Thanks to everyone for the replies. It’s given me quite a bit to think about - especially if my son should choose to follow the faith of his ancestors one day.
As for me, I lost my faith when I read the parts of the bible they didn’t teach in Sunday school and in confirmation class. I also started to take an interest in the sciences that my father taught me (he’s a biologist) and found I could take hope, inspiration, meaning and guidance from everything found in physics and nature and the fundamental goodness that binds all of humanity together. I also read Dawkins!
I do miss the church though. It provided so much for me but at the moment I find it impossible to reconcile the truth provided in science and the teachings in the bible. I’m always searching though and maybe one day my path will lead me back to Christianity.
It is a shame that you have come to believe that faith and reason are at odds with each other. That is a problem with fundamentalism, particularly American fundamentalist denominations, but Catholic teaching is far from that.
Hi, I’m shocked that something like this happened.
You may know that Catholic Answers includes short articles, radio shows, and tracts about atheism, the Bible, evolution, Protestantism, ect. I see that you read Dawkins, so that sparked my interest to invite you to read Catholic Answers’ responses to the like. I used to be purely a naturalist, a few years ago, and this site helped.
I haven’t read the original thread this split from, but I will offer a few thoughts.
First, the Catholic church does not deny science. As far as I’m aware, it’s only official scientific decree about nature is that “God created it.” From my understanding most Catholics have reconciled the findings of science with the bible. it’s a bit complicated, but a quick search on this site will show you the catholic position on it. There is also the organization BioLogos (not sure how recommended it is around here, but I find them interesting.) The catholic church has a long reputation of supporting knowledge and science. A catholic priest/ Georges Lemaitre, along side Hubble, even proposed the big bang theory. Every catholic writer I have read has stressed the importance of reason alongside faith.
Secondly, with your statements on hope and peace and the ‘common goodness’ that binds humanity together, they sound very humanistic. Humanism often presents itself against religion, but the truth is most of the tenants of the philosophy, such as the value of human life, the moral good of treating others well, and so on, find their base in the ideals set forth by religion, specifically Christianity here in the west.
After reading up on whether religion can be compatible with science (and I mean real science, not the creationism championed by my fundamentalist brothers) I’d encourage you to read arguments form Christian philosophers about the necessity of God for morality and meaning in the universe. I can’t promise you’ll be convinced, but if you read Dawkins you can at least give his opponents a fair hearing. It’s also worth noting that Dawkins only carries respect in certain circles. He’s a fine biologist, but not necessarily a great philosopher.
It was the philosophical arguments that convinced me of God’s existence (and in my view, necessity) and in conjunction with science has convinced me of God’s reality. Even on days when I have doubts, my reason always leads me back to those convictions. Good luck on your journey. In many ways I’m still on my own journey, and I hope that we both arrive at truth.
Please understand that Faith and Science are not mutually exclusive!
You can be a scientist without denouncing God.
Consider the fact that most discoveries/creations have existed in the mind of man prior to man’s ability to bring them to fruition… just imagine the source of these theories and hypothesis… things such as the atom–we cannot see it or feel it; yet, years prior to its discoveries it took hold of man’s imagination… true, many times what is conceived in the mind is not exactly what is found to be true; but could you think of the temerity (as in persistence) of the mind that concluded that as solid as the uviverse is it is made up of atoms? …and the big bang theory… swoosh in an instance emptiness became populated not just with physical things but with built-in laws and regulations… as someone that understand biology, you more than most, can understand life’s law of existence: the planet was Created with a built-in mechanism for survival (recall that big oil spill several years back? People were going crazy not knowing how to contain it… when they finally got the Ocean scrubbers… it was too late; much of the damage would be cause by the oil that settled under water… man sat on his hands… then the oil disappeared! Soon it was discovered that microorganisms were scrubbing the ocean… (God said, let all sorts of plants and animals populate the earth…)
We then have the eco systems… it amazes me when science discovers new things… such as plants that clean the soil so that other plants may flourish which then produces a vibrant eco system or the animals that do the same for underwater ecos, and what of those vultures? …they can eat carryon without having any ill effects so they can safely protect their eco without passing on toxics, etc.
Then there are those :banghead::banghead::banghead: moments in science: 'The Universe is folding upon itself; post Hubble T: the Universe is really huge… and it’s still expanding! …nothing, can live on this level/terrain/depth/hyper thermal… and time and again, once technology has advanced, the discoveries set the records straight!
I will not speculate about the position of the Earth in our Universe… but have you considered the reasons why this planet is situated where it is? …or the fact that we both circle around the Sun while rotating on our axis… without suffering from motion sickness (some more levity) or dropping off the planet or having to tie ourselves to strong trees?
Here’s another issue to ponder–the Bible stated that God Created man and woman in His Image and Likeness… it infers that from two human parents all of humanity came into being… well… we have all of the arguments about how preposterous it would be to have all of the diversity that we have with only two chromosomal resources… then science states that both homo sapiens sapiens and primates come from one monkey-like creature…
Finally, I’ll leave you with this last thought… in the Old Testament one of the animals that was forbidden for the Hebrews to eat was the good old porky pig… we quickly travel to the scientific discoveries that find that when stood on its hind legs a porker would have the same alignment as a human being–but just as important, its genes are shared by us (98%)–the probabilities that pathogens can be transfer from an undercooked piggy chop or a shared environment are high… today’s med & tech could probably arrest most events… but could you imagine the times when bleeding (with leeches and other means) was sound medical treatment–how would they survive this particular food-source contamination? The science was there, in Scriptures, but Revelation would unfold much later as technology and science would converge on miss piggy.
I hope this will help you reconcile your love of science and your need of God (…just remembered this program, if you are willing, check out “The Star of Bethlehem” it aired on EWTN–I think that you can purchase the DVD from them; it’s all about the Birth of Christ through the eyes of Astronomy (the science hidden in it is much more than a Marvel).
*] Fr Joseph Mary Wolf
gave the following homily Re: Fr Jose’s, near death experience, in an EWTN mass that I saw on T.V. So I googled it. It’s a 30 min recount of the story youtube.com/watch?v=FeQNdXu-Uvc
Me too. One thing i noticed is that alot of the arguments Dawkins uses in his book “The God Delusion” he never uses in actual debates he has (see youtube debates) with Christians. He knows they are phony arguments (and often outright lies) and if he was to attempt to use them in a debate with a knowledgeable christian, he would get shot down easily.
Dawkins knows that the type of people who read his books are probably not very familiar with the bible. They are already atheists simply reading a book they believe will confirm their already existing atheistic beliefs. And so he knows he can get away with phony arguments. Check out the wiki page for “The God Delusion” book to see the negative reaction to the scholarly research Dawkins put into writing this book.