Saturday, September 28, 2013

For Catholics Fideism is a heresy

Odd position to take for a bunch of faith-heads, don't you think.

Here. 

43 comments:

im-skeptical said...

"The Catholic doctrine on this question is in accord with history and philosophy. Rejecting both rationalism and fideism, it teaches that human reason is capable (physical ability) of knowing the moral and religious truths of the natural order; that it can prove with certainty the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and can acknowledge most certainly the teaching of God; that, however, in the present conditions of life, it needs (of moral necessity) the help of revelation to acquire a sufficient knowledge of all the natural truths necessary to direct human life according to the precepts of natural religion"

- Catholic Encyclopedia: Fideism

Note the church's rejection of rationalism.

But perhaps more to the point is their doctrine on the rule faith, which firmly establishes the church as the "pillar and ground of truth". "If the Church is to exercise her prerogative, she must be able to decide promptly and infallibly any question touching faith or morals."

"I would not believe the Gospels unless the authority of the Catholic Church moved me thereto." - St. Augustine

B. Prokop said...

Skep,

You really need to stop reading and quoting from the so-called "Catholic Encyclopedia". Might I suggest you get a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church? A far, far better source for accurate information on Catholicism.

If you don't want to buy a copy, you can access it for free online HERE.

im-skeptical said...

"You really need to stop reading and quoting from the so-called "Catholic Encyclopedia"."

Funny, the OP referenced the very same article that I did.

Zach said...

Bob what passages do you suggest are in conflict with what Victor linked to (and which im-skep quoted from)?

B. Prokop said...

Zach,

Might I suggest reading instead Chapter Two, Section 2, paragraphs 24-25 and 32-34, from the latest Papal Encyclical, Lumen Fidei? You can access them HERE.

The extracts are too long to either quote or even summarize in a single blog post, but it's an easy read. And unlike the so-called "Catholic Encyclopedia", the encyclical is actually authoritative.

grodrigues said...

@B. Prokop:

What do you think the Catholic Encyclopedia means by rationalism?

B. Prokop said...

Grod,

You have to remember when the self-styled "Catholic Encyclopedia" was written (i.e., before WWI). My take is that the view of rationalism being dealt with in that passage is what Wikipedia describes as follows:

Rationalism, since the Enlightenment, historically emphasized a "politics of reason" centered upon rational choice, utilitarianism, secularism, and irreligion. (my emphasis)

im-skeptical said...

From the same catholic Encyclopedia:

"The term is used: (1) in an exact sense, to designate a particular moment in the development of Protestant thought in Germany; (2) in a broader, and more usual, sense to cover the view (in relation to which many schools may be classed as rationalistic) that the human reason, or understanding, is the sole source and final test of all truth. It has further: (3) occasionally been applied to the method of treating revealed truth theologically, by casting it into a reasoned form, and employing philosophical Categories in its elaboration."

B. Prokop said...

Well, If that's what they mean by rationalism (i.e., "reason ... is the sole source and final test of all truth"), then I have no problem at all in rejecting it.

I have more than one tool in my toolbox. Reason is just one of them, and it's not always the most appropriate one to use.

BenYachov said...

Ironically Hume the father of the very skeptical philosophy that skep & his fellow gnussometime unconsciously channels was also an anti-rationalist.

Indeed most skeptics are anti-rational as was the Atheistic School of Existentialism(the Christian Existentialists where all Fideists).

It was Aquinas that said that reason proceeds faith & also Augustine that said that if the Scripture is interpreted in such a way as to contradict the known Science then we must conclude the interpretation is incorrect. That even includes literal interpretations.

Skept can proof text the Catholic Encylopedia just as he proof texts the Bible. But we all know he doesn't really know what he is quoting.

Reason holds a certain primacy just as Scripture does in Catholic dogma but neither is the sole rule of faith or truth.

Reason was needed to develop Philosophy and Science because you can't discover the natural world using reason alone.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Learn English.

BenYachov said...

I was unaware I was conversing in German or Russian?

Thank you skep for reminding us to speak English.

Now if you would only learn Philosophy & Science..........

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

What is the difference between the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Nothing. Only a change in interpretation and the consequent change in once-cast-in-stone non-negotiable beliefs of Catholics as they are hand-fed by the magisterium.

Both are a wonderful capture of the customs, mores and practices of Catholic observance between that recorded in the Catholic Encyclopedia which reflected the status quo of catholic thought at the beginning of the 20thC and the Catechism of the Catholic Church which reflects current catholic thinking a century later. Both are a wonderful time-encapsulated example of the sad and inexorable journey of Catholic thought as it is dragged kicking and screaming into the contemporary world in an existential effort to remain relevant in an ever-increasingly educated and learned world where the panoply of demons, malevolent spirits, seraphim, nephilim, gods and other poltergeists that go bump in the night along with its fanciful supernatural realm no longer commands fear and trepidation as it once did.

It is interesting to note how effortlessly Bob both rejects and denies the history of the church if it somehow does not reconcile with his own revisionist view of catholic history: "You really need to stop reading and quoting from the so-called "Catholic Encyclopedia". Might I suggest you get a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church? A far, far better source for accurate information on Catholicism."

On the matter of the OP, For Catholics Fideism is a heresy? Who really cares or worries about insignificant stuff that is both inconsequential and irrelevant in a modern world??

B. Prokop said...

"What is the difference between the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Catechism of the Catholic Church?"

I can answer that in one line - the latter is authoritative, the former is not.

When people use quotations from the self-styled "Catholic Encyclopedia" as some sort of debating point, they are firing into the void. Other than by accident, the CE is not representative of my Faith (nor of the beliefs of any other Catholic contributing to this site). I feel no need to defend what it says, and find it by and large completely irrelevant to most issues at hand. (I will acknowledge its utility as a storehouse of historical trivia.) The Catechism, on the other hand, I will gladly accept as an accurate representation of the particulars of the Catholic Faith. No strawmen in that document!

grodrigues said...

@B. Prokop:

"I can answer that in one line - the latter is authoritative, the former is not."

While I understand the answer, you are being overly and needlessly harsh towards the CE, which, despite its old-age showing in some topics it is still a valuable resource for a lot of things, and was produced by a body of competent scholars. As BenYachov pointed out, the criticisms levelled are nothing but a case of quote-mining, showing very little understanding of the issues at stake -- which is no surprise, considering their source.

im-skeptical said...

"the criticisms levelled are nothing but a case of quote-mining, showing very little understanding of the issues at stake -- which is no surprise, considering their source."

Born and raised Catholic. Most of you believers here seem to think that atheists have no idea what religion is about, and it is our lack of understanding that makes us atheists. But you forget that we actually rejected the superstition and dogma that was shoved down out throats for most of our lives. I'm certainly no scholar on the teachings of the church, but I understand enough about it to recognize it for what it is. Just look at the catechism. It's telling you what dogma you are supposed to believe. And what if I did mine a few quotes from the CE. They give a sense of what the church stands for. Have I misrepresented them like crude would do?

BenYachov said...

>Born and raised Catholic.

Which proves grodrigues' point. The rest of us at least those of us that are Americans can testify that our knowledge of Catholicism, Catholic philosophy and dogma wasn't taught to us by the Church. Most of us learned it on our own from various professional Catholic apologists, EWTN, actual Philosophers, Catholic Answers,ETC....

We didn't wait to be taught otherwise we would be as dim as you.

It's an open dirty secret that Catholic religious education in the west sucks out loud.

>I'm certainly no scholar on the teachings of the church, but I understand enough about it to recognize it for what it is.

No basically you come off as an idiot. You are like the YEC fundie with a D level grammar school knowledge of biology trying to impress college senior biology majors with your proof texting.

It's just pathetic!

>It's telling you what dogma you are supposed to believe.

You are clearly implying it is a rejection of reason or a subordination of it. It is no such thing.

It's not condemning the use of reason or the primacy of reason.

>And what if I did mine a few quotes from the CE.

With that sorry arse statement you just summed up why you are a hopeless idiot gnu & will likely remain one your entire life.

B. Prokop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B. Prokop said...

"you are being overly and needlessly harsh towards the CE"

Perhaps. But I wish to make it crystal clear that the CE is in no way, shape, or form an authoritative source. Yes, it is backed up at times by some pretty sound scholarship, but in the end of ends, it has no more "weight" in an argument than something I myself might say. If you want "authoritative" (something I might feel some motivation toward defending, or at least explaining), then please quote the Catechism, an encyclical, or the proceedings of one of the Church Councils (even Trent - I don't scare that easy!).

(Hey! My "prove you're not a robot" word is Sistine! How about that?!)

BenYachov said...

>Perhaps. But I wish to make it crystal clear that the CE is in no way, shape, or form an authoritative source.

I think I know what you mean here Bob.


The CE is NOT a Magisterial document formally issued by the Church.

It's "authority" is comparable to let us say FUNDAMENTALS OF CATHOLIC DOGMA by Ott.

Ott's modest tome is a scholarly collection of the known dogmas and doctrines of the Church & their level of authority up unto 1950.

It's not the same as let us say an Encyclical Letter from Pope Francis or decree or bull from en Eccumenical Council.

Of course either way Scept still doesn't know what he is talking about.

Papalinton said...

"If you want "authoritative" ....., then please quote the Catechism"

Authoritative to whom? on what? Protestants don't defer to it as authoritative. Indeed history has clearly recorded it was the 'authoritarian' rather than the 'authoritative' nature of the catechism that precipitated the schism. Muslims, Jews and Hindus barely raise a yawn. Through study, reason and rational thinking I have come to the conclusion there is simply far too much manufactured superstitious garble and collective opinion in the catechism to be of much value to humanity going forward. It plays no part in my life, my family's life nor my grandchildren's lives and we all are none the sorry for it not being so. I understand the charter and club rules of the Hells Angels' motorcycle organisation is equally authoritative attested by numerous accounts over the years of members existentially paying the price for breaching them. [A bit of persiflage here] I also understand it was not uncommon for catholic heretics and blasphemers to be dealt in like manner of Hell's Angels' heretics, and not so long ago historically that the dust has yet settled.

No Bob, I think you confuse 'authoritative' and 'authoritarian'.

B. Prokop said...

"Authoritative ... on what?"

On Catholicism.

"Protestants don't defer to it as authoritative."

That statement does nothing but demonstrate that you do not understand what I am saying. I am not saying that non-Catholics have to agree with the Catechism - it is utterly irrelevant whether they do or not. That has zero bearing on what constitutes an authoritative statement of Catholic doctrine. TheCatechism is, the EC is not.

"It plays no part in my life"

So what? Again, that has absolutely nothing to do with its being authoritative. I, for instance, have no respect whatsoever for the Doctrine and Covenants, but I recognize it as being an authoritative statement of Mormon doctrine.

"No Bob, I think you confuse 'authoritative' and 'authoritarian'."

No, you're just confused, period.

Victor Reppert said...

What he means is authoritative statements as to what the Catholic Church believes.

What the President of the Mormon Church says is not authoritative so far as what is true is concerned. But it is authoritative with respect to what the Mormon Church teaches.

Papalinton said...

"What he means is authoritative statements as to what the Catholic Church believes. "

And again, so what? The catechism is only authoritative in the most narrowest of senses. It is irrelevant and inconsequential to the broad mass of humanity and plays no part in their daily lives. Even in its halcyon days when Catholicism was the B-all and End-all of everything, in the Western world at least, it governed but a fraction of the world's population, with the vast balance of humanity riven by other authoritative religious dictates.

Fast forward to the 21stC and the authoritative nature of the catechism is but a rump of its former self in its level of power, influence and control. Even most catholics today pay little more than lip service to the edicts of the catechism.

Again, authoritative to whom?

Dan Gillson said...

Your first mistake, Victor, was to assume that Linton wants to have a conversation in good faith.

B. Prokop said...

I agree, Dan. The problem is that sometimes he writes something so colossally stupid (as in this thread) that it's hard to keep silent.

I am getting better, however. More often than not nowadays, I just shake my head in bemusement at his idiocies and move along.

BenYachov said...

I am reminded of a line from Time Bandits when I think of Paps.


Evil One: Oh, [Paps]... Dear [Paps], you are so mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence.

Paps: Oh, you say such nice things, Master.

Evil One: Yes I know, I'm sorry!

Papalinton said...

Hey Folks!
Somewhat off-topic but it looks like archeologically, there was a different Bethlehem at the time of the birth of the apparent Jesus, in Galilee. And that the Davidic Bethlehem may not have even existed at the time of Jesus. READ and LISTEN to this NPR broadcast

Can't vouch for the program content but we live in interesting times, archeologically.

Papalinton said...

In follow-up, HERE is another site, a christian site, commenting on this archeological possibility.

Again just added for interest and comment.

B. Prokop said...

Interesting archaeological discovery, no doubt about it, but also of no relevance to the Birth of Christ.

1. King Herod had no jurisdiction over Galilee at the time of the Incarnation, and therefore would have been unable to dispatch soldiers to slaughter the infants of the Galilean Bethlehem.

2. Luke 2:4 quite explicitly describes a journey from Galilee to Judea, and not to another village in Galilee.

3. On the eight day after the Birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the child to the Temple in Jerusalem to be circumcised (Luke 2:22) - conceivable from a town only a few miles away, but vanishingly improbable from a village in far away Galilee.

4. Matthew 2:1 specifically identifies the birthplace as Bethlehem of Judea, and in the 22nd verse of the same chapter records that Joseph was afraid to return to Judea (not Galilee) from exile in Egypt.

5. Multiple places in John (for instance John 7:41-42) in which it is emphasized that the idea of the Messiah being born in Galilee is absurd.

And if (and I know full well that Linton will so respond) one gives no weight to the Biblical account, then why claim He was born in a town called Bethlehem at all, even one in Galilee? Blatant, unjustified cherry picking!

Papalinton said...

Well. Not strictly a christian site. Rather a mutli-faith [ site. ;o)

Papalinton said...

"And if (and I know full well that Linton will so respond) one gives no weight to the Biblical account, then why claim He was born in a town called Bethlehem at all, even one in Galilee? Blatant, unjustified cherry picking!"

The reason being is that archeological narrative is the antithesis of the Gospel fable. Not only do I not give weight to the biblical account, but neither it seems does archeology.

Biblical 'evidence' once accepted as a factual given now has some enormous holes in its credibility. Little by little, fact by fact, piece by piece, the christian fable is being uncoupled from its apparent factual basis. That is what good scholarship is about. Sorting the grain from the chaff. It seems archeology and other historical investigations are exposing that the narrative fed to believers has indeed been predominately a diet of chaff.

Yes there are pearls of wisdom and good sense in the biblical account. But when one drills down into the mytheme one finds that these are humanist universals that have been appropriated into the story. Heaven forbid, even atheists generally abide by these universal humanist principles, as do Muslims, Hindu and even Scientologists. There is nothing the christian story can tell us about living a good life that we already don't know. My life is as good if not better than most. No jesus fairy on my shoulder.

B. Prokop said...

"but neither it seems does archeology"

Not at all, not at all. The article you first linked to (which merely repeated info I'd already heard elsewhere) is nothing more than pure speculation, with no hard data whatsoever to back it up. This is yet another all too common example of someone wanting to make a name for himself with a controversial theory. After all, what press would Aviram Oshri get were he to announce, "Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea"? Well... you know the answer to that. St. Paul warned us of such (I'll even quote him in English for you): "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths." (my emphasis)

This is a story we have sadly heard before (and I suspect we will hear many times again). Note what I wrote to Skep in a thread below this one. Without the virtue of Faith, one is swayed by the lightest puff of breeze of fashionable "teaching". And all too many self-styled "skeptics" will eat this stuff up without any genuine skepticism whatsoever, because they so desperately want the alternative to not be true.

If it were not so tragic, it might otherwise be funny. As it is, it's merely pathetic.

Papalinton said...

"St. Paul warned us of such (I'll even quote him in English for you): "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths." (my emphasis)"

And is that what you say of Islam? After 600 years of christian domination in the Middle East, the subjugated disenfranchised said, "Enough already of this Christian garble. Muhammad has recorded directly from God the true vision of his love." And as a consequence of the truth of Islam christianity was booted out of the Middle East, with no more than a wizened rump doggedly remaining.

Is this what St Paul was talking about in your revisionist interpretation of his message? Is this the prophecy of St Paul on the coming of the Muslim world? How do you convince a Muslim that St Paul foretold that " having itching ears he will accumulate for himself teachers to suit his his own liking"?

When one really put their thinking cap on the story you tell is really an elastic stretch isn't it? Really, isn't it? A monocular, unidimensional perspective when viewed from the totality of middle eastern history. Christian credibility is truly gossamer-thin, isn't it, about what is and what is not truth?

BenYachov said...

>And that the Davidic Bethlehem may not have even existed at the time of Jesus.

This is a revision of theory you first pushed by some music teacher turned Atheist amateur Archeologist when I first encountered you over at biologos.

Thought in your original theory Bethlehem was a total myth no version of it existed at all.

At least you have improved somewhat.

David's Bethlehem? Curious as an old New Yorker I can say with some authority Boss Tweed's Tamany Hall New York doesn't exist either.

Still the continuity between an old version of a city and a new one is a bit subjective.

B. Prokop said...

"And is that what you say of Islam?"

Yes, that is precisely what I say of Islam. And funny that you should ask whether St. Paul predicted the rise of Islam, because he did that very thing, and in the same letter I quoted above. Here is the passage:

"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed." (again, my emphasis)

Also works for Mormonism.

Another swing and a miss for Mr. Wilson. Batting average to date: 000.

Papalinton said...

"Yes, that is precisely what I say of Islam. And funny that you should ask whether St. Paul predicted the rise of Islam, because he did that very thing, and in the same letter I quoted above. .....Also works for Mormonism."

There you have it folks. Superstition working at its most frightening and dangerous. The strength and conviction of such a view is worrying and a wake-up call on the underlying malevolence of Christian thinking. His interpretation of the cryptic and apocalyptic predictions of Paul are a testament to the highly illusory and irrational nature of religious belief. Another Nostradamus moment by Bob.
Hey! There is an upcoming christian Prophesy Meet to be held in Orlando, Florida in March 2014 you might want to attend. SEE HERE It'll bring you up to speed what's goin' on in the world.

Really though, it is both preposterous and risible that prophesy is viewed with anything other than incredulous ridicule.

B. Prokop said...

Whatever.

Papalinton said...

I don't think you even understand the gravity of discord in what it is you are subscribing to Bob. Here are the countervailing verses from the Koran:

“They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘God is the Messiah, the son of Mary’ while the Messiah has said, ‘O Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord...’” (Quran 5:72)

Gross Blasphemy
Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is the Messiah, the son of Mary. Say, "Who could oppose GOD if He willed to annihilate the Messiah, son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone on earth?" To GOD belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them. He creates whatever He wills. GOD is Omnipotent." (Quran 5:17)

“They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘God is the third of three.’ (Rather) there is none worthy of worship except One (God). And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment. So will they not repent to God and seek His forgiveness? And God is Forgiving and Merciful. The Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger before whom many Messengers have passed away; and his mother adhered wholly to truthfulness, and they both ate food (as other mortals do). See how We make Our signs clear to them; and see where they are turning away!” (Quran 5:73-75) See the proper and full text HERE

“O People of the Book (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, and attribute to God nothing except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His command that He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and in His Messengers, and do not say: ‘God is a Trinity.’ Give up this assertion; it would be better for you. For God is indeed (the only) One God. Far be it from His glory that He should have a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth. And God is sufficient for a guardian.” (Quran 4:171) See the full text HERE

“And they say: ‘The Most Merciful (God) has taken (for Himself) a son.’ Assuredly you utter a hideous thing, whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruins; That they ascribe unto the Most Merciful a son, when it is not suitable for (the Majesty of) the Most Merciful that He should take a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Merciful as a slave.” (Quran 19:88-93)“And (beware the Day) when God will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides God?’” He will say, ‘Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. I said not to them except what you commanded me – to worship God, my Lord and your Lord…’” (Quran 5:116-117) See the proper text HERE

So which is it? The truth of St Paul through his revelation of God's word or Muhammad through his revelation of Allah's word? A billion catholic crusaders against a billion Muslim jihadists.

I read what you say and I read what Muslims say. And what is clear is that religious belief is both dangerous and of genuine concern to humanity.
Your astoundingly blinkered Catholic view is deeply problematical and no less so than that of the the Islamic view. Your Catholic world is a frightening world and as dangerous as the Islamic hornets net across the street.

Papalinton said...

hornets nest

B. Prokop said...

"So which is it? The truth of St Paul through his revelation of God's word or Muhammad?"

St. Paul.

Steven Carr said...

'Sacred science, or theology, is a science for St. Thomas because it has sure and certain first principles. But these first principles are not grasped by human reason—that would make theology, at best, a sort of philosophy—but by faith and in the light of faith.'

Why do Catholics not learn from Victor about what they believe?

Why do they continue to tell atheists they believe the very opposite of what Victor knows they believe?