Friday, March 14, 2008

The Medieval Synthesis - audio lecture by Keith Ward (available online at Gresham college)

Quotes and comments;

1. In this part of his series on how philosophy is related to 'religion' Ward discusses the attempt by Aquinas to integrate the ideas of Aristotle into christian theology.

2. Ward tells us Aristotle lived 400 years before Christ and so had no knowledge of the 'Hebrew' faith.
- I cannot understand why our learned scholars believe this old canard. The Greeks knew all about Egyptian religion, etc. They travelled widely and were always on the look out for religious ideas, yet people like Ward (Peter Kreeft, etc.) insist they knew nothing about the 'hebrew' faith. This is silliness on stilts. (It stems from the Humanist rejection of Genesis; and an argument from silence.) The Jews of this time were also great travellers and traders. The idea the greeks knew nothing of what we now know of as the bible is impossible for me to believe. The greeks were descendents of Noah (or the sons of noah if you prefer) so they knew all about the revealed word. I can't believe people are so silly as to claim the Greeks knew nothing of Solomon. Do they really want to claim such a thing? (The vaunted scholarship of the higher critics is really utterly bankrupt; they've been proved wrong so many times it's a wonder they have a single follower left. Ward is apparently that man. All these obsolete ideas are based on the ideas (fantasies) of scholars who lived almost 200 years ago. I wonder when the christian 'liberals' will join the modern world. Don't these people study modern archeology at all? The last several decades have showed that the old ideas are utterly wrong; that 'ancient' man travelled far more widely and extensively than the hired critics ever imagined. Did Aristotle know the scriptures? Of course he did. Jewish trading centers dotted the greek world. Are we to believe the (seed picking) Greeks never inquired into what they knew? In the ancient world people were books; men went to them as we would to a library. ''What do you know? what do you believe about x and y" were the questions of the day whenever a newcomer come to town.
- Are we supposed to believe none of the 'pagan' libraries Greek scholars were so familiar with had no copies of the 'Jewish' scriptures? Are we to believe the Greeks had never read the book of Job? (The most famous book of the ancient world?) give me a break.

3. Ward tells us Aristotle's view of god was not based on revelation.
- Well; one wonders how Ward knows this. He claims it is all abstract philosophical. Well, whether this is true or not; it is not the christian view. Ward is ignoring the revelation of the creation, and the revelation of the image of god within, and the special revelation I outlined above. (It's always a mystery to me why liberals like Ward always try so desperately to make non-christians look good... and do their best to villify true christian scholars.)

4. On the one hand Ward tells us that science must be based on observation, but then he tells us he believes in the big bang! That makes no sense to me. No one observed the big bang. The big bang isn't descriptive science; it's theoretical science.

5. Ward speaks of E.O. Wilson who 'hopes' all of human thought (etc.) can be reduced to physics. - Hope? matter doesn't hope dear professor. The fact you have hopes is all the evidence you need that Materialism is a fallacious world view.

1. The obvious objection to what I've said is this; 'there doesn't appear to be any proof the ancient Greeks knew about the 'Hebrew bible.' I take that critique seriously, but I don't find it convincing. Aristotle himself had so called 'esoteric' teachings that were available only a certain insider group. In other words truly valuable teachings were withheld from the public, kept private. In our day it seems strange to withhold ideas from the general public, but this was common in the ancient world. If you had some idea (invention, etc.) you kept it to yourself. (eg. the technique of silk production, certain dyes, etc.) I believe the 'Hebrew scriptures' were one such item. As an aside, archaeologists have found an analog computer from Greek times. Why only one? I can think of a couple of reasons; 1. there was no mass production as we know it. 2. this technology was deemed so valuable it was being kept secret.
2. The bible in Genesis; the so called 'table of the nations' claims that all nations were descended from Noah and his sons.)


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