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Euthyphro Dissected
Religio Political Talk (RPT) ^ | 2-15-2011 | Papa Giorgio

Posted on 02/27/2011 12:52:38 PM PST by SeanG200

My son (a believer) and one of his childhood friends (an atheist and extreme liberal) are taking a philosophy 101 class at the local college here in town and they are debating the Euthyphro Dilemma. There are two audio files in this post that DESTROY the atheists argument in regards to this position, not to mention that this is in fact NOT a dilemma: [QUOTE] ...While Plato was dealing with polytheism and a form of monism, this argument as dealt with herein is response to the challenges presented to theism. However, his use of a third option is what we present here as well… making this dilemma mute. What was Plato’s solution?

“You split the horns of the dilemmas by formulating a third alternative, namely, God is the good. The good is the moral nature of God Himself. That is to say, God is necessarily holy, loving, kind, just, and so on. These attributes of God comprise the good. God’s moral character expresses itself toward us in the form of certain commandments, which became for us our moral duties.

Hence, God’s commandments are not arbitrary but necessarily flow from His own nature. They are necessary expression of the way God is.One of the most important notes to mention is that once there is a third alternative, there is no longer a dilemma. [/QUOTE]


TOPICS: Education; Reference; Religion; Science
KEYWORDS: ethics; euthyphro; plato; socrates
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Share with your atheist friends or philosophy students.
1 posted on 02/27/2011 12:52:49 PM PST by SeanG200
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To: SeanG200

Just like yourself, atheists will believe what they want to believe.


2 posted on 02/27/2011 1:05:31 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: SeanG200
The beauty of Plato, of which I am a huge fan (though I simply can't stand to wade through The Republic anymore) is the beauty of his writing. He was a playwright early in life, and his style therefore brings to life the humanity of his philosophical questions and ideas: he did not write philosophical dissertations - he wrote dialogues.

Euthyphro is one of my favorites, and easy to read. Rather than waste your time on this guy's postmortem “dissection,” go read the lively and living original. Great intro to Plato, IMO.

3 posted on 02/27/2011 1:05:36 PM PST by dagogo redux (A whiff of primitive spirits in the air, harbingers of an impending descent into the feral.)
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To: SeanG200
Moot, not mute!
4 posted on 02/27/2011 1:09:46 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: SeanG200
That is to say, God is necessarily holy, loving, kind, just, and so on.

Why do you say necessarily? The conception of God as an omnipotent creator and ruler of the universe doesn't seem to include this condition, and Biblically the commands to obey Him, that is to be "good", were predicated entirely on recognition of His all encompassing and irresistible power. It seems to me Socrates' argument in the Euthyphro is entirely apropos.

... and "mute" s/b "moot" !

5 posted on 02/27/2011 1:13:44 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: SeanG200
God is the good. The good is the moral nature of God Himself. That is to say, God is necessarily holy, loving, kind, just...

And, being good, He commands all those that believe upon Him to smite the evil nonbelievers and He promises to cast them into a fiery pit of damnation for all eternity.

Yes, real nice. Thanks.

6 posted on 02/27/2011 1:24:47 PM PST by Aevery_Freeman (It's not the *Prince of Fools* but rather the *fools* that are the problem)
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To: SeanG200

We are the pure and chosen few, and all the rest are damned.
There’s room enough in hell for you—we don’t want heaven crammed.


7 posted on 02/27/2011 1:29:53 PM PST by tumblindice
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To: SeanG200; kosta50

8 posted on 02/27/2011 1:39:31 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: SeanG200; kosta50

9 posted on 02/27/2011 1:48:22 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett

http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/aristophanes/clouds.htm


10 posted on 02/27/2011 2:18:57 PM PST by tumblindice
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To: James C. Bennett; SeanG200
I love when they open up with "There are two audio files in this post that DESTROY the atheists argument in regards to this position."

LOL! :)

11 posted on 02/27/2011 6:58:58 PM PST by kosta50
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To: dagogo redux
Euthyphro is one of my favorites, and easy to read.

Maybe so, but I have to admit I get tongue-tied trying to repeat it.

Soc. In like manner, I want you to tell me what part of justice is piety or holiness, that I may be able to tell Meletus not to do me injustice, or indict me for impiety, as I am now adequately instructed by you in the nature of piety or holiness, and their opposites.

12 posted on 02/27/2011 9:29:01 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: dr_lew

Well Geez, man, get yourself a decent translation!

I find the best translations in Plato Complete Works, Edited by Jonh M. Cooper, published 1997 by Hacket Press, in which G. M. A. Grube translates Euthyphro, as well as Apology, Crito and Phaedro. The same excerpt from that translation - quite intelligible - is found below:

Socrates: Try in this way to tell me what part of the just the pious is, in order to tell Meletus not to wrong us any more and not to indict me for ungodliness, since I have learned from you sufficiently what is godly and pious, and what is not.


13 posted on 02/27/2011 10:21:41 PM PST by dagogo redux (A whiff of primitive spirits in the air, harbingers of an impending descent into the feral.)
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To: dr_lew

I tend to agree with Socrates because of the situation in Genesis with Adam. The only “sin” that existed in the Garden of Eden was the command to not partake of the fruit. There was no other “sin”, no other laws. As far as I can tell, Adam was in complete control and could have done anything he wanted, and I mean anything. God is the ultimate arbiter of what is sin and what is not.


14 posted on 02/28/2011 7:30:59 AM PST by wbarmy (I chose to be a sheepdog once I saw what happens to the sheep.)
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To: dr_lew; SeanG200; Alamo-Girl
Why do you say necessarily? The conception of God as an omnipotent creator and ruler of the universe doesn't seem to include this condition, and Biblically the commands to obey Him, that is to be "good", were predicated entirely on recognition of His all encompassing and irresistible power. It seems to me Socrates' argument in the Euthyphro is entirely apropos.

On the question of "this condition," Socrates/Plato regarded the One God Beyond the Cosmos as Absolute Good, Truth, Beauty, Justice, and Love. And all this, roughly 400 years before the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

The Euthyphro is not an attack on the One God of the Beyond: It is a monumental indictment of classical Greek polytheism.

The Olympian gods, like man, were created beings; unlike man, they were immortal. Socrates/Plato sees them as if they were "man writ large," what with all their quarrels and jealousies amongst themselves. He hardly found them to be good "models" for just, upright, truthful human living. In effect, Socrates died because of this insight....

Dr_lew, with all respect, I don't think you have completely grasped what the Euthyphro is saying. My conjecture is you are looking at the dialogue through the lens of a 21st-century atheist. In the process, you are anachronistically "backloading" a whole lot of contemporary "crappy thinking" regarding the divine onto Plato's work that probably would have appalled Plato.

The divine appeal to man is couched in the language of love.... Man responds accordingly — or not, as the case may be. But to suggest that man "complies" with God because he fears God's power is a slander against both God and man.

Or so it seems to me. FWIW.

15 posted on 04/11/2011 3:41:07 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: betty boop
Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dearest sister in Christ!
16 posted on 04/11/2011 8:50:12 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: James C. Bennett; Alamo-Girl; dr_lew; dagogo redux; kosta50; Mind-numbed Robot; Matchett-PI
It seems to me the so-called "Euthyphro Dilemma" is a false dichotomy — which is why one gets such bizarre results from working it. E.g., the total "kluge" between Euthyphro's "yes or no" reasoning, and Protagoras's strange conclusion (as if by default) that "man is the measure" — which invalidates Euthyphro's expectation that the gods have something to do with standards of right and wrong.

At the end of the dialogue, Euthyphro withdraws in frustration, and Socrates' question has not been answered: "How do you even know what 'right' is?"

Socrates' observation goes to the problem of how one can discern what "right" and "wrong" are if the divine standard and measure of morality is a multiplicity of gods who are clearly immoral in their behavior, toward one another and toward man. This almost seems to suggest that a man — Socrates — is the measure, which would validate Protagoras' position. Which Socrates detested.

To put it mildly, Socrates was at war with the idea of man being the measure of anything but chaos, if left to his own devices. He was at total war with the idea of "man is the measure of all things." Socrates/Plato knew the measure of truth and morality in the world of immanent nature could only be the transcendent God Beyond the Cosmos.

In other words, Socrates/Plato were inspired and motivated by the Idea of a divine measure that emanates from "beyond" the Cosmos, beyond the created world. The so-called "Euthyphro Dilemma" does not take this recognition into consideration at all. It functions at the level of polytheism exclusively. And thus it is "false."

For Plato, this God Beyond is Absolute Mind and Absolute Eternal Being. You need absolute being before you can derive, not only the truths of the moral order, but creaturely existence itself.

And this Absolute Being has the "nature" of: the Good, Truth, Beauty, Justice, and Love — all of which are the very foundations, not only of the laws of nature, but of the moral law as well.

Just my "take" on tis matter, FWIW.

James C. Bennett, thank you ever so much for posting these very helpful graphics!

17 posted on 04/12/2011 12:38:21 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: dagogo redux; SeanG200; dr_lew; Alamo-Girl; kosta50; Mind-numbed Robot; Matchett-PI
He was a playwright early in life, and his style therefore brings to life the humanity of his philosophical questions and ideas: he did not write philosophical dissertations — he wrote dialogues.

If Plato had been a playwright early in life, it seems we do not have any of his plays extant today. I'm not aware there are any historical references to actual plays by Plato. And Socrates appears to have written exactly nothing.

Notwithstanding, your observation that Plato was a superb dramatic artist is absolutely, indubitably the case!

People reading the dialogues who are unaware of this dimension of Plato's work are probably missing so much of what is going on. You can't read Plato — IMHO — as a linear "back and forth" of correspondents engaged in a debate....

That would be to leave out scene, which he carefully constructs, including all the personnel on hand, whether they speak or not; the dynamical interplay of the diverse personalities of the participants in the dialogue; the building and releasing of emotional tension; the building to the crisis; and then, the denouement....

Perhaps people would get more out of Plato if they read his dialogues as "plays."

Thank you so much, dagog redux, for your wonderful observations — and for your appreciation of the beauty of Plato's work!

18 posted on 04/12/2011 1:33:36 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: betty boop
For Plato, this God Beyond is Absolute Mind and Absolute Eternal Being. You need absolute being before you can derive, not only the truths of the moral order, but creaturely existence itself.

And this Absolute Being has the "nature" of: the Good, Truth, Beauty, Justice, and Love — all of which are the very foundations, not only of the laws of nature, but of the moral law as well.

Just my "take" on tis matter, FWIW.

Well, that is my take, too, so you must be right. :-)

"man is the measure of all things."

Man being the measure of all things is what brings us dilemmas which are not. This "man-made" dilemma is the same as that brought forth by atheists who claim there was (or was not) existence prior to existence (what came before the big bang?) but deny the obvious - there is but One Eternal Existence and that is God and all things are included therein. Instead, they want "proof" while clinging doggedly to unprovable doctrines of their own.

I am reminded of Shakespeare's suggestion of "suspension of disbelief."

19 posted on 04/12/2011 1:47:56 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; Alamo-Girl; dagogo redux; SeanG200; dr_lew; kosta50; Matchett-PI; MHGinTN
I am reminded of Shakespeare's suggestion of "suspension of disbelief."

That magnificent artist certainly depended on the willing "suspension of disbelief" in order to conduct his business as a dramatist.

Dramatists work in the medium of human imagination, not in the medium of "matter in its motions."

The great dramatists do not construct "second realities." Instead, they explore the dynamics of "first reality," which is where human beings actually live.

But they do so imaginatively. And that is why the audience has to be willing to "suspend its disbelief" in order to hear what the dramatist is saying, "in the duration" of his play. Later, of course, the person in the audience is perfectly free to form his own impressions of the performance he has seen.

It wasn't Shakespeare who first thunk up the requirement of the "willing suspension of disbelief" as necessary to the experience of a dramatic performance, though he mightily benefited from it.

That was Aristotle, in the Poetics. To my mind, the Poetics is the great homage of a student to his teacher and colleague of some 27 years: Aristotle learned practically everything he knew about "poetics" from the example and practice of Plato....

IMHO FWIW.

It seems to me atheists have a lot of "man-made dilemmas" on their hands which are unresolvable in principle, on the basis of their "principles."

They "live" in a flat, horizontal, linear world that moves inexorably and irreversibly from past to present to future — and then you die. All is nothing in the end. There is no meaning to existence. Unless you are a philosophical existentialist; and then you either have to cobble together a meaning of your own, or just plain commit suicide.

Yet what Socrates/Plato say is that man cannot "bootstrap himself" out of this problem by his own efforts. For man has a "vertical" extension, not just a "horizontal" one. The vertical extension moves in the eternal; the horizontal, in time....

Thus "man lives at the intersection of time and timelessness."

Progress along the horizontal does not yield meaning. It is mere plodding existence, available to any biological animal.

It is the vertical ascent which describes what makes man distinctive among all the other biological organisms. The vertical ascent is what is needed for human nature to express its full significance and meaning.

The atheists' problem is they rule out the "vertical ascent" as a matter of adamantine principle....

Well, just some stray thoughts, dear Mind-numbed Robot, my brother in Christ!

Thank you so very much for weighing in here....

20 posted on 04/12/2011 3:02:44 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: betty boop; James C. Bennett; Alamo-Girl; dr_lew; dagogo redux; Mind-numbed Robot; Matchett-PI
In other words, Socrates/Plato were inspired and motivated by the Idea of a divine measure that emanates from "beyond" the Cosmos, beyond the created world. The so-called "Euthyphro Dilemma" does not take this recognition into consideration at all. It functions at the level of polytheism exclusively. And thus it is "false."

People will believe what they want to believe. Just because they believe doesn't mean it's true. So, Protagoras was right: the buck stops with man. It all comes down to what we believe is right or wrong.

21 posted on 04/12/2011 5:25:48 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: betty boop
Thank you so very much for weighing in here....

Much like the dialogue which is the subject of this thread, I am just trying to learn. "-)

22 posted on 04/13/2011 10:32:45 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: betty boop
In other words, Socrates/Plato were inspired and motivated by the Idea of a divine measure that emanates from "beyond" the Cosmos, beyond the created world. The so-called "Euthyphro Dilemma" does not take this recognition into consideration at all. It functions at the level of polytheism exclusively. And thus it is "false."

For Plato, this God Beyond is Absolute Mind and Absolute Eternal Being. You need absolute being before you can derive, not only the truths of the moral order, but creaturely existence itself.

And this Absolute Being has the "nature" of: the Good, Truth, Beauty, Justice, and Love — all of which are the very foundations, not only of the laws of nature, but of the moral law as well.

SO very true. Thank you for all of your illuminating essay-posts, dearest sister in Christ!

23 posted on 04/13/2011 10:41:58 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: kosta50; betty boop; Alamo-Girl
So, Protagoras was right: the buck stops with man. It all comes down to what we believe is right or wrong.

Are you talking about the collective WE, as in what we believe, in general, as a society, or the We individualized into each person? As you know, they are different. The social WE becomes what we call our culture. Individuals in a culture differ widely. This thread is a good example in that the culture of this thread is Christianity but there are many opinions about it. The majority are in general agreement but you differ.

The majority here agree with your view of the Scientific Method and its place and importance in society. No one is doubting you there and no one disagrees with you. We are simply saying there is more to it than that. You seem to stop at Newtonian Laws and Mechanics and they continue on to Einsteinian Physics (will you ladies please clean that up for me?) where they see laws much more far reaching.

You can stay at the depot where you stopped or you can get back on the train and continue the journey. We are simply saying there is an exciting journey ahead and it extends far beyond where you got off.

Betty Boop and Alamo Girl wrote a book titled Don't Let The Science Get You Down TIMOTHY which I highly recommend to you. They do an excellent job of spanning those two worlds.

I am sure whoever invites you to these threads does so hoping that something will resonate with you. They have only your interest at heart. They don't earn a commission from God for each soul reached. If that is too bothersome to you, you can simply not RSVP.

24 posted on 04/13/2011 2:50:47 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; betty boop
Thank you so very much for sharing your insights, dear brother in Christ, and thank you for your encouragements!

You seem to stop at Newtonian Laws and Mechanics and they continue on to Einsteinian Physics (will you ladies please clean that up for me?) where they see laws much more far reaching.

I would underscore the mathematics which brings not only Geometric Physics to the forefront but also Information Theory, which is a branch of mathematics.

And, primarily, the book is about God.

25 posted on 04/13/2011 9:06:34 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; betty boop; Alamo-Girl
Are you talking about the collective WE

No, so far I have not known two individuals who believed in exactly the same thing.

The rest of your post is nonsequitur, but I will address it via PM.

26 posted on 04/13/2011 9:50:25 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: kosta50
The rest of your post is nonsequitur, but I will address it via PM.

In discussing something which I have already stated is unprovable how can it be any other way?

For you to presume that I got off long before some imaginary desitnation is just pretentious BS on your part.

Is that nonsequiter? Seems to be to me. However, I don't insist that all conversation be a provable statement.

As for Newtonian physics, that’s what we live in. That’s our reality. The rest is theory.

Hasn't the rest, this stuff that is theory, led us to more scientific progress? Isn't that your Gold Standard, that it just works, that you can "do things with it?" Doesn't that theory stuff meet that standard? What about E=MC₂? Did anything ever come of that?

How do you prove happiness, beauty, wonder, glee, peace, serenity, security, sensuousness, loneliness, sorrow, magnificence, and all those other emotions that are a constant part of life? Do you deny they exist because of the inability to prove them? How does one appraise poetry, art, sculpture or music? Aren't they part of life? Yes, they are. They are part of the spiritual side of existence. Many would say that they are what life is all about.

You say love and beauty and the rest are not the same as God, that God and Spirituality are entirely different? How? Each is unprovable. Each has to be experienced to be real. Each is wonderful in its own way. Is it too big a reach to say that one undergirds the rest? Why don't you prove it doesn't?

When discussing things with you, when constantly dealing with your inconsistencies, an old admonition keeps popping into my mine. You probably remember it. It is the one about wrestling with a pig. However, since I am already this muddy, I will close with wishing you well. I encourage you to grab onto to your spiritual nothingness, to embrace it, to love it, to become one with it, to squeeze it hard into even more nothingness. Perhaps, like squeezing a lump of coal, you will come up with a diamond of emptiness.

27 posted on 04/14/2011 8:06:07 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop

I meant to ping you ladies to number 27.


28 posted on 04/14/2011 8:07:35 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; betty boop
Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dear brother in Christ!

As for me - unless I am compelled in the Spirit otherwise, I decline to engage posters who insist on controlling the rules of engagement, including the dictionary and what constitutes proof.

29 posted on 04/14/2011 8:22:34 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl; kosta50
As for me - unless I am compelled in the Spirit otherwise, I decline to engage posters who insist on controlling the rules of engagement, including the dictionary and what constitutes proof.

I think I have finally reached that level. I am a slow learner. I was reluctant to leave a lost soul lying in the ditch but the ditch is where some seem to prefer. The constant repetition of the same old thing finally wore me down. I mistakenly thought that sooner or later being hit in the head with a 2X4 would have the desired effect.

I am currently reading a series of essays by Dr. Thomas Sowell and a couple of them seem to fit his situation. He is talking about Progressives, well more accurately he is talking about Useful Idiots, and the difficulty in reaching them with common sense. He posits that they feel they are on the side of idealism and that they stick doggedly to their world view regardless of any facts which show the error of their ways. He says they prefer the idealized view of the Progressives because it allows them to feel superior to the rest of us. They care more than we do, in their eyes, so they are superior by default and that is more important to them than any real world facts.

I see this situation only slightly different in that kosta50 feels superior to us because of his devotion to "science and reality." Nothing will shake that because it would require him to relinquish his position of superiority.

No, kosta50, I can't prove that but like Rhett Butler, "Frankly, I don't give a damn!"

30 posted on 04/14/2011 8:53:00 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; betty boop
I think I have finally reached that level. I am a slow learner. I was reluctant to leave a lost soul lying in the ditch but the ditch is where some seem to prefer. The constant repetition of the same old thing finally wore me down. I mistakenly thought that sooner or later being hit in the head with a 2X4 would have the desired effect.

LOLOL! I'm a slow learner also and have the scars to prove it.

It appears the most common line of anti-God attack these days is to define "belief" and "knowledge" as mutually exclusive. And once the correspondent has acquiesced to the definition, I suspect in the hopes of actually communicating, the attack continues that for lack of "proof" all beliefs as equally valid. Thereafter, God is mocked and equated to pink unicorns and flying spaghetti monsters.

It is reminiscent of the common line of anti-God attack on the old crevo threads. There the attacker would define "creationism" to mean "Young Earth Creationism" and then argue against those beliefs all the while his correspondents would be patiently trying to explain that "creationism" means a belief in Creation not a particular theological interpretation of Scripture.

In both cases, it was anti-God, and more specifically anti-Christ, activism.

31 posted on 04/14/2011 9:18:49 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; kosta50; Alamo-Girl; Matchett-PI
kosta50 wrote: So, Protagoras was right: the buck stops with man. It all comes down to what we believe is right or wrong.

Then Mind-numbed Robot, you replied: Are you talking about the collective WE, as in what we believe, in general, as a society, or the We individualized into each person? As you know, they are different.

The majority here agree with your view of the Scientific Method and its place and importance in society. No one is doubting you there and no one disagrees with you. We are simply saying there is more to it than that. You seem to stop at Newtonian Laws and Mechanics and they continue on to Einsteinian Physics (will you ladies please clean that up for me?) where they see laws much more far reaching.

Great observation dear MNR re: the distinction between "the collective WE, as in what we believe, in general, as a society," and "the We individualized into each person? As you know, they are different." My impression is that kosta50 utterly rejects the former in principle. I guess that leaves him with the latter.

Which seems to express the idea of man as "atomized ego," a concept that is blind to the idea of man as a "social animal." Indeed, an "atomized ego" looks antisocial on its face. But it is only a pure abstraction anyway, a "formalist reduction" of human nature that answers well to the classical Newtonian observational methods....

Hence, human nature has been transformed from the "biological" to the "mechanical." For some strange reason, this conceptualization of things seems to make kosta feel happy....

Of course, this approach strips out anything about man and the human condition that does not conform with the Newtonian paradigm:

This is the fundamental and yet perennially astonishing hypothesis which stands at the heart of the scientific Weltanschauung: the concept of bifurcation (to use Whitehead's term). More explicitly, what is being bifurcated or cut asunder are the so-called primary and secondary qualities: the things that can be described in mathematical terms, and the things that cannot. Logically speaking, the bifurcation postulate is tantamount to the identification of the so-called physical universe (the world as conceived by the physicist) with the real world per se, through the device of relegating all else (all that does not fit this conception) to an ontological limbo, situated outside the world of objectively existing things. The postulate thus eliminates at one stroke precisely those aspects of the world which prove to be recalcitrant to mathematical description: all elements, that is, which cannot be reduced to extension and number. — Wolfgang Smith, Cosmos and Transcendence

Examples of "excludable elements":
At the level of common sense, it is evident that human beings have experiences other than sensory perceptions, and it is equally evident that philosophers like Plato and Aristotle explored reality on the basis of experiences far removed from perception. The Socratic "Look and see if this is not the case" does not invite one to survey public opinion but asks one to descend into the psyche, that is, to search reflective consciousness. Moreover. it is evident that the primary nonsensory modes of experience address dimensions of human experience superior in rank and worth to those sensory perception does: experiences of the good, beautiful, and just, of love, friendship, and truth, of all human virtue and vice, and of divine reality.... Experience of "things" is modeled on the subject–object dichotomy of perception in which the consciousness intends the object of cognition. But such a model of experience and knowing is ultimately insufficient to explain the operations of consciousness with respect to the nonphenomenal reality men approach in moral, aesthetic, and religious experiences. Inasmuch as such nonsensory experiences are constitutive of what is distinctive about human existence itself — and of what is most precious to mankind — a purported science of man unable to take account of them is egregiously defective. — Ellis Sandoz

I've run on long, and before getting to a final point I'd wanted to make, which gets us back to the Einsteinian vs. Newtonian view of things and their relative "adequacy" in making trustworthy descriptions of the universe. I'd love to get to it, but can only give a brief sketch here.

Think of the world in terms of a hierarchy: macrocosm, mesocosm, microcosm. In the macrocosm (the universe at large, in its totality), relativity theory dominates. In the mesocosm (where man lives and experiences), the classical Newtonian laws come into the fore. In the microworld, we are in the world of quantum physics, with all its "uncertainty," a/k/a "indeterminacy."

The point here is that Newtonian physics "break down" in the macroworld. The very laws of causality break down in the quantum microworld. To say that the full truth of reality is or can be conveyed by Newtonian physics/mechanics is simply nonsense to me, on the foregoing grounds.

Thank you ever so much, dear Mind-Numbed Robot, for your outstanding, insightful, delightful essay/post!

32 posted on 04/14/2011 11:38:56 AM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: betty boop; SeanG200
Socrates' observation goes to the problem of how one can discern what "right" and "wrong" are if the divine standard and measure of morality is a multiplicity of gods who are clearly immoral in their behavior, toward one another and toward man. This almost seems to suggest that a man — Socrates — is the measure, which would validate Protagoras' position. Which Socrates detested.

You got to the root of the argument. Plato is talking about the GREEK gods as a basis for morality, rather than the Judeo-Christian God.

33 posted on 04/14/2011 11:55:55 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: Alamo-Girl; Mind-numbed Robot; Matchett-PI; kosta50
It appears the most common line of anti-God attack these days is to define "belief" and "knowledge" as mutually exclusive. And once the correspondent has acquiesced to the definition, I suspect in the hopes of actually communicating, the attack continues that for lack of "proof" all beliefs as equally valid.

Indeed, dearest sister in Christ! I suppose the Antichrist and his party must "define" belief and knowledge as mutually exclusive. But they never show the reasoning behind this ultimate presupposition of theirs.

A rational person will ask them to do this, before engaging them further.

You aren't going to get anywhere with a person who mocks God and equates Him to "pink unicorns and flying spaghetti monsters" anyway. Such a person would appear quite irrational to me.... Unserious at best.

Plus the idea of "proof" properly belongs to mathematics and logic. There's nothing in the phenomenal world that can be "proved" in this sense — not since Planck's constant, and Gödel's Incompleteness principle became topical.

JMHO FWIW

Thank you ever so much for your wonderful observations, dearest sister in Christ!

34 posted on 04/14/2011 12:07:51 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop
It appears the most common line of anti-God attack these days is to define "belief" and "knowledge" as mutually exclusive.

If one can be convinced to believe in nothing, then one can be convinced to believe in anything. That is exactly why I encouraged kosta to embrace his "nothingness" and to hold it close and squeeze it, for that is all he will ever have.

Also, as we earlier said, the aggressive anti-God attacks are coming from the Marxists/Communists, believers in Dialectical Materialism. The very foundation of DM is a denial of God, a total rejection of God. God is the enemy. In addition, knowledge is class-based. The Proletariat has a different perception of reality than the Bourgeoisie and each reality is true for each group. Then there are the elites who are the only ones that know the 'true truth" and are therefore destined to rule the others. (Talk about a screwed up philosophy! I think we could sell the idea of an Easter Bunny easier than we could convince people of that! Yet, look how many believe it.)

So, naturally, these are the people who would be attempting to obfuscate the issues linguistically.

Inasmuch as such nonsensory experiences are constitutive of what is distinctive about human existence itself — and of what is most precious to mankind — a purported science of man unable to take account of them is egregiously defective. — Ellis Sandoz

Yeah, just like I said. Didn't I say that? If I didn't I sure did mean to. :-)

The importance of that statement relative to what I just said, not what Sandoz said but what I actually said, is that Communism is always soulless, totally lacking in joy and creativity. It is remarkable they had the Bolshoi Ballet. That results from eliminating from life that which makes life worthwhile.

35 posted on 04/14/2011 12:28:56 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; Alamo-Girl; betty boop

As an add-on - even the Bolshoi Ballet is joyless. It is mechanical rather than artistic.


36 posted on 04/14/2011 12:30:45 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; Alamo-Girl; betty boop

While looking for something else I was reminded of the prayer with which I try to start each day. I don’t remember when or where I got it.

Dear God,

Since you are all of experience and are the comprehensive and unfailing Law of the Universe, You have given me all I need to handle all problems and events and have assured me of Your unfailing reliability to continue to do so.

Yours is the Glory, Yours is the Wisdom, and I have absolute faith and trust in You. I worship you with awe, thanks, love and rejoicing.

Amen


37 posted on 04/14/2011 12:48:52 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government!)
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To: PapaBear3625; SeanG200; Alamo-Girl; Mind-numbed Robot; Matchett-PI
Plato is talking about the GREEK gods as a basis for morality, rather than the Judeo-Christian God.

Exactly, PapaBear3625!

Socrates was condemned by a jury of 500 of his fellow citizens (by a margin of some 27 votes) for "corrupting the youth of Athens." So, how did he corrupt them? One gathers he suggested that the Olympians were not good models of morality, or even of reality. The Olympians were just as flawed, just as "disordered" as man. Through this recognition, Socrates "pioneered" monotheism — to the understanding that the order of the Cosmos could not have been established by the Olympians, although supposedly they were responsible for maintaining it. To Socrates/Plato, this clearly pointed to the One God "Beyond" the Cosmos.... That is, to a god who utterly transcends the Cosmos of his making.

Looking back over the whole stretch of human history, this is the second time the concept of monotheism arose. The first was of ancient Egypt and the pharaoh known as Akhnaton, or the Son of the Sun, or Son of the god Aten. He acceded to the throne in 1383 B.C., but didn't rule very long. There is suspicion that he was poisoned. But of course, he had really ticked off the priestly class, what with his insistence on "one" god, rather than the plurality of gods served by the Priests of Thebes.

Anyhoot, this first approximation to "montheism" did not long survive the death of Akhnaton. Egyptian religion and spiritual practice reverted to the "status quo ante" of a pantheon of multiple gods....

Roughly four hundred years before the Incarnation of Christ, it seems Socrates/Plato found the "one God" again. And this time, the concept did not die out.

Indeed, as St. Justin Martyr has told us, the Incarnation of Christ was the "fulfillment" of Greek (classical) philosophy just as much as it was a fulfillment of the Israelite prophecies and history....

Anyhoot, dear PapaBear3625, you are so right (IMHO): The Euthyphro should not be read as a detraction of monotheism or Christianity. It is a "squabble" about the human downside of polytheism.

Thank you ever so much for writing!

38 posted on 04/14/2011 12:53:08 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
Hasn't the rest, this stuff that is theory, led us to more scientific progress?

I don't understand the point of your question. Even alchemy led to more progress. Trials and errors are a learning curve.

How do you prove happiness, beauty, wonder, glee, peace, serenity, security, sensuousness, loneliness, sorrow, magnificence, and all those other emotions that are a constant part of life? Do you deny they exist because of the inability to prove them?

They "exist" as states, just as fatigue, anxiety, etc. They are anecdotal narratives of out psychological state. And no, here is no "happiness" per say, but many feelings that people call 'happiness" that share similar but not necessarily the same characteristics. There is no agreement what success is, happiness, love, etc. is, or even what or who God is.

How does one appraise poetry, art, sculpture or music? Aren't they part of life? Yes, they are. They are part of the spiritual side of existence. Many would say that they are what life is all about.

Sure, in as many meanings and mental forms as there are people. What is art to you may not be art to me. What is love to you may be nothing to me. What is poetry to you may be garbage to me, etc.

You say love and beauty and the rest are not the same as God, that God and Spirituality are entirely different?

When did I say that? And since you are on the subject, what is God?

Each is unprovable. Each has to be experienced to be real. Each is wonderful in its own way. Is it too big a reach to say that one undergirds the rest? Why don't you prove it doesn't?

How do you know you are experiencing God?

I will close with wishing you well. I encourage you to grab onto to your spiritual nothingness, to embrace it, to love it, to become one with it, to squeeze it hard into even more nothingness. Perhaps, like squeezing a lump of coal, you will come up with a diamond of emptiness.

You are so bitter and presumptuous while trying to be sweet. I feel for you.

39 posted on 04/14/2011 1:46:55 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; Alamo-Girl; Matchett-PI
Communism is always soulless, totally lacking in joy and creativity.

Dear brother in Christ, of course Communism is always soulless; for it is an ideological machine....

What a wonderful essay/post you have written, dear brother in Christ! Thank you, oh so very much!

40 posted on 04/14/2011 1:48:45 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; Alamo-Girl
AMEN!!!
41 posted on 04/14/2011 1:50:53 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: Alamo-Girl; Mind-numbed Robot; betty boop
As for me - unless I am compelled in the Spirit otherwise, I decline to engage posters who insist on controlling the rules of engagement, including the dictionary and what constitutes proof.

That sounds pretty controlling to me, AG. It reminds me of the liberal stance of zero tolerance for intolerance...how similar polar opposites can be.

42 posted on 04/14/2011 1:51:00 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; Alamo-Girl; Matchett-PI; kosta50
...an old admonition keeps popping into my min[d]. You probably remember it. It is the one about wrestling with a pig....

LOLOL!!! I do recall that one, dear Mind-numbed Robot!

IIRC, it goes something like this:

Never wrestle with a pig. If you do, you will get all sweaty, and dirty, and probably bloody to boot. But the pig will ENJOY IT....

Thank you ever so much, dear brother in Christ, for your outstanding essay/post! (I so agree with you, on many crucial points.)
43 posted on 04/14/2011 2:36:09 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: kosta50; Alamo-Girl; Mind-numbed Robot; Matchett-PI
That sounds pretty controlling to me, AG. It reminds me of the liberal stance of zero tolerance for intolerance....

Good grief, dear kosta50, just because a particular something "sounds" like something else in your imagination does not make whatever your "something" happens to be, a law of nature. You do not explain your presuppositions; you rarely if ever advance evidence; what you do is: Issue ersatz-divine Fiats....

So you're back to your old tricks — the ones dear Alamo-Girl referenced earlier, and which you have turned into a "pot-calling-the-kettle-black" exercise.... As if there were no difference at all between your basic view of reality, and Alamo-Girl's (and my own).

I suppose in your mind, dear kosta, the two views are perfectly "equivalent" as to their value. Or non-value. It's all the same. For you maintain that there is no ultimate criterion according to which questions regarding moral value can be asked, tested, and answered — let alone questions of Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Justice....

But that's the very point where we part company. Speaking for myself, I have no self-concept as an "atomistic ego." Such a position strikes me as perfectly senseless: It seemingly has no connections to anything outside of itself.

Omigod, but that must be a very lonely existence....

What gives with you, dude? You can't really be enjoying any of this....

44 posted on 04/14/2011 3:05:28 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; Alamo-Girl
I was reluctant to leave a lost soul lying in the ditch but the ditch is where some seem to prefer

So, if someone doesn't subscribe to some tales he or she is "lost" and in the ditch where he/she belongs? Wow. Talk about religious pride!

The constant repetition of the same old thing finally wore me down.

No one asked you.

I mistakenly thought that sooner or later being hit in the head with a 2X4 would have the desired effect.

Why don't you try minding your own business instead of trying to convert convert people to your imagination?

He is talking about Progressives, well more accurately he is talking about Useful Idiots, and the difficulty in reaching them with common sense.

That's the Christian way. Call those who don't buy into your story Useful Idiots. Charitable.

He posits that they feel they are on the side of idealism and that they stick doggedly to their world view regardless of any facts which show the error of their ways.

You mean like "miracles"?

He says they prefer the idealized view of the Progressives because it allows them to feel superior to the rest of us.

Watch out!If they don't buy into your religion they must be "Progressives".

They care more than we do, in their eyes, so they are superior by default and that is more important to them than any real world facts.

Sounds like amateur psychoanalysis to me (with a little mixture of paranoia).

I see this situation only slightly different in that kosta50 feels superior to us because of his devotion to "science and reality."

Not at all. Perhaps only intellectually a tad bit more honest, at least as far as my own doubts are concerned.

Nothing will shake that because it would require him to relinquish his position of superiority.

And what would it take for you?

No, kosta50, I can't prove that but like Rhett Butler, "Frankly, I don't give a damn!"

Then why do you write to me unless you just enjoy throwing barbs at someone simply because he doesn't share your convictions?

45 posted on 04/14/2011 3:10:30 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: betty boop
Good grief, dear kosta50, just because a particular something "sounds" like something else in your imagination does not make whatever your "something" happens to be, a law of nature. You do not explain your presuppositions; you rarely if ever advance evidence; what you do is: Issue ersatz-divine Fiats....

I see you don't like it when it's going your way. Nothing like the taste of one's own medicine. :)

What gives with you, dude? You can't really be enjoying any of this....

Oh, yeah, keep telling yourself that. How can there be happiness outside of your world...it's unimaginable, right? LOL.

46 posted on 04/14/2011 3:20:17 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: kosta50; Mind-numbed Robot; Alamo-Girl
How can there be happiness outside of your world...it's unimaginable, right? LOL.

What do you mean by "outside" of "my" world? And why do you harp on "happiness?"

47 posted on 04/14/2011 3:56:38 PM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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To: betty boop; Mind-numbed Robot; Alamo-Girl
What do you mean by "outside" of "my" world?

The one you live in in your mind, and write about.

And why do you harp on "happiness?"

Why do you harp about "loneliness" and "not being able to enjoy this?" Or are you really that incapable of connecting the dots?

Do me a favor bb, and robot: don't ping me with idiotic topics. Much obligaed.

48 posted on 04/15/2011 9:07:36 AM PDT by kosta50
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To: betty boop
Think of the world in terms of a hierarchy: macrocosm, mesocosm, microcosm. In the macrocosm (the universe at large, in its totality), relativity theory dominates. In the mesocosm (where man lives and experiences), the classical Newtonian laws come into the fore. In the microworld, we are in the world of quantum physics, with all its "uncertainty," a/k/a "indeterminacy."

The point here is that Newtonian physics "break down" in the macroworld. The very laws of causality break down in the quantum microworld. To say that the full truth of reality is or can be conveyed by Newtonian physics/mechanics is simply nonsense to me, on the foregoing grounds.

Very well said, dearest sister in Christ. Thank you!

And thank you for those illuminating excerpts!

49 posted on 04/15/2011 9:24:56 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: kosta50; Mind-numbed Robot; Alamo-Girl
Robot? LOL!

Who's the "real" robot here, kosta50?

When have I ever harped about "loneliness" and "not being able to enjoy this?" (Whatever "this" is?)

Since you never answer my direct questions anyway, I'll "oblige" you by not pinging you to "idiotic topics" in future.

Peace be with you!

50 posted on 04/15/2011 9:42:10 AM PDT by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
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