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Mark Shea's Blog: So That No Thought of Mine, No Matter How Stupid, Should Ever Go Unpublished Again!
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He tells us here, in a fascinating tale.
I love this guy.
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Wow, that story is pure beauty. Made my day. Thanks.
That’s a lovely way to start the morning. I’ve read it before, but it’s something that bears reading with some regularity.
Obligatory GK Chesterton quote!
If I say, “Mediaeval documents attest certain miracles as much as they attest certain battles,” they answer, “But mediaevals were superstitious”; if I want to know in what they were superstitious, the only ultimate answer is that they believed in the miracles. If I say “a peasant saw a ghost,” I am told, “But peasants are so credulous.” If I ask, “Why credulous?” the only answer is — that they see ghosts.
My favorite way of refuting the “superstitious medievals were credulous when people claimed miracles” thing is to point out that Padre Pio, Jean Vianney, Lourdes, Fatima, and Kibeho all sound like the sorts of things credulous medievals believed in–and all are from the modern era.
NO GREEN TREE…
No green tree stands on the corner
But in the metal traffic pole
A starling builds a nest
Inside the shelter of a rusted hole
Inside the hollow heart of us
The spirit of the Lord has made a nest,
Lives within the sterile and corroded soul
For what reason He knows best
He lives where nothing else alive can live
So that in that unpromising domain
Even in the rotting flesh of us
His love remains
May 9, 2013
I’ve book marked it. I will pass it on to atheists I sometimes debate. It may do some good.
My impression of the last fellow, an applied physicist, is that he combined rage with extreme vulnerability. These are hard cases.
I told him that sooner or later in his life he would encounter God. He became defensive, angry and abusive. He sounded, beneath it all, scared.
I had an experience once of the unity and rightness of all things. It lasted for a short time, because I couldn’t believe that a wretch like myself was actually worthy of such an illumination, and felt that it might be a trap. But there was not the least compulsion about it, and I found that I was free to leave without the slightest trouble about it. It was, for something of such indescribable power, quite gentle.
We are very limited, and we wear our veils. Most of us are not ready to take them off and see. We would have to give up the protection of the veils. People would call us possessed, or mad. We decided at a very early age to wear the veils so as not to be torn to pieces. But sooner or later we will remove them, or they will be removed, and we will see.
I love it, but I don’t think it will do much good. Heart attacks and Near Death Experiences are extremely hard to replicate.
Having said that, I always come down on the side of *honest observation is my definition of objective evidence*. I have yet to figure out what, if any, standard of objective evidence the New Atheists follow other than a lack of skepticism about their own skepticism.
A lack of skepticism for their own skepticism is by defenition, faith, exept told in a rather confusing way. Skepticism is holding a belief until reasonable evidences supports it. If you believe that “honest observation” is an evidence, I am not surprised that you believed that this last sentence of yours was somewhat clever.
Actually, honest observation is the only evidence in a way. EVERYTHING we know, comes to our brains through observation, through the use of the five senses.
Anything less, is rather dishonest to begin with.
I don’t believe that my last sentence is clever- I believe my last sentence to be a truth, one that gets more and more confirmed every time I engage a “New Atheist” on this topic- and one that impacts my respect for, and thus ability to discuss things charitably with, New Atheists.
I experienced almost the same thing, without the heart attack, the logical discourse, and the absence of Catholic upbringing. But he’s right, or should I say, God was generous to show him the beauty of creation. I just realized that beauty, after years of being bitter. My grandmother’s prayers led me back to the Church.
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