A followup letter from someone watching Father Matthew Presents:
I was linked to AskthePriest.org from a movie with Father Matthew that responded to the Blasphemy Challenge from the Rational Response Squad. Now I'm a member of the RRS, so naturally i expected the priest to attack and condem the movie, but he actually made a lot of sense. He seemes to understand what is going on at the moment when it comes to Atheistic movements. Anyway, I'm sure you have seen the video :)
I myself am an Atheist, probably because I was born in Sweden which has a relatively large percentage of Atheists, and as I said before, I'm a member of the Rational Response Squad. After observing Christianity I find it natural to see it as irrational. Basically because there is a lack of evidence. There still are no evidence to this day of a supreme beeing. I'd love to hear what kind of evidence you can present to me that is not based on faith, simply because when you lack evidence, you need faith.
It looks like this might become an interesting ongoing dialogue. My initial response was this:
You might first take a look at my commentary on Fr. Matthew's video with accompanying links here.
I think the problem lies in the assertion that since there is no "scientific" proof of the existence of God, that therefore God does not exist. This is a great change in the way in which the scientific method is used since it's inception. There is a big difference between saying, "We don't have evidence, so there is doubt" and "We don't have evidence, so it doesn't exist." The first is a responsible use of the scientific method which takes into account the limitations of the method itself. The second is a statement that is a faith-based distortion of the method - the faith is simply in science rather than in God.
We all have faith - no one works by "pure reason." A scientist has faith that the researchers whose work he builds his work upon are credible and that he does not have to re-test every assumption. Sometimes this faith is mis-placed, such as with the recent cloning and cold fusion fiascos. Sometimes a scientist's pre-concieved notions infiltrate their work, such as Nazi eugenics or American Antebellum race theory.
It is interesting to me that no one suggests we ditch science because of those failures, but when people criticize religion, they routinely mention the Crusades, et. al. Religion, especially in it's institutionalized form, is every bit as subject to human failure as science (look at the Bush administration's muzzling of that for an example), but those failures do not "sum up" the whole of religion.
Every human society throughout history has had an innate understanding that the divine exists. That 's a lot of evidence, at least as good as that used by modern Psychology or Sociology. The burden actually rests on science to disprove God's existence, which it's methods are not designed to be able to do, since by definition God is beyond human senses and deduction.
AskThePriest - The Heresy of Literalism
AskThePriest - How to Read a Story
AskThePriest - Religion and Science