I like to make my own decisions - and really resent someone else trying to do my thinking for me.
So I became a Catholic?!
I've posted about this before. (November 24, 2009, September 19, 2009)
There's been a bit of buzz in the online Catholic community, about people and organizations who claim to be Catholic but seem to be making up their own version of Catholic beliefs. I've posted about this, too - I've put links in the "related posts" below.
Thinking My Way Through to BeliefBefore I converted to Catholicism, being the sort of person I was, I had to think my way through what I believed about something before I could really believe it.
Now that I'm a practicing Catholic, being the sort of person I am, I have to think my way through what I believe about something before I can really believe it.
Every human being has free will: I can decide to believe whatever I want. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1730) So can you. A few minutes from now, I could decide to abandon Catholicism and start following Thor. That'd be a daft thing to do: but in principle I could make that choice.
Being a practicing Catholic hasn't taken away my free will: and it certainly hasn't made me a "different person." Not deep down inside.
Being Catholic has Changed Me: But Not By MuchWhat has changed in me are a few details about the process I go through in evaluating a belief.
These days, when I learn about some detail of the human condition that's new to me - that happens pretty often - I go to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and some other officially-sanctioned resources like the USCCB (since I live in America) and the Holy See.
Knowing What I Believe, and Why I Believe ItWhile doing my research, I find out what the Church teaches - or where the best minds of the Catholic Church are, in sorting out some new wrinkle in culture and technology. That shows me what I need to believe.
Then I start studying how the Church arrived (or is arriving) at that teaching - and the reasons given for why we're supposed to believe it. After a while, I have a pretty good idea of why I believe what I believe.
For me, that's important. I like to know as much as I can about what I'm committed to.
The Human Brain: Hot Stuff; But Not That HotSome things, like the Trinity, I accept as something I simply can't understand.
Like most adult humans, my brain weighs about three pounds - give or take. ("Brain Facts that make you go, 'Hmmmmm'.") I think it's unreasonable to assume that the circuits and programming packed into a few pounds of neurons, glial cells, and whatever else we use to think with, can fully understand everything. Even with the resources of the Internet at my disposal.
God's God and I'm not. I may not like it: but that's a fact.
- "Saint Thomas Aquinas, Pope Benedict XVI, Faith and Reason"
(June 24, 2010)
- "Why State Definitions of Marriage Matter to This Catholic"
(June 23, 2010)
- " 'Parallel Magesterium?' Catholicism 101: The Church Speaks For the Church"
(June 22, 2010)
- "Some Catholic Blogs Bother Bishops - A Lot"
(June 17, 2010)
- "Why Did I Convert to Catholicism?"
(November 24, 2009)
- "I'm Not Awed by Authority, I Don't Conform Easily: So I Became a Catholic?!"
(September 19, 2009)