Friday, November 30, 2007


The Pope has said of Atheism:

It is no accident that this idea has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice; rather, it is grounded in the intrinsic falsity of the claim [That man can create justice where God has not-Fr. Scott]. A world which has to create its own justice is a world without hope. No one and nothing can answer for centuries of suffering. No one and nothing can guarantee that the cynicism of power—whatever beguiling ideological mask it adopts—will cease to dominate the world.

The document is Here. I like to include a primary reference for what I'm talking about.

I'm often dismayed by Atheism. I'm not dismayed by the philosophy, but by the arrogance, that the atheists think that atheism is somehow better than theism, religiosity, or any other religious state. Atheism is just as prone to abusing power as they claim the Catholic Church has been, as any secular religious state has been (a Christian, Buddhist, or Jewish King (see King Saul, King David), a Muslim Ayatollah, etc.) If you don't think that's so, I advise you to look up the religious ideas of Lenin, Mao, and Stalin, as well as a host of lesser atheist and communist dictators. Add power to any of these philosophies, and they can become destructive.

I'm not saying that it is more likely to lead to destructive behavior in individuals than any other philosophy. I'm simply saying atheism is, at its best, no better.

That's because we live in a flawed world. The Gnostic view of creation emphasizes that without the vision of the Logos, we cannot see the Kingdom of God, but must live in the flawed world of forms. To be attached to anything in this world gives it power over us, and that can be a very difficult state to live in. But getting to the detached state is not easy either.

No philosophy is going to solve the world's ills. We live in a world that is ill. The system corrects for health. Entropy increases.

Any philosophy can solve the world's ills, on a personal level. It requires a change of perspective, that perhaps the world is not as ill as we think, and the kingdom of God is already here, if we can but recognize it. But it takes a bit of detachment from what we call 'actual' and an adherence to the 'ideal'.

Gnosticism is no better and no worse. Given power, Gnosticism as a philosophy would be just as destructive as atheism, as orthodoxy. All we have to do is look at the concepts of hylic, psychic, and pneumatic with an eye to power, and we can see how that would be convenient for controlling others.

Philosophy cannot save you, cannot save the world. It can at best, explain it, and give you a methodology for living in the world.


Anonymous said...

Great to hear you're back

Hook said...

Thank you.