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Author Topic: What do the Eastern Othodox mean when they reject scholasticism?  (Read 17722 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasios
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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?

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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?

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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?

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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

chris
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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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