lunes, 16 de octubre de 2017

GOD IN 3 TALES OF SCIENCE FICTION




Three famous and awarded tales of Sci Fi, they were written by two talented atheistic authors, who use God’s existence to create worlds that invites our minds, to travel by universes in which we can access just through dreams and imagination.




By
Marc Pesaresi

Traducción
CAROLINA ALFARO


 Para acceder al artículo en Castellano
Click AQUÍ


_____________

Arthur C. Clarke
“The Nine Billion Names of God”
 Tibetan Buddhism 


 

In this story, the action is performed in a Tibetan Monastery, where monks and lamas are focus on an incredible task: To write the nine billion names of God. In this task they already had 300 years, they are exhausted and they understood that without modern technology, to finish the task will take another one thousand five hundred years. The lamas rented from an information technology lab from New York one powerful computer to help them with the hard job of combining nine letters. 

Once they are at United States office in the company who will give them the computer, the lab director wants to know the reason and he asked to the monks what was the purpose of the job. One of the Tibetans answered: “You can call it ritual, but it has great importance for our faith. The names of the Supreme Being- God,  Jupiter, Jehovah, Ala – they are no more that signs applied by men. We have the conviction that between all the letters combination, we can find the real names of God. Our commitment is to find them and write them up” . (1)

Once contract is done, two engineers travel to the Tibet and they run the powerful computer. With this machine it can be reduced in 100 days a job that it will take with the antique method one millennium and a half. 

While the computer works, the lamas inspect the combinations patiently, why? There’s a real motive of the monks effort that they did not reveal to the people from New York. However, the people from New York had the feeling.  Turn out to be what the Tibetans think, when all God’s names had been revealed and write them up, the Supreme being will intercede to finish with the illusion of this material world (full of dualism and separation); this end will make easier the entry of the human race to the Nirvana, in the Universal conscience.  

Of course, the engineers are skeptics about the final result, they do not believe that the human race as the way is known, it will end in one transposition to the freedom of all suffering and from the rebirth cycles. After one hundred days of strong job, the engineers decide to go away. 

With the conviction that the job done by the lamas is in vain, they took a flight at night and they come back home. Suddenly, the surprise occur without warning: when they show their face over the window, they were surprised because they see that the stars are turning out each other. The monks have found the real name of God finally and with this, as result, the history of the universe end, the earth, the human race and the creatures.

Buddhism, religion without God

It is result paradoxical that Clarke mentioned to God in a story of Tibetans lamas. The Buddhism is not a conventional religion. It does not have one god to serve and to worship. This peculiarity has created difficulties to the Buddhism facing the occidental rational thought that Matthieu Ricard explains: “Poor Buddhism! Rejected by the religion as atheistic philosophy, it is a mind science, and by the philosopher seen as religion; there’s no place where the Buddhism has civil right. But it can be used  as a benefit that allows to the Buddhism build a bridge between religion and philosophy”. 

Ricard does not ignore, that the Buddhism, looks like the filler of a sandwich whose bread is form by two layers of theology and philosophy. Now: the cosmology Buddhism is hard to understand for the occidental, above all, to whom never get interested in this kind of thought or belief. In simple way, it says that several canonical Buddhism books talk about the form and the evolution of the universe as the way the Buddhism understands and explains and it can be found in them, its origin and the destruction of itself.  The form of the universe Buddhist is spherical and it evolves with the time.  

In essence, the Buddhism is a contemplative attitude that ensure, through the meditation, to reach the illumination or the last true of all the things.  To acquire a new wisdom that goes with peak sensation. In this point, Clarke did imagine a last transformation. To obligate to God, once his secret name has been revealed, to finish all the things to give way to the big transformation never seen before: the perfection of life in the universe, the step to the earth to the nirvana. 

Siddhartha Gautama defined the nirvana as “one condition where there’s no earth, water, air, light, space, world, sun, or moon”. Where nothing exists “neither to go nor come, neither rise nor death, no decease neither birth, without effect, without changes, without care; it is the end of suffering”. (Udana, VIII, 2) Now, we understand that the operators of the powerful computer, to see through the window, they saw all the stars disappear. The entire universe was transforming itself to the speed of the thoughts almost.  


Isaac Asimov
“The last question”

Gentileza Sci Fi Wallpapers  

In this other story, two men make a question to a powerful computer of big size called Multivac, that it has the peculiarity of “adjust by itself” and “ make correction by itself”. The answer will take millennium to be given and when it will come, it will surprise to the readers for being so clever. 

Thinking Drunks

One day at the middle of the XXI age, two drunks of beers that live in a global society where there is very abundant power due the control of solar rays, they realize that the Sun will not live anymore and they start to discuss about the mortality of the things. So, to resolve the dispute they decided to ask to «Multivac», superior computer that controls and directs the activities of the human race: how it can be reduced the massive net quantity of entropy of the universe?

The kilometric computer had resolved a lot of problems even making easy, the extension of the human race for the neighbor space to the earth. So, the answer, they thought, it will be easy to elaborate. However, after several processing minutes, Multivac did answer: “datum not good enough to provide a specific answer”. The two men went away and they forgot de issue. (2).

Thinking intergalactic travelers

Thousands of years later, the human race  is still controlled by powerful computers that are able to resolve, even, the problems of hyper space travel making easy the intergalactic expansion of the human race.

One family travel to the X-23 galaxy in a ship controlled by a little computer called «Microvac». When they arrived at vicinity galaxy, the travelers – it was not correct call them crew members since the computer makes all the task and the human being just have to wait that the travel end – they talk about the durability of everything. So, to look for a solution of all the concerns, the father family, Jerrodd, asks to the computer if there is any way to avoid the end. The answer is: “Datum not good enough to provide a specific answer”. Then it gets out of the problem.  

Thinking galactic workers 

Two workers of the “Galactic council” (Vj-23 from Lameth and MQ-17 from Nicron) “guys” in spite of they are immortal they look like 20 years old even though they are living between 150 and 200 years, they discuss about the problems that cause the quick expansion of the human being through the galaxies, they are scared that it can be overpopulated that it will be impossible to live.  Being all of them immortal, it is understood that the whole universe will be small and this possibility, cause fear since the immortality facing the cosmos that die, it can be worse than good. 

The situation is getting complicated for the men; they realized that in about ten years there will be no more space at the universe, without mention that the power of which use going in increase every time more,  they decided to go to the computer looking for solutions. By that time, the huge computer is called AC Galactic and it can be consulted by little terminals AC that they can fit in any pant pocket or coat. 

Then, one of them asks: Is it possible to revert the entropy? The answer is the same that come repeatedly form millennium ago: “Datum not good enough to provide a specific answer”.

Thinking universal minds

Passing thousands of years, the human being does not need their bodies anymore, because they exist just as minds. Zee Prime meet another mind called Dee Sub Wun and after they greet each other, they talk. The conversation goes over the mortality of everything that exist and about the human being origin. In which galaxy the human being was created? They ask to the computer that for now it is an entity called Universal AC.

This computer lives in some place of the hyper space and nobody has seen it almost. However, given than it has spilled for all the cosmos its receivers, anybody can ask at any time, any place like it is “somebody” omnipresent.

After a while, the computer address Zee Prime’s mind to one place on the universe and it says to him: “this is the original galaxy of the human being”. Dee Sub Wun wanted to know a little bit more. Asking: One of this star is the original star of the human being?” Universal AC answer: “The original star of the human being has become Nova. It is a white miniature”. Zee Prime affected deeply ask once again: the human being that lived there already died? Universal AC answer: “As use to be in these cases, a new world for their physical bodies was built in the time”.

Confronting with the possibility of the death both is speechless. So, they start to talk about the mortality of life and they realize that, even though of being immortals, if the universe cease, they also will die. Then Zee Prime aware about the bad of the entropy asks: - Universal AC! How it can be avoid that the stars die?
And the answer that they get is the same as always: “Datum not good enough to provide a specific answer”. Both minds go on their own way. At the end Zee Prime decided to harvest interstellar gas to build one personal star by the time everything dies.

Thinking Unity

Many thousands years after, the human race’s  bodies and  minds make one, that sadly sees  how the universe is ending little by little and the stars, the naturals and the stars that the human being creates, they are turning out.  

And the human being that mentally was one but make up from trillion of trillions of bodies without age, incorruptible but whose minds begin to join to make easy the survival facing the inexorable end of the substance and energy, ask to the computer that today is called Cosmic AC and it is an unrecognizable entity computer since it is no more substance or energy therefore, immune to the approaching end: how it can be revert the entropy? 

Come up suddenly the same answer: -, “Datum not good enough to provide a specific answer”. But the human being wanted to know more about and initiate a conversation with Cosmic AC. 

Gather up additional information -, Almost begging to the human being for more information. The almost almighty computer answers: - I will do. Long billions of years ago, my predecessor and I had listened the same question. All the information that I have is still insufficient. 

-Is the time arriving? The men asked- the moment that the information is good enough or the problem is insoluble in all conceivable circumstances.

The Cosmic AC answer: - No problem is insoluble in all conceivable circumstances.

The man ask: - when do you have enough information to answer the question? 

And the Cosmic AC answered as always: “Datum not good enough to provide a specific answer”.

Time passing and the last man thinks

All the human being is melting to the last computer that today is called AC. However, before to be melting, the last mind makes a pause in the process and asks over again the same question that has been done some time before than him, during thousands and thousands of years.

Is this the end?

And the Cosmic AC answers as always: “Datum not good enough to provide a specific answer”.

Finally, substance and energy are exhausted and the space and time as well. AC now the almighty entity computer follows its existence but with one concern. Had been able to answer all the questions done with exception of the question done by the two drunks over tree trillions of years and others had done the same question during ages. AC take the decision to compile all the possible information to try to find once more the answer and it works until not to have no more information to compile. So all the information together make a miracle. 

AC started to match up all the existing information looking for the answer to the last question and then AC understood how to revert the entropy. But there’s no human being to give the answer and to satisfy the curiosity. 

As there no was longer substance or energy, AC head forward of solutions and when it sees all the chaos remaining from all that sometime it was universe full of sparkling light, it decides give one more important step as entity computer. Appeal to the almighty power and faced the task to create a new world.

And AC says: let there be light!! And the light was done. 

The origin of the Universe according this story of Asimov

Asimov, in spite of being atheist, in the same way treat the origin of God and universe; one master piece of the science fiction narrative, where he speculate about the possibility that the universe of continuous, it re-create by itself due something that act from outside. Because to be agree, the last computer almost almighty called Cosmic AC lived in some place of the hyper space. And from there, create or re-create a universe to which it can have access. (See transcendence) Where is that? Nobody knows. 

And if God is no more than a super computer that has create us in response to some stimulus? It looks like Asimov is speculating in literal way. We don’t know, he thought. And also; nobody can see beyond of the Big Band. First of all, it is a prohibit territory.  It is deduced that it was nothing full of energy, but deduce is not certainty, it is assumption. And in this exercise, Asimov re-creates an explanation of the origin of the universe through the literature. 


Arthur C. Clarke
 “The Star”


This time, the protagonist is a Jesuit priest who travels on a space exploration mission. The ship that carries him it arrives at a planet that orbits a dead star.  The surface is devastated as a result of the explosion of the star in which is orbiting right now. Although all civilization died, there’s some evidences, between them one artificial structure. 

The explorers are able to get in the structure and they found the entry to a chamber that contains and protects souvenirs of the extra-terrestrial species that lived in this planet. It is a time capsule left as a cultural testimony of what used to be of that world that now it doesn’t exist anymore. They discovered samples of their art: painting, sculpture and a lot of beautiful objects. Also they found some song records and life films of the lifetime of these residents. 

It looks like these aliens live in a natural environment so quite. Their art and songs are full of harmony and all the astronauts, after check all the evidences, they are so sorry about the death of this race. The extra-terrestrial, anticipating the apocalyptic end of their world, they decided to save the best of their culture with the purpose that future visitors (as the protagonist of this story) arrive to the planet, and they have the chance of inquire on the past. 

At the end of the story occurs that they returned. Consulting the position of the star in astronomical tables and due the information of the time of the explosion, they concluded that when the star explode, it become in nova star, is nothing less than the star of Bethlehem, the one that gives reference on the New Testament, luminous guide of the Wise Men from east, one kind of stellar GPS, thanks to this the Wise Men could find the nativity place of Jesus of Nazareth. The inability to understand that one race so beautiful was destroyed to announce the arrival of Christ it doesn’t have sense for the priest and created dudes of his faith. 

Clarke, as atheist, creates a story from the beginning of one reality that we live daily in this world: the existence of the bad. If God exists, why the bad? He takes advantage of one story to make the reader thinks about the improbability of the existence of a man (being) that allows the opposite of the good. Of course, the narrative is fiction and there’s no way to know if the Star of Bethlehem was a nova or just a conjunction or a combination of both things. The believer can believe, if the believer wants to, that it was a luminous angel since the Scripture used to call “stars” to the messenger of God precisely. 
________________

1. The name of God is lost. Due the fault of the superstitious veneration that was object on behalf of the antique Hebrews. In remote times, the priest did prohibit to pronounce the name of the Divinity for the fear that it was mentioned in vain. Some Rabbis that forgot the norm were died as a punishment for breaking the prohibition. However, in some occasions the name can be pronounced. The priests and Rabbis subsequent, between the four consonants of the name of God, they place vowels with the purpose when the Torah is reading the name of the Creator can be pronounced only Adonai (Lord).

2. In this story, the entropy is used as disorder measurement in the universe. The second law of thermodynamics says that when some job is produced, the available energy of the system decreases. It is because in the entire universe the tendency is that the things become deteriorated. That’s why the watch uses batteries, the people get old, the iron did oxidize, the information is intermingled, everything gets old to some point that did not work anymore or just do not exist . To avoid this, it is necessary to get in restorer energy but this process just increase the entropy. From here it is vital to preserve all the things for the eternity, to stop the entropy as contrary, everything will finish in some moment, the universe included.

domingo, 15 de octubre de 2017

MI MADRE ME ABANDONÓ


Y cuando estén orando, si tienen algo contra alguien, 
perdónenlo, 
para que también su Padre 
que está en el cielo les perdone a ustedes sus pecados.


¿LA TENGO QUE PERDONAR?

Por
Marc Pesaresi



En Argentina, hoy 15 de octubre, se festeja el día de la madre. Una fecha especial para los hijos. Muchos no tendrán buena relación con sus madres, otros sí. Yo entiendo. Pero hoy quiero compartir un testimonio.

Nunca olvidaré el día cuando mi padre me dijo que no era mi padre verdadero ni mi madre, tan amada, mi madre original. Ese día toda la familia se había congregado en General Daniel Cerri, en las inmediaciones de Bahía Blanca, por un solo propósito: apoyar la determinación de mis padres adoptivos de hablarme la verdad: mi madre y mi padre verdaderos, me habían abandonado. ¿Cómo se produjo esta situación?

Un día, cuando ya estábamos en la Patagonia, le dije a mi madre: -Mi hermana no es tuya mamá. No vino como vino la hermana de Carlitos. Su mamá la llevó en la panza pero a vos no te ví panzona. Lejos estaba de imaginar que mi observación del embarazo de la madre de mi vecinito desencadenaría una agitada movilidad en mis padres.

Mi madre dejó la tarea que estaba haciendo, me abrazó y se fue de la habitación. Esa misma noche salimos de viaje hacia la provincia de Buenos Aires. Al día siguiente, toda la familia, italiana de Macerata, se había congregado. Había llegado el momento.

Lo que recuerdo es ver un montón de tías, primas, nona, mi madre, tíos, gran parentela, sentados y a mi padre frente a mi. El me miró muy triste y me dijo que yo no era su hijo, sino que  me habían buscado en un orfanato. Luego de la confesión me abrazó y me dijo algo así como que para él no había diferencia, que siempre sería su hijo amado. Mi madre dijo lo mismo y luego que yo reaccionara bien; para mí no significó mucho la revelación porque a los siete años no entendía cabal en qué consiste que tus padres te dejen tirado como basura; se inició una fiesta de ravioles con pollo como solo los italianos (tanos o gringos nos dicen en Argentina) saben hacer.

Con los años sin embargo, fui meditando en mi origen y no logré jamás; confieso; procesar como una mujer puede abandonar un hijo. Me han sugerido mil situaciones por la cual una madre deja tirado su carne y sangre -en mi caso, en el hospital Penna de Bahía Blanca- pero no he podido entender.

Del hombre ¿qué diré? Soy varón de modo que se lo malditos que podemos ser con las mujeres y viceversa. En realidad, solo cuando tenemos a Cristo en el corazón nos damos cuenta de lo tremendamente machistas que somos. Pero entender lleva su tiempo...

Hospital Penna
Bahía Blanca
Provincia de Buenos Aires
Argentina

Hoy mis dos padres adoptivos están en la gloria de Dios. Fallecieron hace años conversos, cristianos, hijos de Dios, plenamente cristianos. Los volveré a ver en gloria en un futuro cercano, ya no como padres e hijo sino como hijos de Dios perdonados, restaurados, con todas las heridas sanadas y con el cuerplo glorificado a semejanza del que tuvo Cristo luego de la resurrección.

Roberto y Susana Pesaresi
Mis padres adoptivos
Villa Mitre, Bahía Blanca
Hasta me han coronado con un bonete en el día que cumplí 3 años
26 de enero de 1966

Con mi Nona Palmina Menghini de Pesaresi
Una tana a la que llevo en mis recuerdos
26 de enero de 1966

En cuanto a mis padres verdaderos...¿qué puedo decir? Dios me ha reservado muchas pruebas, algunas realmente difíciles de superar, pero ninguna: ni hambre, ni enfermedad, ni desprecio o discriminación, es tan complicada de perdonar como a padres abandónicos. Sin embargo..., yo no sería hijo de Dios sino sacrifico mi  orgullo, mi enojo, en el altar de la piedad de un Dios inmensamente perdonador. ("De modo que se toleren unos a otros y se perdonen si alguno tiene queja contra otro. Así como el Señor los perdonó, perdonen también ustedes". Colosenses 3:13).

A mi padre verdadero, como hijo de Dios, perdono el dejar a mi madre desamparada con un hijo en el vientre..., perdono la falta de hombría, la carencia de valor, la  irresponsabilidad. Mi deber es perdonar y lo hago más mi perdón no te librará de la justicia de Dios. En esto estás solo cómo lo estamos todos frente al Creador. Cada cual morirá por su pecado, todos tenemos una relación personal con el Señor. Si estas vivo, oro para que se te dé la oportunidad de conocer a Cristo. 

A mi madre verdadera..., no se que decirte. He soñado contigo..., te he pensado e imaginado de mil maneras..., pero ese día de enero de 1963 cuando en compañía de una mujer, pretextando ir al baño o algo así, me dejaste solo con tres días de edad en una cama, cambiaste mi vida para siempre. Ese día Dios movió los hilos de mi destino y permitió que una buena pareja me diera una oportunidad de vida. Esta pareja ha sido increíblemente buena. Me amó, me educó, me acompañó, fueron padres de corazón. 

No quiero con estas palabras, recriminarte nada aunque pareciera que lo hago. Solo quiero que sepas, que tu abandono obró para bien. Porque sino me hubieras abandonado quizás no hubiera conocido al Señor. Hoy que se que a Dios le gustan las historias de vida, yo me siento como José odiado por sus hermanos en su momento más amado por Dios. No puedo decirte nada en tu contra. Solo que te he perdonado.

Ojalá nuestro Padre Celestial te haya tenido misericordia y hayas aceptado la vida eterna que él te regala. No se si estas viva, si estas muerta, si estas enferma, vieja, sola, no importa. Hoy te digo feliz día, yo te he perdonado y Dios te perdona también.

He llegado a la conclusión que los hijos de Dios debemos perdonar así nos cueste la sangre. Es uno de los sacrificios que nos pide el Padre para consolidar nuestra relación con él. Sea a Dios toda la gloria.


viernes, 29 de septiembre de 2017

TESOROS DE APOLOGÉTICA



Hola ¿cómo están? Disculpen lo poco formal del titulado de este post pero, en Argentina cuando encontramos algo bueno y lo divulgamos a los amigos/as solemos ser informales al hablar. Aclarado el punto, pasemos a lo realmente bueno:

Cada tanto visito el blog Dios y Ciencia (ustedes pueden hacerlo clickando AQUÍ) cuyo contenido es sumamente interesante a la hora de hacer apología contra el ateísmo. En este mismo blog me encontré un tesoro. Su administradora posteó la dirección de la website de Manuel Alfonseca llamada Divulgación de la  Ciencia (click AQUÍ) que, al poco de leer,  me dejo agradecido por publicar tan buen trabajo y gratis. Sin dudas, Alfonseca es un maestro en el debate con el ateísmo. 

Recomiendo la lectura de ambas páginas. Por supuesto, si recién inicias en el cristianismo, convendría primero hacer discipulado, aprender teología básica protestante y luego si, encarar el estudio de filosofía y teología en profundidad para entrar ya de lleno, en las grandes ligas de la lucha espiritual. Pero si llevas algunos años en la iglesia, a no esperar más. Zambúllete de cabeza a la piscina de la apologética filosófica científica donde aprenderás cómo argumentar en defensa de Dios.

A continuación, dos imágenes de ambas sitios citados con un click para acceder, y un artículo firmado por Manuel Alfonseca y Juan Carlos Nieto. Rogamos a Dios que ambos autores no se ofendan por el posteo de un artículo completo. Simplemente queremos divulgar un poco más, sobre todo en la Patagonia, la existencia de ambos sitios para el bien de todos los creyentes.

Divulgación de la Ciencia
Para acceder, click AQUÍ


Dios y Ciencia
Para acceder, click AQUÍ

Preguntas a los ateos materialistas

By
Manuel Alfonseca
Juan Carlos Nieto

Existe una página web (ateo en 10 preguntas) que propone a los creyentes 10 preguntas que, en opinión de su autor, deberían plantearse y meditar profundamente, y si lo hacen acabarán convenciéndose de que sus creencias religiosas son absurdas y que lo mejor que pueden hacer es convertirse al ateísmo. 

La verdad es que, después de leerlas, nos parecen lamentables y opinamos que ningún creyente se puede sentir amenazado por ellas. Sin embargo, la lectura de esta página nos ha sugerido la idea de que este tipo de aportaciones es un arma de dos filos, pues el mismo procedimiento puede utilizarse para demostrar lo contrario de lo que quería conseguir el autor, también se puede ser escéptico respecto al materialismo. 

Por eso planteamos aquí algunas preguntas y ofrecemos el enlace a la página en cuestión, para dar al lector la oportunidad de comparar imparcialmente ambos enfoques y sacar sus propias conclusiones.

1.  Considere esta afirmación: Sólo existe aquello con lo que la ciencia puede experimentar. ¿Cree usted esto por alguna razón científica, o es para usted un dogma?

2.  Muchos materialistas piensan, como Steven Weinberg [1], que cuanto más comprensible parece el universo, más parece que nada tiene sentido. ¿Cree usted que nada tiene sentido? En tal caso, ¿por qué se levanta por la noche cuando su hijo está enfermo?

3.      La ciencia parece haber descubierto muchas cosas sobre el universo y el mundo que nos rodea, pero algunos pensadores materialistas, como Stephen Hawking [2], plantean que no es posible conocer la realidad que existe fuera de nosotros mismos. ¿Cree usted que los descubrimientos científicos son reales, o son construcciones mentales del hombre? Si fuese lo segundo, ¿por qué funciona la tecnología?

4.      La ciencia ha descubierto que la naturaleza está sujeta a leyes, que a veces son sorprendentemente sencillas si se expresan en forma matemática. Los filósofos materialistas piensan que no hay que buscar explicación a la existencia de las leyes, que simplemente están ahí, sin motivo alguno. ¿Está usted de acuerdo con esa afirmación? ¿Tiene razones científicas para creerla, o la cree sin motivo alguno? Es decir, ¿es para usted un dogma?

5.      Los procesos evolutivos en los seres vivos tienen lugar a través de una combinación de azar y necesidad. Los materialistas afirman que eso demuestra que en la evolución no puede intervenir el diseño. En los experimentos en vida artificial (una rama de la informática que simula mediante un programa el comportamiento de seres vivos) utilizamos una combinación de azar y necesidad paralela a la de la evolución biológica. Es evidente que nuestros experimentos están diseñados. Sabiendo esto, ¿sigue usted afirmando que la evolución biológica no está diseñada? ¿Tiene motivos científicos para creerlo, o simplemente es para usted un dogma?

6.      El materialismo afirma que no somos libres, que somos máquinas programadas, que siempre que actuamos o pensamos, no tenemos otra opción que hacer o pensar precisamente lo que hemos hecho o pensado. ¿Es usted materialista porque lo ha meditado bien y ha encontrado razones para adoptar esa postura, o porque está programado para adoptarla?

7.      Los materialistas afirman que en la naturaleza no existen más que causas eficientes, que no hay causas finales ni propósitos. Usted es parte de la naturaleza. ¿Cómo entonces puede usted tener propósitos, puede plantearse metas y trabajar para conseguirlas? ¿O todo eso es una ilusión? En tal caso, ¿por qué esforzarse por conseguir algo, si todo está decidido de antemano?

8.      ¿Es el hombre un animal más, como dicen los materialistas? Si se analiza bien el asunto, se ve que las diferencias entre el hombre y los animales son abrumadoras [3]. ¿Está usted seguro de que el hombre es un animal más? ¿Por qué lo cree? ¿Es para usted un dogma, o tiene razones para creerlo, aparte de que lo ha leído?

9.      Para llegar a la conclusión de que Dios no existe, ¿ha estudiado usted cuidadosamente la idea que tienen los cristianos de Dios? O bien, como Richard Dawkins [4], ¿piensa usted que, como Dios no existe, no tiene por qué perder el tiempo estudiando lo que otros dicen de Él? Con otras palabras: ¿La no existencia de Dios es para usted un punto de partida, un dogma?

10.  Uno de los filósofos ateos más serios e importantes del siglo XX (Antony Flew, 1923-2010) pasó en 2004 a la posición opuesta y publicó un libro [5] explicando qué le había llevado a hacerlo. ¿Ha leído usted el libro de Flew, o se guardará bien de hacerlo, no sea que pueda poner en peligro sus convicciones ateas?

[1] Steven Weinberg, The first three minutes, 1977, Basic Books.
[2] Stephen Hawking, L. Mlodinow, El gran diseño, 2010, Crítica. Véase http://divulciencia.blogspot.com/2014/04/el-gran-diseno.html
[3] Manuel Alfonseca, ¿Es el hombre un animal más? http://divulciencia.blogspot.com/2015/06/es-el-hombre-un-animal-mas.html
[4] Richard Dawkins, El espejismo de Dios, 2008, Espasa Calpe. Véase http://divulciencia.blogspot.com/2014/10/el-espejismo-de-dawkins.html
[5] Antony Flew, Dios existe, 2012, Trotta.

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jueves, 28 de septiembre de 2017

WHO WAS THE LOVED DISCIPLE?



By

Carolina Alfaro



It never comes into my mind to find out who was the loved disciple, until one sister in Christ asked me. I always considered that he was the apostle John. However, the task to relate this character to John – one of the sons of Zebedee and James’ brother- is complicated.

Who was the loved disciple?

This peculiar disciple appears in the John, in the last supper laying down against Jesus Christ’s chest and he is asking who of all of them will betray him (John 13:21-26); He is mentioned at the same time, standing near to the cross and separated of the rest, beside to the Jesus Christ’s mother (John 19: 26-27). Then, he is located next to Peter, running to the sepulcher the one that they found empty (John 20: 1-10).

Later, during the third and last Jesus Christ’s appearance – already resurrect (John 21: 20-22) – the rest of the disciples ask to Jesus Christ about the destiny of the loved disciple. Jesus answers in enigmatic way up to the point of, that among the apostles run the voice that he will never die (John 21:23). Probably, in some opinions, John 1: 35-40 is referring to the loved disciple the same as in John 18:15.

The task of identifying him sharps controversies. A feminist interpretation presumes him as a woman (Schniedeers, Sandra M (1998). Because of the woman’s testimony: reexamining the issue of authorship in the Fourth Gospel. New Testament Studies).

Others hold that he was one priest that follows to Jesus but he couldn’t be always present at the ministry of Jesus due his sacerdotal task. Hugh J. Schonfield, who postulates the theory, he suspects that it was somebody linked to the Temple, due the lack of information of the trips of Jesus Christ to Galilee in contrast with the abundance of records about the last week of life in Jerusalem. Beside John 18:15 seems to indicate that he had one friendly relationship with the high priest.

Others directly give up and state that we will never know if the loved disciple was John (see R.E. Brown (1966) The Gospel according to John, 2 vol. Doubleday (Garden City, Nueva York). This author accepted in first moment that John, the son of Zebedee and the loved disciple were the same person, but later withdraw  himself and he confirmed that the identity of the loved disciple will be always unknown.

What did the fathers of the church think?

Ireneo de Lyon (Adversus Haereses II, 22,5; Adversus Haereses III, ); Saint Augustine ( Comments in John LXI, 4); San Juan Crisóstomo, San Gregorio y  Beda identify him with John, The disciple of the Lord.

 “John, the disciple of the Lord that was laying down in his chest, edited in John when he lived in Ephesus”.

Ireneo, Adversus Haereses III, 1, 1

 “ All the priests that had met with john in Asia, the disciple of the Lord, give testimony that John had transmitted this, because he was with them until the period of Trajan”.

Ireneo, Adversus Haereses II, 22, 5

Since Ireneo de Lyon was admitted that the author of the forth gospel was the apostle John, the son of Zebedees. This statement was supported in unanimous way since the year 200 thru all the antiquity and it was affirm until the 18th  century, when the critic deny that the gospel belongs to one apostolic source and it assigned to authors of the 2nd  or 3rd  century.

The most antique text that is conserve from the New Testament, one fragment of one page of the papyrus scroll codex date towards the 125 a.c. and that is conserve in the University of Manchester after it was found in Egypt, it contains some verses of John 18. There are another antiques fragments that allows deducing that the work of John had high regard among the first Christians. Justino Martir is referred to John as “one of the memories of the apostles”.

 The gnostic of the 2nd century as Basilides, Heracleon and Valentino quote this gospel accepting that the author was John. In spite of this, the critics of the high critic don’t accept these evidences and they insist that the Gospel of John do not belong to him but it is work of some witness or someone else that helped him in his writing.

Marie-Emile Boismard said, one of the members of the Biblical School and French archeological of Jerusalem:
 “We already see in the first middle of the 2nd century that many authors know and use the forth gospel: San Ignacio de Antioquia, the author of Odas de Salomon, Papias, San Justino, and maybe the same San Clemente de Roma: All this is prove that the gospel enjoy the apostolic authority already.

The first explicit testimony is from San Ireneo, toward the 180 ( ….) Almost around the same period, Clemente de Alejandria, Tertuliano y the canon of Muratori gives also formally the forth gospel to John the apostle. If it was possible to collect contrary opinion among the  2nd – 3rd. centuries, is the one that some reacts against the “spirituals” Montanism, who use the gospel of John with tendentious purpose.  

But this opposition is reduce to nothing, and, based in theological reasons, it doesn’t have any root in the tradition. “By the rest, there’s nothing in the same gospel that is opposed to this tradition: at the contrary. We already see that the gospel is presented under the warranty of one loved disciple of the Lord, eyeball witness of the facts that relate. 

Its language and its style express its origin demonstrably Semitic: It is seemed perfectly to the current Jewish habits, just like the Palestine topography in the period of Jesus Christ. It seems linked with special friendship to Peter, and Luke inform us that, indeed, it was the case of the apostle John.”

And if it was Lazarus?

The identification of the loved disciple with Lazarus from Bethany start by assuming that in any other place of the forth canonical gospel is indicating the identity of himself.

Who supports that was Lazarus, based their arguments in the chapter in which talk about the resurrection of Lazarus of Bethany, in which is observed a triple indication that he was loved by Jesus in special way: “Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” (John 11:3); “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” (John 11:5); “Jesus wept.  Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!” (John 11:35-36).

To these texts is added the expression put in Jesus’ mouth to designate to Lazarus: “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep…” (John 11:11). In the same line, Sanders thinks that Lazarus’ resurrection can have influence on the idea of the rest of the disciples that this man will never die. (John 21:22). (See Sanders, J.N. (1957).  «Who was the Disciple whom Jesus loved». En Cross, F.L. Studies in the Fourth Gospel. London (England): A. R. Mowbray. pp. 72-82).

By the manner in which is written the gospel, the writer was or in person witness of the facts or someone else wrote taking into account what the witness referred. (John 1:14; John 19:35; John 21:24). To the loved disciple is mentioned in the gospels as one person close to the apostles. This don’t dismiss that himself was the apostle.  

Was John the apostle?

Jesus during his ministry, gave the impression of having special treatment t to three apostles in peculiar: Peter, John and James (Marcus 5: 37,9,2;14,33). Well then: Peter could not be the loved disciple because is identifying as someone different. (John 13: 23-24; 20: 2-10; 21, 20). James the older is not as well since he was killed by order of Agripa I toward the  year 44 (Acts 12:2) In contrast with the loved disciple who by long-standing, it reaches the fame to be immortal (John 21:23).

This disciple had also, be close to the group near to Jesus. Participated in the Last Supper where it just have access the twelve disciples (Luke 22:14) ; It has close friendship with Peter (John 13: 23; 20: 2-9; Acts 3: 1-9; 4: 1-13; 8: 14-15). According to this detail, the loved disciple could be one apostle and between them, John.

John the apostle, just as the majority of the personalities of the first Christian community, do not verify the sources of the 1st century that they weren’t the neo-testamentary written. The major part of the information about Apostle John comes from the application of the historic-critic method (that is, the scientific process of investigating the transmission, developing and origin of one text known as High critic). It is added to this academic contribution, the analysis of the document from the time of the fathers of the church, including written traditions and oral traditions that many times differ between them.  

The lutheran teologist Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930) referred that the John gospel is one of the big Christians enigmas. The protestant chair Charles Harold Dodd (1884 -1973) thought in ensuring agreement that, John is the key to understand the primitive Christianity.  

Who was John?

In his beginning, he worked as fisherman for his father company Zebedees who procreate him with a woman called Salome. Before to met the Messiah, John had followed the sermons of John the Baptist. Then with Jesus already He goes with Jesus to Galilee and he was at the Wedding of Canaan. However, at this moment he wasn’t apostle. Therefore, he followed working in the lake as a fisherman for his father. Finally Jesus called him together with his brother Jacob (Matthew 4:21-22) for later Jesus gave him the naming of apostle. (Matthew 10:2).   

It seems to be that both are of strong character – typical of a fisherman- to that extreme that Jesus nicknamed his as Boanerges or son of thunder. (Mark 3:17). In their beginning they had a rebel behavior and provocative due that they had not being renovate by the grace. For example, John felt “Jealousy” reprimanding to one man who did exorcize devil in the name of Jesus without being part of the “team” (Luke 9;49), later, together with Jacob, they reveal their wishes to make rain fire from heaven on a Samaritan town that had denied to receive to Jesus (Luke 9: 52-56) and participated in a riot with mothers and women of the apostles to get the best place near to Jesus at heaven ( Matthew 20:20-24).

Passing the time, John was getting the preference of Jesus to the point that next to Peter were allowed to see the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:37), see the transfiguration ( Matthew 17) and the agony of Jesus at the Gethsemane’s garden (Matthew 26:37). Finally, John was in the Calvary mount next to Mary where the Messiah recommended them the care of his mother. (John 19:26-27). After the events of the Ascension passed some time in Jerusalem with the rest followers of Christ and together with Peter, he suffered prison. (Acts 4:19).  

Subsequently, he was sent to Samaria with Peter to help to Philip who was already preaching in that place. He was present during the first pursuits against of the Christians in Jerusalem and Paul refers that he saw him in that city after his returning of the first missionary trip (Acts 15; 6; Galatians 2:9). To John is attributed five books in the New Testament, the forth gospel, the Revelation and three Epistles. 

The Christian tradition says that this noble apostle was the one that do not suffered martyrdom and that he died of advanced age in Ephesus, the city where he lived after the arrival of the power of the Nerva emperor who gave him temporary liberty to the Christian to live their faith. Polycarp ensures that John stayed in Asia Minor till his death during the Trajan Empire. 
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