Choose a topic from Vol 3:


Reason proves God's existence
Primitive monotheism
Mystery of God's inner nature
Personality of God
Providence of God and the problem of evil


Immortal destiny of man
Can earth give true happiness?
Do human souls evolve?
Is transmigration possible?
Animal souls
Freedom of will
Free will and faith


Religion and God
The duty of prayer
The mysteries of religion
Can we believe in miracles?

The Religion of the Bible

Historical character of the Gospels
Canonical Books of the Bible
Original Manuscripts
Copyists' errors
Truth of the Bible
New Testament "contradictions"

The Christian Religion

Christianity alone true
Not the product of religious experience
Compared with Buddhism, Confucianism, Mahometanism, Bahaism, etc.,
Rejected by modern Jews
The demand for miracles
The necessity of faith
Difficulties not doubts
Proofs available
Dispositions of unbelievers

A Definite Christian Faith

One religion not as good as another
Changing one's religion
Catholic convictions and zeal
Religious controversy
The curse of bigotry
Towards a solution

The Problem of Reunion

Efforts at the reunion of the Churches
The Church of England as a "Bridge-Church"
Anglicans and the Greek Orthodox Church
The "Old Catholics" of Holland
Reunion Conferences
Catholic Unity
The Papacy as reunion center
Protestant hostility to Catholicism
The demands of charity

The Truth of Catholicism

Necessity of the Church
The true Church
Catholic claim absolute
A clerical hierarchy
Papal Supremacy
Temporal Power
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Catholic attitude to converts
Indefectible Apostolicity
Necessity of becoming a Catholic

The Church and the Bible

Catholic belief in the Bible
Bible-reading and private interpretation
Value of Tradition and the "Fathers"
Guidance of the Church necessary

The Dogmas of the Catholic Church

Dogmatic certainty
Credal statements
Faith and reason
The voice of science
Fate of rationalists
The dogma of the Trinity
Creation and evolution
The existence of angels
Evil spirits or devils
Man's eternal destiny
The fact of sin
Nature and work of Christ
Mary, the mother of God
Grace and salvation
The sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
Marriage and divorce
Extreme Unction
Man's death and judgment
Resurrection of the body
End of the World

Moral Teachings of the Catholic Church

Catholic intolerance
The Spanish Inquisition
Prohibition of Books
Liberty of worship
Forbidden Socieities
Church attendance
The New Psychology
Deterministic philosophy
Marriage Legislation
Birth Prevention
Monastic Life
Convent Life
Legal defense of murderers
Laywers and divorce proceedings
Judges in Divorce
Professional secrecy

The Church in Her Worship

Why build churches?
Glamor of ritual
The "Lord's Prayer"
Pagan derivations
Liturgical symbolism
Use of Latin
Intercession of Mary and the Saints

The Church and Social Welfare

The Church and Education
The Social Problem
Social Duty of the Church
Catholicism and Capitalism

Free will and faith

72. Another absurd conclusion to which believers in free will must inevitably come, is the idea that a man is free to believe whatever he likes.

I myself believe in free will, yet I deny absolutely that I must inevitably come to any absurd conclusion as a consequence of my conviction.

73. It is manifestly wrong that a man is free to believe whatever he likes.

Your trouble is a confusion of ideas. Before discussing a subject it is essential to get very clear ideas on that subject, and to know the precise sense of the terms you use. Otherwise, ambiguities and fallacies are bound to result. I know exactly what you have in mind. But you express yourself very badly. What you have in mind cannot be denied. But what you say can be denied. For example, if you drove a motor car at sixty miles an hour, you would know that that car could do sixty miles an hour. You would not be free to believe otherwise. But ifI took that same car out and drove it at eighty-five miles an hour, and came back and told you I had done so, you would be free to believe what you liked about it. You have only my word for it. You could choose to believe me. Or you could choose to doubt my accuracy of observation, or my veracity. Not having experimental knowledge for yourself, it would not be manifestly wrong and absurd for you to believe whatever you liked. You see you have used the word believe without any regard for the motives of belief or for the degrees of certainty in our knowledge.

74. No man can honestly believe that which his reason rejects as untrue.

It is certain that so long as he rejects a thing as untrue, he cannot believe it. But he can cease to reject as untrue what he at one time thought to be untrue on discovering that he has no real proof that it is untrue, either because his former judgment was based on inadequate knowledge, or because there was a fault in his process of reasoning.

75. For instance, I cannot believe that a man once lived three days inside a whale.

Taking your proposition as it stands, I must confess that I would have a good deal of difficulty in believing it myself. If, however, a man said to me, "The God Who created this universe arranged that a huge fish (not necessarily a whale) should swallow a man, and by His divine power God kept that man alive inside the fish," I would certainly agree that it was not impossible for an omnipotent God to do such a thing. I could believe it, though I would not believe it actually occurred without a convincing authority for doing so.

76. I may try for hours to convince myself that I believe this, but the simple fact still remains, I cannot believe it.

At one time men could not believe that a person in England could speak to another person in America. But we, who know of radio transmission, find no difficulty in believing it. For the factor rendering it possible is known to us, whereas it was unknown to them. They could not believe it so long as the factor of radio transmission was omitted from the proposition. Now, if you restrict your proposition to a man, a whale, and the man's living inside the whale for three days, omitting all reference to God's intervention, your difficulties do not surprise me. But will you say that God Himself could not cause such an event to happen? I am not asking you to believe that it did happen. I only suggest that, since God could do it, you could believe it if He did do it.

77. The only force which can possibly alter my beliefs is an appeal to my reason by way of demonstration, argument, evidence, etc.

There are other forces which could alter your beliefs, despite your assertion to the contrary. I knew a girl who believed absolutely in the rectitude of a man she loved, despite evidence to the contrary clear to all others who knew him. After two years her love faded, and her belief changed. A human being's beliefs are often dictated by psychological factors and this is because the human will is free, making possible the will to believe in those who desire to believe. And where the Christian religion is concerned, the will to believe involves no conflict with reason. Belief is, in fact, the reasonable choice.



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