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Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Plotinus, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    What happened was that there was some discussion going on in the discussion page, and someone cited Chalmers twice as a way to back up their bogus arguments. Chalmers comes, and says:

    To that he was told that wiki was not a place for him to wave his "pompous hand of authority" :lol:

    You think undergrads using it is bad? That's just the beginning! A recent study by law professor Paul Caron found that 545 articles of legal scholarship cite wikipedia!!! And it has also been cited in over 100 US judicial opinions, with 13 of those being at the circuit courts of appeals level (one level below the federal supreme court).

    And just so I'm not derailing the coversation: what's your favorite sub-topic within theology?
     
  2. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    Plotinus:
    I'm doing a research essay on Just War Theory for a writing class that I'm taking this semester. As I understand it, Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas were both very important in formulating the idea of just warfare. (Although I believe the basic idea predated them.) Since you seem to know a lot about Christian theologians, I was wondering: Do you know where their ideas were laid out? What they said, and where? Even just what the title of the books that have their opinions on Just War theory, as right now I'm not sure which ones they are. (And unsurprisingly, the idea of paging through a stack of philosophy and theology books knee-high isn't a very exciting one, even for someone who finds this stuff interesting.) If you don't remember, then that's OK, I'll try and find the information elsewhere.
     
  3. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    :hatsoff: Plotinus. While I've been lost in NESing, your magnificent thread appears and goes over 300 posts. Well, I'm only half way through reading it and have been enthralled all the way. I even have some favorite posts. Kudos to you! :)
     
  4. Quasar1011

    Quasar1011 King of Sylvania

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    I used the NIV, but checked the King James version, as well as the Living Bible. All 3 version have "I am". I then checked the 1909 Reina-Valera Spanish language Bible, and it has "Yo soy" in Mark 14:62, which translates as "I am." I then checked the original Greek, and it has "ego eimi" in that passage- which again translates as "I am". None of them are even close to "so you say". And since your chosen version changes the meaning of the passage, your bias is showing. :p What, 5 versions of that verse in 3 languages spanning 2,000 years are wrong, and you are right?
     
  5. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    I don't really know much about it, but it looks pretty unlikely to me. Tibet?? There is no way the canonical Gospels are based on Aramaic originals.

    Well, I think Origen is always worth reading (even in that outdated translation). He had many interesting things to say about the nature of God and faith. You might also like Gregory of Nyssa. I think that from what you'd say you'd be most interested in Orthodox theologians, so the big man to read there is Gregory Palamas.

    I don't believe in anything like that, although I'm not completely closed to the idea (mostly because of my girlfriend's influence...). I don't think there's any good reason to believe in a deity and I think there are pretty good reasons not to. He'd be horrified to hear it, but reading Leibniz has really confirmed this for me: I think he is right to argue that God would create the best of all possible worlds. Since Leibniz thought that God's existence could be proven on other grounds, he concluded that this really is the best of all possible worlds. Since I think this is obviously not the best of all possible worlds, I conclude that the original hypothesis was false.

    Definitely a theological historian. I'm the same in philosophy - my PhD is on historical philosophy, not that nasty modern analytic stuff.

    Thank you!

    You're making some pretty big leaps there. It's one thing to behave well to others; it's another to do to others as you would have them do to you. The former is simply a pattern of behaviour, the latter is a principle to follow. Moreover, performing an action because it benefits yourself is not the same thing as doing it because you think it's the "right" thing to do. You may well be right to see these experiments as showing the "roots" of the "Golden Rule", but I don't there's any justification for saying that they show "understanding" of it.

    That's astonishing!

    That's terrifying!

    I suppose the history of doctrine, which is pretty vague, I know, but there you go. I like patristics in particular.

    I don't know where Augustine formulated his theories of war, but I suppose that The City of God would be the place to look, since it's got most of his important ideas in there and focuses on politics in particular. As for Aquinas, it looks like ST IIii 40 is the place to look.

    Thanks!

    I must apologise here: yes, you are right. I was actually thinking of the parallel verse in Matthew. In Mark, Jesus says he is the Messiah, and in Matthew, he denies it. The reason I made the mistake is that you would think it would be the other way around: you would expect Matthew to alter Mark's text in such a way as to make Jesus say the sort of thing a Christian would want him to say, rather than to make it more problematic. This is what happens when you cite texts from memory instead of checking!

    Ironically, though, my point does still stand (sort of), because the NIV does mistranslate the Matthew verse: it renders it "Yes, it is as you say," while the RSV is closer to the Greek with "You have said so." The Greek is actually "Su eipas," (literally, "you say") making it hard to see where the NIV translators found a "yes".
     
  6. Margim

    Margim Footy's back.

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    Cheers for that. Time to get back to the classics, by the looks of things!

    I'm certainly not closed to those who deviate a little from Orthodoxy though... I'm really curoius, actually, in what I've heard about Pelagius. Where's a good place to go with him?
     
  7. Sidhe

    Sidhe Chieftain

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    It does pre-date the Gospels by years though, and in fact is the same story? Do you not think that it has as much right to be taken seriously as any other book, since it confirms the four gospels so precisiely? Not only that it is not subject to the eliders like all the other gospels were, by both the early church and the Nicene council.

    The text has been dated to circa 70 AD +/- 30 years error on radio carbon dating.

    The only significant differences between it and the Gospels are

    a) Jesus was a vegetarian
    b) Jesus spoke out against the over consumption of wine

    We know they elided b) from the Bible to appease Constantine. So again another consistency. And a) wouldn't have gone down too well either.

    It's perhaps interesting that a Catholic priest was the first to publish it as he thought he couldn't not in all good conscience, he asked a higher member of his order about his beliefs and they said they saw no reason they were in conflict, but there certainly was a bit after he published it.

    If nothing else it's an interesting story.

    I take it as more than apocryphal though IMHO, as it's pretty consistent.
     
  8. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    Thanks!

    Wait, how do you go from "So you say" to "no"?
     
  9. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    No, I don't. The only sites I can find to discuss this text critically are here and here, and it certainly looks like the thing is a complete fraud, to be honest. I was a bit confused when I commented on it in my last reply: I thought it was the same thing as the Gospel of the Nazoreans, which is genuinely ancient, though fragmentary. It looks like Ouseley's text is supposed to be the "complete text" of that Gospel. In fact it looks like either he wrote it himself or, more probably, he received it from dubious mystics (including Emmanuel Swedenborg, which ought to tell you everything you need to know about this whole business!) who had "channelled" it. That is, they believed themselves to be writing under divine inspiration, and simply composed it themselves. I don't find the slightest evidence that this text is ancient, let alone predates any other Gospels.

    Note that the text is accompanied by other texts so obviously spurious that it seems impossible that anyone could have taken them seriously, such as a letter by Pontius Pilate to the emperor talking about how wonderful Jesus was!

    Even if this text were genuinely ancient, it wouldn't "confirm" anything in the canonical Gospels, because it would clearly have been copied from them. As I said before, the canonical Gospels were written in Greek and were not based on Aramaic "originals".

    I'm not sure what you mean by "the eliders". I notice that, in one of the prefaces to the text on the site you link to, the editors repeat those old lies about the Council of Nicaea altering the text of the Gospels or deciding which ones to put in. That in itself is enough to prove that there is no scholarly value whatsoever to that edition, since anyone with the slightest knowledge of the period will know that there is not the slightest evidence to back up such a claim. So at the risk of repeating myself yet again, let me point out that the Council of Nicaea had nothing whatsoever to do with determining which books would be in the Bible. Why do people persist in claiming that it did? The canons of Nicaea are readily available online, so those who claim this obviously don't bother to do even minimal research to back it up. In fact, here is the complete text of the canons of Nicaea, so you can see for yourself that this council issued no decrees about the New Testament whatsoever:

    I can't find any reference to this claim. In fact it seems there is no manuscript of this gospel which even claims to be ancient, since it is a "channelled" work.

    We don't know anything of the kind. Once again, the canonical Gospels were effectively chosen by almost all mainstream churches at least a century before Constantine was even born. If you can find any real evidence for your claims here I'll be very interested to hear it...

    In fact Ouseley had left the Catholic Church, because of his devotion to vegetarianism, a couple of decades before publishing this gospel. Even in the absence of any other evidence either way, we ought to be wary of someone who leaves the church because of very strongly held personal views and then some years later produces some amazing "ancient" text that confirms those views...

    I agree that it's an interesting story, though. And certainly one typical of its times. It often seems to me that the late nineteenth century was a time of almost non-stop fraud and gullibility; this was the time of Theosophy, ectoplasm, and photographs of fairies.

    Consistency is no evidence of truth, especially when you've got already-existing texts to base yours on. Anyone can copy the Gospels and add their own touches if they want to.

    Because of the next word, "plen", "yet". In Greek, this formulation means something like "but on the contrary...". Jesus is saying something like "That's what you say, but on the contrary, I say this:". Note that the "su" in "su eipas" is there purely for emphasis: in Greek you don't need to include the word for "you" because the verb is inflected. That is, "you say" would normally be "eipas". To say "su eipas" is to emphasise "you" - in other words, that's what you think!
     
  10. Fifty

    Fifty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Here's a fun one: What can you tell me about the following quote from St Augustine's City of God:

    "[men who] have such command of their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at will, so as to produce the effect of singing" (The City of God Against the Pagans, ed and trans Philip Levine (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966), XIV.24)

    Do you know anything about the context of this passage? Why the crap would augustine put something in about farting? Were these real people? Are there any early chrisitan fart-hyms? Any info you could provide would be much appreciated. :D

    PS: I think that you could really stand-out among your colleagues if you could re-learn this lost art of fart-singing, Plotinus! Just imagine going to a conference and before presenting your paper, busting out a fart version of some old hymn!
     
  11. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Oh, yes, that's a famous passage! It's from City of God XIV 24. Augustine is arguing that, before the Fall, Adam had much greater command of his body than we do today. In particular, Augustine thinks that Adam could control his naughty parts perfectly; they were subject to his will. In other words, no embarrassing failures to stand to attention when required. Augustine supports this view by pointing out that even today, some people retain remarkable control over their bodies, more so than others; so it is not so implausible to claim that Adam had similar abilities, though to an even greater degree.

    The point of the argument, of course, is that lust, as we know it, is not an original part of human nature but an effect of sin. Adam did not feel lust, but he didn't need it, because of his perfect physical self-control. Thus, lust is something bad, an effect of the Fall and a sign of original sin.
     
  12. ironduck

    ironduck Chieftain

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    Does that mean Adam didn't have sex with Eve before the fall?
     
  13. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Not at all: follow the link and read what Augustine says in chapter 23. He thinks that, in fact, Adam and Eve did not have sex, but they would have been going to. It just would have occurred without lust.

    The traditional Christian belief - and certainly the assumption of pretty much all the church fathers - has been that Adam and Eve did not sleep together until after the Fall (as is implied in the Genesis account). Augustine is actually arguing against those who concluded from this that sex is intrinsically evil. His point is that, in itself, it is perfectly good and part of God's plan, but it has been messed up by original sin, and now involves lust, which is indeed wicked. So we're in a terrible mess as a result.
     
  14. ironduck

    ironduck Chieftain

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    Reading that only made me more confused as to what in the world he's trying to say. The way he attempts to separate certain emotions as 'unreasonable' is beyond me.

    Like this sentence:

    How are people going to enjoy making love if they're not allowed to enjoy making love? That's what it seems to me that he's really saying in chapter 23.

    It reminds me of certain christian puritans (or that school of thought I guess) who think of procreation as a necessary evil that one has to 'get over with' in order to create children, but by golly we sure shouldn't enjoy it! It's more like a chore to them, apparently.
     
  15. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    I think Augustine would distinguish between lower, somatic "pleasures" and higher, intellectual or spiritual pleasures. To order the soul properly, so that the rational part controls the irrational, and the rational itself is ordered by God, is the secret to true happiness. This is standard Neoplatonic stuff. I think that Augustine would disagree with the puritans you mention; he would say that sex should be enjoyed, but in the right way, as it were. The problem is that our current state is such that it is virtually impossible for us to do that.

    I'll admit, though, that Augustine isn't well served by that stodgy nineteenth-century translation. The Ante-Nicene and Nicene Library is an amazingly useful resource, but the attempts by the translators to make the Fathers all sound like Victorian Anglican bishops make it less than readable these days.
     
  16. ironduck

    ironduck Chieftain

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    So in his view, what exactly distinguishes the spiritual pleasures related to sex compared to other mutual spiritual pleasures in a romantic relationship? I still haven't found out what he specifically thinks is acceptable to feel and what is sinful in that context. Is sexual arousal considered a sin? What specific words describe the virtuous pleasures in a sexual context?

    Also, what orders the soul? How does one order one's soul? I've never heard of that before.
     
  17. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Surely this idea is older than Leibniz? It was one of the arguments that sunk the God debate for me.
     
  18. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Plotinus, at what point (date) do you think Martin Luther "knew" that he could not stay within the Catholic church and still be true to his revelation?
     
  19. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    Which verse is this? I'd like to look it up in the Greek, myself.

    So you can sleep with your wife, so long as you don't enjoy it? :lol: Why did the idea that Adam and Eve didn't sleep together before the Fall take root? Just because it isn't mentioned until after the Fall doesn't mean it didn't happen. Is that the only reason, or am I missing something obscure in the Hebrew?
     
  20. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Ghost Agent

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    What is your opinion in the New Testiment Apocryphas?
    Examples are:
    Gospel of Thomas
    Gospel of Phillip
    Gospel of Judas
    and other Gnostic Gospels.
     
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