Saturday, September 17, 2011

Human Dignity, a reminder


Back on February 23, I published the following post. I wrote it in response to the discussions we were having at the time, about the "hook-up" culture. But in light of the homosexual/atheist discussions we've had lately, I thought I'd offer it again as a reminder.




The great conversation continues about the "hook-up" culture, a culture that I contend is the natural result of the the sexual revolution and modern feminist philosophy. I want to thank Complicated Life for making an excellent point during a discussion of sexual purity:
Sexual purity is rightly to be valued and honored, but it is not the source of a woman (or man's) self-worth. We have worth because of our human dignity. Sexual purity is proper to our DIGNITY as human persons; a dignity that is inherent in being a person.
This cannot be stressed enough: No one has to earn or apply for human dignity. Not the unborn, not the elderly, not the disabled, not the mentally ill, not the hardened criminal. Not anyone. No one has to prove his innate value. Human beings have value simply because we exist. Our dignity is inherent.


Are you a nasty gossip? You still have human dignity.
Are you a lazy slob? You still have human dignity.
Are you a lecherous creep? You still have human dignity.
Are you a greedy corporate raider? You still have human dignity.
Are you an unrepentant serial killer? You still have human dignity. 


Do you feel like the most worthless, unloved, unknown person on the planet? It's not true. You are worthy, loved and known. And you have human dignity.


But why? 


Because human beings were made in the image and likeness of God. It's that simple. 


It's true that we can speak against our human dignity, we can act against our human dignity, we can deny or denounce our human dignity, but we cannot erase it or change the reality of it.


Pope Benedict XVI said it beautifully:
We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.
You are not a random product of chance. You are not a fluke. You are not here by accident, just waiting to go "poof" into non-existence someday. You are known. You were planned. You exist because Someone wanted you to exist. 

As I've said before and will continue to say, you were made to love and be loved.

And if you understand what true love is, and Who true love is, you will never doubt your own human dignity again, and you will begin to live as a child of God.







41 comments:

  1. "You are not a random product of chance."

    Not everything in evolution is random. Natural selection is decidedly and remarkably NOT random. The backbones, things like gene mutation, can be random. But it's a lie to say evolution as a whole is random.

    Our human dignity is not bestowed upon us by some ethereal supernatural being. It is just as real as the dignity we share with our fellow compatriots on Earth, from the masses of plankton, among the weeping willows, all the way to the noble wolf. All life has dignity. Our earth has dignity. It all demands respect and understanding, and that is derived from the natural world.

    That is all.

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  2. Zach, I know you have said that before, and I have said that the origins of life were random. The origins. That part you cannot disagree with, can you? Or were the origins of life (the Big Bang, whatever else happened then) planned? Not talking about whatever happened next (which I say follows an amazing design).

    But it's a lie to say evolution as a whole is random.

    Never said it. We (humans) are not a product of chance (Big Bang/origins of life).

    You may think that you have the same dignity as a piece of plankton or a rat or a pig (a boy is a rat is a pig and all that), but that is most certainly not the Christian view.

    And if you really believe that a fish or a stick of celery has the same dignity as a human being, then you either need to makes sure you neither kill or eat either one, or else you must acknowledge that we may eat other humans with the same disinterest that we eat a piece of celery or a fish.

    You innately know that you are set apart from celery, and from fish, and from pigs and from rats. If not, then why do you treat humans and celery differently?

    I need a coherent answer.

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  3. Leila,

    You are trying to construct a false binary between "random" and "planned".

    To say the Big Bang was a random event is sort of mind boggling for me to imagine. Because I don't know what was before that event. The dimension of time, as we understand it, probably didn't exist. So there can't be such a thing as a "random event".

    As for abiogenesis, I'm not sure what random means in that context either. Natural selection certainly played a role in the inception of life. There's a reason we're made up of things like DNAs and amino acids.

    It still boggles my mind how authoritative people speak about the Big Bang. I barely understand the physics of it, yet people seem to think they know enough to start doing metaphysics over it.

    Lastly, I said all things have dignity and deserve respect. I'm not sure that's something that can be weighed and measured in the sense that I think human dignity is "worth more" than dog dignity. There is still a food chain, a cycle of life.

    I shouldn't have to explain why I eat lettuce and not my sister for the same reason the lion doesn't have to explain why he eats antelope and not his young. (For the record, a male lion will eat the young of a female to try and "convince" her to mate with him, now that she has no children. Interesting!). Humans are sometimes prey to the predators of this world. tough noogies.

    Humans are not special beings. That does not mean we do not have a moral code, create art, or try and discover new ideas.

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  4. I like your shorter posts - they are just so succinct and precise!

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  5. (But just so you know, I like your longer blog posts too!) :)

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  6. It still boggles my mind how authoritative people speak about the Big Bang. I barely understand the physics of it, yet people seem to think they know enough to start doing metaphysics over it.

    Actually, either the genesis was planned or unplanned. Either it was mindful or mindless. Either it was personal or impersonal. Sorry, I don't see a third option in any of those?

    Are you trying to say it was and wasn't planned? It was and wasn't mindful? It was and wasn't personal? Both at the same time? I think that would be contradictory, wouldn't it? Help me out. I'm not talking scientific nuts and bolts, I am talking philosophically and logically.

    Being totally honest here, Zach, but if your view of life and humanity were true, I would shoot myself.

    I am glad you are honest, though, and lay it all out. Like I said, if I were an atheist, I would be the darkest existentialist you've ever seen, because at least they made sense.

    "Humans are not special beings."

    Wow.

    Do you think humans are moral beings (unlike other beings) and rational beings (unlike other beings)?

    And if I am hearing you right, the only reason we say that cannibalism is wrong is because enough people still don't think it's a good idea, right? So, morality is like a democratic vote, in a way. If enough people say something is "good" then it is?

    Or, might makes right (the one with the biggest guns gets to determine what is moral)?

    What a dark world…. my mind cannot even go there except for a second or two and then I run back to the Light of objective Truth, Goodness and Beauty in the Person of a God who loves us so much that He died for us.

    I do thank you for the clarity, though. I think it's clear that one has to pick a side.

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  7. Leila,

    I'm having trouble making sense from your blustering whirlwind of an attack.

    You asked me whether the Big Bang was random or planned. I said neither. Random does not make sense when there is time period before the Big Bang, and there is no reliable proxy for deciding whether something is planned in the natural world or not. Because that hypothesis isn't falsifiable.

    So, no. Nowhere did I say it "was and wasn't planned". Although, I think you should look into things like Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle. Physics is not black and white. Sorry.

    And you would shoot yourself? What keeps me from harming myself! I must be deranged to be so happy.

    And how is it that you take my analogy to the natural world and apply it to say that I think morality is democratic?

    I would say your welcome, but I'm not sure you actually got clarity from my comment if these are the derivatives you pull from it.

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  8. Zach, if morality (in your view) is not at base democratic, then what is it?

    Sorry, I'm not a physicist, and I don't plan to become one, but I think most people understand that at some point there was nothing. Unless you believe that matter always existed (is infinite)?

    At some point, something began to exist, no? Either that existence was the result of a thought, or a plan (which requires a thought) or it was chance that began it.

    (I didn't use the word "random" at all in my last response, by the way.)

    Let me ask you this: Was the Big Bang and/or the origins of life mindless? Or, using a different term, was it unplanned? Or planned (which implies thought)? If it was mindless and unplanned, then wasn't it "chance" or "random" in the sense that I think you know I'm asking?

    I wish I could speak with you as ordinary people do (even doctors and theologians and rocket scientists are able to speak to the "little people", no?), without a physics degree.

    I think you understand what I mean when I am asking.

    I am glad you don't feel like shooting yourself. Human life is sacred. If it weren't, it wouldn't matter in the least if you (or I) did shoot ourselves, though. I have heard atheists say that they would rather be dead than suffer (and I did a whole post on that), so am guessing that at least for them, being "so happy" = experiencing pleasure. Are you happy because you feel pleasure? What else would cause you to be happy as an atheist? I'm sincerely asking.

    And how is it that you take my analogy to the natural world and apply it to say that I think morality is democratic?

    Well, I asked you a question, and you didn't answer. I said:

    And if I am hearing you right, the only reason we say that cannibalism is wrong is because enough people still don't think it's a good idea, right? So, morality is like a democratic vote, in a way. If enough people say something is "good" then it is?

    Or, might makes right (the one with the biggest guns gets to determine what is moral)?


    If you could address that?

    Thanks!

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  9. Humans are not special beings. That does not mean we do not have a moral code, create art, or try and discover new ideas.

    Zach, your first sentence is contradicted by your second. The definition of "special," from Merriam-Webster.com: "distinguished by some unusual quality; especially : being in some way superior."

    Human beings are special, by definition. We're the only species that has a moral code, creates art, etc.

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  10. Ok Zach, I like your discussion. I'll back you up, but also throw a wrench in there.

    "Human beings are special, by definition. We're the only species that has a moral code, creates art, etc."

    Humans are mere animals. We just got a large brain, not large claws. For most of our existence, the brain wasn't enough to survive. But some made it, evolving into our current bodies. That brain is a blessing and a curse - forces us to ask questions like how and why - so we develop moral codes, religions, rules for ourselves, call ourselves special in the dictionary WE WROTE etc. All in attempt to define ourselves as something more than an animal.
    We don't eat each other (yet) because there's no need to. We have total control over the food chain.
    We also don't eat each other because it would make us feel less special, and more like mere animals.
    Matter can't create itself though, Zach. You know that. Matter and energy only changes shape, but remains constant.
    You could say that matter ALWAYS existed, which admits you believe in something outside scientific, provable truth.
    Or you could say matter was created by something beyond matter. Something outside measurement.


    What we know of the universe and the beings that dwell within it is absolutely minuscule, even now. So to define God in detail- what he wants, what he likes, what he doesn't like... is easily debatable among cultures.

    But think of it like this. Assuming there was (or is) an infinite force that made the matter for the Big Bang it would HAVE to be infinitely Good.
    An infinitely Bad force, would destroy, not create.
    An infinitely indifferent force wouldn't care enough to put the work in.

    /fans the flames

    p.s.
    Soylent Green is People!

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  11. If Zach feels backed into a corner by this:

    "So, morality is like a democratic vote, in a way. If enough people say something is "good" then it is?
    Or, might makes right (the one with the biggest guns gets to determine what is moral)?"

    I see where you're going with this. It's just easy to contradict.
    You seem to allude that "might making right" is wrong. That the biggest force (or majority) making what's moral isn't right either.

    But isn't God the ultimate Might making what's Right?
    He's infinite, so he clearly has the majority and all the power.

    Perhaps you've been voting for totalitarianism this whole time?

    Obey or burn in the lake of fire!

    Jussayin. ;P

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  12. Andrew, of course I vote for the totalitarianism of Goodness Himself. Yep, absolutely! God does not merely "define" good. He is Goodness.

    And since He is sovereign, then of course He is my King and I am nothing other than His servant. I want nothing more than to be the servant of the King is Who is Sovereign, Who is Goodness, Who is Mercy, Who is Truth, Who is Justice, Who is Beauty.

    Yes, that is a totality that I want to submit to, to the point of losing myself completely.

    Yep.

    Next question? ;)

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  13. We also don't eat each other because it would make us feel less special, and more like mere animals.

    Although we do kill each other pretty regularly, just like animals. Oh, and abortion, using human embryos as research material, etc., sort of does have us cannibalizing each other in a sense.

    But we aren't animals (even though we act like them) because we can know right from wrong (objectively). We can reason. If an animal kills another animal, he is still giving glory to God in his own way (without a moral will or an intellect), because he is doing what he does, instinctively. We don't put animals on trial. They are being animals and that's all the have to be.

    But when a human kills another human, he debases himself. He not only does not give glory to God, but he also loses touch with his own humanity, and risks the loss of his very soul (his choice to go to hell, not God's).

    It's not because we want to "feel special" (above animals) that we don't kill others and act in sub-human ways, it's because we were born with an innate sense of the Good. We want to be good, unless we deaden our consciences.

    Animals don't have consciences.

    But I like the last parts of what you said in your first comment, Andrew!

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  14. I'll throw a little fodder in the ring.

    My husband is a physicist and a planetary scientist. So I asked him about what scientists say about the time before Big Bang and all that. He says the general consensus is that there has always been matter (at least I'm sure that's what he was saying). It didn't just not exist and then exist in the scientific world. Yet you can't scientifically prove any of it. Big Bang is a theory. The idea that matter has always existed and time as always existed is a theory.

    The funny part of it is. Most scientist are atheists or agnostics. And here they adhere to a sort of religious belief that matter has always existed. It's not provable, as I said. Yet it seems to strange to atheists that God can't have existed forever. That God couldn't be the reason or the catalyst behind Big Bang (which incidentally was proposed by a Jesuit). And that might be why some scientists are agnostic rather than atheist because they acknowledge on some level that Big Bang doesn't explain everything.

    In the end, science doesn't conclusively explain everything. You can look at a number of studies and see how over time the theories and data has been refuted. And if you attend conferences, the whole point is to present data with a theory and have someone else give their opinion about what else it could mean.

    That's how science works. And that's how religious dialogue works too. So I kinda view the atheists wanting to troll Catholic blogs as a good thing. For one thing, it means they are questioning their beliefs (although not always). For another, it keeps a Catholic thinking and growing in their faith. Contrary to what some atheists may think, religious dialogue will not necessarily make someone suddenly become atheist. It will however make them a stronger Catholic.

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  15. @ Zach

    There is no false dichotomy about Leila's "Planned versus Random." To put it another way, "Was there an intellect involved, or no intellect involved?"

    Kind of easy to see there was an intellect involved in the building of a hydroelectric dam. And when you begin to look ito the patterns and blueprints, you begin to see why everything works together the way it does . . . unless you're not an engineer, and need it explained by an expert on the subject. There is no question though that a hydroelectric dam, when you look at the blueprints or simply the dam itself that an intellect was involved in its creation.

    Yes, a male lion will eat the young of a female it wants to mate with. Mallard ducks will foricbly mate with females who don't have a partner. Of course, neither eating our young nor raping our women is particularly moral. People have done both, and do the latter quite frequently, but each is justly decried as an injustice.

    No one ever imprisons a male duck for raping a female duck.

    There is something special and unique about us, just like there is something special and unique about every animal. The question then becomes, is their a hiearchy of specialness? I'd say so. I'd say the species to develop concepts of justice and personal dignity (i.e. don't rape your fellows), is a higher species than those that don't have those concepts. This is why we imprison people who break these laws, and laud those who stop the enemies of mankind.

    Man has an intellect, there are reasons we do or don't do certain things, there are reasons we oppress rapists and give privileges of freedom to people who don't rape.

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  16. Being totally honest here, Zach, but if your view of life and humanity were true, I would shoot myself.

    Help me out here. Is this supposed to somehow prove that Zach's view is not true? Or is this simply a statement about Leila's personality?

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  17. Deltaflute and Giuseppe, thank you!

    MaiZeke, that was (obviously) utterly and totally my own subjective opinion, not meant to prove or disprove a thing. Sometimes, I give my feelings and opinions on things, on my own blog. Go figure. ;)

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  18. Nubby can't post on blogger right now, so she asked me to post this for her, for Zach:

    Randomness and non-randomness have nothing to do with the time element. It's a dimension we know very little about. It's a constant of the universe that we cannot manipulate in terms of creating it nor stopping it. It is supremely linear.

    Time cannot be explained within the parameters of evolution. So it begs the logical question:

    How did time begin? What explains the fact that time did not exist and then, suddenly, it exists as a constant of the universe forever as we know it?

    Why was it created? How?
    -Nubby

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  19. Seriously, guys, this is why I end up leaving threads.

    The dichotomy of planned vs. random is nonsense. For a number of reasons.

    You simply can't make an answer to the "planned vs. nonplanned" question. There's no way to tell.

    Again, the word random makes no sense in context of the big bang. There's no way to tell if an event like that is random or not if we don't know the context of it "before" it happened.

    The idea of matter always existed before the big bang... there's a difference betweening having a working hypothesis and believing in the old man in the sky. It's not a religious belief if all scientists would ditch it if the evidence told them so.

    Guiseppe, just because a NaCl complex forms a lattice doesn't mean we can just say "It's ordered! Ergo, planned!". Just because we perceive something as constructed doesn't make it so.

    And Nubby. How did time start? Seriously?

    Leila, you did ask me a question and I didn't answer because it was a sucker punch with no foundation.

    Science can make conclusions and hypotheses and theories without needed a democratic process. It's an objective thing. There are plenty of thinkers who show that morality is objective and doesn't need a supernatural being to impose it.

    See, it stops being a discussion for a lot of reasons. When everyone is asking you leading questions waiting for you to slip up it's more of a witch hunt. For example, Joanna likes to make cheap shots by pulling the dictionary behind her. I thought it was obvious when I said humans aren't special, it meant I don't think we have souls. Things like culture might just be effects of a few extra gadgets the human body accumulated (brain, ability to speak).

    And... a hierarchy of specialness? Seriously? We're going to go off and say humans are special, well, just because they look like it! This is just like decided there's a designer, because good golly, we look designed! It's a good thing science isn't based on feelings and intuitions.

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  20. Leila, you did ask me a question and I didn't answer because it was a sucker punch with no foundation.

    ??

    Which question was a "sucker punch"?

    There are plenty of thinkers who show that morality is objective and doesn't need a supernatural being to impose it.

    ?

    Which atheist thinkers "show" that morality is objective?

    You yourself told me that even the most heinous, extreme act of brutality and cruelty (something most would call evil… specifically the torture and rape of a six-year-old girl) would be moral if the situation warranted it, if the cause were important enough. Where does this fit into the "objective" moral law? I only see that it fits perfectly into the "ends justify the means" worldview, which is decidedly subjective and relativistic.

    Sorry, I think the questions were fair. I'm sorry you won't dive in a little further.

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  21. There's a distinction between "fair" and ridiculous when it comes to questions.

    For example, asking people to explain the difference between sex and eating ice cream is ridiculous.

    As for your appeal to emotion, I think I recall suggesting that it could be moral in situtions. The thing is, nitpicking over the hypothetical extremes of someones moral system, a place where most people start to go off in a lot of different directions, does not say much about the entire whole of their moral system.

    In particular, I was referring to you asking me if morality was democratic. Because it had no foundation in our comment thread. Yet you were asking it as if it was founded, as if I had suggested that morality was either democratic or totalitarian.

    In such a way that by asking that you were already suggesting that it was so.

    And as if that wasn't a sucker punch, drudging out an old opinion to appeal to people's sense of emotion that effectively paints me as a heartless monster is a sucker punch. It's not honest inquiry. It's not curiosity for understanding. It's flat out battled rhetoric.

    And which thinkers, you mean? I never said they had to be atheist. And I'm not going to give you a bibliography. I know myself and others have suggested thinkers and books and everyone here simply just says they're "not interested."

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  22. believing in the old man in the sky.

    I guess the "old man in the sky" is a step up from "flying spaghetti monster" or "sky wizard", lol!!

    But it's still beneath you, Zach.

    I think this is the link to Fr. Barron when he discusses that type of "critique" by atheists about the Christian God:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOJjI5Yv5TU

    Blessings!

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  23. Zach, here we go again with the inability to separate an idea from the person. I think your ideas are horrible and unreasonable. I don't think that you are horrible as a person. I could never judge whether or not you are "heartless".

    Let's keep talking ideas (unless we specifically get personal, which will be clear, right?).

    If morality is not democratic, then what is it? You say objective, but how so? Since when do atheists believe in the moral law? I thought it all "depends". Now you are saying that you believe in moral absolutes? Then, what are they and what is their source?

    I was asking sincerely when I said what is the difference (in the free love mentality) between sex and eating ice cream? I have heard time and again that sex is about pleasure, not about babies. So, why is the pleasure of sex different? Doesn't Planned Parenthood say that sex is for recreation? For fun? Just strap on a condom and you're good to go!

    Now, I hear that it's "different" because of "trust" issues and "bonding"… but when I press on that, asking for more info as to what that means, and how that is applied to actual situations, I am rebuffed. Okay, whatever.

    But don't tell me it's a crazy question. I'm not the one touting sex as recreation and pleasure only. That is the Planned Parenthood, free love side. Tell me why they are so wrong. (I already know why, but I have a different understanding of sex than you do.)

    Anyway, it's an honest question and this is a socratic dialogue (to the best of my ability to do so). So, we push further, asking questions and trying to get to a conclusion.

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  24. Is this the question you didn't like?

    And if I am hearing you right, the only reason we say that cannibalism is wrong is because enough people still don't think it's a good idea, right? So, morality is like a democratic vote, in a way. If enough people say something is "good" then it is?

    Or, might makes right (the one with the biggest guns gets to determine what is moral)?


    I could phrase it this way (based on what you said about animals eating their young, or the young of their species):

    Why do we humans not cannibalize (too much)? Why do we not eat our own young (though we do go inside the womb and kill them by the millions, which animals don't do, by the way)?

    You like to get angry with me, and claim I'm being emotional, but all I want are some answers. There is always the "ducking out" when I get to the point where I feel like someone might actually have to answer something straight, without any evasion!

    Thanks!

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  25. From Nubby:

    Yes, Zach. Seriously. Please explain how time came to be. Since God is not an option for you, explain in terms of science how time came to be. -- Nubby

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  26. From Nubby:

    "And I'm not going to give you a bibliography. I know myself and others have suggested thinkers and books and everyone here simply just says they're "not interested." - Zach said.

    I'm interested, Zach. Probably read a number of "thinkers" you've mentioned. No one fears learning here. -- Nubby

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  27. Leila,

    Found your blog a few months ago. It is refreshing, and I enjoy how pointed, honest and concise you keep things around here. It's everything I would want to say if I were talented enough to have a blog again (I shut down the three I have tried to maintain over the years).

    Anyway, my husband told me about this story (see link below)today and I thought about you immediately. I would love to see a post of your thoughts on this.

    Blessings,
    T.B.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/pat-robertson-forgets-marriage-is-about-sacrifice-too/2011/09/16/gIQAVBbTXK_blog.html

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  28. raremem (T.B.), thank you so much and I appreciate the encouragement!

    When Robertson made those remarks I was disgusted. The idea that we cast off a spouse because they are a burden, an inconvenience, "too much to deal with" is so opposed to the Christian gospel and what Jesus taught about marriage (not to mention the marriage VOWS). In fact, this idea that the gravely incapacitated are "dead" is the same thing the euthanasia proponents said about the very non-terminal, non-dead Terri Schiavo, to justify starving and dehydrating her in a slow, agonizing death.

    Until someone is DEAD, she is alive! Again, something we all used to understand.

    Yes, it sure would make a great post. It's sad when an evangelical Christian starts making points for the Culture of Death. But then, that's why I wrote this, encouraging Protestants to come back to the protection of the Church:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/09/protestants-its-time-to-come-back.html

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  29. raremem, you may like this article too, about Pat Robertson's downward spiral:

    http://crossed-the-tiber.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-sola-scriptura-has-lead-to-pat.html

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  30. @ Zach,

    Just because we perceive something as constructed doesn't make it so.

    That is true, because we might be interpreting the data incorrectly. I think it would be difficult to interpret the existence of a hydroelectric dam in any manner but that of it having been constructed.

    Secondly, it is not an error in logic to suppose some observed complex thing intentionally was designed by some active principle outside itself. Just dismissing this is dismissing millenia's worth of people who took it seriously, to include Lemaitre, the Jesuit who first proposed the big bang theory.

    Lastly, we aren't the only ones with brains. I'm pretty sure there are other creatures out there with them. I'm also pretty sure that none seek immortality in the ways we do . . . through monuments, glory, fame, etc. Does this mean we have a soul? No, but it does mean we're different.

    I have asked numerous times on these threads, if there is no soul there is no will, your thoughts are merely a by-product of a chemical reaction. You're just a part of this strange dasein, and all of our conversations are either inconsequential, or the universe trying to make sense of itself. Much like things fight and die at the cellular level, we do so at ours, and stars and galaxies do so at their's.

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  31. This whole science vs religion thing has got to end. Some of the greatest scientific discoveries have been made by very holy and religious people. I'm a chemist - yes, I think rationally and logically - but studying the tiniest levels of what makes up our world also has shown me even more how beautiful creation is. Being a chemist has made me MORE filled with faith, MORE religious, and MORE Catholic. For me personally, studying science has proven the existence of God. There's no way this is all "random", and saying that everything is just is irrational to me.

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  32. Zach- I think I made it clear that matter before Big Bang is an unprovable theory. No scientist has anyway to prove or disprove the theory. So it remains a theory. It's the same way with God. No person can beyond a shadow of a doubt prove or disprove the existence of God. If they could, then we wouldn't be having this discussion. That's why I said matter before time is a religious concept. There are clues to point you in that direction such as the current state of matter.

    To put it another way "There is little evidence regarding the absolute earliest instant of the expansion. Thus, the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on." Source Wikipedia

    "Science can make conclusions and hypotheses and theories without needed a democratic process. It's an objective thing."

    Sure that's true. The evidence does speak for itself. However, in the scientific community if you want your ideas to be heard, it's important for other scientists to test your claims for themselves. This doesn't mean that all theories are going to be the correct ones. And over time, they change as more data is analyzed. So the scientific community is sometimes wrong.

    But again, the time before Big Bang theory isn't testable. It's an idea based on how evolution and the planets and outer solar system formations happen to date. This doesn't mean however that this is correct.

    The same can be said for religion. 95% of the planet could be wrong about a creator God. But it's untestable (unless you're dead of course). There is enough evidence out there, which is what this whole thread is about, to prove that God possibly exists. Enough so that a number of scientists are agnostic (and enough people are agnostics as well since they acknowledge they can't disprove it).

    To be an atheist is to ignore evidence. It's like being a scientist who is ignoring the data that says his theory is wrong.

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  33. Yes, your call to protestants to return to the church really pulled me into reading your blog more. I am a convert from a lukewarm (on its good days) and totally hedonistic (on its bad days) family. I do have some faithful protestant extended relatives, but I am working on them slowly. Good good people whom the Church would be blessed to have!

    I was wondering, do you home school your children?

    T.B.

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  34. Good article. Good argument. Good points to use on protestants.

    Thanks.

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  35. T.B., I did homeschool for a short time (two years, all told). I was not very good at it! No patience… totally my issues. But I support homeschooling and have so many friends who do/have.

    We have some GREAT alternatives to homeschooling here (independent Catholic schools, totally faithful to the Church) and also incredible classical curriculum Great Books charter schools. So, we have been blessed. If I had no such schools, I'd probably go back to homeschooling…. my poor kids!

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  36. Yeah, I am trying to convince my cousin, who is a very faithful protestant, to homeschool (protect) her three boys. She fears that she lacks the patience and that her boys do not take discipline from her well. Maybe my kids will do the same, but we have no alternatives here. It is sad to drive by the old Catholic schools and picture them thriving with spirit, sports, girls/boys clubs, etc. The Catholic schools left are expensive and, from what I see in my neices and nephews who go, not instilling the faith in their pupals very well.

    I was just wondering, because I am looking for women to chat with about homeschooling as I ease my way into it (I still have several years - ok, almost 5 years - before I have to start, but I'm excited already!)

    Night,
    T.B.

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  37. Hey, I just had a thought - maybe you know of a good Catholic homeschooling blog that cronicles the day-to-day happenings. Would you have a good referral or two for me?

    :)

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  38. T.B., you must go and speak to the ladies on my blogroll who homeschool! There are several, including Lisa at Cheerfully Chaotic, and Rebecca at Shoved to Them. They are awesome!! Also, Monica at Celebrating a Simple Life, and I know I am missing someone!!!

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  39. From a reader who was not able to post, but asked me to put this in the comments for her:

    For anyone who needs clarity on why moral values MUST be grounded in a god, I would recommend checking out the William Lane Craig-Sam Harris Debate from April 2011, at Notre Dame. AMAZING. Definitely worth downloading.

    Dr. Craig is a Protestant but his defense of Christian philosophy is spot-on. His website, Reasonable Faith, is also a good general apologetics resource.

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  40. Meh, I didn't find this Big Big planned v unplanned debate, or time as constant particularly compelling.

    Scientists have their own way of looking at the world, and are circumspect about how they describe things.

    I also do not really buy the apparent analogy between matter existing or not prior to the Big Bang and Faith as compelling either. Scientists go with what appears logical, and will abandon those positions in the face of better evidence.

    The more on topic points about human dignity though are excellent.

    ReplyDelete

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