Author Topic: What if Theistic Evolution were true?  (Read 4288 times)

Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2018, 12:35:34 PM »
Unfortunately, it's not a very real possibility scientifically speaking (no matter what Sungenis says), unless God works a continuous set of miracles.

Well, so you say.

I do say.  Burying your head in the sand like an ostrich will not change the evidence.

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Of course, these elements are important, but they are part of exegesis of the text - there are indeed many parts of Scripture which require knowledge of wider historical context and ancient languages in order to understand them properly, no question about that. But these elements are to be evaluated in context of the text and what is it supposed to communicate. Every book of the Bible was written for specific purpose, with intention of communicating a specific message, and the linguistic, historical, etc. framework is to be used in order to understand what is this message.

Agreed.

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To argue for theistic evolution, you'd have to demonstrate that the intention of divinely-inspired author was to teach such a concept in first few chapters of Genesis. Of course, such a claim does not hold up to basic scrutiny.

This is a non sequitur.  All I'd have to demonstrate is that it was not the intention of the Divinely-inspired author to teach scientific truth about how the earth, stars, plants, and animals, came into existence.  If that it is the case, obviously, any scientific theory could be the case.

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That is a different issue altogether - of course, there are parts of the Bible which are metaphorical and literal. There is no problem in interpreting the text in metaphorical way if there are good exegetical reasons for and it does not violate the message of the text and/or the argument being developed.

Yes, but the point is you've a priori decided these texts must be metaphorical based on a philosophical conclusion.  What purely exegetical reason is there to believe "walked" doesn't mean literally "walked"?


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If the context and exegesis indicate that the author was not talking poetically, metaphorically etc., but rather literally, we have to allow Scripture to speak for itself, rather than interpreting it through the lenses of secular and scientific presuppositions. We know that inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture extends to all of its elements, not just theological truths (the opposite opinion was condemned by St. Pius X in Lamentabili Sane), therefore inerrancy includes facts about the world, geography, history, place-names etc. Therefore, if it can be demonstrated through exegesis of Scripture that it teaches something contrary to current scientific dogmas, it is evidence that the scientific claims are wrong, rather than indicating we need to force scientific dogmas upon Scripture.

But that's just the problem. Granted if it was the sacred author's intent to teach truths about the natural world, and if we are correctly interpreting what he is saying about those truths, then indeed a scientific claim contrary to that must be wrong.  But there's that "if" that goes into making those claims.  Analysis of context and exegesis are themselves human disciplines, every bit as fallible as natural science, since they make inferences and in fact in exactly the same manner, and so it's impossible to shield Scripture from "interpretation".  (The multitude of Protestant sects should be enough to convince you of that.)  Scripture hardly "speaks for itself" since it must be interpreted within the framework of analysis of context and exegesis; that's just the way human language is.  And we can only make inferences about context and linguistics thousands of years ago, inferences which in fact are far weaker than those which come from natural science.  You are simply an infallibility for exegesis which does not in fact exist.

This being the case then, scientific evidence which weighs (heavily) against a certain alleged truth about the natural world is evidence that conclusions of exegetes to the contrary are wrong.

 

Offline james03

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2018, 03:39:17 PM »
If Theistic Evolution means God starting with a single cell, then letting evolution run, this is impossible.  Evolution, either with God involved only with the origin, or without God at all is dead.  We are early in the paradigm shift from biochemistry to bio-nanomechanics, but already realize the idea of an amoeba eventually turning into a whale is insane.

However adding God into evolution solves the fatal flaws.  I think the better term would be Evolutionary Creationism.  God supplies the needed information and eliminates the insane odds (with a 100 amino acid small protein, if you allowed one mutation for every second the universe existed, the odds say you never get a functional mutation.  This is one small protein).  You also eliminate the problem of irreducible complexity where there can't be natural selection, and in fact natural selection would work against you.

It's plausible.  If this is the method God chose to create, then I don't have a problem with it.

As far as life forming from primordial goo, that's dead.  But I know you aren't talking about origin, just the evolutionary process after the fact.
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Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2018, 10:20:34 AM »
Please don't straw man.  My real argument is, if there is a satisfactory theodicy for creationism, it will likewise be satisfactory for theistic evolution.  And theodicy does indeed say that there is no fixed amount of evil whatsoever that God could permit and not be omnibenevolent, as long as all that evil were permitted for a greater good.  If this is what you are arguing against, then you arguing against theodicy in itself and not the particular case of creationism vs. theistic evolutionism.

Yes, this seems to have become the case (that I am arguing more against theodicy in itself), so I'll leave this objection to the side for now.  I agree with your concession, "that 'rationalizing a theodicy' (meaning, one sees clearly why it is the case) becomes more difficult the more a given type of evil exists."  True for sure, and in terms of apologetics and evangelization, theistic evolutionists have a much greater mountain of misery to scale than do creationists.  So that's how I was considering the problem.  On the technical point, though, I see what you're saying, and you're correct: if God can permit any evil, whether large-scale or small, this immediately appears to contradict his omnibenevolence, so a theistic evolutionist and a creationist both have the same problem (in principle, if not degree).  To paraphrase Michael Wilson, "as usual, QMR, you've stumped me."  At the very least you've resolved this creationist objection by shifting the problem to "all theodicy" and not just "degrees of theodicy."  Well played.

Maybe the Bible being "Divinely inspired" does not mean that God dictated word-for-word what the sacred authors would write.  Maybe there was a Divine truth the sacred authors were intending to communicate, but were faced with limitations of human language, culture, presuppositions, etc.

"Maybe" indeed, as here you are on shakier ground.  We don't have to expect the bible to be the word-for-word speech of the Almighty.  We do, however, have the expectation that it will possess both truth (whether literally or metaphorically) and clarity (it will not confuse and it will not deceive).  The sacred authors may've been allowed a certain liberty of expression, but inerrancy assures that whatever creative choices they made, they would not bungle the message or get things wrong.  So, for example, if the Quarist supposition is true (that the punishment of sin was retroactively applied to everything before it), then the bible does not reflect this.  If creation was fallen from the get-go, then it is misleading that Genesis says God looked upon creation and "saw that it was good."  An inerrant revelation in accordance with Quarism would read something like, "and God saw that there was much agony and tribulation among the creatures, even death, for the world was cursed from the beginning, on account of the disobedience of the man whom He would make.  God foresaw man's sin, and punished all the world, both before it and afterwards, in accordance with His decree."

Instead, however, the bible gives no indication of a retroactively-applied Fall, and lays out the Fall in an unambiguously linear fashion: after it, things are changed.  It's only in the post-lapsarian scheme that the ground must be worked with sweat and toil, that animals bloodily turn against each other for food.  If things like this were the case before the Fall, then Genesis is deceptive in not saying so, and causing everyone who ever read it for three thousand years, including all the Church Fathers to come to the opposite understanding.  You are forcibly shoe-horning a bizarre novelty of a narrative onto a text that in no way can support it.  Add to this all the other blatant contradictions (such as Adam & Eve having parents in theistic evolution, and the bible, however poetically, saying that they were created specially and mentioning not a whit of parentage) and I'm sorry, you can peddle this stuff, but few people are going to buy it.

You may argue that no one is going to buy creationism either, but statistically speaking, the fundamentalist strains of Christianity are growing, whereas the liberal ones are hemorrhaging faithful.  The Church of England will probably always exist in some capacity as an official state religious institution, but it's theorized that it could be effectively dead as a communion of believers in twenty years.  A self-confessed fallible religion is simply not a good sell.  Saying, "we can chuck the traditional understanding of scripture and tease out new lessons for our current day and age" is pointless, since anyone can get life lessons from any text, whether it's the bible or the Ramayana or the Eddas.  It's especially meaningless if the task is to re-interpret the text to get it to say something the opposite of what it plainly does and always has.  That's what it means to say that fallibility equates with a lack of credibility.

« Last Edit: October 04, 2018, 10:27:09 AM by Pon de Replay »
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2018, 10:22:17 AM »
This is Sacred Sciences subforum, where if you are going to dismiss something as "scholastic rationalization" and "sophistry", you are actually going to have to show how it is the case by reasoned and logical argument (e.g. "semi-scholarly discussion"), and not just merely assert it.  Here are two responses.

When you present actual arguments I will do just that.

And, as expected, you missed the rhetorical point, which is that nobody really lives as if he took such autistic rationalisations of supposed moral truths seriously outside of the schoolroom, and while he might convince himself on an abstract intellectual level that, following from some set of assumptions, it's all well and good and have that deaden his natural innate feelings toward an author of such horrors, the reality of it remains: your "God", so-called, made a world not just of death, suffering and imperfection, but one in which the very principle of sustaining ones own existence consists of a vampiric parasitisation other things, living or not, and decided that the best way to bring about his own future incarnation was to take a bunch of poo-flinging simians and somehow poke their genes here and there over time in the grand bloody rat race so they could outdo their competitors in the killing-game and Adam's great-something bearded grandma could squirt out the first bipedal primate. And then he supposedly has the gall to call his work "good". Your "God", conceived as he is, is a bungling devil, and that's that. There is no pinhead argument that can touch upon the truth of this because its basic moral content that speaks immediately to the heart is not somehting that can be grasped, dissected and "understood" by the rational mind like a logical puzzle or an algebraic equation any more than can love, truth or the merest image of a living cosmos that impinges upon our sensual experience.  "Theistic evolution" is a blasphemy against the Most High.

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Answer 1.  You're equivocating on "before".  Granted, that world was temporally prior to the Fall, but not necessarily ontologically prior to the Fall, God foreknowing the Fall would happen.

I'm not "equivocating" on anything. "Before" in "before the Fall" has one and only one sense and I meant it. Now answer the question.

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An effect can precede a cause in time (though not ontologically), such as is the case with the Immaculate Conception.

And there is a vast difference between bestowing a free gift of grace merited in eternity into the past and making the temporal sin of one man in a sh**hole of God's creation responsible for God having created that sh**hole in the first place. And pigs fly in square circles, I'm sure. The world having been created as it is, as the working of some black devilry as already described, because Adam sinned at a future point, is not just an affront to justice but a freak circus show that places Adam in a world of death, suffering and all-round bungling imperfection and then expects him to show faith and obedience to the being who made it all happen. Yeah, good luck, "God". You, Calvinists and other masochists might be convinced to swallow that schtick.


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Answer 2.  There is plenty of death, violence, and sufferings of innocents in the world after the Fall, some of it recorded in Scripture as happening by God's own express order.  If you have a theodicy which can explain how this can be together with a good and loving God after the Fall, then it should also suffice to explain why this could be the case before the Fall. 

Non sequitur. This man is literally incapable of making any involved argument that proceeds on the basis of making step-by-step valid inferences according to the laws governing such. Just ask him to translate one of these "arguments" into a first-order language and see.

Here's my answer to your content-less assertion: I have yet to see such a theodicy.

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Either suffering of innocents is intrinsically contrary to the goodness and love of God, or it is not.

An irrelevant tautology. Say something meaningful or don't say anything at all.
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2018, 10:29:45 AM »
This is a non sequitur.  All I'd have to demonstrate is that it was not the intention of the Divinely-inspired author to teach scientific truth about how the earth, stars, plants, and animals, came into existence.  If that it is the case, obviously, any scientific theory could be the case.

There is no such thing as "scientific truth" as opposed to other kinds.

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(The multitude of Protestant sects should be enough to convince you of that.)  Scripture hardly "speaks for itself" since it must be interpreted within the framework of analysis of context and exegesis; that's just the way human language is.  And we can only make inferences about context and linguistics thousands of years ago, inferences which in fact are far weaker than those which come from natural science.

As if it were actually possible to quantitfy and measure the "strength" of such inferences. Inferences which you, too, are forced to make, and which are not strengthened by your opinions on natural history with which they have no logical connection.
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2018, 10:41:06 AM »
Maybe the Bible being "Divinely inspired" does not mean that God dictated word-for-word what the sacred authors would write.  Maybe there was a Divine truth the sacred authors were intending to communicate, but were faced with limitations of human language, culture, presuppositions, etc.

Just to re-iterate (and thank you for being honest), this is the same approach to the bible that liberal theologians apply not only to evolution, but everything else.  They say the condemnation of homosexuality in the bible is due to the fact that "St. Paul was limited by his culture and presuppositions.  He was reacting against the orgies of pagan Rome, and did not have a fair understanding of homosexuality as a form of love and commitment."  The minute you open this door, you let in everything, and liberal Christianity becomes inevitable.  It all ends in rainbow sashes.

This also seems to get it backwards in terms of saying that the bible couldn't communicate the truth, but rather had to cater to the presuppositions of ancient Hebrews.  You seem to be saying that God could only give them a revelation of what they presupposed God could reveal.  Does faith, then, depend on how plausible the believer finds the revelation?  It also doesn't explain why the bible had to ignore the Quarist retroactive curse (and in fact it had to say the opposite).  Why would they be presupposed to reject that?  They weren't around at the time of the Fall, so on what grounds would they not find it credible?
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2018, 10:49:45 AM »
Indeed, which is one of the reasons why I consider geocentrism to be a very real possibility. There are strong Scriptural arguments for it.

Unfortunately, it's not a very real possibility scientifically speaking (no matter what Sungenis says), unless God works a continuous set of miracles.

This is a semantic argument.

In order to speak about "geocentrism" to be addressed by physics, one has to present the term in a sense understood by physics, namely of a mechanical model defined by physical concepts, in which those like "centre" and "motion" all have only a relativistic meaning and there is no absolutely "preferred" frame of reference; the results of the Keplerian model can in principle be translated into a system taking Earth as a non-inertial frame of reference that has the same predictive power, just as I can take that "moving" train as "stationary" or even an "accelerating" train as "stationary" and dealing with "virtual" forces. This is all just abstract mathematics used to predict things and addresses nothing whatsoever about essences and their absolute state of affairs.

Stop confusing the Ptolemaic model taking Earth as an inertial frame of reference at the centre of a finite Euclidean space as being equivalent to "the Earth is the unmoving centre of the cosmos".
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2018, 10:56:02 AM »
If you posit the after-effects of the Fall as having also been extended by God to curse everything before the Fall, then what are you contending the fallen world fell from in the first place?  You would be negating the concept of a pre-lapsarian paradise, from which death first entered by sin.  You're saying, in effect, that there was never a paradise to have lost.  It's a nonsensical narrative that anyone could see has been devised ad hoc in order to harmonize with evolution. 

I am sorry but I do not see a rigorous argument here, only a bare assertion followed by a bandwagon approach fallacy.

The bare assertion is that there never was a paradise to have lost, if it never in fact existed.  Your assertion is gratuitous and prima facie fallacious: you might as well argue that if I fail to show up for work and therefore don't earn a paycheck, there was never a paycheck to be lost, since it never existed.

Err ... no, and yours is equivalent to you not giving your employee his paycheck today because you foresee that, a month from now, he's going to stop showing up to work.

I wonder why why the f* he's going to stop showing up ...


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And you never get around to actually showing how this is contrary to a loving and good God if it is in fact the case, while the traditional narrative of the Fall, followed by genocides, a global flood, and "nature red in tooth and claw" is perfectly in accordance with it.

Is the implication here that the narratives of Exodus and Joshua are also non-historical?
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2018, 11:26:16 AM »
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You simply repeat your assertion, without even bothering to address the issue that God (unlike us) has certain foreknowledge of the crime, and while the result is anterior in time to the crime, it is still consequent to it ontologically.  Until you address these issues, I will simply gratuitously deny your gratuitous assertion of "meaninglessness".

God isn't "foreknowing" anything in this instance; he's creating something a hellhole, in which Adam will sin, because of Adam's sin in that hellhole. The "crime" cannot ontologically precede the creation of which that "crime" is a part. Capiche? Placing God outside of time and omniscient doesn't change this. You can squeal and squirm and pull your usual rhetorical manoeuvres, ad hominems and appeals to the authority of concotions of "natural theology", but that's a fact.

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Moreover, in Catholic theology the result of the Fall is not a punishment in the strict sense (unlike certain Protestant versions); it is the deprivation of additional gifts for which man and animals, etc., have no strict right to in virtue of their nature, but not the deliberate infliction of evil.  Catholic theology has to say this because otherwise man is being punished right from birth without him as yet being guilty of anything, and that would be unjust.  But that means, of course, that nature is, qua nature, red in tooth and claw.

Creation of something as it is because of that creation doing what it will do is a logical impossibility, and we don't even need to get into the question of it being a deliberate infliction of evil.

Adam doing something in a world that is already is as it is as a consequence of that doing is an absurdity, and so with the Fall and the world being rotten from the get-go because of. This bears no relation the order of things in the Immaculate Conception or the predestination of reprobates on account of their "foreseen" sins, which are actually sensible concepts and not a meaningless stringing together of words according to syntactic rules by a theological shyster.



 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2018, 12:39:19 PM »
Now, you don't think God literally "walked" corporeally with Adam and Eve in the garden.  But you can't prove directly from the text that it wasn't the intent of the author to mean that.  You assume that he did not and was only speaking metaphorically, because if he did, it would be a philosophical error to say God is corporeal, and Scripture can't contain error.  Similarly with the talking snake, and many other things.

Oh, but I do, and there's no "philosophical error" involved, as it doesn't imply corporeality of the divine ousia any more than does the union of one of its hypostases with a human body.

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But the same arguments apply for natural science as they do for natural philosophy.  To argue otherwise is special pleading.  Thus, if the author didn't intend to communicate truths of natural science (as he didn't intend to communicate truths of philosophy), it doesn't matter if the natural world is different than he thought. 

Here it is again, this "truths of philosophy" and "truths of natural science" and other phrases being intended as something more than mere appellations of propositions made within the fuzzy boundaries of some ill-defined intellectual activities. If "Yahweh walked with Adam" was intended metaphorically, that doesn't mean that the meaning of what was intended by the words does not constitute a "philosophical truth" or "scientific truth" or whatever else you want to call a proposition about actual reality, as opposed to a Jesuitic weasel word like "theological truth" for which we never get an explanation of what it is and what it means for it to be "true".

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That is the standard answer to literal six-day creationism.  We can assume that he did not mean to teach a truth of natural science but was talking metaphorically, poetically, it was a literary form of myth or allegory, etc., because if he did, there would be a scientific error in Scripture, and Scripture can't contain error.

You really have convinced yourself, haven't you, that belief in special creation by fiat ex nihilo, as opposed to evolutionism, only follows from a literalistic reading of the first chapters of Genesis and that metaphor and symbolism are contrary to a narrative being historical, nay, that "myth" is not taking on propositions about actual reality but rather some pie-in-the-sky, airy-fairy crap that is never explained.

But carry on. You love invoking "science" for some reason, but there is no room for you "theistic evolutionist" bumpkins and your theologising in science, not even on the side of intelligent design, and for the life of me I cannot understand why you don't just take your underlying assumptions and mode of thought to their logical conclusion and embrace your real god. I do say "theistic evolutionists" because that's what you are: bowing to the idols, even if not wholeheartedly, of empiricism, physicalism and human reason, and ultimately the image of your own self.

It's pathetic. "Theistic evolutionists" are like "male feminists" creeping up the arses of 5/10 green-haired broads for sexual brownie points but not getting laid like you hope to and losing your dignity to be laughed at by real men at the same time. Evolutionary scientists think you're pathetic, true theists think you're pathetic ... what else is there to say?


 

Offline John Lamb

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2018, 01:50:02 PM »
"Theistic evolution" is a blasphemy against the Most High.

This is my basic conclusion as well, and it's why I oppose it. Atheistic evolution is just absurd; whereas theistic evolution, while not in itself absurd, is blasphemous. Theistic evolution is native to Hinduism; it cannot be reconciled with Catholicism without distorting everything (c.f. Teilhard de Chardin). Creationism is a foundational dogma because only a creationist cosmogony shows forth the goodness of God who became Man for our sake.
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Offline Arvinger

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2018, 02:43:08 PM »
This is a non sequitur.  All I'd have to demonstrate is that it was not the intention of the Divinely-inspired author to teach scientific truth about how the earth, stars, plants, and animals, came into existence.  If that it is the case, obviously, any scientific theory could be the case.

Let's be honest - the sole and only reason why you and theistic evolutionists doubt that the author of Genesis intended to literally describe how earth, humans, animals etc. came into existence is not your exegetical examination of the text, but what modern science says. For hundreds of years nobody, including Catholic exegetes with great knowledge of Hebrew language, arrived to conclusion that Genesis does not intend to communicate literally how the world was created, because there is hardly anything in the text that indicates an allegorical/metaphorical meaning.   

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Yes, but the point is you've a priori decided these texts must be metaphorical based on a philosophical conclusion.  What purely exegetical reason is there to believe "walked" doesn't mean literally "walked"?

I've never conceded that, and I don't think there are sufficient exegetical arguments to interpret this case definitively. There is, however, plenty of exegetical evidence indicating that the author of Genesis wanted to communicate literally how the world was created, and the only reason theistic evolutionists doubt that is not exegesis of the text, but modern science. This is classic example of eisegesis.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
But that's just the problem. Granted if it was the sacred author's intent to teach truths about the natural world,

Again, you doubt it because of what modern science tells you, not exegesis of the text. There is a reason why Catholic exegetes never saw allegorical meaning in Genesis for hundreds of years.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
and if we are correctly interpreting what he is saying about those truths, then indeed a scientific claim contrary to that must be wrong.

I'm glad we are in agreement here. However, you do not follow this. You cast doubts on whether the author of Genesis intended to literally describe how God created the world, but you would never had these doubts without modern science which forces you to look for an allegorical meaning to avoid clash between Scripture and scientific dogmas.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
But there's that "if" that goes into making those claims.  Analysis of context and exegesis are themselves human disciplines, every bit as fallible as natural science, since they make inferences and in fact in exactly the same manner, and so it's impossible to shield Scripture from "interpretation".

Granted. But to make your point you need to present robust exegetical arguments which indicate that the author of Genesis did not intend to describe creation of the world literally. However, we all know that its not exegesis that brought you to this conclusion.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
(The multitude of Protestant sects should be enough to convince you of that.)  Scripture hardly "speaks for itself" since it must be interpreted within the framework of analysis of context and exegesis; that's just the way human language is.  And we can only make inferences about context and linguistics thousands of years ago, inferences which in fact are far weaker than those which come from natural science.  You are simply an infallibility for exegesis which does not in fact exist.

Yes, exegesis is not infallible. But that is the same type of desperate argument that R&R Traditionalists make in regard to Vatican II, which you rightly criticize - "well, Vatican II was not infallible". They are forced to say that because they see a clear contradiction between Vatican II and pre-Vatican II Magisterium. Likewise you are forced to say "well, exegesis is not infallible" because you see a contradiction between literal interpretation of Genesis and modern science. The problem is, exegesis overwhelmingly supports literal interpretation, which you throw under the bus to acommodate modern science and excuse it by a saying "well, exegesis is not infallible".

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
This being the case then, scientific evidence which weighs (heavily) against a certain alleged truth about the natural world is evidence that conclusions of exegetes to the contrary are wrong.

In other words, choosing between fallible exegesis of Biblical text and fallible science you choose science - it is a higher authority for you. That says all, really.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2018, 02:45:17 PM by Arvinger »
 

Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2018, 08:16:24 PM »
Let's be honest - the sole and only reason why you and theistic evolutionists doubt that the author of Genesis intended to literally describe how earth, humans, animals etc. came into existence is not your exegetical examination of the text, but what modern science says.

True, insofar as positive doubt.  But let's have some honesty from the other side too shall we.  What this is really about is whether evidence or authority is to be preferred in making conclusions and inferences.

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For hundreds of years nobody, including Catholic exegetes with great knowledge of Hebrew language, arrived to conclusion that Genesis does not intend to communicate literally how the world was created, because there is hardly anything in the text that indicates an allegorical/metaphorical meaning.   

And if theistic evolutionists are right, then these exegetes were wrong, and we can't have that now can we.  It would mean they missed something in the text indicating an allegorical/metaphorical meaning or a type of literary form employed.  It would mean they are human and fallible.  THAT's what all this is really about.

Of course today (and for a long time previous), Catholic exegetes have and have had no problem with an old earth and Genesis, because science develops and progresses.  New things are learned, and older theories are thrown out.  For hundreds of years no one, even astronomers with great knowledge of the heavens, figured out that planets move in elliptical orbits.  There was hardly anything to suggest it.  From the natural science point of view, it's not surprising a similar thing should happen in exegesis.


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There is, however, plenty of exegetical evidence indicating that the author of Genesis wanted to communicate literally how the world was created, and the only reason theistic evolutionists doubt that is not exegesis of the text, but modern science. This is classic example of eisegesis.

It's a question of how inferences are made from evidence and just how certain is the exegetical inference that the author of Genesis intended to teach scientific truths.  "Plenty of evidence" != "absolutely overwhelming evidence that no one could reasonably doubt".

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Again, you doubt it because of what modern science tells you, not exegesis of the text. There is a reason why Catholic exegetes never saw allegorical meaning in Genesis for hundreds of years...

I'm glad we are in agreement here. However, you do not follow this. You cast doubts on whether the author of Genesis intended to literally describe how God created the world, but you would never had these doubts without modern science which forces you to look for an allegorical meaning to avoid clash between Scripture and scientific dogmas.

You keep begging the question, assuming that the conclusion of a literal scientific meaning is established beyond all doubt from exegesis.  If this is not the case, then it is certainly my prerogative to bring in evidence from other disciplines which casts more doubt on the conclusion.  And you can call an old earth a pejorative "dogma" all you like, but there is in fact abundant and overwhelming scientific evidence for it.

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Granted. But to make your point you need to present robust exegetical arguments which indicate that the author of Genesis did not intend to describe creation of the world literally. However, we all know that its not exegesis that brought you to this conclusion.

No, I don't.  All I have to do is show the exegetical arguments for the other side are not conclusive.

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Yes, exegesis is not infallible. But that is the same type of desperate argument that R&R Traditionalists make in regard to Vatican II, which you rightly criticize - "well, Vatican II was not infallible". They are forced to say that because they see a clear contradiction between Vatican II and pre-Vatican II Magisterium.

It is not the same type of argument.  There is not the same built-in guarantee for exegesis as there is supposed to be for official Church teaching.  It is a human science

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Likewise you are forced to say "well, exegesis is not infallible" because you see a contradiction between literal interpretation of Genesis and modern science. The problem is, exegesis overwhelmingly supports literal interpretation, which you throw under the bus to acommodate modern science and excuse it by a saying "well, exegesis is not infallible".

Well that's of course exactly what I deny.  To have an absolutely conclusive exegesis, and know for sure the intent of the sacred author, you would need to be a mind reader.

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In other words, choosing between fallible exegesis of Biblical text and fallible science you choose science - it is a higher authority for you. That says all, really.

Yes, I was quite sure this was how you would frame the question, namely which "authority" you need to choose from.  That view is false.  Again, if philosophy dictates a certain exegesis (God can't really literally "harden Pharoah's heart") because He cannot be the author of evil, that's fine because philosophy is a "good" discipline; but if it's natural science that's bad.

« Last Edit: October 04, 2018, 08:22:20 PM by Quaremerepulisti »
 

Offline Arvinger

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2018, 01:15:45 PM »
True, insofar as positive doubt.

Thank you for an honest admission.

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But let's have some honesty from the other side too shall we.  What this is really about is whether evidence or authority is to be preferred in making conclusions and inferences.

Sacred Scripture and conclusions based on its exegesis are evidence, which you dismiss because you put greater weight on what scientists say.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
And if theistic evolutionists are right, then these exegetes were wrong, and we can't have that now can we.

Its not about exegetes being wrong, but about the exegetical arguments they presented. They are yet to be refuted by theistic evolutionists, and they probably never will be, because there is hardly anything in first chapters of Genesis indicating an allegorical meaning.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
It would mean they missed something in the text indicating an allegorical/metaphorical meaning or a type of literary form employed.  It would mean they are human and fallible.  THAT's what all this is really about.

Then let theistic evolutionists demonstrate this "something in the text indicating an allegorical/metaphorical meaning" by the means of exegesis of the text. The reality is, they can't do that because the only reason they claim Genesis is allegorical has nothing to do with Sacred Scripture itself. It is an eisegesis based on what scientists say.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
Of course today (and for a long time previous), Catholic exegetes have and have had no problem with an old earth and Genesis, because science develops and progresses. New things are learned, and older theories are thrown out.  For hundreds of years no one, even astronomers with great knowledge of the heavens, figured out that planets move in elliptical orbits.  There was hardly anything to suggest it.  From the natural science point of view, it's not surprising a similar thing should happen in exegesis.

Well, in that case why don't theistic evolutionists back up their claims by exegetical arguments, for example by writing a comprehensive commentary on Genesis exegetically demonstrating how the text was not meant to literally describe how Earth was created, and refuting the arguments of Catholic exegetes who interpreted Genesis literally for hundreds of years? Well, we all know why - because the claims of theistic evolutionists are eisegetical in nature. They are not interested in properly interpreting Genesis in its context, they are interested in acommodating current scientific dogmas into Scripture by whatever means possible.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
It's a question of how inferences are made from evidence and just how certain is the exegetical inference that the author of Genesis intended to teach scientific truths.  "Plenty of evidence" != "absolutely overwhelming evidence that no one could reasonably doubt".

I guarantee you that you would not come to doubt that Genesis was intended to literally describe how Earth and Universe  were created solely on the basis of exegesis and without modern scientific claims (which you admitted).

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
You keep begging the question, assuming that the conclusion of a literal scientific meaning is established beyond all doubt from exegesis.

It is established beyond reasonable doubt, and 2000 years of Catholic tradition demonstrates this very well. Now the burden of proof is on theistic evolutionists to refute the well-established case for literal interpretation of Genesis, by the means of exegesis.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
If this is not the case,

Well, it is you who begs the question here.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
then it is certainly my prerogative to bring in evidence from other disciplines which casts more doubt on the conclusion.
 

First you have to refute exegetical arguments for literal interpretation and make exegetical case for allegorical interpretation. If you do not do that, any attempt to "bring evidence from other disciplines" is nothing but eisegesis - reading into the text your preconceived conclusions based on science which have little to do with the text itself.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
And you can call an old earth a pejorative "dogma" all you like, but there is in fact abundant and overwhelming scientific evidence for it.

For me the age of earth and the issue of theistic evolution are somewhat separate. I reject evolution but accept the possibility of old Earth (which is the position of at least some SSPX priests as well) - although I think a good case for young earth can be made from Genesis.

Quote from: Quareperemulisti
No, I don't. All I have to do is show the exegetical arguments for the other side are not conclusive.

No, the burden of proof is on you, since the exegetical case for literal interpretation is well-established in 2000 years of Catholic tradition. If you do not refute it, it means you dismiss exegetical evidence in favor of scientific evidence.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
It is not the same type of argument.  There is not the same built-in guarantee for exegesis as there is supposed to be for official Church teaching.

Epistemologically speaking, it is. In both cases R&R and you claim that something can be false merely because it is fallible (Vatican II did not meet conditions for infallibility). In both cases, it is insufficient - R&R's need to demonstrate how Ecumenical Council can teach error even within its fallible capacity, you need to demonstrate how 2000 years of exegesis is wrong and demonstrate evidence in favor of allegorical interpretation. Mere assertion "it is not infallible" is not enough. If I were to turn the tables and say "well, scientific evidence is fallible, therefore it is non-conclusive, so I reject it" - would you accept it as a valid argument?

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
Well that's of course exactly what I deny.  To have an absolutely conclusive exegesis, and know for sure the intent of the sacred author, you would need to be a mind reader.

We can know it beyond reasonable doubt without mind reading and have sufficient means to do so, just like we can properly recognize intent of authors of many other historical texts on the basis of their analysis, language, historical context etc. Otherwise, there would be absolutely no point in God giving us Sacred Scripture. 

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Yes, I was quite sure this was how you would frame the question, namely which "authority" you need to choose from.  That view is false.

No, its not about authority, but types of evidence we put greater weight on - exegetical evidence based on the Bible or scientific evidence based on claims of scientists.

Quote from: Quaremerepulisti
Again, if philosophy dictates a certain exegesis (God can't really literally "harden Pharoah's heart") because He cannot be the author of evil, that's fine because philosophy is a "good" discipline; but if it's natural science that's bad.

This argument is a complete strawman. Neither philosophy nor natural science is "good" or "bad" in itself. They can both be used in proper or improper way while doing exegesis. They are used in proper way when they are subordinated to the Biblical text as a tool used to understand the intention or the argument of the inspired author. They are used in improper way when they are used to force upon the text a meaning, intention or argument which was clearly foreign to the inspired author (essentially turning Sacred Scripture into "living text", as leftists do with the US Constitution).
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: What if Theistic Evolution were true?
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2018, 04:44:08 PM »
The way I understand the problem with Galileo, wasn't that he claimed that scientific evidence demonstrated that the parts of Sacred Scripture, where the Earth is described as stationary, and the Sun in motion, were allegorical, or rather were a non-scientific description of observable phenomena; but rather that Sacred Scripture clearly taught that the Sun was stationary and that the Earth was in motion. This defied the plain meaning of the letter of Sacred Scripture, as for example in the book of Josue, where the Prophet orders the Sun to stand still in its course, or in the book of Psalms where it is described as "running its way":  (18,6)"...as a bridegroom coming out of his bride chamber, Hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way:"
Therefore the problem for a person to use S.S. To explain Theistic evolution, is as Arvinger argues, to demonstrate how this theory is compatible with the text; but contrary to the case of the motion/non-motion of the Sun, the Genesis text is not based on observable phenomena, but on the revelation of God to Moses, of history that precedes any human observation.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 04:53:44 PM by Michael Wilson »
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