Friday, February 7, 2014

... on Rivers Clapping Hands, Anaximander, Greek Philosophy at time of Ecclesiasticus ...

1) Newspeak in Nineteen - Eighty ... er Sorry ... Ninety-Four, 2) Mark Shea Recommended David Palm Who Misconstrues Bible Commission of 1909, 3) Would GKC have Agreed with MkSh that KH was a Bible Idolater?, 4) Correspondence of Hans-Georg Lundahl : With Jonathan Sarfati PhD on Fall and Inquisition, 5) New blog on the kid : Quarterlife is a Bad Term, 5b) Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : Answering Bill Nye, the Science Guy on a few points, 5c) New blog on the kid : Phil Provaznik/Dalrymple on Potassium-Argon and on Principle, more on Fission Track and Isochrons (a debunking of...), 6) [Back to Creation vs. Evolution :] Scenario impossible, 7) Karl Keating Out of His Depth?, 8) Three Kinds of Proposition, 9) Is Flat Earth Belief Heretical?, 10) HGL's F.B. writings : Between Palm and Sungenis, 11a) HGL's F.B. writings : On Helios in Christian Geocentrism, 11b) Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... on Rivers Clapping Hands, Anaximander, Greek Philosophy at time of Ecclesiasticus ... , 12) Assorted retorts : ... on Geocentrism with Raymond Doetjes and "Imdor"

John Salza is in this video mainly saying the right thing, but I have a certain comment about rivers clapping hands. And as for sun rising and setting it is not perhaps just metaphorical, it may be that the direction from Jerusalem up into the outermost spheres is what is here counted as an absolute up. Now, the video and my comment on rivers:

pacislander4life : The Fathers and Exegesis of Scripture on Geocentrism

Just before 10:58

"There is definitive proof the rivers don't have hands, so we know it is metaphorical"

There is definitive proof the rivers don't have hands?

Wait a second, you say there is definitive proof the waters and riverbeds do not have hands, or you say there is also definitive proof they are none of them subject to the kind of character we see in the Bridge of Beruna obeying Aslan in a certain novel by Clive Staples Lewis?

Note, the river god in that novel is not a deity that is given idolatrous sacrifice, nor a deity that is independent of God ... I think rivers are enumerated among the visible creatures which, though considered inanimate in their material appearance nevertheless are told to Benedicite Dominum by the three young men in the furnace.

There is one creature which is not so told in the second person singular or plural, it is earth, there we have "et terra benedicat Dominum".

When they add "exultat" they are basically asking that the earth may shake at the Resurrection. But they are not adressing those words to the earth. But more or less everything else is so adressed. Now, not only Pagans, but also Catholic peasants have considered the woods and the rivers and quite a few more, to be in some sense animate.

And St Dionysius of the Areopagus tells us that matter is ruled by spirit. In other words, a river could have a guardian angel whou could very literally be clapping his hands as much as an angel could use hands to take food with Abraham or to punch Jacob or to fold the shroud of Our Lord.

What was Our Lord saying to the waves that were rocking a certain boat?

"Shut up and be quiet!"

And He said it with anger. Not the tone he took with leprosy or blindness, or lameness, where He tenderly adresses the human He created, but the tone He took at an exorcism./HGL

PS, we do have pretty good evidence the psalm "I am a worm, not a man" was written by a man, not a worm, literally speaking, so that the words for kinds of creature are here metaphors for their social statutes among men, and for the psalmist not enjoying the one he should./HGL

PPS, I argued above from English phrase "clap hands", but Latin would have a single word like "applaud" which in and by itself does not mention hands. I have no idea how the psalm is expressing this passage in Hebrew, but applaud could be metonymous for a noise made by rivers when ice breaks up after winter - in Moscow on the Volga, in Uppsala on the Fyris. However, Jordan and Nile and the rivers of Syria are not likely to be frozen in winter, and since Song of Songs mentions rain as the mark of winter even if Moscow and Uppsala were still under ice age glaciers (as Belloc guessed), we do not need presume that this meant climate in the Holy Land was cold enough for Jordan to freeze in winter. Of course Hebrews eventually came to know about frozen rivers in Persian highlands, but I think the psalm is older than that./HGL

37:08 Update, St Anatolius of Laodicea, and no, Salza, it is not the Paschal Canon:

Who among the mathematicians has made any discovery?

Eudemus1219 relates in his Astrologies that Œnopides1220 found out the circle of the zodiac and the cycle1221 of the great year. And Thales1222 discovered the eclipse of the sun and its period in the tropics in its constant inequality. And Anaximander1223 discovered that the earth is poised in space,1224 and moves round the axis of the universe. And Anaximenes1225 discovered that the moon has her light from the sun, and found out also the way in which she suffers eclipse. And the rest of the mathematicians have also made additions to these discoveries. We may instance the facts—that the fixed stars move round the axis passing through the poles, while the planets remove from each other1226 round the perpendicular axis of the zodiac; and that the axis of the fixed stars and the planets is the side of a pentedecagon with four-and-twenty parts.

1219 A native of Rhodes, a disciple of Aristotle, and editor of his works.

1220 A native of Chios, mentioned by Plato in connection with Anaxagoras, and therefore supposed by some to have been a contemporary of the latter sage.

1221 περίστασιν, revolution.

1222 Of Miletus, one of the sages, and founder of the Ionic school.

1223 Of Miletus, born 610 b.c., the immediate successor of Thales in the Ionic school of philosophy.

1224 μετέωρος.

1225 Of Miletus, the third in the series of Ionic philosophers.

1226 απεχουσιν ἀλλήλων.

CCEL : Anatolius of Laodicea : Fragments of the Books on Arithmetic.

Note (1194) to the title: Fabricius, Biblioth. Græca, ed. Harles, vol. iii. p. 462. Hamburg, 1793.

Part of it was quoted in : Chapter 13, The Consensus of Church Fathers and Medieval Theologians on : Geocentrism

Here it is attributed to Anatolius of Alexandria = of Laodicea. He was at any rate Aristotelian.

My comment:

It cannot be said that St Anatolius states as his definite opinion that the earth moves around the axis of the universe. He attributes it to Anaximander. Note also, this only if the text is genuine. This text is quoted by CCEL from a book edited in Hamburg called Bibliotheca Graeca. In 1793, when especially Protestants but even Catholics were starting to lean toward Heliocentrism.

It is thus an open question to me whether Eudemus misrepresented Anaximander (or attributed to him an opinion else not known) or whether Fabricius in Hamburg or his editor Harless misrepresented St Anatolius quote from Eudemus on Anaximander./HGL [But see below, it may mean something other than Geocentrism.]

Here is the cosmology of Anaximander, as far as known given by another source, IEP:

c. The Earth Floats Unsupported in Space

Anaximander boldly asserts that the earth floats free in the center of the universe, unsupported by water, pillars, or whatever. This idea means a complete revolution in our understanding of the universe. Obviously, the earth hanging free in space is not something Anaximander could have observed. Apparently, he drew this bold conclusion from his assumption that the celestial bodies make full circles. More than 2500 years later astronauts really saw the unsupported earth floating in space and thus provided the ultimate confirmation of Anaximander’s conception. The shape of the earth, according to Anaximander, is cylindrical, like a column-drum, its diameter being three times its height. We live on top of it. Some scholars have wondered why Anaximander chose this strange shape. The strangeness disappears, however, when we realize that Anaximander thought that the earth was flat and circular, as suggested by the horizon. For one who thinks, as Anaximander did, that the earth floats unsupported in the center of the universe, the cylinder-shape lies at hand.

d. Why the Earth Does Not Fall

We may assume that Anaximander somehow had to defend his bold theory of the free-floating, unsupported earth against the obvious question of why the earth does not fall. Aristotle’s version of Anaximander’s argument runs like this: “But there are some who say that it (namely, the earth) stays where it is because of equality, such as among the ancients Anaximander. For that which is situated in the center and at equal distances from the extremes, has no inclination whatsoever to move up rather than down or sideways; and since it is impossible to move in opposite directions at the same time, it necessarily stays where it is.” (De caelo 295b10ff., DK 12A26) Many authors have pointed to the fact that this is the first known example of an argument that is based on the principle of sufficient reason (the principle that for everything which occurs there is a reason or explanation for why it occurs, and why this way rather than that).

Anaximander’s argument returns in a famous text in the Phaedo (108E4 ff.), where Plato, for the first time in history, tries to express the sphericity of the earth. Even more interesting is that the same argument, within a different context, returns with the great protagonist of the principle of sufficient reason, Leibniz. In his second letter to Clarke, he uses an example, which he ascribes to Archimedes but which reminds us strongly of Anaximander: “And therefore Archimedes (…) in his book De aequilibrio, was obliged to make use of a particular case of the great Principle of a sufficient reason. He takes it for granted that if there be a balance in which everything is alike on both sides, and if equal weights are hung on the two ends of that balance, the whole will stay at rest. This is because there is no reason why one side should weigh down, rather than the other”.

One may doubt, however, whether the argument is not fallacious. Aristotle already thought the argument to be deceiving. He ridicules it by saying that according to the same kind of argument a hair, which was subject to an even pulling power from opposing sides, would not break, and that a man, being just as hungry as thirsty, placed in between food and drink, must necessarily remain where he is and starve. To him it was the wrong argument for the right proposition. Absolute propositions concerning the non-existence of things are always in danger of becoming falsified on closer investigation. They contain a kind of subjective aspect: “as far as I know.” Several authors, however, have said that Anaximander’s argument is clear and ingenious. Already at first sight this qualification sounds strange, for the argument evidently must be wrong, as the earth is not in the center of the universe, although it certainly is not supported by anything but gravity. Nevertheless, we have to wait until Newton for a better answer to the question why the earth does not fall.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy :
Anaximander (c.610—546 B.C.E.) : 6 Astronomy :

My comment:

As far as can be made out, Anaximander did not "discover" any either daily or yearly rotation of earth around the axis of the universe. However, perhaps "And Anaximander discovered that the earth is poised in space," = still, "and moves" = up and down a little, "round the axis of the universe" = having this axis in its own axis, not departing so it is ever outside earth. In that case the Bibliotheca Graeca of Fabricius and his editor Harless may indeed be without fault. And CCEL might have translated it in a less than ideal fashion./HGL

Lucretius Geocentric:

22:37 "And this was a time when Greeks were promoting Heliocentrism" (150 ~ 180 BC)

From Time Line of Greek Philosophy (interspersed with my comments on each):

  • ...
  • 3rd Century B.C.
    • Chrysippus
      (c. 280-207 B.C.)
      Hellenistic philosopher

      Nothing known of Heliocentrism.

    • Eratosthenes
      (276-194 B.C.)
      Hellenistic astronomer

      Nothing known of Heliocentrism to my knowledge (he did calculate circumference of a round earth, which is another thing).

  • 2nd Century B.C.
    • Panaetius
      (c. 185-110 B.C.)
      Stoic and Neo-Platonic Philosopher

      Panaetius was eclectic in his Stoic philosophy and was also considered a Neo-Platonist. Panaetius wrote an On Duties, On Cheerfulness, On the Magistrates, On Providence, and On Divination. - But not on astronomy?

    • Cicero
      (106-43 B.C.)
      Roman statesman and philosopher

      As far as I know his work, he was not a Heliocentric.

    • Lucretius
      (c. 98-55 B.C.)
      Roman poet and Epicurean philosopher

    Expressly Geocentric:

    First came together the earthy particles
    (As being heavy and intertangled) there
    In the mid-region, and all began to take
    The lowest abodes; ...

    Hard upon ether came the origins
    Of sun and moon, whose globes revolve in air
    Midway between the earth and mightiest ether,-
    For neither took them, since they weighed too little
    To sink and settle, but too much to glide
    Along the upmost shores ...Book V
  • ...

To the end of the video:

Ecclesiasticus has no need to be polemical against a prevalent Heliocentrism among Greeks in order to be God's revelation about it. As St Augustine had no need to polemise against a prevalent Heliocentrism among Pagans for his Geocentrism to oblige.

There are certain theologians - Anglicans and Swedish Lutherans of a modernist bent would pretty much represent them - who would likewise say that Genesis does not oblige on a recent creation or a flood, since that is per default, but the only things that are divinely revealed in those passages is that God is the sole creator (not Marduk or Enlil) and that God is saving from any disaster (not Enki or Shamash). But this cannot stand because in that case only the first hearers, who knew what was polemical against paganism, would have been in a position to know what was the real content of revelation. Likewise, though showing a real case for polemical background is an extra argument for a thing being revealed for itself, lack of such or lack of showing such cannot be an argument against a thing being revealed along other things more important but still divinely, as to Bible. Or in the case of Church Fathers, taught. Especially as the motive to deny a divine revelation or an ecclesiastic teaching through denying a relevance to any polemics back then, is usually an excuse to avoid polemics in our days - against Evolutionists or Heliocentrics. God knew very well not only what His word or His Church contradicted back then, but also what they were going to contradict before the End of Time.

Salza in 30:36 or just before overdoes it a bit.

Pillars of earth and shaking out of place mean that the land masses have - usually - fixed places on the globe to begin with and it is not about Earth in the Cosmos. Pillars would be parts of tectonic plates going down.

And 30:04 I am not quite sure there is any reference to any "cosmic winds", but that might be my lack of attention.

Centre of mass revealed in Job ... somewhat sceptic to the newer version of centre of mass theory. The older one was obviously the same as with Lucretius.

38:15 He said [St Basil did so]: don't bother to refute them, the weakness of their system is sufficient to destroy itself.

Now, that is interesting. As with Chrysostom's reference to "some people think the world turns around" ... referring to some exotic position, it is the kind of words my mother used about people believing humanity had a past in Mu, Lemuria and Atlantis. She used words meaning in English "there are those who believe" [such things]. St John Chrysostom need therefore not have polemised against anything like a prevalent position, even the fact it existed, although as an exotic one, may have triggered his interest to refute it.

The Conclusion after 40:00 is however very correct despite these few inaccuracies./HGL

No comments: