Proving God Experimentally


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...]

The Evil Catholic Hierarchy?

Crucified Jesus

A commenter on my post about why I remain Catholic asked, Have you considered the possibility that you can still believe what the Catholic Church teaches but leave the organization itself in protest against its history of protecting abusers? I responded: The Church is the Body of Christ. Its members are all sinners, and sometimes they do horrible things. But I will not willingly cut myself off from it.To amplify: I believe what the Church teaches about itself.  It is not simply a human … [Read more...]

Today’s Aquinas: How Far Toward God Can We Reason?


We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In the preceding  thirty-five chapters, Thomas has been addressing natural theology, reasoning about God in the Aristotelian manner from first principles and what we can observe about the world around us: The truths about God thus far proposed have been subtly discussed by a number of pagan philosophers, although some of them erred concerning these matters. And t … [Read more...]

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...]

The Dogmat saw Shticks, Schemes, and Broken Gods

It was another good week for the Dogmat, barking-wise; the Internet continues to serve up the digital equivalent of postmen and boys on skateboards.I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How. The Dogmat wants you to read this one, and to remember it the next time you read the words, "Studies show...". Science is an amazing tool when it's done right, but when it's done wrong it's no help at all...and it's so easy and there are so many incentives to do it … [Read more...]

Seven Lies Christians Tell


Tony Kriz had a piece in Christianity Today some while ago about the lies Christians tell when they evangelize, or, as he puts, about “How to talk about your faith without being a total jerk.”  He’s writing from an evangelical point of view; but I thought his points were worth talking about from a Catholic point of view.  You’ll want to read his piece first (it’s short) to get his descriptions of the “seven lies”.1. We lie when we claim we are more confident than we really are.  I admit I do … [Read more...]

Admin: Missing Blog Comments

I've just noticed that comments are not being displayed for blog posts older than May 20th. I'm not sure why; I've contacted the Patheos operations folks, and I hope we'll have them back soon. … [Read more...]

A Note for Passing Atheists

St. Dominic

I’ve recently been getting more attention from atheist commenters, due largely to my posts about what religion is good for and my interview with Leah Libresco about her new book, Arriving at Amen.  Most of these visitors have been reasonably polite, contrary to the usual stereotype (sorry, guys, but comment boxes seem to bring out the worst in people, and it always applies to people on both sides), and I’ve been having enjoyable conversations with 3vil5triker and Ragarth.And then once in a wh … [Read more...]

Divine Intelligence: What’s That?

God doesn't have to do this.

During the course of a sprawling but enjoyable combox conversation with atheist commenter Ragarth I posed the question, …specifically with regard to Christianity: what kind of evidence would you consider sufficient, and what is the evidence it would have to outweigh? Ragarth invoked parsimony: theism involves an intelligent creator, and an uncaused cause could just as easily be mindless as intelligent: Specifically regarding intelligent creative forces, there is nothing they can do regarding t … [Read more...]