Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
Thread Closed 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
05-07-2016, 10:35 PM
RE: Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
I still haven't gotten through the catechisms, thanks to a monster of a computer virus. (Seriously, someone who designs a worm that takes down the anti-virus program FIRST THING has way too much time on their hands.) I'll be reading up as we go along. However, I owe you a plain statement of my own stance vis-a-vis the Nicene Creed.

Quote:I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Lots in here, including a lot of not-quite-specified definitions. I doubt much of this will come as a surprise to you.

Let's start with God. At the risk of being Admiral Obvious, I do not believe in a god. (Hence, you know, atheist.) To be more precise, I do not believe that a sapient creator of reality exists, and I also do not believe that a disemboided all-powerful sapient being exists, or that the being labeled God and depicted as interacting with humanity throughout the Bible exists, and so on. Some elements of these depictions I regard as self-contradictory and thus impossible, at least as depicted. With respect to these I am a gnostic atheist. Others I simply regard as absurd, and others I regard as baseless and without any evidence or cause to compel belief. With respect to these I am an agnostic atheist... but tending towards hard atheism (I believe that it isn't true) rather than soft atheism. I am first and foremost an ignostic, in that I regard the concept of God as ill-defined unless it is further specified (which has been... somewhat... done by the Creed) and thus not something that can be properly responded to. This is why my stances towards notions of God vary depending on the particular conception.

As for Jesus-the-incarnated-Son-and-Savior-resurrected-ascended-to-Heaven-coming-again-eventually, I'm also an atheist. I think that being didn't and doesn't exist. As for the existence of a merely historical Jesus, I'm pretty agnostic... and also pretty apathetic.

I don't think sin (in the sense of some metaphysical embodiment of bad or disobedient behavior) exists. Bad behavior, yes, that's out there, but I don't think it clings to our souls like cobwebs until cleansed by baptism or forgiveness or anything like that.

(04-07-2016 11:21 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Now I read your post on the Two Epistomologies and I think I have a better understanding where this debate will go.

Oh, wow, that old thing. Lemme reread it to make sure my positions haven't changed....

.... okay, yeah, I'm still on board with that, but I did express a few points inartfully. In particular, I should have emphasized that a theistic tendency towards axiom-based deduction and a scientific tendency towards self-correction were far from universal.

I've got a bunch of questions about your definition of faith, but I think they'll go better with phase 2, since they're less about what you believe and more about why you believe.

Do you want to hold out until I'm done reading the summaries of Catechisms: Pt 1 and so can respond to them, or would you like to move on to phase 2 now based just on the Creed?
Find all posts by this user
09-07-2016, 12:48 AM
RE: Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
(05-07-2016 10:35 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  I still haven't gotten through the catechisms, thanks to a monster of a computer virus. (Seriously, someone who designs a worm that takes down the anti-virus program FIRST THING has way too much time on their hands.) I'll be reading up as we go along. However, I owe you a plain statement of my own stance vis-a-vis the Nicene Creed.

Quote:I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Lots in here, including a lot of not-quite-specified definitions. I doubt much of this will come as a surprise to you.

Let's start with God. At the risk of being Admiral Obvious, I do not believe in a god. (Hence, you know, atheist.) To be more precise, I do not believe that a sapient creator of reality exists, and I also do not believe that a disemboided all-powerful sapient being exists, or that the being labeled God and depicted as interacting with humanity throughout the Bible exists, and so on. Some elements of these depictions I regard as self-contradictory and thus impossible, at least as depicted. With respect to these I am a gnostic atheist. Others I simply regard as absurd, and others I regard as baseless and without any evidence or cause to compel belief. With respect to these I am an agnostic atheist... but tending towards hard atheism (I believe that it isn't true) rather than soft atheism. I am first and foremost an ignostic, in that I regard the concept of God as ill-defined unless it is further specified (which has been... somewhat... done by the Creed) and thus not something that can be properly responded to. This is why my stances towards notions of God vary depending on the particular conception.

As for Jesus-the-incarnated-Son-and-Savior-resurrected-ascended-to-Heaven-coming-again-eventually, I'm also an atheist. I think that being didn't and doesn't exist. As for the existence of a merely historical Jesus, I'm pretty agnostic... and also pretty apathetic.

I don't think sin (in the sense of some metaphysical embodiment of bad or disobedient behavior) exists. Bad behavior, yes, that's out there, but I don't think it clings to our souls like cobwebs until cleansed by baptism or forgiveness or anything like that.
Unfortunately my knowledge of the essence of God is one of my weaker areas. As you can see by the Catechism, which is the next official summary of the faith after the creed, Catholics have said and written a lot regarding their religion. Much like the field of science, it is very difficult to have proficiency in every area of study. My main focus has tended towards the more moral and social areas of being a Catholic, of which again there is an abundance of information. So while I shall go into the more philosophical and theoretical definitions of God, don't expect me to argue them to the best degree.
I figure I'll explain why I don't have a strong knowledge in a follow up post in which I try and explain God and the Trinity.

I will give a more personal explanation of sin. Using etymology (I use this a lot), the word sin comes from the Greek Hamartia which I believe orginally meant to miss the mark but in the new testament its antonym marturios meant to bear witness or to testify. To me sin is more the act of failing to bear witness, to be an example, of that which you profess. So many things can be considered a sin depending upon what you profess; a humanitarian running a human smuggling ring, a vegan eating pepperoni, a kkk grand wizard marrying a black woman. When it comes to God, we tend to define everyday sins as ether venial or mortal. Now a key element here is that we hold onto the Platonic idea that no man can deliberately choose evil, they are always after some perceived good. A venial sin is basically choosing a good which is not as good as you could have done or more likely should have done. A mortal sin is a sin in which the good you achieve is by doing evil onto someone else. It gets more complex than that but I hope that is a good enough definition.

Original sin, the sin of Adam and Eve, can be explained by G.K. Chesteron. He came to the conclusion that original sin existed before he became a Catholic. He called it back sliding. Basically the main effect of Original sin is that man is good but has a tendency towards evil. Now the exact effect of Baptism I'm not as strong on but my belief is that in Baptism we officially enter the visible Catholic Church and thus our sins become sins of our own choice. I know not a great description but its the best I got.

I must say that you are much more at an advantage in this debate. It is much harder to affirm and define a positive than a negative. I can only imagine a first year university student attempting to define and affirm string theory would feel a similar frustration Smile

(05-07-2016 10:35 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(04-07-2016 11:21 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Now I read your post on the Two Epistomologies and I think I have a better understanding where this debate will go.

Oh, wow, that old thing. Lemme reread it to make sure my positions haven't changed....

.... okay, yeah, I'm still on board with that, but I did express a few points inartfully. In particular, I should have emphasized that a theistic tendency towards axiom-based deduction and a scientific tendency towards self-correction were far from universal.

I've got a bunch of questions about your definition of faith, but I think they'll go better with phase 2, since they're less about what you believe and more about why you believe.

Do you want to hold out until I'm done reading the summaries of Catechisms: Pt 1 and so can respond to them, or would you like to move on to phase 2 now based just on the Creed?

That's fine, and I do agree with much of what you said in that post and I agree with the correction you just made. I think our differences come down more to subtlety.
I regards to the pace, I'm happy with whatever you want to set. I don't on this site mainly because I find keeping the pace of the forum to be difficult. If you would prefer a slow pace which gives us enough time to research and think, I would be happy with that. Of course if you find my pace to slow I would also happily post faster. I'll let you decide, it is your debate after all.

Since you mentioned that some of my definitions can be vague, I wanted to show you something this is a list of encyclicals, which are official teaching documents of the Catholic Church, which is only complete from 1831 onward. at the bottom you can find links to the council teachings which often have 10 or 15 documents in them. All these documents are written at least a Bachelor level if not a masters or even PhD level. And that doesn't include doctors of the church and just plain old theologians. If some of my definitions seem vague its because there are documents upon documents, subtleties upon subtleties for each question you ask. I try to avoid going to much into depth just because it often raises more questions. However I am happy to go as far as you want on any topic, I'm just warning you that the path could end up being longer than you thought.
There is a joke in the Church that in order for a homily to be understood by the congregation the priest has to commit at least 7 heresies.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
Find all posts by this user
11-07-2016, 11:52 AM
RE: Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
Okay. I can read fast, but sorting through everything to see what counts as a position and what counts as an argument and what elements are undefined and what ones ARE defined but just later on? It's becoming obvious that I won't be able to compose a set of comprehensive positions vis-a-vis all of even Part 1 of the Catechisms quickly. So let's stick to the Nicene Creed for now.

(09-07-2016 12:48 AM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Unfortunately my knowledge of the essence of God is one of my weaker areas. As you can see by the Catechism, which is the next official summary of the faith after the creed, Catholics have said and written a lot regarding their religion. Much like the field of science, it is very difficult to have proficiency in every area of study. My main focus has tended towards the more moral and social areas of being a Catholic, of which again there is an abundance of information. So while I shall go into the more philosophical and theoretical definitions of God, don't expect me to argue them to the best degree.
I figure I'll explain why I don't have a strong knowledge in a follow up post in which I try and explain God and the Trinity.

I will give a more personal explanation of sin. Using etymology (I use this a lot), the word sin comes from the Greek Hamartia which I believe orginally meant to miss the mark but in the new testament its antonym marturios meant to bear witness or to testify. To me sin is more the act of failing to bear witness, to be an example, of that which you profess. So many things can be considered a sin depending upon what you profess; a humanitarian running a human smuggling ring, a vegan eating pepperoni, a kkk grand wizard marrying a black woman. When it comes to God, we tend to define everyday sins as ether venial or mortal. Now a key element here is that we hold onto the Platonic idea that no man can deliberately choose evil, they are always after some perceived good. A venial sin is basically choosing a good which is not as good as you could have done or more likely should have done. A mortal sin is a sin in which the good you achieve is by doing evil onto someone else. It gets more complex than that but I hope that is a good enough definition.

Original sin, the sin of Adam and Eve, can be explained by G.K. Chesteron. He came to the conclusion that original sin existed before he became a Catholic. He called it back sliding. Basically the main effect of Original sin is that man is good but has a tendency towards evil. Now the exact effect of Baptism I'm not as strong on but my belief is that in Baptism we officially enter the visible Catholic Church and thus our sins become sins of our own choice. I know not a great description but its the best I got.

I must say that you are much more at an advantage in this debate. It is much harder to affirm and define a positive than a negative. I can only imagine a first year university student attempting to define and affirm string theory would feel a similar frustration Smile

That's the price of holding the positive position. If I might extend the metaphor some, perhaps a freshman who knows that string theory is far from universally accepted and who has trouble even defining it might be wiser not to affirm it in the first place. Smile

Okay, unsurprisingly, most everything we've gone over, from sin to Jesus's supernatural status in the Creed to realist metaphysics to a person's purpose (as you've defined it) seem to depend on and defined in terms of the existence of the Christian God. While there might be more to follow if we ever agreed on that point, it seems like the place where we'd have to begin.

So if that's all right with you, let's start phase 2, declaring our epistemology. What brings you to believe this being exists?

Also, as an additional question, how highly would you rate your confidence in God's existence? Let's say on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being "I believe but I'm not confident at all" to 100 being "I believe and I don't think there's a possibility of doubt anywhere."
Find all posts by this user
13-07-2016, 11:42 PM
RE: Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
(11-07-2016 11:52 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay. I can read fast, but sorting through everything to see what counts as a position and what counts as an argument and what elements are undefined and what ones ARE defined but just later on? It's becoming obvious that I won't be able to compose a set of comprehensive positions vis-a-vis all of even Part 1 of the Catechisms quickly. So let's stick to the Nicene Creed for now.

(09-07-2016 12:48 AM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  Unfortunately my knowledge of the essence of God is one of my weaker areas. As you can see by the Catechism, which is the next official summary of the faith after the creed, Catholics have said and written a lot regarding their religion. Much like the field of science, it is very difficult to have proficiency in every area of study. My main focus has tended towards the more moral and social areas of being a Catholic, of which again there is an abundance of information. So while I shall go into the more philosophical and theoretical definitions of God, don't expect me to argue them to the best degree.
I figure I'll explain why I don't have a strong knowledge in a follow up post in which I try and explain God and the Trinity.

I will give a more personal explanation of sin. Using etymology (I use this a lot), the word sin comes from the Greek Hamartia which I believe orginally meant to miss the mark but in the new testament its antonym marturios meant to bear witness or to testify. To me sin is more the act of failing to bear witness, to be an example, of that which you profess. So many things can be considered a sin depending upon what you profess; a humanitarian running a human smuggling ring, a vegan eating pepperoni, a kkk grand wizard marrying a black woman. When it comes to God, we tend to define everyday sins as ether venial or mortal. Now a key element here is that we hold onto the Platonic idea that no man can deliberately choose evil, they are always after some perceived good. A venial sin is basically choosing a good which is not as good as you could have done or more likely should have done. A mortal sin is a sin in which the good you achieve is by doing evil onto someone else. It gets more complex than that but I hope that is a good enough definition.

Original sin, the sin of Adam and Eve, can be explained by G.K. Chesteron. He came to the conclusion that original sin existed before he became a Catholic. He called it back sliding. Basically the main effect of Original sin is that man is good but has a tendency towards evil. Now the exact effect of Baptism I'm not as strong on but my belief is that in Baptism we officially enter the visible Catholic Church and thus our sins become sins of our own choice. I know not a great description but its the best I got.

I must say that you are much more at an advantage in this debate. It is much harder to affirm and define a positive than a negative. I can only imagine a first year university student attempting to define and affirm string theory would feel a similar frustration Smile

That's the price of holding the positive position. If I might extend the metaphor some, perhaps a freshman who knows that string theory is far from universally accepted and who has trouble even defining it might be wiser not to affirm it in the first place. Smile

Okay, unsurprisingly, most everything we've gone over, from sin to Jesus's supernatural status in the Creed to realist metaphysics to a person's purpose (as you've defined it) seem to depend on and defined in terms of the existence of the Christian God. While there might be more to follow if we ever agreed on that point, it seems like the place where we'd have to begin.

So if that's all right with you, let's start phase 2, declaring our epistemology. What brings you to believe this being exists?

Also, as an additional question, how highly would you rate your confidence in God's existence? Let's say on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being "I believe but I'm not confident at all" to 100 being "I believe and I don't think there's a possibility of doubt anywhere."

I suppose I should have said closer to someone who was in their final year of University as oppose to a freshmen. A quote attributed to Einstein is that you attain mastery of a subject when you can explain it to your Grandma. That is more where I'm at in terms of God.

I believe that it is good to move on since my belief structure is quite large and often involves specific terminology. A very clumsy analogy might be a person attempting to define their entire scientific beliefs and attempting to unify it under a single heading. Also, since this debate is more on how we came to our beliefs I don't think we need necessarily go into each belief with much depth as we risk turning this into a debate about the existence of God. God could not exist and I could still win if the only argument you put forward is that you don't "feel" that he exists.

In terms of my level of belief I would say I'm more religious than faithful...? It's a tough thing for me to decide on how strongly I believe. I might place myself around 80 in terms of belief. Part of the problem is that a lot of my belief is that I just find it reasonable that God exists. I'm not one of those who have a strong personal connection with Jesus. Much of my belief could expressed with the phrase "this seems to make the most sense, so let's go with this".

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
Find all posts by this user
14-07-2016, 12:30 AM
RE: Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
Onto Phase 2,

I think the best way to give a basic summary of how I came to the faith is by means of history. John Locke described the infant child as a tabula rasa a clean slate with no innate ideas. Even if this is true, by the time we reach an age of reason we are far away from that blank slate. And by the time we are able to truly critically reflect on our beliefs we are often already set in them.

I definitely did not come to the faith, by which I mean where I'm at now, from a position of absolute neutrality, as I believe is true for virtually all who either come or leave. I was a cradle Catholic raised as one in a mostly devout family. My mother was actually on her way to a masters in Theology and was on the Dean's list. My dad was more of a practical Catholic. I for the most part thought I was a good Catholic mainly in reference to my fellow Catholic school mates. I was a Catholic but I didn't have much understanding of the Catholic faith. The bible was a historical book (there is actually a thread on her about me saying that, I have few comments on here that are definitely not what I believe now) that happened to be good for theology. Follow the ten commandments because God said so (as long as it's under 1000$ it's not a mortal sin, it's only a mortal sin to lie in court - what I believed). This was before I was introduced to philosophy and Logic and just Catholic Doctrine in general. (the Canadian school system is really weak in almost all subjects). So I believed without much thought.
I can only recall two major "critical thinking" thoughts during my high school years. Both of which I now realize have actually carried over into my adult life to some degree. One of which was the idea of consciousness. I was reading an article on Cracked and the brought up one problem with teleportation. If you are teleported and your particles are taken apart and reassembled, did you survive, or is there now a exact clone of you who has taken your place? To me, before I was introduced to metaphysics and philosophy, led me towards the idea that we might have a soul. Merely because it was a question that seemingly could not be answered at least not by science and indeed is hotly contested in the world of philosophy. To me this meant that the question of consciousness/soul was open ended in that either answer was equally valid. And indeed it seemed to me that us having a soul was more valid. I believe my reasoning then, as it still remains today, is that if we were purely material than we would be bound by matter and since I see no material basis for the idea of free will and that we are able to think of the concept of free will, then we do not appear to be bound by matter.
The other was about the nature of God, which I relate in a post specifically related to the nature of God which I will post Tomorrow.
Although I cannot be sure, I believe my basic reasoning during these years was that if a spiritual reality existed then there is no reason to deny the existence of God. I believe I also emphasized miracles but I'll put that in part 2

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
Find all posts by this user
14-07-2016, 12:32 AM
RE: Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
Ah its late I'll post part two tomorrow

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
Find all posts by this user
15-07-2016, 01:16 PM
RE: Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
Okay, I'll hold off on replying until you get Part 2 up.
Find all posts by this user
17-07-2016, 09:31 AM
RE: Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
(15-07-2016 01:16 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay, I'll hold off on replying until you get Part 2 up.

Sorry for taking so long. I have half of part 2 types. I'm having trouble thinking about what I want to say.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
Find all posts by this user
21-07-2016, 04:57 AM
RE: Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
.... *poke?*
Find all posts by this user
23-07-2016, 11:25 PM
RE: Epistemic Debate on Christianity!
Yes I know, I’m really slow at responding. Anyways here goes nothing.
So one of the first courses I took at my Catholic College was Logic, specifically Socratic Logic. Now one of the key things I quickly learned was that if your premises are true and you use proper logical processes, your conclusion must be true. If our premises are “all men are mortal” and “Socrates is a man” are correct, then the conclusion “Socrates is mortal” is by necessity true. In any case logic became an important point to my philosophical way of looking at life. Indeed my strict rigor to making sure I follow the three acts of the mind – defining, judging, and reasoning, make me one of, in my opinion, the better debaters on this site. What I lack in knowledge and research (of which many on this forum are far above me, Mark Fulton and Bucky Ball to name too), I try to make up for in logic.

So I am going to move away from direct history and move more into a history of my mind if that makes sense. Moving on to Euclid and Monty Python, two things I learned were that deduction is the only way that we can arrive at absolute truth in philosophy, hence why Plato’s Academy had above the door “let none who have not studied geometry enter here”. Induction can only lead to probable truths, while deduction to absolute truths. Monty Python taught me that if you start with the wrong premises, then you end up burning a witch (or if you have not seen it, you end up further from the truth).

Now the question comes have your premises (I would not use axioms as you define them, while many Christians may hold certain premises to be self-evident, I prefer not to claim any of my premises as self-evident) been set up correctly. From a certain standpoint, Euclid is false, since nowhere in reality do you find a two dimensional plane or a perfect circle. So in some ways Euclid is false, or more so, it is close to reality but it does not have a basis in reality.

Now one thing I find very commendable with the Catholic Church is that it has a strong tradition of logic. Indeed the mnemonic device of Barbara Celerant comes from Catholic monks. So since I am quite enamoured with logic, the Catholic Church, who has a similar affair with logic has considerable draw to me. For the most part I would say that the Catholic Church is internally logically consistent. And one thing I find is that the more I learn about Catholic doctrine, the more logical it becomes, not less so. Things which seem illogical at first tend to, at least in my experience, become more logical as it is expanded upon deeper.

Without arguing each individual aspect, at least not right now, I’m sure you may have objections to certain aspects of the Catholic Church which I hope to answer as fully as possible. Presuming the Catholic Church is logically consistent, we must answer the question regarding whether the premises the church builds upon are true or not.

Now there are two ways of doing this. One is to prove that each premise is true, beyond a reasonable doubt, by necessity. These arguments can be called a priori arguments. Such arguments are like the Ontological argument of St Anselm. St Anselm proves (or at least attempts to, I myself am not convinced) that God must by necessity exist. In general I am not satisfied with a priori arguments. The other method, which has probably been my main reason for becoming a devout Catholic is what might be considered the effects of having true premises. These could be called a posteriori arguments. What I mean to demonstrate right now is that because of the certain features of the Catholic Church, it is not unreasonable to hold that the Catholic Church has true premises.

1) Feature one; Depth and breadth – I will qualify that this is one of my weaker arguments but still an important one. One element of the Catholic Church, as I have already demonstrated is that its depth in terms of theology is probably unequaled. There are documents upon documents upon quite honestly everything. If a philosophy is to be true, it must by necessity have a certain depth, the same must be true of religious philosophy. This is because a philosophy must be complete. One element that draws me away from other Christian communities is the feeling of being a Sunday Christian. Having a certain faith is not the same as being a hockey player. On Fridays I am a hockey player, every other day of the week I am not a hockey player. I cannot say the same about being a Catholic. While I do not state that I think about my faith every moment, this is not because I do not believe the faith is applicable in every situation but merely my inability to spend every moment going into depth about every action I take. Which incidentally the church recognises as a normal thing. That is the point of good habits, that we do not have to exhaustively think every time we eat that we should eat healthy for example. Despite my lack of thought on every action, I do recognize that every action can be related back to my faith. My philosophy is comprehensive. (In should clarify that I often prefer to call my “religion” my philosophy since I tend to use religion more to mean one’s practises than one’s faith). G.K. Chesterton was considered a master of this type of thought. Beer and cheese were considered by him to have clear relations to the faith. In terms of Encyclicals, the Catholic church has, using its premises, commented on hundreds of aspects of human life. I should also comment that the comments upon the little aspects of life are not vague platitudes such as “just be kind in all that you say” and such things, but a true concrete remark on everything. In conclusion, if a philosophy is to be true, it must be always true, as Chesterton remarks, a philosophy cannot be for a certain period. Either a philosophy is true now otherwise it was never true. We cannot be a Humean on Tuesday and a Lockian on Wednesday, a Thomist at breakfast and a Platonist at tea time.

2) Feature two; relation to reality and goodness– since I combined depth and breadth into one, and I think I will combine what the church teaches as being good into this one, so I guess I have only two features although in some ways it is four. Anyways, this is my stronger argument. Since breadth and depth do not necessarily mean that a philosophy is true, the other aspect which we must touch upon is whether the Church’s doctrine has a relation to reality. One thing you mentioned in your former post was the idea that a logical system based on faulty premises will move further and further away from reality as time or logical syllogism are added. Now the church has existed for 2000 years and has an enormous library of documents. Do we find it going further and further from reality? I would argue that it is not. The only way in which I might agree that the church is apart from reality is that it often preaches ideals. Now ideals are often apart from reality simply because we are not ideal. That being said I think the Church’s ideals are much more beneficial than those of other systems. One example is that of social teaching. I consider rerum novarum to be by far the best document on economics. Stating that both Capitalism and Communism are morally repugnant. Another example is sexuality, I find the church’s views on sexuality to be very admirable and good, even if they are difficult. It is my belief that if one follows these teachings, they will be far happier. The problem here is that we could argue each individual teaching and whether the church or some other system is correct. I just leave off by saying that even if I wasn’t Catholic, presuming that all that occurred for me to lose my faith was to stop believing in God, I would still hold most of the Catholic church’s teachings to be good.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
Find all posts by this user
Thread Closed 
Forum Jump: