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Epistemology is a highly important topic, but there are so many modernist errors doing the rounds. Let's see.

There are lots of errors in general.  Unfortunately you push your arguments beyond what can really be proven by them.

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Atheism leads to epistemological nihilism because, if atheism is true, we have no reason to believe the output of our cognitive faculties is reliable. This was noted by C.S. Lewis and has been developed by Alvin Plantinga. Therefore, if we desire to know the truth, and hold that reason is indeed a solid guide to arrive at it, we must recognize atheism is gravely erroneous.

This is indeed a sound argument against materialism (Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism) but not against atheism per se, and Plantinga doesn't present it as such.  They are not the same thing, even if in practice most atheists are materialists.  All that is necessary to justify belief in reliable cognitive faculties is that we are, by nature, rational animals.  Yes, eventually from there atheism can be disproven - but it doesn't come right out of the box.  However, what does come right out of the box are the classical philosophical concepts of quiddity, essence, and form - and once you prove man has a form, you have proven he has a soul.

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The second reason atheism leads to intellectual nihilism is because it leads to crude determinism and the denial of free will. Since all material particles are governed by laws, and operate necessarily, if man was pure matter, he would have no free will.

Quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle and Bell's experiment, etc. show this to be false - at bottom, physical laws are only present in a statistical sense and not in an absolute deterministic sense.

And many philosophers will dispute that determinism implies no free will in the first place (e.g. compatibilist free will) - I think they are wrong and the only free will worthy of the name is libertarian, but even the classical Thomists are compatibilists.

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A simple empirical proof of the soul comes in very well documented and universally known phenomena called veridical NDE's.

This is proof of extra-sensory perception and no more.

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Epistemology deals with how we arrive af the knowledge of the Truth, which Holy Writ teaches us we must do to be saved. The most important knowledge is the knowledge of God and of the soul, of Jesus Christ and of His Love for us. Whoever knows and loves Christ the Lord attains the most necessary knowledge and will save his soul.

And that knowledge is not obtained but through prayer and infused knowledge.  Unaided reason can only get so far.
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"No secular people think the Church has any solutions to the world's problems"

If I were secular, I wouldn't either.
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Good stuff, Jerome.  So happy you are back!
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The Sacred Sciences / Re: Epistemology... or "how do you know it"?
« Last post by Scowler on Today at 01:34:20 PM »
I'm guessing it's because the latter only deals with formal causes, whereas the former deals with both formal causes and efficient causes?

Only the Thomist philosophers care about these "causes". Non-Thomist philosophers and "simple" scientists don't care about it. They are happy with examining the natural causative chains... in other words they are methodological naturalists. Some (or most of them) are metaphysical naturalists, in other words - atheists. :) There is a good reason why there is an inverse correlation between one's scientific degree and religious affiliation. Of course there are many brilliant scientists who are religious in their private life, but they all check that into the cloak room before they enter into the lab.

The latter: Why is water at its highest density at 4 degrees? Answer: Because it is in the nature of water (formal cause) that it should be at its highest density at 4 degrees. Simple enough.

Sure... that is just a different way to refer to a "brute fact". Which is - of course - a repudiation of the "generic" PSR.

The former: Why do celestial objects move according to the laws of gravity? Answer: Because mobility is in their nature (formal cause), and because they are each moved by some mover (efficient cause). <-- And empirical scientists seek to identify this efficient cause? Perhaps it's angels. Perhaps it's something other than angels. Perhaps the celestial objects are self-moving (though I'm not sure that this last one is possible...)

The assumption of external "movers" is negated by Occam's Razor. Maybe there are such "movers", but no scientist assumes them as a working hypothesis.

Now, I think that we should return to the topic of the thread. What kind of epistemological method can be offered for the existence of "supernatural entities"?
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The History Subforum / Re: Anglish
« Last post by Daniel on Today at 01:18:36 PM »
I'd prefer the opposite: romance English, without any germanic words.

Unfortunately, all the small English words are germanic. So I can't really get it work :(
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Ask a Traditionalist / Re: To Leave or Not Leave SSPX
« Last post by ServusMariae on Today at 01:17:45 PM »
Hello, dear SM!
Especially considering your sudden family financial crisis (which sounds rather dire for now), the diocesan TLM sounds more feasible vs complicated (and more expensive?) travel to the SSPX.  Yet, there is the transgender issue.

Is it possible for you to quietly slip in and out, standing/kneeling in the back, without participating with anyone?  I had to do this at a church a few years ago for a short period of time.  It didn't bother me, I was there for Him, not them, and I focused on my missal and/or closed my eyes to avoid distraction.
Would that work?

Why hello, dear Per :)

If I had the power of  invisibility, I could try ... but I guess long before the transgender issue popped up I had issues coming to terms with the archdioceasean TLM community's philosophy/belief of co-existing harmoniously alongside less-than-reverent Novus Ordo masses. Each time after each TLM, I often see the acolytes of TLM helping out acolytes of the Novus Ordo to lunge the N.O mass table back into its place before my very eyes ... & I don't know what to think of it, but I get the vibe that to them, the TLM is something to be experienced for its liturgy, Geogorian chant, fleeting reverence, etc. - instead of seriously treating it as the 1 & Ultimate True Mass of Everything. Oh well ...

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This is a crisis.  You, like many many traditional Catholics, do not have a perfect scenario, but the bottom line is that you need the sacraments.

It's good to know I'm not alone, it seems ... it's consoling, actually. Thank you. :)
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Ask a Traditionalist / Re: To Leave or Not Leave SSPX
« Last post by Miriam_M on Today at 12:53:04 PM »
There's no FSSP in where I live, but the archdiocesan TLM community sprung out from the fruit of an FSSP priest long ago ... yet what to do when they take a "who are we to judge" stance towards LGBT Catholics ... sigh.)

Please clarify.  The FSSP's public position [where you live] on dogmatically sinful sexuality is "Who are we to judge?"

Or is it the diocesan "TLM [lay] community,"  who received their catechesis from diocesan priests and not Traditionalist priests, who is neutral about all sexual expression, even though the Roman Catholic Church has never been neutral about that?

The FSSP is not where she is. Apparently the local TLM community was assisted early on by an FSSP priest or something, but it's not an FSSP parish.

Oh, thank you!  I re-read the sequence, which at first I read too hastily, and now it makes perfect sense.

All the same, everyone, in any country, should understand that "diocesan TLM communities," when led by diocesan clergy, will not necessarily reflect Tradition --  in lay understanding, in official teaching, in homilies, etc.  It looks as if the OP has already unfortunately experienced that, and that is actually a reason for anyone to evaluate the influences within any parish community voicing interest in, or even attending exclusively, a TLM.  Who is the celebrant of those TLM's, and what is his doctrinal training?  And what/how does he teach his flock?  If he does not reflect Tradition and instead pretends some kind of hybrid modernistic concept of Catholicism, bordered on the periphery with Traditional "decoration" (liturgy), then the experience of Tradition will be quite limited for those folks.

Liturgy is not detachable from the teaching behind it and behind the rest of Catholic thought and practice.  It's all of a whole, as I mentioned recently on the forum.  It's a triad of liturgy, doctrine, and spirituality -- all of which, by definition, are pre-V2.  The set of principles informing the TLM is an entirely different (ancient, consistent, reliable, permanent) set of principles from what informs, loosely, the N.O. 
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The Sacred Sciences / Re: Perfect Contrition
« Last post by John Lamb on Today at 12:40:31 PM »
Chestertonian, there are times in the Gospel when Jesus says to people: "your sins are forgiven you", and often before they even outwardly express any kind of repentance. Why is this? It's because they have perfect contrition in their hearts. You can have perfect contrition without even being fully aware of it, I think. There's a reason that we call God, "Our Father". He's not looking to execute us. He's not less loving or forgiving than any earthly father. An earthly father doesn't wait for the most explicit and ceremonious expression of repentance before forgiving his son: the least sign of repentance suffices for him. In the parable of the prodigal son, the father goes out to forgive his son before he even knows that the son is repenting.
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Ask a Traditionalist / Re: To Leave or Not Leave SSPX
« Last post by PerEvangelicaDicta on Today at 12:39:16 PM »
Hello, dear SM!
Especially considering your sudden family financial crisis (which sounds rather dire for now), the diocesan TLM sounds more feasible vs complicated (and more expensive?) travel to the SSPX.  Yet, there is the transgender issue.

Is it possible for you to quietly slip in and out, standing/kneeling in the back, without participating with anyone?  I had to do this at a church a few years ago for a short period of time.  It didn't bother me, I was there for Him, not them, and I focused on my missal and/or closed my eyes to avoid distraction.
Would that work? 
This is a crisis.  You, like many many traditional Catholics, do not have a perfect scenario, but the bottom line is that you need the sacraments.

Xavier made the point:
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You can have a word with the priest there about the Church teaching on unrepentant sinners; but after that it's his responsibility to do more, not yours. You need the sacraments and I think frequent Mass and frequent communion (which Pope St. Pius X, our patron, also encouraged so much) is more important than petty ecclesiastical politics.

What I can assure is that the Holy Ghost will guide you - trust in Him and beg for help.

As an aside, because we have many Novus Ordo family and friends (the EWTN/conservative kind  :D), I have occasion to attend a NO Mass here and there.  I'm witnessing (and hearing about) a resurgence of new guard conservative.  Diocesan younger priests taking over parishes, who pray the TLM privately, and their public Mass prayers and canon are those of the missal, and appropriate sermons that catechize the faithful.  I'm shocked and heartened - or grasping at straws, Idk.  Who knows how the Almighty will bring us out of this crisis.
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Ask a Traditionalist / Re: To Leave or Not Leave SSPX
« Last post by Gardener on Today at 12:30:39 PM »
There's no FSSP in where I live, but the archdiocesan TLM community sprung out from the fruit of an FSSP priest long ago ... yet what to do when they take a "who are we to judge" stance towards LGBT Catholics ... sigh.)

Please clarify.  The FSSP's public position [where you live] on dogmatically sinful sexuality is "Who are we to judge?"

Or is it the diocesan "TLM [lay] community,"  who received their catechesis from diocesan priests and not Traditionalist priests, who is neutral about all sexual expression, even though the Roman Catholic Church has never been neutral about that?

The FSSP is not where she is. Apparently the local TLM community was assisted early on by an FSSP priest or something, but it's not an FSSP parish.
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