Scientific Evidence for God

By the years scientists had to review their ideas and several certainties or scientific teachings first having to be accepted by all or not receiving your marks to pass exams were later considered totally wrong.

Certain things are not yet be proven but that does not mean they do not exist or cannot exist.
The same for the Most High Being, it seems very difficult to proof His existence, though when people would listen to their heart and look around them they shall be able to find out. Being created in the image of God we have a feeling of that God in us.

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In this article:

Argument from Origin > a necessary and sufficient cause behind all that exists in the universe > Prime Mover

  • Everything that begins to exist has a cause
  • The universe began to exist
  • Therefore, the universe has a cause

defense of premise

cosmic beginner behind the universe as its ultimate cause

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Argument from Design

exquisite fine-tuning in the universe for life

world of biological complexity within living organisms

modern science uncovering more and more evidence of design > to point back to an intelligent designer

believing and non-believing astronomers >  essentially concluded > conditions in the universe for life are balanced on a “Razors Edge”.

Christian biochemist, Fazale Rana states,

“The information-based systems that define life’s chemistry can be marshaled to make the case that life stems from a Creator…the hallmark features of biochemical systems are identical to those characteristics of human designs that indicate that they must be the work of a mind. Nothing exemplifies this relationship more than the information systems found inside the cell.”

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Preceding:

Pascal’s Possibility

Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics

Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs

Is faith rational?

Why think there’s a God? (1): Something from Nothing

Why think there is a God? (2) Goldilocks Effect

Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?

Why think there is a God (4): And the Rest …

Why think that (4) … God would reveal himself in words

Does He exists?

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Additional reading:

  1. Science and God’s existence
  2. Did the Inspirator exist
  3. Christianity is a love affair
  4. When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation
  5. Hatred and hostility against God
  6. Daring to speak in multicultural environment

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Is faith rational?

[this is a sample of text from the book “Living on the edge” by Jonathan Burke]

Is faith rational?

Faith is confidence for a reason. Everyone understands faith in this sense, as applied to ordinary matters. It is the same in divine matters. There is no truth in the popular view that places faith outside the confines of reason.’[1]

A typical dictionary definition rightly informs us that faith is belief which is not based on proof.[2] However, this is not the same as saying faith is blind, or that faith is belief for no reason, or that faith is not based on evidence.

Blind Faith (film)

Blind Faith (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Proof is a body of evidence which demonstrates a belief or statement to be conclusively true (typically through testing); evidence is a body of facts which provide rational reason for belief, without being conclusive. Faith is belief on the basis of evidence, where actual proof is absent.

There are many aspects of our faith which we cannot prove: we cannot prove the existence of many of the characters of the Bible, and many of the events recorded there; we cannot prove the resurrection took place; we cannot even prove the existence of God.

In each of these cases we have no opportunity to test the claim and prove it conclusively. However, in each of these cases there is sufficient evidence to warrant belief. We do not hold these beliefs without any evidence whatsoever. Throughout the Bible repeated appeals are made repeatedly to evidence, in support of truth claims; eyewitness accounts,[3] [4] verifiable historical monuments,[5] and direct personal experiences.[6] Blind faith is never encouraged.[7] [8] [9]

Early Christians appealed to evidence in order to argue that their faith was rational. Accordingly, the earliest defenders of Christianity (known as the Apologists), presented it as rational and worthy of belief,[10] and in harmony with science,[11] which appealed to thoughtful non-Christians.

The 4th century Latin commentary known by the name ‘Ambrosiaster’, identifies prophecy as ‘the first proof that our faith is rational’.[12] The famous 13th century theologian Thomas Aquinas likewise argued that faith is rational and that reason could be used to demonstrate theological truths.[13] Christian belief, if it is to be both rational and defensible, must be based on a faith which is not blind. [14]

‘The certainty of and trust in the Christian faith cannot be made hard in a scientific, deductive or inductive way. But neither is it based on arbitrary opinion.’[15]

 

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[1] Roberts, ‘The Visible Hand of God Or Miracles, Signs, And Wonders’, The Christadelphian (18.199.16), 1881.

[2] ‘1 complete trust or confidence. 2 strong belief in a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.’, Concise Oxford English Dictionary (11th ed. 2004).

[3] John 3:11 I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony.

[4] Acts 5:30 The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these events, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

[5] Deuteronomy 3:11 Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaites. (It is noteworthy that his sarcophagus was made of iron. Does it not, indeed, still remain in Rabbath of the Ammonites? It is thirteen and a half feet long and six feet wide according to standard measure.)

[6] Acts 10:39 We are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

[7] ‘It required a robust faith to undertake a journey of four months, cumbered with women and children, and the valuable vessels of the temple, lying through a country infested with robbers and enemies of the Jews, without making every possible arrangement for protection. But theirs was not a blind faith. God would not be pleased with such.’, Roberts, ‘Sunday Morning at the Christadelphian Ecclesia’, The Christadelphian (54.633.109), 1917; Roberts is referring to the Jewish exiles who returned to Israel after the Babylonian captivity.

[8] ‘In other words we rightly endeavour, as the early brethren did, to find the real meaning behind the English words we read and so come to the true message of God for man. This approach marks us as distinct from Fundamentalists; it has, I believe, always commended itself to  people of reason who are not prepared to follow a blind faith.’, Draper, ‘Fundamentalism’ (letter to the editor), The Christadelphian (121.1437.109), 1984.

[9] ‘But Bible faith is not blind faith. We are given more than sufficient evidence to prove that Christ was raised from the tomb.’, Cresswell, ‘Proving the Resurrection of Christ’ The Christadelphian (137.1634.296), 2000.

[10] ‘In addition to the refutations of calumnies and the presentation of Christianity as a rational faith the Apologists were also concerned withthe questionings of thoughtful men.’, Barnard, ‘Justin Martyr: His life and thought’, p. 3 (1967).

[11] ‘According to the early Fathers, science and Christian doctrine were to be developed side by side, each on independent grounds, and each in harmony with the other.’, Mahan, ‘A Critical History of Philosophy’, volume 1, p. 483 (2003).

[12] ‘Paul begins with prophecy, which is the first proof that our faith is rational, for believers prophesied when they received the spirit.’, Ambrosiaster, in Bray (ed.), ‘Commentaries on Romans and 1-2 Corinthians’, p. 96  (2009).

[13] ‘For Aquinas faith is rational; it involves, like all knowing, the assent of the intellect. And reason can demonstrate the truth of some theological propositions.’, Hicks, ‘The Journey So Far: Philosophy Throuth the Ages’, p. 201 (2003).

[14] ‘We believe this, and that the Bible teaches thus and so. Both these propositions are topics of investigation, and the man accepting them as true, and acting them out in his life, is not justly chargeable with fanaticism. It is not “the blind faith of a fanatic” that impels him, but the resolution of a sane man who acts from the perception of the facts.’, Roberts, ‘Rejoinder to MacMillan’s Notice of “An Obscure Sect”’, The Christadelphian (27.316.369), 1890.

[15] Stoker, ‘Is Faith Rational?: A Hermeneutical-phenomenological Accounting for Faith’, p. 199 (2006).

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Preceding articles:

Where is the edge

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)

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Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

In the previous chapter “Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life“,  we have seen that the relation of religion and spirituality is in the eye of the beholder and that religiosity and spirituality are not always connected with each other.

File:Church Attendance and Welfare Spending Graph.png

Religiosity, Church Attendance and Welfare Spending

Historically, the major world religious traditions have relied upon symbolic forms for breaking outside of the profane world and into an alternative reality known only through its ecstatic qualities and interpretive frames. Even within contemporary, more secular social settings, research suggests that those persons most involved in their religious traditions are more likely to report having strong religious experiences (International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences referring to: Yamane and Polzer 1994, pp. 1–25).

We also said that we should see that there is a distinction between spiritual and religious or religiousness. This  is becoming more commonplace in advanced modern societies like the United States, for example, where the number of people claiming to be “spiritual but not religious” is estimated variously (but with differing empirical measures) as 14 percent (Roof 1999) and 31 percent (Wuthnow 2005) of the adult population.

English: Religious symbols from the top nine o...

Religious symbols (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being religious implies a relationship with a faith, which should not be necessary Christian faith, but the believes in something divine and clinging to participation in institutionally based practices, and having respect for the teachings of a certain tradition or community. In contrast to be spiritual concerns the inner relationship with the inner and puts emphasis upon the experience of connectedness, relationship, or oneness with the Inner-Self and/or a higher power/the sacred/nature. The aim of the spirituality is also to come to satisfaction with the Self and to find appreciation for personal growth and inner awareness in one’s life journey. Aiming for more spirituality the person hopes he can come in a better stadium with himself and for himself, sometimes looking for transcendental forms.

Several people aim to come in a higher stadium coming to have mystical experiences. For some this can be New Age beliefs where they draw on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions, infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology, holistic health, parapsychology, consciousness research and quantum physics. Others may not like to be placed under New Age or post-New Age, for the reason it got negative connotations and because it does not always co-notate to the coming astrological Age of Aquarius,  but more to the “transformational” of the being, though they still may aim to create “a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas” that is inclusive and pluralistic. {Drury 2004, p. 10}

Some may look for a form of a form of monism and unity throughout the universe, where the variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance. But there they also think that all those things being in existence may find their origin on one source which is distinct from a human being. Some call it the Universal Supreme Being or The God of gods. For Christians that Divine Super Power should be their Only One God, the centre piece of everything which was before everything, the Adonai and Most High Elohim. All other beings are lower than That One Who is One and is not restricted like we are but is One unity of substance and essence which is complete in its unity, its spirit and in time being eternal.

Various different religious traditions have be...

Various different religious traditions have been labelled “pagan” over the centuries; including the Classical religion of ancient Greece (left; The Parthenon) and the new religious movement of contemporary Paganism (right; Romuvan priestess). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The body-mind dichotomy in philosophy examines the relationship between mind and matter, and in particular the relationship between consciousness and the brain. The problem was addressed by René Descartes in the 17th century, resulting in Cartesian dualism, and by pre-Aristotelian philosophers. {Robert M. Young (1996). “The mind-body problem”. In RC Olby, GN Cantor, JR Christie, MJS Hodges, eds. Companion to the History of Modern Science (Paperback reprint of Routledge 1990 ed.). Taylor and Francis. pp. 702–11. ISBN 0415145783.} + {Robinson, Howard (Nov 3, 2011). “Dualism”. In Edward N. Zalta, ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2011 Edition).} The Persian Pūr Sinɑʼ, who is regarded as the most famous and influential polymath of the Islamic Golden Age, made a big study the Quran and the Hadith, encountered greater obstacles in the philosophical writings and got greatly troubled by the Metaphysics of Aristotle. Due to Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā or Avicenna’s successful reconciliation between Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism along with Kalam, Avicennism eventually became the leading school of Islamic philosophy by the 12th century, with Avicenna becoming a central authority on philosophy.

He preferred a “short life with width to a narrow one with length” {Aisha Khan. Avicenna (Ibn Sina): Muslim Physician And Philosopher of the Eleventh Century. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 85.} Trying to find logic, ethics this teacher founded also a system for people to come to the essence of life and inner sanctity. It is by placing the ego separate of the world, which is considered in the Holy Scriptures (the Bible) as being “set-apart” often translated in English with the word “holy” or “holiness“.

Several Islamic teachers and Christian theologians got very interested in the ancient philosophers. In medieval Europe the clergy went looking for the mysterious soul in the human being. They wanted to solve the many philosophical problems posed by the years. they wanted to go further than the philosophers who studied the fields of aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, as well as social philosophy and political philosophy. For many clergyman the Catholic teachings had not brought “Logic“. Mainly by all the false teachings in Roman Catholicism they where distracted from the Biblical texts which was confusing them, because they were bombarded with many dogma‘s created over the years. for the bishops and higher placed ones in the ‘holy orders’ Avicennism brought more interesting doctrines on the nature of the soul and his existenceessence distinction. , along with the debates and censure that they raised in scholastic Europe. By 1210 so many people became interested in the Islamic teaching the church took measures to forbid it. A “decree of condemnation to death or banishment” was prescribed. This proscription or “decree of condemnation, outlawry” did not frighten William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris and Albertus Magnus.  The psychology and theory of knowledge found in Avicennism and its metaphysics had an impact on the thought of Thomas Aquinas.

closer to our times several theologians also went looking in Confucius his philosophical writings.

The philosophers did not determine the value of an idea by the diversity of its applications. Philosophy in itself does not bring spirituality though it may help to form ideas and to give pulses to do thorough research. It may be interesting in its own right, and a substantial minority of philosophers investigate the many and varied interpretations of ideas studied in philosophy itself, testing others their thought experiments and their conclusions of philosophical arguments.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

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Find also:

  1. The Supreme Being God of gods
  2. Only One God
  3. God is One
  4. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  5. Faith
  6. Living in faith
  7. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  8. Religion and spirituality
  9. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  10. Childish or reasonable ways
  11. Words to push and pull
  12. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  13. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  14. Religious Practices around the world
  15. The Soul not a ghost
  16. Focus on outward appearances
  17. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  18. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  19. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?

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Additional readings:

  1. Some Thoughts about the Integration of Spirituality and Religion
  2. Religion Vs. Spiritual
  3. Reginay’s Religious vs. Spiritual
  4. Who is religious?

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  • Wealth usually distracts one from a spiritual path (transientreflections.com)
    Are you a Materialistic Individual or do you pursue the path of an Academic or of a Spiritual and religious nature? These questions can only be answered by you and which you choose is solely up to you.
  • African Spirituality: What it is and what it ‘ain’t’ (moniquecharles.wordpress.com)
    In this discussion, Asar Imhotep will reassess the common understandings of African spirituality and provide an updated analysis rooted in over a decade’s worth of research as a practitioner of African spiritual systems, and a student of history.
  • Mapping the Possible Relations between “Religious,” “Spiritual,” “Humanistic” and “Secular” Sensibilities (villasophiasalon.wordpress.com)
    One way to map or model the spectrum of consciousness and culture today is to talk about the continuum that connects the religious, spiritual (but not necessarily religious), humanistic (but not necessarily religious or spiritual) and secular ( but not necessarily religious, spiritual or humanistic) sensibilities. Further, there are those who religion is not necessarily hostile or indifferent to the spiritual, humanistic and secular dimensions of life.
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    Are you aware that each of these words has a whole range of possible meanings and associations, and that the presumably objective denotative meanings are all but silenced by a cacophony of various subjective connotative meanings. Therefore, any meaningful and constructive dialogue between persons who have front-loaded their own experiential associations and interpretative evaluations of these words make real communication all but impossible.
  • Religion Vs. Spiritual (etsuwmst.wordpress.com)
    Although, religion and spiritually have its differences. Religion should be accompanied with spiritually although sometimes it does not go that way. Most people think you either one or the other. It is possible to be religious and spiritual most people are but then again you could be spiritual without religion. The reason being is because religion is very much forced in many situations. A lot of people can’t live freely in the world because they feel if they do it would conflict with their religion. Just because of the demands religion has on a person’s life. Unlike spiritually, it is a chosen practice so it designed the way you want to.
  • What Wishes to Come to Being through You? (agentleinstigator.wordpress.com)
    “What constitutes personal authority? Stated most simply it means, to find what is true for oneself and to live it in the world. If it is not lived, it is not yet real for us, and we abide in what Sartre called ”bad faith”, the theologian calls ”sin”, the  therapist calls “neurosis”, and the existential philosopher calls ”inauthentic being”. Respectful of the rights and perspectives of others, personal authority is neither narcissistic nor imperialistic. It is a humble acknowledgement of what wishes to come to being through us.“
  • (#7) Family, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For… (bushmansblogi.wordpress.com)
    In accordance with Notarianni’s claim, I would like to emphasize the essential nature families play in the spiritual development of children. It is in the home where either a spiritual void is discovered or a spiritual direction is initiated. This is seen in experiences that families go through together and how they adapt, as well as in family traditions, and finally, even the absence of spirituality in the home aids children in determining their own beliefs.
  • Deep Within, We Want it All By Brenda Hoffman (renardmoreau.wordpress.com)
    You wish to recreate some of the glories of past lifetimes. All of you have experienced both depravity, because of religious teachings, and lives with extreme levels of fame and wealth.You are now more interested in your past glories than the religious penitence that marked at least one of your lifetimes. Yet, you will not allow yourself access to the glories and riches you hold dear in this time and place because you are not certain you can achieve your goal – or that you want to.
  • Are Esoteric Teachings Missing from Christianity? (jesusweddingthebook.wordpress.com)
    In the television program Myths of Mankind – The Gnostic Origins of Christianity (Timestamp 43:12-43:54), Elaine Pagels PhD of Princeton University is quoted as saying,“Every great world religious tradition whether its Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism has both the teaching for everyone, exoteric teaching, which every adherent of that faith is supposed to follow and esoteric or mystical teaching. The only one that lacks that is western Christianity. I think it is unfortunate that that which many people find necessary for their own integrity and development has been regarded as either heretical or a path leading nowhere.”
  • Discovering the Truth (cosmicmacduff.wordpress.com)
  • Artists forge their own spiritual path at Promenade Gallery – Mississauga (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
  • Meditation – Do try it! (trishbarcatta.wordpress.com)
    It involves focusing on a single thought, object or feeling and turning your attention inwards. Some people find it hard to drown everything else out so as to quiet the mind, but you don’t need to do that. You can just gently bring your focus back to what you need to and not be so hard on yourself.
  • How To Begin On The Spiritual Path (anandasingapore.wordpress.com)
    The seeker cannot be confined to a particular religion, rather, he or she must embrace the Divine teachings of all religions, and bow humbly, and revere the saints of all religions, for all saints have attained to Godhood, and making any distinction within the Fundamental Unity of God is contrary to the Divine Path.
  • Am I A Religious Person? (elephantjournal.com)
    In the West we tend to think of religion in really narrow terms that most of the ‘religions’ of the east don’t fit into very well.To me, the word ‘religion’ conjures connotations of dogma and authority. I don’t think either of those things are helpful on the spiritual path. I don’t believe in God. Belief or lack thereof in a deity is not considered an important thing in the path of Buddhism.
  • Daily Teaching for Wednesday, November 27th (bishopcraig.com)
    Humility is an absolute prerequisite for progress on the spiritual path, and thankfulness is its evidence.
  • Simply Being With Nothing to Be: A Commentary (edoshonin.com)
    If we have hope, then we automatically have fear. We are fearful that our hopes will not be realized. Many people think that in order to be happy they need hope. But this kind of happiness is very conditional and is reliant upon the presence of external factors.
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    We can observe the beings who are born and who pass away – one moment they are present but the next moment they are gone. One moment they are happy but the next moment sad. One moment they are in the company of friends and family but the next moment they are all alone. We see that beings come and go, planets come and go, and even the universes come and go. We observe the passing of time and the passing of space.
  • Gyo-shin-ki Evolution (gyoshinki.wordpress.com)
    Our spiritual center will continue to be Gyo, Shin and Ki. Shinto at the heart, Buddhist at the heart and Taoist at the heart. I continue to receive teaching and guidance and evolve methodology and techniques that allow energetic and spiritual purification and accomplishment. GSK is essentially a spiritual path – truth testing is done via the taijutsu. The taijutsu is a physical analog of the meditaion and purifications.

Thomas Aquinas on Wisdom by Robert M. Woods

In which way has philosophy blended the theoretical and the practical many may wonder. In the early times there may have been the reflection and the proper moral action people wanted to take, but they were always bounded to their own limited thinking and their understanding of the world at that time.

‘Yesteryear’ as today we can find enough people who would love to think about what is going on in the world and how we can find solutions for our living better than today. There are many who would love to see more mutual understanding, love and wisdom.

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For many philosophers to reason, reflect, imagine, conjecture, was part of what it meant to act faithfully in accordance with being in the image of God. Where the world went wrong is that many started not only to consider themselves to be in the image of God, but that many started looking at themselves as being part of God or even worse being God themselves. Though having God in you does not mean yet that you become God, though many take Jesus to be God because he had God in him. They forget that we also should try to receive God in us, to be like Christ Jesus, and to show others how we have God in us. But that does not make us God, like it did not with Christ, who was first lower than the angels, but than was made higher by his Father and was taken at His right hand to become a mediator between God and us.

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God has given the world His instructions, but He has given the humans the liberty to accept and follow them or to ignore them and to go their own way. The majority of the world has chosen to go their own way and to ignore God. So they have to bear the consequences of their choice.

There are not enough people who would like to take the time to look at them selves, how they are doing it in this universe, and contemplating which role they have to play in this universe. Lots of people are busy with thinking about themselves in a egocentric way but not in the relation of themselves with the others around them. Many might try to get wisdom, but often it is only to enrich themselves and not others. It seems that they do not come to see that wisdom is an understanding of the final cause. Like the writer of the article says “Sadly, this has all but been lost in science and philosophy today.”

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Preceding articles:

Where is the edge

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)

Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?

Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings

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Additional reading:

  1. The business of this life
  2. Created to live in relation with God
  3. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  5. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  6. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  7. Truth never plays false roles of any kind, which is why people are so surprised when meeting it
  8. Wisdom lies deep
  9. Growth in character
  10. Preparedness to change
  11. Statutes given unto us
  12. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  13. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  14. It is a free will choice
  15. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  16. Leaving behind the lives we have touched.
  17. Words in the world
  18. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  19. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  20. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah + Gain Christ, trusting Jehovah
  21. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us
  22. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  23. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  24. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  25. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  26. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  27. Being one in Jesus, Jesus in us and God in Jesus
  28. Morality, values and Developing right choices

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  • God + World ≠ 2 (afkimel.wordpress.com)
    “God” permeates our conversation. Each year hundreds of books are published about God.
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    if one engages in theological conversation long enough, whether with Christians or with non-Christians, one begins to wonder whether everyone means the same thing by the word.
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    The unity of divinity and the all other beings is most clearly presented in popular pagan religion. The gods of Olympian religion clearly belong to the world. They represent the necessities and natural forces that we confront in our daily lives and which we ignore only at great risk.
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    With the emergence of Greek philosophy the gods came to be seen as projection of worldly necessities. “The necessities,” Sokolowski explains, “became simply the way things were born to be; they became that which is ‘by nature,’ as opposed to that which is because of human making or because of human choice” (p. 15). The philosophers did not deny the divine, but it was now relegated “to those forms of being that were taken to be the independent, ruling substances in the world. The divine was part, the best and governing part, of nature, but its direct involvement with human affairs was no longer acknowledged nor was it feared” (p. 15). In Aristotle divinity is located in the highest and first substances: it functions as the cause of motion and development of beings in the world. In Plato divinity becomes the “motive and the object of the exercise of reason” (p. 17). Unlike Aristotle it does not function as the prime mover but reaches beyond substance; yet even still “it is taken as ‘part’ of what is: it is the One by being a one over, for, and in many, never by being One only alone by itself” (p. 18). Divinity in Greek philosophy is monistic—it cannot be conceived apart from the non-divine beings in the world.
  • Does Morality Inhibit Freedom? (Aquinas vs. Ockham) (insightscoop.typepad.com)
    Some people seem to think that expressing a clearly defined morality is locking them up in some kind of invisible prison that is constricting their freedom. They may equate moral standards with self-righteous hypocrisy. They don’t want to be “moral machines” following a “hard cold legalism.”
  • 5 Ways To Logically Prove The Existence of God (delightfuloak.wordpress.com)
    Everything that exists is contingent upon something that existed before it did. For example, a child is contingent upon the mother and father for it’s existence. Since things exists, it is impossible for a world where nothing exists because we would still have nothing. Since we have things, then there must be an original thing that exists by its own power and does not rely on other things to exist.
    +
    There is something that is more being than all the rest of us. “Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.”-Thomas Aquinas
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    There must be a creator with a plan for the unintelligent things. “Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.” -Thomas Aquinas
  • Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 20:27-40 (stjoeofoblog.wordpress.com)
    There were two heresies among the Jews, one of the Pharisees, who boasted in the righteousness of their traditions, and hence they were called by the people, “separated;” the other of the Sadducees, whose name signified “righteous,” claiming to themselves that which they were not. When the former went away, the latter came to tempt Him.
  • Unified Truth: Faith and Reason (str.typepad.com)
    Aquinas felt comfortable undertaking such incorporation because, as he said, “All truth is one.” He argued that what we learn from the natural world through science and philosophy, provided it is unquestionably true, can never contradict that which we learn from revelation, that is, directly from God. He compared Scripture and reason to two books, “the book of revelation” and “the book of nature,” which were both “written” by God and consequently compatible.
  • Leo Strauss’s Objections to Thomism (sancrucensis.wordpress.com)
    Leo Strauss’s critique of modernity was very penetrating, and there is much to be learned from it. But what are we to think of his idea that modernity was (at least in part) a reaction against St. Thomas Aquinas’s distortion of Aristotelian philosophy, and that thus a true return to the ancients much dis-engage them from their Thomistic mis-reading?
  • Existential-Phenomenology (philosophicalhealing.com)
    Existential-Phenomenological Theory has been an important model in the field of counseling and therapy for quite some time, and it continues to increase in popularity with new counselors entering the field. The practice of Existential-Phenomenology is a blending of centuries-old wisdom applied to modern day problems.
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    The goal of an Existential-Phenomenological counselor is to help clients make-meaning of their lives, and so it is reasonable to assume that counselors using this theory must also do the same work.
  • Philosophy is a Dead Language – RIP (brainmoleculermarketing.com)
    Fundamentally, philo is merely another example of magical thinking.  The core claim of magical thinking is “Mind over matter.”  Philo, like econ, etc, falsely promises that word/language-behavior (thinking, talking, etc) can both accurately describe the “matter” of human physiology and actions — or effect it.  Clearly a lie.  But before brain science, the best we could do.  Now, obsolete.
  • Summa Economica: The morality of economic action (catholicpopcultureblog.wordpress.com) > Summa Parsimonia: The morality of economic action
    like the Summa Theologica, the Summa Parsimonia will take its influence from Aristotle and the teachings of Church Fathers such as St. Augustine, in addition to present Catholic Social Teaching and economists such as Adam Smith and so forth. It will critique the given sources if need be
  • Thomas Aquinas’s Works and Philosophies  As an Italian philosopher and (bestessaycheap.wordpress.com)
    Like Aristotle, Aquinas believed that aroundthing could be learned from all author, so he also looked towards the beginners of Neo-Platonism, such as: Augustine Boethius, Psuedo- Dionysuis, and Proclus. opposite ideas came from Muslim scholars; such as, Avveroes and Avvcenna. In addition to the Jewish thinkers: Maimonides, and Solomn ben Yehua ibn Gabril. His eclecticist ragbag was later called Thomistic philosophy because it cannot be significantly characterized by anything shared with earlier writers and thinkers. Because of critics of the time, it is said that not a oneness work of Aquinass reveals his entire philosophies (Bartleby).
  • Thomas Aquinas vs The New Atheists
    [T]he new atheists hold that God is some being in the world, the maximum instance, if you want, of the category of “being.” But this is precisely what Aquinas and serious thinkers in all of the great theistic traditions hold that God is not. Thomas explicitly states that God is not in any genus, including that most generic genus of all, namely being. He is not one thing or individual — however supreme — among many. Rather, God is, in Aquinas’s pithy Latin phrase, esse ipsum subsistens, the sheer act of being itself.

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Thomas Aquinas on Wisdom

by Robert M. Woods

St. Thomas AquinasOn occasion, but it should be with great frequency, within the context of a class discussion or even a lesson at Church, the topic of wisdom is discussed. Frequently, but it should be on occasion, the definition is put forth as practical or applied learning. It is at times like these I desired that Thomas Aquinas’s definition of wisdom had won the day in Western civilization. In truth, the Liberal Arts would have done much better through the ages if his definition had been the one people lived by and taught.

For Thomas, and most Philosophers until the modern world, Philosophy was essentially the “love of wisdom.” To engage in the the practice of philosophy was the faithful pursuit of wisdom wherever it might be found. The primary understanding of truth was saying of a thing what was and not saying of…

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Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?

Nikolaus Kopernikus.jpg

Portrait of Mikołaj Kopernik, better known as Nicolaus Copernicus 1580, Toruń Old Town City Hall

galileo_card

galileo_card (Photo credit: triviaqueen)

The seeds of the clash between Galileo and the Catholic Church were sown centuries before the Renaissance mathematician and astronomer Copernicus and Galileo were born. The earth-centered, or geocentric, view of the universe was adopted by the ancient Greeks and made famous by the philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) and the astronomer-astrologer Ptolemy (second century C.E.).*

Aristotle’s concept of the universe was influenced by the thinking of Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras (sixth century B.C.E.). Adopting Pythagoras’ view that the circle and sphere were perfect shapes, Aristotle believed that the heavens were a series of spheres within spheres, like layers of an onion. Each layer was made of crystal, with the earth at the center. Stars moved in circles, deriving their motion from the outermost sphere, the seat of divine power. Aristotle also held that the sun and other celestial objects were perfect, free of any marks or blemishes and not subject to change.

Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and A...

Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle would become highly revered in the christian world and later also in the medieval Islamic world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aristotle’s great scheme was a child of philosophy, not science. A moving earth, he felt, would violate common sense. He also rejected the idea of a void, or space, believing that a moving earth would be subject to friction and would grind to a halt without the application of constant force. Because Aristotle’s concept seemed logical within the framework of existing knowledge, it endured in its basic form for almost 2,000 years. Even as late as the 16th century, French philosopher, jurist and polyhistor Jean Bodin expressed that popular view, stating: “No one in his senses, or imbued with the slightest knowledge of physics, will ever think that the earth, heavy and unwieldy . . . , staggers . . . around its own centre and that of the sun; for at the slightest jar of the earth, we would see cities and fortresses, towns and mountains thrown down.”

Aristotle Adopted by the Church

The fifth of Thomas Aquinas' proofs of God's e...

The fifth of Thomas Aquinas’ proofs of God’s existence was based on teleology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A further step leading to the confrontation between Galileo and the church occurred in the 13th century and involved Catholic authority Thomas Aquinas (1225-74). Aquinas had a profound respect for Aristotle, whom he referred to as The Philosopher. Aquinas struggled for five years to fuse Aristotle’s philosophy with church teaching. By the time of Galileo, says Wade Rowland in his book Galileo’s Mistake, “the hybridized Aristotle in the theology of Aquinas had become bedrock dogma of the Church of Rome.” Keep in mind, too, that in those days there was no scientific community as such. Education was largely in the hands of the church. The authority on religion and science was often one and the same.

The stage was now set for the confrontation between the church and Galileo. Even before his involvement with astronomy, Galileo had written a treatise on motion. It challenged many assumptions made by the revered Aristotle. However, it was Galileo’s steadfast promotion of the heliocentric concept and his assertion that it harmonizes with Scripture that led to his trial by the Inquisition in 1633.

In his defense, Galileo affirmed his strong faith in the Bible as the inspired Word of God. He also argued that the Scriptures were written for ordinary people and that Biblical references to the apparent movement of the sun were not to be interpreted literally. His arguments were futile. Because Galileo rejected an interpretation of Scripture based on Greek philosophy, he stood condemned! Not until 1992 did the Catholic Church officially admit to error in its judgement of Galileo.

Lessons to Be Learned

What can we learn from these events? For one thing, Galileo had no quarrel with the Bible. Instead, he questioned the teachings of the church. One religion writer observed: “The lesson to be learned from Galileo, it appears, is not that the Church held too tightly to biblical truths; but rather that it did not hold tightly enough.” By allowing Greek philosophy to influence its theology, the church bowed to tradition rather than follow the teachings of the Bible.

All of this calls to mind the Biblical warning:

“Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry you off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.”—Colossians 2:8.

A page of hand-written notes, with a sketch of branching lines.

In mid-July 1837 Darwin started his “B” notebook on Transmutation of Species, and on page 36 wrote “I think” above his first evolutionary tree.

Even today, many in Christendom continue to embrace theories and philosophies that contradict the Bible. One example is Darwin’s theory of evolution, which they have accepted in place of the Genesis account of creation. In making this substitution, the churches have, in effect, made Darwin a modern-day Aristotle and evolution an article of faith.*

True Science Harmonizes With the Bible

The foregoing should in no way discourage an interest in science. To be sure, the Bible itself invites us to learn from God’s handiwork and to discern God’s amazing qualities in what we see. (Isaiah 40:26; Romans 1:20) Of course, the Bible does not claim to teach science. Rather, it reveals God’s standards, aspects of his personality that creation alone cannot teach, and his purpose for humans. (Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16) Yet, when the Bible does refer to natural phenomena, it is consistently accurate. Galileo himself said: “Both the Holy Scriptures and nature proceed from the Divine Word . . . Two truths can never contradict one another.” Consider the following examples.

Even more fundamental than the movement of stars and planets is that all matter in the universe is governed by laws, such as the law of gravity. The earliest known non-Biblical reference to physical laws was made by Pythagoras, who believed that the universe could be explained by numbers. Two thousand years later, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton finally proved that matter is governed by rational laws.

The earliest Biblical reference to natural law is contained in the book of Job. About 1600 B.C.E., God asked Job: “Have you come to know the statutes [or, laws] of the heavens?” (Job 38:33) Recorded in the seventh century B.C.E., the book of Jeremiah refers to Jehovah as the Creator of “the statutes of the moon and the stars” and “the statutes of heaven and earth.” (Jeremiah 31:35; 33:25) In view of these statements, Bible commentator G. Rawlinson observed:

“The general prevalence of law in the material world is quite as strongly asserted by the sacred writers as by modern science.”

If we use Pythagoras as a point of reference, the statement in Job was about a thousand years ahead of its time. Keep in mind that the Bible’s objective is not simply to reveal physical facts but primarily to impress upon us that Jehovah is the Creator of all things—the one who can create physical laws.—Job 38:4, 12; 42:1, 2.

The Hydrologic Cycle. Illustration by Tom Schultz

Another example we can consider is that the earth’s waters undergo a cyclic motion called the water cycle, or the hydrologic cycle. Put simply, water evaporates from the sea, forms clouds, precipitates onto the land, and eventually returns to the sea. The oldest surviving non-Biblical references to this cycle are from the fourth century B.C.E. However, Biblical statements predate that by hundreds of years. For example, in the 11th century B.C.E., King Solomon of Israel wrote: “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place from which the rivers come, to there and from there they return again.”—Ecclesiastes 1:7, The Amplified Bible.

Likewise, about 800 B.C.E. the prophet Amos, a humble shepherd and farmworker, wrote that Jehovah is “the One calling for the waters of the sea, that he may pour them out upon the surface of the earth.” (Amos 5:8) Without using complex, technical language, both Solomon and Amos accurately described the water cycle, each from a slightly different perspective.

The Bible also speaks of God as “hanging the earth upon nothing,” or he “suspends earth in the void,” according to The New English Bible. (Job 26:7) In view of the knowledge available in 1600 B.C.E., roughly when those words were spoken, it would have taken a remarkable man to assert that a solid object can remain suspended in space without any physical support. As previously mentioned, Aristotle himself rejected the concept of a void, and he lived over 1,200 years later!

Does it not strike you as amazing that the Bible makes such accurate statements—even in the face of the erroneous yet seemingly commonsense perceptions of the day? To thinking people, this is one more evidence of the Bible’s divine inspiration. We are wise, therefore, not to be easily swayed by any teaching or theory that contradicts God’s Word. As history has repeatedly shown, human philosophies, even those of towering intellects, come and go, whereas “the saying of Jehovah endures forever.”—1 Peter 1:25.

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[Footnotes]

In the third century B.C.E., a Greek named Aristarchus of Samos put forth the hypothesis that the sun is at the center of the cosmos, but his ideas were dismissed in favor of Aristotle’s.

For an in-depth discussion on this topic, see chapter 15, “Why Do Many Accept Evolution?” in the book Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The Protestants’ Attitude

  Leaders of the Protestant Reformation also railed against the sun-centered concept. They included Martin Luther (1483-1546), Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560), and John Calvin (1509-64). Luther said of Copernicus: “This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy.”

  The Reformers based their argument on a literal interpretation of certain scriptures, such as the account in Joshua chapter 10 that mentions that the sun and the moon “kept motionless.”* Why did the Reformers take this stand? The book Galileo’s Mistake explains that while the Protestant Reformation broke the papal yoke, it failed to “shake the essential authority” of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, whose views were “accepted by Catholic and Protestant alike.”

[Footnote 2]

Scientifically speaking, we use incorrect terms when we refer to “sunrise” and “sunset.” But in everyday speech, these words are both acceptable and accurate, when we keep in mind our terrestrial perspective. Likewise, Joshua was not discussing astronomy; he was simply reporting events as he saw them.

[Credit Line 1]

From the book Servetus and Calvin, 1877

[Credit Line 2]

From the book A General History for Colleges and High Schools, 1900

[Credit Line 3]

From the book Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1855

After w05 4/1 pp. 4-7

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Preceding articles:

Where is the edge

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)

The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)

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Additional reading:

  1. Living on the edge
  2. Is it “Wrong” to Believe that the Earth is a Sphere? Inclusive the first generation of Christadelphians their views
  3. A dialogue about the earth moving and spinning around the sun
  4. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  5. Everyday beauty

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In Dutch:

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  • Reason Illuminates Faith (in the Middle Ages) (thesoapboxguild.wordpress.com)
    The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, is incredibly readable for its length and depth, and is a credit to its author. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in science and the Middle Ages. This series of blog posts is my attempt to gain a deeper appreciation for the issues Hannam raises, and to think alongside him as he dives into the lost world of medieval cosmology, medicine, mathematics, and philosophy.
  • Thomas Aquinas’s Works and Philosophies  As an Italian philosopher and (bestessaycheap.wordpress.com)
    Thomas led the Church towards a new expression of thinking. (MSN knowledge and Research). From the beginning he rebelled against a life previously go d sustain the stairs by his family, and pave a road towards success for himself.
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    Although many philosophies were derived from the bookworm thinker, Aristotle, he believed that it focused too na! rrowly on only when a few professions.
  • Galileo (hiddengrail.wordpress.com)
    At the University of Pisa, Galileo learned the physics of the Ancient Greek scientist, Aristotle. However, Galileo questioned the Aristotelian approach to physics. Aristotelians believed that heavier objects fall faster through a medium than lighter ones. Galileo eventually disproved this idea by asserting that all objects, regardless of their density, fall at the same rate in a vacuum.
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    Because Galileo supported the Copernican system, he was warned by Cardinal Bellarmine, under order of Pope Paul V, that he should not discuss or defend Copernican theories. In 1624, Galileo was assured by Pope Urban VIII that he could write about Copernican theory as long as he treated it as a mathematical proposition. However, with the printing of Galileo’s book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was called to Rome in 1633 to face the Inquisition again. Galileo was found guilty of heresy for his Dialogue, and was sent to his home near Florence where he was to be under house arrest for the remainder of his life. In 1638, the Inquisition allowed Galileo to move to his home in Florence, so that he could be closer to his doctors. By that time he was totally blind. In 1642, Galileo died at his home outside Florence.
  • Who are the most significant moral philosophers in the history of Western philosophy? (leiterreports.typepad.com)
    1. Aristotle  (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
    2. Immanuel Kant  loses to Aristotle by 364–227
    3. Plato  loses to Aristotle by 414–168, loses to Immanuel Kant by 349–241
  • Unified Truth: Faith and Reason (str.typepad.com)
    Christianity’s engagement with non-Christian thought proceeds from the Christian belief that reason and faith are complementary, not oppositional. Thomas Aquinas’ synthesis of Aristotle and Christianity is a vital chapter in this engagement. His interaction with the philosophy of Aristotle demonstrates both the harmony of reason and faith and the oneness of truth, which are both central to the Christian intellectual tradition….
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    Greek philosophy is not compatible with Christian theology, except in a few areas. In Greek philosophy, the body is bad. In Christian theology, the body is good and will be redeemed eventually by God. Greek philosophy has brought us off course in our understanding of eschatology and other important things on many occasions in the church. I am a bit wary about some of what Thomas Aquinas believes because of that.
  • Galileo Galilei (Scientific revolution) (chrissanchez42.wordpress.com)
    Galileo eventually combined his laws of physics with the observations he made with his telescope to defend the heliocentric Copernican view of the universe and refute the Aristotelian system in his 1630 masterwork, Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World. Upon its publication, he was censored by the Catholic Church and sentenced to house arrest in 1633.
  • Aristotle (megcannington.wordpress.com)
    Aristotle’s works shaped centuries of philosophy from Late Antiquity through the Renaissance, and even today continue to be studied with interest. He was definitely a  prodigious researcher and writer.
  • Knowledge Development History (zahrohtimy.wordpress.com)
    According to Bertrand Russell , among all history , nothing so difficult so astonish or explained besides the birth of civilization in Greece of a sudden. It has many elements of civilization there for thousands of years in Egypt and Mesopotamia. But certain elements have not been intact until then executing Yunanilah race .
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    Archimedes , considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time , it is based on mathematical principles form temuannya lever, pulley system ( which didemonstrasikannya to attract a private boat only), and penak thread, that shows the planetarium model that can show movement of sun, moon, the planets, and constellations in the sky possibility. In the field of mathematics, the findings on the value of p ( phi ) over the previous approach of scholars. Of his works that is experimental, it is then dubbed as ” Mr. Experimental IPA ”.
  • What’s the record for the longest delayed apology? (chron.com)
    The longest delayed apology I can think of came from the Catholic Church, in 1992, to Galileo:Moving formally to rectify a wrong, Pope John Paul II acknowledged in a speech today that the Roman Catholic Church had erred in condemning Galileo 359 years ago for asserting that the Earth revolves around the Sun.
  • Thomas Aquinas on Wisdom by Robert M. Woods (facebookapostles.org)
    For Thomas, and most Philosophers until the modern world, Philosophy was essentially the “love of wisdom.” To engage in the the practice of philosophy was the faithful pursuit of wisdom wherever it might be found. The primary understanding of truth was saying of a thing what was and not saying of a thing what was not. In a larger sense, wisdom was an understanding of the truth of things. Philosophy was not navel gazing and not ideological manipulation, but it was a diligent quest to understanding the good, the true, and the beautiful.