Thank you all for the responses so far. I do have a couple responses.
[quote=Thought Officer]I’ll take a stab, sure. I’m not certain that Christianity answers questions that aren’t at least explained in secular terms.
Thank you, but I was not looking for answers to those questions, I was looking for questions like those.
[quote=Blacksword]The positing of an uncreated creator, an ultimate reality and intension from which all else derives its ultimate being, and which philosophical reasoning demands to avoid the infinite regression of an infinite chain of causality (the “it’s turtles all the way down” quandary), is and remains as reasonable a conclusion as it did in Aristotle’s day.
I’m curious how you argue against the corollary of the turtles argument, “It’s Gods all the way up.” In my more argumentative days, I posited that it made as much sense to argue that I followed IO, the god who created all the gods. And that, sure, this universe was entirely created by God, who sent down Christ as his son, etc. But that there exist many independent universes, all created by their individual gods, and that all these gods were, in fact, created by another higher-tier of gods. Pushing the creation-from-nothing step back from the universe to God only begs the argument that God could not have come from nothing, but must have been created by another god (who was created by another god, and so on…).
Sorry, that got a bit of a tangent.
[quote=Stumblesalot]. Therefore the ‘big bang’ event occurred in an infinite dimension, in an infinite dimension there exists infinite possibilities. So at least one of these ‘big bang’ events must have been a purposeful act as opposed to a random event.
So to rephrase your argument (just to make sure I’m reading it right),
“If infinity exists, and there is a non-zero probability of there being a God, then God must occur.” But but in a truly infinite system, no matter the improbability, an infinite number of things would occur an infinite number of times, so there would be an infinite number of gods, yes?
[quote=danserr]I’m not sure I would agree that C.S. Lewis starts with the assumption that God exists and then goes from there, at least not in his book Mere Christianity or Miracles.
As for the answers to your 1 and 2, I tend to think the Christian philosopher Will Lane Craig is pretty good. He’s not Catholic, but then no one is perfect
His signature book is probable Reasonable Faith, which offers scienfitific and philosophical arguments for belief in God, as well as a section on Jesus that gives evidence for him and hence a case for Christianity more specifically. He also has a website by the same name.
C.S. Lewis tried not to, and I’ll admit I haven’t read Miracles but Mere Christianity attempted to arrive at Christ through a sort of process-of-elimination, which falls short because the possibilities he puts up and knocks down do not encompass all possibilities.
I will certainly check out Dr. Craig, though I admit that I’ll probably start with his videos as my “to-read” list is already a very large entity.
Thank you for the recommendation.
[quote=Micorhizea]Can God be explained or proved in terms of intellect? No, I think not. Else we would have everyone as agreed on God as on 2+2=4. Ain’t happening. So we can be realists about this, I guess, and agree with the person who said “religion can’t be taught, it has to be discovered.”
And I think that’s where my approach is different, and potentially effective. Most intelligent atheists consider themselves willing to suppose the untrue for hypothetical purposes. So instead of “here is a proof of God,” I ask the listener to assume, hypothetically that some god exists, but that we know nothing about this god, except that
A: it exists, and
B: it is responsible for the creation of the universe.
From there, I attempt to make nigh-incontestible observations of the world (i.e. humans experience time in a linear fashion, people die, etc.) and work logical proofs of what those would tell us about this hypothetical god (to steal C.S. Lewis’ simile, this is like Hamlet looking at his world to learn about Shakespeare).
Again, I have found most atheists willing to go along with this type of gedanken experiment. Once an outline of this hypothetical God has been created, it bears an exceeding similarity to the Christian God. Thusly, the proof shows that the right way of living is the Christian way. And while no theory (to include Christianity) is ever certain to a skeptical mind, it is still consistent with good science to adopt the theory that best suits the observed world until you can find a better one.
I try to stay away from historical facts or scientific grey areas because they are unconvincing and sell God short. God is not merely the thing we use to fill in what we don’t yet understand, nor is he merely something that happened a long time ago. If God is God, he must be everywhere at all times, and we should thus be able to discuss Him without resorting to historical records of Jesus or the gaps in current scientific understanding.