Knowledge! What is it?

No, I am glad to be able to learn something new, no matter how irrelevant it is.

But we are limited to get information via our senses.

Brute facts happen. Or do you assert that the arrangement of the stars (which we call the Milky Way) requires a “spiritual” explanation?

Uh-oh! How did that “revelation” happen, if not physically?

And what kind of evidence can you provide for this? And was Jesus NOT physical? If you wish to present a case, please refrain from dragging in mythology.

Simple: to show you that your assertions have no evidence.

For anyone who assents on the subjective level - without evidence - I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

I still have no idea what you’re talking about by attempting to draw a distinction between method and shortcut. A method would be a means to an end, right? A process? If so, then testimony most certainly is an epistemological method. If a person claiming to have knowledge of X, informs you that X obtains, and you come to know that X via his having informed you–then viola! We have a method–an epistemic source. There is zero sense in trying to undermine the epistemological category of testimony. It accounts for the vast majority of all of your knowledge to which you would assign importance. All of your knowledge of current events, history, science–all of it comes to you via testimony.

This would of course lead a person to an unacceptable epistemic position that one couldn’t have knowledge of anything historical, which didn’t leave a physical footprint. As if humanity would ever be more concerned about a volcanic eruption than how the ancient Greeks and Romans lived their lives, according to their own testimony. The Enlightenment was built on the latter.

So you say. What would the “huge difference” consist in?

So what? I obviously stated that the view of Aquinas is the only defensible one. Your response is to bring up Anselm?

A very curious response. I’m beginning to think you are not taking this conversation very seriously. In response to Aristotle’s statement (from a work about human ethics) that every art, inquiry, act and pursuit are aimed at some good, you choose to respond with your perplexity at “natural evil.” What do human actions have to do with volcanoes and burrowing worms?

The epistemological method is objective. If you are so inclined and willing to invest the time and energy, you can investigate the claim yourself. It is irrelevant that most of us are not interested in this process, it is easier to accept the testimony of others. The point is that we COULD do it, if we wanted to. With testimonials this is not possible.

The claims about the past are a totally different ballgame. We must rely on testimonials. So what we must do is obtain as many testimonials as we can, preferably from competing and contrasting viewpoints and the assign some subjective value to choose from among the different testimonials.

As for the reliability of testimonials, refer to the investigation of police, where one piece of physical evidence trumps a thousand testimonies. It is a well-known phenomenon that 10 eye-witnesses will provide 11 different testimonies of an event they personally experienced. Those eye-witnesses do not intentionally lie (though it can happen) but their recollection can differ substantially. And that is about actual eye-witnesses. The second- and third hand testimonials are much less reliable.

Please be reasonable.

Because you brought up the “maximally great” being or the GCB (greatest conceivable being). A totally irrational concept.

It has everything to do with the concept of “good”. Aristotle does not speak of “morally” or “biologically” good actions, but in his nomenclature “good” is to fulfill one’s aim, according to their “nature”.

Moreover, consider a handbook describing the best methods of torture. According the principle to work toward its end, the more cruel the described method, the “better it is”.

Of course I have to emphasize that I am not a follower of Aristotle or Aquinas. I accept that they were geniuses of their time, but their views did not stand the test of time.

That’s not true. Have you never deduced information using your mind?

No, I’m merely demonstrating that the “arrangement of the stars” is not a ‘requirement’, as you suggest. Therefore, your notion of ‘sufficiency’ doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny!

Good point. Now, let’s follow this through to a reasonable conclusion:

  • God provides His self-revelation to inspired writers. They, then, write the books.
    • What kind of “physical evidence” do you wish to ask for, for either this event or their existence? Remember, we’re talking antiquity here, so the requirements cannot be greater than you’d ask of any other person living in that time and place, or else the request is unreasonable!
  • God comes to earth, incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ.
    • His words and deeds are witnessed by many. Some even write down (or dictate) what He said and did!
    • Jesus backs up his assertions with signs, wonders, and by rising from the dead. These, too, are witnessed and recorded.
    • what kind of ‘evidence’ is reasonable to ask for, to substantiate these claims?

I would argue that we do have what is reasonable to ask for, as substantiation: an unbroken tradition of 2000 years, for the Church that Jesus founded, including the legacy of the transmission of His teachings.

Again, I must ask you: what kind of evidence are you asking for? What kind of evidence is reasonable to ask for, from events happening in 1st century AD Palestine?

And, why are you a priori dismissing the eyewitness accounts as “mythology”? That sure looks like a prejudicial approach!

Dude: I already know that – by definition! – spiritual realities cannot admit of physical evidence. That’s like asking a dog to meow – any reasonable, logical person knows that you’re barking up the wrong tree! So… given that I recognize that this request is unreasonable… do you, now, too?

It’s not that there’s no evidence – it’s that some accept the evidence as sufficient to assent to the proposition, and others do not. Still others refuse to do so, on principle. :man_shrugging:

I’m going to have to leave you here @Abrosz. You don’t seem to be engaging in dialogue. I’m not sure what you’re trying to do–teach me something, maybe…? Your frequent use of such concepts as “nonsense” and “totally irrational” are evidence that you have no genuine openness here for discussion. But, I wanted you to know that I read your latest response to me. Best of luck.

Obviously I use it when it comes to the abstract, axiomatic sciences. Why do I have to elaborate on the obvious? The old phrase is still valid: “Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius fuerit in sensu.”

I did not say anything about “requirement”. I only said that there is no need for any kind of “spiritual” explanation - whatever it might be.

How? Talking to them? Or imprinting the information on their brain? The revelation happens via physical means. (If there is any revelation at all, which is highly questionable.) And, of course Jesus was a physical being.

That is not a substantiation at all. Tradition is not evidence. The church asserts that it is infallible, which is a self-promoting assertion. There no external evidence for the alleged miracles.

I could not care less about the 1st century Palestine. God is supposed to be “alive” today, and is supposed to be involved in the physical reality every second. This brings up the problem of “interface”.

What other kind of evidence is there? That is the question I cannot get an answer for. We can only get information about the external, objective reality through our senses. How can we show that this assumed “spiritual reality” is more than just a figment of imagination?

Again: what is that “evidence”??? How many times do I have to ask this simple question?

Have you thought about the existence of God? Has He ever been in presence to your senses? :wink:

(Aquinas utilized this axiom, BTW, in his demonstration that we can know the existence of God through the things we experience in this world.)

In other words, a “need for any kind of ‘spiritual’ explanation” is a requirement for that spiritual explanation to be reasonable. C’mon, man, just admit it… it’s what you’re trying to say, here. :wink:

Nope and nope.

I would argue that it happens via spiritual means, and is expressed by the inspired writer through the physical medium of the written word.

Again: denying the assertion a priori. How’s that working out for you?

It’s historical evidence. The Church has existed, from the time that Christ founded it through to today.

Actually, it only asserts that it has the charism from God of not mis-stating doctrine. That’s all ‘infallibility’ means.

Yet again, I must ask: what kind of ‘evidence’ is reasonable to ask for, of an event that happened in antiquity? What kind of ‘evidence’ of Lazarus’ resuscitation is reasonable? What kind of evidence of turning water into wine, or healing a blind or lame person in 1st century Palestine, would be reasonable to ask for? And… if there’s nothing reasonable to expect, then the lack of such evidence proves nothing.

Clearly. Yet, that’s where the incarnate Jesus is to be found, and that’s when the miracles of his ministry occurred. If you’re just going to throw out those data points, then you’re really showing your true colors.

God is outside of time. He’s not “alive today”. He is in existence in eternity. His “involvement”, primarily, is that He sustains the existence of the universe through His Will.

Please. Let’s go there. :wink:

Take a deep breath. Ready? That’s the whole point!!! You’re asking for something that cannot, by definition, exist! So, if you want to continue asking for it, then you’re asking in bad faith. :thinking:

Close. Not quite, but close! We can only get information about the physical universe through our physical senses. Yes! However, you’re not asking about the physical universe. You’re asking about spiritual realities. Therefore, asking your senses to be the means of perception is an error of category.

Until you recognize that it’s been answered over and over again, I guess? (Or, alternatively, until you recognize that the particular kind of evidence you’re seeking is not applicable to the question you’re asking?)

Let’s try again:

  • Inspired authorship of the self-revelation of God
  • eyewitness accounts of the ministry and resurrection of Jesus

That looks like a good start… :wink:

Please! I am an atheist. I used to be a believer, but I am not one any more. One of the reasons is that I found no evidence. And Aquinas was wrong. Even if one of his “proofs” were correct, he could have only demonstrated a deistic creator.

If that is the case, then there is no way to demonstrate the “spiritual” reality for those who do not a-priori accept it. And that is not the way to do it.

This does not explain how the revelation was “transmitted” from God to the recipient of the revelation. And also what are those “spiritual” means might be? You keep throwing in words like “inspired”. What does it mean?

I am always willing to examine the evidence. And yes, there is only one kind of evidence, the physical kind. If you cannot provide it, all I can go by is your word. And that is not sufficient.

Try to convince God to provide a time machine, so we can see those miracles first hand. It is not necessary that we could interfere with the past, only that we could VIEW it. Or, alternately, try to convince God to perform some miracles today. I can offer a few absolutely incontrovertible experiments. But, of course it will never happen since it is forbidden to test God.

God could visit us in some human form, if he wanted to. And could preform some REAL miracles, which would separate the REAL God from the impostors. Not just some lame “miracles”, like resurrecting a “dead” body.

So there is no evidence at all. Took a while to get to this point.

continued below…

A short summary is due. You assert the existence of some “spiritual reality”, but you are unable to tell us, just what that might be. Also you are unable to provide evidence for it, even though, we humans can only discern physical evidence for the external reality. But, of course God could provide that evidence, if he wanted to. I can already foresee the next objection, in the form: “how dare you demand that God jumps through hoops to satisfy you???”. I don’t “demand”. I merely try to help you and God to show what kind of evidence would be convincing. Since God allegedly would prefer that we all want to be with him, the bare minimum is to prove his existence for all the skeptics to see. So there is no reason for the “hiddenness”.

Now, can we return to the topic of this thread talking about “knowledge”?

No way! C’mon… you’re pulling my leg! I would’ve never guessed that!!! :roll_eyes:

Nevertheless, you didn’t answer the question. Have you thought about God? Yes… or no?

It’s time for you to put your money where your mouth is, Abrosz: if you’ve thought about God – that is, if God has been in your intellect – then you either have to give up your aphorism or the denial that God is in the senses. (Or… you could admit you’ve never thought about the question of the existence of God with any rigor.) So… which is it? :wink:

No. You’re mistaken. The proper inference is “there is no way to demonstrate physically the spiritual reality for those who do not accept it.”

I already answered that: ‘spiritually’.

It means just what it says – or are you unfamiliar with the term ‘inspiration’? Or, are you asking how inspiration happens? That’s a question for dreamers and artists to attempt to explain.

Outstanding. Thank you! Therefore, you cannot ask for evidence – physical evidence, mind you – to explain non-physical entities, without that request being made in poor faith. :+1:

Hardly. And I’ve given you things that you can use to work toward assent. You may choose to reject those demonstrations… but you may not – reasonably – assert that there’s only “my word” to go by.

Nice. Try that when YEC’s ask you to prove evolution, hmm? See how far that gets you. Unreasonableness… is that what “brights” engage in?

Again – “temper tantrum”. Try again?

Oh, you can test him all you want. However, when He doesn’t kowtow to your will, you cannot conclude He does not exist.

Gee… I don’t know a single Christian who claims He ever did! :roll_eyes:

C’mon, man. You’re losing credibility by the sentence.

:rofl: :rofl:

Thanks, friend. Here’s your clue-by-four: neither God nor I need your help. :wink:

I know I am new here, but epistemology is my pet peeve.

The principle of “Nihil est in intellectu…” only pertains to the external, objective reality, not to axiomatic sciences or imaginary entities. No one has ever seen a perfect circle, or a seven headed fire breathing dragon, but we can think about them and talk about them, even if we cannot experience them.

As for the concept of a time-viewing machine, that would be a perfect method to ascertain the events of antiquity. And it would even avoid the paradoxes of actual time travel, which would happen with traveling back in time. So the viewing of the past does not entail a logical impossibility, and as such God could facilitate it.

If you have a free will universe and a non freewill universe the participants in both would feel like they have freewill. We do not have the knowledge to tell the difference they would both appear the same to us. So how does one know if they have freewill or not.

Of course we do not. It is just a plausible assumption.

To prove (really prove) would require the following thought experiment to be put into practice. It would need a full snapshot of the universe, then a “rewind” of it to a prior state when the decision did not happen yet. Then let the events unfold to the point when the snapshot was taken, and then compare the actual state of affairs to the saved snapshot.

If they would be different due to the decision, then “free will” would be proven. If they would be identical, then the question would be undecided. Of course such an experiment cannot be performed, so we are stuck with the plausible assumption of free will.

Not that this has to do anything with the question of knowledge.

How can one experience / demonstrate this alleged “spiritual reality” (what an oxymoron!) to someone who does not even understand this word? Well, let’s see, what could it mean? It could be some kind of religious music? Or could it be a composite word, gluing the “spi” and the “ritual” together… I know the word “ritual”, but what could “spi” mean? Hmm… maybe it is just a misspelled version of “psi”?

But, what the heck… I am willing to learn new things. So explain please what the phrase “spiritual reality” might be and how can someone experience it?

Repeating meaningless words will not lend them meaning. Spirit, soul, ghost are all meaningless words meaning that they don’t have referents in reality. Just like the beautiful words in Jabberwocky, which do not “pretend” to have any meaning, they are just wonderfully crafted imaginary entities…

Before anything else it is your job to explain just what that non-physical entities might be and how can we experience them without our senses. How does “spiritual” differ from “balderdash” or the “tum-tum tree”? As a matter of fact, you are the one who exhibits “bad faith” by trying to peddle “snake oil”.

Why would I try to even talk to someone who is THAT irrational? Evolution can be and actually is demonstrated by simple biology. And what kind of insult is that “temper tantrum”? You asked me how could I experience those alleged “miracles”. And I gave you two methods, one is to provide a “time viewing” apparatus, the other one could be by praying to God to provide current, unambiguous miracles. I am willing to contemplate “miracles”, but not on your word only. And “your” word includes the whole collection of Christians, the magisterium, and/or the pope’s testimony…

Sure I can. And every test comes back with “no such address, no such zone” as in the Elvis Presley song (“Return to sender”).

I don’t care about those “claims”. Claims are dime a dozen. A real visitation with all the divine paraphernalia along with demonstration to show that it is not just an impostor who tries to deceive us.

You could not be more mistaken. God hides above the clouds (maybe in shame???") and you are totally clueless.

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