Atheism

I have fallen away from the Church for about a year and became very atheist. I regret this now. I have always known that God was real and his true church was none other then the Catholic Church. I am looking for some good arguments for the Catholic Church and arguments against Atheism. I use to know all of this but I’ve forgotten a lot of it living the atheist life style. If you know of any good Catholic books, articles, or videos please leave them here. Your own arguments or life experiences are also welcomed. Thank you.

If you love Truth and want to know it, you’re in a very good state–God will help you to it, to the extent that you wish to find it.

Over years it has been striking me harder and harder that the two thousand-year-old Church keeps showing all kinds of glaring traits that can never happen with institutions which are run only by humans.

Human institutions are always products of the culture, and they always show the culture’s influence. (Even weird ones–like the KKK or PETA–that seem to defy the prevailing culture, are either reacting to it or springing out of a subculture.)

Thus every man-made church in Western culture has had to accept that contraception is not sinful. They fell like dominos in the twentieth century, beginning in the 1930s and wrapping it all up under the influence of the sexual revolution of the sixties.

Yet half a century later the Catholic Church sits unpersuaded–like either a hopeless fool or the only truly wise man in the room.

Parallel scenarios can be reflected on to try to grasp the real nature of this Church. Male-only ordination, life-long marriage, sex only within marriage… What group in its right mind so consistently defies the world it lives in? Over centuries and centuries?

And the idea of eating the flesh of God? Now of course individuals are capable of all sorts of wacky beliefs, but as church leaders die and others take over, the culture continually shapes those beliefs. A church that believes in eating God in the twenty-first century, clearly has not been getting with the program.

So watch and compare, as other churches ordain practicing homosexuals, and describe the Communion bread as a symbol, and celebrate a person’s third marriage. Their truth fluctuates. They are simply being human, as they also try to be good. And the Catholic Church, filled also with people acting human, somehow refuses to change its truth.

So what you means is that if the Catholic Church only rested in man’s hands it would have fallen apart long ago.

This is something I haven’t had a lot of experience explaining. I usually fellowship with believers. But I did discuss it with an athileist once. He likes science. So I found that to be the common ground. I explained the strange situation of evolutionists thinking they can use the Big Bang theory to discredit a creator, and creationists thinking they have to reject the Big Bang theory. :shrug:

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre

Since a Catholic priest first proposed the understanding of the Big Bang theory, we can accept the theory as respecting the Person of God as the cause of the Big Bang.

Check out Ed Feser’s books and blog. Also, Trent Horn’s Answering Atheism. If you are interested in the scientific aspect of Atheism/Theism arguments, Stephen Barr’s Modern Physics and Ancient Faith is great.

edwardfeser.blogspot.com/

amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=edward+feser

amazon.com/Answering-Atheism-Make-Logic-Charity/dp/1938983432/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1478964170&sr=8-4&keywords=trent+horn

amazon.com/Modern-Physics-Ancient-Faith-Stephen/dp/0268021988/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1478964483&sr=8-2&keywords=stephen+barr

A show I listen to a lot on EWTN Radio is “Called to Communion”. They are on every weekday at 2 pm Eastern time. Dr. Anders is a former Calvinist (Presbyterian) but is well-verse in arguments against God and for God. As he so correctly put it, the God atheists think Christians worship, is not the correct understand of God in Catholicism. Call Dr. Anders if you get the chance.

Hi, Lenny!
…in hs I encountered a young man who was a self-professed atheist… he seemed intelligent and was well-versed… I never approached the subject of Faith with him (with anyone, for that matter); I was Catholic (well, borderline) and that’s that!

We became close friends; after visiting my home one day, the issue immerged (Mom was very devote and our home reflected that–Crucifixes, icons, candles, etc.); he expressed that he did not believe in God and that he could not understand why I would… he dismissed Sacred Scriptures, the Church, and everything Christ.

He claimed that Creation and all those “miracles” were fallacy.

I asked him if he had ever read the Bible–he never had.

I asked him about evolution–he claimed it as “proof” that there was no Creator.

I asked him if he was familiar with the fable of evolution where there’s a big bang and masses cool, and one particular mass was “just right;” and then some ooze formed and through eons of time and “just right” conditions it was bombarded by “just right” energy that caused microscopic life to form, multiply, morph, escape the ooze, become ground dwelling and fly, then return to the liquid dwelling and through eons of time and “just right” conditions become millions upon millions of different species–I called it the goldilocks syndrome/phenomenon: blind and ignorant “mother nature” brings everything into existence through the “just right” variants…

I then challenged him to read the Bible (just as he would any other book) before we could continue to argue Faith–I’m so glad he never took me up on it since I was not versed in Scriptures and was working from the fringes of Faith.

That was my first Faith awakening… the Knowledge of God was in me, and I was able to defend the Faith (even if minimally) by connecting with Romans 1:19-20, in spite of my ignorance of Scriptures.

Maran atha!

Angel

I was also an atheist for a while. Then I had some unexplained spiritual experiences that woke me up from my fallacy of denying the existence of God. Something that may help you is to learn about the approved apparitions of our Blessed Mother, of which there are plenty. One of these is the appearance of Mary at Beauraing, Belgium in 1932 and 1933 to five children. One of them died just recently, the last survivor of the five. Her testimony can be seen and heard here in detail: youtube.com/watch?v=oBruEBGp8Kk&feature=youtu.be

There was an apparition of the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and St. John at Knock, Ireland in 1879. The Knock Shrine’s website has the 15 witnesses testimony here: knockshrine.ie/history/witnesses-accounts/

Then, of course, there is Fatima with it’s 70,000 witnesses on Oct. 13, 1917. ewtn.com/library/MARY/tsfatima.htm

When you hear and see this kind of testimony straight from the horse’s mouth, it makes it so much more real than just casually hearing of such things. The Catholic Church is full of mystical happenings, probably more so than any other church I believe.

C.S. Lewis. G.K. Chesterton. Both have perfect arguments for God and Christianity.

I’m glad you know that God is real and you have come back to Him. Awesome.

Atheism is nothing but materialism. It doesn’t allow for the imagination or the supernatural.

Hi Lenny, i’m not sure if this site will help.

whatswrongwithatheism.wordpress.com/about/what-if-atheism-is-right/

but i concur with the poster above who recommended watching EWTN. You could also try listening to the radio sections of Catholic Answers.

There are plenty of past shows (and future ones) which deal with atheism from different perspectives.

catholic.com/radio/calendar

I have met atheists who think religion is in some way irrational, contrary to reason. I would suggest that attacking the results of science would be an unprofitable strategy when addressing them: it might tend to confirm them in their prejudice.

Hi!
…well… I was being generous in the retelling, holding back the accusations, the debasing and mocking… even then I was very tolerant of people… allowing them to believe as they pleased and not challenging them… but there comes a moment when rock meets hard-place and one must evade or become mush… I took off the gloves and used some of his tactics… much like shaking the tree to see how many ripe fruits would fall…

Yeah, there’s the danger of losing a few… but you gain some, even if they’re a little stunned and bruised.

…I also think that the spoken word is more convincing, if not challenging, then the, somewhat cold and one-dimensional, written text… I once had a group of over thirty people look back for an imaginary dagger as I engaged a few lines of a play… reason… can be shaken or jarred to move beyond a set parameter.

Maran atha!

Angel

My dear FRIEND in Christ;

I’ll respond in two manners;

1st a book that is both logical and provides evidence of our Catholic beliefs and practices

www.catholicandchristianbypatrickmiron.com

Evidence of God for CAF

Your question is a good one.

Here’s a method I have used with some success.

ASK: Did you choose what you’re wearing today? {Or did you dress yourself this morning?}

If you did I can show evidence of God to you.

The Bible has existed for nearly 2,000 years, and we believe it to be the Inspired WORD of God.

In its 1st book:

Genesis, 1: 26 & 27 we are taught that we are made in the image & likeness of God.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them

Then is the Gospel {Meaning the “GOOD News”} of John 4: 23-24, tells us that {our} God is:

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

That God is a “Spiritual Reality”

Q: So if God is a Spirit and man is made in His Image; how can that be? “Man” is human

[1] In all of the Universes BILLIONS of stars, galaxies and planets, only ONE can be proven to be able to support ALL of the Life-Forms that we are aware of. Planet Earth

[2] On Planet Earth with its hundreds of MILLIONS of different living things; only ONE, only Man can choose to love or hate, only Man, can rationalize.

[3] In order for Man to be able to love, hate & rationalize require in an absolute sense:
A mind {not meaning our brain}

A Intellect {not meaning “I.Q.} &

A Freewill

[4] Each of these attributes, are like God: Spiritual realities & immortal. Meaning that they can’t be killed & don’t die.

[5] If you’re doubtful? Define for me your “FREEWILL” What is its size, weight, color & shape?

It can’t be done but only a foolish person would assert that it does not exist.
[6] Science tells us that like things originate from other “like-things.”

[7] So these “Spiritual Realities” have to have a source, other than our parents, who transmit our physical attributes; but cannot transmit “spiritual {invisible} things”.

[8} further evidence of a Power, a Source greater than man is evidenced in the Natural Laws: Motion, gravity for example. Then there are the Sun & the Moon both which paly essential roles in sustaining Earths life forms. With many BILLIONS of stars and planets the odds that they exist in the forms NECESSARY to sustain life, and then BE in OUR Galaxy is many BILLIUONS to One. {Impossible!} By luck or coincidence.

[8] Then add to this the Moral Laws: Good and evil too have to have a source, an origin. Because this Power, this Source that WE CHOOSE to identify as our God is Good, we can know that Goodness {LOVE} comes from God; while hate exist permitted by God, so man can freely choose good or evil.

[9] Enter into a discussion of WHY man is given these attributes: LIFE After physical death discussion

[10] St. Thomas Aquinas:

The Existence of God can be proved in five ways.

web.mnstate.edu/gracyk/courses/web%20publishing/aquinasFiveWays_ArgumentAnalysis.htm

The above is too large to cut & paste, but can also be used.

God Bless,
PJM

St. Thomas Aquinas:
The Existence of God can be proved in five ways.

Argument Analysis of the Five Ways © 2016 Theodore Gracyk

The First Way: Argument from Motion

  1. Our senses prove that some things are in motion.

  2. Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.

  3. Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.

  4. Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).

  5. Therefore nothing can move itself.

  6. Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else
    .

  7. The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.

  8. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

The Second Way: Argument from Efficient Causes

  1. We perceive a series of efficient causes of things in the world.

  2. Nothing exists prior to itself.

  3. Therefore nothing [in the world of things we perceive] is the efficient cause of itself.

  4. If a previous efficient cause does not exist, neither does the thing that results (the effect).

  5. Therefore if the first thing in a series does not exist, nothing in the series exists.

  6. If the series of efficient causes extends ad infinitum into the past, for then there would be no things existing now.

  7. That is plainly false (i.e., there are things existing now that came about through efficient causes).

  8. Therefore efficient causes do not extend ad infinitum into the past.

  9. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

God Bless

As an atheist, funny identity really. Who describes themselves by what they have not been convinced of? Hi I’m Marry, the a-fairist, Sam the a-creationist, Margaret the a-whatever. We describe ourselves by what we find important in our lives and you can discover that by what questions typically get brought up first and so on. But anyhoo…just to chime into this conversation. Atheism is a position on one question, Do you believe that the supernatural exists? - Nope. That’s all. Now from that answer, can you get to any other conclusions about this person? No. No you can’t. This answer tells you nothing at all about how this person thinks about the world, society, relationships, how to cook a great creme brulee, etc. This is why it is pointless to say to Atheists, “because of atheism…” followed by a really messed up comment. It always comes across as, “I’m not a bigot, but…” followed by some messed up bigoted statement because just like being black has nothing to do with your ability to be a human being, same goes for being an atheist.

Belief is not a choice. (Same for your sexuality, by the way.) Your belief about something is the same thing as your conclusion about something. Their interchangeable. You can not come to a conclusion about something without first learning about it. Learn about the chair you are sitting in and then choose to belief it’s a fork. You can not honestly do this.

You can not bring something into existence through logic. Logic will help narrow down the search to begin looking for something to see if it exists or not. Logic is also limited to your ability to learn and references to reality. That is why A can equal A if all anyone knows about A is 8 out of a million other things about it. Until someone demonstrates that there is a 9th, 10th, etc. other identifying things about one of these objects that is different from the other, they will always be the same. So you can logically be correct, but because you are ignorant of reality, you could still be factually wrong. However, you are still justified in believing that A is the same as the other A. You do not have to know everything to be correct.

Also, people’s lives teach them about what information is more important than other pieces of information. So both could be “justified” if you’re restricting the justification to how each person implements this information into their lives. Such as someone claiming to have witnessed a supernatural event. The exact same event to someone else may conclude that they experienced something and don’t know what it was. Both are fine as an answer, but other people who have not had these experiences, are not justified in coming to these conclusions other than believing that those two people experienced something.

So how do you tell the difference? Well here’s a way to have that discussion:

Thought experiment: Lets say I have three jars, A = has marbles, B = has supernatural transcendental marbles, and C jar has nothing.

  1. If I mix up all the jars, where you couldn’t see how they were randomly placed, could you pick out the jar with the supernatural transcendental marbles and which jar has the real marbles?
  2. If the marbles in Jar A were invisible, could you still figure out which jar had the real marbles and which was nothing and which was supernatural transcendental marbles?
  • There are numerous different ways that the real marbles can manifest in reality in some detectable way.
  1. If the properties that you ascribe to something that has supernatural transcendental descriptors(ie no measurable manifestation in reality and we do not know how to measure it), how do you determine that from nothing?
  • How can you make a claim about something existing, when it does not display any features of existence?
  • How do we determine the difference between something that is not existent and something that exists but has no existent qualities? If you can’t, then you’re able to say that anything and everything could exist. Therefore, the word, “existence” means nothing.
  1. Do you walk through your life in a way that reacts to every conceived notion of ideas that could or could not exists? IE: do you look both ways before crossing the street at a busy intersection while stepping around the supernatural transcendental potholes in the road? I just watch for the cars.
  2. Now guess how many marbles are in jar A, the one with real marbles. (standard 24oz breakfast jelly jar and marbles are the standard kids marbles)
  • Is guessing 12 equal as a guess as 200,000 marbles? Even though you do not know how many marbles are in the jar.
  • So just because we do not know something, we do know some parameters about reality,and as such, not every conclusion is valid.
  1. As for the jar with supernatural transcendental marbles, how many are in that jar? 15? 20? 200,000? Are the 200,000 claimers blasphemers? Heretics?
  • In the entire history of our ability to discover reality, every claim of supernaturalism as a reason for an event that occurred, when it was looked at and studied, not once have the scientists concluded that it was evidence of supernaturalism.
  1. Now, take the jar with the real marbles and spill them out on the ground. What are the odds that they would end up in that exact pattern? Position, sides facing up, etc. All observable parameters.
  • At what point does the “odds” of something happening become evidence of a “designer”?
  1. If the odds become soo great (in reference to what?) to not be considered random, does that impart any more meaning or significance to your life that it did before?
  2. If the meaning is only what we apply to that new information, isn’t the capacity to overlay meaning onto new information rest in ourselves, whether or not it came from a supernatural intelligence or if it was a naturally random event.
  • FYI - The meaning of an event is only in reference to a template we already conceived of, such as dealing out a hand of all hearts. You know that’s meaningful because of what you know about the deck. If you do not know anything about the deck, its number range, its suites, etc. you wouldn’t have a reference point for meaning. So without a template of what a “designed” universe is, how do you determine if there is meaning behind it or know that it wasn’t just a random natural event?
  1. Now have everyone telepathically communicate to the supernatural transcendental marbles to affect the outcome of rolling the real marbles around on the table. If all but two of the marbles roll off the table and shatter, was that evidence that the supernatural transcendental marbles intervened?
  • If the outcome was not what everyone wanted, is the evidence for supernatural transcendental marbles because it knows more than we do and would create the most appropriate outcome?
  • Do we have the ability to influence and control the outcome of the involvement of the supernatural transcendental marbles in any detectable way?
  • If we keep asking the supernatural transcendental marbles to keep all the real marbles on the table and not fall and shatter, when this finally occurs, is this evidence for the supernatural transcendental marbles?
  1. If you do not believe that there are supernatural transcendental marbles in the jar, does it change what is actually in this jar?
  • What if I told you about how wonderful the supernatural transcendental marbles are? Does it change what is actually in the jar?
  • What if I told you other people believe that there are supernatural transcendental marbles in the jar? Does it change what is actually in the jar?
  • What if I told you it was 2/3 of the world’s population that believed this? Does it change what is actually in the jar?
  • What if I feel really strongly that there are supernatural transcendental marbles there? Does it change what is actually in the jar?
  • If we get 100 people or even convince me that there are supernatural transcendental marbles there, does it change what is actually in the jar?
  • What if I told you, when you die, you’ll live all your best fantasies for ever, does it change what is actually in the jar?
  • What if I told you, not believing in the supernatural transcendental marbles will result in your worst dreams to come true for the rest of time, does it change what is actually in the jar?
  • What if I point out that you do not know everything, does it change what is actually in the jar?
  • What if I accuse you of being close minded, does it change what is actually in the jar?
  • What if I told you only bad people do not believe in Supernatural Transcendental marbles, does it change what is actually in the jar?
  • If I could do something that you could not explain, and I claim the supernatural transcendental marbles gave me the power to do this, does it change what is actually in the jar?

The answer is “No” for all of 11 by the way.

Sure, and believing in a creator does not create the creator. :shrug:

How many of them are lost?

That’s a true statement. Believing in the idea of something does not make that something exist. I agree with you here.

If that is not what you meant by that comment please clarify. I know my points were rather lengthy, but it does seem like the conversation between religious and people not of their religion have turned into political news sound bites and no true in depth dialog is being looked for. People are looking for sniping sound bites for one upmanship instead of listening to each other. I am trying to get the religious to understand why people do not believe what the religious are claiming. But still they come across as not wanting to engage in dialog to get to understand, but to find a point where they can feel justified in believing that the other side is fundamentally broken and are incapable of rational thought. They offer their sympathy instead of learning how to empathize. Why is that always the damn case with these conversations?

I don’t know what you are trying to get to here? Please clarify your point of “lost”.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.