Past Postings

Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.

***********************************************************************************************************

St. Justin's "Second Apology," taken in all, reads much better and with overall more rational cogency than the "First," while evincing no suspicious signs of having been tampered with. The following then are some not a little intriguing and or illuminating passages from.

"But if this idea take possession of some one that if we acknowledge God as our helper, we should not, as we say, be oppressed and persecuted by the wicked; this, too, I will solve. God, when He had made the whole world, and subjected things earthly to man, and arranged the heavenly elements for the increase of fruits and rotation of the seasons, and appointed this divine law--for these things also He evidently made for man--committed the care of men and of all things under heaven to angels whom He appointed over them. But the angels transgressed this appointment, and were captivated by love of women, and begat children* who are those that are called demons; and besides, they afterwards subdued the human race to themselves, partly by magical writings, and partly by fears and the punishments they occasioned, and partly by teaching them to offer sacrifices, and incense, and libations, of which things they stood in need after they were enslaved by lustful passions; and among men they sowed murders, wars, adulteries, intemperate deeds, and all wickedness. Whence also the poets and mythologists, not knowing that it was the angels and those demons who had been begotten by them that did these things to men, and women, and cities, and nations, which they related, ascribed them to god himself, and to those who were accounted to be his very offspring, and to the offspring of those who were called his brothers, Neptune and Pluto, and to the children again of these their offspring. For whatever name each of the angels had given to himself and his children, by that name they called them.... [*Note. Possibly what is entailed in this explanation is that "angels" possessed certain men who then had intercourse with women, and from which latter offspring were begot; it otherwise not seeming feasible that a spirit person could actually produce children themselves.]

"Our doctrines, then, appear to be greater than all human teaching; because Christ, who appeared for our sakes, became the whole rational being, both body, and reason, and soul. For whatever either lawgivers or philosophers uttered well, they elaborated by finding and contemplating some part of the Word [Logos or Right Reason.] But since they did not know the whole of the Word, which is Christ, they often contradicted themselves. And those who by human birth were more ancient than Christ, when they attempted to consider and prove things by reason, were brought before the tribunals as impious persons and busybodies. And Socrates, who was more zealous in this direction than all of them, was accused of the very same crimes as ourselves. For they said that he was introducing new divinities, and did not consider those to be gods whom the state recognised. But he cast out from the state both Homer and the rest of the poets, and taught men to reject the wicked demons and those who did the things which the poets related; and he exhorted them to become acquainted with the God who was to them unknown, by means of the investigation of reason, saying, 'That it is neither easy to find the Father and Maker of all, nor, having found Him, is it safe ["possible" in the original Greek] to declare Him to all.' But these things our Christ did through His own power. For no one trusted in Socrates so as to die for this doctrine, but in Christ, who was partially known even by Socrates (for He was and is the Word who is in every man, and who foretold the things that were to come to pass both through the prophets and in His own person when He was made of like passions, and taught these things), not only philosophers and scholars believed, but also artisans and people entirely uneducated, despising both glory, and fear, and death; since He is a power of the ineffable Father, and not the mere instrument of human reason..."

"[W]e judge it right and opportune to tell here, for the sake of Crescens and those who rave as he does, what is related by Xenophon. Hercules, says Xenophon, coming to a place where three ways met, found Virtue and Vice, who appeared to him in the form of women: Vice, in a luxurious dress, and with a seductive expression rendered blooming by such ornaments, and her eyes of a quickly melting tenderness, said to Hercules that if he would follow her, she would always enable him to pass his life in pleasure and adorned with the most graceful ornaments, such as were then upon her own person; and Virtue, who was of squalid look and dress, said, But if you obey me, you shall adorn yourself not with ornament nor beauty that passes away and perishes, but with everlasting and precious graces. And we are persuaded that every one who flees those things that seem to be good, and follows hard after what are reckoned difficult and strange, enters into blessedness. For Vice, when by imitation of what is incorruptible (for what is really incorruptible she neither has nor can produce) she has thrown around her own actions, as a disguise, the properties of Virtue, and qualities which are really excellent, leads captive earthly-minded men, attaching to Virtue her own evil properties. But those who understood the excellences which belong to that which is real, are also uncorrupt in virtue..."

"And I despised the wicked and deceitful doctrine of Simon [the Magician] of my own nation [Samaria, though Justin himself is believed to have had Greek or Roman parents.] And if you give this book your authority, we will expose him before all, that, if possible, they may be converted. For this end alone did we compose this treatise. And our doctrines are not shameful, according to a sober judgment, but are indeed more lofty than all human philosophy; and if not so, they are at least unlike the doctrines of the Sotadists and Philaenidians, and Dancers, and Epicureans and such other teachings of the poets, which all are allowed to acquaint themselves with, both as acted and as written. And henceforth we shall be silent, having done as much as we could, and having added the prayer that all men everywhere may be counted worthy of the truth. And would that you also, in a manner becoming piety and philosophy, would for your own sakes judge justly!"

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

The simple, plain fact would seem to be, and as many, many years have proven and demonstrated, he cannot compete without regularly subjecting me to his witchcraft-nazi brand of violence and torture.

All hail the rich man, sage, and lover!

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

How do we know a brain-washed person who thinks himself intelligent is not intelligent?

Because he is neither fully honest or rational.

"But he believes strongly."

As far as I'm concerned, faith, as powerful as it is, has only limited effectiveness in mitigating gross and outlandish stupidity. So he may believe very strongly, but, to say the least, I of right am under no obligation to buy what he believes myself. What he thinks is his foolishness, and though much he zealously feels about his belief, that zeal of itself is no warrant or justification for him to force himself and his private business and beliefs on me. If I must answer to him, it must or would only be when and if he is honest and rational; otherwise and always his attempts at coercion are nothing more than the actions of a criminal.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

Who and what do you suppose is most antagonistic to promotion and reward based on merit, competence, character, integrity, and intelligence? Why the greater mass of humanity, of course.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

The more you lie the more your spirit dies, and a (human) soul dead can no longer sing.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

As well as having the honor of being a female black composer in the days when "the white man" ruled most everything, Billie Holiday deserves credit for helping to introduce to jazz the technique of extemporaneously sculpting words as she sings them; so it's worth your musical education to give her a listen. Yet, for me personally, jazz generally tends to be a hard sell, and as a result I'm all the more exacting in choosing what jazz music I'll hear. Billie Holiday's music, unfortunately and despite her obvious strengths, is so frequently down beat and her blues so very blue, that it is not usual for her to be a first choice with me. Her up beat songs, on the other hand, I can "dig" much, much better. So, with Valentine's Day now immediately before us, let's give "Lady Day" her due and hear some of that.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

One scholar suggests that the inscription mentioned in Justin's text "To the Holy God Simon" (and possibly tied in with that found above by 16th workmen diffing near the Tiber) associates Simon with the Sabine deity Semo; the way Barnabas and Paul are mentioned in Acts as having been seen and interpreted as incarnations of Zeus and Hermes.
It is well, I think, to be cautious when reading histories of war and or religion exactly who is supposed to be who; while asking whether, in a particular instance, a given individual or people actually were the people others asserted they were. For impersonation; character smearing; a person being honestly mislead; a person recklessly permitting themselves to be mislead are all factors that could better explain certain events or behaviors; which if overlooked might create a very distorted picture of what happened and or who might be to blame.

Just last night, I finished reading St. Justin Martyr's "First Apology," and am strongly of the opinion that portions of the text have been forged or inserted; as some of the reasoning used at times is patently absurd; so much so that it is hard to think that a beginning, let alone graduate, philosophy student would make some of the silly errors that are here attributed to the learned saint attempting to defend and justify his faith before the Emperor of Rome. For example,* at the end of Justin's brief is this letter attributed to Marcus Aurelius in which the latter claims Christians in his army changed the weather and won a victory for him against the Germans:

"The Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Germanicus, Parthicus, Sarmaticus, to the People of Rome, and to the sacred Senate greeting: I explained to you my grand design, and what advantages I gained on the confines of Germany, with much labour and suffering, in consequence of the circumstance that I was surrounded by the enemy; I myself being shut up in Carnuntum by seventy-four cohorts, nine miles off. And the enemy being at hand, the scouts pointed out to us, and our general Pompeianus showed us that there was close on us a mass of a mixed multitude of 977,000 men, which indeed we saw; and I was shut up by this vast host, having with me only a battalion composed of the first, tenth, double and marine legions. Having then examined my own position, and my host, with respect to the vast mass of barbarians and of the enemy, I quickly betook myself to prayer to the gods of my country. But being disregarded by them, I summoned those who among us go by the name of Christians. And having made inquiry, I discovered a great number and vast host of them, and raged against them, which was by no means becoming; for afterwards I learned their power. Wherefore they began the battle, not by preparing weapons, nor arms, nor bugles; for such preparation is hateful to them, on account of the God they bear about in their conscience. Therefore it is probable that those whom we suppose to be atheists, have God as their ruling power entrenched in their conscience. For having cast themselves on the ground, they prayed not only for me, but also for the whole army as it stood, that they might be delivered from the present thirst and famine. For during five days we had got no water, because there was none; for we were in the heart of Germany, and in the enemy's territory. And simultaneously with their casting themselves on the ground, and praying to God (a God of whom I am ignorant), water poured from heaven, upon us most refreshingly cool, but upon the enemies of Rome a withering hail. And immediately we recognised the presence of God following on the prayer--a God unconquerable and indestructible. Founding upon this, then, let us pardon such as are Christians, lest they pray for and obtain such a weapon against ourselves. And I counsel that no such person be accused on the ground of his being a Christian. But if any one be found laying to the charge of a Christian that he is a Christian, I desire that it be made manifest that he who is accused as a Christian, and acknowledges that he is one, is accused of nothing else than only this, that he is a Christian; but that he who arraigns him be burned alive. And I further desire, that he who is entrusted with the government of the province shall not compel the Christian, who confesses and certifies such a matter, to retract; neither shall he commit him. And I desire that these things be confirmed by a decree of the Senate. And I command this my edict to be published in the Forum of Trajan, in order that it may be read. The prefect Vitrasius Pollio will see that it be transmitted to all the provinces round about, and that no one who wishes to make use of or to possess it be hindered from obtaining a copy from the document I now publish."

Granting this letter is genuine (which it might not, after all, be; nor originally included by Justin), it may be that what happened was arranged by puissant spirit people (recall, they can change weather, cause earthquakes if there is a strong enough need for it) so that the Romans would welcome the idea of the Christian God as being like the "pagan" gods the Romans were accustomed to; and further, so that over time such spirits could come to impersonate being the God of the Christians; and which not only later did occur, but, of course, goes on even to this day.

* Another is "Justin's" assuming that Plato both knew of and needed Moses in order to philosophize (whether from writings and or else spirit people relaying Moses and scripture to him.)

Later Note. "In his 'Hortatory Address to the Greeks,' 'Justin' explains that Plato (and Homer also) learned of Moses and the Biblical prophets when he visited Egypt. Here and again, the reasoning he uses to discredit Plato and Greek philosophy, including as well a lack of convincing proof to substantiate such extravagant historical claims as he makes, is so overtly belligerent and unnecessarily insulting of Greek thought and tradition (while ignoring that Plato himself, in substance, rejected Homerís gods) that it is very questionable whether the 'Hortatory Addressí is really, and in all, Justinís work; for the author succeeds far more at making his own version of Christianity sound, to an intelligent Greek audience, rationally flawed and presumptuous than at (as ostensibly intended) debunking Plato."

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

Can even the great sun see or feel the sinking of its golden rays at twilight? And yet you can.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

Unbeknownst to you, a ghost awaits you at your longed for destination and which he knew of all along. Yet does he belong there just because he knew of it?

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

He has nothing to be proud of and everything to be ashamed of, and thus makes it his business to punish you for your sins.

~~~~~~*~~~~~~

More