Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reason Needs Religion: No Freedom without Truth

We must...lay to rest once and for all the dream of the absolute autonomy and self-sufficiency of reason. Human reason needs the support of the great religious traditions of humanity. It will, of course, examine critically the individual religious traditions.

The pathology of religion is the most dangerous sickness of the human mind.

It exists in the religions, but it also exists precisely where religion as such is rejected and the status of an absolute is assigned to relative goods: the atheistic systems of modernity are the most terrifying examples of a religious passion alienated from its nature, which is a life-threatening sickness of the human mind.

Where God is denied, freedom is not built up, but robbed of its foundation and thus distorted. Where the purest and deepest religious traditions are entirely discarded, man severs himself from his truth; he lives contrary to it and becomes unfree. Even philosophical ethics cannot be unqualifiedly autonomous. It cannot renounce the idea of God or the idea of a truth of being having an ethical character.

If there is no truth about man, man also has no freedom.

Only the truth makes us free.

Joseph Ratzinger in Communio Volume 2: Anthropology and Culture (Truth and Freedom), 167
[This is the last paragraph of the article "Truth and Freedom" which is reprinted in the above volume and originally appeared as "Frieiheit und Wahrheit" in Internationale katholische Zeitschrift Communio 6 (1995). Published in Communio 23, no. I (Spring 1996).]
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