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2/12/2018 9:42 pm  #11

Re: What is the Nation?

The great teacher of philosophy was Socrates. One of the major habits of Socrates was to ask for the definition of words. Logos is important and valuable only when and if there is Definition. One of the secondary habits of Socrates was also word history, or the origin of words. 

I see no reply in the post that discusses definition of the term qua nation. 

"Nation" is a Latin borrowed term. In Latin, it means "One birth" or a group of people who came from one Patriarch. The Latin term is much like the Greek term "ethnos"., defining groups of people who are inter-related. In English conception of the word, Nation means usually a body of people connected to a government, a state. 

So what is a nation?  In its original Latin usage---or in its English context?

In LXX, Psalm 85, it states that "and all the nations whom thou has created". 

Scriptures clearly teach that God created all the Nations of the earth. A Nation is a creation of God. 

Now, understanding the Latin meaning of 'nation' as 'one birth, when we hear the sentence, such as "America is a nation of immigrants'---Immigrants from a multiplicity of nations does not make a nation. America was never a nation in the Latin sense. America as a nation of immigrants is an oxymoron. Another beautiful oxymoron is from Karl Rove who said, America is "a nation of diversity". Well, if 'nation' means one birth, then that 'nation' does NOT have diversity. 

But then some will complain and point out that words change. 

But that is not what Socrates nor Cicero, for that matter, taught. Socrates taught that words are stones. If words are ephemeral, and we can make them up as we go along---then there is no Logos. Logos only rests on words as stones. For it is revolutionaries that seek to change the definition of words. Logos is the backbone of any society. If words are not concrete---there is no society, no Truth. And Truth is tied to History is the other teaching, not overt, but implied, in Socrates teaching. If you change the word, one changes History--One seeks to change Holy Scripture as well. The inerrancy of Scripture is tied to the concrete historical meaning of words. If words change, the Scripture is useless and God's creation and Will, in the creating of nations is thwarted. 


2/12/2018 11:09 pm  #12

Re: What is the Nation?

Where do you see Socrates talk about the origins of words?

Anyways, pardon my saying that I think this argument is absurd. You seem to be operating on the assumption that the Latin translation of the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible is infallible, down to its etymological nuances. On what is that based?

The Hebrew word from the verse you cited is 'am, a word which holds none of the connotations you ascribe to the word "nation".

Moreover, I can bring you clear proof that the word 'am in Scripture does *not* only mean a national identity set by birth, but rather includes national identities determined by choice and association:

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16)

Anyways, the Hebrew word for 'people' over there is 'am, the same word used in Psalms. Now in the case of Ruth, we are clearly not talking about nations by birth, as Ruth is a Moabite and Naomi is a Jewess. Ergo, the Hebrew word for nation does not have the connotations you claim scripture teaches.

If nation is determined solely by birth, then what is the American nation? What is the arrival cut-off date? 1607? 1621? 1776? 2001?

Noli turbare circulos meos.
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2/13/2018 12:28 pm  #13

Re: What is the Nation?

The dialogue of Cratylus is the discussion of language. At sec. 426, "Clearly, then the professor of languages should be able to give a very lucid explanation of first names,..." The first job of a philosopher is the study of definitions before the examination of the concept can be done by dialectic. 

Now, I own a copy of Strong's Concordance. For the verse Psalm 86:9 (Masoretic text numbering), Strongs says it is the Hebrew word "goy" not "am". What I gather from the use of "am" and "goy" by the references in the Strong's, "am" is directed to the Israelite people as a people in their actions of either good or bad, or need to do. "Am" is an address when God, prophets, talk to the Jewish people.  "Goy" is applied to foreign entities of tribes/nations, outside of Israel when one is talking about racial units.

For the Orthodox, the Septuagint is an inspired translation. For the Early Church, the Septuagint was the, for all manner speaking, the only Old Testament Greek speakers had so it became the "Bible". The Masoretic text was not even created at that time. The Greek Orthodox view the Septuagint as God's preparation for His Son on this earth. Nobody outside of Israel knew Hebrew. The lingua franca of the Mediterranean area was Greek. God in His Wisdom, had the OT translated into Greek  to prepare the way for His Son. 

Furthermore, Jesus said, "The Faith will be taken away from you and given to another people". And Jesus follows that by the parable of the two wineskins. Christianity is the New Wine and since it is the New Wine, it needs a new Wine Skin. That Wine Skin is Hellenism and with that the Greek language. 63% of the quotations in the New Testament are from the Septuagint. The Septuagint is sufficient for Christian teaching. The Septuagint is there for Teaching in the Christian Faith. 

And here is a website by a Protestant scholar of the use of the term "goy" in Hebrew and its translation:

Here is a Jewish website talking about am and goy. It says that 'am' often times is translated and means nation.

Psalm 85, the numbering in the LXX, i.e. the Septuagint, uses the word "goy". The line I am quoting says, "all the nations whom thou hast created". The word is "goyim" not 'am'. God created all the goyim. God created all the nations. Jesus and the Book of Acts use the Greek term, "ethnos". Jesus told us to go to "the nations". Jesus is certainly more intelligent than all of us, and for Jesus, "nations" are a concrete reality. Since the OT is to be translated for Christians thru the eyes of the New Testament, it is righteous that the term ethnos or natus be used to translate goy. We are a Western people and we are to use Western languages and their meanings. That is what formed our culture and Western Civilization, Christendom. 

America is NOT a nation. Never was. The American pseudo-republic is the first Masonic Republic. The first commentators of the American Revolution first called the troubles "The Presbyterian War". The American pseudo-republic is a continuation of the English Civil Wars where Oliver Cromwell and his Levelers sought to create a "Hebrew Republic". The English Civil Wars were precipitated by the Presbyterians. The same forces that were active in the English Civil Wars were active in the American Revolution.   They were proud to call themselves Talmuldic commonwealthsmen. I point you to Eric Nelson's book The Hebrew Republic.  On the seal of the US, is the motto, "Novus Ordo", "New Order". That means that it is not connected to the Old Order which is based on nations. The seal, emblems and flag all exhibit Masonic symbols and sayings. America is a New type of entity not tied to any race/nation. That is why there is this saying "E pluribus unum"---making the many into one, i.e. rebuilding the Tower of Babel, which is a Masonic goal. 


2/13/2018 2:30 pm  #14

Re: What is the Nation?

First off, I'd like to begin by apologizing. When I drafted my first response to you I was somewhat careless, and I failed to check the verse you cited. I was wrong. I won't answer carelessly again. That said, you are still in complete error.

Let's first start with the Bible. Your proof is that the Psalmist declares that God has created the nations (goyim), ergo, the nation is a purely divine creation. This means that the nation (or goy) must be based upon something inherent, such as ethnicity. I'm going to disprove this from several angles.

The first angle will be a recycling of the verse I've cited from Ruth - "your people ('amekh) are my people ('ami)", which implies that there is a possibility of leaving one nation to join another, and by extension, a general national fluidity. As you've correctly pointed out, however, this does not directly contradict your exegesis of Psalms 86, as Psalms uses the word goy while Ruth uses the word 'am.

The problem is two-fold. First of all, we have verses which speak of God's creation of nations using the word 'am, and yet we still see that the 'am is fluid from that verse in Ruth. "When the most High divided to the nations (goyim) their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people ('amim) according to the number of the children of Israel." (Deuteronomy 32:8) We see from this that even though the scripture declares that God set the bounds of the 'amim, a person such as Ruth can still join the 'am of their own volition.

The second problem for you is that the word goy is also used to denote man-made constructs, such as political organizations: "And I will make them them one nation (goy) in the land upon the mountain of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations (goyim), neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." (Ezekiel 37:22)

What we get out of all this is that scriptural assertions that something or another was created by God doesn't mean that man can't alter that objects form. Thus God can create wheat, but it is man who turns that wheat into bread. God can create the Moabite, but the Moabite can cease to be a Moabite and become a Jew. God can create an Englishman (what is an Englishman? A Celt? A Saxon? A Norman?), but that Englishman can cease to be an Englishman and become an American.


That is the main thrust of what I have to say. I do, however, have a few additional points I'd like to make on the side.
(1) You pretend as though the Masoretic text was made up whole-cloth in the seventh century. That is simply untrue, as the Samaritan Pentateuch and Yigal Yadin's excavations of Psalms fragments demonstrate. The vast majority of the Hebrew text was the same text as Jesus' time, and all the Masoretes did was tweak a few passages here and there.
(2) I am still unconvinced that just because you claim God chose the Greek (and then the Latin) version of the Bible to spread Christianity must mean that the Greek (or Latin) language itself, with all of its etymological implications, is infallible. As far as I am aware, this is a distinctly Islamic view of Logos (just with them the language in question is Arabic). In the Christian tradition, Logos transcends the accidents and mutations of the common tongue, and is manifested only in the language of the intellect. Sure, human language may hold traces of the Logos, but it is almost sacreligious in my eyes to maintain that Logos is completely manifested in Koine Greek.
(3) Furthermore, to claim that something should be authoritative (such as the Greek translation) on the basis that it simply happened, and therefore must be the will of God, is simply ludicrous. I'll give an example: 'God arranged for his vicar on earth to be a liberal, therefore, we must view the Church only through the lens of liberalism.' Sounds good? I thought not.
(4) Your claim of the respective functions of goy and 'am are completely wrong. If you would like, I can give you ten examples of the Jews being referred to as goy and gentiles being referred to as 'am. I'll post them if you like.
(5) You realize that my avatar is a picture of Maimonides, right?

Noli turbare circulos meos.
     Thread Starter

2/13/2018 7:17 pm  #15

Re: What is the Nation?

This means that the nation (or goy) must be based upon something inherent, such as ethnicity. I'm going to disprove this from several angles.

I see that you have a bias or prejudice. Your sentence, "...must be based upon something inherent" means that you reject out-of-hand nations because you are afraid of learning that they must have something inherent. How does one learn if one starts out with a bias or a condition that one doesn't accept  from the outset. 

So, what this says to me, is that you are afraid of something, and so in order not come to that realization---I must deny that nations do not exist because there may be something inherently different from one-another. You have set up a precondition to knowledge because you don't want to accept that. 

Scripture says "God created all the nations of the earth". What is so hard in accepting that?  I'm a simple man. The language is simple. The concept is simple. Why make it difficult? You are throwing roadblocks in where none is required. I don't understand. Nations is a part of the cosmos. Nations are a part of reality. What's so hard to accept?

I don't understand why you posit a precondition and then reject Scripture for your precondition and then automatically deny the existence of nations. What is so hard about just accepting a simple truth?  Socrates would put someone's answer into another situation to see if that works.  Dogs exist. God created dogs. God created many of the basic breeds of dogs. I accept that. God created bovine and the basic breeds of bovine. Why dispute that?  If God created many breeds of animals why put man-made stipulations when it comes to mankind? Is there inherent differences between boxers and bloodhounds?  Is there inherent differences between the Leaf cutter ant colonies and the driver ant colonies?  Is there inherent differences between quarter horses and Belgian Draft horses? See, Socrates is always asking for consistency, demanding consistency. If you deny inherent differences in one sort of breeds, then one must deny inherent differences in other breeds. But that is not the case in reality. I'm a farm laborer. I worked on a few farms. Farmers pay attention to particularity. 

A philosopher, a true philosopher, deals IN reality. No questions asked. No preconditions. Reality is reality. My duty as a Christian is accept Reality as is. I can NOT lie about reality. I can NOT lie about reality to myself or others. True philosophy also includes commonsense. (q.v. Jacques Maritain, Intro to Philosophy) Commonsense tells me something about reality. All the Greco-Roman writers mention nations. Aristotle goes into the differences of certain area nations. Aristotle notes that man is a social animal. In other words man is a herd animal---by Nature. So here, all the Greco-Roman writers acknowledge the existence of nations, Scripture tells us that nations are the creation of God---why the disputation? 

To Knowledge---there must be NO preconditions or one doesn't have knowledge but opinion. Scripture is clear and unambiguous.  Evidence in Nature is unambiguous.  


2/13/2018 8:06 pm  #16

Re: What is the Nation?

I'm not understanding you at all. Nowhere have I denied the reality of nations. In fact, if you look at my earlier posts you will see that I am explicitly working with the assumption that nations do exist. All I am disputing is your claim that because God created nations, particular nations cannot be subsequently created, destroyed, or merged (as in: multiculturalism). I keep repeating the example of Ruth: she was of Moabite extraction, and yet was able to join the Jewish nation. This implies that national identity is not immutable, but fluid. That doesn't mean nations aren't real. It just means that in the eyes of scripture it is based on more than just ethnicity.

I'm not saying that ethnic nations don't exist at all in scripture. They do, as the description in Genesis of the 70 nations demonstrates. What I am saying though, is that scripture also allows for a higher, more meaningful sort of nationhood - that of the spirit. That of a shared commitment to certain values. That sort of higher nationhood is not at odds with the merging of two cultures or ethnicities into one.

P.S. I also just ordered The Hebrew Republic. It looks like a really interesting book.

Last edited by Etzelnik (2/13/2018 8:24 pm)

Noli turbare circulos meos.
     Thread Starter

2/13/2018 8:29 pm  #17

Re: What is the Nation?

Clinias wrote:

Nations is a part of the cosmos. Nations are a part of reality. What's so hard to accept?

If a nation is part of the cosmos then what exactly is it? Is it a substance or the accident of a substance? How can we tell when one nation passes away and is replaced by another of the same name or when the same nation changes name?


2/13/2018 11:26 pm  #18

Re: What is the Nation?

What I think both Etzelnik and DanielCC are trying to get at is the fluidity of the term 'nation'. I am not scholastic philosopher nor am I an academically trained sophist, i.e. have a degree from a college or a university. I take the question, "is it a substance" or an "accident of a substance" is that the term 'nation' is a social construct or of something that has no concreteness.  

Well, if a 'nation' is fluid why are there miscegenation laws in the Bible?  If the 'nation' is nothing--it is ludicrous for the Holy Spirit to say anything about miscegenation, right? If you want to dispute that, St. Paul says "ALL Scripture is there for teaching, reproof, and correction." He did not say some, or a part, he said "ALL". If a nation is nothing, then there is no sense of having miscegenation laws. Did not Abraham and Isaac both send their sons back to their home country to find wives? 

Fr. Gruber who is the author of the Masonry article at the Catholic Encyclopaedia New Advent captures a salient Masonic dogma.

"This "universal religion of Humanity" which gradually removes the accidental divisions of mankind due to particular opinions "or religious", national, and social "prejudices", is to be the bond of union among men in the Masonic society, conceived as the model of human association in general." (from:

And what I gather from the context of the quote, this idea existed in Masonry before the American Revolution. Many of the FFofA were Masons. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and others were Masons. Masonry's goal is to "gradually remove the accidental divisions of mankind". Well, Is that what the Psalmist declares in Psalm 85? Either God created all the nations. or they are 'accidental divisions'.  I guess if they are an "accident of substance" then they are accidental divisions. They have no substance--so God and the Scriptures are a joke. God is not serious. When God created nations--He was joking? We are NOT to take it seriously. God makes mistakes.

Can Etzelnik please post on the doctrine of Jewish Messianism?  Please tell us what is the criteria required for the Jewish messiah to come. What are the two requirements that is necessary for the arrival?  Please. 

This is the crux:

"is that scripture also allows for a higher, more meaningful sort of nationhood - that of the spirit. That of a shared commitment to certain values. That sort of higher nationhood is not at odds with the merging of two cultures or ethnicities into one."

What you are describing is the Masonic state.  American propositional nation. Certain aspects of Americanism was condemned by one of the Pontiffs. In my opinion he didn't go far enough. The American Ideal is a pseudo-nation, not a real one. I go back to the Latin term: One Birth. The merging of nations is the act of genocide. If we are driving at a "sort of higher nationhood" is that the plan and Will of God? Is that why Jesus started the Christian religion?  Is that the purpose of the Christian religion? If we are developing a "higher nationhood" based on Ideas, are we not overturning the Natural Order?

One can never nullify the Truth. If one says "There is no such thing as Truth" one just said a Truth. If you end "nation" then it is genocide, albeit soft genocide. To dissolve a nation is soft genocide. And to do that from within a nation is Treason. What does Virtue teach? Does Virtue teach to merge nations together? Or is it a progressive agenda?  Is it Modernism? 

What is the Moral Order?  What is the Natural Order?

Or is this the effect of Gnosticism?  The hatred of Particularity. The Hatred of Nature. Both of those are signs of gnosticism. Masonry and International Socialism are Gnostic. 

A traditional Catholic's duty is to the Moral Order, to preserve, defend the Natural Order. We don't attack Nature. We don't hate Nature. We don't hate the Order that God created. We have respect for the Natural Order. 


2/14/2018 9:06 am  #19

Re: What is the Nation?

Clinias wrote:

What I think both Etzelnik and DanielCC are trying to get at is the fluidity of the term 'nation'. I am not scholastic philosopher nor am I an academically trained sophist, i.e. have a degree from a college or a university. I take the question, "is it a substance" or an "accident of a substance" is that the term 'nation' is a social construct or of something that has no concreteness

Simple Aristotle - If the nation is real (which you claim) what category of being does it belong to?

Clinias wrote:

Well, if a 'nation' is fluid why are there miscegenation laws in the Bible?  

Not a proponent of any of the Abrahamic religions. Likewise if the Bible makes contra-moral claims then so much the worse for it. This of course does not mean that nations in the sense you're using do not exist, only biblical appeals won't carry any weight with me.


2/14/2018 10:37 am  #20

Re: What is the Nation?

DanielCC wrote:

Clinias wrote:

What I think both Etzelnik and DanielCC are trying to get at is the fluidity of the term 'nation'. I am not scholastic philosopher nor am I an academically trained sophist, i.e. have a degree from a college or a university. I take the question, "is it a substance" or an "accident of a substance" is that the term 'nation' is a social construct or of something that has no concreteness

Simple Aristotle - If the nation is real (which you claim) what category of being does it belong to?

Okay, you made me do some research. I had to look up categories of Aristotle. Of the four categories, I would call nation a "non-accidental particular". Accidental meaning "non-essential". Racial identity is essential. End the racial identity, then the thing, i.e. a particular German, particular Irishman, disappears. 

Mankind is a universal. Nation is a particular. But nation is by nature, essential because there are inherent differences in each category. Take away its particularity, and the nation disappears.

Now, this is my first use of the categories of Aristotle. I may not have used the right terms. I can be corrected in this. In the section, "Said-of and NotPresent-In", it has "Moreover, because primary substances seem to be members of natural kinds, it is natural to interpret secondary substances as the kinds to which primary substances belong."
Race/nation is a natural kind in which primary substance, man belongs to. 

To take out "race" out of man, is to deracinate, which is a form of genocide, which destroys the natural kind, which ends a being. Psychologically, a rootless individual is a damaged individual, alienated from Nature, thus harmed. Look at how adoptees search for birth parents, a connection to past. It is instinctual. I'm an adoptee myself. I know. 

In the cosmos, Nation is a Macro-organism. It is a living breathing entity. A social organism. Race/nation is the final destination of a man. There is nothing higher. It is the End. 

Many people talk of evolution and use evolution in the talking about mankind. In Nature---Evolution always always leads to distinction---to creating diversity of things. Evolution in Nature NEVER, NEVER brings things together. There is no evidence of that. Evolution diversifies--It never collates. So, in this regard, Race/nation is the FINAL destination of being for man in the Cosmos. There is nothing higher. 

There is something lower, when one deconstructs race and returns man to just being an individual, an atomized individual. That is deconstructionism, not evolution. It is a lowering, a regression. Man is damaged. Again, Aristotle's categories are what fits in the Natural Order. Man by Nature is "Parts of a whole". The "Whole" being Race/Nation. Cosmopolitanism is opposite of what most people think. It is not a "higher form" for man to achieve---but a degradation. 

Race/Nation is a Secondary Substance, that a primary substance, "man", adheres to. 

What say you?


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