013, 03:37:36 PM »

the retrograde motion of Mars is merely a brute fact under geocentrism and has no explanation
This is rubbish.

Mars rises in the east and sets in the west like every other star in the sky.
 
A few stars such as Venus, Mars, Jupitar and Saturn do not rotate at the same rate at which all the fixed stars rotate.
However, they still revolve around the earth in the same direction.
The rate at which these few stars rotate and their exact future positions can be calcuated using epicycles.

I directly observe with my own eyes that all of these revolve around the earth.  To understand otherwise is error.

We've sent instruments to Mars and observed it rotating around the Sun.
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« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2013, 03:39:15 PM »

We've sent instruments to Mars and observed it rotating around the Sun.
I do not believe it.

To believe this story indicates an inability to distinguish truth from falsehood.
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« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2013, 03:46:08 PM »

the retrograde motion of Mars is merely a brute fact under geocentrism and has no explanation
This is rubbish.

Mars rises in the east and sets in the west like every other star in the sky.
  
A few stars such as Venus, Mars, Jupitar and Saturn do not rotate at the same rate at which all the fixed stars rotate.
However, they still revolve around the earth in the same direction.
The rate at which these few stars rotate and their exact future positions can be calcuated using epicycles.

I directly observe with my own eyes that all of these revolve around the earth.  To understand otherwise is error.

You admit that Mars and the planets don't revolve at the same rate, and yet you refuse to accept the simplest explanation for this. The only way the geocentric model can account for the movement of Mars is to posit that Mars revolves on an epicycle, i.e. a smaller orbit relative to the deferent, i.e. the main orbit. The epicycle itself is unexplained. We do have an explanation, however, if we suppose Mars and the Earth are revolving around the Sun at different speeds and distances from the Sun. Each planet now only has one orbit, a far simpler model and one easily explained by gravity.

Heliocentrism accounts for what you can see with your own eyes just as much as geocentrism, AND it has more explanatory power. To disagree only shows irrationality.

Interestingly, Ptolemaic astronomy was not truly geocentric. The center of the universe, i.e. the deferents or main orbits of the planets, was not the earth, but a point between the earth and another point called the equant.
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« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2013, 04:24:43 PM »

I don't think the argument of "majesty" and "awe" is related to fine-tuning at all.

I actually disagree with the concept of fine-tuning because the Christian worldview is that the world is *broken* after the fall. If we look at the dynamics of order and entropy, we see that order arises for some time, can't really keep up for long in cosmological proportions and entropy prevails. It's really like a good thing that can never live up to its potential. The promise of the Second Coming is precisely that the Universe will be healed to its first intended state where there is no death - no entropy. Ordered systems will not destroy each other, life will be eternal.

Anyway, back to the argument of "awe", it seems to me that its related to aesthetic appreciation. We can easily understand why something man-made is beautiful. It was made to be that way. So, how come there is beauty even in what is not man-made? Even in this "broken" universe, we still can look at the sky and go "Wow!"?

The objection one may rise is that "beautiful" is just an opinion. That is the prevailing attitude of this age. The objectivity of beauty is a long discussion which demands that we distinguish the desired from the desirable, our tastes from what is truly beautiful. It demands something that is anathema for our time and age: to admit that "I want" or "I like" is not a legitimating value for anything. That what "I love" most often is outright grotesque and unworthy of our devotion and energy, which must be redirected to what is truly beautiful. It demands that we accept we are not the masters of our hearts and of our destinies, that obedience to truth as true beauty will set us free and our submission to our own inclinations will make us slaves. The problem is not really about having someone shaping our tastes. Even those who love the grotesque, love letting others shape them even more to a form where the grotesque will be ever more loved. It really means accepting what St. Paul said: "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient". Which includes our aesthetic tastes.

A very interesting article about beauty states:
Quote
The general understanding of the term ‘higher education’ is that it basically means the training for the well-paid professions.
However, if we are to understand by the name of ‘higher education’ the overcoming of the intellectual limitations of the environment, the access to a universal perspective of things, and the realisation of the highest spiritual qualities a human being possesses, then we will find that many candidates have a personal impairment that, sooner or later, will end up excluding them and assuring that ‘higher education’ – in the strong and not in the administrative sense – continues to be, by their own right, a privilege of few.

This impairment, thanks be to God, is not of economic, social, ethnic or biological order.
The Greeks called it apeirokalia. It means simply ‘the lack of experience of the most beautiful things’. By this term it was understood that the individual who, in certain stages of his development, had been deprived of certain interior experiences that woke on him the desire for beauty, goodness, and truth, would never be able to understand the conversations of the sages, no matter how much effort he put in learning Sciences, Letters and Rhetoric.

Aristotle, in a more technical language, would say that rites are not intended for the transmission of specific teachings to men, but to cause on their soul a deep impression. Anyone who is aware of the importance Aristotle gives to the imaginative impressions will understand the extreme seriousness of what he means: these impressions performed upon the soul an illuminating and structuring impact. In their absence, intelligence obscurely drifts about the multitude of sensible data, without grasping the symbolic nexus which, bridging the gap between abstractions and reality, prevents our reasoning from dissolving into a maddening combinatory of empty syllogisms – the pedant expressions of the impotence to know.

Of course, the inner experiences which Aristotle refers to are not exclusively granted by ‘rites’ in the strict and technical understanding of the term. Theatre and poetry also can open souls to an inflow of the above. To music – to certain music – we cannot deny the power to generate a similar effect. The simple contemplation of nature, a providential happening, or, for more sensitive souls, even certain states of loving rapture, when associated with a strong moral appeal (remember Raskolnikov, before Sonia, in Crime and Punishment), can put the soul in a certain state of bliss that frees it from the cave and from apeirokalia.
http://www.olavodecarvalho.org/traducoes/apeiroeng.htm
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« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2013, 04:32:41 PM »

Why Beauty Matters
http://vimeo.com/55521493

When the Fathers spoke of glory, uniqueness, majesty and similar concepts they probably had in mind concepts of beauty. The documentary above remembers  us what the word meant and what we lost.
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« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2013, 04:56:25 PM »

Heliocentrism accounts for ...

Retrogradation of Planets
http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/za/za57.htm

Heliocentrism is a lie.  That is enough for me to know.
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« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2013, 05:25:59 PM »

Why Beauty Matters
http://vimeo.com/55521493

When the Fathers spoke of glory, uniqueness, majesty and similar concepts they probably had in mind concepts of beauty. The documentary above remembers  us what the word meant and what we lost.

Good video.  It asserted that beauty stopped being important in the twentieth century. 
I have long believed that to be the case, but I discovered a deeper background to the trend when I read The Theology of the Icon by Fr. Leonid Ouspensky which traced degeneracy in Eastern Orthodox art to the seventeenth century. 
http://www.christianbook.com/theology-of-the-icon-2-volumes/leonid-ouspensky/9780881411249/pd/11249
This trend and its equal in the Latin west is the origin of modern art. 
http://www.amazon.com/The-Total-Art-Stalinism-Dictatorship/dp/1844677079/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y

It is not a coincidence that this revolution against Christian beauty in seventeenth century Orthodox Russia occurred during the same century as Galileo and Newton who conducted a revolution against the knowledge of God in nature.

Helocentrism is a manifestation of ugliness and alienation from God comparable to modern art.
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« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2013, 05:35:13 PM »

I honestly fail to see what is ugly about heliocentrism. To me what's beautiful is the harmony and order of physics that we continue to discover. This order wouldn't be there without something Divine behind it: atheists have to suppose that order just exists, without any explanation. But whether that order is geocentric or heliocentric hardly matters: the point is that it is well-ordered. We know it is well-ordered because we can discover it through our reason. If the universe were pure chaos there would be nothing for us to discover.

I guess there's no accounting for taste.
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« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2013, 05:46:18 PM »

For what it’s worth, the photographs of Felix Baumgartner’s recent high altitude dive which depicted a curved earth horizon in the background were faked by having been run through a fish lens to obtain the curvature.

Here is the official photograph which depicts a curved earth in the background after it had been run through a fish lens to make it appear curved:


Here is the same photograph as it actually appeared originally:



If you take a ruler and go from point to point across the horizon on the second photo, there is still a curvature present showing that the earth is a sphere, not a perfect one, but nevertheless the earth has a spherical shape.
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« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2013, 06:06:35 PM »

What on earth is going on?
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« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2013, 06:26:44 PM »

What on earth is going on?

Something about the earth being flat, fake moon landings, and Dionysii's poor Honduran wife that cooks with wood in a mountain village. Huh

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around those very confusing things.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 06:31:44 PM by NightOwl » Logged
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« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2013, 06:32:48 PM »

If you take a ruler and go from point to point across the horizon on the second photo, there is still a curvature present showing that the earth is a sphere, not a perfect one, but nevertheless the earth has a spherical shape.

Further observation of curvature in the earth - curved in an upwards direction forming a concave bowl or the inside of sphere.  
http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/za/za15.htm

Can these subjective observations be depended upon?
If the earth had a 25,000 mile circumference, then Gibraltar would not be visible from Morocco.  It would be mathematically impossible.
If the earth was a globe with such a circumference, then it would be impossible to see Italy from Sicily because of the curvature.

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« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2013, 06:45:39 PM »

The orbit of the stars around the pole over a period of several hours froma time exposed camera:
http://www.fixedearth.com/Size_and_Structure%20Part%20IV.htm
http://rocketroberts.com/astro/circum.htm

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« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2013, 06:51:00 PM »

If you take a ruler and go from point to point across the horizon on the second photo, there is still a curvature present showing that the earth is a sphere, not a perfect one, but nevertheless the earth has a spherical shape.

Further observation of curvature in the earth - curved in an upwards direction forming a concave bowl or the inside of sphere.  
http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/za/za15.htm

Can these subjective observations be depended upon?
If the earth had a 25,000 mile circumference, then Gibraltar would not be visible from Morocco.  It would be mathematically impossible.


Saying "mathematically impossible" is not a proof or a substitute for one... you're just continuing to post strings of words that make no sense.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 06:58:01 PM by NightOwl » Logged
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« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2013, 07:57:15 PM »


If the earth had a 25,000 mile circumference, then Gibraltar would not be visible from Morocco.  It would be mathematically impossible.
If the earth was a globe with such a circumference, then it would be impossible to see Italy from Sicily because of the curvature.

In a vacuum. The atmosphere acts like  (or more correctly is) a prism. During a sunset, the bottom part of the sun that we see is actually below the horizon.
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« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2013, 08:02:53 PM »

Here is a photograph of the French coast seen across the English channel from Dover:

http://www.beautifulengland.net/photos/main.php/kent/dover/frenchcoastandeasterndocksdoverharbourdover.html

The strait of Dover is the narrowest part of the English channel at 6 kilometres or 3.75 miles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strait_of_Dover

If the earth was a globe with a circumference of 24901 miles or a radius of about 3965 miles, then the corresponding curvature over 3.75 mile would obscure almost ten feet of the French coast. 

Distance    Height
 Miles          Feet
--------------------------
  1.0         0.67
  1.23       1.0
  3.0         5.95
  3.9       10.00
  6.0       23.8
  10        66.00
  12.3    100
  20       264
  30       595
  39     1000
  40     1060
  50     1650
  60     2380
  70     3240
  87     5000
100     6610
110     8000
120     9520
123   10000
129   11000
135   12000
140   13000
146   14000
148   14496   
 
Visual Line of Sight Calculations dependent on Earth's Curvature
by David Senesac
http://www.davidsenesac.com/Information/line_of_sight.html

A photograph of Dover, England taken from the French coast at sea level:
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« Reply #44 on: April 25, 2013, 09:00:21 PM »

You can't determine the height the observer is standing on from those pictures. However, they are obviously not taken from sea level. Also, you have to take into account the height of the person taking the picture as well.

Just by looking at the table you've given, someone looking from 10 feet above sea level (say they're 6 ft high and standing 4 feet above the sea level) can see 3.9 miles out to sea, which is well within the bounds given here.

If you want to get a little more technical, the rough formula to find the distance to the horizon is d ~ 3.57 * sqrt(h), where d is the distance in kilometers and h is the height of the observation in meters.
[source]

So assuming a 1.75 m tall observer standing 2m above sea level, that gives us a distance to the horizon of d ~ 3.57 * sqrt(3.75)

Simplify to d ~ 3.57*1.936 ~ 6.9 km.

This isn't even taking into account the refractive properties of the atmosphere, which can allow you to see below the horizon.
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