Proof of Gods

John R. Ernst ernst at
Sun Nov 5 22:43:18 MST 1995

You got an answer only a Jesuit would give.  As long as 
one is able to conduct reasonable discussions, who cares 
about the "God" bit?   Note that Castro, Michael Harrington, 
and no doubt a few others were taught by the Jesuits.  The 
order itself seems not to be trusted by many in the Catholic 
Church.   They think too much. 
On Sun, 5 Nov 1995 Robert Peter Burns <rburns at> said: 
>> Jim J. writes: Show me proof of gods. 
>> 	So excuse me if I draw the more realistic conclusion and choose  
>> not to believe in goblins. 
>Jim's request is a stupid one, because if one were to apply the 
>standard of proof he requires for showing there is a God to 
>the question of whether Jim has a mind, he couldn't prove he 
>has a mind, or that there are quarks <which he tells me off-list 
>he also believes in>.  The correct standard is not that of *proof*, 
>but of *reasonable belief*, and off-list I gave Jim serious philosophical 
>reasons for my belief in God, which he failed to engage with in a  
>serious or informed way, resorting instead to ignorant jibes about  
>'superstition','feudal' mentality, 'fairytales', and now he talks of  
>goblins.  The fact is that some very sophisticated, rational,  
>scientifically and philosophically trained people do think that there  
>are persuasive reasons for believing in God, and I discussed some of 
>these reasons off-list with Jim, and got no adequate response.  True,  
>there are also very sophisticated, rational, philosophically and  
>scientifically trained people who remain unpersuaded. 
>But this disagreement is one between reasonable, intellectually  
>sophisticated people, not one between rationally superior beings 
>on the one hand, and superstitious gullible fools on the other. 
>As I told Jim off-list, and will repeat now, it really pisses me 
>off when people who obviously know and understand less about 
>the key issues in this debate than I do, nevertheless feel entitled 
>to adopt a tone of condescending disdain.  If one is an agnostic 
>or an atheist, fine--there are reasons on both sides, and reasonable 
>people differ.  But don't assume that one is thereby a 
>more intelligent or rational being than I am, or that I am given 
>to superstition.  That would be to go way beyond the evidence, Jim. 
>Peter Burns SJ 
>rburns at 
>PS--When Karl Marx was involved in setting up the First International 
>Working Men's Association, he refused to exclude from it religious 
>believers.  If that was good enough for Marx, it's good enough for  
>     --- from list marxism at --- 
John R. Ernst 

     --- from list marxism at ---

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