Should we use logic to prove the existence of God?


#1

From a different thread:

[quote=tommyt_520]Oh brother you guys watched the Matrix one too many times. Shame on any Catholics here trying to explain to an atheist about the causes of Gods creation. Go read Job and pray the Rosary. Talking about science is one thing but you not even sticking to that. If a cause is an uncaused effect that causes the effected cause…you sound like idiots. An atheist thinks he is smart because he does not have the disciplin to follow are Catholic life. An atheist will just say sticks and stones and thats a weak answere. And thats what they are-weak. All of a sudden when a Catholic decides to become atheist they think they are Platos favorite student. So…whith that being said, here is to all atheists:

how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a would chuck could chuck wood.

OH!!! please use big words and include “cause”, “effect”, and “I need to stop begging for attention as an atheist on a Catholic forum”
[/quote]

The Catholic Church’s position as described in the Catechism says that:

35
Man’s faculties make him capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God. But for man to be able to enter into real intimacy with him, God willed both to reveal himself to man and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith. The proofs of God’s existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason. (emphasis mine)

When apologising why are we quick to point out that "There are no natural (scientific) proofs of God existence and slow to point out that there are many logical proofs of his existence?


#2

Probably because natural proofs are measurable and quantifyable and in the end not really the subject to debate but logic as in the basic “Given A and B we can say C” is a about the relationships and inferences we can draw from A and B and says nothing about whether A or B are true.

so debating with someone who doesn’t share your A and B can be frustraiting


#3

God endowed us with reason, and also blessed us with Faith. Have you ever read “Yes or No” by Peter Kreeft? Through the Socratic method he leads the reader through the logic of God, Christ, Salvation, etc… and yet it ends with the conclusion that though you may intellectually understand the arguments and proofs for the existence of God, there comes that point for Faith. Because to understand is one thing but to believe in a personal God is related, but quite another thing altogether. It requires surrender, a giving up of self.

Apologists should look to impress on both the minds and the hearts of others the Truths of God. There is proof of God’s existence in all of Creation- from the balance and beauty in ecosystems to the intricate design and function of our nervous system. We should recognize and be able to explain the “proofs” of God’s existence, and as well we should appeal to the human desire for spirituality and love… In a way that can too be done logically.

I don’t know if I answered your question… but I believe everything on earth is proof of God’s existence, and we should not discount the fingerprints of God- they are all around us, on us, within us!


#4

When apologising why are we quick to point out that "There are no natural (scientific) proofs of God existence and slow to point out that there are many logical proofs of his existence?

This discrepancy has annoyed me and many others to no end.

Logic is used until a point, then abandoned for faith. Why do theists do this?

Ty


#5

[quote=Maranatha]When apologising why are we. . .slow to point out that there are many logical proofs of his existence?
[/quote]

Hi Maranatha,
Perhaps it is just one of those errors that we perennially fall into, and which the Church, as a good mother, attempt to warn us about.

Denying that unaided reason can discover the existence of God is an old heresy, and it resurfaces all the time all over the place. See the Catholic Encyclopedia entry on the heresy Fideism:

It is not surprising, therefore, that the Church has condemned such doctrines. . . Bautain was required to subscribe to several propositions directly opposed to Fideism, the first and the fifth of which read as follows: “Human reason is able to prove with certitude the existence of God; faith, a heavenly gift, is posterior to revelation, and therefore cannot be properly used against the atheist to prove the existence of God”; and “The use of reason precedes faith and, with the help of revelation and grace, leads to it.”

and

the Vatican Council teaches as a dogma of Catholic faith that “one true God and Lord can be known with certainty by the natural light of human reason by means of the things that are made”

We just need to be on guard against it. But we also need to be on guard against a too strenuous form of Rationalism, which would make all the Truths of the faith knowable by reason – the complimentary error to Fideism.

What do you think?
God Bless,
VC


#6

[quote=TySixtus]This discrepancy has annoyed me and many others to no end.

Logic is used until a point, then abandoned for faith. Why do theists do this?

Ty
[/quote]

From a Catholic point of view, philosophy can only get you so far. At this point we can investigate history. Catholicism is IMHO only ration conclusion to an investigation on philosophy and history.


#7

[quote=Mary]God endowed us with reason, and also blessed us with Faith. Have you ever read “Yes or No” by Peter Kreeft? Through the Socratic method he leads the reader through the logic of God, Christ, Salvation, etc… and yet it ends with the conclusion that though you may intellectually understand the arguments and proofs for the existence of God, there comes that point for Faith. Because to understand is one thing but to believe in a personal God is related, but quite another thing altogether. It requires surrender, a giving up of self.

Apologists should look to impress on both the minds and the hearts of others the Truths of God. There is proof of God’s existence in all of Creation- from the balance and beauty in ecosystems to the intricate design and function of our nervous system. We should recognize and be able to explain the “proofs” of God’s existence, and as well we should appeal to the human desire for spirituality and love… In a way that can too be done logically.

I don’t know if I answered your question… but I believe everything on earth is proof of God’s existence, and we should not discount the fingerprints of God- they are all around us, on us, within us!
[/quote]

Thanks Mary,

I think you answered the question very well and you seemed t get to the heart of what the Catechism in paragraph 35 is try to say.

Many times we seem to use the wrong arguments at the wrong time when apologising to the people that come from different views. Faith arguments will have less weight with an atheist. Rational arguments will have less weight with someone who subscribes to Faith Alone.


#8

[quote=Verbum Caro]Hi Maranatha,
Perhaps it is just one of those errors that we perennially fall into, and which the Church, as a good mother, attempt to warn us about.

Denying that unaided reason can discover the existence of God is an old heresy, and it resurfaces all the time all over the place. See the Catholic Encyclopedia entry on the heresy Fideism:

and

We just need to be on guard against it. But we also need to be on guard against a too strenuous form of Rationalism, which would make all the Truths of the faith knowable by reason – the complimentary error to Fideism.

What do you think?
God Bless,
VC
[/quote]

Thanks for the links. As usual you hit the nail right on the head.


#9

One reason might be they lack faith in their own capabilities of logic. Certainly, not everyone understands how airplanes fly, even though it can be known. Such people must simply go by faith that it works. Same for much technology used by the uneducated.

Another reason is that faith directs us to a higher end which cannot be known by our own natural power and logic. This is even witnessed within the natural sciences, for mathematics regulates music and politics regulates economics.

A programmer is only interested in his code and how to optimize it and make it perform a task; yet a good programmer will jump out of this frame of thinking to consider the business economics or practical needs of society in order to make a really good program by how it meets its purpose. In the same way, it takes faith to look beyond ourselves to see how we fit in, to make ourselves useful to the greater existence around us.

Logic can only take you so far once you start dealing with infinity. Consider the complications that exist in this regard with such things as set theory or the issue of the continuum in mathematics.

One can naturally know and desire only what belongs to one’s nature. But a higher nature can know us. Our logic can’t go there anymore than boolean logic can address the management of a computer business. But it can come to us, and invite us, enable us. So at some point there will be a jump, to receive, in order to account for the fact that we have a soul that longs for intimacy, and the only thing logical about it is that we want the zero to become One.

hurst


#10

[quote=Maranatha]From a different thread:

The Catholic Church’s position as described in the Catechism says that:

35
Man’s faculties make him capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God. But for man to be able to enter into real intimacy with him, God willed both to reveal himself to man and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith. The proofs of God’s existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason. (emphasis mine)

When apologising why are we quick to point out that "There are no natural (scientific) proofs of God existence and slow to point out that there are many logical proofs of his existence?
[/quote]

I think it’s important here to point out the fact that the word proof as it is used here most likely refers not to irrefutable evidence, but to a logical/mathematical sequence resting on a premise that must be assumed. Some of these are convincing to some people, many are just a source of annoyance for all involved. I would have to say that I doubt there are many educated atheists out there who have not heard most of these logical proofs before, along with all of the arguments against them. While they certainly “can predispose one to faith,” they are not usually very convincing in a debate. For evidence of my point, see the thread “There is no God” on this board.


closed #11

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