lundi 13 août 2012

Answering Architectus777 and First a Bit of Dawkins

Richard Dawkins says that* due to phantastic evolution we have brains that bring into the universe, maybe for the first time things like love and value and purpose.

He could have added, of course, thought. And everything else that comes to mind when we think of mind. And of mind itself.

Problem is: his explanation is about some supposed reality way before grandpa was a child when there was no purpose, no love, no life and of course no mind either.

Problem is: he thinks adding phantastic complexities to brains somehow make them capable of adding to the things that really are there. If atoms and so on is all there really is, if life is one kind of interplay of atoms and dead matter very similar to it in any essential way, then Dawkins' explanation is no explanation. Just because you can in the English language string together a proposition and prefix it with "because" does not mean it is a valid explanation.

But I was actually going to write another response to another video.

Architectus777 writes beneath his youtube:**

I have so many questions about the God idea that I can't answer, but maybe there is someone out there so brilliant that they can. Where are you? Please leave a video response if you care to answer any of the questions. Only a video response please.

I admit I was so eager to answer that I forgot the part of only a video response. Did you click the link and see the video?

Good, for here are my comments in chronological order:

0:23 Thoughts of Humans take time to work and must be processed. It is called reasoning. All thought or mind is called intellect, because it understands, but human mind processes, angelic and above all divine mind does not.

Once a thought made sense in one instant, and I filled in afterwards.

01:33 God does not gain new memories. Memory is the mode of an insight related to the past God is above that, and therefore improperly said of God. However forgetfulness is quiet properly denied of God.

03:33 God from all of His Eternity to all of His Eternity is Aware of every moment he has created (including the beginning of the Universe) in addition to being aware of His own eternal being in Three Persons, each of them aware of and adoring and loving the two others.

04:23 You cannot add to infinity. God is not gaining "new memories" and he is not loosing "older" ones. And new and old are not about how God is getting things, either Each Other (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) or His Creation. Or any moment of history of creatures, or any combination, such as Man-God, Jesus Christ. However, in his Human nature Christ could very well gain new experiences and did all through his life (He's the second person, by the way, the Son, in case you forgot).

05:16 Time is not eternal, and God unchangingly had decided from all eternity when time was to be created.

If you think of what you draw, think of God as drawing one line called "beginning of time" and another called "judgement day" and between them A Cross and an Empty Grave. All other is filled in between or around these.

06:36 The point called "beginning of time" and the point called "judgement day" and the point of Calvary are all sovereignly decided by God. From his view he could have chosen any other point if he had wanted to. But he also decided how much time elapses between them. You cannot arbitrarily say, nor I, that the universe could be so much older or younger than it is. We are here with what God actually did. The decision is not ours.

07:08 If you have a purpose of beauty when you start a drawing, is it not still arbitrary for you where you set your pencil or pen?

At least in the sense that no one else than you can give the exact reason you felt for chosing that point rather than the other one.

And we are other than God, we are just his creatures.

08:09 If you are right about protons, in the main, there are not just gluon, upquarks and downquark, there is also a positive charge involved in the proton.

As for God, he is identical to the attributes which we are told about as forming different attributes. God is not dependent.

Neither God nor existence nor life nor intelligence can be dependent on anything lacking itself.

There is God who exists, lives and is wise. There are existent things created by Him who exist, [et c.]

14:09 Existence does not emerge from non-existant attributes. Life does not emerge from non-living attributes. Mind does not emerge from mindless attributes.

God does not emerge, He is eternal.

Created existence or life or mind are created rather than emerging and from God rather than from inferior attributes.

I tried to add another comment but could not. So I sent it to him, here is our correspondence, beginning with my missive:

mind adding this above my coments, youtube keeps saying error, try again?

It's not a question of having a greater mind than you, just of having heard the answers.

Look them up in Summa Theologiae by St Thomas Aquinas (available in original Latin, but also in English, French, German translations: English one is available on newadvent dot org slash summa and you are basically asking for part I).

(It is for the youtube I have already commented so much on, questions about God)

Really? Aquinas doesn't answer my questions. He is an outdated philosopher with weak philosophy.

He answered everyone of them.

In philosophy there is no such thing as outdated.*** There is such a thing as refuted, and he refuted your positions in advance.

Glad you think so, but I think I destroyed his God.

Look up my comments.

You missed the possibility of divine thought NOT being processual, unlike human thought.

You reasoned on from that misunderstanding about what God means.

(so far I got neither another response from him, nor any answers in comment section of his youtube for the video).

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Georges Pompidou Library
St Radegundis' day



***Thank you Owen Barfield (senior), thank you C S Lewis!

samedi 11 août 2012

Not Myth, But Metamyth

Reading up on Zeitgeist The Movie, the Companion Guide, I can only conclude so far, that pagan parallels abound so much that Christianity is far beyond any Pagan myth. If it contains all of them, it transcends each of them. If it transcends each of them, it transcends all of them.

On Christmas you even missed one. The Theogony of Hesiod began with a shepherd seeing something curious. When God arranges the real Gony (birth) of the real Theos (God) - so to speak the real Theogony - he does not miss adressing an angelic message to angels.

And ex-pagan Luke does not miss recording it.

However, you are severely lacking in understanding of even myth. You cite one countryman of mine - a Professor Mettinger whom I met as ma took me on a day off from school and onto her unicersity lessons in Lund. He basically is into calling the Old Testament a Pagan or even Polytheistic Mythology washed more or less free from Polytheism by Pharisees. That day when I was thirteen I was shocked. And I am still not into that theory.

You say - whether citing or summarising his words - that Jonah according to basic logic cannot have happened and therefore is a myth. But the very important premiss that Jonah cannot in actuality have happened does not come from its likeness to myths like Gepetto and Pinocchio. Moral and good though they sometimes are. It comes from a philosophy denying all miraculous.

And such a philosophy is basically either atheist-materialist or pantheist. Neither polytheism nor theism (of which polytheism is not a variety, but which may be present or absent in polytheistic mythologies) could a priori deny miracles like that.

And that brings us to the fact that some Pagan myth is history. Whether Hercules really did the twelve works or not, he existed, he was a companion to Jason, his grandchildren became Spartan kings, he lived a generation before the Trojan War.

Æneas, ancestor or Julius Cæsar and possibly of another emperor too (if Japanese Sungodess in an attempt to render Venus Mater), lived in Troy and later in Italy.

However, most Pagan myth is either basically made up or so much distorted from the history as not to be a correct rendering of it.

Deucalion and Pyrrha are in a way Noah and his wife, but if I am right (playing "the Bible Babel game" the other way round as it were) also include a clear reference to Abraham and Sarah receiving three angels before the fertility miracle (which Greek myth refuses to render straight), and of two angels visiting Lot and his daughters and wife before saving them from Sodom (a destruction Deucalion myth merges into flood), and even one could ask if the end of eucalion myth is not a kind of reversal (artistic but hardly factually accurate) of what happened to Lot's wife when she looked back and became a pillar of salt.

Now if myths as in miracles do happen, I would get to the myth which contains most of them and the best miracles and those best verified to throw light on the others, not the other way round.

If Ficino thought of Plato as worshipping the Son of God of whom the visible Sun is but a feeble image, why can't you?

And, there is no doubt that the Gospels with the Old Testament and the Legenda Aurea beat even the Mahabharata, even in such a matter as quantity.

But Krishna's miracles are basically shown one man, Arjuna (who may have conquered Nod rather than an Indian Kingdom, since Krishna is said to have died in a year which occurred before the Flood), Christ's are shown openly before all of his followers and even his enemies to start with. Even the Resurrection does not quite miss Romans and High Priests, they haver to deal with the Empty Grave and do so with a clumsy lie.

And any comparison between a myth and the Gospel shows the Gospel clearer rooted in facts of even a humdrum nature.

  • Krishna returns to life but his corpse is still burnt - Christ returns to life and his tomb is empty.
  • Krishna is taken up into Heaven in the view of a poet - Christ is taken up into the clouds before eleven disciples.
  • Attis is crucified - Christ is laid down on a cross to be crucified by nails hammered into his hands.
  • Many gods had mothers claiming virginity due to a circumstance like not being a person or receiving virginity back or being a goddess and therefore invulnerable - Mary is a mortal woman and her virginity in maternity is a real miracle.
  • The gods show diverse aspects of Christ between them - Christ shows all noble aspect of the gods. He is not a myth but the focus of all mythology.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Georges Pompidou Library
St Philomena's Day 2012