• Michael
    7.2k
    This discussion was created with comments split from The Shoutbox
  • S
    6.2k
    I'm also close in terms of beliefs to Catholicism.Agustino

    Ooh. How embarrassing. Do you believe in transubstantiation?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Ooh. How embarrassing. Do you believe in transubstantiation?Sapientia
    Yeah, the latin doctrine of transubstantiation is quite close to the EO doctrine of Metousiosis. The Eastern and Western Church are not that different. They were the result of the first schism, which was mostly over political issues, and the role the pope wanted to have over all the churches, which the East opposed.
  • S
    6.2k
    Yeah, the latin doctrine of transubstantiation is quite close to the EO doctrine of Metousiosis. The Eastern and Western Church are not that different. They were the result of the first schism, which was mostly over political issues, and the role the pope wanted to have over all the churches, which the East opposed.Agustino

    What is it that you find convincing about something so ridiculous, fantastical, and without scientific basis? Or is it just irrational faith?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    without scientific basisSapientia
    What do you mean without scientific basis? What kind of scientific basis would you expect? Finding God in the atoms of the wine or what?
  • S
    6.2k
    What do you mean without scientific basis? What kind of scientific basis would you expect? Finding God in the atoms of the wine or what?Agustino

    I would expect to see biological evidence of the body and blood of Christ. That has never been found.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I would expect to see biological evidence of the body and blood of ChristSapientia
    Why? That's not what the doctrine claims.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Obviously it doesn't claim that there will be biological evidence.Sapientia
    Exactly, so why are you looking for it?

    Obviously it doesn't claim that there will be biological evidence. The rest seems fine, and Google backs it up. Transubstantiation is the miraculous change by which according to Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox dogma the eucharistic elements at their consecration become the body and blood of Christ while keeping only the appearances of bread and wine.Sapientia
    If it's miraculous (ie mystical), why do you expect to find a biological change in the composition of the wine and bread? If there was such a biological change, then it wouldn't be mystical at all. The Eucharist is mystical in nature - Christ is mystically present in the bread and wine, not in terms of the atoms that compose it. As you say, it still has the appearance, physically, of bread and wine.
  • S
    6.2k
    Exactly, so why are you looking for it?Agustino

    I'm not. I said that that's what I'd expect to see if it were true. I don't base my expectations on what is absent from an old work of fiction. I base my expectations on what I know about science.

    If it's miraculous (ie mystical), why do you expect to find a biological change in the composition of the wine and bread? If there was such a biological change, then it wouldn't be mystical at all. The Eucharist is mystical in nature - Christ is mystically present in the bread and wine, not in terms of the atoms that compose it.Agustino

    Obviously I don't believe in miracles or faux mysteries. I'm curious why you do. That's how our conversation began, but now you're making it about me.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I'm not. I said that that's what I'd expect to see if it were true. I don't base my expectations on what is absent from an old work of fiction. I base my expectations on what I know about science.Sapientia
    Why do you expect to see that if it were true? :s

    When the doctrine itself says that the wine and the bread retain the appearance of wine and bread, how can you possibly expect that appearance to be changed so that you'd find that it is biologically blood and not wine, and biologically flesh and not bread? :s

    Obviously I don't believe in miracles or faux mysteries. I'm curious why you do. That's how our conversation began, but now you're making it about me.Sapientia
    That's another discussion, but you cannot expect transubstantiation to meet your standards of evidence because the doctrine itself makes it explicitly clear that it doesn't. So you can disbelieve transubstantiation because you don't believe in mystical possibilities or miracles, BUT you cannot disbelieve it because there is no biological change in the bread and wine.
  • S
    6.2k
    Why do you expect to see that if it were true?Agustino

    I answered that: because of what I know about science.

    When the doctrine itself says that the wine and the bread retain the appearance of wine and bread, how can you possibly expect that appearance to be changed so that you'd find that it is biologically blood and not wine, and biologically flesh and not bread?Agustino

    But why do you believe that? Because it's what the doctrine says?

    What if the doctrine said that a fig will transform into a flying octopus, but would keep the appearance of a fig, if it is eaten in a special ceremony? Would you believe that?

    What if the doctrine told you to punch yourself in the face? Would you do so?

    Is there anything that you wouldn't believe or act upon, provided it was in the doctrine?

    That's another discussion, but you cannot expect transubstantiation to meet your standards of evidence because the doctrine itself makes it explicitly clear that it doesn't.Agustino

    Yes I can, because the doctrine itself, if taken literally, is full of rubbish.

    So you can disbelieve transubstantiation because you don't believe in mystical possibilities or miracles, BUT you cannot disbelieve it because there is no biological change in the bread and wine.Agustino

    I can do both.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    But why do you believe that? Because it's what the doctrine says?Sapientia
    It's not about believing it at this point, it's about judging a doctrine by the claims that it makes. If a doctrine claims that X is false, you cannot judge the doctrine as false because X isn't true, obviously. That's a basic logical fallacy.

    What if the doctrine said that a fig will transform into a flying octopus, but would keep the appearance of a fig, if it is eaten in a special ceremony? Would you believe that?Sapientia
    I wouldn't believe that because firstly I don't understand what it means, so I can't believe it. But I certainly don't disbelieve it because I don't see the fig having the appearance of a flying octopus, obviously.

    Yes I can, because the doctrine itself, if taken literally, is full of rubbish.Sapientia
    Empty assertion.

    I can do both.Sapientia
    One is a logical fallacy, but I see you like logical fallacies :P
  • S
    6.2k
    Why do you expect to see that if it were true?Agustino

    Wait. I meant that that's what I'd expect to see if the bread and wine were turned into the body and blood of Christ. I believe that it would leave evidence. I don't believe otherwise, so if that's what the doctrine entails, then I don't believe that the doctrine is true. The doctrine is like a fairy tale, and I don't believe in fairy tales.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I meant that that's what I'd expect to see if the bread and wine were turned into the body and blood of Christ.Sapientia
    Yes, if they had the appearance of the body and blood of Christ sure. But that's not what the doctrine claims.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I don't believe otherwise, so if that's what the doctrine entails, then I don't believe that the doctrine is true.Sapientia
    You can disbelieve it, but not for the reason you gave, namely that there is no biological evidence in the wine and bread that they are the body and blood of Christ - since that's not what the doctrine claims in the first place.
  • S
    6.2k
    It's not about believing it at this point, it's about judging a doctrine by the claims that it makes. If a doctrine claims that X is false, you cannot judge the doctrine as false because X is true, obviously. That's a basic logical fallacy.Agustino

    What? That's not a fallacy. That's right.

    If a doctrine claims that it's false that there are fish in the sea, but it's true that there are fish in the sea, then why on earth could I not judge that doctrine as false, given that it would be false.

    I wouldn't believe that because firstly I don't understand what it means, so I can't believe it.Agustino

    It means what it says. What's not to get? And how can you get the one but not the other?

    But I certainly don't disbelieve it because I don't see the fig having the appearance of a flying octopus, obviously.Agustino

    If you were reasonable, you'd disbelieve it because there is no evidence, besides hearsay, that it has ever happened, or, really, that it ever could happen.

    Empty assertion.Agustino

    No it's not. Have you read the doctrine? Or, rather, is it just that you do not want it to be full of rubbish, because you don't want to believe in rubbish? Sorry, but it is what it is.

    One is a logical fallacy, but I see you like logical fallacies.Agustino

    No, neither are in themselves, and neither are in the right context. I disbelieve it because there is no biological change in the bread and wine, and because I disbelieve that it would happen without causing such a change.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    What? That's not a fallacy. That's right.Sapientia
    No, you misread that because you didn't update page. I changed it to isn't instead of is almost immediately.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    It means what it says.Sapientia

    What if the doctrine said that a fig will transform into a flying octopus, but would keep the appearance of a figSapientia
    In what sense does the fig transform into a flying octopus if it keeps the physical appearance of a fig? You might say in a mystical sense. Well then, I will ask what is a flying octopus in a mystical sense?

    I can tell you what the blood and body of Christ are in a mystical sense, I can tell you the significance of that. But not of the flying octopus. So I disbelieve the latter because I don't understand what it means.

    I'm a humble boy, unlike the arrogant owl, who admits to not understanding some things, you see.

    If you were reasonable, you'd disbelieve it because there is no evidence, besides hearsay, that it has ever happened, or, really, that it ever could happen.Sapientia
    There is evidence. Mystical experience.

    No it's not. Have you read the doctrine? Or, rather, is it just that you do not want it to be full of rubbish, because you don't want to believe in rubbish? Sorry, but it is what it is.Sapientia
    :B >:O

    I disbelieve it because there is no biological change in the bread and wineSapientia
    So if I tell you that there are no flying pigs, do you disbelieve because there are no flying pigs? :B
  • S
    6.2k
    Yes, if they had the appearance of the body and blood of Christ sure. But that's not what the doctrine claims.Agustino

    You can disbelieve it, but not for the reason you gave, namely that there is no biological evidence in the wine and bread that they are the body and blood of Christ - since that's not what the doctrine claims in the first place.Agustino

    That's missing the point. You can't rightly answer my question of why you believe what the doctrine claims by saying that that's what the doctrine claims.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    That's missing the point. You can't rightly answer my question of why you believe what the doctrine claims by saying that that's what the doctrine claims.Sapientia
    So you should clarify your question. Your first question wasn't that. It was telling me how I should disbelieve the doctrine based on what it never claimed. That was indeed missing the point. So now if you rephrase your question on to the right subject, why I personally believe, I may be able to answer it.

    So don't be like Mike who still has a first-grade brain (oh sorry, he graduated to second) and thinks he's burned me by saying that Catholics (and Christians) are cannibals and vampires, since being a cannibal and a vampire involves eating physical flesh and blood.

    I believe the doctrine because my own understanding and study of religion, combined with understanding of human anthropology and my own experiences (mystical or otherwise) reveal that (1) Christianity is unique amongst the world's religions, (2) mystical experiences of the kind the doctrine speaks about do happen to people, (3) the meaning of the doctrine is transparent, clear and understandable, and (4) transubstantiation fits into the larger scheme of things predicated by other things I know.

    So those are my personal reasons for believing. And there probably are more. Now I don't doubt that you'll have further arguments with each one of those, since you are set to try to disprove what I say, not to consider it. That's okay, but realise that I do have reasons for believing it, even if you don't share them.
  • S
    6.2k
    In what sense does the fig transform into a flying octopus if it keeps the physical appearance of a fig? You might say in a mystical sense. Well then, I will ask what is a flying octopus in a mystical sense?

    I can tell you what the blood and body of Christ are in a mystical sense, I can tell you the significance of that. But not of the flying octopus. So I disbelieve the latter because I don't understand what it means.

    I'm a humble boy, unlike the arrogant owl, who admits to not understanding some things, you see.
    Agustino

    What I want to know is how you think the one can literally change into the other, whilst keeping its original appearance, and leaving no scientific trail of evidence. And if you can't answer that, then I want to know why you believe it, and I want you to confirm whether or not it is as I suspect: irrational faith.

    There is evidence. Mystical experience.Agustino

    Haha haha haha haha haha. I'm talking about real evidence. You could justify just about anything with that, so it doesn't really count.

    So if I tell you that there are no flying pigs, do you disbelieve because there are no flying pigs?Agustino

    I believe that there are no flying pigs based on the evidence, or lack thereof.
  • S
    6.2k
    So you should clarify your question. Your first question wasn't that. It was telling me how I should disbelieve the doctrine based on what it never claimed. That was indeed missing the point. So now if you rephrase your question on to the right subject, why I personally believe, I may be able to answer it.Agustino

    My first question was, and I quote, "What is it that you find convincing about something so ridiculous, fantastical, and without scientific basis? Or is it just irrational faith?".

    "The doctrine says so", isn't a real answer.

    Anyway, I'm going out now to meet a friend for lunch. See you later.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I'm talking about real evidence.Sapientia
    Yeah, mystical experiences are real, people experience them, you know :B

    I believe that there are no flying pigs based on the evidence, or the lack thereof.Sapientia
    Right good. So we settled that your first assumption that you can disbelieve transubstantiation because there is no physical evidence is silly.

    What I want to know is how you think the one can literally change into the other, whilst keeping its original appearance, and leaving no scientific trail of evidence.Sapientia
    To leave a scientific trail or change its original appearance would be to do precisely what the doctrine claims it doesn't do. So you cannot falsify something in this manner. You have to falsify based on the predictions it does make. I outlined before how something can MYSTICALLY - I have no clue what you mean by literarily - change while maintaining its appearance.

    Let me give you an example that second grade Mike will be able to understand. You're not feeling sexually excited and you look at an attractive girl, but you're not interested in her. After some time you get sexually excited, start feeling horny (sorry but I do have to speak at this level it seems to be understood) and you look at the same girl, who appears the same, and is physically the same, and suddenly you are attracted to her. She means something different to you than she did before. That's a transubstantiation - something maintains the same appearance, but changes its inner significance and meaning. It's not that hard to understand, but I really feel I have to speak at those mundane and philistine levels to make myself understood here. Many of the threads in the forums are also starting to become annoying because everyone speaks so vaguely and incoherently about things, which is part of the reason why I've been participating less in some threads.

    "What is it that you find convincing about something so ridiculous, fantastical, and without scientific basis? Or is it just irrational faith?".

    "The doctrine says so", isn't a real answer.
    Sapientia
    That wasn't my answer. My answer was why should I expect a scientific basis for believing in the doctrine? You're asking a stupid question, like me asking why are you still beating your wife? You have to think about what kind of questions you're asking and what presuppositions they make. So please, do some work here if you want to get somewhere to understand those issues on a deeper level.

    Make some effort to follow attentively the thread of the discussion, and don't strawman. I'm not avoiding answering you, I'm questioning the presuppositions that you make when trying to question me. If you don't put the work in, then you're wasting my time, and I'm currently busy, so it gets tiring to respond and repeat the same things over and over again.
  • Buxtebuddha
    1.8k
    Yeah, mystical experiences are real, people experience them, you knowAgustino

    Experiences are experiences. Whether they are of mystical quality, whatever that means and however you define that, is what's debatable. Merely because one claims their experience is mystical doesn't mean that experience is in fact mystical.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Anyway, I'm going out now to meet a friend for lunch. See you later.Sapientia
    Hope you enjoy your lunch.

    Merely because one claims their experience is mystical doesn't mean that experience is in fact mystical.Buxtebuddha
    No, of course it doesn't. But you cannot outright reject the testimony of many millions of people without reason. So until some reasons are provided (ex. mystical experiences only appear to be mystical, but are in reality x y z physical process caused by m n b playing itself out), I'm free to reject that claim outright.
  • S
    6.2k
    Yeah, mystical experiences are real, people experience them, you know.Agustino

    Yes, I know. But they're not real evidence. A mystical experience is evidence of a mystical experience. You had a funny feeling. That's all.

    Right good. So we settled that your first assumption that you can disbelieve transubstantiation because there is no physical evidence is silly.Agustino

    I already clarified what I meant, and what I meant is not silly. I stand by it. To address what I said before the clarification is to do what I did when I addressed your misworded comment, but I had a better excuse, as you've definitely read my clarification at this point.

    I'll carry on with this later. Out to get drunk with mates. See ya.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Yes, I know. But they're not real evidence. A mystical experience is evidence of a mystical experience. You had a funny feeling. That's all.Sapientia
    The experiences described are more than just "funny feelings".
  • S
    6.2k
    To leave a scientific trail or change its original appearance would be to do precisely what the doctrine claims it doesn't do. So you cannot falsify something in this manner. You have to falsify based on the predictions it does make. I outlined before how something can MYSTICALLY - I have no clue what you mean by literarily - change while maintaining its appearance.Agustino

    I thought that we'd moved on from this. Forget the damn doctrine for a moment. For the purpose of my question, set aside what that part of it says. I'm talking about the real world. In the real world, that doesn't happen. There's no evidence, besides hearsay, that that has ever happened, so it is perfectly reasonable to question why you think that it happens. (And that the doctrine says so, again, is obviously not a good enough answer, as that just shifts the focus of the question on to why you think that the doctrine is right. You can't just assume that it is right, as that's not a shared assumption, and would beg the question).

    I suppose I didn't really need to use the term "literally". I only used it to emphasise that I'm talking about a real change taking place, and not a figurative, symbolic change. Your use of the term "mystically" is tantamount to an admission that you don't really have a clue how it supposedly works, but you have faith that it does. That's not a reasonable stance.

    Let me give you an example that second grade Mike will be able to understand. You're not feeling sexually excited and you look at an attractive girl, but you're not interested in her. After some time you get sexually excited, start feeling horny (sorry but I do have to speak at this level it seems to be understood) and you look at the same girl, who appears the same, and is physically the same, and suddenly you are attracted to her. She means something different to you than she did before. That's a transubstantiation - something maintains the same appearance, but changes its inner significance and meaning. It's not that hard to understand, but I really feel I have to speak at those mundane and philistine levels to make myself understood here. Many of the threads in the forums are also starting to become annoying because everyone speaks so vaguely and incoherently about things, which is part of the reason why I've been participating less in some threads.Agustino

    Yeah, that's not an example of transubstantiation. That's just feeling horny over some girl. That's an ordinary, common place occurrence, which can be explained. That's not an extraordinary and inexplicable event which would defy all current scientific knowledge. The two aren't comparable.

    That wasn't my answer. My answer was why should I expect a scientific basis for believing in the doctrine?Agustino

    Because science has proven itself to be considerably more reliable. Why shouldn't you have confidence in science over your doctrine?

    You're asking a stupid question, like me asking why are you still beating your wife? You have to think about what kind of questions you're asking and what presuppositions they make. So please, do some work here if you want to get somewhere to understand those issues on a deeper level.Agustino

    It's not a stupid question. We both have our presuppositions. I have no qualms about being open about mine. But you've been hesitant to be open about your reliance on faith over reason. I have confidence in science because it has a great track record. Its predictions have turned out correct, or have at least been of use and set us on the right track, ever adding to our knowledge about the world. The Bible, on the other hand, is just an old book, and if its passages are to be taken literally, then it has proven itself wrong with regards to important claims that it made about the world, perhaps most notably with regards to the Genesis creation myth. That's why Biblical literalism is stupid, and is only taken up by people who are themselves stupid, or who disregard how stupid it is as a matter of faith.

    Make some effort to follow attentively the thread of the discussion, and don't strawman. I'm not avoiding answering you, I'm questioning the presuppositions that you make when trying to question me. If you don't put the work in, then you're wasting my time, and I'm currently busy, so it gets tiring to respond and repeat the same things over and over again.Agustino

    No, I think that it's you who is failing to get it. For example, a prominent failure on your part is your reoccurring error of mistaking my focus on external errors (something that the Bible gets wrong about the external world) to be about internal errors (something that contradicts the Bible's own message). I have tried to clarify this for you, but based on your replies, it seems that you still aren't getting it. You just keep repeating that the doctrine says this and does not say that, as if that matters.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I'm talking about the real world.Sapientia
    Yeah me too, I wasn't talking about dreamland.

    There's no evidence, besides hearsay, that that has ever happened, so it is perfectly reasonable to question why you think that it happens.Sapientia
    What would you expect to happen if the doctrine was true? You must know what predictions the doctrine makes to judge if they do or do not happen.

    And please don't tell me some idiotic thing like I expect a literal change. No - I want you to tell me exactly what you would expect. If it's a literal change, you have to tell me, for example, I expect that in the wine there will be found blood, or something of that sort.

    Yeah, that's not an example of transubstantiation. That's just feeling horny over some girl. That's an ordinary, common place occurrence, which can be explained. That's not an extraordinary and inexplicable event which would defy all current scientific knowledge. The two aren't comparable.Sapientia
    Yes, by analogy they certainly are comparable. You said you were mystified how something can remain physically the same and yet literarily change. I just gave you an example - a common one as you say - where that happens. So then you're not really so mystified about how something can remain the same physically and yet literarily change.

    Because science has proven itself to be considerably more reliable. Why shouldn't you have confidence in science over your doctrine?Sapientia
    :s - the doctrine doesn't contradict any scientific predictions, so why is it the doctrine vs science? :s

    I have confidence in science because it has a great track record.Sapientia
    Yeah me too. I have confidence in science when dealing with physical & quantifiable matters.

    Its predictions have turned out correct, or have at least been of use and set us on the right track, ever adding to our knowledge about the world.Sapientia
    Its predictions have turned out correctly indeed. But only in a limited domain. And that's the domain which studies the behaviour of physical matter, where things can be studied quantitatively. So if we're dealing with a domain where we need a qualitative study, and not a quantitative one (such as spirituality), then science is of little use. The same way that a hammer is great for hittin' the nails, but crap for cutting the tree. You are being entirely irrational and laughable if you're telling me I should use science in a spiritual matter because science has great results in an entirely different domain.

    No, I think that it's you who is failing to get it. For example, a prominent failure on your part is your reoccurring error of mistaking my focus on external errors (something that the Bible gets wrong about the external world) to be about internal errors (something that contradicts the Bible's own message). I have tried to clarify this for you, but based on your replies, it seems that you still aren't getting it. You just keep repeating that the doctrine says this and does not say that, as if that matters.Sapientia
    Were we discussing the Bible? That's news to me.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    I'm talking about the real world.Sapientia

    If I may interject, this is the reason why you fail to understand transubstantiation. The doctrine assumes that what is real, indeed what is most real, is not the physical world. Trying to make sense of it while assuming some version of materialism, as you apparently hold to, is definitionally impossible. Trying to understand any idea on your own terms is a recipe for failure. You need to either defeat its presuppositions or demonstrate your own in order to advance the charge of incoherence.

    I realize that that's a big task, but it is a necessary one.
  • S
    6.2k
    The experiences described are more than just "funny feelings".Agustino

    I don't have good enough reason to accept that, and it is a fallacy to appeal to the masses. The masses you appeal to are simply wrong. They aren't intelligent enough to make sense of these experiences, or they're in denial, so they jump to conclusions and believe what they want to believe.
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