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Author Topic: What do the Eastern Othodox mean when they reject scholasticism?  (Read 17701 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 25, 2006, 04:09:37 PM »

When the Eastern Orthdox say that they reject scholasticism does this mean that they deny reason with regard to God? Can some one explain to me what they mean?
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2006, 06:52:41 PM »

When the Eastern Orthdox say that they reject scholasticism does this mean that they deny reason with regard to God? Can some one explain to me what they mean?

In nomine Ieus I offer you peace Papist,

"Reasoning" is a loaded word in Greek Philosophical terms and thus is a 'lower' form of knowing as opposed to "intellection". One is the preoccupation with mental concepts and the other an encounter with reality, often without the convenience of mental constructs.

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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2006, 08:28:32 PM »

When the Eastern Orthdox say that they reject scholasticism does this mean that they deny reason with regard to God? Can some one explain to me what they mean?

We do not deny the faculty of human reason for it is truly a gift of God.  However, the insistence of RC scholasticism to assume as a premise that God exists and then use such reason to prove it according to some philosophical methodology.  It is wholly anithetical to the Church's understanding of faith which is God revealing Himself to us, not so that we can understand revelation but so that we can be purified and cleansed of the sinful corruption which inhabits us. 

Scholasticism also tried to understand the world in terms of natural and supernatural rather than created and uncreated.  For with natural truths, the scholastics believed they could prove such things as God's existence with articulate phrases and observations whereas supernatural truths could neither be proven nor disproven.  In both cases, the philosophical methodology becomes the focus rather than God.  This is a good time to also contrast what the East means by theologian.

A theologian for the Orthodox is one who prays, is one who is engaged in silence.  It is not someone who can go through proofs and tangents and what not.

Another problem the Orthodox see with scholasticism is that it was made out to be a further growth of the Fathers.  But scholasticism itself is rooted in Aristotle's Metaphysics which the Fathers rejected.  This "further revelation" is contradictory to the faith which was "delivered once and for all to the saints" (Jude 3).

There are more reasons and better people than I can explain it.  I hope this at least answered a question or two.

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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2006, 08:34:03 PM »

We do not deny the faculty of human reason for it is truly a gift of God.  However, the insistence of RC scholasticism to assume as a premise that God exists and then use such reason to prove it according to some philosophical methodology.  It is wholly anithetical to the Church's understanding of faith which is God revealing Himself to us, not so that we can understand revelation but so that we can be purified and cleansed of the sinful corruption which inhabits us. 

Scholasticism also tried to understand the world in terms of natural and supernatural rather than created and uncreated.  For with natural truths, the scholastics believed they could prove such things as God's existence with articulate phrases and observations whereas supernatural truths could neither be proven nor disproven.  In both cases, the philosophical methodology becomes the focus rather than God.  This is a good time to also contrast what the East means by theologian.

A theologian for the Orthodox is one who prays, is one who is engaged in silence.  It is not someone who can go through proofs and tangents and what not.

Another problem the Orthodox see with scholasticism is that it was made out to be a further growth of the Fathers.  But scholasticism itself is rooted in Aristotle's Metaphysics which the Fathers rejected.  This "further revelation" is contradictory to the faith which was "delivered once and for all to the saints" (Jude 3).

There are more reasons and better people than I can explain it.  I hope this at least answered a question or two.

Scamandrius
Thanks for the reply. That is a big help with regard to understanding Eastern Orthodoxy. But did St. Paul not say that we can know God's power and deity through the things God had made? Furthermore, the Church's concept of natural revelation has nothing to do with us discovering God. Rather, it is simply  one of the manners in which God reveals himself to us.
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2006, 08:34:57 PM »

We do not deny the faculty of human reason for it is truly a gift of God.  However, the insistence of RC scholasticism to assume as a premise that God exists and then use such reason to prove it according to some philosophical methodology.  It is wholly anithetical to the Church's understanding of faith which is God revealing Himself to us, not so that we can understand revelation but so that we can be purified and cleansed of the sinful corruption which inhabits us.

The world's foremost philosopher of religion, Richard Swinburne, is Greek Orthodox. He came into the Church precisely because such arguments  work so well in the Orthodox Church's favour.
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2006, 08:42:54 PM »

Does this all mean that we should believe in God based on a blind faith?
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2006, 09:28:29 PM »

Does this all mean that we should believe in God based on a blind faith?

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Papist,

Christianity has never been about the acceptance of second-hand testimonies that we might believe but recognition of this evidence as an invitation so we might encounter Him first-head and know.

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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2006, 02:18:19 AM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Papist,

Christianity has never been about the acceptance of second-hand testimonies that we might believe but recognition of this evidence as an invitation so we might encounter Him first-head and know.

Pax

I am sure that you are aware that the Vactican council declared, "If anybody says that the one true God, Our creator and Lord cannot be known with certainty in the light of human reason by those things which have been made, anathema sit."
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2006, 02:57:35 AM »

...
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2006, 03:00:25 AM »

Does this all mean that we should believe in God based on a blind faith?

Empiricism, which is Aristotelian, is fine as long as its limitations are recognized.  For instance, people must admit that having faith in inductive reasoning is blind for it is logically impossible for the particular to become general.

Further, the results of scholasticism in the West have not been very impressive over the last centuries.  For one, we have so-called theologians hanging around in libraries instead of doing meditation and fasting.  It has got to the point wherein these people no longer know how to pray!  And worst of all, people have become agnostics and atheists due to scholasticism.

I think the easiest way to recognize the limitations of scholasticism is to read any book on textual criticism.  Most likely, people would find them intellectually satisfying (or bankrupt, depending on their taste); however, there is nothing more to it that would affect people's souls.  They're just straightforward presentation of theories and evidences that do little to inspire us.  In a nutshell, that's what scholasticism is; it is this dry approach to seeking God which Orthodoxy rejects.

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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2006, 04:23:24 AM »

Empiricism, which is Aristotelian, is fine as long as its limitations are recognized.  For instance, people must admit that having faith in inductive reasoning is blind for it is logically impossible for the particular to become general.

Further, the results of scholasticism in the West have not been very impressive over the last centuries.  For one, we have so-called theologians hanging around in libraries instead of doing meditation and fasting.  It has got to the point wherein these people no longer know how to pray!  And worst of all, people have become agnostics and atheists due to scholasticism.


Excellent! Your first two statements above caused me to anticipate your last statement above. How true.
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2006, 10:52:42 AM »

I am sure that you are aware that the Vactican council declared, "If anybody says that the one true God, Our creator and Lord cannot be known with certainty in the light of human reason by those things which have been made, anathema sit."

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Papist,

All things are delivered to me by my Father. And no one knoweth the Son but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him.  - Matthew 11:27 DRB

All one can do within the limits of reasonable argumentation is 'point' to the ineffable. All certainty and knowability is left to Him to initiate not for our minds to seize. To know God is to be known by Him.

By His Word God calls into existence all things that are, disposes them according to His wisdom, and perfects them by His goodness. God is invisible, because too bright for our sight; intangible, because too find for our sense of touch; immeasurable, because He is beyond the grasp of our senses; infinite, limitless. His real magnitude being known to Him, therefore we can only measure Him fittingly when we call Him immeasurable. Here is my candid opinion: a man who thinks to know God’s magnitude diminishes it; he who does not wish to diminish it knows it not. Minucius Felix - Letter To Octavius, 18 ML 3, 290

It would be my guess that you are misunderstanding any anathema proclaimed by Vatican I or II.

Pax
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2006, 02:48:42 PM »

Empiricism, which is Aristotelian, is fine as long as its limitations are recognized.  For instance, people must admit that having faith in inductive reasoning is blind for it is logically impossible for the particular to become general.

Further, the results of scholasticism in the West have not been very impressive over the last centuries.  For one, we have so-called theologians hanging around in libraries instead of doing meditation and fasting.  It has got to the point wherein these people no longer know how to pray!  And worst of all, people have become agnostics and atheists due to scholasticism.

I think the easiest way to recognize the limitations of scholasticism is to read any book on textual criticism.  Most likely, people would find them intellectually satisfying (or bankrupt, depending on their taste); however, there is nothing more to it that would affect people's souls.  They're just straightforward presentation of theories and evidences that do little to inspire us.  In a nutshell, that's what scholasticism is; it is this dry approach to seeking God which Orthodoxy rejects.


Aristotilian Logic has nothing to do with empericism but rather when one discusses what most people call "Aristotilian Logic" they simply DEDUCTIVE logic and not inductive logic. This is what is employed in the Summa.
As for scholastic theologians spending alot of time reading and not enough time praying... St. Thomas used to go into extacies when he was writting theology, St. Bernard of Clairveux did theology through the Lexio Divino (a prayer), John Paul II of blessed memory was a most learned theologian and spent hours of his day in prayer, and His Holiness Benedict the XIV functions in a similar manner.
As for people becoming Atheists and Agnostics due to scholastocism, the same can be said for feidism because it offers no objective reason to believe in God or his Church. Remember that good things can be used in a bad way. As for me, if it was not for the philosophical proofs for the existence of God, I would not have been able to maintain my faith through the dry periods. I mean if we base our faith on some entirely subjective experience, how are we do determine if our "experience" is any more valid than the next person's. How am I to know if Christianity is true or Buddhism, if I only use "experience" as my guide? As St. Paul said, "Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity, has been  clearly perceived in the things he has made." (Romans 1:20). It looks like St. Paul is arguing that we can reason from the creature to the creator. Perhpas he was one of those dangerous scholastic theologians Grin.
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2006, 04:51:45 PM »

Probably one of the cheifiest reasons for rejecting scholasticism is what I see as two reasons:
1.) It invents doctrine - over time, scholasticism has led to "developing doctrine" in the west as all of a sudden something makes sense philosophically.
2.) It places a higher value on reason than other.  Do not get me wrong, human kind has a great capacity for knowledge.  In addition, we are also able to try to better understand God with reason.  However, this is far from the best way to know God.  God was not meant to be known intellectually.  HE cannot be understood intellectually.  Basing your entire theology off of this, is faulty.  God can be encountered through prayer and the Grace of the Holy Spirit.  This, indeed is what I'd call a fuller understanding.
In addition, I cannot accept that you can prove the Trinitarian God through scholasticism. 
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2006, 04:57:35 PM »

As St. Paul said, "Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity, has been  clearly perceived in the things he has made." (Romans 1:20). It looks like St. Paul is arguing that we can reason from the creature to the creator. Perhpas he was one of those dangerous scholastic theologians Grin.

You should have read further...

Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God or given thanks: but became vain in their thoughts. And their foolish heart was darkened. For, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. - Romans 1:21-22 DRB

Let us be careful how we use Sacred Scripture.

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« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2006, 01:16:28 PM »

You should have read further...

Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God or given thanks: but became vain in their thoughts. And their foolish heart was darkened. For, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. - Romans 1:21-22 DRB

Let us be careful how we use Sacred Scripture.

Pax

Exactly. We can know God from natural revelation, and thus we are without excuse.
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« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2006, 01:34:02 PM »

Probably one of the cheifiest reasons for rejecting scholasticism is what I see as two reasons:
1.) It invents doctrine - over time, scholasticism has led to "developing doctrine" in the west as all of a sudden something makes sense philosophically.
The development of doctrine is simply the Church delving deeper into her own mysteries. The Church did not sudenly lose its ability to think after the seventh ecumenical council. Furthermore, the Ecumenical councils were all the about the development of Doctrine, the Church delving into its own mysteries, formally defining that which had not previously defined. Finally, one can look at the history of the Doctrine of the Trinity and see a clear development of doctrine. It is clear that if you read the writtings of very orthodox Fathers, like
St. Iranaeus and St. Justin Martyr, you will see that they did not have a very clear understanding of the Trinity and were even outright wrong about it sometimes. Heck, Tertullian, a heretic, had the clearest understanding of the Trinity up until his time, but even he was wrong about it at times. To be sure, the Doctrine developed.

2.) It places a higher value on reason than other.  Do not get me wrong, human kind has a great capacity for knowledge.  In addition, we are also able to try to better understand God with reason.  However, this is far from the best way to know God.  God was not meant to be known intellectually.  HE cannot be understood intellectually.  Basing your entire theology off of this, is faulty.  God can be encountered through prayer and the Grace of the Holy Spirit.  This, indeed is what I'd call a fuller understanding.
In addition, I cannot accept that you can prove the Trinitarian God through scholasticism. 
If God was not meant to be known intellecutally, then How? I cannot know him through my foot. Grin My intellect is that only part of me that can know anything. If not intellecutally, then nothing at all.
As for faith and reason, The Church certainly teachers that faith is superior because Supernatural revelation is superior to Natural revelation, in that it is clear and it is God speaking directly to us and not indirectly to us throught the things he as created. However, if there were no natural revelation, no way to know for sure that God exists, no historical evidence that Christ is God, then there would be no reason to pick any religion over the next because it would all be based on my subjective "experience" of God. To be sure, an experience of God is necessary to achieve Holiness and enter into heaven, but reason is what tells me my experience is in accord with reality and that I am following the true faith and just one that fits my "personal tastes".
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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2006, 04:34:35 PM »

The development of doctrine is simply the Church delving deeper into her own mysteries. The Church did not sudenly lose its ability to think after the seventh ecumenical council. Furthermore, the Ecumenical councils were all the about the development of Doctrine, the Church delving into its own mysteries, formally defining that which had not previously defined. Finally, one can look at the history of the Doctrine of the Trinity and see a clear development of doctrine. It is clear that if you read the writtings of very orthodox Fathers, like St. Iranaeus and St. Justin Martyr, you will see that they did not have a very clear understanding of the Trinity and were even outright wrong about it sometimes. Heck, Tertullian, a heretic, had the clearest understanding of the Trinity up until his time, but even he was wrong about it at times. To be sure, the Doctrine developed.

Developed or was further revealed by the light of the divine spirit? Just to clarify...
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« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2006, 04:43:28 PM »

Empiricism, which is Aristotelian, is fine as long as its limitations are recognized.  For instance, people must admit that having faith in inductive reasoning is blind for it is logically impossible for the particular to become general.

Further, the results of scholasticism in the West have not been very impressive over the last centuries.  For one, we have so-called theologians hanging around in libraries instead of doing meditation and fasting.  It has got to the point wherein these people no longer know how to pray!  And worst of all, people have become agnostics and atheists due to scholasticism.

I think the easiest way to recognize the limitations of scholasticism is to read any book on textual criticism.  Most likely, people would find them intellectually satisfying (or bankrupt, depending on their taste); however, there is nothing more to it that would affect people's souls.  They're just straightforward presentation of theories and evidences that do little to inspire us.  In a nutshell, that's what scholasticism is; it is this dry approach to seeking God which Orthodoxy rejects.



Excellent response.

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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2006, 04:50:22 PM »

Exactly. We can know God from natural revelation, and thus we are without excuse.

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Papist,

I do believe that you and I are discussing two different kinds of 'know'. One could state that one 'knows' that one has a neighbor because one witnesses that the house beside one is occupied. Another could state that one 'knows' that one has a neighbor because one has a 'relationship' with him. I am speaking about the second meaning of 'know' and you are speaking about the first. Reason can determine that one has a neighbor but it cannot establish a relationship. That is the point that I and others are trying to make.

The first without the second is of no avail.

Pax
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2006, 04:56:30 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Papist,

I do believe that you and I are discussing two different kinds of 'know'. One could state that one 'knows' that one has a neighbor because one witnesses that the house beside one is occupied. Another could state that one 'knows' that one has a neighbor because one has a 'relationship' with him. I am speaking about the second meaning of 'know' and you are speaking about the first. Reason can determine that one has a neighbor but it cannot establish a relationship. That is the point that I and others are trying to make.

Pax
I agree there is an important difference. On the one hand, we can know that there is one, good, holy, infinite, perfect, God who is creator of all, and we can know this from reason alone. On the other hand, we cannot know that this God is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, our great God of love and Mercy, without divine revelation.
May God Bless you.
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« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2006, 10:33:41 PM »

Aristotilian Logic has nothing to do with empericism but rather when one discusses what most people call "Aristotilian Logic" they simply DEDUCTIVE logic and not inductive logic. This is what is employed in the Summa.

Aristotle, empiricism and inductive logic are all related.  Aquinas, who was Aristotelian to the core, tried to be innovative by introducing deductive reasoning to the formula; unfortunately, all he did was "assume the a priori existence of that he was seeking to prove existed."  In other words, he assumed the existence of God as revealed in Scripture to argue for the existence of God. 

http://www.faithnet.org.uk/Theology/aquinas.htm
Aquinas' theological method, as already mentioned, was largely Aristotelian in character. Following Aristotle (referred to by Aquinas as the philosopher) he taught that philosophy is based on data available to everyone. Theology is based on revelation (the Bible) and logical deduction (reason) from revelation. An example of his use of philosophy in theological discourse is his famous 'Five Ways' which are an attempt to prove (or justify) God's existence on the basis of what can be known from the world. His justification for his 'proofs' is that the existence of God is not evident to people but must be proved and the basis of these 'proofs' could be found in the created order - the 'fingerprints of God' (Romans 1:20). An example of one such 'proof' is The Cosmological Argument. Using Aristotle's pre-Christian notion of an unmoved mover he reasoned that one could argue back from the things we see in the world around us to a first cause or Great Designer - God (see also The Design Argument). However, his arguments (or proofs) have been criticised by many (notably Immanuel Kant) for assuming the a priori existence of that he is seeking to prove exists (in this case God - although it should be noted that Aquinas rejected Anslem's Ontological Argument). Furthermore, that it is the Christian God who is the 'first cause' (or Grand Architect of the universe) is not evident on the basis of 'natural theology' alone but requires an additional  'leap of faith' based on the revelation of the Bible. Aquinas' statements concerning 'natural theology' were condemned by the University of Paris in 1277. Scholars such as Dunns Scotus and William of Ockham also criticised him for not recognising that at times reason and revelation contradict each other.

Quote
As for scholastic theologians spending alot of time reading and not enough time praying... St. Thomas used to go into extacies when he was writting theology, St. Bernard of Clairveux did theology through the Lexio Divino (a prayer), John Paul II of blessed memory was a most learned theologian and spent hours of his day in prayer, and His Holiness Benedict the XIV functions in a similar manner.

More of an exception to the rule.
 
Quote
As for people becoming Atheists and Agnostics due to scholastocism, the same can be said for feidism because it offers no objective reason to believe in God or his Church.

Empiricism has caused more harm than good.  Try proving the dogma of the Trinity using Aristotelian concepts and see if it's even possible.  Aquinas tried a similar feat, but he was caught cheating (see above). 
 
Quote
Remember that good things can be used in a bad way.

Scholasticism is not bad per se.  I'm saying that too much of it is a bad thing.  This applies more to the clergy than to the layman.

Quote
As for me, if it was not for the philosophical proofs for the existence of God, I would not have been able to maintain my faith through the dry periods. I mean if we base our faith on some entirely subjective experience, how are we do determine if our "experience" is any more valid than the next person's. How am I to know if Christianity is true or Buddhism, if I only use "experience" as my guide? As St. Paul said, "Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity, has been  clearly perceived in the things he has made." (Romans 1:20).

There are stages in knowing God in Orthodoxy.  Knowing God through his handiwork is just the beginning of the experience.  There is so much more to that.

http://www.alepporthodox.org/02-en/02-metropolitan/writings/sep04-minster_uk.htm

The ascetic Orthodox spiritual tradition has always used apophatic theology to speak about approaching God. It is a method that repels the influence of philosophy and Scholasticism. For God’s vision does not occur through rational comprehension and Gnostic ways, but empirically, through the experience that stems out from abiding in keeping the commandments and the exercise of virtues. Only then is the heart purified.

It is remarkable that the writings of the fourteenth century fathers, like St Gregory Palamas and many others, form the quarter volume of the Philocalia. These fathers have underlined, because of the controversy between Orthodoxy and Scholasticism and Rationalism in the west, that the method and the tool of approaching God is not the mind and philosophy but purification of the heart and ascetic life. St Nicodimos the Aghiorite, the compiler of the Philocalia, included in his collection a portion of related writings of St Gregory Palamas. In the introduction to the French translation of the Philocalia, Oliver Clément defines Praxis and Theoria as follows: Praxis = exercise = the work of the monk on himself = life’s purification = perfection. That is why, for St Gregory Palamas, the way to the vision of God consists in the works of repentance. These works reflect our absolute love to God. Such a love can be reached by purification from passions through the keeping of all the commandments and succeeding in exercising the virtues.


Quote
It looks like St. Paul is arguing that we can reason from the creature to the creator. Perhpas he was one of those dangerous scholastic theologians.

St. Paul was not converted through reason, but through revelation; it was only after receiving the Holy Spirit that St. Paul became a true theologian... and he didn't need Aristotle for that.

http://www.vic.com/~tscon/pelagia/htm/b02.en.orthodox_psychotherapy.01.htm

The saints received "divine things without thought", and according to the Fathers, they theologised not in an Aristotelian way through thinking, but "in the manner of the Apostles", that is to say through the operation of the Holy Spirit. If a person has not been cleansed of passions, especially fantasy, beforehand, he is unable to converse with God or to speak about God, since a nous "forming notions is incapable of theology". The saints lived a theology "written by the Spirit".

We find the same teaching in the works of St. Maximus the Confessor. When a person lives by practical philosophy, which is repentance and cleansing from passions, "he advances in moral understanding". When he experiences theoria, "he advances in spiritual knowledge". In the first case he can discriminate between virtues and vices; the second case, theoria, "leads the participant to the inner qualities of incorporeal and corporeal things". St. Maximus goes on to say that man is "granted the grace of theology when, carried on wings of love" in theoria and "with the help of the Holy Spirit, he discerns - as far as this is possible for the human nous - the qualities of God" (12). Theology, the knowledge of God, is unfolded to the person who has attained theoria. Indeed in another place the same Father says that a person who always "concentrates on the inner life" not only becomes restrained, long-suffering, kind and humble, but "he will also be able to contemplate, theologise and pray" (13). Here too theology is closely connected with theoria and prayer.


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« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2006, 05:39:32 PM »


Aristotle, empiricism and inductive logic are all related.  Aquinas, who was Aristotelian to the core, tried to be innovative by introducing deductive reasoning to the formula; unfortunately, all he did was "assume the a priori existence of that he was seeking to prove existed."  In other words, he assumed the existence of God as revealed in Scripture to argue for the existence of God. 
Yes, Aquinas did assume that God exists, as a good theologian should. However, his proofs for the existence of God do not necessitate the assumption that God exists, in order for the proofs to be valid. In fact, more modern proofs for the existence of God that are based on Thomistic methodology do not require such an assumption in any way. Those who deny this simply wish her to be atheists no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, or wish to be feidists, no matter how silly feidism is.
 

Empiricism has caused more harm than good.  Try proving the dogma of the Trinity using Aristotelian concepts and see if it's even possible.  Aquinas tried a similar feat, but he was caught cheating (see above). 
Have you actually read the Summa? Read the portion on the Trinity. Aquinas NEVER tries to prove the Trinity from reason alone. Why? Because he recognized that some things come to us only through revelation, and others can be decuded through reason.
 

Scholasticism is not bad per se.  I'm saying that too much of it is a bad thing.  This applies more to the clergy than to the layman.
Why, because some of the Holiest men have been scholastic theologians? St. Bernard, Blessed Scotus, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope John Paul the Great, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.
 

There are stages in knowing God in Orthodoxy.  Knowing God through his handiwork is just the beginning of the experience.  There is so much more to that.
I agree that knowing God through reason and natural revelation is just the begining. We need revelation and a personal experience of God to achieve holiness. However, we can only determine if we are having a valid experience that leads to truth and not one that leads to error if we have an objective way to measure our experiences.
http://www.alepporthodox.org/02-en/02-metropolitan/writings/sep04-minster_uk.htm

The ascetic Orthodox spiritual tradition has always used apophatic theology to speak about approaching God. It is a method that repels the influence of philosophy and Scholasticism. For God’s vision does not occur through rational comprehension and Gnostic ways, but empirically, through the experience that stems out from abiding in keeping the commandments and the exercise of virtues. Only then is the heart purified.

It is remarkable that the writings of the fourteenth century fathers, like St Gregory Palamas and many others, form the quarter volume of the Philocalia. These fathers have underlined, because of the controversy between Orthodoxy and Scholasticism and Rationalism in the west, that the method and the tool of approaching God is not the mind and philosophy but purification of the heart and ascetic life. St Nicodimos the Aghiorite, the compiler of the Philocalia, included in his collection a portion of related writings of St Gregory Palamas. In the introduction to the French translation of the Philocalia, Oliver Clément defines Praxis and Theoria as follows: Praxis = exercise = the work of the monk on himself = life’s purification = perfection. That is why, for St Gregory Palamas, the way to the vision of God consists in the works of repentance. These works reflect our absolute love to God. Such a love can be reached by purification from passions through the keeping of all the commandments and succeeding in exercising the virtues.


St. Paul was not converted through reason, but through revelation; it was only after receiving the Holy Spirit that St. Paul became a true theologian... and he didn't need Aristotle for that.
[/quote]
I do not claim that reason causes conversion, but it removes the intellectual stumbling blocks to becoming a believer.  How can some one believe in that which he is not even sure exits? How can I trust God, If I do not know he is there in the first place? But If I do know that God exits, then it is much easier and more reasonable to move into the realm of the existential with God. I firmly reject rationalism because it posits that reason is above faith. But we know that faith is above reason. However, I reject feidism because it makes God silly and irrational like a unicorn or the Eastern Bunny. Rather, I worship God with great respect and cry, "fides et ratio".
http://www.vic.com/~tscon/pelagia/htm/b02.en.orthodox_psychotherapy.01.htm

The saints received "divine things without thought", and according to the Fathers, they theologised not in an Aristotelian way through thinking, but "in the manner of the Apostles", that is to say through the operation of the Holy Spirit. If a person has not been cleansed of passions, especially fantasy, beforehand, he is unable to converse with God or to speak about God, since a nous "forming notions is incapable of theology". The saints lived a theology "written by the Spirit".

We find the same teaching in the works of St. Maximus the Confessor. When a person lives by practical philosophy, which is repentance and cleansing from passions, "he advances in moral understanding". When he experiences theoria, "he advances in spiritual knowledge". In the first case he can discriminate between virtues and vices; the second case, theoria, "leads the participant to the inner qualities of incorporeal and corporeal things". St. Maximus goes on to say that man is "granted the grace of theology when, carried on wings of love" in theoria and "with the help of the Holy Spirit, he discerns - as far as this is possible for the human nous - the qualities of God" (12). Theology, the knowledge of God, is unfolded to the person who has attained theoria. Indeed in another place the same Father says that a person who always "concentrates on the inner life" not only becomes restrained, long-suffering, kind and humble, but "he will also be able to contemplate, theologise and pray" (13). Here too theology is closely connected with theoria and prayer.
[/quote]
I agree that a true experience of God and living the Holy life will make God more present in our lives and save our souls. However, a true "faith seeks understanding" rather than blind faith. Eastern Fiedism creates the following conversation:
Atheist: Why should I be a Christian?
Christian: Because Christianity is the true faith.
Atheist: Why should I believe that?
Christian: Because it is true?
Atheist: Why?
Christian: Because.
Atheist: But how do you know that?
Christian: Because I have personal experience of God.
Atheist: But my Muslim friend also claims to have a personal experience of God.
Christian: Well, his is false.
Atheist: How do you know that?
Christianity: Because Christianity is true.
Atheist: How do you know that?
Christian: Because it is.
Atheist: But how do you know.
Christain: Because I have a personal experience of God.
Atheist: You already said that.
Christian: well, its just a matter of faith.
Atheist: well, how do I know that I should have faith in your God?
Christian: Because I know he is the true God.
Atheist: How do you know that.
Christian: Because I have a personal experience of God.
Atheist: But, like I said, my muslim friend also claims to have a personal experience of God...
ad infinitum.
You see, if we do not have an objective way to measure an experience, like reason and historical evidence, then we have no way to know that we are following the true faith.

[/quote]
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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2006, 06:44:27 PM »

However, we can only determine if we are having a valid experience that leads to truth and not one that leads to error if we have an objective way to measure our experiences.
"Objective" in what sense? Since the only way we can know God is through His revelation to us in His Divine Energies, how can we "objectively measure"  these Divine Energies? The only way we can see if an experience is "valid" is by comparing it to previous Revelations from the Divine Energies. I'd hardly call this "objective", since they both come from the same source.
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« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2006, 07:23:13 PM »

"Objective" in what sense? Since the only way we can know God is through His revelation to us in His Divine Energies, how can we "objectively measure"  these Divine Energies? The only way we can see if an experience is "valid" is by comparing it to previous Revelations from the Divine Energies. I'd hardly call this "objective", since they both come from the same source.
SAINTS PRESERVE US! By reason (philosophical proofs for the existence of God, and the historical case for the ressurrection). Goodness gracious.
Many blessings in Christ.
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« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2006, 07:37:37 PM »

SAINTS PRESERVE US! By reason (philosophical proofs for the existence of God, and the historical case for the ressurrection). Goodness gracious.
Many blessings in Christ.
Hang on a tick.
"The historical case for the Resurrection"? If the Resurrection is an "undeniable historical fact", why isn't everyone in the world a Christian? Surely the Resurrection is an "objective fact" by your definition which can stand alone apart from the Revelation of the Divine Energies?
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« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2006, 07:41:47 PM »

Hang on a tick.
"The historical case for the Resurrection"? If the Resurrection is an "undeniable historical fact", why isn't everyone in the world a Christian? Surely the Resurrection is an "objective fact" by your definition.

Because everyone in the world is stupid. LOL. Grin
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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2006, 07:43:23 PM »

Because everyone in the world is stupid. LOL. Grin
Well, good luck winning converts then. Wink
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« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2006, 07:46:40 PM »

Hang on a tick.
"The historical case for the Resurrection"? If the Resurrection is an "undeniable historical fact", why isn't everyone in the world a Christian? Surely the Resurrection is an "objective fact" by your definition which can stand alone apart from the Revelation of the Divine Energies?

Look, the U.S. landed on the moon in the 1960s. This is a historical objective fact yet some still do not believe we did. They are obviously stupid. LOL
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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2006, 07:46:59 PM »

Well, good luck winning converts then. Wink
You know I am just playing.
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« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2006, 08:04:23 PM »

You know I am just playing.
Yes, but I think there is some truth in your jest.
The Nicene-Constantinoplian Creed begins with the words "I believe....", not "I know..." nor "I can prove..."
And wha'ts more, the so-called "proofs" of the existence of God, such as Anselm's "Proof" are nothing more than a play on words attempting to conjure up God out of a mathematical equation; and intelligent people will see through them like Grandma's underwear. So, they actually do more damage than good.
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« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2006, 08:30:50 PM »

Yes, but I think there is some truth in your jest.
The Nicene-Constantinoplian Creed begins with the words "I believe....", not "I know..." nor "I can prove..."
And wha'ts more, the so-called "proofs" of the existence of God, such as Anselm's "Proof" are nothing more than a play on words attempting to conjure up God out of a mathematical equation; and intelligent people will see through them like Grandma's underwear. So, they actually do more damage than good.
"I believe" does not mean I am taking a guess. Religion is not a multiple choice test. As far as anslem's proof goes, I am not talking about anslem's proof. I am a Thomist.
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« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2006, 08:35:11 PM »

Yes, but I think there is some truth in your jest.
The Nicene-Constantinoplian Creed begins with the words "I believe....", not "I know..." nor "I can prove..."
And wha'ts more, the so-called "proofs" of the existence of God, such as Anselm's "Proof" are nothing more than a play on words attempting to conjure up God out of a mathematical equation; and intelligent people will see through them like Grandma's underwear. So, they actually do more damage than good.
have fun with this conversation:
Atheist: Why should I be a Christian?
Christian: Because Christianity is the true faith.
Atheist: Why should I believe that?
Christian: Because it is true?
Atheist: Why?
Christian: Because.
Atheist: But how do you know that?
Christian: Because I have personal experience of God.
Atheist: But my Muslim friend also claims to have a personal experience of God.
Christian: Well, his is false.
Atheist: How do you know that?
Christianity: Because Christianity is true.
Atheist: How do you know that?
Christian: Because it is.
Atheist: But how do you know.
Christain: Because I have a personal experience of God.
Atheist: You already said that.
Christian: well, its just a matter of faith.
Atheist: well, how do I know that I should have faith in your God?
Christian: Because I know he is the true God.
Atheist: How do you know that.
Christian: Because I have a personal experience of God.
Atheist: But, like I said, my muslim friend also claims to have a personal experience of God...
ad infinitum.
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« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2006, 09:09:25 PM »

"The historical case for the Resurrection"? If the Resurrection is an "undeniable historical fact", why isn't everyone in the world a Christian?

The resurrection is not an undeniable fact, but as Swinburne shows in The Resurrection of God Incarnate (Oxford University Press, 2003) it is overwhelmingly (like 98%) probable that it happened. Those who continue to disbelieve include a few people still nervous about the use of the probability calculus in philosophy, and a lot of people who just don't like Christianity for whatever personal reason.
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« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2006, 09:11:43 PM »

And wha'ts more, the so-called "proofs" of the existence of God, such as Anselm's "Proof" are nothing more than a play on words attempting to conjure up God out of a mathematical equation; and intelligent people will see through them like Grandma's underwear. So, they actually do more damage than good.

Although the traditional proofs got a knocking during the earlier half of the last century, interest in them has returned in philosophy of religion circles, with Swinburne and Platinga restoring credibility to the ontological and cosmological arguments. Anthony Flew, known for decades as the most rabidly atheist philosopher of religion, ultimately converted to theism a couple of years ago based on a new formulation of the cosmological argument.
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« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2006, 09:15:03 PM »

have fun with this conversation:
Atheist: Why should I be a Christian?
Christian: Because Christianity is the true faith.
Atheist: Why should I believe that?
Christian: Because it is true?
Atheist: Why?
Christian: Because.
Atheist: But how do you know that?
Christian: Because I have personal experience of God.
Atheist: But my Muslim friend also claims to have a personal experience of God.
Christian: Well, his is false.
Atheist: How do you know that?
Christianity: Because Christianity is true.
Atheist: How do you know that?
Christian: Because it is.
Atheist: But how do you know.
Christain: Because I have a personal experience of God.
Atheist: You already said that.
Christian: well, its just a matter of faith.
Atheist: well, how do I know that I should have faith in your God?
Christian: Because I know he is the true God.
Atheist: How do you know that.
Christian: Because I have a personal experience of God.
Atheist: But, like I said, my muslim friend also claims to have a personal experience of God...
ad infinitum.

Sorry to disappoint you but our approach to evangelism is neither the above nor the reasoned proofs that you espouse:

Quote from Mother Gavrilia:

- Once when I was there (in India), some foreign missionary came and said to me, “You may be a good woman, but you’re not a good Christian.”
- I said, “Why?”
- “Because you have been here so long and you only go about speaking English. What local languages have you learned?”
- I said to him, “I haven’t managed to learn any of the local languages, because I travel a great deal from place to place. As soon as I learn one dialect, they start speaking another. I’ve only learned ‘Good morning’ and ‘Good evening.’ Nothing else.”
- “Bah, you’re no Christian. How can you evangelize? All the Catholics and Protestants learn all the local dialects in order to . . .”
- Then I said, “Lord, give me an answer for him.” I asked it with all my heart, and then I said, “Ah. I forgot to tell you. I know five languages.”
- “Really? What are these five?”
- “The first is the smile; the second is tears. The third is to touch. The fourth is prayer, and the fifth is love. With these five languages I go all around the world.”
- Then he stopped [astonished] and said, “Just a minute. Say that again so I can write it down.”
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« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2006, 09:19:47 PM »

Sorry to disappoint you but our approach to evangelism is neither the above nor the reasoned proofs that you espouse:

Quote from Mother Gavrilia:

- Once when I was there (in India), some foreign missionary came and said to me, “You may be a good woman, but you’re not a good Christian.”
- I said, “Why?”
- “Because you have been here so long and you only go about speaking English. What local languages have you learned?”
- I said to him, “I haven’t managed to learn any of the local languages, because I travel a great deal from place to place. As soon as I learn one dialect, they start speaking another. I’ve only learned ‘Good morning’ and ‘Good evening.’ Nothing else.”
- “Bah, you’re no Christian. How can you evangelize? All the Catholics and Protestants learn all the local dialects in order to . . .”
- Then I said, “Lord, give me an answer for him.” I asked it with all my heart, and then I said, “Ah. I forgot to tell you. I know five languages.”
- “Really? What are these five?”
- “The first is the smile; the second is tears. The third is to touch. The fourth is prayer, and the fifth is love. With these five languages I go all around the world.”
- Then he stopped [astonished] and said, “Just a minute. Say that again so I can write it down.”
Maybe you don't understand, but what I presented above is not evangelization but apologetics, i.e. pre-evengelization. It is what removes the intellectual stumbling blocks so that one can honestly and without reserve believe in God and thus such a person is open to being evengelized. But what you presented above is a nice warm and fuzzy conversation, but has little meaning to the person who has serious and meanigful doubts. Remember my friend, St. Paul became all things to all people in order to evangelize, and that meant becoming a philosopher when he spoke to the Greek philosphers.
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« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2006, 09:36:08 PM »

Maybe you don't understand, but what I presented above is not evangelization but apologetics, i.e. pre-evengelization. It is what removes the intellectual stumbling blocks so that one can honestly and without reserve believe in God and thus such a person is open to being evengelized. But what you presented above is a nice warm and fuzzy conversation, but has little meaning to the person who has serious and meanigful doubts. Remember my friend, St. Paul became all things to all people in order to evangelize, and that meant becoming a philosopher when he spoke to the Greek philosphers.

Go read 1 Cor. 1-2.
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« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2006, 10:15:01 PM »

Remember my friend, St. Paul became all things to all people in order to evangelize, and that meant becoming a philosopher when he spoke to the Greek philosphers.

But you have to remember also that most of the Greek philosophers at that time were Platonic, so conversion to Christianity was so much easier than it is today when most people in the West are Aristotelian.  If St. Paul lived today and employed the kind of philosophy that Aquinas developed in the middle ages, I think he would have converted far less individuals.

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« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2006, 10:36:30 PM »

But you have to remember also that most of the Greek philosophers at that time were Platonic, so conversion to Christianity was so much easier than it is today when most people in the West are Aristotelian.  If St. Paul lived today and employed the kind of philosophy that Aquinas developed in the middle ages, I think he would have converted far less individuals.

But even the Athenian Philosophers, (Platonic though they were and receptive to St. Paul's teaching on the Areopagus), hit a stumbling block when it came to the Resurrection (Acts17:32). The only way Philosophers come to the Faith is by transcending Philosophy.
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« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2006, 10:39:24 PM »

Aquinas NEVER tries to prove the Trinity from reason alone. Why? Because he recognized that some things come to us only through revelation, and others can be decuded through reason.

In other words, scholasticism is useless in proving the existence of God.  You will always end up using revelation, and that's what experiencing the Divine Energy is all about. 

Quote
Why, because some of the Holiest men have been scholastic theologians? St. Bernard, Blessed Scotus, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope John Paul the Great, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

I've seen some of those you mentioned on television a lot of times, and not once did I see their faces shine.  Wink

Quote
I agree that knowing God through reason and natural revelation is just the begining. We need revelation and a personal experience of God to achieve holiness. However, we can only determine if we are having a valid experience that leads to truth and not one that leads to error if we have an objective way to measure our experiences.

The Eastern Tradition has developed a fool-proof methodology on experiencing the Divine Light, of which there is no Western counterpart.

Quote
I do not claim that reason causes conversion, but it removes the intellectual stumbling blocks to becoming a believer.  How can some one believe in that which he is not even sure exits? How can I trust God, If I do not know he is there in the first place? But If I do know that God exits, then it is much easier and more reasonable to move into the realm of the existential with God. I firmly reject rationalism because it posits that reason is above faith. But we know that faith is above reason. However, I reject feidism because it makes God silly and irrational like a unicorn or the Eastern Bunny. Rather, I worship God with great respect and cry, "fides et ratio".

How sure are you that scholasticism actually removes the intellectual stumbling blocks to becoming a believer?  Has there been a research conducted on this?  How effective is it really?  Show me empirical evidence please.

(I'm just giving you a dose of your own medicine.) Smiley

Quote
I agree that a true experience of God and living the Holy life will make God more present in our lives and save our souls.

Try the Jesus Prayer.

Quote
However, a true "faith seeks understanding" rather than blind faith. Eastern Fiedism creates the following conversation:

Nonsense.
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« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2006, 10:47:35 PM »

But even the Athenian Philosophers, (Platonic though they were and receptive to St. Paul's teaching on the Areopagus), hit a stumbling block when it came to the Resurrection (Acts17:32). The only way Philosophers come to the Faith is by transcending Philosophy.

I agree.  Still, the fact that the Athenians found it easy to grasp the Christian message all the way to the resurrection shows how compatible Platonic concepts are with Christianity.  I think the opposite is the case with Aristotle, for it would have been outright rejection.
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« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2006, 10:55:13 PM »

have fun with this conversation:
How about this conversation:
Atheist: Can you prove God exists?
Papist: Yes, God is that of which no greater can be conceived, and since existence is greater than non-existence, God must exist.
Atheist: But that's just a play on words, and you are assuming that existence is "greater" than non-existence. Sorry, I don't buy it.

Now compare this to:
Atheist: Can you prove God exists?
Orthodox Monastic: Listen to the birds and the cicadas. They are singing God's praises!
Atheist: But can you prove God exists?
Orthodox Monastic: Feel this kitten's fur, even Queen Elizabeth never had a fur as soft as this!
Atheist: But can you prove God exists?
Orthodox Monastic: My child, there can be no dialogue between Orthodoxy and Atheism, because we simply do not speak the same language. If you seek "proofs", then go to those who are able to speak the same language as Atheists.
Atheist: Like who?
Orthodox Monastic:The Roman Catholics.
Atheist: Will they be able to prove to me that God exists?
Orthodox Monastic: No. You'll just be disapointed when you see through their arguments.
Aheist: So is there anyone who can prove the existence of God to me?
Orthodox Monastic: Yes, the birds and cicadas and this kitten......
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« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2006, 11:02:16 PM »

How about this conversation:
Atheist: Can you prove God exists?
Papist: Yes, God is that of which no greater can be conceived, and since existence is greater than non-existence, God must exist.
Atheist: But that's just a play on words, and you are assuming that existence is "greater" than non-existence. Sorry, I don't buy it.

Why don't you try buying a philosophy of religion primer written sometime in the past three decades? The atheist's argument is no longer relevant.
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« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2006, 11:14:31 PM »

Why don't you try buying a philosophy of religion primer written sometime in the past three decades? The atheist's argument is no longer relevant.
Perhaps you should tell that to Papist. I was actually answering his post: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=9855.msg133668#msg133668.
So if you are trying to prove your intelligence, all you've succeeded in proving is your inability to follow a thread.
Are all Fins and Romanians as tesky as you? Wink
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« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2006, 11:18:54 PM »

Perhaps you should tell that to Papist. I was actually answering his post: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=9855.msg133668#msg133668.
So if you are trying to prove your intelligence, all you've succeeded in proving is your inability to follow a thread.
Are all Fins and Romanians as tesky as you? Wink

I simply think it's ridiculous for you, and others here, to be going on about the merits of the philosophy of religion when you clearly have no familiarity with the scholarship up to the present, nor interest in following citations. The resulting discussion can't help but be indulgent.

I'm neither Finnish nor Romanian.

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« Reply #46 on: August 28, 2006, 11:33:20 PM »

I simply think it's ridiculous for you, and others here, to be going on about the merits of the philosophy of religion when you clearly have no familiarity with the scholarship up to the present, nor interest in following citations. The resulting discussion can't help but be indulgent.
Hmmm... I see well I suppose you are entitled to your opinion, and your assumptions about other's level of education.

I'm neither Finnish nor Romanian.
I see. So you're Just testy then? Cheesy

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« Reply #47 on: August 28, 2006, 11:39:44 PM »

Hmmm... I see well I suppose you are entitled to your opinion, and your assumptions about other's level of education.

If you make clear mistakes, such as claiming that the ontological argument can still be attacked in such a fashion, why should I not assume you lack some level of education in the matter?

I should mention that I am the only one here so far who has referred to the literature. If others here can't do the same, we all just end up talking past each other. But I guess I didn't get the memo that the goal here isn't to reach a conclusion to the debate, but merely to just waste time and bicker.
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« Reply #48 on: August 28, 2006, 11:49:28 PM »

But I guess I didn't get the memo that the goal here isn't to reach a conclusion to the debate, but merely to just waste time and bicker.
So, your opinion is valid because you name-dropped Swineburne which you say provides "98% certainty" (a statistic which you pulled out of somewhere where the sun doesn't shine no doubt)....And that's supposed to provide a conclusion to the debate as to whether philosophy can prove the existence of God? Well it may do so "98%" of the time, but perhaps this is part of the other 2%. Tongue
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« Reply #49 on: August 28, 2006, 11:59:49 PM »

So, your opinion is valid because you name-dropped Swineburne which you say provides "98% certainty" (a statistic which you pulled out of somewhere where the sun doesn't shine no doubt)....And that's supposed to provide a conclusion to the debate as to whether philosophy can prove the existence of God? Well it may do so "98%" of the time, but perhaps this is part of the other 2%. Tongue

I didn't "name-drop" Swinburne, I cited a specific book which, since it's OUP, is sure to be at anyone's university library and contains a support for the Resurrection. The 98% figure is Swinburne's, which can be found in the appendix where his complete use of the probability calculus is included.
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« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2006, 12:10:40 AM »

I didn't "name-drop" Swinburne, I cited a specific book which, since it's OUP, is sure to be at anyone's university library and contains a support for the Resurrection. The 98% figure is Swinburne's, which can be found in the appendix where his complete use of the probability calculus is included.
Oh well, end of argument. "There's a 98% probability that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead". Perhaps that should be posted on Church signs throughout the world. That'll bring 'em in. Cheesy
Now try and prove the existence of God to me using the ontological argument. I dare you! Wink
You have a bit of time to come up with it because I'm just off to buy myself a new cell phone.
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« Reply #51 on: August 29, 2006, 02:57:38 AM »

Oh well, end of argument. "There's a 98% probability that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead". Perhaps that should be posted on Church signs throughout the world. That'll bring 'em in. Cheesy
Now try and prove the existence of God to me using the ontological argument. I dare you! Wink
You have a bit of time to come up with it because I'm just off to buy myself a new cell phone.

Now this sounds like it could be fun...I get to play the Nietzschean. Grin
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« Reply #52 on: August 29, 2006, 03:56:09 AM »

Now this sounds like it could be fun...I get to play the Nietzschean. Grin

It not only would be fun, it would shut up those who want to argue in favour of the notion that the Absolute and Transcendant can be approached through deductive and emperical reasoning alone.
And why am I not surprised that you would want to play the Nietzschean? Cheesy
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« Reply #53 on: August 29, 2006, 08:58:04 AM »

Boy, did this topic devolve.

Saying that Orthodoxy rejects scholasticism means nothing more than it rejects the Thomistic framework of modern RC theology. All of the rest of philosophizing, Orthodoxy does all the time.

And ontological arguments for God are dead as a herring. In the first place, they rely on the dubious assumption that human reasoning can force God into existence. In the face of "my thoughts are not your thoughts", this is an utterly untenable assertion. In the second, and far more critical place, they don't tell you anything about what God is like.
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« Reply #54 on: August 29, 2006, 09:47:25 AM »

In the face of "my thoughts are not your thoughts", this is an utterly untenable assertion. In the second, and far more critical place, they don't tell you anything about what God is like.
Unless you're a Solopsist. Wink
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« Reply #55 on: August 29, 2006, 11:14:57 AM »

But you have to remember also that most of the Greek philosophers at that time were Platonic, so conversion to Christianity was so much easier than it is today when most people in the West are Aristotelian.  If St. Paul lived today and employed the kind of philosophy that Aquinas developed in the middle ages, I think he would have converted far less individuals.


Aristotle is the disciple of Plato. But why plato and not aristotle?
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« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2006, 11:18:22 AM »

Boy, did this topic devolve.

Saying that Orthodoxy rejects scholasticism means nothing more than it rejects the Thomistic framework of modern RC theology. All of the rest of philosophizing, Orthodoxy does all the time.

And ontological arguments for God are dead as a herring. In the first place, they rely on the dubious assumption that human reasoning can force God into existence. In the face of "my thoughts are not your thoughts", this is an utterly untenable assertion. In the second, and far more critical place, they don't tell you anything about what God is like.
The Arguments from change, causality, motion, etc. do not force God to exist through human reason. That is silly, like anslem's argument. These other arguments deduce that God exists form reality.
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« Reply #57 on: August 29, 2006, 11:40:25 AM »

I really hope that everyone in the thread can be kind to eacher. We can all disagree about philosophy and do so in charity.
Many blessings in Christ
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« Reply #58 on: August 29, 2006, 11:58:45 AM »

Aristotle is the disciple of Plato. But why Plato and not aristotle?

Aristotle took a different stance on several things than Plato and in general Platoism developed down a different path than Aristolianism.
Aristotle also took earthly items and tried to understand them more on an earthly plain while Plato was content to know the world through the divine.  Although, there are plenty of examples of differences, I'll quote Michael Fowler, Ph.D, University of Virginia

Quote
In contrast to Plato, who felt the only worthwhile science to be the contemplation of abstract forms, Aristotle practiced detailed observation and dissection of plants and animals, to try to understand how each fitted into the grand scheme of nature, and the importance of the different organs of animals.

Yet, it also must be understood, that Orthodoxy has never been content to define itself with a single philosophy.  Yes, we do build on many things, whether it be neo-Platonism or others.  However, Orthodoxy is not Thomism, Neo-Platoism, Aristolianism, or Liberalism.  Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #59 on: August 29, 2006, 12:19:22 PM »

The Arguments from change, causality, motion, etc. do not force God to exist through human reason. That is silly, like anslem's argument. These other arguments deduce that God exists from reality.

Well, no they don't, because if they are arguments from "reality", then they are based upon empirical observations. And that is more or less true, but the problem then is that they are vulnerable to being trumped by reality as well. To be able to empirically assert a First Cause, you have produce it; otherwise, the best you can do is assert that there ought to be a first cause. And with causality not exactly working in quantum mechanics, the whole thing has become, in practice, rather dubious.

And again, the more serious problem is that these arguments don't tell you anything about God. You could just as well postulate that existence as a whole is the object of all these deductions, leaving you with a pan"theism" lacking will or indeed any other important divine attribute. Everything important that Christianity has to teach has nothing much to do with any of the Thomistic superlatives. An omnipotent first cause ground of existence, etc. who cares not a fig for human existence, for or against, need not be worshipped, nor even believed in.
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« Reply #60 on: August 29, 2006, 12:23:22 PM »

Quote
In the face of "my thoughts are not your thoughts", this is an utterly untenable assertion. In the second, and far more critical place, they don't tell you anything about what God is like.
Unless you're a Solopsist. Wink

And you know yourself a lot better than most people do.  Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #61 on: August 29, 2006, 01:12:59 PM »

Well, no they don't, because if they are arguments from "reality", then they are based upon empirical observations. And that is more or less true, but the problem then is that they are vulnerable to being trumped by reality as well. To be able to empirically assert a First Cause, you have produce it; otherwise, the best you can do is assert that there ought to be a first cause. And with causality not exactly working in quantum mechanics, the whole thing has become, in practice, rather dubious.

And again, the more serious problem is that these arguments don't tell you anything about God. You could just as well postulate that existence as a whole is the object of all these deductions, leaving you with a pan"theism" lacking will or indeed any other important divine attribute. Everything important that Christianity has to teach has nothing much to do with any of the Thomistic superlatives. An omnipotent first cause ground of existence, etc. who cares not a fig for human existence, for or against, need not be worshipped, nor even believed in.

Actually, reason demands the existence of a first cause. It is not a matter of what we think ought to be, but rather a matter of wat reason demands. And actually, the Thomistic proofs prove one perfect, oniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God, who is completely good and these are things that are very important to Christianity. It separates us from the pagans who anthropomorphize God.
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« Reply #62 on: August 29, 2006, 01:48:23 PM »

Actually, reason demands the existence of a first cause. It is not a matter of what we think ought to be, but rather a matter of wat reason demands.

Reason cannot "demand" anything; it is in human use of reasoning, that is, thinking, that the expectation is created. And if causality is not absolute, then it is human thinking-- reason, if you wish-- that must give way to reality. And causality is NOT absolute-- at least, it doesn't appear so to the physicists. The Thomist proofs are only as good as one's acceptance of Aristotlean commonsensical empiricism about the universe; but as that acceptance fails, the proofs fail as well.

Quote
And actually, the Thomistic proofs prove one perfect, oniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God, who is completely good and these are things that are very important to Christianity. It separates us from the pagans who anthropomorphize God.

Well, except that in the absence of direct evidence for God, one could just as well view the imputation of will and purpose upon the deity as anthropomorphization. And many of Christianity's critics say exactly that. The obvious point for moderns is that experience of the living God, with its evidences of His will and purpose, makes rational proofs derivative if not irrelevant. Encountering God is the best proof of His existence that can be obtained; after that, the Thomistic proofs are not so much wrong as they are unnecessary.
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« Reply #63 on: August 29, 2006, 05:46:34 PM »

Reason cannot "demand" anything; it is in human use of reasoning, that is, thinking, that the expectation is created. And if causality is not absolute, then it is human thinking-- reason, if you wish-- that must give way to reality. And causality is NOT absolute-- at least, it doesn't appear so to the physicists. The Thomist proofs are only as good as one's acceptance of Aristotlean commonsensical empiricism about the universe; but as that acceptance fails, the proofs fail as well.

Well, except that in the absence of direct evidence for God, one could just as well view the imputation of will and purpose upon the deity as anthropomorphization. And many of Christianity's critics say exactly that. The obvious point for moderns is that experience of the living God, with its evidences of His will and purpose, makes rational proofs derivative if not irrelevant. Encountering God is the best proof of His existence that can be obtained; after that, the Thomistic proofs are not so much wrong as they are unnecessary.

Amen! Wonderful post!

Pax
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« Reply #64 on: August 29, 2006, 11:53:56 PM »

Reason cannot "demand" anything; it is in human use of reasoning, that is, thinking, that the expectation is created. And if causality is not absolute, then it is human thinking-- reason, if you wish-- that must give way to reality. And causality is NOT absolute-- at least, it doesn't appear so to the physicists. The Thomist proofs are only as good as one's acceptance of Aristotlean commonsensical empiricism about the universe; but as that acceptance fails, the proofs fail as well.

Well, except that in the absence of direct evidence for God, one could just as well view the imputation of will and purpose upon the deity as anthropomorphization. And many of Christianity's critics say exactly that. The obvious point for moderns is that experience of the living God, with its evidences of His will and purpose, makes rational proofs derivative if not irrelevant. Encountering God is the best proof of His existence that can be obtained; after that, the Thomistic proofs are not so much wrong as they are unnecessary.

Physics will be shown to be wrong if it contradicts logic. Nothing can escape logic (greek: the Logos) because divine order finds it source in God. And if experience is all that proves the existence of God, how do I know that my Christian experience is anymore valid than one's muslim experience? Or one's Hindu experience? Or one's Pagan experience? I cannot measure God by my experience because I am not that important. I am not the measure of God. Rather, God is the measure of God, and reason and logic that flow from God are much better at determing what is true and not true than my personal experience.
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« Reply #65 on: August 30, 2006, 12:03:06 AM »

I am becoming more and more concerned about my Eastern Bretheren on this forum. It seems that they believe we should accept God's existence based on blind faith. Such a faith seems dishonest to me. It seems that they believe God is irrational. That is impossible, because, first, God is not silly. Second, God created a rational universe. That means he posses rationality within himself.  So, I dunno what to say at this point. It is clear that everyone here is fiedist in epsitomology and feidism teaches that we believe in God just because. I cannot even begin to understand how a person can deny reason. Remember the words of St. Peter, the first Pope:
     "but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence." 1 Peter 3:15
Eastern Fiedism does not live up to this exhortation, and thus I will pray for you all. Many blessings in Christ
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« Reply #66 on: August 30, 2006, 12:52:59 AM »

Physics will be shown to be wrong if it contradicts logic. Nothing can escape logic (greek: the Logos) because divine order finds it source in God. And if experience is all that proves the existence of God, how do I know that my Christian experience is anymore valid than one's muslim experience? Or one's Hindu experience? Or one's Pagan experience? I cannot measure God by my experience because I am not that important. I am not the measure of God. Rather, God is the measure of God, and reason and logic that flow from God are much better at determing what is true and not true than my personal experience.

Your statements about logic are illogical. Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem demonstrates that no axiomatic system, and this would include the axiomatic system that defines logic, is complete and that no such system can ever be demonstrated to be consistant with itself. Basically, the very axioms of logic itself contradicts even the mere assertion that logic is true (for the Incompleteness Theorem proves that logic can never be proven true, though it is at least theoretically possible that it could be proven false, that is to say inconsistant). I fear that experience is you best bet...and no, I wouldn't discount the experience of someone for the mere reason that they are not Christian.

I am becoming more and more concerned about my Eastern Bretheren on this forum. It seems that they believe we should accept God's existence based on blind faith. Such a faith seems dishonest to me. It seems that they believe God is irrational. That is impossible, because, first, God is not silly. Second, God created a rational universe. That means he posses rationality within himself.  So, I dunno what to say at this point. It is clear that everyone here is fiedist in epsitomology and feidism teaches that we believe in God just because. I cannot even begin to understand how a person can deny reason. Remember the words of St. Peter, the first Pope:
     "but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence." 1 Peter 3:15
Eastern Fiedism does not live up to this exhortation, and thus I will pray for you all. Many blessings in Christ

Well please, try to prove the existance of God to me using logic and please address the questions posed by Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, Tarski's Indefinability Theorem, and the subsequent developments in Computability Theory. I'm sure many of these theorems have philosophical equivalents, but I am more familiar with the Mathematics and Computer Science.

I submit to you that God is neither rational nor irrational, rather he is trans-rational. He is the source of both logic and illogic, though he is neither logical nor illogical. Ever read Proclus or St. Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite? You seem to like philosophy, perhaps you would appreciate their approach to the divine. How about Lao Tzu? 'The tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be spoken is not the eternal Name.' In any case, may I recomend Dionysius' Mystical Theology?
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« Reply #67 on: August 30, 2006, 01:36:46 AM »

I am becoming more and more concerned about my Eastern Bretheren on this forum.

I'm also concerned with your narrow-minded belief that the only way to determine God's existence is through logic.  You have not even answered my question as to how effective these methods are.

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It seems that they believe we should accept God's existence based on blind faith.

Among many things, we know that God exists because of history, and that includes the revelation as witnessed and recorded by the prophets and apostles, i.e. Tradition.  Even Aquinas resorted to Revelation as his starting point (of course, to the dismay of his critics).

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Such a faith seems dishonest to me. It seems that they believe God is irrational. That is impossible, because, first, God is not silly. Second, God created a rational universe. That means he posses rationality within himself.  So, I dunno what to say at this point.

You're the only one who's saying that.

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It is clear that everyone here is fiedist in epsitomology and feidism teaches that we believe in God just because. I cannot even begin to understand how a person can deny reason. Remember the words of St. Peter, the first Pope:
     "but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence." 1 Peter 3:15
Eastern Fiedism does not live up to this exhortation, and thus I will pray for you all. Many blessings in Christ

We're not denying reason.  We are rejecting its excessive use and the illusion that God can be seen in mathematical symbols.
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« Reply #68 on: August 30, 2006, 02:14:50 AM »

We're not denying reason.  We are rejecting its excessive use and the illusion that God can be seen in mathematical symbols.

Except for the ontological argument, and ultimately not really even that, theist philosophers of religion do not see God in "mathematical symbols", but in the reality of the created order. Which, hey look, is the same thing that the Church teaches: all things point to and glorify God. Just listen to the prayers for Vespers from the Psalms. If you burn with ire against the cosmological or design arguments, you deny the Church's own hymnography.
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« Reply #69 on: August 30, 2006, 03:12:31 AM »

Except for the ontological argument, and ultimately not really even that, theist philosophers of religion do not see God in "mathematical symbols", but in the reality of the created order.

I don't consider the ontological argument a "reality".  It's mere abstraction. 

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Which, hey look, is the same thing that the Church teaches: all things point to and glorify God.

Are abstractions real things? 

OA's do not also glorify God in my opinion; they serve to glorify the people who developed them and the human intellect in general.

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Just listen to the prayers for Vespers from the Psalms. If you burn with ire against the cosmological or design arguments, you deny the Church's own hymnography.

Those arguments are mere creations of men.  They don't necessarily point to God; in some cases they accomplish the opposite.  Is it not uncommon for people to deny the existence of God because of logic?  The reality is that the supposed supremacy of logic has become the battlecry of atheists.

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« Reply #70 on: August 30, 2006, 06:10:06 AM »

I am becoming more and more concerned about my Eastern Bretheren on this forum. It seems that they believe we should accept God's existence based on blind faith.
Actually, it's the opposite. We accept in Faith what is understood through "theoria" which literally means "to see the Divine".

Such a faith seems dishonest to me.
I guess it would. Theoria is just one of those things which cannot be explained, but it certainly carries infinitely more certainty that it's "western" counterpart of "Theory", which has come to mean simply "hypothesis"- the equivalent of "guess". Someone who is born blind can certainly deny or affirm the existence of the sun, but his opinion cannot possibly hold as much weight as one who can see.

It seems that they believe God is irrational.
I don't see how this follows. Simply because God doesn't fit in to our logic doesn't mean He is "irrational".


That is impossible, because, first, God is not silly. Second, God created a rational universe. That means he posses rationality within himself.
True, but God's rationality includes a Virgin who gives birth to a Baby Who is circumscribed in a manger and yet Who is the Uncircumscribable God, and Who dies in order to give Life....."Rational" by whose standards? Wink

Remember the words of St. Peter, the first Pope:
Actually, St. Linus was the first Pope, but I'm sure you've heard that before.... Wink

"but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence." 1 Peter 3:15
But we have provided you an "apologia" (translated above as "defence") for the hope that is in us- you just won't accept it; and neither did the persecutors of the first Christians. Their "apologia" did not change the hearts of their persecutors so that they were spared torture and death, in fact their "apologia" seemed to fuel even more hatred towards them, so I don't think the word "defense" in the sense of "legal defense" or "defending of an argument" is the exact translation for the word "apologia".
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« Reply #71 on: August 30, 2006, 08:25:16 AM »

I am becoming more and more concerned about my Eastern Bretheren on this forum. It seems that they believe we should accept God's existence based on blind faith. Such a faith seems dishonest to me...

Go read "Orthodox Psychotherapy" especially the last chapter on Orthodox Epistemology. Faith for us is not a [blind] mental consent as you imagine.
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« Reply #72 on: August 30, 2006, 11:16:57 AM »

Your statements about logic are illogical. Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem demonstrates that no axiomatic system, and this would include the axiomatic system that defines logic, is complete and that no such system can ever be demonstrated to be consistant with itself. Basically, the very axioms of logic itself contradicts even the mere assertion that logic is true (for the Incompleteness Theorem proves that logic can never be proven true, though it is at least theoretically possible that it could be proven false, that is to say inconsistant). I fear that experience is you best bet...and no, I wouldn't discount the experience of someone for the mere reason that they are not Christian.

Well please, try to prove the existance of God to me using logic and please address the questions posed by Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, Tarski's Indefinability Theorem, and the subsequent developments in Computability Theory. I'm sure many of these theorems have philosophical equivalents, but I am more familiar with the Mathematics and Computer Science.

I submit to you that God is neither rational nor irrational, rather he is trans-rational. He is the source of both logic and illogic, though he is neither logical nor illogical. Ever read Proclus or St. Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite? You seem to like philosophy, perhaps you would appreciate their approach to the divine. How about Lao Tzu? 'The tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be spoken is not the eternal Name.' In any case, may I recomend Dionysius' Mystical Theology?
God is the source of the illogic? Wow. That would be the most pathetic god not worthy of any form of worship. That would be a god who creates a universe in which flying pigs pop in and out of existence for no reason at all. What a sad little God. NO! My God, true and living God is the eternal Logos, the most reasonable being from who order itself comes!
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« Reply #73 on: August 30, 2006, 11:31:59 AM »

Physics will be shown to be wrong if it contradicts logic. Nothing can escape logic (greek: the Logos) because divine order finds it source in God.

What you are calling "logic" here is not in fact logic per se; it's a commonsensical ontology which most certainly can be disproven by physics. The order you are claiming isn't in fact divine; it is the product of human observation and analysis.

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And if experience is all that proves the existence of God, how do I know that my Christian experience is any more valid than one's muslim experience? Or one's Hindu experience? Or one's Pagan experience?

I'm going to reject the word "valid"; it begs the question.

And while we're begging the question, the answer is that the ontological "proofs" don't help to resolve these issues. Indeed, with Buddhism dropped into the mix, they actually confound it further, because (for instance) Buddhism is happy enough to say that causality is an illusion too. But leaving that aside, Islam has no problem with postulating about Allah what the ontological "proofs" say. It is the common heritage of semetic monotheism. This is really the crucial point. You can be a Unitarian and accept the properties which the ontological proofs attribute to God; therefore, the proofs are of no religious importance.

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Rather, God is the measure of God, and reason and logic that flow from God are much better at determing what is true and not true than my personal experience.

But reasoning and application of logic are not done by God, but by those fallible humans; therefore the "proofs" are not privileged over other kinds of human discourse, but indeed are subject their mutual criticism.
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« Reply #74 on: August 30, 2006, 11:43:14 AM »

Keble,

It sounds like papist is arguing man's application of logic to be a more reliable and objective alternative to pursuing the truth than personal experience. I'm interested in seeing you deal with the issue within this comparative context.

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« Reply #75 on: August 30, 2006, 12:39:01 PM »

Keble,

It sounds like papist is arguing man's application of logic to be a more reliable and objective alternative to pursuing the truth than personal experience. I'm interested in seeing you deal with the issue within this comparative context.


Absolutely. You see the problem with personal experience is just that: it is personal experience. Some one can have a vision of what they believe to be buhddah or muhomed, but in reality it is just a demon decieving that person. Heck, eve Joseph Smith claimed that he had a vision of God and of an angel called Moroni. However, we know that such visions would be deceptions because they are not in line with reality. In fact, they may even be demonic in nature.  Yet, we know that some people have had a true vision of Christ, for example, St. Paul. Yet how am I to determine that the false visions are false, and the true visions are true simply by experience? Should I just go with my gut feeling? Well, sometimes when I am driving around, I have a gut feeling that I am going the right way and that I am not lost, that is until I turn down a road that happens to be a dead end. Grin Thus my guy feeling, my experience was decieving. So you see, feelings, what we think are visions, really any experience cannot measure truth.
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« Reply #76 on: August 30, 2006, 01:33:47 PM »

God is the source of the illogic? Wow. That would be the most pathetic god not worthy of any form of worship. That would be a god who creates a universe in which flying pigs pop in and out of existence for no reason at all. What a sad little God. NO! My God, true and living God is the eternal Logos, the most reasonable being from who order itself comes!

If God is not the source of all things, then what is the second Pre-Eternal source? What Pre-Eternal deity created illogic if not the One God? The posistion that you advocate is one of ditheism (or polytheism, perhaps); for you state that there exists things (and as any student of human behaviour or physics can tell you irrationality and illogic most certainly exist) which do not have their source in the One, therefore we must conclude that either there is a Second Eternal Being OR that these things must be the cause of themselves, if the latter is the case then these things may exist ontological separate from the One, thus making them self-sustaining and possessing of being in and of themselves, thus making them co-Divinities. So either way, what you are advocating is ditheism (or potentially polytheism if you cannot name only one source from which all things that do not come from the One come).

Absolutely. You see the problem with personal experience is just that: it is personal experience. Some one can have a vision of what they believe to be buhddah or muhomed, but in reality it is just a demon decieving that person. Heck, eve Joseph Smith claimed that he had a vision of God and of an angel called Moroni. However, we know that such visions would be deceptions because they are not in line with reality. In fact, they may even be demonic in nature.  Yet, we know that some people have had a true vision of Christ, for example, St. Paul. Yet how am I to determine that the false visions are false, and the true visions are true simply by experience? Should I just go with my gut feeling? Well, sometimes when I am driving around, I have a gut feeling that I am going the right way and that I am not lost, that is until I turn down a road that happens to be a dead end. Grin Thus my guy feeling, my experience was decieving. So you see, feelings, what we think are visions, really any experience cannot measure truth.

And any so-called 'proof' you give about the existance of God can be dismissed with ease, for example it is theoretically impossible to give a proof that can escape the incompleteness theorem, using the principles of said theorem I can tear to shreds ANY proof that claims absolute veracity, be it mathematical, philosophical, theological, or otherwise. There is actually one, and only one, belief system that is justified by logic and that is not Christianity nor any other type of theism, nor is it atheism, it is agnosticism: since no definitive proof can be given for or against a deity, logic dictates that you simply state you do not know whether or not one exists.
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« Reply #77 on: August 30, 2006, 01:37:14 PM »

Your statements about logic are illogical. Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem demonstrates that no axiomatic system, and this would include the axiomatic system that defines logic, is complete and that no such system can ever be demonstrated to be consistant with itself. Basically, the very axioms of logic itself contradicts even the mere assertion that logic is true (for the Incompleteness Theorem proves that logic can never be proven true, though it is at least theoretically possible that it could be proven false, that is to say inconsistant). I fear that experience is you best bet...and no, I wouldn't discount the experience of someone for the mere reason that they are not Christian.

Well please, try to prove the existance of God to me using logic and please address the questions posed by Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, Tarski's Indefinability Theorem, and the subsequent developments in Computability Theory. I'm sure many of these theorems have philosophical equivalents, but I am more familiar with the Mathematics and Computer Science.

I submit to you that God is neither rational nor irrational, rather he is trans-rational. He is the source of both logic and illogic, though he is neither logical nor illogical. Ever read Proclus or St. Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite? You seem to like philosophy, perhaps you would appreciate their approach to the divine. How about Lao Tzu? 'The tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be spoken is not the eternal Name.' In any case, may I recomend Dionysius' Mystical Theology?
Then you and I worship two very different gods. My Lord is the unchanging, eternal perfect Logos who creates and orders the universe, a God of order, reasonable, rational and superrational, but never irrational or illogical. An illogical god is one that creates a disordered universe, a universe where flying pigs pop in and out of existence for no reason. Wait, uncaused flying pigs would still be too ordered for an illogical god. An illogical God is even sillier than that. Such a God is not worthy of worship. Throw out the rules of reason and not only do you get rid of the law of sufficient reason (the father of causality) but also the law of non-contradiction. Thus, God is and he is not. He doesn't exist and he does. Heck, nothing makes sense in the world of an illogical god, and since our minds can only know things that are rational, then we would not be able to know such a silly god. Such a god is not worthy of worship. A pathetic shadow of our true God.
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« Reply #78 on: August 30, 2006, 01:40:51 PM »

If God is not the source of all things, then what is the second Pre-Eternal source? What Pre-Eternal deity created illogic if not the One God? The posistion that you advocate is one of ditheism (or polytheism, perhaps); for you state that there exists things (and as any student of human behaviour or physics can tell you irrationality and illogic most certainly exist) which do not have their source in the One, therefore we must conclude that either there is a Second Eternal Being OR that these things must be the cause of themselves, if the latter is the case then these things may exist ontological separate from the One, thus making them self-sustaining and possessing of being in and of themselves, thus making them co-Divinities. So either way, what you are advocating is ditheism (or potentially polytheism if you cannot name only one source from which all things that do not come from the One come).

And any so-called 'proof' you give about the existance of God can be dismissed with ease, for example it is theoretically impossible to give a proof that can escape the incompleteness theorem, using the principles of said theorem I can tear to shreds ANY proof that claims absolute veracity, be it mathematical, philosophical, theological, or otherwise. There is actually one, and only one, belief system that is justified by logic and that is not Christianity nor any other type of theism, nor is it atheism, it is agnosticism: since no definitive proof can be given for or against a deity, logic dictates that you simply state you do not know whether or not one exists.
Illogic is not a thing in and of itself. It is a lack of what does flow from God, i.e. Logic. Illogic is like a hole; a hole in the ground is not a thing in and of itself, it is a lack of dirt. Illogic is not a thing! Gosh. It is simply a preson failing to use his brain!
Please, do share the amazing law of incompletenenss. I am waiting to be amazed.
Just curious. How do you know that Christianity is true and not Buddhism?
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« Reply #79 on: August 30, 2006, 01:47:39 PM »

And any so-called 'proof' you give about the existance of God can be dismissed with ease, for example it is theoretically impossible to give a proof that can escape the incompleteness theorem, using the principles of said theorem I can tear to shreds ANY proof that claims absolute veracity, be it mathematical, philosophical, theological, or otherwise. There is actually one, and only one, belief system that is justified by logic and that is not Christianity nor any other type of theism, nor is it atheism, it is agnosticism: since no definitive proof can be given for or against a deity, logic dictates that you simply state you do not know whether or not one exists.
So you claim to KNOW that you can use REASON to show that you can KNOW that you can't KNOW anything from REASON. Sounds a bit absurd to me. Grin
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« Reply #80 on: August 30, 2006, 01:50:33 PM »

"The knowledge beyond the power of reason":

Revealed Truth

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/ReardonReason.php
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« Reply #81 on: August 30, 2006, 01:56:37 PM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9855.msg134004#msg134004 date=1156960233]
"The knowledge beyond the power of reason":

Revealed Truth

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/ReardonReason.php
[/quote]
Wow. this article is PATHETIC. Even Muslims know better than this.
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« Reply #82 on: August 30, 2006, 01:59:47 PM »

At least you read it! That's a start...

I have no idea how to debunk scholasticism by using scholasticism as some are trying here. You either "get it" or you don't. You don't.
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« Reply #83 on: August 30, 2006, 02:09:32 PM »

Wow. this article is PATHETIC. Even Muslims know better than this.

I've heard that a lot of Fr. PHR's articles are pathetic...but it is because he slants them so heavily with his former Episcopalian ideas.  Wink But all this is hearsay of course...
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« Reply #84 on: August 30, 2006, 02:11:55 PM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9855.msg134010#msg134010 date=1156960787]
At least you read it! That's a start...

I have no idea how to debunk scholasticism by using scholasticism as some are trying here. You either "get it" or you don't. You don't.
[/quote]
Thank God my mind has not not been darkened and I don't get it. Thank God that my mind has not been conformed to this world and its existential and subjectivist ideas and I still see the objective and rational clearly. Grin
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« Reply #85 on: August 30, 2006, 02:12:53 PM »

It sounds like papist is arguing man's application of logic to be a more reliable and objective alternative to pursuing the truth than personal experience. I'm interested in seeing you deal with the issue within this comparative context.

The question is not so abstract.

In the first place, in the context of the existence of a particular material object, it is untrue. The only acceptable evidence traces back to personal experience, directly or through the proxy of various apparatuses. After that comes testimony, and reason has a part in its evaluation. But without observation, we have only speculation.

Also, we again are not talking about logic and reason in the abstract. Causality, for example, is empirically derived phenomenology; it is not a principle of logic at all, but an observed property of the natural world. And therefore, appeal to the "first cause" argument relies upon acceptance that causality works universally in the way that we perceive it to be working in ordinary existence. Now the physicists no longer accept this as an axiom, because it appears that on a small enough scale, there are uncaused events. That alone is good enough for a refutation, but even before that, one is not compelled to believe that causality is universal.

And again (and this is the most important point, and the one that nobody seems to be willing to step up to) identifying a First Cause, etc. with the LORD God is not a done deal. For example, in pagan systems it is possible to believe in a First Cause-- which is not a deity, although there are (they perceive) deities. Or one can take an extreme pantheist position and thus have a "god" who is utterly impersonal. It is ironic that Christianity in particular is dependent upon personal experience and testimony-- that is, the witness of the apostles to the Risen Jesus. You cannot prove that with an ontological argument, so why bother with them?
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« Reply #86 on: August 30, 2006, 02:15:34 PM »

I've heard that a lot of Fr. PHR's articles are pathetic...but it is because he slants them so heavily with his former Episcopalian ideas.  Wink But all this is hearsay of course...

True, many priests I know make this complaint. My response, "Well, what have you published?", if I'm feeling feisty.
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« Reply #87 on: August 30, 2006, 02:16:21 PM »

Thank God my mind has not not been darkened and I don't get it. Thank God that my mind has not been conformed to this world and its existential and subjectivist ideas and I still see the objective and rational clearly. Grin

If that is all you need, good for you.  Smiley
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« Reply #88 on: August 30, 2006, 02:20:09 PM »

Absolutely. You see the problem with personal experience is just that: it is personal experience. Some one can have a vision of what they believe to be buhddah or muhomed, but in reality it is just a demon decieving that person. Heck, eve Joseph Smith claimed that he had a vision of God and of an angel called Moroni. However, we know that such visions would be deceptions because they are not in line with reality. In fact, they may even be demonic in nature.  Yet, we know that some people have had a true vision of Christ, for example, St. Paul. Yet how am I to determine that the false visions are false, and the true visions are true simply by experience?

BECAUSE THAT IS BLOODY WELL THE WRONG QUESTION!!!!  Angry Angry Angry

Here you are, going on about personal experience, and yet anyone with the slightest objectivity in the matter can see that every word you say is colored by your experience of being a Roman Catholic! Thomist proofs of God's existence don't do a thing towards distinguishing between Mohammed and Paul; as far as the religiously uncommitted is concerned, one is a much a tale as the other.
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« Reply #89 on: August 30, 2006, 02:48:05 PM »

Thomist proofs of God's existence don't do a thing towards distinguishing between Mohammed and Paul; as far as the religiously uncommitted is concerned, one is a much a tale as the other.

Swinburne's developments of the traditional proofs hold that if God exists, it follows that He is One in Three Persons. It's certainly not limited to general, unspecified theism versus atheism.
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« Reply #90 on: August 30, 2006, 02:59:59 PM »

Swinburne's developments of the traditional proofs hold that if God exists, it follows that He is One in Three Persons. It's certainly not limited to general, unspecified theism versus atheism.

I haven't been able to find an exposition of this "proof" on-line, but a quick examination of criticism of his works tends to indicate that he makes a lot of teleological assumptions which tend to beg the question.
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« Reply #91 on: August 30, 2006, 03:02:16 PM »

Then you and I worship two very different gods. My Lord is the unchanging, eternal perfect Logos who creates and orders the universe, a God of order, reasonable, rational and superrational, but never irrational or illogical. An illogical god is one that creates a disordered universe, a universe where flying pigs pop in and out of existence for no reason. Wait, uncaused flying pigs would still be too ordered for an illogical god. An illogical God is even sillier than that. Such a God is not worthy of worship. Throw out the rules of reason and not only do you get rid of the law of sufficient reason (the father of causality) but also the law of non-contradiction. Thus, God is and he is not. He doesn't exist and he does. Heck, nothing makes sense in the world of an illogical god, and since our minds can only know things that are rational, then we would not be able to know such a silly god. Such a god is not worthy of worship. A pathetic shadow of our true God.

Alas, when I was in the midst of despair believing you would never come to see the teachings of the Philosophers you show me a new light. 'Thus, God is and he is not. He doesn't exist and he does.' Did you go out and read St. Dionysius last night? Because that's basically what he says in his last Chapter of The Mystical Theology, to quote the final lines of this great patristic work which are refering to the One, to the Divinity:

'...nor anything else known to us or to any other beings of the things that are or the things that are not; neither does anything that is know it as it is; nor does it know existing things according to existing knowledge; neither can the reason attain to it, nor name it, nor know it; neither is it darkness nor light, nor the false nor the true; nor can any affirmation or negation be applied to it, for although we may affirm or deny the things below it, we can neither affirm nor deny it, inasmuch as the all-perfect and unique Cause of all things transcends all affirmation, and the simple pre-eminence of Its absolute nature is outside of every negation- free from every limitation and beyond them all.'

Of course, I am not saying that is illogical, that's just as silly as saying that he is logical, rather he is beyond logic and he encompasses both logic and illogic, the rational and irrational, yet he is bound by neither, he is the source of both and yet he is neither.

Illogic is not a thing in and of itself. It is a lack of what does flow from God, i.e. Logic. Illogic is like a hole; a hole in the ground is not a thing in and of itself, it is a lack of dirt. Illogic is not a thing! Gosh. It is simply a preson failing to use his brain!

So illogic flows from a void where God is not? So you're suggesting to me that there is a place where God is not? So God is not omnipresent? What a great and might force must this illogic, must this darkness be, for it can hold at bay even the pre-Eternal God, the pre-Eternal God cannot conquer it, thus it must be the Equal of the Pre-Eternal God...thus this Darkness must be a God as great as your God of Reason, Light, and Order; let us add to this that with each passing second the universe becomes less and less ordered (ever read Stephen Hawking's? His popular science books are a bit dumbed down, but his Academic Publications are Great)...All Hail the God of Darkness, Disorder, and Decay, the Eternal Conqueror of the Universe!!! Of course, the God I worship is the source of both the 'god of logic' and the 'god of illogic' He is the source of both, he encompasses both, yet he is neither.

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Please, do share the amazing law of incompletenenss. I am waiting to be amazed.

Oh, it's a wonderful theorem, if you want to read it some day it's classified as 'Gödel 1931.' Here's a link to the proof proper http://researchweb.watson.ibm.com/people/h/hirzel/papers/canon00-goedel.pdf though it unfortunately lacks Gödel descriptions of the paper's implications on consistancy (which is technically called the 'Second Incompleteness Theorem').

Specifically the theorem states:

For any consistent formal theory that proves basic arithmetical truths, it is possible to construct an arithmetical statement that is true but not provable in the theory. That is, any theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete.

In a more general form, No Formal Theory can be both Consistant and Complete. Which means that any Formal Theory which includes the axiom of non-contradiction must inherently be incomplete. Since Logic uses the axiom of non-contradiction, Logic must be incomplete; that is to say that there must be Truth which is unprovable by Logic -- There is truth beyond logic.

Moving on to the second incompleteness theorem:

For any formal theory T including basic arithmetical truths and also certain truths about formal provability, T includes a statement of its own consistency if and only if T is inconsistent.

Basically, if you say that your axiomatic system is consistant, then it is inherently inconsistant because inorder to prove consistancy you must prove completeness and by the First Incompleteness Theorem it is impossible to prove completeness, thus contradicting your statement that your system is consistant. Bascially, any Formal Theory into which the axiom of non-contradiction is introduced automatically contradicts itself.

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Just curious. How do you know that Christianity is true and not Buddhism?

How do I know, I don't; the only thing that I know is that I am, and I know that only because I think. I, of course, do not know who I am, or what I am, or where I am, or how I am...merely that I am (Descartes was great up to that conclusion, then he had got himself into a rut and tried to write his way out of it, ultimately making him look like a fool...but he must be accredited with discovering, or at least codifying, that philosophical truth).

So you claim to KNOW that you can use REASON to show that you can KNOW that you can't KNOW anything from REASON. Sounds a bit absurd to me. Grin

What does the fact that I can use logic to disprove logic say about logic, logically speaking? You see, logic is self-contradicting.
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« Reply #92 on: August 30, 2006, 03:07:58 PM »

Thank God my mind has not not been darkened and I don't get it. Thank God that my mind has not been conformed to this world and its existential and subjectivist ideas and I still see the objective and rational clearly. Grin

So, after all the going around about "personal experience", you still dare to use that word "see" without noticing that it is utterly ironic. Your "seeing", of course, has no sway on another, since by your own admission it is just personal experience and can be discounted.
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« Reply #93 on: August 30, 2006, 03:13:09 PM »

I haven't been able to find an exposition of this "proof" on-line

All of Swinburne's works are published by OUP and can be found in any university library. The Internet is not the place to go for serious scholarship.
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« Reply #94 on: August 30, 2006, 03:25:13 PM »

All of Swinburne's works are published by OUP and can be found in any university library. The Internet is not the place to go for serious scholarship.

Bosh. One simply has to be picky; real scholars put things on the web too. In any case, if you are going to take that tack, I need a specific citation from a specific work. With page numbers.
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« Reply #95 on: August 30, 2006, 03:31:33 PM »

Bosh. One simply has to be picky; real scholars put things on the web too. In any case, if you are going to take that tack, I need a specific citation from a specific work. With page numbers.

Citation for what? If you mean for the idea that God must be a Trinity, that takes up the whole of his book The Christian God. If you mean for my earlier post about the use of the Bayesian theorem for the Resurrection, open up The Resurrection of God Incarnate, follow the Table of Contents down to the Appendix, and it's right there. The only thing that stops me from citing a page number for that is that I have just moved to Finland and my home library will take months to arrive in the post.
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« Reply #96 on: August 30, 2006, 03:31:51 PM »

So, after all the going around about "personal experience", you still dare to use that word "see" without noticing that it is utterly ironic. Your "seeing", of course, has no sway on another, since by your own admission it is just personal experience and can be discounted.


Why should it surprise you that Papist's statement is so utterly ironic?

Let's be frank and honest here---no one would put me on a list of the 'Great Thinkers' of OC.net. However, even I have observed Papist contradicting himself within threads, and once I observed him making one statement and then disproving his own claim immediately afterwords in the same thread---no posts were between his own!
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« Reply #97 on: August 30, 2006, 04:14:39 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you all peace,

Papist strikes me as 'young' and perhaps a 'recent convert' to Catholicism very much 'in love' with the security offered by the Teachings of the Church. I'd cut him a little slack but ultimately continue to offer up your criticisms.

Ultimately though I do believe Scholasticism in the West has reached the point where it actually agrees with what the East have posited. The West clearly took a different route but ultimately arrived at the same conclusions as the Eastern Thought.

To cling to logical articulations of metaphysical realities, as Papist appears to do, only illustrates he has not finished the journey but I question rushing him as some appear to be trying to do.

Pax
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« Reply #98 on: August 30, 2006, 05:24:06 PM »

Someone mentioned the phenomenon known to saints, of their faces shining with the Divine energies.  I know this is late in this thread, but it seems to me that I remember reading an account of French RC Saint John Vianney (the Cure d'Ars) in which the saint's face shone with light while he was deep in prayer.

But then again, he never was an intellectual or scholastic!

I believe it is true that we come to know God and listen to his voice in the conscience--the spirit--the hidden heart--and not the intellect's power of reasoning.  Some people (including myself) need to, as it were, "get their heads chopped off" so they can hear with the heart rather than with the braying voice of the intellect.
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« Reply #99 on: August 30, 2006, 08:22:11 PM »

Someone mentioned the phenomenon known to saints, of their faces shining with the Divine energies.  I know this is late in this thread, but it seems to me that I remember reading an account of French RC Saint John Vianney (the Cure d'Ars) in which the saint's face shone with light while he was deep in prayer.

But then again, he never was an intellectual or scholastic!

I believe it is true that we come to know God and listen to his voice in the conscience--the spirit--the hidden heart--and not the intellect's power of reasoning.  Some people (including myself) need to, as it were, "get their heads chopped off" so they can hear with the heart rather than with the braying voice of the intellect.
Except that hearts don't hear or have thought. All they do is pump blood. Grin
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« Reply #100 on: August 30, 2006, 08:23:25 PM »

Why should it surprise you that Papist's statement is so utterly ironic?

Let's be frank and honest here---no one would put me on a list of the 'Great Thinkers' of OC.net. However, even I have observed Papist contradicting himself within threads, and once I observed him making one statement and then disproving his own claim immediately afterwords in the same thread---no posts were between his own!
That just means that you don't actually read the threads. Hey you are the one who admitted that you are not a great thinker. Grin
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« Reply #101 on: August 30, 2006, 08:25:11 PM »

Why should it surprise you that Papist's statement is so utterly ironic?

Let's be frank and honest here---no one would put me on a list of the 'Great Thinkers' of OC.net. However, even I have observed Papist contradicting himself within threads, and once I observed him making one statement and then disproving his own claim immediately afterwords in the same thread---no posts were between his own!
Besides even if I did contradict myself, you guys don't like reason, so you should think its great when I do contradict myself. You should be calling me a prophet or sage in your perceived tradition of irrationalism. Hail Papist the great. Grin
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« Reply #102 on: August 30, 2006, 08:31:42 PM »

Can someone give me a link to some documents desribing what the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs think about God, reason, fideism, and whether or not God is irrational?
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« Reply #103 on: August 30, 2006, 08:46:15 PM »

Can someone give me a link to some documents desribing what the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs think about God, reason, fideism, and whether or not God is irrational?

In nomine Ieus I offer you much filial affection and continued peace Papist,

As I was reflecting on this thread after a quiet Eucharist this evening at St. Benedict's I though of St. Athanasius who wrote:

For the soul is made after the image and likeness of God, as divine Scripture also shows, when it says in the person of God: 'Let us make man after our Image and likeness' (Gen. 1:26). Whence also when it gets rid of all the filth of sin which covers it and retains only the likeness of the Image in its purity, then surely this latter being of the Father, Whose Image the Saviour is. Or, if the soul's own teaching is insufficient, by reason of the external things which cloud its intelligence, and prevent its seeing what is higher, yet it is further possible to attain to the knowledge of God from the things which are seen, since Creation, as though in written characters, declares in a loud voice, by it's order and harmony, its own Lord and Creator. - St. Athanasius | Against the Heathen, Chap. 35 MG 25, 69 NPNF IV, 22

Reflect and be at peace.

Pax
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« Reply #104 on: August 30, 2006, 10:00:37 PM »

Quote
Besides even if I did contradict myself, you guys don't like reason, so you should think its great when I do contradict myself. You should be calling me a prophet or sage in your perceived tradition of irrationalism. Hail Papist the great.


You are a Prophet. A prophet to self righteousness.
The kind that always like to get the last word. Similar to me. May god have mercy on us both.
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« Reply #105 on: August 30, 2006, 10:05:25 PM »

didn't we get done with this when Barlaam was kicked out of Greece by Saint Gregory Palamas? The arguement is done with.
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« Reply #106 on: August 30, 2006, 10:59:25 PM »

Can someone give me a link to some documents desribing what the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs think about God, reason, fideism, and whether or not God is irrational?

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Papist,

'No one has seen God at any time; the Only-begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him' (Jn. 1:18). The Deity, however, did not leave us in absolute ignorance. Fore the knowledge of God's existence has been implated by Him in all by nature. This creation, too, and its maintenance, and its government, proclaim the majesty of the Divine nature. - St. John of Damascus | Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Bk. I, Chap. I MG 94, 789 NPNF IX, I

Scholasticism was a western attempt to retreave this 'implated knowledge' through the study of creation but it can go too far and is not an 'end' in and of itself.

Pax
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« Reply #107 on: August 30, 2006, 11:05:00 PM »

Can someone give me a link to some documents desribing what the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs think about God, reason, fideism, and whether or not God is irrational?

We emphatically declare that the knowledge of God is embedded in human nature and that the Creator has implanted in it native knowledge of all things necessary and useful for salvation. It was fitting for him, for whom such great things had been prepared, to show how great His wisdom and power are, by the origin and order and beauty of the world and its perseverance, a straight path to the Creator Who called it into existence, Who surpasses all knowledge. - St. Cyril of Alexandria | Against the Emperor Julian, Bk. 3 MG 76, 653

Pax
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« Reply #108 on: August 30, 2006, 11:12:20 PM »

Can someone give me a link to some documents desribing what the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs think about God, reason, fideism, and whether or not God is irrational?

For [creation] is not wicked, but is both beautiful and a token of the wisdom and power and lovingkindness of God... Hear, to, Paul saying, 'For the invisible things of Him, since the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made' (Rom. 1:20). For each of these by which he spoke declared that the creation leads us to the knowledge of God, because it causes us to know the Master fully. - St. John Chrysostom | Resisting the Tempations of the Devil, Horn. 2:3 MG 49, 260 NPNF IX, 188

Okay I am seeing a trend here. Perhaps in our modern culture we religious have a anti-Scholastic anti-intellectual chip on our shoulders which the Fathers simply didn't have...?

Pax
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« Reply #109 on: August 31, 2006, 12:01:44 AM »


Okay I am seeing a trend here. Perhaps in our modern culture we religious have a anti-Scholastic anti-intellectual chip on our shoulders which the Fathers simply didn't have...?


Or, perhaps, need?
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« Reply #110 on: August 31, 2006, 12:10:22 AM »



You are a Prophet. A prophet to self righteousness.
The kind that always like to get the last word. Similar to me. May god have mercy on us both.
My roomate just told me that self-righteouness is hyphenated. Wink
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« Reply #111 on: August 31, 2006, 12:27:44 AM »

My roomate just told me that self-righteouness is hyphenated. Wink

A hyphenated word is inherently an interim state between phrase and compound word...perhaps Demetrios' style is slightly anachronistic, I know mine is.

So, you never did comment on the implications of the incompleteness theorems on logic...
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« Reply #112 on: August 31, 2006, 12:34:52 AM »

A hyphenated word is inherently an interim state between phrase and compound word...perhaps Demetrios' style is slightly anachronistic, I know mine is.

So, you never did comment on the implications of the incompleteness theorems on logic...
I will finish replying in the morning. I must say though, it sounds as if these arguements that you present assume the law of non-contradiction in order to deny its validity. In a sense using reason to deny reason. seems silly. Good night.
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« Reply #113 on: August 31, 2006, 05:13:05 AM »

Interesting discussion so far.  I'll take a crack at GiC's challenge, especially since I wanted to discuss Godel's theorem's with him on another thread awhile back but got sidetracked.  My apologies GiC.


So, you never did comment on the implications of the incompleteness theorems on logic...

The primary implication, so far as I understand, is that any formal logic system strong enough to prove the natural numbers cannot simultaneously be proven to be consistent and complete.  In terms of rationalist systems of theology, such as scholasticism, to the extent one can show such systems are formal logics of sufficient strength, then those systems cannot prove themselves to be complete.  What this really boils down to is a bit of skepticism over the power of reason to create closed systems of thought that explain everything.  Basically what Godel showed is that such closed systems cannot prove certain self-referential but true propositions, and so cannot be proven complete. Sorry Aquinas, but this means you probably can't prove to anyone's satisfaction that the Summa Theologica is really summum. Not that the effort wasn't worth a try.  Wink

How'd I do GiC?  Did I win the door prize?
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« Reply #114 on: August 31, 2006, 07:11:28 AM »

Brian, that is an excellent synopsis.
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« Reply #115 on: August 31, 2006, 07:24:28 AM »

Brian, that is an excellent synopsis.
Yes, but is it completeCheesy

Seriously though, kudos to Brian. I think GiC should buy him a drink.
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« Reply #116 on: August 31, 2006, 12:22:06 PM »

Interesting discussion so far.  I'll take a crack at GiC's challenge, especially since I wanted to discuss Godel's theorem's with him on another thread awhile back but got sidetracked.  My apologies GiC.

The primary implication, so far as I understand, is that any formal logic system strong enough to prove the natural numbers cannot simultaneously be proven to be consistent and complete.  In terms of rationalist systems of theology, such as scholasticism, to the extent one can show such systems are formal logics of sufficient strength, then those systems cannot prove themselves to be complete.  What this really boils down to is a bit of skepticism over the power of reason to create closed systems of thought that explain everything.  Basically what Godel showed is that such closed systems cannot prove certain self-referential but true propositions, and so cannot be proven complete. Sorry Aquinas, but this means you probably can't prove to anyone's satisfaction that the Summa Theologica is really summum. Not that the effort wasn't worth a try.  Wink

How'd I do GiC?  Did I win the door prize?
I think that is exactly what he is saying, calling reason a closed system that cannot prove itself. Now, I do agree that reason cannot prove its axioms. Of course not. However, I do believe that the duel axioms are not in need of proof. The law of non-contradiction, for example, is inescapbable. By denying it you always affirm. If I say that the law of non-contradiction is not valid. Then I am equally justified in saying that it is valid because without the law of non-contradiction to negate the opposite, it becomes both true and not true at the same time and what I say becomes meaningless. Thus, the law of non-contradiction is inescapable. The second axiom of reason/logic is the law of suffcient reason. Accord to this law, all things must have a reason for the their existence or actions in themselves or in another. This is another law that is difficult to escape. Just being is a verb and to do anything is an action an actions require some form of exertion. The ability for exertion must exist for any action and that ability must come from one's self or another, not from nothing. Now, is this law inescapable? No, but I read a great book on metaphysics that points out that if one does not truely accept it, one does not have a mature mind and anything that such a person says with regard to causality or reason of any sort is meaningless.
Now, is reason a closed system? No, not really. Why? Why, because reason is simply describing how our ordered universe works and that ordered universe is a reflection of its divine creator. No, reason is not a closed system like kantianism or hegel's dialectic or fideism, but rather it is simply that which is.
Now, sinse the theory above denies that reason can prove anything and yet uses a sort of syllogistic argument based on reason, I find it to be not only a hypocritical arguement (I am not charging anyone here of being a hyporcit, but only asking that they take step back and take a look at their own arguement) but also and inconsistant one and, thus, silly. You cannot use reason to deny reason because you are destroying the tool you are using while you are using it. You are destroying the very thing that would give your arguement any validity, i.e. reason. Those of us who belong to the realist tradition, do not have to worry about such inconsistencies.
I defy anyone here to step outside of reason. Even those who argue that God is irrational use syllogistic arguments to argue that God is irrational.
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« Reply #117 on: August 31, 2006, 12:39:20 PM »

sorry double post
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« Reply #118 on: August 31, 2006, 01:06:57 PM »

Interesting discussion so far.  I'll take a crack at GiC's challenge, especially since I wanted to discuss Godel's theorem's with him on another thread awhile back but got sidetracked.  My apologies GiC.

The primary implication, so far as I understand, is that any formal logic system strong enough to prove the natural numbers cannot simultaneously be proven to be consistent and complete.  In terms of rationalist systems of theology, such as scholasticism, to the extent one can show such systems are formal logics of sufficient strength, then those systems cannot prove themselves to be complete.  What this really boils down to is a bit of skepticism over the power of reason to create closed systems of thought that explain everything.  Basically what Godel showed is that such closed systems cannot prove certain self-referential but true propositions, and so cannot be proven complete. Sorry Aquinas, but this means you probably can't prove to anyone's satisfaction that the Summa Theologica is really summum. Not that the effort wasn't worth a try.  Wink

Excellent summary of the First Incompleteness theorem: on a metaphysical level we could regard God as 'complete' as all encompassing, the concept of 'absolute completeness' is a philosophical one that is impossible to model or to even really understand (thus is an area of Computer Science that only the more philosophical Theoreticians dare travel); however, logic is inherently incomplete (by said theorem), and therefore can not encompass the divine.

Of additional interest is the second incompleteness theorem, which is simply a corollary of the first, given a sufficiently complex theory (and the axioms of logic would qualify), then by the first theorm it can never be proven complete, and thus can never be proven consistant; thus, if the theory contains a claim of consistancy, it is inconsistant.

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How'd I do GiC?  Did I win the door prize?

Sure, if we ever meet up I'll take ozgeorge up on his suggestion and buy you a beer (ozgeorge, same offer goes for you if I ever make it down under or you're ever in the states).
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« Reply #119 on: August 31, 2006, 01:14:36 PM »


Oh, it's a wonderful theorem, if you want to read it some day it's classified as 'Gödel 1931.' Here's a link to the proof proper http://researchweb.watson.ibm.com/people/h/hirzel/papers/canon00-goedel.pdf though it unfortunately lacks Gödel descriptions of the paper's implications on consistancy (which is technically called the 'Second Incompleteness Theorem').

Specifically the theorem states:

For any consistent formal theory that proves basic arithmetical truths, it is possible to construct an arithmetical statement that is true but not provable in the theory. That is, any theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete.

In a more general form, No Formal Theory can be both Consistant and Complete. Which means that any Formal Theory which includes the axiom of non-contradiction must inherently be incomplete. Since Logic uses the axiom of non-contradiction, Logic must be incomplete; that is to say that there must be Truth which is unprovable by Logic -- There is truth beyond logic.

Moving on to the second incompleteness theorem:

For any formal theory T including basic arithmetical truths and also certain truths about formal provability, T includes a statement of its own consistency if and only if T is inconsistent.

Basically, if you say that your axiomatic system is consistant, then it is inherently inconsistant because inorder to prove consistancy you must prove completeness and by the First Incompleteness Theorem it is impossible to prove completeness, thus contradicting your statement that your system is consistant. Bascially, any Formal Theory into which the axiom of non-contradiction is introduced automatically contradicts itself.


I think that you are calling reason a closed system that cannot prove itself. Now, I do agree that reason cannot prove its axioms. Of course not. However, I do believe that the duel axioms are not in need of proof. The law of non-contradiction, for example, is inescapbable. By denying it you always affirm. If I say that the law of non-contradiction is not valid. Then I am equally justified in saying that it is valid because without the law of non-contradiction to negate the opposite, it becomes both true and not true at the same time and what I say becomes meaningless. Thus, the law of non-contradiction is inescapable. The second axiom of reason/logic is the law of suffcient reason. Accord to this law, all things must have a reason for the their existence or actions in themselves or in another. This is another law that is difficult to escape. Just being is a verb and to do anything is an action an actions require some form of exertion. The ability for exertion must exist for any action and that ability must come from one's self or another, not from nothing. Now, is this law inescapable? No, but I read a great book on metaphysics that points out that if one does not truely accept it, one does not have a mature mind and anything that such a person says with regard to causality or reason of any sort is meaningless.
Now, is reason a closed system? No, not really. Why? Why, because reason is simply describing how our ordered universe works and that ordered universe is a reflection of its divine creator. No, reason is not a closed system like kantianism or hegel's dialectic or fideism, but rather it is simply that which is.
Now, sinse the theory above denies that reason can prove anything and yet uses a sort of syllogistic argument based on reason, I find it to be not only a hypocritical arguement (I am not charging anyone here of being a hyporcit, but only asking that they take step back and take a look at their own arguement) but also and inconsistant one and, thus, silly. You cannot use reason to deny reason because you are destroying the tool you are using while you are using it. You are destroying the very thing that would give your arguement any validity, i.e. reason. Those of us who belong to the realist tradition, do not have to worry about such inconsistencies.
I defy anyone here to step outside of reason. Even those who argue that God is irrational use syllogistic arguments to argue that God is irrational. Thus, they destroy their own credibility.
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« Reply #120 on: August 31, 2006, 01:22:46 PM »



So illogic flows from a void where God is not? So you're suggesting to me that there is a place where God is not? So God is not omnipresent? What a great and might force must this illogic, must this darkness be, for it can hold at bay even the pre-Eternal God, the pre-Eternal God cannot conquer it, thus it must be the Equal of the Pre-Eternal God...thus this Darkness must be a God as great as your God of Reason, Light, and Order; let us add to this that with each passing second the universe becomes less and less ordered (ever read Stephen Hawking's? His popular science books are a bit dumbed down, but his Academic Publications are Great)...All Hail the God of Darkness, Disorder, and Decay, the Eternal Conqueror of the Universe!!! Of course, the God I worship is the source of both the 'god of logic' and the 'god of illogic' He is the source of both, he encompasses both, yet he is neither.


No, I am saying illogic is not a thing. If it is not a thing, it cannot come from anywhere. You must have missed my entire point. As for your god being the god of illogic, such it the most satanic and absurd of ideas. God is not the god of nothing, and since logic is not a thing, then He is not the God of it. As for there being a place where God is not, you miss the point. I am saying that God does not create non-things. Are you saying that all negations come from God. Does evil, the absence of good, also flow from God. If you say yes, then your God is evil. But I say evil, like illogic, is a lack of being, a lack of something that is good and created by God and thus it has need to flow from God because it doesn't flow, so to speak, it is a non-thing, a real non-thing, but a non-thing none the less, just a void. This is why my God is Holy, good, and ordered. Yours is not.
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« Reply #121 on: August 31, 2006, 01:25:49 PM »

What do we reject when we reject scholasticism? The kind of out there arguments in this thread! Wink  Seriously: pray fast commune be charitable be ascetic read the Scriptures and Fathers...and you will know God through that.  Others will see your faith and be impressed and some will respond to the call. This is how Orthodoxy works.

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« Reply #122 on: August 31, 2006, 01:29:36 PM »

What do we reject when we reject scholasticism? The kind of out there arguments in this thread! Wink  Seriously: pray fast commune be charitable be ascetic read the Scriptures and Fathers...and you will know God through that.  Others will see your faith and be impressed and some will respond to the call. This is how Orthodoxy works.

Anastasios
Well, although I don't agree, I do agree that things that you point out are necessary for a holy life. But why do you believe in God?
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« Reply #123 on: August 31, 2006, 01:32:16 PM »

Are there any documents from the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs that state that God is illogical/irrational? I need to know because I believe that such an idea is antithetical to Christianity.
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« Reply #124 on: August 31, 2006, 01:36:49 PM »

Well, although I don't agree, I do agree that things that you point out are necessary for a holy life. But why do you believe in God?

Because that is my first principle. I had numerous spiritual encounters and that woke me up to a relationship with God. I prayed and this lead me to Orthodoxy. It is entirely subjective to make the leap of faith but after I did it in retrospect my faith has been confirmed by experience. Nevertheless, that initial leap of faith was based on the fact that I had to accept a first principle, and that is that Christ is Risen.  I accept it as fact just as a scientist accepts that the scientific method "works", etc.

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« Reply #125 on: August 31, 2006, 01:37:51 PM »

Why do I believe in God?  Because I pray, fast, make pilgramages, partake in the mysteries.  And you know what?  I have experienced God much more than I ever could when I was younger and tried to know God through logic.  It is a much closer and personal relationship.  I have seen miracles, some big and some small, and I have seen God work on a daily basis.  I reject scholasticism because it had become a hinderence in my knowing God.  For I was persuing God, rather than letting Him come to me.
The thing is, and I tell other people this, you can try to know Orthodoxy as well as you can.  You can read every book, study all the liturgics, and read theisis for decades . . . yet you will know nothing about God and Orthodoxy.  However, you can also live a simply and Christian life, one like Anastasios suggested, and you can know everything about Orthodoxy and God.
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« Reply #126 on: August 31, 2006, 01:38:38 PM »

Are there any documents from the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs that state that God is illogical/irrational? I need to know because I believe that such an idea is antithetical to Christianity.

I haven't been following this thread closely but God is beyond anything. He's beyond rational and irrational. He just IS. You can't describe him--he's God! But you can say that he behaves relationally a certain way because he has chosen to reveal himself, and I would say God is faithful (instead of logical) in his relations to us. He makes a promise and he sticks to it. We then perceive his will as rational because he is a perfect being and so his will always makes sense.

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« Reply #127 on: August 31, 2006, 01:39:26 PM »

Because that is my first principle. I had numerous spiritual encounters and that woke me up to a relationship with God. I prayed and this lead me to Orthodoxy. It is entirely subjective to make the leap of faith but after I did it in retrospect my faith has been confirmed by experience. Nevertheless, that initial leap of faith was based on the fact that I had to accept a first principle, and that is that Christ is Risen.  I accept it as fact just as a scientist accepts that the scientific method "works", etc.

Anastasios
So there is some use of reason in this then?  Let me ask, how do I know that I should follow the Christian God as opposed to the muslim one? They claim ot have experiences that support their doctrines as well.
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« Reply #128 on: August 31, 2006, 01:40:08 PM »

When I came out of the water after my third immersion of baptism in Orthodoxy, I knew God in an entirely more fulfilling way than I had ever "known" him through reading and knowledge before. All of that is good but it only provided a platform for the experience which in retrospect confirmed the steps leading up to it. Circular, I know. But true.

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« Reply #129 on: August 31, 2006, 01:41:31 PM »

So there is some use of reason in this then?  Let me ask, how do I know that I should follow the Christian God as opposed to the muslim one? They claim ot have experiences that support their doctrines as well.

By coming here you have already had something push you (ie grace) towards Christ, the Christian God, and away from the Muslim God. So your question is hypothetical and practically speaking, pointless.

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« Reply #130 on: August 31, 2006, 01:41:49 PM »

Why do I believe in God?  Because I pray, fast, make pilgramages, partake in the mysteries.  And you know what?  I have experienced God much more than I ever could when I was younger and tried to know God through logic.  It is a much closer and personal relationship.  I have seen miracles, some big and some small, and I have seen God work on a daily basis.  I reject scholasticism because it had become a hinderence in my knowing God.  For I was persuing God, rather than letting Him come to me.
The thing is, and I tell other people this, you can try to know Orthodoxy as well as you can.  You can read every book, study all the liturgics, and read theisis for decades . . . yet you will know nothing about God and Orthodoxy.  However, you can also live a simply and Christian life, one like Anastasios suggested, and you can know everything about Orthodoxy and God.
That's great that you are now more personal with God. But muslims claim that their experience tells them that their faith is true. So how do I know which it is based on experience? I do agree that once you know that there is a God, that you come to know him personally through the activities that you described above.
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« Reply #131 on: August 31, 2006, 01:44:35 PM »

By coming here you have already had something push you (ie grace) towards Christ, the Christian God, and away from the Muslim God. So your question is hypothetical and practically speaking, pointless.

Anastasios
I do believe in Christianity, you are right. But its not just about me. There are billions of lost souls in the world who follow false gods, and ideas. They believe that their experience shows that their religion is true. Have you ever talked to a mormon? The make the same claims about experience and mormonism that you make but they are lost. Shouldn't we care enough about them to bring them to thruth? Obviously, since they make the same appeal to experience, then an arguement from experience will not be enough.
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« Reply #132 on: August 31, 2006, 01:51:37 PM »

My friends,
I will never understand a faith that based on a FEELING of certitude or what I think (and hope) is an experience of God. Such a faith seems dishonest to me and has no way of determing whether Christianity or other religions are true. In a sense it puts all religions on a level playing field and you have to hope that you pick the right one. It is a sort of gambling with one's soul.   Embarrassed I understand that one's spiritual life is based on an experience of God, but I cannot see how one's faith can be. When it all comes down to it, none of you knows if you are following the true faith or the true God, yet the Eastern Orthodox believe that other religions are false.  How inconsistant this appears to me and unfair at the same time. We Catholics know that our faith in God is true through reason and evidence and, thus, there is a consistency in our claim that other relgions are not from God.  If I am wrong, then may God have mercy on me. But I would rather have an honest faith.
Many Blessings in Christ
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« Reply #133 on: August 31, 2006, 01:54:26 PM »

It is all about you and whomever you are in front of at the moment, really, when you distill it.  You are supposed to share by your actions and words what Christ has done for you. The person listening either responds or rejects it. That's it.  You can't go around wondering about the billions of other people, nor do you have to concern yourself with what Mormons say.  If Mormons say they had an experience, so what? We know they are wrong in retrospect looking at our own spiritual history. So we show them what our life in Christ has done for us and others who know us both will see the difference and be persuaded by us, through our example. If they are not that is either because a) they are not responding to grace or be 2) we have lost grace ourselves.  All the rest of the billions of people and all the other truth claims of heretics are meaningless to us but in God's realm. He will manage his affairs as he pleases, with us as his instruments.

Anastasios
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« Reply #134 on: August 31, 2006, 01:54:50 PM »

Yet,
to batter the point a little,
even Christianity is ultimately based on experience.  How do we know God is Three in One.  Because the fathers tell us.  How do the Fathers know?  Because the Apostles were told by Christ.  What is our source for the Resurrection?  Because men experienced the resurrection of Christ.  If there was no one to see the resurrection or experience it, then there would be no Christianity.  Certain things can only be proved by experience.  Other things, can be based on history and based against it.  It's a fact that the Jehovah Witnesses were not Charles Russel first attempt of a sect.  It's a fact that certain parts of Mohammed's revelation from God parallel almost word from word the revelation to the OT Prophets.  It's a fact that the Pope's power was bolstered by a forged document and an illegitimate emperor.  We can base those against history and come to conclusion.  And finally, it's not that Orthodox reject reason.  Rather, we use it as means (one among many) to an end.  We do not make it into a theology unto itself.  Our theology is ultimately the Glorification of Christ and His revelation of the Three Personed God.
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« Reply #135 on: August 31, 2006, 01:56:34 PM »

My friends,
I will never understand a faith that based on a FEELING of certitude or what I think (and hope) is an experience of God. Such a faith seems dishonest to me and has no way of determing whether Christianity or other religions are true. In a sense it puts all religions on a level playing field and you have to hope that you pick the right one. It is a sort of gambling with one's soul.   Embarrassed I understand that one's spiritual life is based on an experience of God, but I cannot see how one's faith can be. When it all comes down to it, none of you knows if you are following the true faith or the true God, yet the Eastern Orthodox believe that other religions are false. How inconsistant this appears to me and unfair at the same time. If I am wrong, then may God have mercy on me. But I would rather have an honest faith.
Many Blessings in Christ

I know, I know my faith is right. When my wife was baptized she changed 100%. I had great changes too. It was apparent to everyone else.  When her face radiated grace that was an objective thing that other people witnessed. But if she had not trusted the prompting of grace she experienced by meeting other Orthodox that led her to Orthodoxy, she would not have had this experience which confirmed faith.

St Athanasius: read his letter on the incarnation. His proof of the resurrection was that people die for Christ and they would not do that if he did not rise. Was St Athanasius a feelings based relativist?

Anastasios
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« Reply #136 on: August 31, 2006, 01:58:02 PM »

I agree with Daniel, Papist. I am not saying reason is evil, or bad, or wrong, but just that it has to be a tool and cannot supplant God's grace acting in a dramatic way in the life of us and those with whom we come into contact.  For instance, reason was part of the equation when I picked Orthodoxy over FrancoLatinism.  However, there still is a first principle. Philosophy has first principles, so why do you deny that the Resurrection is a first principle that has to be just assumed?

Anastasios
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« Reply #137 on: August 31, 2006, 02:05:43 PM »

I agree with Daniel, Papist. I am not saying reason is evil, or bad, or wrong, but just that it has to be a tool and cannot supplant God's grace acting in a dramatic way in the life of us and those with whom we come into contact.  For instance, reason was part of the equation when I picked Orthodoxy over FrancoLatinism.  However, there still is a first principle. Philosophy has first principles, so why do you deny that the Resurrection is a first principle that has to be just assumed?

Anastasios
I agree that reason is a tool and cannot suplant God's Grace. But it is a necessary tool. Reason helps us find the true faith. That is why I am an orthodox Cahtolic and not a member of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.  I deny that the resurrection has to be just assumed because the resurrection is the point of contention between differing religions. But I have said all that I have to say on this matter.
Many blessings in Christ.
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« Reply #138 on: August 31, 2006, 02:08:20 PM »

I agree that reason is a tool and cannot suplant God's Grace. But it is a necessary tool. Reason helps us find the true faith. That is why I am an orthodox Cahtolic and not a member of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.  I deny that the resurrection has to be just assumed because the resurrection is the point of contention between differing religions. But I have said all that I have to say on this matter.
Many blessings in Christ.

...Thank you God..
after lets see 9 or 10 pages..

it ends.
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« Reply #139 on: August 31, 2006, 02:10:09 PM »

...Thank you God..
after lets see 9 or 10 pages..

it ends.
Never mind. I will say one thing, I am amazed at your saintly Charity! (btw, I am being sarcastic). Roll Eyes
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« Reply #140 on: August 31, 2006, 02:18:25 PM »

The second axiom of reason/logic is the law of suffcient reason. Accord to this law, all things must have a reason for the their existence or actions in themselves or in another. This is another law that is difficult to escape.

Nonsense. This "axiom" has been a dead letter for a century and a half, at least. It's not properly an axiom, because it isn't a statement about logic, but about existence. And under the circumstances, it simply begs the question. If you believe in the Christian God, then this isn't an axiom, but a conclusion.

This has been a constant error in your argument: you keep making ontological claims and asserting them as logical axioms. But they aren't; they are empirical assertions in need of proof.
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« Reply #141 on: August 31, 2006, 02:54:56 PM »

I think that you are calling reason a closed system that cannot prove itself. Now, I do agree that reason cannot prove its axioms. Of course not. However, I do believe that the duel axioms are not in need of proof.

Well, an axiom, by definition, is unprovable within the system, if it was provable within the system then it would it wouldn't be an axiom, it would be a theorem. Your problem is that you are putting the axiom 'all my axioms are absolutely true' within your axiomatic system. And that is Exactly what Gödel's Second Incompleteness Theorem addresses, any axiomatic system that claims consistancy is inherently inconsistant. The axioms of logic can work great provided you accept two things, first that the system is not Complete, that is to say that theire are things which are true that can never be proven or even described by logic, and second that there is no means of proving the consistancy of the system's axioms, that is to say that we can never know for certain whether or not logic is self-contradictory. The problem with your argument is that you are elevating it to an absolute, that is what Hilbert attempted to do with arithmetic, and what made the incompleteness theorem a necessity and also gave rise to the field of computability theory and through that computer science.

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The law of non-contradiction, for example, is inescapbable. By denying it you always affirm. If I say that the law of non-contradiction is not valid. Then I am equally justified in saying that it is valid because without the law of non-contradiction to negate the opposite, it becomes both true and not true at the same time and what I say becomes meaningless. Thus, the law of non-contradiction is inescapable.

Where did you learn to do proofs? If the result of a proof is absurd, then the assumption is false, it's called proof by reductio ad absurdum. The fact that an affirmation of an axiom implies a denial and a denial implies an affirmation means that the axiom is inconsistant, and therefore false. However, the real problem here isn't so much the axiom of non-contradiction as the axiom of absolute consistancy you are insisting upon, which manifests the problem in the law of non-contradiction, if you remove claims that logic is absolutely true and acknowledge that it cannot be demonstrated to be consistant, then the effects of the Second Incompleteness Theorem are negated, for they only undermine systems that claim themselves to be consistant (rather than merely imposing consistancy theorems, while leaving open the possibility of a contradiction amongst the axioms, which, if proven, would undermine the system from the prospective of a turing machine (including humans), though it could still be a decidable language somewhere along the Arithmetical Heirarchy, Most likely at DELTA(1) (that is to say SIGMA(1) union PI(1) if you are unfamiliar with delta notation, which though common is not universal in computer science), though possibly at DELTA(2), I'd have to think about that one a bit more)

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The second axiom of reason/logic is the law of suffcient reason. Accord to this law, all things must have a reason for the their existence or actions in themselves or in another. This is another law that is difficult to escape. Just being is a verb and to do anything is an action an actions require some form of exertion. The ability for exertion must exist for any action and that ability must come from one's self or another, not from nothing. Now, is this law inescapable? No, but I read a great book on metaphysics that points out that if one does not truely accept it, one does not have a mature mind and anything that such a person says with regard to causality or reason of any sort is meaningless.

Mere semantics, followed by an ad hominem, since the basis of the proof of this so-called law is an ad hominem I believe that the most response the argument deserves is to say that the author you read is an Idiot, and therefore unworthy of Consideration...LOL...you see the problems with ad homines (of course, if the author has a mathematical derivation of the above 'law' from from the Axioms of Computability and the Definition of a Turing Machine AND a mathematical proof that said 'law' cannot be derived from the Axioms of Computability and the Definition of a DFA/NFA OR the Definition of a DPDA/NPDA...of course if he can prove it from the Definition of a machine beyond the TM, but not from the Definition of a TM, I still think he's an idiot, since his mind can be proven to be merely a TM)

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Now, is reason a closed system? No, not really. Why? Why, because reason is simply describing how our ordered universe works and that ordered universe is a reflection of its divine creator. No, reason is not a closed system like kantianism or hegel's dialectic or fideism, but rather it is simply that which is.

So by saying that it is not closed, are you saying that it is complete (or that it is open though not complete)? If so see the Incompleteness Theorem.

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Now, sinse the theory above denies that reason can prove anything and yet uses a sort of syllogistic argument based on reason,

You are missing the point logic can prove many things within its own system, what it cannot do is prove anything absolutely. Proof is a lesser standard than truth.

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I find it to be not only a hypocritical arguement (I am not charging anyone here of being a hyporcit, but only asking that they take step back and take a look at their own arguement) but also and inconsistant one and, thus, silly. You cannot use reason to deny reason because you are destroying the tool you are using while you are using it. You are destroying the very thing that would give your arguement any validity, i.e. reason. Those of us who belong to the realist tradition, do not have to worry about such inconsistencies.

You are using a system to prove that the system to prove that it is internally inconsistant, I fail to see the problem; how do you recommend one prove a system is internally inconsistant? By ignoring the system entirely? Of course, this is only a problem with logic if you try to absolutize it and say that a logical proof implies truth...if you are content to say that a logical proof merely implies a logical proof, which may, or may not, have any bearing on truth, the problem disappears. But the standard way to disprove the consistancy of a system is to assume the system and demonstrate an inconsistancy. Thus, I assumed that logic is an absolute truth and I assumed the axioms of logic, and I demonstrated (or, really, Gödel did) an inconsistancy using said system; it's a perfectly legitimate proof.

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I defy anyone here to step outside of reason. Even those who argue that God is irrational use syllogistic arguments to argue that God is irrational. Thus, they destroy their own credibility.

There are mathematical models that work outside of the axioms of logic, or at least with some of the axioms negated, including some computational machines above DELTA(1). But you really need to learn a bit more about the computability aspect of computer science before we go there.
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« Reply #142 on: August 31, 2006, 03:01:11 PM »

No, I am saying illogic is not a thing. If it is not a thing, it cannot come from anywhere. You must have missed my entire point. As for your god being the god of illogic, such it the most satanic and absurd of ideas. God is not the god of nothing, and since logic is not a thing, then He is not the God of it. As for there being a place where God is not, you miss the point. I am saying that God does not create non-things. Are you saying that all negations come from God. Does evil, the absence of good, also flow from God. If you say yes, then your God is evil. But I say evil, like illogic, is a lack of being, a lack of something that is good and created by God and thus it has need to flow from God because it doesn't flow, so to speak, it is a non-thing, a real non-thing, but a non-thing none the less, just a void. This is why my God is Holy, good, and ordered. Yours is not.

'I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.'
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« Reply #143 on: August 31, 2006, 03:27:04 PM »

Yet, to batter the point a little, even Christianity is ultimately based on experience.  How do we know God is Three in One.  Because the fathers tell us.  How do the Fathers know?  Because the Apostles were told by Christ.  What is our source for the Resurrection?  Because men experienced the resurrection of Christ.  If there was no one to see the resurrection or experience it, then there would be no Christianity.

That sums it up.
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« Reply #144 on: August 31, 2006, 03:32:27 PM »

'I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.'

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace GiC,

I do believe you offer this for it's shock value...

How would you define the Hebrew word used here? I believe 'evil' here is more suggestive of 'destruction' or 'disaster' and not 'malice', 'corruption' or 'vice'.

The scriptures clearly teach that God cannot be the author of evil. James 1:13 states "Let no one say when he is tempted. 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone." And further "Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow." We know that God is not a God of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Psalm 18:30 tells us "As for God, His way is blameless" and "Thou art not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with Thee" (Psalm 5:4). Also, "The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and kind in all His deeds." (Psalm 145:17)

Now, we know that all of these Scriptures cannot be wrong on the nature of God, so we must re-examine your exegesis of the Hebrew word ra'. Hebrew is an ancient language that was much more limited in scope than say Greek. Frequently, the same words were used in several contexts to mean different things. Why, even in English the word blue could mean a color or someone feeling depressed.

The word ra' is used throughout the Old Testament with several meanings. It is used many times to mean something morally evil or hurtful (Job 35:12, 1 Sam 30:22, etc.) but it is also used to mean an unpleasant experience (Gen 47:9 and Prov. 15:10). It is used to describe fierce beasts (Lev. 26:6), and even spoiled or inferior fruit (Jer 24:3). Certainly, the figs that Jeremiah was looking at were not evil in the sense of morally reprobate!

In Isaiah 45, the word evil is used in a contrast to the peace and well-being discussed before it. I quote John Haley:

"…Whichever interpretation may be adopted, none of the above texts, nor any others when properly explained, sanction the revolting proposition that God is the author of sin."

God, in Hebrew thought, is considered the final authority over everything. If wars or famine happen, then God has allowed that to occur, and therefore controls evil. He does not initiate any type of evil. When a man seeks to sin and commit adultery, that is his choice. He should not expect God to protect him, then from any disease or negative ramification of his choice. God's judgments and the loss of His protection are how he creates afflictions in the lives of men. Judgment is not morally wrong, though. Quite the opposite. Judgment is what we expect of a righteous God.

Does this clear up your use of this verse to conclude that God is the author of 'evil'?

Pax
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« Reply #145 on: August 31, 2006, 03:46:09 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace GiC,

I do believe you offer this for it's shock value...

Does this clear up your use of this verse to conclude that God is the author of 'evil'?

I must say that I disagree with your exegesis of the verse. Last year I had an extended discussion on this very topic with my Old Testament professor, who happens to be a Hebrew linguist, and he agreed with the translation found in the Kings James, namely 'evil.' During this time there was a debate (perhaps theological crisis would be a better term) as to whether or not there can be two sources, whether or not evil itself came from something other than God, the posistion Isaiah took is that God is the Source of EVERYTHING, including darkness and evil; the reference in the verse to being the creator of darkness is also significant, Isaiah is not talking about night and day but light and darkness in a more metaphysical sense. Thus, I believe that the verse actually means what the translation says, the point is that God is the source of EVERYTHING, not only light and peace, but also darkness and evil. Furthermore, the problem with saying otherwise is that it implies that darkness and evil has a source other than God (or are self-existant), which is Ditheism (or polytheism).
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« Reply #146 on: August 31, 2006, 03:56:54 PM »

I must say that I disagree with your exegesis of the verse. Last year I had an extended discussion on this very topic with my Old Testament professor, who happens to be a Hebrew linguist, and he agreed with the translation found in the Kings James, namely 'evil.' During this time there was a debate (perhaps theological crisis would be a better term) as to whether or not there can be two sources, whether or not evil itself came from something other than God, the posistion Isaiah took is that God is the Source of EVERYTHING, including darkness and evil; the reference in the verse to being the creator of darkness is also significant, Isaiah is not talking about night and day but light and darkness in a more metaphysical sense. Thus, I believe that the verse actually means what the translation says, the point is that God is the source of EVERYTHING, not only light and peace, but also darkness and evil. Furthermore, the problem with saying otherwise is that it implies that darkness and evil has a source other than God (or are self-existant), which is Ditheism (or polytheism).

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace GiC,

I can appreciate your point as well as the points of your professor but I would just say:

1.) Evil is not a thing proper but the misuse of Good. So God may well be the secondary cause of Evil, in the sense that He is the author of Good and the Almighty Creator but never the first cause, in my humble opinion. I believe that there is 'room' to understand the simplistic use in which the Hebrew Authors used ra to recognize that although 'evil' is perhaps an accurate translations we much understand it in the context which it is used by the authors.

So I would disagree with your professors opinion on the matter, with all due respect of course.

Pax
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« Reply #147 on: August 31, 2006, 04:01:24 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace GiC,

I can appreciate your point as well as the points of your professor but I would just say:

1.) Evil is not a thing proper but the misuse of Good. So God may well be the secondary cause of Evil, in the sense that He is the author of Good and the Almighty Creator but never the first cause, in my humble opinion. I believe that there is 'room' to understand the simplistic use in which the Hebrew Authors used ra to recognize that although 'evil' is perhaps an accurate translations we much understand it in the context which it is used by the authors.

So I would disagree with your professors opinion on the matter, with all due respect of course.

If we were to define Evil as misuse of Good (though that seems a bit arbitrary, why not define Good as the misuse of Evil?), then we must still acknowledge that God both created Good, the perversion of which is the source of evil, and the means and ability by which to pervert it; thus, God is still the source of Evil, as he is the source of ALL things. The ONLY way to get around that is ditheism
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« Reply #148 on: August 31, 2006, 04:18:33 PM »

If we were to define Evil as misuse of Good (though that seems a bit arbitrary, why not define Good as the misuse of Evil?), then we must still acknowledge that God both created Good, the perversion of which is the source of evil, and the means and ability by which to pervert it; thus, God is still the source of Evil, as he is the source of ALL things. The ONLY way to get around that is ditheism

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace GiC,

This is what I meant by 'secondary cause'. Your use of 'source' appears to attribute evil as some kind of attribute of God. I don't agree with that assertion. I prefer to look at it in the context of primary and secondary causes. In other words, I would agree that God, who is all-Good and Perfect, and so the source of all that is All-Good and Perfect allows the exercise of moral free-will among His creatures (i.e. Angels and Man) that allows for the misuse of what is Good and Perfect thus giving birth of that which is 'not-good' and 'imperfect'. Thus God is not the active 'primary cause' of that which is not-good or imperfect but only an indirect 'secondary cause'. So I contend that God is not the legitimate author of Evil in the sense that you appear to label Him in your use of this passage. Not to mention all the contradictions such usage create in the Sacred Scriptures.

Pax
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« Reply #149 on: August 31, 2006, 04:19:01 PM »

Well, an axiom, by definition, is unprovable within the system, if it was provable within the system then it would it wouldn't be an axiom, it would be a theorem. Your problem is that you are putting the axiom 'all my axioms are absolutely true' within your axiomatic system. And that is Exactly what Gödel's Second Incompleteness Theorem addresses, any axiomatic system that claims consistancy is inherently inconsistant. The axioms of logic can work great provided you accept two things, first that the system is not Complete, that is to say that theire are things which are true that can never be proven or even described by logic, and second that there is no means of proving the consistancy of the system's axioms, that is to say that we can never know for certain whether or not logic is self-contradictory. The problem with your argument is that you are elevating it to an absolute, that is what Hilbert attempted to do with arithmetic, and what made the incompleteness theorem a necessity and also gave rise to the field of computability theory and through that computer science.

Where did you learn to do proofs? If the result of a proof is absurd, then the assumption is false, it's called proof by reductio ad absurdum. The fact that an affirmation of an axiom implies a denial and a denial implies an affirmation means that the axiom is inconsistant, and therefore false. However, the real problem here isn't so much the axiom of non-contradiction as the axiom of absolute consistancy you are insisting upon, which manifests the problem in the law of non-contradiction, if you remove claims that logic is absolutely true and acknowledge that it cannot be demonstrated to be consistant, then the effects of the Second Incompleteness Theorem are negated, for they only undermine systems that claim themselves to be consistant (rather than merely imposing consistancy theorems, while leaving open the possibility of a contradiction amongst the axioms, which, if proven, would undermine the system from the prospective of a turing machine (including humans), though it could still be a decidable language somewhere along the Arithmetical Heirarchy, Most likely at DELTA(1) (that is to say SIGMA(1) union PI(1) if you are unfamiliar with delta notation, which though common is not universal in computer science), though possibly at DELTA(2), I'd have to think about that one a bit more)

Mere semantics, followed by an ad hominem, since the basis of the proof of this so-called law is an ad hominem I believe that the most response the argument deserves is to say that the author you read is an Idiot, and therefore unworthy of Consideration...LOL...you see the problems with ad homines (of course, if the author has a mathematical derivation of the above 'law' from from the Axioms of Computability and the Definition of a Turing Machine AND a mathematical proof that said 'law' cannot be derived from the Axioms of Computability and the Definition of a DFA/NFA OR the Definition of a DPDA/NPDA...of course if he can prove it from the Definition of a machine beyond the TM, but not from the Definition of a TM, I still think he's an idiot, since his mind can be proven to be merely a TM)

So by saying that it is not closed, are you saying that it is complete (or that it is open though not complete)? If so see the Incompleteness Theorem.

You are missing the point logic can prove many things within its own system, what it cannot do is prove anything absolutely. Proof is a lesser standard than truth.

You are using a system to prove that the system to prove that it is internally inconsistant, I fail to see the problem; how do you recommend one prove a system is internally inconsistant? By ignoring the system entirely? Of course, this is only a problem with logic if you try to absolutize it and say that a logical proof implies truth...if you are content to say that a logical proof merely implies a logical proof, which may, or may not, have any bearing on truth, the problem disappears. But the standard way to disprove the consistancy of a system is to assume the system and demonstrate an inconsistancy. Thus, I assumed that logic is an absolute truth and I assumed the axioms of logic, and I demonstrated (or, really, Gödel did) an inconsistancy using said system; it's a perfectly legitimate proof.

There are mathematical models that work outside of the axioms of logic, or at least with some of the axioms negated, including some computational machines above DELTA(1). But you really need to learn a bit more about the computability aspect of computer science before we go there.
I do not know if you know this but you are talking to a mathematician.
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« Reply #150 on: August 31, 2006, 04:20:28 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace GiC,

This is what I meant by 'secondary cause'. Your use of 'source' appears to attribute evil as some kind of attribute of God. I don't agree with that assertion. I prefer to look at it in the context of primary and secondary causes. In other words, I would agree that God, who is all-Good and Perfect, and so the source of all that is All-Good and Perfect allows the exercise of moral free-will among His creatures (i.e. Angels and Man) that allows for the misuse of what is Good and Perfect thus giving birth of that which is 'not-good' and 'imperfect'. Thus God is not the active 'primary cause' of that which is not-good or imperfect but only an indirect 'secondary cause'. So I contend that God is not the legitimate author of Evil in the sense that you appear to label Him in your use of this passage. Not to mention all the contradictions such usage creation in the Sacred Scriptures.

Pax
I really am just talking about secondary causality.
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« Reply #151 on: August 31, 2006, 04:35:18 PM »

I do not know if you know this but you are talking to a mathematician.

Oh? And what school awarded you a degree in what year?

P.S. University of Maryland, College Park MS CS/Math 1981
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« Reply #152 on: August 31, 2006, 04:43:23 PM »

Oh? And what school awarded you a degree in what year?

P.S. University of Maryland, College Park MS CS/Math 1981

LOL. I was born in 1981. lol Cheesy University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM Bacheror of Science Mathematics 2004. I am currently working on my Masters Degree in Education (I am a teacher). Isn't being in school forever fun. lol Roll Eyes
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« Reply #153 on: August 31, 2006, 05:31:30 PM »

Glad to accept the beer GiC.   In the immortal words of Homer, "Mmmm, beeer."  Grin

Gents, since we are now down to comparing academic credentials as a means of establishing intellectual superiority and testosterone levels, then mine are:

B.A. Government (Go Irish! - no I'm not Roman Catholic but I do love football)
M.B.A. with specialization in Finance (yeah I'm an Excel geek too)
M.S. Economics with most coursework in applied econometrics (which just means I know what R^2 means and can safely disregard those who claim it means much at all - if you understand this then I pity you, truly!)  Tongue

Does any of it mean anything?  Not even a thimble-full of meaning.  God doesn't care as I am still a terrible sinner in need of His continuing grace.  Lord have mercy, it's all for Him.

Incidentally moderators, I am thinking with all these technically oriented minds around here, there might be sufficient interest in a sub-forum for discussions on Christian logic, reason, science, etc.  Stuff like the place of the law of (non)contradiction, the implications of Godel's theorems, discussions on human origins, etc.  Does this interest anyone else here?

Peace
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« Reply #154 on: August 31, 2006, 06:05:52 PM »

Incidentally moderators, I am thinking with all these technically oriented minds around here, there might be sufficient interest in a sub-forum for discussions on Christian logic, reason, science, etc.  Stuff like the place of the law of (non)contradiction, the implications of Godel's theorems, discussions on human origins, etc.  Does this interest anyone else here?


I'm following the debate with interest. Perhaps you, GiC, Ozgeorge, and Keble may be the only worthwhile contributors (Matthew will probably include himself, and Papist has shown a willingness to try but not yet a willingness to learn).

We'll see how it goes...certainly a dedicated thread if you would like to start one.  I am thinking it would be better to interject these principles within the context of an active debate as opposed to an entire board.

However, I would be very inteersted in seeing a contribution from those interested in this topic that we could post in our growing Contribution section. Perhaps those interested should PM you, Brian, and have you folks divvy up the work and send it to Anastasios?
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« Reply #155 on: August 31, 2006, 06:45:01 PM »

However, I would be very inteersted in seeing a contribution from those interested in this topic that we could post in our growing Contribution section. Perhaps those interested should PM you, Brian, and have you folks divvy up the work and send it to Anastasios?

Oh, work  Shocked

If it's some sort of formal contribution, then a sub-forum would definitely be called for to hash things out.  However I myself cannot promise much as I am currently preoccupied with looking for work and other projects - my posting is erratic at best and will be for some time.  Anyway, I thought I'd just raise the idea of a sub-forum but one isn't truly necessary, unless there's sufficient interest to justify it.
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« Reply #156 on: August 31, 2006, 07:09:13 PM »

LOL. I was born in 1981. lol Cheesy University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM Bacheror of Science Mathematics 2004. I am currently working on my Masters Degree in Education (I am a teacher). Isn't being in school forever fun. lol Roll Eyes

May 2000, B.S. Mathematics option in Statistics, Chico St.

P.S.  GiC, I have book at home on Lebesgue Measure & Integration by Frank Burkthat you might be interested in...had to use it for some Abstract Algebra or whatever class....talked about deltas and stuff.  I hated the class, but the prof was pretty smart.  He is NOT a verbose person either...a lot symbols to prove stuff.
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« Reply #157 on: August 31, 2006, 07:14:15 PM »


M.B.A. with specialization in Finance (yeah I'm an Excel geek too)
M.S. Economics with most coursework in applied econometrics (which just means I know what R^2 means and can safely disregard those who claim it means much at all - if you understand this then I pity you, truly!)  Tongue


No reason to pity me...I took a semester of Econometrics as an elective - just like one of my Applied stats classes.

Unfornately, in the Cal St. system, they have dumbed down the math requirement for BS Econ majors, so only the brave few took it.  They groaned when they had to prove that ß_hat was an unbiased estimator for the true ß, but I had already done it in another stats class.  Grin 
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« Reply #158 on: August 31, 2006, 07:47:03 PM »

I'm following the debate with interest. Perhaps you, GiC, Ozgeorge, and Keble may be the only worthwhile contributors (Matthew will probably include himself, and Papist has shown a willingness to try but not yet a willingness to learn).

Of course I do not want to learn error. That would be silly. And as for learning, I have asked multiple times if there are any documents from the eastern Patriarchs that state that God is irrational as some in this forum have posited. Yet no one has given me any info on the topic.
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« Reply #159 on: October 11, 2006, 10:16:22 AM »

Well, although I don't agree, I do agree that things that you point out are necessary for a holy life. But why do you believe in God?

Don't agree!?!

Even Saint Francis of Assisi is attributed the saying: "Preach the gospel and, if necessary. use words."  We ALWAYS draw people to God by our actions.  If people know that we are Christians and we act like jerks then they will be turned away from God.  If, on the other hand, we are Christians and act out the love of Christ in our lives then they will be attracted to what we have - God.
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« Reply #160 on: October 11, 2006, 10:35:23 AM »

The biggest problem I have with Catholicism is that everything must be proved before you can have true faith in it.  I can't ramble off any proofs to you of the Resurrection, but I know it happened.  Yes, many don't believe in the Resurrection, but IMHO you don't get them to truly believe by showing them proofs, you let God show them the Truth.  I don't need to know every piece of Orthodox history and Orthodox theology to know it is the Truth.
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« Reply #161 on: October 11, 2006, 11:18:12 AM »

The biggest problem I have with Catholicism is that everything must be proved before you can have true faith in it.  I can't ramble off any proofs to you of the Resurrection, but I know it happened.  Yes, many don't believe in the Resurrection, but IMHO you don't get them to truly believe by showing them proofs, you let God show them the Truth.  I don't need to know every piece of Orthodox history and Orthodox theology to know it is the Truth.
With all due respect, the biggest problem I have with the Eastern Orthodox Churches is their acceptance of fideism. I cannot, for the life of me understand how the idea of blind faith can be treated as intellectually honest. How can one believe something "just becuase"? I cannot relate to such an opinion. I think that a faith that flows from the divine Logos (logos both means word and logic, btw) cannot be a faith divorced from reason.
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« Reply #162 on: October 11, 2006, 02:01:49 PM »

With all due respect, the biggest problem I have with the Eastern Orthodox Churches is their acceptance of fideism. I cannot, for the life of me understand how the idea of blind faith can be treated as intellectually honest. How can one believe something "just becuase"? I cannot relate to such an opinion. I think that a faith that flows from the divine Logos (logos both means word and logic, btw) cannot be a faith divorced from reason.

Faith is believing and trusting in God.  Reason is believing and trusting in your mind, in your own self.  If you have true Faith, you don't need reason, unless you doubt that God is perfect in every way.  Since reason is trusting in your own mind, a human mind, it can easily err. 

Wanted to add something.  IMHO the reason Orthodoxy has had some of the most humble people come out of it is because Orthodoxy is so God-centered, not God-man centered like Catholicism, which sees a need for reason.  Because of this, I think that is why we are seeing such a modernistic and self-centered culture rise out of the West.
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« Reply #163 on: October 11, 2006, 04:37:52 PM »

Faith is believing and trusting in God.  Reason is believing and trusting in your mind, in your own self.  If you have true Faith, you don't need reason, unless you doubt that God is perfect in every way.  Since reason is trusting in your own mind, a human mind, it can easily err. 

Wanted to add something.  IMHO the reason Orthodoxy has had some of the most humble people come out of it is because Orthodoxy is so God-centered, not God-man centered like Catholicism, which sees a need for reason.  Because of this, I think that is why we are seeing such a modernistic and self-centered culture rise out of the West.
Indeed, faith is believing and trusting in God.  But reason is not trusting in one's own mind. To say so is completely incorrect. Since God is the source of reason, order, and logic and man is not the source of such things, then to trust in reason is to trust in God. It is not faith alone, but fides et ratio.

The reason so many humble people have come out of the Catholic Church is that the Catholic Church is God centered, not feelings/man centered. We believe in the truth of God because of his self revelation and because reason proves to us God exists. We do not rely on a subjective "feeling" for our faith like the Eastern Orthodox do. God is God whether we feel him or not. Why? Because God is the measure of all things, not our subjective "experience" or "feelings". That is why so many great and humble saints have come from the Catholic Church: St. Augustine, St. Thomas, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Ignatius of Loyola, ST FRANCIS of ASISI, St. Therese of Liseux, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Pius X, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Maria Faustina, St. Padre Pio, St. Juan Diego, Blessed John XIII, and John Paul the great.
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« Reply #164 on: October 11, 2006, 04:52:12 PM »

Indeed, faith is believing and trusting in God.  But reason is not trusting in one's own mind. To say so is completely incorrect. Since God is the source of reason, order, and logic and man is not the source of such things, then to trust in reason is to trust in God. It is not faith alone, but fides et ratio.


My point is that the Catholic Church believes you must prove things through reason before it can be true.  A perfect example would be Aquinas's proofs of God.  I know God exists not because of some proof, but because I have faith.  If we truly needed proofs in order to fully believe in God, then all the Church Saints before Aquinas came around didn't have true faith in Christ because they didn't have such proofs. 

To be honest, theology wasn't the first thing that convinced me of the Truth of Orthodoxy.  It was the Liturgy, the prayers, the praxis, etc.  When I tell Catholics this, they seem to think that I don't know what I am doing, that I haven't truly converted.  If all you do is know theology in your mind in order to know the Truth, but don't truly know what the Truth is in your heart, then your faith in the Truth is shakey and unstable.  This isn't mere feeling, but rather letting God guide you, rather than your own mind.   
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« Reply #165 on: October 11, 2006, 06:44:49 PM »

My point is that the Catholic Church believes you must prove things through reason before it can be true.  A perfect example would be Aquinas's proofs of God.  I know God exists not because of some proof, but because I have faith.  If we truly needed proofs in order to fully believe in God, then all the Church Saints before Aquinas came around didn't have true faith in Christ because they didn't have such proofs. 
What do you mean by faith? It appears that you mean a leap in the dark. We all know that leaps in the dark are dangerous. When I say faith, I mean a trusting in God because he has shown himself to be a faithful and true God. Furthermore, Christians were not without proof before Thomas's proof. There was the testimony/evidence of miracles, there were the historical arguements for the resurrection, and there was the cosomological arguement that finds a source in St. Paul's discussion in Romans 1.
To be honest, theology wasn't the first thing that convinced me of the Truth of Orthodoxy.  It was the Liturgy, the prayers, the praxis, etc.  When I tell Catholics this, they seem to think that I don't know what I am doing, that I haven't truly converted.  If all you do is know theology in your mind in order to know the Truth, but don't truly know what the Truth is in your heart, then your faith in the Truth is shakey and unstable.  This isn't mere feeling, but rather letting God guide you, rather than your own mind.   

Actually, if you know with your heart, then your faith is shaky and unstable. What is the heart but nothing more than an organ that pumps blood. It does not "know" anything. But if by your heart, you mean the seat of your emotions, then you are also on shaky ground for emotions are tossed about by the winds. But if you faith is intellectual, then you are on solid ground. The intellect is the "part" of the soul that knows. It is that through which we know anything, including God. Whether we know something by reason or revelation, it is the intellect that knows these things.
As for whether or not you know what you are doing, I cannot be a judge. I believe you are mistaken but that does not mean that I do not respect you.
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« Reply #166 on: October 11, 2006, 08:13:18 PM »

If your teachings on faith and scholasticism were true, then the man in this story wouldn't have truly converted, because he never studied the faith officially, never studied any proofs of theology, yet his remains gave forth chrism.  Clearly he was a martyr, as he was killed for confessing Orthodoxy.

"Once the Armenians (monophysites - ed.) paid the Turks, who then occupied the Holy Land, in order to obtain permission for their Patriarch to enter the Holy Sepulchre, the Orthodox Patriarch was standing sorrowfully with his flock at the exit of the church, near the left column, when the Holy Light split this column vertically and flashed near the Orthodox Patriarch.

A Muslim Muezzin, called Tounom, who saw the miraculous event from an adjacent mosque, immediately abandoned the Muslim religion and became an Orthodox Christian. This event took place in 1579 under Sultan Mourad IV, when the Patriarch of Jerusalem was Sophrony IV.(The above mentioned split column still exists. It dates from the twelfth century. The Orthodox pilgrims embrace it at the "place of the split" as they enter the church).[2, date and name are corrected]

Turkish warriors stood on the wall of a building close to the gate and lightning-struck column . When he saw this striking miracle he cried that Christ is truly God and leaped down from a height of about ten meters. But he was not killed-the stones under him became as soft as wax and his footprint was left upon them. The Turks tried to scrape away these prints but they could not destroy them; so they remain as witnesses [5].

He was burned by the Turks near the Church. His remains, gathered by the Greeks, lay in the monastery of Panagia until the 19th century shedding chrism."

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« Reply #167 on: October 11, 2006, 08:25:17 PM »

If your teachings on faith and scholasticism were true, then the man in this story wouldn't have truly converted, because he never studied the faith officially, never studied any proofs of theology, yet his remains gave forth chrism.  Clearly he was a martyr, as he was killed for confessing Orthodoxy.
First of all, no. I do not deny that God can move a person to immediate conversion. But I still believe that the Church as a whole needs to have reasons for its faith since its head is the divine Logos. second, please address the points I have raised.
"Once the Armenians (monophysites - ed.) paid the Turks, who then occupied the Holy Land, in order to obtain permission for their Patriarch to enter the Holy Sepulchre, the Orthodox Patriarch was standing sorrowfully with his flock at the exit of the church, near the left column, when the Holy Light split this column vertically and flashed near the Orthodox Patriarch.

A Muslim Muezzin, called Tounom, who saw the miraculous event from an adjacent mosque, immediately abandoned the Muslim religion and became an Orthodox Christian. This event took place in 1579 under Sultan Mourad IV, when the Patriarch of Jerusalem was Sophrony IV.(The above mentioned split column still exists. It dates from the twelfth century. The Orthodox pilgrims embrace it at the "place of the split" as they enter the church).[2, date and name are corrected]

Turkish warriors stood on the wall of a building close to the gate and lightning-struck column . When he saw this striking miracle he cried that Christ is truly God and leaped down from a height of about ten meters. But he was not killed-the stones under him became as soft as wax and his footprint was left upon them. The Turks tried to scrape away these prints but they could not destroy them; so they remain as witnesses [5].

He was burned by the Turks near the Church. His remains, gathered by the Greeks, lay in the monastery of Panagia until the 19th century shedding chrism."


Personally, I do not believe that his conversion was complete since he was not Catholic. That is not meant as an insult to you or your breatheren. Its just that I am Catholic and I believe the Catholic Church to be the true Church. In my opions, since he did not have access to all the facts and proofs, he ended up in what is an incomplete form of Christianity. I know that that is not a popular opinion on this forum, but that is where I am coming from.
May God bless.
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« Reply #168 on: October 11, 2006, 10:44:11 PM »

Indeed, faith is believing and trusting in God.  But reason is not trusting in one's own mind. To say so is completely incorrect. Since God is the source of reason, order, and logic and man is not the source of such things, then to trust in reason is to trust in God. It is not faith alone, but fides et ratio.

The reason so many humble people have come out of the Catholic Church is that the Catholic Church is God centered, not feelings/man centered. We believe in the truth of God because of his self revelation and because reason proves to us God exists. We do not rely on a subjective "feeling" for our faith like the Eastern Orthodox do. God is God whether we feel him or not. Why? Because God is the measure of all things, not our subjective "experience" or "feelings". That is why so many great and humble saints have come from the Catholic Church:     St. Therese of Liseux, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Pius X, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Maria Faustina, St. Padre Pio, St. Juan Diego, Blessed John XIII, and John Paul the great.

The reason so many humble and wonderingworking people have beein glorififed in the Orthodox Church is because the Orthodox Church is God centred, not centered on man's intellect and reason, but the divine.  We believe in the truth of God because of his self-revelation though the Holy Spirit and through Christ.  We do not rely on man made traditions and ideas that swat a gnats.  God is what he is, not how a French philosopher defined him.
Thank goodness for such great and humbe saints in the One, Holy Apostolic Orthodox Catholic Church: Saint John Chrysostom, St. Photius the Great, St Mark of Ephesus, St. Constantine the Great, St. John the Hesychast, ST SERAPHIM OF SAROV, The Elders of Optinia, St. John of Kronstandt, St. Justinian, St. Herman of Alaska, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, St. Tikhon the New Martyr, St. Athanasius, Elder Theophan, and St. Alexi Toth.
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« Reply #169 on: October 11, 2006, 10:59:16 PM »

"Personally, I do not believe that his conversion was complete since he was not Catholic."

papist has yet to learn or listen...we are Catholic. Must we go through this again?
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« Reply #170 on: October 11, 2006, 11:06:38 PM »

I know that that is not a popular opinion on this forum, but that is where I am coming from.

may I interject that i don't care where you come from? and That your not "catholic" because we Orthodox are Catholic.
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« Reply #171 on: October 11, 2006, 11:09:37 PM »

The reason so many humble and wonderingworking people have beein glorififed in the Orthodox Church is because the Orthodox Church is God centred, not centered on man's intellect and reason, but the divine.  We believe in the truth of God because of his self-revelation though the Holy Spirit and through Christ.  We do not rely on man made traditions and ideas that swat a gnats.  God is what he is, not how a French philosopher defined him.
Thank goodness for such great and humbe saints in the One, Holy Apostolic Orthodox Catholic Church: Saint John Chrysostom, St. Photius the Great, St Mark of Ephesus, St. Constantine the Great, St. John the Hesychast, ST SERAPHIM OF SAROV, The Elders of Optinia, St. John of Kronstandt, St. Justinian, St. Herman of Alaska, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, St. Tikhon the New Martyr, St. Athanasius, Elder Theophan, and St. Alexi Toth.

and Saint Gregory Palamas..ooh..This Saint would have soo much fun with this "papist" who is turning out to be just another Balaam of sorrowful memory
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« Reply #172 on: October 11, 2006, 11:33:33 PM »

I do not know if you know this but you are talking to a mathematician.

If you have a mathematical education, then use it to think through 'proofs' logically, you should know as well as I do that the demonstration of a specific does not constitute a general proof. BTW, I also have an undergrad Mathematics; however, one is NOT a mathematician without either being a Ph.D. or well published in the field (and I dont just mean three or four journal articles). Surely you should understand as a 'mathematician' that proof in no way implies truth.

But if by your heart, you mean the seat of your emotions, then you are also on shaky ground for emotions are tossed about by the winds. But if you faith is intellectual, then you are on solid ground. The intellect is the "part" of the soul that knows. It is that through which we know anything, including God. Whether we know something by reason or revelation, it is the intellect that knows these things.

Let's talk about this reason devoid of emotion; as much as I hate to admit it, I am by no means a rational person, my philosophy and reason are driven by my faith, I accept God's existance by faith, I accept his omnipotence by faith, and I accept that he is infinitely merciful by faith. No logic or reason can demonstrate these things to me and from these assumptions I can then use intellect to reach other conclusions, but they are not rational conclusions for they are based on assumptions of faith rather than logic; your conclusions cannot be any more valid than your assumptions.

However, though I am not a rational person, I am capable of rational thought (if, for one reason or another I decide to be rational). Logic tells me first and foremost that it is absurd to assert that God exists (as it is absurd to assert the opposite, or to assert as valid anything that cannot be proven); it also tells me that even if I can prove something, this has no bearing on whether or not it is 'true,' as Gödel proved, proof is a lesser standard than truth. However, if I am compelled to take a step away from pure logic for the sake of life and sanity that step should reasonably be towards empiricism, is this a rational step? From a perspective of absolute truth, of course not, any assumption is inherently irrational; however, as a means of evaluating our experience, it is reasonable to use our experience (then our evaluation of our experience would only be screwed up if our experience itself is screwed up). Thus we arive at the reasonable conclusion that the most useful and way to evaluate our experience is by using our experience, there is no reason to go beyond this unless it is absolutely necessary to explain some unexplainable phenomena within our experience.

Here, I fear, there is no place for your god. There are accounts of the beginning of the universe that are consonant with our experience and do not require the introduction of unobservable complexity; that is to say, it is reasonable to describe the origin of the universe without an invisible man in the sky going 'poof'. Likewise, there are reasonable understandings of the development of life and intelligence (if we dare call homo sapiens intelligent) without some omnipotent being making adjustments or, again, going 'poof'. As for the additional conclusions of saying that this invisible man in the sky is omnipotent? Unobservable Omnipotence? So now this guy not only exists, but somehow has unlimited powers behind our imagination, yet there is still no observable proof of this guy. I guess at least you can explain him away now by saying he's so smart and so powerful that he's just tricking us. But that is something of a problem when one then makes the claim that he is merciful...in our observations and experience we do not see mercy in the world, ever watch a cat hunt? There is no mercy. Yes, there are convenient stories to explain away these things, that somehow everything is tanted by sin (our fault, but we can't reverse it, and god just sits back and laughs; he made a half hearted attempt to fix things with this whole incarnation and resurrection deal, but truth be told things didn't really improve much after that); however, this lack of mercy is not a moral judgement, in the animal world it's merely survival. The universe is a cold and chatoic place, governed by randomness, a randomness that doesn't care about your survival a randomness that has no mercy. If you get struck by lightening and die, there's no personal force, no mercy or wrath, it's merely chance, it would have struck were you there or not, it simply does not care, it is incapable of caring. This is the logical reality of the universe, not some caring, loving, merciful, personal god; our experience with the universe simply does not show mercy.

However, inspite of these reasonable conclusions, we choose to believe in a merciful God not because he must exist for the universe to make sense; he must merely exist for the universe to have meaning, for us to have meaning. It is because of this emotional need for meaning and purpose that leads men to seek after gods. Not so much out of a need to know how as out of a need to know why, a yearning of the heart, an emotional desire. So perhaps it would not be right to say that God is rational, for our very belief in him is based on emotion and irrationality, no rational necessity is there. Does this make God's existance any less true? Of course not, for proof has no bearing on truth. Returning to our discussion on pure logic, unpolluted by observation and experience, I may not be able to prove God's existance, but it doesn't matter for even if I were able to submit such a proof (as I essentially did against the existance of a god), it would have no bearing on truth. For, once again, I reiterate, proof is a lesser standard than truth.
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« Reply #173 on: October 12, 2006, 09:35:31 AM »

"Personally, I do not believe that his conversion was complete since he was not Catholic."

papist has yet to learn or listen...we are Catholic. Must we go through this again?
I completely understand that you believe yourselves to be Catholic and I applaud your strength in conviction. However, I do not agree with you oppinion on this matter. I am sure you are aware of this. May God bless
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« Reply #174 on: October 12, 2006, 09:36:44 AM »

may I interject that i don't care where you come from? and That your not "catholic" because we Orthodox are Catholic.
I am aware your oppinion. Thank you for your charity.
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« Reply #175 on: October 12, 2006, 09:37:55 AM »

and Saint Gregory Palamas..ooh..This Saint would have soo much fun with this "papist" who is turning out to be just another Balaam of sorrowful memory
I have read that Gregory Palamas repented at the end of his life, support the doctrine of the filoque and supported union with Rome. Again, thank you for your charitable way of adressing me.

Later research has indicated that Papist mis-remembered this bit of information--in fact, it was St. Gregory Palamas' opponent Barlaam whose misunderstanding of the Created vs. Uncreated energies of God debate was so profound that he eventually went to Rome, where his theology was commonly accepted.

Papist retracted his statement in this post:


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9936.0.html

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« Reply #176 on: October 12, 2006, 09:41:07 AM »

"When in New Rome..."  Grin
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« Reply #177 on: October 12, 2006, 09:52:22 AM »

I completely understand that you believe yourselves to be Catholic and I applaud your strength in conviction. However, I do not agree with you oppinion on this matter. I am sure you are aware of this. May God bless

Not just my strength of conviction, but the Church's.

And,...nowhere do I recall our Lord in scripture referencing 'logic' or 'reason' as the basis of Salvation or curing miracles - only Faith.
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« Reply #178 on: October 12, 2006, 10:40:59 AM »

I have read that Gregory Palamas repented at the end of his life, support the doctrine of the filoque and supported union with Rome. Again, thank you for your charitable way of adressing me.

But of course Saint Gregory Palamas had a lapse of judgement when he was old, and near death.  Tongue

Later research has indicated that Papist mis-remembered this bit of information--in fact, it was St. Gregory Palamas' opponent Barlaam whose misunderstanding of the Created vs. Uncreated energies of God debate was so profound that he eventually went to Rome, where his theology was commonly accepted.

Papist retracted his statement in this post:


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9936.0.html

chris
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« Reply #179 on: October 12, 2006, 10:54:05 AM »

If you have a mathematical education, then use it to think through 'proofs' logically, you should know as well as I do that the demonstration of a specific does not constitute a general proof. BTW, I also have an undergrad Mathematics; however, one is NOT a mathematician without either being a Ph.D. or well published in the field (and I dont just mean three or four journal articles). Surely you should understand as a 'mathematician' that proof in no way implies truth.
Actually that is a modernist position, the position that all is subjective, the position that is creatind a philosophy today that there is no such thing as truth. Actuall, deducitve demonstrations to prove truth, as long as the "axioms" from which you begin are true. Those "mathematicians" who deny this should step away from the field. If you cannot be a platonist when it comes to math, then go home. LOL.
Let's talk about this reason devoid of emotion; as much as I hate to admit it, I am by no means a rational person, my philosophy and reason are driven by my faith, I accept God's existance by faith, I accept his omnipotence by faith, and I accept that he is infinitely merciful by faith. No logic or reason can demonstrate these things to me and from these assumptions I can then use intellect to reach other conclusions, but they are not rational conclusions for they are based on assumptions of faith rather than logic; your conclusions cannot be any more valid than your assumptions.
Again, it appears that you define faith as a leap in the dark. But faith is not. First of all, faith is a function of the intellect because the intellect is the only part of us that can think, believe, etc. Therefore, faith is an intellectual matter.
However, though I am not a rational person, I am capable of rational thought (if, for one reason or another I decide to be rational). Logic tells me first and foremost that it is absurd to assert that God exists (as it is absurd to assert the opposite, or to assert as valid anything that cannot be proven);
If it absurd to assert that God to assert that God exists then, why do it? It is also absurd to assert that circles are squares. Because it is absurd, I do not do it.
it also tells me that even if I can prove something, this has no bearing on whether or not it is 'true,' as Gödel proved, proof is a lesser standard than truth.
Do you know how silly it is to say that Godel PROVED that PROOF is a lesser standard of truth. First of all, no he didn't, he simply illustrated how silly people like himself can be. Second, he destroys his own epistimology by PROVING that PROOF is a lesser form of truth. Should I then say that his conclusion that PROOF is a lesser from of truth as a week and invalid conclusion, one that is a lesser form of truth, because he PROVED it. I guess since proof is a lesser form of truth and this has been proven, we should not accept that proof is a lesser form of truth because it has been proven because it has been proven that truth is a lesser form of truth. LOL.
However, if I am compelled to take a step away from pure logic for the sake of life and sanity that step should reasonably be towards empiricism, is this a rational step? From a perspective of absolute truth, of course not, any assumption is inherently irrational; however, as a means of evaluating our experience, it is reasonable to use our experience (then our evaluation of our experience would only be screwed up if our experience itself is screwed up). Thus we arive at the reasonable conclusion that the most useful and way to evaluate our experience is by using our experience, there is no reason to go beyond this unless it is absolutely necessary to explain some unexplainable phenomena within our experience.
Empericism is only helpful in that it helps us to develop universal truth to base our deductive arguements on. For example, from emperical data I know that all things must have a sufficient reason for their existence either within themselves or within another. This is such a universally true experience that I can use it as an axiom for a deductive proof.
Here, I fear, there is no place for your god. There are accounts of the beginning of the universe that are consonant with our experience and do not require the introduction of unobservable complexity; that is to say, it is reasonable to describe the origin of the universe without an invisible man in the sky going 'poof'. Likewise, there are reasonable understandings of the development of life and intelligence (if we dare call homo sapiens intelligent) without some omnipotent being making adjustments or, again, going 'poof'. As for the additional conclusions of saying that this invisible man in the sky is omnipotent? Unobservable Omnipotence? So now this guy not only exists, but somehow has unlimited powers behind our imagination, yet there is still no observable proof of this guy. I guess at least you can explain him away now by saying he's so smart and so powerful that he's just tricking us. But that is something of a problem when one then makes the claim that he is merciful...in our observations and experience we do not see mercy in the world, ever watch a cat hunt? There is no mercy. Yes, there are convenient stories to explain away these things, that somehow everything is tanted by sin (our fault, but we can't reverse it, and god just sits back and laughs; he made a half hearted attempt to fix things with this whole incarnation and resurrection deal, but truth be told things didn't really improve much after that); however, this lack of mercy is not a moral judgement, in the animal world it's merely survival. The universe is a cold and chatoic place, governed by randomness, a randomness that doesn't care about your survival a randomness that has no mercy. If you get struck by lightening and die, there's no personal force, no mercy or wrath, it's merely chance, it would have struck were you there or not, it simply does not care, it is incapable of caring. This is the logical reality of the universe, not some caring, loving, merciful, personal god; our experience with the universe simply does not show mercy.

I guess you live in an alternate univerese. The real universe is ordered, governed by constants and laws. Even Chaos theory teaches that everything is ordered and govened by patterns and principles, but sometimes those patterns and principles are complex, but there anyway. Every thing that happens in the universe is governed by causality. Evolution and natural selection are governed by cause and the meticulous laws of science. The development of our universe is govenered by the laws of Chemistry and physics. NO scientist believes in any kind of randomness. In fact, most scientist take this idea of the governing of the universe by laws to the extreme and impose strict determinism on the universe. I am sorry my friend, but laws and principles come from a law giver. Not from nothing. If you really believe what you say above, then why do believe in God? Just because you like the idea of there being a God? Still, this does not invalidate the necessity of a omniscient, personal, omnipotent first cause demanded by the law of sufficient reason.
However, inspite of these reasonable conclusions, we choose to believe in a merciful God not because he must exist for the universe to make sense; he must merely exist for the universe to have meaning, for us to have meaning. It is because of this emotional need for meaning and purpose that leads men to seek after gods. Not so much out of a need to know how as out of a need to know why, a yearning of the heart, an emotional desire. So perhaps it would not be right to say that God is rational, for our very belief in him is based on emotion and irrationality, no rational necessity is there. Does this make God's existance any less true? Of course not, for proof has no bearing on truth. Returning to our discussion on pure logic, unpolluted by observation and experience, I may not be able to prove God's existance, but it doesn't matter for even if I were able to submit such a proof (as I essentially did against the existance of a god), it would have no bearing on truth. For, once again, I reiterate, proof is a lesser standard than truth.
Really, you arguement boils down to: I want there to be meaning in the universe; There needs to be a God in order for the universe to have meaning; so there must be a God. In other words, no matter how you phrase, you believe in God simply because you want to. What if I want to believe in He-Man? You know that your epistimology has no way of showing that my faith in He-Man is any less valid than your belief in God. We have dissucussed how silly the arguement that proof is a lesser standard of truth is, so I will let it go. But please, do prove that God does not exist. That would be interesting. Btw, if God is irrational, then he cannot be the Logos. Logos means both Word and Reason. In Greek thought, the Logos is the ORDERING principle of the universe.
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« Reply #180 on: October 12, 2006, 10:54:59 AM »

But of course Saint Gregory Palamas had a lapse of judgement when he was old, and near death.  Tongue
Or perhaps the nearness of death brought him to repentance.

Later research has indicated that Papist mis-remembered this bit of information--in fact, it was St. Gregory Palamas' opponent Barlaam whose misunderstanding of the Created vs. Uncreated energies of God debate was so profound that he eventually went to Rome, where his theology was commonly accepted.

Papist retracted his statement in this post:


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9936.0.html

chris
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« Reply #181 on: October 12, 2006, 10:56:18 AM »

Not just my strength of conviction, but the Church's.

And,...nowhere do I recall our Lord in scripture referencing 'logic' or 'reason' as the basis of Salvation or curing miracles - only Faith.
Faith is a function of the intellect, not the emotions, not an assumption. It is putting trust where trust is due. Again, as you know, I disagree with you as to which Church is the Church. May God bless.
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« Reply #182 on: October 12, 2006, 11:00:28 AM »

Faith is a function of the intellect, not the emotions, not an assumption. It is putting trust where trust is due. Again, as you know, I disagree with you as to which Church is the Church. May God bless.

So, what? You would posit, logically, that the greater the intellect, the greater the faith?
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« Reply #183 on: October 12, 2006, 11:10:17 AM »

So, what? You would posit, logically, that the greater the intellect, the greater the faith?
Of course not. I am not denying that the theological gift of Faith is a supernatural Gift. However, grace does perfect nature, and thus, in a way, the gift of faith improves and perfects our natural intellect. The deeper our faith becomes the more our intellect will seek out answers to the questions of faith. Faith seeks understanding.
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« Reply #184 on: October 12, 2006, 11:11:27 AM »

Or perhaps the nearness of death brought him to repentance.
don't think so...
maybe senility and alzheimerish symptoms.

I also heard some whacked out "catholic" claims that Saint John Damascene also approved of Filioque and the catholic "doctrine" of the theotokos bleh..if he did, I ain't naming my kid after this John.

Later research has indicated that Papist mis-remembered this bit of information--in fact, it was St. Gregory Palamas' opponent Barlaam whose misunderstanding of the Created vs. Uncreated energies of God debate was so profound that he eventually went to Rome, where his theology was commonly accepted.

Papist retracted his statement in this post:


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9936.0.html

chris
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 09:11:07 AM by chris » Logged


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« Reply #185 on: October 12, 2006, 11:14:42 AM »

don't think so...
maybe senility and alzheimerish symptoms.

Offered in the finest TomS tradition!
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« Reply #186 on: October 12, 2006, 11:18:03 AM »

Offered in the finest TomS tradition!

I thank you for that compliment kind sir.
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« Reply #187 on: October 12, 2006, 12:05:43 PM »

don't think so...
maybe senility and alzheimerish symptoms.

I also heard some whacked out "catholic" claims that Saint John Damascene also approved of Filioque and the catholic "doctrine" of the theotokos bleh..if he did, I ain't naming my kid after this John.
Right, cuz anyone who does not agree with YOU personally is just stupid or senile. I suggest a more charitable tone.

Later research has indicated that Papist mis-remembered this bit of information--in fact, it was St. Gregory Palamas' opponent Barlaam whose misunderstanding of the Created vs. Uncreated energies of God debate was so profound that he eventually went to Rome, where his theology was commonly accepted.

Papist retracted his statement in this post:


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9936.0.html

chris
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« Reply #188 on: October 12, 2006, 12:09:16 PM »

Right, cuz anyone who does not agree with YOU personally is just stupid or senile. I suggest a more charitable tone.

No, someone who doesn''t agree with the Orthodox Catholic Church, The Church of the 7 councils and the one True Church. is stupid and senile.
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« Reply #189 on: October 12, 2006, 12:12:12 PM »

No, someone who doesn''t agree with the Orthodox Catholic Church, The Church of the 7 councils and the one True Church. is stupid and senile.
Wow. I would NOT accuse you of being stupid or senile just because you are outside of the True Catholic Church! I would simply state that you are mistaken. Goodness. I cannot understand your hostility.
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« Reply #190 on: October 12, 2006, 12:15:35 PM »

Wow. I would NOT accuse you of being stupid or senile just because you are outside of the True Catholic Church! I would simply state that you are mistaken. Goodness. I cannot understand your hostility.

I like you, Papist, but you might be getting close to breaking forum rules with the above. You are in our house now.
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« Reply #191 on: October 12, 2006, 12:18:29 PM »

I like you, Papist, but you might be getting close to breaking forum rules with the above. You are in our house now.
Which rule? Please in inform me so that I do not make that mistake.
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« Reply #192 on: October 12, 2006, 12:24:26 PM »

I like you, Papist, but you might be getting close to breaking forum rules with the above. You are in our house now.

Mistaken about my salvation? I think not. I know where I am, because I chose her, or rather the Church chose me.
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