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Friends :hello!: ,

I recently viewed a famous atheist video on YouTube which sarcastically goes into the reasons why "S"cience (as if it's a proper noun) has disproved religion, or has no need for religion. I often wonder if it's possible to insert the ethical, moral arguments into this, since they declare that all we need is this nebulous "Science" to be good. Bringing up Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, and the Jesuit astronomers of Castel Gondolfo confuses the poor dears, because they have no idea about history. Do you think it's possible to actually get to the modern "I'm full of science, logic, and rationality" atheist types who don't have any idea about what's actually rational, logical, or scientific? Is it a moot exercise?

Catholicism has a peculiar quality about it which refutes the "religious people are all anti-science" argument. Calvinists hate the world and believe God is evil, the Orthodox are basically stuck in the clouds with their Platonism, and most Protestants are obsessed with "The Spirit". Catholicism has that zest for life, a verve and conviction for the "livability of the material"; we don't cast aside science, but embrace it. Can they be made to see this?

Who else can I bring up in this debate? I might mention that Galileo was confined to house arrest for theological heresies rather than scientific discoveries, but that would probably just end up pissing off their sense of absolute-freedumb-of-conscience-at-all-costs-ism.  ;D

If you want to look: I'm AdventConsular, and it's a lonely battle...
Actually, much of modern science owes its existence to Catholic thinking. I believe it was the theoretical physicist and Catholic priest, Fr. Stanley Jaki, who said that it was the Christian conception of the cosmos as en entity distinct from God, in opposition to the pantheistic and panentheistic paradigms that used to be prevalent prior to it, that allowed a sustained, self-perpetuating system of inquiry into its workings. The medievals conceived of the cosmos as well-ordered and rational, and not capricious and mindless as the pagans did. Until recently for example, geology was called "the Jesuit science" because of the many members of the Society who excelled in it, and in China, they became the most esteemed members of the imperial court for their erudition and the technology that they brought with them. A very, very good book on the topic is James Hannam's God's Philosophers, or as it's known in the US, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution.

Hope that helped somewhat!
Remind them that science developed in only one corner of the world.  China should have.  India could have.  But in the end, it was the curious pale people from the North who developed science.  What was unique about them.  :hmmm:  It wasn't because they were genetically superior.

Galileo Galilei was a rather pious man (albeit one who sired a few illegitimate children) and his eldest daughter was an extremely pious nun.  Their copious correspondence is available in translation.  (I love how evangelical atheists are never real students of their "Science heroes.")

To me the real problem for atheists is the miraculous.  ONE verified miracle destroys their entire world view.  God gives us these sings for our aid.  To me the three that are just beyond explanation are the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, incorrupt bodies, and Juan Diego's tilma.  The Shroud of Turin, Lourdes, and Eucharistic Miracles are good too.  Verified prophecy from the Old Testament to the New should work, but moderns people don't have that kind of patience.
Laetarae, it's important to not make the mistake of thinking people can be "convinced" of Catholicism and its fullness of truth.  Reason can lead a man to faith but it can't make him believe.  Some people's hearts are hardened and they will not believe- even when it makes no sense not to.  And as you know, there is a world of philosophical and theological queries that can go 12 rounds with the skeptic any day of the week (and kick his ass twice on Sunday).  The problem might be the way you're explaining yourself but that would only be part of the problem- in the end a person has to take a leap of faith one degree or another.  In man's pride, he spits in God's face and tells Him that dying on a cross and offering eternal life isn't enough- God needs to submit to the microscope.  I would imagine that the good Doctor Aquinas could debate these morons and in the end they'd still be "yeah, but." 

I used to spend a lot of time with apologetics on a particular website but have since stopped for a few reasons.  One of them was that I needed to focus on my own spirtuality.  My prayer life was suffering because I was spending all my time trying to convince people God exists.  And we are called to evangelize, no doubt- and we should always look for the opportunity to- but we need to pray that we are doing it in the capacity that God desires.  So for me, it's back to basics- prayer and reading, trying to understand the little things before the big things.  With His grace, I'll move on to the bigger things.  It's important to remember that when the trumpets sound and we stand naked before Almighty God that we will be judged not on the content of our minds but on that of our hearts.    It can be easy to forsake the duties of the heart to pursue that which is of the mind.


In closing, you may want to consider taking a step back.  Prayer is the most helpful weapon because prayer is the invocation of Almighty God to soften the heart of the sinner.  We can only, at best, lead him to water.  We cannot make him drink (and God won't make him drink either, but God can make him thirsty, or at least make him realize that he is thirsty). 



(09-07-2011, 05:35 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: [ -> ]Laetarae, it's important to not make the mistake of thinking people can be "convinced" of Catholicism and its fullness of truth.  Reason can lead a man to faith but it can't make him believe.  Some people's hearts are hardened and they will not believe- even when it makes no sense not to.  And as you know, there is a world of philosophical and theological queries that can go 12 rounds with the skeptic any day of the week (and kick his ass twice on Sunday).  The problem might be the way you're explaining yourself but that would only be part of the problem- in the end a person has to take a leap of faith one degree or another.  In man's pride, he spits in God's face and tells Him that dying on a cross and offering eternal life isn't enough- God needs to submit to the microscope.  I would imagine that the good Doctor Aquinas could debate these morons and in the end they'd still be "yeah, but." 

I used to spend a lot of time with apologetics on a particular website but have since stopped for a few reasons.  One of them was that I needed to focus on my own spirtuality.  My prayer life was suffering because I was spending all my time trying to convince people God exists.  And we are called to evangelize, no doubt- and we should always look for the opportunity to- but we need to pray that we are doing it in the capacity that God desires.  So for me, it's back to basics- prayer and reading, trying to understand the little things before the big things.  With His grace, I'll move on to the bigger things.  It's important to remember that when the trumpets sound and we stand naked before Almighty God that we will be judged not on the content of our minds but on that of our hearts.    It can be easy to forsake the duties of the heart to pursue that which is of the mind.


In closing, you may want to consider taking a step back.  Prayer is the most helpful weapon because prayer is the invocation of Almighty God to soften the heart of the sinner.  We can only, at best, lead him to water.  We cannot make him drink (and God won't make him drink either, but God can make him thirsty, or at least make him realize that he is thirsty). 

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Sorry Mithrandylan, but I do believe we have to at least fraternally correct them when it comes to their mistaken notions of Science, "Religion" (as if all religions are the same evil corporation), and the like. They have so many fatuous notions that we need to at least say a few things. It's just charity to pull someone out of the way of the oncoming train.

I concur with 99% of what you said though... I rush in too much because I am very sad over where these souls are going, and I feel it's our duty to give them what is true. At least let them know so they can mull it over, rather than fight against a warped conception of Christianity.
<--- Chemist and (almost)Catholic.

Kinda shoots that theory out of the water ;)
(09-07-2011, 07:30 PM)knittycat Wrote: [ -> ]<--- Chemist and (almost)Catholic.

Kinda shoots that theory out of the water ;)

A BS in Applied Physics reporting in.  :salute:

I actually "converted" the winter of my 4th year at UCLA.  :shrug:  Can't make this stuff up.

When are you going to be baptized?
Not soon enough!! GAH! The deacon I'm working with has a bizzare work schedule, and now that I'm back in school...well Yeah :P

My first science love is physics. I just suck too hard at the maths involved. (which considering I'm going to be a nuclear chemist may unsettle some LOL!)