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[RD] Ask a Theologian V

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Plotinus, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Deity

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    Was Adolf Hitler an Arian Christian such as the kind that predated Catholic Rome? Is that where the "Arian" comes from?
     
  2. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Nope.

    The "Arian" part of Arian Christianity comes from the Alexandrian priest Arius whose ideas of Christ being of like but inferior substance to God the Father, ditching the Holy Trinity. It was popular among the Goths and other "barbarians" due partly to its less mystical theology and also because it was outside of the established Catholic/Roman church. Arianism was largely dead by the 700s.

    Nazi Aryanism was a completely separate thing that took some sensible (but ultimately incorrect) ideas about prehistoric Indo-European population movements and went deep into crazy-town with absolutely nothing to do with Arius or Arianism.

    That, of course, is avoiding the minefield-laden debate over whether Hitler was Christian.
     
    yung.carl.jung and Lexicus like this.
  3. Takhisis

    Takhisis Rum and coke.

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    up yours.
    It's also worth noting that Ar(r)ian Christianity didn't predate Catholicism, but was rather a co-existent, heretical form.
     
  4. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Super Moderator

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    Well, since Arianism predates both the Nicene and Chalcedonian Councils, whether or not you could say that the early pre-reformed church was The Catholic Church is another issue.
     
  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    Yeah, the "Catholic" church didn't really exist until it broke off from the rest of Orthodox christianity, did it?
     
  6. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Super Moderator

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    I don't think it was until at least the Chalcedonian Council (AD 451 or so) that the differences between the Catholic and Orthodox churches started to become a problem. The Second Nicene Council (in AD 750-ish) was the last ecumenical council observed as binding by both those two churches, I believe.
     
  7. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    The divisions between the Latin and Greek churches weren't formalized until after the 1054 schism, no?
     
  8. Takhisis

    Takhisis Rum and coke.

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    up yours.
    In effect it was a way to proclaim one's independence. In Rome religion was a state affair. Not paying religious homage to the (Græco-)Roman pantheon and the deified Emperors was one of the main reasons why Jews and Christians were persecuted. Then, when the Empire became officially Christian, if you followed a differenct brand of Christianity you were being not-Imperial. At the time it made sense.
     
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  9. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

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    And I think the theological Arian is pronounced Are-ian whereas Hitler's Arian is Air-ian. (Wish I had the IPA down; here I just mean the English words are and air)
     
  10. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Very Upper PR: "Are-ian", imo. Somehow even more sinister.
     
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  11. Takhisis

    Takhisis Rum and coke.

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    up yours.
    According to wiktionary:

    Aryan (the race):
    (US) IPA(key): /ˈɛəɹi.ən/, /ˈɛəɹjən/, /ˈɑɹi.ən/, /ˈɑɹjən/

    Arian (the religious group):
    IPA(key): /ˈɛəɹi.ən/

    Remember that it can also mean someone from the place called Aria (present-day Afghanistan) or somebody whose sign is Aries. ;)
     
  12. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    For me it's /ˈɑɹi.ən/ and /ˈɛəɹi.ən/ for Aryan and Arian respectively.
     
  13. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    I suppose you could say it was wholly defensible from the perspective of nineteenth-century Catholic theology and pastoral practice, as that perspective held the spiritual wellbeing of a baptised person to outweigh all other considerations. But obviously it doesn't follow from that that all theological perspectives would agree with that. I don't know what current Catholic teaching would say about it, but it seems at the very least contrary to the spirit of Vatican II, wouldn't you say?
     
  14. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    Questions, questions! (I'm sorry, but I've waited a long time to discuss all these. :mischief:)

    1. In Crusader Kings II, Armenia, Egypt and Ethiopia are Miaphysite, and Monophysitism is represented as its heresy (meaning it may randomly pop up in a Miaphysite province during the course of the game). No start date has any Monophysite provinces whatsoever. Yet all the history books I've read call the dominant belief of these areas Monophysitism. So are the developers just plain wrong, or this is a matter of weird terminology?

    2. I'd like to follow up to this question, which is listed in the OP for some reason, even though it wasn't answered. It does seem odd that anyone ever accepted Calvinism as true and even odder that anyone could be attracted to it. If my understanding is correct:

    A. Humans don't have free will and are incapable of choosing virtue (I thought free will was a huge part of all Christian theology?)
    B. We deserve to suffer eternally for this.
    C. God arbitrarily selects random people to save from this just punishment.
    D. He forces the selected people to behave virtuously.


    I'd personally rather worship Odin. How could so many people have fervently believed and spread this?

    3. I'd also like to go back to your answer for why souls might not be affected by brain damage:
    This doesn't work. If you believe that your conscious experience/qualia is given by your soul, you shouldn't experience anything different - your damage might result in a speech impediment or blindness, but it should never affect your thinking. The fact that personalities can change (or one person can split into two) seems to contradict immaterial consciousness, no?

    4. The recent question:
    Even if this is true, as far as I know there weren't other kidnappings (for instance, nominal Catholics that didn't give their children a religious education, of which I assume there were plenty).

    5. How good a description is this of the prospects of a philosophy degree?

    6.
    Have you stopped writing fiction? Your website is down, unfortunately - it would be nice if you saved all the essays somewhere. I really, really enjoyed them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  15. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    I don't know if/when Plot will get to this, but this is one I can actually answer for you if you want.

    The short/quick answer is most of the predestination stuff was not a total break with prevailing theology. Augustine talks about the distinction between being part of the Visible Church (the whole congregation of people who call themselves Christians) and being part of the Invisible Church (the sheep from Matthew 18:30 who are to be saved). Predestination has always been there - at least from Augustine - the main break Calvin and the other Reformers made in this regard was over to what extent God personally willed damnation, i.e. whether it's a singular predestination (he chooses only those who will be saved and permits sin to exist rather than being an active agent in its existence) or a double predestination (that he chooses both those who will be saved and those who will be damned).

    Some other passages to consider:

    Hebrews 11:1-3
    Romans 8:28-30
    1 John 2:18
    Augustine: City of God XXI ch. 12; Epistle 190.3.12
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  16. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    I think the developers are basically wrong here, but understandably so given that the distinction between Miaphysitism and Monophysitism is so subtle it often escapes me.

    A isn't necessarily correct, because it's possible to be a Calvinist and a compatibilist. Jonathan Edwards, for example, argues for an understanding of free will which is compatible with its being predetermined by God. Moreover, my understanding is that the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity is meant to be a theological claim, not a moral one. That is, human beings are perfectly capable of choosing virtue. But their choice is nevertheless unacceptable to God because it is tainted, theologically speaking, with opposition to God. So a Calvinist can accept the existence of people who often make morally right choices, even without grace, but will simply say that those choices are still infected with sin. "Sin" is a theological category, not a moral one.

    D isn't really right either, because God doesn't "force" people to behave virtuously, he acts upon their wills so that they choose to behave virtuously. Whether this is compatible with their subsequent decisions being free or not is a moot point, but it's not like they're being compelled against their will.

    As for why people have believed it, I can't really answer that except to say that religions prosper when they speak to some particular need that people have, or reflect their experience. If people believed this it was because they felt that it reflected reality as they seemed to experience it. But I couldn't say more than that... if you really want to understand the attraction of Calvinism, or any system of thought, you just have to read or experience it for yourself. Work your way through a bit of Calvin or Beza or Edwards and see what you think then...

    [QUOTE="Mouthwash, post: 15029042, member: 218514"] I'd also like to go back to your answer for why souls might not be affected by brain damage:


    This doesn't work. If you believe that your conscious experience/qualia is given by your soul, you shouldn't experience anything different - your damage might result in a speech impediment or blindness, but it should never affect your thinking.[/QUOTE]

    Not if the brain is like a transmitter as well as a receiver. Perhaps the soul derives its experience, in some way, from transmissions it gets from the brain. Then damage to the brain (or sense organs) could disrupt this process and cut the soul off from its input.

    I don't see why. Why couldn't an immaterial consciousness change or split into two?

    True, but nominal Catholics failing to educate their children properly are a different case from members of *another religion* bringing up baptised Catholics. I suppose such cases were simply rare or under-reported, maybe?

    Well that's about the prospects of a philosophy *PhD*, not just a degree. It's a fairly realistic description (and it applies to all humanities, not just philosophy) but entirely US-centric. The distinction between different kinds of "schools" doesn't apply so well elsewhere, for example, and neither does the description of the sorts of topics and classes one actually teaches. In my very first semester as a lecturer, for example, I was teaching a module that I devised myself from the ground up on the subject of my own research. But the difficulty of finding an academic position is certainly accurate - though bear in mind that it does vary from person to person. Someone with a PhD from a top-ranked university, who has published a fair bit in prestigious journals, and who researches in-demand areas, will probably not have enormous difficulty getting a position - though becoming that person in the first place isn't exactly easy. In my case I was applying pretty much non-stop to universities all around the world for about six years and didn't get shortlisted for a single position until I was shortlisted for the one I eventually got.

    Also I don't know why everyone always goes on about how doing research is more desirable to doing teaching - I much prefer teaching to research, which I find a real grind.

    Thank you! I didn't bother saving them as I just bashed them out as needed. I've not kept it up as I don't have the time or emotional stability needed for it any more, unfortunately.
     
  17. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    Does teaching, with all the fresh questions, from them and then perhaps also new ones to yourself, not give you the itch now and then to go really in depth again ?
    and gather notes for a new book on living questions in a changing environment and demand for philosophical "comfort" ?
     
  18. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    It's not the predestination I dislike, it's the fact that they wrinkle out the most horrifying possible implications of it.

    A soul dependent upon input from the material brain? That may as well just be the computational theory of mind. Also, it's hard to see how the religious notion of a soul (which survives the death of the body) is compatible with it.

    I'm beginning to see what that guy I linked to meant; anyone who can just "bash out" disposable essays of that quality isn't operating on the level of we mere mortals. :D

    Nevertheless, Wayback Machine appears to have saved most of them. The link in your signature to your story is broken though, and the download links that come up on Google look very suspect. Surely it's worth preserving?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  19. ryanmusante

    ryanmusante Regular Supporter

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    If Satan asked for forgiveness from God, could God in his infinite mercy give him reconciliation?
     
  20. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Super Moderator

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    That's like asking if an omnipotent deity can create a rock too large for him to lift.
     

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