Posts tagged God
Posts tagged God
I often say that God is limitless, and thus undefinable, and that is why philosophers have so much trouble when they talk about Him. You can’t prove or disprove His existence because you cannot even define Him. You can’t actually say anything meaningful about Him.
But to say that He is limitless and undefinable is to limit and define Him.
Christianity solves this neatly. Of course He transcends even undefinability. He can be defined, and He did take on limits, in the Incarnation. He is somehow fully present in what appears to be a small piece of bread, and thus He defeats even our most noble attempt to understand Him with only our intellect.
So, I must reevaluate my earlier assumptions. Given that He can be defined, and thus can be understood in some way, can His divinity be proven or disproven? I don’t think so, because in what at first seems like a paradox but is actually quite necessary, His infinity appears to depend on His being limited, and vice versa.
Hey, so this is a little game called Epicurus’s paradox. It is easily derailed by two methods. The first is to point out the obvious, which is that the point of this thought game is to disprove God. Then we show how without God, this paradox doesn’t even make sense. All you have to do is ask him, “How do you know evil exists?” or “What is evil?” The funny thing is, without allowing God, you can’t prove evil exists. Let’s say he says murder is evil. He wouldn’t be able to give a proof for why murder is evil; at best he can only say he doesn’t like murder. Therefore, Epicurus here makes the fatal mistake of being forced to assume the existence of that which he wishes to disprove.
But let’s even allow the existence of evil. Then what I’m going to attack is the idea that an omnipotent and benevolent God would want to prevent evil. If you take away evil, you can’t have virtue. You can’t be brave, if you don’t have the opportunity to be a coward. You can’t be generous unless you have the opportunity to be stingy. And so you see that these virtues and vices come in pairs, so that for each vice, there is a virtue to counteract it. So it is with all virtues and vices (Evils.) Therefore, virtue could not exist were it not for the allowance of the free will to do evil. A benevolent God who desires the propogation of virtue, must therefore allow vice or evil to exist, for without them, virtue could not exist either.
Does that work for you?
I say things to this effect a lot. Although an ideas such as “society forbids it, so it is wrong” is under normal circumstances a perfectly fine basis for a moral code, if the issue is examined in light of objective reason, insofar as objectivity is possible, if becomes uncomfortably clear that God is the only possible basis for any sort of universal, rational morality.
So do I! In fact, I find it hard to believe that anyone could be “sent” to Hell at all.
My understanding is that Hell is not so much a place as a state of final and permanent self-exclusion from God’s love. Check out the Catechism (1033) for the exact teaching of the Church. Basically, if we do not love God perfectly (tall order, I know), we cannot enter into the perfect state of communion with Him that is Heaven. Which is why I, for one, am quite thankful for Purgatory.
I dug into the Catechism for this one, my friend, and I could find nothing that directly answered your question. However, I think it is safe to say that they do not, in the sense that we have souls with free will, the capacity to choose between good and evil.
Here’s some highlights of what the Catechism does say: “Animals are God’s creatures. He surrounds them with His providential care. By their mere existence they bless Him and give Him glory. Thus men owe them kindness…God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom He created in His own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing…It is contrary to human dignity (emphasis mine) to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly…One can love animals, one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons. (CCC 2416-2418)
Hail and thunder knock my heart cold from the sky
Mary seems so far away.
full of deceit and empty of
grace, I go to the place
blessed by those whose lives are pure
art, like a Caravaggio, like a pieta.
amongst us, we broken
women and men. why hath thou
is the fruit of our sins so sweet?
of thy desires I know nothing.
womb to tomb we are nothing but cells and dirt!
Holy - words like butterflies from the sky
Mary, I have no other hope. what is the
Mother of our depravity?
God. I cover my face. I try and fail to
pray. I am the damned and
for us damned there is no rest,
sinners until the earth rises in wrath.
now and then I am reminded that
at the hour of judgement,
of our glory, the last enemy destroyed is
Is what you’re living for worth dying for?
“I just don’t understand how you can be against allowing a woman to make her own choice in regard to her body. No one should be able to tell her what she can or can’t do: not your church, not the government, not anyone. You’ve never been in that situation so you have no say in it. Is it because you want to punish the woman for having sex without the intention of creating life?” -Anonymous
First off, sorry for the delay. I wanted to consider your points for at least a day before I replied. Since I tend to ramble, I will answer each of your questions in separate posts, from starting from the last and proceeding backwards. This should make it a bit easier to tolerate my somewhat smug and condescending writing style. I’m sorry, I spent so much time cultivating it that now I couldn’t sound humble if I tried.
So, to answer part of your question:
No, I do not want to punish anyone for anything. Who says a child is punishment? Do you consider yourself a punishment? I don’t consider myself a punishment, I consider myself a gift to my parents and to everyone else, albeit not a very good one at times. I am a gift because my parents, although they did some things that they hoped would bring a child about, had no guarantee that it would happen. They certainly didn’t have any guarantee that I, TMMKC, would be the guy that popped out! I hope you consider yourself a gift as well, because you, like everyone else, have a lot to offer the world. You can laugh, you can love, and you can create. You, my friend, are no punishment, and neither is a child.
In cases where the child is born out of wedlock, this is doubly true. Consider the following: Children are gifts from God. Gifts are generally only given when the recipient deserves it. Now, if we take marriage as the proper context for sex (perhaps this is a subject that deserves a post of its own-for brevity I won’t discuss it here), then it follows that the gift of a child is not something that is “deserved” outside of marriage. And yet, when a child is conceived out of wedlock, God gives us a gift even though we don’t deserve it.
It’s like if I tried to sneak out to joyride in my mom’s car, only to find my mom standing in the garage, waiting for me. Just as I start to cower before her wrath, mommy dearest hands me the keys and tells me to watch out for cops. Having an abortion is like if I took the key from her hand, keyed the side of the car and went back to bed.
Two final thoughts:
1) I am coming at this from a faith based perspective. Not being an atheist, I doubt I could make a compelling case for Life without God. However, there are people who can. http://www.godlessprolifers.org/library/jones1.html
From what I gather his case centers more on self responsibility, which seems to agree that a baby is indeed a punishment. Not my cup of tea at all, but if that’ll save the kid, I’ll take it.
“All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady.” - J.R.R. Tolkien
Could LOTR have a Marian message? http://consecration.com/default.aspx?id=45
Fr. Larry Richards (via catholicknight)
Man, I’m trying. Failing pretty hard most of the time, but I’m trying.