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Debating Atheists

Aug 26th 2012 new

All,

I'm not sure if this has been discussed and if it has would appreciate the forum, date, etc.


My friend the athiest, D, and I were chatting on Dawkins' God Hypothesis. Admittedly, I think that without a script, many if not all Catholics can argue for the proof of God, because I needed to adjourn, to pray, reflect, and READ, on it. Now I know Aquinas wrote Summa and said it's all straw, and the atheist heresy has been around for eons, but if you cannot use ANY intelligent design rebuttal, what do you say in response?

I'm currently reading a book by Thomas Crean, O.P., for the second time. It bothers me when someone compares my belief in God to that of believing in Superman, or any imaginary superhero, or that we as a culture have trademarked "God".

Does anyone have any thoughts, observations, etc.?


Pax Vobiscum,

JB

Aug 26th 2012 new

I meant "CANNOT" not "CAN".

Aug 26th 2012 new

(Quote) John-862015 said: I meant "CANNOT" not "CAN".
(Quote) John-862015 said:

I meant "CANNOT" not "CAN".

--hide--

First of all, any such "Superman" or Celestial Teapot argument is a confusion between a creature, which is a contingent being that borrows it's being from God (we any everything you see falls in that category), and the one God who is Being Himself.

Remember, God is the absolute and source of every good thing we have, including being, intellect, and will. Bees be because the borrow being from God, God is because He is Being Himself.

This argument is also expressed as the "One god further" argument, which Edward Fesser deconstructs very well. edwardfeser.blogspot.com

Aug 27th 2012 new

(Quote) Steven-706921 said: First of all, any such "Superman" or Celestial Teapot argument is a confusion...
(Quote) Steven-706921 said:

First of all, any such "Superman" or Celestial Teapot argument is a confusion between a creature, which is a contingent being that borrows it's being from God (we any everything you see falls in that category), and the one God who is Being Himself.

Remember, God is the absolute and source of every good thing we have, including being, intellect, and will. Bees be because the borrow being from God, God is because He is Being Himself.

This argument is also expressed as the "One god further" argument, which Edward Fesser deconstructs very well. edwardfeser.blogspot.com

--hide--


My CM friend here has a blog and occasionally they discuss the new atheism. I am sure you would like his blog it is called Lex Communis. Let me know if you find it and it helps.

Aug 27th 2012 new

(Quote) John-862015 said: All, I'm not sure if this has been discussed and if it has would appreciate the forum, ...
(Quote) John-862015 said:

All,

I'm not sure if this has been discussed and if it has would appreciate the forum, date, etc.


My friend the athiest, D, and I were chatting on Dawkins' God Hypothesis. Admittedly, I think that without a script, many if not all Catholics can argue for the proof of God, because I needed to adjourn, to pray, reflect, and READ, on it. Now I know Aquinas wrote Summa and said it's all straw, and the atheist heresy has been around for eons, but if you cannot use ANY intelligent design rebuttal, what do you say in response?

I'm currently reading a book by Thomas Crean, O.P., for the second time. It bothers me when someone compares my belief in God to that of believing in Superman, or any imaginary superhero, or that we as a culture have trademarked "God".

Does anyone have any thoughts, observations, etc.?


Pax Vobiscum,

JB

--hide--
There are various theological arguments to "prove" that God exists. The problem is that God isn't physically visible; therefore, some people just won't accept it. Well, not everything we believe in is visible. Have you ever seen a concept? We know about concepts, but no one has actually seen one. We acknowledge that some things exist even though we haven't seen them. This is true of physical things as well. We might never have seen the peak of the Himalayas, but we know from others that the peak (and mountains) exist.

Back to your problem. One argument involves the order in creation. We see the wonders of creation and how much order there is in the universe. Is it a perfect physical world? No, but perfection is reserved for God alone. Anyone or anything that is absolutely flawless would be equal to God. That's a digression to some extent, but the order in nature involves seeing Mother Nature at work -- plants growing, rivers flowing, and so on. It would be difficult to see this happen without Divine intervention.

Another argument is the "uncaused cause". If a person were to trace the origin of everything, there would have to be a Supreme Being from which things started. Matter does not create itself. Scientists cannot duplicate a unique human being (the miracle of creation). Cloning is one thing, but each person is unique, as demonstrated by DNA.

We also have Jesus Himself. He proclaimed that He is the Son of God, and that He has seen the Father. Historians do not deny that Jesus was physically here on earth. He was able to perform miracles in unity with the Father.

Atheists deny God, but the denial is somewhat of an acknowledgment in itself. Why do people spend time being perplexed by the idea there is a God? Because God Himself is "bugging" them to wake up and hear His word.

We all have consciences. Where do the thoughts of right and wrong come from?

John -- these are a few ideas you hopefully might be able to use. Perhaps those who have greater theological expertise will weigh in on this topic.

You're also new to the CM forums, and we'd like to welcome you.

Aug 27th 2012 new

(Quote) Ray-566531 said: There are various theological arguments to "prove" that God exists. The problem is that G...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:

There are various theological arguments to "prove" that God exists. The problem is that God isn't physically visible; therefore, some people just won't accept it. Well, not everything we believe in is visible. Have you ever seen a concept? We know about concepts, but no one has actually seen one. We acknowledge that some things exist even though we haven't seen them. This is true of physical things as well. We might never have seen the peak of the Himalayas, but we know from others that the peak (and mountains) exist.

Back to your problem. One argument involves the order in creation. We see the wonders of creation and how much order there is in the universe. Is it a perfect physical world? No, but perfection is reserved for God alone. Anyone or anything that is absolutely flawless would be equal to God. That's a digression to some extent, but the order in nature involves seeing Mother Nature at work -- plants growing, rivers flowing, and so on. It would be difficult to see this happen without Divine intervention.

Another argument is the "uncaused cause". If a person were to trace the origin of everything, there would have to be a Supreme Being from which things started. Matter does not create itself. Scientists cannot duplicate a unique human being (the miracle of creation). Cloning is one thing, but each person is unique, as demonstrated by DNA.

We also have Jesus Himself. He proclaimed that He is the Son of God, and that He has seen the Father. Historians do not deny that Jesus was physically here on earth. He was able to perform miracles in unity with the Father.

Atheists deny God, but the denial is somewhat of an acknowledgment in itself. Why do people spend time being perplexed by the idea there is a God? Because God Himself is "bugging" them to wake up and hear His word.

We all have consciences. Where do the thoughts of right and wrong come from?

John -- these are a few ideas you hopefully might be able to use. Perhaps those who have greater theological expertise will weigh in on this topic.

You're also new to the CM forums, and we'd like to welcome you.

--hide--

The knowledge of God through reason alone (i.e., without use of revealed truth) is the subject matter of the branch of Philosophy known as Natural Theology. There are two types of proofs for the existance of God in Natural Theology: metaphysical and moral. The metaphysical proofs are strict proofs in that they provide conclusive proof of God's existance -- to those who have a solid knowledge of Metaphyics, which excludes the vast majority of the population.

The moral proofs, while not compelling as are the metaphysical proofs, have varying degrees of pursuasion. The moral proofs can be easier for those without a background in Metaphysics to understand, but they can be attacked.

The book Natural Theology by Dr. D. Q. McInerny, a professor of Philosophy at the seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), contains a number of metaphysical and moral proofs for the existance of God. It is not easy reading by any means. but it may be helpful for those with a background in Scholastic Philosophy or a great deal of tenacity.

For those interested, this book (and the remainder of the series covering other areas of Scholastic Philosophy) may be purchased freom the FSSP www.fraternitypublications.com

Aug 28th 2012 new

Don't know if this would help anyone or not, but one of the easiest to understand and to help counter an atheist's arguments is to listen to Jeff Cavins' talk on Lighthouse Catholic Media. Interestingly enough and which I agree, there are not as many atheists out there as we are led to believe (even 1 is to many!) but most are actually uneducated. I like listening to that tape and since I teach RCIA, I find it helpful when answering many uneducated beliefs about faith.

Aug 28th 2012 new

(Quote) Ann-875509 said: Don't know if this would help anyone or not, but one of the easiest to understand and to help c...
(Quote) Ann-875509 said:

Don't know if this would help anyone or not, but one of the easiest to understand and to help counter an atheist's arguments is to listen to Jeff Cavins' talk on Lighthouse Catholic Media. Interestingly enough and which I agree, there are not as many atheists out there as we are led to believe (even 1 is to many!) but most are actually uneducated. I like listening to that tape and since I teach RCIA, I find it helpful when answering many uneducated beliefs about faith.

--hide--

Very good point! Catholics with a moral relativistic mindset can be just as frustrating as atheists to explain things to.

Aug 28th 2012 new

I'd have to know your friend, but the best sources I imagine would be atheist converts. CS Lewis is a very popular one. If you go to Patheos.com read the blogs by Leah Libresco- she's a recent convert from atheism who converted mostly through the moral persuasion proof. You could also read some of the atheist blogs there; it will maybe give you a clearer window into their thinking. You can see that using reason is thought to be in vogue among them but clearly is not.


Most important thing. Are you funny, joy filled and peace filled and loving? If you are you bring a massive advantage. It not start prayng for some!


Peace,

Matt

Sep 14th 2012 new

There is no "proof" of God in the scientific sense. If there were, and sufficient evidence made beliving in God just the acceptance of fact, then we would not need faith.

The beauty of believing in God is the acceptance of evidence of God's providence, grace, and love in one's life, in spite of the fact that God's existance can not be proven or disproven with scientific rigor.

John 20:29

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

1 Peter 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

Thank God that God can not be proven to exist! Thank God for Faith!

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