Defending the Immaculate Conception

What should we say when someone claims that it is nonsense or biologically impossible to claim that such a thing can happened especially when it is a non-believer such as an Atheist. This idea of our lady becoming pregnant through the Holy Spirit (that is how i understand it at least).

What should we say to them and also how to convince them it is in fact true?

P.S. this is my first time posting so apologies if I may did something wrong.

It is biologically impossible. If they don’t believe in God then you can’t convince them. Be their friend instead. Love them.

One day they will see the peace and joy in your life and ask you how you do it. That is the time to start talking. Then you can tell them how knowing Jesus has changed your life but convincing an atheist about the immaculate conception is really a waste of time.

-Tim-

FWIW, what you are talking about is not the Immaculate Conception. The Immaculate Conception is the natural biological conception of Mary but without original sin, not the conception of Jesus. Since atheists don’t believe in original sin, they ought to have no problem believing the Immaculate Conception. In fact, they think all of us were conceived that way (without original sin).

There are some things in religion that science can help us understand. Religion says God created the universe; science tells us how that happened (the Big Bang). Unless one takes a strictly literal 7-day interpretation of Genesis, there is no conflict between religion and science here.

But there are other things that are just flat-out miracles that science simply cannot help us understand any better. And the conception of Jesus is one of those things. It’s an unsatisfying answer to an atheist, but not everything has a scientific explanation.

For example, the atheist cannot tell you what CAUSED the Bang. He will never be able to tell you that.

First explain to them that Immaculate conception pertains to Mary being born without Original Sin. It doesn’t pertain to Jesus’ conception. Then you tell them “All things are possible with God.” Since he created everything he can subvert biological functions of human procreation. Without God no woman can give birth to a child without having had sex first, but God willed Jesus be born of a virgin so He was. I’m sure they will then say, “Well, how do you know God exists?” To which you say I have faith, and I trust in the teachings of the Church and the Bible which was handed down by The Church. The Church is the Catholic Church which was founded by Christ upon Peter and the other Apostles who witnessed his miracles and death and resurrection.

Seeing as they are atheists tho you are likely to be presented with a bunch of other questions. Just do your best, trust God, and pray to God that he will help you and use you to instruct skeptics. If the skeptics stump you or trip you up simply tell them you need to pray on the matter and study some more, but would like to continue the conversation at a later time. Hopefully you will have planted enough of a seed in them and given it just enough water to sprout and grow into a curiosity for the LORD.

that is an excellent post. nice job

You can’t convince him, this is a matter of faith. All you can do is show that it’s not contrary to reason. It’s not unreasonable to believe that God, who created the natural processes, can suspend them for His own purposes. Belief in miracles flows naturally from belief in an all-powerful, providential God.

Now, he might ask WHY you believe in the Virgin birth, and from there you basically just have to explain to him why you believe in Christ. Because honestly, we believe it because we believe Jesus really was God and really rose from the dead. If neither of those things were true it wouldn’t make any sense to believe in the Virgin birth.

Catholic Nation. Welcome to CAF.

It sounds like this guy’s ultimate issue, is the rejection of miracles.

It probably isn’t going to matter if you are discussing the Virginal Conception and Birth of Jesus (inside of the Blessed Mother) by the Holy Spirit, or the Resurrection of Jesus, or the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or whatever, . . . . this guy is probably going to have an issue with the PRINCIPLE of miracles.

Chesterton has some insights into this (below) and I hope this is helpful to you.

God bless.

Cathoholic

PS Happy St. Patrick’s Day, a few weeks in advance.

Chesterton quote on miracles and materialist rejection of them

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QUOTE:

G.K. CHESTERTON The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them. The open, obvious, democratic thing is to believe an old apple-woman when she bears testimony to a miracle, just as you believe an old apple-woman when she bears testimony to a murder. The plain, popular course is to trust the peasant’s word about the ghost exactly as far as you trust the peasant’s word about the landlord. Being a peasant he will probably have a great deal of healthy agnosticism about both.

Still you could fill the British Museum with evidence uttered by the peasant, and given in favour of the ghost. If it comes to human testimony there is a choking cataract of human testimony in favour of the supernatural. If you reject it, you can only mean one of two things. You reject the peasant’s story about the ghost either because the man is a peasant or because the story is a ghost story.

That is, you either deny the main principle of democracy, or you affirm the main principle of materialism — the abstract impossibility of miracle. You have a perfect right to do so; but in that case you are the dogmatist. It is we Christians who accept all actual evidence — it is you rationalists who refuse actual evidence being constrained to do so by your creed.

But I am not constrained by any creed in the matter, and looking impartially into certain miracles of mediaeval and modern times, I have come to the conclusion that they occurred. All argument against these plain facts is always argument in a circle. If I say, “Mediaeval documents attest certain miracles as much as they attest certain battles,” they answer, “But mediaevals were superstitious”; if I want to know in what they were superstitious, the only ultimate answer is that they believed in the miracles. If I say “a peasant saw a ghost,” I am told, “But peasants are so credulous.” If I ask, “Why credulous?” the only answer is — that they see ghosts.
[/INDENT]

A brave assertion. “Never” is a long time. A scientist will one day know what caused it, or even if nothing caused it. That scientist, it is worth pointing out, might be a religious adherent of some kind, or he/she might be an atheist, a afairyist or an agoblinist.

The point is: science is working on these things. Religion is not.

Religion’s purpose isn’t to solve the machinations of the physical universe that’s why it isn’t working on those things. And the fact that religion can’t or doesn’t strive to answer these questions doesn’t make it any less valuable or important.

Tho I do agree that we shouldn’t say “never”. Scientist have worked out a handful of machinations that could have resulted in the sudden expansion of the universe 14 billion years ago. And it’s not just guesses. These possibilities are based on sound mathematics and cosmological sciences, quantum physics, and astrophysics. Known facts, laws, and functions and causes of the physical universe dont require direct observation to be discovered. That’s why we worked oht all those mathematical functions and formulas, and built all our scientific instruments etc. To help us get around our inability to directly observe some things in the universe.

But, Justin, if religion claims that a metaphysical being (not bound by the laws of science and existing beyond the space-time continuum) created the physical universe, then that religion needs to come up with some proof. Proof that stands up to scrutiny.

I’m comfortable with “never.” It’s a philosophical truth, and science can never disprove a philosophical truth (math and science are actually subsets of philosophy. Math is the queen of science, but philosophy is the king of both).

If we stipulate that the universe exists (and I’m pretty sure it does) then the universe either created itself, or it was created by something “exterior” to it. There is no Door #3. That is a philosophical truth that no scientist could disagree with (because he would look like an utter fool).

The universe cannot create itself, because that requires that it be in a state of potentiality and actuality at the same instant (because the act of creation is changing something from potential to actual). But those states (in the same instant) are mutually exclusive. Mutually exclusive things cannot possibly exist (such as square circles). So it is philosophically impossible for the universe to create itself.

All physicists believe that both space and time were created at the instant of the Bang. If something caused the Bang (and that’s the only remaining logical possibility), it must be something that exists beyond space and time.

Science cannot study something that exists beyond space and time.

Thus, science will never be able to answer the question: What caused the Bang?

It would need to provide proof if religion were trying to replace science and behave as science does but it isn’t and shouldn’t. Religion isn’t science. The big bang. Evolution. The machinations of the universe. That is the realm of science.

But if you really want tangible testable proof I’m sorry to say that we haven’t even found a way to observe a reality or dimension beyond our own. Our science math and equipment are all based on the laws and parameters of our univserse and how we perceive it. Since we do not know the nature or laws or parameters of a dimension or reality beyond our own we have little chance of gathering data from one beyond ours let alone detecting or gathering data on God that can be tested in a lab. And that’s assuming God would even allow us to observe him. We have barely started to observe Dark matter. And we can’t use math to prove God because no mathematician has discovered a mathematical formula that can do that. The search for God isn’t exactly something that gets much funding. :stuck_out_tongue:

The only proofs we have right now are the words of the Apostles and those they instructed and The Church. Now, I know that isn’t enough to “scientifically” prove God, but that’s what we’ve got and that’s why it requires faith. I understand that that isn’t enough for some people to believe. For a time it wasn’t enough for me, and I’m not asking you to believe just because I and others believe. Belief is a personal thing.

Sorry for derailing the thread, OP.

It was one of the major scientists (Tyson, Hawkins, Kaku, or Dawkin or another one can’t remember which) that discussed this in one of there books I read years ago. They were talking about how people always want them to answer what came before spacetime, and like they said our science only functions with time. Without it our science and formulas don’t work. There’s really no point wondering or worrying about what was before spacetime, because there really is no way to know. We can know what happened a quadrillionth of a second after the Bang but the “time” before time is off limits. Ugh, I wish I had the actual quote. I don’t do it justice at all.:frowning:

Thank you for all your comments and also clearing up a few things for me. I feel I have learned something from this. I saw however it did go a bit off topic but most conversations usually do.

We have faith that 2 + 2 is four also. Does he accept that, if so why?

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