WLT day one part three - WordPress.com

wizzstuffingUrban and Civil

Nov 16, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Origen (3
rd

Century): if it were practically
possible for everyone to abandon the
concerns of daily life and spend their
leisure doing philosophy


then this is
indeed the only path we (Christians)
should be pursuing.



Albert the Great (12
th

/13
th

Century):
when it comes to theology and morals I’ll
read Augustine, but when it comes to
science, I’ll read Aristotle and when it
comes to medicine, I’ll read Galen.


How useful are the following terms today for
explaining things?


Being


Substance


Essence


nature


Logos


Hypostasis (underlying material), individual


Elements: Earth, air, fire and water



Energy


Atoms, particles


Gravity


Nuclear forces


Atomic properties,


Molecular properties


Electromagnetic fields


Inertia, motion, action and reaction


Evolving biological kinds


If God is the creator of all that exists then God
cannot be identified with any part of creation



So technically, none of the things around us
within nature can tell us about God, beyond
saying ‘God is not that’.



Yet we need to talk about God and his
relationship to our world. Are there any ideas
in modern science that can help us?

Ancient science worked within the bounds of
what we can see and experience as human
beings.


Modern science is weird and only works by using
ideas which run counter to our daily
experience of the world


Is there anything here that can help us when we
try to think about God?


The smallest particles of the universe are not
exactly in one place… until you look.

If I’d known about
those damn jumps I’d
never have got
involved.

When we look out into
the universe, the further
we look outwards, the
further into the past we
look.


The faster we travel, the
slower time becomes
for us.



Time





Boundary



of
spacetime



If you want to







stay young,
keep








moving!







Space


O God, strength of those who hope in you.



Graciously hear
our pleas




Since without you mortal frailty can do nothing


Grant us always the help of your grace



That in following your commands we may
please you by our resolve and by our deeds.





The ‘lazy argument’


If there is prophecy and fate, then everything is
already decided, so whatever we choose to do
is what was going to happen anyway. So we
might as well do nothing and save ourselves
the effort.

Epicureans, Sadducees, Cicero: no prophecy, no fate,
humans completely free, complete responsibility.


Essenes

(Jewish group): everything is foreknown and
predetermined, we are all sinners
utterly

dependent on God’s grace.


Stoics (and Pharisees): fate
and
freedom
-

destiny
and

human responsibility.



‘All is foreknown and yet there is freedom of choice’
(Rabbi
Akiva
)

The theological debate about grace (a holy word)
is also a scientific/philosophical debate about
causality (a science word).


It is an important because it affects our ideas
about how free we are to do good and bad, and
how far we should be rewarded and punished.


Are any of our weird scientific ideas able to help
us?


Augustine (relying on Plato and Aristotle) talked
about God being ‘outside time’ and therefore
having a complete view of world history.



Stephen Hawking refers to Augustine’s idea in a
‘Brief History of time’
-

and uses it to give a non
-
theistic account of a universe that is already
complete.

O1


O2


O3


O1

O2

O3



O

W
1


W2


W3

W
1


W2


W3

W
1


W2


W3

ALL HISTORY

ALL HISTORY

ALL HISTORY

ETERNITY

ETERNITY fastest

ETERNITY faster

The History of the universe begins at W1 and ends at W3

Divine foreknowledge does not exclude human freedom

O1


A


O2


O1

A

O2



AO

W
1


W2


W3

W
1


W2


W3

W
1


W2


W3

ALL HISTORY

ALL HISTORY

ALL HISTORY

ETERNITY

ETERNITY fastest

ETERNITY faster

The History of the universe begins at W1 and ends at W3

Divine action does not exclude human freedom

Logos: form, definition, explanation, argument, the
commanding word of God.


Blueprint or Space of Possibility?







The evolution of forms


space for the
emergence of different life forms.



The space for co
-
creation,


creative, human living





The Divine imagination, open to a creative
dialogue with humanity.



Human beings, creatures open to sharing freely in
the realm of creative possibility.


Not even Theology itself, {52} though it comes from
heaven, though its truths were given once for all at
the first, though they are more certain on account of
the Giver than those of mathematics, not even
Theology,
so far as it is relative to us
, or is the
Science of Religion, do I exclude from the law to
which every mental exercise is subject, viz., from that
imperfection, which ever must attend the abstract,
when it would determine the concrete.


For even the teaching of the Catholic Church, in
certain of its aspects, that is, its religious teaching,
is variously influenced by the other sciences. Not
to insist on the introduction of the
Aristotelic

philosophy into its phraseology, its explanation of
dogmas is influenced by ecclesiastical acts or
events; its interpretations of prophecy are directly
affected by the issues of history; its comments
upon Scripture by the conclusions of the
astronomer and the geologist; and its
casuistical

decisions by the various experience, political,
social, and psychological, with which times and
places are ever supplying it.




The Idea of a University,
Discourse 3, part 4.


The Quest continues…