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The Interpretation Argument
23rd April 2021 | Ocean Keltoi
- 2:41 Congratulations to having changed the dynamic of the conversation with Mormons ... I as a Catholic obviously had different arguments, and am now dealing with the not at all Mormon but Ruckmanite version of them (obviously Ruckmanites are as much against Mormons as against Catholics).
I think you can guess which one ... and it is somewhat relevant, I think, for the argument I think you are going to present, which I have given a somewhat less cavalier response to than Lita Cosner did (I don't think it was you whom she answered, or was it? - As you posted the video on St. George's Day, it is chronologically possible, and CMI notoriously don't always link to what they are responding to).
- 3:46 Omniscient - knows everything that is OR could be and therefore all true propositions.
Omnipotent - is able to bring about everything not logically contradictory or nonsensical and not going counter to His own nature.
Those are the definitions I go by.
As per your comment somewhat later, I should be done for ...
- 4:44 Premise I: for any event God wants, He knows how to bring it about.
4:48 Premise II: for any event God wants, He is capable of bringing it about.
4:56 C. Conclusion : therefore, if God choses to bring about a particular event ... it must occur.
Agreed, but, there is a but here. God can chose to actually bring about an event or He can chose to allow people the possibility of preventing it, in respect of their freewill. There is such a thing as God's perfect will - like God definitely chose to bring about the Perfections of Mary, they were NOT deficient from His plan. There is also such a thing as God's permissive will - like God chose to allow Judas to betray and Peter to deny. Peter repenting effectively so as to gain reconciliation, we are back at the perfect will, but Judas going to his perdition, still in the realm of the permissive will.
- 5:44 New syllogism, premiss I.
For any message God wants to communicate, He knows how to communicate it such that it will be interpreted correctly.
Here I sense a lack of clarity. Do we deal with "so that it will be interpreted correctly"? Or do we deal with "so that it won't be interpreted incorrectly"? If we were dealing with only one recipient, these would be synonymous, but if we deal with multiple recipients, they are not.
"So that one or several or any reasonable number will interpret it correctly" does not equate to "so that noone will interpret it incorrectly".
Premiss II - dito with capacity. Same distinction holds here.
Now, on this ground, a result aimed at like "so that no one will interpret it incorrectly" would be somewhat similar to aiming at "so that no one will get damned".
This is not God's actual aim from Christian theology.
One could say "so that no one will interpret it incorrectly without his own grave fault" (a Feeneyist position, stating that no one dying as a heretic had any real excuse of ignorance) and one does state "so that no one will be damned to the Hell of pains without his own grave fault" but these are not synonymous to "so that no one will interpret it incorrectly at all" or "so that no one will be damned to the Hell of pains at all" and C. S. Lewis has argued that a God aiming to make Himself the eternal bliss of the blessed would contradict Himself if allowing none to damn Himself by rejecting His will or truth. See The Problem of Pain.
C. If God choses to communicate a message, it must be interpreted correctly.
Correct, but only if you add "by those who are saved" or "by most who are saved" (depending whether you prefer Fr. Leonard Feeney or St. Thomas on the salvation of those who at the outset are in error by no previous fault of their own, the Feeneyist being, they always convert if they are saved).
- 6:14 The Bible is meant to be "communication from God".
Sure, but reading the Bible without the correct Catholic background isn't (automatically) supposed to be that.
Let's speak of utility of Scripture? II Timothy 3?
Protestants often cite verses 16 and 17, but let's start at 14 instead, shall we?
But continue thou in those things which thou hast learned, and which have been committed to thee: knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.
Note, we are not all in the rather specific position of St. Timothy.
1) he had from childhood known the books of the Old Testament, in a tradition which had not yet been corrupted by rejecting the true Messiah
2) he is not told the OT Scriptures of themselves alone are sufficient, but he is told "which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus"
3) and he is told to recall he learned Catechism by St. Paul.
A man who instead of that switches from Catholic catechism to Bible reading with no previous experience of it in a correct tradition (pre-Christian Judaism, continued in Catholicism), imagines that the faith does not need to add any hermeneutics to the Bible reading (obviously wrong for an OT only reading in a Christian perspective) and who does not recall the catechism from the Catholic Church is in a very different position from St. Timothy.
I added "automatically" because sometimes the Bible reading without a correct Catholic background actually does lead back to the Catholic Church. Sometimes it doesn't - back at the difference between God's perfect and His permissive will.
6:23 God would know how to communicate His message to men, such that it would be recorded ... the problem is, the actual wording of the record doesn't immunise a record from all and any misinterpretations.
God has told in the Scriptures that they do get misinterpreted:
II Peter 3, verses 15 and 16:
And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.
Note, I was going to make an argument he was writing this to Romans and that this is a prophetic warning against the Lutheran and other "Romans road", but Luther started out with Galatians when he went wrong, and in the former epistle, he adressed himself to:
to the strangers dispersed through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
Yes, our first Pope speaking of Galatians will do as well ...
6:27 ... recorded accurately => isn't the point.
Even an accurate message may be misinterpreted.
Aristotle in Latin has "ars imitatur naturam" and it is totally misinterpreted if you imagine that it means paintings should be photographic and music depict existing passions and even events, or else be failed as art. But that's not because Latinists were inaccurate in their translation. It's because each of the words has taken on exactly the overtones that are prone to make for a misunderstanding.
You are basically asking God in your argument to make it impossible for men to evolve new word meanings.
Sithen hwenne moston word ne sciftan? (For other readers, I suppose you know Anglo-Saxon : since when must words not be changing?)
6:33 "so if God wants His message communicated through the Bible"
Nowhere says "through the Bible alone" in the Bible ....
6:47 "according to this argument, it is impossible to misinterpret the Bible"
Well, if you are an actually Catholic pope speaking ex cathedra, it is ...
Here we get to the lack of clarity I was detecting at 5:44 - you are confusing "so that one or several or any reasonable number will interpret it correctly" with "so that noone will interpret it incorrectly" - the reasonable number being of course the number God has chosen for receiving the message correctly.
Getting to heaven is only for the elect and before that, being a Catholic is only for those elect to this grace (wider than those elect to Heaven).
- 8:24 Can we safely conclude that the two pastors are Protestants? Like outside the Catholic Church?