Thursday, August 31, 2017

... on Conspiracy Theories


Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... on Conspiracy Theories · New blog on the kid : Some People Seem to Stamp me as a Conspiracy Theorist

Q
Why are conspiracy theories rational to believe?
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-conspiracy-theories-rational-to-believe/answer/Anthony-Zarrella


This question previously had question details. You can find them in the question comments.

Quora Question Details Bot
Aug 8
How do conspiracy theories work and how they explain the current disagreements between political parties?

Anthony Zarrella
Attorney
Answered Aug 22
They aren’t. Period.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Aug 23
Except when they are?

Like the “conspiracy theory” about Nixon, thereafter known as Watergate scandal?

Anthony Zarrella
Wed
That’s the thing—there was no “conspiracy theory” in the common sense of the term.

There was a conspiracy… but it actually was kept secret, right up until it was blown by someone on the inside failing to keep it. There were no amateur sleuths with too much time on their hands and a paranoid mindset—there were professional investigative journalists following up real leads from a real informant.

Contrast conspiracy theories, which posit a near-flawless cover-up, with 0% defection… except somehow the evidence is available to Joe Schmo on the internet, who is clever enough to see the “truth” that everyone else has overlooked in plain sight. Yet, somehow, the same all-powerful conspiracy that has “silenced” all witnesses fails to do anything about Mr. Schmo posting their dirty laundry all over the internet…

Hans-Georg Lundahl
3h ago
“There were no amateur sleuths with too much time on their hands and a paranoid mindset—there were professional investigative journalists following up real leads from a real informant.”

It seems the difference between these two is - how much they are paid and by whom.

“Yet, somehow, the same all-powerful conspiracy that has “silenced” all witnesses fails to do anything about Mr. Schmo posting their dirty laundry all over the internet…”

Getting out an attitude about Joe Schmo and about the internet is at least ONE thing they could do - or already did, courtesy to you?

Or maybe simply waited for you to do without bothering even to monitor it … except decades back when making decisions about who was going to be your teachers (yes, I consider departments of education one key to global conspiracies, which I think there are, or perhaps even there is, in the singular). Both in school and at university.

Henry Makow is a conspiracy theorist, and a known such. He has been doing so much by now, he has at least as much informants as those behind the Watergate blowup. Same for Lyndon LaRouche.

Also, claiming there were no people acting conspiracy theorists before the Watergate blowup is a fairly vast claim - which you could of course prove if there had been an internet back then, and no “cleanups” on it over time and we could not google anyone who had been getting jeers on the comment section of his youtube five days before the blowup.

Now, internet and youtube were NOT around then, so how do you prove the claim?

How do you prove, that the mentality of the professional journalist is not identic to that of the amateur sleuth with a paranoid mindset, for instance?

How do you prove, supposing it was not, that he had no contacts answering to that description which led him to chose an area of investigation?

There is a difference between a court of law in which a guilty man must be proven, and a police investigation, in which a suspect needs to be cleaned before investigation ceases.

A conspiracy theorist is not comparable to the court of law situation - since, by the fact of theorising rather than looking at a court sentence, he is admitting there was so far no condemnation.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
45m ago
Also, a conspiracy theory usually does NOT posit a near-flawless cover up.

Look here:

“Follow the money … from the Templeton Foundation”
- creation.com
https://creation.com/follow-the-money


One of the foundation’s main funding areas is “public engagement”, and a representative sample of grants (ranging from tens of thousands to millions of dollars) clearly shows the foundation’s goals. Here is a small sample of grants that have been made more recently:

  • Vatican Observatory Foundation—“Building a bridge between faith and astronomy”


I don’t see a very flawless cover up to one reason why a certain Guy Consolmagno quietly ceased to reply to mails from a geocentric (myself) after first reply.

Conspiracy theories are not about secret agreements and events only, but by large more about events actually shown in the open, but on which one counts that it will not be noted - as by most it is not.

Own answer
to above, after debating with Zarella

Link
Why are conspiracy theories rational to believe?
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-conspiracy-theories-rational-to-believe/answer/Hans-Georg-Lundahl


Hans-Georg Lundahl
Thomist after starting with CSLewis
Answered just now
“How do conspiracy theories work and how they explain the current disagreements between political parties?”

Have you ever seen the kind of question in which ALL parties agree, because it is sometimes a “matter of decency” to agree on a thing?

When this thing is keeping old laws as they are, OK, no problem - it could be a matter of decency when all parties today are agreeing along with many other parties of the past back to when the country became Christian.

When it is about introducing a new bill, or staying with a legislation which may have been rushed through fifty or hundred years ago, I sense a certain concern that the “matter of decency” and “broad agreement across party borders” stuff is due to some conspiracy.

Like some money offered, either directly to politicians of both or the several parties, or to some things in connection with both parties, by some vile thing like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Which, as we know, is promoting contraception and abortion.

Keeping school compulsion going, despite schools being at least as involved as guns in school shootings, seems to be one of the goal of some conspirators.

Since Columbine 1999, we have seen several debates about restricting gun rights, and I have seen ONE man debate about abolishing school compulsion, both compulsion in strict legal sense and in the sense of making schools less necessary for making a living later on. That ONE man being me.

I have also seen several things which seem like conspiracies to marginalise my blogs.

Do you begin to see where there might be a conspiracy?

Or, take the questions on which there is a widely acknowledged and dramatically mediatised disagreement between parties. Like Democrats being for gun control, Republicans against, mostly. Well, for some reason, there seems to be a silent agreement between both to mention guns, but not to mention the fact that both Klebold and Cassie Bernall were in some sense - I think a practical rather than a legal one - required to be at the High School.

Q
Conspiracy Theories: I have a boss who is constantly talking about the Illuminati and the New World Order. He completely believes in their existence and their influence in the world. I'd like to hear some opinions. Do any of you believe in those two things? If so, why or why not?
https://www.quora.com/Conspiracy-Theories-I-have-a-boss-who-is-constantly-talking-about-the-Illuminati-and-the-New-World-Order-He-completely-believes-in-their-existence-and-their-influence-in-the-world-Id-like-to-hear-some-opinions-Do-any-of-you-believe-in-those-two-things-If-so-why-or-why-not/answer/Hans-Georg-Lundahl


Hans-Georg Lundahl
Blog : "http://creavsevolu.blogspot.com". Debating evolutionists for 15 years
Answered just now
I certainly believe in them influencing the world, but I am less sure about their existence as a group other than more well known and openly acting lodges and sects.

So, say that many freemasons are involved in the French boycott of discussing Young Earth Creationism - this is a nobrainer, they exist, they are openly visible, they are known not to be promoting Biblical literalism for as long as they exist basically (even in the time of Anderson 1723 they were doing a clearly anti-Biblical thing, refusing to require adherence to a specific religion, while being a society of very clearly religious nature).

My doubt is this:

  • are Freemasons in France simply obeying their Masonic leadership in the usual way?
  • or are the lodges acting on orders of Illuminati, a kind of “backlodge” more secret than they are?


Or Bilderberg group and Bill and Melinda Gates promote depopulation. This is known. My doubt is this:

  • is that a culture they share?
  • or are they tools of the Illuminati?
  • or are Illuminati their tools?


One function the theory of Illuminati could have is this, to exonerate ordinary Freemasons, ordinary people with that culture which the Gates foundation and the Bilderberg group promote.

“Yea, sure, they are in a vile thing, but they are not Illuminati, they are just unwitting tools to the Illuminati.”

It is possible that the guy you are exonerating with such words is “as Illuminati as it gets” in real life.

But that things like Bilderberg group, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Masonic Lodges do exist and do exert openly and sometimes perhaps less openly an influence for evil, that is not to be doubted.

Also, I am not sure that Satanism is not an optional exercise open to all Masons showing an inclination that way, I am sure it exists, among other things because there are defectors from it. Suppose these are false defectors, who would be willing to stage such a thing, in some cases arguably with very intense and prolonged efforts to appear as defectors from such a thing?

When it comes to John Todd, his show did not last that long in his life - his witness survived his show. He could have been a fake defector, and just be a clumsy one. That is one reason, if he is still alive and in mental hospital, I would like him freed from there (he has already served sentence for the crime he did) and publically HEARD about his testimony about Illuminati. It involves allegations about Tolkien and C. S. Lewis which simply seem impossible to me, among other things for reasons of how old each person was at a time. Unless of course he has some Cagliostro type longevity, which would have allowed him to be adult as opposed to teen before CSL died. But he could have been either lying or misled by co-conspirators about identity of the man whom he thought was CSL - he could have been told a very clumsy lie so that, if he should defect, his testimony should become less credible.

On the other hand, if John Todd’s age was faked and his youthful appearance hid an older person, it would be a good idea to hear him on what his real relation to JRRT and CSL were. Hear him, as in hear him in court, where he could go under suspicion of calumny - since if he was NOT paying JRRT and CSL to serve Illuminati before his defection, he calumnied these two by claiming he had done so. For my part, I think they were calumnied, but not sure if actively John Todd was knowingly doing so, and for what motive, or whether John Todd had been fooled.

Here is another defector:

Bill Schnoebelen FORMER ILLUMINATI MEMBER Speaks Out - Fact or Fraud?
Mark Dice
Ajoutée le 1 nov. 2012
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wVZuKSDVGE


Bill Schnoebelen has been going on for a bit longer time than the years John Todd was active. John Todd was doing conferences I think in just two years, 1973 and 1974. That his testimony is still discussed is due to two circumstances, it was recorded and commented on, and that survives his activity, and he has been doing so ill since then, in personal fortunes, that one wonders if Illuminati were “taking care of him” so as to make him appear totally incredible. But it is now quite a few years since I heard of Schnoebelen, as I recall, and he is still going on.

So, if he is a fake defector - which I do NOT think he is - they sure did a better job this time than with John Todd.

Plus : if John Todd and Bill Schnoebelen are fake defectors from a sect never existing, at least Bill Schnoebelen has a backing of good conspirators who are helping him do an excellent show - but believing that is believing there is a conspiracy, just another one than the Illuminati one.

Oh, btw, if Bill Schnoebelen is a real defector he too is victim of a circumstance making him less credible : he has been published by Chick Publications, who have promoted the fraud Avro Manhattan and fraud or Novus Ordo dupe Alberto Rivera. THEY are in a conspiracy against Catholicism.

Btw, if Chick Publications would like to publish some of my material, go ahead. BECAUSE, my conditions are a general licence for anyone publishing, not a contract with exclusive rights, and therefore not a specific endorsement of publisher in his other capacities - this means, even if you could tie Chick to me, you could not tie me to Chick in that way.

If Chick Publications conspire to publish false testimonies, that is one possible explanation for Bill Schnoebelen. But not the only one, he could have taken them because he is too little knowledgeable about Catholicism to see that Avro and Alberto were frauds. He could have thought Chick was more honest and bright than he was in fact.

And of course, as I mentioned there are other candidates than Illuminati for being the conspirators driving the world down, the type of Protestantism with Anti-Catholic slant Jack Chick represents so far by publishing and endorsing Avro Manhattan and Alberto Rivera is one of the candidates, just as Communism and KGB are.

Note
The algorithm by which my qualification for a certain question is chosen by quoran machines is sometimes opaque to me. But in this case, the qualification as Creationist was chosen - even though Conspiracy theories are quite another kettle of fish. My experience of computers tells me, this could be because the LOTS of people who recently, last decade, have associated Creationism to conspiracy theorising, have cluttered quora with posts where both words are mentioned.

That Kent Hovind is a Creationist and that he is published by Jack Chick, these are two reasons why this could happen - but considering the number of Creationists who are not Hovind and are not published by Jack Chick - could it have happened without a conspiracy, this much?

Confer that my capacity as a Thomist gets automatically selected as my qualification for answering about rationality of conspiracy theories - Thomist and rational being also often associated. But this due to a very well known fact, accessible without any cluttering due to possible conspiracies.

Note on Schnoebelen
Updated with an excuse to him
If he was ordained as a priest, he seems to have been a bit vague about who did it.

Pope Michael may or may not have good reasons not to disclose personal identities of the bishops conserating him bishop, but he knows they are (or main consecrator is) of Duarte Costa line and what implies.

Schnoebelen seems to have been somewhat more vague:

When I was a Satanist, I was also an ordained priest in the Old Roman Catholic church and a minister in a supposedly “Christian” Spiritist church.


When and where do you find any "Old Roman Catholic church"?

You are Roman Catholic or Old Catholic, the separation was about Vatican I, which Roman Catholics accept, Old Catholics reject. This rejection also meant they have no episcopal connection to Rome, they have their episcopal connection to Utrecht. And as they are claiming precisely that no see is higher than the local see, they will hardly claim that Rome is above Utrecht, and therefore will hardly have any interest in calling themselves Roman.


Update: sorry, there seems to exist sth called "Old Roman Catholic" too, I did not know this.

Here is the source, the defense of Rolf Lingen

1. FRHL's ordination is considered to be valid, i.e. he is considered to be a validly ordained priest. On his youtube-channel ("sedisvakantist") he published: "Succession: Bishop Alois Stumpfl - Schismatic / Old-ROMAN-Catholic (*NOT*: Old-Catholic!); Stumpfl ordained AND consecrated Friedrich Wiechert; Stumpfl ordained AND consecrated Josef Maria Thiesen; Wiechert ordained Schmitz, Thiesen consecrated Schmitz. In 1978, Schmitz abjured from the Old-Roman-Catholic Church, testified by Marcel Lefebvre and Franz Schmidberger, and became member of the "Society of Saint Pius X" (SSPX). In 1980, Schmitz became sedevacantist and left the FSSPX. In 1996, he ordained me. IMPORTANT: Thiesen - as priest - converted to Catholicism. His ordination was considered valid by the Catholic Church both under Pius XI. and under Pius XII. He was not allowed to work as a priest in 1926. He received dispense from celibacy in 1942. Later, Thiesen reverted into the Old-Roman-Catholic sect and was consecrated by Stumpfl."


Imprisonment for Sedevacantism (2)
Pater Rolf Lingen | Ajoutée le 4 sept. 2011
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0-l1KqkU1o


I owe Schnoebelen an apology./HGL



A Conspiracy to Shut Up a Question?

... on Bishop Tempier and the Late Brother Thomas


... on Metaphysics of Saint Thomas Aquinas - an answer with my replies (quora) · ... on Bishop Tempier and the Late Brother Thomas · ... on Mystical Experience of Saint Thomas

Q
How did the condemnation of Etienne Tempier in 1277 affect Saint Thomas Aquinas?
https://www.quora.com/How-did-the-condemnation-of-Etienne-Tempier-in-1277-affect-Saint-Thomas-Aquinas/answer/Hans-Georg-Lundahl


Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered Mon
It did not affect Saint Thomas Aquinas personally, since he had already died.

It did somewhat affect the reception of his writings.

Bishop Tempier, though not mentioning St Thomas among condemned authors may have had a suspicion against his orthodoxy as ulterior motive.

It is fairly certain there was at least an urban legend that parts of St Thomas’ theology had been condemned in the sentences condemned. This urban legend is still promoted by English scholars.

Some of them, at least.

In the year when St Thomas was canonised, Stephen Tempier’s successor Stephen III Bourret absolved all and any theses actually in St Thomas’ writings from any suspicion of having been condemned by Stephen Tempier, but the condemnation was not rescinded.

By then it seems to have been settled that Tempier did not in fact condemn any thing which St Thomas had directly defended.

Here is a phrase about the new sentence of Stephen Bourret:

“Cependant, un retournement de perspective n'allait pas manquer de se produire. Redoutant cette dérive fidéiste qui s'était amorcée suite à l'intervention de Tempier, le pape Jean XXII allait réhabiliter la doctrine thomiste par la canonisation, en 1323, de Thomas d'Aquin, suivie, deux années plus tard, de la levée, par Etienne Bourret, de tout interdit que cette doctrine avait pu encourir de par la condamnation de 1277, comme il a été dit ci-dessus.”


The analysis of Stephen Tempier promoting “fideism” (an anachronistic term, at least) I do not share, but the fact is, the act of Stephen Bourret was a lifting of any forbidding which the doctrine of St Thomas could have incurred by the condemnation of 1277.

In other words, Stephen Bourret was not saying the sentences of St Thomas had actually been forbidden by those condemnations.

A case in point:

St Thomas argues that all angels are IN FACT of different species, since immaterial.

Stephen Tempier condemns the sentence that they NEED TO be of different species since God were somehow not able to give immaterial things any principle of individuation.

This obviously is one of the diversities between the bishop and the dominican which have been construed as conflicts.

So, St Thomas has not argued that God could not make a haecceitas in purely spiritual things apart from their species, Stephen Tempier has not defined that God actually does create all angels or all angels of any given order in the same species. St Thomas did not argue what Stephen Tempier forbade later; and Stephen Tempier did not forbid what St Thomas Aquinas had argued earlier.

BUT they were arguably of diverse opinion on the matter what God in fact did when creating angels.*

Here is the source in Louis Valcke:

http://www.erudit.org/revue/ltp/2000/v56/n1/401278ar.pdf

Here is my quoting it, when giving the condemnations of Stephen Tempier:

Index in stephani tempier condempnationes


* In other words, I find it probable Tempier was a Scotist. Note, he was NOT a Nominalist, but firmly opposed to that.

... on Metaphysics of Saint Thomas Aquinas - an answer with my replies (quora)


... on Metaphysics of Saint Thomas Aquinas - an answer with my replies (quora) · ... on Bishop Tempier and the Late Brother Thomas · ... on Mystical Experience of Saint Thomas

Q
What are some flaws in Thomas Aquinas' thinking?
https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-flaws-in-Thomas-Aquinas-thinking


Profile
Erik Norvelle
https://www.quora.com/profile/Erik-Norvelle-1


Many years of academic philosophy, also serial entrepreneur.

Ex punk rocker, ex conservative Catholic, ex philosophy student, I have recently discovered that dating strippers is the answer to the meaning of life. I also speak native-level Spanish and am very opinionated.


1 Answer
so far, namely :

Erik Norvelle
Many years of academic philosophy, also serial entrepreneur.
Answered 3h ago
He was a rationalist and not an empiricist. Those are terms that don’t strictly apply, because they were invented to describe philosophers from the modern era, but the general idea fits Aquinas.

When I began doctoral studies in Aquinas, what I was especially interested in was Aristotle’s theory of “physis” or “nature”, and how Aquinas might have made use of it. Physis, in Aristotle, is his solution to the ancient question of how something might “move” (read change) without ceasing to be what it is. It has to do with the notion that a physical “substance” (being) can move because it is a composite of matter and form, where form is the principle of identity (what-it-isness) and matter is the principle of possibility (what-it-can-beness), and motion is the passage from potency (possibility) to act (isness). This theory is one of the unknown glories of Aristotle, ultimately wrong, but a serious and deep attempt to understand the natural world.

At the time I wanted to know what Aquinas did with this concept, and so I told my thesis director I wanted to study “nature” in Thomas Aquinas. Simple enough, no? Well, no… my thesis director said “yes” because he thought I wanted to study the “notion” of nature and not the “concept” of nature (yes, in Thomism there is a difference). A “notion” is essentially a way of talking about being (“ens”), i.e. it is being conceived of under the light of its whatness (essentia), with a specific focus on the interior origin and expression of that whatness (basically a metaphorical way of using the term “nature” to refer to something that doesn’t actually change, like being qua being). Don’t ask me why Aquinas needed yet another transcendental term for “ens” (there are many in medieval philosophy) but he used “nature” in this way. So instead of talking about dynamic, changing, real beings, when Aquinas talks about “nature” he is talking about something unchanging and metaphysical.

This follows on his general utter lack of interest in the natural world. The only things he seems to know about are general, sometimes unusual, ideas that he takes from various places, such as the occasional metaphor from Aristotle, or a tidbit from Albertus Magnus, or somewhere else (it’s not always clear where he gets his ideas about nature from). He discusses “nature” in the sense I was interested most fully in the Summa Contra Gentiles, but his ideas were so unoriginal and frankly silly that it kind of shocked me… here is this giant intellect saying things that were frankly stupid, and that nobody with anybody with any sense would say if they thought twice about it. And that was the problem, Aquinas said these stupid things precisely because he never actually thought about the issue. Aquinas loved metaphysics, he didn’t love physics (to use the Aristotelian distinction).

His whole metaphysics was taken whole-hog from Aristotle (as filtered through Averroes), but not because that metaphysics was a difficult prize attained only through years of inquiry into the physical, as with Aristotle, but because Aquinas thought it was elegant, even beautiful, and that it solved lots of metaphysical problems that otherwise were insoluble. Aquinas liked puzzles relating to being, and I believe that his famous esse/essentia distinction was, in good part, an attempt by him to understand how angels could exist and be numerically distinct despite not having matter (see De substantiis separatis for more on that issue).

So for Aquinas, in a sense, the world was to be understood upside-down… you start with metaphysical notions (not concepts, as stated above), and you view the world in light of them. And you never need to go anywhere near the actual creatures of the world (in the way that Aristotle did) because you have already got Aristotle’s solution in hand. Real, existing, changeable creatures have no interest for the metaphysician, who is occupied with greater questions, like the existence of God. So while Aquinas certainly knew (and knew well) Aristotle’s physics, it didn’t really matter to him, because unlike Aristotle Aquinas had no interest in the material, physical, real world.

And ultimately this is why Aquinas’s metaphysics fails: it was a slavish imitation of Aristotle’s, extended to deal with things like angels that were important for Christians, and adapted to deal with a triune God, also very Christian, but without any interest in what had so interested Aristotle, i.e. the natural world. And while for Aristotle the failure of his metaphysics would only have been an annoyance, because Aristotle never dogmatically proclaimed his metaphysics to be the final solution to anything, for Aquinas it is fatal, since really he has nothing else to fall back on. Aquinas is a very, very good interpreter of Aristotle, but as a metaphysician he is fatally uncreative.

So you can imagine my dismay when, after more than a year of searching the sources of Aquinas’s theory of nature, I discovered that there weren’t actually any. I had to go back to my thesis director and explain the problem, and he said “Oh, you mean that nature, well of course not, Aquinas is interested in nature as a metaphysical transcendental notion”. So I had to leave Aquinas behind, lose a year of my graduate program, and study Aristotle instead.

Aquinas may have been a genius, but as his biographers point out, he spent his entire life more or less in the clouds, thinking metaphysical and theological things, with scant time for real people, real things, real life. And this is why Thomism is ultimately such an unsuccessful philosophy, despite having been the more or less official Catholic philosophy for centuries: it just doesn’t give a shit about anything that’s actually real, it prefers to glory in its ideas and then try to make real beings fit those (rationalism), not the other way around (empiricism).

Hans-Georg Lundahl
34m ago
“He was a rationalist and not an empiricist.”

If you mean he appealed to pure thought while ignoring experience, and experiments, you are historically simply wrong.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
12m ago
"So instead of talking about dynamic, changing, real beings, when Aquinas talks about “nature” he is talking about something unchanging and metaphysical."

A wolf changes several times over its life, but its lupine nature does not change. It is indeed metaphysically fixed.

"This follows on his general utter lack of interest in the natural world."

If so, why would his teacher St Albert the Great have praised him so much?

"The only things he seems to know about are general, sometimes unusual, ideas that he takes from various places, such as the occasional metaphor from Aristotle, or a tidbit from Albertus Magnus, or somewhere else (it’s not always clear where he gets his ideas about nature from)."

Any student will show up tidbits from his teacher. And if he's showing them on occasions where nature is NOT the topic per se, it seems to show rather a very intense interest in nature, since he brings in nature studies into other matters.

"He discusses “nature” in the sense I was interested most fully in the Summa Contra Gentiles, but his ideas were so unoriginal and frankly silly that it kind of shocked me…"

I don't know why "unoriginal" should shock anyone. Any philosopher worth his salt, from Socrates to presumably myself, takes glory in being unoriginal - in making points so obvious that someone has seen it before.

As to "stupid", I would really like to know what you are talking about and what you judge it by. Perhaps you are the more stupid of the two?

As for "silly", I relish the fact that much Medieval thought, whether Alcuin or St Thomas, is expressed in ways so simplistic as to seem silly to an oversophisticated culture where many terms are reused and misused by taking so much, on my view often too much, for granted as a thing anyone would understand. Or as a thing "of course I understand that", but which you perhaps was not putting your understanding to use when expressing this other thing.

A Scholastic can't hide the structure of his thought behind smokescreens or façades, he is obliged to show them forth as clearly as if he were building with Lego.

"His whole metaphysics was taken whole-hog from Aristotle (as filtered through Averroes),"

Simply false. St Thomas, like Bishop Tempier, rejected much of the metaphysics of Averroes, and while Tempier expressed himself in condemnations of 1277, St Thomas expressed himself in arguments against Averroism.

See for instance "de unitate intellectus adversus Averroistas" an undisputed opus or opusculum of his.

"but not because that metaphysics was a difficult prize attained only through years of inquiry into the physical, as with Aristotle,"

I am not sure either why it should in general be so, or where you get it from it was so with Aristotle. While Aristotle's metaphysics differ from those of Plato, he had studied under Plato and had conducted his years of study of nature with metaphysics in mind - as had obviously this other great naturalist St Albert, the very teacher of St Thomas.

"Aquinas liked puzzles relating to being, and I believe that his famous esse/essentia distinction was, in good part, an attempt by him to understand how angels could exist and be numerically distinct despite not having matter (see De substantiis separatis for more on that issue)."

Why? He for his part solved that one by saying the essence of each angel is distinct be a differentia specifica from that of each other angel.

And why would esse and essence NOT be distinct outside God? Are you claiming each of us has from all eternity been a necessity, so that our esse is just an expression of our essence? You would have a hard time arguing that one out, and especially to do so from a long study of nature!

"So for Aquinas, in a sense, the world was to be understood upside-down… you start with metaphysical notions (not concepts, as stated above), and you view the world in light of them. ... Real, existing, changeable creatures have no interest for the metaphysician, who is occupied with greater questions, like the existence of God."

You might want to explain that claim in somewhat simpler terms, like the wooden clearcut terminology of St Thomas. You might want to ask yourself how you would show a child of four, not that you thought so, BUT how you knew this.

"So while Aquinas certainly knew (and knew well) Aristotle’s physics, it didn’t really matter to him, because unlike Aristotle Aquinas had no interest in the material, physical, real world."

This seems to imply a kind of thought reading?

You are very obviously not analysing a single sentence of his in which he claimed or strictly implied that, you are imputing to him a motive which on your view explains what he wrote and what he did not write.

"And ultimately this is why Aquinas’s metaphysics fails:"

You are eager to show you understand WHY his metaphysics fail before taking the trouble to logically show THAT they do so.

"it was a slavish imitation of Aristotle’s,"

Supposing this to be true - it was in fact false, his proofs for God's existence are taken from Aristotle's Physica and he rejects some solutions by the Stagyrite in Metaphysica - but supposing this had been true, this would either imply that St Thomas was successful as Aristotle (on your view?), because Aristotle was so, or that Aristotle failed, like St Thomas did (on your view), even though you did not say one critical word of Aristotle IN THIS PASSAGE ... except of course "ultimately wrong".

I'd like to know why you are more interested (or seem to be so) in "serious and deep" than in ultimately wrong or ultimately right.

I would also know on what grounds you consider that Aristotle's theory of natura was ultimately wrong and what grounds you have for saying St Thomas was also wrong.

Could it so happen that you are simply presuming the metaphysics (as yet not even fixed, since contradictory between one theory and the other) of "modern science" as "ultimately right", and therefore as a good standard to study whether Aristotle and Aquinas are ultimately right, or ultimately wrong, and therefore reducing the interest of reading them to verifying who of them contributed most to the modern "success" (on your view) through their "failures" (on your view)?

That is not an attitude worthy of a philosopher!

"So you can imagine my dismay when, after more than a year of searching the sources of Aquinas’s theory of nature, I discovered that there weren’t actually any. I had to go back to my thesis director and explain the problem, and he said “Oh, you mean that nature, well of course not, Aquinas is interested in nature as a metaphysical transcendental notion”. So I had to leave Aquinas behind, lose a year of my graduate program, and study Aristotle instead."

If you mean that nature, Saint Thomas' theory of it is God created it. See for instance Prima Pars, after discussion of the Holy Trinity. And God keeps it in existence. That is Saint Thomas' theory of nature in the modern sense of the word, precisely as it is any Christian's theory of nature in this sense. As to how he used natura, he used it exactly as Aristotle used physis, and I can't see why you are so much more interested in Aristotle than in Saint Thomas. Unless perhaps you have un as yet unstated bias, but since not wanting to play thought reader, I think I had better ask you about it.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
"Aquinas may have been a genius, but as his biographers point out, he spent his entire life more or less in the clouds,"

I don't know what biographers you are thinking of. Not Chesterton, at least.

Or were you thinking of when he forgot the company he was dining with and remembered the Averroists he was arguing against?

Well, unlike royal courts, monastic table manners don’t depend on taking interest in the company.

"thinking metaphysical and theological things,"

That he spent a lot of time on that - but let's not forget prayer, of which he was not writing autobiographically, but which is very welldocumented from daily routines of Dominicans. That he spent a lot of time on that is actually true. It is also what one would expect from a philosopher.

And chores. And preaching.

"with scant time for real people,"

Oh, both the fellow Dominicans and the people he preached to and heard confessions of are of course fake people ... I'd like to hear you argue that one out metaphysically!

"real things,"

Right. He never enjoyed real beans, unlike Father Mendel.

He never fought against nocturnal pollutions (not even before that episode in which he was promised chastity by the angel), unlike St Francis of Assisi.

He never noted real prayer involves real alpha state, despite using that example to prove that Down's syndromers can pray.

He never .... < /sarcastic mode off >

"real life."

Wait, he never lived a real life < ok, sarcastic mode on again > but he is a fictional character, like Susan and Lucy Pevensie, and yet somehow managed to write such a lot?

If so, like Lemony Snicket, he ought to have a ghost writer.

But in that case, you might want to disclose what the metaphysics of the ghost writer was as opposed to the one attributed to him ....

Or ... < / irony off > were you simply presuming on some modern prejudice about what "real life" and "real people" mean?

[I looked at his profile after asking this.]

Alberto Martín
16h ago
Of course, only empiricists are interested in ‘real beings’, that is, taken as (external) objects to the mind, and not in the harder fathoming of ‘being as being’, which is what interested St. Thomas and is the terrain of metaphysics. You seem to lean to empiricism as your preferred philosophical stance, which is unobjectionable, of course, and what you say about St. Thomas Aquinas is essentially true. He was too much of an Aristotelian (unlike St. Albert the Great, who was a Platonist), which is the key. In the context of St. Thomas’ ides I understand what you say: “changeable creatures have no interest for the metaphysician”, but I am sure you will not hold that view when speaking of metaphysics (non-duality or spirituality) in general.

I believe that the distinction essence- accident, and substance-form are still important in the realm of metaphysics – equivalent to purusha-prakriti of (Indian) Shankya philosophy and consciousness-phenomena or (either external or internal) ‘objects’ of Shankarian Advaita Vedanta – or being-becoming more generally.

Erik Norvelle
8h ago
Thank you for your comment Alberto. Personally I am more Wittgensteinian, and tend to believe that metaphysical discourse is meaningless. However, in this case I tried to avoid any bias and make it clear that the rationalist-empiricist distinction is not truly applicable to the case of medieval philosophers. I just think it is a handy analogy.

Albertus Magnus could not have properly been a Platonist, since the works of Plato himself were unknown to the medieval world, except (I believe) for the Timaeus, which was not extremely influential. However, as with many, many high medieval philosophers up until the coming of Aristotle, he was strongly Neoplatonic, since Neoplatonism had been the predominant philosophy in the Church ever since the patristic years. What is interesting to me is that Albertus did in fact have a great interest in nature… nothing that he says is of particular interest, but he had a certain interest in botany, and tried his hand at optics, perhaps influenced by Ibn Haytham. Neoplatonists, as opposed to Plato himself, had a much greater interest in the natural world because of their doctrine of exitus-reditus (leaving-returning), which meant that the divine/One, in its progress back to itself, is manifested in nature in a more direct way than in classical or medieval Aristotelianism.

I would just note that the distinctions to be drawn in Thomas are usually made as: substance-accident, form-material, essence-existence. If you are ever interested in pursuing the subject more, I suggest Etienne Gilson´s “Being and Some Philosophers”, which is quite enjoyable to read.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
I second the endorsement of Gilson.

I do not second the endorsement of Witty.

While we are at it, here is what came to my blog:

... on Metaphysics of Saint Thomas Aquinas - an answer with my replies (quora)

And as you mentioned Witty, if you know French:

Quand Witty ne l'était pas

I see you updated your answer, but did not detect where you had changed it.

What changes should I take into account?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

.... against "Exodus didn't happen" revisionism


Here is a video which needs answering all over the place:

Exodus Didn't Happen
HumansofTerra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EATSlwYFzTU


And here are my answers:

1:00 If it is a historical archaeological event, it should be very easy to prove, you said?

Most historical events are without archaeological traces. The battle field of Waterloo, like many others, seems to have been during the heighday of industrial capitalism, "progress" been scoured for human and equine bones to use as ... dung on fields, after grinding.

But supposing that had not happened, even more, an intact archaeological site at Waterloo could not possibly tell you which side one. For many corpses, the uniforms would have rotted, so you could not tell which was French and which was German or Russian or English. But even having the side with most dead doesn't mean you are the side with least surviving and fit for fight soldiers, and therefore does not mean you are the side that lost.

Only NARRATIVE can tell you who won at Waterloo.

This event had several parties gaining glory from it, and the one not doing so was also a Christian country admitting defeats, a corps of writers who were writing for people who remembered, and not just for a small élite chosing what it wanted to remember.

So, at Exodus, one side gained glory, other side wanted to forget its shame, was perhaps even overmanned soon after by Hyksos so as to have other issues than recalling it. And of the massive shame of Hyksos era - supposing as I do these were Amalekites, not Israelites, that Joseph was not among Hyksos - we get ... the Ipuwer papyrus. Which also involves hints at what may have happened just before Hyksos came, and hints which get somewhat close, in places to Exodus account of Ten Plagues.

You claim it should be easier than that to make a case? You don't get what historiography is like.

1:30 "400 years of slavery in Egypt"

Actually, it was more like 215 years in Egypt, not all of it as slaves.

2:02 You have not told us what you base it on that Egypt had 7 million inhabitants at the time.

And 25 % of a population - or more - are possible to keep down if the determination is very ruthless. And those facing it very ill organised.

And a large chunk (I felt like haggling over 20 - 25 % but let's not, we don't know from sources comparable to Numbers what Egyptian population was like), a large chunk leaving would imply a loss which would involve a defenselessness against Hyksos, just after.

2:19 Now you are speaking of "Hebrew slaves" as a merchandise, i e as privately owned slaves.

I will give you one more evidence we don't have for that one : we have no Biblical evidence for it either.

The case is that the Egyptian state treated Hebrews as slaves in the end : which would mean as slaves of the state, not of any particular buyer or seller.

2:27 "if you are looking for Hebrews in Egypt, you are not going to find them"

Except some claim we already just recently did that!

File not found [for the link I gave, which functioned yesterday.]
http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a027.html


3:25 Since it was the first born of each family, he would have been buried in the family grave. [No mass grave, as per false inference falsified as fact.]

No people writing of this? You realise that scribes were functionaries of the régime and in general of the élite? Egypt had no free authors.

And, as said, if Hyksos came in just after, the death of the first born would have been dwarfed by ensuing traumatisms.

3:36 A huge media outcry?

But Egypt had no private media, basically. Scribes were not authors in the sense we know them, there was no journalism.

The outcry there was, was oral. Scripta manent, but verba don't, as you know, they volant instead. On the Egyptian side, that is.

3:41 If people were lamenting all over Egypt, first for firstborn, then for army, last for Hyksos, how would we know?

There is exactly one papyrus reflecting lamentation over the Hyksos invasion, the famous Ipuwer one!

We can access more material for one single year, probably, even just for Egypt (if you know Arabic) than we can for the 2000 year (Biblical chronology) or 3000 year (secular chronology) history of Egypt from Narmer to Cleopatra.

4:10 Traces left by beduins 100's of years ago, 1000 of years ago etc. may well have effaced anything of the footprint type trace of Israelites.

4:18 you don't find all that many dead bodies in Sinai, of all that passed through and probably died there.

Perhaps because dry is not enough, you need burial too. To preserve them.

And buried bodies are obviously not too likely to be found over the surface.

4:20 "There would be kitchens"

From a people whose only cookery chore for most of the 40 years was collecting manna for the day Sunday to Thursday, manna for day and day after Friday.

5:26 Egypt occupying Canaan 2000 BC to 1150 BC ... according to their own administrative evaluation.

This would probably partly correspond to the time of Judges - with carbon rising, fewer centuries in real story would look like more in carbon dated chronology. And during Judges period, you do find lots of times that Canaaneans - very possibly as vassals of Egypt - were occupying Israel.

6:50 Ramses III has been considered as identic to Biblical Shishak (time of Solomon or just after).

7:31 Suddenly the account given by one side - Merneptah's bragging - is credible to you in absence of evidence from the other side.

What if Merneptah's bragging was ... bragging?

7:50 Merneptah wiping out Israel might be, kind of, not mentioned in the Bible, because it didn't happen.

Remember, his people had few scribes, a very élite corps, from which expulsion was probably very painful (a bit like some are now trying to make expulsion from academia, or supposed such).

They could be counted on not to contradict the Pharao.

8:01 "as if the tribe of Israel were bandits"

Pagans would probably see Hebrew monotheists as such, especially after them destroying so many idols.

Also, if Egypt was occupying Canaan, an independist movement of any sort could be counted on as being described like that.

Also, some vendettas by Israelites against Canaanean and Philistine (possibly Egyptian vassal) occupiers would include a fairly distinct glamour of banditism.

  • 1) Mernaptah could have described Israelites like that for these reasons;
  • 2) the reading which makes Israelites ONE tribe could be a misreading for bandits being ONE tribe OF Israel - there was a time when the Benjaminites were nearly wiped out (saving 600 men) for a gang rape / murder case. Judges 19-20. Merneptah could have taken glory for Israelites punishing that gang rape.


8:06 Messing with the Egyptian trade routes, so he wiped them out.

He could have bragged about that as a short term solution, while the next long term one could have been a trade agreement.

Also, since Merneptah was an old man when assuming the throne (65 sth) people could have been telling him what he wanted to hear. Hoping to clear things up when he died.

8:33 "The Hebrew we have now is dated back to 700 - 800 BC"

On what exact grounds?

8:39 "Palaeo-Hebrew ... can go back to 1000 BC"

On what exact grounds?

9:36 Erasing history for Moses may be done without erasing whatever name he was known under other than Moses, so without actually hacking.

If for instance Moses was Amenemhat IV (succeeded by his sister .... the daughter of Pharao who had raised him?) that would be Moses prior to hitting the Egyptian overseer.

Moses' entry into Egyptian history 40 years later was intense, but also brief, and followed by such chaos that no monuments would have been there to erase after it anyway.

Other possibility, as Rohl identified a Vizeer of one Amenahmhat as Joseph due to similarity of his name to Zaphnah paaneah. It could have been a name given Moses as he was, like Joseph, a Hebrew.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

... on Nature of Catholic Authority


Why Be Catholic and Not Just Christian?
Ascension Presents
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJCbCs-y1_k


Generally : a very good overview on why the Magisterium is a necessary part of the Church.

Details :

5:16 It seems you get Arians somewhat wrong.

Like Charles Taze Russell, though unlike him in so many other ways, they were also attacking full humanity of Christ, saying that first thing after God, namely "Son of God" as they misinterpret it was instead of a human soul in Christ.

Speaking of VISIBLE Church, who is the visible Pope in your view? Do you call him Benedict, Francis or Michael? Or perhaps Boniface? Or Alexander? Each of above is visibly claiming to be or have been pope or was a few years ago, and for one who claims to have been pope some claim he still is.

You know there was a Council dealing with who was the right Pope, back in 1409? And another one in 1414?

7:40 "It is not without scientific error."

It seems you just narrowed down the possible papacies of your acceptation to either "Francis" or "Benedict".

Do you know how many Church Fathers you just contradicted, in the sentence and in the things you presuppose before saying it?

I guess you know some Latin, here you go:

New blog on the kid : Grammatica et Logica de Canone Celeberrimo Concilii Tridentini
http://nov9blogg9.blogspot.com/2014/07/grammatica-et-logica-de-canone.html


I think a Catholic can first of all rule out "Francis" and "Benedict", due to their open conflict with the session IV of Trent.

If they are not Catholics, as St Robert Bellarmine observed, they can't be Popes. A head is a member. You can't be head of a body you are no member of.

8:13 speaking of "infallible interpreter" what were infallible interpreters back in 813 saying of historical accuracy of Genesis 1-11? Of astronomic accuracy of Joshua 10:12,13?

Or in any century up to magisterium of Pope St Pius X, including his own Biblical commission, answers from 1905 and 1909?

Creation vs. Evolution : When Are Implicit Citations Licit?
[feat. mag. of 1905]
http://creavsevolu.blogspot.com/2017/07/when-are-implicit-citations-licit.html


Creation vs. Evolution : I have been Asked if Kent Hovind didn't have Talmudic Positions?
[feat. mag. of 1909]
http://creavsevolu.blogspot.com/2017/07/i-have-been-asked-if-kent-hovind-didnt.html


I am not claiming to be myself an infallible interpreter. I am just claiming I am not getting the infallible interpreter from back in about a century ago (he died in 1914) wrong.

And in case you were to claim the "magisterium" of "John Paul II" in 1992 and 1996 or more especially of his then "cardinal Ratzinger" in 1994 (or 93?) proves I am getting the magisterium of St Pius X wrong, what is the use of an infallible interpreter if it is infallibly so unclear it has itself to be reinterpreted each time there is a new pope, on each question?

None, and that is why the magisterium of Popes and Councils past still counts, and counts against what you consider as being the Catholic Church.

8:52 It might interest you to know the authority I accept, at least provisionally, Pope Michael, approves of my fidelity ot magisterium past (and through him also present) as approving Young Earth Creationism and Geocentrism.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

... on Knowledge of Hagiographers


Q
How did the writers of the Bible know exactly what happened, even if they weren't there?
https://www.quora.com/How-did-the-writers-of-the-Bible-know-exactly-what-happened-even-if-they-werent-there/answer/Hans-Georg-Lundahl


Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered 1h ago
The usual answer for history (since creation of man) is that he was told by other men, either directly those who were there or via intermediates.

For the one and only piece of prehistory, namely the days of creation before the creation of man, God gave Moses a vision.

Other answer

Alex Pismenny
Catholic Christian.
Answered 12h ago
Depends which writer and also what does “exactly” means.

Moses, we believe, wrote the first five books of the Bible. Genesis speaks of the creation of the world and the human prehistory. In order to write that down he received a vision from God. That, as we now understand, was given in terms Moses could understand; with our knowledge of astrophysics, geology, genetics, and so forth we would consider Moses’ vision quite imprecise. But the Book of Genesis was not intended to be a manual of science. Things that are important for us to understand are such as the relationship between God and His creation, and us men; the nature of sin, the nature of our free will, the role of Satan, — and these things are described in the Book of Genesis with adequate level of precision, adequate for people without modern education to understand.

The other books were more or less historical and legal books that combine Moses’ personal knowledge and memory and other revelations from God.

Many other books in the Old Testament are wisdom literature, predictions of the future, and poetry; those seem to be out of scope of your question.

As Christians, we find nothing strange in Moses, or anyone else to that matter, receiving direct revelation form God. We, after all, have our faith based on the historical evidence that God did want to communicate with us and, in fact, took on a human form to do so.

The New Testament consists of the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Those are written by the evangelists who often were direct witnesses of the teachings, the Passion and the Resurrection of Jesus, or had access to such witnesses. So they could write with sufficient precision about things that were common knowledge among the disciples. So, the evidence of the resurrected Christ, for example, are accounts clearly composed from what multiple people such as the women at the tomb saw, and told the Evangelists about it.

There are some episodes told in the Gospels that require past explanations, and we can assume those were given in due course. For example, when the evangelists describe the content of Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, possible some apostles could overhear Jesus praying aloud, but I think another explanation is that they asked Christ about it following His resurrection.

Remember that Jesus stayed with the disciples for forty days, teaching them what they needed to know in order to continue building the Church. We can assume that factual questions were posed and answered by Jesus.

Remember also that the Evangelists did not have a modern attitude about the written word; oral memory was probably more important to them than writing things down. Minor discrepancies exist in their accounts, e.g. the manner of death of Judas or elements of the Nativity gospels.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
1h ago
"Genesis speaks of the creation of the world and the human prehistory. In order to write that down he received a vision from God."

  • 1) There is no such thing as "human prehistory".
  • 2) The human history, Moses got from human participants i n events, like the detailed account of day six from creation of Adam given in Genesis 2, from Adam.
  • 3) The real prehistory, the one preceding creation of man, Moses did get in a vision. This concerns only Genesis 1.


"That, as we now understand, was given in terms Moses could understand; with our knowledge of astrophysics, geology, genetics, and so forth we would consider Moses’ vision quite imprecise."

Feel free to enumerate one imprecision for each field.

"But the Book of Genesis was not intended to be a manual of science."

Neither to bungle in science.

"Things that are important for us to understand are such as the relationship between God and His creation, and us men; the nature of sin, the nature of our free will, the role of Satan, — and these things are described in the Book of Genesis with adequate level of precision, adequate for people without modern education to understand."

It seems your grasp on contents of Genesis is imprecise, for one. You have basically covered up to chapter 4. There are 50 chapters in Genesis. Chapters 12 to 50 cover four generations, Abraham to Joseph and his brethren. Chapters 2 to 11 all history previous to Abraham and chapter 1 involves prehistory as in history before any human could record it, recorded by God and given in a vision to Moses.

For another, you are failing to grasp a very fundamental aspect of the faith.

It is NOT important for you to undestand that Abraham at age 100 had a second son. It is not important for perhaps 80 % of the faithful of all times, if not 90 or 95. But the things which are important for us to understand were revealed through a historic revelation, and it is very important for us to realise that this historic revelation is entirely reliable. So IF you have read the relevant chapters of Genesis, you HAVE to believe Abraham had a second son at age 100.

And same holds true for each and every aspect of the rest of the book or the 72 other books, especially now thinking of those treating of history, and it applies mutatis mutandis to the rest too.

“Remember that Jesus stayed with the disciples for forty days, teaching them what they needed to know in order to continue building the Church. We can assume that factual questions were posed and answered by Jesus.”

We can therefore also assume that the patristic view of Genesis, the one I gave, as having endorsement of successors of the Apostles through the centuries, is also endorsed by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Minor discrepancies exist in their accounts, e.g. the manner of death of Judas or elements of the Nativity gospels.”

There are no discrepancies here, the accounts given can be combined to coherent accounts. ALSO part of patristics.

“For example, when the evangelists describe the content of Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, possible some apostles could overhear Jesus praying aloud, but I think another explanation is that they asked Christ about it following His resurrection.”

That one, as well as content of the defense speech in Acts, has been answered by C. S. Lewis. The words in Gethsemani are very few compared to what Christ would have been able to say while they were sleeping. St Luke is not taking down the whole speech verbatim, even if he tries so with the beginning, then he resumes.

And John 3 implies that Nicodemus later converted, as tradition says he did.

Alex Pismenny
Aug 22
I was giving a brief overview; thank you for the corrections. Maybe you should post your own answer? I’ll add my thoughts following your criticism later.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Aug 22 · 1 upvote from Alex Pismenny
I already did post an answer, a distinctly shorter one.

I’m looking forward to your thoughts.

Alex Pismenny
11h ago
I clarified and corrected some parts.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
4m ago
I’ll take a look. ...

Inserting
new version
Depends which writer and also what does “exactly” means.

Moses, we believe, wrote the first five books of the Bible. Genesis speaks of the creation of the world and the human history following the creation of man. In order to write creation history down he received a vision from God. That, as we now understand, was given in terms Moses could understand; with our knowledge of astrophysics, geology, genetics, and so forth we would consider Moses’ vision far from how we would describe the Creation today Is it, though, imprecise? The Book of Genesis was not intended to be a manual of science, neither contemporary to Moses nor contemporary to us. Things that are important for us to understand are such as the relationship between God and His creation, and us men; the nature of sin, the nature of our free will, the role of Satan, — and these things are described in the Book of Genesis with adequate level of precision, necessary for people without modern education to understand.

The rest of the Genesis and the other books of the Pentateuch are historical and legal books that combine Moses’ personal knowledge and memory and other revelations from God.

Many other books in the Old Testament are wisdom literature, predictions of the future, and poetry; those seem to be out of scope of your question.

As Christians, we find nothing strange in Moses, or anyone else to that matter, receiving direct revelation form God. We, after all, have our faith based on the historical evidence that God did want to communicate with us and, in fact, took on a human form to do so.

The historical content of the New Testament consists of the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Those are written by the evangelists who often were direct witnesses of the teachings, the Passion and the Resurrection of Jesus, or had access to such witnesses. So they could write with sufficient precision about things that were common knowledge among the disciples. The evidence of the resurrected Christ, for example, are accounts clearly composed from what multiple people such as the women at the tomb saw, and told the Evangelists about it.

There are some episodes told in the Gospels that require past explanations, and we can assume those were given in due course. For example, when the evangelists describe the content of Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, it is possible that some apostles could overhear Jesus praying aloud, but I think another explanation is that they asked Christ about it following His resurrection.

Remember that Jesus stayed with the disciples for forty days, teaching them what they needed to know in order to continue building the Church. St. Luke writes:

for forty days [Christ was] appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3)

Certainly factual questions were posed and answered by Jesus as needed, alongside the theological questions.

Remember also that the Evangelists did not have a modern attitude about the written word; oral memory was probably more important to them than writing things down. Minor apparent discrepancies exist in their accounts, e.g. the manner of death of Judas or some details of the events surrounding the Nativity. But the discrepancies are minor and can be reconciled without much effort; the events of the Nativity was most likely what aging Mother of God told St. Luke. They combine verbatim recitations of the dialogues with the Archangel and with Elizabeth alongside less precise memories of the census and the flight to Egypt; the latter was retained with less precision because compared to the encounter of the Annunciation and the exalted moment of the visitation with Elizabeth had displaced, naturally, the practical worries that were on the shoulders of St. Joseph.

I elaborated some parts following constructive criticism offered by Hans-Georg Lundahl, for which see the Comments section.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
4m ago
... Did.

You have certainly improved overview of contents of Genesis (Genesis speaks of the creation of the world and the human history following the creation of man), but some things I objected to still stand:

“ In order to write creation history down he received a vision from God. That, as we now understand, was given in terms Moses could understand; with our knowledge of astrophysics, geology, genetics, and so forth we would consider Moses’ vision far from how we would describe the Creation today Is it, though, imprecise? The Book of Genesis was not intended to be a manual of science, neither contemporary to Moses nor contemporary to us.”

You seem still to imply there are parts of it which cannot stand scrutiny as compared to more modern knowledge of astrophysics, geology, genetics, and so forth - I’d like to know what.

... on Negations with N


Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Why Creationists should Not Believe IE Single Protolanguage · Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... on Negations with N

Q
Why do the words for "no" in so many European languages start with an "n " sound?
https://www.quora.com/Why-do-the-words-for-no-in-so-many-European-languages-start-with-an-n-sound/answer/Hans-Georg-Lundahl


A Rq
Answer requested by Ray Du

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I speak two langs, Latin and Germanic. In a few dialects.
Answered just now
There are two options.

  • Ne- is a prefix or adverb of negation in a Proto-Indo-European language, which all languages of the family descend from, and Greek somehow lost it.
  • Ne- is a prefix or adverb of negation which spread from one language family of those called Indo-European to another, but did not spread to Greek.


It is:

  • found in lots of Latin compounds of negation, including but not limited to “non”, originally probably “ne-oenum”=not one;
  • found in lots of Germanic compounds of negation, including German “nicht” and English “naught, not”;
  • found in at least one of the negation markers in Gaelic, both Irish and Scots Gaelic;
  • found in Slavonic and from Baltic at least Lithuanian (sunus yra zmonas, sunus nera moteris = the son is a man, the son is not a woman).


It is:

  • not found in Classic Greek, where the negations are ou(k) and me, though one could argue that a privativum could descend from same word, sounds like “a-” before consonsants and like “an-” before vowels (Modern Greek den is from compounds ouden and meden, and the last -n is found in many adverbs);
  • not found in Scandinavian negations like ikke, ej, perhaps not intet either (but found in “nej”, which could however be borrowed from German “nein” = “no”)
  • not found in all particles of Gaelic and of Cymric negations, though I am not sure about Gaelic.

Monday, August 21, 2017

... on my Conversion from Evolutionism


Q
What made former evolutionists doubt the theory of evolution? What made former creationists doubt the theory of creation?
https://www.quora.com/What-made-former-evolutionists-doubt-the-theory-of-evolution-What-made-former-creationists-doubt-the-theory-of-creation/answer/Hans-Georg-Lundahl


Hans-Georg Lundahl
Blog : "http://creavsevolu.blogspot.com". Debating evolutionists for 15 years +.
Answered Apr 15
I was an evolutionist twice over and am now a full fledged young earth creationist for the second time.

First time, I had become a Christian and learned that the Bible was the word of God and found things in the Bible that clearly didn’t match up with what I had learned to believe earlier in childhood as an evolutionist.

I gave up trying to reconcile both at about age ten, at which time I had also found some serious difficulties in evolution as such:

  • origin of DNA information
  • origin of mind and of language.


When I became a Catholic, I was very admiring of Jesuits, still am, and was even for some time a bit fond of Teilhard de Chardin. I was willing to give up my strong stance against evolution, which had been socially costly in my teens, and started taking in things like considering Cro-Magnon and Neanderthals as pre-Adamites.

About 12 years later, I read St Augustine’s City of God and cease that compromising, which had been already weakened while I was reading St Thomas Aquinas in a situation involving much solitude.

As to theoretical part, I’d say that the definite clinch was its inability (it is still unable) to explain human language, but there is also this external part of it conflicting with Christianity, not just with Bible but also with Church Fathers and Scholastics.

Andy Heilveil
16h ago
All evolution has to do to explain human language is demonstrate that it is beneficial to reproduction.

I step back a bit from neurophysiological understandings of how language is produced in the brain (which by itself is actual proof of the biological foundation of language) and look at how it is used in human society.

Language is used to:
  • ) coordinate hunting efforts
  • ) coordinate other group efforts which are beneficial to the members.
  • ) influence the behaviors of others
  • ) demonstrate dominance
  • ) entice mates


All of the above have measurable effect on the likelihood and frequency of reproduction and hence are positively selected for by evolution.

Gorillas can learn sign language, hence language per se is not limited to humans.

What more do you need to see that human language is adequately explained by evolution?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
11m ago
“All evolution has to do to explain human language is demonstrate that it is beneficial to reproduction.”

No.

The thing is, this explains why language would survive and spread if it could be produced.

But genetic changes have no chance of explaining how it could be produced in the first place.

The rest of your answer is just elaboration on what I am anyway admitting.

“Gorillas can learn sign language, hence language per se is not limited to humans.”

Sorry, I missed this.

Gorillas or chimps have been learned basically noun series. Some verbs too.

But they cannot be taught to use a noun as subject and a verb as predicate. And especially not to negate predicate, put predicate into past tense etc.

Language is really limited to humans, as far as biology is concerned.

I just looked up your credentials a bit. You are not likely to know exactly what language means, even.

Monday, August 14, 2017

... on Varied Retelling of Myths (starring Jackson Crawford)


Canon, "Fanon," and Variation in Norse Myth
Jackson Crawford
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaiYutKXSyc


General sounding on general presentation:

Would you agree the present account of Rabenschlacht at least contains an element of fan fic in making Ermanerik and Theoderik meet?

Or could one of the two be homonyme, or other sources be wrong to separate them a century?

Anyway, that is the kind of variations I think tradition going wild is likely to submit accounts to. Rabenschlacht does not make Theoderik a great scholar (hint : Boethius is very distinct from Theoderik, even if contemporary). It does not make Ermanerik a saint able to raise the dead.

And you would agree historical Ermanerik and Theoderik were also warriors, as presented in Rabenschlacht?

[No answer, so far.]

Jackson Crawford makes a parallel with Christian denominations, my responses:

4:02 "most denominations" = Protestants, who are not most Christians.

4:27 beliefs : Protestant views of Sacraments and Modernist views of exegesis are off-limit.

4:38 Old Believers in Russia and Armenians are basically Catholics in sacrament theology.

In Real Presence, Armenians denying it are "odd man out", but therein also unfaithful to their own past : formerly one monk of theirs condemned the Thondrakian heresy due to among other things them denying it.

On other issues, Thondrakians were a bit more Catholic, since not considering certain sacramentals necessary.

Most issues, however, Thondrakians give an impression of in between Albigensian and Protestant.

[Sorry, Tondrakians, I think?]

4:53 Position of Hail Mary and exact wording varies between Catholics in Poland and Old Believers, but both have such - unlike most Protestant denominations. Both reflect the position All Generations shall call Her blessed, she was raised body and soul to Heaven and intercedes for us along with Her Son.

I think similar observations could be made about even Armenians and Nestorians, though the latter would obviously not have the added prayer "Holy Mary, Mother of God ..." (still a separate one among Orthodox, optionally useful as such for RC too) or the Orthodox rephrasing Theotoke Parthene Khaire. On Her, they would be the odd man out - but less so than Protestants.

5:15 "most Christians" or "most Evangelical Christians" think of both Heaven and Hell as both permanent and direct destinations?

No Catholics think of Heaven as automatically direct, they would consider those who go directly there without passing through Purgatory are fewer and better than the rest. Of the saved.

Variations in "Hell as permanent" would be confusions between Hell and Purgatory (both being unpleasant places in Sheol/Hades).

However, some Orthodox prefer thinking of soulsleep, and also ironically accuse John XXII for having been momentarily heretic - for agreeing with their theory on soul sleep. Giving real presence of sould and body in Heaven or Hell a postponement up to Doomsday.

Nevertheless, they also pray for the dead, probably because a prayer for someone not yet known to be saved or damned by us, can be taken into account by God who sees all time from an aeternal present.

Hence, that difference makes little practical difference, compared to Protestants saying "you don't need a lot of monks praying when you are dead".

5:39 Since last sentence in Creed is "et in carnis resurrectionem", it is de fide certain Heaven and Hell are local, not just states, and will contain risen bodies as well as our spirits.

Back to concept of myth:

6:15 "myth" is a very ambiguous word.

Its basic Greek meaning is "narrative" or "storyline".

The myth of Persai by Aischylos is not just historic, but undisputedly so, it is just in fleshing out that he had poetic liberty.

As a Christian I cannot give same truth value to a myth of Uranus and Gaea or Muspelheim and Niflheim being separated by Ginnungagap as to myth of Ulysses returning or of Sigurd getting killed by a brother-in-law or by a vassal of the royal b-i-l. The latter seem fairly likely.

And as to there being variations, that is minor distortions of original story, true or false. Diversity of fleshing out or forgetting part and replacing with fleshing out.

Obviously, I equally am not giving equal truth value to Odin, Vile and Vé killing Ymer and creating Earth as to Odin and a few others (probably Thor, certainly Njord and Frey) appearing in Uppsala region and founding a dynasty.

Example of extreme variation, supposed demotion of Zeus to Tyr:

7:20 Tyr = Zeus, a possible linguistic cognate, but could be mistaken, and name could refer to diverse real life persons (a king banishing his father from Crete to Italy, a man accompanying Odin to Uppsala) even if same name.

Does not prove a major variation over time in myth.

Codex Regius vs Edda = var over time (possibly), but either vs PIE myth depends on reconstruction of there being one.

Pre-Odinist religion best attested is Nerthus worship - no trace of IE connection, that I know, and Njord may back then have been her priestess.

NB, if the commonly accepted etymology is right, Tyr, or Tiwas, is Lith. Dievas.

What if instead it was a loan from Lith. Tewas (father)?

[Jackson Crawford later agrees we have no fool proof argument Tyr actually was previously Zeus.]

Friday, August 11, 2017

... on Neanderthals


Who were the first Europeans?
Survive the Jive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqJ_eE6t0S8


[Where he talks about occipital bun, in Swedish equivalent to "genius bump", and two more:]

Ah, genie-knölen .... an argument for Japheth's wife having Neanderthal roots, right?

(If she was Sethite / Cro-Magnon mother and Neanderthal father, she transmitted neither Neanrthal mitichondrial DNA, since her mother wasn't Neanderthal, nor Neanderthal Y chromosome, since women can't transmit anything except X chromosomes on that pair - and both are extinct).

That leaves last pure Neanderthals = last pre-Flood Europeans. Or carbon date for Noah's Flood = "40 000 BP" (non extant date and implies lower carbon 14 content).

By the way - Neanderthals left no cave paintings to us.

Could Flood have dissolved colours from the walls, so any cave painting is post-Flood, if preserved?

Lived side by side with "Homo sapiens" (after that wise man Noah who went aboard an Ark right?) ... well, Sethites may not have been majority population in Europe by any means, but there were no natural barriers to them coming and visit here, and leaving traces (including those mix race brothers in a cave in Roumania).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

... on Bugs in Paris


The weekend, I was obliged to fear my account had been disconnected while trying to access it on the Georges Pompidou Library. Today that was fixed. I am now in a Paris Municipal library (of which Georges Pompidou is not part) and was trying to access a few videos.

Here is what happened on the last of these:

Une erreur s’est produite. Veuillez réessayer ultérieurement. (ID de lecture : kP2hvvFaYY8yv5zZ)

En savoir plus


This was on:

History Summarized: Africa
Overly Sarcastic Productions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk3iOqKOD7g


Similar things had just happened on:

History Summarized: Iroquois
Overly Sarcastic Productions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTG45DSSgdE


NEVER COMPLIMENT A FEMINIST
Barbara4u2c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6OlPLF9pOk


Non-Binary LAWYER Says It's ILLEGAL to Misgender Her
Theryn Meyer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFrrbU37-34


History Summarized: Africa
Overly Sarcastic Productions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk3iOqKOD7g


Oops, already mentioned last one!

By similar things, I mean that the "ID de lecture" was different.

Who thinks this is just a coincidence? Who thinks someone in Paris (e g a security agent or shrink or sth) is up to sth against my liberties as internaut?

If it were (by any remote chance) a kind of shrink, he or she could be the kind of leftwinger who would describe "Overly Sarcastic Productions" (one of my fav channels) as a rightwing extremist or deep South fundie youtube channel. If I verbally agreed, that would be an overly sarcastic statement!

Or perhaps one who thinks (it could be a Muslim in the administration, medical or police or military - but also a leftwinger) that Barbara4u2c is an example of extreme islamophobia. She was just stating on the video* such people may have attacked, that she was against the concept of islamophobia - while she was not considering all Muslims are jerks (she is not retarded).

Or it could be someone concerned with my having a chance to complete listening of second half of a debate between Kent Hovind (known Young Earth Creationist) and Bill Ludlow**, and comment on what I hear? Well, that would be a direct attack on my freedom of communication, wouldn't it?

But you might perhaps think it likelier it just so happens that twice in a row in very few days two kinds of library, two libraries in both of which I am known and known as a blogger, I get trouble connecting to the account or a function of it.

I'd love to hear what you believe about this ... readers, this is for you! Awaiting your comments, eagerly!

Sincerely,
Hans Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard Library
St. Severus of Vienne***
8.VIII.2017***

Update, next day, Wednesday 9.VIII or Vigil of St Laurence, bug about youtube, as noted yesterday by me and above to you, is now fixed./HGL

* "Islamophobia" is a non-word!
Barbara4u2c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Rxcf8scwSM


She is also daughter of a Slovenian military, so it hardly makes sense taking her for a fanatic, militaries don't tend to get educated or educate their own in that way, in the West, as to what usually constitutes "fanaticism". For instance, she would hardly take Zlatan's Bosniak father as an Islamist menace (I'm not sure I would agree by now!)/HGL

** Kent Hovind debates Bill Ludlow: Is there evidence for human evolution. (BEST DEBATE TO DATE)
Steve McRae
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tul_F9sY-Rk


*** This morning I thought it was "9/8/2017" because someone had written so before me when checking my snail mail on Salvation Army, but I knew it was Tuesday and could grasp that the "08/08/2017" before computer I'm writing on is more logical, since Sunday was Transfiguration, August 6. Full details for the saint, in Latin:

Viennae, in Gallia, sancti Severi, Presbyteri et Confessoris; qui ex India, Evangelii praedicandi causa, laboriosam peregrinationem suscepit, et, cum ad praefatam urbem devenisset, ingentem Paganorum multitudinem verbo et miraculis ad Christi fidem convertit.