Table of Contents
- 1. postmodern man person
- 2. what is history?
- 3. sources of truth
- 4. sources
- 5. the true truth-source
- 6. Then, what is truth?
- 7. demands on the sources
- 8. The case for Rationalism ...
- 9. The case for Fundamentali...
- 10. conclusion
- 11. the Catholic faith
- 12. the Bible
- 13. Schrödinger's paradox
- 14. postmodernism
the Catholic faith
The Catholic doctrine is an interesting mixture of Rationalism and Authoritarianism. "Humani generis", the encyclical of Pope Pius XII [Pius XII], shows how the Catholic Church has long transcended simple Fundamentalism. I will quote the first two paragraphs in full:
- Disagreement and error among men on moral and religious matters have always been a cause of profound sorrow to all good men, but above all to the true and loyal sons of the Church, especially today, when we see the principles of Christian culture being attacked on all sides.
- It is not surprising that such discord and error should always have existed outside the fold of Christ. For though, absolutely speaking, human reason by its own natural force and light can arrive at a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God, Who by His providence watches over and governs the world, and also of the natural law, which the Creator has written in our hearts, still there are not a few obstacles to prevent reason from making efficient and fruitful use of its natural ability. The truths that have to do with God and the relations between God and men, completely surpass the sensible order and demand self-surrender and self-abnegation in order to be put into practice and to influence practical life. Now the human intellect, in gaining the knowledge of such truths is hampered both by the activity of the senses and the imagination, and by evil passions arising from original sin. Hence men easily persuade themselves in such matters that what they do not wish to believe is false or at least doubtful.
We may deduce that Pius XII adheres to Rationalism from his statement "... human reason... can arrive at a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God."
Fundamentalism is never invoked. Instead human reason can arrive at knowledge "by its own natural force" and also by "the natural law, which the Creator has written in our hearts".
However, the layman can not arrive at this knowledge by himself, for "there are not a few obstacles to prevent reason from making efficient and fruitful use of its natural ability". In fact,* "the truths that have to do with God... completely surpass the sensible order and demand self-surrender and self-abnegation"* It so happens that self-surrender and self-abnegation are the hallmark of the authorities of the Catholic Church.
There is also a clear denial of Empiricism:* "Now the human intellect, in gaining the knowledge of such truths is hampered both by the activity of the senses and the imagination,..."* The context of the Humani Generis shows why Empiricism is denied: in order to discount science, most notably the evolution theory (see paragraph 37).