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2 hours ago, Spammer said:

The idea is central, not the word used to represent it.

In itself quite an interesting and highly debatable point in the philosophy of language.

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

Unless one wishes to recognize that the contradictions in language are perhaps just in language.

Do you need to read some Taoist literature my friend? ;) 

Or, to borrow from the LDS theodicy of necessary contradiction, there is no good with evil, right? No front without back, no day without night. In transcendence, the law of contradiction is one of the first things to go.

Again, this is based on my personal experience with the Divine. The self melts away in His presence and assumed boundaries and contradictions no longer make sense.

Oh I am a long term fan of Taoism.  .

But of course Taoism is not Scholasticism, is it?  Odd you would bring up kind of the antithesis of Scholasticism at this point!

If you want I will meet you in Taoism  ;)

 

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

While this is true in the secular sense, my experiences of Catholic Holy Week show a very heavy focus on Christ and not very many bunnies and eggs :) 

But did the Christian interpretation win or the worldly one?

Are people going to church on Easter or to Easter egg hunts?

The point is when an old tradition is combined with "new meaning" the old never seems to go away.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

We literally cannot speak of some THING that is neither material nor in space in time.  That is literally called NO-THING because no things are immaterial and outside of space - time

IF you are going to say something at least don't contradict language itself.  No-thing "exists" if it doesn't exist in space and time.  Go ahead and try to define existence so it fits with something immaterial and outside of space and time.

That's why no proofs for God's "existence" work.  He is beyond language.   Remember the boy on the beach trying to fill his hole in the sand with the ocean?   Best wishes on the effort.

That which cannot be said clearly is best left unspoken.

That's right, although it's perfectly natural to want to make an attempt to understand what our Creator is.  There's nothing wrong with it, so long as the limitation you've identified is kept in mind.  Aquinas made the attempt and knew it in the end.  I know it but enjoy reading Aquinas.  Why?  You said:

12 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

And we are materialists.  There is no such thing as "immaterial". 

That conclusion is valid only if you first adopt the materialist philosophy.  That conclusion is nothing that can be arrived at through observation.  I begin from a different starting point.  Lacking any direct spiritual experiences, I came to believe in the existence of God and returned to Christ solely on the grounds laid out by guys like Aquinas and Anselm.  They're my starting point. Put another way, I ONLY believe God exists because of what they wrote.

Edited by Spammer

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13 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I'm just making the point that if it's ineffable leave it ineffable. It simply doesn't work today. :)

It never really worked, but it does open a door to contemplation of the ineffable, which is the whole point the endeavor of the first place.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

But did the Christian interpretation win or the worldly one?

Are people going to church on Easter or to Easter egg hunts?

The point is when an old tradition is combined with "new meaning" the old never seems to go away.

Another point is that the new meaning is grounded on beliefs that are older than the appropriation.  Thus, the Western Church baptized pagan festivals and the whole Church baptized Greek philosophy.  It did not base it's teaching on Greek philosophy, as some on this board like to say.  Yes, Neoplatonism continued to be a problem, for the reasons you describe (the old never seems to go away, that's how it is with humans) but subsequent church councils were convened to keep that in check and uphold orthodoxy.  There was even a Crusade called to contain Neoplatonism (the Albigensian).  

Easter eggs and bunnies are Western and only appeared in Easter celebrations (in Europe) after Pascha became Easter.  There was no Easter nor Easter eggs/bunnies in Christianity before Pope Gregory I sent the monk Augustine and his monk friends to evangelize the Saxons in 597.  The Paschal Liturgy is centuries older. Easter egg hunts are a Western, specifically English thing - and anywhere where the English church has had an influence, which is practically everywhere these days.

 

Edited by Spammer

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19 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

 Mark, everyone. Hi. Mark, you were responding to a remark by Spammer that affirmed that the Church rejects Platonic notions about God, when he challenged someone to tell us what had been borrowed from Plato by Creedal Christians. Spammer has affirmed, what I do not know, that Creedal Christians deny Plato's most fundamental ideas on God and cosmology. So far there are no challenges to this affirmation. Are we proceeding with the assumption that this is true? I want the bad news now if Spammer's claims cannot be verified.  

"Which is why all of the above in Plato was condemned by the Church.  Plato's god is alien and far removed from the Trinitarian god.  So what exactly did Creedal Christians get from Plato?" (Spammer, from p. 3 in this thread, above)

Good question Spammer. I'll keep reading.

Does it make a difference that St. Augustine wasn't even born when the Athanasian and Nicene Creeds were written? He was still a Manichean dualist when the Creed of Constantinople came out. He had no influence at all on those documents. It doesn't seem like it answers Spammer's question about what the "Creedal Christians" borrowed from Plato, by pointing to someone who wasn't available when the creeds were formulated. When I read Spammer's question, it makes me think of those, alleged of hellenizing, who wrote the creeds, not those who had to follow the creeds after the alleged hellenization occurred. (I am still on p. 3. My apologies if this has been addressed.)

 

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1 hour ago, 3DOP said:

 Mark, everyone. Hi. Mark, you were responding to a remark by Spammer that affirmed that the Church rejects Platonic notions about God, when he challenged someone to tell us what had been borrowed from Plato by Creedal Christians. Spammer has affirmed, what I do not know, that Creedal Christians deny Plato's most fundamental ideas on God and cosmology. So far there are no challenges to this affirmation. Are we proceeding with the assumption that this is true? I want the bad news now if Spammer's claims cannot be verified.  

"Which is why all of the above in Plato was condemned by the Church.  Plato's god is alien and far removed from the Trinitarian god.  So what exactly did Creedal Christians get from Plato?" (Spammer, from p. 3 in this thread, above)

Good question Spammer. I'll keep reading.

Does it make a difference that St. Augustine wasn't even born when the Athanasian and Nicene Creeds were written? He was still a Manichean dualist when the Creed of Constantinople came out. He had no influence at all on those documents. It doesn't seem like it answers Spammer's question about what the "Creedal Christians" borrowed from Plato, by pointing to someone who wasn't available when the creeds were formulated. When I read Spammer's question, it makes me think of those, alleged of hellenizing, who wrote the creeds, not those who had to follow the creeds after the alleged hellenization occurred. (I am still on p. 3. My apologies if this has been addressed.)

 

Aristotle was a student of Plato who incorporated many of Plato's views.

Plotinus was a clear Neo Platonist who clearly influenced the church theology.

Aqiunas incorporated Aristotelianism, ie substance theology into scholasticism

Augustine was a clear platonist.

I am tired of arguing the points.

It is clear that the church incorporated Pagan Greek philosophy wholesale.

It was the General worldview at the time just as secularism is now.

To me, to believe that did not happen is simply naive. I do not think you could find any scholar who will not admit that pagan Greek philosophy was brought into Catholic Doctrine.

Slice and dice it as much as you like to try to get around it but overall it clearly happened.

The very mention of the word substance is a clear indicator of all of that.

Here is a link that might help

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoplatonism_and_Christianity

Edited by mfbukowski

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38 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

Spammer has affirmed, what I do not know, that Creedal Christians deny Plato's most fundamental ideas on God and cosmology. 

Is the word consubstantial still in the Nicene Creed?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

It is clear that the church incorporated Pagan Greek philosophy wholesale.

It's not clear at all.  The God of Catholicism is far removed from the god of Greek philosophy, who isn't a god in the Judeo-Christian sense, not even a 'who,' since Plato's god is not  a person.  I asked for a description of which Greek philosophical elements were incorporated into Creedal theology and so far all anyone has come up with is:

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

The very mention of the word substance is a clear indicator of all of that.

Is there anything else, or is that it?  I’ve noted the idea that God is one and transcendent is a point of similarity, though God’s transcendence is a surface similarity, as Greek philosophy is materialist, the same LDS teaching. 

I'm just not seeing a wholesale incorporation of Pagan Greek philosophy.  

Even if there is some similarity, so what?  There's similarity between LDS teaching and Greek philosophy (eternal matter, eternal intelligences), but surely you'd dispute the notion that LDS teaching is flawed because of the similarity.  It seems there's a double standard at play here.  

Edited by Spammer

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Is the word consubstantial still in the Nicene Creed?

Yes, in the current English translation of the Creed used in Novus Ordo Catholic churches.  English speaking Orthodox churches use 'essence.'  That's because Aquinas didn't influence the Greek, Coptic or Syrian part of church.  That's a point typically forgotten or ignored in any conversation about Catholicism.

As Miserere pointed out, Catholicism is a rich, diverse tradition and the philosophies and spiritualities of of Aquinas and Augustine are only a part and really only belong to the Latin wing of the church. You can be a Catholic in good standing and not ascribe to substance theology. IMO some nuance is called for when the influence of substance theology and Aristotle on the church is discussed. Ive found such nuance to be rare.

[Edit: the same absence of nuance is seen in LDS and Protestant discussion of sinful popes, inquisitions and crusades, as if those have anything at all to do with the non-Latin Catholic Churches.  My experience is people who focus on such things don’t really know much about Catholicism. 

Edited by Spammer

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Spammer said:

Even if there is some similarity, so what?

I don't even know how to answer this.

If you don't care what are we arguing about?

Show me an article any article by a reputable scholar who says that Greek philosophy did not influence Christianity. That's essentially what you're saying

But then who cares if it did?

I don't care. I don't believe it. 

I don't know that I have much more to say.

 

Edited by mfbukowski

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2 hours ago, 3DOP said:

Does it make a difference that St. Augustine wasn't even born when the Athanasian and Nicene Creeds were written?

Does it make a difference that I was not yet born when the theory of relativity was written? How about the notion of evolution of the species? Does our culture show the influence of these ideas?

I'm not seeing the relevance of when he was born.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Spammer said:

Yes, in the current English translation of the Creed used in Novus Ordo Catholic churches.  English speaking Orthodox churches use 'essence.'  That's because Aquinas didn't influence the Greek, Coptic or Syrian part of church.  That's a point typically forgotten or ignored in any conversation about Catholicism.

As Miserere pointed out, Catholicism is a rich, diverse tradition and the philosophies and spiritualities of of Aquinas and Augustine are only a part and really only belong to the Latin wing of the church. You can be a Catholic in good standing and not ascribe to substance theology. IMO some nuance is called for when the influence of substance theology and Aristotle on the church is discussed. Ive found such nuance to be rare.

[Edit: the same absence of nuance is seen in LDS and Protestant discussion of sinful popes, inquisitions and crusades, as if those have anything at all to do with the non-Latin Catholic Churches.  My experience is people who focus on such things don’t really know much about Catholicism. 

"Essence" is just another word used to describe Platonic Forms.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_forms

"The theory of Forms or theory of Ideas[1][2][3]is a philosophical theory, concept, or world-view, attributed to Plato, that the physical world is not as real or true as timeless, absolute, unchangeable ideas.[4] According to this theory, ideas in this sense, often capitalized and translated as "Ideas" or "Forms",[5] are the non-physical essences of all things, of which objects and matter in the physical world are merely imitations. Plato speaks of these entities only through the characters (primarily Socrates) of his dialogues who sometimes suggest that these Forms are the only objects of study that can provide knowledge. The theory itself is contested from within Plato's dialogues, and it is a general point of controversy in philosophy. Whether the theory represents Plato's own views is held in doubt by modern scholarship.[6] However, the theory is considered a classical solution to the problem of universals."

Edited by mfbukowski

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Aristotle was a student of Plato who incorporated many of Plato's views.

Plotinus was a clear Neo Platonist who clearly influenced the church theology.

Aqiunas incorporated Aristotelianism, ie substance theology into scholasticism

Augustine was a clear platonist.

I am tired of arguing the points.

It is clear that the church incorporated Pagan Greek philosophy wholesale.

It was the General worldview at the time just as secularism is now.

To me, to believe that did not happen is simply naive. I do not think you could find any scholar who will not admit that pagan Greek philosophy was brought into Catholic Doctrine.

Slice and dice it as much as you like to try to get around it but overall it clearly happened.

The very mention of the word substance is a clear indicator of all of that.

You are tired? It does seem tedious to make such an uproar over this word which led Plato to believe more like you than me. The Fathers of the Council obviously could use this word without caring what Plato believed about God. Wow. When Plato employed this terrible word, it didn't lead anywhere near the Creeds of the Catholic Church! It leaves me incredulous to have discovered that after all these years of being a Platonist by default since I am Catholic, Plato's "god", doesn't even remotely resemble the God of the creeds who created out of nothing. Amazing.

 

 

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On 7/12/2019 at 1:00 PM, Spammer said:

Plato did not teach ex nihilo.  He taught ex materia creation, the same as the LDS Church.

Anyone who thinks Plato taught ex nihilo hasn't read much Plato.

I am "liking" this having not read much Plato, and assuming he taught ex nihilo. Am I the only one who will admit to being so ignorant? And Plato taught matter was eternal! This has to be a dream. hehe

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3 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

You are tired? It does seem tedious to make such an uproar over this word which led Plato to believe more like you than me. The Fathers of the Council obviously could use this word without caring what Plato believed about God. Wow. When Plato employed this terrible word, it didn't lead anywhere near the Creeds of the Catholic Church! It leaves me incredulous to have discovered that after all these years of being a Platonist by default since I am Catholic, Plato's "god", doesn't even remotely resemble the God of the creeds who created out of nothing. Amazing.

 

 

Yeah, I can't figure it out, either.  I can understand the concern if Greek philosophy was imported wholesale into the Church, but it simply wasn't.  All of the debate in this thread about a single word (ousia) translated variously as substance, essence or nature, as if the bare fact that English translations of Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas all use 'substance' proves that Greek philosophy corrupted the Church.  I get that LDS church members really want for the Great Apostasy to have happened, but the fact that what Plato or Aristotle meant by substance isn't remotely what the Catholic Creeds mean by substance.  The Greeks were materialists, after all!  Just like LDS church members.  So, where exactly is the similarity?  Where is the immaterial God who created all of matter, time and space out of nothing in Greek philosophy?  To date, no LDS church member has named a Greek philosopher who believed in the existence of immaterial persons and ex nihilo creation.  Plato and Aristotle are name dropped but neither of them believed that! I ask for an explanation of what exactly the Church imported from Greek philosophy and all I get is 'substance.'  I know the scholars say there was influence but what kind of influence is it, really, if the similarities all boil down to terminology and what Catholics and pagan Greeks mean by substance isn't the same?  Ok, so the church imported some materialist terminology and used it in an attempt to describe the immaterial.  Big deal. That's why I say "so what?"  Church teachings regarding God's nature as an immaterial spirit who created everything ex nihilo were not changed when the Church engaged Greek philosophy.  That core Catholic teaching that God is an immaterial spirit who made everything out of nothing is very old, predating the Creed by at least two centuries.  Irenaeus believed and defended it and he said he got his teaching directly from Polycarp and that Polycarp got his teaching directly from the Apostle John.  If what Catholicism teaches about God and creation comes from pagan Greeks, which of the these three - John, Polycarp, or Irenaeus was an apostate and which pagan Greek influenced him?   It would be great to get that kind of evidence but so far all we have is an interesting conversation about 'substance.'  It all seems like much ado about nothing to me.  

 

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11 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

I am "liking" this having not read much Plato, and assuming he taught ex nihilo. Am I the only one who will admit to being so ignorant? And Plato taught matter was eternal! This has to be a dream. hehe

He did.  Read the Timaeus.  

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

I am "liking" this having not read much Plato, and assuming he taught ex nihilo. Am I the only one who will admit to being so ignorant? And Plato taught matter was eternal! This has to be a dream. hehe

It is a dream, he did not even believe matter was real. Read it for yourself 

I am out, have a good one

"The theory of Forms or theory of Ideas[1][2][3]is a philosophical theory, concept, or world-view, attributed to Plato, that the physical world is not as real or true as timeless, absolute, unchangeable ideas.[4] According to this theory, ideas in this sense, often capitalized and translated as "Ideas" or "Forms",[5] are the non-physical essences of all things, of which objects and matter in the physical world are merely imitations. "..... Matter is considered particular in itself. For Plato, forms, such as beauty, are more real than any objects that imitate them. Though the forms are timeless and unchanging, physical things are in a constant change of existence. Where forms are unqualified perfection, physical things are qualified and conditioned.[10]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_forms

 

Edited by mfbukowski

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Does it make a difference that I was not yet born when the theory of relativity was written? How about the notion of evolution of the species? Does our culture show the influence of these ideas?

I'm not seeing the relevance of when he was born.

It makes a difference when you were born if somebody says you had influence on the theory of relativity. Did you influence Einstein before you were born? Did Augustine influence the creeds before he was born? Unless he did, your citation of a website that tries to demonstrate that Augustine was a Platonist, doesn't speak to Spammer's question regarding what the creeds take from Plato.

You fairly quickly responded above by asking me if "consubstantial" was still in the creed. I thought that was a concession to my point, but a valid way of retrenching. Okay. You don't want that? I am willing to let others judge for themselves whether it answers Spammer's question for mfbukowski to show that after the creeds were written, Augustine was influenced by Platonic thought.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

It is a dream, he did not even believe matter was real. Read it for yourself 

I am out, have a good one

"The theory of Forms or theory of Ideas[1][2][3]is a philosophical theory, concept, or world-view, attributed to Plato, that the physical world is not as real or true as timeless, absolute, unchangeable ideas.[4] According to this theory, ideas in this sense, often capitalized and translated as "Ideas" or "Forms",[5] are the non-physical essences of all things, of which objects and matter in the physical world are merely imitations. "..... Matter is considered particular in itself. For Plato, forms, such as beauty, are more real than any objects that imitate them. Though the forms are timeless and unchanging, physical things are in a constant change of existence. Where forms are unqualified perfection, physical things are qualified and conditioned.[10]

 

 

It does not seem like this does much to help your cause. So let me get this straight. Plato is a materialist who denies the reality of matter? The Council Fathers were not really very keen on that concept of Plato either.

Edited by 3DOP

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

It makes a difference when you were born if somebody says you had influence on the theory of relativity. Did you influence Einstein before you were born? Did Augustine influence the creeds before he was born? Unless he did, your citation of a website that tries to demonstrate that Augustine was a Platonist, doesn't speak to Spammer's question regarding what the creeds take from Plato.

You fairly quickly responded above by asking me if "consubstantial" was still in the creed. I thought that was a concession to my point, but a valid way of retrenching. Okay. You don't want that? I am willing to let others judge for themselves whether it answers Spammer's question for mfbukowski to show that after the creeds were written, Augustine was influenced by Platonic thought.

All this shows is that Platonism had already infiltrated the church before Augustine . Gnosticism was largely based on Plato and Pythagoras. It appears in the gospels.

Believe what you like, we have to agree to disagree and I am out.

Edited by mfbukowski

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17 minutes ago, Spammer said:

He did.  Read the Timaeus.  

Spammer, heh. I don't want to, you've spoiled the ending.

Thanks for all the good work and study. What a breath of fresh air. I didn't give it a like, but I liked a lot of what you said regarding transubstantiation. By the way, isn't the word "sacrament" a synonym for the English "mystery"? Take a look at Ep. 5:32 sometime. Most English translations use the word "mystery" where the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible uses "sacrament". In that passage the church is not speaking of one of the seven sacraments or mysteries, but of another "mystery". I think we are okay with labelling the sacraments as mysteries, and that the Greek in Ep. 5:32 is probably better translated in English as mystery. The Latin Vulgate has translated the word as "sacrament".

" This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church.
Sacramentum hoc magnum est, ego autem dico in Christo et in Ecclesia. " Latin/English translation of Ep. 5:32

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Spammer said:

get that LDS church members really want for the Great Apostasy to have happened, but the fact that what Plato or Aristotle meant by substance isn't remotely what the Catholic Creeds mean by substance. 

LDS use words differently as well (salvation is not equivalent to exaltation for us for example), so I am not seeing this as an inherent LDS position myself though it is not an unusual one. 

Edited by Calm
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