Highest Rated Comments

Instaconfused27413 karma

Hello Bishop Barron. I'm an Atheist that has read some of your works. Thank you for stopping by. Before I ask my questions I just want to begin by saying that I actually agree with a lot of your ideas. I think your critiques of the New Atheism and their dogmatic commitment to Scientism are especially salient. I also really enjoyed your book Arguing Religion where you encourage a return to rational argumentation that is modeled by clarity, rigor, and respect for one's interlocutor. I also especially appreciate that you highlight the importance of civil disagreement, utilizing the classic example of G.K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw.

With that said, I do have some questions:

  1. In your work, you consistently call upon Atheists and Non-Believers to take on the Catholic Intellectual tradition seriously, by invoking this notion that we should take on the strongest of the opposing views instead of settling for straw-men. I agree with this, and further agree that many atheists don't understand the Catholic conception of God, namely the notion of God as being itself, or as Aquinas would put it ipsum esse subsistens, rather than just being another being that competes with others in our ontology. My question then is: Following your method of argumentation, have you yourself taken the opportunity to engage with the best of what philosophical Atheism has to offer? I'm well aware you're familiar with continental thought, such as the work of Marx, Satre, Camus, Foucault, etc. But I'm more asking if you're aware of the work of contemporary analytic atheist philosophers such as J.L. Mackie, Graham Oppy, J.H. Sobel, Paul Draper, Quentin Smith, Wes Morriston, Evan Fales, Richard Gales, etc? Unlike popular level atheists, many of these individuals understand the classical-theist tradition you belong to and have offered powerful critiques, that are respected and taken seriously by Theistic philosophers. I'd love to know your thoughts on some of these serious and formidable Atheists?
  2. You've routinely talked about how the vast majority of Catholics are uninformed in their faith. For example, only 1/3rd of Catholics accept the Church's teaching of the real presence of the Eucharist. I know you've talked about how this is the result of a "dumbing-down" of the faith, but I'm curious if you could provide some philosophical/theological explanations as to why God would allow so many of his followers to be ignorant about important teachings of His church? Especially when this ignorance leads a lot of other people to leave the faith as well?
  3. What projects are you working on at Word on Fire that will appeal exclusively to Atheists? I know you've released a Word on Fire Bible and a book for parents to help their kids return to the faith, but I'm working if you have any projects in the work targetted towards sincere Atheists that outline a reasonable case for Catholicism or Theism from the ground up?

Thank you.

Instaconfused274 karma

Same here. Surprisingly he ended up replying to people that responded to my question for some reason.