"Yes, we can KNOW God exists by reason alone".
Well, that's a given, if one is Catholic. But what about the scoffers who look to science for all answers? The important point to be gained from this film is not St. Thomas' proofs but to try and educated people that what they thought they believed for decades is no longer tenable.
Did you ever once consider the possible effect a film like this might just lead someone, somewhere to embrace the Faith? Most people, even most Catholics have never even heard of Thomas' five proofs. Therefore, a film like this is indeed important from the standpoint that while 'we' may not look favourably on some of the terms employed, nevertheless, may have a great impact on others.
Incidentally, there is no need to quote scripture as I'm rather familiar with it. Nevertheless, your point is well taken. You're right, some will never believe because of the hardness of their hearts. However, many will, therefore, we need to pray for their conversion.
I didn't' reply but I read your "losing the faith" thread. I didn't reply because it sounded to me that a better way to phrase the problem was that you were "out of touch with" (or perhaps never in
touch with) the philosophical foundations of theism. And I think your reply here shows that.
Science certainly can
point to God, but not as powerfully as philosophy. The reason is that science comes after
philosophy. I mean this logically. The very existence
of any natural science presupposes (that is, it depends upon
) certain truths which science is unable, of its very nature, to prove. These are metaphysical truths, certain axioms about the very nature of radical and ontological reality as such. They include (for instance) the fact that things exist
, the principle of non-contradiction (i.e., that a thing cannot both be and not be at once), the fact that change
"is a thing" (which science purports to measure), and at least the theoretical possibility of causality (though as we know, many scientists today will attempt
to cast doubt on this). Without these philosophical presuppositions, there is
no science. They all come before
science. And science is incoherent without granting them as true.
None of these things have anything at all
to do with religion as such. That's why we find the ancient Greeks discussing them, despite the fact that their religious views were not only wrong, but were highly primitive, imaginative, and anthropomorphic.
One of the greatest mistakes of Christian philosophers and apologists (including Catholic ones) today
is that they've given away the store to materialism. They've ceded science's ultimate blunder, mainly, the idea that the only real knowledge that can be had is empirical knowledge. Of course, empirical knowledge can't even prove
this claim, so it's a non-starter, but that hasn't stopped loads of Christian apologists from making ultimately failing arguments against atheism because they are content to argue God as a probability
rather than to demonstrate his metaphysical necessity
. You can prove
God, not as a hypothesis which is more likely than any other, but as a necessary logical conclusion
given a certain set of non-religious philosophical premises. That
is what St. Thomas did-- so his proofs are not "good for Catholics", they're good for atheists
. They're good for people who wouldn't give religion the time of day, because they don't rely on religion in the slightest
to make their case. They rely on the philosophical axioms mentioned above-- non-contradiction, the fact of change, and the rest.
What I would recommend is looking into Dr. Ed Feser. He is a contemporary Thomistic philosopher. He talks about this all the time-- the fact that St. Thomas' proofs (which are really Aristotle's proofs perfected) have never
been overcome; not by philosophy, and certainly
not by science. He has several books (and a blog). I would recommend The Last Superstition especially
, since it is entirely devoted to exactly what we're talking about here: how neither philosophy nor science has ever
answered St. Thomas's completely nonreligious
arguments for the existence of God, and that atheism has made strawmen out of those arguments and not engaged what they actually say. I actually think all Catholics should read that book, because there is a very noticeable popular misunderstanding even among Catholics about what these arguments actually say. For instance, the argument from motion is not
that God had to "push over the first domino," and the argument from cause is not
that an infinite regress is impossible (because it isn't, depending on the type of causality we're considering), the argument from design is not
that "things look complicated so they must have been designed by a higher intelligence", etc.
Anyways, I'm glad that you think that these videos are useful. I think that modern science does
have some very interesting things to say about the existence of God, and those arguments do
have their place, but their place is entirely subordinate to philosophical
arguments for the existence of God from reason. Because at best, a scientific argument for God can only prove that he's likely as a percentage, which can never
overcome atheism, since there's always the real possibility
that God doesn't exist. The Aristotelian-Thomist proofs avoid this dilemma completely: if their premises are true, then God exists as a matter of logical demonstration, not merely as the most likely hypothesis among several.
ETA: Here's Dr. Feser's blog to get your feet wet: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/