jeudi 24 octobre 2013

Dawkins's bad logic

A Muslim who believed Mohammed flew to Heaven on a winged horse asked Dawkins:

"How do you know I am wrong?"

Dawkins answered:

"Oh, come on, you are a man of the twentyfirst century!"

That is not logic. That is making the Century one lives in the Religion one believes in and everyone else has also to believe in. It is as illogical as saying "I am a man of Tuesdays" and attach especial importance to news read in newspapers or ideas thought about on exactly Tuesdays as opposed to other week days.

Only, since the Century unlike the Tuesdays is larger than one's own life, one is less likely to notice the bad logic.

Furthermore he expressed a hope that as Zeus and Thor were dead religions, so it will happen to the God of Abraham.

It did not occur to him that neither Epicurus nor Zenon, but only Jesus Christ actually killed old paganisms off all across Europe. It is like wanting to get rid of Yersin along with the Yersinia pestis. Or like getting rid of Pasteur along with Rabies.

And that attacks like his on the Christian God are only helping to revive in a spookish sort of way the old beliefs./HGL

Source: IRISHINFIDEL : Richard Dawkins Debates Flying Horses with Muslims

jeudi 10 octobre 2013

Is the Genesis "the Basis of the Whole Bible" or are there others?

1) Creation vs Evolution : Heard of Libby Anne? , 2) Did Libby Anne misunderstand at least Something about Young Earth Creationism? Or: Why don't they teach logic in these schools?! 3) Further Faulty Logic in Craig A. James's "refutation of a dialogue" 4) Stupid Word Game, Craig A. James? 5) Whose assumptions are best or least well proven? 6) Somewhere else : Is the Genesis "the Basis of the Whole Bible" or are there others? 7) Great Bishop of Geneva! : How is Chick erroneous about where we got the Bible from? 8) Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... to Hitchens on Revelation, Decalogue and Evidence for Moses. 9) Correspondence de / of / van Hans-Georg Lundahl : Notifying Craig A. James of a refutation of his refutation ...

In a Theological and a Historical sense, yes, Genesis is basis for the whole Bible. It sets the scene.

However, if you want to know what is the basis for believing the Bible true, there are other parts that are easier to verify, unless you mean the Flood as such. Like Exodus, like victory over Sennacherib, most notably the Life, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Indeed, Genesis and Gospel stand together so that if either were false, the other would be false also. Christ says that "God created them man and woman from the beginning of Creation" ... if the timeline of evolutionists were true, this would be in an obvious sense false and discredit the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. On the other hand at the end of Genesis, when blessing the son Judah, Jacob gives a timelimit meaning the Messiah must already have come. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah ... until the hero cometh, and the Nations shall fall unto him."

How so?

Judea lost its sovereignty, and especially its power to execute death penalties, after Herod the Great died. The Jews had not lost sovereignty as much as that during the Babylonian Captivity. Or immediately after. Jews that deny that Jesus is the real Messiah often say the prophecy refers to Cyrus of Persia. But during that period Daniel defends a woman falsely accused of adultery so she is not stoned. Susannah, by name (Daniel ch. 13). Meaning Jews could stone offenders against the Mosaic law. Also, many nations never came under Persia, such as Rome. Nearly all have come under Christ and all but the very smallest have had at least Christian minorities. And in the Persian epoch there is first a law against Jews, then another one that gives them right to slay attackers. By contrast, "Pilate therefore said to them: Take him you, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said to him: It is not lawful for us to put any man to death; ..." (John 18:31) meaning the sceptre had departed from Judah by then. Meaning that Messiah must already have come.

In that sense, Gospel cannot be true if Genesis is false, but also Genesis cannot be true if Gospel is false.

Each of them has its own supporting evidence from outside that circle.

If you want the victory over Sennacherib, denied by that despot, we know another account from Herodotus in which mice chew the bowstrings to pieces. Meaning of course that the real explanation was not known to Herodotus, since God sending an angel of death is much less surprising than mice doing that stuff. Supernatural things can be supernatural, like God sending angels, but natural things, like mice, are not supposed to do very weird and unnatural things, like chew up exactly just the bowstrings of a whole army. And if neither happened, Assyrians would have won (as Sennacherib boasted) and there would not have been any tale of mice and bowstrings. (C. S. Lewis said "mice don't behave that way", hat tip!)

If you want the Exodus, do not take the version in which Hebrews are Hyksos and real Moses either Ahmoses or Thutmoses. Rather, Exodus happened before Hyksos invasion and the drowning of Pharao's army was helping the Hyksos a lot at the invasion. You can consider Hyksos as possibly equal to Amalekites. (Hat tip to a Creationist and Egyptologist living currently in France and to another one called David Down).*

If you want the Genesis, at least there is pretty extensive evidence for the Flood.

And if you want the Gospel, which is the most important, there is the consideration "what happened to the body?" (Hat tip to Dale and Elaine Rhooton, Can We Know?).

Indeed so much that even if Gospel logically cannot be true unless Genesis is true, Gospel can be believed as true by somone not concluding that so is Genesis. I had been an evolutionist as a child and after becoming a Christian at age nine, I spent about a year trying to fit Evolutionism together with what Christ believed (and knew as God) of Genesis. I did not become a Creationist until that failed. Even later I was still a little Evolution geek who was interested in Evolutionistic explanations (like for language)** even as an unbeliever in that non-Christian worldview.

Now, here is a general discussion on how to deal with claims about the supernatural in the sources:

History vs Hume (part one of four, see links within)

Here is a discussion of contemporary evidence outside Bible:

The Question of Contemporary Evidence

Here is against a claim that St Paul was bluffing when he said five hundred "most of whom are still alive" had seen Christ risen:

What a blooper, Dan Barker from Atheist League!

But we would not have the Gospel without the Church, so my next question is whether the Apostolic Church remained intact as the Catholic Church. This will get us to a new blog, one which I made against outrageous Protestant claims about Church History.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre - Paris X
University Library
St. Francis Borgia, S. J.

* CMI : David Down : Searching for Moses

I have linked to David Brown earlier:

Appendix A on : So, Dionysus was a Copy of Moses, may One Presume?

** You may have heard of a theory in which the first articulated sound and also first word was a bilabial f, a targetted breathing out of air on embers in fire, and hence used also for "fire", "light a fire", "warmth", "human ingenuity", "life" and a few more things. Funny if this were true why today phonemes have typically no significance in themselmves, but each only in combination with others - in a purely arbitrary way! Language as we know it and as distinguished from animal communications by "double articulation" (message articulated into morphemes meaningful in themselves through a system of arbitrary morphosyntax - or system which says what says what about what - and each morpheme except the shortest articulated into sounds or phonetic traits meaningless in themselves unless combined) is a very good argument against evolution and for Genesis (or other supernatural accounts of man's origin).

lundi 30 septembre 2013

"maybe Zeus does exist"?

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... mainly to Hemant Mehta, somewhere else : "maybe Zeus does exist"?

Here's a guy who poses the question, ironically:
Hemant Mehta on Friendly Atheist
The Atheist Voice : 15 things to NEVER say to an atheist

Maybe Zeus did exist, or more than one of them.

When I looked at the Theogony the other day, I saw what I always see about it - Hesiod was no miraculous healer, he did not deliver the people from disaster by making them repent and thus avert God's wrath, he did not raise any dead or deliver anyone from captivity. AND he did not die as a martyr for what he professed to have heard from the Nine Muses. No absolute guarantee for honesty personally, such as martyrdom would be, and no guarantee he comes from God.

But after listening a bit to Rob Skiba and even Chuck Missler these days, I saw something else about it. The Nine Muses sang hymns to ... the list begins with "Zeus with the Egide" and ends with "Kronos of the crooked thoughts".

I have no problem believing that this basically reflects a situation some thousand years earlier in which Nimrod made himself son of Satan. I do believe Satan exists, and in that sense I do believe "Kronos of the crooked thoughts"* exists (and yes, apart from liar Satan is also destroyer, so in that sense I believe Apollo/Shiva exist too - it does not mean it is right to pray to them though ...)

But back to Nimrod (Rob Skiba would say "our old buddy Nimrod", it makes me feel a bit queezy, and is probably meant to do that) ... one line of research** in the Skiba connexion has it that Nimrod had got his hands on the vestment of Noah that Ham's son Kanaan stole from him - a vestment inherited from Adam. This fits in somehow with "Zeus with the goatskin shield" ... especially if Noah's vestment was lambskin and Nimrod later preferred another thing made of goatskin.

Nimrod also had very megalomaniac projects. If he wanted to conquer the sky ... he failed, and with many megalomaniac leaders once they fail there is a cover up story. When we get as late as Hesiod we find Nimrod reflected not just in Zeus with the Egide, but also in the Titans who tried to conquer his Olymp.

A bit later than Nimrod but earlier than Homer we also find a Zeus who has a tomb in Crete. I suppose the Saturnus who was his father was chased by him to Italy, where he had a son called Picus and a grandson called Latinus. And Latinus' daughter Lavinia married one Aeneas who came from Troy. Julius Caesar descend from that couple, thus from "Zeus'" brother Picus.

Even a bit later we find Greek society involved in the Trojan war. Agamemnon has his sceptre from Zeus.

When I look at what Leaf had to say about the Trojan war, it seems Agamemnon as well as Priam had his sceptre from some Hittite Nimrod-wannabe - Achaean Greece and Trojan Phrygia were both satrapies in the Hittite Empire.***

When I look at Classic Greek literature, the word Hittite is not as much as mentioned before you start getting Greek literature of Biblical type. Septuagint translation would have been earliest I presume.

So, if the historic Agamemnon had his sceptre from some Hittite "King of Kings" and the Agamemnon of the Iliad from Zeus, I think part of what happened is that Greeks had taken a clear dislike to the former Hittite overlords, and wanted to forget them. The role of world ruler was so infamous in mortal men, they preferred to transfer it to some deity. And they probably already worshipped Zeus - and Agamemnon may have descended from the one whose tomb was in Greece, in Crete (unless the "sons of Zeus" in diverse genealogies were simply self made men as Leaf presumes).

They decided to forget about the Hittite Empire, although it had been under its overlordship that their greatest heroes were living. Homer does not mention Hittites - Hesiod goes one further and identifies Zeus with a person who never was man and never ruled on earth, only over it.

So, in a sense, Zeus did exist: once as Nimrod, adopted son of Satan, once later as Zeus the son of one exiled Saturn (whom he exiled), once even later as a Hittite overlord giving Agamemnon a sceptre on behalf of Teshub - and later still as a poetic fancy gilding these not so great things. And at same time unifying them in a "purely celestial" thing. Not meaning purely spiritual.

And I am pretty certain (as was Hilaire Belloc) that Odin once lived in Sweden. Not a thing to brag about, but probably unfortunately true. A man who pulled a stunt like "I killed a monster and created the world of its carcass" before ignorant savages and got believed is not a real pride. Note that Nimrod probably used similar tactics in Babylon - meaning of course, that although it was great in inventions, their mentality when believing such things was that of ignorant savages. Even Greece seems to have been better in Homer's time than in Agamemnon's, 400 years earlier or so. Nimrod was probably strong enough to have killed some real monsters before the eyes of the Babylonians. Odin was old, and if asked could say "that was when I was younger" ... but he was probably asked no questions.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BpI, Georges Pompidou
St Jerome of Stridon

* Or "of the crooked mind": αγκυλομητης. Note that the Italian and Greek versions do not agree about what happened to the father of Zeus/Jupiter, and so the Italian Saturn need not have been Satan, but may have been an exiled Greek king who became an Italian king and a decent such.

** To put it more clearly: Rob Skiba is using what he thinks is the same Book of Jasher that the Bible mentions, but which might not be so. It is certain that it is not inspired, since it attributes the new languages to 70 demons rather than to God and thus gives demons more power than they have. But that there was a megalomaniac project for conquering the sky is not just the Book of Jasher, it is in Genesis, and so it is true.

*** In literature later than Walter Leaf, it is still certain Troy or Wilusha was loyal to Hittites, but not quite as sure the Achaeans of Greece were so. This footnote and some grammatical corrections were added in a later edit. 20-XII-2013.

vendredi 23 août 2013

Bible and Church Questions

Series: 1) Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere 2) somewhere else : Bible and Church Questions 3) Creation vs. Evolution : Why I have a Personal Grudge against Kenotic Heresy 4) item : St Augustine gives an inch and some take an ell 5) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : When St Augustine makes a fault, it is not all that faulty

Gary Bates and Lita Cosner wrote a book on how we can know the Bible is the Word of God. Four of the questions I found worth answering as a Roman Catholic, which is not exactly bound to be identic to their answers as Protestants. I only read these four on a preview, I do not own the book itself. I also added a fifth one.

Is the Bible just a book written by men?
No. Although it is in fact written by men, it is not just that.

Moses wrote Genesis largely relying on Tradition, like Luke wrote his Gospel and many parts of Acts.

Moses wrote narrative parts of Exodus largely from personal memory, like St John wrote his Gospel.

Moses spoke with God and got parts of Exodus and subsequent parts of Leviticus by dictation, and he saw the work of the Six days in a vision. Like St John wrote the apocalypse.

David and Solomon also wrote from a thing akin to tradition and memory, namely understanding.

And so on for all the other authors.

But in all these "sources" they wrote and chose what to write under inspiration. Not as in "I feel inspired to write", but as in God inspiring each final decision of the author to the exclusion of all error from each and all books, and to the inclusion of nearly all truth, directly or indirectly, literally stated or symbolically stated, in the sum of all the books. Only books written entirely under inspiration belong to the Bible.
How did they know which books to include in the Bible?
The Church of Israel saw the miracles of Moses.

The Church of Christ saw His miracles and knew whom He had elected as Apostles, and saw their miracles. It has eight authors, the New Testament, and six of them are Apostles, only two are disciples of Apostles: St Mark to St Peter and St Luke to St Paul.

The Church, under either Covenant, accepted the Books given as from God by holy men. And from the time of Moses on, there was always an authority to decide on it: Aaronite priests under the Ancient Covenant until Kaiaphas betrayed it and earned the curses in Deuteronomy 28 for his followers, by rejecting Jesus, and St Peter's and the other Apostle's Succession up to our days knowing what to accept and that they should stop adding after disappearance of St John who had survived the other Apostles, because Christ had promised them The Fulness of Truth. Unlike Old Testament, there is no longer any build up of added revealed truth.
Are there contradictions in the Bible?
No real ones, plenty of merely apparent ones. And usually the Church knows how to resolve them. As other ambiguities (honest or construed ones) in the meaning. If there is hesitation thereon, it is usually not important, certainly less for Salvation than when the Church knows.

How do we know the Bible is the Inerrant Word of God?
Because of the Church telling us, and testifying to her divine mission and fidelity to it by a holy doctrine and by many miracles.

Must we accept any other teachings of the Church than the text of the Bible?
Yes, we must accept all teachings of the Church, everything that is traditionally part of the Apostolic teaching. And that includes Her warnings against unauthorised private reading and against adulterated versions (Albigensian, Protestant, Watchtower Society).

Now, those are the correct answers. Maybe incomplete, but correct. I fear Gary and Lita might have strayed on some of these principles.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BpI, Georges Pompidou
St Bartholomew's the Apostle's Vigil

lundi 20 mai 2013

Orpheos Bakkikos - a Christian Connexion, Probably

Pre-Christian Crucifix according to Acharya S

First of all, I do not know exactly what dialect and what period would say Ορφεος instead of Ορφευς. And I do not know at what period an iota might look like an arrow pointing downwards either, except it was hardly a byzantine minuscule or even uncial, that much I do know. A Roman who was bad in Greek and parted from the Latin transcription Orpheus (seized as Orphe-us, analogous to ferre-us in Latin and to Latin words like Priam-us transliterating as Πριαμ-ος) would do. But other possibilities might be known to Grecicists better than I (me being frankly said lousy at Greek).

Some Christians had noted the similarity between Orpheus who descended into Hades to get Eurydike out and failed and Christ who succeeded where Orpheus had failed, only his bride being the Church comprised parts already in Hades, namely all the just souls that had been gathered down there since Adam's sin up to Crucifixion. So, in a sense, it was also a second Exodus.

And that brings us to Moses, where Acharya has pointed out a connexion with Dionysos or Bacchus, only wrong way around.

Other reason for such a description - of Christ - might be that the Christians were first of all persecuted according to the Senatus Consultum de Bacchanalibus, the one beginning "sei quis uelitod Bacanal habuisse" ... maybe because the Disciples of Christ as well as the Israelites following Moses stroke "existing powers" as similar to Dionysus' attitude towards Pentheus. Or maybe because wine is used - though in quite another way - in the Holy Mass.

When I say "a Christian connexion" I do not quite mean that it was made by a Christian. He would hardly have described his own as Bakkikoi or his and our Lord God as Bacchus or as "Orpheus of the Bacchus-worshippers."

An infiltrator getting out and making his report about them might have done so. A sympathising, curious, but not adept outsider might have done so as well, in a syncretistic way. A bit like lore about Christ and about the Apocalypse found its way into the Norse Mythology about Ragnarok and Baldur.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
University Library of
Nanterre / Paris X Campus
Monday of Pentecost

vendredi 17 mai 2013

Popular on Apologetics Section

vendredi 3 mai 2013

Would "Finding Extraterrestrials" Disprove Christianity?

1) somewhere else : Would "Finding Extraterrestrials" Disprove Christianity?, 2) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : I am not a believer in Hörbiger, 3) Creation vs. Evolution : Would finding Atlantis disprove the Flood of Noah?

Did KGB excavate "an extraterrestrial" in Egypt in 1961?

[Belated correction to detail of video: they speak about "book of Baruch", but read from III book of Baruch, which is not canonic. The canonic book of Baruch however also mentions giants in chapter three.]

I do not know if they were there. That could be a lie. Let us assume they were.

Then they can indeed both have found and faked the find.

There are some other things they could have done apart from finding or faking. It seems Red Sea was being searched by divers for Pharao's drowned army in the 1970's according to US Creationists, by such as themselves, who were testing credibility of Exodus. Then they were stopped from continuing. And later the search was resumed by people testing reliability of the Quran. Who could of course use the results of the interrupted creationist searches. That is one thing the KGB could have done, if in 1961 they could direct excavations in Egypt.

There are also other things than the excavations they could have faked if they were there.

I have seen Classic pictures of man on the Moon. I have also seen less orthodox pictures in which an astronaut's "glass shield" before the face is reflecting a pyramidic shape.

I find it more credible those pictures were faked in Egypt than that there are pyramids on the Moon. What about the Classic pictures (with the notorious flutter of the US flag)? In that case NASA and KGB might have cooperated. But back to subject.

Assuming they really found the mummy which was reconstructed with features of a somewhat gigantic Roswell creature ... well, who says this needs to have "come from outer space"?

I do not.

For one thing, even if facial features can be reconstructed with the technology used or purportedly used in the video, we cannot from there on know that the eyes were like those shown on pictures of the Roswell creatures. Size, perhaps, lack of lids, no, lack of pupils delimitated from the eyeball, no.

For another thing, we cannot with any certainty identify the Roswell creatures - even if they are there - as coming from "outer Space". We cannot rule out they come from earth's surface, like an unusual (albeit very unusual) race of men, nor that they come from its inside, like demons, more precisely, if saint Thomas Aquinas is correct about their non-corporeal nature, like demons "assuming bodies".

Indeed, on a Geocentric or Geostatic worldview, only Angels and God live above us in the stars or even above them. No foreign biology or civilisation is to be presumed.

This may come as a shock to people fed on Star Trek and Star Wars and Agent Spatiotemporal Valérian (if you enjoy space opera, if you have not yet discovered that one, it is a French Comic and its humour is delicious, as its spatial exoticism, of course), but we need not assume there are other earths out there. Even the exoplanets properly sighted and photographed may well be much closer and smaller on a geocentric world view, since parallax or 1838 phenomenon of among other stars proxima Centauri (0.76 archseconds back and forth each year) need not be what it is assumed to be.

There are other considerations in rejecting the idea of Ancient Astronauts.

One of them is: Atlantis. Along with Lemuria and Mu. Another is: Civilisations sprung very suddenly out of the ground. And of course, as we had this video with a mummy at least purportedly from 11.000 (eleven thousand) B.C., dating. A third or fourth is: have atomic bombs already been used very long time ago?

OK, Atlantis first. I do not believe in "levels of consciousness". Atlantis was not drowned, if ever it existed, for "not having reached the proper level of consciousness" or proper stage of "development of mind." It can have been drowned before the Flood as a warning, it can have been drowned during the Flood and not have reemerged after it, it can have been - like Ys - drowned after the Flood of Noah, as a reminder. Only in the last case can there be any sense of talking of Atlantean races, since if Atlantis was not peopled after Flood, only survivors would have been either all of humanity (if Noah himself was from there) or about one third (if one of his daughters in law was from there).

If Atlantis was drowned during the Flood and did not reemerge, that may also have been the case for Lemuria and Mu. Supposing there is any evidence, legendary or submarine archeological, for either or both of these. I am not counting as evidence what a man dreamed under self hypnosis or under hypnosis induced by someone else. I do not believe in "previous lives", but previous lives or what has purported to have been such have been "accessed" under hypnosis, therefore what is accessed under hypnosis is unreliable. So, the self hypnotic dreams of one Cayce are discounted from table of possible evidence, as far as I or most other Christians are concerned.

Civilisations that spring suddenly out of the ground is what is to be excpected either after the Flood of Noah or after possibly other deluges, of Atlantis and so on. Survivors do not bring along their buildings, they may not bring along all of the know-how, but they do bring along some of it, and memories of what they do not know how to do. If I were stranded with a few more on a desert island, I would not bring along myself any know-how as to how to construct computers, but I would know that these have been constructed and might pass that on to my family. Since it has been invented once, it can be reinvented.

There is also the question of how much in inventions are demonic. This does not mean such a thing must never be used, if its use is clearly technological and not magic, since we know there are situations where using the sword is licit and just, although swords may have been one thing demons showed the people of Nod (if Ethiopians are correct in accepting their Book of Henoch, that is). After the Flood (and other deluges if they occurred) some technology recovery or discovery may also have been hastened by negotiations with the realm of darkness. A consideration that should warn anyone that although technology is a great thing, getting more and more of it is not the end of man's life. It is a means, and we should not waste eternal bliss, which is the end of our life, just to get hold of the means.

Dating of the possibly excavated giant mummy by KGB is assuming that current dating techniques are valid, even for ages "older than earth" as earth is dated per Biblical genealogies with life spans and ages at birth of such and such a son clearly given. C14 ... well, I give you the same answer as the standard Creationist answer. I learnt it at age twelve from Edgar Andrews, and I find it pretty satisfying. The C14 level in the atmosphere is not what I would scholastically call "a constant per se" (unlike the level of Nitrogen, which is constantly there in the atmosphere except the marginal tying down thereof by leguminous roots into proteins), but "a constant per accidens", a constant which is only constant because of a special circumstance which need not itself be constant from eternity. In this case: an equilibrium of the C14 lost by radioactive decomposition and the C14 added by cosmic rays on atmosphere. Obviously first amount is - as with all radioactive material - proportional to what is already there of it. And therefore there may have been a buildup period, with less C14, and back then same amount was annually formed by cosmic rays, but less lost, so instead of equilibrium one had a buildup.*

And with less original C14 from atmosphere in an organism for real than is now the case, but with Darwinian scientists assuming wrongly the buildup period was so far past that all organic C14 comes from an atmosphere with our level of C14, there will be counted as "lost C14" what was rather "C14 that was never there in the first place". And therefore ages will rise in the mathematics misapplied. Not incorrect mathematics as multiplying 4*4 and getting 25, but misapplied mathematics, as in counting on levels that are misinterpreted.

Have atomic bombs already been in use in very ancient times? Maybe just so. Maybe that was part of the earth destroyed by a corruption of all flesh, as the Bible describes the earth before the Flood.

So, have Annunaki from planet Nibiru created man by genetic engineering, mixing their own species with some apeman like creature and later returned to form ancient civilisations?

Well, no. God created man.

Is the discovery of the mummy as described in the video, if genuine, the greatest discovery ever made?

No, the greatest discovery ever made was to another grave, which was empty of body but still had the sindone**. It was made by St John running into the grave.

But if the then Sovietics (or if only one or two of them) can describe the mummy discovery as the greatest discovery ever made, they seem to have some remnant of Christian feelings. Only, a somewhat distorted one. Why? Well, in 1961 there was compulsory atheism in the Soviet Union.

I recommend you search the historic evidence for that other discovery, and on this blog I have put refutations of some current explanations away of the Miracle of Miracles which is the Resurrection of Christ.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BU Nanterre (BU=UL)
Inventio Crucis

*Before that there may have been another equilibrium with lower C14, if there was less cosmic rays reaching earth before the Deluge. **Or shroud.

vendredi 26 avril 2013

Would God Need a Creator?

Starting the video:

DarkMatter2525 : God's God

"God" - i e the "Christian God" as an atheist imagines that we imagine God, is gloating over an atheist (before sending him to Hell), and the "angel Geoffrey" is watching.

"God" asked the atheist (who silently stood listening politely), in a lowd and booming voice if he
"was so daft he didn't think there had to be an explanation for his existence and intelligence"?

"well, God, you exist, and you must be very intelligent."

"... of course, I'm God"

"well, what's the explanation for your existence and intelligence?"

"Uh, I just am, OK?"

"No, not OK. If human minds are so intelligent that they demand a creator as explanation for their existence, how much more intelligent must their creator's mind be? So intelligent that it too demands an explanation for its existence, even more so."

Distinction: man's intelligence is too great to be a product of mere chance. It is not too intelligent to "just be" i e from all eternity. It is in fact too little intelligent to "just be" from all eternity.

But even apart from that, it is intelligent enough to figure out, usually that it is not itself from all eternity. If it was the eternal intelligence that was man's intelligence, how come man can be in error? If man is never in error, how come men contradict each other? Can truth contradict itself, or can the eternal intelligence contradict itself? No. If man's intellect is there, and is an intellect (which we have experience it is), it cannot be a chancy byproduct of biology or physics. It must have some relation to an eternal intellect. But it cannot be that eternal intellect. And of course it cannot be the origin of the eternal intellect. So it must be the eternal intellect that is origin of man's intellect. For instance, by creating it.

"I am eternal, that's the explanation."
"That means it is possible for an intelligent mind to exist without a creator. And therefore this atheist's disbelief that his mind was intelligently designed is perfectly reasonable. Because you are standing here, God, supposedly the most intelligent mind of all time, and you were not intelligently designed.

"In fact the atheist *who knows that* [slip for "claims"?] his mind is just the product of evolution is far more consistent, than your 'I'm just eternal' as if eternity made you exempt from the logic that you implied should be so obvious."

Eternity as of one man's intellect would also dispense him from needing a creator. Maybe not from needing a God, but from needing a creator who initiated his and especially his mind's existence.

"in fact the only inconsistency is you, accoridng to your logic you must be created."
[A word I do not think God would use, meant as impolite and selfassured disagreement]
"How do you know you weren't?"
"Because [...] I know all."
"You can't know that."
"Why [...] not?"
"Because there could be something you don't know and you don't know that. And you'd never be able to say there isn't, because you wouldn't know it if there were."
[giving no answer except an angry punishment]

An atheist video maker gives back to God himself the argument that atheists are getting when pretending to know there are no miracles, ghosts, souls, gods, fairies, dinosaurs contemporary with men ... and a few more.

If God is not omniscient, He is not God. He needs - as the video's title implies, and which we might get to - a God above himself.

If God is however omniscient, it is not a conclusion. It is the experience of knowing Himself perfectly (being in Three Persons might be helpful in that context, as they know each other) and knowing He was from eternity and knowing He started time with Creation Himself.

But the atheist's claim to what would amount to omniscience in above contexts is not experience but just a conclusion about something going on outside the frames of his own existance. And he knows there is such a thing, since he is all the time receiving surprises from the outside. As is every man. As God would have had too if he had been given a class seven universe. One can differentiate between owning from eternity and being given something. And we know we have been given something. God knows He has owned both Himself and His creatures from all eternity./HGL

mardi 2 avril 2013

When Robert Price and Acharya S. try to reduce the Sun of Justice to a sungod ...

First, Acharya has made me rethink the astrotheology business. Ignaz Goldziher had already convinced me of the propriety of F. Max Müller's (now unfashionable) "solar mythology" hermeneutic: that many Old Testament (and maybe even New Testament) figures began their narrative lives as fictive personifications of the heavenly bodies. Samson, Elijah, Enoch, Esau, Moses were plainly, like Hercules, Mithras and Apollo, sun gods. So it is no great leap to trace at least some prominent features of the Jesus myth to solar faith.*

No, I am not of that miller's school. J R R T rightly rejected Max Müller even when it comes to ordinary story telling kinds of myth (in his lecture On Fairy Stories, usually published in written form in the volume Tree and Leaf along with the story Leaf by Niggle). Since John Ronald recalled from childhood a miller whose "name was not Sandyman", I wonder if some of the portrait of Ted Sandyman (in LotR, not in the lecture) could have come from his ire at "Max the Miller" and his insensibility to story as story.

Of named legendary and mythological figures, there is exactly one whom I do not believe to have been originally a man. "Apollo." The Delphic Apollo very clearly is a demon. When he "tames" a sibyl like a rider breaks a horse, he acts like a demon taking possession of mediums. It is a Catholic priest and Latin teacher (his title at university was Docent, from Latin Docens, which means Teaching) lecturing on Aeneid VI and the Sibyl of Cumae who put me on the track. Apollo is, alas, no fairy tale. He exists as Apollyon or Abaddon exists. He exists as someone exists who, though fallen, can still take on the shape of an angel of light. He brought the plague on the Greeks, and when he withdrew it he had planted the seeds of Achilleus' wrath. He tricked Akrisios, Oedipus - and Iocaste had to pay a dire price for it. He tricked Croesus. He tricked Orestes in a very much less subtle way - after tricking Agamemnon and plotting a miraculous kidnapping of Iphigenia. He tricked the grandpa of Perseus. His tricks could be cited in the accusations of an exorcist. Christians did not really absolutely like all of Greek literature, they destroyed some, but they scrupulously kept the black book of Apollo in those stories. One could say "Shiva" is his counterpart, and "Shiva" is married to Kali - which means Hell. It is even the same word as Hell.

I said "exactly one"? Oh boy, I forgot about Mithras. Some thinkers - notably C S Lewis and Roy Campbell - have believed there were Pagan prophecies about Christ. Mithras might fit such a role.

But as I believe the Old Testament figures are literally historic people (and Moses would be Amenemhet IV, probably, if you seek counterparts in Egyptian Chronicles) that leaves one Pagan figure, and yes, I believe Hercules existed, was stronger than other men (Samson excepted, as later Beowulf), was treated like a "soldier slave" by his cousin, killed some monsters, was grandfather to the Heraclids who brought the Dorians to Sparta and a few more things.

Max Müller said that Mythology was a disease of language. It would be more appropriate to call language - especially modern languages - a disease of Mythology, was Tolkien's famous retort.** One could say that Max Müller's language about this issue is a disease on his atheist mythology, which does not reckon that the sun has an angel to guide it.

Note that Apollo is not that angel, despite claiming it. Not after what he did to the named human victims of the Delphic cult. But of course, Apollyon Palaios Drakon may prefer titles like Apollo Sauroctonus for purposes of seduction.

Here also I follow the lead of Tolkien. When writing of Pagans as seen by Christians like the Beowulf poet, he says they were not totally unaware of monotheism, but they forgot - in periods - the one true God when indulging in idolatry. In the cult of beings that are not totally non-extant, but rather illusions of the gastbona - the soul-enemy.

Not meaning that either the Sun or Hercules were originally such, only that the worship of them as gods involved worship of the soul-enemies illusions. Especially true, of course, when it comes to "sungods" such as Delphic Apollo or the Aztek version.

OK, Robert M. Price, you said you had an argument about the historicity of Christ, stating He was a solar myth? What was it again? The obvious observation that He is not a Hell-figure?

I took issue with some of her older sources, where she found claims of icons and effigies of crucified gods or heroes, alleged to be Krishna or Indra. I still think the evidence is sketchy, but it has to be explained some way. There must be something going on there, as when we discover nearly identical bas reliefs featuring a horned man in the lotus position, surrounded by forest animals—in both India and Ireland!*

Now, the Indian figure of "crucified Krishna" can very well be an old Christian crucifix, brought by the followers of St Thomas the Apostle, and reinterpreted by Pagans after their lapsing from Christianity or taking over a Christian site. That is what I think is going on. And since this is Robert's assessment of an argument of Acharya's, let's cite her words on same page:

In this regard, it was the great freethinker Thomas Paine who linked Christianity, Masonry and the sun, in an essay I included in Christ Conspiracy entitled "Origin of Freemasonry":

The Christian religion and Masonry have one and the same common origin: Both are derived from the worship of the Sun. The difference between their origin is, that the Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun, in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun, and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun...*

After those words, it is a wonder some call Euhemerism an incredible rationalisation ... did it even occur to Acharya that Paine was partial in the issue since a freemason, since wearing an apron with an image of the sun when attending lodge ceremonies? It is of course the sun worship of freemasons which is a parody of Christianity. After quoting Paine she quotes Ratzinger:

"Plato took this [idea of a cosmic cross] from the Pythagorean tradition, which in its turn had a connection with the traditions of the ancient East."*

Yes, so? If you start with disbelieving Christianity, that is an explanation of the origins of an erroneous worship. But if you do not, it is evidence that God before creating the sky had the crucifixion in mind, and for that matter before creating birds too, since in psalm 90 he calls the outstretched arms of the crucified "wings". So, this is nowise any kind of argument against the truth of Christianity. Would she have presumed Ratzinger saw it as such? I think not.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Château d'Eau
Tuesday of Easter Week

*immediate source:
Robert M. Price: What I think of Acharya S/D.M. Murdock
[the page includes her response below]

**Are you saying you never heard of Tolkien's retort? Oh boy, at least it deserves to be famous!

samedi 23 février 2013

And who but Messiah Accomplished that?

Marcus Eli Ravage wrote 85 years ago:

"Our tribal customs have become the core of your moral code. Our tribal laws have furnished the basic groundwork of all your august constitutions and legal systems. Our legends and our folk-tales are the sacred lore which you croon to your infants. Our poets have filled your hymnals and your prayer-books. Our national history has become an indispensable part of the learning of your pastors and priests and scholars. Our kings, our statesmen, our prophets, our warriors are your heroes. Our ancient little country is your Holy Land. Our national literature is your Holy Bible. What our people thought and taught has become inextricably woven into your very speech and tradition, until no one among you can be called educated who is not familiar with our racial heritage.

"Jewish artisans and Jewish fishermen are your teachers and your saints, with countless statues carved in their image and innumerable cathedrals raised to their memories. A Jewish maiden is your ideal of motherhood and womanhood. A Jewish rebel-prophet is the central figure in your religious worship. We have pulled down your idols, cast aside your racial inheritance, and substituted for them our God and our traditions. No conquest in history can even remotely compare with this clean sweep of our conquest over you."

From: "A Real Case Against the Jews" by Jewish writer Marcus Eli Ravage, published in The Century Magazine, v. 115, no. 3, The Century Co., NY, 1928, p. 346ff. Cited online in:

Freethought Nation, Forums
Board index » The Christ Conspiracy, Suns of God & Who Was Jesus? » Other New Books and Goodies
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver (p. 1 of responses)

85 years - but some still do not get it. I am proud to be a Christian. Not a "Messianic Jews" or "Jews for Jesus", but a Christian, a Catholic. Because I do get it./HGL

vendredi 22 février 2013

No natural explanation

It happened. There is no natural explanation. It is a true miracle.

It happened, since John was one of those seing it and the man who wrote the Gospel.

There is no natural explanation - as seen in the explanation in the video here:

The Wedding of Cana was thus a true Miracle.

Or like the Bavarian said - "do you call that news? Was just a miracle that happened." (The German joke about the Bavarian at Cana is even better: "Kan wunder, is halt a Wunder geschehn")./HGL

PS, I do not know what came after it, but Christ is not repeating it because Atheists want to "test it" by asking Christian children to ask for a repeat. Fides ex auditu, that miracle was for there. We know about it because we heard about it, through the Church keeping this Gospel and recording its authorship./HGL

lundi 11 février 2013

What if a Tradition is Contaminated?

St Patrick Series:
Φιλολογικα/Philologica : St Patrick was from some Kind of Britain
somewhere else : What if Tradition is Contaminated?
Creation vs Evolution : Linking to Others
Φιλολογικα/Philologica : I have already written on St Patrick after the Ancient Narrations

If 64 bishops, saints or not, have written about the life of St Patrick, there is some possibility that one or two of them made an error due to contaminated tradition. Or that their common transcriber into one story did by relying on Geoffrey Keating too much. "He was born in County Tipperary c. 1569, and died c. 1644." - in other words, after the Britain traditionally seen as St Patrick's home had become by and large Protestant and therefore inimical to Irish Catholics. But so was, of course, Coroticus too - the British Pirate who harassed St Patrick's neophytes. Also, Father Geoffrey Keating was contemporary of Owen Roe O'Neill "(Irish: Eoghan Ruadh Ó Néill; 1590–1649)", founder of the first Irish Republic, also known as Kilkenny Confederation. And descending from Niall of the Nine Hostages. And very important for the Catholic cause at the time. His Republic or Confederation was blessed by Pope Innocent XI.

The one item I am least confident in, or rather decidedly diffident in, after reading the Life of St Patrick such as the late Father Philip Lynch C.S.Sp. transcribed it from 64 holy bishops but not without an eyeglance now and then to Geoffrey Keating, whoever that is, is the opinion Keating left on to the Late Holy Ghost Father (from "an old book" but without any statement of century) that the man who from Pope Celestine received the name Patricius as well as the mission to Ireland was born in Armorican Britain. (Ar - mo - ri - ca, though an Englishman would unlike the Irish not pronounce the first r).

And whether Bannavem Taburniae was in Armorica or anywhere between Strathclyde and Isle of Wight does not affect that after he left the home to go to Rome, he was in a monastery in Gaul, in Marmoutiers. It does not affect the fact that St Patrick's cell is still identified there. Nor the miracles St Patrick worked especially in Ireland, after returning there as a missionary. Nor his date of death, Wednesday 17 of March 493. Nor the places in Ireland where he founded Churches. It is easy for someone taking Niall of the Nine hostages as slightly larger in importance than he was to understand a journey into the English Channel - especially if worded as a journey between England and France - as if he landed on the French side too.

There are two lists of the privileges a voice from God or an angel from Heaven conceded to St Patrick. Both end with his being made the judge on judgement day for the Irish tribe. Only one of them includes that Ireland shall never by either force or consent be held by the Saxons. I can suspect a certain nationalistic intrusion there. But in fact the invaders of Ireland:

- did not include St Patrick's roughly contemporaries Hors and Hengest;
- nor did it include King Alfred who was certainly more British and less Saxon than Horse and Hengest (I wonder if his ancestor Cerdic is the Brit Coroticus whom St Patrick disowned, and yes, Cedric - probably misspelling for Cerdic in analogy of Germanic names in -ric, is supposed to have been living in Wessex "Cedric, roi de Wessex ca 470-534" according to Genea.Net, so he was in the life time of St Patrick. He could have been a bit older than born 470, he could have been very young when misbehaving as pirate against the Irish, and St Patrick very old when reprehending him. Or the Brit Coroticus* could have been a generation older than this one and his godfather.)
- And when English finally arrived under Strongbow, their aristocracy was no longer speaking the language of Wessex but that of Normandy (a place where Danes had subjects not just from Latin and Gaulish but also British stock, honouring St Patrick in a few parishes;
- and later still the settlements came from not England in the main but rather Wales (like C. S. Lewis' grandfather) or even more from Scotland, which Niall of the Nine Hostages is said to have renamed Scotia Minor after the Irish Scoti.

So, that privilege need not be a later addition, it may have been very strictly fulfilled.

And there is a question whether here and there one miracle may have crept in to make one place more glorious by association with St Patrick.

But here there is a French saying: "on ne prête qu'aux riches". If you have no money you will not find willing moneylenders. If you have no ground for a certain reputation at all, your made up reputation will not reflect that.

Julius Caesar is said to have been a soldier. One could imagine one of his battles were there to make a place in France more glorious. But one cannot imagine he got a reputation for working a miracle in Gaul to make a French locality more glorious. In Caesar's case, only battles will do. Or fornication - that was another thing he did.

Cicero was a writer. One not only could imagine, but actually has imagined, that Rhetorica ad Herennium was attributed to him, because he was such a glorious writer. But he was not a soldier or a saint, one cannot imagine him as healing a lame or leading a legion to conquer a city. In his case, only a book will do.

So many priests have made no miracles, at least not during the lifetime. We can be quite sure Monsignor Lefèbvre was too modest ever to pray for an ostentatious miracle when a Holy Ghost Father and Missionary in Africa. And if someone was tempted to attribute to him a levitation of an African sorcerer neding with the sorcerer falling to the ground and dashing his brains out, I for one cannot imagine who that would be. Neither European nor African could imagine such a thing about the rather well behaved and protected seminarian that Marcel Lefèbvre had been.

Any addition to a tradition must when done have been conceived of by the man adding as a probable thing or a thing taken as probable by his audience. It must have been conceived of as a marginal augmentation of a reputation already there.

It is impossible - at least for anyone not excluding miracles on Humean principles - to imagine that all of St Patrick's life was without the miracles attributed to him and then these were added.

If a man writes not one book, he will not have books attributed to his name. If a man fights no fight, he will have no glorious military victories tacked on to his reputation. And if a man is rather a scholar than a saint, very studious but as barren in miracles as Father Mendel, who discovered Genetics, he will maybe in a few hundred years have academic works or discoveries attributed to his name, but not one miracle.

If one miracle is added to someone's reputation, he probably has lots already. If Jesus playing with clay birds and giving his life as his buddy tried to destroy them is an addition, as some say, that not being in the Canonic Gospels, then it has been added because Jesus did in fact work very many miracles. It could not have been added to the name of Caesar or Cicero.

But of course, one could be denying this or that class of miracles of St Patrick as additions by some principle that is not very solid.

If on two occasions he made impenitent Druids levitate and dash their brains, one could hear someone argue that Patrick being a Saint precludes that kind of violent miracles. One could argue it is a rehash of St Peter stopping Simon Magus from continued levitation in Rome. But St Peter was kinder to Simon Magus, he prayed for Simon Magus not to die and the mage only broke the bones in his body. In front of quite a few Romans. The Druids, by contrast do not levitate by their own magic, but by St Patrick's miracle. They do not fall to be spared, but to die quickly. The story is not the same. The miracle is not the same. The characters are not the same. I rather think there was a difference in the treatment of them because:

- Simon Magus was destined to sow the seeds of Heresies in the Empire, but the Irish Christendom was to be spared Heresies arising from evil druidry;
- Simon Magus, as far as we know, did not commit human sacrifice. The Druids, like those priests or prophets of Baal slaughtered by Elijah, did use human sacrifice, and therefore deserve a much crueller fate themselves.

As to me, I find it harder to believe St Patrick agreed to a secret variation on the handshake. That may be a lie, added during times when as yet Catholic freemasonries (well before 1717 of course) were working in Ireland and invoking St Patrick's example for a practise of their own. But of course, it may have been very dangerous not to, insofar as the court of King Leary at a time still included Pagans who might have done a cutthroat thing otherwise. But still, I am against believing that about St Patrick.

If one were to imagine for one mad moment that St Patrick's legend were a literary product based on earlier legends about other people, based on still earlier legends about yet other people ... first of all, the exercise serves only the futile attempt to deny miracles happening and being recorded as such, but second, where would you find the literary models? A blend of Jesus Christ and Ulysses, with a hint of Moses and Elijah?

But such an exercise is surely not reasonable, since it is not reasonable to presume that a community (of locality or otherwise) quite forgot either its real secular founders or its real Apostles.

If a Church was attributed to St Patrick if he was not the builder - who would then have built it? Presumably the Church is old enough for such a claim to be reasonable. So, presumably if it was not Saint Patrick it was one of his immediate successors. And almost each of them was a famous holy person too. It does not make sense that they should have been so obscure that their Churches - or their miracles - got into St Patrick's.

The changes in tradition reasonable to presume are things like what names the countries have. Roman Britain later becomes Lagria and Cambria, but that is still a little later than St Patrick's day. Armorica does become Britannia Armoricana or Britannia Minor, but I think that is also after St Patrick's day, though well before Giraldus Cambrensis or Gerald the Welshman drew his maps. However, I admit the settlements of Tractus Armoricanus by Brits under Roman Rule went in three waves, the first of which began before St Patrick was born. But back then Britannia was still a Roman Province, the Legions had not left it to its fate, there was no need yet to rename Armorica Little Britain in order to make a case Rome was keeping together when it was not. Note that Keating was not sloppy, these things have been dug up by scholars after his time with better libraries about possibly not Irish, but at least Roman matters.

Or what languages St Patrick spoke. Saying he spoke an Beurla in an older biography does not automatically mean he spoke English - the Gaelic word means gloss or language learned by reading lists of glosses. Latin is for instance a typical Beurla, though to St Patrick it may as likely as British ahve been his mother tongue. But later on English is in Ireland seen as THE Beurla, although in St Patrick's day the language did not yet exist at all. At least I cannot say the Fæder Ure (language of Wessex probably in King Alfred's time) is the same language as Our Father. So, though Saint Patrick understood English for centuries in Heaven before we did, he hardly did so while still alive. It is possible he knew or that he did not know Saxon as spoken by Saxon Pirates. It is possible he spoke the Germanic tongue of the Franks, since on one occasion fifteen Franks join his familia. But they might have been speaking Latin with him, if they were clerks before coming to Ireland. But at least he spoke Latin, probably British, and Gaelic. And he knew some Greek and Hebrew.

Apart from that reservation about birthplace and languages, I recommend as a factual story, the work Saint Patrick after the Ancient Narrations, by Rev. Philip Lynch C.S.Sp. The book also includes some other material, like two or three other legends - that is lives - with overlay of the versions, and some reflections on Flood Geology (with the slight drawback of not being Geocentric, but after 1820's Catholics must be charitable about that), and on the One, Catholic religion. There is a translation which he made of a Latin hymn, which has the same privileges or indulgences as the Latin original, and some more poetry too.

A drawback is that it is a bit cluttered in the text with parentheses that I would have put as footnotes. But not too great a drawback. It is a good exercise for reading something else than modern academia. Some of the Historians' sources will be a great deal more cluttered with explanations. You get used to it.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Our Lady's Apparition in Lourdes

*Not from same area. See Ceretic of Alt Clut

For ordering the book, write a mail or letter to the author's nephew, James Lynch:

James Lynch
St. Johnston
County Donegal
Republic of Ireland

Or - either 20 € or 15 £ stg. Post and packaging included.

jeudi 24 janvier 2013

Give me Five ... Five Ways of St Thomas vs Atheism

J. L. Mackie, The Miracle of Theism, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1982, from p. 87:

There is a popular line of thought, which we may call the first cause argument, and which runs as follows: things must be caused, and their causes will be other things that must have causes, and so on; but this series cannot go back indefinitely; it must terminate in a first cause and this first cause will be God. This argument envisages a regress of causes in time, but says (as Leibnitz for one did not) that this regress must stop somewhere.

St Bonaventura would agree here, though St Thomas Aquinas (with Leibnitz), granting more to the Atheist, did not. As far as earlier and earlier causes are concerned, it leads back to a beginning.

Why? Because the succession of moments is additive, like the natural numbers, which all have a beginning in one.

In vain does one invoke the number line, because that is a piece of fiction - what is on that line is relations, either proportional or additive or subtractive - and not actually numbers as answering the "how many". Let us put it like this: before you can use any "how many more than" or "how many less than" something else, you need that something else and it needs to be a number, a "how many" as such. Or before you can use any "how much more than" or "how much less than", you need an "how much", as such. If it is not a number, it is not per se additive or subtractive, and thus not a good parallel for the succession of moments in time.

History leads back to a beginning. Change as such cannot be an eternal state. That much we allow the popular mind and the Eleatic school. But let us get on to St Thomas Aquinas. Let us ignore, for the moment the necessity for history to have a beginning. Let us assume we saw no problem with an eternity depicted as Ourobouros biting its own tail. Let us in other words for a moment ignore our sanity as common people. Then we still have, says Aquinas, five ways to fall back on. Now, Mackie is going to criticise the five ways here:

Of Aquinas's 'five ways', the first three are recognizably (sic!) variants of the cosmological proof, and all three involve some kind of terminated regress of causes. But all of them are quite different from our first cause argument...

That is from the "earliest cause" argument of St Bonaventura. St Thomas uses "first" as in "first cause" in another way.

The first way argues to a first mover, using the illustration of something's being moved by a stick only when the stick is moved by a hand; here the various movings are simultaneous, we do not have a regress of causes in time. Similarily the 'efficient causes' in the second way are contemporary agents. Both these arguments, as Kenny has shown ....

... Has he now? ("Kenny" is A. Kenny, who wrote The Five Ways, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1969.) ...

... depend too much on antiquated physical theory to be of much interest now.

Do they? Well, not if Mackie is consistent with what he says in p. 91:

In fact, Aquinas (both here and in the first way) has simply begged the question against an infinite regress in causes. But is this a sheer mistake or is there a coherent thought behind it? Some examples ... may suggest that there is:

Whereupon Mackie goes on to repeat the real point of first and second way without bothering as to whether it is antiquated physics or not:

If we were told that there was a watch without a mainspring, we would hardly be reassured by the further inforation that it had, however, an infinite train of gear-wheels. Nor would we expect a railway train consisting of an infinite number of carriages, the last (sic!) pulled along by the second last, the second last by the third last, and so on, to get along without an engine.

The exact point of first mover (last carriage is of course an oxymoron in an infinite or circular number of such ! - but we see what he means) - except that Aquinas' man moving object with stick through his hand or smith hammering metal through hammer held in hand is replaced by engine and mainspring.

This might indicate that materialistic atheism is not so opposed to the three first ways as they like to pretend, its ahderents, when referring summarily to "Kant has refuted that", or confusing them with the regress of earlier stages that needs a beginning. It is only more into seeing the first cause as impersonal rather than personal. This is confirmed by what he does about the second way:

Again, we see a chain consisting of a series of links, hanging from a hook; we should be surprised to learn that there was a similar but infinite chain, with no hook, but links supprted by links above them for ever.

Indeed, we would. And here even Aquinas, unless memory fails me, is not quite as personal in the description of first cause as he is in description of first mover. Or becomes again in description of wise ordainer of the universe.

There is here an implicit appeal to the following general principle: Where items are ordered by a relation of dependence, the regress must end somewhere: it cannot be infinite or circular.

I would say the appeal is very straightforward and explicit ... but if Mackie wants to be obtuse, I cannot stop him.

As our examples show, this principle is at least highly plausible; the problem will be to decide when we have such a relation of dependence.

A problem? Whenever something changes, the change depends on something. Whenever something stays the same in things that could just as well change, the staying the same depends on something.

Does this apply to will? That would be an argument for determinism, unless will could be in at least a sense a "first cause" even for man's will.

Whether a thing changes or stays the same it exists. If it exists necessarily, it is the first necessary existence. If it does not exist necessarily, it gets its existence from somewhere else. And even necessary existence can get its necessity to exist from somewhere else. There also there is no regress back to infinity.

Now, Mackie tries to answer this:

Why, for example, might there not be a permanent stock of matter whose essence did not involve existence but which did not derive its existence from anything else?

Well, the problem with that answer is that modern materialism actually does identify matter as the primum ens per se necessarium. If there were such a stock of matter neither creatable (since not deriving its existence from anywhere else) nor destructible (since not reducible to anything else), it would thereby fulfill the condition of having existence as part of its essence. And it would therein contrast with configurations of matter that do not have the own existence as part of their essence but only as a result of the particular arrangement of matter.

One clarification, re p. 92:

Though we understand that where something has a temporally antecendent cause, it depends somehow on it, it does not follow that everything (other than God) needs something else to depend on in this way.

Rather: if it does not need it, thereby it qualifies as God in the kind of preciseness or approximation we are dealing with in the five ways. Anything which would not need something to depend on, would qualify as God. It is not as much in Q 2 A 3 as after it that St Thomas excludes from this "x" the solutions involving the manyfold, the composite and so on and so forth.

The modern atheism is very much the three first ways identified with an impersonal first mover, impersonal first cause of permanence also, impersonal first being, by itself necessary.

It does not quite dispense with the fourth and fifth way either. It does not - on the philosophical level we are dealing with here now, never mind they are better in practise, often enough - admit there is a real gradation of better and less good, of nobler and less noble, and therefore no noblest and best. Mind which would on ordinary views seem the best is according to it only an epiphenomenon.

Neither does it admit order depends on someone ordering the universe with wisdom, rather it says the universe arranged itself in the only possible lasting way - and that life arranged itself in many ways that simply failed before the life forms that right now are succeeding. The first part of that statement is either "steady state universe" or "big bang univere" and in either case (therein contrasting with part of the first way, the one that deals with the sun moving "as observed") non-geocentric universe. The second part of that statement is evolutionism.

Which is why, when dealing with modern atheism, it is not enough just to repeat the five ways, but one should also insist on:
  • - mind as a primary, since impossible as a side-effect of mindless things;
  • - geocentrism as closer to observation and making sense, at least if mind is accepted as a primary;
  • - dito for special creation, for non-evolutionary origin of the species we observe or at least the main ones;
  • - finally that the five ways were not meant to prove the universe is created at already that stage, Aquinas put them in Q 2 A 3 and it is only in something like Q 45 that we come to Creation, as the only possible emanation of being from the first cause, into non-divine (non-first-cause-like) entities, and there he has used part of it to establish that God is spirit and that the Three Persons of the Christian revelation are not absurd or impossible.

Part of the proof for God being a Spirit is God's simplicity, non-compositeness. Part of the proof for that is again God's upholding the rotation of the whole universe around earth as one unified movement, at least as I recall the parallel text of Contra Gentes. Which is probably exactly where Pope Urban VIII foresaw atheist consequences of allowing heliocentrism. His insistence on the sun moving as observed.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Francis of Sales

jeudi 17 janvier 2013

Richard Carrier Claimed Critical Thinking was Rare Back Then ...

1) somewhere else : History vs Hume

2) Creation vs. Evolution : More on the Hume Rehash by Richard Carrier

3) somewhere else : Richard Carrier Claimed Critical Thinking was Rare Back Then ...

4) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Did St Irenaeus Know Who Saint John was and What he Wrote?

Plato finishes his Republic with a fable about Er, coming back to life after being twelve days clinically dead as far as could be verified, and telling his near death experience, which brings on what Plato is really about: Cicero sees this was received with a stupid reaction, so he finishes his Republic with an account of Scipio waking up after a dream. And telling simply the dream.

Now, here are the actual words of Macrobius, when he wants to tell of why Cicero wrote what he wrote in Somnium Scipionis. I quote book I, chapter 1, paragraph 9, but some words are missing:

Hanc fabulam Cicero licet ab indoctis quasi ipse ueri conscius doleat, exemplum tamen stolidae uitans excitari narraturum quam reuiuiscere maluit.

On Richard Carrier's view, what happened must have been that the poor benighted people did not understand that Plato meant the fable as a fable, they took it literally because they had too little critical thinking. And Cicero wanted to avoid stupid credulity (having himself the then rare faculty of critical thinking, no doubt). And that is why he wanted his "teller" of the hidden things to wake up rather than return to life.

Are the missing words "ut reuera factam creditam" and "credulitatis"?


Here I fill in the blanks and then translate:

Hanc fabulam Cicero licet ab indoctis quasi ipse ueri conscius doleat irrisam, exemplum tamen stolidae reprehensionis uitans excitari narraturum quam reuiuiscere maluit.

"Although Cicero is at pain as being himself conscious of the truth that the fable was laughed at by the untaught, even so avoiding the example of stupid criticism he wanted his about-to-tell rather to wake up than to return to life."

So on Macrobius' view - and Cicero's too if Macrobius got him right - the untaught were not stupidly credulous, but stupidly critical. So far from believing a story of one risen from the dead because they lacked critical thinking, they laughed at it because they lacked an attitude of understanding and sympathy (one might venture: an attitude of peace, love and understanding) to what Plato had undertook.

Have we any reason whatsoever to doubt Cicero and Macrobius were right about the reception of Plato's risen Er? None that I can think of.

Critical thinking is not a rare achievement. It is what untaught people start out with. People back then were not willing to believe a miracle like that because a good man told it and good men don't lie. The reaction would have been a guffaw and something like:

"OK, you're a nice guy and all that, and don't take it personally, I'd like to believe in your god and all that, but raising someone from the dead is just plain ridiculous! That's not how the gods act. They may raise a dead to the stars, they may raise a dead to the Olympus, but they don't raise a dead to live again among men and be seen and touched by them. Sorry, better luck with the next guy!"

On top of that the Pagan back then was quite as allergic as AronRa to exclusive claims of any kind of god. So, let's take the Bayesian test for Christ's Resurrection: could it have been believed even if there was not any extremely good evidence for it, could it have been believed even if not true?

Heck no, of course.

If Christ did not rise from the dead, it is a miracle that a religion as exclusive against other gods as Judaism, and clearly related to it (and believe me, Judaism was ridiculed, when Horace was subpoenad as a witness he tried to wringle out of it with the worst excuses ever - one of them being he was now of the "curti Judaei" and had to observe some Sabbath or Newmoon*) could take over the Roman Empire and an even greater it could do so by the claim of someone having risen from the dead.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BU** Nanterre
Saint Rosaline

*Ibam forte via Sacra ... I happened to be walking on Sacra Via ... Actually I misremembered, Horace takes the subpoena as the final release from someone even more annoying, a man wanting to be introduced to Maecenas.

For English translation click here, scroll down to IX, IBAM FORTE VIA SACRA

**BU = Bibliothèque Universitaire = University Library (Nanterre is the Paris X site).

jeudi 3 janvier 2013

History vs Hume

1) somewhere else : History vs Hume

2) Creation vs. Evolution : More on the Hume Rehash by Richard Carrier

3) somewhere else : Richard Carrier Claimed Critical Thinking was Rare Back Then ...

4) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Did St Irenaeus Know Who Saint John was and What he Wrote?

A: You don't need to listen beyond the 5:02 mark because he makes and assumption based upon his belief miracles don't exists therefore the rest is based upon that faulty assumption

B: No, he doesn't. He says that the notion of a Christian LEGION is absurd. Maybe you misheard what he said.

C: Assuming miracles do not happen is based on everything but belief. But that's not relevant in this case, because he said no such thing. You need to refrain from commenting until you obtain the necessary clarity of thought to follow a presentation.

Right, right. Only way to tell if Richard Carrier bases his argument on principled rejection of miracles is by hearing whether he said the actual words "I am basing this on the assumption that miracles do not happen".

Like, he could not wait with stating that (which he does later) and let the hearers, already favourable to that position, sip it in without quite noticing what they are doing?

But there is one other possibility of what he is basing his position on: he could mean that even Christians admit absurdity of miracles in any and every case except the Christian ones that are recorded in the Bible. And arguing from there he would not be presuming but arguing by parallel that everyone admits the extreme improbability of miracles. There he is simply wrong about the Christians he has to deal with, at least about me.

I do not reject the factuality of the miracle of the Christian legion. I do reject the total factuality of the Pagan explanation, namely I think it quite likely, given that Marcus Aurelius has surprisingly a Christian legion, that he would try to hide the fact. Also given that Christians were likely to blurt out who prayed to whom, it is likely he would try to push the praise on for instance an Egyptian magician. As well as begin persecuting those who would not buy that. And, yes, Marcus Aurelius intensified the persecution of Christians just after this happened.

D: Why would it be a faulty assumption to believe that miracles don't exist? I'd say that this would follow as the only rational belief given that one has never experienced miracles and that nobody seems to be able to substantiate claims of miracles.

Or are you saying that you can prove that miracles happen?

There's another aspect to denying miracles as well. If it was the case that miracles occur, then this means that both the historical and scientific methods are invalid ways to know things about reality and that for all we know, the universe could have been created miraculously 2 minutes ago with false history. This view is so problematic (and useless in the face of us not having any indication that miracles happen) that we're forced to abandon it and employ methodological naturalism.

That is a pretty idiotic inference, but most likely something like the one Richard Carrier uses without exactly telling us in this video, in order to bias the historic method - which basically he did right apart from this bias - in disfavour of miracles happening. As you see later in the video, he uses a list of most to least likely, and he is either putting likelihood of miracles very arbitrarily (except for atheists and other miracle-rejecters) at very close to zero or using a similarily falwed inference like that.

Now, Piggy made a similar inference against the Monster really being such (and it wasn't such, in the book, but his inference remains idiotic) by saying "if monsters exist, television and elevators wouldn't work". Newton never ever said his Physics only work in the absence of spirits and miracles. Neither did Aristotle, though he was on the same idiotic anti-miraculous line. He was also a necessitist, unless Averroës got him wrong and Thomas attributed Averroës' misunderstanding to him: he believed all on earth is ruled by the stars.

Except for that bias against miracles in the historic method as used by modern historians, very many miracles are proven historically. Like:
- Resurrection of Christ as well as a few other miracles
- Rain miracle of the Legio Fulminatrix
- Temple miracles announcing God left the temple in Jerusalem (and unlike his comment, God actually HAS tried to make the Jews see some sense before this happened, a try that led up to a crucifixion at Calvary).

I also hold that demons are able to do some miraculous seeming things, in so far as God permits it. And that accounts for:
- Delphic statues going out to fight the Persians (see Herodotus), unless that was done by guardian angels, temporarily masquerading as Pagan gods because the time for Paganism to cease was not come yet
- Glykon, the "god" with a human, talking head and the body of a serpent (very clearly demonic).

Also, not mentioned in this video, the demonic accounts for the dragonlike creature summoned by a Ceres priest to frighten the Christians, it ran amuck and St Front had to deal with it. This happened in Perigueux. In France it is known as La Gratusse.

Also, hinted at in the video, Simon Magus' initial success at levitation before the prayers of St Peter stopped him.

Now, if Simon Magus levitated and St Peter stopped him and all the city saw it, why have we no Pagan Historians saying it? Well, it happened when Nero ruled, he was not a man whom it was quite safe to contradict.

The Roman Historians of his time, except the Christian ones, are gone and survive only as quoted by later historians, such as Tacitus or Suetonius. A little the same thing that happened under the somewhat more lenient Marcus Aurelius. He could for a time tolerate a Legion where the Christians were leading - probably recruited as Pagans but converted - and pretend sacrifices to Jupiter Optimus Maximus were made when the legion really prayed to Christ, but he could not tolerate that they became known for having prayed to Christ for a miracle. So, when persecution had done its way to stop non-Christians from commemorating this Christian miracle, all one had to do was to bring in an Egyptian magician who existed at the time but who really had nothing to do with the miracle.

This is enough to answer Richard Carrier's allegation: "Clearly completely false legends of completely ridiculous miracles could arise very quickly and no alternative account survives."

Now, sometimes people do make inferences about what the world would be like if there were a God, but omit his logical step of asking whether the world as the atheist asking the question sees it is actually both accurate (it is inaccurate about miracles, if we are right) and also if the things the atheist sees rightly cannot be explained if there is a God (like existence of evil, by the way exaggerated in extent in one direction at least by the way atheists see miracle allegations as proof of an evil in the human mind). Let's ask the question the other way around: What would the world be like if there was NO god?

The universe would not have been starting with a mind. And in that case there would not have developed any minds later either. And in that case we would not have the minds that discuss these things.

I dealt with this in more detail in this post:

somewhere else : Atheism Very Shortly Stated - and Refuted

There are some fishy things about Richard Carrier and the Academic process (which I am out of anyway, as a drop out living on the street, but I know some of it) and about the process of debate too:

E: If your book really passed peer-review, why did you publish it at Prometheus and not a scholarly press?

F: Why didn't Richard Carrier bring up the column of Marcus Aurelius in any of his debates with Michael Licona? That seems suspicious.

G: Why won't Richard Carrier tackle the following?
1) The Miracle of Calanda
2) The Miracle of the Sun. [At Fatima in Portugal, 1917]
3) Our Lady of Zeitoun.
4) The Miracle of Lanciano.
5) The NDE of Pam Reynolds.

H: What do you mean "won't"? Has he said he was going to talk about specific miracle claims?

Actually the talk on Skepticon 5 starts out with a debunking of specific miracle claims a lot less easy to check than the better and more recently documented ones commenter G refers to.

I: Makes no sense, why would God help the Romans who supposedly were also killing xians . Shouldnt God be punishing the Romans ?

Not before some sufficiently important Barbarians sufficiently civilised are ready to become Christian.

... miracles are claiming things with extremely low prior probability.

What Richard Carrier refers to as prior probability or in a case of miracles rather prior improbability, is either a case of inherent improbability (the standard western atheist view of miracles) or of statistic improbability (the standard western atheist view of being present at a great battle or the signing of a peace treaty or the discovery of new technology like penecilline discovered because Fleming left bread to mold close to a bacterium culture, or the Christian view of all of these, but of miracles too).

In RC's view, miracles are very much below all the "usual suspects" (list provided below) and of causality he puts Martians or other Aliens or Matrix as number 4 but God as number 8 and the God of a specific religion as number 9, as least likely. There is very clearly a real prejudice against God and against specifically a God doing miracles if a thing like Matrix can be four or five where God is only eight and nine.

This is all a very great hotchpotch of confusing the two issues. How "the God of a particular religion" could be statistically less likely than "God" is clear, since any probability at all that God exists would give probability to share between more than one religion and each of them have only part of it. But even that is flawed, since the distinction is flawed.

When it comes to "God" the concept usually refers to - especially among Platonists (when explaining one meaning of Zeus=Jupiter=Ra, for instance), Christians, Jews, Mazdeists, Moslems, Mormons - the God of the universe, the Creator, Ruler and Judge of it all. Even a certain school of Hindooism has such a concept.

But each "God of a specific religion" among those (not to be confused with deities like Sea gods or Rain gods or Hermes=Thot=Mercurius) includes the concept of being "God" as such. They are not alternatives to God as such, they are more specific ways of identifying God as such. And if there is such a thing and He does miracles, it is very possible that He made one religion stick out too, both by the kind of miracles it includes and by the atmosphere, as Christianity does, see this earlier post:

ibid. Adam's Sin, Christ's Sacrifice, a Few Glosses

It's enough you have someone believe Jesus rose from the Dead to get Christianity, you do not need Him actually resurrecting.

That is claiming the "usual suspects" cannot be ruled out:

The Usual Suspects:
- Memory Sucks
- People Lie
- Speculation Gets Conflated with Fact
- (Or Fallacious Inferences Do)
- Mythmaking (Allegorising Story Making)

Now, let us rule them out each in order:
- Memory Sucks

What can bad memory do, really? I would be somewhat of an expert.

I recall Mull of Kintyre as being played in radio stations of Malmö either before Grandpa died or just after. But that would have been 76-77. And it seems Mull of Kintyre is from 78. OK, that could be fraudulent to gaslight people who recall it from 76/77 in any way, but assuming the hit is really from 78, this means I heard it later and conflated that with earlier memories. But this does not add any miraculous dimension (except in hindsight: "it would have been a miracle if you heard it in 76") to my memory of the song. Probable reason for bad memory if such: I was not often in that café after early 77, since I only came back on visits up to Easter 1980, in between I lived in Vienna. BUT the song was far better music than I actually heard in that café when I was going there on a less irregular basis, like once a month or once every two months.

Or another example, amusing to historians. I very long conflated the Boulgaroktonos emperor Basil II with the other Emperor who burnt one heretic, because that heretic was called Basil the Physician. But that emperor was not Basil II, and Basil the Physician may have shared tenets with Bulgarian Bogumils but was not clearly Bulgarian himself and his judge who condemned him to the stake was Alexios I Komnenos. And Bulgaroktonos was not so clearly concerned with burning heretics at all. Reason for my conflating these into Bulgaroktonos fighting Bulgars to fight and punish Bogumil heresy: I was seeing a parallel (and seeking a closer parallel than there was) between Byzantium and the Albigensian Crusade.

So, if I approached Gospels as a merely human document, I might not be sure that Jesus really fed thousands of people miraculously twice, it could theoretically (if they had not been guarded by the Holy Spirit) have been one gospeller recalling one number and another one recalling another one. Fourthousand vs fivethousand, twelve baskets vs seven baskets of leftovers ... could just humanly speaking have been one or two mistaking memories of mathematical non-miraculous aspect of the miracle. But will not do at all as an explanation of remembering a miracle if none such happened.

Read the accounts of the Resurrection: what plausible scenario could they be a badly recalled memory of, especially as it seems pretty definite from them that the memory of one helps the other?

- People Lie
And sure, even good people lie, if they think good will come out of it. Usually against, say, someone's sanity, or to put people on guard against someone they think a blackguard even if they cannot prove it. And sure, martyrs are not infallible witnesses to the truth of their religion BUT martyrs are not likely to be martyrs for their own lies. That is the point about the moral impossibility of Apostles being liars.

Nor are martyrs likely to be people who became Christians for mere bread and then pretended to see miracles even if they saw none, as going along with nice people: such adherents fall off pretty quickly in persecution, if they can.

- Speculation Gets Conflated with Fact
Like Richard Carrier's speculation about the inherent improbability of miracles or of God being a cause of specific events?

- (Or Fallacious Inferences Do)
Like Richard Carrier's one commenter's fallacious inference that if miracles could happen neither scientific nor historic method would work?

- Mythmaking (Allegorising Story Making)
Euhemerus thought that certain divine figures were kings of the remote past. Maybe he had specific evidence we have lost or have interpreted otherwise. Maybe he was right about some, like Hercules and Romulus, who certainly had an earthly existence and interacted with persons related to certainly real ones (Romulus was first of only seven kings, Hercules was grandfather of Heraclids leading Doric invasion). It is not all that likely, it is not likely in the least, that a pure allegory gets a life on earth among men for free. Osiris did hardly walk among men, since the Pharaos after him are very probably mere myths too. Woden seems to have tried the same stunt as Simon Magus did, but since no St Peter prayed for him to be stopped, he succeeded in Upsala. Krishna may very well have been charioteer of Arjuna and Pantheistic philosopher on top of that. That makes none of these a real god but some clearly real men. All this is much likelier than three stages: 1) solar allegory, 2) placing it on earth, 3) mistaking it for real history.

All three of last, but without the ad hominem: for speculation or fallacious inference to be conflated with fact or for a story to make all the way through the stages allegory, euhemerised allegory (if there ever was such a thing), mistaking that for real history, we need several stages of transmission.

We do not have them. Textual Critics will serve them on a plate to Atheist or other Non-Christian Historians, but they use their own fallacious inferences from antimiraculous prejudice in order to get there.

And Eyewitness account cannot be fifth after "physical necessity." Richard Carrier said, Caesar had to cross the Rubicon in order to get where he wanted. Fine enough, but it is not a physical necessity, it is from eyewitness accounts, that we have that he got there or existed in the first place.

Now, I saved (at first unconsciously) the reference to the "ridiculous" miracles in the life of St Genevieve to the last. It is her day today and I am in Paris.

Now, I do not find one single of the miracles attributed to God in connexion with her unbelievable.

I do not find it ridiculous that her mother stopped her from getting to Paris to be a nun and went blind and regained her eyesight only as she allowed her fourteen year old daughter to get in and become a nun. Certain ugly modern minds might think "how ridiculous, they are saying God supported the tantrum of an immature teenager" - but we are saying that. We are perhaps not of your mind about what constitutes irrationality in a tantrum or mature enough age to get to become a nun, or for that matter to marry.

In Roman Law, a boy might marry as soon as he was fourteen and a girl as soon as she was twelve - just as legally as GB has it 16/16, and as France had it 18/15 up to 2006. Imperial Austria had 18-21(if I recall correctly)/14-21 with younger ages for each sex depending on parental consent. Spain one hundred years ago had 14/12, just as Roman Civil Law and as longstanding Roman Catholic Canon Law.

No, I do not find it ridiculous that God supported her ideal of becoming a consecrated virgin that soon, or that He punished her mother for delaying it. God created teens and might not like parentla tyranny, even when modern psychology supports it.

I do not find it ridiculous that once or twice she raised a drowned boy from the dead. Or levitated a ship, if she did - though I cannot recall that one from my reading of her lives (two of them) in Acta Sanctorum by the Bollandists.

The antimiraculously prejudiced Richard Carrier finds it worthy of ironic snicker that her biography was written only ten years after her death (if it was, I do not know when it was written) by someone who knew her.

Now, if we go to another saint with very many miracles, like Severin of Noricum, his biography was written by Eugippius. And Eugippius did not write it in Noricum, but in Naples. He also wrote it clearly after Severin died. This has been used to indicate that a man in Naples cannot really have known a man in Noricum, alias mid Austria of our times, and therefore the account is bullshit.

However, we know from same biography that St Severin negotiated with Odoacar the peaceful exile of the Romans of Noricum, and that their goal of exile was precisely Naples. It stands to reason Eugippius was close to Severin in his latter days (but not his early carreer, which would have coincided with Eugippius' childhood) and that he had been in Noricum before the negotiated exile, i e up to when St Severin died. So much for an Eugippius who freely invented what he had no reasonable knowledge about!

Now, as a general rule, biographies are written by people who have known them. Or, earliest biographies are. Belloc wrote about Richelieu and Louis XIV, whom he did not know, but he based his work on much earlier biographies. And sure enough, Agricola's biography was written by his son in law Tacitus, and Chesterton's biography apart from the Autobiography (obviously not updated till his death) was by Maisie Ward, who had connections both by social status and by common implication in Catholic Apologetics, plus access to archives to go by. Humphrey Carpenter has colaborated extensively with Christopher Tolkien. The common procedure is not that some important person lives and dies and then someone else writes nonsense about someone he never knew, the ordinary procedure is that people - except Atheists on Arguing Business - know what they write about before they start writing.

I therefore argue it is supremely improbable that St Genevieve's biography was not written soon, that Eugippius did not know St Severin of Noricum, and that Gospels (except the fourth) are from fifty years later rather than by Matthew (eyewitness), Mark (having access to at least eyewitness St Peter plus to Gospel of St Matthew), Luke (having access to several eywitnesses, including the Blessed Virgin) and John (eywitness, as he states himself), though he wrote some sixty years after the facts.

The only thing Richard Carrier has to show against this is antimiraculous bias, and Textual Criticism based on such bias, the socalled Higher Criticism, which Popes such as Leo XIII so rightly, not just for the faith, but even for reason, condemned as a sham.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
in Paris (Lutetiae Parisiorum
uel Parisius)
St Genevieve's Day