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Thursday, June 23, 2011

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Charles E Flynn

If I recall correctly, I read somewhere that Fulton J. Sheen invented the entire concept of walking around on a stage with a microphone, while being filmed by three television cameras, the active camera indicated by a red light. His innovation, according to my recollection, was to have a red bulb light up on the camera that the television program director had chosen for the live feed, so the star of the show would know where to look.

Do any of you know of a source for this information?

I vaguely recall seeing a few broadcasts by Fulton J. Sheen when I was a child. I recall that even at a very young age, I knew that he was someone who would not be forgotten, and I never thought he was boring. I am now considering buying some of the DVDs of his broadcasts.

Nick

Just for fun, here are some common atheist counterarguments I find online when atheists, or atheists and theists, discuss God and religion and the arguments for Christianity are brought out (but worded for your arguments, naturally):

1. Counterargument to the claim that religion is not old or out-of-date, by which most atheists mean religion in general is a superstition once believed by dumber people: The commonly held beliefs and practices, such as heaven and burial of the dead, are proof that religion is nothing more than wishful thinking and moral ideology.

2. Counterargument to the claim that Christianity is an unique religion, by which most atheists mean Christianity stole its beliefs from Judaism and neighboring religions: Christianity believes in the same Jewish commandments and claims to have replaced/completed Judaism, and it believes that Jesus rose from the dead like Horus.

3. Counterargument to the claim that Christianity has unique doctrines, by which most atheists mean Christianity is a big collection of myths devised by crazy old con artists: Christianity includes pagan myths such as resurrection and ascension, and Saint Paul changed Jesus into a son of god like the Emperor of Rome was believed to be.

4. Counterargument to the claim that religions are illogical, by which most atheists mean religious scriptures are full of interpolations and recorded mass hallucinations: Scholars of ancient texts deny that the miracles are real, and Christians are quick to point out that other religions are false, so why believe in any religion?

Catholic Blogger

Great stuff here, thanks for posting. I love finding something new to me from Fulton Sheen!

Brad

Anti-Christians do not understand (alas, the bad spirit on them and in them does not want to understand) that the objective God has always had an objective plan for our salvation and, shall we say, realignment, and that until the Incarnation, as well as the Passion, mankind had only rumors and hopes and dreams, seen through the glass darkly, guessed at before altars to the unknown God.

"for I say to you, that many prophets and kings did wish to see what ye perceive, and did not see, and to hear what ye hear, and did not hear."

Ave, Maria.

TeaPot562

And when do people afflicted by a "mass hallucination" believe in it so strongly that they are willing, as the Eleven were, to undergo very painful deaths rather than give up their belief?
Before Muslims corrupted the definition, "martyr" meant someone who witnessed to the truth of something, even to the point of his/her own death.
TeaPot562

Jean

Ok, Nick - I’m up for some fun.

1. Afterlife beliefs and burial rituals prove that religion is nothing more than wishful thinking and moral ideology.

As far as I know, atheists also dispose of their dead. They also try to comfort themselves by finding meaning in the lives of their departed loved ones, even though meaninglessness is at the heart of their irrational belief system. They also seek immortality by leaving behind a material legacy, even though we all know that nothing material lasts. I guess wishful thinking is a human thing, not confined to theists.

As for moral ideology, we’ve all got one and we all think ours is the best. Yet the atheists keep telling us they alone hold the franchise on morality. They constantly moralize that any killing by anyone at any time in the Old Testament is immoral and that this history proves that Jews and Christians are subhuman. Of course, the atheists’ warmed-over neo-pagan utilitarianism isn't at all unique and it's rife with contradictions to boot.

For most atheists, killing is an acceptable means to their utopian ends. It's used on the very young (abort one today – the planet will thank you) to the very old (killing is compassion, especially for the taxpayers). Let’s not forget the atheists at the forefront of the project to kill foreigners who won't do business with us on our terms ("they hate us for our freedoms"). Yes, I know that some of these atheists masquerade as Christians – but by their fruits you shall know them. Given enough time, atheists devolve into "humanitarians with guillotines." Perhaps this is because their flawed and contradictory scriptures say that every human is master of his own life until the collective comes calling.

Since the universe only has whatever meaning we conjure up in our imaginations, atheists need not feel guilty about being illogical. The cafeteria atheist can have it both ways, depending on his mood: Relax and enjoy yourself, there is no god, in the end we’re all dead anyway – or care about everything, especially the planet because humans are just parasites who should be exterminated. I guess moral contradiction is also a human thing, not confined to theists.

Contemplating the atheists' moral ideology makes me nostalgic for that old-time wishful thinking about heaven. At least heaven provides the possibility of justice and mercy outside the whims of the hive.

2. “Christianity believes in the same Jewish commandments and claims to have replaced/completed Judaism, and it believes that Jesus rose from the dead like Horus.”

Mentioning Horus is a little confusing since it was an Egyptian god, not a Jewish deity, and certainly not a living, breathing man like Jesus. Granted, the Israelites did have a weakness for straying with pagan gods, who were so much more exciting to worship than the One True God. (Pagans then: “We get to have sex with priestess babes and call it a sacrament! Sweet!” Neo-pagans now: “We convinced the chicks that liberation means unlimited sex with no commitment! Sweet!”)

In fact, Christianity is unique in that Judaism itself was unique among ancient religions. In Judaism, monotheism was the starting point and polytheism was a deviation from that original truth. Rather than moving from many gods to one god to no god, the counter argument is the movement from One True God, to many (false) gods, to the atheistic belief of 6 billion-plus (and counting) gods.

3. “Christianity includes pagan myths such as resurrection and ascension, and Saint Paul changed Jesus into a son of god like the Emperor of Rome was believed to be.” This is basically the same as #2 and also goes by the name, "It's all Paul's fault."

How'd that work out for St. Paul - or any of the apostles? Didn't exactly make life a bed of roses. The other problem with this is that unlike the saying immortalized in song ("meet the new boss... same as the old boss"), it turns out that the New Emperor isn't at all like the old one. He turns the old paradigm upside down and inside out.

The Catholic counterargument actually says that many religions contain snippets of Truth and it's not surprising to find Christian realities prefigured in pagan beliefs. Comparing and contrasting the history and beliefs of both western and non-western pagan peoples with Christianity makes for great catechesis and is standard fare in Christian curricula.

4. “Scholars of ancient texts deny that the miracles are real, and Christians are quick to point out that other religions are false, so why believe in any religion?”

This should read, “Some scholars say...” Let’s see, to claim that scripture is full of mass hallucinations is to believe that on multiple occasions over thousands of years, people hallucinating from various natural toxins all had similar visions at the same time. Furthermore, these simpletons were able to organize and standardize this craziness into oral testimony, memorize it and then create written records. The people who then followed these rantings were inspired to create the first universities and hospitals as well as great art and architecture, just to name a few of their contributions. Wow. Meaninglessness must be really powerful. Atheists believe this? Really?

Christians do indeed point out how other religions are false because Christians profess both faith AND reason. If you make a truth claim, you kinda have to agree that opposing claims are false. Reality is like that. But atheists try to ignore reality by closing their eyes to anything that doesn't fit into their neat and tidy materialist paradigm. They make the absolute truth claim that there is no absolute truth (except what they read in the NY Times, of course). Atheists prefer the progressive fantasy that humans are perfectible by the application of the right conditioning - administered by the Brights, of course. Not a bad deal for the Brights - pretty crummy for the mundanes, i.e. the other 90%.

So, why believe in any religion? Indeed, it would be unreasonable to believe in anything except the truth. In every era, reasonable people seeking truth keep finding it in Christ and His Catholic Church. Yes, THAT church - I hear it's filled with self-described sinners living in a fantasy world of selfless love. Of course, seeking truth is optional and if one prefers, there are many thrilling atheist temples to choose from. I hear their churches are filled with self-described Brights living in a fantasy world of self-love.

Thanks, Nick. You were right – that was fun!

Gene

Since science is the "bing thing" today by which they will attemtp to prove there is no God, we shall see.

Scientific proof means to proof using methods of natural science. These methods are concerned with things in natural order, so there could be no such thing as a proof using those methods by not using evidence in the natural order.

We should realize that the testing of human experience in this way is a very exacting mental exercise. We should be forced to think that we, as individual, are going to find it an easy thing to do, as it should be.

It is in this spirit that we should examine the lines of proof, the testing of experience, which are offered to us, and which can only be briefly mentioned here.

We look at the universe and find that it's changing states is not self explanatory; that its chain of cause and effect is not self explanatory; that its very existence is not self explanatory; that this scale of value, moral, aesthetic, etc., by which we measure our experience of it is not self explanatory; that the orderly and purpose behavior of things in it is not self explanatory. And putting the natural world to the proof in this way brings us to that limit of our experience and understanding at which, if we remain faithful to our experience, we must make confession of the unknown and the unknowable Being who is God.

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