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From a purely Autistic standpoint, how does this creed sound to you

Greatshield17

An Appeal to Heaven!
V.I.P Member
What are your thoughts on this ancient Catholic & Orthodox creed from an Autistic standpoint? How does its clarity and specificity appeal to you?

The Athanasian Creed

Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith.
For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will undoubtedly be lost forever.
This is what the Catholic faith teaches: we worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity.
Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance.
For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit.
But the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have one divinity, equal glory, and coeternal majesty.
What the Father is, the Son is, and the Holy Spirit is.
The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated.
The Father is boundless, the Son is boundless, and the Holy Spirit is boundless.
The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal.
Nevertheless, there are not three eternal beings, but one eternal being.
So there are not three uncreated beings, nor three boundless beings, but one uncreated being and one boundless being.
Likewise, the Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent, the Holy Spirit is omnipotent.
Yet there are not three omnipotent beings, but one omnipotent being.

Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
However, there are not three gods, but one God.
The Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord.
However, there as not three lords, but one Lord.
For as we are obliged by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person singly to be God and Lord, so too are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say that there are three Gods or Lords.
The Father was not made, nor created, nor generated by anyone.
The Son is not made, nor created, but begotten by the Father alone.
The Holy Spirit is not made, nor created, nor generated, but proceeds from the Father and the Son.

There is, then, one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.
In this Trinity, there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less. The entire three Persons are coeternal and coequal with one another.
So that in all things, as is has been said above, the Unity is to be worshipped in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity.
He, therefore, who wishes to be saved, must believe thus about the Trinity.

It is also necessary for eternal salvation that he believes steadfastly in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and man.

As God, He was begotten of the substance of the Father before time; as man, He was born in time of the substance of His Mother.
He is perfect God; and He is perfect man, with a rational soul and human flesh.
He is equal to the Father in His divinity, but inferior to the Father in His humanity.
Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ.
And He is one, not because His divinity was changed into flesh, but because His humanity was assumed unto God.
He is one, not by a mingling of substances, but by unity of person.
As a rational soul and flesh are one man: so God and man are one Christ.
He died for our salvation, descended into hell, and rose from the dead on the third day.
He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
At His coming, all men are to arise with their own bodies; and they are to give an account of their own deeds.
Those who have done good deeds will go into eternal life; those who have done evil will go into the everlasting fire.
This is the Catholic faith. Everyone must believe it, firmly and steadfastly; otherwise He cannot be saved.

Amen.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Personally, I'm reading a lot of repetition, which; given it's length, makes it feel a little arduous to read.

Mind you, as someone who is guilty of repetition and writing very long blogs and posts - I guess I can easily spot what I'm also guilty of.

Ed
 

Forest Cat

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Some of it is a little confusing. And I get a feeling it was written to scare people into obedience. This talk about "everlasting fire", "lost forever" and "cannot be saved", it sounds like fear tactics.
 

Knower of nothing

Well-Known Member
Aye it's fear tactics. Rather than supply reasoning it's about "do it or else". There's lot of "don't question authority" type ideals in abrahamic faith. Regardless though, I've never understood the trinity. The gnostic Monad makes a bit more sense even though its the same idea, it's just less concerned with the naming. Why distinguish between Father and Son and Spirit? Perhaps remnants of the polytheistic origins that once were?
 

Magna

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
The Athanasian Creed

Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith.
^ What about other faiths?
For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will undoubtedly be lost forever.
^Definitely "black or white", "all or nothing" going on there. It's sad given the fact that it's impossible for anyone to keep that faith "whole and entire" so the outcome seems to be "undoubtedly" being "lost forever."
This is what the Catholic faith teaches: we worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity.
Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance.
For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit.
But the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have one divinity, equal glory, and coeternal majesty.
What the Father is, the Son is, and the Holy Spirit is.
The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated.
The Father is boundless, the Son is boundless, and the Holy Spirit is boundless.
The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal.
Nevertheless, there are not three eternal beings, but one eternal being.
So there are not three uncreated beings, nor three boundless beings, but one uncreated being and one boundless being.
Likewise, the Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent, the Holy Spirit is omnipotent.
Yet there are not three omnipotent beings, but one omnipotent being.
^It's definitely a difficult concept for humans to understand. I guess that's why the same thing needs to be stated here over and over but in slightly different ways?

Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
However, there are not three gods, but one God.
The Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord.
However, there as not three lords, but one Lord.
^I guess we're not done.

For as we are obliged by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person singly to be God and Lord, so too are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say that there are three Gods or Lords.
^Wow, still not done?

The Father was not made, nor created, nor generated by anyone.
The Son is not made, nor created, but begotten by the Father alone.
^Beget: "give rise to; bring about". I don't know how that's really different in this context to being created or made, but it seems to be an important distinction to those who created this creed.

The Holy Spirit is not made, nor created, nor generated, but proceeds from the Father and the Son.

There is, then, one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.
In this Trinity, there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less. The entire three Persons are coeternal and coequal with one another.
^Is it ok for me to scream if I read any more about three in one, but not three, but not one, but three, but one, but not one because they're three and one is different than the other two and the other two are different from the one and also different from each other but they're all still one but they're all separate from each other? But remember, in order to be saved it's imperative that this be believed. What exactly is imperative again? I've already forgotten.
So that in all things, as is has been said above, the Unity is to be worshipped in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity.
He, therefore, who wishes to be saved, must believe thus about the Trinity.

It is also necessary for eternal salvation that he believes steadfastly in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and man.

As God, He was begotten of the substance of the Father before time; as man, He was born in time of the substance of His Mother.
He is perfect God; and He is perfect man, with a rational soul and human flesh.
^"perfect man"? There isn't such a thing as a "perfect" human. Humans are fallible. He illustrated this both by losing his temper and trashing the temple area occupied by the money changers who were doing their job which was mandated by Jesus' own religion and also by killing a perfectly good fig tree because it didn't have figs on it (being out of season at the time) and therefore he wasn't able to eat from the tree when he was hungry. I don't get how a petulant act like that (tantrum?) coincides with being a "perfect man".
He is equal to the Father in His divinity, but inferior to the Father in His humanity.
Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ.
And He is one, not because His divinity was changed into flesh, but because His humanity was assumed unto God.
He is one, not by a mingling of substances, but by unity of person.
As a rational soul and flesh are one man: so God and man are one Christ.
^More of the: "One, but not one but kind of like one but different than one but still one."
He died for our salvation, descended into hell, and rose from the dead on the third day.
He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

At His coming, all men are to arise with their own bodies; and they are to give an account of their own deeds.
Those who have done good deeds will go into eternal life;
^Wait, rather than those "who have done good deeds" (what kind? How many? To whom? Who defines what a "good deed" even is? Is there a list? Instead of "good deeds", what about: "For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will undoubtedly be lost forever." at the beginning of this creed? So is it "good deeds" or "keeping the faith whole and entire" or both? Or one is the same as the other but yet separate and distinct? Not clear cut at all. Nebulous in fact but yet eternal salvation or eternal damnation hangs in the balance.
those who have done evil will go into the everlasting fire.
This is the Catholic faith. Everyone must believe it, firmly and steadfastly; otherwise He cannot be saved.
^This autistic person for one finds it very difficult to "firmly and steadfastly" believe something that seems so twisted, convoluted and even contradictory. I also can't/won't pretend I believe something that doesn't make sense to me but I'm threatened and demanded to believe it "firmly and steadfastly" or I'll burn in hell for eternity. It's like telling a person who believes and can understand that 2+2 = 4 that they need to "firmly and steadfastly" believe in the most complex mathematical theories, beyond their own comprehension "firmly and steadfastly" or...they'll burn in hell forever.

I do, however:
>Live by the Golden Rule
>Try to do my best each day to be kind to others
>Try to do my best to be a good steward to our earth
>Try to be respectful toward others and their respectful beliefs
>Try to be as present and in the moment as I can in order to enjoy my one life I have on this earth and the wonder that is.

So for me, if in fact "all men are to arise with their own bodies; and they are to give an account of their own deeds.". Then I will give an account of my own deeds.
 
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Magna

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Adding to my overall comments above, I don't fault those people who heard Jesus' teachings about how people must "eat his flesh and drink his blood" otherwise they will have no life in them. There were people who walked away saying the teachings were "hard" (to understand). At the time, the people were bound by strict dietary laws and certainly cannibalism was not on their approved foods list. Catholics believe that Jesus was not speaking metaphorically here and instead was literally saying that followers would be eating his actual flesh and drinking his actual blood.

Under the circumstances at the time I'm surprised there wasn't an historical account of most people dismissing him as being a whack job with him talking about such things. Imagine a homeless person today who perhaps possessed seemingly magical abilities and that person saying the same thing today on the street corner about people needing to eat part of him to be saved. Wouldn't that person be regarded as being mentally ill and/or speaking nonsense?
 
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Greatshield17

An Appeal to Heaven!
V.I.P Member
Under the circumstances at the time I'm surprised there wasn't an historical account of most people dismissing him as being a whack job with him talking about such things. Imagine a homeless person today who perhaps possessed seemingly magical abilities person saying the same thing today on the street corner. Wouldn't that person be regarded as being mentally ill and/or speaking nonsense?
There was a historical account of his followers being treated that way to a very extreme extent; it was called the Roman Persecution.
 

Greatshield17

An Appeal to Heaven!
V.I.P Member
Some of it is a little confusing. And I get a feeling it was written to scare people into obedience. This talk about "everlasting fire", "lost forever" and "cannot be saved", it sounds like fear tactics.

Aye it's fear tactics. Rather than supply reasoning it's about "do it or else". There's lot of "don't question authority" type ideals in abrahamic faith. Regardless though, I've never understood the trinity. The gnostic Monad makes a bit more sense even though its the same idea, it's just less concerned with the naming. Why distinguish between Father and Son and Spirit? Perhaps remnants of the polytheistic origins that once were?
While it’s debatable whether or not St. Athanasius wrote this Creed, it is important to realize who he was and what he and his followers were dealing with; St. Athanasius lived through the Arian Crisis, Arianism was a heresy in which the Divinity of Christ was denied, it claimed that the Son was a sort of inferior deity to the Father, not equal in nature to Him; apparently it also denied Christ’s humanity, claiming that He was only human in body, not in intellect and will, He was sort of a little-g “god zombie,” as you will. This heresy took a massive hold on both the political and Ecclesiastical elite in Saint Athanasius’ time, even Constantine had sympathies for Arianism, whether or not he was an Arian himself is another story. However Constantine’s successors certainly were Arian as were again, the vast majority of the Hierarchs of the Church, as one Saint put it (I forget who), “the whole world groaned, and was amazed to find itself Arian!”

And thus we get to the St. Athanasius, St. Athanasius was the Patriarch of Alexandria, and again, he was almost completely alone, heavily outnumbered by the other Hierarchs of the Church. There is a Latin phrase associated with his struggle, “Athanasius contra mundum,” “Athanasius against the world,” it comes from a confrontation between the Emperor and the Pope when the former was trying to get the latter to excommunicate St. Athanasius (whether he did or not is another story for another time); “why do you support Athanasius against the world?”

So to claim that St. Athanasius or his followers wrote this to be mean and frighten people into following them is just ludicrous! They wrote it because they genuinely believed it. Once again I’m reminded of why I love the Canadian Martyrs so much, they suffered torments akin to being hanged, drawn and quartered for their Faith, you can’t accuse them of having evil ulterior motives.
 

Knower of nothing

Well-Known Member
While it’s debatable whether or not St. Athanasius wrote this Creed, it is important to realize who he was and what he and his followers were dealing with; St. Athanasius lived through the Arian Crisis, Arianism was a heresy in which the Divinity of Christ was denied, it claimed that the Son was a sort of inferior deity to the Father, not equal in nature to Him; apparently it also denied Christ’s humanity, claiming that He was only human in body, not in intellect and will, He was sort of a little-g “god zombie,” as you will. This heresy took a massive hold on both the political and Ecclesiastical elite in Saint Athanasius’ time, even Constantine had sympathies for Arianism, whether or not he was an Arian himself is another story. However Constantine’s successors certainly were Arian as were again, the vast majority of the Hierarchs of the Church, as one Saint put it (I forget who), “the whole world groaned, and was amazed to find itself Arian!”

And thus we get to the St. Athanasius, St. Athanasius was the Patriarch of Alexandria, and again, he was almost completely alone, heavily outnumbered by the other Hierarchs of the Church. There is a Latin phrase associated with his struggle, “Athanasius contra mundum,” “Athanasius against the world,” it comes from a confrontation between the Emperor and the Pope when the former was trying to get the latter to excommunicate St. Athanasius (whether he did or not is another story for another time); “why do you support Athanasius against the world?”

So to claim that St. Athanasius or his followers wrote this to be mean and frighten people into following them is just ludicrous! They wrote it because they genuinely believed it. Once again I’m reminded of why I love the Canadian Martyrs so much, they suffered torments akin to being hanged, drawn and quartered for their Faith, you can’t accuse them of having evil ulterior motives.
Thanks for the response. Though it doesn't do much to clear up what the trinity is about. Just that he believed in it and others at the time didn't hence the intense focus on it. I personally don't think underdog status adds validity to anything.
The fear tactics are still there, it's not as simple as those that write these texts being conscious of the results, value systems don't work like that. You don't need malice to perpetuate malicious systems, only ignorance or apathy. In the case of the world of common faith, where few dare look beyond their own local culture, when people are willing to die and kill for what they believe before ever asking a question, this is what I would point at as the ignorance that becomes the vessel for evil. Conviction: with understanding comes ignorance.
 

Shevek

Well-Known Member
I have no idea what a purely Autistic standpoint might be. However, this sounds like a fairly standard variation on many introductions to a spiritual path. From the top of the mountain, one sees people following paths from many different starting points to the same goal. From the bottom of the mountain, people need to be told that they are on the best or only path in order to stop dithering and get started.
Spiritual people see our similarities. Religious people see our differences.
 

Shevek

Well-Known Member
. Once again I’m reminded of why I love the Canadian Martyrs so much, they suffered torments akin to being hanged, drawn and quartered for their Faith, you can’t accuse them of having evil ulterior motives.
So, everyone who gets punished must have been innocent?
 

Greatshield17

An Appeal to Heaven!
V.I.P Member
So, everyone who gets punished must have been innocent?
No, not even close, that's not the point the point is they suffered and died for what they believed in, you don't have to believe what they believed, you can even believe that they got what they deserved, but you cannot believe that they were doing what they did for some other, evil, ulterior motive.
 

Shevek

Well-Known Member
No, not even close, that's not the point the point is they suffered and died for what they believed in, you don't have to believe what they believed, you can even believe that they got what they deserved, but you cannot believe that they were doing what they did for some other, evil, ulterior motive.
As far as I recall, the Marty's Shrine in Midland, ON is to the glory of the local Jesuits. They may have meant well, but they got the entire Huron tribe killed. On Vancouver Island, when a band of Spanish colonizers mining gold got killed, the Priest was saved for last, because he had perpetrated the most cruel abuse. Where I live, near residential schools, the Catholic church does not dare to have another white Priest.
 

Magna

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
There was a historical account of his followers being treated that way to a very extreme extent; it was called the Roman Persecution.
What I meant was, I'm surprised that Jesus was crucified because he said he was the Son of God which was a capital offense under Mosaic Law rather than people focusing more or at least equally on his outrageous and disturbing rhetoric that in present day would only be characterized as lunacy.

The crowd to Pilate: "Sir, we have grave concern about this man Jesus. He is clearly insane by any measure we have. He's been telling people that he can grant them eternal life and give them a food that will sustain them eternally and by these claims, he's influencing thousands of people to follow him."

Pilate to the crowd: "What kind of food is he offering?"

The crowd to Pilate: "Sir, he's saying that those who follow him can partake of the "Living Bread" which perpetually sustains."

Pilate to the crowd: "Yes, but where is this "Living Bread"?

The crowd to Pilate: "Sir, he's saying they need to eat parts of his body and drink his blood while he's alive. He's saying that he's the "Living Bread". He's promoting cannibalism and says the only way people can achieve salvation is to eat of him."

Pilate to the crowd: "Figuratively, no doubt."

The crowd to Pilate: "No, Sir. Literally. He's saying he means it literally."

Pilate to the crowd: "Thank you, we'll take it from here....Guards!"

^I'm saying that I'm surprised that this was not emphasized more in a historical context.
 

GypsyMoth

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have a problem with any claim that a document written in the 4th century could be correctly interpreted through any modern lens of the 21st century by applying that latter century's values and understanding to the interpretation of the early document.

To correctly interpret the document, the reader must have some historical, cultural, and grammatical context by which they may draw out from the document the meaning therein. Keep in mind that we are not only bridging a philosophical gap between a contemporary philosophy back whereby we must step back into a constituent philosophy but there are also concerns here with carefully bridging the historical/cultural gap and even a translation/language gap. This document is making an apology to (i.e., a response in defense of) the doctrines of the catholic church (little 'c'--not the Catholic church you know today but the Christian church universal) against the Arian heresy, which denied the deity of Christ.

To come up with any other reason explaining its existence is ludicrous.
 

Moogwizard

My mind is my own church
V.I.P Member
I have a problem with any claim that a document written in the 4th century could be correctly interpreted through any modern lens of the 21st century by applying that latter century's values and understanding to the interpretation of the early document.

To correctly interpret the document, the reader must have some historical, cultural, and grammatical context by which they may draw out from the document the meaning therein. Keep in mind that we are not only bridging a philosophical gap between a contemporary philosophy back whereby we must step back into a constituent philosophy but there are also concerns here with carefully bridging the historical/cultural gap and even a translation/language gap. This document is making an apology to (i.e., a response in defense of) the doctrines of the catholic church (little 'c'--not the Catholic church you know today but the Christian church universal) against the Arian heresy, which denied the deity of Christ.

To come up with any other reason explaining its existence is ludicrous.
I agree with this . One must be almost a professor of history of the exact time period of their Preferred religion, to exactly understand the context and language. It is easy to be misconstrued. I am not sure If you have ever read Joseph Campbells work, he studied all religions his whole life . I agree with you and him , that looking at things with out understanding the society at the time .Not taking the Gap into consideration and it’s variables is dangerous.
 

GypsyMoth

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I agree with this . One must be almost a professor of history of the exact time period of their Preferred religion, to exactly understand the context and language. It is easy to be misconstrued. I am not sure If you have ever read Joseph Campbells work, he studied all religions his whole life . I agree with you and him , that looking at things with out understanding the society at the time .Not taking the Gap into consideration and it’s variables is dangerous.
No, haven't read Campbell, although I am familiar with his popular-level appeal.
 

Greatshield17

An Appeal to Heaven!
V.I.P Member
I have no idea what a purely Autistic standpoint might be. However, this sounds like a fairly standard variation on many introductions to a spiritual path. From the top of the mountain, one sees people following paths from many different starting points to the same goal. From the bottom of the mountain, people need to be told that they are on the best or only path in order to stop dithering and get started.
Spiritual people see our similarities. Religious people see our differences.
And do you know anyone has made it to the top of this mountain? And learned this revelation? Why is it we have never heard of him or her but have heard about Christ rising from the dead to appear to many? Why didn't He talk about this supposed revelation, you'd think that since He came back from the dead, He of all people would've known about this supposed truth. Why do none of the "spiritual masters" of the Catholic Church talk about this, St. Teresa of Avila doesn't talk about this, St. Faustina doesn't mention this, the child-like St. Therese of Lisieux doesn't mention this, nor does St. John of the Cross who wrote a book called The Ascent of Mount Carmel! Our Blessed Mother despite being in Heaven and being Conceived without our fallen nature, also never mentioned this in Her apparitions on Tepeyac Hill, Lourdes, Fatima, and elsewhere.

Also "spiritual" simply refers to that which concerns our intellects and wills, we're all spiritual, we all have spirits, intellects and wills; religion by contrast refers to giving God His due, we simply refer to other beliefs and practices as such because they resemble this virtue.
 

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