Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Theology of the Body Reflections - Part II

A Study of Immanuel Kant

Pope John Paul II studied the philosophies of Kant. There is much discussion about the Kant's philosophy and how it influenced JPII. I was having a hard time gathering all my thoughts about Kant and his philosophy until I found an excellent article written by a great Catholic author and Professor Peter Kreeft. The article is here. After reading his article on Kant and doing some research on some of his works, I really want to read more of Kreeft's works. His defense of the Catholic faith is strong and very persuasive. The key to this article on Kant is that Truth is objective, not subjective as Kant believed. Unfortunately, many in today's culture have accepted Kant's belief that truth is subjective. This has led many away from the church because if truth is subjective to each individual what need is there for the church? If an individual's values are basically "good" and they live by their personal understanding of truth, why should they become Christian and become subject to a number of moral guidelines? Unfortunately, this sort of thinking is very prevalent in our day. Ironically, Kant's philosophy can be used as an argument against both atheism and organized religion. Despite the harm that his thought has caused, it has also done some good. Read the article written by another good Catholic author, Dinesh D'Souza, here. In summary, although Kant had some good thoughts that helped make the case against atheism, the overall effect of his philosophy has been negative. However, John Paul II learned much from Kant and in that way we can be grateful. Maybe one day the world will fully embrace the great philosophies of Pope John Paul II.

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