ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Christianity, the Bible & Jesus

It Is Addressed To Those Who Disregard Human Dignity - Part I

Updated on June 12, 2012

A quick look at the problem of atheism and how Christians are partly responsible for it. Part I of III

Andrew Herzog
Andrew Herzog | Source

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.”[1] 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.

St. Augustine
St. Augustine

The Problem

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:

St. Anselm
St. Anselm

"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."[2]

St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas

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.[3] 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.[4] 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...

Endnotes

[1] Gaudium et Spes, pg.919

[2] Gaudium, pg.918-19

[3] Super Boethium De Trinitate, Q.1.Art.2, pg.21

[4] De Trinitate, Q.1.Art.2, pg.21-2

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • baronhertzog profile image
    Author

    baronhertzog 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

    God has always existed, so He didn't pre-exist Himself. And when you say you know God is a fictional character, you're assuming too.

  • artblack01 profile image

    artblack01 5 years ago from New Mexico

    "Wouldn't you agree that things don't just bring themselves into existence"

    Actually I wouldn't necessarily agree. Neither can you. Because if you admit to the existence of a God you would have to admit to something bringing itself into existence or you would have to admit to God not being the creator of everything, but you cannot have it both ways.

    Also in my hub, "Final Words of an Atheist", there is a video that contradicts that statement as well. Stephen Hawking disagrees and demonstrates why.

    "We cannot know what He is, but we can know that He is."

    Actually I know what he is, a fictional character in a story, he has no essence and his existence is completely imaginary.

    "I've simply put down the arguments that a Catholic like me would use in order to convince someone like you that God does exist."

    Yet you have failed. I can contradict every statement you've made on the basis that all your statements are assumptions.

  • baronhertzog profile image
    Author

    baronhertzog 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

    How am I being intellectually dishonest? I've simply put down the arguments that a Catholic like me would use in order to convince someone like you that God does exist. And my proof is not 'false logic'. Wouldn't you agree that things don't just bring themselves into existence, since we have clearly never seen that in nature? And I said in the essay that we can come to know God's existence, but not his essence. We cannot know what He is, but we can know that He is.

  • artblack01 profile image

    artblack01 5 years ago from New Mexico

    Do you know what false logic is? Or intellectual dishonesty is? Or rationalizing a false belief?

    This isn't about scientific evidence... if you make ANY claim, you need proof. If I accuse you of murder for example, yet you didn't physically kill anyone, but maybe you did something to cause this person harm indirectly. Would I not need some sort of proof? Same with character assassinations, or whatever. When you make any sort of claim, you can use logic to manipulate anyone into thinking it might be true. Intellectual Dishonesty.

  • baronhertzog profile image
    Author

    baronhertzog 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

    So I need to back up my claims with 'evidence'?

    What type of evidence should I be using? I'm just using reasoning and logic, not scientific, physical evidence which it sounds like you think I should be using.

  • artblack01 profile image

    artblack01 5 years ago from New Mexico

    All the evidence I was looking for I found I am not currently looking for anything... Anything remotely related to the past anyway.

    But if someone makes a claim they better have evidence to back up such claims or their claim will usually be dismissed without evidence.

  • baronhertzog profile image
    Author

    baronhertzog 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

    What 'evidence' are you looking for?

  • artblack01 profile image

    artblack01 5 years ago from New Mexico

    So we can say god exists only because some book says he does and how else did everything get here? But we can't know god or prove his existence ir nonexistende because he is beyond human comprehension? Yet somehow god had inspired some human to write about him for others to say they comprehend him even though that contradicts the statement that he is beyond comprehension... Even though you say you can comprehend him if you have total faith in the word of god for which makes the uncomprehendable god comprehend able.... Did I get that straight?

    Listen I am an atheist because I don't believe based on faith I believe based on evidence everything else is not yet known... If you think the unknown is proof of god all I can tell you is he is the god of the gaps and the gaps are shrinking.

    As far as your picture on atheism... It's very unoriginal and inaccurate since it's merely a failed mocking of the statement about the zombie Jesus and being his own father....

    Anyway, nice hub, too bad it shows an utter lack of understanding and lack of empathy and lack of evidence for any claim it attempts to make on anything.