1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Why Evolution and Christianity are Fundamentally Irreconcilable

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Hubert Farnsworth, May 29, 2018.

  1. Audie

    Audie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Messages:
    9,618
    Ratings:
    +4,463
    Religion:
    None
    This would do as a wiki entry on "rationalizing"
     
  2. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    27,578
    Ratings:
    +11,329
    Religion:
    Catholic-- liberal & ecumenical
    But what makes you believe that there is such a thing as "original sin" since how can a newborn sin, plus should we execute you if your grandfather had committed murder?

    Many believe that o.s. is symbolic for the fact that ultimately we will sin, plus we one can influence another to sin.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    53,709
    Ratings:
    +12,684
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    Why did you stop your quote there? The next two sections are the ones that deal with @Hubert Farnsworth 's point directly. Pay special attention to the parts I bolded:

    Humani Generis (August 12, 1950) | PIUS XII
     
  4. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,307
    Ratings:
    +1,946
    Religion:
    Catholicism
    If you look above, you will see that I directly addressed your point about polygenism in a subsequent post.

    I am not going to repeat myself.

    I linked you to overviews by actual committees of Catholic theologians with respect to how Humani Generis is to be properly interpreted.
     
  5. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Messages:
    9,738
    Ratings:
    +4,147
    Religion:
    Baha'i Faith
    I am referring to the view presented in the opening post of this thread.
     
  6. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    53,709
    Ratings:
    +12,684
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    You didn't, actually. You misrepresented Pius XII's position as flexible and open to other options, but the reality is that he was very firm. Do you see any flexibility in the parts I've bolded?

    "When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents."
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2016
    Messages:
    2,241
    Ratings:
    +1,524
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    So you don't believe in original sin? Because without a first human, there can be no original sin.
     
  8. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2016
    Messages:
    2,241
    Ratings:
    +1,524
    Religion:
    Agnostic
    The bible teaches inherited sin, and it's a core principle of Christianity that every human born is condemned, and thus needs a savior.
     
  9. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,307
    Ratings:
    +1,946
    Religion:
    Catholicism
    And he also made the conditional, qualifying remark that his statements in respect of polygenism must be understood in the context of the fact that 'it does not appear' [or 'it is not at all apparent'] to be reconcilable to the pontiff. To later theologians, it very much has appeared to be so and the Vatican has not restricted their propagation of these theories in any way, indeed their works have been published with imprimaturs (i.e. "nothing contrary to faith and morals").

    See:

    How Do Adam and Eve Fit With Evolution?


    Some people quote Humani Generis (37) on polygenism and leave it at that, but the document does not answer the question about how to figure Adam and Eve in the context of evolution. The encyclical was written in 1950 before genetics was understood. Pope Pius XII’s statement that it was “in no way apparent” how to reconcile evolution with divine revelation left a crack in a door that remains to be addressed.


    I will trust the interpretations of church approved theologians with decades worth' of research and qualifications, I'm afraid, over your own personal understanding of what Pius XII's magisterial statements mean in a doctrinal sense.

    It is not a settled issue in the Catholic Church, so your attempt to claim that it was closed by Humani Generis is simply a mistake, and an old-hat one at that.

    I would ask that you consider the lengthy interpretative remarks of the theologians whom I quoted, and of that 2004 Vatican document, which is deliberately inderministic on the issue.
     
  10. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    53,709
    Ratings:
    +12,684
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    I see you added to your post after I replied.

    I think the sources you quoted are utterly incompatible with what Humani Generis actually says. Pius left no wiggle-room: he explicitly said that "the faithful cannot embrace this opinion [i.e. polygenism]." I think the only way he could condemn polygenism as heretical more strongly would be to say "this is heretical" in all caps.

    I get that it's an anti-scientific position now and that it's probably embarrassing for the Church, but the text is what it is.
     
  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    53,709
    Ratings:
    +12,684
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    So your position is that because he used the word "appear" in the second half of the section, he didn't mean the first half?

    Do you also think he didn't mean section 38, where he refers to the first 11 chapters of Genesis as history?
     
  12. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,307
    Ratings:
    +1,946
    Religion:
    Catholicism
    The fact is that the church has the right and prerogative, through its approved theologians and the official magisterium, to interpret our own documents.

    He said that it could not "appear" to be reconciled. If someone then says, "it does appear and I can demonstrate with xyz perfectly sound theological principles", then the statement is moot because Pius was reliant upon fragmentary understanding and undeveloped theology at that point in time. Had he not left that window open, by admitting that he couldn't see how it could be reconciled, and simply said: "we understand this perfectly, it cannot be reconciled accordingly, it is diametrically opposed" then I would agree with you.

    But he admitted that he couldn't see how it fitted, and thus proscribed it on that (flawed, provisional and imperfect) understanding.

    I do consider 'appear' or its cognate in Latin to be operative wording here. It is not 'is'.
     
    #52 Vouthon, May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  13. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,156
    Ratings:
    +1,296
    Religion:
    Christian
    I believe that at best original sin is the notion that we are all apparently guilty of something before we know what we did was wrong and this gives us a sense that we are guilty by nature. This I think is something everyone can relate to on some level.

    I don't believe that there was literally one person who sinned and that like some hereditary disease now we are all cursed. We all, believers and non-believers can relate to Adam's experience as our own personal experience IMO.

    The idea of original sin is a later interpretation by Christians of a much earlier Jewish text which I believe is a problematic interpretation.
     
    #53 sealchan, May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  14. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,307
    Ratings:
    +1,946
    Religion:
    Catholicism
    Sacred 'history' is the story of salvation, according to the church. It must be understood according to genre. Even the Wisdom works are part of salvation history, since they are the inspired utterings of people in given historical contexts under the influence of the Holy Spirit, but the real history is subliminal in the text and must be viewed as implied (because the genre is not explicitly about history).

    The 'historical' points that church doctrine derives from the first chapter, for instance, of Genesis are that there was a point of creation (we reject the idea of an eternal universe as heretical) in time, in real cosmic history, and also a point of 'fall from grace' on the part of humanity. These are both viewed as historical facts. But the Church recognizes that the text, otherwise, is a near east creation myth and must be interpreted according to the motifs and themes of that genre.

    There was never a worldwide 'flood' for instance. We recognize that this was a tale derived from the Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh but Genesis is still part of salvation history, because the inspired author(s) was/were writing the text in response to genuine historical issues (albeit in relation to neighbouring Babylonian polytheism).
     
    #54 Vouthon, May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    • Winner Winner x 1
  15. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    27,578
    Ratings:
    +11,329
    Religion:
    Catholic-- liberal & ecumenical
    That is an interpretation that many Christian theologians recognize cannot be taken literally as, not only doesn't it make one iota of sense, it actually turns God into some sort of genocidal maniac. Instead, it's what's called a "theological construct", which means it has a symbolic value that does make sense.

    And exactly why would God condemn a newborn baby? Doesn't that strike you as being morally repugnant?
     
  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    53,709
    Ratings:
    +12,684
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    There's a difference between interpreting and rejecting. When the "interpretation" ends up saying the opposite of what the text says, it's the latter, not the former.

    So you think that the first half of Section 37 is simply wrong?

    He drew a hard line on shaky ground. This seems unwise, but doesn't change what he said... which you're free to reject.
     
  17. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    53,709
    Ratings:
    +12,684
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    "If, however, the ancient sacred writers have taken anything from popular narrations (and this may be conceded), it must never be forgotten that they did so with the help of divine inspiration, through which they were rendered immune from any error in selecting and evaluating those documents."

    Edit: I look forward to your justification for why we should interpret this to mean the opposite of what it says.
     
  18. Thermos aquaticus

    Thermos aquaticus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,331
    Ratings:
    +1,319
    The theory of evolution can be used to predict genetic divergence and many other testable features of biology. It isn't simply a narrative.
     
  19. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,307
    Ratings:
    +1,946
    Religion:
    Catholicism
    Development of doctrinal understanding, not rejection.

    If a 12th century pope, let's say, believed on the basis of Aristotelian science that the motion of heavens were moved by unmoved movers in the form of spiritual aether beings and derived theological proscriptions or prescriptions from that flawed understanding, are his thoughts binding? No, they aren't - because the principles are deduced from flawed and incomplete scientific premises subsequently found to be wrong, and those premises are not within the remit of divine revelation.


    If the premise of his understanding had been as developed as today and he left no doubt about that, I would have supported the conclusions he derived therefrom.

    But as the premise has been overtaken by subsequent advancements in science (and theology), I do reject the prescriptions flowing from it. Yes.

    The issue is now unsettled by the church on account of the advancements in scientific knowledge and theology that I've just mentioned.

    You are treating Humani Generis like a fundamentalist Protestant treats the Bible, like an eternal fossil incapable of any progression, whereas it was actually a historically contingent document referring to a set of issues based upon the fragmentary knowledge of the era.
     
    #59 Vouthon, May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,307
    Ratings:
    +1,946
    Religion:
    Catholicism
    It simply appears to be saying that if the Bible is dependent on pagan mythological sources (as it is), then the sacred authors had divine assurance that they would use those sources without being contaminated by an errors. Unless in context it says something else that I'm not seeing above?

    If the genre in question was intended by the sacred author to be history, then we can be sure that God would keep them free from error in the pursuance of that end. But Genesis was not written to be factual history (though it is salvation history like all scripture) but in the genre of Near Eastern creation myths.

    The immunity from error is conditional upon the genre in question and what the sacred author intended to communicate in context. That's, rather elementary.
     
Loading...