Saturday, October 26, 2019

Brian Holdsworth on Evidence for God

3 Reasons Science Doesn't Disprove God
Brian Holdsworth | 25.X.2019

Thanks for mentioning Steubenville!

I'll need to send them my conclusion that if Vatican II is a real council, Young Earth Creationism is binding dogma as per Dei Verbum §3. Notwithstanding the 1909 decisions by the PBC.

Here is the essay with this conclusion for you too:

Creation vs. Evolution : For Those who Do Take Vatican II as a Valid Council

It was sent them.

a dialogue ensued, see VII.

3:18 Well, there actually are physical traces of God ... day and night, human language to name two of them.

Try to explain day and night by Earth turning instead of Geocentrism in which God turns the Universe around Earth (what else could effect that?) and you run into problems for stability of many body problem in Newtonian astrophysics of gravitation - at the very least.

And computers, monkeys and birds do not master language.

3:34 You forget that things that are not physical phenomena can be causes of physical phenomena.

Even among Atheists you will hear people put this or that down to neutrons in the nuclei of certain atoms - but anything smaller than atoms with "electron shells" seen as a unified outer sphere of them is whether physical or not at least not a phenomenon.

What I thought about your words is not a physical phenomenon either, but it caused physical phenomena like the exact sequence of letters you see on the screen.

Ergo X is not a physical phenomenon;
Y is a physical phenomenon
"X cannot be the cause of Y"

and X can even be the well known cause of Y.

The colour blue as such does not result in sound and mathematics as such have no taste until it's tasty things in your mouth you count (caution, some spices had better not be 2+2=4 in your mouth!).

But God not only has results in the physical world, and even nothing is there in the physical world unless God caused it directly or by permission (as anywhere else in the created world, like human minds). So, unlike sound for colour blue, physical world very truly is a result of God.

Especially if you take Geocentrism into account.

So, people who say "there is no [physical] evidence of God" are very much not making a category mistake, they are just wrong about what the physical evidence is evidence of.

And pointing a telescope somewhere to see if you see God would indeed be a category mistake, but it is definitely not the only way in which asking for physical evidence works (see for instance the evidence for subatomic particles - if really there - not being available by seeing them even in electronic microscopy).

4:22 St. Thomas Aquinas would very much not have agreed that philosophy is logical but not depending on physical evidence!

These are his very first words when going about proving the existence of God:

"The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion."

prima via, second paragraph of corpus of I Pars, Q2, A3.

Zeno would have motion an illusion, and his philosophy would have indeed been not just independent of but contrary to physical evidence. St. Thomas was not an Eleatic.

5:04 Newton's first law implies either rest or uniform motion is the result of non-interference.

Apart from the second part, I think the law is fairly well understandable by pre-schoolers.

As for the second part, I wonder if you can prove it? To anyone?

5:55 You have given a very great point on why God would have chosen to create a Geocentric universe, because it is one in which the physical action is apparently caused, so no angelic intelligence is needed to figure out that God is.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.

Geocentrism is also a description of the physical world which was understandable already in the time when St Paul wrote above, Romans 1:18-20. Cited from Douay Rheims.

That God is need not be higher than us, even if what He is is infinitely higher than any creature.

6:24 Understanding that God is, is not understanding God.

Some scientists have what at least they consider as valid reasons for understanding that subatomic particles exist. That for instance a neutron exists. For my part, I am content that isotopes are different, neutrons could exist, but radioactivity could be tied to some other substance (scholastic sense) than neutrons.

But if the latest ones of them are correct in what neutrons are, then the earlier ones of them knew neutrons existed even without knowing what they are. If they aren't, this is at best still our position.

It is this which is a "perfect" parallel to understanding that God is but not what God is.

7:08 As I just mentioned to someone else, that computers don't think and brutes don't speak is scientifically very verifiable.

Both point to man being something special which cannot be explained as the sum of component atoms or molecules or even biological structures (mostly identic to those of brutes and largely parallel to parts of computering).

This would be part of "[t]he fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like." (I Q2 A3 again). It is the one thing C. S. Lewis used in Miracles.

While all truth need not be scientifically verifiable, all proven truth needs to be somehow verifiable.

And God existing is in the category of proven truth, not the category of truths we have no certain knowledge of.

As we mentioned five ways, the fifth way is very much underlined if we go from Ptolemaic to Tychonian Geocentrism.

It may be noted that Democritus, Epicure and Lucrece were Geocentrics, but the Geocentrism they envisaged would have been built on whirls, on vortices, and Tycho's observations make these unbelievable for an unguided movement of planets. It's much better suited for Aristotle's very simple Geocentrism even than for Ptolemy - who (Neil de Grasse Tyson noted it on a video footage) considered that Jupiter moving in regular retrogrades proved there was a will behind the movements.

Heliocentrism is not evidenced physically, unless you take "absence of God" and "absence of angels" as principles of physics.


S asi58
Young earth creationism is only a protestant thing, right?

Sola scriptura is a poor way to understand the natural world.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@S asi58 "Young earth creationism is only a protestant thing, right?"

Not the least.

"Sola scriptura is a poor way to understand the natural world."

It's a poor way to understand Church discipline, but it's adequate for the natural world.

@Hans-Georg Lundahl Sorry, but the only thing sola scriptura is adequate for is as a perfect example of the logical fallacy of circular reasoning.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@ironymatt In theology, sola scriptura is not so much a circular reasoning as a paradox, a contradiction in terms : in understanding the natural world, however, sola scriptura has no major snags.

Luther et al. were condemned for doing their version of "sola epistola ad hebraeos" about Holy Mass, not for believing in six day creationism.

Ussher was a fake bishop, but Haydock honoured his chronology by including it in margins of the Haydock commented Challoner / Douay Rheims Bible.

If you prefer Syncellus, you are doing same method on other text, namely standard LXX.

Random Ravenclaw
S asi58 there’s no official Catholic position on young/old earth or creationism/evolution, it’s whichever you choose to believe. I personally believe in Evolutionary Creationism (God created every living thing through evolution) and that the Biblical creation story is allegorical.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Random Ravenclaw "S asi58 there’s no official Catholic position on young/old earth or creationism/evolution,"

I think Council of Trent along with consensus of Fathers pretty well rules out old earth and evolutionism (defined as cats and dogs or even less similar evolving from common ancestor).

"it’s whichever you choose to believe."

There is no "pre-Conciliar" (pre-Vatican II) document that says so. In Humani Generis Pius XII gave permission to academically defend a position in which Adam's body evolved. It's an indefensible position, so even defending it academically is intrinsically, if not canonically, wrong, but at least he did not say one had a right to chose to actually believe it. In the very Council (if such) Dei Verbum actually excludes old earth or Adam's body evolving from non-human animals. Check paragraph 3.

"I personally believe in Evolutionary Creationism (God created every living thing through evolution)"

From how many common ancestors?

"and that the Biblical creation story is allegorical."

You do not have that option. The story is literal / historic, it is moral and it is allegoric, all three of them, if not also the fourth, anagogic as well. You cannot pick one out to exclude the other two or three.

For Biblical history, which is the majority of the Bible, there are at least three senses in the OT and at least three senses in NT.

OT : literal history, morality, allegory about the Saviour who was to come (and about His Church and about His Blessed Mother and about their relations to mankind and to their enemies).

NT : literal history, morality and anagogic sense about the glory we are awaiting after death and after resurrection and doomsday.

Check Summa Theologiae, I, Q1, A10 (prima pars, questio prima, articulus decimus / first part, first question, tenth article).

I'm quoting the relevant passage:

// I answer that, The author of Holy Writ is God, in whose power it is to signify His meaning, not by words only (as man also can do), but also by things themselves. So, whereas in every other science things are signified by words, this science has the property, that the things signified by the words have themselves also a signification. Therefore that first signification whereby words signify things belongs to the first sense, the historical or literal. That signification whereby things signified by words have themselves also a signification is called the spiritual sense, which is based on the literal, and presupposes it. Now this spiritual sense has a threefold division. For as the Apostle says (Hebrews 10:1) the Old Law is a figure of the New Law, and Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. i) "the New Law itself is a figure of future glory." Again, in the New Law, whatever our Head has done is a type of what we ought to do. Therefore, so far as the things of the Old Law signify the things of the New Law, there is the allegorical sense; so far as the things done in Christ, or so far as the things which signify Christ, are types of what we ought to do, there is the moral sense. But so far as they signify what relates to eternal glory, there is the anagogical sense. Since the literal sense is that which the author intends, and since the author of Holy Writ is God, Who by one act comprehends all things by His intellect, it is not unfitting, as Augustine says (Confess. xii), if, even according to the literal sense, one word in Holy Writ should have several senses. //

Did you get it? It is not the text or words of Genesis 1 and 2 that are allegoric, it is the actual literal events described by the text that are a "live role play" version of an allegory.

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