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– Theoretically salvation is accessible to people who lack the intellectual capacity for logic. After all, Christ did die for ALL men.(*) So if you have faith and that’s all you have, fine – go on about being your bad self. Just don’t break any civil laws and don’t hurt anyone and we’ll be cool. That said, don’t pretend you have logic and history on your side, because you don’t.
– And don’t pretend you’re being attacked and persecuted when someone invites you to logic and you fail miserably.
– If you don’t know how to logic, methinks you ought to think twice before trumpeting about the superiority of your education.
– I know it’s scary when someone challenges the foundation of what you think and believe, but you really ought to be able to answer and explain how and why you believe what you do. Even if that answer is, “Let me get back to you – I read up on all this once upon a time and it’s not fresh in my mind anymore.”
– Obviously you don’t owe me or anyone else anything, but if you issue a challenge like “prove me wrong” and then someone does just that, well then you have some work to do. Work that involves something other than “Well I wasn’t talking to YOU anyway.”
(*) Despite what the new Eucharistic prayer says effective 11/27/11. I refuse to believe that English-speaking Catholics all converted to Calvinism.
Q: Da fuq? It almost seems as if you’re directing this at someone specific, but I see no names or links or anything – why is that?
A: Why yes, this was inspired by someone specific! How very perceptive. Unfortunately, as you may have picked up, this person fails at logic, so I can guarantee you all of the above will be completely lost on them. And they do seem like a sweet kid, so I don’t really want to be mean and hit them in the face with it. I’ll just vent here and leave it be.
Q: You COMPLETELY lost me when you started making obscure references to Catholic liturgical practices. I don’t even know what to ask because that was confusing as hell.
A: My apologies – I forget sometimes that not everyone can read my mind. The long and short of it is that back in November 2011 (if memory serves), the Catholic Church came out with a new English translation of the Mass. I hated it then and I still hate it now; it has some real issues. I’m actually working on a post that goes into more detail; if you happen to catch that one hopefully you will see what I mean.
Q: How can logic POSSIBLY lead someone to Catholicism? Atheism is the one that has logic on lock-down; it’s a known fact.
A: Known fact, eh? See my post “Sexism is ugly” for clarification on how I feel about “known facts.”
That aside, this is a great question, and it’s really too big to fully answer here. Besides, other people have done a much better job than I could possibly hope to do. Like this guy, or this guy or this guy (if you prefer your people to be alive), or many, many others I won’t link to. Google “Catholic apologetics” if you really want to get lost.
Q: But religion is anti-science! It’s a known fa … errr … established history.
A: The idea that the universe is a rational, orderly place that can be explored and discovered through logic and scientific experimentation actually came from the Catholic Church. The idea is that if it is the nature of God to be infinite order, then those portions of His creation that do not have free will must also be orderly. Such a framework not only allows for but encourages science as a way to better understand God’s creation. For starters – the guy who proposed a helocentric model of the solar system was a devout Catholic, the father of modern genetics was a friar, and the guy who proposed the Big Bang Theory (the science, not the TV show) was a Jesuit priest.
Q: We’re getting off track.
A: Agreed. Here’s where I was going with this –
At any given point, keep in mind the following –
– What do I know?
– How do I know it?
– What is the most likely explanation?
– What merit is there (if any) to dissenting thoughts?
That last question is by far the trickiest. There has always been an issue with false / misleading information and the internet has done a great job at giving EVERYTHING a wider audience, both the good and bad. But the good news is that, like I said, the good stuff has a greater audience, too!
Here’s my suggestion: do your best to have a good command of what you believe and generally why you believe what you do. I’m talking the very VERY foundational things. Do you believe in God? Why? Do you subscribe to a particular religion? Why? Where does authority for doctrine and discipline come from? How do you know?
If you have a grasp of WHY you believe these foundational ideas, you are better able to engage or fact-check yourself and others when someone challenges you. Who knows – you might learn something. Maybe you were wrong about some things. At the very least you will stretch your brain and learn how to logic better, which is a very important life skill.