God, the Biologist by Monsignor Ferrarese

Every age has an error that it unconsciously accepts to be true but is false; and that basic adherence to this wrong thinking affects everything. Think of the erroneous thought that slavery is acceptable in a society of free men and women. We now see this as a contradiction but for centuries it was an accepted fact that did untold harm to millions of people.

I believe that the error that choice creates reality is one of the fundamental errors of our time. Let me explain.

We live in an age of relativism. No matter what we affirm, someone will say: but I do not agree. I think otherwise. So, without any love for objective truth, we can say: “while this is true for me that is true for you”.  So let’s both go home content that we are right, even if our positions are diametrically opposed to one another. So therefore, my opinion must be respected whether or not it is right or wrong.

This is considered ‘settled argumentation’ by many in our society even though in practical terms we would never accept this state of affairs. Could you imagine someone saying: “this car does not work” and another saying “this car works” and everyone going home saying “I am right”. No. We are practical enough and have common sense enough to say: well, let someone try to start the car and see who is right and who is wrong. It cannot be true that the car works and does not work. Here science tells us we must investigate and come to a conclusion that would prove one opinion true and one opinion false.

Because I believe something to be true does not make it true.

Amazingly enough, people accept the other contradictory line of reasoning that “this is true for you and not for me, so let’s both go home and let us be tolerant of each other’s opinion.”

Now, this line of false reasoning is invoked even in the face of biological evidence to the contrary. Take for instance the troublesome issue of Abortion. Two women can both be 4 months pregnant. One wants to bring the fetus to term and therefore calls what is growing in her womb ‘my baby’. But the other woman judges that she cannot bring a child into the world (for sometimes very good reasons) and treats the growing fetus as if it is not a child and terminates that life.

Or even more amazingly, the same woman may think it one week that it is her child and the next week that it is not her child! Human reason should say: it is either a child or not a child irrespective of the opinion of the mother. So if someone causes the death of the fetus in both those cases, is it murder in the case of the woman who believes it to be her child and not murder in the case of the other woman?

But the point I am trying to make is about the underlying false assumption that what I choose to believe actually changes the reality of things.

One must always react with compassion in the situation of someone like the woman who is pregnant because of rape or a transgender person. I do not mean to cast an unfeeling eye to some very difficult and painful situations. But this overriding of reality by wishing it to be otherwise simply does not work. Other solutions need to be found in these difficult and painful conflicts that do not override reality itself.

God speaks to us in all of reality, including biology. Science is not in opposition to God. It is the study of what God creates.

This is also true in the realm of the spiritual. God has placed certain rules in the world of the spiritual that cannot simply be wished away unless God in His almighty providence changes them.

Being spiritual persons does not release us from the demands of logic and reason.

God is Lord of the material and the spiritual.

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