So it finally happened this past week! I was called an 'idiot' for being Christian aaaand 'if I would open my eyes to the great scientists and thinkers' of today's modern era, I would see that God doesn't exist, it was all just a fancy made up story! Weeell, all I can say is WOW!!!!!!! Where do I begin? A couple of weeks ago I was in the whore of Babylon by a well meaning evangelical who sincerely thought I over-intellectualized my Faith, and now,..according to this one person, I happen to be a well meaning 'idiot' for believing in God! Talk about extremes! 'Can you demonstrate in a simple way,..the rationality of God?' Here goes,..
So okay kiddies,..one day, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away,.(Earth) there was this dude named 'Thales' who came from Miletus(Turkey..). He sat up and said to himself,..what caused me? hmmm,..after speculation he concluded, 'Water!' Up to bat next and from the same part of town was another guy named Anaximander, this dude was taught by that Thales guy, but he disagreed that water was the cause of all things, because well,.water itself must be caused so he(Anaximander,..don't wanna lose you now,..) proposed the idea that everything stems from a 'boundless infinite.' Now Anaximander had his own pupils, who's names were Anaximenes and another super ultra cool guy named named 'Pythagoras.' (At this point there eyes lite up because that name sounds kinda mathematical..) Anaximenes, differed from his teacher again and concluded that 'air' is the cause of everything! These guys are called the pre-socratics and they were searching for the 'Arche' or material cause of everything, because, well simply put, the greeks couldn't put up with babylonian mythology anymore, the idea that its raining so the 'gods' must be crying didn't fly..Now of course there were others, Heracletes, Herodotus and Xenophanes to name a few.. Okay kiddies, time to go for a peepee break!
So now that these people had tried to use their brains to figure out just what the hell caused us, there came this guy, and we can call him the Vincent K. McMahon of Philosophy! His name was Socrates! This dude was an Athenian and is largely credited as the father of western philosophy! The thing is, he didn't write anything but instead relied on his star pupil Plato,..(you heard of him? good job!) to write his thoughts down. The Socratic dialogue or 'conversation was born whereby an athenian stranger would ask, object and inquire about life, the pursuit of happiness and justice and virtue! It was sooo cool because well, all the objections were laid out, and Socrates would answer them! His desire for a just society though, led him into what we call today Socratic paradoxes, namely that no one desires or does 'evil' willingly yet we are almost pre programmed to do so! (At this point flashbulbs should be going off,..'original sin' anybody?) The end of life saw him accused by his society of corrupting the youth and blasphemy by introducing false 'gods.' Socrates did not fear death, and instead drank the elixir of poison after delivering his apology.
Plato. The man,..whooo! If Socrates is the Vince McMahon, then Plato is the Hulk Hogan of western thought! Plato's relationship to Socrates was that he was Socrates's student and it is alleged, one of the youths that Socrates corrupted. He was a wrestler(woohoo) and proposed theories on Mathematics, ethics, logic as well as superb metaphysics. Plato's philosophy proposed a 'world of universals' or 'forms.' He argued that there must exist two worlds, one of 'form' so that we, being rational thinkers(unlike a dog or a cat) already have an understanding of 'things' as they are in perception. To see a chair, I already have an understanding of 'chairness' or 'sitting' from the world of 'forms.' (Uh oh,..remember these Greeks didn't have the Revelation of God yet, but already our minds are being 'lifted up shall we say?) Plato believed that it was not rational to not believe in an immortal soul, because of the whole idea of the body as we see it. A great insight into his thought process, is the 'Cave,' whereby he illustrates man's prison inside the cave only seeing what perception allows him to but the, once he gets outside,..the real world, 'forms' become truly present!!! The 'sun' representing the ideal of the 'good.' Okay,..peepee break number two!,..
Now on to the next dude,..Hey all you tired atheists, have you figured it out yet, that in fact it actually takes more 'faith' to be an atheist than to have a belief in Go--(oops, not there yet,..) a 'higher life power force, Vector sigma, the Matrix,..whatever you want to call 'it.' Now as much as Plato concerned himself with the world of 'forms' or 'ideas' in the end he was a dualist,..remember the cave analogy, well, he also applied it to the human body, that the soul was trapped in it, thus the body was a 'prison.' Okay, enough about that Plato guy,..let's turn our attention to his student,..Aristototle!!!!!!! (Glass breaks,..hit the music,..) Aristotle, (The Stone Cold Steve Austin of Philosophy) rejected his master's universe of ideas, and instead declared that all truth can be perceptively grasped in the now, and 'things' are the in themselves there own reason for existing! Four elements made up everything and they were earth, water, fire and wind! (The fifth one he proposed was Aether, which he claimed that the stars were made up of,..and thus incorruptible,..Hey! No one ever said he was perfect right?) He, obeserved that these earthly elements were corruptible and thus subject to 'change' sooooo,.he declared 'mobile being' as divisible by substance and accident, matter and form, essence and exostance and finally potential and actual! Ex,..I,.Marco am going to a big room. "I' the substance,.(Me) and in potential (going) to a big (accidental) room, (actual,..but always in potential,..). So,..Plato concerned himself with the heav--(oops,..'other world',..) and Aristototle concerned himself with temperal things. Now if everything is cause and effect,..this can't go on forever, right? He proposed 55 levels each attracted to the other and ultimately a final/first cause as the immobile motor! What was that??? Logic, Thought, les Pensees! Boooyaaaa!! (is this all making a little sense to you??) Not for anything,..but the Gospel of Saint John and the 'LOGOS' should be firing off in your head right about,.......NOW!
Now, throughout salvation history, God decides to reveal Himself to Moses on the mountain,..What is His name? 'I AM WHO AM' Perfect pure Act, Pure being, no Potential,..this puzzle should be comin' together for ya,..right? So now, Jesus comes and completely reveals God to man, reconciling ourselves to Him,..remember that predetermined 'original sin' nugget from earlier? There were other thinkers along the way, including Epicurus, Augustine and the reigning heavyweight champion, St Thomas Aquinas! His Summa Theoligica, although never finished, perfectly synthesized thought, creating the Catholic school of thinking known as Aristotelico-Thomist. Truth is Truth! Plain and simple, whether you get there by Faith or by reason, we are all going to the same beginning.
I realize that this blog post was superficial and condescending, but I believe it needed to be done in order to serve a purpose. St Paul cites,.(Romans 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,)...I think every human being on the planet longs for God,..whether they know it or not. Again, I didn't expand on the idea, of souls being vegetative, sensitive or rational but I believe the Atheist really has no grounding whatsoever. As far as his great scientists go,..Hawking, Dawkins,..they all propose theories rooted in subjectivist thinking! A base philosophical precept states that 'something must come from something, something cannot come from nothing.' The product of the enlightenment simply divorced reason from Faith,..and is a direct result of the protestant revolt,..(sorry prots, but it is the Truth!) To the dude who called me an idiot,..remember as Catholics we are the ones responsible for the very idea of the university,..I'm not exactly Kirk Cameron trying to proove God using the banana, as well meaning as he is,..
God Bless,..sorry,.may the 'force' be with you.