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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:06 pm 
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Light of the East wrote:
God is. All that He does is simply a part of "IS." But what IS God.

Love.
And here is exactly where you reduce God from Existence Existing in Itself to a creature which has the property of love (as opposed to, say, the property of wrath). So you ARE denying Jack's definition, even when you claim that you are not. God is not this or that. God simply IS. And Scripture describes God as having wrath. And if Jack's definition is correct (and if it isn't, there is no God), then God IS wrath, because God simply is what he does.

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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:32 pm 
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Correct me if I am wrong, but is someone arguing that we cannot understand what "God is love" means? Why then would Jesus command us to love if love is something we cannot understand? How would we even know that we were making an effort to obey that commandment if we don't understand what love is? If we think love means punishing people because we think they deserve to be punished, then who is to say that's wrong if nobody understands what love is.

I don't think anyone needs a degree in philosophy or theology to understand what love is.


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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:41 pm 
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You (and LotE) want to use the word "love" univocally (i.e., in exactly the same way) for God and for created things. That's simply wrong; you end up with theistic personalism, as I mentioned before, a God who's like us but bigger and more powerful.

We can have analogical knowledge of God's love--it is in some ways like ours--but the differences will always be greater than the similarities because God is always more unlike created things than like them.

So we can know (in theory; it often gets garbled in practice) what God wants of us when we are commanded to love. We can know only partially and very imperfectly what "love" means when it's applied to God. We know something, but not as much as it's easy to think we do.

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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:17 pm 
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Etienne Gilson wrote:
That God is infinitely above anything we can think and say about Him, was a universally accepted doctrine in medieval theology. St. Thomas Aquinas had made it the very foundation of his doctrine. We do not know what God is, but only what He is not, so that we know Him the better as we more clearly see that He is infinitely different from everything else. This principle, however, can be used in two different ways. We can, with St. Thomas Aquinas, posit it at the beginning and at the end of our theology; it will then act both as a general qualification applying to all theological statements, and as an invitation to transcend theology, once we are through with it, by entering the depth of mystical life. Yet, between his initial statement that God is, strictly speaking, unknowable, and his ultimate endeavour to experience by love that which surpasses human understanding, St. Thomas Aquinas never forgets, that if we do not know God, the reason is not that God is obscure, but rather that He is a blinding light. The whole theology of St. Thomas points to the supreme intelligibility of what lies hidden in the mystery of God. Now, if God is intelligible in Himself, what little we know about Him may be almost nothing, but it is not nothing, and it is infinitely more important than all the rest. In short, even when St. Thomas Aquinas uses reason as a means to a mystical end, he does not use it in a mystical way. Reason is made to throw light everywhere it shines; where darkness becomes invincible, reason gives way to love, and there is the beginning of mystical life.

Source

Ed, may I invite you to please read my short book on Divine Simplicity? I think if you understand that, you'll intuitively grasp why Obi and I and CC and others (and, frankly, the rest of the Church, and that from the very first Fathers) are saying what we are. This really is important.

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Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:55 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Etienne Gilson wrote:
That God is infinitely above anything we can think and say about Him, was a universally accepted doctrine in medieval theology. St. Thomas Aquinas had made it the very foundation of his doctrine. We do not know what God is, but only what He is not, so that we know Him the better as we more clearly see that He is infinitely different from everything else. This principle, however, can be used in two different ways. We can, with St. Thomas Aquinas, posit it at the beginning and at the end of our theology; it will then act both as a general qualification applying to all theological statements, and as an invitation to transcend theology, once we are through with it, by entering the depth of mystical life. Yet, between his initial statement that God is, strictly speaking, unknowable, and his ultimate endeavour to experience by love that which surpasses human understanding, St. Thomas Aquinas never forgets, that if we do not know God, the reason is not that God is obscure, but rather that He is a blinding light. The whole theology of St. Thomas points to the supreme intelligibility of what lies hidden in the mystery of God. Now, if God is intelligible in Himself, what little we know about Him may be almost nothing, but it is not nothing, and it is infinitely more important than all the rest. In short, even when St. Thomas Aquinas uses reason as a means to a mystical end, he does not use it in a mystical way. Reason is made to throw light everywhere it shines; where darkness becomes invincible, reason gives way to love, and there is the beginning of mystical life.

Source

Ed, may I invite you to please read my short book on Divine Simplicity? I think if you understand that, you'll intuitively grasp why Obi and I and CC and others (and, frankly, the rest of the Church, and that from the very first Fathers) are saying what we are. This really is important.


I am certainly quite willing to do so, and I think, in all fairness to a good and concise conversation, that further comment on these subjects should rest until after I have read the book.

Thank you for the PDF.


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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:59 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
God is not more than existence. This is a heresy, though you don't mean it to be. God does not have properties apart from His essence.

By forcing everything into "God is love," and then insisting (as I've point out before) that you (or any human being) has an adequately comprehensive knowledge of what that means, you break God. It's the ultimate proof-texting: one verse has to carry the whole of theology.

What you're doing is called "theistic personalism." That holds that God is just like us, only without a body and a lot more powerful. And it's wrong. In the apt phrase of the Anglican theologian J. B. Phillips, your God is too small. (I don't endorse everything he said, but the concept is sound; we all try to cut God down into something we can understand.)



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Yet, while the Lord, on the mountain, was giving the Law to Moses, at the bottom of the mountain the people were violating it. Unable to endure waiting and the absence of their mediator, the Israelites turned to Aaron: “make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him” (Ex 32,11). Weary of the journey with an invisible God, now that Moses, their mediator, had disappeared, the people clamoured for an actual, tangible presence of the Lord, and in the calf of molten metal made by Aaron found a God made accessible, manageable and within human reach.

This is a constant temptation on the journey of faith: to avoid the divine mystery by constructing a comprehensible God who corresponds with one’s own plans, one’s own projects.


(Pope Benedict, Audience, 1 June 2011)

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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:50 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Etienne Gilson wrote:
That God is infinitely above anything we can think and say about Him, was a universally accepted doctrine in medieval theology. St. Thomas Aquinas had made it the very foundation of his doctrine. We do not know what God is, but only what He is not, so that we know Him the better as we more clearly see that He is infinitely different from everything else. This principle, however, can be used in two different ways. We can, with St. Thomas Aquinas, posit it at the beginning and at the end of our theology; it will then act both as a general qualification applying to all theological statements, and as an invitation to transcend theology, once we are through with it, by entering the depth of mystical life. Yet, between his initial statement that God is, strictly speaking, unknowable, and his ultimate endeavour to experience by love that which surpasses human understanding, St. Thomas Aquinas never forgets, that if we do not know God, the reason is not that God is obscure, but rather that He is a blinding light. The whole theology of St. Thomas points to the supreme intelligibility of what lies hidden in the mystery of God. Now, if God is intelligible in Himself, what little we know about Him may be almost nothing, but it is not nothing, and it is infinitely more important than all the rest. In short, even when St. Thomas Aquinas uses reason as a means to a mystical end, he does not use it in a mystical way. Reason is made to throw light everywhere it shines; where darkness becomes invincible, reason gives way to love, and there is the beginning of mystical life.

Source

Ed, may I invite you to please read my short book on Divine Simplicity? I think if you understand that, you'll intuitively grasp why Obi and I and CC and others (and, frankly, the rest of the Church, and that from the very first Fathers) are saying what we are. This really is important.


I have read a couple of chapters now, as well as making copious notes on interesting parts of the book. Through some detective work on the Internet, I find that there is no real objection to divine simplicity from the Fathers of the East. And from what you have written, I certainly have no objection.

I am, however, somewhat bemused because, as my notes are indicating, you are actually making the case for Apokatastasis rather than denying it.

BTW - May I congratulate you on writing a very readable book on a very difficult subject. You have succeeded in giving the average layman something he can easily read and understand, although some parts will take a much slower reading and digestion than others. A very good work, sir.


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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:03 pm 
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Light of the East wrote:
BTW - May I congratulate you on writing a very readable book on a very difficult subject. You have succeeded in giving the average layman something he can easily read and understand, although some parts will take a much slower reading and digestion than others. A very good work, sir.

I associate myself with this remark ^ :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:20 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You (and LotE) want to use the word "love" univocally (i.e., in exactly the same way) for God and for created things. That's simply wrong; you end up with theistic personalism, as I mentioned before, a God who's like us but bigger and more powerful.

We can have analogical knowledge of God's love--it is in some ways like ours--but the differences will always be greater than the similarities because God is always more unlike created things than like them.

So we can know (in theory; it often gets garbled in practice) what God wants of us when we are commanded to love. We can know only partially and very imperfectly what "love" means when it's applied to God. We know something, but not as much as it's easy to think we do.

We know enough to know that God's love for us is not the opposite of how God wants us to understand what love is. We know that love is in the direction of compassion, forgiveness, understanding, kindness, unconditional love. We know that God is not less compassionate, not less forgiving, not less understanding, not less kind, not less loving than we are. No compassionate, forgiving, understanding, kind, loving person would ever devise a set-up in which human beings are punished for ever with no way to improve, no way to learn, no way to grow and evolve, no way to find hope, no way to find enlightenment, no way to find release from suffering.

Love is not sadism and no philosophical gymnastics will ever change that simple truth.


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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:28 pm 
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I can agree with two thousand years of saints, some of whom had personal experiences of God's love, and yet still believed in Hell. Or I can agree with you. It's not a difficult decision.

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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:32 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You (and LotE) want to use the word "love" univocally (i.e., in exactly the same way) for God and for created things. That's simply wrong; you end up with theistic personalism, as I mentioned before, a God who's like us but bigger and more powerful.

We can have analogical knowledge of God's love--it is in some ways like ours--but the differences will always be greater than the similarities because God is always more unlike created things than like them.

So we can know (in theory; it often gets garbled in practice) what God wants of us when we are commanded to love. We can know only partially and very imperfectly what "love" means when it's applied to God. We know something, but not as much as it's easy to think we do.

We know enough to know that God's love for us is not the opposite of how God wants us to understand what love is. We know that love is in the direction of compassion, forgiveness, understanding, kindness, unconditional love. We know that God is not less compassionate, not less forgiving, not less understanding, not less kind, not less loving than we are. No compassionate, forgiving, understanding, kind, loving person would ever devise a set-up in which human beings are punished for ever with no way to improve, no way to learn, no way to grow and evolve, no way to find hope, no way to find enlightenment, no way to find release from suffering.

Love is not sadism and no philosophical gymnastics will ever change that simple truth.

And this is the problem with emotionally driven arguments of any kind. People also insist that spanking is wrong and that no loving parent spanks their kids . . . that if you truly loved your child, you'd not spank them. As I've been arguing all along to LotE, the moment you say, "Well, God would never do X, because that wouldn't be loving," you're falling into the mistake of presuming your view of love is the absolutely objective and correct view from all eternal perspectives. It's an arrogance that's hard to fathom if you can't step outside of it . . . to impose your morality on God and insist He submit to your little kingdom. Wow. Just wow.

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Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:37 pm 
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It's also more than a little arrogant to claim that nearly everyone got this wrong for 1900 years.

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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:58 pm 
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Ah, the Presentist fallacy of thinking everyone that came before you was a moral neanderthal and lacked any and all basic reasoning skills.

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Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:03 pm 
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theJack wrote:
And this is the problem with emotionally driven arguments of any kind. People also insist that spanking is wrong and that no loving parent spanks their kids . . . that if you truly loved your child, you'd not spank them.

Can you tell me how this is related, please?

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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:04 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Ah, the Presentist fallacy of thinking everyone that came before you was a moral neanderthal and lacked any and all basic reasoning skills.

There was a Babylon Bee satirical headline, "Man changes entire worldview after being told that it's the current year" :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:10 pm 
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Jack3 wrote:
theJack wrote:
And this is the problem with emotionally driven arguments of any kind. People also insist that spanking is wrong and that no loving parent spanks their kids . . . that if you truly loved your child, you'd not spank them.

Can you tell me how this is related, please?

DD "just knows" that it's wrong, that it's unloving, for God to sentence people to eternal torment as punishment for their sins. For her, that's a starting premise, not a matter of debate. Everyone who disagrees is just doing mental gymnastics to avoid the obvious truth. And in exactly the same way, plenty of people (wrongly) "just know" that spanking children is bad or unloving and indefensible and so on. And they even have science on their side!!!111!! And in exactly the same way, again, everyone who disagrees with them is also just doing mental gymnastics to avoid the obvious truth.

This, again, is the problem with this approach on reasoning about any issue whatsoever. There's nothing wrong with paying attention to moral intuition and moral tradition. But sentiments must be recognized for what they are, and they need to be placed in the larger traditional context and scrutinized by proper reasoning based on first-principles. DD isn't willing to do that, just like the don't-spank-the-kids crowd isn't willing to do so.

Thinking is hard. Moral outrage and doing theology based on what we feel is really, really easy, because it always turns out that God just so happens to agree with us. We're wrong when we do that, but it's still easier.

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Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:11 pm 
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Jack3 wrote:
theJack wrote:
Ah, the Presentist fallacy of thinking everyone that came before you was a moral neanderthal and lacked any and all basic reasoning skills.

There was a Babylon Bee satirical headline, "Man changes entire worldview after being told that it's the current year" :mrgreen:

I legitimately laughed at that. ::):

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Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:25 pm 
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Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:39 am 
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theJack wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You (and LotE) want to use the word "love" univocally (i.e., in exactly the same way) for God and for created things. That's simply wrong; you end up with theistic personalism, as I mentioned before, a God who's like us but bigger and more powerful.

We can have analogical knowledge of God's love--it is in some ways like ours--but the differences will always be greater than the similarities because God is always more unlike created things than like them.

So we can know (in theory; it often gets garbled in practice) what God wants of us when we are commanded to love. We can know only partially and very imperfectly what "love" means when it's applied to God. We know something, but not as much as it's easy to think we do.

We know enough to know that God's love for us is not the opposite of how God wants us to understand what love is. We know that love is in the direction of compassion, forgiveness, understanding, kindness, unconditional love. We know that God is not less compassionate, not less forgiving, not less understanding, not less kind, not less loving than we are. No compassionate, forgiving, understanding, kind, loving person would ever devise a set-up in which human beings are punished for ever with no way to improve, no way to learn, no way to grow and evolve, no way to find hope, no way to find enlightenment, no way to find release from suffering.

Love is not sadism and no philosophical gymnastics will ever change that simple truth.

And this is the problem with emotionally driven arguments of any kind. People also insist that spanking is wrong and that no loving parent spanks their kids . . . that if you truly loved your child, you'd not spank them. As I've been arguing all along to LotE, the moment you say, "Well, God would never do X, because that wouldn't be loving," you're falling into the mistake of presuming your view of love is the absolutely objective and correct view from all eternal perspectives. It's an arrogance that's hard to fathom if you can't step outside of it . . . to impose your morality on God and insist He submit to your little kingdom. Wow. Just wow.


I would appreciate if you would stop with the straw man attacks. There is a sufficiently large enough body of evidence in scripture alone to prove that Universal salvation is true. You were the one who told me to use scripture to prove Universal salvation. I'm going to turn around ask the same respect from you. Do not accuse me of using emotionally-charged arguments when my arguments are based on scripture.

Perhaps we could start out with a couple of arguments in scripture and turn this around from the emotionally-charged issue that is seems to become. Prove to me that the Greek word aionios means eternal. We can use that one's a start and we can go on to other scriptures from which I will defend my pozition.

To accuse me have using simply emotionally-charged arguments, without any reference at all to scripture or the philosophical musings of which you and father seemed to be so fond of when recording Aquinas, is disingenuous. If you can use Aquinas and his philosophy, then I can use philosophy. To charge me with using only emotion is a low blow and I think it's unworthy of you


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 Post subject: Re: For TheJack - God is good
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:00 am 
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