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Author Topic: What do the Eastern Othodox mean when they reject scholasticism?  (Read 16890 times) Average Rating: 0
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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 »

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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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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.

Anastasios
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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.

Anastasios
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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.

Anastasios
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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.

Anastasios
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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.

Anastasios
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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.
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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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