Friday, April 7, 2017

Positivism Stunts Truth, Stumps Progress

"...[T]he proponents of [an] positivistic exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason negate what is one of the most profound convictions of religious believers [and] also thwart the very dialogue of cultures that they themselves propose.

"An understanding of reason that is deaf to the divine and that relegates religions into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures that our world so urgently needs.

"In the end, 'fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom.' (Caritas in Veritate, 9)

"[The] confidence in the human ability to seek truth, to find truth, and to live by the truth led to the foundation of the great European universities. Surely we must reaffirm this today in order to bring courage to the intellectual forces necessary for the development of a future of authentic human flourishing, a future truly worthy of man."
Address by the Holy Father: Meeting with Members of the Academic Community, Vladislav Hall in the Prague Castle, Sunday, 27 September 2009

"Every generation has the task of engaging anew in the arduous search for the right way to order human affairs, seeking to understand the proper use of human freedom (cf. Spe Salvi, 25). And while the duty to strengthen 'structures of freedom' is vital, it is never enough: human aspirations soar beyond the self, beyond what any political or economic authority can provide, towards a radiant hope (cf. ibid.,35) that has its origin beyond ourselves yet is encountered within, as truth and beauty and goodness. Freedom seeks purpose: it requires conviction. True freedom presupposes the search for truth - for the true good - and hence finds its fulfillment precisely in knowing and doing what is right and just. Truth, in other words, is the guiding norm for freedom, and goodness is freedom's perfection. Aristotle defined the good as 'that at which all things aim', and went on to suggest that 'though it is worthwhile to attain the end merely for one man, it is finer and more godlike to attain it for a nation or for city-states' (Nicomachean Ethics, 1; cf. Caritas in Veritate, 2). Indeed, the lofty responsibility to awaken receptivity to truth and goodness falls to all leaders - religious, political and cultural, each in his or her own way. Jointly we must engage in the struggle for freedom and the search for truth, which either go together hand in hand or together they perish in misery (cf. Fides et Ratio, 90).

"For Christians, truth has a name: God. And goodness has a face: Jesus Christ."
Address by the Holy Father: Meeting with the Civil and Political Authorities and with the Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Presidential Palace of Prague, Saturday, 26 September 2009
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