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Faith And Reason


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A presentation about the Catholic Church and the relationship between faith and reason.

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Faith And Reason

  1. 1. Faith and Reason: Is the Church opposed to Science? Charlie A. Roy
  2. 2. Faith & Reason: the Two Ways <ul><li>We all seek truth and desire knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Two methods exist to acquire truth. </li></ul><ul><li>1. Faith: trusting in God’s revelation. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Reason: using our intellect to evaluate various truth claims. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Truths of Faith <ul><li>Some truths are known only by faith. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trinity: God is a family of persons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Divinity of Christ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Immaculate Conception </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Existence of Heaven </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Truths of Reason <ul><li>Some truths are known only by reason. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Math </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chemistry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physics </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Truths of Reason & Faith <ul><li>Some truths are known only by reason and also known by faith. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Existence of Christ: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reason: testimony of non-Christian sources. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Faith: Scripture and Sacred Tradition. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Traditional Christian view of Faith and Reason <ul><li>Seen as very compatible with one another </li></ul><ul><li>Both are seeking truth </li></ul><ul><li>If the dogmas of our Catholic Faith are true we have nothing to fear from reason and science. </li></ul><ul><li>By understanding creation we understand the Creator </li></ul>
  7. 7. Common Secular Myths <ul><li>Christianity with its anti-intellectual dogmatic truth suppressed the scientific spirit causing the Dark Ages! </li></ul>
  8. 8. Fact <ul><li>Christianity preserved learning: </li></ul><ul><li>Barbarian hordes were gradually converted. </li></ul><ul><li>Monasteries safeguarded and preserved knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>(Thomas Cahill: How the Irish Saved Civilization) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Facts <ul><li>Literacy rates in the middle ages were nothing to write home about. </li></ul><ul><li>Monasteries and Cathedral schools (early universities) were the only centers of learning. </li></ul><ul><li>No secular education existed during the middle ages. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why did modern science come to existence only in the West? <ul><li>Certain prerequisites must be met to allow ‘modern’ science to flourish. </li></ul><ul><li>World is Real </li></ul><ul><li>World is knowable </li></ul><ul><li>Time is measurable </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of the world serves a purpose or progress can happen. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why no modern science in China? <ul><li>Although ripe with technological advances: moveable type, gun powder, agricultural advances little real science existed. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Blocks to the Chinese development of Science: <ul><li>Cyclic view of time: whatever advances are made will soon be destroyed. </li></ul><ul><li>Mythological Causes: Yin and Yang, The I Chang and superstition. </li></ul><ul><li>Buddhist belief of mayha: all reality is an illusion. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Blocks to Hindu Development of Science: <ul><li>Grateful for the concept of 0 and Hindu-Arabic numerals which allowed math to take place: Try multiplying MDCCCLXVIII by CCLIX without converting to Arabic numerals. </li></ul><ul><li>Mayha: a familiar term to Hinduism and Buddhism in which all is an illusion. </li></ul><ul><li>Pantheism: Animistic view of the cosmos and astrology prevented real science. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Blocks to Islamic Development of Science: <ul><li>Two main causes: </li></ul><ul><li>Complete devotion to Greek Classics: Avicenna and Averroes complete devotion prevented them from questioning Aristotle’s On The Heavens </li></ul><ul><li>All-Powerfulness of God: God is too powerful to allow natural laws to exist. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Christianity’s Birth of Science: <ul><li>World is Real: God is good and creation is good and knowable. </li></ul><ul><li>Incarnation: God is knowable as well and acts with purpose—Salvation History. God chooses to incorporate us in his plan—the Church. </li></ul><ul><li>Time has a purpose and destiny: God acts inside of time. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Secular myth: Galileo is proof of the Church suppressing science. <ul><li>Galileo represented the spirit of science. </li></ul><ul><li>The evil dogmatic Church crushed his heliocentric view in favor of biblical geocentricism. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Fact: <ul><li>Understood in context the Galileo affair has little to do with actual science. </li></ul><ul><li>Galileo’s fate had more to do with palace politics and Galileo’s arrogance. </li></ul>
  18. 18. History of Galileo <ul><li>Copernicus a polish churchman first proposes the idea in Europe. </li></ul><ul><li>Kepler 10 years prior had also proposed this view. Banned by Protestant clergy. </li></ul><ul><li>Galileo promotes idea after viewing changes in Venus compatible with the heliocentric view. </li></ul>
  19. 19. History of Galileo <ul><li>Initially opposed by Jesuits who wanted proof: parallax (not actually found until the 1880’s) </li></ul><ul><li>Galileo crosses the theological lines and demands a phenomenological reading of Joshua and certain psalms. </li></ul><ul><li>Not the job of the laity to interpret Scripture. </li></ul>
  20. 20. History of Galileo <ul><li>Non-literal reading not uncommon: St Augustine, “One does not read in the Gospel that the Lord said, ‘I will send the Paraclete who will teach you about the course of the sun and the moon. For He willed to make them Christians not mathematicians.’” </li></ul><ul><li>Way of explaining through sensory data. </li></ul>
  21. 21. History of Galileo <ul><li>In 1616 sent before the Holy Office </li></ul><ul><li>Holy Office forbids him to teach his theory as actual truth. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1623 his friend is elected as pope Urban VIII </li></ul><ul><li>Allows Galileo to publish book presenting both arguments </li></ul>
  22. 22. History of Galileo <ul><li>Galileo humiliates the pope by having a character named Simplicio deliver them. </li></ul><ul><li>Galileo is denounced to the inquisition and imprisoned. </li></ul><ul><li>He goes to Mass daily even being carried on a stretcher when he could no longer walk. Not a lack of faith. </li></ul>
  23. 23. History of Galileo <ul><li>Church did not violate infallibility: the Holy Office is not infallible. </li></ul><ul><li>Three conditions not met: from the chair of Peter, on faith and morals, intended to be binding. </li></ul><ul><li>Vatican has issued two stamps in honor of Galileo’s achievements and in apology of his mistreatment. </li></ul><ul><li>Galileo was wrong on some accounts. The Sun is not fixed. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Myth: Modern Christians are anti-intellectual. <ul><li>Truth: Yes and No </li></ul>
  25. 25. Origin of Christian Anti-Intellectualism <ul><li>Martin Luther: “Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and … know nothing but the Word of God.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Snakes and monkeys are subjected to the demon more than other animals. Satan lives in them and possesses them. He uses them to deceive men and injure them.” </li></ul>
  26. 26. Origin of Christian Anti-Intellectualism <ul><li>19 th Century Scottish Calvinist: Women to avoid pain killers during child birth or their children would be refused Baptism. </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science. </li></ul><ul><li>Christian fundamentalists and strict literal biblical creationism (although they appeal to science) </li></ul><ul><li>Lumping of all religions into one. (Paganism and Christianity) </li></ul>
  27. 27. Modern focus on moral issues: <ul><li>Church often criticized as being anti-Science for its moral positions. </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual teachings that embrace the natural law and deny the morality of contraceptives and reproductive technologies have little to do with being against science. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Examples of Current Debates: <ul><li>Church in Africa is criticized for being against condom distribution. </li></ul><ul><li>Church teaches: Abstinence and monogamy within faithful marriages reduces AIDS. </li></ul><ul><li>Fact: </li></ul><ul><li>Condoms have significant failure rates </li></ul>
  29. 29. Examples of Current Debates: <ul><li>Nations that follow abstinence have lower levels of AIDS </li></ul><ul><li>Uganda: ABC program (Abstinence, Be Faithful, Condoms) HIV infection fell from 14% in the 1980’s to 5% in 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>All African nations that have a greater than one in five rate of infection promote condoms. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Examples of Current Debates: <ul><li>The same is true of Thailand and the Philippines. In 1987 112 cases in Thailand and 135 in the Philippines. </li></ul><ul><li>Thailand: in August 2003 -899,000 cases with 125,000 deaths. (Condom program) </li></ul><ul><li>Philippines: in August 2003- 1,946 cases with 260 known deaths. (Chastity program) </li></ul>
  31. 31. Time usually proves the Church correct. <ul><li>Example: Origin of contraception with the eugenics movement. </li></ul><ul><li>Church heavily criticized in the 1930’s for condemning the sterilization of the unfit. </li></ul><ul><li>Eugenics a popular movement in the United States: Planned Parenthood. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Margaret Sanger on purpose: <ul><li>We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population…&quot; Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood </li></ul>
  33. 33. Population Control Attack: <ul><li>Myth: Church’s position on contraception causes overpopulation. </li></ul><ul><li>Overpopulation is now considered to be a myth. </li></ul><ul><li>Slowing population replacement rates trigger problems: Graying of the population and mass immigration in Europe. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Conclusions: <ul><li>Church has always been attacked and will always be. </li></ul><ul><li>Church can not change morality to fit a secular view no matter how severe the pressure. “The Cross remains stationary as the world turns” </li></ul><ul><li>The world rejected Christ it will also reject his Church. (See Fulton Sheen’s Essay) </li></ul><ul><li>Science properly used will never be an enemy of the faith. </li></ul>
  35. 35. References: <ul><li>Science and Faith </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  36. 36. References: <ul><li>Books of Science and Faith </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Beginnings of Western Science” David C. Lindberg </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Scientific Revolution” Stephen Shapin </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Copernican Revolution” Thomas S. Kuhn </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Structures of Scientific Revolutions” Thomas S. Kuhn </li></ul><ul><li>“ How the Irish Saved Civilization” Thomas Cahill </li></ul>
  37. 37. References: <ul><li>Web and Galileo </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  38. 38. References: <ul><li>Books and Galileo </li></ul><ul><li>“Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo” Stillman Drake </li></ul><ul><li>“Galileo, Science, and the Church” Jerome Langford </li></ul><ul><li>“Galileo’s Mistakes” Wade Rowland </li></ul>
  39. 39. References: <ul><li>Web and Population Issues and Pro-Life </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  40. 40. References: <ul><li>Luther Quotes </li></ul><ul><li>From Table Talk: cited from web </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>