Faith and the Rational mind, who can answer?


#1

I am trying to evangelize but am always stopped dead in my speech by rational thinking minds. Scientific minds. Those who use common sense thinking only. They always say “where is the evidence for God? Science can explain the world around us quite well without a creator.” I say the Bible is the Word of God, but with so many competing texts in the world, a rational outsider dismisses it as another work of man, or worse just made up “Jewish myths.”

Did Adam really exist? Scientists say not? The faith card doesn’t help with purely rational/natural minds. I have seen the results of my faith in God’s mighty personal workings in my life. So I believe like Thomas. And I enjoy the incredible fruits of faith.

What is the evidence *in the natural world *that God is present? That he is participating? Why is He hidden? Why should one put to bed rational thinking and pick up Christianity of all religions?

Everything seems random does it not? Some die in tragedies, some live, there doesn’t seem to be a pattern. The natural world seems to be like Richard Dawkins says “running exactly like it would be if God didn’t exist at all.”

How would you answer?


#2

Humans are limited to only 5 senses and the bounds of human cognitive understanding. Is it possible that something exists that is not only beyond our comprehension but also beyond our ability to sense its existence? A good example is time. What is it? Is it defined by humans? We can tell it is passing, yet it can’t be guaged by any of our 5 senses only by the changes that we observe around and within us. Humans are incapable of understanding eternal time. What came before the beginning of time? Like the universe, what is past the edges, but more universe, and on and on. The fact that we can’t know everything and where it all came from or how it came to be leads to the idea that something is all knowing and all powerful. That is God.


#3

Sometimes it’s more effective to share with your friends what God has done in your life than to try to convince with rational arguments. Not that you shouldn’t also try that.

You say: The natural world seems to be like Richard Dawkins says "running exactly like it would be if God didn’t exist at all."
But humans have the feeling that this isn’t right, things should make sense, why should the good perish and the evil prosper. What is there in us that keeps asking these questions? Is the fact that we do ask them an indication that we intuit that there is something more? Or some greater plan that we only see part of? Or someone who can make it all come out right in the end?

Did Adam really exist? The church has always taught that humanity descended from one original couple. Science has now demonstrated through the analysis of mitochodrial DNA that all present day humans have a common female ancestor. So science has at least proven the existence of Eve! Maybe Adam will be next.


#4

No, they are not “rational thinking minds”. If we were purely rational, then we would be completely sinless. And a rational mind would accept God and Christianity, because Chrisianity is a rational thing to accept.

There is in fact plenty of evidence that God exists. The best evidence is the evidence of Jesus. Read stuff by Peter Kreef to see what I mean. But there is other stuff as well. If you’re up for a quite difficult read, try Keith Ward’s God, Chance and Necessity.

I say the Bible is the Word of God, but with so many competing texts in the world, a rational outsider dismisses it as another work of man, or worse just made up “Jewish myths.”

Forget this argument for non-Christians. This truth can only be known (rationally-speaking) by those who already accept the authority of the Catholic Church.

Did Adam really exist? Scientists say not?

Who does?! What do they think, that two home sapiens appeared spontaneously at the same time?! The theory of Evolution agrees completely with there being a single human starting off the human race.

The faith card doesn’t help with purely rational/natural minds. I have seen the results of my faith in God’s mighty personal workings in my life. So I believe like Thomas. And I enjoy the incredible fruits of faith.

It can be quite difficult to explain these things to non-believers.

What is the evidence *in the natural world *that God is present? That he is participating? Why is He hidden?

Because it would be too easy if He was not hidden, wouldn’t it! There is just enough evidence to be able to determine that God exists. Read Kreeft.

Why should one put to bed rational thinking and pick up Christianity of all religions?

It is sin to “put to bed rational thinking”. You do not have to put to bed rational thinking to become Christian. You only have to be shown that Christianity is rational.

Everything seems random does it not? Some die in tragedies, some live, there doesn’t seem to be a pattern. The natural world seems to be like Richard Dawkins says “running exactly like it would be if God didn’t exist at all.”

On the contrary, I see the natural world to be exactly like I would expect it if God does exist. You need to read up on the Problems of Evil and of Suffering. Try Kreeft or C. S. Lewis.

How would you answer?

I would ask them why the Universe exists in the first place. It is much more rational to believe in a Prime Mover than it is to believe that the Universe came into existence “just because”. Materialism (which is what Dawkins believes in, I think) is utterly incapable of explaining why the Universe exists, and so right from the start theism has the advantage.


#5

Yep, there may be distinct difference between rational thinking and scientific thinking; while scientific thinking may be rational (there’s plenty of it that is NOT!), not all rational thinking is scientific. Catholic theologians like Aquinas are among the most rational thinkers in history.

Science and theology look at the world through two different epistemological lenses; sometimes there they see the same thing in the same way, but not always.

That being the case, methinks there will never be scientific evidence sufficient to prove the existance of God and the rationality of faith for those who have no faith.

That’s not to say that evidence of the existance of God doesn’t exist, just that it cannot be “proven” in a scientific manner.


#6

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