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Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able ...

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  • Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able ...

    Guy Consolmagno, Coordinator for Public Relations at the Vatican Observatory, told a news outlet last week that the literal interpretation of the Genesis creation account is ‘almost blasphemous theology. It’s certainly not the tradition of Catholicism and never has been and it misunderstands what the Bible is and it misunderstands what science is.'

    The papal astronomer said he rejects the literal interpretation of Genesis and instead finds truth through “science.”

    “Science is a way of getting close to creation, to really getting intimate with creation, and it’s a way of getting intimate with the creator,” he claimed. “It’s an act of worship.”

    “The search for literalism, the search for absolute truth, isn’t what science is about and it’s not what religion is about.”

    http://christiannews.net/2014/10/20/...t-blasphemous/
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  • #2
    Does anyone understand what is meant by truth that is not absolute? If so, I'd appreciate an explanation or example.
    The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

    [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, I thought that was interesting too, in fact, the reason I posted this story with the quotation of God speaking to Abraham in Genesis. I can't speak for Consolmagno, of course, but one way of understanding this is the typical apophatic theological view that God cannot be defined by the human intellect or speech because he exceeds everything we can know by an infinite degree. Maybe something like that. Not a denial of absolute truth, per se, but rather an affirmation of just how absolute truth really is.
      βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
      ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

      אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

      Comment


      • #4
        Genesis 15,5-6 (NRSV):
        He brought him outside and said,

        “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”

        Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

        And he believed the LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.

        The belief in the future generations of Jews, Christians, Muslims somehow linked to an experience of astronomical awe.
        βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
        ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

        אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

        Comment


        • #5
          Most truths are relative:

          She's pretty.
          He's smart.
          They're a good couple.
          I love my job.

          And the rest are relatively useless.

          Comment


          • #6
            As the Non-Existent One implies one has to be cautious of "absolute truth" from a human (finite) perspective.

            Then again, there are a whole lot of things I don't understand.

            E.g., the fideism of YEC or radical Islam.

            K54

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by robrecht View Post
              Guy Consolmagno, Coordinator for Public Relations at the Vatican Observatory, told a news outlet last week that the literal interpretation of the Genesis creation account is ‘almost blasphemous theology. It’s certainly not the tradition of Catholicism and never has been and it misunderstands what the Bible is and it misunderstands what science is.'

              The papal astronomer said he rejects the literal interpretation of Genesis and instead finds truth through “science.”

              “Science is a way of getting close to creation, to really getting intimate with creation, and it’s a way of getting intimate with the creator,” he claimed. “It’s an act of worship.”

              “The search for literalism, the search for absolute truth, isn’t what science is about and it’s not what religion is about.”

              http://christiannews.net/2014/10/20/...t-blasphemous/
              The ancients who wrote Genesis lived in a pre-scientific culture, and so, in that sense, Genesis is bunk.

              What I would do, if I were Jorge, is understand this simple point. From that perspective, I'd read Genesis* as symbolically telling us how great the creation is, then look though a telescope and remark "Ain't it bludy amazing".

              Jorge does not have to become an atheist like me, and enjoy a BBQd baby each night. He can still appreciate Genesis, understand science, and maintain his dignity. There is hope yet. Never give up on a sinner like Jorge, I say.


              * The Shakespearian version of Genesis that is, namely the KJV.
              Last edited by rwatts; 10-21-2014, 03:34 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                And the rest are relatively useless.
                Such as math?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                  Guy Consolmagno, Coordinator for Public Relations at the Vatican Observatory, told a news outlet last week that the literal interpretation of the Genesis creation account is ‘almost blasphemous theology. It’s certainly not the tradition of Catholicism and never has been and it misunderstands what the Bible is and it misunderstands what science is.'

                  The papal astronomer said he rejects the literal interpretation of Genesis and instead finds truth through “science.”

                  “Science is a way of getting close to creation, to really getting intimate with creation, and it’s a way of getting intimate with the creator,” he claimed. “It’s an act of worship.”

                  “The search for literalism, the search for absolute truth, isn’t what science is about and it’s not what religion is about.”

                  http://christiannews.net/2014/10/20/...t-blasphemous/
                  Yet another RCC M-O-R-O-N - the RCC seems to have an endless supply!

                  The statement by this guy, Guy, is as sophomoric as it is misleading.
                  Unworthy of comment but it WILL do great harm since so many
                  people regard as "Gospel" anything spoken by the "Holy RCC".

                  Oh well ...

                  Jorge

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jorge View Post
                    Yet another RCC M-O-R-O-N - the RCC seems to have an endless supply!

                    The statement by this guy, Guy, is as sophomoric as it is misleading.
                    Unworthy of comment but it WILL do great harm since so many
                    people regard as "Gospel" anything spoken by the "Holy RCC".

                    Oh well ...

                    Jorge
                    With what specifically do you disagree?

                    ETA: Please refrain from abusive language in this thread.
                    Last edited by robrecht; 10-21-2014, 05:17 PM.
                    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rwatts View Post
                      The ancients who wrote Genesis lived in a pre-scientific culture, and so, in that sense, Genesis is bunk.

                      What I would do, if I were Jorge, is understand this simple point. From that perspective, I'd read Genesis* as symbolically telling us how great the creation is, then look though a telescope and remark "Ain't it bludy amazing".

                      Jorge does not have to become an atheist like me, and enjoy a BBQd baby each night. He can still appreciate Genesis, understand science, and maintain his dignity. There is hope yet. Never give up on a sinner like Jorge, I say.


                      * The Shakespearian version of Genesis that is, namely the KJV.
                      Does your personal atheist stance have anything to do with your scientific perspective?
                      βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                      ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                      אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                        Such as math?
                        Math is based on axioms, statements that can't be proved. Math systems are self-contained and are only occasionally applicable to nature.

                        It's a whole a different type of reasoning than vague ANE creation stories that are force fit by "Biblical Scientific Creationists" into a modern understanding of creation (nature).

                        Falling in love is a good example as well.

                        K54

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                          Most truths are relative:

                          She's pretty.
                          He's smart.
                          They're a good couple.
                          I love my job.

                          And the rest are relatively useless.
                          Useless in what way, exactly? Technologically useless, I'd probably go along with that for the most part. But belief in absolute truth(s) is for some people very inspiring, eg, of good moral character and behavior. Note, I am saying it is necessary for such.
                          βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                          ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                          אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                            Useless in what way, exactly? Technologically useless, I'd probably go along with that for the most part. But belief in absolute truth(s) is for some people very inspiring, eg, of good moral character and behavior. Note, I am saying it is necessary for such.
                            And it is only "technologically useless" because it was never intended to be a scientific discourse or read as a science textbook. It (the Genesis creation account) is concerned with conveying theological truths

                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                              And it is only "technologically useless" because it was never intended to be a scientific discourse or read as a science textbook. It (the Genesis creation account) is concerned with conveying theological truths
                              I agree, but I think lao tzu is only talking about absolute truth(s) in general, not the Bible specifically.
                              βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                              ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                              אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

                              Comment

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