Author Topic: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism  (Read 1249 times)

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Offline Xavier

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On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« on: March 23, 2017, 04:13:17 PM »
1. The Catholic Church justly and truly considers atheism "one of the most serious problems of our time" (CCC 2123) and a grave sin against the first commandment (CCC 2125). Nothing is sadder than to hear some people say they got embroiled in the Catholic-Orthodox theological controversies for years only to later on fall away from Christ altogether, into atheism, agnosticism or some other form of worldliness and impiety.

What do posters here think is the best way for the Church and Christians to answer the objections of atheists and refute the absurdities of atheism and other forms of modernism? Vatican I gave an excellent treatise on the relationship between faith and reason which was incorporated into the Oath against Modernism that all who held teaching offices in the name of the Church were to vow before God to uphold --- "I N.  firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:19), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. "(Oath against Modernism, Pope St. Pius X)

2. From Vatican I's decree on faith and reason, "that doctrine of rationalism or naturalism,—utterly opposed to the Christian religion, since this is of supernatural origin,—which spares no effort to bring it about that Christ, who alone is our Lord and Savior, is shut out from the minds of men and the moral life of nations ... The abandonment and rejection of the Christian religion, and the denial of God and his Christ, has plunged the minds of many into the abyss of pantheism, materialism and atheism, and the consequence is that they strive to destroy rational nature itself, to deny any criterion of what is right and just, and to overthrow the very foundations of human society.

With this impiety spreading in every direction, it has come about, alas, that many even among the children of the Catholic Church have strayed from the path of genuine piety ... in order that the submission of our faith should be in accordance with reason, it was God's will that there should be linked to the internal assistance of the Holy Spirit external indications of his revelation, that is to say divine acts, and first and foremost miracles and prophecies, which clearly demonstrating as they do the omnipotence and infinite knowledge of God, are the most certain signs of revelation and are suited to the understanding of all.

... the Church Herself ... by Her Catholic unity and unconquerable stability is a kind of great and perpetual motive of credibility and an incontrovertible evidence of Her own divine mission. So it comes about that, like a standard lifted up for the nations (Isa 11:12), She both invites to Herself those who have not yet believed, and likewise assures Her sons and daughters that the faith they profess rests on the firmest of foundations."
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Offline Rohzek

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 01:04:32 AM »
I generally agree with the sentiment of the statement. Maybe I'm not following it closely enough, but I get a bit cautious when someone says that every cause and effect can be understood through human reason. I don't think that is true. We are finite creatures. I see no reason why we should have that capacity since we have obvious limitations. And I tend to be more in the camp of Pascal on the faith and reason matter. If you take out his argument of probabilities, he pretty much states that reason dictate the question of God's existence. I very much agree with that view.
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 04:00:41 AM »
Considering Rome is a precursor to Modernism, I don't see why this condemnation should be taken seriously.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2017, 11:52:41 AM »
It's almost impossible to talk Atheists into Christianity, even if they're the naive and infirm in their unbelief. But we can still fight the Kulturkampf on one hand, and on the other keep trying to spread the faith through the means we essentially always did.
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Offline WPM

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2017, 12:43:39 PM »
Hey, I know Christianity and the Bible.
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Offline augustin717

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 02:07:09 PM »
It's almost impossible to talk Atheists into Christianity, even if they're the naive and infirm in their unbelief. But we can still fight the Kulturkampf on one hand, and on the other keep trying to spread the faith through the means we essentially always did.
Barring modern times when the faith is actually losing terrain in spite of some sincere conversions here and there , every time when the faith was on the  ascendency , it was as because it had the sword on its side. Those were the means that convinced the heathen. We can see what Christianity without the Roman emperors  would have looked like in places like Persia of India. It would have survived, maybe even become a middle class caste, but not really a major cultural force.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 02:08:44 PM by augustin717 »
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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 03:43:28 PM »
1. The Catholic Church justly and truly considers atheism "one of the most serious problems of our time" (CCC 2123) and a grave sin against the first commandment (CCC 2125). Nothing is sadder than to hear some people say they got embroiled in the Catholic-Orthodox theological controversies for years only to later on fall away from Christ altogether, into atheism, agnosticism or some other form of worldliness and impiety.

What do posters here think is the best way for the Church and Christians to answer the objections of atheists and refute the absurdities of atheism and other forms of modernism? Vatican I gave an excellent treatise on the relationship between faith and reason which was incorporated into the Oath against Modernism that all who held teaching offices in the name of the Church were to vow before God to uphold --- "I N.  firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:19), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. "(Oath against Modernism, Pope St. Pius X)

2. From Vatican I's decree on faith and reason, "that doctrine of rationalism or naturalism,—utterly opposed to the Christian religion, since this is of supernatural origin,—which spares no effort to bring it about that Christ, who alone is our Lord and Savior, is shut out from the minds of men and the moral life of nations ... The abandonment and rejection of the Christian religion, and the denial of God and his Christ, has plunged the minds of many into the abyss of pantheism, materialism and atheism, and the consequence is that they strive to destroy rational nature itself, to deny any criterion of what is right and just, and to overthrow the very foundations of human society.

With this impiety spreading in every direction, it has come about, alas, that many even among the children of the Catholic Church have strayed from the path of genuine piety ... in order that the submission of our faith should be in accordance with reason, it was God's will that there should be linked to the internal assistance of the Holy Spirit external indications of his revelation, that is to say divine acts, and first and foremost miracles and prophecies, which clearly demonstrating as they do the omnipotence and infinite knowledge of God, are the most certain signs of revelation and are suited to the understanding of all.

... the Church Herself ... by Her Catholic unity and unconquerable stability is a kind of great and perpetual motive of credibility and an incontrovertible evidence of Her own divine mission. So it comes about that, like a standard lifted up for the nations (Isa 11:12), She both invites to Herself those who have not yet believed, and likewise assures Her sons and daughters that the faith they profess rests on the firmest of foundations."
I don't entirely agree. Some atheists who really see the problem of evil in the world are Closer to God than Most so called Christians. Nietzsche for example or the fictional Ivan Karamazov for that matter, or people like Beethoven who Fought against God tormented by the problem of evil are probably closer to God than many legalistic catholics and protestants. We should be fighting against legalistic christianity and false views on God and redemption, like the juridical view of redemption and salvation. These things are an even bigger problem for humanity than atheism, who is from the beginning just a correct reaction against false views on God. For example, are Hitchens and Sam Harris right when they criticize christianity? To a certain extent yes. Because they criticize false christianity which is what Most People preach.
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Offline beebert

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 03:47:35 PM »
Considering Rome is a precursor to Modernism, I don't see why this condemnation should be taken seriously.
+1
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2017, 11:19:19 AM »
It's almost impossible to talk Atheists into Christianity, even if they're the naive and infirm in their unbelief. But we can still fight the Kulturkampf on one hand, and on the other keep trying to spread the faith through the means we essentially always did.
Barring modern times when the faith is actually losing terrain in spite of some sincere conversions here and there , every time when the faith was on the  ascendency , it was as because it had the sword on its side. Those were the means that convinced the heathen. We can see what Christianity without the Roman emperors  would have looked like in places like Persia of India. It would have survived, maybe even become a middle class caste, but not really a major cultural force.
Sure, but we can struggle to keep it a cultural force in some level while time isn't come. Specially when we're talking about countries that once joined the cross and the sword.
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May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Rohzek

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2017, 12:28:55 PM »
Considering Rome is a precursor to Modernism, I don't see why this condemnation should be taken seriously.

Considering Christianity was a precursor to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, I don't see why it should be taken seriously either.

See, the game is just too easy.
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline Iconodule

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2017, 01:02:25 PM »
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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2017, 12:29:13 AM »
Considering Rome is a precursor to Modernism, I don't see why this condemnation should be taken seriously.

Considering Christianity was a precursor to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, I don't see why it should be taken seriously either.

See, the game is just too easy.

That's not a very good analogy. His point was that Rome's very way of thinking directly led to the modernism that Pope Pius X condemned. He has a point, insofar as most of modernism's greatest self-proclaimed critics tend to be its best adherents.
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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2017, 12:53:21 AM »
Most atheism and other symptoms of narcissism are phases thru which the effected people move, onto other thoughts and experiences in later life even if they do not explicitly reject their old notions. Of course this is not always the case and some remain fascinated, as somebody like Bertrand Russel shows, a development no doubt arrested by the withholding of reality from his fawning environment as a Cambridge celebrity. At any rate, to collect all atheists and exhibit them as nothing more than that and never becoming more than that is inaccurate. This kind of magnification of evil or obsession with its sad effects is a kind of despair: despair being the real hazard, the toxin by which the Evil One hopes to abort us in our process of growing toward hope in God.
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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2017, 02:51:34 PM »
What do posters here think is the best way for the Church and Christians to answer the objections of atheists and refute the absurdities of atheism and other forms of modernism?

I think a good place to start is in getting everyone's assumptions and motivations out on the table. Most times these seem to be skipped and people get right into debating medieval proofs for the existence of God or the historical accuracy of ancient documents.

Offline Rohzek

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2017, 11:51:48 PM »
Considering Rome is a precursor to Modernism, I don't see why this condemnation should be taken seriously.

Considering Christianity was a precursor to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, I don't see why it should be taken seriously either.

See, the game is just too easy.

That's not a very good analogy. His point was that Rome's very way of thinking directly led to the modernism that Pope Pius X condemned. He has a point, insofar as most of modernism's greatest self-proclaimed critics tend to be its best adherents.

I often see this claim, but with little evidence. Furthermore, I am often unsure what they even mean by modernism. When asked, they generally reply with vague notions. In short, "modernism" seems to me to be a catch-all boogeyman for the few select "traditionalists" to show us the way.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 11:59:53 PM by Rohzek »
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2017, 12:04:41 AM »
Considering Rome is a precursor to Modernism, I don't see why this condemnation should be taken seriously.

Considering Christianity was a precursor to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, I don't see why it should be taken seriously either.

Actually, that's a valid point. Roman Catholicism and Protestantism were direct precursors to the Holocaust. I don't deny that, and I think that's an entirely valid reason to reject their modern iterations' fixation toward Jews.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2017, 12:05:50 AM »
Considering Rome is a precursor to Modernism, I don't see why this condemnation should be taken seriously.

Considering Christianity was a precursor to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, I don't see why it should be taken seriously either.

See, the game is just too easy.

That's not a very good analogy. His point was that Rome's very way of thinking directly led to the modernism that Pope Pius X condemned. He has a point, insofar as most of modernism's greatest self-proclaimed critics tend to be its best adherents.

I often see this claim, but with little evidence. Furthermore, I am often unsure what they even mean by modernism. When asked, they generally reply with vague notions. In short, "modernism" seems to me to be a catch-all boogeyman for the few select "traditionalists" to show us the way.

Modernism means modern philosophical, literary, political etc. ideas. Things which are post-Reformation, post-Enlightenment and post-French Revolution.
I reject all that I wrote that isn't in accordance with the teachings of the Orthodox Church. Also, my posts reflect my opinions (present or former) and nothing else.

Offline Rohzek

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2017, 02:17:21 PM »
Considering Rome is a precursor to Modernism, I don't see why this condemnation should be taken seriously.

Considering Christianity was a precursor to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, I don't see why it should be taken seriously either.

See, the game is just too easy.

That's not a very good analogy. His point was that Rome's very way of thinking directly led to the modernism that Pope Pius X condemned. He has a point, insofar as most of modernism's greatest self-proclaimed critics tend to be its best adherents.

I often see this claim, but with little evidence. Furthermore, I am often unsure what they even mean by modernism. When asked, they generally reply with vague notions. In short, "modernism" seems to me to be a catch-all boogeyman for the few select "traditionalists" to show us the way.

Modernism means modern philosophical, literary, political etc. ideas. Things which are post-Reformation, post-Enlightenment and post-French Revolution.

That's not much better. Be more specific.
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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2017, 06:02:42 PM »
Things which are post-Reformation, post-Enlightenment and post-French Revolution.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2017, 09:32:22 PM »
Things which are post-Reformation, post-Enlightenment and post-French Revolution.
iPhone

I'm talking about ideas, not about technology.
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Offline Opus118

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Re: On Faith and Reason: Against Atheism and Modernism
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2017, 10:47:57 AM »
Things which are post-Reformation, post-Enlightenment and post-French Revolution.
iPhone

I'm talking about ideas, not about technology.


I would worry more about the iphone. Last night's 60 Minutes in a readable format:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-hacking-tech-insiders-60-minutes/

I do not own a smartphone and I will not join facebook, etc.

Modernism as you define it is fine with me. There are a lot of good things to be found in such a general definition.

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