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1
Apologetics and Theology / .
« on: November 27, 2016, 12:16:31 pm »
.



This is not the place to argue if there can be a mutual understanding between theists and non theists, or how we can be more open, or Christian, or what not.

This thread assumes the obvious conclusion that intolerance will continue to grow among each group, each ascribing  the other  irrationality, bigotry and lastly (given enough time): unhumanness.

What should we Christians as a social block should be doing?

2
It´s not good, I am somewhat sorry to forecast


It has been over 4 years that I came into this forums looking for clarity and understanding, personal, and, mutual. Since then, I think, I have learned many things about philosophy , theology, and Christianity, in that sense it has been rather satisfactory, but most of it has been my own effort and preparation, to address the subjects and exchanges provided by the forums, in the best way I can, I have read, and, read, and, studied, and watched as much information about these subjects as I can possibly have done, given my obligations and daily tasks, day and night, every moment I have had at hand I have dedicated to learn about them.


I have met some well-informed posters, and, some rather smart ones, but sadly, for the most part, I have met too many uninformed, unwitty participants, that worst of all, think they really have the whole truth under their arm.

Yesterday, I encountered a meme supposedly from a quote from Bill Murray that stated:

"It´s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it´s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person"

This made me think instantly about RF participants on all sides.

At this point it seems to me, after observing the near impossibility to either win arguments, reach agreements, clarify views with one another, that either, most of them are too stupid, we are too stupid, or all of us are too stupid.

Whatever is the case, I think, that the unavoidable conclusion is that even among people who are more educated than the average people, and, are smarter than most others of their fellow citizens and human beings there is no hope of conciliation and mutual understanding.


In the end, it will be reduced to who can push more, and hurt more the other, and all these discussions and exchanges are all for leisure and time spending.



3
Apologetics and Theology / AiL and the KCA , let´s try again.
« on: November 16, 2016, 04:07:57 pm »
Quote from: Atheist
Quote from: Bertuzzi
This is Craig's latest version:

(1) If the universe began to exist, then its beginning has a cause.
(2) The universe began to exist.
(3) The beginning of the universe has a cause.

Well, if that's the chosen form of the argument you'd like me to debunk, so be it.

The short version:

A. In order for premise 2 to be remotely sound, premise 1 would be unsound.
B. In order for premise 1 to be remotely sound, premise 2 would be unsound.
C. In order for both premises to be remotely sound, an equivocation is committed.


The longer version:

Concerning A.:

Based on current human understanding, the only way in which the universe can be said to have "began to exist" is in that it likely had a prime temporal point.  In order for premise 2 to be somewhat sound (read as probably more likely true than false), it would have to read "(2) The universe had a prime temporal point."  In order for the syllogism to be valid, it would have to be reworded as follows:

(1) If the universe had a prime temporal point, then the beginning of the universe had a cause.
(2) The universe had a prime temporal point.
(3) The beginning of the universe had a cause.

Unfortunately, upon doing this, (1) becomes pure speculation and is less likely to be true than its previous form of "If the universe began to exist, then its beginning has a cause." which is itself very controversial.  A syllogism with a premise that has not been established as true (as opposed to just more likely true than false) cannot be said to yield a true conclusion.

Concerning B.:

Premise 1 is basically a version of the PSR.  It's pretty uncontroversial to say that something which changed from a state of not existing to a state of existing, had a cause for that change.  Other meanings are far more controversial, but that one is pretty obvious and what is meant by (1) in the argument.  That meaning makes the first premise pretty uncontroversial, so we can rewrite premise 1 as the following:

(1) If the universe went from a state of not existing to a state of existing, then the beginning of the universe had a cause.

In order to have a valid syllogism with that premise, the argument would have to be rewritten as follows:

(1) If the universe went from a state of not existing to a state of existing, then the beginning of the universe had a cause.
(2) The universe went from a state of not existing to a state of existing.
(3) The beginning of the universe had a cause.

Unfortunately, upon doing this, (2) becomes pure speculation and beyond the current abilities of humans to figure out.  Humans are still incapable of piercing the Planck time to figure out if (2) is even a coherent statement.  Humans are completely incapable of demonstrating that (2) is true or false.  For it to be sound, it must be demonstrably true.  It doesn't meet that criteria, and therefore unsound.

Concerning C.:

From B. above, we have a relatively uncontroversial version of (1), so I'll address that first.  Going from a state of not existing to a state of existing, is beginning to exist.  (1) can be rewritten as "(1) If the universe began to exist, then the universe's existence had a cause."  Under that meaning of "began to exist" (1) is easily accepted as being sound.

From A. above, we have a relatively uncontroversial version of (2), so I'll address that now.  Having a prime temporal point can referred to as beginning to exist.  (2) can be rewritten as "(2) The universe began to exist."  Under that meaning of "began to exist" (2) is easily accepted as being sound.

When we put the "new" versions of (1) and (2) together, we get the following syllogism:

(1) If the universe began to exist, then the beginning of the universe had a cause.
(2) The universe began to exist.
(3) The beginning of the universe had a cause.

As you can see we're left with the original syllogism.  It even makes use of uncontroversial versions of both (1) and (2).  Unfortunately, it uses two different meanings of the phrase "began to exist".  This is the fallacy of equivocation.  If we rewrite the syllogism using the uncontroversial meanings, we're left with:

(1) If the universe sent from a state of not existing to a state of existing, then the universe's existence had a cause.
(2) The universe had a prime temporal point.
(3) The universe's existence had a cause.

With this version, using the uncontroversial versions of the two premises, you can clearly see that the syllogism is invalid.

When people agree to premise 1, they are agreeing that something going from a state of not existing to a state of existing had a cause.  When people (that are adequately informed) agree to premise 2, they are agreeing that the universe had a prime temporal point, not that it went from a state of not existing to a state of existing.  That's the equivocation that can allow two true premises to lead to a false conclusion.  The problem is sloppy language allowing for the equivocation.

*edited because I forgot to capitalize Planck.  Sorry Max


I tend to disagree that "the only way in which the universe can be said to have "began to exist" is in that it likely had a prime temporal point."

And if correct it is false  that the KCA is equivalent to the following rewording:

Quote
(1) If the universe had a prime temporal point, then the beginning of the universe had a cause.
(2) The universe had a prime temporal point.
(3) The beginning of the universe had a cause.

What´s the argument for the conclusion that  "the only way in which the universe can be said to have "began to exist" is in that it likely had a prime temporal point." ?

A Ball, a baby both had a beginning  but they do not seem to prima facie have a prime (1st?) temporal
point

This appears to be a clear missrepresentation of the 1st premise of the Kalam "(1) If the universe went from a state of not existing to a state of existing, then the beginning of the universe had a cause." and thus B fails.

Can you show the equivalence between

(1a) If the universe began to exist, then its beginning has a cause.

(1b) If the universe went from a state of not existing to a state of existing, then the beginning of the universe had a cause.

Beyond just saying they are?

The antecedent of  (1b) is an incoherence while (1a) is perfectly understandable 


Additionally, even if your analysis rendering  of those premises was correct, you seem to be arguing that the prior justification or intuitiveness of the original premises is decreased, because, the analysis appears less intuitive or even justified, what´s the argument for this conclusion?





5

Trump will apoint another right wing judge, after Scalia substituion, and, the court will be considerably bent to the right.

SSM is out, abortions are out, what would be next ?

6

Why can´t they just find stories like this and do their movies on them?

7
Apologetics and Theology / ὤφθη
« on: November 04, 2016, 04:20:07 am »

Thanks to Holy Moly for quoting this interesting excerpt

Quote from: Quoted by Holy Moly
ὤφθη.

"In the New Testament, eighteen of its nineteen occurrences are of supernatural appearances. These include various angelic appearances - Luke 1.11; 22.43; Acts 7.30, 35; the presence of Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration- Mark 9.4; Matt 17.3; Luke 9.31 (Adds HM --an experience specifically called a "vision" in Matt. 17:9 - Were Moses' and Elijah's physical bodies actually there?), tongues of fire - Acts 2.3; Paul’s vision of a man from Macedonia - Acts 16.9 (HM asks --Was the man's body actually standing there?), supernatural appearances of the heavenly Ark of the Covenant, a great red dragon, and a woman clothed with the sun - Rev 11.19; 12.1, 3; and appearances of God or the risen Christ - Luke 24.34; Acts 7.2; Acts 13.31; Heb 9.28; 1 Tim 3.16, and the various accounts of Paul’s encounter with the risen Christ by Luke. The only clear non-supernatural use of the verb in the NT is in Acts 7.26 where Luke narrates the appearance of Moses to two fighting Israelites (Exod 2.13). Josephus, likewise, uses the verb in describing supernatural events: the dramatic appearance of the goddess Isis; the supernatural opening of huge Temple doors;— supernatural events that take place before large numbers of people, such as the miraculous appearance of chariots and troops in armour running around in the clouds over Israel,— and a huge star resembling a sword which stood over Jerusalem." - Mark Finney, Resurrection..., pg. 107, 118.
https://books.google.com/books?id=1FiaCwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA107#v=onepage&q&f=false


Peter wanted to build a tent for each to spend the night, so, I guess their bodies might have been there.

Wasn´t the body of Moses standing there?

One of the narratives where the word is used is the Emmaus narrative, and even if one thinks it is totally fabricated the word is used to describe an encounter with bodily resurrected Jesus, after all,  he is present bodily, with out any doubt, when he was at the table,  took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 

Also, it´s strange that Supernatural is being conflated , automatically, with vision as in allucination.
when what is in question is if Some phenomena can be supernatural, and even vision like,  yet, completely real, and objectively grounded, or more precisely, if what is being reported is being reported precisely enough as an objectively manifested and located phenomena.


Finney on the quoted book talks about the Essenne's view (presented by Josephus), basically, completely throwing away the body, in the afterlife, and, strangely enough he seems to overlap this view over Paul´s own expposition of his, seemingly, completely dismissing the fact that, Paul does exactly the opposite, Paul goes out of his way to retain the Soma  (the body as a whole) after being freed from the sarks (the sinful ) aspect of the body, which I suggest is wrong headed, and instead, it should serve as an stark contrast between an exposition of a view of  the soul surviving, exclusively,  in the after life (the Essene´s view, as presented by Josephus) and a view where definitely the body (the soma with all its enriched aspects : e.g. an espiritualized soma through the nous (the mind?) acceptance of the Holy spirit ) also does survive in the after life (Paul´s 1Cor view), in Paul´s signature antropology.



PS-- 6/nov/ 2016: I was checking, yesterday, Josephus´s account , and, he uses the term "ψυχὰς", that is translated as soul (AFIU) , and it seems to me that if we were to extrapolate this rendering and compared it with paul, immediately, what jumps to one´s "eye"  is that , different from Paul´s account,  here is no concept of the  spiritualized body ("soma pneumatikon") obtaining as a transformation of the "natural" body ( "soma psychikon");




Quote
σπείρεται σῶμα ψυχικόν, ἐγείρεται σῶμα πνευματικόν. Ἔστιν σῶμα ψυχικόν, καὶ ἔστιν σῶμα πνευματικόν.

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is also a spiritual body


 The Essential Greek New Testament For the Absolute Beginner 

Notice the apparent connection between  ψυχικόν (translated in this context as "natural") and the word soul (ψυχὰς).

When ψυχικόν (as least, that´s what it seems to me) is something like the adjectivized form of the noun ψυχὰς, but, I could be wrong, here.   If right, though, it appears that in the Essene´s view (as renedered by Josephus) the ψυχὰς is the thing that survives, the thing that we predicate of, but, in Pauls´view, ψυχικόν (as well as πνευματικόν - the adjectivized form of Spirit (the pneuma)) is what we predicate of the thing that survives death (the soma (body-the whole human)? ).


.
Quote
ψυχικός; psychikós

A ETYMOLOGY: from ψυχή (G5590; soul, life, mind, heart, heartily)

 . The Essential Greek New Testament For the Absolute Beginner



("natural" , it would seem is the "ensouled"ψυχικόν body (soma) with all its failings, and sinful dispositions, in Paul´s view -apparently, For Paul the whole human being has different dichotomous aspects that include, not just the sinful body (the sarks) and the soul (psykis),but also,  the body as a whole ( soma),or psukis), the spirit (pneuma) -- when saved--, the mind (the nous), and the only one be thrown out after salvation was the "sarks".)


Anyways, part of the point is that even if such comparison was appropriate (and I am not saying it is), there would seem to be immense  fundamental differences between what, according to Josephus, the Essene believed, and, what Paul, very probably, believed, taught and very plausibly died for.






8
In an attempt to keep the argument clear, I repeat, here, the basic example about the use of natural kinds in inductive arguments, and, the assignation of evidential support.

Quote from: Natural kinds with an example
We have hypothesis H1: All emeralds are green
We have hypothesis H2: All emeralds are grue
Where Grue :def.  green up until 1 january 1971, and, blue afterwards.
Where Bleen :def. blue up until 1 january 1971, and green afterwards
And then, we have that Green is grue up until 1 jan 1971, and, bleen afterwards
All observations up to 1 january 1971 support both H1 and H2.
What makes the difference?
It is argued that green is the more “entrenched” term.
IOW, (“entrenched” is) that the history of its sociological linguistic use, tell us that it (and any other co-extensional term) has been used plenty in successful inductive inferences, and thus, it is a good candidate to a natural kind (not a socio-linguistic construction).
And given this fact, the evidence goes to support H1.
natural-kinds-an-example

1st argument:

M1: An heterosexual couple life long commitment (successful or failed ones) with prospects of child-rearing their own children, ceteris paribus.

M2: M1 up until t1, and M1 or SSM afterwards

M3: M1 or SSM up until t1, and M1 afterwards

M1: M2 up until t1 and M3 afterwards.


We can take t1 to be something like 1st January 1850 (Or perhaps, it can also be the day SSM was accepted in the U.S, for example), to make the inference clearer.

Hm1: All Marriages are (the natural kind) M1

Hm2: all marriages are (the natural kind) M2

All observations up to t1 support both Hm1 and Hm2.

The suggestion is that M1 is the more “entrenched” term

IOW, that the history of its sociological linguistic use, tell us that it (and any other co-extensional term) has been used more in successful inductive inferences. IOW, it is a good candidate to a natural kind (not a socio-linguistic construction).

When people up to t1 observed marriage relation they thought about it as an M1 and their inferences from it were successful, that they would probably have children, or if did not have them already, soon, that they would be and treat each other in a certain way, that they should behave with others in a certain way (for example, not attempting to have children except with his wife), doing all kinds of successful moral and non-moral inferences, from it.

So, the evidence should go to Hm1

But if Marriage is (identity) M1, Marriage is a natural kind, then, all marriages include some prospects of child-rearing their own children, ceteris paribus. (successful or failed ones).
And no amount of misuse and misunderstanding of what it is would change that, even if increasingly common and accepted by society. (identity )


A preface to my 2nd argument:

Quote from: A Prussean narrative of romantic love.
Doing the right thing is to act in accordance with love, sum total morality is found in love, the answer is in the demand that love itself makes.

Love demands that love take a form that is appropriate (3 way).
Love is a response to reality, adopting a form that fits the reality of the situation (forms and sub forms of love).

Love actively seeks that the form fits, and, this is what allows for commitment.
Some Love forms: fraternal, romantic, filial, etc…

Love´s fundamental aspects:
1.   Benevolence (desire the good to the other)
2.   Appreciation (appreciate the beauty of such and such trait of the person…etc)

3.   (Desired) union

a.   Two types of union:

i.   Formal union (always present in love):  union of mind and will. Intimate knowledge.  The will sees the beloved with full empathy.

ii.   Real (something to be aspired to?):  intellectual conversation, doing stuff together, etc…

1.   Love can exist without it, at a given moment, but not without seeking it

2.   There is a right form (or forms) of union that is seek for each kind of love

a.   Right is to be appropriate to the beloved, to the lover and to the relationship


4.   Reciprocity based on the knowledge that it is good to love me and to be united to me.

Pruss’s framework: Start with the general concept of love, then, you specify the particular forms of love that are relevant to a specific case.

Then we ask, what is it that identifies romantic love between a (heterosexual couple), what is unique to it?
Is it Benevolence? is it appreciation? It does seem that other relations (e.g.  filial, friendship, SSR, etc.) can have very similar expressions with respect to these aspects.

What about union, is there a way in which RL of (Heterosexual couple) is expressed?

Here, the demands that (romantic) love itself does are key  for the right thing being to act in accordance with love, as well as for the sum total morality to be found in love, demands that consist, in general, that love take the form that is appropriate, considering all 3 aspects with respect to the lover, the loved and the relationship, which is consistent with  Love constituting a response to reality, that adopts a form that fits the reality of as given situation (forms and sub forms of love).

Additionally, that the fact that Love actively seeks the form that fits allows for the possibility of commitment. Which in turn potentiates the aspects of love itself



Musings  towards my 2nd argument:

There seems to be a very unique demand, where aside from other relevant telos, there is, at least, one unique telos, namely, the telos of human reproduction, when even as biological organisms work as one system with the same function and goal, a factual instance of human mating, this is how humans mate.

Then, it follows that romantic love, is, at least, a love that seeks a real union of two persons as one organism, in principle, in an unlimited loving commitment to a personal integrated reproductive striving.

Pruss argument goes beyond this conclusion (with additional considerations), and he concludes that “It follows that various sexual acts other than intercourse weather because they are of the wrong sort or they lack the interpersonal dimensions of commitment and integration are not what romantic love seeks for”

Yet, the present argument has a somewhat humbler approach.




The 2nd  argument:

This union aspect of romantic love has a place in time, and, a reduced one at that, and, it can be enriched, and complemented, then: one obvious way in which this excellent good can be enriched is through a commitment of the couple, that further extends their relation through time, and, potentiates the good of reproduction, followed by the good of bringing about a family, through child-rearing the children, product of the (love) relationship as a whole.


But then, an explanation offers itself, to the result of our previous argument, namely, that marriage is described by the propositions “a heterosexual couple life long commitment (successful or failed ones) with prospects of child-rearing their own children, ceteris paribus” and that explanation is that more specifically “Marriage is a loving lifelong commitment (successful or failed ones) to a real union through a personally integrated reproductive striving (successful or failed ones)” Which is just to say that a real union through a personally integrated reproductive striving is an intrinsic (see account of intrinsic property appended at the end) property of marriage.

And if this is correct, In conclusion:

All marriages include in intrinsic fashion a reproductive striving.

Corollary: Marriage is being misunderstood and increasingly abused, today.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quote from: One account of Intrinsic property - SEP
Intrinsic properties.
F is an intrinsic property iff, necessarily, for any x (i): if the ascription of F to x is grounded by a fact containing a constituent y, then y is part of x; and (ii) if the negation of the ascription of F to x is grounded by a fact containing y, then y is part of x
A is grounded by the state of affairs that B iff it is the case that A in virtue of it being the case that B
The relevant notion of grounding is meant to be an explanatory one. Grounding, here,  is meant to be what connects the explanans of an explanation with its explanandum


References:

marriage-is-natural-kind OP

marriage-is-natural-kind some plausible conclusions

natural-kinds-types-relationships-as-token-processes

natural-kinds-an-example

marriage-as-natural-kind

PS: The comments attributed to Pruss are still my rendering of them, and, even though, I think they are somewhere in the area of being correct, they might still unintentionally missrepresent Pruss´s position, so they should not be taken as good ones on the basis of the purported support given by Pruss to them.


Some Evidence

9
Apologetics and Theology / Marriage is a natural kind.
« on: October 30, 2016, 05:03:50 am »
I don´t want to claim authorship of this idea, but, since, It is my rendering of it , I will just mention that I got it from Pruss, in some sense, though it could be the case that the way i am presenting it is not faithful or correct, so, it shouldn´t be taken as good, on the basis of Pruss´s purported support.

Now, any thoughts , questions, objections? I will be happy to engage with.

Quote
Marriage as a kind of relationship is both normatively and non-normatively explanatory.

P1. Inductive reasoning about marriage is appropriate.

P2. There are genuine similarities between marriages,

Especially if we focus normatively and cull outliers (e.i. green card marriage. child marriage.), when, narrowing the field is important in science.

P3. Explanations (normative and non-normative) on the basis of marriage are genuine explanations.

Cm: So, plausibly, marriage is a natural kind.




Reference:

natural-kinds-types-relationships-as-token-processes


natural-kinds-an-example

10
-A natural kind is a type.  It has instances (or tokens). Instances can be:

1. Substance-like:   vertebrate, dog, water, globular cluster, black hole, electron, carbon atom, tectonic plate.
2. Event- or process-like:  earthquake,  tornado, combustion, mitosis, coition, sentinel behavior.
3. The process-like can include processes that have a significant dispositional component, e.g., sentinel behavior in meerkats.

-Relationships are token processes between individuals with significant dispositional components.

1.Some relationship types are socially constituted: congressman–constituent.

2. Some are probably natural kinds: parent–child.

(Pruss)

-References:

Natural kinds with an example and its key features

11
Apologetics and Theology / Natural kinds with an example.
« on: October 29, 2016, 06:47:39 pm »
Quote from: Natural kinds with an example

We have hypothesis H1: All emeralds are green
We have hypothesis H2: All emeralds are grue

Where Grue:def.  green up until 1 jan 1971, and, blue afterwards.
Where Bleen:def. blue up until 1 jan 1971, and green afterwards
And then, we have that Green is grue up until 1 jan 1971, and, bleen afterwards
All observations up to 1 jan 1971 support both H1 and H2.

What makes the difference?
It is argued that green is the more “entrenched” term.

IOW, (“entrenched” is) that the history of its sociological linguistic use, tell us that it (and any other co-extensional term) has been used plenty in successful inductive inferences, and thus, it is a good candidate to a natural kind (not a socio-linguistic construction).


Quote from: Soma attributes of natural kinds
Natural kinds are genuinely explanatory.
1.
     a. Non-normative: Rover has 4 legs because Rover is a dog. (E.g., biology and physics.)
     b. Normative: Rover should have 4 legs because Rover is a dog. (E.g., biology but not physics.)

2. Natural kinds enable inductive inference.
     - Rover and Fido are dogs. Rover has 4 legs. That’s evidence that  Fido does, too.

3. Natural kinds capture genuine similarity... not constituted by how we contingently think about the items under consideration.


12
FYI

John Halpin speaks on Wikileaks email about Catholicism “I’m Catholic.”
Quote
On Wednesday, a flurry of conservative outlets and pundits seized on a new batch of emails published by WikiLeaks, declaring that an exchange allegedly penned by a Hillary Clinton campaign staffer is “anti-Catholic.”
The emails were sent to John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chair, but the exchange occurred between Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s current communications director, and John Halpin, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress,* a liberal think tank. During the back and forth — which have not been officially confirmed and which took place in 2011 — Halpin said, “Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the [Supreme Court] and think tanks to the media and social groups.”
“It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith,” he added. “They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”
Palmieri then allegedly responded that some conservatives are Catholic because they think it’s “the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion.”
Donald Trump’s campaign in particular latched onto the emails, declaring them to be “anti-Catholic” and holding a conference call with press to denounce them. During the call, Jim Nicholson, a Trump surrogate and former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, said the emails “offended me as a Catholic—it left me gasping to hear them say these things in such a shameful, callous way.” Other Trump surrogates then demanded that Clinton fire Palmieri, and uneven Trump supporter Newt Gingrich implied that the exchange was the product of “arrogant left-wing atheists.”
The Trump campaign’s response to the leaks, however, did not appear to acknowledge that Halpin is himself Catholic, or that the majority of American Catholics lean progressive on many issues. ThinkProgress reached out to Halpin for comment. This is his response.
I’m Catholic. My parents are Catholics. I went to a Catholic university. My kids were baptized by their Jesuit uncle and went to Catholic school when they were young. I have conservative Catholic family members. They don’t always agree with my views and I don’t always agree with theirs. But I have always respected people with deeply held religious views and enjoy learning from others with different theological perspectives.
I’m certainly not the best Catholic around and I have some criticisms of Church doctrine, but my Catholic upbringing and education helped to shape my own progressive values and perspective on politics and society.
Now, as a result of apparently hacked emails to my former boss, John Podesta, and misleading reporting about these emails, I’m being falsely accused as an anti-Catholic bigot. With no knowledge of me or my work or my past, people are sending me lovely notes ensuring that I “will burn for eternity in Hell” only after they’ve “pissed on my grave” and “prayed for my damnation.”
Although I cannot authenticate any of the other emails in this hack, I did write this one. If the news organizations promoting stories on this email had bothered to look into the context of the email exchange, it would be clear that my intention in this private note was not to insult Catholics or people of faith, but rather in an admittedly offhanded manner, to make a fleeting point about perceived hypocrisy and the flaunting of one’s faith by prominent conservative leaders.
I’ll provide that context here.
My email to my colleagues was in response to an article in The New Yorker by Ken Auletta on Rupert Murdoch. The author starts off with an account of “an exclusive 18-page spread” in another magazine covering the baptism of Murdoch’s children in Jordan, with celebrities attending including Nicole Kidman and Ivanka Trump, and then proceeds to talk about Murdoch’s relationship with then-managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, Robert Thomson.
Now I don’t care that Murdoch and Thomson raise their kids Catholic. Catholics have great values and a Catholic upbringing provides good guidance about how to live one’s life.
 
 What I reacted to in my email, rightly or wrongly, was the grand public display of Catholicism from a right-wing billionaire who owns a media conglomerate, including Fox News, that routinely assaults the values of the poor, sows racial discord, and attacks immigrants. This seemed inconsistent with what I was taught about Catholic values, so I penned off an email to my other Catholic colleagues.
Likewise, the email I wrote is from April of 2011, just after Paul Ryan released his second budget plan proposing large tax reductions for the rich, severe cuts in social welfare spending, the privatization of Medicare, and the repeal of health care for millions of low-income people — all ideas promoted by Thomson’s newspaper and all concepts that were in my mind and in public discourse at the time.
 
Rep. Ryan and other conservatives often defend their libertarian economic policies as consistent with the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, a dubious link that many Catholics reject. Subsidiarity is a valuable concept for both progressives and conservatives shaping public policy. Anti-poverty and other social welfare efforts are best handled in smaller, more communal settings. But Catholic social teaching is clear that subsidiarity is not the same thing as federalism and central governments play an important role in helping those in need and advancing societal goals. Policies based on subsidiarity must also be balanced with principles of solidarity and the common good.
So, I’m a progressive Catholic who was reacting in a private email to the arguments of leading conservatives who often misuse Catholicism to defend their agenda. Liberals can be just as guilty of this as conservatives. That’s what makes Catholic social teaching powerful — it doesn’t fit squarely within in any one party or ideological movement.
This email wasn’t an exposition on the nature of people’s faith or an expression of contempt for people of faith. It was simply a fleeting reaction from within the Catholic tradition to something I read. That’s the context of this email, none of which has been reported in media accounts that erroneously accuse me of being an anti-Catholic bigot in an attempt to attack my former colleagues for political purposes.
All the individuals in this email chain are respectful and tolerant people who are being unfairly slandered in a fake scandal based on out-of-context accounts of a stolen email exchange I started long ago.
*Editor’s note: Halpin is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP). ThinkProgress operates underneath CAP’s sister organization, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, but is officially editorially independent of both entities.

13
Apologetics and Theology / Ethos, Logos?
« on: October 10, 2016, 10:26:43 pm »
So, I see Pathos working.

Is there still an Ethos and Logos, around?

Or can I ask for the vacant?

14
I´m a non U.S-citizen, so, my opinion is worthless.

But, I do have an opinion.

I think Trump and Hillary are strong evidence that people from the U.S. have lost  (if they ever had one) their moral compass, and, are unable to stand together against what is clearly wrong.

The only option for people with a clear moral compass is to vote blank, and, ask for better choices.

15
Apologetics and Theology / My favorite prayer.
« on: October 04, 2016, 01:54:42 pm »

Psalm 51[a]
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.
18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar

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