2. Why Believe? by J. F. Kippley

The human existence approach.  Does my existence have meaning?  If there is no God and thus no meaning to life beyond money and pleasure and power, why not commit suicide?
Jacques Maritain (1882-1973) and his wife Raisa (1883-1960) were philosophy students in Paris learning the materialistic doctrines of the day and concluded that life has no meaning.  They were considering suicide when they met Leon Bloy who introduced them to Catholic Christianity.  That was truly a life-saving event for them.

The argument from Design:  Anthony Flew, (died April 8, 2010) was an English philosopher in the field of the philosophy of religion.
A notorious atheist most of his life, he was caught up in the problem of evil beyond that caused by personal sin.  In 2004 at age 81, he announced that he was now a believer in deism.
Mr. Flew gave two science-based reasons for his rejection of atheism.
1) DNA research “has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, that intelligence must have been involved.”
2) Inconsistencies in the Darwinian account of evolution (NY Times, 2010/04/17).  That is, a completely materialistic approach to evolution, as contrasted with a theistic guided evolution, is simply inadequate to deal with the real world.

The approach of logical reasoning.  St. Thomas Aquinas developed the Five Ways of coming to the conviction that God exists.  You can search them on the internet.
Here is one sentence from the Second Way concerning causality:
“There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible.”   Very briefly, nothing comes from nothing.  We are here.  Someone got us started.  That Being we call God.
This Second Way is probably the easiest to understand because it starts with you and me and all of us.  I don’t need any education to realize that I am not the reason for my own existence.  I was born from my mother, and no matter how far back you can imagine, you bump up against the reality that someone had to start the chain.  In the language of philosophy, that Being is the First Cause.

To be continued next week.
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