Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I was so happy to run across this at the Catholic Knight's blog.

Fr Robert Spitzer on the existence of God

A few weeks ago, Ben saw Fr Robert Spitzer on EWTN and described him to me as "scary smart."  I quickly downloaded a series of his talks from the EWTN Audio archives and found that Fr Spitzer is a great example of how the Catholic faith works hand-in-hand with reason.

Reason and logic uncoupled from reality can lead to really silly conclusions, but, even worse, an antagonism to God (militant atheism) can lead you away from where the data leads and therefore away from good science.

For example, the teleological argument for the existence of God as put forth by Fr Spitzer is a fascinating story of how the values of the physical constants of the universe (the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, the electromagnetic force, and gravity) are very fine-tuned to allow the universe to exist as it does (galaxies rather than black holes).  It also tells of how the resonant force within the carbon atom is just strong enough to allow Helium atoms to combine, producing a very efficient production of Carbon, the chemical element of all life.  There is a long list of such constants whose settings are not necessitated, but just happen to be values ideal for the production of our universe with our life.  A small change in any of them would be enough to complete disallow life to have developed.  As an aside, these values are not adjusted or changed over time to accommodate other settings, like a feedback loop.  They were set at the time of the Big Bang, before any interactions were made. They are truly "constant."

The probability of those constants being set to just exactly the values they are that support our universe with our life on it is on the order of 10 raised to 10 raised to the 30th power against.  If that number were written out with each zero the size of a micron, the universe would have a hard time holding just the number.

An amusing response by atheist scientists is to postulate a myriad of other universes, inaccessible to us, all of which have different combinations of those constants.  We are just lucky to be in the one that worked.  That postulate has no evidence (remember science needs data) to back it up, but since it is assumed there is no intelligence turning the dials they have to come up with a way to make that infinitesimal possibility more likely.  That's just circular logic. You can't assume there is no God and then come up with a new, unprovable theory that is based on it in order to show there is no God.  These are the lengths they will go to in order to deny the reasonable conclusion.

It is, in my opinion, disingenuous science to say "you have no evidence for God that we can see, yet we will assume a myriad of unseeable, unknowable universes to allow us to not accept a God."

This is merely a snip of ONE of Fr Spitzer's "New Arguments for the Existence of God."

Scary smart indeed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reality II: The Sequel without Equal

The “What is Reality?” post on October 15 dealt with reality in general. Let’s move on to the reality of the soul.
There are different ways we can examine how we are made in the image & likeness of God. God is pure spirit and our souls are pure spirit. God has a will and an intellect as do we. We have the ability to know a thing (with our intellect) and act upon that thing (with our will).
Our will desires Goodness and our intellect desires Truth because we are made for God. The effects of sin weaken the will and dim the intellect, so that we no longer seek what is good or understand what is true. In others words, sin makes us spiritually lazy and stupid.
We either move our will and our intellect toward God or toward “self”. The closer we move toward God the closer our desire for truth and goodness is satisfied. The beatific vision or Heaven is when we are one in union with the source of all truth and all goodness.

An eternal and inescapable state of dissatisfaction and loneliness comes when we have permanently moved our will and intellect toward “self” and away from God; this is Hell.
We must ask ourselves….. What choices am I making each day? Where do I spend my time and money? Where do my idle thoughts go? Am I moving toward God or toward “self”?
A visual will help explain. Click photo below to see your soul!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pro-Life or Social Justice?

I have been struck lately by the perceived dichotomy among Catholics to be either "pro-life" Catholics or "social justice" Catholics.  I believe this comes from the traditional political conservative and liberal extremes.  Hence, conservative Catholics define themselves primarily as pro-life and place social justice in a secondary position "because if you are not alive, all the other rights don't matter."  Liberal Catholics are "social justice" activists because Jesus and a vast array of saints worked for social justice, and therefore place their pro-life views in a secondary position, perhaps because the poor and oppressed are here now and unborn babies aren't..

Catholic teaching, however, embraces both of those positions in a typical "both/and" fashion, so politically, we are forced to choose a majority party and swallow the wrongs of that party in order to achieve the rights.  This has the unfortunate (planned?) effect of splitting Catholics into separate, opposing camps.

Denying the right to life does indeed undermine the US Declaration of Independence's affirmation of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which places Life in the primary position.  All other rights are useless if your life can be taken away by law.  Therefore the inherent right to life is foundational.  By any definition, however, social justice assumes the right to life.  Social justice activists would never assert that the lives of the poor and oppressed should not be protected!  Looked at that way, protecting life can be seen as a fight for the equality of all, born and unborn, therefore it is also social justice.  The dichotomy, then, is a false one and all Catholics should embrace both pro-life and social justice teachings and, better, fight for the rights of all people!

When will the irrationality of professing equality for all, while protecting some but not others, end?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What is Reality?

Modern-day Catholic Theologian, Frank Sheed, wrote with crystal clarity and what I would call devastating logic. I’ve read three of his books so far and I hope to read them all one day. The one that stands out for me the most is Theology and Sanity; probably the best book I’ve ever read.
The premise for the title is that reality consists of two things; the physical and the spiritual. If you don’t understand both, you don’t understand reality. Not understanding reality is called insanity.

I put together a visual representation of some of the concepts he describes in his books.
Please click here to see reality.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What's this blog about?

Men tend to lead with logic. It is hoped that insights about faith and reason in this blog will assist anyone on the journey from the head to the heart.
These thoughts will set the tone nicely................

"Growth in faith is growth in the right perception of all reality."
Thomas Keating

"Faith devoid of reason becomes blind superstition. Reason devoid of faith becomes self-absorption with a detachment from reality."
George Weigel

"Faith and reason are the two wings that elevate the soul of man to the knowledge and love of God."
Pope John Paul II