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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's the Catholic response to this Atheist cartoon?



AtheistDogma-b.jpg AtheistDogma-b
source

My response as a Catholic is:  that's ree-DANK-u-lous!  Religious truth is not a preference, or an opinion, as one's favorite color is.  It's a truth in the same arena as mathematical truth, or grammatical truth, or philosophical truth.

That is, we as parents provide our children with truth; indeed, it is our OBLIGATION to give them truth!  

I wish I could draw cartoons because this conversation is what I would draw in response:

Child: I love spelling ATHEIST "E-P-H-I-E-S-T!"

Parent:  Sure, sweetheart.  You spell words any way that you believe your heart tells you to spell! How do YOU want to spell it?  Follow your heart in spelling!  And in math!  And in grammar!  I'll speak to those mean old teachers that tell you that "It don't matter" is incorrect grammar, and who give you an F for saying 2 + 2 = 5.  And when that bridge collapses that you try to build as an engineer because you went with what your heart told you to do, rather than with those dogmatic, dictatorial, intolerant, bigoted mathematical and physics laws, well, I'll be there for you, sweetie!

So, yeah, it's true that parents ought not dictate to our children what their preferences are. 
But religious truth, just like mathematical truth, is not quite the same category as whether butter pecan is better than mint chip ice cream.  (My preference:  neither.  Both are icky, IMHO!)




"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" - 1 Peter 3:15

23 comments:

  1. So true. No one who is an atheist seems to care about all those horrible dogmatic science laws!

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    1. Well, they seem to care very deeply about scientific laws. They just don't see the double standard that they're expressing. Scientific laws = truth. Religious laws = oppression.

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    2. Those damn scientific laws, all they did was get us to the moon, allow us to build computers, extend our lifespans signifigantly and much much more, but religion brought us something much more valuable, extremest! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa *BOOM*

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    3. It is good to see you acknowledge that there are scientific laws. That presupposes that there is a Lawgiver.

      Also, if we're going to use your logic, how about this: Science allowed us to kill 6 million people. But religion gave us hospitals, the university system, the scientific method, women's rights, and much much more.

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  2. I agree on your principle, but...the only reason I've found to believe religious truth is truth is because people before us believed it. That's nothing like how I know math is true.

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    1. Grundy, I don't think that you could say that if you had read Thomas Aquinas.

      If you can say that you've studied his writings and then come back and say "the only reason I've found to believe religious truth is because people before us believed it" then I will concede your point.

      But after reading Aquinas one will realize that some religious truth is knowable by reason alone. To wit: God's existence can be proven by reason alone. One need not have been told this by anyone in authority, yet one can conclude that God exists.

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  3. I have read Thomas Aquinas, so concede away.

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    1. Not so fast.

      Firstly, what have you read of him?

      Secondly, you are then familiar with his proofs for God's existence using reason alone?

      If so, then how is it that you can maintain that "religious truth is truth is because people before us believed it"?

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    2. I don't remember what his works are called (Theologica?), but I read sum when I was a believer and I've read a few articles that apologists have sent me since I've become an atheist.

      How do I maintain that is "religious truth is truth is because people before us believed it"? Because his "proofs" never were proofs.

      So concede away.

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    3. Actually, no. I can't concede because I don't believe that you've actually read Aquinas, much less studied him.

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    4. Of course.

      Out of curiosity, what proof is the most convincing for you?

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    5. I don't find any one proof convincing.

      But then again, I don't need to use reason alone to convince me of God's existence. I am convinced by fides quaerens intellectum, by experience, AND by reason.

      Here's a website that breaks down Aquinas' (and others') arguments for God's existence by Reason Alone: http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/20_arguments-gods-existence.htm

      Together, I find them all convincing, were I to use Reason Alone.

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    6. Okay. Try reading Lee Stroble. He's a bit less academic.

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  4. Have you read the criticisms of all the arguments on that site? Have you studied Dawkins?

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    1. If you post a site that offers refutations of the arguments I will read them.

      And as for Dawkins--are you talking about Richard Dawkins the scientist? If so, why would I study his views on theology?

      Just as I would never suggest that you study Aquinas when he speaks on science, I wouldn't ever consider reading a scientist's proclamations on theology.

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    2. Dawkins covers a lot of criticism for the arguments for God, especially the "From design" argument. But, here, try this: http://www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/authors/goldstein/36%20Arguments.pdf

      I'm not going to just share links with you though. I thought the whole point of apologetics was to defend your beliefs. I don't want you to send me somewhere else to see someone else defend their beliefs, I want you to defend yours. If you want me to go away, just say so.

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    3. Of course I don't want you to go away! So ask me your apologetics question, and I'll do my best to defend the Catholic position.

      But you're right. Sharing links is not a way to dialogue.

      I suggest that you join the Catholic Answers forum and then you can dialogue freely without having your comments moderated by me.
      http://forums.catholic.com/index.php

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  5. Great response. I'd love to see that in a cartoon. :)

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    1. If this were Facebook I'd "Like!" this comment. :-)

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  6. Hi -- I found your site while doing some research about the books of the bible removed at the reformation. I am so impressed and delighted to have run across your blog. Actually, you could say I really have "run across your blog" -- I kept finding interesting issues in your posts, and have now spent 45 minutes reading! You may be an amateur but your dedication and knowledge of the issues shows an educated and well-researched faith in the Church. I am Catholic, and it is very helpful to read about how to respond to such questions according to Scripture that will speak to people with beliefs about the Catholic Church that are erroneous.

    It is early morning for me, so I'm not ready to make a discussion on this post -- as a night person, my brain doesn't truly function fully until evening! However, I will be back and plan to follow your blog. Nice to meet you!

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    1. Awww, thanks, Becky. This comment made my day! :-)

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  7. Hilarious and totally true. Catholicism does indeed posess absolute truths.

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