Thursday, December 14, 2017

Quora : Greeks going Muslim under Ottoman Rule = > Turks

How didn't Greece convert to Islam under Ottoman Empire?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
History buff since childhood. CSL & Eco added to Medieval lore. + Classics.
Answered just now
Some did. They were known as Turks.

When Greece was freed, they usually left Greece and went to Turkey.

At the Black Sea coast the inverse happened, those who had remained Greeks were so few they went to Greece.

In fact, in the time of Atatürk an exchange of populations was proposed to avoid the Black Sea Greeks getting killed by Turks.

On Cyprus, the cohabitation was in more equal numbers, and after a few conflicts, the island was parted into two regions. One for each religion and ethnicity.

Someone on Quora May have Looked Up Fan Fiction in an Outdated Dictionary : he was Unsure whether Fan Fiction is a Real Word

Is fanfiction a real word?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Self Employed at Writer and Composer
Answered just now
It is obviously a real word, since it has a real meaning and that real meaning is understood by that word.

Fan fiction is novelistic or short story fiction written by fans of an already existing story and filling in the blanks of that story or adding to it.

Whether the original story is fiction, docufiction or documentary is not very relevant.

Troilus and Criseide by Boccacio, Chaucer and Shakespear, is a fan fic story in the general context of the Trojan War.

Those who say (with some linguistic evidence on their side) that Dares the Phrygian and Dictys of Crete are not genuine contemporaries of the Trojan War, would need to argue they are fan fic to Homer’s works. Or if you like foe fic : writing the story from the other side.

In Nennius, Arthur is basically history, or possibly fake history. In Malory, Arthur is still nearly as much history as he was in Nennius, but arguably all which is not in Nennius is fan fic.

And same thing is going on today, since Internet has brought back some of the liberties in writing.

There are fan fictions that are bad, like A Trekkie’s Tale, featuring the original Mary Sue, where very arguably the author has put herself into the story, and used the occasion to paint a very flattering picture of herself.

There are fan fictions that are good enough to be accorded approval by original franchise, like The Giant Surprise, by Hiawyn Oram:

The Giant Surprise: A Narnia Story: Books

At least part time approved by Douglas Gresham, now out of print.

And there are fan fics somewhere in between, if I may present my own Susan fiction (a very prolific genre of fan fiction in Narnia, since “only possible” actual sequel after The Last Battle, all other fan fics would be prequels or interquels, I started mine after hearing about Neil Gaiman’s attempt at a Susan fic):

Chronicle of Susan Pevensie

As long as I am not trying to monetise it, I think I can have it online even without explicit approval by Douglas Gresham (for Susan/Aslan/Narnia), Tolkien Estate (for Audoin Errol), or estate of Enid Blyton (for George/Georgina - yes, she gets to like her original name in my story, at the end, but marries a guy named George).*

However, “fan fic” is not a real word, it is slang for “fan fiction”, precisely as “foe fic” is slang for “foe fiction”.

* The copyrights of Arthur Conan Doyle for Doctor Watson (and offstage for Sherlock Holmes, who dies before this story) and for Gilbert Keith Chesterton for Father Brown are already expired. That said, I'd like an approval from heir there too, if possible. Especially when and if I ever get the novel finished, about half the chapters are still missing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Angry Atheist Professor Mythology - and possibly Reality

What is the "atheist professor myth" about?

Helge Kåre Fauskanger
Updated Fri
Especially among American evangelicals, there is seemingly a widespread notion that professors at colleges and universities are typically hardened, vicious, aggressive atheists who hate God and will instantly try to destroy the Christian faith of any students that may profess such.

There are some tiny kernels of truth here, of course. Generally, religious faith does correlate inversely with the level of education. Also, there will be the occasional case where (say) a snotty young creationist “boldly” stands up in Biology 101 and starts telling his professor how totally wrongheaded he is. Of course, our young creationist hero may then discover the hard way that the anti-evolution arguments he thought sounded so good when he picked them up in church basement will quickly be torn to shreds by a competent professor.

A pretty humiliating affair … which as retold back at church becomes the story of the vile atheist professor who viciously and arrogantly attacked and ridiculed the Christian faith of an innocent young student who just gave a witness for the truth.

Here is how the late Jack Chick imagines things will play out when the Atheist/Evolutionist Professor (or just Teacher) encounters the slightest disagreement:

And when the lone dissident (a blond, handsome, youthful Christian) only mentions the Bible, Mr. Atheist is about to burst every blood vessel in his body:

The footnote is based on information Chick got from “Dr. Dino”, better known as Kent Hovind. Armed with information from Hovind (!), the young Bible-believing Christian of course totally dismantles evolution, not only converting the whole class to creationism but ultimately convincing even the ill-tempered teacher, who shamed and dejected has to seek out the principal and tell how he can’t teach evolution anymore. (He is then treated just like he himself treated the student at the beginning of the story.)

This was one frequent variation of the story: the “atheist professor” who tried to kill the faith of his students was somehow challenged by a Christian and totally defeated and humiliated at the end. You may read the whole sorry tract here: Big Daddy?

This basic plot has in recent years been used in at least two movies aimed at the American faithful. In God’s Not Dead, the Atheist Professor teaches philosophy in general and insists that his students must agree in writing that “God is dead” to even pass his course. A complete and utter jerk, he is then challenged by the heroic Young Christian Student much as in the Chick tract discussed above.

[omitted picture]

At the end, the Atheist Professor dies in a car accident, but hangs on just long enough to establish that he really just hated God instead of disbelieving in him, and apparently he got to accept Jesus before he expired. I guess this is what counts as a Happy Ending in this kind of movie.

Further Fundiesploitation arrived in the movie A Matter of Faith, where for once the Atheist Professor is actually not a jerk. In fact, biology professor “Marcus Kaman” is remarkably likeable, though he has the strange idea that an egg turning into a chicken is an excellent example of evolution.

[omitted picture]

(Yeah, this is what happens when clueless evangelical script-writers try to imagine what a professor teaching evolution might say. Just go with it and think of it as a place-holder for actual evolutionary science.)

But don’t be fooled by Kaman’s charisma. The whole point of the movie is that a young Christian woman among the students begins to lose her faith just because the professor teaching evolution is so darn nice.

[omitted picture]

In this version, it is not the actual student that stands up to the Atheist Professor, but her father, who challenges him in a public debate. Daddy actually doesn’t do too well at first, but he soon receives the help of a Christian ex-professor that Kaman once got fired because the refused to teach “evolutionary lies” (there you see, Kaman isn’t so nice after all!) Once again, the Atheist Professor is soundly defeated, as the Christian Ex-Professor “demonstrates” that all views of origin are just “a matter of faith” (hence movie title). Yup, Young Earth Creationism is every bit as plausible as mainstream geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology; it is supposedly just a matter of what assumptions you start with.

You could say the Atheist Professor myth reflects the profound distrust many evangelicals have in science and scholarship, their stereotypical notions of the seeming intellectual superiority (and often perceived haughtiness) of the eggheads, but also a deeply cherished notion that it just takes a sufficiently well-informed believer to silence and shame the “know-it-all” unbeliever.

Marco Kuis
Mon ·
2 upvotes including Helge Kåre Fauskanger
Heavily featuring one of the most common logical fallacies, the strawman. Favorite of politicians left and right!

Helge Kåre Fauskanger
Mon · 1 upvote
Somebody ought to produce a parody of the movies above, featuring the famous atheist Professor Strawman.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I’d like you to do so - if I may spice it with some real either Atheist or at least Evolutionist professors who avoid some of the real discussions - as well as comment on your examples of “strawmen”.

Kim E Ellingsen
Tue · 1 upvote
Fundiesploitation. If this isn’t a recognised term yet it needs to be.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
“Of course, our young creationist hero may then discover the hard way that the anti-evolution arguments he thought sounded so good when he picked them up in church basement will quickly be torn to shreds by a competent professor.”

I happen to recall Swedish schools.

I happen to recall a science teacher in grade nine.

I happen to recall how he gave me one “replik” [line?] to argue, argued back, and refused me the “replik” I needed to disprove him.

Btw, what is “replik” in English? I’m sure Norwegian is the same as Swedish.

I am also nearly sure neither of us has been in a University class on sciences, we both did lit and lang, so neither of us has first hand experience from what happens when a creationist biology student meets a competent professor in biology.

B u t you might know some of the “arguments that sounded so good” and exactly how they are torn apart by the competent professor?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just read Big Daddy.

"Richard Leakey found a normal human skull under a rock dated at 212 million years"
"Details, watch video seminar part 7 by Dr Kent Hovind."

Do you know the details? His video seminars are often over an hour long, and much as I enjoy them, I find the references somewhat small lettered at times.

Putting Heidelberg man between Lucy and Peking (with frauds Piltdown and Nebraska between, Peking also a possible fraud) is of course inaccurate. Heidelberg is supposed to be latest common ancestor of H. sapiens sapiens and H. [sapiens] neanderthalensis - after H. erectus (to which belongs the dubious Peking man), except some include H. heidelbergensis in H. erectus.

Haeckel's fraud ... a reference that is readable. New Scientist, Sept. 6 (not sure if that is an ordinary or "hors série" issue) p. 23.

"Gluons are a made up dream" ... actually, so is the problem, in a way, since protons and neutrons and electrons also have not been directly observed. The closest you get is radiating electrons (or a ray supposed to consist of them) instead of light towards, for instance water molecules, and find they consist of one bigger ball with two smaller ones in a 60° angle.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
And much as I’d like to approve of your discernment of the “Atheist Professor myth”, some do in fact live up to it.

Jerry Coyne and P Z Myers have turned off my ability to comment under:

  • Evolution is True (in general)
  • at least a certain post on Pharyngula, where I was challenging P Z Myers on his model for “chromosome fission”.

For details on P Z Myers’ model of chromosome fission, see here:

Basics: How can chromosome numbers change?

For details on the geometric problem he circumvents by not marking telomeres and centromeres on his diagram, see my own post here:

Fission de chromosomes: Diagramme de PZM corrigé - et refuté.

And if you like more information on the issue, how about reading the links I included in a Letter to Nature Genetics, so far not published:

Letter to Nature on Karyotype Evolution in Mammals

I wonder if the question coming up could have sth to do with my standin "user name" "angryatheist" in the standin dialogue illustrating how I redacted some:

What kind of editing I did ... and what kind of copy-pasting

Be it noted, I have seen several angry atheists over the web - but usually not professors, as far as I could tell. Or has AronRa been promoted to one? He has his angry moments. As has thunderf00t./HGL

Helping to Answer the Error of Helvidius

The Bible states that John the Lesser is Jesus' brother, yet you say Mary's marriage was never consummated? How is this possible?

Jack Wallace
M.A. Early Church History & Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (1996)
Answered Mon
The traditional belief is that Joseph was an elderly widower with children from his prior marriage, and that he willingly chose to live with Mary celibately … and what pious man wouldn't be more than a little reluctant to bed the woman he knew had been impregnated by God?

Tradition holds that the “brothers" and “sisters" of the Lord were Joseph's children from this prior marriage or Jesus's cousins, as the Greek word adelphoi includes both siblings and cousins.

That being said, there is no “John the Lesser" named among Jesus's supposed siblings.

Two answers
by Cathy Lippert (A) and by me (B)


Cathy Lippert
8h ago
If indeed Joseph had children in a former marriage then they would have been compelled to go with him and Mary to Bethlehem for the census. Yet there is no such mention of anything like that, not so much as a whisper. Therefore, I'm counting that theory out. In every case where other children are mentioned, they are with Mary, and they are referred to as brothers and sisters of Jesus. We need to accept the plain meaning of the verse before we start looking for more esoteric and unlikely meanings.

Edit: As another Quoran pointed out, in the original language there were plenty of other words for other kinds of relatives available, but the words for actual brothers and sisters are always used.

As to the argument posed that the brothers and sisters are not Mary’s but Joseph's by another wife, this is doubtful. Since Joseph was betrothed to a very young girl, it is not likely he would be so old as to have had grown children as old as or older than Mary. If they existed then, they would have to have been fairly old if they would not accompany the couple, but make their own way to Bethlehem for the census. And it doesn't make sense that any grown children of another wife would be repeatedly seen with Mary after Joseph passed. No, it is more likely that Jesus delayed his public ministry until the last of the younger brothers and sisters was old enough not to need the daily guidance of the older brother who stepped into Joseph's shoes to support the family.

Two answer sets
by Jack Wallace (AA) and 4 by me (AB)


Jack Wallace
7h ago
There’s nothing esoteric about the one side, nor is there a “plain meaning” to the other side, at least not one so clear and narrow as you presume.

But as for the trip to Bethlehem, you neglect the possibility that the children were grown. Also, Luke alone mentions the journey to Bethlehem and it could be a mere story-telling device — or an error. It’s is essential to setting up WHY Jesus would be lying in a manger in “the lower room” (itself also possibly a story-telling device). The point is that Joseph and family were staying in house as less than welcome guests. In the cultural milieu where the text seems silent to us now, it was actually thunderous to the audience then: Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were staying with a relative of Joseph who wouldn’t let his whore of fiance and her bastard into the upper room (badly translated as “the inn”), that is, into the good part of the house reserved for respectable company and honored guests. It might have even been James’s own house, but certainly that of a close kinsman. Meanwhile, in Matthew they live in a house to which an embassage of Persian magians could come bearing gifts of gold and better without drawing any comment.

As for me, I’m ambivalent. I merely report that the weight of tradition is early, credible, substantial, and absolutely and universally opposed to your view.

Cathy Lippert
4h ago
Brother and sister both have plain meaning.

Other people I know would not say that my mother and brother are outside if they are talking about my mother and my friend or cousin.

Claiming your interpretation is superior to mine does not make it so! If you are trying to imply that Catholic tradition is always historically correct, that only holds true to a degree and not in all cases. Since Catholics believe the Pope is infallible, that permits him to change facts even if it contradicts scripture. We don't know how many times that happened. But we do know what the words of scripture say. The rule of scripture interpretation is that you take the plain meaning of the words unless they directly contradict another passage of scripture; then you look for a second meaning, only if necessary. But Jesus having brothers and sisters through Mary does not contradict scripture in the least. It only contradicts Catholic church teaching and tradition. Sorry but I weigh in with Martin Luther on this one.

Two answers
by Jack Wallace (AAA) and by me (AAB)


Jack Wallace
3h ago
Brother and sister have a “plain meaning” in Thai too: everyone you know who’s in your generation. Likewise “aunt and uncle” mean everyone other than your parents that are approximately their age. That’s not just a figurative meaning -- in practice it’s the primary meaning, and it’s very aggravating to outsiders. In 1st century Koine, adelphoi meant family members in your own generation, not just immediate siblings.

And I didn’t claim my interpretation was superior to yours. I pointed out that yours isn’t as certain as you think.

And it’s not just CATHOLIC Tradition … it’s the tradition of the Church as far back as we have records, and dogma among all the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Maronite, the Marthoma Church, and the Ethiopic Church. And Martin Luther believed in and defended it too, as did Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, and John Wesley.

Luther wrote:

"When Matthew says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her . . . This babble . . . is without justification . . . he has neither noticed nor paid any attention to either Scripture or the common idiom." (That Jesus was Born a Jew)

"Christ, our Savior, was the real and natural fruit of Mary's virginal womb . . . This was without the cooperation of a man, and she remained a virgin after that. […] Christ . . . was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides Him . . . I am inclined to agree with those who declare that 'brothers' really mean 'cousins' here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers." (Sermons on John).

And no, the Pope has no authority to contradict Scripture or even established dogma.

At any rate, the hermeneutic of “plain sense” only applies if you’re reading it in the original Greek and Hebrew and are expert enough in both to know what the “plain sense” of the original is.

BTW, I’m not Catholic. But neither am I an anti-Catholic bigot.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
“In 1st century Koine, adelphoi meant family members in your own generation, not just immediate siblings.”

I have another idea on why in the first place “brothers” and due to that “sisters” could be used, if cousins.

"When brethren dwell together, and one of them dieth without children, the wife of the deceased shall not marry to another: but his brother shall take her, and raise up seed for his brother:"
[Deuteronomy 25:5]

Now, suppose we are talking of cousins, they would be Our Lord's brothers as to this duty, if He had none of His own, since closest relative.

Ruth 3:[9] And he said to her: Who art thou? And she answered: I am Ruth thy handmaid: spread thy coverlet over thy servant, for thou art a near kinsman. [10] And he said: Blessed art thou of the Lord, my daughter, and thy latter kindness has surpassed the former: because thou hast not followed young men either poor or rich. [11] Fear not therefore, but whatsoever thou shalt say to me I will do to thee. For all the people that dwell within the gates of my city, know that thou art a virtuous woman. [12] Neither do I deny myself to be near of kin, but there is another nearer than I.

In other words, in absence of actual brother, someone else would have acted the role of brother prescribed by Deuteronomy 25:5 - and his sisters would by analogy be referred to as sisters.

But this on the theory of cousins. As said, I prefer the "old widower" theory.


Hans-Georg Lundahl
7m ago
"If you are trying to imply that Catholic tradition is always historically correct, that only holds true to a degree and not in all cases."

When it is unanimous, it is. Without it, you don't even have the Gospel authors correctly or at all assigned.

"Since Catholics believe the Pope is infallible, that permits him to change facts even if it contradicts scripture."

No, it does not. Infallibility is not anything which involves creativity, and when "Pope Francis" tries to involve creativity and changing things, like agreeing with Protestants against Mark 10:6 and similar loci, this is one reason Catholics reject him as "Pope".

The deceased Cardinal Stickler considered there were certain things even the Pope cannot change, according to Medieval canon law (he was a great canon law expert, canonist, as we say):

  • The Bible,
  • the rite of the Sacraments (hence his opposition to new liturgy of 1969),
  • the "status ecclesiae", probably meaning Papal States (making Pius XI a culprit overstepping his rights in 1929, but Stickler did not take this view on the meaning of the phrase, he simply left the phrase unexplained).

As for this:

“Sorry but I weigh in with Martin Luther on this one.”

The irony is, both Luther and Calvin agreed that Jesus had no full siblings as in natural children of the Blessed Virgin other than He. Both agreed with St Jerome (who took the cousin view on siblings, not the old widower view on St Joseph) in condemning the error of Helvidius.

"The rule of scripture interpretation is that you take the plain meaning of the words unless they directly contradict another passage of scripture;"

Or Tradition.

"then you look for a second meaning, only if necessary."

Or if given by Tradition.

In this case, the other passage is a strong view on what the prophecy of Isaiah means. She was virgin prior to, during and after Birth of Our Lord.

subdivided ABA, ABB, ABC, ABD.


Hans-Georg Lundahl
23m ago
“If indeed Joseph had children in a former marriage then they would have been compelled to go with him and Mary to Bethlehem for the census.”

No. For one thing, they could have gone to census in Nazareth - their city. St Joseph taking Bethlehem as “his city” was probably a political statement. Like telling Romans “we have a history too, you know”. It would NOT have been the usual Roman requirement.

For another, if they were in their father’s household (like working in his carpentry) they may not have been required to enroll individually, since he was going. “And all went to be enrolled, every one” could refer to all who were independent, not living with a father or a master.


Cathy Lippert
17h ago
If Joseph as the head of household had the option of registering in Nazareth instead of Bethlehem, then that would have been far less risky for a wife who is about to deliver a child. No, he was compelled to go to Bethlehem by law, and so would his grown children have been compelled if they existed.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
1m ago
I have been answered that by Atheists.

When the Roman law or order or command or whatever it was required of people to be registered in their own city, they were NOT requiring non-citizen provincials to register in the city of a remote ancestor - just that they should register where they were living (or possibly : where they were born, the Roman definition of patria), not a place they just happened to visit.

That is why they argue the story involves a contrivance to fake a fulfilment of Micah.

My answer to them, which proves useful to you as well, is, no, St Joseph was making a statement.

As there was a donkey to ride on, the journey was not that much a hardship in a pregnant woman.

In Roman law (at least up to end of Republic), the grown children did not need to be in the household of St Joseph not to be sui juris and therefore might not count.

Also, the sons were evidently working as carpenters in their father’s shop. That is also how he could get it back in his hands when returning from Egypt : they ran it for him.


Hans-Georg Lundahl
20m ago
“In every case where other children are mentioned, they are with Mary, and they are referred to as brothers and sisters of Jesus. We need to accept the plain meaning of the verse before we start looking for more esoteric and unlikely meanings.”

There is no plain meaning about them necessarily being children of Mary.

They came to lock Jesus up. If they were NOT Jesus’ own siblings, but Mary was their stepmother (both parents being dead) as well as Jesus’ real one, their bringing her along would have been a way to force the argument.


Cathy Lippert
16h ago
But the siblings of Jesus were by that time evidently in the household of Mary.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
I am not denying it.

If she was their stepmother and a widow, it would be natural.

If she suffered from being stepmother to men who had tried to get Her Son stamped as a madman and dragging her along, it is also natural that she went with John, according to John 19:25–27.


Hans-Georg Lundahl
19m ago
“Since Joseph was betrothed to a very young girl, it is not likely he would be so old as to have had grown children as old as or older than Mary.”

Why not?

He was Jewish, not Hindoo.


Cathy Lippert
15h ago
Brother James was not thought to be a believer until Jesus appeared to him by specific mention in the scripture. That could explain why Jesus gave His mother to John.

We don't know why Mary and the brothers and sisters were together on multiple occasions, except that would be natural if they live in the same household. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a hostage situation however.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
"Brother James was not thought to be a believer until Jesus appeared to him by specific mention in the scripture."

We know specifically from canonic books that Our Lord appeared to James.

We also have from Proto-Gospel of St James that after St Joseph died, the other sons refused Jesus a portion of the heritage, but St James shared his own portion with Jesus.

"We don't know why Mary and the brothers and sisters were together on multiple occasions, except that would be natural if they live in the same household. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a hostage situation however."

Living in a same household can sometimes become that. Especially if disagreeing on a family member outside the household.


Hans-Georg Lundahl
18m ago
“And it doesn't make sense that any grown children of another wife would be repeatedly seen with Mary after Joseph passed.”

Except that, as their brother James was already a disciple of Jesus, and not with them, she was the one hostage they could take against Him.

This situation is also obviously the reason why He on the Cross gave Her as mother to St John.


Cathy Lippert
15h ago
Well, I said probably. In the book of Ruth, we see that Boaz assumed he would not be acceptable to Ruth due to his age. So we have an inkling about the preferred age for espousal. If Joseph already had at least 6 children, he must have been at least 30, and the very same traditions others cite estimate his age at 80 or more. But life expectancy average was quite low.

It’s possible, but Joseph’s age or prior marriage and children are never cited in the scripture.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
"In the book of Ruth, we see that Boaz assumed he would not be acceptable to Ruth due to his age."

Not quite. He thought it would have been understandable if she had preferred someone younger.

St Joseph seems to have made a similar assumption, leaving Mary (as he supposed her to be enamoured of someone younger) free to marry the younger man.

"If Joseph already had at least 6 children, he must have been at least 30, and the very same traditions others cite estimate his age at 80 or more."

He was a widower, I might have thought sth like 60. Perhaps 70.

"But life expectancy average was quite low."

With a very wide spectrum of ages when dying this does not preclude some getting very old.

I have made a check for sibling groups under Middle Ages from St Louis IX to c. 1500 - among his descendants, from wikipedias.

I get a median of 33 for men and 38 for women including those who died young and when including only those who survived to 20, the medians are 55 for ladies and 54 for gents. However, as they are a military class, I think their life expectancy was lowered by a “fast and furious” lifestyle. One uncle of St Louis IX died at 13 because he was jumping from crenelation to crenelation on a castle wall and missed and fell (know this from a previous check). One later descendant of his, Mary of Burgundy, died at 18 some weeks after falling off her horse - fortunately, she already had 3 children.

Carpenters and clerks would likely have a much higher life expectancy than knights.

"It’s possible, but Joseph’s age or prior marriage and children are never cited in the scripture."

Unless it is precisely St Josephs children from a prior marriage who ARE cited in Scripture.

The fact that it is not explicitly said they are such is what makes the "they are cousins" theory not heretical. But both theories, which together make up total of Christian tradition (Helvidius was not traditional, and is not a witness for tradition), agree on the Blessed Virgin remaining Virgin.


Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
“there is no “John the Lesser" named among Jesus's supposed siblings.”

Questioner would be referring to James the Lesser.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Answering "Lemon Lee" on Aquinas

"I always asked it expecting there to be an answer."

Lee Lemon or Atheist Lee on how she was asking questions about God and the Bible back when she was a Christian (other video).

I still do.

But, what is more, I had exactly the same attitude when asking questions about Big Bang or Evolution or Mind from Matter or Origin of Language in an Evolutionary perspective.

I don't do that any more. The reason I don't do that is that, back when I started believing in the Bible, I was getting to brickwalls when it came to these things often labelled "science".

Now, we'll see Lemon Lee doing some similar things when she is answering the five ways of St Thomas.

Video here commented on
Atheist Lee, "What about the proofs of Aquinas?"
Lee Lemon | added 11th Dec. 2012

0:36 These five are proofs of God.

While each ends with a (partial) definition of God corresponding to what he has just proved, Aquinas definitely does set up to prove God here.

Citing St Thomas
I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.

The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

Summa Theologica, Part I, Q 2, A3

1:02 Unknown to Aquinas, things can interact?

When Aquinas proves the unmoved mover, he is beginning with lots of panoramas of the interaction.

OK, a pen falls to the ground alone. But how many other things can a pen do alone?

How many directions are involved in falling to the ground? As I count, one.

A flame of fire can move in exactly one opposite direction, up.

If things as simple as being made of heavy or light matter were just moving themselves in those directions, and this from all eternity (while St Thomas doesn't actually use the Kalam of "beginning", he is of course aware that only without a beginning could a universe function in any way without God, so he concentrates in how even then the universe needs a God to function), well, there would be no movements left, since all which could soar up would have soared up and all which could fall down would have fallen down.

1:43 Things can "just happen"? Without a cause?

If I drop a pen, it is usually accidentally. My fingers let go because I am tired and the pen, left to itself, drops to the ground.

But how come the pen was above the ground? I had caused it to be higher by holding it.

How come I did not consistently so hold it? I was tired.

How come I was tired? Something had kept me from getting to sleep early enough or waking up late enough. A lot of that happens when you are homeless. But I would not say it "just" happens.

If I lie inside the first porch of a house, but outside the inner one, there is a lock preventing me from getting higher in the stair case. If I lie there, at a certain early hour, someone is going to take out the garbage bins for communal emptying. Now, this s not bothering a lot of other persons, but this is because they are further in, further from the noise. That was the night to yesterday. And the security agent this morning had been sent on purpose to wake me up. It was 6:16 when I got out.

1:45 half lives are not self caused, they are caused - or so they suppose - by instability in the nucleides set up.

And this is because stability in the setup needs to follow certain rules. Like Carbon 12 or Nitrogen 14, stable isotopes, at least until exposed to radioactivity, have 6 protons and 6 neutrons in Carbon 12, 7 protons and 7 neutrons in Nitrogen 14. Now Carbon 14 has 6 protons and 8 neutrons.

Hence, there is an instability and a half life.

And while Carbon 14 having 6 protons and 8 neutrons, this causing the half life, there is some cause why 6 protons and 6 neutrons or 7 protons and 7 neutrons is a "better idea." Stability wise.

1:58 The explosion of a grain silo is definitely caused.

It is caused by heat and growth of germing seeds.

2:05 And next question is, what causes certain conditions to promote ignition?

2:21 - 2:27

A bit wrong.

If EVERYTHING had the possibility of not existing, sooner or later over eternity, the non-existence of everything would coincide. But once that happens (and it would have happened an eternal number of times except for the following), whatever had existed before that could never more be brought back to existence, since only sth existing can cause the existence of a thing which can non-exist.

Therefore SOMETHING needs to be necessarily (and therefore eternally) existing. Creation is not even as yet considered. Even God being personal is only considered in some way in proof 4 and 5 - and in following questions.

St Thomas concludes this proof with "and this everyone calls God" but of course in the time of Epicure, one Epicure was identifying "atoms" (not identic to things like C12, N14 or C14, obviusly) as this.

2:32 "creator" is not even in the proof.

St Thomas had his reasons for not bringing in Epicure's atomism, like being unused to it and its being less intellectually satisfying than hylomorphism and Euclidean matter.

A non-identity of Euclidean matter with the eternally necessary is fairly obvious : it can be divided and it can be composed and is therefore a contingently existing thing.

2:50 "the idea that something has to be created" - is not involved in third way.

The idea that many observable things don't exist before coming into existence and many observable things cease to exist when destroyed (like a tree not existing before planted and not existing any longer when burned down) is very much involved. But it is also an everyday observation.

3:10 While Aquinas may not have had YOUR idea of what exists in empty space, he certainly did not consider it empty.

Also, the "nothing" he was talking of in case of an eternity of non-necessary only extants is a conclusion from that premiss, not an observation.

He most definitely did not think that there was a place or time when and where one would literally find nothing. So, that is not involved in his argument.

3:18 facepalm

  • "people at the time" is not involved in St Thomas' argument and their limitations don't refute it - you need to refute it on its terms, not on its presumed indebtedness to a limitation he had because of living when he did;
  • "contingent being creating" is so misunderstanding what the word contingent means - and the processes imagined for planets coming into being are contingent ones, not eternally necessary ones
  • "creating" is not at all involved in the argument : from the fact St Thomas is a Theist and a Creationist, you are reading into his argument that he must have had creation in mind, when he is in fact not stating it there.

3:27 "we now know" - no, we don't, and most times you hear that phrase, it is false. The proposed process had never in fact been observed, in this case.

"how a planet can come into existence without the help from any intelligent being"

Was "intelligent" a mis-subtitling for "contingent" or was "intelligent" what you said?

Intelligence of the necessary being is not a consideration entering as yet into third way as such.

And contingency of what brings planets into being is not really denied by the sources you are using.

3:54 "even perfection is an idea which we don't see in reality"

Sure we do, you and I are more perfect than the substitling automaton, since we understand language, which is a perfection.

4:05 St Thomas was stating from observed difference in degree of perfection that there is a being which is MOST perfect. I don't see how you have put that in doubt just by not getting what it means.

4:12 Perfection is subjective?

Well, I don't know of any subject to whom not understanding language is more perfect or as perfect as understanding it. Except of course, some subjects, if you can call them that, not understanding language and not understanding the difference.

The fact that subjects exist is an argument for St Thomas degree of perfections, not against it.

5:00 Recall some sense data.

Earth is still. Sun is moving about it each day, creating day and night.

You CAN prove that stars outside planets must be VERY far away, and even so, their angular speed is above that of the sun, they circle Earth in 23 hours 55 minutes. Considering the distance, that is at an enormous speed. (I have calculated that their local speed is, if one light day away, superior to the speed of light). Even at that enormous speed, they don't collide and don't burst or explode.

You are dealing with as perfect a machinery as you can get (this admiration was one of the reasons why, as a byproduct, regarding nature as a machine became popular). It is working day and night, year after year (and Sun changing the angle slightly along Zodiac plane is involved in seasons), producing the ideal conditions for biological life on Earth. It all happened by chance?

Hmmm ... next time you watch the Bolshoi ballet, how about considering the coordination of all the dancers also happened by chance?

Linguistics on Quora

Is it possible for someone to read and write in one language and speak and listen in another?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I speak two langs, Latin and Germanic. In a few dialects.
Answered just now
If he reads and writes at all and is not deaf, it is even necessary.

If to me written Swedish and spoken Swedish are the “same language” this is because I have an acquired synaesthesia between the two languages.

It is partly but only partly an acquired synaesthesia for “this letter” and “this sound”. Some letters are pronounced differently due to context specific to Swedish and some sounds are also spelled differently in contexts specific to Swedish.

For instance, the letter G is pronounced as in Great Goose usually before consonants, and before certain vowels (A, O, U, Å), but it is pronounced like Y in Yarn before other vowels (E, I, Y, Ö, Ä). After such a vowel or after R or L, G may also be pronounced like Y in Yarn.

It is only the written language which has a same letter in both cases.

Gatans goda glada gummors gåta in the spoken language has one sound for each G.

Ger giftiga gymnastiker att göra med gästernas högda elghornsskedar in the spoken language has another sound for each G.

Similarily, this other sound can in the written language be spelled J instead of G only for one of the words (höjda is a more modern spelling of högda), while other words need it to be spelled J : just i Jultidens jobbiga jägtande jagande julklappsjagt.

Note that one of the J is where the normal rules would imply the spelling G for jägtande, except here the spelling rule is overridden by etymology.

I have here omitted other spellings of the J sound (several) and other pronunciation (only one more) of G (NG, GN, NK - two groups beginning with same sound after that sound spelled alone with both letters spelling it in the groups).

Since each speaker who is also a reader and writer has acquired one synaesthesia, he may obviously also acquire another one.

Two languages are often considered two dialects of same language, when each of the two spoken ones can coexist in synaesthesia with same written one. On the other hand one spoken language can coexists with two spellings, like American rhotic dialects of English are fairly similar or same North and South of Canadian border, but a certain pronounced word will be spelled “labor” on one side of the border and “labour” on the other side. And if elsewhere it is pronounced very differently, it is mostly not about how second vowel sound is pronounced, but how the letter R is, or isn’t.

The spelling of English - roughly fairly constant since 1350 - has coexisted with more than one spoken language. You just give the same text to a man from Ozark area and a man from Delhi, and you will see British spelling is coexisting with different English spoken languages - and therefore the British spelling, coexisting with either is identic to neither. Some more of it have been there since Chaucer.

And, in Ozark area, you let some other man used to the spelling bee write the text down after its pronunciation, and you will see the Ozark language is capable of coexisting with both British and American spelling. Therefore it is identic to neither and could theoretically coexist with even other spelling systems (and actually does so in Li’l Abner by Al Capp).

In other words, if someone was thinking of my considerations about French and Latin, with someone speaking in French and writing in Latin around 800 AD, actually there is not much of a problem. It is just that the relation between writing and speech would be as complex as in Swedish or English, not as simple as in Classical Latin.

Or, if someone was thinking of my writing “19th C” Swedish and speaking “21st C” Swedish, it’s like the Canadian border : a division in spelling that has no real bearing on how words are pronounced. 1906 was not a “development” in spelling, it was an administrative reform in it.

How do you find the origins of words?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I speak two langs, Latin and Germanic. In a few dialects.
Answered 7h ago
Tolkien wanted to know the origin of the word “wasp”.

He believed in the IE proto-language theory. This means, if “wasp” is common to sufficient IE branches, it is derived from the proto-language. If it is not derived from it, it should show up in only one branch or if in more, in a neighbourly one.

If you believe that, you start studying what words meaning wasp, perhaps also bee and similar, but reminding of wasp in looks, look like in other branches.

Wasp and German Wespe are obviously the same branch. In Latin you have vespa, which could actually be the origin of German Wespe (but would be difficult to reconcile with a vocalism of wasp). French guêpe and Italian vespa will get you no further, since both derived from Latin vespa.

In Lithuanian you seem to have vabzdys and vapsvas (reconstructed from genitive plural vapsvų, before looking at dictionary). Sorry, vapsva. As to vabzdys, it seems to mean insect, in general.

In Polish you get osa - which could mean that it is derived from the word which in Lithuanian gets vapsva. PIE P would not be preserved at and of a syllable. PIE W could vanish between an S and a vowel. And short PIE A or O, while A in Germanic and Baltic, are O in Slavonic. An original PIE W would perhaps disappear before O, or by dissimilation with following w, before it disappeared.

An original WOPSWA would in Lithuanian be vapsva and in Polish either **wosa or - as shown osa. It would explain the English form waps.

An original WEPSWA could somewhere be remade by metathesis as WESPA and explain Latin vespa. Therefore also German Wespe.

And according to PIE theory, short O and E were sometimes interchangeable, so, one could get a word which was both WOPSWA and WEPSWA.

So, what Tolkien probably did put in the entry for that dictionary word was :

wasp, from waps by contamination with vespa, from IE *wopswa alt. *wepswa, confer Lith vapsva and Polish osa (or he might have used Church Slavonic or Russian or sth).

I say “probably”, because I have not actually read this entry.

Now, if one does not believe IE unity derives from one proto-language, one can still believe the word has one proto-form, and very possibly that one bandied around between early forms of above mentioned languages.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

On Francisco J. Ayala

... on Knowledge of Hagiographers · ... on Nature of Catholic Authority · On Francisco J. Ayala

***** 15. Evolution vs. Creationism: Biblical Literalism *****
Qualitative Research Channel

Only part of the section with Francisco J. Ayala:

Chapter 2 of Genesis does not show God creating dry land or sun, moon and stars after Adam was created.

It also does not show any days passing between Adam's and Eve's creation, it is compatible with both being created on day 6, as per the resumé in chapter 1.

The "difficulty" for literalism is [19] And the Lord God having formed out of the ground all the beasts of the earth, and all the fowls of the air, brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: for whatsoever Adam called any living creature the same is its name. [20] And Adam called all the beasts by their names, and all the fowls of the air, and all the cattle of the field: but for Adam there was not found a helper like himself.

Here the solution proposed by translater is that we are talking about animals formed before Adam. Kent Hovind has another solution, God made extra examples of all kinds so Adam could watch Him create and verify He was the creator.

Who is this guy? He considers that in Genesis 2 not just animals but plants (in general, as opposed to just one garden of them with trees poofing up for Adam's edification in it) and even stars - not even mentioned in chapter 2! were created after Adam. That would indeed involve a contradiction with chapter 1, which fortunately is not there.

Checking by scrolling back the video: Francisco Ayala, Ph.D., Donald Bre Professor of Biological Sciences, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, U.C. Irvine, 2001 National Medal of Science Laureate

Oh, at least no US university gave him any credits for his skills in Biblical exegesis ... good ...

"[hundreds and hundreds of] inconsistencies and incompatibilities"

Probably Francisco Ayala checked an Atheist's Annotated Bible or sth.

Each of the "inconsistencies" self destructs when checked against the actual words of the Bible.

Two things scientists are often very poor on: Bible and Medieval History.

3:57 - 3:59
"[the writers of the Bible could not speak of atoms or natural selection] or even of the earth going around the Sun, because there not what people thought was the case at the time in"

Francisco Ayala, I do not quite get what you are trying to convey.

Back when I was a Lutheran (fortunately no more!) I was against women "priests". Some guys argued that Jesus could only name male apostles, because the priesthood back then was reserved for men ... well, in Israel it was, since Aaron and before (if you read Genesis), but that was a thing God had arranged more than 1000 years before. In the Pagan world, there were lots of cults with female priestesses. Isis, Aphrodite, and a few more, there were female priestesses back then. A N D Jesus still chose male only Apostles.

What they were thinking was, back then people had not progressed beyond a certain misogyny, and so Jesus adapted to it, and now we have progressed beyond it, Christianity no longer needs to adapt to a misogyny no longer reflecting our culture.

Of course this is blasphemous, it implies God when living among us like Man was inadequate (at least without the help of very recent interpreters pushing "empathy" for what Christ must really have meant very far) to "bear witness for truth".

You seem to have a very similar and very evil idea that scientific progress is a one way story and that while God was believing atoms, natural selection and heliocentrism, He not just ignored atoms, but contradicted Natural Selection and Heliocentrism just to adapt to the people He was molding like pottery clay through the 40 years of Desert Journey. Ah, He can make them circumcise, He can make them abhor porc meat, which Egyptians did not abhor, He can ... and yet if He had also given them Heliocentrism, it would have been too much for them.

While there were no instruments with which to "measure parallax" back then, the knowledge of Heliocentrism could have been a supernatural one, one acquired by trust in God, as knowledge of Hittites has so long been for Christians, up to about a century ago.

So much for the idea God could not have revealed it.

As to the writers, they were not autonomous intellectuals to whom God revealed nothing, but some of them were prophets.

Now, atoms may or may not be true (the globes you find in electronic microscopy and where you have a big and two smaller ones for water molecules are not correctly named atoms, only conventually so : if they were really a-tomoi, indivisible, there would be no isotopes and no radioactivity : whether carbon 14 decays to carbon 12 or to nitrogen 14 which is its origin - I have heard both - both its origin and its decay contradict there being no parts in carbon 14 which can go away or be added).

Atoms are at least not contradicted by the Bible.

But for Natural Selection, you even have a contrary statement in the Bible, twice at least:

Matth 10:[29] Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father.

Same thing said in Luke, but here is an older mention:

Ps 103:[21] The young lions roaring after their prey, and seeking their meat from God.

In other words, decision of what animals survive is not "natural selection", but an apparent "chance selection" which is really a "providence of God" selection.

Similarily, Heliocentrism is also contradicted twice, or more:

Ps 103:[5] Who hast founded the earth upon its own bases: it shall not be moved for ever and ever.

And even earlier than that:

Joshua 10:[12] Then Josue spoke to the Lord, in the day that he delivered the Amorrhite in the sight of the children of Israel, and he said before them: Move not, O sun, toward Gabaon, nor thou, O moon, toward the valley of Ajalon. [13] And the sun and the moon stood still, till the people revenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of the just? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down the space of one day.

As said, this was after God had been giving Israel extra lessons for free in the Desert, and you pretend God could not have revealed Heliocentrism to them, so Joshua could have told Earth not to turn for a while? Are we supposed to conclude that God did not know He was going to make the miracle? Or that He didn't care about which words he used, what created entity he adressed after praying?

No, it is rather the idea of Francisco Ayala which is blashemous. Not Biblical literalism!

I just
found out a few things about Francisco J. Ayala:

"Francisco José Ayala Pereda (born March 12, 1934) is a Spanish-American evolutionary biologist and philosopher at the University of California, Irvine.[2] He is a former Dominican priest,[3][4] ordained in 1960,[5] but left the priesthood that same year. After graduating from the University of Salamanca, he moved to the United States in 1961 to study for a PhD at Columbia University. There, he studied for his doctorate under Theodosius Dobzhansky, graduating in 1964.[6] He became a US citizen in 1971."

First identity of this post, keeping it:postID=7883265666845594547 - perhaps fits Francisco J. Ayala?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Alex Pismenny on Democracy and Freedom, Quora

Can you be free in a non-democratic nation?

Alex Pismenny
Interested in social theory
Answered Nov 17
Absolutely you can. “Democratic” means, certain people get to vote and to be elected to certain offices. That is the only privilege that you don’t get in a non-democratic country.

You still should have all the fundamental rights:

  • The right of self-defense
  • The right to voice opinions other than direct incitements to violence or divulging secrets of others
  • The right to buy and sell property between willing seller and willing and able buyer
  • The right to contract for labor between willing laborer and willing and able able employer
  • The freedom of conscience

Note that what I listed above are true freedoms: they require nothing from others in a coercive way in order for me to enjoy them.

The right to vote and be elected is not such fundamental right. It is a privilege that the society as a whole may or may not give its citizens. The privilege is always subject to complex restrictions, for example, so that a majority may not abuse the minority because the majority has the votes.

At the same time, many democratic societies restrict or abolish certain fundamental rights.

There is no direct connection between democracy and freedom.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
7h ago
“ many democratic societies restrict or abolish certain fundamental rights.”

Just take a look at Sweden and Norway ….

May I copy your excellent answer to my blog?

Alex Pismenny
3h ago
Please, I’ll be honored.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Heliocentrism (quora)

What were you taught in school & later found to be untrue? I.e. I was taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America, but my son was taught it was the Native Americans.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Self Employed at Writer and Composer
Answered Mon
That the Earth circles the Sun. OK, one day in school I suspected it, and asked for the physics’ teacher’s proof.

His was, there is a good coordination between planetary masses and orbits as predicted Newtonian way.

However, planetary masses are deduced by the orbits according to the theories of Newtonian physics. I don’t know how many are independently known, for instance by flybys, and if these have really taken place.

Also, supposing the flybys have taken place and proven planetary masses, there are options for Newtonian physics being true (as far as vectorial components for planets are concerned) while Earth is still the centre. Sungenis and his associate in Croatia are giving one of them. Luka Popov, I think his name is.

But while at school, I still accepted the explanation as proof.

by I Jesse Raffield and by II David Hansel

Jesse Raffield
Did you ever figure out which orbits which?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I consider Sun orbits Earth each day, Zodiac each year.

Jesse Raffield
Mon · 3 upvotes
It doesn't bother you that probes on Mars have literally observed the Earth going around the Sun?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
11h ago
You get a camera (film, not stills), a chopper and go circle about a tower. From the chopper you can “literally observe” the tower turning around itself, which in reality it of course does not, standing still on the ground.

You get the idea?

Or you thought I considered Mars as concentric around Earth? No, I am Tychonian. Sun concentric around Earth (outside Moon, inside stars) but other planets concentric around Sun. The relative movements “in solar system” are the same.

Jesse Raffield
11h ago · 1 upvote
So your reason for believing this is just a case of special pleading? What arbitrary rules your world must work by.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
11h ago
I don’t know how “special pleading” applies to world views.

It applies to arguments.

The world can work by arbitrary rules, if there are arbiters, like angels, or an arbiter, like God.

Jesse Raffield
10h ago · 1 upvote
Its special pleading in the fact that for no particular reason you claim that the Earth somehow doesn't follow the laws of physics like every other planet.

I see that you're quite religious from your answers and questions, is that why you reject obviously true facts?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
5h ago
The laws of physics would only “dictate” the course of a globe (Earth, Sun or planet) if nothing else is.

If you occasionally move a pen or a keyboard, you have some experience in things that move without physical laws being the prime cause and directive force of the movement - since your will is.

No law of physics is forcing you to type an A if you want to type a B.

Our real difference is whether persons who can move things according to their will come only human sized or come in spiritual mights of infinity (God) or whatever individual globe one is moving (angels).

“why you reject obviously true facts?”

I don’t reject any obviously true fact, since what is “obviously true” to an atheist is not objectively speaking “obviously true”.

David Hansel
20h ago · 1 upvote
Please tell me this is a troll answer…

Hans-Georg Lundahl
6h ago
Prepared for a shock?

You have had 14 hours to digest it, take a look at my dialogue with Jesse Raffield.

David Hansel
2h ago
You’re right, it is a shock to see that someone can so poorly misunderstand the world and how to construct an argument.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
9m ago
As to “how to construct an argument” I am indeed not impressed by some here.

But you might be referring to someone else than I am referring to?

God and Galaxies (quora)

How does knowing that there are countless galaxies with countless stars and planets make the God of the Bible seem unlikely to exist?

Answer requested
by Nathan Solis

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered just now

“How does knowing that there are countless galaxies with countless stars and planets make the God of the Bible seem unlikely to exist?”*

  • we don’t know that; specifically, “galaxies other than our own” could easily be an erroneous conclusion in Heliocentrism;
  • even if we knew that, it wouldn’t make the God of the Bible the least less likely to exist, He would just be the creator of so many more galaxies if they exist, and of so many less ones, if they don’t exist, but being infinite, among other things in power, one or other is no problem to Him.

* It is often useful on quora to state what one is answering, since the question can be changed and your answer still remain.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Is Narcissism a Sin? (Quora)

What is God's punishment for narcissists?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered just now
Who says “narcissists” or “homosexuals” or “cleptomaniacs” or any psychological label constitute a group of sinners?

Sodomy is a sin, but homosexuality is not always expressed in this sin, and does not always merit the punishments for it.

A cleptomaniac who is not stealing anything or whose stealing only amounts to venial sins or is systematically payed back when the excitement of pilfering undetected has been satisfied is not punished for mortal sins of theft.

And you can make a similar case about narcissism. Psychological labels are not very important. Acts are.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

How was Atheism Created, Ter, on Quora

How was atheism created?

[another one of the answers]

Toby Wilson
Ex-theist, an atheist.
Answered Thu
How was atheism created?

A word was needed to describe a person who lacks belief in gods, so an “a” was tacked onto the word “theism”, a word that describes the belief in at least one god, but which can apply to people who believe in multiple gods.

Generally speaking, when an “a” is put at the beginning of a word, like symmetry, in the English language, it indicates an absence of something.

So, putting an “a” on the beginning of “symmetry” produces “asymmetry”, the absence of symmetry.

This is what so many theists want to avoid understanding, because they cannot conceive of a person who has no belief in something they cherish so dearly, namely gods.

My belief was shattered when I realised that the evidence for the gods I accepted, would work just as well in favour of the ones I rejected, as well as fairies, bogarts and Smurfs.

Like it or not, some people do not accept the god claim, atheism was not created, only the word that describes the lack of belief in gods was created, and as far as we can tell with the evidence to hand, namely nothing at all, gods were invented too.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"My belief was shattered when I realised that the evidence for the gods I accepted, would work just as well in favour of the ones I rejected"

Sure you should have rejected their even human existence?

"as well as fairies, bogarts and Smurfs."

Smurfs is overdoing it. Peyó was known to make works of fiction for purposes of entertainment.

I would not reject phenomenal existence of fairies, whatever would be their theological assessment.

Toby Wilson
“Sure you should have rejected their even human existence?”

I’m not sure what that sentence means, it makes no grammatical sense whatsoever.

I don’t reject the fact that people believe in gods, and that they have believed in numerous gods for a long time.

I do however reject their beliefs for one very simple reason, they lack any corroborating evidence.

If you want to accept that fairies might exist, have at it, but you’re going to have to demonstrate that they’re more real than Smurfs, Peyo might have been writing a documentary about real Smurfs he discovered, you can’t prove that he wasn’t.

If you’re going to accept fairies and ghosts and gods, you’re going to need evidence of any of them before you’ll convince a sceptic.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"I’m not sure what that sentence means, it makes no grammatical sense whatsoever."

It does.

I reject the divinity of Hercules and Romulus and Krishna and Odin, but I do not reject their human existence.

Odin was a man who fraudulently posed as a god, the other three men who were at least passively taken for gods, and in Krishna's case, if Bhagavadgita is historical about his pep talk to Arjuna, he too used fraudulent means to be taken for a god.

"I don’t reject the fact that people believe in gods, and that they have believed in numerous gods for a long time."

No one does, I think.

"I do however reject their beliefs for one very simple reason, they lack any corroborating evidence."

I would say, giving Arjuna an extatic experience with perhaps hypnotic enhancement is inadequate proof of Krishna being a god.

However, driving Arjuna's chariot is adequate evidence for Krishna having lived as a man.

"If you want to accept that fairies might exist, have at it, but you’re going to have to demonstrate that they’re more real than Smurfs, Peyo might have been writing a documentary about real Smurfs he discovered, you can’t prove that he wasn’t."

Peyó was presenting this to the world as entertainment. Stories about fairies, like the white lady of Rosental ...


... seem to have more reality to them.

"If you’re going to accept fairies and ghosts and gods, you’re going to need evidence of any of them before you’ll convince a sceptic."

People transmit stories that do not seem to be invented for entertainment. Not sure if it convinces a sceptic, but it does convince most normal men.

Last Month This Blog ...

was the one blog of mine most read in France.

Of all my blogs, I had about 115-116 visitors from France each day, and 70.6 of them on this one - despite its being in English.

I wonder why./HGL

Other curiosity : exactly ten views have been made for exactly three of the four posts from yesterday. For the first one, eleven.

If they are all viewed independently, how come they show so similar stats?

Perhaps they are viewed by some kind of "club" who decide what to view and to view it together?/HGL, next day.

PS Those 10 or 30 or 11 or 41 views are not the only ones from yesterday to today:

France 91
United States 40
Ukraine 16
Spain 5
Greece 4
Brazil 2
China 1
United Kingdom 1
Netherlands 1
Poland 1

Of course, it could be ten people or 11 people having subscribed to my blog. What it cannot be, is, "no body cares what I write"./HGL

Editors and Correctness (Quora)

What does an editor really look out for, to be corrected* in a book or an article?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Writing? I've been doing that for some time.
Answered 1h ago
I would consider it depends on the editor.

One thing is of course spelling, and as I spell British (with some creativity), I could be rejected by an US American editor who thinks everything is to be spelled in US American spelling reform.

Some editors would consider deviation from main stream positions to be a huge nono, other ones would even appreciate a very provocative deviation from main stream positions, as soon as they know - it shows - the author had done some “homework”.

Some editors would be joining Big Academia in banning wikipedia as a reference, others would not be doing so.

It would depend very much on the editor in any free country, where editors are not required to follow a government given policy.

* I had read "to be correct". Not "to be corrected".

Origin of Latin : Disputed (Quora)

If the origin of most languages is Latin, what is the origin of Latin?

Answer requested
by Guy Frémont

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I speak two langs, Latin and Germanic. In a few dialects.
Answered 51m ago
“If the origin of most languages is Latin, what is the origin of Latin?”

If the origin of all Romance languages (and these being a majority of the Big Ten, I think? - but a clear minority of all 6000 languages!) is Latin, well, the origin of Latin as such is unknown.

It is unknown in the sense of undocumented.

600 BC you find a fibula with very archaic Latin, unless the fibula is a forgery.

“Manios med fhefhaked.”

In Classic Latin, it is Manius me fecit. Those arguing the fibula is a forgery argue on linguistic grounds, it would instead have been “Manios med fheked”. This is to Latin, what 1st C. Proto-Nordic (“ek hlewagastiz holtingaz horna tawido”) is to Medieval Old Norse. But it counts as very old Latin.

Before the “Manios med fhefhaked/fheked” type of language, which is hard to understand if you only know Classical Latin, and which is a reason why “Carmen Saliare” in Classical times was no longer understood, there is no firm documented knowledge.

In Antiquity, one thought Latin was a branch of the Aeolic dialect of Greek. Partly because of similarities (Latin is more similar on comparative items to Aeolic than to Attic, for instance), partly for expedience, so Romans would not count as Barbarians (an expedience earlier shown to Macedonian).

Last two centuries, the majority opinion has been, Latin and Greek both descend from an earlier language, spoken thousands of years before the “Manios med fhefhaked” or “Manios med fheked” type of Latin. It is called proto-Indo-European. It has been variously constructed, and has been called the “fastest changing language of the 1860’s” or “of the 1870’s”.

Schleicher’s famous fable has been given in each of them, I think. The earliest version was very close to Sanskrit. The latest version, by a Finnish University doctor, is very close to Hittite. Between them, there has been a version which owed most of itself to “what would the proto-form leading to Homeric Greek and to Lithuanian look like?” It is not yet dead.

Yet another option is, diverse branches of Indo-European were not really descended from a same language, but from their earlier forms being more distinct, and from a Sprachbund leading to emerging similarities - a phenomenon seen in the Balkan area. That is my own version.

Since then, Mycenean Greek has been found. Since it still has a Q-series of consonants, it is less far from Latin than Classic Greek is. The Classic idea is not totally to be excluded.

For my own part, I think earliest IE languages functioning as such were spoken around Aegean, across Balkan to the West and to Syrian border and Crete and Cyprus in the East, and the Sprachbund emerging between them would have been very influenced by Hittite. Sanskrit would have come from a language on Crete, if a certain French linguist is correct about Linear A, and so would Avestic Persian have. Celtic would have come by a later Sprachbund - perhaps also involving Italic (Latin with relatives) which would owe something to Hittite and very early Greek.

That Celtic started out as a Sprachbund, rather than a simple monophyletic development from PIE has been suggested by the more mainstream scholar Barry Cunliffe. As far as I know, he has not tried to apply same idea to IE language community. Trubetskoy, the founder of Balkan linguistics, has.

Is Eternal Universe Possible? No. (Quora)

Is creationism really different from big bang assumption? Why our mind needs a "beginning"?

Answer requested
by Michele De Solda

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Thomist after starting with CSLewis
Answered 23h ago
Epicure and Aristotle believed in an eternal universe.

There are two major problems with this approach.

  • Human history does not reach back to a past eternity. Epicure suggested periodic disasters (he would have loved the story of Noah’s Ark … or for certain reasons not) which wipe out human achievements and this would include the predisaster history, forcing us to begin all over again. I take a less bleak view on mankind’s capacity on recording a disaster and what went on before it and handing it down to future generations - even if Genesis 2 - 7 is fairly sketchy as historiography goes (I think Mahabharata gives more detail on the Cainite side).

  • Some processes have been discovered to go on in one direction. A process like the water cycle is no problem for Aristotle (who had somewhat incorrect views on water cycle, partly due to his sources for geography not being as reliable as he) or for Epicure, but Helium being produced from Hydrogen + Hydrogen and this never reversing, well, this is a problem for a steady state eternal universe.

Michele De Solda
23h ago
Thanks Hans, a couple of cool reference. I have to check the helium one and I had sooner or later study seriously Aristotle’s metaphysics. What you mean with “steady universe”? Infinite in time, no beginning and no end?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
Exact, infinite in time, no beginning, no end, and no major diversification between its qualities, only minor vaccillations, mostly on a local level (like the world wide disasters or culture wide disasters would be).

Friday, December 1, 2017

Answers to Brother Karaviro on Taking the Bible Literally

This one, however, does belong to this blog. I commented under a youtube along it, and one of the comments sparked a short debate (if it lengthens, I'll be happy to update, perhaps even to make a new post). Here:

Taking the Bible literally is disrespecting Christianity
Brother Karaviro | added 10th Dec. 2014

You should not thank God for living in a country where the Bible is not taken literally.

It should be.

What exact Scriptural text is not fundamental for your faith?

The one you have not read.

The Church is fundamental, and it has pronounced Scriptures, all 73 books, as true.

This means, whatever part of it I read, whatever part of it I even don't understand, I still must accept it is true. Once I read it, it becomes part of the ecclesiastic fundament of faith, as per Trent.

While the Scriptures can lead YOU to encounter God, they do so on condition you believe as the Church does.

Their literal meaning is how OTHERS, way before you, did in fact encounter God, like Adam and Eve in perfect harmony, and then, after the forbidden fruit, in disharmony, meeting Hid anger.

No, the foundation of faith is not personal experience, of each believer, the foundation is and remains the teaching of the Church, which includes the Bible, and which tells you how to differentiate good from bad in personal experiences.

Suppose you had gone into a hypnotic state and personally experienced a "previous life" - would you accept you are reincarnated because of that? No.

I might not care as much about "spirituality" as about faith, about orthodoxy.

No, spirituality is not a requirement for religion. Some things which normally should help you to have one, like praying the rosary or fasting or at least abstaining on fridays, are requirements or recommendations of religion, but "be spiritual" is not, per se.

Look here, God is certainly more than human, but not, unlike the Stoics, less than fully human.

Jealous is a bad description from some viewpoints, not from others, if it had been, it would not have been there.

Zen masters are not as such very spiritual. Not in the right way : they are not orthodox.

Different kind of language, well, sentences are short, probably so the chapters could, one after another be learned by heart and transmitted from Adam, or from Seth or Cain, or Lamech or Noah to Moses who wrote them down, until we get to an environment in which chapters could be written. And writings preserved.

But that the story is "larger than life" does not mean it is not literally true.

Several stories we know are real life, whether World War II or Kon Tiki, are "larger than life".

I would rather you consider me blind than God consider me a heretic.

"Historical critical" is unhistorical, since antitraditional.

Pretending Genesis is a novel is as unhistorical as pretending Silmarillion is a documentary.

Hans Georg Lundahl
No, some possibilities of language do not apply to the Bible.

Silmarillion is a novel. How do we know? Because Tolkien wrote it as a novel.

Genesis is a documentary, and we know that because Moses wrote it as documentary.

We know the intention of Tolkien (as well as his authorship) from tradition, we also know the intention of Moses (as well as authorship) from tradition.

Brother Karaviro
No Genesis is not writen by Moses, you are a kid right? With all respect, I hope you will visit some classes in Theology at a State University. What possibliities of language do not apply to the Bible? :)

Hans Georg Lundahl
"No Genesis is not writen by Moses,"

Pope St Pius X's Bible commission condemned this one. In 1905 even the version saying Moses inerrantly collected stories that were not inerrant in themselves.

On another occasion, the ideas "Pentateuch is not at least substantially by Moses" (in Genesis he is arguably a collector of earlier material, and last chapter of Deuteronomy was written by Joshua after his death).

But for this one, I am not sure what year, and the other idea was "Psalms are not by King David, even if it mentions 'a Psalm by David'."

"you are a kid right?"

I have a blog called

New blog on the kid

But apart from that, I am 49.

"With all respect, I hope you will visit some classes in Theology at a State University."

I did, along with ma, at age 13, she took me out of school one day.

I heard a professor, otherwise apparently sane, defend the Bibel-Babel idiocy by Delitzsch or some other Prussian.

"What possibliities of language do not apply to the Bible?"

Those that are contrary to known fact. For instance, being originally written in English is a possibility of language, it applies for instance to Lord of the Rings or Silmarillion, but not to one single book of the Bible.

Being a novel is also a possibility of language which does not apply very much in the Bible.

The Prodigal Son (in German that would be "der verschwänderische Sohn", but it is usually "der verlorene Sohn") can well be a novel.

Because Jesus used it to make a point, like novelists often do (Momo makes a certain point about men always looking at the wristwatch, as Michael Ende intended it to do, and the Prodigal Son also brings home a point about God's love).

But being a novel is not a possibility which applies to Genesis. One could imagine a parellel universe in which Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings were old books dating from the events and in which Genesis was a novel by Tolkien.

But in our universe, Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion are novels by Tolkien, and Genesis is an old book, dating back (in its parts) to the events. Ergo, in our universe, the possibility of being a novel does not apply to Genesis.

Brother Karaviro
Sorry for the wrong assumption on your age, chap.

First of all, english isnt my mother language, so sorry for upcoming inconvenients.

Going once with your ma, is not thinking through a biblical class on a State University.

The word inerrant is obsolete, because language itself can not carry absolute truth, especially not divine truth.

The translation errors that occur, are of corse applicable on the Bible. The word is dead, through the spirit it gets alive.

Genesis is not just a novel, those literature concepts are not applicable to old writings. It is cultural heritage from a specific time and region, with a monotheistic culture. Everywhere the divine is shining through, so also in some bad stories from the Pentateuch.

Your derivation about novels and reality is very weak and makes not much sense.

Listen, you are disrespecting Christianity and betraying Jesus and God if you take the Bible literally.

Hans Georg Lundahl
"Going once with your ma, is not thinking through a biblical class on a State University."

Nope, but she did and she shared my view on Bibel-Babel thesis.

"The word inerrant is obsolete, because language itself can not carry absolute truth, especially not divine truth."

That is false.

"The translation errors that occur, are of corse applicable on the Bible. The word is dead, through the spirit it gets alive."

A translation error or copyist error is of course a possible exception from inerrancy.

I know, as a Latinist (at a State university, though without any final exams, just intermediate ones), fairly much about translations. It is for instance NOT possible that a translation error somewhere in Genesis changed the genre from novel writing to history.

"Genesis is not just a novel, those literature concepts are not applicable to old writings."

As far as I know the meaning of the word novelist (and as an aspiring novelist I know fairly much of it) the word "novel" is unspecific enough to be applicable to any prose narrative that is fiction. For instance, the one definitional obstacle to calling the Prodigal Son a novel is, it is not long enough. It therefore is a micro-novel - supposing Our Lord just made it up, rather than take an example He, as Omniscient God, knew from everyday life somewhere on Earth. Or even perhaps an example from a live story known to the people back there. But a novel (or micro-novel) is a fair guess.

"It is cultural heritage"

Culturally inherited narratives come in two main branches : fiction (i e novels) and history. There is of course also docufiction : this means a documentary would be either too short or too disclosing of vulnerable people, and therefore a fictional fleshing out of detail is preferred over a fully factual one, while story as such is factual.

Genesis stories are simply too short to be docufictions, there is not enough fleshing out. Everything which involves discretion (like saying [5] And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, rather than recite the whole Mahabharata) or being content with bare genealogies where many of the biographies are lost, that is too short for docufiction.

So, we have the two major branches of culturally inherited narrative : novels, or Märchen, and history, or Sagen. Genesis is either "eine Sage" like Richard Lionheart at Dürnstein (I think it was, if I did not remember wrong what place in Nether Austria) or it is "ein Märchen" like Hänsel und Gretel.

For the choice, we can depend on what those transmitting it have said : it is history.

"from a specific time and region, with a monotheistic culture."

Every historic narrative is from a specific time and region, and has a specific culture. Trojan war is narrated by Homer at a time when Hittites were forgot or one was trying to forget them. He was perhaps even the ideal poet for the transmission, because he was blind and could not see the obvious difference in Hittite hieroglyphs when visiting certain places. Therefore not ask who made that, therefore very honestly never hear about Hittites.

A Communist narrative about Stalingrad is also this, it is for instance formulated in an atheistic culture. And a very anti-German one too. The same Commies who celebrate the "heroic resistance at Teruel" are also considering the "heroic resitance at Stalingrad" as folly - even if getting out of the way at Teruel was easier for the reds and capitulation was more likely to result in spared life in captivity.

"Everywhere the divine is shining through, so also in some bad stories from the Pentateuch."

Everywhere in any false religion some truth or some divine is shining through in some way. This does not make them true religions, therefore giving this to the Bible is not being a Christian.

"Your derivation about novels and reality is very weak and makes not much sense."

I hope my answer has made it clearer.

"Listen, you are disrespecting Christianity and betraying Jesus and God if you take the Bible literally."

No, I am not "listening" to you as to a Guru, and I do not believe what you are saying. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself took Genesis literally, in Mark 10:6, for instance.

Brother Karaviro
"The word inerrant is obsolete, because language itself can not carry absolute truth, especially not divine truth."

That is true. [In other words, he contradicts my "that is false"]

Thank you for your distinguished insights, we are totally not on the same page :).

With "listen" i didn't wante to implicate some status of mine, we are writing to each other on the same eye height hopefully.

I hope at least we can be on the same page for the following:
I wish us, you and me, in the name of Jesus, Gods blessing, and may his healing lifeforce shine through us and heal us and our surroundings. At the end what counts is the love we live towards our Sisters and Brothers and not how good we write words.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
In some ways yes, but when it comes to writing about this subject, writing well or ill does matter for the welfare of brothers and sisters.