Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Plotinus, Nov 17, 2013.
You have to clarify what you mean by "fully divorced from religion."
Where did the belief that beings such as demons were genuinely evil, and not simply testing humanity come from? Or the belief that some angels are in revolt against God? Rabbinic Judaism claims that Satan is just an agent of God (which is also strongly implied by the Book of Job, so it is probably is an old belief), and although I've heard of demons in Jewish folk tales I've never seen them mentioned in serious theology.
His racism rather comes to mind here - and that can't be excused as being a product of his time, since it was not the generally accepted view even among just white Europeans.
I think in the Second Temple period - you find unambiguously evil demons in the Dead Sea Scrolls - but this is very much well out of my area of expertise!
Perhaps misrepresenting Satan as an agent of God was an argument against the notion there was a separate spiritual world? The book of Job does not imply that Satan was an agent of God. That is what the humans in the story rationalized. In the account God did not send Satan. God allowed Satan the privilege of control over the humans in the account. To rationalize that God sent Satan could be a way to view the story if one did not have all the facts, or if one does not even think the story is factual to begin with.
Historically, Judaism was split between those who believed in both a spiritual and physical reality, and those who only claimed a physical reality. Most theology is based on rationalism and what gets passed on as acceptible is what can be proven in a rational and physical manner. Even in the Babylonian captivity, the Jews rejected the notion of a spiritual reality as presented by others such as zoroastrian theology. Some even claim the Jews rejected a lot of material that did not make it into the OT, because it relied too heavily on the spiritual reality and not the physical experiences of humans who just thought or "made up" a spiritual reality.
It seems to me, that like angels, demons are both created beings, (probably the fallen angels) and part of the reality of both the physical and spiritual side of humans themselves. It is not a very flushed out topic, as humans refuse to acknowledge they have a spiritual reality that is "angelic", and much less so if it was "demonic". We have a free will to believe anything we choose to believe. The point being, there is reality, and within that reality, there is acceptable reality.
If you really think that "most theology is based on rationalism" you need to speak to more theologians. Or, better, don't.
You don't seem to have a high opinion of your own profession.
I'm a philosopher. I'm just living among the theologians to gain their trust.
Most people were racist in his time by today's standards. Kant was slightly less racist than most people in his time, as a result of his philosophy.
That's a massive oversimplification, but a Kant scholar goes into detail here:--
Schopenhauer outright rejected slavery but was still racist by today's standards.
Are we allowed to link to Quora in this forum?
But in that link, Kannisto doesn't say that Kant was "less racist than most people in his time", slightly or otherwise. He just thinks that Kant's moral philosophy made him become a little less racist than he would have been otherwise. When Kannisto compares Kant to contemporaries, it's only to point out that he had contemporaries such as Herder who were a lot less racist than Kant was. He doesn't mention any contemporaries who he thinks were more racist, let alone claim that most were.
Kant was more racist than most in his time because he was one of the popularisers of the concept of "scientific", biological racism. This was becoming fashionable among educated thinkers of his day but was hardly a mainstream belief - it would become more so in the nineteenth century, thanks in large part of the authority of Kant, Hume, and those like them. See here. He was not as bad as some - he rejected the multiple origins theory of race that was held by some, such as Voltaire and Hume, who concluded that the different races constituted distinct species - but that's not much of a recommendation. For a more detailed survey you can look here if you're able to view it.
Are you familiar with Tim O'Neill or his website? Just discovered him today. One of the best resources on the internet for refuting bad history of religion.
I'm not familiar with him, but yes, that site looks pretty good.
I discovered on Wikipedia this statement by Cardinal Walter Kasper, from 2001: "the Document Dominus Iesus does not state that everybody needs to become a Catholic in order to be saved by God. On the contrary, it declares that God’s grace, which is the grace of Jesus Christ according to our faith, is available to all. Therefore, the Church believes that Judaism, i.e. the faithful response of the Jewish people to God’s irrevocable covenant, is salvific for them, because God is faithful to his promises."
He is endorsing the salvation of Jews? Kasper's a pretty mainstream theologian, as far as I can tell, but I thought the Catholic Church always held that faith in Christ was required for salvation. This article says the same thing as Kasper, and also claims this "does not constitute a formal change to official Catholic doctrine," which just sounds ludicrous.
Is this being misinterpreted somehow?
Cardinal Kasper is one of the big liberal names in the Church who pretty much border upon the bounds of heresy. Since there is the big division between the liberal and orthodox (conservatives you might say) in the Church and he is a cardinal, he hasn't and is unlikely to be disciplined or face religious sanction so long as he doesn't cross the metaphorical line and do something too outrageous [The Church has a phobia about schism after all].
The dogma is that A) outside of the Catholic Church there is no salvation, and B) Baptism is ordinarily [ie: God is not restricted by the sacrament] necessary for salvation, and the only means the Church knows with certitude by which the door to salvation is opened (ie baptism cleanses the stain of original [and all other] sin when received). Indeed we find in scripture that the Lord Himself affirms that baptism is necessary for salvation [John 3:5] and this necessity is further mentioned elsewhere [Mark 16:16 for instance]. Quoting the Catechism and Dominus Iesus.
With regards to the old covenant, the traditional teaching as one can read in the works of Thomas Aquinas is that it was fulfilled and its ceremonial and judicial laws (not its moral laws, such as the ten commandments, since God's moral law does not change just as God is eternal and unchanging ) were superseded with the coming of Christ who was foreshadowed in that old covenant, and the establishment of the new covenant, therefore rendering jews subject to the same moral obligation to follow Christ as anyone else. (Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 103, a. 3)
Not quite - the Catholic Church holds that salvation comes only through Christ, but at least entertains the possibility that, under certain circumstances, Christ may make his grace available to those outside the church, always stressing that grace is always received more perfectly only through the church.
Here is the relevant section of Dominus Iesus:
I'm not familiar with Kasper or contemporary Catholic theology in general. But I think the quotation you give from him is a mistaken interpretation of that theology. The church doesn't "believe" that Judaism is salvific for Jews. Rather, it is open to the possibility that (some) Jews might be saved without explicitly becoming Christians. And it is emphatic that if that happens, it is not because Judaism offers a path to salvation that is distinct from Christianity, but because Christ may bestow his grace upon non-Christians in certain unusual circumstances.
Suppose that the Rolling Stones were the best band in the world. Then one might hold that the only people who could ever genuinely be said to have experienced the best music in the world are those who have attended a Stones concert. And one might also hold that anyone who chooses to attend a concert by some other band, when they had the option of seeing the Stones instead, definitely has a bad taste in music and can never be said to be a Stones fan. But perhaps some people never have the opportunity of seeing the Stones - they might not even have heard of them. In that case, perhaps they're going to gigs which, although inferior to the Stones, are still giving them some kind of musical satisfaction - and perhaps, to the extent that those other bands are influenced by the Stones, one could say that they are sort of listening to the Stones indirectly, kind of. You might say that such people are Stones fans in a sense, even if perhaps they don't even know it. The important thing, though, is that even if that is true (and it might not be), the Stones are better than all other bands, anything that is good about other bands is ultimately derived from the Stones, and anyone who consciously rejects the Stones in favour of anyone else is definitely beyond help.
Pope Embraces Sympathy for the Devil and Gimme shelter!
Sainthood for Mick and Kieth
Rome: Today the Pope declared that miracles have been performed by both Mick Jagger and Kieth Richards and that the path to sainthood was now open. The details of those miracles have not yet been detailed, but rumors say that they include that the band is still performing, Mick is still fathering children and Kieth has not died of a drug overdose. Film at 11:00.
Srsly thank you for posting this, I got way too little work done today because I got immersed in this website, it's so good
What are you all following me to other websites for? I can't believe we agree on something.
However, I have been reading Justin Martyr. When it comes to baptism of water, that was a worthless custom from Judaism. John the Baptist died before the act of Salvation performed by Jesus and God's act of Grace. So baptism was important as an outward sign, but not one of an inward act. Salvation was the baptism of fire and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 3:5: that one has to have a human birth in order to be saved. That which is born of the flesh (water) is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. The part of salvation that Jesus was emphasizing was that the spirit of man was dead, and that is the salvation Jesus was bringing to humanity. The Law and prophets required the washing of the body as a sign that was to come. Not as a prerequisite of that salvation. The Jews were always reminded to repent and change their ways. But baptism could no more save a person than good works or keeping the Law will. The Law was a direct covenant with the Jews, God's chosen people and was a means for their salvation. That Law was satisfied by the death and resurrection of the Christ though, and was no longer a neccessity.
That the church made baptism a binding act, was a desire to harken back to The Law, and if a part of the church can make it binding and another part can make it not binding, which view does God establish as the authoritative one? My guess would be neither. God was satisfied with one thing and only one thing. It is humans that constrict or free themselves as they see fit. Justin Martyr made a great point. The Law was given because of the hardness of the heart. Humans want things done their way, even if it means bondage. I assume that baptism of water is just the same avenue. Even though the work and act itself is meaningless to salvation, it is still a balm for the hard hearted condition of humanity.
At least at the time of Justin Martyr, 165 CE, The baptism of water was not necessary for the act of Salvation, as it was condemned by at least one group. The immediate apostles were not baptized by water, but by the fire of the Holy Spirit. It seemed to be part of those educated in the customs of The Law. The church later instituted it as a tradition. It does not seem to have been an act of Salvation though, until the church introduced infant baptism. The early church seemed for the most part to stay clear of practices of Judaism, and that one slipped back in. Jesus was accused of not baptizing his followers, even though he himself was baptized. It was said that he allowed it, and his disciples practiced it, but his work was the baptism of the Holy Spirit. My point is not that it may or may not be important in itself, but it was clearly distinguished as an act separate from salvation at first, and later became part of salvation itself, by the majority of the Church. Using John 3, one has to agree that the water Jesus was referring to was the act of birth, and water is only an act of the flesh, and separate from that of the Spirit. Nicodemus did not ask about the act of baptism from sin, but thought a person had to physically be born again. Nor did Jesus correct a teacher of Judaism on the importance of baptism by water. The only fleshly baptism required was the water of birth. Jesus was showing Nicodemus a way that was totally foreign to what he was taught and was teaching others. As pointed out, washing via water, ie baptism was practiced, because the Spiritual baptism was not yet instituted. That Justin Martyr had an issue with water baptism showed that some understood, where Nicodemus did not. But when practiced, repentance always came first. And to the Law it was done as often as needed. Whereas, salvation was accomplished once and for all. The crucifixion of the flesh is still daily, but would not be economical to seek out baptism on a daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly schedule, so it is still just an outward sign that has little to do with the actual act of Salvation which is spiritual.
On reading a piece about the history of debt jubilees, I stumbled today on a claim that I would like to ask about from people who studied the past history of christianity. Is there truth to this description about Cyril's role?
I don't know whether who wrote this was only badly trying to simplify, or talking outright nonsense. The idea of the Trinity predated Cyril, I thought. What Jesus was, human or god or both, was indeed fought about then. But the Trinity was an established idea by then. Or not? I guess the idea may be that Jesus had to have a godlike status to be part of a Trinity, but is still seems shoddy history.
And I cannot find any sources on killings of nestorians in what would be, I suppose, the council of Ephesus.
Where are you quoting from, innonimatu?
Cyril was certainly not a very nice person. And he was at least implicated in anti-Jewish violence in Alexandria - although it must be pointed out that Alexandria at this time was divided between Jews, Christians, and pagans, who all engaged in violence against each other, so the use of the word "pogroms" is anachronistic and too weighted.
Every other claim in the passage is false.
Separate names with a comma.