Tag Archives: science

I Am [not] An Atheist

Bashing atheists isn’t really my thing, and it’s not what this post will be about.

The thing is, I write a blog for young Catholics (and then I guess for anyone else who wants to read it), and I talk a lot about how much I love the Catholic faith and how great Jesus is and all that…and all along this “God” character is sort of just accepted as a given in my world.  Yes, I was raised by parents that believe in God, and no, I’ve never seriously doubted His existence.

See, to me, Romans 1:20 has always summed up all the proof I’ve ever needed for God’s existence:

Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.

Translation: Look around!  This place is stunning!  Human beings are amazing!  Look at all the tiny intricacies of even the smallest organism on the planet!  Believing that this all happened by mere coincidence is a heck of a lot harder to swallow than believing in God.  At least that’s the way I look at things.

Big shock: the author of the Catholic blog believes in God.

But that doesn’t mean that I’ve never had questions; nor does it mean that I can’t recognize faulty logic when I see it, which brings me to this:

By now you have hopefully realized that I did not create the above meme.  Truth be told, I actually find the list of reasons given at the beginning of the picture for why this person is NOT an atheist to be far better reasons to say there’s no god than the one they seem to think packs the most punch (but those can be the topic of another day’s post).  Today we discuss “the burden of proof” and the “scientific method” (which, FYI, was developed by people in the Catholic Church).

Let’s start by acknowledging where the meme is right.  It’s impossible to prove the non-existence of something.  Science will never be able to prove that anything, let alone God, does not exist.

Now, I’m not a scientist and I won’t pretend to be.  But I’m 100% certain that science has no business outside of the natural realm.  If a god exists, then by definition, it’s not a natural being; it’s supernatural.  Since science can only tell us about the natural realm, it’s entirely possible for a supernatural being to exist without natural, empirical evidence (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell) for it.  Science cannot disprove god; but asking science to prove the existence of god misunderstands both science and the question of a god.

I know what you’re thinking.  Why not only believe in things that science can prove, then?  Things that we can see with our own eyes, things that we can hear or taste or smell or touch.  These are the only real and verifiable things, according to the logic of the above meme.

Sounds simple enough… but nobody actually lives in that world.  There are tons of things we believe in but cannot prove with the scientific method.  The most striking of these is love.  Love isn’t something we can smell or touch, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t believe in it simply because we can’t examine it under a microscope.  We experience love.  We know the pain of when love is lacking.  Try as we might, we can’t deny the existence of, or the need for, love.  Yet science will never be able to prove that love exists, and it would be silly to ask that of science.

If your only reason for not believing in God is because you can’t prove His existence with the scientific method, not only are you missing the point of science, you’re [presumably] missing out on some of the most beautiful aspects of this life.  Come into the real world, where “real” isn’t limited to only those things which we can smell, taste, see, hear, or touch.

 

Is Faith Against Reason?

A lot of people misunderstand faith as somehow being opposed to reason.  To these people, faith is merely a kind of security blanket to comfort people like me who need to believe that an invisible man (spaghetti monster, etc.) created and has a plan for each of us.

The “faith as a security blanket” argument has never really made a whole lot of sense to me.  For one, if my faith were merely about being comfortable, then—quite frankly—I would have picked one that promised comfort rather than the Cross.  It seems to me that people who make this argument do not really understand Christianity.

In terms of faith being against reason, I again have to disagree.  First of all, this doesn’t mean every aspect of my faith can be understood in scientific terms—of course it can’t.  By definition, science only deals with the natural realm.  It can literally say nothing as to whether God exists or doesn’t, because the question of the divine is a supernatural question.

But I have never had to deny reason (or science, for that matter) in order to profess my faith.  God is a God of reason, and though our human minds of course cannot contain a full understanding of who He is (if they could, He wouldn’t be God), He does not contradict reason.

What does, however, contradict reason (at least mathematically) is to not believe in a God at all:

“If you believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you have lost nothing — but if you don’t believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you will go to hell. Therefore it is foolish to be an atheist.”

Paraphrase of Pascal’s Wager.
(scare tactics + math =salvation??)

I digress.

In all seriousness:

We have to stop confusing faith with being “blind” or uncertain in any terms.  Faith is not about walking “face-first and full speed into darkness,”  (yeah, Eat Pray Love junkies—I’m talking to you).  Faith is about running full speed out of the darkness of your former life and into the marvelous light of Christ—precisely because it does not make sense to do anything else.

Have More Babies!!

k, last post on babies, I promise.  Just thought this was relevant to yesterday’s post/discussion.

Should We be Worried About Overpopulation?

Quite simply: No.  And here are some pretty awesome videos illustrating why:

Think about it.

What a Coincidence…

“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.”

Saint Augustine

Did You Know…

  • “If [the Earth] was 1 degree closer to the sun we would fry, all of earth’s water would boil away, and life would be impossible. If Earth was 1 degree farther away from the sun, all its water would freeze, and the terrestrial landscape would be nothing but barren deserts.”
  • “Everything in the universe is made of atoms, from the stars in the farthest heavens to the cells in the human body. The atom itself is a bundle of “lucky coincidences.” Within the atom, the neutron is just slightly more massive than the proton, which means that free neutrons can decay and turn into protons. If the proton that was larger and had a tendency to decay, the very structure of the universe would be impossible.”
  • At the moment of conception, you spent about half an hour as a single cell.
  • The average adult human body is made up of about 50 to 75 trillion cells.
  • The human brain cell can hold 5 times as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • An amount of blood equal to the whole quantity in the body passes through the heart once every minute
  • The weight of the heart is from eight to twelve ounces. It beats one hundred thousand times in twenty-four hours.
  • Freeman J. Dyson, an English-born American physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum mechanics and many other fields, says, ‘As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming.’”

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