What He’s Researching, I’m Studying

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Commenter Cam left a long and thoughtful comment on a recent post of mine about suffering on earth vs. Joy in heaven.  There's a lot to talk about in it, but I want to start with a point about rational argument.  Cam says, …it might be worth noting a difference between some Christians and some atheists here. An atheist might approach an argument by saying: 'there may be some gaps in my argument, and these gaps may or may not be fatal'. A Christian however, who holds their belief on faith, will n … [Read more...]

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We Suffer Because We Are Human

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In my previous post I ended by suggesting that God couldn’t remove all suffering in the world without changing humanity: without making human beings something they are not.  In this post I’m going to explain why I say that.  It comes down to free will, which leads to some surprising places.We human beings have free will in a sense that other animals do not seem to.*  We can choose from among many choices; and though we always choose from among the things that seem good to us, we know we can c … [Read more...]

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Why Doesn’t God Prevent Suffering?

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My atheist interlocutors have presented me with a vast number of questions on my post “Which Monotheistic God is God”, a rich lode that I suspect I could continue to mine for a very long time indeed.  Many of the questions have to do with the question of suffering: if God is truly good, and truly all powerful, why didn’t He create a world without suffering?  Why doesn’t He prevent suffering before it happens?This is one of the truly great questions, naturally, and as entire books have been wr … [Read more...]

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Which Monotheistic God is God?

Crucifix

Last time I looked at theological systems that aim at the divine as the ultimate reality, and rejected pantheism and deism for monotheism.  That still seems to leave a lot of ground to cover, but it's actually not so bad.As I've said before I've had personal experiences of the presence of God.  I don't want to make too much of them, but there they are, and they are part of my experience.  I don't claim that you should believe on the basis of my experience, but contrarily it is something that … [Read more...]

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In Search of Ultimate Reality

Shiva the Destroyer

In my previous post I argued that worship is what is owed in justice to the divine, and that a god who is the creator, the ultimate reality, is more worthy of worship than any lesser god—always presuming that the god actually exists.  (Non-existent gods are not worthy of worship, however well we might have "crafted" them.)I cannot speak for all religions practiced in the world today, but certainly the largest claim to reflect ultimate reality in one way or another.  The usual choices are pan … [Read more...]

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Why Not Worship Zeus?

The Temple of Olympian Zeus

Several commenters on my post "Proving God Experimentally" asked why my experiment would lead to belief in the specifically Christian God?  Why not to some other religion?  Similarly, my atheist interlocutor Korou said, To be fair, I've never asked Allah or the Hindu gods, or Zeus to do the same.  From my point of view, any of them are as likely to exist as the other.As I've noted elsewhere, I didn't come to the Catholic faith as a result of an exhaustive search of the possibilities; I c … [Read more...]

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Dominicans Everywhere! Or, Is It Time for a New Level to the Hierarchy?

Eucharistic Window

Looking at today’s Church I notice three things: in many parts of the world, the Church is growing faster than priests can be trained; in places like the United States the faithful population is growing faster than vocations to the priesthood; and we’re expecting all priests to study like Dominicans, at least during their seminary formation.St. Dominic’s notions were shocking to the bishops of the time.  He wanted to found an order of preaching brothers, but at that time, 800 years ago, pries … [Read more...]

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Proving God Experimentally

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Aristotle managed to prove the existence of the First Cause from first principles and reflections on world around him.  Thomas Aquinas went further and showed that the First Cause must have Intellect and Will in a manner analogous to human intellect and will (or, rather, vice versa, for the causality runs the other way).  But I know of only one way to prove God “with all the trimmings”: that is, to become convinced that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that God is Father, Son, and Hol … [Read more...]

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Why Remain Catholic?

I live out here.

Normally I post music on Fridays, but Tod Worner started something earlier this week with a post entitled "Why I Am NOT Leaving the Catholic Church", and I thought I'd get in on the fun. (You can find links to a bunch of other bloggers' answers to the question at the bottom of Tod's post.)I've written about my path to the Catholic faith a number of times, in a number of places, most recently just a week or so ago. And for what it's worth, my answer is pretty similar to Tod's: I think … [Read more...]

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