[quote="loko, post:1, topic:285568"]
I have a very good friend who is an atheist and considers himself to be an intellectual. The one thing that irritates me about him is that he maintains a false perception that faith and reason are mutually exclusive. In other words people with faith have no 'reason' or lack the mental capacity to understand what 'reason' is. I believe 'reason' is the common ground between believers and non-believers.
I have pointed out that many great scientists were/are Christian. These were deep intellectuals and also faithful such as Fr Lemaitre and Professor Francis Collins.
I printed out the encyclical Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason) written by Pope JPII the Great and gave it to him to read. He said it was 'too deep and theological". :eek:
He refuses to give any ground.
Any information to boost my argument and advice on how to have a productive and convincing debate about the issue would be appreciated because at the moment we descend into an argument rather than civil discussion.
The old line Faith seeking understanding (fides quaerens intellectum) sums up so much of Catholic thought.
But you might get further introducing him to St. Thomas Aquinas and His rigorously scientific Philosophy:D
Seriously though some people(believers and non-believers alike) do fail to engage their reason when they talk about faith. The Catholic view is that humanity is a rational animal and that when we exercise our potential for rationality we can draw closer to God. (Simple faith is an asset in itself and I'm not discounting it, I've probably learned more about God from examples of such faith than all the text books I've ever read).
JPII was brilliant but at times very difficult to understand and Encyclicals can be difficult for newcomers at the best of times. As an analogy if I were to show a scientific paper from my scientific discipline to a member of another scientific discipline they could easily and rightly say that it was too deep and technical(theology being the science of God and Revelation I feel that technical is an appropriate substitution). Some Christian denominations have jettisoned philosophy and IMO with it the tools to interpret and present the faith in all its rational glory.