Sunday, March 1, 2015

Looking For God In All The Wrong Places

    There’s an old joke about a police officer who was walking his beat one night when he came upon a man, apparently drunk, crawling around on his hands and knees on the pavement under a streetlamp.
     “What are you doing?” asked the officer.
     “Looking for my keys,” came the reply.
     “Where’d you lose them?” returned the constable.
     “Over there” answered the other, gesturing toward a shadowy area outside the halo of the streetlamp.
     “Then why are you looking here?” demanded the bemused policeman.
     “Well,” said the man, looking up at the officer, “the light’s better here.”
     I am sometimes reminded of the unfortunate man under the streetlight when I am engaged in discussion with atheists of my acquaintance.  It’s not that they are intoxicated, but that they insist on conducting the search for God where He cannot possibly be found, using a method that is guaranteed not to find Him. 
     Most atheists I talk to are materialists, who insist that we can’t reasonably argue for the existence of God unless we can detect his presence using the tools of science.  This is, of course, a very narrow and limited understanding of “reason” (an one for which they have a hard time coming up with a reasonable defense).  They either can’t or won’t accept that the Creator of the universe must logically be outside  his creation  (just as an artist cannot be inside his own painting), while science can only detect things that are part of the natural universe.  If God is truly God, then finding Him through scientific inquiry is as useless as looking for lost keys thirty feet away from where you know you dropped them. 

Unless, of course, you don’t want to find anything . . .

This Week’s Posts

The question of Reason, Belief, and how and why we share the Faith with those who don’t believe was a major element in a number of my posts for the past week.   Those and others are linked below:

Monday – “Pergolesi: Miserere mei Deus” I've posted Allegri's "Miserere" several times, but other composers have done wonderful things with this most penitential of Psalms: here's one . . . 

Tuesday – “Josquin Des Prez: Miserere mei Deus” . . .and here's another beautiful musical setting for Psalm 51

Wednesday – “Abortion Myth # 3” Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said that everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts - case in point, the canard that "women suffer no psychological consequences from abortion"

Thursday – “Can The Good Be The Enemy Of The Perfect?” Some people argue that we should avoid contentious issues and just stick to the Gospel; this is my response

       And – Does He ReallyExpect Us To Be Perfect?” Tell the truth, now: don't you feel just a little inadequate to the task when you read: "Be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is Perfect" (Matthew 5:48) ?

Friday – “Moses, Pharaoh, & Why We Preach The Gospel”  Moses was a poor speaker, but God chose him as his spokesman anyway - what's up with that?

Sunday - Saint Augustine on Belief & Understanding/Sunday Snippets To say, as St. Augustine did, that understanding is the reward of Faith, does not at all mean that the Faith is unreasonable