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Everything posted by chilehed

  1. Science didn’t advance at a faster rate than it did, therefore the Church must have been standing in the way? What kind of absurd nonsense is that? It’s absolute lunacy, as crazy as saying that Roger Bacon must have been a major force against scientific progress, on the grounds that he didn’t correctly calculate the speed of light. Bartoli got in the way because he didn’t find out that Algol is a binary star. Mendel impeded progress because he didn’t isolate DNA. Zantedeschi held us back because he didn’t invent 3-phase electrical circuits. You claim that “It was the Church that limited medical research, autopsies, and other investigations into matters considered settled and closely connected to the soul and salvation and sin.” This is an absolute fantasy, utterly without historical merit. But even so, your complaint is entirely based on the fact that a limit exists, regardless of the reason for such a limit; for if you had wondered about the reason, you would have tried to discover what it was, and in so doing would have found out that the whole thing was a pernicious lie. Ethics places wise limits on research, but because you’ve made it clear that you object to limits on research regardless of the reasons, it’s clear that you object to ethical limits as well. I’m not making unfounded guesswork about what you believe, I’m paying careful attention to what you’re saying, taking it at face value and following it to its logical conclusion. This is amazing. You admit that you don’t have an adequate grasp of the historical facts, and yet you refuse to read an article because, without any good cause, you think it won’t give an honest account. This while simultaneously referencing an article that you claim supports your position, when in fact it undermines it. This narrative you guys have been fed is a fantasy born from fragments of history, fabricated events, ignorance of theology, poor definitions of terms, false premises, flawed reasoning and conjecture about the motives of others. And yet when I make the observation that Galileo was an asshole for publicly and viciously ridiculing his friends and supporters who (correctly, as it turns out) insisted that he hadn’t adequately proven his claims, I’m given a hard time as if I’m the one who’s ignoring the facts. That’s rank hypocrisy. The topic is about the difficulty in integrating religious dogma and science. Hey, I’m right here, a religious guy, yet you don’t bother asking me how it is that I don’t see something that you think is obvious, nor do you spend time thinking about my responses with the assumption that I’m halfway intelligent and acting in good faith. Instead, you see fit to lecture me on your ideas about what my religious beliefs are, and beat me up about them… does it never enter your mind that perhaps you don’t really know what you’re talking about? If you already know the answer to the question, why ask it? You reject all correction out of hand. When called out on a fabrication, you immediately jump to the next one. You deafen yourself to anything that doesn’t support what you are already convinced of. You refuse to critically examine your premises. That’s nothing less than a refusal to educate yourself, period. I didn’t misrepresent you at all. You yourselves are demonstrating what happens when facts conflict with dogma. It's a pitiful sight, and even more pitiable in that you honestly believe that you're thinking rationally.
  2. BTW, in addition to the ethical implications of your statement, this bit is a piece of fantasy even more egregious than your take on Galileo. There's not a single scrap of historical evidence for it, and in fact nearly all of the work on anatomy was conducted at Church-sponsored universities between the 14th and 16th Centuries.
  3. You seem to believe that there should be no ethical limits to research, or that the existance of such limits constiutes a rejection of science. If that's true, then you've abandoned your humanity so far that we have no common ground on which to discuss anything at all. It was a universal belief found in all cultures, because it's what is most readily observable to everyone. It had nothing to do with Catholic doctrine. I guess that's why he was given great honor in Rome when he presesented his findings. It must also explain why the Church put telescopes in its numerous observatories. Your knowledge of the actual history of the case is severely lacking. Exactly. Politics is not doctrine. Galileo's problems came about, in large part, because he was an asshole. What is plain is that the authors of the texts weren't trying to say anything about the geometry of the universe. The panel was wrong, and such panels by definition have no ability to establish dogmas. You might want to read the section about Bellarmine's view, he was pretty clear that heliocentrism is not heretical at all. And in fact, like Nicolaus Copernicus before him, the strongest opposition to Galileo's scientific conclusions came from Protestants. He was initially very well received in Rome. She died because hospital staff failed to promptly recognize her septicaemia, and failed to monitor her condition. With that kind of care she would have died even if she wasn't pregnant, no matter what country she was in. Catholic moral theology most certainly allows for medical interventions that have, as a forseeable undesired secondary effect, the unintended death of the unborn child. If she had a septic uterous such that it was necessary to remove it to save her life, then Catholic teaching is that it would be permissible to do so even though the baby would have died as an unintended result. From what I know it's apparent that if Catholic teaching had anything to do with this case at all, it was ignorance of it and not adherence to it. The problem is caused by your insistence on thinking that the Bible means things that it does not, and by a severe lack of understanding of both Catholic theology and actual history. This fantasy that the Catholic Church was a force standing in the way of scientific progress is laughable. The only excuse for believing it is ignorance. I notice that no one seems interested in dealing with this. So much for objectivity.
  4. Can be, not must be. There’s no necessary conflict between the belief that the ultimate cause of suffering is the loss of an original union with God, and the idea that there are mediate physical causes that can be understood and alleviated. In fact, both ideas are products of Catholic thought, as your example of the European response to the plague demonstrates: pray for deliverance, and do what you can to try to purge foul vapors. The first addresses spiritual causes, the second physical; the fact that they didn’t correctly understand the physical causes is irrelevant to the point. Many people believe that only what which can be measured is real; that all causes are observable; that if the scientific method identifies a physical cause then there is no other cause; that if it cannot identify a cause then no cause exists; that the scientific method is adequate to show all real causes. These ideas are widely taken as scientific dogmas, but in reality they are presuppositions that are not supportable by the scientific method and that are self-contradictory. It’s no less difficult to rid oneself of such erroneous scientific dogmas, than it is to do so with religious ones. The Galileo affair had more to do with politics than it did with doctrine; in fact, geocentrism has never been a Catholic doctrine. The death of Savita Halappanavar had even less to do with doctrine than did the Galileo affair.
  5. The answer is obvious. Again, I don't have that problem.
  6. Only if the religious and scientific dogmas contradict each other. I'm Catholic, so I don't have that problem.
  7. Dawkins insists on the unreasonable assumption that science is the extent of reason. He needs to include a bit about himself in the documentary.
  8. Therefore it can't be that the definition of faith is "believing against all reason and evidence". In fact, "to believe against all reason and evidence" is the definition of credulity. Being faithful to one's spouse involves a decision (an act of the will) to enter into, and remain in, a union that binds (adheres) us to the other. We make the decision not because we have absolute scientific proof that the other will reciprocate, but because we our experience leads us to trust that it will be so (the other is known). It's the establishment of a relationship, a leap beyond science and not a leap beyond reason. It was only during the enDarkenment that people became so foolish as to think that science is the extent of reason. There were a lot of things Luther had wrong. The idea that faith tramples reason underfoot is one of them.
  9. You don't really think that that's what I said, do you? More sloppy thinking. What I'm pointing out is that if your definition of faith were correct, then phrases such as "being faithful to one's spouse" would be meaningless. Such phrases are not meaningless, therefore your definition is flawed.
  10. Some of those are abysmally sloppy (e.g, Dawkins, Franklin, Luther, Russel, Twain). Others may be compatible with the historical definition (e.g, Kierkegaard, Pascal, Voltaire). The so-called enlightenment, which so far abandoned reason that it insists that only that which can be heard, smelt or touched is real. It was really the enDarkenment. Wikipedia? Really? That's funny. Try Faith and Reason, by Pope John Paul II.
  11. I know a number of people who believe in evolution, who think that it means that man came from chimpanzees. Surely you'd attack that as an egregiously sloppy, distorted statement about the nature of evolution; why then do you choose to rely on equally sloppy thinking about the nature of faith? A key element of your original definitinon was belief in something in the absence of evidence, or in the face of evidence to the contrary. The definition you propose here conspicuously lacks that element, and in fact is compatible with the actual, historical definition. I have a secure, steadfast belief in God and acceptance of his will precisely because I know him, just as I have a secure, steadfast belief in my wife and an acceptance of hers because I know her. That's what "being faithful" means, and it requires knowing the other. Do you really believe that if you don't understand something, it therefore must be meaningless? That's pretty arrogant. In any case, it's not a complicated definition and the words are simple. I have no doubt that that's what you're sure of, but in fact this is the definition that the Catholic Church has always had, is the one demonstrated repeatedly in the Bible, and is how it and its cognates have been actually used in English since the language developed.
  12. Seriously. But that's off-topic.
  13. Already have in this forum, on numerous occasions. The historical definition of faith, which goes back at least 3500 years and is how the word and its cognates are actually used in English, is "an act of the will by which one adheres to another who is known". Phi's working from a misdefinition that arose during the so-called Enlightenment.
  14. You've badly misdefined what faith is.
  15. I think I explained that pretty well: it was a very different culture from ours. Their literary conventions, methods of classifying animals, ideas about the significance of numbers, and colloquial phrases were significantly unlike ours, and it's a mistake to not take that into account. E'elk ol-arbo literally means something like "the one going on four" but it wasn't intended to be taken with a wooden literalism, in the same way that "I ran all over town on a wild goose chase" isn't intended to mean "I went quickly by moving my legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step both of my feet were off the ground, and in doing so I passed within three feet of every point within the legal boundaries of the city, in an attempt to catch a waterfowl of the family anatidae." The passage wasn't intended to teach the exact number of legs various creatures have, it was intended to discuss which ones were permissible to eat. There's absolutely no confusion at all about the actual topic of the passage, and it wasn't until very recently that anyone started making obtuse claims that the passage means that locusts have four legs. And in fact, you agree in principle with the idea that, depending on context, it's not necessarily important to be scientifically precise. The problem seems to be that you don't like their cultural application of the principle, but (and please forgive the blunt way I say this) who the heck are you?
  16. This seems like a really silly gnat over which to strain. It's colloquial language, like calling them "creepy crawlies". Every speaker of modern English knows that locusts can properly be called creepy-crawlies even though they really don't either creep or crawl: they walk very well, and they move pretty quickly for their size. If you referred to locusts as creepy crawlies and someone called everything else you said into question on those grounds, you'd righty look on him as a pedantic idiot. But that's exactly what you're doing here. Every speaker of ancient Hebrew knew that locusts were one of e'elk ol-arbo, and it's silly to think that you can come along 3000 years later and say that they didn't know what they were talking about merely because you have linguistic preconceptions that are alien to theirs.
  17. I don't suppose it ever occured to you that that "the birds" is a poor translation of the Hebrew word e·ouph, or that although a bat certainly isn't a bird it might very well be an ouph. Which it is.
  18. Hysteresis is a characteristic of industrial devices, and in fact all devices used in industry exhibit it to some degree.
  19. You might be interested in studying what St. Thomas Acquinas had to say about the nature of God in the Summa Contra Gentiles.
  20. Omnipotence, omnibenevolence and omiscience are neither absurd, contradictory or self-refuting; the Epicurien argument against the existence of God (which is what the OP's argument is a variant of) is logically unsound - as I already pointed out. You're arguing in circles, repeating claims that have already been rebutted.
  21. *sigh* What I had quoted was ACG52's claim that "The absurd notion is that there is an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omiscient being running the universe. The universe doesn't need one to run", which in the context of this thread means "there is no god because it's absurd that a god would exist". It begs the question.
  22. The question is "is there a god". To answer "no, because it's absurd that a god would exist" is to beg the question, and is thus an irrational response. Furthermore, in order to render a question meaningless the response must examine the definitions of terms; your response does not do so, and therefore can't rationally be held to render meaningless any question at all. And your reply was unresponsive in that it completely ignored my discussion of the false premises of the OPs argument. This isn't really consistent with legitimate Christian thought, but it would derail the thread to discuss it in any depth.
  23. Begs the question, and is unresponsive besides.
  24. Premise 1 is false on at least two counts. First, it assumes that God didn't, in the beginning, make humans' experience of the universe better than it is now. Second, it would redefine humans as something that isn't human... it's analogous to the nonsensical "could make a triangle with four sides" argument. Premise 2 is false in the same way as second error noted above. The entire argument is based in the absurd notion that you would necessarily understand how an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient being would run the universe.
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