Men of Reason, Men of Faith



Atheists ask believers to provide them with proof of God's existence. Do they realise they are asking believers not only to be Saints in order to witness to God's love, but to do what God alone can do? To His Church, God has revealed everything He wishes us to know about Him. In Jesus Christ, God Himself has actually spoken as a Man. In His Church, God has revealed Himself to men. This is the knowledge (scientia) of Divine Revelation. This is the 'fullness of truth'.

What God permits scientists to discover, we can be certain, intriguing and exciting as these discoveries may be, will never amount to 'the fullness of truth', since this kind of knowledge is not ultimately necessary to us. Indeed, despite our scientific and industrial advancements, it is likely that the medievals were ultimately happier than we are. I could be wrong, but I doubt half of Europe would have required Prozac in those days. Life was simpler, if more brief and more painful. Atheistic scientists would like to present their field as above criticism - almost infallible - and when asked searching questions as to explanations for how all things came to be from nothing, often reply with such ludicrous claims as, '...We are working on it...' or '...One day we will know the answers through research...'


If you tell people like Richard Dawkins that this is never going to happen, he flies into a rage. Yet. the truth is that this is an impossibility. Why? Because the Universe is simply too vast and mysterious to yield up all of its secrets - to provide scientists with everything scientists wish to discover. Not only this, but the questions are not only too great, but too numerous.

Scientists develop theories. In time, these can become 'laws' (like that of gravity) that we interpret to govern the Cosmos, but as to how all things came to be from nothing, scientists can only posit theories.

Only Christ and His Church can provide us with anything reliable or even credible on this matter since it is the only explanation that gives us a first cause. The response? God, outside of all time and space, made all things and through the Second Person of the Trinity, the Eternal Word, who we now know as the Son of God, Jesus Christ, all things were made.

Another sad truth for the empiricists is this. Theories do not satisfy the human heart nor man's profound spiritual longing. They arouse and can satisfy a sense of curiosity - something very different. Atheistic scientific reasoning, however, dispenses with the idea that a man is both a physical and spiritual being. No theoretical knowledge has ever healed anyone of a sickness that is spiritual, nor of selfish habits that the Church calls 'sins'.

To many nowadays, we are what we are because of genes, but time and time again, people surprise us with their penitence and reform of their lives. People have the capacity to change and do change. Encounters with other people changes people. Encounters with the Divine change people, often very dramatically. No scientific theory, however grand or insightful, has led a man to 'lay down his life', not even 'for his friends'. No scientific theory has led men and women to establish hospitals for the sick and infirm, or run respite care for the homeless and if any atheist were to do this, it is most unlikely that he or she would affirm their passionate belief in science to be the reason for it. Compared to the heroes and heroines of Christianity, no scientist comes close in terms of sheer self-sacrificial love and heroism - something which is universally esteemed and admired.

Science: Fascinating, if you're into that kind of thing...
The sad truth is that you have to be a certain kind of person to be a scientist, whereas anyone, including a scientist, can be a servant of God, just as you have to be a certain kind of person to be an artist or a mathematician, but these can be servants of God too. To know God is a gift from the Creator that He wishes to lavish upon mankind. Only certain people of a certain disposition can actually be scientists.

The atheistic scientists of today, in contrast to previous ages, do their best to crush the human spirit that seeks spiritual truth - something both objective and intensely personal - over empirical evidence that denies a Creator and a soul. In so doing, they reject and neglect a fundamental need in human beings that we can be sure will not 'evolve' out of us. You could even say that a longing for love and for Divine Love in particular is in our genes. It is an integral part of being human. It is, in fact, what makes us human.

Jesus Christ is an answer - the answer, indeed - that the World itself cannot provide and all things find their fulfillment and meaning in Him. 'Anti-rationalist' thought like mine and those who think 'outside the box' of empiricism are deemed to be dangerous because they are humble enough to admit that scientific inquiry alone will never yield the answers to the most important questions to every person of every age - including the age 'post-Enlightenment' - the questions that burn in man's depths as to his destiny and reason for being.

The concept of God defies today's logicians. Yet, behind the intellectual tussle with the concept of God, there is a perfectly simple logic to be found within the Divine Mystery. If God were to speak to the human race, how could the Almighty do it without impinging upon our free will or scaring us to death (literally). By becoming one of us? By becoming man at a point in human history? We look at the state of the World, we survey our own lives with the murder, the robbery, the lies, the hatred, the adultery, the greed and malice we encounter and the whole assorted human misery of sin caused by rejection of God.

Were God to come into the World, all Innocent and Pure, is it not perfectly logical that He would be dismissed and almost impelled towards death at the hands of the wicked?

If God was the Love that is at the heart of all of Creation and which sustains all things in being, and wanted to redeem us so that we might know Him, would He not undergo anything to do so? And being God, would He not rise from the grave in Glory to return to His Heavenly Father?

If He were to choose Apostles to build a Church that saves men and women from their sins, would He choose rich emperors as Apostles, or humble fishermen? If God wanted to forgive us would He not, by His Divine logic, choose men who would be instruments of the peace of forgiveness and reconciliation with the Eternal Father so that we could confess our sins and be given Absolution? If He wanted to give us Himself as spiritual food and drink, would He not come to under the guise of bread, rather than explode in His Glory on the Sanctuary in order to dazzle us, bewilder us and leave us as gibbering wreaks following the visible outbreak of His sublime Glory? If every Mass was a Transfiguration experience for us, with every man, woman and child crapping themselves as the Eternal Father boomed His Voice to us, would not everyone not run for the hills?

The story of Christianity is so good, so humble and so glorious that it is is perhaps deemed by modern man to too good to be true, but if scientists knew 99% of the mysteries of the Universe, but knew nothing of the One who made it, it would still reduce their achievements to naught.

Nowadays, people who propose another way - an alternative to scientific empiricism - but who are still able to respect the scientific field, are found 'intolerable', not just because they are choosing a different way and a different world view, but because the minds of the empiricists are closed to other avenues of thought. Surely these, not the religious, are the true 'bigots' of the age. Religion, though it is no threat at all to scientific inquiry, is deemed to be a threat to the spread of scientific rationalism - a rationalism that is unable to abide any form of orthodox morality and respects mystery only in as much as it is able to grasp it, pin it down and see it through a telescope or microscope. What cannot be known to pure rationalism, down a microscope, is rejected. Religion, in contrast, is happy to learn of the investigations of scientists and to co-exist with the world of science and discovery. Why? Because religious people know that science will never reveal anything that invalidates faith in God's existence and His providential care for all people, nor His authority over all of creation.

The greatest fear of all scientific empiricists who remain dogmatic in their approach to people of Faith is that they are wrong. The religious fear nothing. Why? Because they know that only God knows everything and that if we know anything at all about the Universe and the processes by which all of nature works, it is only because it has been permitted by He who made everything. But, more than this, the religious know something more inspiring and wonderful that even great scientists of today. Something more profound and beautiful and sublime than any scientific discovery of any age. What is this? That God, in Jesus Christ, has permitted us to know not just about Him, or His creation, but to know Himself!

There is only one way in which any human being can know any other human being and that is through communication. We can only communicate with God through prayer. If there were a better way, He would have given it to us.

We Catholics are into communication, with God and with our neighbour. We are into communicating with our brothers and sisters in Heaven and on Earth (even virulently atheistic types - though don't expect a healthy dialogue with them) and if we are 'communicating Catholics', then also with the Risen Christ Himself, through whom all things were made.

If we, the ones who know He who Heaven could not contain were not a threat to the new breed of scientific rationalists, they would not spend so much time running us down and treating us with contempt. Why? Because if they are wrong, even 0.00000000000000000000000000000000001% wrong about the existence of a Creator, then their Tower of Babel comes tumbling down and they, like us, are on their knees. Unfortunately, into the hearts of the proud and arrogant of this World, this thought rarely enters. Despite this, no matter how proud or humble a man is, it always takes a certain humility (another universally admired quality) to communicate with God or to seek His Face.

As is plainly evident, the Christian Faith has inspired incredible works of art and music, as well as architecture and sculpture. It has brought us movements and people that have brought hope to the hopeless and who cared for those discarded by society. The composers and artists that achieved these great works did so because of their great passion not just for art and music, but God and Saints thanked God for their huge achievements, never glorifying themselves. I'm trying to think of some incredibly breathtaking art work or musical piece that was inspired by scientific theory.

Perhaps if you know one or two, drop them in the comment box. Science has always inspired intrigue, for some, of a certain mindset, passion and endeavour, even courage, but within the hearts of those who have been beneficiaries of science's achievements, it has never yet inspired the one other hugely important and influential driving force that scientists are yet to explain. Love. There's a good reason for that. God alone can satisfy the human heart. Man will always have a desire for the transcendent and ultimately, to transcend himself, for alone and without God, we are the most miserable of all creatures. Do people really think people choose their wives, husbands or lovers because of genetic compatibility? Would you want to marry someone who didn't believe in love at all, but only the satisfaction of their own desires? No matter how much a society achieves in terms of progress and science, if it is without love, then it is already a city in ruins.


Comments

Rav said…
"as to how all things came to be from nothing, scientists can only posit theories. Only Christ and His Church can provide us with anything reliable or even credible on this matter since it is the only explanation that gives us a first cause. The response? God outside of all time and space, made all things and through Jesus Christ all things were" - er, isn't that also a theory? I mean, I'm a Hindu so I sort of believe the same thing (mutatis mutandis), but I have no more evidence for my belief than you do, and certainly don't have proof. Isn't the point of religion precisely that it isn't proof? You don't speak of 'believing' in gravity do you, you can't doubt it. Well, if you had that level of certainty about the Supreme Being, what would be the reward for faith?
The Bones said…
I believe in gravity as a law of the Universe. This we would call a law of nature which nature obeys.

But I also believe that laws of nature can be suspended if God so chooses - because God can do all things and nothing is impossible for Him, nor is it difficult.

The Bones said…
With the greatest of respect, the creation of all that is through the Eternal Word is not a theory, because what has been revealed by God to His Church is guaranteed and sealed by Almighty God, who can neither deceive, nor be deceived.

I am attracted and was attracted to the Catholic Faith because a man called Jesus died for me. No other founder, of any other religion, has sweated His Blood for me, nor become a man for me, nor shown me the truth about myself and my great need for Him every waking hour of my life.