Why do Christians get banned at UD?

It looks like I just got banned at UD, which to me it means I have been noticed by “true Christians”, like Barry Arrington, who has proven, time and time again, that he deserves what he stands for…

I know that Sal got banned there too and he is a Christian..

What should we do? Should  we abandon uncommondescent.com all together?

Many have…  Who is left other then the few and the same style of comments appearing regularly?

 

120 thoughts on “Why do Christians get banned at UD?

  1. Acaratia:

    But what do you think God meant when he told the Israelites to take the women as plunder? To protect them and treat them with respect?

    Yes the captives and prisoners had to be treated with respect. One couldn’t just rape the women, the man had to marry her:

    When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

    Deuteronomy 21

  2. All told, Barry is a rather unpleasant piece of work.

    He has found a position at the extremes of bigotry, meanness and dishonesty, all at the same time. Quite an achievement.

  3. YES pUD has problems with thought/speech control.
    yet that doesn’t mean they are always wrong.
    They banned me and were wrong.
    Yet if, i don’t read UD now, is saying Christians agreed with the holocaust or in effect do because of the cannanites then it seems like a malicious accusation.
    Malice doesn’t need to be tolerated. Free thought/speech is demanded of free men in a free country or association of countries.

    There is a freedom of thought/speech problem in the world today.. They can’t juggle freedom of thought/speech while prohibiting/punishing malice in speech/thought.
    Everybody has this problem. On TSZ too. They just do better and possibly have fewer people doing wrong things.
    This j-mac/uD dustup is only a tiny example/sample of a great problem in the western worlds juggling of conflicting conclusions/values in thought/conclusions and speech(its expression).
    Well can folks here do better then everyone else? Smarter? kinder?
    Whats the law?!Whats the equation for speech/thought in public discourse in free nations??!!

  4. *Late to the party*

    @ J-Mac

    Not sure whether it should be commiserations congratulations following your “silent banning” by Barry. Think of all the extra time you’ll have for doing other things! 🙂

  5. “Why does he ban Christians? Same reason he bans anyone else. What does being a Christian have to do with it?”

    I had the exact same question. It question reveals a strange kind of in-group mentality. “We christians have to stick together no matter what, why oh why would Barry ban me?” Almost like J-mac expects that anything goes for people on his “team”.

  6. stcordova: So if God knew each and everyone of the Caananites would be evil, then He could order genocide.

    That’s a really good explanation Sal!!

    Also, I remember reading an explanations that God was waiting for 400 years hoping that the Canaanites and other tribes in that region would change, so that they could be spared…
    If generation after generation everyone was evil, what chance was there for improvement?

    It was a judgment day for them and the Israelites were just executioners…

  7. J-Mac,

    My two cents:

    1. It would have been wise, before drawing a comparison between the Canaanite exterminations and the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews, to declare plainly that the latter would be evil at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances. If you had done that, no-one could have accused you of bobbing and weaving.

    2. Having said that, you are not the only Christian to have been troubled by the Biblical verses you cite, including Numbers 31:17-18 and 1 Samuel 15:1-3, not to mention Deuteronomy 20:13-18. Conservative Christian philosopher Dr. Lydia McGrew wrote a very forthright article about these troubling Biblical verses here, which is well worth reading. Although she’s fairly conservative in her reading of Scripture, Dr. McGrew is not a Biblical inerrantist, and she’s prepared to say that the Bible gets it wrong at times. Fortunately, however, “the killing of Canaanite children is not woven into the warp and woof of Christian theology, doctrine, or ethics.”

    Even Dr. William Lane Craig, who defends the morality of the slaughter passages, is nevertheless prepared to entertain the possibility that “God could not have issued such a command,” in which case “the biblical stories must be false,” although he also points out that “many Old Testament critics are sceptical that the events of the conquest of Canaan ever occurred.” Craig adds: “The question of biblical inerrancy is an important one, but it’s not like the existence of God or the deity of Christ!” If he had to, I think Craig would gladly toss the slaughter passages in the Bible.

    Finally, C. S. Lewis’s thoughts about the slaughter of the Canaanites can be found here, in a very thoughtful article by Ed Babinski. For Lewis, God’s goodness took precedence over Biblical inerrancy. Lewis explicitly rejected the Divine command theory of ethics: “If ‘good’ means ‘what God wills’ then to say ‘God is good’ can mean only ‘God wills what he wills.’ Which is equally true of you or me or Judas or Satan.”

    3. On the Catholic side, Bishop Robert Barron has recently defended the view that the hard texts of the Old Testament, which portray God as commanding violence, are to be understood allegorically, as metaphors for the unceasing struggle we are meant to wage against sin. He correctly points out that the early Church Father Origen (185-254) defended this view. What he omits to mention, however, is that the vast majority of the Church Fathers, including St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas all lined up on the other side, and upheld the justice of the slaughter of the Canaanites and the other peoples killed by the Israelites. (So did John Calvin, but he had the honesty to admit: “The indiscriminate and promiscuous slaughter, making no distinction of age or sex, but including alike women and children, the aged and decrepit, might seem an inhuman massacre, had it not been executed by the command of God. But as he, in whose hands are life and death, had justly doomed those nations to destruction, this puts an end to all discussion.”)

    For St. Thomas Aquinas, murder, adultery and theft are defined as violation of a person’s legitimate claims to their life, their spouse or their property. And human beings have no such legitimate claim against God, according to Aquinas. In his Summa Theologica I-II q. 94 art. 5, (reply to objection 2), Aquinas applies the same logic to the Biblical commandments against adultery and theft: everything (including goods and spouses) ultimately belongs to God.

    Reply to Objection 2. All men alike, both guilty and innocent, die the death of nature: which death of nature is inflicted by the power of God on account of original sin, according to 1 Samuel 2:6: “The Lord killeth and maketh alive.” Consequently, by the command of God, death can be inflicted on any man, guilty or innocent, without any injustice whatever. In like manner adultery is intercourse with another’s wife; who is allotted to him by the law emanating from God. Consequently intercourse with any woman, by the command of God, is neither adultery nor fornication. The same applies to theft, which is the taking of another’s property. For whatever is taken by the command of God, to Whom all things belong, is not taken against the will of its owner, whereas it is in this that theft consists.

    It has to be admitted, also, that the Biblical Conquest narratives in the book of Joshua have been misused by Christians at various times in history, in order to “justify” acts of conquest abroad. Graduate student Anthony Rimell, of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, in a paper entitled, Origen on Conquering ourselves: Reclaiming the Conquest Texts, describes how this misappropriation of the texts occurred (the Spanish conquest, “New Canaan” and the Boers in South Africa being a few examples). Curiously, according to Rimell, the Conquest narratives were invoked not only by the Europeans who occupied New Zealand, but by a Maori Chieftain resisting European occupation!

    In our own time, Pope Francis has denounced even the capital punishment of guilty people as intrinsically immoral. He wasn’t speaking dogmatically, of course, but all the same, his views will influence the next generation of Catholics, as well as future theologians. I think we can say that Aquinas’ view of the slaughter passages in the Bible has been buried, on the Catholic side. And I’m equally sure that Evangelical Christians will never appeal to these verses in the future, given the steps taken by Christians during the past 150 years to overcome the legacy of racism.

    4. Finally, I should add that among the Jews, stories of God’s commanding Moses to wipe out the Canaanites and other peoples were traditionally regarded by the rabbis as valid for their time (after certain conditions had been satisfied), but no longer applicable after the end of the first century A.D., since the peoples who were originally targeted were no longer identifiable (see here and here).

    5. In short: the issues you raise are troubling ones, but moot. The chances of Jews or Christians using these Biblical verses to justify the slaughter of innocent women and children in the future are precisely zero.

  8. J-Mac: Also, I remember reading an explanations that God was waiting for 400 years hoping that the Canaanites and other tribes in that region would change, so that they could be spared…
    If generation after generation everyone was evil, what chance was there for improvement?

    Compounded by the sin of occupying valuable real estate

  9. J-Mac: That’s a really good explanation Sal!!

    It’s a terrible explanation!

    First, it doesn’t follow at all that God would have been justified in allowing the Canaanites to be massacred even if the Canaanites had been evil. If the Canaanites really had been evil, God could have achieved His purposes exactly the same by allowing them to all die peacefully in their beds at a ripe old age, whereupon their souls would be sent directly to Hell for an eternity of torture. There’s no reason at all why God’s plans would have been further advanced by allowing the Canaanites to be massacred.

    Second, the ‘explanation’ assumes the very thing is it supposed to establish. If says that God would have been justified in permitting the massacre of the Canaanites if they had been evil. But the only evidence for the claim that the Canaanites were evil is that God permits them to be massacred. So the whole ‘explanation’ collapses on a logical fallacy.

    Third, the very idea that massacre, ethnic cleansing, and other acts of obvious cruelty and gratuitous violence could ever be justified is precisely what is morally nauseating about theodicy.

    Anyone who can invent “explanations” for why the Canaanites deserved to be massacred would have no trouble inventing spurious explanations for why Jews, Roma, homosexuals, and the disabled “deserved” to be exterminated by the Third Reich, had the Nazis been triumphant.

  10. vjtorley: 1. It would have been wise, before drawing a comparison between the Canaanite exterminations and the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews, to declare plainly that the latter would be evil at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances. If you had done that, no-one could have accused you of bobbing and weaving.

    I set up a trap for Barry but it didn’t work as Barry realized that
    and removed/did allow to publish my follow up comments…

    You can find some clues on this thread if you read carefully…

  11. Sal’s explanation, while ingenious, has to contend with two difficulties:

    1. It assumes that God not only has knowledge of what each of us actually does, but also exhaustive counterfactual knowledge of what each and every human being would do, in every possible circumstance. Nothing less than that would be required, in order for God to conclude that each and every one of the children slaughtered would infallibly turn out bad. Now, while I think some counterfactuals can hold true, even for beings possessing libertarian freedom, the notion that we can be free if there’s some choice that we would make, in every possible situation, is surely absurd. Without the power to do otherwise, in at least some circumstances, there is no genuine freedom.

    2. Some of the women slaughtered would have been pregnant. They would likely have been slaughtered by having their bellies ripped open with a sword – in other words, instant abortion. That’s pretty hard to justify, if one is pro-life.

    Having said that, part of me feels very relieved that the Israelites drove out the peoples that occupied the Promised Land (assuming that the Conquest narratives contain at least a germ of truth). Had they not done so, the history of the world would have been vastly different: we’d probably still be stuck in a world where infanticide was seen as normal, and where polytheism, with all its whimsical irrationality, still prevailed.

  12. Hi J-Mac,

    I notice an ellipsis in comment number 6 on the thread. Hmm. Did anyone manage to capture your comment elsewhere, I wonder, during the brief period before it was edited?

  13. vjtorley: Having said that, part of me feels very relieved that the Israelites drove out the peoples that occupied the Promised Land (assuming that the Conquest narratives contain at least a germ of truth). Had they not done so, the history of the world would have been vastly different: we’d probably still be stuck in a world where infanticide was seen as normal, and where polytheism, with all its whimsical irrationality, still prevailed.

    Wait — you don’t think that an omnipotent God could have guided the world towards a more just and decent civilization without the massacre of a group of people whose “crime” was only to worship a different idol?

    That seems like an odd theology, but I suppose that’s none of my business.

  14. Kantian Naturalist: Third, the very idea that massacre, ethnic cleansing, and other acts of obvious cruelty and gratuitous violence could ever be justified is precisely what is morally nauseating about theodicy.

    Anyone who can invent “explanations” for why the Canaanites deserved to be massacred would have no trouble inventing spurious explanations for why Jews, Roma, homosexuals, and the disabled “deserved” to be exterminated by the Third Reich, had the Nazis been triumphant.

    So true. Imagine the feel of relief of the christian after blindly accepting these obnoxious rationalizations. Disgusting

  15. vjtorley:

    Sal’s explanation, while ingenious, has to contend with two difficulties:

    Thank you for reading and responding. To be frank, I don’t feel comfortable with the explanation I gave. I’m still seeking answers.

    God bless.

  16. vj,

    As an addendum to my last comment, there is the fact that a God being the judge vs. humans being the judge is a different situation. Very troubling are passages where God killed David’s son because he committed adultery with Bathsheba. That is troubling on so many levels. Next, the situation where God was troubling the land of Israel, and David had to make a human sacrifice of Saul’s sons. That is also deeply troubling.

    One may ask, why then would I still be a Christian? The answer is I believe Jesus rose from the dead in fulfilment of the scriptures which contain these troubling passages. I believe I’ve seen miracles worked in the name of Jesus and I have acquaintances and friends who have attested the same.

    So, in relation to the Amalekite and the Caananite genocide, God is acting as the judge, not human courts. We may not know exactly the details of his decision and how it is just, but in the case of the pregnant women being killed, if God rendered the judgement of execution, then the Israelites were only carrying out the sentence, it was not murder.

    And as I pointed out, God did not make this a license for men to satisfy their carnal desires. If men desired a captive woman, they were expected to treat her with a modicum of decency in light of the fact her mother and father and family member were slaughtered.

    So, much that I don’t understand and am still seeking out. All this to say, the God of the Old Testament was indeed a fearful God.

  17. vjtorley:
    Hi J-Mac,

    I notice an ellipsis in comment number 6 on the thread. Hmm. Did anyone manage to capture your comment elsewhere, I wonder, during the brief period before it was edited?

    That’s the initiation of the trap…
    After that my comments disappeared or were never published

  18. Just for the record, I don’t understand why Christians would be concerned about the character of the God of the Old Testament. Isn’t the whole point of Christianity that there needed to be a new revelation of divine intent and purpose? What matters to Christians is what happens in the Gospels, not what happens in the historical books of the Old Testament. Presumably it would be perfectly open for Christians to say that the ancient Israelites just misunderstood what God expected of them and wrote their historical narrative from a perspective informed by that misunderstanding.

  19. vjtorley: 1. It assumes that God not only has knowledge of what each of us actually does, but also exhaustive counterfactual knowledge of what each and every human being would do, in every possible circumstance.

    Even a humans judge after 400 years of evil would sentence the Canaanites to death….
    God is outside of time, which means he can ‘view our future’ if he chooses to do so… its not really future or past for the timeless one, is it?

  20. KN:

    Presumably it would be perfectly open for Christians to say that the ancient Israelites just misunderstood what God expected of them and wrote their historical narrative from a perspective informed by that misunderstanding.

    Yes indeed. But, the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament have a high regard for the Old Testament. Consider this saying by Jesus:

    For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[d] and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’

    Mark 7:11

    which is a reference to this passage in the OT:

    “‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head.

    Leviticus 20:9

    There were numerous passages in the NT that speak reverently of the OT.

    Now of course, one could think both the NT and OT are all inexact myths with some historical facts mixed in. There are a lot of ID proponents who probably think this….

    But, as a purely scientific hypothesis, one could posit the QM God who can work miracles created the human race recently. John Sanford having left behind his atheistic views after achieving fame as an applied geneticist eventually believed the human race is young. His ideas have testable consequences such as the deterioration of the human genome. His research group is actively monitoring developments in gene banks around the world.

    There are other clocks that have testable features at least in principle beyond the genetic ones.

    Though we don’t have all the data we’d like, it’s enough to give me pause at a personal level and consider that what has been handed down in the NT and the OT from (especially from the Dead Sea Scrolls) is inspired by the God who is also predicted by Quantum Mechanics. In my view, the God predicted by Quantum Mechanics is one and the same as the Christian God of the Old and New Testaments. The fact that we can, by inference form Quantum Mechanics, reasonably postulate He is exists, is a Design feature of nature.

  21. Kantian Naturalist: What matters to Christians is what happens in the Gospels, not what happens in the historical books of the Old Testament.

    That’s how it should be.

    Unfortunately, churches and their leaders crave authority. And the find the old testament more useful to that kind of authoritarianism.

  22. Neil Rickert: That’s how it should be.

    Unfortunately, churches and their leaders crave authority. And the find the old testament more useful to that kind of authoritarianism.

    To some extent — I think that the more politically conservative a church or denomination is, the more authoritarian is, and accordingly the more emphasis is put on the Old Testament. (I actually think there’s an anti-authoritarian reading of the Old Testament, but I’m a liberal Reform Jew, so of course I’d think that.) Conversely, the more liberal or leftist a church is, the less emphasis there will be on the Old Testament. I know a few Catholic theologians who are Marxists or anarchists, but that says more about the people I hang out with.

  23. stcordova: Though we don’t have all the data we’d like, it’s enough to give me pause at a personal level and consider that what has been handed down in the NT and the OT from (especially from the Dead Sea Scrolls) is inspired by the God who is also predicted by Quantum Mechanics. In my view, the God predicted by Quantum Mechanics is one and the same as the Christian God of the Old and New Testaments. The fact that we can, by inference form Quantum Mechanics, reasonably postulate He is exists, is a Design feature of nature.

    This is interesting Sal… I’ve never heard it before…

    How exactly does QM predict God?

  24. J-Mac: his is interesting Sal… I’ve never heard it before…
    How exactly does QM predict God?

    By golly, in the 17 years I’ve been in the ID movement, you’re about the only one who’s shown interest in this stuff! I’ve posted on it before at UD, but well, hardly any one cared. Most every one over yonder wanted to talk about ethics, and bash atheists….

    First off here was my post on the topic at UD 8 years ago:

    The Quantum Enigma of Consciousness and the Identity of the Designer

    You’re the only one who has shown interest.

    With some CAVEATS, QM implies God. That is to say, one has to make certain assumptions about what interpretation of QM one accepts. It depends on which interpretation from the following list you pick, but preferably a combination of Copenhagen and von Neuman-Wigner Consciousness collapse. See:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_quantum_mechanics#Comparison_of_interpretations

    The important thing is in the column “Observer Role [is] Causal”, a “yes” must be assumed.

    Ok, so given the experiment you highlighted here with entanglement:
    https://aeon.co/ideas/you-thought-quantum-mechanics-was-weird-check-out-entangled-time

    and Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment involving galaxies here:
    http://www.dhushara.com/book/quantcos/qphil/qphil.htm

    We have the FACT that our observations are RETRO-causal for the direction and behavior of photons. The way astronomers choose to observe photons from other galaxies thousands of years ago affects the course they “choose” to take. The future causes the past, not the other way around. It’s only an illusion we think the reverse (to paraphrase Einstein).

    Now, we only have this influence on small atomic systems and wave particle duality, not things like the nature of matter and who lives or dies or what the stock market will be, or whether Schrodinger’s cat is alive or dead, etc. But, by way of extension, before the universe formed, it is reasonable to suppose an observation in the future by some ULTIMATE OBSERVER (aka God) retro-causally affixed the properties of matter and all the universe.

    Much as I dislike Thomas Acquinas’ writings, he got a few things half right. The Kalaam Cosmological Prinicple is a philosophical idea that argues for a first cause:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_cosmological_argument

    Well, in QM we think of FINAL retro-causes, rather than prior-existing causes. The FINAL cause is God. The benefit of introducing QM into this is that it has the force of physical law behind it, not just philosophical musing of Aristotle.

    To accomplish this, one needs to apply Unified Gauge theory, which unfortunately I’m not familiar with:
    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-662-03323-4_9

    So you take QM, the Copenhagen/Winger Interpretation, Unified Guage theory, and you get this:

    As a physicist, I am aware that quantum mechanics, the central theory of modern physics, is even more deterministic that was the classical mechanics of which Darwin was aware. More than this, quantum mechanics is actually teleological, though physicists don’t use this loaded word (we call it “unitarity” instead of “teleology”). That is, quantum mechanics says that it is completely correct to say that the universe’s evolution is determined not by how it started in the Big Bang, but by the final state of the universe. Every stage of universal history, including every stage of biological and human history, is determined by the ultimate goal of the universe. And if I am correct that the universal final state is indeed God, then every stage of universal history, in particular every mutation that has ever occurred, or ever will occur in any living being, is determined by the action of God.

    Frank Tipler

    See my thread here:
    http://creationevolutionuniversity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=161

    This also make miracles a reasonable possibility. I also do not think QM causes consciousness. A conscious mind is more fundamental to reality than QM. That is also predicted by QM according to Tipler. FWIW, I also doubt Dark Matter and Dark Energy as these are kluges to the Big Bang than actually directly observed entities. I know you have different views, but hey, we don’t have to agree on everything. I’m not like Banny Arrington who take disagreements with his “genius” so combatively.

    So what happened to Tipler who was a respected physicist?

    I discovered this the hard way when I published my book The Physics of Immortality. The entire book is devoted to describing what the known laws of physics predict the far future of the universe will be like. Not once in the entire book do I use anything but the known physical laws, the laws of physics that are in all the textbooks, and which agree with all experiments conducted to date. Unfortunately, in the book I gave reasons for believing that the final state of the universe, a state outside of space and time, and not material should be identified with the Judeo-Christian God. (It would take a book to explain why!) My scientific colleagues, atheists to a man, were outraged. Even though the theory of the final state of the universe involved only known physics, my fellow physicists refused even to discuss the theory. If the known laws of physics imply that God exists, then in their opinion, this can only mean that the laws of physics have to be wrong. This past September, at a conference held at Windsor Castle, I asked the well known cosmologist Paul Davies what he thought of my theory. He replied that he could find nothing wrong with it mathematically, but he asked what justified my assumption that the known laws of physics were correct.

    Frank Tipler
    Uncommon Dissent

  25. stcordova,

    Wow!!! Very Impressive!!!

    This also make miracles a reasonable possibility. I also do not think QM causes consciousness. A conscious mind is more fundamental to reality than QM. That is also predicted by QM according to Tipler. FWIW, I also doubt Dark Matter and Dark Energy as these are kluges to the Big Bang than actually directly observed entities. I know you have different views, but hey, we don’t have to agree on everything. I’m not like Banny Arrington who take disagreements with his “genius” so combatively.

    Well… unlike Barry Arrington, I’m not married to my views… I change them all the time, which is a good thing, I think… 🙂
    I was once told that ‘only the stupid ones don’t change their mind’…:-)
    I don’t think I can change my mind about QM though, because of what Steven Weinberg said about its effects… Remember???

    BTW: have you read
    The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead by Frank J. Tipler?

  26. J-Mac,

    Yes, most of it. It is not as well written as Tipler’s other book with John Barrow, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. That book by Barrow and Tipler partly inspired me to get my MS in Applied Physics where I started taking classes in the late afternoon and early evening in 2007. Since I took only one class at a time, it took a while to finish, but I’m glad I slugged through the math. The most AWFUL class was classical mechanics, Quantum Mechanics was easier (relatively speaking).

  27. vjtorley:

    What he omits to mention, however, is that the vast majority of the Church Fathers, including St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas all lined up on the other side, and upheld the justice of the slaughter of the Canaanites and the other peoples killed by the Israelites.

    I don’t know that it is fair to say that Augustine and Aquinas “lined up on the other side.”

    Here’s what I mean. On the one hand, there is the question of how we are to understand the slaying of the Caananites. This is a matter of exegesis and interpretation, and, as Bishop Barron rightly points out should, per Origen, be understood in terms of the entirety of revelation.

    On the other hand, there is the question of whether or not the command given by God to the Israelites was ‘just’ or not. This is the question Aquinas addresses in the portion of the Summa you quote from. He simply points out that what would be ‘unjust’ for us to do at our own behest, or that of another, is not ‘unjust’ when it comes from God.

    For example, Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents–those killed by Herod because he feared the Christ Child. Well, we could ask why God permitted to Magi to come and bring gifts to the Infant Jesus, but the answer is that God allows such a thing because He has prepared something infinitely greater for those He takes to Himself. Who can know the mind of God? Hence, we must be careful not to substitute our sense of justice for God’s sense of justice.

    Getting back to the two different categories of questions being answered,clearly an answer to one of these questions cannot be considered equivalent to an answer to the the other, and so they should not be put in contradistinction to one another.

    Having listened to Bishop Barron’s explanation, with which I am in full accord, I think he gives the proper ‘interpretation’ of these ‘difficult’ texts: they teach us that in our pursuit of holiness, we cannot abide even the slightest remnant of evil–that is, evil must be radically opposed.

  28. J-Mac:
    stcordova,

    Thanks. Which book would you recommend for me to read?

    I would recommend neither because they are technically brutal, but if you want to be punished, The Antrhopic Cosmological Principle by both Barrow and Tipler.

    Furthermore, Tipler has revised his views in some cases (for the better) and superceded what he said in the Physics of Immortality. He published Physics of Immortality after he co-authored The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, and it was a somewhat awful book.

    That said, I was one of the few ID proponents who saw the value of their work. Even though it was a pro-ID book, many ID proponents trashed it because of some of its radical claims like ID + Many worlds!

    But here is a cute summary of Barrow and Tipler’s viewpoint by someone hostile to their views. It was shockingly accurate for a critic!

    http://www.physics.sfsu.edu/~lwilliam/sota/anth/SAP_FAP.htm

    The Strong and Final Anthropic Principles are probably the most controversial of the many versions of the Anthropic Principle. They have a ring of creationism, a philosophy that has been frowned on by science since Darwin’s day. Despite their borderline scientific status, they have been embraced by the religious among the scientific community, heralded as proof of God’s existence and of science’s final acknowledgment of the fact.

    The SAP is based on the same “cosmic coincidences” as the far more mundane WAP. It cites the same inexplicable and unlikely chance occurrences that make it possible for life to exist in the Universe. Unlike the WAP, however, they attempt to explain why such improbable events occurred, rather than just state what improbable events must have occurred in the Universe to let us be here. They take a position not unlike Aristotle in his use of Final Causes to explain the why of things: the Universe’s end result was to produce us, so the various physical constants and other properties which are pivotal to our existence have to be such that they bring about our existence.

    I don’t have to point out how egotistical that sounds. Looking only at that last sentence, the notion sounds ridiculous. However, those who subscribe to this theory have defended it valiantly. For one thing, the coincidences in the physical constants have yet to be truly explained, except by the SAP and theories like it. As I have said before, many of the conditions and properties in the Universe have precise values, and if these values were changed even very slightly, intelligent life would be completely impossible. And all of these far-fetched coincidences happened together. The Universe certainly seems to have been “made” with life in mind.
    If you were to accept this argument, then the FAP would be the logical conclusion after the SAP, especially if you believe the Participatory Anthropic Principle as well. If the Universe is indeed made for the benefit of intelligence, and the Universe in fact needs intelligent observers to exist, then it would be in the Universe’s “interest” to keep intelligence going. Therefore, according to those who subscribe to this theory, intelligent life will never die out.

    Of course if the Universe was made toward some end, something with enough consciousness and foresight to create so precise a Universe has to have existed, though the idea of a pre-existing creator-god that we cannot observe (and therefore we cannot prove exists) does seem somewhat unscientific. The alternatives, though, have a similar problem. The proposed “many worlds” theory and its variations, which are the long-standing arguments against the SAP and FAP are just as impossible to test as the existence of God, as the worlds they hold up as a rebuttal to the SAP are just as impossible to detect (more on this later). This is a good point, as we really do only have one Universe, our Universe, to consider, no matter how many theoretical ones we construct.

    “As we look out into the Universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the Universe must in some sense have known that we were coming.”
    -F. Dyson

    In addition to the books being obsolete (even according to the authors themselves) and technically almost unreadable, the other reasons I don’t recommend the books is that you’ve actually provided yourself some of the important information, like that experiment on retro-causality. This was a particularly powerful one that involved delayed choice and entanglement.

    https://aeon.co/ideas/you-thought-quantum-mechanics-was-weird-check-out-entangled-time

    That link right there was pretty impressive. AWESOME find on your part.

    But as I said, our observations can only influence things like the direction of photons and behavior of electrons. The hard part of the theories by Barrow and Tipler connect how the Ultimate Observer (not us, but God) actually creates matter in the deep past by God’s observations in the future. That is to say, the beginning of the universe is driven by God’s observation at the end of the universe! We, here in the middle of the beginning and end can only influence a few aspects of reality, like what we see in quantum computing, we can NOT create matter like God can.

    Because everything is ENTANGLED with everything else, the Final Observation by the Ultimate Observer (God) at the end of time, is the Ultimate Entanglement that unifies all things. Just as Tipler said, “UNITARITY”.

    That’s hard math that even I don’t understand — as in Unified Guage Theory.

    If you want a shot at Unified Guage Theory, here is a start:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_theory

    In physics, a gauge theory is a type of field theory in which the Lagrangian is invariant under certain Lie groups of local transformations. One analogy takes a person that can’t go everywhere in an infinite field of graph paper, and this restriction doesn’t change when the graph is moved a certain way that makes it smooth.

    The term gauge refers to any specific mathematical formalism to regulate redundant degrees of freedom in the Lagrangian. The transformations between possible gauges, called gauge transformations, form a Lie group—referred to as the symmetry group or the gauge group of the theory. Associated with any Lie group is the Lie algebra of group generators. For each group generator there necessarily arises a corresponding field (usually a vector field) called the gauge field. Gauge fields are included in the Lagrangian to ensure its invariance under the local group transformations (called gauge invariance). When such a theory is quantized, the quanta of the gauge fields are called gauge bosons. If the symmetry group is non-commutative, then the gauge theory is referred to as non-abelian gauge theory, the usual example being the Yang–Mills theory.

    EESH! I crawled through Classical Mechnaics, and my math skills are so rusty I don’t know that I can write a Lagrangian to save my life. I never studied Lie algebra and the other theories mentioned. I even talked to some professional mathematicians, and this is such a specialized field, few understanding.

    But thanks for your interest. It inspired me to go back to my old QM books and study them. I have a lot to learn and RE-learn!

    Hope that helps. May the Lord Bless you.

  29. PaV: On the other hand, there is the question of whether or not the command given by God to the Israelites was ‘just’ or not. This is the question Aquinas addresses in the portion of the Summa you quote from. He simply points out that what would be ‘unjust’ for us to do at our own behest, or that of another, is not ‘unjust’ when it comes from God.

    Barry’s question was whether there were any circumstances under which the holocaust would be morally acceptable. I think that we would all agree that we cannot envision a case where the attempted extermination of the Jews (or any identifiable group) upon the order of a human being would be morally acceptable or “just”. Just as we could never envision the slaughter of the Canaanites being morally acceptable and “just” if the order came from a human being. Yet, if God commands it, Barry, J-Mac, VJT and many others would classify it as being “just”. The same, therefore, must apply to the holocaust. If it was ordered by God, it must be “just”.

    This whole idea of it being “just” because God knew the future is just dancing on the head of a pin. If this is true, then we have no free will, regardless of this God being timeless nonsense.

    This is all moot as Barry has decreed that the discussion of the Canaanite slaughter is off limits at UD. What a simpering coward.

  30. Acartia:

    I would reread what Thomas Aquinas wrote. If I choose to cut-up my new bicycle so as to build a go-cart out of it, who are you to say to me–as I’m cutting up my bicycle, that what I’m doing is just plain wrong?

    Try this one on for size: God allowed His only-Begotten Son to be scourged, crowned with thorns and nailed to a Cross. Why would He do that?

    Why don’t we rule out immediately the silly and trivial thought that ‘God is sadistic.’
    PaV,

  31. Acartia: Yet, if God commands it, Barry, J-Mac, VJT and many others would classify it as being “just”. The same, therefore, must apply to the holocaust. If it was ordered by God, it must be “just”.

    Today we know what the holocaust of Jews was not ordered by God. There were other ethnic groups that were to be exterminated along Jews as well by the Nazis.
    God has the ability to “look into the future” if He needs to…It doesn’t mean he knows it all.
    If He does know everything then He would have known that Adam and Eve would sin, before he created them… It would make no sense to go on with the creation knowing that it was going to be a failure….

  32. PaV: Try this one on for size: God allowed His only-Begotten Son to be scourged, crowned with thorns and nailed to a Cross. Why would He do that?

    Actually that’s also sadistic AF. That you would use that crap as a counter example is very revealing

  33. PaV: I would reread what Thomas Aquinas wrote. If I choose to cut-up my new bicycle so as to build a go-cart out of it, who are you to say to me–as I’m cutting up my bicycle, that what I’m doing is just plain wrong?

    If you want to equate your bicycle to a human being, that is your call.

    PaV:
    Try this one on for size: God allowed His only-Begotten Son to be scourged, crowned with thorns and nailed to a Cross. Why would He do that?

    Maybe he likes pulling wings off flies as well.

    PaV:Why don’t we rule out immediately the silly and trivial thought that ‘God is sadistic.’

    Why should we rule something out when there is plenty of evidence suggesting that it is true.

  34. J-Mac: Today we know what the holocaust of Jews was not ordered by God.

    How did you come by this knowledge?

  35. dazz: Actually that’s also sadistic AF.

    I guess you have never heard of sacrifice?

    I’ve heard that even in the animal kingdom mothers or fathers sacrifice their lives for their young…

  36. J-mac:

    If He does know everything then He would have known that Adam and Eve would sin, before he created them… It would make no sense to go on with the creation knowing that it was going to be a failure….

    Actualy, he might, imho. The Great Playwright in the sky, just like any playwrite will write a story that has villains and heros and a damsel in distress. The Villain is the serpent, the damsel is humanity, the hero is God. A good story, a beautiful story must have some evil inside it to make the good in it all the better. What great story is there except those that allow the possibility of some evil to enter in.

  37. J-Mac: I guess you have never heard of sacrifice?

    I’ve heard that even in the animal kingdom mothers or fathers sacrifice their lives for their young…

    Some civilizations made human sacrifices, often their own children. Doesn’t it give you the warm fuzzies?

  38. dazz: J-Mac: I guess you have never heard of sacrifice?

    I’ve heard that even in the animal kingdom mothers or fathers sacrifice their lives for their young…

    Some civilizations made human sacrifices, often their own children. Doesn’t it give you the warm fuzzies?

    I would be willing to die for my children, if need be… Can you comprehend what would motivate a father to give his life for a child?
    Is that the same thing as making human sacrifices you have in mind, you think?

  39. J-Mac: I’ve heard that even in the animal kingdom mothers or fathers sacrifice their lives for their young…

    True. But how many sacrifice their children?

  40. J-Mac: I would be willing to die for my children, if need be… Can you comprehend what would motivate a father to give his life for a child?
    Is that the same thing as making human sacrifices you have in mind, you think?

    Of course it’s not “the same thing” but it’s still a better analogy than yours. God supposedly sacrificed his own son (who absurdly, was supposed to be himself).

    The whole idea is ridiculous and gruesome. Probably inspired from the times when human sacrifices were still A-OK

  41. Judges 11:30-31

    “30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,

    31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”

    Human sacrifice FTW!

  42. J-Mac: If He does know everything then He would have known that Adam and Eve would sin, before he created them… It would make no sense to go on with the creation knowing that it was going to be a failure….

    It would have been a pretty boring story without the Fall, just like the story of Jesus. A simple thought by God could have served the same purpose.

  43. newton: It would have been a pretty boring story without the Fall, just like the story of Jesus. A simple thought by God could have served the same purpose.

    But then C. B. DeMille wouldn’t have much to work with.

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