Philosophy

The First Cause is a Trinity: No More, No Less — Guest Post by Oldavid

The purpose of this essay is to provide a very simple “lowbrow” refutation of Modernism’s “neo- pantheism” using concepts intelligible to even the most unsophisticated pragmatic and sane mind. The particular target of this pedestrian approach is the irrational assumptions of “theistic evolution” that try to insinuate notions of “inevitable progress” into theology, philosophy, sociology, etc.

Modernism, both secular and “theological”, is truly the “synthesis of all heresies” because it admits no absolutes. Everything is in the process of “becoming” what it was not but will be. A complete denial of even reality itself. There is no need to get into some of the absurd speculations of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics; commonplace commonsense is all that is needed to appreciate the Divine economy of Creation and Redemption.

Most of us have been exposed to an image of “God” as a stern old man with flowing white hair and beard, sitting in a flash chair in the clouds, presumably stone deaf because of all the naked babies blaring trumpets all around.

How terribly difficult it is to create a visual image to represent an incomprehensible Isness. Who can draw a picture of I AM WHO AM? Sure, there are pictures representing God the creator, God the Redeemer, God the Judge; and all that still incomprehensible to the worldly-wise who assume that “God” is “becoming” according to their fancies.

But egos and fancies aside, ordinary people in their often gruesome and trying ordinary lives possess an intuitive understanding of what intellectuals and scholars have evaded with pretentious, arcane wordiness. It’s not “high brow”; it can be simply comprehended. (Ordinarily logic proceeds from “common sense” except in the ivory towers of academia).

I start from ordinary commonsense logic; the stuff that every Mum with a mind connected to feet on the ground and hands on household management intuitively knows for sure: order naturally degenerates into mess and decay if she does not keep her hand to the rudder.

The reason is that “A thing that does not exist (like order) cannot cause itself to exist”; and its corollary “an effect cannot be greater than its cause(s)”. Things (like you and I) obviously exist and we cannot cause ourselves. The Sun and all the stars do not cause themselves; indeed, they would not be stars if they weren’t dissipating themselves by pumping prodigious amounts of matter and energy into cold Space.

As we well know from bitter experience in the cruel physical world entropy runs the show. Every natural (for the purposes of this essay we’ll regard interference by human ingenuity and application as “unnatural” according to the usual order of the Universe) physical “happening” dissipates energy and order. Anything that operates by dissipating energy and decaying order must have antecedents of greater order and potential (or consumable, dissipate-able) energy. Life on Earth cannot exist without consuming energy dissipated from the Sun and then dissipating it again in life processes.

Because energy must be dissipated in the establishment and maintenance, or sustaining, of an orderly system some con men with an ideology to sell will try to pretend that the energy consumed in the process creates the order. A sly mental trick.

For example: The best (most succinct and precise) definition (description) of entropy is as it occurs in the “Second Law of Thermodynamics”; “All ordered systems, left to themselves, tend toward maximum randomness and lowest energy (potential or differential)”. That means that order naturally tends to degenerate into randomness (disorder) and energy potential tends to dissipate into a uniformity without potential.

Let’s propose some practical examples to illustrate the process.

Most mothers like to have an orderly home. Order in her home requires:

  1. An intellect to conceive the order.
  2. The will to want the order.
  3. The capacity, or power, to implement, or bring about, the order.

Now, that poor Mum who has been toiling away for years to install and maintain the order suddenly finds herself confronted by a clever-dick progeny who’s been to school and learned that energy spontaneously creates order. Smarty tries to convince Mum that letting off a bomb (great release of energy) in the middle of her expertly managed domain, will spontaneously create order and she’ll never have to tidy up again. Good luck with that one Smarty.

Or let’s lift great weights to great heights. An intellect comes up with an idea of a crane to do the job.

Skilled minds and hands divert energy and materials to make the machine using entropy in every step of the process. Smarty, with the benefit of his recently acquired great insights, comes along and proclaims that because the energy to build and operate the crane comes, ultimately, from the Sun then the Sun built the crane. Now, I just happen to know for sure that Central Australia gets lots and lots of solar energy but not one giant crane has ever spontaneously appeared in the desert.

“Oh well,” counters Smarty, “that only applies to non-biological systems. Energy applied to biological systems creates an increase in order and complexity opposed to entropy”. Smarty has never heard of the “Law of Morphology” (more commonly called “genetic entropy” which is really only entropy applied to biological systems) which says, simply, that “the more complex an organism and the more often it is reproduced, the more likely it is that something will go wrong in the process”.

So, the thousands of generations of drosophila (fruit flies) that have been subjected to every imaginable radiation “stimulus” to produce “sped up” “evolution” have only ever produced some wreckage of their DNA or genome—not one super-human spaceman.

Ultimately, untold thousands of generations of diligent and wise housekeeping Mums are in tune with reality. The Smarties are not.

Order is a product of Intellect, Will, and Life.

So whence come this Life, Intellect and Will? We all know from simple observation that all these metaphysical “things” or “stuff” exist because we all have them and they order dumb physics and chemistry into live bodies, magnificent corals and cathedrals, none of which can create itself out of randomness.

Everything that is changing or is changeable that exists must have an anterior cause that is greater than itself. Anything else is logically absurd and scientifically impossible according to all the relevant Laws of Nature.

Enter the Uncaused First Cause; that is, the ultimate cause of everything but Himself. He must be eternal because (by definition) He has no cause. Let’s illustrate this simply with the intuitive logic of common sense. One, almost ubiquitously tacitly assumed (but never actually stated by slick salesmen) is an infinite regression of causes. If we accept that a thing that does not exist cannot cause itself to exist and the corollary that an effect cannot be greater than its cause(s), then every cause is greater than its effect. An infinite regression of causes inevitably recedes to an infinite cause. But an infinite cause would have no need for an infinite number of steps to produce anything.

This First Cause must be unchangeable because there’s nothing greater or “outside” to cause a change.

This great Power (Life) must also be the great Intellect because, according to common sense observation, “things” are carefully crafted to “work” as they do, and systems are orderly processes that do not, cannot, create themselves. The First Cause must also be the great Will because without the “I want it” there is no action, or result.

Most of us have some “idea” of who and what we are and, for most of us (diabolical narcissists excepted), our “idea” of ourselves bears some resemblance to the “fact” of self.

The infinite Being (which we customarily call God) with the infinite Intellect, however, has an “idea” of Himself that is precisely what He is, no glitch or error. Everything the same. The Second Person; distinct but inseparably integral.

The First Person knows exactly Who He is and that knowledge of Himself is the Second Person, or “the Word” as sometimes called in Scripture.

So God “knows” the absolute perfection which is Himself, and He loves the perfection that is the very definition of “goodness”. The greatest act of love is the gift of self. We see it in very muted form here on Earth with the gift of self in spouses and parents, and patriots. A gift must have a receiver of the gift and the receiver must be able to accept the gift. An infinite gift must have an infinite receptacle. The First Person gifts Himself in love as does the Second Person because neither can do what the other does not and that gift of self to each other with no reservations or glitches or blips is precisely God in every sense. The Third Person; distinct but inseparably integral.

There can be no more and there can be no less. One omnipotent, omniscient, omni magnanimous Being of three Persons, eternal and unchangeable.

Any “God” that is not a Trinity is a Satan pretending to be God. There is no possibility that a Supreme Being could not know and love the goodness of His Own perfection and act with it. Creation, Redemption, Justice, Mercy, Heaven, Hell are that eternal Act.

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Categories: Philosophy, SAMT

192 replies »

  1. You cite the laws of thermodynamics as absolutes but neglect to mention they are empirical observations with the caveat “as far as we know”. They work well for everyday things but become dicey when explaining the beginning of the universe. For example, the first law is conservation of energy yet some claim (and apparently you as well) a universe with energy came into being from a state of without energy. A clear violation of an “absolute” law. So are you saying the thermo laws are absolute only some of the time?

    The concept of entropy seems bound to the forward progress of time. But yet again, time is only unidirectional “as far as we know”. If time were to reverse, entropy would decrease. Who is to say time doesn’t change direction an infinite number of times? You might ask what created the universe but isn’t this much like asking who caused the uncausable first cause? Why can’t the universe have existed for all eternity?

    I don’t think you succeeded at all in showing that the first cause was a trinity.

    An intellect to conceive the order

    An intellect to recognize it perhaps but not necessarily for it to happen. Bees, other insects, and animals build structures. Unless you are willing to accept they also have intelligence then no, an intellect is not necessary for order.

  2. “The purpose of this essay is to provide a very simple ‘lowbrow’ refutation of Modernism’s ‘neo- pantheism’ using concepts intelligible to even the most unsophisticated pragmatic and sane mind.”

    Just ask them, are you the same as dog shit? If they say yes, they are irredeemable trash by their own admission.

    “The First Cause is a Trinity: No More, No Less”

    If the goal is as was stated in the first quotation, proving a Trinity is not necessary; Reducing to absurdity the idea that all things are one is all that is needed, and I have accomplished that already.

    The simplest way to prove the necessity of 3 persons, no more no less, however, is to apply Freud’s Id, Ego, and Superego to God. But it doesn’t really prove 3 persons (per se) any more than your example of intellect, will, and capacity. But better than intellect, will, and capacity, it does show three layers to the personality. Of course no modern Buddhist or such will believe in Freud’s id, ego, and superego as even applying to human beings, since they claim there literally is not self, so you won’t be able to convince them. They claim everything is emptiness, non-being that is also not-becoming.

    But really trying to prove that the necessary being is a Trinity is a kind of fool’s quest, and is why there is so much atheism in reality, because you guys bite off more than you can chew with this. Now in Platonism they had 3 LEVELS of God, not 3 persons, i.e. the One, the Demiurge, and the World Soul. But here, the second two levels are EMANATIONS from the first, and not “necessary” per se, and this is instructive. When you have to have the 2nd and 3rd persons as “necessary” you shoot yourself in the foot. The proper proof for the Trinity is that the Father alone is “neccessary being” and the Son and Holy Ghost are elective, that is the Father DECIDES to beget the Son and proceed out the Holy Ghost. Otherwise, honestly, what sense is there in the term Son? This was Arius’ objection, and he was right, even if he took it too far; but how he took it too far was to assert essentially that the Father created the Son ex nihilo, rather than emanated him forth from his own essence.

    Ah but there’s the rub. If the Father can elect to emanate forth other persons from himself, why stop at 3? So this could end up in pantheism. That’ the rub that trying to have your cake and eat it too will always produce. If you want Trinity rather than strict monotheism you have to be willing to put up with pantheists spinning it. If you don’t like it, look into Islam.

  3. The above defines the 2nd Person as God’s Self Esteem, or as the article puts it, “God knows the absolute perfection which is Himself, and He loves the perfection”; thus it defines the 2nd Person as not-a-person. It equivocates between different aspects of personality and different persons, as if those are the same thing. And I can’t find a definition of the 3rd Person in the above. Even if one were to accept your equivocation as not a problem, you only demonstrated a Binity. This sadly seems to be where all attempts to prove a Trinity as necessary rather than derived from God’s free will end up.

  4. “Bees, other insects, and animals build structures. Unless you are willing to accept they also have intelligence then no, an intellect is not necessary for order.” (DAV)

    This is because they were designed to create those patterns. Like an computer program can create the same pattern over and over, but it didn’t come up with that itself, the programmer did.

  5. To summarize, “the god I happen to believe in but have no evidence for did it”. The capitalized words add a nice touch.

    Justin

  6. Thought provoking and topical given the last few weeks of Sunday posts. I think I follow the idea of the Holy Ghost and the Word, or father. But, who is the third? The son is Jesus, but are we involved?

  7. so you just said the Son is knowledge not a Person. Is this an attempt to put Science in place of Jesus in the second place in the Trinity?

  8. IIRC, God is supposed “all powerful,” meaning “full of all powers.” Since a cause must contain its effect, either formally or eminently, and since intellect and volition are extant powers, there is something in God that is like intellect and volition.

    The proper object of the Intellect is the True, that is, to Know. The Godhead then in the act of Knowing Himself is both the subject and object of the procession of the Intellect. As the subject (action) we call Him the Father. As the object (passion) we call Him the Son. The fruits of the Intellect are Concept(ion)n, expressed in words, and so the Son is also called the Only-Conceived and the Word (as well as the Truth).

    The proper object of the Will (Volition) is the Good, that is, to Love. The Godhead then in the act of Loving Himself is both the subject and object of the procession of the Will. As the subject (action) we call Him the Father. As the object (passion) we call Him the Spirit.

    Since the Unmoved Mover, Uncaused Cause, et al. is Pure Act (no Potency), there can be only One (a separate proof) so Father, Word, and Spirit are One in Being.

    The pagan Neoplatonists called these hypostases the One, the Intellect, and the Spirit, resp., although Plotinus argued from Divine Simplicity, IIRC, The Hindus called them Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and I do not know if they had a philosophical argument for their trinity.

  9. Sheri: ”I have no idea what this means or is.”

    Me neither, kiddo. But Christ died on the cross to save my worthless ass. Good enough for me.

  10. Trinitatis Mohammedanis: “If you want Trinity rather than strict monotheism you have to be willing to put up with pantheists spinning it. If you don’t like it, look into Islam.”

    I looked into it. Mo’s full of shit. Like Joe Smith. I don’t mean to be personally insulting. You’re a smart guy and you say interesting things. Be happy to hoist a beer with you.

  11. john mil,
    [Bees, other insects, and animals build structures]. This is because they were designed to create those patterns … didn’t come up with that itself

    That was the point.

  12. “The purpose of this essay is to provide a very simple “lowbrow” refutation of Modernism’s “neo- pantheism” using concepts intelligible to even the most unsophisticated pragmatic and sane mind. The particular target of this pedestrian approach is the irrational assumptions of “theistic evolution” ….””

    How refreshingly honest
    It officially oozes supercilious condescension from the start, then

    Trinity is not hard to understand. People like to pretend it is so they can pontificate
    The word Trinity is treated as if it’s a divine engineering term. The word doesn’t appear in the bible, for a start, it’s been worked in, as if someone at some point were frightened that the whole Christian story would be forgotten and some numbskull would come along and leave one of the aspects of the Christian story out, so that everybody would be lead astray from the one true…

    It’s grown in importance because of fear.
    If something’s so absolutely true, anything, then it doesn’t need defence

  13. Joy! your comment is awaiting moderation! So if it knows the name’s wrong hy doesn’t it change it?
    Like when the computer tells you you filled a form in wrong
    Don’t ask, if you already know the answer!

  14. YOS. It’s becoming clearer what happens with explanations

    IIRC, God is supposed “all powerful,” meaning “full of all powers.”
    Notice the S that crept in so that power(s) may be split for separate consideration and then inclusion at the end of the assertion: Like “one I prepared earlier”

    Since a cause must contain its effect, either formally or eminently, and since intellect and volition are extant powers, there is something in God that is like intellect and volition.Thinking it does is evidence of a lack of faith and honesty

    It’s all smashed up and it just isn’t necessary:

    “Since a cause must contain it’s effect”
    It would be more strictly accurate to say:
    “Since a theoretical cause must entail it’s effect”

  15. Joy,

    Years ago I worked on a system that had no real-time clock. The person booting it had to enter the current time. As an April Fool’s joke, we programmed it to respond to the entered time with something like “Entered time off by more than 100 msec. Reenter”. It would do this twice then accept the third entry. The person who got caught wondered what was going on. We told him computers can be capricious.

    For us it was a joke but, considering your recent experience, maybe it isn’t.

  16. The word [Trinity] doesn’t appear in the bible

    So what? The Bible comes from the religion, not the religion from the Bible. The Church existed well before the Bible was finalized.

  17. “IIRC, God is supposed “all powerful,” meaning “full of all powers.”
    Notice the S that crept in so that power(s) may be split for separate consideration and then inclusion at the end of the assertion:
    Like, “one I prepared earlier”

    Since a cause must contain its effect, either formally or eminently, and since intellect and volition are extant powers, there is something in God that is like intellect and volition.

    “Since a cause must contain it’s effect”
    It would be more strictly accurate to say:
    “Since a logically, a cause must ENTAIL it’s effect”

  18. Dav,
    S someone had to have started the computer beforehand, entered the right time, then made a screen that looked like the start up screen?
    Anyway your joke’s funny, don’t et me started, it was. A very black time and it went on for a couple of years. There are still things happening which one never knows whether to put down to coincidence or something else. The difference is that I’ve come to expect it

    For some strange reason I had the phrase “config,sys“. Going round in my head for no apparent reason for the last couple of days, thinking about our computer teacher

    Then I recall you saying about configuration of matter, in previous discussions about the mind

  19. YOS, you know that I’m quite aware of that fact, it can’t have happened any other way if you consider it logically, the Christian story, then written down. Many defend this point as if it’s necessary

    So what?
    The point is that the bible came from the same religion that’s making dogmatic and pedantic claims about the structure of God

    It’s cheeky
    If it’s so crucial why not include it in the bible that came from the religion?

    Religion is man made anyway
    God’s existence doesn’t require ‘religion’
    It performs a different function

  20. Round and round and round we go, and the choice is to end up with Faith in the Triune God and believe and to do all that He has commanded of us, or to not do so.

    God gave the power to His Church to declare de Fide Doctrines, which must be believed. Genuine questions are fine, but Playing around with those doctrines, can have dangerous results for the Faith lives of some.

    Jesus is the only begotten Son of God our Father, and Jesus is as He said, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and He did send the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, to fill us and to teach us and to help us stay on the narrow way with Jesus, for wide is the way to damnation and narrow the way to Heaven.

    ” 13“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7: 13-14.

    God bless, C-Marie

  21. Everything about the ‘thermodynamics’ argument seems to be simply to say that some greater energy created the lesser energies. To claim that this greater energy is your “God” seems to me to severely limit your conception of who God is.

    And claiming that only intellects use entropy to create “order” seems to ignore many natural processes that do such things, such as crystallization. It seems to me that the argument is very weak when it tries to say “well a man goes and creates a crane to lift heavy things therefore an intellect is required to use entropy to create order out of anything”.

    Sometimes X causes Y. It *does not follow that* all the time Y is caused by X.

  22. Well, well! I hardly know where to start! It seems that I’ve rattled the furniture and disturbed a few roaches and rodents. I’m not going to try to pin each one down individually to start with; I’ll just take a broom with a few general swipes to start with.

    So far, all the objections seem to come out of the assumption that matter and energy are the ultimate reality and everything else is produced by, and out of, that. Now that assumption is untenable as a premise according to some commonsense observations and very basic reasoning… although they are the “stuff” the Universe is made of they do not have, individually or collectively, the power, intellect or will to create themselves or anything else. Nor can they be eternal because they are constantly changing (or “moving” as the classical philosophers call it) and anything changing or changeable (moving or moveable) is never what/where it was or will be. This silly assumption gives rise to the diabolical hubris of the clever idiot in the talking wheelchair making the bland assertion “We don’t need God because we’ve got gravity” or the equally stupid inference of the “Thunderbolts Project” that “We don’t need God because we’ve got electricity”.

    Matter and energy are “stuff” created out of nothing by an infinite power, intellect and will for a purpose. In the great scheme of things matter and energy are contingencies not absolutes with their own reason for being.

    There’s lots more about the metaphysics of physical “stuff” but I guess that it’s not particularly relevant to the trinitarian nature of God.

    Anyhow, the Second and Third Persons of the Trinity are not “creatures” of the Father… they are entirely integral to His being much as intellect and will are of our nature, we who are a much flawed “image and likeness” of the Creator.

    That’ll do for now.

  23. To quote Venerable Fulton Sheen:
    I remember once having spent an hour describing the Trinity with analogies to someone who was taking instructions, and I insisted it was a mystery. When I finished, the good lady said, “At the beginning you said that this was a mystery. It’s no longer a mystery to me. You made it perfectly clear!”
    “Well,” I said, “Madam, if I made it perfectly clear to you, I did not explain it right. It should be a mystery.”

  24. Well, spudjr60, this is something like what I expected… the “know nothings” who hide in the darkness of eyes firmly shut claiming that nothing is knowable except a really woosy “Jesus” that you make up to please yourself by taking a few bits of Scripture out of context and blowing them up into a whole new “theology” that makes no blardy sense according to either Apostolic Christianity or history.

    The “Venerable Fulton Sheen” appears to have been a protagonist for the usefulness of Christianity’s social pragmatic benefits but not quite the Christian absolutist who would say that Apostolic Christianity is the one and only “truth that will set you free” of the only chains that bind us in error. I suspect “the venerable” of being a “somewhat subscriber” to the formally proscribed heresy of “Americanism”. He never objected to the “Americanism” proposed in the Documents of Vatican II, for example.

    A “mystery” means that we cannot explain it fully from our limited perspective but it doesn’t mean that we can’t know ANYTHING even from the proposals inherent in Scripture and Tradition and Liturgy.

  25. You are trying to have it both ways. You use all these arguments ‘from thermodynamics’ and then you go and now say “all the objections seem to come out of the assumption that matter and energy are the ultimate reality and everything else is produced by, and out of, that.”

    If God does *not* operate by those rules (as you have said), then those rules have *no* bearing on the nature of God.

    Where do Miracles fit in your scheme???

  26. ‘Cause’ is not a vessel of containment in any sense

    Power is only divisible by description a physical object is the container of that power.

    A car, a person, a lightbulb.
    Each containing separate “powers”
    Power in itself is an abstract term which can’t be contained or split. Like truth or love or hope

    If the power is spiritual and belongs to |God as the ;Lord’s prayer suggests, that’s all you need to know and all that Jesus wanted people e to know , perhaps all he knew at the time, since some bible gospels imply what he knew differed at different times, just as with other mortal men.

    So the power that everybody observes and nobody denies, is real. The argument is no further on as to it’s source

  27. Power in itself is an abstract term

    From what is it abstracted?

  28. 1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. And every one that loveth him who begot, loveth him also who is born of him.

    2In this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God, and keep his commandments.

    3For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy.

    4For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith.

    5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

    6This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth.

    7And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one.

    8And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one.

    9If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son.

    10He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son, maketh him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of his Son.

    11And this is the testimony, that God hath given to us eternal life. And this life is in his Son.

    12He that hath the Son, hath life. He that hath not the Son, hath not life.”

    God bless, C-Marie

  29. Here is the rest … obviously did not copy and paste correctly.

    So it appears, that the majority of ths discussion is centered on, “Can the existence of the Blessed Trinity be proved from reason?” It does seem to be an impossibility, as the definitions and interpretations of words definitely come forth and cause a bit of havoc here and there, and it is lots of mental exercise..

    The following are scripture verses from 1 John, which among others things, clearly state that to not believe in Jesus, to not believe Who He is, is actually to call God a liar, see verse 10 below.

    Verse seven is biblical proof of the existence of the Blessed Trinity.

    “1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. And every one that loveth him who begot, loveth him also who is born of him.

    2In this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God, and keep his commandments.

    3For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy.

    4For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith.

    5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God

    6This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth.

    7And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one.

    8And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one.

    9If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son.

    10He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son, maketh him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of his Son.

    11And this is the testimony, that God hath given to us eternal life. And this life is in his Son.

    12He that hath the Son, hath life. He that hath not the Son, hath not life.”

    God bless, C-Marie

  30. It says in the bible which is a so what document cooked up by those in the know!

    “God gave you a spirit not of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
    I wonder if this should be,
    “the power of love and a sound mind”
    Seems to make more sense

    It’s the power where all the trouble starts
    It is important not to be plagued by fear born of nonsense, lies, or false notions and to know the truth

    That’s not complex

    Re complexity and mystery:
    It’s complex when we say it is and it’s mysterious when we say it is. Nobody else gets to say except those with the keys to heaven!
    Sorry, but that’s pride in your man made religion, not an attempt at finding the truth.

    When you don’t like the pope all bets are off, apparently, which means who’s at the helm?

  31. So, convenient faith can be used to describe protesting catholics

    They’ve made themselves God, as the cliche goes
    They know better than the pope
    Yet they are supposed to be obedient to him, presumably, if he’s the real one
    What nonsense and what a shower. It’s faith destroying not faith nurturing

    He said,
    My kingdom is not of this world, or my servants would be fighting, which sums up many of the arguments over prestige within the Christian church. UnGodly and very earthly trivia

  32. Actually, the Scripture is correct. The power referred to, is the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit in Christians Who helps us to stand against the temptations put out by the world, our own worldly desires, and the devil, which temptations, which at their basis, are denials of God’s own witness to His Son, Jesus Christ, and to the salvation unto eternal life which can only be obtained through Jesus.

    You are absolutely correct that people have brought into the Catholic Church, politics, the grabbing of power over others, and more. A name for the is “The Church System of Man”, which was in the Church from the beginning and which has grown up within the Catholic Church since, and is still growing more.

    As for who occupies the papal chair, Catholic faith is not based on him, whoever he is at the time. The occupier is supposed to evangelize and lead people to faith in Jesus Christ. Pray daily for all to be led and guided by God’s Holy Spirit.

    Here is an explanation of The Church System of Man that is within the Catholic Church which is very evident by the scandals, the secrecy, and more. But even so, the genuine Catholic Church is the true Church founded by Jesus Christ. In every institution ordered by humankind, there will be power struggles and more.

    The church system of man, means, that within Christianity, there are those who work to instill humankind’s worldly desires in the place of the teachings of Jesus Christ. For example: promoting the inclusion of same sex couples and their children into parish life, which would give extrememe scandal. And yes, there is sorrow for the children kept within such unions, but far better to not expose other children to such style of life. Another, the non- recognition of the ravages of Covid being allowed by God to bring His people back to Him, and others to seek Him, and instead, attributing Covid to being nature’s “revenge” upon people due to the poor keeping of the environment. One more, the publc acceptance of a little girl’s mother, saying her daughter believes she is a boy transgender, and the highest official giving his okay to this, rather than teaching the truth of,God’s creation right then.

    The church system of man within Christianity, is made up of those who are wanting and who are working to control rather than follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. Those who belong to the church system of man, instead of receiving and following divine guidance received through prayer in relationship with God, rather work to have political powers, and thus become mired in earthly politics and methods and practices

    Perhaps read Revelation Chapter 2, in which Book of the Bible, Jesus declared about the church system of man, meaning, appearing to live by Christ in some ways and yet refusing Him in other ways, and introducing and living the world’s ways.

    See these scriptures also: 2 Peter 2: 1-3. 2 Timothy 4: 1-5. Jude 1: 3-4.
    Jude 1: 8, 10, 12.

    “1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3and in theirgreed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2: 1-3.

    “1I solemnly exhort you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready[a]in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and [b]exhort, with [c]great patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wantingto have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance withtheir own desires, 4and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5But as for you, use self-restraint in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4: 1-5.”

    God bless, C-Marie

  33. ACTUALLY, Love Is All Around

    “we” know that the holy spirit possesses power
    The Second Comforter

    However, “the scripture” is fraught with translation problems, only for thinking Christians. The others just believe The Faith they’re told to, which is neither freedom of thought or freedom in any sense that is recognisable

  34. C Marie, the author says that the Church Of England is a walking corpse.
    Where does that put him on the scale of evil?

  35. Joy: “the power of love”

    Don’t need money, don’t need fame, don’t need no credit card to ride that train

    Joy : “ACTUALLY?” “Love is all around

    Like can you feel it in your fingers? Can you feel it in your toes?

  36. Hi Oldavid, haven’t seen you here for a long time. Good see you’re writing here!

    Yes, I would agree that the Author of nature would be the Triune God, but that, of course, that be a bit of stretch to establish in one essay.

    As for the “irrational assumptions of ‘theistic evolution'”, I don’t find theistic evolution to be irrational, at least terms of it being free from contradiction. It’s logically and metaphysically possible for an Infinite Being to establish life and design it through macro-evolutionary means and through a common ancestor. In fact, theistic-evolution has a serious advantage over the materialist account of evolution, because with the existence of a Mind as the origin of nature, the evolution would then be completely planned, designed and guaranteed to happen with some purpose and precision.

    This is unlike materialistic evolution or evolution with materialism as the background assumption, where you have to expect blind, unconscious matter to assemble itself in complex forms like parts of a single cell to assemble itself by accident and then expect nature to win the jackpot a trillion plus times. The whole materialist story of evolution is like imagining a sci-fi scenario where components of a tiny nanobot assembles itself by blind chance and then a high-tech transformer comes about in the next 50 plus million years. The problem with materialism (there are many problems with materialism of course), is there’s no reason to believe that matter will just assemble itself together blindly and form highly complex, functional entities and have evolutionary survival processes on top of that. Theistic evolution can at least avoid that problem.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m no firm believer in evolution or specifically Darwin’s “Common ancestor” thesis in biology. There’s little scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution from what I’ve gathered. There may be some micro-evolutionary changes or minor adaptions found among animals and other living organisms but not enough leaps to justify the theory.

    But there’s NO logical incompatibility with the notion that living organisms all evolved from a common ancestor with the notion of an Omnipotent Deity and the proposition that life was intelligently designed, which it evidently was so. That’s my take on all this. You have a good day Dave.

  37. Yes Johnbee,
    My mind’s made up by the way that I feel, don’t know about you

    Where will it all not end? I ask myself of ‘a Monday

    There are three “power of love”ses, which makes it a triune of songs
    That’s not the same as three powers of love, by the way

  38. My favourite one is Broke Away the lead singer once sang it on the radio live with guitar and it worked as a lullaby, still remember that, had flu at the time. The original’s rowdier

  39. G’donya, Bobcat, I was rather thinking that this altercation had begun to devolve into an orgy of Bible-bashing… something that I don’t have much sympathy for. I think it was Origin that said that the heretics resort to a plethora of out-of-context Scripture to justify their repudiation of Apostolic Christianity.

    Now, this “theistic evolution” business is a most subtle attack on the whole notion of a transcendent reality that is independent of the fads and fancies of a Gnostic elite. It sort of implies that God set in motion a chain of events and that He’s up in the sky waiting to see what will happen. Take it a bit further and you will have to subscribe to the whole Modernist doctrine that everything is “becoming” and that God is the “summary of consciousness” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s “Omega Point”) that arises out of randomness with no first or final cause.

    I will contend that there is a fundamental incompatibility with the notion “that living organisms all evolved from a common ancestor” because that implies (demands) that “things” (say organisms) that did not exist caused themselves or were caused by an inferior antecedent. It’s absurd! It is the very essence of Nothing turning itself into Everything with no first or final cause and no evident mechanism.

    Yair, I know, you’ll cite the many types of dogs or sheep etc. as examples of “Evolution” but they’re all still dogs or sheep; all it really means is that some characteristics of their original design have been eliminated so that other characteristics are manifest. I come from a long line of farmers and I know for sure that selective breeding by thousands of generations of farmers and their stock cannot turn a sheep into an elephant or a dog into a whale.

    Well then, Bobcat, if you have the means and you think it’s a good idea have a good day yourself.

  40. Olavid, great column. Bobcat, where’s the fossil record supporting a common ancestor?

    When Darwin wrote “On the Origin of the Species and by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life”, (publishers quickly removed the inconvenient part of that title), he wrote that there should be “interminable varieties [of fossils], connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps.”

    Instead, the fossil record shows vast numbers of new species suddenly appearing out of nowhere, remaining largely unchanged for millions of years, and then disappearing.

    Darwin’s response was to blame the “extreme imperfection of the geological record.”

    Today, we have fossils for about a quarter of a million species, and still, zero evidence supporting a “common ancestor” theory.

    Ann Coulter wrote a great column about this in 2011, which might have been originally entitled “The Dog Ate my Fossils”:

    https://www.staugustine.com/article/20110904/OPINION/309049951

  41. “Since a cause must contain its effect”
    In what way?

    That is nonsense
    Only metaphorically does it “contain” it’s effect, in which case sense can be made of such a ‘poetic’ statement

    Similarly it might be said to ‘encompass’
    ‘carry’
    ‘convey’
    ‘bring forth’
    ‘render’
    ‘deliver’, just a few things that cause can be said to do as an abstract noun but that’s all it is
    There’s no such person or creature as Mr Cause

  42. Mr Bump is real, some of the new female ones are just imposters pretending to be Mr men

  43. “where’s the fossil record supporting a common ancestor?”

    Good question Ann Cherry. But like I’ve stated already, I’m a skeptic of Darwin, not a believer in Darwin’s evolutionary view.

    Didn’t you catch my middle statements:

    “I’m no firm believer in evolution or specifically Darwin’s “Common ancestor” thesis in biology. There’s little scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution from what I’ve gathered. ” ??

    And you Ann have said:

    “Instead, the fossil record shows vast numbers of new species suddenly appearing out of nowhere, remaining largely unchanged for millions of years, and then disappearing.”

    Agreed. That’s called the “Cambrian Explosion” which apparently happened about 500 million years ago. That’s why some evolutionist postulated “punctuated equilibrium” saying the transitionary animals and macro-evolution happened so fast it doesn’t appear on the fossil record. Which is leaves Darwin’s views open to question and doubt to say the least.

    My only additional point was that theism and macro-evolution and common ancestor were logically compatible, that both are a technical possibility, not that they were both true or even likely to be both true. Hence, even assuming the premise of evolution, it is not something that would contradict the existence of God.

    So OldDave says
    “Now, this “theistic evolution” business is a most subtle attack on the whole notion of a transcendent reality that is independent of the fads and fancies of a Gnostic elite. It sort of implies that God set in motion a chain of events and that He’s up in the sky waiting to see what will happen.”

    Some theists that are into process theology, hold that God is temporal, and doesn’t know the future may say that, but not all theists. So a theistic-evolutionist may not even have to endorse that view as well if the theist believes that God knows the future.

    “Take it a bit further and you will have to subscribe to the whole Modernist doctrine that everything is “becoming” and that God is the “summary of consciousness” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s “Omega Point”) that arises out of randomness with no first or final cause.”

    I doubt that. I don’t accept Heraclitus’, or Bergson’s or perhaps Teilhard’s view of everything is in pure becoming or whatever your interpretation of the “modernist view” is (quite frankly there’s several modern views out there and they’re not all the same in metaphysics). In fact, I would say that technically there’s really no potentiality in things, at least in the traditional sense, since I’m a B-theorist when it comes to the philosophy of time. And the B-theory of time says that all events of past, present and future are equally real or existent. Also God would know the future just as He would know the past and present, because of all of history is laid before God on B -model of time.

    At any rate, I don’t endorse evolutionary theory, so by your own terms, I don’t see how I would fall into this category of ideas on everything being in a state of pure becoming. You guys have fun with all this discussion.

  44. Oldavid,

    “although [matter and energy] are the “stuff” the Universe is made of they do not have, individually or collectively, the power, intellect or will to create themselves or anything else.”

    It’s clear that matter and energy do have the power to create things like atoms, crystals, or stars. We know that those things form as a direct result of the interaction of the basic forces of nature like gravity and electromagnetism. It’s unclear to me why you think they would have to “create themselves” – if God didn’t have to create himself, why would the universe need to?

    “Nor can they be eternal because they are constantly changing (or “moving” as the classical philosophers call it) and anything changing or changeable (moving or moveable) is never what/where it was or will be.”

    I’m not clear what you mean by “eternal”. There seem to be two common definitions:

    A) An infinity of time.
    B) A state outside of time.

    We already know that time is part of the universe, so either (A) is true, in which case the universe has always existed in one form or another, or (B) is true, in which case the universe itself exists eternally, i.e. as a static, four-dimensional object, where time only exists within it.

    Incidentally, if eternal means unchanging, then how can an unchanging God decide to create a universe, or do anything at all, for that matter?

  45. “Since a cause must contain its effect”
    In what way?

    Because one cannot give what one does not have. If a Cause, C, produces an Effect, E, then E must be contained somehow in C. Else, how can it give the effect if it did not have it to begin with. So fire causes heat because fire contains heat formally, and a match causes heat, because the 3P4(s)+10KClO3 contain the heat eminently. Similarly, the acorn contains the oak, the DNA contains the protein, the major and minor premises contain the conclusion, u.s.w.

    Darwin wrote that there should be “interminable varieties [of fossils], connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps.”

    Firstcomers are often incomplete or incorrect in their details. You should read what Newton wrote about gravitational attraction. Like everypne else in his day*, Darwin believed inheritance was ‘analog,’ a blending of ‘bloodlines.’ The Augustinian friar, Gregor Mendel, showed that inheritance was ‘digital, a recombination of ‘genes’ that might lurk recessively until sufficiently common to find broad expression in the population. If that expression is distinctive enough, human beings will declare the population to be a new ‘species.’

    IOW, as Duhem pointed out, no conclusion stems from a single premise, and when the conclusion fails to follow (no “continuous spectrum of successor species”) it is the work of the intellect to decide which of the premises is wrong (“species emerge from prior species” OR “inheritance stems from a blending of fluids/blood” OR…)

    There’s no such person or creature as Mr Cause

    In which case, there can be no such thing as Mr First Cause. Indeed, that was what Hume claimed when he elevated correlation in place of causation.

    the fossil record shows vast numbers of new species suddenly appearing out of nowhere, remaining largely unchanged for millions of years, and then disappearing.

    I’m not sure what else one would expect if evolution is due to natural selection. As long as the environment is not changing, there is no impetus toward an evolution of the species. If the environment does change, species members may migrate elsewhere (and thus ‘disappear’ from the local strata) or may fail to adapt (and so leave no progeny) while others, making use of some fortuitous trait or behavior manage to survive (but in the process appear so markedly different that human paleontologists call them by a different name).

    “Rapid” is also subject to interpretation. The fossil record is not so complete and thorough as say the IRS records (wherein not a sparrow falls without being noted), and the columns that are fossil-rich are not randomly distributed. A single, thin stratum may be the compression of millions of years of sediment.

    Then God said: Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: tame animals, crawling things, and every kind of wild animal. And so it happened:

  46. Ann Cherry,

    “where’s the fossil record supporting a common ancestor?”

    Most of it is buried underground. A tiny bit of it has been uncovered and is in museums, university research labs and private collections. I quote TalkOrigins regarding the rarity of fossils:

    1. Some important factors prevent the formation of fossils from being common:

    * Fossilization itself is not a particularly common event. It requires conditions that preserve the fossil before it becomes scavenged or decayed. Such conditions are common only in a very few habitats, such as river deltas, peat bogs, and tar pits. Organisms that do not live in or near these habitats will be preserved only rarely.

    * Many types of animals are fragile and do not preserve well.

    * Many species have small ranges. Their chance of fossilization will be proportionally small.

    * The evolution of new species probably is fairly rapid in geological terms, so the transitions between species will be uncommon.

    Passenger pigeons, once numbered in the billions, went extinct less than 200 years ago. How many passenger pigeon fossils can you find? If they are hard to find, why should we expect to find fossils that are likely from smaller populations and have been subject to millions of years of potential erosion?

    2. Other processes destroy fossils. Erosion (and/or lack of deposition in the first place) often destroys hundreds of millions of years or more of the geological record, so the geological record at any place usually has long gaps. Fossils can also be destroyed by heat or pressure when buried deep underground.

    3. As rare as fossils are, fossil discovery is still rarer. For the most part, we find only fossils that have been exposed by erosion, and only if the exposure is recent enough that the fossils themselves do not erode.

    4. As climates change, species will move, so we cannot expect a transition to occur all at one spot. Fossils often must be collected from all over a continent to find the transitions.

    5. Only Europe and North America have been well explored for fossils because that is where most of the paleontologists lived. Furthermore, regional politics interfere with collecting fossils. Some fabulous fossils have been found in China only recently because before then the politics prevented most paleontology there.

    6. The shortage is not just in fossils but in paleontologists and taxonomists. Preparing and analyzing the material for just one lineage can take a decade of work. There are likely hundreds of transitional fossils sitting in museum drawers, unknown because nobody knowledgeable has examined them.

    7. Description of fossils is often limited to professional literature and does not get popularized. This is especially true of marine microfossils, which have the best record.

    8. If fossilization were so prevalent and young-earth creationism were true, we should find indications in the fossil record of animals migrating from the Ark to other continents.

  47. “God is Eternal”.
    Swordfish is closer to truth with his definition of Eternal.

    Thomas A is likely responsible for the unchangeable dogma. The claim is also that God is simple!
    However some think they can eat God, so there’s a lot of variation in deference regarding their concept of God.

    As far as people experience God as unchanging, that’s not the same as unchangeable.
    There’s a clear difference

    “O’ though who changeth not abide with me”
    Thee’s a desire in people for peace and certainty God provides this certainty and truth, which does not change through a person’s life he is always present.

    7th June 9:04am

    The point was that the word implies a containER which might hold several items together, like a trug.
    Since the discussion’s about power vs. Powers, My contention is:
    there is only ONE power The Power…The Truth, when referring to God

    Saying C=>E isn’t what you said to start with. Is the word contain absolutely necessary?
    Only it stands out as cumbersome. It might well be a signal that there’s a hidden reason.

    Why does the word Trinity matter so much? There’s more to it than just explaining Christianity. It looks like it has to do with power, again

  48. What did Hume say about Mr Bump?

    How many effects are there to a cause?
    How many causes are there to an effect?

    Where did any abstract thing come from?

  49. “In which case there can be no such thing as Mr first cause”
    I’d say it’s more complex than the information that is so far known about the universe
    We’re at least one dimension short of a full explanation

    Maybe there’s a confusion between power an force. Thee are forces in the pleural

  50. Wow, both YE Olde and Swordfish admit that there’s not much, if anything, from the fossil record that confirms Darwinian macro-evolution. Let alone, that these supposed macro-evolution transitions are ultimately rooted in a common ancestor. Not much empirical evidence for this theory is there?! And yet some wonder why this theory is questioned to this day…

  51. What is it that you want to find which is not there?
    Specifically?
    Darwin isn’t an “ism” anyway.
    Darwin wrote about his observation.

    Natural selection and survival of the fittest are not questioned ‘to this day’ by many seriously informed thinkers.
    People are just placing too much weight on what they think should be seen in fossils.
    Fossils aren’t so common as people assume.

    Macro evolution only works in conjunction with cellular mutations anyway or there can be no adaptation.
    You don’t grow a longer neck to reach the trees without the existence of cellular mutations, perhas other not yet understood mechanisms within the organism.

    The so called macro part is just the filter system through time.

  52. The “Evolution” story is not just questionable and questioned; it has been thoroughly debunked according to reason (that complies with the law of non-contradiction) and observation of the working of the physical (and chemical) order in the Universe. I’m not going to pick over the minutiae of flagrant bullsh!t that has been relentlessly propagated to sell the perverse superstition; that has been done over a long time by some very erudite scholars and real scientists. Look here for over a thousand papers by very reputable men, pick your favorite topic, and knock your socks off! Don’t worry, Joy, not one of them will express the slightest sympathy for Apostolic Christianity as preserved in the doctrines of the Catholic Church:
    https://www.trueorigin.org/camplist.php

    I will, instead, tackle some of the other widely assumed stumbling blocks that attempt to bring God down to our level; as Karl Marx so elegantly put it: “We’ll drag this God out of His Heaven.”

    First up, time.
    As an impetuous young man I accosted a renown theologian, philosopher, canon lawyer, exorcist with “Would it be fair to say that God created the last day at the same time He created the first?” He looked at the ground for a bit then said “That’s not bad, but there’s more to it.” As he resumed his ambulatory travel he looked back and said “The Philosopher (meaning Aquinas) says that God lives in an eternal now” and he left me to ponder it.

    St Augustin described time as the succession of events. Now that makes sense of the distinction between the temporal (in time where events are successive (there’s a before and after)) and the eternal where everything is “present” (no before and after). We measure or assess the “passage” of time by comparing one reasonably constant succession of events (like the rotation of the Earth giving us days or parts of days etc.) with other successions of events giving us the notion of “when” an event was, is, or will be.

    If you think about it it is apparent that time is not some Einsteinean “stuff” that can be bent, twisted, stretched, shrunk, etc. in fact, it’s not anything but a concept arising out of the succession of events that only occurs IN a physical Universe.

    The problem arises when we, in the hubris of our fallen nature, decide that because we are in time so that we can learn, assess, choose with a free will then so must God be; but that is not the case at all. We need time to work out our lives but He doesn’t… everything eternally IS for Him.

    There have been other issues raised here (like miracles) that I’ll come back to if there is a sustained interest in the whole business.

  53. It’s been a long time (as in many events have succeeded) since I last crossed swords with the noisyfish and yole statistician. I’ve been busy elsewhere. Just for now, I’ll take issue with the underwater blaring of the fishy bod: “if God didn’t have to create himself, why would the universe need to?”

    Look, old fella, if the course in reading and comprehension you’ve been taking is not working try another one. I already said that anything moveable or moving (changeable or changing) must have a beginning and an end as in what it comes from and what it’s tending to. The fashionable superstition is that Nothing is turning itself into Everything. If that makes sense to you then I suspect that reality has no meaning at all in the Gnostic make-believe.

    Ultimately, the only alternative to Nothing “becoming” Everything is that there is an anterior “uncaused First Cause” as in the title of my essay. In my crude version of reality (mainly farming) you don’t work your arse to the bone unless you intend to achieve some good end… i.e. a “final cause”. The superstition that Nothing is randomly becoming Everything for no reason or purpose is way less than infantile.

    And then YOS said “Then God said: Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: tame animals, crawling things, and every kind of wild animal. And so it happened:” apparently trying to imply that the “living creatures” spontaneously erupted out of the earth creating for themselves that metaphysical thing called “life” which orders dumb physics and chemistry into a live organism. When the metaphysical “life” is gone the organism is just a bunch of chemicals that immediately revert to mere physical and chemical stuff that deteriorates into the simplest and lowest energy states of the component elements.

  54. Oldavid,

    “I already said that anything moveable or moving (changeable or changing) must have a beginning and an end as in what it comes from and what it’s tending to.”

    Since you’re appealing to common sense, if God is unchangeable, common sense says he can’t do anything.

    “The superstition that Nothing is randomly becoming Everything for no reason or purpose is way less than infantile.”

    I don’t think it’s as infantile as believing that the universe was created by a disembodied mind which loves us but has somehow managed to saddle us with cancer and a book of instructions which says slavery is fine but it’s evil to pick up sticks on the Sabbath. But in any case, I don’t believe that Nothing became Something. I don’t believe that a state of Nothing can exist, as existence is Something.

  55. Oldavid,

    “The “Evolution” story is not just questionable and questioned; it has been thoroughly debunked”

    Nope. It’s Christianity which has been thoroughly debunked. It was kept propped-up by Popes living in riches in golden palaces, liars and criminals like Kend Hovind, paedophile priests, mega-church pastors fleecing their flocks out of millions, ridiculously gullible Christian historians, and dupes like you, but it’s on the way out at last.

    In reality, most of the Old Testament is known by real historians to be sheer fantasy. Moses and the other Patriarchs probably never existed. Genesis is scientifically wrong and laughable on every level. There’s no evidence for the Exodus. And the New Testament isn’t much better – the gospels are anonymous, written decades after Jesus supposedly lived, and show a clear progression, starting with Mark having just an empty tomb, ending with John having Thomas sticking his hand into Jesus’s wounds, and with clear evidence of copying and embellishment. The whole thing has been debunked and you haven’t even noticed.

  56. apparently trying to imply that the “living creatures” spontaneously erupted out of the earth creating for themselves that metaphysical thing called “life”

    Why do people constantly confuse transformation with creation? They are not even of the same order. The passage in question merely allows that species emerged from matter at God’s command. Evolution by natural selection no more contradicts God’s power than Maxwell’s Laws subvert God’s command that there be light. (Very few get their shorts in a knot over that one.)

    Species, also, that are new, if any such appear, existed beforehand in various active powers; so that animals, and perhaps even new species of animals, are produced by putrefaction by the power which the stars and elements received at the beginning.
    — Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, I.73.1.adv3

    Our knowledge had grown since then, so for “putrefaction” we may substitute “mutation” and the “power which the stars and elements received at the beginning” can be replaced by the simpler (if less poetic) phrase “natural causes.” As William of Conches said,

    “[God] is the author of all things, evil excepted. But the natures with which He endowed His creatures accomplish a whole scheme of operations, and these too turn to His glory since it is He who created these very natures.”

    Fundamentalists, both theist and atheist, while denouncing or extolling the toppling dominoes caused by prior dominoes toppling, to forget that someone had to arrange those dominoes in the first place. You may as well say that Laertes killed Hamlet in revenge for his father’s murder and forget that Laertes killed Hamlet because that’s how Shakespeare wrote the play.

    There is nothing in kinesis (the term Aristotle used originally that is translated into Latin as motus and into English as “motion”) that entails a moving/changing body had a beginning in time. Aquinas did not think such a conclusion could be reached by reason and assumed, secundum argumentum, that the world had always existed. That it had a beginning he took as a matter of faith (cf, De aeternitate mundi; https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/basis/aquinas-eternity.asp)
    Augustine it was who speculated that creation was instantaneous and the “six days” were poetic inventions. The last “day” was indeed the same as the first.
    The definition of time as succession goes back to Aristotle. Aquinas phrased it nicely as “time is the measure of motion in mutable being.” If there is no changing (no actualization of potentials) then there is no time.

  57. YOS,
    “So fire causes heat because fire contains heat formally, and a match causes heat, because the 3P4(s)+10KClO3 contain the heat eminently. Similarly, the acorn contains the oak, the DNA contains the protein, the major and minor premises contain the conclusion, u.s.w.”

    ““So fire causes heat because fire contains heat formally,”
    Fire IS energy in form of heat? Isn’t it?

    Fire is a chemical reaction. It’s not formerly doing anything with purpose of being formal or eminent. I have to stop myself from describing it dressed for a ball or just in ripped jeans, do you have any sympathy with why it sounds funny? I’m not laughing at you I’m laughing at the language. Partly it’s curious that you would speak this way to somebody. Maybe it’s frustrating for you that one hasn’t read the book about the classification of causes I recall Briggs promising, among other things, a post about this but maybe it’s just more fun to be mystical and smokey
    ~~~
    “a match causes heat, because the 3P4(s)+10KClO3 contain the heat eminently.”
    The chemical reaction in that example is between the match and the air, but the trigger is movement in that example. Kinetic energy causes the strike
    ~~~
    “Similarly, the acorn contains the oak, the DNA contains the protein, the major and minor premises contain the conclusion, u.s.w.””

    The acorn does not contain the Oak, it really doesn’t!
    Th acorn contains information in form of DNA which interacts with the universal laws of physics and which are impeded or not, by other biological factors, which are also just part of that system.
    Of course even if the acorn’s looking like ‘doing nothing!” It’s never “doing nothing”. It is metabolising very slowly and eventually runs out of puff, like the match runs out of wood.

    There’s no major and minor premise in nature but there is in abstract argument, or so it would appear, which is part of nature after all! That brings mind to mind! The first intention not the first cause.

    So information is a kind of potential energy
    Information IS power, as the saying goes

  58. The acorn does not contain the Oak, it really doesn’t!
    Th acorn contains information in form of DNA which interacts with the universal laws of physics

    So, first you say it doesn’t, then you explain how it does!
    contain from L. com tenere (hold together) [c. 1300] meaning inter alia “to behave (in a certain way),” as in the expression “please, contain yourself.”

  59. “Fundamentalists, both theist and atheist, while denouncing or extolling the toppling dominoes caused by prior dominoes toppling, to forget that someone had to arrange those dominoes in the first place. ”
    Well no, they’re making that very point, you’re stealing their thunder

    ~~~
    There’s no such thing as an atheist fundamentalist

    The term refers specifically to religious believers who think that their faith needs to return to the fundamentals
    but often don’t know what they are! Very often Protestant but also Catholics, have joined forces with the advent of the internet group think machine

    Why would they make a point about dominoes if they don’t mean to show that something has to trigger the movement?
    What you mean, I think is that someone had to arrange the fact that effects follow cause? Writing the rules?

    The dominos

  60. I cut and paste your comment and of course any hidden code will be within the response, which alters the formatting, so excuse me

    Not gonna google it from here!
    “So, first you say it doesn’t, then you explain how it does!”

    No, I said is is not a vessel of containment in any sense except metaphorically, the instance win which you appear to be using it at one moment and them slipping back into physics talk the next. It’s not a straight forward way to make a point

    “contain from L. com tenere (hold together) [c. 1300] meaning inter alia “to behave (in a certain way),” as in the expression “please, contain yourself.””
    Hmm, now we appear to be trying to convince your opponent that they don’t know what the word contain actually means in plain English?
    Cause does not hold things together? Can it be more plain than that?
    I wrote a list of words without reference to a dictionary or thesaurus and it was skipped past.
    Here’s the question:
    Is the word ‘contain’ absolutely necessary?
    Can you think of a better one? Like I said, I think it’s chosen in order to somehow conveniently uphold the word that doesn’t really need your help or anybody else? i.e. ‘Trinity’?Is there a better word to describe cause in action?

  61. The acorn does NOT contain the oak!
    Unless you think the acorn is a Tardis?

    counting your oak trees, before they’ve germinated.
    the fudge is in the word “Oak”

    oak cells are not oak trees
    oak tissue is not an oak leaf, an oak tree, or an acorn, hidden or otherwise
    Even an acorn which looks complete might have cells rubbed off which make it less than what it was before! How do you know when that goes from an unfortunate acorn to a dead acorn?

    the right thing to say is that the acorn contains oak, but nobody would say it because the fact that it’s an acorn ALREADY means that it’s oak and so containment refers to the mechanism of transformation
    or growth/development transformation is a bit grand, perhaps

  62. Why would they make a point about dominoes if they don’t mean to show that something has to trigger the movement?

    The ‘movement’ could have been ‘triggered’ by an earth tremor. Perfectly natural. The ‘primary cause’ in this case is not tipping over the first domino. It is arranging the dominoes so that they topple. This you will notice that this arranging is not itself a domino in the sequence of dominoes.
    Darwin called his book The Origin of Species…, but you will notice there must be already a species before natural selection [or other mechanism] can alter it. If he had called his opus The Transformation of Species…, it might have saved us all a lot of agita. Most of the critics of the theory (and even many of its supporters) attack (or rally around) straw men and criticize things the poor guy never said. [cf. Mary Midgley, Evolution as a Religion]

    Other mechanisms include genes, sexual selection, natural genetic engineering, transposons, et al. These are not mutually exclusive, but may be mutually inclusive partial explanations. Just as theories of gravity assume the fact of gravity and propose means by which gravity is produced, theories of evolution assume the fact of evolution and propose means by which it takes place.

  63. There’s no such thing as an atheist fundamentalist

    Read atheist rants and you will never find a clearer picture of the white-bearded god of the Fundamentalists. It’s no coincidence that Fundamentalism arose at the same time as as the term “scientist.” Both hatched from the same egg.* Both place their faith in the inerrancy of texts, interpreted with a remorseless literalism. (Recall the earlier kvetching about the “instruction manual” forbidding pick-up sticks.) Think of the modern fashionable atheist as the anti-particle to the modern unfashionable religious fundamentalist. At least Nietzsche thought things through to the bitter end. When he denounced Christianity, he denounced the whole thing. He did not pick and choose the bits he liked and try to keep them arbitrarily.
    #####

    It’s Christianity which has been thoroughly debunked.

    What, again?

    It was kept propped-up by Popes living in riches in golden palaces

    The fabled ‘riches’ of the Vatican are about the same as the endowment of Harvard University.
    Kend Hovind
    Whoever he is.
    paedophile priests
    How exactly do they “prop up” Christianity? I would have thought the opposite. Do pedophile teachers somehow prop up the school system?
    mega-church pastors fleecing their flocks out of millions
    I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that scammers have glommed onto whatever suits their scams. Fortunately, no one else does this by astrology, phrenology, social Darwinism, eugenics. and other scienticalistic mumbo jumbo.
    but it’s on the way out at last.
    That’s what they said the last time.
    blockquote>In reality, most of the Old Testament is known by real historians to be sheer fantasy.You say that like fantasy is a bad thing. In any case, you probably mean ‘myth,’ not ‘fantasy.’

    Moses and the other Patriarchs probably never existed.

    Or like many other Origin Myths, entire peoples have been portrayed as single individuals. The travels of Abram, for example, from Ur to Canaan, track the migrations of the Amorites following the fall of the Third Dynasty of Ur. The use of the myth as if it were in the 19th century history genre is a further illustration of the remorseless literalism of the fundamentalist.

    Genesis is scientifically wrong

    Which would be important if it were a science text. Augustine pointed out millennia ago that “morning and evening” made no scientific sense on a sphere, that “days” were impossible before the sun existed, and so on. The Lord wanted to make Christians, he said, not astronomers. Gen1 is a poem in honor of the Sabbath and it is evidently intended to weld the returnees into a single people.

    There’s no evidence for the Exodus.

    Again, you have to look at the nature of the story and its purpose. The twelve tribes appear to have been quite diverse. Dan appears to have been a Philistine clan (“abided on his ships” in a desert?), the trans-Jordan tribes seem to have been Arabs (they could not properly pronounce “shibboleth”). Others may have been Canaanites. And some, indeed, escaped slaves from Egypt. The three narratives in Exodus appear to have been stitched together from multiple legends and appear to have been aimed at providing a unified narrative for everyone to buy into.

    the gospels are anonymous, written decades after Jesus supposedly lived

    Heck, I read an account of the US Civil War that was written more than a century after the events. Greco-Roman bioi were seldom contemporaneous. Greek historiography emphasized “the living word” (i.e., testimony of eyewitnesses, who could be cross-examined) rather then documents, and their anecdotes tended to be written down only when the eyewitnesses were beginning to die off. In fact, the gospels were written nearer to the events described than were most bioi. It may have been decades after Jesus lived, but Jesus died young and his disciples were still around. Mark, e.g., was Peter’s secretary and translator and he copied Peter’s stories and sermons and tried to put them in a reasonable order only when Nero had targeted Peter for scapegoating.
    You will also note that certain background characters are Named Persons. This was a Greek convention used where we would employ a footnote: to indicate the source of a particular anecdote who was known to the congregation for whom the evangelist was writing [Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, et al.] . Simon of Cyrene is, e.g., introduced as the “father of Alexander and Rufus.” If you don’t believe this story, go ask those two about it. That’s why the women at the foot of the cross differ among texts: some may have died or were otherwise unavailable to the particular readers of the various texts.
    All you really have to do is regard these texts as similar to other Hellenistic texts.
    You could also grant a little credence to Papias (scr. c. 100 AD) when he tells us about the writing. He knew Ariston and John the presbyter, as well as the daughters of Phillip and was a hearer of John the Apostle.

    If, then, any one who had attended on the elders came, I asked minutely after their sayings — what Andrew or Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the Lord’s disciples: which things Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say. For I imagined that what was to be got from books was not so profitable to me as what came from the living and abiding voice.

    The Elder used to say: Mark, in his capacity as Peter’s interpreter, wrote down accurately as many things as he recalled from memory—though not in an ordered form—of the things either said or done by the Lord. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied him, but later, as I said, Peter, who used to give his teachings in the form of chreiai, but had no intention of providing an ordered arrangement of the logia of the Lord. Consequently Mark did nothing wrong when he wrote down some individual items just as he related them from memory. For he made it his one concern not to omit anything he had heard or to falsify anything.
    Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could.
    — Pappias of Hierapolis

    ____________________
    *Alert. This is not a literal egg or a literal hatching.

  64. God forces no one to be His, but if the refusal to belong to Him Who is Love, is made by a person who has freely by his/her own free will, chosen to reject Him, the consequences are the eternal separation from Him for Whom we are created.

    Those who are willing to believe God, but are having difficulties in doing so, only need to truly ask His help and the Holy Spirit will aid you in every way needed, and you will know that you know that you know that Jesus is God, is the Son of God, suffered and died for our sins so as to restore our relationship with God, that Jesus is risen from the dead, has appeared to many, has ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will judge the living and the dead at the end of time … some will go to Eternal Life with Him forever and some will go into Eternal suffering forever. Very sobering to think and meditate on.

    We have free will to believe and to not believe. But whether we choose to believe God or not, does not, cannot, and will not change the Truth of the requirement for salvation, which is the acceptance by Faith and baptism that Jesus is Risen from the dead and confession by mouth that Jesus is Lord and is the only salvation that is and ever will be.

    On Bishop Sheen .. here is his take on America:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnXlQWmubYw

    On Bishop Sheen and Vatican II … Bishop Sheen died December 9, 1979. The harm of many of the plans of the progressives of Vatican II were not yet realized publicly, in the fullness in which they now exist. That which Bishop Sheen knew concerning the extreme changes advocated by the progressives, we do not know.

    On the surface, many of the changes of Vatican II, were welcomed … the celebrant facing the people … the Mass being offered in the vernacular of the community … the greeting during the Mass of Christ’s peace.

    On the Blessed Trinity being written of and stated succinctly, in the Bible, we do have the writing of St. John the Apostle in the Book of the Bible of 1 John 5: 7.

    “5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth. 7And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. 8And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one.” 1 John 5: 7.

    God bless, C-Marie

  65. *I suppose that’s the closest I’m going to get to your admitting that you don’t mean contain literally?

    The ‘movement’ could have been ‘triggered’ by an earth tremor. Perfectly natural. “ You seem to have gone a different way!

    Where are you? I’m in outer nothingness, somewhere? You can’t invoke earth tremors from here!

    “The ‘primary cause’ in this case is not tipping over the first domino. It is arranging the dominoes so that they topple. “

    So you meant what I suggested in response regarding how the first cause might have set the rules? That’s what I said.
    ~~~
    Darwin called his book The Origin of Species…, but you will notice there must be already a species before natural selection [or other mechanism] can alter it. If he had called his opus The Transformation of Species…, it might have saved us all a lot of agita. Most of the critics of the theory (and even many of its supporters) attack (or rally around) straw men and criticize things the poor guy never said. [cf. Mary Midgley, Evolution as a Religion]”

    If people could only stop talking about autobiographical stuff, which is the intellectual equivalent of celebrity gossip, (but tamer) then the truth of science and what is claimed could surface a lot quicker.
    The origin of species might have been a more attractive title for him or his publisher. It certainly would have sounded more punchy and an easier read for a wider audience. Trigger words hadn’t been hatched!

    He didn’t have internet critics to please and the world of academics interested enough to read was smaller

    Darwin was a great man and provided the world with insights which have born fruit. If people can’t get perspective about great men without being churlish they’ll only be hurting themselves.
    ~~~
    Natural selection really does refer to all mechanisms which filter out certain features. Arguing about naming things and classifying things is an endless endeavour.
    The number of moons keeps changing, also as a matter of classification. It’s not a problem that undermines the scientific field. It’s just frustrating for onlookers. Like much of the objection over covid.

  66. I’ll be glad when I’ve had enough, there’s this:

    “but you will notice there must be already a species before natural selection [or other mechanism] can alter it. “
    Not sure that follows. There is no problem there.

    The selection or natural filter from the chaos and fluctuating environment is constantly changing the organism type’s ability to survive at any given point in time.

    Where’ s the problem?
    Are people worrying about where spaces come from?
    As far as I recall the definition has to do with whether the organism can reproduce with another organism. If it can, it’s the same species.

    Once it no longer can, it’s a different species, even if it looks similar.

  67. Natural selection really does refer to all mechanisms which filter out certain features.

    Darwin did not think so. He defined a very explicit process in which aptness for a niche defined what traits were ‘advantageous’ and which were not. Everybody wants to generalize it into an amorphous blob, because the more vague and generic the concept is, the harder it becomes to criticize it.

  68. YOS,
    You want to use the word Darwinian and I’m not going to do it!
    He wouldn’t have used the term. He would have gone along with the knowledge as it developed.
    There’s no ‘darwinian’ versus anything else.
    There’s just how it works, warts and all.
    Selection by preference as in animals choosing a certain mate
    Selection by being too conspicuous for the environment and being picked off by the local raptor,
    Selection by being bigger or smaller and therefore being more suited to the prevailing temperatures
    selection by being cunning enough to avoid danger
    I believe Darwin’s observations would have limited him to certain kinds of selection but I don’t believe it’s a reach to take that to the next stage and include all aspects of nature as a filter.
    There’s no contention.
    The list could go on, before thinking at all about cellular biology involving mutations which are advantageous or detrimental.
    Call it nature’s selection and be done

    The history of science obviously interests you

  69. As far as I recall the definition has to do with whether the organism can reproduce with another organism.

    So much for the Northern Spotted Owl, which is interfertile with the California Spotted Owl and with the Barn Owl, though they are accounted separate species. I’m not sure where that leaves us wrt roses and plants that are self-fertilizing, or with certain fungi which alternate generations between sexual and asexual, or with amoebae, bacteria, and other asexual reproducers. Ring species are especially intriguing, for adjacent populations can interbreed, but those at the far ends cannot.

    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other…” — Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

  70. Comment to the person in the photo with glasses, I’m all out of names right now and he doesn’t know my name so I though it best not to embarrass him:
    Why “so much for”?

    These examples almost completely comply with the definition. The owl example is listed as an exception by its cross breeding.

    Animals of different species cannot reproduce together. If genes are manipulates manually that’s quite another matter. Biology is not as your irritation implies, meant to behave under strict laws!

    The animal and plant kingdom, fungi and microbes are all classified by mankind. As you very well know and so it’s odd that you’d go down this route.

    “So much for the Northern Spotted Owl, which is interfertile with the California Spotted Owl and with the Barn Owl, though they are accounted separate species.”

    Not for long, they use the term inter fertile precisely because something unusual is going on.
    The classification will change in time or perhaps something else is going on there.
    ~
    “ I’m not sure where that leaves us wrt roses and plants that are self-fertilizing, “
    Well if they are self fertilising then they still aren’t reproduce with another species…so they also fit the definition well;
    ~
    “or with certain fungi which alternate generations between sexual and asexual, “
    Same definition applies;
    ~
    “or with amoebae, bacteria, and other asexual reproducers.”
    Asexual reproducers are clearly ones of a kind? So they are each separate species and easily distinguished from one another as A-sexual reproduction means no mixing of genetic material, so , cloning, try little variation…not a good thing for adaptation and strength of the organism type.
    ~
    “ Ring species are especially intriguing, for adjacent populations can interbreed, but those at the far ends cannot.””
    Not sure what you’e referring to there but I’m sure it’s not going to alter the definition much
    ~
    Then there are those hermaphrodites which also spoil the rules, the sea horse, which ruins the rule females gestating babies! They still have to find a lady horse though. See Sea biscuit, the cute sea horse who had trouble finding a mate.

    Biology is like this and anybody who’s studies it knows this fact. You appear to be finding it surprising? This is because you like sets and groups. Your comments are often filled with types and groups. The thing with nature is that it doesn’t read the book before daring to exist or even flourish while breaking the rules!

    Even better, nobody tell them off for it.

  71. “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other…” — Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species”
    What’s wrong with that?

    That’s correct with regards to all classification in Biology.
    I’ve seen you in action before arguing about dogs and essences of creatures. It all gets very silly.

  72. …and given your last comment there’s even less controversy
    “but you will notice there must be already a species before natural selection [or other mechanism] can alter it. “
    I said,
    *Not sure that follows. There is no problem there.”
    Even less so now you’ve claimed that species don’t exist, effectively.
    It makes no difference to evolution and how things evolve? The mechanism works whatever you or I call the organisms

  73. YOS,
    So, (this is the last word unless you want to talk about the reason why containers have to be used to create the universe but ones just big enough to hold three items, “not more, not less”….)
    “Species”, aren’t a problem
    It must be
    “origin”, that’s causing all the difficulty.

    Why blame Darwin, or even the theory of evolution, for not explaining how the universe began if you can’t explain it and neither can anybody else?
    Evolution has no bearing on the argument about God. Only if you’re a fundamentalist.
    Good evening.

  74. flourish while breaking the rules!

    Except for the rule about species=interfertility? If botanists find that definition of species problematical (animal-centric, they have been known to say) why should not we? It is generally called “the species problem.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_concept
    Mayr’s definition, called the Biological Species Concept or BSC, is appropriate for sexually reproducers, but fits poorly on plants. By some counts, biologists use as many as 26 different species definitions. Some animal populations are interfertile but are accounted different species. The pupfish of Nevada have been known to switch species when the conditions of their pool water changes. There is a grove of Aspen called Pondo in Colorado which while consisting of hundreds of trees is a single organism (so sometimes what is even meant by an individual is peculiar.)

  75. “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other…” — Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species”
    What’s wrong with that?
    “Whoever, like Darwin, denies that species are non-arbitrarily defined units of nature not only evades the issue but fails to find and solve some of the most interesting problems of biology.”
    — Ernst Mayr, Animal Species and Evolution

  76. [quote=noisyfish] Since you’re appealing to common sense, if God is unchangeable, common sense says he can’t do anything.[/quote]
    Hmm. You’ve, perhaps inadvertently, touched an important topic that you will hate with all your ideological prejudice. It’s angels. Angels are created beings of pure Act that do the “work” of making things go according to the eternal “plan” (or refused to do so because they, once and for all, decided that the “plan” is stupid). Yep! God doesn’t slip out of the sky and lurk around manipulating or “tweaking” things according to a continually revised “plan”. I’m not going to try to explain it in detail… you think about it for yourself. YOS and his silly mates orta think about it too. Tom of Aquinas had a fair bit to say about this according to Revelation (which is infallible) and observation of the natural World (which is fallible).

    [quote=fishy] I don’t believe that a state of Nothing can exist, as existence is Something. [/quote]
    I never said or implied that Nothing was an “existence” of any kind. It’s only you galahs that imply that Nothing is something that can turn itself into Everything if you just wait long enough. I said (what I thought was clear enough) that for anything to exist there must be an uncaused First Cause that is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnivolent.

    [quote=fishy] Oldavid,

    “The “Evolution” story is not just questionable and questioned; it has been thoroughly debunked”

    Nope. It’s Christianity which has been thoroughly debunked. [/quote]

    That you refuse to look at the evidence and proceed with your ideological prejudice as if there was no evidence says quite a lot about your moral and intellectual integrity. A blind man with eyes firmly shut blundering about in a room full of compelling exhibits shouting “nothing to see here” is hardly a good teacher.

  77. Come now, YOSsy, theistic “Evolution” is only a prerequisite for theistic Modernism. Modernism, be it “theological” or secular, is firmly premised on the assumption that everything is in a process of “becoming” and that everything is inevitably proceeding from an outdated and redundant “old” to an “improvement of the new” by a dialectical process very similar to the “survival-of-the-fittest” paradigm of Darwin who admitted that he drew his inspiration from Thomas Malthus. The Hegelian notion of dialectics was embraced by Karl Marx who popularised it as the “class struggle” rather than the “race struggle” for supremacy as envisaged by Darwin and was in the original title for his fanciful “Origin of the Species”. I’ve seen some quotes, purportedly letters from Marx to Darwin, in which Marx endorsed Darwin’s notions as supportive of the communist objective as an “antidote” to vestigial Christianity.

    It is an almost imperceptible step from the “Evolution” paradigm (secular or “theological”) to “liberation theology” and the “New Age” “spirituality” to a great “reset” and a misanthropic “Novus Ordo Seculorum”.

  78. Tom of Aquinas had a fair bit to say about this
    He certainly was wordy. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear took him from sunrise to mid-afternoon to say “Good Morning”.

  79. I will defend Ole Tom for his apparent loquacity; he thought it all up and wrote it up in Latin with the pernicketyness of his peers in mind, I suspect, so that he was trying to dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s” in no uncertain manner.

    It was all intended to be “practicalised” to the “great unwashed” like us by our pastors. Don’t forget that almost the whole world was technically illiterate in the C13 except for the scholars. We could regress way back from then to Apostolic times when the whole Faith was taught by word of mouth.

  80. Modernism… is firmly premised on the assumption that everything is in a process of “becoming”

    That’s much older than ‘modernism.’ Aquinas and the scholastics said that the material world was constantly changing. Cubs become tigers. Mountains become hills. Caterpillars become butterflies. Change is virtually definitional of matter. Though unlike Heraclitus, the change (a/k/a ‘motion’ or ‘kinesis’) was a ‘rolling out’ (e volare) of what a body has in potential to what it has actually. Only a being t hat is purely actual is never changing, and there is only one of those (and being unchanging, it is not “in” the world.)

    everything is inevitably proceeding from an outdated and redundant “old” to an “improvement of the new”

    That is the notion of progress, which indeed took on its modern meaning at the beginning of the Modern Ages, ca. 1400. But while a butterfly may be regarded an improvement over a caterpillar, dogbears evolved into dogs at one end of their range and into bears at the other end. Dogs indeed proved better at dogging and bears, better at bearing than the dogbears, but dogbears had been perfectly adequate for dogbearing. Dogs are no good for bearing and bears, of little use in dogging. Nor are the eroded Appalachian Mountains ‘better’ than the preceding “Rocky” Appalachians. The only thing you can say is that they are ‘different’ or ‘changed.’ The Atlantic basin is ‘wider,’ not ‘better’ than it was an eon ago. The best you can say (in some cases) is that the being has been ‘perfected’ and in other cases perhaps ‘defected.’

    “survival-of-the-fittest” paradigm of Darwin

    Darwin never used that ‘paradigm’ (which took on its present meaning not only in the Modern Ages, but in the Late Modern Age, after about 1962) The phrase indeed is due to Spencer (iirc) who had a more political sort of evolution in mind. Darwin even refused to use the term ‘evolution’ (because of its connection with the French Terror) until he threw in the towel in the final edition. But evolutionary change leads to greater aptness for a niche, not ‘fitness’ in a generic sense.

    All of which has led us far afield from the trinitarian nature of the Godhead, (Although process was also involved there, under the term ‘procession.’)

  81. “Except for the rule about species=interfertility?”

    THAT there is an exception implies a pattern and therefore a rule, but not a law!
    That’s the idea behind the phrase
    “Exception that proves the rule”
    I
    By your implicit manner of understanding that phrase is irrational.

    Maybe some sloppy modern invented it, in which case they should have rather said pattern instead of rule but most of them are already on to the next thing and not bothering about such trivial nonsense. Rather like you’re not bothering abut the trivial nonsense as to why the word contain is necessary in order to talk about cause, even for a moment! There’s no. such thing as a moment on the internet.

    Who’s taking the barn owl to court for finding the spotty one sexy? Could this be a mutation too? Is that how new species begin? Those are all rhetorical. As I said way back, there’s obviously something else going on thee. A curiosity to study. Problems is where science works but again you mean quite another thing by problem. You’re using it to make some fundamental claims about the universal law of nature.

    Why is it that the categories are there?
    It is for clarity. Your reason is a whole different realm.

    It’s the bait and switch game of catholic dogmatic thinking but it’s somehow always a non catholic problem? Now you note botanist in a specific role, to give credibility.

    I’ll bet he’s not worried about natural law. He’s trying to study what’s happening and find patterns or sequence which imply a mechanism. Or trying to find candidates to cross pollinate. They spend many a day tickling fluffy bits on flowers and swapping genetic material. You see plants can’t move! They don’t make choices..? Insects make them for them. Wind tends to be a bit more predictable and less picky and choosey.

  82. “Whoever, like Darwin, denies that species are non-arbitrarily defined units of nature not only evades the issue but fails to find and solve some of the most interesting problems of biology.”

    The quote reveals more about the speaker. If they deny that it is not then it is? It sounds like a lot of egos don’t even know what Darwin said. Let alone what he thought

    It blames someone for what they don’t know or even claim to know, when nobody else does either! Just like king Canute! Darwin’s being blamed but he was telling it how it is (was at the time).

    What ‘We’ have here, is the conflation of epistemology with ontology
    A convenient way w, in enough time, to appear to be more insightful than in this case, Darwin

  83. In fact, I don’t even believe that anybody who has studied Biology even at a very standard level would not have grasped the manner in which things were named or clasified.

    ‘nomenclature’ is the word I try to avoid most of the time

  84. That’s the idea behind the phrase “Exception that proves the rule”

    Actually, that phrase goes way back to the root meaning of ‘prove’ as “to try by experience or by a test or standard; evaluate; demonstrate in practice.” Examples include ‘probate,’ ‘proving grounds,’ ‘proof’ [of whiskey], ‘proof of the pudding [is in the eating],’ et al. The word ‘probe’ is cognate. The exception proofs [i.e., tests] the rule.
    It is not my fault, nor even that of your hated Catholic dogma, that biologists have problems using Mayr’s BSC and prefer the PSC or other species concepts as more useful for their particular field of study. Many prefer the genetic approach. A particular problem is how can you apply the BCS to fossil species.

    A fundamental drawback to the biological species is the concept is that it is exclusively defined in terms of sexual reproduction. Asexual and cyclically parthenogenetic taxa are obviously excluded from this concept, but it is also true that many species capable of sexual reproduction cannot be easily accommodated within the framework of the biological species concept. Species capable of self-fertilization (e.g., parasitic tapeworms and some plants) and those with mandatory sibling mating are more similar to asexual than to sexually outcrossing species (Templeton, 1989) from the viewpoint of population genetics. Species that freely hybridize (open mating systems) with one or more other species yet maintain their evolutionary identity as species also provide a serious challenge to the validity of the biological species concept. Freely hybridizing species are known from plants, insects, and vertebrates (Templeton, 1989).
    xxx

    “Whoever, like Darwin, denies that species are non-arbitrarily defined units of nature not only evades the issue but fails to find and solve some of the most interesting problems of biology.”

    The quote reveals more about the speaker. If they deny that it is not then it is? It sounds like a lot of egos don’t even know what Darwin said. Let alone what he thought

    Yet, the Ernst Mayr quoted was the very evolutionary synthesizer who formulated and championed the Biological Species Concept you defend. That Mayr did not know what Darwin wrote is risible. He was one of those who saved Darwin from falsification by attaching it to genetics.

  85. Joy,

    You must realize by now that YOS’s hobby is to search for words in posts with special meaning to him to elucidate upon in great length. He’s kind of like Sheldon Cooper this way. I think he does this to tangentially distract from argument. If he can, he’ll write them with the Greek alphabet presumably because anything written that way must be True. That there are those fawning bystanders who will swoon when these magical incantations are invoked is probably no small coincidence.

    So now we are being treated to his understanding of the word ‘species’ as if anyone actually cares. All it seems because Darwin used it and Darwin was just plain wrong.

  86. Darwin used it and Darwin was just plain wrong.

    Actually, Darwin was mostly right, though incomplete. His fanboys may have overreached his science. And it was Joy who obsessed over species, harping on Mayr’s BSC while scientists have expressed reservations. It was Mayr who said Darwin was wrong (about the definition of species).

    It’s always useful to be clear about terms and definitions. Mathematics and physics are especially keen on this. Some others seek to get by on fuzzy colloquial usages. That way, they can object to what they want the Other to have said raither than to what he actually did say.

    I’m sorry you feel that Greek terms should not be spelled in the Greek alphabet. Why could they not have done it our way, which we know is best.

  87. It’s always useful to be clear about terms and definitions. Mathematics and physics are especially keen on this.

    Even when the terms are incidental to the current topic it seems.

  88. I’m sorry you feel that Greek terms should not be spelled in the Greek alphabet.

    Because it adds little to nothing outside of “look how smart I am”. Why stop there? Why not post everything in Greek?

  89. Species means specimen of a kind, a sample or a model of a group

    One of the boundaries must be, naturally, where the creature can no longer mate with another of its own kind. You still don’t see why this isn’t a problem?

    So far we’ve got a few delinquent owls who have probably twigged that there are other owls out there? Wait till they see the snowy owl.

    Tawnies make the classic owl sound. I hear them a lot, sounds like a special effect, cartoon owl. The male makes one sound and the female answers. They don’t both twitwoo, if you get my drift, perhaps you already know, but maybe the barn owl’s good at impersonation? That would explain why he’s managed to find an owl from a different ‘species’.

    Re Darwin, I recall you saying he’s wrong out of the gate

    The classification is overlaid on what is really true, as science develops

    People don’tdisagree about whether a fungus is a fish (you dare), but things get a bit wooly when it comes to white rhinos versus black rhinos

    Do you know the difference between them without a search engine?
    Can’t find sea biscuit the sea horse
    What about the ring fungus?

    The non crossover ‘rule’ is not even relevant when organisms don’t mate?
    They clearly can be classified more readily than those which mix genes?

    Organisms mobile enough to look beyond next door, mix genes, spread them further and wider and there’s a big evolutionary advantage to this (diversity).

  90. Dav,
    You’re right, it is the triumph of hope over experience
    YOS
    You don’t play by your own rules, as partially defined above.
    I think you only get away with this in written form.

  91. When choosing between Oldavid and the Magisterium, I choose the Magisterium.

    CCC 234
    The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith”. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men “and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin”.
    CCC 237
    The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the “mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God”. To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

    And thanks for the gratuitous insult. I would rather be a “know nothing” than a prideful “know it all”. If adhering to the teachings of the Magisterium makes me a girly man, then I welcome the perjorative.

    Perhaps the translation is incorrect, but Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, seems to agree with the Venerable Fulton Sheen: “I answer that, It is impossible to attain to the knowledge of the Trinity by natural reason.” Question 32

  92. [quote=YOS] Actually, Darwin was mostly right, though incomplete. His fanboys may have overreached his science. [/quote]
    No, Darwin was emphatically wrong because the whole speculation assumes an impossible (invalid) premise; namely that inferior, or simpler, things can, and do, turn themselves into superior, or more complex, things. The whole “Evolution” paradigm doesn’t come within a bull’s roar of being a scientific theory because, according to the most basic summary of the scientific method, it’s nothing more than a rather fanciful speculation.

    Basic scientific method:
    1, something is seen to “happen” or to be otherwise evident.
    2, question: why is this so?
    3, hypothesis: perhaps, maybe, proposals for how and why that are to be tested for logical conformity to certainly known premises and verification by experiment. (The “Evolution” paradigm fails on both counts).
    4, theory: an hypothesis that passes the testing is then said to be a possible, or even likely, explanation for the observed phenomenon.

    The “Evolution” paradigm has nothing whatsoever to do with anything that could be called valid science; it’s an ideological prejudice that is embraced by folk who like to imagine themselves as “futurists” with a guiding grip on “progress”. Modernism, both “theological” and secular, assumes this ideology with the accompanying assumption that reality is not the creation of the omniscient Being but is “developing”, or “becoming”.

    Someone, sometime back, asked “what about miracles?” Well, I answer that without a Natural Order by which “things” naturally work (like the “Laws of Thermodynamics”) then miracles are meaningless. If everything is arbitrarily “miraculous” as the “theistic evolutionists” seem to imply then there can be no such thing as a suspension or abrogation of the natural order in very localised and specific instances that we rightly call miracles.

    The bods around here that seem determined to keep plugging for the “Evolution” paradigm have apparently chosen to ignore what I said above in the article:

    “The purpose of this essay is to provide a very simple “lowbrow” refutation of Modernism’s “neo- pantheism” using concepts intelligible to even the most unsophisticated pragmatic and sane mind. The particular target of this pedestrian approach is the irrational assumptions of “theistic evolution” that try to insinuate notions of “inevitable progress” into theology, philosophy, sociology, etc.

    Modernism, both secular and “theological”, is truly the “synthesis of all heresies” because it admits no absolutes. Everything is in the process of “becoming” what it was not but will be. A complete denial of even reality itself.

    incomprehensible to the worldly-wise who assume that “God” is “becoming” according to their fancies.

    But egos and fancies aside, ordinary people in their often gruesome and trying ordinary lives possess an intuitive understanding of what intellectuals and scholars have evaded with pretentious, arcane wordiness. It’s not “high brow”; it can be simply comprehended. (Ordinarily logic proceeds from “common sense” except in the ivory towers of academia).”

  93. Darwin was emphatically wrong because the whole speculation assumes an impossible (invalid) premise; namely that inferior, or simpler, things can, and do, turn themselves into superior, or more complex, things.

    If only Darwin had said that, you might have a point. But he only wrote about “descent with modification.” And nothing “turns itself” into anything, because “everything that is changing is being changed by another.” It is the Umwelt, surely a complex thing, that selects for greater aptitude. I don’t see how a bear is “superior, or more complex” than a dogbear or that a Hereford cow is more complex than an aurochs. (“Superior” is meaningless. Superior with respect to what?) If natural selection does not work, how can we account for stockbreeding and plant nybridization, since the former is only a slower version of the latter? Aquinas explained it thusly:

    Nature is nothing but the plan of some art, namely a divine one, put into things themselves, by which those things move towards a concrete end: as if the man who builds up a ship could give to the pieces of wood that they could move by themselves to produce the form of the ship.
    — Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Physics II.8, lecture 14, no. 268

    It may well be that processions other than ‘descent with modification’ account for the manner in which happy little replicators combine into higher level replicators, other than the vacuously tautological reduction that “survivors survive.”

  94. Oldavid,

    “Angels are created beings of pure Act that do the “work” of making things go according to the eternal “plan”…”

    The common sense problem isn’t just that an unchangeable God can’t manipulate the world, it’s that he can’t do anything at all, including think, or create angels.

    “God doesn’t slip out of the sky and lurk around manipulating or “tweaking” things according to a continually revised “plan””

    According to my common sense reading of the Bible, that’s exactly what he does.

    “I said (what I thought was clear enough) that for anything to exist there must be an uncaused First Cause that is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnivolent.”

    If something just exists, I don’t see any reason why it can’t be the universe. I would have thought a disembodied conscious mind would be the least likely candidate for a first cause.

    “That you refuse to look at the evidence and proceed with your ideological prejudice as if there was no evidence says quite a lot about your moral and intellectual integrity.”

    Actually, it says nothing at all about my “moral integrity”. I’m not refusing to look at the evidence; I used to believe in God but stopped when I actually examined the (so-called) evidence.

  95. Ye Olde Statistician,

    Evolution by natural selection no more contradicts God’s power than Maxwell’s Laws subvert God’s command that there be light.

    Hypothetically, God could have created us through evolution, but Genesis says he did it in a different way. If you’re going to chuck Genesis out of the window, why not chuck the rest of the Bible while you’re at it? In fact, please do!

    The history of life on Earth shows that we are here essentially by accident. If God wanted to create us using evolution, it would also be necessary to arrange asteroid impacts, supervolcano eruptions, continental movements, and climate changes in exactly the right way, along with countless quintillions of mutations. It is obvious that the explanation that the entire thing is natural is far more likely than that God orchestrated all of it in such as way as for it to appear natural, then ‘inspired’ his followers to write down a totally incorrect version of it in his holy book.

    To put it another way, if Genesis was literally correct, that would be almost irrefutable evidence for God; the fact that it isn’t MUST be seen as evidence against (the Christian) God. You can’t have it both ways.

    Also, why would a loving God create us using a method which has resulted in the completely unnecessary death and suffering of countless sentient organisms, over billions of years?

  96. “Angels are created beings of pure Act that do the “work” of making things go according to the eternal “plan”…”
    The common sense problem isn’t just that an unchangeable God can’t manipulate the world, it’s that he can’t do anything at all, including think, or create angels.

    Oldavid is incorrect: Angels are not pure act. If they were, they would not have the potency for falling. There is only one Being of Pure Act, as can be demonstrated by modus tollens.
    I’m not sure, Mr Bones, why you think a purely actual being whose essence is his existence “cannot do anything.” Is this an assuption of yours, or do you have a proof (other than ‘common sense’).

    According to my common sense reading of the Bible, that [slip out of the sky and lurk around manipulating or “tweaking” things] is exactly what he does.

    That’s the problem with the fundie approach. First, it’s the common sense reading in English. Second, nothing is less common than common sense. Third, traditional Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Syriac) do not get their beliefs from the Bible; they got the Bible from their beliefs. Fourth, theokinetics is not needed, since He prepared an entire scheme of natures, like a shipbuilder who endowed his lumber with the power to form itself into a ship.

    If something just exists, I don’t see any reason why it can’t be the universe.

    1) the universe is not a thing, but the mereological sum of things. It exists iff any of its constituents exist, for example photons or hydrogen. 2) The universe, so far as science knows, had a beginning and will have an end. So there must be eons when it did not exist. (You may claim universes after universes to get around this, but that is as much an Act of Faith and any other.) 3) the items that comprise the universe come into existence and pass away, not a feature of anything actually actual.

    I would have thought a disembodied conscious mind would be the least likely candidate for a first cause.

    There are certain qualities that follow from Primary Cause, Primary Mover, and suchlike; for example, that it is immaterial, eternal, unique, etc. Your use of the phrase “disembodied conscious mind” is tendentious inasmuch as it embeds [‘contains’] certain tendencies of thought. First Cause is not ‘disembodied,’ since that implies that it was removed from a body. ‘Mind’ must be understood analogously, not as a human mind but like a human mind.

  97. Hypothetically, God could have created us through evolution, but Genesis says he did it in a different way. If you’re going to chuck Genesis out of the window, why not chuck the rest of the Bible while you’re at it?

    A typical fundie trope — all or nothing. The various books of the Bible are of different genres: poems, novellas, court chronicles, love songs, proverbs, political protests, myth, legend [not the same]. and even history as we understand it. They should not be read with the same reading protocols. For example

    After Alexander the Macedonian, Philip’s son, who came from the land of Kittim,* had defeated Darius, king of the Persians and Medes, he became king in his place, having first ruled in Greece.
    He fought many battles, captured fortresses, and put the kings of the earth to death.
    He advanced to the ends of the earth, gathering plunder from many nations; the earth fell silent before him, and his heart became proud and arrogant.

    — 1 Maccabees

    seems straightforward; while

    I pleaded and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.
    I preferred her to scepter and throne,
    And deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
    nor did I liken any priceless gem to her;
    Because all gold, in view of her, is a bit of sand,
    and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.
    Beyond health and beauty I loved her,
    And I chose to have her rather than the light,
    because her radiance never ceases.
    Yet all good things together came to me with her,
    and countless riches at her hands;
    I rejoiced in them all, because Wisdom is their leader,
    — Wisdom 7

    is rather more poetic, although the lesson [It is better to be wise than rich] is oft overlooked in these materialistic times.

    Gen1 is a poem in honor of the Sabbath, perhaps composed by Nehemiah, to remind the Returnees of the re-bindings that had kept them united. It imagines God as a kind of craftsman, perhaps a carpenter. What task is worthy of such a craftsman? Why, the building of everything: “the heaven and the earth” [i.e., ‘lock. stock, and barrel’].

    Day 1. God turns on the light in his workshop.
    Day 2. God does the rough carpentry on the heaven.
    Day 3. God does the rough carpentry on the earth.
    Day 4. God does the fine carpentry on the heaven.
    Day 5. God does the fine carpentry on the earth.
    Day 6. God applies the finishing touches.
    Day 7. God kicks back, opens some brewskies, and catches the game.

    Lesson: if Sabbath-keeping is good enough for God, it’s good enough for you. So, give your employees a day off.
    Notice the parallel structure typical of Hebrew poetry, and the use of a refrain: “And God saw that it was good. Eve and morn the nth day.”
    The notion that this was intended as a sort of physics lesson would likely have astonished [and displeased] ol’ Nehemiah

  98. To Swordfishtrombone, I see that you did once believe in God, but in looking at the evidence: ” I used to believe in God but stopped when I actually examined the (so-called) evidence.”

    So, here are some questions to which, if I am not being intrusive, I would very much like to know the answers.

    Did you ever believe that for every human being, our relationship with God was utterly broken by Original Sin, and that the only way back into relationship with God was and is through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ?

    Did your heart ever respond to the Love that Baby Jesus had for you?

    Did you ever believe the teachings and revelations that Jesus Christ gave while He was here on earth? Did you and do you believe that Jesus was a real person Who lived and Who was crucified unto His death?

    Did you ever believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.
    Did you ever believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven?
    Did you ever believe that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead?

    God bless, C-Marie

  99. Ye Olde Statistician,

    That’s the problem with the fundie approach.

    It’s a “fundie” approach to read the Bible and believe that it depicts real events?

    First, it’s the common sense reading in English.

    But the gospels were written in Greek, which is already a translation of the original (spoken?) Aramaic, assuming that there was anything original to translate, of course. And why would God rely on potentially faulty translation when he could just communicate directly with us with zero effort? If translation is a problem, that’s more evidence against God.

    Second, nothing is less common than common sense.

    Are you suggesting that a common sense reading of the Bible doesn’t indicate that God intervened in the world (thousands of years ago, not now when we have smartphone cameras, of course!)?

    Third, traditional Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Syriac) do not get their beliefs from the Bible; they got the Bible from their beliefs.

    Now you’re just being silly.

    Fourth, theokinetics is not needed, since He prepared an entire scheme of natures, like a shipbuilder who endowed his lumber with the power to form itself into a ship.

    (I had to google “theokinetics”, and it links back to Feser (please spare me from that arrogant x*!$) and this blog. Sigh.)

    I’m talking about interventions like the parting of the Red Sea, the comedy of errors in the Garden of Eden, or the destruction of the Tower of Babel. Are you saying that those things didn’t happen? Surely not! And there’s no evidence for teleology in nature, if that’s what you mean.

    1) the universe is not a thing, but the mereological sum of things. It exists if any of its constituents exist, for example photons or hydrogen.

    This is almost certainly false. There’s no reason to believe that the universe is nothing more than the sum of its parts, but even if it is, so what? I see no reason why the parts that make up the universe can’t just exist. And if God has no parts, common sense says that’s another reason why he can’t do anything.

    2) The universe, so far as science knows, had a beginning and will have an end. So there must be eons when it did not exist.

    If it had a beginning (which we don’t know), then time began then also. There were no eons when it did not exist. You are making the same schoolboy error as Oldavid.

    3) the items that comprise the universe come into existence and pass away, not a feature of anything actually actual.

    They didn’t come into existence. The same error. Again.

    There are certain qualities that follow from Primary Cause, Primary Mover, and suchlike;

    Well, you can pretend that if you want. Here’s one you probably don’t like: God would have to be at least as complicated as the universe in order to create it. Another: a perfect being can’t desire to create a universe. Also, disembodied means without a body. All the evidence indicates that minds require physical brains, which are the most complicated things we know of in the universe, and the result of billions of years of nuclear fusion, chemical reactions, and evolution, pretty much the worst possible candidate for a first cause.

  100. Ye Olde Statistician,

    That’s the problem with the fundie approach.

    I forgot to say the most important thing: Jesus was a fundie. He refered to the the patriarchs and events in the OT numerous (78) times in the gospels and gives every indication that he thought they described real events and real characters. Including nonsense like the Flood. So there’s that.

  101. “Darwin …the whole speculation assumes an impossible (invalid) premise; namely that inferior, or simpler, things can, and do, turn themselves into superior, or more complex, things.”

    Not so much an implied premise as an inferred consequence, or implication given some assertion.

    “the whole speculation assumes an impossible (invalid) premise; namely that inferior, or simpler, things CAN’T, and DON’T, turn themselves into superior, or more complex, things.”

    As is usually pointed out here, snowflakes, from ice crystals?

  102. A person learns through their life, so thinking becomes more complex.
    Memory is the key, even silly memory of an animal will lead to changes in behaviour and thus an effect on their fate. That new knowledge is passed on and those creatures not able to keep up fall to the sid, lose the advantageous edge. This means more replication of the more successful animal.

    Covid 19 isn’t learning anything by memory but the ‘cunning’, which could be said to be more sophisticated, occurs just by the number of opportunities the virus has to replicate and rewrite, if accidentally, useful new physical attributes.

  103. Tt’s a “fundie” approach to read the Bible and believe that it depicts real events?

    Some real events, for sure. There really was an Alexnader of Macedon, who really did conquer the world. But they do not understand how cultures use myth and they try to read it like 19th cent. history. The fundie approach is largely to take the Bible as the source of the Faith.

    But the gospels were written in Greek, which is already a translation of the original (spoken?) Aramaic

    The gospels were written in Greek. Papias tells us that Matthew wrote a gospel in “the Hebrew tongue,” which was likely Aramaic. It was the only gospel used by the Ebionites. Greek Matthew does not appear to be a straight translation of this, which may be what scholars call Q.

    And why would God rely on potentially faulty translation when he could just communicate directly with us with zero effort?

    That’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

    “The writers of the Bible were illuminated more or less – some more than others – on the question of salvation. On other questions they were as wise or as ignorant as their generation. Hence it is utterly unimportant that errors of historic or scientific fact should be found in the Bible, especially if errors relate to events that were not directly observed by those who wrote about them.

    The idea that because they were right in their doctrine of immortality and salvation they must also be right on all other subjects is simply the fallacy of people who have an incomplete understanding of why the Bible was given to us at all.”

    — Fr. Georges Lemaître

    traditional Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Syriac) do not get their beliefs from the Bible; they got the Bible from their beliefs.
    Now you’re just being silly.

    Why are you calling the Orthodox silly? They say flat out that the Faith is based on the Holy Traditions. They didn’t even have a Bible, as such; just a book of the gospels, a lectionary, a psalter, etc. The Catholics say the Faith is based on :the Bible and Tradition, keeping in mind that the Church existed before the Bible was finalized.

    (I had to google “theokinetics”, and it links back to Feser (please spare me from that arrogant x*!$) and this blog. Sigh.)

    This is the form of argument the logicians call argumentum ad hominem. Instead of addressing an argument, you attack the speaker — or in this case, the alleged speaker. I first saw the term in an essay about why Thomists were not joining in the Intelligent Design movement. http://guweb2.gonzaga.edu/faculty/calhoun/socratic/Tkacz_AquinasvsID.html I hadn’t known Feser picked it up. In any case, why google? The meaning is clear from the Greek.

    And there’s no evidence for teleology in nature, if that’s what you mean.

    Of course, there is. If a cause A did not “point to” an effect B, rather than C, D, or E, there would be no scientific laws of nature. A tiger cub grows into a tiger, not a tiger lily or an aardvark. In physics, we speak of ‘attractor basins’ or equilibrium manifolds. In evolution theory, natural selection points toward ‘greater aptness for a niche’ (hence, ad-apt

    1) the universe is not a thing, but the mereological sum of things.
    This is almost certainly false.

    How, so? if nothing material existed, what would comprise a ‘universe’?

    [T]here are no objections of principle against the introduction of this hypothesis, by which space and time are deprived of the last trace of objective reality.
    — Albert Einstein, “Explanation of the Movement of Mercury’s Perihelion on the Basis of the General Theory of Relativity,” 1915
    Formerly, people thought that if matter disappeared from the universe, space and time would remain. Relativity declares that space and time would disappear with matter.
    Albert Einstein, magazine interview

    ++++++

    And if God has no parts, common sense says that’s another reason why he can’t do anything.

    There’s that ‘common sense’ again. How many parts does gravity have?

    If [the universe] had a beginning (which we don’t know), then time began then also

    Or, as Augustine put it:

    With the motion of creatures, time began to run its course. It is idle to look for time before creation, as if time can be found before time.
    De genesi ad litteram,
    Book V, Ch. 5:12

    +++

    They didn’t come into existence.

    So, stars, galaxies, planets, species, and the like have always existed? The Big Bang is wrong?

    God would have to be at least as complicated as the universe in order to create it.

    What are the arguments for this? Sounds like a creationist jibe against evolution, contending that simple things cannot evolve into complex things.

  104. Fr. Georges Lemaître’s quote is absolutely terrible, especially considering that he’s the one who jettisoned the Traditional Creation Account of Genesis and tried to marry Christianity with Darwinian Cosmological Evolution to cook up the ridiculosity known as the ‘Big Bang.’ He at least cautioned that his ideas should never be treated as Gospel truth, but in the end, Lemaître, intimidated and raised on THE SCIENCE ™, was a modernist to the end that contributed to the further philosophical destruction of the Church he was to serve; but we ought not be too hard on him for being the faulty product of his time as most of us are/were.

    Lemaître, like most liberal modernists, had to uphold the heresy, alien to the entirety of Christendom until our Vatican II fertile proto-era, that the Bible could be erroneous in matters outside of anything having to do with the necessity of salvation, because he didn’t have the knowledge or the balls to confront the status quo built on Copernicus and Darwin.

    Einstein was a bastard result of trying to salvage Copernicus in the face of scientific evidence that demonstrated the Earth did not move through space, and so he and his cohorts pulled a magician’s mathematical trick to cover up the null results by claiming they were masked by the transforming of matter and time as substances to the precise degree to hide specifically the Earth’s velocity itself through space because nature decided in particular just to screw with us specifically.

    As the Fathers and Councils taught, and as the Holy Inquisition ruled correctly against Copernicus and Galileo, if Scripture could err in matters of worldly things, why trust it about Heavenly things? Catholics have always been the original fundamentalists for good reasons. This is not to say that Catholics reach the heights of the errors of hyper-literalism, nor deny that there could be human copyist errors in minor details when attempting to preserve some of the texts or when translating from one language to another that tends to lose some meaning, or when copyists updated terms and identities or locales using then-present day references to substitute for places whose original names ceased to exist in their times so that the contemporary readers could be more familiar with it long before anyone cared about the scientific degrees of preservation and scholarship standards that we have today.

    The Bible is inerrant, but also contains various literary devices from hyperbole to sarcasm to parables to catering to the limited and local understandings and customs of people in ways that didn’t give a hoot about what modern scientists and categorists of the 18-19th Centuries would demand God should’ve retroactively known so as to placate their future skepticism.

    For example as when Christ called the mustard seed the smallest of seeds, which to His audience was a practical fact to be leveraged as a useful allegory, but which to modern botanists and their fancy microscopes is categorically wrong. Naturally, Christ wasn’t concerned with being scientifically accurate. But this is certainly NOT an error, anymore than if one were to call Joe Biden the stupidest fool on Earth is considered an error, to which the skeptics rise up with their clenched fists and say, “NUH-HUH! THERE ARE DEFINITELY PEOPLE WHO ARE MORE STUPIDER THAN BIDEN! I CAN NO LONGER TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY SIR, AND I AM NOW UNSUBSCRIBING FROM YOUR CHANNEL for SUCH REMARKABLE ERROR!”

    Also Catholics have not only the Scriptures, but the constant consistent testimony and Tradition of the Church that has interpreted them, which in many ways again uphold things completely at odds with THE SCIENCE ™, and also would’ve schooled Lemaître for his audacity, and rightly so.

    “I say that, as you know, the Council [of Trent] prohibits expounding the Scriptures contrary to the common agreement of the holy Fathers. And if Your Reverence would read not only the Fathers but also the commentaries of modern writers on Genesis, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Josue, you would find that all agree in explaining literally (ad litteram) that the sun is in the heavens and moves swiftly around the earth, and that the earth is far from the heavens and stands immobile in the center of the universe. Now consider whether in all prudence the Church could encourage giving to Scripture a sense contrary to the holy Fathers and all the Latin and Greek commentators. Nor may it be answered that this is not a matter of faith, for if it is not a matter of faith from the point of view of the subject matter, it is on the part of the ones who have spoken. It would be just as heretical to deny that Abraham had two sons and Jacob twelve, as it would be to deny the virgin birth of Christ, for both are declared by the Holy Ghost through the mouths of the prophets and apostles.”
    – St. Robert Bellarmine, defending the Church’s Teaching on the Earth’s immobility.

    Bellarmine would’ve sooner said that were the propositions of Galileo proven then it would be far better to argue that we had somehow failed to understand the Scriptures rather than claim they were erroneous. The error would be on our part, not on the Holy Spirit.

    Therefore one cannot have a separation of details of history and incident from that of matters pertaining to salvation, anymore than one can assume to separate Church from State and pretend one does not and never had an practical effect or duty towards the other.

  105. 1. The Big Bang has to do with the solutions to the field equations. It has nothing to do with Darwin.
    2. The Inquisition never ruled on Copernicus. It pulled his book from circulation pending corrections. When these were made, the book was released once more.
    3. The revolution of the earth was established by the parallax of a-Lyrae found by Callendrelli. The diurnal rotation was established by Guglielmini in a series of experiments dropping weights down towers and mine shafts. These were later refined by Bessel and Foucault, resp.
    4. For if he takes up rashly a meaning which the author whom he is reading did not intend, he often falls in with other statements which he cannot harmonize with this meaning. And if he admits that these statements are true and certain, then it follows that the meaning he had put upon the former passage cannot be the true one: and so it comes to pass, one can hardly tell how, that, out of love for his own opinion, he begins to feel more angry with Scripture than he is with himself. And if he should once permit that evil to creep in, it will utterly destroy him.
    — Augustine of Hippo, On Christian doctrine, I.37

  106. Jesus knew the Flood was true. And He knew that all His references to theOld Testament were true, even Jonah!! God bless, C-Marie

  107. Swordfish ,
    Remember this? Believe you’ve found this already,
    “ Keith Ward Tears Fundamentalism Apart (Part 1)” |Of 2|
    It’s packed tight with facts and will save a lot of time for you if you want to understand where you’e being led up the garden path with false information about who believes what.

    Kieth Ward has made a life’s work of studying all major world religions, was primarily a philosopher as well.
    Very easy to listen to

  108. Strooth!! There’s no shortage of confusers muddying the water. Now we have Johnno weighing in with the Sungenis/deLano (and a gang of others that I’ve only met as nom de plumes on various Catholic forums) flogging the nonsense idea that because Darwinism is impossible then so too is the Copernican view of the Solar System. Both Darwinism and Geocentrism repudiate the idea that there is an observable natural order that governs the physical World; claiming that the whole shebang is arbitrarily run by magic.

    According to Johnno’s prognosis the Moon must be further away than the Sun because it comes up about 20 minutes later each day compared to the Sun, and the Planets must tear themselves to bits zig zaging and roaming around the sky. Despite what Sunginarse and deLooney (and friends) might arbitrarily claim, Galileo was not censured for proposing the Copernican model of the Solar System. He compromised his own credibility by making outrageous claims and by being an arrogant, impertinent, twerp openly ridiculing anyone (including his previously personal friend the Pope) who did not fall into his train. The blardy twitt also boasted that “his discoveries” would “turn all of philosophy and theology on its head”. No wonder that the Inquisition was skeptical but, even so, the great scholar Robert Cardinal Bellarmine did say that if the Copernican model could be adequately demonstrated we’d have to reassess our interpretation of Genesis. No really big deal.

    Curiously enough, even while Galileo was degrading science into scientism the Jesuits were proposing the Copernican model to Chinese astronomers who, to their immense credit, pulled out their charts of the night sky and lo! the observations fit the model.

    Pretty much as in Galileo’s day it was not the erudite theologians and philosophers who opposed the Copernican model but the scientismists guarding their pet “teachings” and the “Sola Scriptura” dunces who would claim that all knowledge is literal in Scripture (except for the bits they don’t like) we now have scientism that claims to be the ultimate reality which can usurp even the notion of reality as an absolute and make it into something fluid, something “becoming” or “developing”. The “Evolution” paradigm is indispensable to this notion and it is the one and only slogan to sell “progressivism” as a “theological” imperative or a secular justification for all kinds of degeneracy.

    Degeneracy implies a decay from a proper “norm” to a lower state but in the “Evolution” paradigm it’s rather meaningless except as an “antithesis” in the great dialectical competition leading to a new synthesis. Modernism, both secular and “theological” repudiates the notion of an absolute reality, of “good and evil” according to a purpose (final cause) of Creation.

    I am more and more convinced that “theistic evolution” is the supreme error that degrades Christianity. If it was only the pagans and perverts who subscribed to the absurd notion then it would be a simple them against us but, the enemy is within us.

  109. The catholic fundamentals follow suit with The Chicago fundamentalists

    It was Born In The USA!

    Protestantism, like Catholicism, are evidently, not the same in England, or at least that’s how it appears

    The USA will repeat history without the help of Islam, or the democrats through the transmission belt of the social media, by the implosive forces of Christians, too proud to learn from history or know the truth in its most peaceful, plain sense.

    Your enemies know how to pull strings and press buttons and they’re not afraid to do so. Shame it needs saying.

    God gave you the tools but you’re not using them.

    If you can’t admit the truth when it comes to the trivial errors or misconceptions, you’ve lost your way, with regards to a search for any truth at all, with or without faith in God.

    In such a state, effectively, you’ve lost faith per se. so you develop hopelessness, like the original wife who was gaslit by her husband through not just betraying, but USING her trust to break her spirit. It’s also been weaponised, as it deals within the realm of information, which has different physical boundaries.

    It starts with Pride the force taking Christianity down the Swanny which is also known as nature’s plug hole

    Christianity will survive it all because the Spirit Gives Life and True Love never dies

    “The written law kills”

    The power and the glory belongs to God. It’s an appeal to humility and truth

    The Lord’s Prayer

  110. C-Marie,

    Jesus knew the Flood was true. And He knew that all His references to the Old Testament were true, even Jonah!

    Jonah? Sigh. Surely you can detect something fishy about that story, even if Jesus couldn’t?

  111. One day, you will be a believer in Jesus Christ. Just is taking a bit of time.
    God bless, C-Marie

  112. That’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

    People not being saved due to their inablity to read God’s word is a feature? This is another of those claims which is actually more consistent with God being evil.

    The idea that because they were right in their doctrine of immortality and salvation they must also be right on all other subjects is simply the fallacy of people who have an incomplete understanding of why the Bible was given to us at all. — Fr. Georges Lemaître

    The rational conclusion to draw from the existence of historical and scientific innacuracies in the Bible is that the immortality and salvation parts of it are probably wrong as well.

    This is the form of argument the logicians call argumentum ad hominem.

    Not it isn’t, because it wasn’t an argument. I just wanted to air my feelings regarding Feser. It felt good!

    Of course, there is [evidence for teleology in nature]. If a cause A did not “point to” an effect B, rather than C, D, or E, there would be no scientific laws of nature.

    Teleology isn’t ’cause A points to effect B’. To quote Wikipedia:

    a reason or explanation for something as a function of its end, purpose, or goal, as opposed to as a function of, say, its cause.

    There’s no evidence that anything is directed towards any purpose or goal. Evolution isn’t directed towards a goal.

    If nothing material existed, what would comprise a ‘universe’?

    Until we have a complete ‘theory of everything’, we can’t say that the universe is just the sum of its parts. Is a star just the sum of its parts? If you remove enough parts from a star, its nuclear fusion will stop.

    There’s that ‘common sense’ again. How many parts does gravity have?

    Gravity isn’t intelligent.

    So, stars, galaxies, planets, species, and the like have always existed? The Big Bang is wrong?

    If the big bang was the beginning of time (and that’s something we don’t currently know) then there was literally no time at which the universe did not exist. The universe didn’t “come into existence”, it just exists.

    What are the arguments for this? Sounds like a creationist jibe against evolution, contending that simple things cannot evolve into complex things.

    Is God supposed to be simple, or infinitely intelligent, which the evidence indicates requires (infinite) complexity? make your mind up!

  113. Come now, Fishy. You’re thrashing around in a paddling pool trying to pretend that Nothing can turn itself into Everything just because you (and your noisy, irrational mates) are given lots of publicity implying that it does.

    Stand up, reveal your premises and explain just how it’s supposed to happen according to the well known, easily demonstrable, natural order.

    Perhaps you might begin by explaining how it is that the “chance” of even one simple protein being formed by random accident is practically zero but even the simplest organism requires a concert of thousands of specialised proteins that all have to be present to make the organism.

    Perhaps Julian Huxley gave us the clue when he was selling “Evolutionism” to a pretty uncritical audience: “It’s impossible! yet it has happened! because here we are!” And in another place it was shamelessly proclaimed that “Evolution” must be true because the alternative “is unthinkable”.

    There’s another purely practical bother for the devotees of the insane (detached from reality) dogmas of the religion of Materialism. Quite apart from the fact that a concert of specialised proteins cannot form by accident… any recently dead organism contains all the chemical structures of the live one. But it immediately begins to degrade into the simplest elements of its composition. Curiously, that pile of proteins, amino acids and other stuff that never occurs in nature outside of a living organism does not reform itself into a “new, improved” organism. When that metaphysical “thing” called “life” is gone ordinary physics and chemistry do what they do.

    As I said before; your silly superstition is less than infantile.

  114. People not being saved due to their inablity to read God’s word is a feature?

    1. You don;t “get saved” merely by “reading the Bible.” That’s another of those fundie tropes that atheists have adopted. In his text, On Christian doctrine, Augustine tells of a good Christian man he knows who does not even possess a Bible.
    2. The feature is that human beings are the medium, not the message.
    3. You ‘get saved’ by doing God’s word.

    The rational conclusion to draw from the existence of historical and scientific innacuracies in the Bible is that the immortality and salvation parts of it are probably wrong as well.

    And what of the historical and scientific inaccuracies in Plutarch or Pliny? Why do people think that everyone at every other time and place had the same concerns as Late Modern Westerners?

    There’s no evidence that anything is directed towards any purpose or goal. Evolution isn’t directed towards a goal.

    Sure, it is. At a broad level, natural selection is directed toward the origin of new species. At a fine level, natural selection is directed toward greater aptness for a niche [ad-apt-ation]. When a lioness leaps upon the back of a gazelle, it is in order to kill the gazelle and feed her pride. She does not leap at random and survived because she just happened to land on a gazelle. A rock dropped in a gravitational field will move toward the point of lowest potential, the “center of gravity.” Hydrogen and oxygen, when combined, will produce water. Your Wikipedia entry seems to assume that fourth atia are in competition with third. It isn’t. Both explanations are concurrent. You also seem to think there is only one sort of telos.

    Until we have a complete ‘theory of everything’

    But we never will [or, more precisely, we can never know that we have one.]. See Goedel’s incompleteness theorems for details.

    Is a star just the sum of its parts?

    Doubtful, although the distinction between heaps and things is often tricky, and sometimes a heap can act like a thing. The key distinction is that the parts of a thing act like parts of a thing, while the parts of a heap act as they would whether they were heaped or not. Example: an electron in a valence shell of an atom acts a part of the atom, not as a free electron. A hydrogen atom does not fuse in nature with another hydrogen atom until it is part of a star.

    There’s that ‘common sense’ again. How many parts does gravity have?
    Gravity isn’t intelligent.

    Intelligence is now a requirement? You claim [and creationists claim] was that a simple cause could not produce a complex effect. I supplied one example where it does. Here’s another: a saucer of milk that causes a kitten to cross the room [to drink it]. The neurological and muscular motions that result are more complex than the saucer of milk that produced them. Note also that the saucer does not move as the kitten approaches. It is an unmoved mover [with respect to that particular motion]. It is also a first cause and a final cause of that motion.

    Is God supposed to be simple, or infinitely intelligent, which the evidence indicates requires (infinite) complexity?

    What evidence? Also, as Aquinas pointed out, that which we deduce about God must be understood in an analogical sense. That God can be deduced to have an intellect does not mean that his intellect is of the same order as human intellect, but that it is like intellect in humans.

  115. the “chance” of even one simple protein being formed by random accident

    “Random” is a term of art in statistics. It means “we do not know the cause(s). “Chance” does not exist. See Briggs for details. Evolution by natural selection does not require random accidents. Mutations may occur at random [though they are actually caused by radiation, chemicals, transcription errors, and the like], but natural selection is not random. It is directed by the nature of the niche within. It is entirely possible that molecular processes are governed by other mechanisms than natural selection. Recall that there are only about a thousand pre-protein folds. Atoms can assemble in only so many, or in such particular ways.

  116. The purpose of the bible is to relate you to God.

    If someone doesn’t believe in God to start with, reading the bible is not going to alter much.

    If someone already believes, it may relate you to God. That’s the purpose of it

    For some believers, their evidence or life experience, means they only view it through a very limited perspective

    Feser is the classic example of the “New Catholic”
    They’re a club and not frightened to use old tactics, either but with even less ‘outward sign’ of tissue damage:

    No blood, no outward sign, remember?

    Old habits die hard

    “No funeral, No grave, No life”
    “honesty’s for sissies,
    We’re catholics, we’ve got the keys and if you don’t come to us, you’re dead, forever!
    burning in hell, forever!

    That’s some powerful set of keys!
    God wouldn’t be so irresponsible as to let or even need to let, the like of these people in charge of the future spirituality of mankind.

    Jesus had two main things to say, even if he wasn’t God? (for argument’s sake)
    “Love God”
    “Love your neighbour ”

    It’s all about learning how to live in peace and love one another

  117. The fallacy:
    I’ve told you how it works,
    You say I’m wrong, knowing nothing more about it than me,
    You didn’t come up with anything to replace my idea,
    That proves I’m right”

    You do the Latin

  118. On “passive movement” illusions.

    The passion of Christ is an example of the word passive in it’s original sense

    About the saucer and the milk? *creepy

    May well give more direct example of the understanding of Christianity.

    For those who believe in the message of Christ:

    Love can’t be forced, truth cannot be forced by physical power
    Nor is it necessary or right to try
    2000 years or so on, and people still think it necessary, some know it isn’t and do it anyway

    This is where freedom meets Christianity, it has nothing to do with a pope giving permission to be free and whether or not Catholics like that or not

    In a free land (political sense) or a free universe,(physical sense) bad things are allowed to happen
    or Jesus would have saved himself.

    The story in the bible of the sightings of Jesus, when examined, have some similarities to what happens in people’s lives after or during grief. Meaning is what is conveyed, in such a way that there is no mistaking the individual in question. The Bible speaks of how they did not recognise Jesus by sight. That’s a big clue.

    You wouldn’t walk along the road with someone who you knew without knowing it was them straight away
    They knew it was him by other means.

    It doesn’t matter, (if it is true), to anybody else.
    If it’s wrong, it doesn’t matter either.
    What matters is when people do deliberate harm to others on the basis of FALSE beliefs

  119. natural selection is directed toward the origin of new species, etc.

    “Natural selection” is a concept of how species change. It’s an explanation; not a cause. It can’t be directed anymore than “thermodynamics” can.

    Nothing can turn itself into Everything
    What is this “nothing” of which you speak? If the Universe is eternal it was always there. If a supposed Prime Mover can be eternal without a cause then why can’t the Universe itself be that Prime Mover?

  120. any recently dead organism contains all the chemical structures of the live one.

    So?

    A running automobile has the same structure as one not running. The difference is whether it is on or off. Similarly, an electronic device without power applied has the same structure as one with power applied but only with power will it function (hopefully) as intended. The configurations are different: one with and one without.

    We don’t have a clue what the equivalent of power is for a living thing. But it’s not likely to be anymore metaphysical than power is metaphysical.

  121. Ye Olde Statistician,

    You claimed that the gospels being written in Greek isn’t a problem. By coincidence, I just read the following:

    In the Gospel of John, chapter 3, Jesus has a famous conversation with Nicodemus in which he says, ‘You must be born again.’ The Greek word translated ‘again’ actually has two meanings: it can mean not only ‘a second time’ but also ‘from above.’ Whenever it is used elsewhere in John, it means ‘from above’ (John 19:11, 23). That is what Jesus appears to mean in John 3 when he speaks with Nicodemus: a person must be born from above in order to have eternal life in heaven above. Nicodemus misunderstands, though, and thinks Jesus intends the other meaning of the word, that he has to be born a second time. ‘How can I crawl back into my mother’s womb?’ he asks, out of some frustration. Jesus corrects him: he is not talking about a second physical birth, but a heavenly birth, from above.

    This conversation with Nicodemus is predicated on the circumstance that a certain Greek word has two meanings (a double entendre). Absent the double entendre, the conversation makes little sense. The problem is this: Jesus and this Jewish leader in Jerusalem would not have been speaking Greek, but Aramaic. But the Aramaic word for ‘from above’ does not also mean ‘second time.’ This is a double entendre that works only in Greek. So it looks as though this conversation could not have happened—at least not as it is described in the Gospel of John.

    Bart Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted, page 155.

  122. The Bible is the telling of God’s revelation to us of God Himself, that He is, and of God’s creation and of His relationship to us and of our relationship to Him. It specifically tells of His requirements of us, so that we can live forever with Him.

    When God created Adam and Eve, He did so without giving to them, mother and father and childhood. They were created within a specific relationship with God. He gave them to know what they were and were not to do, so that when the serpent tempted them to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they knew full well what they were about, and so their punishment was suffering from that day forward, and that suffering and tendency to not obey God has been passed on to all people. Plus, all of creation fell from the perfection in which it was created. See: Genesis Chapter 3.

    Every person is given the choice to believe God or to not believe Him. He has not left anyone orphans in the understanding of His existence, as that of the Intelligent Being Who is Creator, can be known from observance of nature.

    Those who choose to not believe that God is, are living akin to the serpent’s temptation to Eve and Adam. They are being their own god. When death comes, assurance that God is, and that He has provided salvation through His Son, Jesus, will be of great comfort to those who have chosen to believe God, and a terror to those who have freely chosen to not believe Him.

    To have been one’s own god, to have purposely not embraced God, will be a great horror at the time of one’s death. One might say, “Well, here I am at death’s door, and God, your God is not, so how am I worse off for maintaining throughout my life, that He is not?” And the answer will be, “Oh, but He is, and you have rejected Him Who is Love, by your free will choice, so now your choice will be given to you. You will not enter into His Eternal Life, but you will be outside, forever.” Then the one says, “Pshaw!! I refuse every word you are saying.” And the answer says,” Then enter into everlasting death, you who refuse Eternal Life.”

    Perhaps think on this, for this is not a plaything to be bounced around like a colorful ball. You are, even now, making personal choices concerning your being.

    “1Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3.

    God bless, C-Marie

  123. C Marie
    https://youtu.be/7eiHbXYS9nI

    careful what you say to young children and vulnerable adults
    I doubt you think about it much, very much doubt it
    Just because nobody else corrects your error doesn’t mean I won’t
    These things matter if anything does
    Get your ideas right or don’t preach eternal damnation to people

  124. “Natural selection” is a concept of how species change. It’s an explanation; not a cause.

    A cause is supposed to be an explanation. Natural selection is not a mere “concept.” It is a hard, physical mwchanism

    If the Universe is eternal it was always there. If a supposed Prime Mover can be eternal without a cause then why can’t the Universe itself be that Prime Mover?

    The word ‘kinesis’ which we translate as ‘motion’ means something more like ‘change,’ specifically, the actualization of a potential. So try Unchanged Changer and ask again how the constantly changing “universe” can be it. An eternal universe can still be caused by another. It’s not the eternity that makes it a ‘Prime Mover.’ Being Prime Mover makes it eternal. The universe can’t be this being of pure act because a) it’s not a being but a collection of beings (stars, planets gasses, etc.) and b) it’s not purely actual but contains vast potentials (otherwise, nothing could be changing).
    Also ‘eternity’ is not a long stretch of time. It is not time at all, but a different kind of duration. To be eternal is to be outside of time. Time is the measure of motion in changeable being. Anything in time is changing, hence not eternal, no matter how long lived. That is why Augustine said ‘with the motion of creatures, time began,’ and why there is no time “before” the Big Bang.

  125. A cause is supposed to be an explanation.

    BS. A “cause” is what effects a result. “Natural selection” is no more a cause than “adiabatic lapse rate”. Although I said “explanation” it’s merely the term applied to the process in much the same way as answering why mountain tops are cooler than the sea shore with “because of adiabatic lapse rate”. Note that the “explanation” isn’t really addressing the actual cause. “Because of adiabatic lapse rate” is the equivalent of “it just does”. Likewise with “because of natural selection”.

    The word ‘kinesis’ which we translate as ‘motion’ means something more like ‘change,’ specifically, the actualization of a potential. So try Unchanged Changer and ask again how the constantly changing “universe” can be it

    You seem confusing “universe” with its content. It’s the container of the content despite its sometimes use to mean “all that we know”. Note that atoms, stars, etc. are said to be IN the universe and not THE universe.

    Why this necessity for an Unchanged Changer? Why can’t there be an eternal Universe that forever (eternally) expands and contracts oscillating between Big Bangs and Heat Deaths? What makes you think the current state is the only one? Why can’t it be one in an infinite series? Why must the Universe have had a beginning even if its current state does?

    Assuming there was a Creation, it would seem that at Creation a Non-Creator became a Creator. Why isn’t this a change?

    Prime Mover deftly defers the answer of how it all started by assuming (1) there was a start so (2) some whatever had to start it. It avoids stating how this whatever came about or why, after an eternal span, inexplicably started things. It’s really a long winded way of giving “because” as an answer to an unanswerable question.

    Time is the measure of motion in changeable being.

    That’s the way we view it and it’s a convenient definition. But we can’t say what preceded the Big Bang — at least not yet. I don’t see why time should be limited to our perception of it. What if what preceded our Big Bang was the contraction if a former “universe” (for lack of a better word)? If time is merely a series of events wouldn’t this extend time to before the Big Bang?

  126. Now why would anyone assume that there was a Big Bang in which an infinitely compressed undefinable “Singularity” (logically incoherent, never observed, fanciful speculation) is “reasonable”? I suggest that it’s because the perfectly logical alternative is “unthinkable” to anyone who likes to imagine that they are the very cusp of an emerging “consciousness” that magically creates itself.

    Perhaps it’s predictable that the likes of YOS and friends should be determined to preserve the one and only leg that Modernism has to stand on… namely the “Evolution” paradigm in which reality is simply a dialectical process.

    There’s another of Jesus’ “hard sayings” about shake the dust off your feet and go elsewhere.

    I rather suspect that the “Evolution” paradigm is the ultimate deception that could con “even the elect, if that were possible”.

  127. I can only suppose that everyone who considers themselves “informed” by swallowing that which is relentlessly proposed by the main stream media and in children’s stories and even on the packets of breakfast cereal will have had their “covid shots” by now. If you like to imagine that “they” only lie to you about a bit of politics then I think you’re a perfect subject for the “New World Order” that is intended to “evolve” a “new Man”.

    If you think that lies and censorship are restricted to politics I invite you to run your eye over some of this stuff:
    https://www.sjcrothers.plasmaresources.com/index.html

    Black Holes and Big Bangs are relentlessly pushed with relentless subliminal advertising even though there are serious questions about the validity of the presumptions. The “Evolution” paradigm is also relentlessly pushed by the likes of YOS and David Atenbrough who seem to think that the thing can be made both possible and “true” by just saying so again and again and again ad infinitum.

    The upshot of it all is that either Nothing is relentlessly turning itself into Everything with no first or final cause (or mechanism) or the whole shebang (including matter and energy) is the product of a supreme Life, Intellect and Will that does not depend on the approval of diabolical narcissists.

    I really must admit that I am tending towards acedia… determined farkwits are unapproachable.

  128. Now why would anyone assume that there was a Big Bang in which an infinitely compressed undefinable “Singularity” (logically incoherent, never observed, fanciful speculation) is “reasonable”?

    Why not?

    There’s another of Jesus’ “hard sayings” about shake the dust off your feet …

    I think that shows the heart of the problem — at least as far as you (and perhaps others) are concerned. You believe something very strongly and seek to rationalize it. Aquinas did the same thing. He didn’t start off agnostic but with the goal of logically justifying his beliefs. He did what firm believers in UFOs-must-be-aliens do: declare that not only is this the ONLY logical stance but then go on to describe said alien civilization and their reasons for being here. All of which is just active imagination with the same lack of evidence.

    You might think your imagined enemies (Materialists, proponents of Evolution, etc.) are out to mess with your mind. Maybe they are. I have no idea but at least you should realize your faith is not as grounded as you think. I see the Prime Mover as a very unsatisfactory answer. It amounts to deus ex machina — quite literally. I think there are equally logical answers with the major one being the universe was here forever with no beginning and no end. It’s certainly no less logical than this Prime Mover thingie. It really shouldn’t be MY job to come up with viable alternatives anymore than it should be my job to convince (with viable explanations) the UFOs-must-be-aliens crowd why they could be wrong. In fact, convincing the likes of you is really not much different. Their faith is unshakable. No matter what I say the response is “yeah but …” and “you’re just saying that because you are X, Y or Z” to supply a couple. But then I’m not trying to convince you at all but merely remarking on how I see it.

  129. The “Evolution” paradigm is also relentlessly pushed by the likes of YOS and David Atenbrough who seem to think that the thing can be made both possible and “true” by just saying so again and again and again ad infinitum.

    What is it with you and (as you put it) “Evolution”? Why do you see it as a threat? You sound remarkably like those that held the Monkey Trial in the early 20th century. Why are you convinced it somehow attacks your faith?

    The upshot of it all is that either Nothing is relentlessly turning itself into Everything with no first or final cause (or mechanism) or the whole shebang (including matter and energy) is the product of a supreme Life, Intellect and Will that does not depend on the approval of diabolical narcissists.

    Again we have this Something-from-Nothing. I ask again what is this Nothing? what does “evolution” have to do with it?

  130. Ye Olde Statistician,

    So try Unchanged Changer and ask again how the constantly changing “universe” can be it.

    Relativity implies that the universe is actually a static four-dimensional object, and if God can see all of time, that implies the same thing. In any case, who says that an object which changes can’t ‘just exist’ anyway?

    Nothing to say in response to bart Ehrmann’s observation regarding the gospel of John?

  131. Cause vs explanation:
    An explanation is not necessarily a cause
    A cause IS an explanation.

    It’s those groups and sets again, nested:
    an apple is a fruit
    a fruit isn’t necessarily an apple
    Just like the ‘oak’ again

    There are different levels of explanation, which is the clearer way of explaining different types of cause, no fancy language required:
    Like the kettle boils due to:
    explanation about the physics of the kettle
    (explanation about someone making a cup of tea)
    (Both are true explanations)

    ~~~
    “bart Ehrmann’s observation regarding the gospel of John?”
    John’s Gospel is the more spiritual interpretation of the life of Jesus and who he was, what he said.

    They are all remembered accounts.
    This is described succinctly in Kieth ward’s fundamentalism talk.
    (For anybody who wants to know more about the “synoptic problem”)

    Genesis:
    John Lennox gave a lecture on the word “day” with regards to the fourteen/fifteen? Different meanings of the word day in Hebrew.
    (Regarding genesis)

    So it’s how people have always viewed the Genesis story really, as time periods.
    “In my day”
    “At that time”
    “In that period”
    “Twenty-four hour period”

    “day” is also used in more than one sense in modern times

    Again it’a the literality of the interpretation which is problematic

    The words themselves, multiple meanings,
    Contemporary phrases which lose meaning over time
    The metaphor which is an inevitable result of man’s revelation
    Errors in the above lead to unintentional misrepresentation

    Those are just two very big problems with taking the bible literally.

    One would be enough to make it NOT a text of absolute truth.
    It is ABOUT absolute truth

  132. Ths is an excellent good, to be thinking on the reality of Jesus Christ the Son of God and that He alone won salvation unto Eternal Life for all. The only thing is that His gift of salvation must be received by each person. To receive does take an act of utmost humility, to accept and confess the absolute need to confess one is a sinner, and to ask to be forgiven, but the gift is worth it, life Eternal in God!!
    God bless, C-Marie

  133. C Marie,
    it goes more like this in my reckoning:
    When at school I had the last quote on my wall on a picture which I discovered in the eves last year.
    I thought it a bit sentimental in the end and didn’t actually think it flowed. Now it makes more sense

    It can only work if everything is taken into account. It’s no use throwing away self evident truth.
    Nor is someone else’s faith enough to convince anybody.

    God is love and he loves everybody so if you believe in him what effect would that have on how someone acts?

    Everybody is saved:
    “God is the saviour of all humanity and especially those who believe”

    God does not blame people for what they CANNOT do, God is not irrational. He takes away the sin of the world.

    “Where there is faith, there is love; where there is love, there is peace; where there is peace, there is God; and where there is God; there is no need. “

  134. Chopped it, sorry,
    I’ve heard you agree with much of this below and yet you still talk eternal damnation. Some of these things are mutually exclusive it seems.

    God IS love and he loves everybody so if you believe in him what effect would that have on how someone acts? So nobody is beyond God’s grace.

    Everybody is saved:
    “God is the saviour of all humanity and especially those who believe”

    God does not blame people for what they CANNOT do, God is not irrational. He takes away the sin of the world.

    Where there is faith, there is love; where there is love, there is peace; where there is peace, there is God; and where there is God; there is no need. 

    That’s enough

  135. A “cause” is what effects a result.

    At least, efficient causes are, and those are partial explanations of the phenomenon. For a full explanation, you need four kinds of causes.

    “Natural selection” is no more a cause than “adiabatic lapse rate”.

    Shh, don’t tell Darwin.
    Likewise with “because of natural selection”. Or because of gravitational attraction? Of course, devotees of Evolutionism seldom go beyond this, or vague hand-waving just-so stories. But actual scientists are usually more careful and would specify the actual natural condition and the actual trait selected. It comes with a warning label: It is not and easy thing to do and there are a great many caveats and complications. More, I think than Darwinian fanboys are prepared to recognize.

    You seem confusing “universe” with its content. It’s the container of the content

    What container? As Einstein said, without matter/energy, there would be no space and time, which he regarded as metaphysical intrusions.

    Why can’t there be an eternal Universe that forever (eternally) expands and contracts oscillating between Big Bangs and Heat Deaths?

    Beats me. But it would be nice to have actual evidence of these endlessly repeating cycles so you don’t have to take them entirely on faith. Endlessly repeating cycles is the cosmology of Hinduism and the Aztecs. It’s hard for science to get started if the laws of nature are just what is current.

    Prime Mover deftly defers the answer of how it all started by assuming (1) there was a start so (2) some whatever had to start it.

    Actually, it does not. Aquinas famously assumed that the universe was eternal because he knew of no philosophical demonstration otherwise. But that does not eliminate the need for causes. Imagine an Eternal Foot planted in th Eternal Sand. Underneath the Foot is an Eternal Footprint. The Foot is the cause of the Footprint regardless of the Footprint’s eternity.
    +++++

    What is it with you and (as you put it) ? Why do you see [“Evolution”] a threat?

    Because there are two theories of evolution. One is a scientific hypothesis to explain the observed facts of species change. It entails no metaphysical consequences. The second is a socio-political stance that uses the scientific theory to attack its enemies. People sometimes get them mixed up. If someone constantly said that the New York Yankees demonstrate that God is dead and the religious believer is stupid, those attacked would sooner or later begin to attack the Yankees.
    +++++

    Relativity implies that the universe is actually a static four-dimensional object

    No, just the opposite. Minkowski 4-space is a useful mathematical model for doing relativity physics. But Ptolemaic epicycles were also useful for doing astronomy for a long time. A workable model does not obligate the universe to go along with the gag [to paraphrase Hawking]. The actual physical workings of the system may be quite different from the internal workings of the model. Besides, quantum physics doesn’t fit the relativistic model, which is what we might expect because they are the modern avatars of Heracleitus vs Parmenides, and we have dropped the Aristotelian solution to that ancient problem.

  136. When do we get to the part about the ashtray? They contain buts

    See how you distract?
    It’s done for the audience. It doesn’t fool me, it never did but i used to think you were actually making an attempt to understand, given your immense knowledge and immense resources of potential theories or explanations, but actually, no, you’re using a blocking technique.

    Abstract containers matter though! they matter for matter to become matter and they cause part of an effect, very very efficiently

  137. What container?…Einstein….
    Yet right at the top of all this. you claim “causes” ARE containers by their very function
    So mr first cause IS a container of the three things

    In reality the Trinity is about the abstract logical ideas of God / Jesus (a man) who is Christ and the Holy Spirit
    They need not be considered separately because they are one thing or of one nature-type. No need for hnady containers to keep the words sounding believable.

    This post is about the specifically Trinity being the first cause.

    It seems to me all this trying to include all the things that “operate” within something called cause is an illusion as well.
    In this material universe you can’t know which parts to include and which parts to leave out because there’s always something else that came before. These types of cause only work in theory.
    They’re just groups of information.

    Same with the kettle example Giving the steps, or relative view/perspective on an occurrence labels, doesn’t help, because there’s still no explanation as to how the mechanism works regarding the beginning of the material universe.

  138. The First Cause is the One and Only Trinity of Three Persons, One God, Three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each Person is fully God, and there is one God.

    And the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity is Jesus Christ Who is true God and true man.

    All, of the above is Revelation by God to us and attempting to prove it is true by way of human intellect and human reasoning, without using God’s revelation, the Bible and more, is close to fruitless, as even the idea of such being possible is from God’s revelation to us.

    One example from the Bible of the existence of the Blessed Trinity, are the instructions which Jesus gave the church in His Great Commission: “to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

    So argue on if that is desired, but life is much simpler if one just believes God.

    God bless, C-Marie

  139. because of natural selection

    What is “natural selection”? Presumably “fitness to the environment” which allows longer life with more opportunities to procreate. But fitness doesn’t cause longer life. Only enables it. What is “fitness”? We only know it by the result. The result of environmental fitness is called “natural selection”. It isn’t a cause; it’s a result.

    But it would be nice to have actual evidence of these endlessly repeating cycles so you don’t have to take them entirely on faith

    Same with faith in the Prime Mover.

    But that does not eliminate the need for causes. Imagine …

    Doesn’t change the fact that Aquinas got stuck and (metaphorically) pulled a rabbit out of his hat. If he assumed the universe was eternal then why assume a First Cause with the Prime Mover? Why not assume the chain of causes went on forever? Seems his “evidence” was intuition. He didn’t have a problem with this Prime Mover hanging around for eternity waiting for the opportunity to act. But then a logical proof of his faith was what he was really after. It certainly wasn’t necessary FOR his faith.

    The second [use of evolution theory] is a socio-political stance that uses the scientific theory to attack its enemies. People sometimes get them mixed up

    So it would seem.

    Endlessly repeating cycles is the cosmology of Hinduism and the Aztecs. It’s hard for science to get started if the laws of nature are just what is current.

    Apparently it did though. How do endlessly repeating cycles imply that each cycle has different laws of nature?

    Einstein said, without matter/energy, there would be no space and time, which he regarded as metaphysical intrusions.

    Sounds like an appeal to authority. Space/time is what fills the universe and is contained within it. What is an empty whiskey bottle? Is it still a bottle?

    If someone constantly said that the New York Yankees demonstrate that God is dead

    If? There are many who think that. They’re called Mets fans. 🙂

  140. C Marie,
    I wasn’t;t asking for a lecture on what catholics claim.
    Look into the word person it’s original sense and you’ll find it doesn’t mean what you apparently think it means. Your description matches more the fundamentalist’s idea.
    The are only separate in that we can speak and are speaking about them as separate.
    Thee’s almost NOTHING to see here. The point is that they share one nature.
    Yet Jesus was a human being, he wasn’t ‘a God’
    The Holy Spirit, is easier for some to understand because it’s more intuitive.

    If you want tomato arubix cube out of it that’s your God given right.
    Meanwhile, you’ve also distracted from the point about hell and damnation.
    That is a fundamentalist point of view which also is conveniently ignored by Catholics watching because rather like military with the UFO ET’s, it’s a convenient smoke screen.
    You’re being part of a system you appear not to understand s well as you make out.
    That’s okay, until you’re involved with talking about eternal damnation.
    Surprisingly, people don’t like you’re using powers that aren’t yours to persuade people who are no better or worse than yourself

  141. tomato a Rubik’s cube!
    “to make a Rubik’s cube”
    also known as a dog’s breakfast

  142. IF God extends beyond time and space
    THEN God’s Mercy and Grace extends beyond time and space

    I would highly recommend “The Great Divorce”
    C.S.Lewis’s ‘response’ to William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”

  143. Ye Olde Statistician,

    No, just the opposite.

    Wrong.

    Still nothing to say in response to bart Ehrmann’s observation regarding the gospel of John?

  144. “Three persons in one substance”

    “Hypo Stasis” is the ancient word for what makes a ‘person’ which is the “substance”.
    In other words, It means ‘underlying thing’, The substance is that which “holds things together.“
    And those things are “substance too”. So there must be different kinds of substances!

    There’s the container again
    So one substance holds the other substances together.
    In other words, nobody actually knows.
    It sounds better in Greek

  145. God is timeless, changeless, simple, therefore cannot suffer or do anything according to the dogmatic tradition.

    Swordfish was right about that. He is eternal which means outside of time and space as we understand it. Or at least is sovereign over all domains, by definition?

    So Jesus suffered as a man but divinity doesn’t alter, which then makes more sense. Hence The resurrection.

    That God in some way caused this and triggered this event means, to me, that he is changeable and may make movements in the non kinetic sense, which I haven’t worked out. Maybe they are in the kinetic sense but too small to be detected. Small change, big effect. Maybe something else triggers spiritual events, like mankind’s misery, suffering and sin, who knows? That was the reason given by the Angel Gabriel . The Mechanics must be in a realm that we have not ideas about but if supernatural exists, the rest need not be such a puzzle.

    “The First Cause is the One and Only Trinity of Three Persons, One God, Three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each Person is fully God, and there is one God.”

    This is saying the same thing but the word divinity is left out maybe because is too straight forward.
    C. Marie,
    “The First Cause is the One and Only Divine substances, One God, (Three substances):
    Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each substance is fully divine, and there is one God.”

    The problem is with “explaining” Jesus, who was a man. So Jesus fully encompassed the divinity of God, yet suffered as a human being, which is one of the lessons of Jesus Christ.

    Translation needs to be a whole lot better before people will really want to put their life decisions on the line, or that of the eternity of themselves or others.

    This “pedestrian approach” was the right description

  146. Swordfish

    That is interesting, but something that doesn’t surprise me about God and the power of His Word

    In 2nd Samuel 14:14 Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.

    When I first came across that passage from the NIV, I thought “wow! what a passage”, almost a Universalist idea, a passage of Grace especially coming from the oft misunderstood OT. Every time I came across a different translation, I started checking out Samuel 2:-14:14. I started realizing how varied the translations became, with some translation acknowledging the Hebrew is uncertain. The reason for this uncertainty is that the Hebrew Bible is written without vowels and without word delineations. This passage in particular can be translated that God will welcome a lost son back. It can also be translated such that God’s children should not stand in the way of the lost son’s return.

    As for Bart…

    Bart Ehrman has become an atheist poster boy, presenting himself as a reverse C. S. Lewis, compelled by intellectual honesty to abandon his faith. Just as Christians elevate the testimonies of former atheists who have come to Christ, so atheists elevate Ehrman. He writes, “I did not go easily. On the contrary, I left kicking and screaming, wanting desperately to hold on to the faith I had known since childhood.” [8] He borrows from Lewis, who said, “I came into Christianity kicking and screaming.” … Randy Alcorn
    https://www.epm.org/resources/2020/Apr/15/case-study-bart-ehrman/

  147. …and Jesus didn’t exist at the ‘first cause’, since that is temporal or on a time line, Jesus was a man, flesh and bone, ability to feel pain.

    At the beginning or always, as is the eternal part, there was God. Anything else was just potential to occur. Same as someone’s potential win on the lottery or being involved in an accident. “potential’ requires time to prove it existed. God doesn’t exist within out time or understanding of it.

  148. It’s a circle:
    “Where there is faith, there is love; where there is love, there is peace; where there is peace, there is God; and where there is God; there is no need as there is Fatih=> and where there is faith there is love…..
    You don’t have to think you know God’s present or presence,, but it helps.

    People know love and hope, peace, need, or suffering

    Those words are absolute terms though, for shorthand.
    Doesn’t mean people don’t suffer or have needs unmet.

    More basically, it’s love that starts the circle and that’s hard without trust.
    Try loving an alligator or a tiger, or a mosquito. It’s one sided
    God’s love isn’t like that.

  149. Re: Bart Ehrman

    The other thing is that Bart comes from an Evangelical tradition where the “Born Again” movement came out of. If you read the NAB Catholic Translation, Jesus does not say “Born Again”, only Nicodemus in his first response and that could be Nicodemus centering on the ‘born’ aspect of Jesus’ “Born From Above”.

  150. What is “natural selection”?

    It is selection by nature. In contrast to selection by a stockbreeder or a botanist.

    What is “fitness”? We only know it by the result. The result of environmental fitness is called “natural selection”. It isn’t a cause; it’s a result.

    Most scientific laws are tautologies when you discuss them in broad enough terms. What is “gravity”? We only know by its results: bodies falling to Earth. Does that make gravity a result rather than a cause.
    It’s an old creationist rhetorical trope that natural selection is a void concept.

    But it would be nice to have actual evidence of these endlessly repeating cycles so you don’t have to take them entirely on faith
    Same with faith in the Prime Mover.

    Prime Mover lurks at the end of a syllogism. It’s not a barera behind which one may duck when the bull turns.

    Aquinas got stuck and (metaphorically) pulled a rabbit out of his hat. If he assumed the universe was eternal then why assume a First Cause with the Prime Mover?

    Why assume that he assumed it? What he did is determine it by syllogism. BTW, you seem to forget that these arguments were first made by the pagan Aristotle or the Hindu Jayanta Bhatta before they were taken up by the Jew Maimonides and the muslim ibn Rushd.

    Why not assume the chain of causes went on forever?

    He did, for some species of cause; viz., those accidentally ordered. The example he gave was generating a child: Y is the father of Z, X is the father of Y, and so on. This might run backward without limit, since the ability of a father to generate a son does not depend on the continued existence of the grandfather. OTOH, essentially-ordered causes cannot do so. His stock example was a hand using a stick to push a stone. The stick has no power to push the stone unless the hand is concurrently pushing the stick. Only in such cases do we need a First Cause, since without one the final result would simply not happen.

    “to be caused by another does not appertain to a being inasmuch as it is being; otherwise, every being would be caused by another, so that we should have to proceed to infinity in causes — an impossibility…”
    — Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, II.52.5

    +++

    He didn’t have a problem with this Prime Mover hanging around for eternity waiting for the opportunity to act.

    You misunderstand ‘eternity.’ It is not a long period of time; it is not time, at all. That’s like saying the people in a photograph have to wait for the end of the reel.

    Endlessly repeating cycles is the cosmology of Hinduism and the Aztecs. It’s hard for science to get started if the laws of nature are just what is current.
    Apparently it did though.

    I said ‘science,’ not ‘mathematics,’ ‘engineering,’ or ‘philosophy.’ Save for remarkable individuals here and there, science as we understand as a collective enterprise embedded in a culture started in Western Europe in the Late Middle Ages, and almost did in the House of Submission.

    Einstein said, without matter/energy, there would be no space and time, which he regarded as metaphysical intrusions.
    Sounds like an appeal to authority.

    You say that like it was a bad thing. But there’s no inherent problem with footnotes or bibliographies. The Greeks were concerned with appeals to irrelevant authorities, like quoting Duane Gish on evolution, or Richard Dawkins on theology. Einstein is not irrelevant with respect to relativity. He might be wrong, but his general theory has held up pretty well to empirical verification so far. I grew tired a long while ago of internet atheists mistaking the conclusions of science for religious “assumptions.”

    Space/time is what fills the universe and is contained within it.

    This naive assumption is precisely what Einstein was warning against. General relativity, he wrote, disposes of it.

  151. Still nothing to say in response to bart Ehrmann’s observation regarding the gospel of John?

    If I knew what it was, I might. All I could find in the thread was the comment that John was “more spiritual.” This has been known for centuries.

  152. It’s this pride thing again about who knew what when.
    Natural sellection includes human beings as part of nature.

    The reason this “matters” is because of the catholic sis of ethics which comes from “natural law’
    So God has a “nature’
    There is the ‘nature” of a person’
    there is “nature” as in trees and butterflies, sweet peas?
    but human’s aren’t part of that “nature”

    It impinges later downstream in the “syllogism” within Catholic truth.

    Proof of definition? Darwin! He said it first!
    (He who was wrong out of the gate. )

  153. “Prime Mover lurks at the end of a syllogism. It’s not a barera behind which one may duck when the bull turns’
    aka place holder or “substance’ made of essence, “thing that does the thing with the thing”

    “Mr cause”

    You’ve reached no further on that anyone else in human history
    Except you’ve apparently made Thomas into a non contact blood sport.

  154. You were asked to justify your definition several times, then?

    “What container?…Einstein….” Said YOS

    Yet right at the top of all this. you claim “causes” ARE containers by their very function
    So mr first cause IS a container of the three things”

    Except!

    “[Space/time is what fills the universe and is contained within it.]

    This naive assumption is precisely what Einstein was warning against. General relativity, he wrote, disposes of it.”

    He didn’t like ‘container’, either then?
    You brought it up! Right at the beginning!

  155. YOS

    Swordfish’s point was that Bart Ehrman criticizes the Gospel of John being written in Greek allowed the wordplay of “Born From Above” and “Born Again”. Ehrlman’s contention is that the wordplay was not possible in Aramaic and this misunderstanding could not have happened.

    If Nicodemus had just centered on the word ‘born’, the confusion could have happened and why Jesus asked Nicodemus, a leader and teacher, why he didn’t understand.

  156. Plus, the Greek word for both woman and wife is the same word. Plus the French word for both woman and wife is the same word. The desire of the translator and or speaker, for the meaning of the text makes all of the difference!
    God bless, C-Marie

  157. What about catholics teaching people about hell, when they haven’t even a clue what was meant or said, back in the day?

    What happens to the evil people who hate their neighbour for nothing ore than making your roses dusty?
    Which category does that come under?
    How about saying the Church of England is a. a walking corpse?
    Does that count as a sin against the Holy Spirit?
    You still don’t see the sting in the tail of the cult of believing mankind has any power over any of this?

    The power does not belong to the church.
    Deal with it
    It belongs to God and you don’t get to say where that starts and Finnishes, nor do I, nor does YOS or John B() or the pope, or Laura Kunzberg

  158. “Translation needs to be a whole lot better before people will really want to put their life decisions on the line, or that of the eternity of themselves or others.”

    People do really put their lives, their life decisions, and their eternal destiny on the line every moment of their lives here in the earth. We are all doing it, moment by moment, day by day. Faith in God is the answer. Heaven is real. Hell is real. God is real. The devil is real. Choosing to not believe in faith in God, is a real choice. Choosing to believe faith in God, is a real choice.

    “C. Marie,
    “The First Cause is the One and Only Divine substances, One God, (Three substances):
    Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each substance is fully divine, and there is one God.”

    The problem is with “explaining” Jesus, who was a man. So Jesus fully encompassed the divinity of God, yet suffered as a human being, which is one of the lessons of Jesus Christ.”

    14Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Hebrews 2: 14-18.

    Jesus did not encompass Divinity, He was from His Incarnation, fully human and fully Divine. Prior to His Incarnation, He was fully Divine, fully God, and He remained fully such after His Incanation at which point He had and ever since, has had, two natures, a Divine nature and a human nature.

    Jesus is the Son of God, incarnated, He has taken on human flesh and all that entails, and is fully human and fully divine, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. John 1:14.

    At His Incarnation, Jesus retained being the only begotten Son of God, His full Divine nature, fully God. John 1:1.

    At His Incarnation and ever since that moment, Jesus was and is truly God and truly man. So, since His incarnation, Jesus has two natures, divine nature and human nature. Hebrews 2: 14-18.

    “The First Cause is the One and Only Trinity of Three Persons, One God, Three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each Person is fully God, and there is one God.”

    “This is saying the same thing but the word divinity is left out maybe because is too straight forward.”

    Assumed understanding would be that the nature of God is divine. Am being only straightforward regarding this.

    God bless, C-Marie

  159. Well, I leave you to your heart’s desire. Your angst is deep and full of pain. It is seen by all. May you enter into the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is true God and true man, Who alone is the Saviour, when you are ready. And keep in heart and mind that Jesus would love to heal all of your woundedness, but it is up to you to let Him into your heart. The real choice is yours.
    God bless, C-Marie

  160. That is what is known as hellfire damming with faint projection
    What angst are you referring to?

  161. Regarding the divinity of Jesus, I’m paraphrasing a Theologist, the sensible, affordable and life long student, Prof Keith Ward: Philosopher, Regis professor of Divinity at Oxford. Lecturer at St Andrews and author of many books on philosophy, religion and Christianity. Ordained Anglican priest. Also a very humble man. Which is refreshing, but then he’s real, not just working from his armchair.

    Philosophy is not so opaque when Kieth describes in a few words, the key terms.

    Regarding personal revelation, which I realised Catholics aren’t allowed, people don’t need telling what they believe, they may need help in interpreting the bible, or in other pastoral concerns.

    A glib “google translate” as you suggested earlier is showing how you think this all works.

    The description of the Trinity was a translation from Kieth warts explanation about ‘person’ and sharing in the divinity. It’s you who think I’ve got it wrong. It doesn’t matter to me as much as it matters to you. That’s the irony. I don’t believe God cares about verbology. You do.

    Re Richard Dawkins, it seems my impression was correct. You do believe people are going to be sent to burn in hell for an infinite time, for temporal sins. I can’t think of a sin that is worthy of such a thing. God knows how it all works. He gave you a spirit not of fear but of love and a sound mind.

    Swordfish is right though, it is evidence for faith in an evil God. Therefore irrational in my view and totally incredible. It’s sad that human beings think it but I used to think it. Did me no good at all. It causes unnecessary suffering of innocent people.

    Here is another Christian who’s experienced some of the same BS but he’s actually been thrown out of churches! Another recognisable Christian, to hear him talking

    Listen:
    Keith Ward on the Reformulating the Trinity and an Idealist view of God
    *if you think you know where I’m coming from, you clearly don’t

    https://youtu.be/Yz8uUrCpBYk
    “three persons in one substance’
    @ 5:30 min

  162. This is getting tedious. Particularly having to copy and paste while scrolling on my phone. These may be my last comments on this topic.

    What is “gravity”? We only know by its results: bodies falling to Earth. Does that make gravity a result rather than a cause

    No. Mass causes gravity (even if by merely space/time). And gravity causes separate masses to move together.

    Natural selection proceeds by selecting the fittest. Fitness is something that presumably is passed on. Selection causes fitness only incidentally in following generations. It can’t be the original cause of the fitness but a result of it.

    I said ‘science,’ not ‘mathematics,’ ‘engineering,’ or ‘philosophy.’

    Then I have no idea what your point about starting science was. Seems to me you were implying that more than one cycle means different laws of nature. Not sure why that wouldn’t hamper the others along with science. In any case, I assumed you only meant science and not once mentioned the others. This looks like one of your tangents.

    generating a child: Y is the father of Z, X is the father of Y, and so on. This might run backward without limit, since the ability of a father to generate a son does not depend on the continued existence of the grandfather. OTOH, essentially-ordered causes cannot do so. His stock example was a hand using a stick to push a stone.

    So he allowed an infinite chain of ancestors but not an infinite chain of events? So a hand pushes a stone which continues on whether pushed or not until it crashes into something causing that something to move etc.? Not at all clear how it differs from a father begetting a son begetting a grandson and so forth.

    Point is he assumed there had to be a first push or whatever you want to call it. He couldn’t get a Prime Mover without such an assumption.

    You misunderstand ‘eternity.’

    Not really. This may be an example one of your latching on words to expound upon. What I was getting at was he jumped from assuming there had to be a first cause (motion if you insist) to something that had no cause. He really had no foundation for the necessity of a first beyond intuition. It’s irrelevant it was a syllogism. It was his assumption that led him there.

    Syllogism isn’t some magic word. Being a syllogism doesn’t make it the right answer. Just means it’s logical consistent with the premises.

    sounds like an appeal to authority: you say that like it was a bad thing.

    So arguing from authority is a logical fallacy only sometimes? Is there a way to discount your authority without it being an ad hominem?

    I don’t feel like editing this. If there are error, tough.

  163. So he allowed an infinite chain of ancestors but not an infinite chain of events? So a hand pushes a stone which continues on whether pushed or not until it crashes into something causing that something to move etc.?

    The momentum of the stone was impressed upon it by the stick. So what if it rolls down a hill or slides across a shuffleboard? That doesn’t change the causal relationships of hand-stick-stone.

    Not at all clear how it differs from a father begetting a son begetting a grandson and so forth.

    It’s whether the secondary movers can act at all without the primary mover acting concurrently. The stick has no power to move the stone unless the hand is moving it. Father Y does have the power to generate son Z regardless whether grandfather X is concurrently generating Y.

    Point is he assumed there had to be a first push or whatever you want to call it. He couldn’t get a Prime Mover without such an assumption.

    No, you still don’t get it. There must be a concurrent primary mover in any essentially ordered causal chain. It can’t be ‘turtles all the way down.’ There does not have to be a concurrent primary mover in an accidentally ordered causal chain. (There often is, but there need not be.) When you explicitly disallow something, you can’t be assuming it.

    he jumped from assuming there had to be a first cause (motion if you insist) to something that had no cause. He really had no foundation for the necessity of a first beyond intuition.

    Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Jayanta Bhatta, Aquinas, Maimonides, ibn Rushd, et al. didn’t assume the need for a first cause. It was necessary because without a drive gear, the other gears will not turn at all. A first cause need not be first in time. (That’s why Primary is probably a better word.) The drive gear need not be in the first spot in a gear train. It’s not its firstiness that matters, but its primacy. When Sharon Kam plays Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, she is a first mover of the music, but she, the clarinet, and the music exist simultaneously. The music will not happen unless Sharon Kam blows into the clarinet. [In another sense, of course, Mozart himself is the prime mover, though not of this performance just now.]

    So arguing from authority is a logical fallacy only sometimes?

    Exactly. That’s the difference between a material fallacy and a formal fallacy. [Remember material and formal causes?] The pertinence of a material fallacy depends on the material involved. Formal fallacies violate the logical structure. If argument from authority was always wrong, we would allow no footnotes or referenced in scientific papers.

    Is there a way to discount your authority without it being an ad hominem?

    Absolutely. Though most people seem confused about ad hominem, as well. It’s not about insults or snark. It’s “believe this argument because the person making it is well-dresses and respectable.” Or vice versa: “You can’t take this argument seriously because the person making it is a Theban.” One of the reasons I try always to cite my sources is because my personal authority is limited.

  164. A first cause need not be first in time. (That’s why Primary is probably a better word.)

    I see what you did there. Another word game. Prime can mean (1) first or (2) major (most important) or (3) both depending on how you want to shift the argument. Prime Mover then can mean First Mover or Major Mover or some mixture. Hopefully you still agree that regardless of meaning it must precede its effect. Not being the first implies something else was first but somehow less important. The Prime Mover wasn’t necessarily the first — just the most important. You claim that setting the meaning of terms is a requirement but then play these kinds of games with them.

    Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Jayanta Bhatta, Aquinas, Maimonides, ibn Rushd, et al. didn’t assume the need for a first cause. It was necessary because without a drive gear, the other gears will not turn at all.

    You must mean it seemed necessary for whatever reason so it was assumed. There really is no evidence outside of intuition that a first cause (vs. a Prime Cause in all its shades of meaning?) is needed at all even if there is no evidence to the contrary.

    Conclusions based on intuition should never be treated as absolutes.

    When Sharon Kam plays Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, she is a first mover of the music, but she, the clarinet, and the music exist simultaneously. The music will not happen unless Sharon Kam blows into the clarinet.

    I think you are using one of your fluid definitions when saying “music” and “mover”. The clarinet part doesn’t cause the rest. It doesn’t “move” the music in the sense of “cause”. Note what you said about simultaneous existence. If she were to suddenly stop the music would continue at least for a time before anyone took notice. The outcome simply would not be as intended as it is centered around the clarinet (which is why it’s called a clarinet concerto). Would be kinda hard to practice the other parts unless the clarinet (originally the basset horn BTW) was present if the music couldn’t happen without it but then who knows what you mean by “the music”. Nonetheless the first movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto is an allegro with the orchestra in concert.

    [So Aquinas allowed an infinite chain of ancestors but not an infinite chain of events? Not at all clear how a chain of events differs from a chain of begetting.]
    The momentum of the stone was impressed upon it by the stick … the causal relationships of hand-stick-stone. … It’s whether the secondary movers can act at all without the primary mover acting concurrently.

    So an infinite chain of events can’t happen but an infinite chain of ancestors can exist because the secondary movers can act “without the primary mover acting concurrently”? Actions must have a Prime Mover but somehow ancestorship is exempt?

  165. Prime Mover then can mean First Mover or Major Mover or some mixture. Hopefully you still agree that regardless of meaning it must precede its effect.

    Once again, we must ask not what are the usages of an English word in the +21st century, but what is the best way to translate a Greek word from the -4th century. What did Aristotle intend by kinesis or Aquinas by motus</i< (or the others by the Arabic or Hindi words they used). A cause is concurrent with its effect. Recall, the Eternal Foot and the Eternal Footprint. The Foot did not come first in time. It's eternal.

    You claim that setting the meaning of terms is a requirement but then play these kinds of games with them.

    It’s useful to try and clarify the meaning when the other person obstinately refuses to understand the argument.

    There really is no evidence outside of intuition that a first cause …is needed at all…

    How can there be an effect at all from a set of essentially ordered causes if there is not one cause that actualizes them? They cannot all be instrumental. The paintbrush cannot produce the Mona Lisa even if the handle is infinitely long.

    If [Kam] were to suddenly stop[,] the music would continue at least for a time before anyone took notice.

    You are probably assuming the argument is a general physical theory of motion rather then the logical structure of causation. Note: present tense. If Kam stops playing, the music stops being produced. A lingering echo is not the music being produced. Other people playing other parts is not the clarinet playing Kam’s part.

    (originally the basset horn BTW)

    Of course. You can see that in the YouTube of Kam playing the concerto.

    So an infinite chain of events can’t happen but an infinite chain of ancestors can exist because the secondary movers can act “without the primary mover acting concurrently”? Actions must have a Prime Mover but somehow ancestorship is exempt?

    No. Begetting does not require that one’s ancestors continue to exist. But the golf swing does require the golfer continue existing throughout the swing, because the club is merely an instrumental cause and does not have the power itself to drive the ball at all.

    For writers Aristotle, Plotinus, Aquinas and the rest, it is not the fact of something’s existence as such, or of its being a thing per se, that raises causal questions about it. It is only some limitation in a thing’s intrinsic intelligibility that does so — e.g., the fact that it has potentials that need actualization [Aristotle], or that it is composed of parts which need to be combined [Plotinus[, or that it merely participates in some feature [Plato], or that it is contingent in some respect. Hence, these writers would never say that “everything has a cause.” What they would say is that every actualization of a potential has a cause.

  166. “every actualisation of a potential has a cause”
    That’s Irish
    “things have causes” is the other way of saying it
    It’s the potential thing, it’s imagined or predicted.
    With widely varying levels of certainty
    good and bad guesses

  167. Sheesh!! Sophistry is the greatest blight on knowledge ever invented… it’s the art of deception by evasion and distraction… by far the preferred “Weapon of Mind Destruction” employed by apparently narcissistic “academics” safely ensconced in their Ivory Towers where they can parade and admire their cunning rhetoric in a theatre of mirrors and sycophants.

    It has nothing to do with the science of philosophy understood as the “love of wisdom” which is characterised by “the search for knowledge and understanding of reality using the scientific instrument known as Logic”. In this context I describe love as the willingness to expend one’s self to attain some good; in this case wisdom, which I describe as a right answer to an apparent problem.

    Contrary to fashionable opinions, logic is not just any succession of ideas that can proceed from an unjustifiable premise via faulty method to any desired conclusion.

    In the scientific method of logic it must start with self evident, incontrovertible, truths which can’t be, and don’t need to be, “proved”; commonsense, as in a proposition that has only one contrary and that contrary is self contradictory and thus absurd… more than just apparently “challenging”. Let’s throw in a couple of these self evident facts, the denial of which is a sure sign of insanity;- not connected to reality:
    Things exist,
    I exist;
    Things that don’t exist cannot cause themselves to exist; and the corollary an effect cannot be greater than its cause;
    The whole is greater than the part;

    That’s enough to illustrate the point.

    Orrite! So you’ve got to have a valid premise or it’s a nonsense speculation from the get go. But you’ve also got to have a valid method if you’re going to claim logic. The method is based entirely on the self evident premise that a thing cannot be and not be what it is; it’s the law of non contradiction; something that just does not apply in sophistry and rhetoric and politics.

    I’d like to put the boots into Modernism and the “not ‘Masons” who relentlessly plug the Judeo-Masonic ideals of Naturalism and Materialism in the guise of “enlightened Catholicism” but for now I’m old, and I’m tired and it’s late.

    Just a closing note to the valiant C Marie; these turkeys don’t care a hoot for doctrine whether it’s substantiated in Scripture or Tradition; they’ll claim that there’s scriptures and traditions all over the place that claim all sorts of “religious” justifications. My (perhaps clumsy and crude) intention is to show that ordinary people need not be intimidated by the “illuminated ones” in their pretentious pontifications. Ultimately, Creation, Redemption, Justice, Mercy, Heaven and Hell are the eternal act of One Power, Intellect and Will and not the capricious result of some “consciousness emerging out of randomness”.

  168. OldAvid:
    I think you’ve grown!
    Yet you still think an argument is a string of ad hominem with accidental facts and factoids written in from your own imagination.

    There are not Turkeys, there are people. Real ones, not just words on screen, even if some pretend that is the case.

    You’re making the logical mistake of lumping people and arbitrarily binning of types of Christians.
    That’s even before the projection for which you’re famous and it seems, now, so is C Marie.

    Here’s the projection form me
    Catholics thought of it! we were given the keys. Anything that’s said which is traditional was our idea!
    that proves something!

    Yet none of what you imagine is actually going on. This was the first cause. You failed in doing what you set out to do and didn’t even try to intervene to stop the chippy choppy YOS talk, which wasn’t helping the cause at all, no pun intended.

    Nice try pretending not to notice though! I knew I’d get you in the end
    You’re Aussie! It’s a given

  169. So an infinite chain of events can’t happen but an infinite chain of ancestors can exist
    No. Begetting does not require that one’s ancestors continue to exist. But the golf swing does require the golfer continue existing

    (*Sigh*) Word play still.
    Note that I said ‘chain of ‘ and you focus on elements within the chain without relating them back to the chain using lots of words in the process.

    A set of events triggered by a flying golf ball does not require the continued existence of the golfer.
    The continued begetter’s existence is indeed required at least up to the point of providing transferable genetic material.

    You really believe you have or could have an infinite set of ancestors?

  170. “Sophistry is the greatest blight on knowledge ever invented…”
    I agree.
    see YOS and C Marie for how easy it is

    bible bashing is something that only happens to protestants!

  171. (*Sigh*) Word play still.

    Making a necessary distinction between accidentally- and essentially-ordered is not “word play” as you seem to intend.

    A set of events triggered by a flying golf ball does not require the continued existence of the golfer.

    Of course not. Why should they?

    The continued begetter’s existence is indeed required at least up to the point of providing transferable genetic material.

    But the prior begetters in the series are not. That’s the whole point of the distinction. Joe jr. has the power of begetting, regardless of the continuing begetting power of Joe sr. But the golf club does not have the power of driving the ball without the continuing power of the golfer.

    You really believe you have or could have an infinite set of ancestors?

    Of course not. The world had a beginning in time. But that’s a religious belief. You have already cast shade on the Big Bang, and deployed the Minkowski 4-space model for relativity, claiming with old Parmenides that movement is an illusion. So finity of ancestors can never be demonstrated philosophically to your satisfaction. (This will persist until Free Will comes up again in these posts/threads. At that point, I am confident that you will switch from Parmenides to Heraclitus, i.e., to quantum theory, which obviates the Minkowski bit.

  172. 12:00 on the video posted above:
    The Trinity explained from an Anglican perspective:

    It’s very well put by the interviewer and is confirmed by Kieth Ward as the classical view.
    The difference is in the method of speaking of it. The view differs, as far as I’m concerned when it comes to the simplicity of God. God is not simple.

    That ‘simplicity of God’ is convenient to the current incarnation of the scientific knowledge Re Big Bang, is only a temporary situation.

    Big Bang is not correct necessarily, there’s a lot more people questioning it.

    “Nothing” doesn’t mean “nothing in the philosophical absolute sense.
    Physics professors agree on this.
    It’s parody, this time, from the religious side, which creates much of the ado’ and confusion about nothing.

    People keep restating it as if that’s the claim, from physics.
    Maybe fun, but if you’e going to argue against your opponent you’ve got to at least present their argument, which includes the premises, as [they] would present them. Not reframe it, or pointlessly parody.

  173. Emphatic isn’t difficult
    In ‘artfud ‘erryfud an’ampsheer,
    ‘urricans ‘ardly
    Hevah ‘appen.

  174. You have already cast shade on the Big Bang, and deployed the Minkowski 4-space model for relativity … I am confident that you will switch … to quantum theory, which obviates the Minkowski bit.

    I think the “you” above refers to someone who is not me. You are losing it. Might explain the following and its like. You clearly didn’t understand what I said. More than once apparently. Perhaps you are ill? If so, I hope for your speedy recovery.

    finity of ancestors can never be demonstrated philosophically to your satisfaction.

  175. Perhaps you are ill? If so, I hope for your speedy recovery.

    My wife of near 50 years died two weeks ago, rather suddenly. I am posting here as a distraction. I apologize if I often mix you up with Mr Trombone. I seldom pay much attention to who is the commenter, only to what the comment is.

  176. Ah, YOS, I’m sincerely sad to hear about your wife’s passing
    Sorry for adding to your grief at this time and for all time, in fact

    This isn’t the place to be if positivity is the goal. Distraction though, definitely have found the same

    God bless you and I hope you find comfort from knowing that people care
    X

  177. Ye Olde Statistician,

    Just read this. I’d never have guessed. My sincere condolences also.

  178. I too, am sorry for your loss, YOS. “A man will cleave to his wife and they shall be as one” in a manner that is incomprehensible to the “enlightened” who will arbitrarily decree that it’s just a convenience “hook up” with no ultimate purpose.

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