General Comments

 
 
 

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28 Responses to General Comments

  1. Pingback: Challenge to the “Big Bad” Online Wulfe « Sacerdotus

  2. Hi, Sacerdotus. How does this work? How shall we pick up where we left off? I’ll be honest, I’m a trifle put off by the proprietary nature of your site. Copyright? My posts are your property? Ok- as you will. Funny, though. I’ll pick up our homosexuality discussion if you’d like, but I’d prefer to ask my original question again.

    I was raised a very strict and sincere evangelical protestant. I was always told look to creation to find the creator. “Watch”/”watchmaker” metaphors were rampant in my homeschooling and my brief time at a Calvinist private school. My question is this: how does one get from systematic observation of the known universe to the Trinity? What about creation speaks specifically to that, and only that creator?

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    • Hello, thanks for the comment. I prefer using this since more can be expressed here than on Twitter. All content here is copyright. Anything posted here becomes property of this blog and its owner. In regards to the Trinity, this comes from Christ’s revelation. Since the whole dogma of the Trinity is a mystery, then natural cannot really be used to observe this unity. However, we can use nature to see the “fingerprints” of God, so to speak. As to “only that creator,” well this creator is the only one who has come to us so far. No other deity has. WE understand these other “gods” as man’s attempt to define the one God in three divine persons.

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  3. I’d argue that the dogma of the Trinity comes more from Augustine and Nicea than directly from Christ’s revelation, but let’s leave that one for another day too.

    I really meant ‘Trinity’ in the sense of the Catholic Christian understanding of YHWH. What in the ‘fingerprints’ on creation are distinct from fingerprints that would have been left by Allah (also ‘the God of Abraham’). What exactly is it about the nature of the Universe that is inconsistent with other deities/understandings of deities, but consistent with YHWH/Trinity? These are all the same question, but I’ll ask it another way to try to make it clearer what I’m getting at. Romans 1:20 implies, and my Christian teachers/parents made explicit, the idea that with or without the Bible, a person should be able to establish a relationship with God based on what He revealed in creation. Do you agree with that idea? Why would other “gods” be a human attempt at defining that creator, but “God” is not? What evidence in the creation points to that and only that creator? What explicitly in creation shows that Christ is the (and the only) incarnate creator? These are all the same question, I’m just elaborating to make it clearer what I meant the first time:

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    • Sacerdotus says:

      No, the dogma of the Trinity is alluded to in the Old Testament and revealed in Christ. You can read more here: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2015/05/the-holy-trinity-3-in-one.html. I am not sure what you mean by “what in the ‘fingerprints’ on creation are distinct from fingerprints that would have been left by Allah.” Your next question is a non-sequitur as it fails to grasp that these designations for deities was man’s attempt to define God. There are not many Gods, just one. Man throughout the centuries has always known there is a God and tried to define Him via their experiences, understanding, via nature and so forth. So same God, different names and ways people in the past understood Him. I agree with Romans 1:20. We can see the “fingerprints” of God via His creation. Ironically, this passage correlates to the VMAT2 gene which predisposes us to believe in God. We know that Christ is the only incarnate creator or God because history shows us of no other such individual. While emperors and kings may have considered themselves gods, they failed to fit the bill, so to speak.

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      • Hi. I think you’ve misunderstood me again- (or are deliberately avoiding the question?). For now let’s work with most of your presuppositions- despite their lack of support thus far. Let’s say there is one God. Let’s say that this God is best understood by the mystery of the Catholic Trinity/YHWH. Let’s say that Jesus of Nazareth is the human incarnation of this creator. For now- sure.

        The question is, what about creation itself allows an intelligent but ignorant human to discover God and Salvation? Romans 1:20 and you, both say that God has left fingerprints- clues- signs- indications in creation itself (i.e. the natural universe) that would point a sincere seeker to Him and only Him.

        This is my question. What about creation indicates the true God as you understand
        “Him” and no other understandings of God? The closest you’ve come to an answer is VMAT2. This is contentious claim, but even if we run with it, that’s the gene that correlates with belief in a higher power- but not specifically in YWHW, so that does not answer the very simple question.

        What in nature points to your God and only your God? Imagine a single, lone, extremely intelligent, but fully ignorant person is trapped on an island. This person knows almost nothing, but is capable of learning almost anything. This person examines life- discovers biology. This person examines stars and objects- discovers physics. Romans 1:20, you, and all my pastors growing up say he has no excuse not to find YWHW the same way. How? From what? What in nature- what fingerprints- what clues- whatever… what in a scientific investigation of the natural world will lead one to the conclusion that the Christian God is the creator of the world they study so intently?

        Please. No more redirections/avoidance. Answer the question. It couldn’t be any more clearly spelled out. My question again as I first asked it:

        “My question is this: how does one get from systematic observation of the known universe to the Trinity? What about creation speaks specifically to that, and only that creator?”

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      • I understood your question. The problem is your refusal to understand your straw man presupposition and how it fails. If I remember correctly, I believe I linked you to this video on Twitter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5iCFBdzMX8 which gives some scientific and philosophical support in regards to these “fingerprints.” As for “what about creation indicates the true God as you understand,” well it is not “what” but “who.” This who is the person of Jesus Christ. No other religion has a god who became incarnate and whose words transcend space and time. Moreover, the VMAT2 gene predisposes us to believe in God and there is only ONE God regardless of how man calls Him or understands Him. I use the pronoun “Him” to be loyal to how the Scriptures describe God, but God has no gender. “YWHW” is technically not a name, but an ontological description of this being as one who is: “I Am who Am.” “YHWH” simply reminds us that God is God, only He exists, He always was, no beginning and no end. It is not a typical name like “Mike,” or “Bob.” The reason why God gave this name to Moses was to distinguish Himself from the stone gods the Egyptians created so that the Hebrews would not think these stones were supernatural beings. This is why I told you before that the many “names” cultures have given god are just that, names which they came up with based on their culture, experience and understanding. You keep distinguishing between the “Christian God” and the “YHWH God” and therein lies your straw man. This God is the same God. The gods people called Zeus, Thor, Osiris, Babalao, Allah, Brahman, etc etc is the same God who revealed Himself as simply “YHWH.” He was given these names based on the people’s culture and how they understood nature and its happenings. Think of them as cultural nicknames, if you will. The Bible itself uses over 800 different names and titles to describe God. Are we going to start looking at the Bible and all these 800+ names and ask “which God?” That would be silly. This is why your name-cherry picking will not work because it simply shows your lack of understanding that there is only one God and man simply called Him different names. To be funny, atheists call Him “Sky Daddy.” Listen to my radio podcast on this: http://blogtalkradio.com/sacerdotus/2014/05/09/the-3000-gods-argument

        That being said, man can come to the conclusion of the existence of God via critical thinking and reasoning. This is how philosophy came into fruition. Philosophers thought about existence, life, being, metaphysics and so forth. The very fact that man can think and unravel things is also an indication that we are meant to look. VMAT2 further enhances the evidence because why would we need this gene in the first place? If we are simply material beings surviving in a hostile environment and adapting to it, why would we need any beliefs in God and the supernatural? Moreover, evolution works with genetics and how they adapt with the environment. That being said, organisms evolved over time in order to survive based on their exposure to their environment. Since this is the case, what in nature exposed the human organism to the supernatural so as to bring about the human organism to develop a gene for it?

        There is no avoidance or redirection on my part. If you simply take the time to process what I am writing to you instead of rushing to give me the typical skeptic’s script, then you would see that your questions have answers.

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      • And I really don’t care, but like you say, the doctrine of the trinity is alluded to. It’s not at all clearly spelled out. It took the Church hundreds of years to get it to the doctrine you understand now- as I indicated in my comment about Augustine and Nicea.

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      • Not alluded to, but revealed. What the Church did was simply give it a name.

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  4. It’s been two days. Eager to hear a response.

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  5. It’s been 4 days. Eager to hear a response.

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  6. That is, again, a complete avoidance of the simple question. Sure. Christ is the creator incarnate. How would an indigenous population discover this? How am I to discover that this claim is true? When you say I have a strawman pre-supposition, your job is to then spell it out and refute it. You can’t have your cake (Romans 1:20, science leads to god) and eat it too (there is not ‘what’ in nature, only ‘who’ Christ). You can’t claim that observation of the natural world points to your and only your understanding of the almighty, while simultaneously claiming that Christ’s revelation is the only way. If one needs Christ/Scripture for salvation, then those who haven’t encountered Him/it certainly do have an excuse- contrary to Romans 1:20. I didn’t see that on Twitter- I’ll watch that video then be back.

    For the record right now, I haven’t begun to make a case for anything. I’ll be honest- on a personal level- I’ve been completely messed up since I fully ceased to believe in a deity with a human-like personality. I’ve been more disconnected from my community, my family, my best friends from childhood. It’s taken me years to find a way to keep living a happy life. I want more than almost anything to believe in God. I can’t escape facts or my own personality which values them.

    Nothing I’ve said so far is an argument. All I’ve had for you thus far are questions. When I make an argument, it is structured and based on evidence that we can both observe. This is an argument:
    A. I hypothesize that the ultimate creative force in the universe will make itself manifestly evident in all the natural world. That which is manifest in the natural world will be that which can tell us most about the traits of the creator thereof. (Romans 1:20, my parents, my pastors, my teachers, you… all agree so far).
    B. The natural world exudes numerical consistency with certain values being staggeringly prevalent. These values such as pi, phi, and e are ubiquitous. They demonstrate the true nature of creation, and as per A above must speak to the ultimate creator’s traits. Advanced physics formulae give us the best available picture of how the ultimate creator created the universe as we know it. (I imagine, that you still agree so far).
    C. Any revelation from this creator will include signs of these deepest traits evident in nature. (I hope you’re still with me at this point)
    D. Revelation from Christ, the new testament, and the old testament contain absolutely no hints of these mathematical truths despite a prevalence of numbers. The numbers observed as holy in Scripture are not consistent with the numbers that maintain order in the universe. Numbers such as 12 (tribes, disciples), 7 (days of creation, etc), 3 (Trinity, denials of Christ by Peter, etc) were culturally valued by the authors of these texts, but reveal nothing divine about the universe. Scriptural texts don’t give us formulae for the tides, for orbits, for trajectories, for the relationships between forces. Christ- as the embodiment of the ultimate creator- pays absolutely no attention to the fundamental mathematical truths of creation. He demonstrates a value for numbers that is consistent with culture and previous text, but revealed nothing useful about the function or origins of creation.

    How do you get from C to anything else but D?

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    • Nothing is being avoided. You simply are in denial. Indigenous people would discover God via God’s grace along with reason which is directed by the VMAT2 as far as we know. I have never stated that what is found in the natural world points to my understanding of the almighty. What it does point to is the reality of an almighty Creator. This is why God is a universal concept. We understand Christ to be the fullness of revelation and truth because He is God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity taking on flesh. Those who have not heard of Christ but are people of good will will not be in hell. The Catechism states:

      “847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

      Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.”

      Faith is an on-going process that even I am going through now. Just because I was an atheist and now am Catholic does not mean I am “more advanced” than you or anyone else who is doubting God. We are on different paths and God directs each path including that of the atheist. This is why atheists are so fixated with God even if they doubt. It is a search, an inner desire to see God. Your attempt to define God with mathematics will prove futile because mathematics is merely abstract language created by man that describes the quantitative and qualitative properties of matter in a particular state in space and time. In other words, it is a means by which man measures and defines the form of matter as it exists in space and time.

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  7. Also: as I’ve already clarified- I do not care what name(s) we choose to use for this almighty creator. I used Trinity first just as an attempt to show that I’m prepared to talk about your understanding of God. “God” is fine, “Christ,” “El,” whatever… that’s not a problem for me. Use whatever word/name/names you like. If you think I’m quibbling about that, you’re missing my point.

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  8. It’s an hour long! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5iCFBdzMX8
    I’m letting it roll while I do some other work- but you’re philosophizing so far. I’m not hearing observations about God’s creation that speaks to your- and only your- understanding of God.

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  9. There is no substantive answer as to why this would point to your understanding of God specifically, as opposed to that held by Chopra, the Dalai Llama, or a Caliph. All of your arguments are equally applicable to their understandings of this ultimate creator. Molecules don’t move in cross-shapes. The stars don’t spell out Yeshushua Ha-Mashiac on Christmas Eve. The physical fingerprints of the creator are equally indicative of all philosophical understandings of a higher power. The Greek “prime cause,” etc.

    Your words:
    That being said, man can come to the conclusion of the existence of God via critical thinking and reasoning. This is how philosophy came into fruition. Philosophers thought about existence, life, being, metaphysics and so forth. The very fact that man can think and unravel things is also an indication that we are meant to look.
    Why they are not an answer to the question at all:
    Apes look also, they discovered use of branches for tools, which plants are good to eat, how to use physics to harm enemies and get food, etc. That humans do it better has nothing to do with your understanding of the divine creator of everything. All religious teachers could use the same argument. It doesn’t answer why you believe this ‘fingerprint’ in creation leads to your understanding of God.

    Your words:
    VMAT2 further enhances the evidence because why would we need this gene in the first place? If we are simply material beings surviving in a hostile environment and adapting to it, why would we need any beliefs in God and the supernatural? Moreover, evolution works with genetics and how they adapt with the environment. That being said, organisms evolved over time in order to survive based on their exposure to their environment. Since this is the case, what in nature exposed the human organism to the supernatural so as to bring about the human organism to develop a gene for it?
    Why they aren’t an answer to the question:
    I’m tempted to debate here, but I won’t. There are good reasons why false agency attribution evolved- Michael Shermer explains them well- but that’s not my question. Ok. Say atheism is stupid. There has to be a divine power. Why would any of this point to Christ/His Father?

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    • The thing you are not understanding or refuse to understand is that the idea of God is what me and those you have listed have in common. We know there is a being out there who created all things seen and unseen. As a Catholic, I dare go further because we believe Christ is God and the second person of the Trinity. He became one of us and revealed to us what we need. The many ideas out there on God are a preparation for the fullness of the Truth which is found in Christ and His Catholic Church.

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  10. It’s been another 2 days.

    I’ve done a little work for you. Anselm and Augustine believed, consistently with Romans 1:20, that the God’s triune nature is discernable/observable in creation. Examples: shamrocks and all other monocotyledon plants. Another famous example is the Franciscan, Saint Bonaventure, who made this same case. God’s identity is evident in nature- lots of things come in groups of threes.

    Following the same methodology, but with insights from an extra millennium worth of scientific observation, why do we see more 3.14159… in nature than we do a round 3? Why do we see more 1.618… in the Bible and Christ’s works than we do 12’s, 3’s, and 7’s? The fingerprints don’t match. The values seen in the Bible are rounded and consistent with information the human authors had. The values we have discovered since ( Φ, e, π…) are ubiquitous in nature, but completely neglected in the “divine revelation” of Scripture and Christ’s life. If Jesus is the creator incarnate, why the mismatch? Looking to the creation, I see a creator who bears no resemblance to the Trinity. There might be an argument to be made for a more mystic non-gendered not-at-all-human-image deistic higher power left to be made, but it doesn’t sound like that’s where you are.

    New question, therefore. You espouse the dogma of the Trinity (Father, Son, Spirit), but deny that God has a gender. How do you conceptualize God?

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    • I am a busy person and it takes time for me to read and reply to everything I receive. This includes emails and so forth. The people you mention spoke metaphorically, not scientifically. They use this sort of analogies and imagery to teach the people of the time. As for God’s gender, He has none. We use personal pronouns such as “he, him, his” because this is the way Christ revealed the Trinity. Does this mean God is male? Not at all. The Hebrew culture is patriarchal in natural and God tends to speak to the people in terms they can relate to. However, God is referred to as a mother hen in some instances. Again, these are just forms of communicating to a distinct culture and does not mean God is of a particular gender. The human body of Jesus is male obviously, but God as spirit is genderless.

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      • Ok. Perfect. So, God revealed ‘Him’self to each culture in terms they could understand, then? Hence the many thousands of understandings of “God.” Makes sense. If your ‘god’ is the same as all other peoples’ “god” then we have nothing left to argue about. He revealed Himself to me as the impersonal deistic sum total of the natural world, the terms I understand.

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  11. Please pardon my typographical error above. It should read ‘why *don’t* we see more 1.618… in the Bible.’

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  12. It’s been days. I quit for now. Hit me up on Twitter if you ever find anything about creation that points to your and only your understanding of the creator.

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  13. Socka Count says:

    If we debate, it does not become your property. We will debate on a neutral channel and both be allowed to mirror it on our respective channels. This is non-negotiable.

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