Traditional cosmologies?
#1
Dear friends, I would like to know if any of you out there subscribe to any form of a traditional cosmology especially in light of Thomistic philosophy. I don't necessarily mean physically such as with the young earth creationists, moreso conceptually if you know what I mean, although young Earth creationists and the like are fully welcome to give their opinions on the matter. I will be greatly interested in hearing your opinions.

My questions for you all would be
1. What do you think of the nature of Heaven, Hell, purgatory, their locations, and physicality?

2. What about the nature of the traditional planets, stars, and other heavenly bodies?

3. And what about the four elements, are they concepts, forces, are they just antiquated versions of modern scientific phenomena, or do they exist at all?

Thanks to everyone in advance.  :)

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#2
(11-21-2015, 03:21 PM)Dominicus Wrote: Dear friends, I would like to know if any of you out there subscribe to any form of a traditional cosmology especially in light of Thomistic philosophy. I don't necessarily mean physically such as with the young earth creationists, moreso conceptually if you know what I mean, although young Earth creationists and the like are fully welcome to give their opinions on the matter. I will be greatly interested in hearing your opinions.

My questions for you all would be
1. What do you think of the nature of Heaven, Hell, purgatory, their locations, and physicality?

No one has returned from the dead, so we have no idea.  Literally.  This is the one thing where because we don't know everything, what we do know about it is essentially DERRRRRRPPPPPPP.

Quote:2. What about the nature of the traditional planets, stars, and other heavenly bodies?

Exactly what science tells us.

Quote:3. And what about the four elements, are they concepts, forces, are they just antiquated versions of modern scientific phenomena, or do they exist at all?

This.

Quote:Thanks to everyone in advance.  :)

Traditional Catholicism is not Christian Shamanism, we shouldn't try to make it such.
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#3
(11-21-2015, 06:45 PM)Melkite Wrote: Traditional Catholicism is not Christian Shamanism, we shouldn't try to make it such.
Whoa there, Melkite. I'm not trying to foster Christian Shamanism, I would have nothing to do with that. I was simply asking for other peoples opinions out of curiosity. If you've read any works by Thomas Aquinas or many other saints you would know that we can know a lot more about the afterlife other than "DERRRRRPPPPPP" through reason and revelation. I would like to know why you think that discussing the differences in Thomistic cosmology now vs. a few centuries ago counts as "shamanism."
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#4
A life changing book for me was Father Seraphim Rose's Genesis, Creation, and Early Man which attempts to look at the cosmos and creation through the lens of the Church Fathers. Another life changing book was The Doctrines of Genesis 1-11 by the Roman Catholic author Rev. Victor P.  Warkulwiz. The latter book is more scholastic in its approach to cosmology.


I admit I'm a self educated low class guy who doesn't even have a college degree so most of this stuff was obtuse and unreal and difficult to follow for me but interesting nonetheless. I tend to think there's a bit of truth to the scientific, the Thomist and the Patristic views, but I'm not competent enough to hash out the details. Truth be told I don't think much about cosmology much of the time.

The Patristic view along with trying to live and pray according to the rhythm of the liturgical year with the Divine Office appeals to me personally more than the often dry, abstract and academic Thomist or scientific viewpoints but to each his own I guess. If I had to rank them by my own preference I'd say first Patristic, second Thomist and last scientific. Thomism is abstract and obtuse but at least interesting, science leaves me cold inside,it's permeated with the spirit of agnosticism or atheism.
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#5
(11-21-2015, 07:14 PM)Dominicus Wrote: Whoa there, Melkite. I'm not trying to foster Christian Shamanism, I would have nothing to do with that. I was simply asking for other peoples opinions out of curiosity. If you've read any works by Thomas Aquinas or many other saints you would know that we can know a lot more about the afterlife other than "DERRRRRPPPPPP" through reason and revelation. I would like to know why you think that discussing the differences in Thomistic cosmology now vs. a few centuries ago counts as "shamanism."

What can we know about the afterlife?  I mean, not what can we have faith about in the afterlife?  What can we truly know about the afterlife?  We can't even know that an afterlife exists. 

I didn't mean to imply that you were trying to start Christian shamanism.  I just mean the old cosmologies are plainly absurd.  The sun does not orbit the earth.  It just doesn't.  One has to be not just willfully, but obstinately, ignorant in order to maintain such a belief.  This is what I meant by Christian Shamanism - stubbornly holding onto outdated and erroneous ideas in the name of tradition.

(11-21-2015, 07:25 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: If I had to rank them by my own preference I'd say first Patristic, second Thomist and last scientific. Thomism is abstract and obtuse but at least interesting, science leaves me cold inside,it's permeated with the spirit of agnosticism or atheism.

I think that's what I like about scientism.  It burns up the chaff of pious idiocy and only what must necessarily be true of God -what it can't burn up- remains.
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#6
I don't know, personally  I'd rather hold to some sort of religious and pious fantasy as a worldview than simply accept scientism. Theres something beautiful about the various teachings and ideas about our Faith that make life interesting and worth living. It's hard to live without myths and stories and beautiful ideals. I grew up with a mom that believed in ghosts and fairies and different dimensions and I dabbled in Wicca and fantasy in high school.

The scientific view was cold to me and still is, it gives nothing to live for and nothing to die for. Traditional liturgical Christianity with its daily saints and stories and pious customs appeals to me greatly.

I'm neither educated nor an academic so I'm more interested in the stories, the pious customs and the rhythm of the liturgical year as lived out in a worldview than anything else. Proving which cosmology ( if any) accurately reflects reality,or trying to be an apologist for the supposed reasonableness of Roman Catholicism are above my pay grade and outside my competence. 

The Biblical and Patristic view capture my imagination in meaningful ways, they are kind of like the background to the contents of our Faith.
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#7
(11-21-2015, 07:25 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I admit I'm a self educated low class guy who doesn't even have a college degree so most of this stuff was obtuse and unreal and difficult to follow for me but interesting nonetheless. I tend to think there's a bit of truth to the scientific, the Thomist and the Patristic views, but I'm not competent enough to hash out the details. Truth be told I don't think much about cosmology much of the time.

The Patristic view along with trying to live and pray according to the rhythm of the liturgical year with the Divine Office appeals to me personally more than the often dry, abstract and academic Thomist or scientific viewpoints but to each his own I guess. If I had to rank them by my own preference I'd say first Patristic, second Thomist and last scientific. Thomism is abstract and obtuse but at least interesting, science leaves me cold inside,it's permeated with the spirit of agnosticism or atheism.

Yes, I agree completely. I'm rather indifferent to scientism, I accept it but to me it doesn't really matter how the world was formed so long as we know that God created it ex nihilo and we can look at it through the lens of symbolism to find meaning. Science has its uses but if it doesn't benefit us spiritually then what is the point? I've had enough dealings with atheist "scientists" who base their beliefs on their so called "scientific principles" to know that we would be better off keeping our noses to ourselves in some places rather than causing scepticism where there need be none. I also do not agree with those who think that just because they personally did not witness something gives them the right to quash the opinions and ideas of others who disagree.
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#8
(11-21-2015, 07:37 PM)Melkite Wrote: I think that's what I like about scientism.  It burns up the chaff of pious idiocy and only what must necessarily be true of God -what it can't burn up- remains.

This very point is central to the thesis of Hans Urs von Balthasar that I posted in his essay, "The Fathers, the Scholastics and Ourselves," which I linked here.  He states that the elimination of the chaff, leaving us with a stark "worldly world," forces us to come to pure faith, which is, in fact, extremely valuable and salvific.

On the other hand, formerbuddhist, I understand and sympathize with your love of the numinous.  Temperamentally, I am the same way.  I would also like to second your recommendation of Fr. Seraphim Rose's book on creation.  I have this book.  What a treasure it is.  With their theoria, the Fathers were able to see into creation itself -- all the logoi.  It's not necessarily opposed to von Balthasar's thesis.  But this kind of seeing requires much purgation and prayer.  Until then, and afterwards, we need to walk by faith, the purer the better.
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#9
(11-21-2015, 08:06 PM)Dominicus Wrote:
(11-21-2015, 07:25 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I admit I'm a self educated low class guy who doesn't even have a college degree so most of this stuff was obtuse and unreal and difficult to follow for me but interesting nonetheless. I tend to think there's a bit of truth to the scientific, the Thomist and the Patristic views, but I'm not competent enough to hash out the details. Truth be told I don't think much about cosmology much of the time.

The Patristic view along with trying to live and pray according to the rhythm of the liturgical year with the Divine Office appeals to me personally more than the often dry, abstract and academic Thomist or scientific viewpoints but to each his own I guess. If I had to rank them by my own preference I'd say first Patristic, second Thomist and last scientific. Thomism is abstract and obtuse but at least interesting, science leaves me cold inside,it's permeated with the spirit of agnosticism or atheism.

Yes, I agree completely. I'm rather indifferent to scientism, I accept it but to me it doesn't really matter how the world was formed so long as we know that God created it ex nihilo and we can look at it through the lens of symbolism to find meaning. Science has its uses but if it doesn't benefit us spiritually then what is the point? I've had enough dealings with atheist "scientists" who base their beliefs on their so called "scientific principles" to know that we would be better off keeping our noses to ourselves in some places rather than causing scepticism where there need be none. I also do not agree with those who think that just because they personally did not witness something gives them the right to quash the opinions and ideas of others who disagree.

You don't have to “accept scientism”. Its simply an ideology (its basically materialism with a bit of epistemology). If you're interested in the subject I can't recommend David Hart's “The Experience of God” highly enough. Also, Edward Feser's works.

About your original question, I don't have an opinion on that matter, except the general belief that Creation is also Epiphany, as St. Paul himself suggests and as we confess every Mass as we enter into the Canon—and not in the Calvinist way that its only showing God's power—and that even the material world might be bigger than we imagine. Of course, these are too broad beliefs to answer you question in any helpful way.
I've been looking for a time to read up on that, but I never find it. I've read bits and pieces of Wolfgang Smith's books, but never studied them properly. They're very interesting if you want a traditionalist (in some sense) Catholic view but given by a mathematical physicist.

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#10
(11-21-2015, 08:19 PM)Clare Brigid Wrote:
(11-21-2015, 07:37 PM)Melkite Wrote: I think that's what I like about scientism.  It burns up the chaff of pious idiocy and only what must necessarily be true of God -what it can't burn up- remains.

This very point is central to the thesis of Hans Urs von Balthasar that I posted in his essay, "The Fathers, the Scholastics and Ourselves," which I linked here.  He states that the elimination of the chaff, leaving us with a stark "worldly world," forces us to come to pure faith, which is, in fact, extremely valuable and salvific.

On the other hand, formerbuddhist, I understand and sympathize with your love of the numinous.  Temperamentally, I am the same way.  I would also like to second your recommendation of Fr. Seraphim Rose's book on creation.  I have this book.  What a treasure it is.  With their theoria, the Fathers were able to see into creation itself -- all the logoi.  It's not necessarily opposed to von Balthasar's thesis.  But this kind of seeing requires much purgation and prayer.  Until then, and afterwards, we need to walk by faith, the purer the better.

These are very good points, Clare Brigid, thank you very much. I will look into that book. I personally have always wrestled with my own temperament on this matter, the melancholy part of me tells me to look at it plainly and scientifically but the sanguine part of me tells me to be imaginative. Back when I was a protestant growing up, I was always taught the literal interpretation of genesis and I accepted it, it wasn't until later in perhaps middle school that I was taught otherwise. I like to look at it through a middle view though I haven't really figured out what that would be just yet.
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