Pope John Paul II’s Fides et Ratio: A Response to Atheism
Ypril James F. Cabasag
When was the time and where was the place when the first races of humans started to believe in God? This question perhaps would trace us back to the point when these people built solid foundation about His existence and how He related to the world. These individuals might conceptualize a God because of their search for the answer about the questions pertaining about the beginning of everything, for instance the Hindus. It might be that these people were conscious that everything appeared to be perfect so it must also be that someone who was accountable of it was more perfect, and that should be a God. These people felt the powerful energy that comprised everything which only possible by that most perfect Being. Way back to the sequence of history up to this present time, the ideal thought about God like what Christians believe, is still carried on. The idea of God becomes more grounded as time passes, it turns so profound compared to its first conceptions, and hence religion has something to do with it. Today, the idea of God is already supported with a lot of theological and even philosophical doctrines. The conviction about God goes out with any dimension of any field of knowledge, which God’s divinity is being highlighted. The idea of God does not only convey sole property that there is only one God, and only produces one universal religion. Every race believes in different concepts of God and subscribes to a particular religion. Hence, if we speak about the specific idea of God, it corresponds to a certain idealism of a religion. There are those who embrace “polytheism”-a belief about gods, “monotheism”- a belief of a God, and “pantheism”- a belief that God is everything. Yet, though there are different convictions of God, they only radiate one thing, “mystery” (Aquino, 1993, p.7). God is something that cannot be totally grasped nor comprehend. As God then, His Godness entails deeper knowing, or something that humans need to know more. Furthermore, according to some thinkers, the more we develop our consciousness towards God, the more uncertainty in this thought arises. Consequently, the battle between the atheists and theists has happened. Because of different and non-uniform idea about God, the criticism of the atheist has sprouted. From the word itself, we could draw an idea that they have rejected the very idea of the existence of God, they claim that “there’s no God.” The sense of contemplating upon the very Being of God is meaningless; it’s only a waste of effort and time. But then on the other side of the coin, the theist thinkers strive to provide ideas both empirical and cognitive as they uphold their claim about God. Actually, some of these theist thinkers have used both “faith and reason” in dealing such problem. It is on this context that Pope John Paul II Fides et Ratio will be tackled. In the succeeding parts of this search, the researcher will try to unearth the assertion with regards to the concept of Faith and Reason and other additional assertions of the contemporary theistic philosophers about the existence of God. More so, this paper will endeavor to fill ideas about these following statements: “the claim of the atheists that there’s no God,” “the concept of Fides et Ratio (faith and reason), and additional thoughts of some theist contemporary thinkers,” and lastly, “if the concept of Fides et Ratio (faith and reason) and assertion of other contemporary theist thinkers can be the effective replies on the claims of the atheists.” This research paper will cover the discussion about the ideas of Pope John Paul II’s concept of Fides et Ratio as the primary basis of the researcher as he strives to respond upon the claim of the atheists that “there’s no God.” Thus this paper won’t only be exclusive on the thoughts of Pope John Paul, but will also include other...
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