Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Dan Barker on Premier Unbelievable (I have fewer if any objections to Dr Carolyn Weber) — part I

60 years after his death, are CS Lewis and his God still relevant? Dan Barker & Dr Carolyn Weber
Premier Unbelievable? | 24 Nov. 2023

7:03 Noting he took no real look at Roman Catholicism at this point, whatever he did or didn't later.

7:29 Precisely my reaction when the "RC" Archdiocese of Paris allows an Assumptionist to pretend Adam and Eve were no real people. Even pretty publically in an Assumptionist owned weekly. Trent, Session V, the Decree on Original Sin, dogmatises that Adam lost justice immediately on sinning.

8:20 If he ceased to believe Adam and Eve were real people, I would not totally call it a process within Christianity.

I very much hope for CSL's sake that he changed his mind, if not totally repented (we are unfortunately sure he didn't do that, as he reedited Problem of Pain the year before he died), on his version of the fall.

He of all people ought to have sooner or later realised that a fall involving a collective cannot be justly punished as the sin of Adam was punished, since a collective, unlike an individual, has no freewill.

The idea amounts to Supralapsarian Calvinism, i e God predestining mankind to fall. At least by neglect, if combined with "open Theism" ...

9:03 I'd be happy to refute Dan Barker on each particular he'd care to forward.

9:39 Dan Barker is conflating a "good argument" (i e one that ought to sway an unbeliever) with an argument that actually carries weight with unbelievers (i e one that actually sways unbelievers).

Now, since back in that day, that supposed discovery, Dan Barker has had a pretty set stake in remaining an unbeliever.

His point here depends on conflating the unbeliever (in the sense of ex-believers like himself or children or grand-children of ex-believers, also some very secularised Jews) with "those outside" as in the objective intersection of everyone outside Christianity. Atheism as he is preaching it is not really outside Christianity. Atheism is a heresy within Protestantism, like Protestantism is a heresy within Christianity.

9:48 CSL's reply was pretty good, except for the flaw about the Fall.

Innocent individuals suffer as parts of a guilty humanity, which became guilty by the actual and real guilt of a real individual called Adam.

A girl I used to be in love with wondered why her hamster died in cancer, if there were a God, I answered, because Adam sinned.

Not because a certain tribe collectively drifted away from perfect obedience to God, which as said would be supralapsarianism, but because an individual who knew better, and who was in charge of our situation in a certain way even up to doomsday, and in a larger way up to Calvary, thus, i e knowing better, disobeyed a direct command from the God he knew had created him.

11:00 Dan Barker pretty much states that Atheism is basically (though not exclusively) a rich man's hobby.

"I go to my work, office is great, I go home, home is great, why bother about God?"

Highly a reminder of CSL's main point in The Problem of Pain.

11:39 12 000 members in a project for former members of the clergy?

I guess I owe Dan Barker some thanks for supporting them. That's the kind of guys who have boosted the numbers of "believers" who don't believe in Adam and Eve, the numbers of "believers" who accept gay marriage and so on ...

I'd have been glad to get McCarrick into that one, nearly, but I don't begrudge even him a residue of what might once have been real faith, if it's genuine.

Bad joke. Sorry. Not taking it back, but, that's pretty much where my feelings are on the matter.

13:46 actual harm ... How much actual harm is being done all over the West, to the elderly, by their own former choices of contraception?

In a Catholic society, if you want a life with grandchildren, there is room for that, you marry, you beget as many children as God sends, and at least some of them are likely to marry in their turn. Children and grand-children will support you, and the few exceptions are very easily and gently cared for by the majority.

Or, if you don't want small children, there is room for that too. You abstain from sex. You join others who do the same. When you get old, you are taken care of by younger vocations who admire your choice and who respect your wisdom, your experience in living a life for God.

Protestantism (outside Quiverfull) and Atheism are now over a century into overturning that, especially the parts concerning normal couples, the resources for the pensions once promised were depleted in Sweden decades ago, were depleted in Russia a bit before the Covid 19 outbreak (Navalny was saying the worse off pensions were corruption), were depleted in France, which is becoming rougher against the poor, will be depleted in the US c. 9 years from now, according to a forecast. Depleted not as in every penny finished, but as in starting an indebtment, which is averted or can be averted by making things worse for the old.

We Catholics are very proud to be both obeying the dictates of God, and able to analyse what harm happens when one doesn't, in the most rational terms.

15:16 "Catholics for choice" is an oxymoron.
I'd rather be a Jew for Hitler than that.

15:29 which is something measurable
It's measured by very different metrics.

At least as different as purported Christians differ from Catholic morality.

Our point as Catholics is not that God for some utterly mysterious reason forbade abortion, and we have to obey so we don't go to Hell, however little sense that makes, our point is, abortion is real harm in the real world, and one that's serious enough for God to have forbidden.

35:11 No misogyny in the Bible, except women were kind of "on probation" between Eve and Mary.

A k a in the OT, specifically the Mosaic law.

But Dan Barker is not adressing even the Catholic view of the Bible. It's primarily God's word to the Church. The Church is God's word to all nations (you can look that part up in Matthew 28:16-20).

The Bible was formulated at a time when some concepts were overlapping or not a bit differently in a different culture, or actually more than one.

This doesn't mean the true meaning is irretrievably lost, but it does mean it had a need of a parallel transmission, admitting reformulations, individuals having heard it in one way, facing an unexpected question, reformulating to clarify, a k a Apostolic Tradition.

This is also how the true meaning of Exodus was preserved between Moses and the Pharisees of Jesus' time. Text and tradition in tandem. Not a text on its own.

When St. Paul was studying as a Pharisee, he didn't exactly find his copy of the five books of Moses inside a hotel drawer placed there by the Gideons.

35:43 Jews not keeping God's covenant and not accepting God's Messiah are right now making Gaza a pretty bleak place. And lots of them were involved in making it a hopeless place, if not as harmful as now, for decades before that.

Covenant breakers have a knack of starting out as pretty decent people and ending up making things a hell for others, without even noticing it.

This being so, perhaps a bit of scare tactics on the part of the one who can foresee the exact consequences might be in order?

How much scare tactics are OK to Dan Barker in the context of psychiatry trying to stop a man from making his own life and that of a few close ones a living misery, on their fallible view?

Btw, if Dan Barker is supporting any Freedom from Psychiatry foundations, like CCHR, great. But if so, I somehow missed the memo.

Lots of Atheists are in fact supporting psychiatry, both as a help to self help for former Christians, but a bit more eerily also in order to stop Christians from doing what the Atheists believe is harmful.

I can assure you, that involves scare tactics. Just, it's a community doing scare tactics (by proxy, the psychiatrists are not on their own, but they and their personnel are the ones threatening lives lived without freedoms), and it's an individual, an odd man out, who's receiving them.

But if God uses scare tactics on a community, or is purported to, somehow that's immoral, even if the potential for harm is vastly greater.

40:18 C. S. Lewis was a literary scholar, OK.

He had read thousands of pages of works meant to instruct on what happened, by pre-modern writers, and thousands of pages of works meant to amuse or preach or both (like The Fairy Queen by Spencer, partly a fairly anti-Catholic work), and he knew the difference. He could spot it.

I spent less time reading and more debating, so did Dan Barker. But I spent sufficiently much time reading to perfectly see what CSL means by the Gospels being biographies, and biographies with much speech, like the one Boswell did of Dr. Johnson (except Boswell was very far from being a disciple, he was biassed against his older friend's positions).

The trilemma really doesn't rationally expand to a quadrilemma with "or myth" as a fourth position.

40:53 "it's reasonable according to this measure I picked"

Like Dan Barker picked science as preached by the modern scientific community, specially the ones least favourable to Christianity and specifically excluding to take Creation science into account?

We all pick a measure. We all measure reasonable by a measure we picked and not by a measure someone else has picked and criticises us for not picking. If there were no overlap between the measures, there would be no sense in debating. However, there is, and the problem is, Dan Barker is obfuscating that precise issue. He's pretending Christians are doing "reasonable" on the terms of an ad hoc picked rationality, and himself is, directly, not by partial participation, but directly, doing "reasonable" as it is. Once he dropped Christianity, of course.

CSL in Miracles (a better book on Theism than the Theist arguments of Mere Christianity, except for endorsing Evolution, which is a blunder) actually points out how this is incompatible with a strictly just naturalistic causality. Reasons are about sth. A vector, a mass, a physical constant, they are not about sth. They may apply to certain things, but they cannot be right or wrong statements about sth. So, they cannot produce any mechanism, make it as collective and multiply mutually self correcting as you like, for finding truth about anything.

As a linguist in some sense (I did not take any major courses in the subject linguistics, but I did take mostly courses related to it at some point, like Latin, Greek, German, Lithuanian, Polish), I'd make a similar case when it comes to language.

That's the overlap between Dan Barker's and CSL's position, plus how I draw that truth out into CSL territory. Or into my own and that of Dominique Tassot, a French Catholic and Young Earth Creationist.

41:03 I'm moderately convinced of Arjuna meeting Shiva.

I am actually less convinced of Faust doing a compact with the Devil than of Arjuna doing one. One candidate for the historic Faust may have been a charismatic healer, who was not in open conflict with Catholicism, but also not accepted as an actual saint and officially recognised as a miracle worker. While Catholicism as such didn't say "he's doing wonders with the devil's help" some Catholics did.

For Arjuna, I would say there is a real good case for him having made a deal with the Devil, a k a Shiva, and having become a wonderful soldier, but a lousy husband to poor Draupadi in the process. Bhagavadgita would be a later Hindu embroidery, not on his relation to Shiva, but on that of his relation to Krishna, who may have been a pre-Flood saint, was certainly more just than the Kauravas, and probably lived before the Flood, even if Hindu chronology puts the date of the Flood 10 000 years back to before his time (he died in 3102 BC, while the Flood was probably 2957 BC, so he died before Noah started building the Ark).

The general principle of a transcendent reality is not the problem in Hinduism. Polytheism, i e accepting as gods (i e worthy of worship) spirits whom we in Daniel 3:58 through 65 would accept as serving God, or even the kind of spirits which demonologically relevant texts of the Bible talk of.

41:13 I've never tried the Bhagavadgita.

But I did read an account of the Mahabharata, which an Indian Diplomat Daughter did as an assignment in Sanskrit, she retold the story in Hindi.

I also saw the Peter Brook thing, at least in parts available on the youtube.

Did you catch the part when narrator says that things became so evil that the deeds of the good (side) were no longer different from those on the bad one?

Sounds very Genesis 6 to me. And for some reason, if we take a Biblical chronology for LXX text choices, Biblical timing of the Flood into the past matches very well with what Hindus tell of Krishna's death, and how far we are into Kali Yuga.

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