Saturday, 12 May 2012

Reflection on Socialism

Against Socialism

It is not by tinkering with institutions that justice and peace are achieved. As long as sin exists in the heart of man, exploitation and cruelty will persist among men.

The Fallacy of the Opposition and the Credo of the Scientist

One can no more argue that science has disproved the existence of God any more than one can claim that the conjugation of the French verb pouvoir destroys the theory of evolution.

It could be claimed that the great fallacy of our times is that of the opposition between the natural sciences and that of the existence of God. As I have written on this blog recently, one must follow the discipline and methods of a particular branch of knowledge faithfully to arrive at a true solution. If one strays, as often too many will do in these times, the very integrity of the science is not just brought into dispute, in fact it is annihilated.
 The natural sciences can only interact with and cover what can be empirically verified, submitted to close scrutiny and repeated with due care. It deals with matter however great or small and certain forces that act upon it which can be tested. To wish to extend this method to other branches of knowledge is absurd. Dawkins and his cult may wish for this scientific approach to be extended to other areas but by doing this they destroy everything else. Not only does the existence of God cast out of the window, but out goes with it literature, poetry, architecture, beauty.....and morality. It is inconsistent with his principles and protests to claim that a particular incident in the history of the Church is evil, as he is overstepped his self-imposed boundaries.
 It is by respecting the methods of natural science that advances are made. To twist them for a certain personal purpose is to ruin it's purpose and true glory.
 Yet, it must be noted that the scientist must have a creed, a profound belief before he can set to work. He must believe that the phenomena that appears to surround him is in fact real, that it can be interacted with, and when it yields it's secrets, it does so consistently. He has to believe with great commitment that the results are worth having. If he believes that a particular result may fluctuate from a certain second on a Tuesday in California to something else in Toledo, he can not unearth a universal law .If he does not passionately believe in the consistence of the universe, he has no reason to commence the process. The validity of what surrounds us and the fact that it is orderly underpins all that he attempts to do. He must passionately believe this. You can not uncover this reality by working but it must proceed the work itself. The scientist must be dogmatic before he can be open-minded. It must be noted that such a belief is far more in harmony with Christianity than it is with atheism. 
 No, you will never find God in science. He is not there at least according to an orthodox 'description' of His being. If one uncovered God in science, it would be an idol. Many men who happen to be scientists may believe in God with the assistance of their discipline, but only by moving beyond it to consider it's true foundation.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Reflection on Atheism

One may put an entire continent to the sword and an atheist could not with any reason consistent with his principles assert that such an act is evil. It is merely the sudden causing of the disintegration of man who carries these seeds of material corruption within him. The accumulation of brute matter is torn asunder and this may be a hard sight to bear, but such is not to be classed among evil deeds. 
 Much is heard of a life truly worth living today, which involves the forming of natural, emotional, sentimental bonds and experiences. The right thinking man must respond that these are no less fairy tales to comfort man than they accuse us of.
 It is not to be wondered at that the atheist existentialists in the previous century considered the only true question to be proposed and answered was whether to commit suicide or not...


I wish to attempt a short refutation of some of Gervais' points in his article. I can not set out a complete apology of the Christian Faith here as that has been done elsewhere (has our defender of logic and reason bothered to read them?).
 There are many objections that he makes, too many to counter. However, there is a deadly flaw in his arguments. He implicitly accepts, without any proposed reason, that such a thing as morality exists. He claims to be guided by natural science and he says that he is fascinated by beauty, love and the environment. Very well, these things appeal to me too.
It is a law of any branch of knowledge (scientia: knowledge) that one must proceed upon the appropriate lines of inquiry. This truth is often forgotten by many who go astray from their area of expertise and end up making rash pronouncements on issues that they are foreign to. One may arrive at some truth (such as the spherical nature of the earth) by approaching the object through different methods (empirical observation or geometry etc), but the correct line of inquiry must be upheld in each branch of science.
 The category of good or evil can not be accessed by empirical investigation. It is certainly true that good is the aspect of being that is desirable. Being is also the first thing apprehended by our intellect (the proper object of the human intellect is the essence of sensible things) Far too many atheists will launch the tired objection, 'If God exists, why is there evil?'. I can mentally picture the lips curl to a smug grin. I answer with Boethius and St. Thomas Aquinas, if there is evil (which you claim), then you must accept a prior good. It is an illegitimate leap to go from a claim that something is unpleasant (which is empirically verifiable) to something being evil. Goodness is a reflection beyond what appears to the senses (can we even trust what appears? If we say yes, there is another belief and assumption about the universe and humanity) Neither, it is not a self-evident truth that one must be nice to one's neighbour. This is a moral belief. From a naked, mechanistic, cause and effect approach to the universe, such a belief exceeds one's line of inquiry. Being nice, holding to the dignity of each man, democracy and accepting people for who they are, have no basis of truth in an atheistic account of the universe. It is a belief system (or sentiment) derived by religion, whether they like it or not. These new atheists instead of sneering with their 'unsolvable' objections to theism have not truly reflected upon their own innate assumptions of life and man.
 I ask you to propose a reason why, in a universe that exists without any sufficient external reason, you can have a dogmatic belief in morality. You may respond that morality is a convenient way to foster cooperation and achieve progress, yet this can only be a human construct with no universal validity.
I believe that so many of our modern errors are simply a distortion of Christianity. Our Lord certainly wills the salvation of men, but He was (and is) not a simple-minded fool who wants us only to be nice to each other. Christianity is far more radical and unique than that.
 The Catholic Tradition and its consideration of God, the universe and man are far more profound that what is normally presented or believed. It is an article of faith that man can prove with certainty that God exists, not from a consideration of the terms (a priori) but from an investigation into what surrounds us (a posteriori), advancing from cause to effect with a correct understanding of metaphysics. It is not a surprise that many will claim that they 'simply feel' their belief in God, and that he 'adds meaning and comfort to my life'. This latter may be true yet there is an objective validity to the existence of God and His Revelation. It is modernism to claim that a belief in God arises from a subjective 'need' for Him. True Catholic catechesis would go a long way in combating these nefarious errors of so many believers.   

I have yet to encounter a serious objection to the existence of God that is not based upon some unreflected assumption of reality or a distortion of Christianity or religion.