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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:22 pm 
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dschiff wrote:
GXC: I was familiar with the list of breakdowns beforehand, so this is not new knowledge for me.

Student: It depends on how you define denominations. There are different sets of beliefs, different hierarchies, different liturgies, etc.

And you're right, I just need the claim that there shouldn't be more than one religion.
What's your response to that?

Why is your God's plan to intervene so unsuccessful after 2000 years? Is this God's plan, or, I would submit, a poor rationalization invented by humans?



You mean you knew the figure you used was inaccurate, and used it anyway?

GKC


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:23 pm 
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dschiff wrote:
... Now this could almost suggest a reductio ad absurdum to me. Your proof, if valid (I cannot say this) would suggest that the most powerful, wise thing is the most simple. Then this simple thing is somehow able to be attributed many descriptors, abilities, intentions, etc. So it has many properties. It is more complex than something that lacks those properties. You are claiming that these properties are just different versions of the same facet, yet they are clearly distinct properties. I would argue that this conclusion is a contradiction. List any attribute of your God. If it is more than nothing, than it is not the simplest it can be. Thus by rejecting the conclusion, I would have to deny a premise. I would get off at the first stop, rejecting your idea that there is such a thing as causation or change.


dschiff,

I commend you for hanging in here for five pages with many people coming at you. I am not a philosopher, so I will leave that discussion to others. I would, however, like to note that when I read the above paragraph this came to mind:

... God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are...

Going forward I don't think I will be able to read that without thinking of this as some sort of philosophical *mystery.

Carry on. :)

***********************

(*Note: A mystery is not something about which we can know nothing. A mystery is something about which we cannot know everything.)


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:10 pm 
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We are humans.

We have human brains

Obviously when God created us he made it so that we could never know if he existed.

Catholicism represents the smartest of the smart kids who pulled their theological brillance together to fashion a beautiful faith based on divine revelation through sacred scripture.

Can we ever know if the scripture is really sacred, of course not, that is why we are called to have faith.

Living the Faith however provides opportunities for an individual to live in harmony with the divinity in nature, others and most importantly, our own souls.

Its not a knock out drag you out answer to the mystery of life, but it is a highly functional one.


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Birdpreacher wrote:
We are humans.

We have human brains

Obviously when God created us he made it so that we could never know if he existed.

Catholicism represents the smartest of the smart kids who pulled their theological brillance together to fashion a beautiful faith based on divine revelation through sacred scripture.

Can we ever know if the scripture is really sacred, of course not, that is why we are called to have faith.

Living the Faith however provides opportunities for an individual to live in harmony with the divinity in nature, others and most importantly, our own souls.

Its not a knock out drag you out answer to the mystery of life, but it is a highly functional one.


Would you like someone to explain Catholicism to you as well?


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:33 pm 
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yes please, If you can prove to me that the Bible is truly the word of God then I have no need for Faith since I would be able to rely on hard concrete evidence.


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:59 pm 
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Pax: It's interesting that you agree that there shouldn't be more than one religion. Was it not God's plan to intervene to spread a message, and perhaps to start a religion? How could God have a plan that failed? Isn't he too powerful to make such a rote mistake?

GKC: The figure is not inaccurate, though you don't seem to like that usage of denomination. I shared the source which explains the figure, and the source stands. If we're talking about representing varieties of belief, perhaps you are annoyed that I would refer to denominations as exemplifying differences because each denomination may not be substantively different from another. I can turn this on its head. The versions of God that people hold are countless, well beyond 33,000. As such, there would be perhaps millions of versions of religions and gods. So the spread of denominations is shorthand for the spread of competing versions of religion and God. Which all go to the same point. Why do you think your God would allow such a failure of his plan to spread his message? 2000 years later, and there is more divergence than ever.

Greg: Thanks for the support. I'm not sure I understand the relevance of the quote. Perhaps you can share your interpretation.

Birdpreacher: It would be odd for a God to create us in such a way that we could never know it existed, and then simultaneously ask us to believe in it and follow its wishes. I see that you are admitting to faith, that is a 'leap of faith' over a gap of non-evidence. This, what others might call blind faith, is, I think, the worst reason to believe in something. How is it different from wishful thinking, from gullibility? As another point, one does not need unsubstantiated faith to live in harmony with nature, other persons, animals, and one's own self.


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:03 pm 
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I didnt say it was the best answer, but Blind Faith is the the only answer we as believers got. Perhaps there is some intrinsic value to the person who participates in this conflict of reason and spirit.


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:51 pm 
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dschiff wrote:
Pax: It's interesting that you agree that there shouldn't be more than one religion. Was it not God's plan to intervene to spread a message, and perhaps to start a religion? How could God have a plan that failed? Isn't he too powerful to make such a rote mistake?


Why do you say it is God's mistake? There has only ever been one true revealed religion, from Adam to Pope Benedict XVI. That men forsake this religion, or live in ignorance of it, is the mistake of men, not God.


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:56 pm 
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dschiff wrote:
Greg: Thanks for the support. I'm not sure I understand the relevance of the quote. Perhaps you can share your interpretation.


It's really more of an impression than an interpretation. The verse just came to mind when I read "the most powerful, wise thing is the most simple. Then this simple thing is somehow able to be attributed many descriptors... It is more complex than something that lacks those properties." At that point I thought, "... God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are..."

It could be very profound, or maybe not. It just seemed to fit: "things that are not" What does this mean? Could it be the "simple things?" Maybe, just maybe.

And as I was typing THIS response I saw something else in your post: "I would argue that this conclusion is a contradiction." which brought to mind what the Jewish prophet Simeon said of Jesus, that He would be "a sign which shall be contradicted." Another mysterious verse.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:16 am 
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dschiff wrote:
Pax: It's interesting that you agree that there shouldn't be more than one religion. Was it not God's plan to intervene to spread a message, and perhaps to start a religion? How could God have a plan that failed? Isn't he too powerful to make such a rote mistake?

GKC: The figure is not inaccurate, though you don't seem to like that usage of denomination. I shared the source which explains the figure, and the source stands. If we're talking about representing varieties of belief, perhaps you are annoyed that I would refer to denominations as exemplifying differences because each denomination may not be substantively different from another. I can turn this on its head. The versions of God that people hold are countless, well beyond 33,000. As such, there would be perhaps millions of versions of religions and gods. So the spread of denominations is shorthand for the spread of competing versions of religion and God. Which all go to the same point. Why do you think your God would allow such a failure of his plan to spread his message? 2000 years later, and there is more divergence than ever.

Greg: Thanks for the support. I'm not sure I understand the relevance of the quote. Perhaps you can share your interpretation.

Birdpreacher: It would be odd for a God to create us in such a way that we could never know it existed, and then simultaneously ask us to believe in it and follow its wishes. I see tahat you are admitting to faith, that is a 'leap of faith' over a gap of non-evidence. This, what others might call blind faith, is, I think, the worst reason to believe in something. How is it different from wishful thinking, from gullibility? As another point, one does not need unsubstantiated faith to live in harmony with nature, other persons, animals, and one's own self.



The figure is inaccurate. I shared the explanation of the number, with a quote from the source. Every country in which the Roman Catholic Church (for example) has a presence (of any one of the 23 sui iuris Churches which are part of the RCC), that RC presence is accounted a separate "denomination". But it is, in fact, one Church, not 236.

An analogous situation can be seen (very roughly) in the Episcopal Church in this country. At last count, it claims a presence in 16 (I think) countries. Hence it counts as 16 "denominations". It is, in fact, one Church.

I assure you I am not annoyed by your ignorance of what the numbers represent. Amused is the word. And I can understand, as I did before, why the gentleman who is most knowledgeable here (AFAIK) on divine simplicity, declines to engage on the subject with you. You have no grasp of the terminology involved, in that case, or in this.

GKC


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:18 pm 
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dschiff wrote:
Student: It depends on how you define denominations. There are different sets of beliefs, different hierarchies, different liturgies, etc.

And you're right, I just need the claim that there shouldn't be more than one religion.
What's your response to that?

Why is your God's plan to intervene so unsuccessful after 2000 years? Is this God's plan, or, I would submit, a poor rationalization invented by humans?


Sorry - been gone for a while.

Denominations are things that set one thing apart from another. So there are no 'denominations' in the Catholic Church.

So yes, the claim that there shouldn't be more than one religion is the ONLY one you can offer up any defense against. My response is the same one I've had for the past 30 years (probably in some ways similar to the 'faith' you have in denying the existence of God). We can get into that shortly.

I'm still trying to figure out what you mean in your last sentence... Why is your God's plan to intervene so unsuccessful after 2000 years? Can you elaborate on this? What 'successful' are you talking about? That no everyone shares the same religion?


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:41 pm 
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pax wrote:
dschiff wrote:
Pax: It's interesting that you agree that there shouldn't be more than one religion. Was it not God's plan to intervene to spread a message, and perhaps to start a religion? How could God have a plan that failed? Isn't he too powerful to make such a rote mistake?


Why do you say it is God's mistake? There has only ever been one true revealed religion, from Adam to Pope Benedict XVI. That men forsake this religion, or live in ignorance of it, is the mistake of men, not God.


:iws


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:43 pm 
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I think the point being made about "denominations" is that the word means something very specific when talking about differing religious doctrines or theology in general.


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:53 pm 
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I am fortunate enough to have an OED subscription:

2.
a. A characteristic or qualifying name given to a thing or class of things; that which anything is called; an appellation, designation, title.
?a1475 (1425) tr. R. Higden Polychron. (Harl.) (1865) I. 267 Storyes expresse that Gallia or Fraunce hathe denominacion of the whitenesse of peple.
1563 2nd Tome Homelyes Fasting i, in J. Griffiths Two Bks. Homilies (1859) ii. 284 Works‥which‥are‥neither good nor evil, but take their denomination of the use or end whereunto they serve.
1659 J. Pearson Expos. Creed (1839) 1 The first word Credo‥giveth a denomination to the whole confession of faith, from thence commonly called the Creed.
1778 E. Burke Corr. (1844) II. 217, I most heartily disclaim that, or any other, denomination, incompatible with such sentiments.
1815 Scott Guy Mannering I. vii. 102 The tribes of gypsies, jockies, or cairds,—for by all these denominations such banditti were known.
a1871 G. Grote Fragm. Ethical Subj. (1876) i. 17 The virtuous man or vicious man of our own age or country, will no longer receive the same denominations if trasferred to a remote climate or a different people.

(Hide quotations)


†b. (See quot. 1737) Obs.
1737 H. Boulter Let. 9 Aug. (1769) II. 234 Five, six, or seven parishes (denominations we commonly call them) bestowed on one incumbent.


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:14 pm 
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Will Storm wrote:
I am fortunate enough to have an OED subscription:

2.
a. A characteristic or qualifying name given to a thing or class of things; that which anything is called; an appellation, designation, title.
?a1475 (1425) tr. R. Higden Polychron. (Harl.) (1865) I. 267 Storyes expresse that Gallia or Fraunce hathe denominacion of the whitenesse of peple.
1563 2nd Tome Homelyes Fasting i, in J. Griffiths Two Bks. Homilies (1859) ii. 284 Works‥which‥are‥neither good nor evil, but take their denomination of the use or end whereunto they serve.
1659 J. Pearson Expos. Creed (1839) 1 The first word Credo‥giveth a denomination to the whole confession of faith, from thence commonly called the Creed.
1778 E. Burke Corr. (1844) II. 217, I most heartily disclaim that, or any other, denomination, incompatible with such sentiments.
1815 Scott Guy Mannering I. vii. 102 The tribes of gypsies, jockies, or cairds,—for by all these denominations such banditti were known.
a1871 G. Grote Fragm. Ethical Subj. (1876) i. 17 The virtuous man or vicious man of our own age or country, will no longer receive the same denominations if trasferred to a remote climate or a different people.

(Hide quotations)


†b. (See quot. 1737) Obs.
1737 H. Boulter Let. 9 Aug. (1769) II. 234 Five, six, or seven parishes (denominations we commonly call them) bestowed on one incumbent.



As I quoted, from the folks who are the source of the figures (I notice they have not been identified so far), they use the term "denomination" in a particular, idiosyncratic way in their survey:

"As a statistical unit in this survey, a 'denomination' always refers to one single country. Thus the Roman Catholic Church, although a single organization, is described here as consisting of 236 denominations in the world’s 238 countries."

This should be kept in mind.

GKC


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:22 am 
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Honeymoon King: Why do I say it is your God's mistake? Your say there is one true, revealed religion - Catholicism - your own religion.

So:
1) God planned an intervention to convince the world of his existence, his ways, morals, how to get saved, etc.
2) God wanted people to learn about this and follow the religion
3) But many other religions were just as successful
4) 2000 years later, there is no convergence on Catholicism.
5) God's plan to get people to follow Catholicism failed.
6) But God is omnipotent.
7) 5 and 6 are contradictory. God can't fail after 2000 years.
8) God is not omni-potent (reductio ad absurdum via contradiction)

Just a rough attempt.

God must have known muslims would learn their religion in much the same way, that Catholicism would have schisms, etc. How can you blame this on humans? A boy grows up in Syria. He can't help but be taught Islam. He speaks Arabic. He's not going to learn about Jesus. The same with Hindus, atheists, Buddhists, Jews. God is surely aware of this, and in knowledge of this, intervening in the way he did was extremely ineffective. Hence God failed, and it is certainly not our mistake.


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:24 am 
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Greg: Thanks for sharing. I suppose I don't find the verses to be that profound because unlike you, I don't see them as divinely inspired. Hence men are going to write many mysterious and epic things in this kind of scripture. In that sense, the verses aren't mysterious at all.

That is, pointing to evidence of scripture for how God is simple, or how God exists is circular reasoning. I don't see how a piece of scripture could prove divine simplicity or anything like that.

Though I'm sure it might still be meaningful to you in some poetic way.


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:29 am 
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GKC: We already discussed this above. The national denominations of Catholicism may not actually differ so widely that they should be considered 236 separate kinds of belief. I'm readily able to concede this, as I did before.

You should also concede that, within Catholicism, there are hundred or thousands of interpretations. Different versions of God, of God's abilities, of an afterlife, of souls, of exclusivity of religion, of abortion, of homosexuality, of birth control, and on and on.

My point was only that wild divergence in religion doesn't point to a successful intervention, but to a man-made religion. I wish you would stop harping on the point that the Roman Catholic church is one religion. It is *not* constituted by one belief set. There are countless Catholics who disagree. You should concede this. It is easily apparent from this forum alone.

Also, stop insulting me. Surely, as a Christian, you are beyond this? I find divine simplicity to be an contradiction-in-terms, and your 'expert' on the subject did nothing more than mock me for a paragraph. I have talked with sophisticated theologians and clergy members who belong to top seminaries and religious organizations (some of whom, like the Archbishop of Canterbury find your idea of divine simplicity absurd as well) and I don't need to be treated like a child merely because this is your home turf. If you fail to explain or justify your arguments to me, don't blame me for having 'no grasp of the terminology'. I am capable of understanding your terminology, *and* of disagreeing with it.

The hubris is too much - I'd ask you to calm your tone down. I'm being substantially more polite here.


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:30 am 
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5) God's plan has not failed...it is not time in His plan for "all" to come to Catholicism...though even when that time comes, there will still be those whose hearts are hard and will not accept the Truth... free will still allows for the obstinate to remain lost... that is also part of His Plan


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 Post subject: Re: Explain the key arguments for Catholicism to an atheist?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:33 am 
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dschiff wrote:
You should also concede that, within Catholicism, there are hundred or thousands of interpretations. Different versions of God, of God's abilities, of an afterlife, of souls, of exclusivity of religion, of abortion, of homosexuality, of birth control, and on and on.



not within Church teaching ..that is consistent... but there are many who think they are smarter than what the CHurch teaches...so they think that they can exist in their own brand of Catholicism...when in fact they have separated themselves from the Church by rejecting that to which they should give assent


Last edited by faithfulservant on Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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