- HGL to SO
- Wednesday 27-VIII-2014, 09:54
HGL's F.B. writings: At Leaving the Group Creationism [the discussion]
- SO to HGL
- Wednesday 11:21
Ye it has occurred to me that EVERY belief system is a "closed system of thought", that is why, if you had read any of my other contributions to the FB page, you would have realised that I reject all beliefs.
I maintain the view that there is NOTHING of which we can be certain, even this statement.
That's MY starting point. However, a lack of certaintain does not need to mean a complete state of ignorance. Experience with the world tells us that there are certain features of the world which appear to be repeatable and regular; these allow us to make predictions, and allow us to check these predictions. We also learn that our brains ou wired to form hypotheses or conjectures about the world, and check whether these have any validity. We also learn that sometimes this process fools us, so the methodology is by no means foolptoof. However, it appears that this methodology is all we have, we are adrift in a sea of uncertainty, and we only have this faulty methodology to steer us.
All this might be an illusion, and the reality might be something completely different, but if it is, we have no way of knowing, and to hold such a view invites madness. Therefore, we must work with what we have, and that is uncertainty.
I don't know how any other person could come to any other conclusion than this.
- HGL to SO
- Wednesday 14:11
Saying "our brains are evolved to develop hypotheses" presupposes evolution to be true.
By the phrase "developed". It also presupposes conscience to be a product of entirely the brain.
I have a hunch of how even other materialistic persons could come to other conclusions than you: since materialism breaks down into your position, some will take less consistent versions of materialism, at least as far as epistemology is concerned.
As for me, I am not a materialist. I think our brains are part of but not all of what God gave us to find out the truth among options. I also believe God clearly marked out the truth among other options.
I know very well why I would rather be Catholic or Orthodox than Protestant or Muslim or Jew. Meaning in each case a religious believer - a secularist would of course feel free to have a preference for his non-believing cultural attachment independent of this question.
That is also a parallel to why I would rather go by the Hebrew tradition than by Babylonian or Hindoo or Greek Paganism or Norse Paganism or Egyptian Paganism :
A clear succession of a genealogy and a clearheaded view of where the rest of humanity came from.
Egyptians had a theory that shepherding nomads were the creatures of Seth, an evil divinity. The Hebrews (from which come Jews and Samarians on non-Christian sidealleys and Christians on the main way) had a genealogy in which they were included as clearly shepherding and in which Egyptians were included as cousins ... and a story - not completely told in Genesis, but Sepher ha Yasher (or the book so called) confirms the views of Josephus which Western Scholasticism thrived on - how non-Hebrews and even some Hebrew tribes evenually (such as descendants of Lot) came to be idolaters.
As to astronomy. If I believed as you, about ultimate uncertainty of everything, I would see no reason to call Heliocengtrism more certain than the Geocentric alternative. Since I believe an Eternal and Infinite Spirit created us in His image and stars for His glory, I can also find it credible he placed us where a normal person normally equipped as through the centuries would be better equipped than anyone elsewhere to find out even by reason how the universe is. This means Geocentrism is default since it is wysiwyg version of Cosmology.
YOU believe parallax is an illusion of the same type as when trees rush by the train you sit in. I believe parallax is a proper movement of the star - and whether it is ensouled or only carried by an angel makes very little difference as to how come it is able to have a proper movement such as the 0.76 arcseconds yearly of alpha Centauri. So it is I and not you who is taking our observations the most realistically.
- SO to HGL
- Wednesday 16:31
When did I say "our brains are evolved to develop hypotheses"???
If you READ what I said, I mused that "We also learn that our brains ou wired to form hypotheses or conjectures about the world" (sic) and this is a completely different statement.
I was merely observing that this is what happens. We DO form hypotheses, AND we can check them out. This happens all the time, it's what we do. I make no assumption about how this process got to be there, I am just observing that this APPEARS to be the case.
The point I am making is that this procedure is all we have, THERE IS NOTHING ELSE. What you might consider to be logic, or science or anything else is merely an outgrowth of the basic hypothesis-test-confirm-or-reject process, which as far as I can tell seems to be inbuilt in all humans, and in animals as well. I see my cat doing it all the time, and I conjecture (but am not certain) that the same sorts of behaviour applies to other creatures as well.
I also think that you completely misunderstand me - just because we can't be CERTAIN of anything, that does not mean we cannot be more confident that some descriptions of the world are MORE LIKELY to be accurate than others. I will discuss Bayesian reasoning with you if you like.
Finally, you have completely misunderstood the issues concerning SN1987A. This is nothing to do with parallax.
I find your concern with medieval notions of whether stellar bodies have souls or are being pushed around by angels somewhat perplexing. The medievals who believed that the stars were being moved by intelligences, debated as to whether the moons, stars, sun & planets were themselves living beings. I have no idea why, when we send rockets to Mars, put men on the moon, and have probes exiting beyond the reach of our solar system, you would even think that planets need angels to move them around. We might not know the root cause of gravity, but we know sufficient about it to know HOW it functions, and that no angels are required to move things around. Gravity acts equally on ALL bodies of any size, a fact which can be confirmed experimentally, and the fact that we can calculate trajectories round the planets to meet up with with comets tells you that it works. If you deny this, then you are not being honest - either with me, or with yourself.
- For those who did not read our discussion on SN 1987 A:
- Instead of a movement of say 0.76 arcseconds being interpreted as a parallactic illusion due to earth's supposed movement and this being a known distance (the distance is known, only difference is whether it is Earth - Earth around Sun or Sun - Sun around Earth) therefore involved in the triangle - which it is not if it really is the star that is moving - in this case the "known distance" is supposed to be calculated by speed of light times time between one light showing up (the supernova) and another one showing up eight months later (the ring, supposedly lit up by the nova and not anything like independently). In this case, though the angels would not be moving anything around, like the 0.76 arcseconds of alpha Centauri, they would be lighting up the ring with an eight month delay and that also would mean no evidence of its distance, since delay would not be related to speed of light.
- "Gravity acts equally on ALL bodies of any size"
- I missed answering this one.
Gravity does indeed work on a pen also, and yet the pens movement on the paper is decided by a will and not by gravity. Because to my fingers the pen's gravitational pull toward centre of the earth is not strong enough to be an obstacle.
My point is that whatever the gravity might be of any planet toward the Sun, or of the Sun itself even towards either centre (place of Earth) or periphery (dome of stars), God can have given the angel moving it enough might over matter to make that move as easy for it as moving a pen is for me. And this does not involve any contradiction in terms.
- HGL to SO
- Wednesday 18:07
"We also learn that our brains [are] wired to ..."
OK. Developed may have to go, but you are at least attributing this process to the brain.
"The medievals who believed that the stars were being moved by intelligences, debated as to whether the moons, stars, sun and planets were themselves living beings."
Debated as to whether, not concluded that. A difference.
St Thomas and Bishop Tempier concluded that they were NOT themselves living beings. Thereby perhaps preparing humanism as this position (especially since denying angels have some kind of bodies as well) makes man the highest life-with-a-body. But the denial of life to a star did not involve denial of an angel moving it.
"I have no idea why, when we send rockets to Mars, put Men on the Moon, and have probes exiting beyond the reach of our solar system, you would even think that planets need angels to move them around."
Well, one reason is that the mechanism given by materialists has been tested in MIR or somewhere where gravitation of earth is lesser, on water drops orbitting knitting needles of plastic which were charged with static electricity - to mimick the gravitational part of the process Newton and Laplace gave - and the resulting orbits are on video, I counted ten to twenty orbits per water drop. Not 7200. Not 4.5 billion. And the Earth is clearly older than fifteen years.
Another reason is, I do not understand your problem unless (as I think) you are holding something back.
1) Angels pushing about celestial bodies does NOT equal these being alive. You could have taken the space craft collected evidence, if you had liked, as a denial of celestial bodies being living organisms with souls. You cannot as easily argue from the evidence thus collected that they are not moved by angels.
2) You may be synthesising Modern Times as much as you synthesise Byzantium before the times of Photius with Sorbonne around 1277 into a non-extant generation called "the Middle Ages".
Celestial bodies being pushed by angels rather than ensouled by them may have been as minoritarian as Indocopleustes in one of the surroundings and still be totally mainstream from 1277 to 1700 (or maybe even beyond in some countries). And modernity may well be totally successful in putting men on the Moon while being totally wrong in considering celestial bodies as BOTH lifeless in themselves AND devoid of any kind of living movers.
"We might not know the root cause of gravity, but we know sufficent about how it functions ..."
Not really. The falling of bodies and even (supposing the Moon landing to be true) the attractive force being proportional to each mass acting and inversely proportional to distance between masses in the square and dealing with inertias proportional to mass acted on does NOT equal the theory of Newton and Laplace need to work, and least of all that it would work so flawlessly as to need no living regulator like God or an angel. You know the water drops and the knitting needles, ten to twenty orbits, in the medium 15 orbits per drop before it attached itself to the needle.
You also forget a Christian could return the point: we know sufficiently about angels to know they could do it and that graviation of the Newtonian type is not required.
The calculus of planetory orbits involves a vicious circle of demonstration between masses and theory where only orbits are observed directly.
SUN is the mass most relevant for the theory and it has not been studied through trajectories of spacecraft flying by or landing.
The theory may work very well on one side of its predictions, while at the same time being erroneous on another side. If accurate technology is here coupled with inaccurate theory of what makes it work, it would very much not be the first time in history.
Besides, the space craft are so easy to fake photos of (watch Star Wars if you do not believe me) that their trajectories are definitely not easy to check unless you are involved in NASA. And some of the guys who are so most directly have such an anti-Christian bias, they could reasonably be suspected of faking.
On another side, here is what I wrote about myself if I were an agnostic Pagan (acknowledging I have not been so as an adult, so I haven't tried it out):
New blog on the kid: If I were a Pagan
- HGL to SO
- Thursday c.16:20
As I sneeked on the thread I left, I can add, fancy you living on Mykonos and not knowing Baruch is canonic with Orthodox - and therefore presumably (as is indeed the case) with us Catholics.
Since the chapter ends with a reference to Incarnation you can imagine why Christ-rejecting Jewry wanted to stamp the book as un-canonical. And unfortunately theirs is the canon followed for OT by Protestants, mostly.
And since stars being either themselves endowed with souls (as per older view) or moved by angels (as per view promoted by St Thomas Aquinas and not opposed by Tempier, as per view cited by Riccioli in support of Geocentrism) is a truth, it is hardly to the point that the other Biblical passages are not exact synonyms to the one in Isaiah commented on by Tertullain (was it?).
Tertullian is obviously the spelling, but it was you who cited the man [on the discussion thread, not this correspondence], if it was he or another.
- HGL to SO
- Thursday c.18:20
Oh, in case you were anything like prone to state I made the Riccioli reference up, here is the exact quotation:
New blog on the kid : What Opinion did Riccioli call the Fourth and Most Common One?
- SO to HGL
- Somewhere between that and the next:
Can you tell me what is supposed to the point of all this? You cannot seriously expect anyone to accept at face value the contention that you believe that stars, planets and other objects in space are being manipulated by angels?
Is this some sort of intellectual exercise to try to get inside the mind of those writing in the 1st millennium or what?
The problem is here, I simply can't get my head around what you are trying to do here.
- HGL to SO
- Friday 13:13
I) The namedropping done by Riccioli refers, for the position I share, mostly to second millennium.
Suárez and the Coimbra Jesuits hardly have any kind of claim to be first millennium!
II) It is NOT my fault you pretend to take my words facietiously as if even that would dispense you in honour from giving a answering argument.
Suppose I were facetious. In fact I am not, but that is beside the point. Suppose I were. Would not that at least be a good chance for you to check if your beliefs could be proven to the satisfaction of someone NOT raised as you were?
One thing is certain. I once believed as you do. I then became a Christian. I have had occasions galore to defend Christianity intellectually, and it does not feel anything like bad to take St Thomas Aquinas' (or St Augustine) or any other premodern into my argumentation.
You see, I do not think rational thought started in a minute portion of mankind after Newton made it possible by "dispensing" you from needing angels to explain celestial movements.
If you can't respect that, so much the worse for you. That is at least not my fault.
Friday, 29 August 2014
Can Someone Help the Bewildered Man Out?
HGL's F.B. writings : 1) At Leaving the Group Creationism [the discussion], Correspondence of Hans Georg Lundahl : 2) Can Someone Help the Bewildered Man Out?