Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:03 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:59 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:57 pm
Giuseppe wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:55 pm
The his argument is:

1) No god can descend.

2) Jesus is a god.

3) Ergo Jesus can't descend.
Where is this argument?
what question?? One who says

no God or son of God has come down or will come down

Can only do that argument.

The argument is confuted by admitting that Jesus is not a god. Or he is a god but he never existed on earth.
I am asking you for the reference. Where does Celsus say this?
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Re: Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:17 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:03 pm
Giuseppe wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:59 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:57 pm
Giuseppe wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:55 pm
The his argument is:

1) No god can descend.

2) Jesus is a god.

3) Ergo Jesus can't descend.
Where is this argument?
what question?? One who says

no God or son of God has come down or will come down

Can only do that argument.

The argument is confuted by admitting that Jesus is not a god. Or he is a god but he never existed on earth.
I am asking you for the reference. Where does Celsus say this?
Ah, it is in Against Celsus 5.2; I was looking in 4.2, quoted in the OP. You may well be correct here, Giuseppe. Celsus may be an unbeliever in any of the descending gods.
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GakuseiDon
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Re: Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

Post by GakuseiDon » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:29 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:53 pm
GDon's efforts are meant to prove that Celsus is addressing only the Christian god.
Celsus's words, as quoted by Origen, are against the Christian and Jewish God. Origen writes "The argument which Celsus employs against us and the Jews..." So yes, Celsus is only addressing the Christian and Jewish God.
Giuseppe wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:53 pm
But the claim I am talking about refers to any god, Pagan and Christian.
Yes, and that is Origen's response: the same argument applies against the pagan gods, i.e. any god. But his response is NOT to the idea that "no gods have descended", but rather to "does 'the God who is over all things know what takes place among men, or does He not know?'"

To repeat what I wrote earlier: you may be right that Celsus believes no pagan god or son of a god descended to earth, but we can't tell from the text. We don't know what Celsus actually believed about the pagan gods. He might have believed a number of things. There was no orthodoxy to run afoul of. Gods were thought by pagans to be just humans deified, or daemons claiming to be gods, or allegories, or poetry, or some combination of those. The main criterion was the philosophical or metaphysical soundness of the idea. Celsus attacks Christianity by attacking its philosophical soundness. Origen often responds by saying that those attacks apply to pagan beliefs as well, then goes on to explain how Christianity successfully avoids those attacks.
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Re: Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:05 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:29 am
So yes, Celsus is only addressing the Christian and Jewish God.
very a strange way to do so, by talking abstractly and generally about any god or son of god. Isn't it?
Yes, and that is Origen's response: the same argument applies against the pagan gods, i.e. any god.
Celsus would agree with Origen on this because it is just the his point: no god can descend on earth.
But his response is NOT to the idea that "no gods have descended", but rather to "does 'the God who is over all things know what takes place among men, or does He not know?'"
the Origen's apology doesn't count. What counts here are uniquely the Celsus's words reported by Origen.
To repeat what I wrote earlier: you may be right that Celsus believes no pagan god or son of a god descended to earth, but we can't tell from the text.
Usually, who does a so apodeictic peremptory abstract proposition:
no God or son of God has come down or will come down

...leaves very few doubts about what he is meaning, i.e. the following sillogism:

1) no god can descend.

2) Jesus is a god.

3) ergo Jesus can't descend.

But you are right on a point: What we don't know is if for Celsus the point 2 was true, if he believed that Jesus was really a god. Because if Jesus was not a god, then he could very well exist on earth according to the same Celsus's rules of game. It seems that for Celsus Jesus was not a god hence only by considering him as not a god he could accept the his earthly historicity. We don't know if Celsus considered as mere man also Attis, Osiris, etc. What we know as certain, is that if Attis (or Osiris) was a god for Celsus, then the his death happened in outer space.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

Post by GakuseiDon » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:12 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:05 am
GakuseiDon wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:29 am
So yes, Celsus is only addressing the Christian and Jewish God.
very a strange way to do so, by talking abstractly and generally about any god or son of god. Isn't it?
Okay then, I'll quote Celsus to support my view that he was only talking about Christians and Jews about a god or son of a god who will descend and make the inhabitants of the earth righteous, and then you quote Celsus to say that about ANY pagan god or son of a god who will descend and make the inhabitants of the earth righteous.

Here is my quote by Celsus:
But that certain Christians and (all) Jews should maintain, the former that there has already descended, the latter that there will descend, upon the earth a certain God, or Son of a God, who will make the inhabitants of the earth righteous, is a most shameless assertion...
Can I have your quote by Celsus, please?
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Re: Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:20 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:12 am
Can I have your quote by Celsus, please?

We have now, then, to refute that statement of his which runs as follows: O Jews and Christians, no God or son of a God either came or will come down (to earth). But if you mean that certain angels did so, then what do you call them? Are they gods, or some other race of beings? Some other race of beings (doubtless), and in all probability demons.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/04165.htm
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:24 am

Note that a very similar argument is made by Celsus also here, this time by the Jews themselves against the Christians:

He gives it as his opinion, that the controversy between Jews and Christians is a most foolish one, and asserts that the discussions which we have with each other regarding Christ differ in no respect from what is called in the proverb, 'a fight about the shadow of an ass.' and thinks that there is nothing of importance in the investigations of the Jews and Christians: for both believe that it was predicted by the Divine Spirit that one was to come as a Saviour to the human race, but do not yet agree on the point whether the person predicted has actually come or not.

(3:1)

It is strongly implicit that the Jews of the time ignored the historicity of Jesus. Something as: the Christ predicted by the Scriptures didn't come on the earth.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

Post by GakuseiDon » Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:25 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:20 am
GakuseiDon wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:12 am
Can I have your quote by Celsus, please?

We have now, then, to refute that statement of his which runs as follows: O Jews and Christians, no God or son of a God either came or will come down (to earth). But if you mean that certain angels did so, then what do you call them? Are they gods, or some other race of beings? Some other race of beings (doubtless), and in all probability demons.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/04165.htm
Again, Celsus is addressing Jews and Christians. And again, Origen responds by saying "this must apply to the pagan gods as well":

... we shall show that in asserting generally that no God, or son of God, ever descended (among men), he overturns not only the opinions entertained by the majority of mankind regarding the manifestation of Deity, but also what was formerly admitted by himself.

Origen believes that Celsus acknowledges Providence, which implies that gods work amongst men. The problem is this: Origen himself isn't sure about what Celsus believes with regards to the pagan gods. He thinks that Celsus is identified with an earlier Celsus the Epicurean, and so holds to Epicurean beliefs, but according to Origen Celsus makes arguments that contradict that notion.

To repeat what I said at the start: you may be right that Celsus also believed that no pagan god or son of a god ever descended to earth. But without knowing Celsus's views on the pagan gods in the first place, we just don't know. Origen himself isn't clear about Celsus's background beliefs.
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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Re: Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:04 pm

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:25 pm
Again, Celsus is addressing Jews and Christians.
precisely. By doing an universal claim about any possible god and son of god, Christian and Pagan.
And again, Origen responds by saying "this must apply to the pagan gods as well":
about which Celsus would agree fully. Again, we should ignore what Origen says. We are concerned about what Celsus says, here.
The problem is this: Origen himself isn't sure about what Celsus believes with regards to the pagan gods. He thinks that Celsus is identified with an earlier Celsus the Epicurean, and so holds to Epicurean beliefs, but according to Origen Celsus makes arguments that contradict that notion.

To repeat what I said at the start: you may be right that Celsus also believed that no pagan god or son of a god ever descended to earth. But without knowing Celsus's views on the pagan gods in the first place, we just don't know. Origen himself isn't clear about Celsus's background beliefs.
You are only partially correct, here. We can't know if Celsus denied the earthly existence in the past of Attis, for example. What we can know is that, if Celsus considered him as a god, then ipso facto Attis never lived on earth according to Celsus's clear claim. Any legend about an earthly Attis is virtually for Celsus a mere fiction to deceive the stupid hoi polloi about the true nature of Attis.

You can apply easily the same Celsus's logic in the case of Jesus.

Hence Celsus is evidence of at least one person of Antiquity (himself) who believed that the true gods can exist and work only and uniquely in the heavens. Totally beyond if these true gods could or not direct the human actions from their heavens (as today the Christians believe that God directs the human actions by the his invisible providence from heaven).
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Celsus: "no God or son of God has come down or will come down"

Post by GakuseiDon » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:05 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:04 pm
We can't know if Celsus denied the earthly existence in the past of Attis, for example.
Thank you. That is my point, which was in response to your comment in your OP:
Is Celsus a Zeus mythicist, an Attis mythicist, an Osiris mythicist, etc, just as he is a Jesus mythicist?
The answer is: we don't know, because Celsus doesn't detail his own views clearly. Origen isn't sure either. If Celsus was clearly an Epicurean and thought the gods were remote, Origen could have easily addressed that view in his responses. But because Celsus seemed to believe in some kind of providence, Origen wasn't sure what Celsus believed.
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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