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Ask a Theologian III

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Plotinus, Nov 7, 2009.

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  1. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    I'm sure I've read things by Richard Dawkins in which he says that he has much more sympathy for religious fundamentalists than he does for religious liberals, because at least the fundamentalists recognise that faith and reason are opposed, whereas the liberals want to have it both ways. However, he seems not to recognise that this doesn't exactly put him in good company. I'd agree that the extremists on both sides have more in common with each other than they do with the moderates on their own sides - as is so often the case. After all, soldiers on opposing sides in a battle are in agreement on pretty much everything, including the belief that there's a war going on in the first place. They just happen to be on opposite sides of that war. They would be united in their disagreement with anyone who denies that there's a war at all.
     
  2. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    ;)
     
  3. dwaxe

    dwaxe is not a fanatic

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    Thomas Aquinas: "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." When I first read it, it seemed to belie a kind of resignation on his part, i.e., an acknowledgment that his arguments are insufficient reason for belief in God.
    How should you analyze it?
     
  4. dwaxe

    dwaxe is not a fanatic

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    1. What do you think of the materialistic doctrine that holds that there is nothing 'spiritual' or non-physical?

    2. Is that doctrine called materialism, or am I confuzzling myself?
     
  5. civ2

    civ2 Emperor

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    It's interesting that most people confuse logic with reason...
    Belief is opposite to logic, not nessessarily to reason. :D
    The difference is that logic tells you that all theories must have facts to back them up (facts go FIRST), while reason can do just the opposite - find facts for the theory instead (theory goes FIRST).
    In the case of religion (as a "theory" of God), logic wouldn't help you much - God's ways are hidden in this world.
    But reason can see miracles in everyday life - if you let yourself see them.
    Example:
    You win the jackpot.
    Logic tells you - it's a random event, you just got "lucky".
    Reason though might tell you - God helped you to win it.

    etc.
     
  6. dwaxe

    dwaxe is not a fanatic

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    civ2, your definition of logic bears little resemblance to all the dictionary definitions. They even list reason as synonyms with logic!

    I think that both logic and reason can be used to determine the validity of beliefs.
     
  7. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    Who was the first person to list Baptism, Chrismation/Confirmation, Communion, Marriage, Holy Orders, Confession, and Unction as the seven sacraments?
     
  8. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    I don't believe Aquinas ever actually said that.

    What Aquinas did say is that although rational arguments may not be sufficient to bring about faith, they can remove obstacles to faith:

    That's from S.T. II ii, q. 2, a. 10.

    I think it's reasonable. However, there are various forms of materialism, according to what kinds of entities they deny. One form of materialism may mean the denial of any non-physical substances such as ghosts or Cartesian minds. Another may mean the denial of any non-physical properties, which is going further. And another may mean the denial of things such as holes. After all, a hole is not a material object - it's a gap in a material object - so a person who denies the existence of anything that isn't a material object must deny the existence of holes. There are, of course, ways to get around this sort of thing. (E.g. talk of "holes" is really verbal shorthand for talk of instantiations of the property of "being perforated", or something along those lines.)

    Yes. It might also be called "physicalism". But that is sometimes used to mean the claim that a person is identical with her body, which is not the same thing.

    No, obviously it's possible to believe things that are consistent with logic.

    Logic doesn't tell you anything of the kind. Logic is simply a tool for deducing one set of propositions from another.

    That's an assertion; and it doesn't show why logic won't help you.

    Validity isn't a property of beliefs - it's a property of arguments.

    Now beliefs may have various properties, including (but not limited to) truth, probability, and rationality. I'd say that reason and logic (which is a tool of reason) may be used to assess all of these properties, to varying degrees.

    Otto of Bamberg and Hugh of St Victor are often identified as the first to list the seven sacraments. However, I'm not completely sure what their lists were. Peter Lombard listed the seven sacraments very soon afterwards, and since his work rapidly became the most-read and most-commented on Christian writing in the west, his understanding of the sacraments became standard.
     
  9. Squonk

    Squonk Deity

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    do the decisions of a new catholic council supersede the decisions of previous ones? Some obviously do, if they concern the same subject, but what if the canons of a new synod does not tackle the subject mentioned by previous ones? Are canons of Lateranum IV concerning Jews still in power, in theory?
    Do bulls of past popes bear some significance for catholicism today?
     
  10. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    I've heard a lot of Calvinists (generally the sort who are rather ignorant of most pre-reformation thinkers) speak very highly of Augustine. How much do you think he would approve of Calvinism?
     
  11. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    I've read in one 1980's Soviet book that the translators of Septuagint softened Job's complaints against God in the Bible book named after him. Is it true?
     
  12. dwaxe

    dwaxe is not a fanatic

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    The guy who made the Great People Quotes mod lied to me. :ar15:

    Now for a few questions:

    1. Are you a materialist, i.e. do you hold the view that all phenomena are material (as contrasted with dualism: no Cartesian soul, 'ether', or 'ectoplasm', (or God?)) as your default position?

    2. What evidence would pretty much vindicate materialism? Dualism?

    3. What does the "mystery of consciousness" have to do with all this? Is it really a mystery, or has been largely explained?

    And completely unrelated:

    4. What is your opinion of postmodernism?
     
  13. Moss

    Moss CFC Scribe Retired Moderator

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    More of a personal question(s):

    How are you liking your career so far? And what, if anything, do you find fulfilling about it? Also, what types of responsibilities (if any) do you feel as a theologian to educate the common masses, or maybe I'm meaning, what do you see as the ends to your work?
     
  14. eduhum

    eduhum Aahh the gold old days...

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    All of this was field back in days
    One question:
    What do you think of the Catholic Institution Opus Dei, that many times is sooo misjudged?
    I would want to have a knowlegded response, not a ''I think/ I supose'' one
     
  15. NBAfan

    NBAfan boss

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    If doctrine then no, the councils have made a doctrine more clear but did not change it.
     
  16. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Big question for you: Which came first the chicken or the egg?
     
  17. holy king

    holy king Deity

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    that one's easy.
     
  18. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I can never quite understand why we've retained that expression post-Darwin... :mischief:
     
  19. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

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    If you had to name one person right this moment as the Anti-Christ, whom would it be? Who would the Four Horsemen be?
     
  20. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    I will get to these, but I have a very busy couple of days coming up, so it's on the to-do list...
     
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