Need tips for a debate with wife

Are you saying that St. Peter didn’t love God?

1 Like

While faith can be reasoned, it can’t be proved. That said, here are arguments that make sense to me:

  1. We live in a natural world where something can’t come from nothing. It seems reasonable that it would take something supernatural that isn’t bound by nature for there to be anything at all.

  2. The fact that we are able to observe such order in nature and find scientific explanations suggests design. The observance of things like fractals and the Fibonacci sequence everywhere seems odd if existence is random.

  3. Our own nature that is so unique from every other creature is still unexplained. Our species experienced a “Great Leap Forward” in evolution that no others did. It seems God made us special with freewill, and has given us an interest to explore and understand all of His creation. We have endeavors beyond just surviving.

  4. After the Resurrection, people died horrific deaths to preach and practice the faith. The resurrection can’t be proved, but the people’s lives can be. Why would so many people, living ordinary lives, leave their families and their wealth, and ignore their Jewish leaders to follow a philosopher and abandon the criminal at His crucifixion, but still decide to live His words to their own brutal deaths, if there were no miracles and resurrection, or anything to validate His promises?

  5. Today there are still miracles, that even experts/doctors experience and can’t explain.

1 Like

You get it!

1 Like

I sure did. But you were in error to assume that means I don’t love God. This is where you made the assumption:

So you were effectively claiming that I don’t love God. I can’t believe I’m hearing this from someone who doesn’t know me personally.

1 Like

In your situation, I’d use St Thomas Aquinas primary cause logic.
Best wishes.

1 Like

Hey!

Concerning our conversation earlier in this thread, here is a fresh article I thought might be of interest to you (and others on here):

:slight_smile:

Live your life as you believe Christ wants you to live it and let your life be your evidence.

1 Like

I was reading the Summa Theologica this morning and this point stood out, in considering helping an agnostic connect the dots to the fullness of Truth.
" But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end."

Understand your wife’s goals in life, and help her connect how the fullness of Truth in Catholicism will help her achieve that and so much more!

1 Like

That sounds very Sokratic. Thank you!

1 Like

This is actually hard to prove. Why cant something come from nothing. Some high minded physicists think they can show it possible. Stephen Hawking being one of them. The possibility that the materials for creating a particular reality - This universe for instance - have always existed is still a legitimate debate as well. Just replace Gods eternal existence with the “natural materials”.

Actually the whole premise of Scientific observation is to observe how natural processes develop these apparent orders in nature. If water flows down a hill it follows the path of least resistance. If there is repeating pattern in nature it may simply mean nature takes the easiest path most often. What makes the path? Could be something as mundane as a cows random wanderings down the hill eventually causing a rut for the water to follow. Seemingly repeating and specific effects can arise from random causes.

From our tainted perspective perhaps. Dolphins for example it is beginning to be believed are as intelligent, possibly even more so than humans. They have language, exhibit advanced behaviors and social structure and human like emotions. Also there may have been other species as intelligent as homo sapiens which have become extinct for one reason or another. Neanderthals it is now believed weren’t knuckle dragging morons but most probably was as intelligent as homo sapiens. Something simply happened to cause their extinction.

One possibility is that some people become so desperate to be a part of something bigger than themselves that they are willing to die for it, even if it may be false. I’ve wondered this myself and what I’ve discovered in my search is that the human psyche can be insanely hard to understand. Why does anyone believe anything so much that they are willing to die in order to declare its truth? Look at the Jones town cult or the apparent insanity of the Hale Bopp cult. Heck people have been willing to undergo torture and death for things the rest of “us” would consider depraved or insanely obvious false beliefs since man created the first shoes.

1 Like

Cant explain is the key. Some things are beyond mans comprehension but may be explainable processes eventually. This is why miracles are so hard to define. Is it a miracle, or is it simply ignorance. Also so called miracles run the entirety of human experience. Miracles are not solely or always relatable to any particular religion or genre of human experience. In other words a “miracle” may happen and then people define its context by their own beliefs and experience. If a miracle happens in Hinduism does that prove the God Shiva did it? If a Muslim witnesses a miracle does that prove Allah exists and so the Christian God Yeshua doesn’t? Funny thing miracles, believers see them everywhere but don’t need them to believe and non believers who need them to push them into belief rarely see them.

1 Like

Well, so long as they only think they can show it, until they actually show it there isn’t much of conversation to be had.

Yes, that is actually the point I am making. Nature can be explained simply by observing it. The chances of a universe randomly coming into existence with an order of things that can be understood by us creatures is less likely than shaking a box full of computer parts and finding a fully assembled computer.

What is your measure of intelligence? Do dolphins think abstractly? Do they ponder their existence? Do they practice religion? Do they take interest in exploring and understanding the world? Dolphins are hardly as complex of a creature as humans. Do you attribute it all to their lack of thumbs?

Only they weren’t willing to die with Christ. What changed their mind if the resurrection wasn’t real? What changed Paul’s mind? He already believed he was part of something greater, serving God by destroying the “cult”.

Indeed it is, and I believe some things will never be explained.

I never claimed these arguments as proof, for if there was any proof of God there would not be faith. Taken together though, along with prayer and personal experience, and perhaps better arguments made by apologists and theologians it is certainly reason to believe.

Not sure why we couldn’t have a conversation. Thinking is all we have as concerns such things. When I stated “think they can show it” I meant that they believe they’ve proof that it is indeed possible to get “something” from “nothing”. Now that is a conversation to be had. At the very least in order to try and understand what the heck they mean as concerns their proof and if the terms are being used equivalently between the two positions.

I understand. This argument has been scrutinized to death with the result of gaining little in regards of a true understanding by either side of the debate in my opinion. Statistics are tricky. They can be twisted to strengthen almost any argument. I think that reality is so much more simple AND complex than we can currently imagine. (Complimple?) The statistical chance argument for instance can be explained by the multiverse theory. And there is serious thinking in the field that this theory is indeed true. Basically, IF a thing is possible, not necessarily likely, or even remotely likely, but if possible then it is inevitable if this theory is correct. So you really need more than reflection on chance happenstance to formulate a solid belief. Chance does allow for amazingly improbable things. Its been observed so often Jung called it synchronistic happenings - chance happenings having meaning beyond coincidence - but he didn’t bring God into it . Don’t play the lottery, the odds are 300 million to one you’ll win…yada, yada, and people still play. Why? Because people recognize that even in light of the fact that the odds of themselves winning is negligible, near impossible even, someone does win. It happens. And it is within the realm of possibility that that winner could be them. Now given this most simple of observations, what happens when you throw statistics into the unimaginably complex - from our perspective - relations going on in reality? If you cant say how something definitively cant happen then you cant say definitively how something did happen. This I suppose is where faith comes into play. You have faith in something and hope it is true in the absents of unequivocal proof. I personally have faith that God exists, not because of any likelihood or statistical probabilities based on observed phenomena or speculative assertions, I have faith simply because I FEEL compelled to believe and have yet to see definitive proof that this belief is false and for every case I see someone claiming proof God does not exist but this proof is shown to be lacking I breath a sigh of relief. It only takes one white blackbird to prove the case and thank “God” :wink: I haven’t seen one yet.

I have made no measures of intelligence as regards to dolphins. I am relying on the measures made by those who have actually made such measurements with a comparable baseline measure of human intelligence. I have read articles in which the scientists have claimed that yes they believe dolphins have been shown to do abstract thinking. Ponder their existence? I don’t know. Why not? Religion? Haven’t a clue, maybe some form of dolphin ocean cult going on but I don’t know and haven’t read anything on it. Dolphins as complex a creature as humans? This supposedly can be demonstrably shown that they are. Of course “I” cant prove any of this, I’m relying on the scientists who’s work I have read.

Seriously, I am not sure. I could say that perhaps Paul had seen bigger opportunities in becoming a leader in the budding cult? I don’t know what Paul was thinking. I imagine he wasn’t sold on the idea in order to be executed. We know what the Bible says is the reason but then again this is faith in the scriptures accurate portrayal of Paul’s experiences. You try to put the cart before the horse. You have faith that these things are true and then use them to prove a thing true. For me, I have faith that the Christian God exists and the scriptures portray a reality and then I try to gain wisdom from what this faith is telling me. If I start out by announcing my belief because scripture proves it is so I’m likely to be made to feel foolish when someone points to an argument that proves my proof of scripture is incorrect or incomplete.

I certainly agree with you here. I do believe that no proof of God, even if explicitly in the face of non believers, would be possible without forcing change in the individual. Those who believe, have always and those who do not will always think they are being deceived somehow.

I think more so, it is reason to not, not believe.
Gods blessings be with you always.

1 Like
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.