Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lucia Believing in God is far more rational than Atheism


God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?

PETER KREEFT

The conclusion that God exists doesn't require faith. Atheism requires faith.


Is it rational to believe in God? Many people think that faith and reason are opposites; that belief in God and tough-minded logical reasoning are like oil and water. They are wrong. Belief in God is far more rational than atheism. Logic can show that there is a God. If you look at the universe with common sense and an open mind, you'll find that it's full of God's fingerprints.

A good place to start is with an argument by Thomas Aquinas, the great 13th century philosopher and theologian. The argument starts with the not-very-startling observation that things move. But nothing moves for no reason. Something must cause that movement, and whatever caused that must be caused by something else, and so on. But this causal chain cannot go backwards forever. It must have a beginning. There must be an unmoved mover to begin all the motion in the universe, a first domino to start the whole chain moving, since mere matter never moves itself.

Listen to the whole thing above, or read the rest.

14 comment(s):

Lindalee Smith said...

I love Thomas Aquinas and all his arguments (except I think he couldn't agree with the Immaculate Conception).

It is certainly clear that it is reasonable to come to something we might call God.

What we can't come to is a particular understanding of God - Christian Trinity, Islamic absolute transcendent Oneness - GK Chesterton called this idea 'the lonely God', the Jewish One God who reveals Himself and Covenants Himself.

Atheism is a faith system - faith in no God.

If there is no God, there is no humanity with any meaning beyond the fashion the majority can subscribe to as a type of group hug (a subjective idea that a number of people happen to share).

Atheism doesn't like mystery. That's why materialism suits them very well. They have a tidy box of facts. GK Chesterton said materialism was like a madman obsessed with one idea. Like being on a train that went all around in a perfect circle - the complete understanding of things - he suggested that it would be a good and daring idea to get off at the next station!

I think atheism allows one to cover up things in one's life and refuse to front up to them. One doesn't have to raise one's eyes to heaven and doesn't have to refer to one's conscience. It can dismiss both heaven and conscience.

leftrightout said...

Case not proven. This is simply a restating of the well debunked Cosmological Argument.

All Aquinas and Kreeft have done is establish a possible case for deism.

There is absolutely no rational basis to proceed from the deist position to a position that invokes a loving, personal, vengeful, distant god. There is nothing that Kreeft argues that lends any support or credence to the god of the bible.

He is simply arguing that there must be an uncaused cause, yet doesn't prove its existence, he is simply in an infinite regression.

Science doesn't (yet) know everything, religion doesn't know anything.

Lindalee Smith said...

He certainly isn't in an infinite regression. Aquinas is talking of being and existence. Generation is the becoming into existence of being. Creation as first cause has to be existence itself and being itself to bestow upon some thing to make it become what it is by being alive; that is having existence.

Living creaturely things have their own being but not their own existence. Existence is something they participate in - they come into being and out of being. We don't cause ourselves to live. If you want to say that there is no distinction between living things and mere artefacts of the cosmos then you can form your argument. But you have to ignore life and existence. That would be rather dishonest?

There is no definitive proof for God but the point of the argument is that is rational to come to that idea.

The first cause being something like God has then to be discovered as to God's nature. We act as if God exists when we appeal to justice and seek love. We believe these things are there for us and of us.

There is so much to help open our eyes. Besides life is much more interesting, fun and happy with God. We aren't alone - God knows me through and through. No other being can know me like this.

As for being created by God. Life is all about us - Creation was not some far distant thing which is just rolling out. Rather considering the activity of life and the continual acts of creation about us - each of us is being loved into existence continually. Loved? Yes because it is good that I have life. The immanent world has meaning everywhere and in everything.

Science is working within context and theory - this is a limitation to the material aspects. It has nothing to say about things like morality.

To say something like 'religion doesn't know anything' is just like heckling.

Religion knows that we are participants within a living cosmos - we are not its master.

Lindalee Smith said...

As an afterthought...I wouldn't think your life or mine would be very comfortable if science was to believe that it knew everything...as you suggest here you think it might come to pass.

'Science doesn't (yet) know everything'

Those in charge, whoever they were, would be interested in things like quality of life, ending suffering, state of conscientiousness.

What then? Others would have the apparent knowledge and power to decide your immediate fate like a sort of mercy killing.

Science could be quite ruthless in this regard as a means to some perceived good end like 'improving quality of life' population control, improving the human species.

Perhaps they might just suggest you weren't good enough to propagate the species as your IQ was too low and you had some inherent tendencies they had identified.

Should this come to pass be rest assured that faithful Catholics will defend your case and die trying. They defended the Church, the Pope and the Body of Christ in the Reformation and so your body will be as if it was the Body of Christ and we will think and assault on you will be as if it was an assault on Christ.

Don't wish there was no God. Jesus only wants your well being.

Lucia Maria said...

Lindalee,

LRO knows that God exists. He'd just rather He didn't.

leftrightout said...

Lucyna, please do not lie about me. It is unchristian, uncharitable and not very lady like.

The facts, ma'am, just the facts.

For the record - there are no gods, there never have been any gods and religious belief is a form of pernicious self delusion.

leftrightout said...

Lindalee, thanks for trying, but your first response is just a meaningless word salad. You have still not proven the case for the existence of your version of god, just as Aquinas also failed. As I said, at the very best, the cosmological argument is an argument at best for deism, but not a personal god.

As to you second post, well, just so much bumf.

Science could be quite ruthless in this regard as a means to some perceived good end like 'improving quality of life' population control, improving the human species.

No, science is not ruthless, it is what it is, a way to study and understand the natural world. It has no conscience, no driver. Ruthlessness comes from people or other animals. Have you ever really thought about how the lion gets his dinner? And you still think that's "god's loving plan"?

Ruthlessness comes from the thuggery of the priesthood that denies scientific knowledge to save human life, preferring to inflict pain and suffering on the living for the sack of a sack of dead cells.

Should this come to pass be rest assured that faithful Catholics will defend your case and die trying.

I call bullshit. The church is only interested in retaining the little power it still has. It does not stand for freedom or human rights, it is an oppressor. just ask Sanal Endamurku how he has been persecuted by the unholy catholic church for exposing their lies and fraud by simply telling the truth, a truth the church cannot accept as it shows their entire foundation to be fraudulent.

Now, back to the point of the post - forget word salad, how about applying rational thought to the proposition that believing in gods is lying to yourself?

Lucia Maria said...

LRO,

As you wish, though I think I'm right. We've spent a number of years in a multitude of conversations for me to come to that conclusion.

ZenTiger said...

LRO, it's not a lie. I would say it's an honestly held opinion. So stop with the deliberately manipulative accusations, it's unbecoming of a rational humanist.

Or sadly, maybe not.

Isumbras said...

"No, science is not ruthless, it is what it is, a way to study and understand the natural world. It has no conscience, no driver. "

Really! The Global warming/climate change (snort) extreme weather or whatever name it is still being pedaled to the left and gullible (but I repeat myself) would tend to show us that science is as open to dishonesty and manipulation as anything else man touches....

Politicians, media and usual rag bag of bed-wetters and greenies can take much blame, but at the core of the biggest scam in history were Scientists... those dispassionate searchers of truth wherever it might take them... what a joke, a very expensive joke....

Still having casually dismissed Aquinas as having failed and being too smart to fall for the 'self delusion of religion' It would be absurd to infer there was any chance an intellect of LRO's stature was going to be taken in by a fraud as obvious as AGW... even with its claims of 'The Science is Settled'...

mzala said...

Leftriteout
"For the record - there are no gods, there never have been any gods and religious belief is a form of pernicious self delusion"

I'm sure that you consider yourself a broad-minded tolerant person. Well, in that same spirit of broad-mindedness, feel free to read the testimony of a doctor, struck dead by lightning who had more than a near-death experience. Of what she says in this 'talk', what does it sound like to you? Is this person delusional, rational or how would you describe it?

http://testimony-polo.blogspot.co.nz/

William Stout said...

@LRO

Science is not ruthless? Have you never heard of eugenics? Are you unaware of social Darwinism? Have you never heard of Hadamar? Of Auschwitz or Dachau? All were founded upon the bedrock of science. Dedicated to removing human weeds to prevent the contamination of the human genome. Long ago it was said that the science was settled regarding eugenics and the rampant genocide it helped to create.

Frankly, I cannot imagine anything more ruthless than sending old men, women and children to the gas chambers to die.

Psycho Milt said...

All were founded upon the bedrock of science.

To the extent that just about everything that's happened anywhere in the developed world anytime in the last few hundred years was founded upon the bedrock of science, yes.

Dedicated to removing human weeds to prevent the contamination of the human genome.

"Science" doesn't assume any merit in such dedication. The only basis for it would be logical, ie you might as well hold philosophy accountable.

leftrightout said...

“Things that do not exist cannot be the cause of other things."

George H. Smith’s “Why Atheism?”

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