Faith and Reason

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Theology 101
Module 2

1. According to Hauser what are the main challenges to the faith today? According to Hauser, “It is a question of conviction – do we really believe that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man truly become clear (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22)? Are we ready to commit our entire selves – intellect and will, mind and heart to God?” These are essential questions that stand at the foundation of any Catholic education. In a special way the study of theology reflects a Catholic university’s commitment to the faith of the Church and the truth of the human person. Theology is described by St. Anselm as “faith seeking understanding.” And since the content of the faith is Christ, theology is an examination of this truth, the one truth, the truth of Christ. But does this truth and commitment to this truth really guide Catholic higher education today in the multiple aspects of it life? Are these institutions of higher learning really committed to the truth of Christ and the mission of the Church? I believe Hauser is also saying that the theologians of today have been unable to meet the demands of both the teaching of the true faith AND answering the challenges of today’s society. Hauser continues, “It could be argued that the foundation for a solution to this tension has been laid by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who in their writings defend and articulate the faith and its significance for modern life. Yet the academy, imbued with the skepticism of such authority rejects it as narrow and retreats to the insular world where they are king. Many argue that Catholic higher education can best serve the world by returning to her origin.” In effect, the Church seems stuck in the past as she tries to maintain her sense of self and purpose. Additionally, when one doesn’t get the answers one needs, in this world of rush and hurry, one tends to become uninterested and move on to where the answers seem to be, even if that means a move away from the place that had been a source of peace for our ancestors. What is relativism and why does relativism undermine the faith? Relativism is the philosophy that all points of view are equally valid. It insists that there is no truth, or that one cannot know the truth. All thoughts and values are “relative” or related directly to the one who has them. While everyone’s thoughts and values are relative to the person who has them, this undermines the faith because if what we believe is only relative than that means there are no truth and no lies. Each opinion of religion or lack of religion is correct and the gospel that was spoken to be “truth” is wrong and right at the same time. Under this philosophy there is no God and no blasphemy, no right and no wrong. If there is no truth in order to base our understanding and judgments on, then life itself cannot be based on Truth as one of our Natural Rights and therefore our Governmental structure would cease to exist. Give examples from contemporary culture. A great example from contemporary culture that demonstrates the “both/and” way of thinking was pointed out by Hauser. He states “A contemporary example is the discussion of cultural diversity, which holds that all cultures need to be respected as they are, since in the end they are all of the same value. We are told not to judge others because we each have our own way of doing things and thinking and that one cannot say one is better than another.” We should not be judging another person or religion anyway, but in the ““both/and”” way of thinking this says we cannot because none of us are either right or wrong. According to the “both/and” way of thinking, since there is no right or wrong, the only sin then is intolerance. (Little). Another example of relativism is that each individual must decide what is “right” or “wrong’ for themselves. How does this affect our laws? If we are to decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong, and each of...
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