Evangelization with Atheistsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I have come to the point where if Catholicism is wrong, all of Christianity must be. It's not a question to me what the true Christian Church is. It's almost easily defended and supported for anyone who will just listen and sincerely want to learn.
But what I do find myself questioning is Christianity, and God. I find tons of Athiesm on the internet, and they have very compelling arguements. Are you guys here hiding from them, here? Do you debate athiests on other forums?
Aren't they more important to defend from? How should one go about defending the faith from athiests?
I don't think enough evangelization is focused towards Athiesm, New Age, and other religions enough.
-- Jacob R. (email@example.com), March 18, 2004
I am sorry, but for the last 4 years I hav engaged in debates with Atheiss, and their arguments where never all that compelling.
Their arguments are usually argument of Oautrage over an "Attrocity", or contradiction that usually explains itsself if you read the context it was written in, or else argumets of appeal to emotion, or an appeal to arrogance and pride.
None of them are really "Logical." Most Internet Athests, such as Internet Infidels, Skeptics Annotated Bible, and Heathens online, really do nothignb more than regurgetate the same tired old claims that have alreayd been refuted time and time again.
Such as the supposed contradiction between Faith ad Works. One passageof Scripture said faith alone, another said faith without works is dead.
It is universall agreed upon, except by radical Fringe groups liek CHick Publications, that one cannot exist wihtout the other. In psycologocal terms, one cannot be a revcovered alcaholic and still spend night after night bellying up tt hebar. if you have geniune faith, yur actiosn will show it. Itspretty simple, so simpley in fact most peopel get it. what our Atheist freind seem to want ot do is nitpick over the Spacific choice of words used.
Likewise, another argument is " I can be just as Moral without "god" , and only weakwilled people use religion as a crutch." Well, guess what. Most of the world actually hates us, and its a whole lkot harder to live a chaste, somber, disiplined life the way God wills it tht to surrender and follwo the morally relative world. Further, most Internet Atheists I have ever met, or for that matter offline ones, have been more rude and conniving than Theostss.
Most Internet Atheists are themselves ex Chtistains, and arent realy Atheistss so much as Antyi-Christain Bigots, who seek actively t trear into the Christain Faith. Very little, if any, of the websties you go to will tear into the "Nonsence of Buddhism" or the "Ridiculous nature of Hinduism."
Granted, they claim that this is because Christainity is so prevailent in our society, but most ae single mindedly attatcjed to attacking the Hly Institution of the Church and its teachings.
it is apparent form their arguments that they arent reasonable peopel stating their case, they are, in fact, angry, hurt people who usually have some alterior motive for lashing out. Namely that they had been hurt by their Chruch, or they hav doen somehtign their Churhc doesnt condone, or wish to justify ( Rationalise0 their own lifestyle by attackign an oppsoition to it. Most of them are basiclaly attakcig the church to justify their own way of life. Or to lash out because a Home Hcurhc hurt yhem.
I have yet to see a "Compelling" Argument form Atheism that was made by an Internet Atheist.
Most real atheists, the oens who just flat out dont beleive God exists, dont waste time debating it.Only those who seek to destroy the Faith do.
-- ZAROVE (ZAROFF3@JUNO.COM), March 18, 2004.
perhaps it sounds like you need a counter to some of these 'compelling' arguements. Why dont you post a few of these arguements here and we can send you some answers.
Second, I interact with atheists all the time. this is a sanctuary, not a hideout. there is nothing i have to hide from, i have always said, and will continue to say, that atheism is an ignorant and prideful tradition
-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), March 18, 2004.
How can you debate an atheist? Debate requires positive argument based on evidence. Evidence is drawn from experience, either personal experience or the experience of others. There is no such thing as evidence of non- existence because there is no such thing as experience of non-existence. Not to have seen or experienced something cannot be offered as evidence of its non-existence, and atheists have nothing else to offer. Therefore there is no such thing as valid pro-atheistic debate. Therefore it's an utter waste of time to go around in circles with them in what they may call a "debate", but which actually amounts to nothing more than their endless reiteration of their unsupported and unsupportable position.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), March 18, 2004.
We also debate them on moral, ethical, and religipus issues in which they try t disprove. More of an apologetics argument than anyhting.
Their arguments are attacks on us, not proof pf atheism. Thei tend to think if Chrisyainity falls, Atheism wins by default.
-- ZAROVE (ZAROFF3@JUNO.COM), March 18, 2004.
If yo want, all the "Compellin" arguments have been refuted by myslf and others. But before you post new ones, try here.
It has answered most,a dn I owudl realy rather keep this board clean of the Atheist rguments if possible. For your benefit I will answer any queatsion you post, and I am sure others will too, but for now, try here.
-- ZAROVE (ZAROFF3@JUNO.COM), March 18, 2004.
You may also try reading the works of CS Lewis and GK Chesterton, who are great minds that reasoned themselves to Christianity.
-- Andy (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 18, 2004.
Jacob R. said: I have come to the point where if Catholicism is wrong, all of Christianity must be. I have too Jacob (to change the direction of the thread slightly). That's why I want to become Catholic. :) I know that Christianity is true because of Christ's work in my life. CS Lewis gave a good argument about Jesus. Due to his claims of being God, he must be one of these three: Lord,
That rules out at least all religions that claim he was just a "good man" or a mere "prophet".
-- Emily (email@example.com), March 18, 2004.
One irony of the atheists is they have to have faith. They have to have faith in strict evolution. They have to believe that primordial ooze somehow became the building blocks of life. They have to believe that these simple proteins somehow morphed into cellular structures then organisms. That is some STRONG faith IMO.
When you see human beings with the ability to travel in space, create a DVD player or perform organ transplants you just have to question evolution. Where did all this intellectual capacity come from. Its not like we need this magnitude of brain power to get a niche in the food chain.
I also notice the huge discrepency between mankind and the next closest genetic match...the ape. We are worlds apart from them. Where are the missing links in between? The animal kingdom has many species that are very very similar to others but man is such an anomoly.
God's existence answers all these questions, science can't.
-- David F (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 2004.
Accepting biological evolution has nothing to do with being an atheist. Believing that evolution, or any other natural process, came into existence by pure blind chance, without the direction of a Designer/Creator, is atheistic. But simply accepting the scientific evidence of natural processes such as evolution is not.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), March 20, 2004.
Well , show me proof of existence , can show a picture ??
Salut & Cheers from a NON BELIEVER:
-- Laurent LUG (.@...), March 20, 2004.
Paul, You are right that evolution can be accepted by catholics. The atheist has to accept it in the context of being just a random event with no guidance from a Creator. Thats tough to swallow.
Look in the mirror. Then go outside on a clear night and look at the stars. There is your proof.
-- David F (email@example.com), March 20, 2004.
Laurent and others,
I want to tell you about this last week to illustrate something.
I am a surgeon. This week I did three knee replacement operations and on the second post-op day one of my patients died suddenly. He was a very wonderful former WWII POW. He was extremely proud and it turned out he could have had surgery years ago but he suffered in silence rather than ask for the care he had earned. I was absolutely devastated. I cried over his body. I cried with his wife. I cried with his best friend.
The next day, I was in the hospital elevator and a older nurse that I see all the time grabbed my hand and told me "Doc your patients sure love you." She then got out of the elevator at the next floor and said "God Bless you". This nurse has said "hi", "nice day" etc but never has said anything like this. She also wasn't aware of my patient's death or my grief as she works in a clinic area doing pre- op evaluations.
Next, I went down to clinic to see patients. In the middle of clinic, I was told I had a visitor twice. Both times it was an old patient that I had done surgery on who wanted to say that they had gotten on with their life and that they just wanted to thank me and to say "God bless you". I have gotten cards and gifts from many patients but I have never had a patient show up unannounced to "bless" me.
I have close relationships with many patients and with the hospital staff but this sequence of events was very very unusual and I dare say miraculous.
God is present in our lives. I have no doubt. Too many things have occured in my life to deny Him. I dare say that God cares enough about you Laurent to bring and keep you in this forum. Let Him into your life. You won't be sorry.
-- David F (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 20, 2004.
You are exactly right about atheists having faith. You said:
"(Atheists) have to believe that primordial ooze somehow became the building blocks of life"
I would take it a step further: Where would the primordial ooze have come from? If the earth was created from a big bang and matter happened to form the earth, where did the matter come from in the first place? Atheists can't say, they just accept that it was there. They can accept that the universe was created by some unseen, unproveable event, but they can't accept that an unseen (to them) God can create life as we know it.
-- Brian Crane (email@example.com), March 20, 2004.
Actually from the Agnostic point of view (which I no longer hold) The Atheist does have faith: he makes statements about the universe that he can not prove any more than a religions person can prove.
What has been on the Atheist side is the advance of science. While this is a false image, it is an attractive one. The philosophy of those that believe in science (as opposed to most that work it) is that science will ultimately know everything worth knowing. This is wrong -- it seems the more we know the more we know that we don't know -- like an expanding balloon of knowledge just gets its surface bigger and interfaces more with what is not known. As the writer of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintaince asked why is it that the greatest change in theory and underlying systems comes in the very places where we have looked hardest? Is this not a fundamental problem that the total underlying ideas may be unknowable?
As per the degeneration of this discussion into (to put it at the worst I have heard it) Cretinism Vs Evil-ultion (please take that as humor): I see evidence in the stars and in the rocks that the universe is much older than 10K years or even 1M years. I would think that a universe that said one thing and was another (the creationist org of San Diego has high powered scientist that will tell you of the strange things that must have happened to make this universe be less than 10K old) would be a lie. If the universe contains lies, and was created, then what does that say of the creator? And why should we accept anything that would mark the beginning and extent of creation if the physical world (stars/rocks/biology/etc) would contain lies? Should we consider that the whole thing could have been created a second ago, with all evidence to the contrary? This discussion, the incarnation, and all?? But that would be a creation that would lead its created beings down the path of lies. I reject a creation of lies. I have chosen the hard middle path for my self -- the rejection of the Creationists and their lying universe, and the rejection of sterile science and its lack of God, and an affirmation of a God driven Universe where God usually does not mess up his artwork, but takes the long slow approach.
Well others are entitled to their opinions, and I will be happy that they are pleased to hold them.
-- Sean Cleary (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 23, 2004.
Thanks for sharing that, Dave.
In Christ, -bill
-- Bill Nelson (email@example.com), March 23, 2004.
Sean, I tend to agree, HOWEVER...the Universe may not be lying, it may be how we perceive it. Remember, it was once evident tyhatt he Earth was the centre of the Universe, and any scientist woudl tell you that...
But I tend to realy not care of God created us through evolution, throuygh specual creation, or throyh soem other yet-unknown proccess.
That relaly sint the main poiunt. If God really thought we neededall those details, he wodl have had Moses write a longer account of creation.
-- ZAROVE (ZAROFF3@JUNO.CIM), March 23, 2004.
Sean, I just wanted to clarify something. The Church is very clear that science reveals the truth and cannot conflict with scripture ever. Evolution can be accepted without a threat to the Church. I for one, believe the world is older that 10,000 years as I believe in carbon dating. I understand that man may have evolved from apes although I don't know if we have rock solid proof of that through the fossil record.
Catholic.com shows the Church stance on this issue:
Creation and Genesis
Fundamentalists often make it a test of Christian orthodoxy to believe that the world was created in six 24-hour days and that no other interpretations of Genesis 1 are possible. They claim that until recently this view of Genesis was the only acceptable one— indeed, the only one there was.
The writings of the Fathers, who were much closer than we are in time and culture to the original audience of Genesis, show that this was not the case. There was wide variation of opinion on how long creation took. Some said only a few days; others argued for a much longer, indefinite period. Those who took the latter view appealed to the fact "that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Pet. 3:8; cf. Ps. 90:4), that light was created on the first day, but the sun was not created till the fourth day (Gen. 1:3, 16), and that Adam was told he would die the same "day" as he ate of the tree, yet he lived to be 930 years old (Gen. 2:17, 5:5).
Catholics are at liberty to believe that creation took a few days or a much longer period, according to how they see the evidence, and subject to any future judgment of the Church (Pius XII’s 1950 encyclical Humani Generis 36–37). They need not be hostile to modern cosmology. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "[M]any scientific studies . . . have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life forms, and the appearance of man. These studies invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator" (CCC 283). Still, science has its limits (CCC 284, 2293–4).
-- David F (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 23, 2004.
It's pretty egocentric to think that the eternal Godhead based the timing of the creation of the entire cosmos on a concept (hours) which would be invented by the human inhabitants of Earth millions of years later. It is even more egocentric to think that God would be limited by the human concept of a 24-hour day - a period of time that is meaningless anywhere in the cosmos except on this little planet where we live. A day is not 24 hours on any other planet we know of, and if you are not on the surface of a planet there is no such thing as days or nights, since a day is simply the period of revolution of a planet.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), March 23, 2004.
"But I tend to really not care of God created us through evolution, through special creation, or through some other yet-unknown process.
That really isnt the main point. If God really thought we needed all those details, he would have had Moses write a longer account of creation”
Wonderful, love It.
/humor: Moses goes up the mountain, God tells him everything, Moses comes down. He really wants to get it all down. And Aaron shows him the writing tools and the writhing surface: 20 feet of sheepskin. Moses goes into a well I can summarize, keeps looking at the space, keeps re-sumarizing, keeps looking at the space kind-of shocky, keeps trying to sumarize...., and finally decides to use medifor for the science, and detail out the important stuff. /humor off
I have strongly believed that using theology for the basis of science or using science for the basis of theology are both poor choices, and ones that historically have lead to error.
-- Sean Cleary (email@example.com), March 24, 2004.
One of the things about atheism is that it often considers itself to be the least problematic of propositions; "natural" in the sense that it seems strange to affirm the existence of the unseen or the unverifiable.
But if atheists were to look closer at their origins, they would come to learn that it is religion, and not atheism at all, that is natural to the human condition; in fact, only a single very narrow (and not at all unproblematic) 19th century philosophical trend is responsible for widespread atheism in the west.
Positivism or neo-positivism--the belief that propositions about the unseen or the unseeable are unintelligible--is probably the only "philosophy" that has been so nearly universally refuted by the philosophical community. Bertrand Russel was the last great philosophical atheist in the west; since him, rational atheism has become extinct, at the hands of Wittgenstein in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, and Heidegger in the Continental. (There are more powerful defenders of religion in other philosophers, but W. and H. are the biggest names right now in contemporary philosophy).
-- anon (ymous@God.bless), March 24, 2004.
Since you mention Bertrand Russel. . .I use his essay, 'Why I am not a Christian' to keep people in the Church. It is great spiritual reading. I give it to folks and say, 'this is it, this is the best that modern philosophy could do.' I know that others treat it the same way (the great Peter Kreeft for one).
I would wager that it has made more Christians than it has taken away.
-- Dan Garon (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 24, 2004.
The only stance that can not easily be attacked is the stance that doubts everything. But this can be attacked as futile wishy washy ness. But logically... hard to do. There is a measure of doubt in most of us.
and Yes, I am beyond that stance. Just looking back.
-- Sean Cleary (email@example.com), March 25, 2004.
"There must be a God because nothing happens unless someone intelligent ultimately makes it happen. When sceintists study how the world developed, they come to a point where they have to ask, "Who started it all?"
If you had never heard of computers before, and someone showed you one (and explained how it worked, demonstrated some of the many intricate problems it could solve) and then showed you a detailed diagram of its inner workings, would you conclude that no one had designed it, or that it just happened to come together by chance? If so, you would be very unreasonable in your conclusions.
By the same token, what sort of conclusion might you reach about the origin of the human body, if someone pointed out to you its vast complexity and at the same time demonstrated the harmonious working of its parts? Could you reasonably conclude that nothing intelligent had designed and created it?
Now for the sake of argument, what if you insisted that God did not exist; how would you then explain the vast complexity and harmonious workings of the human being?" (pgs. 19-21; The Apostolate's Family Catechism Volume 1 by Reverend Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D)
-- Sonya (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2004.
the debate with evolution is no longer whether or not God exists, nor even whether or not it occured. There is more evidence for the fact that evolution occured than there is to support the silly idea that the earth rotates around the sun.
The debate is: could God have CHOSEN to use evolution as a means of creation? the answer is YES!!! God can do whatever he wants. I suppose, often, that creationists would even tell God that He was wrong if He Himself were to tell them that He created the world through guided evolution.
-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), March 31, 2004.
In Genesis, we know that God made man by making his body from the dust from the earth, and by breathing into him an immortal soul. He made man dominion over every creature which moves on the earth from Genesis 1:26.
Frome Genesis 3:19, we know that man has a body made from materials from the earth.
If man has dominion over apes and an immortal soul (as opposed to an ape's, which goes out of existence as soon as it dies), it would be hard for me to see that I came from something that I have dominion over and from something that has a different soul than me. I would see more easily if we came from angels whose soul is also immortal. It would make more sense to me. Please don't be upset with me for this though, because I was only trying to let you know what I see about this subject.
God bless you.
-- Sonya (email@example.com), March 31, 2004.
here would be the scientific (christian) response to your concerns:
In Genesis, we know that God made man by making his body from the dust from the earth, and by breathing into him an immortal soul.
more to come on the from dust part... and yes, God does breath an immortal soul into man. Nobody is arguing that the soul is bunk, or that God doesnt exist. The arguement is that evolution is a valid theory as to the creation of man by God.
He made man dominion over every creature which moves on the earth from Genesis 1:26.
Yep, God EVOLVED man into the creature with dominion over all others on earth (by means of us becoming the fitest creature).
Frome Genesis 3:19, we know that man has a body made from materials from the earth.
adenine, cytosine, guanine, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen. All these things and more that make up the human body are common place on the earth in all levels. evolution of these particles (especially evolution controlled by a creator) could definately lead to life on earth as it is today.
If man has dominion over apes and an immortal soul (as opposed to an ape's, which goes out of existence as soon as it dies), it would be hard for me to see that I came from something that I have dominion over and from something that has a different soul than me.
first, whoever said that ape man would have a soul? it would be "prior to finished product man." Finished product man would be adam. Where is evolution today? skeptics ask... its happening everywhere we look. Evolution has been occuring on a predominantly mental level, although small physical changes have occured. Man has (physically) been the most economical and superior design for this planet for a long time. it is feasable to believe that macroevolution of the species on a physical scale ended at the time adam was born (at which point God infused him with a soul). Since then the evolution has come in a more advanced and refined form with the expansion of the mental capacity of mankind.
I would see more easily if we came from angels whose soul is also immortal. It would make more sense to me.
how in the world would that ever make more sense? let me give you the two ideas side by side:
1) animals exist first. animals are physical/spiritual beings. From these animals, God creates man through the process of macroevolution. At the physical height of this macroevolution, God infuses the first complete man with a soul. man has evolved, through God's will, into the most superior being on this earth.
2) Angels exist. Angels are solely spiritual beings with a physical manifestation. From these completely spiritual beings God strips them of their spiritual powers, changes their essence to include a physical body which will encapsilate their spiritual being, changes their nature, and places them on the earth.
One theory takes beings of the same nature (elements) and has God create them, the other has God changing the nature of one complete entity into an entirely seperate form of being. the second is, no offense intended, much more far fetched than the first.
-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), March 31, 2004.
WHo said Animals don have mmortal souls? Oh thsats right, Thomas Aquinas.
Sorry, I happen to rejec thte theory that an Apes soul ceases o exist at the apes death,a nd mans suil i special and lives forever.
Yes, You said Humans have dominion because hteir soul is immortal and different form an animals. But then, Humans will be given charge of the angels. Their souls are also immortal. Is this not a contradiction? If man only has dominion over anmals becAUSE ANIMALS DO NOT HAVE IMMORTAL SOULS, WHY THEN ARE HUMANS GIVEN TO JUDGE ANGELS, WHEN ANGELS ALSO HAVE iMMORTAL SOULS?
Sorry, that explanation doesnt fly. No verse int he Bibel actually said Animal souls cease to exist at death, that is a Human theory. Not base dons cripture. And, I checked, tis not een base don Canon law. ( Their was even one Pope ho beelived animals have an afterlife, but I cant remember which right now. However the Catholic Church dos not have an official stand on the issue. AAwuainas;'s standard answer notwithstanding, no counsil ever made a decree on this matter. ever. Not trent. Not Vatican 1. Not Vatican 2. Not the counsil of Nicea. None.) tHUS i AM FREE TO BELEIVE AS i LIKE AND STILL HAVE IT IN ACCORD WIHTE cAHTOLIC chURCH. ( wHICH I LIKEWISE LESS RELEVANT FOR ME.)
ANimals have souls. No where in scripture des it say their soul ends at death. I do not belive they do end at death as I beelive God allows them to persist.
-- ZAROVE (ZAROFF3@JUNO.COM), March 31, 2004.
Evolution occurs because of need, not want. Why would man evolve now? What serious need is there to do so? We can make heaters, air conditioning, etc. to mold our environment to us, and do not HAVE to mold ourselves to our environment.
Wait until there is a worldwide plague or a nuclear holocaust. The children of the survivors of this hostile environment would be said to be an "evolved" form of man, able to withstand the stressor placed on them by whatever genetic quirks they possessed. Nope, I'm all for NOT evolving, given that scenario! Well, that is at least until the copious fossil fuels run out...
-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), March 31, 2004.
Whoa, Zarove. I think we need some clarity on some issues here.
We need to define what a soul is. "The soul is defined as the ultimate internal principle by which a body is animated." In Frank Sheeds plain words, "the soul is the life princilple." Every living thing, therefore, has a soul.
Man's soul is different. Look closely at Genesis and we see man is animated, given life, by the breath of God. I am sure you are aware of the relationship between the concepts of 'breath' and 'spirit' in Hebrew. Man is animated by a spirit. What is a spirit? Again, in the simplest words, as spirit is an intellect and a will. The powers of spirit are to know and to love. Man's souls is also a spirit, and man's spirit is also a soul.
Animals are not spirit. They have souls, but not rational souls. This the Church does clearly teach. Now, we come to the heart of the issue. Why is man's soul immortal. Immortality is not an intrinsic aspect of a souls. A soul is a life principle remember, when something dies, that is to clearly say that it no longer has a life principle.
Spirit is immortal. Man's soul is immortal, therefore, as a result of the fact that it is also a spirit.
The Church doesn't clearly define that animal's souls are not immortal because is not necessary. This is a conclusion inescapably drawn from the things we do clearly define. Man's soul is immortal because of the very fact that it is a 'rational' soul. Animal souls are not rational souls, therefore, they lack the necessary component for immortality.
Now, before you go ballistic, that does not absolutely mean your puppy won't be in heaven. It is entirely possible that God could 'choose' to bring your puppy to you. Either by maintianing its soul at death or by remaking it later on. Since animals are good, and we believe in the ressurection of the body, it is quite possible that there will be animals in heaven. And, if God thinks that it would be valuable to you that it be your old puppy instead of some newly animated puppy, that is His business (He is God after all).
-- Dan Garon (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2004.
Animals are "good" only in the sense that everything God created is fundamentally "good". However, animals are not morally "good", or morally "bad", any more than trees and rocks are. They are creatures without moral capacity. If a tiger or a shark attacks and kills a human being, it has not committed murder. It has not sinned. What it has done is not morally wrong. It is morally neutral - or perhaps more accurately, morally irrelevant - as is everything else it does. Therefore, as fond as we may be of those particular animals which we have taken from their natural habitat, tamed, and turned into pets, there is no more reason to expect that they will be in heaven than to expect that trees will be there. Such things are part of our NATURAL environment. Heaven is a supernatural existence. The Word of God tells us that all of physical creation will pass away, that is, cease to exist. That includes galaxies, solar systems, planets, oceans, mountains, animals, and plants. There is no part of physical creation which we can take with us into the spiritual realm, except our own bodies, and even those must be transfigured or "glorified" - in a sense, spiritualized - before they can exist in heaven.
There are many other problems with the idea of animals in heaven. I don't want to belabor the point. One final consideration though - do animals have an INATE right to heaven (in which case every animal that ever existed would necessarily be there - every tyrannosaurus, whale, rat, mosquito, cockroach, tapeworm, etc., etc.)? Or, is it only the animals we have turned into pets which qualify for heaven (in which case their acceptance into heaven would be something WE accomplish ourselves, not God)?
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), March 31, 2004.
Of course, that is what I meant by good.
-- Dan Garon (email@example.com), March 31, 2004.
As for the physical world passing away. . .
While that is true it will be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth. There will be physical realities in heaven. It will be funky and new but it will be there.
-- Dan Garon (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2004.
All right, Paul and Zarove and everyone else too, again I am trying to understand what you wrote here. I haven't had the chance to really respond to this until now. Sorry, if you don't have a chance to see this at all, I'll understand completely. I have been thinking about what was said.
I heard a few times that a Catholic can believe in evolution as long as it is the Christian version and not just evolution, but even so I still listen to other brilliant Catholic teachers on this subject who possibly don't believe in evolution.
Dr. Van Hildebrant, I am sorry if I mispelled that, is one of the persons I was listening to one day about the topic. I didn't get the chance to hear everything she said, but it did sound like she was possibly a Creationist. She told of a story of how she and a student of hers were arguing about evolution. The student was really arrogant about arguing her point, so Dr. Hildebrant, asked her a question. Dr. Hildebrant said something like this: if she were telling her students she had been from a royal blood line (if her ancestors were kings, queens, etc.), then she would feel quite proud of these ancestors; but if the student who was arguing with her would talk about her blood line, wouldn't this student still have to claim that her ancestors were monkeys- and would she still be proud? Well it went something like that.
Also, I was taught, that every living thing had a soul (Paul why wouldn't every living thing have a soul?), but of course in the case of animals; their souls are not immortal. Zarove, in Genesis 1:27, where it says that God created man in His image. This is where 'in God's image' means that He gave us immortal souls. It does not say that on the sixth day He made animals also in His image. So even though animals do have a soul, and like others have said on this forum, the Catechism of the Catholic Church leads one to answer that their souls are not immortal.
Maybe the angel idea is kind of different, but couldn't God somehow get elements of the earth for a body and then somehow create a person with a soul that is taken from an angel? I just thought I'd try, because even though your explainations are very clever, mine are rather simple. I do want to learn from people like so many on this forum though, because I don't have all the answers. I do want to learn the whole truth.
-- Sonya (email@example.com), April 04, 2004.
This is the best explanation of the Church stance on evolution: http://www.catholic.com/library/Adam_Eve_and_Evolution.asp
As a scientist type, I was always taught that evolution was a fact. In truth, it is a hypothesis that is still under investigation. If true, it in no way affects my faith as such events strongly suggest an outside influence (God).
-- David F (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 04, 2004.
Thanks. I have looked at the article. It has a lot of detail. Catholic answers is one of my favorite websites.
-- Sonya (email@example.com), April 05, 2004.