The Bing Bang does not contradict Catholic Teaching
Debate Rounds (5)
Thank you for accepting this debate. Much respect to you.
So does the Big Bang Theory contradict the Catholic faith and the bible? Well to answer this question we'd first have to cover what it is that the big bang theory states.
The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory is the widely accepted notion that the universe began in a hyper-dense point called a singularity. Now our minds cannot fully comprehend what a singularity is but we know that it is a point in which the gravitational pressure is so intense it actually turns finite matter into an infinite density. This means that at the beginning of our universe some 13.7 BILLION years ago all the energy and matter were compacted into a single point in space. When that singularity expanded however all the matter and energy in the universe spread out far and wide and thus was the beginning of the universe.
Contradictions with the Bible.
Now while the Big Bang Theory shows us that the universe began by natural causes the Bible teaches us something different. Genesis 1 tells a story of god creating the world in just seven days. First he makes the Earth and makes some land. Then he makes some light (he doesn't make any light SOURCE mind you just the light). Then god makes some plants (but he hasn't made the sun yet cause screw that photosynthesis crap). Then he makes two lights one for day and one for night (Yep, apparently the moon is it's own light now). Then he makes some animals and so on and so forth. Now that's just the first chapter of Genesis. The second chapter oddly enough tells a different story to the first which raises some questions but I'll push that to the side for now.
How the two don't coincide.
It's quite simple to see why the two don't coincide. One requires a creator and the other doesn't. One relies on actual scientific data that has been gathered, tested, tested again, peer reviewed, and published and the other relies on the texts of a book written by bronze-age goat herders with so many scientific and historical innacuracies and contradictions within itself that if it was sent to any competent editor today it'd be thrown in the trash. Simple as that.
You and I agree that "our minds cannot fully comprehend what a singularity is but we know that it is a point in which the gravitational pressure is so intense it actually turns finite matter into an infinite density." Our minds cannot fully comprehend something yet we agree in its validity. Well our minds do not fully understand God but many use that as an argument against God. Clearly, just because we do not fully understand something or someone does not mean that that something is not real/true.
Now, the Bible does state that the universe was created in seven days. This does not contradict The Catholic Church's accordance with the Big Bang for these reasons:
The Bible was divinely inspired and designed to be interpreted. When Jesus says that if our right had causes us to sin we should cut it off, that is a figurative way of saying we should avoid that which causes us to sin. In the same way, God revealed Himself through the prophets in a way they could understand. If God had said "I created a singular point from which near infinite density caused near infinite gravity etc" then simply no one could have understood Him. Rather, he revealed Himself in a way that the prophets and people of the time could comprehend. *Note the Bible also is literal in parts. Like the divinity of Christ and His resurrection is to be taken literally*
Furthermore, the Catholic Church created the Bible. The Church existed before the Bible was compiled. The Church knew the Bible, from its very beginning, would need to be interpreted. That is why the Church eventually created the Magisterium. It is the Magisterium's sole duty to interpret the divinely inspired Bible, and then to also teach it. If you argue that literal interpretation of the Bible would contradict the Big Bang theory, any good Catholic would agree. That is because Catholic teaching does not teach that the Bible is taken literally. Actually, this is one of the reasons Martin Luther split with the Church. In his belief of Sola Scriptura, he believed in literal interpretation of the Bible as well as that the bible was the only thing needed for salvation. The Catholic Church held firm AGAINST these beliefs and that is, in part, why Luther split to form the Protestant Church. And since I'm arguing true Catholic teaching, then literal interpretation of the Bible holds no ground. When you use literal interpretation as an argument, you are agreeing with the Catholic Church that the universe was not created in seven days.
Refutation to Paragraphs 1 and 2
It's not really ironic at all. It's not that our minds can fully comprehend what a singularity IS but what a singularity MEANS. It sounds similar but it's not. See we know that it's a point of infinite density but we can't really comprehend what infinitely dense matter would act like, look like, feel like, ect. See what I mean?
Also, our minds do fully comprehend god, or more specifically your concept of god as there are many many MANY different concepts of god. We understand the concepts of gods through the "holy" books that describe them. For instance we know that your concept of god is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipresent. Never mind all the contradictions that raises. But then again noone was saying that just because we can't conprehend something it's not real so it's odd that you even put this in here.
Refutations to Paragraphs 3 and 4
Despite our differences on what inspired the bible your first 2 sentences make sense, but that's all that does. As said before if your concept of god was omnipotent why did he have to straight up lie and give them a story that is so far from the Big Bang Theory that it's almost laughable? If he's all knowing he should know a dubmed down way to explain it, even I can do it and I'm not even claiming omniscience, watch. "Alright so literally EVERYTHING that exists was smushed together into a tiny space, then one day it spread out. Alright now write that down and go tell the rest of the Hebrews." See? Not that hard and I didn't have to come up with a whole story about how I created everything in 7 days with detailed descriptions on how I did it.
Refutation to Paragraph 5
Now this is the one that really got me. First off the Catholic Church did NOT create the Bible. I don't know where you heard that but it's rediculous. The earliest writings of the old testament were around for CENTURIES before Jesus was even born! These stories were passed down for generations by the Hebrews untill some scribes finally got around to compiling them into a comprehensive collection. Even then those Hebrews weren't Catholic they were Jewish! Catholicism didn't officially come untill around 325AD When Constantine proclaimed it the official religion of rome.
Also, Catholicism doesn't really have one central rule list of what it thinks about which parts are taken literally and which aren't. Catholic beliefs are really defined by those who hold them. I know many Catholics who take the bible literally. I know many who take almost all of is allegorically. I know some who take the parts like the creation story literally and Jesus' teachings allegorically. Using the whole "Well no TRUE Catholic would say that it ect ect ect..." You're using a No True Scottsman fallacy and are saying that people who don't conform to what you think Catholicism is aren't "True" Catholics.
Now lets say you are a Hebrew living in a time that had extremely limited understanding of universal studies. No one had yet truly proven much astronomy with science. Most of what you knew about the universe was centered around our own planet, sun, and moon. They may have tracked stars, but they could not yet understand how a universe would be expanding. It makes sense to you and I to say the universe began in a speck of matter that continually spread out with great force. But for the people of the time, such a statement would be absurd. The prophets were not modern day physicists, or even high school physic students. Without first understanding that the universe is an extremely vast space, there is gravitational force, along with the concepts of matter and energy, the ancient prophets would have no way of beginning to comprehend the universe being created by such a means. There was no foundation from which to accept such a theory as the Big Bang. It would make more sense in order to convey the message that created the universe in a way that was perfectly understandable to the common human at the time. So actually, it was quite an ingenious way to explain creation at the time.
Who told you the Church did not create the Bible???? That is ridiculous. The Bible is the COLLECTIVE arrangement of Old and New Testaments. Obviously, the scriptures in the Old Testament predate the Church, and they are supposed to. But those scriptures by themselves are not the Bible. They are parts of the Bible, but the Bible is the compilation of ALL the scriptures from the Old and New Testament. The Church was the one who compiled these writings into what is known as the Bible. So yeah, the Church created the Bible! And so what if the hebrews were Jewish? Jesus was a Jew. That has nothing to do with the argument about the Bible.
Also your historical reference is wrong. Catholicism had officially existed before 325, hence the persecution of Catholics. Constantine, by issuing what is known as the Edict of Nicaea, LEGALIZED Christianity in Rome. Constantine never made it "the official religion of Rome." It was not until under Theodosius in 380 AD, that Christianity was made the official religion of Rome.
Catholicism does have a central rule book that covers the Church from A-Z. It is called the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You might ask, who wrote the Catechism of the Catholic Church? The Magisterium wrote it. Read the whole thing and you will understand everything about Catholic faith and the Bible. Catholic beliefs are not defined by those who hold them. Catholicism is centered around infallible doctrines of faith. And if someone doesn't agree with a doctrine, like Martin Luther chose to do, then that person is no longer a Catholic. Catholics who read the entire Bible literally are no longer acting in the way of Catholicism. And those who say the Bible is entirely an allegory also are no longer acting in the ways of Catholicism. I would tell those people, who clearly do not understand the Catholic faith and teaching, to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. And people would not be conforming to me. They would be acting in line with Catholic doctrine. And the breaking of a Catholic doctrine is grounds for excommunication with the Church. People who don't act in the way the Catholic Church teaches and those who don't believe what the Catholic Church teaches are not true Catholics. Its not my own subjective viewpoint of Catholicism they are supposed to "conform" to. And guess what, there are good and bad catholics. But the Church is willing to accept anyone and forgive anyone if that person is willing to seek forgiveness, even a bad Catholic.
Finally, and I actually just discovered this while I was researching the Big Bang today, I would ask you to look up who first proposed the theory of the Big Bang. His name was Georges Lemaitre. And guess what. He was a Jesuit priest working at the Catholic University of Leuven. Jesuits are a Catholic order, so you can thank a Catholic for coming up with the first theory of the Big Bang!!
Alright well you actualy got my point completely backwards but it's entirely my fault because there was a typo. When I said "Can understand" I meant "Can't". It was completely my fault on that one. Even then though your argument is just not correct. We can understand the concept of god and we can understand omnipotency, it just takes a lot of thinking to really get. The rest of this paragraph is essentially just ramblings and is still completely irrelivant to the topic in the first place.
Well most of this paragraph is actually correct save for the last sentence. It wasn't ingenious it was a flat out lie. Again since he's omnipotent he also would have known that they wouldn't understand what he said and he also would have known a way to say it to make them understand OR he could have just said "You're not gonna get it so let's just drop the subject till later." instead of coming up with a story that again is so far from the Big Bang Theory that it's almost laughable. The point is this, the story in the Bible is what Catholicism teaches as the beginning of the universe and what it teaches directly conflicts with what is taught in the big bang theory. And don't try to say "Catholics don't teach that" because for the early part of my life I was forced to go to a Catholic school and that IS what they taught us.
Paragraphs 3 and 4
You basically just proved my point. They COMPILED the Bible (and the Catholic Church didn't even do THAT first) but they didn't CREATE the Bible. Also this leads into my next point so I'll mention it first but the Catholic Church WAS NOT AROUND before around 325 when they tried to unite the Roman Empire under Christianity however Constantine wasn't fully dedicated to the faith and mixed it with his pagan practices and beliefs which is when the Catholic Church was really founded. That being said the first canon that was compiled was the Muratorian Canon which was compiled around 170AD which we can see was LONG before the Catholic church. But with this ENTIRE paragraph there's jsut one huge glaring problem. IT'S IRRELIVANT! It's completely irrelivant WHO created the Bible to the original argument of "Does The Big Bang Conflict with Catholic Teachings".
Quick side note however. While there is the big book o rules my point was that not everyone follows it to the letter and yet those people ARE still Catholics. If they identify as Catholics, go to Catholic churches, and do Catholic practices then they ARE Catholics even if they don't follow every little rule in the book. But none of this really matters to you does it as you recycled your No True Scotsman fallacy in the last paragraph.
*sigh* The statement while interesting is irrelivant. The religion of a person making a groundbreaking discovery is irrelivant unless the person made that discovery through or because of their religion.
Ok, if God just had left out the point that He created the universe, then he would have failed to include quite possibly His most important role in the universe: Being the Creator. That would be a foolish thing for Him to do as it an essential piece to religious faith/belief/and knowledge of and about God. Lets just say you had created the entire universe and every being was dependent on you. Would you really not include that in the religion you brought to the people? God gave us free will. That means we gave us an intellect and ability to search for ourselves. God gave us the means by which we could make scientific discoveries such as the Big Bang. He is letting us, through human reason, uncover and unravel the mystery behind the creation which He set in motion. If God really came down and told us every answer to every scientific question, that would inherently eliminate a joy/source of mental growth/job opportunity for thousands of people. If God wants what is best for us, wouldn't it make sense He then would have left things to be discovered for those people whose minds sought out scientific answers. God would have robbed the world of our Einstein's, Hubble's, Lemaitre's, Newton's, Pascal's if God had told the ancient Hebrews how the universe scientifically came to be. Those men would have served no purpose in the history of human development had God given us scientific answers. He left those questions for us to discover so that we may have the greatest scientific thinkers in human history. So yes, it was an ingenuous way to form the creation story.
And as there are bad catholics, so too are there bad catholic theology curriculums. I, unfortunately, would agree with you that many schools/universities/teachers/PSR classes fail to really teach Catholic theology well. These classes often do not focus on the difficult reason and revelation which the Catholic faith possesses. Instead of teaching St. Thomas Aquinas' Five Proofs in order to reveal a creation story and then studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church, many teachers will just say "Read Genesis, and write about how you feel about it." There is a lack of true Catholic theology being taught, which is one of the reasons I chose to debate this topic. So I agree that poor and inaccurate theology that lacks depth is being taught. And that needs to be reformed.
I don't think you understand what the Bible is. So let me refresh:
The Bible is the collection of 66 Scriptures from the Old Testament and New Testament that the Church bound together in one book which is now called the Bible. If you just take 4 Scriptures from the Old Testament, you do not have the Bible. If you put 65 Scriptures on Microsoft Word, it is not the Bible. The Bible is EACH AND EVERY SCRIPTURE COMBINED AND BOUND IN ONE BOOK (or now in this new technological age, putting them all on a PDF would suffice). I think you are mistaking individual Scriptures for being the Bible. That is wrong. Because the Church selected 66 Scriptures and bound them together, the Church created the Bible.
The Catholic Church did not have any established physical churches made out of stone. The Catholic Church did not have any wealth or property to call its own. The Catholic Church did not have any legal rights. But the Catholic Church existed amongst the people, chiefly the apostles and disciples, (such as Peter) who went throughout the land and preached the word of God and Jesus' life on Earth and resurrection. Jesus said to Peter You are the foundation on which I build my Church. So you see, the Catholic Church did not need any material possession to officially existed. This is because wherever anyone who preached the God's message and Jesus's life and resurrection, the Holy Spirit and hence, the Catholic Church, was there. So the Catholic Church was officially established at Pentecost, roughly 40 days after Jesus' resurrection.
And if this is so irrelevant as to who wrote Scriptures in the Bible and to who created the Bible, then why did you bring up that the writers of the Old Testament, the Hebrews, were Jewish? Why would you say in the third round that, and I quote:
"These stories were passed down for generations by the Hebrews untill some scribes finally got around to compiling them into a comprehensive collection. Even then those Hebrews weren't Catholic they were Jewish!"?
Clearly it seemed you had a plan to use the fact they were Jewish in an argument against the Bible's authenticity? Or did you just want to include that for fun?
So in round 3 you say that "Catholicism doesn't really have one central rule list of what it thinks about which parts of the Bible are taken literally which aren't" but then in Round 4 you agree with me and say "While there is the big book of rules my point was that not everyone follows in to the letter and those people are still Catholics." No, your point in the opening sentence of round 3 was explicitly stated that there was no rule book, but Catholics can make up their own rules. But now all of a sudden you try to change your point in round 4 in being that there IS a rule book but people don't follow it! Which is it? Because you have explicitly contradicted yourself in two different rounds about the existence of a "rule book".
Yes, I would agree if a person goes to Church as often as they can and makes an honest effort to attend and pay attention, as well as makes an honest effort to truly follow Catholic practices, then they are a Catholic. But here is a different between breaking Catholic doctrine or dogma, which are both infallible, and not confirming to a certain Catholic tradition. Here is an example, yet it is extreme:
Joe, a catholic, murdered an innocent man. One Catholic doctrine/dogma is you shall not murder. By killing an innocent man, and breaking and infallible Catholic doctrine/dogma, Joe can be excommunicated from the Church unless he seeks honest repentance.
Joe, a Catholic, receives a tattoo. Joe believes tattoos are cool and acceptable. Eric is a Catholic who personally opposes tattoos. But because getting a tattoo is not an issue of infallible doctrine, Eric and Joe are equally good Catholics, whether one supports tattoos or the other does not. Any good Catholic can support tattoos and thats ok. And any good Catholic can oppose tattoos and thats ok.
But when we deal with literal interpretation of the Bible, reading the Bible literally is going against church teaching. However, it does not remain grounds enough for excommunication. Rather, that person is failing to fully grasp the Catholic faith and should be redirected towards the right path.
The reason Martin Luther was excommunicated is different. His literal interpretation of the Bible and his 95 theses were not enough in order to be excommunicated. It was his public burning of the Papal Bull and changing of the seven sacraments as well as removing clergy from the Church that was the grounds for his excommunication.
Obviously no one is perfect, therefore no one will follow the Catechism of the Catholic Church to the letter. And this is why the Catholic Church has reconciliation for repentance and forgiveness. The Catholic Church is called the Church for sinners for a reason. The Catholic Church knows we all will make mistakes, but it is in our seeking forgiveness for our mistakes that we are redeemed. That is one of the most important missions of the Catholic Church.
And actually it is relevant. Lemaitre was a relatively delicate man. He preferred to separate his religion with his science so he wouldn't upset people from looking at his finding objectively. However, there is something to note that when the man who first discovered the Big Bang was a practicing Catholic priest, whose research was funded by a Catholic University, and whose findings, once published, were inspected by the Pope of the Catholic Church, there is an intimate connection between the Big Bang and Catholicism. Lemmatire said, that while this does not by necessity prove God's existence, his discovery does coincide with "Isaiah speaking of a hidden God." Furthermore, Pope Pius XII referred to the Big Bang as scientific validation of the Catholic faith. So actually it is relevant.
Leaving out paragraph one as it's a debate for another time.
So your entire point in this paragraph is that telling them the truth would have robbed us of some sort of emotional satisfaction in discovery? The problem with your hypothetical "what if you had created the universe" analogy that makes it unanalogous with Christianity is that not every human being is dependant on your concept of a god. This paragraph is basically just an entire appeal to emotion fallacy and theres no real sense going through all of it as it's basically just "Well if he had told us what happened we wouldn't get to x, y , and z." Although there is one glaring problem I wish to address. If god had wanted us to know but didn't want to rob us of discovery why did he have to lie? you still haven't addressed this fully and you still have yet to refute the point that what the Bible teaches and what the Big Bang Theory teaches are basically complete opposites. And I made THAT point back in round 2! Even if god had wanted us to find out for ourselves how he made the universe why did he have to go "Well I did it in seven ect ect ect..." Imagine if everyone had read that and gone "Well that's what happened no sense fact checkin that." We'd all still believe the Earth was made in 7 days! But seriously if he had actually wanted us to find out he could have just gone "Well I'm not gonna tell you know because you wont get it but later on in time everything will become clear. You just gotta figure it out yourself."
Yet again you concede that the Church just compiled the Bible into what it is and didn't actually "create" it. See it's like this. If the Catholic church had written 1 or 2 books from the Bible then they would have created part of the Bible. Not the whole thing, just part. If I make a giant collection of Rohl Dahl poems that I like and compile them into what I call "Dahl Poetry Spectacular" that doesn't mean I "created" the book. It just means I threw a bunch of poems that someone else created and put a new name on it.
This has been being argued among people for quite some time but it's the widely accepted notion that the actual Catholic church was not founded untill around 325. Yes people taught part of what the Catholic church teaches for centuries before hand but they didn't teach anything about the Saints or worship the Virgin Mary before the actual belief system came around in 325. To be clear the apostles and others who taught these things were just CHRISTIANS not Catholics just like the Romans didn't persecute Catholics they just persecuted the CHRISTIANS.
Paragraphs 5, 6, and 7
Well I brought up the fact that they were Jewish just to rebut what you were saying that Catholics created the bible. I wasn't going to use it against the Bibles authenticity and I don't even think you COULD use it against it's authenticity which means this entire section is pure speculation and irrelevant rambling. Trust me if I wanted to invalidate the Bibles authenticity Id use the hundreds of contradictions within it's own texts and the historical and scientific errors it posseses, not the race of the people who wrote it.
This entire paragraph is just sort of a personal attack on something where YOU tried to dictate what I meant by something I said. Which is just crazy. That is in fact what I meant back in round 3 I just worded it really bad and I apologize for that. Trying to twist my words doesn't exactly help your case though.
Paragraphs 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13
This is all just irrelevant conjecture and hypotheticals involving what can and can't get you excommunicated and what does and does not make you a real Catholic. None of this even mentions anything to do with the original topic.
Paragraph 14 and Conclusion
There is no "Intimate connection between the Big Bang and Catholicism" There is an intimiate connection between the man who CREATED the Big Bang Theory however the theory itself and the church have little to no connection. You even stated this yourself he preferred to keep his science and religion separate which brings me back to my original point, the religion of a perosn making a discovery is irrelivant unless the discover was made through or because of his religion.
This entire debate pro has done nothing to refute the fact that what Catholicism and the Bible teaches as the start of the universe and what the Big Bang teaches is so drastically different it's surprising that it's even questioned if they're related. The Bible and Catholicism teaches that the Earth was made in 7 days by gods hand while the Big Bang theory states that is was made form a rapidly expanding singularity. Pro has dont nothing to discuss or refute this and has instead filled this with irrelevant discussions and conjecture. I urge voters to vote con and thank pro for a contructive debate.
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