"Wherefore We must interrupt a silence which it would be criminal to prolong, that We may point out...as they really are, men who are badly disguised." Pope St. Pius X, September 8, 1907, Pascendi Dominici Gregis


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Contra Stefan Molyneux: Jesus is God

I admire Stefan Molyneux tremendously. His intellectual presence of mind in his videos is one I can only strive to emulate. Obviously, Stefan has faith that his reason can lead him to the truth. Strangely though, I'm not sure he realizes the full implication of this prerequisite nature of faith to truth.

In this video Stefan makes some astounding claims against faith in Jesus. I present the counter-arguments below, starting with my comment on his YouTube video.

Stefan is completely wrong on this particular point: Our Lord indeed desired His own death. This is clear from the text of the Bible, as well as ipso facto because He let it happen. The idea that God demanded His sacrifice to atone for the sins of mankind is simply the epitome of the metaphysical truth that all excellence, all virtue requires effort and a particular form of self-denial. Philosophers such as Stephan realize the virtuous life is not actually self-denial but a higher form of self-fulfillment. 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.' Discipline is necessary for man, and it was necessary for God-as-man.

The 'why have you forsaken me' is analogous to my brief hesitation and complaint of 'why do I have to do this' before I go ahead rip off the bandage firmly attached to my hairy leg, which I do, even though I don't want to in certain sense, because I know it is the least bad of all possible outcomes. It also makes explicit a higher truth for intelligent, but not omniscient beings such as ourselves that even though God exists - and who is more aware of this than Our Lord? - we as men will sometimes feel as though He does not. We will in fact feel that He has abandoned us in the moment even though upon full reflection on the matter we know He has not.

Stefan may claim that Our Lord, if He was God, must have been absolutely correct when He said He was abandoned. Yes, this accords with the reality long defended by Catholic tradition of Our Lord as both fully man and fully God. As a man, that is to say mere flesh, His mere flesh was abandoned; His body, His lower nature was abandoned to an ignominious death. As God, or spirit, or an entity that can and does perceive absolute truth, and is committed to living out that metaphysical truth regardless of the physical price He was not abandoned. Certainly, Our Lord also said 'I thirst' but this does not invalidate His divinity or indicate that God-qua-God can be thirsty (which He can't), just that God-qua-man can be.

Clearly, Stefan can understand this distinction. At 19:48 Stefan even points out that 'if we are dealing with a divine being, there is no difference between description and proscription.' Certainly true. Our Lord though spent His entire life dealing with non-divine beings, and even if it were possible for Him to take the infinite amount of time needed to describe and proscribe the entire universe in every little detail and situation, this was not something his audience would've been able to receive. God-as-God possesses all truth. God-as-man communicated it strategically and within limits.

To Stefan's second point, if Jesus was not God, yes it would be strange for Him to ask others to disassociate with everyone who disagrees with Him. As the Word Made Flesh, however, He is precisely the absolute moral standard which Stefan claims Our Lord did not provide as justification for such disassociation. I am almost surprised that Stefan wouldn't be aware that believers in God do indeed have a precise moral standard that we would judge others' behavior against before disassociating with them.

Thirdly, although the Bible is not a science textbook as Stefan seems to want and God may have many infinitely good reasons for not revealing certain advanced scientific truths at the time the Bible was written if necessary for man to progress according to God's plan, the Bible does indeed include references to advanced technological developments that while they seemed perhaps mythical to men of less technological days, seem entirely plausible today. The mark of the beast, mentioned in the Apocalypse, in which every man is required by a worldwide Satanic government to obtain a mark to buy or sell is not only scientifically possible with the advent of RFID and microchips, but there are actually Satanic politicians working to put in place such a system right now! What more evidence could Stefan want???

...to be continued.

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