Sir Isaac Newton

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by sscully, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. sscully Registered Member

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    201
    Sir Isaac Newton. What a brilliant man; gravity, the laws of motion, Newtonian telescope, calculus, countless contributions to the world. And yet we discredit his work into theology and alchemy, basically throwing it aside as pre-science irrelevant ramblings of a man of his time.

    I investigated this because he is such a brilliant man. I grew up atheist, believing in the power of science. I then moved to agnosticism because I felt we truly cannot know, just the same as a believer cannot know. I argue that we must all therefore enter our research in this state of not-knowing open-mindedness. Absent irrefutable proof, the possibility of God must not be thrown aside.

    With this in mind, Sir Isaac Newton spent much of his life researching scripture and history trying to decipher the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I highly suggest reading his book: http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/1733_newton_observations.html

    This book is truly eye-opening in the links between the Bible and his methodical research techniques to apply history after the writing of the Bible to the stories of the Bible in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. I believe his arguments "Of the visions of the four metals" and "of the visions of the four beasts" are quite convincing. He even goes so far as to call the Church of Rome (Holy Roman Church) the Antichrist. If you read the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation with this concept in mind, the four empires he lists, it becomes very plausible.

    Any other Newton fanatics out there thinking about this? If you aren't but are intrigued, don't take my word for it--give Newton some open-minded respect, as the most brilliant mind in known history, and read his book--you won't regret it!

    Steve
     
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  3. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Steve as in Adam and Steve? You weave a very duplicitous picture here (triplicitous is more accurate): (1) you call yourself and agnostic (2) your post smacks of Christian fundamentalism and (3) your bio on Newton is to justify the literal interpretation of the Bible and to discredit the Roman Catholic Church (the fundies don't know about the rest of the Catholics, they just remember Luther said something nasty about the Roman Catholics so they dump all their angst at the Catholics in general.

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    How is this remotely a question of General Philosophy? And why all the subterfuge? This is not looking good. Can't you just post something that reflects genuineness, and then just let the chips fall where they may?

    So far you've opened a thread which asks us to take up questions of religion. This would seem to be best classified as a thread for the Religion forum. But I would offer as evidence in reply that the Bible is not a book ever seen in classes on philosophy, science or math. It is often seen, however in classes on mythology. There is no doubt about that, which is why all the agnostics of your persuasion (Christian fundamentalists in agnostic's clothing) probably ought to just come out of the closet, and we can get down to brass tacks and start covering all the myths, legends and fables borrowed from predecessor religions. And then we'd be doing a thread on Comparative Religions, which is always a lot of fun.

    Newton can be excused for religious ideation in that he was indoctrinated as a child. But he had the good sense to leave religion out of Principia, at least I don't recall any such mention of it, and if so, it's not germane to the subject at hand, which was to bring the world out of the Dark Ages and begin to explain nature by the best evidence and the cogent application of the principles of geometry.

    Your motive seems to be this: since science-literate people admire Newton, and since Newton was indoctrinated into the Anglican Church (not Lutheran, therefore Catholics are not scum for selling indulgences, but rather for nailing Henry VIII to the cross for his multiple divorces. Another big blunder for the fundies) then if you can draw us into a discussion purporting to be about Newton, you can punk us into admitting that a religious man was a brilliant scientist. How about just cut to the chase. Yes, he was indoctrinated as a child, and lived in world severely deprived of the freedom to explore the fabulous origins of the text he called a Bible. And besides, who cares? None of this will vindicate the crimes of the present day fundamentalists who are chronically interfering in matters of science and public policy.
     
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  5. sscully Registered Member

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    Let's see. So, to start, you've insinuated I am gay. As if that has any significance. So, thus far you've shown me you are a hateful bigot. Ok. Good. Then you continue by misinterpreting my statements: I said I was agnostic, I did not explicitly state my beliefs beyond that Newton is very convincing to me. My bio of Newton is an accurate biography of Newton. You can interpret it as you will, but clearly you are more intelligent than him, to just dismiss his work offhandedly.

    Yes, my apologies it is not specifically posted in the Religion tab of the philosophy forum. Regardless, philosophy and religion go hand-in-hand. Philosophy is the search for answers to questions about life, inclusive of the question of God.

    Listen to yourself; you think you know better than Isaac Newton and just dismiss his life's work. He didn't "leave religion out of Principia", as you suggest, if you do your research you will find he developed the law of gravity as a result of his religious beliefs.

    Your ignorance is profound. Watch a documentary on his life; read any of countless sources online about his life and his occult studies. Tons of people grow up with religion and do not spend their lives pursuing it. Isaac Newton, however, spent the vast majority of his life pursuing religion. To just ignore this fact is the grandest form of ignorance, as you already have assumed your predisposition to be accurate and have chosen to disregard all possibilities of changing your views. Your beliefs are not static, nor are they infallible. Recognize the fallibility of the observer and you will achieve major personal growth.
     
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  7. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Nope, I have no idea nor do I care about sexual preference. I was merely connecting you to Creationism, and possible homophobia, since the quip illustrates Creationists expressing homophobia. There's nothing wrong with being gay. There is lot wrong with being a Creationist, posting inflammatory stuff just to troll the science threads, as your buddies often do. But of course there's nothing wrong with being a Creationist who happens to appreciate science, and comes here to post out of casual interest in intelligent discussion, without all the baggage I see here.

    Not at all. I am very singular in my attacks on fundamentalist bullshit. Gay or straight is irrelevant. Unless of course we have cause to talk about the deprivations of rights perpetrated onto gays by (mostly) the fundies. Then you'll see my hatred of homophobia reflected as a huge gaping fallacy of fundamentalism under which it withers.

    That's why I suggested you come out of the closet. You can not claim agnosticism and then show a preference for Christian fundamentalism, without being called -- what did you say -- oh yeah, a bigot. More accurately, you're being duplicitous. So fess up.

    I have no interest in the religious bullshit of the colonial period. I will read Principia every time it's in front of me. I'm not interpreting Newton, you are.

    Oh OK I thought you were deliberately avoiding the link to religion. My bad. Funny though that you admit to this and not the rest.

    Uh . . . no, philosophy is the discussion about all the ways of treating the question of ultimate reality (in a nutshell) which makes no presumption about God, certainly not the fundamentalist version of God or Jesus. It does engage the works of many philosophers of all personal belief systems, but who rarely mix religious principles with those of the nature of existence. That's why you will not likely see St Thomas Aquinas or Luther (etc) in a class on philosophy. But I withdraw on this since I mistook your intent. This particular point no longer matters. Besides the thread can be moved.

    Flame much?

    I stand by what I said. Having read it many times, I do not recall that he mentioned God in it, and if he did, it was not material to the technical presentation. And you're slandering me by accusing me of dismissing Principia, To reiterate, I don't care about his persona as a theologian. It has nothing to do with the value of his solution to Kepler's Laws and his invention of calculus, as well as his excellent presentation of kinematics. All of that is what earned him his place in science. There is nothing spectacular about his writings on religion and theology. The site you picked looks like a Creationist board to me. Not good.

    Is that a malapropism on an oxymoron? Of course everyone is ignorant. It's a relative term. But at least I can engage you on the content of Newton's technical work, and the many fallacies of Creationism, which stem from an ignorance of the first principles of science, coupled with an insatiable need to lie. That's more like "aggravated ignorance in the first degree". It's pathological. Simple ignorance is not necessarily harmful, nor is it necessarily a reason to chastise a person. We chastise people for being lazy, quitting school, and taking up religion to cover their deliberate ignorance of the facts and evidence put before them. And we only go that far when they start screaming at patients trying to get in and out of the abortion clinics, harassing gays, attacking the teaching of evolution and climate science, and interfering in science, just to shore up the moronic demand to literally interpret ancient myth, which earns them all the recriminations they get from those of us who are at least not that ignorant.

    No. I am aware of Newton's life story and I don't care about the content of his religious writings or the occult. I'm just waiting for you to get real. Are you or are you not touting Newton as a poster boy of science who you want to pin up at Ken Ham's Fred Flintstone museum? Forget the point about ignorance and concentrate on honesty.

    Now you're just being a turd. I repeat: I am aware of Newton's religious indoctrination and his theological writings but I don't give a damn about it. It has nothing to do with his technical contributions.

    You're not my mentor, and if you were, I would fire you. So all of that counts against you as gratuitous ad homs, all wasted space. Just tell me what I asked you in the first place: are you or are you not trying to tout an icon of science in order to shore up the literal interpretation of myth? I say you are, and your avoidance of the question digs that hole deeper. Are you or are you not being deliberately dishonest? That's a sinkhole. As I said: just cut to the chase. Nothing you can say can possibly offend me, once I've lost my respect for you. So don't bother beating around the bush with insults and thinly veiled attempts to flame me. Just be direct, and you probably won't even get banned. At least try to be honest. What other possible purpose would you have for posting here? Are you working for someone else or trying to vindicate fundamentalism out of some internal need? What's your game? Just come out with it.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    You don't have to be an atheist to believe in the power of science. Lots of working scientists are also religionists; they change roles when they put their lab coat on or take it off. It's called "cognitive dissonance."

    You're not as familiar with the scientific method as you should be. One of its most important principles is the Rule of Laplace (or "Sagan's Law" as Americans are more likely to know it):
    Extraordinary assertions must be supported by extraordinary evidence before anyone is obliged to treat them with respect.​

    The God hypothesis has so many voids and inconsistencies that it can honestly be called the most extraordinary of all assertions--so no one, much less a person who considers himself even an amateur scientist, can take it seriously.

    For starters, the word "universe" means "everything that exists." Obviously God must exist, in order to be able to perform the amazing feats that are credited to him. Therefore, since God exists, he is part of the universe. So if God created the universe, he must have created himself. Can you say "the Fallacy of Recursion?"

    Please submit your evidence and reasoning for asserting that Newton was more brilliant than Einstein, Hawking, or any of a number of other outstanding scientists.

    Settle down, Beavis. The dude's screen name is sscully. Does that suggest to you that his first name might actually be Steve? Especially since he signed his bloody post that way?

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    You must live in a happy place where you never run into any real Christian fundamentalists. Steve's writing is nothing like their rants.

    Good grief, what benighted university did you attend??? Even we outspoken atheists understand that the Bible is full of philosophy. Many of its stories are archetypes, motifs that pop up in nearly all cultures in nearly all eras.

    The New Testament is surely a bit heavy-handed, but don't you think admonitions like "turn the other cheek" have a philosophical basis? This is merely a rebuttal to the common playground whine, "It all started when he hit me back." That statement is almost always true! If you don't hit the bully back, he stands there with everyone watching, looking like the oaf he is. But if you hit him back, then it's just another playground squabble and nobody gives a damn.

    NOTE FROM A MODERATOR:

    This is not my subforum, but still I do not find this discussion to be outside the realm of philosophy. It's pretty hard to talk about philosophy without the topic of religion eventually coming up.

    Therefore I don't see any reason that it should be moved.

    Fraggle Rocker
    Moderator
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  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    8,415
    I'm not sure whether to take you as disingenuous or merely naive.

    It is well understood by historians of science that Newton lived at a time when natural science was still in the process of disentangling itself from metaphysics, alchemy, superstition etc. In fact I read a good biography of Newton called "The Last Sorcerer", which dwelt upon his alternation between science and what we would now regard as pseudo-science. Like quite a few clever men of his time he went in for all sorts of fancy biblical interpretation (for example J S Bach, who was 40 years his junior, went in for biblical numerology).

    Only someone ignorant of this could think that, just because a far-fetched piece of biblical interpretation was written by Newton, then it must be taken seriously. In any case it is only fragments, assembled by his half-nephew and published posthumously:http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-ADD-03989/1

    It seems quite likely that Newton himself realised it wasn't much good and set it to one side.
     
  10. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    To be fair, it was Newton that discredited his work in theology and alchemy by not seeing fit to publish it. He was a very exacting man and he did not feel that his work in these areas produced results worthy of these standards.

    Perhaps we should accept his judgment?
     
  11. sscully Registered Member

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    201
    He lived in a time when publishing would have been very dangerous for his well-being, don't just ignore his work on theology because you are making assumptions.
     
  12. sscully Registered Member

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    You are discrediting his work already, mate.

    Regardless of what you all think, I am not some Bible thumper, I have only read a few books from the Bible, all of which is related to Newton research, and I find it to be extremely compelling to the open-minded truth seeker. I, as the one who has actually bothered to read his work, am the ignorant one? That's comical.

    Assumptions get you no where. He didn't publish for many reasons, such as the oppression he would face if the church knew his beliefs. However, his lack of belief in his work that he spent the majority of his life on is not one of those reasons; he is a brilliant individual, no brilliant individual is going to spend their entire life seeking answers in something they know is false.
     
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Of course I am discrediting his work - the part that was no good, that is. You appear to find that shocking. But he was a man, not a god. A good deal of what he spent his time on would be considered a waste of time by modern science. That's the point. He lived in an era when science and mumbo-jumbo were thoroughly mixed and, consequently, he did his share of BOTH.
     
  14. sscully Registered Member

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    201
    It is one thing to be aware of his beliefs, an entirely different thing to open-mindedly consider his writings. You are not going to do that, so I'm not going to bother to talk to you as our conversation has no relevance to Isaac Newton's biblical interpretations. Your hatred for religion is palpable, and quite sad. I know you. I used to be you. I looked down on religion as something only fools would believe. But once you bother to do some introspection you will find you are just as foolish to believe atheism. There is no proof to believe what you believe. Be a true scientist and recognize that there is no evidence and therefore you are in the wrong to believe anything but open-minded agnosticism, absent further discovery. Otherwise, what are you doing here? Just trying to debunk my thread so that I can believe what you believe mindlessly? Not going to happen, move along and let my thread die of old age and stop wasting your time if you are disinterested in open-minded consideration of Newton's works.
     
  15. sscully Registered Member

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    You have absolutely no basis for those statements without considering his work.
     
  16. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    how do you know and understand what's in the deep end,
    when you only have just stuck your toe in the water ?
     
  17. sscully Registered Member

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    But of course. I am simply telling my own personal story in an attempt to show that I was not raised to believe, nor did I "find God" through some path of zero evidence, I simply took the time to be open-minded about Newton's works.

    I am not trying to start religious discussions absent consideration of Newton's works. I am still working out what I personally believe, but the book is certainly a critical stepping stone. My sole purpose in this thread is to draw attention to his occult studies and converse with people who are actually interested in the topics.

    He is before them; their work is on his shoulders. But this is just semantics. Since you do not agree he was the most brilliant, let us just agree that he was one of the most brilliant. It doesn't matter. To quote Einstein: "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." These two I will allow the top spot, but Hawking? No one is close to Newton or Einstein and they both believed in a creator. Newton's creator just went so far as to be interactive with us through Biblical text. Providing very compelling evidence for a proof of God, when interpreted as Newton does, but disbelief is a powerful thing that will prevent most from even bothering to consider this possibility.
     
  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    On the contrary, I have read a well researched biography of him that supports my view.

    Bible interpretation is for theologians, not scientists. If Newton had useful insights on the Bible, the theologians would have picked it up and he would be well known for it .
     
  19. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    Wbn ???
     
  20. sscully Registered Member

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    You are just making excuses for not reading it. Why post in this thread if you are disinterested in considering the topic, besides to show dominance?
     
  21. sscully Registered Member

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    I don't know what that means

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  22. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    there's an individual i once met that goes by " want to be newton "
    (wbn)
    was just curious if it was you.
     
  23. sscully Registered Member

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    Ha, not I, though I'm sure we have similarities ;-D
     

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