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#211 of 220 Old 02-12-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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Which logical absurdities does Christianity hinge on? What mutually contradictory truths lead us into new unity?

A logical argument for the existence of love isn't hard. "God states that love exists; whatever God says is true; therefore, love exists". If you mean that love can't be described syllogistically, that's true, because love is not an argument: formal logic is a tool for determining the validity of arguments. It's hardly a weakness of formal logic that it can't be used to do what it wasn't meant for. Given a definition of love (and the Bible gives us one - God gave us not only logic but Scripture) formal logic can certainly be applied to arguments such as "It is not truly loving for a man to have sex with his wife while wearing a condom". And that's the situation we have in this thread.

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#212 of 220 Old 02-13-2010, 03:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! This discussion has really grown. I've checked on it a few times but the last couple of times it was removed so I thought it was gone.

I talked to my priest about my situation a couple weeks ago. I told him that I have decided to use NFP but dh is still refusing. He said that my husband is free to contracept as he chooses and that I should bring up the issue of NFP as I see fit now and then but to not make it an issue that will drive a wedge between us. He wants us to try and keep things harmonious for the good of the whole family. He has urged me to keep praying.

I'm ok with this. I know that we may never use NFP and if I get pg dh may get a V but I have to accept that. I'm ok with whatever happens because I feel that God is leading me where he wants me to be He understands my martial situation and that I am doing the best I can to balance my faith and my marriage. All in all I accept the Church's teaching on this issue. For the most part I totally agree but at the same time I am still working on fully understanding and accepting it hands down it in it's entirety. I'm learning that the journey is long and I don't have to be completely 100% decided on exactly how I feel about everything right now as long as I have a general understanding and acceptance to obey the teachings and learn more about them.

In RCIA they are telling us that we don't have to agree with the Church about ABC and abortion and it really rubs me the wrong way because I feel that they are misinforming us about committing mortal sins. They say it is up to our conscience. At least my sponsor is orthodox about these things to help me out where RCIA is falling short. I brought up the issue of excommunication of any Catholic woman who has an abortion and they looked at me like I was crazy and that excommunication was more of a temporary thing that is easily forgiven if confessed. Maybe I am misinformed but I thought that was what I read.

Thanks for all the posts. It is an amazing journey of faith that I am on and I thank all of you for being a part of it.
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#213 of 220 Old 02-13-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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On the issue of automatic excommunication for women who have an abortion...

http://www.hopeafterabortion.com/
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#214 of 220 Old 02-14-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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Which logical absurdities does Christianity hinge on? What mutually contradictory truths lead us into new unity?

A logical argument for the existence of love isn't hard. "God states that love exists; whatever God says is true; therefore, love exists". If you mean that love can't be described syllogistically, that's true, because love is not an argument: formal logic is a tool for determining the validity of arguments. It's hardly a weakness of formal logic that it can't be used to do what it wasn't meant for. Given a definition of love (and the Bible gives us one - God gave us not only logic but Scripture) formal logic can certainly be applied to arguments such as "It is not truly loving for a man to have sex with his wife while wearing a condom". And that's the situation we have in this thread.
Non-Christians don't accept the Bible as an infallible guide any more than they do the Church, so I don't think they would be convinced by any premises found within it. In fact the opposit is really the case - statements that seem illogical or premisis that seem unbelievable in the Bible are likely to make them reject Christianity.

Contradictions in Christianity are things like Christ was fully God and fully man, or God is three and one simultaneously.

I think you are glossing over the illogic of those things, probably because you were brought up as a Christian, and so they seem natural. For someone outside of Christianity, they seem obviously illogical, even blasphemous. They are not ideas that are really reducible to syllogisms. So much so that if people used lack of logical coherence to weed out impossible world-views, they would never get far enough into Christianity to understand how those seeming contradictions are finally resolved. And the TRinity and the Incarnation, and other points too, are not really simple theological ideas - it takes most people some time to get to that resolution, and many really don't.

If you are the sort of person who needs to see how those things pan out rationally, without making yourself a real pupil, you aren't likely to become a Christian, because you would reject it out of hand. And I think that to varying degrees this is also true of other comprehensive philosophical systems, whether its Buddhism, or Plato, or Hegel, or whatever. You have to grow into them to some extent.

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
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#215 of 220 Old 02-14-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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It doesn't matter if the doctrines of the Incarnation and Trinity "seem" illogical or blasphemous; it matters if they are. IIRC, they have both been described by formal syllogism in James White's Paradoxes in Christian Belief. Which is probably where I'd direct a non-Christian who challenged their logic.

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#216 of 220 Old 02-18-2010, 04:11 AM
 
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Because I believe we have freedom in Christ, and if our behavior is to be placed under a yoke there needs to be a solid reason of Scripture or conscience for it. That means for some Christians, using condoms will be a sin - if they feel they are disobeying Christ by doing so and yet continue to do so, they are sinning regardless of the objective rightness or wrongness of using condoms. But it also means that for those whose informed consciences are free, no-one has the right to call their actions sin. There are certain principles one can derive from Scripture about fertility (and the related issues of marriage, faith in God and so on), but I do not believe it can be logically shown that altering the sex act is in and of itself sinful; nor limiting family size, nor spacing children (nor, if it comes to that, certain sex acts prohibited by the CC). And the Bible speaks rather damningly of those who would add to the law of God and place people under heavy burdens.
I've been mulling this over for several days. It's not what I expected to hear .. it sounds to me like moral relativism and is rather damning to anyone who suffers a case of scrupulosity I just think your logic isn't as much logic as you want it to be and is backed most intensely by points of faith. Which is fine - I have my points of faith as well. I just think they should be able to be called out as such without hiding them behind tricks of language. (Have I mentioned my distaste for philosophical reasoning, which can never be as graceful as mathematically reasoning).

I feel like this system of supposed logic mistakes the map for the territory and places far far too much weight on what you know, especially when you consider what you don't know is infinitely greater and far more significant than what you know. (modern risk theory) If I keep going I'm going to start blabbing about risk and Black Swans and I doubt anyone is really interested in that - especially how it relates to systems of logic, the Catholic Church, and birth control lol.

Thanks for the chat

XM,: mama to ds (5/08), dd (9/10) and ds (6/12) ! whale.gif :C.H.S & M.

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#217 of 220 Old 02-18-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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I've been mulling this over for several days. It's not what I expected to hear .. it sounds to me like moral relativism and is rather damning to anyone who suffers a case of scrupulosity ...
I can see Smokering's point and it does not sound that way to me. Adding to people's burden without a solid basis really is a problem, and the ideal level of moral scrupulousness or asceticism is not necessarily one that should be imposed on everybody.
One example might be marriage itself. St. Paul said he wished everyone could be like himself (a lifelong celibate) but that not everyone was given that gift, so some should marry. The early church - and some denominations still - feel that marriage is good, but monasticism much better. The majority would find a celibate life an undue burden, and so most Christians marry. A problem would arise if somebody in authority decided that if celibacy is the holiest calling, there is no excuse for marrying, and all Christians should be celibate.
This would not be a problem only because people would find it difficult. It would be wrong because it is adding to the burden of being Christian without sufficient basis - because marriage is not actually morally bad.
I have known one couple who actually practiced abstinence for family planning - not just NFP. They only slept together when they were deliberately trying to conceive a child - so, every three or four years. You could argue that it was a truly perfect Christian marriage in terms of sexuality; but it would also be terribly wrong to ask everyone to follow their example. Even one spouse imposing it on the other would be wrong.
I think Smokering makes a good case that this can be applied to contraception as well.
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#218 of 220 Old 02-18-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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Thanks, mamabadger. Although I'm not sure I'd call an abstinent marriage a truly perfect one in the light of 1 Cor 7:5.

I don't believe the attitude that different things are sin for different people is morally relativistic - or if it is, then so is the New Testament! Look at the passages about eating meat offered to idols or celebrating festivals and Sabbaths. Clearly God is admitting that an action can be sin for one person and not for another. The NT also states that "to the pure, all things are pure" and that those who seek to impose difficult rules on people which are not commanded by God are wrong (Galatians, possibly?).

To use another example, drinking alcohol may be innocent for one person but sin for another - whether the latter is actually an alcoholic, or whether he simply believes (dye to his upbringing or personal conviction) that drinking is a sin but chooses to do it anyway out of rebellion, desire to conform or whatever. Still another person might strongly believe that abstaining from alcohol altogether is key to living a holy life - which is super, and in a sense he doesn't have to syllogise it to benefit from it - but if he starts telling others that they need to do so in order to live holy lives - worse, that if they die without having repented from drinking alcohol, they will go to hell - well, he'd better have a rock-solid argument that abstaining is what God requires.

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I just think your logic isn't as much logic as you want it to be and is backed most intensely by points of faith.
You're welcome to point out any errors of logic I have made.

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I feel like this system of supposed logic mistakes the map for the territory and places far far too much weight on what you know, especially when you consider what you don't know is infinitely greater and far more significant than what you know.
What we know is important. Extremely so. So much so that God gave us both the infallible Scriptures and an infallible system of logic. Knowledge of God is repeatedly extolled as a virtue in Scripture, and demonstrated to be inseparably linked to a knowledge of God's revelation, ie. the Scriptures. I don't think discounting this shows humility or respect for God; quite the opposite. It's certainly true that there are areas of knowledge which God has not revealed to us: but where he has revealed truth, that truth should be examined and rightly understood, not dismissed as mere human knowledge.

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#219 of 220 Old 02-18-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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One can't serve 2 masters, God & science or God & logic. I've never heard or believed Logic to be infallible, and I don't accept that it would be. Since logic happens in the human brain, it seems like thinly veiled 'man worship' just as worshipping say, the scientific method'
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#220 of 220 Old 02-18-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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I don't worship logic any more than I worship the Bible. I believe both to emanate from God; one as a part of His character and the other as His revealed word. As such, logic doesn't "happen in the human brain" - it existed before humans and their brains did. The fact that humans use logic doesn't make it fallible, any more than the fact that humans use mathematics doesn't make it fallible.

Nor does having a high respect for logic equate to worshipping it. Your objection is like saying "You can't serve two masters, God and Love"; or "You can't serve two masters, God and Holiness".

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