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Everything posted by chilehed

  1. I'm saying that1. The definiiton of "soul" is "the substantial form of living bodies", or alternatively "the life principle of living beings". 2. Living bodies exist. 3. Therefore, souls exist. That's not a circular argument. I was indicating my agreement with your assertion that many Christians say that only humans have souls. But that's not a universal opinion among Christians. It doesn't mention that God breathed souls into the animals and plants. It wasn't written in English. In the original Hebrew "a living soul" is hay-yim hay-yah, which actually means "a living living". This supports my position that soul means "life principle". That it doesn't speak of animals and plants being living beings doesn't help your position. The intent of the story is to discuss the nature of human beings and their relationship with God; the nature of plants and animals isn't relevant and in any case there's no need to explain that they're alive because it's obvious. What's not obvious is the distinction between the life principle of plants and animals versus that of humans. They are living, we are living-living. We have a rational soul which will exist for eternity, they have an irrational soul which will not. That's part of the point of the story: there's an ontological difference between them and us.
  2. In a size that would move a car, they're REALLY inefficient. There are serious materials issues because the heat flux has to pass through the metal of the engine to get to the working fluid, which limits the working temperature and thus thermal efficiency. They have a low specific output, they take a long time to get started, and are extremely slow to respond to changes in power demand. There's a real difficulty with sealing the working fluid within the engine. The best efficiency is with helium, but it leaks out over time so you need a bottle of the stuff hooked into the system, which is expensive. You could use air 'cause it's free, but it's less efficient and there's an explosion hazard due to the combination of high temperature, oxygen and lubricating oil. It's got steampunk appeal, but it's not really a terribly practical engine. If it were then we'd be using it.
  3. I'm using the definition based on the origin of the word in Greek philosophy, and taken up by St. Thomas Acquinas. That's what the definition is. St. Thomas would disagree. There are Christians who would agree with you. That doesn't mean they know what they're talking about.
  4. Humans are alive, therefore by definition they have souls. The word soul indicates the life force, so in fact every living thing has a soul. A body with no soul is not alive... a rock, for example.
  5. There's a fallacy of definition in the question. By definition, God is "that being which is uncreated".
  6. On an online forum? Are you KIDDING me?? If you have to ask then you have no business trying. You'll be very likely to kill people other than yourself.
  7. No, it does not. What is says is that every real thermodynamic process results in a change in entropy greater than or equal to zero. There are more microstates available to the system after the process than before.
  8. In Judeo/Christian theology, God's divine nature completely transcends time and space. He isn't made of atoms at all.
  9. Pope John Paul II gave a five-year series of homilies on this topic. It's referred to as the Theolgy of the Body. Fr. John Riccardo gives a good summary of it here: http://frjohnriccardo.libsyn.com/category/Theology%20of%20the%20Body There are two series of talks, one from 2008 and another from 2010. I highly recommend them.
  10. That objection begs the question. It assumes that Christianity is false. Priests are fully aware of the discipline before they take vows, and there's a long period of discerment. The gift of celibacy is just that: a gift, and one who is called to the priestly vocation is given the grace to live out that gift if he accepts it. The priests that I know all say that they don't have the kind of difficulty that many people expect them to have. In fact, the rates among Catholic priests are lower than the population as a whole. One of the things I find interesting is that no one who blames that scandal on celibacy will admit that they would bugger little boys if they didn't get laid for period of time X. (Setting aside the fact that the scandal for the most part involved pederasty, not pedophilia). Actually, in the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church it's common for married men to be ordained to the priesthood. In the Latin rite there are a few married men, converted ministers from other faiths, who are ordained to the Catholic priesthood. This, however, is not common. Finally, in neither the Latin rite nor the Eastern rites do priests (or deacons) marry after they have been ordained, except in extraordinary circumstances. The reasons Latin rite priests can’t marry is both theological and canonical. Theologically, it may be pointed out that priests serve in the place of Christ and therefore, their ministry specially configures them to Christ. As is clear from Scripture, Christ was not married (except in a mystical sense, to the Church). By remaining celibate and devoting themselves to the service of the Church, priests more closely model, configure themselves to, and consecrate themselves to Christ. As Christ himself makes clear, none of us will be married in heaven (Mt 22:23–30). By remaining unmarried in this life, priests are more closely configured to the final, eschatological state that will be all of ours. Paul makes it very clear that remaining single allows one’s attention to be undivided in serving the Lord (1 Cor 7:32–35). He recommends celibacy to all (1 Cor 7:7) but especially to ministers, who as soldiers of Christ he urges to abstain from "civilian affairs" (2 Tm 2:3–4). There's a huge popular mythology surrounding the Galileo affair. In truth, many Catholic priests were involved in scientific research before, during and after Galileo. The Church has long been a great friend of science, and in fact modern science grew up out of the Christian insistence that a rational God created a rational universe and that we can learn truths about God by studying what he created. But this is off-topic.
  11. If by "anti-semitism" you mean wanting to get rid of them, and if by "in churches" you mean a widespread attitude among the members of the community, then no, I've never seen it. I'm Catholic, but at various times in my life I've been extensively exposed to Methodist, Southern Baptist, and Presbyterian communities (either as a member of a church or attending private school), I've been on the periphery of a number of Pentacostal communities, and I've listened to many thousands of hours of Christian radio in a number of states. The almost universal opinion is that the Jews are the apple of Gods eye, and that we should be best friends with the State of Israel; exceptions to this are extremely rare, and anything that smells of the Klan is harshly condemned as gravely incompatible with legitimate Christian thought. Unfortunately, I think the answer to those questions is plain to see.
  12. I guess you aren't aware that the wy we tell history isn't the same as the way the ancients did. Literary forms and all. But we really are quite off the topic of the thread. From here on I'll respond further on the thread topic.
  13. Why? The language and literary forms used in the texts in question do not demand a conclusion that the earth is some specific age, much less that it's only 6000 years old. I've never understood how people can be so irrational as to completely ignore the importance of the literary forms used at the time the texts were written, so that they misunderstand the texts, and then complain that the conclusions they arrive at don't make sense so the texts must be wrong.
  14. My point is that a ruthlessly disciplined approach to Catholicism would obviate the need to do that. I refer again to Cardinal Bellarmine. Catholic thought includes the idea that one can understand something of the nature of God by studying his creation. That's one of the reasons the modern scientific era was born in Christendom, and why so many of the great names in the history of modern science were Catholic priests. Contrary to popular opinion, the Church is and always has been a great supporter of the sciences. Your characterization of the dynamic here is flawed, but a discussion of the relevant Canon Law would take us even farther afield. That doesn't mean that his position is consistent with Catholic thought, what it means is that the people he's encountered are insufficiently catechised in that particular subject. Yes, it happens even to priests. Neither would your music teacher. I don't suppose you'd find fault with that. Now perhaps we can get back on topic. What science has proven is that the natural way a woman get pregnant requires that she cease to be a virgin. But science is not capable of proving that virgins absolutely cannot get pregnant under any circumstances, because that conclusion would first require science to proove that there is no God, which it cannot do. The objection to miracles is "science proves that miracles can't happen, therefore any evidence that one happened must have some other explanation". But there is no valid reason to believe the premise. You say that as if our understanding of the workings of the physical world doesn't change as science undergoes development. Part of the difficulty in these kinds of conversations arises out of the compartmentalization of physical sciences apart from the other branches of Philosophy, which was a result of the so-called Enlightenment period. It would be more accurate to call it the Endarkenment.
  15. Your post is so filled with erroneous ideas about Christian theology that it can't really be addressed in a forum such as this.
  16. Granted. This is where I think the discussion's gone off the rails. The premise is specifically about the age of the world, and the texts are HIGHLY ambiguous on that point. The Church has not made (and will not make) any dogmatic assertions about it, therefore Catholics are free to take whatever position they care to. But if the evidence points to an old earth and the friend thinks the bible means a young earth, I think he needs to take Bellarmine's counsel. Of course. But one needs to remember that this doesn't mean that the two disciplines must overtly agree; that would be like insisting that the reading of a thermometer must agree with the reading of a pressure gage. The test is not agreement, but rather lack of disagreement. With qualifications, I can agree with that. Back on topic? I've been hoping that someone would respond to my ost of 6 September 2011 - 06:00 PM
  17. ..."While Catholics believe the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it is true, one cannot take individual biblical quotes or passages and say each one is literally true, Pope Benedict XVI said. It is possible to perceive the Sacred Scriptures as the word of God only by looking at the Bible as a whole, a totality in which the individual elements enlighten each other and open the way to understanding, the Pope wrote in a message to the Pontifical Biblical Commission. In his message, the Pope said clearer explanations about the Catholic position on the divine inspiration and truth of the Bible were important because some people seem to treat the Scriptures simply as literature while others believe that each line was dictated by the Holy Spirit and is literally true. Neither posit on is Catholic, the Pope said. An interpretation of the sacred writings that disregards or forgets their inspiration does not take into account their most important and precious characteristic, that they come from God, he said. The Catholic position is that the Holy Spirit inspired the biblical writers so that human words express the word of God, he said. Through his word God wants to communicate to us the whole truth about himself and his plan of salvation for humanity, the Pope wrote. A commitment to discovering ever more the truth of the sacred books, therefore, is a commitment to seeking to better know God and the mystery of his saving will.... Apart from the unfortunate use of the term compartmentalize, Im not sure that you guys are contradicting each other all that much. Let us suppose that it was a common understanding from ancient times that tomatoes are extremely poisonous to human beings. Let us further suppose that some biblical passage could be understood to confirm that. Eventually it is absolutely proven that tomatoes are not poisonous, with no false assumptions, no ambiguous terms, no flawed logic, and overwhelming empirical evidence. At that time the proper Catholic response is to recognize that one has a flawed understanding of the relevant biblical passages, and work to understand how one has misunderstood what it is that God intended to communicate in those passages. It is NOT a licit Catholic response to conclude the bible is wrong merely because ones understanding of what the text means does not square with what has been objectively determined by valid scientific means. To paraphrase Robert Cardinal Bellarmine: I say that if there were a true demonstration (of proposition X) , then it would be necessary to use careful consideration in explaining the Scriptures that seemed contrary, and we should rather have to say that we do not understand (the Scriptures) than to say that something is false which had been proven In no way can this be reasonably referred to as compartmentalization. That term implies that theres some contradiction between the valid conclusions of theology and science, when in fact there is not. But as has been noted, this is a severe digression from the topic of the thread.
  18. Can rocks become conscious if you make a big enough pile of them?
  19. The Catechism of the Catholic Church Summa Contra Gentiles, by St. Thomas Acquinas The Everlasting Man, and Orthodoxy, both by G. K. Chesterton Mere Christianity, and The Abolition of Man, both by C. S. Lewis. Lost in the Cosmos, by Walter Percy Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal's Pensees, by Peter Kreeft (Kreeft has a lot of very good mp3's on his website)
  20. You seem to have no problem with saying that Sophocles was visible without having such recourse. Why the special pleading? The natural reasoning concludes that God is omnipotent. It’s a conclusion, not a presupposition. Have you never read the Summa Theologicae or the Summa Contra Gentiles? You’re committing an error of definition. By definition miracles are not explainable by natural means, therefore only God can cause them. And you say that because you’ve investigated them as carefully as has the board of inquiry? You’re intimately familiar with the details of those particular cases? If those same boards of inquiry had, using the same methodology, concluded that the cures were the result of inoculation with an extract of a tropical fungus, you’d be perfectly happy to accept that conclusion. Argumentum ad hominem.
  21. Those two statements are in no way contradictory. As a Catholic I disagree with some of this. In general he isn't visible, but he can be, which after all is part of the claim of Christianity. His presence can be demonstrated by objective evidence to the extent he's made that possible, and proving that Jesus existed isn't any different in principle than proving that Sophocles existed. Other than that, the use of logic can provide convincing reason to think that he exists: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/ http://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles.htm You have a very odd understanding of what circular logic is. Everyone else calls that 'deductive reasoning'. You can find a few here: http://www.lourdes-france.org/index.php?goto_centre=ru&contexte=en&id=405&id_rubrique=405 One in particular that caught my eye, apparently it's a case currently under investigation: The opinion of recognition of an exceptional character of one cure in the present state of scientific knowledge: an observation: that of an attack of an illness in 1992. a malignant non-Hodgkinson’s Lymphoma type-B diffused from the pleura complicated one year later by acute myeloblasty leukaemia with suspected meningitis and optical neuritis treated by chemotherapy, but with unfavourable progression and cured without after effects or further relapse for 13 years coinciding with a faith journey to Our Lady of Lourdes. Quite the contrary, it happens all the time. You're quite likely to say something that means just that before very long, it won't necessarily be offensive and I'm likely to take no offense at all.
  22. Do you often take one statement out of a number of statements, and act as if it were the only one? I too have a real life. Sometimes it takes a long time for me to respond. Without a rigorous definition of terms I'm not sure I can agree or disaree with that. But depending on the definitions, you've given a good explanation of why physical sciences can provide no arguments either for or against the existance of God. I'm glad that we can agree on that. I fail to see how you get that from what I said. I have. You might respond by saying that I just haven't thought about it hard enough. I might say the same to you.
  23. I don't understand your disagreement. All I said was that that the physical sciences provide no support for the claim that God doesn't exist.
  24. There are good philosophical reasons for believing God exists. There are no physical science reasons for believing he does not. There is good evidence that miracles have occurred, and miracles are possible only if he exists.
  25. Just tried it again, this time it let me in. Fifth time's the charm, I guess. Thanks.
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