- Religion and Philosophy»
- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
It Is Addressed To Those Who Disregard Human Dignity - Part I
A quick look at the problem of atheism and how Christians are partly responsible for it. Part I of III
A Call to Action
To all the nations of the world, to all the individuals created in God’s image and likeness, both believers and unbelievers, may God look down upon us and bless us. May He illuminate the path for us and show us the way to eternal happiness. We have reached a crossroads in the history of man. Our brothers and sisters, who contribute to the Total Body of Christ, have fallen by the wayside. There are those in society who disregard human dignity, cripple his hope for happiness, and it is partly due to our lack of Christian theological education. The serious problem of atheism must be treated with the utmost caution, for we Christians have “more than a little to do with the rise of atheism.” We must now respectfully, but ruthlessly, challenge atheists to defend their beliefs. We must grow in our own knowledge and faith in order to aid our brothers and sisters. Necessarily so, we must include the likes of Aquinas and Augustine in our argument to prove God’s existence and reveal man’s ultimate dignity and destiny. This plea for an increase in faith and steadfastness among Christians must not go unheeded. The time has come to renew the spirit of God in the hearts of man.
Bringing the spirit of God back into society can be done in two ways: learning our faith and setting an example for others. After all, God is the source of truth, goodness, knowledge, and life and we must remind society of this fact. We look to Vatican II and the document Gaudium et Spes for the problem at hand:
"Some people expressly deny the existence of God. Others maintain that man cannot make any assertion whatsoever about him. Still others admit only such methods of investigation as would make it seem quite meaningless to ask questions about God. Many, trespassing beyond the boundaries of the positive sciences, either contend that everything can be explained by the reasoning process used in such sciences, or, on the contrary, hold that there is no such thing as absolute truth."
Knowledge of God
This is what contemporary culture has come to tolerate and even support. God does not exist and even if he did, it is irrelevant. Christians must come together as children of God to address these three forms of atheistic thought using the works of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. Winning back these lost souls can be done if we just preach our faith truthfully and live our lives according to God’s plan. The first step we must take is convincing the atheist that man can in fact arrive at a knowledge of God.
St. Thomas Aquinas explains in his work, Super Boethium De Trinitate, that the human mind can indeed arrive at a knowledge of God. Some argue that everything that is known is known through its form, and since we cannot know the form of God, we cannot know him. Others suggest that since God transcends this world, there is no way for our intellect to grasp him. Despite these objections, Aquinas responds in simple terms that anybody can understand. He explains how something can be known in two ways: through its essence or through something else similar to itself, like an effect. We cannot know God in his essence because his essence infinitely transcends every created form and our mind cannot grasp the infinite. Therefore, we can only know God through his effects. Through his effects, although we cannot fully grasp his essence or power, we can know that he exists. Indeed, we cannot know what God is, but only that he is. It follows that we cannot know anything about God apart from his effects, which are capable of being grasped by the human intellect. His “invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity” (Romans 1:20) can be clearly seen in this world.
Continues with Part II...
Note how Shermer never looks Father in the eye...
 Gaudium et Spes, pg.919
 Gaudium, pg.918-19
 Super Boethium De Trinitate, Q.1.Art.2, pg.21
 De Trinitate, Q.1.Art.2, pg.21-2