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[RD] Ask a Theologian V

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

  1. Cheetah

    Cheetah Chieftain

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    But surely, transformation, rather than uncritical adoption, is precisely what yung and everyone else means when asking such a question?

    Can I take it then, that you agree that such transformed practices were and have been readily adopted by Christianity (just as with other religions) throughout its existence?
     
  2. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Warlord

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    where are the shades between uncritical adoption and transformation ?
    For example:
    An old pagan traditional wisdom is that trees give strenght, and that holy trees can give the strenght to overcome diseases.
    The tradition became to have a piece of cloth or rope, some ritual to bind that piece with your sick body and attach it, hang it in that holy tree, to get better from that binding your body to the life force of that tree.
    So there were and for that matter still are trees full of mostly white pieces of cloth.
    Now.. not all holy trees were chopped to build chapels upon. There were also chapels build alongside such a tree to sanction such a tradition. The Maria statue nearby that tree.
    Maria the addition to an unchanged pagan tradition. More a blend imo than a transformation.

    If you read the epistle of Gregory the Great, my feel from it is a very parental, caring attitude, avoiding polarisation and disruption in the minds of the people for the moment of change, of someone wise enough to know that a long harmonious process was better for everyone.
    What I basically read is to find pragmatical harmonious solutions for the christianising.
    Not that that always happened so. Especially when the Carolingian dynasty was challenged in its empire building with the cross, it became more the bloody sword with a cross in its wake. After the killing of the 80 year Bonifatius around 750 AD in Dokkum, the heartland of the Frisians, it became more close to a genocide in that area.

    And as side story on the life force of trees, the story of Penelope testing whether the man coming in her house was indeed Odyssey (after 20 years):
    Besides the practical cleverness of Penelope, my feel on the why Odyssey build his house, and especially the most important part of his family home, the matrimonial bed, on a chopped (big) tree, was to root the marriage, the family in the earth and give it the life force of the tree.
    And as further side note: Greek philosophy, heroes and ancient Greek history does not give much room for women. The usual male warriors, trophy women and intrigues. But Odyssey is pictured differently by Homer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  3. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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  4. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

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    Did medieval theologians really argue over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin? What was at stake for them in the answer to this question? If one person said "four" and another said "a thousand" what would that have meant to any other aspect of Christian theology? How did they think they could determine the answer to the question? What made one person's answer seem like a better answer than someone else's?
     
  5. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Plotinus has addressed this before, but I cannot seem to find the posts.

    It was not a disagreement between those who might say "four" vs "a thousand," but rather those who might say "one" vs "infinity."

    "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin" was just a fanciful way of stating the question of whether spiritual beings like angels occupied any physical space at all.

    It was about whether angels had physical bodies like humans which where limited to existed at a particular time and place or were completely incorporeal (maybe even omnipresent) beings like God. It was generally accepted that two physical objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, but more controversial as to whether the presence of one spiritual being could exclude another spiritual or physical being.
     
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  6. Gori the Grey

    Gori the Grey The Poster

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    Thanks. I did look at his index of previously answered questions before I asked and didn't see it there.
     
  7. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    It doesn't seem to have been a problem which Medieval Scholastics ever really argued over, but was, rather, a rhetorical smear employed by Protestant theologians to emphasize the absurdity of Medieval Scholasticism's tendency towards obscurantism and esoteria, which itself was a major critique of the Church by Early Modern humanist reformers (e.g. Erasmus and John Colet) as well as early Protestants like Luther.
     
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  8. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    As in, do they perpetually argue over nedlesse points?
     
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  9. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    If I understand Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism correctly, it argues that a mind which evolved purely by natural selection has no guarantee that anything it believes is reliable (as it would be built for survival rather than truth-finding). This results in radical skepticism, which would further mean that the human has no justification for saying that the theory of evolution itself is true.

    This seems to ignore that accurate knowledge is robust while illusion is not. You could, conceivably, want to be eaten yet run away from dangerous predators because you don't think they will eat you. But evolutionary adaptions are tested across countless events and lifetimes, and severely inaccurate beliefs would have a much harder time accounting for every possible scenario than at least somewhat correct beliefs. The only illusions that could survive would be mostly 'in the background', which is what we find in curiosities like the color-shifting dress and other optical illusions.

    So it seems that the thesis is refuted because truth and survivability often go hand in hand. Is this correct or am I not comprehending the argument fully?

    To pick this back up, a question is raised of how an activity justified through natural law, like sex, could be regarded as sinful or less righteous than abstaining from that activity. Do Catholics believe that there is some kind of 'spiritual law' which overrides natural law?

    Why wouldn't one be obligated to carry out natural functions according to natural law theory?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  10. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    Most arguments against evolution (I'm not quite sure what an argument against 'naturalism' means) suffer from some sort of logical fallacy. This particular argument seems a variant on the 'evolution couldn't create an eye' position, where 'eye' is replaced with 'brain'. And yet early life forms had neither eyes nor a brain. Once you have life forms with a brain, there's no reason for it to evolve into a more complex brain, capable of logic. Or truthfinding.

    But that's all beside the point: "the human has no justification for saying that the theory of evolution itself is true". Which is perfectly true. But it ignores the fact that anything scientifi isn't about truth. It's all about probabilities. It's only for the sake of convenience that we say 'the theory of evolution is true', whereas, scientifically speaking, it's just the most accepted theory, liable at any point to be replaced by a better one. For convenience's sake, we simply refer to the theory of evolution as 'true'.

    So really, no truthfinding is involved here and the argument then misses the point entirely, because the only actual argument against evolution woudl be finds that contradict it. Since no such finds have occurred all 'argument' against evolution is moot. If one really wanted to 'argue' against evolution, one woud have to come up with a better theory.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  11. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    You should probably go ahead and look that up, because that's what this is. He's not making any sort of argument against evolution whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  12. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    Good. Because his argument isn't 'evolutionary' either, as explained. (And I don't really have a problem with people arguing against isms. That's basically what they are for: argument.)
     

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