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  #1  
Old Mar 30, '10, 9:19 pm
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neisan neisan is offline
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Default Responses to attacks on faith

Here are some ways to response to attacks on christianity:

Attack:How can you believe in what you cannot see?
Response:Have you ever seen a million dollars?Have you ever seen your brain?Just because you don't see God doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

A:We are made from cells,this is proof that we are not made by supernatural means.
R:That so-called proof is against you.humans were made out of clay.Our body contains iron and iodine inside it.the cells themselves are basic of basic elements from the earth.Thus,God did make us from clay

A:All humans are born atheists since they don't know about God.
R:Really?Babies also don't know how to speak,read,write,or even cloth themselves.However,they are naturally good,so this is proof that God made humans to be good at heart.

A:Your priests molest children,how can you be a part of a church like that?
R:You judge God on the acts of sinful humans.Plus not all the church priests do this.there have always been sinners in the church.I don't care if there are a few bad priests in the church,as long as my priest isn't a bad one,I don't care about the sinners.

A:God hates us all if he allows bad things to happen.
R:This a sign of ignorance,he gave you life and the free will to deny him.Plus,have you ever thought that these things happen to strengthen a person?A father dies but in turn,two sisters are brought closer together.A woman is raped,but she has the courage to report the incident and save many women from the man.All things happen for a reason,don't think He has abandoned you.

A:You have no proof God exists.
R:Yes,I do.there are the saints,and even everyday miracles.A man trapped under for a month rubble after the earthquake in Haiti is found alive.A man is able to lift a car to save the trapped child underneath it.Now what proof do you have on your theory of creation?

A:Catholics aren't Christians.they worship the saints and think the Pope is greater than Jesus.
R:Yes we are.Catholics don't worship saints,we look to them for assisstance and guidance.And we consider the Pope as the vicar of Christ,he is filling in for him until the second coming.

Please note that I may not be 100% right in all of them,so bear with me.
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  #2  
Old Mar 30, '10, 10:11 pm
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the phoenix the phoenix is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Dear neisan,

Thank you for your list. It contains many good points to ponder.

One critique, if that's okay. As for bad priests, even one is one too many. My recommendation would be to pray for the conversion of bad priests, so that they will repent and reform their lives. I would also pray for strength and holiness for good priests as well.

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  #3  
Old Mar 31, '10, 9:07 am
MeekandHumble MeekandHumble is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by neisan View Post
Here are some ways to response to attacks on christianity:

Attack:How can you believe in what you cannot see?
Response:Have you ever seen a million dollars?Have you ever seen your brain?Just because you don't see God doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

A:We are made from cells,this is proof that we are not made by supernatural means.
R:That so-called proof is against you.humans were made out of clay.Our body contains iron and iodine inside it.the cells themselves are basic of basic elements from the earth.Thus,God did make us from clay

A:All humans are born atheists since they don't know about God.
R:Really?Babies also don't know how to speak,read,write,or even cloth themselves.However,they are naturally good,so this is proof that God made humans to be good at heart.

A:Your priests molest children,how can you be a part of a church like that?
R:You judge God on the acts of sinful humans.Plus not all the church priests do this.there have always been sinners in the church.I don't care if there are a few bad priests in the church,as long as my priest isn't a bad one,I don't care about the sinners.

A:God hates us all if he allows bad things to happen.
R:This a sign of ignorance,he gave you life and the free will to deny him.Plus,have you ever thought that these things happen to strengthen a person?A father dies but in turn,two sisters are brought closer together.A woman is raped,but she has the courage to report the incident and save many women from the man.All things happen for a reason,don't think He has abandoned you.

A:You have no proof God exists.
R:Yes,I do.there are the saints,and even everyday miracles.A man trapped under for a month rubble after the earthquake in Haiti is found alive.A man is able to lift a car to save the trapped child underneath it.Now what proof do you have on your theory of creation?

A:Catholics aren't Christians.they worship the saints and think the Pope is greater than Jesus.
R:Yes we are.Catholics don't worship saints,we look to them for assisstance and guidance.And we consider the Pope as the vicar of Christ,he is filling in for him until the second coming.

Please note that I may not be 100% right in all of them,so bear with me.
One question. If the pope is filling in for Christ until His second coming, can the pope save anyone from their sins?
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  #4  
Old Mar 31, '10, 9:38 am
MeekandHumble MeekandHumble is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by neisan View Post
Here are some ways to response to attacks on christianity:

Attack:How can you believe in what you cannot see?
Response:Have you ever seen a million dollars?Have you ever seen your brain?Just because you don't see God doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

A:We are made from cells,this is proof that we are not made by supernatural means.
R:That so-called proof is against you.humans were made out of clay.Our body contains iron and iodine inside it.the cells themselves are basic of basic elements from the earth.Thus,God did make us from clay

A:All humans are born atheists since they don't know about God.
R:Really?Babies also don't know how to speak,read,write,or even cloth themselves.However,they are naturally good,so this is proof that God made humans to be good at heart.

A:Your priests molest children,how can you be a part of a church like that?
R:You judge God on the acts of sinful humans.Plus not all the church priests do this.there have always been sinners in the church.I don't care if there are a few bad priests in the church,as long as my priest isn't a bad one,I don't care about the sinners.

A:God hates us all if he allows bad things to happen.
R:This a sign of ignorance,he gave you life and the free will to deny him.Plus,have you ever thought that these things happen to strengthen a person?A father dies but in turn,two sisters are brought closer together.A woman is raped,but she has the courage to report the incident and save many women from the man.All things happen for a reason,don't think He has abandoned you.

A:You have no proof God exists.
R:Yes,I do.there are the saints,and even everyday miracles.A man trapped under for a month rubble after the earthquake in Haiti is found alive.A man is able to lift a car to save the trapped child underneath it.Now what proof do you have on your theory of creation?

A:Catholics aren't Christians.they worship the saints and think the Pope is greater than Jesus.
R:Yes we are.Catholics don't worship saints,we look to them for assisstance and guidance.And we consider the Pope as the vicar of Christ,he is filling in for him until the second coming.

Please note that I may not be 100% right in all of them,so bear with me.

Are you sure this is the route you want to take? We as Christians shouldn't plan what to say in a situation. We should study, and when that time comes, the Holy Spirit will guide us and bring those things to our remembrance.

Luke 12:12 says For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

2 Timothy 2:15 says Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Just a few suggestions....
1st attack: How can you believe in what you cannot see?
-Use Bible prophecy. No ONE can argue against Bible prophecy.


Also, that statement that you made about not caring about sinners is completely opposite of what the Bible tells us to do. You said you don't care about sinners, as long as your priest isn't bad. Who are we to not care about anyone?

Romans 3:23 says For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

All of us are sinners. Jesus died on the cross for all. We are to love our enemies.

I would not say that God gave us free will to deny Him. God created Adam and Eve perfect. Before the fall of the human race, He gave them free will to worship Him, love Him and keep His commandments. Because if there wasn't free will, then people would worship Him out of force.

I respond once about the pope but I didn't go into detail. You said that the pope is filling in for Christ. I have an honest question.

Before Peter became (what you say because I'm not catholic) the "1st pope", who filled in before Jesus was born? Moses talked with God not a representative of God. A pope wasn't needed then.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Based on this scripture, the Father sent the Holy Ghost, not the pope. That is of the Bible, not of mine own words.
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  #5  
Old Mar 31, '10, 9:47 am
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TEPO TEPO is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by neisan View Post
Here are some ways to response to attacks on christianity:

Attack:How can you believe in what you cannot see?
Response:Have you ever seen a million dollars?Have you ever seen your brain?Just because you don't see God doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

A:We are made from cells,this is proof that we are not made by supernatural means.
R:That so-called proof is against you.humans were made out of clay.Our body contains iron and iodine inside it.the cells themselves are basic of basic elements from the earth.Thus,God did make us from clay

A:All humans are born atheists since they don't know about God.
R:Really?Babies also don't know how to speak,read,write,or even cloth themselves.However,they are naturally good,so this is proof that God made humans to be good at heart.

A:Your priests molest children,how can you be a part of a church like that?
R:You judge God on the acts of sinful humans.Plus not all the church priests do this.there have always been sinners in the church.I don't care if there are a few bad priests in the church,as long as my priest isn't a bad one,I don't care about the sinners.

A:God hates us all if he allows bad things to happen.
R:This a sign of ignorance,he gave you life and the free will to deny him.Plus,have you ever thought that these things happen to strengthen a person?A father dies but in turn,two sisters are brought closer together.A woman is raped,but she has the courage to report the incident and save many women from the man.All things happen for a reason,don't think He has abandoned you.

A:You have no proof God exists.
R:Yes,I do.there are the saints,and even everyday miracles.A man trapped under for a month rubble after the earthquake in Haiti is found alive.A man is able to lift a car to save the trapped child underneath it.Now what proof do you have on your theory of creation?

A:Catholics aren't Christians.they worship the saints and think the Pope is greater than Jesus.
R:Yes we are.Catholics don't worship saints,we look to them for assisstance and guidance.And we consider the Pope as the vicar of Christ,he is filling in for him until the second coming.

Please note that I may not be 100% right in all of them,so bear with me.
Thanks neisan...
keep up the good work, I personally like the "can you see your own brain" comparison... How true.
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  #6  
Old Mar 31, '10, 9:48 am
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeekandHumble View Post
One question. If the pope is filling in for Christ until His second coming, can the pope save anyone from their sins?
Priests can even do that.
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  #7  
Old Mar 31, '10, 11:58 am
AntiTheist AntiTheist is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by neisan View Post
Attack:How can you believe in what you cannot see?
Response:Have you ever seen a million dollars?Have you ever seen your brain?Just because you don't see God doesn't mean he doesn't exist.
We have lots of good evidence (not necessarily *visible*, but *demonstrable*) that those other things exist -- there is no evidence that any gods exist.

Quote:
A:We are made from cells,this is proof that we are not made by supernatural means.
R:That so-called proof is against you.humans were made out of clay.Our body contains iron and iodine inside it.the cells themselves are basic of basic elements from the earth.Thus,God did make us from clay
Well, this "attack" isn't very good, and the response is even worse -- the simple fact that we share some elements with the earth doesn't tell us anything about *how* our cells came to be this way. It certainly doesn't even remotely imply that some magical being made them.

What we *do* have is tons and tons and tons of evidence that indicates that the diversity of life is the result of a process of gradual development form simple life to more complex life.

Quote:
A:All humans are born atheists since they don't know about God.
R:Really?Babies also don't know how to speak,read,write,or even cloth themselves.However,they are naturally good,so this is proof that God made humans to be good at heart.
There is a distinction sometimes made between "implicit" and "explicit" atheists. Those who don't believe in a god because they've never thought about the question are implicit atheists -- babies would fall into this category, as well as those who have never thought seriously about the question.

Those who have thought seriously about the question and decided that there is indeed no evidence to support the claim that a god exists are explicit atheists. Usually, when we say "atheists," we are talking about explicit atheists.

Furthermore, the existence of an instinctual desire to cooperate with other members of the species is something we see in other social animals and not at all something that is unexpected or unusual or magical in any way -- it does not suggest that a magical being makes us act nicely towards each other.

Quote:
A:Your priests molest children,how can you be a part of a church like that?
R:You judge God on the acts of sinful humans.Plus not all the church priests do this.there have always been sinners in the church.I don't care if there are a few bad priests in the church,as long as my priest isn't a bad one,I don't care about the sinners.
This "attack" does not judge any god -- it judges an institution that has reportedly attempted to cover up crimes that have done real harm to children. Most people would agree that the claim that an organization is the only source of divine truth is incompatible with what many see as said organization engaging in an international criminal conspiracy to protect pedophiles.

Quote:
A:God hates us all if he allows bad things to happen.
R:This a sign of ignorance,he gave you life and the free will to deny him.Plus,have you ever thought that these things happen to strengthen a person?A father dies but in turn,two sisters are brought closer together.A woman is raped,but she has the courage to report the incident and save many women from the man.All things happen for a reason,don't think He has abandoned you.
Only idiots stop believing in gods for emotional reasons.

Quote:
A:You have no proof God exists.
R:Yes,I do.there are the saints,and even everyday miracles.A man trapped under for a month rubble after the earthquake in Haiti is found alive.A man is able to lift a car to save the trapped child underneath it.
Seriously now. Statistically, there are bound to be survivors of catastrophies. You honestly want the existence of survivors of catastrophies to be evidence for a supernatural being? Seriously?

Quote:
Now what proof do you have on your theory of creation?
Let's pretend, for the sake of argument, that I have no idea how the universe got here. You're the one claiming that a magic man exists and that I should believe in said magic man -- you're going to need some mighty convincing evidence to persuade me, and saying that some people survive accidents is really not compelling evidence of your claim.
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  #8  
Old Mar 31, '10, 1:21 pm
TomD123 TomD123 is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiTheist View Post
Seriously now. Statistically, there are bound to be survivors of catastrophies. You honestly want the existence of survivors of catastrophies to be evidence for a supernatural being? Seriously?

Let's pretend, for the sake of argument, that I have no idea how the universe got here. You're the one claiming that a magic man exists and that I should believe in said magic man -- you're going to need some mighty convincing evidence to persuade me, and saying that some people survive accidents is really not compelling evidence of your claim.
The survivors in earthquakes are not the only "miracles" that prove God. To just list a few (That not only prove God, but prove Catholicism)
1) Miracle of the Sun 1917- Were 70 thousand people lying or insane?
2) Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano- Is it just a coincidence that the blood from that was type AB and so was the shroud of Turin blood?
3) The Healing of Jory Aebly a few years ago
4)Miracle of Hiroshima- Jesuit priests who said the Rosary daily and who were very close to the nuclear bomb that hit in the 40s survived with no effect from radiation
5) St's bodies that do not decay after death like Padre Pio and St. Bernadette

Now, these miracles do not absolutely guarantee God exists, maybe not even close to guarantee it. However, there are MANY MANY MORE!
Say there are 600 miracles (which there are way more) and each miracle had a 99% chance of being false, still there is only a 0.2% chance that they are ALL false. As a Catholic, if one is true, it proves the Religion. For atheists, every one of those 600 miracles would have to be false.



As for the second part of the quote:
We do not need mighty compelling evidence to show that the universe has a creator. For most of human history (even now) most people are and were theists. Does this make you the genius and most of humanity idiots who blindly follows something without evidence? You are the one who needs the evidence to prove that the universe DOES NOT have a creator. We can both agree that matter cannot be created or destroyed (same with energy)- a scientific statement. Now, if that is true, how did that law get broken in the first place? We can say God, and you would have to come up with an alternative. If I told you that the computer I am working on was made out of nothingness, yet it is fully functional, you would say to me "Prove It." The universe and all that is in it is trillions of times more complex than a computer but you apparently don't think so. In addition to that, you need some faith. Most atheists say the same thing "Faith is blindly following something" or they say something to that effect, but we all need faith every day. Here are a few examples of what we use faith for and not science:
1) prove this is not a dream- you can't, we have faith it is not
2) prove the sun will rise tommorow- you can't- we have faith it will
3) prove that George Washington existed- you can't- we can only see the effects of his existence and the passed on history of his existence
Finally, even as an atheist you use faith: You have faith there is no God. Since God can't be definitively proven or disproven, we both use faith.

Now lastly, I would like you to answer a question- if you are an atheist- Why are you participating on this website if you think theism is a bunch of lies and life is just one big accident, why bother with us theists?
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  #9  
Old Mar 31, '10, 4:01 pm
rick43235 rick43235 is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomD123 View Post
Finally, even as an atheist you use faith: You have faith there is no God. Since God can't be definitively proven or disproven, we both use faith.
Geez Louise...Not to pick on TomD, but I have seen this argument made countless times on here, and I have seen AntiTheist patiently explain - also countless times - why atheism (at least his atheism) is not a matter of faith.

I know this is not a perfect analogy, but some people argue that "Catholics worship Mary." The Catholic response is typically, "No we don't," followed by an explanation of why they don't worship Mary. From my perspective, if a Catholic says they don't worship Mary, I assume they know what they are talking about, and I take their word for it. After all, they, as Catholics, presumably know better than I do. Same thing with atheism. If an atheist tells you that his atheism is not a matter of faith, why assume that he's lying to you? It's his atheism...he ought to know.
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  #10  
Old Mar 31, '10, 4:34 pm
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Zatzat Zatzat is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

I'm game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neisan View Post
Here are some ways to response to attacks on christianity:

Attack:How can you believe in what you cannot see?
Response:Have you ever seen a million dollars?Have you ever seen your brain?Just because you don't see God doesn't mean he doesn't exist.
Ct scan and MRI's are a way for me to see my brain. When I'm dead, a coroner can crack my skull and low and behold, my brain will be visible to all. The very fact that I can interact with the world is because I have a functioning brain. Through deductive reasoning and purse science, I can prove that although I cannot physically see my brain that is encased in my skull, I can prove without a doubt using the scientific method, that my brain in fact is present.

You cannot do the same for any invisible supernatural God, let alone your specific brand of God.

Quote:
A:We are made from cells,this is proof that we are not made by supernatural means.
R:That so-called proof is against you.humans were made out of clay.Our body contains iron and iodine inside it.the cells themselves are basic of basic elements from the earth.Thus,God did make us from clay
Which God? How do you know it is the God you named and not some other super God?

Quote:
A:All humans are born atheists since they don't know about God.
R:Really?Babies also don't know how to speak,read,write,or even cloth themselves.However,they are naturally good,so this is proof that God made humans to be good at heart.
What act of goodness does a 1 hour old baby commit?
How do you know that this God has made humans good at heart and if so, how do you know it is your God and not say, uhm... Vishnu who is responsible?

Quote:
A:Your priests molest children,how can you be a part of a church like that?
R:You judge God on the acts of sinful humans.Plus not all the church priests do this.there have always been sinners in the church.I don't care if there are a few bad priests in the church,as long as my priest isn't a bad one,I don't care about the sinners.
You don't care if your neighbours priest is a child molester? Just so long as your Priest is a good guy? Lovely.

Quote:
A:God hates us all if he allows bad things to happen.
R:This a sign of ignorance,he gave you life and the free will to deny him.Plus,have you ever thought that these things happen to strengthen a person?A father dies but in turn,two sisters are brought closer together.A woman is raped,but she has the courage to report the incident and save many women from the man.All things happen for a reason,don't think He has abandoned you.
A child's entire family is killed in a genocidal blood bath called Rwanda. The child is made to watch as her family is hacked to death. The child is then abused, tortured and killed herself. Yes, such horrific things happen.

Where is this God of yours and please, enlighten us all....where is the lovely silver lining that will strengthen...whom shall it strengthen? The savages who slaughtered the family?

Quote:
A:You have no proof God exists.
R:Yes,I do.there are the saints,and even everyday miracles.A man trapped under for a month rubble after the earthquake in Haiti is found alive.A man is able to lift a car to save the trapped child underneath it.Now what proof do you have on your theory of creation?
Saints mean nothing to me.
Cite your source regarding a man trapped in rubble for one month and who survived.
Cite your source regarding a man who lifted a car to save a trapped child underneath it.

When you come across what you perceive to be an unexplained event, how fascinating that you immediately want to give credit to your God. I say again, if you are going to give credit to a God, why not Vishnu or Brahman?

I'll start paying attention to these everyday miracles when amputee's start growing back perfectly healthy and functioning limbs or when persons born with cerebral palsy, are suddenly healed.

Quote:
A:Catholics aren't Christians.they worship the saints and think the Pope is greater than Jesus.
R:Yes we are.Catholics don't worship saints,we look to them for assisstance and guidance.And we consider the Pope as the vicar of Christ,he is filling in for him until the second coming.
Catholics are Christians, just as how Protestants are Christians. Unfortunately, there's a lot of disagreement amongst you all.
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  #11  
Old Mar 31, '10, 10:41 pm
AntiTheist AntiTheist is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomD123 View Post
The survivors in earthquakes are not the only "miracles" that prove God. To just list a few (That not only prove God, but prove Catholicism)
There have been all kinds of magical claims throughout history -- not just from your religion, but from other religions and from random people. There are eyewitnesses that you can go and talk to today that will tell you all about their abduction experiences by UFOs (and many of these accounts are confirmed by other supposed eyewitnesses who allegedly shared the same abduction experience and tell similar stories).

The problem is that there is not one ounce of evidence that the physical laws of the universe have been suspended or overturned even once throughout all of history.

Does this mean that everyone who claims to have witnessed something miraculous is a "liar" or "crazy"? No -- it's simply very possible for people to be mistaken because human perception is not perfect.

Produce some miracles in a controlled laboratory environment where we try to remove errors in perception -- then we'll talk. Until then, all you have is a bunch of stories.

Quote:
For most of human history (even now) most people are and were theists. Does this make you the genius and most of humanity idiots who blindly follows something without evidence?
I'm not "the genius" -- I'm simply a person who has the advantage of living well after a lot of scientific discoveries that have demonstrated, for example, that complex things come from generations of developing simpler things, strongly suggesting that a disembodied intelligence (a complex thing) is extremely unlikely to have existed all by itself without having come from generations of developing simpler things.

Quote:
You are the one who needs the evidence to prove that the universe DOES NOT have a creator.
Well, no, I don't. In argumentation, it is *always* the person making the claim that has to supply the evidence. Claims made without evidence can be discarded without evidence.

But as long as you're asking me for evidence, I'll repeat that all of the evidence we've ever collected on life indicates that complex things come from simple things. The claim that a disembodied intelligence exists all by itself -- without having come from simpler things -- violates all of the evidence that mankind has ever collected. That doesn't "prove" that there's no disembodied intelligence, but it strongly suggests that it's unlikely, and it's certainly the case that there is no rational justification for believing in a "creator."

Quote:
We can both agree that matter cannot be created or destroyed (same with energy)- a scientific statement. Now, if that is true, how did that law get broken in the first place?
No one ever claimed that it was "broken." It's thought that the physical laws of the universe weren't operative until shortly after the Big Bang. Before then, no one knows what the rules were or even what existed or what was happening.

It's entirely possible that the universe has always existed in one form or another, that the universe as we know -- this particular expansion -- is only the current form of the universe (and one that, if what we know is correct, may actually be its last).

But I don't claim to know any of that for certain. I'm not proposing any of the above as claims that I have evidence for and wish you to accept -- I'm simply illustrating that there are other possibilities and that I do not accept your claim that a supernatural being must be responsible for the universe.

Quote:
1) prove this is not a dream- you can't, we have faith it is not
2) prove the sun will rise tommorow- you can't- we have faith it will
3) prove that George Washington existed- you can't- we can only see the effects of his existence and the passed on history of his existence
This is kind of embarassing. You've given examples of things that we have evidence for (the sun rising and George Washington's existence have perhaps more evidence going for them than any other claim).

The exception is, of course, your first point, which is not an example of "faith" but an example of a rational assumption. Allow me to explain:

There's a big difference. Not all claims have the same burden of proof. If you told me that you own a car, I would probably believe that claim without any evidence at all because it's a pretty standard claim and because it wouldn't really affect me if I believed it and it turned out to be false. But if you told me that you own a flying car, I would not believe you unless you showed me some very convincing evidence.

The difference, obviously, is that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. Assuming that my senses report an actual world and not my own mind is a rational assumption that becomes validated through my interactions with the world. It's not a claim that has the same burden of proof as "a supernatural, disembodied intelligence exists all by itself."
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  #12  
Old Mar 31, '10, 10:42 pm
AntiTheist AntiTheist is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Cut off from my last post:

Quote:
Finally, even as an atheist you use faith: You have faith there is no God. Since God can't be definitively proven or disproven, we both use faith.
Thanks to rick43235 on this one. He's right, of course: atheism doesn't require "faith," as atheism is simply the lack of belief in gods.

You don't need faith *not* to believe in something. That's basic to the concept of faith. I don't believe in Bigfoot, but it doesn't take "faith" to point out that there's no evidence that Bigfoot exists [and notice: I'm comparing lack of belief (and lack of faith) to lack of belief (and lack of faith) -- I'm not comparing Bigfoot to God (I realize that the claims are different!)]

Quote:
Now lastly, I would like you to answer a question- if you are an atheist- Why are you participating on this website if you think theism is a bunch of lies and life is just one big accident, why bother with us theists?
Because I enjoy discussing these issues.

And hey, this thread is all about "Responses to attacks on the faith" -- if you really want to learn how to respond to "attacks on the faith," don't you want the serious contribution of a poster who doesn't agree with you? Wouldn't that only *help* your ability to construct counterarguments? Isn't that infinitely better than battling strawman arguments?
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  #13  
Old Apr 1, '10, 1:20 am
HelenaMT HelenaMT is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

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Originally Posted by AntiTheist View Post
...all of the evidence we've ever collected on life indicates that complex things come from simple things. The claim that a disembodied intelligence exists all by itself -- without having come from simpler things -- violates all of the evidence that mankind has ever collected. That doesn't "prove" that there's no disembodied intelligence, but it strongly suggests that it's unlikely, and it's certainly the case that there is no rational justification for believing in a "creator."
While I don't agree with you that there is no rational justification for believing in a creator, I do have the same problem with the concept of the starting point of the universe being a highly developed (and therefore, complex)intelligence. I would love it if someone could explain how it is that God can be both simple(at least, according to Aquinas) and omniscient at the same time, when omniscience implies the retaining of an infinite amount of information.

Usually the explanations I get don't make sense to me on a rational level (although an older thread on CAF called "God exists, but how?" addressed this using an interesting take on the laws of physics and came a bit closer to making sense of the concept than the usual philosophical jargon).
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Old Apr 1, '10, 2:07 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenaMT View Post
While I don't agree with you that there is no rational justification for believing in a creator, I do have the same problem with the concept of the starting point of the universe being a highly developed (and therefore, complex)intelligence. I would love it if someone could explain how it is that God can be both simple(at least, according to Aquinas) and omniscient at the same time, when omniscience implies the retaining of an infinite amount of information.
Helena, simplicity does not entail frugality! Occam's Razor may be applicable to physical entities but there is no reason to suppose it applies to spiritual beings. A person is extremely complex but that in no way prevents us from believing in the existence of one individual, rational entity living on this earth.

You imply that information necessarily consists of an immense number of discrete items of knowledge stored in one's memory. This may be true of human beings immersed in space and time but is it necessarily true of persons who exist in a dimension like that of truth, goodness, freedom, beauty, justice and love? Can we dissect these intangibles into their constituent parts? Do they cease to exist and become illusions simply because we cannot analyse them like material objects? Surely the atomistic interpretation of reality is defective in its failure to consider the unity and purpose of things, living organisms and persons? The whole is greater than the parts and the parts cannot explain the whole.

Any attempt to explain God entirely in terms of human experience is doomed to failure. We have enough evidence within our own minds to be sure that an immense amount of information does not obviate the possibility of having an integrated personality... and we are only minute, finite beings! To impose such a limit on the Source of all that we love and cherish is unrealistic to say the least...
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Old Apr 1, '10, 2:12 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: Responses to attacks on faith

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Originally Posted by AntiTheist View Post
You don't need faith *not* to believe in something.
Not to believe in something implies that you have a reason for not believing and that you have an alternative explanation. You need a basis for your rejection. It is impossible not to have faith in anything because then you would be operating in a vacuum... As Lear said, nothing shall come of nothing...
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