Does Christianity have Rational Answers to all Rational Arguments?

If I take the insights of every Saint, every Theologian, every Apologist, and otherwise every rational thinker in the world, will I have all the answers that should satisfy the skepticism of all honest people who do not confess the Christian faith?

No you will not overcome their skepticism in this way. It requires faith formed in charity which precedes hope.

JoeT

=icamhif;12977372]If I take the insights of every Saint, every Theologian, every Apologist, and otherwise every rational thinker in the world, will I have all the answers that should satisfy the skepticism of all honest people who do not confess the Christian faith?

No:o

Because Wisdom and right Understanding are ONLY from God through the Holy Spirit:)

One normally HAS to seek truth in order to find it.

God Bless you,

Patrick

I agree with you too. In my long research in apologetics, I cannot find a single answer to the “problem of evil and suffering” that does not involve begging the question, circular reasoning, or appeal to ignorance. There is some point in which we all have to trust God, despite our doubts.

“If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt.”

  • Pope Francis

Christianity will answer the questions you need to know. More specifically the original Christian Church, the Catholic Church. The very man who ressurected gave us this Church.

icamhif #4
In my long research in apologetics, I cannot find a single answer to the “problem of evil and suffering” that does not involve begging the question, circular reasoning, or appeal to ignorance. There is some point in which we all have to trust God, despite our doubts.

How strange.

**From Catholic Culture:
Summary of St John Paul II’s Catechesis on Original Sin **
Extract:
“2. In this regard, the Tridentine Decree states first of all: Adam’s sin has passed to all his descendants, that is to all men and women as descendants of our first parents and their heirs in human nature already deprived of God’s friendship. The Tridentine Decree (DS 1512) explicitly states that Adam’s sin tainted not only himself but also all his descendants. Adam forfeited original justice and holiness not only for himself but also for us (nobis etiam). Therefore, he transmitted to the whole human race not only bodily death and other penalties (consequences of sin) but also sin itself as the death of the soul (peccatum quod est mors animae.)”
catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=5491&repos=1&subrepos=0&searchid=1179562

There is no basis for denying that we are rational human beings. That is why being, goodness, truth, beauty, virtue, honour, ambition, justice, wisdom – these ideas are beyond the grasp of any bodily sense organ. They require a spiritual power to comprehend them. This power is present in a spiritual substance which we call the human soul, present at the moment of conception of the human person. Since they utilize the irreducible complexity of the brain, naturally injury to the brain impairs its function, as do drugs. We are not souls only but bodies with souls. No one assumes that we are spirits only.

Thus the Lord Jesus has established His Church to sanctify, teach and rule so as to lead us to Heaven, and redeemed us by His suffering, crucifixion, death and resurrection.

Original sin does not address why there is natural disaster and disease, and why the amount of suffering from those causes is apparently not proportional to how evil the victims are.

Well said, Pope Francis. :thumbsup:

Icamhif #7
Original sin does not address why there is natural disaster and disease

It most certainly does.

Is there any biblical evidence for the Catholic doctrine of original sin?
Answer

Sure. God told Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:1-24 that because of their sin they would have to work for a living, be at war with nature, suffer pain and sickness, and eventually die. Paul explains original sin in great detail in Romans 5:12-19 and in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22.
catholic.com/quickquestions/is-there-any-biblical-evidence-for-the-catholic-doctrine-of-original-sin

Why did you omit the latter phrase of my post?

“…and why the amount of suffering from those causes is apparently not proportional to how evil the victims are.”

Perhaps it was because I was not clear in that statement? If so, I’ll explain: many charitable, honest people get cancer, while many notoriously evil people get away with their crimes. Why is this?

Romans 11:32-33

If you are looking for an exact answer to “why them?”, no one can give you that. The will of God is ultimately mysterious and your question will be answered only at the final judgment.

But there still are general answers to the problem of evil from Christianity that still sheds light on the matter, however incomplete.

The first is that suffering and death entered the world because of original sin. Because of it, it became the default condition of ALL human beings, innocent or otherwise, owing to the nature we inherited from Adam and Eve.

The second is that even after the redemption earned for us by Christ, God still uses our default condition of suffering to be conformed to the image of Jesus.

Romans 8:29 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

Romans 8:17 “Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

In other words, God only allows evil so that a greater good would come from it. He is not the moral cause of these evils - they are the result of original sin (and later on, the personal sins of all people). The sin of the guilty affects not only the individual, but also naturally have effects vs. innocent people. Even so, from these evil effects, God brings forth an even greater good - the glorification of his children, in the same way he glorified Christ in his obedient suffering.

We may not know who exactly is the cause of the suffering we are dealing with, but as Christians, we know that this evil is only temporary and that God will use it for a greater purpose, in the same way the he used the sacrifice of Christ to redeem the whole world. For we know:

Romans 8:28 "… that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

PS. As for people who commit crimes, if they haven’t paid for their sins in this life, they will still have to pay for them either in purgatory or in hell.

Probably not, because not everyone is all in on their Faith.

People who choose a selfish path have to make excuses, and by making excuses think they’ve beaten the system and are right.

There’s no reasoning with that philosophy because the fundamental thinking process must change.

Some children suffer terrible disease and horrible pain from war or natural causes, whereas others do not. Why?

icamhif #10
many charitable, honest people get cancer, while many notoriously evil people get away with their crimes. Why is this?

God permits evil in the world in order that He may bring good out of it.

How does God turn evil into good?
God turns evil into good by making it a source of merit. For example, the patience of the just presupposes persecution from the unjust; and the charity of those who have, presumes there are others in need.
therealpresence.org/archives/Q_and_A/Q_and_A_024.htm

Thus, take away all evil and much good would go with it

CONCLUDING Document OF THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY
Where is Your God?
Responding to the Challenge of Unbelief and Religious Indifference Today

2.3. The Problem of Evil
The problem of evil and the suffering of innocents has always been used to justify unbelief and the rejection of a good and personal God. This rebellion comes from the non-acceptance of the sense of the freedom of man, who is capable of doing both good and evil. The mystery of evil has been and always will be a scandal for intelligent man, and only the light of Christ crucified and glorified can fully reveal and express it. “In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear” (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, n. 22).

Mankind suffers precisely because his nature is wounded irrevocably by the Fall, thus losing bodily immortality (became subject to death) and the freedom from suffering, and open to the influence of the Devil.

The problem with the “greater purpose” argument, as I see it, is that it does not explain how the end justifies the means. It does not explain how the glory that is to come outweighs all the natural disasters, diseases, famine, etc., that has ruined so many innocent lives (yes, we are all sinners, but I’m sure you know what I mean, humanly speaking, when I say “innocent.”) From a purely rational and humanistic perspective, it just seems like a cop-out.

I agree with you that we don’t have all the answers to everything. Thus, we must trust in God, despite our doubts. As long as I am confident that the Bible and the Church reveal the Sacred Will of God, I submit to what God says, even if I cannot answer for myself every rational argument against what the Bible and the Church says.

Except that the innocent had no “free-will” when it comes to natural disasters and cancer.

I’m going to post something that I said in another thread on this forum, because it touches on the same subject. If you want to read the entire thread, it’s this one, Do miraculous healings happen today?.

It is Christianity that is rational and intellectually as well as spiritual satisfying. St Augustine found this out. The reason the new atheists are so angry is that they are believing in the irrational by and large and they cannot square that.

Those truths of the christian faith that can be known by the natural light of reason can be argued from reason to be true, for example, the existence of God can be demonstrated by the natural light of reason. The writings of St Thomas Aquinas are an outstanding example of demonstrating truths of this kind. There are some truths of the Christian faith, however, that are beyond the natural light of reason such as the Trinity and the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity. Truths of this nature we simply believe as a matter of faith because God has revealed them; they cannot be demonstrated by the natural light of reason or rational arguments. However, truths that God has revealed whether they can be known by the natural light of reason or not are the most certain of all because God has revealed them and it is irrational to think He would tell a lie or that He doesn’t know the truth about things. Also, divine revelation is backed up by many miracles, for example, the life of Jesus Christ. And again, it is not reasonable to think, rather it is irrational, that these miracles do not attest to the divine character of the revelation.

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.