Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.
...for all religious experience. Such explanations always seem to be favored by people with the sort of social skills you see in those who spend too much time on computers or wearing highwater jeans and tape on their glasses. They tend to talk as though the rest of the human race is a different and inferior species and they explain their inability to get a date to the prom with the words, “I chose to remain at home thinking Great Thoughts!” Looking to people who demonstrate remarkably little understanding of basic human interactions for understanding of the inmost workings of the human heart on the thing that matters to us most is generally inadvisable. Rule of thumb: if gags like this completely baffle them with the alien concept of “humor”, they probably are not your most reliable guide to what these strange human creatures mean by words like “love”, or “Faith” or all the rest of the complex panoply of the heart that does not fit neatly into their simplistic reductionist theorizing.
Yes. Granted. People sometimes hear voices and there is an organic cause. Thanks for the news flash. But please. Spare me this rubbish about how failure to experience locutions is just proof that the New Atheist is more highly evolved, etc. Self-congratulatory bushwah is not a rational naturalistic explanation of all religious belief and experience. Nor are lame ideas like “St. Paul had epilepsy or saw ball lightning” or “Jesus walked on ice and fishermen who had lived and worked around water all their lives were too stupid to figure that out” or “Jesus’ transfiguration was due to the glare off the snow on Mt. Tabor” or “People shared their lunches and that’s the true miracle of the loaves and fishes” or the multitude of other dorky materialist explanations put forth to reduce the New Testament to an account of reality given by people 2000 years stupider than materialists.