Proof of Gods
John R. Ernst
ernst at pipeline.com
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 chaph.usc.edu> 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 scf.usc.edu
>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 lists.village.virginia.edu ---
John R. Ernst
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