If religion (Catholicism) is the absolute truth, then how come when questions are asked about it no one can ever answer with facts, only faith and belief? Basically, if I say "you can't prove God is real", you can only prove it with faith and belief, no facts. Why is this? Where's all the proof?
Roman Catholicism isn't the absolute truth. I'm not Catholic and don't defend their belief system.
The Bible claims that it is the truth. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17). It contains verifiable facts and information. For example, it contains prophecies known to be given hundreds of years in advance, that always came out accurately. It contains details about the past that have always been accurate, even regarding events and nations that the world forgot about during the course of time. It is a book unlike any other in the world. These are facts. Now whether you accept that the evidence points to God or not, there you are right, faith is required.
Not that you are without faith. You see, you cannot prove that God doesn't exist. You can only offer your belief, not facts. And oddly enough, you don't have factual evidence that points to the impossibility of God's existence. I guess we might conclude that your belief system requires greater faith than mine.
I disagree. You don't have factual evidence that God does exist, aside from what was written/re-written in the Bible. If one believes in science, that doesn't require any faith what-so-ever, just empirical knowledge of the topic, tested, hypothesized, and re-tested. My "belief" is not much of a belief because if it is not proven by facts (palpable, undeniable evidence -- not the Bible), then it cannot be considered as truth. You mentioned that I don't have factual evidence that God doesn't exist, which I do not require not to believe in Him. Where is your factual evidence that God does exist? The Bible does not count as evidence. It has been thousands of years since it has been written and re-written and parts have been added, so who is to say that the story hasn't been changed and re-interpreted and translated in that amount of time? Where is your factual evidence that the Bible has not been edited since its original publication date? Is faith the only evidence you need to be right? Because by that logic, it seems as though any religious follower follows that logic, no one can ever be wrong by their own interpretation of "faith." Telling me I need to prove God doesn't exist is not proof of His existence. If you can assure me that God exists, without evidence, then I can equally dismiss your statement without evidence.
That you don't accept the evidence doesn't mean it is non-existent. There are scientists who argue for Intelligent Design. The basis of the theory is that there is too much evidence of design to accept that random events developed our world. The source of that evidence is from science and not from the Bible.
Discounting the Bible, a proven historically accurate book, doesn't give credence to your case. Particularly the claim that the Bible has been modified since its origin is something that has been established to be false. Regarding the New Testament:
- We have 5,300 complete or mostly complete manuscripts
- We have 13,000 fragments
- There are 8,000 Latin translations of the Greek text
- There are another 8,000 manuscripts in Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopic, Coptic, Gothic, Slavic, Sahidic, and Georgian
- Not enough? A study done at the British Museum documented 89,000 quotes or allusions to the New Testament in the writings of early Christian writers.
- Oh, and we have 1,800 lectionaries, which are reading lessons from early church services dating from the sixth century.
Unlike other ancient manuscripts, we have copies that date to close to the original writing:
- We have several fragments dated to 40 to 100 years after the original writings
- We have several Greek manuscripts that date to 300 to 400 years after the original
- Some of the translations are older. Most, though, are from the 300's and later.
- The quotes and allusions in the early Christian writers date from 95 AD to the early 400's. Most come from the second and third centuries.
And in all that material, less than one-half of a percent is in question. There is no evidence of alteration.
If you actually were following scientific principles then your claim ought to be "I don't know if God exists or not," since you state you can't prove whether He does or does not exist. That would be in line with the evidence that you claim to have. But because you hold to the unprovable claim that God does not exist, I pointed out that you do so from faith and not from evidence.