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Did Einstein embarrass an atheist professor?

Added: Thursday, August 22nd 2019 at 6:18pm by tjdonegan
 
 
 

 

 

This is essentially what I heard broadcast on Paul Harvey’s “rest-of-the-story” years ago… Although the note indicates it was contained in an e-mail in 1999, what was broadcast by Harvey may have been before, or after 1999… My recollection is somewhat different (although not significantly) from the e-mail…

 

 

 

[Collected via e-mail, 1999]

 

Does evil exist?

 

The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”

 

“God created everything? The professor asked.

 

“Yes sir”, the student replied.

 

The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil”. The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

 

Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?”

 

“Of course”, replied the professor.

 

The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”

 

“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?” The students snickered at the young man’s question.

 

The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”

 

The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?”

 

The professor responded, “Of course it does.”

 

The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”

 

Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?”

 

Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”

 

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

 

The professor sat down.

 

The young man’s name — Albert Einstein.

 

 

 

          Regarding the above, which – again - I heard, years ago, originally as a Paul Harvey “The rest of the story” - I drew a quote (“Evil is the absence of God” which was attributed – apparently falsely - to Albert Einstein) which I included, and commented upon, in the essay “Evil;” this essay was then posted then @ blogster.com. Blogster actual-reality was kind enough to bring to my attention his doubt as to whether Einstein made such a claim. Having heard the Paul Harvey narrative – as I was driving (again yearsago; perhaps as many as 20 years…) - I apparently erred in trusting the narrative from whence the quote was utilized. Upon checking the quote (post actual-reality bringing my error to my attention…) – via search engine – snopes.com (ostensibly an internet fact checker) offered the narrative below (apparently they retrieved their copy from an e-mail…); snopes.com indicates they hold that Einstein didn’t make such an argument, and thus, I attributed the following reasonable argument - wrongly – to Albert Einstein. Note: A reasonable, and cogent, claim is reasonable and cogent - whether made by a sage or by a fool; that such a claim be found to uttered by a fool may impel one to scrutinize the claim more fastidiously than otherwise would, but if such scrutiny reveals impeccable reason, one must infer that adjectives are not always properly assigned i.e., perhaps the “fool” is wrongly identified as…? Of course one could draw other inferences as well… As it is, we included the quote in ouressay on Evil and we must now amend our missive…  We thought about extracting the description - which we falsely (and unwittingly) attributed to Einstein – but,  given we hold the claim to be reasonable and possessed of a definite intellectual force, we will likely only indicate the quote to be cogent albeit incorrectly attributed…

 

 

 

One comment upon the narrative (the quote I utilized was from Paul Harvey…) is the statement: “Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart.” This I would reword to read: “Evil is the absence of God.” To assert “Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart.” This seems to - likely unintentionally - draw a distinction between God and God’s “love” which then requires a discussion which would parse the difference between God’s Will and love…? As it is, such a claim should be accompanied by a definition of “love;” any such definition would need to be tautological and only have a difference of modality (i.e., God’s Will is represented infinal-causality i.e., ends/goals at which created essences point and therefore - with regard to human actions (free-willed acts) – is just/justice; God’s love is justice tempered with mercy (meted out for those which contritely acknowledge their sinful actions) and grace (a ubiquitous emanation from God and distributed throughout existence; the efficacy of grace is contingent upon each individual will’s desire to be reconciled to the truth…)… The same modal variance would hold between such conceptions and the true, the good and other qualitative conceptions which emanate from the godhead… And thus, human evil/wickedness would most appropriately be exhibited by the Nietzschean übermenschen i.e., an ego possessed of insatiably desire to subjugate all things to its indomitable will wherein what constitutes good and evil are determinations of the very same ego… And this is more – or less – the definition we wrongly attributed toEinstein as “the absence of God,” wherein God represents “right order.” Such a definition would not be limited simply to rational/sapient entities, but all of existence… In the end the definition offered by Saint Thomas Aquinas, viz: “A defect in the good” or ‘a lacking of a quality which an entity should naturally possess.’ For Aquinas, evil parasitically subsists upon the good, and vis-à-vis - rational beings – evil is the will which subordinates and distorts truth/s (objective); particularly those which are viewed – by the individual - in contradiction to the individual’s will/interest.  

 

 

 

Thomas J. Donegan

 

guildma@msn.com

User Comments

How can God be absent when God is everything? Could evil be a term created by mankind to express things that are outside the norm of acceptable behavior? Do we associate evil with animals that kill other animals or do we see it as tought luck? 

Hi, Writer!

God does not impose His will upon free-willed creatures; by definition, a free-willed being must be allowed to act contrary to God's will... Moreovere, if He (i.e., God) were to direct human actions, He would be guilty of the sins (sins are actions which reject, or ignore God's Will...) which would place God at odds with God... God is not absent the souls which reject His Will, but those souls conduct themselves as if God is not; this results in God, the Truth and/or God's Will as beng absent to the free-willed dependent agent (human) as they act/choose... 

Regarding normative behavior - if it is established merely by human whim (i.e., if it is not derived from the natural law, or the law of reason) - then it is arbitrary, in flux and can be as behavioral scientists describe such norms, viz: mere social-constructs (Of course behaviorists predicate their claim upon an unacknowledged nihilism...). Only free-willed moral agents are able to behave wickedly, or evilly...

Cordially, tjd

 

It seems like you are speculating about God and in doing so reducing the powers of God over man. There is an old hymn that says, 'He's got the whole world in his hands." You seem to think that it is slipping out of his hands. That's not possible. God is either God or he is not.

 

Hi, Writer!

 

There is no speculation regarding what I wrote; the things which I wrote are of logical necessity... If you think otherwise, then you will need to explain to me what it is that I wrote which leads you to assert that I have "reduced the powers of God."

 

Cordially. tjd

You have reduced the powers of God. When people start taking responsibility for their actions only then we will come to understand the magnitude of this gift we call life. We attach ourselves to things that destroys the beauty of life and then we blame God for what you call the evils. Life is just what it is, an experience where we get what we want to get out of it. There are consequences for our actions. We're all connected and we experience the cause and effect of actions and in the end we live and we die. The improtant thing is what we do when we are alive. Did we live or attempt to live our best life or did we bounce around to all the distractions from the media, politicians, religion etc,

Hello, Writer!

I cannot address what reduction have ostensibly been made to God's powers unless you specifically indicate what you are referencing... So be specific and inform me of what limits I've placed upon God... I could be that you do not understand what I've written? It could be your understanding of God is - like Muslims - irrational (Allah may violate his own edicts; he is not bound...), but unless you specifically indicate what reductions I've made to God, I cannot address what I believe must be a misconception...

Cordially, tjd

May be we are saying the same thing. I wrote in response to your response. I have no idea of how Muslims view God. I was brought up with a Christian view of God which I later rejected.

Hello, Writer!

Muslim’s hold that Allah’s will may be separated – or in contradiction with – the good, and the true i.e., Allah is not bound – like Yahweh – by the good or by any of his own laws e.g., Qur’an 5:64 states: “The Jews say: ‘Allah’s hand is chained.’ May their own hands be chained! May they be cursed for what they say! By no means. His hands are both outstretched: He bestows as He will”

Thus, Allah is not bound by anything like the good, the truth or by logical consistency. Allah is not rational; moreover, Muslim clerics seem quite gleeful in the irrationality which emanates from the Qur’an; it makes Muslims unapproachable on a rational/reasonable ground i.e., one has about the same chance of reasoning your way out of a hungry lion's den, as you have of convincing a true follower of the prophet Mohammed that – as an infidel – you should not be murdered (if you refuse to convert) once the worldwide caliphate arrives and the Jizya tax is repealed...

The 'religion-of-peace' eliminates (murders) dissenters as a manner of establishing harmony...

Take care Writer!
Cordially, tjd

I've never followed the teachings of Allah or the muslim faith. I'm not into religion and it seems to fall in that category. I think God has given us a kind of access that no one can teach but each can experience. 

 

Hello again, Writer!

 

Didn't think you were into Islam; only mentioned the religion so as to indicate that some religions are irrational, and inherently fraught with contradictions... Regarding "...God has given us a kind of access that no one can teach but each can experience." Of course if one can experience things, one can teach - although one may not necessarily teach well (How well one teaches is dependent upon the individual...); experiences presuppose understanding; if one undergoes an activity which is completely beyond one's ability to describe such an activity then one could not even assert that they had an experience. New born infants do not actually have experiences because they lack the intellectual wherewithal and conceptual apparatus to make sens of whatever they experience as infants... The very essence of humans is that they are creatures which undergo experiences in which they 'download' information and modify their understanding bases upon that experience and from each subsequent experience... Thus, one may teach what one experiences, but their teaching ability is limited by their inherent gift of their understanding, their understanding of those which they intend to instruct (tailoring their teaching to the level of understanding of the individuals to be taught) and their ability to articulate their understanding of their experiences... And the relevance of this, is that Scripture is full of events, and experiences which communicate understanding about God’s interaction with His chosen people i.e., the Jews (note that the early Christians too were Jews…); and note also that there exist books, and writings of Hebrews (Jews), and the early Church which are not included in Scripture because they are considered apocryphal (i.e., containing inherent contradictions, or aspects which may not be reconciled with the Corpus of Holy Writ…); note that this is the relevance of Aquinas dictum: “Faith highly taxes, but never contradicts, reason”…

 

Take care, Writer!

 

Cordially, tjd  

With regards to your analysis that new borns don't have experiences, I will say they do. I think the mother has a great influence on their experiences. Any scripture that will teach that a people are Chosen has to be tailormade for those chosen by it. Meaning that it is not for everyone amd if you're not chosen, be prepared to eat from the crumbs left over by the chosen. I won't teach my children such things as taught in the scriptures. History is told from the point of view of those who had the power and I've found out that it is riddled with lies. Religion has been used to brainwash many and fortunately many are walking away from it. 

 

Hi, Writer!

 

And I am a perfect example of an individual that reads Scripture, and incorporates all of the hatred and bigotry which open-minded people ascribe to mindless holy-rollers... And because of that I am totally incapable of independent thought…

 

The Jews/Hebrew – Writer - did not get together thousands of years ago and decide to weave a bunch of tales which would cast themselves as God’s chosen; the reason the Hebrew faith has not gone the way of the Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Inca, Shinto, et al religions is because reality and historical events bare out many of the truths of the religion; and Christianity is God fulfilling His promise to the Jews, but – in the Jewish prophecies – the Jewish rejection of Jesus is predicted over 700 years before Christ comes (see for example Isaiah 52: 13-15 and 53: 1-12; this is only one place among many)… And if you should point to Islam as having a claim like Judaism, and/or Christianity, Islam is but a Satanic perversion of Catholicism (in prior ages – before political correctness – the Church would unabashedly assert that as a fact…)… And for completeness – by-the-way – Buddhism is not actually a religion, but a negation of the self – realizing/holding self as the basis of angst; Hinduism – however – is ubiquitous immanentism; each aspect of reality is deified…  

 

As it is, Writer, it seems that you have a tendency to pigeon-hole any view, or expression of a view, which the cultural mover-and-shakers place in such holes. Those which I refer to as “movers-and-shakers” are not publicly known individuals, neither are they known to me, but rather they are views which are derived from the dominant University view and assimilated by zealous, but dull University people, but also by bright, manipulative power-mongering individuals whom realize how blighted the understanding of most humans is as consequence of the University subordination of truth, knowledge and understanding to ideological purity… Such views inundate the culture and generally discourage thought, and/or thinking. There is an irony in a culture which speaks so often about critical thinking, but is rendered dispositionally - nearly – incapable of critical thinking… As it is, both the Hebrew faith (in Abram’s pact with God Abram was re-named by God Abraham; in the pact Israel is to be the means through which all Nations are reconciled with God… So ‘nobody is left with only crumbs’), but Jesus is the means by which, and through which, God’s Covenant with Abraham is to be fulfilled… Scripture contains historical events, but it is not history; neither are the books of the Bible – Old or New Testament – arranged chronologically… And religion may have been utilized to brain-wash people, but far more are brain-washed today by the ideologies which emanate from the University and permeate every facet of the culture e.g., abortion is objectively murder, but because of the widespread unconscious acceptance of the insidiously dominant University weltanschauung (the worldview whose correlate is the culture-of-death) 65 + million humans have been murdered in the USA since 1973; globally over 1 billion humans have been murdered via abortion… Of course, I have been rendered totally incapable of thinking because of my exposure to Christianity and Holy Scripture…

 

And Writer, here is a simple question for you: “What is the difference between ideology and theology?”

 

Cordially, tjd

I don't believe God made any promise to the Jews and I believe why so many things seem to be like Christianity fulfilling this promise is because people read it and get brainwashed and start looking for a way to make it happen. My take on abortion is that it is wrong, but at the same time, if we care about the aborted, we should care about the born and the mothers who have to care for the born. We haven't found a way to do that. 

 

Hi, Writer! 

 

It is refreshing to come across someone like yourself - who both seems to proudly acknowledges their ignorance of the things which they comment upon, as they comment upon them as if they had a arcane/esoteric knowledge and understanding of such topics, which are completely beyond the grasp of others... Any intelligent individual that have objectively studied Scripture cannot help (including non-believing Biblical scholars), but marvel at the uncanny amount of prophecy which were demonstrated as being fulfilled. These scholars have been able to chronologues the publishing of these prophetic books and cannot actually explain (they've actually given up trying post the discovery and dating of the dead-sea scrolls; it was thought that Isaiah was written post-Christ; until the dead-sea scrolls confirmed Isaiah was written about 700 B.C.)

 

That said, Writer, what a gift it must be to be possessed of such perspicacity as to easily reduce the views of scholars - even secular Biblical scholars - to brainwashing. Yes, the Jews were not made any promises by God roughly 3600 hundred years ago, the Jews just made such a thing up so as to delude (brain-washing themselves) themselves, and everyone else subsequently...

 

How stupid everyone must seem to you - and people like you - who see everyone that holds believable - in some fashion (not always literally) that God would communicate with His intelligent creatures as people easily beguiled by silly stories, and if the stories have some corroborating evidence both physical, historical and philosophical, the corroborating evidence is easily dismissed as brainwashing; the evidence doesn't even need to be examined because brain-washing meets both the necessary and sufficient conditions of proof (Do you know the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions Writer?)...

 

Regarding your remark on abortion; it is true that people that reduce morality to their subjective interest - people such as - by your own admission - you; abortion will just need to be tolerated; but those which acknowledge that morality transcends the moment, transcends selfish interest and forms tha basis any possible just order the manner of dealing with abortion is clear, viz: insist upon the truth be told regarding what abortion is. If the culture could not escape the truth, the culture would not only out law abortion, it would re-embrace sexual relations as a moral activity; this would result in many related social activities being scrutinized...

 

Writer please explain how 'brain-washing' takes place; I'll use myself as a counter-example; I'm clearly more circumspect about what I accept as worthy of intellectual respect than you are, and yet you claim that I - and others like myself - have been brain-washed; your evidence of my being brain-washed must be that I have a view which renders your view rather silly, and uninformed (my evidence that you are not informed is that you do not deal with any argument, except by declaring - by intimation - that you possess an esoteric understanding, and that your intimated claim meets both the necessary and sufficient conditions of proof...?  

Take care, Writer!

Cordially, tjd

 

 

Your views of God is based on beliefs meaning you are not 100% sure that it is true, so it is just a belief. I say that you are brainwashed because as a child you were thought over and over the scriptures until you can embrace as real and governing over your life as you also seek to discard anything that's different. 

You seem to hold on to the idea that a lot of intelligent people embrace Christianity, but so too with Islam and all other religions. So intelligence can't be the defining factor. But again it is only beliefs. It won't stand up in a court of law. Abortion is wrong, but what is the solution? Can we create a world where women can have babies without fearing that they can't afford to raise them?

I am corfortable with my beliefs and so should you, but in the end that's all it is.

 

Hello, Writer!

 

Wow, you confidently believe that you have induced an understanding of my upbringing, my education, my experiences and views, but you have missed the mark! Although I was born and raised a Catholic, I would reject Catholicism, Christianity and religion if they were not rationally defensible. I by-the-way do not believe that 2 + 2 = 4; that is knowledge substantiated by the well-ordering property of numbers and set theory. In a similar way, I do not believe in God's existence. Existence implies non-existence, and thus, they are inseparable complements. God - as Aquinas indicates - does not exist, but is EXISTENCE (i.e., he transcends all things, and nothing that has being can be apart from God holding them in being; if you will, God creative act is continuous...). God is the condition of all things, and any arguments - any at all - presuppose an intelligent correlation between consciousness and the other; that correlation effected/made through God... So all the proofs for God's existence and the arguments of God being a silly myth presuppose (unconsciously) God... 

 

Now I came to most all of my views by being very, very unsatisfied with Church teaching; each time I encounter what appears – to me - as nonsense the subject/topic is added to a list (in my head) of topics which need to be addressed; the reason I wrote upon humility, and the Litany-of-humility is because I think the Church (humility is not a Church doctrine, but an understanding; I think it a severe insidiously unhealthy understanding…) has misunderstood the concept and it has led to the practice of people seeking to comport themselves with outward showings of self-deprecation, but actual arrogance. Humility is not about the manner in which one interacts with others, humility is about how much one desires to know, and live, the truth (moral truth is generally what is meant…). Similarly, with each tenet of Church teaching, and also each veneration which the Church posits; I do not accept things because they originate from the Church; they must make sense i.e., they must be reasonable; this is why I am apt to quote Saint Thomas Aquinas’s dictum: “Faith highly taxes, but never contradicts, reason.” Human essence is rational, and thus, it would make no sense for the God that made humans to become rational beings, to practice and believe things which are irrational… Jesus – if you peruse Scripture – you will note is always, always rational; this doesn’t mean that humans cannot feel, or experience emotions (even strong passions which may lead one desiring doing evil…), it means that the human being imposes a moral limit upon each and every passion, and that one forces oneself to do what one ought to do, irrespective of how much one desires to do otherwise…

 

I was not taught the Bible as a child! Catholics – formerly, as a general rule – did not read Scripture. I argued with “Bible–thumpers (Evangelicals) in the Navy and elsewhere, and though they had studied Scripture, and I had not, I would tie them into knots, and generally remove Scripture from their “bag-of-argumentation,” by indicating from whence the Bible originated, and also by moving discussions into the realm of what is presupposed by the meaning of X, Y and Z (where X, Y and Z are concepts which they think they understand, but in our discussions they were unable to defend their understanding… )… So that you may understand, I will relate that I attended the Lawrence County Fair (about 20 years ago) and ran into a couple of friends that were arguing “tracks” with Evangelicals… After a moment or two, I asked one of the Evangelicals a question and both of them wilted, and then took-off. One of my friends indicated that they had been going at it for over 2 hours, and asked how I was so able to so easily dispatch them… And the answer is: ‘they are believers, that seldom if ever consider the meaning of the things they believe; if you introduce doubt into those thongs they avow, they fall-to-pieces.’ As it is, I think, and re-think about everything that I accept; I question everything! My faith is fundamentally in reason, and reason indicates – to me – that existence is intelligible to Man, because it is intelligently ordered; that requires a transcendent intelligence (a.k.a. God) to be behind that which is i.e., existence…

 

I don’t discard things which are different Writer; I reject nonsense as nonsense! As an example: There are those which desire to ascribe emotions to God (it is important for them that God be to their liking i.e., like themselves), but God cannot undergo emotional swings, or experience emotions (which by definition are in flux), because God – as a perfect complete being – does not change, or undergo changes… Thus, I reject any intimation (unless it is metaphorical) that God undergoes emotional changes, or experiences emotions; such notions are utter nonsense…

 

Embracing Christianity has little to nothing to do with embracing Christianity! Intelligence is a necessary condition for any faith whatsoever i.e., dogs, cats, chickens, goats, porpoises, dolphins, chimpanzees and pigs haven’t any faith at all, because they lack the capacity to conceptually reason; thus they neither can believe, not disbelieve anything at all… Those which embrace Christianity/Catholicism need not be highly intelligent; what is required is nominal intelligence and an understanding that reality either is explainable – which presupposes a transcendent intelligence – or reality is completely unexplainable and the concept of God, like all other concepts are completely absurd (i.e., meaningless). Understanding that doesn’t require great intelligence, it requires modest intelligence and a soul humbly-ordered i.e., desiring to know, and to live the truth…

 

Islam may have intelligent acolytes, but their faith is unreasonable i.e., irrational and wicked/evil; this doesn’t make every practicing Muslim adherent wicked, but certainly any which think people should be forced to bow to Allah or die, are wicked!

 

As to what you claim will stand-up in a court-of-law (as if the law were not a system, and embodiment, of beliefs); this is an example of nonsense which induces me to explain how nonsensical it is (I will not do that – here and now - because I am limiting myself here to addressing your salient points/issues…) to assert “X” which seems to indicate all of the things which are obliviously presupposed by such an assertion… Your wont for presupposition makes you appear as possessed of a common Catholic mien…!

 

Abortion – overwhelming – is utilized as a method of birth-control; the majority of women are not concerned with being able to afford raising their child! The vast majority of women do not want the responsibility of caring for the child, they want to live their lives with as few of encumbrances as possible, and this culture has taught (ubiquitously) that that is how it should be. Abortions can be nearly eliminated, but the culture must ubiquitously acknowledge, and tell, the truth about what abortion is, and people – if the truth were ubiquitously told – would alter their current celebratory insouciance regarding abortion – and become uncomfortably intolerant of abortion. Many human actions would be amended as a result, to include how we – as a culture – view pre-marital sex… If the culture opted for truth-telling, many, many current cultural practices and controversies would be resolved, and human relations would actually become human!

 

Take care, Writer!

 

Cordially, tjd

 

 

I actually like what you said that God is the conditions of all things. I will say further that God is ever present and we get to interact in the presence of God. I like your take on humility also. You are giving me some great knowledge here. Thank you.

You gotta hand it to holly rollers, you never admit you're wrong even when it's plain as day.

Hello, Anonymous!

I'm not sure that your comment addresses me, or Writer? If it is me, then it would be kind of you to point out the error which I've ostensibly made; my guess is that you - like Writer - either have misunderstood what I've written, or your conception of God is not quite correct...

And if I am a "holly" (you must have meant holy-roller{#basic-cool.gif} ) roller, do I wear thick gloves when I roll the holly, it is awfully prickly...{#basic-laugh.gif} ? Often people that have very little understanding of a topic homogenize great diversities into a simple neat package (reflecting their insouciance, their arrogance, their ignorance or some combination...) so as to judge for their aerie... It is always best to ask: "What do you mean by "X"? and "How may "X" be reconciled with "Y"" before one judges another in error, or indicates that an individual as an element of set "P."

Cordially, tjd

One thing about you TJ, you'll explain how you see things.

God is a difficult subject for me because I don't understand the point of the universe? I never look at these things from personal perspectives. My youth spent in Church and many hours of bible study left me depressed.

Hi, Max!

If there isn't a God, then the only point to the universe would be one which humans - or other intelligent beings (if any such exist) - assign existence, which would mean ultimately that the universe is meaningless; this is why the real division which exists among intellectuals is not theist/atheist division but rather a philosophical/theological division of rational versus irrational; the former place is occupied by theists (reality has meaning contained within because the meaning reflects the Creator) and the latter by nihilists (reality has only the meaning which the übermenschen's assign; that meaning is valid until it is overthrown by another superior over-man...), where logical inconsistency must be tolerated if the despot so wills! Note how currently the social-political Left is promoting LGBQTXYZPWHABC agenda in contradiction to biology, promoting made-made-global-climate-change which means whatever the Left says it means, promoting ANTIFA as if they are opposed to fascism when they are actually rather fascist and many, many more inherently contradictory ideas which they insist are true/so; and any which may question such claims are identified as 'flat-earthers'.

As it is the concepts of love, relationship, friendship, honor, integrity, moral, good, evil, justice, truth, rights (inalienable and positive) equality, virtue, etcetera are all dependent upon whether the universe is ordered intelligently or otherwise; if it is not intelligently ordered then each term has - at best - a material definition and each human is then a member of sundry classes of sycophants, quislings and/or übermenschen's (these too would have their respective order of kiss-asses and capitulators, each seeking advantage and adept at manipulating)... Many (not all) really, really, really   smart people - likely because their enormous intellects and how impressed they are with themselves - seem not to understand that by denying an intelligent order (this is a necessary consequence of there being no intelligent ordering principle i.e., God) they place all human relations on a par with prostitution... What is - at the end-of-the-day - worth sacrificing oneself for? Answer: besides power, nada thing!   

Now as to why God created, I will defer to Saints Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Boniface, Bonaventure, Ignatius et al... "Creation is a manifestation love." But why create and how does creation relate to love...? Creation - strikes me - as a corollary to EXISTENCE (As Saint Thomas Aquinas intimates out 'God does not "exist," but God is Existence i.e., the presupposed condition of all things'...); and this is why God is actually creating moment-by-moment all that was, all that is and all that will be... As to what is meant by "love," it is certainly not an emotion, but rather as - a very imperfect analogous explanation (quasi-metaphorical and thus, imprecise and approximant explanation...) of an artist's contemplations; an artist whose creativity and contemplation have the efficacy which produce actuality - and if the created thing is free-willed (rational) they are indeterminate beings/creatures (they are - in essence - meant by the Creator to become "X," but, because they are free-willed they may choose to become some negation of "X" or some gradient between the extremes) who though their finite existence determine whether they will an accord with the natural law (As Jefferson put it: 'the Laws of Nature and Nature's God...') or act in a contrary manner; love - under such strictures - is the hands-off willing - of the Creator - that that the indeterminately created (the rational beings) accord with the Creators Will, and the Creator via "grace" will massage the determinately created things to promote - when not in violation of the free-willed dignity/sovereignty of the indeterminately created (humans/rational beings) to help (this help is grace; both actual and sanctifying...) the free-willed entity to choose to become what the Creator intended them to be...   

It seems to me much of what ails Western culture is that at one time teaching dogmas was all that was really needed to have people become believers and to have their beliefs sustained; initially - the Catholic/Christian faith was promoted by the Apostle's Creed which incorporated the major tenets of the faith (the Bible didn't come into being until 4th-5th centuries and they were hand written...); with the printing-press came the wide distribution of Bibles which led to exacerbate divisions in the Catholic Church and the other Christian Churches were spawned; they were - initially - more Biblical in their teaching from their pulpits, but they too taught a number of dogmas because the existing culture didn't directly challenge those dogmas. The Catholic Church continued - for the pedestrian pew member - to emphasize dogma up till the second Vatican Council wherein the decision was made for the laity to "convert the world" (without the laity being given the theological/philosophical preparation; this resulted in many, many Catholics unconsciously synthesizing their faith with beliefs which were insidiously in contradiction to the Christian faith; note that the same synthesis was affecting the beliefs of denominational Christians... And largely because these Catholics and Christians were so steeped in dogmas; almost never questioning how to reconcile a "square peg with the round hole"...) the Church's were still teaching dogmas when they should have been discussing doctrine vis-à-vis both theological derivation and philosophical consistency...

As it is, the Church should be involved in, and involve all of the flock in integrating the teaching of Jesus Christ, the Church's doctrines with the Perennial philosophy (One may call the Perennial philosophy God's view of existence for it is the only completely rational perspective available...) with all of the University disciplines. Reconciling the University disciplines with the Perennial philosophy may easily be made amenable with that objective worldview, since that view is the University's former dominant view, and the University still parasitically subsists (by logical necessity...) upon that view, although the view consciously animates the lunacy which emanates from the 'ivory-halls' is definitively materialistic (i.e., a concomitant of nihilism...)... The antipathy which accompanies the anti-theistic mien - of the University - is, in part, resultant of Church dogmatists insisting that 2 + 2 = 3, or 5, or 6, or, "x," but certainly not 4, because if it should be acknowledge to be 4 some dogma would be - at least in the narrow understanding of the dogmatist - be rendered tenuous, or false, and then there is the acknowledged claim by any number of intellectual "movers-and-shakers" that they wanted the social restraints (particularly in regards to sexual relations...) removed so that they may live as hedonistically as they so choose without fear of social sanction... My interest in the all of these things is that I think that an objective reality - with its attendant objective morality - is an indispensible accompaniment for the rule-of-law which will both seek to protect inalienable Rights (beginning with Life), self-restraint (i.e., in deference to human sovereignty, and in opposition to Government coercion), societal concern for 'the least of His brethren.' Moreover, that such views allow for genuine loving relations (wherein each seeks the beloved's good) to develop between peoples so that - besides immediate relations of family - relations may develop which reflect the explanation of Ebenezer Scrooge's nephew Fred justifying - to Scrooge - his veneration of Christmas, viz: "There are many things from which I might derive good by which I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew, "Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it comes round — apart from the veneration due its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys ..."     

And Max, I must say I understand why one may be depressed from the modern Church and the manner in which Bible studies were erstwhile conducted; as it is today the Church is - generally - less sober in performing its mission than it formerly was, and Bible studies are likely all over the map (one doesn't want to homogenize all Bible studies; some e.g., Jeff Cavin's studies are generally clear-eyed; as likely many are. Certain faithful have abandoned the circumscriptions imposed by historical - but non-Biblical - accretions, and are attempting to place believers in the streets of 1st century Jerusalem ...)...  

Take care, Max!

Cordially, tjd

 

 

 

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