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ficino last won the day on April 18 2015

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About ficino

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  • Birthday February 26

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    New York, NY
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    literature, philosophy
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    ancient texts

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. BAA

    I am crying, too. He was always there for anyone who asked anything of him. I don't remember him putting anyone down, much as he would disagree with those who persisted in bad or null arguments. It's beautiful to read his tribute, one coming from someone who so loved our universe (with its flaws and broken pieces?) and people in it. "Friendship dances around the world, bidding us all to awaken to the recognition of happiness. ... if one of them died before his time, the survivors did not lament his death as if it called for pity." ~ Epicurus.
  2. Just today I read a good deal of Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist? in which he disagrees with Carrier, Price and other mythicists (who form an almost negligible slice of the professional field). Ehrman's two strongest arguments for Jesus' existence are: 1. epistles of Paul and Paul's acquaintance with Cephas and James 2. unlikelihood that Jews would have invented a story of a CRUCIFIED Messiah, since crucifixion renders the person cursed under the Torah and it goes against all depictions of messiah figures in the OT. Ehrman also accepts mainstream theories that the gospels make use of earlier written and oral accounts, some of them Aramaic some Greek, and that some apocryphal gospels, which also treat Jesus as a real guy, are independent of the 4 canonical gospels. Ehrman of course thinks that much of what is in the four canonical gospels is invented, including the resurrection.
  3. Omniprescence

    Yes, there are lots of flavors of Christianity - and Judaism and Islam. The view that I ascribed to "classical theism" is not the one that is commonly found in Protestantism except maybe Calvinists - though I could be wrong, maybe some Anglicans, too. Catholics talk all the time about God dwelling within us (think the eucharist!) since such language is in the Bible. But that's not the same as saying God's essence exists in a created thing. A created thing's essence is distinct from its existence, which must be conferred by God. God's essence is identical with His existence on the more scholastic view. Catholic tradition then emphasizes that God is utterly transcendent, above creation, because created things participate in existence while God is His own existence. "... between Creator and creature no similitude can be expressed without implying an even greater dissimilitude" (Fourth Lateran Council). Cardinal Newman said that Protestants have a low view of God and Christ, so that they think of them as like humans, just bigger and stronger, rather than as really transcendent. Newman thought this attitude was partly a result of Protestants' abandoning the cult of Mary and the other saints. The feelings that Christians used to direct toward Mary, said Newman, Protestants wind up directing toward Christ because they are uncomfortable with the doctrine that Mary is the mother of GOD. So they have a view of Jesus as a buddy, which Newman said is wrong. I think St. Gregory Palamas promoted the doctrine in Eastern Orthodoxy that God's operations or "energies" actually do contain God's essence or being. I can't bear to read about this. Today William Lane Craig and others are accused by more traditional theists of being "theistic personalists," ie. that Craig et al think God is a super-person. The more traditional types counter that God has personal qualities but is not a member of the class, "person," because God is a member of no class. God is above all classes/sets/species/genera. In "God Talk" lots of differences to spend time hashing over! So many denominations, so little time to pick the right one before I die. /s
  4. The Simplicity Of The Christian Message

    Bwa ha ha! You nailed it. I think your 1), 2) and 4) would apply also to Thumbelina if she should ever come back here.
  5. Fascinating! I too would like to hear more about your book project. Do you get a third type of Christian response? I.e. "the Bible is inerrant in all that it affirms, but God does not teach us science or secular history in it. The Bible reveals salvation history. So it doesn't affirm anything about science or secular history. So it does not err about those. Where it seems to offer contradictory moral teachings or injunctions, it does not do so, because some of those injunctions were temporary and/or directed toward particular conditions, not universal. You are just approaching the Bible in the mistaken way you learned when you were a fundamentalist/literalist." This third type of response, from what I've seen, often tries to exploit some form of genre theory.
  6. Omniprescence

    God doesn't just see them. God is the First Cause of them! Even though supposedly, as evils, their causes are accidental ... they go back to the First Cause however the theist slices it. But that is not a problem for the doctrine of God's Goodness because reasons.
  7. Omniprescence

    The usual take in classical theism is that God is utterly transcendent. So His essence is not "in" any created thing. God is present "in" the world through His operations, not in His essence, otherwise the world and things in it would be divine. God as Unmoved Mover moves the cow through a chain of causes to excrete the shit in Citsonga's example, but that's an operation of God, not an instance of His essence being in the shit. Some religions of course are pantheistic, but they are of the devil. /s
  8. Daisy

    So sorry to hear this, LifeCycle. I am glad that you were friends and that Daisy was part of your life. I am still grieving over losing my cat, Lita, last month. A beautiful video.
  9. A Counter-Kalam Cosmological Argument

    As far as I know, materialism and naturalism account for our experience just fine. And there are some things we do not know. But many remain convinced that materialism does not answer "the hard problem of consciousness." They insist that a thought, or the content of a thought, is not reducible to matter. So, however much we use our brains to think, these people insist that the thinking is done by some separate substance, which they call mind. And of course for Christians who believe that the soul is separate from the body, substance dualism is just what they want. So I'm guessing maybe the Anti-Kalam guy will wind up arguing over brain and mind to defend his second premise.
  10. Hi Mich, I feel for you. I went to church for years after I stopped believing, just because I felt guilty about disappointing people. Eventually, the church (I was RC) took political stances I just could not support anymore. But I don't have children whom I raised Christian. I'm sorry if you've said this in another post and I missed it - are there others in your house besides you and your daughter? Can you tell her the truth at this point? I think by 14 she can distinguish your love for her from your religious opinions (or lack or change of). ? Hugs, f
  11. This report says Jones is up by 2% with 99% of the votes counted.
  12. As of this morning, Jones is up by 1.5%.
  13. A Counter-Kalam Cosmological Argument

    I think the Christian reposte would be to attack the anti-Kalam's premise 2, that every thought or action has a preceding material cause. Substance dualists will say that mind is not material so premise 2 is either false or question begging or both.
  14. Series of causes

    I invite anyone who's interested to check out this thread, where the Argument from Motion is being disputed. I have no clue how to decide people's claims about the physics. The arg is really about the existence of the "god of classical theism," not the truth of Christianity as such.